ParserComp 2022: Desrosier’s Discovery

A short and ultimately rather silly archeology story, this is essentially a one-joke game, but you get to determine which of several jokes the one joke is. You do this by choosing one of several objects to save from a fire, although in your first run-through, the fire hasn’t started yet and it’s not at all clear that you’re making a choice. Whatever you choose, it maintains a straight face until the ending. It’s a bit like the various “practical joke on the player” games I’ve seen in IFComp over the years, but less aimed at provoking anger.

The main obstacle along the way is an ancient door covered in runes, with an implication that you’ll be able to open the door if you figure out what the runes say. In fact figuring out the runes is never necessary; depending on what ending you’re heading for, the door may just open itself. I devoted a little time to figuring out the runes anyway: the pattern of repetitions suggest it could be a cryptogram, but nothing I tried worked. I’m left uncertain about whether it’s actually a cryptogram or not.

At any rate, it is what it is, and what it does it executes pretty well, so whether you like it will mainly depend on whether you like what it’s going for.

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