Video Game / To the Moon
"I guess the music's kinda nice."
Developer's Aunt

To The Moon is an Adventure Game/Visual Novel designed by Canadian Kan Gao (of Quintessence fame) and developed by Freebird Games. The OST, also by Gao, features Laura Shigihara.

20 Minutes into the Future, Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts work for Sigmund Corporation, a company that is able to use technology to rewrite the memories of dying people to allow them to die happy, as a kind of for-profit Make a Wish foundation. The game unfolds as they attempt to fulfill the request of their latest client, Johnny. Johnny's in a coma, and his last wish is to go to the moon... Except he doesn't know why. As Neil and Eva work backwards through his memories, the game reaches its emotionally affective core as true intentions are revealed.

The game won accolades for its beautiful soundtrack, touching story, and entertaining writing, and received largely positive acclaim, although was sometimes criticised for its instances of Mood Whiplash, particularly concerned with the characterisation of Neil. It has frequently been used as an example in making the case for games as art. The ending of the game confirmed that it was to be the first in a series, although the name of said series has yet to be revealed.

A holiday-themed story named "SigCorp", the first of a series of "minisodes", was released in 2013, and details Neil and Eva's work life. The second commercial instalment in the series, named A Bird Story, was released on the 7th November 2014 for $4.99. Taking place before Neil and Eva's time, the game is an hour-long interactive narrative without any dialogue whatsoever, that focusses on a boy who will grow up to be their patient in the second episode of the series. The boy, who remains nameless in the story, comes from a Friendless Background, and lives mostly on his own, with his parents only leaving him notes on the door and fridge. One day, when walking home from school, he rescues a bird being chased by a badger, and begins to bond with it.

A second minisode was released on the 18th February 2015. The minisodes are also planned to soon be accessible in-game as free DLC.

According to the ending of A Bird Story, Episode 2 will be called Finding Paradise, and is coming late 2016/early 2017.

It should be mentioned that the games are best experienced without spoilers. Read the spoilers below at your own risk.

This game provides examples of:

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    Episode 1: To The Moon 
... I've always thought they were lighthouses. Billions of lighthouses, stuck at the far end of the sky."
  • Abusive Parents: See Parental Favoritism and Fridge Horror.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The creator posted a "novelisation" of the first scene of the game on the Freebird blog which adds a few details, such as Neil preferring to go by Dr. Watts because it makes him sound like a Mad Scientist or super-villain, and recounts how he went as far as buying one-way mirror glasses to avoid meeting the gazes of nosy strangers.
  • Adult Fear: The fact that you may kill one of your children by accident is probably a fear most parents share and one that Joey and Johnny's mother experienced.
  • Anachronic Order: The order in which Watts and Rosaline experience Johnny's memories.
  • An Aesop:
    • Most of what man aspires to achieve is done solely as means to reach another goal entirely. One should be careful to not sacrifice the end for the sake of means. Case in point, the very reason Johnny thought he wanted to go to the Moon was his metaphorical promise to River, and, without the memory of her, literally going to the Moon was meaningless. Johnny's true aspiration was his devotion to River, not to become an astronaut, so when his memories were rewritten, his true end was actually sacrificed for the sake of means. Fortunately, Johnny's subconscious desire results in River coming back in his rewritten memories anyways, and the last thing he remembers is them together.
    • Also, even if events happened long ago and were forgotten or followed by tragedy, it doesn't mean that those moments are meaningless or that they can't be appreciated. Although Johnny didn't remember his first meeting with River, it still resulted in their love and life together. Additionally, when Eva rewrites his memories to exclude River from his early life, Johnny still subconsciously wills her back, because he really cares for her more than the Moon.
  • Arc Words: "Tell me what you see".
  • Artistic License Pharmacology: Some beta-blockers, especially propanolol, are indeed used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (although the treatment is still considered experimental), but they usually do not induce amnesia (what they do is more in the line of allowing someone to relive a traumatic memory without experiencing the trauma). That said, memory-loss is a rare but possible side-effect of beta-blockers; however, it's still a stretch that they were used in a deliberate and controlled way to cause the effect as the game implies.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: From a symbolic perspective, Johnny and River. Johnny, the common guy who wants to stand out, has brown hair and brown eyes (the most common colours for those traits), while River, who hates standing out and wants to blend in, has red hair and green eyes (arguably the least common (natural) colours for those traits).
    • Also applies to their clothes. Johnny tends to wear drab colours - typically browns, greys, and dark greens - while River prefers wearing brighter, more vibrant colours (blues, whites, and the occasional patch of yellow).
  • Award Bait Song: Everything's Alright. Covers every single trait of the trope squarely and then some.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The fake movie that Eva implants a memory of in order to make Johnny want to go to the moon.
  • Batman Gambit: After altering Johnny's memories by "removing" River, and successfully seeing that Johnny makes it to NASA and met River there near the end, Eva admits that while she expected Johnny to reunite with River at that point, there was a probability that it might not have happened.
  • Becoming the Mask: Isabelle feels that by acting "normal", her "true self" has been lost.
    • Johnny had this trope forced upon him by his mother, becoming her substitute for Joey.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the end, Johnny's memories are altered; he lives a full life with his brother still alive in his new memories, and he gets to fulfill his dream and promise. But he never actually did any of that, and his wife died knowing he never did. Also The Stinger shows Neil, clearly in some sort of pain, quickly taking some painkillers, giving dark implications to his own health...
  • Bookends: In the beginning, just when the credits begin, there is a brief image of Johnny and River sitting on a bench together. At the end of the game, the two are seen sitting together, this time in Johnny's alternate memories.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: When River realizes that John has forgotten about their first meeting, she tries reminding him. However, because of her condition, she is incapable of properly explaining the entire situation. This is the reason why she starts making the many paper rabbits.
  • Chekhov's Armory: There are at least six recurring elements in the game that culminate in one extended Wham Episode near the end - River's constant "What else?", the origami rabbits, the hackysack, the moon, River's fixation on lighthouses, and the stuffed platypus.
  • Chekhov's Gun: At the very beginning of the game, Eva and Neil run over a squirrel as they arrive at Johnny's house. Later in the game, Eva and Neil find that they can't travel any farther into Johnny's memories because they were suppressed by beta blockers shortly after a traumatic event that took place in that scene. Incidentally, the smell of roadkill was present in the brief glimpse of said memory, so they were able to use the scent of the dead squirrel to get Johnny to remember the full scene.
    • Also, one that's referred to immediately before a Wham Line - Johnny had a bunk-bed in his room, with the top bunk belonging to Joey.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Eva appears to callously delete River from Johnny's memories to ensure that he remains motivated on becoming an astronaut. Instead, she simply sent her away so Johnny would continue to strive toward his goal, and trusted that Johnny's love for River would ensure he would subconsciously bring her back later. He did, they still got together in the end, and with the bonus of Joey still being alive as well.
  • Downer Ending: In the end, River sacrificed her life for nothing. She denied treatment hoping that Johnny would eventually remember how they met by using the money to finish building the house. However, he did not remember, turning every effort and sacrifice River made to remind him utterly pointless.
  • Dramatic Irony: In universe example, since Eva and Neil travel backwards through Johnny's memories.
  • Dream Weaver: The main characters are this. Their job is to alter dying people's memories so they believe they managed to fulfill their failed life goals. The SigCorp special implies that this practice is highly controversial as protesters group outside the Sigmund Corporation offices.
  • Driven to Madness: It is said by Eva that Johnny's mother mind snapped after she accidentally killed her favorite son, Joey.
  • Dying Dream: With the added suspense of Eva and Neil needing to finish the contract before Johnny dies.
  • Dysfunction Junction: All the main characters suffer from some dysfunction, Johnny suffering parental neglect and brainwash memory loss, River with her condition and to say nothing from Eva and Neil.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: Johnny mentions lies that adults made up in his childhood memories:
    "Santa, Easter Bunny, kangaroos..."
  • Everything's Better with Platypi: The stuffed platypus turns out to be important later, and its freakishness is lampshaded constantly.
  • Exact Words: Johnny asked River to go watch a movie with him on their first date, River interpreted it as watching the same movie, at the same time, in the same movie theater regardless of if they do it together. This comes into play during The Reveal, as River likely used the same rationale to explain Johnny's absence the next year at the fair.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Johnny admits in his memories that he doesn't really remember much of his favorite childhood book series, The Animorphs, and doesn't really read them anymore. This can be attributed at the time to the fact that people's tastes do change. It is eventually revealed, however, that this is because he never really cared for the books. His brother Joey liked the series, not him, and he simply forgot due to the beta blockers.
    • The bunk beds in Johnny's room.
    • Johnny's mother calling him Joey.
    • Neil suddenly stepping out of sight to do something while Eva gets the roadkill makes more sense once you see The Stinger.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Johnny and River met for the first time in a carnival when they were children, something he forgot because of his memory suppression. Deconstructed in that this causes a great deal of resentment in River toward Johnny.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: One of the very last shots of the game, where Neil and Eva are standing on the bridge watching the shuttle launch, there is a quick montage of shots. In one of them, two Neils are visible, one standing close behind the other. Although the creator has said that this is a glitch, the release of the second minisode suggests this was likely intentional...
  • Greek Chorus: Eva and Neil mostly fill this role, particularly in the first half of the game as they go back in time observing Johnny's memories. They take a slightly more active role in the game's second half, but their main purpose from a literary perspective is to observe and provide commentary on the drama unfolding between Johnny and River.
  • Grow Old with Me: River and Johnny. From the player's perspective, this actually happens backwards, as we see an aged Johnny and a newly-deceased River at the start of the game and their early relationship is explored as the game goes on.
  • G-Rated Sex: In the memory of Johnny and River's wedding, they are shown spending their entire wedding night in the lighthouse with their silhouettes dancing.
  • Highschool Sweethearts: Johnny and River, in the game's reality. Eva forcibly removes River from Johnny's high school memories, only for her to return in his young adulthood.
  • Hollywood Autism: Averted. They are both females, have a mild version of the disorder and have managed to lead lives as fulfilling as a neurotypical person can be expected to.note 
  • Ill Girl: River fell ill prior to the events of the game, but declined treatment so that the money that would go towards her medical bills would instead go towards building Johnny's dream house.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: River, which leads her to carry resentment when Johnny tells her otherwise. She starts making the origami rabbits to remind him she once told him this when they met.
    • Also deconstructed with Isabelle who states that while she may appear to be normal, it's just an act she has perfected with years of non-stop practice, and it's furthermore an act she does not wish to keep up. However, due to Becoming the Mask, and the "fake" Isabelle being who other people know her as, she has lost the option to go back to who she really is.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Johnny. This is largely why Johnny becomes interested in River in the first place. At least, that is how he rationalizes his interest.
    • Takes on new meaning after it's revealed that Johnny is actually a twin (read: a copy) and his twin brother, Joey, was always the favoured one. After Joey's death, his mother treated Johnny as though he was Joey, expecting him to act the same way, have the same tastes, and even calling him by Joey's name. Johnny wants to be special because he has never had the chance to be his own person.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Pulled off between Eva and Neil near the end, regarding Eva's plans. It turns out that Neil was missing a step. Eva thought that River would reappear in Johnny's new memories, just at a later time. Neil never considered this a possibility until he saw it happen.
  • Important Haircut: River cuts her hair and starts folding paper rabbits to try and remind Johnny of their very first meeting as children, which Johnny can't remember.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The art teacher in Johnny's childhood though he might be joking...
    Teacher: Leonardo da Vinci trained by drawing eggs. Barrels are like very big eggs. Therefore, you will all be very big da Vinci-s!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Neil starts as a rather sarcastic guy who doesn't seem to take things seriously... until the end, when he is confronted with deleting River from Johnny's memories. He then shows how much he cares for Johnny and River's happiness, and is actually not so cynical.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The memory technology works by backtracking through a subject's memories to reach childhood, then implanting their dying wish in their childhood to alter their memories from then on.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Neil comments that he can't believe Johnny remembers basketball court lines as being square instead of round, a shot at the inaccurate graphics of the gym.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: It is heavily implied that Johnny taking the beta blockers was at the behest of his mom in order to intentionally make him forget everything about his dead twin brother Joey.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When the scientists get to the alternate memory of Johnny at NASA, they note that the best parts of a rocket ship are the top and bottom, then pity those who can't get to them. Of course, the player's overhead view of things means that those are the exact parts we can't see.
  • Leitmotif: The melody of "For River" underlies practically every song that's played, including the bittersweet "Everything's Alright".
  • Let Them Die Happy: The whole point. Neil even explicitly says as much near the end.
  • Lighthouse Point: Johnny bought a house near a lighthouse, which makes River very happy, though Johnny doesn't know why. It's because when Johnny and River first met they discussed stars, and River believed they were lighthouses. River names their lighthouse Anya.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: As a commercial, privately-owned business.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Deconstructed, Johnny desires to be unique so one of the reasons he is attracted to River is because she is a quirky girl, but River is extremely self-conscious of her "weirdness", these two opposite forces end up greatly contributing to their emotional rift.
  • Meaningful Echo: River asking Johnny to describe her origami rabbits is a direct echo of their first meeting.
    River: Describe it... what else?
  • Meaningful Name: A couple of them actually.
    • Johnny - the normal guy who wants to stand out and be different is given one of the English-world's most common names. This takes on an even deeper and more meaningful aspect when you realise that Johnny has forever lived in the shadow of his twin brother Joey, even after the latter's death, to the point where his own mother treated him like a copy.
    • River - the girl who hates standing out and just wishes she could be normal has an unusual and unique name to fit her status.
    • There's also a Meaningful Nickname. Johnny's mother always calls him Joey, in what the player likely assumes is just an unimportant bit of character building. It isn't.
  • Memento Macguffin: The stuffed platypus. Johnny gave it to River at a carnival when they were kids. Ditto for the hacky-sack, which explains why River was so attached to it when Johnny threw it away (at her direction as a test).
  • Mood Whiplash: When the doctors fail to change Johnny's memories, as they grow increasingly frustrated and desperate they start randomly bursting into various memories with lines pitching NASA or a trip to the moon, including a motivational routine at Johnny's high school. It is funny, but feels very out of place with the more serious and somber tone of the rest of the story.
    • Several critics who disliked the game found much of Neil's dialogue to have this effect on the game in general.
      • It's implied that Neil has seen so many morbid and depressing stories that he's developed the same love of Dark Comedy that a lot of doctors, policeman, and other people who see traumatic scenes develop. Given that he seems to be ill or even dying, his morbid demeanor and apathy may be a coping mechanism.
    • The game sometimes substituted silly words like "corncob" for curses for no apparent reason.
  • Moon Rabbit: In a non-traditional appearance. Namely, Johnny and River see the clusters of stars above and below the moon as the rabbit's head and feet, and the moon itself as its body.
  • Noodle Incident: Neil mentions a particularly difficult patient called Nora who caused them some trouble in the past. That's all we get, though.
  • No Social Skills: River, justified because of her condition.
  • Not So Above It All: Eva, several times. Including once when it's very mood-inappropriate.
  • Odd Friendship: Eva and Neil. Eva is serious, no-nonsense, clinical, and emotionally detached in her approach to the job, where Neil is a laid back, somewhat irreverent snarker who enjoys getting under others' skin but is nonetheless shown to be deeply emotional when it comes to certain aspects of the job.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: Kinda Foregone Conclusion, since the main point of the game is manipulating memories, not reality, it means that the happy ending is only experienced by the main character, while the real life counterparts suffered and died in vain.
  • Opaque Lenses: The novelisation of the first scene on the Freebird blog reveals Neil actually wears one-way mirror glasses.
  • Parental Favoritism: Johnny's mother is shown to have had a preference towards Joey, which might explain why after Joey was killed, Johnny became his Replacement Goldfish in his mom's mind.
  • Please Wake Up: Done by Johnny after his mother backed over Joey.
  • Precision F-Strike: The only uncensored curse in the game comes in its Wham Episode when Eva realises that the memory they are in is the day Johnny watched his brother Joey die.
  • The Promise: The real reason why Johnny wants to go to the moon.
  • Red Herring: The rabbit that got run over on Johnny's and River's wedding day has nothing to do with the paper rabbits she obsessively makes later in life. Though, given that rabbits hold a special place in River's heart because of their first meeting, it certainly did affect her; it just wasn't for that reason.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Neil as red, and Eva as blue. Also, Johnny (blue) and Joey (red).
  • Reference Overdosed:
    • The corporation is called "Sigmund," as a shout-out to Sigmund Freud. The game's use of repressed memories and childhood events having an effect on future behavior also makes it a Meaningful Name.
    • Neil at one point claims his name is Lorenzo von Matterhorn, which is an alias that Neil Patrick Harris's character on How I Met Your Mother uses in one episode.
    • There is a point where Neil fights clones of green Evas, comically named "Zombievas," with potted plants. The reference makes sense, considering one of the two people responsible for the music in the game.
    • Whenever Neil breaks the memento, you're guaranteed to get a comical one:
    • Upon looking at a piano, Eva and Neil discuss how someone would manage to put a piano in the TARDIS.
    • Upon answering a phone: "Morpheus?"
    • Neil was expecting Zordon to appear on one of the screens at NASA.
    • You can find a Princess Luna figurine on a desk at NASA. Additionally, during the horse-riding segment, Neil's (blue) horse briefly appears with a rainbow-colored tail and its speed is described as "nineteen percent more than I can handle", referencing the character Rainbow Dash and her quote "20% cooler".
    • The mentioning of real-life researcher Dr. Tony Attwood gives a huge clue as to what River's condition is.
    • Hidden in the computer code during the memento unlock sequence is the phrase "Step twice into the river of life." This is a reference to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus' quote, "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."
    • Animorphs books show up more than once.
    • A book on origami is described using text cribbed straight out of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
    • When Neil is looking for the key to the "funny room in the basement", you come across a book called "Dusklight": "The tale of a girl who fell in love with a zombie who emitted the smell of daisies when showered with gentle sunlight."
    Neil: (upon finding the key in the book) The man sure knows where to hide things.
  • Rewriting Reality: Rosalene and Watts's job. The technology they use alters people's perception of the past. But since doing so carries a lot of very troubling implications and has many possible ways it could be misused, it is only legal to use on people who are dying.
  • Rule of Symbolism: All over the place... Much of it tied to River, which is rather ironic given the hardships many autistic people have when it comes to symbolism.
    • She is heavily symbolically tied to lighthouses, spelled out by herself when she explains that she thinks that stars really are lighthouses that are trying to communicate with each other over vast distances, mirroring how she is trying to communicate with other people over the "distance" her condition imposes.
    • Her favorite plushie that she carries with her her entire life is a platypus, an odd Mix-and-Match-ish Critter that doesn't seem to fit in anywhere with its duck bill, otter body and beaver tail, much like how she, herself, is the odd girl out with unusual hair and eye colours, a very unusual name and a condition that sets her apart from most people... The moments when she cannot be seen with her platypus close at hand is generally when she and John are connecting with each other.
    • One of her favorite childhood stories is The Emperor's New Clothes, a tale about how only someone who does not understand social grace and guises can see that what everyone else for social reasons pretends is real is not so, which is especially poignant in light of how John and Isabelle are both faking who they are. John by having been Joey for the most part of his life and Isabelle by having acted like she's "normal", both of them having been at it for so long that they've forgotten who they really are.
  • Self-Deprecation: Every time the name "To The Moon" or the song "For River" comes up in game they are given a gentle ribbing. The dreadful film Eva makes up is titled To The Moon and dismissed as pretentious by one viewer (saying it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi), and For River is described as an odd song using the same notes over and over.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Try to complete each memento puzzle in the minimum number of moves. Failing has no effect on the ending.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: After breaking the shield around a memento, you have to, for some unexplained reason, solve a flip-the-squares puzzle (similar to "Lights Out") to activate it. It's probably supposed to be a Hacking Minigame of some sort, but it feels disconnected from the story and environment, compared to the exploration-based tasks you have to do to break the shield.
  • The Stinger: One with unpleasant implications, and a Sequel Hook. If you look carefully at Watts's sprite after the flash, he's holding the bottle of painkillers, implying that he may be hiding a debilitating illness.
  • Supporting Protagonist: The scientists. The story is really about Johnny and River.
  • Take That!: To Twilight — sorry, Dusklight. If you try to read it, your character says "maybe another year", and when you find a key hidden in the book, a comment is made that "[Johnny] sure knows where to hide things".
  • Together in Death:
    • In a sense; the very last memory Johnny has is of himself and River heading for the Moon. They turn to each other and hold hands, and then Johnny flatlines.
    • After this, the final image before the credits roll is child!Johnny approaching child!River at the spot where they'd first met, albeit with a white background, and giving her the stuffed platypus. And given that this is long after Johnny had flatlined, it can be safely assumed to be this trope.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Subverted. The beta blockers Johnny takes after Joey dies make his childhood memories inaccessible, causing him to also forget the first time he met River and his promise, see also Laser-Guided Amnesia.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: It seems the only difference between the game's world and our own is Sigmund Corp's memory rewriting technology.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: A few: the Whack-a-Mole game, avoiding the zombies and spikes summoned by Eva, and the fake RPG battle near the beginning. Although the last one is more of a parody of this trope.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Dr. Rosalene has a few of these, mostly vegetable-based.
    "Oh, what the corncob."
  • Utsuge: This game has a reputation for being one of the saddest western games ever made and most people shed at least a few tears by the time it's all over.
  • Wham Episode: The entire sequence when Eva and Neil (along with the player) learn why Johnny wanted to go to the moon.
  • Wham Line:
    Eva: Didn't you see it in his room, Neil? ...Johnny slept on a bunk bed.
    • Immediately followed by:
    Johnny: JOEY!!!
    • Another one later, at the culmination of Eva and Neil's contract, when you discover Johnny and River's real first meeting, finally revealing the tragic reason that Johnny wants so badly to go to the moon:
    Johnny: We can always regroup on the Moon, silly!
    • After the game's credits:
    "Episode 1: To the Moon"
    • After River and Johnny's first meeting, Eva spoils the good vibes with a line that immediately strikes a note of dread, even if you haven't sorted out what's about to happen.
    Eva: I suppose now... we know what we must do to send him to the moon.
  • White Void Room: A suppressed memory is just a white void.
  • You Know the One: The words "autism" or "Asperger's" are never uttered. Autism spectrum disorder is always referred to in-game as either "the condition" or "it".
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: At one point, you are asked what David's main morph was in Animorphs, and you can speak to a character nearby to get the right answer. This is simple enough, but it becomes a problem if the player is familiar with the books and knows the answer because the game gets it wrong. The expected answer is a cobra, but David's actual main battle morph is a lion. Marco is the only one who ever morphed into a cobra. This was likely changed to keep people from solving the puzzle too early.
    • Although, it does dwell into Fridge Brilliance when you consider that Johnny wasn't particularly interested in the story; Joey was.

    To the Moon Minisodes 

Minisode #1: SigCorp Holiday Special

  • Breather Episode: It's more of a fun holiday special than an important part of the canon storyline. The only point that is established to the canon at the end of the game is that SigCorp's work is more controversial as we thought, as the episode ends by showing the protest group outside of SigCorp.
  • Stylistic Suck: Neil makes a video game based on the events of the main game. All characters are represented by disembodied heads, the scenery is extremely pixelated (one pixel of the scenery is the size of one RPG Maker tile) and story is extremely vague, being told by Neil getting items from various characters and placing them elsewhere to open doors.

Minisode #2

  • The Aloner: Neil tries to be one. He wants to stay in the Sigmund Corp HQ by claiming that he would enjoy living in that 'mansion' by himself. He, of course, has his own reasons. See Dark Secret below.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: The minisode drops quite a few of these moments between Neil and Eva.
  • The Cameo: Lily from Episode 1 makes a cameo with her two children.
  • Cool Big Sis: Eva's big sis, Traci. It's her idea to host a dinner together with Eva, Lily and her children, Dr. Winters (one of Sigmund Corp scientists) so Neil won't be left staying alone in the building.
  • Darker and Edgier: Surprisingly enough, yes, despite being a minisode! See Dark Secret and Nothing Is Scarier for details.
  • Dark Secret:
    • Neil appears to be hiding something for himself. He calls someone with his cellphone, but he doesn't talk at all despite whoever he called keeps calling on him. It appears to be his family.
    • Neil has another one, after Eva and other scientists of Sigmund left the building, he's trying to use the memory machine, which he secretly hides in his office, for an unknown reason.
    • Eva is definitely doing something suspicious too, given at the very end, it is implied that the whole episode is a memory that she has altered.
  • Happily Married: Eva's sister is married and has a son.
    • And if the intro sequence is any indication, the McMillans are this, being quite... frisky for their age.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Eddie asks Eva to press the elevator button for him, since the elevator always seems to show up almost instantly everytime she presses it, she chalks it up to just being luck.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • While Eva is driving her car, she suddenly sees a shadow/hallucination of herself in the middle of the road, which disappears afterwards.
    • The ending, the freaking ending, which played after the credits: what appears to be heartwarming after-dinner goodbye between Eva and her sister, the scene very unexpectedly switch back-and-forth between this scene in the Sigmund Corp building with another scene where Eva is sitting alone in a dark room, with the memory machine she's using. The previously-mentioned shadow/hallucination of herself appears to be her present-self, as a result of her using the machine.
  • Sad Clown: Implied with Neil, due to his Dark Secret.
  • They Really Do Love Each Other: For all Eva and Neil's bickering, this minisode makes it clear that they really do care about one another.
  • Wham Episode: This episode hints at some huge twists.

