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Adventures of Alfredo

Adventures of Alfredo, or Alfredo's Arduous Adventures was the original non-interactive computer animation series that featured a lovable trial-ridden stick-figure anti-hero named Alfredo. Alfredo is something of a cross between Mr. Bill, Wile E. Coyote, Aeon Flux, and Stick Figure Death Theatre. Alfredo's darkly humorous adventures were chronicled on the electronic magazines Softdisk (For the Apple II) and Big Blue Disk (For the IBM PC). Alfredo was originally created by Matthew Heeschen, who programmed Alfredo's Lost Cause. The next eleven episodes would be written by Mike Nuzzo, while the final, interactive adventure, Alfredo's Stupendous Surprise, was created by John Romero. The non-interactive cartoons were converted to PC format for Big Blue Disk by George Leritte.

Episodes

Listed here, in their entirety, are Alfredo's Arduous Adventures.

  • Alfredo's Lost Cause

Summary: Alfredo Episode 1 starts with our protagonist returning home from taking a casual stroll. Mere yards from his front door, the ground opens up beneath his feet. Alfredo falls a great distance and lands in a heap. Having survived such a large fall, Alfredo begins running through the cave, and dives into an underground lake. He reaches the next clifftop by touching a live wire (plainly marked with a sign indicating "Live Wire"), slides down a steep incline, and manages to open another chasm beneath his feet. Catching onto a springy clothes-line, he goes Hand-over-hand into the next tunnel. With daylight now in plain sight (the next screen shows the exit door, plainly marked "Exit"), a pair of walls spring up, trapping Alfredo in a small room. The walls begin closing in, but strong stick figure that Alfredo is, he puts his arms out and stops the inevitable crushing... for a good three seconds. The end.

Duration: ~30 seconds.

Appearance: Alfredo's very first episode made its debut on Softdisk issue number 36, and was featured on Big Blue disk number 7. It was also included on Softdisk 96, as a nostalgic look to the past, before premiering the final episode.

  • Alfredo's Transport Troubles

Summary: Alfredo Episode 2 starts, interestingly enough, with our protagonist returning home from taking a casual stroll in the countryside. The ground also opens up under his feet, and Alfredo falls into an elevator shaft. He lands on a platform that descends into a cave, where he realizes he must again, run through. Sliding down and running up hills, falling down chasms into underground lakes and waterfalls, and escaping from crushing devices are par for the course. This time, however, Alfredo is assaulted by pneumatic presses which push him this way and that. He finally falls into what seems to be a teleportation device, and is sent offscreen. Where has our anti-hero gone? What will become of him? Find out in the next exciting installment of Alfredo's Arduous Adventures. To Be Continued.

Duration: ~1:00

Appearance: This episode appeared on SD#43, as well as BBD#8.

  • Alfredo's Laser Lament

Summary: After being transported to a new location at the end of the previous episode, Alfredo finds himself running through another wild maze, before confronting a giant laser.

Duration: ~1:25

Appearance: SD#44, BBD#9

  • Alfredo's Digestive Dilemma

Summary: Alfredo faces off against cannonballs, conveyor belts, and balloons with minds of their own, before staring into the gaping maw of one of the most famous video game icons ever.

Duration: ~2:30

Appearance: SD#45, BBD#10

  • Alfredo's Crushing Curiosity

Summary: When will he stop pushing buttons? Alfredo learns - the hard way - the consequences of ignoring instructions.

Duration: ~1:45

Appearance: SD#46, BBD#11

  • Alfredo's Whopping Wattage

Summary: This time, it's a giant bird that keeps Alfredo from entering his house, as he is whisked away on yet another misadventure. Just watch out for sudden thunderstorms...

Duration: ~2:00

Appearance: SD#47, BBD#12

  • Alfredo's Fiery Fiasco

Summary: None.

Duration: ~1:40

Appearance: SD#48, BBD#16

  • Alfredo's Hulking Hubris

Summary: When our hero suffers an accident with a gamma radiation machine, he soon discovers that he has the ability to exact revenge against all that has brought him pain. Will the world ever be the same after it witnesses the fury of... HULKFREDO? The only thing he has to remember, though, is that there's always someone bigger than you.

Duration: ~2:00

Appearance: SD#49, BBD#17

  • Alfredo's Nuclear Nuisance

Summary: Alfredo's button-pushing tendencies get him in trouble again, although he does get to visit China, spend time in a Zero-G room, and play video games. Too bad the "game" he plays is just a little too real...

Duration: ~1:50

Appearance: SD#51, BBD#25

  • Alfredo's Mortiferous Mentality

Summary: "Rats! A most depressing episode." Tired of all the abuse he's gotten, Alfredo turns suicidal, attempting to off himself by any and all means. Too bad for him, things never go the way he wants them to...

Duration: ~3:30

Appearance: SD#53, BBD#32

  • Alfredo's Faulty Finale

Summary: A magic carpet ride takes Alfredo to sunny California, where he can finally take a relaxing vacation. Yeah, right! It isn't long before he has to endure being swallowed by a giant flounder, walking a tight rope, diving into a wet sponge, and riding a hot-air balloon, all in his quest to get home. Just watch out for that fault line...

Duration: Unknown.

Appearance: SD#55, BBD#34

  • Alfredo's Miserable Moniker

Summary: The origin of this cartoon, published more than a year after the last installment, goes back to a contest held by the Softdisk publishers to give Alfredo a last name. The winner, published in Softdisk 53, was Sandy Smith, who gave Alfredo the last name of "Lay" - a very poorly executed pun (Frito-Lay? Alfredo Lay?), but one that the publishers of Softdisk felt appropriate, as yet another way to torture the poor little stick figure.

The adventure begins as Alfredo gets mad at the mail that he receives addressed to "Alfredo Lay", and he decides to embark on a quest to visit "Softy" (the nickname for the publisher in charge of Softdisk) to get his last name changed.

Duration: Unknown.

Appearance: This episode appeared on Softdisk issue 71. This episode also appeared alongside the very first episode, Alfredo's Lost Cause, on Softdisk issue 96. The Big Blue Disk issues that contained this episode, as well as the final episode, Stupendous Surprise, have not been discovered with certainty.

  • Alfredo's Stupendous Surprise

Summary: In this episode Alfredo happens upon a house with a birthday cake upon a table which he decides he'll blow out. The birthday cake screams, "Help Mommy!" and a giant birthday cake appears and the insanity continues from there through completely unpredictable situations!

This adventure was unique, as you actually controlled Alfredo's actions at certain points. You either made a decision for him, or timed one of his actions, in an attempt to prevent him from getting killed. When Alfredo does croak, a tombstone appears, and the player is given a choice to play again. It should be noted that Alfredo had a bulkier appearance in this installment, which was created by John Romero.

Duration: Variable.

Appearance: The final episode of Adventures of Alfredo appeared on Softdisk issue #98.

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