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Visual Novel / High School Story

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Welcome to high school!

One of the 'books' in Pixelberry's Choices: Stories You Play series, Book 1 was fully released in September 08, 2017 for the first anniversary of the app.

Welcome to high school! Will you study hard, or hardly study? Don't get too busy... Homecoming is right around the corner!

Based on their App Game High School Story, your character is the new student at Oliver M. Berry High School and will get involved in all the situation in this new environment. There are three books in the main series. A sequel/Soft Reboot of the series, High School Story: Class Act, was released on October 8, 2018. Book 2 of Class Act was released on February 11, 2019.

Find the character page here.


High School Story has the following tropes:

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  • Adaptation Expansion: This version of High School Story provides the last names of all the characters, even the ones from the original game, as well as introducing Caleb as Ezra's younger brother, and Myra as Nishan’s cousin, who were never mentioned having other relatives in the game.
  • Adults Are Useless: Most of the main conflicts are resolved by the teenagers, while the adults are either dorky (Dad), completely clueless (Principal Hughs) or don't do anything determinant.
    • Subverted in Book 2, since one of Maria's dads is a police detective, and he and Ms. Hughs end up helping the students catch Principal Isa before she escapes. Jordan and the gang are the ones who discovered who she really was, and it was because of the hall monitors that she didn’t get away.
    • Coach Shaw is also another exception in Book 3 Chapter 13, when she rules out bringing Brian back as pitcher after he threw a baseball at Myra.
  • Air Vent Escape: Subverted in Class Act Book 1 Chapter 6. Bailey and Ajay are locked in the theater and they try this method, only for Bailey to get stuck and need Ajay to pull them out when a spider crawls toward them.
  • Arc Villain: Each book has at least one.
    • Book 1 has Brian Crandall as the closest person the book has to one, as he was the Token Evil Teammate at Berry High before his transfer to Hearst, and even after transferring, he continues to cause trouble for his former schoolmates.
    • Book 2 has Principal Isa, who imposes a tyrannical regime at Berry High after replacing Hughs as principal, appoints her brother as the basketball coach, and diverts all funding from the band and cheerleading squad to the basketball team. It is later revealed that she has been embezzling funds from Berry High and various workplaces.
    • Book 3 has Max Warren and Kara Sinclair, a couple of Hearst bullies competing against Jordan for the title of Prom King and Queen depending on their gender. Brian is also back, and this time he's creating trouble by continually harassing Myra.
    • Book 1 of Class Act has Danielle, who continually causes trouble for Bailey because she sees the latter as her rival for Rory's affections.
    • Book 2 of 'Class Act'' has Lorenzo Toro, who campaigns to have all school resources diverted to throwing parties, with his girlfriend Amber Hutchinson serving as The Man Behind the Man.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Book 1 Chapter 2, Aiden says he hates parties because of the "blaring music, the uninteresting small talk, the... unique decorations".
  • Artifact Title: Book 2 of Class Act revolves around the election for class president and does not involve a theatre production at all.
  • Artistic License – Music:
    • When everyone sings "Happy Birthday" to Maria, Aiden conducts in 4/4 time, but the song is in 3/4 time.
    • Cameron hopes to get the saxophone solo in part because there aren't many of them... except there are, especially in jazz bands.
  • Artistic License – Sports:
    • If Jordan joins the baseball team in Book 3, a major plot thread revolves around the team having tryouts for cleanup hitter, which isn't an accurate depiction of how baseball teams are assembled. Teams have tryouts to determine roster spots and fielding positions, but positions in the batting order are determined by the manager, coach, or captain based on players' individual skill sets.
    • The fact that the baseball team has only two pitchers - one starter and one reliever - is also problematic. High school teams typically play around three games a week, sometimes more if weather forces games to be rescheduled, and there are mandatory pitch count limits that determine how long an individual pitcher can go. Most high school teams carry at least three starting pitchers along with multiple relievers, and smaller programs will often have a few position players who can pitch if needed.
    • The football game in Class Act seems to get the positions confused, as it has Casey, a defensive player, on the field at the same time as Caleb, who is a wide receiver, an offensive position.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Paying many of the premium choices allows Jordan to become the Prom King/Queen.
  • Behavioral Conditioning: In Class Act Book 2 Chapter 4, if you adopted Biscuit in Class Act Book 1 Chapter 6, he'll bark at Erin's timer, thinking it's feeding time.
  • Berserk Button: Invoked in Book 3 Chapter 9 as a way to get the Gamers' attention by shouting “THE LEGEND OF ZELDA IS OVERRATED!” Sakura threatens to carve Jordan with the Master Sword for saying that.
  • Birthday Episode:
    • Book 2 Chapter 7 focuses on Maria's birthday.
    • Class Act Book 2 Chapter 5 has the second half take place at Skye's birthday.
  • Bottle Episode: Class Act Book 1 Chapter 6 has Bailey and Ajay stuck in the theater overnight, with the ordeal taking up most of the chapter.
  • Bridal Carry: In Book 3 Chapter 12, if Jordan is dating Emma when she tries on shoes for prom, they can offer to carry her around like this. She then asks if their arms would get tired, and Jordan suggests switching to a fireman's carry, making Emma realize it's getting less romantic.
  • Call-Back:
    • Shane’s catchphrase “Take out the trash” gets said by Frank, even calling it this trope if Jordan tries to hide in the trash in Book 2 Chapter 10.
    • In Class Act Book 1 Chapter 1 in a premium scene with Rory, Bailey can say they were hoping to take down an evil principal like Isa by now.
    • In Class Act Book 2 Chapter 3, Morgan gets called out on her hypocrisy wanting to be an anarchist class president despite having been one of Principal Isa's hall monitors. This makes her drop out of the race to Skye and Michael's disappointment.
  • The Cameo:
    • Book 2 Chapter 12 has cameos from Martin and TJ from #LoveHacks.
    • A premium choice date between Caleb and Jade in Book 3 Chapter 8 has Alex and Elena on the Kiss Cam at a baseball game.
    • Class Act Book 2 Chapter 8 has Josh Morello making an apoearance for the premiere of his latest movie, “The Show MUST Go On.”
  • Cassandra Truth: If Max starts hitting on Jordan in the Hearst uniform, one of the options is to admit to being a Berry student, which he won't believe.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Jordan discovers during the football game against Hearst that Brian stole the coach's binder and memorized all the plays. By doing the right choices, Berry High can win the game despite the disadvantage. Also played straight with Zoe, who attempts to get back with Caleb right before the game (it's left ambiguous whether she sincerely wants him back or is simply trying to distract him from the game), resulting in her losing both him and Brian, who had overheard her asking Caleb to take her back.
  • The Cheerleader: There are many, including Mia, Sydney, and Payton. Jordan can choose to join the squad along with Emma in Book 1. Emma joins in Book 3 regardless of the activity Jordan pursues. Class Act introduces a new character, Amber, who is also a cheerleader.
  • Continuity Nod: If you win the ice cream eating contest with your activity of choice, you’ll mention having free ice cream for a year and offer to take Emma out for milkshakes after she confides in you about her part-time job.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: The first protagonist transfers into the school as a sophomore but quickly gains a large circle of friends. The second protagonist enters the school as a freshman with a few established connections but is more shy and awkward.
  • Crossing the Burnt Bridge: Brian is temporarily transferred back to Berry High in Book 3 after leaving for Hearst in Book 1 after pretty much destroying his friendship with Caleb because of Zoe and bullying and/or pissing off almost everyone else at Berry.
  • Curbstomp Battle:
    • The football game against Statton School in Book 1 is a blowout in Statton's favor with Brian trying to run the ball even when Caleb is wide open.
    • Class Act Book 1 Chapter 3 has Berry doing this to Hearst when Casey subs in for Frank, running the ball in time after time.
  • Defiant Stone Throw: After the food fight in Book 2 Chapter 9, Caleb, having had enough of being hated by his friends and orders by Principal Isa, throws spaghetti at her.
  • Demoted to Extra: All of the characters from the original trilogy have their roles reduced in Class Act. Jordan and Sydney become supporting characters, while the other characters, including all the love interests, are relegated to occasional cameos. The seniors (Julian, Wes, Autumn, etc.), who had already graduated, don't appear at all except in premium scenes.
  • Disturbed Doves: Well birds in general, but in Book 3 Chapter 6 during a premium date with Caleb, Jordan bites down on a ghost chili. One reaction makes a flock of birds scatter.
  • Dolphins, Dolphins Everywhere: Class Act Book 2 Chapter 6 has a premium scene of Bailey and Rory going to see a dolphin show and getting to join in.
  • Engineered Heroics: In Class Act Book 2 Chapter 10, Bailey and whichever love interest they went in the pool with find out Amber set up the kitten for Lorenzo to rescue to bump up his popularity in the class election.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Played for laughs in Class Act Book 2 Chapter 7 when Rory brings up snow painting. Bailey can say people are just gonna draw butts in the snow, which makes Rory realize that people will indeed do so.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In Book 2 Chapter 8 at the basketball game, the cheerleaders and the band go over to Hearst's side when Principal Isa won't let Aiden attend the game. You have the option of joining them in protest even if you're on the team.
  • Ferris Wheel Date Moment: A premium choice date in Book 3 Chapter 8 allows you to have one with your love interest.
  • Fetch Quest: Michael's plan to get revenge on Hearst consists of stealing "The Stick", which requires Jordan, Caleb, Emma, Michael, Aiden and Julian to sneak in there and take it.
  • Foodfight!: One of these breaks out in Book 2 Chapter 9 due to rising tensions between the Cheerleaders and Band vs the Hall Monitors. Wes and Michael even warn Jordan before it happens with the premium option to get a second tray for defense.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: In a premium date with Caleb in Book 3 Chapter 6 at the Farmer's Market, you get a “taste of flavortown,” aka a ghost chili. Jordan can either let out a Big "NO!" or find it not so bad despite the burn.
  • Frame-Up: In Book 3, the other subplot centers around cleaning Jordan's reputation after it's suspected that they were responsible for sabotaging Jade, Kieran or Cameron's (depending on the selected club) tryouts. The only people who believe Jordan are his closest friends and Bethany.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Since there’s no alcohol involved, Payton’s party in Book 2 Chapter 14 has mocktails being made.
  • Fundraiser Carnival: Book 2 Chapter 4 takes place during one as a way for the cheerleading and band programs to raise funds once Principal Isa cuts them off.
  • Gaming Clan: Nishan, Sakura, Myra, and Luis are one of these. Only with a premium option, Emma joins their Lookout party.
  • Garbage Hideout: If you don’t buy the janitor uniform in Book 2 Chapter 10, you have to sneak past the hall monitors. Jordan can try to hide from Frank in the trash, but gets caught and you start over.
  • Gay Option: Since Jordan's gender is customizable, all five love interests (three guys and two girls) are available. The same applies to Bailey in Class Act with their three potential love interests (one guy, one girl, and one whose gender is determined by the player).
  • Green Aesop: Book 2 of Class Act gives heavy focus to environmentalism and environmentalist themes.
  • Hero of Another Story: Characters from the original game (like Julian, Mia, Autumn, Wes, Ezra, Nishan, Payton, Sakura, Koh, etc.) don't get the focus here that they did in the original game. Instead the plot revolves around Jordan and his batchmates.
  • High School: It revolves around the students of Oliver M. Berry High and the ongoing rivalry with Hearst High.
  • High-School Dance:
    • The main event of Book 1 is Homecoming party. The right choices throughout the game allow Jordan to win Homecoming King/Queen with Julian or Mia winning the other spot depending on your gender.
