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This page contains spoilers for Kill la Kill. Read at your own risk.

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At the end of Honnouji Academy's Naturals Election, the one who appeared before Satsuki is not Nui, but Ragyo!? What is the reason behind Ragyo's sudden appearance? What is going on with all the strange phenomenons that has been occurring?
The story premise from the official website
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Kill La Kill - IF is a game based off of Kill la Kill, developed by A+ Games and published by Arc System Works in close relation with Studio Trigger. The game was released July 26th 2019 on Steam, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. You can read more information on the official website.

The story is a What If? scenario of the anime's story, diverging directly at episode 8, at the conclusion of the Naturals Election story arc.

You initially control Satsuki Kiryuin as the main protagonist of this game, and proceed along with the story while battling against various characters. All scenarios are completely new and fully supervised under the watchful eyes of the original scenario-writer, Kazuki Nakashima. You will be experiencing the story unfolding from the perspective of Satsuki Kiryuin, the rival of the original series' protagonist Ryuko. After completing Satsuki's story, a new What If? story focusing on Ryuko will unlock.

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The game is a one on one fighter that takes place on a 3D open area. The game places emphasis on a Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors mechanic that can give one player a significant advantage in combat if they do well enough.

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     Playable Roster 

Base Game

  • Satsuki Kiryuin
  • Ryuko Matoi
  • Ira Gamagoori
  • Uzu Sanageyama
  • Houka Inumuta
  • Nonon Jakuzure
  • Nui Harime
  • Ragyo Kiryuin
  • Ryuko Matoi (Dual-Wield) - Alternate version where Ryuko has possession of both Rending Scissors.
  • Satsuki Kiryuin (Dual-Wield) - Alternate version where Satsuki uses both Bakuzan Koryu and Bakuzan Gako.

Downloadable Content

  • Mako Mankanshoku note 
  • Ultimate Double Naked DTR (Dotonbori Robo) note 

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Tropes

  • Abnormal Ammo: Nui's long-ranged projectile attacks has her send out clones of herself.
  • Alternate Timeline: The Primordial Life Fiber warps time and space, meaning there are multiple versions of events, this game being one of them. In the climax of Satsuki's story, she uses the Rending Scissors to end this branch of the story so that the original canon version of events may take place.
  • Another Side, Another Story: Beating Satsuki's storyline unlocks another story mode focusing on Ryuko, which fills in all the gaps and puts the game's entire plot into perspective, revealing it to be a Lotus-Eater Machine that Satsuki—and inadvertently Ryuko and Senketsu—became trapped in before their confrontation took place.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Towards the end, Ryuko permanently slices off Nui's arms much like she did in the original story, but since Ragyo immediately patches her grand couturier up we don't see Nui going off her rocker as much as before.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Building up to a Three-Star uniform requires using a lot of your SP gauge to initiate Bloody Valors. Once you reach Three-Star, your SP gauge will automatically fill up, giving you a chance to pull off a Fiber Lost Secret Arts.
  • Batter Up!: Mako swings her spiked bat with her break attack.
  • Beam Spam: Nonon Jakuzure is a zoning character who relies on long range attacks to keep her distance. One of her special moves fires a giant beam that sweeps across the entire arena with no range limit.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Satsuki destroys the illusory world Junketsu has trapped her in, which forces her to forget the respectful understanding she and Ryuko had come to, since the game's events happen while they are still bitter enemies in the real world. However, they part ways believing that they will settle their differences in the end, which they eventually do.
  • Bowdlerise: In gameplay, defeated characters are stripped of all their clothing and framed from afar as they fall to the ground. During story cutscenes, however, they tend to be seen reduced to their underwear as opposed to the Nipple and Dimed nudity the original show would've gone with.
  • Broad Strokes: Implemented as a plot device. Whenever major events from the series—like the Sudden Death Runoff and the Tri-City Schools Raid—are glossed over through brief montages and narrated summaries, characters like Senketsu and Nui appear to notice, feeling as though time itself is being compressed. This is because the game's world is a delusion based on Satsuki's plans for the future, with these events getting skimmed over in favor of the bigger picture because Satsuki hadn't thought of the minute details yet.
  • Call-Forward: At the end of Ryuko's story, it's revealed that Ryuko's occasional dreams of Senketsu getting destroyed are actually memories of herself in Satsuki's dream that transferred to her through her Life Fibers.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: True to his character, Gamagoori can sacrifice some of his health in order to flog himself and build up strength for his next attack.
  • Combining Mecha: The Ultimate Double Naked DTR, composed of the Dotonbori Robos of Mikisugi and Kinagase.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: If the player initiates Bloody Valor debates and makes their move before the computer does, computer opponents will successfully counter it four times out of five, no matter the difficulty. This naturally goes the other way, as computer opponents will correctly counter your defensive moves against their Bloody Valor attempts if you go first.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Bizarrely enough, the show's Deutragonist herself, Satsuki, falls into this category after being marketed as the chief protagonist of the game's story mode. It's ultimately Ryuko who retains her role as the main protagonist, who fights a delusional Satsuki in her Junketsu Shinzui form as the chronological Final Boss to help her free herself from the game's dream-based world, though that still falls on Satsuki in the end.
  • Dream Apocalypse: Satsuki breaking free from Junketsu's Lotus-Eater Machine is depicted as her dream world literally falling apart.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The entire game takes place in a Lotus-Eater Machine created by Junketsu where Satsuki sees events to come in the future, albeit with some differences and an overall alternative outcome. During the final battle against the Primordial Life Fiber, Satsuki additionally gets flashes of herself fighting side by side with Ryuko in the real future, since the Life Fibers' power transcends time and space. Once she breaks free in the end, however, she dismisses it all as a bad dream.
  • Dual Wielding: Both Ryuko and Satsuki have different modes where they wield two weapons. Ryuko has possession of both Scissor Blades, while Satsuki has both Bakuzan Koryu and Bakuzan Gako. You choose which version you play as on the character select screen, and the mode give both characters completely different move sets. Ryuko also has a story-exclusive mode where she dual-wields wields her Scissor Blade and Bakuzan to fight Nui and cut off her arms.
  • Eleventh Hour Super Power: Just like how Senketsu obtained his Kisaragi form in the final episodes of the anime by absorbing all the Life Fibers at Honnouji Academy, Satsuki is introduced to Junketsu Shinzui in the same manner. The final battle of Ryuko's story also has her donning Senketsu Kisaragi with Life Fibers across multiple timelines and dimensions, similar to the Primordial Life Fiber.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Ragyo allows the Primordial Life Fiber to devour her to survive, realizing that she's just a figment of Satsuki's delusory world, and that doing so will leave Satsuki trapped within her own dreams forever.
    • Nui also seems to have caught on by the time she dies, and while furious at being defeated by a human, she still readily accepts her death and spends her last moments trying to get under Ryuko's skin one last time.
  • Finishing Move: Every character has access to a Fiber Lost Secret Arts, which require a Three-Star uniform obtained through Bloody Valor clashes, and 100% SP Gauge earned from fighting. Successfully connecting will initiate a flashy cinematic that instantly defeats your opponent. Each character has their own finisher to pull it off.
    Ryuko: This is the final blow! SEN-I-SOSHITSU!
  • For Want of a Nail: The game diverges from the anime's plot when Nui doesn't interrupt Ryuko's fight with Sanageyama, instead showing up with Ragyo to watch Satsuki fight Ryuko.
  • Forced Tutorial: The first proper battle in the story mode has Iori explaining the game's mechanics to Satsuki as she battles Ryuko. Iori places a list of button commands to execute each type of move that you must complete before moving on.
  • Foregone Victory: The story's first battle is impossible to lose. Being a tutorial, Satsuki must defeat Ryuko in order to advance the story. Satsuki's life bar will restore itself to full no matter how much damage she takes, and the timer is set to infinite.
  • Fragile Speedster: True to form in the anime, Inumuta is extremely fast, but also extremely frail.
  • Genre-Busting: The game is a 3D arena fighter, but the official website lists the game's genre as "KLK Battle Action".
  • Hack and Slash: The story mode has a couple of levels where the player squares off against hordes of COVERs.
  • Heavy Sleeper: One of Mako's idle voice clips has her falling asleep and snoring for a few seconds before she wakes up again.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Iori explains the game's mechanics to Satsuki in the first battle of the game as she battles Ryuko.
  • Heroic BSoD: When Satsuki first learns from Ragyo that she's trapped within her own dream of seeing her plans coming to fruition, she's sent into a state of complete shock over how nothing she's done in the game actually matters, and just stands in one place while the Primordial Life Fiber attacks her and the others.
  • Hong Kong Dub: Both Japanese and English dubs try to match up with the very stiff mouth animations with varying degrees of success. There are plenty of lines where the audible sentence ends long before the character's mouth stops moving.
  • Instant-Win Condition: A Fiber Lost Secret Arts will instantly defeat your opponent if it connects, regardless of what round or how much health your opponent has.
  • Limited Animation: Keeping in line with Nui's alien nature from the series, Nui is animated at 30 frames rather than everyone's 60 frames, which makes her movements look notably more rigid. She also briefly turns two-dimensional during her Evasive Actions, as opposed to everyone remaining three-dimensional during theirs.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: As implied by the ending of Satsuki's story and revealed in the climax of Ryuko's, the events of the game are a Life Fiber-induced delusion that Junketsu has trapped Satsuki in, based on her ambition to overthrow her mother and save mankind, with all of its events being shaped by Satsuki's subconscious, and those made of or infused with Life Fibers—namely Senketsu, Nui, and Ragyo—picking up on what's going on much sooner than everyone else. Once Satsuki breaks free from it, she treats its events as if they were some kind of dream. It also affects the real Ryuko, who gains certain memories from the dream in the form of the nightmare she has at the start of Episode 4.
  • Megaton Punch: Mako's Fiber Lost Secret Art finishing move involves powering up and punching the ground so hard that the ground explodes underneath her opponent, and their clothing with it.
  • Mighty Glacier: Sanageyama's default move speed is the same as most characters, but his size makes him extremely easy to zone with long-range attacks. He can dash towards you to very quickly close the distance though, and his basic attack combos will usually take over a quarter of his opponent's life bar with very little chance to break away and hit back. He hits hard, even after being toned down in the final release of the game.
  • One-Winged Angel: When Satsuki defeats Ragyo before she can accomplish her goal, the Primordial Life Fiber consumes her, Nui, and all the Life Fibers it can get its hands on to assume a new form, which resembles a marionette shaped like an infant with a giant bobble head.
  • Out of Focus: Senketsu and Mako in the main storyline; the former has no agency beyond allowing Ryuko to fight (which is justified since only Ryuko can hear him speak), and Mako is reduced to scarce, non-speaking cameos. This gets lampshaded by Senketsu in the "preview" for Ryuko's chapter, where he promises he and Mako are more involved.
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!: Mako's theme music is a very chipper and peppy remix of George Frederic Handel's "Messiah", sampling the "Hallelujah" chorus to a xylophone and sounds of bubbles popping.
  • Self-Duplication: Nui's moveset revolves heavily around creating clones of herself in combat.
  • Stealth Prequel: Though what it's a prequel to depends on who you're playing as. Satsuki's story is implied to take place before the anime itself, given that it ends with Ryuko's and Satsuki's first confrontation from the anime, while Ryuko's story ends with the beginning of Episode 4, implying that the game's story is the dream she had in that episode.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: The characters' strength is a lot more inconsistent than the series, with Satsuki being a great deal stronger in Junketsu's base form while everyone else is generally weaker to varying degrees. This is best demonstrated in the opening, where Ryuko plows through all of the Elite Four in her base form without breaking a sweat, yet Satsuki deals with her so easily that it's treated as the game's tutorial. It turns out this is entirely justified as another part of Satsuki's subconscious made real, and thus everyone is as strong not as the plot needs them to be, but rather as Satsuki expects them to be.
  • Super Mode: Satsuki gets her own equivalent to Ryuko's Senketsu Kisaragi, Junketsu Shinzui.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Earlier in Ryuko's story, Ryuko seems to kill Nui, but it was only a doppelganger. In their final confrontation, Nui takes the time to cheerfully deny that she's another copy and assure Ryuko that she's the real Nui, "cross my heart and hope to die". Except, as it's implied she's figured out already, she is not the real Nui, since she (along with everyone else except for Ryuko, Senketsu and Satsuki) is just the figment of a dream. Even a fabricated Nui is a first-class Troll.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: The game's combat system is a two-layered system of Rock Paper Scissors.
    • Basic combat consists of Normal Attacks (fast, basic attacks that can make combos), Break Attacks (slow, heavy attacks), and Guarding. On top of that, there Evasive Action (sidestepping attacks), and Anti-Evasion Attacks (moves that attack where you predict your opponent will move to)
      • Normal Attacks > Break Attacks > Guard > Normal Attacks
      • Normal Attacks > Anti-Evasion Attacks > Evasive Action > Normal Attacks
    • On top of basic combat, there's the Bloody Valor system, where both opponents clash off in a cinematic "debate" of Rock Paper Scissors. The selection the victor chooses will give them various boosts to their attack, increases their SP gauge, restore some of their life, and adds a star to their uniform (up to three.)
      • Mock (Paper) > Taunt (Rock) > Provoke (Scissors)
  • Theme Music Power-Up: "Before My Body Is Dry" plays when Ryuko (wearing Senketsu Kisaragi) pulls off a Fiber Lost Secret Art on her opponent.
  • Unlockable Content: To play online matches you must finish Satsuki's scenario first. Nui and Ragyo are unlocked towards the end of Ryuko's scenario.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Although Nui doesn't spend more than a minute crippled after Ryuko dismembers her, she is still furious and stops putting on a cutesy facade. In contrast to Nui's willing sacrifice for Ragyo in the original story, she dies fighting Ryuko and stares daggers at the heroine to her last breath. The only reason this is still milder than in the show is that this Nui isn't actually real, and she knows it.
  • What If?: The premise of the game is that it diverges into an alternate story that plays out from Satsuki's perspective after the events of Episode 8 of the anime. It turns out this scenario is canon to the main story as a delusion Junketsu created based on the future Satsuki most desires, the Life Fibers warping reality and distorting time to match it, and creating an Alternate Timeline that needs to be cut off so events can resume as normal, before the Primordial Life Fiber finishes absorbing Life Fibers from across every timeline and causes the destruction of reality itself.

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