White Day: A Labyrinth Named School
is a Korean Survival Horror
game by Sonnori that tells a story of a young man's trip into school in the dead of night to deliver some candy in preparation for the Eastern holiday of the same name (similar to Valentine's Day in Western countries) to So-yeong, the archetypical Shrinking Violet
target of affection.
It doesn't take long for the place to go from moody and dark into a full-blown nightmare
as parts of the school begin to grow dilapidated, an insane
janitor goes to town on a seemingly random adult before he starts coming for you, and two girls that seem pretty unfazed about the school turning into a hellish nightmare. And everything goes downhill from there
The game was released in Korea for Windows PC
in 2001 and an English European release was planned by the UK-based 4AM Entertainment in 2004 (even including translated screens from the import game), but it was unfortunately cancelled
. In the same year of cancelled localization, the game was re-released with six other games developed by Sonnori*
during their 10th anniversary
in the Romance of Package
compilation. The game was quite notable for several patches on the creator's site made to tone down the creepiness factor due to complaints from people being too terrified to finish the game and locked away the real horrors away in the harder difficulties. A port to mobile phones was released in 2009 but sacrificed the 3D graphics for still images that hampered the atmosphere of the game.
Since the cancellation
of the localization and Sonnori closing up shop, the game itself has become something of a rarity with a few people seeding torrents and file downloads in an attempt to keep a copy available
. Unnamed Studios has worked a fan-made translation/restoration project that fixes the game so it can be played on non-Korean PCs, improved the translations, and the works. The project, unfortunately, has been discontinued as of December 2013, ending with v15.9. You can find Unnamed Studios' translation patch here
The game's graphics did not age well, but its place was between Clock Tower
's 2D interpretation of the helpless victim and Resident Evil
's 3D depiction of Badass Normal
if it was a game using a first-person perspective
that took functionally of a defenseless protagonist
and pitted him against a haunted building with a stalker...Sounds vaguely familiar
Due to the nature of this game, it is best not to read any further past this point since the game can be a minefield of spoilers, despite the amount of spoilers covered up on this page.
White Day provides trope examples of:
- Abandoned Hospital: According to Seong-ah, the school was built from one during an old war.
- Abandoned Playground: The school shows signs of regular wear and tear, but after you leave the vents in the first area it really begins to show.
- Alien Geometries: The weird maze at the end as well as the void as you escape the school.
- Air-Vent Passageway
- Always Save the Girl: Not in the Hyacinth ending. You Bastard.
- Its worth noting as hard as it is to swallow choosing to stay and help sweet, timid, and kind-hearted Ji-hyeon leads you straight into the worst ending in the game.
- Ass Shove: By getting a pair of gloves from the biology room, it's possible to do this to one of the janitors. Doing so lets the player be able to steal a key which opens up a locker with a figure that gives you loads of lunchboxes.
- Ax-Crazy: The janitor, though it's more like creepy laugh and baseball bat crazy. There are two guys wandering the school with baseball bats.
- Don't forget the Mother's half-ghost. A real peach that one is. Tragic, but nuts.
- Batter Up: The janitor's favorite toy. RUN.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Hyacinth ending where you make the Sadistic Choice to save yourself and leave So-yeong unconscious to die. It helps that this flower means "I'm sorry".
- The Tuberose (Ebony?) ending is this in a way. So-yeong is doomed, but Seong-ah is revived as a human and on your side.
- Considering that there is a stinger moment though, with Seong-ah giving the camera a bit of a Psychotic Smirk, it leaves one to wonder if she really is on your side at that point. She may not be, if she's been possessed as she was in the So-yeong endings...Uh-oh. There goes the sweetness.
- You can't save all the girls in any ending. Save ONE per ending. Choose Ji-hyeon, Seong-ah, or So-yeong. As stated above you can Take a Third Option where they all die except you.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: An old translation was a horrible example of this.
- A translation/game-fixing project made by a person named Unnamed have mostly averted this, although some lines of text still remain in Korean. The project unfortunately ended for reasons unknown.
- Brown Note: Soon after you meet the two other sane people in the school, the fire alarm goes off and spooks one of them. Your next task is to turn it off. You will be sick of the sound within a minute, and it takes a bit to shut it off.
- Cancellation: 4AM Entertainment's official English for the game. Unnamed also discontinued his fan translation project.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The first thing you see the janitor do is brutally beat a student to death then giggle about it. You're next.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Not ALL the ghosts want you dead...
- Demonic Possession: Implied by a note from the janitor mentioning that he doesn't remember patrolling the school at night and he hopes that he's not contributing to the rising number of deaths at the school.
- Death by Falling Over: ...The fourth floor's broken guard rails. Doesn't stick. The mother comes back though she can't run.
