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Chekhovs Gun / Visual Novels

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  • In the Ace Attorney games:
    • Seemingly random, irrelevant things such as a metal detector or a picture of the police mascot are often inexplicably added to the Court Record as evidence. They will later prove to be crucial in cracking the case. The logical usefulness of an item is almost always inversely proportional to its actual usefulness, too: murder weapons, security camera videos, and photographs sometimes border on useless, while clay fragments, picket fences, air tanks and guitar picks are crucial to solving the case. Specific examples:
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    • Very early in the first game's last case, you acquire a screwdriver that was evidence in a completely separate case. According to Miles Edgeworth (whose car the victim was found in), it has no relevance to the current case at all. Later, when you need to prove how the killer was able to place the victim's body in Edgeworth's car, it's revealed that when Edgeworth was summoned by the killer to the police station to transfer the screwdriver to his office, and it was at the station that the body was placed in his car's trunk. Phoenix himself remarks that it was the most useless piece of evidence in the entire case up until this point.
    • Anytime Phoenix happens across an incinerator, expect to find some half-burnt clue in there later on.
    • In the last case of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth 2, when you examine the victim's corpse you find, among other things, gunpowder residue on their right hand. It is mentioned once and never brought up again until the very end of the game, where it plays a crucial role in proving the villain's guilt (in fact, by then the player will probably have forgotten about it completely).
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  • Amnesia: Memories has the heroine's diary in Diamond World. She puts it into her bag about midway through the route, but it's completely forgotten about until a pivotal moment leading to that route's Good Ending. The diary falls out of the bag and opens at a convenient page where the heroine wrote down her romantic feelings for Toma. Reading more of the diary, Toma learns that the heroine has been in love with him for a long time and her lack of contact with him before August was a self-imposed challenge, so that when they met again, he would see her as a woman and fall for her. Toma realizes that his actions have been wrong and based on a horrible misunderstanding, and the two admit their feelings to each other with a kiss. Though this only occurs for the Good Ending, and the diary is otherwise completely forgotten in that route.
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
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    • There is a sixteenth seat in the courtroom. When the time comes, there is also a sixteenth student to take the seat.
    • It's pointed out early on that the door to Naegi's bathroom is stuck and needs to be opened a certain way. This then becomes a key piece of evidence once the first investigation comes around.
    • When a new floor is opened up, the game makes the player take a tour around every room and examine certain things, thus making everything they examine a potential Chekhov's Gun for the next murder.
    • There's a rather innocuous but still rather strange bit of the interface, that allows the player to accuse dead characters of the murder. This comes in handy when one of the murders turns out to be a suicide, and when the Mastermind turns out to be one of the allegedly dead students.
  • In Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works scenario, before his death, Lancer activates his Ansuz Rune to burn his dying place for almost no apparent reasons. That action indirectly saved Shiro, Rin and Saber from a fatal, unprepared encounter with Gilgamesh, which forces him to retreat. It also inverts this trope in another instance where the "gun" in question becomes important after its used. In the prologue, Rin uses a literal family jewel to save Shiro's life and leaves it with his body. Archer returns it to her later that night. Yet in Unlimited Blade Works and Heavens Feel, Shiro is revealed to have the same jewel, and when Rin sees it she realizes The Reveal, Archer is who Shiro will become, and he returned the jewel after carrying it for his entire life (and then some) until he saw her again.
  • Fleuret Blanc has a few:
    • Giving orders to King Vasha, which is the key to the Lounge. It's in plain sight and definitely implies something has to happen there, but it's so silly and weird that most players will probably forget it by the time of the payoff, or at least assume it's for something much more minor.
    • The placard Roland gives you at the beginning seems pointless at first, but it's actually a smoking gun for the judges' true plans, and what led to the lockdown and Kant's imprisonment.
    • Averted with the hacked application wizard, which is hinted to be an important mystery throughout the story and many optional events, but is ultimately a minor subplot unrelated to the main story.
  • There's a few cross-route guns in Hatoful Boyfriend:
    • Kazuaki's blacked-out photo turns out to be of Nageki Fujishiro, who is his adoptive younger brother. Additionally, there's a brief scene where Hiyoko comments on Kazuaki smelling like bleach, and Kazuaki responds that he fell asleep in his washing machine. This is believable given his narcolepsy, but not the truth. He's been bleaching his feathers to disguise the fact that he is Nageki's brother Hitori, allowing him to get close to the bird who killed Nageki and steal Nageki's remains.
    • Partway through some routes, Hiyoko finds a student ID card in the hallway. Kazuaki comments that the student on it has been missing since June, while Shuu is relieved when Hiyoko brings it to him. The card belongs to Anghel Higure, the secret route character. He's missing in most routes because he's been kidnapped by the doctor, but in his own route he manages to escape and get Hiyoko's help.
    • At the end of the secret route, the game briefly and inexplicably turns into a JRPG-style boss battle. In the true ending, the cast realise that they can use the cause of this change to snap Ryouta out of his despair and save the human race.
    • A minor one is the fact that Shuu always holds things with his left wing. In the true ending, he uses this as an alibi - he's partly paralysed and therefore not physically strong enough to do what he's being accused of doing.
    • Lastly, Hiyoko and Nageki discuss the novel Night on the Galactic Railroad during Nageki's route. Come the sequel game, they end up on a galactic railroad themselves, which takes them to the titular Holiday Star.
  • Hotel Dusk: Room 215 features multiple subversions. First, the inconspicuous sewing machine and adhesive remover that come in a package near the beginning, and whose only introduction is Kyle commenting that they're useless prove to be essential to completing the game. On the other hand, the screwdriver that he repeatedly and visibly proclaims will surely be useful... has absolutely no possible use at any point in the game — the only thing it can accomplish is getting you a Game Over if you don't put it back at the right time.
  • Katawa Shoujo does this in Lilly's Good Ending. Lilly heads to the airport to leave for Scotland, never to return, a Race for Your Love scene ensues, but Hisao has a heart attack mere meters away from her. He comes to 2 days later in a hospital bed. He's laying there resenting himself for not being able to stop Lilly leaving and listening to the EKG speaker, when he notices a second sound in the room. He turns his head to the side and notices the music box he bought for Lilly back in Act 2. A few seconds later, Lilly herself comes into the room, having never left Japan.
  • Spirit Hunter: NG:
    • At the start of the Kubitarou case, Maruhashi explains that the sacred ceder tree in Kintoki used to protect against lightning, and there's been a greater amount of thunderstorms since it was chopped down. Cut to the end of the chapter, where lightning strikes down on the protagonists and forces Akira to choose whether to save Seiji or Kaoru.
    • After driving off the Screaming Author with her voice, Rosé teaches Akira about instruments that are used to mimic a bird's cry- one of which is the kokyu, a violin-like instrument. When they're later tied up by the spirit, Akira has his companion rub horse hair against wire to mimic a kokyu, which calms the bird-like spirit.
    • When asked about Yakumo Miroku and his horror literature, Natsumi reveals that she's a big fan, but that her sister (Akira's mother) was even more obsessed than she was. To the point that they had a son together, which is how Akira inherited Yakumo's spiritual power.
  • True Remembrance gracefully weaves at least half a dozen of these into the first chapter, in asides and offhand comments that normally one would disregard as mere color in a Visual Novel. The entire second half is comparable to a machinegun, except instead of shooting bullets, it shoots Guns.
  • The first day of the first route of Tsukihime has Shiki bringing an unidentified white ribbon with him for no particular reason. When you eventually get to the maid's routes, it's revealed this is a keepsake Kohaku gave as a sort of promise for him to come back and give it back to her. The importance he places on it, whether or not he remembers and also identifies whose it is becomes very important. As in, Akiha and Kohaku can die if he thinks Hisui gave it to him. Not bad for an item mentioned in one sentence offhandedly when Shiki is unpacking, eh?

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