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Visual Novel: Coming Out On Top
On the left is Mark and Penny, with the five main love interests on the right. In order from bottom to top: Ian, Alex, Phil, Brad, Jed.

A visual novel game by Obscura. The protagonist is Mark Matthews, an undergraduate student in Orlin, who is about to come out to his roommates and best friends. You get to play out the final semester of his senior year in college. There are five main guys that Mark can have a romance with. Each guy has their own route/story that the player can have Mark pursue, with a combined total of over 200 choices for the player to make.

The game is currently still in progress, and in the final stages of editing. A new demo close to what the final product will look like can be found here. The confirmed date of release is December 10 2014.

It contains examples of:

  • Above the Influence: Alex distinctively less and less while falling for Mark.
  • All Gays Are Promiscuous: Penny either thinks that, or projects her own way of thinking on Mark, trying to get him into various perversions.
    • On the other hand, due to Jed's introduction and the possibility of using a Grindr like app in the final game, Mark can play this fairly straight.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Closeted he may be, at the start of the game, but Mark does point out he's not necessarily a virgin. How far he's gone is never said, though.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Alex lets it slip out when he is upset, and dumps all his feelings on Mark in the park. And if not only words matter, there is the locker scene...
  • Appeal to Inherent Nature: How Brad tries to justify why Mark should write his papers for him, instead of actually tutor him like Mark was hired to do. "Look, this is Division 1 football. That's just how things work. You might not like it. I might not like it. But this system's way bigger than any of us."
  • Art Shift: Typical of a visual novel/dating-sim. There are different artists for the sprite art and the C Gs, which understandably causes this shift in art style.
  • As You Know: Mark before his coming out, describing the close friendship between Ian, Penny and himself.
  • Batman Gambit: Penny suggests catching Edwina by going to the gym and letting her stalk Mark again.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: At least with Alex and Graham.
  • Big Bad: Graham.
  • Birds of a Feather: Most of Alex's Relationship Values are about this.
  • Bi the Way: The seemingly heterosexual Ian has been confirmed as a love interest for Mark. Jed's sexuality has also been stated as being fluid by the writer.
  • Bow Chicka Wow Wow: Teacher/Student Romance moves Penny's fantasy.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mark in the demo, whenever you are about to abort the story with a quick death bad ending.
    • The about part having Mark, Penny and Ian talk to the player and each other about the game.
  • Break the Cutie: Alex by the hearing and the danger of not being allowed to teach anymore.
  • Broken Pedestal: Edwina for Graham.
  • But I Would Really Enjoy It: Both Mark and Alex.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Ian.
  • Catch Phrase: Zoologists don't only clean cages!
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Alex after saying ''more than I care to admit''.
  • Character Customization: A minor example. In the new demo (and in the final game, once it's out), you can toggle beards and body hair for both Mark and his love interests. However, Phil, being in the military, will only grow his later in the story.
  • The Charmer: Alex is always charming and witty.
  • Clear Their Name
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Penny's cousins.
    • Penny and Ian also have their fair share of quirks.
  • Coming-Out Story: Mark's.
  • Condescending Compassion: Averted. The friends immediately act naturally around Mark. They start coddling him only when they think he is unhealthily obsessed with his professor.
  • Cool Teacher: Alex.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Oh, yeah. Even in the demo there are a few chances for this, one even ends in a picture of the climax.
  • Deadpan Snarker: although he is given the option, this trope is averted with the Player Character; trying to be funny ruins your relationship meters with your friends.
    • The new demo, however, does give Mark some autonomous snark, and some dialogue trees with positive results have him get his snark on too.
  • Devoted to You: Mark may say there are other boys to date, but he always returns to pining for Alex.
    • And it's not like Alex couldn't find another mature, kind and cute boy.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Ian explaining how he means he didn't expect Mark being asked out so soon.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Poor Mark, on his anatomy lessons.
  • Dramatic Irony: Alex strugglingly resists Mark for the sake of his career. Guess what will be about to ruin his career. Double twist: the charges aren't far from his feelings and desires.
  • Double Entendre: The title.
    • "You can't imagine how hard it is to have you as my professor..."
    • Penny is good at these, when kidding with Mark.
  • Dream Sequence: A rather very one involving Alex, if Mark doesn't rebuff him.
  • Driven by Envy: Graham towards Alex.
