Its script is the height of cliché, I am forced to admit. And yet
Its actors are of the finest fold; beyond exquisite.
Thus, I believe you will find it enthralling."
In Suwahara City, high school student Ren Fujii's relationship with his best friend Shirou Yusa comes to a crashing halt after an unfortunate incident. The fight that resulted lead to a two month hospitalization for Ren. In December 2006, Ren leaves the hospital hoping to live a new life...but that never happens.
In May of 1945, as the Red Army storms Berlin, a group of Nazi officers use the resulting bloodshed to complete a dark ritual to summon the Longinus Dreizehn Ordennote , superhuman harbingers of the world's demise. It wasn't known if the officers succeeded in their goal and the incident eventually faded into obscurity.
Sixty one years later, the Orden makes their appearance in Suwahara City. Despite Ren's desires for an ordinary life, he finds himself forced into a war against the Orden, drifting further away from what he once held dear. Like Shirou once said, "If you live in this town, you'll go mad sooner or later."
Originally intended to be a visual novel with only a single route, Dies Irae underwent some quick rewrites due to Executive Meddling after artwork posted during development lead to interest in characters who were not the main heroine.
On the surface, it's a regular supernatural/alternate history story with lots of Gratuitous German and Canis Latinicus, but it gained favorable attention for its pure focus on Rule of Cool and a character driven plot.
In 2015, the creators of the game launched a crowdfunding campaign to create an anime pilot episode, and took in 100 million yen, over 300% of their original target goal. The anime had an 18 episode run (12 episodes for the first cour, 6 episodes for 2018).
After a leaked image hinted at an English Steam release earlier in the year, a Kickstarter campaign for an English localization of the Amantes amentes version of Dies Irae launched in December 2016. The visual novel was released in June 2nd, 2017. An 18+ patch was released 6 months afterwards. The anime has been confirmed for streaming on Crunchyroll. Funimation's Simuldub premieres on October 24th, 2017. Watch it here.
A mobile game spinoff titled Dies Irae Pantheon was announced in August 2017, with the series producer hoping for an English localization. Unfortunately, Light's parent company Greenwood closed it's doors in late March 2019, leaving Pantheon tentatively canceled and the fate of the series at large up in the air, including future English localization's.
A What If? sequel that acts as a Happy Ending Override for one of the game's endings, Kajiri Kamui Kagura was released in 2011. A prequel about Wilhelm Ehrenburg, Dies irae ~Interview with Kaziklu Bey~ was released in 2016, the later of which was translated and released to English speaking fans in early 2019.
Desperately needs some Wiki Love.
The release history for this game follows:
- Dies Irae: Also Sprach Zarathustra (2007) - Had routes for two heroines: Empathic Weapon Marie and Ren's Childhood Friend Kasumi. Due to hasty rewrites, certain key scenes were shortened and back story was left out. In addition, only the first few hours of the game were written by Takashi Masada.
- Dies irae: Also sprach Zarathustra -die Wiederkunft- (2009) - This version fixed those story problems by adding Masada-written version of Marie and Kasumi route, added some new music and plot to make the whole story more enjoyable and coherent.
- Dies irae ~Acta est Fabula~ (2009-17) - Added two additional routes for the Tsundere character Kei Sakurai, and the Emotionless Girl Rea Himuro and adding a somewhat vague ending that was filled out in a drama CD. The drama CD was later added as a different ending in ~Amantes amentes~
- Dies irae Also sprach Zarathustra ~Acta est Fabula~ -Scharlachrot Grun- (2009-12) - Append disc for the die Wiederkunft version, which adds the aforementioned two routes.
- A download version was released in 2014.
- An HD remaster of this version was released in late September 2017 to commemorate the Anime adaptation. This remaster does not include contents from ~Amantes amentes~ version mentioned below.
- Dies irae Also sprach Zarathustra ~Acta est Fabula~ -Scharlachrot Grun- (2009-12) - Append disc for the die Wiederkunft version, which adds the aforementioned two routes.
- Dies irae ~Amantes amentes~ (2012-18) - An All-ages release for the PSP which adds a boatload of new contents (CGs, routes, and animated scenes).
- This version later saw release for the Windows version in August 2012, an Updated Re Release for Windows 10 in December 2015, and a port for Android devices in August 2015 (as a part of the above-mentioned crowdfunding). An iOS version was released in 2016.
- A Japan-only HD remaster based on the Steam version was released in late September 2017 to commemorate the Anime adaptation. This remaster is set to release on the Nintendo Switch in September 2018 and will contain an extra side-story to set up for Dies Irae Pantheon.
- An English localization was released in June 2nd 2017 on Steam, based on and named after the ~Amentes amentes~ version. Due to cost problems, character routes are sold as DLCs while the Common Route can be purchased for free. The DLCs are named and packed the same way the first two versions were released originally.
- Act I: Omnia Vincit Amor (based on Also Sprach Zarathustra), which contains the Marie and Kasumi routes.
- Act II: Nihil Difficile Amanti (based on Acta Est Fabula), which contains the Kei and Rea routes.
Tropes associated with Dies Irae:
- Adaptation Explanation Extrication: While it was perhaps inevitable that the anime would have to cut corners in order to adapt an infamous Door Stopper visual novel to the anime format with the amount of episodes given, it is still clear that the adaptation took some very extensive liberties with events either happening out of order or not where they are supposed to happen or even anime original scenes. Further confounding this are several important plot elements being left out and the first episode being one of the epilogues, sowing confusion as to what is actually going on.
- All Loving Villain: Reinhard Heydrich's Emanation, derives from his love of everything, including destruction.
- All There in the Manual: Two online back stories have been published as well as five Drama CDs all documenting additional back-story that really explains quite a bit about a lot of the L.D.O. Such as how they all first met and Beatrices and Kais rebellion. Much of this content was later incorporated into the Amentes Amentes release as unlockable side-stories.
- Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final battle in Marie's route is set on top of a huge magical circle overlooking Suwahara. This is in turn topped by the true final battle of Rea's route which is set to the backdrop of the entire solar system with the planets aligned alongside huge snakes and magical circles encircling it all.
- An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The final battle takes place during Christmas Eve.
- Anime Accent Absence: Despite a huge chunk of the cast being German, all of them speak fluent Japanese. Changed a bit in the English dub of the anime where the German characters have very clear accents.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Karl Kraft does this in the introduction. Makes him all but untouchable except in one route.
- Ax-Crazy: Every member of the Obsidian Round Table is a mass-murderer since it's practically a membership requirement by the time the main plot begins. Even Ren Fuji ends up slipping into this during his worst moments. However, even among such a cast, Wilhelm, Rusalka, Spinner, Trifa and Schreiber stand out by virtue of their utterly deranged mindsets.
- And the Adventure Continues: The conclusion of Kei Sakurai's route. Though Ren Fujii, his friends and his Love Interest survive the events of the story and thwart Reinhardt's return, they fail to properly defeat him and Kasumi cuts a deal with Mercurius to bail them out. As a result, Ren, Shirou and Sakurai spend their adult lives hunting for and sealing Ahnenerbe, and steeling themselves for whenever the L.D.O will show up next. Meanwhile, Kasumi gets married and has a child who's implied to be the next Sonnenkind...
- Badass Normal: Shirou, who in Kasumi's route never gains any magical ability but still fights with the magically empowered L.D.O. purely through his wits, recklessness, guns, and instincts. This lets the round table view him as a serious threat.
- Specifically, in Kasumi's route Wilhelm has to pull out his Beri'ah Der Rosenkavalier Schwarzwald and only succeeds in taking Shirou down with him posthumously after Shirou kills him first.
- Badass Preacher: Christof Lohengrin, alias Valeria Trifa, acts as the Divine Vessel of Reinhard. His body is completely indestructible, has full access to Reinhard's Holy Relic and is an effective manipulator. He manages to take the spot as the Final Boss of Kasumi's Route. He also more or less defeats Schreiber entirely just by shattering the child's mind with his ability to read other people's emotions.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: This is essentially the primary gambit employed in Rea's route, culminating in Reinhard turning against Mercurius and fighting him to the death. Mercurius himself is blindsided by the events thanks to becoming overwhelmed with glee at Shirou and Ren's fistfight.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Achieving Atziluth degree basically allows for ones core wish to come true. However it is made clear that this can easily backfire. A core part of Mercurius' motivation is to just end his wish of Eternal Recurrence due to it nearly driving him mad with boredom. This is something Ren realizes when he achieves Atziluth, since if his wish where to become a new law it would be just as bad or perhaps even worse than if Mercurius' law remain or Reinhard enacts his. And as Kajiri Kamui Kagura makes clear, even Marie's seemingly innocent and harmless wish ends up backfiring.
