When in Rome 2: Far from Home — 20 of 22

Emily Short

Release 1

Part 1 - Easter Egg Events

[Basically an opportunity for the game to comment on particularly amusing or awkward situations that the player gets into. A variety are provided, but we want to make sure that only a few occur per game -- otherwise they might get distracting, and besides we want to keep this stuff relatively fresh. Therefore a maximum of two encounters are allowed per playthrough, with the exception that Glue Return can happen as often as necessary. (This is because the Glue Return scene is the only way the player can get back the glue when the critter has thrown it away; all other scenes are purely ornamental.)]

Plot depth is a number that varies. Plot depth is 0.

Disguise is a scene. Disguise ends when the time since Disguise began is 1 minute. Disguise begins when creature is well-dressed.

To decide whether creature is well-dressed:

if plot depth is greater than 1, no;

if Disguise has happened, no;

if Glue Return is happening, no;

if the player is not wearing the undershorts and the player is not wearing the slacks, no;

if the creature is wearing the fedora and the creature is wearing the jacket, yes;

if the number of things worn by the creature is greater than the number of things worn by the player, yes;

no.

When disguise begins:

increase plot depth by 1;

change Esther's utterance to "'Hey,' says Esther, just outside the door. 'The chief called down and--'

At this moment her head pokes through and she gets a good look at the creature in [a list of things worn by the creature]. She leans against the doorframe, grinning. 'If you think you can disguise the creature as you, you've got another think coming.'

'Do you mind? I'm trying to work here,' you reply, with all the dignity you can muster while reduced to [a list of uppermost things worn by the player].

She raises her eyebrows, but goes out again. 'Don't spend all day playing with your little friend,' she says over her shoulder. 'We've got work to do in this office, you know.' ".

Communism is a scene. Communism ends when the time since Communism began is 3 minutes. Communism begins when creature gets interrogated and Glue Return is not happening and plot depth is less than 2.

To decide whether creature gets interrogated:

if Communism has happened, no;

if the creature is blinded, yes;

no.

When Communism ends:

increase plot depth by 1;

if the creature is blinded, change Esther's utterance to "Esther pokes her head in on the way past your office. 'Well, for gosh sakes!' she exclaims, looking at the creature huddled out of the glare of the lights. 'What's the matter, you suspect it of being a member of the Communist party?'

You give a little jerk of the head to tell Esther to scram. She shrugs and goes out."

Nudism is a scene. Nudism ends when the time since Nudism began is 2 minutes. Nudism begins when Nudism has not happened and the player is nude and Glue Return is not happening and plot depth is less than 2.

When Nudism ends:

increase plot depth by 1;

if the player is nude,

change Esther's utterance to "Esther's voice suddenly becomes audible in the hall. 'Yes, no trouble, he's right through here--'

She becomes visible in the doorway[if the player is carrying something]. You move to cover yourself with [the random thing carried by the player][end if]. Her eyes go very wide, and she backs up.

'No, no, I'm so sorry,' she says, heading off whoever-it-is. 'You can't see him right now after all -- classified project -- if you even see what's going on in that room there could be repercussions...'

You make a note to buy Esther a box of chocolates."

Nutty is a scene. Nutty ends when the time since Nutty began is 3 minutes. Nutty begins when the player is in the egg and Nutty has not happened and Glue Return is not happening and plot depth is less than 2.

When Nutty ends:

increase plot depth by 1;

if the player is in the egg:

if the egg is openable:

if the egg is open:

change Esther's utterance to "'I tell you what,' says Esther from the doorway, catching your attention. 'I've soured on this job. It's made you barmy and it's going to do the same to me if I don't take immediate action. I need a vacation. Rest and relaxation.'";

otherwise:

change Esther's utterance to "Esther stands in the doorway reading a short speech which, mercifully, the egg prevents you from hearing. The gist of it from the circling motion she makes at her head would seem to be that she thinks you've gone crazy.";

otherwise:

change Esther's utterance to "Esther stands in the doorway looking over you and the alien, and the pod you're in. Then a very very strange expression crosses her face, and she goes out."

Housekeeping is a scene. Housekeeping begins when the number of grabbable things in the location is greater than 6 and Housekeeping has not happened and Glue Return is not happening and plot depth is less than 2. Housekeeping ends when the time since Housekeeping began is 1 minute.

When Housekeeping begins:

if the player is nude, make no decision;

increase plot depth by 1;

change Esther's utterance to "Esther passes the door at this inopportune moment and makes one or two tart comments on the state of your house-keeping.

'And don't think I'm staying late to tidy it up, either,' she says, on her way back to the typewriter. 'I'm meeting a couple of the girls tonight.'

As though it's ever your fault when she -- well, there was last Thursday --

No point arguing anyway."

Glue Return is a recurring scene. Glue Return begins when the player is in the Office and Esther has the glue. Glue Return ends when the time since Glue Return began is greater than the patience of Esther.

Esther has a time called patience. The patience of Esther is 1 minute.

When Glue Return begins:

increase plot depth by 1;

say "'Esther--' you shout[if the patience of Esther is greater than 2 minutes]. There is a much longer pause than earlier[end if].

'[if the patience of Esther is 1 minute]Bring it back in just a minute[otherwise]Hang in there[end if],' she replies. The typewriter continues clacking. Right."

Every turn during Glue Return:

if the time since Glue Return began is the patience of Esther, make no decision;

repeat through Table of Esther Business:

change Esther's utterance to reaction entry;

blank out the whole row;

make no decision;

change Esther's utterance to "Esther's typing goes on."

Table of Esther Business

reaction
"Esther continues to type away without a care, apparently."
"Esther's typewriter continues with cheerful speed."
"Thank goodness, the typing seems to be coming to an end."
"A man's voice is audible in the outer office."
"Esther and the man hold a conversation of apparently compelling interest."
"Chuckling is audible from Esther's office. She can be charming enough when she wants to, which is never when you're around. But the door out there finally closes."
"Esther's typing does wind down. You hear a page being pulled out of the typewriter."
"There is a characteristic cranking noise from the outer office: a new page being inserted into the typewriter."
"Esther's typing begins again."
"The clacking from the outer office continues."
"Esther's footsteps are audible in the hall. Maybe this time she'll bring the glue back quickly!"
"The feet pass your door and continue down towards the restroom."
"There is a long and ominous silence from Esther."
"Distantly you hear the office plumbing come to life."
"Esther's footsteps are audible in the hall again..."
"Esther's telephone rings; you hear her answering."
"Esther sounds really delighted to hear from whoever-it-is on the phone."
"From the outer office, you overhear carefree laughter. Your soul turns blacker and blacker within you."
"The laughter breaks off to be replaced with hushed, urgent conversation."
"At this rate, you'll get the glue back sometime in 1990."
"'Esther!' you holler. [paragraph break]'Just a moment!' she shouts back. Then you hear her entering into an apologetic explanation over the phone about how cranky her boss is."

When Glue Return ends:

now the player has the glue;

increase plot depth by 1;

increase the patience of Esther by 1 minute;

if the player is nude, say "Esther pokes her head in -- eyes kept firmly shut -- and allows you to take the glue from her. 'Try gluing some clothes on, while you're at it,' she says, withdrawing. 'There are some things a girl shouldn't have to see. Ever.'";

otherwise say "Esther comes by just long enough to toss the glue back to you[if Esther carries the meatball]. There is a greasy -- well, what you could only describe as a meatball-print on her skirt[end if][if the patience of Esther is 3 minutes]. 'Have you thought about hiring one of those ball-boys from the Yankees?' she asks tartly[end if]."

Disaster Zone is a scene. Disaster Zone begins when the player can see at least 3 damaged things and plot depth is less than 2 and Glue Return is not happening and Disaster Zone has not happened. Disaster Zone ends when the time since Disaster Zone began is 3 minutes.

When Disaster Zone ends:

increase plot depth by 1;

if the number of visible damaged things is less than 3, do nothing;

otherwise change Esther's utterance to "Esther pokes her head in. 'Whee-oo,' she says, crossing her arms and staring hard at [the list of damaged things in the location]. 'I see I'm going to enjoy filling out the expense report this week.'

'Do you mind? I'm trying to work here,' you say, a little stiffly.

She puts up her hands and goes out again."

Imprisonment is a scene. Imprisonment begins when the creature is in an unopenable container and plot depth is less than 2 and Imprisonment has not happened and Glue Return is not happening. Imprisonment ends when the time since Imprisonment began is 2 minutes.

When imprisonment ends:

increase plot depth by 1;

change Esther's utterance to "'I'm not sure that's legit,' Esther says, stopping in long enough to eye the situation. 'I thought you weren't supposed to coerce any of them.'

'That's a wonderful idea,' you reply, wiping your forehead. 'Care to demonstrate your methods?'

She throws up her hands and goes back out. 'I'm just citing the regs -- I didn't write em myself.'"

Ark is a scene. Ark begins when Glue Return is not happening and plot depth is less than 2 and the pod is visible and the number of things in the pod is greater than 3 and Ark has not happened. Ark ends when the time since Ark began is 2 minutes.

When Ark ends:

if the pod is visible and the number of things in the pod is greater than 3:

increase plot depth by 1;

change Esther's utterance to "'I thought those were supposed to be escape pods, not Noah's ark,' remarks Esther from the door. 'Look at all that stuff you got in there.' She casts a fascinated glance over [the list of things in the pod], all stuffed into the pod.

'You want to get in too?' you offer. 'We're supposed to have a male and female of each kind.'

'All that rain would spoil the baseball anyway,' she says, going. "