  • Dug In Deeper: The head injury, thanks to Alex's scientific enthusiasm.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Penny.
  • Embarrassing First Name / Embarrassing Middle Name: If you introduce yourself as Philbert.
    • Penny's cousin/possible love interest is named Philbert, but he says that he goes by "Phil" now.
  • Erotic Dream
  • Establishing Character Moment: Graham's when he steps onto Mark's foot and berates him for standing in his way. Not to mention his raging in the phone, probably to Edwina.
  • Evil Gloating: Graham about the harassment meeting.
  • Extreme Doormat: Edwina to Graham.
  • Fag Hag: Penny is very enthusiastic at helping Mark get a man. Though she always liked matchmaking for him.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Careful as Alex was, he didn't think of the possibility that anyone might get suspicious about him asking Mark for some private talk after almost every lesson.
  • Fanservice: There are plenty of pics about hot shirtless guys here...
  • The Fettered: Alex, mostly Mark. Alex is also an authority figure.
  • Forbidden Fruit: The romance.
  • Fragile Flower: Mark has quite sensitive nerves.
  • Frameup
  • Freudian Trio: Can be with the conscientious Alex, the down-to-earth Ian, the dirty-minded Penny, and Mark struggling between them.
  • Gay Guy Seeks Popular Jock: Brad, the star quarterback for his college's top football team, is a romance interest for Mark, if you play your cards right.
  • Gayngst: Two of the five routes involve homophobia.
    • Mark is hinted to have had plenty of it in the past, making the in-game acceptance even more heartwarming.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Can you code in assembly language? Have a seat, mister.
  • The Generic Guy: The brown-haired, Straight Gay, average-named, Boy Next Door personality Mark, with typical problems given his situation, also the Only Sane Man in his crazy environment.
  • Giftedly Bad: Penny is very enthusiastic at programming, but most of her experiments fail hilariously.
  • Good-Looking Privates: Phil is a Marine AND a love interest.
  • Group Hug: Mark, Ian and Penny when celebrating their graduation.
  • Gym Bunny: Working out is important to earn the crucial moments.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Alex.
  • Hidden Depths: Ian and Penny act crazy and flippant, but they prove to be deeply trustworthy and caring friends for Mark, even acting as his therapists when necessary.
  • Honor Before Reason: Alex doesn't only refuse dating in secret, he doesn't want to act on the clearly mutual attraction even when he is already accused.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Edwina.
  • Hot Teacher: Alex.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Alex showing his bruise shirtless in the locker room.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Alex is a gentleman through thick and thin.
  • Intimate Healing: Watch how fast Alex recovers from his crippling bruise after being touched by Mark.
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything: Alex declares that on the day after their strange moment in the locker room.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Penny, Ian, and Mark all live together in the same apartment.
  • Jail Bait: The daughter of Ian's boss.
  • Jerkass: Graham.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Like Alex and want to see more of his route before the game is out? Well, you better hope you know someone with the old demo, because the game's site only links to the new one that introduces all love interests and ends before any route can truly begin.
  • Kick the Dog: At the first time we see Graham, he steps onto Mark's foot and scolds him for standing in his way.
  • Literal-Minded:
    How can I be on two places at one time? How do you mean I should research cloning techniques? How do you mean calm down, it's only a joke?!
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: Jed lives in the apartment above Mark, so pursuing Jed could be considered this.
  • Lover and Beloved: Maybe a little too patronizing on Alex's part. Lampshaded by Penny: the One who wants the same as you but a little more experienced. Moreover, he is Mark's professor.
  • Magical Queer: Can be with Alex's perfection and unfair persecution.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Graham behind Edwina.
  • Manly Gay: Alex, especially at sports. And he doesn't like camp cocktails.
  • The Matchmaker: Penny loves forcing her cousins (or online dating sites) onto Mark.
  • Meaningful Name: Alex Davies ('beloved')
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Edwina to Graham.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Mark... Does not make a good first impression with Phil thanks to this.
  • Multiple Endings: There are three main endings in just the demo featuring one of the five romance paths! There will likely be at least fifteen endings in the final version.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Edwina when Mark confronts her.
    • Alex has a my god, what am I doing moment.
  • Naked First Impression: Jed on both Penny and Mark
  • Necktie Leash: Mark feels an urge to do this to Alex.
  • New Game+: After completing the main endings in the older version of the demo, you get an indicator of Alex relationship points.
  • No Fair Cheating: At least the game makes it complicated to derail the standard flow of the story.
