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Story File
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
Story File mirror *
Contains I-0/I-0.z5
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
i-0esp.z5
Spanish game file
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
ACgames.zip *
Contains I-0.PRC
converted to PalmOS .prc file
Palm OS Application (PalmOS low res devices and later)
I-0.sol
plot tree
* Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.

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I-0

by Anonymous

Humor
1997

(based on 134 ratings)
9 member reviews

About the Story

Stranded on Interstate Zero after your car broke down, you are miles away from the last sign of civilization. It's twenty minutes to noon and the temperature is well over 120°F. It's beginning to look like you won't make it to your family's Thanksgiving dinner...
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: January 26, 1997
Current Version: 2.00
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 114
IFIDs:  ZCODE-4-000630-75DB
ZCODE-4-970307-A94D
TUID: a3ym4ipix7sjsfrf

Awards

Winner, Best Game; Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Setting; Nominee, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Winner, Best Individual PC; Nominee, Best Use of Medium - 1997 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


Here's one game that actually allows you a gret deal of freedom to determine the plot. As Tracy Valencia, a nearly-18-year-old college student, you're stuck in the middle of the American desert with a broken car. Has sexual content that can vary from merely suggestive to downright raunchy, depending on how it's played. Any particular session will be quite short, but the game is highly replayable due to its many alternate paths and solutions. Has a large time limit. Some paths require long periods of waiting.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

SPAG
The game isn't particularly big, or particularly difficult, but it doesn't give you any "You can't do that here" messages, and everything is very detailed. It lets you roam free, it doesn't let you sit there and have the plot stuffed down you throat. Adam, a darn fine piece of work.
See the full review

Xyzzy News
There are many reasons for the incredible popularity of Adam Cadre's Interstate Zero (or I-0, as it's better known) when it hit ftp.gmd.de earlier this year. It has an engaging lead character (Tracy Valencia, a free-spirited college student on her way home for her 18th birthday), a tantalizing setting (out of gas in the middle of the most desolate stretch of the desert state of Dorado), and a level of detail that sets new standards for interactive fiction (if Tracy's car doesn't have an alternator implemented, it's only because she doesn't know what one is). But mostly, it's got sex.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(12)
4 star:
(56)
3 star:
(48)
2 star:
(14)
1 star:
(4)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 9
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


14 of 19 people found the following review helpful:
Immature in more ways than the most obvious, September 18, 2011
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
It surprises me a little that Adam Cadre's first game won the 1997 XYZZY Award for Best Game. While I-0 certainly isn't bad, and may have broken some new ground, it is a bit too immature to be counted among the greats.

The immaturity is clearest, of course, in the game's depiction of sex and sexuality. I-0 is famous for the fact that its protagonist, who is just one day shy of being 18 years old, can undress everywhere and can attempt to perform sexual acts with every NPC (not always successfully). Cadre doesn't take sexuality seriously enough to say something substantial about it; but he doesn't take it lightly enough to turn it into matter-of-course actions either, as Adam Thornton would do in Mentula Macanus. Nor does Cadre go for straight pornography or erotic romance. Rather, it feels as if the narrator (I will not judge the writer) is fascinated by sex while being too ashamed by this fascination to truly admit it. He flirts with being transgressive, but generally pulls back at the last moment.

An obvious example of this can be found in the final scene, where (Spoiler - click to show)the command "rub clit" leads to the following response:
You don’t get very far before Trevor pounds on the wall. “Hey, keep it down!” he shouts. “Some of us are trying to sleep! Can’t you at least go use the tub faucet like usual?”
That is the narrator being 'knowledgeable' about female masturbation and therefore 'cool', without having the guts to try to describe the experience. Hence, he turns it into a joke at the crucial moment
.

However, it should be stressed that I-0 is not just about sex; indeed, one can perfectly well play through the entire game without engaging in it. In fact, the game's main interest is probably the plot structure, which is widely branching. There are several ways to get home, and they sometimes involve completely different locations and NPCs; and there are even more ways to die, get arrested, or end up in the hospital.

In this respect I-0 is also an immature game; though not in the sense of "adolescent", but in the sense that the form of puzzle-light games with branching narratives was still in its infancy. With the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious that some of the design decisions in I-0 are not particularly successful. For instance, the use of completely disjunct and unrelated narrative strands only means that we can play two more or less separate games if we have the patience to search for them; here is no meaningful connection between these playthroughs. Playing one of the strands does not throw new light on the other. This means that the branching narrative is little more than a gimmick.

Another defect of the design is that most of the branches are hidden quite well. It is entirely possible to play through the game, finding the way forward only with some difficulty, and never getting an inkling that there were other possibilities as well. This lack of the obviousness of choice undermines the power of having a branching narrative. (Not all choice needs to be obvious, but by making some choices obvious a game can indicate that it has branching plot lines and will reward further exploration.)

Be that as it may, I-0 is still an easy game to like. For an IF game, the setting, plot and characters that Cadre give us are fresh; the writing is often good; and fooling around with Tracy is fun. On top of that, it was an innovative game in its time, and deserves some historical recognition. One of the essential IF pieces? Perhaps not, but it is not too far removed from that category.

(Prospective players may wish to know that on some playthroughs, the game contains sexual abuse, though this is not described in any detail.)

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Well implemented, but..., July 9, 2016
Everyone talks about the "sexual content" in this game in a sort of "ooh, naughty", laughing behind the hand kind of way. I really wish that someone had mentioned that some of that content can involve the player getting (Spoiler - click to show)raped and murdered, which kind of killed the fun atmosphere it was going for, at least for me. Because I don't mind the sexy content otherwise, even if it is, as others have mentioned, pretty juvenile. But that was jarring and unpleasant. Which is unfortunate, because the game is well implemented, and I like that it gives you multiple ways to solve things. But it left a sour taste in my mouth.

A short, easy game as a teenager with car trouble. , February 3, 2016
I-0 is most famous for its adult content, and I put off playing through it. However, Cadres claimed that all adult content could be avoided, and he is right.

This game is easy and short. It has many distinct branches, none of which require adult actions. You try to make your way back home, encountering cops, taco shop employees, creepy and dangerous men, etc.

The NPCs can be fairly static, most notably the Junta girl. Overall, if the game didn't have juvenile sexual content, I would recommend it as a quick fun game. But I don't. However, I do recommend Narcolepsy, a game set in the same setting and also featuring Tracy. It also branches, and if you call your sister before doing anything else, you can avoid any sexual content and have a great game.

See All 9 Member Reviews

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I-0 appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Games with a strong PC by Tiny Clanger
In some games you mustn't just act, but act in character. In most games, Captain Kirk won't be allowed to shoot Mr Spock, and obviously nonsensical acts are disallowed. But in others, the whole world and its descriptions are filtered...

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These are pieces of IF that were written with a specific writing concept in mind. They deserve mention for their respective authors' efforts.

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Polls

The following polls include votes for I-0:

Solved without Hints by joncgoodwin
I'm very interested in hearing truthful accounts of at least somewhat difficult games (or games that don't solve themselves at least) solved completely without recourse to hints, walkthroughs, etc.

Sandbox games by JonathanCR
There are two competing philosophies in game design (in games in general, not just text games). One is the story: tell a story in which the player is the protagonist. Games of this kind have strong plotting but they can often seem to...

No map necessary by Divide
Pieces which can be fully enjoyed without drawing map, ideally without taking any notes whatsoever. Ones which you could play on a bus, on a break, laying on bed, etc. with nothing but a portable player. Games for which you don't need...

See all polls with votes for this game

Links




This is version 12 of this page, edited by Doug Orleans on 22 June 2015 at 11:30pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item