The RPG Scrollbars: Seeking Mr Eaten’s Name

Full disclosure time. I’m about to talk about Fallen London [official site] by Failbetter Games, a game and company that I’ve now done a fair amount of writing for. Please pause to get the necessary pinch of salt to take with anything that follows, if you wish. However, my love for this crazy Victorian universe goes back a lot further than that, and this week I’m not going to talk about anything I’ve had a hand in. Instead, I thought I’d discuss Seeking the Name. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s one of the most interesting, disturbing quests you’ll ever regret taking on.

Some minor lore spoilers follow, but nothing too deep.

Seeking The Name is the exact opposite of most RPG quests. You can argue it has an element of fighting for justice to it, but that’s not really the point. Really, from the point of view of your Fallen London character, it’s less a quest than it is a curse – a voracious hunger, an unstoppable drive that strips them of everything they have and promises nothing in return. One of the standard Fallen London slogans is “All will be well and all manner of things shall be well.” Seeking The Name is so far removed from that, the game itself regularly breaks character to tell you that you are making a mistake, that you should turn back, and that nothing awaits but pain, suffering and more pain. Pain like losing half your stats in a single click. Pain like throwing away your Destiny. Pain like sacrificing your hardest earned possessions just for a chance of progressing.

Which of course doesn’t stop anyone.

The basic story of Fallen London is that during the reign of Victoria, London was stolen by bats and dragged down into an underground cavern called the Neath by the Masters of the Bazaar – Mr Iron, Mr Cups, Mr Pages, Mr Veils and so on. London is not however the first city to be taken, but the Fifth. The story of the Name begins in the Third City, when the Masters turned on one of their own, known to us as Mr Candles. They had him chained, stabbed, devoured, drowned in liquid sadness, and thrown down a well. In the words of William Shakespeare, thou dost not get much more owned than that. Unfortunately for everyone and everything, even that was not enough to do it. Something of the new “Mr Eaten” remains at large in the world; a gnawing hunger that goes beyond flesh and craving. And a reckoning will not be postponed indefinitely.

As for Fallen London itself, it’s a browser-based game set in the city and various other parts of the Neath, with your goal being to create a character at the bottom of society and quickly rise to the prominence that your brilliance demands. That’s done by playing through stories, grinding a lot of abstract concepts like whispered secrets into higher value items, and slowly levelling up stats like Dangerous and Shadowy as you move between better and better Lodgings and become the talk of the town. At this point, players unlock a Destiny, which is essentially a glimpse of what will happen once all else has played out – their character’s ultimate, world-changing ending seen in dream form now, allowing for the actual game to continue as long as necessary.

Seeking Mr Eaten’s Name is about taking all of that hard work and willingly flushing it down the toilet for no particularly good reason except sheer bloody-mindedness and curiosity. One of its most famous stories, before it went on hiatus a few years ago, involved a player who reached a nightmare version of Mrs Plenty’s Carnival, featuring a big wheel that headed up to the light of the Surface. Despite what some players believe, it is actually possible for people from the Neath to survive on the surface – it’s just risky, and becomes more so the longer they’ve been down there. Here though, the informative text just warned that riding the Big Wheel would kill their character dead. D-E-D, dead. Game over dead, which isn’t usually possible. It even promised that there was no interesting text waiting behind the decision. It was an option not worth taking.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, of course somebody clicked it. What makes it special is that when their character… after months, maybe years of play-time, wasn’t immediately immolated into nothing but dust particles… they filed a bug report.

This is the commitment of Mr Eaten players. Indeed, since the content being shut down at the end of 2013 until now (for reasons explained in this blog post), one of the most common questions has been when Seeking will re-open and when more can either a) join the self-destructive quest or b) just enjoy the sadistic joy of watching other people put themselves through it – chained, mutilated, cast out, and all the effort wasted on reaching endgame simply washed away in the hope of doing something that most people are, let’s face it, wise not to even attempt. At least, without a sacrificial alt created specifically to be burned on the pyre of curiosity. You’re constantly giving up what you worked so hard for, from stats to possessions to in-game standing, with no idea how far it’s going to go and no promise except that it’s not worth it.

