... I see... you've resisted the temptation of the sirens for decades, lying here... Everlasting life means everlasting pain...
Siren is a series of Stealth-basedSurvival Horror video games. The series is the Spiritual Successor to the original Silent Hill, directed by Keiichirō Toyama. Each game tells the story of several people caught up in the netherworld over the course of several days.A unique mechanic employed in the games is "Sightjacking", the ability to see through your enemies' eyes, and thus know their patrolling and movement patterns.In Siren (2003) (aka Forbidden Siren in Europe), a group of people are trapped in the mysterious mountain village of Hanuda, and swept up in a plot to resurrect/resummon a Eldritch Abomination into this universe.The 2006 sequel, Siren 2 takes place in an isolated island and features an entirely different cast, who must stop a pair of evil beings, sealed away long ago, from returning to this earth. One important change in the sequel is that conventional weapons are far more widespread, and one can even take them off of fallen enemies.A remake that's a likely Shout-Out to Western adaptations of classic J-Horror films like Ringu/The Ring and Ju On/The Grudge was released on the PlayStation 3 in 2008. Siren: Blood Curse adds Americans to a roster that are compositeExpies of the original cast members in a re-imagining of the first Siren.Has a character sheet.This game series provides examples of:
The Alcoholic: Officer Ishida in the first game. Even Winged Shibito need a drinky-poo now and then...but the last one had a bit too much kick to it.
Alternate Universe: The second game's Archives show that both games take place in one where the Showa Period is still ongoing, meaning that Emperor Hirohito (who in our timeline died in 1989) was still alive as of 2005.
Yorito Nagai is sent to another one at the end of the second game, one where the Yamibito are normal and humans are the dangerous monsters — especially so considering he responds by going on a killing spree.
Amnesiac Dissonance: Of a sort. Hisako Yao, in the first game, has been alive for so long that she occasionally forgets who she really is, and her mission to revive Datatsushi. That's why she helps the protagonists in the early parts of the game. Twenty-seven years ago, posing as the servant of the Kajiros, she felt sorry for their daughter (also named "Miyako"), the next destined Bride of Datatsushi. So, Hisako tried to rescue her...from Hisako.
Arranged Marriage / Not Blood Siblings: Jun Kajiro was adopted and raised by the Kajiro family so that should the ritual to sacrifice Miyako fail, he could marry Ayako Kajiro and continue the family line.
A Storm Is Coming: Hanuda is engulfed in the middle of a storm late in the first game.
Autobots, Rock Out!: In the first ending for Siren, and in a bonus level in the second, Kyoya Suda rocks out to a heavy metal song called "The Buster" while running about exterminating shibito with all the weapons he's got.
Backtracking: In the first Siren, justified in that Hanuda is a small village and is isolated in a Dark World. Thus, most of the main cast will go through the exact same areas previously visited — albeit with different objectives in mind and often from another approach. Once missions are completed, alternate objectives of varying difficulty are unlocked for them, which, when completed, add connecting details to the cast's story and unlock paths that move the game closer to its true ending.
In Blood Curse, in addition to the above, justified in the second half of the game due to it being the second loop; everyone starts where they originally did, and must go to where they're meant to go, which often means going back through the same areas.
Bad Ass: Kyoya, by the end of the first game. In the second, there's Takeaki Misawa and Yorito Nagai, post-Freak Out!. By the end of Blood Curse, Howard.
Barrier Warrior: Sort of. In the second game, evolved Yamibito can only be attacked from behind.
Better To Die Than Turn Into A Shibito: Akira in the first game and his expy Seigo in Blood Curse both stick their shotgun in their mouth and shoot themselves in an attempt to escape the shibito curse. It doesn't work for either of them.
Black Speech: Excluding some of Officer Ishida's lines at the very beginning, the Shibito in the original game constantly mutter and sing to themselves, in words that can't quite be made out. Averted in the second and third games, where the yamibito/shibito speak English or Japanese, depending on your settings.
Blessed with Suck: Pretty much everyone with psychic abilities suffers from Class 3 of this. In the first game, Miyako Kajiro's powers apparently qualify her to be sacrificed as the Bride of Datatsushi or Kaiko, depending on the game. Risa Onda has a telepathic link to her twin sister who has been transformed into a Shibito. When they end up fully connecting mentally, Risa turns into one as well. In the second, Akiko uses her powers to channel the memories of Kanae, a deceased avatar of the Big Bad, which ultimately results in Kanae pulling a Grand Theft Me, stealing and transforming her body. Takeaki Misawa's ability to sense the supernatural is driving him insane, Ikuko's powers caused her to be ostracized by her peers, and it's heavily implied that the Big Bad itself steals her body in the end.
The reason you're able to heal rapidly and sightjack people in the first and third games? You've been exposed to the red water, and you're slowly mutating.
Blind Seer: In the first game, the blind Miyako Kajiro is able to use her psychic abilities to see through peoples' eyes, and can apparently see peoples' auras. In the second, Shu Mikami, stricken with blindness due to childhood trauma (no need for spoilers, as it's the first scenario), finds himself able to Sightjack his seeing-eye dog (and others) when he gets to Yamajima island.
Averted with Miyako in "Blood Curse".
Blood Bath: The red water being analogous to blood, Naoko Mihama mistakenly gets the idea that bathing in it would make one young and beautiful a la Elizabeth Bathory. The red water actually turns anyone who interacts with it into a Shibito, but the liquid does grant special healing properties.
Body Horror: The evolved forms of Dog, Spider, and Winged Shibito in the first game, and the evolved forms of the Yamibito in the second. The spider and fly shibito in the third.
Honorable mention goes to the Shibito Brain, the Onda Twins near the end, and Eiji Nagoshi's evolved Shibito form — which is literally a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong; Yukie in Blood Curse.
Bolivian Army Ending: At the end of the second game, Private Yorito Nagai is swept into what seems to be an alternate dimension populated entirely by Yamibito. The sight drives him insane, and he starts shooting wildly as we fade to credits.
Harumi is the only true survivor of the catastrophe. Everyone else is either a Shibito, a Shibito permanently tac-nuked by one of the Uryens or the Homuranagi, or is trapped in the same temporal dimension as the Shibito with no way back home.
Bottomless Magazines: In the second game, as Ichiko Yagura is taken over by Otoshigo, she has periods of murderous insanity, wherein she (somehow) gets a machine pistol with infinite ammo. Yorito Nagai also gets a machine gun with infinite ammo for the battle against Otoshigo.
Burn the Witch!: The villagers of Yamajima island believed that Kanae was some sort of evil being whose presence would lead to misery and destruction. They were right.
Butt Monkey: Shigeru Fujita in the second game. First he gets demoted, then forced to go back to Yamajima island. His dedication to his job drives his family away, causing his daughter to hate him...and then two Eldritch Abominations awaken and force him into the netherworld, where he gets killed by the adorable schoolgirl he thought he was saving. And even then he doesn't get to die, coming back to life as a monster before he gets killed for good.
Came Back Wrong: When the ritual to restore Datatsushi failed, it pulled Hanuda into the Netherworld, and caused a landslide. The people trapped within the landslide awakened as Shibito (due likely to the presence of red water in the mud), but trapped in the landslide, they couldn't immerse themselves in red water properly and evolve into full Shibito. So, they spent twenty-seven years as Type 4s, rotting away, all while cognizant of their fate. "Eternal life brings eternal pain" indeed.
The Chick: Risa Onda from the first game is probably the Chickiest Chick ever - she swings her weapon slower than any other character and doesn't knock back enemies she hits, making even one-on-one fights impossible without severe injury at best. Fortunately, the second game averts this trope, as the girls are reasonably tough and useful, when they're not Mooks for Mother, or being taken over by Otoshigo. Or controlled by the AI.
Clear My Name: In the second game, Abe Soji is falsely accused of the murder of Ryuko Tagawa. It turns out that Ryuko, an avatar of Mother who had abandoned her mission, was killed by one who had not.
Conspicuously Light Patch: Averted most of the time in Siren 1, which leads to many cases of Guide Dang It. Sometimes, the camera angle will change and attempt to help you. Keyword: attempt...
Continuity Nod: In Siren 2, Takeaki Misawa was the soldier who was part of the military rescue force that responded to the Hanuda disaster after the events of Siren and was the one to rescue Harumi Yomoda.
Shu Mikami's father Ryuhei was an acquaintance of Tamon Takeuchi's father, Omito.
Cool Old Guy: Local hunter Akira Shimura takes down Shibito with his marksmanship skill and even comes to the rescue of Yoriko Anno in one of his missions. Before flipping out and eating his own rifle in the face of Cosmic Horror, he even knew about Hisako Yao's true identity and that she was somehow responsible for Hanuda's transdimensional shift.
The Corruption: Otoshigo's method for getting onto land involves taking over the body of a drowning victim (Ichiko Yagura, in this case), and gradually transforming them into a suitable body. Unlike a case of Grand Theft Me, Ichiko comes to the surface a few times, but is apparently driven murderously insane by the process.
Creepy Cool Crosses: The Mana Cross, a strange variant, shows up all over the place in Hanuda. It's actually patterned off of some planks the villagers put Datatsushi on when he crash-landed on Earth.
Crucified Hero Shot: Played with a bit. Although Datatsushi's not a "hero", he was sacrificed upon the Mana Cross, proving the savior of the ancient village.
Cursed with Awesome: Due to her feeding upon Datatsushi, Hisako Yao, anyone descended from her (i.e. the Kajiros), or anyone with the Kajiros' blood in their veins (eventually Kyoya Suda and Yoriko Anno) are "cursed" to never become Shibito. They also apparently age extremely slowly, (in Yao's case, not at all), and if the fate of the previous Miyako Kajiro (under the clinic) is any indication, take more than twenty-seven years to starve to death. From the perspective of the townspeople, this means they get to live long, miserable lives with no chance whatsoever of being united with their God. From just about anyone else's perspective...
In the second game, Sightjacking is said to actually be a curse from Otoshigo and Mother, permitting them to view all that transpires on the island.
Dead All Along: Ichiko, who drowned in a ship accident and is now being taken over by an Eldritch Abomination from beneath the sea. The game lets you know that the sole survivor of the accident was a female student and lures you into believing that student was Ichiko...only to reveal later that it was in fact her best friend.
Detect Evil: Takeaki Misawa's instincts are sharp enough to pick out avatars of Mother (Yuri), or people under the power of Otoshigo (Ichiko).
In the second game, Yorito Nagai kills Otoshigo by weakening it with bullets, causing it to crash into a fuel tank, then setting it ablaze by hitting it with an electric lightbulb attached to a generator. Mamoru, Ikuko, and Kanae (formerly Akiko) arm themselves with the YamiNaki shards to fight Mother. Kanae stabs herself, weakening Mother through their connection, and Ikuko uses her powers to freeze Mother, allowing Mamoru to strike, sending her to the ground, where Ikuko can hit her. Finally, Mamoru lands the finishing blow, and the threat of Mother is gone forever.
Flash Back (much of the backstory of the characters and main villain)
Fountain of Youth: Naoko Mihama misinterprets an offhand remark from Akira Shimura, which leads her to believe that bathing in the red water will make her eternally young and beautiful. Since Dog Shibito can't talk, we can't ask her what she thinks of how it turned out.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Used in the first 20 seconds of Blood Curse; as Howard runs away, he WILL be shot at least once, but will brush it off. And then he gets shot again in a cutscene and it's a One-Hit KO.
Guide Dang It: In Siren 1, players are often required to pick up items or fulfill sub-objectives (which the game doesn't tell you) in earlier stages for use in later ones. Sometimes, the game will give you a hint, but these are vague at best.
In one of the first missions of the game, you're required to pick up a radio, visit the well, pull up the bucket, put the radio in the bucket, hide, wait for a Shibito to inspect the radio, and shoot the Shibito down the well just so that the Shibito isn't there to kill someone else in a later stage. Also, you only get this hint (which consists of an extremely vague clue: "Search the Yoshimura house and well") if you decide to revisit this stage for some reason, not on the stage where you actually need it.
In one of the other first missions, you need to look for a number on the wall of a house, go to a tape recorder, rewind the tape until it reaches that number, listen to the numbers that are said on the tape, use those numbers to unlock a shed door, get a face towel, and put the face towel in the freezer. In a later mission, you need to take the same face towel, place it under a piggy bank, wait for the towel to melt so that the piggy bank falls and causes a distraction, kill the Shibito it attracts, and then get an I.D. badge. Yeah...
