In the late 24th century (2390, to be precise), the Mugunghwa
, a generation ship
, was launched by the Korean government to found a colony in a planet far away from Earth. The ship never reached its destination, and was detected, adrift and lifeless in the immensity of space, more than two thousand years later. During the events of Analogue: A Hate Story
, you were sent to the ship to recover the message logs of its computer, in hopes of finding what made the ship go derelict. After examining the computer logs and getting testimony from the two Artificial Intellegences in the ship, *Hyun-Ae and *Mute, you managed to uncover the mystery behind the demise of the entire crew of the Mugunghwa
But why did the ship go off course and disappear without warning? It is evident, from the nature of the final message logs in the computer, that the ship's society somehow regressed to a pseudo-feudal period sometime during its travel, but all information before that period was conveniently deleted, so the causes of this societal degeneration have been Lost Forever
Until now.Hate Plus
is the sequel to Analogue: A Hate Story
, the Visual Novel
developed by Canadian author Christine Love
. It started as plans for a Downloadable Content
package for the original game, but ultimately became something even bigger than the original novel, to the point of turning into a full game on its own right rather than an Expansion Pack
, with features like being affected by variables in your saved game of the original
The game was released on August 19th, 2013, after a bit of Development Hell
. (Her apartment being destroyed in a fire
did not help matters, either.)Please watch this space
. Also, stay tuned to Christine's blog
for news about the game.
Not at all related to Love Plus
This work provides examples of:
- Addressing the Player: *Hyun-Ae wants you to actually get up, go to the kitchen and bake a cake, in real life. There's an achievement for sending a picture to Christine Love, the developer.
Hyun-ae: Are you not taking me seriously? Are you just pretending, as a joke at my expense? What do you think this is, some sort of tacky ero visual novel? Do you really think relationships are as easy as just clicking the right dialogue choices on a menu...? Are you trying to tell me that, after all the time we've spent together, I don't deserve just a little bit of effort? Well, here's a message to you... not as a cool space investigator, but as a player sitting at a computer screen talking to a sad girl. Stand up, get the ingredients, actually go into your kitchen, and bake a cake! A real, actual, IRL cake! Please, do this for me! You promised me you would! Let me enjoy it through you, please!
- Amnesiac Dissonance: *Mute is often surprised, and dismayed, at how opinionated and outspoken Old *Mute is.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Kim So-Yi displays quite a few diagnostic criteria for Asperger Syndrome: highly logical thought processes, inability to read facial cues, extremely tight focus on the Radiation Problem, and Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. Notably, though, she has a healthy and supportive relationship with her husband, who doesn't seem put off by her quirks at all.
- Animesque: In-universe: it's revealed why *Mute looks so anime-looking is because her original creator was a huge nerd. (Old *Mute changed herself to be more realistic.) The android bodies you order for *Hyun-ae (or *Mute, in the harem route) also have large eyes and are based on old cartoons.
- Anti-Poop Socking : It takes place over the course of three days. In real time. You can only decrypt so many of the logs per day, then you have to power down until time passes in the real world.
- Author Appeal: Another game from Christine Love with "too many words" about "women and queerness and technology," strongly infused with "the power of cuteness."
- Bad Boss: A variant. The only scientist investigating the cause of the decline of birth rates aboard the ship is fired by her boss, but only under pressure by his new boss: the scientist's former assistant, who molested her in the past. Her boss has been a jerk in the past, such as making her cleaning up the remains of a laboratory explosion instead of doing research.
- Badass Boast: *Mute's "Just watch me," often accompanied by a cigarette.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: At one point, future empress Eun-a says, "I'll be happy when I'm out of a job and only have to worry about devoting myself to a husband." She gets precisely that, except for the "happy" part.
- Bittersweet Ending: Implied to be the fate of the two gay couples followed in the story. While Ae-Jeong coldly severs contact from Mae Jin-a by suddenly dumping her and claiming she never really loved her in the first place and that it was a mistake to continue their relationship, and Mae Jin-a gets married off after becoming very bitter towards Ae-Jeong, it's heavily implied Ae-Jeong managed to convince Ryu to shelter Jin-a with her by pretending that Jin-a is her little sister. On the other hand, Heo and Mimi apparently still see each other after Year Zero, as *Mute states that Heo kept sneaking off during guard duty to see a male.
- Boomerang Bigot: Oh Eun-a is homophobic and claims that it is everyone on the ship's "moral imperative" to reproduce - those who can't, especially homosexual couples, are hedonistic, over-emotional parasites. Except that she's bisexual, and it's very heavily implied that her "little sister" is actually a completely unrelated lover who she used to dote on. This comes back to bite her in the ass later; her "little sister" commits suicide partly because the world Eun-a is building will have no place for their love, making Eun-a's victory ring a little hollow as she spends her post-revolution days staring into space, depressed.
- Brick Joke: The Investigator's mis-translated, garbled ship name gets referenced again in *Mute's route on the third day.
- Call Back: During the Schrödinger's Gun opening questions, two of the three years you can select for the years recorded in the logs are 1988 and 2027, which would make it simultaneous with Digital: A Love Story and don't take it personally babe, it just ain't your story, respectively.
- The Earth Tourist Board email reveals that Lake City (the setting for both of the above) suffered some kind of apocalypse and is now a Pompeii-style history museum.
- The Chessmaster: Ryu Hyeon-Su and Oh Eun-a. Over seven years, they have the other council members enact dozens of subtle changes to the Mugunghwa's legal policies that, eventually, give Ryu the ability to pass whatever legislation he wants, at whim. By the time Old *Mute realizes what he's done (and that she was tricked into signing off on the whole mess), she's too late to stop it. Ryu also knew she'd attempt a coup in response, and stops it easily. He uses this as an excuse to crown himself Emperor Taejo and have the logs wiped clean, thus setting the stage for the events of Analogue: A Hate Story.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Minor example: the color of the background and the interface will be different depending on which route you're doing, much like in Analogue. *Hyun-ae will have a blue interface, romanced *Mute will have red, *Hyun-ae and *Mute together will have pink, etc.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: As with Analogue: A Hate Story. At some points, there's multiple layers of dissonance: *Mute is horrified and disgusted at Old *Mute's rude and unladylike behavior—but Old *Mute is acting this way because she is, herself, horrified and disgusted at the retrograde and patriarchal notions she's hearing. It gets even more complicated when *Hyun-ae and *Mute are both commenting on a document, and debating the cause-and-effect of depravity and morality.
- Depraved Bisexual: University President/Queen Councillor Oh Eun-a is one of the two original conspirators. How did she meet the other? She was at a university party, hoping for a one-night stand with a male after getting tired of seducing women. She later begins going psycho when she accidentally drives her "sister" to suicide by emotional neglect, staying long hours with Ryu plotting, and her maid testifies that Eun-a began treating her like her "sister," in-between spates of depressive episodes.
- Driven to Suicide: Eun-a's "sister" kills herself, believing she is useless to Eun-a, who is busy with her plot to overthrow the government. Also, *Mute after reading the Death of Old *Mute log. *Hyun-ae will stop her in harem route, but in her own route ...
- Discriminate and Switch: Despite seemingly being a very loving husband, Kim So-yi's husband writes a log titled "Worthless as a Wife". It turns out that he's using her exact words: she's just been fired and driven to a nervous breakdown by the new societal pressure to stay at home and be subservient to your man. He's deeply worried about her and does his best to help her. *Hyun-ae lampshades this if you're on her route by getting outraged at the title, but realizing it wasn't what it meant.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: *Mute's reactions to some pre-Year Zero diary entries come off this way. In one log, Kim So-yi, a female scientist, is told that, despite her excellent work, she's receiving a pay cut. More women are quitting in order to have children, thanks to the new Motherhood Credit Act, and the department isn't bothering to spend money on someone who's likely to quit and have children. Naturally, So-yi sees this as insulting and dismissive of her work as a scientist.
Kim So-yi: I have no intention of having children at 24.
*Mute: What? But ... that's the best age to have children at!
- Et Tu, Brute?:
- An odd but still meaningful example from *Hyun-ae. Initially she views Oh Eun-a as a kindred spirit, as a woman who was married to an Emperor Ryu ... and then she learns that not only was it willing, but Eun-a actually orchestrated the wonky society that drove her to homicidal mania out of a never-ending parade of misery in the first place! Needless to say, she isn't happy.
- A more direct example would be *Mute's reaction to the same log where we learn that Oh Eun-a and Ryu masterminded the log erasure, given how she actually believed Oh Eun-a and Ryu were trustworthy, noble people. Initially she even tries to convince herself that Old *Mute is lying rather than believe her friend betrayed her and everyone else on the ship.
- Oh Eun-a feels betrayed by her father when she discovers he knew about a plot against her and Ryu and did nothing, conveniently forgetting that she hung him out to dry first by giving his Councillorship for Education to one of Ryu's puppets.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep:
- Some characters (for example, Kim So-Yi's boss, the Research Chief) are never referred to with a proper name. More or less justified by the format: presumably they all have real names, but they're simply not used in the handful of text logs that we have access to, so they can only be referred to by what you know about them.
- Additionally, the player him/herself, as you have no way of telling *Hyun-ae and/or *Mute your "real" name. They just refer to you as Investigator, or variations thereof depending on your chosen gender and marital status ("Miss Investigator," "Mr. Investigator," etc).
- Everyone Is Bi: Subverted by (non-harem) *Mute, who never fully comes around to accepting or returning a female main character's love in any meaningful way, and thinks the whole relationship is absurd. She still, however, refers to herself as a wife, and is not unhappy with the predicament. New *Mute feels even more strongly that the relationship should stay platonic, though mostly because she barely knows you yet.
- Evil Versus Evil: Old *Mute and her council's monarchic, anti-democratic, elitist rule that sought to quash any attempts at democracy by any means necessary as a way of maintaining status quo, but otherwise permissible of anything that didn't cause non-nobles to riot, and Ryu and Eun-a's nationalist, neo-Confucian, totalitarian, Luddite rule that strictly enforced outdated, misogynistic, archaic laws, social stations and castes, and customs that eventually turned the ship into a copy of the Joseon period, except even dumber.
- Gray and Grey Morality: What both sides saw themselves as. Old *Mute's society was seen as corrupt, materialistic, consumeristic, greedy, sexually depraved, and hedonistic. The conspirators' plans were seen as archaic, horrendously oppressive, anti-intellectual, bigoted, and a perversion of Confucian ideals. It's essentially modern-day Korea versus the Joseon Dynasty, but both thought they had the ship and its society's continued survival at heart.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Invoked by Hyun-ae in her route as a response to this. She'll ask you what you thought of the entire conflict. You can say "I hate everyone equally" in response.
- Exact Words:
- The harem ending. It's a Harem alright... It just the player isn't the center of it. *Hyun-ae is.
- The achievement "The Death of Old *Mute", whose description reads "LOL SPOILERS *MUTE DIES. Which simultaneously foreshadows the current *Mute's death.
- Expospeak Gag: In one of Eun-a's letters, she talks about meeting Ryu, who complains that too many people these days are "needlessly bitch[ing] about politics," and that he's glad she's not one of them.
Eun-a: "Me? Oh no! I think people get distracted by them too easily instead of focusing on the things that really matter!" I said, summarizing my thesis about the myopic social destruction caused by the increasing discourse of democratization.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: The Mugunghwa was about 550 light years away when you discovered it. How fast does it take to get back to Earth in your ship, the White Princess? Three days.
- First Name Basis: "Mimi" is only known by that.
- Fling a Light into the Future: A variation: *Mute embeds a handful of log files into her base code before she is forcefully mindwiped, so that the "next" *Mute can read them and understand what happened to her and the ship. The version of *Mute present in Analogue never knew, as she never performed a diagnostic which would have revealed the files. Needless to say, she doesn't take it well.
- *Mute talks about a similar rebellion that happened two centuries into the ship's launch, and ended just as bad. In it, a critical portion of the ship was permanently damaged (both an AI and the ship itself), and there was major social upheaval. Guess what happens at the end of the story.
- In the harem route, *Mute says she's seen crazy shit, like a queen who manipulated the emperor. It's more or less how Eun-a managed to hatch the conspiracy in the first place.
- Gag Penis: Minor example in Harem route. When Oh Eun-a first meets her future husband Ryu, *Mute is scandalized to discover that the future Empress was initially "just interested in his cock." This leads to a funny exchange with *Hyun-ae, who slept with Ryu's descendent back when she was alive:
*Hyun-ae: ...well, if he's anything like his descendent, he's probably—
*Mute: NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO, DON'T TELL ME THIS. I CANNOT HEAR WHAT YOU'RE ABOUT TO SAY, OKAY?
- Gayngst: Apparently not present in the Investigator's time, the game offers the player a chance to watch the start of discrimination against homosexual, "non-productive" (i.e., non-child-bearing) relationships aboard the Mugungwha. Specifically, it comes about when married couples get a big stipend to counteract the declining birth rates: homosexual and/or non-married couples, thanks to the increasingly terrible and noble-oriented economy, get stiffed, and are forced to marry out of their orientation to stay afloat.
- Golden Ending: The only way to get it in this game is to also get the Golden Ending in the prequel. If you don't, *Mute commits suicide if you don't have *Hyun-ae to stop her.
- Hates Everyone Equally: It's actually a response you can give to *Hyun-ae when she asks you what you think of the entire mess on Day Three, though it's more out of pity than outright hate.
- Heteronormative Crusader: *Mute, but she was programmed to feel that way, although she seems to enjoy Heo and Mimi's logs. New *Mute doesn't seem to have any hangups when it comes to same-sex relationships, but she also doesn't have *Mute's secret weakness for cute boy-boy romances, nor her love of gossip.
- Hit So Hard the Calendar Felt It: Addressed by a log in Block 13, where it is revealed that it was caused by a rebellion that damaged the stability of the pre-Year Zero political system and caused a total hard drive wipe of the ship's computer, resetting *Mute and deleting her memories.
- A deliberate example of Unreliable Narrator. The 'rebellion' was the dying throes of the legitimate political system trying to reassert control over a totalitarian despotism/functional autocracy. Chief Councillor "Emperor" Ryu wiped the computers, and *Mute, himself.
- Hope Spot: Kim So-yi was just days away from presenting decisive evidence of the Mugunghwa's declining birth rates being the result of abnormal levels of radiation. Then President Ryu, or rather, Emperor Taejo, destroyed all of the ship's data, including her evidence.
- Horrible Judge of Character: *Mute trusts Oh Eun-a implicitly after her reactivation in an amnesiac state. If you've read anything about Oh Eun-a at all under the spoilers, you know how bad an idea this was (this turns into one of the many reasons *Mute commits suicide). Justified, as *Mute was more or less a newborn at that stage, and didn't know any better.
- Hysterical Woman: *Mute was programmed to view women as ruled by their emotions; she uses this to justify her own outbursts and fallacies. Oh Eun-a also views women as emotional, flighty, and promiscuous, causing the downfall of society. She is, ironically, all of these things, and possibly the most powerful person on the ship for a while.
- Hypocritical Humor: *Mute is, once again, in full form here. She calls the logs of the affair between the actress and flower girl as "melodramatic", but her own descriptions of the two in their logged pictures are very melodramatic.
- Professor Kim, a history teacher, "doesn't give a crap about Confucius" and would prefer that they kept things modern.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Or, more accurately, I Cannot Allow Myself To Die Even If It Is The Better Outcome. When Old *Mute and Heo Seo-yeong try to take down Ryu once and for all, Ryu reveals that he's planted a bomb in the ship's computer core, which only he can disarm. Old *Mute explicitly wishes that she could allow herself to be "killed" if it meant that Ryu would lose his power (and his life), but as the security AI, she is hard-coded to take the option that ensures the security of the ship, and thus she's forced to surrender.
Old *Mute: I wished with every byte of my being that I could've picked that second option. But I knew I couldn't. I knew, as my very core directive, that safety was more important than freedom.
- Just to twist the knife, she finds out too late that it's not even a real bomb.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Said almost word-for-word by *Mute if you're romancing her, as a woman, though she quickly deletes it. However, her attitude about being in love with a woman is complicated, to say the least. See I Want My Beloved to Be Happy below.
- I Hate Past Me: "Hate" might be a little strong (even if it is in the title), but *Mute very vocally disagrees with many of the decisions of her "predecessor".
- Interface Spoiler: Several examples.
- First, in-universe: of the 50-something text files that your AI finds embedded in her code, the very last one is titled "The Death of *Mute." Your AI(s) will almost immediately mention this, and note that it's obviously important but also makes them uneasy. Unfortunately, it's encrypted, so you have to wait until the end of Day Two to actually access it.
- Deliberately in the achievements, the description of one being "LOL SPOILERS *MUTE DIES". This might not seem like a spoiler at first, as you might assume it's referring to Old *Mute, who "died" nine hundred years ago and is thus Doomed by Canon. It's not. This makes the suicide of the *Mute you've been talking to all the more shocking.
- "Level Four Revive Materia"'s icon being largely the same as "The Death of Old *Mute", merely flipped and showing *Mute rather than Old *Mute, gives this away. "Deep Space Therapist" also subtly hints at New *Mute's existence, as it depicts *Mute in a suit but lacking Old *Mute's eyepatch.
- But cleverly inverted with the "Level Four Revive Materia" achievement, which you get by finishing the game with *Mute in a particular outfit. Seems simple, right? Especially since there's an achievement for completing the game with *Hyun-ae, and one for completing it with both girls, and one for completing it with *Mute twice, once as a man and once as a woman. There is absolutely no way to get that achievement—see Unwinnable by Design below. If you look at the achievement stats before playing, you'll notice that the achievements for completing the game with *Hyun-ae and for completing it with both girls have been completed by lots of people. This achievement has never been completed, ever. It isn't even coded into the game. Instead, there is a hidden achievement for finishing the game with New *Mute, who wears a different outfit that you can't change.
- Incest Subtext: Sort of: it's implied that lesbian lovers on the Mugunghwa sometimes claimed to be sisters as a way to stay close to each other and not attract attention. Commented on by *Mute in day 3 of her route if you go through some of the logs related to Ae-jeong and Jin-a again.
*Mute: Just so we're clear, "little sister" means "lesbian lover," right?
- This is a plot point with Oh Eun-a. She and her "sister" were extremely close, to the point *Hyun-ae doubts they're actually sisters. Eun-a's sister committing suicide slides Eun-a into a deep depression, to the point where she even treats a maid exactly as if she were her dead sister.
- Internalized Categorism: *Mute, who views her programmed female gender as coming with a great deal of baggage. If she's talked into considering a relationship with a female Investigator, her homophobia comes into play, too.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
- *Mute sometimes expresses this opinion if you romance her as a woman. She believes that a woman cannot be happy unless she is married to a man, so while she appreciates (and even reciprocates) your feelings, she sees herself as a poor substitute for a husband, and wants you to find true fulfillment.
- Oh Eun-a has shades of this in her letters to her now-deceased lover Mi-seun:
Eun-a: I want to make a society that would've given you something better than me.
- Jerkass: Every council member. *Mute openly talked back and more or less would loudly not care about anything that didn't affect the ship security. Kim was a classic case of an elitist scientist who thought he was smarter than anyone (and wasn't afraid to show it off in sessions), and that anything not hard science was worthless. Lee and Yang were blowhards. Smith was apathetic. And all of them were more concerned with maintaining their wealth than ensuring the "peasants" were actually free.
- Knight Templar: Holy shit, Oh Eun-a. Is the society you live in debased, greedy, and cynical? Yes. Would it be nicer if people cared more about society in general rather than themselves? Yes. Does that mean you should erase all the scientific progress you've made towards solving the birthrate problem, shackle the lower classes in a life of slavery to the nobles, and institute a despotic regime that has no idea what it is doing? Hell no, you utter lunatic.
- Ladykiller in Love: Ae-jeong, famous actress on the Mugunghwa, would take her fangirls to bed, dominating them as they adored her for her amusement. However, her latest target, seemingly a moeblob, catches her after screwing up a play, and manages to impress her with a witty comeback to her co-star. By "impress", we mean "make her fall madly in love with".
- Lady Macbeth: Oh Eun-a fills the role almost as well as the wife from that Scottish play... and similarly goes just as mad with guilt.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Several examples. In *Hyun-ae's route, she gets frustrated by her inability to actually speak to you, and accuses you of treating her like just another girl in a dating sim. Which, of course, she is. At one point, she'll even ask you to bake a cake for her. In real life. No, actually get up from your chair and bake one. If you can't do that, at least buy one.
Hyun-ae: "...Even if I don't understand how you could buy a cake in the middle of deep space..."
- Legacy Character: *Mute to Old *Mute. Inverted with New *Mute, who was created from a data rollback on *Mute.
- Lipstick Lesbian:
- Oh Eun-a, to the extreme, ultra-feminine (to the point of wanting other women to return to their feminine ways). It's probably part gayngst (and part Love Makes You Evil, surprisingly) that makes her want society to return to the ultra-patriarchal Neo-Confucian ideal where women are dominated by men and "know their place".
- Heo Ae-Jeong seems to lament her inability to fulfill this trope, due to acting lovestruck and awkward in the presence of her girlfriend.
- Like Is, Like, a Comma: For an AI capable of thinking orders of magnitude more quickly than a human, *Mute uses an awful lot of verbal filler. It's almost, like, a Verbal Tic.
- Lovable Rogue: Mimi, Heo Seung-bok's gay lover. He's a shameless gambler and manipulator ... who's also quite the gentleman, hustling cards and marks to pay for college classes, and he fully reciprocates Seung-bok's feelings. But he's also shown to have Hidden Depths: after Mimi is forced to marry a woman due to societal and familial pressure, he writes a deeply apologetic and heartfelt letter to Seung-bok, and it's obvious his love was sincere.
- The Man Behind the Man: Read through most of the logs, and you'll come to understand just how deviously Ryu manipulated Old *Mute and the council. Read through the logs in Block M3, most of them written by his wife Eun-a, and you'll come to understand just how deviously she manipulated him.
- Manipulative Bastard: Old *Mute can show shades of this. Surprisingly, Oh Eun-a turns out to be this for the entire story.
- Monster Sob Story: Eun-a manipulated the regression of her entire society, and ordered the death of at least one person who opposed her, in addition to planning for the deaths of many more if necessary, but when you read her logs and understand she did it all for love ... well, she's still a monster, but at least you know why.
- MST3K Mantra: Invoked by *Mute in the harem route, after it's pointed out that the extensive restrictions on AI replication should prevent *Mute and *Hyun-ae from being active at the same time since they share the same underlying code.
- Multiple Endings: As with Analogue. It depends partly on which AI you start the game with, and partly on how you answer their questions on Day 3.
- Never My Fault:
- Possibly a part of Oh Eun-a's motivation. She feels her "sister" deserves better but blames society rather than herself for it, and her eventual suicide. She appears convinced, perhaps due to low-self-esteem, that a Confucian society would have protected her better than she could.
- In the Harem route (which is generally more comedic than the "standard" routes), *Mute blames the translation problem entirely on *Hyun-ae.
- Noodle Incident: Something resulted in Ae-jeong getting disowned. It's never discussed.
- Not So Different: *Hyun-ae comes to feel this way about Oh Eun-a and her "sister", sympathizing with her feelings of being trapped.
- *Hyun-ae and *Mute turn out to have much more in common than they seemed to at the start of Analogue: A Hate Story.
- Obfuscating Stupidity:
- A minor example with Mae Jin-a, who not only recognizes when she's being subtly mocked, but manages to very cleverly burn her mocker with a single question.
- Eun-a doesn't act stupid, exactly, but she likes to ask leading questions and subtly influence people to do what she wants, rather than say anything outright.
Eun-a: "Uh, maybe this is a dumb question," I said, leadingly ...
- Old Save Bonus: If you have completed at least one of the routes from Analogue (besides Ending 3), you can select Continue in Hate Plus to carry over the AI(s) you ended the game with. The game also recognizes whether you told *Mute if you were a man or a woman, and *Hyun-ae will be in the same costume that she was wearing at game's end.
- One Steve Limit:
- Averted, annoyingly. The various councillors on the ship are only known by their title and family name (and occasionally their department, such as "Justice" or "Culture"). After the Meritocracy Act passes, several councillors are replaced, but often by members of the same family, who thus have the same family name. So there are two Councillor Ohs, two Councillor Yangs, two Councillor Jos ... it can be a bit confusing, and since most of the councillors don't have portraits, sometimes the only way to tell is whether the date of the log is pre- or post-Meritocracy.
- A deliberate, comedic, in-universe example: Heo Seung-bok visits his lover Mimi, who's spending time with ... Heo Seung-bok. Who looks exactly like the other Heo Seung-bok. And who also loves Mimi, and is also a security officer (but higher-ranking), and even orders the same things off the menu at a restaurant. Turns out Mimi's just messing with Seung-bok's head. The whole incident was a set-up by Mimi, and a deliberate reference to the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber, which also features a character meeting his "mirror".
- Overly Long Gag:
- All tracks on the OST are no longer than four minutes...except for "Cake!", the track that plays when eating cake with *Hyun-ae. For some reason, it's 21 minutes and 5 seconds long. As in, twenty-one minutes of actual music, not just a few minutes followed by a long period of silence.
- In harem route, you can convince *Hyun-ae to confess her love to *Mute. At first *Mute thinks *Hyun-ae is joking; when she realizes that *Hyun-ae is serious, her shocked scream spans several text boxes.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: Many of the laws passed by the Mugunghwa Council have pleasant-sounding names that pave the way for sinister policies. The most representative is probably the last bill passed by the Council, that allows Ryu to concurrently be President and Chief Councilor, and therefore turns the ship into a dictatorship. It is euphemistically named the Unity Act and is justified by giving people more equality and political rights.
- Permanent Elected Official: The rest of the Council members come and go, but *Mute will always be the Councillor for Security. It is implied several times that her position as security chief is hardcoded both in her AI personality and in the Mugunghwa core systems, which means that she can't resign until the ship arrives. It was supposed to be only a few centuries, but since the ship has damaged navigation systems and will likely never arrive anywhere she has been holding the position for ''sixteen hundred years'' instead. You can understand why Old *Mute is really, really tired.
- It is speculated that when she was alive, the navigation AI *Star had a similar permanent position as Councillor for Captaincy.
- Poor Communication Kills: Oh Eun-a's "sister" Mi-seun is worried sick about the long periods of time Eun-a spends away from home and the time Eun-a is spending with Ryu. However, Eun-a's usage of big words and concepts that fly over Mi-seun's head, and Eun-a's way of explaining, which implies that Mi-seun is useless, intimidates Mi-seun, who writes long letters to her "big sister" that she never actually sends. Mi-seun eventually commits suicide, which causes Eun-a to lose it.
- Posthumous Character: Everyone who appears in the log files has been dead for at least 600 years (except for the Pale Bride, on a technicality). Within the logs themselves, the very briefly mentioned *Star, the navigation AI who was killed in a rebellion only two hundred years after the launch of the Mugunghwa, thus explaining why the ship never got where it was supposed to go in the first place.
- Puppet King:
- What both President Park, the "populist" agitator for democracy, and Chief Councillor Ryu (an apparently unambitious man) were supposed to be, to the rest of the Council. Park eventually takes the fall, while Ryu seizes power, gets rid of everyone else and declares himself Emperor. Towards the end, the councillors are clearly his puppets.
- *Mute, after her security wipe, is still technically Chief of Security, but she's really there to ensure Smith gets patrols to areas he wants patrolled.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Only for Oh Eun-a. She does manage to overthrow the ship with her husband, but at the cost of her little sister's life, which haunts her even after year zero. Mute would note that she'd spend hours staring at a wall.
