Fazuul was written in 1984 by Tim Stryker and initially appeared on a multi-user system called EnterNet. Stryker would later found Galacticomm.
Fazuul was adapted as a module for The Major BBS in 1986, however, due to legal issues, was not released as an add-on until 1991, when Stryker and Galacticomm re-acquired the rights to the game. It eventually became part of the Entertainment Edition of The Major BBS along with Kyrandia, replacing Quest for Magic.
Fazuul was an evolving game based upon a number of Tim Stryker's earlier designs (including Fazuul 9001, Freezuul, and Phazuul). Its technology was also the basis for other multi-player text adventure games for The Major BBS from Galacticomm and Moonshae Telecomm. Fazuul's content was also the inspiration for and basis to Logicom's adventure game Zorgon.
The game is based on the planet Fazuul. Fazuul is a planet full of abandoned, nonfunctional alien technology that has been turned into a tourist attraction by humans. However, some strange event has made it impossible for visitors (or messages!) to leave the planet. The game is centered around using the strangely named alien technology on the planet to escape.
Fazuul used a command line interface and command set similar to those seen in the original Colossal Cave Adventure, MUDs, and games like Zork. Items can be carried, manipulated and dropped, and players can interact with other players logged into the game. There are a number of simple mini-games in the environment as well.
A key element to the game is using the alien technology, which consists of attaching strangely named objects together into other (often seemingly unrelated) objects. For example, connecting a snuge (a bright red cube with holes and a button) and a wigglesnort (a hexagonal coin) makes a dampish (a device shaped a ping-pong paddle). Dozens of such objects exist within the game, with names such as torkus, mongoo, zleen (a small furry creature), bilge, kwish, and gwingus. As more complex objects are created, the numbers of "base" objects required to create them grow and grow, making the higher level objects more difficult to construct.
The bulk of the game takes place within a series of strange buildings that comprise the alien city found next to the player's starting position. The city contains a variety of odd machines, such as the Osmotic (a floating hemisphere which demands to be fed with objects found within the game), and various games including Umflungoo (an alien-language hangman-style game) and foon-ball (a rather bizarre sport). It is also possible for the player to be transformed into a zleen, upon which their speech is randomly distorted with snuffling and snorting noises, making them very hard to understand.
Surrounding the city, and in particular to the south and east, a sprawling and hard-to-navigate jungle can be found, within which further unusual alien machines and artifacts can be located.
- "Data Briefs". Baron's MicroComputing Reports. Computer Information Resources. August 1984. Retrieved 27 November 2016.