Dragon Age: Retribution

Dragon Age: Retribution

Infected with darkspawn blood and abandoned in the Deep Roads, you have just two weeks to discover the motive behind your poisoning and take your revenge before becoming a ghoul in this interactive Dragon Age story by Mike Kayatta.

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Oh god, I'm such an asshole.
I went for one of the ''bad ends''
Magnificent adventure, really loved it.
Had me glued to the monitor!

Ooh, this was unexpectedly absorbing! Thanks!

"..."People visit the surrounding areas here and there, but for the most part never truly leave. The effect on those who arrive here is so potent, in fact, that visitors often begin hallucinating further claustrophobia, believing odd things, like that every building they enter is of an identical layout."

"I think I liked it better in Ferelden..."

HA, nice!

Surely you mean, "Choose your own Adventure"?

Oh, wait, sorry.

Sometimes, when presented with the option to kill a traitor or your nemesis...you just gotta take the third option and kill 'em both for equality's sake.

That was amazing work. I started with the dwarf and went for the ending where...


Seriously, this was a wonderful little story.

Loved it. Awesome story.

Thank you, it was very enjoyable story. Can't help but think that if not for crowds and wardrobe malfunction Fern could have survived =_=

Tahaneira:
That was amazing work. I started with the dwarf and went for the ending where...


Seriously, this was a wonderful little story.

A fair choice. He at least did more than she did for ya. Still, I'm happy with killing them both.

Good job Mike. Miss hearing ya on the Podcat. ;D

Very nice story :)

I embraced what I became and opened a door. what happened next will be talked about for ages to come.

Wonderful tale, I ran through it twice just because I wanted to see the alternate endings.
As an Elf:


As an Accountant:

This was an incredible journey. So much like DnD stories back on highschool. Finaly some more Dragon Age content that is not frost bitten and so my computer can run :-). Once I finished it I thought that something like this would be great in the world of Mass Effect and what was my surprise when I found out that such thing already exist. Excellent work.

Thanks guys, glad to hear you liked it. It's been pretty interesting reading different takes on the ethically dubious decision you're left with at the end.

Hmm. This thing had alot of the problems choose you own adventure books (and games, for that matter;) tend to have. Plot railroading, an interesting choice only has one real outcome because one of them kills you, and so on. I kind of wish that the story was set up so you could make some choices (like killing Levina) and the story would be able to continue.

Even so, there were several ideas there that could work really well in a full story/game, mainly at the ending (though Ciro's plan felt pretty contrived). The ending choice, for instance, or the idea of having a party member that is just following you around so they can watch you die, and abandons you as soon as they lose interest. I also liked the ending scene(s) where the protagonist is left with Fern. My character had acquired alot of guilt over the course of the story and died with that guilt unresolved, which made the ending actually pretty powerful for a little internet game. Good job.

Animyr:
Hmm. This thing had alot of the problems choose you own adventure books (and games, for that matter;) tend to have. Plot railroading, an interesting choice only has one real outcome because one of them kills you, and so on. I kind of wish that the story was set up so you could make some choices (like killing Levina) and the story would be able to continue.

Even so, there were several ideas there that could work really well in a full story/game, mainly at the ending (though Ciro's plan felt pretty contrived). The ending choice, for instance, or the idea of having a party member that is just following you around so they can watch you die, and abandons you as soon as they lose interest. I also liked the ending scene(s) where the protagonist is left with Fern. My character had acquired alot of guilt over the course of the story and died with that guilt unresolved, which made the ending actually pretty powerful for a little internet game. Good job.

Yeah, the "railroading," as you call it, is sort of required to a point. In the context of basic HTML (and paper, for that matter ;-)), you can't really tell it "if node 3 was X, offer options Y and Z on node 150." Instead, if you want a choice from "node 3" to really matter in a big way by "node 150", you have to have identical branches running all the way through "remembering" the opener. The exponential growth caused by that methodology is, well, terrifying, haha. So, without writing 10,000x the content (this was 30k words, of which the reader sees about 8k on an average play-through) you're left with two options: a much, much shorter story, or many choices that affect the flavor of events more than the course of the world. Yes, shield bashing and huddling defensively may sometimes lead to a similar narrative progression, but hopefully the illusion of that choice and the immersion granted by seeing the text respond to your decisions is enough to make the interactivity fun beyond a traditional narrative. So, basically, it's just a practicality of the format. I'm glad you liked it, though!

Great story, glad I took time to do this whole thingamajig it was a great read.

Mike Kayatta:

the "railroading," as you call it, is sort of required to a point.

For instance, early in the story when you can choose whether or not to lose an arm to slow the infection, I was hoping that both options would be viable, and the choice would have repercussions down the line that would pile onto everything else. Really, that's the true power (and, I daresay, point) of the choose your own adventure format. I entirely understand that such complexity is not technically viable (yet), but it continues to vex me that the potential of the format remains largely as unrealized as it was in those goofy adventure books from the eighties (including in most videogames).

That being said, a shorter but more complex story sounds fine to me, especially if you're doing a serious story like this one.

Thank you, it was quite a nice read/adventure.
I picked an accountant and

Animyr:
For instance, early in the story when you can choose whether or not to lose an arm to slow the infection, I was hoping that both options would be viable, and the choice would have repercussions down the line that would pile onto everything else.

A lot of choose your own adventure books could do things like that, by using counters or keywords for example. The problem is that, at least when you're dealing with a physical book, you start to blur the lines between a choose your own adventure and full-on roleplaying, and that's not always a good idea. A lot of people (myself included) get very nostalgic about books like Fabled Lands, but at the time they didn't sell because they didn't really have a clear audience.

I think you've outlined why choose your own adventure books died though, not that I particularly agree with you that they were bad but because we're all used to playing pen and paper RPGs which provide total narrative freedom, or cRPGs which can handle more variables "under the hood" and thus offer a much better illusion of choice. The fact is though that despite the optimistic title of the series for which the genre is named the, point was generally not to allow the reader to shape the plot, but to simulate challenge resolution with choices.

Thus, I'd say this is a really good example of how to do that, because the "good" options generally have a consistent and pragmatic tone. You can generally figure them out just by thinking for a second about what would be reasonable, rather than having to buy into some completely insane anti-logic which only existed in the author's mind.. and that was often the real problem.

I enjoyed this a lot. Great plot and characters. The Dragon Age feel is very authentic. Thanks for writing and sharing!

Really cool!
The best one yet IMHO!
Had fun! And nice ending ;)

evilthecat:
The fact is though that despite the optimistic title of the series for which the genre is named the, point was generally not to allow the reader to shape the plot, but to simulate challenge resolution with choices.

Which is exactly my problem with it.

Again, I understand that the real thing was/is not truly possible, but the technical limits doesn't make me hope for the real thing to arrive any less.

Also, personally I prefer a choice scheme where every possible choice continues the story, but it does change how badly things turn out or which direction it goes in.

Another accountant:

T That was a lot of fun. Thanks!

I'm starting to feel that I'm probably the only one that...

Hehe, if you can't tell I got really rather invested in this little adventure. Really good job on writing this, I was glued to the screen the whole time, and for once stuck with my decisions rather than having multiple tabs open like I normally do.

And now I want to go play Dragon Age again.

Sure would love to play this, except the first page seems to be broken and isn't listing any characters.

 

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