The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#61 Post by Anarchy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:46 pm

It's All Your Fault

Wow.

...

..............just.

What.

Augh.

I... I feel like I should be bashing my forehead against my desk and bawling my eyes out right now, but for some reason I'm just... stunned. Like a bomb just exploded outside my house or something.

*breathes*

That was... that was...

*breathes some more*

Okay, I'm all right now. I think.

...

That was one of the most disturbing VNs I've ever read. The likes of Berserk and Gantz and goddamn Mai-Chan's Daily Life have NOTHING on this fucked up crazy piece of shit. Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating just a liiiiittle bit but for god's sakes I just finished the damn thing and I'm still viscerally affected okay!? Give me a break. GODDAMN. *punches a wall and breaks her knuckles*

It was simultaneously the most ugly and the most beautiful VN ever. It's like the evil twin of That Cheap and Sacred Thing. I adore it... and I never ever want to read it again.

"a COMEDY of manliness"?

Author, you are a goddamned liar.

I'll be honest, I did not expect to like the main character at all. Maybe it's because I'm female? His incredibly hostile, misogynistic thoughts made me feel like I was under assault the entire time. I felt like I was the one being yelled at, when he was yelling at the poor imaginary girl. He was repulsive, pathetic in the way he obsessed about women and femininity and masculinity and sincerely believing that he was a gentleman when he's really a big fat male chauvinist pig and the thing is, his utter lack of self-confidence, and correspondingly, his anger towards the world, especially towards women - for some reason, I could relate to that. I was repulsed by him, and yet at the same time, I could see a bit of myself IN him, and that made him even more disturbing to watch. "Are my inner thoughts really this hideous?" Man, this is triggering horrible memories of that one "conversation" I had with this anti-feminist white guy who was firmly convinced he wasn't being sexist at all.

Reading this makes me feel horrible all over, outside AND inside. Auuggggh augh augh aughhhhh...

Anyway, I was so completely disgusted by him in the beginning, and yet his voice, as well as the voice of the narrator (very strong opening, by the way - the interrogation by the narrator engaged me completely), in conjunction with the sheer repulsiveness of his personality, compelled me to keep reading in the same way that people can't look away from rocket explosions. How could you take such a misogynistic, pathetic, disgusting, repulsive little bitch and - almost magically - gave him humanity. Respect.

Author, you mentioned his father in the beginning. I wasn't affected at first. It was just him whining about how un-gentlemanly and un-manly his father was, but the way you did it... I especially liked the mention of "workplace squabbles". I don't know what your parents are like, but my mom likes to go on and on and on about what I personally consider the most trivial of things - it's not so bad when you're younger, but as you mature and grow older, that kind of talk somehow makes your parents seem... smaller, somehow. And now you've gotten me saying horrible things about my parents OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME YOU EVIL EVIL VN. My point is that you drop those kind of details here and there - right in the middle of the screen - and slowly, but surely, I... I started seeing him as human. The fact that he knows talking to his delusions is fucked up. The fact that he genuinely believes all that sexist crap, with reasons that I've seen in real males again and again. The pitiful way he gets so stupidly excited by somebody paying him just the slightest attention. His obsession with meter and his pride in his own literary ability while in fact he writes the most horrible, cheesy, stinking poems. Incredibly flawed, hateful, and pathetic... but also human. Somebody that I... I can't believe I'm saying this, but... he became somebody I could relate to. A fucked up ugly misogynist who has to rely on delusions to maintain his pathetic ego. The kind of person that I hate the most, and yet I could see myself in HIM.

It was the second mention of his father that really got my heart thawing towards him just a little bit. It was the mention of the cigarettes, and how the girl he's crushing on smokes, which reminds him of his dad. It made me more aware of how his home life would have been, and surprisingly, he decided to continue pursuing her. Character development. Gorgeous, gorgeous character development, made even more precious because of how rare it is and how vile his character originally was. That's a great way to write a character, isn't it? Make him as evil and as hateful as possible, and even the slightest improvement will make him seem likeable. And you wonder why the tsundere archetype is so popular.

But precisely because of that development, how he manages to use his own pathetic desires to finally reach out of the morass of hate he's stuck in, how he FINALLY says goodbye to the spirit he's been abusing all along... is precisely why that final bit of narration is so crushing. You start this character at the lowest of lows, and then slowly, excruciatingly, you build him up and develop his character to the point where it seems there is hope for him - and then you crush it.

At the beginning of this VN, I would've been ecstatic to see this. But by the end of it, even though I still hated him, I...

I was crushed along with him.

The use of second person probably helps with this kind of immersion.

I'm still wondering who the narrator was, though. It's him, isn't it? His own voice of doubt, crushing him from within.

I really liked the way you put his thoughts in the middle of the screen instead of in the dialogue box. It made his thoughts seem intrusive, subtle, hidden, almost secret. One sequence that really got me was the thoughts that flashed up in between the sweet sugary poem that he was writing. It definitely helped to enhance your technique of dropping little delicious nuggets of humanity in that festering, maggot-infested personality of his.

I also enjoyed your decision to not use music - it allowed me to pay more attention to the writing. That's one complaint I had for some of the VNs I read - the writing was good, but the music distracted me from the stuff the words were trying to do. Even in my own VN. I was actually considering stripping out all the music by the time I was done... but then the deadline was coming and I didn't have time to.

But yeah. Damn fine piece of writing. The best character study to come out of this community. Just... never let me inside his head ever again. All right? All right.

*staggers off* I need a goddamn drink...

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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#62 Post by OokamiKasumi » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:50 pm

4 Dimensional

This was a brilliant piece of Sci-Fi. The little details really gave the story an interesting and engaging depth for a something so short; the coding snippets with their philosophical and mythological references, the style to the system crashes, and the POV-switching morality test. I also enjoyed the realistic reactions of the characters.

The End was unexpected and Subtle. At first I was a bit confused about what I had just experienced, but when I stopped trying to think so hard about the details, I got it.

Best of all, not one thing in it was gratuitous; all of it was intrinsic to the plot and interconnected.

I freely admit that this was my personal favorite.
-- It was a story that made me THINK.
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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#63 Post by Funnyguts » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:25 pm

The Day I Died:
Summary: The narrator meets a spirit of disaster after a shooting star hits the ground, but decides to leave her. She follows her, and the next day they go on a date. Turns out she wanted to give the narrator one last day of fun, because the shooting star should have ended with Narrator dying. Narrator freaks out, but manages to accept it before the end and thanks the spirit for one more day of life.

Characters: The narrator was a generic everyman, but had a reasonable response to imminent death. The spirit was bland and unexciting, just simply there to be a vehicle for the story.

Things that stuck: Nothing much, sadly.

Technical aspects: A bit of a quibble, but it was done entirely in plain NVL, which made it look awkward. Compare to For Stellie, which had a nice effect with the sprite to the left, never being covered up by the text.

Limitations: The entry didn't do too much to push the boundaries of the art or story prompt.

Uniqueness: It's one of the few takes on the story where the spirit of disaster is meant to prevent disasters from happening, rather than cause them.

Themes: One more day is better than nothing.

Overall: Eh, seemed a bit rushed, but I enjoyed it for what it was. It's weakest part was the ending, as I had no feeling for what made the protagonist accept death. The protagonist's reactions right before that happened were great though, with "I'm going to die' constantly interrupting the narrations, as if it could never go away.

Edit: Kasumi talked about this one earlier. She got confused by one of the transitions: Yes, the girl at the door was in fact the disaster spirit. The 'earlier' line was a bit confusing to me too, but there wasn't a third character that appeared and then disappeared for one screen of NVL text.
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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#64 Post by OokamiKasumi » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:30 pm

Final Test

If this was a competition to make a Game out of limited resources, this would clearly be the grand prize winner. In terms of game writing, it's brilliant. Seriously. There's a daily schedule for stat crunching and what seems like random tests of crunched stats. There are even snippets of mildly entertaining dialogue when one reaches certain levels of said stats.

In other words, it's something you'd find in just about any stat-crunching visual novel. As someone who has yet to figure out how to make one of those, I was dutifully impressed considering the lack of resources available.

