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Cortes's Creed

by Varun Kejriwal, Utsav Hegde, Adam Karram, and Brad Buechner


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(based on 1 rating)
1 review

About the Story

It is February 1519. You and your men have just disembarked from your ships. This shore is the closest to paradise you have ever seen. Lush, green vegetation lines the coast upon the smooth sand. As you look out towards the Gulf of Mexico, you notice how clear the waters are. However, as much as this would be a great place to stay, you must travel inland towards the unknown. A series of tribes await you, some of which may be detrimental to your conquest. If you are able to push through, though, lavish rewards lie ahead.

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
"Amazon Trail" by way of "Detective", June 24, 2008
by Ryusui (Out in the middle of a field!)

Cortes's Creed(sic) is a "student-designed historical simulation", which in this case means "a bunch of textbook quotes strung together by inappropriately irreverent dialogue, nonexistent implementation and a general sense that nobody involved in the project really knew what they were doing."

Apart from the typo in the game's title, the game begins promisingly enough, starting you off on a well-described beach (probably ripped straight from the textbook) with a letter in hand describing just what you've done to deserve your current situation (also probably ripped straight from the textbook) and "pistol" (whoops). The moment you head west, though, prepare to be disappointed as you encounter Geronimo de Aguilar and his little Ben Gunn-esque shelter (which can't actually be entered, as the game breaks character to inform you). Examining any of the surroundings reveals some mimesis-shattering changes in tone: no doubt at least one of the four people laying claim to this train wreck didn't really care whether the end result even remotely resembled actual events. (I'd like to remind all four of you miscreants that Hernan Cortes never had cause to to talk like a member of the Teen Girl Squad.) History tells us that Seņor de Aguilar was Hernan Cortes' translator and thus vital to his success, so we can assume that we are expected to bring him along. Unfortunately, this proves far more difficult for the player than it ever did for the Conquistador, as you must "ask geronimo to join army" or some such; on the upside, reading the source code reveals that there are several valid phrasings for this command, but none of them are even remotely hinted at in the game's text, and there are no help or hint functions to suggest that this distinctly nonstandard request is how you get Cortes his Mayan Rosetta Stone. Things only get worse from here.

Going into a blow-by-blow list of this game's faults would probably require a page roughly as long as Wikipedia's entry on Hernan Cortes, but suffice it to say that most exits are unmarked, objects have a habit of being referred to both in a room description and the usual nondescript objects list, and let's not forget the authors' inability to refer to things in the plural ("You can see a wooden door and a Leaders of Totonac here") or even use proper capitalization most of the time. The two further nonstandard verbs required to finish the game ("slaughter" and "arrest") are surprisingly well-clued, but the game's implementation is so ramshackle that it serves more as a proofreading exercise than a historical "simulation" of any sort. If Cortes' actual conquest of Tenochtitlan was anything like this, he would have given up in frustration shortly after landfall.

Mr. McCall, I strongly suggest you review your students' work before you publish it. This is not an alpha, it is not even remotely polished, and it is an insult to both the educational and literary potential of the Interactive Fiction medium.

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