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

Download



vespers.z8
latest version
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
vespers.z8
original competition entry
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
vespers.inf
latest version

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

Vespers

by Jason Devlin

Historical/Religious
2005

(based on 154 ratings)
8 member reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 2860
IFIDs:  ZCODE-1-050929-F8AB
ZCODE-1-051128-B5AA
TUID: 6dj2vguyiagrhvc2

Awards

1st Place overall; 1st Place, Miss Congeniality Awards - 11th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2005)

Winner, Best Game; Winner, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Winner, Best Setting; Nominee, Best Puzzles; Winner, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Individual PC - 2005 XYZZY Awards

10th Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2011 edition)

17th Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2019 edition)

Editorial Reviews

Emily Short's Interactive Fction
What I found most interesting about Vespers was its construction, its success at arranging events and making characters take action; it has a lot of plot, but avoids the excessively linear feel of many high-plot-content games.
See the full review

The Escapist
Set in a 15th century monastery beset by the plague, Vespers follows an abbot driven increasingly insane as he watches his feverish monks perish one by one. It's a nauseating, deeply frightening game, like survival/horror without the survival part, and it clings to me like a bad nightmare I can't shake. I'm thoroughly grossed out by it, physically, emotionally and morally.

Vespers is one of the best games I've ever played, text-based or no.
-- Lara Crigger
See the full review

Ferretbrain
Vespers is strong on atmosphere, very strong on atmosphere. It is told over three days, with the monastery becoming slowly creepier and more oppressive as time goes on. Descriptions change in subtle – and not so subtle – ways as the plot progresses (and, I think, in response to player action – if you play as a raving nutbag things get rather more messed up rather more quickly).
-- Dan Hemmens
See the full review

Gaming Enthusiast
A truly horrifying, but thought-provoking experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on the player. If you’re not afraid of the darkness in human hearts, be sure to check Vespers out.
-- Toddziak
See the full review

SPAG
It has numerous strengths, but I think the most important is how well paced it is. The introduction slopes in gradually, and while I generally like to have some idea of what I should be accomplishing from the very beginning, here the more leisurely approach worked well - knowing that plague was loose and the monastery was locked in made things more interesting than the standard wander-corridors-until-something-happens opening, and front-loading much of the exploration allowed later sequences to play out tauter, since the player knows exactly where everything is. The number of NPCs is initially a little overwhelming, but the author does a very good job of giving each of them a distinctive feature, so that the player soon remembers which is the crazy one, which is the terse, practical one, and so on.
-- Michael A Russo
See the full review

Tags

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

Member Reviews

5 star:
(57)
4 star:
(71)
3 star:
(18)
2 star:
(8)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 8
Write a review


Most Helpful Member Reviews


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
Haunting, memorable, January 17, 2008
by incandenza (carrboro, north carolina)
I still think about Vespers nearly a year and a half after first playing through it. In the game you are a monk in charge of a monastery during the plague years of Europe. The nearby town has succumbed to disease, and the abbey is the last available refuge. The game takes place over a few days as the plague begins to infiltrate this remaining sanctuary. Dark secrets are uncovered, and the abbey itself is one of the strongest and most dynamic characters in the game. Though not for the faint of heart, or those who are easily offended by violence or religious questioning, the sense of place, immersive character, and interesting NPCs make this one of my favorite IF works.

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
Apocalypse a Few Centuries Ago, July 2, 2008
by C.E.J. Pacian (England)
As a hypochondriac, I stopped playing Vespers as soon as I read the word 'plague'. And then, a few days later, I started playing it again. Something about its atmospheric depiction of an abbey barricaded against the Black Death drew me back, not because it was pleasant, but because it was quite thoroughly sinister.

Another thing that quickly had me hooked me was the way Vespers starts out as a medieval detective story. Alongside the plague, murder has come to the abbey, not to mention a mysterious waif and stray, and the monks are all acting strangely - among them the player character. As things progress, Vespers only becomes darker and more sinister, something that I would normally expect to repel me - but this carefully constructed rendition of apocalyptic Dark Age sentiments kept me hooked until, naturally enough, the detective portion gives way to a set of uncomfortable decisions - some of which you will have already made before you realise their portent.

This kind of IF game, where you must explore a world and form a moral reaction, has obviously been done before, most notably in Slouching Towards Bedlam. But whereas in that game I found myself having to refer to the hints to get the least thing done, my experience with Vespers flowed quite nicely towards its dramatic and nihilistic conclusion.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A horror game in a monastery with extremely disturbing imagery, February 3, 2016
This is a game that very acvurately portrays a horrible situation, and thus left me feeling uncomfortable. Its not the kind of game I enjoy playing.

You play the abbot of a monastery that has been afflicted with plague, and you have to take control of the situation while everyone goes crazier and crazier.

The game features many npcs and strong moral choices. You can choose to do truly horrible things, including (Spoiler - click to show)rape, murder, eating corpses,etc., and egen if you choose the best paths, people around you (Spoiler - click to show)crucify others, violently commit suicide, etc.

I'm not proud that I completed this game. I came back to it years later, like scratching a scab you know you shouldn't.

See All 8 Member Reviews

If you enjoyed Vespers...

Related Games

People who like Vespers also gave high ratings to these games:

Bad Machine, by Dan Shiovitz
Average member rating: (14 ratings)

Dead Reckoning, by David Whyld
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
Drawn back to your childhood town of Morrow after a distraught call from a friend, you find yourself in a life-or-death struggle against an ancient evil intent on lifting an ages old curse.

Pilgrimage, by Víctor Ojuel
Average member rating: (11 ratings)
Leave Rome in the dead of night. Pursue an hermetic quest throughout Medieval Europe. Find arcane knowledge or utter despair. Blessings of Babylon.

Suggest a game

Recommended Lists

Vespers appears in the following Recommended Lists:

My Favourite Literary IF by Janos Honkonen
These are my favourite games which I consider to be more story than puzzle based.

Thoughtful Games by ToALonelyPeace
provoking, intriguing games I have played

Recommended by DanMan421
My Recommended Games

See all lists mentioning this game

Polls

The following polls include votes for Vespers:

What are your favorite games? by Christopher Caesar
I was wondering which games are worth playing, as I haven't found any games that take a while to complete that are worth playing

Games with an abrupt and unexpected ending twist by dutchmule
I'm looking for games which, as in a lot of short stories, feature a sudden and unexpected revelation/twist at the very end of the game, that possibly changes your interpretation of what the game was really all about. (but please be...

im looking for a good horror game by nick love
I'm looking for something with a creepy environment. It also has to be very challenging.

See all polls with votes for this game

Links




This is version 6 of this page, edited by ZMX on 8 January 2020 at 5:21pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item