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Video Game / Peret em Heru: For the Prisoners

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Peret em Heru: For the Prisoners is a Survival Horror RPG set in Egypt in 1998, the same year it was released. The story follows Ayuto Asaki, a recent high school graduate who's visiting Egypt with three of his friends when their tour group crosses paths with Professor Tetsuya Tsuchida and his assistant, Dr. Koji Kuroe. The archaeologist has just made an incredible discovery — hidden beneath the Great Pyramid of Giza is a sprawling underground ruin, and he offers their tour group the chance of a lifetime, to explore the depths alongside them.


However, what the professor doesn't see fit to mention is that he's only recruiting them out of necessity. Or what he sees as necessity. For the ruins are heavily booby-trapped, and his presence there isn't strictly approved by the WHC or SCA. Unwilling to risk waiting for the rest of his team, he brings Ayuto and the rest of the tour group into the fold as unwitting meat shields. And as they venture through the ruins, they find that they may not be the only ones there...

The game was made in RPG Maker Dante 98 II, and won a game-making contest held by the Japanese group ASCII. In 2014, a Fan Translation was released by Memories of Fear.


This Survival Horror RPG contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Rin, a nine-year old girl, lies her way into accompanying a tour group without her parents present, so they are completely unaware of where she is, much less that she's delving into an unexplored ruin filled with deadly traps. And if you aren't careful, she suffers one of the most brutal deaths in the game.
    • Near the end of the game, it's revealed that Tsuchida witnessed his daughter getting shot and was unable to get her help in time, watching her succumb to her injuries before his eyes.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Professor Tsuchida is an older variety, who freely admits he's not as nimble as he used to be. He is also much more unpleasant and unscrupulous than the usual example, being willing to let anyone else get killed in his place while he explores the ruins.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Professor Tsuchida already has quite the impressive reputation among scholars. The problem is that he's not content with what he already has and is always striving for more. His assistant Dr. Kuroe is noted to have the same problem, losing sight of the bigger picture in his pursuit of personal success.
    • Later flipped on its ear with the revelation that Tsuchida really just wants Kuroe to suffer, blaming him for not saving his daughter after she was shot. More specifically, he blames Kuroe's ambition for this — Kuroe hadn't gotten his medical license yet, and didn't want to lose it by attempting a risky surgery.
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  • Anyone Can Die: You start with 11 living members. Fail to tackle the challenges ahead of you properly and you'll see that number get whittled down quite quickly — it can go as low as two.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Normally, you can only travel with one other party member at a time. (This is justified In-Universe by the Professor refusing to let too many others accompany you.) Before the Final Boss, you can pick up to four others to fight alongside you — assuming, of course, that many have survived that far.
  • Asshole Victim: By the time Mizumi's number comes up, the player may be hard-pressed to find much reason to try and save an admitted Serial Rapist.
  • Attempted Rape: Mizumi just can't keep it in his pants, and has to immediately try and act upon the Blackmail material he stumbled across. He also attempts this on the figure that appears to judge him, simply because it appears as a woman.
  • Bad Boss: Professor Tsuchida gets a man killed trying to make his way into the ruins, and is more concerned about getting his research done before the SCA learns about his discovery. He treats the tour group no better. Eventually it's revealed that he intended to work Kuroe to the bone as punishment for not saving his daughter, but upgraded that to trying to get him judged and killed by Khufu.
  • Batter Up!: At Level 7, Kyosuke can start using a Baseball Bat to inflict considerable damage, with a chance of instantly killing his target.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Professor Tetsuya Tsuchida is the one who dragged the tourist group into exploring the ruins to use them as meat shields so he can discover the tomb's secrets (and also get Koji killed to avenge his daughter whom Koji refused to save), making him partially responsible for the danger that occurs. However, the Final Boss behind the traps and spiritual happenings is the powerful, psychic Pharaoh Khufu, who lives eternally in the tomb and has gone insane from the isolation, now wanting only a successor.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Rin Tsukihara, who's the youngest member of the tourist group at just nine years old, and delights in messing with Ayuto.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the epilogue, Kyosuke observes that the powers he was given appear to have gone away after the destruction of the underground ruins.
  • Came Back Wrong: Any party members you fail to save will reanimate as crazed undead and attack you during your escape from the ruins at the end of the game. Ayuto later theorizes that Kyosuke caused this to happen with his powers because it's the sort of thing you'd expect to happen in an insane horror movie scenario.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Due to the ruins judging any and all crimes harshly, but the big standout here is Yoko, who stole her pendant from a department store back in Japan. Her guilt over this and fear of being judged attracts the attention of Anubis, which can lead to her brutal demise.
