Silver Horn, Silver Hooves
Commended by BerkaZerka on 12/17/2017 1:01:53 PM
, #9 for
Played 2,126 times (finished 126)
"Run through the jungle"
"It'll be a while, better grab a Snickers®"
"Choking hazard for children under 4"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 6. To compare to the movie rating system, this would be G.
When the weather is fine, you've been coming to this grove to drink from the pool for centuries now. Today, you meet a stranger and hear a story that changes all that...
A fairy tale adventure.
I think this is the fourth of Mizal's stories I've read so far, but the first to which I've given a serious review.
I really enjoyed this story, although I'm generally allergic to the fantasy genre--which, yes, begs the question, what am I doing on CYS? But this one was highly rated, and it was written by someone with a solid reputation, so I went for it.
The characterizations are spot-on, and the narrative is engaging. At least at first. There is ample branching, although at heart this is a linear story with a variety of ways you can get from A to B, or get bumped out of the narrative by making certain poor choices. But if you make those poor choices, O Reader, then pooh on you; the correct choices are telegraphed so heavily sometimes that there is no way to miss what you SHOULD do.
The two scripted encounters toward the end--the one "beta" scene Mizal warns us about, and also a warm-up scene that occurs immediately before it--grind the forward momentum to a halt. For me the biggest problem was repetition--literally reading the same paragraphs over and over again.
In the first (and less scripted) of the two scenes you meet a series of characters who all look and act the same way. On my first read through this, I missed that I was dealing with multiple characters, and not just the same one reappearing over and over again.
And on the "big" scripted scene, I kind of wished I had fewer options I didn't fully understand and more story. It's hard to discuss what I mean by this in a review without giving away too much detail, but I found the shift in format from narrative to game to be unsatisfactory; just ask me which item I think I should use, and let's get on with it.
But overall, I gave this a 7/8 as I think it's a very fine story, and definitely worth reading.
on 6/26/2019 1:31:19 AM with a score of 0
Well, it's certainly going to be a bit difficult to adequately do this story enough justice with words, but it is a task that I'll certainly accept gladly.
Silver Horn, Silver Hooves is quite simply put, an amazing narrative story-game It has flair, descriptive writing, a wonderful setting, and characters that carry this story so strong until it reaches it's conclusion. The age old tale of an unlikely pair, teaming up to rid the world of a great evil is always interesting in a way.
I naturally begin to think just how the writer of such a scenario can add and inject their own style and prose, and mizal has done just that. From the very beginning in which you first meet the two heroes, your given an insight to their differing personalities, motives, and reason for being, and that gives great interest on how they'll coexist and go about their adventure.
And what an adventure it is! The story branches off wonderfully it pays the reader well for heeding certain paths and using their own insight and that of the character's on whether or not the right decision is being made or not, which gives this story a true choose your story feel, in my opinion. The pictures help set the tone with extra visual aid, but that isn't to say that the writing does a poor job, it does the exact of that actually.
As the story progresses, the reader is given a sense of just how foreboding and perilous the journey that they are headed on is. It did well in making me quite apprehensive, but also excited for the epic conclusion with the villain of this story. It also gave this particular adventure a feeling that if it was completed successfully, or in the right way, the world that these characters that I have come to like would be ripped apart at the seams.
Truly, mizal could have stopped at simply creating an excellent story with words, but I have to say that adding a battle system of sorts was also a rather novel idea for this story-game. For something that was apparently in a beta form by the time of my review, it did add another layer to the game's depth and also my enjoyment. I really felt accomplished at winning and overcoming my foes.
One thing I also liked was that certain choices that at first seemed to be one that was minimal, played a role and effected the story's climax and conclusion. It's a bit deceptive, but it is rewarding in that deceptiveness. Punishing a reader that is perhaps not paying nearly enough attention to the way the story was going, but also rewarding an attentive one as well.
All of that aside, while this story is made and written well, slight hiccups in the grammar department was there. However they were only few, and the writing holds up well and captures the reader's interest from beginning to end.
What mizal created here is something that will ensnare you from the first sentence and make you want to read every single page that can possibly be read that this story-game contains. And I for one would like to read more from this story's universe, as the best ending certainly does leave room for much more to be explored with this lovable and awesome unicorn.
I feel silly for not thinking unicorns weren't that cool, but my eyes have been opened after finishing this. I'm at a loss of what more I can possibly say other than that everyone really owes to themselves to read this. As a choose your story writer or potential writer, you can perhaps learn some things. And as a reader, well, you'll most likely find what has been written enjoyable.
Great work as always, and as to be expected from someone who loves writing as much as you, mizal.
on 6/20/2019 6:27:55 AM with a score of 0
I was looking through some of the higher rated stories and realized I was sick of the same old hero's tale, but wasn't exactly sure why. Then I stumbled upon this one, and came to see that what I was looking for was a point of view character that wasn't human. Obviously, in the fantasy genre at some point the good guys are going to face nearly insurmountable evil magic, but what makes it worth continuing after reading the first page is the somewhat alien culture of the creature. It's refreshing to read a storygame that isn't the same anti-hero trope hovering on the border between decent and obnoxiously edgy.
Anyway, as for the story itself, the descriptions were suitably creepy, and the overly dramatic language did justice to the genre. Everyone loves a little slightly archaic, overstated dialogue. Additionally, it was interesting to walk beside the stereotypical hero, rather than play as him.
There were several quality fairy tale tropes along the way (which presumably you'd expect and even be seeking when reading a story like this), and the fact that they were done well enough to be entertaining is what really matters here. Every comedian has an itchy butt joke. What separates the creamy goodness from the smelly discharge is the execution.
There were few grammatical errors, none of which distracted from the story. I did encounter what appeared to be a short loop (SPOILER: the first and second raven had exactly the same page if you chose to handle them the same way /SPOILER), but I would say the biggest negative was that the battle didn't seem all that orderly. I did manage to get through it, but there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for the actions I took. The first three choices I picked because I didn't want to get eaten by the dragon, but the last couple I just randomly selected, and LO! I SLEW HIM. It does say "beta" however, so obviously the story isn't finished.
One other thing that confused me is that *SPOILER* being merciful in one part of the story (the ravens) results in a "losing" ending, but being merciful at the end doesn't. Being a unicorn, I would have figured mercy would be the general default setting. Although I suppose one should not expect a story to end happily just because your character does the right thing. In fact, maybe you should expect it not to. And then on the other hand, maybe letting a witch live is the WRONG thing. *SPOILER.*
Anyway, the storygame is worth reading because it establishes a believable setting, the character has an interesting culture and disposition you won't see very much in these games, and it has some of the soul and flavor of old time fairy tales, which to me is always a plus. Also, there are a few cool pictures scattered throughout, and I'm a big fan of expanding the experience to include visual story telling. It's not a massive, world spanning epic, but it's a nice little tale well worth the read.
on 6/14/2019 11:48:46 PM with a score of 0
Best Story on this site, I've read so far. Good job!
— Samantha on 9/28/2021 11:08:10 PM with a score of 0
So this is probably the longest one of mizal's story-games I've read, and I thought it was quite nice.
Let me just list a few sentences and phrases in the text that could use some revision before I get to the meat of the review:
"The yew is ancient and the branches grows on either side of it like protective arms," should be changed to "The yew is ancient and the branches grow on either side of it like protective arms,"
"After a restless night at camp in which yellow eyes watch from amid the undergrowth and you become quite glad of the competing light of Jerran’s little cooking fire," should be changed to "After a restless night at camp in which yellow eyes watch from amid the undergrowth, you become quite glad of the competing light of Jerran’s little cooking fire,"
“Yes, they a market somewhere about here." Maybe change to
“Yes, there was a market somewhere about here."
"He seems to notices the shattering stones too," could be redone as "He seems to notice the shattering stones too,"
"You race in to dash past the beast, keeping its attention it while your companion regains his footing." should be changed to "You race in to dash past the beast, keeping its attention while your companion regains his footing."
"There is hardly time for either one of you to react before the beast is upon hum," should be changed to "There is hardly time for either one of you to react before the beast is upon him,"
"But for your own inner light you stand enshrouded in void, a terrible thing with a life of its own, and the only thing that shines from beyond it is the cold reptilian eyes of the beast." should be changed to "But for your own inner light you stand enshrouded in void, a terrible thing with a life of its own, and the only things that shine from beyond it are the cold reptilian eyes of the beast."
But to the story-game itself. I really like the feel of this. It reminds me a lot of old European folktales in which the hero meets different beings who aid in the quest. That actually helped me make a lot of correct decisions. Also, the story-game is somewhat like the old Endless Quest books TSR Hobbies used to publish in the 80's (most of which were authored by Rose Estes). I never realized Edelweiss was a kind of flower; I always just thought of it as that song Christopher Plumer sings at the End of The Sound of Music.
Keeping with the folklore aspects, it was great that you gave the unicorn silver hooves and horn. Silver of course represents purity, which is why it's used against vampires and werewolves, and also why L. Frank Baum chose to give Dorothy silver shoes (instead of ruby slippers) in the novel of The Wizard of Oz.
The ending (and here are some spoilers) is appropriately sad. Almost reminds me of one of the Brothers Grim Fairytales.
This did a bit remind me of The Last Unicorn. I've seen the Rankin Bass cartoon but never read the Peter S. Beagle novel it's based on, but I like that this tells a very different story than that.
Overall, I really liked this as a Fantasy CYOA. It could have been some cheesy Dungeon Crawl or Lord of the Rings knock-off, like so many people are tempted to write, but it was instead a wonderful tale that harkened back to the roots of Modern Fantasy Fiction.
Very good job indeed!
on 5/7/2021 4:51:13 PM with a score of 0
This was a very pleasant story to read and experience. It does a great job of making you think that each choice mattered and could lead to disaster. I got the good ending, which was defintely a nice surprise. The story is pretty straightforward, which could be seem as a weakness to some people, but that gave it an "old fashioned fairy tale" vibe that I think is severely underrated.
Easily a 7/8.
on 12/6/2020 9:01:02 PM with a score of 0
the pages were too long and not a lot of choices. got very dry and boring
on 12/2/2020 9:46:25 AM with a score of 0
THIS IS SOOOO GOOD AND FUN :D :D
— Hello on 11/26/2020 9:47:13 AM with a score of 0
That was phenomenal.
That's all I can say. It was very well written, detailed, and interesting.
on 6/15/2019 4:45:43 PM with a score of 0
Of course it's very well written. I enjoyed every second of it, but it was too linear.
on 5/25/2018 11:55:51 AM with a score of 0
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