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The dark, violent, 8-bit interactive fiction meets survival horror meets combat RPG hybrid from 2010, Leadlight, returns in brand new form for modern platforms as Leadlight Gamma.
In Leadlight Gamma you take on the role of 15-year-old Belinda Nettle, a student at Linville Girls High School in Australia's Blue Mountains. After falling asleep in the library one afternoon, you wake from your mundane existence into a nightmare. Your classmates are transformed, nameless terrors seek you out across the schoolgrounds, and traps and tricks threaten your life at every turn.
Can you help Belinda survive this terror-filled night and solve its mysteries? And will there be a new day?
Under the hood of Leadlight Gamma is a mechanically faithful port of the original Leadlight, now enhanced with new features include dynamic automapping, unlockable extra content, behind-the-scenes tour mode and easter eggs, playalong tutorial mode, original soundtrack, a built-in gallery of beautiful artworks from the original game and a comprehensive accessibility mode for vision-impaired players (*screen reader compatibility not yet supported on Macs).
Leadlight Gamma is the first release from Heiress Software, Wade Clarke's new interactive fiction imprint with a three-game plan.
Leadlight Gamma is available for MacOS (up to and including Mojave), Windows, Linux and iOS. The game file is platform portable.
+ An old-school text adventure / interactive fiction – type in your commands and read what happens next
+ Explore a girls high school transformed by nightmares
+ Bloody RPG combat with possessed and supernatural enemies
+ Hide to evade major threats
+ Solve puzzles and mysteries to progress
+ Extensive secrets, weapons and kills-based scoring system
+ Avoid gruesome deathtraps, or back up a move if you fall prey to them
+ Get help with puzzles from the decodable hint sheet
Recommended for players aged 15+ due to violence, gore, and cruel and disturbing scenes.
HISTORY OF THE ORIGINAL 8-BIT LEADLIGHT
I released Leadlight in 2010 via the Interactive Fiction Competition, but I released it for a computer which came out in 1986, the 8/16-bit Apple IIGS. I did this because I grew up with the Apple II series of computers (they established Apple’s fortunes before there were Macintoshes and iDevices) and I’d always wanted to make a horror game for the Apple II. I just didn’t get around to it until the 2000s. The game is set in 2010 and draws heavily on the console survival horror game aesthetic, even though it’s a text adventure.
Thanks to the existence of emulation software which can put a virtual Apple IIGS in anyone's web browser window, I was able to deliver the game to players who'd never even heard of an Apple II before. However, it was still a difficult proposition, and one of my main reasons for developing Leadlight Gamma was to make the original game accessible to a wider audience.
You can still download the Apple II version of Leadlight to play on hardware or in an emulator. You can also play it online at the Leadlight website using the ActiveGS plugin.
ABOUT HEIRESS SOFTWARE
On 8 March 2015, I decreed that Heiress Software existed.
Well before that: I started making computer games when I was 6 or 7 years old. That was when my dad introduced me to programming on our then brand new Apple II+ computer. I've continued to create or help develop games ever since.
In 2009 my interest fell anew upon interactive fiction: text adventures and prose-based games, especially parser-driven ones. It's an area in game development which still, above most others, offers the potential for a single person to craft a whole, highly detailed world in the image of whatever they're interested in. Making these games also draws together my interests and experience in all the areas of writing, game development and programming – and sometimes visual art and music, too.
My game about a children’s birthday party, Six, came 2nd out of 38 games in the 2011 Interactive Fiction Competition (IFComp), and I’ve helped test, or produced artwork or music for, a range of other IF games, including 2012 IFComp winner Andromeda Apocalypse and the unique roguelike Kerkerkruip.
I have an initial three-game plan for Heiress. That is, I have three solid IF game ideas that I want to release under this banner. The three are broadly related to each other by their scale, aesthetics and a degree of darkness. It will take years to do all three, but that is my goal.
LEADLIGHT GAMMA SCREENSHOTS
CLICK THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD ZIPPED SCREENSHOTS
CLICK THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD ZIPPED LOGOS & PROMO ART
"Ultimately Leadlight succeeds by building atmosphere and developing narrative, involving you emotionally in the story being told. While much of the game is horrifying, there are sequences that are poignant and haunting, and Clarke's attunement to Belinda's complex emotional state is affecting. By the end, you feel like you've experienced something, and that's no small achievement…"
- Ivan Drucker, Juiced.GS Magazine March 2011
"The game itself feels almost exactly like a text-based version of Silent Hill, which is about the biggest compliment I can give a horror game."
- Taylor Vaughan, author of The People's Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game
"Leadlight was among my top three in this competition – dark, polished and compelling, and a game I'd definitely recommend to friends outside the comp."
- Amanda Allen, Creative Lead at Warp Digital Entertainment and author of The Blind House
"To me, Wade Clarke's Leadlight is an example of interactive fiction done right. Although still full of occasionally frustrating traps and puzzles, Leadlight leverages the unique advantage of text to craft pictures in your head far more evocative than modern graphics could ever be, and all for the sake of creeping the hell out of its players."
- Andrew Ting @ TK-Nation
"… this ended up being one of my favorite experiences in this year's comp. Aside from the technical proficiency that the game represents, the packaging was some of the best I've ever seen. The user's guide was great, the installation instructions were clear and thorough, and the website design was excellent."
- Ben Cressey, Gargoyle developer
"The other real standout aspect of this game is the atmosphere, in particular as brought out by the writing. You end up killing quite a few zombies and seeing lots of destruction, but it never gets repetitive and is always creepy."
- Kevin Jackson-Mead @ The Gameshelf
"In conclusion, this game is highly recommended to all those who believe they might like a game with random combat and unfair death traps, for it is surely among the best games of that type."
- Victor Gijsbers, author of Kerkerkruip and De Baron
"… I hope this sells well."
- Caleb Wilson, author of Cannonfire Concerto and Lime Ergot