Today is an important day in the history of interactive fiction, for today is the day that I, Herman Schudspeer, release my first and probably last piece of IF: Nemesis Macana. It is not that I consider myself a great artist. It is that with Nemesis Macana, due to its subject matter and its message, interactive fiction takes a tentative but clear step towards its divine destiny. And so may you.
Saint Paul saw Jesus on the road to Damascus. Constantine witnessed the holy cross rising from the sun. This very day, you can see Nemesis Macana on the screen of your personal computer, and who knows what conversion may follow?
(Come on, guys. Herman Schudspeer is indeed a pseudonym, or rather, a persona, and one that is integral to the work. It would be a pity if we couldn’t have a bit of fun with that because the atmosphere has been poisoned by trolls and Pudlos, wouldn’t it? This game is entirely in good faith. Though not, perhaps, entirely in good taste.)
NEMESIS MACANA is a quick and dirty game that can be finished in five minutes. It’s a quick porno-loop riff on the Stiffy Makane mythos as previously expanded upon by Adam Thornton; perhaps this is even by Thornton in another guise.
The prose is well-written, if purplish, which is the point. There’s not a whole lot to do, not much is implemented, and synonyms are scarce. This is meant as a quick SNL parody sketch of a game so that’s fine. NM holds no secrets for you to discover.
The help text might even be longer than the actual game. This reads as a highbrow history of Stiffy, IF, and the hypothesized latent sexuality of IF in general.
There is a germ of a good idea here: the floridly narrative protagonist who speaks like a British earl could possibly be an interesting jumping off place for a sendup of IF tropes - Aquire the Glass Electronical Communication Structure and Meet Your Maker as a poor example.
It is distressing to contemplate that in so many minds the concept “troll” has grown so bloated as to eclipse the concept “joke.” It’s even sadder when this monomania separates people from really good jokes.
A misplaced notion, I think. This particular joke is being presented in the style of a troll. That’s a deliberate choice on the part of the jokester, and the consequences of that choice are (if the jokester knows what he or she is doing) therefore also deliberate choices.
(Actually, the deliberate choice was to present it in the style of someone who is not completely sane, or at least someone whose view of the world is not one that many of us share. I was taken by surprise when this was interpreted as the style of a troll. My mistake, of course. I should have thought about this possibility more carefully.)
Although I really dislike, usually, porn adventures (or whatever you may call it) – to me it feels like trolling all of the time, a sort of spoiling the real nature of a medium, turning away from the “story” and putting it in a dark and dump corner – I begin to understand the magnificence of the Stiffy Macane mythology. From the state of “just another attempt at being silly in IF” it has built up to a serious matter that, in the end, even deserved a parody.
This may be due to the sheer number of games made on the subject and to the fact that the foretold mythology is becoming too big to be left unaddressed (you may find a similar, even if yet unfulfilled trial here). Or it may be that the games themselves, after you have come to terms with the ritual of sex and the repeating of this ritual, are indeed well done and well articulated. Who knows and, moreso, who cares. I still have to understand why there is so much hype about sex in IF and why so many people think that this is the best medium for porn (I still consider the 3-minute streamings you can find everywhere on the internet the best format – for the length, if not for anything else – in which to present all sort of penetrations). Maybe I have to read the hints in Nemesis Macana better to find out.
I found this parody (which is itself not even a parody but a manifesto, as the “insane author” poses it himself) highly amusing. I don’t know to which extents it will reach into my brain, but I loved the joke.
Although I don’t think this is really a joke, after all.
I’m with Ryan, on the rating: Giant Red (like the tip of Stiffy’s — you know what.)
I really didn’t think about the possibility that people might conceive of dear Herman as a troll. Lack of thinking on my part, there. Anyway, though it would be false to say that Herman Schudspeer is me (god forbid), it is nevertheless true that he has never written a word that I did not write as well. I have uploaded a new version of the game, which is almost identical to the previous version, except that I added a short biography of Herman and my testers are credited.
I take it you are an Oxfordian?
I personally find it inconceivable that anyone believes that a medium which you can only interact with comfortably using two hands is the best medium for porn. I certainly don’t believe it; and Herman Schudspeer in fact believes the exact opposite!
Nicely done, Victor. I even remembered that someone was working on Nemesis Macana but couldn’t remember who.
[rant]I didn’t think I’d be able to persuade Herman, but perhaps if you pass it along he’ll listen to you: Do you think NM could be put up in an unzipped format, so I could play it in Parchment?[/rant]
EDIT: Never mind, of course the new version is unzipped already, like, I trust, some things in the game.