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Story file for the Quest interpreter. http://textadventures.​co.​uk/​quest
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by David Welbourn

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Basilica de Sangre

by Bitter Karella profile


(based on 9 ratings)
4 reviews

About the Story

What's a demon to do? Your mother has been missing for weeks. Rumor has it that she's being held prisoner in the infamous convent Basilica de Sangre. They say no demon has ever escaped from Basilica de Sangre. That's not encouraging. But you're going to find her and rescue her, no matter how many nuns you have to possess!

Game Details


11th Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)


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Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Demonic fun with some implementation issues, March 22, 2021
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)

You’re a demon and you have to save your mother from an unconventional convent. Luckily, while security is tight, you have the power to possess people, taking over their body. Most of the puzzles in the game revolve around finding the right person to possess in order to get some task done. To get to a certain location, you might need to find someone who is small, or strong, and so on. There are some object puzzles along the way, but nothing terribly difficult.

This is the second Quest game I played during the 2018 IF Competition -– after Space Punk Moon Tour –- and again I ran into a host of parser issues, making me suspect that it’s Quest that is at fault rather than the individual authors. Here was a particularly frustrating sequence:

x crypt
A large stone mausoleum, the door slab flanked by ersatz Greco-Roman columns and moldering marble cherubs. A large crack bisects the slab blocking the entryway to the crypt, deeply enough that a strong enough human could probably pull it down.

enter crypt
I don’t understand your command.

go in crypt
You can’t go there.

The door to the crypt is paved over.

pull slab
You can’t pull it.

hit slab
You can’t hit it.

pull door
I can’t see that. (door)

x crack
There’s a large crack across the door to the crypt.

kick door
I don’t understand your command.

x slab
A large stone mausoleum, the door slab flanked by ersatz Greco-Roman columns and moldering marble cherubs. A large crack bisects the slab blocking the entryway to the crypt, deeply enough that a strong enough human could probably pull it down.

pull it down
I can’t see that. (it down)
Some of this could perhaps have been avoided by the author, e.g., by having ‘door’ as a synonym for ‘slab’ and giving better messages for pulling and hitting. But something like that last error is presumably a weakness in Quest; Inform would have printed a much more sensible error message, something like “I only understood you as far as wanting to pull the slab.” Be that as it may, parser issues did not really impact my enjoyment as much as I feared, since the majority of the game can be traversed using just a few simple verbs, of which “possess” is the most important. (Although I did spend some minutes trying to “enter boat” in different ways before clicking on the object suggested a rather non-standard verb.)

The puzzles are of the right difficulty, and I like the fact that most of them are themed around the possession mechanic. The story was enjoyable as well, especially the way the demons are portrayed. I do think more could have been done with the world building: we’ve got a very special location here, but most of the rooms are a bit boring –- they feel as if they were pasted in from a ‘cloister template’ rather than having been designed as this specific convent.

All in all, pretty solid stuff. It didn’t blow me away, but I enjoyed it and have no major complaints.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A Quest comedy about possessing nuns to rescue your mother, February 19, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

This is a fairly hefty Quest game in Bitter Karella's characteristic style: goofy characters, classic TAKE/DROP/LOOK gameplay, vivid settings.

You play as a "level 2 succubus" from the pits of tartarus, trying to find your mother who has been kidnapped by nuns.

The twist to this game is that you can possess all of the characters, each granting you different abilities and sometimes even changing the appearance of the game itself.

Quest always has some problems that make it not quite as responsive as inform, but Bitter Karella handles it well. I strongly recommend downloading for offline play, as the servers can get tied up.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A light-hearted puzzle comedy with a clever primary mechanic, November 24, 2018

Basilica de Sangre is a medium-length puzzle-based comedy. You play as a demon trying to rescue your mother, who has been captured and held prisoner by a convent of nuns.

It reminds me a lot of the other game of Bitter Karella's that I've played, last year's Guttersnipe: St. Hesper's Asylum for the Criminally Mischievous. Both games were written with Quest. Both feature the same irreverent sense of humor that pokes fun at authority but never comes across as mean-spirited. Even the puzzle styles felt similar. I did manage to solve Basilica de Sangre without hints, though, and that wasn't the case for Guttersnipe. I think that's partly due to the design of Basilica and partly just good fortune on my part.

To continue the comparison, while I enjoyed Guttersnipe, I do think Basilica de Sangre is a better game. The puzzles are a little better-clued. Mainly, though, I think Basilica is better because of the main puzzle mechanic: Since you're a demon, you can possess any human character you meet in the game. This means that many of the puzzles entail figuring out which character has the attribute you need to achieve your current goal. It's also fun to speak to all the other characters while in the body of particular character. The responses are amusing and often give you clues about the puzzles.

I'm a fan of a simple puzzle mechanic used in multiple ways, and Basilica's primary mechanic achieves that.

My favorite line in the game occurs when you finally reunite with your mother. It weaves the mother/child relationship together with the fact that you're both demons in a manner perfectly in keeping with the game's overall tone. It made me laugh out loud.

I also enjoyed the final climactic scene. I wouldn't call it a plot twist, but it was somewhat unexpected and even kind of appropriate from an IF standpoint.

If you're a fan of Bitter Karella's other games or just enjoy irreverent, light-hearted puzzle comedies, you should play Basilica de Sangre.

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Basilica de Sangre on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Basilica de Sangre appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Best of each authoring system by Denk
I intend to try the best games of each authoring system, so there will no doubt be many changes to this list in the future. So far, I think the following games are the best for each system I have tried: (games in alphabetic order)

My new walkthroughs for December 2018 by David Welbourn
On Friday, December 28, 2018, I published new walkthroughs for the games listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of...

Best of Quest by Denk
There are lots of Quest games, some better than others. These are my favourites:


The following polls include votes for Basilica de Sangre:

I Am You: Games involving possession of another character by Spike
Three games I've played in the past couple of months have featured the PC's ability to possess other characters as a primary or secondary game mechanic. What other IF works feature this possession mechanic?

Best of Quest by Denk
There are more than 600 Quest games on IFDB. Surely there must be a lot of bad Quest games, but there are certainly good ones too. It would be interesting to know, which ones are worth playing.

Mother-Daugher Relations by matt w (Matt Weiner)
What are some IF works that involve a relationship between a mother and a daughter? Not necessarily as the center of the work, but as something that impinges on it at all.

See all polls with votes for this game

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