Immortal Coil is an RPG following the adventures of the dead in their quest for closure.
We begin by following Damien, an average worker. All the player sees is him madly texting away on his phone. Suddenly, as he rounds a corner, loud gunshot rings through the alley, and Damien collapses onto the ground. The shooter runs away. Meanwhile, white sparkles form above Damien’s body, eventually forming a ghostly imitation of Damien.
The ghostly form “stands,” and is quickly terrified to realize he is dead. Just as quickly as he forms, a shadowy mass bubbles near him. The shadows form into a vague skeletal shape covered in a veil. Damien is confused as to who/what the figure is at first, and quickly glides away, passing through a building.
He starts to have a panic attack at his situation, but he is approached by a cat. The cat looks over him with a knowing grin, seeming to recognize Damien. He begins to speak, much to Damien’s surprise. The cat says that animals are more able to see the dead, and he’s been observing the dead for a while. He considers himself a bit of a scientist in that regard.
Damien, still confused, asks what he should call him. The cat states that he’s known by many names, that he’s been called a different name by everyone in the city. However, the dead call him “Hermes.” Hermes remarks that Damien looks different from a lot of ghosts he’s seen, but not completely unknown.
He leads Damien to another alley, where a blue soul is gliding around. Upon noticing Damien, the other soul’s arms form into blade-like protrusions. He dashes towards Damien, and combat is initiated. Here, Hermes tells Damien that some souls are looking for a soul core, the one thing that allows souls to pass on. Some souls may lose those cores, so they instead opt to attack other souls and tear out there cores so they can move on. Hermes then teaches Damien the basics of combat. After defeating the soul, a pair of souls begin approaching, one being yellow and one being green.
Before Damien fights them, Hermes decides to show off another ability Damien has. He begins prodding Damien for a response. He really lays on his recent death, trying to get a significant response out of him. The following options are available.
- They took everything from me!
- I lost everything!
- What’ll happen when I move on?!
Choosing the upper option overwhelms Damien with rage, choosing the middle option overwhelms Damien with sorrow, and choosing the lower option overwhelms Damien with fear. This is to introduce the concept of altering Damien’s emotional state. After defeating the two souls, Damien is still overwhelmed with the respective emotion.
Hermes then directs him towards his body, the shadowy figure now far away. Hermes tells him to look at his phone. As he checks it out, he reads some of his texts with his wife. As he reads, he remembers he was in a fight with his wife. He spent so much time on his work, he began to neglect his wife. When they began talking to each other about it, they got angry, and started to fight each other. As he died, his wife was on the brink of breaking up with him, and his emotion, if it wasn’t sorrowful, switches to sorrowful.
Then, he dispels his emotional state, deciding that, before he leaves, he was going to make up for what he did to his wife. Hermes tells him to try and text. Damien is then able to interact with the phone for a short time. After texting a bit, he runs out of energy for the phone, and drops it. From this moment forth, Damien is free to explore, able to go about the story at the player’s pace. They can either head for the people responsible for his death, or find his wife, or begin working on side stuff.
Players can speak with Hermes in order to learn some stuff about being dead. Asking about the cores reveals that every soul has these at some point in their lives, but, if they're weighed down by sin, the core is pulled from their soul.
Making Amends with your Wife route
This route is initiated by Damien texting his wife from beyond the grave. After texting a bit and trying to apologize to her, he slowly loses his concentration, and he can't complete the apology. Fortunately, she mentioned her location, so Damien can locate her and hopefully go on to apologize.
Finding Your Murderer route
This route is initiated after Damien texts his wife. When players are no longer restrained by the tutorial, they are given the opportunity to check out their body. Damien comments on how strange it is, seeing his own corpse. After checking out his corpse, he wanders out of the alley, and spies a couple. He decides to use whatever remains of his energy to make noises near the alley. Then, the couple come over, react with shock, and call the cops.
The Cataclysm route
This route is initiated part way into Damien's main adventure.
- Shadow - Let Damien absorb despair and sin from too many shadows at once
- Cataclysm - Ascend to the next world without preventing the cataclysm
- Empty Soul - Steal the core of one of your partners
- Complete Regret - Prevent the cataclysm, but ascend without finding your murderer or making amends with your wife
- Untouched - Prevent the cataclysm, make amends with your wife, but ascend without finding your murderer
- Sour Farewell - Prevent the cataclysm, defeat your murderer, but ascend without making amends with your wife
- No Regrets - Prevent the cataclysm, make amends with your life, defeat your murderer, and ascend
- Ark - Absolve every soul of their regrets, and help them move on
Immortal Coil is a turn based RPG, meaning the player alternates with the enemy when they attack. They are typically attacked by other ghosts, who are after the core of his soul. Most of the souls he’s encountered ae overwhelmed by one of four emotions. If a soul is ruled by one emotion throughout their life, they will be overwhelmed by such an emotion in the afterlife.
A soul overwhelmed with joy is typically seen with another soul. Those overwhelmed with joy are seen aiding those in need. Joyful souls typically use their powers to either recover the status of another, recover their HP, or even bring them back from exhaustion. These souls are yellow.
A soul overwhelmed with rage is typically vengeful and vindictive. They want little more than to tear apart anyone who stands in their way. They tend to hit harder than most souls, but are more susceptible to attacks. These souls are red.
A soul overwhelmed with sorrow typically seeks out others for support. They’ve been toughened up for enemy attacks, and they tend to attract agro. They tend to use their skills to debilitate opposing souls. These souls are blue.
A soul overwhelmed with fear doesn’t often attack with their own fists. Instead, they use their skills to attack opposing souls with the elements. They tend to be frail. These souls are green.
Shadows are souls that’ve been exposed to the world for too long. They’ve been overwhelmed with sin and despair, and as such, they’ve been molded into beings lacking any semblance of humanity, and act only to destroy anyone they see. They’re more powerful than any soul, attack only if you’re confident. These souls are marred with an ink-like substance. If they are torn apart, the miasma left behind will infect those nearby. Too much miasma will render a soul a shadow.
Damien’s a rare case among the souls. Whereas most souls are overwhelmed with an emotion, Damien’s retained enough of his humanity to be able to switch between emotions. Switching can depend on a variety of things:
- Your emotion can depend on the kind of responses you give when speaking with someone.
- Your emotion can depend on the sites you see in the city
- You can change your emotion on the fly after helping souls pass on
Each transformation lasts a short amount of time and Damien's stats and moveset alternate to fit the given emotion.
- Joy - Damien acts as a support
- Rage - Damien acts as a glass cannon
- Sorrow - Damien acts as a tank
- Fear - Damien acts as a mage
- Base - Damien acts as a jack of all trades
Each partner you get has unfinished business. They insist that they need to make amends before they can move on. If you help them make amends and bring them to the angel of death, you will get the ability to instantaneously change the emotion you’re overwhelmed with. The emotion you can switch to depends on the partner you send away.
- After sending Baxter, Damien earns the ability to overwhelm himself with joy.
- Damien – The main character of the game. After his death, he makes it his goal to get closure about his death. He also realizes how poor he was acting towards his wife, and seeks to make amends with her.
- Death – The appointed Angel of Death. The angel is responsible for transporting souls from the mortal plain to the next world. From the start of the game, players are able to speak with him and let themselves move on, but the ending they get will depend on what they’ve done before they went on. For best results, finish as many quests as possible.
- The One of Many Names – A living cat that acts as Damien’s best contact with the mortal plane. Unfortunately, he’s a bit mischievous. He insists that the dead call him “Hermes.” He acts as a guide for the soul, teaching him about how things work. He also frequently belittles various acts Damien does, from helping to send spirits away to tearing up a significantly powerful spirit.
- Baxter – A dog that fell victim to an intruder. After his death, he tried to comfort the mourning family, not yet realizing he’s dead. Once Damien speaks to him, he decides to follow him. He acts as a partner in battle, and is overwhelmed with joy. He wants to make sure his family has another dog to protect them.