From the day that Momoyama Academy was established, a strict school regulation was set that "under no circumstances is anyone to touch the wooden dolls upon the altar."
Therefore, when the wooden dolls suddenly vanished one night, no one knew why. That would be the day I'll never forget...
Hand In Hand is a short RPG Maker horror game in the Yuri Genre. It takes place in Momoyama Academy, which is home to three wooden kokeshi dolls in the Principal's office. The school has a strict rule of never touching the dolls, ever. It is said that the dolls contain the spirits of three women who were murdered in the Edo period, and that if one doll is removed from the shrine, the other two will morph into humanoid form and seek out their friend... and deliver punishment on the thief.
Shizune Takasugi is a delinquent schoolgirl who smokes and is rumored to love brawling. After staying late one night in Momoyama Academy, she comes across Student Council President Akari Hioki, who is more straight-laced and rose to her position to combat the breaking of school rules. The two could not be more different, but are forced together when the school locks down. Upon finding that the dolls are all missing, and a mysterious shadowy figure is trying to kill them, the girls come to the conclusion that the legend is real, and now they must return the dolls before they become the victims of the curse. In the process, they might just grow closer...
Gameplay consists of exploration and finding items to unlock doors. In addition, there are several points where the player can pick an option which will either increase or decrease each character's affection points, which will affect the ending.
The English translation can be found here.
This game contains examples of:
- Bank Robbery: Although off-screen, this happened in the backstory, seeing as the shadow is a bank robber who was fleeing the scene of the crime.
- Big Bad: ???, the shadowy figure chasing the two heroines around in Momoyama Academy, is one of the spirits of the three kokeshi dolls, who kill anyone who removes the dolls from the shrine the heroines happened to be there when the dolls were stolen. Or so it seems, but it turns out to actually be a bank robber who got himself trapped in the school, though there are hints that the spirits may have been involved after all.
- Doing In the Wizard: Ambiguously done. The story centers around three wooden kokeshi dolls in a shrine in Momoyama Academy which are said to contain the spirits of three murdered women from the Edo period, and if one is removed, the other two will come to life and kill the thief. The two heroines are trapped in the school when all three dolls are gone, which means someone must have removed them. This is only more likely when a shadowy figure chases them with intent to kill. It turns out that the dolls are actually a security system that locks down the school when one is removed, and that is the real reason for the legend, and a cat had taken them, while the "living doll" was an escaping bank robber who found himself wrapped up in a gym mat, making him look like a giant doll. But there are still some unexplained occurrences, mainly how two dolls found themselves in places where the cat could not possibly reach.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In the two endings, it is revealed that the supposedly haunted kokeshi dolls are actually a security system that will lock down the school whenever one is removed, which was done by the cat that had snuck in. ???, the shadowy figure, turns out to be a mundane bank robber. However, it is still noted that two of the dolls found their way into a sealed box and a closed restroom, something which would have been impossible for a cat, and the possibility of the legend being real is still up in the air.
- Multiple Endings: Two of them, the Normal End and Good End. The content is mostly the same, the difference being whether Shizune and Akari stay friends (Normal) or are on the way to becoming lovers (Good).
- Relationship Values: Shizune and Akari both start with 10+ affection for each other, and it can increase or decrease depending on the choices of the player.
- The Reveal: The curse of the wooden kokeshi dolls is just a legend- the dolls are actually a security system that trigger a lockdown of the school when one is taken, and the principal had forgotten to take one with him, leaving a cat to do it instead. The "living doll" is actually an escaping bank robber. Of course, there are still some strange things.
- Yuri Genre: A horror variant where two schoolgirls, one a delinquent and the other the orderly student council president, become trapped in their school at night with mysterious entities who might be the spirits of the three kokeshi dolls kept in the school.