Aside from the fact that I really don’t look good in a hero costume (don’t ask – it’s too embarrassing to even think about! ), I should probably qualify my position on the “one remaining option = railroaded” statement.
While I do think this is true in most situations (that one I mentioned in the Donna scene being a case in point) I can however envisage some situations where it wouldn’t necessarily apply, such as maybe something specifically background-related. That said, I do think that even in those very specific types of situations, it behooves us as Choice Game authors to try and come up with additional, perhaps more-general options as well, simply to avoid the “one-option-only-remaining” situations, as they really don’t suit a Choice Game. Too many of those in a single game / along the same path definitely tend to leave me feeling railroaded, and so unwilling to replay, which is surely never a good thing.
The old version of Vendetta is particularly harsh with these early “object lessons” – i.e. situations designed / intended to really make you think about the possible consequences of your actions – and thereby help you avoid similar outcomes later in the story.
Things have been slightly toned down in the new version (and now there is also the ‘Take it Easy’ overall Game Difficulty Setting if being harshly punished for dumb decisions is just extremely annoying to you!), but some of the “object lessons” remain as they do serve a purpose – in encouraging the player to be more careful, and to actually think about each decision they make and the possible or even most likely consequences of that action.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that if there had to be an “escape route” for every dumb decision, I’d never get this thing finished!