a Grimdark Fantasy by EndMaster

Commended by BerkaZerka on 7/25/2019 4:55:44 PM

Player Rating7.20/8

"#4 overall, #1 for 2007"
based on 10672 ratings since 10/09/2007
played 230,796 times (finished 13,507)

Story Difficulty8/8

"mosie through a minefield"

Play Length6/8

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

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.


Additional Notes:

This story is definitely more "story" than "game", however there are two distinct paths that can be followed, each with their own pitfalls and additional choices. There is also "one true" ending in which can be considered a "win" (You'll know if you got it, because you'll get an epilogue)

This story can get long, and assuming you're surviving, years do pass in it and you and your environment will change. There are a few points in the story where there are links that lead to more background information on various people and things. While not completely necessary to understand the story, they do give you more insight into it. The text that accompanies some of the pics are also done for similar purposes (Your journal entries, personal thoughts, letters written to you, etc)

Player Comments

This is gonna be less of a critique and more so my scattered praises about this game. I cover everything included in the story to the best of my ability, so don’t read this if you haven’t read the damn story. To be honest, I’m skimming this tonight because I love to consume my Endmaster stories in one sitting. It doesn’t matter to me, because I’ve read and enjoyed this many times on different occasions. I’m mostly focusing on reference points.


I've played this many times and it wasn't until now that I realized that this game is only 70,000 words long. It feels so much larger. That's because of how mighty the story made me feel. Watching the Necromancer's knack for necromancy turn into expertise so quickly was pretty cool, and the ensuing megalomania and paranoia were great. It felt like a real life power trip! That’s cool. I’m a fan of magic and witchcraft in fantasy in general because of the potential for creative exercises of power, and this story is completely centered around this. I constantly feel like a mythical hero while reading this.

Yes, I typed ‘hero’ on purpose. One of the greatest touches in this tale is that in some of the circumstances, the Necromancer had the moral high ground. That’s definitely not normal for necromancers! Like when he slays the has-been fucking blood leeches. Those wretched creatures are posing as powerful beacons of might, but in reality they’re just human ticks with delusions of grandeur. A real conqueror of the mortal coil was all that it took to show them who’s the master of the puppets. The conquering of Aftermath was epic on both paths. I love the way that the demon-lich Necromancer channels spectral spirits, even though the ‘pure’ path is my favorite. Sure, a bunch of civilians died during the Nuro Incident, but we can just raise those corpses and blame their fate on those damn demonologists! While demon lich monster slaves were cool, I found the undead giants that the pure Necromancer gets to be cooler, and he gets all those spirits later on anyway.

Speaking of the Drozz Tribes, I love the Ghoul King. He’s a nice addition to the story and his character is instrumental to the turning point of the story. When I’m not paying attention to the invasion choice, I still tend to pick the Drozz Tribes over the Brot Kingdom because of how well that invasion choice sells GIANT ZOMBIES. That said, the Dead Dominion’s formation was a little quick for five years… but that didn’t harm the pacing in the scheme of things.

Back to the demons. Velzix and crew were an interesting and intriguing bunch. I like that the demon path has more characters that play a part, however now that I’m reflecting on this aspect, I do wish that these characters would have a more impactful part on the plot on both paths. The story works without many other personalities because of the egotistical nature of the main character, and I see the value in that, but I still find the story to be a bit lonely, even though that’s the point of destroying the world.

On top of all of this, I love the moment where the Necromancer can stop his own conception. That and the moment when the Necromancer can allow his sister to kill him were tragic. When given the option to make the Necromancer’s sister into a Hellspawn creature, this multiplies the sadness of it, even though the cruelty is so captivating.

The end of the game itself is fantastic. I mean, becoming the God of Death is phenomenal.

To sum it all up, I find this story to be top tier, and there are only two flaws I saw. The first was that there were a few moments when I thought the pacing was too fast, and the second was that the pure necromancer path could have used more characters. It started off strong on that front but it degraded after the capture of Aftermath.

8/8 game, Endmaster. This is one of your older stories and I can’t wait to see what you make next!
-- 3iguy on 1/1/2020 10:46:45 PM with a score of 0
This storygame is one of the highest rated here, and for good reason. There are varying degrees of seriousness in the content at, and this one perfectly straddles the middle ground. It has enough matter-of-fact, wry humor to keep you chuckling, like the whole "most witches are rug munchers" bit at the beginning; but it also has a few moments of emotional catharsis, like (SPOILERS) the path where you can choose to not help your father when you are shot back into time before your birth. By choosing to not interfere, you undo your entire existence, preventing countless deaths, while bridging the emotional gap with your mother for one last little message from her, telling of how your actions have spared lives despite your nature as an emissary of death.(/SPOILERS)

Another praiseworthy trait of this storygame is that it has sufficient branching that leads to unique endings and exploration of very different aspects of the world. Obviously the two main branches are the demon realm and human/elves/etc, but it also further splits them up, particularly on the human side of the story, where you have several interesting endings to choose from. I don't want to get into too many spoilers, but you do have a few options to "do the right thing" when you become powerful enough to do the wrong thing. What makes these branches work, however, is that the endings that accompany those choices feel earned. They make sense in light of the world and the events preceding them, and they are rewarding in and of themselves.

Of course, the best part about this storygame is the casual disregard for life and morals that the protagonist has, and the fact that it feels more like destiny than malicious choice. You're not trying to snuff out life because you hate it exactly, but because this is who you are. If you make the right choices, you will find by the end that the choices your character made weren't really choices at all. You are the Necromancer.

Necromancer is never too heavy, but it isn't too light, either. It brings a little piece of all the emotions and type of thoughts you'd want to experience in a storygame, and mixes them together like a deliciously churned vat of ice cream. Add some good, comical dialogue and some pictures that draw you into the world a little bit, and you have the makings of what should be an 8/8 storygame.
-- Fluxion on 6/10/2019 3:24:39 PM with a score of 0
This is the first story I read in this site when I happily stumbled upon it a couple years ago, and it was the one that got me hooked to it. And after all this time, I still find it to be the best and most touching multiple choice story I have ever read.

I took the first way back then, and didn't play the other one up until now as I was so involved in the story I didn't want it to be any different. Needless to say, the second way is as good and interesting, and it also explores more in depth some of the characters of the first one.

Now with the real review:

I think that the most important thing in a narrative text are the characters. I find that good characters can justify a mediocre plot but that a good plot can't justify mediocre characters. The characters in Necromancer are all well crafted and have a personality, and as such they all feel like real individuals.

I can relate to the emotions felt by the main character, which helps in getting into the story and believing it, which is a big plus in this kinds of stories. In fact, I think that part of the special significance of this story to me is that I identify with it’s main character at some level. I’ve been there, and I’ve had those thoughts.

The plot of this story is pretty simple and straightforward, it being the necromantic career of the main character, but it succeeds in what it tries to do and it's interesting and overall well thought out. As with most of Endmaster's stories, it is a "vital" plot, as it is about the life of the main character rather than just a single story in it, and as such it deals with a lot of the topics a life has (war, love, family, sex, death, etc).

The feel of politics, warfare and intrigue and the choices to make in such fields are also very interesting. The choices are complete (as they included what I would do in those situations) and they can change the outcome of the story substantially. Such things are also very logical, as what would usually work in real life is what works in the story. It is, therefore, realistic.

Another important thing is the ending, as it can screw a good story without too much problems. Both of the major endings are satisfying and well thought out, and some of the dead ends are pretty satisfying and fun too.

It is important for a fictional world to have definite rules that are followed all the time; otherwise, it is inconsequential and its choices become just random luck. This isn't obviously the case with Necromancer, as the rules are clear and followed throughout the story.

Writing and vocabulary:
The vocabulary in Necromancer is rich and employs accurate wording, without ever feeling distant, cold or pompous. In fact, one of the best things about Endmaster’s writing is that it combines this sort of vocabulary with a closeness with the reader and some sarcastic smirks that makes his writing truly enjoyable despite it being opposed to mine (which feels long, tedious and is like basically reading your calculator’s instruction manual in Chinese).

Technical details:
An especially gruesome typo can be a distraction from the story, and a bad layout can make it unreadable. This of course doesn’t happen with Necromancer, as the layout is fine as it is. There are some typos and repeated words, but those are minor, scarce, and don’t detract from the story at all.

As I said in the beginning, I find this to be the best multiple choice story I have ever reed, although that is partially due to personal reasons. Analyzing it coldly, it may not be the best one, but it is certainly among them. I therefore give it an 8/8 (a 10 in my book), and I encourage everyone who hasn’t read it before to do so, it will be worth the time.

Also, thanks to Endmaster for writing such a masterpiece and giving it away for free. Your love for the art is truly commendable.
-- Martin_Silenus on 1/5/2017 6:26:27 PM with a score of 0

Yes definately, unless you’re a child, because it does have sexual content.
Preview: You play as a world-stomping necromancer in your task to conquor the globe. You face demons, vampires, and gigantic armies, and ultimately realize your destiny.



Basic Plot & Coherence: 5/5
I’ll start with the secondary plot thread, the hellbound one. This arc is a much more brutal and uncertain one than the second. Rather than being the leader of the necromancers, you spend the entire game uncertain of your position with the demons you’ve reluctantly thrown your lot in with. While at the beginning, the necromancer seems out of place among the demons, he quickly adapts to become like them, and by the end, isn’t much of a necromancer at all. This is a tale of the necromancer’s increasing power, moral deprivation, and gradual total loss over control over himself and the world. The story ends in the only way it could, eternal damnation for you and all those involved. It’s an excellently uncomfortable read, as the reader comes to the gradual realization that they really have no choices at all, and there is no possible way for things to end well, for anyone on this world, ever.
The main plot focuses more on the necromancer’s true talent: Healing! No, I’m kidding. It follows a similar structure to the demon plot, you grow in power and take over the world. However, there is something that is much more optimistic about this plot thread, oddly enough, for a game about destroying the world. I’m a sucker for books about the main character’s journey to power and competence, and this is no exception. We see the necromancer transform from an untalented shmuck to The Most Powerful person in the world. More importantly, this transition is done believeably. We don’t immediately go conquoring the world. It starts with a city, then a larger province, and the story gradually increases in scope. This also works well with the necromancer and his followers gradually accepting the idea that they’re here to kill the world. It’s the kind of thing their younger selves would be horrified by, but the scope of time and power the story covers makes the transition believeable. As much as the game is about power, it’s also about the necromancer gradually figuring out just who he really is and who he’s meant to become. Rather than the gradual corruption of the “purity” of the necromantic abilities, this plot focuses on the purification and honing of them, to the point where the story ends with the main character ascending to godhood. There is a definate sense of destiny lurking behind the scenes.
It’s interesting to see the classic “necromancer and demons of hell try to conquor reality” plot be told from the perspective of the necromancer, and it’s done excellently. This is a very believeable and engaging story about how and why the villain would realistically win.

Characters & Development: 5/5
The characters really bring the plot to life. The necromancer himself has a strong personality that colors the game, and the side characters are all engaging and important. Big Red and Mr. Demar seem to follow reversed arcs. Mr. Demar starts out as a pinacle of knowledge in the dubious side of the academic, but later turns out to be unable to handle the situations he’s created. Big Red gets offed in the first chapter, only to later be revealed to have masterminded the apocalypse in his spare time. The necromancer’s family all play important roles as well. The father’s death plays an important role both in the necromancer’s ascension to more power, and in the necromancer’s personal journey. The sister provides an excellent foil for the necromancer, she is an equally powerful character, though in different areas, and on a very different side. She contrasts the main character’s actions throughout the story. I’m fond of the ghoul king’s role. He proves a pleasantly surprising ally in the early less-certain parts of the story, and his ultimate betrayal highlights the shifting circumstances in the necromancer’s life and in the world. Catalina is well-developed too, but I’m not entirely clear on why exactly she’s in love with the necromancer, particularly when he decides “oh heck, let’s kill the world anyways”. That said, her character is also a nice foil to the necromancer, particularly as he becomes less and less human.

Grammar: 5/5
The grammar was fine.
Mastery of Language: 2/3
The language was also well-used and contributed well to the tone of the story. There were a couple places where the phrasing was clumsy or ambiguous, but nothing too bad.

Mechanics & Coding: 0/0 (usually 5)
There’s not much in terms of difficult coding here, so this category won’t be added to the overall score.

Branching: 1/1 (usually 3)
Once the initial choice is made, there’s not much branching. However, since the author states up front that it is more story than game, I won’t take points off for this.

Player Options/Fair choice: 2/3
There are places where it seems that the player wasn’t given all the information they could have had to solve the puzzle in question.

Nitpicks/comments: Usually images annoy me in a game, but I thought the images here were well done and contributed to the story rather than detracting from it.

Endings: The two major endings are both logical and satisfying.

Bonus points: 1/0
I award these if I feel like a story is getting a lower score than it should based on its quality, because of the way my form is weighted, and that’s what happened here.

I played through the “necromancer” path first, and think I did okay-ish as far as not dying goes. I enjoyed the game a lot.

CONCLUSION: 21/22 = 95.45%
-- Gryphon on 4/16/2021 1:31:29 PM with a score of 0
Game over #4: I actually got an ending that wasn't me getting killed. Well, I did die, but came back as a vampire. It's not a lich, but it's getting closer. I'm starting to see a plan forming here to deal with the demons and vampires, the "good guys" aren't really a problem. Atleast yet.
-- Comic Kiwi on 4/9/2021 7:34:05 PM with a score of 0
Game Over #3: Didn't trust the succubus, got my heart ripped out of my chest.
I like this. It's a good story.
-- Comic Kiwi on 4/9/2021 7:21:08 PM with a score of 0
Game Over #2: Let the power get to my head, got sniped with a crossbow.
I'm making progress tho, it took longer for me to die this time! I'll see the end of this!
-- Comic Kiwi on 4/9/2021 6:39:53 PM with a score of 0
Game over #1: Killed by undead after the school was attacked by demons.
This might take some time, but I'm ready to go trough it, this seems like a great story!
-- Comic Kiwi on 4/9/2021 6:31:50 PM with a score of 0
Awesome Necromancer is the best
-- Carter on 3/30/2021 8:22:19 PM with a score of 0
Ok I have played some of the story and this is by far my favorite, great mix with good amounts story and action. Best story ever!!!
-- destroyer1212 on 3/19/2021 4:33:54 PM with a score of 0
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