Cryogenic Failure

a Sci-Fi by Ogre11

Commended by TharaApples on 4/21/2021 5:28:55 PM

Player Rating5.39/8

"#182 overall, #18 for 2015"
based on 156 ratings since 02/06/2015
played 6,210 times (finished 214)

Story Difficulty1/8

"no possible way to lose"

Play Length4/8

"A well spent lunch break"

Maturity Level1/8

"appropriate for all ages"
Stories with this maturity level will not, by design, have any potentially objectionable content. An example of a type story with this rating would be a quiz on mathematics.
You signed up for a long space journey -- so long that you would have to be frozen in a cryogenic state for decades until the ship reached the destination: a new planet that was just like earth, but had no inhabitants. The ship was automated, and a group of 249 other people were frozen with you -- to be automatically un-frozen when the ship reached its destination and landed on the planet.

After many strange dreams, you find yourself waking up, but something doesn't seem quite right. This waking up process is not what was described to you at all, and now you're going to have to figure out what happened and what you're doing to do about it!


This is a relatively simple choose-your-own ending story adventure. There are many different endings (eight total) with a good story (I hope) behind each. Enjoy picking your own story!

Player Comments

The story is described as a classic CYOA, although I have a quibble with that statement.

Yes, there is some "Time Cave" branching here, and I read through to endings 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Some of the endings were identical to other endings, so despite the multiple story paths the individual stories were limited in nature. And of the original three choices I encountered, one choice ultimately led to a single ending.

Narratively, this is more like a role-playing game or something. The premise is very interesting--I wake up prematurely from a cryogenic freeze, and I'm curious to know why--but beyond that set-up, the setting is presented matter-of-factly. I enter a room, I observe the features, and I can then choose to press a button or continue walking into another room.

Basically, there is no tension to compel me through the narrative. This is not a game, because there is no one objective I'm trying to achieve, and therefore nothing to gain by pressing that button or entering that room. Nor is this a classic CYOA, because the narrative elements are too random in nature, and the consequences of a choice are not apparent until after the choice has been made.

My biggest complaint is that the protag is completely oblivious as to what the buttons do, or where the hallway leads. Therefore I can't really care too much what I do, because I'm in a complete fog as to what the situation is. I walk down a hallway, I see cryo tubes filled with green goo, I don't know what any of it means, but I can press a yellow button or walk through a door.

A good CYOA should set up the situation and give me choices that make me stop and think before I proceed. Instead of pressing buttons or entering doorways, the story should place me directly into a scenario and give me some understanding of what the consequences should be before I make the choice. For instance, I recognize that the cryo tube is about to fail in a matter of moments, the occupant's life is at stake, therefore I can (A) try and reset the controls--a speedier action with less likelihood of success--or I can (B) go through the door and obtain an important tool--a lengthier action that is more likely to succeed, if I can get the tool in time.

But in this case, the protag is completely clueless, and so the experience is like bumbling through a long and unsettling dream where the elements don't make any sense and I have no idea what anything means. Therefore I have little involvement in the story, and take nothing away upon its completion.

I did read through 6 of the 8 endings to be fair to the author, but after learning in one ending that everything really was a dream, or encountering other endings that started to become too similar, I began to despair that the remaining two endings would provide me with a satisfactory resolution.

The interface is eye-catching, and the premise is good, but the story is frustratingly thin.
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 5/19/2019 10:03:57 PM with a score of 0
I seriously enjoyed this.

The plot was possibly one of the best i've seen, and it was very creative. You developed it well throughout the storygame and fleshed it out very, very well, so good work on that.

The color contrast on the pages felt really nice and went great with the setting and storygame. I'm glad you coded this background in, because it made for a more pleasant read i'd say :)

Some of the choices in the storygame didn't feel very meaningful, but it wasn't a very big flaw overall since this wasn't frequent.

I did notice that a few pages seemed to have more effort put into them then others. Spreading out the quality would make my rating rise on this storygame for sure.

-- MinnieKing on 3/28/2017 1:39:44 AM with a score of 0
This honestly was very brilliant. The scripting and structure certainly sets it apart from many other games that are on this site, and the writing was done rather well too :)

This was immensely enjoyable, obviously plenty of effort was placed into crafting this game. An enjoyable read, indeed.

My only nitpick is that I wish some of the endings were less ambiguous, this of course doesn't include the rather bad endings you're able to get in a unfortunate circumstance for the protagonist. But that's just a very minor nitpick of mine, as the game as a whole was quite fun.
-- TharaApples on 10/18/2016 10:52:54 AM with a score of 0
I did not exactly know what happened but I think I died.
-- Abbey on 2/19/2021 11:46:17 PM with a score of 0
Started off so great! After a few pages, like almost all the other stories I’ve read on here, the character mysteriously lays down and dies for no reason. No wounds, nothing.

This feels like the first 25% of a great tale. Can you finish it?
-- lightfrommoon4 on 10/29/2019 7:54:11 AM with a score of 0
:D This is epicly awesome! A must-see for all Sci-Fi fans! My favorite ending is ending 1, but you gotta see all the other endings to see how overflowing with creativity this is. Awesome!
-- HowdyHiHello on 4/21/2018 4:14:43 PM with a score of 0
Loved the story. I liked how the many pathways led to different ending scenarios. Would like to see more of the storyline, if possible, to add more.
-- BobbySpace on 4/7/2018 10:56:57 PM with a score of 0
Well, it's an interesting game with a nice concept. I was hoping for the option of navigating the ship to a nearby planet instead or choose to fight the other side in the space battle. But somehow I cannot find ending #1 despite getting the other 7 endings, so any hints?
-- TestingJest on 1/7/2018 1:05:57 AM with a score of 0
Is there no way to solve this riddle??
-- JohnX on 9/22/2017 3:45:15 PM with a score of 0
The premise of a space/survival/mystery set up some intriguing possibilities. Some were explored but most were overlooked. Maybe I missed some major element or events must be done in a certain sequence, or maybe this is bugged. After entering the bridge I can no longer return to the ship. After climbing the ladder to the next level I cannot return to the bridge. Despite there being no given reason I cannot go back, simply walking onto the bridge sealed my fate. There were a few neat tricks and ideas but I was left disappointed. As a story game this falls short to me, and without the cyoa component this is not a story I would read beyond the first few pages. The author hints at mysteries or conspiracies, and the possibilities of what perils you could find alone and vulnerable in space. There is no pay off though. No great conspiracy, no tension, no obstacles to overcome, no lessons to be learned. There are continuity errors galore: The protagonist comments the other pods were put in storage containers to fit the small ship, later the pods are all out in the open in rows of two, and the ship is described as large. In that same vein of events where words like "stretching for miles" is used: the protagonist walks the entire distance of that one bay (several times if you choose,) without seeming to care about the distance even though we are told in the opening that a few minutes early the protagonist struggled to stand. If the journey was to take 40-50 years, the ship is 2/3 of the way there, and the captains says it has taken much longer than planned (we are led to believe long enough for the whole crew to die of old age,) so the math on the minimum you would have been in cryo for. And yet- the woman you thaw seems completely fine as soon as you encounter her. There are many more logical and linguistic inconsistencies to be found here. If this was a free hand short story made by someone very young or without much experience in writing it is a reasonably admirable attempt. Regardless of the specifics of who made this, I still appreciate their effort. I did not enjoy this story, I would not recommend it, but the core idea is solid and they clearly put some imagination into this. I could have enjoyed this story, it is a great concept and not beyond redemption or revisiting. I recommend this author find some films or books noted for building atmosphere and study those. I also advise them to spend a little time with their story. Walk the halls and envision the situations as happening to them, and ask if it makes sense. Take the chance to proof read the finished work and test it. Sometimes in game design you want or need to make the player do what you want, but you always need a reason if you are forcing them to. Unlike video games there are no technical limits on imagination. If you don't want your players returning to an area you need to create an obstacle or hazard, or an emotional need to move forward. Lastly, just keep writing. There are good ideas here that just need more seasoned execution. I don't mock or discourage, this is just one players thoughts on where the work came up short.
-- kyo787 on 4/12/2017 3:03:48 PM with a score of 0
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