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Death end re;Quest is a Role-Playing Game developed by Compile Heart as part of their "Galapagos RPG" line of games. It released for the PlayStation 4 on April 12,2018 in Japan, February 19, 2019 in North America, and February 21, 2019 in Europe. It was released on Steam on May 16, 2019 worldwide.
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The development of "World's Odyssey", a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online RPG (VRMMORPG) created by Enigma Games, halted following the disappearance of its director Shina Ninomiya. One year later, Shina finds herself in the bug-ridden game world with no memory of her past. She soon comes into contact with colleague and Enigma Games lead programmer Arata Mizunashi. Together, they seek to trigger World's Odyssey's Ending Engage so that Shina may log out of the game, battling oddities both inside and outside of the game all the while.

The game is known for its Genre-Busting gameplay, between the visual novel segments and Arata's ability to change the genre of the game, as well as the many ways to trigger a Non Standard Game Over.

A sequel, Death end re;Quest 2, released for the PlayStation 4 on February 13, 2020 in Japan. A worldwide Steam port was released on August 18, 2020, before a North American PS4 release on August 25, 2020 and European PS4 release on August 28, 2020. Death end re;Quest 2 takes place in Le Choara, a southeast Europe-styled town that is part of the real world of the original game, and follows Mai Toyama, Rotten Dollhart, and Liliana Pinnata as strange happenings and conspiracies surround their dorm.

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Tropes associated with Death end re;Quest:

  • Accidental Murder: Arata nearly unintentionally killed Shina (or rather the Ludens' recreation of Shina) with the Ending Engage, since Shina's real body was destroyed by Aphesis when they killed Shina 6 months ago, which means that the current Shina winked out of existence rather than waking up. Thankfully the Ludens saved Shina during Ending Engage and recreated her body. However it will only works as long as World's Odyssey is still connected to the real world.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • Shina and Arata are concerned about saying something to the NPCs that might cause them to go rogue. Subverted in that the NPCs are not actually AI.
    • Arata attempts several searches using Aggle's phone AI. At first it gives generic non-responses, but when he starts trying to ask about the Ludens, it taunts him, demands that he turns over Iris, broadcasts its location and then shuts off for good, worldwide. It then awoke when the Ludens merged the worlds together, distracting the Aphesis cultists long enough for Arata to break away from their grip and runs away.
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    • Iris went ballistic upon learning that Aphesis gunned down the real Shina. It was all they could do to destroy her body and attempt to shut down World's Odyssey, but she just prevents the game from closing down completely and then locks Aphesis out. They only get back in by stealing Arata's code.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The party takes pity on Ripuka for being born without empathy after defeating her once and for all. Ripuka responds with one last attempt to kill Shina. The Ripuka DLC also paints her in a more tragic light.
  • Alice Allusion: Death end re;Quest is saturated with them, from the Trapped in Another World setting, to the Alice Engine, to the White Rabbit helmet that interfaces with World's Odyssey, to a character literally named Alice.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game lets the player save in the middle of many cutscenes, which is helpful given the number of possible ways for the player to have their progress undone by a Non Standard Game Over. This more often than not includes being able to save right at the decisions that can possibly lead to Game Overs. However, the player cannot save between defeating a boss and regaining control of their player character, and at least one chapter places a decision during that time that, if failed, requires the player to defeat the boss again.
  • Arc Words: The concepts of "God" and "Death" come up a lot, ultimately being combined into the "God of Death", a mysterious title that is mentioned multiple times by the Ludens. Just as Clea wonders whether Shina and Arata are gods due to their abnormal level of knowledge about the game world, Alice considers the player to be a god due to their ability to defy the rules of both World's Odyssey and Arata's world. The God of Death moniker comes from your ability to use Save Scumming to keep everyone alive, which Arata implicity confirms by suggesting that you be called the "King of Resurrection" instead.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: Victor Tailman of Aphesis is presented as the Big Bad for most of the game, but Alice suddenly begins merging World's Odyssey into Arata's world and seemingly offs Victor. Arata later learns that Victor is just a vessel of the Aphesis Guru, who lives but doesn't figure into the plot beyond that. Arata temporarily convinces Alice to let him deal with Iris, only for Ripuka (the second most promiment villain behind Victor) to show up out of nowhere and try to kill the party. And of course, none of these parties are the actual Final Boss.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: In-universe, Shirote speaks in...the blips and beeps from classic, non-voiced visual novels and RPGs. And can somehow be understood perfectly by the rest of the party. It is downplayed for the player in that her chatter is translated for our convenience.
  • Bland-Name Product: Many, many examples. By far the most notable is Aggle, a huge company whose smartphones are in the hands of millions and contain voice-recognition AI. Sound familiar?
  • Bowdlerize: Averted; the western release is the only PS4 Compile Heart game (regardless of region) that has not been edited to some degree since Sony began taking a harsher stance on Fanservice in mid-late 2018. Not even its sequel is spared, see Tamer and Chaster below.
  • Break Them by Talking: Ripuka does this to Lucil by revealing to everyone that, deep down, Lucil was actually happy to see the elves who bullied her be slaughtered. Lucil initially seems fine, but once Ripuka runs off and Lucil starts trying to address what was said, her suppressed joy overloads and she glitches out while going Laughing Mad.
  • Chekhov's News: Arata and the other real world characters hear a news report about missing foreign idol Chloe Aaron, that doesn't seem to have much to do with what they have going on at that point in time. Chloe Aaron turns out to be eventual party member Celica Clayton's real identity.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: By the 65536th iteration of the timeline that Arata oversaw, the timeline is irrecoverably screwed because of the world starting to reject degrades. However, the result isn't a bad thing. Instead of the world reverting to mostly recognizable history, it ends up with World's Odyssey being permanently fused with Earth and becoming a new continent. The various species of Odyssey, Ludens included, are now integrated into larger society. Martyrs are now mostly harmless and docile, with adventurers (being a real job now) handle containment. Shina is now a Luden with Iris as her sister, and it's implied that the in-game version of party members are now distinct beings alongside their real-world version. Aphesis is now a hotel chain, and a good one at that note . Even Lydia and her superior seem happy enough with the situation.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: In the second chapter, the team comes across a room that is more glitched out than usual. Shina and Arata warn against entering it, but Al Astra is really curious about it. The player can have Al's curiosity get the best of her, which results in the room trying to hijack her mind and body. Shina rushes in, gets hijacked as well, and strangles Al to death. The event is even named "Curiosity Killed the Neighbor."
