Edithe Zilonis

a Mystery / Puzzle by MadHattersDaughter

Commended by mizal on 7/19/2019 1:25:11 AM

Player Rating6.20/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 29 ratings since 11/09/2019
played 71 times (finished 2)

Story Difficulty1/8

"no possible way to lose"

Play Length4/8

"A well spent lunch break"

Maturity Level4/8

"need to be accompanied by an adult"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG.

An undertaker meets a dead woman who is more alive than most of the living.

A (mostly) illustrated story involving a very mysterious murder, ghostly romance and spirits possessing --- the dead?

Let's not worry ourselves with the details. This is Blackwood, after all.

Sign
UPDATE 11/9/19: Housekeeping and an added Bonus Update Epilogue. All your questions will be answered in time. Enjoy!

Player Comments

This was an extremely enjoyable game, and possible one of my favourite premises for a game on the site. I knew I was going to love it as soon as I read the synopsis. I love ghost stories and I love murder mysteries, so to see the two combined so well was a real treat!

There isn’t an awful lot negative I can think to say about this game. I suppose one thing that stood out to me is that the fact that, with half of the choices you made, the game then forced you to make the other choice… Which kind of made it feel more like a short story than a game. That said, that’s not really a bad thing. It was a really interesting story, and it grabbed my attention enough that I kept going back to see the brief parts of the story I’d missed out on.

There was only one major, major problem I had with this game, and it gave me a real fucking headache. Towards the end, there’s a whole bunch of sections where none of the speech uses quotation marks, ie;

Bob said, hi Andy, how’s it going?

I replied, great thanks, and you?

Bob said, fine and dandy!

This is just… Wrong. They’re having a conversation. I mean, it’s fine not to use quotations if you’re just giving a brief summary of what they’re saying like, “Bob thanked me,” or “Bob told me about a three hour wanking session he’d had the other night,” but in these instances, what they were saying was actual word for word dialogue. There should be speech marks, damn it!

Only other complaint I can think to make is that the maturity level feels a little low for me. You call this a PG? The game has bloody necrophilia in it… Kind of… Sort of… Not really… Either way, all the murder and shit should at least make it a PG 13.

Other than that… It was brilliant! The illustrations were gorgeous and I really think they added to the game a lot. The plain line art style matched the tone of the game perfectly. I really liked the main character, and thought it was interesting that he preferred the company of the dead to that of the living. I found him really complex and relatable.

Also, weird as it might be, by far my favourite part of the story was the brief part at the beginning where you get to learn a little about one of the Undertaker’s previous clients, and also the part at the end when you learn about the brief time they spent with the Undertaker before moving on. I restarted the game four times so that I could learn everything about all four of them. I just found it really touching, reading about the different ways in which these four completely different people had to come to terms with their death. Kind of makes me want to write a POV story with a ghost as the protagonist.

Anyway, to sum up… Absolutely loved it! ^_^
-- Avery_Moore on 8/28/2019 6:02:41 PM with a score of 0
This is a fantastic spin on the traditional murder mystery with magical and mystical elements woven into the narration in a manner so splendid that I never thought to question them at any point in the story. Because of the way the narration is presented, the protagonist speaking with the dead felt frighteningly natural; I never felt the need to have this strange ability explained to me. Which brings me to my next point, exposition. When dealing with fantastical abilities and events, over-explaining them often makes them lose a certain mysterious charm which in turn causes them to be tedious and boring. This is not the case here. Just enough information about the mystical and occult elements in the story is given to make me wonder and theorize about them thus making them interesting to me, and yet they are not laid bare in front of me so that I might lose interest on account of the mystery being explained to me as if I were a preschooler.
The characters I found to be endearing and quite likeable, particularly the undertaker. The dedication and love he showed for his work, as well as the involvement and receptiveness he continually shows to his charges are quite enjoyable as a reader. Edithe comes out as a strong and determined young woman with a golden heart and a gentle soul, which is always good and welcome. The undertaker’s sister’s brief appearances are also worthy of note, and I personally quite liked the vengeful spirit/regretful estranged sibling character that she represents.
This may not be a traditional CYOA, and as far as I could tell it has only two endings (though I may be wrong), with the various decisions you make along the way mainly dictating what information you received and how. This may sound like a complaint, but it most certainly isn’t. This kind of narration perhaps benefits much more out of having a more or less structured path. The author was clearly trying to tell a specific, concise tale and adding multiple paths and endings in an effort to make it more in line with the norm here would have likely caused the story and its intricacies to suffer as a result.
I did feel that the story ended rather abruptly, with the realization about the murderer’s state of being, the confrontation with him and the actual ending all happening in quick succession. Personally, I would have liked to learn more about the murderer and his motives. Was he Edithe’s father? Why did he kill Edithe and the sister?
In any event, this is a very good story with excellent illustrations that really do a wonderful job of setting the tone for the entire story and conveying both the physical appearance and personality of the characters they describe. All in all, this is a fun and interesting story that everyone should take the time to read from start to finish. Several times, if possible.
-- DarkSpawn on 8/5/2019 1:32:13 AM with a score of 0
Edithe Zilonis is overall a well-done story, and I would happily read another from the same author.

I quite liked the narration style and the occasional pages talking about the past or some other event. It gave the story the feel that it was actually written by the main character and narrator as a memoir of sorts. It also gave it a somewhat different feel from anything I can remember reading on here, which was quite nice.
I felt that there was a right amount of explanation to the fantasy elements to the story to leave me unconfused without bogging down the narration. I would have liked to maybe see a bit more about the whole murder and the motivations for it and such though, considering the category this was in.
There were not any mechanical errors that stood out to me—definitely nothing that broke the flow of the story.
Although not necessary, the illustrations were a nice touch as well.

However, it would have been really nice to have more real choices, I thought. The vast majority of choices had no real effect on the story, and while some like that could have added to the before mentioned memoir feeling, it is too much for every choice to be that way. Most of the choices seemed to only determine whether the reader would get an extra page to read. The format is reminiscent of the CoG style of games in that way.
If you are into that format, then that is fine, and you faggot who reads reviews before stories will like this. However, I am not, and branching means a lot to me.

I recommend this interesting and unique story, but with the warning that it is better considered as a sort of interactive novella than as a CYOA.

-- Cricket on 7/25/2019 4:29:48 PM with a score of 0
Spoilers below, beware!

This story was cute and worth the read! The characters were vivid and I loved them. There was no branching as far as I saw, just links to different side information that was not necessary. I felt compelled to go and read most of it.

The romantic element of this story was perfect! As a hopeless romantic my heart melted! It broke when I realized that as they started their relationship, the girl he loved was already dead! The ending did a good job of providing a happy ending that made sense, I was a fan. I am crying right now actually, and will for the rest of my life. Very original take on a love story.

The art was also a nice touch, if you drew that your self props! I have everything a 6/8.

That being said there were a few issues, I almost rated it a bit lower, but read my paragraph on the love story again. Good, now for the issues:

- it read clunky at times. At first I just thought it was the writing style, because the grammar isn’t bad (I am bad at grammar but I didn’t think it was an issue). Then I found the problem. Small unimportant words were added or left out of sentences in some places. Words like: the, is, it, etc. some examples are:
“... physically capable, and of perhaps...” also “... slipped her are under mine, walked along...”
This may have been a style choice, but the undertaker seemed well read and educated. Seemed like more of a mistake.

- in several places there was an incorrect word in a sentence and that was distracting. Hardly noticeable most of the time though. See page “continue” (right before you have the option to kiss the ghost) there is a sentence that reads “...they bite away their tears...”

- the biggest thing that distracted me was missing quotation marks. I think it was because in dreams often the author meant to write something like “I replied to them” which would not need quotes. But the author actually said “I replied to them and said X, Y, Z.” Without any quotations. It was not a huge deal, it was just distracting.

Summary: I cried. One of the best takes on a romance I have read on this site so far, possibly anywhere. Original and fun. I cried again. The writing just needed minor cleaning up.
-- Shadowdrake27 on 9/4/2019 3:45:01 PM with a score of 0
This was a very interesting story. I did have some complaints about it but it was for the most part fantastic.

So the few complaints I have are pretty much what has been said in other reviews. There seems to be a lack of quotation marks at some points which makes it a bit difficult to tell if the people are talking or my character is just thinking. I did also notice a few times where a sentence went something like, "And he had black hair, and he had pale skin, and he wore a black suit." and it feels a bit clumsy I guess? It's a bit hard to tell with the commas whether things were written in a way that was supposed to be stylized or whether it was just written that way. And the last real complaint I had was that it was very linear. Many of the pages with choices had only choose two options. If you choose the first, you move on. But if you choose the second, then you get some extra information or dialogue then are left with only picking the first choice. I really don't mind linearity as much as some people do, but this was much more of a story than a game. A very good story, mind you.

Now, onto the good stuff. I think I pretty much have to mention the artwork. It must have taken an awful lot of work to make all of that and I really did enjoy it. Sometimes adding character portraits can be a bad thing in stories like this but I really think you managed to nail it. And you didn't use them as a crutch by not explaining their appearances in the story. The artwork was just a bit of added flavor. So great work on that.

The characters were all very well written. I found that Edithe was a joy to converse with. She was very funny and confident, but also afraid and stubborn. It made a good contrast to the undertaker who was a rather calm and stoic individual. I also really liked the characters we talk about formerly laying to rest. It was interesting to see the different reactions the dead have to being laid to rest. About what they deserve and what they've done.

I also really liked learning about our undertaker's ability. I honestly wish we could have seen more interactions between the undertaker and the deceased, or maybe touched on his abilities a bit more. It must be fascinating to talk to the dead. I also would be interested in knowing just how many other people have this ability. Our mother seems to have it, and so do we. Our family is at least aware of it but our sister is said not to have it. Is it genetic? At first I thought the undertaker was simply crazy and that it was all in his head, until Edithe kicked a kid and he doubled over in pain. Then our mother saw him and now I'm convinced some magic stuff is going on. But either way it was a very fascinating plot.

So I know I said the complaints were over, but I do have one more minor gripe. The whole murder mystery part felt a bit, lackluster maybe. I mean, I really enjoyed talking with Edithe and everything but the whole mystery just felt kind of secondary in a way. I mean, we end up catching the guy and yet we don't really figure out who he even is, at least not that I could tell. He was apparently a ghost but his motivations were unclear to me. It just seemed like the story could have gone a bit deeper into the murder mystery aspect, or simply have just been about trying to convince Edithe to move on and the moral dilemma that goes along with that.

I did think that the ending was very nice though. I wish we could choose to go to heaven. After all, our family and Edithe are there, and being an undertaker alone is just kind of sad to me. It was a well written ending, but a sad ending. The ending where Edithe and the undertaker both become ghosts was really sweet though. I really enjoyed that one.

So overall, despite having a few complaints I really did enjoy this story. It was well written and really pulled you in. Much more of a story than a game, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. You have a lot of talent MHD, and I really hope to see more from you in the future.
-- TurnipBandit on 9/3/2019 2:17:06 PM with a score of 0
After reading and reviewing a lot of the stories on the site, I’ve gotten to the point where I can tell by the first page the rating number I’m most likely going to end up on. Obviously the number changes depending on the actual story, but you can get a deep feel for the storygame’s quality by the opening page. I was blown away after reading the first page of this story. It’s intriguing, engaging, and visually appealing. Just by reading the first page, I knew this game was going to be a 6 or higher.

It’s hard not to comment on the beautiful images, so I’ll make this brief. They’re wonderful and invite a greater experience to the story. The style of the artwork is perfectly fitting to the story’s tone and characters. Simply put, they’re bitchin’.

To the actual writing itself. First person stories are always a nice surprise on the site. Second person POV can get mundane at times and can easily trap the author into starting every sentence with the same ol’ “you do this, you feel that”. The style and POV fits the story well, although I did take issue with some of the sentence structure. I’m not sure if MHD was going for a poetic flow, but there’s a ton of commas where they shouldn’t be. They appear so frequently that I came to the assumption it was done on purpose. Here’s an example: “It was unfortunate for everyone, because I just cleaned up a corpse and would not be getting paid, I assumed.” The dialogue punctuation is near perfect and that makes me think the extra commas were, in fact, purposely placed.

The tone of the story is very unique. I think I mentioned this in the Forums, but it slightly reminds me of Neil Gaiman. It’s creepy and yet light-hearted. We’re reading about dead people and romanticizing about them. Stuff that should be chilling, but the writing and images play to a fun story. It’s almost contradictory to explain, but a pleasant delight to read.

In my first paragraph, I mentioned knowing a story’s rating by the first page. I thought this would be a 6 or higher and I ended up giving it an 8. Obviously the lack of branching and meaningful choices hurts it a bit, but I enjoyed every other quality Edithe Zilonis provided.
-- ninjapitka on 8/29/2019 7:53:30 PM with a score of 0
needs more of her name. I didn't realise her name was Edithe Zilonis until the end. was not clear enough. thank u
-- Edithe Zilonis on 8/3/2019 8:34:17 AM with a score of 0
Intro: Now I'm going to start off by saying this is a great game. You should definitely read it and I would definitely recommend it. If you are the type of person who reads reviews before games, I'm going to warn you that this review will spoil the entire story for young and before you read this review you should play the game. Also by all means you should play this game. It is a great game that by all means deserves to be featured. Besides one major problem I'm going to touch on later this story is magnificent.

Concept: The concept was the main reason why I was drawn to review this story. I love the whole undertaker thing, and love how it is implemented. I lean towards darker themes in general so that definitely helps. I also the whole afterlife thing, and how you are judged before judges and get to pick where you go is great, and it is implemented great as well. I would of liked to see it explored more, but given the focus of the story I see why it wasn't.

Plot: The plot itself is pretty basic, though the way it is written makes it go from basic to amazing. While a girl getting murdered and you having to find out who did it may be basic, the story puts a lot of different spins on it that turns this into a story worth telling. That combined with how well it is written and this is a must read. I can't pick out what, but something about the authors writing puts this story on a whole new tier. Even though the plot is kind of basic, the concept and characters are the main driving force for me. Speaking of...

Characters: I absolutely love the characters in this. The undertaker himself feels like an old man, though it is stated later that that is not the case. The girl herself has a flaring personality that contrasts nicely with the more reserved, sweet, and caring vibes I got from the undertaker, and their senses of humor pair nicely.

Structure: This is my biggest complaint with the story overall. The story itself is very liner, with the only major decision being the final one and all that one determines is what ending you get. Honestly if it just had more paths or just something to make it more of a cyoa the quality would be improved drastically. Though I would rather have this than a story that branched, and because of that the story suffered because of it. But if you can keep this quality of writing, and add branching, then do that.

Word count:13.6k. Overall not a bad length, though not a terribly long one either. Though in this story's case I think I prefer this length. It makes a decent read while not being too long as to be overwhelming. Also the fact that it is short means that it is nice and compact, and that makes it so that it is interesting throughout.

Spelling and grammar: Amazing. Noticed a few things, but nothing to detract from the story.

Conclusion: Definitely a story worth reading. I would be interested to read more from the same author. I have to give this game a 6/8. The writing was amazing, and the only bug flaw was the branching. If that had been fixed I would have given it a 7, but as it is it is a welcome addition to the featured page.


-- Serpent on 7/31/2019 8:19:11 AM with a score of 0
This is a very well-written story. I'm not entirely sure how much actual branching occurs; the length of the entire storygame is 13,000 words, and my read-through was quite lengthy, leading me to suspect, by sheer mathematics, that there aren't a great number of multiple endings. Most of the choices seemed to be about letting my decide how information was provided, if I want to talk to Person A or Person B, and so forth.

Which I don't say as a complaint. When I saw this story was published last week and took a peek at it and knew it was going to be a hit. So I'm very glad I took some time to read it today. The scene is set well (although I was unsure about the time period, due to the mention of carriages, freezers, and electricity); the characterizations were told in an interesting way, with just enough detail to help me understand the story, but without the need to overexplain things I don't need to know; and the overall story offers a satisfying amount of mystery.

This is a fine story, and I'd like to see more from this author.
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 7/23/2019 8:14:31 AM with a score of 0
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