Fred and Jeremy

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Wildcard Stream Vol. 60 - Pairs

A pair of games and a trio of games about pairs. One of which goes from brilliant to a bit too disturbing

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: Nov 8, 2023
Part of Series: Wildcard Streams
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♦ Livestream of 3 ZZT worlds. ♦

♦ Stream Contents ♦
• (1:21) "Richman 1 & 2" by Joel M. Smith (1995) []
• (44:05) "Fred and Jeremy" by Jason Foulke, Jeremy Lewis, LHS13 []
• (1:04:45) "Jordan's Quest: Version 2" by Warlock93 []

A series of games that have some form of pairs.

Staring with the Richman games, where you play the world's wealthiest man/child/manchild, chasing down burglars that have stolen the money from your vault. Clearly influenced by Janson's games (Cannible Isle in particular), it's a pretty straightforward action/adventure game made by someone without too much experience with ZZT. Despite the simplicity and fairly basic board designs, the action is well balanced and the gameplay engaging enough that it's a fun little adventure that doesn't really make any major mistakes.

The sequel, is a rehash of the first game's plot, and shows signs of more comfort with ZZT's coding, including a lot more objects and original enemies to fight. It's an instance of a more technically sound game that lacks the charm of the original, making it feel overall worse. It's still nothing terrible, but repeated boards as you raid a base filled with enemies that kill each other for you, and a robot that perpetually explodes once it's surrounded by boulders (which is admittedly a pretty neat way to defeat a boss!) provide some things to genuinely gripe about.

Hey speaking of major mistakes, the second game "Fred and Jeremy" is almost brilliant. The two friends are caught in a Groundhog Day scenario with each board divided into two allowing players to control one character while observing the actions of the other on each instance of the day. Who you control changes between loops, and while the authors don't do anything too exciting with the idea, they definitely created something very amibitious and quite unique!

...At least until one of the characters has a scene where they decide to do some YouTube unfriendly things that result in a lot of red fakes. Violence in ZZT itself is hardly anything special, and about as low impact as it gets, but the specific details of where the event takes place, and the dialog that occurs there is unfortunately a bit too real in 2023, to the point where I became uncomfortable streaming it and rushed to get past it as quickly as possible. This scene has been excised from the upload here, replaced with a momentary graphic provided by Snorb.

Which is an outright shame because prior to that moment, everyone was absolutely loving the game.

The final game is about a much more tame duo by the names of Jordan and Matt. A shaky start after the mood had tanked from the prior game gave way for another beginner's adventure with little consistency, and the serious crime of having cyan doors with green trimming around to make it even harder to tell what color key you need.

It's a strange adventure through an unrecognizable house that lacks the charm of Richman 1. Save for the part where you have to know the author's favorite ninja turtle to pick the right passage to go through.

It also presents itself as having two paths with players picking Jordan's Quest or Matt's Dream from the starting board, though Matt's Dream is really just the fanciest name for a single board live-tutorial I've ever seen.

♦ Play these worlds directly in your browser ♦

♦ Originally streamed on November 5th, 2023 ♦

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