Hollowed Minds (Chapter 1: Route 2 Updated 6/24/2022, +10k words)

DEMO | KO-FI | TUMBLR | DISCORD | PATREON (soon)

Everything out here in Gaile is dirty—that is a fact you can no longer deny. Dust continues to invade your nose, the fog hinders your sight wherever you go, and there is a distinct smell that no one can seem to get rid of. A smell stronger than the muck that spills on its grounds. More repulsive than the scent of sweat. Of stagnant water. Of the decaying leaves and grass.

It’s the underlying scent of blood and death that somehow wafts over the air, pushing its way to your insides with such familiarity and haste.

Deeper. And deeper.

And deeper.

synopsis1

They call you Ripper.

It’s a horrendous name to give to a detective like you, and definitely not one you chose for yourself, but you suppose it’s to be expected given your reputation for putting powerful people behind bars. Businesses feared you. The other cops hated you. Local gangs despised your entire existence. Yet, despite all of that, you remained untouched.

Until that day, when all the lies and the deception and the foolish mistakes turned your life upside down.

But perhaps that’s not where it all began. Perhaps it rooted from the decades the city has suffered, through the failed revolutions and corruption that sucked the life out of it, turning it into an insurmountable void of hopelessness and grief. The deaths you can swear you have once seen but cannot remember.

Now, as you attempt to rectify what happened and fix your honor, you find yourself entangled in webs of conspiracies and betrayal with each step you make, and you will have to make wise decisions to discover the connections among the events disturbing Gaile City once more.

A grisly murder. Enigmatic hallucinations plaguing certain people. Recurring explosions . And the one thing that troubles even you and your overprotective brother–the strange, vivid nightmares and an ominous group that may be behind them.

Find the truth. Protect whomever you can. Survive. Remember.

But beware. In this forsaken city, the truth is everyone’s enemy. Just as it may be yours.

features1

  • Customize your character - gender, pronouns, sexuality, appearance, and motivations
  • Reclaim your honor or be viewed as another corrupt socialite, while having the choice to hide your true intentions.
  • Cultivate your relationships. Romance, befriend, or turn the closest people around you into enemies.
  • Let past sins be forgiven or slowly go down the path of revenge.
  • Deal with a shady government, haughty politicians, and bloodthirsty groups who may not have your best interest in mind.
  • Have the choice to delve deeper into the Ripper’s nightmares and turn them into an advantage (at the cost of something else).
  • Solve a murder, though you might not like the answer.
  • Save. Sacrifice.
  • See it. Hear it. Feel it.

[Please bear in mind that this is a story that focuses on the concept of grief, family issues, loss, death, and has heavy emphasis on corruption, which might not be suitable for some people’s tastes.]

Relationship Options

relop1

F. Wesley [M/F]

  • Age: 24
  • Appearance: Has short light brown hair with styled smooth waves (some strands barely touching the jawline for Finn when let loose; reaching the shoulder for Faye). Their uncallused fair skin easily burns whenever exposed to too much sunlight for too long, though they do use clothes that cover much of it anyway. Wesley also has almond-shaped hazel eyes with soft-arched eyebrows, a sharp nose, and has an average weight with average height. They mostly wear a calm expression that doesn’t betray much of their emotions, accompanied with a habit of showing off confident smiles when in public—mostly facades. Comfortable using clothes with long sleeves and scarves, complemented by a perfume.

A friend. A lover. No matter what role they had in your life before all this, it is the case no longer. Still, while the recent events that transpired have set you apart, the young journalist pushes on, all alone amidst a crowd of questionable connections who might end their life anytime they falter. Change the city; destroy corruption; create a better world–they will reach for those goals no matter whom they have to approach. They will keep on chasing, broken and lost as they are, to prove that every decision they once made has been worth it. To prove that leaving you was for a right reason. Was it?

E. Alonzo [M/F/NB]

  • Age: 30
  • Appearance: Has thick, black straight hair reaching the end of their ears and with sharp curly ends—several strands falling in front of their eyes. Their skin has a deep brown color, scars and calluses filling their hands and tattoos surrounding their right arm, and they always wear a black silk glove that covers up to their left hand’s wrist (which happens to be their dominant side). Alonzo also has a flat nose and hooded dark brown eyes that seem to appear tired most of the time; their glares tend to be the nasty kind. Tall with an athletic body, they give off an imposing posture, coupled with a clothing choice that mostly comprises of wearing long coats and turtlenecks of dark colors.

Hatred fills their eyes whenever they meet with yours, and you haven’t the slightest idea why. There has to be a reason, though. There has to be a reason why despite the small, vulnerable moments you share with them, it is as if a switch is flipped every time and their gaze grows cold all over again. One thing is clear–they have a plan. A plan against the marshal, the very person they’re working for, and your existence may or may not become a hindrance on the steps they’ll have to take. What that means for you, that is the question.

Owen Russell [M]

  • Age: 26
  • Appearance: Owen has short black hair with thick, soft curls that his sisters have always loved messing with. He has a dark brown complexion, a round nose and likewise round blue eyes. Taller than Wesley but shorter than Alonzo, his broad shoulders can give off an intimidating impression, though his frequent smiles offset this. Sweaters are his go-to for clothing as he gets cold quite easily, and he does wear his prescription glasses when at work.

Selfless, responsive, family-oriented. A resident doctor at the hospital your father built, Owen is one of the few people in Gaile City who made a conscious choice to be there, a decision he made without a sliver of regret. But of course, no one can be ever spared from the cruelty that the city brings upon its dwellers. As Owen gets entangled in the vicious cycle of crimes, as he witnesses the struggles of the same people who’ve been plagued with mysterious hallucinations, his ideals will be tested; and you can either stay beside him to help him remain the way he is, or become the reason for his tremendous change.

Jade Stein [F]

  • Age: 23
  • Appearance: She has long wavy auburn hair reaching past her shoulders, a delicate nose, and sharp protruding brown eyes bearing promises of danger. Her skin is of a russet-brown complexion similar to her brother Richard, though she is definitely much shorter with a toned build. The practical style of clothing Jade adapts (though she is also a fan of plaid shirts) lets her blend easily among the crowds, and her knowledge of the most obscure paths within the city has repeatedly allowed her to hide from suspecting eyes.

A reporter who restlessly roams the city for stories to tell, or at least she used to be. You don’t actually know what she’s been up to the past few years. There was a time when you thought she was like you, seeing her lack of reservations in targeting powerful politicians, until it was revealed that she did so by planting rumors of her own. Despite that, despite the mistakes she once made and the festering relationship she has with her brother Richard, she’s coming home. She’s coming home, secrets lying underneath the apparent bluntness, and she will do anything to ensure that the only family she has will survive.

???

Update Log

1/11/2021

  • 27,000+ words

3/19/2021
Total Word Count w/o commands: 73,632 words

  • Chapter 1 uploaded (44,633 words w/o commands)
  • Romance Options and family introduced
  • Choose appearance, sexual orientation, and motivations
  • Feedback for Prologue applied (additional choices and scenes)
  • More lore about the city
  • Choose your character’s cover
  • Confront Bale. Again.
  • Peek into the MC’s past.

2/25/2022

  • Prologue Revised (Chapter 1 pulled out for further testing–now over 60k words)
  • Current Word Count in the Demo: 38,673 words
  • Added interactions and scenes

5/08/2022

  • Chapter 1 Revised
  • Current Word Count in the Demo: 96,023 words
  • Additional interactions

6/24/2022

  • 2nd Route for Chapter 1 uploaded
  • Edited sections from previous updates
  • Current Word Count in the Demo: 105,728 words
Feedback Needed

GENERAL FEEDBACK

  • choices that put you off or make you uncomfortable
  • inconsistencies in the plot or in the dialogue
  • grammatical errors or weird lines/ text - I’m a stickler for accuracy in this area and English wasn’t my first language, so this would be very helpful
  • lengthy and boring blocks of texts - I would prefer it if the readers would be able to pick up on the most important details, so if a segment’s long enough that it makes you skip some paragraphs, it would help me to know.
  • Are there scenes where you’d prefer to have more detailed descriptions?
  • Other feedbacks you could think of that aren’t specified here
Content Warnings
  • Violence and gore
  • Alcohol use (depending on the MC’s choice)
  • Hallucinations
  • Nightmares
  • Panic attacks
  • Character death
  • Fire/ Explosions

Please don’t hold back on giving feedback and suggestions, especially if you spot inconsistencies. I’m also entertaining questions, if you have some. This would be the first book in a series, but I’ll make sure that every part will still be able to stand on its own, each with its own secrets to unfold.

This will be a journey full of sadness, betrayal, clash of ideals, and reconciliations with the past. So brace yourself and enjoy the game!

671 Likes

this is so good! I can’t wait for future update and I’m shocked to learn that our partner- cough ex-partner now, betrayed us. I can’t wait to learn their reason on why they did that or it just a simple misunderstanding.

I’m looking forward for this!

17 Likes

10/10 prologue. Can’t wait for the next update.

2 Likes

10/10 will probably play every update of this demo 3 times

2 Likes

Really nice and smooth intro, love it!

2 Likes

Sounds interesting

1 Like

This is amazing, I loved the prologue and your writing. I’ll be waiting somewhat patiently for the next update.

1 Like

:slight_smile: I cannot wait to sock Finn in the jaw. I literally do not care what his reasoning is, I will not hesitate if given the opportunity.
This is one heck of a prologue though! This is gonna be good, I can tell.

22 Likes

Excellent prologue. The flow was good, I got hooked by the premise, and the characters seemed interesting. Loved the pickpocket moment as well. I’ll keep an eye on this one. Cheers.

Wesley better watch their back. No mercy.

16 Likes

time to go back to my Ronaldo phase the man who always wanted Justice and did nothing corrupt to The Bitter End even if it killed him so f*** my ex you didn’t break me I’m going strong and who’s going to be my Joe who knows because reading this made me have that phase back

1 Like

I’m okay being betrayed if I’m the only one that but involving someone else who has a family really really wants me to punch him or her and the actions really put them in danger

Detectives? fightings? guns? betrayal? sign me up! :grin:

1 Like

This was amazing. Quite possibly one of the strongest prologues I’ve read.

You do a good job of introducing the world and set the pace of what kind of story we are to expect. Your writing style is very fitting too, although there was some instances where I would have like a bit more room to breathe. To really take in what is going on.

When we infiltrate the building, and we have a choice on how to deal with the goons, I felt like the whole scene was done in a flash. The explosion is also a good example of what I mean. I really liked how you described our senses, that disorienting feeling, the ringing in our ears. But then… It is over. And we’re casually speaking with Richard. Perhaps you could add a choice there? Something that relates to how we’re feeling but, most importantly, to give the reader time to really take in what has just happened.

I just really liked the first half of the scene and feel like it wasn’t as impactful as it could have been. I didn’t even realize it was a literal building that exploded until much later, when we’re escaping.

But speaking of Richard, he and his relationship with the Mc was really the selling point for me. I care about him, I care about his family, and at the end, I was right there with him. Furious at that traitorous bastard. You did a great job with him, I especially like how you described his mannerisms and way of speaking. If he’s a sign of how you write characters, then he’s a fantastic omen.

I’m very excited to see what happens next! I love detective stories, and it seems like we’ll be able to do proper detective work in this game - maybe even outside the law.

Wish you all the best with your writing! I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on this project :heart:

31 Likes

Thank you all for the kind words!

I was planning to do that before but it somehow skipped my mind. Thanks for that. I have a habit of rushing through the action whenever I get excited for the next parts I’m supposed to write (in this case, Wesley’s betrayal). The coding also overwhelmed me at the time since it was basically my first attempt. :sweat_smile: I’ll take note of that and include it for the next update.

The infiltration segment was a miscalculation on my part. I was afraid that maybe the pacing’s getting slow when I was writing it so I made it short. Will fix that!

You’ll meet more characters in the next update. Each of them has their own goals and motivations, and I’m very excited to introduce them into the plot.

16 Likes

Keep on writing man I enjoyed 100% of it Hope to see more from you.

2 Likes

This was SO good. I really love your writing style and it reads so well. Also loved how involved and capable our MC was.

Richard :pleading_face: :pleading_face:

I’m sitting here still gushing over this. I’m excited :heart:

4 Likes

Oh wow this was amazing! Keep it up! I loved the writing, the pacing and especially the atmosphere so much!

I really like when in detective stories/ thrillers the villain’s goal isn’t necessarily to kill the protagonist, at least not from the start, (because you know, most of the time villains never actually get to kill them cause the story would end :P) but if their goal is to capture them or frame them and such I feel like it makes it a bit more interesting cause those things CAN happen, so that “not to be harmed” really piqued my interest!

I can’t wait to see where this is going! Very VERY promesing! (I can’t believe this is only the prologue and we already got such a shocking plot twist! I don’t even know the guy/gal and my heart is already broken ahah!)

3 Likes

Enjoyed it. Looking forward to more.

2 Likes

Don’t worry. There will be more of those in the future. :wink:

5 Likes

I have to agree with all the previous commenters – this prologue was really good! I like that we’re almost immediately thrown into the action; that stuff really catches readers’ attention, especially if written well like yours!

As of right now, I think the only thing that could make this prologue better is if there was a little more clarity upfront as to what we (the main character) are. I would have loved to see a little more inner monologue on this:

Honestly just a sentence or two more on what our character’s relationship with the marshal/with the law is would be enough!

Otherwise, this is definitely something I look forward to reading more of.

8 Likes