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Video Game / Another Code

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Memory is the key.

"I've never felt like this before. I just found out father is alive."

Ashley Mizuki Robbins, a white-haired Tomboy who is about to turn 14, suddenly receives a package from her dad who she hasn't heard from in years—mostly because she thought he was dead. It contains a DTS (DAS in the European version, which stands for Dual Trace/Another System), a device that looks suspiciously like a Nintendo DS. Her aunt and caretaker Jessica takes her to the island where dad has been doing research, and leaves to go find him.

When Jessica doesn't come back, Ashley decides to go after her. Finding Jessica's glasses on the ground, she starts to assume the worst. She finds her way across the island, through a graveyard, and to a mansion. She meets the ghost D, who can't remember anything about his past life, and who decides to follow her as she tries to figure out just what is going on. At the same time, as they navigate the Edward mansion, D starts to remember things about his past life, closely mirroring Ashley's realizations about her own family.


The game was followed in 2009 by a sequel, Another Code: R - A Journey Into Lost Memories for the Wii. The sequel takes place 2 years later, as Ashley is called to the Lake Juliet campsite for a camping trip with her dad, only to find there are still a few issues to be dealt with with regards to her past, including a new device that looks like the controller to a hit video game console. Sadly, it turned out to be a No Export for You moment for Americans, as the game didn't perform particularly well in Japan or Europe and received only moderately positive reviews.

The Hotel Dusk: Room 215 series takes place in the same universe, twenty-five years before, but is not connected otherwise.


Provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Why else is the teenager girl the one running around and solving everyone's personal problems? That said, when the situation calls for it, they prove to be pretty handy.
  • All in a Row: Anybody traveling with Ashley usually does so in this manner. It's most obvious near the end of the second game, with both D and Richard following her in classic RPG party style.
  • All-Loving Hero: Ashley in the second game. Her actions end up solving a number of the personal problems of the other characters, as well as uncovering a pollution scandal that drove Matt's dad's business into the ground.
  • Already Undone for You: Despite Richard living on the island and knowing you were coming, you still have to solve all the puzzles to get to him.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Hilariously enough. The Japanese and European covers aren't anything special, simply an image of Ashley with the island in the background. The American cover, however, seems to be advertising a horror game.
  • And I Must Scream: D has been stuck haunting Blood Edward Island for 57 years by the time Ashley meets him. He apparently has had nothing better to do over the years than to count the days after he died, which makes sense when you realize that he remembers nothing about his past and practically no one visits the island anymore (and even then most people can't see him anyway). And if you fail to get the good ending, he will be stuck haunting the island forever.
  • Bizarrchitecture: An admittedly mild example, but the Edwards' mansion features things like hidden doorways that respond to certain sounds and a wall that opens up when the candles on it have been lit the right way. Rather impressive when you consider that these things were already there by the early 20th century.
  • Bookcase Passage: Yup, there's two of those hidden in the Edwards manor as well, one of which is behind an actual bookshelf.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Ashley is half-Japanese on her mother's side. Her other half is either American or British, depending on which version you're playing.
  • But Thou Must!: During all the sequences where Ashley repeats the plot points so she can remember later, if you choose the wrong option, she chides herself for misremembering, then goes back to try again. Especially obvious in the last conversation, where Bill asks you to remember the face of the killer.
  • Call-Back: Near the end of the sequel, the game starts using music from the first game. The final showdown with the villain is extremely reminiscent of the first game's climax as well, albeit with a happier ending.
  • Character Tic: Ashley tends to tilt her head to the right and lean forwards when speaking to someone.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In Another Code R, Ashley's bag has Pinkie Rabbit on it, and a series of photos on the wall of a house show various Hotel Dusk: Room 215 characters, as well as the captain from the first game.
    • Ashley's bag also contains the shirt she wore and her teddy bear from the first game.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The sequel confirms that the first game ending where D got his memories back and moved on is canon.
  • Daddy Didn't Show: Twice, Ashley starts the game going to meet him and twice he's not there. In the first game, instead of leaving it at that, she decides to go looking for him. It's a bit more understandable when you discover he was drugged and unconscious for some time while Bill gave Ashley the runaround. When it happens again in the second game, it's more the workaholic/absent-minded reason. That time, she's ready to turn and leave, but can't.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Two reasons, actually. He wanted to finish Trace/Another in Sayoko's memory and also to use it to determine if he'd killed her or not.
  • Delicious Distraction: Ashley uses some jerky to distract a dog.
  • Demoted Memories: Jessica inadvertently invokes this when she tells Ashley her Flashback Nightmare couldn't be a real memory, well before either knew that wasn't true.
  • Demoted to Extra: Jessica. Her role in the first game wasn't huge, but it did help advance the plot. In the second game, she's only seen in the beginning and in a single phone call.
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: Just when it seems Ashley and her dad have managed to reconcile in the first game, the bad guy basically reminds them he's still there and they go off to confront him.
  • Downtime Downgrade: Despite the reconciliation, Ashley and her dad start the second game in little better a relationship than the first.
  • Driven to Suicide:
  • Easter Egg: Plenty. If you get 100% Completion and restart on that same save, there are a lot of differences. Also, a book on one bookshelf is entitled "The Legend of Zelda Chronology".
  • Family Disunion: Both games kick off with Richard trying to reconnect with Ashley. Then out come the secrets and inventions and the murder attempts.
  • Fake Memories: The titular device can implant these. It's a set of these that cause Richard to think he might have killed his wife.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: Ashley has her mom's black eyes, which Jessica says were quite beautiful.
  • First-Person Snapshooter: The DTS has a camera function, used for puzzle solving and sometimes unlocking extra conversation options.
  • Freudian Excuse: Ryan saw his mom die in an accident as a child and his dad used him as a test subject to modify his memories of his mom's death in an attempt to heal his emotional pain, which not only negated his ability to understand love and kindness, but also created a hatred of his father.
    • Elizabeth's behavior stems from her mother walking out on her when she was twelve, and her father keeping secrets about the divorce.
  • Genetic Memory: Ryan tries this on Ashley near the finale of the second game. Ashley will reject the foreign memories, though.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Ashley gets a teddy bear at the end of the game and has the most adorable picture of her hugging it during the credits. She still has it in the sequel.
  • Guinea Pig Family: By the end of the second game, every member of the Robbins family has had their brain run through the machine.
  • Hates Their Parent: Ashley spends much of the sequel filled with animosity towards her father both for the initial abandonment of a decade and the fact that it nearly happened again when he got a new job to get his life back in order. It takes near the end of the game before they're on better terms with each other.
  • The Hero's Birthday: The first game takes place the day before Ashley's 14th birthday. Richard attempted to invoke this trope because he wanted to spend the actual birth date with her.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Naturally. Usually justified in that the stuff she carries is of reasonable size, but it does make for an odd moment in the second game when she pulls Ryan's suitcase out of nowhere to return it to him.
  • I Can't Reach It: So there's a trunk up on a shelf too high to reach. So how about you pick up the baseball hidden in the corner and throw it at the large piece of luggage!
  • Informing the Fourth Wall: Ashley's constant stream of "that doesn't seem to work" and the like.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: You can find tidbits about the Edwards family and unlock more of D's memories as you examine the island.
  • Just Between You and Me: The bad guys have something of a tendency to give monologues when you encounter them, partially because Ashley and her dad keep asking questions. At least one of them lampshades this.
  • Kick the Dog: While Ryan and Sofia need Ashley for their plans, both go out of their way to prey on her relationship with her father to do so. In particular, Sofia (as Gina) implies that Richard made up excuses about his work schedule in order to get away from his daughter.
  • Kidnapped Scientist: Ryan captures Richard late in the second game to force Ashley with his plans.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Ashley is like any good adventure game hero in that aspect in the first game, but she gets away with it since the original owners of the location all died. D lampshades this by calling her strange for taking charcoal. It's a little toned down in the second game.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: D refers to himself and Ashley as "kindred spirits". Ashley lampshades how lame that was.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: One of the original intentions of the Trace/Another machine, as a means to remove traumatic memories.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Double Subverted. The sequel dances around the first game's revelation of Sayoko's killer's identity for most of the game, only for it to be rather bluntly brought up again near the end.
    • The fact that Sayoko got murdered is revealed before you even take control of Ashley in the sequel.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The games have a pretty good sense of light-heartness that helps them to not come across like they're taking themselves overtly seriously, while still being able to tell serious and heartfelt stories. One of the main ways they achieve this, particularly in R, is by hanging a lampshape a lot of the game's more "silly" elements:
    • In R, Ashley's back pouch where she stores all of her items is on the back of her jeans. Due to this, whenever she takes out one of her items while in most animations, where you can only see her front, it looks like she's literally pulling items outta her ass. There's no doubt that this was most likely an intentional animation gag to take a jab at Ashley seemingly being able to carry around so many items. It still doesn't explain why her tiny pounch seems to have infinite space in itself though.
    • Ashley frequently has internal monologues in both games. In R these are depicted via Ashley turned towards the screen, effectively monologuing her thoughts to the player. In both games these are lampshades: In Two Memories it's lampshades via Ashley constantly forgetting that D can read her thoughts while she's having them. In R, Matt lampshades how frequently Ashley seems to start staring staring vacantly into space in her own little world.
    • R also hangs a lampshade on how frequently they have Matt suddenly run away from Ashley for emotiona/dramatic effect (including Running Away to Cry), with Ashley commenting that Matt runs away about as often as he says she has her "black-outs".
  • Lead You Can Relate To: Ashley's appearance was designed with the intention to appeal to both guys and girls. Probably not like that, though.
  • Lettered Sequel: So, what's the "R" in "Another Code R" stand for?
  • Locked Door: Not a whole lot of these, but they're there. As only a few require a traditional key hunt, the rest require either inputting a code and activating a mechanism.
  • Love Makes You Evil: It's all but said Bill was in love with Sayoko, which didn't really make this mess any better.
  • Mr. Smith: Yup, there's a dude calling himself John Smith wandering around Lake Juliet. As if the sunglasses and black formal suit didn't make him suspicious enough.
  • Mood Whiplash: You can eat the candies the Captain gives you at any time, even right after Ashley finds out her mom is dead, resulting in Ashley gleefully exclaiming, "I love candy!"
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: Normally averted, but there's one spot in the first game where you have to angle the DS to get the reflection to reveal an item location.
  • Multiple Endings: There are two in the original game, the "good" one where D recovers all his memories and moves on to the afterlife or the "bad" one where he doesn't get back all his memories and continues to wander the island.
  • Mysterious Parent: Richard takes this role for the first game, as finding him is the main objective. Sayoko then takes this role for the second.
  • Neutral Female: Ashley may solve all the puzzles, figure out the sub-plots and pull her dad's fat out of the fire, but she just kind of stands there in the final confrontations. It's justified in that she's a teenage girl up against a gun-toting maniac and her dad is the one they have issues with.
  • New Game Plus: Going back and replaying on a beaten game file unlocks all kinds of Easter Eggs, usually in the form of a little extra backstory.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Seemingly played straight in the first game, then averted in the second when it turns out there actually are two of the darn thing.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Don't expect any hints about what to do when you start up the game again in the first game. The second game averts this with a reminder as your save file loads.
  • One-Letter Name: D, because he can't remember his real name, only the one-letter nickname. His real name is Daniel.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Rex takes a bullet to the shoulder after his Big Damn Heroes moment and manages to stick around to long enough to tie up some plot points, though he doesn't help go after Ryan.
    • Averted with Gina, who takes a taser shock bad enough to render her unconscious and still deals with shooting pains in her arm afterward.
  • Only in It for the Money: Thomas' reason for attempting to murder his brother was to get his hands on their grandfather's inheritance. It is actually a subversion, as he needed the money to pay for his son's medical bills.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: A lot of the Blood Edward mansion doors require puzzle-solving to pass.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: It's not quite clear what exactly D's powers are, but in the first conversation with him it seems like he can read your mind. This is never mentioned again, however.
    • The other difference is that only people who can perceive things beyond what's in front of them can see or hear ghosts.
    • Apparently, they have working olfactory preceptors as well, as Ashley is surprised when D comments on the smell of one room.
  • Parental Substitute: Jessica, Ashley's aunt whom she stayed with. Ashley even says she's like a mom to her.
  • Parents as People: Despite the heartwarming scenes at the end of the first game, Richard wasn't a good parent after he came back. Justified in that he didn't have much contact with people for ten years, was only a parent for three and still had a ton of issues left to sort out. Deep down, though, it's clear that Ashley is still the most important thing to him.
  • Parrot Exposition: Ashley sometimes begins conversation points with others by repeating a statement they said earlier.
  • Phone Call from the Dead: The plot of Another Code is set in motion when Ashley receives a birthday present from her father, who she thought was dead.
  • Photographic Memory: Ashley has ridiculously good memorizing abilities, able to recall things from the age of three, albeit with some sort of trigger.
  • Pixel Hunt: Most the first game. The second game is better about it by highlighting what you can examine, a trait picked up from the Hotel Dusk series.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: The one time Ashley really needs the TAS to pop open a lock, the batteries run out.
  • Plot-Powered Stamina: Ashley at least grabs a bite to eat at times, but can generally go for hours without a break or snack.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Sayoko's death kick-starts the events of the games.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: As stated above, a lot of time is spent on Matt and his sub-plot with plans for his own game. However, it still ties in well enough with what Ashley is trying to do to avoid being too intrusive.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Richard ends up being the first to use the Another device not by choice, but because Bill did it to him.
  • Rainbow Speak: Key descriptive terms and conversation choices are given colored text.
  • Recollection Sidequest: Going through the mansion and triggering D's memories of his time alive is essential to getting not only the full story of the Edwards family, but also to unlock the good ending of the game.
  • Reinventing the Telephone: Richard's reasoning as to giving Ashley a new DAS in the second game. He's genuinely surprised that, in 2007, it's common for teenagers to have cell phones.
  • Revenge: The reason for Ryan's actions in the second game is that his dad wiped his memories as a kid relating witnessing the death of his mom and the ensuing emotional trauma, which only worsened his emotional health to the point where he now hates good family relationships and crying.
  • Revision: In the second game, Ashley and her dad show particular concern over Ashley's pendant, which she got from her mom on the night of her third birthday, even showing her getting it in a flashback, and supposedly never goes without it as a memento. Said pendant was never seen or mentioned in the first game or its flashbacks, despite covering everything else that happened on that night.
  • Rich Bitch: Elizabeth Alfred, due to being the daughter of Rex Alfred, head of J.C. Valley. The end of the game has her admit that her dad's actions have convinced her to try and be nicer, though.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Situational Hand Switch: The eldest of the Edward brothers, Henry, used to be a painter. However, he lost his right arm (the dominant one) when he fought in World War II, and stopped painting for a while. He eventually managed to transfer his talent to his left hand, and manage to make a few new paintings, but unfortunately it didn't last.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: One particularly baffling case is when Ashley can't open a bottle with a message in it. You have to retrieve a hammer from another room and then use it to break the bottle. Can't she really smash a bottle any other way? How about throwing it against a wall or something?
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: One early area has you play the piano to open a secret passage, and later using a music box to open a fireplace passage.
  • Sound Test: You can pick up a music player in the second game to use. Of course, you can only unlock all the tunes in a New Game Plus.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Ashley's last name seems to vary between "Robins" and "Robbins".
  • Story Breadcrumbs: You can find several hints about the history behind the Edwards family and Richard's life alone on the island.
  • Story to Gameplay Ratio: As with most visual novels, it's high on story with a fair bit of puzzles. The second game is a bit higher on story, due to the larger number of people to interact with.
  • Supernatural-Proof Father: Richard is as unable to see D like most of the rest of the cast, but he does believe Ashley when she tells him she's been hanging with a ghost for the entire game.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Matthew for D in the second game. Just, you know, not a ghost.
    • Ashley occasionally lampshades this by telling certain characters that Matt "reminds her of her very first friend".
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: One of the last rooms is full of objects, all with plot relevance, but no major puzzles.
  • Talk to Everyone: Whenever you run into someone, you have to go through all the conversation options to continue.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Ashley describes her emotions a fair bit during her inner monologues, presumably for the player's benefit.
  • Tell Me About My Father: Ashley inquires Jessica about both her parents at the start of the game.
  • There Are No Therapists: Ashley admits she's messed up from not knowing the truth, Richard lost his family for years and their relationship collapsed between games, but we don't get any hints either of the two attempted counseling.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Richard is a bit of a chocoholic, something he and Ashley share. One of his office drawers is loaded with chocolate bars.
  • Tragic Intangibility: Ghosts in this world are only visible by certain people, which has left D rather isolated and made it harder for him to remember anything. He's quite happy when Ashley is the first person to see him in a while.
  • Troubled Teen: Ashley has to deal with a deceased mom and a dad who only came back into her life when she was fourteen and is still struggling to be a proper parent.
  • Tsundere: Ashley has a bit of Type B in her. She's normally a very nice person, but she's prone to hissy-fits when she gets mad.
  • Undeath Always Ends: D is finally laid to rest in the good ending. In the sequel, Kelly is able to move on after seeing her brother again and having him give her her old doll.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: You have to press two maps together, one on the top screen and one on the bottom screen. To do so, you have to close and open the DS. This can be extremely confusing to players utilizing a Nintendo 2DS due to the fact that they don't close the same way a regular DS does, and players who don't know/remember that turning on sleep mode is the 2DS' equivilant of closing a DS would likely get stuck.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: Played straight with the machine Richard makes, since it was finished only a day or two before Ashley arrived. Averted with the one in J.C. Valley, since you know it already works at that point.
  • Useless Item: The gift shop purchases at Lake Juliet. Aside from racking up a huge bill for Richard, they don't affect the plot in any way.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: One message in the second chapter of the first game reads "Bill will come". Nothing else about Bill is explained until Chapter 4.
  • Video Phone: J.C. Valley has these installed. One puzzle involves Ashley trying to communicate with a staff member with the speech function out on her end.
  • Video Wills: Sayoko left a message for Ashley in the TAS explaining some of what she did.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Sofia manages to get away scott-free at the end of the game, though Ashley does manage to inform Rex about what she was up to.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Played straight in the first game where you can endlessly select conversation options, averted in the second as they disappear after you choose them.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 4 of the first game. You find out what happened to Ashley's mom, meet the last person on the island and find out what happened to Jessica all in short order.
    • Chapter 7 of the second game, where Ashley meets the antagonists, faces a major crisis and learns the biggest secret about her mom.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: When Elizabeth first appears, she's grumbling about it being the "Worst. Day. Ever." over her lost music player.

Alternative Title(s): Trace Memory