- Difficulty Levels: Your standard Easy, Normal, and Hard affair, as well as...
- Easier Than Easy: Very Easy, which also cuts down a lot of the creepiness in the game.
- Harder Than Hard: Real mode. All the horrors the game has to offer that were locked away in lesser difficulty levels due to complaints of game's fear factor are in full effect here. Also, you cannot save your game on Real. And there's a time limit to boot! Didn't finish the game within midnight (in-game)? Sucks.
- Downer Ending: It is a survival horror game. The Ivy ending takes the cake though. Heartwarming at first glance. Then you realize Ji-hyeon's comment " Oh...Its warm." means that she and the hero are dying. After all it was so cold they could see their breath.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Wow do you ever.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: Playing the game on anything below Normal will prevent you from accessing the game's Multiple Endings.
- Flower Motifs: The titles of the endings you chosen depend on your action during this game: White Chrysanthemum (Truth), Hyacinth (Sorrow/Forgive Me), Ivy (Friendship), Tuberose (Dangerous Pleasure), Ebony (Hypocrisy/Darkness), Dandelion (Sincerity/Happiness), Althea (Consumed By Love), and Yew (Death).
- Game-Breaking Bug: One in particular if the game is played on non-Korean PCs; in Chapter 3 of the game, if you get caught by one of the ceiling monsters, your game will freeze, you fly out of the map and become stuck with no way of getting out. The only way around this is to load your previous save and try to avoid being caught again, although this could be rage-inducing if you're playing on Real mode which strips you of your ability to save. Thankfully this was fixed in v15.9 of Unnamed's Improved Version.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: Drinking Soyabean Milk, Canned Coffee, or eating Lunch Boxes refills your health.
- Implacable Man: The Janitor. He cannot be fought. He cannot be killed. You can only run, and pray he loses track of you. The Janitor does get knocked out in the third chapter. But then there's the second one... and he doesn't have a limp.
- Or if you can, get the gloves from the biology room and... well...
- Kill It with Fire: A boss takes place in an inferno If you help Ji-hyeon after the boss fight it becomes the Final Boss. Also a very important plot point has to do with fire. Seong-ah's death as well as her mother's descent into madness.
- Knife Nut: Seong-ah's mother. You're the target.
- Meaningful Name: White Day, the whole reason why you are in the school in the first place.
- Meganekko: Ji-hyeon. Ironically enough, she also earned herself the nickname "Glasses Girl".
- Multiple Endings: Several as long as you don't play the game on any difficulty below Normal. From worst to best: Yew, Ivy, Althea, Tuberose, Ebony, Hyacinth, Dandelion, and White Chrysanthemum.
- Nice Guy: Hui-min, the main character. Ji-hyeon is fairly sweet as a female example.
- Non-Action Guy: You have two options when being pursued: run, or die.
- Non-Standard Game Over: Most of the player character's endings are of him dying in some way. There's one you can only get on Real, in which you let the in-game clock hit midnight.
- Reincarnation: Seong-ah's motive. All well and good, too bad that can only happen if So-yeong is sacrificed.
- Sadistic Choice: Whichever girl you help dooms the other two to a Fate Worse than Death.
- Save Game Limits: You can only save with pens which are found scattered throughout the environment. Use them wisely.
- Save Game Starvation: Hard mode cuts down the number of pens available, making it much more strenuous on your progress. Real mode, however, the game eliminates your ability to save your game by removing the pens altogether.
- Spell My Name with an S: Earlier versions of Unnamed's version of the translation had instances of this with names like So Young and Ji Hyun instead of the more technical So-yeong and Ji-hyeon respectively, although these can be used alternate spellings of the characters' names.
- Temporary Platform: The last level as escaping the school. Whether or not you take So-yeong with you is up to you.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: The date the game takes place is on March 13th, on the night before White Day.
- Timed Game: Hard and Real mode have a time limit that you must complete the game in. And you don't want to let the timer reach zero.
- Tsundere: Seong-ah. Holy fuck Seong-ah. Though out out of everyone in the school, she is the only one who saves YOU. TWICE!
- Tragic Monster: As freakin' NUTS as she may be Seong-ah's mother is this. The reason she is so kill crazy? Would you not snap a little if your child died in a fire and you could do NOTHING to help her?
- Also it's implied the janitor is possessed. Explains a lot.
- Seong-ah herself.
- Updated Re-release: Unnamed Studios' Improved Version of the game, albeit a fan-made updated re-release, contains some changed things (such as all difficulties available from the start), added some extras features (skins/costumes for the female characters), and removed a lot of glitches and crashes. v15.9 also added a multiplayer component.
- Woman in White: Two of them. One of them seems fairly benign and occasionally appears to point out important items to you. The other one clings to the ceiling and you have to defeat her. Both are also examples of Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl.