The Thief And The Messiah
"Too few ratings to be ranked"
Played times (finished )
"No possible way to lose"
"So short yo' momma thought it was a recipe"
"Aren't you a little too old to be trick or treating"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG-13.
Based Off A True Story
Entry to EndMaster's 2022 Prompt Contest. A story about a thief crucified alongside Jesus. No claims of quality are made. This story will be rewritten, but for now is left in sneak preview for anyone who still wants to read it.
General Recommendation: Recommended. This is a quick game with an intriguing concept.
Preview: Speak with Jesus in your final moments on the cross.
At the time the concept was first raised in the discord I thought it sounded really interesting, and it still is in execution (heh). This game deserves a lot of props for the concept. It’s original, and it’s a good way to make use of the CYOA format to tell a non-traditional story.
I like the way various different aspects of Jesus’s teachings and religious convention at the time are raised by the thief. These concepts aren’t explored in more depth than the brief answers and responses, but it’s nice that they’re there.
This game is too short for me to have very much complex feedback to give. I like the simple concept, and I like the writing. This game is not very ambitious—it isn’t trying to do a lot, but it does what it set out to do without error.
One could easily imagine a more complex and thorough version of this game, with a deeper dive into the morals of the situation in the conversation with Jesus, and more variance in the possibilities. I’ll be interested to see which, if any, of these possibilities are incorporated on the re-write. As it is, the game seems a little short and unexplored for its concept.
-Nifty looking title page.
-Crucified for a loaf of bread. I’m getting Valjean vibes.
-Kudos for the biblically accurate depiction of hell. Don’t often see those in fiction.
-I wish there was a bit more consistency for which lines were consequential and which ones aren’t. Some “rude to Jesus” lines decide your fate, others don’t. It would be cool for the work with the variables to be a little more complex. Knowing that this is unfinished makes that make more sense.
Mastery of Language:
Pretty good. The language communicates the message clearly to the reader, while also adding in flavor and tone. The sentences flow neatly from one to another.
Alright. There are two major endings, and a couple ways to get each. It would be cool to see some more complex determination of the endings, which I suspect there will be once this is completed.
Player options/Fair choice:
Good, it’s clear which option means what. It might be a little too clear. But this isn’t really a game in the traditional sense, it’s more an exploration of the various possible conversations Jesus could have with the thief, whoever he winds up being. The clarity works well for the story rather than hampering it.
Repeating the narrator’s lines as both a link to click and a line on the next page is kind of distracting. Might just be me, though.
CONCLUSION: 4/8. This game satisfactory accomplishes its goal, but there’s a lot more that could potentially have been done here. Its simplicity is a strength that lets it stand firmly on its own despite its short length, but it also prevents it from being any more than what it currently is.
on 7/3/2022 10:25:26 AM with a score of 0
The main complaint that comes to mind is that there really wasn't enough conversation to be had with this Jesus. It seems like there's only the ability to be skeptical and have him pity you, or be suddenly open-minded. And the brief, utter lack of attempt at convincement just doesn't seem like a jesus-ly way of going about things, and the sudden heel-faced turn to open-mindedness doesn't seem like the attitude a cynical experienced thief who ain't a fan of the Pharisees would have. The fact that the mortal man in this situation is also dying painfully leads me to believe he probably also wouldn't be in the best mood for philosophical and theological discussion, and he would probably be kind of rude. Which makes it kind of bite in the ass a bit that the most realistic approach sends you to a metaphorical hell of anti-unenlightenment. While this is a really interesting concept, the key to this story is the character arc of the thief, and the only options available here feel less like arcs of dynamic change and more like flat lines and then cliffs.
So yeah, that would be my suggestion- More and longer conversation with jesus, maybe even having it start on the way up to golgotha if they wouldn't last long enough on the cross, or with the pre-execution torments if you wanna get Mel Gibsony. But it's a little presumptuous to say they wouldn't have enough time on the cross, because, I mean, by conservative estimates Jesus was up there for about 6 hours- And we don't really know how bleeding or tortured the other guys were, so they could've been up there even for days after Jesus died.
on 7/3/2022 8:35:59 AM with a score of 0
Ha, I wished that there were more routes and more stuff to read. The concept is actually kind of fun, with a person having a talk with Jesus while they die on the cross. At first I thought that you would go with a more comedic tone aka Life of Brian. It honestly felt very genuine and I would like to think that if there was indeed a Jesus, that he would be a swell guy like this. Yeah, Jesus was very much in character.
The dialogue was also quite fun to read and there was a limited amount of branching (I think that depending on your first few choices, you can be a Jew or your average non-believer.)
The endings, I was a little disappointed that there were only two choices: damnation and salvation. Perhaps you could have some artistic freedom (this idea is indeed stolen from the Catholics) and have "Limbo" as the third option, a place for neither the saints or the criminals, but just your regular ol' sinners. Well, but this is all Bible interpretations and such.
Perhaps this is real ass pedantic stuff on my part, but in general crucifixions are usually done for the lower classes of Roman society like slaves and such. In some routes, there was a heavy implication that the protagonist himself is able to read scripture. I think you have already addressed that part a little, but still, wouldn't his higher social class ensure that he would only get a heavy fine for stealing? (Plenty of Jews had Roman citizenship.)
The prose in general is well-written and I like the concept quite a lot. So kudos to you! Scoring might be a little low, but I'll readjust it when it's complete. I'll look forward to the finished work.
on 7/3/2022 7:14:19 AM with a score of 0
Ayoo Jesus is king my man
on 7/8/2022 9:40:47 AM with a score of 0
I have to say, I’m personally not much of a fan. I mean there are so many cool bible stories, but you went with the crucifixion? And it’s just a dialogue with Jesus where he repeats the same sort of thing over and over? Objectively it’s decent I guess, but it’s kind of a let down imo.
My biggest complaint is the endings. Most of the word count comes from the fact that the same two endings are used at the end of every path. I did read every path, but at a certain point I stopped even going all the way to the end link page because it was just the same thing over and over. But I’m fairly certain I didn’t miss a third ending, due to how many times I saw the first two. I think the problem is with the fact there are only two types of endings that make sense, damned or not, but maybe you could’ve had Jesus say something different in each one? Not that it’d fit his character too well, I imagine he’d say the same thing for all of them.
The writing is solid, the dialogue entertaining, but there isn’t much to say because there isn’t much here. The number of paths is undercut because they all lead to the same two endings, leading them to not feeling unique. It’s funny because what was written is actually really clean, so I assume that you either cut content to have time to edit, or just draft really clean. Either way, I just find it strange because half of this stories already small word count is repeated text.
I still gave it a decent rating, and I’d say it might be decent to click through a path or two. But reading all the paths was pretty disapointing for me, they all kind of blended together. I’d still recommend it, you aren’t losing very much by reading it, but I doubt I’d revisit it again. Maybe if it got a content update in the future.
on 7/5/2022 7:05:24 PM with a score of 0
This is a very short read. Intended section were cut, that's not a problem. The problem is that it feels incomplete. This needed a lot more work. Jesus is a tough character to write, so props to you for taking a serious crack at it.
on 7/5/2022 2:11:25 AM with a score of 0
For a story that's by your own admission unfinished, this was quite enjoyable and the dialogue was well written. I liked it!
on 7/2/2022 1:24:43 PM with a score of 0
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