Welcome to the official online version of Project Fate's guidebook! This page contains the entire game in narrative form and will be updated periodically throughout development.
Because Project Fate is supposed to be a video game, our very tired developer has been painstakingly trying to make the story and events of the game make sense in narrative form. This handy legend will hopes to help you better understand how this story and events would work in an actual game.
Text written in this color green signifies "Objective Paths". These paths are critical to the story and are places the player must go in order to advance in the game.
Text written in this color red signifies "Optional Paths". These are parts in the story that the player could experience and go to by choice. Optional Paths often contain things that are still important to the story, but that the player can bypass and still be able to complete the game without obtaining the items/story elements within. Optional Paths could take place in really any order the player desires. It is preferred that you read both the Objective and Optional Paths in order to fully understand the story of Project Fate.
Text that is not colored is part of the general narrative; these don't signify as paths at all, just regular story events that happen anyway, if that makes sense. Without further adieu, here is the story of Project Fate!
CHAPTER ONE: GENESIS
The streets were still hot. Warm with fire and rage and fear. It stank of it, hung in the air with wretched solidity. The whole damn city. The quiet was agony and every breath would've stung if there was a soul around to breathe it.
Far below those hot streets, a chamber opened.
The dark bunker buzzed to life with electric energy. The ceiling exploded with lights. Equipment purred everywhere. Remnants, brought to new life once again. At last.
Locks clicked and gears turned within a dome-like metallic chamber resting at the end of the fortress. A pair of tubes sprout from either side of it, running into the floor. Machines littered the floor of the bunker, and they all ended up connected to the chamber. This was a laboratory. A green symbol, faded by dust and scratched by time, was plastered atop the chamber's door. The color of life, tarnished long ago. But not for long.
The door of the chamber was sealed tight, a large window taking up its entirety. Glass cracked in places, behind it was green fluid, filling the chamber. And a lone figure floating in its midst, preserved, wires connected to its back.
Locks unfastened. The fluid bubbled. For the first time in its new life, the suspended figure's heart beat. With a pulse of energy put forth from the bowels of the bunker, the chamber door opened.
No one knew. No one could have ever guessed.
The fluid that filled the chamber spilled out onto a platform. The chamber, door-up, was suspended by this platform and a set of stairs that led to the ground. With the wave of fluid flowed the body within it, who fell on the platform with a wet thud. Slowly, it recovered and got to its feet.
Rise and shine.
It was unnatural and beautiful, imperfect and flawless. Frightening for its defying nature and yet not frightening at all. It was a raccoon, surely. A raccoon that stood on two legs, three feet tall. With torn ears, with a body and face rife with scars and stitches. With fur the color of pine, claws like obsidian daggers and a matted, striped tail. With eyes like hope.
It was a perfect monster. And that day was its birthday.
After instinctively shaking off as much of the liquid from its fur as it could, the creature took its first curious steps, nose twitching, making short, wary strides like a toddler. It didn't take long before it reached the steps, taking cautious little jumps down the three of them, and one more to reach the floor. Its nose twitched again and sniffed the cool air, and it heard the now constant hum of the machines.
Suddenly, unseen speakers audibly clicked to life from above. There was static at first, the sound system just starting to function again for the first time in so long. It was as if the entire lab was waking up from a vast slumber. But finally, a deep, tired male voice spoke, muffled slightly by some remaining background static.
"Hopefully this is working," said the voice over the intercom, practically emotionless, clearing his throat, "Presumably, you're awake. Good. I don't know if you can understand me or not, or if you're even there, but if you are, welcome. Its been a long time coming. I understand you might have some questions. Questions are good. How about you make your way down here so we can talk? Go south until you reach the storage corridors, then go left and take the left path. But before you do that, you've gotta turn on the lights. There should be four generators nearby, each with white plugs in or near them. If any need to be plugged back in, do so. The door should open after that. Remember, south, storage corridors, left, left path. Hopefully you could comprehend all of that. Good luck."
