Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before.
"Relax," said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!"
Spiritual Sequel to the famed Ruby Quest, drawn/written by the same author, Weaver. Nan Quest is the story of Nan, a goat. It ran from October 8th, 2009 to June 6th, 2015, and links to the threads can be found here.
Nan is a repairwoman, and today she is doing some jobs. One in an arcade, and one in a hotel. In the arcade, she fixes a fusebox, gets a check for her services, and some free pizza from the owner. She then bikes off to the hotel with her pizza, where she is to fix a broken outlet. In the hotel... Well.
You can read it in a compiled format here.
Now has a character sheet. Note that even the names of tropes listed here can be a huge spoiler, so catching up on the threads first is advised.
After the quest was finished, Weaver hosted a chatroom Q&A session to clear up some lingering questions. A log can be found here, though of course you should read the quest first if you want to avoid spoilers.
This game provides examples of:
- Above Good and Evil: Santiago embraces this so much that some readers suspect he is trying to assure himself of this.
- Aerith and Bob: Nan is apparently the only one around with an animal-oriented name, while most everyone else has Spanish or English oriented ones. (depending on what time they entered the hotel)
- Nan is also short for Nancy, which could be her full name.
- Androcles' Lion: Nan gives a dead rat a makeshift burial. This results in another rat bringing Nan and Pablo a can of food when they need it later.
- Alternate Universe: Nan sometimes has visions from the past or the future, where she ends up seeing horrifying monsters that bear eerie resemblances to the main characters.
- Antagonistic Offspring: Alan, to Anderson.
- Anyone Can Die: Anna is the first to die at the hands of the Pilgrim. Nan later kills Henry in self-defense when he admits he is the real Pilgrim, and Anderson is revealed to have taken a bullet to the lung a short time later. Then Pablo kills Lorenzo, forcing Nan to shoot him in order to end the nightmare once and for all.
- Apocalyptic Log: The journal of Father Velasco.for the love of god
- Arc Number: 466. It's first seen on an unplugged alarm clock Nan finds in an elevator, and is later also revealed to be the number of people who died in a fire before the hotel was built.
- Arc Words: "Thunder roars."
- "You are not Anasazi."
- Art Shift: The sequence with the Lightbringer is fully colored, a first for Weaver's serious quests.
- Attempted Rape: Santiago attempts to rape Nan in the chapel, but he is stopped just in time by Henry. It's later implied that Santiago was just putting on an act under Henry's orders so that Nan would lower her guard around Henry.
- The Atoner: Pablo's done something terrible. Anna seems to feel she has too, and thinks that maybe so has everyone else, they just don't remember.Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.
- Beige Prose: For all the detail in the speeches and gorey panels during the battle with Henry as the Pilgrim, his death message is restrained and barely seven words long.There are no last words. Henry dies.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Anderson, to Nan and Pablo.
- Anderson again, when Nan and Kim are being attacked by the Padre — he comes down to the first floor through the elevator, generating light that dispels the darkness and allows the protagonists to get to safety.
- Believe it or not, the finale has two - Santiago buying Nan time while attacking the Padre so she can unlock the door to let in... The Beast, who forces the evil deity out of his body, so Nan can kill him.
- Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: Sorry, Anderson.
- Bittersweet Ending: Or even a Earn Your Happy Ending depending on how you look at it. While Nan, Santiago and Kim all survive, almost everyone else is dead. Slightly happier in that Santiago redeemed himself.
- Black Blood: Used in a strange way. Freshly-spilled blood from wounds is black, but atmospheric bloodstains (including Anna's dismembered corpse) are red. In an otherwise black-and-white comic, this is quite striking.
- Boom, Headshot!: Pablo is killed this way. Justified, as they are standing still and have to be killed as quickly as possible.
- Camp Unsafe Isn't Safe Anymore: The group's "safe room" gets repeatedly breached, and the cast continues to be assaulted mentally. Despite this, they return to it multiple times.
- Catchphrase: Sort of. Nan frequently says "Stop being such a downer."
- Character Title
- Chekhov's Gun: Subverted by the paycheck from the Family Fun Arcade. After Nan's memories start to fade, it allows her to remember she was an electrician... but the paper is an ominous note rather than a paycheck, which just throws Nan's state of mind even more into question.
- Chiaroscuro: The Anasazi Lounge is drawn in this way; everything is in very harsh shadow, with occasional stark highlights.
- The Corruption: It appears that Santiago is very infected with it, and Nan wants to help him even after he tried to rape her. Anderson also seemingly nearly succumbs to it, as his face heavily distorts during an episode of particularly manic paranoia and rage.
- Cosmic Horror Story: Much like it's predecessor, but much less ancient deities and fleshy walls and more Silent Hill-esque darkness and silence, with a particular emphasis on shape-shifting environments and Mind Screw. Ancient deities make a return though, though they don't play as much as a direct role as previously.
- Combo Breaker: Every 10 years since at least 1826 a new guest has entered the hotel, except for Nan and Anderson who entered in 2009(probably) and 1912 respectively.
- Continuity Nod:
- "It is very dark here. Hardly anything can be seen." These lines were used as the opening for Ruby Quest.
- "God is not present here" appears as graffiti in the Holding Cell in Ruby Quest.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Nan, an omnivorous goat girl, to Ruby, a herbivorous bunny girl. Ruby was very thin, while Nan is well-set. Ruby wakes up with no memory and regains it over time, Nan has a backstory that she loses over time. Ruby obtains a strong relationship with the first guy she meets, Nan ends up eventually killing the first guy she meets.
- Creepy Cathedral: The hotel was built on a Spanish mission, which in turn was ironically built on cursed ground.
- Creepy Changing Painting: Two times
- First, there's the paintings in Nan's first dream in the safe room. The paintings of blood red circles, with the protagonist's bodies silhouetted in them, which grow in form and detail. The red paint seeps into the sillhouette, And one of them actively moves.
- In one of Nan's hallucinations, she confronts Her apparent husband, who is threatening their kids in a hotel room. On the wall behind him is a painting of a church. When Nan decides to solve the situation with violence, the cathedral sets on fire.
- Darkness Equals Death
- Dark Is Evil: Played with. The dark, shadowy monsters kill people, but are repelled by the light, making the darkness frightening and dangerous. The Big Bad is also described as a being of darkness. However, the monsters aren't inherently aggressive, and the darkness can serve as both concealment and a way to see peoples' true colors. And it is the shadowy Beast that saves Nan in the end.There is no moving safely in the dark, [Santiago] says. You just have to learn not to be afraid. Not because the things there can't hurt you... because they can. Oh, they certainly can. Especially Father.
But you're free to move, just as you're free to die.
That's how he can live in the dark. He doesn't fear death. He is free in the darkness. He is not afraid.
Anderson: Ain't you a little old to be afraid of shadows[, Nan]? You ought to know by now. There's nothing there in the dark that wasn't there in the light.
- Dead All Along: Kim suspects that the hotel is some sort of afterlife. Well, that doesn't turn out to be the case, really.
- Death Song: Santiago writes and performs a titular one for Anna.
- Dramatic Unmask: Inverted; the Pilgrim's identity is revealed by Henry dramatically donning a mask.
- Dwindling Party: We start out with six. We end with 3, if you count Santiago as a (not literal) Sixth Ranger.
- Easter Egg: The last image of the 6th thread can be edited to reveal a cross.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Beast in the courtyard, of some sort. It appears to be invincible, so the best choice is to avoid it. Never really confirmed, but whatever the beast was it sure fucking hates Naaloqomvi, who is the true Eldritch Abomination of the story.
- Eldritch Location: The Hell Hotel that the story takes place in.
- Evil Is Not Well-Lit: Did the lights go out? Bad things are about to happen.
- Expy: Nan to Ruby and Santiago to Red, probably.
- Eye Scream: When trying to escape from Henry in chapter eight, Nan slashes him several times in the face with a small knife before going for the throat. Kim later loses sight in one eye due to being burnt by Padre Velasco.
- First, to what looks like Anna in an elevator shaft she worked on in the past and subsequent ones to 1828, at the Spanish mission before the hotel existed.
- And now, what happened in the hotel room 211. The kicker? Some quester hypothesized that it may be a case of Past-Life Memories, since everyone met in the flashbacks seems to know a Nan.
- Foreshadowing: Which is notable, for an interactive quest where things can rarely be set in stone. Word of God confirms that there was one plot point that never changed since the story's inception (Henry being the Pilgrim), so there's a lot of foreshadowing towards it.
- The mirror in Henry's room creates a creepy image of Henry wearing a manic, evil grin. Most readers assumed it was just the hotel messing with Nan, but it actually reveals his true face.
- It's subtle, but Henry is drawn with a wild eye — his eyes never quite align, and one always looks crooked. The eyes are a window to the soul...
- "[Nan] trips, falls, and lands at the pilgrim's feet."
- And something unrelated to big twist: When Santiago assaults Nan in the chapel, he starts crying even before she fights back. Later on, it's implied that Santiago had Abusive Parents, and he was reenacting one episode of abuse he experienced. It's also implied that that fight was scripted by Henry, so he may have been upset at being forced to hurt Nan.
- Forgiveness: As the story goes on, the power of forgiveness is shown to be very powerful. Nan forgives Santiago for Attempted Rape, leading to Santiago assisting Nan when she's bound and gagged.
- Future Me Scares Me: Averted. Nan's future self is exactly the same as her, only wearing a cloth around her mouth. On the other hand, what's going on behind Nan's future self scares the piss out of past Nan.
- Groin Attack:
- By Nan to Santiago. Interestingly, he "barely reacts", implying he's been castrated.
- Much more effective on The Pilgrim.
- Grossup Closeup
- HeelFace Turn: When Nan spares Santiago's life after he attempted to rape her, he sinks out of the limelight for a few threads to do some heavy thinking. When he returns, it's to help Nan take down Henry, saving her life in the process.
- Hell Hotel: Monsters, blackouts, and shifting architecture, oh my! The characters also can't leave.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the end, a Sadistic Choice is revealed: either Pablo or Santiago must die. Pablo sacrifices themselves to spare Nan from having to choose.
- Horn Attack: Nan is a goat, but unfortunately ramming things is never the answer. It is, at best, a distraction.
- Infallible Babble: Completely averted. The Pilgrim's creepy speeches? Random junk Henry made up to sound intimidating. Santiago's rambles about freedom? Lies he made up to sound edgy. Anna and Kim philosophizing about the nature of the creatures and the hotel? Total nonsense with no bearing on anything.
- Infernal Retaliation: The Padre, after being headbutted into a fire by Nan.
- Jump Scare:
- When rummaging through an old journal.◊
- Typically, Weaver captions images as "[ANIMATED]" so players know to watch the .gif. Other times, he writes tiny text somewhere in the image to trick players into viewing it fullsize◊.
- The same trick is used here.◊ Doubles as a Wham Shot.
- By the light of a muzzle flash,◊ we see that the Padre has arrived.
- Kill It with Fire:
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Most of the "Uninvited Things".
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: During its "The Reason You Suck" Speech, the Big Bad asks Nan "Do you have a single thought of your own making?" Given that her every thought and action was dictated by the tgchan collective, well...
- Let's Split Up, Gang!: The group splits into groups of two. Anna's the only casualty, with Pablo being found later.
- Light Is Not Good:
"If you insist on bringing light to the darkness, realize you won't always like what you find
- According to Santiago;
Some things are better left in the dark, Nan
Some things should never be brought to light"
- Also, in the Anasazi Lounge, trying to activate the flashlight results in blinding light, a reversal of the normal symbolism of light revealing the truth.
- Love Triangle: Minor example; though it never takes precedence in the story itself, some shippers saw both Henry and Pablo as potential love interests during the quest's run. The triangle is resolved quite brutally; Henry turns out to be a manipulative serial killer, and Pablo commits suicide by proxy, leaving Nan with no love interest at all by the end.
- Madness Mantra:
- "for the love of god"
- "into the fire into the fire into the fire into the fire into the fire "
- Match Cut:
- Mature Animal Story
- Meaningful Background Event: After Nan fixes the fuse box at the arcade, Kim is there as one of the customers.
- Mental Time Travel: How Nan has interacted with the land of the hotel before it was built. Evidently, there was a Nan exactly like her over 100 years in the past, who our Nan is periodically transferred into.
- Meaningful Echo:
- "You can't help anyone."
- "Some things are better left in the dark."
- Though the gap between the original and the echo isn't very long, there is the Pilgrim's "Now die, and release me," and "No more words. I have waited too long. Now, you die." Though it's not repeated verbatim, Henry's "No more talk. You have to die. You have to release me," later in the chapter is very similar — only he's just finished explaining exactly what he means, so it's no longer cryptic nonsense.
- Memento MacGuffin: That cross pendant is important somehow.
- Mind Screw: Copious amounts. You know that this story is gonna be chock full of this when Nan opens a door to herself sprinting away from a monster.
- Mirror Monster:
- Henry moved out of the way of the mirror, but the mirror behind him kept reflecting his head. Then the Henry in the mirror turned around. And smiled.
- It gets worse. Now Nan has one too. Thankfully, the mirror Nan doesn't do anything menacing, possibly because unlike Henry, Nan isn't evil.
- The Mole: Henry (aka the Pilgrim) was the one who called Nan to the Hotel in the first place and has killed countless other guests in an attempt to free himself, including Alan and Anna.
- Mythology Gag: Early on, the adventure narration casually mentions that "It's another fine day here in the Glen." Fans of Ruby Quest freaked out just as Nan walked outside and revealed... that she lives in Cedar Glen Apartments.
- Naked First Impression: The audience first sees Pablo as he gets out of the shower, trying to figure out what a herbivorous goat girl is doing sleeping in his hotel room. Nan also meets Henry for the first time when he's changing.
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: Subverted. Nan sees her future self about to be attacked by a monster, and slams the door on her. Later in the story, Nan gets the door slammed on her by her past self. Cue Oh, Crap! moment.
- The Not-Love Interest:
- Henry is a dark (and somewhat meta) take on this. He's the first character Nan meets face-to-face, and it's a silly, romcom-like introduction at that. He's also an innocent Pretty Boy who entered the hotel at the same time as Nan, and protects her at numerous points. So obviously they're soulmates, right? Nope! He's a serial killer who was trying to manipulate Nan into lowering her guard.
- Pablo may be a straighter example; he hits some Love Interest beats, and some shippers were considering him as a potential option throughout the story. His relationship with Nan never becomes romantic, regardless.
- Oh, Crap!: Whenever /tg/ gets into a serious situation and can't decide what to do, Nan "freaks out at the gravity of the situation."
- Ontological Mystery: The author's intended genre.
- Power of Trust: One of the most difficult situations near the end of the story requires the protagonist to place her trust in someone that her wronged her deeply before. Nan has to trust Santiago, who had previously tried to rape her, with her life in order to escape being killed by Henry.
- Prolonged Prologue: It takes an eigth of the story for anything supernatural to really happen.
- Psychological Horror
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Notable aversion. Santiago's attempted rape of Nan is forgiven rather easily, although the act of forgiveness is a particular lynchpin in the story.
- It may be possibly that Santiago is physically incapable of raping anyone at all.
- In fact the person that saved Nan from rape is a considerably worse person.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Big Bad gives two of these to Nan during the climax, throwing all her sins in her face and blaming all the bad events that have occurred on her. She retaliates with a Shut Up, Hannibal! both times, the second one being a "The Reason You Suck" Speech in and of itself.
- Red Herring:
- Lorenzo is not the Pilgrim. The fact that its skull is a horse skull is a completely irrelevant detail.
- The cloaked, Pilgrim-like figure in the chapel seen at the start of chapter 6? That's not the Pilgrim, but a phantom of Lorenzo. This one is particularly devious, because if you assume it is the Pilgrim, it seemingly gives the true culprit an airtight alibi.
- Most of the speculation and rambling from characters such as Santiago and the Pilgrim is complete nonsense that has no bearing on anything. If you assume it's Infallible Babble, you're going to be barking up the wrong tree.
- Intentionally invoked by one of the villains. Henry convinces Santiago to act evil and suspicious, in order to divert suspicion of being the Pilgrim off of him, and to make himself look better in comparison.
- Ring Ring Crunch: Early on, Nan accidentally kills a rat this way, forcing her to perform an impromptu trashcan burial.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: After Nan, Santiago, and Kim are sent back in time (with Santiago and Kim as children again) at the end of the story, they fully remember the events which apparently now never took place.
- Room Full of Crazy / Mad Artist: There is a room full of stretched canvases covered in what looks like blood with shapes similar to the main characters.
- Sadistic Choice: At the end, Lorenzo reveals that just killing him isn't enough to defeat the Eldritch Abomination; one of Nan's friends must kill him, and then she must kill them in turn. Pablo and Santiago both volunteer. In a subversion, someone else makes the choice so Nan doesn't have to.
- Saying Too Much: When Nan and Henry reunite in chapter eight, Henry assures Nan that if they get chased again she can just escape out the window like she did previously. Except Henry wasn't around when she did that. /tg/ questions him about this. "...Oops."
- Series Hiatus: It wasn't uncommon for several months to pass between threads, and one of the pauses took slightly over two years. The fans never lost hope, though.
- Sinister Minister: The Padre; a nightmarish, Implacable Man Spanish priest. He might not have always been like that, though, and that indeed turns out to be the case, as he's got a nasty case of Demonic Possession.
- Shout-Out: One of the monsters from early in the game looks an awful lot like Stitches mutated form.
- Also, once again, our protagonist is taken from Animal Crossing.
- Slasher Smile: Santiago's standard expression, as well as Henry's reflection.The smile continues to exist even without the reflection.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The apparent goal of Nan's many flashbacks, mental time excursions, and hallucinations.
- Anna: Nan gives her the tool she needs to repair an elevator. It's implied that this helped prevent an elevator accident seen in a newspaper clipping and Anna's resulting guilt over the occurrence, which in turn changes what happened in the hotel as now Anna has no reason to desire being punished.
- Alan: Nan gives him a pen so he can write a letter to his father before going Suicide by Cop, instead of fleeing and ending up at the hotel like what originally happened when he had no pen.
- Maggie: Nan convinces her to spend time with her mother in her passing days, which changed the number of victims caught in the chapel fire.
- Nan planned on defeating the Father by preventing him from becoming possessed in the first place.
- Talking Is a Free Action: The characters are usually free to talk as much as they want without other events progressing. However, when Kim's face is burned and flaked by the Father, every action, including talking, causes the injuries to worsen slowly.
- Teleport Spam: Used offensively in the final chapter.
- That's No Moon!: The moon is seen once, but it's comparatively big, and perfectly white. "But what happened to all the stars," Nan wonders. Then she sees the other moon. No, wait, those are eyes.
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Nan reada diary written before she was born that directly speaks to her. Downplayed in that Nan was around at the time the writer was alive.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: The manner in which Nan experiences the past has ranged from being a physical person in the past, experiencing the past from the perspective of another, watching and being unable to interact with the past, and being invisible and intangible but able to deposit items into the past.
- Two Aliases, One Character: One of the antagonists introduced early on is a creature called the Pilgrim. During a later Time Travel segment, Nan meets a man called Lorenzo, who describes himself as a pilgrim. The obvious assumption is that they are the same person, but this is actually a Red Herring. The Pilgrim is actually Henry.
- Wham Episode:
- Chapter 4 is arguably where the story "really" begins; we are introduced to all the protagonists and antagonists, as well as getting an explanation on some of the mechanics of the hotel. By the end, Anna is dead, the party is scattered, and Nan is left alone in the dark, uncertain of what's coming next.
- Chapter 8 contains a large number of reveals, concludes the subplots of the Pilgrim and Anderson, and features the return of Santiago and Lorenzo.
- Wham Line:
- "Nan has entered the Hotel Lobby." This after she just tried to leave the lobby...
- This passage is where readers discover that Nan is losing her memories of her life outside the hotel... or maybe never had them in the first place:At least Nan can still remember. Before she came to the Hotel she was
everything's really hazy
why can't she
she had a job?
- Henry accidentally outs themselves as the Pilgrim by revealing knowledge of something only Nan and the Pilgrim could possibly know:"Besides, worst case scenario, if [the Pilgrim] comes for you, you can just go out the window again."
- The last line of this passage is when readers realize that Kim has called the Padre to the survivors:Kim says she doesn't think he's evil.
Nan asks who she means. Anderson?
No. The Father.
- The first time the Padre speaks. Also a Wham Shot, as it reveals his Nightmare Face.
- Pablo's Heroic Sacrifice is delivered like this. Also a Wham Shot."Nan, you've done so much for us. Ever since we've been here. You've done more than any of us. It's not fair of me to treat you like this, after everything. Because I asked you to pick between us, you already had to make one hard decision. You shouldn't have to make another. So I'm making the choice for you."
- Wham Shot:
Nan, I won't let you leave. Not until you have taken my life. I hope that one day you will under— my convictions. But believe me wh— that it must be you. I pray to God— will be able to do what must be— and I can only beg your forgiveness.
- Nan discovers that the front door doesn't lead where she thinks it does.◊
- In the Anasazi Lounge, this image◊ suddenly reveals that the Pilgrim is attacking again. Also doubles as a Jump Scare.
- Henry donning the Pilgrim costume.Henry: I just wanted my family back. To know that they're all right. To see my daughter again. To hold my wife. I'd kill for that.
- Lorenzo revealing themselves in the burned shrine, after multiple panels of the figure being obscured and unrecognizable. The panel is even in different dimensions from the rest of the quest to really emphasize it.◊
- Pablo fatally stabbing Lorenzo, which constitutes a Heroic Sacrifice. Also doubles as a Wham Line; see above.
- At the very end of the adventure, we see the full version of entry 466,◊ providing some additional context.
- What Year Is This?: Alternatively 2009, 2016, 1912, 1936, 1946 1966, 1986 and 1828. All at once.
- Wrong Guy First: Henry, to the extreme. He's the first character Nan meets and ticks all the typical Love Interest boxes. He's actually a serial killer who was trying to manipulate Nan into lowering her guard. In a subversion, there is no "right guy" — Nan ends the story with no Love Interest.
- You All Meet in an Inn
- You Can't Fight Fate: Implied by Lorenzo.
- Nan and Santiago go back in time to make sure Lorenzo kills the Padre before spirits take over his body. As it turns out, it was their mere arrival that caused Lorenzo to hesitate just long enough for the spirits to take over the Padre. Not that this makes much difference in the long run, as this triggers the final confrontation, which ends in the Padre's demise anyway.