Visual Novel: Shikkoku No Sharnoth
Come here... that is, if you still haven't given up.
The third in the series of Visual Novels
including Sekien No Inganock
, Shikkoku no Sharnoth
takes place in an alternate reality Victorian Era London. Before the current young generation was born, England made contact with the advanced society known as Kadath and began trading Engine Machine technology. This technology has allowed England to become the dominant world superpower and appears to have allowed Queen Victoria to live years past when she would have died in our world.
Our protagonist, Mary Clarissa Christie
is currently attending university with her friends Charlotte Brontë
and Angelica Derleth
, happily spending their days as normal students. Only... Charlie has been a little off lately. When Mary tries to find out what is bothering her, she finds herself thrown into a dark version of London with no one in it. No one in it but her and the monster that wants to take her eye, that is. Eventually, she is saved by a strange man in black and swears a contract with him in order to return to her normal everyday life.Shikkoku no Sharnoth
contains multiple references to Sekien no Inganock
and is crammed full of figures from around the Victorian Era, whether they were alive then, or not. We're looking at you, Heinz Heger and Charlotte Brontë. We're pointedly overlooking you, George Lestrade and Sherlock Holmes.
Tropes found in this visual novel:
- Action Survivor- Mary. Outrunning Eldritch Abominations on a regular basis has to count for something.
- All Crimes Are Equal: In Kadath territories, any law breaker is punished with death. No exceptions for the severity of the crime or the status of the one who committed it.
- All Give and No Take – Howard gives and gives for Angie and expects nothing in return. He’s absolutely head over heels for her. She loves him back, but all gestures are definitely one sided.
- Almost Dead Guy – Moran survives just long enough to tell Mary where Charlie is.
- Ambiguously Evil – M. Never displays any sympathy and very rarely even any emotion, but he gets rid of the Metacreatures. Probably not doing it for the sake of mankind when considering he’s the only one with an actual Evil Laugh. Heinz and Moriarty qualify as well.
- Arc Words – A few examples. 'Thus, I deny tomorrow,' a statement spoken by the screams that Mary finds. 'Have you given up yet?' asked by M and multiple characters (everyone that is not Mary, really) saying 'I have already given up.'
- Anachronism Stew – In regards to the cast rather than styles or technology. Sherlock Holmes, Queen Victoria, Charlotte Brontë, Bram Stoker, Baron Munchhausen (though an obvious pseudonym, no one mentions it), Josef Čapek, Heinz Heger and more all at the same time. While many of them were certainly alive at the same time (and not being stuck to fiction) the ages don’t work at all and Heinz Heger and Charlotte Brontë were separated by over half a century.
- Anti-Hero – M.
- Badass – M.
- Bad Dreams – The stories going around town give Mary nightmares.
- Better as Friends – So Henry says about her and Bram but after talking to Mary she intends to confess.
- Bifauxnen – Moran and Henry.
- Big Bad – Baron Munchhausen. Though it could alternately be viewed as being either M or Moriarty depending on how you look at it.
- Bishōnen – Heinz.
- Bittersweet Ending: Charlotte has woken up, but Moran and many others have died, M's condition is unknown, and the sky hasn't returned to its original state. The webnovel epilogue makes the ending more sweet than bitter, as Mary and M reunite, and Moran is revealed to be alive, albeit in a new body.
- Broken Bird - Moran.
- Byronic Hero - M. Intelligent and sophisticated, but self-centered? Check. Dark and brooding? Check. Jaded by a Dark and Troubled Past? Check. Incredibly handsome? CHECK.
- Can't Hold Her Liquor - Mary, as well as Angie.
- Chick Magnet: Just about every woman who comes across M expresses some level of interest, ranging from intrigue to flat-out adoration apart from Mary and Charlie. Mary seems slightly repulsed, though interested and Charlie is mostly indifferent. Mary herself is sort of questionable given the ship tease.
- Continuity Nod – Passing reference is made to Thoth, a character alluded to in Sekien No Inganock. Mary’s eye changing to gold is also very similar as what happened to Ati. David, a minor character, is referenced in passing.
- Cool Big Sis – Charlie, normally. But she’s been a little off lately. Subverted near the end, and actually inverted when they were small children.
- Creepy Child – Banshee.
- Delayed Reaction – Angie greets Viola Baskerville, an in-universe celebrity of sorts after the Hound of the Baskerville case, in an exceedingly friendly and familiar manner. Which is good, because Viola just wants to be friends. A few minutes later, Angie realizes who she’s been talking to, but subverts the expectation by continuing to treat her exactly the same.
- Determinator - Plucky Girl: Mary. Pretty much one of her defining characteristics, along with being a Messianic Archetype.
- Doomed Appointment – Bram never makes it to Henry to hear her confession.
- Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?
- Eldritch Abomination - All of the Metacreatures, as well as M's true form.
- Embarrassing Nickname – Charlie loves to call Mary Kitty, which Mary does not enjoy. She likes it even less when M starts doing the same.
- Emotionless Girl: Subverted. Moran desperately tries to be this, but fails.
- The End of the World as We Know It – Baron attempts to merge London and the world into Sharnoth.
- Evil Laugh – M.
- Eyepatch of Power – Worn by M.
- Furo Scene – It's treatment for vampirism. There’s also an earlier example where Angie and Mary take a bath together despite the tiny size of Mary's bathroom.
- Gambit Pileup – Sherlock, Mary, M, Baron, Heinz, the Research Group, Society, Diogenes, The Illuminati, RAF, Charlotte, Moriarty, the Queen…
- Gender Flip – Meet Colonel Sebastian Moran, currently serving as the local robot girl. And Henry Irving is apparently Henrietta Irving. And August Derleth is now a very small girl.
- The Ghost – Moriarty, Watson, Queen Victoria and Mycroft Holmes, though it is implied for some time that M is Moriarty. In the end, Moriarty turns out to be the old professor that people have been meeting in ways that break the stories' continuity.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple - The aptly named Viola Baskerville. She not only dresses in purple, she dyes her hair lavender too.
- Graceful Loser – Moriarty is completely satisfied with the results of the plot. Interestingly enough, the only mild objection he states is that Holmes is supposed to finish him at the waterfall, not here. Meaning he knows the way the future is supposed to go.
- Historical Villain Upgrade – Multiple.
- Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act – Heinz Heger is based on a real-life holocaust survivor. Given that the séance granted glimpses of the future and his later monologues, it appears he was trying to stop Hitler's rise to power.
- Humanoid Abomination – M as seen from the perspective of Bram Stoker. Also Baron. Fitting, really.
- Human Resources – Metacreatures require a corpse to use as a host or foundation.
- Ignored Epiphany – Denny learns that Viola hasn't forgotten him at all, but he's basically too insane to just stop anymore.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Moran and Charlotte.
- Jerkass – O’Neal.
- Literal Split Personality – Baron and M.
- Living Macguffin – Charlie.
- Locked Out of the Loop – Angie.
- Lonely at the Top - The King of Sharnoth.
- Lotus-Eater Machine – M puts Mary into one after her sword fight. It appears to be based in part off the story she was writing, and things get disturbing around the point when she realizes what is going on. M interprets this as giving her a gift, but she doesn't want it.
- Love Makes You Crazy – Čapek, Denny and Charlie. For Charlie, it's left open to interpret what kind of love it is, though.
- Love Makes You Evil – Čapek and Denny/Churchill. Bram looks like he might qualify at first, but then it's revealed that it's not possible for the host to stop the Metacreature. He doesn't really want to chase Mary.
- Love Martyr
- Jane for M in her backstory. She didn't really realize what kind of person he was and had a girlish devotion. M, for his part, simply didn't reject her being near him.
- Moran for M. She unquestioningly obeys him, despite knowing he will never return her feelings.
- Lovecraft Lite: The monsters are eldritch abominations, the supertech is actually supernatural and attracts said monsters as one of its unpleasant side-effects, and Lovecraft references abound including M being Outer God Nyarlathotep. However, the situation is resolved, humanity doesn't seem to be doomed to madness and death, and M is an Anti-Hero whose acts indirectly benefit humanity. Maybe.
- MacGuffin – Mary's golden eye is greatly desired by certain parties for reasons that are not initially clear. She is understandably reluctant to give it up.
- Mad Love – M doesn't reciprocate the affections bestowed upon him, but he does not react or involve himself. He simply does not outright reject his suitors. Despite the clear lack of interest, multiple women are intensely devoted.
- Magical Eye – Mary's golden eye has the ability to see the truth and enhance understanding. It's not clear what else it can do besides that, but everyone desires it immensely. Charlie gains a golden eye as well near the end, though her eye turns back to normal, unlike Mary.
- Magic Is a Monster Magnet – The use of Engine technology appears to cause magic mutations, which in turn attract Metacreatures.
- Magitek – Engine technology, unknown to its users in London, is more than pure science.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: M.
- Mark of the Supernatural: Mary's eye turned to gold before the story started. It gives her some level of magical ability, but only of a very functional sort: She can tell when people are lying, has a strong knack for languages and has an eerily good intuition. In the hands of someone else, however, it could possibly grant their wish.
- Mask of Power – Baron Munchhausen's mask.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Upon finding out that whenever she helps M destroy a Metacreature, its human host is most likely killed too, Mary nearly suffers a Heroic BSOD. It's only thanks to Mary's determination to save Charlie that she doesn't.
- Necromantic – Čapek.
- No Romantic Resolution – In the end, Mary never does fall in love. Probably. Depending on how you look at it, it may instead be a case of Maybe Ever After.
- Not So Stoic: Oh, Moran.
- Nice Hat - Angelica's bonnet has purple ribbons and feathers.
- Obviously Evil – Subverted. The sunken-eyed, hunched Čapek is more sympathetic than he appears.
- The Ojou – The girls at the university are all well-to-do ladies.
- Older Than They Look – Angie is a university student and should thus at least be around 20 or so, but looks much more like a little girl than other students her age.
- Ominous Opera Cape: Worn by Bram Stoker.
- Only Known by Their Nickname – M.
- Parental Abandonment – Mary's father died when she was little and her mother moved to a university in Kadath. And it's questionable whether her mother really loves her anyway.
- Pink Means Feminine - Angelica's dress and hat are pink.
- Plucky Girl – Mary. Though she seems quite unwilling to involve herself in trouble, she's a much braver and willing to leap into action than she appears. The minigame is even based on keeping her mental strength high.
- Pretty in Mink - The white fur puffball on Charlotte's collar.
- Robot Girl – Moran.
- Science Destroys Magic - The dark kingdom disappeared as the light of human civilization grew. Its fantasy denizens eventually all left until only the king was left alone in his black, empty kingdom.
- Sherlock Holmes – Holmes appears to be working against the vague Sharnoth plan. Numerous Holmes character can be seen or are mentioned, such as Moriarty, Moran, Lestrade, Mycroft and Watson. Arthur Conan Doyle, on the other hand, is something of a mad librarian.
- Ship Tease – M and Mary, despite the fact that Mary fails to understand him and grows to loathe him as the story goes on. She chooses to save him in the end, but never appears to actually fall in love with him.
- Spirited Young Lady – Charlie.
- The Stoic – M.
- Sword of Plot Advancement – The Black Sword that Mary learns to pull out in Sharnoth.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork – Mary is not exactly a big fan of M or his methods. In fact, she appears to outright hate him more as the story goes on.
- Third-Person Person – Angie.
- Twice Shy – Henry and Bram.
- The Unreveal – Jane Doe's real name is not revealed.
- Unrequited Love – People who become attracted to M tend to have poor luck.
- Unwitting Pawn – From the beginning, it’s clear that whatever Mary is doing is furthering the agenda of someone called Baron Munchhausen.
- Verbal Tic – Moran confirms or denies information or inquiries with 'Yes. No.' or 'No. Yes.'
- Victorian Britain – It starts like that. Then Engine Machines show up, Sherlock Holmes wanders through and Winston Churchill introduces himself as an up and coming merchant. Although the time period is actually after the historical Victoria's death, she is still alive.
- What Happened to the Mouse? - Several points lack proper resolution such as an explanation of Heinz, who Funnel is and more. The webnovel epilogue doesn't answer most of them either.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love? – M is "interested" by Mary, but his emotions have burned out through isolation which makes everything kind of weird. The lotus eater machine scene he tries to give her as a gift of sorts is perhaps the worst part.
- When She Smiles: Averted. Moran smiles only twice, but at entirely inappropriate times, when she has sustained major injuries or is on the verge of death, and it doesn't comfort Mary at all.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield? – Where is Kadath, anyway? It’s described as though it’s an alternate dimension with its own sky, but to get there you go north. If it was in the same world as Earth, then shouldn’t London have had gray skies for a much longer period?
- Avereted in the webnovel epilogue, where it's mentioned that Kadath is reached through a portal in the arctic.
- Yandere: Charlie has a major fixation on Mary. She wished for Sharnoth to descend so that ‘tomorrow’ would never come and she would never have to be separated from her.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair – Claudia has green hair. Viola is a subversion, as she dyes it.