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Video Game / Her Story

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Her Story is a Full Motion Video Interactive Fiction game from Sam Barlow, the creator of Aisle, currently available on Steam and iOS. It was first released in June of 2015.

In the year 1994, a woman (played by Viva Seifert) was called in by the police to give a number of interviews considering a recent disappearance. Your challenge is to piece together the facts of the case despite the limitations of the aged database software you are using.

Each of the interviews is spliced into a number of clips which can be retrieved by searching for words or phrases spoken during the interview. However, the database only returns the first five search results, forcing you to seek out more specific search terms in order to get the results you need. Thus, the player is forced to sift through the disjointed interviews in a non-linear fashion, using their intuition to pick up on key phrases and delving deeper into the mystery.


4 years after its release, the game saw a Spiritual Successor entitled Telling Lies.

Since the main draw of this game is the mystery and the events surrounding it, there are unmarked heavy spoilers below.

This game contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: If the twins are to believe, Hannah killed her husband accidentally by swinging a broken mirror at him, giving him a Slashed Throat.
  • Always Identical Twins: Hannah and Eve, if you believe the idea that they were Separated at Birth. Eve loves emphasizing their similarities, while Hannah clearly wants nothing to do with Eve by the time the interviews start.
  • Anachronic Order: Naturally, you will wind up watching the interview snippets out of chronological order.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • For those going for 100% Completion, after "finishing" the game, you are taught the command "ADMIN_RANDOM"note  to help you further in finding more videos. It's not even as random as it claims to be, it has a chance, based on how many videos you've seen, to spit out an unseen one. This is particularly helpful for the lie-detector test videos.
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    • The search attempts to automatically search for plural and singular versions of words, as well as accounting for differences in American and British spelling.
    • Since all videos are tagged with the tag "BLANK", the player can just search for "blank" and erase the tagline from all the videos they see. This might not be intentional, however.
  • Asshole Victim: Perhaps it's a stretch to call Simon an asshole, but he was happily cheating on his wife, and gifted the other woman with a mirror identical to Hannah's birthday gift.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several, although due to how you explore the narrative, you may find the proverbial gun "firing" before you find out what the gun is.
    • The hand mirror is both the motivation and the murder weapon.
    • The blonde wig, worn by Eve when she wants to be in disguise. Hannah wore it when she murdered Simon.
    • Eve's tattoo is one of the first hints that she and Hannah may be different people.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Hannah's father is an expert on mushrooms, which makes his death from ingesting poisonous Death Caps extremely suspicious.
    • If Hannah/Eve's story is anywhere near accurate, she has a lot of practice lying and performing in public. That ability may have helped her get through the lie detector test...
    • Eve is a singer and guitarist. She was singing in a bar when she met Simon.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: You can tell by glancing at the color of the dress who is talking and if it's pre- or post-confession.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Hannah's explanation for her bruise is that she hit a cupboard door with her face. It's later revealed that she and Eve had a fight.
  • Damsel in Distress: Invoked — the woman has an apparent love of fairy tales, and stories of princesses and their Knights in Shining Armor in particular. Her favorite story, Rapunzel, is a direct reference to Eve being trapped in her fake mother's house, and later after she moves into the attic.
  • Disposing of a Body: Eve mentions that after Simon was accidentally murdered by Hannah, they stashed the body away in bin bags in the back of the cellar. The police found the body before it could be dumped off somewhere.
  • Driving Question: Just who is the woman and what has she done?
  • Foreshadowing: There's quite a lot of subtle hints that lets you know what is going on in the game if you look carefully.
    • There's a clock in the computer's desktop. If you look at it, you find out that the current year of the game is the current year the game is being played in, while in the interviews it's 1994.
    • The fact that the woman in the interview has a bruise in one day, which disappears the next few days later. She said it was because of her fast metabolism, but of course that's just bullshit — she also rubs the wrong side of her face after it disappears. There's also the tattoo on her arm while in the previous days, she doesn't have a tattoo.
    • On one day the woman asks for tea with sugar, while on the other she asks for coffee with no sugar.
    • The reflection of the player character while playing the game. Scary and startling at first, but if you look closely, the player kind of looks like the woman in the interview.
