The original: Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders

NEW GAME: "The Pixel Has You" (also on this page: The New Adventures of Zak McKracken)

Zak McKracken Goes Looking For Hot Coffee

Zak McKracken Between Time And Space

Zak McKracken and the Alien Rockstars, and other fan games

Zak McKracken and the Lonely Sea Monster

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New for April 2020: new fan game, starring Zak McKracken, in Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, and more!

"The Pixel Has You"

Download here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11syOVrNTrnN8R4D5LwkISX0cpJmE6Xcs/view (Click on the download icon in the corner)

Launch trailer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DJLbKlR_IIU4QERM1PteHdbuA882h0kP/view

Star Wars and the Alien Mindbenders trailer: https://youtu.be/TBPXEtNjUHQ

UPDATE: STAR WARS GAME NOW CANCELLED
Sadly, after beginning this game, its author discovered that he was, actually, human, and therefore could not complete five different games and videos simultaneously while also holding down a job. (But you should see his other stuff, it's great!)

Italian page: http://www.miworld.eu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&p=122917#p122917

PLOT, disk 1 :

Virus C9 has deleted the protagonists and antagonists the dimensions 87, 88 and 90.
Phoenix must the recover codes of all dimensions in order to allow Lucas to make an antivirus.

A Daniele Spadoni Production

Pixel Artist - Davide Spadoni

Site: https://danielespadoni82.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-pixel-has-you.html

User comment:

"I stumbled upon your game by accident and I am absolutely speechless. I saw BTTF1 back in 1985 when I was 6 years old and it was my favourite movie of my childhood. My first computer was a C64, and later an Amiga 500. Monkey Island is still my favourite game of all time, after all these years. My daughter inherited my love for the Monkey Island series and I've been playing the games together with her regularly, she's 12 years old now. We are now playing the game, and seeing two of my favourite things come together like this is so amazing, and it brings a huuge smile on my face. All the details, the great and faithful graphics, the hilarious Amiga intro, the great music, you have created a piece of art! Thank you so much for this! Best regards from Munich, Germany, Bjoern"

My comment:

I love this! I prefer pixel art for these games. While I have huge admiration for the high res games, and all their work and dedication, and most people prefer high res, for me Zak is all about the ideas. It's just a personal opinion, but I feel like more time spent on the art is less time spent on the ideas. For me, low res pixel art is the greatest art of al: it's the minimum art needed to tell any story you want, and then the developer is free to spend the MAXIMUM time on the story instead of writing code and creating ever more detailed graphics. I love low res graphics and maximum story. That's why I was so disappointed when "The Lonely Sea Monster" was never finished: it had minimal art, and was all about packing in as many wild New Age ideas as possible. But this game, The Pixel Has You, does the same, and is actually finished!! Or disk 1 at least :)

Instead of just adding more New Age ideas, The Pixel Has You it packs in ideas from different games. That's fine with me: the more ideas the better! For example, notice the programming joke about scaling, "Phoenix.ChangeView(87)", and how the story is about "dimensions 87, 88 and 90" - that is, the different pixel dimensions used in 1987, 1988 and 1990. Also, obviously, this game is a joy for anyone who remembers the original Lucasarts games. For me a special pleasure was actually being able to cross the Golden Gate Bridge at last - after all these years of only seeing it in the distance!

Video play through: https://youtu.be/mQ7Qw68pl84... MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!

What are you waiting for? Download it! Play it! https://drive.google.com/file/d/11syOVrNTrnN8R4D5LwkISX0cpJmE6Xcs/view (Click on the download icon in the corner)

 


The New Adventures of Zak McKracken

Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

At last count there are SEVEN different fan sequels! The first one to deliver the goods was Lucasfan games. Sadly their site is now dead, but if you Google "New Adventures of Zak McKracken" you should find a download site, like this one. What are you waiting for? Google it! Download it! Play it! Enjoy!

