Episode One: Once Upon A Future
(ZORB McGUFFIN, Super-Hero, and his sidekick PABLO are convoked by their faithful ally, Doc Willard, the Grue of Platinum, for an extremely hush-hush conference).
ZORB: What're you singing, Pablo?
PABLO: Hush! Hush! I thought I heard her call mi name, amigo! Deep Purple, eet rocks!
ZORB: WHAT was the point of that?
PABLO: Well, Doc Weelard say this ees a hush hush conference, eh?
ZORB (slaps forehead): Give it up, Pablo. Let's see what the Doc has to say.
(After typing in a 16-letter password, validating their entry on an Enigma machine, and unlocking 6 doors with the same damn keycard, our heroes find themselves in....)
Doc Willard's Inner Sanctum
PABLO: Hey, where's the descreeption?
HOLLOW VOICE: "Sorry, I forgot to set verbose mode."
(DOC WILLARD materializes out of nowhere.)
DOC: Greetings, Starsky and Hutch.
PABLO: Hey, who thees Starskee chap? Mi name is Pablo, Senor Doc! And mi last name is Toledo!
DOC: Put a lid on it, Pablito. Anyway, it's you I wanted to see, Zorb....
ZORB (to Pablo): See? _I_ was meant to be the hero round here, kid.
DOC: ..because this mission is too mundane to be entrusted to my magnificent grueish intellect; it's strictly for mental midgets who couldn't solve a Photopia puzzle without a - ugh - walkthrough......why's Pablo laughing so much?
ZORB: Grrr. Forget it.
DOC: Cut it out, you two jokers. The problem we are facing now concerns the three dimensions of the Universe, young Zorb: Space, Time and Mimesis.
PABLO: Hey! Me always thought there were four dimensions!
DOC: _Four_ dimensions? Are you on the right planet? What next, my little Chihuahua? Five elements? Six continents? Seven days a week? For Blorb's sake, stop being absurd. The dilemma being faced here is by a fixed player character.
ZORB: You mean someone like that chick in Amy Discovers Love, or whatever that flick was, who's got to do all those gruesomely unmimetic things to win the game?
DOC: (sighs) Don't pun on my race, Zorb. I'm feeling peeved enough as it is. No, I mean a player character with pre-fixed motivations. No player wants to do what the game author has made this PC do.
PABLO: Which is?
DOC: This unfortunate player character is not only required to force his own destiny by throwing himself into the line of fire of a Gatling gun....
ZORB (to PABLO): I get it. This is "In The End 3".
DOC: Do be quiet, you two. And after doing so, he has to be transported to Middle-Earth (sigh), meet Galadriel and Gimli and a whole array of tedious NPCs, before saving Honest Abe Lincoln from being shot by some crazy actor.
ZORB: Wow. That's one hell of a destiny.
DOC: Not only is it hell for him and the player - it's hell for _us_. I've tried to change some features of his life, so that they don't disrupt the continuum of the three dimensions that much. For starters, I'm trying to find a place less difficult to implement than Middle- Earth.
ZORB: How about the GUE?
DOC: Stop hogging the limelight, you Glulx-heavy lug.
PABLO: I got it! We send heem to the Isle of Avalon! Get heem to fight Lancelot! (Starts singing "Man of La Mancha")
DOC: Can you imagine the _coding_ involved there? You clowns don't seem to realise that I have to replot this joker's destiny in _Z-Code_ using a _PC 286_? It would take three years to do that! I need something simpler, Zorb, something that doesn't need your Glulx muscle.
PABLO: Malory Towers? The Chalet School? The Little Women?
ZORB: I got it! Hundred Acre Wood!
DOC: Brilliant. Scintillating. Transilluminant. You positively shine at times, Zorb. Well, off you go, to take our PC from the battlefields of 1865 to the land of Winnie-ther-Pooh. Wait till I get my PlayerTo() function going.....
Ah, that's it.....
It is pitch dark, and you can't see a thing.
PABLO: Hey! I _hate_ eet when he do that, Zorb!!
ZORB: Don't I know. Well, time for the old brass lantern......
This dangerous act would achieve little.
ZORB: Hey! What gives?
HOLLOW VOICE: "Sorry, kids. You're inside source code now, so that won't work. Let me try.....hmm, how does the spell go? Yep, that's it. 'FROTZ PLAYER'."
(ZORB starts glowing in the dark)
PABLO: Cool! Can you do that in fluorescent colours, Weelard?
ZORB: STOP THIS MESS!! Give us a proper light, will ya...
HOLLOW VOICE: "Ok, let me try. 'Give Player light'."
ZORB: Hey, I can see clearly now.
PABLO: What about me? I'm in thees adventure too, Zorb!
HOLLOW VOICE: "Bunch of ingrates. Well, here you go, whino. 'Give Pablo light'."
PABLO: Whoopee! Off we go!
(ZORB and PABLO are instantly teleported from Limbo to a battlefield somewhere.)
This is obviously a winning battle. (Don't ask me which side is winning, though). There's all the usual stuff, like dead bodies, rubble and other things.
You can see a Confederate soldier, a Confederate soldier and a Confederate soldier here.
ZORB: Let's check who the player is. "Examine me".
You are a Confederate soldier. Your three friends are out there.
ZORB: Fine. Now let's make the guy an NPC, so that _we_ take charge.
ZORB: Here goes. "BY THE POWER OF GLULX!!!!! I HAVE THE POWER!!!!! CHANGEPLAYER (ZORB)!!!!!"
(Cheezy(tm) theme tune plays in background. A ragged Confederate soldier appears on scene. He hardly looks like a soldier. In fact, to give away a spoiler, he's a farmer who enlisted to get away from farming...)
FARMER: WTF?? Gotta save my buddies, gotta....
PABLO: Zorb, stop heem! He's jumpeeng on a Gatleeng gun!
ZORB: Nope, that part of his destiny's all right.
You throw yourself on the Gatling gun......well, at least your three ambiguous war buddies will be saved now.......
No, wait, what's that?....
You can see a mirror here....it's beckoning you in....
ZORB: Nooooo! Wrong script.
The mirror shatters.
PABLO: Yaaaaay! The Space Under the Weendow! Hurray for El Zarf!
ZORB: Now to save that farmer, or whatever the hell he is....
FARMER: W..T..F?? I was s'posed to go through that mirror, damn Yankee!
ZORB: Shut up. You're coming with us. Is that source code ready, Doc?
HOLLOW VOICE: "One second. I'm fixing a few V0EFHs. Don't disturb me."
FARMER: W...T...F?? Where _AM_ I?
HOLLOW VOICE: "I _said_ wait, didn't I? If you insist, here you go, but don't blame me if your react_before rule goes awry..."
ZORB: Off we go again!
FARMER (pleadingly): WTF??
HOLLOW VOICE: "Move farmer to 100AcreWood; Move Pablo to 100AcreWood; PlayerTo (100AcreWood, 2);"
DISEMBODIED VOICE: "Hey, what's the two for, Doc Weelard?"
ANOTHER DISEMBODIED VOICE: "Shut up and read your Designer's Manual, Pablo!"
YET ANOTHER DISEMBODIED VOICE (almost in tears): "WTF???"
Hundred Acre Wood
This is a charming little wood which could be in Australia, for all the unfortunate author knows.
You can see a Piglet, a Kanga, a Roo, a Tigger, an Eyeore and an Owl here.
ZORB: ARRRRGH! AGT CODE!
HOLLOW VOICE: "Don't insult me, Zorb. It's just a temporary error caused by your undue haste."
(Winnie-The-Pooh muzak plays in background.)
POOH: Hello. I'm Winnie-the-Pooh!
ZORB: Pleased to meet you, cub. I'm Zorb.
PABLO: And I'm Pablo! Gee, you look just like the furree leetle teddee bears in the A.O.Schwartz catalogue!
FARMER (bellows): WOULD YOU MIND......EXPLAINING........WHAT.......I'M...... DOING.......HERE??
ZORB: You're supposed to save the world, kid.
PABLO: And assasseenate the Preseedent! Yahoo!
POOH: Oh, dear. I seem to have lost my honey.
FARMER: ONE THING AT A TIME......PLEASE?
(ZORB and PABLO have a discussion)
PABLO: Eh, Senor Pooh. Why you want honee? Nowadays, the diabetes specialeests say eet causes trouble!
POOH: Oh dear, it seems as though you need that explained. Being a soft and furry bear, I don't get diabetes.
ROO: This is boring. Can I play with the nice man in the long johns, Mommy?
ZORB: Hey, watch it, Joey! That's my Clothing Attribute!
KANGA: I don't think the nice man wants to play, dear.....
TIGGER: Heeyyyyyyy! You sure look snazzy, Clothing-man! Fancy taking me on in a Hundred Acre Dash?
(FARMER laughs hysterically.)
PABLO: Hey Doc, there are too manee NPCs here! We need El Help!
HOLLOW VOICE: "Oh, very well, but you have to solve a few puzzles. All right. I'm removing the life properties of Kanga and Tigger."
ZORB: And Roo. Please.
HOLLOW VOICE: (Sings) "I ain't s'posed to be just fun!"
PABLO: Hey, I deedn't know you like Pearl Jam, Doc Weelard!
DOPEY GUY IN COWBOY PAJAMAS: Hey! I didn't know you could yodel!
ZORB: Get out. This isn't your game.
(ZORB kicks the DOPEY GUY out of the game and back into his Modula 2 source code.)
ZORB: Now where were we?
POOH: Oh dear. (Sighs) I can't find my honey.
POOH: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
ZORB: Go find that honey, farmer.
FARMER (furious): WTF????? HONEY? WHERE THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND THE WRETCHED STUFF, YANKEE?
HOLLOW VOICE: "You need to solve some puzzles first, Ragman."
ZORB: Let's go!
(FARMER is almost reduced to ABJECT DESPAIR by being made to solve a FIFTEEN PUZZLE, a few GUESS-THE-VERBS, a GREAT SIGNIFICANT PUZZLE WITH NPC INTERACTIONS, and a few MENSA QUIZZES. Finally, he extracts a small yellow jar from the inside of a particle accelerator.)
FARMER (huffing and puffing, holds up a bottle labelled 'Hunny'): Is this it?
POOH: Oh dear. They've spelt the name wrong. But it'll have to do, I guess..
FARMER: _Now_ can I return to the war, and just get my head blown off like a good Confederate?
ZORB: No. You have to change the world first.
FARMER: WTF? Change the world? You're looney, Yankee, that's what you are. How do you plan to have me change the world?
ZORB: Umm. Good question. (Sarcastically) Any answers, Doc Willard?
HOLLOW VOICE: "I don't like that tone of yours, Glulx-head. Anyway, what our hero has to do now is assassinate the president."
FARMER: NEVER! Kill good old Jeff Davis? And let that spindly little runt of an Abe Lincoln take over the Confederacy? You're dreaming, Yankee.
PABLO (chuckles): The horreeble truth, mano, ees that thees is no dream!
HOLLOW VOICE: "Stop the library impressions, Pablo. Now all I need to do is teleport you to......."
It is pitch dark in here. You are likely to be eaten by Doc Willard.
ZORB: I'm going to get you, Willard, I swear.
HOLLOW VOICE: "Just my little joke. Here's where you all go. Move farmer to WhiteHouse; move Pablo to WhiteHouse; PlayerTo (WhiteHouse,2)...."
This is the White House, where the President of the USA lives and stuff like that. To the north is the President's office.
PABLO: Hey! I smell a ceegar here! A Havana ceegar, even!
ZORB (snigger): Erotomaniac. Do you seriously think Monica Lewinsky would come near a pipsqueak like you?
PABLO (laughs): You have dirtee mind, Zorb! Me theenk about Feedel Castro, and all you theenk about is cheeks! Some hero you are.
FARMER: I refuse to kill Jefferson Davis. You can't make me do it 'cause I don't want to.
PABLO: Here, hold thees. (Gives