Ben But No Dan: The Often-Ending Story

Good old character creation!

“When’s the new Ben & Dan game coming?” the crowd throbbing around Dan Marshall pleads. Something about the way his shirt is always unbuttoned, inevitably one button beyond appropriate, makes people assume he’s in control. “You know, Son of Ben & Dan, or Revenge of the Balloon-Headed Mexican, or whatever it is, when oh when oh where oh why?”

You don’t need Dan. You probably don’t even want him. Ben Ward–the good half of Ben & Dan, the one to play pool with, who only teases kindly about your love life–has released a silly Twine game.

The Often-Ending Story is a short comedy story inspired by old Fighting Fantasy books, an unlikely adventure with spike traps, gems, wizards, terrifyingly oversexualised barmaids, and so very many deaths. Loads of ’em. Deaths everywhere. And it’s all about as daft as you’d expect.

Ben made the game for another newspaper Idle Thumbs planned to print and hand out at GDC, which never quite happened in the end. He explains that The Often-Ending Story was “designed to have at least one small entry on each page, to get the reader flipping back and forth as they sauntered around the convention.”

Do you see, Dan? Do you see what happens when you try to flatter us with teabags sprayed gold with toxic paint. ‘Most Important Website’ indeed, you creep.


  1. Geebs says:

    In the context of videogames, you need to be very careful before accepting a Golden Teabag that you are, in fact, being offered tea. Halo tournaments are particularly dangerous.

  2. MadTinkerer says:

    First ending I got:

    “You are dead. You find yourself in purgatory, which is exactly the same as Grim Fandango, so go play that game.

    I don’t have Grim Fandango!

    You find yourself in hell for not owning Grim Fandango. Hell is exactly the same as The Dig.

    THE END”

  3. caff says:

    I enjoyed this and actually did quite well on my first game.

  4. Ben says:

    This article is spot on – Dan’s shirt buttoning IS utterly inappropriate.