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Text Adventure Playthrough #9: Slouching Towards Bedlam

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Is it possible to get the pin from Du Monde after we kill her? I’m curious about its purpose.

     
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>get pin
Taken.

>x pin
A circular pin, depicting a tree with ten branches. Each branch, and the leaves which hang from them, are made up not of lines, but a series of 1s and 0s.

>

     
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that got really heavy.

I’m curious about the pin as well! I need a minute to process this carnage, though.

     

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Interesting. But I have no idea if/how we could use it.

     
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It’s seems my idea of muting us was implemented automatically at the end of the killing spree. I would have preferred to do it before needing to kill anyone though. Worth a try to cut out our tongue at the very beginning?

     
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We started with Yeats and we’re slowly devolving into a song by Papa Roach. Content

Just kidding people, this playthrough has been an eye-opener. A bit ghastly, here and there, but really cool, overal.

     
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Luhr28 - 12 April 2021 11:04 AM


I don’t think it’s possible to jump out of the window or hang self after killing everyone. Unless there’s a way to get out of the alley, which I haven’t found.

Maybe if we can kill ourself faster? Maybe when only two people or even just one have to die?

> restart
> s
> talk to james
(infecting him)
> kill james
> n
> jump out window

I’d like to see us get caught like this… Grin

Hopefully that’ll give us Appendix D. Smile



Yikes, this game got dark.

I still think just restarting and jumping out the window is the “best” ending.
There’s no ending that isn’t bleak… Meh

     

Last played: Oknytt (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Horizon: Zero Dawn - 4/5 | Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5

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TimovieMan - 12 April 2021 03:36 PM

> restart
> s
> talk to james
(infecting him)
> kill james
> n
> jump out window

I’d like to see us get caught like this… Grin

Hopefully that’ll give us Appendix D. Smile

Nope - just Appendix A again.
 
If you want to try variations of actions from the restart, head over to the online version at IFDB. It’s a lot easier to play around when you have control, I find, and it doesn’t feel all that enjoyable to me to find alternative ways of carrying out a killing/suicide spree.

It feels like this is coming (slouching?) towards a close. Thoughts? I really appreciate everyone joining in on this one.

 

     
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I agree. Since there’s really no need for savegames, anyone can look for additional endings by playing themselves.

I have mostly positive feelings about the game. Before the mystery was solved, I found it intriguing.  It’s well written and researched, making me look up things several times. I’m not very happy about the conclusion though.

Big thanks to you Luhr28 for leading, and everyone else for participating!

     
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Luhr28 - 12 April 2021 11:22 PM

Nope - just Appendix A again.

Odd. Probably an oversight, because apparently I was on the right track.

I looked up how to get Appendix D, and it’s indeed successfully killing all the infected people AND yourself, which seems entirely possible as long as you can do it fast enough (i.e. killing two people or less).
The thing is, the fastest way is indeed just killing james and then killing yourself but NOT by jumping out the window, but rather by jumping off the platform in the archives. I didn’t even know that could be done… Gasp

>s

Lobby
The walls and floor are a clinical white tile and marble. However, the dim lights set above this echoing space hiss and pop fitfully, giving the small maze of desks and workspaces within a tarnished, decaying look.

A set of solid gates lie opened and unlocked to the east and west. A small corridor runs northward and from the south, the bright light of day is visible through a set of glass doors.

Behind the most prominent desk sits a nervous young man.

The young man looks up and the corners of his mouth lift into a smile that is not quite strong enough to reach his eyes.

“Doctor?  Are you…”

Cold. Yes, the cold is familiar.

/(reachgrabfeel|possibility|probability)\

The echo of an echo, the reflection of words from here to the far wall of reality and back.

“...alright?  You had us all…”

/(actionpositiveaffirmative|destroyingfrictionbreakinggrowth|positiveyes)\

“...do you mean…?”

The dim light glinting off the small badge he wears - James - Assistant -

/(livinggrowthfrictionfurtherspreadingoutwardstretchingyestouchingyes)\

- Bethlehem - Hospital -

“All right then, sir.”

And then he is nodding and returning to his seat, somehow both more and less nervous.

/(yesdoneyes)\

>kill james
James collapses to the floor, staring with shock and surprise. But it is when he sees the ivory paper knife lifted from under a stack of papers on his desk that true panic sets in.

He scrambles backwards, desperate to get to his feet. Unable to find purchase on the tile floor, he only manages to flounder about like a drunken crab.  He tries to scream for help but his voice fails him, squeaking out in only a whisper.

Assistance does not come.

He has scrambled himself into a corner. The look of resigned fear in his eyes in terrible. “May God forgive you,” he whispers as he closes them.

Blood, deep and red, bubbles from him and spoils the hygienic floor.

/(!NO!)\

>e

Archives

This room is mostly empty space. The farthest wall is lined with gleaming, brass pull-file drawers and seems to go on infinitely in every direction. The entrance to the west opens onto a solid, dusty platform, which allows visitors to stand suspended above the unseen floor.

At the end of the platform lies a pedestal topped with a small, inverted onyx pyramid.

>jump off platform
The unseen floor is much closer than expected. There is no pain, only darkness…

If there are words for this…

/(reference|point|metaphor)\

...they have not yet been written.

/(:timeline/date/1919:wbyeates/secondcoming)\

The scandal following the apparent murder/suicide plagued Bedlam. Neither the police nor the Governors of the Hospital could discover a satisfactory motive for the good doctor’s brutal slaughter of his assistant, James Houlihan.

/(the darkness drops again; but now I know)\

The newspapers delighted in reporting the gruesome details of the murder. For days their pages were replete with the big story: Bedlam’s decay over the last twenty years; pathetic interviews with Mrs. Edna Houlihan, who suffered doubly as she had lost both her son and her sole means of support; scathing articles demanding to know why a madman had been given charge of Bedlam in the first place.

/(that twenty centuries of stony sleep)\

In the wake of all of this Sir John Charles Bucknill was named as temporary Chief of Bethlehem Hospital and Victoria herself ordered an inquest into the Governors” misappropriation of government funds.

/(were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,)\

Reggie, generally oblivious to both rumor and the papers, first learned the news in a local pub, days afterward. When asked about Bedlam and what happened there, he merely shook his head. “I never rightly knew the Doctor,” he proclaimed, “but that James was a nice enough fellow.”  He raised his glass to James’s memory, and drained it in a single swallow.

/(and what rough beast)\

Upon hearing about Xavier’s death, Du Monde experiences a horrible instant of dawning realization. For one moment, she sees a pattern form - from herself and her associates to Cleve to Xavier and back. She wonders precisely what happened that night in the basement. Then she pushes the thought aside and goes back to her work.

/(its hour come round at last)\

Things come full circle: the body of Thomas Xavier is brought home to Bedlam for study, his remains examined for some physical source of his madness.

/(slouches towards)\

In the end, no matter what the public may debate, the reasons

/(bethlehem)\

for his actions

/(?behtlehem?)\

can only

/(BEDLAM)\

ever be known

/(to be born?)\

to him.



  ***/(finishendcompleteconclude|periodmomentpointspacetime))\***


/(reachedfoundendfinishcomplete|possibleprobablyonlyoneinofmany))\

/(nowfurtheryetaheadrelease-APPENDIX-D-availableaccessableopen))\.

/(?? RESTARTperiodfirstrevisit ?? RESTOREbackrecallrelease ?? UNDObackreverseunmake ?? APPENDIXfurtherjumpyet ?? QUITleaveenddone ??))\

     

Last played: Oknytt (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Horizon: Zero Dawn - 4/5 | Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5

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> appendix
APPENDIX D
SOURCE: THE BEDLAM PHOENIX: THE URGENT NEED FOR REFORM IN BRITAIN’S LUNACY ASYLUMS (Pamphlet, London, 1855 “By A Concerned Citizen and Good Christian”


“...Above the doors of Bedlam perch two figures writhing in stone; Mania and Melancholy. With such guardian angels, is it any wonder this so-called “hospital” has destroyed more minds than it has saved?”

“It was an innocuous enough for a time, to be sure; when it was a ‘comforting place of rest’ for those gentlefolk with enough capital to be mad or cured as they pleased. Outfitted with lavish grounds and the latest and most-expensive devices available, it was a veritable resort. But now the wealthy have fled, and having to take wards of the state have made Bedlam an unfortunate example of our hospitals…dismal, disintegrating mausoleums where the afflicted are locked away forever, to be most brutishly mistreated and ignored by a staff no more sane than the incarcerated themselves.”

“I remind you that in the past year Bedlam has suffered the loss of not one but two successive superintendents. The year began with the suicide of Dr. Brand, allegedly due to overwork. Most recently was that of Dr. Thomas Xavier, the details of his end coupled with the gruesome murder of his nervous assistant still resound in the basest of our newspapers. Were they driven mad by spending their days in the dreary grave that is a British Asylum, or is the Alienist profession simply made up of madmen? Either way, it is clear that the current system is a threat to our Society.”

