Player Comments on The Price of Freedom: Innocence Lost

This was a very enjoyable story! The characters were compelling and the writing was good. I found it to be very much worth my time.

There were a couple bugs I encountered, including an apple that I was able to give away twice. Also, at about the same part of the story, there was one option that was grayed out because I assumed I hadn't accumulated enough points in that particular skill. However, after to talking with each of the other characters and coming back to the same set of decisions again and again, that skill-based choice was made available to me on one occasion. I'm not sure if that was intended or a glitch in the coding.

Also, there were a couple oddities that distracted me briefly. One was the fact that soon after I was locked inside the gladiator school one of my first options was to attend a lecture, which I found to be disconcerting. I don't remember that scene in certain Stanley Kubrick or Ridley Scott movies. I must have missed the sign-ups for the pottery lessons... Humor aside, such an intellectual and self-enriching pursuit seemed out of place in what I would assume would be a rather brutal and soulless environment.

And later there was a reference to someone reading a book, even though printed books were not invented in Europe until the 15th century, courtesy of Mr. Gutenberg. The Romans were ingenious and created many clever gadgets, but books weren't among them.

Otherwise I enjoyed the story, and read it in installments over the course of several nights. I took your advice and saved the stats page for when the next installment in the story is ready to read. Thanks for sharing this with us!
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 5/8/2019 9:44:17 PM with a score of 100000
I’ve been struggling to review this, and really, that’s a compliment. Normally when reading even stories I otherwise enjoy here I have this little editor in my head going reeeeeee with varying degrees of sound and intensity as I come across the usual ever-spreading banquet of questionable word choices and straight up errors. That always leaves me plenty to write about without even needing to think about it. To come across a polished and professionally written work like this that just lets me immediately become immersed and forget I’m even reading a story is so precious and rare. Price of Freedom emulates that feel of opening a good book and reminds me a lot of some of the novels I read when I was about the protagonist’s age and just getting into the world of historical fiction. (Sadly, I never did come across anything nearly this good on Rome, mostly I just had pioneers and gold rushes and the Civil War coming out the ears...)

The author crafted some truly memorable characters with distinctive personalities. The little brother you need to protect, a new friend you’re thrown together with through circumstance, other potential friends that require a little more reaching out to and effort to understand, and finally those who should be enemies who sometimes turn out to be more than they seem. Because of the nature of the setting and plot, it becomes a painful necessity to think of these characters on another level as well, that of how your interactions with them relate to your continued survival. A sweet and endearing child might be at the same time a constant source of frustration as you realize how little chance they have and can only wish they’d snap to the reality of their situation and toughen up before it’s too late, and someone who’d be an incredible asset in a fight can be so obnoxious that after achieving the optimal ending you still go back and make different choices to make sure they die...haha...not that I would do such a thing on purpose. But anyway...

Brasus pissed me off and broke my heart, Lula made me laugh and had all the greatest lines, but Rhode meanwhile is just such a unique mixture of ally and antagonist and angry drill sergeant mother; not a character anyone will be able to forget for awhile. (I think it was mentioned in a thread that the homage to Semra’s intro in Eternal wasn’t intentional...but I’m sure Endmaster accepts your offering anyway.) It was smart to make the unequal nature of her and Titus’ relationship clear or a few of her actions wouldn’t have let her come off as quite so sympathetic, but as it is I adore Rhode while Titus remains in need of MANY bitch slaps and kicks to the groin. Time will tell if the sequel improves my opinion of him or whether he just keeps going further in the direction of earning the role of Supreme Selfish Asshole. It will be interesting seeing how his kids develop too.

There was enough authentic flavor in the setting to make it feel believably Roman (minus a couple of minor missteps like sailors being weirdly careless of the well being of extremely valuable cargo and details like the believability of the books the slaves had access too...even for Greeks and Romans such things would’ve been only for the wealthy. Something like rolls of papyrus with fighting stances drawn on them or whatnot would’ve been more realistic I think.) This is very much a character focused story though, and setting it inside the academy walls was a good way to keep everyone interacting and the plot moving along without having to go overboard with historical detail. An especially good idea considering the uh, NSFW nature of much of ancient Rome.

There were a couple of places, the line near the end, “So many have come to watch and cheer while two groups of children try to kill each other. Was the world always like this? It seemed so different once.” And the description of the playing children stopping to watch the cart at the beginning that I thought were nice touches really driving home the fact that the injustice and barbarity of slavery were just so casually accepted by the average person, even the protagonist until they themselves were caught up in it with no one to give a shit.

Since this was written in the Choice of Games style it might seem somewhat linear to those used to more branching in their stories, but even though the challenges faced remain the same, there’s so much variation in how to deal with them and how you develop your relationships and skills along the way that it felt enough like a different story each time I played. There’s the strategy aspect too; the first attempt, I hit a vertical wall in the arena fight because I’d spread myself too thin on skills. Going back and having more focus made a real difference, and I was pleased that my decent and honest and open guy who was not afraid to admit that men could cry could still protect his little brother and friends with some underhanded tactics when shit got real.

A liiittle more wiggle room in skills might’ve been reasonable though. Somehow going back and picking just one extra training focus and target practicing a few hours meant the difference between being made to look like a loser chump by Gerda and having flawless godlike accuracy when a check came up a little later.

Ultimately, these are all just nitpicks however. The story was satisfying and even with the obvious set up for the sequel felt complete as far as character development and overcoming the major conflict went. For me, everything was improved in a small way by going back and doing just a little worse so that Gerda couldn’t be saved...not JUST because she was a giant bitch, I just thought it seemed fitting for both bully and victim to be carried out side by side because ultimately reality didn’t give a shit about either or consider one more worthy/capable than the other. The reaction from Rhode seemed more fitting too, so this is ultimately going to be what I consider the canon path.

Although it does occur to me that if all these same characters are carried forward into a sequel, it’s going to mean a *lot* of writing to cover the variations possible in the group makeup now. The sequel is something I’ll be looking forward to (and I know I’m not alone in that) but this first installment was a pure pleasure to read. Thanks so much for writing it.
-- mizal on 4/26/2019 6:55:26 PM with a score of 100000
Because the original Price of Freedom is what first brought me to CYS, this game is somewhat special to me. However, I think it is safe to say that my high opinion of it has little to do with sentimentality. The original version was good. This was better.
The story has a lot of focus on stats, and there is no long-term branching throughout it, really. Even the differences in endings are based off your relationships with other characters and who is actually alive. Ordinarily, I would see this as a negative, but due to the nature of the game, it is fitting. The goal is to survive and end up as well-off as possible, which is not necessarily easy. I had an advantage, having played the original, but if I had not, I would have likely struggled.
The writing is great, and the action is descriptive without dragging down the story. I liked the characters too. Sure, Rhode is not as hot as Semra, but she's pretty dang cool. There was also a lot of effort put into changing conversations based off your relationship with each character, which was nice.
The story moves along at just the right pace, I thought. It neither dragged nor left confusion and unanswered questions.
If you're into gladiators, game-like stories that still don't sacrifice plot, or you just want to read a unique, well-written storygame, quit reading reviews and go read The Price of Freedom: Innocence Lost.
I'll be eagerly awaiting the sequel.
-- Cricket on 4/17/2019 12:40:43 PM with a score of 0
This is a beautiful story, the characters and events really leave me at a loss for words. It's incredibly moving, definitely a story that I will keep thinking about long after I've finished reading it.
-- shootingstar6917 on 5/24/2019 3:36:26 AM with a score of 0
Great Game, I really enjoyed the adventure!
-- Drydenhosue on 5/22/2019 6:10:23 PM with a score of 0
Beautifully written, with that golden thread woven so secretly in its narrative of the moral soul, even in hellish circumstances. It didn't needlessly punish me for desiring goodness for others, but rather encouraged me to be wise about it.
-- Dannie on 5/22/2019 2:46:08 AM with a score of 0
This was beautiful.I actually played this two times before, but I never got to the end... Now that I actually play it in the full, this was magical like I heard it would be. It is surely one of the most famous and great story games. Thank you!
-- Anastasia on 5/18/2019 3:59:12 PM with a score of 0
My first read on the site turned out to be quite a nice one! I appreciate how not just the story, but the sort of person I am playing, can change.
-- Liriodendron on 5/16/2019 1:47:10 AM with a score of 0
Pqp eu falici bacana mano
Fui mto besta tbm, nenhum pouco diferente da vida real ;-;
-- EmmeOrpheus on 5/14/2019 12:49:43 PM with a score of 0
Amazing!! The quality of professional choose your story type games. Can’t wait for the next part!!
-- chenliyong on 5/14/2019 4:35:19 AM with a score of 0
Before I even give my usual rating, I'd like to say "wow". Amazing story. Maybe not THE greatest but truly a wonderful work of art. Avery, if you hadn't welcomed me to this site with a duel I would never have read this story, so thanks. :D

Rating: 85 / 60

+15/10 Story Line (Very good and well written)
+15/10 Game Mechanics (Stats in game are always a huge bonus )
+10/10 Details and Art
+10/10 Grammar and Spelling
+10/10 Sentence Structure
+15/10 Character Development
+10 Bonus

Great Game. Amazing. After reading this story I feel like I under-rated Eternal.....Oh well. Couple things that really got me hooked were the in-game stats and the genre. I love Greek and Roman history so this story's genre and setting was very refreshing. I loved the different characters and the story line, both of which were well developed. The in-game stats made the story much more interesting as it allowed for many different options and choices I could make as the player. I did have to restart a few times to get the right stats but it was fun nonetheless. I truly enjoyed this adventure and I eagerly await for more.

Cheers :D
-- MeetaCheeta on 5/9/2019 9:44:50 PM with a score of 0
I honestly couldn’t have enough.The writing is flawless as the backstory of our protagonist is sketched quite beautifully.The Brothers In Arms stuck with me throughout the play.This also is one of the best games on this platform.

8/8,Pretty great for binge reading,High Entertainment Value.


Stalke Welsh Strikes Again.
-- Welsh on 5/5/2019 8:35:54 PM with a score of 0
This.
This is a gem that need even more recognition.
Not only is the storyline beautifully thought out and detailed, the characters are really well written too (to the point where you can easily fall in love even with the most wicked one if you can understand their backstory well enough, which is quite easy thanks to the thoughtfulness of the author)
Ain't gonna lie. Another reason why I love LOVE this story is because you can choose your gender (it's not like it would be any less of a great story but I'm glad I finally found a story where you are not a boy by default yk)
I read all the thing in two hours without any break other that lunch and now that I've finished I'm craving for more more more. I can't wait for the next one. Good job.
-- Fery on 5/5/2019 12:36:05 PM with a score of 0
Absolutely amazing story! I could see this as an actual series of books that I would enjoy reading and rereading! Even the smallest choices affected how well the final fight would be, and not only were the game mechanics amazing, but the story arch as near flawless. One of my top three on this site without a doubt. Now If you don't mind, I need to go through and get all the other paths to win the fight. Top marks goes to you!
-- castorgreatpoetguy on 4/26/2019 11:06:55 PM with a score of 0
Hey I was told this was a CHILD MURDER SIM and was very eager to MURDER A CHILD so that I could have a hysterical meltdown about it on an internet forum and threaten to report the author to the FBI...but then when I played it I was very disappointed to find there was an option to just knock the CHILD I wanted to MURDER unconscious instead??? wtf

Ugh now I'm disappointed, freaking out about CHILD MURDER is just never quite the same when it's only possible to MURDER A CHILD by deliberate choice. 1/8, why did I even read this, well anyway off to rub more sand in my vagina and virtue signal at a flock of seagulls on the horizon I suppose, bye.
-- Cantaloupe Nun on 4/26/2019 4:13:21 PM with a score of 100000
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
-- SupDude on 4/25/2019 8:35:11 PM with a score of 0
I had so much fun with this story and could not put it down! I hope that there will be many more!!!!
-- ?? on 4/23/2019 11:47:58 PM with a score of 100000
I loved it. Really. 8/8

When I first played, I was kind of freaked out. I was also impressed with how you made the slavery there, but it wasn't crazy, they were still human, and they weren't fighting in unison like they had been training to do it for twenty years.

The characters all had their own depth, they had their own feeling, and it actually mattered what you did. It wasn't linear, not in the slightest.

I liked the stats a lot, and how you kept up with all of it. This game must have taken hours and hours to write, and it took 2-3 hours to finish.

