The game opens up with a message the main character sent to his/her mom. The main character tells the mom that he/she got the ticket home from Europe. The main character also says that the arrival date is June 6th, that the flight is late, and that he/she will shuttle from the airport. The game then officially starts with, I am assuming, the main character on the porch about to enter his/her home. It is currently June 7th, 1995.
I am in a dark area right outside the front door to the house. My travel bag is on the ground. I try to enter through the front door but it is locked. I notice some sort of letter hanging on a wooden door. It’s a letter dedicated to me (my name is Katie) and the letter is telling me to not search for the missing writer of the message, Sam. Sam initially wrote that he doesn’t want Mom and Dad to know that he is not home, but it appears that Sam erased “Mom and Dad” and replaced it with “anyone”. I am getting the sense that this ominous letter might be a suicide letter because Sam wants to keep his disappearance so hidden. I then find the key to the front door in a wooden cabinet. I open the door to the lobby of the house. So far, I am feeling uneasy, as the entire interior of the house is barely illuminated and looks like it’s from the setting of a horror movie. To make it even creepier, the rain outside and frequent thunder makes me feel like I am about to enter a haunted house. As a side note, the items in my current inventory are my passport, my boarding pass, and obviously, the key.
When I was about to open the front door, I had the preconception that I was low to middle class because I purchased the cheapest available flight; however, the main lobby of the house was of grandeur. The first thing I see is the wide main staircase and just the immensity of my house. I then head left and see the bathroom. Just then, I hear a voice. It appears to be my narration of Sam’s journal. Sam says so much has changed. He says that I have been gone for a year. It appears that Sam had a difficult experience going through so many changes, like moving to this new house and moving to a new school. This probabilize my grim guess that Sam killed himself possibly from depression. I then turn the lights around the house including the closet and a nearby lamp. I find my family picture towards the left wing of the house. I also turn on this recording of a girl calling out for Sam; I’m not exactly sure if the girl calling for Sam is me. As I am walking through my house, I am raising a suspicion that I am the only person in the house.
Hallway (left wing):
I walk down the hallway. I open things here and there. Nothing particularly eye-catching. As I proceed down the hallway, I go into a room on the right. It looks like an office space. On a chair I pick up an interesting book regarding the killing of JFK. There is another room connected to that room I was just in. The new room seems like the house library. On a table, I inspect a magazine and I get frightened from the magazine cover of a person staring right into me. I go back to the hallway and I go further down it. I am walking down the hallway, about to turn the corner on the right when I hear a man’s voice. There is a room on the far left of the hallway. The TV on the room is on. It is the source of the male voice. Upon inspecting the TV, I read that there is or was a severe weather warning. I then realize the disorderly state of the room and make the connection that possibly my family were scuffling around the house to get their most important things and fled due to the weather, which explains my family’s absence. However, this doesn’t connect to Sam’s beginning message. I am confused. I walk to the end of the left wing to see that the door at the end of the hallway is locked. I walk back to the main lobby.
I decide to walk up the staircase to the 2nd floor. I turn left and go down another hallway. There is a room with a sign that says radiation hazard on the door. I go into the room and wander around what seems to be a kid’s room. I am guessing this is Sam’s room. In the room is another TV that is essentially out of service. I think the bad weather conditions cut out cable. I then go into a bathroom right next to the room I was just in and listen to another segment from Sam’s journal. The narrator’s voice says Sam was dyeing his friend’s hair, Lonnie (she), and Sam and Lonnie felt a moment of intimacy. I then assume that the narrator of the journal is Sam and that she is a girl. I then enter my parents’ room and find a postcard sent by me. The back of the postcard is the picture of Big Ben. I think I stayed in London for an entire year. At the end of the hallway of the 2nd floor, the entire end of the hallway is illuminated by a red light. I immediately run away.
My current thoughts on the day: I continue to wander around the house but don’t find anything noteworthy. My guess of the entire situation is that Sam fell into depression after being unable to adjust to her new living environment and ran away or committed suicide, after which the parents searched for Sam all over and outside the house which was why the interior of the house was so disorderly. However, I am pretty uncertain that is the case. I feel like something a lot more sinister occurred within the household.
Update: When I was initially playing the game, I didn’t think there was a definitive conclusion or ending to the game. However, after my class discussion on the game, I found that there were so many things I didn’t discover—I should have looked at the map.
Random thoughts and places around the house:
I go the library on the first floor again and open a hidden storage space. Sam’s narration continues. She talks about a time she was Lonnie, in the dark. Lonnie then told Sam she ‘liked her’. Sam’s says that her heart starting beating rapidly afterwards. This journal entry as well as the one about when Lonnie and Sam dyed hair is having me think that the two like each other, more than as normal friends.
I am in a hallway where I open another hidden storage compartment. It contains an some sort of voodoo-thing.
As I listen to more of Sam’s entries, it seems like she is going through like a personal crisis. She definitely has an intimate relationship, but it is stressing her out from the fact that she has to keep it a secret from her family and all her friends. When Sam’s parents had ‘the talk’, they were in complete denial, inferring that Sam didn’t meet the right boy yet. To make things worse, the story reveals that Lonnie had to say bye to Sam. This is all taking a toll on Sam.
I enter a hidden room behind the staircase. It is an exorcist room. Maybe all of the satanic ritual things were Sam’s methods of escapism.
I finally go up to the attic. There it is. The game finale. After all this time, it turned out that as Lonnie was going away, she got off the bus early at Salem and contacted Sam so they could drop everything, run off, and live the rest of their lives together, as lovers. This mic drop explains entire reason for Sam’s absence. It wasn’t that she ran away or committed suicide due to overwhelming stress from the sole fact that is a lesbian, but it was so that could finally live out her truth. This intentional diversion might have been made to attract a variety of people thinking it was the average horror game but was actually to promote the normalization of the LGBTQ+ community.