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Video Game / Lyrica

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Lyrica, sometimes stylized as 《Lyrica》, is a Taiwanese Rhythm Game published by 漢創文化 and is available on Android, iOS and Nintendo Switch.

Advertised as a unique integration of classical poetry and modern music, it tells the story of a Chun, a college student who dreams of becoming a musician, and Li Bai, a renowned poet from the Tang Dynasty who dreams of changing the world through his poetry. Through dreams and visions, their paths somehow intertwine.

The gameplay can be compared to Cytus, where the player must tap, drag and hold on note buttons as they appear on-screen; but instead of using a horizontal bar, Lyrica uses arrows as its timing indicator.

On May 28 2020, Lyrica began a collaboration with Lanota where four songs from the latter game are made available for purchase in Lyrica's store. Another Lanota expansion is added on October 2020, adding 4 more songs from Lanota to the collection.

Lyrica contains examples of:

  • All Just a Dream:
    • In the very first chapter, Li Bai gets mortally wounded while protecting the Emperor from a bandit attack while he's escaping the capital due to An Lushan's rebellion. He immediately wakes up after this, revealing that the whole sequence was a dream, as Li Bai had left the country ten years before the rebellion began.
    • The “Philosophical Love” side chapter is revealed to be a dream Yang has when she falls asleep while studying for an upcoming history test.
  • Beautiful Singing Voice: Yang is primarily noted for her beautiful voice. She also tries learning the guitar, but isn't as good at it, and whenever she tries to do both, she ends up being off-beat.
  • Career-Ending Injury: A downplayed example. While working in Europe, Bai was hit by a drunk driver and injured his wrist so badly that he can no longer play the violin—his favourite musical instrument. He is still able to play other instruments, such as the piano, but he was no longer able to pursue a career as a professional violinist in the orchestra, which was what he really wanted.
  • The Chief's Daughter: Yang is revealed to be the daughter of a Paiwan tribe’s chief. Her aboriginal heritage causes her to face a lot of discrimination from her Chinese peers, and the fact that she is the chief’s daughter puts a lot of pressure on her shoulder as her father demands that she obtain success that is worthy of her noble blood.
  • Commonality Connection: Almost all of the named characters develop their friendships over their shared love for music (in Chun/Yang/Bai’s case) and poetry and literature (in Li Bai dan Du Fu’s case).
  • Drunken Master: Li Bai seems to come up with his best poetry when he is drunk out of his mind.
  • Education Papa: Yang’s father initially refuses to sign Yang’s street performing permit because he fears that it will distract from her studies, which he pushes on both his children because he believes it’s the only way the members of their people group can gain the people’s respect and not be treated as illiterate tribesmen. However, he later relents when he discovers how passionate Yang is about music, and that she can still get good grades despite her musical endeavours.
  • Flawless Victory: A congratulatory badge appears if you complete a song with All Combo (gold) and/or All Perfect (rainbow).
  • Generation Xerox: Although all of the Ancient/Modern storylines in the Main story chapters are connected in some way, Bai's and Li Shangyin's arcs mirrors each other the most, as both tells the story of a poor yet talented young man down whose skills are well regarded by so many people, even winning the favour of highly important figures who are willing to mentor/sponsor them; but their unfortunate circumstances prevents them from achieving their dreams despite all the support given, causing them to feel even more depressed at having failed their mentor/sponsor. To further highlight their similarities, their respective mentor/sponsor, Kuo Yu-sheng and Lighu Chu, uses the same character model.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Shiue is a quiet and demure girl who primarily dresses in Lolita Fashion, but also prefers playing drums rather than the piano, and is interested in the technical aspect of sound/music production, surprising Bai (who expects Chun to be more interested in it).
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Li Bai and Du Fu becomes best friends after having their first drinks together. Li Bai considers Du Fu a kindred spirit and says that he's the first person to really understand him. The two would often travel together to visit hermits and ponder on the meaning of life, but there is no indication that they regard one another as anything more than a close friend or a brother.
  • Micro Transaction: Most of the gameplay content is available for free, but most of the story chapters must be unlocked with real money. Players can also buy additional soundtracks through the store.
  • Nice Girl: Lara, despite being a famous artist, is very friendly towards Chun and Yang. She readily praises their musical talents and encourages them to one day meet her at the stage. She also pays for her former mentor's debts when the loan shark he borrowed the money from threatens to take the store, as well as Chun and Yang, as payment.
  • No Name Given: A lot of the side characters don’t have names. Yang’s family are simply tagged as her “Father” and “Brother” in the dialogue. The girl Yang befriends in the TV contest is only known as “The Vietnamese Girl”, while the Jerkass Judge from the same competition is likewise unnamed.
  • Only One Name: The four main leads, Chun, Yang, Bai and Shiue don’t seem to have surnames.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Li Bai (red), despite his eloquence, is flighty in his behaviour, and can be rather crass when he isn’t spouting poems. Du Fu (blue) is more serious and conventional.
    • Yang (red) is cheerful, energetic and loud. Her Implied Love Interest Chun (blue) is more laidback, and rather shy.
    • Yang also becomes best friends with Shiue, who is even more gentle and demure than Chun. Ironically, the image showing the two together has Shiue in a red dress and Yang in a blue dress.
  • Pretty Boy: Two of the male main characters, Chun and Bai, are noted as being good-looking.
  • Second Love: In the first section of Li Shangyin's storyline, the young poet falls in love with a girl named Willow, and the pair is said to be "a match made in heaven", due to their shared love for poetry. But after Shangyin failed to arrive at an appointed meeting with Willow due to having to take the Imperial Exam, Willow refuses to see him again, and goes on to marry someone else. Li Shangyin eventually falls in love and marries his superior's daughter, Yang Wangmei.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: When Bai and Li Shangyin are conversing, Shangyin mentions how his wife's support is what gives him the strength and hope to keep fighting for his dreams. Bai then admits that he's inspired to return to his dream after meeting Shiue, but denies that his admiration for her is romantic in nature.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Each of the main story chapters are split between the historical drama of poets from the Tang dynasty, and the modern struggles of young musicians trying to make it big in the industry. The plot of each timelines are mostly self-contained, although at one point, the characters from both story would get the opportunity to converse with each other through a shared dream and offer words of encouragement to the other.
  • Warrior Poet: Li Bai is first introduced as a retired poet who appears at a crucial moment to rescue the Emperor from a bandit attack, and managing to hold his own in the ensuing swordfight against the thugs. However, the scene is revealed be All Just a Dream, and Li Bai never participated in any physical battle in his lifetime.