Visual Novel / Dies Irae
Battle Royale to run away from really fast!

A visual novel by the company Light (no, not that Light) that has had a colorful release history.

Ren is a high school student. He had a violent fight against Shirou, and was hospitalized for two months. One day, he leaves the hospital, and tries to start a new life. But, it never comes to him. A dream of guillotine..., a murderer who chops off someone's head..., and the knights who chase him.... Ren crosses over the boundary between ordinary life and extraordinary life. "I just wanna go back..., to a boring but peaceful life...." A voice of Shirou suddenly echoes..., "If you live in this town, you'll go mad sooner or later...." A war.... What will happen to Ren in the end...?

Originally intended to be a visual novel with only a single route; Dies Irae underwent some quick rewrites due to Executive Meddling after artwork posted during development lead to interest in characters who were not the main heroine.

On the surface it is a regular supernatural story with lots of Gratuitous German and Latin but its focus was truly on the Rule of Cool and its unapologetic admission that although the story is cliche, it was the characters that would drive the story and their interactions received most of the effort.

In 2015, the creators of the game launched a crowdfunding campaign to create an anime pilot episode, and took in 100 million yen, over 300% of their original target goal. Additionally in 2016, a leaked image suggests that an English localization of the Amantes amentes version releasing on Steam is being made.

The release history for this game follows:

  • Dies Irae: Also Sprach Zarathustra (2007) - Had routes for two heroines: Empathic Weapon Maria and Ren's Childhood Friend Kasumi. Due to hasty rewrites, certain key scenes were shortened and back story was left out.
  • Dies irae: Also sprach Zarathustra -die Wiederkunft- (2009-07) - This version fixed those story problems, added some new music and plot to make the whole story more enjoyable and also make a bit more sense.
  • Dies irae ~Acta est Fabula~ (2009-12) - Added two additional routes for the Ensemble Darkhorse Tsundere character Kei Sakurai, and the Emotionless Girl Rea Himuro and adding a somewhat vague ending that was filled out in a drama CD. A download version was released in 2014.
    • Dies irae Also sprach Zarathustra ~Acta est Fabula~ -Scharlachrot Grun- (2009-12) - Append disc for the Die Wiederkunft version, which adds the aforementioned two routes.
  • Dies irae ~Amantes amentes~ (2012-06) - An All-ages release for the PSP which adds a boatload of new contents (CGs, routes, and animated scenes). This version later saw release for the Windows version in August 2012, an Updated Re Release for Windows 10 in December 2015, and a port for Android devices in August 2015 (as a part of the above-mentioned crowdfunding). An iOS release is set for 2016.

This game contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Reinhard’s voice actor chose ‘Tom Cruise’ (in katakana) as his pseudonym while working on Dies Irae.
  • All There in the Manual: Two online back stories have been published as well as five Drama CD’s all documenting additional back-story that really explains quite a bit about a lot of the L.D.O. Such as how they all first met and Beatrice’s and Kai’s rebellion.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Karl Kraft does this in the introduction. Makes him all but untouchable except in one route.
  • Ax-Crazy: More or less everyone, including Ren. Kasumi, Marie and Mercurius are the only ones really above, and the latter still has his moments.
  • Badass Normal: Shirou, who in a few routes never gains any magical ability but still fights with the magically empowered L.D.O. and be taken as a serious threat.
    • Specifically, Wilhelm pulls out his Briah ‘Der Rosenkavalier Schwarzwald’ and only succeeds in taking Shirou down with him.
  • Badass Preacher: Christof Lohengrin, alias Valeria Trifa, who packs quite a wallop and manages to take the spot as the Final Boss of Kasumi's Route. He also manages to more or less defeat Schreiber entirely just by abusing his ability to read other's emotions.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: This is essentially why Reinhard becomes the protagonist in Rea's route, after he is shown the true definition of friendship through Shirou and Ren's fistfight, and then turns on Mercurius, who he finds out to have been deliberately keeping him in the dark on certain things.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Despite being a group that the Schutzstaffel found too intense the L.D.O. members are given significant characterization. It is revealed that the few that are not out and out evil and are mostly forced into their roles. Plenty even rebel in all the routes to do their own thing. Not for good reasons each time though. Beatrice and Valeria do everything for their loved ones while Wilhelm just wants a go at fighting Wolfgang/Ren/Shirou/anyone.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Reinhard who cannot be happy unless he is fighting to stay alive, which is hard given that he is so powerful he needs to engineer the apocalypse to do so. As Ren eventually fights with him on even footing due to a Heroic Second Wind his response is to laugh with joy as he cannot see any other way to live. Hell for him 'taking it easy' and 'barely working' is being head of the Gestapo!
    • Karl Kraft can see into the future and as so goads Reinhard into his whole plan of re-creating the world so that he may see something he could not immediately predict the outcome of. His general actions when a member of the L.D.O. freak out all the other members except Reinhard, remember that the L.D.O. is composed mostly of Complete Monsters or Blood Knights and they feel Karl is too weird.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Tubal Cain. He only gets worse from there.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Third level of Die Ewigkeit, Briah, allows user to materialize their desires: for example, if a character desires to not be touched by anyone, his Briah allows him to be always faster than his opponent. Atziluth is the same taken Up to Eleven, when the desire is so strong that it starts to change the entire world.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Shirou in the routes where he does acquire his Yetzirah. In Marie’s route he acquires it while punching his way out of a monster that had supposedly killed and eaten him! Easily his Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • For the Evulz: Wolfgang just Wolfgang. He sings nursery rhymes while he stabs people to death. Although killing people and drinking their souls gives your relic more power Wolfgang was a serial killer before he was drafted into the L.D.O.
  • Ghostapo: The Longinus Dreizehn Orden or L.D.O. is this played dead strait. A unit made up of people who Took a Level in Badass at the very least.
  • God: Mercurius, though by all accounts, anyone on the Throne becomes this in effect.
    • God in Human Form: Karl Kraft and Caggliostro are this for Mercurius, essentially little more than images of him that he interacts with the world that exists in him through.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Half the cast.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Reinhard was this in spades back when he was in the Gestapo. When he cuts loose for the first time, Rusalka, a 200-something year old witch jaded by more or less everything mentally 404's, unable to believe something like him even exists.
  • Light Is Not Good: Big Bad Reinhard is the only character with a white uniform, uses a golden holy lance and seems almost to give of golden light. He also starts the apocalypse for fun.
  • Magnetic Villain: Everyone is drawn to Reinhard due to his overwhelming power and charisma, with Ren describing him as having the kind of regal aura reserved for tales about ancient kings of legend.
  • Physical God: A greater part of the cast, but particularly Reinhard and Mercurius, the former of which more or less makes characters who could level a country or five with ease shit themselves with fear using an inkling of his full power. Mercurius manages to top this by having his weakest form of attack be tossing tens of thousands of stars, shrunk to the size of golf balls, as a god-rending hellfire barrage.
  • Sentient Cosmic Force: Achieving "Atziluth" or Godhood makes you this, as it involves expanding the character in question's internal world until it is a massive universe of it's own. Two Atziluths cannot coexist however (At least, not unless Marie is made the Throne God) , so two people with Atziluths activated will have to do battle for superiority.
  • Soul Jar: Holy Relics grant their users supernatural abilities, including immortality, but they can be killed by (and only by) destroying it.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Reinhard when he shows up in Sakurai's route. He's at an inkling of his true power and the most damage the protagonists manage to inflict on him is slightly scratching one of his fingers, which was all he needed to block Sakurai using her and Beatrice's Briah at the same time. He even lampshades that Mercurius said that the events of the Swastika opening would finally give him a challenge and expresses his utter disappointment.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Getting a relic seems to do this. Turning genuinely scary murderers and soldiers into super-powered Ghostapo members.
  • Talking To Yourself: Karl and Ren have the same voice actor.
    • Kei and Beatrice as well.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Inverted emotionally with Reinhard who only gets happier as it looks like he might lose. He had never had a problem fighting anyone before that due to his Story-Breaker Power status.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The obvious example aside with Shirou and Ren, given that the former put the latter in the hospital for months, Reinhard and Mercurius are more or less this though Reinhard eventually finds out that Mercurius' friendship with him is basically just a way to try and control his Apoptosis.