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Video Game / SINoALICE

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SINoALICE is a free-to-play mobile game developed by Pocket Laboratory and published by Square Enix, released on June 6, 2017 for Android and iOS platforms.

In a world called Library filled with countless stories, the Characters within each story wish to revive their author for their desired future. To do so, they work together to gather inochi and fight the Nightmares that devour stories, knowing they will inevitably have to kill each other to get their wish.

The gameplay uses a real-time RPG battle system.

Notably Taro Yoko, known for his work on the Drakengard franchise and its spinoff series NieR, is the writer and creative director of this game, though there is no apparent connection between this game and his other works besides the crossover collaboration events held for this game.

A server for Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau was announced on October 2, 2018 and was released on November 29 the same year by Komoe Games. About the same time, a global release was announced by Gree and later confirmed to be published by Nexon for a July 18, 2019 release, but 2 days before service started the official Facebook page announced that it has been delayed. On March 23rd, 2020 it was announced that global publishing was to no longer be handled by Nexon, but by the original development team, Pocket Laboratory. The global server of the game launched on July 1, 2020. On June 10, 2020 preregistration for the Simplified Chinese version of SINoALICE for mainland China had begun, with publishing being handled by Bilibili Games. During the August Live SINoALICE, plans were unveiled by producer Shogo Maeda for a Worldwide GranColosseum featuring every single player from all 4 servers in 2021.


The game also has the following side materials:

  • A manga of the same name, written by Aoki Tact and illustrated by himiko, started serialization on Square Enix's MangaUP application on 6 June 2019 during the 2nd Anniversary of the game. Taking place in Reality, Alice finds herself dragged into a conflict supervised by Parrah and Noya when she experiences a dream of herself in an alternative universe and later teams up with Snow White and Pinocchio after her powers activate upon seeing her family killed by Red Riding Hood. The first 7 chapters of the manga were compiled into 2 volumes and released on August 7 2020 with the Light Novel, while a 3rd volume containing chapters 8 to 11 were released on July 7 2021. The manga was later announced on 26 July 2021 to be translated into English for a February 2022 release.
  • SINoALICE - Black Fables note  - a Light Novel written by Jun Eishima (YoRHa Boys novelization) which began serialization on MangaUP on December 19 2019. In contrast to the manga, the stories in the Light Novel take place in Library, expanding on the Library versions of the characters (except for Little Match Girl) and explores more on their personality and motives for reviving their authors. The Light Novel was later compiled and released on August 7 2020 with the first 2 volumes of the manga.
  • SINoALICE - Records of Suspicion note  (TBA) - a project first announced on May 21 2021 and later confirmed during the June 3 2021 Live SINoALICE livestream to be a manga serialization. The only information known so far is that the story will be written by Yoko Taro himself with illustrations by Shirow Miwa.

Global server players, beware of spoilers from the Japanese version.

