Video Game / Trail Of Anguish
aka: The Trail Of Anguish
Trail of Anguish
is an Adventure Game
by Andrew Walters, a prequel to The Perils of Akumos
. It's a loose prequel in that although the games share a universe, this one has a totally different setting and tone. You are Kendra Connell, the younger sister of Perils
’ protagonist, and you're hunting down a crazed killer on your college campus. While you're not
dealing with this allegedly deadly threat, you're just doing a series of college activities, varying from bizarre tasks for professors to just eating and sleeping.
The game's available online through Adventure Games Live
This game provides examples of:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Not just big enough to walk through but big enough to build and fly a hovercraft through.
- Alliterative Family: Kendra and her brother Kenneth.
- Arc Symbol: Walters appears to be a fan of the quincunx (and of the word "quincunx"), as seen in the museum and the puzzle box, for example.
- Bond One-Liner: Kendra's quip of "Goo day", after turning Hennus into goo with the futuristic gun, at the end of the game.
- But Thou Must!: You can pick up your purse while sitting in your car at the beginning of the game. You still manage to lock it inside when you get out, though.
- Difficulty Spike: The seven different missions for your class professors (two are mandatory and will always be the same on each playthrough, and you can choose two of the other five); some are significantly more difficult than others.
- Eating Lunch Alone: You have to do this. Eating the food turns out to be its own challenge.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: If you believe the dinner presentation, this explains Silas and Verna's confusion.
- Fission Mailed: Combined with a little Leaning on the Fourth Wall. If you show up to the final area of the game without the right item, or without doing a particular thing, a director will shout "Cut!" and scold Kendra for messing up, after which time rewinds several moves. You're deposited in the previous area and you get back the items you used. This is done to avoid making the game Unwinnable: in the Adventure Games Live engine, trying again after an actual character death only rewinds the game by one move, so they had to do something different here. Also, the director yelling at you is how you learn you need a gun in the first place.
- Hero of Another Story: Chris is on an adventure of his own, complete with a ridiculous inventory. He claims that everyone is on some sort of adventure.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Spoofed with Chris - you question the ability to bring your large inventory on your date; he reveals a bicycle he's been carrying without your noticing.
- Jerk Jock: The entire population of the Thorius dorm, apparently, including the aggressive and violent soccer player Pugilo and a gang of jocks who hang out in the courtyard and chase nerds.
- Mad Mathematician: Professor Stefansen seems to have some problems.
- The Many Deaths of You: Averted. Unlike most of Adventure Games Live’s offerings, there is only one way to die in this game. The game even congratulates you if you manage to find it.
- Medium Awareness: Kendra and Chris discuss their Player Inventory, as described above. Later, Kendra seems to think she's in the wrong medium at one point when the game's narration describes a film director and crew.
- Several characters are aware that they are in an adventure game, and use this to mock some of tropes; one of the professors acknowledges how random their reward item is, and they must be the "left over item person".
- New Transfer Student: Kendra has just transferred to Elkland College for the second semester of her freshman year. With no orientation events and nobody checking up on her, this leaves her free to be an adventure game protagonist.
- Nobody Poops: If you try, the game informs you that you don't need to because "this is an adventure game after all."
- Previous Player-Character Cameo: Kenneth works about an hour away from Elkland, and Kendra drives briefly off campus to visit him.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: Trail of Anguish is a significantly smaller and easier game than The Perils of Akumos, and from what we've seen of it the concluding part of the trilogy, Starlight Sacrifice, is on a par with Akumos.
- Sequel Hook: There's a rather sudden one, leaving your character's fate unknown. The sequel is still promised, but it's been more than a decade and is currently only available as a demo.
- Story Branching: Of a mild variety. You have to pick two elective classes out of a possible five. The professors for the classes you pick will each give you a quest. The reward items you get for these quests (needed for the endgame) are interchangeable with each other, so the choice doesn't affect the plot as a whole.
- Take Your Time: Finding the bus marks the start of the endgame, but there's no reason to hurry despite what Silas and Verna say. It's possible to have reached that point having done none of the four professors' tasks, do them all, then get back to the bus.
- Trapped in Another World: Silas and Verna, in yours. Then, in the closing scene, the tables turn, and YOU're trapped in another world.
- Twenty Minutes In The Future: It takes place in 2073, but other than a futuristic car, the setting departs little from a contemporary one.
- Wacky College: Of the "mad, disturbing professors" variety.
- Window Pain: The entire plot is set in motion when Kendra's attempts to get help by tossing rocks at windows while locked out of her dorm go awry.