There’s a delicious irony to the Eaten content of course, that while its roots are in transgression, it’s every bit as much of a planned experience as any other interactive story. You swap the gilded cage for one wreathed in barbed wire, but that doesn’t change its core function. That’s why the bug report example stands out as so effective – that in a high-stakes game of chicken between the author and the players, the author blinked. However brief the moment, it’s always satisfying to see gods bleed.

In a more meta context, I’d argue this ties into the delight of watching speed-runs. It’s not just the high-level play, it’s the subversion of the rules, the seeking out of chips in the armour that can be wedged open, and taking back power – Prometheus stealing fire from the gods, only being likely rewarded with a polite retweet from an impressed developer instead of becoming an all-you-can-eat liver buffet. RPGs tend to be the best genre for this due to the sheer number of systems in play to abuse. Finding and exploiting a loophole is a satisfaction that no outright cheat code can match, though I do particularly love when a game is smart enough to detect it and respond.

Most examples of course involve emergent examples of gameplay, in the player’s favour. Mr Eaten doesn’t allow for any of this. It’s a scripted experience. You click text options. Text pops up. You can’t do anything that the author hasn’t intended. It does however do a great job of creating the feel of in-game transgression (as previously seen in moments like selling party members into slavery, or Heather the ghoul in Vampire: Bloodlines, and how her presence unwittingly places the player character into an abusive relationship that only ever punishes attempts to do the right thing) simply by how much you have to hurt yourself after becoming invested in a game about advancement, how much you spend for no benefit or gamble on incredibly poor odds, and just how often you’re reminded that nothing good is coming of it. Much like The Stanley Parable, it’s about being told ‘no’ and replying ‘but yes!’ In particular, I think one of the smartest elements is how it casts the character relationship for the duration, where you as the player essentially become the spirit of hunger and insanity destroying them for your own amusement and interest in how far they can truly fall.

Either way, it’s a good example of how offering players a big red button can genuinely add something to the world. Even if you don’t press it, it’s there, as a temptation, as a dare, and as a source of stories outside the game as well as within. It’s just a shame that most RPGs are absolutely terrified right now of actual consequence, where by ‘consequence’ I mean anything more than just choosing a carefully laid path. Sometimes, there has to be a boom. A big boom, like Ultima VII casually handing out a spell called Armageddon and daring you not to cast it. A small boom, like Underworld II letting you actively crash the evil flying castle of Kilhorn Keep by killing the monsters keeping it in the air, escaping, and returning to search through the rubble. In most of these cases it’s a bad idea because you prevent yourself finishing the game or at least make it much harder for yourself. Still, if you don’t have that freedom in the big moments, how are you expected to have it in the small ones? You may never win a fight against a whole town, or even start one, knowing that. It’s still nice to have the choice.

There’s also a big difference between this and what many games have traditionally done – allow you to make a mistake that renders the game unwinnable. Morrowind for instance would flash up a message if you killed the wrong person. Ultima VII: Serpent Isle would happily let you lose one of the artifacts necessary to save the world. That’s not really what I’m talking about here, which is the active choice to be self-destructive in some way and enjoy the experience that follows for the innovative slaps to the face as well as the novelty. Rolling a low-int character in Fallout for instance changed your dialogue to be little above grunts and moans. In another Bloodlines example, choosing a Nosferatu meant having to avoid the streets and travel everywhere in LA by the sewer system. When you’re used to being able to do everything and have the game bend over backwards to praise your every mouse-click, restrictions eventually become the only thing that make success and effort remotely meaningful. When they’re clever with it, they can become unforgettable.

But even in this era of open worlds and player freedom, the closest we really get are self-imposed challenges like finishing a game in underwear, or the scripted destruction of a town as a story point rather than even a wagging finger of failure. And that’s just boring. I want to see the destructive spirit of Mr Eaten get into other games, and for them to have the confidence to make things more interesting by screwing up or making dangerous choices. In the next Elder Scrolls game for instance, how about the Daedric Quests not just being cute little vignettes where you do some naughty things to NPCs in exchange for a weapon of some sort, but, say, twelve world-changing bells that can’t be un-rung. Cities being taken over by madness. Weather lashing the land with incredible power. Mehrunes Dagon stamping around the world, with fire in every footstep. Molag Bal apologising for his boring realm in The Elder Scrolls Online. Zombies! Magic becoming wild and random. An-all girl reboot of The Goonies!

