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Second release. Quixe website with background graphic.
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Story File
Second release.
Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Story File
IFComp 2015 release.
Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Basic walkthrough.

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Midnight. Swordfight.

by Chandler Groover profile

A Folly

Web Site

(based on 80 ratings)
5 reviews

About the Story

A fool receives a challenge from a countess.

Violence. Sex. Profanity. Sausage.

Game Details


Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Winner, Best Implementation; Nominee, Best Use of Innovation - 2015 XYZZY Awards

3rd Place overall; 1st Place, Miss Congeniality Award - 21st Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2015)

23rd Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2019 edition)


A second release for Midnight. Swordfight. is now available through the links on its IFDB page.

This version was created for display at the Hand Eye Society's WordPlay 2016 showcase. It fixes a few bugs and typos from the original release, smooths out some Quixe formatting issues, and includes a little more dialogue for Dmitri.
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Editorial Reviews

The Breakfast Review
As a breakfast, this is... eggs benedict with goose eggs and a hollandaise sauce you could stand a teaspoon up in; sides of toulouse sausages and honey-glazed bacon; clotted cream on fresh strawberries; Irish coffee with a shot of Swiss chocolate. Very rich, heady stuff.
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
I enormously enjoyed this game, and I kept being surprised by the ways it opened out, and the depths it revealed in interaction, and the level of daring in the design. I loved the way the story universe gets weirder and more ridiculous the more you poke at it. I'm sure I didn't find everything there is to find, either. For my tastes, this is Chandler Groover's best IF yet, and probably my personal favorite in a competition full of superb work.
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The appeal of Midnight. Swordfight. is its superior writing, although its gameplay is much easier than most as well. Even when the plot is confusing, the texture of the game's writing is such that the player feels taken care of.
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Old Games Italia

In definitiva, Midnight. Swordfight. di Chandler Groover un divertissement che prende per mano l'avventuriero esortandolo a danzare in un giardino panoramico in cui sia stata edificata una follia dal capriccio di un architetto estroso.
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Orestes Drunk and Pylades Fasting
The writing is very sharp - it's what stands out the most about the story on the first few playthroughs. It ranges from whimsical to creepy to baroque... without depending excessively on long passages and text dumps: a sign of good, snappy IF writing.
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Renga in Blue
What's most interesting about this structurally is that while the surface is a one-move find-the-endings game like Aisle, the verb list is heavily restricted and the player is allowed to go behind the scenes and tweak the setting. It's nearly in the direction of player authorship, letting them change the story to their liking.
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Rock, Paper, Shotgun
An intriguing and dreamlike sausage-based farce.
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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A Genuine Pleasure to Play, January 15, 2021

I played this first a few years ago, but recently I decided I wanted to try it again. The writing and energy of this story is unique and playful in a way that makes it incredibly memorable.

I wish there was a comprehensive guide to all endings, but I also understand that maintaining the mystery is part of the purpose of having so many endings in the first place. Behind the curtain, Groover says that there are "more than twenty-five different outcomes". I've found 26 unique combinations, and 15 'named' endings.
Since there is no record if it elsewhere, these are the 15 named endings that I have discovered. There could be more, but I think I might have all of them:
(Spoiler - click to show)Curtain, No Exile Could Have Better Timing, Fuck the Script, Ever Onward, Those who Oink and Run Away Make Live to Oink Another Day, Snicker-Snack Indeed, To Win is to be One, Now That Wasn't Too Hard, Was It?, All is Fair in Love and War, Love Conquers All, It's a Mustery, Ain't It?, The Best Defense is a Good Kielbasa, Keep Your Friends Close and Your Kielbasa Closer, Out of the Frying Pan, into the Tulgey Wood, Memento Mori.

Needless to say, if you enjoy really responsive storytelling, this is for you. If you're even mildly curious, give it a shot - I guarantee you'll get some modicum of enjoyment out of it.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A one-move game combined with an alternative, time-warping reality, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: IF Comp 2015

Midnight, Swordfight was an IFComp 2015 game. This game is a one-move game like Aisle or Rematch, where you are in a duel with a countess and have only limited actions available. Innovatively, these actions are listed in a playscript in your inventory.

Another innovation is that you can enter an alternate reality, where you can travel through and around time to change the setup of the duel.

The world is mysterious and bizarre, with some of the darker parts of Lewis Carroll mixed with David Eddings mixed with all sorts of things. The game is dark, and contains explicit descriptions of sex and intense violence (although the violence is not to the level of, say, One Eye Open). The worksmanship is impeccable.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Another excellent work from Chandler Groover!, January 25, 2016

Yet again, this author astounds me with a total reimagining of the IF navigation model. Yet again, it puts the typical model to shame.
I love how this isn't just gimmick (though that would have been enough) - the gameplay ties into the story and setting absolutely perfectly. The visuals evoked are fantastic, and the entire thing is a shining homage to some of the most iconically bizarre products of the masquerade era. If only it were illustrated accordingly!

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Midnight. Swordfight. on IFDB

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The following polls include votes for Midnight. Swordfight.:

Best IF Titles by Fredrik
No doubt you have played some great games with great titles, or been disappointed to find games with great titles that did not hold up to expectations. What are the best titles of IF? They can be funny, elegant, evocative, or whatever...

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If you made or can find a medium-hard adventure game, puzzle game, or both, please respond.

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I'm wondering about games (primarily parser) with weird directions beyond NW/SW/SE/NE, up, down or inside/outside. I like the example in the Inform docs (Charles S. Roberts) about hexagonal directions but have no clue how to go about...

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This is version 30 of this page, edited by OtisTDog on 11 June 2024 at 7:24pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page