Cacophony

Here’s one that I hadn’t heard of before it showed up on that list on IFWiki. It’s one of those surreal and dreamlike works that have long been a staple of IF — in fact, shortly after the start, “Mr Green” (a silent man clad all in green, with a green hat and a green mask) shows up and hands you a note that says “You’re dreaming, fool.” Waking up is as simple as typing “wake up”, but the world you wake up to is scarcely less dreamlike: inanimate objects make disturbing comments, certain actions and exits are forbidden on the basis of irrational senses of foreboding.

This is more like traditional puzzle-based IF than the last two games blogged here, and as a consequence, it’s possible to get seriously stuck. Some of the puzzles are based on dream-logic, after all. When a suitcase in the dream-world has the description “This is what you use to carry tools and important objects from one place to another”, and another object with the same description shows up in the waking world, it’s not hard to guess that you’ve found a way to transport items between realms. And while I do adore games that challenge you to figure out how the gameworld works, sometimes it’s just incomprehensible here. At some point a trophy case with an important item appeared in one location, and I have no idea how I triggered it. I find myself repeatedly starting the game over, not because I’ve gotten it into an unwinnable state or anything like that, but because I want to review text that appears only once, in the hopes of gleaning new clues from it. But what do you do when you don’t know how to reproduce the state that produced that text?

2 Comments so far

  1. Greg on 18 Oct 2009

    “script on”?

    That sounds interesting, but it also sounds like it would probably pass my frustration threshold pretty quickly.

  2. Carl Muckenhoupt on 19 Oct 2009

    Oh man. From just what I’ve said in this post, you don’t know the half of it.

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