The Crypt

15.8 KB
3.33 / 5.00
(4 Reviews)
Board Count
13 / 13

Livestream - The Crypt

Stealing from priests to buy novelty t-shirts and defeating the emperor of darkness in this strange official ZZT release

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: Mar 5, 2023
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Checking out one of the last remaining official ZZT worlds I've yet to actually beat. The Crypt is one of the world included with "ZZT's Revenge". It feels like a less cohesive take on Ezanya, also included in the collection. A dark force is conquering the land, ruining daily life for the villages and driving many to madness. Players are tasked with finding a way inside and way to defeat the emperor of darkness that's causing all this trouble.

What it lacks in storytelling, Rixey makes up for with humor, which tends to be either very early 90s or just plain dark. The sanitarium is one of the few locations in the game, with all kinds of weirdos for the player to take pity on or shoot.

Thanks to a very basic morality system, players can only access the crypt if they've been decreed evil enough, a status obtained by killing innocent villagers that you're meant to be protecting. The alternative is to bribe an idol to be permitted, though this too involves stealing from the church's donation plate. The truly honest can wait for a few hours in front of a slow duplicator by the arcade that spits out gems. This morality system sounds amibitous on paper, though it only determines if players can enter the crypt freely. At any time players can atone for their misdeeds at the church. Either way, the final battle with the emperor and the ending sequence remain the same.

The crypt is a brief passage maze, whose solution requires guesswork of really reading into some dialog. (Luckily, all games in ZZT's Revenge came with a hint sheet.) Finally, a gauntlet in darkness plays like your typical 1991 ZZT action board utilizing pre-fab enemies, blink walls, and a fake all maze to keep players from their goal.

The humor is a bit too dated, and the sanitarium loonies trope doesn't play so well with modern audiences making this one really show its age. If you like over the top descriptions of ZZT gore though, Rixey is happy to describe internal organs becoming external organs, severed limbs, and other fatal injures with plenty of detail, easily making the writing the most significant aspect of an otherwise short and simple game.

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