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Video Game / Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory

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The Other Side of Cyber Sleuth

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory is a Digimon game for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita and follow-up to Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, with a new story unfolding within the events of Cyber Sleuth. Development is once again handled by Media Vision, and Suzuhito Yasuda and Masafumi Takada have returned to do character designs and music respectively. It was released on December 14, 2017 in Japan.

The protagonist's EDEN account has been hacked and been falsely accused of account raiding. Consequently he becomes a hacker to get down to the bottom of this and discover the truth, joining up with the hacker group, Hudie and utilizes the mysterious programs known as "Digimon" to fight hostile hackers. Along the way, the world he knows goes under a great upheaval and he desperately tries to protect his friends and his place in the world.

Unlike the game's predecessor, localization and release in the US and Europe were announced soon after its reveal and it released on January 17, 2018. Like its predecessor, it is available physically and digitally for the PS4 and digital only for Vita. The game was bundled with its prequel in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition for the Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam and released on October 18, 2019.

Tropes that appear in this game:

  • Animal Motif: Insects are heavily associated with the main characters. Their hacker group is named Butterfly in Chinese, their mascot is a cartoon bee, their jackets have a butterfly on the back, one of the starter options is a Tentomon, and Erika's partner is a Wormmon. By the finale, for lack of better options, Erika decides to fuse with Wormmon to become Hudiemon, a butterfly Digimon.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game introduces several that smooth over Cyber Sleuth's original gameplay:
    • New hacking skills have been introduced, and have more lax requirements for activation. While several are for gameplay purposes, a couple have quality of life aspects; "Acceleration" significantly boosts player character movement speed while another skill allows the player to return to a dungeon's entrance.
    • All neutral attacking moves now have 100% accuracy that never misses. This is to make up for the fact that they can't take advantage of a 3x damage multiplier like elemental moves can.
    • Royal Knight digivolution stages can now be obtained without having to complete end-game missions, meaning a player can work towards their desired Knight without any external requirements. However, their required ABI has been increased from 60 to 80 as a result.
    • Hacker's Memory introduces the Pen Block, an equipment item that reduces DEF/INT penetration damage by 30%. As piercing moves were rampant and had no way of being mitigated in the original PVP environment, this item helped to balance their power and usage.
  • Art Shift: Erika's section of EDEN is very different from any other environment in the two Cyber Sleuth games, as it's a series of platforms in a black void that slowly turns into a background that depicts her inner mind and various memories like the day that led to the car crash that killed her parents in stylized traditional animation.
  • Attack Failure Chance: Knightmon's Secret Art, Berserk Sword, is a 30% accurate Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack, whose status is Instant Death.
  • Auction of Evil: The Digimon Black Market is introduced as a Dark Web market covertly selling Digimon programs to unsavory hackers. The player character prematurely tries to stop this after receiving their first Digimon, but to no avail. Later, you have the option of working with other hackers to either permanently remove it from the game or allow the service to continue freely.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Right in the beginning of the game, Ryuji comes to your aid after receiving your first Digimon. Had it not been for that, the player character most likely would have lost another EDEN account.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Hudie means butterfly in Chinese, tying into the insect motif.
    • The "chi" part of Chitose's name means "one thousand", which explains why his chatroom username in the intro is Ten Hundred.
    • Likewise, the "ryu" in Ryuji means "dragon", which is why his avatar is a dragon and his username is Dragon Book.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Even moreso than the first game. Hudie succeeds in destroying Arcadiamon, rescuing Ryuji, rescuing Erika (somewhat), and saving EDEN from the Eaters. However due to the Cosmic Retcon, Erika, now Hudiemon, is forced to make a decision about returning to an EDEN-less world where she will still suffer the car accident and its consequences (i.e. death) or venture to the Digital World and live there for the rest of her life without her family or friends. Before she can choose and say a proper goodbye to her loved ones, and before Ryuji can properly apologize for everything he put her through, both Chitose and Ryuji are forcibly ripped away from her due to the world resetting (mid-sentence in Ryuji's case). She chooses the latter, erasing herself from human history permanently; Ryuji is now an only child and neither Ryuji, his parents, Chitose or anyone else (aside from Keisuke) remember Erika at all. Additionally, the Digimon were reset to no longer having interacted with humans and EDEN was never created. And the worst part is that Keisuke still remembers all of this and is forced to live with it in solitude.
