Game Diaries: Aurora’s Nightmare Demo P1

Minhaz Fahme
Sep 10 · 16 min read

I have always loved clouds. The way they float and appear, they feel like adorable marshmallows and I’d do anything to hug, or maybe swallow them in love.
There’s a field as well. Some stones lying here and there depicting somebody have been here someday, or days. The colors and everything else suggest that it is a heavenly dream, if not totally a heaven.

But that feeling doesn’t last for more than 5 seconds I think. The same scene gets changed into a totally different color scheme. It’s all red now and there’s a burning red sun. The field has been cracked into 2 pieces and there’s a harsh sharp sound echoing everywhere. It sure is a nightmare, if not hell.

That’s how Aurora’s Nightmare demo starts. Shocked, surprised in awe and bliss. Heaven and hell, after all, are just a slender curtain away from another and you can chip into another from one at anytime. There couldn’t be a better representation than this.
Time to explore the menu now. Starting a new game.

This is a lover’s chant. Somebody craving for his/ her love. It’s a He, I think and he clearly, is alone.

“Countless emotions fill me.
Shock, sadness, anger, loneliness, despair..
But most of all, I’m numb.
It’s all too much. I don’t know what I should feel. Without you, I’m not even sure who I am.
I keep wondering if there was something I could have done, a different choice I could have made.
But there’s no future for you, for me, or anyone in this world.
I’m the only one left, and in a few moments, I too will fade away. It makes me wonder..
Were you really mine?
Or it was nothing but a dream?”

A dark beginning. Full of despair and pain. It only urges me to go forward and discover. I am hungry. Hungry for a good tale.

The next scene is peaceful. Apparently it was a He after all. I am Ars, a male angel as it seems. I just woke up but my only thoughts are centered for my girlfriend Tia. It seems like Ars is too much caring as he sacrifices his last bit of sleep as soon as he recalls Tia needs help in the lab. He was hungry. Here comes the first choice I have to make.

Should I-
1. Hurry to the lab and help Tia?
2. Take my time and stop for breakfast?

I wanted to be a good lover at first, like always. So, I chose 1.

Sacrificing breakfast, I start for office. The name Aurora appears for the first time. Apparently, she’s a friend of mine and Tia. We 3 are a circle.

Our workplace is a research lab. After seeing the beautiful exterior and interior, I finally get to see my girlfriend.

She was supposed to be an angel. Well, isn’t she?

There’s the first kiss. But a careful one as Ars didn’t want to mess with her blonde hair so early in the day. She wouldn’t like it. Okay, I get to play the careful boyfriend, I guess.

I have loved her since childhood as it seems, and soon we were supposed to be married. I keep praising Tia, mentioning her as the most beautiful woman in Lucerna (the place we are in). I tried to be a bit more romantic, but it seems Tia has already rushed back to work.

She hands me my work, looks totally occupied with hers as well. The only question I could muster is about our afternoon hangout as it seems. I was a bit sad about how we 3 couldn’t chill like we used to do in the past, but Tia thinks we should take it positively. Man, she clearly is in love with her work! And, safe to say, a bit lifeless, too?

Time for work. I work on lost history in this ideal world. This race of ours is called “Angellus” race, which has no memory of its inception, how it came to be. No one remembers how it all came to be.

There are many theories- starting from plagues, global catastrophe, gods, aliens and umm.. Nightmares?

Some even think that the ancestors deliberately erased the memories to protect us from some horrific incidents. Apparently nightmares are some kind of vial creatures who comes out of thin air and violently lashes at someone, then after sometime, disappear just like they appeared in the first place.

Wow… that seems just like the perfect definition! I guess I’ll be facing them soon. Can’t wait!

Their existence seems a bit fictional in the game as well, though. There are some half proofs only, and extremely rare ones. There’s also something called disappearance- people vanish. Those who disappear and come back, loses their sanity. Nightmare attacks are violent and involves bloodshed. But disappearances are painless. They are even more rare, thankfully.

There she is! I meet Aurora for the first time. She has some interesting color choices. I like it. Green eyes makes me remember Harry Potter, the boy who lived and shaped many parts of me.

3 of us go out shopping at first. Time to buy robes for the wedding!

Guess what? The girls are at each other on some color choice. Tia likes a white one, while Aurora chooses a blue one with stylish design. Tia protests that no one wears blue these days, especially in weddings. Aurora fires back that she doesn’t care what others do. Wow!

But Tia insults her about everyone joking about Aurora’s fashion sense. That seemed uncool from my girlfriend. I tried to stop them, but the timing wasn’t right. So I have made things worse, as both of them have asked for my opinion now. Clearly, I have to take a side. Time for my second choice of the game. Seems like Ars thinks blue one is more stylish, though it’s not the most popular color. But would it be wise to go against your girlfriend? Don’t want to hurt my friend Aurora as well.

Should I-

  1. Agree with Tia and choose the white?
  2. Tell the truth and choose the blue?
  3. Should I avoid the bullet and choose a red one to save myself from both?

I chose the safe side and picked the red. Now they are both attacking me about my weird choices of color.

Tia gives me an intense gaze and asks me to stop avoiding the question. This time I wasn’t given any choice. Ars agrees with Tia and chooses the white. Tia takes the victory lap and takes the robe to the counter.

Aurora confronts me saying that she knew I liked the blue one more. I agree but tell her that I want Tia to be happy. Aurora says that she’s almost jealous seeing how much I care of Tia’s happiness but suggests that sometimes I should look for mine as well.

There was a strange look on Aurora’s face. I don’t know what it was. It came and vanished in a second. Umm.. does she have anything on me? She’s always been a bit mysterious.

We fly over the clock tower and sit there. It has been our hangout place since childhood as it seems.

Tia seems to be the adult one who loves growing up. Aurora, on the other hand, thinks that we have already passed the best time in our life. This is a clear philosophical difference. A fundamental one. Aurora misses the old times more, so I propose that we should take time out more often. She loves the idea. Well, seems reasonable to me. Tia misses the old times as well, but she is the kind of person who gives work more priority. Even then, she agrees that we should hang out more. Ah, this seems like a great friend circle!

I like the way Aurora talks by mentioning her own name “Aurora loves doing…”. I have always thought this as a cute gesture.

We gossip till nightfall and finally Tia breaks the party, mentioning we should go home now, as we have work tomorrow. I offer to escort her home and she agrees. I watch as she gracefully flies down in style.
She was always good in the air, whereas Aurora and me were a bit less skilled. Seems like I have more things in common with my friend with colorful choices.

Suddenly Aurora calls me.
She asks a weird question.

“Ars… what are you?”

Apparently, it was not the first time she has asked this to me.

I have some flashbacks. These were years ago when all of us were kids. Even then, Tia was a bit less fun as she used to leave the party early. Tia was always the perfect girl and I always struggled when she wasn’t around. Many years ago, in one summer day, when Tia left early, I became sad. Even though Aurora wanted to play a number of games, I rejected all of them.

Then this scene happened.

“Ars.. what are you?”

This was a serious and matured question, unlike anything else and she asked it with her eyes glued on me.
I wasn’t sure what she meant.

“I’m Tia’s friend” Ars replied in the past.
She gave a long gaze after hearing that and finally nodded, “At the gummy tree, Aurora waits.”
With that, she flew away. The gummy tree is a large tree in the park near her house. We used to play there when we were children.

Well, this feels like a defining question. I think she has something on me. Always had. Or there’s something more to it? This is probably the most significant bit of the story so far.

I waited in the tower for a long period, but she didn’t return. In the coming years, whenever we were in the tower alone, she always repeated this scene.
I always answered “tia’s friend/ partner/ boyfriend/ …”
Ah, that feels like over attachment, no? Clearly, Ars is so obsessed with Tia that he has been ignoring his own personal identity and personality.

Aurora’s response was always the same and I never followed her to the tree. At times, I wondered what would happen if I did. But eventually I came at peace thinking it’s just a game for 2 of us.

Years after, the same scene repeats itself.
“I am Tia’s fiancee”, this time I reply.

I feel kind of sad as Aurora flew away to her gummy tree. Is there anything this character have been missing the whole time? But he is too attached with Tia to look anywhere else and also, all of them are friends! There must be more to the story and I must keep going to discover what it is! I love the music in this scene.

I was escorting Tia to her home. There was an alleyway. We were walking and what…?!!!

