[nextgame.zip] - NextGame 33

Author
Madguy
Released
May 1, 1999
Genre
Adventure
Company
MadGames
Size
99.4 KB
Boards
64 / 73
Rating
3.00 / 5.00

Closer Look: Nextgame 33 - SOS, Please!

By: Dr. Dos
Date: Oct. 31, 2017
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Matt is obliged to keep his mouth shut about the details from earlier and sit himself down.

Talkin'
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
NOSE: I'll introduce you to the whole
clan!  This woman next to me is my mother.

MOTHER: Charmed, I'm sure.  My goodness,
you are a dirty boy.

And you're a withered hag!

NOSE: (Matt, shut uuuup!)  The guy sitting
next to you is my fiancee, Jock.

Oh yeah, Nose told me about you.  So
what's that Hussein guy really like?

JOCK: He's a really sore sport.  Threw a
real tantrum when I beat him in the 50
yard dash.  Hey, what makes you worthy of
talking to ME?  I'm better than you!  Nya,
nya, nya nya, nya!  Ohh, look at the poor
little dirty guy!  He's stupid!  Awww!

NOSE: (Jock, shut uuuup!)  {Ahem}, and the
man sitting at the left end of the table
is my father.

FATHER: A-hah-hah-hah!  You're funny as a
monkey after his 40th glass of wine!  A-
hah-hah-hah!

Glad you appreciate the sense of humor I
never knew I had.

FATHER: Now tell some jokes!

Well, look, see, I'm really not that
funny, and I don't know any jokes...

FATHER: Then leave this table, and come
back when you're ready to make us laugh!

JOCK: Or better yet, never come back!

NOSE: Daddy, please!  Don't embarrass me!

FATHER: I'll embarrass you until the day
that I die, sweetcheeks!

I guess I'd better be going, now...

FATHER: Remember to come back with some
jokes!

NOSE: Augh, I could just die.
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

There's a new goal now of learning some jokes before the dinner scene can conclude.

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Talking to the guy with the Cow-Tipping for Dummies book lets you distract him momentarily and snag the book while he's not looking. You have to be really quick about it.

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Which lets Matt complete the trade for a book of toilet humor. Now he can learn some great jokes no doubt.

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To MadGuy's credit, I'm confident that what you're supposed to laugh at here is Matt telling some very bad jokes.

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All the diners excluding Nose flee from Matt's awful gross out humor.

Nose
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
Uhh, sorry.  I guess some people just
can't appreciate tasteful humor.

NOSE: That's all right.  I hate the lot
of them!

Aww, how can you hate your family?

NOSE: They're big ol' booger-heads!

Hey, my family can be a little abusive.
Especially when they're high, or drunk,
or watching something they don't like on
TV.  But I still love them!  Except for
my mom's boyfriend, TuCube.  He's a jerk,
and I think he beats my three-year-old
sister with that two-by-four of his.

NOSE: Your family sounds pretty lousy, but
I'm sure they're NOTHING compared to mine!
My dad once used my toothbrush!

Oooh.

NOSE: Say, we have a lot in common!  Wanna
come to my room?

Well, it beats going to my room.  My
roommate eats rats off the floor.

NOSE: Oh, GAWD!
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

And with his latest gross story, Nose also runs out of the room in disgust.

I'm curious about the name "TuCube". It seems like an oddly specific detail to drop, but if it's a reference it's not one I'm familiar with.

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It's time to go comfort Nose in her room. The game is nice enough to tell you as soon as you enter the board which room is hers so there's no going door to door necessary.

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My my!
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NOSE: Well, here we are.

Duh.  I already knew that!  And stop with
the music, please!

I'm sorry.

So anyway, you're in love with me, right?

NOSE: Well there's a "duh" on your part!

Just checking!  Wanna kiss?  I'm aware
that if your terrorist fiancee walked in
here, he'd probably tell Saddam to drop
an atom bomb on this ship, but I'd...

NOSE: It's alright.  Besides, like I told
you, he and Saddam have been rivals ever
since the racing incident!

Phew!  So he DOESN'T have Saddam's
phone number!

NOSE: I do, however, have a request.

You aren't going to send me out on a
fool's errand like everyone else has been
doing, are you?

NOSE: Jack- I mean, Matt, I want you to
draw me...

Ohhhh-kaaaayy.  Did I ever mention that
I could draw?  Nooooo.

NOSE: ...wearing my good fur coat and
puffy pants.  And ONLY my good fur coat
and puffy pants.

{Gasp}, you want me to draw you NUDE?!

