Library of Ruina is a Turn-Based Battle Strategy Game by Project Moon Studio. It was released on Steam Early Access on May 15, 2020. The game is a direct sequel to Lobotomy Corporation and as such reveals important plot points about the game's main plot and ending.
The game's story takes the form of a Visual Novel. Roland, a below-grade Fixer, one day finds himself in the titular Library, and in the company of Angela. After a scuffle caused by Angela demanding to know how he was trespassing, she recruits him as an envoy to send out calling cards for guests. If they choose to accept, they must survive an Ordeal; if they win, they can take any book they want. If they lose, they will become a book in the Library.
The game's battle system takes the form of a Turn-Based duel, where every turn you get a random value for Speed that determines the order of actions. An energy system that you can spend in cards, and cards you can use to battle, each with different costs, effects and mix of offensive and defensive values.
After enough actions, your emotion value rises and you can choose an Abnormality Page that gives the Librarian a special effect.
May you find your tropes in this place:
- Action Bomb: Fighters in the Floor of History if they take the Footfalls Abnormality card.
- Aerith and Bob: The Sephirot from Lobotomy Corporation return, so we keep the mix of names, now with the addition of the very plainly named "Roland".
- Asshole Victim: A lot of the people invited to the Library are just trying to get by in a Crapsack World, but some are prime examples of this.
- Jack and Pierre are two cooks from Backstreet 23, with all that implies.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: The introduction for the Full Stop Office deals with a cult called the Church of Gears. It seems that they will be the ones fought, but the Office bursts in and kills everyone except the head, who's saved by Argalia, the Blue Reverberation and Pluto.
- Big Bad Ensemble: There's many factions running around in the City, such as those from the Library itself, the Fingers syndicates, and the Blue Reverberation gang.
- Bloodier and Gorier: The game gives up its Grotesque Cute style completely when depicting violent or gory events in cutscenes since the cognition filter does not exist in this game. As a result, many disturbing images presented to the player are displayed in their full glory. This is especially obvious in Love Town, where the player can see cutscenes of warp train passengers mutilating and eating each other.
- But Thou Must!: A non-player example. Invitations are sent to people who are in a situation where they have to accept it. The invitees reasoning for it varies.
- Call-Back: Roland recalls seeing a "weird white light" that happened a while ago, which makes one of the endings of Lobotomy Corporation canon, as this is a direct sequel.
- City of Adventure: For every deadly danger the City has to offer, theres a proportionally great opportunity for talented and well armed denizens to achieve fame and riches by eliminating these dangers or becoming one themselves.
- Crapsack World: While alluded to in Lobotomy Corporation, the world outside the facility is the main setting this time around, and it's... not great. It says a lot that Hired Guns are about as common as retail workers, and just about every person coming to the library is someone in the lower class looking for their big break out of squalor.
- The pre-combat story for The Rats shows us that harvesting human organs (referred to as 'Gut-Harvesting') is common enough to be a lucrative business.
- According to Roland, the Library is somehow better than being on the streets due to the fact that at the very least, they're inviting people to lose their lives, rather than having it taken away from them by force.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: No matter how a battle turns out, all your characters are automatically revived to full health at no cost. The only downside to losing a battle entirely (As in, exhausting all of the available teams allowed for the fight) is losing the book(s) wagered to initiate the fight.
- Do Well, but Not Perfect: The Queen of Hatred's Hysteria Gauge will rise if she loses clashes or if she's attacked by characters that she's marked, and it'll fall if she wins clashes or if she attacks marked characters. If her Hysteria Gauge fills up then she'll transform, fully restoring her health and making her attacks much stronger, therefore players are encouraged to purposefully lose some clashes in order to manage her hysteria.
- Dramatic Irony: Roland notes that the process for changing into a robot body from human is something that shouldn't be done at all. Not knowing the fact that his fellow Librarians are the former Sephirah from Lobotomy Corporation, who were robots there but somehow became flesh and blood in this game.
- Eldritch Location:
- I'm a Humanitarian: Cannibalism is a common thing in the Backstreets, though Roland states that it's taboo even there; it's actually the rich elites that indulge in human meat often. However, the cooks in Backstreet 23, obsessed with the "ultimate flavor", will gladly put people on the chopping block.
- Great Big Library of Everything: The titular library, where the game takes place. Or at least, that's the goal you're working towards.
- Human Resources: The books are made from visitors who manage to get invited to the library. The pages your librarians use to fight are also gotten from book burning.
- Kick the Dog: You will be doing it, as the visitors to the library range the moral gamut, from asshole to saint. Standouts early on include Finn, the Naïve Newcomer who gets killed because his boss sends him out to the library to investigate, knowing very well what the outcome will be.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: You also put down pretty nasty people in the library, like Cannibals, corrupt rich elites, the works.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: The trailer does not bother to hide the fact that the game takes place after the events of the True Ending of Lobotomy Corporation, and the game proper holds no punches in mentioning that the Sephirah used to be robots. The game's opening also shows Carmen fully, albeit with a censored face.
- Never My Fault: Yun rationalizes sending Finn to his death as this, saying that since Finn is such an enthusiastic young man, he'll get killed and abused regardless of who takes him in.
- One Stat to Rule Them All: The speed stat used to be this, since the bonus it granted to your dice rolls threw any sort of strategy out the window. This was fixed in a patch, thankfully.
- Story Breadcrumbs: While the main plot is pretty straightforward, the rich lore of the world that the Library inhabits, as well as the people that visit the library itself, can be seen in the pages that you gather to fill the collection.
- The Syndicate: In the form of the Fingers, made up of several parts such as the Index and Thumb, have as much authority as the Wings.
- Virtual Paper Doll: Key pages you equip physically alters what the librarian is wearing (and sometimes their body shape) to whom the page came from.
- Womb Level: The Heart of Aspiration's Abnormality battle is one, where you'd have to battle a human heart accompanied by some sentient lungs.