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Divis Mortis


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DoraDivis MortisAbout the worst experience I have ever personally had upon waking up in a hospital was the bizarre argument I had with a nurse who thought my mother had stolen a pen from her while I was barely out of anesthesia. The protagonist of Lynnea Dally's interactive fiction game Divis Mortis is having a considerably worse day than I did. After regaining consciousness in a hospital's radiation room, you discover that you have more pressing issues than one killer headache. Pressing issues like the tastiness of your brains, and the fact that there is apparently no longer any room in hell, and so the dead are walking the Earth.

The game plays like your standard interactive fiction title, reacting to the commands you type into the screen. Type "examine bed" and hit [enter], for example, and the game will provide you with a detailed description of what you wanted to look at. If you get stuck try typing "help" and hitting [enter] to be taken to a screen that not only provides basic control guidance, but also has a nifty little set of hints for most of the game's puzzles. It's important to note that you can (and should) save your game at any time by typing "save" since it's possible for you to die in more than one situation, and running multiple saves is usually a good idea in any situation. Just type "Restore" to be presented a list of all your saves, which will come in handy when you call every undead slob in the building down on your defenseless heinie, or ignore basic safety procedures for handling chemicals.

The narration here is, on the whole, pretty well done. It manages to describe and establish atmosphere within each area without hammering you in the face with massive text blocks, which also keeps the story clipping along at a steady pace. Each description is also usually manages to draw your attention to interactive objects so you don't waste time trying to "use exit sign" or "make couch cusion fort". (+1 defense against undead, +10 evasion against cooties) In fact, one of the game's only real flaws is a tendency to force you into a bit too much inventory "MacGuyvering" to solve puzzles. Still, despite some rather circuitous adventuring Divis Mortis is the perfect romantic treat for upcoming Valentine's Day. After all, zombies don't care what you look like. They want you for your braaaaaaaaains!

Play Divis Mortis

Download Divis Mortis (Mac/Windows/Linux, 0.8MB, free)

To play the download version of this game, you'll need both the game file and an interpreter. Download Divis Mortis from the Interactive Fiction Archive followed by an interpreter for your OS: Gargoyle for Windows, Zoom for Macintosh and Unix.

40 Comments

Think you meant cushion :)

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I think I managed to hit a dead end.

I barricaded the doors with the bench immediately(because I didn't know there was anything outside), and now it seems(according to the in-game hints) that I need something from a car trunk to progress the game, but I clearly can't get back outside now.

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Stuck on 'Loading...' for me.

Firefox 3.6 on Linux x64

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Founded1992 February 10, 2011 2:35 PM

The game makes my bad computer run slowly -.-

why is it always the games im most anxious to play that are the ones that have a bad link or super awesome graphics that crash my computer -.-

sounds like a nice game.

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For anyone having trouble playing the online browser version of the game, we've just added a link to download the game file, along with links to popular IF interpreters. You'll need an IF interpreter to play the downloaded game file.

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Fix for the dead end

The command "push bench" will clear the barricade so that you can go outside again.

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Intuitive game.

I typed some random comments and it had a reply for all of them.

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I have the following so far:

gun, water, skillet, lamp, battery, flashlight, canned food, rubber ropes, pain pill. But I need something to cut the flashlight wrapper and the canned food.

What should I do now?

how should I fight after I opened the car trunk? I tried to use gun, but I don't have bullets, I tried to swing skillet, but it doesn't work either.

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misteredwards2004 February 10, 2011 9:10 PM

i: lamp, flashlight, batteries, rubbery rope, compass, pain pills, can of chickpeas, water bottle, skillet, empty gun, security badge, lab coat, gloves and boots.

Need to get my tools out of the trunk. I'm stuck! Help!!!

Am i missing any items?
Whats the next move?
How do I get rid of this damn headache?
How do I sanitize the can of peas?
I'm starving...

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Alaira: Not quite true.

You can just move the barricade.

Cabbit:

You can probably find something useful in another area. You probably haven't searched the second floor, right? Of course, you can't get up there without a boost. Maybe there's something semi-portable on the first floor that could be used.

[Spoilers fixed. Please preview your comment before submitting. Thank you. :) -Jay]

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cabbit:

Find a way to go upstairs first

What can you use[push around]in the physical therapy room?

Push the steps to the direction you want them to go

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Procrastinateher February 10, 2011 10:23 PM

Died with a score of 10/100 in like 50 movements.

