Going to start with the one that’s in the title, but I’m going to mention a few others as well in some other posts.
The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante
Okay, if you haven’t played this yet, (It’s been out awhile and as usual I’m behind the times) you really should. This is probably one of the best interactive fiction pieces I’ve played in long time.
The setting is a semi-grim dark fantasy world (Probably around 1700-1800s as far as earth tech” comparison) where the class system is so ingrained into the empire that its actually a religion. You got your nobles, your commoners and your priest castes. As you might expect, the nobles get to do all the cool shit while the commoners are supposed to just suffer and take it.
The priests are supposed to basically teach people why it’s all important to follow this doctrine because if you don’t, when you die you’ll be at the foot of the twin gods in charge of the world rather than at the top of the spire. Of course if you’re a degenerate foot fetishist, this really wouldn’t be a deterrent, but that’s not something that’s addressed, so we’ll just move on.
Basic story is you play as a guy called Sir Brante who was born of a commoner mom and a noble dad. Since you came out of a common vagina though, you’re also a lowly commoner, BUT you do have the ability to change your lot in life. It won’t be easy though and just like the title suggests, there’s gonna be some suffering. Probably a whole lot of it.
You also got some siblings, an older half sister and later a younger full brother, but only your oldest half brother is a noble like your dad since he came out of a noble vagina which then died causing your dad to remarry and fuck up his social standing in the first place. Which brings about the other relative you have which is your mean old noble grandfather who barely likes his own son, let alone all the rest of you common born lot.
The story sort of tells you how its going to end since the chapters are clearly divided into sections of childhood, adolescence, youth, peace time and finally revolt. The first 3 chapters are mainly to build up the stats though there’s certainly stats in peacetime and revolt, but they’re going to rely on the others you built up since having high enough stats leaves certain choices unlocked, while not having high enough stats (or resolving certain events) keeps them locked.
Basically the Empire is going through some changes and they’re happening whether you like it or not, so you basically need to navigate how well you’re going to come out after said changes, assuming you even survive them. Speaking of survival, since this is a fantasy setting there’s some magical shit going on which is actually somewhat beneficial. Most people get 3 “lesser deaths” and if they die the 4th time, they die the true death. However, there’s some exceptions to this rule and it might be one of the bigger plot holes in the game, but what the fuck, it’s magic! (It’s also a good “in game” way of allowing you to continue playing without having to start over)
You can die a true death prematurely if you’re sentenced to an execution via the law or the inquisition for example. There’s some other instances too, like getting shot for example. (Gunpowder weapons are becoming more common which sort of scares the nobility) I guess you might chalk that one up to tech beating magic.
I should also mention there is only one other fantasy race in the game and they’re sort of the reason of why things are like how they are. These are called the Arknians. They’re described being superior to humans in every way, and as having blue skin but pictures of them don’t make them look any different than humans. They don’t even have pointy ears or anything, though with having blue skin, these obviously dark elf stand-ins. (They are pretty arrogant and smug in general)
Arknians themselves are completely above the fucking laws and can pretty much do whatever the hell they want since they founded the empire and set up this caste system in the first place. However, of course humans breed like rabbits and it got to the point where they didn’t really have the numbers to rule over all of them, so that’s when they started making some of the more loyal humans nobles to oversee the rest, and it was just a downward spiral from there…
Besides the divine magic of the gods that happens, there are a few actual witches running around with the more traditional arcane magic. They’re generally considered dangerous and burned by the inquisition when found out though.
So you go through your childhood and such making choices and eventually you get the major branching path of what lot you’re going to follow. Do you try to become a noble, pursue a priestly path or just remain a commoner? This is where your game is really going to start being different. You won’t see every major character in all these paths, so there’s definitely replay value, plus there’s different endings and minor ending outcomes to various characters based on what happens.
Becoming a noble for example is going to see you really trying to balance your family’s reputation/wealth and your career. While being a commoner is going to put you more immediately in touch with the rebellious movements. Being priest puts you more in direct conflict of the split in faith that’s going on and which side you’re choosing in that regard.
Yeah, things are tough all over and by the end, you’re going to have to pick a side and hope you made the right connections and allies.
The artwork that accompanies the game is cool. You can play "ironman" mode where you can't replay a chapter or "blind" choice where you won't know what your results will be from your choices. Personally I played it this way the first few times, but I'll probably turn them off in later playthroughs so I can more easily see how to get other outcomes.
And I’d be lying if this game didn’t remind me of something I would write, (Though this has way less swearing) so of course I enjoyed this a lot. And it wasn’t all hung up on all the goddamn romance faggotry bullshit that is all the rage nowadays. Not to say that there aren’t a few waifus in there but when you play it, you definitely can tell that wasn’t the main goal of game. (Thankfully)
Anyway, yeah you should definitely play it if you haven’t already.