Evan's Remains is a somber mystery-thriller Environmental Narrative Game developed by Matías Schmied that contains puzzles that the player can either complete or skip altogether in favor of progressing with the story.
The story revolves around a boy genius named Evan, who disappears and sends a letter years later. The game starts with Dysis searching for Evan on the latter's request; Along the way she meets Clover, who has his own reasons for being on the island, and she follows him around as he decodes the message of the island. The plot begins to thicken from there...
Please note that by its very nature, Evan's Remains is very difficult to talk about at length without spoiling it. Read with care.
This game contains examples of:
- All for Nothing: Defied; After Vincent learned that the monoliths pretty much revealed that it was just a message that immortality was impossible, he knew it would crush Clover so went out of his way to call Andre to help defy this. Andre destroyed certain monoliths and create portals between certain monoliths to rewrite the message so that it implied that anyone who stayed on the island lived forever, and then devised a plan for Vincent to go through with after to make sure Clover died happy believing in it.
- Alliterative Name:
- Andre Aeger
- Vincent Vaal.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: Downplayed; For most of the game you play as Dysis, who's sent to search for "Evan" on behalf of a company named Up-Bring...but after Clover dies you spend the remainder of the game playing as Vincent Vaal, the face behind Up-Bring's mascot "Evan Goldstein", who at that point had only been seen in various flashbacks during different points of the game and learning about who "Evan" and Up-Bring really are as well as the truth behind why Dysis was sent to the Island in the first place. Literally nothing changes except the perspective and the timeline of events.
- Big Brother Instinct: Justified; Clover is the only family his sister, who's only an infant, has left after their father died of a hereditary disease and their mother abandoned them, and though the two suffered from the same disease, it was more lethal towards his sister than him due to gender. He travelled to an island based on a lie created by Vincent and Andre just to find a way to save his sister.
- Bittersweet Ending: Clover ends up dead thanks to Andre rather than his disease; he died happy thanks to believing that his infant sister survived the disease, but it was only because of a lie created by Andre and Vincent regarding how all time stopped on the Island and having someone who shared the same name trick him into thinking it was his sister grown up...the fact still remains that Clover's village and Dysis will forever be shook and emotionally scarred by his death, and whether or not the plan was ethical isn't really discussed. There are still many questions that are never truly answered and are left in ambiguity, and ultimately it's implied Andre feels regret about going through with his plan and will take this secret to his grave...after the credits, Vincent is shown to have gained a new perspective of life and makes the island a sort of monument to Clover.
- Cure for Cancer: This is Clover's entire motive for visiting the island.
- Death of a Child: Clover's infant sister passed away by the time he had reached the Island, but he had no way of knowing because Vincent was taking care of her while he went to the Island in the hopes of saving her.
- Decoy Protagonist: Dysis is set up to be the protagonist of the game, but the real protagonist of the story is the Vincent, whom everyone knows as "Evan Goldstein"; through a giant flashback that fills the remainder of the game.
- Hard Truth Aesop: Life can brutally unfair; sometimes the worst things like terminal illness can happen to the best people, and all you can do is cherish your time with them and make sure they're as happy as they can be before it's their time.
- Let Them Die Happy: Invoked. This is Andre's entire motive for Clover behind the fabricated story of "Finding Evan" and tricking him into thinking Dysis was his sister all grown up...except that he kills Clover while he's happy to make sure he dies as such.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Dysis has no idea as to why Evan fled or what's going on. Justified in that "Evan" is actually Vincent who was residing at Clover's home the entire time, and Andre wanted this to be the case so that her connection with Clover was genuine.
- Lonely at the Top: Vincent doesn't realize nor admit this until the very end after all the events of the game have occured.
- Moral Myopia: Andre has absolutely no qualms about lying or killing anyone; This is shown when he tries to justify it to himself when speaking to Nikolai after everyone's gone from Clover and Dysis' grave before the credits.
- No Antagonist: Clover's sickness is just a hereditary disease; nothing Up-Bring had a hand in, and although Andre thinks everyone sees him as one, whether he is or isn't is in the eye of the beholder.
- One Steve Limit: Averted; Dysis and Clover's dying infant sister share the same name.
- Plot Twist: In the end, it's revealed the story about "finding Evan" was fabricated by Nikolai through a plan Andre and Vincent made to send Clover off with a happy ending, and eventually became about Vincent's dying friend Clover. Nikola was in on Andre's plan the entire time, and had kept Dysis in the dark to ensure her relationship with Clover was genuine.
- Psycho Sidekick: Downplayed; At best, Andre is morally questionable and Vincent isn't squeaky-clean given how Andre suffered for him. Andre sends off Clover with a happy ending albeit through a poisoned water supply, but whether it was really because he genuinely cared or he just wanted to toy around with people to get back at Vincent is unknown. He also seems to show a blatant disregard for ethics based on his methods, which bothered Vincent to no end.
- The Reveal: Evan Goldstein isn't even a real person; it's just a persona and mascot made up by Up-Bring who Vincent plays as while Andre does the work that everyone credits Vincent with.
- Simple Score of Sadness: Much of the game has very somber and melancholic soundtrack, from the opening title and trailer theme "Ephemeral" to the heartwrenching "Lost" played with synth music.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Clover's journey was essentially this as his sister was already dead by the time he got there, and so was Dysis' since the nature of her mission was all fabricated by Andre.
- Shoot the Dog: Andre slipped in nectar from the flowers (the ones in the field he spoke to Dysis in) to the water canteen that Clover drank from to make sure that he would die shortly after his moment of happiness when he was deceived into thinking the Dysis he met on the island was his infant sister.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Implied; Vincent briefly mentions instant ramen is a guilty pleasure of his.
- Two Aliases, One Character: Vincent is "Evan Goldstein".
- Wham Shot: As soon as Vincent is getting ready to leave after supposedly honoring his side of the bet, Clover curls over and falls onto the floor unconscious due to his disease.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Nothing more is shown about Dysis after the final scene except that Vincent went to explain what was really going on to her. She's not even at Clover's grave nor in The Stinger.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Clover tends to have a wide perspective of life. Justified in that he's dying, is the only family member his sister has left, and has pretty much been thinking about these things as a result.