Eternal

Player Rating7/8

"even better than Reeses' Cups®"
based on 2925 ratings since 12/31/2013
played 54,813 times (finished 1,512)

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.

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

... 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
Long comment ahead, beware! This was my first time playing one of these stories, and I am immensely impressed.
The best kinds of stories leave you with a sort of melancholy in their wake. I came across this story with the intention of spending a few minutes on "choose-your-own" nostalgia, but ended up witnessing the rise and fall of a rich world, the cultivation of a cast of full human characters, and the development of believable anti-hero protagonist who (despite my best attempts to curb his tyranny) became just as bad as the Emperor he intended to depose--albeit with all the best intentions in mind--and ended up an Eternal Messiah.
Though the story is occasionally linear, the choices it poses are involved and always difficult. I found myself often following one choice for a few pages, deciding I didn't like the outcome, reverting to the other option, and discovering it to be just as bad--but in a different way. Everything, from the very first choice to die, struggle, or beg, lasts to the end.
The characters are overall excellent, my favorite being Dendrin (I must have a soft spot for snarky pseudogods), though my own character was interesting as well. Talia (my male character's romantic interest) came off as a little flat, though (but maybe this is just me, as a female cis/ace person, trying to understand a straight relationship from a male perspective and failing). Other favorites were Cyrus and Theo.(Speaking of Cyrus, loved the inclusion of a gay relationship! Loved the fact that Cyrus was a believable character whose entire existence was not written based on the fact that he was gay! +10 points for diversity!)
The quality of the writing is pretty darn good throughout for something of this ambitious length. There are occasional slip-ups in grammar/syntax and tone, but the language is always vivid enough to get the point across, and there is nothing glaring enough to rip me out of the story.
Worldbuilding is excellent. I don't know whether it borrows from existing fantasy worlds, whether it ties in to the author's other works, or whether it's entirely original to this story, but it felt both fantastic and darkly realistic. I'd say it's kind of a cross between Lord of the Rings (Tolkien in general), Princes of Amber series (Zelazny), Elder Scrolls, and a webcomic by one Ashley Cope called Unsounded that you ALL SHOULD READ because it's EXCELLENT.
My favorite part of this is the realism--political, moral, interpersonal--of it. There's no way, at least that I can tell from the one extended playthrough I've done, to play the shining moral beacon of goodness. For example, from the first moment I read about the Empire I wanted to take it down. Okay, you can take down the Empire--but at what cost? I ended up making things worse as the land falls to squabbling warlords. Everything was painted in Blue and Orange Morality as I tried (and possibly failed) to not become the villain. And yet even as my character became murderous, I could still empathize with him. The only other work I can think of right now that has this similar sort of moral realism is web-serial writer Wildbow's work (Worm and Pact--things you all should ALSO READ because they are EXCELLENT).

Anyway, here I am posting a comment of ridiculous length on something that probably hasn't gotten a comment in quite some time. Excellent work, and I will be playing more to see if I can get endings other than (and perhaps less villainous than?) Eternal Messiah.
-- allison on 5/18/2014 2:39:36 AM 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
Uh...Ugh....yeah, I enjoyed the adventure, with all its endings. Endmaster seems a bit too modest to extend his master status to other fields of expertise.
-- Xenoturtleman on 2/28/2015 8:14:17 PM with a score of 0
I really have to applaud you for all the love and detail that you have put into this story given that it must have taken you at least a few months to flesh out this story. I haven't read a story as addicting as this for a long time, and I would personally buy a physical copy of this so that I could share this with my friends and family. One critique that I have is that it is hard to differentiate between the choices that will lead to different endings and the choices that just stop at a dead end.

Nevertheless, I do believe that this is a masterpiece in the making. My first ending was Eternal Hero, and it was interesting to see a plot twist like that happen. Then I went back to an alternate path that led to Eternal Harbringer, which in my opinion gave me a lot more details about the relationships between the characters and the fact that I went from a hero to a bringer of the Apocalypse faced with the same three choices (struggle, die, and beg) really made me smile. I hope that you continue to create these fantastic stories--either as a hobby or as a professional career--and that this story itself becomes eternal.
-- Daniel on 2/25/2015 10:10:43 AM with a score of 0
Why, EndMaster, your cloud of awesomeness is making us normals feel bad.
-- Wolfmist on 2/24/2015 9:48:36 PM with a score of 0
I've spent the last five days reading Eternal, and I finally read through all 13 stories it contains. This is a work of art. Simply amazing. Details are woven in throughout each path to tie in to the others, giving a very coherent and consistent world. The other characters are well developed, and I genuinely cared about some of them, while despising others. The protagonist is one of the best characters I have ever had the pleasure to "play as". He feels real, and all of his actions make sense, and fit into his overall character as it changes over time. I really felt the difference between 16-year-old me and 40-year-old me, in every path. I felt his drive and determination, his frustration in defeat and his glory in victory. I felt his love and his hate. He is an exceptional character.

Now, I couldn't bring myself to give this game an eight. This is because of the quality of the writing itself. There are grammar and spelling errors throughout the story. Many times, I'd say something and wonder, "Would a real person say it like that?" It made me sad to look at Eternal this way. I wish this could have had the service of an editor. It would have greatly improved the experience if I hadn't seen there/they're/their mistakes, or watched people talk in ways that no real person would. The fact that Eternal has had such success in the site despite all of that is a testament to how great the story is.

Endmaster, you are truly the master of the Crapsack World. I salute you. I will always remember this story, and you will always and forever remain ETERNAL.
-- Clement on 2/24/2015 12:27:39 PM with a score of 0
Thanks Bucky.
-- EndMaster on 2/24/2015 1:56:48 AM with a score of 0
I don't think I left a comment before when I read Eternal, and looking back over the past several years, I feel I owe you one.

If this sounds corny, so be it, but it is all true.

When I first came to this site three years ago as an account-less lurker, I was absolutely captivated by your stories, namely Eternal and Necromancer, as they were the first I read. These two stories inspired me to begin writing for pleasure for the first time since I was a senior in high school.

I keep files of my old writing from back then, and every so often I compare them to something I've done recently. The difference is night and day. And while I still have plenty of room for improvement, I know I would not be at this point now, if it were not for your stories and the inspiration I drew from them. For that, I am Eternally Grateful.
-- Bucky on 2/23/2015 11:03:51 PM with a score of 0
Took a few days to even finish a few plots
damn this thing Is long...
-- WOAH on 2/23/2015 12:41:27 AM with a score of 0
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