Question about the Surface

I’ve taken a big interest in the world that Failbetter has crafted and thus I have started playing their Fallen London game in the hopes to link it to Sunless Sea when it’s released. So the question is I &quotdied&quot for the first time in Fallen London. Now I’ve read the faq and even googled further into the topic but there doesn’t seem to be an answer to my question.

I’m just wondering death really is unavoidable in this game and being unable to leave the Neath is an inescapable fact, or if it is indeed avoidable and one can actually return to the surface. I’m only asking because I have no problem with restarting from the very beginning for a &quotperfect game.&quot

I haven’t died yet, so it’s definitely avoidable. However, there are currently no penalties for dying.

You can play the game without dying. It’s not easy, as there are a few ways to wake up with the Boatman in one action from perfect health.

However, the content that did have a theoretical way to return to the surface required multiple deaths to reach that option- you literally couldn’t get there without destroying your mind, body, and soul in game multiple times. (There was still a theoretical way to return to the Surface despite those deaths, but no one managed it as best I know.)

That content is currently on hiatus and there’s no telling when it will return or in what format.

And honestly, this isn’t a game to “win” per se. It’s to be explored, enjoyed, used as a framework to make your own exotic character(s) and stories with. There’s no high scores chart and no finish line. Fallen London is more of a Klein Bottle made out of a choose-your-own-adventure novel than a game of Labyrinth.

I do hope that you can still enjoy it in light of that.

Oh no please don’t misunderstand me I’m enjoying the game and world immensely :) but I am a gamer at heart and an intrinsic part of that is just wanting to play and see the best ending. I just interpreted what I read in google as going to the surface was a &quothappy ending&quot of sorts and the character is retired. At least that’s what the posts seemed to say. But now it does seem if I’m understanding you guys right is that death is an inevitability and that you will die no matter what.

It is definitely not an inevitability. I started this game with the intention of never dying, and it hasn’t been too difficult to avoid that fate. You can’t retire your character, however. I’m not sure if that’ll ever be an option. If it is it won’t be for quite a long while.

Death isn’t inevitable, but it is likely, and not that bad in this game. Also, it is the only Menace that you can become immune to, via Hesperdian Cider.

There is no game end here, other than if you choose one yourself. There are content and character limits: nobody can achieve Notability 16 at the moment, or have more than one attribute above 200 without equipment. You can’t vanquish the Vake, nor fire up the Dawn Machine.

But all of these things are quite possible in the future, as Fallen London isn’t complete yet. One impossible feat that I am hoping to achieve at some point is marrying the mad, bad, and dangerous to know Lettice, a rather rambunctious Tomb-Colonist.

Theoretically, there will be an endgame put in place at some point, likely centered around the Ambitions, but I’ve no idea how far that might be into the future.

Hmm … If you get too worried about death, you may miss out on some storylines. Or just have to be ultra careful (I’m too impatient for that).

Hesperdian Cider hasn’t made me immune to a visit to the boatman, though (I was given a sip - perhaps it requires more …).

The closest thing the game has for endings is the Destinies, which were available during the Feast of Masks and Sacksmas. Even these endings are only possibilities, and may not be involved in the “actual” end of FL. Although there is one that explicitly involves a return to the surface, and a few that imply the ability to return. So when October rolls around you could pick one of those.

Hesperidian Cider still allows you to die, but people with the bottle will have access to a storylet with an option that clears wounds completely.