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Video Game / AI: The Somnium Files

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Remember, the dream world does not obey the laws of reality.

Even with the devils of time against you,
never let the fire fade in you!
See the golden goddess with wings of rainbow
set sail through the night sky to embrace you!
Resist! Allow your heart to take you!
Never let this merciless world erase you!
Passing down the light of the torch to guide you,
and you shall be bathed in light!
The chorus of Invincible Rainbow Arrow, performed by Iris Sagan (English version).
AI: The Somnium Files is an Adventure Game/Visual Novel from the mind of Kotaro Uchikoshi and developed by Spike Chunsoft. It released on September 17th, 2019 for Windows PCs, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

The game is set in near-future Tokyo and follows Special Agent Kaname Date, a police officer working for the top-secret Advanced Brain Investigation Squad (ABIS). Together with his AI partner Aiba, Date finds himself investigating a series of gruesome serial killings, which all involve the victims having their left eye removed by the killer. Aiba's abilities allow Date to enter the dreams and memories of witnesses and suspects, where he can extract information and crack the case once and for all.

Suffice it to say, things get very complicated, very quickly.

A sequel, AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative, was released on June 24, 2022.


Remember, the time limit within TV Tropes is six minutes:

  • Abusive Parents: There's Mizuki's parents, who are so god awful at raising their child because Renju is too much of a Workaholic who can't make the time to be around Mizuki but he doesn't put the effort to see her by preferring to do more work, and Shoko wasn't nurtured with any love from her own mother that she doesn't know the first thing about raising children. Date even bluntly tells Renju that they're both awful parents.
  • Actor Allusion: In the Resolution Route, D.C. Douglas once again voices an identity-stealing serial killer who finds himself at odds with a character named Hayato.
  • An Aesop: Don't ignore your loved ones' mental health and seek treatment if it becomes necessary. A number of different characters in the game suffer from some form of mental illness, ranging from Iris' delusions caused by her brain tumor, Mayumi's dementia, Mizuki's muteness, and so forth. One thing that all of them have in common is that they had loved ones who cared about them and they were all able to receive treatment of some kind. However, unlike many of the other characters, at no point is it indicated that Saito received any treatment for his condition. Saito's condition was not untreatable by any means, Date had the exact same condition as Saito for 6 years yet received medication from Aiba and was able to form healthy relationships. In Saito's Motive Rant on the Annihilation route, at no point does he indicate that So had him see any sort of therapist, as that would require So to actually give a shit about his son's mental health. Given the game's themes about love and family and that So Sejima is shown to be a self-centered Jerkass throughout the game, it's not too far of a stretch to think that Saito may have become a far better person had he been raised in a more loving family. And while that by no means excuses Saito from everything he did, it's worth noting that So is arguably responsible, although only partially, for how his son turned out.
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  • All Balloons Have Helium: Aiba blows up a balloon in Mizuki's Somnium, and it floats like it's filled with helium. Justified, as normal logic doesn't apply in a dream. Especially since Aiba doesn’t breathe in the first place…
  • All Men Are Perverts: Date lives and breathes pervy jokes and at times has to be convinced that the case is more important than his libido.
    • In certain routes where Date is under attack by hired hitmen, distracting them by throwing porno mags or women's underwear consistently works.
  • All There in the Manual: The in-game appendix features several terms and some unexplained events that happen in the game. Some of these entries like Breaking the Fourth Wall and are clearly written by the game developing team rather than Aiba.
  • Alternate Universe: The idea of parallel worlds is discussed and serve as a prominent theme in the rightward routes. However, their actual importance is zig-zagged; the two final routes are unlocked by the player gaining access to information only available in other routes, while Date gets that information from his latent memories coming back. That said, there are definitely cases of Date remembering things that could only come from other routes. They just aren't that relevant to the main plot
  • Always Close: Sometimes you can finish a Somnium with minutes to spare, but there's apparently no time to stick around to discover crucial information. Examples include Mizuki's Somnium where Date doesn't have time to find the ringing phone and Ota's Somnium where Date actually goes seconds over the limit trying to find out the polar bear's identity. Justified in Boss's Somnium, where it could reasonably take Aiba all that time to return to the control room and watch all the videos, leaving no time to find out what's happening to Hitomi.
  • Ambiguous Ending: In the Annihilation Route, it is unknown what becomes of Saito after he gets knocked out by Aiba or if Date survives in Boss's injured body, since the route abruptly ends at that point. However, given that they are in the middle of police headquarters, Pewter is alive and knows the truth about everything, and Aiba confirms the injuries to Boss's body from Date's earlier explosion were nonlethal, it is likely that Saito is arrested and Date survives, albeit in Boss's body and with massive Heroic BSoD, having failed to prevent multiple people from dying.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: The game opens with Shoko’s mutilated body displayed on Bloom Park’s carousel surrounded by skewered upside-down merry-go-round horses, complete with Creepy Circus Music. The park has been sitting abandoned for eight years after a nearby chemical explosion, adding to the eerie atmosphere.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Ota's route comes to a rather abrupt ending after The Reveal that Iris has Mayumi's knife and that Shoko's missing eyeball was found inside Renju, with Date and Aiba saying there's still a lot more to investigate. The reason for this is likely because continuing past that point at all would spoil major parts of the plot that are intended to be revealed on other routes instead.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you run out of time one the final choice of a psync, you will still complete it, allowing you to continue the story. However, in order to get one of the two files for each psync, you must clear it with time remaining. Sometimes this can be a bit of a puzzle itself as the final action will be rather long, requiring you to have a specific timie ready to go.
  • As You Know: Parodied. Making Date ask questions to things he should logically already know results in every character reacting in confusion or making fun of him for such a thing. However, they still answer his question In Boss, Aiba's and Pewter's case, they answer because they know Date has severe memory problems due to his past.
  • Arc Number: Six. The maximum time allowed in Somnium is six minutes. Date can't remember anything past six years ago. Several past events are referenced to have occurred six years ago. Many characters have ages that are a multiple of six.List 
  • A-Team Firing: There are several action sequences where Date faces dozens of foes armed with automatic weapons (such as the ambush at Golden Yokocho or Date and Mizuki's assault on the Sejima mansion). Despite this, very few of the bullets fired during these engagements hit their target. Though it's mostly enemies that miss their shots, it evolves from Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy to this trope during the raid at the harbor to rescue Iris, where neither Date not Moma seem to be injuring any enemies when taking potshots at them.
  • Augmented Reality: Aiba cannot physically manifest in her human form outside of a Somnium, so when she wants to appear to Date she projects an image of herself onto his left eye, overlaid onto what he is actually seeing.
  • Autosave: Though you can also save manually if you wish.
  • Balloonacy: In Mizuki's Somnium, Aiba can use balloons to lift a metal cage that she couldn’t even move on her own. Justified, as Somnia run on dream logic.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mizuki, Ota, and Moma show up to save Date and Aiba on two different occasions.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The three character endings.
    • In Ota's ending, he realizes how spoiled he has been and makes an effort to improve his relationship with his mother. However, the Cyclops Killer is still on the loose, having claimed So Sejima as another victim. Furthermore, the Annihilation Route reveals that Iris is actually dead, having been killed after being swapped into Renju's body. The personality in Iris's body is actually So. Also, Boss was swapped into So's body and killed by Saito in her body. The Boss we speak to in Ota's ending is really Saito, which will likely lead to a Downer Ending not dissimilar to the Annihilation Route Ending.
    • In Iris's ending, she comes close to discovering a beloved long-lost person from her past only to succumb to her illness before she can finish asking Date if he's that person. The Cyclops Killer is still out there despite not having killed anyone new (that we know of. In truth, the Annihilation and Resolution Routes reveal that Renju is Dead All Along, having been bodyswapped into and killed in Shoko's body, and his body is/was inhabited by Saito's personality.)
    • Mizuki's ending is a lot sweeter on the surface, as Mizuki and Date realize how much they mean to each other. The Annihilation route also reveals Saito was in So's body at this time, meaning the actual Cyclops Killer is really dead, unlike Ota's ending. However, Iris's personality was still swapped into Renju's body and killed, meaning the Iris here is really So's personality, just like Ota's ending.
  • Bland-Name Product: Unlike Zero Escape, this game is packed with references to real-world companies. Among the most memorable are Great Grin, azamon (Amazon), To-Witter, ShovelForge, Yotota (Toyota) and NILE (the Japanese messenging app LINE).
  • Bleak Level: Not that the game is sunshine and rainbows, mind you, but... once Iris and Ota have been killed in the Annihilation route, Date is repeatedly given the silent treatment by characters he visits, and his playful snark when examining the environment is completely gone. And this isn't even the worst that route has to offer.
  • Body Surf: The Psync Machine's other feature is allowing a Psyncer to swap bodies with the subject past the 6-minute limit. This is exploited by Saito Sejima, who concocts a long body surf journey back to Date's body while killing all his loved ones just to piss him off before killing him.
  • Body Sushi: Referenced. Data misreads an item on Sunfish Pocket’s menu and believes that it is referring to this. Much to his disappointment, it is not.
  • Book Ends: The first non-tutorial psync in the game is into Mizuki's somnium to heal her muteness (and get a clue as to who the killer is). In her route, the final psync is Mizuki going into Date's somnium to bring him out of the coma he is in.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens to Mizuki during her route as a warning to Date from So to not investigate him further, and Iris in the true ending as Saito prepares to kill her in his original body.
  • Brain/Computer Interface: Date can interact with Aiba directly through an artificial nerve in the back of his left eye socket, allowing the two to communicate without speaking aloud.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: During Iris's psync, if you tell Aiba to commit seppuku, she and Date will put on exaggerated Japanese accents while pretending before Aiba tells him she isn't going to do it.
    • A bit later, Date puts on a less exaggerated but still stereotypical Japanese accent while playing the role of a martial arts master for Mizuki during a flashback.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Most of the appendix entries, with the exception of tutorial tips, are written in a straight, matter of fact way to describe things from an in-universe perspective, but entry 30, "Epilogue Timing" is a rather frank, first-person admission by the writer that yes, they are aware that the characters should be using "7 years ago" instead of 6 after the three-month timeskip but the author had gotten so used to using it in the game that it sounded weird if they suddenly stopped.
  • Break Them by Talking: When Date finally confronts the killer, the killer traps them down and decides to torture them via this means.
    The Killer: I want to see you mad. But what will really set you off?
    Date: If you don't shut your mouth right now...
    The Killer: All right, talking it is.
  • Brick Joke: Much of the fluff dialogue sets up jokes in earlier chapters that are paid off much later.
    • Aiba mentions sneaking bags of flour into Date's glovebox as a prank. Later in the route, Iris asks Date about the plastic bags she found in his glovebox.
    • During a flashback segment, Date tells Mizuki that a chozuya is for washing belly buttons. If you examine the chozuya at the end of Mizuki's route, she'll complain about how her classmates laughed at her because she believed him. It's also mentioned by Iris during the epilogue of the Resolution route.
  • But Thou Must!: Near the end of Mizuki's route, Date has been shot in the eye by So but still has the energy and a clear shot to shoot So. He wonders, "Should I shoot So?" Selecting So reveals four dialogue options that all say "Shoot So." Justified, as Date has every reason to take that action.
  • Calling Card: A body on display with one eye gouged out. Subverted. The eyes weren’t removed only to shock or advertise who committed the murder. They were actually removed to give to Rohan Kumakura during the Original Cyclops Killer case, and in order to use the prototype Psync machine during the New Cyclops Killer case.
  • Captain Obvious: While examining Shoko’s body:
    Aiba: Pupil dilation and corneal turbidity indicate the victim is dead.
  • Central Theme: Most of the game centers around familial ties and how much one person puts the effort to raise their child (or not) amidst hurdles.
  • Character Signature Song: “Invincible Rainbow Arrow,” for Iris. It’s also her Leitmotif.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early in the game, Date and Aiba decide on secret commands which trigger Aiba's self-destruct function: Date says the number 41205, and then tells a lie. During the final confrontation with Saito, who has swapped bodies with Date, this is finally used to make Saito's head explode.
  • Chubby Mama, Skinny Papa: Mayumi and Takero Matsushita, respectively, the latter standing a foot taller than his wife. Ota seems to have inhereted his father's skinniness.
  • Circling Birdies: Happens to Yogano, one of Moma's lackeys, when Date knocks him out.
  • Classified Information: Boss cites this whenever Date starts asking too many questions about the Original Cyclops Killer. It’s actually classified because of Date. His involvement in the case as Hayato Yagyu would be damning for the police department, so they keep all details on lockdown.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each character has a primary color which influences their entire appearance (and also appears as a border around their name in dialogue). Date for instance is purple, Mizuki is yellow, Ota is light blue, etc. etc.
  • Comfort Food: In a flashback in Date’s Somnium, Date offers a dejected Mizuki some homemade stew on her first night living in his apartment.
  • The Conspiracy: In Iris' route, she reveals that she believes herself to be the target of a secret society called Naixatloz, considered so big that it swallowed up both the Illuminati and the Freemasons. Their ultimate goal revolves around building a satellite to transmit code into space to spread the existence of artificial intelligence. Except, not really. The strong beliefs on the topic stem from delusions induced by her brain tumor, and while Naixatloz may still exist in-universe, they themselves aren't involved with the story.
  • Contractual Purity: In-universe. Ota cites this as the reason why he didn’t tell anyone that he saw Iris leaving Lemniscate alone with Renju and then driving alone (and unlicensed) in Renju’s car shortly before Renju’s murder, since he didn’t want Iris to get in trouble.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The fact that the current murder victims have their left eyes removed makes the police sure that the killer is a copycat of the original Cyclops Killer who removed his victims' right eyes. It IS true that the killer is related (in fact is the exact same killer), but the eyes being removed is something of a coincidence. The original victims had their right eyes removed because Rohan had a sick infatuation with them. The new victims all have their eyes removed because the prototype Psync machine that the new killer is using to swap bodies requires that the left eye be removed to work.
    • While investigating So Sejima's trip to a fish cannery by the docks, for the first time in the story, Aiba runs out of power, forcing Date to investigate the cannery alone. This is relevant as Date finds what seems to be Iris's repeatedly stabbed corpse inside, exactly as he saw it in Mizuki's somnium. However, when CSI arrives to investigate the scene, the corpse is gone. Not only that, but Date later finds Iris alive and well at home. This leads to a subplot where Date comes to believe that Somnium dives can be used to change reality, which causes others to question his sanity. If Aiba hadn't run out of power, he would have had hard evidence that he actually did find a corpse inside the cannery which might have caused the investigation to take a turn that would have allowed them to identify her as Iris's mother sooner (and perhaps avoided Date actually going kind of nuts during Iris's route).
  • Controllable Helplessness: PSYNCIN' IN THE CHaiN has Saito psync with Date in order to reclaim his body. As the subject Date can freely move around his own Somnium but cannot interact with it in any meaningful way apart from catching glimpses of Saito undoing his Mental Locks. At the end he gets caught in a quagmire of blood and the player can do nothing but choose "Sink" until time runs out.
  • Cop and Scientist: Date is the cop, Aiba is the scientist. A unique example in that they both live in the same body and share each other's thoughts on the fly.
  • Cosplay Café: (Mer)maid cafe Sunfish Pocket. The name's an anagram for Spike Chunsoft.
  • Covert Group: ABIS operates in secret. It’s unlikely that the public would react well to the police possessing the ability to extract information from their dreams or switch bodies with other people.
  • Creepy Circus Music: The game opens with this, as the camera descends over the crime scene at Bloom Park. It also plays inside of Mizuki’s Somnium, which is based on the same location.
  • Dance Party Ending: During the end credits, most of the surviving cast dance and sing along to "Invincible Rainbow Arrow". Afterwards, you unlock the Dance mode in the menu, where you can make any character perform the song's dance...except Saito, but...would you really want to see a guy dance with an exploded head? Probably not...right? It’s just as weird as it sounds.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Annihilation Route becomes this after Iris and Ota are murdered by the killer. Outside of Somnium portions caused by Date telling Aiba to do weird actions and Date seemingly finding a porno mag, Date will never crack a joke while talking to people or examining stuff in the real world. Plus, surviving family members are either furious at him or can only express sadness.
    • In addition, the Annihilation route is the only time when you can’t ask Kagami what his name is despite him making an appearance in the route.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: While there are a limited number of resets to checkpoints within Somnium worlds, you can reset to the beginning of the Somnium as many times as you like, which also refreshes your chances to reset at said checkpoints. By skipping previously viewed dialogue, making up for any lost progress is fairly quick and painless.
  • Death of Personality: Saito inflicts this on his victims when carrying out his chain of murders with different bodies. He switches bodies with the victim, then kills them while they are inhabiting his previous body. Even though the victim’s body is still very much alive, their personality is gone and never coming back. Date mournfully reflects on this when speaking with Saito in Boss’s body.
  • Declaration of Protection:
    • In Iris’s route, she confesses that she has been blackmailing Date to let her accompany him because she is being hunted by Naixatloz. If he decides to believe her story, he vows to protect Iris with his life as her bodyguard. However, it should be noted that he became delusional from buying her delusions while inhabiting her Somnium during her panicked state, which the game's appendix refers to as Mass Hysteria.
    • Date made a similar declaration in his former life as Hayato Yagyu, vowing to protect Iris and Hitomi from all harm. He resumes this role after regaining his memories during his showdown with Saito.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Saito's scheme to frame Date in the Annihilation route using Boss' identity and body falls apart as soon as Date knocks out the police he cons and sends the video of "Boss" killing So; at no point did Date harm anyone except in self-defense, and as soon as it became clear "Boss" was abusing "her" position, nobody even bothers to question Date.
  • Disney Death: Happens to Aiba in two different routes:
    • In Mizuki's route, So shoots Date in the left eye, breaking Aiba. She is easily recovered because all her data was backed up online.
    • In the Resolution Route, Date orders Aiba to self-destruct in Saito's eyesocket in order to save Hitomi, knowing that Aiba's data has been destroyed and she will be gone forever. It turns out her data has been stored in fragments online and gets restored over the process of several months.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Used repeatedly, to the point of becoming a Running Gag:
    • Mooks can be distracted by lingerie or racy magazines, no matter how dire the situation.
    • According to Aiba, Date’s reaction speed increases significantly when dirty magazines are involved. She often uses this to their advantage in action scenes.
  • Domino Revelation: Once it comes to light that Saito has been using the prototype Psync machine to commit crimes while Body Surfing, it quickly falls into place that the New Cyclops Killer is not (physically) one person, but Saito using a chain of victims to throw off the investigation, that he is targeting those victims because of their proximity to Date, and that he is targeting Date because Date is inhabiting Saito’s former body.