  • Darker and Edgier: Following the escalation of Mary Skelter: Nightmares in comparison to most Compile Heart works, Death end re;Quest makes rather extensive use of gruesome bloody deaths and descriptions of what they wouldn't be able to get away with showing.
  • Dead All Along: Chapter 10 reveals that Shina died 6 months before the events of the game started, and that the Shina that Arata interacted with is just a digital copy that the Ludens created.
  • Death by Genre Savviness: In Chapter 1, the player can only open the door to the King's throne room by completing a visual novel segment with Arata. After doing so and examining the door, the game plays a very brief cutscene where Lily Hopes rushes into the throne room before putting the player back into the dungeon. Seems like a good time to retreat to a save point in order to prepare for the likely boss battle, right? Try to return to the hallway and the door closes behind Lily, who is promptly murdered by the King and his men. Shina rushes in and meets the same fate. Game Over. There's also something similar you can do in Chapter 9, with the same result.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Downplayed. While you're forced to reboot at the last save point after a Game Over, any EXP and money that you earned carries over. Furthermore, the game gives prizes for completing plot-related events, including the Bad Endings.
  • Deus ex Machina: Arata is doomed to fail by himself. The only way for him to succeed is by calling for the aid of a higher power - the person holding the controller - who helps him power past Ripuka and Iris and allows him to collect a Ripple Effect-Proof version of the Reset Button from Alice. Lampshaded by the trophy the game gives out for defeating the final boss, which is literally titled "Deus ex Machina."
  • Difficulty Spike: There are two major ones. The first is when the player gains access to the Strain Area, as the enemies that follow are tougher and it takes a lot more fighting for the characters to level up. The second is Chapter 9, where enemies become even tougher, there are Field Bugs that can force a character to skip their turn, and the Sun-Moon-Star elements that could be safely ignored up to this point become very important.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: One bad ending involves losing in the very first fight of the game, which takes at least a half-dozen turns of Shina doing absolutely nothing.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Even if one looks past the pure hell that Arata goes through to even get what he needs to solve everything, it still takes tens of thousands of resets, some of which consist of the events of Death end re;Quest 2, for him to get close to a Happily Ever After.
  • Emotion Bomb: The Buggies are forcefully suppressing an emotion in each member of the team throughout their adventure, all in the name of unloading their pent up emotions on them during a vulnerable moment so they'll be driven berserk and attempt to kill the rest of the party.
  • Eureka Moment: In Chapter 11, if the True Ending conditions are met, Ripuka lashing out at the God of Death causes Arata to finally put everything together regarding the nature of his world and World's Odyssey. He then addresses you directly and asks for your help.
  • Existential Horror:
    • The true purpose of the Reality Objects is to help Arata realize and accept that his world is no more or less "real" than World's Odyssey. One of the few Death Ends that don't involve violence is his mind breaking over the realization that he could be perceived as "fake". He ultimately wins by requesting the aid of someone beyond his "layer" of reality to help fight Ripuka and Iris.
    • In a smaller-scale example. Celica becomes The Mole after she figures out that she's in a videogame and is narrowly saved from gliching out via the Despair Event Horizon by Victor Tailman of Aphesis.
  • Expy: Shina's real-world appearance looks almost exactly like Alice from Mary Skelter: Nightmares, save for hair and eye color. They even have hair decs in roughly the same places. It's especially amusing given the number of Alice Allusions in the game. On the story side of things, Shina in turn lends much of her development to both Alice and Little Mermaid as they are portrayed in Mary Skelter 2. Both girls received Shout-Out DLC costumes based on the real and game Shina respectively, emphasizing both the original appearance aspect and the later story similarities.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The Beast Clan that Al belongs to were killed en masse because humans created a market for their body parts, including their brains.
    • Lucil was cast out of her village for being a half-Elf. This mirrors the more realistic racism that Svetlana Amou suffered in the real world for being half-Russian/half-Japanese.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Alice warns Shina that she cannot leave World's Odyssey. She's right, as Shina has no real-world body to return to, and would have been erased from existence by Ending Engage were it not for the Ludens.
    • Al's dialogue during "Curiosity Killed the Neighbor" Bad End foreshadows that she and Shina's other party members are not AI, but kidnapped people.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:
    • In-universe, the Ludens eventually figure out how to "program" Arata's world and begin to merge World's Odyssey with it, resulting in untold carnage.
    • In Chapter 11, after defeating Ripuka the first time, she causes the area to become distorted and then calls out the "God of Death", the camera zooming in on her face as she taunts someone for acting like they are not involved in the current conflict. Arata and Shina are totally confused, as they are absolutely involved in a battle with her. She demands that the God of Death take their eyes off of her and attacks...the camera. It turns out that the God of Death referred to by the Ludens is not Arata, as he assumed. The God of Death is you, the player.
    • This is then immediately inverted. Arata realizes what is going on and then, for the first time, appears with a full body portrait. He states that you've probably seen so many Death Ends, and asks for your help. If you've fulfilled the requirements for the True Final Boss, you can offer your aid, which gives the party a Heroic Second Wind.
