Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders is a 1988 graphic adventure game by Lucasfilm Games. It was the second game to use the SCUMM engine, after Maniac Mansion. The project was led by David Fox, with Matthew Alan Kane as the co-designer and co-programmer. Like Maniac Mansion, it was developed for the Commodore 64 and later released in 1988 for that system and DOS.
The story is set in 1997, nine years after the game's production. The plot follows Zak, a writer for the National Inquisitor, a tabloid newspaper; Annie Larris, a freelance scientist; and Melissa China and Leslie Bennett, two Yale University coed students, in their attempt to prevent the nefarious alien Caponians
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
(who have taken over 'The Phone Company', an amalgamation of various telecommunication companies around the world) from slowly reducing the intelligence of everybody on Earth by emitting a 60 Hz 'hum' from their 'Mind Bending Machine'. The Skolarians, another ancient alien race, have left a defense mechanism hanging around to repulse the Caponians (the 'Skolarian Device'), which needs reassembly and start-up, but the parts are spread all over Earth and Mars.
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders was developed and published by Lucasfilm Games. Zak McKracken was initially developed for the Commodore 64 and ported later to other systems. The project was led by David Fox, with Matthew Alan Kane as the co-designer and co-programmer. Fox consulted with New Age writer David Spangler for the game materials. The game was originally meant to be more serious, resembling the Indiana Jones series, but Ron Gilbert persuaded David Fox to increase the humorous aspects of the game. The game was consequently heavily inspired by many popular theories about aliens, ancient astronauts, and mysterious civilizations. The many places visited in the game are common hotspots for these ideas, such as the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico, Lima, Stonehenge, the Bermuda Triangle, and the Face on Mars. The Skolarians are based on the Greys alien, while the Caponians (a name derived from 'Al Capone') are primarily based on the Men in Black, with their Cadillac-shaped spaceship and Elvis-themed leader (nicknamed 'The King'). The Caponians also have heads shaped like Easter Island's Moai statues.
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This version of Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders was designed for personal computers with operating system MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System),
which was operating system developed by Microsoft in 1981. It was the most widely-used operating system in the first half of the 1990s. MS-DOS was supplied
with most of the IBM computers that purchased a license from Microsoft. After 1995, it was pushed out by a graphically more advanced system - Windows and
its development was ceased in 2000. At the
time of its greatest fame, several thousand games designed specifically for computers with this system were created. Today, its development is no longer continue
and for emulation the free DOSBox emulator is most often used. More information about MS-DOS operating system can be found
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders are summarized in the following table:
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