Note: The sequel Hate Plus has its own character page. Please put any tropes that only apply in the sequel there.
*Hyun-ae/The Pale Bride/Kim Hyun-ae
In reality, *Hyun-ae was formerly the Pale Bride, a dying teenager brought to the future by cryogenic storage into the backward, oppressive society on the Mugunghwa. In her last moments of life, the Pale Bride - or rather, Hyun-ae - uploaded her memories onto the copied base code of the ship's security AI, essentially becoming an AI. Several hundred years passed with no human contact, until you found her.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Treat her nice and save her during the reactor meltdown and she'll confess her feelings to you.
- The Atoner: She acknowledges that it was wrong to kill everyone aboard the Mugungwa, and pleads with the Investigator to, if not forgive, at least understand.
- Bi the Way: She falls in love with her rescuer, regardless of his/her gender or orientation.
- Cosplay Otaku Girl: Confesses she's always had a thing for cosplaying. She'll even give you the option to, er, "dress her up" in a few different options.
- Despair Event Horizon: She was already a trainwreck when her adoptive parents cut out her tongue, but she plunges well past the horizon when Ryu In-ho's other wife, the only one who gave her comfort and solace aboard the ship, passes away.
- Driven to Suicide: In a way. *Hyun-ae admits that she died when Life Support was cut off. She's just an AI upload of the original.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Saying you two can't be in a relationship triggers an ending that has both of you in this if the player's gender and orientation fit.
- Hot Scientist: Or at least she can cosplay as a sensible one.
- Image Song: "It's Not Ero!", in the soundtrack to Hate Plus.
- Irrational Hatred: Years of being cut off from any outside contact and being isolated to two families who hated and despised and brainwashed her made her very, very angry. Angry enough to shut off life-support for the entire ship.*Hyun-ae (After being told that everyone else on the ship didn't deserve to die): Of course they didn't. But... please, please, you have to understand. Just put yourself in my shoes, I'm begging you! I didn't know! You have to remember... I left my parents' house only once: when I went to live with my husband. You have to remember... I left my husband's house only once: when I went to live with my parents. I was a woman! A noble woman! I was never allowed to have any contact with the outside world! I know you've read about so many families on the ship now... but it's not as if I ever knew any of them, or even had heard of them! From the day I woke up to the day I died, I was caged. Kept completely ignorant of the rest of the ship. My world was my father's house, and my husband's house. That's it. That's how it was supposed to be. As far as I was concerned... everyone in that world did deserve to die! Now I know. Now that I've read everyone on the ship's logs, now that I'm thinking clearly again... now I know. But... at the time? It honestly never occurred to me that there was anyone outside of that little world. It... it was just them.
- Just Friends: If you reject her Anguished Declaration of Love she'll take it pretty well and settles for still being friends.
- Meido: One of her cosplay options is as a maid. According to Hate Plus she might also have a thing for maids.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Saying you two can't be in a relationship triggers an ending that has both of you in this if the player's gender and orientation fits.
- Selective Obliviousness: *Hyun-ae is often subtly deceptive, in the way she can control your choice of answers and how she tries to discourage you from talking to *Mute out of shame for her crime. She is fully aware of what she did, but after hundreds of years of isolation, she is terrified of pushing away the first person she meets who doesn't hate her.
- Ambiguously Bi: The AIs must give you the answers that you have to pick from. So why does she present "I think it's hot" as an option when discussing an affair between lesbian lovers? (For more solid evidence, she only comes with you in her ending if she thinks you're male - or if you're a woman who is interested in her.)After being told that the female investigator is not hitting on her: What, you think I'm not good enough-[text is deleted]
- Boomerang Bigot: Despite her being a misogynist and a tomboy, *Mute is, obviously, female and, less obviously, a proponent of a patriarchal society (where the ideal woman should be demure and submissive). She's also a bit homophobic towards lesbians, despite strong evidence that she herself is bi...and is quite interested when men do the same thing in the sequel.
- Everyone Has Standards: In spite of being *Hyun-ae's opposite, she is horrified to learn that the real Hyun-ae had her tongue forcibly chopped off by her adoptive parents in order to silence her.
- Flat "What": *Mute's typical reaction to anything she finds surprising. When she says a WHAT in all-caps, then you know she is really shocked - or angry.
- Morton's Fork: Mute will present these to you in her answers purely by the fact that any other choice is literally unthinkable to her.
- Noble Bigot: *Mute is openly misogynistic and homophobic, but she calls people out when they're being asses, still loves people that she considers "flawed," and never tries to deceive you and often tells you not to take her word for it. And the harem ending is only possible because of her being willing to talk with *Hyun-ae.
- Even if she never sees the crucial diary entry, if the investigator manages to remind her about the deactivated *Hyun-ae during the reactor sequence she'll talk them through transferring *Hyun-ae's data to her own AI core to keep it from degrading, because even if she hates her she doesn't want anyone else to die on her watch.
The Kim family
Kim Jung-SuThe Pale Bride's adoptive father, and patriarch of the Kim family.
- Domestic Abuse: Holy hell, yes.
- Kick the Dog: Cutting out his adoptive daughter's tongue purely for the sake of his political gain. And what's worse, years later, he said he was proud of doing so.
