This time, I wanted to go back to a game that had a bit of a false start for being covered as part of the Worlds of ZZT project. Tseng's November Eve had a livestream back in July which covered the first file, but I chose not to finish the game in future streams. I had hoped the game would make for a good stream and was incorrect. Lots and lots and lots of slow cutscenes did not make for a good viewing experience and I scrapped plans to stream the rest of the game, intending to try it again as a text based article instead.
In the the late 1990s, Tseng was a very big name. He definitely figured out how to make his games stand out, and one way of doing so was to make them all part of a shared universe. By creating a variety of planets, but sharing characters between them thanks to easy interstellar travel, Tseng managed to make memorable characters who appeared in lots of games. This was a pretty uncommon thing, and few ZZT games that aren't direct sequels/prequels ever had shared characters in the way Tseng's worlds did.
November Eve, meanwhile is a bit unique among Tseng's games for not being an original adventure, but instead being a parody of (then) Squaresoft's 1998 PlayStation 1 RPG, Parasite Eve. Parody, especially of RPGs is all over ZZT worlds. (We've already seen Knightt's Stupid RPG earlier this year.) But while most ZZT parodies try to make fun of the source material above all else, Tseng instead embraces it. November Eve is a shockingly faithful conversion of the original game, replacing the cast with established characters seen in his earlier games, and even managing to do a decent job of capturing the battle system.
It's honestly a really impressive game, and it holds up surprisingly well today!
Well, almost. While November Eve condenses an already short RPG into an even shorter ZZT experience, it makes the bulk of that experience watching cutscenes. The few battles the game does have, though impressive for their time, are very slow paced and visibly flawed today. Still, I can't help but love what Tseng managed to pull off here.
as you probably know from a guy like tseng
mcqueen, the word "november" appears in
yet another one of his projects. november
eve was originally the subtitle for gem
hunter rpg, but that idea fell through
because the only parasite eve feature it
even had was the rpg engine. thus, i
dropped the subtitle. instead, i am using
the subtitle to power my parasite eve
parody... what you are playing, now. this,
november eve, is a gem hunter spin-off
which does not star gem hunter, at all.
more are on that in the plot.
so why "november eve"? november is the
month is question in my favorite song of
all time, wyclef jean's gone `till
november. ever since i started hearing the
song, i've treated november as a "month of
gods". why am i parodying parasite eve?
next to xenogears, it is my favorite rpg
of all time. so there.
november eve contains my best in every
field. graphics, programming, plot,
everything. and it contains the wonderous
composeries (is that a word?) of kev-san,
or cartera999, or, as we randomly call
him, wallet. still, jawatrader/vampy will
hate it, because he always hates my games.
• • • • • • • • •
an organism which lives within all
hoodians, the xamboxumbadria is a more
powerful form of mitochondria, and it
helps hoodians live about forty-two months
longer than humans. it does not exist
within earth humans.
what if the xambozumbadria had minds of
what if they were to awaken and take over
puerto del agua, da hood. the capital city
of the planet da hood. a fated opera house
in the center of town. "he" will awaken
here. there's just one brick wall in "his"
gem hunter took a bet with kim to see who
would win a game of five card stud. to
his amazement, kim beat him, and thus, kim
forced him into taking her to an opera.
while gem hunter has this thing about
always carrying his f42 big-assed gun, he
just didn't know what would happen on that
"he" would awaken. and only "she" can stop
him. and why the hell are we saying these
words in "this" way?
yes, november eve is one of the few tseng
games with a decent plot. ...actually, i'm
led to believe that this is the only tseng
game with a decent plot.
• • • • • • • • •
remember parasite eve? that little mature-
rated game involve explicit full motion
videos of rats and dogs randomly mutating?
well, november eve is completely based off
okay... the y, obviously, is you. you run
around and dodge the attacks of the bad
guys... signified by the e. your health is
indicated by the general "health" in the
normal zzt sidebar. yes, i know this makes
it very easy to stay alive, considering
the general zzt cheat, ?+health. so, if
you cheat... well, all i can say is "fuck
on the side bar, the solids mean your
november energy. november energy is, for
all purposes aside, the magic of november
eve. it slowly regenerates over time.
kimmy's ne moves are different than gem
hunter's (that is, if you've played last
november 2), just so you know.
the boulders on both sides of the screen
indicate the at(attack turn) meter. when
it's your turn, press space to actiavte
your menu. here, you can attack, use ne,
whatever. when the enemy's at meter is
full, obviously, it'll attack.
the ┌─» means what weapon you have. you
can equip a new one thanks to the at
meter of doom.
actually, that's pretty much the whole
engine. the format of the engine is
different in this game, but it's still the
• • • • • • • • •