This Speed-IF jacket game certainly got a few odd assignments--it goes from being "west of house" to meeting Norse deities and even roughly corresponds to a Stephen King novel which was made into a movie of a different title (Stand By Me). There's some tongue-in-cheek conformism with some of the odder jacket blurbs, with NPCs called D'Teddy and E'Vern, and there's a "bad" ending before the good one, which is decidedly antisocial and again clued by the credits.
The oddness of the map helps with the tension, as you walk away from your house to find something very extraordinary indeed. There's a surprise twist at the end, too, beyond the expected one to defeat the bad guys who are much, much bigger than you could ever hope to be. I found it funny. For two hours' worth of programming, it's quite good.
The SpeedIF Jacket 2003 works were all relatively entertaining, and if they aren't necessarily lasting, it's fun to see odd creative jolts can and do work, and The Body feels like a good example of it. Perhaps it won't last in my memory. Perhaps the author half-forgot they wrote it, too. But it's a reminder to stick two ideas together and go with them, why not?
The SpeedIF Jacket competitions weren't supposed to be very high art, and this certainly isn't. But it is entertaining! It has throwbacks to Infocom games with the footnotes (with the appropriate meta-humor, of course,) and it has a relatively nonsensical point-scoring system that gives points for, as far as I can see, paying attention to the quotes given to inspire the game.
As it's Speed-IF, it has a relatively quick solution, and in this case it's rather sensible if you think about it, though you may have to see what a few items do and get killed a few times, as you look to kill the Ogre King who assigns you a quest to kill some other people who don't seem too evil. There's also a unicorn friend who deserts you early on.
I generally like games that do odd things with scoring and weird meta-humor, and while it might feel forced in a longer more serious work, it works pretty well here. There's a bad guy you can kill, anchronisms, checks to make sure you read the instructions, and even a way to make a hash of everything.
I don't think anyone would or could have made a game like this on their own. This was part of Speed-IF 2, which had a bunch of blurbs you had to write a story around. Whether authors got to draft them like fantasy football, I don't know. But I imagine the ones at the bottom were, in fact, very tough to work around indeed. And once we know that there were these constraints, the whole bit becomes a lot funnier. It goes from "maybe the author was trying too hard" to "wow, I wouldn't have tried that hard to get things working as well as they did."
You play as George W. Bush ("I started out disliking the PC, but then I grew more sympathetic as I found out what it's really like to *be* that character." -- this part aged well considering the years 2017-2020) and in a forest maze ("When I started in a maze, I quit. Once I forced myself to try it again, though, I realized that [the author] had really produced a novel solution to that old problem.") near the beltway. The solution is rather interesting. You must interact with a rat named Rat Rat, eat some food in the kitchen, and then face Smelly Pete ("I'm definitely not looking forward to the sequel--one game revolving around the
exploits of "Smelly Pete" is one game too many.") and a bunch of Democrats, delightfully described on the author's own admission as "They're just a gang of shoddily dressed democrats milling around." Indeed.
You can spend a lot of time asking the various NPCs about each other but there is only one action that matters. The denouement is slightly on the tasteless side but I still laughed even though I'd heard that sort of joke before and, besides, the author did a good job of fitting everything into the SpeedIF Jacket constraints, which included a ludicrous conspiracy theory. It's been 20+ years, but I saw what the author did there, and it made me smile.
I suppose it's easy to overdose on this sort of thing, but given that I saw this name, remembered it and saw it again and said "this time I'm playing it," it provided good entertainment value for the time spent.