Teen Priest

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Closer Look: Teen Priest

By: Dr. Dos
Published: Oct. 20, 2017

All Teen Cops Are Bastards. A lot of content warnings in this overshadowed and oh-so-edgy adventure

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Just two days to go.

  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
Your walkie talkie!

Since when did it ring??

Hell if i know.

Ahem...Father Danger speaking.

Leitenant Pansy: "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU


suddenly disappeared, when a new informant
calls in to spill his guts!"

Me? ahh, umm...its a long story. You see,
I was assaulted by a group of hobos who
stole my low-rider and smashed it in
attempts to run me over. Then i was
ambushed by gangsters at night in South
Central L.A.

Pansy: "Listen, Danger, i frankly dont
GIVE a shit what happens to you. I want
this case to be solved."

I understand that, Lietenant.

Pansy: "This is your FOURTH day on the
case, Danger. What's your progress??
continues, they'll shut the case down. You
want that, Johnny-boy?!"


Pansy: "Well then! Get off you're ugly ass
and get over to the WcDonalds at 8th and
Willow. AND STEP ON IT!!

  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

Johnny gets in trouble for not having done anything about the case yet which is a pretty valid complaint. So far the only policework done was meeting an informant that didn't work out and snooping some paperwork in the high school.

Buff guy
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Buff guy: "Hello, Father. I've just come
to check on my...AWW, FUCK!"

No we didnt. I swear.

Buff guy: "What's that in her hair?"

It's cu...ahh, i mean, i have no clue.

Buff guy: "WHAT the hell kinda priest are

Look, I'll tell you what happened. She
was...raped by a savage pack of

Buff guy: "Why is she hand-cuffed??"

She's still going into spasm. Ya know,
just to make sure she doesn't--


Yes. I mean...NO.

Buff guy: "I'm gonna KICK your scrawny
corrupted priest ass!!"

  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

Fortunately, things calm down and Johnny and the woman's fiancée opt to sit down and discuss what just happened.


Well no, actually he just chases you and I managed to get him to stand in front of the chair while I was on the other side of the table.


He's so sympathetic.


I guess the WcDonalds is close by since Johnny is without a car. He arrives immediately at the restaurant and once again there is no informant, just an ambush to get him killed.

Who would want to kill Johnny?


The combat here is a simple engine and thankfully much easier than the dancing game from earlier. It's still a slog though. The player can press up to have Johnny hide behind a booth, or right to pop out of cover and fire his gun. At the same time the mafia guy does the same. His movement is erratic enough that it's really tough to hit him since his bullets will often cancel out your own. You kind of need to pop out of cover immediately after his bullets pass Johnny and fire right away to even have a chance of hitting. It takes something like ten shots to win as well, and far fewer for Johnny to die.

Still, there's feedback when you actually hit them so it's a big improvement.


But perhaps I spoke too soon, as after surviving that first encounter, Johnny is chased down by another vehicle while also being shot at from a second limo.

Here things are much more difficult. Pressing up makes Johnny jump I guess, and move a single space north where he can then shoot at the windshield of the limo of hopes of making it crash. Since it's a jump, this means after a moment he'll move back south into the line of fire. When Johnny is hit he moves a step to the right, and if the limo hits him, he's run down and it's game over.

Again, the timing is extremely tight to be able to jump, fire, and land in time to jump the next bullet. This might not be too bad except it takes TWENTY SHOTS to the windshield to win. Once again I had to cheat my way out of a way too demanding minigame.


After escaping the limos by causing one to crash into the other, Johnny finally makes it back to the abbey safely, and just in time for confession.

young chick
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ooh la la. As the first "customer" sits,
you turn on your bugging device.
Chick: "Forgive me, Father. I've sinned."

Of course you have.

Chick: "Huh? Uhm...well, it all started
last friday..."


Chick: "Me and my boyfriend...well, his
parents werent home, so i came over at
night and gave into sin."

Oh? What sin?

Chick: "I've...had sex with a man."

Hmm...how do you look like?

Chick: "Well...17 years old, about 5'8,
blue eyes...why?"

Bra size.

Chick: "Wha?"