NOSE: Were you even listening to what I
just said?  Or just staring at my chest
and envisioning me nude?
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
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The blush the appears is a cute effect.

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After dinner's been ruined, Matt gets the urge to try and draw Nose in the nude despite not having any drawing experience! Nose refuses and demands to put on more layers instead.

And a rendition of "Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear" plays during the scene.

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Alright. I admit it. I laughed. Matt's drawing is funny.

Work of art
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
You work your @$$ off for over an hour on
your portrait of Nose, hoping to come up
with something that might impress her.

Well, Nose, what do you think?

NOSE: Uhhh, nice work, Matt.  I like the
simplicity.

NOW can we go somewhere and kiss?!
Please, Nose, you're the first girl I've
loved since I accidentally pantsed my
crush back in '95!  I thought I'd never
love again!

NOSE: Fine, fine.  And I know the perfect
place.

That engine room with all the lava?  It's
"hot and steamy" in there <<<:-)

NOSE: No...  The place where we first met:
The bow of the ship!

So, you chuck the drawing in the trash and
run full speed towards the door,
forgetting to open it on the way.  Though
you end up with a broken nose, you're too
ecstatic to care!
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

Oh boy Matt's gonna get a kiss.

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The two head back to the ship's bow, and Matt gets a little uncomfortable with the two guys in the lookout tower being there.

Matt
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MATT: You know, I don't think this is
such a great place to kiss...

NOSE: Why's that?

MATT: Those two lookouts in the tower...
They seem to be watching us like hawks!

LOOKOUT: Don't mind us!  We're just, uh,
doing our jobs!  Yep, doing our jobs...

NOSE: Fine.  But no lewd comments, okay?

LOOKOUT 2: We can't promise that.

NOSE: Then just keep them to a minimum!
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
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This is probably the most romantic love scene in ZZT we've seen yet. I've reached the point where I'm relieved just by the fact that it's consensual.

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Lookout!
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LOOKOUT: Awww, that's sweet!  Young love!

LOOKOUT 2: Keep it up, kids!  Heh heh heh!

LOOKOUT: Uhh, there's an iceberg up ahead.

LOOKOUT 2: So?  This is the Dietanic!
The greatest ship ever built!

LOOKOUT: Nuh-uh!  The groovy X-Wing was!

LOOKOUT 2: That wasn't even a real ship!

LOOKOUT: I don't care!  It was groovy!

{KA-BLAMMO!!!}
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
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The Dietanic strikes a sentient iceberg and begins to sink! Disaster!

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With the ship beginning to sink and Nose's family dead, the only thing left to do is swim for it.

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For those of you keeping track at home, here are Nose's stats.

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The iceberg is pretty cocky about all this. It even has a cute little face if you look closely.

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The iceberg actually has a lot to say even though you'll only be on this board for a few seconds.

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On the back of the ship the gate's been opened and people are jumping for it.

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The lion is sleeping through the whole thing.

Sailor
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Let us off the ship!  Will ya just give
us a bluh-y chance ta live?!

SAILOR: Well, y'see, when we were
preparing for this voyage, we, us, forgot
some stuff...

Like?

SAILOR: Uhhh, the captain's spare wooden
leg, competent lookouts, lifeboats...

NOSE: You forgot the lifeboats?!

SAILOR: Well, not me, just the guy who was
supposed to get them.

Let us jump, then.  Now.

SAILOR: Sorry, that's against ship policy!

You're gonna wish you hadn't said that!

SAILOR: Please, sir!  I'm only doing my
job!  My boss'd kill me if I let anyone
jump!

How come there's so many people in the
water?

SAILOR: They got here before I did!
Please don't tell my boss!

Aww, screw you, loser!
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

KER. SPLOOSH.

Matt shoves the sailor into the water and jumps in with Nose soon after.

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He's also really horny in the latter part of this scenario.

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The ship is animated sinking, and the iceberg gets a boost in self-confidence from the whole ordeal. The iceberg then vows they won't be truly happy until all the survivors are dead, and that they could use a blanket because it's very cold outside tonight.

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The Titanic parody is over, but the scenario keeps going. Now it's time for the desert island sequence.

Wakeup call!
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
#cycle 1
#if jackets then survive
#take health 30
A painfully tiring ten days later, you
and Nose arrive on a small, near-deserted
island, covered with lush greenery,
desease-infested wildlife, and smog from
the island power plant.  Nearly a third
of your energy has been zapped because
you're just so darned tired!
#startalk
#end
:survive
#clear jackets
Five days later, you and Nose arrive on a
small, near-deserted island, covered with
lush greenery, disease-infested wildlife,
and smog from the island power plant.
Even still, the life jacket made your
journey a smooth and easy one in
comparison to riding on the Dietanic...

