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Story File
from the author's website
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
Contains Eas.z5
from if-archive, includes readme
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)
original competition entry
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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Earth and Sky

by Paul O'Brian profile

Episode 1 of Earth and Sky

Web Site

(based on 54 ratings)
4 member reviews

About the Story

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, it's as if Claire and Scott Colborn suddenly stopped existing -- strange and inexplicable, to be sure, but forgettable in the long run.

But for you it's as if the ground beneath your feet stopped existing, and you've been plummeting in freefall ever since. Your brother Austin, though, has been a rock through the whole experience, handling the numbing details, the endless meetings with useless detectives, even sorting through Mom and Dad's lab in hopes of finding an answer. Now you stand outside the lab door, clutching his note, hardly daring to hope that such an answer may have arrived at long last.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 2
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 1665
IFIDs:  ZCODE-1-010926-DA24
TUID: xtlhfet0vixthar5


8th Place - 7th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2001)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

Charming first installment in the Earth and Sky superhero series, involving a brother and sister who discover unusual powers and seek to rescue their lost parents. Though brief, this episode establishes the characters, their powers, and the major motivation, and incorporates a couple of simple puzzles. Upbeat and highly enjoyable.

-- Emily Short

It's obvious that a great deal of care went into making this game intuitively interactive. Several conversation systems are provided, so that the player is free to take whatever approach he likes: this is novel, and possibly overkill, but it expresses a good faith intention to put the control fully into the player's hands. More impressively, perhaps, the game accounts for a wide variety of behavior on the player's part.
-- Emily Short
See the full review


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Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
If this were a movie, they'd call it a 'fun romp', April 9, 2010
Earth and Sky is a popular piece that is probably most notable for two things: introducing the superhero genre to IF, and successfully founding the first serial adventure in the medium. [edit: After writing this, I realized that the Frenetic Five series probably has a better claim to both of these distinctions.]

An IF Comp entry, Earth and Sky takes no chances with the recommended timeline for gameplay; it seems impossible that you might not finish within the allotted two hours. Its relatively linear story -- usually a big turnoff for me -- is compensated for by the fact that this story is fun to read and still somehow offers a sense of freedom. Rather than feeling railroaded by the plot requirements, you feel swept along by the fast-paced events you are involved in; instead of feeling pushed, you are racing to keep up.

Like the early Lone Ranger or Flash Gordon serials, this work is unapologetic in its use of cliche conventions and its cliffhanger ending. It has no need for apology -- indeed, it shows us why those cliches exist in the first place, and the authors have delivered on their promise for more in the game's two award-winning sequels.

Though I haven't felt the urge to replay the game since I first tried it a few years back, this is a fun one that's well-suited to a lunch-hour diversion, or as a friendly introduction to the form for an IF newcomer.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Just A Quick Taste, But Very Tasty Indeed, March 29, 2008
by Ghalev (Colorado)
A friendly micro-game, Earth and Sky is a genial teaser for a superhero tale explored in later installments. This game sets modest goals for itself: introduce characters and long-term motives, then provide a short-term conflict to get the juices flowing. It sets merrily about the task, and the whole thing flows so smoothly that I didn't mind at all that much of the game consisted of following instructions given me by NPCs. Tiptoeing around spoilers, I will say I was fascinated to see how ... amiable the game felt despite the grim dangers implied (and depending on your choices, briefly explored) in the narrative. Given the easy temptations of a more fashionably gritty approach to the genre, this game won an extra measure of my respect for balancing perils and pleasures. In tone, it's more akin to The Incredibles than an issue of a modern comic, and I mean that as warm praise.

I went looking for a bit of fun playing with superheroes in IF, and this game both satisfied my craving and fixed my gaze hungrily on the next installment. Earth and Sky is very brief (less than 30 minutes for some players, I'd expect), and, within its chosen scope, very satisfying.

Great B-Movie material. Pretty short, not hard, fun superhero game, August 22, 2015
In Earth and Sky, you play as a woman who discovers superpowers, together with her brother.

There are two times where you use your powers: a training session, and a battle. Before each of these events is a short exposition/exploration segment.

The exposition sections use a menu conversation system with the chance to be normal or to use crazy B-movie dialog.

The plot is silly, but the writing is vivid and you can really imagine what is going on. I think the author was very successful here.

I recommend this game, especially because it is so short that you have nothing to lose by playing it.

See All 4 Member Reviews

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Recommended Lists

Earth and Sky appears in the following Recommended Lists:

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The following polls include votes for Earth and Sky:

Multi-Part Games by Bloodsong
I was wondering just how many games out there, either completely text based, or text-adventure hybrids, are out there that involve a story line over the course of several games. I know for sure of the Sorcerer trilogy from Infocom...any...

No map necessary by Divide
Pieces which can be fully enjoyed without drawing map, ideally without taking any notes whatsoever. Ones which you could play on a bus, on a break, laying on bed, etc. with nothing but a portable player. Games for which you don't need...

Up, Up, and Away: IF starring super heroes by Molly
It's often been said that super-heroes are a poor fit for IF, given the reliance of the former on flashy, colorful costumes and fights. But let it never be said that some poor bastards didn't try. What are some notable attempts at...

See all polls with votes for this game


This is version 11 of this page, edited by Slart on 23 October 2015 at 6:00pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item