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     "An adventure in love, life, and raising horses... are you up to the challenge?"

Hi, everyone! If you're reading this you're probably new to the 
world of HorseZ, and I'm flattered that you chose me as your guide! 
My name is Clinton "CloudStrifeHorseSwordZ" Degrassi, and I guess 
I'm pretty much the biggest HorseZ expert on this here corner of 
the Internet. But enough about me - get ready, because you're 
about to go on the adventure of a lifetime!

This FAQ may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for 
private, personal use. It may not be posted on another Web site 
without advance written permission from me. I believe in open 
source writing as much as the next guy, but this means a lot to 
me and I AM prepared to get a lawyer if some punk wants to get 
nasty with my work. I put a lot of time into this FAQ and I 
don't want to see it popping up under other peoples' names. 
Now that the stupid legalese is out of the way, let's play some 

HorseZ is a virtual pet/adventure/action game developed by MTO and 
published by Ubisoft. It is one in a series of "Petz" games, 
including "CowZ" and "DogZ". It is also one of the best games ever made. 
I couldn't bear to completely forget my old e-namesake (CloudStrifeSwords) 
when this came out  but I thought I could pay respect to two of the 
grandest games ever made by sticking in an extra syllable and a "Z". 
When I turn 18 and I can legally change my last name from "Kowalski" to
"Degrassi", I figure my name will become an homage to three of the finest
pieces of art this generation has produced. 

11/15/06: Removed comma splice from third subsection of chapter four 
(pertaining to the illegal night race with Joanie). 

11/15/06: Chapter six, subsection 10 mistakenly said the lunatic moon
horse turns RIGHT into the corn field when you're chasing him with the 
fire hose. He actually turns LEFT. I deeply regret this error. 

11/16/06: After a bit of internal debate I've decided to remove the cheat
codes section from this FAQ. A game like HorseZ needs a clean, unaltered, 
ethical experience to be truly appreciated. I'd strongly suggest you other 
HorseZ FAQ writers follow my lead. 

IT SUGAR CUBES! Please stop emailing me about this cheat, IT DOES NOT WORK!!!

11/17/06: Horses do not shout racial epithets at people, and the People for 
the Rational Treatment of Haitians are clearly grubbing for money when they 
say "Neigh" is a slur against their people.

11/18/06: Rumor removed: The developer has confirmed that it "never got 
around to" rendering a horse's backside, so rumors of hidden CGI film of 
horses kicking small children in the throat are unsubstantiated.

11/19/06: Fixed mistake that said custom soundtracks were available in the 
US release. They're actually only available in the UK special edition, 
which I strongly suggest you pick up. Listening to Staind's "Mudshovel" 
while grooming and riding really heightens the HorseZ experience. 

11/21/06: Big Chief Sullen Sky doesn't let you ride his special horse until
AFTER the festival golden of hay. I am sorry for the hours of confusion I 
undoubtedly caused you all.

12/15/06: After weeks in hiding I've decided to return to my post and 
help the true HorseZ fans work their way through the story. I understand 
some of you might question my passion for HorseZ, but it's jerks like you 
who made me wonder if I belonged here in the first place. Keep the trolling
in your mothers' basements, chumps; us real fans care too much about HorseZ 
to let you bother us. 

HorseZ is not one game, but a series of minigames encompassing genres like 
action, adventure, survival horror, and stealth. In between these games you 
take the role of Jade, a British girl recently inducted into a 
prestigious horsing academy. As an apprentice horsemaster you'll spend 
weeks training, grooming, and learning about your horse, and maybe yourself 
in the process.

Some people say the controls are glitched but I believe Ubisoft made it 
like that to create more of a challenge for hardcore gamers. In Horsez only 
one direction on the analog stick is "straight"; the remaining seven make 
you move backwards or in a large circle. This has led to several 
mean-spirited jokes on the Internet, saying the game should be called 
"One-Tread Remote Control TankZ" or "Zhit", but some people are just too 
shallow to see the inner beauty of a true work of art.

