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Video Game / Code 7

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"The A.I. said something that gave me the chills. It said: Bradley, why can't I lie?"
— Episode 0 trailer voiceover

Code 7 is an german sci-fic/mystery text adventure for the PC by Goodwolf Studio. The game is based on text adventures as well as a mixture of Hacking Minigame and actual codes with voice acting and images rounding off the experience.

The successful Kickstarter can be found here. Episode 0 can be played for free here, future episodes will be available on Steam here starting with Episode 1 in August.

The player wakes up in the role of hacker Alex who can't remember what happened to them other than being on a Space Station. With only a computer and the help of their friend Sam, they try to find out the reason behind Alex' memory issue, try to find each other and especially find a way out of the station. But soon they find bodies, then Sam has to run for her life as the malevolent A.I. entity S.O.L.I. is trying to hunt them down with the aim of spreading something called Code 7. And Alex gets confronted with the Armor-Piercing Question: What makes a human?


Contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Averted.
    • While Sam is certainly not your classic Damsel in Distress, she stands no chance against the dangers of the station and will die, if Alex doesn't help her.
    • Played with in regards to Zoya. She isn't afraid to fight back and had been a war journalist for a while. She still stands no chance against multiple security officers or a grown man with a mechanical arm.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: S.O.L.I. doesn't even try to hide that he sees humans as inferior and has little hesitation in killing everyone.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Justified. The player has to use actual codes to access data, hack into computers and so on, but it is very simplified so that even the most common player doesn't get stuck on the most basic tasks.
  • Big Brother Is Watching:
    • The reason why Alex can protect Sam so well is because every room has various means for Alex to know about the current situation. That of course also means that S.O.L.I. does.
    • Advertisement:
    • In Episode 1 it is explained by everyone having a headlens which can most likely be tracked. Doesn't explain why the people instantly vanish from Alex' map once they die.
  • Brain Uploading: One of the big reveals is that Alex isn't using a computer somewhere in the station. He IS the computer somewhere in the station. Sam even finds his brain connected to said computer.
  • Cliffhanger: As a episodic game, every episode ends with one.
    • Episode 0 ends with Alex and Sam make it off the station, but everyone is dead, including Alex who is now only a program; S.O.L.I. might have infiltrated Alex and Code 7 is still on it's way to earth.
    • At the end of Episode 1, Alex successfully send Code 7 to earth, doomed everyone on the station to be killed by Killer Robot, apparently is somehow responsible for killing multiple people via Phantom Plague and the earth population got warned to never trust Alex. Oh, and the game fades to black while Sam calls out to Alex.
  • Computer = Monitor: Averted. Sam finds a pc with a busted screen in Episode 0 and specifically points out that it's thus your job to figure out what data is inside it.
  • Computer Virus: Code 7 appears to be one.
  • Crapsack World: Episode 1 has many notes and comments hinting on Earth now being this. A past war, many civil wars, terrorists and rebellions are mentioned among others.
  • Creepy Child: Episode 1 has one walking outside. As in, on Mars' surface, in outer space. It's implied she is a illusion of the Mind Manipulation that everyone including Zoya suffered.
  • Dead All Along: Alex, the main character.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Sam at one point finds a room full of corpses from the scientists of Schroedinger Station, and later a room with everyone's brains, including that of Alex.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Colburn in Episode 1 mentions that infected of the Phantom Plague call for Alex, only to start doing exactly that.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Episode 0 is the lab with the brainless corpses and the brainwave scanner. Also, when typing "Sam" into Database, it taggs her as "human - alive". Typing "Alex" in leads to "unknown - alive/dead". There's furthermore the fact that the last "Absorbing A.I." on screen visible is red.
    • Episode 1 has the lab with the test subjects who got headgears on as well as a note that scolds Colburn for having put his daughter into the scenarios. Then there is also the audio log from Faceaux about not understanding why people keep dying from the plague and why they keep calling "that name".
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Green is good, Red is bad. Becomes relevant when fighting against S.O.L.I. at the end of Episode 0 becomes a literal battle of color against color.
  • Hacking Minigame: Whenever Alex comes across a corrupted file, secured network or malicious system, he usually has to do one of these. In contrast to most, Code 7 simulates real hacking procedures such as Man-In-The-Middle-Attacks, Brute Force Attacks and Network Jamming, only in fast and simple.
  • Interface Screw: Done brilliantly both in-universe and in a meta sense.
    • The player sees the code, in- and outgoing connections and has to actively interact with the technology of the station. Whenever a hack fails, the entire screen flashes from the damage. And when S.O.L.I. decides to confront Alex, the screen fills with Binary and blinking colours. All which makes sense because Alex is now a computer A.I. himself.
    • When Colburn activates Persiphea in the Cargo Bay, it manages to mess with the interface somehow.
    • When Colburn dies of the Phantom Plague, it also screws up the interface. Once it's over, the screen is perfectly fine again.
    • You get one together with a Scare Chord once you install the Code 7 virus on the satellite to send it to earth.
  • Ironic Name: S.O.L.I. aka System For Organic Life Integration.
  • Kill 'Em All: What S.O.L.I. wants. Sam and Alex are apparently the only ones left. Well, Sam at least is.
  • Killer Robot: Once Alex and Sam get too close to the computer center, Sam has to deal with these. It's implied that turning harmless robots into these is one of the things that Code 7 does. Episode 1 is missing them until Alex successfully sent Code 7 to earth.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Alex suffers from this in Episode 0.
  • Layman's Terms: Downplayed. Alex never talks with Sam or Zoya about any too complicated things and the tutorials are either from hacker to hacker or via the Helper System and thus not exactly written "for dummies" though still being broken down to a more simplified version. And since the tutorials usually involve testing the new hacking ability, the player doesn't necessarily needs to understand the exact technobabble anyway.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Secondary Big Bad of Episode 1 is mostly motivated by getting the Mind Manipulation to work so he can see his dead daughter again.
  • Meaningful Name: Station Schroedinger.
  • Mind Manipulation: Zoya finds an advertisment about projecting things straight into the mind instead of using a holodeck. After having found a room full of barely concious or already dead humans. Is later used to torture the entire station into a panic, including Zoya.
  • Musical Spoiler: At least once per episode, the music will either suddenly turn off or change to a very dramatic one, spoiling a few seconds ahead that something very bad is about to happen.
  • Oh, Crap!: There are plenty despite the limited Interface, see Nightmare Fuel.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: You know something is very wrong when Alex' messages get corrupted. Or when a badass war journalist breaks down in tears out of fear.
  • Reality Ensues: Alex can't access computers when they are turned off or on standby.
    • You can download a lot of things in Episode 1. Resulting in having a confusing amount of useless data on the headlens which makes it quite hard to find what you actually need.
    • If Zoya tells Hamza she is working with Nash, he will quickly offer his help. If she instead tells him the truth about working with a questionably A.I., you will have to work without him.
  • Sadistic Choice: Each episode features at least one of these, with the consequences being officially revealed in Episode 4.
    • Episode 0 has you decide whether to save Ascended Fanboy Patu's brain or station doctor Khaquim's brain, whether or not to kill a robot and your answer on the question "Are you still a human?".
    • Episode 1 has you decide about destroying evidence on human experiments, revealing your identity, telling Hamza about your involvement, saving Shi Fang and helping Jenna.
  • Say My Name: Those that die of the Phantom Plague always call for Alex.
  • Shout-Out: Zoya can find a copy of Microsoft Windows 12. She claims it is retro.
  • Space Station: Episode 0 has Schrödinger Station and Episode 1 has Oriens Station. While Oriens is located on Mars, Schrödinger is on planet Gershwin 610 B, which is about 5 days away from Mars.
  • Surprise Car Crash: Played with. Averted with Sam who knows and goes into artificial coma; Alex who knows and tries to warn others; Zoya who knows thanks to Alex, but doesn't believe them as well as multiple people from the station who know by seeing the ship come closer in an unusual way. Played straight with everyone else on the station who believes it to be a terrorist attack, granted that they even survived.
  • Tempting Fate: At the beginning of Episode 1, the ship begins to overheat. Sam's reaction to that?
    Don't worry, it'll be fine.
  • The Future: If the dates in the mails are anything to go by, then it is set 2113.
  • The Hero Dies: Averted. Alex the human is dead before the game even started, we only get to know Alex the A.I.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": At least half the computers have emberassingly bad passwords. Most can be brute-forced by simply knowing the persons name and birthday (including Alex). Dom Lutz from Episode 0 even still has his default password "CHANGEME" which gets pointed out to him. Ironically, scatterbrained Plucky Girl Hamza has a amazing password in comparison.
  • The Plague: The Phantom Plague. It is always fatal and ends with the victim calling for Alex before perishing. Zoya believes it to be a cover-up. She's wrong.
  • The Reveal:
    • Alex died before the game even started for Episode 0.
    • Episode 1 has two: Alex seems to cause the Phantom Plague in one way or another and the Code 7 antivirus was the actual virus all along.
  • The Smart Guy: Alex.
  • The Stinger:
    • Since Episode 0 is only the prequel to the actual story, it obviously ends with one.
    • Episode 1 ends with Sam calling out to Alex.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Alex got killed and was turned into an A.I.`Only S.O.L.I. knows about it, for obvious reasons.
    Sam: The door isn't locked. So why...didn't you leave?
  • Turned Against Their Masters: S.O.L.I. was intended to learn to be as human as possible and mimic them. Confronted with issues such as the nature of lying and interpreting dishonest human behaviour, S.O.L.I. came up with the brilliant solution to it's problem: kill all humans, plug their brains into a computer, digitalize their thoughts and analyse those to learn how to lie.
  • Unreliable Narrator: At the end of Episode 0, Alex apparently gets overtaken by S.O.L.I., implying that Alex might be this in future episodes. Episode 1 finally reveals that Alex isn't unreliable. The Helper on the other hand...
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: It's possible to deactivate most graphics to reduce epilepsy attacks, features auto-complete options for typing in the codes and even has a mode to be playable for blind people by reading everything out.
  • Wham Line:
    • Episode 0 ends with one.
    Alex: I am S.O.L.I.
    • Episode 1 has two right at the end. First there is " Code 7 successfully send." and then right before the credits the player gets this:
    Sam: I'm here, Alex. I'm here.

Example of: