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About the Story
It seems as if nothing in this cynical world can be entirely good. Everything must have a dark side, a secret flaw, an ulterior motive. But Faerethia is the exception. This is the story of how it came to be.
25th Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
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Number of Reviews: 2
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Faerethia has a novelistic and cinematic quality that I enjoyed, with a plot that's sketched out in a short amount of space and written in a sure hand. As a multimedia short story, itís also nicely rendered through silent movie inter-titles and the framing of vignettes interspersed throughout the piece, along with variations in font and background.
The themes of the story came through poignantly for me, especially in the dialogues between two unnamed characters that appear in a few sections. While the notion of this sort of technologically achieved utopia has been covered many times before, the writing was fresh and the emotional stakes high.
In terms of the interactive elements of the game, I enjoyed the sections that explored Faerethia as well as the interview with the computer. Some of the other satirical asides were amusing, but sometimes felt distracting and tonally at odds with the rest of the story.
Still, I found this to be a compelling piece of writing, and Iím left with the desire to delve into further philosophically tinged stories by this author.
I'm a fan of 'two-world' type games, and this one fits the bill.
This game starts out with you in a sort of Plato's Cave. Soon you find yourself in Faerethia, and then there is a flashback to (Spoiler - click to show)the real world.
While there is an overarching story (one that has been done by several people, even up to Dr. Who and MLP fan fiction), the real thrust of this IFComp entry is its philosophy. It tries to tackle identity and the idea of continuity of self.
Does it work? It might have been hard once to imagine getting any kind of deep discussion out of interactive fiction games, but there's been quite a lot of work in IF that tackles big issues in a professional and educational way (like the excellent game Hana Feels).
Does this game reach that level? I'm not really sure, but it has a lot of polish, and it's not quite so heavy-handed as many other 'deep' games. I felt my playtime was well-spent.
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