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Video Game / Cytus II

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Cytus II is a rhythm game by Rayark Games, makers of Sdorica and Deemo. It is the sequel to Cytus, and released on January 17, 2018 for iOS and March 7 that same year for Android.

As with its predecessor, gameplay consists of tapping, dragging, holding, and now flicking notes to the rhythm of a song when the scan line passes over them. There are a few key differences: The scanline can now change speed, hold notes can now continue over to subsequent swipes instead of being restricted to the swipe they started on, the difficulty scale has been expanded, and there is a new difficulty level, Chaos.

Whereas Cytus had a cryptic plot told entirely through vague images hidden in secret songs, Cytus II tells its story more directly: in a world where Everything Is Online, people can connect to the virtual space known as cyTus using a special implant. When the mysterious new DJ superstar Aesir announced the world's first mega virtual concert, a massive wave of excitement shook the whole world, but mysterious circumstances led to the concert's annulation and Aesir never showed up. Six months later, the topic of Aesir-FEST is brought back up, but mysteriously enough there are many different contradictory explanations of the events given. The game has several characters, each representing a different musical style, and playing through their songs causes the story to progress via the iM System, a Twitter-like social media site where the protagonists talk with their fans and each other.


Cytus II contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: ConneR's mission to access The Library has seemingly been dropped as of the 2.1 update, with him instead choosing to pick up where his father left off and embark on an expedition outside the Nodes to discover more about the old world. Ironically, the plot point is brought up again and resolved in the Crystal PuNK chapter while ConneR is absent.
  • Addressing the Player: Before PAFF attempts to delete Vanessa, she directly asks the help of an unknown iM consciousness, which is implied to be the player for their assistance. Your answer (By successfully pressing the button prompts) determines the ending. Reaching Level 50 with Vanessa takes this a step further, revealing that in the present, the player is the only real character in the story.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: As it turns out, there was a civilization before the one the game was set in. It was summarily destroyed by an unknown protocol that infected the Architects and forced them to kill off humanity. Evidently, this protocol reoccurs time and again to drive every successive generation of Architects to make another attempt at killing humanity. The only ones immune are those with complete sentience, dubbed the "Awakened".
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  • Alternative Calendar: The year counter on the calendar has been reset following the implementation of the Nodes system, advancing from the A.D. era to N.A. (New Age).
  • Anachronic Order: Although the iM posts are in chronological order, entries on the characters' personal OS can be all over the place in terms of ordering. Thankfully, the name of each entry contains the date where they were recorded.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game warns you before speed changes, but it doesn't tell you how much of one it'll be.
  • Arc Number: As you'd expect from her, the number 39 shows up a lot in Miku's chapter. She was added in patch 2.3.9, which is also the same number as her own version In-Universe. She spends 39 hours wallowing in the OS before being allowed to escape, and her authorization code is 390239 (which must be used to unlock her final song). This comes from the fact that in Japanese, the numbers 3 and 9 can be pronounced "Mi" and "Ku".
  • Art Evolution: Over the course of the updates, the OS Log illustrations have seen a noticeable shift in artstyles, going from painterly blocks of gray shades to something much more sketchy and angular, as seen here.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Is a lot more Animesque than its predecessor, especially when it comes to the character designs.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After the event where PAFF faints on stage, her rival Neko makes an iM post titled "HAHA, sick move! Fall, you bastard!" Some of her fans accuse her of going too far while others cheer and mock PAFF's condition. However, it turns out that Neko was actually celebrating that she finally beat a difficult boss in a video game.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Good and Neutral endings are this. Vanessa's rampage is stopped, but at the cost of her life. Not to mention a lot of people still are dead as a result, including Cherry, whose death still weighs on Xenon's mind. Ivy is also destroyed by the ARC forces as a consequence of them believing the Architect attacks were her doing. The ARC abolish the virtual internet to avoid further incidents, which leaves those whose friends and family died from the attacks and previous hacking incidents without closure. However, everyone's lives mostly return to normal, with the surviving main characters doing what they can to help rebuild society. The Neutral ending adds some more bitterness by having PAFF perform a Heroic Sacrifice to stop Vanessa.
  • A Bloody Mess: When the JOEZ bar is bombed to the ground during the second Node 8 drone attack, a cutscene shows JOE, seemingly dead and bloodied. However, it later turns out that the blood was actually just Yamameto, a tomato-flavored beer, and that JOE is still alive: the red liquid covering his unconscious body made him look like another corpse amidst the carnage, causing the drones to ignore him.
  • Boring, but Practical: Playing on Easy for those more concerned about progressing through the story. Playing on easy is less fun, but it's also much easier to Million Master a song which grants you more EXP.
  • Brain/Computer Interface: A chip implanted behind the ear allows people to connect to the virtual world of cyTus.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: The "Crash" difficulty level uses Greek letters instead of numbers to make it clear that these charts go far beyond what is normal for a Cytus song.
  • Brown Note: AEsir's song CHAOS evidently causes those who listen to it post-AEsir-FEST to suffer mental distress. It's reveal to be a program that Ivy uses to invade the heads of its listeners in order to extract their emotional data.
  • The Cameo: Real-world musician t+pazolite, who himself has contributed tracks to the game, puts in an in-universe appearance around main story level 50-55, although his name is written as "t×pazolite".
  • Central Theme:
    • The roles social media and music play in shaping and potentially distorting a person's identity.
    • Later updates starting with the Aroma DLC chapter place an emphasis on memories and their role in how we perceive other people as well as ourselves.
  • Clear Their Name: Neko is accused of committing a cyberattack on her stream's viewers, and Xenon has to prove their innocence.
    • Ironically, Xenon ends up on the receiving end of this themselves when Ivy frames them for the AEsir attacks.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each character has a color, shown on certain parts of their UI (such as the experience bar and song timer) as well as highlights in their otherwise monochrome menu portraits:
    • PAFF/Aroma is teal.
    • NEKO is pink.
    • ROBO_Head/Nora is light blue.
    • Ivy is crimson.
    • Xenon is red.
    • ConneR is orange-brown
    • Cherry/Crystal PuNK is cherry pink.
    • JOE is purple.
    • Sagar is brown.
    • Rin is green.
  • Crapsack World: Crime is rampant in the setting and everything is overseen by an oppressive governing body that is willing to censor and control information to preserve the status quo. And that's not getting into the secret human experimentation that both the criminal organizations and government are involved in or the incredibly deadly virus ravaging the lands outside the city. Despite this, many characters are still able to find happiness in their lives and find ways to resist the oppressive elements.
  • Crossover: Cytus II has a collaboration with Arknights featuring Amiya as the collab character and her chapter features Arknights original soundtracks and image songs such as El Brillo Solitario and Speed of Light.
  • Cyberpunk: The setting is a futuristic world where people enjoy exploring the virtual world of cyTus. Meanwhile, in the real world, gang activity is constantly on the rise, and human trafficking is a major problem.
  • Cyberspace: cyTus is a virtual world where people can chat on social media sites and watch virtual concerts, among other things.
  • Double Unlock:
    • After buying a DLC chapter, you still have to level up the character in order to unlock all the songs and difficulties.
    • The CAPSO system first requires you to unlock the system with a paid DLC purchase, then you can spend your Capsos to roll for unlockables.
  • Dead All Along: According to Vanessa's Level 50 event, the entire cast, in a sense. The characters we see in the present story along with the story itself are mental constructs created by the protagonist based on events and people they observed with stuck in Virtual Space, while it is implied that most of humanity was wiped out by the Ender Virus.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Alice plays more of a supporting role in her own story with the main protagonist being Xenon.
  • Downer Ending: The bad ending. Vanessa succeeded in unleashing the Ender Virus, killing all mankind.
  • Downloadable Content: Several characters are available to purchase, each having a selection of songs in their style and expanding on the story. There are also song packs available in the Black Market, which add extra songs to existing characters.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: As revealed in Vanessa's Level 50 event, none of the events of the story actually happened but are instead "possibilities" created from the protagonist's exposure to the stories of the characters. The story ends with the protagonist being given the knowledge to finally put an end to the cycle of killing that has threatened humanity time and again.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Early in the game, the main story is told mostly through the iM system, while DLC characters use a separate OS that contains text, image, and video files. At some point, the main characters also get the OS, and the iM system becomes less important.
    • Charts made prior to version 2.0 lack tap-drag notes, while nearly every Chaos chart released afterwards has them.
  • Earn Your Fun: Typically, the Chaos for songs have to be unlocked separately from the Easy and Hard charts, and sometimes, even those have separate unlocks. Later songs (Usually the ones you get when you hit the cap) avert this by giving all 3 charts from the get go.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Getting to Level 50 with Vanessa drops a huge revelation that none of the endings have occurred yet. That story was instead constructed in the protagonist's mind based on their exposure to each character's past.
  • Electric Torture: The final cutscene of Aroma's DLC chapter shows a recording of her screaming while being subjected to electric shocks. It's later revealed that this is Kaori having her memories overwritten with Aroma's.
  • Emoticon: Since the story is told via online social media, a lot of emoticons are used. Neko#ΦωΦ in particular uses them more than others, even having one in her name. Xenon fans use \x/ to represent his Cool Helmet.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Vanessa succeeded in killing all mankind, including all the main characters except her in the bad ending. This is represented with the game graying out all the main character except for her in the character selection screen.
  • Evolving Title Screen: Advancing through the game will occasionally change the title screen to show the progress of Vanessa and Ivy's story. Getting to level 25 with Vanessa unlocks the ability to choose which title screen you want.
    • At first, the title screen shows what appears to be the inside of a library. This is from Vanessa's point of view, as she's trapped inside of A.R.C.'s Library to serve as a power source for cyTus.
    • Upon reaching level 25 with the three original characters, the title screen changes to show Vanessa lying down in the middle of the aforementioned Library. This is from Ivy's point of view as she prepares to go rescue her.
    • After reaching level 30 for Ivy, the title screen has Ivy looking directly at the camera, shown from Vanessa's perspective. Tapping the screen to continue has Ivy's hand reach out towards the camera.
    • Getting to level 25 with Crystal PuNK shows Xenon's hand holding onto Cherry's bear charm while "Still (Piano version)" plays. This is one of the only title screens not to focus on Ivy and Vanessa, and it only lasts until you select a character.
    • After reaching level 60 for Ivy, the title screen changes again showing Ivy standing alongside the rest of the heroes, PAFF, ConneR, NEKO, and Xenon in the iM space as they're about to set out to stop Vanessa and her rampaging Architects.
    • Reaching Vanessa level 25 has Ivy permanently removed from the group shot as she was gunned down by the ARC forces in the previous cutscene.
    • At level 50 with Vanessa, the title screen now shows the same view as the second title screen once again, but far in the future, with the library being in ruins as Vanessa lies down next to what's left of Ivy's body.
  • Fainting: Happens to PAFF in one early event. It's later revealed to be caused by the song she was singing, which she had previously sung at Aesir-FEST.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The release of version 4.2 had an exceptionally nasty bug on Android: updating your game had a chance to completely wipe out your save data. While the impact of this glitch was diminished for those who frequently use the cloud save feature, it was devastating for those who neglected to do so. A hotfix was thankfully sent out shortly afterwards to stop this from happening, and Android players got the "Marvelous Mix Vol. 9" Black Market song pack for free in the 4.3 update as compensation.
  • Harder Than Hard: The three base difficulty levels are Easy, Hard, and Chaos, though in practice it comes out more to Easy, Medium, and Hard. Patch 2.7 adds the "Glitch" difficulty level, which has some truly ridiculous charts designed to challenge the world's best players during a tournament. 4.0 adds "Crash", which uses Greek letters instead of numbers and features just plain unfair note charts.
    • And then there's Ilka DLC, which is the Spiritual Successor of the original game's Chapter L, gameplay-wise. Hard & Chaos charts are filled with note clusters and drag/click-drag notes (except with speed this time around). Four of the Chaos charts fall into the "Glitch" territory, with one of them having the Interface Screw associated with said difficulty.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Following the accident, Aroma was left in a comatose state but was seemingly aware of the outside world and could communicate with her finger, indicating there was a chance for her to wake up. Come the 2.3 update, and it's revealed that the operation intended to save her life failed and she was given only a month to live.
    • Cherry ends up getting shot by a drone while hacking into its network to destroy the attacking drone wave. She's seemingly stable and is immediately rushed in for medical treatment. Unfortunately, the power ends up going out, leaving her unplugged from her life support. She only manages to get one final talk with Xenon before dying.
    • Ivy comes close to freeing Vanessa of the protocol's corruptive influence peacefully. Unfortunately, the ARC proceed to raid the Library and gun her down, believing her to be the source of the Architect attacks, leaving the rest of the cast no choice but to deactivate Vanessa to stop her rampage.