  • Double-Meaning Title: According to Uchikoshi, the "AI" in the game's title can refer to numerous things; shorthand for "Artificial Intelligence", the first-person pronoun "I", a pun on "eye", and even love. It also represents the recurring number, 6, as a roman numeral VI looks like AI reflected upside down. The syllable 'ai' also appears in every single chapter title.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The Annihilation Route, which ends with Shoko, Renju, Iris, Ota, So, Boss, and Hitomi all dead. Date feels like a complete failure, and he's trapped in Boss' injured body. However, Saito is shocked and incapacitated by Aiba and likely arrested, ending all further murders. The route ends there rather abruptly, with Date's Inner Monologue wondering if there is a parallel world that exists where he makes different decisions that instead result in everyone being saved.
    • Ota's Route can be this due to Saito having swapped bodies with Boss, murdering her while she was in So's body. Also, Iris is dead while being in Renju's body while So is inhabiting her body but in recovery at the hospital, but her body will expire due to her brain tumor. More or less, Ota's Route is an Annihilation Route in progress that ends abruptly.
  • Dramatic Irony: A rather dramatic example in Mizuki's Route: Saito is taken down due to having swapped bodies with So but before he could swap bodies with Boss, leading to Date shooting So dead from threatening Mizuki. However, no one in this route ever finds out about Saito even being around, but Boss does point out that the killings came to a stop with So (Saito) dead.
  • Dream Land: A Somnium world is a dream land constructed from the subject’s memories and psyche. The results are appropriately surreal.
  • Dream Walker: Psyncers such as Date can use the Psync Machine to view people's dreams. Date uses this to get information from suspects and witnesses' subconscious.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Aiba, Mama, and Mizuki all reference times in the past when Date did this to excess. Date and Renju frequently meet to drink together at Marble.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Shoko was physically abusive to Mizuki, while Renju was too preoccupied with running Lemniscate to take good care of her. At least the latter had the common sense to realize that the family situation isn't working out and asked Date to take care of Mizuki.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: You have to go through a lot to get the ending, such as seeing most of the cast die horribly in the Annihilation Route, and having Aiba pull a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat Saito. But in the end of the Resolution Route, the killer is dead, you're in a timeline where most of the good guys are still alive, and Aiba gets rebuilt.
  • Eldritch Location: Somnium worlds are surreal by nature, and can become downright sinister depending on the subject.
  • Electronic Telepathy: Date can communicate silently with Aiba through his optic nerve. Other characters sometimes notice that Date seems to be spacing out, and he has an unfortunate habit of sometimes responding to Aiba out loud.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: During the left side path, you psync up with Iris. Depending on how you handle the initial choice there, you see the original Cyclops Killer's murders. Naturally, Date assumes that Iris must have been present when the murders took place and assumes she was dragged along to each murder. She was nowhere near the murders because you aren't in Iris's memories. You are in Saito, the killer's memories, as he has swapped bodies with Iris by that point.
    • During the right path, Date comes across So leaving a warehouse, inside of which he finds Iris's frozen corpse. After interrogating So, he Psyncs with him, during which time he saves a dream version of Iris from being stabbed to death. Shortly after this, the cops who arrived at the warehouse after Date left call to say that the corpse is gone. Shortly after, Date finds an alive Iris hanging out at her home. Date begins to wonder if somehow changing events within the psync somehow changed reality, with Boss not being 100% convinced it isn't possible either. In actuality, the corpse Date found wasn't Iris, it was Iris's real birth mother who had been killed many years earlier then frozen. The body was moved to another location after Date left the warehouse, and Iris was never in danger after she was warned by Date not to leave her house the previous night.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: The Annihilation route ends with Renju, Iris, Ota, So, Boss, and Hitomi dead.
  • Exact Time to Failure: When Psyncing, Date has exactly six minutes to get the information he needs before being consumed by the subject’s consciousness. Pewter later admits that the limit is much less defined than that, taking up to seven or eight minutes, and has an entirely different effect.
  • Exiled to the Couch: Date sleeps on the sofa in his apartment while Mizuki sleeps on the only bed. In Date’s Somnium, Mizuki watches his memory of how this came to be. Eight-year-old Mizuki slept on the sofa when she first moved in with Date, but Date carried her to the bed after hearing her Talking in Your Sleep cry out for her parents in her sleep and took the sofa for himself.
  • Eye Motifs: Date lost his left eye in an incident six years ago; the vacant socket is now occupied by Aiba. The serial killer removes the left eye of each of his victims as a calling card. One major character is named Iris, and her mother is named Hitomi (which means the pupil of the eye). The trippy animation that plays when entering a Somnium looks like a bunch of abstract eyes. Even Spike Chunsoft's logo violently loses an eye during the intro screen!
  • Eye Scream: The Cyclops Killer is named such thanks to their calling card of gouging out their victims' left eyes. For extra ick points, this seems to be done while the unfortunate victim is still alive. It's also a prerequisite for connecting to the stolen Psync system prototype, since it lacks the nanocable technology that allows ABIS' Psync machine to connect to the optic nerve through the eyeball. Merely pulling the eye out while leaving it still attached to the optic nerve can work (and allows it to be put back into place without harming the psyncer and subject), but Saito is crazy enough that he rips his eye out entirely when psyncing, leaving his victim half-blinded and reeling from the pain once the body swap is complete. In the Resolution Route, you get to see Saito yank out his own eye when he uses the machine in all of its horrifying glory.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In the right-branching routes, Date discovers a dead body on a table under a tarp in the Cold Storage Warehouse and immediately informs CSI before departing the scene. Later, the investigation team report that there is no body at the scene after having searched the warehouse from top to bottom, something Date confirms when he returns to the scene. Evidently, nobody thought to check the trunk of one of the two highly-conspicuous forklift trucks in the warehouse, as they would have then realized where the body had been moved to (and which Date DOES discover using Aiba's X-Ray Vision in the Resolution Route.
    • In Ota's and Mizuki's routes, after Ota is stabbed by the polar bear in the warehouse, he leaves a large pool of blood on the ground. However, in Mizuki's route, it's revealed in Ota's Somnium that before being stabbed, the polar bear's left leg was struck by a crane hook, causing them to bleed too in the same spot before stabbing Ota. Only in Mizuki's route does Date force CSI to run a high-priority DNA test on the blood pile, revealing So Sejima as the body inside the polar bear costume. This fact remains hidden in Ota's route, since they assume the blood is only Ota's and nobody bothers checking.
  • Fake Memories: The Mandela effect is discussed by Iris, describing how he died in 2013 yet there were people who thought he died in prison in the 80s. While it's not mentioned due to trademarks, they do allude to the Berenstain/Berenstein Bears as well.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Part of Hayato and Hitomi’s Meet Cute. Hayato was injured while being pursued on a job, and forced Hitomi into a kiss to hide from his attackers.
  • Fission Mailed: In one instance of flirting with the Lemniscate receptionist, it's possible to push Aiba to the point of jumping out of Date's eye and scaring both the receptionist and Iris into fainting, causing a Non Standard Game Over. Date then has a, "That's what would happen, so I didn't do it," moment and the game resumes normally.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In "Day 3: Sunday 'rihAI'" on the left side path, Date and Iris take a visit to see Ota at Matsushita diner. One of the items that Date can inspect is a wok lying on the floor, with Date questioning why it's there. He discovers the answer the hard way when he finishes his conversation with Ota and gets hit over the head with it during a moment of distraction.
    • During Mizuki's route, when Date goes to the Kumakura's headquarters to look for evidence in who attempted to kill Iris, Moma is surprisingly cooperative with Date after learning what Date is investigating; generally he refuses to give Date anything unless Date blackmails or otherwise threatens him in some way. If the player has already played part of the "right side" story path, they should already know why, but if they haven't, Moma accidentally reveals himself to be a fan of Iris's internet persona as Date is leaving.
  • Flawed Prototype: The prototype Psync machine works just like the real deal, apart from one important detail: the Psyncer and subject have to remove their left eyes in order to use it. It's actually not as bad as it sounds, as this can be done under anesthesia, and merely pulling the eye out without severing the nerve makes it possible to put it back in place with no lasting damage. It's still highly preferable to have a nanocable too small to be felt going directly through your eyeball, however, and Saito doesn't care.
  • Follow That Car: Several characters mention using taxis for this purpose. We hear about it from the taxi driver’s perspective after Mayumi tails Iris and Ota to the abandoned factory.
  • Food Fight: Six years before the game takes place, Iris and Hitomi tried to make okonomiyaki with Hitomi’s boyfriend Hayato. They both look back fondly on the food fight and mess that ensued, depicted in a drawing on the wall of their house.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The first Somnium that Date induces to himself in his sleep shows the Sagan Residence, leading to a memory of Hitomi shot on her shoulder and dropped on the floor, and Falco standing past her with a gun. Obviously, this sets up the first hints that Date is related to them, though the truth is far more complicated than it looks.
    • Date can find Pewter's homoerotic BL manga and gay romance novels in the Psync Control Room. We only find out much later that Pewter is Renju's lover. There's also his reaction when he hears that Renju was the getaway driver for #89's escape from the MPD, where he sounds like he's going to cry compared to Boss' shock.
    • When meeting Iris for the first time, Date has the feeling that they may have met before and vaguely recalls a memory of playing pattycake with her when she was younger. It's possible to learn about her "Uncle" Falco - who looks nothing like Date - who was playing with her back then, but that only opens the theory that Date is not who he seems he appearance.
    • During Iris' interrogation, you have the opportunity to inspect Date. Doing so gets responses like: "It's me...", "Is it me?", and "Who is this... handsome male model? Oh, it's me." Not recognizing himself references the fact that this isn't really Date, but rather Saito's body.
    • When you Psync with Iris on the left story path, her somnium is rather disturbing and creepy, with one path showing memories of the Cyclops Killer killing his victims and the other involving pictures of animals drawn by a child being destroyed in disturbing ways. The initial reaction might be that Iris is much more disturbed internally than her bubbly personality would imply, but you aren't in Iris's somnium. You are in the Cyclops Killer's somnium, as he swapped bodies with her earlier on.
    • Related to the above, in Iris's somnium, at the end you see a reflection of the man who is killing the victims and it is Date. Everyone writes it off as simply Iris's memories jumbling together but he really was the killer. Or rather his body was when it was inhabited by its original owner, Saito, the Cyclops Killer.
    • Aiba consistently brings up Date's "dosage" when selecting sillier dialogue options, often some that involve Date suddenly going into strange aggressive thoughts. It's revealed later that she's supplying his body with oxytocin to compensate for his body's brain dysfunction.
    • Going to the left side of the flowchart has Moma suddenly willing to aid Date when he brings up Iris, though Date doesn't find out in this route that Moma is a massive Tesa fan.
    • During a conversation in the Matsushita Diner about parallel universes, one story Ota mentions involves a boy who laughs so hard, his eyes pop out of their sockets. He then just pushes them back into place, and Aiba explains that it's possible to do so with no lasting health effects. The prototype Psync machine, introduced much later in the story, relied on this principle to work, since it lacks the nanocable technology that allows ABIS' machine to go connect to the optic nerve through the eyeball.
    • When #89 talks about his past, he does so in third person because he's actually Rohan in Falco's body.
    • #89 claims that his Start of Darkness came when a criminal he apprehended boasted about how he'd abuse the legal system to get off scot-free and resume his killings, at which point #89 decided to bring killers to justice his own way. In Mizuki's route, Date does pretty much the same thing when So blackmails the police into dropping the case against him. Of course, Falco and Date turn out to be the same person, so they would react the same way to similar situations.
    • Date tries to pust past the 6-minute limit during a Psync, but Boss and Pewter both vehemently tell him to avoid doing it in fear of the host's consciousness consuming the Psyncer's, leading to incurable mental damage. In truth, they were trying to keep Date from ever finding out that doing so can switch the host and the Psyncer's minds from their bodies, which is a national secret not allowed to be learned.
    • On the right side of the flowchart, the first visit to So Sejima's mansion, So's reaction upon seeing Date is an, angry "You!" Odd for what is Date and So's first meeting in that continuity, but makes perfect sense when one learns that Date's body is actually that of So's murderous son that So had gone to great lengths to cover up.
    • Very early in the game, Date describes feeling off as being like he's in somebody else's head.
    • At many, many points, Aiba doesn't behave anything like a static robot would but rather a perfectly normal person with her own will, though she insists that she simply chooses facts and logic to function. In the Golden Ending, it's explained that she's a special AI that basically grew beyond her programming, which is what allowed her to self-destruct through his command because she personally defined Date as her partner despite not even being in his eye socket in his original body to pull through.
  • For Want of a Nail: The Story Branching is determined entirely by the choices Date and Aiba make in Somnium.
    • The first major split that divides the flowchart in two occurs in Mizuki's Somnium. On the left side, Saito successfully lures Iris to the chemical factory, swaps into her, and kills her. On the right side, Date, due to having picked the other cage in Mizuki's Somnium, saw a body which he thought was Iris, so he panicked and called her, telling her not to go anywhere. This meant that, when Saito called, Iris refused. Saito then tried to drive to Iris' house, but this ended with him in a nasty car accident, smashing his revenge plan to pieces.
    • On the left side, the next split occurs between the Annihilation Route and Mizuki's and Ota's routes. In the latter two, Date fails to find much of interest after Psyncing with Iris (really Saito in her body), leading to her earlier NILE message with Ota being Date's only lead. This has Date call Ota, who demands Iris be brought to his house, and there Ota ambushes Date and knocks him out with a wok; Date is unconscious briefly while Aiba is still alert, meaning he's able to arrive at the warehouse at 3:17AM and stop Saito from killing Iris and Ota. In the Annihilation route, the Psync reveals evidence of Iris being involved with the Original Cyclops Killings, and everyone discusses what happened six years ago at length before asking Iris. This leads to Date never calling Ota before they're required to discharge Iris, allowing her to message Ota and set up the ambush at Marble, with him using a taser. This leads to Date being unconscious for longer and Aiba being shorted out, causing them to arrive at the warehouse at 3:35AM, after Iris and Ota have both died.
    • A second split on the left side occurs between Ota's and Mizuki's routes. During Ota's Somnium, Date and Aiba have the possibility to discover that the person in the polar bear suit was injured and bleeding during the scuffle with Ota, and therefore the blood pile at the crime scene includes their DNA. This leads to Date ordering an immediate forensic analysis of the blood pile, revealing the identity of the body inside the polar bear suit as So Sejima. This information results in Mizuki's route, where Date and Mizuki take matters into their own hands and confront So directly. The lack of this information results in Ota's route, where Mayumi (incorrectly) assumes Ota is the killer and attempts to cover for him.
    • The final split occurs on the right side, between Iris's route and the Resolution route. In Iris's Somnium, Date can choose to either believe in or defy Iris's Conspiracy Theories regarding Naixatloz. The former leads to Iris's route, whereas the latter leads to the Resolution route, while also revealing the truth of the conspiracy.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The hidden function of the Psync machine, activated by spending more than six minutes in the subject’s Somnium, is that it can cause its users to swap bodies.
  • Freaky Friday Sabotage: A side effect of the prototype Psync machine's requirement of removing the subjects' left eyes. The New Cyclops Killer rips out his own eye before swapping bodies, since he won't need his current body anymore. The machine also sedates the Psyncer's body, so the victim is even more vulnerable after the swap.
  • Fresh Clue: When So is hiding in Moma’s back room, his recently extinguished cigarette and the still-warm seat on the couch tip off Date and Aiba to pressure him into revealing himself.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Shortly before the branching point of one pair of routes, Ota knocks Date out with a wok to the head.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • ABIS stands for “Advanced Brain Investigation Squad”
    • TIMIE stands for “Time Induction Matter In Encephalon”
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The PC version suffered from issues making the game freeze or crash at many points when played on a machine running Windows 7. Notably, the first cutscene wouldn't play (though it would progress past it after the duration of the video), PSYNCIN' IN THE MaiN: 1 would often crash (setting graphical settings to the minimum may help with this), and most glaringly of all, the game would crash just before the final cutscene, making the game impossible to complete.
  • Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: Examining the magazines in the Lemniscate lobby will often give Flavor Text of a character seeing one of these on the cover and expressing interest in reading it.
  • Golden Ending: The Resolution route: Saito is killed, Date has his memories of what happened six years ago, Iris is alive and her cancer will be treated completely, Ota is on much better terms with his mom, Moma no longer has to hide his secret, Hitomi is finally reunited with the man she loves and her daughter is safe. The one that had it the worst is Mizuki, who lost both her parents, but even then she's still shown to be adopted by Date, and is in a much happier state of mind than being with her abusive and neglectful parents.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The game has no problem depicting characters up to the moment of their deaths. However, in the case of Iris in the Annihilation Route, thick blood splatters onto the camera so you don't see her getting sliced in half.
    • Averted during the Resolution Route, where the player is treated to a lovely shot of the culprit pulling out his own eye before using the Prototype Psync machine, while before, the game would cut away before something of the sort would happen.
  • Grand Theft Me: Pretty much what kicked off the Kudzu Plot of the game, and a major element behind the serial murders. Saito uses the prototype Psync machine to swap bodies with his victims, throwing off investigators who repeatedly find the prime suspects as the next victim.
  • Grand Theft Prototype: ABIS’s Psync machine had a prototype, but it was stolen six years before the game’s start. Saito arranged the theft using mercenaries and has been keeping the prototype in an abandoned factory.
  • Hand Wave:
    • In-Universe. During the epilogue, Date is now back in his original body, which is quite different in appearance to Saito's. The police force manage to hand wave it to say that he was badly injured during the confrontation, and that he required extensive plastic surgery. Nobody appears bothered by this.
    • Played for Laughs after the Dance Party Ending, Aiba tries to explain how everyone was able to see her dancing, but the others talk over her so you can't hear.
    • The existence of parallel worlds and Date's access to them, which allows him to remember things he only knew from other routes happening is never explained or pondered on much, except for the fact that one highly deluded character can believe in that stuff. On the meta-level, it's like Uchikoshi telling the player, "Well you've probably heard of me and seen some of my work? So let's skip all those lengthy expositions, they exist and he knows all that you've seen in the game, now roll with it".
  • Heart Symbol: In Iris’s Somnium, a group of flowers form a heart shape on the ground, marking where Aiba can dig to progress towards finding Iris’s soul.
  • Hero Insurance: During Mizuki's route, they realize that So Sejima was the man in the bear suit who attempted to kill Iris and Ota. However, due to having many connections in the police, Date is officially told that he cannot go after So. He goes after So anyway and ultimately shoots him in the face (in self defense). He gets off completely scott free, as the order not to arrest So essentially came from So himself.
  • High-Pressure Blood: In Ota's Somnium, injuring the polar bear causes blood to spray everywhere, despite the thickness of the clothing. Ota later confirms the event, which means it's not just a matter of Somnia having different rules than reality.
  • Hope Spot: During one of the routes, the killer kidnaps Iris and ties her to a table below an ice cutting machine and sets it to cut her in half, while live-streaming the whole thing. As Date rushes to the location it's happening at, he sees on the stream that Ota arrived and turned off the machine before turning to face the killer. It seems like Date will have enough time to arrive and save them, however a few minutes later the killer reappears on camera and restarts the machine, which cuts Iris in half violently. By the time Date arrives, Ota has been killed the same way.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The game is absolutely loaded with puns and wordplay, especially with regards to the fluff text from examining random items.
    • When Aiba first pops out of Date's head early on, Date can ask Boss about Eye (as in his eye), I (as in himself), Ai (as in love, which is what Ai translates to), or Aiba (the AI inside the eyeball), all of which sound phonetically the same (with Ai getting Boss to call Date a dork while explaining the translation, at least in the English text).
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of the game's episode names include "AI"; the narrative segments are titled after a Japanese word that ends in "AI" (mekAI, syokuzAI, etc.), and all of the Psync segments are titled "PSYNCHIN' IN THE ____aiN", with the blank filled in to make different words (BRaiN, CAPTaiN, etc.).
  • Idiot Ball: In the left routes, Date falls for Ota's Look Behind You trick. Aiba should have been able to detect that something was amiss as she usually does. To make matters worse, Ota is such a Bad Liar that Date should (and would) have been able to tell without Aiba's help. This moment of gullibility gets Date knocked out long enough that he can't stop Ota and Iris from getting seriously injured or even killed.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: When Date questions So about Iris’s apparent murder, So lets it slip that he knew that "Iris" (actually Manaka) was stabbed.
  • Insanity Defense: Rohan Kumakura was arrested for attempted murder six years before the game, but was placed in a hospital instead of prison because he was legally insane at the time. This is because he wasn’t “Rohan” at all. Hayato was inhabiting Rohan’s body during the shooting, and Saito’s fragmented consciousness was in Rohan’s body during and after his arrest.
  • Inside Job: Prisoner #89’s escape. He appears to take Pewter hostage, but Pewter was actually helping him to escape custody.
  • Instant Sedation: Boss uses knockout gas on two occasions.
    • She does this with Ota after Date reveals he's been hiding a knife in his hospital. This gains them the opportunity to psync with them.
    • In the epilogue, Boss knocks out Date this way in order to have Pewter the resurrected Aiba in his new prosthetic eye.
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: Date finds Manaka’s corpse in the cold storage warehouse, but it disappears by the time the police arrive to investigate. Since Aiba had been out of battery at the time, the only evidence that it was there in the first place is Date’s word.
  • Just in Time: On the right-side path, Date calls Iris asking her not to leave the house for any reason as soon as he's out of Mizuki's Somnium, just in case there's some significance to what he saw in the dream. He unknowingly makes this call roughly one minute before the killer calls her to lure her from the Sagan residence, forcing the killer to change plans and saving Iris's life.
  • Lame Last Words: Though they ultimately aren't Date's last words, after getting shot in the eye (in Aiba specifically, which ends up saving him), Date's final words before passing out and falling into a coma are "I just wanted to go to the cabaret club". Mizuki mocks him for this in the epilogue, particularly when he tries to lie and say that his last words were something more meaningful.
  • Last-Minute Baby Naming: Manaka doesn’t leave their newborn child with a name. Renju and Hitomi have to come up with a name for the baby after Manaka’s death, in order to forge a birth certificate. They settle on the name Iris.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Disobeying Iris' requests and going behind the shrine wall in "PSYNCIN' IN THE MaiN: 1" results in the screen going black. The in-universe commentary by A-set has her theorize that the game is loading. While in-universe she's referring to the game of ShovelForge, the actual game is hiding a loading screen to load in the real somnium version of Golden Yokocho.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than Zero Time Dilemma at the very least. It's still dark with routes ending with multiple characters dead, but there is less imminent dread considering that you control a cop attempting to solve murders instead of being a prisoner in a deadly game. The scope is also much smaller than Zero Time Dilemma and Virtue's Last Reward, being "just" about catching a serial killer rather than the fate of the entire world. And unlike Zero Time Dilemma (and all of the installments of the Zero Escape series in general), there are endings besides the true ending that are actually happy if you ignore the Fridge Horror that comes about from details revealed in other paths about the killer. It also has a case of Denser and Wackier with certain characters, with a large instance being Mizuki who has supernatural strength that isn't explained which culminates in her taking down multiple trained guards with pistols and smgs with nothing but a pipe and her physical abilities without breaking a sweat when she and Date assault So Sejima's mansion to take him down.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The game takes place over nearly a week, but nobody seems to change their clothes. Lampshaded when Date returns to his apartment: he and Mizuki each have several duplicate outfits hanging on their clothing rack. He initially claims that this is purely for the sake of practicality, so that he doesn’t waste time choosing his clothes in the morning, but then says he's just joking and that they do have other outfits, they just store them somewhere else.
    • Played to a bigger extreme with Falco's memories. Hitomi has the exact same outfit at the present time that she had years before when she was shot.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The Nintendo Switch version often has issues with the game's numerous flashback scenes, taking upwards of ten seconds to load. Since the camera is freely movable during most conversations, it is often left ambiguous whether the game is loading a flashback or if the game is waiting for you to investigate something.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: It's obvious from the get-go that Boss and Pewter know a thing or two about Date's past, but refuse to talk about on the basis that it's top secret and can't POSSIBLY be related to the current case of serial murder.
  • Logo Joke: The Spike Chunsoft skull gets pierced in the eye by a long, thin object.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: "hiAI (Grief)" is a somber piano piece with a bit of Iris's Leitmotif. It plays when Hitomi is grieving over Iris's death in the Annihilation route and in an unrelated context when Mizuki blames herself for her parents' deaths in her route.
  • Lost Food Grievance: One of Mizuki's strongest memories of Date in PSYNCIN' IN THE CAPTaiN is the time he ate the pudding she was saving and she locked him out of the bathroom for it.
  • Love Makes You Evil: In the routes where Renju isn't killed early on, his boyfriend, Pewter, betrays ABIS on Renju's behalf, unaware that it's Saito in Renju's body. In the true ending, this lands Pewter in prison.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: So, after shooting Date in Mizuki’s route. It’s complicated. So is actually Saito’s father, but Date is in Saito’s body. Also, Saito was in So’s body at the time, so he was fully aware that the statement only applied to their physical bodies, not their minds. The casual way he says it implies he may not have known Date didn't know and was mentioning it to maintain character.
  • Macro Zone: Ota's Somnium, set at the fishery warehouse, has Aiba shrunken down.
  • Magical Realism: The game has slight elements of this. Beyond the alternate realities which Date can inexplicably remember information from (to the point that he doesn't even know how he knows), there is also the matter of Mizuki, his ward. She has unnatural superhuman strength; despite being a prepubescent girl, she is much stronger than Date and can single handedly take down squads of armed guards with nothing but a pipe. And the game never begins to try to explain why, it's just generally accepted by everyone as an odd quirk.
  • Mathematician's Answer: “Puncture Wound” is defined in the in-game glossary as “a type of stab wound,” which, even in context, clears up nothing.
  • Maybe Ever After: Though Date as Falco had essentially proposed to Hitomi, during the epilogue, Date is uncomfortable restarting the relationship he had with her due to his baggage about accidentally shooting and crippling her. He does note that perhaps with time things may change, and Hitomi doesn't hold anything about what happened against him. And Iris certainly is hoping they'll get back together.
    • Initially played straight with Ota in regards to Iris in Ota's route. At the end, Date says that he thinks Ota might actually have a chance with her after realizing that Ota has goodness inside behind his flaws. But then the Annihilation route that is in the same tree reveals that Iris's personality has actually been murdered by this point and that a serial killer is currently residing in Iris's brain, which obviously precludes any chance of a romance between them (and leaves no assurance that Ota's timeline won't end the same way as the Annihilation timeline). And then finally averted in the Golden Ending, where Iris makes it pretty clear that she has no interest in Ota that way.
  • Meet Cute: Hitomi’s first encounter with her boyfriend at the shrine. Hayato had been badly injured during a mission and was about to be hunted down. He stopped Hitomi from calling an ambulance, and forced her to kiss him to hide from his pursuers. She brought him to a mob doctor, who saved his life.
  • The Merch:
    • In-Universe, Ota spends most of his money on A-set merchandise and concert tickets, which Mayumi views as Iris taking advantage of Ota’s enthusiasm and naiveté.
    • Date and Aiba figure out that Moma is an A-set fan by identifying an A-set figure in his safe that they had previously seen in Ota’s home.
