Airport of ZZT Demo '22

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Livestream - Demos For Unfinished Games

Jurassic Park, pre-Hamtaro hamster adventures, a lot of unfulfilled desinties, and a stressful trip to the airport in these demos for games that never got finished

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: Dec 24, 2023
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♦ Livestream of 5 ZZT worlds. ♦

♦ Stream Contents ♦
• (1:36) "Jurassic Park Demo" by HM (1998) []
• (18:39) "Flame Frost Blade" by Flatcoat Lab (1999) []
• (48:49) "Airport of ZZT Demo '22" by Agent Orange (2022) []
• (1:08:02) "Beast of Krakenkana" by coolzx (1999) []
• (1:16:51) "Shake:The Mystical Hamster" by Team Smiley X (1998) []

An assortment of ZZT demos for games which were never completed. Apparently almost exclusively from 1998/1999.

Starting with one that a good job selling the player on the game with just a few boards, it's Jurassic Park! HM's demo shows off a few nice looking boards, clearly recognizable from the original film, and lets players check out a few engines. These include Grant and Tim climbing down the tree their jeep was knocked into before it falls down on them and riding down the river avoiding dilophosaur spit. So it's not going to be 1:1 with the film. But it still captures a lot from it, including an impressive rendition of the theme music on the title screen (save for the first few notes for some reason).

I would have loved to see more of it!

Then, Flame Frost Blade, an RPG that I personally recall being very hyped up when I was new to the ZZT community. The demo however, does not justify the hype. You are a guardian of the Flame Frost blade, a sword that is half-fire half-ice, protecting it from thieves and other sinister folk who would abuse its powers which go unstated here. The demo features a very brutal RPG engine with a gimmicky "taunt" system. The player can deliver a one-liner with their attacks if they desire, though these run out quickly and are incredibly bland.

There's some glimpses at what more there is to the game, a potion seller who you can't buy potions from because the demo has no money, and an Orb of Agony for casting magic that you also can't buy. Lab hides an extra board in the file showing off some art from near the ending which is probably the best thing here.

We then move on to something a little more modern, the Airport of ZZT 2022 demo. Pack your bags, grab your passport, get in your cab and head to the airport to fly out to visit a friend. Explore an airport filled with ZZTisms and references, while obliging the inane security rules which capture that anxiety of an actual trip. My only complaint is that there's no time limit to catch your flight, making it the most leisurely first leg of a journey I've ever seen.

Some impressive art though! The cab driving scene caught us all off guard when the background began to change upon getting closer to the airport.

Followed up with another RPG that never happened by coolzx. Beast of Krakenkana is the story of a young boy whose parents are gone that wants to go out and see the world, but that will require a sword. Asking his adopted-father plus blacksmith for a sword reveals that you're got a bit of a destiny to fulfill with finding some Element Crystals. The demo consists of nothing more than a short intro, though coolzx busts out his best artwork for the time, an awkward early step towards the more impressive portraits to come.

Lastly, the unexpectedly lengthy Shake: The Mystical Hamster. Play as either Shake or Squeak as you guide your little hamster on a big (pre-Hamtaro localization) adventure. A custom font is used to nice effect, allowing some fun to explore rooms that give a sense of scale for a hamster navigating a human home. It's pretty dangerous though! Angry cockroaches, angry birds, angry cats. Everything wants to kill these hamsters, even your owner when they accidentally knock a bowling ball down the stairs.

Luckily, Shake too has a destiny and over the course of the game unlocks powerful hamster abilities like biting and magic. A game with plenty of engines, a plenty more charm. It even has multiple kinds of RPG engines for some reason? Plus multiple paths to give it some replay value. Hardly a demo at all and much more of a Chapter 1 in a longer series. It was a blast to play and I wish there was more of it!

♦ Play these worlds directly in your browser ♦

♦ Originally streamed on December 22nd, 2023 ♦

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