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Visual Novel / Analogue: A Hate Story

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A Ren'Py-based Visual Novel by Christine Love, creator of Digital: A Love Story and don't take it personally babe, it just ain't your story.

In 2390, a generation ship called the Mugunghwanote  departed from Earth with the aim of establishing the first interstellar colony, only to disappear having never reached its destination. Thousands of years later, the derelict ship has been located, adrift in space, and your goal is to access the ship's computer logs and discover exactly what happened.

With the aid of *Hyun-ae, an AI aboard the Mugunghwa (the * is silent and merely an indicator that she is an AI), you dig into the layers of a society that had degenerated into an antiquated patriarchy, and the plight of a young girl called the "Pale Bride" who seems to be at the centre of events. Things get even more complicated when the ship's security AI, *Mute, enters the fray and brings a whole new perspective on the events that unfolded.


The player lacks the ability to directly interact with the logs of the Mugunghwa (due to the system being unable to parse their text input) and must rely on their AI partner for exposition and searching functions. By presenting important logs to your partner, you can convey the information you wish to find out more about. In the grand tradition of Visual Novels you can also build up a relationship with your AI partner, which leads to one of the five Multiple Endings.

It's currently available on its official site and Steam for $10. On June 29th, 2012, it got a free update that made the Steam version compatible with Steam Cloud (thus allowing achievements) and added two new costumes for *Hyun-ae. In September 26th, 2012, a Korean translation of the game was made available. Love has also released a sequel called Hate Plus on August 19th, 2013, after some Development Hell and unpredicted, unfortunate events like her apartment burning down. At first it was meant to be a paid Downloadable Content package for Analogue, but it ultimately became a full-fledged sequel of its own, with the story involving the investigator uncovering hidden files that detail what caused the societal degeneration of the ship.


Character page is in the works.

For the sequel, see Hate Plus.

Analogue: A Hate Story provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: The Pale Bride sees her adoptive parents as this. They did chop her tongue off, after all.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Inverted. Hyun-ae shut off the life support to kill everyone aboard before she started the upload process. *Hyun-ae is much more rational, since she's had six hundred years to calm down.
  • All-Loving Hero: The protagonist shows signs of it in Hyun-ae's endings when s\he chooses to trust her after learning she's a mass murderer.
  • All Women Are Prudes: The expected behavior of a proper woman. The Pale Bride in particular enjoys sex, and suffers being sent back to her family when she got insistent while the Emperor was in mourning for his late Queen. Not that Hyun-ae was being callous; she was in mourning as well, and was seeking the only thing left that gave her any enjoyment as a way to cope.
  • The Aloner:
    • *Hyun-ae, especially at the conclusion of the plot, having only made a relatively brief contact with someone to fully hear her story after over 600 years in isolation. Strongly hinted with *Mute as well, since with the inactivation/deletion of *Hyun-ae and revelation of all the relevant logs, there would be nothing left to watch save for the empty ship.
    • The AIs become this once again should the player fail to download them along with the logs. In a variant of *Mute's ending, she asks that the player send the coordinates to whoever's in charge back on Earth, or at least anyone who'll listen, to save her, as she can't just leave the ship.
  • And I Must Scream: At the start of the game the AI *Hyun-ae has been undergoing this trope. She has been running on a derelict spaceship for roughly 600 years with no one to talk to until the player's investigator plugs into the mainframe. She apparently has remained relatively stable despite all this, but she openly admits to being incredibly lonely and will freely express her joy at having someone to interact with and listen to her if the player is kind to her. Note that her feelings of isolation and boredom were accompanied by a strong sense of guilt and self-hate. When she was human, Hyun-ae killed the people on the ship as an act of retribution and suicide towards those who had abused her. In her state of mind, isolated from the rest of the population, they were the only people who were 'real' to her and they deserved to die! It was only when she was left to her own devices and began reading the ship's logs that the rest of the population was humanized to her. So picture that little torment, 600 alone with the only means of entertaining yourself reading about the lives of the people you regret murdering. No one to apologize to. No one to condemn or forgive you. Just you alone with the mementos of the civilization you ended.
    • The ending of the game can also result in this, since the player can choose to leave one or both A.I.s behind to drift in space forever.