The intercom clicked off again. The creature nodded in perfect understanding, then looked behind him to the four generators, ordered side by side. They each had the white plugs inside of huge outlets on their fronts, with black knobs with green lights protruding out of them. All except for the fourth generator, whose plug was laying on the tiled ground below it, its light blinking red. The creature looked over to the machine he had come out of and noticed there were four lights on the bottom of it, three of them green, one of them red. It then walked over to the non-functioning generator and picked up the bulky plug, which was almost as big as its torso. It plugged it back into the generator and it hummed to life again, its light blinking green. Somewhere in the distance, the creature heard mechanical echoing, and then a door on the other side of the lab slid open quickly with a mechanical clang.
Looking around the lab as he walked toward the doorway, the creature looked at the surrounding machines, confused and curious. It walked around the lab for a minute or two, taking in its size. Tt wanted to fiddle with the machines, to see how they worked; they were scary and fascinating to it. But it had a task at hand, and that piqued its curiosity far more.
A minute ago, the creature couldn't imagine space beyond the lab; it didn't know how. The first corridor wasn't very large, especially in comparison to the lab, but for the creature, it was an entirely new and different world. It was also pretty much empty, so the creature made its way through with haste.
The creature was greeted with an even more different area, full of doorways that led to tiny rooms. Boxes and crates were strewn around the narrow hallway. Although it didn't quite know the meaning of the term, the creature knew this must be the storage room. It looked around and saw a branching path. "Left, left path," he remembered. It didn't exactly know what "left" meant either, at least not entirely consciously. But it held up its two clawed paws in front of his eyes, moved them about a little, and pointed one claw toward, what do you know, the left path. It understood. However, it observed that there were also rooms to the right, and a second branching path from the one of its objective. Perhaps it would pay to explore those too, it thought.
The creature took the right path to see what was there. It was an open door, although the door was noticeably missing from its slot. It walked into the door to a small control room, beaming screens on each wall, smaller machines and consoles everywhere. This made the room rather cramped and thus made the creature slightly uncomfortable, but it was utterly fascinated by the machines. It wanted to fiddle with them, but understood that the room must be important to contain so many machines. It also saw that in the center screen was a minimalistic map of the lab and surrounding rooms; it knew that if it tampered with anything in the wrong way, it could possibly damage the entire facility. The creature made a mental note of its location in relation to the rest of the facility in accordance with the map, and pressed on and outward to his destination.
In the right section of the storage hallway in one of the thin, jutting-out rooms was another tiny hallway, which led to a very little room. This room simply had a chair and an empty desk with a still flickering lamp on it. The room looked as if it had been cleaned out a very long time ago; everything was covered in a layer of dust. The creature opened a drawer in the middle of the desk, but it was empty. With nothing to investigate further, it left.
The room to the farthest right of the storage hallway was incredibly tall, a full warehouse, stacked with crates. A few of the crates toward the front of the warehouse were broken, and dusty machine parts large and small had spilled out. The creature walked around the room and looked for anything that might prove useful, but the machine parts on the ground were either too heavy for it to carry or so small and insignificant that it couldn't imagine a use for it. However, in the top right corner of the room were several stacks of crates labelled "TOOLS"; the creature took this word to mean something significant, so it went over to one of the accessible crates and managed to open the lid. This crate was filled with small gray batons that had lines of clear glass on them and a red button on the side. The creature pressed the button and white light instantly shot through the baton, glowing through the lines of glass. The creature was mesmerized and stared wide-eyed at the stick of light in its hands for a full minute and a half before pressing the button again, turning the light off. The creature figured this would come in handy and kept it in hand, just in case.
The room farthest south was very wide, and a few crates were stacked on the left and right walls. On the other side of the room was a large door, closed. It extended the length of the wall and seemed almost gate-like in function, although, like the standard, smaller doors, one couldn't see what was on the other side through it. The creature scoped out the entire room to see if there was a way to open the door, but it couldn't find any. It didn't quite matter to the creature, though, as it had a task to complete.
