Nightslink is an indie game where you deliver mysterious cassette tapes to shut in residents of an apartment. Each night you have a list of units to visit, and they’re always eager for a new tape. After the deliveries, you make new tapes and ride your motorcycle into the night.
The way the residents react to you giving them tapes almost makes you feel like a drug dealer. On the later nights, you’ll see what damage they’ve caused despite how excited they were to get a tape before. What are these tapes doing to them, and what made them order them in the first place?
Nightslink presents you with many questions, but doesn’t really answer any. What’s the point of the tapes, what’s on them, why can’t they leave their units? Their distorted voices make me question if they are even truly humans. You never really see anyone besides the man in the hall (who looks like Keanu Reeves). One of the residents even claims he’s a machine after giving him a tape on a later night. Is he telling the truth, or has the tape made him go insane? There’s a lot we can theorize and assume though (Spoilers ahead).
The Many Secrets of Nightslink
On night IV at the end of the game we can go through door 99. The residents are holding out black polyhedrons like what we saw on the previous night in room 96. It looks like this is where we were making the tapes before.
Then we can also go through the door we stare at while sitting there. The wire from the tape recorder leads to this room. Inside is a larger black polyhedron, which absorbs the smaller ones from you and likely the residents.
Then it sinks below into the hole, having accomplished it’s mission. Lastly, we go outside and watch as eldritch gods rise up around us. It seems the tapes we made were using the larger orb as their source of power. Maybe the wire leading into the room was a mic and the mysterious orb was telling the encoded secrets of the universe.
It could be the Eldritch gods forbidden language that drives them mad from trying to understand it. One of the residents doesn’t even sleep anymore because he wants to understand everything.
Residents and More Questions
From the resident that turned into a black orb in room 96, we see the games secret encrypted language for the first time. Likely the language of these god like beings. They also could have been transferring an unknown energy through the tapes that the shut ins were addicted to.
Some more questions are, why are you doing this? The man delivering the tapes seems oblivious to what he’s doing. Maybe it’s his only way of making a living, or he’s being threatened to do it. The world does look like it’s in a pretty bad place. It’s also possible the tapes, or orb are controlling him. Whatever it is, the residents specifically address you as “Nightslink” like it’s your title or occupation.
As for what’s on the tapes, you never find truly find out. It’s hard to guess exactly what it would be. On the last night, all of the residents have their hands out, offering an orb. The tapes, either energy or sound took control of their mind and made them offer up their soul or life energy. We also find out the room he makes the tapes in is actually in the same building. So where is he riding his bike to every night?
Nightslink is one of my favorite games for many reasons. I love mysteries, especially the ones that can’t be solved. The many questions of the game let you continue to think up your own reasons for everything. The PS1 graphics and atmosphere fit perfectly together. The black bars also give it a cinematic feel. The sound effects are also well done, especially the parts where you make new tapes which is practically an ASMR session. I would highly recommend playing this game.
Nightslink Top Secret Achievements
There’s 3 achievements in the game, and only one of them is easy to get. The first one you get by just completing the game. The 2nd achievement “Alone Together” is a bit harder to find. When going up to some of the doors you can hear sounds. In room 85 and 83, you can hear those two residents pretty well. The man in 85 is named James, and the women in 83 is Amber. James sounds like he’s playing a piano, and Amber is singing.
If you knock on 85 on the first night, he won’t answer at first. You have to knock again to get him to answer. If you do, he’ll ask for a favor. He wants you to deliver a letter to 83 on the next day. When you come back on night II and give her the letter, she’ll be happy, will thank you and you’ll unlock the achievement! Afterwards, neither of them will want the tape. They won’t be on the list for tapes the next night either, and will not be holding out their hands with their soul for the final night. At least you were able to save some people.
There’s one other achievement in the game that is quite the mystery.
Don’t Be a Stranger
The final achievement has yet to be found by anyone! The achievement “Don’t Be a Stranger” is unlocked by talking to the reclusive resident. The creator will ship out a physical tape to the first 5 people that can solve it.
It’s been difficult to find. People in the Noiseminded Discord group have uncovered quite a bit while attempting to solve it. They even managed to crack the games secret language. The characters you saw from the first black orb can be translated to English! So can the rest of the encoded phrases used in many other places. The achievement itself spells out “Love” in this language.
There’s a lot of other secrets the group uncovered like the names of residents, and that there’s a door 100. However these do not lead to the solution. The secret language doesn’t, and neither does anything taken from the game files. They also found out the names of the residents, not just Amber and James from before, but the rest of them as well. The man in 76 is named Eric, and in 88 is Michael. We know Marla is in room 96 from her dialogue.
One of the first hints is given when you open up the game again after completing it. It says “Go Outside”, though all of the walls and exits are solid. Nobody has found a way to go outside yet. Inside the Discord, Noiseminded even posted a picture of the outside. So it should be possible to go out there. He also tweeted a hint, and implied in the discord there are multiple hints within the tweet.
“I’m surprised no one has been able to find NIGHTSLINK’s secret Easter egg yet. I even gave you the key ahead of time. Have you gone outside yet?”
He says he’ll be happy if someone finds it, but does not expect it to happen. He also said there’s no trial and error involved, and going through the game files is not part of the solution. Everyone can do it, no programming knowledge is necessary. He also said it’s really not that hard, so I’ve been looking for simple and obvious approaches.
By go outside, do we find a way out of the building on one of the nights? Do we get off the motorcycle somehow? Can we get there at the end of the game, where we’re already walking around outside? This is just like the rest of the game where we have tons of unanswered questions. The mystery of it all, and especially this achievement has made me more interested than any game I’ve played in a long time.