Alabaster — 70 of 123

John Cater, Rob Dubbin, Eric Eve, Elizabeth Heller, Jayzee, Kazuki Mishima, Sarah Morayati, Mark Musante, Emily Short, Adam Thornton, and Ziv Wities

Release 1

Part 10 - Conversation

Chapter 1 - Emily Short

When play begins:

now the quip-suggestion-phrase is "You [one of]could[or]might[or]can[or]could now[or]could always[or]consider whether to[as decreasingly likely outcomes] "; [1]

start talking to Snow White;

queue you-promised-me as postponed obligatory.

[An availability rule for what she seems:

if the player knows magic-revealed:

it is off-limits; [2]

if the player knows vampirism-revealed or the player knows snow-white-possessed:

it is off-limits.]

Does the player mean discussing what she seems: it is very likely.

what she seems is a questioning quip.

The printed name is "what she is". The true-name is "what she seems".

Understand "is" as what she seems.

It mentions Snow White.

The comment is "'What are you?' you demand. '[if scariness is greater than 0]No ordinary girl[otherwise]No other girl your age[end if] would have lasted a night march into the dark woods.'".

The response is "'Oh, I dare say she would, if she were tied up and taken along by force! It is not as though you stopped to ask how I was feeling[pathetic].' ".

It quip-supplies Snow White.

It is negated by magic-revealed, vampirism-revealed, snow-white-possessed.

you-promised-me is a q-transitional NPC-directed quip.

The response is "[for eye-gest]She's looking at you with an expression very reminiscent of her stepmother's[or walk-gest]She paces around to where she has the upper ground and can face you eye-to-eye — very much like her stepmother[or breath-gest]She takes a deep breath, just as her stepmother does when about to give a command[end for]. '[if the previous quip does not mention safe haven]We had a deal,[pact-exists]' she says. 'I have made a safe resting place. [otherwise]Concerning my haven, I mean to hold you to our deal[pact-exists]. [end if]You promised to take me there if the Queen turned against me.'"

[ The following rule gets a little dense, but what we're about to do is allow Snow White to interrupt anything you say to her (assuming it's more than three words of continuous quoted dialogue) if you change the subject when she first challenges you about your deal.

This is frankly gratuitous, but I had the idea and it seemed to fit the mood and feel of the exchange better than having her grumble at the subject-changing entry-point, after the player has finished his comment.

In my defense (1) this is a prominent quip near the beginning of the game, so lavishing a little extra care on the transitions here is worthwhile; (2) this is another feature that breaks the standard conversation flow pattern, and anything that does that reduces the apparent monotony and automation of the prose.

Aperture science: we do what we must because we can.]

After discussing something when the previous quip is you-promised-me:

if the noun indirectly-follows you-promised-me:

continue the action;

let N be indexed text;

let N be "[comment of the current quip]";

if N matches the regular expression "(.?\'\w*\s\w*\s\w*\s)(.*)": [splits the comment field after the first three words of the player's direct speech]

replace the regular expression "(.?\'\w*\s\w*\s\w*\s)(.*)" in N with "\1--'[paragraph break]She sets her jaw as she realizes you are changing the subject.[paragraph break]'--\2";

queue irritated-promise as postponed obligatory;

say "[angry][angry][angry][N][line break]".

Rule for listing plausible quips when the current quip is you-promised-me: [3]

prepare a list of plausible quips;

if the number of filled rows in the Table of Scored Listing is 0:

rule succeeds;

otherwise:

repeat through the Table of Scored Listing:

carry out the quip-introducing activity with the output entry;

[This could have blanked some rows out, so we want to check again:]

if the number of filled rows in the Table of Scored Listing is greater than 0:

if the number of filled rows in the Table of Scored Listing is 1:

say "[roman type]Only one explanation comes to mind: you could [the prepared list delimited in sequential style].";

otherwise:

say "[roman type][one of]Your instinct is to put her off. [or][stopping]You consider explanations for your stop: [the prepared list delimited in questioning style]?";

Table of List Style Assignments (continued)

list stylefirst delimitersecond delimiteralternate second delimiterindefinite name phrasedefinite name phrase
questioning"? ""? ""? ""[a current listed object]""[the current listed object]"

Understand "put her/snow/white/princess off" or "put snow white off" as a mistake ("Yes, but how?") when the current quip is you-promised-me.

[Availability rule for that the safe haven seems too far away to reach tonight:

if the player recollects explain that you must stop here to collect the heart:

it is off-limits.]

Understand "excuse" or "excuses" or "an excuse" or "some excuse" as "[excuses]".

irritated-promise is an NPC-directed quip.

It mentions deal.

The response is "'Talk and meander all you like, but sooner or later I expect you to honor our deal[if the previous quip is weak]. [angry][otherwise],' she reminds you[angry]. '[end if]Or if you aren't brave enough for that, then to set me free and let me go on alone.'".

It quip-supplies Snow White.

Instead of saying yes or saying no when the current quip is irritated-promise:

say "She's obviously annoyed; better just to do what you have to do, and let her discern your intentions from your actions."

that the safe haven seems too far away to reach tonight is an informative quip.

The printed name is "that the safe haven is too far away to reach tonight". The true-name is "that the safe haven seems too far away to reach tonight".

Understand "is" or "put her off" or "make [excuses]" or "put Snow White off" as that the safe haven seems too far away to reach tonight.

It mentions safe haven.

The comment is "'[if immediately]It[otherwise]The haven[end if] is too far away to reach tonight.' The Queen sent you out long after midnight. There are probably only a few hours remaining before dawn.".

The response is "She shivers. [if the player does not recollect pleading-to-be-untied]'I suppose the Queen will expect you to return quickly.' You do not say anything, which is a kind of answer. [queue pleading-to-be-untied as immediate obligatory][otherwise]'If you had more wit, you'd let me go to find my own way,' she comments, though her tone suggests that she doesn't expect to convince you this time.[end if]".

It quip-supplies Snow White.

It is listed.

It indirectly-follows you-promised-me.

Availability rule for explain that you must stop here to collect the heart:

if the hart's heart is not part of the corpse:

it is off-limits;

[if the player recollects that the safe haven seems too far away to reach tonight:

it is off-limits.]

Rule for listing plausible quips when the current quip is explain that you must stop here:

do nothing instead.

explain that you must stop here to collect the heart is a performative quip.

Understand "I" or "we" or "put her off" or "put Snow White off" or "make [excuses]" as explain that you must stop here to collect the heart.

The printed name is "explain that you must stop here to collect the[if we have not examined the corpse] hart's[end if] heart".

It mentions hart's heart, corpse.

The comment is "'We are stopping to collect the hart's heart[queue go-ahead-and-cut as postponed optional]. I cannot return to the Queen empty-handed.' In fact you have some doubts as to whether this scheme will work. Surely the magic mirror will know that the heart is a fraud? But you could think of no better way. You will just have to take comfort in the fact that the mirror doesn't seem to know about anything that hasn't been reflected in its surface.".

The response is "She nods curtly.".

It quip-supplies Snow White.

It indirectly-follows you-promised-me.

It is listed.

what seems at the safe haven is a questioning quip.

The printed name is "what is at the safe haven". The true-name is "what seems at the safe haven".

Understand "is" as what seems at the safe haven.

It mentions safe haven.

The comment is "'What sort of haven is this?' [if anger is greater than 1]Perhaps it is futile to hope for an answer[otherwise]It is astonishing that she has managed to provide herself with even that much protection[end if].".

The response is "'It has the necessities of life only,' she says. 'A very modest house. A small number of servants — or perhaps I should say a number of small servants.'".

It quip-supplies Snow White.

It indirectly-follows you-promised-me.

[Availability rule for what she means about the servants being small:

if the player knows servant-dwarrows:

it is off-limits.]

what she means about the servants being small is a questioning quip. The comment is "'[if immediately]Small[otherwise]What did you mean about your servants being small[end if]?'".

Understand "little" or "short" or "tiny" or "number of small servants" as what she means about the servants being small.

It mentions dwarrows, servants.

The response is "'I went to the dwarrows[servant-dwarrows],' she replies. 'None of the human subjects of the Queen could be trusted to protect me for long. The danger would be too great.'".

It indirectly-follows what seems at the safe haven.

It quip-supplies Snow White.

It is negated by servant-dwarrows.

why she avoids the magic mirror is a questioning quip.

It mentions magic mirror.

The comment is "'[if scariness is greater than 1]Tell me, why exactly[otherwise if anger is less than 0]I am curious: why[otherwise]Why[end if] do you avoid the Queen's mirror? Many of us have stood before it, and taken no harm.'".

The response is "It is hard to tell expressions by the lantern light, but hers seems full of [if anger is greater than 1]pity and scorn[angry][otherwise]pity[end if]. 'You see only an ordinary reflection in it, do you not? You do not see how the mirror reflects you to the Queen. If you did, you would not expose yourself.'"

It quip-supplies Snow White.

what she sees in the mirror is a questioning quip.

It mentions snow white, magic mirror.

The comment is "'[if the previous quip is why she avoids the magic mirror]And you? [end if]What do you see when you stand before the mirror?'".

The response is "'I do not stand there. I know better.' [if the player does not know rock-at-mirror]Certainly the last time someone tried to bring her before it, she kicked and scratched and threw a rock at it[rock-at-mirror], and could not be controlled[otherwise]It was not a happy time[end if].".

It quip-supplies Snow White.

It is negated by snow-white-possessed.

It indirectly-follows why she avoids the magic mirror.

It is listed.

what you look like in the mirror is a questioning quip.

The printed name is "what you look like in the mirror". The true-name is "what you look like in the mirror".

Understand "I" as what you look like in the mirror.

It mentions magic mirror, yourself.

The comment is "'What do I look like[if the previous quip mentions the magic mirror], then[otherwise] in the magic mirror[end if]?' you ask. You had always assumed that the mirror showed the Queen what it showed you; that if you stood before the mirror with no bad intentions in your heart, without treason, then your innocent reflection would look back. [paragraph break]True enough, you've avoided passing in front of it for the last day or two, since you and Snow White made your pact.".

The response is "'You stoop. You have a hunchback. [scary][angry]Your reflection leers at the Queen. Once, it made an obscene suggestion.' [if the player knows snow-white-possessed][queue how the mirror reflects you to the queen][end if]She licks the tips of her teeth daintily, the way she does when she's thinking. 'I think she was pleased[snowWhite-sees-reflections].'".

It quip-supplies Snow White.

It indirectly-follows why she avoids the magic mirror.

It is listed.

no-3 is a negative quip. The printed name is "say no". The true-name is "no-3".

It mentions yourself.

The comment is "'I do not lust after the Queen.'".

The response is "'Not much, anyway; no more than a man can help.' It is as though she can read your thoughts[scary]. 'The mirror is enchanted. That doesn't make it honest.'".

It quip-supplies Snow White.

It directly-follows what you look like in the mirror

thank-the-hart is a q-transitional NPC-directed quip.

The response is "She goes awkwardly over to the corpse and goes to one knee beside it. 'Thank you,' she whispers — to it, not to you. Then she leans down and— what, exactly? You can't see. Maybe she kisses it. Maybe she licks its blood[scary][possible-blood-drinking][hart-thanked]. Maybe neither.

When she's done she struggles back to her feet and looks at you defiantly[queue hart-stirs as postponed obligatory]."

It quip-supplies Snow White.

[Just a possibly-needless refinement:]

Instead of waiting when the current quip is thank-the-hart and Snow White is likely to continue:

if Snow White is ready for transition:

say "There's an awkward mutual silence. [run paragraph on]";

otherwise:

say "You keep silent about this weird behavior and wait for her to change the subject. [run paragraph on]"

hart-stirs is an NPC-directed quip.

The response is "It might be just a trick of the light, but it almost looks as though the hart [notice corpse]moved."

whether the hart moved is a weak questioning quip. The comment is "'Did you see the hart move[if immediately] just now[otherwise] a little while ago[end if]?'".

It mentions corpse.

The response is "'No[scary]. It is dead.'".

It indirectly-follows hart-stirs.

It quip-supplies Snow White.

Rule for quip-introducing what she was doing alongside the hart:

say "[roman type]Of course you could ask what [if the current quip is hart-stirs]she did to the hart[otherwise]she was doing[end if], but who is to say that she would answer?"; [4]

list no other quips.

what she was doing alongside the hart is a questioning quip.

The printed name is "what she was doing with the hart". The true-name is "what she was doing alongside the hart".

Understand "with" or "did" or "doing/did to" or "snow white" or "snow" or "white" or "princess" or "girl" as what she was doing alongside the hart.

It mentions corpse.

The comment is "'What was that?' you ask. 'What did you [if the previous quip is hart-stirs]just do[otherwise]do to the hart[end if]?'".

The response is "'It died for my sake; I repaid a little of the debt.' Her lips look dark, almost black[set body-context to Snow White][scary].".

It quip-supplies Snow White.

It directly-follows thank-the-hart, hart-stirs.

It is listed.

how such a debt could be repaid is a weak questioning quip. The comment is "'Such a debt is beyond repayment.'".

Understand "can" as how such a debt could be repaid.

It mentions corpse.

The response is "[unless Snow White is likely to continue]Her expression is mysterious. [end unless]'[if the player knows snow-white-possessed]A little manipulation of the souls involved. Nothing He would approve of. But a favor to the hart, and -- well, never mind[otherwise]I do not expect you to understand[end if].'".

It directly-follows what she was doing alongside the hart.

It quip-supplies Snow White.

demo-dagger-1 is a demonstrative quip. It mentions the dagger. The true-name is "demo-dagger-1". The comment is "You hold out the dagger for her to look at. 'Bear this in mind,' you tell her. 'I'm the one who is armed[angry].'".

It quip-supplies Snow White.

The response is "If she is frightened, she doesn't show it."

whether she kens who killed your dogs is a weak questioning quip.

Understand "if" or "my" or "snow white knows/kens" or "knows" or "kens" or "know" or "ken" as whether she kens who killed your dogs.

The true-name is "whether she kens who killed your dogs".

The printed name is "whether she knows who killed your dogs".

It mentions blood, hounds.

The comment is "'Someone killed my dogs,' you say. 'I found them in a pile outside my door. They had no blood left in them[possible-blood-drinking]. Do you know anything about that?'".

The response is "'No. But my condolences. I know you are close to your animals[pathetic].'"

It quip-supplies Snow White.

Notes

[1]. By default this is just "You could "; here we change it up a little just for variety's sake, because this is a game where it is destined to appear a great deal.

[2]. The question at that point becomes a bit mundane.

[3]. The standard "You could..." line gets thuddingly dull after a short time.

[4]. This replaces the usual 'You could...' prompt with custom text.