Montha-Zeux - Caverns of Zeux (Part 2 Finale)

Jumping between dimensions, shape-shifting, riding in balloons, and soft-locking because I didn't listen.

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: Apr 16, 2024
Part of Series: Montha-Zeux Streams
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♦ Livestream of "Caverns of Zeux" by Alexis Janson (1994) ♦

I had to go back for more Caverns, despite the first part ending rather happily with being transformed into a fire-breathing dragon.

The back half of Caverns makes finding ways to manage transformations into the forefront. It also does a nasty trick where it's possible to soft-lock your game if you enter a mousehole and grab an amulet that turns you back into a dwarf without having a way to re-mouseify.

It still has its share of cute moments like finding a hot air balloon and using it to escape a pit.

It also feels a bit A Link to the Past suddenly as players find special tiles to shift between three different dimensons of the Caverns. The light/dark dichotomy still pretty much works as the third dimension is just a single green cavern that left me wondering why it needed to be in another dimension at all.

There's more backtracking, finishing up quests to find pearls, spellbooks, and such, and if you're not careful you may make a number of extra trips since your form frequently matters.

Eventually, Vince gets his staff back and gets to fight the spirit he thought was guiding him that revealed itself to be sealed in the caverns to prevent world conquest.

The end... well, I'm not personally too fond of it. It makes your actions in the game feel rather meaningless and sets up a prison escape in the sequel available in the registered version of MegaZeux. I did take a peek at that sequel, which ditches the fantasy aesthetic in exchange for sci-fi, and while the actual intro to that game seemed interesting enough, the actual end to Caverns is a bit too much like one of those ZZT worlds that thinks it's way more intense than it actually is.

On its own though, I quite enjoyed Caverns! The back half amps up the action to compensate for the backtracking, and as a whole it's a solid adventure that feels just out of reach of what ZZT can do, creating a unique experience and giving ZZTers of 1994 a good reason to consider moving to MegaZeux.

♦ Play this world ♦

♦ Originally streamed on April 10th, 2024 ♦

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