Weekend Download №212


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Weekend Download

JohnBWe've got some serious subject matter on the plate for this edition of Weekend Download. Grief, loss, religion, philosophy, government conspiracies, and probably a whole lot more hiding beneath the surface! Only venture forth if you've got a mind ready to do some serious digesting...

thirteenthyear.gifThe Thirteenth Year (Mac/Win/Linux, 40MB, free) - Visual novels aren't everyone's thing, but a good story is enjoyed by all. The Thirteenth Year is a short visual novel with a minimum amount of interactive elements that spins a philosophical tale in a war-torn fantasy/steampunk world. A strange traveler in a brown cloak is the central figure, though his origins and motives remain a mystery while you take on the role of several different characters, each of whom has an unusual experience while conversing with the boy. There are three endings to discover, and the story will take a little over an hour to complete. You'll be riveted to the screen the entire time!

wither.gifWither (Windows, 17MB, free) - It seems like most games created with RPG Maker do a great job at being ignored by most people. Well, Wither is a little bit different and deserves a second (first?) chance. Styled like a classic Game Boy green-on-black game and using a few sound effects and sprites ripped from very recognizable sources, Wither tells the tale of a boy crippled with grief over a recent death. Explore the small area and talk to the characters to get a sense of what happened, then do what any good video game character does when there's nothing left to do: take a nap. Here, nightmares occur, presenting you with new worlds to explore. All in all, Wither is fairly thin on gameplay but very thick on emotion. It's a game about sadness, guilt, and devotion, and its non-linear exploration-based gameplay makes it a delight to sample. The fact that it looks so retro is just a nice bonus!

caldwellincident.gifThe Caldwell Incident (Windows, 17MB, free) - A short adventure game that would feel right at home as the plot of an X-Files episode. In the year 19XX in a small town in Alaska, Toss is woken late in the night by his friend Jenny tossing rocks at his window. Dressing and carefully climbing down, he learns she spotted something unusual nearby. First, you've got to get out of town without raising suspicion. Then, it's on to some serious investigating!

Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows 7 and are virus-free. Mac users should try Boot Camp, Parallels, or CrossOver Games to play Windows titles, Linux users can use Wine. If you know of a great game we should feature, use the Submit link above to send it in!

10 Comments

*sigh*. TiGsource apparently banned "my" IP for spamming. Does The Caldwell Incident have an alternate download link?

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nadrojeggel November 19, 2011 9:05 PM

The Ending to the Caldwell Incident was.....
Interesting to say the least

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I can only seem to get one ending in the first, the one where

he/she gets burned and turns into a skeleton-thing.

That's the only thing that changes-

the gender of Astrelli.

What should I do to see the other two, and/or what are the other two?

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Thanks JohnB, appreciated!

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Only played The Thirteenth Year so far, but it's good. Very good.

@Janar,
You have to make a world in which Astrelli meets good people that aren't overly judgemental and can think for themselves. Choose dialog options carefully.

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Am I correct in assuming in Wither that

the protagonist suicides in order to join his brother? I finished the game after the first hotel incident, out of desperation to not see another death (grabbed the altar flower that I was hesitant to take on the first day, in case of future circumstances).

The Caldwell Incident is fairly short, but finished nicely (and is fairly easy to boot). I'd definitely replay Wither again, though, to see how far I can push the circumstances before being dragged back into the

nightmare island

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@JIGuest- I get what you mean. And I think I found the "good" ending.

The time-sensitive choice in Chapter 6 was one I didn't quite figure out at first. A rather innovative gameplay device that I used to only expect in games like the Hoshi Saga and Kagi Nochi Tobira series.

And I imagine there's a "crazy bad" ending that's achieved by doing the polar opposite?

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@Jamar: There is.

Also, you don't _have_ to find the time-sensitive choice. There's a little leeway; two "bad" choices will still net you the "From Above" ending.

By the way, "The Thirteenth Year" is actually based on one of my non-visual-novel stories. If you want to "read" the game exactly the way the story was written, here's a walkthrough for you:

Answer.
Accept.
Something more comforting.
Religious person.
Give in to the urge.
What is Oka trying to tell me?
Accept.
Yes.
Dress.
Songbird.
Perfume.
Astelli needs a lesson.
The Gods won't allow it.
Too afraid to see what's coming.
Don't shoot.
Save my people.

Thanks for your nice words; they mean a lot to my artist and me. I hope we've been able to make you a little curious about other original English language visual novels. You'd be surprised what engrossing stories there are to discover.

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Unfortunately, The Caldwell Incident doesn't seem to want to run on my Windows 7 64-bit comp.

Wither was a fun, short excursion though. I wonder though,

if the flowers are supposed to represent anything related to his "suicide"? At least I'm guessing that's what he's doing. Although, since he crosses the river apparently alive and well, as the maggots don't seem to be interested in him while they chant for rotten flesh, perhaps he isn't dead at all?

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