    A Bird Story
  • A Boy and His Bird
  • All Animals Are Dogs: The bird and the kid play fetch with a paper-airplane he makes.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The boy is forced to set the bird free, and everything becomes bleak to him, as even though he has become popular at school, he still misses the bird. However, when the bird returns to him and shows him its new friend, he realises that the bird will be where it belongs, and although the two say their final goodbyes, the boy is happy that the bird will be able to live its life, and stops throwing paper airplanes for it to bring back.
  • Chase Scene: There's a bizarre and hilarious sequence where the teacher and the vet chase the kid through a number of Scooby-Dooby Doors. He even pretends to be following a passing duck as one of its chicks at one point. It's like something out of The Benny Hill Show.
  • Friendless Background: The boy has no friends, and at one point sits on one side of a see-saw with no-one on the other side. He ends up befriending the bird instead. Averted near the end of the game when he becomes well known and has people happy to acknowledge and play with him after bringing the bird to show-and-tell.
  • Lighter and Softer: The creator has gone on record as saying this isn't intended to be as complex or as much as a Tear Jerker as the original game. It's a simpler story with a fair bit of humour, though it does still have a few sadder moments.
  • No Dialogue Episode: You won't see a word after you click "begin". Even the note the kid finds is obscured, and when characters speak the content is implied or represented by an icon in a speech bubble. And yet, somehow, the facial expressions and animations manage to perfectly convey emotions, and the story still manages to be as engaging as the last.
  • No Name Given: All of the characters in the story, although the boy will probably be named by necessity in Finding Paradise.
  • Not a Morning Person: After staying up late reading the boy wakes up bleary-eyed and with a special "groggy" version of his home's music, "Bright and Early".
  • Oh, Crap!: The boy's reaction when the vet appears in his classroom.
  • Parental Abandonment: The kid comes home to an empty house every evening, finding only a note on the fridge, implying his parent or caretaker is never able to see him. There seems to be some affection there though as he gets an umbrella left out for him on rainy days and he keeps every note he finds. The closest interaction they have is when he falls asleep reading and finds someone has put a blanket over him while he sleeps.
  • Schedule Slip: invoked Intentionally averted for Episode 2 at the end of the game - instead of giving a release date, the text just says "Coming One Day".
  • Scenery Porn: One Imagine Spot features a flight over some truly beautiful landscapes.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: The kid engages in this in an attempt to avoid the vet and his teacher, complete with a Suspiciously Similar Song of Yakety Sax playing.
  • Shoo the Dog: Eventually the boy is forced to give up the bird at let it fly free.
  • Sequel Hook: The game ends with a picture of the boy's timeline, ala Johnny's in To The Moon, shows he'll grow up to be the next patient for Sig Corp, and will feature in the sequel Finding Paradise.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The game appears to be a mix of memory and imagined scenes (like the flight on the paper airplane depicted on the logo). We see locations blending together and the landscape literally changing to force him to where he needs to go. It's unclear whether the more realistic scenes have been embellished too.
  • Visual Gag: Where do the boy and the bird get sent when he's boosted into the air on the see-saw? To the moon, of course!

    Episode 2: Finding Paradise 

Alternative Title(s): A Bird Story