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About the Story
Browse the Endling Archive to uncover the purpose of its creation.
I hesitate to call this interactive fiction. It has a much lower level of interaction than "mainstream" IF.
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Number of Reviews: 6
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If you're anything like me, I'm sure you've enjoyed finding books and computers in IF games that let you wander through a menu of backstory. The Endling Archive is essentially the same thing, only without the containing game. So, yes, it is pretty much just reading static text from a menu that expands after you've select a couple of options.
The Endling Archive strikes me as a good germ of an idea. I'm surprised that I've never played an IF game before that exclusively treated the parser as a fictional computer system, and it seems to me that there should be a wealth of retro-futuristic (or just pretend unix console) hacking games. There aren't however, so for now we'll just have to enjoy this strange and haunting encyclopaedia of things that the future and present have lost.
I was confused at first: "Load configuration file?" Well, okay, once I figured out how to start a game, it seemed like a database of little factoids, seemingly unrelated to each other. Then there were the personal notes, which made the unseen narrator an NPC in its own right. Endling tugs on your heartstrings because the triviality of some of the 'files' contrasts starkly with the gravity of the disaster the narrator alludes to.
Even though there is no story in the traditional sense of the word, even though it basically is a bunch of factoids, it is elegantly written, carefully constructed and moved me to tears.
The Endling Archive manipulates Inform 7 in a truly interesting way.
The game treats the player as someone using a database written in the traditional Inform menu system (using N, P, Enter, and Q to navigate). As you read more of the database, more and more becomes unlocked.
The game uses interesting pictures. The story is based on the idea of survivors, the last of their kind. The database starts out with different real-life examples of endlings, and then transitions to different material.
I really enjoyed it, although the ending fell a bit flat. It took 10 or 15 minutes to play.
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