The first game is literally a case of Guide Dang It, as the instruction manual offered slightly more concise clues about accomplishing the alternate objectives.
In the first game, Reiko Takato takes herself out blowing up a truck's fuel tank to save Harumi from a Shibito, then saves her a second timeeven as a Shibito from Eiji Nagoshi. Also, after pretty much doing a Riverdance on the Moral Event Horizon several times Shiro Miyata frees the Onda sisters and a whole bunch of other people trapped in Shibito state by powering the Shield Uryen with his own lifeforce.
Hide Your Children: The American release of the first game raises Kyoya Suda's age from sixteen to eighteen, and Miyako Kajiro and Tomoko Maeda's ages from fourteen to seventeen.
Hive Mind: Kinda. In the first game, the Shibito are mentally linked on some level, and since all the main characters (save Miyako Kajiro and Harumi Yomoda) are slowly transforming into Shibito, they're linked, too. That's how Sightjacking works.
It might be more of the village and its cursed nature that provides the link that grants Sightjacking rather than a Shibito hivemind. Even Harumi was able to use it, and she was the sole living survivor of the Hanuda catastrophe, found in the middle of what used to be the village and nowhere near a Shibito state.
Harumi is gifted with "The Sight", a form of ESP similar to Sightjacking, as demonstrated in Archive 007.
In the first game, when a Shibito Brain is present, all Shibito within a certain vicinity are linked to it. Temporarily killing the Shibito Brain will lay low every other Shibito in the area immediately and is usually an objective in some missions.
Hollywood Cuisine: The recipe for Hanuda Noodles (Archive 022) in the first game. Of course, watching Shibitocop aka Officer Ishida gorging on a bowlful borders on Nausea Fuel.
Humanity Ensues: Mother's method of interacting with the surface world involves creating human-like avatars whose job is to look for a suitable Unwitting Pawn that will let her out of her prison. Apparently, it's not that uncommon for them to grow fond of humanity and abandon their missions.
I Know Mortal Kombat: Yoriko manages to cut through a gate by a skill that she says she saw in a Comic Book.
Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Required to get Shibito Risa Onda off your back in one level. Happens to, well, an arguably good guy in the second with Tomoe Ohta, at least the first time she dies.
Improbable Weapon User: Over the course of the second game, Mamoru Itsuki, Ikuko Kifune, and Akiko Kiyota all pick up mysterious fossils known as YamiNaki or Annuaki shards. These appear to be fragments of the ancestor god of Mother and Otoshigo, and in the second battle, they actually transform to resemble glowing swords. Also, at one point while playing as Ichiko, you can kill a Shibito and grab the item he was holding, a trophy about half Ichiko's height, which doubles as an Archive Item and a melee weapon.
Infant Immortality: Both averted and played straight: Miyako and Tomoko (both 14) die — the former ends up as a sacrifice in a ritual (although she lives on in spirit) and the latter becomes a Shibito). It is also possible to watch them die in-game after taking too much damage. However, ten-year-old Harumi is never shown dying when a Shibito discovers her, and she is the only character from the first game to actually escape Hanuda.
This trope is probably the reason the aforementioned characters had their ages raised in the US version.
Invincible Minor Minion: Every enemy in the game is unkillable, more or less. No matter how much damage you do to the Shibito, they revive within minutes (and in some cases seconds) due to the healing effect of the red water which is everywhere. Incidentally, this is also why there's no visible health meter; your character is also healing from the red water. The danger is that if you absorb too much of it, you turn into a Shibito as well.
In the second game, the corpses of the shibito and yamibito are simply possessed by new shiryo or yamirei within moments, which apparently heals the body. Explained by the island's belief that if corpses aren't staked with Mekkojou branches, they will be unable to go to Heaven and their bodies will be possessed by evil spirits.
Keystone Army: In the first game, incapacitating a "Brain" Shibito will cause all other Shibito in the area to collapse and several levels are entirely based around destroying it just to paralyze the rest so you can get on.
