Video Game / Jigsaw

It's a quarter to midnight on New Year's Eve, 1999, and you're at Century Park, avoiding the crowds that have gathered there to celebrate the incoming millennium. On a whim, you decide to follow a mysterious and attractive stranger... and wind up on a journey through time, collecting puzzle pieces and foiling the plans of an adversary who is trying to change the outcome of some of the most important events of the 20th century. Complicating matters further is the fact that this adversary is the very attractive stranger you encountered earlier...

Jigsaw is a work of Interactive Fiction by Graham Nelson and can be found here.

This work provides examples of:

  • Alternate History: Black is implied to come from an alternate timeline where a number of things went worse than they did for us.
  • Author Appeal: The level of actual historical significance of certain cultural events, as opposed to scientific and military ones, is highly debatable and we'll leave it at that.
  • Featureless Protagonist: The player character.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: In regards to both Black and the player, for the explicit purpose of hooking them up without implying anything about their respective genders and/or orientations. It's almost flawless.
  • Golden Ending: It's not enough just to save the universe; you also have to complete a second extremely difficult collection quest perfectly to get a remotely happy ending.
  • Guide Dang It: Enigma. In Real Life, that took not one, but two bunches of very good mathematicians. Almost as difficult here.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Some of the puzzles may force the player to do research in order to solve them — one, for example, requires at least a basic knowledge of Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, and the episode with the Enigma machine doesn't explain quite as much as one might hope about how said machine works.
  • White and Grey Morality: Black (and Black's late mentor) is less a villain than a misguided idealist who is willing to use questionable means to achieve the desired ends.