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Video Game / Aria's Story

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Aria's Story is a Western RPG Maker horror game by Lydia. The game uses RPG Maker VX Ace as its engine. The game is focused on exploration, story and puzzles.

Aria, a bookworm girl, loves visiting her local library. One day, she does so and falls asleep... and wakes up in a strange realm that looks like the library, but is haunted by spirits. Aria, now the protagonist of her own story as the mysterious glasses-wearing Narrator tells her, must escape this strange realm.

Can be downloaded here.

In September 2019, the game received a remake which added several new scenes and two new endings.

See also Midnight Train by the same creator.


This game provides examples of:

  • Alice Allusion: Chapter 2, Fairy Tales, has as part of its Fairy Tale Free-for-All a rabbit NPC, obviously the White Rabbit, who says he is late to a tea party. Said tea party is filled by various other versions of the White Rabbit, all from different copies of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This includes the Killer Rabbit, one of the major antagonists.
  • All Just a Dream: In the Normal Ending, Lewin and his friends claim that Aria's adventure in the book world was this. Of course, they have a good motive to stay silent...
  • Art Initiates Life: The fake Aria is very likely the result of this.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Clyde Harow the Librarian is the creator of the dark book world and the monsters inhabiting it, and is the one who trapped Aria inside, because he wants to test her and see if she can behave like the real Aria; on the other end is the Rabbit, the In-Universe Big Bad of Lewin's story that the book world is based on, who leads the monsters in trying to kill Aria in order to preserve themselves against Clyde's orders, as Clyde plans on disposing of them if Aria completes her journey.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: The photograph. And the blue feather which acts as a save point.
  • Colour-Coded Characters:
    • Aria: Pink
    • Lewin: Blue
    • Narrator/Dahlia: Orange
    • Clyde: Green
    • Wendy: Purple
  • Crapsaccharine World: The book world appears to be cheerful and completely innocent. Then some unsettling things begin creeping out from behind its shelves, and soon monsters that want to kill Aria pop up. From then on it is clearly a horror game. Even the Narrator lampshades it and warns Aria "not to be a boring protagonist and die too soon".
  • Dead All Along: The real Aria has been dead for over a month and the current one is an artificial human created by Clyde.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Aria finds herself in a world based on book genres and must find her way out. Entering each world means no going back until the very end. If she makes it out in the end...
  • Fairy Tale Free-for-All: Chapters 2 and 3, which take place in the Fairy Tale and Romance sections, reference many fairy tales, though in the twisted manner that the book world does:
  • Golden Ending: Zigzagged. Word of God says that all the endings are equally true. Of course, some endings are obviously better than others, in particular the Good Ending which has the most finality and is the biggest.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Narrator keeps treating Aria as if she were the protagonist of a book. It's because Aria is a fabricated person and the world she's trapped in is a dream world based on Lewin's book.
    • If you keep talking with Mr.Librarian at the beginning more than 15 times, he will say "I miss you so much...", and then dismiss it as if nothing happened. The world they're in is created by Clyde the Librarian in his desperate attempt to bring Aria back to life with a clone of her. Of course he would miss his dead friend who should be talking with him at that moment.
    • In the same beginning library, when observing a certain flower vase, Aria mentions she would like to see Mr.Librarian plant a dahlia there. The Narrator's true name is Dahlia and she has a crush on Clyde.
  • Hope Spot: What happened in Bad End 2. Unable to accept moving on from Aria’s death, he uses the Quill’s power once more to rewrite the event that took her life and returns to the time where he would hear about the incident. As he walks out of his room, he finds the real Aria all safe and sound next to Dahlia, which makes him overjoyed. Aria suggests visiting Lewin, and Clyde agrees in a heartbeat, believing things has returned to normal and now the quartet will be together forever. Cut to the graveyard scene with Lewin nowhere to be found...
  • Interface Screw: In one room, all description text and dialogue appears backwards. It's part of a puzzle.
  • Jump Scare: Several appear throughout the game.
  • Killer Rabbit: The rabbit monster that keeps chasing Aria.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Narrator is prone to do this, storytelling the whole adventure and treating Aria as the protagonist of a book. Aria is understandably uncomfortable about it.
