Next: “Evermore”, a parody-pastiche of Poe.
I remember when I first picked up a collection of Poe short stories. I was twelve, and I remember finding some of them rather dense and wordy. Well, for the most part, “Evermore” seems intent on aping this loquacious style: heavy paragraphs, often overblown, accompanied by a resolution to always use the more obscure synonym.
The work is fairly voluminous, though, and one could potentially click through a massive number of screens in one’s playthrough. This loquaciousness, which exists more for effect than for actual communication, could begin to drag after a while. Some of the later vignettes do settle into a more easily-followed prose, but whether they do so early enough is a matter of debate.
So. This is a pastiche of Poe works. We begin with a scenario straight out of “The Premature Burial”, and from there we traipse through branches drawing directly from “Berenice”, “The Man of the Crowd”, “The Cask of Amontillado”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, and any number of Poe stories. I haven’t explored this enough or read enough Poe to know just how much has been crammed in.
Structure-wise, this is a branching CYOA, and the branches can differ wildly from each other. There is not, then, a central story around which we make our choices, but each choice builds towards a discrete story. I’m not sure whether I like this or not, in this case. I remember loving this sort of thing when I was much younger, but as I grow older I find I prefer the “central cohesive story” structure. What this means, at any rate, is that we don’t have a goal to work towards (perhaps I have grown more goal-oriented with age) and therefore not much impetus to complete the story except curiosity as to how each branch will work out.
In any case, “Evermore” has no intention of taking itself very seriously. The afore-mentioned loquaciousness is part of the joke; a big part of the fun is in identifying the Poe stories being parodied; and the situations originally described by Poe are played for laughs, the drama overblown to the point of the ridiculous. Does it work? To a certain point. Maybe you don’t want too much of it all at once, or the text begins to blur.
As breakfast, I think it’s a kind of sausage hash made from ALL THE THINGS and huzzah if you can correctly identify whatever’s gone into it. Put it on bread, or fold it into an omelette, or even just eat it on its own with fork and knife; there’s rather a lot of it. The accompanying tea is hot, weak, and flavoured with lemon.
“HE IS SITTING.” Please please please cease this travesty of “he is sat.” Sitting and standing belong to the same class of verbs as walking, running, leaning, sleeping, and so on. When you look out a window and see a jogger, you never say “he is ran down the street;” and if someone “is walked” that usually implies they are on a leash and under the control of another. “He is stood” implies that the person in question is being picked up and arranged in that position by some other person. If you don’t know that this is the case, or if it doesn’t matter to the story, then “HE IS STANDING.”