The Adventures of Future Deg Part 1

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Wildcard Stream Vol. 53 - Nice Socks!

Saving Earth's Cheese, finding a brain, a ZZT fighting game, and a day at the Bill Clinton School of Cyber Genetics

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: Aug 23, 2023
Part of Series: Wildcard Streams
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♦ Livestream of 4 ZZT worlds. ♦

♦ Stream Contents ♦
• (0:00) "Attack of the Snargles" by Brian McFee, Keebler (1993) []
• (31:16) "The Adventures of L. E. Phant" by Phish574 (1994) []
• (41:12) "The Adventures of Future Deg Part 1" by Unknown []
• (52:15) "Total War" by Unknown (1997) []

Starting with Snargles, which isn't actually unpreserved as it turns out, just a different version of an existing game. A game with a fun sense of humor as the Snargles invade Earth to take our cheese back to their planet. Very 90s. Your character wears orange socks that aliens can't help but compliment. Lots of fun bits of ZZT machinery with some simple ruffian-shooting action.

Then "L. E. Phant", starring Leonard Edward Phant, the average 17 year old who is kind of an idiot. Your mission is to buy a new brain. Very much an example of editor scribbling with the usual yellow borders, giant centipedes, and other boards dedicated to the new thing they found buried in one of ZZT's menus. There's a good gag about the Lions Club. Cute, short, and nothing brillant.

Future Deg takes place in a somewhat Jetsons-like future, with a great introduction board where a pusher starts your day getting you into the shower, to your toothbrush, breakfast, grabbing your school supplies, and then hopping into your racecar to head to another day of class at... the Bill Clinton School of Cyber Genetics. Obviously. Here you and your friends do simple genetic experiments and document the results. The little worldbuilding is entertaining enough, and perhaps there's a story in mind with these experiments, but things end pretty abruptly resulting in a promising start coming to an abrupt halt.

Lastly, the main event is "Total War" one of ZZT's (probably rightfully so) few fighting games. There are seven characters to choose from, all of whom are identical save for some unique attacks. Notably it seems that most, if not all of these characters are games from DarkMage/Nivek games, including Jake and Princess Robin from the Jaconia series, DarkMage (as himself? I think he was cheekily a dark mage in one of these games...), and Prototype and Zero from the previously streamed "Prototype: Official Weapon of the 22nd Century".

It's not particularly good. Players steer an object left and right with jumping and shooting mechanics as well. The special moves are are just set firing patterns of bullets, and the game is loaded with bugs such as a stage with a platform to fight on that most characters are unable to reach (as you can't move left/right mid jump). The first character we tried, Princess Robin has a single special move and touching the object to bring up the list of moves results in a flashing hyperlink on the bottom of the screen rather than one you can actually select in a window.

The fights are slow with characters taking a ton of hits and only taking more as the game progresses. Towards the end there's some fun unique fights that are at least interesting to see the oversized character art. Each character has their own (usually downer) ending which we made sure to investigate via KevEdit, as well as demonstrating everybody's special abilities, none of which seem all that helpful honestly!

♦ Play these worlds directly in your browser ♦

♦ Originally streamed on August 23rd, 2023 ♦

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