Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
original competition entry
Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Author's drawing of a character in the game

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Muse: An Autumn Romance

by Christopher Huang


About the Story

Early September, 1886. Autumn. The Victorian Era. The Rev. Dawson, 59, is off to the Continent and an unexpected Romance...
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 2
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 254
IFIDs:  ZCODE-1-980927-319F
TUID: j2e98wy467jfih8q

Off-Site Reviews


In virtually all respects, it's a thorough, well-thought-out, effective story. The inherent limitations of IF puzzles put a crimp in the NPC interaction and make you less a character than a player pushing through to the end of the story, which is unfortunate because you really do inhabit much of the story as a character.
-- Duncan Stevens a.k.a. Second April
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The Calliope effect
I'm used to getting frustrated struggling with the parser; in Muse, I found myself in a similar struggle, not with the parser, but with Victorian protocol. That seemed to me to be an evocative association: I wondered how not being able to act naturally even to the extent we can today, having to fit everything you did or said into the strict bounds of a rigid code of propriety, resembled struggling with a sort of "parser" every waking moment of your life.
-- Adam Cadre
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The game is written in the first-person past tense - a risky decision, but in this case it is extremely effective. The emotions 'felt' by the central character would simply not work in the traditional second-person perspective. It also makes the considerable restrictions placed on your actions seem natural and convincing.
-- Brian Blackwell
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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

Muse is the most gorgeously written piece of IF in the competition -- I've still got several games left to play, but I would be very surprised if any of them even equaled Muse's marvelous skill with words, let alone surpassed it. The game is like the IF version of a Merchant-Ivory movie: quiet setting, stellar production values, highly character-oriented, and deeply, deeply felt. It's been a long time since I've been as moved by a piece of IF as I was by the "optimal" ending of Muse -- even some of the less satisfying endings are crafted so well that in themselves they can be quite emotional.
See the full review

Page Update History

  v.7: 06-May-2022 01:02 - Paul O'Brian (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed external review links
v.6: 17-Jan-2021 16:48 - Zape
Changed download links
v.5: 29-Jun-2013 07:35 - Edward Lacey
Changed genre, external review links
v.4: 09-May-2008 11:24 - Paul O'Brian
Changed external review links
v.3: 11-Mar-2008 18:00 - David Welbourn
Changed description
v.2: 18-Feb-2008 20:53 - Emily Short
Changed cover art
v.1: 16-Oct-2007 01:48 - IFDB
Created page