Your home, let's call it Genesis, is featured in the optional prologue. The prologue is a flashback to the day preceding the annihilation of everyone in Genesis, except for the narrator.
Genesis is a small flat disc floating in space. Its inhabitants are in daily contact with God using Glossolalia, a visual language. Because of this concrete relationship with a higher power, religion with its rituals defines life in Genesis. For example, the inhabitants aren't allowed to go near the borders of the world, nor the holy mountain casting its shadow over the village.
The day before the incident, a mischievous boy was about to embark on his Glossolalia training with the neurotic priest of Genesis. Without Glossolalia, the boy had never directly contacted God, and found the whole issue hard to believe despite its major impact on life. He ended up saying things considered blasphemous, yet strangely beyond his years.
There are four possible "short stories" emerging from this setting based on your choices. Your choice of route decides the CLASSIFIED (more on that later). I guess you could call it a multiple choice past, heh - not so unusual in the style of storytelling I'm currently exploring.
- The banishment route. It involves going with them and witnessing the boy talking about natural explanations for the supernatural. The priest gets mad, and as the narrator sides with the priest, the boy gets thrown off Genesis into the void. The day after, the narrator discovers he's the only person alive in Genesis, and deduces it's God's revenge for the boy's actions. With God not responding to his questions anymore, he enters the holy mountain seeking forgiveness.
- The spiritual route. The narrator never even checks they boy's training and spends the day talking to God instead. The next morning, he blames the deaths on an external influence, and from the silence, the narrator believes God has somehow been killed too. Leaving on a desperate revenge mission against someone powerful enough to kill a god, he finds a scapegoat in the guardian of the holy mountain and takes it up with him.
- The observer route, in which the narrator explores Genesis and socializes with various peculiar people. This is for slightly experienced players who are already able to control the moving bridge of Genesis. (In the banishment route, the bridge is used to teach the boy about Glossolalia, and it's also implicitly a tutorial for new players because what's called Glossolalia in Genesis is actually a type of alchemy - similar to what's demonstrated in the previous page). The narrator is left feeling lonely in the exctinction and goes to seek company from the creatures in the holy mountain.
- The dead bird route. Again control of the bridge is required, as well as discovering a configuration that reveals a dead bird underneath. The dead bird makes the narrator ponder on nature and its relationship with God, making him sympathize with the boy during the training and saving him from banishment. Once everybody dies, the narrator finds it most logical to blame himself, especially as he's the only one alive, and withdraws into the holy mountain.
The revelation after traversing the holy mountain shakes the narrator's worldview and makes it clear to the player that things in Panacea are hardly ever what they seem to be. I'm not quite sure if the upcoming demo should end there, because the holy mountain doesn't even demonstrate farming (apart from special circumstances), there's only pre-made draughts picked up from fountains with your limited flasks.