STAY?
CHOOSE YOUR OWN HAPPY ENDING

Welcome to Elaia, a magical city nestled in a high valley. It's the end of your first year at university & time to choose your major. 

Find yourself among potential friends or lovers-- young people with secrets, dreams, fears, and tragedies. Learn about the history & breadth of Elaia's world, and decide what kind of mark you want to leave on it. 


WHAT IS "STAY" ?

  • An interactive fiction story. 
  • A dating sim wrapped up in a fantasy adventure puzzle.
  • A quest to find your own happy ending in a world where you always get a second chance.


HOW TO PLAY: 

Select "Run Game" or "Load Game." Read the text that appears like it's a story unfolding, and select between the bolded options offered to you. 

HOW TO SAVE: 

Use the SAVE button to preserve your progress as you explore Elaia. Any refresh/reload of the web page will clear your existing progress. Many phones will automatically drop any idling webpages, so save before you leave the browser app to go to another application or tab. 

TROUBLESHOOTING: 

If the game "freezes," choices stop appearing, or it has other issues in execution, we suggest closing the browser, then reopening it & reloading your most recent save. (Do NOT save at the place the error occurs. Only use a save that already existed.) This has helped with most the commonly seen bugs. 

If the game won't load at all ("Run Game" does not appear), try deleting your cookies. 


Credits: 

Made using inkle's INK - inklestudios.com

Written by E. Jade Lomax - ejadelomax.com

Ink by E. Jade Lomax 

Save Function provided by Adam Rubin 

Photo by Curt Lomax 

Beta testing by Jules Lomax, Adam Rubin, M. Esty, J. Loginov, R. Kellum, A. Rowland, K. Su, H. Barnard, N. Oguri, S. Hayes, M, Grace Li, and many wonderful helpful others! 

Updated 4 days ago
Published 8 days ago
StatusReleased
PlatformsHTML5
Rating
(23)
Authorejadelomax
GenreAdventure, Interactive Fiction
TagsFantasy, LGBTQIA
Average sessionA few minutes
LanguagesEnglish

Development log

Comments

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(1 edit)

[Vague Spoilers] That was beautiful. My first run I sprinted through trying to figure out how to stop the comet, and managed it in 5 loops. I took loop #6 to put things how I wanted them, and thought that was good enough. But I couldn't help feel like there were more questions I didn't even know about yet, so I started over... there's so much more than I thought! Getting to know everyone, watching my character grow more weary loop after loop. I didn't even discover the South until loop 10 of my second run, and it took until loop 16 before I figured out how to heal it. That's an ending I'm happy with, even if it means I couldn't be a part of anyone's life. I wonder if there's a way to have the best of both worlds? I suspect not, that feels like a choice that needs to be made. But who knows...

AHHH I WAS WRONG THERE IS A WAY

after 21 goes I finally found my happy ending ( that almost made me cry). what surprised me was how much even those lives where I was so frustrated the I just left still help and impacted the story.  Even though I got to a point where I was so very happy with what I stayed as I still found things I could go back and change. all in all a beautiful story that i have spent the last 15 minutes recommending to all my story loving friends. 

I'm so glad!

...How many times have I failed...

Ahaha it's a good game!

Thank you!

Thanks I'm glad! Yeah, playing this game right means a lot of "failing" but it's all part of the journey!

this was so fun! 

Thank you!

This is one of the best experiences I've ever had. If you ever set up a Patreon or Ko-fi please let us know, I would welcome the opportunity to support you!

(+1)

Thank you! I do actually -- I have a patreon  under "ejadelomax" & my last posts were even about deconstructing Stay?, if you'd enjoy that! 

 https://www.patreon.com/posts/43948254

I've also got some novels (ebooks free to download) at ejadelomax.com. 

Thanks! Happy to be a patron!

So happy to have you :)

(+1)

All these people in the comments, talking about getting their ending in 10 tries, or 15 tries, and then there's me, having reached an ending I want to keep at, oh, 30, I think? I was starting to be scared there wasn't an option to GET what I wanted to get but THERE WAS and the 30 attempts it took me to get there were WORTH IT. 

This was lovely! I am amazed at what you've made an especially at the tiny shifts in narration with consequent runs (e.g. getting the names of the people down south once you've been there once!) 

I think my favourite subquest/puzzle piece was everything around the lake - it was the first stumbling block for me, extra frustrating to get around because it seemed to be in the opposite direction of the people I most wanted to get close to... but then I got invested in the subquest, and the tiny casual options to solve it in every run thereafter felt so GOOD.

I don't want to talk specifics in these comments bc spoilers but aaaa everything ties together so beautifully! Tiny parts of How To Fix This scattered across lifetimes, and it is SO REWARDING to put them together into a life you can let yourself keep living. I had so much fun!

Thanks! It sounds like you played a really thorough and full set of lives, which always delights me. I'm so glad it was enjoyable to you.

played this game over 30 times(over computer and mobile), and am so glad that I finally got the ending that these characters deserved. the prose is delightful, and the details and differences in between cycles are simply delightful. I'll be thinking about this story for a long while yet, thank you so much. : )

I'm so glad, thank you so much!

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this was. so good?? it took me way longer than average run through based on comments below (i took 20 tries, with a few runs ending early because of the no-further-choices error at the burning city) but oh. it was worth it. it was so worth. i even loaded up a save i'd made towards the end so i can get happy endings for other people, not just myself, and - beyond words, it was lovely and soft and beautifully written. thank you for sharing this with us. <3

There's a few different "endings" that all have different average lives to get there -- so you may be more *thorough* as opposed to less fast! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It started out as a thought experiment, but it really grew a heart & I'm quite happy with it. 

Such a cool game! I found a dead end spot where no choices appear, and unfortunately I didn't see the instruction not to save before closing and restarting until it was too late.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QqcGcmkWCPw_UM4ZF3fx2_sXboIvuADZNxxBcZ-NlJ4/...

Going to have to restart, but looking forward to trying a new path anyway. :)

Ah, I'm sorry! As far as I can tell, those are infra bugs and not in the story code -- but the save reloading (of a *previous* save; don't save at the bug!) does seem to fix most instances

I just read your file & what a dramatic end to hit that bug on... Hoping your next try works out!

Jumping in, I had the exact same bug on the exact same part (although my circumstances were different - I was not there alone). I had a safe save a few screens old, but even that did not help me. I refreshed, reloaded, closed and relaunched a dozen times, still can't make it through this. :/ No matter, this try brought me new info either way, but maybe there's an actual problem there?

Sounds like there might be, thanks! I'll check it out & see if there's a fix to be made.

I'll be on the lookout, because I got stuck again trying to get to this part another way and now I don't know how I can finish if I can't do this bit. :x (apart from that, this is a WONDERFUL game, I am floored by the endless choices, the minute changes that make even the 10th try feel brand new, the kindness you show to your characters, and the wordcraft in general. Amazing achievement, thank you so much for sharing this with us all!)

(the weird thing is, I had gone through this scene in an earlier try, before I knew what to look for, and I was able to continue. So it's not like the node is always a dead-end. I can't figure out what parameter makes it bug now...)

This is an issue we had on my SHC quiz, too. Paths that worked in one play would dead end in another. But refreshing the whole page and then reloading a save prior to that dead end seems to help... The quiz didn't have a save, so we couldn't use that fix there. 

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I thought I reached the best ending and then I discovered that the world was much bigger than I had imagined, and then it happened again, and again, and again, and your writing is as incredibly beautiful and powerful as ever. Also I have no idea how you managed to organize all the tiny little paths and contingencies and changes, it is absolutely spectacular. Thank you for this.

Thank you! It would've been impossible to build (for me at least) in anything other than a system like ink -- it was so fun to play with! I'm glad you found so many of the corners of the world

this was incredible! i managed to stop the comet in 8 runs but i had to play 1 more because i flooded the lake in the 8th run and i didn't want that to be the 'final' ending i stayed in.

Ha yes -- first step, stop the comet. Second step, live a life you actually want to keep on living. 

(+1)

Really great game, thanks for this! Well written, extremely engaging, and impressively tight game construction; I hope this isn't your last IF! (Ran across it via https://www.metafilter.com/189418/Will-you-Stay).

Thank you! It was a lot of fun to build & I'm very likely to try another...

(+1)

enjoying this a lot, it's very good! hit a spot with no further choices, tried a reload, saved a log
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r6f9w928gFv4Q2Y8A3OHLGxo4ReHPYyIHvmI9mROGAg/...

I hit the same dead end. Any fixes?

The exact same spot? Leaving the burning city? Or just the same error type?

Thanks for letting me know! 

yes, where it says you see Esteban holding the line and stuff

Thank you! I'll take a look and see if I can figure it out. Did you close the entire browser & reopen & re-start the game, or just reload using the in-game button? 

Saved, closed entire browser, opened browser, reloaded

Thanks for the info!! I'll see what I can find on my end, and let you know if I do an update to fix it. Let me know if it happens again. 

Do you have any save files further back? That sometimes fixes things, starting a few steps back, according to some of the friends who tested this. 

so soooo good. Took me a number of hours to play through to the end and loved every minute of it! So sweet and fun and interesting!

Thank you! I worried the looping would make things repetitive so I tried to seed things in 

i actually really enjoyed the looping. It was fun to keep seeing the little details that sometimes changes like the colors of the bubbles or what happened at the graduation. I think I ended up getting to around 15 loops? And accidentally closed my first time that was up around 10 and reopened in a new browser to replay. 

this was really fun! it took me 14 different 'wake ups' to figure everything out but it was a very fun time throughout! really great job<3

Thank you!

(1 edit)

The ending of this game had me close to tears. I finally got the ending I wanted, with the person I wanted, and it was beautiful. I loved every second, and I already know this is a game I'll be replaying a lot. Thank you for sharing it with us!

I'm so glad! I tried to build it to make replays rewarding so I hope you have good new adventures!

This took me a loong time (14 goes) but it was very satisfying and fulfilling at the end :) totally worth it!

I'm glad, thank you!

I loved this, and I think it's interesting that most of the loops lead to new information or something new to do.

(+2)

I wanted to try to keep a sense of forward momentum and change -- I'm glad it came through!

(+1)

I think it took me around 12 goes but lemme tell you this was so entertaining and I really wanted to solve everything and get a peaceful ending. Good job!! 😄👍

Thank you, I'm glad you did!

took me nearly 9 goes, i think, but finally got the chance to end it all peacefully. what a wonderful game!

I'm glad, and thanks for playing. 9 is a pretty efficient life count, too, from the feedback I'm getting, so nice job!