a Historical by EbonVasilis

Commended by BerkaZerka on 1/22/2018 9:22:49 PM

Player Rating6.06/8

"#112 overall, #12 for 2018"
based on 121 ratings since 01/07/2018
played 3,888 times (finished 152)

Story Difficulty6/8

"wandering through the desert"

Play Length5/8

"Not going to lose any sleep"

Maturity Level6/8

"I'll need to see some identification"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 16. If this were a movie, it would probably between PG-13 and R.

A historical fiction based upon Alexander the Great and his rise to the throne. 

Note that not everything in this story is factually correct, but there is one path based upon true history.

Note: Nearly every choice has an effect on something, so make your choices carefully. There are four epilogues to be found. 

Criticism is very welcome.

This is an entry for Bucky's 2017 December Story Contest


Player Comments

Stories set in ancient history tend to get my attention since I like the time period. This one about Alexander was no exception. I’ve read about Alexander’s life before so I think this story did a decent job of portraying his early years. The writing was fine in general.

About the only problem might be the “confinement” of choice, but that’s always a struggle when you’re trying to a CYOA based in real history, especially when focused on a specific person. Stick too close and it becomes too linear, stray too far and you might as well be writing alternate history.

Still, I think you managed to do a good job at balancing history and choice as much as you could with this sort of theme and the paths/endings that strayed a bit from the real history were still entertaining.

I guess the only other issue might be a slight disappointment that this is only focused on Alexander’s early life. Originally when I remember you first making this story, I thought you were going to have a whole sprawling epic about his life from beginning to end. Though I suppose there just wasn’t enough time to cover all that within the contest limits.

Hopefully you can make sequels in the future to continue the tale of Alexander’s life.
-- EndMaster on 6/23/2018 3:33:24 PM with a score of 0
Magno really stood out as one of the higher quality stories in a contest already filled with some very impressive entries, and it's featured spot is well deserved.

I'm not hugely knowledgeable about Alexander the Great, but most of the commonly known stuff about him is more about the conquests than the origin story, so this was a nice change of pace. I really enjoyed all the glimpses into his early life, and the writing itself is very well done and keeps everything flowing along. POV changes can be hard to pull off in this medium and the transition from Phillip, to the vision of the birth, to Alexander himself early on all worked out surprisingly well without seeming choppy at all.

Alexander himself...I have to say that things such as 'unnaturally talented in everything he does because chosen by the gods' and how blatantly manipulative he was at times weren't the most endearing character traits for a child, but given what an obvious fan of the historical figure the author is I'll take it as a good thing he was given flaws here.

There were a smattering of punctuation errors and typos, mostly involving dialogue tags and apostrophes, but not enough to distract from the story. (I'll send a list over PMs in case a post-comp cleanup is planned).

I assume the deadline was a factor there, and I know there were other things Ebon wanted to do as well such as focusing more on the time spent with Aristotle. A bit more branching might have been welcome too, but easier said than done when writing historical fiction I realize.

Although this story covers a lot of ground over Alexander's early years (and an impressive amount considering there was only a month to write it) the only notable flaw I saw with the plot was how meandering it was. It jumps around quite a bit and I felt like the obvious central conflict and what more of the choices might have focused on should have been the relationship with his parents and the events leading to the assassination. Phillip goes from being a viewpoint character in the beginning to a respectable if distant father figure to suddenly, a disgraceful, violent drunk whose own wife and son want him dead. (Olympias herself got a surprisingly sympathetic treatment by the story considering the thing she's most well known for is burning Cleopatra Eurydice and her daughter alive pretty soon after these events.)

Ebon, since this is now sitting in a pretty prominent front page slot, have you considered upping the 'edutainment' value by offering a summary of Alexander's career in the epilogue of the canon path, maybe even with a couple of maps, etc? (Also curious whether you've read Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault, which is another fictionalized take on Alexander, written in the 70s I believe and where I've gotten most of vaguely remembered info on him from up until now...)

Anyhow, all in all a great story and a worthy addition to the Edutainment section. 2018 is getting off to a great start with all these contest stories, and I hope this isn't the last we see from you this year.
-- mizal on 1/17/2018 7:44:34 PM with a score of 0
Well, finally got around to playing this on my run through the competition. I can't honestly say I know a great deal about Alexander the Great. He's certainly an interested character to focus on. The writing was certainly very impressive, a far step above most of the other contest entries. It was certainly one of the best stories to come out of this whole thing, and certainly a cool story.

There were a few flaws with it, though, as with everything. It was annoyingly difficult when I didn't think it needed to be, at least for me, as I felt like in order to avoid being killed by the Theban King, I had to slog through a few things that I didn't really see as all that important to the life of the a huge king, and the actual severity of such simple choices didn't really make sense. Like, I'll never be a great King if I don't try to convince my babysitter I shouldn't go to class? Hell, even just doing history and philosophy in that class means you don't become a Great King. I don't know, this part was pretty frustrating, and funnily enough, I actually didn't think any of these choices really should've mattered compared to other choices, even though choices mattering is a huge thing with CYOAs.

Another thing was, I'm not exactly sure why we focused on this point of Alexander's life. Like, for someone who did so much amazing shit in his life, we focused on perhaps the most boring part of it. Most of the story is just doing pretty mundane things. Like, the choices of note are wondering if you should talk to your babysitter about doing class, answering two questions in class and then picking what to do for a day. It feels we focused on a lot of pretty boring stuff that didn't really matter. The only important things was the taming of the horse, and the battle at the end, but besides that, it was a lot of stuff that didn't seem to matter. Like, there wasn't really a coherent plot going on until towards the end. It felt more like the beginning of an epic rather than a full story. Which, I mean, I suppose it was just the beginning of an epic, but I don't know why we focused on the beginning of a story rather than the main bit, seeing as pretty much everything covered here could've been glossed over in a few pages or just skipped entirely.

So yeah, good game, only a few flaws, a bit boring at parts, but definitely an impressive thing to put out in such a short amount of time. It'll be tough work trying to beat you in the contest, so at least I'll have a fair bit of competition in this thing. Seeing as your quality stands by itself, I feel there's not much more that needs to be said, other than best of luck with the contest.
-- Steve24833 on 1/10/2018 10:25:18 PM with a score of 0
Beautifully written, but very abrupt ending.

I absolutely love how this story was written. The way it portrays the such an influential figure while interweaving the mythology, philosophy, and ideals of the pre-Hellenistic era is truly enthralling. I just wish it was longer and captured more than just the early parts of Alexander's life.
-- Florence on 12/17/2020 4:34:19 AM with a score of 0
The ending came a lot faster than I anticipated. There were typos but mostly it was well-written. There didn't seem to be much point to the reputation. It felt like a game that was started then published before it was finished with a shoe-horned ending
-- bilbo on 12/15/2019 10:06:51 PM with a score of 0
A few minor grammatical errors, but very well written. Engrossing story.
-- humperdoo900 on 7/12/2019 9:47:24 AM with a score of 0
I had fun playing it. There were a lot of gaps in the time line which could just be your style of writing. It was a very well written story though!
-- artimisfowl74635 on 4/29/2019 1:55:17 PM with a score of 0
I was really looking forward to getting to the fun parts of Alexander's history, and the writing really made me think that that part was forthcoming. I ran into a hitch when I went as an ambassador to speak on behalf of Phillip and died no matter which choice I made. I backed up to the beginning of the story and re-chose a few times to see if I could find some combination of backstory that would allow me to progress but I didn't seem to be able to. This story has a lot of potential, and as it was made for a contest it might be worth revisiting to flesh out further.
-- mous3r on 10/17/2018 3:36:00 PM with a score of 0
Well done
-- jbstory on 10/7/2018 4:10:12 PM with a score of 0
-- iqbal on 4/25/2018 11:02:46 AM with a score of 0
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