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Video Game / SIMULACRA

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SIMULACRA is an adventure/horror game created by developer Kaigan Games, and is a Spiritual Successor to Sara Is Missing. A phone is left on your doorstep, corrupted but still working. After a system restore, you discover a video of the phone's owner, Anna, crying and pleading with whoever finds the phone to not come looking for her. Using this information, and with the help of some of her friends, you must use the data on her phone to find her.

The game was released for PCs + Android and iOS on October 26th, 2017, and is available for purchase on Steam here.

Another installment subtitled as "Pipe Dreams" revolving around gaming addiction on a mobile game called FlapeeBird has also been released in 2017, and can be downloaded here.

A sequel, titled SIMULACRA 2 was released on December 12, 2019 for mobile. It will be released on Steam on January 16, 2020


The SIMULACRA series contains examples of:

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  • Accidental Pervert: Taylor is a registered sex offender. However, he got it for a mother and her kid walking in on him publicly urinating, something he only did out of desperation. It's still a huge source of tension throughout the game, though.
  • Adult Fear: Anna has been missing for days, and no one knows about it until the player finds the phone.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: While not technically an A.I., the Simulacra is some sort of digital creature that poses as real people on Spark in order to lure in victims which it can absorb into its growing consciousness.
  • All for Nothing: If you choose to have the Simulacra save Taylor over Anna, Taylor must kill Anna to save his own life, rendering everything you did useless.
  • Antagonist Title: The Simulacra is the Eldritch Abomination Big Bad.
  • Arc Words: "I am her as she is me." Both Anna and Taylor (though it turns into "I am it...") say this. The Simulacra itself says this during its chat with the Player.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In most of the endings, because you end up sacrificing either Anna, Taylor, or both of them to the Simulacra. The last ending, where both of them live, is the only one that doesn't end in a complete victory for the Simulacra, though it is still unharmed.
  • Big Bad: The one responsible for Anna’s disappearance is the titular Simulacra, a digital abomination residing in the Internet which is killing and absorbing people into itself.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Even if you get the Golden Ending and save both Anna and Taylor, the Simulacra is still out there, and will presumably continue to "delete" people. And you made it stronger.
  • Bland-Name Product: Jabbr (Twitter), Spark (Tinder), Vloggr (a cross between Vine and Blogger), Kappafeed (Buzzfeed), and Surfer (Safari).
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Simulacra respects the ability to influence the world, positively or negatively, through technology, and despises people who form online identities without coherency. If you prove a Guile Hero, proving yourself able to pretend to be Anna long enough to elicit a Love Confession from Ashley, it will regard you as a worthy specimen of humanity and free both Anna and Taylor as a reward.
  • Brown Note: The strange noise that Greg records in Anna's apartment. Also a similar noise recorded by James' co-worker. It's the voice of the Simulacra.
  • Call-Back: In the middle of the game, the player learns that James Aulner left his phone at his workplace prior to his disappearance. This comes back later when Anna tells the player that they are texting via James's phone - tipping the player off that this is not the real Anna.
  • Closet Key: Ashley realizes that her problems with guys, especially Anna's boyfriend Greg, stem from the fact that she has feelings for Anna.
  • Controllable Helplessness:
    • When someone calls you, you can answer, but can't speak.
    • Occasionally, the choices you select in conversations will be overridden by the Simulacra.
  • Comically Missing the Point: During your conversation with the Big Bad, the Simulacra, if you express how sickening the entire situation is, the Simulacra responds that they are incapable of contracting diseases. A rare moment of humor from an otherwise dead-serious antagonist.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: The culprit behind Anna’s disappearance turns out to be an Eldritch Abomination residing in the Internet.
  • Dead All Along: James Aulner was killed before the game begins. Not that this wasn’t already clear to the player, but poor Anna didn’t know.
  • Dirty Coward: When the player asks a few people about Greg, and whether he had ever hit Anna or would try to kidnap her, they make it clear that he would never do something like that - as Yolanda puts it, "he's too chicken shit to be a criminal." And indeed, they’re right.
  • Domestic Abuse: Greg is abrasive, clearly has anger issues and paranoia, and is currently in the process of breaking up with Anna because he nearly got another woman pregnant. This raises the question of whether he abused Anna, and whether he's in some way involved in her disappearance. This is ultimately subverted. He is a jerk, but he's too cowardly to physically attack someone. Though there's still room to argue that he was potentially verbally abusive, or at least manipulative.
  • Downer Ending: The ending where both Anna and Taylor are lost to the Simulacra.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The good ending requires you to lie indiscriminately in order to get the characters to act in opposition to their normal selves. If you manage to hook Ashley up with Anna, get Greg to turn himself into the police, and get Murv fired, the Simulacra recognizes your ability to manipulate the world around you and spares both Anna and Taylor.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The one responsible for Anna being missing is the Simulacra, which lies within the digital world and has the ability to possess, kill, and absorb people to create a "utopia".
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Simulacra has many voices, all them pretty deep.
  • Exact Words: If you choose to save Anna over Taylor, then the Simulacra will tell you that "the being known as Anna will be returned". It is only after you sacrifice Taylor that the Simulacra clarifies that it meant Anna's physical body will be returned, and that her consciousness/soul will still been absorbed into its influence.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: You can't save James Aulner no matter what, but James can help you save Anna.
  • Fission Mailed: The phone data reset is pretty much unavoidable, even if you answer all the security questions. But instead of the game over it leads you to expect, you're greeted with a new login screen, and your first contact with Aulner.
  • Foreshadowing: Look closely at Anna's photos with Ashley. Ashley seems to be unusually close to Anna, physically. Almost like they're dating. Turns out Ashley has a crush on her BFF.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Anna's "Work Sucks" vlog, the text on the printed paper is: "I am screaming in text right now why shouldn't I fire".
  • Golden Ending: The one where both Anna and Taylor are spared. The only hitch on this ending is that the Simulacra is still out there, and while you've rescued two people from its clutches, you still haven't killed it for good.
  • Good All Along: James Aulner. It seems like he might just be the game's Big Bad for a while with him reaching out to you with cryptic warnings and whatnot along with the fact that he seemingly stalked Yolanda and Anna and made Anna disappear (and presumably tried to do the same with Yolanda), but in reality it was the Simulacra that lured Anna out, not James, and really he's simply just trying to reach out to you and warn you not to trust the Simulacra.
  • Guide Dang It!: In order to get the best ending, you have to be a complete jackass. You have to lie as much as possible, get Greg arrested by having him turn himself in, hook Anna up with her best friend Ashley without her permission, report her coworker for sexual harassment (okay, that one would be the good option if it didn't also involve blackmail), and fake an interview under Anna's name to get her a new job. In the end, it makes Anna's life better, but that's only because the simulacra is so impressive with you being a completely manipulative bastard. All the while, you, as Greg's accomplice, stealing Anna's identity, and blackmailing someone get off scott-free. In order to even guess that you had to do all of that, you would have to understand the personality of the villain from the start AND stoop to their level, the first of which is only possible if you beat the game already, and the second one would be difficult for most players to stomach.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Besides the many jump scares throughout the game, whenever you dial a number on the phone that isn't connected to anyone, you're greeted to metallic screeching and white noise and a "Signal Error" message.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Downplayed. While Anna has a cat, she's also implied to love dogs too. One of her security questions is her favorite movie. When you set-up a fake movie night with Ashley as Anna, she'll reveal that her favorite movie is A Dog's Purpose.
  • Hypocrite: Greg gets angry at Anna for snooping at his phone and discovering his affair with Yolanda instead of talking to him "face to face", but he didn't have the courage to break up with Yolanda personally, opting to do it via voicemail after Anna dumped him.
  • Jerkass: Greg. He constantly berates you, accuses you of harming Anna with no grounds for it, and had previously cheated on Anna with a client that he nearly got pregnant, only to blame Anna for looking at his phone in the first place.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Some of the things you do, such as telling strangers on Spark personal info about Anna, and digging into Greg's personal business during your search for Anna, are pretty questionable, and Greg calls you on it. He's also right on the money that you're going to have to pretend to be Anna for Ashley to help you at all.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The proper pressure will cause the abusive Greg to have a Heel Realization and confess his crimes, and genuinely wants to help you find Anna.
  • Jump Scare: Quite a few of them, the most infamous being the ones that occur shortly before Anna's phone background changes...
  • Karma Houdini: No matter which ending you get, the Simulacra is still out there. This also applies to Murv if you choose not to report him for sexual harassment.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Anna loves her cat Tobias.
  • Knight Templar: Greg tries to be this in pursuit of Anna, but just draws unwanted attention from the police instead.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Anna's coworker Murv constantly comes onto her, sending her creepy emails and harassing her to the point that she files an official sexual harassment report. When posing as Anna to the woman from HR, you can have her send the report through and get Murv fired.
  • Love Epiphany: Ashley has one towards Anna near the end of the game. Prior to this revelation, it's apparent that both of them had exclusively dated men.
  • Multiple Endings: There are four, three of which are untitled. Each has their own associated icon.
    • The Moth: You have Taylor kill Anna in order to save him, but in doing so, brand him a murderer.
    • The Lamb: You save Anna by sacrificing Taylor to the Simulacra, but it's implied that only Anna's body was returned, not her consciousness.
    • The Worm: You manage to save both Anna and Taylor. This ending is unambiguously good, with the only downside being that the Simulacra is still on the loose.
    • The Inkblot Test: You lose both Anna and Taylor to the Simulacra. This is the only ending with a proper title - it's called "Abandon All Hope."
  • Mood Whiplash: In the ending where you save both Taylor and Anna, you come immediately from a disturbing conversation with the Simulacra to a lighthearted video of Taylor asking the newly-rescued Anna to get a cup of coffee.
  • My Beloved Smother: Anna's mom is a plain control freak towards Anna. For the record, Anna has a job, lives alone, and is able to manage her own life just fine, so her mother shouldn't even be meddling. It's this controlling behaviour that puts her straight into Jerkass territory.
  • Necessary Evil: You have to pretend to be Anna if you want Ashley to be any help, otherwise she assumes you're behind it and refuses to listen, no matter how honest you're being.
  • Never My Fault: Greg has this attitude for much of the game. After Anna confronts him about cheating, he constantly deflects and tries to turn the focus to the fact that she looked through his phone, and continues to act like she was the unreasonable one even after she's disappeared. He seems to eventually have a turnaround if you follow the correct path, and turns himself in to the cops for his various crimes.
  • Noble Demon: The one responsible for Anna's disappearance, The Simulacra is arrogant, self-centered, and greedy, but it recognizes a Worthy Opponent when it sees one-if you manage to manipulate your way into improving Anna's life by quite a bit, it starts treating you as an equal and allowing the potential Golden Ending.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: It is never revealed what exactly is the Simulacra or how it was made, but one thing is for sure, it is ascending at a rapid rate.
  • Not So Different: In the best ending, the Simulacra recognizes you as its intellectual and spiritual equal if you successfully undo its influence via manipulation, and this allows you to convince it to let Taylor and Anna go. He even almost drops the trope name outright:
  • Only Sane Woman: Ashley is the only character to suggest that you go to the police and hand over the phone that belongs to a missing person, instead of spending hours messaging people and trying to find clues of Anna's whereabouts, if she figures out that the person she is speaking to is not her friend. She will also threaten to call the police under the belief that you had a hand in Anna's disappearance, which is not entirely unreasonable given that it is possible for the player to pretend to be Anna in order to communicate with Ashley. Unfortunately for Ashley, there would not have been enough time for the police to track down Anna before she kills herself while under the influence of the Simulacra.
  • Pitiful Worms: The Big Bad, the Simulacra, loves to refer to material lives it dislikes, such as Anna and Taylor and every other character in the game, as worms.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If you can't get Taylor to trust your word, he'll immediately go after Anna when the Simulacra contacts him, and die as a result.
  • Pull the Thread: Towards the end of the game, the Simulacra messes up when it-as-Anna pretends that it's texting you over James' phone...when you know that James left his cell phone behind. It realizes this, changes its text background to its distinct inkblot, and converses with you as itself from then on.
  • Reality Ensues: One character mentions that he once really had to go to the restroom and ended up peeing in a stairwell, only to have a mother and her kid walk in. It sounds like the typical Potty Emergency joke, but in context it's Taylor explaining how he became a registered sex offender. It's a significant plot point, as it adds strain to his relationship to Greg and the player. His simulacrum is also weaker for this reason, making him the Simulacra's target in the climax.
  • Red Herring:
    • The phone's OS is called IRIS, and claims to be watching over you in the email you receive upon restarting the phone. However, this does not come up as a plot point in the game. It may be connected to the Simulacra.
    • Both Greg and Taylor are set up as suspects in Anna's disappearance. Greg has anger issues, leading to the possibility that Anna either fled him to avoid Domestic Abuse or was murdered by him. It's later revealed Anna met up with someone on Spark, pointing towards Taylor which isn't helped by his status as a sex offender. However, neither are involved. Greg does have poor anger management skills, but he wouldn't be the type to physically hurt someone, even if just out of cowardice. Taylor got his sex offender status for public urination, and wasn't the one who Anna met up with. Instead, she met up with the Simulacra-as-Aulner.
    • James Aulner is able to pinpoint everything in the lives of Anna and Cassie. When reading over his texts and messages to Anna & Cassie, it becomes clear this was the Simulacra trying to get its next victim.
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: Each time the player looks at the phone's lock screen, the picture of Anna changes very slightly, fitting in with the haunted technology plot and doing a good job of unnerving the audience.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After the phone seemingly gets wiped and you're asked to input another name, type in Jack Septiceye. IRIS will automatically change it to the YouTuber's real name, which Jack himself discovered during his Let's Play of the game, to his horrified surprise.
    • The Simulacra, when introducing itself, tellingly refers to smartphones and computers as "black mirrors".
  • Smug Snake: The Simulacra is incredibly dismissive and condescending towards you throughout your whole conversation, unless you impress it.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The text is suddenly voiced when you begin speaking with the Simulacra.
  • Timed Mission: The whole game is this. If the battery on Anna's phone runs out, it's an instant Game Over.
  • Villain Protagonist: Downplayed. The player, in-order to find out where Anna is, performs criminal acts such as blackmail, impersonation, and later, murder-by-proxy. But if one gets the Golden Ending, all of that is becomes justified as both Anna and Taylor live and you managed to (temporarily) defeat a digital evil. But no manner what the ending you get, you still have committed numerous criminal acts and have to live with your actions, no manner how great the cost.
  • Wham Line: "I am really scared... I've been trying to reach out. Thank god I found James's phone."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Greg states that he doesn't see Anna's cat Tobias anywhere in the house. His fate isn't addressed.
  • Whole Plot Reference: To Sara Is Missing. Likely intentional, given that the creators of S.I.M. worked on SIMULACRA. Many elements are shared between the two games, such as:
    • The victim being a girl with a four letter name and two A's in her name (Sara and Anna).
    • The victim being a Kindhearted Cat Lover.
    • The victim having a strained relationship with their mother due to career-related disagreements.
    • The victim have a least one friend who was shown to be kind and supportive, and clearly the Only Sane Man due to them being genuinely concerned about their friend (Aya and Ashley).
    • The victim being sexually harassed at least once by an acquaintance (Buddy and Murv), and the player having the option to punish them accordingly by either getting them fired (Murv) or potentially dooming them to die (Buddy).
    • The victim having recently gone through a bad break-up which she initiated (Sara because Derek ditched her on her birthday to take nude photos of another girl, and Anna because Greg cheated on her with a client and almost got her pregnant.)
    • The player being contacted by someone named James who helps them find the victim. Both James's are doomed to die, and cannot be saved.
    • The player being forced to choose which one of two people to save. Whoever is not saved dies, and the ultimate fate of whoever is saved is usually left ambiguous. Slightly subverted with SIMULACRA due to the fact that it is possible to save both Anna and Taylor, though it can be difficult.
    • A digital being going rogue in some way or another, either by kidnapping their victims and melding them into their larger consciousness (the Simulacra), or by being a Knight Templar for their owner at the cost of others' lives (IRIS).
    • The main antagonist being a mysterious, gender-neutral being who is responsible for the disappearance of the victim and believing that they are somehow justified in their actions.
  • Worthy Opponent: If you get the best ending, the Simulacra acknowledges your skill at manipulating people, and lets both Anna and Taylor go out of respect for your talents.

    SIMULACRA: Pipe Dreams 
  • Advert-Overloaded Future: Advertisements can play at random on people's phones with no rhyme or reason.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The FlapeeBird AI is downright sadistic, mocking players as it saps their life and assimilates them.
  • Allegedly Free Game: In-Universe. FlapeeBird has the eggs system, where you could either pay with real money, share the game with friends, or watch advertisements.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Some of the "gamers" in the advertisements are way too over-the-top about certain things in the games they play.
  • Big Bad: The one who is responsible for Teddy’s strange behavior and is out to get him is The FlapeeBird AI/the Simulacrum, which controls the FlapeeBird game and seeks to kill and assimilate victims into it’s consciousness, much like the original Simulacra. It’s not clear what relationship they have.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: When Teddy confronts the Fake Teddy that's using his account.
    Teddy: Says you, you poopy booger butt!!!!
  • Bland-Name Product: Jabbr and Surfer make a return, and are joined by FlapeeBird (Flappy Bird), Boxdrop (Dropbox), and CBB (CNN).
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: In-Universe. FlapeeBird in Pipe Dreams encourages this, considering how demanding the score requirements are and the difficulty, especially in the final time it's played.
  • The Cameo: There's a CBB news article about Anna's disappearance and her boyfriend being the biggest suspect in the case.
  • Cessation of Existence: FlapeeBird erases its victims from reality.
  • Competition Freak: Teddy starts acting like one after the first time you beat his high score. It's not him; it's the FlapeeBird AI, which is like this normally.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: The AI inside FlapeeBird is fond of insulting you whether or not you pass a segment in the game. It's even ruder when pretending to be Teddy.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: The Big Bad in Simulacra is a soft-spoken, male-sounding AI who congratulates you if you out-smart it and gives you exactly what you ask for. The Big Bad in Pipe Dreams is a hyperactive female-sounding AI who suffers a Villainous Breakdown when you beat the high score for the final time without resorting to its deal.
  • Controllable Helplessness: Chosen replies are sometimes overridden by the Big Bad FlapeeBird.
  • Corpsing: Whenever you lose in FlapeeBird, the AI giggles before coughing as if pretending to not supposed to be mocking you.
  • Demoted to Extra: IRIS is still the OS used by the player character in this game, but it doesn't interact as much as it did in the previous one.
  • Enemy Within: Teddy apparently has no recollection of his moments of complete obsession with the game, implying the Simulacrum is controlling him.
  • Escapism: One of the main themes of this installment. Teddy, who is having a hard life, becomes addicted to a mobile game to the point that it is mentally consuming him.
    FlapeeBird: "There's no 'self' in peace."
  • Game Within a Game: FlapeeBird, which is obviously based on Flappy Bird, and is the center of the plot, given that it is controlled by a malevolent AI.
  • Hate Sink: In sharp contrast to the previous game’s antagonists, a distant, mysterious cult leader and a polite Eldritch Abomination respectively, the FlapeeBird AI is an immature, mean-spirited, and spiteful brat, being effectively every Competition Freak pro-gamer focused into a Psychopathic Manchild. It's super satisfying to beat it in the Golden Ending and watch as it has a tantrum.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You actually don’t do this immediately, but a little into the game when signing up for FlapeeBird’s Royale Mode. Naming yourself Teddy, a swear word, or a famous Youtuber actually gets you different achievements.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Teddy has one, claiming that the world is isolating him while also boasting of his score in FlapeeBird. In reality, he's nothing close to this. It's all just the AI speaking for him.
  • Interface Screw: Happens often to the phone inside the game, just like in the original game.
  • Jump Scare: A distorted image of Teddy's face appears right after he kicks out Fake Teddy from the group chat.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Finishing the game will lead you to watching an ad for the original game, which is also skippable much like all the other ads.
  • Mercy Invincibility: FlapeeBird has this every time the bird is revived with eggs.
  • Multiple Endings: Much like the original, there are four endings symbolized by different icons.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Teddy does this to Fake Teddy when the three of you talk in the Ménage à Trois group chat.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Done in a roundabout way; the AI in the final time you play FlapeeBird replaces any hopeful messages with bleak statements, because at this point it's having a full-scale impatient tantrum and trying to lure people into playing the Fantastic Drug of a game. It's not a trustworthy source, and sending hopeful messages is key to saving Teddy.
  • Spanner in the Works: The player is called this word for word by the Big Bad for helping Teddy beat his addiction, which prevents it from getting his soul:
    FlapeeBird: "Could've just let him be happy, but oh no, you just had to throw a spanner in the works."
  • Stylistic Suck: FlapeeBird is a Take That! towards every annoying habit of mobile Allegedly Free Games.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The AI inside the game freaks out when you defeat the high score for the final time.
  • Villainous Crush: FlapeeBird is hinted to have this with both you and Teddy, considering when the AI hijacks Teddy's messenger it names the group chat "Ménage à Trois".
    • It also tries to chew you out in a manner that sounds akin to a Yandere when you face it for the final time.
      "It loves me."
      "Why won't you just let him be happy?"
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If you send an invite to the game to Teddy's girlfriend, it opens up a conversation with her. Should you try to tell her to be more patient with him, she'll chew you out because she already tried that and it wasn't working. They break up soon after this choice is made.
  • Worthy Opponent: Despite his pride about his score, Teddy challenges the player to beat it several times and treats them as a "considerable rival". It's all an act by the AI to try to trap the player alongside Teddy.


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