Author: William A. Tilli
A middling adventure game that focuses on the other side of the
typical treasure hunt. Instead of a dashing aventurer, you're a goblin
whose home has just been ransacked.
Like other Santoonie games, Zero suffers terribly from dismal spelling
and grammar. In some cases, it's as if a spell-checker was employed
without the benefit of a dictionary, resulting in the wrong choice of
homonyms. For instance, the goblin home is attacked by humans described
as "fowl men" (chicken people, perhaps?), one character "excepts" a gift
from another, and a makeshift anvil is covered with "a black suit ...
possibly from hot fire".
The game is apparently divided into two parts. In the first half, you
must try to straighten up the goblin lair after the terrible human
attack. The second part supposedly involves retrieving stolen items
from the chicken people, but I wouldn't know because I never finished
the initial set of tasks. The problem was that each puzzle in the first
half is a single link in a chain; once you restore one object to its
rightful location, there's a change made to one of the rooms and now you
must hunt through all of the rooms to figure out which one. Repeat
repeat repeat. In fact, here's the exact text from the HELP command:
"During the gather stage, within the goblin lair, you must find specific
items and place them in specific spots, then examine them after
placement to activate additional items. It is required to visit same
locations over and over again." At some point down the chain, I
couldn't find the next change and gave up.
I encountered various problems while playing Zero. At one point you
encounter a companion (and a rather annoying one at that) who follows
you around. However, the game doesn't indicate anywhere that he's
following you, so you may not realize this until either you look again
at the room or he interjects with one of his loud and obnoxious comments
(such as "I'm hungry as a bitch"). Some of the NPCs (the king and Armod
for example), when replying to a question about a particular topic, will
reveal some wisdom on the subject... and then immediately follow that
with their default "I don't know anything about that" text. And then
there's obligatory Santoonie sleep and hunger timers.
Not much. Between the spelling problems, the constant hunt for which
room changed, and the antics of my "companion", my willingness to play
got sapped pretty quickly. There were no actual hints for what to do
next, and no walkthrough.
The game was pretty consistent in its level of quality, so no
particular part of the game jumps out at me.