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Video Game / But That Was Yesterday

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I almost gave up wishing she'd return...but that was yesterday.
— The girl ending.

A pretty short, somewhat artsy game made by Michael Molinari (OneMrBean). It won 1st place in Casual Gameplay design Competition #9. It's described as "A personal journey about learning to move forward in life". That's pretty accurate.

There are three separate endings, based on your system time. 12:00-4:00: Dog, 4:00-8:00: Little boy, 8:00-12:00: Girl. Both a.m. and p.m.

It can be played here.

This game provides examples of:

  • Art Major Physics: Cliff platforms at a 90 degree angle to the ones you start out on, reachable by a swing. Hmm.
  • The Blank: All of the characters have no facial features except for the nose.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In one cutscene, the boy in green jumps in to protect the protagonist from a group of thugs.
  • Canine Companion: The dog, who is the first to accompany you in the game. It's implied that the dog was a beloved pet who ran away but later came back.
  • Color Motif: All over the place.
    • The protagonist (which is you) is dark blue, which symbolizes sadness and depression. He had been going through rough times such as a beloved pet running away, a friend dying, and a girlfriend traveling overseas. The association with dark blue is further emphasized by showing how he sticks out in scenes with bright colors, yet he fits in well with scenes that have dark colors, representing how much he was negatively affected by life.
    • The boy in (light) green was a happy and energetic childhood friend who taught the protagonist how to jump across gaps. The boy in green's habit of climbing high places proves to be his undoing, as he later slips, falls over and dies.
    • The trio of (dark) green thugs bully the protagonist in one cutscene. After the boy in green dies, they're seen again comforting the protagonist while he grieves.
    • The (bright pink) girl was the protagonist's first girlfriend and first foray into romance.
    • The (orange) dog who accompanies you in the beginning is very friendly and teaches you to look away from the darkness in order to advance.
    • Happy memories and anything joyful are represented by bright colors, such as the boy in green and the pink girl. On the other hand, bad memories and anything sad are represented by dark colors. When the boy in green dies and the pink girl leaves on a plane, the protagonist's happiness goes with them and the mood turns somber after that.
    • The darkness is depicted as a black, bubbling wall of goop, which disappears whenever you look away from it, and shows flashbacks of the protagonist's life whenever you run into it. It represents unhealthy fixation on the past and refusal to move on, which the game is trying to have you avoid.
  • Cut Scene:
    • From when you get up after being knocked down by bullies to after the boy in green's funeral.
    • From when you jump off the swing until you end up in the swings alone after the girl leaves in a jet plane.
  • Dead Partner: The boy in green dies from unspecified causes - possibly falling off of something, what with all the roofhopping and tree-climbing he does.
  • Death by Falling Over: It's never explicitly stated, but the boy in green died by falling from a high place, as the hospital cutscene occurs after you learn how to jump.
  • Don't Look Back: Inverted - you have to face away from the darkness to progress.
  • Flashback:
    • When you reach the first swing, you get a flashback to an afternoon spent on a swing with the girl, conveniently teaching you how to use it.
    • When you reach the first cliff, you get a flashback of the green boy.
    • When you hit the wall of darkness, you get flashbacks of all the memories the protagonist has, including your first girlfriend and your dead childhood friend.
  • Foreshadowing: Look at the hospital clock and you know your ending.
  • Gang of Bullies: The three thugs in (dark) green.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Implied and downplayed - in one cutscene the protagonist and the girl in pink are lying together on a bed with only their underwear on, but that's only what we see.
  • How We Got Here: One interpretation of the game is a person reminiscing on the memories and experiences that shaped them into what they are today.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The three (dark) green bullies comfort you after the boy in (light) green dies.
  • Le Parkour: The boy in green does it, and teaches you how to, too. It's implied that the boy in green dies from an accident related to this trope by falling over from a high place.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Dog: I was certain he'd never come back...but that was yesterday
    • Little boy: I used to think he wasn't with me anymore...but that was yesterday.
    • Girl: I almost gave up wishing she'd return...but that was yesterday.
  • Pet the Dog: The thugs who bully the protagonist in a cutscene later comfort him after the protagonist loses his childhood friend (the boy in green) to a climbing accident.
  • Pictorial Speech-Bubble: All of the characters who communicate in the game use this technique. For example, when someone wants to tell another character to "get up" or "jump", their speech bubble holds an up arrow.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The blue protagonist (which is you) falls in love with the girl in pink.
  • Respawn on the Spot: If you fall off a cliff or a roof, you always reappear on the last one you were on in a beam of golden light.
  • Respawn Point: If you fall into a gap, you're immediately put back to where you left off.
  • Spirit Advisor: In a sense. Although the boy, the girl, and the dog don't come back except in the endings, shadows of them will appear during the bits that most resemble the trick you learned from them after the boy in green dies.
  • Take My Hand!: When you reunite with the girl, she will stretch out her hand when you try (and inevitably fail) to cross the chasm a few times. Averted in the end when she just jumps into the chasm and appears on your side.
  • Title Drop: In all three ending texts.
  • Trauma Swing: Occurs after the girl leaves, which leaves the protagonist (the girl's boyfriend) sitting on the swings alone.
  • Underwater Kiss: Occurs in one cutscene which happens right after you learn how to swing... which quickly transits to them lying in bed with little clothing.