"I, October Greyson, believe that a truly incredible tragedy has occurred here. These murders are the work of a monster."
Rise and Fall is a Visual Novel based off several characters from the UTAU fandom, written and predominantly sprited by prominent fandom member scarfu (though with assisted art from many other people who have dubbed themselves "Faguar Productions" and borrowing some CGs and music). While it uses the Ren'Py engine and is functionally a Visual Novel, it has no choices and generally plays out like a regular, illustrated story.At Redwood School, a big school of posh rich wealthy kids invested in the arts, a new year has started. Aside from the upcoming competition guaranteed to make one particular student fabulously famous called "The Rankings", the somewhat stacked-up high-school-like culture, and the reclusive headmaster who doesn't seem to come out much, the school seems pretty normal for now.Then, on the first day during an assembly, a fire strikes three buildings of the facility, sending five students to the hospital. Immediately the school goes into panic, and fingers are pointed. The mysterious headmaster recruits a detective named October to solve the problem, but the headmaster's somewhat...strange...antics haven't escaped the notice of three students: Kaen, Sachi, and Lucy. Things get even more complicated when Lucy's sister, Violetta, a secret agent, comes into the picture - and promptly ends up standing with the mysterious headmaster, where absolutely nobody can figure out what she's working for. Kaen's general history as a Pyro Maniac isn't helping matters. And the body count keeps rising...The first of four chapters has been released, and comprises about 6 hours. Around 50 characters are planned to eventually appear.
Tropes found in Rise and Fall:
Author Appeal: The author really likes grimdark. It's a running gag among the fandom to figure out how much worse it can get.
All There in the Manual: Knowing some stuff about the UTAU characters in question, even though they don't have set personalities, will help understanding them a bit. For instance, knowing that in his original character conception TATARI is a demon changes one's perspective a bit, though it may not be true for this story. As it turns out, it is.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Pretty much forcibly invoked, as while most UTAU characters have some guideline of personality, to make a full-fledged story a very firm character personality needs to be made for each one.
Ambiguous Gender: Tatari. Yes, we know that he's generally referred to as male but to be honest we really don't even know if that's right. Even Kasui lampshades it: "You heard the man...woman...heshe!" And he's a demon, so now we have absolutely no clue at all. Go figure.
Character Development: Kaen starts out as a lone wolf, preferring to shun company except maybe occasionally his childhood friend Koneko, whom he doesn't even talk with much. He seems to pride himself on it at the beginning, but it's a facade. He accepts at the end that this whole time I Just Want to Have Friends, which spurs his actions on differently.
Couldn't Find a Pen: When trying to get a message to Lucy, Kaen finds himself stranded without one - and so cuts himself and writes it in blood on a paper.
Easter Egg: Completing the game unlocks the CGs done by D.Artemisatto, but also unlocks a considerable amount of scenery art done by the rest of the art team.
Friendly Enemy: Tsubaki and Karen are friendly to each other, but both of them know the other plans to eventually push them down in order to become queen bee.
Genre Blind: Kaen's trying to make amends with Koneko, and he sneaks into her dormitory. He sees Koneko's arm hanging limply over the bed, and she seems to be sleeping absurdly soundly. What does he do? He approaches closer anyway - and picks up the gun she was shot with. He then proceeds to assume that October is right that there are no more bullets left in the gun, and ends up killing October. Smooth.
Wrong Genre Savvy: And when it seems he's finally picking up on deciding to not get involved, he decides not to investigate the clear-looking liquid he finds in his meeting area. What is it? Kerosene...
Grey and Grey Morality: Violetta's eventual motives are ambiguous, along with the Headmaster's in the long run. Kaen himself is a Pyro Maniac and has delighted in burning things, though he knows himself to not have burned down the buildings.
"Groundhog Day" Loop: Redwood School is in fact the world belonging to Tatari the demon, and he is concerned about the murders - so he is willing to continue placing time on a loop until the true murderer is found. Oh, and they've been looping for centuries.
Megane: Not unusual, so many UTAU have them, but of particular interest is Yue, who does not have glasses in his original UTAU design. But then again, he gets killed five minutes later...
Napoleon Complex: Shoichiro has one, though not without reason as people keep mistaking him for a freshman.
Obviously Evil: Headmaster Tatari, who has ridiculously sharp teeth in a Cheshire Cat Grin, loves to talk about how his students are pathetic and useless beings, and seems to be extremely suspicious about what he's doing. It however is equally possible for him to be a Red Herring. In fact, it is a Red Herring - Tatari, while a malevolent demon who seems to enjoy this "game" and doesn't seem to wish to do his own detective work to figure it out, does indeed wish to spare his world from the killings.
Power Trio: Kaen, Lucy, and Sachi, though it pretty much shatters around halfway through Chapter 1.
Also, on the other side, Tatari, Shun, and Igamu.
Psychopathic Manchild: Okay, so we don't exactly know how demons age, but for all intents and purposes Tatari has the attitude of a three-year-old.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Scattered and reckless Detective October compared to the more collected, analytical Agent Violetta. Notably, October wears a blue tie and Violetta wears a red scarf, though their temperaments are the opposite.
Retcon: In-universe. After October mentions that the fire victims are dead, the students are perceptive enough to figure out the inconsistency between that statement and Tatari's statement they might be alive from the previous day. Tatari claims that he spoke wrong and he meant that they were dead. Given that he spent whole minutes talking about the possibility they might be alive, nobody buys it.
Tragic Hero: Kaen for Chapter 1 at least. While he never killed anyone up until his killing of October, which was not entirely intentional, his motives are somewhat shady as he wishes to kill the Headmaster, believing he is the killer on just as much flimsy evidence as October has for him. The fact that he was a complete recluse prior to and during the beginning of the story doesn't help him.
Arguably October as well, as his only wish is to solve the case, but the evidence is so lacking he turns to Kaen to frame him by any means; he however lacks a true redemption as in the end he challenges Kaen to shoot the gun at him, not knowing that there was still a bullet left in the gun.
We Hardly Knew Ye: Pretty much everyone who dies at the beginning and doesn't get more than two minutes of screen time. (Three characters who are killed in the shooting are not even named before they are killed!)