:startalk
Aww, man!  I hate wet clothes!

NOSE: We should be thankful that we're
alive after that utterly, utterly
terrifying experience.

Yeah, but still...  There's a freaking
crab that's been biting down on my head
for the past three days!

CRAB: I'm sorry, was I bothering you?
Pardon me, it's just a natural instinct of
mine.

The crab lets go of your half-crushed head
and scurries off.

Yeah, you better run!  My uncle owns a
seafood restaurant!

NOSE: Speaking of food, maybe we should
find some.

I guess we could try to catch some fish.

NOSE: Ewww!  I'm a vegetarian, you know!

Fine, then we'll just have to find some
nuts, or berries, or something.  And we
have plenty of cool, refreshing seawater
to wash them down with, right?  Well, am
I right, Nose?  Am I right or what?

NOSE: Yeeaaaahh.  Come on, I'll race you
to the next board!
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

So it turns out the ham/life jacket trade actually mattered! I was worried there'd be an instant death boards after it was too late to get the life jackets, but the only change is losing some health.

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One of the objects littering the beach is a walnut which can be eaten for ten health.

Jock
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JOCK: Hello, Matt and Nose.  I've been
expeeecting you!

B-but you were crushed by that maniacal
iceberg!

JOCK: No I wasn't.  It missed me by
inches.

NOSE: In that case, go away!  I'm over
you, beardo!

JOCK: Please, having a beard is custom for
terrorists-to-be!  But let us get down to
business.  Mr. Ape, you love this girl,
right?

Maybe.  Who's asking?

JOCK: Her FIANCEE, remember?!

Not really.  But then, I have a terrible
short term memory.

JOCK: Here's the situation, American.  We
race through this "maze", and the one who
finishes first gets Nose's hand in
marriage.

Agreed!

JOCK: You DO know that I'm a world-
renowned runner, don't you?

You're also a world-renowned @$$hole!

JOCK: In that case, let's get on with the
racin'!
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

Jack managed to survive the iceberg's attack and still wants to go on with the marriage to Nose! Fortunately he's nice enough to offer a contest of a short race where the winner can claim Nose as his prize. Nose doesn't get a say in any of this.

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The race uses an engine where a series of four arrows surrounding the player are used to pick a direction for Matt to run in. Both Matt and Jock run at the exact same speed so the only way to win is to take corners earlier. It's pretty tough since if Jock passes you, there's not really any time to regain lost ground.

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It's pretty tough!

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But at least after a few tries I was able to get through it.

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Jock
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
Ha ha!  I won!  I get to marry Nooose and
youuuu dooon't!  Ha ha!

JOCK: But...  How?!  I'm a champion
runner!  You're just a stupid American!
Ohh, I have brought disgrace upon my
family's name!  Could you please not tell
anyone about this?

I'll try.  But no promises!  And besides,
haven't you forgotten?  We're stuck on
a deserted island!

NOSE: Near-deserted.

Oh, that's right.  When I was coming onto
the island, the narrator said "near-
deserted", but that big sign on the
raceway said "deserted".  That's
confusing.

The island is near-deserted.

Thank you!  So Nose, when do you want to
get hitched?

NOSE: Don't we need a priest or something?

JOCK: {Sigh}, I'm licensed to do
wedding ceremonies.

Great, then, slowmo!  You can marry us!

NOSE: Err, thanks, Jock.  And especially
thanks for putting up with Matt, here.

Yeah, you're a decent guy for a terrorist
swine!

JOCK: Just happy to be of service {sniff},
Nose.

Well, it looks as if Matt and Nose will be
getting married soon, and Jock will most
likely drown himself after the wedding.
But this story isn't over yet, no sir!
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

So now Nose and Matt can be wed. But, as the narrator explains, we're still somehow not done.

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The wedding
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A few minutes later, you proceed with the
wedding ceremony.

JOCK: We are gathered here today to
celebrate the funeral-

Funeral?!

JOCK: Sorry, wedding.  I always get the
two confused!  We are gathered here today
to celebrate the funeral-

WEDDING!  It's a wedding, dammit!

JOCK: Okay, then, I guess I'll just skip
this part.  Nose, do you take this "man",
Matt Ape, to be your lawfully wedded
husband?

NOSE: Duh.  Isn't that why we're here?
Talk about your stupid questions...

JOCK: And Matt, do you take this woman,
Nose, to be your lawfully wedded wife?

