A Hidden Story

I don’t know how many people are aware of this, but the story of Last Rose in a Desert Garden has continued through three different games.

I usually don’t like to spend time explaining my own work, since I generally believe that if I could really do it justice in an article, I wouldn’t have written it as a story. But this is one small aspect that I’ve been thinking about lately, and I thought it might interest those who haven’t noticed it.

In Last Rose in a Desert Garden, we follow the story of the last survivor of a nuclear holocaust, told in melodramatic and fairly archaic language. But is the story over there? Is that all there is to it? Not really, even though it may not be immediately apparent. You see, in The Infinite Ocean, we are told that SGDS, the sentient computer, is capable of dreaming, and has such a powerful imagination that he can essentially live any story/simulation he chooses to. That is one central reason he is opposed to war: SGDS has literally experienced what nuclear war would mean; he/she/it has lived through its horror through the eyes of millions of individuals.

And on several screens in the game you can see… yes, images from Last Rose. And that’s not just me re-using old graphics; that would be very much against my artistic beliefs. When something reappears, it is always intentional and meaningful. So these images could be read to indicate that perhaps all of Last Rose happened inside the mind of SGDS, that it is a story/dream/simulation (no real difference) about the horrors of a post-apocalyptic world.

So it makes perfect sense that the lone wanderer from Last Rose, being part of a story or a dream, would one day walk long enough through the desert to end up in the House at Desert Bridge. He doesn’t stay there long, and we’re told that at some point he continues on to Oneiropolis, the City of Dreams.

What happens to him after that? (He cleverly didn’t have gender in Last Rose, but turned into a man on the way. No-one asked me about it.) We’ll see. But I’m pretty certain that I will return to his story one more time.

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2 Comments

  1. Interesting post. The concept is similar to the one in the Infocom game A Mind Forever Voyaging, where a sentient computer tests a long-term economic plan through VR simulation.

    Is *Museum of Broken Memories* somehow a part of the concept as well?

  2. Is *Museum of Broken Memories* somehow a part of the concept as well?

    No, not really. There are interconnections between much of my work, but the story of Last Rose doesn’t extend to the Museum. I think.