Amnesiac M.C help?


Ok i’m sorry this is a stupid question.

Right now I’m writing my first story and its going ok but there is something that is bothering me.

See, the m.c wakes up at the hospital were he/she later discovers that he/she is an amnesiac. That’s were he/she starts trying to gather the pieces of what happened and find out what’s going on.

The amnesia I chose is where the m.c can remember the past but only bits and pieces and he/she can only store a day worth of memories before they’re are wiped after sleeping.

So I was wondering would that even work? I mean if I do it like that, the m.c would forget but the player wouldn’t.

Would you find it annoying?

Should I just drop the thing?


What is the setting? Is it fantasy? Sci-fi? Are you aiming for realism or just what fits for the story?

That amnesia does not sound realistic. I take it that it’s unnatural?


I’m aiming for realism and its this one.

Anterograde amnesia is a loss of the ability to create new memories after the event that caused the amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact.


Yes. But Anterograde Amnesia does not work like 50 First Dates. It’s not a days worth of memories and then forget.

I’d imagine it would work something like Memento with a non-linear format of a game and a mystery unravelling in a disjointed fashion.


alrighty that sounds epic hard.


Yeah a game like Memento would be extremely hard I think.


Please don’t go for the traditional cliched amnesia “you wake up in the hospital and can’t remember anything!” Why not start the story before the event causing the amnesia? Or after it when the character is trying to get readjusted to life? The hospital trope is so overdone.


I like that, as for the the hospital trope being so overdone. Yes it is but so is everything else i have tried to come up with.(corny and cliche)



What to me sounds most interesting about this idea is how you could play with the way the story is written to show the gaps in the MC’s memory. What if, for example, the MC is making notes so that they know what happened previously even when they can’t remember it? You can just jump over the gaps in the MC’s memory within the story, and then use those notes to form an image of what happened during that gap.

I’d imagine there’d be a brief explanation of the MC’s condition written down on the first page of such a notebook by someone else. This person might or might not be able to act like some sort of guide figure to the MC.

Just my two cents.


.[quote=“Cecilia_Rosewood, post:10, topic:23222”]
What if, for example, the MC is making notes so that they know what happened previously even when they can’t remember it?

Thats the way i have been doing it! lol but im not sure if to continue like that.


I saw a movie about a dude who would lose his memory and start the next day fresh just like yours. It was a long time ago so I don’t remember it exactly but here’s what I kinda remember. He would wake up not remembering anything. Then he’d go look in the mirror and spot all these tattoos on himself, just everywhere. All clues and reminders to what his goal was. His entire room was also covered in notes telling him what was going on, what he had to do, blah blah. Little things that would jog his memory a bit.

He’d go out and try to achieve this goal. Not succeed but pick up a few more clues. He’d go back to his apartment or whatever it was and write down the new notes somewhere. He wakes up having forgotten his entire life again, rereads everything plus the new info, and then goes on to try and achieve his goal. Repeats until he succeeds.

So you could kinda do it like that. Have a little safe house that the MC keeps filled with reminders to jog their memory a little.


That’s Memento, which has been mentioned upthread.


I’ve never seen Memento. I must’ve watched a knock off.


I like this idea. I know amnesia doesn’t work like in the movies, and along with long lost twins it’s most famous of soap opera clichés, but I can’t really remember a piece of inactive fiction with amnesia at its core.

Amnesia(the Hollywood kind) actually could really work, I think, for a CS game. The main character wouldn’t have any knowledge that the player didn’t. Which for me is really appealing. There’s nothing I love more than when the line between me and my character blurs.

Of course that makes the character forgetting tricky if the player remembers. …hey maybe this post isn’t helpful. Sorry I just woke up.


Amnesia in interactive fiction can work BUT it can come off poorly very easily. When the MC is seen by the reader as themselves it is very difficult to avoid alienating them from their character; how can you expect a reader to forget something they’ve read as if they were that character. So the day by day Amnesia would be the toughest one to pull off in the regards to player immersion.

What I’m saying is that Amnesia is a great plot device because it generates mystery which as we all know is a driving force in the majority of fiction. If you were to have this day by day Amnesia I would say that to make it work for you that black out periods and intentional vaguery are going to be your best weapons.

In most Amnesia fiction you’re dealing with a character outside the readers control so that makes it easier to swallow. Unlike sea eternal which slaps you with it in the worst possible way… despite being a good story elsewise

So in order to really pull this off in an interactive in order to make a reader forget they can’t have known the truth in the first place.

BUT that said there may be other ways to get around this so I wish you luck.


Memento is one of my favourite movies. It’s awesome. If anyone hasn’t seen it… go see it!

I think that a game like this would be very difficult to make, but if it’s done well, it could be one of the best games out there. :slight_smile:


My condition causes amnesia at times (disassociative, more or less.) The first challenge is to realize I’ve forgotten something at all. It isn’t like my life is a newspaper, with neatly clipped-out holes; I don’t know a memory is missing until I have a reason to go looking for it. And when I do, there’s nothing to find. It’s not at all like something you’ve forgotten, or repressed; it does not exist.

I do a lot of detective work. If things are moved, I put together what I must have done with them. If I find a piece of writing, I check it against my usual style markers to confirm that I wrote it. I try to account for where I was in a day to see whether I’ve lost time, particularly in circumstances conducive to amnesia. I question witnesses about myself.

Small details that would help sell the character are moments where, for example, she forgets she has amnesia. Adaptations like videotaping herself, or asking a neighbor how many times she left the house the day before. Sherlocking her fridge to see if she remembered to eat.


I’m terribly, terribly dissociative and often forget days to hours entirely at a time. Horrible.


I learned about that in psychology. The first man to ever have parts of his brain taken out to stop seizures had that because they removed almost all of his hippocampus, believing that it would cure him of the seizures, and ultimately it did, but at a cost.

@SashaDrag I think perhaps if you put it into a sci-fi setting where part of his/her hippocampus gets damaged, and there is a type of treatment that they take while on their adventure in order to remember the past or whatever. To fix the damaged parts of their brain. Because it’s sci-fi it would be plausable.