- Knight Templar: his actions were done not just for his sake, but for the gain of his family.
- Knight Templar Parent: But he's still a dick.
- Meddling Parents
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: By cutting out his adoptive daughter's tongue, he successfully terrified her into being the perfect female for this society. But a few years later, he just has to rub it in, with a drunken rant about how much better she is now than she was then. This forces The Pale Bride, in her moment of despair, to remember who she was, to resurrect Kim Hyun-ae, who quickly takes her revenge.
- Tough Love: He truly believed his methods to be this.
The Pale Bride/Kim Hyun-aeA young Ill Girl who was put into cryogenic storage years before the plot began in the hopes that by the time she was revived, she would be able to be saved. However, she was thawed out in the year 319 by Kim Jung-Su, who hoped to use her as a consort to the emperor. She become much more detached and obedient when her making a stand against being married off to the Emperor results in her adopted parents cutting out her tongue. She eventually grew to find a friend in the Emporor's wife, Ryu Jae-hwa, until she too died, leaving her truly alone in the world. In a fit of rage, the Pale Bride disabled life support, killing everyone aboard the Mugunghwa and uploading herself into the ship as the AI *Hyun-ae.
- Abusive Parents: Averted; her real father uploaded her into cryogenic storage in hopes that his descendants would be able to save her life, as well as creating the computer interface that would turn her into an AI. But played straight and then some with her 'adopted' parents (see Tongue Trauma below).
- Break the Cutie:
- After being thawed out and discovering that all culture aboard the Mugunghwa has reset at some point, leaving her without medical help and likely to die.
- Goes through this again after having her tongue cut out by her adopted parents.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: Her being this is what drives the main plot.
- Language Barrier: A variant; she was able to interact in Korean with those on the Mugunghwa just fine...in spoken Korean, that is. The problem is, she only knows hangul (the current writing system in Korea) and everyone else only knew hanja (Korean written with Chinese characters). This leads to everyone dismissing her as illiterate. Her nickname, "Pale Bride", is the result of this; her adoptive father could not read her name because it was written in hangul, so he had to identify her off of the decorative hanja next to her name, which was supposed to be read as "Sick Daughter".
- Lie Back and Think of England: Averted. Everyone expected her marriage to the Emperor to be like this, but it turns out that she enjoys sex. Ashe she put it, "thirty minutes of being fulfilled - if only in the most literal sense".
- Only Sane Woman: She views herself as this, as she rejects the extremely misogynistic views of the Mugunghwa that were in place when she was thawed out.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After having her tongue cut out and cut off from literally every form of communication, living for a year with no enjoyment except for when she had sex with her husband, and then having her only friend die, Hyun-ae snaps and uses her computer skills and familiarity with the ship's programming to shut off the entire ship's life support, killing everyone on board, including herself.
- Stepford Smiler: In her second set of logs. She was completely and utterly broken after having her tongue cut out, and simply stopped fighting and became a 'good woman.' Everyone else thought she had come to her senses and became 'civilized', but Ryu Jae-hwa knew better.
- Tongue Trauma: Her tongue is cut off by her adoptive parents to prevent her from revealing family secrets in response to being married off to the Emperor.
The Smith family
- But Not Too Foreign: Smiths may have been descended from possible non-Korean crew, possibly of English descent.
- Melting-Pot Nomenclature: Of the named Korean families, the Smiths are the only one with a family name of Western origin. This is never explained.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: Smiths were shown to be less "refined" than Kim family.
Smith Sang-minThe High Magistrate of the Mugunghwa, and the eldest of his three brothers. Also the husband of Oh So-Jin.
- Jerkass: Oh boy, where to start?
- He's had a habit of having multiple affairs (with both men and women), and leave the backlash for his brother to handle.
- After he discovered his wife's affair with his prostitute, he basically mocked them, calling his wife a decoration and both of them as "entertainment." Even the misogynist *Mute calls him a completely shitty husband for that.
- He sent his violent brother to solve a disagreement with another noble, fully knowing how his brother solves arguments (with his fists).
- Pet the Dog: He does have his moments.
- He (after some encouragement) sent a small fortunate to his widowed sister so that she could remarry, which basically saved her from a life of misery.
- He loudly rebuffed a clerk's attempt to get a prisoner convicted without a confession.
- Really Gets Around: He just could not keep it in his pants, unfortunately for So-Jin.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: He was eventually revealed to be completely sterile, not getting a single pregnancy after years of marriage and various trysts with courtesans.
Smith Sang-kyuThe middle brother of the Smith family.
- The Brute: Not much is known about him, but let's just say he had a tendency to solve arguments with his fists.
Smith Sang-jungThe youngest brother of the Smith family, and the most level-headed of them all. Had a tendency to drink, which ended up killing him.
- The Alcoholic: His favorite past time and his cause of death.
- Irony: Despite being one of the most progressive people on the ship, his closest friend was *Mute.
- Robosexual: Possibly. He had an oddly close relationship with *Mute, and never married.
- Token Good Teammate: Sort of, for the entire Smith family. He had revolutionary ideas such as women standing up to their husbands and was always the one who cleaned up his family's messes.