Shira Oka: Second Chances
Ever wonder how things might be different, if you could go back in time and re-live your past? The unnamed
main character of Shira Oka: Second Chances
is given that chance to find out. After barely managing to scrape by in high school, he has to deal with a dead end job and drowns his sorrows
every night, wondering what could have been if he had actually applied himself in high school. But there's no point in wondering, he thinks. There's no way you can go back in time...Right?
He is quickly proven wrong after he wakes up back in his first year of high school, with an angel
named Satsuko explaining what's happened. He is such a loser that heaven is giving him a second chance at high school in order to turn his life around; hopefully, he'll make more friends, get better grades, and maybe mature a bit. And Satsuko is willing to send him back in time as many times as needed
until she is satisfied. But the story isn't just about him; no, it's about ten other young adults who go to the same school, from Insufferable Genius
Hiroshi to Shrinking Violet
Yui. By helping them, the main character can grow as a person, and hopefully, eventually, break the loops and live a happy life.
Developed in English by Okashi Studios. A free demo can be found here.More editors are deeply appreciated, especially for our fledgling character sheet.
Shira Oka Second Chances provides examples of:
- Babies Ever After: Suzu's ending... Sort of.
- Bittersweet Ending: Yui's ending, big time.
- BFG: The "Personal Security Device" which Suzu makes the player in Alice's path.
- Bland-Name Product: Oka-Cola.
- Butterfly of Doom: Presumably one of the big reasons you don't automatically succeed in successive cycles; no matter how many times you take the wrong path to reach Yui in time, for instance, you are always surprised by the heavy traffic.
- Furthermore, a reasonable interpretation of one of the game mechanics; many events are influenced by the RNG, but the seed is saved in your file. Doing anything at all that uses a random number - say, talking to your angel guardian - will alter the result. Don't like who you drew for Secret Santa? Reload, talk to Satsuko one or more times, and see if the beating of her angel wings pushes a better name to the top of the pile!
- Chastity Couple: On many of the paths, you experience little more physical contact than hand-holding while becoming increasingly emotionally intimate, at least during gameplay. As the protagonist is mentally much older than everyone else and more so all the time, this is probably for the best; it makes the game about a failed human being gradually overcoming his flaws so that he can help other people with their problems, rather than about an old man in a young man's body seducing high school girls.
- Chekhov's Gun: Suzu's unreadable palms, Kasumi's angel wing pins, most of Yui's dialogue options in general.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Aya. Examples include using mayonnaise instead of cream cheese (they're similar, right?) in a pie, or using potatoes sprinkled with sugar instead of apples (they have the same texture!).
- Naoko is usually a fantastic chef, but occasionally veers into this, as a product of her constant experimenting with new recipes. Her younger brother comments that they now have to have a policy of testing new dishes before feeding full course meals based on them to guests. In addition, her brother isn't above adulterating her recipes to get back at her after an argument.
- Suzu lacks taste buds, so she at least has an excuse. Even so, her beef, octopus, and garlic pizza turns out to not be that bad.
- Cosmetic Award: Choosing not to make the game easier gives you a statue of Satsuko in a cheerleader dress with pom-poms. After completing each route, you also get an item pertaining to the ending in question.
- Cue the Sun: The end of Avery Alice's route.
- Cutting Off The Branches: The game actually blocks off routes you've completed, eventually only leaving one character available for the Golden Ending.
- Dating Sim
- Dead All Along: This is hinted at several times throughout the game, but made explicit in Yui's route. The reveal of her backstory and at the end where she passes on, can end up being a major Tear Jerker.
- This can also apply to Kasumi somewhat. Satsuko and Kasumi are the same person. According to Satsuko, Kasumi tried to kill herself before. Only a part of her died. The dead part is Satsuko. It's complicated.
- Difficulty Spike: Multiple timed events at the same time (i.e, trying to finish Kazuki's go-kart and buy a good White Day present, or trying to do Aya's manga, Kiku's dance practice, and the Culture Festival all at the same time). The required grades at the end of each term also go up each time.
- Diving Save: Yui nearly gets hit by a bus, and you try to push her out of the way; the first time, it doesn't work. You (or Hiroshi) have better luck in your successive tries.
- Driven to Suicide: Kasumi in every route until the very end.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: And. How.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: The game has an "easy mode" that gives extra XP after the first playthrough. If this mode is selected, your room features a Dunce Cap with "DERP" written on the side. Opting out of it for good results in Satsuko giving you... a one-coin figurine of her in a cheerleader outfit.
- Experience Points: Played with. You literally get experience points for having unique experiences. Playing perfectly and making all the "correct" decisions isn't as lucrative as trying new things, especially when random events pop up on successive cycles.
- Fanservice: The beauty shots obtained by completing a route.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Naoko. At first glance, her character is centered around only two things: cooking delicious foods, and mothering her younger brother.
- First Name Basis: As you progress in friendship points with the characters, they will change from calling you by your last name, to calling you by your first name, and then attaching "-kun" and later "-chan" to your first name. Japanese honorifics don't work this way in real life, but it makes for an easy way to keep track of who's ending you're on the path for.
- Flat Earth Atheist: Most of the characters pick on Rena for her strange beliefs, but it's not uncommon for her to turn out to be correct.
- Gay Option: Two, even!
- Golden Ending: Kasumi's path.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: The point of the game. You have to keep replaying through the same events until you get the whole thing right.
- Also, a much longer loop than most other examples of this trope; the fastest time to failure is 77 days, and a successful cycle is about two years and eight months. The long cycle goes a long way to explaining why even protagonists with excellent memory don't get everything exactly right every time.
- Guide Dang It: The exact effects of three of the quirks are never mentioned in-game, only vaguely alluded to in their description and in the occasional event.
- Additionally, figuring out when the opportunity for which action upgrades is also hit-or-miss (some of them being tied to random events doesn't help). The Suave Chat upgrade is probably the only upgrade most people will stumble across early on.
- Fashion is upgraded by going to Kiku's first party with low Fashion. Rest is upgraded by a random event with Rena and then whether or not you'll get the right number is luck-based. Literature is having really high Literature (as in using all your days on training the stat) and Alice will suggest a study group. Science is the same as Literature, only Kazuki triggers it. Sports is joining the Swimming Club as a swimmer, which requires a decent Sports stat when swim season starts. Due to the lack of useful guides existing, you'd be hard-pressed to find this information anywhere outside of sheer luck.
- Have We Met Yet?: When you're sent back in time, you remember the phone numbers of classmates who've given you their numbers (even if you have the 'amnesiac' or 'forgetful' quirks). This can lead to some...awkward...conversations if you call people before they've given you their number in that particular timeline.
- There's also some extra dialogue if you call them before you even meet them for the first time in that timeline.
- Hope Spot: As your cycle count increases, so does the amount of dialogue options with Kasumi, leading the player to possibly believe Kasumi can be saved. No such luck.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Aya's Pop-Aya combination in karaoke. It doesn't help that she gets a papaya drink.
- Interface Screw: Some parts of Rena's ending.
- It's Always Spring: Shira Oka doesn't have particularly cold winters or snow, although it used to. Satsuko admits this is her doing, but really doesn't explain how.
- Jerkass: Hiroshi.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: by the end of the game you can remember the most minute details of each of your classmates' lives, but not, apparently, the school material you've gone over more than a dozen times.
- Lethal Chef: Kiku's attempt at cooking rice hospitalizes the protagonist, and right before the sports festival, too. Still worth it for the experience point!
- Luck-Based Mission: Getting the most expensive present for White Day can be one due to the short span of time given. It's wholly possible to fail just because other characters keep preventing you from working.
- Magic Versus Science: Suzu and Rena. They're both imaginative and filled with random and outlandish ideas. But Rena's mystical beliefs and Suzu's unwavering commitment to empiricism put them at odds in most scenes they have together.
- Mind Screw: Most of the endings. Especially Rena's.
- Mood Whiplash: The moods of each ending are massively different. Suzu's ending is fulfilling and cheerful, Aya's ending is funny and sweet, and Yui's ending is heartrendingly sad. And that's just three of the many endings.
- Multiple Endings: One for each character.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Surprisingly averted. Hiroshi is okay with you and Rena, and even admits that the player is a good guy during her ending.
- New Game+: In a sense. Though it's still one save file, after you beat each character's ending (or fail badly enough), you go back in time with all your previous stats, with the addition of several more dialogue options.
- Not So Different: Aya and Rena, who don't like each other, are both Cloud Cuckoolanders, a fact which is Lampshaded by Kiku. Alice and Hiroshi also share some similarities as well.
- Obviously Evil: Alice's piece for the competition.
- Off Model: All of the girls have the exact same face in the midgame FMV, as opposed to looking very different in the game's normal art.
- Older Than They Look / Really 700 Years Old: The protagonist is in his 20s, at least, when he first gets sent back in time. He'll probably spend fifteen to twenty years or more grinding his stats to be a sufficiently high-functioning human that he has the time and capacity to help other people with their problems. It takes two years and eight months to complete each one of ten different paths. Ergo, he's at least a sixty-year-old man in a high schooler's body by the time he starts down the Golden Ending, if he didn't do more than a minimum of stat grinding.
- Peggy Sue
- Point Buy System: You get 20 exp to start with, and gain more by selecting certain dialogue choices. You spend them on raising either your stats (Fitness, Charm, Intelligence, and Creativity) or quirks (Luck, Memory, Focus, and Ambition) which have varying effects.
- The Power of Friendship / The Power of Love: Invoked by Alice at the end of her path.
- Robotic Reveal: The character in question claims to never get bored or forget things, doesn't get the big deal about food or taking care of living things, can drink enormous amounts of soda with no ill effect, is really good with logic puzzles but has trouble thinking in subjective terms, and isn't really bothered by a burn. Once you get through their ending, you get a new option which dismisses any weird behavior from this character because it makes sense now.
- Romance Game
- Schrödinger's Gun: MHI is seemingly involved in a different conspiracy each playthrough.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: If a little less serious then most examples; it's less "Robots take over the world and we need to go back in time to stop them", more "You suck, go back in time to suck less."
- Six Student Clique: Apparently, your entire high school only has a handful of students in it - or at least, those are the only people you ever meet, and you can't make friends outside of school. Subverted in that you really were a loser in high school and had no friends, and this time around you've got an angel pushing you into focusing on school.
- Shout-Out: Every movie shown in the theatre is one, combined with Bland-Name Product. For instance, Kill Bill becomes Kill Phil.
- Songs in the Key of Panic: Aya's Theme #2, which plays any time she's annoyed by anything and often is heard before she even appears on screen, features gunshots, breaking glass, crying babies, and a piano theme somewhat reminiscent of Flight of the Bumblebees. The Action themes are far calmer in comparison.
- Stat Grinding: The first (several, possibly) playthrough will be nothing but this with a side order of fishing for action upgrades.
- We All Live in America: subverted as the game is not only set in Japan, but makes an effort to bring up Japanese customs, festivals and school activities. This lets the token American serve the useful purpose of needing an explanation for some of these 'ordinary' customs.
- Although Christmas still takes place on the 25th, as opposed to it normally taking place on the 24th in Japan.
- Wimp Fight: Between Hiroshi and Alice in the failure animation while working on the culture festival.
- Wistful Amnesia: Yui can remember some details of what the demon has taken from her, but trying to recall more gets the demon angry.