Seabed is a yuri-themed Mystery Fiction Visual Novel by Paleontology and published by Fruitbat Factory told through the perspectives of three separate characters: Mizuno Sachiko, a designer plagued by hallucinations of her past lover; Narasaki Hibiki, Sachiko's friend and a psychiatrist researching the workings of human memories; and Takako, Sachiko's former lover who has been rapidly forgetting her past, including how or why the two women drifted apart despite being together since childhood.
All three live in different worlds, but seek the same goal. To separate truth from illusion. To make sense of their own lives.
Seabed is available for PC through Itch.io and Steam. A version for the Nintendo Switch was released on March 19th, 2020.
Seabed contains examples of:
- Bittersweet Ending: It leans towards "sweet", but it's still heavy on the "bitter". Sachiko gets closure...but is forced to face the reality of Takako no longer being in her life, and the final phone call will be the last time she'll be able to interact with her in her lifetime. That being said, there's a heavy implication Sachiko is going to try and have a Second Love relationship with Nanae (they go on a romantic holiday together); Narasaki is saved at the last second and brought into the dreamworld to spend the rest of her days with everyone in the sanitorium; Takako's consciousness (or spirit) will be able to live on blissfully within Sachiko, she is surrounded by her friends, she accepts her feelings for Mayuko, and enjoy an eternity of happiness...with an implication once Sachiko dies, they'll be reunited in the afterlife, and be together forever. Everyone ultimately ends up happier then they started, but it's nevertheless a painful reality.
- Book Ends: Seabed opens with a scene of Takako laying in bed with Sachiko and talking about the past. Towards the very end Takako recalls this moment along with remembering that that was the night she died.
- Bury Your Gays: Zigzagged. Takako turns out to be Dead All Along...but she exists within Sachiko, very much a real person, with her own free will and emotions.
- Caught in the Rain: Sachiko and Takako explore a shoal on their vacation only to be caught in a sudden rainstorm. The two take shelter in a nearby grove of trees, and Takako presses up against Sachiko and initiates a makeout, claiming it’s the only way she can warm up.
- Cute Bookworm: Sanae. Sachiko could sort of count as well, though she mentions not having as much time to read as she did as a schoolgirl.
- Girlish Pigtails: Takako wears her hair in long twintails. There’s a flashback to a memory of the girls’ high school days where Sachiko recalls when Takako only just started wearing her hair like that, still having difficulty making both tails equal lengths.
- Notably, Nanae wears her hair like this one day when Sachiko is visiting her. When Nanae offers to “adapt” to Sachiko’s still-lingering feelings for Takako, she ties her hair back up in twintails to show how serious she is about becoming Takako’s replacement.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Fumi keeps a bunch of stuffed animals on her workplace desk.
- Moment Killer: When Sachiko and Takako start kissing in the middle of a rainstorm, they’re startled by the sound of leaves rustling. It turns out to be a coconut crab. Takako later recalls the crab and, clearly annoyed, suggests finding it and cooking it for dinner.
- Replacement Goldfish: Nanae essentially offers to become this to Sachiko.
- Second Love: Mayuko and Takako hook up at the very end, and there's a heavy implication Sachiko and Nanae will become this as well. Though this isn't to say the former couple don't have intense, romantic feelings for each other anymore...
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Sanae dresses up during the Christmas party to Takako's great interest.
- Story Breadcrumbs: Sea Bed has this in the form of "TIPS"— pieces of story exposition that are "out of narrative" with the main point-of-view characters, which unlock after certain chapters of the story have been completed.
- Sweet Tooth: Takako, who is a Big Eater in general, really likes sweets and frequently snacks on candy while working, to the annoyance of her coworkers.
- Together in Death: What Takako hope will be the case for her and Sachiko.
- Wham Line: Dropped by Fumi at the end of the prologue:Fumi: Um… it was around the time Ms. Takako passed away.
- Wham Shot: Chapter 4 opens with Narasaki's memory of her with Sachiko and Takako "playing doctor" as kids, with the image showing Sachiko and Takako playing with a stethoscope. Chapter 5 ends with Takako reading a diary entry of that same memory from Sachiko's perspective, showing the same image from Chapter 4- but this time, zoomed out to reveal the two girls playing with a red-headed doll in a doctor's coat.