The Other World is a companion story in a series of Gamebook stories by an author known to the public as "Kiel_Farren" and it was created on Choose Your Story, a free website allowing anyone to publish their own, (also free,) stories for everyone to play and for any other member to critique.
The game revolves around the reader's character, as expected. The reader's story incarnation is introduced as a young, teenage "mortal drone," which is the title given to any human slave under the rule of The High Witch Queen Vidia Hecate. Vidia, who has made herself immortal using magic, rules all of the human race after a 10 year war that ended in all the survivors surrendering to her. That was now a thousand years ago, and the world is still fully under her control.
As a slave, designated to the task of farming, your job is simple: Gather grain, spend time with your parents, hide the fact that you're literate because literacy among slaves who do not need to read and write for their designated job is an offense punishable by death, and try not to die.
Unfortunately, that last task becomes a lot harder once Aureus Ager, the city of your birth, is burned to the ground. If you manage to make it out alive, you become a fugitive from the law for the rest of your days.
This is part of Kiel Farren's "horror series" and is the second installment. The known titles are:
The story was unpublished from Choose Your Story by the author after his exit from the site, along with A Game of Life and Death. As far as the site knows, the author hasn't published it anywhere else, thereby making it a lost work.
The Other World provides examples of:
- A God Am I: There's a lot in the game to suggest that the witch fancies herself a god.
- Big Bad: The High Witch Queen, no question/
- Bitter Sweet Ending: Any real ending that isn't just a game over.
- Black Comedy: Depends on your taste in comedy, but you could see a few scenes this way.
- But Thou Must!: You really don't have much of a choice here, though arguably you get one about midway through the game.
- Childhood Friend Romance: If you've played the first game, you probably immediately thought that Lilia was going to be this and ... you were probably at least a little shocked that she was killed off the third day into the game.
- Crapsack World: The entire world is practically a death camp in every way.
- Death of a Child: The first death in the entire game, of a very long list, is a baby boy who is beheaded in front of you and his mother by one of the city guards. From there, the author kills off a four year old little boy, and then an ENTIRE CITY, including three more children (ages 3, 5, and presumably 12) that your character knows, one of which is their best friend.
- Disproportionate Retribution: A thief steals from the witch's private stock. You assist the thief to get away. In retaliation, the witch queen has your entire city BURNED TO THE GROUND and kills EVERYONE INSIDE, except you, since you presumably escaped.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Arguably true, since this is another version of the previous story and... well, if you can stretch your suspension of disbelief to cover the hints of this being an alternate dimension ... it works.
- Featureless Protagonist: Played straight, but you do get to choose a gender.
- Gorn: There's quite a bit of nasty imagery provided in the first chapter of the slaughter at Aureus Ager.
- Grand Theft Me: Poor, poor Layne and Hannah / Gabriel.
- Heroic BSoD: Witnessing the horrific deaths of your fellow slaves is enough to give you one, if only briefly, before your drive to survive takes over.
- Idiot Ball: Not all of the guards are terribly bright, but then again, being undead creatures, some are literally brainless.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Witch. While not really mentioned in the game, she's been known in the previous game to eat people and to consume human blood.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Thieves can steal items from you in Serratis forest, which sucks because you've just lost your home, your family, your best friend... and you're wounded. Losing your bread, water, or weapon is just salt in the wound.
- Magic Is Evil: Played straight for the most part, considering the BigBad is the only one with notable magic powers here.
- Meaningful Name: Everyone in the journal has a name that either refers to truth, storytelling, writing, or strength of character.
- Murder by Cremation: A particularly nasty one, at that.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: If you think about it, the burning of Aureus Ager is actually your fault. If you never saved Nicole / Nicholas, then the witch would've never gotten the idea that your city was rebellious, and she would've never ordered that it be burned down.
- Ritual Magic: Alluded to in the historical records.
- Take Over the World: And she succeeded, too.
- Take a Third Option: You've got a few, if you know where to look.
- The Chosen One: Your character appears to be this. Yes ... but no.
- The Legend of Chekhov: The ancestors' journal has plenty of these.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Possesses shades of this.
- Villain World: In its most horrible form. The Big Bad has ruled utterly unopposed for a thousand years, and the former world is all but forgotten by humanity (save a few).
- Violence Is the Only Option: Played straight.
- What the Hell, Hero?: You're given the option to do three really awful things during the burning of your city and, unsurprisingly, your character's moral compass prevents them from actually doing one of them ... but the other two are allowed, with reprecussions.
- What the Hell, Player?: Your character's guilt over the aforementioned actions acts as this.