I am Khalfat, They of the Written Word, deer-skulled and carrying a stake and an inverted crucifix. Or maybe I’m Rilloth, Worldly Spectre of Tired Souls, Mistrustful Wizard of Wreckages, Inquisitor of the Screaming Abyss. I’m not sure. It depends on which quiz result I think will impress my friends more. It’s probably Khalfat – more for the antlers than the self-aggrandizing title.
I’m finding myself in the first part of Book of the Dead [official site], a “digital triptych about the ruins of a social network” from Glitchhikers makers Sliverstring Media. As social network things often will, they’ve started with a “which character are you?” quiz. It is, clearly, a bit weird.
Book of the Dead is centred around Dusty Dead, a fictional sci-fi series including novels in the ’70s, a cartoon in the ’90s, an anime, and a TV reboot in the ’00s.
The first game in the trio is out now, the Viral Dusty Dead Identity Quiz which poses scenarios with multiple-choice answers to figure out which character you are – whoever these characters are. Silverstring say the second part will let you “Explore a recreation of a 2007 fan forum, watch people get banned, and read fanfiction for a media franchise you’ve never heard of!” The final part of the triptych will want you to “Pledge yourself to one of the dark gods of social media to explore the digital ghosts of a dead social network,” which sounds great.
As for the Identity Quiz, it’s a small thing but I dig it. The questions are baffling and filled with sprawling sci-fi saga tripe and lorebombs – who’s Old Jiricite or the Mother of Ravens? – and yet! The sci-fi guff is standard enough to be relatable so, like Glitchhikers, it asking makes you take the question inside to try to make sense of the options (which seem broadly to be along lines like seeking oblivion, power, or to hack the planet), and drags part of you out into them. Every identity quiz does, really, but the mystifying background encourages more contemplation – and other identity quizzes rarely end with showing you a gnarly skeleton.
The characters you end up with are pretty rad: red glowing skeletons with different heads in different poses and alien places, holding strange objects. When I answered honestly (as much as one can to questions one doesn’t understand), my characters would change but were always hung pierced upon a tree with other skellingtons. Answering randomly produced more varied results. That might simply be chance, or maybe I’m just a bit Odin-y.
It all reminds me an awful lot of ΘRAΩLE, a personal project from Silverstring member ceMelusine. (Do check out ceMelusine’s splendid East Van EP on Itch, which also includes ghostly bartending game Summon the Apgrod and another two yet to come.)
The Viral Dusty Dead Identity Quiz is a pay-what-you-want download (with no minimum) for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Itch. Have a peek at it, and the other parts, in this trailer: