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Video Game / Virginia

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X-Files meets Twin Peaks

Virginia is a 2016 first-person mystery thriller Environmental Narrative Game developed by Variable State and published by 505 Games. The game follows graduate FBI special agent Anne Tarver as she investigates her first case; the disappearance of a missing boy in rural Virginia.

Virginia contains examples of:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Played with. In the middle of her drug trip, Anne (and the player) experience the most vulnerable moments of the members of The Conspiracy, but do not actually act as these characters. The first shot in the game, where the player locks a chest, is also not Anne, but her father.
  • Animal Motifs: American bison and redbirds are seen throughout the game
  • Chekhov's Gun: Anne puts some LSD she confiscated from a teenager in a envelope to use later. It isn't brought up again until much later when Maria gives her envelope back to her having taken it from her apartment and then Anne uses it in jail
  • The Conspiracy: There's a conspiracy involving the head of the F.B.I as well as a number of people in Kingdom, Virginia. To what end is never explained.
  • Cult: Anne sees one during her drug trip wearing masks and sacrificing a buffalo.
  • Destroy the Evidence: Anne's dying father gave her a box that proved horrific enough that Anne burned its contents.
  • First Person Narrative
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Much of the story revolves around whether Anne will follow orders and report what her bosses want to hear in order to climb the ranks or betray them for her growing relationship with Maria. The Bad Future sequence suggests that if Anne did betray Maria, she would have to betray friend again and again until she reached the top of the FBI.
  • Flying Saucer: During her drug trip Anne sees Lucas get abducted by one
  • Gainax Ending: Anne has a series of drug induced visions of events and their grounding in reality is left ambiguous. Then both Anne and Maria somehow escape jail and drive out of town seeing a teen boy with a guitar walking down the road who may or may not be Lucas on the way.
  • Guide Dang It!: There are a number of obscure achievements where the player has to pick up small items to unlock them including one where the player has to find ten feathers scattered through out the game some of which are very easy to miss.
  • Jump Cut: A frequent visual style used throughout the game.
  • Liar Revealed: Maria finds out that Anne has been spying on her for the F.B.I when she picks up Anne's accidentally dropped report about her
  • Mind Screw: There are times where it seems that Anne Tarver is awake but is really sleeping. Sometimes its not made clear one way or another what is and isn't a dream or a hallucination.
  • Mushroom Samba: Happens late in the game when Anne Tarver drops acid in the county jail.
  • New Meat: Anne is this as this is her first field assignment.
  • Noodle Incident: The misdealings in the F.B.I that Maria was investigating are never revealed
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silence is Golden: Everything in the game is expressed non-verbally.
  • Title Drop: The game takes place in the fictional town of Kingdom, Virginia.
  • The Unreveal: The Conspiracy did something that left all of them wracked with guilt but desperate to cover their tracks.