It was exciting, sad, and... just good.
-- BgirlStories on 4/22/2019 4:23:20 PM with a score of 100000
Lots of depth and it's crazy interesting. Makes me want to be a tough like the characters but also shows perspective on the value of human life.
-- Delaney on 4/21/2019 10:40:21 PM with a score of 100000
This game is meaningful, deep, and truly hard for the character; a struggle between sanity or survival, trying to protect their friends/family or themselves...can't wait for the sequel!
-- DepressedTaco on 4/21/2019 2:20:40 PM with a score of 100000
I read the CoG Gladiators one before this, and now that you mention it, there are some similar plot points (slave travel by ship, woman who can't speak well speaks to you during ship, cato and titus rivalry, etc.) Personally I felt the story was too short, but it was enjoyable.
-- saniuri on 4/19/2019 2:36:08 AM with a score of 0
good stuff
-- rdwyer612 on 4/16/2019 11:35:45 PM with a score of 0
Everything in this story was great but there were a few things that were wrong that I noticed (mostly historical)
1. At this time (Which I assume is after the second punic war and before Rome annexed Greece) Rome didnt have an emperor they only did after Julius Caesar died
2. Gladiators dont usually die in battle (excluding animals but I'm not sure) but I get it since its a must for the plot
-- Stephen on 4/14/2019 11:51:46 AM with a score of 10000
I still want to escape and make a empire in Zeru’s home village to compete with Rome while recruiting Lulu’s brothers. Then conquer all the way up to the main character’s home town and see if their father is still alive(while getting the option to forgive him or own him as a slave, just to add more sentimental choices along the way)
-- ChooseYourStuff on 4/13/2019 8:42:32 PM with a score of 0
This was an amazing story/game and incredibly well put together. I really appreciate the effort put into making this story and would highly recommend it.
-- Peter on 4/12/2019 2:53:50 AM with a score of 0
Amazing!
-- M on 4/11/2019 11:09:56 PM with a score of 0
Honestly the updated version is the usual fantastic content I'd expect from the 'seniors' around here. Loved the new stats which gave more in-depth detail of the choices available to us.

Character development was nice. I liked how every one had their own stories behind their attitude. Caecillia is still a vague character to me, like is her innocence a facade? We knew she can be feisty but I don't know, it what keeps her as an RO interesting.

Okay, Septimule...really interesting as well. His obedience to his father being very high is amusing. Guesses about his past would be about something having to do with his mother, or maybe not depending on what Avery will write.

Well that's that and I hope to see book 2 soon enough, cheers!
-- Dezzo_lute21 on 4/10/2019 5:00:50 AM with a score of 0
Man where do I begin with this comment. The story line is absolutely amazing, full of rich detail, and each choice is well thought out. I played this story out in 1 sitting, simply because the writing makes you want to know what happens next, and to put it down would mean I'd be left wanting to know. I totally recommend this game to anyone and look forward to the next part. To the author: you have a serious talent, and I hope you go professional, you so deserve every bit of it.
-- ryanb96 on 4/10/2019 12:47:44 AM with a score of 100000
Great story-telling. I felt connected with the characters which I try to find with the stories I'm reading these past few months. Looking forward for the next book. ??
-- Phynx on 4/9/2019 10:44:40 AM with a score of 0
Comment may contain spoilers. If you have a problem with that, read the dang story! Isn’t that why you’re here?

Every company releasing DLC should take notes. Can we get Avery hired at EA? Simply put, the new edition of PoF is the storygame we’ve all been waiting for. Avery should have mentioned this is the ‘Game of the Year Edition’ because it will win ‘Best of 2019’ without a doubt. I’m debating waiting until 2020 to publish my storygame to at least give myself a chance. I played the original release of PoF and the updated version keeps the good and improves upon it.

Let’s start with the options. There’s so damn many! Never reading stories on any other CYOA sites, I’m not used to being able to choose names and gender. Not a bad element to include since you literally put yourself in the main character’s shoes. Well, maybe just literarily. The opening pages remind me of character creation screens from major RPGs. The opening questionnaire is like getting off the boat in Seyda Neen and walking into the Census and Excise office. I pity the Fortnite generation for not understanding that reference and not getting to play actual good games. At least you get Price of Freedom! I’m a big fan of surveys to determine stats because it’s more hands-on and causes the player to get inside the mind of the character they are creating. Immersion level: Through the roof.

I’m glad more backstory was included. The initial selling of you and your brother seemed rushed in the original. The original was like “First page: you’re a slave now, bitch”. This one gets you invested. You’re still a kid, but you get to experience a normal life before your mother’s death systematically destroys your father’s morals and your life.

Let’s move on to stats. Yes, you have stats. Isn’t that amazing for a game? Actually, yeah. I haven’t run into a lot of storygames with actual real influence. Seemingly every decision you make will determine a stat or approval gain/decrease. As it should! Think about IRL: If you act in a way someone doesn’t want you to, you lose rapport. If you don’t help your scared little brother, you lose his approval. No shit, right!? This is probably my favorite aspect of PoF. The decisions you make have very real consequences and boons. Your choices actually matter in a CYOA story? You’re goddamn right.

I did find issues in Chapter 2 due to the formatting. Or lack thereof. There’s several giant paragraphs that are a mix of dialogue and description with no paragraph breaks. It would be nice to have the sentences broken up.

One thing that sets Avery above us mere peasants is the amount of visualization she creates. A simple CYOA author would write “You go here. You do this”. Avery draws us in with incredible descriptions and gorgeous detail. An example of this is when you arrive at Pylos. Instead of writing “The city was busy with lots of people around”, you experience everything going on around you. From the kids playing in rock-pools to the haggling slavers, you see it all! It’s cliché at this point, but it’s classic ‘show not tell’ in action.

If for some reason you read this entire comment without reading the story first, shame on you. Go rethink your life, but first read PoF. It’s the epitome of a CYOA. Every link you click has a purpose behind it. It’s clear Avery spent a lot of time and effort to make this release even better than the original. That’s part of the reason I signed up as a Patron. Anyone writing their own CYOA should read PoF to see what excellence looks like. I give it an 8/8.
-- ninjapitka on 4/8/2019 11:01:48 PM with a score of 0
The story is pretty good. I didn’t realize there was a “Stats” button at the top right to check statistics until the very end. I haven’t seen any other game on CYS use that mechanic. Usually, they just include the stats at the bottom of every page or as a link at the bottom of relevant pages though I understand that this would get in the way with so many stats and stat changes. I’d recommend pointing out how to access the stats in the introduction. I’d also recommend putting a cap on each stat and relationship so that I’m not funneling useless points into a single stat or relationship.
-- Victim on 4/8/2019 12:32:35 AM with a score of 0
I have nothing but compliments to give this story; I'm absorbed into the plot trying to replicate what choices reflect my values while managing the needed growth for future events(can't go wrong with a speed and intellect run). The cast of characters, for the most part, represent all the components of what a gladiator feels in the arena(Alexius-Home sickness, Zeru-Survival instinct, Septimus- Thirst for violence, Brasus-Fear of death, etc) This is a work of love and considerable creativity that I has been refined to near perfection, I can't wait for the next part of the story to come out!
-- SlitherLord on 4/7/2019 10:02:03 PM with a score of 0
Very Good. Had to replay a couple of times to see my desired ending (but that's a good thing, I neglected one area of my stats for to long). Overall IGN "9/10"
-- Tian20 on 4/6/2019 9:03:16 PM with a score of 0
Excellent games and story , i tried boasting up my intelligent and found lots more fun reading of the interaction ..
However , the end do seems a bit abrupt when i made a wrong choice .. i have great strategy with my team and Gerda got the spear, then i chose Gladius but died ... hence would be a bit tricky since we won't know which decision is going to cause us dearly

but overall, a good read and game
-- Eric_knight on 4/4/2019 10:47:56 PM with a score of 0
This game is great probably the best on the site
-- Davefaster on 4/4/2019 10:01:29 PM with a score of 0
This is a really good game. I love how diverse the characters is, they each have their own unique personality. The choices are quiet impactful, too.

The most memorable scene, imo, was at that slave ship and arena. They really well written, I have so many mixed emotions there.

TLDR, I greatly enjoyed the game, will look forward for the sequel :)
-- SabLS on 4/4/2019 9:08:12 PM with a score of 0
I really don't know what to say different than the others have said. I love the story, the characters involved. the decisions you can take, and the possible choices you can do, in my opinnion, very well written, very well done and like the rest, i cant wait to see the sequel! Congratulations, keep it up!
-- gamecreator on 4/4/2019 7:40:19 PM with a score of 100000
Exellent story! lot of angst , so get ready to use kleenex!
-- eredmark on 4/4/2019 2:55:00 PM with a score of 10000
A really enjoyable read! Liked it even more since I just read this after finishing the movie gladiator. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel!
-- Revan Nex on 4/4/2019 9:53:18 AM with a score of 10000
It’s amazing, can’t wait for the next.
-- HippoAttack on 4/4/2019 2:25:32 AM with a score of 0
realy good
-- essee on 4/3/2019 2:55:58 PM with a score of 0
Great game. It really gives the player a challenging and fun gladiatior experience. It is fun to try and maintain relationships with the other characters in this kind of situation.

I recommended playing this game.
-- Oliver on 4/2/2019 5:07:56 PM with a score of 100000
Thanks for the wonderful game. It was excellent work.
I think you did really well and I can't wait for the sequel that will hopefully come soon.
Keep up the great work!
-- Mich240 on 4/2/2019 3:02:15 AM with a score of 100000
Thanks for this cool game- i played it with big pleasure!!! I like same games and i'll be very glad to see them in future!
-- siverd on 4/1/2019 4:19:58 PM with a score of 100000
This was great, though I wish there was a way to save Brasus. (and if there is, I have no clue lol!)
-- evelynn_ on 4/1/2019 2:31:44 PM with a score of 0
I really loved the story and the characters in it. They're all unique from one another and each one are equally as memorable. This is a great start to the Price of Freedom series, and I'm definitely going to be playing through it a couple more times rolling different stats. This story is definitely worth checking out.
-- Evermore on 4/1/2019 5:03:34 AM with a score of 100000
Can't wait for a sequel! Great job!
-- Ozoni on 3/31/2019 9:35:17 PM with a score of 0
Really nice prose style; the narrative bounces along, and characters get nicely defined. The character feels interestingly modifiable--I'll already looking forward to seeing what happens if I create a kind, clever character rather than the selfish brute I just played as.
-- Gower on 3/31/2019 7:01:55 PM with a score of 0
Excellently written, seems a bit short but isn't really I mean what with all the paths and the like.
Story and the plot is well done too and hands down one of the best written choose your adventure game I have played in a while.
I like it enough that I wish there was more of it, and am looking forward to the sequel
-- Nishant on 3/31/2019 1:15:37 PM with a score of 0
Amazing as always. Can't wait for the sequel!
-- Realdeaal on 3/31/2019 12:26:03 PM with a score of 0
I enjoyed my play through a lot. Great characters, story and choices. My only complaint is that it's to short me, Part 2 can't come soon enough!
-- Kungfuboom on 3/30/2019 7:21:22 AM with a score of 100000
Great game. I enjoyed the first version a lot, and this was a big improvement. Can't wait for the sequel!
-- JYN044 on 3/30/2019 12:53:24 AM with a score of 0
This story is a wonderful start of the Price of Freedom series.

The characters all have their own unique personalities which make them feel very real. Caecilia and Zeru are by far my favorite characters. Rhode proved to be a much deeper character than they first appeared to be. Alexius felt like a little brother that I wanted to protect but also try to toughen up for this harsh new world we've found ourself in. Gerda was someone that got on my nerves, but her reasons for being who she was felt real and natural. Brassus was far out of his element and I really felt bad for the guy while at the same time thinking, "Pick up your sword and train you moron." Septimus was a jerk, but in a "I bet this guy has some serious insecurities" kind of way. And Titus, well, he seems like the kind of guy who cares about us as long as we show him we were a good investment. I really don't want to put in anything to spoiler-y in here but I just wanted to say that Zeru's scene during the Latin Festival and Rhode's scene before the fight really stood out to me as excellent example's of how these characters really have more depth to them than what you might first believe.

The setting was good as well. Training scenes in the ludus were detailed and interesting. Overall there really isn't anything to complain about with the setting. There is enough change of location and scenery throughout the story to ensure good variation.

I believe this was a great story, and a great beginning to the series. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the protagonist and all the characters you've created. Thank you for creating this story and I look forward to your future work.
-- TurnipBandit on 3/29/2019 10:17:47 PM with a score of 0
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