Ultimate Quest


You’ve been kidnapped, confused, and trapped in a factory to do labor far beneath your true level. The friends you once knew think you’re dead, if they think about you at all. But you’re equipped with NV-level nanomite implants, meaning that you can disassemble and reassemble the world around you in surprising ways. It’s up to you to escape, confront the people who put you away, and complete the world-changing project you had begun.

Ultimate Quest is a new IF game — written by me, gorgeously illustrated by Silvio Aebischer — that opens today and runs in five episodes through the 22nd, as part of a new product launch by NVIDIA. The first players to complete the game will win actual prizes. If you’re reading this blog, you probably have a head start on the competition: this is classic parser IF with plenty of puzzles and exploration.

Note that this is a game with Twitter connections: you will need an account to sign in, and to tweet during play.

26 thoughts on “Ultimate Quest”

  1. If you have both curry spice and curry, I’m not sure how to then use the curry. Trying anything involving the curry just gives “Which do you mean, curry or curry flavoring?”

  2. Maybe the “restart” message should say that it takes you back to the beginning of the episode instead of the beginning of the level? “Level” isn’t a term that’s used anywhere else in the game.

  3. It’s too bad that it requires a Twitter account and tweets during play. I’d be very interested in playing if it weren’t for that. :(

  4. I seem to have broken something. Used ELASTICITY with PARABOLIC SURFACE and now I can’t recycle it: “BOUNCY PARABOLIC SURFACE does not break down further in any useful way.”

  5. Good fun but a shame that the last episode will unlock at 2pm BST on Tuesday, so employed people in the UK are unlikely to have much chance of winning :)

  6. Hello!

    Found your blog via Google searching about the Ultimate Quest. Just wanted to say that you did fantastic!

  7. Time to give up, I suppose: nsgre qrsrngvat Ohssenz naq serrvat gur cevfbaref, jung qb V qb? Jura V gel gb znxr gur hygvzngr qrivpr, vg gryyf zr V’z fgvyy zvffvat pevgvpny pbzcbaragf.

    1. I’m not able to give hints here. Checking out the twitter traffic involving @ultimate_qs will show you official hints and some of the hints players have offered one another, however.

  8. :/ I was playing a few hours ago and suddenly the game simply stopped working. I hope it wasn’t because all the winners were found (though it seems from the hashtag other people are still playing without problems). Anyway, my question is, any chance this will get distributed for offline play?

    1. It’s still loading for me, so I don’t know what to tell you there.

      As to future versions, etc. — this was always a commissioned work, and I can’t promise that the rights holders will choose to let it be recirculated. We’ll see.

      1. A little late assuming the game will be taken down tomorrow, but a few bug reports-

        1. If you have an item that contains the name of another item, the game is unable to distinguish between the two, and you become unable to use the shorter-named item. Multiple “undo”s will never be able to rewind you to before you created the longer-named item.
        Examples- Curry Flavoring & Curry, Loud Flattery & Flattery, Oily Application & Application

        2. In episode 4, the items Application, Oily Application, Flattery, Glancing Flatter, and Joke will disappear from the inventory when used, forcing the player to retrigger their discovery.

  9. Played a bit. Fun idea, but the lack of a command like “walk” in the absence of direction usage seems like a glaring oversight. Here I am, in the midst of a passage and this close to freedom, and I can’t seem to move my legs . . .

    1. Not an oversight, a choice. Maybe the wrong choice, but here’s the reason: this is a game that rips out almost all the standard verbs in favor of USE. In doing so, it’s making something approaching a promise to the non-IF-adept player that there will not be any secret words that you’re not taught.

      Now, if that were all that was going on, the obvious solution would have been also to provide the relevant alternate verbs for experienced players, but not to advertise them in the tutorial. However, it’s *also* a game meant to be played via Twitter with the possibility of people giving each other hints. And I really didn’t want IF Novice Alice to get stuck on a puzzle and IF Expert Bob to say “oh, the solution to that is FANCY VERB”, and Alice to think, “huh, looks like this game isn’t playing fair enough to teach me all the words I need,” and quit.

      So. You can get anywhere you need to go with USE. USE doors, USE passageways; and USE FEET should usually work if there’s only one possible exit. This seems to have had the effect of making the game easier for non-IF experts and slightly harder for experienced IF players, because it wasn’t working the way they expected. But that’s an exchange that was reasonable to make in the circumstances.

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