Stop me if you've heard this one: a total stranger goes into a private party after midnight looking for some kicks. And he meets the host, a dashing world-famous artist. And the host says to him, "What are you doing here?" And the stranger says...[MODE]
— Vito Brevis
is a 1995 FMV adventure
developed by multimedia artist Jeff Green and the Animatics Multimedia Corporation and published by Corel (yes, as in CorelDRAW).
Blurring the lines between adventure game and interactive art installation, [Mode] is centered around the titular event, a party/fashion event/art exhibit orchestrated by the eccentric and wealthy performance artist Vito Brevis. Rumors abound that this will be his final public appearance and thus apparently something big is about to go down. The player controls an anonymous Featureless Protagonist
who decides to crash the party. First priority is acquiring a "Dome pin", which proves that the guest was invited (which the crasher naturally doesn't have).
However, as the crasher talks to the guests and the night goes on, several mysteries come to light: just who is
Vito Brevis? Is it true he has connections to some shadowy groups? And what is the nature of the Dome pins? Are they just decorations? Then why is Vito so adamant in ejecting anyone who isn't wearing one? Is this all somehow connected to Vito's "final performance"?
This game contains examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: One of the screens on the mode terminal features Riel giving many alliterative quotes.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: One way Vito's final performance can end.
- Bouncer: The player can indeed be thrown out of the party by Tuba, the bouncer, if certain characters discover that the player doesn't possess a dome.
- Everyone Is Bi: The protagonist doesn't have any defined gender yet he/she can have sexual encounters with both men and women, even in the same playthrough.
- Featureless Protagonist: Although according to the manager, you are attractive enough to be a model.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Dialogue with Vito just prior to his performance hints at the player character being in one (and indeed, the only way to see every event in the game is to play it multiple times).
- High Priest: Vito claims to be the high priest of Odme, the dark god of techno-fetishism. With how sarcastic he is, it's incredibly hard to tell whether he's being serious. He's quite serious.
- Intrepid Reporter: Charity.
- Meaningful Name: Vito Brevis sounds like "Vita Brevis", Latin for "Life is short". That phrase is also part of the aphorism "Art longa, vita brevis", which translates as "Art is long, life is short" (i.e., our creative works can give us a form of immortality).
- Mind Screw
- Multiple Endings: There are several ways the event can end depend on what decisions the player makes and what conversation branches play out.
- Obvious Trap: Mia shares some of her poetry and writing with the player and asks what they think of it. It's terrible, and she gets offended if you try to flatter her.
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: Double Subverted, as the secret files in the Mode machine are accessed via entering "Edom", a name we can learn via conversations with the various NPCs, but you have to do it correctly several times.
- Playing Hard to Get: One of the girls the player can romance, Mia, sends out a lot of mixed signals and misleading questions before she'll let them get close.
- Punny Name: Riel Attaychek. Try saying it out loud.
- Sad Clown: One of the recurring performers on the main stage is a clown dressed a bit like The Joker who tells bad jokes. As the night wears on, he gets more and more drunk and the jokes aren't funny, or really even jokes anymore.
- Sheathe Your Sword: If Jack and Rial come in conflict, you are given the option to use your dome. If you want to help Jack, you shouldn't do anything at all, as Rial just shrugs off being domed.
- Significant Anagram: The game is LOADED with anagrams of the word "Mode". "Dome" is the most mentioned, but there are also mentions of "Demo", "Odme", "Medo"...
- Silent Protagonist: Sort of. The player can only answer by clicking along the spectrum in the heads up display when active (with red corresponding to negative/no/confrontational/hostile answers, green to positive/yes/supportive/friendly answers, and blue to neutral), but everyone reacts as if the player is speaking to them.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Riel gives you one of these no matter how the rest of your interaction goes.
- The Story Teller: One of the men in the dressing rooms will tell the player an interactive story he developed for children. The player can romance him if they're willing to spend a lot of time with him.
- They Called Me Mad!: One of Vito's quotes on the Mode Machine is yet another play on the "M-O-D-E" letters. "They called me odd! ME! ODD!"
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: There's no way of knowing exactly what you're saying in game, so most runthroughs will be done in this manner.
- Undercover Cop Reveal: Jack, the first man that the player can interact with reveals himself to be an undercover cop if the player responds positively to him. He was attending the party to find out whether Vito was involved in a cult.
- You Got Spunk: Riel's attitude takes a 180° turn regarding you if you remain persistent in your conversation with him. For your efforts, he rewards the player with the dome they were looking for.