    • Book 2 doesn't have an official school dance (the winter formal gets cancelled thanks to Isa), but Payton throws a party which serves the same purpose. There's no king or queen, but Payton does name a guest of honor (it will be Jordan if school spirit is high enough; otherwise it will be Michael and Maria).
    • In Book 3, Jordan goes for Prom King/Queen against Kara and Max. Jordan will win if the player makes enough correct choices throughout the game. Otherwise, Ezra or Bethany will win. Kara and Max lose no matter what the player does.
    • Homecoming occurs again in Class Act Book 1, only this time it takes place in the middle of the book and isn't the overall focus of the story. Jordan is named Homecoming King/Queen regardless of player choices.
  • High School Rocks: High school is portrayed as great and fun where diverse students can come together and make friends.
  • Improv: A premium scene in Class Act Book 1 Chapter 15 has thegroup playing an improv game called “Corporation” where two employees make up a story on why “George” is late and then George has to guess the excuse.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In Book 3, Jordan confronts Max and Kara about sending Jade/Cameron/Kieran a fake email telling them tryouts had been cancelled. Max replies that they had no reason to hack Sydney's account. Problem is, Jordan had never mentioned Sydney's account being hacked.
  • Instant Web Hit: Class Act Book 2 Chapter 9 has this happen with Lorenzo's Big Damn Heroes moment of rescuing a kitten from Mia's carriage ride be this by having over 100k hits at the end of the day, getting him a jump in the class president polls tying him with whoever you weren't helping between Rory or Casey.
  • I Regret Nothing: In Book 3 Chapter 6 in a premium date with Caleb after biting into a ghost chili, Jordan inverts the trope because of how hot it is.
  • Ironic Name: In Book 2 Chapter 2, during Bring Your Pet To School Day, Caleb and Ezra bring in a pet goldfish named Rover since both brothers are allergic to fur.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: A premium choice in Book 2 Chapter 10 allows Jordan to wear a janitor uniform to slip past the hall monitors.
  • Kids Play Matchmaker: In Book 3, Jordan and Emma discover that her mother and Jordan's father had mutual crushes on each other in high school. They plot to bring them together.
  • Kids Prefer Boxes: In Class Act Book 1 Chapter 4 in a premium scene with Rory, they and Bailey can talk about how they pretended an old refrigerator box was a spaceship and that the neighbor's cat was an alien.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While the entire series is usually idealistic in tone, Class Act takes a serious turn whenever Mr. and Mrs. Crandall are concerned because of the abuse they inflict on their daughter Skye.
  • Losing Horns: If you're on the Band in Book 1 Chapter 7, after Caleb fumbles the ball and Statton gets it back, you have the option to play this just as Myra was thinking the same thing.
  • Love Triangle: Wes, Autumn, and Julian are involved in this, to the point even Isa documented it in her files. Starts as a Type 10 when Wes and Autumn were still dating, while Julian was on the sides as the Hopeless Suitor, and by Book 2 this changes into a Type 3 after Wes and Autumn break up, and she and Julian kiss in a Spin-the-Bottle round.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: In Book 2 Chapter 9, you have the premium option of picking up another tray to shield your friends during the food fight.
  • MacGuffin: Hearst stick becomes this after the Fetch Quest. Either if Jordan succeeds in taking it or drops it (the bad luck curse when touching the ground never comes into play), the result won't affect the game.
  • Mega Meal Challenge: Every January 9th, the Golden Griddle has the Cedar Cove Challenge, which celebrates its anniversary with a 20-scoop sundae, and any group who finishes theirs first wins free ice cream for a year. It's considered a rite of passage for natives of Cedar Cove. Taking it on is a premium option in Book 2 Chapter 2.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Book 3 Chapter 10 has a premium choice to go to an Orbital Necromancer concert, the band described as “synthwsve post-punk.”
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Emma has a story about this in Book 1 Chapter 5 involving camping and having her hair catch fire.
    • Whatever Wes did to get himself banned from that bakery in Book 2 Chapter 7.
    • “Bring Your Pet to School” day becomes this if you don’t pay for the premium scene.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In Book 2 Chapter 2, Jordan hears Koh on the phone telling someone about something with 325 milligrams and thinks she's making a drug deal. It's actually the medication dosage for her grandmother who's in the hospital for a stroke.
  • Official Couple:
    • Book 2 Chapter 15 allows Jordan and their love interest to finally become a couple or remain friends.
    • Bailey has the opportunity to make it official with their love interest in Book 2 Chapter 14 of Class Act.
  • Oh, Crap!: Class Act Book 2 Chapter 4 has this with Casey realizing that in making the brownies and peanut butter cookies for the bake sale, they forgot to make cupcakes.
  • Pair the Spares: Invoked in Book 3 Chapter 15 by achievement name in hooking up many of the possible couples. To get the “Master Cupid” achievement, you must successfully set up Emma and Luis, Caleb and Jade, Cameron and Aiden, and Dad and Julia. Since Emma, Caleb, and Aiden are potential love interests for Jordan, the player can only get this achievement if Jordan isn't dating any of them (leaving Michael and Maria as the only options).
  • Police are Useless: Subverted. Maria's father Stephen is a police detective and gets to arrest Principal Isa and her brother, but it's the gang in the end the ones who discover and expose her crimes.
  • Precious Puppy: In Class Act Book 1 Chapter 6, after finally getting out of the theater after being locked in with Ajay, Bailey runs into a stray dog that follows them home. It's a premium choice to adopt the dog, who has the default name of Biscuit.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: In Class Act Book 1, Jordan makes their first cameo when they break their leg in an audition while Bailey watches in horror. Jordan is mentioned frequently throughout the rest of the series, and there are even some premium options for Bailey to hang out with Jordan and their old gang.
  • Prom Is for Straight Kids: Averted for Homecoming. If Female!Jordan takes Emma or Maria, or Male!Jordan goes with Caleb, Michael, or Aiden, people even comment how cute they look together.
    • Nobody bats an eye at Mia and Sydney going to together either.
    • Tucker and Kieran going to prom together is treated in a similarly nonchalant fashion.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: While the cliques at Berry High are well defined, the groups formed during Book 1 are very varied.
  • Reality Ensues: Caleb not getting over Zoe immediately and friendzoning Emma. Caleb telling Emma to be Just Friends is understandable because 1. He is just out of a breakup, 2. He is developing feelings for Jordan, and 3. Just because the suitor is a good person, it doesn't mean he's obligated to reciprocate her feelings. Additionally, if Jordan ends up dating Emma, Caleb will tell Jordan that he noticed Jordan's reaction to Emma asking him out, suggesting that he recognized Jordan had feelings for her and didn't want to get in the way.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In Book 3 Chapter 12, after Brian utterly humiliates Myra on stage for his promposal, you have the premium choice to lay into him about everything awful about him.
  • Retool: The novel is a remake-sequel of the original game with a new story and both characters from the original game and new characters.
  • Safecracking: Book 2 Chapter 11 has you breaking into Principal Isa’s safe by listening to the tumblers. Getting it open increases school spirit.
  • School Club Stories:
    • In Book 1, Jordan (along with Emma) is given the option to join either the football team, the cheerleading squad, or the band, and Book 1 will showcase the most of the chosen club, while the others are shown briefly. The only obligatory club is the Homecoming committee.
    • In Book 2, Jordan can choose between the basketball team, concert band, or the cheerleaders. Also, Maria and Michael form the news broadcast until Isa forces Maria out. Later, Isa creates the hall monitors to take charge of the school security.
    • In Book 3, Hearst students temporarily transferring to Berry High join the baseball team, cheerleading squad, or band, and some of them are accusing the leaders of the respective clubs of favoritism.
  • School Clubs Are Serious Business: Maria is obsessed with the Homecoming committee doing the perfect party.
    • In Book 2, the main conflict revolves around Principal Isa cutting the funding for the band and the cheerleaders to give it to the basketball team, and later closes all the clubs with the exception of the basketball team and the hall monitors.
  • Second Year Protagonist: Jordan, Emma, Caleb, Sydney, Michael, Myra, and Morgan are High School Sophomores, with Maria, Aiden, Frank, Luis, and Mia as Juniors, and the rest as seniors. By Class Act, they've gone up a grade and all the original seniors have graduated, juniors to seniors and so on.
  • Sequel Escalation: While Book 1 focused on Jordan adapting to school, rising the School Spirit and the rivalry against Hearst, Book 2's level of drama escalated by inserting the conflict between the basketball team and the hall monitors vs. the rest of the school, shattering many of the established friendships, and the revelation that all of this is because Principal Isa is using the school's money for her embezzlement scheme.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Book 1 ends with Principal Hughs resigning and Vice Principal Isa taking over.
    • Book 2 ends with the announcement that Hearst is closed and all Hearst students living west of Interstate 98 transfer. Jordan asks if they know anyone like that, and he does: Max, Kara, Zoe... and Brian.
    • Book 3 ends on a much lighter note with the seniors graduating and summer vacation starting. You do however get to name a future protagonist (default name of Bailey) for the next book.
    • Class Act Book 1 ends with class president elections coming up and Skye becoming horrified upon discovering that a particular unnamed person is running.
    • Class Act Book 2 ends with Bailey and Erin talking about prom. Mr. Olsen then reveals Berry High has been invited to perform at the Spotlite International Theatre Festival in Europe.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Slice of Life: The story focuses on High School students, their daily lives, school clubs, the feud with the rival school and teenage romance.
  • Snowball Fight: Class Act Book 2 Chapter 1 has the Theatre Group getting into one after getting hit by Jordan's love interest.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character:
    • By Book 3, the principal of Berry High can be either Principal Hughs (gained through a premium option in Book 2) or Principal Rivera.
    • Also in Book 3, the Hearst student Jordan is competing against for the lead role is Jade, Kieran, or Cameron for the baseball team, cheer squad, and band, respectively.
    • In Class Act, both the male and female customizable characters appear. One of them is the shy, theater-minded protagonist, and the other is the outgoing, sporty twin.
  • Tempting Fate: In the first chapter of Class Act, Jordan's love interest tells them to break a leg before the audition. It only takes a few minutes for those words to come true.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: A premium date in Class Act Book 2 Chapter 7 has Bailey and friends go to an arcade. One of the games they play is this and no matter what Bailey imagines, they come in dead last while Skye shows she's a Pintsized Powerhouse by hitting the bell, surprising the rest of the group.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Book 3 Chapter 12 reveals that Kepler's baseball team finished dead last the previous year. They're now in first place because of their ace pitcher, Fastball Finn.
  • True Companions: After being betrayed by both his girlfriend and best friend, Caleb realizes that Jordan, Emma, Maria, Aiden, Michael and Julian are his true friends for taking the effort to find him and cheer him up.
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: Class Act Book 2 Chapter 14 takes place on and around Valentine’s Day. It allows Bailey to have a Love Confession with their love interest.
  • Wedding Day: A premium date with Rory in Class Act Book 2 has Bailey join them at Rory’s cousin’s wedding. Bailey can not only catch the bouquet, but also talk about a future wedding of their own.
  • We Were Your Team: Everything fell apart after the protagonist of High School Story graduated.
  • We Will Meet Again: If Berry wins the basketball game against Hearst, Max says there's always baseball season.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: An in-universe and literal example as Nishan lost his pet rat, Einstein, at Bring Your Pet To Work Day.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: In Book 2 Chapter 7, one of the icebreakers during Maria’s birthday is about worst movie. Sydney begged her parents to go to the midnight screening of The Last Airbender and hated it. Aiden’s story has him on a charter bus being forced to watch Bee Movie... twice.

Example of: