The Lost Expedition (2)

Player Rating5.24/8

"#260 overall, #19 for 2017"
based on 57 ratings since 01/23/2017
played 563 times (finished 64)

Story Difficulty4/8

"march in the swamp"

Play Length3/8

"A nice jog down the driveway"

Maturity Level4/8

"need to be accompanied by an adult"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG.

You are a Victorian Adventurer, a man who explores dangerous places and does dangerous things for the thrill of it. Following a month of searching the deadly island of Marco you have found the remnants of the lost expedition of Captain William Donovan, a renegade officer who seems to enjoy his role as adopted chief of the local Yantu Natives. You and your men now find yourself at the mercy of these dangerous and war-loving warriors... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Author's Note: This is the sequel to The Lost Expedition (1), the first story-game I wrote on this site over two years ago, and my entry into the January 2017 Wilderness themed competition. I think everything I've done in these Lost Expedition stories I've done bigger and better in the Magellan stories but I'm glad Bucky's competition has given me the motivation to finish this little two-part adventure. To get the most out of this story I recommend you read The Lost Expedition (1), first, though this can be read as a stand-alone adventure.

Player Comments

This was enjoyable, but I felt it pales in comparison to the bulk of your other stories. Portions felt rushed and could have used a little more life breathed into them.

You have a tendency to use a continuous tense, which sucks the immediacy and action from the story. Your opening paragraph was almost entirely continuous or passive.


You ARE STANDING on a beach a short way from a village of dozens of huts. Behind you ARE your men, no more than a few dozen strong now, before you hundreds of Yantu natives armed with spears, clubs and bows standing silently. Standing facing you ARE their three leaders: their grey-haired and tired-looking leader King Kulu, his strong young son Prince Longa and the object of your search: the skeletal and pale Captain Donovan who surveys you with a mocking smirk. In his hand ARE two small cigars made of some exotic plant which he HAS just BEEN OFFERING you.

Rewritten without the continuous tense:

You stand on a beach, within sight of a tropical village. Hundreds of Yantu natives - armed with spears, clubs, and bows - glare at you in silence. Your own men, no more than a few dozen now, stand with you, gripping their muskets.

The natives' three leaders greet you in the middle of the beach. Grey haired King Kulu stares with weary, blood-shot eyes. While Prince Longa, the object of your search, strides forward with all the youthful vigor and strength his father lacks. Though neither father nor son appear in proper command.

Pale and skeletal Captain Donovan shoulders his way between them, surveying you with a mocking smirk. He offers you a cigar, wrapped in an exotic plant.


This should have a more intimate and immediate feel to it, which can help liven the story.
-- Bucky on 1/24/2017 3:12:42 PM with a score of 0
Spoilers for this game (obviously) and The Magellan series (not so obvious) ahead; you have been warned.

I will state this here that I enjoyed this storygame, and every single one of Will's other works that I've read thus far.

However, I feel out of the entire Magellan series and The Lost Expedition 1, this was your weakest work. Towards the beginning of the story, grammar errors did jump out at me, and I was surprised. I don't want to make this review a huge comparison piece, but I think it's appropriate. In your other works, I don't recall ever being distracted by the writing.

Another point I wanted to add was that I felt your pacing was too fast as we neared the end of the story. This isn't a problem in your other storygames, but present here. I wished you would have given the chase to avenge the King more time. Build more anticipation. The story just kind of...ends. I didn't feel like there was a huge choice I had to make to decide the fate of the Yantu people, Captain Donovan, the princess, etc. Magellan 3 had great build up towards the final scene, with fantastic imagery that really left me waiting for Magellan 4. I understand that for this series, this is the end, but a "happily ever after" without much excitement...There's a piece missing.

As 3J and TheNewIAP pointed out, the character development just wasn't there. I wanted to know more about Captain Donovan; more about the king; more about the princess, etc. If you're going to have characters that influence the plot when they die, then they should be described at least a little. In addition, the romance with the princess did feel forced, tacked on, and very cliche. Granted, maybe it's because I've read your other stories that I know how you generally like to write romantic characters, but I saw it miles ahead. In The Magellan series, you expertly craft Naomi Swift and Eva Freer, and the romance did not feel contrived. In Magellan, we, as the reader, saw the development of friendship, participated in it, and the end result was us caring about all of them. Again, that's not the case here. We are given about two pages total of character development between the protagonist and the princess, leaving us to be nonchalant about their extremely quick, new relationship. I don't need to lecture you on character development, as I know you can do it better than me, but I'm just pointing it out here.

One good point I would like to mention was that the description of the land was exceptional, like usual. You are extremely adept at making your settings memorable, which always adds to the story. You don't overdo it, yet I could picture each scenario with great detail. And you do this so well that what is left unsaid is easily filled by the reader's imagination. I don't know how, but you nail ambiance and environment perfectly every single time.

