External Links

Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.

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 external links
All updates to this page


by Jim Fisher

Seasonal, Slice of life

(based on 1 rating)
1 review

Game Details

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

Written as an example of the author's conversation system--which is a variant on menus. The conversation is reasonably interesting and complex, but it's not really the point.

-- Duncan Stevens


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
Write a review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Another crack at the conversation challenge., March 31, 2010

This is not quite a game, but it's definitely something more than a simple example of the Inform 6 conversation system it's intended to demonstrate (which seems to have been updated since the release of this work).

The intended demonstration is of a flexible conversation system that controls standard ask/tell behavior through a keyboard-driven interactive menu. Selecting from the menu generates the equivalent command, which is entered for you at the main prompt. It's an interesting approach, that allows for a pretty direct comparison between two classic methods of NPC interaction, and it gave me more appreciation for the narrative flow that a well-done menu system offers when compared to ask/tell.

The fatal flaw of the system (to my eyes) is that it seems maintain a running list of "open" topics for you long past when they are conversationally appropriate, and this contextual distance is not reflected in the way the NPC responds if you suddenly change topics. Thus, as your list of options increase, the conversation can go from seeming very natural to seeming very odd as the NPC gamely responds to any thread you choose to continue.

I'm not saying simulating more realistic responses here would be easy -- far from it. I want to be clear that this apparent oddness is a symptom of success; it's a side-effect of breaking the illusion of natural flow that the menu system so ably provides at first. That the oddness wouldn't be noticed using the ask/tell model is likewise an indicator of just how unrealistic "conversations" using it are.

Putting model details aside and considering Medusa as a brief interactive fiction experience, I can't help but think that it's above-average, and that it would make a great opening sequence for a longer work. It would also be a good start on a decent "slice of life" entry for a one-room game competition, though, in its present state, it's a far cry from more widely-known works such as Emily Short's Galatea.

Take note: The split-screen display doesn't quite work right using Gargoyle, but it worked fine with plain old Frotz.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

This is version 1 of this page, last edited on 29 September 2007 at 8:48pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page