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Pon Para and the Great Southern Labyrinth

by Kyle Marquis

Episode 1 of Pon Para trilogy
Bronze Age, adventure

Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Chosen by the gods, you must battle savage monsters, corrupt priests, and mad philosophers to save reality from the dark god of destruction!

Pon Para and the Great Southern Labyrinth is an interactive Bronze Age fantasy novel by Kyle Marquis, the first game in the Pon Para trilogy, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based--430,000 words, without graphics or sound effects--and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Years ago, in the Behemoth War, the forces of evil tried to destroy the world with Raun, the dark axe of destruction. Your parents united with King Hyras to win the Behemoth War and save the kingdom, becoming legendary heroes.

You have been raised far from the intrigues and corruption of the great cities–and from the plots of the gods. But after twenty years of peace, the pirate king Lord Vankred has found Raun. Under the threat of war, the gods grant you their powers. You must find the mad King Hyras and defeat Vankred before he can assassinate the King and shatter the Three Nations.

But the gods have their own plans for you, and so does the secret master of the Great Southern Labyrinth.

• Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, or ace.
• Defeat enemies with sword and spell, or make allies with diplomacy, deception, and the miracles of your god.
• Train your companions in alchemy, infiltration, diplomacy, or the arts of war
• Explore haunted forests, corrupt cities, and jungles littered with the remains of a fallen civilization.
• Find friendship, romance, or rivalry with an immortal nymph, a desert thief, or an ambitious monarch.
• Unlock secret magic techniques forgotten for centuries.
• Survive the wrath of the Emissary Beasts to open the labyrinth’s final door.

The labyrinth holds the key to untold mysteries. Once you know the truth, whose side will you take?

Game Details


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Number of Reviews: 1
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A long, complex fantasy game with massive worldbuilding, January 31, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours

Having played (almost) all of Kyle Marquis's games, I can say that there are some definite trends. They tend to be very long, with complicated skill checks and intricate worldbuilding.

In particular, the worlds he constructs have certain similarities, almost like half-remembered versions of the same fever dream. The worlds tend to be man-made by ancient, superior versions of humans, who are now gone, and have bio-mechanical or magic-scifi hybrid.

I like all of his games, but I think this one works particularly well (although his Vampire the Masquerade game is, I think, his best). Years ago, a group of heroes saved the world, and two of them had you as a child. When news of a foreign army comes, you have to travel across a huge continent and a variety of locales to warn others of what is to come. In the end, you have to travel to the Great Southern Labyrinth to get aid.

I can only describe the structure of this game as 'baroque', in the sense of being almost excessively elaborate. You have statistics for personal skills, as well as statistics for things you are trained in. There are many subplots running through the game (such as the fear of the gods, a lengthy murder mystery, political intrigue, your character's backstory, control over temple worship, an artifact that possesses creatures, etc.) and 4-5 villains, each of which would work fine as a main villain. It's over the top, maybe even overwhelming at times, especially given the size of the game. The great labyrinth itself is huge, but it's only in one or two chapters.

There are a lot of ways to fail in this game, both due to bad stat checks and due to built-in-failure.

I found your two main travelling companions (who also serve as ROs) interesting and varied.

Overall, a game I'd recommend if you've liked the author's other work or if you try out the free demo and enjoy.

I received a review copy of this game.

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