Fall to Hopelessness

a Modern by Mystic_Warrior

Commended by mizal on 2/4/2021 6:54:27 PM

Player Rating5.59/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 18 ratings since 01/31/2021
played 135 times (finished 21)

Story Difficulty4/8

"march in the swamp"

Play Length6/8

"It'll be a while, better grab a SnickersĀ®"

Maturity Level5/8

"aren't you a little too old to be trick or treating"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG-13.

A quest doomed from the start. A man with an unwavering yet unusual moral compass. A daughter in the darkest depths of the night sky.

It isn't truly over until all hope is lost.

Fall to Hopelessness (storygame poster).jpg























'Good and evil, heroes and villains… they are all fantasies created by the world. There are only two types of people: the people you care about, and the people you don’t.'

Arnold Cyzila's best life may have been long since over, but he would do anything to save his daughter from the clutches of her confinement. Even stealing an airplane, killing the innocent, and entering a dangerous world where death is almost guaranteed. 

[Warning: There are some mentions of murder, deaths and several dark themes, so if those things make you uncomfortable, perhaps it is better not to read this story.]

Note: I initially did not plan on joining this contest, yet I'm glad I did since it has motivated me to publish a new storygame. It is related to Dreamtruder in a way… well, you’ll see. While this story may not be as long as my previous two, it was interesting to write a shorter project. 

Just like all my other storygames, commenting and rating this story are both highly welcomed and appreciated. Also, as I have used quite a lot of variables in several fight scenes, let me know if you ever encounter a page where there are no visible links. 

Lastly, there are a few different epilogues but the 'main' one would be an epilogue which mirrors the start of the story (you'll know it when you see it). There are three possible ways to reach that. Even though I may consider it to be the true ending, it is not a typical happy ending.

Player Comments

I really, really liked this. A lot. Where do I start? I'll start with the knowing tone of the narrator--not intrusive, not chatty, but so present. Even the PSA of "death is not the answer" in some endings felt very much in the spirit of this narrator.

The overall prose was attractively written, but more than that, it blended the mellow feeling of a fairy tale, modern adventure, and arch meta-ness.

But here's the thing: this is at its heart a story that partakes of medieval allegory, or Spenser. This is a story where the main character is dealing with figures who are both straight-up characters and allegories, like the embodiment of Truth, or figures who are both Video Game Enemies with health bars, essentially but who are also important things that need to be conquered in order to come to terms with with a terrible reality, or The Skeleton. But in the spirit of Total Recall or the very best modern allegory, we also get to doubt whether the Truth is the truth or just incipient madness.

We arrive at Hopelessness, but this isn't Milo puttering around in his little car tootling through the Kingdom of Widom with Tock and Humbug, but something that lets itself dig into dark fantasy. If we're in a world of allegory, then sure, why not kill someone without mercy and hijack the plane? It's not real.
Honestly the second I saw that health bar (Health: 20) I was hoping that the story would call it out. And it did not disappoint.

There's a little of everything here. There was serious and heavy grieving (I thought of the medieval poem Pearl, no kidding) and some tactical messing around with items and a fight, and decisions about how to use limited resources, and decisions about what kind of person I am. A sort of gauntlet through death and despair, where the enemies I face, I am and was responsible for.

This game is artsy without being fartsy, and the game goes so far as to treat us to excellent writing when using a bandage, because of course it all means something more than slapping on a bandage.

I did hit a bug which is probably a corner case, in which repeated shots at the same enemy didn't seem to do additional damage. That's ok. It made me despair. That's probably thematic.
-- Gower on 3/16/2021 6:10:39 PM with a score of 0
This is something that is certainly written quite robustly. I believe that there's a wealth of descriptive language used, but is it a dark fantasy when it is in some way a modern setting? That aside, I appreciate the writer's ability in making what's essentially a sequel, but is something that can stand strongly on its own as a good story.

Good work here, Mystic.
-- TharaApples on 2/8/2021 5:50:00 PM with a score of 0
As always, I'll actively try to spoiler the most I can in this review, so read at your own risk. One day, I'll stop even giving out these warnings and become the true edgelord this contest needed.

Alright, enough rambling. Let's get to the story. Mystic is an author that has erected a whole world parallel to our own and keeps expanding upon it with every story she puts out. I quite like it; it's original and has an exciting personality behind it, ever hinting at more and more to keep you reading.

More about the story itself, I found its weakest point being the start. While I couldn't fault the strong introductions of the characters, I disliked all murders having so little response from the world, exacting even less consequence than me booting up my PlayStation to shoot up some GTA npc's.

This was especially true in the therapist path, where both the dialogue flowed unnaturally and me shooting up the hospital was followed up with just more casual conversation and an even more casual stroll towards the airport to hijack a plane; no officers in sight. It felt strangely empty.

That being said, I greatly enjoyed the first-person perspective, which illustrated the ensuing descend into insanity much better than the second person would. The story also picked up, leaving the real world feeling even more hollow in contrast to the richly imagined and whimsical police state in the sky.

From there on, it only got better. I very much enjoyed the darker turn the story took. As we progressed further, the world became intangible, incoherent almost. Where normally I'd hate it and claw at my head in want for the author to give more description, here it fits the tone perfectly and allows us to focus more on the essential part, the conflict within our inner world. Very well done.

That being said, I felt the ensuing fighting game detracted more from the essence than adding to it, more shoehorned in than a solid building block, if that makes sense.

From the endings themselves, I enjoyed the Finality one the best. Although if I'd add anything, I'd say the Finality ending after the moment in the cloud deserved a slight alteration, the previous page having put more sweetness into this bitter ending. The other endings were very much different, showing a surprising amount of branching near the end.

All in all, this must be my favorite work of Mystic. The personal struggle and overall tone made this story really shine as it ramped up.
-- enterpride on 2/4/2021 11:48:45 AM with a score of 0
Great story, very emotional. This story has excellent descriptions that make you feel like you are there. Liked the way you had some good options at the stores, and I liked that you could choose both from the options or your weapons.
-- Future1 on 2/1/2021 3:05:38 AM with a score of 0
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