Freind Saves X-Mas

Information & Links

  • Download game (1.74 Mb)
  • Created with Game Maker 6.1 – 640 x 480 windowed
  • Project work time: November 27, 2004 – December 24, 2004


Freind Saves X-Mas was a game that I had been wanting to make since the previous Christmas, but had never gotten around to making. The premise is simple – guide Freind (yes, it’s meant to be spelled that way) around a long hallway, catching the items from the song 12 Days of Christmas, to “save” Christmas. The bear shooting the items out of the cannon is known as Freakabear. And you can’t catch the partridge in a pear tree… it’s supposed to clobber you!

More of an inside joke between my brother and I than anything else, Freind Saves X-Mas was designed as a gag game, where you would play it once, laugh a bit, send it to your friend, and be done with it. By the time I finally got the last items programmed into the game correctly, I was so tired of listening to the 12 Days of Christmas that I could barely play through the entire game one last time to make sure everything worked! Luckily I had the help of friends and family who tested it for me a few times, before they too were entirely sick of the song.

This game also pays homage to one of my favorite series of games, Earthworm Jim by Shiny Entertainment. Anyone who is familiar with the series should instantly recognize the similarities between this game and Earthwork Jim 2’s Puppy Love levels. The unique gameplay and endless amounts of art and style were two of my primary influences in what I feel games can and should be, and I highly recommend EWJ 1 and 2 to anyone who has yet to try them and enjoys a solid 2D platformer / shooter now and then.

Needless to say, Freind Saves X-Mas tries to capture some of this style of fun, even if it does get to be a bit tedious at the end. And how many games have you played where the ultimate goal of every level is to get smashed by a potted pear tree?  Not many, I bet.

Interesting Facts

  • Though the game appears to be slightly 3D, it only uses textured primitives to accomplish this effect. The characters do tend to look a little flat in this environment, but overall it is much better looking with it than without.
  • The faded number in the lower left corner indicates your frames per second, and was supposed to be taken out of the final game before being released. It was accidentally left in, but since the game is now circulating around the net, the issue was not corrected.
  • “Freind” the bear was originally a teddy bear my brother and I played with as children. The spelling mistake in his name was not created on purpose at the time, but was due to a spelling error. Since Freind was always the goofball in all the stories we crafted, we decided later on, when we knew better, that the spelling error should stay.
  • Strangely enough, Freind Saves X-Mas is still downloaded at it’s original URL now and then, partially due to the fact that free game sites like Caiman Free Games picked it up. I did not find out about this until months after the game’s initial release.

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