The Lost Realm

a Grimdark Fantasy by EbonVasilis

Commended by mizal on 7/10/2018 5:27:53 AM

Player Rating6.36/8

"#52 overall, #5 for 2018"
based on 267 ratings since 03/10/2018
played 8,212 times (finished 387)

Story Difficulty6/8

"wandering through the desert"

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.

On the night of your marriage, your wife is captured and you are left for dead in an alley. When you come to, your wife is missing, and your once perfect life now in tatters. What else is there to do but to kill those who have wronged you, save your wife, and restore equilibrium to your life? Before you can do this, however, you must venture through The Lost Realm...

Author's Notes: Your choices matter, so choose carefully. There are 3 epilogues to be found.

This will likely be the first story in a series of five that I'm planning, so be sure to leave feedback, and please leave any criticisms you might have. 

Special Thanks:

I'd like to give a huge shout out to Mayana for beta testing for me. This story game would have loads more mistakes without her help. Thanks to Mizal as well for her help with scripting. 

This is an entry to EndMaster's 2018 Romance Story contest

Player Comments

*Contains spoilers*

Great intro. The color of green seems to be a running theme throughout the whole story. The significance of the color begins on the first page and it’s mentioned at the end as well, which was a timely and fitting way to wrap the story together. Right away, I felt myself immersed in the world and identifying with the (annoyingly nameless) main character. The first time you almost spoke your name I was only slightly disappointed. The second time just felt like a tease. It’s ok, I like teasing and nameless MCs give the element of mystery which is never a bad thing for a character. The beginning also made me wonder why you would choose to be transferred to a boring detail. Oh wait, it answers why. I find it hard to believe that you, being your LT.’s most reliable soldier, can get overtaken by thugs. Though to be fair, I imagine drinks were had and you probably weren’t armed in your wedding attire. Edit: This was explained later on. The description of your wife’s taking is perfect. No need to go into grim detail, but the image and message is clear what happened. I like the name choice for your wife as well. Liliana sounds pretty. I’ll say again, great set up.

The setting is laid out well, the two most important characters are likeable, and there are many unanswered questions that make you want to read more. The second page gives great background on the story without stating facts which is nice. The “need to know” background history is told organically. You also get the option to remember different events in your past without being forced to, which are triggered by certain, relevant situations in real time.

There were some aspects that could have been done differently... I’m not going to say “done better” because you’re obviously a better writer than me :) This section also contains random things that stuck out to me while reading.

- Kobolds. First of all, they have green skin? Never heard of a green-skinned kobold before. I wouldn’t have given this a second thought if kobolds weren’t already an established race in fantasy. And since when did they rape humans? The other creature mentioned for the first few pages is wyverns and I find it hard to believe that they’d let kobolds ride them. Wyverns are too powerful to have fodder beast ride them. It’s only believable if they are both in service to a dragon (or higher power) who is ordering this to happen. Later on, you read about faeries and mythological Muses, but in the beginning it felt like all that was mentioned was kobolds, kobolds, and more kobolds.

- The phrase “that being said” is used repeatedly. There are also two moments in the first battle scene where “time slows down”. I like the visualization of it, but repeating the same phrase isn’t as effective.

- When you’re leaving the wall, the font changes and is a bit distracting. It happens in other places too.

- The memories hit you in the feelz. Hard. Try as I might, I couldn’t help but get emotionally attached to the MC and Liliana. I may have shed a manly tear.

- This game, more than any other I’ve played on this site, gives hints in the text. Sometimes it’s blatantly obvious, but a lot of the time your correct choices are dependent upon reading the text and choosing the logical thing to do. Hint: If an option is titled “Be Driven Insane”, it’s probably the wrong choice.

To sum my thoughts together, this was one of the best stories I’ve read on this site. It probably has the best detail driven and visualization of anything I’ve read so far. I’ll explain. I felt attuned to the world the author created, more than any other story posted on this site. Most epics I’ve read were enjoyable due to the grand time-scale of events, characters, and dialogue. This one took me through a journey into a world that I had never been to before and made me feel like an adventurer experiencing danger, romance, and an epic quest.
-- ninjapitka on 1/9/2019 4:40:22 PM with a score of 0
Great story. The wall battle at the beginning and each of the memories stand out for being immersive and captivating.

Wished there was more explanation for why some of the choices had their particular consequences (*spoiler* in particular, why remembering or not remembering has such an unexpected impact so many pages later in the game).

Something in the later half felt rushed/not as carefully written (probably because it was rushed, being a contest entry and all). For example, there were more typos, my companion was confused on how I opened the door (when it was obvious), and a being of great power was dismissed after a single question (and didn't seem omniscient enough to know what I was after to begin with).

With the glaring exceptions of the main character, your father, and your wife, most of the character were very matter-of-fact/came off as unrealistic. They were helpful (or trying to kill me) without much lead-in or explanation... their emotions seemed 2-dimensional and superficial… (*spoiler* "you saved me once, therefore I will serve you forever and break the chain of command/abandon all my duties/put my steed at risk") (*spoiler* "I’ll tell you, a perfect stranger, everything I know about the Lost Realm… because… well, because you asked"). This made them feel like NPCs in a video game rather than flesh-and-bones humans. I suppose some of that is necessary (so you don’t end up with a 100K word epic), but I felt like you could have done it better somehow (without making the interactions too much longer) so that they don’t stand out so much in contrast to the other three main characters I mentioned above.

All of your memories are brilliant exceptions to any criticisms. They were poignant and riveting. At your best, you describe what is being seen, felt, and thought... at well-chosen and emotionally impactful moments... and it really feels like “I am there”. That is truly masterful (and you are the best at it that I’ve read on this site so far). I cannot help but feel like those are memories that I now have/somehow experienced.
-- lkiriakos on 4/5/2018 12:23:12 PM with a score of 0
I debated for quite some time on whether or not to give a 7/8 or an 8/8 especially since I don't give 8's out so commonly anymore.

First, I decided to read this as a storygame instead of a contest entry. There wasn't a ton of romance to be honest.

Okay, here's what I didn't like. It felt like there was only one true victory ending. All the others were failures or death by a certain point. It would've been better if there were more paths to a (different) victory. Maybe there is, but I couldn't find another victory (after much trying).

Also, all three of the female characters that stuck out to me *Minor spoilers* wanted to have sex with the protagonist *End Spoilers*. It's not a big deal in terms of my overall impression or rating, but I find that fact somewhat odd.

Okay, onto the good. Everything was fine. It was almost annoying. I couldn't find any true flaw (other than those already expressed), but nothing was overtly spectacular or stood-out. That's the reason I suspect it won't get into the top five on the site. This storygame is like a really good banana split that is missing its cherry on the top. What is that cherry? I don't know, but I want that cherry. :)

Therefore, why am I deliberating an 8/8? I liked the flashbacks. They were a bit, well, cliche; however, I like it when a story deviates from the present into the past or future. Plus, I actually got to know who the wife was. Most of all, I enjoyed this storygame. I explored all the paths that I could find and actually took the time to read them.

I read to be entertained. I was most certainty entertained and enjoyed myself while doing so. Congrats on such a good storygame, Ebon.
-- WouldntItBeNice on 3/16/2018 12:08:22 AM with a score of 0
How do you end up with liliana?
-- Subalubawubdub on 9/13/2020 4:01:50 PM with a score of 0
Annoying. Small choiches have too much of an impact, turning this story into a rewind simulator.
-- Premium on 7/15/2020 6:13:32 PM with a score of 0
Annoying. Small choices have too much of an impact and "three epilogues" is probably bullshit. 2/8
-- Premium on 7/15/2020 6:03:53 PM with a score of 0
this game was awsome
-- UGLYDUCKLING000 on 10/13/2019 11:49:17 PM with a score of 0
No happy ending and leaves you depressed.
-- Meg on 9/24/2019 10:03:52 PM with a score of 0
It was nice. That's it.
-- PH4N70M on 8/18/2019 10:22:49 AM with a score of 0
it was not that bad i really didnt like it sorta hard and difficult and it gave me 0/100 tf
-- destiny on 5/29/2019 11:07:05 AM with a score of 0
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