  • Meta Twist: Being a Visual Novel from the creator of the Zero Escape games, the player might expect that this game's plot will feature parallel worlds, jumping from one timeline to solve a mystery in another, and altering past events through actions in the present. In one timeline, Date finds Iris' dead body in a warehouse, enters the Somnium of the man he believes to be her killer, rescues her from the murderer's clutches in the Somnium, and then discovers that the dead body has disappeared upon re-entering the waking world, and Iris is still alive. Date comes to the conclusion that changing the events in the killer's Somnium saved Iris from being murdered in the past, and Iris herself contributes to the idea by suggesting that Date entered a parallel world in which Iris was never killed. But in reality, it turns out to be impossible to enter parallel worlds through Somnia. The dead body Date found wasn't Iris at all, and was merely hidden away from the police when they investigated the warehouse. While parallel worlds do indeed factor into the game, their role is greatly downplayed in comparison to the Zero Escape games, and even by the story's end, Date has no answers as to why he recalls events that never took place in his current timeline.
  • Mistaken Identity: The frozen dead body that Date finds at the warehouse isn't Iris's, but rather Manaka, Iris's own mother.
  • Mood Whiplash: The game does a LOT of this. With it jumping from comedy to dark to action to comedy within action at the drop of a hat.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: A rare justified version. The puzzles in the dream world have solutions that logically make no sense, but that's because dreams don't follow the conventions of reality.
  • Multiple Endings: There are five endings that branch off based on decisions made during certain Somnium sections, excluding joke endings and bad endings.
    • Three standard routes (Ota, Mizuki, and Iris) focus on specific characters, and can be completed from start to finish without issue, with all of them revealing bits of information about other routes.
    • The final two endings (Annihilation and Resolution) require completion of other routes before they can be completed. Interestingly, they also can't be completed without progressing through segments of each other. Specifically, the Resolution Route has a first lock which requires completing the above three standard routes to clear. Afterwards, continuing the Resolution Route will eventually result in a second lock. Reaching this second lock is required to clear a sole lock in the Annihilation Route, thereby allowing completion of that route. Completing the Annihilation Route will clear the second lock of the Resolution Route, resulting in the true Golden Ending of the game.
    • At least two joke endings are done by heavily flirting with the Lemniscate receptionist:
      • In Mizuki's route, Date suddenly quits the police force and invites the receptionist to move to Atami with him, leaving Aiba behind.
      • Another joke ending comes from Aiba threatening to pop out of Date's eye socket if he does not stop pestering the receptionist for her number. Doing so anyways forces her to follow through with her threat, causing both Iris and the receptionist to faint from the Body Horror they witnessed, while Date claims that his life is over.
  • The attempted murder in the cold storage warehouse is livestreamed. Depending on the route, it either succeeds or fails.
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: Aiba is privy to Date’s body chemistry, so she can detect when he’s excited about something. She notes this in particular when Date uses X-Ray Vision on the waitress at Sunfish Pocket.
  • Mythology Gag: Several, alluding to Uchikoshi's Zero Escape series:
    • The most obvious one is the reused echoing sound effect that goes off showing several parts of a Somnium's room tied to a Mental Lock, which had a similar purpose before starting a puzzle proper in any Zero Escape game.
    • Manaka's frozen dead body is unidentified by the time Date learns that it isn't Iris's, but he decides to nickname it "Alice" and even brings the term All-Ice, referring to the All-Ice theory from Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors.
    • At one point, Ota tries to get Date to use a coin to scratch a poster of a girl in a bikini, saying that it helps to take her clothes off, which was part of a puzzle in Virtue's Last Reward.
    • Shoko Nadami had a drinking problem involving dealing with close ones (Mizuki) whom she'd rather distance herself away from to cope with her frustrations in an unhealthy way, which alludes to Diana's rocky relationship with her abusive boyfriend and her eventual Sanity Slippage in one route turning herself into an alcoholic for it from Zero Time Dilemma.
    • Boss's Somnium contains a bunch of doors with 999-second penalties. "999" is the name of the first Zero Escape game involving doors with numbers on them. Though it looks like it may be the limitation set in the game, getting a x999 TIMIE makes attempting to open a door with a 999-second penalty need 998,001 seconds.
    • A pretty big one: at several points, Date brings up information that he shouldn't know in some routes that happened in other routes, which heavily implies that Date became a user of the Morphogenetic Field from the Zero Escape series or has a very similar ability of it. To further add to this, Iris brings up the theory that there are parallel worlds, which the player probably brushed off as her brain tumor making her say weird things, until the narrative makes direct call backs to her mentioning parallel worlds whenever Date mentions stuff he shouldn't know normally.
  • Nanomachines: Both Aiba and the Psync machine use nanotechnology to function. Iris tells Date that nanomachines are also being used in experimental cancer treatments to remove otherwise inoperable tumors. With funding from Boss, this treatment saves Iris’s life in the Resolution route.
  • New Tech Is Not Cheap: Iris’s cancer could be cured using nanotechnology, but the treatment is still prohibitively expensive. In the Resolution route, ABIS gifts her with enough money to get the treatment as incentive to keep the truth about Saito and Psyncing under wraps.
  • Never Trust a Title: There are no real “Files” to speak of that are plot relevant. The only ones that are even used are the ones for character profiles, even then they are not an official part of the gameplay.
  • No Dead Body Poops: Averted. When investigating Renju's murder, Aiba notes that the corpse evacuated its bowels upon death. The fact that there is no evidence of this at the scene is a clue that the body was moved postmortem.
  • No Ending: Many of the routes just end after a certain point, usually after the focus character's arc has finished or after all the information relevant to another route has been learned, but the killer still hasn't been caught.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Ota, Mayumi, and Takero Matsushita have much more cartoony faces than the other characters.
  • No Such Agency: ABIS' existence is officially classified by the Japanese government, and outside themselves and the government, their existence is known only to a few higher-ranking members of the police.
  • No Such Thing as H.R.: Clearly there isn't here because Boss alone would make ABIS an H.R. nightmare. Even Allegra Clark acknowledged that the sexual comments her character makes would probably get Boss fired. Date isn't far behind in that department, but he usually keeps most of his perverted comments in his head (though the keyword is "usually").
    [After trying to ask about a classified case]
    Boss: Give it a rest, Date! You keep prying into this and I'll hit you with a sexual harassment complaint.
    Date: This isn't harassment. Or sexual.
    Boss: [chuckles] I can make it sexual.
    Date: ...
  • Noodle Incident: Date's favorite cabaret girl, Reika, comes up multiple times during the game but never actually appears. Apparently, something happened to cause her to block his number and Aiba frequently ribs him about her.
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: In the final action sequence in Iris's route, Aiba asks Date if he's hiding the porno mag and underwear from a previous ambush, to which he responds with a not-so-innocent whistle.
  • Offing the Annoyance: The New Cyclops Killings may include one unintended victim due to this. Saito gets annoyed with Ota's constant meddling and takes it out on the poor guy after killing Iris.
  • Omega Ending: The Resolution route requires you to complete every single other route before it can be fully unlocked and completed.
  • Orphaned Punch Line: There were 3 items that were originally in Boss's office and even had dialogue recorded for them but ultimately removed from the final product: a baseball bat, a gourd doll, and a vuvuzela. The latter two come up in Boss and Pewter's profiles that are in the finished product. Boss's profile mentions she likes gourd dolls (and the dialogue for the removed doll ends with the reveal that Date got it for Boss back before he became the hitman Falco (and certainly before his mind was transfered into a new body)) and Pewter's profile mentions that one of his skills is imitating vuvuzelas (which in the cut dialogue he does...not that well).
  • One Degree of Separation: Date spends most of the game in the body of Saito Sejima, who is Iris' half-brother by way of their father So. Iris' biological mother, Manaka, was best friends with Hitomi and Renju; the latter is Mizuki's father, Shoko's ex, Date's drinking buddy, Iris' producer, and Pewter's lover. A young Saito was the one who murdered Manaka, and the Kumakuras including Rohan disposed of the body. The Kumakura family is also involved with Shoko's investment fraud operation, and their current leader, Moma, is also a huge fan of Iris. Hitomi is Mizuki's teacher, and also taught Ota in the past. In his former identity as Falco, Date dated Hitomi and was a father figure to Iris. He was forced to work for Rohan, who was one of the two Original Cyclops Killers along with Saito. Boss was one of Falco's old friends on the force and helped kick off the whole body-swapping plot. The use of this trope is partially justified; as the New Cyclops Killer, Saito is primarily targeting people important to Date as revenge for the body swap incident six years ago. Almost all of these connections that aren't directly related to the current string of murders are still vital to solving the case.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: In the Resolution route we see that Iris's (actually Manaka's) body was in fact a part of Hitomi's plan to blackmail So for the money for Iris's surgery and that he just happened to walk in at the wrong time.
  • Out of Focus: Depending on what route you play this can happen to specific characters, such as Iris in Mizuki and Ota routes (Saito was in Iris's body since the warehouse incident) and Mizuki in Annihilation Route, who was suffering from a Heroic BSoD from Iris and Ota's deaths.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: In the Annihilation Route, Date visits Mayumi and Hitomi after Iris and Ota are killed in the cold storage warehouse.
  • Painful Adhesive Removal: Mizuki is rescued by her father Date. She immediately begins Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like after he rips off the duct tape, which causes him to put it back.
    Date: Actually, stay like that awhile.
  • Painting the Medium: Even the game interface doesn't remember Kagami's name, always labeling him "Inspector", unlike every other character whose labels are updated when you learn their names.
  • Parental Neglect: The prime example being Renju for choosing to work more but never making the effort to be with Mizuki.
    • The glaring example in So Sejima not caring to provide any sort of emotional help to his son Saito, who was born with a dysfunctional brain that made him go insane and created a pleasure to kill animals and later people. Even So wonders if things could've been different if he had given a damn about him.
    • The right side of the flowchart pretty much involves Date not being there for Mizuki during her stressful time dealing with her mother's murder because he's got his hands tied worried about Iris's well-being after seeing "her" dead body in Mizuki's Somnium, believing to be a prophecy of sorts. Several characters are a bit disgusted at him for not looking out after Mizuki in her time of need.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Aiba can hit/kick/otherwise abuse many objects during Somnium segments. The televisions in Iris’s actually Saito’s Somnium are particularly notable.
  • Pick Up Babes With Babes: Date tells Mizuki that he’s more attractive to women when they’re out together, since it gives him an attractive “single dad” aura. Mizuki retorts that he just looks like a creep.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Date and Aiba may argue with each other a lot, but that doesn't mean the friendship isn't still there.
  • Please Subscribe to Our Channel: During Psyncin' in the Main 1, the "ShovelForge" Somnium. Iris will say to "like and subscribe, and reto-wit" after the vending machine in the second area is broken for resource blocks.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: In the right routes, Aiba runs out of battery before Date enters the cold storage warehouse, ensuring that what he thinks is Iris's corpse can easily be cleaned up with no proof that it ever existed in the first place. This leads to Date believing that he resurrected her by saving her in So's Somnium, which makes him vulnerable to believing Iris's conspiracy theories.
  • Pocket Protector: A variation occurs in Mizuki's route when So shoots Date in the left eye. Since that eye is artificial, it prevents the bullet from going all the way to his brain.
  • Poor Communication Kills: When Hayato Yagyu/Falco switched bodies with Rohan Kumakura 6 years ago, neither Boss nor Pewter obviously told anyone else about it, since the procedure was illegal. Still, they could have told the policemen to not let Rohan-in-Falco's body leave without question. This led to the shootout at the Sagan residence, where Hayato accidently shot and severely injured Hitomi.
  • Portal Door:
    • Some of the warehouse doors in So's Somnium are actually portals that warp Aiba to other parts of the map.
    • The central mechanic of Saito in Boss's body's Somnium is navigating the factory using a complex chain of doors that teleport you to different places.
  • Posthumous Character: Several characters are already dead when the game begins, and their stories are told through flashbacks or by speaking with people who knew them.
    • Shoko Nadami, by virtue of being the murder victim whose death kicks off the game's events. As it turns out, however, Shoko had actually died a full year beforehand after having her mind forcibly swapped into the body of Rohan Kumakura and killing herself out of confusion and terror. Saito Sejima inhabits Shoko's body for a year after the death of her mind, before he swaps again with...
    • Renju Okiura, who is therefore the actual murder victim whose death kicks off the game's events. While Renju's body is killed only in certain paths through the game, his mind was already dead before the game began. Any time he appears in the game outside of flashbacks, it's Saito once again inhabiting his body.
    • Rohan Kumakura, the former head of the Kumakura Clan of Yakuza, who killed himself a year before the story begins. As above, that death was actually Shoko in his body, which had been previously occupied by Saito after Rohan's mind had been put into the body of Falco (aka #89). Thus, Rohan is really a subversion of this trope, as he is very much alive and impersonating #89 for most of the game. Phew!
    • Manaka Iwai, the true identity of the dead body Date discovers in the Cold Storage Warehouse and mistakes for Iris.
    • Takero Matsushita, Ota's father and Mayumi's husband, who died of a heart attack years before the game begins. He only appears in flashbacks.
  • Press X to Die: In the last Somnium on the Annihilation Route, there's a gimmick involving target doors that you have to open; each one carries a time cost of 999 seconds (this instakills you), and you're supposed to use the Time To 1 ability on it. Wasting both available Time to 1 abilities on anything else makes the level Unwinnable by Design, but this trope comes in with the very first door you see, which not only has 999, but has a negative time penalty of x999 on it ; even if you time-to-1 this door, the penalty WILL kill you.
  • Press X to Not Die: During certain action sequences, you need to input the correct button command or keep a wobbly crosshair over a certain target in order to succeed.
  • Race Against the Clock: You can only stay in the dream world for 6 minutes at a time, though a newly-added feature of the Psync Machine slows down time immensely while Aiba is not moving.
  • Real-Place Background: A partial example. The overview map is clearly Tokyo, and the ABIS HQ is located in the Keishicho police station, but areas such as Bloom Park do not exist. (The space where it appears on the map is, in real life, a train yard, an expressway, and the Ota Stadium.)
  • Red Herring:
    • There's a few plot threads surrounding the Okiura family that seem significant but ultimately go nowhere. It's discovered that Shoko ran a fraudulent investment company with the Kumakura Gang and that Renju had hired the Kumakuras to help him deal with a talent scandal of some kind at Lemniscate. The divorced couple's shady activities and their relationships to the yakuza are unconnected to the murder mystery and are left mostly unexplored.
    • The chemical plant explosion that left the Kabasaki District uninhabitable for eight years is discussed in nearly all the routes and it's later revealed that it was masterminded by the Sejima family with help from the Kumakura Gang in order to turn the area into a casino resort. However, this is almost completely unrelated to the New Cyclops Killer.
    • The Lemniscate A-Set video series contain a few. The series is not in chronological order. Additionally, Naixatloz does not play a large part in the story. They are explained to be a fabrication involuntarily created by Iris due to a brain tumor. The suspicious group in the Reservation Unknown video are confirmed early on to be the security crew of So Sejima that work to keep intruders off the property.
  • Riddle for the Ages: It's never exactly explained how Date can pick up on fragments of memory from other timelines, and it gets even screwier in the epilogue when Iris also remembers something that happened in a different route.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: At the end of the Mizuki Route boss declares the case closed, since the presumed killer, So Sejima, has been killed. The killer is, indeed, dead in that ending, but the killer was not So Sejima, but his son Saito, who had swapped bodies with So before being killed.
  • Romantic Spoonfeeding: One of the extra services that Sunfish Pocket provides customers (for the right price). A short cutscene of the waitress doing this to Ota is used several times as a gag.
  • Running Gag:
    • Aiba has a strange fascination with insects. Examining the plants in the Lemniscate building will have her comment on the increasingly improbable insects visiting the building.
    • Lemniscate is a magnet for running gags, including the above, a Hurricane of Puns every time Date examines the sofas there, the television playing promotional videos for people Date's never heard of, Date constantly getting Distracted by the Sexy receptionist... the list goes on.
      A receptionist with huge breasts is sitting behind the desk.
      A receptionist with huge breasts is sitting.
      A receptionist with huge breasts.
      Huge breasts.
      Huge breasts are sitting behind the desk.
    • The variations of Date constantly asking for, and forgetting the inspector's name during crime scene investigations. Although, later on, when investigating Sunfish Pocket after discovering the murdered Renju Okiura, it's implied that it's become something of an inside joke between the two of them, much to Mizuki's confusion.
    • Frequent references to Reika, Date's favorite girl at the cabaret he frequents. Apparently Date did something to make her block his number, something Aiba frequently pokes fun at him about.
    • Date usually has a snarky remark ready anytime the purple fridge in Marble is examined. Most of the remarks are directed towards Mama.
    • Many times, examining the pond at the Sejima Residence has Date express surprise about some fantastic animal (and even fictional ones) living in it, with Aiba later commenting that it's not uncommon to see whatever creature Date saw because So is a wealthy politician.
    • Most of the QTEs involve Aiba exploiting Date's accelerated reaction speed involving his perversion towards women, usually by bringing up a porno mag on the floor to pull through impossible odds.
      • On a lesser extent, their own foes don't make an effort to hide their own perversions several times when Aiba exploits it, either!
  • Same Clothes, Different Year: Characters wear the same clothing in flashbacks, unless their model needs to be aged down. Date claims that him and Mizuki only have one type out outfit because they're practical, poking at the ridiculousness.
  • Sanity Slippage: Many examples:
    • There's Shoko Nadami's growting hatred for Mizuki because of Shoko's awful parenting or lack thereof, which turned her into a bitter woman willing to hit her own child.
    • There's Iris Sagan, who suffers from a brain tumor that affects her thinking and actions. Thankfully, in the Golden Ending, she's cured from the disease.
    • There's Mayumi Matsushita's dementia, which was caused due to her old age and may have been triggered by the overwhelming stress of losing her husband and overworking herself to raise Ota. In the Golden Ending, her dementia is incurable, but she's receiving the appropriate care to keep it from getting worse.
    • A side effect of Psynching with people with delusions can infect the Psyncer with delusions as well. This turns out to happen to Date while Iris is with the strong belief that a secret organization is after her, which is untrue. Date ends up being too trustful of Iris during her route because he's afflicted with her delusions.
    • Rohan Kumakura had a brain condition that had his right side completely shut off and led to him doing very brutal actions. Namely, he liked to carve out his victims' right eyes. While it wasn't necessary, his brain condition made him think of right eyes as beautiful eyes to collect.
    • And finally, Saito Sejima's brain deficiency that left him unable to produce oxytocin, which led him to become a Serial Killer who initially liked to murder small animals. Notably, his condition could have been prevented, but his father didn't even like him.
  • Save This Person, Save the World: Referenced in Ota’s Somnium.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Date and Iris take on this dynamic when they team up.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: During Mizuki's route, the player can trigger a joke ending where Date abandons the investigation and his life as an ABIS agent to run away to Atami with the large breasted Lemniscate receptionist and starts a new life as a carnival worker.
  • Secret-Keeper: In the Golden Ending, Iris and several other characters learned about Saito's murders and the Psync method, which all was strictly confidential. The government was pretty much forced to buy their silence by funding Iris's brain tumor treatment to cure her.
  • Self-Parody: The game will absolutely shift between taking itself seriously and just making fun of itself and tropes from other Spike Chunsoft games, this is evident upon asking Boss who she is, where she'll immediately scoff at the comment in disbelief. Many characters Date has met before will react similarly, or if he says something that he should already know. Probably best exemplified by the dance party ending that happens in the true route.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Aiba finds a winter iris in the Day 1 tutorial somnium and describes it:
    Aiba: A winter iris. [...] This is an iris that blooms in winter.
  • Shmuck Bait: An oddly IRL version. In the game's glossary, in the entry for "collage", the writer notes that he is reminded of "mormon bubbles". He then tells you to tell someone you love to google the phrase. For reference, another name for the term is "mormon porn".Explanation 
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Normally whenever you run into Kagami at a crime scene, Date can ask him what his name is, as Date keeps forgetting much to Kagami's frustration. But when the murder victims are Iris and Ota, all you can do is ask him about whether his team has found anything at the site. In fact, anything that usually has a Running Gag related to it will be taken seriously without any goofy commentary during serious scenes (such as the empty bookshelf at Hitomi and Iris's house during the scene where Hitomi tells Date about Iris's brain cancer).
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shouldn't We Be In School Right Now?: Date can ask Iris and Mizuki why they’re tagging along on the investigation instead of being in school. Mizuki points out that she’s in mourning and obviously taking some time off. Given that Iris is terminally ill, she likely doesn’t care about missing a few days of school.
  • Signature Item Clue: A dropped piece of chocolate is crucial evidence to prove that Mayumi witnessed Iris’s attempted murder and the attack on Ota in the cold storage warehouse.
  • Sleep Deprivation: After working on the investigation for several straight days, everyone in ABIS starts to express exhaustion from too little sleep. Date ends up fainting after psynching with Ota, which didn't help much in one path when Date tries to push past the 6-minute limit.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Mizuki finding about Renju's visit to the Okiura Fishery Storage Warehouse where Manaka's frozen dead body was stored at is what prompts Date to warn Iris about staying at home no matter what, which derails the killer's attempt to kidnap her while in Renju's body. This action causes Date to learn about Manaka's murder (initially thinking that Iris was Manaka), Saito's existence, and pretty much everything about his own past connected to it without causing his close friends to die.
    • In one route, Ota has little to no relation to the Big Bad's New Cyclops Killings, but even the killer's long Info Dump mentions how often Ota just kept getting in the way, derailing their plans, which either led to Ota surviving or being murdered.
    • Aiba herself becomes a major one: the killer has absolutely no idea of her existence, other than criticizing her eyeball look as just a normal prosthetic eye. Cue Aiba blowing the killer's head off with her self-destruct function when he least...or doesn't expect it.
  • Stars Are Souls: Iris’s soul is represented by a star in her Somnium. Whether Date and Aiba choose to touch it or to destroy it is a major point of divergence between routes.
  • Story Branching: There are a total of five routes and four points at which the story splits.
  • The Stinger: Used only in two routes, interestingly enough. The one on the Mizuki route is more of a Playable Epilogue, comprising of Mizuki, Date, and Aiba making a family visit to the shrine, while the one on the Ota route is more straight-forward with a cutscene where Aiba reveals Iris possession of the knife used to stab Ota and the further results of Renju's autopsy, namely that his stomach contained Shoko's missing eyeball.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Aiba gets Date's attention multiple times by saying there is a porno mag on the floor. It works every single time. In one route, Date can attempt to distract a guard by saying he sees UFOs or grandmas nearby with the guard not even flinching. But if Date says there's a porno mag on the floor, the guard will excitedly ask "Where?" and look down. Date notes that he likes this guy.
  • Suspect Existence Failure: On the left-side branches, the prime suspect in each murder keeps winding up dead or in mortal danger, which repeatedly throws off the investigation. The real killer, Saito, tends to hop into a new body and dispose of the old one, so the suspects were technically guilty at the time they were suspected.
  • Synchronization: According to Pewter, the level of compatibility between Psyncer and subject affects the difficulty and effectiveness of the Psync. Date and Mizuki are highly compatible, which is why Boss asks Mizuki to Psync with Date to wake him from his coma. Date and Ota have terrible compatibility.
  • Tears of Blood: Not literally, but the victims that lose their eyes have blood trails that resemble tears.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Date specifically asks Boss to make sure that Mizuki sees the best therapist they can find after Date and Mizuki find Renju's body in Sunfish Pocket. In the route where Ota and Iris also die, Date reiterates to get her the best care possible, acknowledging she's at her mental limit.
  • This Is My Chair:
    • Boss gets territorial when you examine the chair in her office.
    • Mizuki refers to the single-seat sofa in Date’s apartment as her chair, and becomes concerned about leaving a butt print on it in Date’s Somnium.
  • 1000 Origami Cranes: Ota and Mizuki agree to make a thousand cranes together for Iris, after she loses her eye in the cold storage warehouse.
  • Three-Point Landing: Aiba starts out PSYNCIN' IN THE PaiN in the position, adding that she wanted to "enter the scene like a cybernetic assassin from the future." Date points out that she'd have to be naked for the reference to work.
  • Timed Mission: Except for the very first which isn't even timed, all somniums are set for a flat 360 seconds. The rate of counting down, however, is affected by how much the player moves around, what actions they select in the course of it, and their use of the "timies" to alter the amount of time.
  • Untranslated Title: The English version’s chapter titles are in untranslated kanji with Romanized subtitles, presumably to maintain the motif of ending each one with “ai”.
  • Urban Fantasy: While 20 Minutes into the Future isn't an inaccurate description, it ultimately ends up being best described as this. About the only thing in the setting different from our world that is public knowledge is the existence of the Wadjet system (which does not appear to be in widespread use) and the usage of holographic police caution tape. The "fantasy" part is the Psync machine, it being a secret tool being used by a covert branch of the police to do things most consider impossible.
  • Urban Legends: Iris and Ota are fans of these. When they discuss the existence of Naizatloz with Date, Ota recounts several of these that he’s heard in the past.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Checking the Freemasons entry in the appendix causes almost the entire screen to get covered with blue cards featuring the Eye of Providence, with the text eventually derailing into nonsensical writing before it can manage to properly explain the entry.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Naturally, logic and common sense do not go together in Somnia.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The game has a rather dark example of this with Iris's route. After you save her from being kidnapped by a bunch of masked goons with assault rifles, she confides to Date that she believes she is being targeted by a global conspiracy known as Naizatloz that is causing all sorts of death and destruction around the world with the goal of transmitting an AI off in to space to repeat the process on another planet with intelligent life. In the main route, Date pretty quickly dismisses Iris's concerns as ridiculous and gets back to searching for the serial killers on the loose, but in Iris's route, he begins to believe her and they go on a completely delusional quest to stop Naizatloz while completely forgetting about the killers Date is supposed to be tracking down. And in the end nothing is really accomplished and Iris dies from her brain cancer, which was ultimately the cause of her paranoid delusions. The route does give the player an early glimpse at future plot points however.
  • Wham Line: Several.
    • In the Resolution route, Pewter uses his "egg shell" analogy to give a more detailed explanation of what can happen if a Psyncer spends too long in someone's Somnium, ending with a line that calls into question the actions and motivations of several characters:
    Pewter: Mind, memory, consciousness... they are traded. Switched.
    • In the Annihilation route, the true culprit of the serial killings describes explicitly why they so dearly hate Date, explaining Date's amnesia and the mystery of "six years ago" in the process:
    Saito: You stole my body! You took it from me six years ago!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the Annihilation Route, we never find out what happened to any of the side characters who aren't dead, as it abruptly cuts off with Date still in Boss's body.
    • Likewise, in Iris's Route, we never find out what happens to anyone else or the murder investigation in general, as the route ends abruptly with Iris's death after saving her in her Somnium fails to save her in reality.
    • Both Ota's and Mizuki's Routes end with So Sejima's personality having been forced into Iris's unconscious body without anyone knowing. Similarly, Ota's Route also ends with Saito Sejima's personality having taken over Boss's body without Date or his friends being the wiser.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Well, played straight as far as Shoko's murder goes since that investigation is how the story begins, but whether or not you thwart the killer's next step radically changes the direction the story goes in. If Date warns Iris to be careful after seeing what seems to be her corpse in a somnium, she gets uncomfortable when Renju comes to get her and runs away. If Date doesn't give her any warning, she goes along with Renju willingly and the killer's plan continues unabated, potentially all the way to the final step before being stopped.
  • Your Head Asplode: Aiba informs Date that she has a self-destruct feature which, should it ever be activated, would result in this trope for him. She activates it during the game's climax, by which point "Date's" body is being inhabited once again by its original owner, Saito Sejima, who is holding Hitomi at gunpoint.


Video Example(s):


Beer Ads

Date explains why sex sells to Mizuki. She still doesn't get it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / EntendreFailure

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