“...certainly easier to lock the mad away like this. Ignore them, forget them, condemn them to the shadows. But Brothers and Sisters, I must say “Nay!” It is our duty as Citizens of London, and Good Christians to embrace those that God has Touched so Particularly, demand for the razing of Bedlam and all such dens of madness, and try to build from the resulting ashes something new, where the Afflicted may be comforted and cared for as is the Right of All God’s Children.”

/(?? RESTARTperiodfirstrevisit ?? RESTOREbackrecallrelease ?? UNDObackreverseunmake ?? APPENDIXfurtherjumpyet ?? QUITleaveenddone ??))\

     

Last played: Oknytt (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Horizon: Zero Dawn - 4/5 | Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5

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Thanks, luhr28, for leading the playthrough!

Pegbiter - 13 April 2021 01:25 AM

I have mostly positive feelings about the game. Before the mystery was solved, I found it intriguing.  It’s well written and researched, making me look up things several times. I’m not very happy about the conclusion though.

I agree with this.

The game is intriguing from the start, it’s well-written, well-researched, and I’ve always liked stories that don’t end well (happy endings are ok, but we need some variety).

The game is flawed, though. Of all the text adventures we’ve played here, this is the only one where we struggled with the parser this much.
And once the backstory is completed and we know what’s going on, the game doesn’t really give us an indication that the way in which we respond to that knowledge IS the endgame.
And I completely misinterpreted whose thoughts were on those cylinders at the start, and what transmitting that motto would do (although, in hindsight, that motto is how Cleve got the Logos’ attention and became infected in the first place).


As for the endings, I’m not fond of the “human transcendence” ending where everyone gets infected by us - I much prefer the simpler “kill yourself to stop it all”. Unfortunately, the best ending in terms of outcome for me, also had the weakest epilogue… Meh

But all in all, this was a very solid story, and the makers obviously did their homework…

     

Last played: Oknytt (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Horizon: Zero Dawn - 4/5 | Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5

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I play and enjoy some horror games (Anchorhead Smile) although in general I’m not very interested in horror stories. I liked this one at first, steampunk setting and good writing, but in the end it was too dark and gruesome for me. No substance, just horror and an unwinnable situation. What’s it all about, different choices that in the end make no difference whatsoever? More blood, more depressing details. Logos always wins. Except maybe when Xavier murders everybody and cuts out his tongue. Yuck.

When I try to be more objective and forget about my personal preferences I still don’t understand why this game gets such a high score at ifdb. The parser is very bad, and we played the 10th anniversary edition! No puzzles, everything is solved for us, all we have to do is learn how machines and stuff work. Triage might have been an intriguing addition but we only needed it to decode the writing on the wall.

Thanks Luhr for doing a great job! And I hope we will do another CP in the foreseeable future.

     
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Karlok - 13 April 2021 08:14 AM

When I try to be more objective and forget about my personal preferences I still don’t understand why this game gets such a high score at ifdb. The parser is very bad, and we played the 10th anniversary edition! No puzzles, everything is solved for us, all we have to do is learn how machines and stuff work. Triage might have been an intriguing addition but we only needed it to decode the writing on the wall.

I’m glad you said it first.
If I was going to say this was a great game (or even possibly good) I’d need a thorough explanation for what it all means. And not a fan of the gore.

I thought the puzzles were okay. I’ve read a few opinions which actually call them hard, so it surely have made a difference having more than one brain here to work on them.

Atmospheric? Creepy? Experimental? Yes, but without being put to a larger purpose it comes across as a bit sophomoric.

     
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I really liked all of the individual contributions, everyone had a different style and approach. We also worked together quite well. TimovieMan, Pegbiter, Karlok and Luhr28, thanks for playing this game with me. I laughed, I was fascinated and occasionally horrified.

Luhr28, thanks for taking the lead! I like your style.

Karlok, thank you for convincing me to join this playthrough. Smile

“Slouching Towards Bedlam” was an interesting experience. I liked it’s pace and most of the writing. Some characters and experiences suggested an entire layer of intrigue behind this story, but in the end it was mostly referential. To be fair, those references were quite interesting.

The violence, though. I couldn’t stomach reading most of it in one go. It was shocking. And realistic. Which made the responses of the victims.. terrifying.

In the end, the real Yeats and his affiliations were more interesting than the Cypherists in the game. But the game’s style and intrigue had me looking up the phenomena it hinted at: that’s a pretty cool feat.

Playing this game with you also had me looking up “Ceremony of Innocence”, which is a bonus.

     

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