Video Game: Corpse Party PC-98
"We...may have done something irreversible. And thrown open the curtain to nightmares..."
This is the original version of Corpse Party
, created by KENIX-SOFT and developed using the Dante 98 program. It was then released in Japan on April 22, 1996. It is very different from later entries in the series with a simpler mode of gameplay, smaller cast, and a very simple story.
The story begins with Ayumi Shinozaki
telling a scary story to her friends when they stay after school to clean up after the cultural festival. For Satoshi Mochida
, the sound of someone knocking on the door is terrifying, but he's compelled by the others to open it anyway. To his surprise and relief, it's just his little sister, Yuka, who came looking for him. Following introductions of each character, the classmates try to tidy up the room, but they're interrupted by a strange sound. Frightened, they try to leave, but a sudden earthquake catapults them into an abandoned schoolhouse.
Unlike Corpse Party: Blood Covered
, there are no shifted dimensions separating the characters, but they do decide to form two groups
to investigate their strange new trappings and find a way out. Group One is composed of Satoshi, Yuka
, and Naomi
, and Group Two has Yoshiki
and Ayumi. While Satoshi's group heads south, Yoshiki and Ayumi go north and the game follows their exploits in searching the school for clues. Soon enough, it becomes frighteningly clear that the school is haunted by the ghosts of other victims who became trapped there. It is an alternate dimension where people who are killed there cannot find peace. Both groups come across many diseased spirits, some of which are kind and helpful, while others are angry, dangerous, and psychotic
. If the five teens want to live to see the light of another day, they must solve the mystery of both the school and a mysterious young girl in a red dress.
This game has had three notable remakes so far: an official adaptation into a PC game, titled Corpse Party: Blood Covered
which expanded the story and reworked the characters; a fan made created game by an anonymous member of a Japanese message board with the permission of the original developers, titled Corpse-Party - Rebuilt
; and finally Corpse Party: Blood Covered ...Repeated Fear
, the second official remake, this time for the PSP
Several Fan Sequels
were inspired by this game. Corpse Party Zero
serves as a fan Prequel
; Corpse Party If
follows the events of Ending C, and Corpse Party D2: Depths of Despair
and Fatal Operation
continue off of the D-2 ending.
The Main Cast:
- Satoshi Mochida - The protagonist, easily frightened and has no love for ghost stories. He's gentle, compassionate, and a lot braver than he seems.
- Naomi Nakashima - All around Tsundere and Satoshi's best friend. She loves teasing Satoshi relentlessly.
- Ayumi Shinozaki - The ghost story loving Class Representative of Class 2-9. Seems bold, but is actually not as secure as she looks.
- Yoshiki Kishinumi - A laid-back fellow with a tendency to skip classes. Much nicer than he seems.
- Yuka Mochida - Middle schooler and Satoshi's younger sister. Immature for her age, and tends to cry a lot.
This game provides examples of:
- All Love Is Unrequited: There's a Type 5 situation going on: Yoshiki is crushing on Ayumi, who's only interested in Satoshi. On top of that, Yuka's also got feelings for her brother.
- And I Must Scream: Anyone who dies in Tenjin Elementary stays there, and they feel the pain of their death forever.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: The kids split into two groups, one led by Satoshi, and the other...was less organized. The game occasionally switches between the two.
- Anyone Can Die: Yes, yes they can. No one is exempt from dying if the player makes a mistake.
- Apocalyptic Log: Everywhere. You can find and read pieces of paper that are the last memoirs of the dead...and some of their first memoirs after dying.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only bring three of the five survivors to the Final Boss.
- Big Brother Instinct: Satoshi towards Yuka, naturally. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll act on it when she needs him most, though.
- Black Magic: Mentioned during the D-2 ending.
- But Thou Must: Whenever Satoshi must make a choice during one of the endings, whatever he picks tends not to have any impact on the outcome.
- The Can Kicked Him: If you go to the bathroom, you will probably die.
- Class Representative: Ayumi Shinozaki. She has the position, but refreshingly does not fall under any of the personality clichés.
- Cool Teacher: Subverted. Sachiko only thought her teacher was this trope, but then he turned out to be a pedophile and tried to rape her. She tried to escape him by climbing out onto a window ledge and plummeted to her death, thus beginning the curse.
- The Corruption: While the concept of "the darkening" hadn't yet come to the series, just being in Tenjin Elementary, with its evil aura, is enough to drive the spirits there insane and make them dangerous. Also, Sachiko can influence people to act violently, as shown in some of the bad endings.
