Ground Zero

Player Rating7/8

"even better than Reeses' Cups®"
based on 9414 ratings since 04/19/2008
played 194,909 times (finished 12,307)

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
Very nice read! Full on!
-- Need4Read on 2/4/2016 10:41:59 AM
A good story, albeit a little short. The author is pretty good at writing, but the choices are a little too obvious, as long as you play the moralfag you'll mostly likely get a good ending
-- BoredUser on 2/4/2016 4:02:23 AM
Stay in the shelter and you'll get the feels. I'd rate 10/10 (already rated 8/8)
-- Ferrous Oxide on 2/1/2016 2:46:30 PM
I love the endings and the choices are certainly easy to understand. At points I didn't understand by what choices meant as in "stay put" didn't mean follow orders temporarily, but rather forever.

One of the best.
-- Jace on 1/26/2016 1:33:29 AM
My god, i got the 150 years later community shelter ending, and the story was amazing, plus i got an epilouge!
-- Ethiano on 1/25/2016 2:15:10 PM
Second time I've gotten an epilogue, but the first I've been logged in to leave my thoughts on it.

Ground Zero is a good read. Like most of Endmaster's stories it offers several entirely different, but equally enjoyable main paths rooted in the same setting. At the end it just feels as though you've finished a good book. The beauty of CYS is that the first end of a good work is just the beginning of the enjoyment you can get out of it. If you haven't read this, or any of the other great stories on the site I'd recommend you get started.

Thank you Endmaster for your excellent storytelling, and world building. I probably haven't said anything that hasn't been said a million times before, but it's no less true.
-- Havoc on 1/25/2016 8:50:42 AM
The first time I died in about five minutes. Reached the epilogue the second play through! A lot of fun.
-- R on 1/25/2016 3:08:15 AM
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