Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders under Virtual PC

Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders under Virtual PC

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Continuing on through the LucasArts adventure game history (last week I was playing Maniac Mansion) I arrive at Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.  This is third LucasArts adventure game chronologically – but it was the first one I ever played.  Though, to be honest, I played it on a friends computer and did not get a copy of this myself until a couple of years ago.

The story of this game sets you as Zak, a writer for a tabloid newspaper, who gets involved with an alien plot to reduce the intelligence of humanity and then take over the world.  The story is quite zany, which - while it is amusing at times – often leaves you rummaging through your inventory randomly trying things on other things just to see if you get lucky.

Some interesting aspects of Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders are:

  • There are a lot of locations to go to, and you will find yourself flying back and forth between different countries and cities regularly.  However, as some have criticized the game for, most of the locations are very small and are only one or two screens in size.
  • One of the challenges of the game is managing your money.  It is possible to get blocked in progressing the story line because you do not have enough money to buy another plane ticket – so this is something you always have to keep an eye on. 

By default the mouse is not enabled, but pressing “Shift + M” turns it on.  You can then navigate the game using simple point and click:

ZakMak1 ZakMak3 ZakMak4

Just like with Maniac Mansion the PC speaker sound can be a bit garbled at times, but having just spent a couple of hours playing I can assure you that it is functional, and not too irritating :-)


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  • Another classic (I knew you were a gamer)- why not come over and join us at

    You've got a following over there :)

  • Do you know, when it is possible expect release new Virtual PC or other SP1 (the last version is VPC 2007 and SP1)? Many thanks for feedback. Jiri

  • I know that this blog is about Virtual PC/Server, but if you want to play the old Lucasarts Adventures, it is much easier to use ScummVM (available at

  • Ben, I hope you'll excuse me for hijacking this post (because it is Hyper-V display related) to ask you a question,

    I'm a one man IT business, my setup is probably somewhat like your home config. I run Windows Server, XP, Vista and maybe a few testbed OS's. I want to reduce my footprint both physically and environmentally, so virtualization seems a great way to go.

    I'd like to reduce to just one machine and run Hyper-V Server for all my needs. But I need a good display spec on the Vista VM. With all virtualization products I've looked at the VM cannot get access to the full display hardware.

    I know it's not there today, but could there be a way in a future release for either

    a. Integration Components to support a higher video spec, or

    b. Have Hyper-V allocate some hardware, e.g. video adapter, to a specific VM?

    I ran a thread at in which I explain my reasons.

    Sorry for the intrusion in this thread, but you seem like a guy who'd be interested to think about these uses for Hyper-V!


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