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Visual Novel: Lux-Pain
Lux-Pain is a Visual Novel-type Adventure Game for the Nintendo DS, first released in Japan in March 2008. The English translation was released in the US and Europe a year later, in March 2009.

Atsuki Saijo's parents were victims of SILENT, a mental parasite born through negative emotions that drives its victims to violence and suicide. To avenge them, he joins FORT, an organization formed to eliminate SILENT forever, and acquires the power of Lux-Pain. He is dispatched to Kisaragi City to search for the "Original" SILENT that started the "Shanghai Incident", in which 10,000 people were infected by that one "Original" in just three months, resulting in thousands of violent crimes and suicides.

As part of his investigation, Atsuki is enrolled in Kisaragi High as a transfer student, where he meets various classmates and teachers, many of whom have some connection to the mystery. Atsuki's investigation is aided by an ability known as Sigma (short for Signum-Anima) and other FORT members. Sigma allows Atsuki to read Shinen, a collection of thoughts and emotions, shown as words that flash across the screen in various colors and text effects. These thoughts allow Atsuki to gain an understanding of events and of the mental state of the people they belong to, potentially discovering a SILENT and eliminating it. (If he locates a SILENT or WORM - a lesser form of Silent - and fails to remove it, the SILENT or WORM victim's brain will be 'broken' and it's a Game Over.) Other FORT members assisting Atsuki include his partner Liu Yee, a fellow Lux-Pain user whose methods are more ruthless than Atsuki's; Natsuki, a young girl whose Sigma power allows her to track Shinen; and Nola, Atsuki's support and an expert hacker.

There is a Character Sheet for this section.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Academy of Adventure: Like the city, there is always something going on at school whether it's good or bad. Almost always, it revolves around the eight main high school students (Atsuki, Akira, Mika, Rui, Yayoi, Ryo, Shinji and later Hibiki.)
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: Natsuki dresses in a partially revealing Elegant Gothic Lolita dress but is really 13.
  • A God Am I: Edward, Graham
  • All There in the Manual: A lot more information on terms and characters can be found in the manual and in-game database than in the main narrative.
    • There's also the "web novels" on the Japanese website, which expand on certain characters' backstories. Naturally, there's no English translation for any of them.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Akira and Hibiki. The former is prone to saying the wrong thing at the wrong time while the latter is questionable.
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Attract Mode: The anime scene that plays before the Start screen. The opening song ("Holding the Holy Pain") is performed by Yoko Takahashi, best known for Cruel Angel's Thesis, the opening song for Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Mika and Kyosuke
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The majority of the cast. Once Silent infects them, you better look out. Obvious examples are Yayoi and Sayuri.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Melody.
  • Bishounen: Atsuki, who's described in-game as having beautiful hair and a feminine face, plus a handful of other male characters.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the Good Ending, Atsuki leaves, and all but six of his friends have completely forgotten about him. Said friends didn't regain their memories of him until after Atsuki was gone, and although Rui says that it feels like she'll see Atsuki again...
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The American translation has an amazing number of typos and other mistakes. See Spell My Name with an "S" further down and Viewer Gender Confusion on the YMMV page.
  • Boobs of Steel: Rui, as she's considered the strongest of the group.
    • Akira clearly stated that no matter how hard he trains, he can't beat her or Mika. Also, since all the guys are scared of her, it might as well be true.
    • Meilin from Pumpkin Witch applies as well. If Atsuki says mean things to her, she whacks him with the stick she's holding hard enough to knock him out.
  • Book Dumb: Akira and Mika.
    • However, Akira confirms their stupidity in archive 1 where he declares that he and Mika are aiming for the lowest grade in the class. Idiot...
    • Yayoi however counters this in her archive scene saying that they are smart but don't have the motivation.
      • It seems to apply to Akira because he's asleep most of the time in class; Mika is probably pretty quick on her feet as well, but she skips class most of the time to pursue her journalism.
  • Boss Banter: Most of the Silent, although it's difficult to read since you'll most likely be looking at the touch-screen. The banter is different depending on the Silent, and pertains to whatever the infectee's issues are.
  • Break the Cutie: The majority of the female cast; see Discussion page for details.
  • Brick Joke: Ryo is known for constantly being locked out of his own place. Both Ai and Hibiki worry about him because of that. Ai even makes it her goal to make sure it doesn't happen as she makes two keys for each of them. Ryo ends up losing said key and Ai says that the lock needs to be replaced so no one will ever find it again. So after you unlock this archive event and the play again on a completed file, Atsuki finds the key exactly where Ryo said he left it. On the ground near the trash can. You can't do anything with the key though since the lock has been changed.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Takano (teacher) and Aya (agent of FORT).
  • Camp Gay: Shunichi Inagaki has the hots for Akira's dad, which is obvious to everyone except the Mido guys. It's implied that his usual Straight Gay appearance is an act, given the times he veers into camp.
  • Character Development: Several cases, but most notably Yayoi, who changes from being quiet and depressed into a much stronger, more outgoing individual. With the right choices made during gameplay, even minor characters can become better people by the end.
  • Cheerful Child: Nami, although Natsuki might count as well.
  • City of Adventure: Anything can happen in Kisaragi despite most of it being negative stuff, something new ALWAYS happens.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Yayoi after her character development listed above. Seriously, when your friends start yelling and you mention monkeys (and wanting a pet monkey in the process) know something is wrong with her.
    • In the same archive 1 scene, when Rui beats up on all the guys except Atsuki, she mentions how everything is like whack-a-mole and that she would join if she didn't forget her hammer...
    • If that wasn't bad enough, in game, when Rui calls Atsuki "Tardy King" (nickname came from Akira because he noticed that Atsuki is always late for class) she decides to downgrade Atsuki's 'rank' to Private Tardy...
  • Concept Art Gallery: With the mini-artbook.
    • The official guidebook available in Japan contained 15 pages of it.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The phone charm that Mika forces Atsuki to give Rui when she gets out of the hospital helps her regain her memories of him after he leaves.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Meilin looks like one, though she insists it's not actually cosplay.
  • Cultural Translation: Occurs somewhat in the translation, which can't seem to decide if Kisaragi City is in Japan or America. Pretty daft, considering that most of the characters (and Kisaragi itself, for that matter) have blatantly Japanese names and the Western characters are still marked out as the foreigners.
  • Cute and Psycho: Sayuri When that Silent infection gets worse... But when you remove her SILENT, she becomes a much kinder, self-assured person.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Rui. Which is odd, since her sister Yui has pale skin and red hair. She does mention having daily treatments at one point, so it's possible she's bleaching her hair and deliberately going for the ganguro look.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shinji. Whenever one of the main cast gets injured and sent to the hospital, he always has something sarcastic to say and gets what's coming to him from the girls.
  • Dialogue Tree: Although it usually just raises or lowers the person's affection for you, and doesn't have much effect on the game itself. In the Archive scenes, the dialogue choices have a little more effect.
  • Distressed Damsel: Mika, of course.
  • Driven to Suicide: A potential effect of the SILENT.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Natsuki dresses like this.
  • Enemy Detecting Radar: What Natsuki does for FORT, except replace "Enemy" with "Shinen." Also an NPC version of the Enemy Scan.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: The majority of the cast is in high school but it's justified because it seems that Kisaragi High School is the only high school in Kisaragi.
  • Everything Fades: Due to limited animation (it is essentially a visual novel), this is how people appear when walking away/leaving the scene/collapsing, though at least the sound effects tip you off as to what they're doing.
  • Exact Time to Failure: The amount of time you have to erase Worms from people. Running out of time can be potentially game-altering.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: This matches for Akira, Mika, Rui and Ryo who are all childhood friends. Akira is Choleric (yellow), Mika is Sanguine (red), Rui is Melancholic (black) and Ryo is Phlegmatic (green).
  • Freak Out: Honoka if you do not remove her Silent. She will kill Hibiki as a result.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Genki Girl: Mika
  • Girlish Pigtails: Natsuki Venefskuja
  • Going Through the Motions: Again, limited animation strikes, so each character has only a few portraits.
  • Gonk: Face it Takuya, out of all the high school males in the series, you're the only ugly one.
  • Gratuitous English: Meilin Fu, who is Chinese.
  • Guide Dang It: Episode 7's notoriously tricky solution. The game actually advises you to keep a save file from the beginning of the episode, since there's a very likely possibility that the episode will become Unwinnable. If Ray calls to say that Liu is going after Yayoi, you're screwed.
    • Hell, if you've been called three times during the sequence in question (which gives you a limited number of moves) and have NOT talked to the person calling you, you're pretty much at the point where you don't have enough moves left to find Yayoi. Oh, and let's not mention that frickin' annoying worm you have to get off her, or the new Silent you have to deal with...
    • There's also the movie theatre lady, Yumiko, whose SILENT is extremely easy to miss, though it's thankfully completely optional. The solution? To destroy her SILENT, you have to get a Worm off her during the same search for Yayoi that causes the above Guide Dang It.
    • In another incident, during chapter 16, you have to get a worm off of Honoka Hino during a turn where each of the areas are only available for a certain number of turns. Meaning you could pick the other three places instead (no matter what you'll miss one of the conversations) and miss the worm. The result? You can't implant it with the memory option later. Honoka goes insane thinking Hibiki wouldn't wake and ends up killing numerous people in the hospital before she's gunned down.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Yuzi, in a rather amusing scene: Apparently someone had wondered if he liked men, which prompts him to nervously ask the same thing of Atsuki (yes, you can answer "I don't know, maybe" if you so wish) then go on about how his "lips are reserved for all the chicks in the world" and how he hates other men. Yet despite his protests, all he talks about is Shinji.
  • He Knows Too Much: Poor Takano.
  • The Heartless: SILENT are born from and feed off of negative emotions.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Yui and Mako are definitely this. Aya and Nola as well.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Christopher Sabat (Liu), Monica Rial (Natsuki and Yayoi), and Greg Ayres (Shinji).
  • Hollywood Atheist: Atsuki
  • Horrible Judge of Character: While it might not be obvious that Edward was a manipulative bastard and you probably wouldn't guess the first time you met him, it's ironic that the one who figured him out first was Takano, and he died from it.
  • Hot for Student: Minor character Suzu states that the nurse Honoka might have this for Kiryu no matter how much she denies it. Suzu, however, is known for her... "imagination."
    • On the "hot for teacher" side of things, Yayoi looks up to Arthur and may have been harbouring a crush on him in the early chapters.
  • Idiot Hair: Shinji.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Atsuki is always just in time. Murders, however, are a different story.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Mika.
  • Iron Buttmonkey: Definitely Akira. He gets his ass handed to him by Lt. Tanaka and leaves the hospital the next night. He gets shot in the shoulder by Yamato and gets out the day after with MINOR WOUNDS. And he gets infected by Silent twice, but instead of having a breakdown when it's removed (like most SILENT victims) he acts the same as usual.
    • And then when he mentions that Rui and Mika kicked his butt sending him to the hospital multiple times during childhood. Archive 1 proves that Akira has more tolerance to getting owned by Rui than everyone else...
  • It's Up To You: Or rather, to Atsuki. Justified in that he's FORT's most powerful agent (in the vicinity, at least) and the other characters do help him out.
  • Jerk Ass: Kunio, Tazaki, Katsuhisa.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Liu Yee, maybe with a bit of Aloof Big Brother to Atsuki.
  • Journey to Find Oneself: For the characters Atsuki helps.
  • Jewelry Of Power: The Lux-Pain, which are pieces of jewelry that grant the wearer the ability to use Sigma (provided that they can wear it without instantly dying). Atsuki has a ring, Liu has an earring, and Natsuki has a pendant; there are supposedly twelve in all, though only the first three are mentioned in-game.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Hibiki to Honoka, and its implied that Honoka regards Hibiki the same, though it doesn't stop Suzu.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Yui. When Mako dies she changes for the worse as the stress takes its toll, snapping at everyone and even threatening a few. When FORT tries to take Tanaka away, Yui snaps. Also, Honoka: If you fail to erase her Silent, she'll despair of Hibiki ever waking from his coma and mercy-kill him before committing suicide. Ironically, when she kills him, he DOES wake up to try and calm her down. Not stopping the first will keep you from earning the Good Ending, though the Good Ending is still winnable if you don't prevent the latter incident.
  • Mad Mathematician: Hibiki Kiryu fits this trope to the T. "I love math. It's beautiful in its simplicity."
  • Madness Mantra: Expect to see phrases like "Die!" or "Help me!" all over the screen during some of the creepier Shinen readings.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Edward to Hibiki. Depending if you get the normal or good ending, Hibiki will die as a result of this. See Horrible Judge of Character.
  • Marked Change: Black tattoos appear on Lux Pain users when making use of said artifact: Atsuki's appears on his left arm, as he wears his Lux Pain ring on his left hand, and Natsuki, who has a pendant, has hers appear on her chest, visible due to her low-cut dress.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Atsuki's right eye is gold as a result of the events that let him use Sigma, but most of the time he wears a black contact lens to hide it.
  • Meganekko: Rui, Sayuri. Rui's glasses seem to be more for fashion than anything else, though.
  • Mental World: Where battles against the SILENT occur.
  • Mission Control: Nola and Natsuki; Ray in the endgame after Nola and Natsuki leave the shut-down HQ.
  • Mood-Swinger: Akira at the beginning. He gets better, though.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on whether or not you manage to Erase certain Silent, the game may end before Day 21.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In episode 7, Yayoi has this when Atsuki erases her Silent and she realises what her suicidal behaviour would mean for her sister. It's rather sad.
  • Mysterious Waif: Lil.
  • New Game+: Using a cleared file to start a new game allows you a higher starting rank (retaining 1/4th of experience gained during the cleared file's game) and retains part of the affection you earned with the characters in the completed save. It also nabs you new mails on your phone and (useless) items.
  • New Transfer Student: Atsuki's entire cover for the game.
  • No Sense of Direction: Aoi, apparently.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Lt. Tanaka.
  • Obvious Beta: The English script, at the very least; with so many typos and inconsistant romanisations, the translators blatantly never proofread it.
  • Official Couple: Aoi and Takano might as well be, though it's only confirmed when Takano dies that Aoi was in love with him. However, it wasn't one-sided, as the last thing Takano thought of when you read his final Shinen is Aoi.
  • 100% Completion: While it doesn't net you any real in-game bonuses, said completion will fill up your Gallery and your Archive with bonus content.
  • Parental Abandonment: A fair few cases of Parental Abandonment via Death, besides Atsuki himself: Rui and Yui's father, Akira's mother, Yayoi and Nami's real parents, Kiryu's parents, Natsuki's parents...
    • Ryo, whose parents kicked him out after his grandfather died and he inherited Tohodo.
    • Shinji. Letting him hack, skip school and berate the teacher; Aoi even tried to speak to his parents about his attitude and they kick her out, telling her to "Let him do what he wants."
      • It doesn't help that they leave midway through the game and leave Shinji without food in the house. When Shinji is hospitalized, they don't even go see him; when Shinji wakes up from his coma, it's not his parents that he remembered but his friends.
  • Playful Hacker: Shinji.
  • Plucky Girl: One really has to admire Mika's mental resilience: She was attacked by a serial killer in the past, watches one of her teachers try to throw himself off the building she works in, watches Mako get fatally stabbed right in front of her (with Mako saving her life in the process, to boot) and while she does have her breakdowns she usually bounces right back. Heck, when she's infected by and subsequently cured of SILENT, her in-game profile comments that SILENT must've been scared of her!
