Aria's Story is a horror game created by Lydia using RPG Maker VX Ace. The game is focused on exploration, story and puzzles.
Aria is a bookworm who loves adventure stories and always spends her free time in the library. One day she falls asleep while reading a book and when she wakes up the library is closed. Believing that they forgot to wake her up, she tries to find a way out... In that moment she becomes the protagonist of her own story.
The player moves a character through two-dimensional fields, interacting with and examining various objects. A blue feather can be seen at various places in the realm, serving as a save point.
There are four levels in the game which are based on literature genres. The genres are Comedy, Mystery, Fairy Tales, Romance and Horror. The game atmosphere changes depending on the genres.
A kindhearted and polite girl who loves books. According to Lewin however, she isn’t good at writing stories. One day while reading a book, she ends up trapped in the library and accidentally entering the book world.
It’s revealed that the real Aria died long ago and the current one is just a replica of her. Clyde was desperate to bring her back, so he used the power of the quill to create a replica of Aria. He wanted to test if the fake Aria was as good as the real one, so he trapped her in the book world and brainwashed Dahlia and Lewin so they could guide Aria through his journey. How she reacts to the truth will depend on the ending.
A young prodigy who’s an accomplished writer. At first he’s very hostile towards Aria and is plotting to kill her for mysterious reasons, but after meeting her he warms up to her. He seems to know about the book world, but refuses to tell Aria about it.
He’s revealed to be Aria’s closest friend. The real Aria died long ago and Clyde was desperate to bring her back, so he used the power of the quill to create a replica of her. He also brainwashed Dahlia and Lewin so they could guide Aria through the book world, but Lewin quickly regained his memories, since he was the author of the book the fabricated world was based on. Lewin was against Clyde's plans and tried to kill the fake Aria, knowing she wasn’t the real one, but ended up caring for the fake Aria as her own person.
A mysterious girl that Aria encounters in the book world. She tends to narrate everything that happens to Aria in the book world and refuses to tell about herself, claiming she’s just a nameless narrator. However, the more Aria advances in the book world, the more the Narrator starts doubting herself.
She’s revealed to be Dahlia, Aria’s friend. The real Aria died long ago and Clyde was desperate to bring her back, so he used the power of the quill to create a replica of her. He wanted to test if the fake Aria was as good as the real one, so he trapped her in the book world and brainwashed Dahlia so she could act as the narrator of the story and guide Aria. In the end Dahlia regains her memories and is against Clyde’s actions.
A young librarian who works in the village library Aria usually hangs out. Apparently his family owns the place for generations and they own a special quill that can bend reality. He was also the one who gave Aria the book that trapped her in the book world in the first place.
He’s revealed to be the one behind Aria being trapped in the book world. Also his name is Clyde and he’s Aria’s friend. The real Aria died long ago and Clyde was desperate to bring her back, so he used the power of the quill to create a replica of her. He wanted to test if the fake Aria was as good as the real one, so he trapped her in a book world based on Lewin's lastest book and brainwashed Dahlia and Lewin so they could guide Aria through his journey.
Bad Ending 1
Aria finds out the truth about herself: the real Aria has been dead for over a year and she's an artificial human created by Clyde. She goes mad from the revelation and steals Clyde's quill, using it to erase Clyde, Lewin and Dahlia from existence.
Some time later, Aria (with a distorted appearance) goes with an army of monstruous rabbits to use the power of the quill in order to erase humanity and create a world for fictional characters. With her new power, she breaks the 4th wall by rewriting the "Bad Ending" label into "Perfect Ending".
Bad Ending 2
Clyde realizes that creating a fake Aria was a bad idea and decides to use the power of the quill to go back in time and prevent Aria's death. It all seems well, until he finds out Lewin was the one who died instead. Clyde goes in time again to prevent their deaths, only to find that this time Dahlia died instead. Realizing that somebody needs to die no matter what in order to keep the timeline stable, he kills himself.
If Aria didn't find the childhood photograph, she reunites with Lewin, Clyde and Dahlia and they return to the real world. Aria wakes up in the real world and tries to tell her friends about her experiences in the book world, but they insist it's all just a dream. Meanwhile, they agree for Aria to never find out the truth about her origins.
If Aria found the photograph and lied about opening the door, Aria finds out she's a fake created by Clyde, but comes to accept she's her own person. She sends Lewin, Dahlia and Clyde back to their world but not before Clyde uses the quill to make her materialize somewhere in the real world.
3 years later, Lewin is a famous writer and Clyde and Dahlia are married. Lewin meets the fake Aria once again, now reborn as a girl named Wendy. He admits that during their adventure he had come to see Wendy as different from Aria and has fallen in love with her.
If Aria found the childhood photograph, she confronts Clyde, Lewin and Dahlia, saying that she found out the truth about her origins and they need to get over the real Aria's death and move on with their lives. She takes Clyde's quill, which she uses to erase the book world and herself, but not before having a heartfelt goodbye with Lewin, encouraging him to continue writing.
Back in the real world, Clyde, Dahlia and Lewin are seen together in the library. Lewin decides to write a book about Aria based on their adventure, named "Aria's Story".
- "Aria's Story" (the book Lewin wrote in the true ending) appears on Midnight Train, another game by the creator.
- The Bad Ending 2 and the Good Ending were added as bonus content for the 2019 remake.
- The more Lewin starts to know the fake Aria better, he realizes she's not so similar to the original Aria. The Good Ending reveals that Wendy is carefree, bold and doesn't like books much. Aria was kind, gentle and is a bookworm.
- Lydia (the creator of the game) has stated that all endings are equally true and the True Ending isn't exactly the canon one. However, Wendy appears as a cameo in Midnight Train, hinting that the Good Ending might be canon after all.
- She also admitted that Aria's Story is loosely based in the anime Anohana: The Flower we Saw that Day, a story about the death of a girl affecting her friends.