    • In a sense, the society of the Mugunghwa is like this for all of the women. Women aren't allowed to learn how to read or write (though some do anyway), they tend to be kept in isolation or only allowed to venture outside under supervision, their marriages are decided for them and sex is seen as a duty they provide to their family and husband to continue having children. And of course, this parallel is dialed up to 11 when Hyun-ae has her tongue cut out so that she cannot protest or ask for help (not even in writing, since she doesn't understand the language). She has no tongue, and her need to scream becomes an act of mass murder.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Butter up *Hyun-ae enough and you'll get the opportunity to change her outfit. As she's a Cosplay Otaku Girl, it makes sense. Her outfits include, along with her default school uniform, a maid outfit, a detective outfit, a scientist outfit, and a hanbok. The last of these distresses her...
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: According to Love, the game is "(...) a mystery featuring transhumanism, traditional marriage, loneliness, and cosplay."
  • Artificial Gravity: A feature of the Mugunghwa that can be toggled off and on by the player after obtaining admin access. How this is accomplished is never addressed but more than a third of the reactor output is required to do it.
  • Art Shift: The graphic on the computer in the Harem ending is a lot more cartoony than the others, as it's intended to be a "gag" ending.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: During the reactor meltdown event, it is said that the ship is gonna explode. In reality, nuclear meltdowns usually result in radioactive leaks rather than explosions, though certain reactor models under certain circumstances can cause hydrogen detonations, which can result in pretty big kabooms. Additionally, after shutting down the reactor, there is still a lot of residual heat that must be heatsinked in order to completely stop the meltdown, very much like meltdowns in Real Life.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Played for Laughs as it's said by Mute, in the harem ending, after Hyun-ae pops the question.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The Emperor-Captain and the Queen are secretly brother and sister, and he manages to pass her off as his cousin (acceptable in most Asian countries), in order to maintain a royal bloodline. While logs from both state that they don't love each other like that, the Queen does wonder if her brother did push for this relationship first.note . The reason why they can't produce a child becomes more obvious...
  • Brain Uploading: How Hyun-ae became *Hyun-ae. In a variant, it only took a copy of her brain and used *Mute's files to write the resulting copy onto disk - the real Hyun-ae died.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In retrospect, Hyun-ae is right about the "modern" Kims being deeply stupid. Let's treat the girl from the technological past badly, torture her and break her spirit! She certainly has no ancient-to-us knowledge of how the ship's systems work and isn't at all capable of killing the entire ship!
  • Canon Discontinuity: Christine Love has repeatedly stated that the Harem ending is impossible (though she did create a story for it in Hate Plus).
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Not the Mugunghwa itself, obviously, but the fact that a historical society can hire a Private Investigator to pop over and find out what happened to it. Plugging in the fact the introduction says the Mugunghwa is orbiting Antares Bnote  with the fact that the trip in Hate Plus takes only three days means that the Investigator's one-man scout ship can zip along at seven and a half light years an hour or ~65000c despite being on emergency power.note 
    • Unless the player character mentions that he or she is from a colony, which could very well be close by.
    • During a more casual conversation with *Hyun-ae, you can tell her that you regularly travel through space as if it's an everyday hobby.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The root password to the ship's mainframe was changed to "Hyun-ae" upon her marriage to the Emperor. The Emperor allowed the Pale Bride to know it.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Smith Sang-jung, according to *Mute, who calls him "the best damn gentleman around" (even though she knows he's being sarcastic). He's also kind to his long-suffering sister-in-law.
  • Cold Sleep, Cold Future: Though with a slightly different flavor of cold than normal.
  • Could Say It, But...:
    • At some point it dawns on *Hyun-ae that she never wondered whether the Player Character had the proper authorization to access the Mugunghwa main computer and read the logs in the first place and asks if you're a member of the UKSPAnote  or some successor organization. The PC is in fact a freelance investigator working for a historical society who may or may not be properly related to the UKSPA and you can, perhaps truthfully, answer "no" to her question. Do so and *Hyun-ae will use this trope to obliquely say she shouldn't be talking to you if that's the case and ask the same question again. Say "no" one more time and she'll pretend she didn't hear you.
    • In *Mute's ending, she can't directly allow herself to be downloaded by the Player Character because she's hard-coded to stay with the Mugunghwa and protect it even if there's nobody aboard to protect. She can, however, decompile herself and (loudly) hope that no-one "kidnaps" her while her program is downloadable.
  • Covert Pervert:
    • Apparently, the Pale Bride losing her virginity was one of the best things that happened to her on the ship. Bet you didn't expect that from emotionally-vulnerable, demure Hyun-ae, did you?
    • One of the first things misogynist and homophobe *Mute asks of a female investigator is how old you are. You normally don't do this, unless you're... interested in a woman, although asking most women their age will get you slapped. The more obvious sign is her giving you a block of logs that has nothing to do with the Pale Bride - it's about a prostitute and the wife of a nobleman falling in love and rutting a lot, under the guise of 'juicy gossip'. And since the AI have to specifically set out questions by hand, one of the possible reactions to the entire subplot is "that's hot". For a supposed misogynist and homophobe, "that's hot" should be the last thing crossing her mind!
  • Cryptic Background Reference: At some point between the present and the time the Mugunghwa left, Korea was reunited (though by which side isn't specified, but considering they named their Generation Ships after South Korea's national flower, probably the republic) and the North's capital, P'yongyang, was rebuilt into a beautiful modern city. The questions *Hyun-ae has for you might seem like Schrödinger's Gun, but in fact count as references to this, since the introductory and ending texts establish some as canonnote .
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: In some visual novels going to the menu and clicking a save file loads that save after a "you will lose your progress" warning. Here doing overwrites your save after a "are you sure you want to overwrite?" warning. You do not want to lose all your progress because of this.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Part of what makes the story so disturbing.
  • Demo Bonus: You can load your demo save into the full game and continue where you left off.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Twice for the Pale Bride: First when she got her tongue cut out, breaking her ability and will to resist. Second when her only friend died of unknown causes, which — combined with being sent home to receive some ill-advised comments from her adoptive parents — became the final straw to a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Developers' Foresight: Multiple examples of this. Characters acknowledge when you've done a bit of Sequence Breaking. You can never access admin privileges (even with the right password) until *Hyun-ae lets you. If you access one ending by pulling up a specific log, via its ID number, that is otherwise inacessible because of the route you are on, *Hyun-ae wonders how you accessed it and asks if you cheated the system.
  • Diegetic Interface: The game interface is actually the ship's communication system, and restricting player input to multiple choice questions is justified through a glitch in the system that prevents the player's messages from going through.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: *Mute is convinced that Hyun-ae was irredeemably insane because she believes that if she really had a problem instead of a persecution complex all she needed to do was ask *Mute for help. You can then break the fourth wall and show her the log explaining why Hyun-ae physically couldn't ask.
  • The Dung Ages: Life expectancy was about in the 50s. Arthritis set in in their 30s. The Emperor's wife dies from "wood built up in the spleen caused by stress".
  • Dystopia: The state of the society aboard the Mugunghwa.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Meta example for the whole series, player's still crying over Digital: A Love Story have a chance to redeem themselves for killing Emillia by rescuing one or both of the ship's AIs.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Played with. No details about the investigator are revealed in the backstory, but you can tell *Hyun-ae and *Mute things like your gender and where are you from when they ask you about them.
  • Feudal Future: Specifically, one based on Joseon-era Korea.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Hyun-ae.
  • Flat "What": *Mute shoots these off often, even when presented with shocking revelations. It goes from flat to almost deafening when you show her the log were Hyun-ae gets her tongue cut out.
  • Flower Motifs:
    • "Mugunghwa" is the name of the hibiscus syriacus (a.k.a. Rose of Sharon in the States, rose mallow in UK and St. Joseph's rod in Italy), the national flower of South Korea. There is a stylized design of the flower and the word "Eternity" (the meaning of the hibiscus syriacus in the language of flowers) in *Hyun-ae's default outfit/uniform, worn as a shoulder sleeve insignia.
    • A young courtesan named Hana, which is Japanese for "flower", writes erotic love poems to So-jin referring to plucking her petals.
  • Foreshadowing: All over the place.
    • Right after starting the game, you will be presented with a command-line interface. Note down the name of the last person that logged in and when that last login was. It reports that the last logged in user was someone called "Kim Hyun-ae".
    • Both Kim's and Smith's family trees shows that a lot of people died on the same year.
    • Once you get admin access, you might to notice that the life support system is disabled, as opposed to malfunctioning or inoperative, and can be reactivated with a single command.
    • Among the available alternate outfits for *Hyun-ae there is a hanbok, the traditional Korean dress. Considering that she designed the outfits herself, why would *Hyun-ae include such a symbol of the life aboard the Mugunghwa? She didn't, at least not intentionally. A hanbok was simply what she was wearing when during her Brain Uploading prior to her death. You might notice this in *Hyun-ae's response to the outfit that she realizes this, if you read her lines fast enough.
    • One of the Kims is very reluctant to talk about how they managed to get the Pale Bride to behave.
    • At the very beginning of the game, *Hyun-ae says "It must be difficult, being unable to say anything", which takes on a new meaning once you find out what happened to her.
  • Ghost Ship: The Mugunghwa, populated only by two AIs and one of them wasn't even active at the time the Player Character arrives.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: A female Player Character can tell *Mute that she's married and her husband is in the (teeny tiny) spacecraft with her — and since all communication is text-based, *Mute has no way of verifying this. Much like the other Schrodingers Questions, it's left up to you to decide whether you were telling the truth in-universe. And when the reactor starts melting down, *Mute assumes the husband is more technologically competent and asks to have him put on, whereupon you can pretend you did.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Played with. It's totally unacceptable behavior for women of the era, though Smith Sang-min found it amusing when he caught his wife and his female courtesean going at it. One entire log block, given to you by *Mute, should you be a gossip hen like her, is about a sixteen-year-old courtesean and a 26-year-old wife of a Smith falling in love and making out. *Mute's reactions heavily imply she's not as offended as she claims to be when she gives them to you, especially if you're a male and tell her the logs were, in *Mute's words, "hot".
  • Gossipy Hens: *Mute, which is ironic considering her name. (She protests this description.)
    *Mute: I wasn't a gossip! Look, yeah, I'm a social creature, of course. That's my job!
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality:
    • *Mute is a gossipy, hypocritical, misogynist, homophobic, self-serving, selectively aware, short-tempered, slanderous, brusque, rude, crude piece of work, who, while acknowledging the shortcomings of the people she worked for, still found positives (if there were any) in them and was very loyal, if unable to stop spreading rumors. *Hyun-ae is an unrepentant mass murderer who snapped after years of oppression, mutilation, and slavery.
    • The Smiths are made of thuggish, whoring, boozing, sexist, chauvinistic pigs. The Kims are elitist, and mutilated Hyun-ae to ensure she never talked back to any man, ever again.
  • Happily Married: Kim Yeong-seok and his wife are probably the closest it gets. She learns how to read over his shoulder and he appreciates her math skills.
  • History Repeats: Several examples big and small.
    • The most obvious example is the society on the Generation Ship returning to a society that resembles in many very specific details the Joseon period of Korean history.
    • Several examples of characters being effectively cut off from the passage of time only to awaken into a culture very different from the one they left behind. The Pale Bride was frozen in cryostasis for centuries, and both A.I.s have experienced periods of inactivity and memory wipes before being restored by strangers (including the Player controlled investigator.
    • Without spoiling, observe that several characters find themselves unable to communicate (whether through disability, language barriers, or in the case of the main character some glitch in the computer that only allows you to answer multiple choice questions from the A.I.s). This one is a particularly important piece of repetition, since it represents one of the major sources of conflict the player must overcome in the game's present and heavily impacted the lives of many characters in the past aboard the ship.
  • Hit So Hard, the Calendar Felt It: The mystery of "Year Zero", which is the focus of Hate Plus.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: A common feature among the future noble families. The Pale Bride's adoptive parents resort to cutting out her tongue to prevent her from ever talking back against men just so her arranged marriage to the Emperor would go smoothly.
  • Hope Spot: More apparent on second viewing. When Queen Ryu Jae-hwa discovers that Hyun-ae is mute, she decides to ask her husband for permission to investigate this matter, discreetly. If she had investigated, she likely would have uncovered the fact that the Kims forcibly cut out her tongue, which would almost certainly have lead to their family being politically destroyed, thus giving some justice to Hyun-ae. Unfortunately, she died of natural causes before she could start investigating. Not only that, her death is the trigger for the sequence of events that leads to a lot more deaths.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: A subplot features a romance between a sixteen-year-old courtesan and a twenty-six-year-old noblewoman.
  • Human Popsicle: The Pale Bride, who was put into cryo during a time of crisis (she has a compromised immune system, and there was no medicine - it's implied a lot of people were dying). The Kims think her cryo pod is an egg of some sort, to be used in a time of need.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends:
    • *Hyun-ae, and strongly hinted with *Mute as well.
    • The loss of the one friend Hyun-ae had in the future helped lead to her Despair Event Horizon.
  • Ill Girl: Hyun-ae suffered from a "compromised immune system", and was placed into stasis to await a future that hopefully had a cure. In the future, however, medical knowledge has regressed and they think the symptoms (pale skin and weight loss) are just signs of beauty.
  • Interface Spoiler: If you poke around the console after getting admin access, you'll find that the power control menu is much more detailed than any other menu option. This makes it fairly obvious that there will be power issues later on.
  • Karmic Death: If you attempt to abandon the AIs to their fate during the meltdown by downloading the logs (thus severing the connection and dooming both cores), the download time is three days. You've got twenty minutes. Have fun being a supernova, jackass.
  • Kill 'Em All: Hyun-ae murdered the entire ship after snapping. Even the diary entry in which she describes her plan is titled "I'll kill them all!"
  • Kissing Cousins: Officially, this is what's said of In-ho and Jae-hwa's marriage out of sheer necessity. However the truth is that they're siblings, and while still officially out of necessity Jae-hwa speculates that he may have arranged for there to be no option other than her.
  • Language Barrier: A variant; the Pale Bride can speak to others, but she is unable to use written communication because while she exclusively knows hangul (the Korean language's own writing system), everyone else exclusively uses hanja (Korean using Chinese characters). Because her adoptive family can't read hangul, they dismiss her as illiterate. It's the reason her adoptive family calls her the "Pale Bride". They can't read her real name, Hyun-ae, because it's written in hangul; all they have to go off of is the decorative inscription in hanja on her cryogenic sleep capsule, which they read as "Pale Bride"... and was meant to read as "Sick Daughter".
    • Artistic License – Linguistics: It's still kind of amazing that Hyun-ae has no apparent trouble with the spoken language, given that it's implied she was asleep for well over a millenium. Even in a closed society that began with at most two languages (Korean + English), one would expect, at a minimum, substantial drift in vocabulary in that time. One possibility is that the members of ruling nobility that Hyun-ae interacted with were forced to preserve most of their spoken language's patterns to be able to interact with the ship's computers, and more specifically with *Mute, via speech recognition. Furthermore, the actual Chinese characters which show up when you switch the language to Korean or Japanese display translates to neither "sick daughter" or "pale bride", they read..."sick bride", or even accounting for perhaps the Kims losing Chinese literacy, "sickly weak new woman".
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    • Hyun-ae does this a lot. Pay close attention to her text, and you'll see that she tends to edit her sentences in real time to make her dialogue seem less affectionate/desperate/emotionally vulnerable. If you manage to swing yourself onto Ending 2, she attempts it several times in succession while trying to compliment you, only to give up and bluntly admit that she's deeply in love with you.
    • *Mute also does this if you deny you're hitting on her.
      *Mute: What? Oh... so you think I'm not good eno [Previous text is removed.] What? Oh... fine, good!
  • Late to the Tragedy: The investigator, by just over 600 years.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: If the player accesses one ending by looking up the ID of a log they should have no knowledge of, or otherwise should have no access to, the game slyly acknowledges that the only way to access it is to "cheat the system".
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: So much so that many women's names aren't even known in official records.
  • Little Bit Beastly: *Mute has some aspects, such as her bow resembling fox ears and her teeth being slightly fanged. As noted on the page, a gumiho - fox magicians who used to be depicted as either benevolent or amoral - is frequently associated with becoming human. Thus, the opposite of Hyun-ae, who became an AI.
  • Low Culture, High Tech: The culture of the Mugunghwa is based on Joseon dynasty Korea, despite the fact that its people are living in a starship. None of the recorded messages suggest that anyone, save *Mute and the Pale Bride, has any understanding of how the ship's systems work, or even a rudimentary understanding of astronomy, and in their daily lives the people seem to live by feudal Korean principles. It's an open question as to how they kept the ship running for 300 years in deep space (although some of the "recent" log entries hint that "keeping the ship functional" was becoming a real problem itself).
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Heo Min-Jung strongly believes that all women desire to get married and be good, obedient wives. She equates any woman wanting otherwise and be "independent" to being a "whore".
  • Marriage Before Romance: The Kim family try to tell the Pale Bride that this will happen.
  • Meaningful Name: Inverted. *Mute is anything but.
  • Meido:
    • A few members of nobility have maids as servants.
    • *Hyun-ae offers this trope as one of her alternate outfit options.
  • Melting-Pot Nomenclature: Families aboard the Mugunghwa include the Kims, the Hans, the Parks, the Ohs... and the Smiths.
  • Mind Rape: Implied in the case of *Mute, of all people. *Mute is perfectly accepting of the "Neo-Joseon" culture you encounter in the logs, but given Hyun-ae's testimony, it SHOULD have been absolutely contrary to her original programming from the democratic, open Terran-Korean society the ship originated from. But she also can't remember anything before "Year Zero" on the Neo-Joseon calendar... meaning the "Captain-Emperor" who founded the dynasty, or someone with similar technical knowledge, mind-wiped *Mute and then forcefully rewired her personality to accept the new culture as natural! EUGH. Even worse, *Mute never makes this connection, and there's no real way to point it out to her given your limited interface. Which effectively gives her name a whole new meaning, and makes it no longer so ironic after all.
    • Hate Plus elaborates on this further. The events, and the effect it has on both past and present Mutes, is not pretty.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Hyun-ae's attitude towards the world after living in it for three years. Note that her "world" consisted of only her adoptive family's house of abuse, and the Emperor's house of despair.note 
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: In this case, a woman is considered "old" after 18. Twenty-six year olds are considered elderly, and in one of the Sang sisters' cases, she's already in her thirties/forties and already has arthritis. If you talk to *Mute as a woman, she asks you about her age. The choices are "I'm under 18", or "I'm an old lady".
  • Mythology Gag: The initial log-in screen boots up the Amie OS from Digital: A Love Story and don't take it personally babe, it just ain't your story.
  • No Backwards Compatibility in the Future: Averted. The player can remote into and control the mainframe of the Mugunghwa just fine, despite hundreds of years separating the Mugunghwa's technology and that of the player. Since the player's job was to investigate the old ship, they may have been prepared for it.
    • Confirmed in Hate Plus, wherein one of the AI mentions that the main character is running a strange virtual machine.
  • No Name Given: Kim Yeong-seok's wife. According to the Kim family tree, her surname is Han.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Averted. *Hyun-ae provides you with a pronunciation guide when it becomes apparent that the character doesn't seem to speak Korean.
  • No Woman's Land: The ship's cultural reversion to Joseon-era chauvinism has not been kind to the female population. Women are regarded as little more than property, and the best they are expected aspire to is finding a good husband and raising healthy children. Strictly speaking they shouldn't even be allowed to read, although some did learn to do so provided they kept their knowledge secret from the general public.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The admin password is the Pale Bride's real name.
  • Precision F-Strike: *Mute, as a rule, won't swear too badly. So you know she's upset about something when she uses the F-word.
  • Press X to Die: The reactor meltdown. Looking back, it's quite clear what's going to happen, but that doesn't stop it from being incredibly tempting.
  • Point of No Return: You'll start seeing the initial effects of the reactor meltdown if you so much as peek at the block of questions that *Hyun-ae wants *Mute to see. During the meltdown sequence itself, you only have enough power to save one of the AIs, locking you into that AI's ending(s). If you do manage to have enough power, however, the other AI won't respond to you. Even if the player copies the core of one AI into the other, technically saving both, the AI transferred will no longer be active and will decay after 24 hours.
  • Poor Communication Kills: *Mute absolutely insists she would have helped the Pale Bride had she ever been asked. In the secret ending, she finds out why this didn't happen, is absolutely horrified, and figures out a way to help after all.
  • Posthumous Character: It would be easier to count which characters aren't. Every human on the Mugunghwa died six centuries prior to the beginning of the game. Hyun-ae is a possible exception, as her mind was uploaded as an AI to the ship's computer, thus escaping death in a fashion.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Invoked by *Hyun-ae. If you use the command to change outfits to put her in a hanbok, she looks genuinely sad and asks you why did you do it. Then again, considering what it represents... And for those wondering why it's there at all if she didn't want to wear it, it's what she was wearing when she uploaded herself and died.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: *Mute and *Hyun-ae. It's played with a bit, though. While *Mute is usually more brash, she is generally more methodical than *Hyun-ae. And while *Hyun-ae has a calm and friendly personality, she can get very emotional in the later stages of the game, and was noted to be very hard-headed prior to becoming an AI.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: *Hyun-ae and *Mute. Though the former used to be human.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Having lost all hope in the limited world of her future, Hyun-ae hacks into the ship's mainframe and disables the life support systems, while creating an AI using a scan of her own brain to effectively become the only survivor.
  • Robosexual: Strongly implied to have been the case between *Mute and Sang-jung. It's incredibly obvious on *Mute's side, it's just a matter of whether or not this was why Sang-jung never married.. Also very likely between the character and the AIs depending on the endings.
  • Say My Name: The Pale Bride, who insisted to be called by her real name, Hyun-ae, which she screams after she's awoken from cryostasis.note 
  • Schmuck Bait: From the terminal, you can deactivate the ship's main computer... you know, the computer that runs the very AIs that you need to talk to.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Done by the player, oddly enough. You can say that Earth never established any colonies (despite the intro explicitly referring to the employer(s) as being from one), that you're from Earth or from a colony, that you've visited Pyongyang (where the Pale Bride's father and mother met)...
  • Send in the Search Team: You as the player. You're a little late to actually save any survivors, though. Save for one, after a fashion.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Searching for the "Forever Silenced" document before the reactor sequence will immediately prompt *Hyun-ae's endgame dialogue as soon as the reactor sequence ends if you locked into her route.
    • It's also possible to get admin access and switch to *Mute immediately after meeting *Hyun-ae. Her dialog is slightly different.
    • Searching for the "I'll kill them all!" document with *Mute as the active AI will immediately initiate her endgame sequence. If this is done before the reactor sequence, it's possible to get *Mute's ending or the harem ending and skip over the reactor sequence entirely.
    • Getting the harem ending requires showing *Mute a certain log. However, by the time you unlock that log normally, you're well past the Point of No Return for *Hyun-ae's route, and *Mute is completely unavailable. The only way to get this ending is to metagame and use the ID lookup function. The ending lampshades this, with *Hyun-ae pointing out that what you've done shouldn't be possible.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some Steam achievements are references to popular Internet memes, such as "Mai Waifu", "Forever Alone", and "Two Girls, One Core".
    • The art for the "Friendzone" achievement is a reference to Nyoron Churuya-san. It should be noted in regards to the achievement's requirement that in Nyoron Churuya-san, the depicted expression in the icon occurs when things don't quite go Churuya's way...
    • One achievement, "Rainbow Connection", is a reference to The Muppet Movie. Though the name alludes to the LGBT rainbow flag as it is related to the yuri logs, the fact that it is obtained by going completely against *Mute's beliefs on the subject by insistently telling her that Girl-on-Girl Is Hot implies a subtle nod to the Muppets song's lyrics: "So we've been told and some choose to believe it / I know they're wrong, wait and see."
    • Dress Hyun-ae in a scientist outfit, and you'll get "Relativity Theory is so romantic. And... sad".
    • The achievement for downloading the logs from the ship is See you next mission!
    • If you show *Mute the log where Hyun-ae was mutilated, she'll respond with "What the fuck did I just read?" invoked
    • Gaining admin access nets you an achievement named "Hack the Mugunghwa."
    • On the console for the Mugunghwa, it states that it was part of the "United Korean Space Probe Agency", a reference to an early episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, in which Kirk says the Enterprise is part of the "United Earth Space Probe Agency".
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: It's called "A Hate Story". Take a wild guess. And depending on the ending, this guess might be wrong.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the aforementioned Digital: A Love Story. May also be a Distant Sequel if the year and the AI naming system is any indication.
  • Stepford Smiler: *Hyun-ae is a very definite Type A, and during her homicidal phase, she was a combination of Type A and Type C.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: Hyun-ae was the daughter of a former head engineer, wanted to also become one, and may have learned how to lock accounts, write root-level scripts, and upload brain scans before her stasis, or at least remembered enough to figure out how to program it as she was asphyxiating the entire ship. It helped that she was also given the superuser password.
    • The comment on the log when she uploaded herself (which appears to be from her father) implies that he set up the brain uploading system specifically for her, as a last resort in case she couldn't be cured even in the future.
  • Technology Marches On: In-Universe example. The Mugunghwa was a massive multi-generational STL starship sent to colonize a distant solar system. The player makes it out there in a relatively tiny single-seat FTL scout vessel (though you can say that you're not alone on the vessel). This fact is commented on by the AIs.
  • Timed Mission: Right before route lock, you have 20 minutes to stop a nuclear meltdown on the Mugunghwa.
  • Tsundere: Both AIs have elements of this, but more prominent in *Mute, especially if you're female. The achievement for her ending is even called "TsunderAI". It's namedropped in the Harem ending, after Hyun-ae desperately tries to convince you that they don't really want to be your wives or anything... after she screamed that she and Mute want to be your wives.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Both *Hyun-ae and *Mute.
  • Tomboy: The Pale Bride just after she woke up, by the Mugunghwa's standards. This...did not go so well.
  • Too Dumb to Live: If, during the reactor meltdown segment, you have the audacity to refuse helping *Hyun-ae by selecting the option of "I'm a horrible monster who'll let you die" (yes, that is a verbatim quote), you have either no heart or no brain, possibly both, and you thoroughly deserve the reprimand you get when you do that.
  • Unknown Rival: The Pale Bride grows to loathe her adoptive brother Yeong-seok's wife. After reading the latter's letters to her mother, *Hyun-ae is startled that someone who made her life miserable doesn't seem to consider her nearly as significant.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Not so much "unreliable" as each AI having their own perspective on the events that happened. Though *Hyun-ae also lies about being the ship's archive management AInote , and obscures her role in the ship's demise.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Independent woman" for prostitute. When someone asks Hyun-ae what her birth parents taught her, she horrifies them by saying they wanted her to be an independent woman, which she means in the "modern" sense.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: It's implicated in *Mute's maintenance logs that Hyun-ae transformation into *Hyun-ae was accidental and only possible because she decided to spend her last moment in her cryo pod transcript . Her real father, the ship's engineer, apparently considered the possibility of Hyun-ae dying while in cryostasis and installed the necessary hardware for Brain Uploading her mind as a last ditch effort to save her life in an emergency.
  • Victorian Novel Disease: A non-Victorian example, of course, but still there. What exactly Hyun-ae was ill with is never quite defined; it's left her with a "compromised immune system", and it doesn't seem to be HIV/AIDS (given that she's a virgin before going into cryo and you'd think 24th-century medicine would catch that in something like a blood transfusion), but it's never named, whatever it is can't be treated by said 24th-century medicine, as a result it will eventually be fatal, and its effects at the stage Hyun-ae is at gives her the sort of beauty often associated with the trope, at least in the eyes of her feudal "family".
  • Videogame Cruelty Punishment:
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Ultimately, the mystery of what disaster befell the Mugunghwa that led to it becoming an outdated patriarchy is never solved. *Hyun-ae acknowledges that the answer may be lost forever, considering that any computer records from before the incident have been wiped. Similarly, there's an offhanded comment by the Captain's wife about mysteriously declining birth rates. Both questions get answered in the sequel.
  • Wham Line: The final line of the final message in Block 5 (the Pale Bride's story) you unlock:
    He started to argue, but then he stopped. I think he was patronising me, as if I can't read simple Korean script! He just asked, in the smuggest voice, "Then what should I call you, child?"
    I screamed. I'd already told him a thousand times before.
    "Hyun-ae! My name is Hyun-ae!"

  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: A while after getting her tongue cut off by her adoptive parents, Hyun-ae decides to upload her brain onto the Mugunghwa's computers and turn off life support, killing everyone, herself included. The Hyun-ae you talk to is a simple copy.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Pale Bride's adoptive father came up with the idea of slicing off her tongue, and convinced his wife to help him.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: "Namjon yeobi. Men are honoured, women are abased. If you can only remember one thing, remember this phrase". When you show this to *Mute, she criticizes *Hyun-ae's translation, saying that all it really means is "male superiority."
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: As mentioned under Developers' Foresight, attempting to access admin privileges before a certain point in the game, even with the correct password, will do absolutely nothing.
  • Yuri Genre: Not the story in particular, but rather, a set of logs talking about the romance between a noble woman and a courtesan girl hired by her husband. The AIs also don't particularly care about the investigator's gender in their endings, although *Mute, in both a demonstration of her Tsundere nature and the prejudices which were baked into her by her culture, dismisses the possibility of falling in love with a girl quite insistently.