There’s a sharp sound.

Something is causing a terrible sound. We both fall prey to it and go down on our knees. The sound is so disturbing that I try to get rid of my ears.
It stops after hurting us, in a painful manner. But there’s a deadly silence here now. We try to flee but as it seems, we have a company now.
There’s a dark shadow ahead of us. Feels like a dark angel or beast of some sort.

Is it.. A nightmare?

It lays out a critical cry. It approaches towards us. The beast is a nightmare!

We can’t fly away as the alley is so narrow. We try to run. The visual representation of this adventure is great, I love the mechanism! We were 15 yards away from the exit when it hits Tia. She hits the wall and falls, not moving. I am scared. What has happened to her? The creature growls, standing between us.

It raises its claws towards me. It clearly is onto me.
I face the 3rd scene of choice now. Should I-
1. Run to Tia?
2. Try to escape?
I chose to be the brave and foolish lover as I try to get to her.

Like all the fools in love, I perish.

I do reach her though. My blood spills over her unconscious body.

I can’t believe this. This must be a dream. It can’t be real.

Okay! So i have encountered a dead end! Now what?

I am a stubborn one, so I chose not to take Tia’s advice.

Game over? Okay that was obvious. I should have listened to her I guess. Let’s try again, shall we?

Let’s start with the final choice. Let’s choose to hear what Tia had to say!

Okay this is basically a tutorial section? Well, a cute one though. The characters are all knowing and they suggest you advice on your choices here.

Okay, adviser Tia arrives in her lab and proves it was foolish to run towards her. The nightmare was focused on Ars and he Couldn’t help Tia while it was around..as nightmares vanish after a while, I should have wasted some time by leading it somewhere else rather than trying to be the foolish hero and hopeless lover.

Cool, super cool way of guiding the players. I love the style!

Taking her advice, I revise my choice and choose not to rush to help Tia this time. I fell down while trying to escape. The nightmare is over me now. The claws are approaching…
It makes the terrible scream again, but this time, in pain. I try to run.

A cat!

It jumps on to the nightmare and and attacks it! I love cats. I adore them, so a cat saving me is the best thing that could happen. I am happy!!

They both hurt each other. I feel for the feline. The environment is intense with the music (which runs in a loop and stops for a while, as soon as one loop ends). The howling and struggling sounds made it all the more real .
I try to carry Tia away as I recognize the window.

But the nightmare throws the cat at me and I fall to the ground, next to Tia.

The beast is leaning over me once again. I am about to get hit, or worse? I keep praying that it’s only a dream.

The cat tries again , to save me, probably only to die soon.

It finally happens! The nightmare vanishes, just like that!

I enjoy a fair share of the lucky triumph until I find out the truth.

The music tells it all. She’s.. She’s dead. Tia couldn’t survive the attack. She died some time ago, I guess.

All I could hope is this was just a dream.

I wasn’t myself at the funeral. Couldn’t have a last look at the body, cause I was still hoping that she was alive. I try to flee from the place, to escape from everyone.
Aurora stops me at the door. The way the scene is animating is amazing. It almost represented my struggle.

Should I-

  1. Push past her and leave?
  2. Stay and talk to the guests?
  3. Stay and talk to aurora?

I chose to stay and talk to Aurora.

They talk and cry together.

They following morning is sad and depressing as I mourn. I couldn’t face a world without her. The cat’s there. I feed it and go back to my depression once again. Aurora tries to get me out of my grey depression. Begs to open the door and keeps pounding on it. Should I-

  1. Open the door?
  2. Ignore her?

Let’s open it.

Aurora comes in and as expected, tries to confront me. She has been grieving as well, but she wants to make me feel better and help me recover slowly. I refuse to appreciate her words and in one emotional moment, I hurt her by saying a horrible thing. I compare my loss of Tia to her loss of parents in childhood and say that my loss is greater than that.

This was way off limits.

Sad, she leaves me a bag of food and asks me to be strong, before leaving with a heavy hurt. I didn’t stop or run to her.

I go back to sleep.

There’s a flashback. We were back at the clock tower.

The dream fades.

I wake up.

What??

Where am I?

