Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In

Download

Undum site
requires javascript

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

The Matter of the Monster

by Andrew Plotkin profile

Fantasy
2011

(based on 20 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

You stagger up to its lair. Blue sand drags at your feet.
Your Hands don't tremble well, much as you ready your new weapon. Your voice doesn't quaver (hardly at all) as you shout out the words you were taught.
One, two! Dive and roll! Jump! Attack!
...That wasn't so hard, was it? You defeated the monster, and it's not even bedtime yet.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: May 7, 2011
Current Version: 1.1
Development System: Undum
IFID: Unknown
TUID: cgns9eche7wuuiwb

Tags

- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)
(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
(0)
4 star:
(3)
3 star:
(11)
2 star:
(6)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Narrative Gymnastics, May 23, 2011
Zarf has a keen instinct for taking things -- code, puzzles, narrative structure -- to pieces, then seeing if they'll fit together in a different way. Here he's tinkering with CYOA. Written for a SpeedIF challenge that required authors to use unfamiliar IF languages, The Matter of the Monster is a highly experimental minor work, both deeply impressive and faintly disappointing.

The story itself is, consciously, nothing very special; three siblings set out on a quest to slay a giant monster. It's heavily framed as a bedtime story; there's a well-observed tension between the serious, insistent child and the mother, who thinks that heroic fantasy is a bit silly. The story is told mostly back-to-front, starting with the final success of the youngest sib and working backwards by hops and jumps; depending on the chronologically earlier events, the later sections change somewhat. This doesn't affect the final outcome; what's at stake is the shape of the story, and secondarily the nature of the hero's family. Although the writing has some fun details, it's very clear that content is secondary to form; the hacking of narrative is more important than the narrative.

Undum was, to put it mildly, not really designed for this, but it's made to work; the story jumps up and down the page, so there's a strong sense of thumbing back and forth in a text that should be static, even though it's shifting before your eyes. (Vorple may have been an inspiration here, but Undum has its own transcript-editing habits.) With the reading habits of conventional IF, however, it's easy to miss the changes, even though the total amount of text is quite small; what really matters is that it's intuitively clear which section of the text you've jumped to.

It's probably best to think of this as a hugely-expanded approach to The Girl and the Wolf, rather than as a hugely stripped-down version of a scarily flexible work of IF. It's hard to imagine a larger work built on TMotM's techniques. As an approach to short, dense pieces, though, it's intriguing.

A short story with dynamic text about slaying a semi-silly monster, May 16, 2016
This game shows the power of Undum by allowing you to adapt a text from beginning to end.

You are a parent telling a story to a kid at night about a pumpkin slayee (or other kind of fun monster). But the kid keeps complaining, so you go back and edit the story.

The writing is charming, and you really feel part of the storytelling process. The effects are well-polished however, the story didn't completely grip me as much as the technical capabilities.

If you enjoyed The Matter of the Monster...

Related Games

Other members recommend these games for people who like The Matter of the Monster, or gave both high ratings:

The Play, by Dietrich Squinkifer (Squinky)
Average member rating: (45 ratings)
Pull yourself together, Ainsley. Just one more rehearsal until the big day, assuming nothing catastrophic happens. But really, all you have to do is get your motley crew of actors to run their parts once through from beginning to end....

Earth and Sky, by Paul O'Brian
Average member rating: (64 ratings)
It's been almost a month since your parents disappeared. One Tuesday, they just didn't come home, and there's been no sign of them since. For the University and the rest of the town, the mystery is beginning to pall. To those people,...

Detectiveland, by Robin Johnson
Average member rating: (31 ratings)
New Losago, 1929 - a town full of creeps, clowns, mobsters and, if you know where to look, the occasional honest citizen. Guide private investigator Lanson Rose through a series of puzzling cases: solve the city's liquor supply problem...

Suggest a game

Polls

The following polls include votes for The Matter of the Monster:

Hypertext stories that make heavy use of text transformations by Bruno Dias
I'm looking for hypertexts that make heavy use of stretchtext and related effects to tell their story - Links that add, remove, or alter text within a passage. Swan Hill for instance makes heavy use of this, and my own work does too, but...

Speed IFs that are awesome by trojo
Expectations for Speed-IFs are generally low, but sometimes games written as Speed-IFs are in fact awesome-- not just "awesome for a Speed IF" but truly worthwhile. List some favorites here.

Links




This is version 3 of this page, edited by Juhana on 17 May 2011 at 7:31am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item