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They said I'd die. They said I'd die and go to heaven.
But no - that was not enough for me. I didn't want to die. I wanted to live. In my fear of death, I lost sight of myself and everything I held dear. I made the wrong choice and everyone but me paid the price. But now, with all the things I have learned...I would make things right again. I would correct my mistake and return everything to the way it was before. Dear God...I no longer expect to enter heaven's pearly gates. But please, let me ask for one last favor, one final prayer, if You will.
Ten days, God. Let my body hold out for just ten more days, so I can redeem myself...
Visions & Voices is an RPG Maker game made in six weeks by well-known RM duo Karsuman and Craze. The game is largely non-linear, and is based on a ten-day time limit. It can be downloaded here. Better Than It Sounds. (In addition, a currently in-progress remake of the game can be found here.)
You play as the Wanderer, and enigmatic figure who has come to the Montfort village to solve a mystery; apparently, most of the inhabitants disappeared overnight. He decides to explore the village in search of clues, soon discovering an Apocalyptic Log of sorts by a "prophet who has fallen from grace". Shortly after, he realizes that reality is warping around him. Disturbing things appear out of nowhere, other, more familiar things disappear, and all the while, time is ticking away...
Will he be able to see the Visions? Will he be able to hear the Voices? And if he does...will he be able to accept them?
- Action Girl: Elena, and to a lesser extent, Telia.
- Actually Four Mooks
- Added Alliterative Appeal
- All Just a Dream: Subverted during the ending - nobody ever remembers or knows what happened, but it really did happen.
- Affably Evil: Montfort. He just wanted to be an awesome mayor!
- Alien Geometries: The mirror worlds are pretty freaky. What Dison says when he enters one sums it up pretty well:
Dison: Woah, trippy!
- An Ice Person: Elena.
- Another Dimension: The portal and mirror worlds.
- Anyone Can Die: And will, if you don't save and recruit them.
- Anything That Moves: Telia. She's a hopeless pervert as well as a thief, and when she's found running out of the village, the Wanderer asks her if she slept with the guy chasing her and told his wife, or just slept with the wife.
- Artificial Limbs: Elena's husband, but he still couldn't get around well.
- Battle Theme Music: There are at least three normal battle themes, chosen at random when an encounter starts. Boss themes, on the other hand... every single boss has a unique battle theme. Victory fanfare is also non-existent except after boss battles.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: The Wanderer and Telia. Not unresolved.
- Bloodless Carnage: Elena is supposedly beaten, bloody and bruised inside of the portal Montfort threw her into, but she's just standing there.
- Bonus Boss: Every boss (and fight) in the game except for the opening madman, the Minor Galactivore, and D'kothos.
- The fights are optional only in theory. In practice, some enemies are placed on some pathways you must traverse, in such a way that you will end up having an encounter when you try to go through, no matter what. All of the other fights are optional, but they can get you neat stuff that will make your life easier when fighting truly becomes unavoidable.
- Bonus Dungeon: Every dungeon in the game except for the Montfort Catacombs and Manor.
- Boss Dissonance: Mario type, usually. Dual Bosses can still be pretty tough, though.
- But Thou Must!: Averted. It's entirely possible to refuse Telia's offer to join.
- Cast From Hit Points: Spiritual Judgement/Reckoning.
- Character Level: Averted. Characters gain small stat bonuses occasionally when defeating enough enemies, but there are no levels in the game.
- Character Portrait: Averted. There aren't even menu portraits.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Dison.
- Cool Old Guy: Dison...kind of.
- Combat Medic: Lyla will frequently dish out tons of damage with psychic orbs while healing your party to full health.
- Contemplate Our Navels / My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: On the evening of the tenth day, you hear a line from any characters you've recruited, presumably coming from their subconscious. Some of them can be rather disturbing or Tear Jerker-ish.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Wanderer and Telia hint at having one; Lyla was beaten to a bloody pulp, raped, and locked in a church for years.
- Darker and Edgier: While not as dark as, say, The Way, this game can still be sufficiently creepy.
- Dark Is Edgy: Marlowe. The Wanderer can also switch between dark and light skills.
- Deadpan Snarker: Wanderer to everything Telia says.
- Did You Just Punch Cthulhu Into Oblivion
- Honorable mention goes to the Minor Galactivore. A creature who eats galaxies for breakfast, and happens to be a middle-of-the-game boss fight (and a relatively easy one). It's that kind of game.
- Disc One Final Dungeon: The Montfort Manor. Subverted in that, if you don't go to any dungeons after that, it really is the final dungeon.
- Downer Ending: If you can't find the Telgium by the time the ten days are up, this happens.
- Dual Boss: Arkrand and Silvicus. One picks a target to take the brunt of attacks and the other hits hard.
- Not just those two, there are quite a few other dual bosses. Reindeer and Mister Odd, the first boss fight possible to encounter, come to mind.
- There's another boss that appears on day 2 that's a triple boss.
- Duel Boss: All of them, if you do a solo run.
- Easter Egg: If you name the Wanderer "Doren", Seri Kesu has different dialogue. Also, if you are doing a solo run, for the first few days you can run into General Clancy (who Dison mentions several times if you recruit him).
- Eldritch Abomination: D'kothos and the rest of the Visions and Voices.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Radiant and Necrotic, too.
- Foreshadowing: If you talk to Telia, she constantly complains about the cold and that she keeps feeling a chill. On day 8, this is shown to be more than metaphorical; the constant rainstorm over the village turns to snow.
- Fragile Speedster: Telia.
- Friends with Benefits: The Wanderer and Telia, in the beginning.
- Gainax Ending
- Glass Cannon: Hey there, Alphonse.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: Subverted. The Wanderer is not a Heroic Mime and has a personality of his own; he simply needs an alias to use.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted, unless you make a Bravery/Logic-oriented Wanderer.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Montfort, of the Voice variety.
- Ho Yay: Talking to Alphonse on day 9 yields this conversation:
Alphonse: I'm pretty tired.
Wanderer: Want to hit the hay?
Alphonse: Depends. Would Ox be involved?
Wanderer: ...you know what, I'm just going to take a nap. By myself.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Subverted; many of them are locked and require an Interchangeable Antimatter Keys to open. Also, the constant reality warping going on at least semi-justifies their appearance.
- Intrepid Merchant: Alphonse.
- Informed Attractiveness: Lyla.
- Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Two kinds, simple and ornate, used to open locked chests and doors. Simple keys can be bought, though as a consequence tend to be in shorter supply than ornate keys, which the game constantly hands you via chests.
- Alphonse does sell you ornate keys (at an outrageous price) if you recruit him, however.
- In Universe Game Clock: Averted, actually. You can spend as long as you want exploring and Money Grinding each day.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Wanderer, Alphonse, and especially Telia.
- Kill'Em All: If you do a solo run, everyone except the Wanderer, Marlowe, and Dison dies, but only because of the Lost Forever mentioned below.
- Leitmotif: Montfort's theme, when appearing in visions.
- Lethal Chef: Dison. Subverted in that some of his food is safe to eat, such as an item that gives the Glass Mirror status to an ally.
- Lethal Lava Land
- Light'Em Up: Lyla. The Wanderer can also switch between dark and light skills.
- Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Completely averted; spellcasters can frequently dish out as much, if not more, damage as warriors if you equip them with a magical weapon, and warriors have just as many skills.
- Lost Forever: Except for Dison, recruitable characters die if you don't get them in time. Certain minor chests also disappear after a certain number of days.
- Luck Stat: Logic. Subverted in that the game tells you exactly what it does.
- The Eldritch Abomination Behind The Man: The Visions and Voices, primarily D'kothos, behind Montfort.
- Mighty Glacier: Ox.
- Multiple Endings
- Naughty Tentacles:
Dison: Yes sir! Even in the face of demons armed with tentacles ready to ravish us all, I will stand beside you sir!
- No Name Given: The Wanderer.
- Not So Different: Wanderer won't accept that Telia is a lot like him.
- Official Couple: Telia and the Wanderer, Lyla and Ox.
- Playing with Fire: Dison. Lyla has a fire skill, as well.
- Quicksand Box: Finding anything that isn't directly related to the main quest requires repeatedly combing the entire town each day to find new chests, skills, characters and Negative Space Wedgies.
- The Quiet One: Marlowe. Lampshaded by the Wanderer and himself on day 10, when he finally decides to be talkative for once.
Wanderer: He speaks!
Marlowe: My choice not to speak has little to do with my capability of doing so.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A bard, a fisherwoman, a caretaker, a farmhand, a chef, a merchant, and a lawyer.
- Random Encounters: Averted.
- Rare Candy: When doing a solo run, Wanderer can find several stat-boosting items outside of the Ogre's Mug.
- Reality Warper: D'kothos and, presumably, the other demons as well.
- Run, Don't Walk: Averted, unfortunately.
- Sequel Hook: And a prequel hook, too; the ending says that this is not the first time the Visions and Voices have been summoned, nor is it the last.
- Shell Shocked Senior: Dison, subverted as he's a cheery Cloudcuckoolander. However, his Contemplate Our Navels line shows his war trauma is still severe; "So...so many dead..."
- Shock and Awe: Alphonse.
- Shout-Out: To a lot of other freeware RPGs.
- Aa and Gutei's Finger are bosses from a game called Immortal Defense.
- Seri Kesu (and the Wanderer's appearance) is from Ara Fell.
- Silent Alex is from Speak No Evil.
- Czarina, another boss, is from Epic Monster Dungeon Explore!.
- The merchant cat in the northern caves is from another game of Karsuman's called Philadelphia.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World
- Smarter Than You Look: Ox, a farmhand who's a Mighty Glacier and speaks in a country accent; however, perceptive players will notice his secondary stat is, oddly, a stat normally reserved for spellcasters, and if you talk to him, you'll find out that he's actually very intelligent and loves to read. This turns a bit dark in his Contemplate Our Navels line on the evening of the tenth day, though; "People think I'm dumb..."
