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Video Game / Kinder

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Kinder is a 2003 Horror RPG made by Parun for the RPG Maker 2003. Eventually, Parun created a remake called Re:Kinder for the RPG Maker VX, which retains the plot, but with minor alterations.

One day, Shunsuke Takano leaves his hometown to visit his grandparents. Upon returning, he finds the place completely barren and ruined, and nobody seems to be around. Fortunately, some of his friends have managed to take shelter in their secret base.

As Shunsuke and his friends try to contact someone, they encounter Yuuichi Mizuoka, a second grader. He reveals himself to be the cause of the town's transformation and invites them all to play the 'Friends Game' with him. If they manage to avoid the traps set in town and defeat the three Mistresses, they win. It is up to Shunsuke to help protect his friends and get them all out alive... and hopefully figure out just why Yuuichi is doing all this.


The English translation for Re:Kinder can be found here.

This game contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 
    Tropes found in the original Kinder 
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The White Rose Ring that Shunsuke obtains on the True Ending path.
  • Abandoned Playground: Nippoyo Heartful Park.
  • Abandoned Hospital: The Kowada Town clinic, though one never actually enters it.
  • Action Survivor: All of the children, of course.
  • Anyone Can Die: Any of the playable children can die, though Shunsuke only in an ending.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: For most of the game, the party will never consist of more than three members. When confronting Yuuichi as the final boss, the player is told to pick three party members to join Shunsuke.
  • The Artifact: As most RPG Maker games.
    • The player has money, but it served no purpose.
    • The children all have Levels, but gain no Experience Points.
    • Yuuichi is the only character to have filled Willpower, but it's pointless, since the player can't use him in a battle, and all the other children's abilities have a Willpower cost of zero.
  • Bag of Sharing: All of your party members' items show up in your inventory. It becomes a plot point when you have to select Aya's gun when she joins your party to talk her down from committing suicide.
  • Big Bad: Yuuichi Mizuoka is the cause of the town’s horrific transformation and the one who forces the other kids into the Friends Game.
  • Brick Joke: The Time Bomb alarm appears in the very beginning, then gets reused much later in the game. Both times are used to wake up Shunsuke.
  • Cellphones Are Useless:
    • Rei is introduced by trying to call for help on her cellphone. Of course, she gets no signal.
    • Subverted with Yuuichi, who sends a text to Rei and Shunsuke when they're exploring the empty lot with the pipes, telling them about how Aya wandered off, and the time limit they have to find their disappeared comrade. He sends another one, if the player doesn't manage to find Aya in time.
  • Character Select Forcing: The player must bring Hiroto or Aya into the final battle, since their unique abilities are the only ones that could prevent the final boss from using a party-wipe attack.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Humorously subverted. There's a road by the bus stop that leads out of town. Trying to leave causes a 'strange power' to prevent the player from having Shunsuke leave. Picking the option to 'ignore the plot and force your way out of town' results in the author blowing up the town.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The introduction portrays the town as nice and happy, before Shunsuke steps on the bus to visit his grandparents. Playing the game reveals that mental illnesses plague the residents, but because the townspeople do not believe in mental illness, nobody seeks help.
  • Creepy Children Singing: Yuuichi turns on the TV to a children's program, to lure Shunsuke to his father's room.
  • Deadly Game: Yuuichi's 'Friends Game'. The children can, and will, die during the course of it.
  • Developers' Foresight: Dialogue changes to reflect which friend the player has chosen to come along at certain points. And all boss fights can be won regardless of a character being alive or having died (with the exception of the Final Boss, who can only be fought if every party member is alive). For one boss battle, Shunsuke gains an ability that compensates for the death of a party member.
  • Doomed Hometown: Kowada Town.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Kinder can be read as the German word for children, which all the playable characters are, or as the English term for kind and the children wanting to become kinder. This is a case of Woolseyism.
  • Dream Land: The storybook world is Yuuichi's. The events of the game may or may not be a dream world.
  • Dungeon Town: Kowada Town, though Yuuichi admits to keeping the random-encounter monsters away from them.
  • Dwindling Party: The children can die over the course of the game, if the player fails to perform the right actions. The game even warns the player of this before the introduction phase even ends.
  • Evil Elevator: Hiroto actually points this trope out as the reason why he really does not want to get on the elevator in the Apartments. Rei disregards his advice and ends up getting stuck in the elevator, and will die because of it if the player fails to solve the puzzle.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Take the wrong action and one child's death will include getting their eyes gouged out.
    • During the battle against the Crimson Naked-Eye Black Seal-Ink Man, whose design was replaced by Princess Utsuroi Momogi in Re:Kinder, the player must choose to Aim For The Eyes, to temporarily blind the boss and allow the player a chance to grab items to properly defeat it.
  • Foreshadowing: The entire television and storybook motif plays into regarding the potential reality of this situation, and how Yuuichi came to find himself within it.
  • Ghost Town: Kowada Town, again. The only people still around are the children and Yuuichi.
  • Gratuitous English: The ending screen of the False End.
    Thank you for a play
    But an end is a lie.
    There is other truth.
  • Guide Dang It!: Beating the third Mistress with only Hiroto. The player is required to pick up certain items, which allow the controlled child to create something to one-shot kill the Mistress, and only has 15 seconds to do so, before the battle resumes. While the player can redo the action that allows for another round of picking up items, it's only possible if they didn't pick up certain items before. Oh, and one of the items to pick up causes the Mistress to use a one-hit kill attack.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Some of them use children's scissors, with Sayaka and Aya using a compass.
  • Interface Spoiler: Yuuichi's the only character to have filled out Willpower (MP), hinting that he's an opponent to fight eventually. There's also his two abilities, Smile and Bravado, which have the descriptions of smiling/being brave, even when one doesn't feel that way. They hint to his actual mindset, long before the game portrays them.
  • Joke Item: The Smile item from the vending machine. It's a picture of the real-life actress Toki Shiozawa smiling, and serves no purpose at all, beyond a little funny message when using it outside of battle.
    Back in kindergarten, you thought Toki Shiozawa was the devil.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Lampshaded at the Aneha Apartments, where the three children discuss how stupid it would be of them to split up. They end up doing it, anyway, which can result in the deaths of two of them.
  • Mana: Called Willpower. Oddly, none of the characters besides Yuuichi actually have any, and none of the Abilities require any.
  • Money for Nothing: Shunsuke has ¥600 on him and it can't be used on anything.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • False End: If even one child dies before completing the Aneha Apartment scenes. Shunsuke heads back to the base, only to find Yuuichi there. He says the Friends Game is over because it doesn't matter and that he sent the surviving children back to the real world. Shunsuke finds himself back to how things were before he went on his trip, but is plagued by nightmares of the children's deaths.
    • Everyone Dies Ending: Shunsuke must be the only survivor. He commits suicide.
    • True End: All children have to survive the game, until the final confrontation with Yuuichi. Despite his efforts, Shunsuke cannot help Yuuichi, who commits suicide. The children are rescued, but separated and taken in by other families or institutions. Shunsuke resolves to do his best to become a kinder adult.
  • No Final Boss for You: If any child dies before the True End path is reached, the game ends early and nets the player the False End/Killer End. The final battle against Yuuichi is only on the True End.
  • No Time to Explain: When Ryou is in danger, Shunsuke can run to Hiroto for help. The player is given the option to tell Hiroto to just follow him or explain what's going on. Trying to explain leads to Hiroto being confused by a panicked Shunsuke's hurried explanations and Ryou get dragged into the dome, then killed.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Choosing to ignore the plot and walking down the road next to the bus stop results in the author dropping a bomb onto the town.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: An excerpt of Tchaikovski's Waltz of the Flowers is used for the Mistress battles.
