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Video Game / Pepper's Adventures in Time

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That's not all that's wrong here.
Developed by Sierra in 1993 as the first of a series (that unfortunately never took off), Pepper's Adventures in Time was an adventure Edutainment Game starring sharp-witted tomboy Pepper and her charmingly vicious dog, Lockjaw.

During another lovely day of playing fetch and antagonizing the neighbor lady, Pepper accidentally stumbles upon her crazy Uncle Fred getting ready to unleash a diabolical revenge on society. Sick and tired of being mocked for his radical ideas, Fred has constructed his masterpiece: a Time Machine capable of rewriting history and putting him in charge of everything! The first target? None other than Benjamin Franklin, whose life and works played a key role in bucking English control over the American colonies.

Pepper and Lockjaw look on as Fred dumps some doctored "essence of 1968" into the machine, transforming the Founding Father into a blissed-out, spineless flower child. They try to stop him, but are sucked into a portal and tossed into 18th-century Pennsylvania. Pepper needs to meet Ben Franklin, reverse Fred's anachronistic edits, and save the future of the United States - all while keeping an eye on Lockjaw!

In addition to the standard Walk/Look/Touch/Speak/Item options, Pepper's Adventures has a "Truth" button that briefs the player on the real history behind its characters and environments. A quiz on these historical tidbits concludes each act.

This game provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Pepper Pumpernickel.
  • America Is Still a Colony: A Game Over results in Uncle Fred's plan succeeding, and America remaining under British rule.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Lockjaw. Seriously, don't mess with Pepper, or he will bite you.
  • Artistic License History: The "Truth" button differentiates truths (or at least reasonable possibilities) and artistic licenses. Most of the historical inaccuracies are due to some combination of Fred's meddling, gameplay reasons, Rule of Funny, or Rule of Cool.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Two of Pepper's neighbors, Mr. & Mrs. Crankee, are like this based on their dialogue. The same with their colonial counterparts Vicar Victor Bicker & Quibble Quabble, at least until they get one of Ben's proverbs, after which they become Sickeningly Sweethearts.
  • Big Bad: General Pugh, while Uncle Fred is more of a Greater-Scope Villain.
  • Big Eater: General Lee Stuffed, although he does get better after reading one of "Ben's" proverbs.
  • Bittersweet Ending: If you think about it; although Pepper & Lockjaw help set things right in colonial times, they are whisked away by the time machine at the end. Though the game ends on a Sequel Hook, there was never another game, so they may be lost in time forever.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The beginning of the game is Pepper talking to her neighbors about everyone who worked on the game.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Early in the game, Pepper helps free Poor Richard, the "village idiot," from the stocks. It's later revealed that "he's" Ben Franklin's wife Deborah in disguise, trying to help the colony while her husband is otherwise indisposed.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In order to advance around Penn Manor, Pepper needs to use several items to disguise herself as Ima Pugh.
  • Driven to Suicide: Based on the dog memorial in Penn Manor, most of Ima's prior dogs killed themselves rather than be subjected to Ima's tortures.
  • Easter Egg: Repeatedly looking at the bird in Pepper's yard will make it lay a literal Easter Egg that's larger than the bird itself.
  • Easy Evangelism: It only takes proverbs from Ben Franklin to break the townspeople of their habits. Justified in that, they were only acting that way because Ben told them to when he was a hippie.
  • Gossipy Hens: Pepper's neighbor Miss. Gumflapper and her colonial counterpart Miss Taleteller are this, although the latter does get better.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The two recurring redcoats that appear throughout the game are rather stupid, and Pepper outsmarts them several times.
  • Identical Grandson: Many of the colonists that Pepper meets are identical both in appearance & personality to her neighbors at the beginning of the game. General Pugh looks like Uncle Fred, which may explain a few things.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Pepper, definitely.
  • Living Weapon: Lockjaws fleas can be used to attack people.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The village idiot, Poor Richard, is named after Franklin's famous almanac. That might clue in the player that they are connected to Franklin somehow.
    • Also, pretty much all of Pepper's neighbors, like the Crankees, Miss Gumflapper, Miss Vitriol and Mr. Spheroid.
    • The same carries over to the colonial days, with names like General Lee Stuffed (generally stuffed).
  • Nearly Normal Animal: Lockjaw is a Mostly Normal Animal with only the capabilities of a normal dog. However, he shows two human mannerisms by covering his ears while Ima sings, and then he points the way out with his "hands" if you have him sniff in the maze of hallways.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Almost everyone, as a result of Ben's revised teachings.
  • Our Time Machine Is Different
  • Politically Correct History: Shades of this. Ben's coonskin cap wasn't the ONLY thing the ladies liked in England. To be fair, the "Truth" button will point out and Lampshade most inconsistencies.
  • Punny Names: Several of the townspeople, such as Marty Hardy, General Lee Stuffed & Billy Idle.
  • The Reveal: Poor Richard, the only townsperson who was trying to help the others, is Deborah Franklin, Ben's wife, pulling a Sweet Polly Oliver.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong
  • Shout-Out: Multiple ones to Monty Python:
  • Spoiled Brat: Ima Pugh.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Pepper disguises herself as a boy in the colonial times, and her tomboyish appearance allows for her to pass as one. Deborah Franklin does the same as "Poor Richard."
  • Women Are Wiser: In this game it's Ben Franklin's wife, Deborah, in the persona of Poor Richard that wrote several of his famous proverbs.