🗝️November Eve

Author
tseng
Genre
Adventure, RPG
Company
Size
173.3 KB
Boards
138 / 144
Rating
2.92 / 5.00

Closer Look: November Eve (Files B and C)

By: Dr. Dos
Published: Dec. 31, 2019

Hunting down giant slimes, hidden gems, and programming bugs to save Puerto del Agua

Page #2/4
< 1 2 3 4 >
screen319

More stupid gems to hunt down by stepping on this random tile. The only actual way out from this board is up through the doorway so the odds of a player stumbling onto this exact tile haphazardly are extremely poor.

screen320

Whoa this is the first cutscene in Bobtown. This has to be a record: ten boards in a row without the player being trapped in a corner.

@Kim
KIM: Oh my god! They killed Keno and Kudo!

...

KIM: That's just not fun to say without
anyone else around.
screen326

This fight with some demons is a bit strange because it feels like Tseng is suddenly having a fight on the level of a random encounter.

It's also rather odd in that the demons don't have a timer for when they can attack and are basically just any other enemy object you'd find in an action game. It's strange, but works. Since Kim's attacks aren't based on bullets the usual issue of multiple enemies just shooting each other doesn't come into play here.

Still, I can't help but thinking this could have been like the one non-RPG fight in the police station attack from earlier, or that said non-RPG fight could have been an RPG fight in the style of this one.

I'm gonna just save the screenshot and say that I tried using "Electro Bullet" again and it didn't work.

screen333

By this point, the novelty of these fights has really worn off and you can't help but wish that Kim could attack twice as fast. I dream of an un-bugged "Haste".

And like the warehouse, the reward is another gem for the Voice quest.

screen335

Of course, unlike the warehouse, Bobtown and the subway at least move the story along and set up where Kim needs to head next.

screen336
screen336
screen335

In addition to the gem from beating the demons, examining the bodies yields a key to get out of here and a second gem.

screen340

Doing some double-checking to find any gems I missed, it turns out there's this awful one hidden in the warehouse. Cool.

screen341

Only one gem remains, and there's only one location left to explore: the museum.

screen342

Despite making multiple trips, this is the first time Tseng shows the museum itself and not just the office belonging to Hercules and Atom. This is the final dungeon of the game which as with basically every other dungeon, is just a bunch of empty halls with no danger.

The museum itself is restricted until Kim goes through the Bobtown sewers and defeats the demons there which indicates that the slime monster is once again on the loose. This is necessary for the plot, but means that the awkward world map has a third of its locations blocked off at first.

screen342
screen343

Immediately when Kim enters the museum she catches a glimpse of somebody heading down a hall.

It's Hercules. I mean, it's a white char two and this is the museum where said white char two has an office. I appreciate the attempt at building a little mystery though!

screen344

Giving chase to Herc, the trail runs cold immediately as he's nowhere to be seen.

This is the board I was talking about earlier compared to the very weird looking stairs in the warehouse. Here the use of linewalls to make an upper level looks great. The pillars don't even get in Kim's way so it's a really nice set piece. Plus, there are two exits to the north and this perfectly communicates that they're on different floors. I'm a fan of this board.

screen345
screen345

Although there's no actual threats when exploring the museum, there are things to interact with. Being able to check out the displays for cheap jokes at least gives the player something more to do than go directly to the exit. If you see a sign, there's an exhibit to check out. The first of which is yet another Hanson joke.

screen346

The second, being Interactive Fantasies member Voighdt, quoting some Indiana Jones.

screen347

As predictable as making fun of Hanson, Tseng makes sure no IF member lasts for long. He bursts into flames and chars, something that we haven't seen in awhile.

screen349

Based on previous museum trips, we know that Herc's office is up some stairs, so it's worth checking to see if the door opens, or what is needed to open it. In this case it's just a standard ZZT door in need of a standard ZZT key.

screen350

Heading north from the first floor, Tseng uses transporters again to make a walkway leading to another door which is also locked, but this time uses an object to do so. I wonder what made him decide to do both kinds of doors.

screen354

Going up from the main entrance leads to a new split path and several exhibits to check out.

screen355
screen356
screen357
screen358

Going clockwise from the top left we have these amazing artifacts. Chickenwire was a long running comedy game by Zenith Nadir that received numerous updates over the years. Not-Sephiroth's not-Masamune is the legendary sword of yet another Tseng character who was shown on this file's password screen. I suspect you can figure out who he was influenced by.