I am lying in a creepy room. There’s a weird portrait hanging on the wall. Some kind of mad scientist, is he?

To make things stranger, my cat starts talking to me.

Disappearance??!! It is telling me that I have been a victim of disappearance this time. Okay, there was supposed to be a rich background story. But I had no idea this would be something like this.

The cat keeps telling me about our world. 300 years ago.. It didn’t exist? That actually explains things. Lucerna was just a failed experiment of an advanced race who tried to make a world where everyone’s wish came true.

So this is a nightmare world? Oh my God?!!
This is just what I was thinking about all along. This is so fulfilling! My wish/ prediction came true!

Choice again!

What should I ask about?

  1. The creators
  2. The nightmares
  3. The cat

Of course, the creators! I need to know the underlying mystery of this background story!

A world where everything is granted? Omg. surely it would need huge energy supply and apparently they only had enough to create it. The mad scientist, Vesania was supposed to create Lucerna as an ideal world, but due to the darkness in his heart, he created this alternate world with nightmares. Another scientist, Decus was sent to help the cause and he made the dream mechanism. Still, the curtain between 2 worlds fall at times, causing the attack of nightmares and disappearances.

We must move, else the nightmares will catch us. We go out in the corridor only to take shelter in another room. The nightmares draw closer. Can they sense our presence?

I am presented with a classic dilemma here. Should I-

  1. Stay hidden?
  2. Run for it?

This is a very common phenomenon in all those survival stories. Sometimes we want the characters to run, other times, we want them to stay hidden.

Let’s run. It doesn’t feel safe here.

I come back to the hall, ignoring the cat’s warning. I need to get out of this building.

I run fast, only to stumble in a pile of rubles to get caught. Blood spills again. I’m dead and sadly, I am happy about it.

Another dead end. Congratulations, you fool! You chose to ignore the cat’s advice. Now, perish!

Okay. Let’s try this again. Let’s go back to my stupid decision of running from that room and choose to stay hidden this time.

We wait it out till they pass, then get out of the building, to the wasteland beyond. We will try to reach the place where the next tear between worlds will appear, or should I say, might appear.

We walk for long time. I don’t feel threatened right now. Something tells me the journey won’t be that much adventurous. We reach a building and decide to rest there for a bit. I can ask the cat some questions- again.

Should I ask about-

  1. The nightmares
  2. The cat

I chose to know more about the nightmares. Apparently, they are the creations of Vesania. The Angellus were creations from the dream system, which is the good version. Basically it’s similar to God vs devil, heaven vs hell- the eternal conflict.

We move out, again.

After walking for a long time, again, we find a place in front of us which is filled with nightmares. The cat plans to distract them, while I navigate. It will rejoin me later.

It distracts most of them. Some of them remain. I will have to choose.

Should I-

  1. Sneak through?
  2. Hurry ahead?

There’s no time. I should be able to get past these tired nightmares.

My heart is pounding. The sound effect is on spot! But it should have continued in a loop until I press again.

I reach a building after dashing for a while. Suddenly I see the cat rushing and the nightmares chasing it. The cat must be exhausted, on the other hand, it did tell me not to worry about this. What do I do?

  1. Help the cat?
  2. Stay hidden and continue on?

I’ll always help a cat, haha. Let’s do it!

There’s a fight going on and the cat looks cornered by 3 nightmares. Should I-

  1. Create a distraction?
  2. Wait for an opening?

I have chosen to create a distraction. Oh, wrong idea! I miserably fail to do it and hence.. Dead end number 3 for me!

I die.

Okay let’s go back and wait for an opening. Or should I go back and not help the all-knowing cat? No, I can’t do that. So, probably take an alternative route?

Well, we’ll have to do that later. This is the story for the next episode. This one is big enough with 3 dead ends discovered already.

I just hope I don’t encounter any nightmares tonight. This game is so on point. We all explore this part of our life in our bad dreams, in multiple layers.

I am loving this.

I will rejoin you, Aurora. Until then, hang in there with all the strength you have.

Aurora’s Nightmare Demo: P1
Time played: Lost count

Dead ends encountered: 3

Minhaz Fahme

Written by

Entrepreneur | Game Designer | AR/VR Enthusiast | Author | Speaker | Inspiring youth while innovating with advanced tech

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