Lyle Clarke was still uncertain which ending to pursue for his first try at the game. Given their previous titles he expected for there to be a lot of them and Starlight Studio had only given hints at a couple of the endings. He did know that there would be a major choice between which of the two heroines that he would support. The other heroine would then become the antagonist. He also suspected that there would be a special hidden ending where you can reconcile the two heroines although that way would probably contain a twist that nobody could have expected. His primary goal was to discover this ending and watch it, hopefully before anybody else.
That was one of the reasons that he was first in line, because he was the number one fan. There were a limited number of special edition copies of the game and he wanted to make sure he and a copy. Sure he didn’t need to be the first in line to get one of those but he had to be the first in line because he was the number one fan.
He looked down the line at all the other people waiting for the store to open. The line was quiet long. The people right behind him were nearly as dedicated as he was and the people way in the back could hardly be called fans at all.
The time was almost upon them. Only a few more minutes and the doors to the store would open. This store was special because they were giving out the limited edition figurines of Valarie and Yiskah the two heroines. Only the first hundred copies of the special edition which were sold at this location would include those figures.
The employee inside the store began walking toward the front door. Lyle could see him through the window. There was murmuring throughout the line and everybody began standing up and picking up all their things. Their wait was almost over and the official release for The Forbidden Domain was about to begin. It felt like an eternity but was only a few moments later then the employee unlocked the doors and began ushering people in one at a time.
Since Lyle was first in line he got to enter the store before anybody else. He felt hushed and awed and he walked past the rows on game to the counter. The man behind the counter reached out and they shook hands. That man understood the devotion that Lyle was giving to the game. The man said, “Normally we only give out either Valarie or Yiskah but the first few people get both. Congratulations!”
Lyle nodded, “Thanks, I will treasure them.” The man behind the counter put the special edition copy of the game into the bag along with the boxed figures of both Valarie and Yiskah. Lyle handed over his card to be processed. A moment later he was the owner of the very first copy of The Forbidden Domain. He could feel the boxes underneath the plastic bag and they felt heavy, like he had been given a great weight of responsibility. Lyle bowed to the shopkeeper and then turned to leave.
He passed the second in line as he left and they nodded in understanding at the great honor that those first in line had been given. The others that he passed looked at him with a mixture of reverent respect and jealousy. He understood their emotions perfectly. He would feel that exact same way if he was standing in their shoes. Of course he wasn’t because he was the number one fan.
The route home was full of painful anticipation while he mentally prepared himself for playing the game. This would be the longest gaming binges he had ever done. He had already prepared his apartment for the upcoming experience. There was plenty of microwavable food and plenty of extra snacks and drinks for him to have so that he wouldn’t have to leave the house at all for this week. He even planned on putting his phone on silent so that nothing would be able to disturb him.
He lived in the fourth floor of a rather large apartment complex. Once he arrived he quickly made he way over to his computer where everything had already been previously prepared. He carefully placed his bag down next to his computer and pulled out the box with the game in it. Despite his impatience to play the game he was still careful when opening the package making sure to keep the box in as pristine condition as he could so that he would be able to proudly display it on his shelf of games.
Finally he managed to extract the disk and then placed it inside his computer’s disk drive. He waited for the disk to appear on his computer and then clicked the install button. The install began running and while it began working he returned to his bag. He carefully removed the two boxes containing the figures of Valarie and Yiskah. Some collectors might leave the figures in their boxes to maintain their value but Lyle would have none of that and wanted to display them. After all if he never planned on selling them why wouldn’t he want to set them fully up.
The figures didn’t require much assembling but he carefully did what needed to be done and then carefully placed them on the display shelf just next to his computer. That way he would be able to glance at them while playing the game. They were both very well done. Yiskah was a little bit taller than Valarie and she was carrying the sword that was shown on lots of the promotional materials. Valerie hand those strange symbols all up her left arm, according to the box the symbols were glow in the dark. He placed the two right next to each other and then turned back to his computer.