  • Police Are Useless: Played straight for the most part. Only Mako proved to be a competent cop until her death; all the others are either ineffectual or, when infected by SILENT, actively dangerous.
  • The Pollyanna: Poor Lil. Even though she had a terrible life and starved to death due to her parents' neglect, she never held a grudge against anyone or anything, instead opting to cling to her memory of the one time she ever left her barely-furnished room. It's ironic that her SILENT is the one that drove characters like Arthur and Yayoi so close to suicide.
  • Precision F-Strike: Enokida, ordinarily a mild-mannered if eccentric guy, gets really mad when Graham incites a witch hunt against Nami and Rui, even going as far as to call him "chicken shit."
  • Promotion to Parent: Honoka seems to take the role for Hibiki as he goes as far as to refer her to a mother or a sister. And she's only 24!
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Edward and PHALANX, as well as FORT (what with their government contacts and control over temporal power). Graham Miller as well.
  • The Quiet One: Atsuki, definitely.
  • Random Power Ranking: Atsuki's increases in FORT rank. TIMHEST? TRANEXIS? FLASSWOR? Say what?
  • Real Men Wear Pink: While he doesn't wear pink, Akira considers baking a feminine trait.
    • Also, Ryo has a fascination with panda bear dolls; if Atsuki comments on how feminine it is, Ryo gets embarrassed.
  • Relationship Values: By interacting with the characters, you can increase their fondness for you and see the result at Pumpkin Witch. It doesn't have any real effect on the main game, though maxing characters' affection will unlock more scenes in the Archive.
  • Rich Bitch: Tomoyo, though how rich she herself is, and how much she leeches from her men, is debatable.
  • Sadist Teacher: Yamato, definitely.
  • Say My Name: "MAKOOOOOO!!"
  • Shipper on Deck: Mika, Kei and Honoka support the Atsuki/Rui pairing.
    • Suzu supports Honoka/Hibiki, Atsuki/Hibiki, and Ryo/Hibiki. (She is such a Hibiki fangirl.)
    • Razzly ships Atsuki/Mika, to Mika's dismay.
    • Very early in the game, Mika and Rui will ask you what type of hair style Atsuki likes. Each answer corrosponds to Mika, Rui, or Yayoi, and the answer given will prompt the others to start shippin'. Mika and Rui will ship Atsuki/Yayoi. If Rui is chosen, Mika ships Atsuki/Rui to Rui's dismay and if Mika is chosen, Rui ships Atsuki/Mika to Mika's disappointment.
    • During one of Rui's rants, she'll ship Akira/Mika, Shinji/Yayoi and Ryo/Sayuri (putting herself with Atsuki) before saying "Just kidding!"
    • Shunichi ships Kagami/Mika amd Akira/Atsuki.
    • In the last episode, if you go along with Suzu's yaoi fantasy, Atsuki will end up shipping Ryo/Hibiki or Atsuki/Ryo and/or Hibiki, depending on your response.
    • An archive scene suggests that Yayoi ships Kei/Nami.
  • Ship Tease: Where do I begin?
  • Shout-Out: At one point, a customer asks if Ryo's store has Terror And Hatred In LA.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Nami is a cheerful, seemingly fearless girl who loves animals; her older sister Yayoi is outwardly the perfect girl, yet hides her insecurities and is deeply troubled. Even after Yayoi gets better, she's still the quiet, polite one... most of the time.
  • Six Student Clique: Atsuki's friends fall into this group
    • Mika: The Head
    • Akira: The Muscle
    • Shinji: The Quirk
    • Ryo: The Smart One
    • Yayoi: The Pretty One
    • Rui: The Wild One
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Saijo/Saijou, Ray/Rei Platiere, Arthur Mays/Meyes, and others. The annoying part is that inconsistencies like this happen within the English game text. Romanising FORT as "Photo" has to take the cake, though.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Played for laughs with Hibiki's 'infatuation' with Atsuki. Example: In episode 20, Kiryu calls Atsuki up and asks him to meet him at the hospital. Nothing seems wrong with that, except Atsuki never gave Kiryu his number!
