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Midgar Mist
02-11-2016, 11:32 PM
By Alex Livingston. Part of the Waking Cassandra (http://wakingcassandra.weebly.com/) series.


I don’t feel like putting all the choices up. If you wanna check it out for yourselves go to:

https://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/nightmare-maze/

ATTEMPT #1

Sickly white moonlight floods the Boston night, and from your bedroom window you can see the damp rooftops shine, a static sea of silver and black. The monotonous bells of your downstairs clock inform you it is 2 AM on the morning of June 17th, 1854, and your skin starts to crawl as you realize there is little chance you will be able to stay awake much longer.

A bird flits past your window, and your heart jumps. "Someday," you tell yourself, "I will get fully over this irrational terror of birds." For now, though, the sudden appearance of a silly childhood fear has changed your perceptions. Every quiet creak becomes a murderer in the house, every shadow a dark ghost.

-- Welcome to The Nightmare Maze. Will you be able to reach 100% Insight and solve the mystery of this poor fellow's dreams? --

The purring pile of blankets next to you is your wife. Heart a-jitter, do you give it a nudge?

I choose – Let your wife sleep

Good idea. Let the poor dear got some rest for once. After all, you're the reason for the sleepless nights. The nightmares end with a scream loud enough to wake the neighborhood, let alone someone in your bed.

The purring resumes, and you are once again alone.

The nightmares have plagued you your entire life, but recently their effect on your waking days has increased several-fold. You have become ill from the lack of sleep, wan and yellowed. Your marriage manages to survive somehow, but you have started to wonder how long that will last.

A quick inhalation and a bob of your head. You almost dozed off there. Returned to the nightmare land. You try to calm yourself the way you always have, by imagining fire. The blissful memories of childhood all involve a bright, happy flame. The oven in your grandmother's kitchen. The fading hearth in your childhood home where you played by the dim light as your father smoked his nightly pipe. Campfires with friends, telling secrets and swapping knowledge in voices quieter than the sound of crackling pine. You'll just close your eyes for a brief moment. Just a long blink to ease the dryness.

End of Chapter

The air smells of old dirt. You look around and find yourself seated at a table in a small room. Aged paint flecked off the walls years ago. The window has no glass -- you remember selling the panes. A bare fireplace has been cobbled into a corner. A woman stands at a counter and stirs a squat black pot.

You realize you are dreaming.

I choose - A dream! You try to fly out the window.

Knowing that this is all in your mind, you will yourself to fly. You only manage to hover a little. Maybe with more practice.

Your lucidity increases.

The woman turns to you, wiping her filthy hands on her perfect white apron. A thin ribbon of a tongue emerges from between her lips and she hisses angrily. What do you do?

I choose - Run for your life.

It would appear there is no escape. Your body is frozen in place.

Your fear increases, and you lose lucidity and insight.

The woman walks over to you and spoons a ladleful of gray dirt onto the table in front of you. Your stomach aches with hunger.

"You'll have to go," she whispers.

Without asking, you know what the woman means. "I'll send half of the seashells," you reply. You rise and kiss the woman on the cheek. The salty taste on your lips from her tears does not fade as you walk through the door, down a gangplank, and on to a busy dock.

End of Chapter

Periodic Stat Update 1:

Lucidity -55
(I can stand to do better)
Insight -45
(But….im the most insightful person I know….WTF?)
Fear – 60
(…………Figures)

You have arrived in New York City, and within a few minutes of walking the dung-filled streets you have seen more people than lived in your old hometown. The hunger has yet to subside, and you know you must find work.

A man in a military uniform smiles at you with a mouth full of swords. "Hello, Ginger," he says.

I choose - Ask him what he wants

"I want you," the soldier growls, his sword-teeth clashing against each other with the sound of ancient battle. His mouth opens as wide as a man's can go, and then wider. He ingests you with a single gulp.

Your fear increases.

The gate of the soldier's throat opens out to a blasted field. Brown grass crinkles beneath your feet. You look down and see that your feet are webbed like a duck's.

You are one of thousands of duck-footed men in military uniforms running through the field. An overcast sky hangs low, turning the sun's light a putrid yellow. As you run along with the crowd, your goal becomes evident: the entire mass of men is headed straight for a cliff wall which rises a hundred feet above you.

At the top of the cliff rest massive iron falcons who spit bullets rapid-fire into the crowd.

I choose - Fly away.
(I have duck’s feet after all, why not duck wings?)

You gain lucidity and decrease your fear.

You manage to jump twenty feet into the air, but gravity pulls you back down into the violent crush.

As the rushing army reaches the sheer face of the cliff, they are mown down by the metal falcons like dry wheat before the scythe. Bodies pile upon each other, and wave after wave of web-footed men try to climb the corpses of their fellows to reach the top of the cliff. You are trampled beneath them, and become a part of the stinking mountain of the dead.

(oh for the love of……what kind of reward is that?)

End of Chapter

You lay in the pile for a while, glad to be out of the fray. Before long, you become liquid and seep through the cracks.

You pool, congeal, and reawaken, lying on the ground naked in a new-moon-dark forest. There are men nearby, men with evil intent. Insects crawl over you, but you dare not move.

The men get closer; it is evident they are looking for you. You stand slowly, hoping to avoid being noticed. You see a tall bonfire blazing off to your right. A group of what look like doves can be seen just downhill.

I choose - Head for the doves.
(they are meant to be symbols of peace but….this is a dream…is it gonna be an ironic dream?)

As you make your way down the hill, sticks and thorns scrape your shins. The closer you get to the "doves", the more evident it becomes that you are looking at something very different: men dressed all in white, wearing peaked hats and masks. They stop their strange discussions and face you.

"Don't!" you cry.

The men in white take flight and soar towards you with a chilling screech.

Your fear increases dramatically.

Knife-sharp talons tear your flesh, and you are on your back again. The men huddle around you, drool pouring from beneath their masks.

"You are not real," one whispers. "We will eat your mind."

At the signal of a mighty crowing, the feast begins.

(was ironic, damn well senssssed it……urrrgh…..mind…..is…..goin…..gug-gug-gug….drools)

End of Chapter

Periodic Stat Update 2

Lucidity – 60
Insight – 45
Fear – 80
(methinks I would need a better grounding in Psychology to increase my insight, if Pumpkin reads this maybe she could help me….)

You wake with a start. The moon has not moved in the sky -- you must have been asleep for only a few minutes. The soft purr of your wife's sleep continues uninterrupted; there's a blessing, at least. A feline stretch of the back is the only indication that you were heard at all.

Sleep returns in the merest moment. You are not returned to dark forest of the men in white, thankfully. Instead, you are in a forest made of glass and concrete. Buildings rise above you far higher than is possible in the real world. Dozens of stories. Something akin to a locomotive engine passes you at an unthinkable speed, chrome gleaming in what little sunlight reaches between the massive structures.

You walk around the angular city in the comforting non-consecutive manner of dreams. An old Italian man sells fish from a wooden cart, carefully eyeing the police. You pass a store selling boxes on which talking pictures are displayed. The boxes are showing a handsome man, and you know he is the President of the United States. You also know he is a Catholic, which surprises you. On the boxes, a black vulture lands on his shoulder and stabs into his head with its beak.

Something small and sharp hits the back of your head. You turn to see where it came from: two pigeons in sweaters and short pants grin cruelly at you. A flick of a wing hurls another rock at your head.

I choose - Duck.
(as in the action, not the animal)

The pebble misses.

The taller pigeon wiggles his iridescent neck in a motion you assume to be anger. "Where ya goin', jew-boy?" he sneers. His friend takes to the air, swooping towards you with talons aimed at your eyes.

Your fear increases.

You scream, and the ground gives way. As you plummet through the blackness, slabs of concrete whirl around you. The pigeons do not follow, instead shouting obscenities down into the pit.

(why does my effing fear keep increasing? Cannot win though, if I’d stood still would’ve probably suffered dream death….ergo, fear is good)

You land softly in the bottom of a very tight room with impossibly high walls. Looking up, you see there is no ceiling. A bird flies across the visible sky, giving you a shiver.

The room widens a bit as you look around, changing into a drab office in the corners of your eyes. Three men in suits sit behind a large bare desk, a cold green-shaded light being the only decoration. One is wearing a suit of blue wool, another a white tuxedo, and the third a deep red velvet robe. Monocles twinkle in the dim, undersea twilight of the lamp. The men are smiling at you.

"Please sit", the tall one says.

Without any passage of time, you find yourself sitting in a wooden chair. The men just keep smiling at you. "What is it you want?" the fat one asks.

I choose - I want to wake up.
(I think im getting wise to this game, im gonna stop indulging nonsensical dream logic right now, and choose lucidity, my insight may suck but dammit will be lucid)

All three men lick their lips, pull handkerchiefs out of their breast pockets, and wipe their noses.

