ASSASAAS is a ZZT world authored by dromme in 2005. The accompanying text file describes the game genre as "trippy/maze."
This page is split into 1) a walkthrough, and 2) a bit of speculation about the game's authorship.
Note that it's impossible to lose all of your health in this game before getting to the end, so feel free to crank the speed up to max. Also, you may want to give the game a try before reading the walkthrough, as the experience of wandering around is quite different from just following the steps. (Really, as it's written now, it probably won't make much sense unless you're following along in ZZT anyways.)
I also have a full map made, but need more time to upload and link it here. WIP.
Overview and Walkthrough
Board 2: dwhwerbh
This is the starting board.
You begin in a maze comprised of small chambers, 10x5 in size. The edges between each chamber have a green tile, which is either a forest terrain or a non-interactive decoy object. When you step over the forest, a hidden object at [60,1] loops to change the resulting empty tile to a Shark and then a Solid, preventing you from backtracking. A side effect of this is that you cannot zap through the maze, as all empty tiles around the player will instantly be turned into solid wall.
I made a diagram of the correct path here.
Once you complete this maze and head east, you won't need to return here again.
Board 3: eqwg349xgu3g0845hy
We're presented with another maze. Certain text characters in this area are objects that disappear when the player moves next to them. Three unmarked cyan doors block access to a purple key on the right side of the board. You'll have to collect three keys from the maze in order to get the purple key. Once collected, you can either unlock the purple door and head north, or go east. For this walkthrough, I'll be going north first.
The full path.
Board 12: 4q2gyi9h0562hj56j-=-=----=rwh-=j6n
In this area, I'll be heading north again. This will wrap around back to the text maze board we were just on so that the red key can be collected. Once you have this key, head south again.
Board 13: 13578134671839648790280646
This board looks similar but has different edge link connections. You can take a scroll that says "BARField" here. I'm not sure what significance the scrolls have in this game. I won't be including them in this guide, but feel free to collect them.
In any case, wind through this one-way passage to the south.
Board 7: outside
We'll be visiting this board quite a few times. In the meantime, head east, then north, then west.
Board 10: 35jchy4j-256=cj-=57-cj=25jk
Take the yellow key and head back east, south, and west.
Board 9: 2u656j76d35id36
There are two boards with this face, and they can be a bit confusing to get out of. Head east.
Board 8: dsh5io0-c24yi9h056h9056h
This is the other face board. Head north to revisit the board with the "Stairways" building, and walk into the grey passageway.
Board 11: Title screen
You'll end up in this peculiar room. The blue key hidden behind four doors is ultimately what we need to collect to finish the game. Before passing through the transporter, though, head east.
Board 15: CAROLINE WORKS AT LE BATEAU
Take the white from this board, and then head back and enter the brown passage. You will appear outside the building in a small yellow enclosure. Touch the yellow object to make the walls become green keys, and take one of them.
Now, there is a small red conduit along the east side of the board. Travel through this and you will loop around to the other side. Take either path north, and you will find a cyan key placed between two solid green tiles. These tiles are both green doors. Unlock one and take the cyan key, then head south again.
When you try to leave the red conduit this time, you'll be taken to the face board with the line through it. Head east, then north to return to the outside area. Enter the "Stairways" building through the grey passage again, and unlock all the doors and take the blue key. Exit through the brown passage.
You are outside the "Stairways" building again. Head south through the thin pathway between the purple line and the white text in the lower-left corner.
Board 5: w45h45hcv3j6356j
Snake through the winding pathway to the blue door in the bottom-right. Unlock the door and enter the blue passage.
Board 14: er94949f9f9f9f9f9f9f9f9f9f9f
This is it! Touch the scroll to end the game.
I suspect that this game was created, or partially tampered with, by the late Flimsy Parkins. (If you have more info, I'd love to hear from you.) Here is why I think this is the case:
- I can't find any other games or ZZT activity related to the handle dromme. Meanwhile, 2005 saw the release of these other maze games, either directly attributed to Flimsy or linked in some way:
- Ebert by anonmonomus, likely also Flimsy, as portions are integrated into Flimtown, and Flimsy or someone pretending to be him left a glowing review.
- The House of Asterion, a maze game credited to Flimsy.
- Impossible Maze II, a maze game credited to Flimsy, appears to be corrupted.
- ____________________, another maze game credited to Flimsy.
- Frost 2: Bread, a joke / parody game credited to Flimsy. While not really a maze, it definitely has the same kind of abstract layout and progression style.
- DIOWGI, credited to djbjrca, appears either tampered with or completely fabricated by Flimsy. Elements that would later show up in Flimtown appear here.
- Sixteen Easy Pieces, a complex action-maze puzzle game credited to Flimsy, considered one of ZZT's best puzzle games.
- A 2006 interview with Flimsy mentions these additional games:
- SIN, a maze game, originally not submitted to the archives, but recovered through archive.org
- Garfield ZZT, described as an "annoying maze game." No copy is known to be available as I write this (March 2019).
- bluemaze.zzt, described as randomly-generated. No known copy.
- Two games are known to have been tampered with while sitting in queue:
- Landing by Asgromo, as noted in the above interview: "landing - actually i only made half of this, asgromo made the first half and then i downloaded the complete game out of the uploads directory and replaced the rest with my own scribblings. It was greatly improved."
- Castle of ZZT by DavidN, based on added content and traits similar to other Flimsy games.
All of this to say: assuming these release dates are accurate, then ASSASAAS falls into this general time period of high output and observed tampering. At some point, Flimtown was clandestinely inserted into the ZZT 3.2 downloads section of z2, replacing the original Town of ZZT. This was discovered in 2007, but I have no idea how long it was sitting there beforehand.
Anyways, here are some similarities between ASSASAAS and those games that stick out in my mind:
- Inscrutable board titles, including strings of numbers and letters, and a gameplay board named "Title Screen."
- Construction of mazes with unusual (non-reciprocal) board edge links. Winding maze passages. Occasional overwhelming visual stimuli without additional context. All of this is abstract and exists for its own sake. There is no overarching plot or storyline driving progress through the game. That's not to say that Flimsy never diverged from this, but it fits with other games released under that name in 2005.
- Like SIN, the game ends when the player reaches a scroll with a single #endgame command.
- Board 11 in particular looks like it would fit perfectly into Flimtown: conspicuous framing of a simple room; peculiar use of ZZT-OOP to rapidly change one built-in lion into a gem and back; one path is a dead-end that only becomes apparent when traveling into this board from the east. The method of collecting the yellow key by traveling through multiple linked boards is also very much in line with what you'd find in Flimtown.
This is ultimately conjecture, and I likely won't ever get a solid answer. Apologies to Dromme if I am completely off the mark; I enjoyed your game either way!