Coming to a close, those were the big "faults" that first came to mind, and it's apparent this was rushed, even if you didn't feel like you rushed it. (If that makes sense) It lacked the high standards I have with your writing, which is to say that the story wasn't bad, but wasn't impactful either. I wasn't encapsulated this time, like the others. I know you have a deadline, and I tried to be somewhat lenient because of it, but I'm still going to review it as critically as I would any other. Perhaps even more critically because of the author's excellent history on this site. I'm still confident in your abilities, and look forward to a new series or an addition to the Magellan series. 5.5/8, gave you a 6/8 because it's you and the deadline leniency.
-- LNFyle on 1/23/2017 11:57:24 PM with a score of 0
This was quite enjoyable and the effort put in to it was obvious, but there were a few small things that could be corrected.

The story was rather linear, felt a little rushed in places and it could've used a bit more proofreading. Minor issues, really, and issues you'd expect having only had a month to finish before the contest deadline and all the hard site related work that you have taken on besides.

The characters could've used a bit more development, too. The relationship between the protagonist and native queen was a nice touch (even if a bit cliché) and could've been alluded to earlier in the story instead of seeming to coming out of left field.

All-in-all, this was another great game and I hope to see many, many more. Keep up the good work!
-- TheNewIAP on 1/23/2017 3:27:11 PM with a score of 0
-- ArtsyGirl38 on 11/15/2019 3:24:44 PM with a score of 0
The writing is certainly competent in terms of the spelling, grammar, and the other mechanics of the English language. But beyond that, it is very... dull.

Another reviewer noted what he called "continuous tense." The actual term is passive tense, meaning that a large number of your verbs are "is", "are", and "have been", as examples. Passive tense writing is not incorrect, but it is... well, passive. And that is precisely the wrong tone for an action story.

A good adventure should immerse the reader in the moment. The characters need to be sharply drawn; we need to know what it is they want, and have a sense of what they're willing to do to achieve it. The stakes need to be clear, and the goal needs to be understood by everyone. And above all, the writer should "show", not tell -- let the action unfold on the page, not describe it blocks of narrative text.

I saw little, if any, evidence of this in this story, regrettably. The characters were little more compelling than pawns in a board game, including the ones I was expected to like. The princess spends most of the time serving as the tour guide, giving instructions and offering advice; then just before the climax she starts getting moon-eyed. Clearly, this is intended as "romance", but in terms of execution it was like Siri developing a crush on me after giving me directions to the nearest Home Depot.

The only way I understood that significant amounts of time passing was the stat tracker that told me that, say, three days had passed since the previous page; otherwise, the terse writing was providing no indication.

Likewise, the action scenes were basically conveyed as stats: "Shots are fired from the cave, three of your guys are killed." This is not action writing; these are stage directions, telling the actors where they need to stand after delivering their lines.

I am not writing this to trash the story, or to tell you should keep your day job. Obviously, you can write. Obviously, you've been a major contributor to this site for years. And obviously, like all of us you're looking for some feedback. So this has been mine.
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 9/6/2019 9:21:39 PM with a score of 0
i liked it. it was okay:)
-- avery on 9/6/2019 9:36:07 AM with a score of 0
good ending!
-- DarkentityOni on 5/17/2018 10:06:13 AM with a score of 0
You write pretty good stories, but I'm just gonna say this: Most of your stories that use the stats, like Magellan and the Lost Expedition, are pretty linear. For example, in this game, you can't lose, and everything follows a single path. You can lose in the Magellan stories, but it is still very linear. You also make the romances very swift and brief, to the point that they start hindering the story rather than helping it. I've noticed that most of the romances in some of the longer and less linear stories, like Endmaster's Eternal, to name one, provide more depth to the story. Your romances don't add depth, but rather just make a puddle on the side of the ocean, never quite reaching the ocean but having the potential to. I would love to see a story from you that A: Isn't broken into segments, B: has many endings, a few plot variations, and maybe having the stats sometimes affect the story, or at least the available choices, and C: The ability for the reader to choose how the story unfolds, instead of you choosing it for them. If you could implement all of those into one of your stat storygames, I feel confident that it would have a great rating, and be praised as one of your best storygames. You aren't a bad writer, not even close, but you have room for improvement.
-- Anonymous on 1/29/2017 3:16:25 PM with a score of 0
Honestly, this was a tad too short in length, but the action and the pressure that you are going to run out of supplies more than makes up for the short duration. Plot could have been deeper, but what the heck, this thing IS better than Reeses' Cups.

-- AgentX on 1/27/2017 6:40:40 PM with a score of 0
This was a pleasant read with clear-cut characters and motivations and some cheeky British people thrown in for good measure. As always, Will does a good job of establishing a historical setting, and the pacing was appropriate and exciting.

The said, this story lacked a little in depth and nuance until the excellent ending. I would have appreciated the chance to make morally gray but non-strategic options earlier. Additionally, the pacing was that of an action film, and like almost all action films, the romance felt a little forced. Additionally, this story was quite linear and I felt like many of my decisions were quite limited and effectively unimportant.

All in all, this story was fine, but didn't live up to Will's excellent track record. I felt like it may have been rushed to avoid shame. . .
-- JJJ-thebanisher on 1/23/2017 9:10:47 PM with a score of 0
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