The Interactive Menu

One of the features of the GET LAMP DVD is that the main film is interactive - the viewer is asked to make a choice during the film on which direction to go. This was planned from the beginning of shooting, and the film was edited and shot to support this.

From the main menu of disc one, the viewer is asked to select if they wish to watch an "interactive" or "non-interactive" version of the movie. This is essentially the same film, except the "non-interactive" version strings together all the interactive branches (there are three). There are other minor differences, but the difference in footage is in the realm of 10-15 seconds.

Note the highlighted selection of the menu, allowing you to see which selection to choose.

During the "Interactive" version, a scene will be shown with Steve Meretzky indicating he didn't know the whole text adventure industry would end so soon and so quickly. The music will start playing sweeping chords, and you will see this shot:

The scene will zoom farther and farther until you are shown the following menu, with a selection to choose from. At the point that the highlight appears, the viewer is given roughly 16 seconds to choose a branch to travel to. If the user does not choose a selection, there will be the sound of a beep, a white flash, and you will be returned to the main menu.

This is all fine and good, but to make the menu interactive, a slightly more obscure part of the DVD specification is used, where links to other parts of the DVD are provided in a currently running chapter. Not every DVD player, software or hardware, supports this correctly. The situation also does not seem to be related to the quality or production date of the software/hardware - newer players may not highlight correctly or older software players may work just fine.

In these cases, the highlight does not show up on the screen, and the shot looks like some variation of this:

That said, the menu has been found in every case so far to be functional. There are two different solutions, here:

  • Use the arrow keys on your controller or keyboard to select the branch you wish to travel. If you press enter without using the arrow keys, you will go to the PLAYER branch. Pressing down once and then enter will put you in the MODERN branch, and so on.
  • Play the non-interactive version from the main menu. As mentioned above, you will miss only a small number of differences between the interactive and non-interactive version, mostly a tiny wrap-up sequence at the end of the PLAYER and PUZZLES branches.

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