I'm not that good at IF though.

I insisted on getting the toolbox out of the trunk despite the zombie there.
Guess I hoped there would be time to use the toolbox or something inside it as a weapon before being attacked.

It was interesting to play though. Would be nice to have an inventory and/or map, but that starts to defeat the purpose of IF doesn't it? Or maybe I had one but didn't know how to use it...

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I'm stuck but I have

I:screwdriver,ammonia, bleach, face mask, scissors, water bottle, batteries, flashlight, pills, skillet, badge, loaded gun, coat, gloves, boots

misteredwards2004: Type help and check the hints the game gives you.

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I'm about to pass out from hunger here. I have:

gun ammo, broken skillet, scissors, batteries, lamp & flashlight (out of their packages), pain pills, can of chickpeas (unclean), water bottle, security badge, lab coat, gloves, boots

What am I missing? I assume I need

some way to sterilize the can, and possibly a can opener, but there's no water in the sinks and I can't find a can opener.

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misteredwards2004 February 10, 2011 10:35 PM

In order to eat

go back to the room you woke up in...

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Power of the post! Finally fed myself by

irradiating the chickpeas to sanitize them.

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Stuck after

putting the bench in front of the door. I realize I have to get out

to get the screwdriver in the trunk

but how do I get past all the zombies that have barricaded in front of the door? Or for that matter, how do I "block visibility"?

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Guys I got as far is this point


1) I got the toolbox and tools from the car.
2) Barricaded the main door with the bench.
3) I went into the second floor elevator and

Used the phone to call for help. They told me to

Go join the people in the basement.

4) I wanted to figure out how to go downstairs so eventually I figured out I need to

Use some stretchy rope I got from... geez I don't remember where, but I can't figure out how to use it. (You can't even tie it to the flashlight)

Can anybody figure out what to do from this point?
If I give the command "Shoot yourself" it says I have a possible 50/100 points. So I guess I'm about halfway thru the game...

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Dr. Curiosity February 11, 2011 12:16 AM

Every time you misspell MacGyver, you make Richard Dean Anderson cry.

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Remember, you can always type "walkthrough" for help.

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cinder calhoun February 11, 2011 2:06 AM

I was surprised that I actually predicted the ending. Neat though.

And BTW, one of the things that stumped me for a while was unwrapping the plastic on the lights. Here's how, if you are stuck:

Go upstairs to the 2nd floor, and all the way to the office. Examine the desk and open the drawers. Take the scissors inside and use them.

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92 out of 100 in 379 turns. I wasted a lot of turns trying to figure out how go down to the basement. The wording was tricky. Nice game. I thought it was well made. Anyone manage to get 100/100?

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When I tried to push the bench back from the door, I got swarmed by zombies and killed. Did anyone have the same problem? What should I do to avoid it?

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Hi there, game author here; glad that my entry is getting some more enjoyment.

As for help: there is an in-game map, but apparently it only works on the downloaded version (>MAP), there is an in-game progressive hint system (>HELP, HINTS), as well as an in-game walkthrough (>WALKTHROUGH).

There are 3 places where I should have worded things more clearly and as such, have given people trouble:

1. With the glass entrance doors:

Moving the bench creates a loud noise and attracts an unattackably large horde. Zombies don't have concepts like object permanence though, so you have to move a second object (the table) in front of the doors too, and they will go away. This has 2 benefits: you won't be attacked right away after that and you can move the stuff back and go outside again.

2. With the car zombie:

If you can't attack her successfully, explore/search elsewhere first...

There is gun ammo on the 2nd floor.

3. Getting down the stairs:

If you haven't been upstairs, don't worry about going down.

The lamp is the best tool here.

Scissors (upstairs in the Office) help too for opening the lamp.

But you have to lower the lamp down gently.

Tie the stretchy rope from the Physical Therapy room to the lamp. Lower lamp.

And some common places where people can miss points and still beat the game:

Don't forget to... grab/open both the lamp and the flashlight, call for help in the 2nd floor elevator, kill the bathroom zombie, not drop anything recyclable on the floor, and...

free the trapped man quickly after seeing him.

