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The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure!
The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure!
The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure!
15,352 backers pledged $580,905 to help bring this project to life.

Romeo and/or Juliet: First page!

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HEY FRIENDS,

I'm doing the same thing we did with Romeo and/or Juliet that we did with To Be or Not To Be: starting at the very first page and letting you vote to decide what happens next.  THAT'S RIGHT.  The emails are BACK. :)

You can pre-order the book at romeoandorjuliet.com but for now let's just start reading it, huh??

And HERE WE GO:

LET'S BEGIN
LET'S BEGIN

ROMEO AND/OR JULIET

As we now know, William Shakespeare (1564 AD–whenever he died) was well known for borrowing from existing literature when writing his plays. Our previous publication, To Be or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure, firmly established that the award-winning play Hamlet (I know, turns out there are awards for plays) was lifted wholesale from that recently rediscovered text. We suggested then that To Be or Not To Be was both the earliest example of the “book as game” genre, as well as the first instance ever in the then-newish English language that was kicking around of an adventure being chosen by YOU, the reader.

We were wrong.

THIS book, which you are now about to enjoy, really IS that earliest example of nonlinear second-person narratives that are more fun than they sound. We did some more research. It’s true this time. When Shakespeare sat down to write Romeo and Juliet, he had a choice: he could make up his own story, or he could flip through this book, Romeo and/or Juliet, and just stone-cold copy down what he read. As we now know, he chose the latter. This book he plagiarized from was lost until recently, when I found it again. It was just over there. Someone had put a coat over it which I think is why we didn’t notice it earlier.

Romeo and/or Juliet is presented here with the original text, unaltered from when Shakespeare stole it. All we’ve added are some rad illustrations, and we also put adorable little hearts next to the choices Shakespeare made when plagiarizing this book. That way if you follow that path when you make a choice, you’ll get the same play that Shakespeare ended up with! However, that is not the only story in this book, and honestly, a lot of the others are way better. Feel free to explore your other options and go on different adventures, and keep in mind that are over THREE different adventures contained in this book! Way over three, actually!

Now, prepare yourself for what’s called “the greatest love story ever told” for some reason. Gingerly place your emotions into the front car of the roller coaster. Strap them in tight. Kiss them on the forehead and tell them you love them and you’ll see them soon. Too late: this emotional roller coaster JUST GOT STARTED. Whoah. This is going to be INSANE.

O Romeo and/or Juliet, Romeo and/or Juliet! Wherefore art thou Romeo and/or Juliet?

- Ryan North, Noted Shakespeare Scholar / Enthusiast

So, intelligent and well-informed reader of interactive fiction: what would you like to do now?  

  • OPTION ONE: Get the book spoiled for you right off the bat
  • OPTION TWO: Play without spoilers
  • OPTION THREE: Learn more about the author

Vote in the comments and I'll post the winning choice tomorrow!

AWolenkaiser, Alex Butler, and 19 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Shannon Sturgeon on May 10, 2016

      option 3. because I'm a kiss-ass. c:

    2. Cindy Womack
      Superbacker
      on May 10, 2016

      OPTION 3

    3. Matt Crawford on May 10, 2016

      I have a good feeling about these two youngsters, who probably won't die tragically.
      LET'S NOT SPOIL THAT.
      #2

    4. Missing avatar

      Kristina Pistone on May 10, 2016

      #1 SPOIL IT ALL :o

    5. Missing avatar

      Eliza on May 10, 2016

      For years we have upon our laurels lain
      With tarnished swords and robots left to rust.
      This drizzly spring, we tell our guests again,
      but list’ners sigh, and voices turn to dust.
      They roll their eyes: can they believe our claim
      Of surfing bodies, stabbing kings, and ghosts?
      It burns us, how they mock this precious fame.
      They drink our wine and tweet, “LOL NUTSO HOSTS.”
      Of all potential futures, ’t ain’t the worst -
      then inbox stirs: new fabrics have been sewn!
      To spoil a story, man’s both base and curs'd.
      More noble ’tis to face the game unknown.

      New choices face us - we are done with rest!
      Adventure NORTH, for life's the greatest quest!

    6. IdleDice
      Superbacker
      on May 9, 2016

      I wanted to say pi, but that would be irrational.

      Rounded down, #3. As in leaves of three, let them be.

    7. Missing avatar

      Ben Lawrence on May 9, 2016

      Option 1: Spoilers...

    8. Missing avatar

      Jonathan Bagelman
      Superbacker
      on May 9, 2016

      I was going to use a similar Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference, but I would have used five instead of four.

      Also, three.

    9. Jonathan Stein on May 9, 2016

      "1, 2, 4..."
      "Three, sire!"
      "Three!"

    10. Alexander McCabe on May 9, 2016

      "keep in mind that are over THREE different adventures contained in this book!"
      Should that be:
      "keep in mind that THERE are over THREE different adventures contained in this book!"
      ?

      That's also my vote, btw: THERE
      whoops I mean THREE

    11. Mary-Ann Wyatt on May 9, 2016

      Option Two Please.

    12. Philhouse
      Superbacker
      on May 9, 2016

      Three please! Love learning more about the author.

    13. Julia Brown on May 9, 2016

      Option 3!!! Especially if it involves a pizza portrait of the author.

    14. Renee on May 9, 2016

      TWO!
      Also, YAY!

    15. Missing avatar

      Lauren Lief on May 9, 2016

      Forsooth, three!

    16. Missing avatar

      Lauren Lief on May 9, 2016

      Forsooth, three!

    17. Yanni Cooper
      Superbacker
      on May 9, 2016

      Spoils us! Spoil us!

    18. Sam Lloyd on May 9, 2016

      Hey, Ryan -- which of these options gets the most money into yr pocket?

    19. RaMus on May 9, 2016

      Option 1. Spoil me.

    20. Missing avatar

      Steph on May 9, 2016

      Option One!

    21. Emily Elizabeth Dirsh on May 9, 2016

      Number 2! No spoilers plz

    22. John Madigan on May 9, 2016

      Option 3, then 2..

    23. Jimmy Kjellström
      Superbacker
      on May 9, 2016

      Option 3!

    24. KatMarie on May 9, 2016

      Option one!

    25. Benjamin Rabin on May 9, 2016

      Option 3. Who the heck's this Ryan North guy anyway? ;)

    26. Ryan North Creator on May 9, 2016

      Hey Roy - actually, you do! Beneath every email is a note: "Don’t want new comment notifications? You can turn them off here." - follow that and you'll never hear from me again! :)

    27. Roy Leban on May 9, 2016

      Option 4 - create a different mailing list for this. I do not want 75 emails about a book I'm not getting. I have no way to get only emails that are more relevant but you have a way of moving all irrelevant emails elsewhere. Thank you.

    28. Missing avatar

      Guilherme Carvalho on May 9, 2016

      Option 1 is clearly the most interesting in the long run, as spoiling the book now is bound to bring up new and unexpected hilarities/shenanigans/jovian teapots in the future.