However, the story itself... Sigh...
-- The characters and plot were a little too typical of what you'd find in a VN; an Otaku protagonist verses a magical girl bent on world destruction. Either one crunches enough stats and wins, or one doesn't. Absolutely no surprise, or originality --or story-- there at all. This could of course simply be the result of such a short word-count limit, but oddly, I found myself disappointed. If the creator was capable of such incredible coding, couldn't they have come up with a story that was a tad less Ordinary?
Funnyguts wrote:The Day I Died:
Edit: Kasumi talked about this one earlier. She got confused by one of the transitions: Yes, the girl at the door was in fact the disaster spirit. The 'earlier' line was a bit confusing to me too, but there wasn't a third character that appeared and then disappeared for one screen of NVL text.
Was it really? Just goes to prove "What Can be misunderstood Will be misunderstood."
-- I personally loathe the word 'said,' but in this case, perhaps a few 'He said,' 'She said' tags would have been better than just leaving those dialogue lines blank.
Last edited by OokamiKasumi on Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#65 Post by papillon » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:38 pm

Funnyguts wrote:The Day I Died:

...

Edit: Kasumi talked about this one earlier. She got confused by one of the transitions: Yes, the girl at the door was in fact the disaster spirit. The 'earlier' line was a bit confusing to me too, but there wasn't a third character that appeared and then disappeared for one screen of NVL text.
aha, an interesting point of discussion!

Anyone else who's played this want to weigh in on who the protagonist is talking to at the door, and why the text makes you draw that conclusion?

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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#66 Post by Funnyguts » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:42 pm

papillon wrote:
Funnyguts wrote:The Day I Died:

...

Edit: Kasumi talked about this one earlier. She got confused by one of the transitions: Yes, the girl at the door was in fact the disaster spirit. The 'earlier' line was a bit confusing to me too, but there wasn't a third character that appeared and then disappeared for one screen of NVL text.
aha, an interesting point of discussion!

Anyone else who's played this want to weigh in on who the protagonist is talking to at the door, and why the text makes you draw that conclusion?
My evidence is that she wanted to tell Protagonist about the impending death because of the shooting star accident. But Protagonist shut her out, and the spirit took a different approach later.

But I guess there is that line about 'no matter how many quacks you set on me, it won't change anything, guys' thing, which I have no idea how to deal with.
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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#67 Post by CheeryMoya » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:42 pm

In regards to "My Entry," I'm not going to spend my time pointing out all the obvious reasons why I don't even want to look at it again. If you want, here's a laundry list of my complaints:
  • Lack of punctuation
  • Beginning repeated this thing saying "Welcome to this cool story" or something
  • Too many characters
  • Names switched sometimes
  • Hard to follow
  • Abrupt, little to no transitions from scene to scene
  • I don't think the author read the prompt to begin with
  • Insanely unpolished, and I don't think any amount of editing could salvage that... thing
  • No plausible or rational explanation for any events
  • Native speaker or not, the plot is nonexistent and nonsensical
The next entry I chose was...
Dhumaketu
At first I thought this would be a good read; the beginning tosses you into this unfamiliar world-of-tomorrow, and though I was a bit disgruntled, I eventually figured out that this was some sort of post-apocalyptic world. The setting, in other words, is great; the execution, not so much. There was a lot of wasted potential.

How well is the story fleshed out? Do you have a clear sense of the setting and characters? How was that accomplished?
As I said, the beginning seemed too abrupt and I was confused as first. But as I read on, it made a little more sense to me. In order to understand the entirety of the world and its mechanics, you have to play all the endings. Even then, there's a lot of things that felt unexplored in the setting, and I feel like there it could have been expanded upon. This is a world where people work dreary hours day after day, humans and animals are kept in zoos, and even the plants are caged in. Sarah checks videos and clips of stuff, but there's not much else for you to find out. More precise detail on how this world functions are scarce, and Ket (the catgirl) was probably left an enigma to make her more mysterious, but a little more light into the story wouldn't hurt.

What sticks in your mind? What affects your emotions? Why and how?
What I liked about this entry is that it handled the whole "Spirit of Disaster" in a unique way. Ket, although admitting that she loved to destroy things, felt more like a savior than something to be feared (even though she is something to run away screaming from). She preached change and the positive sides of destruction, and made everything sound like a good idea (it's not). As for emotional reaction... I was actually a bit mad that anything I did was either really bad or meh >_> Only refusing Ket's help would result in anything that sounded hopeful.

How does the technical presentation (code, music, transition effects, layout, so on) affect your experience of the story? For instance, slow text at dramatic points - effective? annoying?
I got the impression that the author didn't know how to use Ren'Py, or at least didn't use any transition codes for Ket. Whenever she moved, she just teleported over to a new spot. Needless to say, it was jarring and distracting. The music also could have been used more appropriated, some of the tracks didn't make sense with the context IMO.

How well does the author make use of the limitations they were presented with in this competition - the prompt, the limited resources, etc?
They did something I certainly wasn't expecting! But at the same time, they didn't go as far as I would have liked... There was definitely room for more. It gave off the impression of being rushed or neglected, and when the deadline was creeping closer the author scrambled to make sure it at least worked.

If you asked me for a numerical rating, I'd give it... 6.5/10. An interesting concept, but there was a lot of unused potential.

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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#68 Post by Coren » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:47 pm

jw2pfd wrote:"Nostalgia, the Dead Child"

This happened to be the first entry in my list and therefore the first game that I played. Since then I have played many other entries, this is definitely one of the lengthier ones I have played so far. The story starts out with explaining Nostalgia and Hope and then does two quick scene changes. At the time, I was unsure of what was going on and wondered whether they were real events or a dream or whatever. One thing the story does well early on is establish the theme of twins. The story about Nostalgia and Hope being twins and then the book reference about twins. When you first see that Narase is visually the same as Sachina, I wasn't sure at the point exactly where the story was going, but I felt well-prepared for the idea that they were twins. If I am remembering this correctly, Sachina translated to "luck south". I thought this was a clever way of saying "luck going south" or "bad luck" and is definitely an apt title for a spirit of disaster.

The author made good use of backgrounds, effects, and music. The "hallway" background is what sticks out in my mind for some reason. I remember a lot of the story being developed during that background and it's the only entry I've read that has used that background so far. I like the author's use of mini-flashbacks to remind the reader of key lines from earlier in the story. I don't remember how many options there were, but I made a note that I got "Ending 1: Hope". I have not played through it again as of yet to see another ending. I liked the idea of Narase's perception being warped by Sachina and that being the cause of disaster in Narase's life.
If I remember correctly, there are many choices in the story but only the last option seemed to change the ending. "Ending 2: Nostalgia" was heartbreaking, and gosh, who knew Sachina could be such an ass! Well, she's got to be given leeway after all, I suppose, being 0 years old and all...

(Funnily enough, I think Sachiho means "luck north"... good luck maybe?)

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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#69 Post by Funnyguts » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:49 pm

Moya: Really? Dhumaketu was one of my favorites! I have a couple more games to go before I get to my writeup for that one, but I thought it was well done. It even made me not mind breaking one of my personal rules for VN writing (specfically, the one where your choices shouldn't change the story in ways that it wouldn't logically. I got the feeling that Sarah was a fully-constructed AI controlled android in the human zoo route, and a mechanically enhanced human in the other two).
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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#70 Post by OokamiKasumi » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:11 pm

The Day I Died
Funnyguts wrote:...My evidence is that she wanted to tell Protagonist about the impending death because of the shooting star accident. But Protagonist shut her out, and the spirit took a different approach later.

But I guess there is that line about 'no matter how many quacks you set on me, it won't change anything, guys' thing, which I have no idea how to deal with.
This line: 'no matter how many quacks you set on me, it won't change anything, guys' is precisely why I got the impression that the person at the door was not the spirit.
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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#71 Post by rasburn » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:30 pm

Aw yeah! I've started playing some games as well! I hope my reviews will be helpful and that I don't miss anything important.

For Stellie
The story is understandable and easy to read. It's really well written, with nice language.

The cynicism of the professor when thinking about teaching and grading was fun, though the character wasn't likable at first. He seemed petty, but
as the story went on I felt more comfortable with him.
The turn from cynicism to happiness attributed to the spirit gave a nice feeling.

The visual effects were great, because they give the game a unique feel compared to the entries that just show the backgrounds/sprite. This was definately one of
the more interesting entries as far as the visuals go.

The game did not follow the prompt exactly (you trace the star to it's landing point); I consider this to be a good thing and within the rules. There was no music, but I
think I would have enjoyed it more if there were.

Though not the most creative of entries, it was not the least creative either. The premise was pretty standard and it was not as emotional as other entries,
but I must admit the "production value" was high and the use of a older/professor protagonist was a nice touch as well.

It's all your fault
The obnoxiousness of the main character was welcome, and he is presented as pretty unlikable throughout, which is a good perspective for the story.
However, the story almost seems to want to make me sympathetize with the MC at times (which seems a bit odd), but this illusion is broken at the end.
The whole buildup to the end is the best part of the story, even if it might be a bit predictable from the name. I really liked the way the ending
was presented (just showing the words in bold like that) but I think maybe the ending could have even greater effect. Maybe by adding some visual/sound effects.

The despicableness of the MC, and helplessness of the spirit, shows nice contrast and gives a feeling of injustice.
What I felt reading this was mostly dislike for the MC, which was interesting and refreshing in a sense. I probably would have felt
some pity for the spirit if it wasn't obvious she was the MC's illusion and he knew it, so he didn't really "do any harm" except what he thought. Everything he said
made me dislike him more and so the ending made me feel satisfied. A good end to the story.

Nothing really special in the way of presentation, but as I've said the strengths lie elsewhere.

The direction the author takes the story from the prompt is creative and interesting. One of the more creative entries that way (maybe THE most creative?),
So it definately distinguishes itself from other entries.

Dusted Star
Sadly, the story assumes that you've read Stardust before (or at least seen the movie). I've seen the movie, and
The story compares Stardust to the prompt, which adds some meta-ness to it. I guess the story is not too accessible to people who haven't
read Stardust.
All in all, I think the story is a little too meta.

I must admit I only read through two of the endings. I felt there was too much insider information here, and I didn't want to have to remember/guess
what Babylon candles are. It's a bit of a pity, because I probably would have enjoyed this entry more if it was more accessible.

As for the presentation and creative use of the prompt, there's not much to say. In my opinion (combined with what I already say) I think they were pretty
average compared to other entries.

Endless night
Sadly, I don't think the characters in this story very anything special. However, this is because the game had other strengths, and more
was focused on the setting and other parts. The story was told in a way that was clear and to the point, and easy to understand.

The story and how it ended was an interesting direction to take the prompt, and the most prominent strength of this game, along with
the use of choices which made a difference. The dialogue wasn't re-used between endings, and depending on the choices different environments were used and the
story was told in different ways. This made it feel refreshing to explore the different endings, and avoided unnecessary repetition.

The use of resources was pretty average. Not the most creative, but neither was it bad in any area. Different backgrounds were used (once again, I liked the spread of them used to differentiate between endings),
and music was used in a completely acceptable (though not overly excellent) manner.

There are big similarities to other entries, but the nature of the "spirit" makes it a little more interesting. I would say the game was pretty average but still refreshing and polished.

Fairy tales of innocent children
This story had some really interesting parts. Since I don't want to spend too much time on writing these reviews I'm certain I'll miss something, but meh.
Let me start by saying I really like this entry.

This was something that was really good, though I actually feel that this story should be longer (maybe longer than the scope of the contest). Why longer? Because though
the character exploration was great and really defined the spirit and Dani, it might have been a little too much too fast. Having a longer game where this happened more
gradually would be welcome ;)

The first thing that affected me was the duality of emotions: the fact that the mother is obviously dead while the
child is happily oblivious.
The story is not without humor as well, though maybe you could say it's dark humor. There is some well-placed profanity to contrast with the innocence of the child.
I haven't played all games yet, but probably the best use of profanity in an entry :P
And then there's the sadness of the "spirit". All those obviously adult things that she says which Dani doesn't understand,
serve to make the story even more serious and creepy. I think it's good that there's humor, seriousness, happiness and sadness in the story; one possible criticism
is that maybe the story jumps between these pretty fast.

One thing that really sticks out from this story is the choice: at that point in the story the choice feels really relevant and thought-through.
The choice is great, at the perfect time, and with the perfect consequences in a twisted way. If you choose the "happy path" where you believe in the mother
it will result in the "spirit" killing herself.

Nothing special in the way of the presentation, but as I said the strengths lie elsewhere.

The story is unique in the way that it kinda tells two stories at once: the story of Dani and her mom, and the story of the spirit (which Dani doesn't understand).
Another duality to finish off: I'd like to see an extended version of this, but at the same time I feel the story is complete as it is.

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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#72 Post by Anarchy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:36 pm

Falling


As usual, I'll be writing commentary as I play. Sorry for the disjointedness.

Wow, I really like how you formatted the text. It looks like a picture book, almost, with the paragraphing and the capitalized/colored first letter. I personally felt limited by the font, but you embraced it and utilized it fully to give your VN a unique style of its own.

I'm noticing that a lot of these entries deal with the issue of death. Guess it comes with the theme of "disaster", eh?

This, on the other hand, I'm not such a fan of:

Image

The narration and dialogue are both clumped under the speech box for Mom. Personally, I'd rather you stick to the paragraph-style formatting throughout. It looks stylish, and there isn't a rule that says you HAVE to use that text box anyway.

Image

This, on the other hand, just looks way too cramped. Should've been broken down into two parts.

The sprite keeps opening and closing her eyes at the same tempo, which is kind of annoying.

Bahaha, as if natural disasters aren't natural somehow.

I LOL'd at the comparison of death to those game achievements, haha.

*snrk* Oh, choices like that, eh? Since heaven exists in this game, totally going to pick the mass destruction option! Everyone goes to heaven, whee! Baby baby baby baby baby~~~

OH. MY GOD. I'M GOING TO BE A SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION. I GET TO SEND EVERYBODY TO HEAVEN OH MY GOD BEST. ENDING. EVER. (Why is the music so sad? O_O)

See, the thing with this storyline is that... since the protag-kun is such a whiny little brat - well, his terminal illness should make me sympathize with him but because his whining is rather... personality-less? Generic? - I couldn't quite connect with him and consequently I stopped seriously caring about the consequences of his choices.

(But seriously. Getting to send everybody to heaven - or hell, as they so deserve - is freaking awesome, dude.)

-> Chooses family ending.

Damn, my family's in heaven now. I'm such a good son/brother.

A wrong decision?! This is totes the best decision I've ever made, bro. At the cost of my own suffering, my family had a quick, painless death, and are now chilling out together in heaven. Excellent.

-> Leave me alone ending.

Why would I want to go back to life when I get to stay in a really, really nice place and not have to suffer anymore? Well, that's about what I would expect from a spirit who wants to die and get reincarnated. I thought you loved your job, dude! Didn't you say causing disasters was fun? Have more character consistency, will ya?

-> NO TO THE KILLING OF PEOPLE ending

And hell no am I giving you the name of a town. Pacifist till the end, baby!

Ahaha, you're convincing the spirit of destruction that her belief in heaven and hell has been a lie. Now THAT is what I call bad ass.

Oh god. You're trying to convince her to kill herself. SERIOUSLY DUDE?!

And now, lecture on utilitarianism. Great. Of course I would give up my life to save people, I'm already dying anyway! Geez.

Yeah, I'll just be your ticket to heaven. Totally fine with that.

STUPID PROTAG-KUN YOU'RE GONNA DIE ANYWAY. Just go with her to the nice place already!

Of course it matters you idiot. On one hand, you're killing yourself, on the other hand, YOU'RE SAVING OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES. Totes world of difference.

Oh, stop being conflicted, you moron. If you were a healthy young man with huge potential in life... yeah, I'd still sacrifice myself. Utilitarianism, right? Plus, I get a fast ticket to heaven! It's a win-win situation!

Blackmail? That's ridiculous. You were the one who started this entire topic of conversation in the first place.

A choice?! Do we even NEED a choice!? *slams button down on SACRIFICE TO THE MAX route*

Arbitrary romance flag LOL. That kiss totally came out of nowhere.

Well, this would have been the most epic end if it were not for the protagonist waffling about. Doesn't help that death seems meaningless in this universe anyway - I mean, you go to the nice place when you die, that like totally takes away all of the emotional impact and consequence of dying!

But yeah, this was nice and short and sweet, like a piece of candy. I liked it <3

Also, if I may make a suggestion to other people who've completed this game: just for fun, you should totally turn down the music and play Mass Destruction in the background when you choose the mass destruction end, it makes the whole thing totally hilarious and awesome!!!

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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#73 Post by Coren » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:41 pm

When I replayed Fairytales for Innocent Children, it was an interesting experience to catch all the foreshadowing I missed the first time around. Like for example, the Spirit girl fell onto the ground from a height when Dani knocked into her, which showed that she was already hanging herself before Dani sort of accidentally "saved" her. Also, her details of the "spirit of love" which was her girlfriend who died showed that she and her girlfriend were victims of rape. It was tragic.

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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#74 Post by Anarchy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:57 pm

rasburn wrote: It's all your fault
The obnoxiousness of the main character was welcome, and he is presented as pretty unlikable throughout, which is a good perspective for the story.
However, the story almost seems to want to make me sympathetize with the MC at times (which seems a bit odd), but this illusion is broken at the end.
The whole buildup to the end is the best part of the story, even if it might be a bit predictable from the name. I really liked the way the ending
was presented (just showing the words in bold like that) but I think maybe the ending could have even greater effect. Maybe by adding some visual/sound effects.
I have to respectfully disagree. I, for one, was completely blown away by the ending, and I think adding visuals/sound would just ruin the damn thing. It's amazing how the power of mere white words on a screen could have such strong emotional impact. I love that the ending sentence is also a title drop. It might actually have been more powerful if the phrase was kept completely out of the VN until that very last ending sequence. The impact might have been enhanced by it being the only time the title is dropped in the entire story. Wow. I'm getting chills just imagining it. (But then again that phrase is pretty important to the protagonist's characterization, so never mind.)
The despicableness of the MC, and helplessness of the spirit, shows nice contrast and gives a feeling of injustice.
What I felt reading this was mostly dislike for the MC, which was interesting and refreshing in a sense. I probably would have felt
some pity for the spirit if it wasn't obvious she was the MC's illusion and he knew it, so he didn't really "do any harm" except what he thought. Everything he said
made me dislike him more and so the ending made me feel satisfied. A good end to the story.
I hated him with a burning passion but I was utterly devastated by the ending. Like I said, he was so realistically characterized in such detail that I couldn't help but... relate to him. (I'M NOT A MISOGYNIST PIG, I SWEAR.) Kudos to the author for so brilliantly evoking this ambivalent response.
The direction the author takes the story from the prompt is creative and interesting. One of the more creative entries that way (maybe THE most creative?),
So it definately distinguishes itself from other entries.
I thought it was absolutely gorgeous the way the author interpreted the prompt. She's the personification of all the first-world disasters that happen to him. Of course. It makes complete sense.

You know, just this week Extra Credits did a segment on how games don't necessarily have to be fun, but can and should do other things with the player. This entry is the PERFECT example of that. It's like the complete antithesis of fun, but OMG I think I'm in love with this piece IT'S JUST SO WELL DONE.

And I still never want to reread it ever again. Protag-kun is a total bitch.
Dusted Star
Sadly, the story assumes that you've read Stardust before (or at least seen the movie). I've seen the movie, and
The story compares Stardust to the prompt, which adds some meta-ness to it. I guess the story is not too accessible to people who haven't
read Stardust.
Yeah... I haven't read Stardust, and I found the constant references to it distracting. I haven't finished it so I won't say more for now.
Endless night
Sadly, I don't think the characters in this story very anything special. However, this is because the game had other strengths, and more
was focused on the setting and other parts. The story was told in a way that was clear and to the point, and easy to understand.

There are big similarities to other entries, but the nature of the "spirit" makes it a little more interesting. I would say the game was pretty average but still refreshing and polished.
Mmmhmm, I agree. It's basically the same storyline as many other entries, but actually executed well. I actually felt something when I was reading it. And that epilogue is simply delicious.

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Re: The Spirit Of Disaster (Competition 2012)

#75 Post by CheeryMoya » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:07 pm

Funnyguts wrote:Moya: Really? Dhumaketu was one of my favorites! I have a couple more games to go before I get to my writeup for that one, but I thought it was well done. It even made me not mind breaking one of my personal rules for VN writing (specfically, the one where your choices shouldn't change the story in ways that it wouldn't logically. I got the feeling that Sarah was a fully-constructed AI controlled android in the human zoo route, and a mechanically enhanced human in the other two).
Already chatted with you over Skype on why the low score, here it is again for others:
  • We never learned the specifics of the War, or what Ket was doing on her "vacation"
  • So many things could have been expanded on. They didn't use the full 10k words they were allowed
  • Messy presentation, Ket jumping around did not help much
As for your personal rule, I wouldn't be surprised if the world's government had "mechanically enhanced" a select few humans and left a few of the "less desirable" ones unaltered and put into zoos. It seems plausible to me, but again we'll never be sure unless the author reveals more about the setting.

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