Broken Chains: Blood on the Marble

a Dark Fantasy by Malkalack

Commended by BerkaZerka on 1/22/2018 9:23:39 PM

Player Rating5.91/8

"#167 overall, #16 for 2018"
based on 75 ratings since 01/06/2018
played 2,003 times (finished 88)

Story Difficulty5/8

"run through the jungle"

Play Length4/8

"A well spent lunch break"

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.

A second entry in the Broken Chains universe. Also, an entry to Bucky's 2017-2018 Prompt Contest.

Player Comments

Well, good to see Klam's tossed another thing out, and that it's set in the same universe we've seen a bit of already. Anyhow, I really liked it. It was very cool to see an expansion of the Broken Chains setting with another look at the Greco-Roman-Tolkein universe you've created, with the addition of Orcs and that. It was cool to see the inspired gladiator stuff gone into it, and all that you'd "researched" from Greco-Roman culture and that. It wasn't a massively explored or hugely unique setting, but it served it's purpose well and was cool enough that it worked as a whole, with enough unique takes on the classics that it was pretty cool.

The writing was fairly high notch, it seemed pretty cool with some really memorable lines like "It would appear someone has taken pity on his recent misfortunes, and has taken it upon themselves to give him a bright-red smile, just below the chin", which just seemed cool as shit and really helped get a tone for the whole thing going. It was a bit vague at certain parts, but nothing too bad and it was easy to read, so no big flaws there. The plot was cool too, my favorite being the murder your friends thing, and how the whole living a life like that comes back to you, with the same apologetic execution Buchanan got.

The characters all seemed pretty cool. We didn't get to see a lot of development, which was a shame, as it would've been cool to learn a bit more about them and see their attitudes change with exposure to the corrupt elements of the arena or to see the masters' masks slip a bit more, but the characters as presented were all definitely interesting enough that this wasn't a big deal in such a short story. They were all quite cool, and I quite wanted to know a fair bit more about them.

Also, and this is a fact, it was super gay. Like, in a way where there were clear homosexual undertones in... well, everything, be it the semi-nude Orcs fighting in loinclothes, the bathing, or the blowjobs. Well, some of the homosexual stuff was a bit more blatant, but there was a lot of it. Suits the Greco-Roman inspiration, I suppose. Hopefully, this thing gets featured, as a reminder that you should love and accept this part of you, seeing as it's bursting through your writing.

I suppose my biggest issue with the game is that I feel like there's a lot of stories bursting out of it that just don't get told. Going on the run with scarred, tribeless Enya (who apparently your ableist mind thought didn't deserve love because of her appearance) at the head of a rapidly advancing legion seemed like it would be quite an interesting setting, what with guerrilla warfare and wilderness survival and Native American stuff. Plus, I'd have liked to see more from her character as a whole. Instead, that path ends fairly abruptly, and is a bit of a let down when it seems like the two characters' story shouldn't end. Understandably, there were time constraints, but it's still a bit of a let down. As well as this, it seemed there was a lot more to be told as a gladiator in the fighting pits, with more of a working your way up thing. The vengeance ending especially seemed like it could've used a serious storyline, what with you basically becoming Spartacus. Hell, even stuff like old you teaching "one daughter" of a wealthy family seems like a cool side story in and of itself, and that's a single line.

So, all in all the writing was good, the setting solid and the characters interesting. Like last time, I'd quite like to see more from the setting and from you as a writer. The setting, characters and writing were all good, it's just that length can leave a bit to be desired, so hopefully, you'll try sink your teeth into a big long epic for next time. Anyhow, well done.
-- Steve24833 on 1/7/2018 12:16:08 AM with a score of 0
Blooded was an interesting setting that I always thought you could have done lot more with if you'd had more time. So, nice to see you went for it with this comp.

Just an fyi for new readers: this story is completely standalone, it's not necessary to read the other one first.

I enjoyed the first story too but the pacing on this one is much better and the paths feel more complete, plus it's got all the sweet gladiator action of course. There are clusters of several pages in a row without choices which I know some dislike but the writing flows well and events move along quickly enough that it never became an issue for me. There are still plenty of choices, the story just focuses only on the ones that make a life-changing (or ending) difference.

I expected Enya to be developed a bit more than she was; we don't ever find out much about her past or how she learned so much about the not-Romans, and the protagonist never seems curious. Although the path when you're hunting with her is noticeably shorter than the other, so maybe you had plans in that direction you never got around to. (At first I thought it might turn out she was actually a spy seeing how the camp is attacked almost immediately after she's found and brought to it, along with her speaking the language of the enemy so well...)

Buchanon and Boris were pretty likeable characters in the time you had to develop them (perhaps you were just more interested in homoerotic baths with men than in developing the token female character which in hindsight should not have surprised me in the slightest)

I was sure the option I picked for the last game was going to backfire horribly, and yet it went surprisingly well. My favorite ending is definitely the one where you're freed and wind up with a bunch of slaves of your own, I applaud the protag's hard won victory for racial equality!

The 'champion's story' ending was also improved quite a bit since the last time I read it.
-- mizal on 1/6/2018 12:37:27 PM with a score of 0
This was a solid story. The writing itself was good, and the plot was good. I'm not sure what, but something is missing however. This doesn't hurt the story but it stops it from being amazing. Overall a good effort.
-- tmanaking on 12/30/2020 2:17:49 PM with a score of 0
Nearly no choices in the first few pages. Next choices are limited and death occurs in the following page after deciding to leave a burning village? The character just lays down and dies? Disappointing.

Besides storyline, the grammar and punctuation need an overhaul.

This has SO much potential! I do hope you’ll work on it more and it can be revisited knowing that it has more options besides immediate death.
-- lightfrommoon4 on 10/29/2019 6:53:47 AM with a score of 0
wanted to bump uglies with enya
-- Bathrobe Samuel on 10/6/2019 10:04:21 PM with a score of 0
Interesting story but not a ton to it.
-- Yandeleon on 1/17/2019 12:22:27 PM with a score of 0
I enjoyed the gladiatorial setting avidly, and the story itself was very good. The pacing was slightly. . . off. Time lapsed in large portions, but certainly not too badly, where I wasn't able to tell what was going on. The characters present in Broken Chains weren't the most memorable, but they did add a unique flavor to the script, of course. I experimented with some of the endings, and I enjoyed three of them very well (without posing spoilers, the solo victory, women and wine, and continental great). I absolutely loved the reference to Spartacus in one of the endings. A solid, well read.
-- JonathantheEthereal on 5/29/2018 6:39:08 PM with a score of 0
The story was personally to short, built it up only to discover nothing at the top.
-- Thomas on 5/29/2018 6:21:38 PM with a score of 0
Damn fine story, Malk.
-- Chris113022 on 2/2/2018 11:46:33 PM with a score of 0
I feel like this should have been longer, the length wasn't too bad but it seems like it just abruptly ended. All in all it was good though.
-- corgi213 on 2/2/2018 11:37:53 PM with a score of 0
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