The tall man bends down and pulls a large sack from under his seat and drops it on the desk in front of you. It is tied at the top with a bit of twine, and a letter "S" is painted on the side.

"Open it."

As you reach forward to pull the twine, you hear a cat meowing from the inky dark behind you. The sound is quickly drowned out by the tinkling of seashells pouring out of the sack onto to the desk, your lap, the floor.

"We will allow you this," the tall one explains, "but you must entertain us."

"Or protect us," the pale one adds.

"But never be us," whispers the fat one.

(‘kay that didn’t work)

I choose - Take a seashell.
(I take this to mean they will allow me out if this nightmare if I do their bidding)

"Alright," you say as you pick up one of the sand-dollars. "I'll do it."

"I told you," says the fat one. "I told you that is all they care about."

All three men lean forward in their seats, letting their monocles drop. From the sucking holes where their eyes should be, tiny buzzing creatures shoot out and attack you, working their ways into your hair, your clothes, your ears, your fingernails.

You lose insight and increase your fear. A scream tears your throat. You shake desperately, but cannot wake yourself.

"Wake up! Wake up, darling!"

Your spouse wakes you. Sad, red-rimmed eyes meet yours, and you are reminded that your mad dreams are destroying the person you love most. Will you ever be free of these recurring nightmares? If only you could understand your dreams -- maybe then you could defeat them.

Your fear stat reached 100%. If you can keep the terrors from overtaking you, more of the story will be revealed.

The damp night air clings to your skin, and you soon fall into sleep once again.


Periodic Stat Update 3

Lucidity -60
Insight – 40
Fear – MAX

(I have reached a game over, must control my fear better. It figures cause I am quite a fearful person. However, the object of this game is to decrease fear and increase the other 2 stats so I can progress further. Don’t be afraid Midgar Mist, don’t be afraid)




ATTEMPT #2

This time I decided to check the stats at the beginning

Stat Update 1:

Lucidity – 50
Insight – 50
Fear – 50

So it all an even 50. I think im bad at insight at this point but lets see what happens if I choose different options

The air smells of old dirt. You look around and find yourself seated at a table in a small room. Aged paint flecked off the walls years ago. The window has no glass -- you remember selling the panes. A bare fireplace has been cobbled into a corner. A woman stands at a counter and stirs a squat black pot.

You realize you are dreaming.

I choose - You decide to wait and see where this goes.

The woman walks over to you and spoons a ladleful of gray dirt onto the table in front of you. Your stomach aches with hunger.

"You'll have to go," she whispers.

Without asking, you know what the woman means. "I'll send half of the seashells," you reply. You rise and kiss the woman on the cheek. The salty taste on your lips from her tears does not fade as you walk through the door, down a gangplank, and on to a busy dock.

Seashells? That rings a bell from my first playthrough. Seashells came up at the beginning and the end. Ive got the same result in the end, but this time I didn’t try to be a control freak or give into fear, thus prolonging things unnecessarily

End of chapter

Stat update 2

Lucidity – 50
Insight – 50
Fear – 50
(no change)

You have arrived in New York City, and within a few minutes of walking the dung-filled streets you have seen more people than lived in your old hometown. The hunger has yet to subside, and you know you must find work.

A man in a military uniform smiles at you with a mouth full of swords. "Hello, Ginger," he says.

I choose - Punch him.

Your fear decreases, and you gain some lucidity.

Your knuckles are cut open, but the man is knocked back for a moment.

"I want you," the soldier growls, his sword-teeth clashing against each other with the sound of ancient battle. His mouth opens as wide as a man's can go, and then wider. He ingests you with a single gulp.

Your fear increases.

The gate of the soldier's throat opens out to a blasted field. Brown grass crinkles beneath your feet. You look down and see that your feet are webbed like a duck's.

You are one of thousands of duck-footed men in military uniforms running through the field. An overcast sky hangs low, turning the sun's light a putrid yellow. As you run along with the crowd, your goal becomes evident: the entire mass of men is headed straight for a cliff wall which rises a hundred feet above you.

At the top of the cliff rest massive iron falcons who spit bullets rapid-fire into the crowd.

(Result! I’ve been able to decrease my fear this time. Last time it just kept rising….oh wait….has gone back up again.

Stat update 3


Lucidity – 50
Insight – 50
Fear -55
(best keep a close eye on that fear stat)

I take things in long term rather than first time all at once
In terms of choice, the best way to go perhaps, given what ive learnt so far, is to face things but not be violent so …

I choose - Stop running. (I mean I seem to die anyway)

The crush of angry flesh pushes you along.