    • The song that Hannah sings is about two sisters who fell for the same man. It also involves one sister drowning the other, which Hannah admits to have tried to do once.
    • There are two videos which each have Hannah and Eve reciting the exact same testimony of their alibi for Simon's death, almost word-for-word. The only difference is that Hannah specifically names Simon's parents (Doug and Eleanor), while Eve only refers to them as such.
    • One of the first achievements you'll likely get in Steam, as it's in the first few videos by suggested search, pops up for hearing the phrase "Have you ever eaten fennel?" This seems nonsensical, but the pregnant mother's craving for fennel is what starts the plot of Rapunzel, the recurring motif of the game.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: According to Eve, Hannah killed Simon because she was jealous of Eve stealing her perfect life together with him. Mostly this trope comes into play the opposite way around however - Eve had clearly been bitter about Hannah seemingly getting everything she wanted, primarily a loving family, pregnancy, and of course Simon himself.
  • Guide Dangit: A few clips contain exactly one line, even to the point of being a single word.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The detectives conducting the interview are never seen. Supposedly the tapes with footage of them were lost in flood damage. They aren't heard either, save for the moment where they clap after the 'Dreadful Wind and Rain' song.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Hannah wears her hair up while Eve wears her hair down. In addition, Eve has a rather prominent tattoo of a snake and an apple.
  • Identical Twin Mistake: The game suggests that the trigger for the murder was Hannah posing as Eve and Simon falling for the deception, giving her another "unique" mirror to show his love. At least that's her story.
  • Imaginary Friend: When Hannah's parents heard her talking in the attic, she told them that Eve was her imaginary friend.
  • Impersonating the Evil Twin: If Eve's story is to be believed, Hannah wore Eve's blonde wig when she went to confront Simon about his affair with Eve, pretending to be her just long enough for Simon to give her a mirror that was identical to the one he gave Hannah earlier. She didn't take it well.
  • Interface Spoiler: After certain videos are played for the first time, the lights behind the Player Character would flicker for a bit, or police sirens would sound, accompanied by flashing red and blue lights. These tend to happen whenever the videos are very close to the truth behind what happened.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: In at least one clip, Hannah talks to herself believing that the camera was not running.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The Video Game.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: "Hannah" wears her hair tied up while "Eve" lets it down.
  • Lie Detector: The woman goes through one. She fails only one question — her name, and she confirms its accuracy.
  • Live-Action Cutscene: Every interview is shot in live-action.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: A portion of the soundtrack, especially the mood-setting title theme and credits song.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Florence kept Eve in her attic for quite some years, not because she was mentally or physically impaired but because her existence had to be kept secret. No wonder Eve developed the idea of Florence resembling Rapunzel's Wicked Stepmother who had to be disposed of.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Eve tells the cops that she and Carl once had sex in a church.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Eve seems to genuinely believe there is a magical connection between her and Hannah. There are certainly more than a few eerie parallels in their respective lives.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Just like her biblical namesake, infertile Hannah is jealous of another woman who is carrying her husband's child and afraid she will steal his affection.
    • Eve is sometimes regarded as Adam's second wife (after Lilith). Eve is also the second person to have been in a relationship with Simon. In addition, Eve is sometimes accused of driving Adam to sin, just like Eve seduced Simon and started an affair with him. Unfortunately, if the twins story is to be believed, Eve also took Hannah's virginity (or innocence ) with a hairbrush.
    • Both Hannah and Eve's names are asymmetrical palindromes. This relates to how they consider each other a reflection (although they look identical, their actions are opposite, just like looking in a mirror).
  • Millennium Bug: A text file on your desktop notes that the "Y2K thing" rendered the video database obsolete which explains why it's 2015 and you are still watching the footage on a Windows 95 system rather than a more recent version.
  • Mirror Routine: When little Eve and Hannah realized that they were not reflections of another, they spent hours copying the movement of each other.
  • Motifs:
    • Mirrors, reflections and palindromes (Hannah, Eve, Ava) appear constantly.
    • Fairy Tales. Specifically Rapunzel.
