The Curse of Norgurune

Player Rating4.13/8

"#420 overall, #40 for 2016"
based on 60 ratings since 02/28/2016
played 390 times (finished 59)

Story Difficulty5/8

"run through the jungle"

Play Length3/8

"A nice jog down the driveway"

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.

There are many legends about the northern city of Norgurune. It was created during a rebellion in the early 900s. The leaders, Vronar Coldslayer and Bortusken Thunderbeard, dueled to determine who would rule the new kingdom of Farnorth. The winner was Vronar, but Bortusken cursed Vronar before he was slain.

You, Vingrad Coldslayer, king of Farnorth, have been experiencing terrible nightmares of undead abominations and unholy monsters. Your people's children have been disappearing during the night. You must solve the prophecy given to you by the ghost of your ancestor Vronar and save your kingdom from the curse of Norgurune.

Made for the 2016 Riddles and Puzzles Contest.

EDIT: I  fixed the two mistakes that I heard about the most (not being able to grab Koinvadrel and the unfinished page near the beginning). If you rated it badly because of that, rejoice! The mistakes have been fixed.

Player Comments

Okay let's be honest, this one was reeeeaaaally light on puzzle content. Just the one riddle, and it was kind of tacked on, so that leaves the onus on the writing itself to carry this. And I hate to say that the characters and a lot of the plot elements felt a little bland.

I didn't sit down and analyze it all detail but I'm thinking Bucky had the right idea. Fantasy tropes and even cliches aren't anything I ever have a problem with, it's always my view that any plot can work with engaging characters and writing, but this one started out in a way that failed to grab me.

I never really got the sense the protagonist was seriously disturbed by the nightmares or that anyone was taking this whole threat to the kingdom thing all that seriously, and so I kept getting distracted by how super casual and almost apathetic everyone was about everything. The wizard and the librarian, I had to wonder what they were even being paid for, and I was just like wtf is this king even doing just strolling out of the castle and wandering all over the place on foot, lol.

There were some typos scattered around and what looked like a couple scripting errors too; for instance you could talk to the woman and the traveler and trigger their events over and over again.

You were on a deadline, I realize, but there was nothing wrong with the basic idea of it all, so I hope this gets expanded and livened up after the contest. More than the fighting and all that, I liked the idea of having to research a prophecy using various approaches and clues.
-- mizal on 3/8/2016 11:38:17 PM with a score of 0
This was a decent story, but I never felt particularly enthralled by it. I think the story would have been more engaging if you had used the active voice more. There were several pages where you relied a lot on the passive to set the scene, and passive voice really kills momentum.

"You ARE sitting on your throne in the palace of Norgurune. You ARE very tired, as the last few nights, you HAVE BEEN plagued by vivid nightmares. In these dreams you saw undead creatures in the ruins of your home, wandering aimlessly. You WERE also visited by a spirit that claimed to be your ancestor, Vronar Coldslayer."

That's an entire paragraph pretty much written entirely in the passive voice. If you re-wrote this in the active voice, you would have a far more engaging and exciting scene. This was on the first page of the story, and that's where you really want to draw the reader into your world.

Also, "You are very tired..." is another good example of where you can spice up the scene. You're telling us what we are. Show us... e.g.
Your eyelids droop as you rest upon your rough oaken throne in the palace of Norgurune. Every time you slumber, the same damned nightmare assaults your fracturing mind. Your kingdom lies in smoldering ruins, as undead behemoths meander through the carnage. The land belongs to snow and ice and death. But hope remains, as this prophecy need not come to pass. The spirit of Vronar Coldslayer, an ancestor of an age long forgotten, offers guidance. The fate of the kingdom lies in your hands.
Unless you have an intentional stylistic goal in mind, such as surrealism or a sense of slow motion, the active voice is pretty much always going to strengthen your writing.

You have a great framework to work with, as there are plenty of ways you could extend a vivid detailed description of this nightmare if you wanted to. It's actually somewhat ironic that you call the nightmare 'vivid,' but give only a brief and generic description of them.

Overall, I felt the story was decent, but this work could be much better simply by killing off the majority of the passive sentences and re-writing them in active voice.
-- Bucky on 3/8/2016 2:13:03 PM with a score of 0
This story essentially takes a few elements that have been done many times in other stories - kingdoms, curses, magical weapons - however I don’t think the game offered anything original in this area (and thus there was no suspense). I did like the riddle as well as being able to explore the areas, but at some places the choices seemed to be there for the sake of it. I found a funny loop where I could attack the traveller over and over, but this did not really detract from the story. I do think the descriptions could have been improved a bit, in many cases we get different facts about the world, but it’s hard to be particularly drawn in by them, as one doesn’t overly care about the individual characters.

In the end, this story felt very average – there weren’t any major errors in the things that were executed, although the story’s linearity and lack of originality made it hard for anything to really stand out, and the ending was also quite limp. I rate this story a 4/8.
-- Future on 3/5/2016 3:52:22 AM with a score of 0
This was fun and kept my attention.
-- Faervel on 4/21/2018 1:08:41 PM with a score of 0
Not a bad game except if you could add the hint to click on a certain item on a certain page then I need not go around in circles so many times and not getting pass the rune or the traveler.
-- TestingJest on 1/7/2018 8:29:15 PM with a score of 0
Fun but short.
-- Dude on 5/1/2017 3:20:17 PM with a score of 0
It was sort of like a mystery/fantasy/action adventure. I really enjoyed having to figure out what had happened and then what to do. The Curse of Norgurune was very detailed and had a great storyline. The characters seemed real and the grammar was great.
-- morganis on 1/19/2017 10:59:33 PM with a score of 0
I like the idea of a country in the far north. Most gamecocks have you in some warm spot, not in the cold.
-- Walker. on 5/14/2016 5:59:44 PM with a score of 0
Great story!
-- Deadly Lion on 5/6/2016 11:48:24 AM with a score of 0
It was a decent game, but I did find a few mistakes. I was given the option to talk to the woman more than once. It was a nice, though. I think you should make it longer after the contest. It feels like something was missing, like a key part of the game. Definitely keep working on it, is my suggestion. With a 10 day limit, I think you did a great job. I liked the story and look forward to reading more from you. :)
-- breezy134 on 3/3/2016 11:14:26 AM with a score of 0
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