An alternative superhero story. It’s 1969 and the bohemian inhabitants of Sweetwater are trapped in a war between psychedelic cult-leader Oscar Szorba and powerful business mogul Michael Freed. Until, that is, a strange new hero arises…
The player is a private detective eking out a living amongst the jumble of hippy communes and fading colonial grandeur that comprises Sweetwater, a town built centuries previously on a salt marsh by Spanish settlers intent on Christianising the local Chumash population, for whom the marsh was a sacred hunting ground. As the buildings gradually subside and crumble back into the ancient wetlands, powerful interests want to hasten the process so they can exploit the land for themselves.
The world is almost the same as ours, with the important difference that the timeline diverged slightly during World War II, when research by Japanese scientists revealed new ways of tinkering with genetic code. After the war, these scientists were brought to America and installed in secretive research facilities on the West Coast.
The story starts when you stumble across a by-product of this research and find yourself exposed to a mysterious serum labelled with the name of an animal. After this, you begin to experience strange side effects and gradually develop powers related to that animal. Using your new-found skills to protect the tight-knit community of outcasts and eccentrics around you, you’ll find yourself drawn into a conflict between a Mansonesque cult, gangs of bikers and the deep, deep pockets of the wolfish Michael Freed, head of Freed Industries.
Gradually, you become a folk hero and must cultivate your own legend, with guidance from your friends. But the problems really begin when other super-powered individuals enter the fray, this time in the employ of Freed Industries. In order to keep your community safe, you’ll need to investigate and battle your way to the root of all this evil, the shadowy Congress of Beasts.
Some “mood pics” that are currently rotating on my desktop as I write:
- Let the story splice you up with the DNA of a random animal or choose your own.
- 25 different animals (including 3 hidden ones)! See list below.
- 8 ROs available to all players, including routes specifically tailored to ace/aro players.
- Customise your superhero identity with help from an underground comics artist, a trained ballet dancer and an aging B-movie star. Design your costume, quips and gadgets.
- Take a deep dive into 60s counterculture and embrace your freak self! Or don’t. Be as hip or square as you like and watch the story shift accordingly.
- Free Love™.
Hidden Animal #1
Hidden Animal #2
Hidden Animal #3