The Forgotten City: the wealthy general Marcus Crassus commanded the legions of the empire in the years preceding the reign of Julius Caesar over ancient Rome. One of his most famous achievements was reviving the decimation, an appalling way to control an army by penalizing the group for the actions of dissidents. Every soldier draws a stone and is divided into ten groups.
The remaining nine soldiers would beat the person who managed to draw a white stone, whether they were involved in crimes against the empire. It created fear and inculcated a sense of responsibility in soldiers. They soon learned to discipline themselves against such punishment.
The Forgotten City is a puzzle game developed initially for Skyrim. It is based on decimation. The most important mechanic of the game, The Golden Rule, is an anecdote. This rule constantly threatens the small community in the Roman Mountains, which lives in a small and isolated city. If somebody sins, a god watches over the neighborhood and threatens to turn them into gold.
This could lead theoretically to utopia, where people live in peace despite the constant threat of destruction. It’s not long before you realize what’s right and wrong and who’s defining it. This makes it possible to cruelly and creatively bend the definitions and consequences of sin in The Forgotten City.
Called back to The Old Town:
You are being called back to the old town shortly after the start of the game. You’re hidden there in the political web and passive-aggressive personalities. The judge of this society is the only person who knows who you are. He assigns you the task to use an infinite loop to find out who will break the Golden Rule and prevent it.
You will find that this is the only way back to your time. This motivates you to get to know all The Forgotten City residents and see who could plot the end of the world. Each loop offers the opportunity to see every citizen through dialogue better. You can decipher your day-to-day routines, identify which citizens you interact with and what problems you have. Each day ends, and the next day you have to sprint to the shrine.
In any order that suits you, you can follow the leads. Each loop must not be strictly time-regulated. If you do not prioritize a citizen with a disease, they will not die. This allows you to examine other threads and avoid the stress of quickly completing specific tasks at the beginning of each loop.
While characters follow a specific routine, they can be located in entirely different parts of the city, depending on the daytime. This can make finding the right person to start a conversation difficult. The Forgotten City will not, however, make you waste your time by repeating the same actions.
The character at the beginning of every loop symbolizes this, as it enables you to skip the tedious introductory dialogue and answer each time with one reply. The comfort of having a lot of conversation and getting back to the same lines of inquiry you last pursued is felt by all citizens you interact with. Every citizen has their understanding of how you know.
Even if you’re not in the same period as the city, you still have the same rules. Any sins you commit will trigger the Golden Rule instantly, and you have to reset them. Sure of these rules are easy to grasp, such as stealing medicine or killing someone carelessly. Some are simple and easy to understand, but others are subtler and difficult to live with such a threat.
A threat of violence, for example, could trigger the end of the world, whether from anger or sarcasm. Sometimes, just getting a bribe back could lead to the same result, showing you how certain imaginative characters can exploit the golden rule in loopholes. It is an adventure to learn how to do this.
You can quickly eliminate dangerous assassins or make large sums of money without resetting your loop at all times. When you first solve these issues, you will be satisfied. But it’s even better when you know how every piece is part of a more giant puzzle that opens you new opportunities.
Most dialogue in The Forgotten City is used to advance. There are a lot of investigative lines to follow. Each dialogue branch can help you to solve particular problems and to open up new possibilities. The City of Forgotten tells you which paths have been completed and when new ones have been opened based on further information.
However, there are instances wherein conversation with others a new line of inquiry is lost. These new research lines emerge only after repeated dialogues that do not necessarily match what you want to explore. Although it was not expected, it stopped me from making significant progress.
It asked me if I had found any bugs or not triggered a new lead correctly. The dialogue trees interact well, so you can never guess what to do next.
Your wit and exploration factors can make a difference in your progress. Sometimes you are required to find evidence to support audacious claims. Residents can’t always be pleased about that, but the Golden Rule gives them the confidence that you’re not going to take anything they don’t want. You will be able to experiment with the rules as items you get last between runs. You can spend a whole run of stealing the city currency.
The Forgotten City always anticipates these misdeeds. You won’t stop his progress in enormous ways, but occasionally you will color outside the lines with satisfactory results.
The Forgotten City is also an excellent example of how to maintain its momentum. It is fine-tuned and has an incredible timing feeling that ensures that no run is rushed. Objective markers will help you navigate the town and spooky hints of a disembodied voice whispering to you.
Combining the two makes it so that you always reveal the next great revelation without being too pushy. Sometimes there are no markers in your next step. It is a sign that you have some information or an item you need to find until you get more help
The Forgotten City wants you to succeed, but don’t feel that you run aimlessly around. It balances this so well that every beat of the story feels successful.
A few moments of traditional action-adventure elements are also available. One optional section is conveniently signposted to prevent you from interacting with the story. It is dedicated to light horror and action for the first person. This section can feel a bit stalky. The main focus of the game’s history and branching discussions is not the fluidity of battling enemies with an arch.
The sections are nothing wrong, especially as they are one-off events that can be used in other loops if desired. These sections are self-encapsulated routes away from the main attraction and provide some of the most disturbing historical advances that have the morally ambiguous tone of The Forgotten City.
The Thematic City:
The Forgotten City’s narrative has serious themes, which you can explore in various ways depending upon your choice of finishing. Still, there is a playful element to the journey that will delight you every character. One example is when I had to explain to an ancient Roman priestess what memes are.
She then tries to contextualize my explanation with the only reference she currently has. Memes are hieroglyphs that connote people who called Karen negatively. She finally settles down on this explanation. This gave me so much jerk that the priestess I still associate with memes that day.
These moments are a constant addition to the otherwise grim story of The Forgotten City. They add a degree of humor that reduces tension in significant areas.
This attentive mix of themes and the effortless manner in which The Forgotten City serves them makes every moment memorable. These topics offer the opportunity to explore The Forgotten City more. The game will tease you with other endings to make the often moral complex story the best conclusion possible.
It will be difficult to resist the temptation to get back in, even though it means that you see minor reactions from characters to new lines of dialogue or the reactive nature of the relationships that can alter your approaches. You will find equally rewarding rewards for your curious mind in The Forgotten City. This story is one you shouldn’t miss.