  • Stepford Smiler: Honoka. Becomes apparent when Hibiki is in the hospital and she's trying her best to act like nothing is wrong, and it gets worse unless the Silent is removed. It was caused by a little girl she used to tend to when she worked at the hospital, who once told Honoka that she didn't have to keep pretending that everything would be okay; the girl died four months later.
    • An even better example is Lt. Tanaka, a pleasant, cheerful, smiling man, who's a lovable klutz, but seems to try really hard at his job. However, he's actually a serial killer who, infected by SILENT, attacks and terrorizes young women. He's attacked and killed for two years, attacks Sayuri, and stalks Mika. When he attacks her, Mako defends him and is fatally injured. Mika continues to investigate, and Tanaka captures her. When Akira finds out, he confronts Tanaka, until Atsuki shows up. Throughout the whole thing, Tanaka is smiling, marveling that he forgot he could call for police backup on his cell phone since Akira was attacking him.
  • Subtext: See that big list of Ship Teases further up? It's possible to find an excuse to ship almost any two characters together.
  • Suicide Pact: One of the first things Atsuki investigates as part of his mission.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Not evil, but Sigma user Natsuki Venefskuja has golden eyes. Atsuki's right eye turns gold as well, when he uses Sigma.
  • Sweet Tooth: Mako really likes her cakes.
  • Taking the Bullet: Mako takes a fatal knife wound to save Mika from a serial killer.
  • Teen Genius: Shinji, when it comes to computers, and Kiryu with math.
  • Telepathy: Atsuki's Sigma, as well as Kiryu's power.
  • There Are No Therapists: And half the cast need one. Then again, most of their problems are caused and/or amplified by SILENT.
    • Hibiki avoided this pre-game when he met Honoka; she's the reason that he didn't go crazy and drop out of school, though being away from her overseas might have allowed him to deteriorate enough for Edward to start influencing him.
  • Tsundere: Rui is Type A to almost everyone. She's more "dere" around Atsuki and Yayoi.
  • Two-Teacher School: Averted, at least somewhat. There are a total of six teachers you can interact with at Kisaragi High, all of whom are shown teaching at least once.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Melody is mindwiped, there's only one thing Nami will say to Graham: "I'LL KILL YOU!"
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: The game is riddled with references to philosophy, metaphysics and other obscure theories. While Ryo is the main character who is guilty of this, and Kiryu once he shows, even Atsuki makes references to Nietzsche.
    • They Just Didn't Care: Among other things, Kiryu's speech while in the bookstore with Atsuki and Ryo cited the ever-popular 'Only humans kill their own kind,' which any animals-in-the-wild show will handily disprove.
  • The Virus: The SILENT spreads like one; at a certain point of infection, the SILENT takes control of the victim and actively tries to infect others.
  • Visual Novel: The interacting-with-people portions of the game, as well the as Omake scenes in the Archive, which are mostly comprised of more traditional dating-sim scenarios.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Edward and Kiryu, sort of. In a crazy way.
  • Witch Hunt: EP 20 Graham Miller hosts a witch hunt to kidnap Rui and Nami, whom he frames as responsible for Kisaragi's recent events. Many were hesitant to believe it or take action, but they swarmed the areas where Rui and Nami would be. The game hints at casualties because of this, but nothing else.
    • This is also part of Natsuki's backstory, with her parents having been killed during a witch-hunt in Europe, resulting in Natsuki becoming part of FORT.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Minor character Suzu likes to fantasize about other people in romantic situations, and it doesn't matter if they're the same gender or Like Brother and Sister. In particular, she likes the idea of Hibiki/Ryo (or vise versa), and the last part of the conversation from the last day of the Good Ending seems to indicate that she's throwing you into the mix.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: There is a wide variety of hair colors that a normal human would have use interesting hair dye to get. Mei Lin's is probably a wig, though.

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alternative title(s): Lux Pain
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