Tropes that appear in this game:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Most of the sentient Nightmares qualify; most of them just want to be left alone or achieve their dreams, only to be slaughtered by the characters.
  • Ambiguously Human: Pinocchio is a doll turned human who struggles to make a decision on his own, relying instead on others to give him orders. In Book One Chapter 4, Pinocchio realizes that he doesn't remember becoming a real little boy while his staff exhibits all traits associated with his doll self (foul-mouthed, mean, nose growing when lying). Pinocchio's concept art hint at the fact that the staff might be the real Pinocchio.
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  • Apocalyptic Log: Some of the weapon stories and event stories describe the last moments of their previous owners/narrators.
  • April Fools' Day: Most of them involve Irasutoya, a Japanese stock image website with free-to-use illustrations. The first 2 years sent the player on a scavenger hunt for said pictures, but the 2021 event escalates it to a full-on collab... except that there's no bonuses.
    • 2020 on the other hand had LOLiALICE, which turned out to be the precursor to Sanctuary of Nursery Rhymes.
  • Ax-Crazy: The whole cast really. Special mention goes to Little Red Riding Hood who is associated with 'Brutality' itself.
    • August 2020 introduces Little Match Girl, who may be worse then Red Riding Hood due to her concept of 'Hellfire'.
  • Baby Morph Episode: The Sanctuary of Nursery Rhymes event deages Alice, Little Mermaid, Dorothy and Aladdin to babies with Parrah and Noya tasking Cinderella into taking care of the four of them until they turn back into their normal selves. Cinderella ends up getting attached to the 'children' after 5 years of being a Struggling Single Mother and as a result, Parrah and Noya declare the world they gave her to raise the kids in a 'failure'.
  • Bad Moon Rising: Chapter 3 of the Act of Elimination takes place under a (literal) blood red moon. At the end of Chapter 4, just as Alice prays for Lewis Carroll's revival, it's described as breaking down and distorting with the rest of the world.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A common theme among the weapon stories as well as the main story. Most of those who make a wish wind up Blessed with Suck or in a Ironic Hell. Said wish can also lead to being turned into a Nightmare as revealed in Act of Hatred and is the cause behind the events Avatar of EnvyEN  and Avatar of SolitudeEN .
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The humour of the game, if not Black Comedy, is rife with this. Parrah and Noya in particular indulge in it as they're navigator characters, but the Characters do this as well during certain events, especially collaboration events that are more light-hearted such as those for Tsuri Star, Space Invaders and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Certain Classes, weapons and Nightmares are only available through Twilight Crystal packs which require players to spend real money on. Some of the paid Nightmares in particular are a staple of many a guild's strategy to win, such as "Dryas, Mistletoe Linchpin" and her counterparts.
  • The Cameo: If one zooms in on Pinocchio's brooch in his Fake Joker artwork, it's in the shape of Emil's head.
  • The Caligula: What Cinderella wishes to become by reviving her Author to make him rewrite her story.
  • The Corruption: The Nightmares, the main antagonist force through the game, who roam the Library, consuming the stories contained within. They come in various shapes and sizes, based upon monsters found in fairy tales and myths, including the characters. While they usually act as mindless mooks, some of them have shown the ability to speak. The Act of Hatred and some events explained the reason why: Nightmares are formed from human beings.
  • Creator Cameo: The weapons obtained from the Guild Box o' Grimoire during Blood Colosseums mentions Shogo Maeda, SINoALICE's producer from Pokelabo. He also shows up during the secondary 2nd Anniversary event which recaps the year's events where a gold statue of him serves as the event's Final Boss. Defeating him gives the player a special title for their profile.
    • On certain Colosseum SPs, the opponent is an AI guild representing the developers, with each member being referred to by their title except for Lead Planner Sankaku. Aside from summoning Evil Knockoff versions of Rikone, Juno and Dryas, after using Tearful Acts of Bullfighting Roisa, the guild will change their skins depending on the player guild's timeslot.
  • Creepy Doll: Gishin/Parrah and Anki/Noya, the two Obviously Evil puppets who act as the characters' guide in the Library. Both look like young children but are foul-mouthed. They enjoy the misery of others, often taunting characters over their doubts as well as encouraging them to mercilessly kill any Nightmares they came across. They are also the ones in charge of the Grimoire.
  • Crossover:
    • Within Yoko Taro's other works, there's Memory of Dolls, Dreams Under Missing Pages and Harmonic Interference, which features NieR: Automata, NieR: Replicant and Drakengard 3 respectively. Both NieR events depict 2B and Emil visiting the Library in their dreams while Harmonic Interference seems to connect SINoALICE to the Drakengard universe as a whole. There's also Lies and Atonement, which ties into NieR: Replicant's remaster.
    • Outside of the collective Drakengard and NieR franchises, there's crossover events with Tsuri Star, Space Invaders, Code Geass, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Re:Zero, virtual idol group Gems Companynote , Higurashi: When They Cry, Rozen Maiden and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, with the last one being notable for starting the trend of every collaboration event aside from previously held events being run simultaneously between both the Japanese and Global servers.
    • September 2021 notably sees the first collaboration with a western IP, that being Batman of all things. However, it's currently exclusive to the Japanese server.
