Final Girl

From IFWiki

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IF Comp 2013
13th place of 35
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XYZZY Awards 2013
Finalist - Best Use of Innovation
Final Girl
Author(s) Hanon Ondricek
Publisher(s) n/a
Release date(s) 29-Sep-2013
Authoring system StoryNexus
Platform(s) Web browser
Language(s) English
License(s) Freeware
Color effects n/a
Graphics icons and UI
Sound/Music yes
Cruelty scale Nasty
Final Girl logo

Final Girl is a choice-based web browser game created by Hanon Ondricek. It was written using Failbetter Games's StoryNexus engine, which is offered as the public version of the tools largely used to create FailBetter's long-running web game Fallen London.

The game's central conceit is that the player is the surviving female character who has made it to the denouement of a fairly run-of-the-mill slasher flick horror movie, during which every other character has been murdered or disappeared. The local Sheriff questions the protagonist about her version of events, and she is unable to specify the ultimate fates of ten of the original dozen characters who arrived at the lake. The movie then throws a standard twist: the defeated killer is actually still alive, and the plot proceeds through an extended finale that comprises the bulk of gameplay. The player attempts to discover the locations of the rest of the movie's cast, battle the Skull Lake Stalker as he or she relentlessly pursues the final girl, and get to the end the movie by either dying, figuring out the killer's identity by process of elimination, or gaining enough power (a statistic called BadAssery) and a weapon to kill the Skull Lake Stalker outright herself.

Final Girl placed 13th of 35 entries in the 19th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition and received the Golden Banana of Discord prize for highest standard deviation in scores.

Notable Features

  • Final Girl differs from Fallen London and most StoryNexus games (which are parceled out with action refresh periods to be played over long-periods of real-time) in that it was designed to be completely finished in one sitting, and re-playable via randomization of the suspect list for each iteration of play. While the gameplay was intended to last 30-60 minutes for each iteration, many IFComp reviewers found that two hours was not quite long enough to finish the game.
  • Wrapping the horror movie section of the game is a non-plot-affecting outer fiction that the player is actually at a theater attending this movie (and potentially 25 named sequels) allowing gamers to meta-fictionally skip intro sections of the game on repeated plays, and read a review of the film that changes based on certain actions taken during the movie.
  • Astute players may realize that another female character survives every ending of the movie except one, rendering the game's title a misnomer. This oversight was caused by a last-minute design change necessitated by the approaching deadline to submit the game for the IFComp. In the planned original version, the secondary set of six surviving characters would also have been murdered by the Stalker through the course of the game, leaving the player and one randomly chosen "mastermind" character, which would have invariably removed the second surviving female from the game ultimately as a victim, or as the mastermind.
  • The standard deviation of Final Girl's scores was 2.83; the second highest of any Golden Banana winner behind The Gostak's 3.05 in 2001.

How It Begins

There were twelve of you when you started the weekend, now you're down to three.

There is just you, Bailey, and her boyfriend Max. But you can't think of that. You can't breathe. You're running out of air as you run southward on the eastern trail around the lake.


StoryNexus games are web-based, and are capable of being instantly updated in real time. FailBetter encourages authors to create worlds that can be infinitely expanded, updated, and added to, even as players experience them, in a similar manner that Fallen London is continuously expanded. Final Girl received numerous updates, corrections, and gameplay additions during IFComp as reviewers found errors and suggested improvements, and could receive more as time goes on. The game as it stands is intended as a cohesive, short experience and, other than minor adjustments, would likely not receive any large updates which would create extended additional plot or gameplay.


General info