Ground Zero

Player Rating7/8

"even better than Reeses' Cups®"
based on 7076 ratings since 04/19/2008
played 144,589 times (finished 8,540)

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.

If you see a bright light, duck and cover!

Additional notes:

I should point out that 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 if you're lucky. You will also experience a completely different adventure depending on how you escaped the initial nuclear strike. (Assuming you do survive it.)

As with any of my writings, the "story" comes before the "game". However, this story was written in a "game like" format. So while there isn't a complex inventory and all of that, you can technically "win" by getting one of the 4 special endings. (You'll know if you get one because you'll get an epilogue)

Player Comments

The last time I left a comment on Ground Zero was a very long time ago. At that time I had only played through this storygame once, and whilst I hadn't died immediately, I wasn't exactly close to getting an epilogue. To paraphrase myself in this comment, I said that I would have liked more choice in the protagonist's actions. Looking back, I see that not only was I being unfair, but I didn't understand at all what makes this game great.

Since then, I have played through every page and discovered all the wonder and intrigue this deep, rich world has to offer. As is often the case with EndMaster's stories, it is the characters and plot which are most memorable. It is amazingly satisfying to see how your choices affect not only your own character, but other characters and even the world around you, in believable, really interesting ways. Not only that, but I was treated to a whole giant spider-web of such delicious stories, branching off in many directions, even when you think you've finished it all. Not one of these tales, on any page, did I find boring or dull. All the endings were a fun read and the epilogues provided good closure, with (most of them) giving us a glimpse into the life of your descendants. In this aspect - this incredible use of interactive fiction in its most basic form - Ground Zero is second only to Eternal.

I always find it strange when people complain about the linearity or lack of choices in an EndMaster game. Do they even know what linearity means? This thing branches like a motherfucker; it's anything but linear. I concede that there are less choices insomuch as there are probably less combinations due to lack of variables and scripting, but when you have such story-driven and meaningful choices that completely change the direction of the plot, the choices in Ground Zero are better, I would say. Yes, it means you don't control your character as much, but the protagonist is a (metaphorically) real person with his own opinions, feelings and motives. It allows for a much more complex and fascinating main character than if the player could decide every single little action.

Thank you, EndMaster, for writing such an epic tale that kept me entertained for hours on end. It was one of the first storygames I played on this website and it certainly left a fantastic impression. If it wasn't for Ground Zero, I might not have stuck around on CYS. Thank Dendrin I din't stumble upon Warrior Cats fanfic before reading this beauty.
-- 31TeV on 10/19/2014 12:06:28 PM
Got completely hooked here. Love how a dead end storyline isn't treated as such, but provides enjoyable reading in itself. Would love to see how things went with "the other woman" as well - how about fleshing that part out to the same extent as the epilouge storyline? Two equally rewarding wins, in a way. Epic story - in the word's true sense.
-- Pål on 11/3/2011 8:18:33 PM
Very addictive reading/playing, certainly held my interest! I liked the developement of the main character as you make your choices, and the interactions with other characters were always interesting and fun to read. However dialogue could get slightly confusing; there were some points where no indication was made as to who was talking. Also, I felt that we could have had slightly more control over the storyline (one point that sticks out is the vote over who initially became the leader between Ron and Elliot, you could have given the option to actually choose rather than have a default). That aside, I enjoyed the storyline, was totally compelled to keep going to find out how everything worked out for the characters, and will definitely play through again to try all available options. Really good work!
-- lorenrhys on 3/23/2011 9:23:49 PM
Poor Eliza.
-- Coolman on 5/25/2015 8:49:24 PM
THIS GAME IS AMAZING
-- Zippo on 5/22/2015 6:49:13 PM
Touching.
-- Kitsumaru on 5/22/2015 6:27:32 PM
First Endmaster read I'd made, and I must say I loved it! Ground Zero was just so surreal and visual for me that I couldn't help but go back and read it again! I should probably go read some more stories now...

Seriously though, Ground Zero is NOT to be overlooked. I would consider a CYS classic, even! Not that we have those but that doesn't matter. :P
-- Delta44 on 5/22/2015 6:50:52 AM
I got out of the shelter.
-- TheBossWriter on 5/20/2015 1:34:21 PM
The first time through, I got one of the short endings. Then I figured I'd go back and try again.

I've been reading this over and over all morning, trying to find the different endings and loving every second. This has been a truly unique experience, very well-written and engrossing, but realistic in many minor ways.
-- Beardly on 5/19/2015 5:02:25 AM
This was a fantastically made story, and I can't wait to try things another way. Definitely very intense, at least as far as the two paths I've tried so far.
Helps capture the frightening feeling of a world on the brink of collapse, which is very impressive
-- Bs on 5/19/2015 4:22:39 AM
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