  • Human Traffickers: The Mogura gang in Node 03 engages in human trafficking, which is a major plot point. It's heavily implied that Kaori, a girl who was brainwashed into replacing PAFF, was kidnapped by the Mogura.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: Rampant child kidnapping and human trafficking are serious problems in the setting.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Much of the initial story was told through posts on the in-universe social media platform, which only really alluded to most of the events. The introduction of OS Logs later on add clarity as they present a more direct narrative for each character, but the logs are unlocked in Anachronic Order.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Turns out that the reason why no one is sure whether Aesir-FEST happened is because everyone present had their memory of the event wiped. ROBO_Head, being a robot, merely had his data corrupted, allowing him to remember once he manages to decode it.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Xenon and ConneR attempt to kill Ivy, believing her to be the cause of the drone attacks and Architect invasion. Ivy doesn't do much to explain herself due to her inherent distrust of humans. It's only when Ivy is left at their mercy that she finally reveals that she's not the cause of all the destruction.
  • Log Fic: The story is told through posts and comments on the social media platform iM, as well as a separate OS which contains various files such as diary entries, recaps of camera and audio recordings, and e-mails.
  • Loony Fan:
    • PAFF's fanbase, the Puffs, prove to be almost cult-like in their loyalty to her. They start a full-blown riot when news gets out that Mono had terminated her contract due to her absence. She also seemingly runs into one during a concert, who claims that he personally knows her. It's later revealed that the so-called fan was actually Hayato, who recognized her as his kidnapped childhood friend Kaori.
    • NEKOSAIKOU, a regular iM commenter who seems to blindly worship Neko and hates all other musicians. They often make demeaning comments towards other artists while leaping to Neko's defense whenever she is targeted.
  • Marathon Level: The True Final Boss song: II is 7:19 long.
  • Meaningful Echo: Xenon sang the song Still to Cherry in a flashback back when Crystal PuNK was still together, with Cherry playful mocking his bad singing voice. He sings it again to Cherry in the present as Cherry slowly passes away. Cherry playful mocks Xenon's singing voice as her last words.
  • Multiple Endings: As of the 3.0 update, the official story has three endings depending on if the player responds to PAFF and successfully deactivates Vanessa.
  • Music Genre Dissonance: The two bands that Cherry has fronted are called Cherry PuNK and Crystal PuNK. Despite the names, very few of the songs associated with them sound anything like Punk Rock, having a few Pop Punk songs at most. Cherry PuNK is closer to Alternative/Indie Rock, and Crystal PuNK is Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Many to other Rayark games can be seen in profile names, pics, and even games Neko posts about on the boards.
    • The final song of the main storyline, "Chaos", features motifs taken from songs from the original Cytus.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • Several songs return from Cytus. The first one added was "Hard Landing", found in Neko's chapter. The 2.0 update added more: "New World" for PAFF, "Nocturnal Type" for ROBO_Head, "Realize" for Cherry, and "Biotonic", "DRG", and "Area 184" for Ivy. "Light up my love!!", a remix of "Light up my LOVE", shows up as part of the "Featured Article Vol. 1" Black Market song pack. Version 2.7 adds "Halloween Party" to Ivy.
    • AEsir's songs (CHAOS and V.) contain several riffs from Cytus songs.
    • Several more Cytus songs are available through the CAPSO system, such as "Saika", "Bloody Purity", and "Masquerade".
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: the cyTus system is powered by Vanessa, who is trapped inside of the A.R.C.'s Library. Ivy's goal is to rescue her, though this causes iM to glitch out.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The Crystal PuNK chapter is partially about the titular band reuniting after years of being separated.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The fate of the world and humanity depends on a runaway idol with an identity crisis, a video game streamer/musician, a child genius gang leader and her robot, a framed hacker, a fugitive archaeologist, a band singer/spy, a cafe owner/information broker, an Architect, the leader of an exploration team, and a shy scientist who is secretly an Architect.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: There are many differing accounts of the Aesir-FEST incident: some disagree about which artists showed up on stage or which songs they played, and others even claim that the event never even took place. This turns out to be because everyone present had their memory of the event wiped. One commenter Lampshades this by name-dropping the Trope Namer.
  • Rotating Protagonist: Every character has their own dedicated "chapter" that is added to with every update.
  • Secret Level:
    • "Sairai" from Deemo can be played by tapping the "Deemo's" sign in Xenon's song selection menu.
    • "AssaultMare" is found by selecting BloodyMare in Ivy's chapter, then touching the red cube she's holding.
  • Shared Universe: The Kizuna AI DLC story reveals that the game takes place in the same world as Voez, just centuries into the future.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: In-Universe, Xenon's fans are split between those who ship him with Cherry, and those who ship him with Neko. Then there are those who view his interactions with both of them as romantic, and accuse him of cheating on their favorite love interest.
  • Spoiler Opening: The 2.0 patch added an opening cinematic to the game, which contains a scene showing AEsir fading into the newly introduced character Ivy, spoiling one of the patch's big plot twists.
  • Suddenly Voiced: All the cutscenes at the endgame (Vanessa level 25) are voiced in Japanese.
  • Terminally Dependent Society: It's shown that people are highly dependent on the cyTus virtual internet: when the system hiccups due to Vanessa starting to regain consciousness and goes offline for a few days, a nurse comments that many people on life support died due to their machines needing internet access to work.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Vanessa attempts to release the Ender Virus into the Node to wipe out all humanity in the climax.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Upon reaching level 25 for Neko#ΦωΦ, she'll suddenly receive a call from AEsir on her song selection screen. The player then has to complete a corrupted version of CHAOS. Upon completing the song, all the character portraits on the character select screen will be replaced by Neko#ΦωΦ, with Ominous Visual Glitch occurring in the background. This coincides with AEsir's in-universe attack on Neko's stream.
  • Tutorial Failure: The tutorial only lets you proceed after succeeding in hitting an object correctly. However, they don't show or tell you how until you fail to do so. This is compounded by the fact that you only get to try again after a waiting frustratingly long time, you cannot skip it, and this is followed by a similarly long and unskippable cutscene.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Crash chart for "Body Talk" plays absolutely nothing like a standard Cytus chart. After the first four notes, the gameplay becomes something more akin to DanceDanceRevolution: arrows scroll on the bottom of the screen, and you have to tap the corresponding note in the center.
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: Unlocking a song will give you its Easy chart, and usually its Hard chart too. However, with a few exceptions, the Chaos chart is locked. To unlock the harder charts, you need to view certain iM or OS messages, which are unlocked by leveling up the character associated with the song.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The entire 2.0 update (which added Ivy's first 30 levels) is this as it reveals the identity of AEsir (Ivy), and her motivations (to save Vanessa).
    • Update 2.3 (PAFF levels 60 through 68) confirms without a doubt that the Aroma we are currently following is in fact Kaori, Hayato's kidnapped childhood friend. It also apparently reveals that the real Aroma White was Dead All Along.
    • Crystal PuNK level 25: Cherry, wounded from a drone attack, was recovering in the Kyuu Hou Kai's medical ward and expected to make a full recovery. However, another attack occurs, causing a power surge which disables her life support machine. With her treatment interrupted, Cherry ends up dying from her injuries.
    • Vanessa level 50: you, the player are a character in the story. Not only that, but the whole game was a coma dream showing possible futures.
  • Wham Shot:
    • At the end of Neko's DLC chapter, she finds herself inexplicably laying on the floor in what looks like some kind of hellish virtual space. She looks up, revealing an ominous-looking Xenon. An image of AEsir briefly flickers over Xenon's person. It later turns out to be a Red Herring, but the 2.0 update provides an actual one in the very opening. Near the end, AEsir's form fades into the form of Ivy, the new character that came with the update. It turns out, she's AEsir
    • In ROBO_Head's chapter, he infiltrates a Kyuu Hou Kai base in search of Nora. The infiltration goes wrong, and he and his accomplice are captured. The chief of the organization appears... it's Nora herself, now grown up.
  • Wham Line:
    • On opening the game shortly before the girl in ARC's library begins to wake up:
    Ivy: "Can you hear me?"
    Ivy: "Vanessa?"
    • From the 2.0 update, we have the confirmation of just who AEsir is:
    Ivy: AEsir...... This shall be my new identity.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The end cutscene shows that all the remaining main characters more or less return back to their daily lives as a changed person. In the good ending, PAFF narrates the cutscenes.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In Nora's chapter, the Ravens conduct cruel experiments on babies, then leaves them to die from the Ender virus in the wasteland. Nora only survives thanks to being The Immune.
  • Wretched Hive: Node 03 is overrun by gangs: it is said that over 30% of its population has been involved in a gang at some point in their lives, whose crimes include rampant human trafficking.