♦ Livestream of the ZZT world "Frost 2: Ice (incomplete)" by Zenith Nadir (2007) [https://museumofzzt.com/file/view/frost2/]. ♦
Checking out a long awaited sequel with a troubled development cycle that turned into one of the weirder ZZT community stories with regards to its eventual release.
Frost 2: Ice, is the sequel to Nadir's Frost 1; Power, taking place in the same world of anthropomorphized animals with a mixture of magic and technology. Former protagonist Penny and her traveling partner Henna have settled down a bit since Penny's whole "manslaughter via forbidden magical abilities she didn't know she had" that forms the central motivation for the events of part 1, but she's still having unexpected magical outbursts. This isn't her story though, and the time spent with her is brief, and limited to cut-scene only.
Instead, this time the focus is in a more urban setting where two young hoodlums Jubal the hamster and Alfred the beaver (not ferret) work together to rescue a damsel in distress that managed to slip a note into a pizza box before it was delivered. The two wind up in a situation way over their heads with said-damsel Martina the talking turtle (everybody is surprised by this. It's normal for hamsters and foxes to talk, but a turtle? No way.) being held hostage by some dangerous magic users with connections to the underworld.
Like the first game, the focus is on building up the story and setting for the Frost games. Lots of dialog and a ton of very intricate details that make it obvious that Nadir spent quite a lot of time thinking about this setting's people and technology, sometimes to a near comical degree when players get to learn about unique underground resevoirs and how they work before playing a 100% run of the mill ZZT sewer level.
Also like the first entry in the series, the game is full of Nadir's impressive looking ZZT art boards with some complex depictions of city skylines, mountains on the horizon, non-orthagonal angles, all making up some of the most impressive visuals seen in ZZT up to that point. Once again it is backed by an impressive soundtrack as well, making the entire game as much of a treat for the ears as the eyes.
The actual gameplay works well enough, with players taking on the role of Jubal, using thieving skills to trespass undetected, disarm traps, and whack things with mops. The sewers play a bit like a dungeon, though the action is focused to a single dark board which is kind of a miserable with how many little enemies are constantly running in, biting your ankles, and running away. Despite the weakness in gameplay, the rest of the game more than makes up for it, resulting in a rather fun adventure until it abruptly ends as the game was never completed.
The video goes into details, but tl;dr, the game lingered, but was available in some form thanks to an earlier build of the game being leaked by yours truly to interested parties. Eventually Nadir found enough interest to clean up what was implemented, add some commentary to help resolve some of the game's story, and take players on a tour of unused art boards and to poke fun at ZZTers trying to rile up the community with hot takes abound. Nothing to dreadful of which is shown in the video.
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♦ Originally streamed on May 19th, 2023 ♦