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Video Game / Saira

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Saira is a 2D puzzle platformer for the PC, developed by Nifflas, the creator of Within A Deep Forest, Knytt, and Knytt Stories. The game combines the classic platforming of his earlier games and the whole Metroidvania genre, plus creative and sometimes frustrating puzzles, and lots of photographic detail in the game's visuals. In fact, while the developer spent quite a bit of time outdoors snapping photographs, you as the player will likely be snapping photographs in-game. Unlike Nifflas' earlier games, Saira's storyline, while fairly simple, isn't really an Excuse Plot. Instead it adds a degree of depth to your adventures.

The summary of the plot is described as thus:

"Saira teleported herself to Mars, but when she reached the planet all other humans in the galaxy had mysteriously disappeared. Now, how does something like that happen?"

It is now available for free at the official website.

This game contains examples of:

  • Adventure Game - While there ARE enemies, they can usually be avoided and Saira has to visit different planets to gather all of the Plot Coupons necessary.
  • After the End - A major point of Saira's journey (if not the ENTIRE driving force) is to figure out exactly what the 'End' was.
  • Alien Sky - Used to great effect on some planets.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike - Averted. Some planets are explicitly mentioned as being unsafe for human exploration, while others require the use of a full-body hazard suit.
  • Ambiguously Brown - Since it is never mentioned what nationality Saira is.
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  • Bottomless Pits - Usually filled with Lava!
  • Continuity Nod: In the backstory, Saira visits an underwater laboratory that belonged to the creator of the teleporter, who was also rumored to be capable of time travel. This isn't a subtle reference to Dr. Cliché and Within A Deep Forest. No, it's not subtle at all.
  • Cutscene - The Back Story is mainly explained through these.
  • Character Title - The game is named after the main character, whom the player controls.
  • First Person Snapshooter - Saira can take photos of her environment. This is used in-game to save critical clues to solving puzzles, and to determine if a creature is hostile or docile, or even just to save a picture of something pretty if the player is inclined to do so. The PDA has limited memory though and the game encourages you to delete photos of clues after the puzzle associated with them has been solved.
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  • Floating Platforms - Its not entirely clear if the sections of land you see while exploring, that aren't connected to anything else, are actually floating or if its just because of the 2D Perspective.
  • Flying Saucer - Curiously enough, Saira's spaceship resembles one of these. We even get to see how cramped it is via a cutscene early in the game through a cutaway view of the inside.
  • Ghibli Hills - While not every planet Saira visits is like this, the first planet you start out at applies.
  • Humans Are Average - Saira is a completely normal young woman who just happens to be the only (maybe?) human left in the galaxy.
  • Last of Her Kind - This is what Saira is at the beginning of the game.
  • Multiple Endings - Six in all.
  • Mini-Game - Also available in your spaceship is a pinball-like game. You can go for the high score if you like, but since the minigame is mainly there to amuse a bored or short-attention spanned player, the points are rather meaningless.
  • MacGuffin - Some of the items used to complete puzzles are essentially this.
  • Platform Game - Given its in 2D and features a lot of exploration, this is a given.
  • Plot Coupon - The pieces to fix the teleporter.
  • Puzzle Game - You'll have to be diligent in noticing the clues to solve the puzzles, a few of which even involve multiple planets.
  • Scenery Porn - The backgrounds of the planets sometimes go for this, which are based on actual photos distilled through various filters by the developer.
  • Stock Video Game Puzzle
  • Save Point - Crucial in case of a misstep, indicated by a glowing spot on the ground. Stand on it and press a button and your progress is saved.
  • Subspace Ansible - The Galaxy Radio probably falls under this.
  • Teleporters and Transporters - Saira can open up her PDA and teleport back to the last save point she used, or (more convenient in some cases) back to her spaceship.
  • Time Travel - Maybe. Its part of the plot to figure out exactly what happened to the rest of humanity, and this is implied at several points.
  • The Spiny - A few of the native flora and fauna.
  • Used Future - The game's few examples of normal civilization fall somewhere between this and 20 Minutes into the Future.
  • Wall Jump - Unlike a lot of platformers, Saira has to run and get momentum up to jump a little higher then normal, being that she's a regular human and not a ninja or a plumber or a blue hedgehog or an ambiguous tiny humanoid/cute critter.


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