Basilica de Sangre

ifcomp2018-game
(Das Reboot) #1

Basilica de Sangre, by Bitter Karella (review with minor spoilers)

[spoiler]Aha! A good old-fashioned comic puzzler, served in an almost-nearly-traditional old-fashioned puzzle glass, with nice cover art. Possession/bodyswapping is laborious to write, since effectively there are no pure NPCs and every character needs to have at least one continuity-congruent conversational response to absolutely every other character, no matter how unlikely the idea that they would exchange chitchat in reality. To play – nevermind code – a possession game that was fully implemented in terms of what you know, what you must conceal that you know, who you can safely talk to, and where you can safely bodyswap would (to borrow an old quote) make your brains turn to guacamole and drip out of your ears.

Sensibly, BdS keeps things relatively simple (it also boasts a map). As a rookie demon, you can bodyhop in a room full of people and no-one will be any the wiser, neither does anyone suddenly come to several rooms away from where they last were, and wonder what the literal Hell just happened, and why they’re now carrying some random and/or disgusting trinket.

A lot doesn’t make sense, in the traditional way mad puzzle games don’t: Repellent Habits are so rare that everynun can’t have one…but the only known example is worn by a mere librarian? I must collect three random ingredients, just because I must. Someone in this otherwordly convent has a crush, and the way to find out who that crush could be…does not make much narrative sense, but it’s cute.

Yep, it’s all very tongue-in-cheek. Only the romance-based puzzle got me resorting to the walkthrough, but otherwise I didn’t have any particular difficulties, although I did leave one possessee walking around with a certain puzzle-critical jar, then forgot who I’d left it with. Curse my defective memory.

For whatever reason, the interpreter slowed to a dead crawl during the climactic scene and frustratingly crashed just as I was about to possess my final target. I was also expecting to use the fact that one possessed character is effectively blind to do battle with something that sends humans (and even demons) round the bend if they gaze upon it, but on looking at the walkthrough, that doesn’t seem to be relevant.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the game plenty. It was witty, neatly-engineered in puzzle terms, and respectful of the player’s time: in short, it was written with the deliberate intent that it should to be fun to play. That gets a solid score from me.

Prize: A whiskey-fuelled weekend in a ruined eldritch Citadel, with the abominable oblate of your choice.[/spoiler]

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#2

I had a lot of fun with this one. I’ve posted a review of it on my blog here.

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#3

Is anyone else having problem playing this game ? If I play it online, it works decently at first, but it eventually freezes (I’m still able to type things, but the game no longer responds). If I download it and try to play it with Quest, it freezes right from the start.

It’s a pity, because it does look interesting.

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(Brian Rushton) #4

Do you have the newest version of Quest? 5.8 came out a few months ago and I couldn’t get it to work on 5.7, so you might have an older interpreter.

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#5

Yes, I downloaded Quest just for this entry, and I’ve just checked that it is indeed version 5.8.

Anyway, if no one else has encountered the same problem, then there’s only one reasonable explanation : my computer is being possessed. Where is my exorcism manual ?

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#6

Don’t splash holy water on it! Newbie mistake.

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(Das Reboot) #7

I encountered this freezing problem during the finale of the game when playing BdS online (frustrating):

I’m possessing the old blind nun, since she’s the only person able to carry all three spell ingredients to my Mother. I give the ingredients to Mother, and the game switches to the climactic scene where all the eldritch nuns are all present, and I have to work out what to do next to stop them summoning a Dagonesque abomination. And then, as you experienced yourself, the game crashes: I can type instructions, but nothing happens.

If I have time, I may download the newest Quest version and zip through BdS again to see if it freezes at the same point when I’m playing offline.

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(Hanon Ondricek) #8

That is the one major thing that averted me from wanting to use Quest despite its cool features - big games run slow if played online, and there is no offline runner for MacOS.

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#9

Hello, I’m having trouble with this game as well. You mentioned a walkthrough, could you give me a link to it? Thanks.

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#10

The walk-through is posted with the game here: ifcomp.org/ballot#entry-1828

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