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Video Game / Lost Pig

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"Pig lost! Boss say that it Grunk fault. Say that Grunk forget about closing gate. Maybe boss right. Grunk not remember forgetting, but maybe Grunk just forget. Boss say Grunk go find pig, bring it back."

Lost Pig is an Interactive Fiction game.

Grunk the orc is sent to find a pig that's escaped from the farm where he works. Wandering through the dark forest, he falls down a hole into a system of mysterious tunnels. The good news is, he's found the pig. The bad news is, catching the pig is going to be harder than finding it. And then there's the problem of getting out of the hole. And in one of the dark tunnels, there's something making a strange noise...

All story told by Grunk in Grunk own words.

Lost Pig won 1st Prize at the 2007 Interactive Fiction Competition. It was nominated in nearly every category in the 2007 Xyzzy Awards, winning Best Game, Best Writing, Best Individual Player Character (Grunk), and Best Individual Non-Player Character (the gnome).

Lost Pig provides examples of:

  • Alchemy Is Magic: The mysterious place underground turns out to be the former home of a famous gnome alchemist. Some of his inventions are still lying around and are necessary to finishing the game.
  • Character Blog: Grunk's Journal, in which Grunk leave pig farm and join army. (The blog actually came first; the game is a prequel.)
  • Developer's Foresight: There is the option to ask the gnome about any topic. You can choose to ask the gnome about himself, the area, Grunk, Grunk's mission, most of the game's items and scenery, any strange words he mentions, his philosophies, and a lot more. It can actually take up most of your game time trying to find as many topics to talk to the gnome about as you can. There is a toggle-able menu that suggests topics for you to talk to the gnome about based on what you have seen already and what he has mentioned, but even going through the whole Dialogue Tree created by this doesn't go through all the options.
  • Direct Line to the Author: The game is supposedly by Grunk, "as told to" the game's programmer.
  • Dissimile: Grunk describes an underground chamber lit by "mossfuressence":
    It bright, just like day time. Except that instead of sun, it wall that glow. And instead of grass and tree, it square room with four wall. And instead of outside, it all under ground. But beside those thing, it just like it!
  • Dungeon Crawler: The game is a riff on this genre, though Grunk only got into the dungeon by accident, and isn't interested in looting it, even if there were anything really valuable left after all the other dungeon crawlers who have been through.
  • Fantastic Light Source: All the underground locations, except for the room with the strange noise, are conveniently lit by (as the gnome later tells Grunk) "mossfuressence", the alchemical distillation of those mysterious glowing fungi and shaggy mosses that always seem to be growing wherever there's a hero lost underground with no torch.
  • Hulk Speak: Grunk orc. Big and green and wearing pants. That good: pants important.
  • Instant Mass: Just Add Water!: It's not mass, precisely, but it's a definite example of ludicrous dehydration. Picture this — dehydrated fire.
  • Keywords Conversation: How Grunk interacts with the gnome.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Played with. The gnome has several grumpy things to say about earlier encounters with the type, and the Last Lousy Point is awarded for not acting like one, and putting stuff back how it was when you're done with it.
  • Medium Awareness: Grunk's conversation with the gnome includes an Easter Egg in which Grunk tells the gnome that they're both just characters in a computer game.
    Gnome shake head and smile. "You will forgive me if I find that a little difficult to swallow."
  • Shout-Out:
    • At one point, exploring a room that's been ransacked by Adventurers, Grunk finds some graffiti that (when he finds somebody to read it for him) turns out to say "Belkar was here".
    • The magic word for the gnome's glowing orb is "ztorf", and the wizard that gave it to him is from "Zobarf or Zzobor or something like that"—probably Zzoborf. These are Sdrawkcab Speech references to the Zork series. If Grunk asks the gnome about Zork, he'll confirm that the wizard mentioned something about it.
  • Technicolor Science: Lampshaded.
    Grunk ask gnome about stuff on tray. Gnome say, "Mysterious bubbling liquids in strangely shaped glassware is the heart of alchemy."
  • Two-Headed Coin: If you flip the coin several times (getting heads each time), Grunk will look more closely and find that both sides are heads.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Not within the game itself, but it's a running gag in the supporting materials that the game may not be an accurate representation of the "real" pig-finding expedition that inspired Grunk to write it. Particularly since much of the game requires the player character to progress by solving puzzles, and the player character is, well, Grunk.