The installation was almost complete. A few more minutes of restless anticipation continued before the computer finally binged that the installation was successful. Lyle then, at long last, clicked play and began the game he had been waiting for for ages.
Yiskah swung her wooden sword repeatedly in the practice motions that were fluid and perfect. She stepped through each of the different motions with her blade practicing the different forms in her sword style one after another. After one of the routines she stopped and looked over at the man that was watching her.
“You said that you would practice with me didn’t you? However it seems that all you are doing to watching me practice.”
The man laughs softly before saying, “I’m sorry, I was just entranced by your practice.”
Yiskah blushed softly turning her head down so that the man had trouble seeing. She stepped over to the man and handed him the wooden sword, “Well, this time you need to practice. If you don’t get stronger then you will not be able to help me.”
The man smiled, “Thank you. I promise that I will get stronger so that I can protect you.”
Yiskah elbows the man jokingly, “Then get to swinging, nobody ever learned by doing nothing.”
Lyle sat back in his chair with tears streaming down his face. It has been three days since he had bought The Forbidden Domain. He had played the game almost constantly since then and had just finished the game. He had gotten one of the bad endings, one that he choices had lead him to. It was a sad and tragic ending where both Valarie and Yiskah met their deaths in tragic situations and he knew that it was his choices that led them to that ending.
The story had a tragic setup in the first place with only Lyles choices to change the course of the story and bring about a good ending. Still Lyle did not regret playing through the bad ending all the way to its full conclusion. Even these ending had the tender care of the writers at Starlight Studio.
Having watched the ending Lyle briefly consider loading one of his older saves and finding a path toward the ending that didn’t end so horribly. Eventually he decided against it. While he might be able to find the path he already knew that he made many mistakes throughout the story. He decided starting a new save would be the best method of leading to the ending.
Lyle eventual goal was to view the special endings so in his first game he had been too wishy washy when choosing who to support. He had tried to be on both Valarie’s and Yiskah’s side which meant that both of them ended up hating him. The two of the seem eternally opposed with no hope. Valerie was a cursed with a power that would bring the world to ruin should she be allowed to continue to exist. Yiskah on the other hand came from a line of hunters and was assigned the task of eliminating Valarie.
The matter was however even more complicated then that. The two women were childhood friends and at that time they did not realize their inevitable opposition to each other. Lyle was convinced there was an ending where the two women could reconcile but he did not yet see the route that would lead him to such an ending.
He clicked to start a new game and he entered his name once again. This time he decided that he would support Valarie all the way. That would probably be the more certain way to get at least a good ending even if it was not the ending that he was looking for.
It was a few hours into the game when he noticed some strangeness. It was just a small thing. The dialog seems a little bit different this time around. Admittedly some of his initial choices had been different this time around but usually he excepting more of the stock dialogue, especially this early in the game, to be the same. He decided it must be the amount of work that was put into the game to make each play through unique. He knew that the amount of dialog in the game was monstrous in proportion to many other games.
The man had recently moved to the new town. It was a small peaceful place which is what he had been searching for a long time. It was a place where nobody would know him and he could finally be free from the past that haunted him. He had gotten a small house using the remainder of the money that he had inherited from his father. He had a lot of works still to do to unpack but there was another thing to had to do.
One of his father’s friends lived nearby and had helped him purchase this place. The man needed to go by and pay a visit to that person and thank him for everything that he had done to help. It was a short walk away through the town. The small town center and market was very lively and he was glad to have moved to a place like this.
A few minutes later he arrived at the larger house that was owned by his father’s friend. He knocked at the door and was greeted by a jolly looking older man. The man recognized him as his father’s friend Mr. Bordelon.
“Ah, hello!” Mr. Bordelon said. “I’m so glad you could stop by. Please come in.” T
he man nodded and the two of them entered the living room and sat down.
“Did everything work out for the move?” Asked Mr. Bordelon.
“Yes, thank you for all of your help these last few months.”
“It was no problem. I owed a lot to your father and was heartbroken to learn that had had died. It must have been hard for you these last few months.”