cgdc #7 – Zegrothenus

February 13, 2010

Another one that tells me i can just wait.

I seem to remember another one saying just that.  I hope you’re not lying to me game. It wasn’t that funny the last time.

I’ll try it you know… i will, i’ll try it.

Ok. I’ve said this before, and now i’m getting tired of saying it. Stuff like,

>x potion
You see no potion here.

Should work if,

>x reddish potion
A potion floats mid-way to the ceiling, a reddish-colored substance evaporating into whitish smoke that quickly dissipates. It displays visually how much time you have to make your potion.Over three fourths remains. You see nothing special about the timer.

…works. It just should. Be told, all of you(well… not all of you, obviously).

>x table

–additional descript. Make sure to say that the tools hang from the steel band and continue around the table. You’ll have to look closer to see them all, or something like that.
The lab table holds: seven empty flasks, a lead tray and a mortar.

Hmmm… i’d swear that’s an author’s note-to-self left in by accident.

I have no idea where to start here, or what to do really. There’s really not much to go on. Eri is however expecting something of me. So,

>cast verup on eri

[** Programming error: Eri (object number 218) has no property sco to read **]

[** Programming error: Eri (object number 218) has no property sco to write to **]
You cast the spell upon Eri. It is now floating three feet off the ground.

Oh dear. That’s not good then.

I liked the fact that Eri appears to have a life of her(i think she’s a girl) own. I think this is always a good thing in IF. Too many authors neglect to bring their world alive by creating NPCs that seem(at least) to act upon their own initiative, that seem to actually live separately from the main character(s). Here’s an example,

Eri wanders off and roots around in another part of the lab. Moments later, she returns with a tough ball with bite marks all over it. She lays it at your feet.

But then we get this,

>fill flask
What do you want to fill the empty flask with?

You see no flask here.

>get flask

>fill flask with rosewater
You see no flask here.

It doesn’t matter how good a game is, or how well polished, or how wonderful the NPCs, this sort of thing just makes me want to give up. Especially when there are many, many more games in the comp. to play. And especially when this game certainly isn’t well polished. Will i continue?

Well, for the Eri bit, i will. But don’t you let me down now game.

Now i try to cast another spell(on the reddish potion), but get the same error messages as the last time, so i think it’s safe to assume there’s a problem with the spell casting. However, it does also give the intended reply after the error messages, so the game is still playable at this point.

I’m still not sure how to proceed, but then i am, as you know, useless at puzzles, so that’s probably my fault rather than the games’.

This, however, isn’t my fault,

>open surface
The surface grinds slightly as you slide it open. It vanishes back into the table, leaving the core exposed.

So far, so good.

>x core
You see no core here.

Ok. Not great, but not fatal either. But then…,

>put flask in core

Now, at this point, the game crashes, and a little window pops up with a message informing me of a Fatal <something> error and then proceeds to shut down my Frotz interpreter, and so that’s the end of that.

I did start the game again from scratch in an attempt to recreate the error and find out what the part of the error said before it shutdown my interpreter, but unfortunately it didn’t happen this time, so i can only assume it’s a bug that only occurs when a very specific set of inputs is received from the player.

It’s difficult to say whether i would have enjoyed this game or not really, given that it’s clearly untested and quite frankly has too many bugs(some more serious than others) to even warrant continued play-time.

One thing i can praise it for though is the attention paid to the NPC Eri. Maybe i’m easily pleased in this respect, but i really do think not enough attention is given to the potential NPCs have in bringing a game to life.

Oh, and as far as the wait option goes… i’m afraid after the fatal error which shutdown my interpreter, i just couldn’t bring myself to try it.  Sorry.

So, given that it’s so buggy, and fatally so in the last instance…

2 out of 5. Because of the bugs(the last, fatal) and the NPC Eri.


  1. One thing that isn’t immediately apparent from the initial room description is that you can go to other parts of the room. If you go north, you’ll find a “receipe” book that has something scribbled in it which presumably hints to you what you’re supposed to be doing. And I think the ingredients you’ll use are in another direction.

    • Ah! I’ll remember that. And if the author sorts the bugs out(and i’m sure he will) i’ll come back to it and do an updated review.

      Thanks Matt.

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