  • Cute and Psycho: Most of the cast can be qualified as such, in particular characters like Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty or Gretel.
  • Darker and Edgier: The characters are a far cry to the stories they originated from. A jarring one is Gretel carrying around the severed head of Hansel in a birdcage blaming the witch as his killer. Her cross episode with Cinderella and her job story implies she was the one responsible for Hansel's death. Then Chapter 3 of Gretel's Act of Hatred reveals that Gretel was actually Hansel all along.... it’s a Yoko Taro game what did you expect?
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Pinocchio has a "vulgar staff" he has no control over and it does the thinking for him. Yeah...
  • Draconic Humanoid: Mikhail takes a human form when he enters the Library. He still has features from his dragon form, like his horns.
  • Driven to Suicide: Implied all over the place, from weapon descriptions to character backstories, The Little Mermaid being an example, to certain characters' Acts of Reality.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In the Taiwanese server as well as Globalnote , Briar Rose had her name changed to Sleeping Beauty to reflect the more common name of her fairytale known worldwidenote .
    • For the Global server, to preserve the pun from Gishin's and Anki's names, the two of them were renamed 'Parrah' and 'Noyah'note  respectively.
    • From the Late Summer's RecollectionsEN  event, the clam Nightmare that Sleeping Beauty and Little Mermaid befriend and protect is named 'Sary' in Japanese after the Japanese word for the littleneck clamJP . To preserve the naming convention in English, Sary became Lammy.
    • A paid Nightmare known as "Apostle of the Black Arm, Mitra" was known as "Cecilia the Crimson Banisher" as part of a social media campaign for the Global server.
  • Elemental Powers: The weapons and Nightmares come in three different elements - Fire, Water and Wind. The 27 April 2021 update in the Japanese server would later add Light and Dark, along with dual-element weapons.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Fire beats Wind, Water beats Fire and Wind beats Water, with Light and Dark being mutually exclusive to each other.
  • Fairytale Motifs: Each character comes from a fairy tale and makes references to the stories they originated from.
  • Fire, Water, Wind: The elemental cycle in the game is this. Until the 27 April 2021 update in the Japanese server added Light and Dark.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • When pulling the Grimoire, pay attention to Parrah and Noya's dialogue. If either one of them mentions missing a rare, followed by Parrah hurling abuse on Noya, one of the brown books (A weapons) will be replaced with a shiny book (S or SS(R) weapons). If the rope breaks during the pull and Noya loses his head, congratulations - at least 1 of the shiny books contains a SS(R) weapon/Nightmare.
    • During Recycle Grimoires (exchanging an unused SS(R) weapon for a pull which guarantees at least 1 new SS(R) weapon), players launch a book into a machine instead. If the book hits Noya and he loses his head again, one of the new weapons has a cost of 19 and above. However, should the player miss the first time, but subsequently cracks the ceiling, congratulations - there's more than 1 SS(R) weapon in the pull.
  • Foreshadowing:
  • Forever War: The Characters are constantly fighting and killing Nightmares and each other with no end in sight. In fact, anyone dragged into Library will be compelled to continue it. The Act of Fusion reveals that Nutcracker is trying to find a way to stop the war, but has to lie low so that he won't be discovered by Parrah and Noya.
  • Four Is Death: The theme of the Japanese server's 4th Anniversary where the management decides to hold a funeral for the game... with Death Metal. No, really. It's true.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the Act of Elimination, the Three Little Pigs run away from their battle with Nutcracker to dress up in cute clothes and eat at trendy cafes, leaving Parrah and Noya without any extendification records since no one died during said chapter. However, completing their chapter has the Pigs' portrait slashed out as though they were killed by Nutcracker anyway.
  • Gender Bender: As part of yet another scheme by Parrah and Noya to get rich quick, Snow White, Cinderella, Gretel and Dorothy temporarily turn male and form an idol unit, 'Phantom Tale', during the White Day 2021 event, Men's Banquet of Idols.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: The only way the characters can have their wish granted and have their Authors brought back to life is by collecting Lifeforce. Said Lifeforce can only be collected by killing beings that have been granted life through stories, which includes Nightmares and the Characters.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The world of Library is this. A place where countless stories can be found, from famous literature works to fairytales, including tales from unknown worlds. The appearance of the Library changes depending on the viewer, in the case of the players, it manifests as a giant library filled with books. Said books are used like Portal Book to travel to a world or are used to summon a weapon from one in the Grimoire.
  • Halloween Episode:
    • The 2018 Halloween eventnote , Festival of Deceit and Madness, has Cinderella and Little Mermaid visit a village for a holiday, only for them to get caught up in a real version of Werewolf.
    • 2019 had Banquet of the Butlers where the male characters are hired to take care of a young girl soon to be offered as a sacrifice to the forest guardian by another village. Notable for being the first (and only) Roulette Event where players earned prizes from a board.
    • Averted in 2020 where Festival of Deceit and Madness and Banquet of the Butlersnote  reran instead of having an original Halloween event, followed by the Rozen Maiden Crossover Event Rose Maidens of the Mirror's Surface.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Subverted with Snow White. While her wish is to remain pure and just, Snow White acts like a Knight Templar who use her Justice as a way to justify her crimes. The bloodstain found on her white dress, that is present on all her job classes, symbolizes her sin. Her Breaker job story implies the blood is either the prince's who took a fatal blow for her or her mother's whom she killed in retribution.
    • Rapunzel as well. Even though her concept is 'Purity', her purity is depicted as hopelessly naïve, to the point where she's unaware that some of her dialogue has indecent context.
  • Interface Spoiler: In the Act of Elimination, an easy way to predict the winner for each round would be to check how many phases the boss of each verse has. Winners have 3 HP bars while losers have 2. This doesn't make certain chapters any easier to complete as each character has their own mechanic.
  • Job System: Each character can switch between classes, which like weapons when levelled will tell a story relevant to the character.
  • Little Dead Riding Hood: Inverted with Little Red Riding Hood. Instead, anyone who comes across her is the one whose life is at risk.
  • Little Red Fighting Hood: Little Red Riding Hood is a Little Miss Badass with Ax-Crazy tendencies.
  • Living Weapon: A few of those are mentioned in various weapon stories, the most prominent one being Pinocchio's staff, who has an actual face and his own will, often dragging Pinocchio around in order to kills any nightmares meeting their paths. Oddly enough, the staff turns silent when Pinocchio is not alone. The staff is implied to be the real Pinocchio and the culprit behind the disappearance of Geppetto and other people related to the puppet.
  • Obliviously Evil: Though every playable character from the normal story has shades of this, being defined by a singular "Sin" that either keeps them from recognizing that their actions might be wrong or compels them to continue forward despite this realization, Red Riding Hood takes the cake. She doesn't understand that killing, dismemberment, and mutilation being fun for her doesn't necessarily mean it's fun for her victims, or even that there's a meaningful difference between death and sleep.
  • Mad Scientist: Dorothy from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Her introduction PV has her voice excitement over the thought of collecting new samples in Library. Her wish is to put her Author's brain in formaldehyde. Her weapon story has her test a drug of her own creation on living beings with the expected effect. Her Gunner job story implies she used the cast of Wizard of Oz as her first test subjects.
  • Player Versus Player: Of the Synchronous kind - guilds play the Colosseum depending on their timeslots in the day for a guild vs guild battle, with the winner being the guild that scores the most points. Variants of the Colosseum aside from regular battles include:
    • Blood Colosseum, which rewards both victory and participation via giving out Character Blood to use in the guild-only Blood Grimoire taking place at the beginning of the month.
    • GranColosseum, a monthly tournament where guilds have to register beforehand to participate. Gran Colosseum takes place for 5-6 days followed by 1 day's rest before qualified guilds fight in the Finals. This is also the only way to obtain the Half-Nightmare Jobs for the Characters as well as the Infinite Weapons; weapons with the motif of the Characters' respective Nightmare forms which can be evolved many times for better skills and more power.
    • Colosseum EX, a bi-monthly event which puts the spotlight on two different Characters - this was discontinued for the Japanese server in March 2020.
    • Colosseum SP, started in April 2020 for the Japanese server taking place at the end of each month where certain rules are changed.
    • Colosseum Sin, a bimonthly event taking place concurrently with Blood Colosseum in which only the best of the best take part depending on how they fared during the previous 2 GranColosseum matches.
    • Chapter 5 of the Act of Fusion eventually reveals that the Colosseum is plot-relevant - changing scenery to reflect the story and the final location of the Characters' battles with each other.
  • Regional Bonus: The Global version of the game had mechanics that are exclusive to Global, and only Global:
    • Skip Tickets - These allow players to skip playing the stage and simply getting the rewards that come with it. Handy for playing events and grinding for medals, shooting gallery tickets and the like, but they cannot be used with drop potions (with the exception of Royal Skip Medals for those who purchased the Royal User Service and certain Twilight Crystal packs).
    • Country flags - Due to the number of countries available for the Global server, each guild gets to display their home country's flag (or a simple SINoALICE flag) on top of their guild achievements.
    • Colosseum Ticket Grimoire: When playing the Colosseum, players get to earn 1 Gladiator's Medal for every 3 weapons used. These Gladiator's Medals can then be exchanged for Colosseum Tickets which is then used in the Grimoire (150 tickets per pull). On top of that, this Grimoire contains 8 weapons that are Version-Exclusive Content.
  • The Reveal: The Harmonic Interference event reveals that The Library is a byproduct of the Cataclysm mentioned in Drakengard 3.
  • Self-Deprecation: Part of the game's humour involves Parrah and Noya taking potshots at PokeLabo, the developing company, during events. The game's producer, Shogo Maeda, is a frequent target.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: The premise for the Spirit series of Jobs, which boosts weapons of the Job's specialty Element while debuffing those of the element it's weak to.