As the rushing army reaches the sheer face of the cliff, they are mown down by the metal falcons like dry wheat before the scythe. Bodies pile upon each other, and wave after wave of web-footed men try to climb the corpses of their fellows to reach the top of the cliff. You are trampled beneath them, and become a part of the stinking mountain of the dead.

End of Chapter

You lay in the pile for a while, glad to be out of the fray. Before long, you become liquid and seep through the cracks.

You pool, congeal, and reawaken, lying on the ground naked in a new-moon-dark forest. There are men nearby, men with evil intent. Insects crawl over you, but you dare not move.

The men get closer; it is evident they are looking for you. You stand slowly, hoping to avoid being noticed. You see a tall bonfire blazing off to your right. A group of what look like doves can be seen just downhill.

(Theres only two options, since doves were a bit fat failure….)

I choose - Head towards the fire.

You gain insight.

A little light is sure to help the situation. The fire's warmth eases your mind, and you prepare to face the searching men. A gaggle of them walk into the light, dressed all in white and wearing peaked hats and masks.

"Papist," they wheeze.

The men reach towards you, talons where their hands should be.
(Result! For the first time ive gained insight!)

I now get new options I haven’t seen before-

I choose- Fight them.

(theres only two options, fight or flight. To keep my fear stat low, I feel I must fight)

How bold. Your lucidity increases dramatically. Your weak punches do not stop the men. Dozens of them now pour from the trees, taking flight and soaring towards you with a chilling screech.

Knife-sharp talons tear your flesh, and you are on your back again. The men huddle around you, drool pouring from beneath their masks.

"You are not real," one whispers. "We will eat your mind."

At the signal of a mighty crowing, the feast begins.

(Im noticing same outcomes story wise but differences in terms of stats. Keep the fear as low as possible, tis the key, tis the key)

End of Chapter

Stat update 4

Lucidity – 70
Insight – 60
Fear - 55


You wake with a start. The moon has not moved in the sky -- you must have been asleep for only a few minutes. The soft purr of your wife's sleep continues uninterrupted; there's a blessing, at least. A feline stretch of the back is the only indication that you were heard at all.

End of Chapter

Sleep returns in the merest moment. You are not returned to dark forest of the men in white, thankfully. Instead, you are in a forest made of glass and concrete. Buildings rise above you far higher than is possible in the real world. Dozens of stories. Something akin to a locomotive engine passes you at an unthinkable speed, chrome gleaming in what little sunlight reaches between the massive structures.

You walk around the angular city in the comforting non-consecutive manner of dreams. An old Italian man sells fish from a wooden cart, carefully eyeing the police. You pass a store selling boxes on which talking pictures are displayed. The boxes are showing a handsome man, and you know he is the President of the United States. You also know he is a Catholic, which surprises you. On the boxes, a black vulture lands on his shoulder and stabs into his head with its beak.

Something small and sharp hits the back of your head. You turn to see where it came from: two pigeons in sweaters and short pants grin cruelly at you. A flick of a wing hurls another rock at your head.

Two choices, so opposite of last time

I choose - Stay still.

The pebble strikes your forehead, stinging like a hornet.

The taller pigeon wiggles his iridescent neck in a motion you assume to be anger. "Where ya goin', jew-boy?" he sneers. His friend takes to the air, swooping towards you with talons aimed at your eyes.

Your fear increases.

You scream, and the ground gives way. As you plummet through the blackness, slabs of concrete whirl around you. The pigeons do not follow, instead shouting obscenities down into the pit.

(so whichever I choose my effing fear increases, sigh)

Stat Update 5

Lucidity – 70
Insight – 60
Fear – 70

(that fear stat has risen too high, no fair game mechanics)

You land softly in the bottom of a very tight room with impossibly high walls. Looking up, you see there is no ceiling. A bird flies across the visible sky, giving you a shiver.

The room widens a bit as you look around, changing into a drab office in the corners of your eyes. Three men in suits sit behind a large bare desk, a cold green-shaded light being the only decoration. One is wearing a suit of blue wool, another a white tuxedo, and the third a deep red velvet robe. Monocles twinkle in the dim, undersea twilight of the lamp. The men are smiling at you.

"Please sit", the tall one says.

Without any passage of time, you find yourself sitting in a wooden chair. The men just keep smiling at you. "What is it you want?" the fat one asks.

Sigh, I give up

I choose - I don't want anything.

"Well, we do," the pale one replies.