Zak 2 was completed in just a few months, thanks to using an existing game engine (AGS), existing sprites (from Zak 1) and existing backgrounds (some from Zak 1. Others from... more about this later...)

Do you hate fan sequels?

Some people hate fan sequels on principle. I don't. Here are the issues:

The copyright issues
These are dealt with in the
FAQ

The quality issues
There is a lot of bad stuff in the world, and part of being an adult is being able to choose the good and ignore the bad. Many genuine authorized sequels are inferior to the original., so why should fan sequels be held to a higher standard? If you don't like it, ignore it. Remember the original.

Does it betray the memory of a great game?
No, not if the original is old - most people have forgotten it anyway. Fan sequels keep its memory alive, by informing new readers that something old was good enough to still inspire people years later.

Other advantages
Some people really like them!
They give new life to a frozen story.
They train a new generation of developers.
Some of them are really good (different people like different things).

Some people complain that the game is not as long or detailed as Zak1. What do you expect? It's free, and it's finished! It's easy to criticize, but it's hard to create a finished game. For years I have watched other Zak projects, month after month, delay after delay. It seemed like they would never finish. Then suddenly, Wham! LucasFan games comes out of nowhere with a finished game. Amazing. "Respect is due", as they say.

Best of all, we finally know how Mellissa and Leslie got back from Mars. Good job, guys!

The Zak McKracken universe

What I like about games is escaping into an alternative universe. I love the idea that stuff goes on all the time and we just open a little window and look in from time to time. Zak 2 has an interesting twist on this theme: Zak's world overlaps with the world of street fighting. You can visit China and Berlin and other areas in Zak 2. And you can visit those exact same places in the 'King of Fighters' and 'Real Bouts' games. Cool.

Or put another way, LucasFans simply used the backgrounds from those games. Clever move - this let them get the game finished in record time. (Though it might make enemies of both LucasArts and SNK.)

Thanks to eobet for pointing this out. When I first made this page I said the Zak 2 art was great. So eobet emailed me and pointed out that those backgrounds are not as original as they might seem...

Zak in Brazil...
Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

What happens when Zak has gone (from 'King of Fighters' 1999)
Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, imageZak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

Zak in Berlin:
Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

What happens when Zak has gone (KoF 99 again):
Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, imageZak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

In a review on another site, 'bla' comments:

"It was funny to notice that the battery was from the VGA version of space quest 1, and the attractor ray looked like the BFG from the doom games. Good work =] ".

And in the Zak Archive forum, Rottingham noted that

the song in New Adventures of Zak McKracken that plays on the first cutscene with the girls in Mars is the World Map music from Final Fantasy 2...

So that's how they finished the game so quickly!

More Zak 2 screenshots

Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

Zak McKracken, Zak McCracken, image

 

Zak 6?

On this site I have documented five Zak adventures - the original and best; this one, BTAS, and two other fan projects in various states of completion. That makes five. Well, we nearly got number six!

A sequel to our "The New Adventures of Zak McKracken".
Will Annie and Zak be able to escape from Chucky Island?


Late in 2004, Lucasfans considered making another Zak sequel. They also suggested some other possible projects: A Labyrinth remake, an expanded Maniac Mansion, or Raiders of the Lost Ark. Thousands of people voted, and the Zak sequel came second - Raiders was the clear winner. Oh well. It almost happened. :)

 

...and the Moonwalking Mindbenders

I have to mention one more project - 2005's Maniac Jackson and the Moonwalking Mindbenders: Download the game here! Some say the game is hard to play, but see for yourself. As the name suggests, it's inspired by the graphical style of Maniac Mansion and Zak. It was created by Maniac Mansion fans, but contains more than a few nods toward Zak McKracken. The central plot is a variation on the alien Mindbenders theme. And here is 'the King' in his HQ.


Does any of this look vaguely familiar? The king, the lackey, the oversized heads, the rivets, the planet earth view screen...

 

 

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