IF Comp ’10 – Lynnea Dally’s Divis Mortis!November 8, 2010
Horror game time! Let’s see, infection has spread and they are coming or I barely know the woman by my side? We could combine those into a public service announcement about sexually transmitted diseases, I guess. Mm, let’s go with the pandemic. I am familiar with those. There are all these little pink and blue pegs and sometimes the guy with the ascot did it.*
* See, I was going to go for a joke about how there were all these little cubes and everyone flies to Atlanta, as in the popular board game** Pandemic, but then I decided that was too easy, so I removed the reference by another step. This is one of my favorite techniques: you make the obvious joke (Mama Cass choked on a ham sandwich), then play word association (Mama Cass was in the Mamas and the Papas, as was Papa Smurf, ham is another word for amateur radio), then throw it all out the window and make a poop joke. Poop is funny.
** Well, among board game snobs it is popular. Kind of what, I don’t know, the Postal Service or somebody is to indie music, where you have to start saying “well I liked them before they got commercial, but now I’m into Blank Cock, who do pretty much the same thing but only on vinyl.” (Or, y’know, you could just quit being a douchebag and accept that it is okay to like something that millions of other people also like. I am working on this in my own life.)
[spoilers begin here]
The writing so far is not bad, but a tad awkward in places (“you are gifted with a headache” sounds odd even if you are being sarcastic about how awesome headaches are.) I do really like this sentence, though:
You can’t remember how on earth this happened to you, but then retrograde amnesia is rather common in head trauma victims.
The first is a woman slumped in the northeast corner with her head blown out.
Her head blown out? Her whole head? Blown out of what? Her hair?
Upon closer inspection, you discover that the man is not “missing” a head, per se, there blasted apart pieces of skull littering the room.
Oh. He’ll be happy to hear that. “Good news, Jerry! You know how you thought your head was missing?”
Clearly a new addition to the kitchen, it looks almost like an afterthought; it definitely is hardly used.
Look, there are zombies everywhere, and most of us have been killed, cleaned, and stacked on the floor. We just haven’t had a lot of time for recycling, all right?
This headache is making you feel awful.
I wonder how many aspirin I will have to take to get rid of it?
Okay, I just laughed out loud.
As you back away from the freezer, you stumble over one of the dead bodies, knocking it out of line. You really hope that someone is not going to care about that because you are too disgusted to fix it.
And again at this happy little scene:
The machine hums. You hum along with it. The machine stops humming. You have just completely sanitized a can of chickpeas.
I am sure my character hums along with that machine every time she turns it on, and I absolutely love that no zombie invasion is going to stop her. Plus, free sanitized chickpeas. Bonus!
You feel an unusual craving for some meatloaf, but at least your hunger pains are satiated.
All this foreshadowing is making me want ribs. Maybe I’ll take Mr. Jackhammer-for-a-Hat to that chain roadhouse we like for dinner tonight.
The grand entrance to the Calypso Hospital, dead bodies hang from ropes tied to the previously majestic arches and pillars.
I’m sure they’re still majestic, just now they’re also corpse-festooned. Also, I’m wondering what’s up with these zombies. Zombies are not generally known for their OCD body-stacking and hanging people from ropes.
Looking at the wall of assorted batteries, you decide that you should stock up on all sizes and shapes. You grab a package of everything from AAA to DD, and even a few tiny circle ones to be sure. You never know what size battery you might need.
Man, I love playing a PC with some common sense.
You pop the recommended dosage of pills into your mouth.
So, probably two, then. Most likely not more than thirty. You taking notes, Conner?
Need something sharp to open these damn blister packs. Are there hints? There are! Yay!
You know, for a Horror Hospital game, I am enjoying this. It’s just so damn cheerful in places, despite all the blood and death and rotting people sludge. Like, I just examined a chair and got:
A chair on wheels, this thing can turn and scootch easily at the same time.
“Scootch” is just the cutest word. Well, other than “riblet.” Mmm. Riblet.
I believe that belongs to someone else.
You cut that annoying plastic crap off the lamp. You flick it on, then off. Looks like it came with batteries. Huh.
Well, I would have been prepared if it hadn’t. (You know, it’d be funny to code a flashlight in such a way that it only came with batteries if you’d grabbed extra batteries. Or, okay, maybe “funny” is not the right word? No, not “corpse-festooned,” either, Jerry. Don’t make me regret telling you your head wasn’t really missing.)
“Plastic lamp crap” is now an item in my inventory. I enjoy that.
I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing with these circuit breakers, or, really, in general. I called for help, and they told me to meet up with the survivors in the basement, but the survivors in the basement want nothing to do with me. Sort of at the point of just doing stuff because it’s there.
You could always try asking him about something, but it doesn’t
even seem worth finishing this sentence really
Huh, he’s definitely crazy, but I never would have thought to smoke him out with bleach and ammonia. It seems sort of rude somehow. Oh, I guess he’s a mass murderer? That might make it less rude, sure.
Awww, and there’s a boyfriend for me in the closet. So it all worked out.
Oh, freaking nice twist ending! I so should have seen that coming, but I didn’t, and therefore it is awesome.
I enjoyed that, occasional awkward writing and all. Puzzles were mostly of the go-find-a-thing-with-which-to-do-a-thing variety, which I find comforting and familiar, if not exactly innovative. Mostly really well-hinted. (I am not sure if it is the game’s fault or my own that I didn’t realize the crazy dude in the basement was a serial killer, but I am willing to accept I just have really bad murdar.) This would be a seven, but I liked the ending so much, I’m giving it an eight. If you think that is unfair, kindly consider M. Night Shyamalan’s entire career.