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No-One Has to Die

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No one has to die is an HTML5 visual novel by Stuart Madafiglio where sacrifice is the only way to get closer to solving the full mystery at hand. The turn-based puzzles that drive the plot feel a little perfunctory when compared to the twisty story, but fans of cerebral, complex stories should definitely give it several playthroughs.

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Walkthrough Guide


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No-one Has to Die walkthrough: The Full Story
The spoiler below contains an organized synopsis of NoHTD's entire backstory and story, intended to settle any confusion regarding the plot. Proceed with caution.

Fenix and TEMPEST

  • Fenix Corporation is a company interested in time travel. Using the sale and resale of cheap products as a front, they created the TEMPEST machine. The TEMPEST was a fully functional time machine, with the caveat that it transported one's consciousness rather than any physical object.

  • Transit forwards in time went as expected, with the caveat that the subject was essentially dead during the period their consciousness "skipped". Transit backwards, however, randomly pinged the subject's consciousness into another parallel but nearly identical universe.

  • Of course, since in those universes the same subject was being sent off in the same way, many consciousnesses from the same person flew to random universes, some universes receiving multiple copies of the same consciousness (which caused them to overwrite one another) and some universes never receiving a single one. In rare (and by rare I mean rare; this happened literally less than one time in a million, as you'll soon see) cases, a consciousness would land back in the same universe it came from.

The Phoenix Experiment

  • The TEMPEST's first test subject was Christina's mother, also named Christina. She was supposedly mentally sent back in time, but no consciousness of hers ever came back to inhabit her body, so as far as anyone could tell, Christina Sr. was dead.

  • Unsure of the reason for Christina Sr.'s death, Fenix conducted a huge investigation into what exactly had happened. Most notably, they conducted the "Phoenix Experiment". They purchased millions of cockatiels, taught them to say a phrase-- more specifically "Christina lives", in honor of Christina Sr.-- and sent them through the TEMPEST, which was set on back-in-time mode.

  • One of the cockatiels was special for two reasons. One: it inexplicably knew the phrase before any of the birds was taught it. Two: when it went through the TEMPEST, it survived as if nothing had happened, whereas all the others died.

  • The birds that died did so for the reasons explained for Christina Sr. above. The special bird survived because its consciousness, by miraculous chance, landed back in the universe it originated from; this was also how it knew the phrase too early. This was the evidence Fenix needed in order to realize how the TEMPEST truly worked (which I already explained up above).

Every-one Has to Die

  • Meanwhile, Christina Jr. (the Christina present in-game) received her mother's corpse, sans brain (presumably they cut it out to check for signs of her consciousness). She knew Fenix's work was a front for something, but had no idea what. Furious about what happened to her mother, Chrstina Jr. decided to put a permanent end to whatever experiments Fenix was conducting. She started the fire and shot the security guards, setting up the disaster the playable portion centers around.

  • When the fire started, the TEMPEST's target time was automatically set to the current time, presumably as a security measure to hide what it had most recently been used for. The Visitor, who happened to be in the room to make a delivery, coordinated everyone's escapes, but had to sacrifice three lives in order for one person to make it. Whose life he spared varied between universes, many of which had the same outcome.

  • Whoever survived then wandered into the TEMPEST and was sent back to the fire's start, in another universe. Troy was unfortunate enough to go through the loop five times in a row, being the only one spared each time, to such a point that he declared himself the arsonist just so the Visitor would decide to spare someone besides him, thereby ending the cycle.

  • Lionel's survival was special; when he was spared, he let the Visitor out of the security room and invited him to enter the TEMPEST as well, adding a fifth person to the web of flying consciousnesses.

The End Is Near, The Final Timeline Has Appeared

  • In the final timeline, five randomly pinging consciousnesses managed to land in the same universe by chance (which isn't as unlikely as it sounds, considering the huge sample size). Thanks to the security codes the survivors had picked up before entering the TEMPEST, the Visitor managed to save everyone.