- Railroading: Used more than once, and lampshaded during *Mute's route. When she asks you to go through the logs together, the choices are "Okay!", "Only if you insist", and "Fine, do whatever." Picking the first one has her apologize for the railroading.
- Rape as Drama: Kim So-yi is molested by Han, her research assistant. Later, when So-yi and her husband get intimate, she guides her husband to do the same things that Han did to her. (He doesn't realize the implications, because she never told him about the original incident, but her behavior does strike him as odd.) It's clear that Han's actions led to some deep emotional scars for So-yi, even if she never realizes or admits it.
- Really 700 Years Old:
- When you start reading the old logs, *Mute discovers that Old *Mute was over 1600 years old, which seems unimaginably ancient to her. Kind of amusing, considering that current *Mute is no spring chicken either, since she's 900-something and looks around 14.
- Also defied by *Hyun-ae. As part of the Lunar New Year celebrations, you're supposed to eat a bowl of tteokguk in order to properly "gain" a year of life. *Hyun-ae hasn't had any in 622 years, and the (computer-generated) bowl she has on Day Two is only the 17th time she's ever had it, so she decides she's Really 17 Years Old!
- Also the subject of an amusing conversation in the harem route where *Mute and *Hyun-ae argue over who is more qualified to be "older sister". *Hyun-ae wins as *Mute can't remember her past incarnations and wasn't awake for the long period between the ship's downfall and the player's arrival.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: On either *Hyun-ae or the Harem route, you'll order android shells for them. They've got most human body functions, right down to artificial tear ducts.
- Robosexual: You, possibly, if you're in a romance with any of the characters and get them an artificial body. Also, Seo-yeong, who obviously has feelings for Old *Mute.
- Running Gag: In Harem route, expect *Hyun-ae to comment every time someone mentions maids, and expect *Mute to call her out on it.
- Sanity Slippage: While it doesn't quite go up into murderous levels, Oh Eun-a begins believing her maid is her dead "little sister", who committed suicide and spent much of her time as Empress staring into space.
- Seppuku: Using This Very Wiki's definition of "Seppuku," the suicide of Heo Seo-yeong qualifies except that she probably didn't actually kill herself. The honor-bound deaths of Oh Eun-a's lover and *Mute, whose suicide note recounts her failings and admits that she is "freeing" a romantically-inclined Investigator probably also qualify.
- Shaggy Dog Story:
- Made extremely obvious in *Mute's route, in regards to the events that lead up to Analogue: A Hate Story. Mute will note that everything that Kim So-Yi worked for would be wiped out in the system reboot (she was literally days away from presenting her report to the science department when the Mugunghwa's computers were wiped by Ryu Hyeon-su's coup d'etat, taking her data with it), that the Neo-Joseon Dynasty's numbers will decline, due to the loss of research, and that their descendants will be killed by the Pale Bride.
- Old *Mute begging to be spared, at the cost of her best friend and closest comrade, results in her "dying", anyway—and the data that she tries to sneak to the future version of her comes too late, and causes *Mute to kill herself.
- Oh Mi-seun's comments about her period pains essentially makes the reason Hyun-ae was brought out of cryosleep a particularly tragic one: The sole reason that she was unfrozen was so that she could be gifted to the Emperor in order for him to have a son. *Hyun-ae, canonically 17 years old, expresses confusion when Mi-seun mentions "that time of the month" which strongly suggests that Hyun-ae never experienced any periods, period. Likely as a result of her illness, Hyun-ae would never have been able to bear any children.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Old *Mute (which annoys *Mute) and Heo, which oddly belies the latter's sweet nature.
- Smoking Is Cool: Old *Mute can't actually smoke, what with being a computer program and all, but she knows it makes her look badass.
- Smug Snake: Emperor Ryu and Oh Eun-a upon initiating Year Zero. They will not stop insulting and gloating over their victory - which is in total opposition to how they were in private.
- Take That: Hyun-ae's Image Song, "It's Not Ero!", starts by asserting that the game is "no ero story" with no "smutty CGs".
- Take That, Us:
- Mixed in with Take That is if you complete the Harem route and ask Hyun-ae to talk about what's happened so far. One of the choices makes her break the fourth wall and note that the harem route and the player's cheating nullified everything that's happened, with no real consequences!
- Asking her to talk about hate talks about how the game is far superior to Digital: A Love Story.
- Take That, Audience!: If you refuse to make a cake for *Hyun-ae, she levies one against eroge fans who only like characters from a sexual point of view, and includes the player.
- Talking Down the Suicidal: In the Harem route, you need to help guide *Hyun-ae on convincing *Mute not to wipe herself of her memories, which is essentially AI suicide.
- Talking to the Dead: Oh Eun-a's sister often sent letters to her dead mother, on her maid's advice that it'd relieve some stress.
- Mummies at the Dinner Table: Oh Eun-a later takes it to an extreme when she acts like her maid is her dead sister, combining it with the above.
- Technology Marches On: The Mugunghwa took an estimated 2500 years to get to where it did from Earth. And even taking into account that it probably veered off course, the Investigator's single-seat recovery/scout vessel only takes only 3 days to get back to Earth from the Mugunghwa, and it's damaged at the time!
- Tempting Fate: In the opening of her route, *Mute talks a good game of being able to deal with the knowledge of her past self and not worrying overmuch about her emotions, which is why Captain Emperor Ryu banned her from finding out. By the end of it, you're not playing with the same *Mute, primarily because of her having a nervous crackup when she realizes just how much of a pawn she was of Ryu and his wife.
- Theme And Variations: Old *Mute gets a slowed down remix version of one of *Mute songs from Analogue. It matches Old *Mute's tired state for being active for 1600 years, 600 more than she was designed to be. Even as an immortal AI, all the memories she accumulated left her bogged down from having to cross-reference so much data when thinking.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: According to *Mute post-Year Zero, Empress Oh Eun-a spent large chunks of time just staring at a wall. Her "little sister" killing herself just as her social-engineering project was coming to fruition might have had something to do with that.
- A Threesome Is Hot: The end of harem route can become this.
- Translation Software: Used straight in the sense that all the documents were "originally" written in Korean (either Hangul or Hanmun) but are "displayed" in English, but also amusingly subverted in a larger sense: when your AI(s) attempt to install a more up-to-date Korean-English language pack, it somehow breaks their software and makes them incapable of understanding your input. So the whole reason you can't talk to them directly is because of the Translation Software.
- Trauma Conga Line: Heo Seo-yeong loves an AI that may or may not reciprocate, but doesn't ever acknowledge it, her husband's murdered when he becomes too much of a nuisance to Oh Eun-a, and her whole society is getting whittled back to an oppressive, patriarchal dystopia. When she and Old *Mute finally attempt a coup, Old *Mute is essentially forced to back them down; when Seo-yeong hesitates, Old *Mute has to resort to emotional blackmail to stop her from killing President/Chief Councillor Ryu. Seo-yeong has to watch as Old *Mute gets her memories wiped, setting the stage for a complete reworking of all society. Seo-yeong is made into the scapegoat for a "failed rebellion," and worst of all, she's blamed for wiping Old *Mute; she is utterly despised by the new version of the AI she once loved. She's imprisoned for ten years before finally committing suicide, and it's unclear whether she actually took her own life or was simply eliminated by the government. She's remembered as a monster.
- Troubled Sympathetic Chauvinistic Bitch: *Mute finally graduates to a fully sympathetic POV in this game.
- Tsundere: As with Analogue: A Hate Story, *Mute and *Hyun-ae will both accuse each other of acting like this in the harem route.
- Unwinnable by Design: The achievement "Level Four Revive Materia", as it appears by all accounts to be completely impossible to save *Mute from killing herself, unless you're in harem route. This has been so far supported by, among other things, brute-forcing every possible log-reading combo, question-answer combo, and even, to an extent, messing around with the game files themselves. Even achievement-unlocking cheat programs don't work. See this thread for the majority of the debate.
- Waiting Puzzle: Of a sort. When *Hyun-ae asks you to bake her a cake, she asks you to get up and check whether you've got the right ingredients. If you answer too quickly (regardless of what your answer is), she accuses you of just trying to skip actually doing what she asks. Then, when you're supposed to be baking the cake, you need to wait an appropriate amount of time for it to finish, too, or else she'll do the same. See Addressing the Player, above.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Of all people, *Mute shows a greater-than-her-usual nosiness in the lives of the male lovers profiled in the game's storyline. New *Mute doesn't seem to care much either way: she doesn't have anything against gay couples, but she also doesn't have *Mute's gossipy eagerness.
- You Bastard:
- If you try to power through the cake sequence on Hyun-ae's route on Day 3, you will get a fourth-wall breaking lecture that Hyun-ae isn't to be treated like a flat eroge girl there for sex and easy-to-get-into love. See Addressing the Player.
- If you get really harsh on *Mute in day three of the Harem route, where *Mute is about to kill herself, such as bringing up her failure in the last game to save anyone and calling her out on her sexism, *Hyun-ae will say she needs support, not a tongue-lashing.
- Your Cheating Heart: It is heavily implied that Oh Eun-a and her "little sister" were lovers. In Oh Eun-a's letters to her little sister, she'd casually talk about getting laid "not by a woman, for once", implying she only hangs around parties (like the one where she met Ryu) to have one-night stands, and speaks candidly and lovingly of her relationship with Ryu. All this contributes to her "sister"'s suicide.