Blighted Isle

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XYZZY Awards 2007
Finalist - Best Setting
Blighted Isle
Author(s) Eric Eve
Publisher(s) n/a
Release date(s) 14-Jul-2007
Authoring system TADS 3
Platform(s) TADS 3
Language(s) English
License(s) Freeware (use the in-game LICENSE command for details)
Color effects none
Graphics none
Sound/Music none
Cruelty scale Cruelty to be determined

How It Begins

First, a menu is displayed, asking the player if he or she wants to read the instructions, restore a game, quit, or start a new game.

You are Lieutenant James Corby, 25 years old, and about to drown somewhere in the stormy Bay of Biscay in the year 1805. Then the game proper begins with a flashback a few moments earlier:

You are on the quarterdeck of the HMS Niobe that is persuing a strange ship on the horizon. It might be a French warship, but that is unconfirmed. You are carrying a telescope, a helmsman mans the wheel, and a fierce gale lashes the ship. The call of "Land ho!" from the masthead is absurd; there's no land charted anywhere near here. The captain arrives and orders you up the mast with your telescope to confirm the sighting. All too soon, you will be cast overboard, carrying nothing, and neither ship nor land in sight.

Notable Features

  • Many NPCs and lots of conversation. The basic conversation system is ask-tell, and NPCs often have additional things to say about a topic asked more than once. When you exhaust a topic for an NPC, asking them again results in a summation of what that NPC said about that topic.
    • A conversation always has a beginning and an end; that is, hello and goodbye stages.
    • Topics can be explicitly suggested via the TOPICS or TALK TO [NPC] commands, and auto-suggested during a conversation.
    • Suggested topics can be made into clickable hyperlinks. The HYPER ON and HYPER OFF commands toggle this option.
    • Suggested topics can be enumerated, so that the player can just type the number listed with the suggested topic. The ENUM ON and ENUM OFF commands toggle this option.
    • Suggested topics can be offered in three levels of importance. The commands SUG LEVEL, SUG LEVEL LOW, SUG LEVEL MEDIUM, and SUG LEVEL HIGH control this option.
    • Suggested topics can include suggested commands with non-standardized syntaxes; for example: ASK JULIA HOW ONE GETS AWAY FROM HERE.
    • Each NPC has a diverse collection of default responses to use when asked about a topic they don't have an individual response for. Topics that the game recognizes use a different set of responses from topics that the game does not recognize.
  • Large game geography and advanced PC travel handling.
    • The player may use a command like GO TO KITCHEN, and the PC will walk towards the kitchen, assuming the PC has been there before. Likewise, the player can type GO TO JULIA to head towards Julia's last known location, or GO TO SCREWDRIVER to go to where the screwdriver was last seen. FIND and LOCATE are synonyms for GO TO. The CONTINUE (or C) command can be used to continue this directed journey until the destination is reached.
    • The game geography has two major regions. Once the second region is reached, the player cannot return to the first.
    • It is possible for the player to finish the game with a good ending and still miss a significant amount of the game geography.
  • The THINK command can be used to remind the player of their current goals.
  • Uses Steve Breslin’s TADS 3 Spelling Corrector. The commands TYPO OFF and TYPO ON toggle this option which is initially enabled.
  • Multiple pathways through the game and multiple endings. The author describes the game as "semi-cruel and semi-kind". It is semi-kind in that the game cannot be put into an unfinishable state; however, it is semi-cruel in that the best endings can be made unreachable without warning.
  • A score to roughly judge your progress, but you can finish with less (or even more) than the stated "maximum" score of 80.
  • In-game hint menus, tailored to your current situation. Use the HINT command to access them.


Version 1

Version 2.0

Version 2.2

The zipfile contains a single file:

Additional credits: