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The Good Weapon

by Madeline Wu

Science Fiction

Web Site

(based on 5 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

A malevolence lurks outside your bunker. Fathomless, omnipotent, and deadly, it devours the world with each passing day.

The three of you swore to kill it--no matter the cost. Even if it means you've got to nuke everything. Ordinary (good) people won't do it. They can't fathom the horror.

Evil acts out of necessity. Villains know what must be done.

Yet your leader's having second thoughts. She's getting cold feet; and if the two of you can't convince her to use the weapon, then maybe it's time to take matters into your own hands.

Are you ready to save the world?

Game Details


Winner, Outstanding Ren’py Game of 2023 - The 2023 IFDB Awards

54th Place, Best in Show - The IF Short Games Showcase 2023


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Number of Reviews: 2
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
The Good Weapon review, February 2, 2024
by EJ

This short visual novel takes place in a dystopian future where an all-seeing AI, VIGIL, rules the earth. The AI's consciousness is distributed among multiple datacenters (or "nerve clusters") around the world, making it nigh-impossible to destroy it, or even strike a serious blow. If you can't hit all the nerve centers at once, its consciousness will remain mostly intact; it will regroup and rebuild, its dominance not seriously weakened.

The resistance movement, once large, is now down to three people. The PC and their two compatriots are locked in a bunker, dealing with all the interpersonal tensions and jealousies that are bound to come from being in close quarters with a small number of people for an extended time. But one point of conflict is of greater import to the world at large: They've gotten their hands on a weapon that can take out VIGIL, but the group's leader, Sleep, seems to have become oddly reluctant to use it. Why is she backing down now? And is she right to do so?

The Good Weapon's science-fictional concerns aren't new, but they're well-executed. In particular, the moody black-white-and-red art and the terse, sometimes fragmentary prose combine to create a palpably tense and oppressive atmosphere. It's not unremittingly grim, though; here and there, moments of hope and connection can be found--and these moments nag at the PC as they race towards their destructive goal, casting doubt on whether it's all worth it.

It's hard to talk about the way choices are used here without spoiling the game's central twist, but although I don't believe they lead to any branching, they do serve a narrative purpose and I found them effective. Another choice at the end might not have gone amiss, but I think the sparingly-used interactivity worked well as it was.

It's a shame that the game is download-only, since I know that a lack of browser playability puts people off, but if you don't mind that, I feel that this atmospheric and thoughtful little game is well worth your time.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
What good will it do?, January 12, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: independent release

This almost kinetic visual novel follows three (vigilante?) fighters inside a bunker plotting against a controlling (otherworldly?) organisation called VIRGIL (Big Brother-vibes). The latter’s control is so spread and wide that the only way to fight it would be to essentially nuke the Earth - or it would regenerate. Away from “real life” to ensure their safety and so their plan wouldn’t get discovered, the three characters uphold different view on how to approach the issue - discussions turning more into arguments with the “weapon” being ready.

While there aren’t meaningful choices, none that really affect the story at least, the story is quite engrossing. The story sets up enough to get an understanding of the conflicts, but stays vague, forcing you to piece things as you get more information. The culminating scene is satisfying even if as a player I barely has anything to do with it - putting an end to the MC’s struggles with their goal and their wavering will.

The visuals, with the limited palette and sprites looking like they were sketched, complements the writing and the scenes, with blinking and shaking elements, and an interesting focus on gazes.

I stiiiiiiilll… wished we could have had one choice at the end, rather having the PC making that choice for us (even if it made sense story wise).

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The Good Weapon on IFDB


The following polls include votes for The Good Weapon:

Outstanding Ren'py Game of 2023 by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2023 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best Ren'py game of 2023. Voting is open to all IFDB members. Eligible...

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