CELESTIAL UNDERGROUND is a small and carefully wrought story about two characters that meet through tragic events, and plays out as a kinetic novel that switches between the point of view of both characters. I've been interested in creating a visual novel for a while, but generally the plots run away from me, or decision trees spiral out of control, so I wanted to prune everything back and create something small in scope but big in heart. If I could give it a genre, I'd like it to be thought of as a "healing" visual novel.
The story revolves around the two characters, the Lowly Soldier and the Raincoat Girl, and the various events in their lives that have led up to the point in time of their meeting, and essentially shaped who they are. I want to explore themes of self-identity, courage, willpower and dreams--basically, the strengths in the depths of the human spirit, and how we can use them in dark places.
While the motivations of the Lowly Soldier are immediate and quite simple at first glance, I hope some of his deeper thoughts resonate with readers.
I also hope you enjoy the world I built. Let me give you some backstory and images.
Several hundred years ago, humanity finally placed its differences aside enough to form a sustainable, techno-natural empire that spanned the planet. The greatest education was offered to all citizens, and men grew tall and strong.
However, only days before the first of the great colony ships was to depart for neighbouring planets, the Empire of Man fell in an event known as the "Invasion from the Stars." However, in their defeat the last remnants of humanity used their great technology to carve out immense cities beneath the earth, and to this bastion the last of the human race retreated in relative safety.
The Underground, as it's known now, has been their home for so long that the very idea of a surface world has become an urban legend. However, when records of the Invasion and a world above confirm its existence, humanity begins to gather itself for a strike to reclaim its former home. The remaining strength of humanity is rallied to this cause, and the relatively short lives of the humans are spent training for the attack on the surface.
One soldier, driven beyond the others, was one of the early entries to this liberation army. However, he disappears on the night before the fateful march, slipping to his apparent doom past the Break Line, the border that separates the great townships of the Underground from the empty blackness below.
Here, in the shadow-haunted caverns beneath the world of the townships, the Lowly Soldier meets the Raincoat Girl, living in relative safety beneath an immense wall full of coloured, glowing gemstones that stretch into the sky like stars.
This is where Celestial Under Ground begins. As time goes on, the Lowly Soldier and the Raincoat Girl will learn to trust each other; the Lowly Soldier determined to get them out of the Abyss, and the Raincoat Girl trying desperately to help and, more importantly, to believe. The Abyss is far from the battle, and the story itself is quite small in scope - put simply, Celestial Under Ground is about two flawed people trying desperately to live.
THE LOWLY SOLDIER
A stoic, stubborn and persistent young man. Instead of seeking a peer bond, or engaging in any of the other privileges granted to adults, he instead spent 600 of his 700 adult days in soldier training, the longest amount of time served by any one person in the Underground.
However, nobody knows exactly what drove him to do this, and on the eve of humanity's march on the surface, the Lowly Soldier disappeared.
He seeks desperately for a way to return home, and join the battle for the surface that must surely be taking place.
THE RAINCOAT GIRL
A bright yet brittle young woman that somehow lives beyond the Break Line in the area known as the Abyss. A girl with large secrets and little desire to share, she nonetheless offers the Lowly Soldier shelter and what little supplies she has as he seeks a path out of the Abyss for the two of them.
For whatever reason, the girl refuses to give her name, and refuses to acknowledge the soldier's. She takes a fancy to the moniker of "The Raincoat Girl", referring to herself as Raincoat, and keeps her past locked far away. She is also unconcerned about existing below the "Break Line" -- something the Lowly Soldier finds extremely disconcerting.
The world beneath the surface; generally referring to the collective great townships and interconnecting tunnels that humanity now calls their home. A large portion of the Underground preceded the Fall as service tunnels and bunkers, but the majority of the townships were built immediately following its climax. Various pieces of Lost Technology allow the humans in the Underground to eek out a simple living, but their quality of life is slowly degrading. Communication among the townships is falling, and horror stories spread that the Lamps are failing.
Remnants of the genius of the techno-natural Empire and its citizens, who had invented devices that allowed them to both live as gods during life, and forge the vast Underground townships in death. However, both the technology and the knowledge to use it has long since disappeared, and only the Lamps and the other vital technologies are understood at all.
Despite this, rumours spread that the Lamps and other technologies are slowly dying through the Underground. Without them, the humans will surely die.
This is entirely a labour of love at this point and I would just love to finish it and have people play it, so please keep checking back on this thread, and give me a download and your time once it's done.