|Your name is Spiff. You have absolutely no idea why your parents named you that.|
This adventure is shown from above, with each character's location marked with a "you are here" marker, hence the adventure's title. It is full of clever puzzles of the sort you'd find in a room escape game, and the mechanics are constantly evolving. Currently the adventure includes a battle system, prehensile tails, anthropomorphic animal transformations, and an awful lot of keys and locked doors. Someone should get a key ring already.
CHAPTER 1.1: That's Usually Referred To As Breathing
Spiff wakes up in a bedroom surrounded by items that may or may not be useful and doors that may or may not be locked. There is a painting of a buxom anthromorphic samurai leopard on one wall, and the subject of the painting is apparently named "Sakura." This first room also contains a CHAIR, SMALL TABLE, FORK, KNIFE, PLATE, DRINKING GLASS, DOOR, END TABLE, KEY, EMPTY FISHBOWL, TREASURE CHEST, DIAMOND-SHAPED THROW RUG, CABINET, WATER COOLER, and BED. Spiff obtains a key (which turns out to be a key-shaped comb) and begins looking for more useful items. He takes the drinking glass and tries to drink its contents, but it is currently filled with air. He drinks the air anyway, prompting the response "that's usually referred to as breathing." There is a treasure chest in the room, so it is suggested that Spiff "look in chest for key." He takes off his shirt and stares at his own chest. The treasure chest needs a 4-digit code anyway, so Spiff goes back to searching the room. He obtains a key-shaped magnet under the rug while he is already carrying the drinking glass and the key-shaped comb, and thus discovers that while you may carry any number of useful items, you can only "equip" two of them at once. Then Spiff solves the first in a long line of puzzles: he fills the glass with water from the water cooler, splashes it on the grimy back of the cabinet, and discovers the code to the treasure chest. Inside he finds some sushi, which he eats, before remembering he is allergic to it and passing out.
CHAPTER 1.2: A Severe Case of Helmet Hair
When Spiff passes out, Sakura steps out of the "painting" (which is actually a window into a small room) and takes over. Sakura's controls are identical to Spiff's, except that she can equip three things at once due to her prehensile tail. Under Spiff's bed she finds a key-shaped cigarette lighter. A reader suggests that she use the lighter to set her first aid kit on fire, prompting Sakura to respond to the readers, "I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that suggestion." Around this time Spiff wakes up and shows surprise at seeing Sakura in the fur, as it were, rather than inside a painting. From this point on, both characters are playable.
Spiff and Sakura both go back inside Sakura's painting, and discover a small temple. Sakura takes the key-shaped-lighter and lights a firework, which blows a hole in the ceiling and reveals "something key-shaped." Spiff literally tries to "get something," which fails because "something" was not typed in capital letters, resulting in a MISTAKE OF MASS-ERRORISM. When he finally gets the item, it turns out to be a real key and not a red herring. Using this real key, Spiff opens the door of his room, revealing a puzzle which requires the other key-shaped objects found so far, and he remarks that there should be some sort of affirmative jingle that plays when you solve a puzzle correctly.
END OF CHAPTER 1
A short song plays when you finish this chapter (or rather, the lyrics are written at the bottom of the post) with the following catchy chorus:
You are here, you are here
These puzzles will go on forever, you fear
You are here, you are here
You don't know where you are, but you know that you're here.
CHAPTER 2.1: That Pattern Must've Taken Forever To Pixel-Draw
The chapter title refers to the PATTERNED RUG on the floor of the next room. Spiff discovers there is something inside the pillow from his bed, so Sakura cuts through the pillowcase with her samurai sword to reveal a key-shaped flashlight, with a dead battery. Spiff and Sakura discover a small lab with a vial marked "Compound 294" and a torn note revealing that this compound "...is one of the most interesting potions I've come up with. As soon as one of my lab rats tasted a sample of it, he--" The rest of the note is missing. There is a bookshelf that may contain a secret passage, but there are too many books to simply pull out all of them. In fact, the shelf appears to contain other Forum Adventures that were popular at the time:
- "You pull out several books and stack them up. A book on the concept of negative space... a detective novel titled Problem Sleuth: The Kingpin Case... an autobiography depicting the college days of some kid named Wes Everystudent... a scientific report by a Professor Vlaimir "Fred" Fredenhechlivendoile... ugh, there must be hundreds of books here. You don't have time to pull out every one of these."
They discover some other puzzle clues, and finally Spiff drinks some of Compound 294 and passes out.
CHAPTER 2.2: You Thought Those Were Just a Myth
Control switches to Mary, an interior designer who is trapped in a dark room. The title of this chapter has to do with either anthropomorphic leopards, or just furries in general, because "You thought those were just a myth" is Mary's reaction on seeing Sakura for the first time. It turns out that Sakura and Spiff are one room above Mary, and Sakura lets some light in through a trapdoor, but there is no apparent way for Mary to climb out of her room yet. Sakura finds some batteries and takes the flashlight Spiff was holding and throws them down to Mary, who sneezes. Mary is allergic to dogs, but not cats. The reason the flashlight made her sneeze, it is now revealed, is that the potion turned Spiff into an anthropomorphic wolf. Spiff takes one look at himself in the mirror and exclaims "ZOUNDS!" although he continues to maintain absolutely no affiliation with a famous spaceman with the same first name and catchphrase. Sakura finds Spiff's wolf form cute, which may or may not be indicative of a mild romance between the two. Spiff's wolf tail is prehensile, so he can hold three items at once now. After some more puzzles, Mary gets a ladder and climbs up into the room with the other characters, but insists that Spiff stay on the opposite side of the room to avoid setting off Mary's allergies. Combining their items, the three characters unlock the door and enter the next room.
CHAPTER 2 END
It is worth noting that AndAnotherOne solved the last puzzle in this chapter, because he had a reputation for posting self-indulgent and useless commands at the time this chapter was written.
CHAPTER 3.1: You Doubt You're Any More Badass Than Before
In the next room, the characters discover a red plush dragon. More on that later. They also discover a yellow picture frame which is actually a portal to a blue frame Mary found earlier. These inter-dimensional gateways have proven to be completely safe. In fact, they are designed such that you actually cannot shove one through the other, thus avoiding the nasty portal-fractals seen in Problem Sleuth. There is a classic puzzle in which the key is hanging on the other side of the door, but you need a way to catch it before you knock it out. AndAnotherOne solved this puzzle too. Spiff destroys the doll and finds a photo of Julia inside. More on that later.
IMAGE NUMBER 100: Mary finds a quarter under the couch cushions. Too bad you really need a flathead screwdriver. Of course, anyone who plays a lot of room escape games knows that a coin will do in a pinch, so Mary uses it to remove the yellow portal from the wall. Some uneventful door-and-key swapping later, the party of three exits the room.
CHAPTER 3.2: We're Not Going to Discuss Where You Pocketed It
The characters enter a kitchen-like room and obtain a key-shaped magnifying glass and a key-shaped bottle opener, both of which are vital in the upcoming puzzles. The running gag is quite well established at this point. There is a stone statue of a werewolf blocking the path. For the first time, a character backtracks to a previous room, as the solution to the next puzzle involves putting a mirror in the temple room to reflect moonlight through the hole in the ceiling, out through the painting and two doorways, and onto the werewolf. The stone werewolf reacts to the reflected moonlight and initiates battle.
CHAPTER 3.3: Infinite Kaleidoscopic Atmosphere
The battle takes place in the DODECAGRID OF ETERNAL CONFLICT, a 12x12 battle grid where your items are swapped out every turn, requiring the players to come up with interesting uses for all their items to continue attacking. Full details on this battle system are in the Mechanics section. Anyway, the team defeats the flarewolf and obtains the wolf whip as their reward. A note from Julia is vital in the final puzzle that opens this room's main door.
CONGRATULATIONS! CHAPTER 3 CLEAR!
After this point the backstory starts to pick up. Stay tuned.
CHAPTER 4.1: You've Already Got a Fountain Pen
Bremen takes over control at this point. Being a detective, he constantly takes notes on interesting-looking items, which there are a lot of due to the room-escape nature of this adventure. This is partly for the readers' convenience, as there are now enough open rooms to make backtracking a pain unless there's some way to quickly note what you haven't used yet. Bremen is locked into his room so he can't join the party yet, and on the party's side of the door an important-looking pedestal has spaces for five items. Nearby is a painting with five animals arranged similarly. More on that later. Also, Bremen has met Julia previously, but can't remember her name, so there is no reason for anyone to talk about her. Despite many attempts on the players to point out the important role Julia must play in all this, the author maintains that you can't talk about it right now because it's out of character. In fact, in this chapter it is revealed that the characters have a lot of things in common. Bremen is a detective with a donkey head as his logo and Julia used to be his lab assistant. Mary won a competition that Julia judged, and a newspaper clipping reveals that Julia thought of Mary as falcon-like. Spiff is Julia's brother, and he turned into a wolf when he drank Compound 294. Sakura was always a leopard, and Julia is a fan of her TV show. Julia's username is DragonGirl, and Spiff thought of her when he saw the red dragon doll, which incidentally had a picture of Julia hidden inside it. The characters in the painting are a Cat, a Dog, a Donkey, and a Bird, with a Dragon in the middle. More on that later. A grey and green block are discovered, and both look like they'd fit in that pedestal. Restrictions on out-of-character knowledge were a big pain in this chapter. Finally, as part of a username/password combo required to access some data, the name "Julia" comes up and the characters gradually start to notice their connection to her.
CHAPTER 4.2: That's One Problem Potentially Solved
Bremen's door is unlocked and he joins the party. Rules on out-of-character knowledge are still in effect, and nobody has brought up Julia in conversation yet. Bremen makes some notes on all the other unlocked rooms to save time. The Magenta Block is uncovered, and although the characters have not noticed the significance yet, the players are savvy enough to see the clear symbolism and foreshadowing at this point. Also, Sakura finds a light switch that was missed previously. It turns on the lights in the room where Mary started. That would have been nice to know earlier. Oh well. Behind the painting of the animals there is the Red Block and the other half of the ripped note from earlier. The characters now have all the blocks, and it's time to put them on the pedestal, in an order related to each character's color and the animal they are attuned to. Quite a well-planned puzzle! The bottom half of the note reads as follows:
- "--transformed into a beast! Further testing revealed that different test subjects turned into different beasts, and that on almost no occasion did any two subjects have the same result. I'm still working on the antidote; it should be done in a matter of days." It becomes a matter of speculation here that Mary and Bremen will turn into animals before the adventure is over. More on that later. The colored-block puzzle reveals a remote. Using the remote to activate the television plays a short clip, in which both a puzzle clue and a reference to Complexity 101 are dropped. The puzzle clue in the clip opens the next locked door.
CONGRATULATIONS! CHAPTER 4 CLEAR!
SonicLover took a break from the main story at this point, instead offering a mini-game:
EXTRA CHAPTER: Those Bizarre Personality Quirks of Video Game Characters
This level plays exactly like You Have To Burn The Rope, but done in the style of You Are Here. There's really no need to give a plot summary of this intermission because YHTBTR is, well, Serious Business, so there are walkthroughs and plot summaries all over the place by now. Also during this intermission SonicLover makes a statement that may be of use to people following the forums:
- "...for the record, I'm a guy."
CHAPTER 5.1: And Besides You're Not Furnisexual
The title of this chapter comes from a suggestion that Bremen check out the cabinet, an example of the MSPAFA trope "Hit the Stairs." A moment later, this same trope is actually subverted, as two characters ascend a staircase with the comment "The two of you hit the stairs. You pity any moron who could possibly misinterpret that phrase." Bremen finds a photo of Julia and sparks a conversation of how they know her. The characters are all on the same page about Julia now.
CHAPTER 5.2: But You're A Leopard, Not A Helicopter
The title comes from the fact that someone notices the hole in the roof of the temple room and suggests climbing up through it. But Sakura's a leopard, not a helicopter, and nobody else can fly... so of course it's time for Mary to transform. She drinks a bit of Compound 294 and momentarily collapses. At this point, Bremen is the only character who has not become an animal yet. After a break, the adventure resumes with a cameo from Complexity 101. That adventure's author, Sruixan, acknowledges the cameo as such:
- "Now I need to try and find a way of making that canon, damnit..."
Unfortunately, Mary can't reach the skylight, even as a falcon. The initial assumption was a caffeine boost, but it turns out the answer was Energy Drinks! And thus, after a few more puzzles of varying difficulty for the readers, and a sidetrop to a room dedicated to Alanna, the DODECAGRID OF ETERNAL CONFLICT made a striking return. Confilct with a pair of Eagle Guards lead to the players gaining an Eagle Staff, marked with the symbol of water. And thus we reached a room dedicated to Homestuck, and that is where the adventure itself became stuck- The author refused to update again until this page was updated.
Each character has an affinity for a color and animal. Additionally, each character has met Julia at some point.
- Spiff Shuttlebay
His color is Orange, and he turns into a Wolf when he drinks the potion. He is Julia's brother.
- Sakura, the Warrior
Her color is Gray, she has always been a Leopard, and Julia is a fan of her TV series.
- Mary Jackson
Her color is Magenta, her animal is Falcon, and Julia was one of the judges in a contest she won.
- Detective Xavier Bremen
His color is green and his animal is Donkey, although that hasn't become relevant yet. Julia used to be his lab assistant.
The fifth playable character, not yet introduced in any way but discussion.
- Julia Shuttlebay
A mysterious person who seems to have an obsession with keys and a connection to every player character.
An antagonistic character who apparently said the building has no exits...
THE DODECAGRID OF ETERNAL CONFLICT:
This is a 12x12 grid in which characters battle with their items. Every time you use an item, it is swapped out for another in your inventory. You can spend a turn swapping items, but usually it's better to just use what you've got out in a creative way. On each character's turn, they have a choice of actions: move, swap items, attack with the items you currently have equipped, or pass. The opponents get turns in the same way. When you defeat an opponent in the dodecagrid, their special attack becomes an item you can wield (for example, the FLAREWOLF became the WOLF WHIP).
Most of the puzzles in this game are reminiscent of the room escape genre. SonicLover is a game reviewer for JayIsGames, so presumably he has a lot of examples to draw from.
Possibly in reference to Problem Sleuth, many useful items in You Are Here appear to be keys at first. For example, in the first room there is a hair comb in the shape of a key. This running gag extends so far that when the heroes find a key-shaped item that actually IS a key, it catches the readers off guard.
"MISTAKE OF MASS ERRORISM": a generic You Can't Do That, Stupid! given whenever a command is inapplicable or too vague.
"Oh. Well, how come you didn't say so in the first place?": This reply is given verbatim whenever a vague command is successfully fixed.
A missed running gag about checking the 'chests' of characters actually lead to one character having something stashed in her cleavage that she didn't know about.