  • Gambit Pileup: The final two chapters can, in a nutshell, be described as a three-way dance between Arata (with Lydia, Werner Glock, the Arata from previous attempts, and potentially the player throwing their weight behind him), the Ludens (with Ripuka enforcing the Ludens' original plan when they try to give Arata a fair shake at fixing things), and Aphesis Lane. In the normal ending, the Ludens win; in the True Ending, Arata wins out while the Ludens sans Ripuka ultimately get what they want for Iris.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Deconstructed with the Ripuka DLC. Despite appearing to have some level of amnesia, the playable Ripuka is fully aware that she's been summoned just to serve as an extra combatant, and that she can't be seen by or interact with the other party members or even Arata. She expresses loneliness during the campfire events as she simultaneously battles Sanity Slippage, further confused when the antagonist Ripuka appears. She finally goes off the deep end when the antagonist Ripuka gets Hoist by Her Own Petard, but is reeled back in by Alice telling her that you killed her other self precisely due to the bloodlust that she is threatening to succumb to, followed by you apparently promising to reincarnate her as a normal person in Arata's world.
  • Genre Mashup: The story starts out a simple mix of Isekai and Cyberpunk, but quickly begins to work in elements of Psychological Horror, Religious Horror, and Cosmic Horror Story as well. Mechanically the game strikes a balance between being a Role-Playing Game and Visual Novel, far more so than most Compile Heart games, while also allowing the normal methods of combat to be temporarily replaced with simplified versions of various other video game genres.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The normal ending reveals that Arata's been redoing the events of the game repeatedly in the name of attempting to get the whole team out alive, but he doesn't get to keep his memories in between each attempt. Meeting the conditions to advance past the normal end has him gain the ability to retain his memories from thereon out.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Late in the game, Arata starts questioning whether his world is is being manipulated and watched over by a higher power in the same manner that he manipulates and watches over World's Odyssey, and is presented with the choice of either seeking the truth or being himself. Choose the former and he completely loses his mind. Interestingly, the description of the Bad End noted that it's not learning of the truth per se that drove Arata mad, it's that he learned about it way too quickly than his mind can comprehend.
    Arata: I finally understand how ignorant I truly was. That's right. This world is a lie. I am not, however. I am... DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH
  • Golden Ending: In-Universe, World's Odyssey has a True Ending programmed into it that logs the player out of the game. As Shina's logout command is broken and Arata can't force her out, the two resolve to use the ending routine to return Shina to her body. For the game itself, see Close-Enough Timeline.
  • Good Bad Bug: In-Universe. Rook's fast travel code is bugged so that he instead duplicates himself whenever he tries to warp. One single mind controls all of his bodies, so he can conduct business in multiple places simultaneously.
  • Guide Dang It!: Surprisingly averted as far as the game's true endings go. The game leans on the Fourth Wall early on to let the player know that completing quests will be a requirement.
    • Learning skills can fall into this due to the limited number of skill slots. A combo that can teach you something will provide indication and the rate, but finding that combo on your own can be quite the chore.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Subverted in Chapter 3. Arata is carrying an injured Lydia when they're approached by a speeding car, and the player has to choose whether to try to run out of the way or toss Lydia out of danger. If the player does the latter, Lydia is saved and Arata dodges the car at the last second. It is revealed near the end of the game that Lydia used her powers to save him.
    • In Chapter 10, Clea performs this to save Shina from Celica, who is being forcefully being controlled to kill everyone but Shina, by intentionally bugging herself out and taking Cecilia down along with herself, as well as taking down Mr. Enigma, who was being controlled by Victor. Luckily Clea, Celica, and the other survive due to the Ending Engage successfully log them out into the real world.
  • Hiding in Plain Sight: The Reality Objects are placed in World's Odyssey because the Ludens are constantly monitoring Arata's world for something out of the ordinary. Thus, future Arata hides them right under their noses and trusts that his past self will draw the correct conclusions from them.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first battle against Ripuka is one that the player is not expected to win. However, the player is expected to try to survive for a few turns, and the game will hand out a bad ending instead of the normal cutscene if the party gets wiped out.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Clea starts wondering whether Arata and Shina are gods, given their knowledge of the game. Technically they created it, but are just normal humans from Arata's world. Likewise, we are considered gods by the Ludens and later Arata thanks to our ability to "change fate" by reloading after a Game Over.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: An optional conversation with Lily at camp has her point out that Arata's Mr. Enigma avatar comes up roughly to the girls' knees. While most of them are wearing tiny miniskirts. The player has the option of choosing whether Arata claims he's been doing this or not.
  • Interface Spoiler: The game does not give the player the option of skipping any event that involves making a decision, tipping them off that they are approaching a potential bad ending. Similarly, the game disables the Save, Load, and Return to Title options if the player is in the middle of a bad ending, which usually comes into play with the more elaborate Death Ends.
  • Just Ignore It: Al accidentally steps on a peddler's contact lens, which pisses the peddler off. Shina is given the option of either dealing with the merchant or ignoring her. Ignore her and she puts a bullet in Shina's head.
  • Kill 'Em All: Teased, but merely Downplayed initially: Sumika, Rin, and Munakata are killed by Martyrs, Lydia departs from Arata's world, Shina is seemingly erased thanks to Ending Engage, and the rest of the party is killed during the battle with mind-controlled Celica, but it turns out that the party returned to their original bodies after "dying" and the Ludens kept Shina's data. However, this is played completely straight in the normal ending, as Ripuka kills off the World's Odyssey cast, leaving Arata alone.
  • Language of Magic: The Primitive Language Lydia used to rewrite reality is one. A tomb of it is used as basis for Alice Engine's codes.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: End Quest, a Japan-exclusive RPG Maker prequel created as a pre-order bonus for Death end re;Quest, reveals that Iris inadvertently mucked with the playable heroines' memories and personalities to get them to act like the characters that they are supposed to be portraying. She later wipes their memories of joining together as it was causing bugs in World's Odyssey.
  • Logo Joke: The Compile Heart and Galapagos RPG logos glitch out while loading the game, with the former also having its usual jingle omitted.
  • Male Gaze: One scene has Arata noticing Sumika's cleavage, and the player is given the option to inform her or try to lean away from her to avoid staring at it. They both lead to the same thing: Arata telling Sumika, who gets flustered before letting it slip at the very last second that she doesn't mind if it's him.
  • Man on Fire: In Chapter 9, if the player lures the Infernal Wyrm but then tries to back out of fighting it, it causes the volcanic area to become even hotter and, just as the team contemplates retreating, an Entoma Queen erects an Invisible Wall. Everyone burns to death, begging for a Mercy Kill in their final moments.
  • The Many Deaths of You: One of the game's defining traits is the many ways that the player can be given an instant Game Over, many of them being Press X to Die segments.
  • Marathon Boss: The final two bosses, for different reasons:
    • In the ultimate showdown against Ripuka, the boss looks like it has terrible HP until you hit them and find that your attacks that do four-to-five digit damage to everything else in the game suddenly deal two-to-three digit damage. Ripuka brings along Mooks that aren't exactly lightweights either.
    • The Final Boss, while not having the same ridiculous defense, is instead a multi-part battle, with the boss getting inceasingly resilient in each phase.
  • Merged Reality:
    • Alice merges World's Odyssey and Arata's world with destructive results.
    • The second half of Shina's ending reveals that the timeline Arata settles on has normal humans, the Ludens, and the many races of World's Odyssey living in harmony.
    • Interestingly, this also affect where the dialogue log is. Before the merging, dialogues of things happened in World's Odyssey and Real World are accessed separately, but after merging, all dialogues are now stored in the Real World section, with the last things in World's Odyssey section is when the Ludens killed Victor-controlled Rook, just before the world merging. Not counting DLC-only conversation, of course.
  • Meta Twist:
    • A couple of scenes offer choices that do not involve Death Ends, in contrast to most of them that do have a bad ending attached. The most obvious one is Arata's choice on how to react to Sumika's exposed cleavage.
    • Like many Compile Heart games featuring a male protagonist, Arata does not have a full-body portrait during conversations. Until he asks for your help in saving both worlds.
  • Mind Screw:
    • The gamer that manages to break into World's Odyssey sees a girl meeting a brutal death upon starting the game, implied to mirror the R-Rated Opening of Death end re;Quest itself. Except that this doesn't make any sense, because it is all but outright stated that the opening is the end of a failed timeline.
    • In the normal ending, some phrases that Arata uses are censored in the same way as banned words in World's Odyssey.
    • Werner Glock is hiding in a warehouse. But does not have a physical body. But somehow Rin is his daughter.
  • Moment of Weakness: Both of the incorrect options at the end of Chapter 4 have Arata spilling the beans about what he suspects is Iris, either to save himself or in a vain attempt to save Sumika Tokiwa.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Dark as it may be, this is still a Compile Heart game, and so it contains a number of Fanservice scenes.
    • Sumika has a Potty Emergency in the middle of the worlds merging, of all times.
  • The Most Dangerous Video Game: World's Odyssey has become this, with players who die in the game becoming brain-dead in real life. Naturally, Shina must Win to Exit as the logout commands have been deleted.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Aphesis killing Shina in attempt to stop her from screwing with things further is probably the worst thing they could have done, because it ends up setting the stage for their eventual defeat, namely Iris locking Aphesis out of the game, the rise of the newer Ludens, and the recreation of Shina by the new Ludens.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted in World's Odyssey, a feature that Shina regrets adding to the game when hers comes up in Chapter 3. It soon becomes the least of her worries, as her life is placed in mortal danger.
  • Nuke 'em: In the normal ending, the US military nuked Entoma army attacking the White House. It didn't work; there's just too many of them and the nuke only took out 1/3rd of Entoma there.
  • Older Than She Looks:
    • The party suspects that Al is no more than ten years old, but she tells them that she is actually fifteen.
    • Rin Asukaze looks like a teenager at best, passing herself off as an elementary school student at one point. At 32 years old, she's the oldest character in the game with an unambiguous age.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: World's Odyssey has constant flickering glitchy textures to emphasize the dire state of the buggy MMO.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Zigzagged with the party in Chapter 11. While the dialogue boxes use their real names, the game menus and the dialogue itself continue to use their World's Odyssey names.
  • Pinball Projectile: Like previous Compile Heart game Mugen Souls, enemies can be launched into the walls, other enemies, and allies for extra damage.
  • The Player Is the Most Important Resource: Right before the character ending, Arata thanks your for your intervention in the game's climax.
  • Point of No Return: There is an event in Chapter 10 that, upon being reached, effectively locks the player out of all but two or three areas for the remainder of the game. Fortunately, the game is kind enough to have the stores that you encounter at that point stock all of the sub-quest items, preventing the player from being locked out of the True Ending.
  • Reset Button: The True Ending of the game has Arata rewind back time to before the announcement of Alice Engine, to make sure to reverse the effects of both world's destruction and to undo the mass kidnapping and deaths of many people, including Shina's.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Any mention of the God of Death from the Ludens becomes more interesting on a replay as they are referring to you, not Arata.
    • The Episode Chart takes on a whole new meaning on a replay. Its tutorial states that "You have received verification to access ***" and that "Only 'You' have access to this console." Notice that, when you are accessing this menu, you are not in the World's Odyssey interface, and that the chart carries over across save files. The implication is that you are guiding Arata through the other menus, but this menu is part of our terminal into Arata's world and cannot be seen on his end.
  • Rewriting Reality: Arata's world is "coded" using language, no different than a computer program like World's Odyssey. Lydia uses a pen to do so, which she gives to Arata before leaving for good. Averted for Alice, who doesn't need a tool to warp reality. Given that she's made of said code (with the Primitive Language being the basis of Alice Engine and thus the Ludens), this is justified.
  • R-Rated Opening: The game warns the player that it contains gory scenes and makes good on its promise fairly quickly: the opening cutscene features a mysterious monster tearing through Shina and biting her head off while Arata screams in helplessness, with the narration making it clear that her spine and organs were exposed by the former and that her head and spinal cord flew "like a nightmarish comet" from the latter.
  • Schmuck Bait: Choosing to run from the Corpse in Chapter 3 will get the party killed. After choosing the correct option, going through a frantic visual novel segment, and a tiny bit of Shina gameplay, the game will give you the exact same choice. Choose to run again and the party dies in the exact same way, only this time Shina mentions that "someone else's" indecision got them killed.
  • Series Mascot: In-Universe, Arata takes the form of Enigma Games' fictional mascot (Mr. Enigma) while interacting with the playable characters.
  • Shout-Out: The Episode Chart has a number of them:
    • The event where the team comes across dead frogs and fish is "Hallelujah! It's Raining Death!" in reference to The Weather Girls' song "It's Raining Men".
    • The Death End where Clea kills Shina has the description "Don't make her angry. You won't like her when she's angry."
    • The event for Ripuka's first appearance is named Queen of the Damned.
    • The event where Arata's group hatches a plan to infiltrate Aggle's base is named Mission Impossible.
    • The Death End where everyone burns to death has the description "Burn, baby. BURN." Referencing the song "Disco Inferno".
  • The Stinger: The very end of Shina's ending has a mysterious conversation between Lydia and another figure, both of their names censored in the same manner as banned words from World's Odyssey.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Lucil's Only Friend Mita is mutilated by Ripuka, which traumatizes Lucil. She's none too pleased when the party considers using the other Ludens' resources.
  • Super Mode: The characters transform using Glitch Mode when their Corruption hits 80%, giving them increased stats and an exclusive attack. However, not only do they die instantly when their Corruption hits 100%, but if they are revived then they receive debuffs.
  • Take That!: When a prototype "booby-mousepad" is brought up during Lydia's introduction, Sumika calls it a turn-off. She then says "Well, I guess considering our target audience, it shouldn't surprise me at all." note 
  • Taking the Bullet: In Chapter 4, if the player chooses to try to fool the men that kidnap him, they pretend to leave Arata for dead, but follow him back to Munakata's office and catch him trying to warn Sumika about them. They prepare to stab him, but Sumika jumps on top of him and is stabbed to death instead, even after Arata caves and tells them about the e-mail suspected to be Iris.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Alchemy text written in Primitive Language was this. It was founded by what would become Aphesis, and the knowledge of the Primitive Language is used as basis for Alice Engine.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Early on, Shina encounters a bugged NPC that talks in gibberish, and she is given the option of helping them. Naturally, the NPC kills her if she approaches it.
    • Shina comes across a diary from the real world that details the owner's last moments, and Arata investigates the real-world location that the diary contains. Shortly after Arata enters the owner's room, the exact same things (the window shattering and the lights being cut off) happen as they do in the diary. Arata can either get the hell out or blow it off as something not paranormal. Choose the latter and he dies.
    • In Chapter 2, the party comes across dead frogs and fish laying on the ground. Al has the option of eating the fish, which gives her crippling food poisoning.
    • In Chapter 6, Arata (who at this point is a wanted criminal) has to investigate a crime scene with police swarming the place. The player is given the option of hiding out or running into the scene of the crime. Choose the latter and Arata flat-out says that "I suppose I don't have to explain what happened next..."
  • Translation Convention: It's obvious that the cast is speaking Japanese that is translated into English for Western players' benefit, but there's one scene that sticks out in which Shina comes across a newspaper written in English and struggles with the phrase "cattle mutilation."
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Arata's sections play like a visual novel instead of an RPG. Additionally, if battlefield conditions are right, Arata can change the game's genre from a turn-based RPG to something else, including a third-person shooter and a fighting game; this is ultimately Downplayed in that the altered gameplay is extremely simple.
  • Up the Real Rabbit Hole: This trope is twisted into knots when it is revealed that Arata's world is "coded" in a near-identical way to World's Odyssey, and that he is being watched over by someone in another world. He still refers to his world as the "real" world right before the character ending, however.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • When the party meets Celica, who is very friendly with them, the player is given the option of fighting her to take her boat. Subverted in that she just decapitates everyone for a quick Game Over if you try it.
    • Arata very directly asks for your help. You have the option of not offering your aid, which dooms his journey to be a "Shaggy Dog" Story.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • There are two bosses that make it clear the next event triggers the fight and will give you the opportunity to turn back to a nearby save point, once in the Castle and again in the Volcano. Attempting to take advantage of the chance to save will push you straight into Death Ends.
    • In Chapter 3, if you try to run away from the Corpse, it rains down death onto the party. The correct answer is to take it head-on, which results in Shina's face being smashed in but continues the game.
    • In Chapter 4, the party comes across a creature that retreats and is forced to choose between running after it and attempting to cut it off. Trying to cut it off leads to the party running into a trap, and the creature laughs as the party dies. Chasing after it doesn't lead to anything, for some reason.
    • One of the more well-hidden Death Ends involve retreating from a boss battle, which generally isn't possible in your standard RPG.
  • Wham Episode: While Chapter 3 has taken the mood that Shina's death in World's Odyssey means that she dies in the real world, Chapter 4 brings the introductions of the Ludens and Iris, and that Arata and his co-workers are not safe as they think thanks to an Ancient Conspiricy. Then near the end of Chapter 10, Martyrs appeared in the real world and start wrecking havoc.
  • Wetware CPU: Due to 90% of Your Brain trope (that only 10% of human brainpower is used normally), The 10000 victims Aphesis kidnapped were used as this to accelerate Ludens' development.
  • Year X: Subverted. While the in game calendar reads XX/XX/20XX, it's later confirmed that Shina disappeared some time shortly after August 2016. With the game taking place a year later, there are only two possible months that line up to what is shown January and October. January would be too soon, so the game takes place during October 2017. Sumika's mention of it being a national holiday at the start of the game further narrows it down to the game beginning on the 9th of October.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: A recurring point near the end of the game. Alice flat-out says that the Ludens cannot change fate, and are merely fate's conduits. Arata tried many times in the past to change fate, but to no avail. The only entity with the ability to Screw Destiny is you, the God of Death.
  • You Don't Look Like You: It's noted each time that Arata and Shina meet an eventual party member that they look completely different than the characters in the game's design documents. This is because they are real, kidnapped people playing the roles of the NPCs.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Shina has brown hair outside of the game world, but her game avatar has blue hair. In general, characters in Arata's world utilize a more realistic range of hair colors than the party does in World's Odyssey.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Shina learns in Chapter 3 that she will die in the real world if she dies in game. So does every other players and NPC in the game, including the party members. By chapter 11 this doesn't apply anymore, since both World's Odyssey and real world was merged together. The mind doesn't make it real anymore since the everyone can physically move between both worlds.

Tropes associated with Death end re;Quest 2:

  • Aerith and Bob: Most of the new cast has more western styled names, like Sarah or Betty, or at least attempt to sound like it especially in regards to last names, like Marie Pee and Charlie Parfait. Then there's Rotten Dollhart.
  • Alternative Calendar: Present in both the Japanese and English versions, to varying extents.
    • As opposed to the first game's use and subversion of Year X, the year is instead listed as "BC 019" while in story it's read as B019. Later on Mai finds information on events from A989 and states that that would be 30 years ago. The A and B are simply equivalents to 1xxx and 2xxx. This would render the game 20 Minutes into the Past as it released in 2020.
    • The English version the lines spoken in story as B019 and A989 are instead usually mentioned in a more casual '19 and '89 style, only ever once using the A years for A980.
  • Alternate Reality Game: There is an ARG that seems to connect between the two games here.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The field bugs from the first game return as "curses", functionally identical except they no longer inflict damage unless that is their only effect. Knocking an enemy into, or off of, them no longer denies you their benefits either as any character who starts the knockback attacks will be given the effects as though they stepped in it themselves without the Corruption buildup.
    • Counter Actions are now far more scarce than they were in the first game, require the enemies to apply a buff to themselves to do it, newer enemy models take up a clearly visible stance for it, and a brief message pops up on the screen warning you about what they'll counter rather than being a constant effect that requires trial and error to figure out what sets them off.
    • Learning skills ends up being a bit of this and more frustrating at once. On one hand you now learn many skills simply by leveling up, on the other the Flash Drive system is still around for some skills but no longer provides an indication that your current combo has a chance of producing a new skill.
    • Not only does the game do away with save restrictions after bosses, the Game Over screen for a Death End adds an option to reload from the last choice instead of simply reloading from the last save.
  • Ars Goetia: Barbas is spoken of as always watching and that he is coming. Higher ranking members of his cult instead speak his name as Marbas. The rather ornate design of the cross used in worship of El Strain is in fact a variant of the Sigil of Marbas.
  • Artificial Human: Shina eventually gives Mai the data for her World's Odyssey character, as well as Lily, Al, Clea, Lucil, and Celica, which she uses to create additional party members that have no further purpose to the story.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Mai's weapons are referred to as hatchets in the English version. They're supposed to be natas, a type of knife similar to billhooks used in hunting and woodcrafts.
  • Closed Circle: Once Mai comes to the conclusion that staying in Le Choara is too dangerous and tries to leave she finds that the entire town is sealed in by a wall that wasn't there when she first arrived. Shina explains that the wall is a result of "augmented reality", meaning nothing (except for the cultists) gets out while it's up and that someone or something in the town has access to the language that serves as the world's coding to be doing that. The brief moment that it's down allows Shina to send out an email to one of her allies from the first game.
  • Creator Cameo: The talking Whip Spider toy in one of Kaede's scenes is voiced by Makoto Kedouin.
  • Crossover: Has one with Ao Oni, as an alternate game mode with Mai being hunted by swarms of the titular oni.
  • Death of a Child: Children aren't spared from the carnage in this game. In fact, awakening Marbas specifically requires the deaths of 666 children, which means that they are the primary group that is being murdered.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The laptop discovered in Chapter 2 is equipped with one whose destructive power is demonstrated on a monster. Mai is the next victim if she refuses to use her USB drive on it, netting the player their first Death End.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Julietta, the humble social services worker, is the primary antagonist. She is actually Lydia Nolan's older sister who has come to exact revenge on Arata's world for causing Lydia's actions in the first game, and manipulates Midra into carrying out Le Choara's murders by holding her daughter's livelihood hostage. In a borderline Meta Twist, the game gives Julietta a "minor character" portrait right until the reveal drops, at which point she gains fully-animated art like the major characters.
  • Doing In the Wizard: The first game stops just shy of confirming that Arata lives in a computer simulation and that the talk of his world having "glitches" is literal instead of figurative, but this game makes it explicit. Also, Lydia's grandiose exit in the first game suggests that the Observers are some kind of divine group, but here it's revealed that they are actually low-class citizens that are forced into the job by their technologically-advanced, dystopian society.
  • Dub Name Change: There are many changes to various names throughout the game in the English version.
    • Liz Shoara was renamed to Le Choara.
    • Numerous characters have had their names changed, most falling more into Spell My Name with an "S", though Rotten's nickname going from Rot to Rottie and Marie's last name changing from Pee to the less unfortunate sounding Pia are more complete changes.
    • Some bosses had names changed as well, such as the Tragic Love Demon becoming the more mundane Succubus.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Everyone Mai interacts with in Le Choara except Rotten and outsiders like Liliana are long dead, being reanimated by Julietta in her plot to revive Marbas. Mai sees Le Choara in its true form in Chapter 9: a dark, dilapidated ghost town.
  • Evolving Credits: An alternate opening movie and title screen is unlocked after seeing the True End and starting New Game+. Unlike the first opening, which doesn't give away much, this opening is very spoilerific. For both the main game and a particular bit of Post-End Game Content.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Mai muses to herself about how Chitsuba's and Victorie's relationship could easily turn sour. A couple of chapters later, Chitsuba goes full Yandere, kills Victorie, and turns into Shadow Matter.
    • Rotten, reminiscing about how Midra used to pay more attention to her as a mother instead of a headmaster, mentions a severe accident that forced Midra to desperately search for medical help. Rotten doesn't remember who Midra ultimately went to, but she woke up safe and sound afterwards. Midra went to Julietta, who revived Rotten but told Midra that Rotten will die if she doesn't kill the children of the dorm.
    • Mai's visions of her dormmates being brutally murdered work on multiple levels. Some of them have or will happen with nothing that can be done to change them, but at least one can be averted, setting up deeper implications: Mai is actually seeing deaths from a previous loop of the Le Choara murders.
    • In one chapter, a house is set on fire with there being no effort to put it out. The townspeople only exist to facilitate the murders at the dorm, so they wouldn't care about a fire.
    • A text message comes from Sumika stating that Le Choara was abandoned, which flies completely counter to the party's experiences. Augmented Reality and reanimated townspeople from thirty years ago are involved.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The Fallen ending has Mai lose herself to Marbas's power and call you a piece of shit and a murderer for trying to see all of the deaths that the game has to offer. It's then implied that Marbas possesses you, with the narration switching to a rare second-person perspective to describe you chanting "El Strain Marbas" and having the power drained from your entire body.
  • Genre Shift: Downplayed in that many of the genre elements from the first game are still here, only rearranged in importance. This game focuses on Psychological and Religious Horror, with the more technological elements only coming into play near the end of the game. Then New Game+ focuses on the Platonic Cave elements that were touched upon in the first game.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Everyone in Le Choara died thirty years ago. They are reanimated once a year so that more souls can be accrued towards the end goal of summoning Marbas. The only person native to Le Choara who is outside of the loop is Rotten, who didn't die but is instead "glitched" by the curse to stay young and lose her memory after each cycle.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The "Dark Descent"/"Fallen" End is perhaps the one ending that is not obvious on how to get, oddly due to being the only ending with unusual conditions like the first game and being at a point where you're likely assuming unusual conditions for endings have been removed entirely. It can only be seen if you lose the first part of the Final Boss fight.
    • Mostly averted regarding the Death Ends, as they are much more straightforward this time around and don't require any unusual conditions like losing to a boss or trying to save first. The closest they come to it is being tied to whether or not you save someone on two specific nights. Failing to save Sarah and Anne open up the choice for one Death End, successfully saving Abigail opens up the choice for another.
    • Like the first game it's played completely straight for learning skills, as noted above on Anti-Frustration Features the indicator that your combo can teach you something does not exist in this game though you do get to have all skills set all the time now cutting out the need to shuffle around the loadout.
    • One of the keylock puzzles requires looking at your Key Items menu, which the game gives you no hints about. This is a result of the English version omitting that they're passcode memos from the item name.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Many of the new enemy designs appear to be misshapen, sometimes featureless, humans with insects, in part or whole, replacing some body parts. They're humanoid because they were humans.
  • Inconsistent Dub: It happens a few times in the English version.
    • As mentioned above, the game can't decide if it should speak of the years in a shorthand style or the full Axxx and Bxxx style.
    • The Dark Shadows are called as much in story and the tutorial relating to them but when the characters panic about them showing up while exploring suddenly they're Shadow Matter, which is otherwise the term for all the enemies in general.
    • Mercy's last name is alternately Louis and Lewis, while Chitsuba's is either Idian and Idean.
    • Owing to Alternate Character Reading in the original version, one particular area is called the Strain Area in dialogue but the Corpse Museum on the Episode Chart with no explanation given.
    • Skills from the returning cast are randomly renamed, such as Al's Def Park suddenly becoming Threaten while Def Pant retains its name.
    • The tier indicating name of the new characters' skills is inconsistently Turre and Selturre for Mai or Tarre and Seltarre for everyone else, when originally they were all of the Tarre and Seltarre spelling.
  • Interquel: The game takes place some time between the end of the first game and the 65536th iteration of reality seen in Shina's ending. Evidence toward this includes the facts that Shina's still human, Iris is an AI companion app on Arata's laptop, and degrades are still considered a viable option. Additionally all of the characters who can be chosen to receive Shina's Distress Call remember the events of their endings and it's revealed that the degrade code had been modified to allow the living in close proximity to the user to retain their memories as well, placing the game after all the iterations necessary to have seen all of those endings at the very least.
  • Implacable Man: The Dark Shadows, putting Nightmares to shame, will slowly but persistently chase Mai down if spotted and inflict an immediate Game Over on contact. Even the game's own tutorial breaks down before them, the second half of it being almost nothing but a blood red "run away" repeated over and over again, and even the standard enemies turn and run for their lives. Like the Nightmares, the Dark Shadows do provide a visual cue in the form of slight color loss and excessive screen flickering.
  • Inside a Computer System: After a hefty amount of Foreshadowing in the first game, this game finally confirms that Arata lives in a virtual world.
  • Interface Spoiler: Shina's Maid Outfit adds the real Shina to the camp based on whether or not there's any reason in the chapter Shina couldn't be there as opposed to Rotten and Liliana's presence just needing to know they're in the party at that time. She's absent in Chapter 7, despite initially traveling with Mai, giving away the fact that something will cause her to leave. She dies before the chapter ends.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • Death end re;Quest 2 takes place after the events (outside of Shina's ending) of the first game, and neither the media surrounding Death end re;Quest 2 nor the game itself are particularly interested in hiding the first game's reveals regarding Arata's world. For example, Shina's profile on the official website flat-out states that she knows about the "degraded" state of the world from the first game.
    • When the player is prompted to text one of Shina's friends, they are categorized using their World's Odyssey names, comepletely shattering that reveal for anyone who hasn't played the first game.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Including the confirmed returning characters from the first game, there are a total of at least thirty eight characters relevant to the story this time around.
  • Meta Twist: Generally, Death Ends occur immediately after an incorrect decision is made. This game also introduces decisions that alter the plot but do not result in Death Ends. Late in the game, there is a decision that lets you continue regardless of what you chose, leading you to believe that it is a decision of the latter type...until you make it to the next event marker and get slapped with a Death End if you chose wrong.
  • Metal Slime: There are numerous varieties of these all throughout the game, most commonly among the Mary type enemies. The Pain Area even names a few of these as Metal enemies, such as Metal Mary. Defeating any of these will yield a great deal of experience for the portion of the game they appear in, but they're often faster than the party, almost always run away, have high evasion to at least one damage type, and defenses that will often reduce anything to Scratch Damage. Glitch Mode, Mai's Aparable Marre debuff, and no small amount of luck are about the only way to kill these.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. Two pairs of characters share the same first name, though spelled slightly differently. Cera Putnam and Sarah Floyd, and Marie Pia and Mary Walcott. Marie and Mary also share their name with the Mary line of Shadow Matter enemies, including Laughing Mary and Metal Mary. On a last name basis there are Betty and Elizabeth Paris, neither of which interact or otherwise imply a relation between them.
  • Pay Phone: One can be found next to the first save point, loudly ringing. Answer it and you're treated to a man screaming in agony, scaring Mai probably as much as the player. The phone finally sees use once you are playing through a New Game+, granting access to the Ao Oni minigame and the Pain Area.
  • Potty Emergency: Following the first game's occasional usage of Toilet Humor, this game features both jokes and serious situations prompted by the need to find a restroom:
    • Vina Miles breaks curfew to find a toilet and makes herself a target for the creatures of Le Choara, which sets up the first bit of RPG gameplay.
    • During New Game+, Rin Asukaze drinks too much fluid and is searching for a bathroom when she's cornered by Midra. A pair of soiled pants winds up being the least of Rin's worries.
    • Played for laughs with Svetlana who, in the middle of a search for a restroom, ends up transforming into Lucil and is implied to have let herself go on Kimata.
    • Played for dark comedy in the Fallen ending where Big Bad Julietta makes a joke about a character peeing themselves over the shock of having their head cut off.
  • R-Rated Opening: The game opens with Mai talking about how miserable her life is when her drunken father grabs a hatchet and spontaneously decides to kill her while cursing her, her mother, and her sister Sanae. Mai is almost ready to accept it until she thinks about her last wish: to see Enigma Games. She snaps, snatches the hatchet, and butchers her old man.
  • Self-Made Orphan: There are a few characters that end up having to murder their parents, primarily in self defense:
    • Mai killed her father after the latter tried to kill her in the beginning of the game.
    • Liliana killed her mother after her mother got turned into a Shadow Matter monster and attacked the group.
    • Rotten had to kill her mother Midra to stop her rampaging throughout the city as giant Shadow Matter monster.
  • Sequel Escalation: Death end re;Quest 2 leans much more heavily into the occult elements that the first game touched upon but treated secondary to its technological elements. Inverted with the titular Death Ends, however; there are far fewer here than in the first game.
  • Square-Cube Law: Used in the Knockback system. Against small enemies Knockback will only inflict about 80% of the damage that triggered it, but as the enemy size increases the damage increases up to 300%. The easiest way to kill massive enemies is to just shove them around a little bit, so even the weakest attack results in massive damage when they hit something.
  • Swapped Roles: In the first game, Shina goes missing and Arata ends up searching for her. In this game, Arata goes missing and Shina ends up searching for him.
  • Tamer and Chaster:
    • The Glitch Mode designs in this game show off far less skin that the first game's, including modifications to the first game's playable characters to bring them in line with the less-exposed sequel designs. Idea Factory International reverted the changes to the returning characters in the Steam release, leaving the sequel characters' designs as Artifacts.
    • Even putting aside the Glitch costumes, this game has far less Fanservice than the first Death end re;Quest, much less the average Compile Heart game. Like its predecessor, it earns its Mature Rating (and equivalents in other rating systems) due to its extreme violence.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • With the removal of the less-conventional Death Ends, almost all of them fall squarely into Press X to Die territory.
    • Shina's chosen friend lays a threat on Midra while making no effort, beyond the threat of more people investigating should they not be home within the week, to protect themselves from a confirmed mass murderer that they know is part of a large cult. Unsurprisingly, they're mortally wounded after being ambushed by the cult. It goes right into Idiot Ball territory for Kaede, who would be the type to anticipate such a retaliation based on her personality in the first game.
  • Translation Convention: This is used in a couple ways in the Japanese version.
    • In Le Choara the characters are speaking English, not Japanese. This notably comes up should you have Shina choose to send Kaede an email asking for help. At some point in a conversation with Mai, Kaede lapses into actually speaking Japanese prompting Rotten to ask what they're talking about.
    • Further emphasized in another scene involving Rin, though relying on Switch to English. While she's talking and thinking to herself it's in Japanese, but when approached by someone from Le Choara and questioned in "Japanese" she responds in English and similarly gets an English response.
  • Two Decades Behind: Three decades actually. Le Choara is incredibly behind on technology, still having payphones, no internet, and unreliable cellphone reception. At best there are characters like Collette who believes the book she's reading on computer programming from the 80s is about cutting edge technology, and at worst there are those like Rot who mistake the whole thing for magic. This is because they are from three decades ago.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: While talking with other characters at the camp you're able to continue controlling Mai. This gives you the ability to just walk out on the conversation, distract them by continually bouncing around, or attack them with her knife. They respond directly to all of those actions, rather than simply canceling out the dialog.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The end of Chapter 7 starts it and it continually escalates up through Chapter 9, all to set up the finale in Chapter 10. There is a very good reason Compile Heart requested that people Do Not Spoil This Ending.
    • It doesn't end with the closing credits either, as New Game+ and its EX Ending serve as one for the entire duology.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In essence, the entire plot stems from Julietta's rage over her sister sacrificing herself to protect a world and people that Julietta doesn't accept as real.

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