IF Comp 2010: The Bible Retold: The Lost Sheep

Phew. Well. All right. What we have here is an IF based on, so the ABOUT informs us, Mark 15:3-7 in the Bible. Are you ready for a thrill and a half? Because we all know how much fun games based on Sunday School lessons can be. I mean, I’m not an utter douche — I know not everything Christianity-related is necessarily shit, and I’ll give the game a fair shake, but man! I could be playing a game called “Ninja’s Fate”! Instead I’ve got this friggin’ bible story.

Well, sooner we start, sooner we finish.

LostSheep.z5 weighs 193 kB, and was written by Ben Pennington, with Inform 6.31.

Spoilers after what I’m going to guess is going to be a picture of Jesus.


Well, not exactly, but no surprises there.

>x me
You are a Judean shepherd, wearing a shabby white cloak. You live for your beloved sheep; how could you have let one of them go missing?!

There, see? A proper “x me”. We’re off to a decent start.

Magic won’t get you very far in this game.

This would be funnier if it had threatened to burn me at the stake for witchcraft.

A gnarly old tree stands in the middle of the field,

Radical tree, dude.

Oh hey, I got a point. I meant to mention before, in the Chronicler review, but if you’re not using points, you need to remember to turn scoring off so the game doesn’t end with “You scored 0 out of a possible 0 points.” The Chronicler did not remember to do this. I don’t remember if Mite did. Anyway…

Oh you friggin sheep. Get out of those damn bushes!

You cannot se the sheep to give him anything.

Missing an ‘e’ there. There was another typo I spotted earlier and didn’t remember to write it down right away, what was it… oh, in the ABOUT, “I’d also like to think the beta testers”. That was sort of funny.

Crop circle. What.

>burn juniper
So let me get this straight. You want to rub your fingers together and make a fire that will set the bush ablaze? Mad. Utterly mad.

Madder stuff happens all the time in the bible. And anyway, burning bushes are totally a biblical miracle thing. So what’s the problem?

You strike the gnarly stick on your crook and – as if by magic – you create fire! Fabulous!

Now I have the fire necessary to burn myself at the stake for witchcraft! Fabulous! …Wait a minute, I was told magic wouldn’t get me very far!

Actually, have you ever seen someone make fire by rubbing two sticks together? There’s nothing even remotely magical about it. Unless you find blisters and exhaustion to be magical.

The rosemary bush stops burning and returns exactly to the state it was before. You think you hear a chuckle from above, but you can’t be sure.

What the… Is God fucking with me? I mean, I’ve always suspected as much, but…

You say a silent prayer, to the effect of bringing peace unto mankind and protecting it from evil. Unfortunately, the Lord seems to be conveniently engaged elsewhere.

God is a dick.

The gnarly stick seems to have dried out.

You get this message after swimming, even if you don’t have the gnarly stick yet. This caused a little puzzlement the first time I saw it.

At this point, I’m ready to say to hell with that sheep. I’ve got 99 more, I’m not a greedy man, this sheep is obviously brain damaged, and besides, who knows what sort of madness is being inflicted on my other sheep while I’m gone? They might be being attacked by wolves, or ninjas! Some shepherd I am! Of course, by pointing this out, I’m ignoring the whole point of the parable, which is that Jesus cares more about the one sinner that he might save than the 99 righteous dudes who don’t need saving. You know what? Parables are dumb, and Jesus should mind his own business.

You have so far scored 5 out of a possible 4, in 147 turns.

Can God create a score so high even he can’t achieve it? (You can get the fire-making point multiple times, by swimming and waiting for the stick to dry out again.)

>burn me
You’re not Guy Fawkes, although he didn’t light himself either.

Buh… Why him in particular, then? Why not, say, Cary Grant, or Dabney Coleman? Lots of famous people have never set themselves on fire. Yeah, yeah, I get the reference, but still, it sounds weird. It should’ve said “You’re not Thích Quảng Đức!” That would have been more appropriate, right?

Anyway, I won with six points out of a possible four. Had to use the hints, because since I wasn’t allowed to ride the buffalo before, it didn’t occur to me that I might be able to later. Looking back at the message that was given, though, I won’t rate it as being totally unfair, but it could have been clued better.

I can’t think of anything else to say about it; it’s pretty resoundingly meh. I’ll give it a 5.

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