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Visual Novel / Distant Shores

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Distant Shores is one of the many books from the Choices: Stories You Play collection.

After accidentally traveling through time, our hero will live an adventure they will never forget when they join the crew of an 18th century pirate ship.

Distant Shores includes examples of:

  • Action Prologue/Fake-Out Opening: The story starts with Peyton fighting against the British navy, until it's revealed they're on the set of a pirate TV show.
  • After Action Patch Up: Chapter 4 has Charlie bleeding from a wound after the mutiny. It's either let Henry, the ship's cook with a hook hand do it, or take the premium choice and do it yourself.
  • Anachronism Stew: Chapter 12 shows that Robert's secret weapon are sticks of dynamite, 100 years before they'd be invented. Justified when you learn in Chapter 14 that Robert is also a time traveller.
  • And the Adventure Continues: After going back to present, Peyton goes to a local museum only to discover the magic compass on display. Suddenly, Robert, presumed dead at this point, appears and offers Peyton to return to the past with him.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Quite subverted. Jonas, being the ship's gunner, checks to make sure the flintlock he gives Peyton isn't loaded before he teaches them how to properly clean it.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Chapter 9 allows Peyton to get a ruby studded flintlock pistol and firing lessons from Charlie.
  • Bound and Gagged: Chapter 10 has Edward in this position by Admiral Cochrane when he demands Peyton tell him where the Compass is, torturing Edward by pushing his sword into his shoulder until Peyton tells him where it is.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Even after Peyton travels through time and still has a cracked cell phone, it has no signal but still works enough that they can look at their pictures. In Chapter 2, they use the phone's flashlight when it gets dark in Tiburon. They also use it to show Edward and/or Charlie they're from the future. Chapter 15 sees it come back, the battery long since dead and likely water damaged, but Peyton uses it as a makeshift weapon to throw at Robert.
  • Character Customization: Besides customizing Peyton's gender and looks, you can decide what race Edward is.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: Maggie's lesson in knots come in handy during the ship raid in Chapter 5 in tying down two crewmen to the mast.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Choices are marked to show which ones are romantic choices for love interests.
  • Cool Ship: Edward's ship is called "Poseidon's Revenge." Robert's is called the "Damnation."
  • Cool Sword: Chapter 4 allows you to take Robert's own sword in a premium choice.
  • Crazy-Prepared: If you paid the premium choice to warn Edward about the mutiny in Chapter 3, it pays off in Chapter 4 when the loyalists lead the mutineers into a rope trap.
  • Curse Cut Short: In Chapter 8, during the storm, Peyton shouts, "Oh shi-" when a sudden wave breaks above the ship.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Robert was once the Captain of his own ship until it was destroyed and something happened that had him breaking the Code, leading him busted down to First Mate and Edward as the Captain.
  • Dolphins, Dolphins Everywhere: A premium scene with Edward in Chapter 8 has Peyton and Edward see a pod of dolphins breaching the surface of the ocean while they're on the island.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Chapter 1 has the director say not to touch anything on the set, since not only is Peyton meant to be an extra, but also that the props on the set are actual 18th-century antiques. Of course, touching the Golden Compass is what brings Peyton across time.
    • A premium scene with Charlie in Chapter 7 has this if you choose the pretty flower, especially with Elinor telling Peyton not to touch it and Charlie telling them its poisonous.
  • Drinking Game: Chapter 2 has a premium choice where the crew plays Two Lies and a Truth, though Peyton has the modern version called Two Truths and a Lie.
  • Dynamic Entry: A premium scene in Chapter 5 allows Peyton to join in raiding a ship. One option is to kick a sailor aiming down at Maggie.
  • Exploding Barrel: Quite subverted during the premium scene in Chapter 5. While Peyton can shoot the powder kegs on the other ship, it just makes their powder leak out onto the deck, becoming wet and useless.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Chapter 4 has a portion of the crew mutiny with Robert. Kendrick and Octavia stand out, and Jonas can be talked back out of it in a premium choice for Ginny's sake. By the end of Chapter 4, Samuel has let them loose and the mutineers have left the Revenge.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Peyton is this, going from the 21st century to the 18th. After hearing about the pirate captain who attacked Tiburon and escaped like he vanished from thin air, Peyton wonders if their talent agent, Steve, is that captain. Robert is also from the future when the Compass glows in his hand.
  • Hastily Hidden Macguffin: Chapter 9 involves Peyton and Edward hiding the compass. They can either hide it right in the front of the cave, in the back, or make separate hiding spots to throw off the Navy.
  • Heal It with Booze: While Kendrick is getting his arm worked on by Samuel, the modern choice would be to use alcohol to kill the germs, but since that's not a concept they'll understand for a good century or two, it's best given to dull the pain.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: As with all Choices games, you can name your character. The default name is Peyton Bellamy.
  • Internal Reveal: A premium scene with Edward in Chapter 3 allows Peyton to tell him they're from the future and prove it by showing pictures from their phone. Chapter 4 allows Peyton to let Charlie in after stitching her wounds up. Chapter 8 allows Peyton to reveal they're from the future if you haven't done so by then. Chapter 11 has Peyton reveal it to the whole crew. Chapter 14 allows Peyton to reveal it to Oliver.
  • Just Toying with Them: During the merchant ship raid in Chapter 5, Peyton wonders how their captain is giving Edward a hard time and Charlie says he's just toying around. Soon as she tells him to get serious, he just whacks the sword out of the other captain's hand and he surrenders.