  • Seven Heavenly Virtues: On the other hand, there's the Divine Job series, named after the Seven Virtues, which provide additional stats if they're in the Support Job grid.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Something Completely Different: Unlike the other acts where 4 stories of 4 chapters each are released upon launch and subsequently add 1-2 more every now and then, the Act of Elimination updates 1-2 chapters every week, and with every development, several things such as the Colosseum will change alongside it.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: After completing any book for the first time in the Acts of Reality and Fusion, a cutscene with Parrah and Noya that plays Chopin's Nocturne in E Major will play. The music only serves to unsettle the player as Parrah and Noya's dialogue hints at worse events ahead and how the characters would have to kill in order to get what they desire.
  • Story Arc: So far there are six Arcs/Books:
    • Act of Impulse, which introduces Alice, Snow White, Cinderella, Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Red Riding Hood, Princess Kaguya, and Pinocchio.
    • Act of Hatred, which provides more development for the aforementioned characters as well as introducing Little Mermaid, Dorothy, Three Little Pigs, Aladdin, Rapunzel, Hameln, and Little Match Girl.
    • Act of Reality, taking place in modern-day Shinjuku featuring versions of the Characters as ordinary people while also introducing Nutcracker. The Act of Reality was added in December 2017 for the Japanese server and in October 2020 for the Global server.
    • Act of Fusion, which was added in the Japanese server in 2019, marks the beginning of Library's fusion with the real world, with the Reality versions of the Characters Back from the Dead and caught in the fusion's events.
    • Act of Elimination Part 1, debuted in September 2020, focuses on Parrah and Noya observing the interactions between both the Reality and Library Characters as they fight each other to the death.
    • Act of Elimination Part 2, which debuted in June 2021, has Alice go on a rampage after Parrah and Noya informed her that she didn't kill enough living beings, resulting in the skeletal being that was supposed to be her author. Forming a number of contracts, other Characters are revived and under the leadership of Snow White, have to defeat Alice and bring her back to normal before she kills them. This chapter also introduces a new currently unnamed Character who seems to know more about the situation than Snow White.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: The narrative is mostly delivered through vague and small nuggets of info spread apart, only offering hints at what's going on most of the time.
  • Stylistic Suck: Done in grandiose audacity during the Campfire Cuisine event where the images in the story are slowly replaced with clipart, becoming more rushed as the story progresses.
  • Take That!: There are at least 2 events that poke fun of capitalism.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: During the Rose Maidens of the Mirror's Surface event, Noya gets his body back via Laplace's Demon using his ability to guide souls, allowing the Rozen Maiden world to separate from Library. In Chapter 11 of the event's Normal Mode, Parrah questions that since Noya's body was made by Laplace's Demon, is he truly Noya or someone else?
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: To be precise, the Acts of Reality, Fusion and some parts of Elimination take place in Shinjuku.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: What Gretel's character arc turned into. Gretel comes to a realization that Gretel is actually Hansel and the head in the cage is Gretel.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: 8 weapons (Everlasting Prosperity, Wind King's Gale, Knighthood Club, Great Sword of Honor, Staff of Piety, Tear Jar, Tale of the Pheonix and Underworld's Elegy) are only available in the Global server via the Colosseum Ticket Grimoire.
  • Was Once a Man: Several events such as both Incarnation events and a number of armour events reveal that the Nightmares the Characters fight are this.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 4 of each Character's Act of Reality ends with them dying in one way or another, often through horrific/depressing means. And then in Chapter 5, the Reality Characters awaken in Library, receive the powers they'd later use in the Acts of Fusion and Elimination, all while Parrah and Noya prepare to fuse Library with Reality, kicking off the Act of Fusion.
    • Chapter 4 of the Act of Elimination leaves Alice as the Sole Survivor after majority of the other Characters end up dead (some at her own hand) and ends with the red moon crumbling to pieces and the world turning worse for wear as she prays for her author's revival.
    • Chapter 5 from the same act begins with Parrah and Noya telling Alice that she's now in a world where she and her author can be together, but he's revived as a skeletal being who attacks her as he calls out to her. Alice, angry at this, asks if Parrah and Noya had tricked her, and when she ends up killing him, she declares that she'll kill everything. The ending video not only reveals that this is only part 1 of the Act of Elimination, Snow White can also be heard calling out to Alice.
  • Wham Line: At the end of the Due to the Dead montage in Chapter 5 of the Act of Elimination, we get no less than two:
    Act of Elimination -Part 1- End.
    Snow White: Alice? Is that you?
  • Wham Shot: As if the situation in the Act of Fusion wasn't confusing enough, Chapter 4 of each Character's story ends with the portrait of their Reality versions fading out and replaced with that of their Library selves as both selves meet each other amidst the ongoing chaos on Tokyo.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Throughout story mode and class stories, the Characters will perform some questionable deeds that Parrah and Noya gleefully taunt them over with. During cross episodes, Characters call their partners out on their mindsets and actions throughout their inner monologue at the start of each stage. Starting from the Act of Hatred, Nightmares will do the same towards their would-be executioners.


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