  • The Lost Lenore: Aria (the real one, not the facsimile created by Clyde) is this to Lewin and Clyde. So much that Lewin wrote a book about her to the point of self-harming and Clyde tried to bring her back to life with his powers.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Though some puzzles don't penalize you for wrong answers, you can never be sure whether a wrong answer or careless misstep might result in the nearest object crushing you to death.
  • MacGuffin: The Quill, an item of great power which the Harlow family has hidden away for centuries since it could cause chaos if known by other forces. Its reality bending power is used by Clyde to create the book world - the main setting of the game.
  • Multiple Endings: There were originally three, with the remake adding two more. They depend upon whether the player collects a particular item and on their choices.
    • Bad Ending 1: Aria finds out about her origins and goes mad from the revelation. She confronts Clyde, Lewin and Dahlia about this and embraces her status as an Artificial Human. She steals Clyde's feather, which she uses to kill him, Lewin and Dahlia. In the remake, she then proceeds to monologue about her plan to rewrite reality in order to free all fictional characters and enslave humans as revenge for writing them to be mistreated.
    • Bad Ending 2: Clyde realizes that creating a fake Aria was a bad idea and decides to use the power of the quill to go back in time and prevent Aria's death. It all seems well, until he finds out Lewin was the one who died instead. Clyde goes in time again to prevent their deaths, only to find that this time Dahlia died instead. Realizing that somebody needs to die no matter what in order to keep the timeline stable, he kills himself.
    • Normal Ending: If Aria didn't find the photograph, she reunites with Lewin, Clyde and Dahlia and they return to the real world. Aria wakes up in the real world, but her friends insist that her experiences in the book world were All Just a Dream. Meanwhile, Lewin, Dahlia and Clyde decide to act like nothing happened in order to keep Aria unaware of her origins.
    • True Ending: If Aria found the photograph and told the truth about opening the pink door, she confronts Clyde, Lewin and Dahlia, saying that she found out the truth about her origins and they need to get over the real Aria's death and move on with their lives. She takes Clyde's feather, which she uses to erase the book world and herself, but not before having a heartfelt goodbye with Lewin, encouraging him to continue writing. Clyde, Dahlia and Lewin return to the real world, where Lewin writes a book about Aria based on their adventure.
    • Good Ending: If Aria found the photograph and lied about opening the door, Aria finds out she's a fake created by Clyde, but realizes she's her own person and sends Lewin, Dahlia and Clyde back to their world. 3 years later, Lewin is a famous writer and Clyde and Dahlia are Happily Married. Lewin meets the fake Aria once again, now reborn as a girl named Wendy.
  • Point of No Return: Every time you go into another world, there is no going back.
  • Puppy Love: It's implied Lewin and the real Aria had mutual feelings for each other. He still likes the artificial Aria, despite being a fake created by Clyde, but her death means that they can't be together. It's hinted Clyde had feelings for her as well, but the True Ending shows that she felt a deeper connection with Lewin.
    • Averted in the 2019 remake. Lewin saw Aria only as a close friend, but comes to have feelings for the fake Aria, acknowledging her as her own person. In the Good Ending, they end up becoming a couple.
  • Reality Warper: Clyde, who created the whole book world for the sole purpose of reviving Aria. As well as anyone else who uses the magic quill.
  • Save Point: The blue feathers scattered throughout the realm.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In the 2019 remake, during the first Bad Ending, an insane Aria delivers a monologue to the player in which she threatens to gain control over humankind using her new Reality Warper abilities, as revenge for being treated so badly as a fictional character.
  • Too Dumb to Live: After leaving the blood-covered garden library, a rabbit monster appears for a few seconds. You're obviously not supposed to go there.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The reason Lewin tries to kill Aria at first is because he knows she's an artificial human and the real Aria is dead. He admits in the True Ending that he came to care for the new Aria as a real person and she doesn't deserve to die.
  • Win-Win Ending: The Good Ending has everyone happy. The false Aria gets to live a new life as Wendy, while her new friends get to continue living with her, and Clyde has managed to move on from Aria's death but can still keep Lewin and Dahlia close to him. Even the Rabbit and the other library denizens are happy since Wendy managed to save them from being erased by Clyde, meaning they can live happy lives.


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