In an effort to break away from a conventional moral system in their upcoming RPG, Legends of Liaphine, indie game developer Rocket Salamander Studios has decided to streamline moral choices in the game. There are two options: “good” choices, which will gain you good karma and standing in the community, or “more fun” choices, which are pretty terrible, all things being considered, but at the very least, really funny.
“Honestly, just noticed a trend when we were creating these branching story choices,” says Andre Nowak, lead story developer for Rocket Salamander. “And that trend was that good choices would end with making the morally correct decision and getting a fuzzy feeling in your chest, or making the morally wrong choice and just really fucking up a guy. I mean really giving it to the guy—fuck me, he probably falls about four stories here, and all you do is press the triangle button.”
Players of Legends of Liaphine’s early access seem happy that the moral system is as transparent as it is. “Love how the game calls a spade a spade,” says reviewer SrirachaGotcha. “I hate when a game guilts me into making the ‘right decision’ when all of the other options are badass. This game lets you know upfront—look, you’re either going to save this old man or you’re going to ride him like a snowboard while making off with his entire family’s valuables in a bag. It’s fucked up, yeah, but how else am I going to Reverse Indy some guy named Dennis on my way to the mountain town to buy three thousand gold’s worth of the game’s version of cocaine? Dev updates regularly, art style focuses a lot on charm instead of realism, I would definitely check it out on sale.”
This hasn’t been met without controversy, however: the game is not expected to release at all in Australia. National regulatory bodies claim that a game should not exist in which a player can choose between detonating the mythical equivalent of a nuclear bomb in the game’s capital city or simply not doing that, citing that they really don’t want to know how few people wouldn’t press the button.
When asked about this, Nowak simply murmurs “cowards” while he puts the finishing touches on a scene in which you actually bowl a man’s skull down a hallway in order to fully close a door that didn’t latch shut properly.