Merry Crisis - WIP (Updated: 24/06/23)

I’m not sure if I’ve posted in here before or not! I’ve played through the WIP several times since it was originally posted, though, and if I did post, I’m sure I said then what I’m going to say now:

I love this with my whole heart.

Most games are set in places we’ve never been, will never be, and are filled with people and cultures we’ll never experience. But there’s something to the experience of playing in places I could see, exploring a culture I could experience, that just makes my heart sing. It’s almost like a form of virtual tourism, but so much richer, so much more personal. Even if I could afford a trip to Singapore, I’d never be able to experience it as a local. The chance to do so as someone from the opposite side of the world is a privilege I appreciate immensely.

Thanks so much for opening this door for me! I’ve loved everything I’ve found on the other side.


@ydefsoul and @Jenna_V Thank you both so much!!

That was so, so great to hear - I remember playing my first IF and realizing just how powerful the medium was. I’ve always been a fan of CYOA books - still vaguely remember one that was set in some jungle (you’re an explorer or something). It’s funny how text-based games can really evoke a whole universe, with all its textures… Again, thanks for the note, I’m so happy I could bring you along for the ride :slight_smile:

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This so far has been a very fun and interesting story.

Keep up the hard work with writing!


I love this so so much as a south east asian. I also love-hate family things. The invasive questions ugh, the unwarranted advice/comments about your whole being ughhh but still i love them anyway :clown_face:.

Also Qiu would have me bawling my eyes out. Istg i would be in love with him irl too

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@Aethelric Thank you!! So glad you’ve liked it so far. :muscle:

@Elsee Aww, hello fellow SEA-sian! :wave: I know right! Now that I’m heading into “ok shit I’m an adult” territory, family/home has become so much more of a complex thing.

I read somewhere that part of growing up is realising your parents are humans too (rather than one-dimensional heroic/god-like/devil-like? figures), and that’s certainly been true for me. Like, shit, I love you but I also see all your flaws and insecurities and dreams and aspirations - so the “love” takes on a different, more textured meaning as well.

HEHE QIU! I’m in the same boat. I’d fall in love, and then wish I never did.


Is it time to start the Qiu fanclub? lmao I mean, I like our Ex, the neighbor is really cool but MC’s crush as a teen and the route’s potential in the present hit me like a train akjsdhaksdh


nah because im with you on that one. qui is just too damn charming. also hits most of the boxes of fictional characters i would date.


@Gloomcat HAHA sure! you’re more than welcome to start the club, looks like you could potentially already have one member - @yb_minhee :stuck_out_tongue:

I hope meeting Qiu again in person for the first time will live up to both your expectations!

Update: Cast of characters (with images)
I’ve created a new “characters” page on Tumblr, with descriptions and picrew images (i.e. ‘graphic illustrations’) of the ROs (will add MC’s best friend Joony soon!) If you’re interested in checking it out, link’s here!


Can’t browse Tumblr anymore it has become another login and subscription site where we need to pay with our personal data. :unamused:

That’s not really the problem, at least not for my mc. The real reason my mc and Qiu won’t work is because he’ll probably never move to the US or Europe for my mc and my mc will not move back to Singapore because as a gay guy he refuses to hide much longer and in the event a big enough breakthrough in his musical career does happen he won’t accept that Singapore places a limit on the success of gay guys either and he will not be compelled by the big (Asian) record labels to enter a showbiz fake “marriage” with some girl either.
Now my mc does hope he can convince Shay to move with him and either collaborate with or join his band outright.


Oh, fair. Posted the same thing here, for folks who don’t use tumblr-

Detailed description of ROs/Main characters

(but take 'em with a pinch of salt / retain your own headcanons if you’d like)
Credit for picrew: PotatoLord’s Persona Creater

Nat [M/F]

Warm, twinkling eyes, and big, infectious laugh. Enthusiastic, loving, thoughtful, and kind to a fault. Relaxed, loose/limber demeanour. The kind of friend - and partner - you could trust with your life. An incurable optimist, and a hopeless romantic. Can swing from effortless charm to extreme goofy-ness/nerdy-ness, especially with the people they’re comfortable with.

Your ex. Your parents never approved of them, but you suppose it doesn’t matter anymore. Despite the breakup, you’re still friends, and worse still - you still live with them in a tiny shoebox apartment. New York rent, man. What can you say?

Height: 6′2 (M) | 5′11 (F)
Build: A gentle giant
Nationality & race: African-American
Occupation: Grade-school teacher, with an endless supply of volcano facts.
Loves: People, art/movies (especially talking about them with friends), food/cooking, their two dogs.


Qiu [M/F]
Dark, piercing gaze, with a completely unreadable expression most of the time - unless they’re fixing you with an unimpressed stare. Always impeccably dressed. Aloof, almost intimidating presence (despite their relatively average height/slim build). Extremely intelligent, ambitious, determined, and a bit cynical/jaded.

Your first-love (or platonic soulmate), from junior college. You’d not kept in touch, and now, they’re ridiculously successful. But, according to your intel, still…tantalisingly, frustratingly single.

Height: 5′8 (M) | 5′4 (F)
Build: Lithe/Slim
Nationality & race: Chinese Singaporean
Occupation: Surgeon-in-training
Loves: Doing a job well, being useful, stimulating conversation, and solving problems, peace and quiet.


Shay [M/F]
Thick, sweeping eyebrows, expressive eyes that twinkle at the edges when they smile, and a permanent roguish half-grin. Tan and athletic, good with their hands (and with their body…), adventurous, with a bit of swagger to their walk. Easygoing, honest, resilient, and uncompromisingly genuine.

Your neighbour’s edgy new tenant. Sexy, confident, and unabashedly unconventional - your parents definitely do not approve. But you might not be able to resist their roguish charms - looks like a long (or too-short) week ahead.

Height: 5′10 (M) | 5′6 (F)
Build: Athletic, muscular
Nationality & race: Chinese (peranakan) Singaporean
Occupation: Lead singer & guitarist in a rock band
Loves: Movement (rock climbing, mountain biking, dancing, soccer - you name it), being outdoors/nature/plants, music



Oh, and @idonotlikeusernames, as for the difficulties with Shay - honestly, that makes complete sense, and echoes lots of real life stories I’ve heard, either from friends or friends of friends. I hope to at least write some of those possibilities/options/branches into the game.

In other news, Singapore will finally repeal the colonial-era law criminalizing gay sex (India did it 4 years ago). But even while announcing it, politicians emphasized that gay marriage will not be legalized any time soon.

Essentially, a smart “have your cake and eat it too” move - appease the liberals by getting rid of a law that was not really enforced anyway, while also appeasing the conservatives by doubling down on the whole ‘marriage is for the opposite sex’ stance.


They’ll also keep the vague definitions of things like “disturbing the peace” so presumably no gay couples strolling hand in hand, let alone kissing in public in the near future either. So for my mc it wouldn’t change much, Singapore would still be a dead end for him.
Nor will it address the housing discrimination against queer people discussed earlier in this thread to be gay behind closed doors you first need to have a door to close behind you to begin with.

It’s a step in the right direction but a very small one indeed:

And a particular sort of expat at that only. It seems they prefer relatively low profile tech workers or millionaires and billionaires, as presumably, the new PAP policy of suing you into oblivion if you’re successful and speak out against them or look to become a political opponent appears to still be firmly in place too.

That being said, Singapore is far from the only problem a gay Asian artist would have in case of a big breakthrough as the highly lucrative, Chinese, Korean and Japanese entertainment markets are not that gay friendly either. So if my mc wants to have both success as an artist and performer and wants to stay himself he’ll have to accept that he’ll pretty much be limited to the US/North American, European and Australian entertainment markets, with the possible and rather ironic exception of Taiwan. Which seems to be the queer friendliest Asian country by far even if practically nobody even recognizes it as a country.
Really, best case scenario he’ll be a reverse Kris Wu, without the sordid scandals, native Singaporean Chinese with huge success in the North American, European and Australian entertainment scene(s). :thinking:

In terms of in-game success only the queer tech startup CEO might be in a position to really benefit from this small change if the startup either gets bought out for a good price by one of the tech giants or becomes the next huge thing on its own, as that would make the CEO mc exactly the sort of rich but relatively low profile gay guy Singapore hopes to attract with the small change.
For game purposes this small change might eventually benefit Qiu plus CEO mc because unlike artist mc CEO mc could plausibly maintain a relatively low profile even if they become super successful and rich because unlike for artist mc the company is not about them personally or their personal brand.

