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Story File
Contains Founder's Mercy.gblorb
Spring Thing 2019 version
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)
Walkthrough and map
by David Welbourn

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Founder's Mercy

by Thomas Insel

Science Fiction
2019

Web Site

(based on 12 ratings)
5 member reviews

About the Story

You awake. You are lonely, so lonely. It was a thousand days ago today. All alone these thousand days. Your parents were the last. No, your father was the last. He held on for nearly a hundred days longer. Now you are the last. Alone. Adrift.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 4, 2019
Current Version: Unknown
License: Creative Commons
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: BCC61E7F-CE8E-4C25-9E9D-5550D1138D8C
TUID: nmr68r3c6jja244q

Awards

Nominee, Best Setting - 2019 XYZZY Awards

Audience Choice--Best Implementation, Best Puzzles, Best Worldbuilding, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2019

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(2)
3 star:
(8)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
A completely smooth but sparse space puzzler, April 11, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game is pretty interesting. It reminds me structurally of Infocom's first sci-fi game, Starcross. Both deal with cylindrical space stations with a variety of components and pieces that must be dealt with. Both are highly polished in terms of implementation and bugs.

Those interested in parser games primarily for puzzle-based reasons or for the 'parser feel' will certainly enjoy this game, and I found enjoyment in this area.

Writing-wise, it's very sparse. Every message is custom, but the custom messages are sterile and non-descriptive. This aids in the abandoned space-station feel of the game, but I felt emotionally detached from the game. Starcross had alluring alien ecosystems and evocative descriptions of strange technology. This game doesn't have to be starcross, but I wished for something exciting or unusual in space.

tl;dr Solid small puzzle game with top-tier implementation but standoffish story.


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Nice Sci-Fi Adventure, April 9, 2019
by Denk
Related reviews: Inform

In this sci-fi parser adventure you are the last person aboard an abandoned space station. Your objective is to get away from the space station. The game comes with 3 feelies: A map, an antenna calibration guide and a Getting Started manual for an utility scanner.

The map is very convenient and so there is no need to draw a map yourself. The space station is spinning and so the directions Spinward and Antispinward are introduced in addition to port, starboard, up, down, in and out.

The game is very well implemented. There was a single puzzle that required a bit of guessing the verb, but besides that everything worked well. The puzzles were all fair, mostly easy and a few ones harder. Some of the puzzles are a bit technical but none of them requires special knowledge.

Some people might find the minimalistic descriptions too short. I personally found them sufficient to create a good atmosphere and to describe what's going on. This is definitely a game more than a story and so, too much text would disturb the playing experience. However, I would have liked the ending to be more verbose and interesting.

To sum up, the game is atmospheric with some nice puzzles and solid implementation. The ending could have been more interesting but still it was great fun. Try it.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Alone at Lagrange 5, May 25, 2021
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
Related reviews: SF

Founder's Mercy is very unclear about its backstory, but there are some hints to be gleaned from a Holy Book left on an altar, some personal memories of the protagonist upon entering locations and examining the surroundings.
You're on a generation ship sent out to the Lagrange 5 parking spot trailing earth in its orbit. (For those interested: Lagrange points are fascinating. The next huge space telescope will also be parked on one of them.) Your ancestors hoped to bring a civilization to fruition on this ship according to their godly laws. It didn't turn out that way and now you're the last one left.

Food and water are getting scarce and the life support machinery is slowly breaking down. Plus, you're yearning for human contact.

Founder's Mercy takes place on a very small map. Too small perhaps to give an accurate impression of the game world. It's only when you have the opportunity to look at the entire ship from a vantage point that you get an impression of how enormous it is.

Since you're on a wheel-shaped spaceship, directions are not the default N,E,S,W, but rather SpinWard, AntiSpinWard, Starboard and Port. This doesn't lead to any confusion however. The map is small, almost straight and circular. You can find whichever location you need by going SpinWard the required number of turns.

Like the backstory, the surroundings are not given a lot of attention. It's clear that the game wants to focus your attention on the puzzles.

The obstacles are quite easy to overcome. There was one that took a little bit of thinking around the corner, but it's mostly find-object-use-object stuff.

A nice and short diversion.


See All 5 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Founder's Mercy:

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Implementation of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Implementation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to...

Best parser games since 2017 by Rovarsson
When browsing for good recent games, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of Twine and Choice games. Add to that a great number of games with five stars and only one rating, many of which are also, yes, Twine and Choice games, it gets difficult...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Overall Puzzles of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Puzzles in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...

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This is version 5 of this page, edited by Zape on 22 September 2020 at 6:51pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item