I know there are plenty of IF games that are designed to be replayed, or IF games that have a NewGame+ concept, where restarting after beating the game can open new content, but there’s something I haven’t seen in IF yet.
In all fairness, this isn’t super common in the videogames in general, but some decent examples would be something like Fallout 2 or 3 or 4, where, after saving the Wasteland and rolling the credits, your options aren’t simply restore, restart, or quit. You can continue from that point with your character and inventory and continue interacting with and exploring that world.
Oftentimes, this is where postgame DLCs are located, involving fallout from the climax of the main story.
There are a ton of IF games I haven’t played yet obviously. Is anyone aware of an IF title that allows the player to keep playing from that point after ostensibly winning the game?
Actually I’m toying on this idea; actually a sort of minor WIP is exploiting a serious flaw in GAGS (the ancestor of AGT), that is, don’t implement a game finished in victory, as one can easy note in the few known GAGS games, where either point that the only useful command is QUIT, or more simply, and perhaps cruder, kill the winning player, à la Infidel
For a major WIP I’m mulling some post-game “episode PC, NPC1, NPC2”, à la FF XV, but I fear that those will became “DLC” of sort (that is, added in subsequent release(s); hence my appreciation of TADS’s ability of reading/writing external (postgame in this case) files, whose allow indipendency of post-game content from savefiles (the only game with post-game content I known, “cleo Kraft” 's diabolical, set a “game won” variable in the game, whose is saved by the player, hardlinking the post-game content to the specific release)
Best regards from Italy,
The only game I’ve played so far which allows you to do this is The Pawn by Magnetic Scrolls.
Yes, you go into “debug” mode after wining, whereby all the “hidden” room items are made visible, in case you missed them. You might even get time to open the fridge in Hell and see what’s inside
There’s Ryan Veeder’s A Rope of Chalk, which is halfway to what you want. It’s not quite exploring the game world after the game is done, but there is a post-game section set years later which lets you look around a new area and learn what happened to the characters after the game’s events.
Arthur DiBianca’s The Wand has a secret post-game with more puzzles. I remember finishing it when it came out (and being 100% sure I was completely done) and then seeing people talk about things that I didn’t remember… and then going back and finding the optional puzzle that leads into the rest of the game.
I have a vague recollection that that might also be true of another game or two of his…?
I don’t think I’d put The Wand in this category, because it doesn’t let you keep playing after you win—rather, you can now restart the game and play it in a different way. I’d call that a “New Game +” rather than continuing in the same save file.
There are definitely some older games which don’t actually have a victory condition per se. I’m trying to remember the name of one featured in All the Adventures where the goal isn’t to win anything within the game, but to gather enough information to solve the mystery (as the player, not as the character), write down the details on a card, and mail it in to the publisher. So nothing stops you from continuing to play after doing that—the game has no idea whether you’ve solved it or not! But that’s a bit of a pathological case.
On a slight tangent, earlier versions of Inform 7 had phrases “end the game in death” and “end the game in victory” for the two ways of closing out a story. These were eventually replaced with “end the story” and “end the story finally”—the implication being that death is something you undo or continue past (the documentation includes examples of how to let the player get “resurrected” after a death) but victory ends things permanently and irrevocably.
Oh, there are also probably dozens of IntroComp entries and other demos where “beating” the game prints a TO BE CONTINUED message and encourages you to back out and keep exploring. But that’s also not quite the same, since the story isn’t actually finished—it’s just not written yet.
Grandma Bethlinda’s Variety Box lets you keep playing after you win. You’re playing in the same file too, without restarting. I didn’t keep playing for very much longer myself, but there are more puzzles to solve. Knowing Arthur DiBianca, there might be enough extra puzzles to constitute a whole hidden game…
So, I’m gathering that this technique is genuinely rarely used in IF in anything other than a gimmick/limited/easter-egg way, and that this isn’t another case of “Pinkunz hasn’t played enough IF.”
I appreciate the examples given so far and thank anyone in advance for any additional leads.
Yeah, I’ve just been replaying it today. I had completely forgotten that the extra content was locked behind a restart: I thought you could just go play it instead of winning the game the first time around.
I think of this as the Myst ending. You win, Atrus says “feel free to keep wandering around.” But there’s nothing else to do[*].
You could see why they did the ending that way – the point of Myst was supposed to be running around these beautiful environments. But it wasn’t very popular and they went with “traditional” roll-credits-and-quit endings for the sequels.
[* Some releases added a bonus explorable Age to find, but the original Myst didn’t have that.]
I think the version I played cut to credits. I don’t remember this. With that said, this approach typically works with a dynamic multifaceted world that reacts and changes in response to the game being won. If things stay much as they were prior to winning, that deflates much of the point.
I sincerely appreciate you pointing this out to me. Going to go look for the OG version now.
ETA: Now I’m not sure… I played Myst a loooooonnnggg time ago and now I’m not sure if I’m mis-remembering a sequel as the original…
Was able to confirm. I played a half-remembered sequel when I was young. Have never played the original. Added to the list.
Funnily enough, I did exactly this in A Mouse Speaks to Death. When you reach the end of the game, there’s the option to “Remember Differently” and go back and relive your recollected life differently, but there are elements that don’t appear on a first playthrough, or even a second, a meta-level of memories that can only be unlocked if you do go back and remember different events about your life (or contradictory events in some cases).
I’m not clear how many players are doing that, though. Most people I’ve asked seem to be aware that there was a “larger than a single lifetime” element to be found, but they hadn’t actually found it, and I don’t know if that’s because they did replay and didn’t get it, or just didn’t replay in the first place.
I added a post-victory “endless mode” to Beyond the Chiron Gate, but that game is based on randomly generated environments and random events, so continuing after you win just means getting more random environments and events.
I’m trying to think of other games… I seem to recall that I completed Superluminal Vagrant Twin and it told me about things I hadn’t done in the game, but I don’t remember if it let me keep playing in order to do them.
I think general IF is not conducive to extended play: most games you’re following a linear plot and puzzle chain, and once you’ve solved that, there’s usually not a lot else to do in an IF environment unless you want to walk around examining the drapes mining for text you haven’t seen. It’s like when you finish a book - you might leaf back and re-read passages you really liked, but you’re basically done.
The games that remain compelling after finishing the main quest usually have an extra solid gameplay/crafting/building element that often isn’t present in many IF games (like if Minecraft had a plot), whether it’s fun combat, grinding for loot, or being able to extensively experiment with tools and physics. especially if the game unlocks all possibilities after winning. Or games that are open world with extensive exploration possible.
I could be wrong, and what I’ve discovered online is inconclusive, but I seem to remember that Twin Kingdom Valley fits this category.
Aside from the endgame of Warp you can continue playing in God mode after finally finishing and receiving a secret code. This enables you to visit every game location instantly and given the size of the game there will be many that you haven’t encountered.
Sadly for me there is no big bad wolf JJ.
secret code for the postgame… viable solution, save two cases: games with source code released, and keeping track of the actual finished state, esp. in games with multiple paths & solutions for major puzzles. The latter can be solved forming the secret code from the relevant variables & flags (akin to the “save password” of early 8-bit console games; this can also solve the former issue, at least from a casual source browsing, I guess, but knowing the circulation of “cheat save password” back in the day, I’m not exactly sure of the soundness of the idea (ahem… 'fessing up, back in the 8-bit days, I actually cracked a pair or so of (non-Infocom) C64 text adventures for “solving” hideous puzzles (and, honestly, I wonder about the initial scope of the reverse engineering of the Zcode, back in early '90s…)
Best regards from Italy,