Eternal

Player Rating7.31/8

"#2 overall, #1 for 2011"
based on 6784 ratings since 09/28/2011
played 330,562 times (finished 10,262)

Story Difficulty8/8

"mosie through a minefield"

Play Length8/8

"Even light has to break at the rest stop"

Maturity Level7/8

"anything goes"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 18. If this were a movie, it would probably be R.

Eternal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last hope for a dying empire

Additional notes:

This story can be very long assuming you're not dying. Years pass and your surroundings will most likely change. You may very well live a life time in the story.

As with any of my writings, the story comes before the game. However while there isn't a complex inventory and all of that, you can technically "win" by getting one of the epilogues.

There are 13 epilogues total.

There are also several points in the story where there are links that lead to more background information on various people, places, things and events. While not completely necessary to understanding the story, they do give you more insight into it.

Player Comments

This is seriously some of the most enthralling writing I've ever read. After reading it for the umpteenth last night I came to the conclusion that this is my favorite book.
The straightforward, dark, humorous way Endmaster writes helps slower readers, who have trouble with more serious/boring/verbose reads, to enjoy an otherwise dense and in-depth world.

The savagery of a dark fantasy feudal empire is disturbing, but in no way off-putting. I think that the setting was greatly benefited by the way in which Endmaster weaves words. More purple writing could have alienated some more prudish readers (the ones that weren't already scared off anyway). The deserts of Nalin/Naleen, Delergian swamp/sea, and other-such geography was actually a nice touch. I enjoyed how varied and vast everything felt. Even without going down the True Eternal path the world is massive and wonderful (I can't believe I'm calling something Endmaster wrote 'wonderful') The cultures within the story were interesting enough that I was a little sad that we didn't have more backstory pages devoted to them. None of them are original (Do I detect Warhammer vibes?), but nevertheless they're written well.

The characters are where the real action's act. Most of them are really well written, with only a few exceptions. Mistress, Alison, Talia, and Brenda are stronger, cooler, independent-er female characters than COG could ever whip up (poetic irony?) and I LOVE it. Mistress's fucked up life were funny and tragic, and I'm not someone that empathizes for fictional characters. I found the way her life to play out in both True Eternal paths to be interesting, and even worthy of her own story. The fact that the Eternal gets a little... close with her mind was a cool way to show a little bit more about her character.
Alison was just phenomenal. The relationship she had with the MC (a violent, apathetic, brainwashed sociopath) was intriguing, and almost made me feel happy for the Eternal, until I remembered what kind of monster he was. I still love Eternal Bliss though. Talia was decent. I thought her struggle between her religious beliefs and her love were well done, and I liked that Dendren's religion was a constant source of trouble for Shadow Eternal and Talia. I used to consider Brenda as the weakest of the characters. Before I read certain parts of the soldier path I thought her existence was just a plot device to broach the topic of romance to the MC. I almost forgot about her in every play through until she takes a more active role. Now after re-reading through every path of the game for the twelfth time I think I finally have a opinion/understanding on her. She's so infatuated with her husband and the Empire. His passing and another inevitable event in the soldier path rips a hole in her soul that never heals. The Eternal can comfort and support her enough to keep her from throwing in the towel but nothing will ever fill that void. That's why I didn't relate to her. I mistook it for a failure of End's writing but she's suffering from depression that's way stronger than the writing implied. Dendrin is a great character, and for some reason I love Flog. Cyrus was good in the Shadow Master path.

The only two characters I found to be "meh" were The Emperor and Decena. The Emperor could have used some more characterizing moments, since he has such a important part in the True Eternal path. Since he's the True Eternal's mentor and foster father, I think that it's an entirely reasonable criticism. Perhaps it's just a flaw in End's writing style but I found that a lot of the characters didn't have character moments beyond the bare bones. That's exactly the problem with Decena. First off, is that even her name? I struggle through scenes with her every time I read this. My suspicion is that by time End got to writing her he was starting to lose his motivation. Working too hard can be a detriment to the story and I think that the late stage Emperor path started to show signs. Around the 560's in the Republic path I started to catch this feeling again, but it wasn't as terrible without the cancer that is Decena.

Over all I think this is amazing for a hobbyist CYOA story. It has multiple disturbing genital warts, which I haven't showcased in full but I think that the overwhelming majority of the novel--and I'm not using the word lightly-- is highly entertaining. I can only hope to write this well eventually.
7.5/8
-- 3iguy on 7/30/2018 4:25:35 PM with a score of 0
... Yeah, this is going to be a long one. It took me months but I finally read through every single branch of every single path, got every single ending and then went back and re-read my favorite path again for good measure. To sum up... This game is fucking amaze-balls!!! ^_^

Endmaster is one of those rare and talented writers that can leave you feeling seriously emotionally moved by the end of the story. Reading the Eternal's life story from birth through to his last days genuinely makes me think about getting old and how difficult it must be to be nearing the end of your life and wondering if you could've done more with it... It's really bloody depressing. :p

Got to give Endmaster credit for his world-creating abilities aswell. I generally love High-Fantasy settings, but End always put an awesomely dark twist on his worlds. I think the story starts with a very strong beginning, having the protagonist being created and raised to become a ruthless killer utterly devoted to a corrupt government. It keeps the character treading a very thin line between villain and anti-hero, whilst still allowing the reader to sympathize with the character and even feel sorry for him. It's really interesting to see a character that can butcher an entire village of innocent men women and children without batting an eyelash, yet he has absolutely no malice or streak of cruelty in him, he just genuinely thinks he's doing what's necessary.

So... I guess now I'm just going to give a list of some of my top 3 favorite things in the story because... There's a lot of good stuff in the story!

Top three romantic interests:
3. Alison. (She's probably the nicest and most normal of all the Eternal's potential partners, and just a generally likeable character whilst still being fun and interesting.)
2. Brenda. (Of all the potential partners I think ending up with Brenda just feels most "right." Probably because she's another first gen Eternal and the protagonist grew up with her, which gives them a closeness that he doesn't have with any of the other potential partners.)
1. Decena. (... Kind of strange I picked her since I generally find mindless love to be quite annoying, but there's something about Decena that just makes me feel sorry for her. I felt she deserved a happy ending. ^_^)

Top three characters in general:
3. Lena (Quite similar to Decena, I just have a soft spot for unfortunate souls that the Eternal takes under his wing. In some respects I guess she was kind of a bitch, but then she sure has hell had enough reason to be, and while ultimately she never really gave up her quest for revenge, it was nice to see her channel it towards something meaningful, even if it didn't really work out in the end.)
2. Ulivik (What can I say? He's adorably annoying. Also I just generally enjoy watching the Eternal develop fatherly bonds with other characters. For some reason I always find the Eternal's life seems to have more meaning when he has a hand in raising or training one specific person that he cares about than the endings that involve the putting together or protecting of an entire nation.)
1. Captain Gruz (... He's just fucking awesome!) ^_^

Favorite endings (Without giving anything away):
3. Eternal Paragon
2. Eternal Survivor
1. Eternal Bane

... And yeah. This game is awesome... Read it ^_^
-- Briar_Rose on 1/29/2015 6:30:38 PM with a score of 0
After reading through every single page, I have to say that this storygame is nothing short of fucking incredible. The sheer epicness of the scale and length of the story, the volume of content and the number of different story paths is amazing. The amount of time and effort taken to write all this must be unbelievably big.
But the quality isn't hampered by the quantity. All of the paths for the 13 different 'proper endings' are entertaining, even if some are inevitably not as good as others. One of the most fun things about Eternal is to play through all of these and see how things end up differently regarding the plot and the deeply interesting and lifelike characters. Even the 'dead end' endings are really good, and personally I think some of the best fight scenes come from these endings.
Something I didn't like was the numerous spelling and grammatical errors scattered throughout the game. You can get over that easily enough though, as it's not too frequent. I also didn't like some of the storylines as much as the others. Having played through what I would say were the best paths first, I felt that the worse paths I played afterwards were a bit of a letdown, even though they were still a good read.
Eternal is well worth your time. I think it's by far the best storygame on this site, even out of all of EndMaster's masterpieces.
-- 31TeV on 12/11/2013 3:58:38 AM with a score of 0
love this best paths are shadow guard and leader
-- Lee on 11/27/2018 12:30:51 PM with a score of 0
Got ep3
-- hoodedcamera on 11/27/2018 8:38:31 AM with a score of 0
Awesome. Got epilogue 6, gta get them all
-- hoodedcamera on 11/27/2018 5:27:27 AM with a score of 0
This was the first story game I read on this site and I have to say it was amazing. It is a must read for anyone who loves a good story. I haven’t got all the epilogues yet (only 7/13 so far) but I will keep trying till I get them all.
-- DrStephens on 11/21/2018 3:49:16 PM with a score of 0
After reading through all the epilogues under the Struggle branch, I must say this branch contains the most exciting and epic plots. The Beg branch contains some of the saddest endings and the more boring outcomes (as far as I remember) in comparison to the other branches. It's still well written just that it covers the same grounds of battle, loss and empire building without the MC getting directly involved in magic and technology as well as the backstories of the emperor and Mistress. The Die branch used to be my favorite not just because of the greater use of magic but also because of the existence of Dendrin, which opens up more interesting situations as well as explains the background of another mysterious entity. The Struggle branch goes into the backstories of the emperor and Mistress while letting the MC become the right hand man of the emperor, an expert fighter, strategist and mage. It includes encounters with a greater variety of people and nations as well as an interesting relationship with Mistress which is one of the highlights of the branch.

My main gripe is that while most of the story at the beginning makes sense, the later parts seem a little sketchy.

I'm not sure why the MC's conversation leads to Batalimus' suicide. In the other scenario where the MC leaves, Batalimus is successful in decreasing the popularity of the MC even if it leads to the death of the all the senators. It will be an interesting story to see how Batalimus challenges the MC using ways he's less familiar with like politics and rhetoric. He is certainly an interesting character - he's a more rational senator than Quintus and he does want what's best for the nation.

The Mortos story is quite confusing unfortunately. I wonder what Semra means when she said she tricked the MC from not getting the book from Mortos by saying how the book would open up the gates of death and lead to the destruction of the world. Because in the end, the book did open up the gates of death. Even if the MC chose to visit Alison, the Death god would still destroy the world. Also, I'm surprised she herself doesn't take the book. A power hungry svelk like herself will want to exploit all the knowledge in the book and become even more powerful than the MC. Nicodemus is too apathetic to stop her anyway.

I'm unsure why MC reacts differently to Zana's betrayal in different branches. In one branch, he chooses to let the gnomes live but in another, he exterminates them. Perhaps he knew the book will destroy the world so he just let them enjoy the remnants of their days.

It's never directly addressed but it seems like the emperor has a hand in Semra's efforts in breaking up the MC and Alison. I don't remember the MC telling the emperor about how Semra impersonated Alison and yet the emperor told MC not to worry about her doing it again.

The Vision Lord storyline is slightly implausible. Since the Eyes' hq is isolated from civilization, and there are only a few adventurers who dare venture there, it seems impossible that their group will survive for five hundred years. However, when the MC becomes the Sightmaster, the group goes extinct during his time.

These are just a few minor quibbles I have with the Struggle branch. Overall, this story is highly engaging and entertaining with witty dialogues and full-blown fights, featuring characters with surprisingly realistic personalities, motivations and psyches and offering many emotional moments. This is one of the best CYOAs I've read.
-- zeewonka on 11/21/2018 3:20:19 AM with a score of 0
On the go to her option, you’re confessing your love for Decena, but you get a reply from Brenda. Just an error, I know, but I’d like for it to be fixed.
-- Austinc on 11/20/2018 9:48:24 AM with a score of 0
Great game
-- Benjamin on 11/11/2018 1:33:05 PM with a score of 0
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