Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
© 1988 Lucasfilm Games
About Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.
It's 1997, and the world is a dumber place then ever... Space aliens have
built a stupidity machine that's slowly reducing everyone's IQ to single
digits. Worse yet, the only person who can stop them is Zak McKracken,
reported for the disreputable National Inquisitor, who dreams up stories
about carnivorous cantaloupes and vegetarian vampires.
They've taken over the phone company... Sure sounds like another one of
Zak's tabloid fantasies. But while most people wouldn't believe him, he
finds three who don't need convincing -- Annie, head of the Society for
Ancient Wisdom, and her friends, Leslie and Melissa, two Yale coeds who
travelled to Mars in their modified van. The four of them must piece
together fragments of an ancient puzzle, unmask the aliens and destroy the
Here's where you come in... You direct the actions of Zak, Annie, Melissa
and Leslie, taking them to many exotic places where they discover some
pretty strange objects -- and some even stranger characters!
To help you solve the game's dozens of puzzles, movie-like "cut-scenes"
will appear from time to time. They will reveal new dimensions of the story
by showing you what's happening elsewhere in Zak's world. You'll also find
plenty of valuable clues in the enclosed copy of the National Inquisitor.
If this is your first computer adventure game, be prepared for an
entertaining challenge. It may take a while to figure out some of the
puzzles. If you get stuck, you might need to solve another puzzle first or
use an object you haven't yet found. But if you hang in there and use your
imagination, you will guide Zak and company to victory!
NOTE: It is recommended that you first make a backup copy of all disks
and put the originals in a safe place.
Bring up Workbench on your Amiga. Insert Zak McKracken Disk 1 in your disk
drive. Open the disk icon and double-click on the Zak icon (the big nose
When prompted, put in Disk 2.
To use a two-drive Amiga system, place Disk 2 in your second drive.
To install Zak Mckracken on a hard disk, first use your Workbench menu to
create an empty file drawer called "Zak". Without opening the "Zak"
drawer, insert Disk 1 into the drive, double-click on its icon, and
drag both the Zak and Rooms icons into the new hard disk drawer. Then
insert Disk 2 into the drive, double-click on its icon, and drag its Rooms
icon into the the hard disk drawer. (Note: If you open the hard disk
drawer before moving the icons, take care not to drag the second Rooms icon
on top of the first one. If you do so accidentally, simply delete the hard
disk Rooms drawer and re-copy the Rooms icons from both disks.)
PLAYING THE GAME
After the opening title sequence, you will see Zak standing in his bedroom.
When he turns to face you and the text appears at the bottom of the screen,
you will be ready to start directing his actions.
1) The Message Lines are the two lines at the very top of the screen.
Words spoken by any of the characters, as well as game-related messages,
2) The Animation Window is the largest part of the screen and is where the
animated action takes place. It shows the "camera's eye view" of the room
or location that the currently active character is in.
3) The Sentence Line is directly below the Animation Window. You use this
line to construct sentences that tell the characters what to do. A
sentence consists of a verb (action word) and one or two nouns (objects).
An example of a sentence you might construct on the Sentence Line is
"Use crayon on torn wallpaper." Connecting the words like "on" or "with"
will be automatically inserted by the program.
4) Verbs must be selected from the words in the columns below the Sentence
Line. All the verbs shown can be used. Check the list from time to time -
new verbs will appear as the game progresses. To select a verb, position
the cursor over the word and click.
5) The Inventory is the area below the Verbs. Each character you control
has his or her own inventory. At the beginning of the game Zak starts with
only one object. When a character picks up or is given an object during
game play, the object's name is added to the character's inventory. There
is no limit to the number of objects a character can carry. When there are
more than four objects in an inventory, arrows appear in the middle of the
list. Use them to scroll the list up or down.
Nouns (objects) can be selected in two ways. You may select a noun by
placing the cursor over an object in the Animation Window and clicking.
Most objects in the environment, and all usable objects in the game, have
names. If an object has a name, it will appear on the Sentence Line when
you click on it. You may also select nouns by clicking on them in the
To move a character around, select "Walk to" from the Verbs by positioning
your cursor over it and clicking. Then move your cursor into the Animation
Window, point it where you want the character to go, and click. If you
point to an open door and click, the character will walk through it.
Notice that "Walk to" appears automatically on the Sentence Line after a
sentence has been executed - this is because moving around is what your
characters will be doing most often.
To tell a character to carry out the directions you've put on the Sentence
Line, either click once more on the final noun or verb selected, or click
once on the Sentence Line itself. If nothing happens, double check the way
you constructed the sentence.
To replace a noun or verb on the Sentence without reconstructing the entire
sentence, simply click on the replacement word. It will appear in the
right place in the sentence.
"Cut-scenes" are short, animated sequences - like scenes from a movie -
which can provide clues and information about the characters. When you are
viewing a cut-scene, you do not direct the action so the text below the
Animation Window disappears.
All of the verbs used in the game can be selected by using keyboard
commands. Each key corresponds to one verb. Pressing the appropriate key
once is equivalent to moving the cursor over the verb and pushing the
button; pressing the key twice is the same as double-clicking on it. The
keys are mapped according to the layout of verbs on the screen:
________ ________ _________ ________ _________
( Q ) ( W ) ( E ) ( R ) ( T )
| Push | | Open | | Walk to | | Put on | | Turn on |
(________) (________) (_________) (________) (_________)
_________ ________ _________ ________ ________
( A ) ( S ) ( D ) ( F ) ( G )
| Pull | | Close | | Pick up | |Take off| |Turn off|
(_________) (________) (_________) (________) (________)
________ _______ _______ _______ ________
( Z ) ( X ) ( C ) ( V ) ( B )
| Give | | Read | |What is| | Use | | Switch |
(________) (_______) (_______) (_______) (________)
You can also select inventory items from the keyboard. On the screen, you
can see four items at a time in the inventory list. Use the following
___ ___ ___
( ) ( ) ( )
| U | Scroll list up | I | Upper left item | O | Upper right item
(___) (___) (___)
___ ___ ___
( ) ( ) ( )
| J | Scroll list down | K | Lower left item | L | Lower right item
(___) (___) (___)
THINGS TO TRY
Open Zak's dresser drawer. Select "Open" from the Verbs and then click on
the dresser in Zak's bedroom, creating the sentence, "Open dresser." Click
again on the drawer to execute the sentence. Zak will walk over to the
dresser and open it.
To pick up the plastic card under Zak's desk, try the sentence, "Use phone
bill with plastic card."
First, place your cursor over the "Use" verb and click once. "Use
now appears on the sentence line.
Second, move the cursor over the phone bill on the drawer and click
once, creating the sentence "Use phone bill with."
Third, select the plastic card by moving your cursor over the
object in the Animation Window. By double-clicking on the
plastic card you can complete the sentence and execute it
at the same time. Notice that Zak was smart enough to
pick up the phone bill first.
Read Zak's phone bill by moving the cursor over "phone bill" in the
inventory list below the Verbs and click once, creating the sentence, "Walk
to phone bill." This time, instead of clicking on the noun a second time,
click on the "Read" verb, changing the sentence to "Read phone
bill." Click once more on the "Read" verb and Zak will read the bill.
Notice that the final click can be on either the noun or the verb.
Walk Zak to his living room by first opening his bedroom door ("Open door")
and then walking through it ("Walk to door"). The screen will iris to
black while the next room is loaded from disk.
SPECIAL VERBS AND FUNCTION KEYS
To switch control from one character to another, select the verb "Switch."
The names of the four characters you can control will appear as Verbs.
Place the cursor over the name of the character you want to control and
click once. As a short-cut, you can use function keys F1-F4 to change
characters (see below). NOTE: The Switch verb will not appear until Zak
has solved several puzzles and meets Annie.
To find out what is in a room, select the "What is" verb and move the
cursor around the room. When the name of something appears on the Sentence
Line, you'll know that it is an "active" object and you might want to use
it in the game. If you click on that object, the "Walk to" verb will
appear instead. You can then click on the object a second time to make
your character walk to it, or you may click on any other Verb that you want
to use with that object.
