An Argument

Frankie Crashed on Jupiter

for the

Commodore 64

Published by Kingsoft, 1985.

Read the Walkstory!


  Game Title: Kind of stupid.
  Musick: None?
  Graphics: Pretty decent!
  Concept: Unscientific
  Fun Time: 2 hours
  Death Tally: IV


Frankie Crashed on Jupiter has convinced me of one thing: 12 year old kids wrote adventure games in 1985. Besides being filled with some really amazingly bad spelling and grammar (although not as consistently bad as that Aztec game or even the Masters of the Universe game), the space ship is called Frankie and you crash land on Jupiter, a gas giant.

FCoJ is another example of a game that sounds like it might have an exciting story and then turns the whole of the game into a really boring scavenger hunt. While crashing on and exploring another planet should be a wild bit of fiction with danger at every turn, FCoJ turns out to be a boring search around your crashed spaceship with danger at every turn. And what are you looking for? Pieces of your Commodore 64 computer! In the year 2111!

The writers attempted two different mazes in the overall game. I think. It's hard to say if they were supposed to be mazes or not. Each one had four locations which isn't really much of a maze at all. In both cases, I had found what I needed before even finding all four rooms in the maze! Which is just lazy on the programmer's part. Not that I'm truly complaining since mazes are generally just added to pad the amount of play time in a game. But if a programmer is going to add a maze, it's nice when they do something different or think up a new trick to navigate the maze.

Overall, the game was really easy. Like the mazes that weren't really mazes, quite a number of red herrings were added to this game that really weren't much of anything. It even seemed like some of the things in the game were there for a later part of the game. Perhaps the game was meant to extend into the city somewhat and the programmer's just decided to finally end it when they did. It really did seem half-finished, story-wise.

Another reason I tend to think the writers were young was the fact that the game actually allowed you to masturbate. While it didn't recognize the verb to masturbate, it did recognize FUCK. Any time you type FUCK anything in the interface, it assumes you want to masturbate and it drops all of your items so that you can get to work. The interesting part of this is that there is no drop all feature and utilizing the word FUCK actually becomes useful. Especially since a couple of items exist that you will lose if you drop them normally. But apparently you set them down gently while preparing to masturbate!


Not many puzzles existed in this game. Most of the game was searching for pieces of the computer and bringing them to the computer room. Perhaps the fact that you had to FIX THE COMPUTER was part of the puzzle but that really just ends up being a guess the verb puzzle and isn't that hard to come up with.

The two main puzzles were getting the planetcar (yes, one word) started and finding the Code on the disk. What was weird about these puzzles is that both of them relied on the player entering a command that received no affirmative response from the game. In fact, no response at all.

To get the code from the disk, the player has to realize that having write protect notches on both sides of a floppy disk means that there is information on both sides of the disk. So when you insert the disk, you get the ZAGA game. To get the code, you have to TURN OVER THE DISK. Which is met with no response at all. But if you INSERT THE DISK after turning it over, you get the code.

The car was just as goofy. To get the car started, you have to INSERT THE BATTERY, which gets no response. Although if you check your inventory, you'll notice the battery is gone and is nowhere to be found now. So it must be in the car although the car still won't start. And if you ATTACH THE BATTERY TO THE CAR, you, once again, get no response. But the car is ready to go now!

The car puzzle confused me because I got the car going in an earlier run of the game before I had the code. But because of the non-responsiveness of the game, I just remembered that after I attached the battery to the car, it worked. So on a subsequent run through the game, I kept trying to attach the battery without inserting it and received the message, I can't do that now! So I banged my head on that for a bit before I realized that when I inserted the battery, something was indeed happening in the game and it wasn't just ignoring my input.

I have to add that Gabi Kittner's graphics were far and away the best part of the game. This game was done in 1985, the same time as Emerald Isle was done for Level 9. Just compare the graphics of the two games. Level 9 wasn't even trying.


Copyright 2006 NA!P