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Discussion in 'The Mushroom Kingdom Region' started by Lee, Jun 5, 2011.
I think I'll let Gelgarin explain this one for you guys! Who wins? You decide.
Zelda? Fuck, I'm screwed.
Then again, I had no aspirations of victory for Worlds Apart. The fact that Lee wasn't even able to find a picture shows you exactly how well known the game is. My motivation when nominating it was very simple, to bring something to people's attention that every gamer should encounter.
A perfect game.
Worlds Apart was written and published in 1999 by Suzanne Britton, and falls into the genre of interactive fiction. Such games are traditionally completely text based and function similarly the adventure games like Monkey Island or King's Quest. Players use commands such as look, push, pull, open, close, go to, eat, smell, use, impregnate or whatever in order to order their character around a fictional universe.
Where interactive fiction differs from the classic adventure game is in scope. Adventure games are usually very limited in the actions that the player can take, tending to limit themselves to "use item x on object y". This is problematic for a number of reasons: for one, it allows the gamer to brute force most puzzles (try every item on every object). Secondly, it breaks immersion. When playing games like Broken Sword or Monkey Island the limited number of actions you can actually undertake makes it very clear that you are simply facilitating somebody else's story.
This is not the case with Worlds Apart.
Worlds Apart drops you onto a beach in a hauntingly realized universe and gives you complete and unmitigated control over your character. If you want to dig in the sand you can dig in the sand. Alternately you can wander into the sea, burst out in song, gaze longingly into the horizon, pull your own hair out or do just about anything else which comes to mind. Of course there are many commands that the game engine will not recognize, but Britton has spent so much time crafting this game that such incidences rarely happen unless you go looking for them.
Worlds Apart gives you free reign in the game's universe... and what a universe it is. Let's get the key point out in the open right now. Worlds Apart is far and away the best writing I have ever encountered in a video game.
The narrative is surreal and fascinating. The story carries you across many worlds both real and dream like. Throughout the subtle and seamlessly woven story you will cross a deserted island on foot, fly with a flock of birds, walk inside a tree and visit no end of stunningly visualized environments that I won't mention for fear of spoilers. Issues of identity and reality are constantly challenged as you explore the universe.
On the subject of identity; it is not only the world you explore, but your own self. The very first task within the game revolves around discovering what you are, and as your understanding of your identity grows so too does your power over the world around you. As you play Worlds Apart you truly feel your character grow and gain understanding and power.
Another one of the greatest strengths of Worlds Apart is its cast of characters. You don't interact with them in especially complex ways; usually limiting yourself to the "talk/ask/tell" commands, but there are many impressively complex characters. There isn't a thoroughgoing hero or villain among them; all have their faults and virtues, and while some are more likeable than others, none are there merely to be loved or loathed. Better still, their various personalities aren't merely identifying features ("here comes X, and he's going to display his character trait so that we don't confuse him with Y")--the plot depends on those personalities, and understanding the characters mean understanding why the plot unfolds the way it does. They also have some fairly complex relationships with each other, and much of what you learn about them you pick up secondhand, adding to the complexity.
The other thing I love about Worlds Apart is the focus on exploration. This is not a puzzle game, it is an actual adventure. This is not a game that will throw a random Billygoat in your path for the sake of a puzzle (Broken Sword fans know what I'm talking about). You are exploring a richly detailed fictional universe with a thousand different things to discover, and almost none of them are given away for free. This is a game that cannot be played with a walkthrough; if you did then the story would make little to no sense. Worlds demands that the player properly explore and rewards you by drawing you in to one of the finest crafted universes in video game history.
Worlds Apart is a game that I honestly do not thing it would be possible to improve. It is the pinnacle of the interactive fiction genre. It is the best written game I have played with the most interesting world and compelling characters. I feel I ought to make this somewhat longer, in order to do Worlds Apart justice, yet I can only think of more superlatives, which start to get a bit repetitive after a while. I could describe things in the story, but there's no way I'd do it as well as the author.
Worlds Apart is a thing of beauty. It is literal proof that a game can be not only a work of art, but also a work of genius. It is available for free at http://ironphoenix.org/tril/worlds along with a number of reviews and comments from the author. For anyone who thinks that interactive fiction might be their cup of tea I would consider it compulsive playing. Give it a shot.
I won't be judging anyone who votes for Zelda too harshly, but I honestly do think that a free, independent game written by one women and only making use of only letters and numbers truly deserves to go through here.
Vote Worlds Apart.
Yes. Yes, you are.
I think Majora's Mask is easily the most engaging of the Zelda titles. There's just always something for you to do during the course of the game's time. The game's actually time is one of the driving points. You got three days to save the world.. And you are able to either skip time, slow time, or go back in time.
The other driving point are the masks in the game. Each has their own use from transforming you into another race to a dancing one that is really only good for one heart piece (I think). Most of them are only available by completing side quests. In the end, they are all important because no one wants to fight Majora's Mask without them.. Unless you want to be enraged without how easy it knocks your ass out.
The story itself takes an interesting spin of the races found in OoT and makes them interesting to play as. Each of the masks has their own tragic story behind them, but it is satisfying (to me anyway) to help others get over their grief. The other characters in the game react based on what race you are disguised as. The Deku form might be the most useless, but even then it manages to make you feel sorry for Link.
The story has many side ordeals that are time specific. Most of the are relatively as simple as just being at certain location. Others are mind blowingly frustrating because the people in them are fucking wastes of AI. Gawd I hate the ranch side quests because they just sit and stare as things are attacking them. <_<
Vallient effort from Gelgarin, I'll definitely check that game out.
Majora's Mask wins.