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IF Comp ’09 – Sarah Morayati’s Broken Legs!

October 25, 2009

Mr. Magnifico: Math problem, courtesy of Little Mag: “I have 2 branches. One has one more than the other. How many different ways can there be?”
Mr Magnifico: (Answer: “It’s obvious that there are 30.”)

I saved Broken Legs for last, because the au jus seemed to like it.  So, with no further fucking around, let’s play it.

Mostly Spoiler-Free Upshot: This game is steeped in personality and funny writing, and in that sense, I loved it.  Its puzzles, though… okay, maybe I’m denser than an Eric Eve protagonist, but I tried to solve its puzzles by myself, failed miserably, exhausted the hint system, continued to fail, consulted the pre-walkthrough, somehow managed to read it wrong, kept right on failing, resorted to the actual walkthrough, typed something in wrong, failed once again, then finally finally finally got it.  I feel like maybe a very small percentage of this is not entirely my fault.

So, yeah.  You should play it, though.  You’ll enjoy the writing, and can’t possibly do any worse at the puzzles than I did.

[spoilers begin here]

Who’s Johnny One Note?

An Interactive Disaster sounds promising.  Oh dear God, theater kids.  I think I am supposed to sabotage their auditions because I fucked up mine?

> search couch
Really? Really?  Fine.  You rummage around in the sofa guts like you’re playing real-life Operation with less plastic and more dead skin cells.  And you know what you find?  Nothing.  You hate yourself so much right now.
Well, couch-searching habits die hard.  Also the PC is fairly awful, so making her hate herself is sort of a bonus.  (Not a complaint, mind; playing an awful character can be pretty fun.)

Huh.  Are the papers the thing I’m being pressed to find in the closet office, even after I’ve found them, or is there something else?  I’m sort of confused.

I like that I can read all the different parts of my resume.  This game totally wins the fuckton-of-personality category, plus I hate teal too.  I’m still not sure what I’m supposed to be doing, though.

When I try GIVE SHEET TO SERAPHINA, she doesn’t seem interested, yet when I ask her about it, she freaks the fuck out and wants to see it.

Well, I found this memo, but what am I supposed to do with it?  I couldn’t think of a single pressing reason to ask Rosanna about it… oh, I was supposed to show it to her.  Pick a damn verb, game!  Or, y’know, implement ’em all!

Oh, huh, I might not have to sabotage everyone, because this Rosanna bitch is doing a pretty good job of it on her own.  So if I just wait until she takes down the others, then expose her as a cheater, I should be golden.  Hmm.  How am I going to do that?

Congratulations, Lottie.  You’ve made a bitter fool.  Like God.  Except if you were really God you’d fix your voice.  But this is cool too.
There are so many great lines in this game.

I have Kassie’s purse.  She doesn’t seem to want it back.  I don’t seem to want anything in it.  THINK is implemented, which is nice, but I’m still hung up on Alexandra and she’s done with her audition already.  I am just going to do nothing and see what happens.

Kassie just gave Alexandra a look like she pissed in her lunch, which makes her having given the judges’ room door a look like she pissed in her lunch a bit more sensical.

Oh no, I’m stuck in Troxlerville for the rest of my life!  Okay, I’m cheating now.

Oh, wow, I can call my mom and she’ll tell me how to sabotage these girls!  That’s horrible!  I love it!

Okay, I think I’m supposed to get Kassie to fuck with Alexandra’s shit after her own failed audition, plant the purse on Rosanna, and let Mary fuck her own damn self up (will she, though?), but I can’t work out what to do with Seraphina.  My mom said I should get her to yell, and I think I’m supposed to set Rosanna on her with the Insanity Motet, but I don’t know how. I hate to say it’s walkthrough time, but man, is it ever.

Oh, wow, I’m supposed to steal her soundproof foam?  Oh, man, I’m supposed to TAKE FOAM, leave, TAKE FOAM again, then get Mary to sing in the other practice room… why do I need her in the hallway again?  So Rosanna can piss her off?

I know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing now and I can’t get it to work.  Lemme restart.  Um, it won’t let me take the foam more than once.  Am I supposed to distract her?  We’re pulling out the walkthrough fucking proper for this one.

Oh, I was supposed to get the foam from the other side of the door?  You’re lucky I like you, game, because I never would have thought of that in a million fucking years.

Oh, okay, Kassie will sabotage Alexandra if I set her up to do it by leaving my shoes and the Insanity Motet on the couch.  Again, something I never would have figured out.  I almost feel bad for Alexandra, though.  That Insanity Motet sounds hard.

…wait a minute, does that mean if Rosanna takes it from you, the game is unwinnable?  And you have no idea she’s going to, and you don’t find out you’re fucked for a kamillion turns?  That’s sort of uncool.  I guess this game is designed to be played over and over until you work out the puzzles, but, I mean, still.

I have to leave the accusation scene to go move a music stand so it’ll be ready for later in the walkthrough?  I am Lottie Plum and I have to move my own music stands?  Can’t someone else do it?

Oh snap twist ending!

Well.  Huh.  As a story, and as a character piece, I liked it a lot.  As a game… yeah, these were maybe the most obtuse puzzles all comp, and I am including Believable Adventures of an Invisible Man in that.  Plus the bit where you attack Mary with a music stand (after first moving it into the hallway so it will be available when you need to attack her with it, which you would have no idea was going to happen) only makes sense after the twist.  I mean, this is the same PC who refused to destroy a piece of sheet music because violence doesn’t get you callbacks.

So, yeah, I had some ish, and I’m calling it an eight.  With better hinted and more forgiving puzzles, it would’ve been an easy nine.  With good and fun puzzles, probably a ten.

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