(Yes we skipped the purple object which is just a transphobic joke.)

screen360

I like having exhibits. They give the player something to do while they search out the rest of the museum.

screen362
screen363

"Chuck" is the GChucky whose jet crashed into the hospital earlier. He was most famous for running the premiere ZZT community IRC chatroom of the late 90s, #darkdigital, and was known for kicking people regularly. I was no older than 12 at the time, and while I did actually go to #darkdigital once in a while, I can't recall anything of it, so no idea if Chuck was indeed power tripping, or just booting people who were making the environment worse.

It's almost certainly both.

screen366

Finally, one exhibit is broken open and has a chest inside with some more special ammo to waste a turn with. This branch of the museum is ultimately a dead-end, but at least Kim gets something for checking it out.

Assuming it doesn't get wasted on an enemy that's immune to it.

screen368

Moving on in the other direction, there are two more exhibits. I'm not sure if Dexter's sense of humor is meant to be a dig at him. If the inside was empty sure, but there's obviously something there!

The other, is gem number ten. But how to open it...

screen370

There's also this big blue room that can't be opened because this isn't the DX game mode that's unlocked after completing the game normally.

I like the joke about Kim actually reading that sign out loud.

screen371

Despite the previous board saying the exit was this way, it's just one last wing of the museum that's got more exhibits and a dead-end. The exit is through the entrance, not here.

This is another good set of stairs though! It's not as impressive as the set earlier in the museum, but it is a far more complex shape.

screen373

The final wing starts in this oddly shaped room that looks like maybe it was going to have a passage to leave the museum to the right, but there's nothing there.

Along the path are the last two exhibits.

screen375
screen376

And here we see Tseng's love of professional wrestling of the era at its most explicit. Eventually Tseng would go on to make his last release, The Misadventures of Mega Job: The Epic Tag Team, a game starring some part-time wrestlers who are also part-time crime-fighters.

screen377

Finally, the red key Kim's been looking for this whole time. One quick trip back...

screen380
screen381
screen382

And it's a return to form with a cutscene. Note the minor passage error causing the player to spawn on the exit passage since the passage to this board and the passage off it share a color. This means you can skip the text here without having to cheat.

This is extra fortunate as this scene is very lengthy.

TYRONE: Yo, Kim.

KIM: Tyrone? Why are you here?

TYRONE: Ssh. Someone's behind the door.
screen387

It starts off with Tyrone busting down a door, so that's something at least.

KIM: Reno? Anita?

ANITA BLUE: Nice entrance, Tyrone. You
couldn't have scared me worse.

TYRONE: Yeah, but I always wanted to do
that.

RENO: I take it that you came here to find
Herc and Atom.

KIM: I followed the slime here.

TYRONE: And I came here to beat the hell
out of Herc. I found out what that list
on the computer was all about.

RENO: It's a to-kill list from Aric? Yes?

TYRONE: No. It's a list of people who were
ordered to be executed by the head of IOU.

ANITA BLUE: You mean... Masamune?

TYRONE: Exactly. I came back here an hour
ago to see that list. Absentminded, Aric,
Da Head Hood, Francine, Knightt, Jer...
and a ton more people.

KIM: So... why did Masa contact Herc?

RENO: His Xamboxumbadria research! He knew
that they could tap into their true powers
and kill all of the people on that list...

ANITA BLUE: But... their expierment, that
being Steve, went out of control. Steve is
trying to use his powers to create the
Banana of the Heavens and destroy the
Hoodian System.

KIM: ...So all this was an assassination
attempt?

TYRONE: Just about.

KIM: ...I... think Steve is in this very
museum.

TYRONE: Oh shiiiiit. If that's true, we
should get the fuck outta here.

And so it all comes together. The creation of Steve and origin of the xamboxumbadria crisis was a botched assassination plan.

Also laughing at ZZTer Knightt being on the hit-list.

screen428

With some bad timing, Hercules also happens to arrive to a room full of people who know he's a major part in both the incident as well as the plot to kill a few of Masamune's enemies.

HERCULES: Umm... yeah. Well, I guess I
should kill you all, now.

Hercules has nothing left to lose and is ready to start killing people, but Gem Hunter rushes in just in time and shoots first, saving everyone. Herc is wounded, but despite being an Interactive Fantasies member in November Eve, he remains alive for now.

screen430

Again, I love when people get called "posers" in this game.

screen440
KIM: Gemmy!

GEM HUNTER: *mumble* I told you not to
call me that...

TYRONE: Where the hell did you run off to,
Jer?

GEM HUNTER: I went looking for Atom. But I
found `him', instead.

HERCULES: And I would've gotten away with
it, if it weren't for you meddling kids!

And then Atom arrives as well.

ATOM: What the...

GEM HUNTER: Well, lookie what we have
here... it's a Tom!

ATOM: Oh.... SHIT!!!!!
screen446

Hercules being allowed to live doesn't last for long, as both he and Atom are promptly burned. Steve has to be close by so it's time for all the xamboxumbadria-havers to get out of here. Kim sticks behind to deal with Steve and everybody else runs off.

screen453

So right now, as the player, you have two problems. The first, being how to get that tenth gem, and the second being what's changed to let you make progress in the game's main storyline.

screen454
screen454

Bad news. You can't get the last gem. There's no code on this board other than the locked door and the two signs for the exhibits. This means the entire quest to get the best weapon in the game is pointless.

screen458

It gets worse though. Even if you could collect the last gem, you're locked inside the museum. The passages go to the same board forcing you to follow the story once you enter.

screen459

Continuing the lowest point of the game's code, the way to proceed is through this locked door which checks for a flag that never gets set so you have to cheat again.

I will be fair to Tseng, although these are all some pretty nasty bugs, there is a different version of November Eve included in The Gem Hunter Anthology which makes an attempt at fixing some of these bugs. Sadly, while the locked door here is fixed, and you're able to collect gem number ten in the museum, the passage at the entrance still prevents Kim from returning the the PDAPD. Two steps forward one step back.

Not being one to let poor coding ruin my fun, I just cheated in the next fight to give myself the Quad C Launcher and have the best weapon available like I should. I can't give ZZT enough credit for making it so easy to work around any issues with cheats or the editor itself.

screen462
KIM: Wow. I like what you've done with
this place. Early evil lair, right?

STEVE: Shut up. You've interfered with my
evil plans for the LAST time.

KIM: ...This has only been the... what?
Second? Third time?

STEVE: ...I hate you.

KIM: W, what the?

STEVE: It is time...

In what at first glance looks to be the final showdown, Kim is finally ready to confront Steve, but yet again is interrupted.

screen472

BY THE GIANT SLIME WHICH HAS FORMED ITSELF INTO A HUMANOID SHAPE

Steve hops on and goes for a ride and Kim is forced to leave like the rest of the group.

screen474
TYRONE: Kim! Damn, did you see that jello
mold?

KIM: ...I saw it. A little closer than I
hoped, but I saw it.

TYRONE: It's laying the smack down on
Puerto del Agua. It's heading... for the
Statue of Idiocy!

#play txdfdfdf

RENO: Yeah?

RENO: Shiiiiiiit!

KIM: What?

RENO: The Mafia is making their move!

ANITA BLUE: But... they'll be making the
same mistake as they did with the jets
last night!

CUBED ICE: I did what you asked, Tyrone.
I got Aric to send the Ultima Clan to IOU
to check Masamune into the Smack Down
Hotel.

TYRONE: ...Never thought I'd be siding
with the Evil Weasel. Oh well.

GEM HUNTER: Where's Erd?

CUBED ICE: He's in the van. Speaking of,
we need to follow that jello mold.

KIM: Steve is with the slime... we gotta
stop him...

CUBED ICE: Right. Let's go.

It's a return to form with many many cutscenes in a row. Steve is on his way to make his ultimate being, and the mafia is about to try their own attack which will go over like a lead zeppelin.

Also Puerto del Agua has its equivalent of the statue of liberty solely because of Parasite Eve's New York City setting.

You can try and follow along with the IOU and mafia and Evil Weasel and Masamune but none of that matters. All that matters is it's time to follow that slime.

Despite being yet another series of cutscenes, I do like them all because there's a lot going on at least, and some very silly scenes depicted like this.

screen510
CUBED ICE: Holy shit... Steve took out two
heavily armed Mafia Choppers and didn't
even break a sweat.

DR. ERD: Hmmm... so what do we do? Steve
could create the Banana at any moment!

The stakes are high, but it's quickly time for Kim to do her thing as a friendly mafia member shows up to speak up with her.

MAFIA GUY: Which one of you is Kim?

KIM: That would be me.

MAFIA GUY: Ma'am. The Admiral of the Mafia
ship, Titanic, requests your assistance in
dealing with Steve.

TYRONE: What the hell?

MAFIA GUY: We've learned of your help in
this crisis. So that's why we feel that
you could help us.

GEM HUNTER: If she's going, I'm going.

RENO: Actually, I think this is the part
where me and Anita no longer get any more
parts in this game, so I think we'll just
leave.

CUBED ICE: Heh heh. Me and Erd get one
important role in this game, since the
author likes us. (nmiaow)

MAFIA GUY: Fine, fine. Just get aboard the
chopper.

Finally somebody comes up with a sensible plan of maybe attacking the giant monster with somebody that can't be burned up from a mile away. The party shrinks just a little as Kim and a few others board the Titanic together.

screen538
TYRONE: I demand to know why you asked us
to come aboard this piece of shit cruiser.

KNIGHTT: Da Head Hood wants us to destroy
that stupid jello mold man over there. But
we can't get close to it or we'll be set
aflame. We heard about Kim, so we need her
help.

GEM HUNTER: How so?

SILENT BILL: We be needin' `er ta fly a
heelochoppah an' nuke da monstah.

GEM HUNTER: Whoa whoa! Kim can't fly a
helicopter!

KNIGHTT: Captain Hydra. In. Now.

HYDRA: Yes?

KNIGHTT: We need you to inform the public
on how to fly our helicopters on the easy
setting.

HYDRA: Simply put, left goes left, right
goes right.

KNIGHTT: We've detected a flock of mutant
pigeons, so avoid them at all costs, or
they shall lay the smack down on you.

This is good. We're like ninety percent done with this game, and Tseng is still introducing characters. For Knightt and Hydra, it's more ZZTer cameos and they kind of need to be named.

But then there's "Silent Bill", whose name I think was brought up way earlier finally making an appearance just for a single line with a thick accent about nuking the slime.

I'm really curious how Tseng decided on what roles the Interactive Fantasies members would have since Hercules and Hydra were cousins who frequently made games with each other. The two names constantly come up together in ZZT games and texts, but here Hercules and Atom are the evil scientists and Hydra gets to be a helicopter pilot.

screen563

Variety! Rather than yet another cutscene, Kim does indeed to get fly the helicopter in on the easy setting, which is a great joke. Kim must dodge some mutant pigeons until she can get into position. It's a very simple minigame that under normal circumstances would be glossed over, but with this game's ratio of cutscene to gameplay it becomes a welcome diversion.

Kim apparently had multiple escorts who are immediately offed once they get too close.

The perspective shown here is great. I love this statue and giant slime being reduced to being three characters tall. Kim's utter confusion at how to actually launch the nuke makes this moment even more comical.

screen583

Now this is an art board. I'm not really sure what we're supposed to be looking at or how Kim got down. I think maybe they're on the Statue of Idiocy? That's definitely its face in the background, and there's lots of exploded slime everywhere. Is the brown thing the torch? Did it fall?

I can't explain this board, but I think it really stands out at least.

STEVE: I should've guessed... You've been
a thorn in my side for too long, girl. In
fact... I've had it up from here to THAT
FUCKING TORCH UP THERE with you.

KIM: So sue me.

STEVE: Bah. I'll just kill you.

KIM: Oh no.

There's definitely a torch.

Anyway, now it's time to finally finally finally fight Steve.

screen592

Beginning with the previously mentioned cheat to get the game's best weapon.

screen596

This fight is really bad. Steve is made up of multiple objects which means that he'll break apart if he tries to move around, so he just stays in one place the entire fight. Granted his arms flap about, but they only ever shoot from side to side and straight down in the pattern shown here.

Just staying in Kim's starting position is enough to make her dodge to Steve's bullets without doing anything.

Steve does have a second attack that just automatically hurts Kim for a decent chunk of health, but all it means is that the player has no control over their success or failure. (Again, Kim has healing from November Energy, so you'll definitely win if you just look at her health going down and heal when needed.)

The one thing I will praise this fight for, is that I used "continuous ammo" in it and it did four damage compared to the Quad C Launcher's three. Finally something worked and was beneficial.

Steve
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
STEVE: What the HELL?! How could I lose to
you?!

KIM: You forgot. I'm the star of this
game!

STEVE: Bah. I guess it's time for the
obligitory "Steve Explodes" routine. WELL
NOT TODAY, BAY-BEE. You thwarted my plans
today, but we shall meet again!

KIM: Coward.
  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

At last Steve's defeated and the crisis is over.

Page #2/4
< 1 2 3 4 >

Article directory
Main page

More In This Series

View All