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Trust and Betrayal: The Legacy of Siboot, also simply known as Siboot, is a unique strategy game by Chris Crawford, designed as a study of the problems of artificial personality and a language of interaction, solving them, as Crawford puts it, "in a pioneering and therefore clumsy fashion".

The game plays on Kira, a moon of the planet Lamina. The Kira colony was founded as political experiment for cooperation between seven divided alien races. After Lamina was destroyed by a nuclear war, the colony was on its own, and a certain Siboot founded a new civilization, based on a universal telepathic language called "Eeyal" and led by a Shepherd. Now the fourth and last Shepherd has died, and there is a fierce competition between the seven acolytes, including you, for his title.

To become Shepherd, you have to collect eight "auras" in three different areas -- tanaga (fear), katsin (trust) and shial (love). At night, the acolytes fight mental duels in a rock-paper-scissors kind, where success depends on knowing the aura ratings of the duelist -- which is why collecting as much information about the others' aura is crucial..

Each morning you awake with the knowledge of one aura rating for each acolyte, and during the day, you try to collect as much information as possible by interacting with your competitors. All this is done an iconic representation of Eeyal, which allows for many ways of interaction like telling, asking, threatening, begging, accusing, promising, yelling, deriding, saying thanks or sorry or just expressing emotion or holding smalltalk. There also is some way of trading information by constructing sentences like "if you tell me the tanaga count of X, I tell you the shial count of Y" -- all this done by clicking small icons.

Each competitor has its own personality, and they fear, trust and love each person differently. Everything you do will have effects on the way the acolytes react you, so you will have to find a careful balance between getting enough information and not abusing your allies. The same holds true for the all acolytes, the NPCs are constantly running around and talking to each other.

In between all that interaction, the game is interspersed by cutscenes which present you with a certain situation to which you can react in multiple choice style. It offers a save and restore function as well as three difficulty and three game length settings. The game came delivered with a manual and a novella by Chris Crawford which are very helpful to getting started.


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User Reviews

Exalts NPC interaction to near sublimity, with all the bumps of the boldly blazed trail it represents J. P. Gray (120) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Critic Reviews

Computer Gaming World (CGW) May, 1988 Unscored Unscored


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The game's name Siboot is an acronym of Bootsie, Chris Crawford's cat that had to be euthanized due to an irreparable jaw injury.

Related Web Sites

  • Erasmatazz home page (Homepage of Chris Crawford's project to introduce human behaviour and interaction into story-driven computer games, which in a way started with Trust and Betrayal. The source code for the game and other works of him can be obtained too. See especially the library for articles about Erasmatron.)
  • Storytron (Storytron is a company created to commercialize Chris Crawford's interactive storytelling technology.)
General Error (4373) added Trust and Betrayal: The Legacy of Siboot (Macintosh) on Oct 12, 2006
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