IF Comp ’13 – InformStorm’s 9 Lives!

October 1, 2013

This IF was created as an assignment for ENG 437: Project Management, taught by Prof. Stuart Moulthrop at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

The authors were Bill Balistreri, Hal Hinderliter, Sean Klabough, Luke Michalski and Morgan Sokol.

This blurb makes me crazy excited to play this game.  Not only is it a collaborative school project, which promises wildly uneven levels of quality a la last year’s Valkyrie, but the class it’s for (Project Management?) has a deliberately-boring-sounding name, like it’s really a front for something else (ENG 437: Hiding the Bodies?)

Also I went to Culver’s today to partake in the hot and cold running fats of my people and am feeling very Wisconsin Represent.


[spoilers begin here, also you should make sure to read this with an accent ya dere hey]

“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”  – Buddha

…and then there’s the prompt.  What should I type?  L?

You saved for months to go on your first cruise to Iceland, and now you’re in the middle of the North Atlantic… just not in the way you’d planned to be.
This line cracks me up.  9 Lives is already way, way better than Valkyrie, although I ain’t gonna pretend that’s a high bar.

This is it! You have to make a decision: do you stay or swim?
That’s not a verb I recognise.

As it sinks beneath your feet, you hold onto a crying little girl and tell her, “Don’t worry, Sweetheart, everything will be alright” as you both slip beneath the waves…
“So what was the last thing you did before you died?”
“Lied to a little girl.”
“Cool.  Me too.”

Well, I died, and now I am an advisor to the throne of some besieged fantasy city.  This is reminding me of “The Test is Now READY!” or whichever of those words was capitalized.  In that one, I felt like there was not a lot of consequence to my heavy moral choices, and I’m feeling like that with 9 Lives so far.  Let’s see what they want me to do with this sword.

>pray to the legend
The statue has split apart, revealing an exit leading down.
You know, I’m getting old, and I’m unsure of many things, but I’m pretty sure that this is not how you write the scene where praying to a statue magically causes it to split open.  For one thing, it gives the sense of a weird time gap, where you are moving around and doing things in the present tense, and then suddenly the statue has split apart but you did not watch it happen.  For another thing, statues magically splitting open is inherently kinda cool and dramatic and people want to see that shit.  Write it badly if you have to, but write it.

Holy shit!  You prayed to that statue and it was all “RUMBLE RUMBLE I’M’A SPLIT APART” like it was gonna split apart and then it totally did that very thing!!  You feel pretty magical!!  “I told you I was gonna split apart, bitch,” whispers the last whisper off of the statue’s fallen lips.

Well, apparently I’ve agreed to do something selfless.  Hopefully I can figure out what.  Also, it turns out I am an advisor and a monk!  (It’s a condom!  It’s a mint!)

…oh.  I took the flag and got blown off of the tower with it.  I certainly hope that was distracting enough.

And now I’m back in the lifeboat?  Huh, apparently trying to bail it out, even with foreknowledge, is pointless.  And I’m monk guy again.  I’m cracking the hints, mainly because I’m not even sure what I’m trying to accomplish here.

Anyone else always parse .rtf as “read the fucker?”  No?

Oh, I guess I failed to do the heroic thing as the monk, which was how I wound up back in the lifeboat.  What I was trying to do was take the flag and charge out of the tower with it blazing behind me while I slashed through the very outer layer of one of my enemies before dying a very stupid death.  I don’t know what the game thought I was trying to do, take the flag to sew a prom dress out of?  Oh, wait, maybe if I talk to the invading army general, he asks me to bring it to him?  That could be a thing.  I don’t really feel like finding out, though.

Her hair is secured to the back of her head in a severe bun.
She made a bun completely separately from the rest of her head and then stuck it back there, because this is how hair works.

I delivered the vaccine to the refugees and won!  I am now a being of pure light.  (Suck it, haters.)

Okay, so, stats on this game.  Sparse to moderate implementation, writing all right plus or minus three, structure kind of interesting.  See “The Test is Now READY!” review and read the bit about the self-sacrificial choices being way too easy to make because there were no actual stakes, except more so.

Fuck it, let’s go to the Dells.  We can ride the Ducks.



  1. Seriously, if you go to the Dells, you have to go some time when there are not many people around and do Wizard Quest.

    • I have still never been to the Dells! I mean, I ate ice cream there once, but that doesn’t count.

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