Ten years ago, Essi's mother died in a questionable accident. She left a USB flash drive with a locked folder called "X-note". Unable to understand the purpose of it, Essi continued living her life as a normal junior high school student
. However, Essi is hardly normal, for she possesses power beyond normal human.
Essi's quiet life was interfered by a sudden visit of a young man named Yuon
. He invited her to investigate a murder case and a mysterious disappearance in Xen Institute, a school that had a deep relation with Essi's mother. Tempted by the possibility of unlocking "X-note" and solving her mother's mysterious death, Essi decided to take his request. But what awaits her there is much more than what she could possibly imagine…
X-Note is Zeiva Inc's second commercial Visual Novel
, which, unlike Other Age: Second Encounter
, is written in the format of an Otome Game
. Here you follow the story of Essi as she pursues the truth of her mother's death. The game spans for 30 days, of which you can train Essi's psychic abilities, explore the school, collect notes, and make choices to determine her fate.
It has a prequel/spin-off in the form of Area X
This game provides examples of:
- Abandoned Playground: Where Essi trains her psychic abilities. Also where she meets Rexus.
- Bland-Name Product:
- The computers at Xen Institute appears to operate on Doors 8, as a shout out to Microsoft Windows.
- Most of the time, Essi and her guy of choice meet up at Dudebucks.
- Break the Cutie: Happens to pretty much all of the cuties:
- Essi: Her mother died in a traumatic car accident when she was only four, and she still has recurring nightmares about it. In addition to that, pick an ending, good or bad. Chances are, there'll be some cutie breakage involved.
- Yuon: He was separated from his beloved older brother, the only person who ever understood and truly loved him. His brother is later killed before they have a chance to reunite, and in an attempt to get closer to their father, Yuon does his best to impress him only to further increase the distance between them. Then his father is murdered, and he has to take on all the duties of an adult at only fifteen.
- Oure: He was separated from his brother Yuon and, despite having quite the sweet tooth, was diagnosed with diabetes. After he was accidentally killed by X, his spirit was confined to the corridor where he died. Nobody could see or hear him until he met Essi, and he was forced to remain that way for ten years. In his good ending, it's revealed that he has actually been in a coma for ten years and unconsciously used astral projections to appear in the corridor. His situation's still not much better, though.
- Anon/X/Xirr: Perhaps the worst case out of all of them, Xirr was found as a war survivor after he used his psychic abilities to protect the children of his village. He suffered from PTSD as a result of it and refused to speak most of the time. He eventually befriended Oure but was bullied by the other children of his village, who were jealous of the special treatment he received. Most of the time, he stood and took the abuse, but when Oure was hit for standing up for him, he lost control of his abilities and ended up killing everyone around him, including Oure. Oure's father Scid, unaware of Xirr's intentions and distraught over the death of his child, took revenge by using Xirr as an experiment and psychologically torturing him until his mind literally broke into fragments (the player later gets to read said fragments) and he can't recognize anyone anymore. After failing to commit suicide by jumping into a river and waking up with no memories, he was rescued and taken in by traveling merchants where he acquired a completely different personality as "Anon." He then actively tries to discover his true identity. Thankfully, his good ending is quite satisfying, but it's really no wonder his keyword in the opening animation is "insanity."
- Casanova Wannabe: Anon...just Anon.
Anon: Don't worry! They said I'm a 70% nice guy, after all.
Essi: What about the other 30%?
- Character Select Forcing: It is a lot easier to end up in Yuon's path compared to the other two Love Interests. The path names in Chapter 4 are even named "Yuon-Oure" and "Yuon-Anon". This seems to be because Oure and Anon's paths are meant to be completed after Yuon's.
- Chess Motifs: As explained in supplimental material:
- Child Soldiers: The main plan of the Big Bad is to use these as warfare weapons.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Rexus. If his answer to Essi's Who Are You? is any indication...
Rexus: I am... the upholder of Love and Peace!
- Color-Coded Characters: Essi, Yuon, Oure, Anon, Rexus,Acia, Emma, Loil, Scid...
- Used in the opening video, in which Essi watches as three different colored balloons (blue, gray, and green) are released into the sky.
- Creepy Child: The young boy in Essi's dreams.
- Dark and Troubled Past: When it comes down to it, Anon is probably lucky to not remember his past. Or that he has killed his best friend (and several others) in his attempt to protect him.
- Dating Sim
- Death Seeker: Anon. Even the game begins with his younger self jumping into a river.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Scid, Emma, and Acia. Loil is the only exception, and he was a part of the founders because of the funding he provided.
- For the Evulz: It's obvious Loil has had the most fun of all the characters in game.
- Fun with Acronyms: At the end of her Friday 13th date with the boy of her choice, Essi gets a pointless find that Mirage actually stands for Miraculously Incredibly Ridiculously Absolutely Greatest Enigma. This is also how Essi finds out the password for X-Note. It's the abbreviation of the founders of Xen Institute: Scid, Emma, Acia, and Loil.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Averted; the mini-games that are played on the side are actually needed in order to progress the game's story, Essi's level of psychic power determines how well she is able to do some token-item reading (and she herself feels stronger as she progresses in her self-training), and it's necessary to have almost maxed-out stats in all of them to obtain the Good Endings.
- Gentle Giant: Essi is surprised to find out that a person of Rexus's built can be so soft-hearted and timid.
- Guide Dang It: Chapter 4 can be somewhat annoying to play through without the guide to how the game mechanics work, in that the mini-games that you play during the course of the game determine whose path you are allowed to end up pursuing. Also, failing to max out one of the categories by the end of the chapter causes you to receive a Bad Ending.
- Anon's Journey to the Center of the Mind can be this too if you don't know which glass shards to click.
- And in Yuon's path, it's only possible to get the happy ending if you went through the Yuon-Oure path in chapter 3.
- Hair Color Dissonance: Essi's hair seems to be a shade of dark green, but everyone sees her hair as black.
- Hey, You!: Anon never, ever calls Essi by name. If you haven't seen his Good Ending.
- Hidden Depths: Every guy has one. Essi learns them in their respective routes.
- I Am a Monster: Anon seems to be very convinced that he is this.
- I Will Wait for You: A variation in Oure's Good Ending. Essi faithfully waits for him to wake up from his coma, and the fans can only hope he actually wakes up in the end...
- Ill Girl: Gender-flipped with Oure having diabetes.
- Let X Be the Unknown
- Lolicon: One can say that Loil's fascination with children is most...suspicious.
- One Head Taller: Yuon and Anon. Oure is only 2cm taller than Essi.
- Only One Name: None of the characters have last names.
- Older Than They Look: Oure is 18 years old. You can't tell simply by looking at him.
- Meaningful Name: Yuon, Oure, Anon and X. Also, Loil. The screen names in the ORZ Corp Private Message Board say it all.
- Mysterious Protector: Rexus
- Non Standard Game Over: Available at the end of Chapter 2, though it takes some effort from the player to obtain, and ends with Essi deciding that she isn't cut out to continue her investigation; she willingly leaves the school and relents that she will never know the mysteries surrounding her mother's death.
- Playful Hacker: Anon once cheerfully admits to Essi that he digs information for fun. Well, he's not being entirely truthful, but still...
- Power Copying: Yuon's psychic ability
- Psychopathic Manchild: Oh, Loil, dear...
- Psychic Block Defense: Essi's suspicion of Anon surfaces from the moment she finds out that she can't read his mind.
- Quest for Identity: The main reason Anon ends up in Xen Institute.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Anon. Though not evil, the nature of his power is dangerous.
- Running Gag: It's a given that every time Anon does something good, he just has to mention the love hotel later and get a punch from Essi before he even finishes the sentence.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Yuon and Oure.
- Starts with a Suicide: The story of X-Note begins with a mysterious young boy jumping to a river, smiling. He got better.
- Shout-Out: On the imageboards when Essi does token-reading on the computer monitor.
This is nothing new. You are overreacting as always, OVER-9000
- Stepford Smiler: Anon and Oure, the former a Type B and the latter Type A.
- Supreme Chef: Anon. Though he has a notable bad taste...
- Sweet Tooth: Oure has one. Too bad about his diabetes.
- Theme Naming: All the characters' names consist of four letters. The fact that Rexus is the odd one out is to signify that he's the only one who doesn't quite belong, and is instead a major character of the prequel, Area X.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cream puff is Yuon's favorite food. He even has a keychain of it.
- Troubled, but Cute: Yuon.
- Tsundere: Whenever Anon is involved, Essi ends up spending her time tsundere-ing with him.
- Unstoppable Rage: In Anon's Bad Ending, Essi kills Loil with her psyche out of anger.
- Updated Re-release: Zeiva Inc. ended up releasing X-Note 2.0, which includes more features to make the game more comfortable to play through, including a save/load option, a text back button, and a skip option for the ending movies. Many of the game's grammatical and graphical errors were fixed as well. It can be downloaded and upgraded for free to those who purchased the first version, and it's now the standard version of the game to play.
- Walking the Earth: Implied with Anon and Essi, in his ending.
Anon: I thought we're the eloping couple of psychics!
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the fourth chapter of Yuon-Oure path, Anon disappears without leaving a trace. Essi remarks that even after she asks around about him, no one claims to know him, as if he's never been there in the first place. Also happens to Oure in Yuon-Anon path. Makes you wonder what happens to them...
- Fridge Horror once you realize that without Essi's love for them, Oure would die and Anon would give up his search of identity and choose death.
- You Can See Me?: Oure is surprised that Essi can see him.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: And green, and white, and purple...