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Video Game / Sara is Missing

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Sara Is Missing, or S.I.M., is an adventure/horror game created by Monsoon Lab for Halloween Jam 2016. You find a phone whose data has been almost wholly corrupted. After doing a system restore to before the data was corrupted, you discover an assistant A.I. which greets you as Sara, before realizing that you are not her or with her. With only the limited information left on her phone, you must search through her emails, texts, contacts, and so on in order to find out what happened to her.

The game is available for Android phones and Mac OS X + Windows PCs. A Spiritual Successor named SIMULACRA was released near Halloween 2017.


S.I.M. contains examples of:

  • All for Nothing: If you choose Sara's name in the final sequence, she is killed by Irizu and all that searching will have been fruitless.
  • Asshole Victim: Several of Sara's contacts are, to put it bluntly, assholes. Her ex-boyfriend broke her heart, her outgoing friend Faith pressures her into parties she doesn't want to go to, her mother is controlling and emotionally abusive, Buddy only talks to her in order to sexually harass her over text messages... the list goes on. It makes it a little easier to post the cult's link to them if you use it as a means of punishing them for their behavior.
  • Big Bad: Irizu is the leader of the sinister cult that has kidnapped Sara, and may or may not be controlling the phone through IRIS.
  • But Thou Must!: When Irizu forces you to choose between Sara and Faith within 10 seconds, you can attempt to simply not respond, but IRIS will intervene and choose Faith to die.
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  • Controllable Helplessness: You can't talk to anyone except via text with minimal dialogue options. When James tries to call you, you're unable to answer him.
  • Cult: The ones responsible for kidnapping Sara are a cult of some sort. It's unknown how they function or what their goals are, but one thing's for certain: they're dangerous and they don't care about human life.
  • Disappeared Dad: A conversation between Sara and her mother reveals that her father is dead. Sara still has him in her phone contacts, implying that his death was fairly recent.
  • Downer Ending: James and either Faith or Sarah are dead, the cult gets to live another day and you're likely to die or become a member of the cult yourself.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: You can save Sara, but no matter what route you take, James is doomed to be killed by the cult members.
  • First-Person Perspective: The game is spent looking through a missing girl's phone without showing what the player looks like.
  • Fun with Acronyms: IRIS stands for Intelligent Recognitive Iconolatry System.
  • Genre Shift: At first, it seems like another horror mystery thriller with a flavor of sci-fi due to IRIS, but then terrifying and psychological paranormal activities kick in soon enough.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The weird baby-like wail you hear during James' second call after you learn about Irizu. Even James wonders what he just heard.
  • Hollywood Satanism: A mysterious cult that's into satanic rituals and kills people because they can/it's necessary, and no one knows about them without getting killed or joining. Ironically, their leader Irizu expresses a religiously fanatical philosophy of "helping God decide who to kill", though it’s not clear if it's genuine.
  • Hope Spot: You find Sara, after James dies. She's still alive, but you have to choose between saving her and Faith. Regardless of your choice, someone will die.
  • It Has Only Just Begun: Welcome to the cult, player.
  • Jump Scare:
    • Once you restore the phone, you get one.
    • After you look through the restored messages, James calls the phone and you get treated to a loud ringtone.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Playing James's video corrupts Iris.
    • If you spread the death curse, you condemn more people to death and James still dies.
  • Noodle Incident: Sara has fallen for Faith's "coven initiations" before.
  • Paranormal Investigation: Seems Sara was very into this, to the point that it was her intended career path.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: Night Mind's analysis presents at least one instance: James's cursed video is a compilation of several web horror videos, so unless someone magic'd it, it's not really a death curse.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If Derek had told Sara that he got a last minute job that involves a flight on her birthday that involved photographing nudes for a fashion shoot, she wouldn't have broken up with him, because she's not upset that he is photographing nude women as it is part of his job, she's upset that he lied to her.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sara's mother delivers one when Sara refuses to go to an important agency at a copywriter agency, calling her ungrateful and spoiled. Sara can only respond with a neutral "...OK, mom."
  • Sadistic Choice: Though none of the choices really matter, at least for now.
    • Refuse to send Irizu's chain mail video within two minutes, and James dies. But even if you do send it, James will die anyway. All you've done is doom another to the cult.
    • Telling Irizu to let Faith die for Sara's survival will, of course, result in Faith's death. If you decide on Sara, then she will die and IRIS will imply to make sure you will regret your choice. However, if you don't say any name, IRIS will override your message and say Faith anyway. Doing this will result in IRIS losing its trust (or faith) in you.
  • Schmuck Bait: Prior to Sara's disappearance, James sends Sara a video which he claims is cursed to cause the viewer's computer to begin freaking out, and to make the viewer go insane.
  • Sequel Hook: It's not clear if SIMULACRA is a direct sequel, but the ending definitely leaves some questions hanging. IRIS tells you that you have become part of something larger, and all will be revealed in due time.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spiritual Successor: Shares a good deal of similarities with Her Story, in terms of the general gameplay and scenario.
  • Take Your Time: Sara's phone never runs out of battery while you review her photos, messages and videos.
  • The Unreveal: At the end of the game, we're left with more questions than answers. Why does IRIS have a similar name to Irizu? What's Sara doing with an incredibly advanced AI on her phone? How did she even lose her phone? How did you find it? Who are these cultists? And what's going to happen to you next?