Infinite Game Works: Episode 0
is the second ren'ai Visual Novel
by the Canadian independent V/N group Sakura River Interactive, released in 2011. Their first release is Fading Hearts
, from 2009.
The story revolves around Justin, an Ordinary High-School Student
with a myriad of talents, especially in computer programming. When Justin is not busy with school or talking with his friends in the chatroom he visits, he works at home independently on computer games he plans to sell at forthcoming conventions, with the intentions of eventually becoming a game developer. He recently took first place in a programming contest which does not escape the attentions of headstrong Aki, who constantly "encourages" him to do interesting things with his life, and quiet Cleo, who can't seem to keep herself from literally bumping into Justin
at every corner. They are fellow students with Justin at Royal Prince's Academy.
Familiar with Aki's involvement with the school rock band and her music composing, and Cleo's reputation as a brilliant artist, Justin commissions each of them one thousand dollars a month to assist him in the production of future games, and even paying them from the prize money he won from the programming contest. Much time is dedicated to the development of these games, as Justin signed up to attend a convention every three months to sell them.
As everyone continues to work together, Justin learns more about Aki and Cleo, counselling them as they occasionally confide in Justin about the expecations of their parents
and what career goals they should pursue. Meanwhile, Justin has recurring dreams about himself as a young library assistant
from long ago and his encounters from that time, with a warning that he knows too much ...
- Apologizes a Lot — Cleo, especially at the beginning of the game.
- Captain Obvious — While Aki and Justin are at the mall, she explains something she realizes about herself:
Aki: Sometimes I feel a bit competetive and want to ... well ... compete with them.
- Cross Over — Those who have played Fading Hearts will know that Digger is Ryou. He also tells Justin about his dreams of being a prince in a land of magic from long ago, which Justin bases one of his games on.
- Cross-Popping Veins — Practiced by Aki and Cleo.
- Department of Redundancy Department — At the mall with Aki, as she explains how her parents expect her to return to being the ideal girl she was before, Justin would repeat everything she said back to her in the form of a question. He lampshades to himself that he has to "keep repeating the last few words to draw out more of this story."
- ** Also, there is the discussion Justin had with Cleo when he first takes her on to the team, before the rewrite patch. See That Came Out Wrong below.
- Dojikko — Cleo at the beginning of the game. She bumps into him at the school cafeteria, and later in the hall, spilling juice on his uniform.
- Don't Go in the Woods — Justin's advice to Digger.
- Hair Decorations — Cleo wears a hairband.
- First Kiss — This occurs after Aki or Cleo tell you tearfully that they can't see you anymore due to obligations with the special consideration program they were accepted into for their academic field of choice, which will take up most of their time.
- Level Grinding — This occurs while Justin, Aki, and Cleo are working on game elements.
- Luminescent Blush — Who else but Aki and Cleo.
- Love Confession — If the player selects the right responses earlier in the game, Aki does this in front of Royal Prince's Academy, Cleo at the riverside. Luckily for Justin, while it's on the same day they don't ask to meet him at the same time.
- Love Letter Lunacy — Depending which options the player chose earlier, on Valentie's Day Justin will receive a letter from Aki or Cleo, or both.
- Meddling Parents — Aki and Cleo tell Justin over time about their parents' expectations of them, which conflicts with what they personally wish to pursue.
- Meganekko — Cleo.
- Miko — Cleo was this in her past life, to the Goddess of Fortune.
- Oblivious to Love — The player can have Justin purposely behave this way at certain times, especially with Aki. Also, on Valentine's Day, Justin walks into school wondering if he will receive any attention from girls:
Justin (to himself): Ha ha. I've been spending all my time making games. Did I even have time to flirt with girls?
- The Ojou — Aki used to be this. Cleo fits this profile more.
- Ordinary High-School Student — Justin.
- Otaku — Grand Star once said he had to log off to watch anime.
- Parental Abandonment — Justin's parents died during the events of Y2K and lives alone. Very much averted with Aki's and Cleo's parents as their high expectations of them come up in every other conversation.
- Pink Elephants — What Justin claimed he would see when he realizes he is counselling Aki to do something different with her life, instead of the other way around as usual.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone — Justin's dreams of himself and others in the magical world.
- Purple Eyes — Aki, with blue tints.
- Reincarnation — Just as in Fading Hearts, there are a few in this game as well:
- Library Assistant: Justin (natch)
- Magic Fighter: Aki
- Miko of the Goddess of Fortune: Cleo
- Shout Out — The title of the game is a reference to Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works.
- Slasher Smile — Played for Laughs in a scene where Justin, in a bad mood after changing into his gym uniform after Cleo accidentally spilled juice on him, shows a borderline version of this to Aki.
- That Came Out Wrong — When Justin is asking Cleo to commission her digital art for his games, paying her one grand per month (Note: The first two lines of the conversation only exist in the first edition of the game, before the rewrite patch):
Justin: I want you.
Justin: Yes. Your artwork is what I need to sell my game.
Cleo (further in discussion): Commit myself to you? $1000?
- Tomboy and Girly Girl — Aki and Cleo, respectively.
- Visible Silence — Used frequently in tense situations. Justin lampshades on this during an interaction with Cleo:
Justin: Silence to my lighthearted statement ... not a good sign.
- Y2K — Caused Sorayama's economic isolation from the rest of the world, and the death of Justin's parents.
- Zettai Ryouiki — Cleo, with shorts instead of a skirt.