To save your progress in a game, so that you can turn the computer off and
start again in the same place, use the "save" feature. "Save" will not
work during cut-scenes. You can "save" up to ten games on your Zak
McKracken Disk 1 or on your hard disk, depending on how much free disk
space there is. Previously saved games will have an asterisk next to them,
for example: Game B*. Simply press the Save/Load Game function key (F5)
and follow the on-screen instructions.
To load a game you have saved, use the Save/Load Game function key (F5)
anytime after Zak McKracken has been loaded. You can do this during the
opening sequence, but not during other cut-scenes. Follow the directions
on the save-load menu.
To bypass a cut-scene, use the right mouse button or the Esc key. After
you've played Zak McKracken several times, you may want to use this
function to skip over scenes you have seen before, including the title
sequence. (While traveling on jet airliners during the game, this same key
can be used to reach your destination immediately.)
To restart the game from the beginning, press the F8 key.
To pause the game, press the space bar. Press it again to resume play.
The game will automatically pause if you make no input for five minutes,
and you will need to press the space bar to continue playing.
When the disk is being accessed or the game is paused, the cursor will
change; a picture of a snail replaces the cursor during these times.
To adjust the speed of the Message Line to suit your reading speed, press
the < key to make the messages stay up longer or the > key to make them
stay up for a shorter period of time.
To end the game, press Ctrl-C.
FUNCTION AND COMMAND KEYS
Save or Load a game F5
Bypass a Cut Scene ESC or Right Mouse button
Restart a game F8
Pause Game Space Bar
Message Line Speed :
End a Game Ctrl - C
OUR GAME DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
We believe that you buy games to be entertained, not to be whacked over the
head every time you make a mistake. So we don't bring the game to a
screeching halt when you poke your nose into a place you haven't visited
before. In fact, we make it downright difficult to get a character
We think you'd prefer to solve the game's mysteries by exploring and
discovering. Not by dying a thousand deaths. We also think you like to
spend your time involved in the story. Not typing in synonyms until you
stumble upon the computer's word for a certain object.
Unlike conventional computer adventures, Zak McKracken and the Alien
Mindbenders doesn't force you to save your progress every few minutes.
Instead, you're free to concentrate on the puzzles, characters and
outrageous good humor.
A FEW HELPFUL HINTS
* Pick up everything you can. Odds are, at some point all those strange
things will serve some purpose.
* Read the National Inquisitor thoroughly. It's full of clues. For
example, the article about the jet lag suggests that Zak might create a
diversion in the airplane, get the stewardess temporarily out of the way,
and find a valuable hidden object.
* Almost everyone you can interact with has something to offer - the French
baker, the bum in the airport, even the two-headed squirrel.
* If you get stuck, and can't figure how to go farther , try looking
through all the items you've found and thinking how each one might be
used. Think about the places you've gone and the people you've met.
Chances are there will be a connection that'll put you back on track.
* You have to go out of your way to get characters in Zak McKracken killed,
so you don't have to constantly save games before proceeding.
* Several of the puzzles require coordination between two or more of the
* There is more than one way to solve many of the puzzles.
* If you feel like it, take a whirlwind tour around Zak's world first,
then settle down to serious puzzle-solving.
* If your CashCard runs low, figure how to win the lottery!
* If you want to speed up game play, order a hint book.
DON'T LOSE YOUR EXIT VISA CODE BOOK
Without it, you won't be able to take international flights - an you won't
be able to complete the game.
To use the code book, watch for the Exit Visa Code reference on the screen
when you're buying a ticked to leave the United States. You'll see, for
Travel key is: Section 4 (C 22)
Now, you should turn to the indicated section, column, and row and find the
four symbols. They refer to the symbols on the screen, which you should
then click in order. Once you've entered the code correctly, you can go on
with the game. If you enter incorrect codes too many times in a row,
something embarrassing will happen to you.
If you lose the code book, you may purchase another from Lucasfilm Games.
Call (415) 662-1902 for details.
Provided by THE SOUTHERN STAR for M.A.A.D.
For more Amiga documents, visit www.lemonamiga.com