Before We Are Ghosts (WIP) - demo update 12 Aug 2022

“Why am I not dead?”

“Death cannot hold you. Not yet.”

When a powerful villain threatens the safety of Metamora, you and the city’s heroes go to great lengths to stop him, and ultimately you are forced to pay the biggest price of all.

(Against all odds, the heroes win. The victory is hollow.)

The doctors are professional, if not sympathetic. They tell you that your body is in the process of slowly shutting down. No, they aren’t sure why. No, there isn’t a cure. When you ask how much time you have left, the faces grow dark. Perhaps a year, they say. Two if you’re lucky.

(You thought you could rest. You thought wrong again.)

For as threats resurge and the past rears its ugly head, you can only wonder: Do you have the strength to see things through? Will there be enough time?

And when the end comes, can you find the courage to say goodbye?

Features:

  • customizable MC: name, gender, appearance, skills, and personality
  • discover the truth about your powers
  • find love, romantic or platonic… and then learn to let them go
  • confront the past that haunts your dreams
  • forgive others, and more importantly yourself
  • accept your impending death or deny it till the bitter end
  • let go of the past or choose the path of vengeance

Try the demo here!
Current word count: 50k words


Content Warnings

As suggested by the title, the main character will die at the end of the story. In addition to the themes surrounding death, others include major injury, loss, and the mental struggles that come with dealing with all of this.

(This list is likely non-exhaustive, as I come from a culture where content warnings are not the norm. Please let me know if any should be added. Apologies in advance for any omissions!)

Romance Options

The Leader | Vero Fowell

As the leader of the Blackbirds, Vero holds himself to a high standard of morals. He once believed that the pursuit of truth and justice was worth any sacrifice— but after what happened to you, he is beginning to rethink that ideology.

The Heart | Awan Naderi

As the heart of the team, Awan is a highly charismatic and principled hero. He strives to be there for those who need it most, and thus feels immense guilt for failing to uphold the same promise to you.

The Logician | Silver Reiss

The final member of the Blackbirds, Silver feels an inexplicable kinship with you, though she has never given voice to it. She deeply regrets not doing so, just as she regrets not doing more to prevent the fate that had befallen you.

The Reporter | Ezann Yang

If there is a truth to be found, you can be certain that Ezann will do her utmost to find it. But this intrepid reporter might have bitten off more than she can chew… and you are somehow one of the players in the middle of it all.

The Dreamer | Temari Mihara

There is no better one than ‘dreamer’ to describe Temari. Circumstances, however, have caused you to lose contact with her and her twin. And should a reunion be in the future, you can only wonder if the years past have changed this part of her.

The Protector | Tensei Mihara

As the older twin, Tensei takes his status very seriously. Steadfast and reliable, he can be very protective of both his sister and of you. If and when you meet again, you can only wonder if he will be just as warm.

Update Log
  • 9 June 2022: demo posted
  • 12 August 2022: chapter one added

Hello! My name’s Anjie, and I’m trying a hand at interactive fiction. Before We are Ghosts is slated to be a standalone book. This story is very dear to me, as are its themes, and I hope you will enjoy it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

I apologize for any coding errors, and would love if you could point them out to me. Feedback on continuity errors, or if you feel like something is awkward, confusing or missing, would be very helpful as well.

437 Likes

If there is anything I can do to help, Anjie, please let me know.

9 Likes

i really like this! i like the heavy topic your dealing with this and your writing suits it a lot. pairing up it up with a romance option hurts more. also really like how blunt you put it that the mc will die and that there is no miracle that will happen at the end that will somehow magically cure them. the mc’s situation makes me very sad ngl. let out a few tears while reading. tbh i thought the mc’s gift was something relating to healing people because of their callsign

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15 Likes

Oh god another heavy story where MC is destined to go away and leave everything behind especially their significant others, this brings back dejavu to that other game.

22 Likes

Damn, this was good, I can’t wait for the next update!

Keep up the hard work, you have a great idea here.

4 Likes

This brings out the masochistic angst lover within me :sob:

I literally cried while reading the sypnosis alone as rn I am feeling the blues so that mixed and the idea of this IF alone gives me the good type of angsty pain.

Like I love the idea of the MC inevitably dying off — but before that the MC gets to live through things before death is so bittersweet and the fact that there are ROs that will be experiencing the death of a MC who romanced them presses the right buttons for my angst-loving ass

All in all, I’ll be watching this IF’s journey with great interest o7

17 Likes

Congratulations on posting the demo! I look forward to seeing where this goes! :heart:

2 Likes

Usually in games about superpowers, heroes etc. I’d rather be a villain, but here’s exception. The story promises to be amazing…
and incredibly sad
but amazing.

I already love MC :sob: :heart:

9 Likes

WoW… This is quite an amazing plot. This is good, the amount of angst this story promises is gonna be incredible.

2 Likes

This is such a promising idea I feel. I really love the features…such a bittersweet type of deal. It’s hard to explain why but I guess these are all things I’ve thought about lately. I like that it can go both ways, either you can let go and accept it, or rage against the injustice. Its themes are very human, which I also love. I dunno, I like it a lot and can’t wait to be a wholesome, doomed goober.

5 Likes

Can’t wait for this. It’s awesome!

2 Likes

I love this idea. I felt your writing was well suited for the story you’re trying to create. Each paragraph made me feel like I was reliving the memories of Lifeline. This is going to hurt me so much.

4 Likes

This looks like an amazing concept and I really love the expressive writing style.

“Promises were such precious things. You had born the weight of heavy ones before, and the pain that came with the breaking of them,”
This was beautiful.

I found a few typos but nothing major really. Most of them are just mix ups with state of being verbs. They suck I know lol.

Minor Typos
  • “And perhaps that is why its hurts so now, to be able to do so no more.”

Should be singular ‘it’ here.

  • “Was those claims everyone had ignored actually true?”

‘Were’ instead of ‘was’ here.

  • “And while ‘safe’ had never a word to describe Metamora,”

I think this is either supposed to be ‘had never been a word’ or ‘was never a word.’

  • “minor alterations in one’s genetic code granted supernatural powers on those lucky enough to possess them.”

This is kind of nitpick-y but ‘granted on’ isn’t a typical phrase. It’s more common to see ‘granted to’ or ‘bestowed on/upon.’

  • “To fight the battles that ordinary humans i never could.”

Stray ‘i’ here.

  • “You had just added a box of eggs to your cart and was just heading for the check-out counter,”

‘Were’ instead of ‘was.’

  • “You think you streak pass a stunned Silver,”

‘Past’ or ‘passed’ instead ‘pass’ here. I’m not sure which one is more correct but I believe both are technically correct. Streak and pass are both actions so when you say ‘streak’ you follow it with ‘past’ to describe the movement rather than state the movement twice.

  • “Somewhere below you, the fire is still spreading. Silver is there fighting, as is the group of firefighters, buying you precious time. But this was still no safe haven.”

Everything else is in present tense so ‘was’ should be ‘is’ here to keep the continuity.

  • “He lips do not vocalize the storm that writhes within.”

‘His’ instead of ‘he.’

  • “Awan had loathed how circumstances had made him the keystone of a sacrifice he were never meant to make.”

‘Was’ instead of ‘were.’

  • “But the woman, perfectly positioned to locate the missing people?”

I’m pretty sure this in reference to the MC in which case I’m currently playing as a man.

  • “Theres anger in his voice, and a little bit of guilt too.”

Apostrophe before the ‘s’ here.

  • "i]“I promise.”

Probably a coding thing here.

Sorry for the dump of typos but I really did love this demo start to finish. The perspectives from the Blackbirds were really great for introducing us to who they are. Can’t wait for the next update!

3 Likes

I enjoyed the read and apart from some typos encountered I haven’t hit any bugs and looking forward to seeing more of your game :smiley:

1 Like

Talk about luck, I was just randomly browsing dashingdon and found this gem, very glad I gave it a chance, bittersweet tales like this just get to me.
Besides very few typos I thoroughly enjoyed it, the flashbacks near the end, specialy Silver’s, hit me like a truck, here’s hoping for more interactions with her in the future, and just more to read in general.

2 Likes

It was a greatly enjoyable playthrough, the POV switches are absolutely delicious. I’m already feeling very fond over most characters mentioned/appeared in-demo so far.
Patiently looking forward for more to come!

Mishaps I’ve found:

They/them grammar issues

It should be "They were"
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It should be “They are” or "They’re instead of "They is"
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Typos

The urge to comfort everyone is strong with this story :pensive:
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another 2 things

This has been pointed out before by Xoromin, except for mine, I chose not to go by man or woman, but also got woman:

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The talk with Ezann was intriguing, makes me wonder what MC has done in the past. There’s this one part of the talk which the phrasing felt awkward, but it could just be me! It’s the “Was I wrong?”
The way the question is asked feels out of place, I think mainly because it’s missing context of what Ezann was wrong about? The indication of what they’re referring to is muddled for me.

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2 Likes

Very promising story. I like the immersion and the emotions so open, readable and enjoyable among the characters. The flow and pacing are in tandem with the immersion as well. The undertone of the story was viivd throughout and served as an anchor to keep me on track.

typos


Wish you the best of luck🍻

3 Likes

To me this is definitely a gem in the making :sparkles:

2 Likes

does “the woman” refers to the MC? my MC is a man

typo

1 Like

I’ve been following your progress on the June writing support thread and I was super excited for your demo, and it did not disappoint!

The premise is amazing and your writing is so beautiful, descriptive and emotive — I already have a soft spot for Tensei. Huge congrats on releasing your demo, I can’t wait to see more.

9 Likes