  • Christina Jr. wasn't satisfied, though. After obtaining information from Lionel about the TEMPEST's controls, she used the thing to go back again, once again landing in a universe where no sacrifices were made, then during the escape she modified the TEMPEST to send her back to the time her mother was sent back, knowing there was a chance she'd land in a timeline in which Christina Sr. was alive... and if she didn't, she would jump back again and again until she did.

  • (If it makes you feel any better about everything, once she finally found her mother again, Christina Jr. wouldn't have a reason to start the fire in the first place... which means that in that universe, no-one has to die.)

No One Has to Die Full Walkthrough

Each spoiler contains that level's walkthrough for each side (left/right). Click the spoiler at the end of the solution you want for the next branch's solution.

Save Troy: Right

Turn 1: Lock Troy's door, Lionel moves up and switches water on.
Turn 2: Switch off. Steve dies.
Turn 3: Advance.

Save Christina: Left

Turn 1: Lock Christina's door. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Advance. Troy dies.
Turn 3: Flip switch.
Turn 4: Advance.
Turn 5: Advance.
Turn 6: Advance.
Turn 7: Advance.

Dead end. Advance until death.

Save Troy: Right

Turn 1: Lock Troy's door. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Advance. Christina dies.
Turn 3: Flip switch.
Turn 4: Advance.
Turn 5: Advance.
Turn 6: Advance.
Turn 7: Advance.

Save Lionel: Left

Turn 1: Lock Lionel's door. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Flip switch.
Turn 3: Troy dies.
Turn 4: Advance.

Lionel End

Save Troy: Right

Turn 1: Lock Troy's door.
Advance until complete.

Save Steve: Left

Turn 1: Lock Steve's door, Lionel moves up and switches water on.
Turn 2: Switch off. Troy dies.
Turn 3: Advance.

Save Steve: Left
Turn 1: Lock Christina's door. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Advance.
Turn 3: Advance.
Turn 4: Flip switch.

Save Steve:

Turn 1: Move Steve right. Lock his door.
Turn 2: Advance.
Turn 3: Advance. Christina dies.
Turn 4: Advance.
Turn 5: Advance.
Turn 6: Advance.

Steve End

Save Christina:

Turn 1: Move Steve up.
Turn 2: Move Steve up. Flip switch.
Turn 3: Flip switch.
Turn 4: Advance.

Christina End

Save Lionel: Right

Turn 1: Lock Christina's door. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Advance.
Turn 3: Flip switch.
Turn 4: Advance.
Turn 5: Advance.
Turn 6: Steve dies. Advance.
Turn 7: Advance.

Dead end. Advance until death.

Alternative Timeline

Save All

Turn 1: Lionel moves up. Lock both doors. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Flip switch.

Save All

Turn 1: Lock all doors.
Turn 2: Advance.
Turn 3: Advance.
Turn 4: Advance.

Save All

Turn 1: Move Steve right. Lock Steve, Troy, and Lionel's doors. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Flip switch.
Turn 3: Advance.
Turn 4: Advance.
Turn 5: Advance.
Turn 6: Advance.
Turn 7: Advance.

END

56 Comments

I have to tune out most of the brain-hurting time travel stuff, but otherwise a very good game.

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The last time I played this game I gave it 5 / 5 mushrooms. I'll give it 5 / 5 this time as well.

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Pretty good game. I agree that the puzzle aspect seemed a bit tacked-on, and I'm not sure if I like the ending. But the concept was interesting. In case anyone missed it, the cleverest part to me was the codes:

RFTS
IRHH
SOEE
EMAS

or:


Rise from the ashes

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SonicLover Author Profile Page April 10, 2013 2:32 PM

I would love to see a "level pack" sequel to this game that dispensed with the story completely and just had multiple levels that had to be solved with varying requirements (how many casualties were allowed, etc.).

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iamswiley Author Profile Page April 10, 2013 2:40 PM

@Roytheshort
(WARNING: MAJOR SPOILER BASED JOKE)

My consciousnesses has come here from another universe where you posted this. Safe to say, you left many a people confused and brain hurt. I suggest getting to the TEMPEST to make sure this is the last time this has to happen, go now and save their brains.

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muddgirl Author Profile Page April 10, 2013 3:21 PM

The puzzles felt pretty tacked-on after I figured out the first one, but I really liked the story and the theme of the game. The title "no-one has to die" took on many different meanings throughout the game.

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Loved it!

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Why must I keep killing you, Steve??
I'M SO SORRY!!!!

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I'm with SonicLover, this game could use a level pack. It's fine as is, but once you finish all the levels you don't have any more reason to play because the levels are all so similar.

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SonicLover Author Profile Page April 10, 2013 7:01 PM

No-one Has to Die walkthrough: The Full Story
The spoiler below contains an organized synopsis of NoHTD's entire backstory and story, intended to settle any confusion regarding the plot. Proceed with caution.

Fenix and TEMPEST

  • Fenix Corporation is a company interested in time travel. Using the sale and resale of cheap products as a front, they created the TEMPEST machine. The TEMPEST was a fully functional time machine, with the caveat that it transported one's consciousness rather than any physical object.

  • Transit forwards in time went as expected, with the caveat that the subject was essentially dead during the period their consciousness "skipped". Transit backwards, however, randomly pinged the subject's consciousness into another parallel but nearly identical universe.

  • Of course, since in those universes the same subject was being sent off in the same way, many consciousnesses from the same person flew to random universes, some universes receiving multiple copies of the same consciousness (which caused them to overwrite one another) and some universes never receiving a single one. In rare (and by rare I mean rare; this happened literally less than one time in a million, as you'll soon see) cases, a consciousness would land back in the same universe it came from.

The Phoenix Experiment

  • The TEMPEST's first test subject was Christina's mother, also named Christina. She was supposedly mentally sent back in time, but no consciousness of hers ever came back to inhabit her body, so as far as anyone could tell, Christina Sr. was dead.

  • Unsure of the reason for Christina Sr.'s death, Fenix conducted a huge investigation into what exactly had happened. Most notably, they conducted the "Phoenix Experiment". They purchased millions of cockatiels, taught them to say a phrase-- more specifically "Christina lives", in honor of Christina Sr.-- and sent them through the TEMPEST, which was set on back-in-time mode.

  • One of the cockatiels was special for two reasons. One: it inexplicably knew the phrase before any of the birds was taught it. Two: when it went through the TEMPEST, it survived as if nothing had happened, whereas all the others died.

  • The birds that died did so for the reasons explained for Christina Sr. above. The special bird survived because its consciousness, by miraculous chance, landed back in the universe it originated from; this was also how it knew the phrase too early. This was the evidence Fenix needed in order to realize how the TEMPEST truly worked (which I already explained up above).

Every-one Has to Die

  • Meanwhile, Christina Jr. (the Christina present in-game) received her mother's corpse, sans brain (presumably they cut it out to check for signs of her consciousness). She knew Fenix's work was a front for something, but had no idea what. Furious about what happened to her mother, Chrstina Jr. decided to put a permanent end to whatever experiments Fenix was conducting. She started the fire and shot the security guards, setting up the disaster the playable portion centers around.

  • When the fire started, the TEMPEST's target time was automatically set to the current time, presumably as a security measure to hide what it had most recently been used for. The Visitor, who happened to be in the room to make a delivery, coordinated everyone's escapes, but had to sacrifice three lives in order for one person to make it. Whose life he spared varied between universes, many of which had the same outcome.

  • Whoever survived then wandered into the TEMPEST and was sent back to the fire's start, in another universe. Troy was unfortunate enough to go through the loop five times in a row, being the only one spared each time, to such a point that he declared himself the arsonist just so the Visitor would decide to spare someone besides him, thereby ending the cycle.

  • Lionel's survival was special; when he was spared, he let the Visitor out of the security room and invited him to enter the TEMPEST as well, adding a fifth person to the web of flying consciousnesses.

