Honestly, I agree that there was a second Chase. Again, I'm thinking it was an alien that took on a form that was nonthreatening to the townspeople. He was even "seen" before he came to town, by at least two different people.
I doubt Echo will go this far to explain, but I'm actually thinking Chase himself might be connected to the aliens. Either he's been abducted before (which could explain his crazy blackouts) or he actually is an alien but doesn't remember.
Echo seems to be reminiscent of the incident in Roswell back in the day. It's in a similar sort of situation, lots of open desert and actually flying saucers being seen is mentioned in Flynn's route.
I don't think I liked 8-bit Ryan much, but I can't recall.
Blackgate can be really depressing, I admit. Since you only do one route most of the time, I recommend Vincent's. Rotis's goes slightly further than Vincent's, but like I said Rotis's route needs a rewrite.
It's actually nowhere near as depressing as Echo. It's just different. It's dark in the literal sense, but your character actually isn't in -much- danger. It's like he's being protected.
Now, for Repeat, if you haven't played it yet, you should play Sissel's route. His is the longest and ends right after you get your first chance to repeat.
Hmm, An Elemental Secret. Gotta look that one up, thanks.