IFComp 2016: Eight characters, a number, and a happy ending   Leave a comment

By K.G. Orphanides. Played to completion, and found two different endings.


interface

Eight characters, a number, and a happy ending is a parser game in Quest; it includes a map, just like Night House did, although the play area is much smaller than in that game.

Your medbay AI systems are more than just your trusted personal physician.
Providing full care for mind, body and sprit, a fully functional medbay system is able to assess your mental and physical health and ensure that brain and body retain optimal integration.

In the very latest ships of the line, genetic material tailored to individual crew members is kept in storage in case of serious injury or lethal mishaps.

Please trust medbay examination tables and connected systems to fully care for you, even in degraded AI states. You are a key component of the ship, and redundant systems are in place for your protection and maintenance.

I didn’t have a great first impression; you awake with partial amnesia aboard a spaceship that has lengthy manuals to read. Things quickly turned around for me went I entered “the Archives” and found drawers marked “THE PAST”, “FORGIVENESS”, “DUTY”, and “THE FUTURE”. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I can say it’s quickly revealed what the mission of the ship is and the fact you may not want the mission to be completed.

This ended up being short and fascinating and exactly the sort of game I’d recommend to people who are new to parser; the Quest system where you can click on objects to get a list of actions has its usual user-friendliness, and while you have to use some non-standard actions, they’re hinted at clearly.

My only general criticism is while there is enough backstory to make the important plot-decision, a lot of information is dumped in the end-game text which would have been useful to know beforehand. In a way, though, that’s the point; with a fragmented sense of understanding, the main character needs to put trust in a friend and make do with what they have.

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Posted October 14, 2016 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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