External Links

Contains scourge.hex
graphics and sound resources included
Requires a Hugo interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)
no graphics or sound
Requires a Hugo interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
original competition entry
Requires a Hugo interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Multimedia file

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to external links
All updates to this page

A Crimson Spring

by Robb Sherwin profile


Web Site

(based on 8 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

"Red Cloud meant more to me than anyone else on the planet. Sometime between one and three in the morning, on March 26th, 2015, she was brutally slain. Nobody knows why. I am going to find out if it means ripping this filthy city apart, brick by brick. I am a masked vigilante who attempts to fight this senseless violence every single night. I am the Holy Avenger." [--blurb from Competition Aught-Zero]

Game Details


23rd Place - 6th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2000)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

A thoroughly dark superhero game--you're a superhero out to avenge your girlfriend's (gruesome and minutely described) death. The multimedia aspect is good (the sound is better than the graphics), the writing's strong, and the plot is fairly complex--and the PC is nicely rendered as well; this is no stock jut-jawed invincible superhero. There are some implementation problems, though--at one point, SEARCH ROOM is a required command), and some of the event triggers are easy to miss. Plenty of sex and violence here, so this is not for the faint of heart.

-- Duncan Stevens

>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

I would have enjoyed the game lots more had it been bug-free, even without its illustrations. A Crimson Spring puts you behind the mask of a dark superhero on a mission of justice, but in the end, it only defeats itself.
See the full review

I cannot stress enough that the storyline and the writing in this game are both very good. There is a sense of drama evoked by the events in the game that I find lacking in many games which are more open-ended in terms of what the player can do and in what order. The "on rails" quality of A Crimson Spring works because it is not difficult to move forward in the plot, on the one hand, and the plot itself is well-written and intriguing, on the other. The puzzles are not difficult at all, and primarily consist of getting information (by talking to people) so that the PC will know what to do next. I enjoy the easy puzzles because it returns the player's attention to the story at hand.
-- Miguel Garza
See the full review

I played the updated version of this game distributed following the competition, with additional pictures. After playing all the Z Code games which all look alike, this was a pleasant change - a different layout and with sound too, although after a while I had had enough and was reaching for the volume control.
-- Dorothy Millard
See the full review


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Many interesting things, but very immature, August 13, 2008
by Maze (Rome, Italy)

This is a story game, with just a few and very simple puzzles in between. You are a superhero. Your superhero-lover has been killed (with a great deal of cruelty in between). You want to avenge her and start on a quest of your own, with some help from your superhero friends.

The good:
The plot is interesting. The background is interesting. The story is interesting. The gritty and cynical take on superheroes is interesting (reminded me of Pat Mills' Marshal Law comics). The moral decisions are interesting. In short: many interesting things around. Also, there is music and pictures.

The bad:
All the interesting stuff I mentioned before was weakly developed. The plot misses many points. After some time the background looks depth-less. The story often looks inconsequential. Though you are left to your own moral decisions, you always feel like the author is judging you (and not objectively). Also, the music is bad. And the same goes for most of the pictures (the photo-retouchings for some areas are nice, but the hand-made drawings are not, and can really ruin the atmosphere, especially in the last part).
Other than that, it's filled with story-bugs (like things happening when they shouldn't, or contradictory statements), game-bugs (like the parser saying a person is not there while instead he is) and parser-holes (like a desk being mentioned and, if you try referring to it, getting an answer like "the word 'desk' is not recognized by the game").
Finally - but this is purely a personal judgment - I disliked the game's social, religious, and political approach. Even considering that the game is written in first person (and thus the author had to interpret a gritty superhero's thoughts, which might not have been his own), it's superficiality on some matter was very annoying. But again, it was very annoying to ME: this is personal.

In the end, i found this game very immature, in all it's aspects. But, as I said, there were also many - undeveloped - interesting things. Thus, I look forward to playing Sherwin's following games: confident that, with time and experience, his qualities will have grown.
Anyway, if you're into dark and gritty almost-puzzle-less stories, you might want to give this a try. Yes, there are bugs, but they don't totally ruin the game, and you might find some of those interesting things inside.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A gritty and vulgar but descriptive superhero game with battle system , July 30, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This was Sherwin’s second IFComp game. It toned down the sexuality, but there are still quite a few inventive vulgar descriptions throughout the game.

This is an intense story (using a menu based conversational system) about superheroes in love and revenge. There are quite a few superheroes in this game, including some old familiar ones (an ice-guy) and also some innovative ones.

Outside of the vulgarity, the story is intriguing and even touching.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

A Crimson Spring on IFDB

Recommended Lists

A Crimson Spring appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Started But Unfinished Games by GameDesigner
These are games that I started and never got around to finishing. I intend to finish them one at at time.


The following polls include votes for A Crimson Spring:

Combat puzzle games by Jeremy Freese
What I'm looking for are games that have fights that are ostensibly combat, but the solution to winning the fight is really a matter of solving a puzzle.

Games with graphics and/or sound by eyesack
I couldn't find an easy way to search for this, so I figured I'd ask the hivemind: What games use graphics and/or sound to enhance the gameplay, similar to City of Secrets and Necrotic Drift?

Up, Up, and Away: IF starring super heroes by Molly
It's often been said that super-heroes are a poor fit for IF, given the reliance of the former on flashy, colorful costumes and fights. But let it never be said that some poor bastards didn't try. What are some notable attempts at...

This is version 7 of this page, edited by Paul O'Brian on 7 May 2022 at 1:37am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page