A joke my Japanese gaming friend has made more than once is that only fantasy characters are allowed to really be openly, loud and proud, gay in Japanese entertainment at present.
On the flipside lots of Asian cultures have always allowed for levels of intimacy in same sex, but particularly male friendships that would seem to fall firmly in gay territory over here, but I suppose in modern times that only helps some governments in the region make queer people even more invisible…“look those two hot guys, not gay just really, really good friends”. :roll_eyes:



On the one hand, we have extremely vague assertions that “we do not persecute/discriminate against queer people” (read: please come to singapore, rich queer expats), stacked against extremely concrete and very real structures and laws that continue to create & maintain conditions of precarity for queer people, especially those who belong to other disadvantaged groups (read: ok but everyone else, esp. if you’re local and not rich etc. etc., you only get a fair shot at life if you’re hetero or pretend to be. Get in line for your flat.)

Additional replies - sorry if it’s extremely confusing to everyone else following this thread :joy:

Lol - exactly. And that “door” preferably should not be the door to a love hotel or a seedy bar/club or an expensive as heck flat that ya still gotta rent when the rental market’s blowing up.

Yeah - well, there seems to be a huge market for implied homosexuality/homoerotically-coded same-sex relationships in boy/girl bands (but more specifically boy bands) in the chinese/korean music industry. Though as far as I know, none of them are openly queer and would probably not enjoy the same popularity if they were actually openly queer, so I suppose that just proves your point :stuck_out_tongue:


If it does happen my mc would love to have a real-life (or well in-game one) relationship on and off stage with Shay if they both get really succesful where the homoerotic parts on stage are definitely very real and we’ll see how that plays. Still, at best, even if that does get them quite a lot of Japanese and Korean fans the TV and media executives there probably won’t really embrace it, so there still wouldn’t be that much money in those markets for them, at least compared to the Western ones.
Particularly since in the biggest of them all, the Chinese market, Xi Jinping and the CCP are currently on another crusade against queer people or even just male celebrities they deem too effeminate…which I guess mostly just means pretty boys since not (m)any of them appear to be actual drag queens or non-binary. :unamused:

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Oh absolutely! I’m excited to write the different branching endgames possible.for the various jobs - the entertainer track would be the most “out-there” and public, with possibly the most room for things to blow up (or for their queerness to be shrugged off), while the CEO & professor tracks may allow more room for flying under the radar, as you say.

Haha yes!! I’d love to write a shared performance on stage, and after this convo, I just might! :slight_smile:


I adore this WIP so much. The SEA flavour adds a lot of joy (nasi lemak even being mentioned got me so proud, even though I don’t eat it much myself) and a kind of warm feeling that I can’t describe well.

Also, I haven’t even met Qiu but I adore them. You had me punching the air at the rainy umbrella scene – straight out of a kdrama sia :sob:

I think there was a repeating paragraph in that scene, though, or one of the other ones involving Qiu. I’ll play again in a bit and take a screenshot when I can.

Edit: Couldn’t get a screenshot because I was in incognito, but here’s the repeating paragraph.


Something clicked in place. Qiu shivers again, then jerks a chin at the bus. “That’s mine,” He says softly, and leaves you behind. The bus pulls away from the curb, and you watch it go.

Qiu shivers again, then jerks a chin at the bus. “That’s mine,” He says softly, and leaves you behind. The bus pulls away from the curb, and you watch it go.

Happened when I chose to point out the bus nearing the end of the scene.


Aww yeah! I really wanted to read more IF set in southeast asian worlds, and figured maybe I could just contribute.

HAHAH so funny that it felt like a Kdrama :joy: I guess my mom watches too many and it has just been stewing in my subconscious? (Oh no)

P.s. thanks for screenshotting the para, will fix it :slight_smile:


Even more confused Singaporean here! This is really nice. It’s a very refreshing change of pace from CT:OS (though I actually discovered them each individually before realising you were the author of both).


Is the football match we’re watching meant to be live or a recording? Asking because Ronaldo by 2019 was no longer playing for Real Madrid (he left in 2018 to join Juventus), so it wouldn’t make sense if it was live.

Also, you’re misspelling his first name by putting an ‘h’ after the first letter.


@Cloudy :wave: Ooohhh hello fellow Singaporean! Haha yes, I would never have guessed that you had read merry crisis as well, and so happy that you did! It’s definitely very different from CT:OS, mostly in terms of the more compact structure (players have a week in Singapore) and greater focus on family and romance. Plus, stats don’t matter at all (ish) in this one.

@ChairmanMeow Oh, you’re right, sometimes I forget Ronaldo left so early. Benzema truly has been flourishing since then though, so I’m glad. Will correct Cristiano’s name too, thanks for the catch! :slight_smile: