The Search for the Magic Flamingo

July 2, 2002
36.4 KB
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4.00 / 5.00

Closer Look: The Search For The Magic Flamingo

By: Dr. Dos
Published: Aug. 19, 2019

Search for a flamingo and find mediocrity and cameos instead

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That brief flicker of quality deteriorates almost immediately.

What's this? A change in the plot?
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After getting out of the long and dark
tunnel, you come into a room with some
gems, some pillars and a boulder.

Nadir: Ohh dear! I forgot to read the
instructions on the other side of the
door before it was closed shut. :(

Well, since you couldn't read it anyway.
I am going to tell you the instructions.

≡   -=Instructions for Gem Crusher=-    ≡
Oh dear! The gems have been infected by a
terrible virus! You better watch out!
Use the boulder to crush the gems, but
beware! If you by accident touch a gem,
you will die. You will have to make it
through a number of levels to fully get
rid of the virus.
What? "This has nothing to do with magic
flamingos!" you say? Well, maybe I just
wanted to make something different? OK?
And, Yes you still play as Nadir.
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Panda has gotten bored of his own game and turned it into a derivative of Sokoban that plays even worse.


Use a boulder to push gems against walls and crush them. If you pick one up you die.

It's not fun!

The good news is that again, Panda has forgotten to disable the player's ability to shoot, and gems are destroyed by bullets. You can save a lot of time by just shooting them, as long as you have enough ammo to get through this whole Gem Crusher thing.


Get rid of the gems, and the door opens to the next level.

So how many levels are there? TEN.


Level two is beaten by shooting.


Level three is beaten by acknowledging how this isn't fun whether shooting or pushing a boulder and instead I just cheat. Don't push the boulder to the outer wall and you're able to win if you put in way too much time.


More boulders actually makes things easier since you can make some mistakes.


Maybe I'm not giving it a fair shake, this level has some gems scattered all over. Maybe it's the sort of thing where you zone out playing it and can end up making a mistake that way?


No, it's still nothing but tedious busywork.


Level six has some potential ways to mess up! The gems in corners force you to lose a boulder when they're crushed.


The strangest thing, is that in order to actually beat the level the player needs to shoot either some gems or breakable walls, so Panda was aware that this was an option all along.


Perhaps Panda is getting bored of this as well.




For a moment, it seems like there might be a puzzle here, but don't be deceived.


Simply push everything in a straight line until you win.

Just one more level to go...


Yes. Panda has gotten bored of this.

Hey. That was a dreadful experience. The game went from bland and forgettable to a tedious slog immediately, and Panda getting bored of both his main game and his bottom of the barrel puzzle game really doesn't look favorable towards him. Its one saving grace is that the game is just about over now.

  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
As you step out of the dark tunnel you
find yourself in a lit-up hallway of some
kind. But as you walk further you hear a

Nadir: What was that?

A pressure plate.

Nadir: Nice.


Nadir: Why?

Look behind you.

Nadir: Why would I ever---!!!! AAAAAHHH!!

(Note: There's an invisio maze on this
board too! AHAHAHAHAHHA! --Crazy Panda)
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

The game returns to its usual level of quality, with more slime and more invisible walls. It does throw in the old "green is evil" catchphrase of Nadir which was pretty outdated by the time this game rolled around. At least it's a thing he actually said at some point.


The maze is mercifully short, but this time the slime does spread from multiple points, and this time, it can kill you (if the slimes all disappear the game assumes you've been surrounded and kills you). It's also a maze made of black walls so there's no revealing anything as you move through it.

At least when you die the slimes reveal the actual path.


Even with that knowledge of the path, it's still a very tight race. A single misstep is enough for the slime to be blocked by the player and result in Nadir's death.


But hey, this is the end. One last well and this one just so happens to have the magic flamingo swimming in it.


Of course, it isn't that easy. Nydark finally makes an appearance and claims the Flamingo for himself.


The following content contains material which may be offensive to some audiences. It was most likely originally created by a teenager who has since grown up. This material does not necessarily reflect its creator's current opinions nor behaviors.

Specifically, this page contains depictions of or references to:
Homophobic Slurs

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  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
Nydark: What do you think you're doing?

Nadir: Taking the Magic Flamingo.

Nydark: No way! I was here first!

Nadir: You were not!

Nydark: Were too!

Nadir: Were not!

Nydark: Were too!

Nadir: Were not!

Nydark: Yes I was!

Nadir: No you were not!

Nydark: I was here first!

Nadir: Uh uh!

Nydark: Oh yeah?!! Put 'em up!!

Nadir: I'll kick your ass f*ggot!

Nydark: Come on then!
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Aww, we were doing such a good job of not playing games that suddenly broke out some slurs. This kills the already dour mood of the game as things move over to a crude boss battle.


The two trade blows, and the fight consists of just hitting Nydark before he hits you.

Every time you successfully hit him, Nydark calls Nadir the f-slur right back. Grand.

  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
CyQ: What are you guys doing??? :(

Nadir: Uhhh... Fighting!

Nydark: Yeah!

CyQ: What for? :(

Nydark: The Magic Flamingo you dummy!!

Nadir: Hey! Don't be mean to him!

Nydark: Shut up f*g!

Nadir: Why I oughta--!!


Nadir: Sorry...

Nydark: LOL@U NADIR  :P

CyQ: Shut yer yap Weisenhimer! :(

Nadir: Woh! Stolen from Burger Joint!

Nydark: :D

CyQ: Back to the topic. Why are you two
fighting eachother for the Magic Flamingo?

Nadir: Because we both want it!

Nydark: Yeah! I need it for conquering the
entire world! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! >:D

Nadir: And I guess that I need it to stop
him from getting world domination.

CyQ: Oh ok. Seems fair enough. :(

Nydark: And since I got here first...

Nadir: WHAT??!! YOU??? HERE FIRST??!?

Nydark: Then don't CANTNUT!



*CyQ uses Calm Down Beam (tm) on Nadir :(

Nadir: ...

Nydark: Thanks! Now I can get the flamingo
get back home and conquer the world.

CyQ: Not so fast! :(

*CyQ uses Freeze Yer Butt Beam on Nydark

Nydark: Drats! Thanks to you, FATSO!

CyQ: :(((((

Nadir: ...

CyQ: Since I like good endings I'll let
Nadir take the flamingo... :(

Nadir: Yay!

CyQ: ...If he can beat me in a

Nydark: GO CyQ!
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Thankfully the juvenile delinquency is brought to an end by CyQ. I love when ZZTers reference other ZZT games and then immediately tell you what they're referencing.


Taking another unexpected turn, the true final conflict is between Nadir and CyQ and their ability to climb ropes. There is a very lengthy explanation that explains how to play which can be summarized with: Alternate touching the A and B objects. Make it to the top and win, slide down to the blue mark and be consumed by fire.

As a way to solve a conflict, this is a bit unconventional. As a generic one-off ZZT engine this is perfectly fine. It's straightforward and unique.


Except it's really hard for some reason. My first attempt had me barely making it halfway up the rope before CyQ made it to the top.

I had to take a look at the code because it seemed like the climbing speed didn't really change no matter how fast I mashed the buttons. It's really more of finding the rhythm to climb up a tile without the Nadir object immediately sliding back down.


On one attempt where things were finally going good, Nadir just climbed beyond the rope and hit the top of the board instead of moving over to the goal on the side. Wonderful.


On another, I slid immediately and just died.


After far more failures, eventually everything finally went well for reasons that felt completely beyond my control and I just barely won.


Finally Nadir gets his magic flamingo. But what will his wish be?

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CyQ: Congratulations Nadir. You won. :(

Nadir: Yup, I simply am the best huh?

Nydark: *grumble grumble*

CyQ: Well you won fair and square, so I'll
let you take the flamingo. :(

Nadir: Yay!

CyQ: Well, I'm going back to my tent. :(
See you later.

Nydark: I guess I'm going too...

CyQ: Bye. :(
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Haha we'll never know because the game just ends. I wasn't expecting the ending to save this game, but I figured there'd at least be something.

At least it doesn't try to set itself up for a sequel.

  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
░░░░▒▒▒▒▓▓▓▓████Thanks to████▓▓▓▓▒▒▒▒░░░░

For being a cool guy and letting me using
him as the main person. And for the beta
testing. Oh! And for the board with the
boulders-sliders puzzle! THX U!

For being all funny and stuff, letting me
using him as the evil dude. BETA TESTING.

For being the guy he is, ZZTAE (though I
didn't use ZZTAE at all when I made this
game because it's all fucked in WinXP.)
for living in a tent in a pyramid and for
the beta testing. :(

My brother
For thinking that I am good at ZZT. But
since I'm not I thank him for being THE

For not likeing me at all. I think he bans
me twice a week. :)

For being the master of topics.

For beta testing!!

For letting me into this company.

For playing, duh! How the hell did you get
to this board anyway?
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The credits also pop up a more detailed thanks and brings up a few names of ZZTers not present in the game. After closing it, the only thing there is to do is watch some silly fireworks (objects that shoot bullets that change into color flashing boulders, or throw stars) and touch an object at the end to convert your leftover resources into points and end the game.

Final Thoughts

Not good.

This game is just too little, too late. It feels like a mediocre title from 1995 more than one released in 2002. The action boards have no thought put into their design (by having no design, just empty rooms), and the puzzles are all trivial. The use of ZZTers for characters adds nothing, as they don't do anything to make them distinct from what could have been generic characters. The story isn't there, and feels like it's skipped over. (Perhaps "The Pyramid Of The Magic Flamingo" would have been a better title.)

The nice things to say about this game are that it has a good drawing of a flamingo and a very cartoony animation of Nadir running away from lions. It's playable, and quick to get through everything other than the final rope climb. Alas, it's just not fun to get through. Everything about it feels like it's just filler, and the game lacks any real substance to it.

It did win an award for being the best game released that month, a competition between Flamingo and Nexus: Future's Past, which looks to be of similar quality, but longer. This game isn't going to show up on anybody's favorite list, it checks the boxes and puts in the bare minimum amount of effort, and it really shows.

====== A Worlds of ZZT Production ======

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