  • Murder Ballad: "The Wind and Rain" gets sung by the woman at one point during the interviews.
  • Never Had a Birthday Party: While Eve was kept in the attic, her only way of knowing that it was her fifth birthday was by seeing Hannah with a party hat outside.
  • Nice Guy: Hannah describes Simon as someone how was nice to everyone and everyone loved him back.
  • No Ending: At some point, a chat box will appear on the screen, with 'SB' (who is never introduced besides the message they leave you on the desktop) asking you if you're done searching and are satisfied with what you've learned. Answering "yes" to both questions will take the game to the credits, and teach you the "ADMIN_RANDOM" command to help you should you choose to continue. However, aside from that, nothing happens even if you manage to view all 271 videos on the database. Although you do at least learn exactly who is searching the database and why.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: All you do is listen to a woman tell stories about her life. It gets more unsettling the more you listen. Especially when the player's reflection randomly shows up on screen.
  • Occam's Razor: Averted. There is one primary and two secondary explanations for Hannah and Eve's activities. All are highly implausible, and require a certain amount of contrivance to make sense.
    • You can take them at their word and believe that the two are identical twins that were Separated at Birth. However, for their story to make sense, they would have needed to conceal Eve's existence for a decade, while she was living in the attic of Hannah's house, all the while Eve and Hannah were pulling Twin Switch shenanigans on their parents and on the community as a whole. Still, this is the most plausible theory as it does explain certain physical inconsistencies like Hannah's bruise disappearing over the course of a single day, or Eve's tattoo seemingly disappearing between interviews.
    • On the other hand, you can go with the Split Personality theory, which, besides being psychologically dubious, brings up the physical inconsistencies mentioned above. However, at least it doesn't require believing that Hannah and Eve managed to conceal Eve's existence for years, while Eve lived in the same house as Hannah.
    • The last explanation is the simplest: Hannah is making up everything in a convoluted, Machiavellian attempt to evade jail by pinning the blame on a non-existent person. While this explains away almost every inconsistency (except the third set of fingerprints the police found in the house), it also discredits everything you learned during the interviews, rendering the game itself moot.
  • One-Night-Stand Pregnancy: As unlikely as it seems, both Hannah and later Eve get pregnant on their first night with Simon. Eve comments on Simon's magic sperm.
  • Parents Know Their Children: Thoroughly averted if you believe the "sibling" story. The parents never caught up to the fact that for years they housed and fed two different girls in alteration.
  • Posthumous Character: Simon. He is constantly discussed and described, but never shows up in the game proper, because he's dead. This counts for every other character mentioned as well, but Simon's case is particularly egregious due to how often he is mentioned.
  • Precision F-Strike: Several interviews have Hannah completely livid at some accusation made by the detective and swearing a blue streak. She also loudly swears when she accidentally spills hot coffee all over her shirt.
  • Pun-Based Title: On "history" ("his story").
  • Really Gets A Round: Eve had sex with many men in order to get pregnant but all she received was an STD.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Eve is the red to Hannah's blue.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: The woman speaks like this, since the audience can't hear the detective's voices (this is explained by the detective's questions being in a separate volume of the database that was since damaged by a flood). Even then, it is sometimes averted, particularly when the conversation isn't important to the plot. A prime example of this is during the lie detector test, which is just a handful of clips with nothing but 'yes' and 'no'. The only part that we know about is Eve being outed as not-Hannah when she fails a question concerning her name because the woman helpfully repeats what the detective says to her. There's another likely explanation for the frequent repeating - People who are lying often repeat the question they were asked in order to buy time for fabricating an answer. Indeed, most repeats you hear are followed by a lie if not avoided altogether.
  • The Reveal: This game is built on Reveals, and there are a few stunners in there.
    • It's revealed that the woman doing the interview is possibly a pair of twins, Hannah and Eve, who switch roles on different days.
    • If Eve is to be believed, Hannah killed her husband accidentally by swinging a broken mirror at him, which causes the shard to cut his throat. Of course this could just as well be Eve shifting the blame to her sister just like Hannah used to do to her in the past. It's impossible to say for certain.
    • If you check the clock in the computer, it's stated that the current time is 2015 and not 1994 like the interview.