The creature made its way down the left path to a large, tall room, also full of lab equipment. A pod-like contraption with a tube attached to the top of it rested in the bottom left corner, the tube seethrough and stretching through the ceiling. A large screen dominated almost the entire back wall. The machines' purring grew louder as the creature entered the room, and lights on several of them flashed green when it entered their vicinity. Then, the giant screen flickered to life. First there was static, but it slowly formed into a picture. A young man sat in front of the camera; he looked just under thirty, black glasses over exhausted blue eyes. He had messy black hair that stuck up in some places, with a blonde streak on the right side that seemed to go in a zig-zag pattern. He ran a hand through his hair, shutting his eyes tightly for a moment, adjusted the collar on his slightly dirtied white button-up shirt, and began to speak.
"Good job," said the man, his voice identical to the one that had spoken to the creature over the intercom, "You made it. Consider that your first trial, of sorts; I trust you were able to handle it."
The creature nodded happily in agreement. It enjoyed having a sense of purpose, and it felt a strange sense of safety in the pseudo-prescence of this man.
"Now, I want you to listen to me very carefully," the man continued, speaking more slowly than before so the creature could fully understand, "Your name is YE. You are a male member of the species Procyon lotor, or a "raccoon", as we refer to it. I am a human, and I'm your friend. I'm here to help you out. This lab, this whole facility really, I work here. Its basically mine."
YE held his hands to his face as he had earlier, examining them. He observed that he definitely wasn't anything like a human. For a moment, he wondered if there was any relation between raccoons and humans, but when the man began to speak again, he quickly turned his attention back to the screen.
"You're in a laboratory, underground," explained the man, "You've been, um, developing in that machine for a while. Now that I think about it, that technically makes today your birthday as far as science goes."
A small hatch opened on the ceiling, releasing a little sputter of colorful confetti down toward YE. It landed on his head, and he cupped it in his hand, marveling at the many new colors.
"I apologize for the awkward silence there if the confetti didn't fall. Like you understand the concept of confetti," said the man, "Anyway, right now, above us is... well, I honestly don't really know what's up there. I haven't been up there in quite some time. It won't seem bad to you, probably. But to me, and others like me, up there is... its bad. I know for certain that it will absolutely not be good. That was the world I lived in, up there. Now its down here, for the time being at least. And by the time you've woken up, it'll be a very different world up there. A broken world. You don't understand that now; you have no reference point. But its bad, YE."
YE nodded slowly, picking up on the gravity of the man's words. He didn't exactly know how he understood any of this; he knew that "birthday" meant that he was born today, not even twenty minutes ago, but how could he have been? That would mean he was a baby; he didn't feel like a baby. He could understand words, perform tasks, use logic. The environments were new to him, sure, but he understood them in a deeper way. And what about his scars, he thought? Scars happen after injuries. Wouldn't one need to be alive first to have gotten hurt?
"I know this is confusing," resumed the man, as if picking up on YE's thoughts, "I know you have a lot of questions. If I could tell you more right now, I would. But there's too much at stake and not enough time. I know you, YE. Better than you think. Bottom line is that you're special. World hasn't seen anything like you before. Most of it never will. But the part of it that's left, its desperate. Hanging on one fleeting, fucking stupid thread. And at this point, I don't even know if they still are. I don't know anything. But they need you, and they need you now. And that's all there is to it. Do you understand, YE?"
YE nodded again, but he didn't really understand, at least not completely. How could they need him? Who were they? What could he do, and why was he so special? What happened?
"There was a war," sighed the man, "There was a war that had the capability to destroy everything. It was stupid and fucking pointless. I was in the thick of it. Up there, you will be in the aftermath of it. The world used to be... well, it used to be a better place. People could tolerate each other. I don't expect you to fully grasp the concept of kindness; you're supposed to, but I don't really expect you to. Few humans even did. But there was kindness. And somewhere down the line, we fucked up. We knew how it happened; it was happening right before our eyes. But we were ignorant and blind, I was ignorant and blind, up 'till the end I guess. It was a pretty nice place before this. There was technology and learning and potential and happiness; it wasn't perfect harmony by any stretch, but it was good. I didn't always like the world, but I liked it enough; it was alive, and that's hard to argue against. Now, its... its bad. And again, I don't expect you to understand this, or your place in everything; its incredibly complicated, and you'll find out as you go along. That I can promise. But like I said, its been a long time coming. And they need you now."
There was a whooshing sound from the corner of the room as a door on the pod opened.
"Its a new age up there," the man continued, "Might as well be the only age. Its your age now, as unfortunate as it is. I'm gonna send you up there, YE. Into the new world. I know it seems so incredibly unclear now, and it is, but you have to trust me, now and forever. On the surface is the ruins of a city. There's not going to be much there, hopefully at least. If there's anything, anyone that tries to hurt you, you run. If things need to get messy, I'm giving you this."
From the floor in front of YE, a circular pillar extended from a small hatch. On the pillar, clasped in a pair of sharp mechanical fingers was a large medical syringe, at least a yard wide, filled halfway with a dark red fluid. Its needle was huge and menacing, insanely sharp. It had a leather strap attached to it. YE gathered that this clearly was not a piece of medical equipment, at least not for something human-sized.
"These usually come smaller," explained the man, "But we made one for, um, purposes. So its yours."
YE eyed the syringe, first with fear, then with curiosity. He figured that it would be as good a weapon as any, although he didn't really want to hurt anyone. He hoped he wouldn't have to as he lifted the syringe and slung it over his back, making the strap secure and comfortable.
"I need you to go to the other side of the city," said the man, "To an old lab building. Its probably mostly abandoned except for, God willing, a friend of mine. He'll know who you are when he sees you. He's also going to explain things. I don't have too much time left. He'll tell you where to go from there. The lab will be marked with this green logo; I'm sure you'll know what I mean when you see it, since its all around the city. Its not too far away, but this is still a big city. There's probably a lot still here, good and bad. Try to lay as low as possible."
Then, the empty pillar retracted back into the ground, and it came back up holding a pair of blue jeans, slightly ripped and torn, folded partway over a tiny device, its screen tinted green.
"This is a navigation device of sorts," explained the man, "Its got little maps of, well, basically everywhere. You can hook it up to any other piece of technology and it'll mark your map so you can find anywhere you need to go. Amazing technology. I marked it for you. Oh, and these are just pants. Kinda small, but y'know. They have lots of pockets, so lots of storage."
YE picked up the little device and the pants. He eyed the pants for a moment, at first not entirely sure what to do with them, but then it came to him and he slipped into the garments one leg at a time. They were ripped in a few places, but comfortable. He then closely examined the tiny piece of technology, mesmerized by its buttons, graphics, and sleek design. He held it to his chest, as if to put it closer to his heart, then stashed it carefully in his pocket.
"You're going to help a lot of people, YE," said the man, "I'm going to help you do that as much as I can. Go to the place I marked on your map, and be careful. God knows the kind of shit its turned to up there... I'm sorry to put you through this. Oh, and don't look for me, OK? I'm just fine. I know you don't fully understand, but just make your way to my friend. They're counting on you. Good luck."
And with that, the screen went black again.
There YE stood, syringe at his back, staring at the open pod whose tube would take him into the new age. He understood so little, and yet so much. He had a bigger purpose, now. He didn't know what he was supposed to be doing, what part he played. He didn't even know what he was, for sure. He did not yet know the implications of it, but he had an objective. He could feel it in his bones. The powerful, electric adrenaline of... he didn't even know what. But he knew he had to get there. That's all he knew.
YE checked his electric map one more time, then walked into his destiny. The pod took him up through the tube. Minutes passed. Then, above him, a shaft open. Blinding, white light shone through, the light of the new age. YE closed his hopeful eyes.
More to come...