February Exceptional Story: The Tale of Old Fritz

RIGHT SORRY I confused my character’s acceptance with what actually happened —I did not die either… to be honest it would have been really cool to actually perish in an epic whale battle but no I was wrong whoops

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Yeah like there’s been options that cause you to die in ES’s before, but honestly this was a really nice surprise!

As I recall, there was one ES you could only play when freshly dead – which meant some people were unable/unwilling to play it, based on their character choices.

Only a little way in so I don’t have much in the way of comments about the quality (except to say that I found the meal with the wife and daughter over long and rather tedious), but what I’m wondering is if anybody knows what happens if the player’s character does not own a ship yet.

Having a ship seems hard-wired into this one. I’m curious if the Diver somehow secures one or if the story simply tells you to come back when you have one yourself.


I also wondered about that, but I’ve got a ship so I wasn’t able to check–maybe your character is able to hire one on the cheap a la ticket to polythreme

Oh I came to hate this one. Yet another ‘click to see the next huge block of text’ story, my we seem to have had a lot of these lately. Hardly any pretence of interactivity. I didn’t feel I was taking part in a story at all, merely observing one. Yeah, maybe they’re all like that, but the better ones do a good job of disguising it. Not sure how much more of this sort of fare I can take before I cancel my EF.

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I have mixed feelings about this Exceptional Story. On one hand, I thought the pacing and art were great, and I enjoyed meeting the characters and seeing the dynamic between the brothers. The part where you explore the sunken ship was fantastic and was by far my favorite part. And the climax of the story was superb and actually had my heart racing.

On the other hand, I don’t think that the parts with Lady Black were handled well. Up until now she has been such an enigmatic entity which in her few appearances in Sunless Seas and prior Exceptional Stories, but I think this story draws back the curtain much too far. It takes away much of the mystery and terror surrounding Lady Black when we have a regular, down-to-earth conversation with her and discuss her deal-making, as if she’s some kind of run-of-the-mill Devil in a rivalry with the Fathomking. It makes this character seem less interesting to me.

I’m reminded a bit of how disappointed I’ve been with the two most recent films in the Alien franchise, which IMO reveal far too much about the origin of the xenomorphs and in so doing make them much less frightening and, well, alien. What is not seen (or, in this case, spoken to) is often both more frightening and more intriguing than what is seen.

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That’s similar to my experience. [spoiler]
Good building of atmosphere with the family and at sea. I also liked the conflict between the siblings, one driven to fulfil the hunt to the end, the other retiring from a futile venture for a family life. I could see both there perspectives.

But Lady Black was too mundane, just chatting with us and (though that may be my fault) also the whole sequence of searching for Old Fritz, OF disturbing the abyss (turning 50% graveyard in the process???), the crew making the deal and the Doomed Diver returning to land wasn’t really clear to me.

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