Oh, sure, you might complete one in ignorance and be a little inconvenienced, but to keep going? To bring an entire world to its knees, just to see what might happen and if you can still succeed? That’s how you go from mere story to legend. And if you fail, you can’t claim you weren’t warned, or didn’t go into it with eyes open.

But, back to our friend in the well. Like a lot of Fallen London’s big stories, part of its mystique definitely comes from the fact that as an unfinished story (much like the four Ambitions), there’s always been the curiosity of how it will end. Perhaps in the telling, the curiosity will fade away into its well. If anyone knows, it’s no longer a true mystery. A trail of tears becomes so much more manageable when the end is actually in sight. I suspect that Mr Eaten’s true greatness was back in 2013, when Seeking was about being one of the first to climb Everest or reach the North Pole, and the impossibility of it only made it more tantalising. However, even complete, I hope it lives on along with the likes of Dark Souls as an example of how players respond to adversity, and how enduring can lead to so much more than just another quest to complete.


  1. mgardner says:

    I feel like this article was written just for me. It was only yesterday I was offered the opportunity to follow the Mr. Eaton story line. At the first prompt I eagerly clicked Yes (despite the in-game warnings). Boom – instant stat loss. “Are you REALLY sure?” Nope. Thanks for asking, I have spent too much time in this game and have too much progress to risk, curiosity be d____d (in the parlance of Fallen London).

    Maybe I will find a way back to this story if I exhaust all other content. Big thanks to the Fallen London team for making it obvious that this is a very hurtful story (much different from the hours that came before). Of COURSE we all want to push the big red button. We want to see all the words!

    • Jekadu says:

      Why? In God’s name, why? What can you possibly hope to gain? Stop now. Before it’s too late.

    • Jekadu says:

      According to one of the wikis one of the Advent calendars from previous years had a gift which removed the opt-out quality for the SMEN content. Hopefully Failbetter isn’t serious about this being a permanent opt-out.

  2. basilisk says:

    By coincidence (and because of Mr Kennedy’s article at Eurogamer), I just started the Mr Eaten storyline two days ago. I have to admit, though, that it was not just in a spirit of self-destruction, but mostly because I’ve pretty much run out of things to do in the game, so all there’s left is to burn it all.

    But you’re right, it’s such an intriguing option to give people. Particularly in an online game where you can’t savescum even if you wanted to. And it fits so well with FL’s central themes of desire and temptation.

  3. The Skeep says:

    I get that you want to keep things vague, to avoid spoiling the experience of playing the quest. But you’ve gone too vague. All of the other examples of consequence that you mention seen a lot more impactful than “you do a thing you’re explicitly told not to, than are not actually punished for it” what are some examples of the effects of seeking Mr eaten? Are they solely story specific? Do they have gameplay consequences? Hell, you didn’t even touch on what it means on the surface level to “Seek Mr Eaten”

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      “you do a thing you’re explicitly told not to, than are not actually punished for it””

      Where did you read that into it? You do things you’re explicitly told are bad ideas and as a result lose everything you’ve built in the name of finding an end that you’re told up front won’t be worth it. I think that’s an interesting twist on questing.

      • The Skeep says:

        The only part of the story you talk about in any detail is the encounter with the big wheel. Is riding the wheel actually ment to kill your character? Because from the way you phrased it I interpreted it as the player getting cheeky with the bug report, calling the game out on a bluff.

        • Richard Cobbett says:

          No. Progressing, you sacrifice stats, items, things earned as achievements – all thrown in a really big bin and set fire to. The wheel was a bluff. The rest is not.

    • Pasco says:

      Yeah, for someone with only a passing knowledge of Fallen London (I think I played for an hour or so a few years ago) this article was basically inscrutable.

      I have next to no insight on what “Seeking the Name” involves, what makes it so interesting or disturbing, nor what “Mr. Eaten” has to do with it (apparently he used to be Mr. Candles? So much for seeking the name I guess).

      I hope this makes more sense to avid players, but from an outside perspective it seems to say absolutely nothing.

    • zsd says:

      I too had a difficult time trying to understand what this article is getting at. Not having played Vampire: Bloodlines puts me at a further disadvantage here.

      The premise I’m drawing from what I’ve read is “more games should entertain player sadism, masochism and nihilism by letting you destroy yourself and/or everything around you in permanent, impactful, harmful ways, because that is interesting,” or “choice is less interesting when the choice to REALLY fuck everything up is off the table.” I personally would disagree with those statements, but I’m not sure that they are what Mr. Cobbett is intending to convey.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        You seem to be interpreting Richard’s premise in a particularly negative way. The essence of the article is the idea that truly great RPGs often subvert our expectations by giving us options that genre conventions have conditioned us to ignore. These options can be detrimental to the player, like murdering Lord British in Ultima VII, or beneficial, like being able to defeat Lavos at the very beginning of Chrono Trigger. The increased player agency that these choices provide make an RPG more memorable and enjoyable.

        • Richard Cobbett says:

          And more specifically there can be fun/fascination in masochism – in actively making things worse because it makes them more interesting rather than simply harder, and in having that power regardless of whether you choose to use it or not. Only a relative handful of players will ever complete Seeking, but its existence and temptation is a crucial part of Fallen London’s tapestry.

      • Richard Cobbett says:

        Made a bit of a tweak towards the middle, where a digression I think digressed a bit too much.

    • Merus says:

      So here’s an example that some players will run into almost immediately:

      To progress the search at the start, you have to spend resources on gambles. You succeed, you gain a point towards unlocking the opportunities to find false saints’ candles. You fail, you lose the resources. Once asks you to gamble a Mourning Candle, an item that’s worth 2.5 echoes, and is of a type that can be a little tricky to acquire. It’s a Watchful gamble, so the odds depend on the difference between your main Watchful stat and the target. At 100, which is a fair way through the game involving several weeks’ worth of actions, it was about 60% chance of success.

      Succeeding halves your Watchful stat. That’s a success.

      Later stages require you to die over and over again, send yourself mad over and over again, start throwing hard-won contacts and equipment into the grinder, losing your soul again and again and again (fun fact: if you stain your soul in this way, and then sell it to the Devils, at some point they hunt you and ‘return’ it in such a way that you’re thrown beyond the veil so hard it can take a solid week to get back). Having your stats reset by enormous amounts is par for the course. A later step requires you to sell everything on a random list of possessions you only find out about when you’ve moved to a specific area you paid a great deal of resources to get to. Another step requires you to have an exact amount of a particular item in your inventory, the number of which you’re not told, and if you’re off by one you lose all of them. One step is ominously described as being impossible.

      Seeking the Name is a terrible idea. To be fair, it’s very, very clear about this, that you are taking all your lovely progression and throwing it in a big fire.

      (My favourite detail of the instant-death ferris wheel: it was gated behind a premium currency. You had to pay real money to do it. It was about $25.)

      • Jekadu says:

        My favorite part so far is Six of Pearls, the card you unlock with Unaccountably Peckish at level 6. You become obsessed with eating teeth, and one of the options involves having a dentist knock out some of them from your mouth so you can swallow them. The ensuing text is disturbingly sexual.

        But when one is this hungry, what is one to do?

  4. Doveship says:

    I’ve not read much of this, as I may give FL a go at some point, but what the author begins describing sounds VERY similar to a quest line in Sunless Sea, in which you attain a burning name.

    It’s a far more elusive quest line than most within the game, only hinted at vaguely by some characters and locations, and strips the player bare by the end if you can even make it that far – one part involving a perilous trip home with your ship reduced to a single point of hull strength, one slight knock away from failure. I can;t say I’ve come across anything quite like it in all my years of gaming.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      It’s similar, but going East is a more positive matter of “I’ve done everything there is to do, now I’m going to attempt the impossible.” It’s a positive, albeit harrowing, thing to cap off your lineage.

  5. malkav11 says:

    I’ve always been tempted to Seek the Name. There’s such a rich vein of story there and the whole point of Fallen London is to mine such veins. But I’ve never actually found the way – I thought it was locked off at this point, even, but apparently not? And at this point I think I’d probably not go there simply because I’ve sunk so much time and effort into getting where I am and I would hate to lose my ability to get into any new story content that’s added as we go.

    Of course, I’ve pretty much stopped playing because I can no longer see how to access any new story bits other than a few more bits on Polythreme, and I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to ever go back there because I hate the mechanics there so much and it’s two freaking sea voyages from being able to do holidays and such while there.