He crosses the Moral Event Horizon several times, including when his twin brother Kei Makino happens upon him conducting an experiment on the Shibito-fied Onda Sisters that wouldn't be out of place in Herbert West's science book. Extra Squick when he stomps on the Shibitofied fetus that Mina had been carrying before her murder. He later murders his brother for no real reason and takes not only his clothes but his role in the rest of the game (Later levels playable as Kei Makino clearly feature Shiro wearing his dead brother's robes).
Murder Is the Best Solution: Just prior to the events of the first game, Mina Onda apparently told Shiro Miyata that she was pregnant with his child. He didn't take it too well.
Mystical Waif: Miyako, as far as her role and apperance go. Personality-wise, she's more snarky and moody than most examples.
Mythology Gag: Miyako whacks her pursuer over the head with a stick in the original Siren. It doesn't work in Blood Curse.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the second game, when Mamoru Itsuki washes up on the cursed island he wished to investigate, he sees a strange woman, who appears to be extremely sensitive to light, and tells him her mother is imprisoned on the island, and asks for his help, implying that the first person she asked met a bad fate. They're then attacked by a (or I should say the) Shibito. As they explore the island, the woman demonstrates strange powers, and when Mamoru finds what looks like a very large fish scale, she tells him it comes from her mother. To cap it all off, it turns out that opening the mother's prison involves opening seven magical seals keeping her bound beneath the island. Does Mamoru find anything at all suspicious about all this? Nope! So he opens the gate keeping an Eldritch Abomination from escaping to ravage the earth. Fortunately, he finds a way to temporarily close it, but tons of Yamirei escape.
Nigh Invulnerable: Present in both games. In the first, the Shibito take a lot more damage than a normal person would, and when they finally get knocked out, curl up and stay down for anywhere from a couple of minutes for the non-evolved Shibito to about fifteen seconds for the evolved ones. At one point Shiro Miyata does vivisections on the Shibito-fied Onda sisters...while they're still squirming and screaming. In spite of having their organs taken out and analyzed, they're good as new within no time. The only thing that can permanently destroy a Shibito is being set aflame by the Uryen. In the second, it seems endemic to Yamajima Island that people who die there come back to life as nigh-invulnerable Shibito or Yamibito if they aren't stabbed with a Mekkoju branch upon death.
The remake uses this, but it is much longer, as you can go through an entire level without it waking up.
No Export for You: Since the first game did so badly in the U.S., the second was only released in Europe and Japan.
Non-Lethal K.O.: No matter how hard you beat down a shibito or yamibito, they always get right back up a short time later. There are occasionally ways to permanently remove specific enemies from a stage, however.
Oral Tradition: Hisako Yao is based off the Japanese legend of the Yaobikune, the Eight-Hundred Year Old Nun who became immortal after consuming mermaid flesh. Given a Lovecraftian twist, of course. She even dresses up in a manner similar to a Catholic Nun to hang a Lampshade on this.
Our Zombies Are Different: The Shibito in the first game. They apparently retain a good degree of the intellect they had before they mutated, but are given to strange, neurotic behaviors, such as repeating mindless tasks or endlessly patrolling. Over time, they mutate into more powerful and horrifying forms. And all of them are thrilled that this has happened to them because being a Shibito means being one with their god. They want you to be happy, too. Even if it means opening you up and letting the red water in.
In the second game, "Shibito" are more conventional zombies, corpses animated by "Shiryo", which are spirits controlled by Otoshigo. "Yamibito" are Shibito who have been taken over and altered by "Yamirei", spirit-creature-thingies controlled by Mother.
Parasol of Pain: Umbrellas can be used as weapons in both games. They work about as well as you'd expect.
Path of Inspiration: The Mana Cult of Hanuda. Of course, only Hisako Yao seems to know it's really about the whole Stars Are Right deal with resurrecting Datatsushi.
Rain of Blood: Type 3 variant in the first game and in "Blood Curse".
Recurring Boss: Tomoe and Tsuneo Ohta in the second game. Interesting in that, thanks to Time Travel, you actually run in to them in three different forms: Human, Shibito, and then evolved Yamibito.
Redemption Equals Death: Shiro Miyata, who literally sacrifices himself to power the Shield Uryen and open up a gigantic Shibito Roach Motel sinkhole. The freed souls of the Onda sisters beckon him to join them before he plunges into the blazing sinkhole himself.
Ret Gone: The defeat of Mother apparently wipes all of her avatars from history itself. This has an unexpected benefit for Soji Abe, when the woman he's accused of murdering no longer exists.
Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: In the second game, during the few levels where the shibito aren't outright replaced by the yamibito, the two will typically attack each other before they go after the player. Additionally, Ikuko can temporarily possess any enemy through sightjacking and take out other enemies with them.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Takeaki Misawa, in the second game is haunted by visions of Harumi Yomoda, sole survivor of Hanuda, whom he rescued. He's apparently on some sort of anti-psychotic/anti-depression medication as a result. It's not working too well.
Yoriko Anno's manga-esque sketch of Tamon Takeuchi in her class notes (Archive 033) suggests she's possibly a Shout-Out to and an Expy of manga artist Moyoco Anno.
Siren: Blood Curse is made in the style of a Western J-Horror remake, with a composite Expy cast that includes Americans who decide to pay that quaint little village of Hanuda a visit.
The air raid siren's usage can be considered a Shout-Out to Silent Hill, or alternatively just a part of creator Keiichirō Toyama's Signature Style; he's also the man behind the first Silent Hill, and reportedly the use of sirens in both games was inspired by recurring nightmares he had about the sound.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Kei Makino and Shiro Miyata are basically opposites. Kei is a kind-hearted, but completely ineffectual guy, and Shiro's cold, but gets things done. Shiro envies Kei, due to his place within the community, and we all know what can happen when brothers envy each other...
Sinister Geometry: Late in the first game, Hanuda is slowly being converted into a hideous nest for the Datatsushi and its Shibito servants.
In the second game, the Yamibito apparently grow shrouds from their bodies that they use to cover up a building's windows and other places where light might get in.
Spirit Advisor: Miyako Kajiro to Kyoya Suda at the end of the first game.
Shu Mikami to everyone in the second game, though he generally just stands around looking depressed.
A different Miyako to Howard in Blood Curse.
Stable Time Loop: In the first game, Kyoya Suda ends up single-handedly committing the historical and legendary slaughter of (Shibito-infested) Hanuda that attracted him to the village in the first place. In the remake, the good guy has to set everything into motion by e-mailing one of his crew from 1973 after the town goes whacked again. As well Amana, meet Bella. Bella, meet Amana.
The cycle of Ouroborus. Yao both sets into motion and dooms herself, though it's not really a loop since she and Datatsushi's skull show up in multiple spots along time.
The supplemental stories include a case where a girl dies being chased by a Shibito, revives as one, and spots her past, living self. She tries to warn her not to go that way...
Stealth-Based Game: Most of the first game's missions involves the main cast trying to avoid detection by various Shibito to reach a certain location. This is usually compounded by the characters having neither effective weapons (at least in the beginning) nor Bottomless Magazines in the case of characters who pack or happen across firearms. Not to mention short of drastic measures (i.e. permanent death by Uryen or Homuranagi) the Shibito willrevive eventually. Aggravated especially in the thankfully few instances of an Escort Mission.
Siren 2 also follows the same route; although some enemy weapons can be picked up and used, it is best not to be seen if you can help it.
Summoning Ritual: Two attempts to revive Datatsushi in the first game. The first one is unintentionally interrupted by Kyoya Suda sabotaged by Miyako Kajiro as Kyoya Suda arrives and Hilarity Ensues. The second one succeeds.
Survival Horror: If we have to explain, we're going to force-feed you some mermaid.
Sword of Plot Advancement: The Homuranagi sort of qualifies. Kyoya automatically obtains it after taking down the Shibito-fied Jun Kajiro in the Netherworld with the Uryen, but using it to go Highlanderon Datatsushi is necessary to achieve the True (or rather, Full) Ending.
They Would Cut You Up: What Shiro ends up doing to the Ondas. Turns out that not much will kill them, no matter how much he cuts.
Also happens to the previous Miyako from the last failed ceremony, after her escape attempt failed.
This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Shiro nearly quotes the trope verbatim as he goes to finish off the Ondas. But by that point, he had shot his brother Kei and assumed his identity, making the quote darkly funny...
Time Travel: Both games take place in an alternate dimension where the past and present versions of the setting are mashed together. In the second game it's subtly hinted that the main characters are from an Alternate Universe, and that with the defeat of Mother and Otoshigo, and the collapse of the combined timeline, they're scattered across the dimensions. Then there's the third game, in which not only there's a time travel, there's a time travel loop that has the main characters stuck in a spiritual side-way 8 eternally.
After she's caught in Datatsushi's collapse, white-haired Yao falls outside of time with Datatsushi's skull. You can actually catch Miyako smashing the skull early in the game to sabotage the ritual, only to be surprised later when it's found intact. The skull, also existing outside time, can and has been replaced as needed.
The siren is the cry of Datatsushi in the first game, and the cry of Mother in the second.
This contradicts the game itself; a secret cutscene shows the fall of Datatushi and the first appearance of the siren, and there, the cry of the siren and the cry of Datatsushi are clearly two entirely different sounds, the siren responding to Datatsushi's scream.
Mother and Otoshigo in the second game
Unreliable Narrator: Characters who come closer to becoming a Shibito (and so death in general) start seeing things. A complete Shibito sees the cursed setting as a paradise filled with angels.
Towards the end, a disoriented Tamon sees Yoriko with the pale face of a Shibito running at him. From Yoriko's less infected view, we see Tamon was the one becoming a near-complete Shibito.
Miyata sees a rather optimistic welcome to the afterlife, complete with the women he vivisected and/or murdered along with their unborn child happily calling him over.
Unstoppable Rage: Yorito develops a case of this near the end of the second game.
Walk the Earth: If the second game is any indication, Kyoya, unable to return to our world, wanders the Netherworld defeating supernatural menaces with the Uryen and the Homuranagi. One wonders where he gets batteries for his portable stereo player...
Weaksauce Weakness: In the first game, Spider Shibito can't open doors, so it's rather easy to lure one into a room you don't plan to use, knock it out, and trap it. In the second, most of the enemies are vulnerable to bright light, which kills Shiryo and Yamirei, and briefly stuns Yamibito.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Subverted in the first game. When Miyata activates the Uryen, two rotting Shibito slink off the screen rather than get caught in the chasm. They have a touching reunion with their son in the ending, until that goes to hell.
White-Dwarf Starlet: Naoko Mihama in the first game. Once a famed idol at nineteen, her career went steadily downhill as she aged, until, at twenty-eight, she's been reduced to reporting for a crappy "Ghost Hunters"-style supernatural show.
Played straight with Harumi Yomoda, who is the only cast member to escape Hanuda alive and intact.
Gruesomely subverted in the case of Tomoko Maeda. At the end of her mission to reach the local church, she peers into the window and sees her parents taking shelter there. And they see her... weeping Tears of Blood that mark her gradual transformation into a Shibito. The Japanese commercial that used this cutscene was reported to have been very disturbing to viewers and was actually banned.
Again subverted in Bella Monroe's case in Blood Curse. In the first loop, she reenacts the same scene as Tomoko's last mission, all Tears of Blood and window pounding, plus an accompanying Maggot Shibito after reaching the church where her parents are. In the second loop, you - and dear old dad Sam - finds out that she's Amana, the one who started the mess by eating Kaiko after being flung into the past.
Word of God (An interview with the director clarifies some points about the original game... but leaves some mysteries, and actually outright contradicts the game itself at one point. See again Mind Screw.)
The Virus: Spread by the red water in the first game. If it gets into your bloodstream, you become a Shibito, and the more of it that gets in, the faster you turn. So, as long as you don't drink it, breathe the vapors, soak in it, or let it into your wounds, you'll be fine...Uh-oh. Looks like rain...
The red water is actually a physical manifestation of the Datatsushi's curse upon the village of Hanuda, somewhat understandably resentful of the ancient inhabitants going way overboard with the whole Body of Christ communion.
You Can't Go Home Again: Once you have red water in your system, you can never leave the Netherworld, even if you don't become a Shibito.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After the ritual to restore Datatsushi proves successful, no more generations of Kajiros are needed, and so Ayako Kajiro gets roasted.