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by Emily Short

Best of Show, IF Art Show 2000
Best Individual Non-Player Character XYZZY Award, 2000

After Galatea has loaded, click in the rectangle above and press the space bar. At the > prompt, type a command.

Much traditional interactive fiction offers exploration and interaction with an imagined environment. Galatea offers a conversation. The title character has moods, background, and memory; how she treats you will depend on how you choose to treat her. There is no single plot, and no one pathway through the story. The endings are numerous.

How to Interact: Galatea accepts imperatives (commands) in natural language. You can order your character to LOOK, EXAMINE THE PEDESTAL, or TOUCH an item. Assorted other verbs are implemented as well, but by far the most important commands are those that pertain to conversation: ASK ABOUT (abbreviated as A) and TELL ABOUT (abbreviated as T). Using these commands, you can steer the subject of the conversation: the best approach is often to follow up on a word or idea that Galatea has herself used, or to talk about objects that are in the room with you. If you find yourself wanting to go back to an earlier topic of conversation, it may also be useful to try THINK ABOUT (which reviews what you know) and RECAP (which lists all the topics you have discussed.)

Scripts for Additional Endings: If you are looking for new conclusions, try these — though you should probably avoid resorting to them until you have explored the possibilities yourself for a while.

Background and Additional Information: Essays about Galatea's creation and links to reviews can be found on Emily Short's Galatea page.

Galatea and this introductory text are copyright Emily Short, 2000-2004, and appear here courtesy of the author. This is Galatea version 3, available for download as Galatea.z8 at the IF Archive. Contact Emily at with any questions or comments; her username is emshort. The ZPlet interpreter used here is by Matthew Russotto.