    • basilisk says:

      The storyline was locked for quite some time; it was reopened about two weeks ago.

    • qrter says:

      Oh Jesus Christ, Polythreme.. horrible mechanics. Couldn’t leave fast enough – the game wouldn’t let me, had to burn through a couple of candles and quite a lot of resources to be able to leave the shitting place.

      I think that was when I sort of stopped playing. The grind became too obvious. That said, Fallen London is a great game, and one in which the setting fits much better than in Sunless Sea.

      • malkav11 says:

        I’m not really fond of the “carousel” mechanic most of the late game content involves (i.e. the various stories that involve progressing a particular value, graduating to new tiers of action at certain breakpoints, and ultimately culminating in one resource bestowal/nugget of story and requiring another go-round to get more). They’re baldly grindy and clearly positioned to pad out the game so that you can’t just eat up all the content and be done. But ultimately a significant amount of Fallen London is wheel-spinny resource and stat accumulation with some repeated flavor along the way, so I can cope. Mostly I just hate not knowing if maybe there’s some unique narrative bits hidden behind one or two more spins of the carousel than I’ve gone in for.

        But Polythreme takes that and makes the timeline so tight that unless you execute a very specific approach that’s not particularly evident from the game text (and hope to get lucky with cards along the way), you’ll spend all that time and get NOTHING in return. And that approach requires spending a bunch of resources that you have to grind up on the island in a very slow, failure-prone fashion (this with stats in the 180+ range) And you’re locked off from any of the limited time events and so on that happen in the meantime. And every time you do this you get one nugget of story. Just one. Oh, I hated it so much. I spent the better part of a real life year on Polythreme because I just couldn’t bring myself to play that shit. I went there for my Ambition and stuck it out long enough to finish that piece (IIRC the next step isn’t in the game yet), but I couldn’t deal with doing any more to see the local one-off story stuff. That place needs a serious overhaul. It’s a really cool idea brutally axe-murdered by the design.

  6. shevtsov200 says:

    No mention of Lisa: the rpg?

    • Jetsetlemming says:

      I agree, Lisa: The RPG is a good game to mention in this context, because at multiple points throughout it you’re given a choice: Let something horrible happen to someone else, or have something horrible happen to you. You have to constantly make that bargain, and the consequences are permanent and additive.

  7. Jekadu says:


  8. Jekadu says:

    A few days ago I started on the Mr Eaten storyline myself. It took me only a few hours to realize that calling it massively unfair and self-destructive was an understatement. One of the options to progress in the storyline was supposed to have a “savage” effect on my Watchful stat. After clicking it, I lost what I estimate to be almost a year’s worth of casual stat grind.

    I have no regrets. Failbetter’s games are excellent at offering suboptimal choices that nevertheless feel like they make sense in the context. Because each exposed property is treated as its own currency, stories and quest lines don’t have to be designed around the idea that your character needs to win in the end since you can say that something interesting happened by giving or taking away a stat.

    In the case of Seeking Mr Eaten’s Name, I inflicted brain damage on my character by spending half of my Watchful stat. With time I will heal, but for now I have sacrificed my chances of becoming An Extraordinary Mind in the foreseeable future.

    I know the Number, but what is the Name? I must know it.

  9. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    I shudder to think about the kind of youtube comments would show up under a trailer for an all-girls Goonies reboot.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Would really depend on if some shifty director and his Sony friends made a dumb parody out of that decent franchise.
      Noone really cares if they’d be all girls or not if the movie doesn’t suck but then noone likes reboots either.

  10. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. BTW you could always finish the Morrowind mainquest by gathering Wraithguard, Sunder and Keening if you knew their whereabouts.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      Oh, sure. There’s that famous speed-run where the player just arrives on the docks, mixes a few potions, goes straight for the items and wallops Dagoth Ur before he’s had chance to go “Wait, what the shit just-“

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Didn’t watch that one. Potions. Game’s so broken I love it.

  11. Jekadu says:

    The scene with the Pillar of Skulls in Planescape: Torment is also good for this type of gameplay. You can ask it about any of the game’s central mysteries, but for each answer you have to pay a hefty fee. There is a very specific path you can take that mostly eliminates the penalty if you only intend to gather the information you need to progress on the critical path, but not all character builds can pull it off, and if you want to find out anything else you do need to give something up.

