MemberApril 14, 2020 at 7:20 amCouncil-21: Council of the Willing - 2021
STORY TITLE: Save State
CHARACTERS: Sy Sack, unnamed antagonist.
STORY IDEA/SPRINGBOARD: Each time Sy Sack wakes-up it is in a new and different situation. Sometimes he’s scaling a mountain, other times he’s an astronaut on a spacewalk, and still more times he’s facing down certain death at the hands of masked soldiers or monsters. Sy never worries about any of this because wherever he finds himself, he feels as if he’s always been on the path that led him there.
Over the course of the 8 page story Sy will realize that the actions that lead him to these often preposterous situations are not his own. For lack of a better term, he is a character in a video game and each time he wakes up the player is pulling up their most recent saved state of the game that Sy is in.
The player will never be seen, though the reader will share their perspective. Halfway through the story there will be a glitch and Sy will realize what is going on. He will begin to remember what came before and, more importantly, that the decisions he makes are not his own even if he sometimes thinks that they are.
The name Sy Sack should evoke “sad sack,” because he can’t seem to win but the glitch occurs in a play-through where Sy has fallen in love. Another character he interacted with had settled down with him. The player didn’t think this was the most entertaining route and, when the game started again, Sy was doing something else with no memory of the relationship having ended, his beloved just wasn’t there anymore.
Sy realizes that the only way to break the cycle, to not risk going through that hardship again is to make the game undesirable for the player. He begins to jump off of buildings, hurt himself, and constantly risk, or endure, death. Sy is now playing a game of his own with the goal being nonexistence. This seems as if it would be a dour premise but it will be played for laughs. Visual gags of an avatar constantly having the worst turn of their digital career.
The last page reveals that Sy has accomplished what he wanted and the new lives stop coming as frequently. The player believes that something is wrong and isn’t playing as much but by this point Sy is an auto-pilot and he immediately does whatever the version of crash-and-burn is for the scenario he finds himself in.
The reveal will come when the player boots up the game from the last time it worked properly, which was when Sy was happily in a relationship with someone. Sy will realize what has happened too late, ruining the game just as he sees his beloved once again. The final panel is Sy’s realization that he almost had another chance at happiness as the player shuts the game off for good.