  • Last-Name Basis: Edward always calls Peyton Mr./Ms. Bellamy. They ask what it will take for him to call them Peyton and he says they'll have to find out.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: In Chapter 9, when the Poseidon's Revenge engages the Admiral's ship in combat, the latter surrenders almost immediately. Peyton and Edward are suspicious, but Henry believes the ship is theirs for the taking and recklessly charges on board. Sure enough, he ends up leading the others directly into an ambush.
  • Macguffin: The golden compass. Peyton wants it believing it will get them back to the present. Talking with Edward in a premium scene in Chapter 5 reveals Admiral Cochrane believes it will lead him to the treasure of the first pirate queen, and Edward stole it more to bait him for revenge. Peyton gets the compass and uses it better than Edward could.
  • The Medic: Samuel is this to the crew, being introduced working on Kendrick's arm. After his desertion, Henry becomes the medic.
  • Missing Mom: Charlie's mother is this, a maid who was thrown out by Governor Smith once she had the baby. Charlie has spent much of her pirate career looking for her. A premium scene in Chapter 15 shows she does eventually find her.
  • Must Have Caffeine: In Chapter 7, Peyton can say they're looking forward to some coffee after touching down in Tiburon, though their usual latte order, and even the latte itself, won't be invented until a few hundred years later.
  • Mysterious Past: Edward is very defensive about his past, even snapping at Charlie when she's about to tell Peyton about why they've been attacking the same trade route.
  • The Navigator: Maggie is usually the navigator of the Poseidon's Revenge, though once Peyton gets the golden compass, they get promoted to navigator after using it to find the merchant ship that had given them the slip.
  • Optional Party Member: There will be optional party members that get recruited with premium choices as the story progresses.
    • In Chapter 4, there’s a premium choice to have Jonas stay with the crew. Otherwise, he joins the mutineers.
    • In Chapter 6, you can rescue and recruit Adelia as a premium choice while her twin brother Axton joins the crew regardless.
    • In Chapter 8, you can rescue Ginny after she goes overboard in a storm while outrunning the Navy.
    • In Chapter 12, you can recruit Kendrick back from Robert’s mutineers.
  • Outlaw Town: Chapter 2 has the Poseidon's Revenge take port in Tiburon, which serves as the crew's safe haven. They donate their plunder to the villagers and they pretend they never saw them.
  • Pirate Booty: These count as part of the premium collection items in this story.
  • Pirate Girl: Several crew members on the Poseidon's Revenge (Charlie, Maggie, Octavia, Ginny, and potentially Peyton, as well as Adelia if she is recruited) are women.
  • Pirate Parrot: Robert has a black parrot that accuses Peyton of being a witch due to them just appearing out of nowhere during the Poseidon's Revenge's crew's battle against the British navy. Chapter 9 allows you to take in a more colorful parrot in a premium choice with the default name of Polly.
  • Pirate Song: Charlie tells Peyton the best way to get the crew to warm up to them before the trial is with a song, as well as rum. Doing so has Kendrick lead the crew in "Fare Thee Well My Lovely Dinah."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Chapter 10 allows Peyton to give one of these to Admiral Cochrane, telling him how for all his power he can't catch one pirate or hold onto his treasure, that he barely counts as a human being and top it off by throwing wine in his face or slapping him with a leg of roast before giving him an And This Is for... either for Edward or yourself.
  • The Reveal:
    • In Chapter 10, Oliver reveals that Admiral Cochrane is his father.
    • In Chapter 14 Robert is shown to be from the future like Peyton when it’s shown that the compass glows in his hand like it does for Peyton.
  • Robinsonade: Chapter 11 has the crew land on an island after the Revenge is destroyed by the Admiral.
  • Sequel Hook: In the bonus scene, a museum curator mentions that Peyton went on many adventures that weren’t seen in the book. And given the ending, it looks like they’re about to experience them soon enough.
  • Scoundrel Code: Robert had broken the Code before Peyton had come onto the Poseidon's Revenge, making him having to follow Edward's orders. On Peyton's side though, since they're considered a stowaway, they're on trial.
  • Shout-Out
  • The Starscream: Chapter 2 ends with Peyton overhearing Robert talking to someone unknown that he's planning a mutiny. Chapter 3 ends with him starting it.
  • Time Crash: Chapter 16 has this happening with the Temple as portals to different timelines open up all around.
  • Time Master: Chapter 16 has Peyton become this soon as they put the Compass back in the portal, allowing them to start fixing things back to normal.
  • Tomboyish Name: Charlotte "Charlie" Smith.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: When Peyton first meets Oliver in Chapter 7, he's dressed as a pirate looking for information about pirates in the area, claiming to be interested in joining a crew. At the end of the chapter, it's revealed that he's actually a lieutenant in the British navy. It might have been a shocking plot twist if it hadn't been for the fact that pre-release promotional material clearly identified Oliver as a navy lieutenant.
  • Trapped in Another World: In this case, trapped in another historical era.
  • Walk the Plank: Chapter 2 starts with Peyton on the plank as part of their trial.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 10. Admiral Cochrane forces Peyton to reveal where the Compass is by torturing Edward, promises a prisoner transfer but is actually a trap for the Revenge, Oliver reveals he's the Admiral's son and the Revenge gets sunk.
    • Chapter 14. Peyton, Edward, Charlie and Oliver sneak into the Governor's Ball to find Admiral Cochrane and Robert. Robert makes the Compass glow showing he's from the future like Peyton. Cochrane kills the Governor, Charlie's father, and forges a letter of writ before calling the guards on his now former ally.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: While playing Two Lies and a Truth in Chapter 2, if you incorrectly guess that Samuel punched a shark in the nose, he says that he's afraid of sharks.