  • Choice-and-Consequence System: The game doesn't quite offer Multiple Endings, but a wide variety of branches based upon who is and isn't saved along the way.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The potential deaths of the teammates. One of the most horrifying is the potential fate of Rin Tsukihara, who gets thrust through a wall and crushed against another by a statue, bleeding out before anyone can help.
    • Failing to grab Yoko's pendant will result in Anubis viciously mauling her to death, and you're forced to watch.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: You have the option to steal Saori's photograph. This is necessary to ensure her survival. Just make sure to never give it back until the game forces you to.
  • Crutch Character: Zig-Zagged with Kyosuke. While potentially a very useful party member, he cannot help fight against the Final Boss, due to the whole 'being electrocuted by them at the time' thing. However, he automatically joins you for the final escape sequence.
  • Crying Wolf: Rin is a little liar that loves pulling nasty pranks. Naturally, she eventually pulls out a Cassandra Truth; if Ayuto doesn't believe her, she ends up dying for it.
  • Dark Secret: Several of your fellow explorers have one, which is problematic since they are inside a temple that likes to lay down harsh judgments. For example, Miss Otogi is a drug dealer who uses her tour guide job as a cover, while Mizumi is a Serial Rapist.
  • Death by Irony: Some of the skills characters can learn are related to the manner of their potential deaths. For instance, one of your allies can weaponize their farts; naturally, they can end up succumbing to Deadly Gas themselves.
  • Death Glare: Saori is good enough at this that she has 'Cold Stare' as a basic move, which uses no AP and can frighten opponents.
  • Death of a Child: Rin, the elementary schooler, is not only fully capable of dying, but first on the chopping block.
  • Death Trap: Naturally, the ruins are filled with them.
  • Descending Ceiling: One of these can crush Ms. Otogi if Ayuto isn't able to prevent it.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Professor Tsuchida's plans unravel — and he completely flips out — when the group finds Pharoah Khufu's throne room. He expects Kuroe to be struck down where he stands for the weight of his sin, and seeing the doctor approach the throne with nothing happening makes him freak out and take matters into his own hands.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In an early part of the game, when on a ship, it starts sinking due to the load that all the tourists are putting on it. In order to progress, Ayuto has to push a mummy off board, believing that it will lighten the load... only for Tsuchida to inform him that mummies weigh almost nothing due to them being hollowed out, and the boat is still sinking.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The forces residing within the pyramid aim to judge the intruders, and will judge them harshly, killing off those you aren't able to save. All sins are equal here, so the little girl who lies to get attention is just as vulnerable as the rapist and the murderer.
  • Driven to Suicide: One of your fellow tourists will attempt suicide twice. The first time is automatically prevented, but the second will succeed if you don't intervene. At the end, Ayuto theorizes the ruins would have left her alone, and she only died because she killed herself.
    • If you prevent her second attempt by stealing her photo, she'll ask it back later. Give it back, and she'll make a third attempt while you're escaping the ruins - and this time, she'll succeed.
  • Dwindling Party: How much it dwindles hinges upon how good you are at preventing the various judgments from claiming victims.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: During the climax, Kyosuke is deemed worthy of succeeding Pharaoh Khufu. This proves handy when he's subsequently able to part the waters long enough for them to run through the riverbed.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Ayuto and his friends don't know Mitsuri and never bother to learn his name, only ever referring to him as "that tall guy".
  • Failed a Spot Check: Played for Laughs when Sae muses about how she isn't sure whether or not Rin was always part of their tour group, startling Ayuto... after all, the tour guide would normally know these sort of things. Also factors into several of the potential deaths, with Ayuto and others not noticing critical details until it's too late.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Comes into play when Tsuchida accuses Kuroe of this due to how he wasn't able to save his daughter Shizumi the year before, believing that he had the medical skills, but refused to use them because he hadn't gotten his license yet.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Discussed regarding what happened to Pharoah Khufu, who spent thousands of years kept alive deep within the underground ruins. Holding incredible powers, but completely alone. Kyosuke suggests that he wanted to die, and that Ayuto finishing him off was a Mercy Kill.
  • Gas Chamber: In the form of a trap room; naturally, the group must make their way through in order to progress.