Jugs. how big?

Chick: "I got a double d's..."

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Well there are clearly two choices here.

young chick
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Err...yes, go on.

Chick: "Well, i went over and had sex."

What kinda sex?

Chick: "Umm...everything, i guess."

You smacked around his ding-dong?

Chick: "Yes, Father."

You...uhm...gave him head?

Chick: "Yes, Father."


Chick: "We went at it all night...every
single position imaginable, we did it..."

>>thwack, thwack<<

Chick: "Err...are you ok in there?"

YES!! oh, yes...go on. gimme details.

Chick: "ok...i slipped in the the window,
then he took off my top and with one hand,
held my breasts...his other hand pulled
down my panties halfway down and began to
rub...i got around to getting on my knees
and slo-o-o-o-o-wly unzipped his zipper,
and removed his..."

>>thwack thwack! spUUUUUUUrt<<

Chick: "Are you sure you're ok?!"

Unghh...please....go on....PLEASE.....

She finally opens the screen and looks at

Chick: "Oh my God! its...its......DICK!!"

Err, ah...no it isnt.

Chick: "Oh my God!!"

Good job, Johnny. You scared her away, you
raunchy monkey, you.


And dammit, put it away already!

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For those of you going for the maximum score possible, the correct option is to jerk off.

dingy blonde
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Yes. You are one helluva sinner.

Girl: "What should i do?"

Get outta my face. You're not worth my

Girl: "I'm not?"

No. In fact, you're not worthy enough to
kiss the ground i shit on! Begone! go to

Girl: >>Sobbing<< "I'm sorry, Father..."

I condemn thee! GO! Go out, and pray to
GOD that he doesn't take you off this
earth and launch you into the firy pit!

Girl: "WAAHHH!!!"

Hee hee. What an idiot.
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dingy blonde
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
No way. Sex is good. Sex is right. Sex is
all righteous.

Girl: "...it is?"

Yes. in fact, the early Christians held
wild orgys every so while in honor of

Girl: "Wasn't that the Greeks?"


Girl: "So why do my parents--"

Get over it, baby. You're parents are
sinful stiffs. They're going to hell.

Girl: "Why, I...! How would you know!?"

GOD told me.

Girl: "Well..."

Whoo. What an idiot.

Girl: "How can i save my parents?"

Listen to my words. There is a gun shop
by McDonald's on 8th. Go get yourself a
shotgun, uzi, whatever. And two bullets.

Girl: "Then what?"

Do me a favor, wouldja? Go on and kill
your parents.

Girl: "Both of them?"

Yes. Then go out and have unprotected,
promiscuous sex with any tom with a hairy

Girl: "Ok...i will, Father! Thank you!"

Say, after i get off ...what do you say
we meet...

Bah. Can you beleive today's youth?!
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Again, if you're going for a perfect score, tell this woman to murder her parents. Also in this world WcDonalds and McDonalds both exist.

One more to go!

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Whiny voice: "Forgive me, Fadda. I have

Whoa. Fran Drescher with a sex change??

Whiny voice: "Wah?"


voice: "Fadda...I've killed a man. Again."


voice: "I feel as if God is inspiring me
to right the wrongs of the world..."

You sit on the edge of your seat and begin
to sweat. This sounds like the guy. better
keep calm.

...Who'd you kill?

voice: "Who DIDN'T i kill? I've gotten rid
of so many people...i feel guilt, but i
just get some divine inspiration..."

How many have you killed?

voice: "4 people this month alone...
turned 5 this morning."

Aha. could you tell me about your "divine

voice: "I'm repulsed by those who commit
horrendous crimes against God...so i kill
them at their own game. For example, I
kill a glutton by feedin him Chef Boyardee
'till he explodes."

...Chef Boyardee?? that could kill a guy.

voice: "Yeah. and it did. im seeking to
complete the cycle..."


voice: "Yes. Punishing those who commit
the seven deadly sins."

Five so far...what's left?

voice: "...ENVY. And JEALOUSY."

...Whoa. I feel like im lost in some hole
in the space-time vortex of existence...
or not.

voice: "did i tell you how much i admire


voice: "I admire you."

uhm, well...there have been recent deaths
in the news...murders, actually. You
wouldn't be responsible...

Voice: "Oh, my beeper...Listen, Fadda. We
will have to continue this later. I'm.....
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

FINALLY a break in the case. It sounds like we have the murderer right here.


It's time for another minigame. Thankfully a playable one. This one is extremely basic and just requires moving Johnny's police car from side to side and shooting at the killer's limo. I guess we saw the killer get into a limo?

There's a time limit to determine when the limo gets away, but it's reasonable. And of course, a ZZT rendition of the Mission Impossible theme plays. (This was used in a lot of games as it was included in Justin Tenuto's ZZT Help Kit as something for others to use.


The minigame ends with the limo crashing and Johnny trying to find out where the killer ran off to.


Johnny is promptly defeated and rendered unconscious. The art of Johnny here is really well done and shows the more dynamic looking art that shows up in later Draco works. It's much more cartoony than what you see of Johnny in say, the confessional scenes, but also more of a cohesive style than the linked screenshot the earlier sex scene.


Day 4 ends with the assault on Johnny, and the final day begins with his awakening.

  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
You awaken in a dark, abandoned living
quarter...in front of you, the guy you saw
at confession and beside him his henchmen.

...Why are you doing this??

Mafia guy: "Why, you ask? Doing what?
Capturing YOU or killing? For the first
question, us men in the mafia watch out
for each other. You killed one of us
earlier on...shot him right off the roof.
in the same fashion, we are going to take
you down."


Mafia guy: "And as for the killings...I
guess you'll never live to find out, will

He loads his pistol and aims at your head.
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It doesn't look good for Johnny. But suddenly...


Suddenly another killer shows up! They burst through the window and cut up the mafia before moving on to target Johnny. I do like the glass actually breaking here.

The player is suddenly put in a chase scene, and the killer is already right next to them.


Thankfully there's some room for error, as the first time the murderer catches up to you Johnny will kick them away and break free for a moment.


The second time Johnny isn't so lucky.


The chase is a little more dynamic than just running along a path. There are some objects to interact with, such as throwing a knife down a hallway to hit the killer.


Up ahead is a locked door that needs to be kicked open as well, causing Johnny to lost time.


I have no idea how effective the knife is at stopping "Jason" or how much ground could be gained at the door because the object's pathfinding is just a loop of #go seek which means it's absolutely trivial if you gain even a slight lead over the killer to cause them to start trying to walk through walls to get to Johnny.

Which is really weird because it should be readily apparent with any testing to catch this sort of thing. Or even without testing. It is pretty obvious how not good an idea this is for a chase sequence.

This is also a late enough ZZT game by a respected ZZTer that I'm certain it was tested (and the credits will vouch for me). So basically I have no idea what happened here? It would be pretty simple to just hardcode the path as needed.


The board ends with Johnny in desperation leaping from a second story window the street below.


There's been another killing outside, and the murderer is not happy with Johnny getting away earlier.

While running down the road may be the obvious thing to do, Johnny instead opts to climb a gray and purple ladder to the roof of the neighboring building, but not before picking up a brick off the ground.


His plan does work however. The brick smashes into the killer's head, knocking them off the ladder and falling to the ground below. Dazed, but not dead, the killer runs away letting Johnny continue to walk across the roof on to the next board.


The next board is of course, some sort of barn? Johnny starts on the lower level and the killer shows up again just behind him? Once again Johnny has to escape, but this time the killer is more competently coded.

On the upper level is a haystack that opens a prompt asking if Johnny wants to move it left or right when touched. This can be used to block the killer momentarily and stall for time.


There's also a pretty useful weapon to collect.


And things get a little supernatural as the killer survives an axe being lodged in their skull just fine.


The player needs to be fast about all of this because there's more of a chase left, but if they don't have room to get around the killer after using the axe then it's all over.


This allows access to a passage to the next screen.


I can't believe "Well there's a board that's an obvious homage to Friday the 13th" was all it took to get me to play this game in October, but here we are. It's a really nice scene!


After our closeup of the two, the cutscene advances to the barn once more, but this time with the player nice and safe in the corner where they can watch the action.


Taking advantage of a weird noose in the middle of the barn, Johnny manages to trick the killer into hanging themselves, and saves the day.

This whole thing is taken from Friday the 13th Part 3? 5? I got conflicting answers. It's okay though, just be aware that one of those movies has a barn, and a noose, and Jason (or equivalent) hangs from it at one point.

But what's more important is that our killer here is dead and can be unmasked.


Johnny is at least well aware of why somebody would want him dead, but doesn't seem all that interested in figuring out what the deal was with all the other murders. The ending just kind of happens.


Or so you'd think! Draco is 100% committed to Friday the 13th now including the surprise ending from the original film, albeit with an old lady instead of Jason.

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Old lady: "I've heard of you and your
whole little investigation, Danger. I know
what you're after."

Oh? And that is...?

Old lady: "...'Juda' the religious killer,
if im not mistaken."

Err...yes, well. My investigation is over
now, however.

Old lady: "...is it?"

Yes. It was Juan, the punk who tried to
kill me/the masked killer. And i wasted
his sorry ass.

Old lady: "Aha...you sure it was him?"

What are you aiming at woman? who exactly
are you?

Old lady: "...Those murders...it wasn't
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

Well, dear reader, did you find all the clues throughout the game to find the true killer? Probably not because there's really only a single clue and you'd hardly notice something was up then let alone connect it to the murders.

If you pick a wrong answer...


You're strangled, but able to make a second guess or fight back. If your second guess is wrong or you try to fight back, you're killed.


I feel like an extremely common trend among finished ZZT games is that the last act suddenly takes a nosedive in quality to just get the damned thing finished and released. The whole "find the murderer" plotline was almost completely ignored the entire game, and rushes to a conclusion at the end via a movie parody that has zero to do with the rest of the game's premise or tone.

One thing I do want to point out here that hasn't really fit anywhere else is Draco's coding style. ZZT-OOP is not the most flexible language so there isn't much opportunity for a coder's personality to leak through. The few exceptions are in object names and labels which are user defined. Copying code for scrolls led me to noticing something about Draco's coding I've never seen before.

Draco doesn't like to name his objects unless he has to. You'll see a lot of the messages in screenshots and scrolls here use the default "Interaction" name for when the player interacts with an object. This isn't too unusual, since it wastes limited space giving objects names if they don't need them, but it is a little uncommon. What is unusual however, is that typically you would need to give an object a name if you needed to specifically send it a message to jump to a label, and Draco instead falls back on #all:label and uses unique label names to ensure the nameless object jumps to the right spot in code while every other object safely ignores it. It's pretty backwards!

It's most notable on that final lake scene where answering who the killer is incorrectly causes a second object without a name to bring up a copy of the first one's prompt. Selecting the correct answer from object number two then sends the first object to the label that would have been jumped to had the guess been correct in the first place!


But it is over.

  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
Having finally finished off the notorious
'Juda', you report your findings to
Leitenant Pansy. He is so shocked to find
that you solved the case that he gladly
puts you back on your old rank...no
promotion, though, the old bastard.

As for Father O'Flarrety...authorities
found out that his teaching license was
bogus, and the poor priest was hauled into
the hammy for 6 months.

Three months later, Lietenant Pansy was
assraped by a couple dozen gangsters in
South Central. He was diagnosed clinically
dead for 2 and a half minutes, before
waking up again.

He now is forced to use a wheelchair.

Blondie joined AA and was clean for a few
weeks. She married her fiance despite it
all, but soon was divorced after her hubby
caught her deep-throating a gangsta named
"tito puente."

Blondie's ex-hubby soon turned gay after
all his problems with women. He is now
happy with his new lifestyle.

The Mafia hitmen attacked by Juan all
never recovered from the injuries and
passed away. The Mafia has seemed to have
backed off Johnny's case mysteriously...

The hobo's whom attacked Johnny won the
lotto for $20,000. Instead of renting an
apartment or buying food, they spent it
all on cheap booze and even cheaper women.

Juan, his body found lynched in the barn,
was hauled over to the morgue. Though one
night later, his body was missing, along
with that of two morticians...

And as for the old lady...her body was not
recovered. Some say the body simply was
eaten by psycho pirhanas that inhabited
the lake, while others claim she was never
dead in the first place...
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One more rape joke for the road.

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Here are the full credits for Teen Priest.

░▒▓ Story, Concept, and Ideas ▓▒░
░▒▓ Graphics ▓▒░
░▒▓ Music ▓▒░
      Kev Carter ('cept for the Mission:
Impossible Theme, which i got God-knows-
░▒▓ Programming  ▓▒░
░▒▓ Beta Testing ▓▒░
      Kev Carter

░▓▒ just about everything else ▓▒░
░▒▓ Albums Listened to ▓▒░
Oingo Boing--Boingo Alive
Sisters of Mercy--Floodland
David Bowie--Earthling
Meatloaf--Bat out of Hell 2:back into hell

Well, thats it. You beat the game! Is this
the end for Johnny? Maybe. Maybe not...
after all, there are many unanswered
questions that remain. But perhaps some
questions are best left unanswered. though
the best is not always taken into
peace and b excellent!
damned "bill & ted" movies...
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

Final Thoughts

Well that was certainly a ride. Back in its day, Teen Priest was well received, receiving a lot of praise for for its shock humor and willingness to eschew any boundaries of decency. It was funny, novel, and the community was looking forwards to its sequel.

Today though, yikes. The game's humor is quickly revealed to be having the player go around and be shitty to people. Teen Priest is a relic of its day and pushes boundaries solely to push them. The vast majority of the game feels superfluous, and everything that happens does so just to give Johnny a chance to pick on somebody new. Nothing about the game gives off any vibes that the player is supposed to think of Johnny as a bad person, and I'm more inclined to read it as a power fantasy based on the "teen" in the title. There's never a moment where Johnny being a teenager has any impact. He's just a teenager because the author and original audience for the game are teenagers.

Here in 2017, police abuse of power is a pretty heavy subject to tackle, so the comedic intent of a bunch of cops endlessly beating somebody or Johnny kicking somebody repeatedly in the crotch after slamming them into a wall just doesn't work today. To its credit, what does work is where the violence is slapstick and not the cause of a trending Twitter hashtag like the throwing of a student out the window immediately after a boom box. (At least, I'm hoping there's no similarity to an incident in reality going on there.)

And really the complaint applies to a lot more of the humor. Our foreign shop owner who barely speaks English; the encouragement of sex, suicide, and murder in the confessionals; telling a soon-to-be husband you'll take care of his bride but then having drunken sex, all comes back to being an asshole. Johnny is a product of the late 90s where the seeds of "caring about anything is bad" were just being planted. Johnny does what he wants and gets what he wants and it doesn't matter how destructive he is to the people around him.

It's one of many teenage power fantasy ZZT games out there, and it will be far from the last that gets covered. But even if you're able to sweep away the jokes and look at the components of the game that remain, you won't find a lot to hold you interest. The game's plot is that you are a cop who is going undercover as a priest to capture a murderer with a religious bent. You go to see an informant, but it's a trap. You record confessions, hoping the killer shows up. You go to see another informant, but it's also a trap. You record more confessions, and the suspected killer happens to show up. The story just doesn't have any impact until the case abruptly solves itself. None of what little policework Johnny does matters until it appears that the murderer decides to have a conversation with him.

The actual murderer is hidden behind two fake outs with the mafia and Pablo/Juan/This name seems to keep changing. The ending comes off as so forced that there's no real resolution for it. The remaining gameplay consists of several engines for minigames where the more enjoyable ones are the ones that can reasonably be won. There's just so little here that isn't meant to be funny because it's shocking.

I knew going into this game that it wouldn't hold up today. I knew I'd have to have multiple content warnings. I still thought there'd be something left that could get me to say that if you can swallow the game's ideas of humor that you can have some fun, but really there's not much that works today other than some of the art. Play Draco's Edible Vomit today and you'll get a surreal journey filled some odd characters and strange visuals. Play Teen Priest and you'll get to question what's there that's actually still appealing today.

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