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The Story of Johnny

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Larry Leach, Simon Oliver and Edward Arevalos have been (independently) investigating the program files, and on 8 Sep 1998 Larry reported:

I've been looking closer at how the screen saver works and discovered that he is on the island for 10 days, after which the story starts over again. Since there is a story line that goes along with this screen saver, I found that the special scenes only happen on certain days (NumDays in scrantic.ini). I've tried to catch the unique events of each day, but haven't been able to get them all. Perhaps with a combined effort, we can make a 'diary' of his stay or perhaps someone has figured this out already. If you change NumDays to a specific day, you can be sure to catch the scene that you want to see, if you're patient enough. These are events that only occur on that day. Here's what I have so far.:

Day 1: The mermaid swims up behind Johnny and watches him fishing.
Day 2: When Johnny sends his SOS in the bottle, the balloon over his head has a little replica image of him standing on the island
Day 3: The raft is a little larger. The shark tries to bite Johnny
His SOS bottle reaches Suzy in the city. Suzy imagines a handsome man.
Day 4: The raft is nearly complete. Johnny sees the mermaid and asks her out for a date.
Day 5: Once it is dark, Johnny and the mermaid have dinner and dance.
Day 6: Johnny draws himself and Suzy hugging
Day 7: Johnny meets the mermaid again and invites her to go back to the city with him and she goes away crying.
Day 8: Johnny says goodbye to the shark and the mermaid and paddles off.
Day 9: The frog clock appears and Johnny is floating on his raft and arrives at the beach where he finds Suzy.
Day 10: Johnny is snoozing in his office and dreaming about the island.
Day 11: JC returns to the island by plane!

Larry adds:
if the special scene for the day has been shown, you will know by looking at the Introduction variable in the INI. It will advance to the next day. That doesn't mean that the scene won't play again, just that it ran.

The only thing that remains to be found out is whether there are other special 'endings' for days, and whether there are special 'mid events'.

Day No
Scene Starts
Scene Endings
1   Mermaid watches JC fishing
2 JC imagines Island puts it in bottle  
3 Suzy receives bottle from JC Suzy imagines a handsome JC
4 JC asks Mermaid for a date  
5   JC dances with Mermaid
6 JC imagines himself with Suzy and writes it in the bottle Raft Complete
7   JC invites Mermaid to mainland
8 JC says goodbye to Mermaid and Shark  
9 JC arrives at mainland and meets Suzy  
10 JC dreams of island in office  
11 JC returns to the island via plane  

Whenever a 'special' happens you hear the tinkling sound (but not always the clock) and on these days the 'specials' definitely do occur. As for the end of scenes, you would have to watch it for days to make sure if they are right or if I have missed any, whereas I can keep starting the screen saver until I hear a 'special' coming to watch it.

Showing Particular Scenes

Larry Leach has managed to persuade certain scenes to appear on demand. On 1 Oct 1998 he said:

You have to change the computer's clock to a specific time and then start the screen saver. I can't force every scene, but here's what I can get: Day 3, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11.
Set the time to about 15-20 seconds before the hour. i.e. 'TIME 12:59:40' and press enter. It doesn't matter what hour you pick. If you start the screen saver a few moments before the hour, the first thing that shows is the story scene for that day.
 Warning: If you alter your PC's clock, be careful if you have events that run automatically at specific times, triggered by the clock. Remember to alter it back to the correct time after you've finished, or your emails and files will have the wrong timestamp.

David Harrison has been doing some investigating, and on 19 Oct 1998 he wrote:

I'm going to throw in my 2 cents worth on the things going on. First, there are the everyday activities like fishing, walking or jogging around the island, looking for help, starting the fire, eating, building on the raft, etc. These are random loops that freely lead from one to the other.

Second, about every 5 minutes or so there is a special event. This usually involves the gull, shark, tiny pirates, party boat, tourist boat, BIG boat, bath time, spitting fish, large octopus, etc. The special events are followed by a black out. The scene then resets to a slightly different view of the island, maybe with the tide out, and, depending on when you set your day on the screen saver, night or day.

The story line scenes (Introductions) only happen on the NumDay that they are assigned to. This leads to a good way to force the scenes without messing up your computer's internal clock. I'm working with Windows95.

Go into the scrantic.ini file and set the NumDays and Introduction to the same number (say 4). Save the file and close the screens. At the control panel, chose display (or right click on the mouse and go to properties). Chose "screen saver", chose "settings". The top selection is "Start of day" with the time of day in half hour increments. Arrow up or back to the next half hour setting ahead of your current time. Pick your wait interval at 1 minute. Close everything out.

The scene of the day will then usually run at about 15 minutes before the change of day because, according to the scrantic.ini, it hasn't run yet. I've been able to run all the story line scenes this way. Day 2 did give me a lot of trouble, but I might have just missed the scene as it came and went. Best I can tell, the scene of the day will usually show within a half hour of the time set for start of day if you just let it run.

On 20 Dec 1998 John Paines said:

I've been looking closely at the saver recently, and playing about with the SCRANTIC.INI file, and I have the following comments which you may find interesting:
  1. Before I started playing with the SCRANTIC file I had seen the scenes for days 3, 7, 9, 10 & 11 but not 1, 2, 4 to 6, or 8.

  2. Simon's "scene starts". After 4, and 8 to 11, the scene fades to black (i.e. they are also scene endings). After 2, 3 and 6 it continues.

  3. Day 4 - Mary doesn't want the lifebelt from the Titanic, throws it away, and leaves it behind when she swims off. I'm not sure why JC gives a sort of grunt and doubles up towards the end of this scene.

  4. Day 5 - I don't think JC sees Mary coming, I think he realises the time. On his date he is wearing a dinner suit and top hat but still has bare feet!

  5. Day 6 - As above

  6. Day 9 - the raft arrives rather oddly. It looks more like a flying carpet.

Other Comments

  1. There is one other scene which, like story scenes 4 and 8 to 11, often starts a section but ends with the scene fading to black. This is the one where the seagull steals JC's shorts while he's washing. It often occurs straight after a story scene.

  2. The seagull doesn't lay an egg on the tied-up JC at night, but it does other things when it's dark, such as perching on JC's head, and stealing his book.

  3. The things resulting from JC being hot (i.e. the rain dance and JC melting) happen at night as well as in the daytime.

  4. JC spends a lot of time just wandering around the island, standing and staring. Is he waiting for Mary?

Your scrantic.ini file will look something like this:


If you want to edit scrantic.ini, which is normally in C:\WINDOWS, use a text editor such as NotePad, not a word processor. If you must use a word processor, save the amended document as a text file.

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v 3.03, Last updated on 17 October 2007 at 10:13