Fallen London, originally titled Echo Bazaar and developed by Failbetter Games, is a browser-based choose-your-own-adventure game set in "Fallen London", an alternative Victorian London with gothic and steampunk overtones.
It is built using a text-based-game creation toolbox called StoryNexus, developed by Failbetter Games for which Fallen London was both the trial and the initial motivation. The StoryNexus tools are open for anyone to use and lend themselves to plot driven games, in line with game creator Alexis Kennedy's views on the future of some parts of the industry.
The titular bazaar of the game is occasionally spoken of as though it were a sentient being. It is controlled by several masters, each with their own control over Fallen London's business (Mister Apples, for instance, controlling agriculture, while Mister Fires rules industry). The monarch of the city, the Traitor Empress, sold the city to the bazaar and allowed it to be taken to spare the life of her husband Albert, Prince Consort.
London is only the latest, fifth city to be taken underground in a pattern stretching across thousands of years, although certain storylines show that it has not lost contact with the outside world. Surrounding Fallen London is the Unterzee, a subterranean ocean with many islets and infested with monstrous sea life; experienced players may sail across it to visit other locations in connection with story lines based in Fallen London. Among these is Polythreme, a country where inanimate objects become alive and sentient (and source of the Clay Men, the golems used as cheap labor in London), and the Iron Republic, a devil-ruled place in which even reality are subject to the capricious and constantly changing written laws.
Fallen London has also found itself much closer to Hell, and devils appear constantly and casually in various storylines. A dream-realm, Parabola, seems closer to London than to surface locations, and is sometimes visible through mirrors.
A tabletop game titled Knife & Candle (named for the competitive sport within the setting that combines elements of tag and a free-for-all murder spree) is currently in development
Tales of Fallen London: The Silver Tree, a prequel to Fallen London, was released on October 23, 2012.
On September 3, 2013, Failbetter Games launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Sunless Sea, a PC adventure game taking place in the Echo Bazaar universe. The campaign reached its pledge goal on September 20.
- Taymar (February 12, 2010). "How to Play Echo Bazaar". MMORPG.com. Retrieved April 27, 2011.
- "The Thing About Echo Bazaar, or Why I Have Over Fifty Tattoos of a Nonexistent Aunt". Pissy Little Sausages. May 11, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2011.
- The Escapist Staff (March 12, 2010). "The Escapist Awards 2009 – Winners Announcement". The Escapist. Themis Group. Retrieved April 27, 2011.
- Hartup (January 11, 2013). "Fallen London’s creator on why free-to-play could be the future of storytelling". EDGE. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- Stamford, R (2014). The Aleph in the Mirror. Tain Books. p. 37. ISBN 978-0142437889.
- "Knife & Candle, a Game for Delicious Friends".
- Sunless Sea by Failbetter Games, Kickstarter.
- "And therefore we have sailed the seas and come...", Kickstarter update, 2013-09-20.