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Ray Starling & Nemesis
"Vengeance is Mine!"
Ray & Nemesis
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In the year 2043, the first full-dive VRMMO has been released to the world. It has the capabilities of simulating the five senses seamlessly and carries infinite possibilities for the player to explore. Not only does it allow for a player, who is called a Master, to interact and explore a virtual world but carries a unique attribute for Masters called an Embryo. Embryos are basically a weapon or armor that players gain from their personality and their experiences within Infinite Dendrogram. Approximately two years has passed, Reiji Mukudori finally purchases his copy of the game for summer vacation. In the game world, he is Ray Starling and starts his first adventure with his older brother, Shu Starling, where he ends up with his Embryo, Nemesis. After parting ways with his experienced brother, he begins his journey into the virtual world that carries boundless venues to experience and explore.

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The light novels are written by Sakon Kaidou, and J-Novel Club released volume 1 on July 2017 in North America. The original web novel in Japanese can be read here.

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This light novel carries examples of:

  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload DIN, K&R, KoD, B3, RSK…
  • Action Survivor: In a world where monsters and masters roam, many Tians (NPCs) gain fighting classes to survive.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The side stories are usually this, highlighting side characters’ adventures. Many of them expand on the main plot.
  • A Darker Me: Many PK clans are filled with people who are nice and diligent in real life, but wish to role-play villains.
  • Adult Fear: In the real world, Shu and Ray’s sister was aboard a sinking ship.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Subverted, while killing other players don’t have drawbacks, killing Tians are against the law, which can lead to a ban from using the country’s save points.
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  • Always Someone Better: While we haven’t seen her yet, Shu and Ray’s sister seems to be this.
  • Anachronism Stew: The Country of Knights is attacked by a country with Mechas and other machines. Other countries include themes such as a Mercantile Desert and Far East Asia
  • Androids Are People, Too: The NPCs, known as Tians, live perfectly normal lives, and can interact with players.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Monsters often drop various items and equipments. Ray’s first kill nets him a set of armor he is too low levelled to equip.
  • Anyone Can Die: If you are a Tian, death is permanent.
  • Alice Allusion: While she hasn’t shown up herself, many of the other characters in Alice in Wonderland show up as this.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The game is run by various AIs, some of which enjoy letting monsters grow strong to terrorise the world.
  • Artificial Intelligence: At least 13 of them run Infinite Dendrogram in the background. Some of the known ones include Cheshire Cat and Humpty.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Kingdom of Altar’s Knights were led by the strongest Tian warrior, and the King himself went into battle during the war with Dryfe Imperium.
  • Badass Family: Ray’s brother is an Unkra Champion, while their sister is hinted to be even stronger.
  • Badass in Distress: Shu lets himself be jailed when he was framed as a murderer.
  • Battle Couple: Whenever a master and a humanoid embryo is of the opposite gender, this is likely to happen.
  • Behemoth Battle: The Kingdom of Altar’s first three Superiors joined forces for the first time to kill one.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Shu towards Ray, even in game.
  • Black Swords Are Better: Nemesis’s first form is a black western great sword called Black Blade.
  • Breakable Weapons: There is a skill that allows you to break your shield in exchange for greater defence.
  • Calling Your Attacks: The Superior’s Ultimate skills seem to require this.
  • Character Class System: Master usually start in a lower class, and once certain conditions are fulfilled they can advance to higher classes.
  • Class and Level System: Infinite Dendrogram uses a system where Masters and Tians have a class level separate from the character levels
  • Chick Magnet: Rook seems to be one. His first main job is even the Pimp.
  • Code Name: Almost every master gets one.
  • Combat Medic: The High Priestess Tsukiyo may be an good healer, but even Figaro, the #1 in the rankings, would prefer not to face her head on.
  • Common Character Classes: Fighters, mages, thieves and paladins are some of the many options that players can class in.
  • Crippling Overspecialisation: With many different builds available, some masters choose to be these.
  • Cross Player: There are plenty of characters who play as the opposite gender.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Superiors against the PK guilds.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Players like Rook, Marie, and Hugo all carry baggage from the real world.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Ray "looks more like the Hell General then the actual Hell General" Starling, black and red armor, spikes all over his armor, uses toxic gas attacks, but is still solidly a Nice Guy with Chronic Hero Syndrome.
  • Death Is Cheap: Masters who die are simply locked out of the game for 24 hours.
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming: How the world is viewed by Masters.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Shu walks straight through building to rush where he’s needed.
  • Dungeon Crawling: There are dungeons for exploring available to players.
  • Empathic Weapon: Embryos are formed by a Master's personality, and most can read the minds of their Masters.
  • Evolving Weapon: An Embryo can grow in Rank and gain new forms based on the Master's experiences.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: Metels instead of Meters
