It's not a good game. The custom ASM and a few samples were impressive, and I kind of like the tone, but the gameplay is really lacking, and I mean really. It also feels like a typical video game creepypasta, which I'm sure was the intention, but that's not scary at all. There's a chase sequence, but aside from walking around, unable to run, doing nothing, that's about it.
I have some interest in creepypasta sorts of things, but there are not many that stand out. I didn't expect much when I first saw it... but to me, this one is special.
I've played all I could find, watched several videos about it, opened it in Lunar Magic to look around, and I think, I THINK, I have seen it all. I am not completely certain because my Lunar Magic skills are limited, and I don't know ASM.
There is definitely some text not just hidden in the text.
It's not a gradual escalation of gore or a sequence of jumpscares, it's not built around a single twist, and there are no jokes. Instead, it starts with a potent atmosphere, quickly takes you to where it's going (unless you try to avoid that... you should try not trying, at least once, I think that's actually a real part of the story). But then it *really* begins...
The meat of this game is in it's MYSTERY, and it is a feast.
There are multiple secrets- 'endings'- you can find by playing differently. The controls are limited and it often seems there is little you can do, yet you should absolutely not forget all the buttons you have, or all the possible actions you can take. It seems there is often something just a little bit out of view, if you keep looking even when you seem to be stuck or even when you are immobile.
There is one even bigger secret which you can only find by doing some even more cryptic things, or by looking it up, and even then it leaves you wondering (especially since it is a secret inside a secret). This secret BURNS itself into your save file so that you cannot go back to the others once you have reached it.
And then, on top of all that, there is something else very interesting that you can only find by editing the game afterwards- a bit of unused content as I understand it, yet it has enough substance to be just as intriguing and rewarding as the previous secrets. I believe this ending has a connection with the other, which sometimes speaks of horns...
And I am not even sure that's all of it!
What's truly great here, is that it feels that this game really does have a story (at first you feel unsure of this). It is almost certainly being told to you out of order- and many people are still speculating about exactly what it all meant.
But there is enough CONSISTENCY in the clues, enough parallels when you compare the clues, enough of a theme, just barely enough said by the intro and 'ending' and all the lines in between and the scenes you can find, and so many times one piece of the story evokes another piece hidden elsewhere, that it all seems to spell out an actual narrative.
I am certain that it all really does mean something.
I kept track of all the clues I could find- so many!- and tried to put it all back together. While there are still a few mysterious things and loose ends that keep me wondering, I DO feel I've pieced together a complete story that fits it all, and I think my version may be mostly(?) right, as almost everything seems to fit together.
And that's what's so great about it- as you realize the layers of hidden content and alternatives and try to examine it all, and the different lines of dialogue that appear seemingly at random (all being story clues from different perspectives, I think) you really CAN fit it together! Yet it always keeps you guessing, makes you feel like there's more to find, if you keep digging.
It actually rewards you for looking deeper and trying to make sense of it... if you appreciate this kind of a reward.
On top of that, it does not feel like a stock revelation/twist. Rather, I feel this is getting into some interesting cosmic, existential horror... something BIGGER than it's human characters, something beyond what they were. Something they didn't realize until it was too late, that you must realize here at the end.
While it has many 'endings', I personally believe that only one of them is THE ending- that the others are all part of the beginning, and all true.
I also strongly recommend downloading the soundtrack, not only is it very atmospheric and evocative music that reminds me of the Boards of Canada, but it is also seems like part of the experience to me. (Every song in the soundtrack does appear somewhere!) The songs have interesting names and other strange tones.
The coding by Medic is solid from what I can see, and it is clear that the soundtrack author, Torchkas, worked in close harmony with the main writer, underway.
Not since Eversion have I felt so intrigued and satisfied with a horror game and it's secrets- a crowning achievement.
Didn't expect this type of ending in a horror hack (spoilers):
I started up the rom and went to the first rock. What I did next was try to jump over it using only one hand. I just kinda jumped and moved a pixel or two before the hitbox pushed me back again. After awhile, the game started ranting about how useless I was, and then it crashed my emulator.