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cinder calhoun February 12, 2011 1:23 PM

To the author:

Really neat game, I liked the setting and plot, and I think it was well done. I have some questions / feedback for you. :)

About the plot:

The one thing I couldn't figure out is why the woman scientist in the beginning shot herself. You were being irradiated to cure your zombie-ism, and you need a helper for that, due to the auto door seal. So I figured that's why the woman was there. (and I'm guessing she knocked you out with the paperweight to put you on the bed). So why would she kill herself after the male zombie attacked. She knew there was a potential cure, so why the suicide?

And the point score:

This is my opinion, but I would argue that killing the bathroom zombie, and quickly freeing the man, are debatable. I didn't kill the bathroom zombie so as to avoid noise and drawing attention (like you have to outside near the volvo). As for freeing the man, I tried to talk to him first (after removing the gag), to see if he was sane, and those attempts at dialoge caused the 'hesitation penalty'. I think validating his sanity would be important to your survival. :P

Just some thoughts. I'd love to see more stuff like this. :)

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@Cinder:

The woman got bitten, and there was no way she could have cured herself, since the radiation controls are in a different room. If you had been awake, you could have helped her, but you were still recovering from a bad case of paperweight to the head.

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I haven't completed an IF game in ages ... they can become tedious very quickly. This was very well paced and challenging (not frustrating).

Nice game! Thanks.

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If you kill the man after you free him, he'll still talk to you and defend you from the SWAT guys.

Another Zombie?

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Good questions.

As for the woman in the radiation room

I like to think that she held out as long as she could, but she could see that the infection was winning, and even if she and I could have survived, it really wouldn't have been anything they could continue surviving in. Not to mention the fact that while radiation is established as a preventative measure, there's no guarantee it works as a cure too. The protagonist hadn't woken up, and a zombified colleague was crawling towards her. She took the easy way out. I like Aegeus's interpretation though; it's a little neater, and it's definitely open-ended.

And as for the point scores

Those are both good points. I got a lot of play transcripts where people completely ignored the bathroom zombie and for good reason. I added him late in development to give some more interest to the second level, but on second thought I should have made killing him give you a needed reward. If I were to redo it; I think I'd have put the heavy scissors sticking out of his mangled torso (and remove the office), so that you have to kill him to get on with the game. That would have made it more obvious that the scissors function as a weapon too.

With the sanity check on the closet survivor, that's a good point that I hadn't thought about. It was pretty silly to establish distrust in survivors and then ask you to blindly free one. I think establishing sanity/not and freeing quickly/not would have called for a few more (small) variations with the ending too.

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I like how there's more than one ending.

You can win the game by joining the zombies, if you approach one that comes up to you.

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cinder calhoun February 15, 2011 7:18 AM

Thanks for your replies, EEAtheist! It's cool to get some insight from the author. :)

Also, I like your explanation better than Aegeus for a few reasons (no offense Aegeus :) ), but its cool that people can have different takes on it.

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I died twice. Once when I

tried to mix ammonia with bleach,

and another time when I

tried to run while having the scissors in my possession.


I don't think I'll try again today, haha.

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citrustang March 7, 2011 10:57 PM

Great game! Really entertaining. I found a tiny bug:

you can free the young man in the closet without first picking up the keys, which results in a final score of 98. The game responds like you picked up the keys anyway, except it doesn't award the 2 pts you would get for officially doing so.

Otherwise, no complaints here.

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Anonymous April 10, 2011 5:56 AM

Did anybody else notice you can "eat corpse" in the radiation room?

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Martan de la Nae July 4, 2011 2:38 AM

I enjoyed this! Also,

does anyone know how many 'wandering zombie' encounters there are? I never had any trouble in my first playthrough, but I got attacked by a zombie homeless lady when I spent too much time screwing around in the Gift Shop.

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Martan de la Nae July 5, 2011 10:19 PM

JIGuest: Yeah, much to my amusement.

At the time I had a bad feeling about that.

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Jay-
the link for the game doesn't go to the game anymore. I did find it myself by using google, but thought you should know so you could update it. Thanks!

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Thanks, Cinymin! I've updated the review.

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epsilon Author Profile Page June 29, 2012 3:12 AM

gah, I just wanna eat the chickpeas! (Spoilers if this is really how you're meant to sanitise the can)

I went to the radiation chamber, dropped the chickpeas, went back to control room and pressed the button. "blah blah blah you cured the air of its cancer". go north: radiation chamber blah blah, you also see a can of chickpeas (unclean) and a stair stepping block. WTF? That's some freaky radiation if it not only failed to sanitise the can but brought a stair stepping block, which I can't interact with, into existence.

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