A Story About Love, in Its Many Mind-Flaying Forms
Fallen London is a veritable juggernaut of a browser game. It contains 2.5 million words, all of which will make you laugh, make you cry, or make your skin crawl with dread. Yes, Fallen London–the source material from which Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies were spun off of–is a horror game, containing countless sprawling narratives that all emerge from one uncanny place of origin: Victorian London has been dragged into The Neath, an underground space where the sun’s light cannot touch, and where the laws of our world have begun to fray. Mask of the Rose, now live on Kickstarter, is a brand new installment in this chilling setting, and the first to really focus on romance. After all, what’s more romantic than adjusting to a new home full of betentacled rubbery men, the enigmatic Masters of the Bazaar, and a beautiful view of the train line leading to Hell?
In this visual novel, players will take on the role of a lodger in a boarding house just a few short months after Fallen London became, well, fallen. You’ll create a character, choose your background, and determine how you speak and what you know. But regardless of who you used to be, you must now start over, cut off from your former life by the city’s fall. “There’s no sunlight. Not all of your new neighbours are human. Parliament is underwater, and the mysterious Masters of the Bazaar are now in charge,” said Creative Director Emily Short. “The story is about how you all adjust to a world that works differently from everything you’re used to – and the friendships and romances you form while there.”
Like most Fallen London games, Mask of the Rose is a branching narrative with multiple outcomes. “In one playthrough of Mask of the Rose you might romance a partner, or help your friends find love; untangle a poisoner’s motives, or uncover the fate of poor, drowned Parliament; house some of London’s new, not-so-human inhabitants, or help establish the new Feast of the Rose, a festival that will be celebrated in London for decades to come!” declares the Kickstarter. “The choice is yours: will you be a brilliant matchmaker, connecting friends and rivals while remaining unattached yourself? Or are you looking for lasting love? Or shorter assignations? Or perhaps you’re open to whatever comes your way? Every major storyline will be accessible regardless of whether your approach is romantic or platonic – even if the final endings may vary.”
Personally, we’re looking forward to the opportunity to date a giant bat. Why yes, Mr. Pages, we would love to smooch a very tall, broad-shouldered, cloaked personage that leans towards the chiropterous, why do you ask?
As of writing, Mask of the Rose has reached just over a third of its £90,000 goal (that’s $157,701 CDN), which is frankly amazing. We can’t wait to see where this project goes.