IF Comp ’13 – Emily Boegheim & Ryan Veeder’s Robin & Orchid!

October 18, 2013

Ryan: oh speaking of the comp, JENNI

me: yeah?

Ryan: I have this urge to pointedly demand eye contact with you
but that doesn’t work

me: okay I can look at my screen in a real focused way I guess

I respect that you are going through the games in alphabetsy order

me: but?

Ryan: but if you don’t review robin and orchid, I’m gonna

me: okay okay I promise I will review Robin & Orchid


me: okay I will fuck with my OCD and do it tonight

Ryan: whoa
I didn’t ask you to break the betsy!


Ryan: everyone’s gonna think “ryan veeder used his dirt that he has on jenni to make her break the betsy”

me: oooh let them think that, that makes me sound exciting
can I post this conversation basically verbatim to explain why I am breaking the betsy?

Ryan: hey it makes me sound exciting too, if somewhat evil
yeah but don’t post the part where we discuss whether you can post it, because that ruins the illusion

me: okay
wait but if I post that part and then the part where you say that and then the part where I say this it becomes delightfully meta
is meta still in?

Ryan: meta is still in but in this case it’s selling past the close

me: I will honor your judgment on meta

Ryan: and I will honor our understood agreement that I won’t publicize these compromising photos of you

me: the photos of me giving up part of what I want while someone else gives up part of what they want?

Ryan: those too.

me: oh good
okay brb while I go review your game, you harpy

Ryan: you can’t call a BOY a HARPY

me: I believe I just did


[spoilers begin here]

Three things to remember: take lots of pictures, get Sharon off my back, and keep an open mind. That is just a note to myself in case the game actually expects me to remember it. There’s no reason you needed to read it, except you already did. Sorry!

Oh man oh man as far as I can tell I have an actually functional Polaroid camera! That must have been tons of work to implement!

The response you get from looking yourself up in the notes that Casey gave you to look things up in is pretty funny, but not as funny as the response you get when you look up Casey.

I am also supposed to remember not to turn the lights on unless I have to, and I am supposed to find some blankets. This is a lot of pressure!

How about this: you check out the basement, and I’ll go upstairs and look around there, and then we’ll meet up and compare notes.
How about no, we don’t do that, because basements are terrifying and I will shit myself? Sigh okay fine.

I am enjoying the task of wandering around photographing anything that might be evidence of a ghost. It is as much fun as noting health code violations in Doug Egan’s game Afflicted except without the added joy of going “ewww!”

You run a hand along the wall to help you find your way, and your fingers trail through something cold and slimy. Ugh, now it’s on your hand.

>wash hand
You scrub your hands until every trace of ectoplasm is gone.
I’m not sure I should be destroying evidence of ghostly activity, but gross.

>x mirror
Your own face peers back at you.

In the orange box are a can of tomato soup, a can of pears, a can of “Sugarman’s Potted Meat Food Product”, a can of cherry pie filling, a can of tuna, a can of chicken soup, and a can of peaches.
Okay who the hell donates cherry pie filling to a food bank? “Oh, these poor people! I bet it’s been so long since they ate the goopy insides of a cherry pie, no crust, with just like a spoon or something! I bet it’d be good mixed with Sugarman’s Potted Meat Food Product!”

(Anecdote about Riff: he’s got a small tin of canned ham in the pantry, which he likes to say is going to keep him from ever starving to death, because it will always inspire him to find something else to eat.)

>x bowls
There seem to be three different sets of dishes here and they’re all mixed up together, even though the white bowls are noticeably shallower than the green bowls and they don’t stack properly. Better not look too closely.
>organize bowls
That’s not a verb I recognize.
Oh God.

Yup, there is at least one actual ghost in this church. I am not going back down in that basement by myself no way no how no sir.
…Orchid where did you

Although it’s lying furled against its post, you can easily tell that this is an American flag. This one has tassels around the edges, and an eagle figurine is perched at the top.

Hmm, false panels and projectors, eh? I am starting to think shenanigans on this ghost. (Hey, Farva, what’s the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy shit on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?)