    An extremely evil or even just curious character can lose no less than three companions permanently at this point (or four if you deliberately leave one behind). It’s not necessary and the information gleaned is not actually that valuable at that point — in fact, it quickly becomes clear that at least one of your earlier Incarnations has already visited the Pillar and asked some of the same questions, rendering your sacrifice pointless.

    There’s also the Tome of Pestilential Thought that will grant you great power… as long as you’re willing to sell your companions into slavery or outright murder them.

    The interactions with Ignus also require you to be permanently maimed if you want his spells.

  12. jimmmyman10 says:

    if people are REALLY interested in this there’s a pretty good chance we’re gonna see the finale tonight: In order to seek the name, one mast collect 7 candles, and someone actually fulfilled all the requirements and will hopefully be seeing what happens tonight. The people involved hang out in the fallen london IRC chat chat, so if u want o tune in,

    • Jekadu says:

      That was certainly quick. I assume it’s someone who’s been hoarding the items needed since 2013?

  13. Wednesday says:

    This isn’t miles away from my first and last Sunless Sea victory.

    My friends dead or lost pointlessly, an espionage empire and huge wealth, I chose instead to go east, and sing Salt’s Song. Never has a game ended in such a strange, fitting way.

  14. April March says:

    Aw, I expected more about what the quest actually entails. Then again, I didn’t know its gates had been reopened. *shiver*

    Also, I was under the impression that sunlight was only moderately dangerous to dwellers of the Neath, but it instantly destroys anyone who has died, and to reach that point in Mr Eaten’s quest you have to have died several times over. Is that not it?

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      It’s not so cut and dried. The more time you spend absorbing Neathy weirdness, the more dangerous the sun becomes, for reasons of fairly deep lore, but it’s nothing as specific like death making you vulnerable. Though it doesn’t help, definitely. And some powerful folk like Lilac have ways to wander with impunity.

  15. King Trode of Trodain says:

    I know I won’t play this game, let alone ever getting far enough that sacrificing everything to find this most deep of secrets might be worth it. But damn if this article didn’t make me curious as hell as to whatever this is that’s going on, is there anywhere to watch or read about someone playing through this content?

    • malkav11 says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there are discussions of the general narrative at Failbetter’s forums. I believe they discourage outright copying game text, or at least premium-currency-locked text, though, as that’s their livelihood. And the ideas are awesome but the writing’s the best bit.

      • King Trode of Trodain says:

        Yeah I figured as much, and of course when the text pretty much *is* the game, it’d be uncool if you could just read it wholesale somewhere else.
        This just felt like one of the cases where you watch fragments of a movie and you just want resolution to the cliffhanger, even if that is by reading a synopsis rather than watching the whole thing. Thanks for the pointer, I will have to do some digging

  16. Tony M says:

    Related to this idea. I’ve always wanted to play a game where being a good guy hero requires true sacrifice, rather than just a different (and usually better) type of reward.
    I love it when RPGs give you the option to turn down a reward, and when you turn the reward down, nothing happens, you just miss out on the money. No magic magic sword, no extra exp, no “good” points. Just the feeling of heroism.

  17. thog says:

    Seeking is the storyline that attracted me to Fallen London, because it was mentioned to me as having similarities with Slouching Towards Bedlam, a well-written (though clunky) bit of interactive fiction from 2003, which only offers bad outcomes for the player character. I think that a true tale of ruin will only ever appeal to a minority. These people will probably be over-represented among players of IF, because keen readers often read challenging books, and will be very definitely over-represented among horror enthusiasts, hence the take-up in FL. I suspect it’s a risky treat to offer the general market.

    Is it possible to write a game of struggle and failure that would have the impact of L’Assommoir or Darkness at Noon, the two novels that took the most out of me emotionally, and which were both commercial hits in their day? I’m certain that it is. Would such a game sell like gangbusters? I doubt it. Games have only recently moved on from their ‘invincible hero myth’ stage. It’s still considered daring to kill the protagonist, but let them succeed in their goal, an ending that novelists have to handle with kid gloves.

    That said, if Darkness at Noon: the RPG comes on the market? Take my damn money.