Today's Closer Look is one that I've been wanting to play for April for a few years, and would continually forget about. The Fool's Quest is a prank of a ZZT world. This specific world was created by John W. Wells and published on z2 under the guise of a "lost Alexis Janson game" (see this interview). This is the kind of thing that would have gotten it some attention, and the prank went a little further as the game received a Classic Game of the Month award. In practice though, the joke falls flat pretty quickly as its charade falls apart almost immediately.
The Fool's Quest isn't a once-lost ZZT world by Janson, nor is it an original adventure trying to deceive players into thinking it was made by Janson. This world simply took the existing Alexis Janson world of The Three Trials, changed the title screen, and added in some text in a few places to refer to the player as "the fool". Really, we're just playing The Three Trials.
As far as pranks go, one like this was mostly harmless. Janson remains one of the most important ZZTers, and her worlds are considered classics. The trick here wouldn't actually fool anybody familiar with the source material. For those who didn't have that familiarity, they were getting basically the same experience as playing The Three Trials, and really would only notice whenever they got around to playing the original.
The only real trouble here was that for some time the world was credited to Janson exclusively, a legacy artifact in z2's database and one that Museum itself had for some time as well.
But it's April so I'm finally going to play it. Janson's worlds are considered classics after all, and this is a good of an excuse as any to play one of her games.
The Fool's QuestBy: Alexis Janson/John W. Wells
Published Under: Software Visions
Released: April 04, 2002
Played Using: SolidHUD v3 via Zeta v32
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