- So Beautiful It's a Curse: Lyla. She's always the one getting stared at and complimented by the other characters, and she hates it. She doesn't whine about it, however; instead, she goes for hostility to anyone pointing it out or making a pass at her.
- Squishy Wizard: Marlowe and Lyla.
- Stripperiffic: Elena. Lampshaded in one of the ice worlds.
- Take Your Time: Averted. The final boss encounter always happens during the evening of the tenth day, no matter what.
- Played straight on individual days, though, where you can run around as long as you want and no time will pass unless you sleep at the Trauma Inn.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Inverted. All stats are mental traits, not physical (Bravery, Perception, Charisma, Tenacity, and Logic), yet many of them function as physical stats (Strength is replaced by Bravery, Perception takes over for Dexterity, and Charisma is roughly equivalent to Constitution).
- Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: One of Marlowe's passive abilities reads "He has seen unspeakable horrors so profound that Marlowe is immune to mental effects."
- Title Drop: Where to begin.
- Two of Marlowe's skills are "Visions" and "Voices".
- On the eighth day, a library appears. One of the books, if translated, is titled "Visions & Voices".
- The Final Testimony says ""We are the Visions you see at the dawn of a day, and the Voices you hear at the latest hours of night."
- Yet another time is in the Downer Ending. "Could you not see the Visions? Could you not hear the Voices? Or...was it simply that you could not accept them?"
- There's also the evening of the tenth day. The game mentions that "visions flash before your eyes, and familiar voices speak to you."
- The last line of the good ending is "all fall victims to the whims of the Visions and Voices."
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Telgium seems to be a fairly benevolent one -- it can be used to make the Final Boss mortal. It's unclear what exactly the Wicodian is, but it seems to be a normal Tome of Eldritch Lore.
- Many of the books that only Marlowe can translate are written in a horrific, unreadable script.
- Too Awesome to Use: "Good" items are actually manufactured by the player via uses of feats, so the player has to consciously make the normally "too awesome" items.
- Feats themselves tend to fall victim to this, however. Sure, there might be a Seraphim Whiteleaf in that garden, or something really awesome in that chest that you don't have a key to, or that monster might obliterate you if you don't trap it...but what if there's something else that you'd rather use your feats on? Then, before you know it, you're done exploring and ready to go to sleep and you still have more than half your feats left.
- Trauma Inn: Subverted; each time you sleep at the inn, a day actually passes, preventing you from abusing it.
- Tsundere: Telia is a Type A. If you talk with her at the Ogre's Mug every day, her Contemplate Our Navels phrase before the final battle changes from "Do you hate me? You never talk to me..." to " <Wanderer's name>... I love you."
- Oranyan: The Wanderer, towards Telia. As much as he taunts her and gets angry at her when she behaves like a jerkass, he actually cares for her a lot.
- The Unpronounceable: Books written in demon script literally cannot be read until Marlowe translates them.
- Unwitting Pawn: Poor, poor Montfort.
- Useless Useful Spell: Averted. Every single boss, including the final one, is susceptible to status effects, and they are usually key to winning. Most of your characters' skills are status effects, in fact, though this means most battles boil down to "Slap enemy with status effects, use regular attacks until they die, renew status effects if they wear off."
- However, the game does have useless useful equipment. Anything that decreases your speed at all is usually not worth any of the benefits it might give, and anything that isn't a character's Weapon of Choice (see below) is usually fated to do nothing but sit in your inventory as well, as a Weapon of Choice almost always deals far superior damage, regardless of attack stats. There are many, many accessories that quickly become useless, as well.
- Video Game Stealing: Telia's Pilfering Jig ability does this. Since many bosses have important and unique items that can only be acquired this way, you'll probably want to keep her in the party at all times.
- Violation of Common Sense: Using the Wicodian to power up the final boss to godlike levels.
- Also, entering the creepy village in the first place.
- Visionary Villain: Montfort, of the Well-Intentioned Extremist variety.
- Weapon of Choice: The game has every one you can think of, from whips to claws to orbs. Each character does have a weapon that's technically "best" for them, though:
- Wham! Line:
The Fallen Prophet: Kill...me.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: General Clancy, although he's fairly neutral.
- Wide Open Sandbox: Kind of.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Montfort.
- Womb Level: The entire game was originally set in the innards of a giant dragon.
- There's also the "Organic Tunnels" in the game itself, a large and confusing network of pink, fleshy tunnels with extremely difficult monsters and tons of locked chests.
- You Bastard: If you turn down Telia's offer to join at the start of the game, you get a line from her during the Contemplate Our Navels scene on the evening of the tenth day; "You abandoned me. You left me to die..."
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: All the girls, and Marlowe. Arguably the Wanderer as well, though it's hard to tell.
- Zen Survivor: Marlowe makes a decent case for this.
- It's one of his abilities. He's seen so many horrors that he is immune to mental effects.
"The Book, Dear God. I pray that you have the Book. Otherwise, my dear friend... I am lost. You are lost. We are all lost."