- Creepy Child: As always, Sachiko.
- Deal with the Devil: At one point, Yoshiki and Ayumi may claim that they've found a way out—which involves killing their friends to earn their freedom. Ayumi then tries to change the terms of the deal by backstabbing Yoshiki so she can take Satoshi instead. This turns out to be just a case of Demonic Possession, though.
- Demonic Possession: This can happen to Naomi, Yoshiki and Ayumi.
- Despair Event Horizon: In a very literal sense, the entire haunted school is one giant black hole made of despair. It sucks people in, and then when they die, they become a part of the problem (usually by becoming a vengeful and/or pain-filled ghost).
- Dirty Coward:
- If Ayumi gets cornered by the model and Yoshiki escapes instead of trying to save her, they berate themselves afterward for being this.
- Similarly, Satoshi will feel this way about himself if he fails to save Yuka, whether by running from the bathroom or sending Naomi in with her instead.
- Disney Death: Yoshiki falls into a pit at one point, and then climbs back out while everyone else is in mourning.
- Don't Look Back: Getting distracted while on the path back from Heavenly Host means you won't escape.
- Downer Ending: Anything but the Best Ending, which ends with everyone getting out alive.
- Driven to Suicide: In one of the worst endings, Yoshiki admits to Satoshi he was planning on killing himself.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Fans coming into this game might be thrown off by the smaller scope, the lack of multiple pocket dimensions, no Involuntary Group Split, the smaller cast, and the somewhat different rules the ghosts, Tenjin Elementary, and Sachiko operate under.
- The completely arbitrary means by which people get sucked into Tenjin is also very weird. All you have to do is retell Sachiko's story on a rainy night, and BOOM!, you're there.
- Failure-to-Save Murder: Yoshiki and Satoshi can end up feeling this sort of guilt.
- Final Speech: On one ending path, poor Yuka is able to hang on long enough to deliver one of these, including making an Anguished Declaration of Love and asking the target to say they love them back, even if they don't really mean it.
- Friendless Background: Sachiko states that while they did have friends, they weren't particularly close to anyone, and didn't mind being alone. This was then used against them by her Jerkass teacher, who declared nobody'd believe her about the assault.
- Genius Loci: Implied with Tenjin Elementary, but nowhere near as touched on in subsequent remakes and sequels.
- Girlish Pigtails: Ayumi.
- Green-Eyed Monster:
- The evil spirits are Driven by Envy of the living, to the point that they want to doom them to the same fate.
- Yoshiki's pretty envious of how Satoshi is so popular with his own crush, while said crush is jealous of Naomi.
- Helpless Good Side: Downplayed with the true Sachiko, who does have a certain measure of power. Unfortunately, they're not NEARLY as strong as the embodiment of all her rage and envy of the living, which has taken on a life of its own.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Yoshiki can make one; so can Naomi in a seperate incident and even Yuka in one ending.
- Human Sacrifice: Hinted at in the D-2 ending when Ayumi asks Satoshi whether he thinks it's wrong to kill someone, regardless of the reason.
- Infant Immortality: Considering that the main antagonist is a Creepy Child ghost... Guess.
- Involuntary Group Split: Zig-Zagged. Satoshi and his friends decide to split up on their own, with Yoshiki staying behind with a freaked-out Ayumi. However, their original intent to meet back up after a brief search goes awry when the Malevolent Architecture sabotages that plan.
- It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Just don't tell Sachiko's story on one and you might be fine.
- Kill It with Fire: The evil spirits look like angry red flames (as opposed to little blue wisps), and making a wrong move in the school's incinerator doesn't end well.
- Kill the Cutie: Any endings in which Naomi, Ayumi and/or Yuka get killed.
- Load-Bearing Boss: After the Final Boss is beaten, the survivors are forced to flee for their lives... because the other evil spirits want to ensure the closed space doesn't collapse by sacrificing them.
- Locked in a Freezer: At one point, an evil spirit seals Yoshiki and Ayumi in a small room together, taunting them through a poster that "You can never leave."
- Malevolent Architecture: Tenjin, so much, the floor is riddled with holes and it keeps rearranging/losing pieces.
- Multiple Endings:
- A: The Golden Ending where Everybody Lives to the end. After they make it back, Naomi hangs back in their classroom, and she and Satoshi talk about how they hope they saved Sachiko from her sad fate. As they're leaving, Ayumi suggests Sachiko might have been the one to spread the rumor herself.
- B-1: Only Ayumi dies. Yoshiki tells the others he wants to be left alone, then leaves. They never see him again. Satoshi wonders if the guilt of leaving Ayumi behind got to be too much for him, despite his vow to live on for her sake...
- B-2: Only Yoshiki dies. Ayumi weeps bitterly over his death. The following day, while washing her face, she sees a hand-shaped bruise on her neck. Though she tries scrubbing it away, it only grows darker and darker, and won't disappear no matter how much skin she peels away...
- B-3: Only Yuka dies. Yuka's spirit appears before they leave, but she can't communicate with them. Returning home, Satoshi can't bring himself to tell his parents what happened. In his room, he finds a note: "Big brother... I'm so lonely..." Then he hears a knock from her room. Peering through the keyhole, he sees a familiar eye on the other side...
- C: Only Naomi dies. An evil spirit uses her body to lure Satoshi closer, and Yuka is fatally wounded trying to protect him. She admits her feelings to him before passing away. From there, the ending plays out much like B-3, with the addition that Satoshi tries to flee, but collapses out of guilt over never risking himself.
- D-1: Yuka and Ayumi die. Yuka's silent spirit appears before they leave. As Satoshi tries to figure out what to tell his parents, he hears Yoshiki outside and goes to meet him. Drunk, Yoshiki nearly stabs him, then admits he was planning on killing himself. Satoshi calls him out on this, but it's unclear whether his words are getting through to him, as he keeps crying out for Ayumi...
- D-2: Yuka and Yoshiki die. Yuka's spirit sees them off. While Satoshi wonders how to explain what happened to his parents, Ayumi comes to visit, looking strange and clutching a heavy black book. She asks if he thinks it's wrong to kill someone, then if it's wrong to revive them. Though shocked at first, Satoshi starts seriously considering it...
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: Sachiko and her mother. She stayed late at school because it was raining, hoping the weather would clear up before heading out.
- Never My Fault: When Satoshi meets the trapped spirit of the Principal, they insist that they don't deserve to be tormented because they didn't murder Sachiko. Of course, they're completely ignoring that they helped cover up her death just to protect the school's reputation.
- Sadistic Choice:
- If Ayumi gets cornered by the anatomical model, their companion is forced to make one: sacrifice his own life to save her, or escape while it's distracted?
- Satoshi has to make one if he goes into the girl's bathroom with Yuka: stay with his sister when she's trapped, or go after Naomi after hearing her scream?
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Satoshi gets teased about this in the prologue.
- Senseless Sacrifice:
- If Naomi dies protecting Yuka, it's later rendered tragically invalid when an evil spirit hijacks her body in order to get close enough to kill her instead.
- In the B-2 Ending, Ayumi ends up dying the day after they get back, rendering Yoshiki's sacrifice pointless.
- B-1's ending also implies Yoshiki meets a similiar fate, though the others never find out exactly what happened as they just 'never see him again'.
- Slave to PR: If not for this, Sachiko's murder would have been settled when the principal caught her teacher trying to hide her body. Unfortunately, he was more concerned about the school's reputation than bringing a murderer to justice.
- The Stinger: Used for all the endings from B-2 on down.
- Super Empowering: The survivors gain special powers before the Final Boss courtesy of Sachiko's good side giving them the rest of her powers.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Sachiko's tormented, angry spirit has actually split off from her original self and is the true power behind the closed spaces.
- Survivor Guilt: If any of their friends die, the others show signs of this. Particularly if they're Satoshi, Yoshiki or Ayumi, all of whom blame themselves for what happened.
- To the Pain: Sachiko is fond of these sort of rants.
- Unexpected Genre Change: At the end of the PC-98 game, the students must face a Final Boss, the only battle in the game. Made more difficult by the fact they haven't gotten any Experience Points, meaning they've got about 30 HP each... Fortunately, before choosing your party, you get a chance to learn what everyone's strengths are via an Info Dump:
- Mighty Glacier: Satoshi's strong but slow, and doesn't have any magical ability.
- Black Magician Girl: Naomi's the primary magic user and boasts the most MP.
- White Mage: Yuka's role. However, despite being the dedicated healer of the group, she doesn't have very much MP.
- The Buffer: Yoshiki can raise the attributes of his friends.
- The Medic: Ayumi can revive anyone who gets reduced to 0 HP.
- What the Hell, Hero?: If Satoshi tries to help Naomi after she screams, she chews him out after learning he left Yuka trapped in the process.
- Your Head Asplode:
- Sachiko threatens Yuka with a literally splitting headache.
- Fail during the final escape sequence, and this becomes the fate of your whole group.