  • Press X to Die:
    • Choose to jump off the bed in the secret base.
    • Choose to ignore the plot and escape the town before the bus ride.
    • The aptly-named Suicide Bed in the Storybook World gives the player the choice to have Shunsuke sleep for eternity. Hilariously enough, the translator accidentally switched the Yes and No on its dialogue prompt.
  • Random Encounters: Mostly averted. Yuuichi says that he purposefully keeps the town's monsters away from the children. The one exception is Obake Asphalt. Since there's no escape option, the player must defeat it, though it can re-appear during the segment.
  • Reset Button: Played with. The False End has Yuuichi send the children back to the real world, except that the children that died are considered retgoned.
  • Ret-Gone: The False End has the children that died revealed to have been erased from existence, with Shunsuke being the only one to remember them.
  • Running Gag: Shunsuke's desire to jump on beds.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Otherwise, Yuuichi would have been taken away from his parents.
  • Sudden Lack of Signal: After Kowada Town transforms into a desolate place, Rei tries to call for help on her cell phone, but there is no signal. Subverted when Aya runs off, and Yuuichi calls and texts Rei to let her know that Aya doesn't have much time or is already dead.
  • There Are No Therapists: Enforced. The game deconstructs it through the concept of a world without therapy. Multiple people are affected by 'mind illness', but nobody believes that and insists that the 'mind cannot get sick'. The plot could have been avoided, if therapists did exist in this world.
  • Timed Mission: Shunsuke has to find his wandered-off friend within 90 seconds, before Yuuichi kills them.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Yuuichi's behavior is bad enough, but the other children have some, too.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Hysteria and Pacify, the unique ability of Rei and Shunsuke, respectively. Both only work during one boss battle. Incidentally, it's the same battle.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The False End does this. Despite Yuuichi claiming to have sent them back already, any of the children the player has previously saved will not be mentioned once Shunsuke returns to the real world.

    Tropes added in Re:Kinder 
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Re:Kinder takes this to the extreme with the bosses now being the three Mistresses. They went from Eldritch Abominations with long, weird, and difficult to translate names to Princesses.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Re:Kinder has the player control Hiroto and Yuuichi at times.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Should the player have used up all the money Shunsuke started with, but still need the Rust Remover to obtain the flashlight, the item will be available to purchase for free.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall
    • Re:Kinder contains multiple instances. At one point, Shunsuke gives directions as going to 'the player's left'.
    • Obtaining the Killer Ending in Re:Kinder has a post-message by Mami, who talks about being a stand-in for the author, and explaining how to obtain each ending. She even mentions the altered Everyone Dies Ending being different from Kinder, unless you are 'some English-speaking foreigner' and you don't know what she's talking about. And she even lampshades that she and Takumi cannot be saved.
      Sucks, I know.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Brought up, mentioning that they are the ones to carry spirits to the place they want to be. There are several around after Yuuichi commits suicide, and Yuuichi's family observes one in the Stinger.
  • Character Select Forcing: Averted, since the player can obtain the Eternal Force Blizzard and use it, bypassing the most dangerous part of the final boss battle.
  • Color Failure: The children lose the color in their iris when shocked or upset.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Inverted. The Eternal Force Blizzard is a one-hit kill item and only works on the final boss.
  • Denser and Wackier: In general, this version adds a lot more humor into its dialogue and alters the Everyone Dies Ending into a gag ending.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: In the post-Killer End scene, Mami mentions the endings and how to obtain each one. For the Everyone Dies Ending, all of the children will have to die by the end of the Aneha Apartments scenes.
    But you didn't need me to tell you that, now, did you?
  • Gayngst: A major theme in Yuuichi's backstory involves him struggling with his romantic orientation. A collection of notes presumably written by him in the hotel mentions the writer having a crush on another boy (who he then ate).
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The elevator door-opening password puzzle. Simple enough, if one realizes that 'to look down' means looking at the keyboard, and seeing the symbols, which referred to letters to mean certain numbers. Unfortunately, this only works on American keyboards, as other regional keyboards put the symbols in completely different places.
    • Obtaining the Eternal Force Blizzard. Just before entering Yuuichi's house for the final boss battle, the town has three tin boxes that the player can pick up. Nothing says they are available at that point, the only indication that something may be there is a bear inside of Mami's house, which the player has no reason to even approach. And one of the boxes is in a location that it should have been visible in earlier, but it doesn't appear until the Yuuichi in the Storybook World is defeated. The only upside is that the game tells the player to make sure to check the description, to know its use.
  • Homoerotic Subtext When Shunsuke confronts him as to why he thinks his plan is at all decent an idea, Yuuichi laments that maybe in another world, Yuuichi would be a trapped princess, and Shunsuke could be the prince that saves him. In Japan, these comparisons, when made between two characters of the same gender, tend to be symbolic of a romantic interest.
  • Idiosyncratic Menu Labels: As evident with the page image that depicts that installment's Start Screen.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: A note in the Abandoned Building refers to a boy having 'put Takeru in his tummy'.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Eternal Force Blizzard, an optionally obtainable item that causes a one-hit kill, but only works on the final boss.
  • Interface Spoiler: Takumi is labeled as Noble Sacrifice, and Yuuichi as 2nd Grade Culprit, when they join the party.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: The True Ending path reveals that the Mizuokas owned a cat, and it talks about how it used to be a stray that they took in, and how much love it's received from them. Even with all of their issues, the Mizuokas weren't all bad.
  • Money for Nothing: Inverted. Re:Kinder starts the player off with ¥520, change that Shunsuke has from his bus ride. That's all the money the player will ever get, and it can only be used to get certain items from a vending machine.
  • Mood Whiplash: Plays this up by adding a lot more humor into the dialogue. The game tends to switch from horror to comedy abruptly, often dropping in Surreal Humor in the middle of a serious scene.
  • Mordor: Re:Kinder changes Kowada Town from being a Ghost Town into this.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Killer End: Just like the original False End, except it adds a scene where Shunsuke sees Yuuichi in front of his house and kills him.
    • Ni-Chome Mama End: Replaces the Everyone Dies Ending, but the condition of Shunsuke being the only survivor stands. Before Shunsuke commits suicide, the Archangel Takumiel intervenes and helps him escape, promising to give him success in the nightlife later on. Years later, it's revealed that Shunsuke now owns and runs a bar in Ni-chome note .
  • Non Sequitur: Aadds a lot of them, particularly coming from Yuuichi.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: The two characters from Universal Town Radio have a completely different art-style.
  • One-Winged Angel: Changed by giving the final boss a new 'third' phase, but with the original two phases merged into one and having no graphical change. The new final phase does use a slightly different image.
  • Random Encounters: During the timed mission, the party can encounter Tyltylmytyl, who replaces Obake Asphalt. Tyltylmytyl is invincible, so the player's only option is to escape.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: The plot itself is as dark as it originally was, but filled with more humor and silly music.
  • Schrödinger's Butterfly: Re:Kinder adds a stinger to the True End that suggests this, which may also provide an explanation for all the mood whiplash.
  • Shout-Out: Added a lot, with some of them being translation-made.
I… don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Added in Re:Kinder for comedic effect. Yuuichi's leitmotif is a sassy Latin theme, and the music for the final boss' second phase is G. G. Allin's Dick's Monocycle from Hell.
  • Space Compression: The buildings insides were shrunken and streamlined.
  • The Stinger: The True End got one added in the form of Yuuichi and his parents being at Dandelion Hill and observing a butterfly, with Yuuichi even wondering about a strange daydream he had.
  • Timed Mission: Due to the invincible Tyltylmytyl replacing the beatable Obake Asphalt and there now being an escape option, the time-limit Yuuichi gives Shunsuke is dropped to 40 seconds.