The End Is Near, The Final Timeline Has Appeared

  • In the final timeline, five randomly pinging consciousnesses managed to land in the same universe by chance (which isn't as unlikely as it sounds, considering the huge sample size). Thanks to the security codes the survivors had picked up before entering the TEMPEST, the Visitor managed to save everyone.

  • Christina Jr. wasn't satisfied, though. After obtaining information from Lionel about the TEMPEST's controls, she used the thing to go back again, once again landing in a universe where no sacrifices were made, then during the escape she modified the TEMPEST to send her back to the time her mother was sent back, knowing there was a chance she'd land in a timeline in which Christina Sr. was alive... and if she didn't, she would jump back again and again until she did.

  • (If it makes you feel any better about everything, once she finally found her mother again, Christina Jr. wouldn't have a reason to start the fire in the first place... which means that in that universe, no-one has to die.)

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Ok.. I'm stuck.. The level with Lionel (at the top), Steve (at the bottom), and Christina (towards the bottom right near the switch)...

How do I keep Steve alive? I'm obviously missing something very simple but I either end up burning Steve to a crisp or drowning him like a rat....

Sigh.. Poor Steve...

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Hey SonicLover, have you seen the movie Primer?

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I think that

Christina Jr. is the same person as Christina Sr., somehow. It doesn't seem unlikely considering this game is about transferring consciousness and different outcomes to that effect.

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zzzzz, remember the function of locked doors.

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Sorry for the double post, I just rechecked that level. What I should have said is, remember that the flow of water can be stopped. The switches work both ways.

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whitehelm Author Profile Page April 11, 2013 1:18 AM

I don't know if it's just me, but I could only get this working in Chrome. Internet Explorer froze on "Loading Sounds", and Firefox started playing music but wouldn't display anything. All my browsers are up to date.

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throwawayx3t Author Profile Page April 11, 2013 5:09 AM

I agree with the rest. Amazing story but the puzzles were trivial. Still worth one play-through though. This would actually make an amazing movie.

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SonicLover Author Profile Page April 11, 2013 7:42 AM

@wrdalob: No, why?

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Just be aware, if you are dealing with a fire in real life, locking the door won't help.

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qwertyu63 Author Profile Page April 11, 2013 10:36 AM

To summarize: Great story, meh game play, some of the best selected music I've seen in a game, played through twice already, where can I get that music?

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This remind me an awesome anime. Is a huge spoiler, so I warned you haha

Time travel through consciousness was explored in Steins;Gate, the main character suffered the same thing as Troy did in this game, well, with its differences, I wonder if both ideas are causalities, both comes from another stuff or the developer of the game just copy the idea of author of that show

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawm1yG_Aemup0pg_UE7pArGk47M4GeSVmbA Author Profile Page April 11, 2013 11:40 AM

Very fun nice ending!

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SonicLover Author Profile Page April 11, 2013 3:08 PM

@ecru: Not that I'm claiming to be an expert in the field myself, but what sort of an authority are you on fire safety? I'm pretty sure it'd actually help a lot under the right circumstances.

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Ewan Whosarmy Author Profile Page April 11, 2013 4:11 PM

@SonicLover - closing doors would probably help in many fire situations. Locking doors which are already closed probably wouldn't.

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SonicLover Author Profile Page April 11, 2013 4:39 PM

@Ewan Whosarmy: It depends on how you lock them. An ordinary deadbolt lock won't do any good, but an airtight seal...

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Ewan Whosarmy Author Profile Page April 11, 2013 5:48 PM

Good point.

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onedernerd Author Profile Page April 11, 2013 7:41 PM

Actually, I didn't mind the puzzles that much, since I didn't consider them puzzles at all. I just decided they were fancy decision points.

Saying that it was similar to 999 and VLR spoiled it for me, though, since I knew what happened in those games. Am I the only one that wishes the conclusion to these time travel stories wasn't invariably to create a new timeline where everything bad is avoided? In any case, it was an interesting read, and it's a good sign when a game makes you wish it was longer.

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Cub149: I had the same thought.

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No One Has to Die Full Walkthrough

Each spoiler contains that level's walkthrough for each side (left/right). Click the spoiler at the end of the solution you want for the next branch's solution.

Save Troy: Right

Turn 1: Lock Troy's door, Lionel moves up and switches water on.
Turn 2: Switch off. Steve dies.
Turn 3: Advance.

Save Christina: Left

Turn 1: Lock Christina's door. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Advance. Troy dies.
Turn 3: Flip switch.
Turn 4: Advance.
Turn 5: Advance.
Turn 6: Advance.
Turn 7: Advance.

Dead end. Advance until death.

Save Troy: Right

Turn 1: Lock Troy's door. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Advance. Christina dies.
Turn 3: Flip switch.
Turn 4: Advance.
Turn 5: Advance.
Turn 6: Advance.
Turn 7: Advance.

Save Lionel: Left

Turn 1: Lock Lionel's door. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Flip switch.
Turn 3: Troy dies.
Turn 4: Advance.

Lionel End

Save Troy: Right

Turn 1: Lock Troy's door.
Advance until complete.

Save Steve: Left

Turn 1: Lock Steve's door, Lionel moves up and switches water on.
Turn 2: Switch off. Troy dies.
Turn 3: Advance.

Save Steve: Left
Turn 1: Lock Christina's door. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Advance.
Turn 3: Advance.
Turn 4: Flip switch.

Save Steve:

Turn 1: Move Steve right. Lock his door.
Turn 2: Advance.
Turn 3: Advance. Christina dies.
Turn 4: Advance.
Turn 5: Advance.
Turn 6: Advance.

Steve End

Save Christina:

Turn 1: Move Steve up.
Turn 2: Move Steve up. Flip switch.
Turn 3: Flip switch.
Turn 4: Advance.

Christina End

Save Lionel: Right

Turn 1: Lock Christina's door. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Advance.
Turn 3: Flip switch.
Turn 4: Advance.
Turn 5: Advance.
Turn 6: Steve dies. Advance.
Turn 7: Advance.

Dead end. Advance until death.

Alternative Timeline

Save All

Turn 1: Lionel moves up. Lock both doors. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Flip switch.

Save All

Turn 1: Lock all doors.
Turn 2: Advance.
Turn 3: Advance.
Turn 4: Advance.

Save All

Turn 1: Move Steve right. Lock Steve, Troy, and Lionel's doors. Flip switch.
Turn 2: Flip switch.
Turn 3: Advance.
Turn 4: Advance.
Turn 5: Advance.
Turn 6: Advance.
Turn 7: Advance.

END

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The boring "Everyone lives" thing. It's not true here. Chris jumps backward into the unknown. She's not sure what will happen. I don't consider that to be saving her.

They seem to have very good handle on time travel and its effects. Almost better than Doctor Who (Those writers prefer to just stay out of the effect time travel actually has.) And way better than H. G. Wells' Time Machine.

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onedernerd Author Profile Page April 12, 2013 6:21 PM

Oh, by the way, plot hole:

Every character end happens when someone enters the TEMPEST machine. If the TEMPEST machine only takes consciousnesses through time, why do their phones lose the connection?

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Awesome Game!

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@SonicLover: Primer is a sci-fi film that has probably the most convoluted time-travel narrative ever, with multiple branching timelines, doublebacks and simultaneous temporal instances of characters. Your very admirable organization of this game's narrative makes me think you might like to try to make sense of the film.

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Why does it take 6 million cockatiels for one to fall back in its own universe. Yet one Troy manages to do it 5 times in a row?

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@Roytheshort:

Six million cockatiels were necessary because they needed one to return precisely to its original universe, i.e. the one that the testers were in. But Troy didn't have to return to the exact same universe five times; he just had to land in universes sufficiently similar to his original universe that he didn't notice any differences in his immediate surroundings.

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billyswong Author Profile Page April 13, 2013 12:46 PM

Speaking of related story, I remember a novel written by Issac Asimov, the sci-fic writer in 20th century. It is called

The End of Eternity.