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: Following their defeat at the hands of Figaro, PK guild Mad Castle is disbanded.
  • Fictional Currency: Lir
  • Flight: Various monsters come with the ability to fly. Ray’s Automaton Horse Silver has the ability to walk on air as well.
  • Food Porn: Shu’s food is always described as so good, it can send you into a coma.
  • Gatling Good: Shu’s Embryo can take the form of a Gatling gun.
  • Genius Bruiser: Barbaroy Bad Burn looks like a Boisterous Bruiser Blood Knight on the outside, but is secretly this underneath, capable of analyzing enemies and coming up with counter strategies in seconds.
  • Graceful Loser: The King of Assassins, after losing to Figaro and Ray, thanks them for defeating him and Tsukiyo.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: The Vice Commander of the Royal Guard, Lilinana joins Ray’s party temporarily during her quest.
  • Guide Dang It!: The jobs requirements can be quite convoluted. Thankfully Shu has a guide to help Ray and Rook out.
  • Goofy Suit: There are various mascot suits within the game, with Shu Starling using his bear suit most of the time.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Various characters change sides after certain events. Two notable ones include Marie Adler/Superior Killer, who joins Ray after killing him while he was out hunting, and Barbaroy Bad Burn/B3, who disbands her clan after her defeat to Figaro and later joins Ray
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Members of the royal guard and other paladins are often equipped with swords.
  • Heroic Fantasy: Players can choose to be whatever they want in a mythical land where magic and monsters abound.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: One of the two types of ninjas uses the kind that uses flashy abilities. The other type specializes in proper disguises and infiltration skills.
  • Ill Girl: Many of the Lunar Clan members turn out to be this.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Figaro’s Chains and King of Destruction's Warship are just some examples of weapons used in Infinite Dendrogram.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Barbaroy Bad Burn attempts this against Figaro.
  • Jerkass: Franklin the Weakest, the Worst is one. After being P Ked, he proceeds to camp his killer’s save point, and repeatedly kills his killer until they gave up playing the game.
  • Lady of War: Tsukiyo can come of as one, being a revered High Priestess who can still kick ass.
  • Lighthearted Rematch: Ray requests Superior Killer for one.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Several Superiors such as Figaro qualify, being fast and able to deal loads of damage.
  • Living Weapon: Embryos can show sapience, with Maiden types being similar to humans.
  • Logical Weakness: Legion type embryos are excellent for suppressing heroes that are good at duelling, but are bad against heroes that have wide area attacks.
  • Massive Race Selection: During character creation, players can create their avatar from scratch, allowing them to be anything they want, including changing their gender or becoming an animal.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Infinite Dendogram has so many classes and gameplay mechanics, including unusual ones such as Pimps.
  • Metal Slime: Rook manages to tame one.
  • Million Mook March: Franklin’s Embryo allows him to create great numbers of monsters.
  • Mook Horror Show: Once King of Destruction starts the artillery barrage against mooks.
  • Morph Weapon: Higher ranked Embryos can gain additional forms and abilities.
  • Mutual Kill: Apparently the result of a duel between the King of Crime and the King of Destruction.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Superior Killer and King of Crime are just some of the people you wouldn’t want to cross.
  • News Travels Fast: thanks to DIN, any news can reach every corner of the world quickly… if you’re willing to pay for it.
  • Noodle Incident: Various stories of Shu and Ray’s sister are never fully explained.
  • Not Disabled In VR
  • Oh, Crap!: Ray as a new player, with no job or skills, has to fight what is essentially a high tier monster for his very first quest.
  • One-Man Army: King of Destruction uses a Battleship and can destroy a forest in seconds.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: A plethora of dragons, both pure and demi, as well as mechanical man-made dragons are all a part of the world.
  • Player Killing: There are guilds dedicated to this.
  • Police are Useless: Subverted, the Tian authorities have their own classes and aren’t completely outclassed by weaker Masters.
  • Personality Powers: Embryos are based on the personality of the Master that wields them.
  • Random Drop: Special monsters can drop unique, one of a kind items. Masters who get killed will also drop items at random, aside from the aforementioned unique drops.
  • Rank Up: Unlike Masters, Embryos have Ranks that based their forms and abilities which means they gain based on their Masters' experiences and conflicts they encountered within the world.
  • Red Baron: There are plenty, some of which overlap with their class titles. Ray The Unbreakable is one of these.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Nox forest is obliterated by Shu because Ray was killed by Superior Killer, who was hiding there.
  • Signature Move: Ray’s Vengeance is Mine is one.
  • Shout-Out: To Lewis Caroll, with many of the AI being characters from his works.
  • Super Reflexes: The Agi stat build gives you this.
  • Weirdness Censor: The Tians don’t blink an eye when they see a Master disappear, considering them to be the perfectly normal act of being spirited away to another world.
  • World Tree: Exists in the setting, where the elves live.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Each hour in real life is equal to three within the game.
  • Younger Than They Look: XunYu appears as a tall menacing Jiangshi. She’s also just 9 years old.

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