On a related note, THE RUN ANIMATION ISSUES ARE NOT A GLITCH!!! Ubisoft 
said specifically that the "run" button would make Jade change animations, 
but not actually go any faster, so people wouldn't "rush through" the game. 
How would you like "Titanic" if they chopped an hour off? What would you
think about the LOTR trilogy if the characters ran full-speed to their 
every destination? That's what I thought. Shut up and enjoy the game for 
what it is, not what it isn't, you Halo-addicted mouthbreathers.

Jade: Jade is a 17-year-old girl from the UK. She is very close to her 
brother but has moved to Scotland to harness her incredible horsing 
talents. As Jade, you will move through the ranks of the horsing world, 
making friends, enemies, and lovers along the way. Do you have what it 
takes to make Jade a superstar, or will she sink into anonymity under your 
apathetic thumbs? Don't let your own apathy ruin another person's life, 
reader. You'll hate yourself forever if you do. 

Spike: When I first saw Spike's name on the screen I thought he was the 
punk-rockin' vampire of Buffy fame. Unfortunately, he isn't, but that 
doesn't mean he isn't a diverse, motivated character with a lot to add to 
the HorseZ universe. His tough exterior belies his fervent love of 
horses, and if Jade shows him a little care he might even open up to her. A 
tough nut to crack, indeed, but the prize is a beautiful spirit with 
undying passion for his craft. (I'm willing to pay one of you aspiring FAQ 
writers to whip me up a short story where Buffy's Spike is inadvertently 
teleported into the HorseZ universe. I'll even endorse you when the time 
comes to post your first FAQ).

Ginger: Ginger is a perfect example of why the rest of the world hates 
Americans. She is loudmouthed, untalented, and not interested in learning.
Instead, she only cares about the excellent social scene the Scottish horse 
training school offers. Let me tell you something now, readers: DO NOT TRUST HER. 
Putting Jade's academic life on the line isn't a responsible thing to do, 
even if you DO have to miss out on the party in Ginger's dorm.

Esteban: With coffee skin and a wonderful accent, Esteban hails from a 
place where the sun shines and the men glow. His love for horses is only 
interrupted when Jade comes into the picture. A possible love conflict? 
You'll just have to play and find out, now won't you ;)

Kew: I really hate to objectify women with sexist terms, but Kew is a rip. She's 
of indeterminate Asian heritage, and the three R's in her horse-learning 
become the three W's when she opens her stupid catty mouth. I know that 
sounds racist, but tell me rage doesn't boil up inside you every time you 
hear her speak. I'm going to quit writing this now lest my temper get the 
best of me.  

As mentioned above, HorseZ consists of a variety of minigames, strung 
together by the wonderful tale of Jade and her time in Scotland. Since the
instruction booklet is only three pages long I thought I'd share some hints
and tips on the basic minigames HorseZ has to offer:

Brushing: Brushing is an excellent little game, but only if you have GAMING
ETHICS. Some unscrupulous characters might tell you to hold the "brush" 
icon ANWHERE (including above or below the actual horse), hold the "X"
button, and let dust fly until the game is over. This is called cheating,
folks, and I condemn ANYONE who is unethical enough to do it. 

Bathing: Pretty much the same game as brushing, but with a different
This isn't a Grand Theft Auto game, and you aren't rewarded for going 
against everything the developers intended this wonderful game to be. 
In my opinion you should be ARRESTED for ANIMAL CRUELTY if you're one 
of the jerks who pull this stunt, but until that time rest assured Satan
has a special place in hell for anyone who kills their horses by blasting
them in the face with a high-powered stream of water for minutes on end.

Stall Cleaning: Alright, first things first, ANY immature moron who 
chuckles at this game needs to be drug out in the street and shot. Horses 
poop just like everyone else. Do your friends laugh maniacally every time 
YOU use the restroom? Does the thought of jabbing dirty hay with a 
pitchfork make you titter with immature glee? If so, Horsez isn't for you. 
Try a little game called "Maturity". I think it's the sequel to "Graduating 
Grade School". 