Uh huh.  Hey, look at the sky!

JOCK: Are you even paying attention?

No, really!  Look at it!
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
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The sky quickly changes to black and the wedding is interrupted.

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The iceberg that swore to kill all the survivors is making good on their promise. The final challenge of the scenario is to find a way to defeat it.

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The battle consists of simply running around the island and across the ocean while dodging bullets coming up from the bottom of the board. Finally there's a reason for the player's health to matter!

Upon reaching the floating wreckage in the distance the player is treated to a final cutscene.

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The iceberg is quickly vaporized by coming in contact with the Dietanic's lava supply, and the threat is over.

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The scenario draws to a close with a wall of text.

Hooray!
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Well, you finished off the ludicrously
maniacal iceberg and saved yourself from
having your own ice age!  Nose is so
impressed at your dumb luck that she
orders the embittered Jock to finish the
wedding ceremony immediately.  Afterwards,
the two of you share a wedding cake made
from crab meat, which the crabs are none
too happy about.  It takes about three
days before you are found by a passing
ship owned by Disney Cruise Lines.
However, it soon crashes into a floating
remnant of the DieTanic-  the same one
that killed the iceberg.  The fat people
who float to shore are the only survivors,
but you and Nose are forced to eat them,
since they're slow and have a lot of meat.
Over the next eight years, you father 23
children, 16 of whom are pinched to death
by vengeful crabs.  After another five
years, Disney finally decides to
investigate into what happened to its
ship.  As soon as Michael Eisner gets word
about the island, he turns it into a sort
of expanded "Pleasure Island(R)", where
idiot vacationers go to relax at newly-
built '70s disco bars.  You and Nose spend
the rest of your days handing out towels
in the bathroom of the Cinderella All-You-
Can-Eat Buffet Eatery.  Yes, it's a
wonderful life.  A wonderful life indeed.
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It's a very weird ending, but it's a happy one. Especially compared to the "MadGuy's Reign Of Terror" scenario.

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The full credits are identical to the previous scenario's though on a board with purple text instead of green.

And that's the rest of NextGame 33. It's uh, as mediocre as the first half really.

Final Thoughts

Poor MadGuy found himself in a rough spot. When you release something as well-received as Burger Joint, the bar gets set so high that you're almost destined to not meet it again the next time. If your last game was great, your next game (get it) has simply got to be even bigger and even better which is no small task!

And he went for it. Instead of making one game with one story, he'd make one game with six. This game would be massive at full size, likely coming in at close to 200 boards given the 30+ board length of each finished scenario. It was probably not a smart idea. I suspect that after a certain point MadGuy had this same realization and just slapped on the 33 and called it a day.

The second scenario here is at least a little more coherent as far as Matt's motivation compared to the random locations he travels to in the first scenario until it's almost over. SOS Please feels a bit more grounded in that regard since it functions as a parody and hits a few of Titanic's plot beats as needed.

Still, it just doesn't feel fun to play, and the art is more lacking in this one. MadGuy's art style doesn't lend itself well to regular looking people compared to the bizarre and deformed designs in the first scenario. Nose doesn't even have a big nose! Or a small one to make a joke on the unexpected!

It does have the cool building explosion though.

Ultimately though, if you don't have fun with whatever scenario you play first, you're almost certain to not have fun with the other. Most likely, you're not going to have fun with either. They just feel so flat and lifeless and it really makes this game come off as MadGuy taking whatever comes to his mind and implementing it to meet the requirement of six stories.

I tried looking around various ZZT magazine worlds to try and get a better idea of the game's reception, but nobody seems to have reviewed it (at least in a timely manner). The game itself has two reviews from z2, a perfect 5.0 by an anonymous user who found it hilarious and loved the puzzles, and a scathing 1.0 review from Funk which while harsh, sums up the issues quite nicely. He mentions that it coasted on the inertia from Burger Joint and had a lot of people claiming it to be one of the best ZZT games around which I honestly can't even imagine.

If this game didn't have MadGuy's name attached, it would just be completely forgotten, but with that name it's sure to have been a game that a lot of people did play, and I suspect with a lot of disappointment.

The good news though, is that while this was MadGuy's final ZZT release, he did continue making games over the years. If you want to see where a youth spent making ZZT games could take somebody, take a look at his "rpg roguelike action stealth shooter brawler", Streets of Rogue. At the very least he didn't let any adolescent speedbumps ruin his fun.

In the end, NextGame 33 is just one more on the pile of comedic ZZT adventures that were never that comedic to begin with.

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