IF Comp ’13 – Michael Thomét’s The House at the End of Rosewood Street!

October 23, 2013

Michael Thomét, of course, is best known for his Industrial Revolution-era bentwood chairs.  Wait, no, I’m thinking of Michael Thonet.  Michael Thomét is an elfin ghost that lives in your skull.

[spoilers begin here]

>x key

It is a simple brass house key, which happens to unlock the door to your house.
How convenient!

Okay, so I do odd jobs around Rosewood Street and they let me live in this cottage for free.  Sounds like a pretty sweet deal and a happy enough life.  I wonder what’s going to go horribly wrong?


(first opening the front door)

The front door swings open.
Uh.  Wait.  What?  I just wanted to look at my house again, and now I am standing in my yard.

You can see some newspapers waiting for you to pick them up at the corner just down the street from your house.

>pick up newspaper

You do not see any newspapers here!
Okay!  I’m sorry!

>x bushes

You don’t think that would be appreciated.
I feel like I’m on crazy pills.  Am I on crazy pills?

Just down the street is the corner where they drop the newspapers off for you and you can see that some are waiting for you now.

 >take newspapers

You do not see any newspapers here!

 >x newspapers

You do not see any newspapers here.
You’re doing this on purpose, aren’t you, game.  I wonder if this is going to be one of those deals where I think I’m trying to examine rosebushes and pick up newspapers but what I am actually doing is murdering refugees with a guillotine.

I am not going to pick up the newspapers I can’t see!  Take that, Rosewood Street!

Oh wait wait wait are they still further down the street and that is why I can’t pick them up?


>deliver paper to maurice

What would the neighbors think?
They’d?  Think?  I was delivering Maurice a paper?  Is this a default replacement for “I dunno what the hell verb you are trying to use?”

Game.  Do you want me to deliver these newspapers to these people?  How do I do that?  Do I compass directions towards their houses even though everything is described in terms of left and right?

OHHHH I think L and R are abbreviations for LEFT and RIGHT and that is why I can’t look at anything without moving!

After taking the newspaper, Lottie says, “Could you be a dear and fix my stove here? The little lever has gone down and I can’t get it back up. Now there is bread stuck in it and it won’t even heat up.” She hands you her toaster. “Er, I guess this isn’t a stove,” she says, “what are they called?”
Oh, Lottie, Lottie, Lottie, Lottie.

>say toaster

(to Lottie)

Lottie jerks a triumphant funger into the air and says, “Toaster! That’s the word!

Lottie’s eyes grow wide and she asks, “Have you fixed my toaster yet?”
“Triumphant funger” is unfortunate, but I really enjoy that this was implemented.  And no, Lottie, I haven’t fixed your toaster, you just now handed it to me.  Sheesh!

Unlike most houses on the street, Theo’s house does not have a porch.
Am I going to have to remember this?  Is there going to be a logic puzzle?

>put newspaper behind gate

(the newspaper behind the gate to Rosewood)

You reach through the gate and place the newspaper on the other side.

I am so glad that worked; you have no idea.  It wouldn’t in every game, you know.

A cat with a green collar butts its head against your hand a few times. You idly pat its head while sitting in the recliner in the living room, until she says, “What am I, some kind of cat to you?”
And that is when shit gets weird.

Is… is it time to deliver the newspapers again?

I feel rather strongly that TAKE NEWSPAPERS should take all of them.  (TAKE STACK works, but still.)

The stranger who moved into the house on the end of Rosewood Street is terrifying.  This game is going to freak my shit off, I know it.

Caius takes the newspaper and says, “I shall cherish this.”

I am giving the game the benefit of the doubt that all this repetition is going somewhere, because honestly I’m getting a little sick of delivering all these newspapers.  It was more fun in the 80s when I had to watch out for dogs.

“Of course you do,” the shadow says, “you know you have only brought this upon yourself.” You turn your head and there is a little girl, dressed all in pink. She hands you a box of confetti and then leaves. You pour the confetti into your hand and it is nothing but bits of shattered glass.
This game is weird, you guys.

Wait.  Ten newspapers today?  Usually there are nine.  What does it mean?  What does it all mean?

Wait wait wait wait wait this house was not here before!  Dammit, I knew this game was going to freak my whole shit off.  Well, they’re here now; they’re getting a paper.  Because that is what I do.

Ha, Elisabeth’s name is now on my letter.  Nice touch.  I feel like if shit is going to hit the fan, it’s going to do it on Friday, so let’s have at it.

fuck fuck fuck I am going to follow a hat into Rosewood and probably something horrible is going to happen

I feel as though what I ought to do is use this brief chance to explore the mansion, because this seems like the sort of story where good behavior and not questioning your surroundings makes you a chump, but what I am going to do is grab the hat and get the fuck out of there so so fast.

You still think it is rather strange for Theo to have asked you to go into town to pick up a gift for his wife, whom you have never met.

You know, I was thinking that, but I had no idea my character was even capable of finding things strange anymore.

She stares into the glass for a long time before handing it over to you. “Whenever I look into the mirror, I remember her and I feel whole again. It’s like the mirror holds my soul and keeps it safe for me, just as though I were in my mother’s arms.”
You are weird, lady.  I know from weird, and you are it.

Elisabeth takes the mirror in hand and stares into it. She frowns a bit after a while, saying, “It looks ok, but it feels a bit different. It still feels broken.”

Are you sure you have fixed the whole thing?

Oh shit, only nine newspapers today.  Elisabeth must have vanished after Caius broke her mirror, which I handed to him in an attempt to trap his soul or something and he totally butterfingersed it; I suspect on purpose.

Okay seriously how many times am I going to have to deliver these newspapers?

Two firey bushes sit underneath lidless eyes of windows on either side of the door. In the grass on one side of the path is a tree like a mass of tenticles swaying in the wind, at the end of which is a jumble of green hair and eyes looking all about.
Well, that’s new!  Unless it’s been like this the whole time and I am just incredibly unobservant.

Caius takes the newspaper and tucks it under his arm. Then, with a sweep of his gaze he says, “I would be terribly flattered if you came to dinner with me tonight in Rosewood. I could show you around the manor.”
Ha ha ha ha no.  No no no no no.  I will quit playing this game before I set one foot in that house, buddy.  There.  Tab closed.  I’ll read about what happens to me in the papers later, while I am delivering them.

Pretty good game.  I wish there had been object descriptions and a lot less typing, but it did a really good job of establishing a certain quiet bizarreness (and creeping me out.)

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