Cross Country Run: This is the ultimate test of your horsemanship. Much 
like a real horse, your virtual steed has three speeds, which are accessed 
by hitting the square button. While some unethical types might be prone to 
automatically dropping into the highest possible horse gear and letting 'er 
rip, as the saying goes, remember: Once you're at the highest speed, 
there's no way to slow down short of coming to a complete stop by crashing 
into a wall. And, if you sickos were planning on doing something like that 
just for fun, forget it. Ubisoft refused to pander to your depravity and 
neglected to put any sort of crash animation in the game. You just stop 
dead, and sometimes your horse's hooves get caught in the ground and you 
can't do anything but reset the system. If you're planning on buying just 
to crash your horse, I'd suggest you hold the reset button a few seconds 
longer and let your system shut off. Nobody wants you playing this.

Resting: This is my favorite minigame because it really shows the potential 
of open-ended titles. To play it you simply schedule a rest for your horse 
in the school planner, hit the X button, and watch. When you're done 
watching the horse stand in a field, totally motionless, you hit the X 
button again. Instant win, instant gratification. It hearkens back to the 
days of Myst, only with a bit less motion to distract you. And they say new 
games don't improve on the classics. 0_o


Before you all start complaining like you're prone to, let me remind you 
that this is not a walk through. My FAQ is designed to help you, not 
hand-feed you. Here are a few common questions, as well as my own hints to 
succeeding in the world of HorseZ:

Q:) "Why is the key in the stealth segment all the way across the level 
on a table in an otherwise undecorated room? This game sucks."
A.) It's common practice to leave keys to critical areas of a stable 
several yards, or sometimes even miles, away. Don't insult other people 
because you're not competent enough to take care of horses.

Q.) "Why does the game go completely silent after I open a dialogue box?"
A.) Clearly this email was written by a child, because an adult would 
know you need to REFLECT on things people tell you. The game not playing
any sound after Jade talks to someone is Ubi's way of saying she is 
contemplating what she just heard. Learn to hold a conversation before
you fill my email inbox with your tripe, please.

Q.) How do I win the race with Kew in Chapter 3? Every time her horse comes 
close to touching me I come to a sudden halt and a split second later she 
crosses the finish line. She goes out of her way to bump me and it feels 
like the game's doing it on purpose!"
A.) Maybe before you start blaming other people you should examine your own
attitude towards HorseZ. Ubisoft should make a game that teaches you
to have some gall; that seems to be what you need. Go back to your Barbies
and write me back when you're ready for a challenge. Idiot. 

Q.) "What do popularity points do?"
A.) Oh, I dunno... maybe you should check the "report card" option in the 
menu? You know what a report card is, right? That piece of paper you bring 
home and then your dad says "take another name off the list" and then he 
tears up a bunch of college brochures? Have fun working at the gas station, 
Joebob. You aren't cut out for HorseZ. 

Q.) "Where is the guy I need to talk to to get Ginger's birthday present? 
It seems kind of silly that the game tells me there's "someone somewhere" 
and then expects me to walk through about fifteen 45-second load screens 
searching for him."
A.) Oh. My. God. I CANNOT believe you're going to sink to blaming someone 
else for your own inadequacies. Did your father knock the deductive skills 
out of you as a punishment for being too ugly? Did your mother run a rum IV 
straight to her belly button while she was pregnant with you? Carlito is 
hiding in the third room of the fourth sector of the boy's dorm, just where 
you'd know he was if you weren't too busy trying to distinguish your face 
from roadkill. If you were here with me I'd tell you to get out of my 
sight. Ugh.

Writing this FAQ was a lot of fun (except for the idiot questions), and it 
wouldn't have been possible without the help of a few people. First I'd 
like to thank Rodney The Yam for his ASCII help. After that, of course, big 
props to Bee Jay Bee for hosting the FAQ. Finally, thanks to all my friends 
and family for helping me realize my passion, except for Mom, who can't get 
it through her head that Degrassi is a good last name AND a fitting homage 
to the best television since Buffy. I hope you all found this helpful; keep 
on HorseZin'! 

– Clinton "CloudStrifeHorseSwordZ" Degrassi

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