Kagome, Kagome... The bird within the cage... When, oh when, will you come out? In the evening lit by the dawn... The crane and the turtle slipped and fell... Who's that behind you?
The third game in KID's Infinity series of visual novels. Remember11 follows the stories of two characters.The first is the story of Fuyukawa Kokoro, a psychiatric student traveling to the SPHIA (Specified Psychiatric Hospital for Isolation and Aegis) facility to interview a patient residing there. Following an accident in which the plane on which Kokoro was traveling crashed in the mountains, the survivors of the crash attempt to survive in the mountains with limited supplies until they can be rescued. The other survivors include Mayuzumi Lin, Yomogi Seiji, and Kusuda Yuni.The second ongoing story follows Yukidoh Satoru, a resident of SPHIA, where he resides with Utsumi Kali, Inubushi Keiko, and Kusuda Yuni. Satoru's story revolves around several incidents which make it appear as though somebody is trying to kill him, as well as Satoru's investigations into the mysterious "personality transfer" phenomenon which causes his and Kokoro's minds to swap between the two of them...See also: Never7, Ever17, and 12RivenThis game is part of the Infinity series, so expect spoilers while reading the tropes list.
This Visual Novel contains Examples of the Following Tropes:
Absurdly Youthful Mother: As revealed by the tips, Utsumi, who going by the timeline had Junichi when she was fourteen. One of the Drama CDs elaborates on this; Junichi was an accident from the one time Yomogi and Utsumi had sex before they were married. Otherwise, the relationship was mostly sexless.
Alice and Bob: Used as an example by Enomoto while explaining quantum teleportation.
Arc Number: 11 as in, the number 3 (written in binary). To name a few examples: it relates to the years the game takes place in (2011 and 2012; 1+2 = 3), the number of victims Keiko murdered (12), the number of transfer points (3), and the number of people involved in the personality transfers (3 pairs). That it initially seems to be the decimal number 11 is in itself symbolic, and ties into one of the game's core themes: of looking beneath the surface to see the truth.
33, which is the amount of minutes that a body-swap lasts for. Of course, it's 3*11.
In one scene, Kokoro says "Pain, pain, fly away, all the way to Andromeda!" to Yuni after he hurts his head. Similar scenes occured in the Infinity series between the protagonist and the another member of their group, such as in Never7 (between Makoto and Kurumi) and Ever17 (between Kid and You).
The terabyte disc makes another appearance. note For the record, as of 2013, optical discs reaching those sizes aren't possible yet.
Creepy Child: Keiko Inubushi. Also Yuni, at times, and in a much younger (and MUCH creepier) example even than usual, Yomogi and Utsumi's infant twins.
Also the "true" ending, which is disguised as a generic bad end, along with the "The story isn't over yet! It's an infinity loop!" text, though it's the only ending where people (apart from Enomoto) won't die. Many mysteries are not revealed (especially if the player didn't encounter the "Apoptosis" bad end beforehand) and the game ends in a cliffhanger.
Dummied Out: In the game's data, full sprite sheets for the real Hotori and Sayaka (with a lot more expressions than in her one scene) can be found, suggesting they might have had a bigger part in the story. Furthermore, "Extra Voices" much like the ones in Ever17 can be found in the data, but were never implemented.
Dying Dream: Several Bad Ends turn the whole game into one, as a result of a Time Paradox created by those endings.
Fan Translation: A full translation was released by TLWiki during October 2010.
Fetus Terrible: Subverted with Yomogi and Utsumi's children — they appear to be this due to their actions in Kokoro/Satoru's bodies, but the TIPS reveals that they aren't aware of what they're doing or that it's wrong.
Fission Mailed: Satoru's good ending finishes with the same message given on all of the bad endings.
"Freaky Friday" Flip: Satoru and Kokoro and one of Utsumi's twins. Hotori and Inubushi have the same thing happening with another twin.
Satoru and Enomoto exchange personalities either sometime before or during the prologue.
It's also actually inverted most of the time. It's not their personalities that switch bodies, it's their bodies (and everything in a 110m radius) that switch places, with their minds staying at the same places and times. Does that make sense to anybody reading this? Probably not.
Freak Out: Satoru goes through two of these- once after Enomoto finishes his explanation about how the transfer phenomenon works, and again in Bad Ending 28 when he comes face to face with his past self (actually Enomoto in his true body).
Genki Girl: Kokoro and Hotori, in the Satoru chapter can border on this.
Gollum Made Me Do It: Some of the more "destructive" actions that Kokoro and Satoru do (Eating all of the remaining food, murdering Enomoto, destroying the living room) are blamed on the other party. As it turns out, none of these actions were either of their fault, and were committed by a third personality in their bodies.
Many are also extremely difficult to access if you don't know what you're doing. And god help you if you decide to try for 100% completion, which, due to a few events that occur at random, may be literally impossible without a guide.
Some endings even require you to play as one character and take certain choices, then start a new game playing as the other character.
Infant Immortality: Averted. One of Inubushi's victims had just turned nine when he was killed. We later find out that he was Yomogi and Utsumi's son. Additionally, the game ends with Hotori/Inubushi holding another one of their children with a crazed look on her face.
Insanity Defense: Due to having Dissociative Identity Disorder, Keiko Inubushi was merely sent to SPHIA instead of being jailed.
Inspired By: The event that sets the first part in motion may have been inspired by the Japan Airlines Flight 123 disaster, in which a 747 crashed into a mountain after losing control, leaving only four survivors out of the 524 passengers and crew on board.
Ironic Nursery Tune: Keiko frequently sings Kagome, Kagome, a song used in a Japanese children's game of the same name.
I Will Find You: In the past, Mayuzumi and Satoru had a conversation that pretty much boiled down to this and was referred to a few times during the game. The timeline shows that the transfers were initially set up as a gambit by Satoru (with Enomoto's and Yuni's help) to save Mayuzumi in particular, as well as everyone else, from dying on the mountain, making the entire game a quasi-amnesiac extension of this.
Japanese Pronouns: A subtle plot point used to know who's talking. There is a third pronoun which indicates that there is a third person involved.
To a lesser extent, Yomogi and Utsumi; the Tips reveal that, despite outward appearances, he's nine years older than her.
Meaningful Name: The original Roman alphabet spelling of Yuni was "Uni" — he's the one character who exists in both 2011 and 2012. His last name, Kusuda, also comes from his archetype — pronounced in Japanese, it's "To-ri-KU-SU-TA".
Seiji Yomogi's name is composed of two words - "Seiji", which is the Japanese pronouciation for "sage", and "(yama)yomogi", the Japanese word for "mountain mugwort".
Kali's name comes from "Mahakali" — a Hindu goddess who is considered in the religion to be the aspect of Kali that represents the "Divine Mother".
Hotori Suzukage: Her name comes from "kage", or shadow, which is Keiko Inubushi's archetype, as she "shadows" Inubushi.
Kokoro's and Satoru's names are also meaningful. Satoru goes into a very in-depth explanation near the end of the game, but even on the surface, Kokoro (meaning "heart") and Satoru (meaning "enlightenment/wisdom") serve as good shorthand for their respective ways of thinking.
SPHIA, the faculty that Satoru is stuck in, is pronounced suspiciously like Sophia; which is Greek for wisdom.
Nobody Poops: Played straight in Satoru's route, but averted once in Kokoro's route for the Rule of Funny: where Kokoro (in Satoru's body) realizes that there's one extra step she has to take as a guy to go to the bathroom.
Panty Shot: Not seen by the viewer, but Yuni and Yomogi are appreciative of the fact that Satoru hasn't learned to sit with his knees together while wearing a skirt.
Well that, and being a guy he didn't really care anyway.
Pet the Dog: Mayuzumi's flashback scenes with Satoru and Kokoro-pretending-to-be-Satoru.
Poor Communication Kills: Many of the bad ends towards the end of Kokoro's path result in people dying because Kokoro doesn't bother to explain why they should or shouldn't do something before running off.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kokoro is reasonably smart and well-educated but also friendly, passionate when arguing, and has a tendency to jump to (often wrong) conclusions about things. Meanwhile, Satoru is a student of the natural sciences who tends to analyze everything with scientific methodology (but he is not cold—he can also be quite passionate when the situation calls for it). The colors are also made explicit in the Title Sequence: The two are seen passing by each other, where their whole bodies are tinted their respective colors. In another instance Kokoro is seen turning into Satoru; their eyes flash first red then blue.
Rescue Romance: According to the Drama CDs, Yomogi and Utsumi's relationship is a result of this.
Sanity Slippage: Happens to the whole cast at some point or another, but especially prevalent in Kokoro's bad endings.
The Scrappy: Lin Mayuzumi, treated this way in-universe as well (except by Satoru).
Self Fulfilling Prophecy: Kokoro reads the newspaper from the future that says that she and her companions will be killed 1 km east of the cabin, and concludes that they must have gone there in the "original" timeline to pick up emergency supplies. She concludes that the presence of the newspaper would cause her to reach the conclusion earlier, thus allowing her to pick up the supplies before the avalanche. This results in the group being in the path of the avalanche when it occurs
Serial Killer: Keiko Inubushi (although she technically is a spree killer)
Sayaka, Satoru's twin sister, also had DID, and one of her personalities murdered her parents.
Stable Time Loop: All attempts to avert the cabin residents being killed in the avalanche result in them being killed, or somebody else taking their place. Averted in the true ending, where they are saved.
Spoiler Opening: the opening for the PSP version. Blink and you'll miss them, but a few characters you're not even supposed to know exist until the final quarter of the game appear.
The same applies to the PC version opening, though said characters flash by so fast that most people barely notice them on their first time.
Team Dad/Team Mom: Yomogi and Utsumi, respectively, each in a different location. Unsurprisingly, they're married.
Third Act Misunderstanding: Mayuzumi taking the rations that everyone else has pooled together as just Yomogi's rations and assuming that he was holding out food on her.
Third Act Stupidity: Once you recover from the Third Act Misunderstanding, if Kokoro guards the remaining rations, she finds after another switch that the she's somehow eaten the rations and thinks that Satoru ate them in an act of this. Subverted. When you see that switch from Satoru's point of view, he's already found the rations to be gone and assumes that Kokoro ate them. Like most of the inexplicable occurences, this is actually to be blamed on one of Utsumi's twins (the male twin, specifically), who got into Kokoro's body before Satoru, and not knowing any better, gobbled them up.
Judging from hints given throughout the game, it seems likely that the Satoru the player plays as (I) is in fact Self, and therefore he has no memories, apart from what they've learned from Kokoro's route about him. Furthermore, Satoru's original personality (I) has left his body, thereby taking all his memories.
Two Lines, No Waiting: Played straight up until the plane crash. Afterward, there are two plots running simultaneously, but they're both being observed by a single viewpoint character as they switch between bodies
Voices Are Mental: Subverted. While Kokoro and Satoru's lines are generally voiced by their respective actors regardless of body, this is purely for reader convenience; other characters distinguish between the two by pitch, implicitly stating each body keeps its voice. This is demonstrated when Kokoro listens to messages from Satoru on her recorder; the voice in the recording is still Kokoro's, only with a deeper pitch.
Either played straight or subverted in Bad Ending #28: Original!Satoru in his own body (Enomoto's by 2012) is still voiced by Takehito Koyasu, while Enomoto in his own body (Satoru's by 2012) is still voiced by Shunsaku Nishigaki. Whether this is also for the convenience of the reader or not is unknown.