It's the greatest time-travel story I've read. It also ended up an hidden puzzle piece behind the Asimov novel-verse (Robots series, Empire series, Foundation series, their preludes and postludes). These stories intertwine, spanning tens of thousands of years, while The End of Eternity covers - tens of millions.

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SonicLover Author Profile Page April 13, 2013 2:06 PM

@onedernerd:

My guess is that the connection dropped because the TEMPEST machine interfered with the signal.

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CandyCorn Author Profile Page April 13, 2013 8:01 PM

Wow, Interesting game! I like plots that include time travel.. although it does get a bit confusing with all the possibilities & outcomes.

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To be fair:

Nobody actually has to do in the final path.

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I'm using Safari, and the HTML5 appears to load, but I'm stuck loading sounds. It works fully in Chrome on my Mac (OS X Lion), but I would like to at least know the issue.

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I just tried loading the game in Safari (6.0.3) on Lion (10.7.5), and the sounds all loaded and played fine for me without any issues. However, once I reloaded the page, I, too, was stuck at "Loading sounds..."

Then I emptied the caches (Develop menu -> Empty Caches) and reloaded the page. The sounds then all loaded and played fine again. You might want to try doing that yourself to see if that works for you as well.

So, I'm guessing it has something to do with the Safari cache and how Javascript and HTML5 load sound files from it.

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Love it. The puzzle bits felt like a gruesome Layton puzzle. :P
Plot driven games are my favie fave.

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BlackOliveGames Author Profile Page April 24, 2013 9:38 AM

Very good story, and the music conveys a sense of urgency. Although, after the 20 or so minutes it takes you to finish the game, you realize that

everyone, in fact, died. Despite what the title says. It's just that nobody cares.

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This building has a terrible sprinkler system.

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SonicLover Author Profile Page April 27, 2013 11:56 AM

@Ishanpm:

They would've installed a better system, but they didn't want to risk letting the inspection crew discover the TEMPEST machine.

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BlackOliveGames Author Profile Page April 27, 2013 12:19 PM

@SonicLover: So, what, they're satisfied with a system that drowns people who accidentally step beneath one?
Joking aside, I don't really see the problem. The puzzle aspect is just there to connect the seams of the story. It doesn't have to be over-analyzed.

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Cyberjar88 Author Profile Page April 28, 2013 8:45 PM

This game makes my head hurt...

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I can't play the game. It won't start on my computer. Just the music i can hear.

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Mmmm... May I drop a little fly in the ointment? Even with all these time-travelling, you can't say "no-one died". Two innocent guards are so easy to forget, right?..

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I doubt its actually an option, but I really want to save everyone

after hearing each of their stories!

How come the "walkthrough" above says to lock multiple doors when you can't? Is there a trick to this? Or what...

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Fred M. Sloniker Author Profile Page May 16, 2013 3:34 AM

@Alli Wong: have you seen all the endings? Are you sure?

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@Fred M Sloniker Yep, the final timeline appeared but I still can't lock more than one door.

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"When the fire started, the TEMPEST's target time was automatically set to the current time, presumably as a security measure to hide what it had most recently been used for."

I'm pretty sure the reason the target time was set to the time the fire started was so that, assuming someone survived, they could go back to the start and fix the issue (i.e. stop the fire/save everyone). Not to hide what it was most recently used for.

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Really loved this game! its pretty complicated understanding the separate time lines and stuff and its really quite sad too but it was fun!

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Leopardmask Author Profile Page May 24, 2014 11:18 AM

This game is so psycho. It messes with your mind so badly. Why am I still playing. WHY AM I STILL PLAYING.

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Great game. It gets a bit repetitive but the storyline is interesting. The best part is the OST.

Considering I played VLR and 999, I was not mind-blown at the whole time travel concept but I like how it fits nicely here. The game also reminded me of Steins;Gate which is awesome. 8)

For an online game, it's pretty nice. :D

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