  • Non-Action Guy: Alex doesn't even think of fighting back, he'd rather flee from the job of his dreams.
  • Not so Above It All: Mark is not a piece of meat. Until hearing about Philbert's body tempts him as much as his personality can't.
    Edwina: What have I become? Spying and taking picture of shirtless guys...
    You shot a glance at Penny.
  • Not What It Looks Like: The photo, as a proof of student molestation. Though Graham's former attempt to accuse Alex was called off for insufficient evidence, this time a mere suggestion of the picture is treated as a proof.
  • Official Kiss: In the park between Mark and Alex in the best ending (the first of many, many more to come), though if you were playing well enough, he has already kissed you in the locker room, and you could have kissed him in his office while comforting him.
  • Old Maid: Subverted. Alex is mentioned to be older than Mark several times, but it doesn't make him less attractive. You can turn him down saying he is too old for you, though.
  • Only Sane Man: Mark with his crazy roommates.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: With Jed, right during his introduction.
  • Pedo Hunt: Graham uses this against Alex. Alex also tells Mark that Mark is safe even from a scandal, only he will be persecuted.
  • Peerless Love Interest: Ian and Penny deem Alex to be this for Mark.
  • Private Tutor: Mark is hired as one for Brad, who is failing his literature class. He also teaches ESL kids, and can do so during the weekends for extra cash.
  • Refusal of the Call: You HAVE to come out to your friends in the beginning, otherwise the game won't precede.
  • Relationship Values: Displaying maturity, kindness, confidence, keeping fit, keeping up with him at raquetball, even ordering the right kind of drink at the bar visibly raises Alex' sympathy and interest in you. He doesn't like if you order a girly cocktail, he seems to be seeking a boyfriend as tough as himself.
  • Rescue Romance: Save Alex's career to have him.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: Ian and Zoe, until the beginning of the game.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Mark can play this straight when meeting Brad, refusing to write his papers for him. On the other hand, he can also say "Screw the rules, I want money!"
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Mark can pull this at several occasions, possibly missing out on some love interests as he does so.
  • Second-Person Narration
  • Secret Test of Character: You can do this to Alex by tempting him to a secret affair.
    • If you want Alex to fall in love with you, don't try to seduce him throughout the semester. Molest him after the first lesson, and you will lose all his interest.
  • Shirtless Scene: Alex's injury must be examined carefully.
  • Shrinking Violet: Edwina.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Mark towards Alex after the locker scene.
  • Sliding Scale of Beauty: Alex is on the world class level (looks like an underwear model).
  • Smells Sexy: Alex's cologne gives Mark less than pure thoughts.
  • Smug Snake: Graham. He can't even comprehend that Mark is able to ruin his career.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Alex has a hard time getting the deserved credit for his brains.
  • Spirited Competitor: Alex loves challenging Mark at raquetball, and likes him more for returning the cockiness and being a worthy opponent.
  • Stalker with a Crush: it feels a little uncomfortable to make Mark push Alex' boundaries, ignore his repeated, clearer than clear no, never, ever and still ask for some more closure, and sometimes being intrusively helpful to get a happy ending. Not to mention his pathetic obsession throughout the semester.
    • Though Alex sneaking up behind Mark at the bar, while Mark was visibly avoiding eye contact with anyone, didn't come out well either.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Edwina.
    • Ian and Penny have a hobby stalking device.
  • The Stinger: Alex texting to Mark.
  • Stock Kisses: The third is frequent: their hands often slip onto the waist under the shirt while kissing.
  • Teacher/Student Romance Optional.
  • Too Much Information: Mark's dream for Ian.
  • True Companions: Penny and Ian, for Mark.
  • Token Minority: Phil is black, Jed is Asian.
  • Unequal Pairing: Would be for Mark and Alex, if they weren't gentlemen.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension
  • Unusual Euphemism: Self-love.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Edwina.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Penny, Ian and Mark, mutually.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Alex admits he is naive and unfit for political stratagems.
  • Wine Is Classy: You get a few extra Alex relationship points for ordering wine in the bar. And Alex likes maturity. Though he approves of whiskey more.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: Averted.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Graham isn't above beating Mark and enslaving Edwina. Though twentysomething, they are just naive students.
  • Your Mom: Mark's riposte to Ian's prying, corrected to "your dad".

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alternative title(s): Coming Out On Top
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