Player Comments on WARCHIMP
It's taken me much longer to find the words for this review than it did to actually read the story. It's rare to find a piece of writing that just so instantly and unapologetically grabs you and pulls you in this way, even on this site. Even as a "sequel", everything here feels utterly fresh and unique.
I like it better than CYBERMONKEY. That's right, you heard me. They're identical in length, but CYBERMONKEY was like the light, delectable appetizer to WARCHIMP's rich, complex, and fragrant main course. It seems insane that the story is really only just 4000 words and something Malk bashed out for a last minute deadline; it offers so many dizzying glimpses into this intensely badass world, I could easily believe he'd run dozens of campaigns there and had a novel's worth of notes on the lore. I'm talking about even simple lines like: "This is a land rife with ghosts; the Red Wood of Khal Al-Forn, where the ancestors climb invisibly into eternity." that are just so evocative of setting and tone that they set the mind reeling from the tastiness of the worldbuilding possibilities.
If this is all just an illusion of depth, it's a damn good one and the finest thing by far that has ever come out of Malk's ass and then been written about at length.
He's in top form with the writing here too. The action scenes are phenomenal as usual with his work, and the imagery and atmosphere and the whole energy of this thing just work together to make it more than the sum of it's parts. It's only 4000 words! There are barely any choices! But somehow none of that matters. I've read stories six times its length with not nearly as much to say.
TL;DR The Planet of the Apes reboots met a cybernetically implanted Conan and had a baby. No one human can fail to be moved by this glorious saga; certainly no ape.
on 9/9/2021 11:49:17 PM with a score of 0
SPOILERS AHEAD: Blast and damn all of you who read this prematurely.
One of the main reasons chimpanzees cannot effectively play guitars or throw spears, is not only a matter of articulation, but because of the way their nervous system works. While humans are able to pick and choose in certain ways which gives them an aptitude for finesse, the limbs of an ape will activate a muscle group all at once. They cannot make minor adjustments in the throes of their overwhelming force. They have the capacity to be gentle creatures, but their active movements are always from the whole mechanism of that limb. More than a few misguided "pet" owners have found their bones broken or their chests caved in for participating, willing or not, in what a chimp would consider horseplay. They kill each other without necessarily meaning to in the wild all the time.
This world, and the apes in it, struck me immediately with overwhelming force. And yet there was also refinement and layers to the worldbuilding that allowed me to see more, and new things, every time I re-read it. There was the colorful brutality of the ape, yet with the capability for fine adjustment and detail. I was gripped by this game, as if by great and terrifying simian limbs with biological modifications. This was not just a monkey's tale, this was WARCHIMP.
WARCHIMP is the perfect sequel, better than anything we would have hoped for. Better even than the original, which is no small feat. It perfectly expanded on and escalated the themes and worldbuilding of the previous in unexpected ways, even though the worlds of both of them couldn't seem more different.
Even having read the first one (and a few paths multiple times) before writing the review for CYBERMONKEY, I have read this one far more. I don't think I've kept count, but I suspect I will have reread WARCHIMP more times in the coming months than I will have reread CYBERMONKEY since the time it was published. Even the national treasure that CYBERMONKEY is, it had its minor flaw, (could it even be called a flaw?) in that I could definitely pick out an ending that was my favorite and perhaps better than all the others. This was different. To ask me to choose between hunting Laserbears, founding the Chrome Horde, and being christened President of the United States by the voice of the Machine God, would be like asking a man to choose between his children.
Powerful verbiage broadcast a clear and concise picture of a future time period so stark, brutal, and alien to our own. A portrait of a time when humans are no longer the dominant species, and apes... Are no longer purely apes. We see the world through the lense of a primitive, surviving in the graveyard of an unimaginably advanced civilization. This world is the ghost of what we've seen in detail from the game before this, but the protagonist of WARCHIMP has no such luxury. The artifacts of the earth we know are but haunted talismans- And the laserbear... Is it even a bear? Or is it some lumbering half-flesh mechanical abomination that our ape eyes rationalise as a bear?
Immediately we are made to experience a vivid and terrifying nightmare of our future as the human race, and the consequences our actions have wrought on our primate cousins. But the tapestry of WARCHIMP is rich and complicated. As we hew out a bloody survival- And even come to thrive in this landscape, one starts to wonder... Has the downfall of Man truly spelled a dark age for intelligent life in our world, or has our world simply... Evolved, to something different? Something that remembers the primal things that the animal human had forgotten until its final moments?
This was brilliant, 8/8, I would commend it if I could, but... I already did. You see, I wanted to read WARCHIMP early so bad that I sent Cybergibbon contractors to download your entire computer and then emulated it so that I could access your account and watch the story unfold in person. I didn't realize I was still using your stolen session data when I finally pressed the button. My shame and contrition are immeasurable; but let it be known that anyone who says Malk commended himself is committing a GRAVE SLANDER!
on 9/9/2021 10:36:28 PM with a score of 0
I AM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. OOOO OOOOO AAAAAHHHH AHHHHH
on 10/11/2021 5:42:41 PM with a score of 0
I think this is one of the better written things on the site, it just needs to be longer.
on 9/28/2021 12:43:16 PM with a score of 0
This is solid for its length. I wouldn't say it was as good as CYBERMONKEY if only because that one felt like it had more branching.
You've got a way with describing a scene in just a few words, like with the dusty mech suit. The imagery is really strong throughout, like the ball lightning through the sky, or when the MC pondered if human spirits climbed steel trees.
I think the EXILED scene could be longer. Honestly though, you could write as many of these as you want and I'd read every one.
on 9/9/2021 10:14:05 PM with a score of 0
Damn well done. Better than CYBERMONKEY. While it's short, the setting itself actually fits well with the narrative size (although I believe an 8K word count would be perfect). In terms of tone, action and raw immersion, it's off the charts. But it feels to be over just as it's getting going. Generally I think that republishing with additional content is a waste of time, but I'd gladly return to an expanded version of WARCHIMP.
on 9/9/2021 8:50:26 PM with a score of 0
Better than CYBERMONKEY! Okay, that might just be personal preference, but what Malk has here is an exquisitely badass story, inspired by Mad Max, Fallout, and presumably Primal (although I haven't seen it). Plus, the lack of chimping from CYBERMONKEY is no more: this entire story is based on monkey adventures, and it absolutely kicks ass.
All monkey jokes/memes aside, three pages into the game, I tore off my shirt, ate two bananas, and ran laps around the neighborhood on all fours, trying to locate a hidden stash of cybernetic equipment. That's how immersive and vivid this story was. Malk's writing is a fine literary steak: perfectly cooked (perfectly paced), juicy (packed with worldbuilding and character), and muscle-growth-stimulating (from the sheer amount of completely metal awesomeness that happens).
Now, onto more concrete things (no spoilers). This story has three awesome endings, one disappointing ending, and one fail ending. If you get the disappointing ending first, then you're probably a boring loser. Seriously, if you do get it, then go back and pick something else, because all the other endings are epic. There's mechs, bears, and an homage to the original CYBERMONKEY. Need I say more?
Actually, I will say more, but only a little bit. This story feels better than CYBERMONKEY in another way, and that's the general narration. There are some really good lines in here, from short things like the page titles (e.g. THROUGH BLASTED LANDS), to longer things like the mech ending (which I won't spoil, but you'll know it when you see it). The homage to the previous game also feels like pure badassery, and I loved how you got there too. There's also a brief reference to the original CYBERMONKEY on the very first page, which is cool.
I did have an issue with the story. The fight between you and Red Eye and you and Death Mask feels like a usage of parallel structure, where the roles are reversed, and while they are definitely different, there are parts that feel really similar (e.g. tooth spat out, your back nearly breaking), and I feel like in a story with such a low word count anyway, repetition is not a good thing.
Overall, WARCHIMP is amazing. It goes hard all the way through, and once again, leaves you wanting more. Perhaps we need some sort of subscription service for Malk to crank out these wonderful short stories. Okay, I'm done rambling, and if you've had the time to read through this review, then you can probably go and read through a path of this story. Go, do it!
on 9/8/2021 10:35:23 AM with a score of 0
Reject humanity, return to monke
on 9/7/2021 5:46:39 PM with a score of 0
on 9/7/2021 5:05:16 PM with a score of 0
ALL OF THE CHOICES BEING IN ALL CAPS REALLY MAKES FOR A HIGH OCTANE EXPERIENCE. THIS WAS A WELCOME ADDITION TO THE MONKEY FRANCHISE THAT YOU ARE PUTTING PEN TO PAPER TO.
THIS WILL BE A FRANCHISE, RIGHT? FOR A GAME THAT DOESN'T HAVE 20K WORDS OR SOMETHING, THESE GAMES ARE GENUINE FUN TO READ.
on 9/7/2021 12:20:31 AM with a score of 0