Story File
the latest release
Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Story File (old)
original Art Show entry
Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Play online
This is a pseudo-format used to represent download adviser records that apply to multiple formats.
Walkthroughs to many of the 70 different endings.
To view this file, you need an Acrobat Reader for your system.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page


by Emily Short profile


Web Site

About the Story

Emily Short's description:

A conversation with a work of art. "47. Galatea. White Thasos marble. Non-commissioned work by the late Pygmalion of Cyprus. (The artist has since committed suicide.) Originally not an animate. The waking of this piece from its natural state remains unexplained."

Galatea is my first released foray into interactive fiction. It is a single conversation with a single character, which can end any of a number of ways depending on the player's decisions. Despite its age, I continue to get strong reactions to it in my email inbox on a fairly regular basis. Some people love it; some people find it annoying or distressing.

Galatea has what I call a multilinear plot: unlike traditional IF, it has no single path to victory. Instead there are a large number of endings, some more satisfactory than others, of which many could be considered "win" states. It takes only a few minutes of play to arrive at an ending, but considerably longer to find all of them.

The game also takes an ambitious approach to NPC (non-player character) conversation, both in terms of volume (Galatea has many hundreds of things to say) and complexity (she keeps track of the state of conversation and reacts differently according to what has already been said and done).

Game Details

Language: English (en-US)
Current Version: 3
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
Baf's Guide ID: 1326
IFIDs:  ZCODE-2-000825-D202
TUID: urxrv27t7qtu52lb

Off-Site Reviews

Dreams, Hubris, and Getting Away with Both
And so perhaps we have a trinity collaborating on this work: the Author, the Reader, and the Subject, Galatea. We affect her by what we choose to write and what we choose to read, but she affects us too, when we see what story we have written and ponder what it can mean.
-- Jonathan Rosebaugh
See the full review

Jay Is Games
No foray into the realm of interactive fiction would be complete without playing this game.
-- JohnB
See the full review

Galatea is an exploration and a treatise on what art is. It repurposes the original myth of a creator and his art, which had come to life, and tells the next step in such a process, one in which the created work moves beyond the artist and meets the audience.
-- Eric Swain
See the full review

A 300K-plus Z-machine file that essentially consists entirely of one character should give any designer pause, if that's the standard for realistic NPC design. It 's unquestionable, though, that this character represents a quantum leap--in intelligence and in vividness of personality--and that the author did it with essentially the tools that every author has. Designers, consider the goalposts moved.
-- Duncan Stevens
See the full review

Electronic Book Review
Galateaís Riposte: The Reception and Receptacle of Interactive Fiction
Each time I access ďGalatea,Ē Emily Shortís fabulous piece of interactive fiction, a supple string of text hails me, flirts with me, and stops just short of calling me by name. Strictly speaking, this mode of address should not be possible, at least not according to the familiar conventions of literary tradition... [W]orks such as Galatea function both as operative images in Wienerís terms and as receptacles, peculiar intermediaries between form and copy. More than mimetic, more than metaphorical, such works donít merely simulate responses; through a perspectival process of reciprocal second person, they enact them.
See the full review

Rock Paper Shotgun
Letters of Love: Galatea
From this perspective, itís all about growing up and learning to understand whatís alien. Itís about dropping pretenses, egos and prejudices. Itís about realising the value of othersí creations, and never losing sight of your own role relating to them. Itís about learning to accept criticism, even as a critic. Itís about becoming more measured, but also understanding that wearing your heart on your sleeve is okay. It is, in essence, the same journey Iím having to embark on, as I take my first steps into this scary world of writing about videogames.
See the full review

Adventure Gamers
The titular NPC has more complexity and psychology than any NPC in the history of IF.
See the full review

She will become your creation the longer you engage her, putting you in the Pygmalion position, which can be just as uncomfortable as her pedestal...
See the full review

Page Update History

  v.19: 17-Aug-2021 18:56 - heasm66 (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed download links
v.18: 17-Aug-2021 18:55 - heasm66
Changed download links
v.17: 18-Apr-2021 04:56 - Zape
Changed download links
v.16: 29-Jun-2020 22:25 - Zape
Changed external review links
v.15: 01-May-2015 05:37 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.14: 23-Sep-2013 15:54 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.13: 08-Aug-2013 12:29 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.12: 23-May-2013 03:26 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.11: 05-May-2013 08:40 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.10: 10-Feb-2013 10:03 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.9: 08-Oct-2011 03:13 - Emily Boegheim
Changed IFIDs
v.8: 28-Oct-2009 14:44 - Emily Short
Changed download links
v.7: 09-May-2009 02:35 - Emily Boegheim
Changed description
v.6: 09-May-2009 02:32 - Emily Boegheim
Changed description, download links
v.5: 25-Oct-2007 19:52 - Eriorg
Changed author
v.4: 21-Oct-2007 01:44 - Michael R. Bacon
Changed description, forgiveness, Web site URL
v.3: 21-Oct-2007 01:41 - Michael R. Bacon
Changed description
v.2: 21-Oct-2007 01:41 - Michael R. Bacon
Changed description
v.1: 16-Oct-2007 01:50 - IFDB
Created page