Rumors persist about the existence of a chat room called "The Black Page". Anyone who is curious enough to visit it is cursed to die. Calling
centers around four such individuals who awaken to find themselves in another dimension called the "Mnemonic Abyss" which is populated with spirits. These individuals are:
- Rin Kagura, a college student searching for an old friend who she only knows the screen name of.
- Shin Suzutani, an anime and supernatural otaku who followed the rumors out of curiosity.
- Makoto Shirae, an editor of a small publishing office investigating his friend's death.
- Chiyo Kishibe, an elderly widow that desperately wants to see her husband again.
A rather obscure game, Calling is a survival horror game for the Wii, released in late 2009 for Japan and early 2010 for the United States. While most major review sites gave Calling depressingly low scores, some fans have come to view this game as a hidden gem.
Not to be confused with the manga Calling
, the band The Calling
or the Dragon Age
tie-in novel The Calling
- Abandoned Hospital: Subverted because you're not on the same plane of the living nor the dead. In reality the hospital could be bustling and crowded at the time you're exploring it.
- Anachronic Order: Explains why Rin runs into Shin immediately after his chapter in which he dies. Confirmed after the fake ending.
- Another Side, Another Story: While Rin and Makoto are the main playable characters, there are brief playable segments as Shin and Chiyo as well.
- Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Reiko.
- Cat Scare: This usually serves to warn you about an upcoming fright unless you do what the cat wants.
- Creepy Child: Reiko
- Cowardly Lion: Shin. It eventually gets him killed. Even as a ghost he is easily frightened off by the sound of a ringing phone.
- Creepy Doll: Shin's chapter has him trapped in a house belonging to a man who was obsessed with them.
- Curiosity Killed the Cast: Visiting the Black Page was not a good idea on anyone's part.
- Diary: Kyoko's and others.
- Dead Person Conversation: Lots.
- Designated Victim: Shin
- Driven to Suicide: Reiko, which caused the creation of The Black Page and Mnemonic Abyss.
- Evil Phone: A key point of the game.
- Fission Mailed: Rin's 'fake' ending. After the credits roll and a scene plays out, the game announces a new chapter has been unlocked.
- Four Is Death:
- At the beginning of the school chapter, Rin receives ominous threats through her cell phone with the voice announcing its location each time. She starts out on the fourth floor of the school and the messages indicate that the spirit is rapidly ascending the stairs.
- The clock in the hotel room is frozen at 4:44.
- GASP!: Whenever the characters see a ghost.
- Ghost Lights: Usually indicates a hotspot for white noise.
- Ghostly Goals: Most of them want to kill you, possibly that's simply due to to protective behavior as they do also want to be saved. Type A (particularly Kyoko, who wants Rin to save Reiko) but switch to Type B out of fear. Makoto becomes a Type A.
- Girly Run: Averted. Unlike most survival horror games of its type, the female protagonists either haul ass or can't run to begin with.
- Guide Dang It: There's a glitch where if you don't do everything during The Lamentation just right, you won't be able to progress further. Most people wouldn't know about this unless they read a walkthrough.
- Haunted House Historian: Sadao (he was learning about it himself when he was trapped) when he leaving messages around.
- Haunted Technology:
- The Black Page curses anyone who visits it to die and has a counter showing how many people have died after visiting it.
- The cell phones that the player can pick up are able to record white noise and play back ghostly messages. They also grant the ability to warp its users to different locations by dialing a phone number.
- I Can't Reach It: "You can't see well in the darkness" despite the objects being clear enough to observe.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Poor Reiko has always been alone.
- Ill Girl: Reiko
- Jump Scare: This game thrives on these types of thrills. Even exiting a menu or making an about-face will make you wet your pants.'
- Lip Lock: The dub, oh so much.
- Male Gaze: Makoto manages to get a good look at the hotel spirit's cleavage and probably would have appreciated it more if she wasn't trying to kill him as it happens.
- The Many Deaths of You: Getting killed by certain spirits will earn the player a nice photograph on the Wii to commemorate the event.
- Multiple Endings: One 'good' and one 'bad'. Unusual in that you view both in a single playthrough of the game.
- Shin is into both anime and the supernatural.
- One of the malevolent spirits was an otaku that died of over exhaustion at an internet cafe.
- Parental Abandonment: When Reiko's mother could no longer pay her hospital bills, she just left Reiko in the hospital by herself.
- Poor Communication Kills:
- Reiko believed that Rin lied to her about visiting her because Rin had been in an accident and did not wake up in time to stop her from jumping out the hospital window.
- This costs Rin her life when she fails to receive forgiveness from Reiko because she cannot hear her apologize and Reiko still believes her to be a liar. The cell phone turns out to be the key to getting through to Reiko.
- The Promise: Rin promised to visit Reiko in the hospital as a child.
- The Reveal: Rin had made a promise to Reiko to come visit her at the hospital. However, she was hit by a truck on the way. She awoke in the hospital in time to see Reiko fall through an open window. This is what sets the events of the game into motion.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: After regaining her memories of Reiko and the accident that triggered her suicide, Rin tries to apologize to her. Reiko responds by tricking her into falling out the same window she jumped from, letting her plummet to her death. This is the fake ending.
- Shout-Out: The premise of the game borrows largely from the J-horror genre of films including Chakushin Ari, Ju-on, and The Ring.
- Spirit Advisor: Several throughout like Kyoko and Sadao.
- Stalker with a Crush: Makoto gets one. She likes sending creepy letters to your Wii.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Reiko
- Survival Horror
- Truth in Television: The internet cafe victim may have been based on the real-life instances of people who have died at internet cafes of exhaustion from nonstop usage.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Reiko.