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Gifts of Phallius: Final Sacrifice Reviews 

Author: GoblinBoy
Date: 2012
TADS


What does AIF stand for? Adult Interactive Fiction. If you likely to be offended by games with sexual content, you are advised not to open these files.


Reviewed by Blue Satyr

Overview:
The Valkin War has raged for many years and the demonic foe is close to a final victory over humanity. Only one last hope for humanity remains as the fate of the world rests with Princess Zoey and her faithful guardian Ivan. Together they must petition and somehow convince Phallius, the conceited god of sex, to help humanity against the demonic leader, Goraz, before all is lost.

Author:
Goblinboy is the well-known author of no fewer than 10 AIF games, many of which are considered classics. Among his works are the games Gifts of Phallius 1-3, School Dreams 1-3, and Meteor. GoblinBoy is no stranger to the mini-comp having won every time he entered, his last victory was for the 2011 mini-comp game, Last Horizons.

Protagonist:
You get two for the price of one! Zoey is the hot princess and Ivan her manly guardian. They are fairly stereotypical fantasy fare but being able to switch between the two is really nice. Getting bored of one point of view? Just switch to the other protagonist with the convenient 'pov' command. Each protagonist has their own personality including desires and motivations. Being of different sexes they also have the obvious differences in desires of the flesh.

Zoey is the blonde hottie who turns out to be a leader of the resistance against the hordes that are ravaging humanity. She is a virgin and there will be no doubt that players expect to see her deflowered before the end of the game. Zoey views Ivan with great love and admiration, much like a protective older brother but she realizes he is more than that to her later in the story. If you use the command 'skills' you can see a list of Zoey's "skills". These skills are really just for character visualization as they have no real impact on the game.

Ivan is the strong and able bodied warrior whom has been charged with Zoey's protection ever since her father was defeated some dozen years ago. It is no surprise that he has fallen in love with Zoey but he can do nothing about it because she is royalty and he is just a warrior.

Among the two protagonists I found Ivan to be the least interesting, although honestly, that could simply be because he doesn't have a pair of tits and a pussy. At first it was hard for me to care about Ivan as a character. I felt like he was just a meat shield until near the end when he confesses his true love for Zoey to Mellisandre. Through that love he happily performs the ultimate act of sacrifice so that Zoey (and humanity) will survive.

Characters:
Besides the protagonists you are introduced to the gods of sex. Phallius and Mellisandre. Phallius is just what you would expect from a hedonistic god, it's all about him and his pleasure. While Phallius is just what is advertised on the tin that doesn't make him interesting as a character at all. He's shallow and conceited, and not even in an entertaining way.

Luckily Phallius's sister, Mellisandre, has more down to earth views. It is she that finally helps the humans form a plan to defeat Goraz. Mellisandre actually cares about the protagonists and it shows through her interactions with them, especially with Ivan. It is her I most grew to care for and in the end GB closed the emotional trap by killing her off. By her final actions Mellisandre proved her humanity by sacrificing herself for the greater good, something Phallius would never dream of doing.

Sex:
Zoey is the sexual partner that you control and I personally have no qualms about playing a female getting it on. (Is that considered a kink? Hmm, maybe so.) Actually perhaps I shouldn't say Zoey is in control, really it is Phallius calling all the shots. He tells you what to do and Zoey just follow along with no chance of free interaction except typing in the commands he wants.

Oh boy, did GoblinBoy ever paint himself in a corner on this one. If you are going to have the god of sex be one of the sex partners then you best be able to describe the most awesome sex I've ever read. Was GoblinBoy up the task? Negative.

The sex was very well written but at the same time it felt like Zoey was just along for the ride. Pretty much the entire sex scene was railroaded and went like this: Phallius tells you what to do and you have sex with his horse dick in some sort of different sexual position each time. You both orgasm like crazy. He cums gallons of god goo and it just ends up getting everywhere. Wash, rinse and repeat until the entire sex sequence is completed.

The sex scene split between it and the battle raging at Mellisandre's temple. It wasn't a bad story effect and the battle was something different and exciting at times. I don't think it took away from the sex scene at all.

GoblinBoy is very good at sex descriptions but I was left with wanting more than what I got. Perhaps a more verbose description of the orgasms and penetrations would have been nice. They were happening so frequently that I imagine GB was getting tired of finding different ways to describe them.

Writing:
Wow. Just for the record I am probably the only person not to have played a GoblinBoy game until FS. Now I understand why GoblinBoy deserves all the praise he does because he can construct a story and present it in an entertaining way. His experience as a writer shines through like a beacon and makes this mini-comp game feel like a much larger game. FS's story flows with ease from beginning to end and keeps the player's attention throughout.

What FS did lack as a game was attention to the environment's details. I must sound like a broken record by now. But by adding in those extra descriptions of world objects can make all the difference for enhancing game play. I can absolutely say that the game's atmosphere sucked me into the world of Ereos but that world was featureless if you looked too closely.

One last note, I found GoblinBoy's quirky humor and his frequent breaking down of the fourth wall to be off putting. This made it harder for suspension of disbelief as I played through the story. I think GoblinBoy was just having some fun so I really can't fault him that much.

Technical:
This is an area where GoblinBoy's experience shines through the brightest. The presentation of the game looked and felt like a professionally produced game. Portraits of the characters are displayed on the right of the screen giving the player a visual to feed his imagination. As if that isn't enough, whenever a character is examined you get a full sized picture of them. These pictures are fine, they look toony to me but they help me visualize a realistic version of them in my imagination. Try not to laugh when you see the differences in size between a naked Ivan and Phallius.

I understand that GB's games normally have lots and lots of pictures of toons getting it on. I understand a lot of players really like that. I don't get it. To me it is just a picture of toons doing one another and wholly unrealistic looking. I am quite happy to see no pictures of intercourse in FS and to me the game is just fine without them.

Combat! Yes you get to hack things to pieces in FS. How hard the battles are depends on the enemy that is attempting to rip your face off. Soldiers are easy then you work your way up to multiple soldiers then officers and an assassin. Despite combat being some random numbers getting generated in the code you do have some strategy involved with what combat skills you pick and when to use your potions in battle. All in all, the combat system did an admirable job and set the tone for the desperate last stand at Mellisandre's temple. I cannot say if combat has a place in normal AIF, but for larger, fantasy settings I think it would work nicely as an augment to the story.

It is no doubt that FS is the most polished game in the competition. The presentation was just spot on target from the layout of the game to the words displayed on the screen and to the story neatly unfolding. I don't remember encountering any typos or mistakes. GoblinBoy is flawless in this category.

Bottom Line:
I have never played a single GoblinBoy game before so forgive me if I say the obvious, I am impressed. Impressed so much that I wonder why he would enter a game into the mini-comp at all? Currently no other author comes close to the package he can put together in so little time. I am beginning to wonder if he has elves chained to computers in his basement being forced to work 24/7 on creating his games?


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