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Box artwork for Zwackery.
Developer(s)Midway Games
Publisher(s)Midway Games
Release date(s)
ModesSingle player
TwitchZwackery Channel
Zwackery marquee

Zwackery is a platform arcade game that had been released by Bally Midway in 1984; it was the first game to run on that company's then-new MCR-68 hardware (two Motorola 68000s running at 7.7238 and 8 MHz, with a DAC for sound). The player must use a 4-way joystick, a rotary controller and four buttons to take control of a wizard named Zachary "Zack" Thwacker who is on a mission to restore a frog princess (who, despite being female, looks like Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows), back to her human form (however, because this game does not have an ending, this is impossible) - and his medieval world is made up of several different screens that are traversed by going through doors on one side of the screen, and coming out of another one upon the other side. Zack can collect several items if you push the rotary controller down when he is standing behind them; as well as point items (such as apples and their cores), there are keys (which unlock gates) and spell items (the Bouncing Boots for Super Jump Spell, Flame Sword for Fire Sword Spell, Invisibility Potion for Invisible Spell, Magic Flutes for Raise Rope Spell, and Dragon's Egg for Dragon's Egg Spell). The spells will all be activated by lifting the rotary controller - and the third one shall also render Zack invulnerable for its duration, as well as allow him to pass through the Dragon's lair without its fire burning him back out as a result. When the rotary controller is turned, the spark that is hovering in front of Zack will move clockwise (or anticlockwise) around him; it determines where he'll strike with his sword or put up his shield when the trigger and thumb button on the stick are pressed, and he can also use the latter to protect himself from getting stunned by enemies (for example, when crows pick items up, and try to drop them upon him). Flashing red gates will occasionally appear on all the doors on the screen as the sky turns black; the Ghoulum, who transformed the princess into a frog at the start of the game (and who can take on the form of a human, a vampire, or a skeleton), will then fly into view from either side of the screen and start attacking Zack as the frog princess hops into view from the right side of the screen and says "Kill ♥" (which means you have to aim for his heart) - and each time the Ghoulum hits Zack, the Book of Life at the top of the screen (which starts at 10) will turn its page, and the number shown on the next one will be one less. Once it reaches 0, the game will be over; also, if you should take too long over defeating the Ghoulum when he appears, he will summon a swarm of gargoyles before disappearing (the flashing red gates shall also go with him, and the sky will go back to purple). The name over the score display will also change as it increases - it starts as "AMATEUR", but changes to "NOVICE", "ADEPT", "CONJURER", "TRICKSTER", "MAGICIAN", "WIZARD", "SORCERER", "SAGE" and "ZWACKMASTER" as it increases. The game also has a tutorial before it starts off properly, known as the "School of Sword and Sorcery".

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