Livestream - Coolness (Ending 3 - The Moon)

Journey to the moon to save the Earth from sleepy Martians with the help of a flagpole of course.

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: Dec 19, 2023
Part of Series: Coolness Livestreams
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♦ Livestream of 2 ZZT worlds. ♦

♦ Stream Contents ♦
• (0:00) "Coolness" by Matt Williams (1996) []
• (30:39) "Coolness Demo" by Matt Williams (1996) []

The finale for Coolness. Once again Fletcher Long finds his way into space. This time, via the transporter his dad and neighbor have been secretly working on in the big scary building behind their homes.

It ends up being a rather brief path as the Earth section is nothing that hasn't been done before, just activating the transporter instead of the replicator in the labs. The moon itself is devoid of life (but you already knew that). So the only things for players to explore are a small cave with lunar gold and silver, the American flag left behind by Apollo 11, and a parked spaceship by some Martians that have set up a planet destroying death ray set to fire in just a few minutes!

The aliens are asleep, so there's no fun to be had there, and serve as yet another direct connection to Code Red. Instead players need to pick a lock to adjust the death ray's settings in order to blow up Mars instead, saving humanity in the process.

Easier said than done though, as the puzzle for lock-picking requires using the flagpole for the American flag, and sharpening it in a moon fire. (Don't worry, the Martians' notes mention giving the moon a breathable atmosphere for the time being.) The puzzle logic is pretty silly, and made worse by coding errors that appear to prevent the pole from ever being sharpened to a point, requiring the use of cheats to see this final ending.

It's worth it for the pog faces the aliens make upon seeing Mars explode instead.

But it is pretty short! So afterwards we took a look at the game's demo which includes a few functionally identically screenshots of a few boards, but more interestingly, a completely different depiction of the Long residence. The finish game looks significantly nicer and streamlines things quite a bit (aside from the "shoot the stovetop" puzzle). Here, the Code Red inspiration is a little too on the nose. You can blow up a computer, blow up a TV, raid function-symbol food from the cupboard. And from what we could tell, unlike Code Red, none of it would have had any impact on what happens to players next. An interesting curiosity to say the least!

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♦ Originally streamed on December 15th, 2023 ♦

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