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Video Game / Emily Is Away

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Emily is Away is a short Interactive Fiction game created by Kyle Seeley. It is freely available on Steam and

The game takes place in a five year span, from 2002 to 2006. All interaction is handled through an instant messaging client similar to America Online's IM client. You have a few friends on your friends list, but you only directly interact with your friend Emily (screen name: emerly35), chatting about each others' lives and relationships.

In October 2016, Seeley announced Emily Is Away Too, a Spiritual Successor to the original game. It was released 26 May 2017.

A third game in the series, Emily Is Away <3, was announced in March 2019.

Compare and contrast Digital: A Love Story.

emerly35 is typing...

     Emily is Away 
  • all lowercase letters: You and Emily chat like this to emphasize the easygoing friendship you have. At least up until the middle of Chapter 4, where your friendship begins to fade away.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • You can't actually type your responses to Emily; rather, you have to mash keys on the keyboard until the game finishes the pre-made response for whatever option you picked. This fuels the Wham Shot in Chapter 5, where you keep trying to ask Emily about your relationship with each other, only for the game to backspace those questions and make them boring.
    • Also, no matter what you say or how you act, there are only two endings. Both of them involve the two of you going your separate ways.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: The main flaw that stops you from getting together with Emily.
  • Downer Ending: Emily has mixed feelings about having met you at your college (if that option was chosen) and gets back together with Brad/Travis. The only other girl you may have been interested in hooks up with one of your former college friends. And the final moments of the game suggest that you and Emily will never speak to each other again.
  • Easter Egg: DOZENS of them, all of them doubling as a Shout-Out to video games, popular Let's Players/streamers, or memes.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You have to provide a username and first name to log in at the beginning. Both carry through the rest of the game, unless you start Chapter 1 over. The bonus Easter Egg icons are unlocked by inputting specific usernames during Chapter 1.
  • It's A Small Net After All: Justified, seeing as the game takes place in the earlier days of the internet, before social media sites existed in the capacity they do now.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Done in bits and pieces throughout the game, sometimes to fix typos, sometimes to hide your true feelings for Emily. Played for Drama in Chapter 5, as you keep backspacing the questions about yours and Emily's relationship, replacing them with banal questions about the weather and school.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Many of the Easter eggs do this. The wall gets shattered when Emily makes references to current games, websites, and YouTube in 2002.
    you: "but it's 2002, twitch/youtube/lets plays doesn't exist yet."
    (game displays message below your text box) oh shit, you're right
  • Love Triangle: Between you, Brad/Travis, and Emily. Possibly Emma, as well. In the end, Emily gets back together with Brad/Travis, and Emma hooks up with Mike.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Emily, who will get upset with the players decisions or inaction when it comes to courting her throughout the game. And then in the end, they don’t end up together no matter what you do.
    • Ironically, Emily treats the player like this, despite the fact that she’ll get upset at you no matter what the player chooses to do.
  • Musical Gag: Some of the icon Easter Eggs have Emily reference the band you chose.
    • One icon is John Cena, which references the Unexpected John Cena meme, complete with theme song and shouting. Emily is very confused by this.
    • A couple more jokes involve typing out the lyrics of the Nyan Cat song, and the original Pokémon theme.
  • no punctuation is funnier: Most of yours and Emily's dialogue has very little punctuation up until Chapter 4, when things get serious.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Played for Drama in Chapter 5. Eventually, you WILL run out of things to talk about, so you will end up saying goodbye to Emily. The only exception to this is if you were uncooperative when Emily wanted to talk in Chapter 4, in which case she'll do this to you instead.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: All the efforts the player made to court Emily or just be a friend to her end up being for naught as she’ll end up with her ex no matter what and shows no interest in even continuing a friendship with the player by the end of the game.
  • Take That!: emerly35: "get hyped for the third one! at least Square Enix can count to three :P"
  • Verbal Backspace: Justified, since you will occasionally make typos that will be automatically backspaced as you type. You'll do the same with your true feelings towards Emily.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You can be a supportive friend to Emily...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: ...or you can be a complete jerk to her instead.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you decide to be a complete asshole to Emily, then she leaves the chat room at the end of Chapter 5 instead of you.
  • Wham Line:
    • Chapter 3 can deliver the first major one, when Emily reminisces about Travis's party if the player character attended.
      emerly35: well, why didn't you kiss me?"
    • Chapter 4 can deliver a second one, a year after Emily may have visited you at your college.
      emerly35: player please be honest with me.
      emerly35: did you plan that we would hook up?"
      • A possible minor one from the same chapter if Emily had visited, before you delete it:
        you: you wanted to hook up
  • Wham Shot: You, the player, get one when the more personal questions you want to ask Emily in Chapter 5 get replaced with dull questions as you're typing. Eventually, your dialogue options will be reduced to saying goodbye to Emily before logging off.
    1. goodbye
    2. goodbye
    3. goodbye

     Emily Is Away, Too 
  • Betty and Veronica: The player is offered two romance options with Emily and Evelyn serving as Betty and Veronica, respectively.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Even the Good Endings of the game are tinged with bittersweetness due to Emily/Evelyn planning to attend a different college from the player after senior year, which they acknowledge may make them being together difficult. While the player has the option to reassure them about the strength of their love for each other, the game ends after their conversation, leaving it unclear whether they will last.
  • Downer Ending: If you're dishonest with Emily or Evelyn throughout the game, they can influence each other and be the cause of your relationship with the others downfall, leaving you on bad terms with both of them and single.
  • Just Friends: While it's clear that they both have feelings for you, you can keep your relationship with Evelyn and Emily platonic throughout the game or mutually break up with one of them at the end of the game while remaining on friendly terms.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Regardless of who the player chooses to date, they are faced with this issue, as Emily and Evelyn will end up going to a different college than them after Senior year. Both will express concern about whether their relationship will survive, and will discuss couples who have broken up over these issues, to which the player will be given the option to reassure them, suggest they break up, or ask them what they would like to do. If you choose to stay together, the game will end after their conversation, leaving it unclear whether the player character and Emily/Evelyn's relationship will last through college, although the player is reassured that they love them.
  • Multiple Endings: Unlike the first game, there are multiple endings based on the choices you make throughout the game. Depending on your choices, you could end up with Emily or Evelyn, remain friends with them, or ruin your relationship with both.
  • Relationship Values: Depending on your choices, you could end up with Emily or Evelyn, remain friends with them, or ruin your relationship with both.
  • Recurring Element: Emily. She is not the same person as the original game's character, but she has a similar personality.

     Emily Is Away < 3