The tall man bends down and pulls a large sack from under his seat and drops it on the desk in front of you. It is tied at the top with a bit of twine, and a letter "S" is painted on the side.

"Open it."

As you reach forward to pull the twine, you hear a cat meowing from the inky dark behind you. The sound is quickly drowned out by the tinkling of seashells pouring out of the sack onto to the desk, your lap, the floor.

"We will allow you this," the tall one explains, "but you must entertain us."

"Or protect us," the pale one adds.

"But never be us," whispers the fat one.

My fear increased when I took the seashell last time, however my previous choice is different so….head starts to implode….so eeeny meany miny….

I choose - Turn around. (….mo)

You gain insight and lucidity.

Behind you is a darkness which the putrid green light does not penetrate. A pair of small fires is all that can be seen. A cat's mew comes forth again.

You rise and walk towards the little lights, sand-dollars crunching beneath your feet. The darkness envelops you, an oddly tactile sensation.

After what feels like a few miles, the little lights stop and the rest of a cat becomes visible. "You're safe with me," she purrs. "They will never love you, matter not what you do."

"Why?" you ask. It seems like the sensible thing to do.

"They're birds," she says. "Do you know who I am?"

"No," you reply.

"Pity."

You hear a rush of wings and talons behind you and wake up abruptly.

(Yessssssssss! Result!)

You managed to wake up without disturbing your poor wife for once. The purr of her breathing sounds as restful as you have heard in months. You really must figure this out, you realize. Before you drive the poor girl to madness.

The nightmares make so much sense as they are going on. The strange creatures and places feel absolutely mundane in dreamland, but upon waking what ever logic lies behind them is lost. If only you could decode your nightmares, make the meanings clear to yourself....

Where’s Sigmund Freud when you need him?

Stat Update 6

Lucidity – 75
Insight – 65
Fear – 70

The curtains fill with the night breeze, reeking with the sticky debauchery of the city. Without a thought you drift out into the black and descend on to the street. In the place of cobblestones, your bare feet find cold white tile, and a spiritless light buzzes where the moon should be. You walk down the hall towards the nothing it leads to.

Shades and spirits wend their way past and around you, bone-thin men in long white sheets. One is limping along with the help of a staff on wheels. In the place of a shepherd's crook, a clear bag hangs, a thin tube connecting to the man somewhere under his sheet. It makes a quiet slurping sound as it pulls the soul from him.

A door pulls you in, and you see a ghost lying in a bed. Mildewed flowers clump along the walls, once bright as flame. The jauncided shade turns its empty eyes towards you.

I choose - Make the flowers grow.
(because…..flowers are pretty but……)

You gain insight.

You gain lucidity. Nothing happens.

The ghost's lips wriggle, but no sound escapes from between them. You feel a deep love for man on the bed, something more akin to a sweetheart or wife than a friend, and to see him struggle causes a dead weight behind your sternum.

A gaggle of physicians wrestles into the room, clucking and clawing in long white coats.

Considering how I feel about the NHS at the moment
I choose- Shove them away with your mind.

The doctors cock their heads. "He will die," one croaks. "He deserves it."

I choose- Argue with them.
(because I will defend the one I love over government any day)

You bristle at the statement. "How can that be?" you scream. "No one deserves to die." The doctors being in move in unison, dancing a circle around you and beating a terrifying tattoo with their arms. "He deserves to die," they chant. "You deserve to die."

You grow to an immense size, but the doctors grow fatter and taller. Their noses extend into orange beaks. Before long, their dancing changes and they are taking bites out of you on every third beat.

(the last line made me giggle)

End of Chapter

A scream tears your throat. You shake desperately, but cannot wake yourself.

"Wake up! Wake up, darling!"

Your wife wakes you. Sad, red-rimmed eyes meet yours, and you realize your mad dreams are destroying the person you love most. If only you could understand your dreams -- maybe then you could defeat them.

The dreamworld is a strange and foreign place. You did not reach 100 insight -- were you to do so, more of the story would be revealed.

The damp night air clings to your skin, and you soon fall into sleep once again.

(?, so you are having a go at me for NOT doing something? Not getting fearful wasn’t enough for you? Tut tut picky game)

Oh well…..

Final Stats

Lucidity – 80
Insight – 70
Fear -70

My Conclusion: Ths game requires further study, after ive had a break from it. Plus, it pissed me off less than Alter Ego did so…

Watch this space for further gaming threads

Midgar Mist will try others on https://www.choiceofgames.com (https://www.choiceofgames.com/)

Toodles for now….