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I can not express how much I love this game, it is so good and the little changes that occur over time are so good! I love that you have to pay attention to move forward best, and there were times in which I actually cried a bit. I love the premise, I love how you handled it, and this was such an amazing experience. This is certainly one of those games I'll be coming back to over and over. 

Thank you very much! I'm so glad


Hey ejadelomax, this IF really is among the very best I've played. I've spend quite a few decent hours on it, and intend to spend many more.

I'm writing now just to share a clue on a bug that makes the game freeze. So, SPOILERS AHEAD for people looking for reviews on this game.

While I saw in your latest update that a bug after entering the lake bed is already fixed, there is yet another quite annoying one around that spot—"You ponder the words."—I just got no new options after clicking it (game frozen), at around the 5th loop. I tried a lot of stuff to solve this, and in the end I believe having a discussion with Mister Pent at the bar as his apprentice, specifically unlocking [story on the lake monster with name and wish details (and/or) the way to pronounce archaic words] freed me from the bug, as naturally in the following loops I went down a more 'advanced' path in the lake.

So perhaps you could look at the conditions at the point where the player does not know either or both pieces of information, that's possibly where the bug lies.


never abandon your pen, mate-- you are a gift.

I'm so glad you liked it!! And the pen's still going -- working on a new game now!


After over 50 runs, I finally got the ending I wanted with Esteban. I finally made it to the end. 

This was a beautiful story. Now that I know what to do, I would play it over and over again. It was a straining experience, but relieving once I got to the end. 

Thank you.

I'm so glad! <3


I also feel stuck! 


I have figured out everything other than 1) going to a reunion and 2) going south with any romantic interest (asides from Esteban, who is a sweetie, but I would like to take Jo!). I have also never met Gemma and would like to, but that's not my main concern.

I know that I have not tested out every dialog option, but I'm wary of straying from what I know works (wake up, talk to anyone, any school, skip grad for gem+archives, save lady, save land, and then live a long but lonely life. I can get Esteban to come with me if I select combat school, but I have not figured out what conversations I need to have in previous seessions in order to take someone else. I am on loop 40 and I suspect I can figure it out if I take a break but the story is so good that I can't put it down. I am on mobile and can't figure out how to add a save file so you can see my progress, apologies.


Don't go south yet! Get the Gem from the lion's head, and then live your life in Elaia for a little. Go to the archives/history path if you want Jo... Good luck!

Thank you for narrowing it down to the history path! I finally got my ideal ending! I am very pleased and happy and this is just a wonderfully written adventure that I will share with my friends <3

Thank you!

Can someone please help me? 


I got it where the south is healed, Suzette is saved, the war never happened, there isn't anyone in the water, I know the word I need, and you go to the reunion. But I can't figure out how to get the relic in that line. The only way I figured out how to get the stone is to take it from Suzettes tent. I really like this game, but I'm on loop 29 and I've stopped finding new things. It's starting to get more frustrating than fun, which is a shame because I really have enjoyed it.

A couple options: 

- Do a life where you go the history route, go out drinking with Suzette and Jo, and pay attention to Jo so they tell you about their thesis... 

OR do a run where you don't go south, go to war and get the relic, then end your life with either Suzette OR Jo as your romantic partner/best friend... they should point you in the right direction

But this is a good corner case! I'll try to write in a catch-all pathway, to point you to how to get to the stone if you've found the "best ending" without having yet been told that... Hm. I'll try to see where that fits in. You're the first one to hit this particular sequence of events, that I know of!


So, I just tried what you suggested, about paying attention to Jo, and I managed to find the ending I wanted.  No war, south was healed, no one in the water,  was able to destroy the threat, met both Mr.Pents, switched to working in the magic shop, went to the reunion, went to Suzettes wedding, and was friends with everyone. Then I stayed.

Honestly this was one of the most interesting, and fun, and emotionally investing games that I've played.

10/10 would recommend.

I'm so glad, thank you! 

hey! this is such a cool game. if we save our progress, will it save to our account or to the browser?

And if it saves to the browser, is there a way for me to transfer the data to another browser?

I believe it saves to the browser -- I don't know if it can be transferred or not! 

i loved the game! sat down for hours and played it in one sitting. took me 26ish loops to get the ending i wanted, but i eventually did! thank you for the game, i had a lot of fun :3

I'm so glad!

I'm loving the game, but I can't find out how to both romance Gemma and save Suzette. Only way to save Suzette it seems it is to choose history or magic but I can't romance Gemma in those paths. 

And I'm curious, how many chapters does that book have? 

Try asking Suzette more about her research... I promise there is a way! 

Oh god, I think like eighteen? I tried to make it fun. You can read them all on my patreon (ejadelomax). 

Thanks, i think i got the "perfect" ending, the one with the school reunion, but now  can't find the Gem to stop the end of the war. I know how to get it if there's the war, but without it I have no idea. What do i have to do? 

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History track,  try going drinking with Suzie&Jo and then pay attention to Jo... 

Thank you, I managed to get the perfect ending but choosing the history track. I played for 50 life XD It was a great game :)

Ha mistake on my part-- history not magic yes!

Help! It says save data not found! I saw really careful to save my progress last night, how can I recover it?

Oh I don't know! Did you get the confirm message when you saved? Are you using the same browser? Same device?

I'm so sorry this happened & wish you luck in recovering it!

I'm stuck :( I'm so close!! I just can't figure out where to go to learn archaic, I've been through like 15 lives but I just don't know where to find this :')

Have you talked with Mr. Pent in the magic shop? 

Hint: you can also translate the word without learning Archaic, if you take Myka to the city with you... Just go hang out with her instead of going to the ball! 

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this reminds me of Edge of Tomorrow! I got the option to stay after my 6th attempt, but I wasn't able to save Suzette so here we go again! xD

Edit: omg!!! I think I got a near perfect ending! This is wonderful! 💕

Good luck!!

hi, i believe i hit a dead end? i went backpacking instead of starting the day as usual and went further south. there, i met moretti who confided in me about the black ooze plaguing their lands and i make the choice thats something along the lines of "i've seen magic like this that kills the practioners and turns them into monsters" to which moretti responds, "why would that infect our water?" after that, the story wont progress, jus to let you know!

Did you try refreshing the page and reloading a previous save? There's an intermittent bug that causes it to crash like that, and that fixes it! 

If you tried that and it didn't work, let me know and I'll look into other causes. Thank you for the bug ticket! 

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sorry for the late response but i did do that and it didn’t help unfortunately D:

Okay I'll check that out, thank you! I'll post a bug fix when I've got it. 

Hey, brilliant story. I think I hit a dead-end so I just wanted to alert you. I went to the sunken city with Myka (Lost how you spell it.) And there was no where else to go. I am sorry that I cannot remember every decision that lead there, but I had been learning archaic as well. Really love this superbly written.

Thanks for letting me know! Did you try refreshing the page then loading a previous save? There's one bug I know of where that fixes it. 

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oh my god?? my mind is literally blown out of the water?? this was so so so so stunning? i literally spent so much time on this and it so FUN. i lived 14 lives, and it was such a beautiful experience.

spoilers ahead!
i got the option to 'stay' in my 13th life, but i didn't take it, and i'm glad i didn't because it means i got it all in my 14th - i ended up with jo, stopped the war, saved the south, saved suzette, and stopped the comet. i went to the reunion, i made friends with all the other people from the story - and it was so so so fun and beautiful and heartbreaking. (suzette married tereza! mister pent has a husband! i love this so much)

it made me really happy to see the option to "stay?" in the last two lives and i finally understood what the name of the game meant and i was just *screams*. thank you so much for making this it means so much to me and i'm sure i'll be revisiting it <3

my only regret is that i didn't get to interact with tereza and i didn't even meet gemma in all my lives </3 another reason to play the game again! 

edit: some frantic comment reading and existence of two ao3 fics has taught me that gemma is the first name of ossani and now i just wanna say YES i love gemma thank you very much for your time and when i play this again YES i want gemma endgame thank you <3

I'm so glad you liked it!! That's a good life you got there :)

I never expect to find myself in endless loop. I think I going crazy


This was so good. I didn't even mind looping through things I've already seen, because I could get through it quickly enough. It really encouraged me to experiment in ways I've never been motivated to do with other IF games. I managed to save the South, end up with Esteban, and save the world, but I didn't manage to save Suzette. I'm going to take a break then try again. And man, the sweetness of that last choice, when the title and the meaning of that single word hits you in the chest. That was pure poetry. Thank you for this game!

The name "Stay?" was one of the first things I knew for certain about this game! I knew that was the question at the heart of it -- which life do you want to stay in? 

It was very well done! Congratulations! 😊


What I expected going into this was something short and strange. I didn't expect to be wrapped up for hours, not minding as the time passed, trying to get an ending where no-one died and everyone was happy. 

Even if Jo didn't remember their long trial, I'm so glad they got peace in the end.

This was a beautiful game, thank you for making it.

Thank you! I care so much about Jo's peace. 


ohhhhhh that was deliciously excruciating. 19 loops. it was agonizing, on 18, to finally stop the comet. that choice staring me in the face, knowing i'd chosen to let so many die on that loop for the sake of learning the word. so i did it all again. loved jo, saved suzette, released veris. and then I stayed. I'm gonna be thinking about this game for a long time, and maybe after a while i'll even come back and play it. but not now. now i need to process and maybe cry a bit.


Oh I'm so glad! That's a good life. 


this is amazing. thank you so much, earning my happy ending with esteban and my friends, finally happy and safe, was truly something special. 

Oh I'm so glad! A good life 


Gosh I loved this. Thank you <3

Thank YOU


This was REALLY amazing, but I swear I was starting to lose my mind on my 30th retry. Thank you so much for making this, I couldn't put it down.

30! Wow!

bruhhhh omg

Thanks bud!


Wow, this is one of the best text based games I ever played. All the characters are both intriguing and sweet in their own way, I found myself replaying to get to romance them all, *minor spoiler* including the ones outside the main storyline. 
The way the story allows for failures to be just as interesting as success makes it an absolute delight to play through again and again. Thank you for this lovely game!


Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it


Is anyone else having trouble getting past Esteban holding the gate in the second timeline? For some reason, the game keeps freezing in that specific spot, no matter what I do. Am I doing something wrong? Is the game supposed to be doing that?

That's a bug I'm working on! Have you tried loading an earlier save & trying again? If that doesn't help, there's something in the game I need to go fix... Thanks for the heads up!

Getting the same glitch, and that fix isn't working, sorry.

Thanks for letting me know! I'll try to get a patch up for you

I absolutely fell in love with this game. I saw it in a tumblr post a few weeks ago and I finally go around to playing it yesterday morning and I have been playing it during every second of my free time since. I think I've played through about 70 lives over 4 restarts and I think I've just about found everything to find. My favourite ending is still the first one I was happy enough with to actually stop the comet and even though I've reached several different endings since it's still one I can't stop thinking about. I healed the land stoped the war, prevented susette's death and stoped the comet, all while befriending everybody I could. I think I need to give the game a rest now but i'll definitely come back in the future to have another play through. Thank you so much for bringing this wonderful world into my life.

I'm so glad you enjoyed exploring this world! 70 lives, wow!

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admittedly a lot of them were almost a repeat of the previous life while I tried to figure out how to get the best endings but it was still great fun. Thank you

I found this game through Tumblr, and it is such a good story. I wish I wrap it up and put it on my bookshelf, even though I know it wouldn't fit exactly right as a book. This game reached into my heart and touched me. 

In the end, I chose combat. The land was healed. The pass was held. I lost her at the ball, but I was the one to lay her to rest, and I made sure to watch her go.

My favorite part of it all was calling the woman up out of the lake.

In the end, I stayed. A more perfect life was possible, one with Suzette still alive, but I was tired, and had lived enough. I married Estaban; I grew old.

I was happy.

Thank you for sharing your life! I'm always so curious about where people choose to "stay"... 


I found this game through the tags of a friend-of-a-friend's tumblr post, decided to play it on a whim.

It has changed. my. life.

It's so sweet and beautiful, heart-wrenching and so, so joyful simultaneously. I've cried over these characters and their highs and lows. I shared it with my friends after playing an 11-loop run in a few hours. One by one, they've all picked it up, and I've replayed it twice now, after seeing how much I missed out on. I'm in love. We all are. It's all we've been talking about for a week.

Props to you for making such a compelling game. The characters are delightful and complex, and the evolution of the player character's mindset over time is,,, amazing. Tangible. I'm gushing, but it's really amazing how well you constructed a looping story that didn't feel repetitive. Thanks for making this.


I am overwhelmed. I just made all my housemates read this comment. I'm so glad it was a meaningful story to you. It was my first foray into IF (I'm a novelist by trade) and it was so rewarding to build. The response has been startling and exciting, and your response is really meaningful.


Ahh I was playing this again and I just got the perfect ending! Managed to fix everything! That was wonderful! I played it like a week ago and got an ending I liked but came back because a) it's a wonderful game and b) I wanted to see if I could get it perfect and I did! 

I love every part of this game. Mostly I love that you can play as a nonbinary person, and that Jo uses they/them pronouns. As an enby myself, that's really important to me. I love all the detail, all the different lives you can live and how much things can change. 

Honestly, I can't imagine how much work went into this but it's amazing and I love it so much. Definitely going to play it again in the future to explore even more options but for now - that was the perfect ending and I am so happy to have found it. :D Thank you so much for making this amazing game.


I'm so glad! This is my first time doing a game like this and it was such a delight to build and create. I know every nook & cranny so it wasn't clear to me if it would be actually fun to "explore" but I'm so pleased folks are enjoying that part of it especially. 


This was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I got lost playing it for hours and judging by the comments it seems like I still haven't uncovered all the possibilities so I look forward to revisiting later :) The characters were all hopelessly endearing and it motivated me even more to get everything as "perfect" as I could so they could all be happy in the end. I found you/this game through SHC and I am struck by how beautiful and deep your understanding of characterization is, but not surprised. Each character feels distinct and realistic. The writing is also snappy and engaging, and still felt fun to read even 20+ loops later, which is a thing of beauty. All in all, this is a ridiculously lovely game and I look forward to whatever you create next <3

Thanks so much! I'm glad you had a good time and hope you have fun continuing to explore...

I'm not sure if this is allowed, but I need help! I've done 29 loops, and I still can't figure out how to stop the comet. I've tried so many things, but I think I've been playing for to long and I'm stuck in a box trying to figure it out. I've tried all three paths of study, I've tried running away to the southern lands, I've tried so many paths, I've talked to everybody, but I can't seem to get on the right track to stop the comet. Could someone point me in the right direction? 

I've been playing this game for hours and I love it, but I'm stuck!

OMG nevermind! I found a way! It took me 31 loops, but I got it!


Ha I'm so glad!!!


I loved this game! The writing was really good and it never got boring. It took me awhile to figure it all out (I had like 20 loops by the end), but I really loved all the lives! I especially loved the ending I chose where I got together with Jo (my favorite character ngl), had the university reunion, Suzette married Teresa, the South was  saved, and I was friends with everyone else! My favorite class was probably History just because I loved Jo and Suzette so much! I also have a soft spot for Esteban! Thank you so much for writing such a good story where I connected with so many characters!

Thank you! I'm so glad you had fun and the repetitive lives stayed engaging. Jo is my slightly biased fave as well, so I'm glad you loved them too ;) 

I love Jo too! I've come back to play and replay this game so many times, but Jo is always my endgame, my curly-haired partner.


I love this game! It took me a few short runs to get the good ending, and a few more to get the best ending [imo, healing the south, having the university reunion and being partners with Jo (I imagine the reader having a QPR with them. They are amazing.)] Don't know if there is any better ending, but so relived the south was healed and the MC became friends with every character! Thanks for the game! Btw, would you mind if I wrote my own little fics about this? ^^' I'd definitely give credit!

Fic is great! There's one up on Ao3 already actually so you'll have company :)

I hope to find it!

I found one! (And also wrote one, pls add more to keep the two of us on AO3 company! *laughs*)

 Ok wow this is INCREDIBLE. Slight spoilers in the rest of this comment. It took me 23 loops to get to the end I wanted to have (although I still haven't finished reading fire and blue in the deeps and I might speedrun the game again so I can finish it.) All of the characters are so distinct and so charming, and every loop felt new. I managed to figure out the Phoenix gem around loop 8 but I could not figure out how to stop the war or suzette (Mostly because I got rather attached to Gemma and kept choosing combat.) I am definitely tempted to play again, and I've recommended this to all of my friends. I spent hours playing this and the story is just incredible.

Gemma can be very distracting XD

This is so good! Took me ages to get to an ending, so many loops, but I loved it! It was so fun to play and explore and learn more about the world. It's a wonderful game, it must have taken so much work to make! Thank you for making this amazing game and letting people play it for free.

Thanks, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!


It looks like there's a bug going under the lake for the second time, I have tried getting to this point several times while taking similar but slightly diverging options and everytime I end up going under the lake to read the word I get to no more options after reading it.

Here's an example save file slightly before the point where it occurs:

(I've tried going back to an even earlier save file, but if I make the same decisions to get here, even if they're in slightly different orders, the same thing happens)

Interesting!! I'll check it out. Thanks for the bug ticket!


I'm also running into this same bug, every time I attempt to return to the lake for the second time, after having learned the archaic word there. Reloading a previous save and continuing a different route works just fine, but even coming back to the lake on later loops gives me the same problem: the options for when you're attacked simply never appear.

Yes, I'm also encountering a bug when going under the lake for the second time. After passing the fish, the game "freezes" and choices stop appearing. 

I'm uploading a fix tonight that will hopefully solve this issue! Thanks for your patience -- what a end of the year it's been! 

I'm uploading a fix tonight that will hopefully solve this issue! Thanks for your patience -- what a end of the year it's been! 

I'm uploading a fix tonight that will hopefully solve this issue! Thanks for your patience -- what a end of the year it's been! 

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[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...



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!

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