    • On a sweet side for Yu, he is a member of Hudie and has become friends with Ryuji and Chitose.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Zig-zagged. Like in the first game, a mistranslation of the word "Bakemono" (meaning monster) leads to Arata referring to the Eaters as "Bakemon" (A Champion level Digimon). Unlike the first game however, this is only used once, so may have been the localises poking fun at themselves. But the mistranslation is used with no seeming wink towards the audience a few times by other NPC characters though, such as a Defence Force guard towards the end of the game.
    • The translation still features other kinds of errors. Many dialogue lines are missing the period at the end, a dialogue line haves Erika's name misspelled as "Erica", Nokia's Gabumon is misidentified as a Gaomon in a single dialogue nametag and in a dialogue towards the end Erika states that she let Yuuko take her treatment, when it's actually the opposite.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Upon clearing the main story, the Abyss Server opens up, which consists of 30 random floors made up of every other dungeon floor of the two games where you can recruit any Guest-Star Party Member (except the occult club's Lily) regardless if they're very busy at the final leg of the story (including Erika herself) and where even a wild Rookie Digimon has blown up stats and advanced skills.
  • Bowdlerise: Sistermon Noir is changed to Sistermon Ciel in the NA version with a complete makeover of her getup. The game's producer has stated that this was done to avoid controversy over religious imagery depicting a character resembling a real nun. Ciel is functionally the same as Noir in gameplay to avoid compatibility issues with the EU and JP versions in online battles.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Chitose is a Chivalrous Pervert who spends a good chunk of his time ogling women and generally not taking anything seriously. However, that doesn't stop him from being an expert hacker who can whip up malware designed to track someone on a moment's notice and has set up a surveillance network that spans most of EDEN.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: To dovetail with one of the game's primary motifs being butterflies, Erika's human body dies within the Eater and is shed as her cocoon to fuse with Wormmon to become Hudiemon, a butterfly-themed Digimon with blue wings. At the end of the game, a blue butterfly hinted to be Erika in some form flits by Keisuke in the world post-timeline rewrite.
  • The Cameo: The real Yuugo Kamishiro appears for only one cutscene as Erika and Keisuke attempt to access the Eater network.
  • Central Theme: The titular concept of memory is very prominent, specifically as to what meaning is derived from them for an individual and how people act upon them.
    • Sidequests frequently bring up the longing to revive a nostalgic past or the manipulation of memories for one's own gain.
    • Erika has an entire server in EDEN dedicated to preserving her memories as a part of treating her illness and only by entering it do Keisuke and company come to understand her inner trauma.
    • Yu is desperately trying to keep himself firmly in Keisuke's memories out of fear that he'll be left alone and forgotten.
    • The finale has Keisuke left with the memories of everything that's happened in the real world, while the player's Digimon and Hudiemon in the Digital world preserve the same memories in the Digital World as a bittersweet way of letting at least some people still remember all the pain and effort it took to achieve their happiness.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Remember that ominous black trapezohedron in the middle of Under Zero in the previous game? It's actually the can for Arcadiamon.
  • Color Motif: In contrast to the bright yellow of the last game, Hacker's Memory has gone with a dark, muted blue. In-game, it's the main color of Hudie.
  • Continuity Nod: Several NPCs remark on how this game's PC and Aiba did very similar actions when interacting with them. Additionally, a lot of the events and quests from the first game are directly referenced subsequently in this game.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The game uses Takumi in all of its cutscenes by default, that is to say if you didn't do a cross-save with your data from the previous game, cementing him as the "canon" protagonist.
  • A Day in the Limelight: While the central cast of the original Cyber Sleuth do make appearances, it's the minor characters that are notably expanded on like Date, Lily, Fei, and Jimiken. Of the main cast from Cyber Sleuth Arata is seen and spoken the most to due to his connections to Chitose and Ryuji.
  • The Dog Bites Back: One case has you investigating a bunch of high school students cheating on their tests, which, as it turns out, was achieved through using illegal technology that allowed them all to log in to EDEN during the test while one kid was bullied into taking the test for all of them. They failed to realize that the devices were illegal because they granted a person complete control over the user's body, which the bullied kid demonstrated by making his classmates stab their teacher to death, followed by making them jump off the school's roof while making them watch from cyberspace. Or that's what they think at first - it was actually just a recreation of what the boy thought about doing, put together by Ryuji to teach the bullies a lesson.
  • Expository Pronoun: Wormmon uses the masculine boku pronoun at the start of the game but when Wormmon becomes increasingly synced with Erika's personality through her transferring memory into it, Wormmon drops boku and starts using the feminine atashi, Erika's primary pronoun.
  • Final Boss: The game's final boss is Eater EDEN, an Eater-controlled corruption of the main EDEN sphere featured throughout the Cyber Sleuth duology.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Anything accomplished or endured by the Hudie team at the end of the game becomes moot due to Aiba, Arata, Yuuko, Yuugo and Nokia being successful in saving both worlds and establishing a Cosmic Retcon. This is even Lampshaded by Fei before the final battle.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During the opening cutscene, Keisuke walks past a shelf with one volume of Digimon V-Tamer 01 in it. Hacker's Memory marks the second major appearance of the Arcadiamon line, which originally debuted as the Big Bad of V-Tamer.
    • An easily-missed one is the inclusion of Keisuke's friend, Yu as a choice in the earliest domination battles. There is no reason for the person to be selectable at that point due to being supposedly anti-hacker(and, from a story perspective, is Fridge Logic), but it hints that he is actually a hacker himself and knows more than he lets on.
    • A more tragic example. As more backstory behind the Mishima siblings comes forth, Erika constantly wonders if it was better for her to die, which becomes only worse once Arcadiamon forces Ryuji's bottled-up frustrations pour out on her and gives her more turmoil over it. Come the ending of the game, and she does exactly that as Hudiemon by applying Ret-Gone to herself while she can be alive in the Digital World, away from giving Ryuji so much stress looking out after her.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the same shelf with V-Tamer on it in the opening cutscene, there's also the back cover of the Digimon World Re:Digitize Encode manga.
  • Gaiden Game: It's a side-story that intertwines with the events of Cyber Sleuth and side characters like Fei are more fleshed out in this game. Gameplay-wise, it adds 91 new Digimon and 30 new maps to the 249 and 74 already in Cyber Sleuth.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: The game features all previous party members in Cyber Sleuth alongside the Hudie team members and even some select Digimon to take on certain missions disconnected from the main story. Finishing these missions tend to end with a closing conversation that can grant Keisuke some useful items from the partner chosen if the right answers are chosen. Then there's the Abyss Server, which lets you pick anyone (except the occult club's Lily) to go through the savage dungeon.
  • Guide Dang It!: Finding certain files involves retreading dungeons through the Memory Dungeons, which is completely unheard of.
  • Hacker Collective: The main character joins hacker group Hudie after getting his account stolen, hoping that through that he can find the one responsible and clear his name. He spends the game taking on cases for them.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • Inverted. K's SkullSatamon in chapter 13 ends partway through to establish that K and Keisuke are too evenly matched at that point. And then Ryuji and Arcadiamon briefly take over to easily defeat it, establishing their newfound power.
    • The first stage of the Arcadiamon Ultra battle plays this straight. At the beginning, it uses a "Ones and Zeroes" skill that it reduces all damage it takes to either 0 or 1, and this stage finishes when it uses Divine Matrix. Then, Erika uses her Eater Bits to make Arcadiamon vulnerable and the second stage of the fight begins, where it can be defeated like any other enemy.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: In the "Thief Who Doesn't Steal" request, you are asked to investigate a trespassing case in the Ikebukuro aquarium, where whole fish tanks are inexplicably stolen and returned overnight. Turns out the place was going to be renovated in rather poor taste, and a wealthy girl hired hackers and thieves to create a perfect digital reproduction of the aquarium as it is now. Surely she used some really sketchy methods and sank a lot of money into it, but there's something to be said for taking initiative to preserve what you value instead of passively letting capitalism steamroll over it... Oh, nevermind, she rigged the real tanks with explosives and only some foresight on Ryuji's part prevents a disaster.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The K-Cafe shop owner is revealed to be a hacker who uses Mushroomon to excise a specific memory of drinking a special coffee and sell it to the highest bidder.
  • Lighter and Softer: Just like the previous Cyber Sleuth game, there's still way less violence in gross detail despite being targeted for an older audience.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Dreamin' hacker group hacks EDEN users to forcibly induce them in a dream state, using the allure of living out their wildest fantasies to scam them into telling what their account info is.
  • Multiform Balance: MagnaGarurumon's Starlight Velocity attack, which it can only use after ditching its armor and guns, is treated as this in-game. While said attack is a simple case of Shed Armor, Gain Speed in the rest of the franchise, here its un-armored form is treated as an outright Mode Change called MagnaGarurumon (Detached) in Japanese and MagnaGarurumon SV in English. It has Starlight Velocity as its Signature Move and dual-wields Lobomon's Laser Blades for its basic attack. The Shed Armor, Gain Speed aspect is reflected in it having a higher speed stat than the base form at the cost of having lower health.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Nerf: Certain Digimon, moves, and support skills that were particularly rampant in online battles were nerfed to be less game-breaking. These were carried over to the Complete Edition version of the original Cyber Sleuth.
    • All status-inflicting moves had their accuracy ratings reduced to 70%. The Dot status effect was also made to wear off on its own, instead of remaining indefinitely unless healed by items or skills.
    • Attacks that do INT or DEF-penetrating damage had their damage lowered.
    • UlforceVeedramon's support skill was changed to only affect itself instead of the whole party. The original incarnation of the ability allowed the entire party to move first, regardless of speed if it had an UlforceVeedramon in it, and the ability stacked, meaning that if a player had three UlforceVeedramon in the field, the ability would affect the whole party three times, allowing the player to move nine times before their opponent could move once.
    • Examon is less of a powerhouse here than it was in the original game, now requiring more memory to have on the team due to having its Level changed to Ultra as a result of requiring Breakdramon and Slayerdramon to DNA Digivolve in order to attain. Unfortunately doubles as a Power-Up Letdown since Slayerdramon, one of the components needed to DNA Digivolve into Examon in the first place, proves to be more useful in the long run thanks to its more useful Special Move and support skill, all the while Examon itself saw no other changes to compensate for its status as an Ultra Level Digimon.
  • New Game Plus: Notably, this one takes some liberties unlike Cyber Sleuth's: namely, it allows the player to use the BBS board to continue doing other side quests, and egregiously, it allows EDEN to be explored despite the fact that, at that point, it has become inaccessible due to the EDEN Eater eroding the entire cyberworld.
  • Old Save Bonus: If you cross-save with data from Cyber Sleuth you start with bonus items themed on that game, your Digimon list from that game, and your previous protagonist carries over into the relevant scenes.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Certain hacker files can be lost if not picked up quickly. The ones at Hudie's cafe can be lost after Arcadiamon levels the place. However, this is remedied by New Game Plus.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: On two occasions we see the protagonist from the previous game run past Keisuke, with gender determined by the Old Save Bonus (if there is no save data, the game defaults to Takumi).
  • Point of No Return: The game explicitly warns the player in Eater EDEN that they will not be able to go back to do other things after beating the Eater Domination Battle and moving on to the final area.
  • Relationship Values: An addition with Domination Battles is that after completing them for sidequests, the requested partners will have little conversations with Keisuke and give him a gift depending on the correct dialogue choices. The game indicates that the player has fully completed the relationship when they give him a unique item special to each partner.
  • Retcon:
    • Mirei reveals that she actually had a list of sixty hackers drafted up for Aiba to hunt down but then Keisuke appeared so she split the list into 50/50 to lighten the former's burden.
    • The Ryota Memory reveals that Sakura dumped Ryota after being convinced by Nokia and Kyoko that she should get together with someone better.
  • Retroactive Idiot Ball: This game is supposed to be midquel that takes place alongside the events of the original game, with several main characters such as Nokia and Yuuko getting almost as much screentime as in the original game. However it becomes obvious by the middle of the game when Arcadiamon awakens that this game was not planned in the original game's development, as there is no mention of any of the events in the original game. This requires nearly every main character and Royal Knight from the original game to completely ignore this top tier threat for no reason, despite the original game being set in a detective agency.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: After being assimilated by the Eater, Erika and later after viewing Erika's memories, Keisuke and Wormmon assume that her memory of wishing to go to the Digital World is causing it to go berserk. While the Eater has an unstoppable desire to go there, it's because of Suedou's order to send all the Eaters back to the Mother Eater, not Erika's influence.
  • Schrödinger's Butterfly: A major theme of the game as the virtual reality of EDEN allows for people to live out completely different lives from their regular ones in real life, blurring the lines between a fantasy they want to live and mundane reality. Hence Hudie's symbol being a butterfly as a reference to Zhuangzi because they jump back and forth through between the worlds of EDEN and Tokyo with neither really being the one "true" world they belong to. Kishibe taunts Erika with this, wondering if a person with a majority of their brain digitized can truly be considered someone living in the real world. This theme comes to its culmination in the ending as Erika chooses to embrace the Digital World as Hudiemon, leaving behind the real world and her old body, subsequently resulting in her existence being erased to all but Keisuke in the new world and his memories of her being almost like a dream.
  • Series Continuity Error: Taking Date as a Guest-Star Party Member for certain early missions has her use Lopmon, which she doesn't get until Digimon are brought to Tokyo.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the manga in the Hudie net cafe is a barely-disguised One Piece called One Fleece, a story about a boy who aims to become king of all shepherds. Another comic book Keisuke can find is The Sim Sons.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: The Sistermon sisters know how cute they appear and see it as a roadblock. They're disciples of Gankoomon, powerful in their own right, and want to start a digimon training gym. They fear that their cute appearances would make people question how strong they can become at the gym.
  • The Computer Isa Cheating Bastard: The opponents in the Master Cup can use items without taking their turn, and can use them whenever they want, even back to back. They can even use this to increase their Digimon's stats and give them Acceleration Boosts.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: One case has you investigating a mysterious black cat who allegedly brings bad luck in EDEN. Said cat turns out to only be a BlackGatomon. BlackGatomon is upset with the undeserved negativity from EDEN users because of a rumor that quickly developed about it being evil and bewitching users with bad luck (which was untrue). Feeling that nothing could be done to stop its fallen reputation, it decides to embrace the rumor and actively messes with users (until the player character stops it).
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Among the game's DLC are Super-Deformed versions of Alphamon, Omnimon, and Gallantmon based on the NXEDGE Style figures released around the same time. The DLC also included similar versions of Crusadermon and Leopardmon despite them not having figures in the toyline.
  • Updated Re Release: Somewhat. By nature, the game is a Gaiden Game story-wise. However, it still improves upon various qualities from the original, including balancing overcentralizing skills from before as well as introducing new Anti-Frustration Features. For example, several Digimon (including every In-Training I and In-Training II) got reanimated special skills.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Eater EDEN, a corrupted version of EDEN by the Eaters.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The accessory feature from Digimon World Re:Digitize has returned, allowing players to accessorize Digimon and the protagonist also has certain costumes they can wear. The revised version of Cyber Sleuth bundled with Hacker's Memory in Japan also allows players to use costumes for that game's protagonist.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Devimon and Ogremon are the first two Digimon you face. Despite their imposing cutscene presence, they go down really fast.
  • Year X: All the dates given on BBS posts have the year as "20XX".