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The Golden Rose

by Ana Ventura

Fantasy
2022

Web Site

(based on 5 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

You are a recent member of The White Company, a mercenary guild on the far side of the law. Your job consists of hunting artifacts and roaming ruins that the Church has forbidden to mention. One of your expeditions, however, leads you down a path that is much deeper than you ever anticipated.

The Golden Rose: Book One is a thrilling 1.2-million-word interactive fantasy novel by Ana Ventura, where your choices control the story. It's entirely text-basedówithout graphics or sound effectsóand fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Juggle friendships, new alliances, and flames of romance in this epic adventure that will take you to a Europe where History took a different turn.

- Play as male or female; straight, gay, or bisexual.
- Find romance, friendship, or rivalry with a cast of colorful characters.
- Hunt down the thief that stole your forbidden maps!
- Fight against bandits and city guards while trying to stay away from the all-seeing Eyes of the Church.
- Explore ancient ruins and the cobblestoned streets of the medieval city of Tarragona. Step into a grand cathedral, a sprawling market, a multicolored harbor, the dark gates of the city, or an aqueduct that no one dares to come close to.
- Bond with a stubborn old horse.
- Choose to ally with a street urchin or the feral captain of the Guard.
- Uncover what is true in a world where denial reigns supreme.
- Start to unravel your own mysterious past.
- Immerse yourself in a world rich with characters, story, and lore.

Do you believe in Destiny?


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: June 2, 2022
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: ChoiceScript
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: Unknown
TUID: pf53ttp5xtgyqlv

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Number of Reviews: 1
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Ambitious and arduous, September 3, 2022
by autumnc
Related reviews: hosted games

This is a very long and ambitious Choicescript game, in fact one of the longest ever at 1.2 million words, and it's still only the first part of what promises to be at least a three-part saga. It takes place in an alternate-history version of medieval Iberia, where the Church has outlawed Latin (to the point where most of the characters have Germanic rather than Romance name forms) and the study of the Roman Empire. The protagonist is part of a company of mercenaries who seek to recover lost artifacts, which brings them into conflict with the Church and various other authorities.

The setting is probably my favorite part of the game. It is set in the city of Tarragona (in present-day Spain), and the medieval city comes alive in the very descriptive writing. There is a relatively free-form portion in the middle of the game where the player can visit different parts of the city; I love this kind of panoramic view of different social groups and people, who are all lovingly and distinctively portrayed. The alternate-history worldbuilding feels utterly believable, with details like names coming into play in fascinating ways.

On the other hand, the detail-oriented nature of the game can throw the pacing off. There is a constant sequence of tiny actions imbued with almost supernatural significance. Do you tilt your chin, touch your nose, or stoically gaze forward? Well, no matter what you do, there is going to be at least a paragraph of over-the-top description of your action and what it means for your personality, and it might not be what you expect. As someone who cannot read the author's mind (and is not the most socially aware IRL), the emotional salience of the various gestures was often lost on me (although I did learn the patterns). There's just so many of these tiny big choices, all throughout the story, and I got a bit tired of them. Also, the mass of details can unbalance the story; these tiny gestures are given more weight in the narrative than some of the moments where people actually die (it's funny how our mercenary can be adept at killing people while having anxiety attacks when someone looks at them a certain way).

The characters are a mixed bag. Some of them feel like dating sim archetypes (the nice boy, the bad boy, the defrosting ice queen), but they're written with a lot of detail and nuance. I like the ambiguity in a lot of the characters' motivations and even their feelings about the protagonist. The relationship descriptions in the stats page are all textual with no stat bars; even though there are multiple stat bars underneath the hood, it still felt more immersive to me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game, but I wish I could like it more. I'm giving it 5 stars mostly because of its high ambitions and the huge amount of work that was put into the game, and I'm certainly looking forward to the next book.


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Polls

The following polls include votes for The Golden Rose:

Outstanding Choicescript Game of 2022 - Author's Choice by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2022 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best Choicescript game of 2022. Voting is anonymous and open only to IFDB...

Outstanding Game over 2 hours in 2022 - Player's Choice by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2022 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best game of 2022 with a playtime of over 2 hours (as judged by the voter)....

Outstanding Game over 2 hours in 2022 - Author's Choice by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2022 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best game of 2022 with over 2 hours of gameplay (as judged by the voter)....

See all polls with votes for this game




This is version 1 of this page, edited by Shadowcutie on 21 June 2022 at 3:02pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item