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The Mysteries of Baroque

by William Brown


Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Mad science raised you from the dead! Pursue justice or vengeance, love or secrets, as you save or destroy the world with forbidden eldritch power.

"The Mysteries of Baroque" is a 200,000-word interactive Gothic horror novel by William Brown, where your choices control the story. It's entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

One dark and stormy night in a remote castle in the mountains, you awake anew, resurrected by the brilliant Dr. Holofernes. But even a mad scientist can't keep you alive forever. As the procedure reverses itself over time, you will begin to die again. You must fight to stay alive long enough hunt down your killers, avenge yourself, and protect the ones you love.

Operating out of the mysterious Grand Guignol Theater, your quest will take you through the darkest shadows of the city of Baroque, the City of Dreadful Night, from its vast subterranean slums to the opulent mansions of its jaded, debauched aristocracy. Will you lose yourself in the distractions of romance, assure your own survival through the Holofernes Procedure, or sacrifice everything to take your revenge?

• Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, or ace.
• Fight to reclaim your old life and identity – or make a new home for yourself in the Grand Guignol Theater
• Trade your soul to a dark god in return for vengeance – or reject its help and fight alone.
• Stalk your killers through the glittering demimonde, mansions, and the slums.
• Learn the sanity-blasting secrets of the occult and risk your mind by unleashing them on your enemies.
• Use the power of science to devise and build bizarre inventions: death rays, gliders, and hallucinogenic grenades.
• Augment your regenerating body with clockwork technology like wings, a camera eye, or steel claws.
• Uphold the forces of law and order, the revolutionary Worker’s Council, or the enigmatic Vendetta faction in the battle for Baroque’s soul.
• Embark on dream quests and night visions to learn new skills and uncover ancestral memories.
• Bring comfort and hope to the suffering citizens of Baroque, or drive them further into darkness in pursuit of vengeance.

You died betrayed. You died in pain. And your troubles are just beginning.

Game Details


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Number of Reviews: 1
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A pastiche of older dark fiction with a revenge plot, February 19, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

This game is essentially a love story to all things old and creepy, mainly gothic horror but also the Barsoom series of books, mythology, urban legends, weird horror, and other such things.

You play as a Frankestein's monster-like character, brought to life by the power of science and lightning. Like the Count of Monte Cristo, you realize that you had been betrayed by someone you once respected and swear vengeance.

The game has a lighter side. As an example of the game's tongue-in-cheek nomenclature, you live in a city called Baroque whose principal enemy is the city Rococo. Other cities and people are torn from famous (and less famous) works of fiction, including speculative fiction from the Bronte sisters.

There is a chapter similar to the Phantom of the Opera, a chapter like the Red Death, a detective chapter, etc.

I found this all to be great. Near the end, it turns to weird horror, as many dark books in an older setting do, but it does it well.

One drawback is that there are very few opportunities for stat increases (you will likely end the game with most skills never having changed). Another is that many threads are brought up and then lost again. For instance, I received a modification that allowed me to have perfect photographic recall. But it never seemed to come up again, even in situations where it might be useful (searching through a pile of artifacts, trying to learn a secret name from a page, etc.)

Overall, I found the story fun and interesting.

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