Granted I’m a sucker for all things horror in IF but even so, Warbler’s Nest is one of the standouts of this competition. It’s also pretty heart-wrenching, but that could just the perspective of a parent who’s expecting a new baby any day now.
Discussion of the game’s ending follows. Do not read until you’ve played it through to the end.
[spoiler]So I thought it was pretty clear, on the basis of the textual evidence and also certain meta-game elements, that the baby was not in fact a changeling. You have the obvious fact that the ending where you accept the baby as Anda triggers the AMUSING text, and on this basis can be treated as the winning ending. (AMUSING is something of a wild misnomer here, given that this may be the first ending a player sees and that the website actively encourages players to explore the baby-killing ending before reading the commentary.)
Most of the evidence for the Anda hypothesis comes from the standing stones behind the cottage.
Along with the player’s thoughts when picking up the baby:
Taken together, this paints a fairly clear picture. The first baby was either stillborn or died shortly after birth; the second baby lived but your wife did not.
I’m satisfied enough with this line of reasoning that I’m almost afraid to ask: did anyone find the third ending?
Also, I really liked that you could unlock more recollections by doing things in a slightly different order, e.g.
Which you only get if you empty the cracked eggshell before going to the backyard. It makes one of the more disturbing passages even more upsetting by analogy. I thought at first it was an inconsistency in the text, since you had talked about the fairy ring with the tailor in the recent past, but those mushrooms were in the garden out front and not in the backyard.[/spoiler]
Kudos to Jason for such a fine, subtle work of IF.
warbler.txt (55.9 KB)