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Visual Novel / Echo

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"I knew you'd be back... [...] Even though you're here you're going to try and run again... Just stop... Because just like this town... You're only moving in circles..."
—>—Excerpt from the novel's opening lines.

Echo is an in-progress furry horror visual novel being created by the Echo Project group, also the creators of the sci-fi furry vn Adastra and prequel Route65 which follows the main cast some years before the events of the main game. Echo follows a young-adult otter named Chase on a reunion with his five friends in down-on-its-luck desert town Echo, based on the actual town of Echo somewhere in the state of Utah. He is there to document the town's turbulent history for his college project over spring break 2015. At first, Chase is all too happy to reconnect with his friends, but soon sparks fly as old wounds within the group resurface and unresolved issues are brought to light. He also starts to realize Echo may not be all it seems, as unsettling phenomena reveal a more sinister side to the small town he's called home for most of his life.
Following the prologue, Chase is able to spend the remainder of his week with one of his five childhood friends;

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The resulting plot events and relevant side characters will vary widely depending on which of the friends you choose, with the only real constant being that things will inevitably reach a breaking point.

Note that the majority of the routes avoid having explicit sexual scenes with Flynn’s being the exception. Otherwise, Echo depicts themes of depersonalization, bullying, substance abuse, abusive relationships, and torture.

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! This visual novel contains examples of:

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    General 
  • Anyone Can Die: No character is safe from the possibility of death especially when the hysteria hits in each route.
  • Bi the Way Chase can mention his bisexuality to Jenna at the fairgrounds if you choose to do so.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most of the endings in Echo are either bittersweet or outright depressing.
  • Color Motif: Red is traditionally associated with anger and passion alike, which are two important aspects to Leo’s character.
  • Death of a Child: A source of trauma for the entire group is Sydney’s tragic drowning in Lake Emma.
  • Demonic Possession: A common occurrence throughout the story, although the specific ways that the possession is expressed often seems to differ between the person it afflicts.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Chase's inner narration has several moments of this.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Leo shows varying shades of this on his, Flynn & Jenna's routes.
  • History Repeats: A common theme throughout the game, often expressed using the novel's Arc Words "You're only moving in circles".
  • Multiple Endings: The ending is determined based on the friend you choose and the choices you make along their route. The exception being TJ's which has only 1 ending.
  • Playful Otter: Averted by Chase; apparently it's an in-universe species stereotype that he somewhat resents.
  • Posthumous Character: Sydney. He is developed entirely using flashbacks and the group's personal accounts of him.
  • Psychological Horror: Using the psychology of it’s characters, Echo explores loneliness, guilt,
obsession, and the stories people tell themselves to cope.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: Chase rarely, if ever, makes significant progress on his project throughout the entire game.
  • Spiders Are Scary: A common occurrence due to Chase's arachnophobia.
  • Surprise Party The group will always throw a surprise party for Carl every Wednesday of every route, but the party will turn out differently depending on the route you choose.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Explored with Sydney. It seems most of the group either disliked or were afraid of Sydney, the notable exception being Flynn, his best friend.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Chase.

    Prologue 
  • Bear Hug: Leo gives Chase one of these when they first meetup at the motel.
  • Lightning Glare: Lampshaded by Chase internally. Flynn and Leo have a stare off after Flynn makes a pointed comment about Leo’s sudden rise in spirits following Chase's coming back to Echo.
  • Graceful in Their Element: Chase feels his superior swimming ability is one of the few things that distinguishes him among his friends.
  • Sore Loser: Leo seems extremely irritated at the fairground when Jenna wins the prize for Chase instead of him.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: Jenna and Leo compete with a high striker at the Southwest Adventures.

    Leo's Route 
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Duke calls the shots while Brian carries out the dirty work.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Chase. A big theme in Leo and Chase’s relationship is miscommunication and from Chase’s side, it's him stalling and not making his feelings about Leo clear. This can lead to disastrous consequences later on.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: Brian and Duke.
  • Karmic Death: Brian
  • Nice Guy: Kudzu seems like a really swell guy with no problem helping out Chase on his project and eventually developing a friendship with the otter.
  • Old Flame: Leo and Chase had been in a relationship for three years before Chase left to go to Pueblo. Leo still has some very strong feelings for the otter.
  • Safe Zone Hope Spot: The group hope to catch a train out of Echo so they can leave the dangerous area.
  • Torture Cellar: Brian’s trailer essentially functions as a place where he can inflict sadistic tortures on whomever he pleases in peace.

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    Carl's Route 
  • Agony of the Feet: The story has no qualms about letting us know just how much pain Chase’s twisted ankle is in.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Carl’s bad ending is ambiguous about whether Carl and Chase get out of Echo and what happens to the rest of the group.
  • Birthday Hater: Subverted; while Carl resents having a surprise party for his birthday being arranged when it's not even his birthday, it's less a matter of hating his birthday itself and more a matter of not wanting to be the center of attention.
  • Chubby Chaser: Carl jokes about Chase being one of these on the balcony after they leave the party, asking if he has some kind of feeder fetish)
  • Creepy Basement: Carl’s crawlspace is very much this.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Carl is shown feeling conflicted about not wanting to do anything in his life despite how much he desperately wants to.
  • Emotionless Girl Played extremely straight with Jenna showing an almost comical level of stoicism in response to situations that would have most in curled up on the floor sobbing. Justified because of her ancestor John possessing her
  • Extraverted Nerd: Carl tends to lean towards this while in familiar company, but around strangers or in public defaults to being much quieter and less brazen.
  • I Should Have Been Better: Leo clearly feels a lot of guilt over not being able to protect Sydney at the lake.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: Raven compares the taste of the grilled cheese sandwiches the cast makes while trapped in the twisted version of Carl's mansion to chalk
  • Limited Wardrobe: Averted in Carl's route. Characters are only ever seen wearing one outfit, with the exception of Carl who changes from his usual hoodie to a smarter-looking shirt and tie for a job interview and later strips down to an undershirt after being trapped inside the twisted mansion with Chase and the others.
  • Not Afraid to Die Carl expresses a shocking lack of care when talking about his possible demise from his car accident.
    Carl knocks on his head for effect, the hollow sound that it emits seeming rather appropriate.
    Chase: "You rely on that too much...and you really need to start wearing your seatbelt.
    "He shrugs and puts the phone back in his pocket before leaning back in the chair and closing his eyes.
    Carl: "What's the point?"
    Chase: "Uh, to not die?"
    Carl: "Happens to everyone sooner or later. Why not get out early if you can?"
  • Now What?: You might feel this after Carl’s bad ending.
  • Paste Eater: Raven remarks that he ate chalk as a kid after Carl asks him how he knows what it tastes like.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Chase does this when seeing a spider in the basement, much to Carl's amusement.
  • The Shut-In: Carl is a shut in who uses games, comic books, and movies as a means of escapism and would much rather stay in his house than go outside.
  • The Stoner: Played seriously in the fact that Carl uses marijuana to cope with his anxiety and stressful situations.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: Carl and Chase both hear noises in the middle of the night, which Carl mentions having heard himself on several previous occasions, only to find an empty basement when they go investigate.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Carl is described as being left with a blank and faraway look after the events of his bad ending.

  • Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: Carl refuses to take off his beanie to his job interview and actually becomes quite agitated if you choose to press him on it. It is possible that it is a safety blanket of sorts for him.

