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Pazzman 4 - Rotter In Space (QBasic, incomplete)

By Gavin Davies

QBasic game where Pazzman is so awful he gets launched into space, and aliens have to deal with him.

Pazzman was a character my friend Karl and I invented at high school. We used to make “Pazzman magazines” where Pazzman did terrible things, and we’d laugh ourselves sick.

In 1998, I’d just started University, and I shared the Pazzman games with a few friends, and a couple of people really enjoyed it. I got started on a sequel!

You will need QBASIC.exe to run this game. I’ve not bundled it ‘cos I don’t know if that would be legal. QBasic runs just fine under DoxBox, even on a mac :-)

My 90s games were pretty juvenile, I’ve tried to keep them as-is but for the sake of conscience, I’ve sanitised the language a bit.

I got super busy and I never finished Pazzman 4, and it was forgotten. But, this is going to sound weird, I always used to have dreams that I had an unfinished game, and when I found this, it was like a connection was restored in my brain. I don’t intend to finish it, but it’s nice to know that I did indeed have an unfinished adventure game I’d totally forgotten about!

The game is playable, and has some lengthy cutscenes. There are about 6 rooms. I’m not sure if it’s not completable, or if it’s just buggy, but I can’t beat it. Whilst clearly unfinished, the graphics were better than its predecessors, particularly in the cutscenes (although, some scenes in Pazzman 2 still look just as good to my eyes). The first Pazzman game has the weakest animation but is still the most coherent experience; Pazzman 2 was a bit “make it up as you go along” and Pazzman 4 was never finished…

What of Pazzman 3? Well, believe it or not, Pazz3D was a Wolfenstein 3d mod!

Pazzman 4 is definitely the best implementation of my QBasic adventure game engine, with a list of numbers to use items, but you still have to press “enter” after every command. A big part of me wants to remaster all of these games and do them “properly”! The code is far better quality - I had discovered that GOTO didn’t require line numbers but labels were available, which actually meant the subroutines had semantic meaning. Small steps!

Screenshots

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In the intro cutscene, Pazzman is arrested just because everyone is sick of his antics

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Even being blasted into space, Pazzman continues to be disagreeable

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The alien mothership doesn’t intimidate Pazzman

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I’d “mastered” perspective. Or so I thought!

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Pazzman wrecks an alien spaceship