Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders ( or ザックマックラッケン Zakkumakkurakken in the Japanese version) is a graphical adventure game, originally released in October 1988, published by Lucasfilm Games (later known as LucasArts). 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 IBM PC (MS-DOS).An Apple II version was apparently planned, but never released. The following year in 1989, the game was ported to the Amiga and Atari ST.
The story is set in 1997, 10 years after the game’s production and 50 years after the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting. The plot follows Zak (full name Zachary McKracken), a writer for the National Inquisitor, a tabloid newspaper (the name is a thinly veiled allusion to the National Enquirer); Annie Larris, a freelance scientist; along with Melissa China and Leslie Bennett, two Yale University coed students, in their attempt to prevent the nefarious alien Caponians (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 using a 60 Hz “hum” from their Mind Bending Machine. The Skolarian ancient alien race, have left a defense mechanism hanging around to repulse the Caponians (the Skolarian Device), which just needs a quick reassembly and start-up. Unfortunately, the parts are spread all over Earth and Mars.
Zak McKracken Remake
Zak McKracken: Between Time and Space is a point-and-click adventure game, originally released in 2008. It is an unofficial fan sequel of the 1988 adventure game Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders by LucasArts. It was developed without the involvement or approval of the latter. It contains numerous references to the original game, including easter eggs. The game took more than seven years to complete and has since been further developed, with a director’s cut released in May 2015.
Like in the original game, the player assumes the role of Zak McKracken, a frustrated boulevard reporter from San Francisco. The story begins in the night of 27 July 2009. Zak, apparently working on a new story, stows away on board of a Russian freighter that flies from Memphis to Zürich. He dozes off and awakes when the aeroplane is held in mid-air by an UFO and boarded by aliens. He is caught before he can escape.
On the next day, Zak awakes in his bed in his apartment and deems the events as an intense dream. When he notices a bump on his head, he realises that it actually happened. Since he cannot remember why he was on board, he goes on to discover what lead him there.