The Adventures of Zorb McGuffin!

A playful parody by Quentin D. Thompson

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.



(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.......

*** You have died ***

No, wait, what's that?....

You can see a mirror'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!"


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.


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.


(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.

EYEORE: Someone'

POOH: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

ZORB: Go find that honey, farmer.


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)...."

White House
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