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Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders



The story is set in 1997, nine years after the game's production. The plot follows Zak, a writer for the National Inquisitor, a tabloid newspaper; Annie Larris, a freelance scientist; and Melissa China and Leslie Bennett, two Yale University coed students, in their attempt to prevent the nefarious alien Caponians (who have taken over "The Phone Company", an amalgamation of various telecommunication companies around the world) from slowly reducing the intelligence of everybody on Earth by emitting a 60 Hz "hum" from their "Mind Bending Machine". The Skolarians, another ancient alien race, have left a defense mechanism hanging around to repulse the Caponians (the "Skolarian Device"), which needs reassembly and start-up, but the parts are spread all over Earth and Mars.




Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders



Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders was developed and published by Lucasfilm Games. It was the second game to use the SCUMM engine, after Maniac Mansion. Like Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken was initially developed for the Commodore 64 and ported later to other systems. The project was led by David Fox, with Matthew Alan Kane as the co-designer and co-programmer. Fox consulted with New Age writer David Spangler for the game materials. The game was originally meant to be more serious, resembling the Indiana Jones series, but Ron Gilbert persuaded David Fox to increase the humorous aspects of the game. The game was consequently heavily inspired by many popular theories about aliens, ancient astronauts, and mysterious civilizations. The many places visited in the game are common hotspots for these ideas, such as the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico, Lima, Stonehenge, the Bermuda Triangle, and the Face on Mars. The Skolarians are based on the Greys alien, while the Caponians (a name derived from "Al Capone") are primarily based on the Men in Black, with their Cadillac-shaped spaceship and Elvis-themed leader (nicknamed "The King"). The Caponians also have heads shaped like Easter Island's Moai statues.


Zak McKracken is a tabloid reporter (and not a very good one at that). After having a psychedelic dream one day, Zak realizes that something is wrong -- space aliens are dumbifying the general public through the telephone system. Zak must stop this, but he can't do it alone. After finding a strange crystal, Zak manages to get the help of the anthropologist Annie and her friends, Melissa and Leslie. The four unlikely heroes must now figure out a way to destroy the dumbifying devices and save the Earth.


David Fox wanted the game to have a "New Age" concepts like spirituality, Karma, alien history and he spent a few days brainstorming with a spiritual author - David Spangler. They came up with a list of every thing that might fit into the game and tried to get it all in, including the Face on Mars, Mt. Ranier, Mayan ruins. Names of the female characters came from designer's wives and girlfriends while Zak's name was taken from the Seattle's phone book. "No, there wasn't a Zak McKraken listed - we just pulled a first and last name that worked." - said David Fox in the interview for Retro Gamer 27.


Mailhunter: A classic, which really deserves the name "Classic". The game is on my list of "games-to-play-through-one-more-time"every 3 to 4 months. Personally I never made it to "lose" and to see how the aliens dumb the world completely. One should try that to see what will happen, hehe. The allusions to many topics as e.g. the monoliths on Mars (2001: A Space Odyssey), the Mars face (which "allegedly" does not exists, but real Zak fans believe in it anyway, hehe), the fuel (for the chain saw for Maniac Mansion), the two-headed squirrel (which the makers probably took from the yellow press), the alleged curse of the mummy (which is believed to guest in the Sphinx) and much, much more, makes the story interesting again and again and keeps the whole thing up to date. So from me a clear 10 out of 10 for this milestone in the history of adventures.


I cannot emphasize enough how different Zak is. There has never been another game like it: so mind expanding, so big, so real, so upbeat. To me it's how all gamed should be made, but I guess I have weird tastes since obviously not everyone agrees! So many fun characters, so many locations, no violence, no stealing (well except for the oxygen tank, and I always figured that was lost luggage anyway), but more cool ideas per square inch than anything ever. Realistic player (mostly female), animals, aliens, different races, the whole world, the past, the future, outer space, saving the world - from stupidity! It inspired me to start a life as a game developer. A beautiful piece of work. And it all fits on one low density floppy disk - amazing!


