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Wildcard Stream Vol. 47 - Chaos!!!!!! (TM)

Three worlds claim to be chaos, how well do they live up to the title?

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: Jun 20, 2023
Part of Series: Wildcard Streams
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♦ Livestream of 3 ZZT worlds. ♦

♦ Stream Contents ♦
• (0:00) "Chaos" by Andrew Martin []
• (27:48) "ChaosTM 1 (v2.9S)" by Adam P. Sharp, Daniel Wilkinson (1996) []
• (1:15:10) "ChaosTM 2" by Adam P. Sharp, Daniel Wilkinson (1996) []
• (42:48) End of Ad Break 1
• (1:15:10) End of Ad Break 2

A series of chaotic games, though they don't all quite live up to their namesakes.

The first, simply named "Chaos" tells the story of a space marine sent to investigate why communications with planet Gamma Minerva have been lost. This plays out as a straightforward adventure using ZZT's creatures with the occasional fork in the road where one path has a locked door and the other leads somewhere with the key. Nice use of colors make the planet's arctic circle feel appropriately wintry, but it's the writing that turn an average game into one that was a lot of fun to run through. Plus a great drawing of a ☃ snowman ☃ that happens to be a sacred symbol of the Minervans.

Best of all, this is the previously missing part 1 of what is actually a trilogy of games, now the series can be played in its entirely, and all of us seemed to have enjoyed it enough to be interested in doing so.

Then a pair of games whose title may or may not be intended as a trademark. These ones are indeed much more chaotic.
The first seems to have quite a history to it as the game opens telling players that all the sexual content has been removed in order to appease the AOL file uploaders! This is a game filled with references to various 90s media, some unsurprising (Beavis and Butthead) and some not so mainstrea (the authors had Gunstar Heroes). Shockingly, no Barney appearances. Though with the sheer number of randomly connecting passages and board exits, I wouldn't put it past me to have missed something.

When you're not enjoying references to 16-bit video games including a reproduction of Kefka's spiel at the end of Final Fantasy VI, you get a lot of invisible mazes and walls that turn into ruffians. Not the best experience.

The second one calms down a little. The boards are still often very visually busy, and still filled to the brim with ruffians, but now each board is a self-contained level to complete, doing wonders for keeping things navigable. It's also far shorter, with only a handful of levels and a few goofy boards more reminiscent of the humor of the first. You can see the improvement, even if there's a long way to go before recommending this sequel. Arguably, the first may even be better just by lacking in structure. ChaosTM 2 may be easier to get through, but what's offered is some below average ZZT action while the first has the novelty of its weirdness to help.

♦ Play these worlds directly in your browser ♦

♦ Originally streamed on June 18th, 2023 ♦

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