|Engine||Adventure Game Studio|
Kathy Rain is a point-and-click adventure video game developed by Clifftop Games and published by Raw Fury. The game is set in 1995 and follows a college girl named Kathy who returns to her hometown to look into a mystery related to her recently deceased grandfather while confronting her troubled past.
This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (June 2023)
In 1995, Kathy Rain, a college student studying journalism, returns to her fictional hometown of Conwell Springs after she learns of her paternal grandfather's, Joseph Rain's, passing. At the funeral, she immediately reconnects with her grandmother, whom she has not seen since she was a child. Shortly after the funeral, Kathy's grandmother explains that an incident involving Joseph had left him confined to a wheelchair in a vegetative state without any medical explanation. Curious, Kathy decides to probe deeper into what happened to her grandfather.
In town, Kathy finds a tape from Joseph in the police archives and gets involved in a case he had been investigating. In particular, a young girl named Lily Myers who drowned in 1975 in an apparent suicide. Kathy visits Lily's mother at their lakeside cabin and learns that, leading up to Lily's death, she had become very withdrawn and engrossed in her paintings, which had generated particular interest for Joseph. Lily's mother had since sold off Lily's paintings to an art collector in order to continue supporting herself and her son, Nathan. The art collector happens to be Charles Wade, a fellow pilot and best friend of Joseph in years past. Kathy is eventually able to track down Charles at the local health clinic in Conwell Springs. After realizing who she is, Charles explains that he and Joseph had a falling out after Kathy's father, Brian, and her mother became involved in criminal activity. Charles moved out of Conwell Springs later due to his growing business, but he never forgot his friendship with Joseph. However, he knows nothing of the incident that caused Joseph to become comatose. He also explains that all the art he had bought from Lily's family had since been stolen from his family mansion, but has no further information on who may have stolen them or why. Kathy eventually finds out that the local bike gang, the Black Hats, stole the paintings. As her father was part of the gang, Kathy is able to enter their bar and meet with the gang president, Big Beau. However, he refuses to tell her about the robbery.
Unable to get more information at this point, Kathy turns her attention to an overdeveloped photo Joseph had stashed in a safe: an image of a forest with three bright orbs of lights and a red flower. Kathy has suspicions that the local church, whose founder ran a cult in the 1970s, may know more, as their symbol features the same three light orbs, but cannot get any more useful information from the current priest, Isaac. Kathy's roommate, Eileen, helps Kathy identify the flower as an endangered flower that has the ability to induce hallucinations. Kathy eventually finds her way to the spot where the photo was taken, but suddenly has a strange encounter with a mysterious bald man dressed in red who instructs her to continue following her grandfather. Kathy then mysteriously finds herself back at her grandmother's house. Kathy returns to the photo site, and this time she finds a torn drawing by Nathan featuring the mysterious man in red. Kathy then learns that Isaac had hired the Black Hats to steal Lily's paintings.
The next day, Eileen unexpectedly shows up at Kathy's grandmother's residence, hoping to assist Kathy after uncovering that there had been an unusually high number of disappearances and institutionalizations in Conwell Springs for the last few decades. Eileen decides to help Kathy by confronting Isaac about the art theft. Kathy takes this time to meet with Jimmy Cochran, another fellow pilot and friend to both Joseph and Charles, who is now currently admitted to the same institution where Kathy's mother is. Though Jimmy is deemed delusional, he is actually sharp and provides supernatural insight on what happened to Lily, Joseph, and many others. Jimmy ominously warns Kathy that Eileen is already in mortal danger. Kathy rushes back to Conwell Springs, where she breaks into Isaac's office and finds an ornate key, but is quickly caught by Isaac and the sheriff for breaking and entering. Kathy is imprisoned but quickly breaks out and finds that the key she swiped unlocks Isaac's family mausoleum in the town's cemetery. There, she knocks out Isaac and finds a comatose Eileen. Isaac is arrested, and Eileen is taken to Kathy's grandmother. Kathy finds and unlocks a storage facility where Isaac had hoarded all of Lily's paintings. The same storage facility also holds more memorabilia from Joseph in a neighboring unit. Kathy then goes to the police station to record a statement and confront Isaac. Isaac explains that he did not cause Joseph's incident, but interprets the vegetative states of Eileen and Joseph as being "claimed by God". Nevertheless, Isaac admits to being responsible for many of the missing locals in recent years. He also explains that he wasn't destroying Lily's paintings, but rather uncovering what was hidden underneath, and that the red man can be found somewhere north of Conwell Woods. Kathy then rushes to Lily's family home and uses paint thinner on Lily's last surviving landscape painting, which unveils a painting of Nathan holding Lily underwater. Kathy then meets Nathan outside the family home, where he explains that Lily had forced him to drown her. When asked about the red man in his drawings, Nathan explains that the red man always fought with Lily, and that he can still talk to her. Kathy then requests that Nathan escort her to where he talks to Lily. Nathan takes Kathy to the site of Joseph's photo but is quickly blinded by the three light orbs that appear. Kathy has a vision that helps her uncover additional information hidden within Isaac's office. Kathy then proceeds to decrypt that information to find the location Isaac mentioned: a deep pit in the middle of the forest surrounded by the hallucinogenic red flowers. The red man appears and explains to Kathy what she needs to do to save Eileen, and Kathy proceeds down into the pit.
The bottom of the pit proves to be a supernatural plane where visitors are forced to confront their pasts and sources of misery. Kathy is forced to come to terms with her hatred for her parents. She is eventually guided by an apparition of Lily to meet with Joseph, who instructs Kathy to burn all the red flowers to sever this supernatural world from the reality above to save Eileen and future potential victims. The two bid farewell, but not before Joseph tells Kathy that he's proud of her for the remarkable courage she has shown throughout this entire journey. Kathy returns to the surface and sets the entire meadow ablaze. She heads back to find Eileen no longer comatose, and learns that Isaac had hung himself while in prison.
The next morning, Kathy and Eileen bid farewell to Joseph at his grave one last time. Kathy remarks that they had made a pretty good investigative team, and teases Eileen to not get kidnapped next time. Eileen ignores this, excited at the prospect that there will be a "next time".
Development and release
Kathy Rain was developed by Clifftop Games, a one-man Swedish indie studio founded by Joel Staaf Hästö. Hästö called the television series Twin Peaks an influence for the game. The game was developed using the Adventure Game Studio development tool. The game was showcased at Gamescom in 2015. The game was published by Raw Fury and released for Windows and macOS on 5 May 2016, alongside a demo. The game was later released for Android and iOS on 23 November 2016. In early 2021, a director's cut for the game was announced, and was released for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Nintendo Switch on 26 October 2021.
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- Whispers of a Machine, Clifftop Games' next game
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