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What Fuwa Bansaku Found

by Chandler Groover profile

Historical Fiction
2016

Web Site

(based on 29 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

A samurai explores a haunted shrine.


Game Details

Editorial Reviews

Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
Even though the piece is quite short, there is room enough in Groover’s story for several surprises. A lovely, eerie meditation on what is truly monstrous.
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michaelbaltes
Was das Spiel interessant macht, ist das Setting im historischen Japan des 16. Jahrhunderts (Feudalzeit, Sengoku Periode). Der Autor integriert auf gelungene Weise japanische Begriffe und zitiert japanische Schriftsteller in einer für die Geschichte adaptierten Form. Zugleich erzählt er den historischen Kontext der im Spiel erwähnten Figuren.
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Segue
The writing in verse enforces a certain rhythm to the story and greatly eases the constant breaking of time and continuity it does – descriptions of immediate objects flow in and out of flashbacks. This is perhaps even gentler than Groover’s past work in terms of accomodating people who are not accustomed to the parser; almost every interaction is explicitly prompted by the game.
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(8)
4 star:
(14)
3 star:
(5)
2 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 3
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Elegant and beautiful prose poetry, January 7, 2016
by Ade Mct (Yorkshire Dales, UK)

For me, Chandler Groover might be one of the best prose stylists in IF today. And Fuwa Bansaku is no exception, illustrating another tool in the author's already formidable toolbag.

Fuwa Bansaku, a telling of how the titular samurai undertakes a quest from his emperor to investigate a haunted temple, and paying homage to traditional Japanese poetic form and structure, is a lovely piece of work. Mechanically, it is simple. Advance, return and examine provide all the entry commands needed to advance the story and uncover additional player commands that deliver the back story. And this works extremely well. It is an entirely accessible piece of parser IF.

In what it aspires to, it achieves. It is an elegant, clever and innovative work of literary fiction. I urge everyone to spend the time to engage with it.

(Spoiler - click to show)If I have a criticism, it is that I would have liked the second half of the story to have bifurcated. Could I have made a choice that would have altered the ending?

Unlike a previous reviewer, I believe that the parser format, and the requirement to actually type a command, interacting with the text physically gives weight, and forces the player to focus on the prose. In a link format, where the eye is draw to the options before the prose is fully internalised, this story would have suffered. This prose needs to be savoured.

Much kudos to Sub-Q also for bringing works like this to a wider audience. More, please.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful elegiac work, December 22, 2016
by streever (America)

This short, haunting piece requires the reader to advance (a) or retreat (r), with a variety of other actions suggested after you look at or examine the scenery. It's very linear, but like much great character-driven interactive fiction, the linearity feels natural as you discover your character and what their limitations and compulsions are.

Interspersed throughout the work are fragments of poetry from Basho, Kikaku, and other 17th-century poets. The end result is a haunting, elegiac work, telling a stylized version of the semi-historical story of Fuwa Bansaku, a 16th-century samurai.

Near the end, the work features a ukiyo-e print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, a 19th-century japanese woodblock printer; this famous image from his series, 100 Ghost Stories of China and Japan, seems to be the inspiration for this short and dramatic ekphrastic piece.

This is a beautiful use of the format and a moving, haunting piece, which should inspire the reader to learn more about Yoshitoshi, the poets, and of course, Fuwa Bansaku. Very lovely.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A poetic meditation on court life and rivalry with simple command set, March 30, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This Sub-Q game is tightly focused and compact. You play as Fuwa Bansaku, a samurai based on a real-life Japanese swordsman. You are investigating an abandoned shrine that is rumored to be haunted.

This game uses a small number of directional commands and tightly-written poetry to achieve a compact and peaceful feel.

The story revolves around court drama and the story of the abandoned shrine.

An enjoyable, short piece.

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What Fuwa Bansaku Found on IFDB

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Polls

The following polls include votes for What Fuwa Bansaku Found:

Artistic Games by WriterBob
I'm interested in games that take the fiction of IF to new levels. These are not straightforward, plot driven games. Think instead of games that play like poetry, or games that focus on a character's revelation.

IF of yours you'd most recommend by blue/green
If someone were going to play one IF you've written, which one would you recommend? This can be based on any criteria you choose: personal favorite, highest rated, most representative, most accessible, whatever. (You can always change...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Games of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here will...

See all polls with votes for this game




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