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About the StoryNow everyone is gone. (Well, almost everyone.)
Entry in ECTOCOMP 2014.
6th Place - EctoComp 2014
Lime Ergot is a telescoping perception puzzle. This is where its importance to the parser medium lies: it uses the traditional construction of objects and subobjects to recast movement and perception. For decades, the parser was very concerned with “mimetic” representations of realistic space, with achieving a form of immersion that is present, also, in graphical video games; particularly with achieving the sort of materiality and space that is also found in those games.
Works like this upend this ideal. They present a space that has to be traversed on different terms. You play Lime Ergot by falling into its descriptive text, one layer at a time. Most uses of this device only go a couple layers deep and rely on increasingly-minute detail; Lime Ergot discards our spatial expectations entirely, and not only builds in an implausible number of layers of perception, many of the moves are lateral or even not spatial at all. It’s probably one of the best representations, in fiction, of a hallucinatory or dissociating state.
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spooky action at a distance
In short: this is one of the most coherent games I have played in terms of using the precise medium of interactivity to produce and highlight an emotional state in the player. It is an absolute gem of a game.
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Number of Reviews: 7
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
You are standing on a sunbaked wharf and your commanding officer, a wizened general in a wheelchair, orders you to prepare her a cocktail: a green skull. It requires limes. You have no limes. This is the game's premise, and acquiring the limes is its only puzzle.
Because you cannot leave the general's side, all that you may do is "examine" your surroundings, and as your examinations deepen, you peel back diaphanous layer after diaphanous layer until the atmosphere is swimming with lost memories. The scenario is hazy and beautiful, but also wrong, diseased.
Castle of the Red Prince uses this same mechanic, but whereas that game allows the player to move lightning-fast across the landscape by simply "examining" different objects or locations, Lime Ergot internalizes the action by rooting you to a single spot. The sensations that you uncover gather around you like a fog, and experiencing this mood is the game's purpose.
I discovered two endings. Both are easy to find, and both are worth reading. More might be possible.
The game is short, the writing crisp, with subtle eccentricity throughout. On the surface it is as light and refreshing as a breeze, but there is a creeping plague wind underneath. Try it if that sounds promising; move on if you prefer more varied gameplay or puzzle-solving.
Lime Ergot has a fascinating approach to the idea of movement in parser fiction, in that you don't move at all but rather look, and look deeper, and look deeper still. Descriptions are layered on top of one another, drawing you ever forward into the bizarre and decaying world that you are trapped in.
Even though this is a fairly short game, the world-building and atmosphere within is extraordinary, and reminded me a little of the New Weird authors like China Miéville or Jeff VanderMeer. I have managed to find only two endings, and I do hope there are more - though try as I might I have been unable to confirm that. Perhaps there's another layer deeper still that I have been unable to get to, which just shows how complex it is.
Overall I enjoyed Lime Ergot, and it inspired me to check out other games that have similar non-traditional methods of exploration. Four St. Stellio limes.
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