Sahara (WIP) - 19th Century Foreign Legion adventure (Updated June 22)

First, thanks for replying to me. Second, that would be cool (it would be appreciated if its an RO).

I’ll see of I can fit that into their backgrounds and personality. So far they’ve planned so that the characters you get close to are at least neutral on the issue and not flinging around “ahhh uncivilised” kind of views. But it’s a smorgasbord of people that you’ll get to meet: actual criminals, cashiered former military, ousted gentlemen, political refugees, tricked by the recruiter, giving the Legion a “test run” for the hell of it, insane (trying to write one that’s on the level of La Cigale should be fun), and what else have you.

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Thanks for taking the time to reply!

No biggie with the UK and USA origins, you already have a ton of good choices, and I was already having fun with my Dutch MC in any case :slight_smile:

I didn’t know that those guards were Algerian until they called me an Infidel when my MC was asking them a question on the train, which is fine, as it seems accurate to me for them to call me that, it’s just that I didn’t automatically know that when I first got to the train station. I figured they were also members of the legion.

BTW, I like the art in the beginning! In relation to that, are we meant to have those traditional blue uniforms that the Foreign Legion had, or do we have those newer white uniforms that they had around 1900? Thanks again :smiley:

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I’m removing the train scene from now due to the setting change, but I’ll keep that in mind when you’re interacting with the several different ethnic groups in the city.

Yep! The famous blue greatcoat and white pants. The white uniforms comes later than my setting. Your entire legionnaire uniform will be detailed out in the “handbook” as to not make it a too long description in the narrative itself.

February 2 update!

Thanks to all who have given me feedback! Most major change is that massive chunks of Chapter 2 has been moved out into the Handbook section in the stats screen and massively sped up.

Here is the feedback I’m looking for this time:

Pacing: Is the pacing good now? Tell me if the scenes about routines or with Oscar are still too long. I still need to think up of a good ending to Chapter 2, too. Chapter 3 you’ll start training and choosing your skills.

Choices and stats: Added more choices so that they’re not just a binary choice, and choices affect the Adaptation/Comfort stat where applies. Also added text of what stats change. Are there enough choices? Tell me if you agree or disagree with the stat changes presented so far in context of the narrative.

Characters: What would you like to know of Franck and Thomas? You’d get another chance to interact with them during soupe, and you might ask them questions. Though nothing about pasts, that’s a faux pas to ask the Legion unless they volunteer the information themselves. You’ll also get an opportunity there to learn Mathieu and Joachim’s names from themselves instead of asking Oscar later.

Ideas for non-genderlocked version: Shower scene, need ideas. If I were to un-genderlock this game - I’m still open to doing this if I find it viable enough as I progress - how can I have a non-male character not already exposed in the shower (because you’ll get booted out right then and there)? Wren pulled this off by having the woman’s brother distract the guard, but our player character is alone and friendless at this point.

Also, is there a way to overwrite the dashpic on dashingdon? I can’t seem to do it, so instead I changed the image name to pull up in the startup.txt, and uploaded a new image with a new filename.

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Nice to see an update.

I think it’s a marked improvement from the prior build in terms of pacing. Much tighter, things flow considerably better, especially after the scene with the sergeant. That said, I kinda miss the train scene from the previous build, since after the scene with the Colonel it established pretty well what kind of outfit you were getting in to – and what to expect from the NCOs. It broke the romantic illusion for the PC as they were confronted by the petty brutes that constitute much of the Legion. But, on the other hand, without it one gets to the action much quicker.


The new choices are an improvement, especially the couple of scenes with four in them – I think there’s a nice variety and they don’t seem shoehorned. I think I preferred it when the saluting option was in, even if it didn’t change anything, as it broke up a large amount of pages with a choice. I’m not personally fond of the stat changes being noted in the text, though I can see how some people could – perhaps a toggle?


Franck’s the more interesting of the two so far, since he’s made a bit more of an impression and has been a bit proactive. Not being able to talk about his background limits things, but he might be a way to try and get tips on how to survive such an environment – especially if you don’t get on well with Oscar. Franck might not be a legionnaire, but a lot of the stuff from his background will probably carry over.

Guillaume’s mentioned as being former German Army. I don’t know much about the structure of the pre-WWI German Army, but I thought it consisted of the disparate armies of the member states of the German Empire? So one would be a Prussian/Bavarian/Saxon etc soldier, not a German one, as in there were no “German” formations? Also, I think it would be useful if options disappeared after you chose them when speaking to Oscar about the others.


One idea I had is that a fight breaks out during the shower scene. Some other recruit – perhaps someone who’s been forced into joining against their will (e.g. due to a recruiter’s machinations?) - starts realising what sort of mess they’ve gotten into. Alternatively, someone gets offended and throws a punch. Either way, a fight breaks out.

The Male PC would have gotten themselves showered quickly, but a non-male PC might have dawdled in order to look for an opportunity to do so in private. The fight thus breaks out, and the NCOs have to come in and break everything up (with their fists, presumably). This means that there’s no shower (collective punishment?), but the PC’s cover isn’t blown. It would also be an opportunity to show the brutal discipline after the removal of the train cuffing scene.

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A lot of the improvements are from your feedback, so thank you!

Yeah, that scene was used to show the Legion treats the lower ranks as bad, desperate men not to be trusted, especially with not deserting. Of course, other things in the barracks are going to show that too outside of the brutal discipline.

For example, you do carry your unloaded rifle during drills, but bullets are kept under lock and key by the officers, and the corporal literally breathes down your neck during shooting practice time. Not even the sentry at the range gets bullets, he’s gotta beat any troublemakers with his rifle and bayonet. Only sergeants and higher ranks carry sidearms, I think.

Should I make the cell worse instead or is it sufficiently bad? This isn’t the same type of cell where 50 prisoners are stuffed into every night. Though it’s probably where people awarded salle de police are placed overnight. The “light punishment” of the Legion.

It was originally a fake choice to break the text. If it helps with my rambling-ons, I might add that back in with PC being a smart aleck who goes “hah, he didn’t indicate me” to raise your Maverick stat.

That’s going to be extra ifs and gotos, but nothing I can’t implement.

Oh yeah, that’s something good to try and learn off him. He’s at some point in in life been everywhere and did just about everything. Well, all according to him anyway. He legitimately is the thrill-seeking sort, but whatever specifics he tells you, he’s a bluffer so take it or leave it as you like.

Although if his resume includes being a money counterfeiter, hm it could be a bit of an author appeal thing but I wonder if there’s a way to work a fake money plot in there. If all your colony’s money had to be imported from Paris and Bordeaux…

Yeah, honestly this hasn’t been researched, at all. I just went to Wikipedia to get the translated name. But I’ll have to get it more specific in the future.

I’m still ambivalent on whether his previous German military experience is known by the whole company as an open secret (he does keep that photograph around, for proof), or is the knowledge more restricted to his superiors only. He’s a French nationalist from Alsace-Lorraine, so not exactly someone who’d proudly parade around that he’s previously served with the Germans.

A disable_reuse like all the dialogue with others… Don’t want to make him talk forever until he foams at the mouth instead? lol

Ohh yes this could be a fun thing to write. Thanks! Considering Rosen got into a fight for offending someone on his first day…

A male PC would see the fight happen afterwards, otherwise the fight breaks out and offers a non-male PC the distraction. And then extra corvée tomorrow for the bleus!

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It has been a while! Just want to give a mini-update to let you guys know I’m not dead. You’ll be looking forward to a rewrite of Chapters 1 and 2.

The biggest change you’ll see is that all the NPCs will have a set nationality and name. It was too difficult to ground them otherwise, as the more clearly I tried to fit each character’s storyline into the main plot, the more they appeared to look like tagalongs of the plot instead of proper characters. All this time has been spent on researching their possible backgrounds so that I could build an identity to them. Where and how they were raised, what skills and values would they hold given their status (or possibly none at all, if they were disadvantaged enough), what society thinks of them, et cetera. Since the drama that brought them to this place happened in their past, I have to be thorough. Given the amount of characters and unfamiliar settings this is proving to take a while! I’m about a third of the way through fully researching my fifteen-or-so current characters, with more planned to be added later on in the story. Most of this work is done behind the scenes to fill my notes, and won’t be seen until much later.

Your two family members back home will also be set, likely an uncle and a sister. After all, they don’t exactly do anything except giving you the motive to run away from home. Were you or they involved in embezzling the money, though? You choose.

Another change is the number of countries you can choose to have come from will also be limited (you won’t be able to input your own anymore) because the huge amount of potential nationalities will make coding interactions between you and NPCs that will be consistent and logical be a nightmare. There are eight now - that’s enough, I think.

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I was just thinking about this WIP 2 days ago! Glad to hear from you and take your time! :slight_smile:

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Woo! Update time.

I have done much research, and restructured the entire first two-thirds the story, covering three out of five years of the timespan so far. The last two years are still being outlined - it’s not easy to keep escalating things over multiple scenarios. Shows you how unprepared I was walking into this! There’s a lot of timeskips there when they’re just sitting around bored with nothing happening, but you’ll definitely see them when action happens. These consist of several adventures, somewhat episodic in form. Making friends and enemies, fighting, exploring, and there’s going to be some plagues going around, too. Ah, good old-timey crowded living.

Now for the not so good news. I’ve just had a major setback last week, losing all my research when all my files randomly disappeared off iBooks. So please be patient, the next update could take a while yet. Luckily I’ve read most of the sources and made corresponding notes on where I needed, and my main historical reference, a giant 1000+ page book (I applaud the author’s dedication to this publication), is backed up. But most of the small individual scholarly journal papers were not, and by this point I don’t remember anymore what they are or where they are from. Oh well, at least now I do know what exactly I need to be researching when I need to confirm any details, instead of going about it aimlessly like the first time.

If there’s a plot point you’re particularly interested in seeing, let me know! I’m open to ideas, and I’ll see whether I can fit it in.


The major decisions I’ve made for this update:

Genderlocked male:

I have decided that the story in its current form will be genderlocked male. The more I go into this, the less I think a female hiding her gender in the Foreign Legion would plausibly go undiscovered, especially considering how physical things are. Not just the lack of privacy, hard labour, and the fighting, but also how medical issues are handled (which you really can’t hide from) and the punishments. To have a female PC means either she is the sole exception among an all-male cast which is not very believable (or even allowed), or writing different scenarios for her so that she’ll remain incognito, which I don’t think would be fair. If I’ve gotten your hopes up before, I’m sorry!

Perhaps for the balance of things I’ll write in an incognito female soldier at some point in the future, just not the PC. It’s difficult to justify situations when you’re constantly following the character around and can’t magically handwave details away. It would have to be a minor character, someone with a distance away from the main story, so it’s something that’s not really focused on.

No RO:

This game is not currently written with any character as being an RO. You will be able to befriend characters, but they are not ROs - at least, not until I know my characters better as I write along. I’m a pantser, so my outlines are only the broadest strokes of the plot without much detail of what actually goes down (think one-word plot points like “malaria”… and I’ve just given away what I intend to include in the future). Maybe you can help me with this later on once the characters are established, by letting me know who’s popular.

European PC only:

For simplicity sake, your choices for country of origin as of now will be limited to eight European countries. But since the work behind the scenes has included streamlining the coding (the startup file has been completely rewritten and the corresponding code in the chapters themselves improved), I believe I will add back inputting your own in the future!

For the same reason that the startup file has been rewritten, Chapter 2 has currently been removed because the godawful messy coding is now very broken.

Save system:

I’ve gotten the save system figured out, but it’s too early to implement it now because there’s one chapter of content. For a game this linear (think Choice of the Dragon linear), I don’t expect it to be used a lot, though. The game ends if you die, and I’ve already put in one game over so far (although it’s not really a death this time, but refusing the call of adventure).

Would you like me to add checkpoints within a chapter (or at the beginning of a chapter), or is that not necessary if the save system is implemented?

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Thank you for updating :sob::pray::bowing_man:

It can either be that or you can do what choice of broadsides did. Like having a female option flips the gender of the characters. It’s just a suggestion.

I feel like Broadsides approached the gender flip in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek manner, which won’t match the atmosphere here.

But yeah, that can probably be an option in the far future, but not likely. In either case I don’t want to deal with it now and distracting myself by coding more than necessary. Just know that doing it incognito (which was the way it was planned at the beginning and discussed in another thread, but then I found that this isn’t working in the setting) is out. So I’ve decided to genderlock it (since now nothing’s making a difference in the narrative anymore), because I want to focus on actually hammering out the story first.

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I honestly fine with your choice because i love this story so i will follow all your decisions with the story

First half of Chapter 2 has been rewritten! (+13105 words with code)

I have decided to delay the introduction of several NPCs since there’s a lot of new names in Chapter 2.

As usual, please let me know if there are any bugs or continuity errors, and if there are any other feedback on pacing, choices, and characters.

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