    TJ's Route 
  • Apologises a Lot: TJ has a tendency to overapologize.
  • Children Are Innocent: Averted. Neither Chase nor Sydney is shown in a favorable light if you go by the flashbacks.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: On the edge of the forest, crazy lady Janice tells Chase and TJ a story about a couple who went into the forest and were then pursued by a static monster.
  • Irrational Hatred: Chase feels this towards Carl and Julian after a certain point, making uncharacteristic comments about them in his head. Flynn, however, gets a "The Reason You Suck" Speech along with a threat of facial disfigurement. Ouch.
  • Out of Focus: After the party Leo practically disappears in TJ's route, so when he comes to talk to Chase near the end of the route it's somewhat of a surprise
  • Reluctant Psycho: Chase seems to grow more and more aware of and conflicted about his actions as the route progresses, but to no avail.
  • Scare Dare: In a flashback, in return for letting TJ swing, Chase dares him to sneak into the abandoned school. TJ promptly refuses.
  • The Bore: Chase views Julian as a insanely boring individual.
  • The Bully: Played straight with Sydney and played with for Chase. Sydney goes to dangerous levels while roughhousing with TJ so Chase attacks him on TJ’s behalf. A younger Chase is shown lying to and manipulating his friends to get what he wants whether that be sleepovers or to get out of work.
  • The Unfettered: Chase is willing to hurt, manipulate, and deceive whomever he needs to in order to protect TJ and protect his secret.
  • Where It All Began: Everything begins and ends at the lake.
  • Youthful Freckles: TJ has speckled fur on his muzzle that emulates this trope, being the youngest and one of the more lively cast members
    Flynn's Route 
  • Aggressive Submissive: Flynn is the pursuer of sexual advances with Chase but when it actually comes time to engage, tables are often turned and the lizard becomes a lot less mouthy.
  • Brutal Honesty: This is Flynn’s defining characteristic. He is not afraid to rip into anyone at the lake and following your choices at the bar, can verbally skewer Chase concerning his and Leo's self-absorbed behavior when they were together.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Flynn is shown being a standup friend to Carl multiple times even if he puts up the facade of being annoyed with the ram.

  • The Baby of the Bunch: The rest of the group views TJ as this, much to Flynn's ire and frustration
  • The Klutz: Chase for some reason is clumsier in this route than in others to an absurd degree. in Flynn’s route, from incidents such as breaking the lemonade bottle when trying to open it, tripping over himself when trying to go after Flynn, almost tackling Daxton in an attempt at an hug, giving Jenna a temporary limp. One has to wonder how he and his friends are still mostly intact.
  • The Rez: Mentioned a few times as a place Flynn used to go to buy cigarettes and in the present day buys a fancy lighter for Carl there; much to the annoyance of Jenna, being an analogue to Native American herself.
  • The Unapologetic: Flynn doesn’t spend a lot of time apologizing for his mistakes and how he comes across.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Flynn.
  • Straight Gay: It is revealed in Sydney’s memories that Sydney thought that Flynn was the “most straight gay guy ever” probably referring to how Flynn presents himself.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: From just listening to them, one would assume Carl and Flynn dislike each other, but it becomes clear that they actually have a great deal of affection and care for the other.

    Jenna's Route 
  • Always Second Best: Leo seems to keep coming up short in the running when it comes to winning Chase’s good will and affection compared to Jenna.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Jenna, Chase, and Leo.
  • Closet Geek: Jenna is actually a huge manga fan but seems somewhat embarrassed about bringing it up around her friends. She is reluctant to ask for Chase for a ride to the mall for this reason.
  • Furry Reminder: While hiking, Jenna tells Chase a story about an experiment involving a young otter who was deprived of water so long he became depressed and eventually committed suicide. This serves as a stark reminder of Chase's psychological need for water as an otter.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Leo and Jenna, with Leo being the passionate red to Jenna 's more levelheaded blue
  • Super Gullible: Chase exploits this to protect TJ’s innocence. One word. Futon.
  • The Prankster: Jenna loves playing pranks on people, especially Chase. To a fault if the “Phone” conversation Leo and Chase have is any indication.

     Short Stories 
  • Your Favorite: Subverted when Chase reveals he only got Jenna a strawberry popsicle because strawberry was the only flavor in the convenience store.
  • The Runaway: "Runaway" centers around Jenna's journey of, you guessed it, running away from her Dysfunctional Family.

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