Attract Mode

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Attract Mode is an AXE235 interactive fiction game first released on May 12, 2016.


Alcoholic loser DAZ has had nothing going well for him for pretty much his entire life, so it makes sense when he finally resorts to kissing ghosts.


Alcoholic loser DAZ is addicted to the game Nova Zone, an extremely vintage space shooter game at his local arcade. He has been playing it since he was a young boy; due to a troublesome family life, the local arcade has been his haunt through his childhood and teenage years. For some strange reason, he was the absolute best player at Nova Zone, always scoring improbably high scores even when against older and more experienced players.

As time goes on, DAZ's home life degrades further, and he spends his later teenage years mostly inside the arcade. He develops his drinking habit, and at his nadir, discovers something strange about the machine: It's trying to talk to him. With short messages at first, the Nova Zone cabinet begins to show a strange personality and tries to get DAZ's attention. DAZ, convinced he is suffering from delusions, ignores them.

In his adult years, when the game promises a new "Bonus Round", DAZ finally complies and inserts an extra coin. The machine shows him surveillance tape footage of his life in the arcade; the first time played the machine, getting in trouble with the management, and his life growing up with the machine. The Nova Zone machine reveals itself as a fully sentient adult in its own right, and through conversation, reveals that he has fallen in love with DAZ. DAZ, who has already been viewing the machine as something more personal than a simple game, reciprocates.

Talking together, DAZ probes about Nova's past, and learns that Nova was murdered as a child by the mysterious proprietor of the arcade. He lived inside the machine, forced to grow up as an arcade game, his only friend being DAZ who would play him daily. Nova relates feelings similar to DAZ's - DAZ was the only one consistently there for him, always playing together, and they mutually fell in love.

After their conversation, Nova is forced to kick DAZ out of his cabinet at the approach of floor manager Hutch Nelson. Hutch describes, after chastising DAZ for making a racket, that the arcade is soon going under and that they will be giving away the machines. DAZ immediately offers to buy the Nova Zone cabinet, and Hutch accepts.

Weeks later, an agent from The Facility is investigating a self-storage unit for evidence relating to the Uncle Ted's murders. Opening up a unit, they see inside the Nova Zone arcade machine; inside it, DAZ hooked up to a life support system, allowing him to play with Nova forever.



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