Zak McKracken is a tabloid reporter (and not a very good one at that). After having a psychedelic dream one day, Zak realizes that something is wrong -- space aliens are dumbifying the general public through the telephone system. Zak must stop this, but he can't do it alone. After finding a strange crystal, Zak manages to get the help of the anthropologist Annie and her friends, Melissa and Leslie. The four unlikely heroes must now figure out a way to destroy the dumbifying devices and save the Earth.Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders is a third-person puzzle-solving adventure similar in gameplay to Maniac Mansion. The player chooses verb commands (Open, Pick Up, Give, etc.; there are no Look or Talk commands) to interact with the game world. The game features up to four controllable protagonists; it is possible to switch between them at any time after they have been introduced, and also exchange inventory items if the characters are in the same location. The game can be described as a "globe-trotting" adventure, since the heroes are required to travel to different exotic countries and even leave the Earth for a while in order to complete it. Some of the puzzles are optional or can be solved in different ways.The FM Towns version has VGA graphics with 256 colors and higher-quality music and sound effects.GOG release comes with two versions of the game that install simultaneously. One is FM Towns version with updated graphics, while the other is marked as Floppy version which is the old DOS version of a game.


Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders was the second game to use the SCUMM scripting language. The game first follows Zak McKracken, a tabloid reporter who slowly discovers a plot by an alien race to take over the Earth. Later, the game adds three additional playable characters (a scientist named Annie Larris, and two Yale students named Melissa China and Leslie Bennett), and places the characters on a quest to find the missing pieces of an alien device that will save all of humankind.


The plot follows Zak (full name Francis Zachary McKracken), a writer for the National Inquisitor, a tabloid newspaper; Annie Larris, a freelance scientist; and Melissa China and Leslie Bennett, two Yale University coed students, in their attempt to prevent the nefarious, alien Caponians (who have infiltrated society in the guise of a phone company) from slowly reducing the intelligence of everybody on Earth using dial tones.


Luckily, the Skolarians, another ancient alien race, have left a defense mechanism hanging around to repulse the Caponians, which just needs a quick reassembly and start-up. Unfortunately, the parts are spread all over the Earth ... and Mars.


The game was heavily inspired by the many popular theories about aliens, ancient astronauts and mysterious civilizations. The many places visited in the game are common hot-spots of relevant literature, like the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico, Lima, Stonehenge, Atlantis, a space cadillac with Elvis (really an alien) and eventually the Face on Mars. The general New Age feeling is very obvious since players will meet also gurus and a shaman who hold secret knowledge of everything, as well as help convert an airport-housed bum to become a Hare Krishna.


Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders is the ultimate adventure game for conspiracy theorists and alien enthusiasts alike! Players take on the role of Zak McKracken, an investigative journalist, as he uncovers a plot by alien beings to control the minds of humanity. The game features graphics that look like they were drawn by a six-year-old with a box of crayons, but don't be fooled, the storyline is more twisted than a pretzel.The gameplay is a mix of puzzle-solving and point-and-click adventure, it's like playing a choose your own adventure book but with the added challenge of figuring out how to use a can of soda to open a locked door. The game also features a cast of characters that are more eccentric than a clown at a funeral, from a rock star who is also a psychic to a group of alien-worshipping hippies.The game's soundtrack is a mix of 80's synth-pop and elevator music, it's so catchy you'll find yourself humming it in the shower and wondering why your shampoo smells like space.Overall, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders is a game that's as quirky as a llama wearing a top hat, it's a wild ride filled with aliens, mind control, and a lot of wacky puzzles. It's a perfect way to spend your time if you're looking for a game that's equal parts funny, challenging and weird.Check this one out! (codes included). by Latis


The game tells the story of a tabloid journalist named Zak, who has a dream about space aliens on Mars, who wear ten-gallon hats and Groucho Marx nose glasses. When he awakens, he finds himself uncovering a conspiracy by the alien Caponians, who are using the Phone Company in a not very hidden plot to try and Take Over the World.


Leave the airport and walk through the jungle maze until you reach a valley. Read the sign, then use your bread crumbs on the bird feeder. After the bird arrives, use the blue crystal on it. As the bird, fly right to the huge carving, and into the eye on the left. Pick up the scroll, then fly back and give it to Zak. Switch back to Zak and quickly return to the jungle before the aliens arrive. Make your way back to the airport, then switch to Melissa. 041b061a72


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