  • Glass Cannon: Rin is one of the frailest party members physically, and doesn't have much AP to work with, but has some powerful special moves revolving around her throwing temper tantrums that can confuse the enemy.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: Downplayed with Mizumi; while he doesn't rush headlong into danger, he's more than happy to accompany the group despite how perilous the ruins are because it gives him a chance to get some exclusive pictures and potentially be the first to break the story.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Pharaoh Khufu, as a result of being stuck guarding the ruins with his eternal life, has been reduced to near-catatonic by the time the main characters find him.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: If you fail to find Nei after she disappears, an earthquake will occur offscreen and some time later during your escape you'll find her body torn in half from the waist down hanging from a collapsing staircase. Said body will then reanimate and attack you.
  • Hate Sink: Soji Mizumi initially seems to be a simple photojournalist who is only concerned with getting a big story from the tourist expedition into the ruins but is, in fact, a Serial Rapist. He tries to blackmail Sae Otogi, the tour guide, into having sex with him by threatening to expose her drug dealing, bragging that he's done so with many women in the past. He later tries to rape a monster in the ruins simply because it resembles a woman, which can lead to his own Karmic Death if he's not saved. If he is saved, he continues to show no concern for the other survivors, and once they escape he begs Ayuto to take him back to the dangerous ruins just so he can get a picture of Pharaoh Khufu. Despite Ayuto slamming the door in his face, he is not seen receiving justice for his crimes. Lacking the sympathetic backstory of Professor Tsuchida, Soji Mizumi is a disgusting rapist using his journalist job as a cover.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ayuto doesn't cope well with anyone dying, but is particularly hit hard if Rin, Yoko, or especially Nei bite it.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the end, Tsuchida brings about his own demise when he shoots Kuroe, as he's promptly judged for being a murderer.
  • Hope Spot: Can happen multiple times while you're escaping the ruins.
    • If you initially failed to save Miss Otogi, Nei or Yoko, the game will make you think that they have miraculously survived. They haven't.
    • Normally, if you prevented someone's death before the escape sequence, their survival will be assured. Not Saori. If you give her photo back to her after passing the treasure room, she will die during the final sequence.
  • Hot Guys Are Bastards: Mizumi shows his stripes when he immediately attempts to Blackmail one of the other explorers into letting him assault her. Just in case that's not slimy enough, he has a whole mini-speech about how this isn't the first time he has blackmailed his way into rape.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Mizumi attempts this on Otogi via Blackmail, gloating about having done so before.
  • Ignored Epiphany: While most of the survivors show some signs of regretting the actions that got them judged and nearly killed, Mizumi expresses no remorse, instead attempting to deny any wrongdoing. Badly.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Gender inverted; Rin, at some points during the exploration of the dangerous ruins, will say that she wants her daddy to comfort her.
  • Karma Houdini: If you save him, Mizumi ends up receiving no onscreen punishment for being a Serial Rapist. While he never gets the big scoop he wanted and is left begging to go back to the ruins, he is never apprehended for his crimes.
  • Kill the Cutie: Fully possible. Of particular note is how poor Yoko can have her throat torn out by Anubis.
  • Knife Nut: Mizumi can learn how to use a knife for a potential One-Hit Kill.
  • Lack of Empathy: Professor Tsuchida generally doesn't bother with any sort of niceties; even when people die, he only offers comforting words when he thinks it will help drive them further forward. What's worse, he finds the various judgments more interesting than anything else.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Provided that Soji Mizumi doesn't killed by his judgment, he still gets this in the end: he forgot to take any pictures of Pharaoh Khufu, and is left begging Ayuto to join him in another trip to the ruins. Naturally, Ayuto's having none of it.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Defeating the Final Boss, Pharaoh Khufu, causes the Ruins to start caving in, forcing Ayuto and any other survivors to race for the exit. Subverted, however, when it turns out that Kyousuke merely thought Khufu was this- and since he inherited his psychic powers, he nearly sunk the pyramid by thinking that it would sink.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Between Ayuto and his friends, with some angles, like Kyosuke's crush on 'Yoyo', more obvious than others. Ayuto is, naturally, unaware of the details at first.
  • Magic Music: Nei can use various styles of music to buff the whole party. Hip-Hop boosts Intelligence and Agility; Rock boosts Strength and Intelligence; Classical music outright heals the party and boosts their Intelligence.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: While not super-powered, Ayuto can Shout random lines or call for help. Yoko can also inflict confusion on enemies by screaming.
  • Manipulative Bastard: While Professor Tsuchida rather obviously doesn't care about the safety of his raw recruits, he is fully capable of exploiting the emotions of those around him to point them towards furthering his ends.
  • Marry Them All: After observing the Love Dodecahedron in action, Professor Tsuchida teases Ayuto by casually mentioning how the wealthy in Egypt practiced polygyny.
  • The Medic: Dr. Kuroe serves this role. While he can't accompany Ayuto as a party member, he can treat everyone's wounds and revive anyone who's fainted (though it's then best to talk to him again so he can restore their HP and AP afterwards). Out of all your potential party members, only Nei can learn a healing move; all other healing comes from First Aid Sprays and Chewing Gum (the latter of which only Ayuto benefits from, and only works outside of battle).
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Inverted; in the worst possible route, the only two survivors are Ayuto and Kyousuke. None of the girls have Plot Armor.
  • Mercy Kill: Kyousuke tells Ayuto that this is what his killing of Pharaoh Khufu boils down to- he had gone insane from the years of isolation, so killing him allowed him to pass on.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: One of Rin's pranks has her asking Ayuto to help her out, then screaming molestation the moment he touches her, trying to frame him.
  • Mister Exposition: Professor Tsuchida offers various explanations about Egyptian history and culture, often related to the potential judgments.
  • Modular Epilogue: Upon reaching the end of the game, each of the survivors either comes by to visit Ayuto's hotel room or otherwise pulls him aside for a chat.
  • Motive Rant: Near the climax, Professor Tsuchida reveals that he was deliberately hoping to get Kuroe killed by Khufu's judgment, and explains why he wanted his assistant dead so badly.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: Downplayed with Pharaoh Khufu. He is the Final Boss and one of the main antagonists, being the one who passes the judgements and controls the dangerous traps in the ruins, but only because he lost his sanity as a result of his eternal stay in the ruins.
  • Nominal Importance: The miner that Professor Tsuchida and Kuroe hired at the start of the game has no name, and quickly meets a grisly end illustrating the dangers of the ruins.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Professor Tsuchida's true motives: punishing Kuroe for failing to save his daughter. Originally, by his own admission, he planned to simply work him to the bone... but sees the ruins as an opportunity to subject him to an even worse fate. The tour group gets roped into his plan purely as Cannon Fodder; he sees their potential deaths as little more than a way to torture Kuroe even further before meeting his fate.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: When the boat they're taking across the underground river starts sinking, Ayuto responds by trying to reduce weight by shoving the mummy overboard. Afterwards, the professor chides him, pointing out how the item he chucked wasn't heavy enough to make a difference, and that he merely 'invoked the mummy's wrath'.
    • While trying to save Sae Otogi, simply attacking the Restrainer won't work. You need to prop up the ceiling first.
    • Similarly, Anubis is a Puzzle Boss — fighting it won't let you save Yoko from getting her throat ripped out. You need to have Ayuto take the necklace from her.
  • Off with His Head!: The fate of the miner whom Professor Tsuchida initially hired to help him get into the ruins, via Razor Wire.
    • Several of the monsters you fight in the ruins also lose their heads upon death. Others simply have the light in their eyes go out.
  • Only Sane Man: Downplayed; Sae Otogi is simply the most vocal with her complaints and attempts to maintain/regain control of her tour group. Professor Tsuchida treats her harshly for this, acting as if The Complainer Is Always Wrong and getting... very personal in his attacks quite quickly.
  • Opportunistic Bastard:
    • The very fact that Professor Tsuchida went out and picked up the first group of tourists he could talk into coming along, just so he could use them as meat shields, cements him as one.
    • Then there's Mizumi, who takes the time to gloat about how he exploits others' Moments of Weakness to his own ends.
  • Plotline Death: No matter how well you play, it's impossible to prevent Tsuchida or Kuroe's deaths. The miner in the prologue is also doomed.
  • Remembered Too Late: It's possible for the troup to accidentally leave Mitsuru behind. By the time the others realize this, it's too late to change their fate.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Professor Tsuchida delivers several of these, making no secret of how much he looks down upon those of 'lesser' intellects.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: The punishments are triggered by displays of these:
    • Envy is covered by Nei Ichikawa, who gets jealous when Yoko freaks out and turns to Ayuto for comfort. Kyosuke gets upset as well, but is able to keep himself under control and thus doesn't trigger Khufu's judgement.
    • Greed is shown by Kuroe, who tries to steal some treasure only to be attacked by an Anubis statue... and also Yoko, who stole her pendant from a department store, and is the one who actually gets killed by the Anubis statue.
    • Lust is obviously displayed by the Serial Rapist Mizumi, who attempts to force himself onto Sae and a sand monster that took a female form to lure him in and kill him. He also makes a comment in passing early on about how Rin is 'a bit too young'.
    • Gluttony is shown by Sae, who deals drugs, short-term pleasure, for the sake of funding her own comfort.
    • Pride is one of Professor Tsuchida's most glaring flaws, as he goes on about how great he is and how everyone should respect his work, and is willing to get innocents killed to advance his reputation. However, it is Rin who is killed by this- after repeatedly lying and pranking Ayuto, she actually tells the truth and acts surprised when Ayuto ignores her, instead of apologizing to him and admitting her wrongdoing.
    • Wrath proves to be the true downfall of Professor Tsuchida, when he's outraged at how Khufu isn't striking Kuroe down on sight and takes matters into his own hands- earning him a punishment from Khufu himself.
    • Sloth is represented by the unmotivated and generally apathetic Mitsuru, who runs the risk of taking a deadly nap when left behind.
    • The eighth sin, Despair, comes into play with Saori, who's become self-destructive after losing her lover, and is the only one to kill herself rather than be killed by a trap.
  • Shout-Out: Many of the lines Ayuto can randomly yell with the Shout command are references to Visual Kei, like Gackt, Malice Mizer, L'arc-en-Ciel and La'cryma Christi.
  • Smug Snake: Professor Tsuchida and Soji Mizumi. The former recruits everyone else on the spot to die for him, and is in addition boastful about his work, and the latter casually brags about committing rape, assumes that all women want to sleep with him, and learns absolutely nothing from the whole ordeal.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Between Professor Tsuchida and Dr. Kuroe as they proceed deeper into the ruins. Kuroe often fights with Tsuchida because of his willingness to endanger the tourists, while Tsuchida continues endangering them so he can discover the secreten of the tomb and kill Kuroe, whom he hated for years.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Causes a Heroic BSoD when Ayuto realizes he can feel Khufu's lukewarm blood on his hands, indicating the Pharoah was a living human and not some sort of undead mummy.
  • This Is Reality: Ayuto Lampshades some of the game's tropes, such as noting how he almost expects to hear background music when first entering the ruins and complaining about how Collapsing Lairs are more like something you'd see on the silver screen.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Alluded to in passing; Yoko knew that two of her friends had shoplifted before, and was tempted to try it herself. She regrets it.
  • Tragic Keepsake: A photograph belonging to Saori, showing her boyfriend Takeshi. Ironically enough, this factors into preventing her death... via Ayuto stealing it from her and refusing to give it back until they're out of the ruins.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The whole tour group, in Professor Tsuchida's eyes, is nothing more than an expendable group of meat shields to get killed by the traps while he passes on safely. He also views Dr. Kuroe this way, manipulating him into his doom.
  • Vertical Kidnapping: In order to save Mizumi, you need to figure out the right place to look up after his disappearance. The statues hold the key here.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Downplayed. The game refers to the Luxor Massacre, a Real Life tragedy that unfolded in 1997, one year before the game was created/the story was set. Ten Japanese were among the victims: nine tourists and a tour guide. In Peret em Heru's version of events, Tsuchida was visiting Egypt with several of his students, including his daughter Shizumi and assistant Kuroe, with her ending up as one of the victims. He blames Kuroe for not being able to save her, and gets the tour group involved in his attempt to get Kuroe judged and killed by Pharoah Khufu.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You could figure out how to save everybody, but there's nothing actually stopping you from moving right along.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Any deaths you allowed to happen come back to haunt you later on, when you have to fight your way past their reanimated corpses.
  • Villain Respect: Over the course of the adventure, Professor Tsuchida gradually warms up towards Ayuto, and spends his last moments entreating him to be careful that he doesn't turn out the same as him.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Professor Tsuchida completely loses his shit when he sees Kuroe standing in front of Pharaoh Khufu without being struck down where he stands.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kuroe keeps attempting to call out Professor Tsuchida on his decisions, such as ordering him to hide the miner's dead body or recruiting a group of tourists as 'ideal candidates' for bypassing any further traps. Tsuchida blows him off every time, until he ultimately murders Kuroe outright.
    • Similarly, Sae repeatedly questions Professor Tsuchida, chewing him out for putting her group in danger, only for him to keep dismissing her concerns.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Expressed regarding Pharaoh Khufu, who was trapped inside his tomb for millenia while still alive, until Ayuto finally killed him.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Ayuto theorizes during the climax that this is how Kyosuke's Khufu-granted powers work: whatever scenario he thinks up comes to pass.


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