“Robin. While you’re looking for ghosts, if you see any ectoplasm, you should try to collect it and bring it back somehow. It would be important evidence for the existence of a ghost. And also I think it would just be cool to have.”
Way ahead of you, Casey!

The black walls in here have been painted with Bible verses that glow underneath the UV lights.
…this church has a blacklight room. That might be the most unsettling thing in this game so far.

I know I’m supposed to be wandering around taking pictures of ghosts and stuff, but I’m feeling pretty directionless. Where did Orchid go?

Ha! Got the panel open! And sure ’nuff, there were shenanigans behind it.

Unfortunately whoever painted it put the indigo and violet stripes in the wrong order.
I really, really enjoy that Robin and I have similar OCD issues. I suspect that Robin
never would have broken betsy to play this game out of order, though. I probably shouldn’t have. Next thing on my blog is gonna be cats having sex with dogs and then it’s just chaos.

>put handbells on floor
You can’t just drop the case labelled “HANDBELLS” on the floor. What if someone steps on it or trips over it?
Robin. I need you to put the handbells on the floor for five seconds while you climb up on some stuff and get a thing. Can you do this for me? …you’re not going to do this for me.

>get container
The glistening container is up on top of the wall shelves; you can’t reach it from your current position.
Oh for Pete’s sake.

Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, I think the words height, altitude, and position are being used interchangeably (interchangably? those both look wrong). I thought the cabinet was high enough but too far away. That was confusing.

Cat. I have no idea what you’re trying to show me, cat. You are real bad at hints, cat.


Oh ha ha you know what it was? I was forgetting which of the arks, Noah’s or of the Covenant, I had put where. WHY WOULD YOU MAKE THEM BOTH ARKS WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT

I like that my task has become “wander around, take pictures of fake supernatural evidence.”

>pull loop with crook
Standing on tiptoe, you flourish the hooked end of the crook at the loop of cord, but you still can’t quite reach.
Oh fer crying out loud. (I’m trying not to swear because I’m in church.)

Cat, what are we doing in the boiler room, cat

This game is pretty charming and I want to like it, but the puzzles are making me crazy.

Okay. Yes. I was probably supposed to be learning from all that earlier having to stand on arks that the solution involved standing on an ark. What I am learning is to hate standing on arks.

You jump. There’s a boy sitting on the floor, smirking at you. It’s Aiden Kingsley.

You know exactly where the two of you are going, but you should probably keep that a surprise.
I… I do?
Is it hell?

Then we found out that you were going to be the other newspaper girl staying the night. And Orchid said you’d never go along with it.
Because unlike some people Robin has journalistic integrity. (Journalistic integrity and OCD are a lot the same thing.)

Well, that was pretty cute, except when it was driving me nuts as I have fully documented above, and a lot of work must have gone into the camera, Casey’s notes, Robin’s OCD, that irritating things-being-at-different-heights business (Robin’s shortness being mentioned early and often is a nice touch), etc. So, pretty solid. I would have liked to run into Orchid a few more times, perhaps; she shows you the ghost and then she’s just gone until the end.

Hey, actually, why does she suggest you search the basement if she’s got the ghost rigged to appear upstairs? Is she counting on you wanting to tell her about the lights, or, like I did, getting your hand full of gunk and needing to wash it?

Also this gives me a good opportunity to better define the Veeder reversal in terms of what it is not. (This is gonna be my contribution to society here, naming and defining a thing that some dude did in two IF games once. Yes, okay, twice, because two games. You win, pedants!)

Things that make this not a Veeder reversal:
1) The twist does not happen in one single, dramatic moment.
2) While technically the twist negates all of the earlier puzzle progress you have made (taking pictures of ghostly activity), the nature of the gameplay does not change (you are still taking pictures of shit).
3) You are not sitting there going “Ow! My expectations! That sure was ballsy!”

You’re welcome, society!



  1. As a lifelong w, I say fuck the fucking alphabet.

    • Despairs at RV double-dip.

      • You know the worst part? Final Girl’s been reviewed for days, it just needs a lot of formatting love because WordPress has decided to be terrible. I’d fix it and post it right now, because I feel like a jerk, but the wireless has super shit itself. Sorry!

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