    • All this time your player character is not a detective. She's Eve's daughter Sarah, trying to figure out why her mother did what she did in the past which leads to her arrest.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Heavily implied. Eve's mother died after falling down the stairs not long after Eve found her mother's journal detailing how she kidnapped her at birth. Later, Hannah's parents both died from food poisoning by eating Death Cap Mushrooms, despite her father being an expert on them. Eve comments that the police never checked the attic, as though the reason for the deaths was up there, where Eve lives. Conveniently, the parents' death enables Eve to reconnect with Simon and Hannah who now move back in with her in the parents' house.
  • Separated at Birth: Hannah and Eve (allegedly). Florence, the midwife, had told their mother Eve died and raised her as her own.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Eve, whose metaphorical situation mirrors that of Rapunzel in the story's Fairy Tale Motifs, claims she first became aware of the outside world by observing a birthday party, specifically Hannah's across the street. Although this isn't present in the original story, it is part of Tangled, an adaptation of it.
    • At one point Eve says "If you put me on You've Been Framed! - I want the money."
  • Sibling Triangle: Both Hannah and Eve were rivaling for Simon (who was happy to hook up with both).
  • Spiritual Successor: To Sara is Missing.
  • Spotting the Thread: As the player proceeds through the clips, they will start to notice several inconsistencies between the woman's statements. As well as much more obvious ones such as Hannah having a huge bruise on her face that disappears the next day as well as a HUGE TATTOO on her arm that also disappears suddenly.
  • Stopped Clock: Invoked by Eve who had the idea to create an alibi by aligning the time on Simon's watch with the time she was registered in a Glasgow hospital.
  • Storyboard Body: Eve's tattoo.
  • Synchronization: Invoked. To preserve their ruse, Hannah and Eve set up an elaborate set of rules where they recreate each others' injuries. This seemingly went as far as Eve breaking Hannah's hymen with a hairbrush after Eve lost her virginity.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: The whole point of the game is putting these breadcrumbs together.
  • Tag Line: "A Video Game About a Woman Talking to the Police."
  • Teen Pregnancy: Hannah gets pregnant by Simon when she's 17, and they marry in a Shotgun Wedding. Eve also gets pregnant later, after seducing Simon.
  • Thicker Than Water: When Eve found Hannah with the body, she decided not to run to the cops but help her sister and thus protect her as well as her own baby.
  • Til Murder Do Us Part: Hannah is accused of murdering her husband.
  • Title Drop: The words "Her Story" are said at the beginning of the clip where it is revealed that Hannah killed Simon.
  • Twin Desynch: Eve begins the interrogations with her hair pulled back like Hannah and with a similar demeanor to her, but ends up letting her hair down, both figuratively and literally, and becomes the more confident, outspoken, and brazen of the two. The difference between them is evident not only due to their differing hairstyles, but because of their manner of speaking.
  • Twin Switch: Hannah and Eve, both several times during their lives and, it seems, the interrogations themselves. Examples:
    • Hannah was the better driver of the two so she took the driver's license test for Eve.
    • Whoever was best in a subject would sit the exam in school.
    • They shared boyfriends this way as well.
  • Unreliable Expositor: The game is primarily about figuring out which parts of the woman's testimony you can trust, so you can piece together the events that unfolded. Ultimately, you can't trust anything that Hannah/Eve tells you throughout the game and none of their statements (like the "alibi" in Glasgow) are confirmed or refuted by the interrogating officer. As Eve says in the final video clip: "You have nothing. And all these stories we've been telling each other? Just that: stories."
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In one clip, Eve runs offscreen to vomit from Morning Sickness.
  • Wedding Ring Removal: Eve notes that Simon was not wearing his wedding ring when he was with her.
  • Wham Line: "So... you think you understand why your mother did what she did?"
  • Woman Scorned: If one believes Eve's version of the story, Hannah's reason for accidentally killing Simon was rage at him telling her (posing as Eve) that he wanted to be with her, and presenting her with an identical mirror to the "unique" one he'd given Hannah earlier.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Eve states that Hannah called her immediately after killing Simon and called her "sister" when asking her to come over.