- Bittersweet Ending: In Marie's route, Ren's manages to defeat Reinhard and Marie becomes the new goddess to succeed Mercurius, but most of Ren's friends are dead and he might not meet Marie again. Though it does have a very hopeful tone as everyone will reincarnate again and Ren might meet Marie again.
- Black and Grey Morality: Despite being a group that the Schutzstaffel found too intense, the L.D.O. members are given significant characterization. It is revealed that the few that are not out and out evil and are mostly forced into their roles. Plenty even rebel in all the routes to do their own thing. Not for good reasons each time though. Beatrice and Valeria do everything for their loved ones while Wilhelm just wants a go at fighting Wolfgang/Ren/Shirou/anyone.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Reinhard, who cannot be happy unless he is fighting to stay alive, which is hard given that he is so powerful he needs to engineer the apocalypse to do so. As Ren eventually fights with him on even footing due to a Heroic Second Wind, his response is to laugh with joy as he cannot see any other way to live. Hell, for him 'taking it easy' and 'barely working' is being head of the Gestapo!
- Karl Kraft can see into the future and as so goads Reinhard into his whole plan of re-creating the world so that he may see something he could not immediately predict the outcome of. His general actions as a member of the L.D.O. freak out all the other members except Reinhard. That's right, the L.D.O. is composed mostly of Complete Monsters or Blood Knights and even they feel Karl is too weird.
- The acting commander of the L.D.O, Valerie Trifa, also counts. Although he does whatever he can to stop the return of Reinhard, his agenda beyond that is so utterly incomprehensible that Fuji all-but-outright labels him insane in Kasumi's and Kei's routes. Valerie Trifa is filled with such intense self-loathing that he wants to repent for his sins for all eternity...by repeating and sabotaging the Transmutation of Gold over and over again.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Tubal Cain. He only gets worse from there.
- Call-Forward: In a way, the anime adaptation makes occasional nods to the designs of Dies Irae Pantheon, something that had yet to even be released at the time of the anime's airing.
- The Cameo:
- In episode 1 of the anime, Rea uses a Amakasu Masahiko emoji when sending a message to Ren.
- Nerose Satanel from Paradise Lost briefly appears in a flashback in the anime where Mercurius rose to the Throne.
- Central Theme: A recurring element with a lot of the cast is the concept of conflicting beliefs with a lot of their core flaws being grounded in their ideas of themselves not meshing as well as they'd like to think.
- Chekhov's Gun: Kasumi has a mole on her breasts. This came in handy during Ren's battle with Spinne. Spinne entangled three women on his web, and Ren was able to figure out that none of them where Kasumi as Spinne claimed thanks to that fact.
- Conspicuous CG
- While the novel uses 2D art, there are two exceptions, namely when Eleonore and Schreiber summon their respective Ahnenerbe they are clearly using 3D animation.
- The anime adaptation makes liberal use of CG, something that is often painfully obvious.
- Conveniently Empty Building: In Marie's route, a shot from Reinhard goes wide and annihilates a city block. Ren notes that in a weird twisted way it is fortunate that everyone in the city are already dead so that he doesn't have to worry about stray shots causing casualties.
- Deity of Human Origin: Anyone that reaches Atziluth becomes a God.
- Distant Finale: The Omnia Vincit Amor sidestory acts as a distant epilogue to Marie's route, taking place in Berlin 60 years after the events of the main story.
- Double Entendre: Masada is fond of using those in the story, both in and out of context.
- Downer Ending: At the end of Kasumi's route, pretty much all of the cast except for Kasumi herself are either dead or comatose. And while the summoning of Reinhard disrupted, it is only delayed as opposed to actually stopped.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Shirou in the routes where he does acquire his Yetzirah. In Maries route, he acquires it while punching his way out of a monster that had supposedly killed and eaten him..
- Eternal Recurrence: Mercurius' law causes time to constantly loop over and over, and this is something he has long since grown tired of now wishing to end it. This is also the cause of Reinhard's and Shirou's constant Déjà Vu, which acts as them becoming Mercurius and Ren's Apoptosis.
- Flying Brick: On top of the various personal powers provided by Die Ewigkeit, it also gives every character a basic set of powers, including increased physical and spiritual resistance, Super Strength, Super Speed, Flight and immunity to drugs and poisons.
- For the Evulz: Wolfgang. He sings nursery rhymes while he stabs people to death. Although killing people and drinking their souls gives your Ahnenerbe more power, Wolfgang was a serial killer before he was drafted into the L.D.O. Wilhem Ehrenburg also fits into this category, and it's his fight with Wolfgang that triggers the formation of the L.D.O.
- Geometric Magic: The Swastika, a gigantic magical array set up in Suwahara City. It requires 8 sets of sacrifices at specific locations Note and once completed will form the titular swastika and drain the souls of everyone in Suwahara and allow for Reinhard to ascend to Atziluth degree.
- Ghostapo: The Longinus Dreizehn Orden, or L.D.O., is this played dead straight. A unit made up of people who Took a Level in Badass at the very least.
- God: Mercurius, though by all accounts, anyone on the Throne becomes this in effect.
- Gratuitous German: With a large part of the cast being German, a lot of German words are thrown around. And that's before even getting into the various incantations the characters use which are for the most part German in their original form. The English dub of the anime goes a step further by giving the characters fake German accents while throwing in random German words in their speech.
- God in Human Form: Karl Kraft and Caggliostro are this for Mercurius, essentially little more than images of him that he interacts with the world that exists in him through.
- Historical-Domain Character: Half the cast.
- Inexplicably Awesome: Reinhard was this in spades back when he was in the Gestapo. When he cuts loose for the first time, Rusalka, a 200-something year old witch jaded by more or less everything mentally 404's, unable to believe something like him even exists.
- Infinity +1 Sword: Longinuslanze Testament, Reinhard's Ahnenerbe. It is the most powerful weapon on the entire series, having so many souls within it that it burns the soul and mind of anyone who even looks at it. Not only that, but it also has the powers of The Three Commanders: It erases anyone's existance with a strike, it always goes faster than the target and it can never miss. In the What If? sequel Kajiri Kamui Kagura, it becomes even more powerful, distorting space so it can hit the foe faster, and even ignoring the concept of distance.
- In Medias Res: The anime adaptation opens with a scene from the middle of Episode 14 where Ren faces down Reinhard before jumping into the meat of the story.
- Interface Spoiler: The character voice options menu of Amantes amentes shows Isaak's name and portrait.
- Invisible to Normals: Gladsheim, when forcefully summoned in an incomplete state in Rea's route, is completely invisible to non Die Ewigkeit users.
- I Reject Your Reality: The third level of Die Ewigkeit, Beri'ah, allows user to materialize their desires: for example, if a character desires to not be touched by anyone, his Beri'ah allows him to be always faster than his opponent. Atziluth is the same taken Up to Eleven, when the desire is so strong that it starts to change the entire world.
- Just a Stupid Accent: The English dub has the German characters talk with a badly imitated German accent with the occasional unnecessary German word thrown in. It's a similar story with Marie, but with a French accent instead.
- Kill Em All: The various endings have various levels of character mortality, but usually the body count is pretty high. Kei's route is the only one with most main characters staying alive while Rea's route features a sort of Reset Button ending.
- Life/Death Juxtaposition: Marie was born under the guillotine as her father volunteered to carry out the execution of its latest victim.
- Light Is Not Good: Big Bad Reinhard is the only character with a white uniform, uses a golden holy lance and seems almost to give of golden light. He also starts the apocalypse for fun.
- Lonely Piano Piece:
- Lotus-Eater Machine: In Rea's Route, Rusalka puts Ren in one to discover the root of his existence, rooted in Ren's ideal world. The result is a Cliché Storm slice-of-life world where, in addition to Kasumi and Rea, Shirou and Ellie are his classmates, Kei and Rusalka are genuine transfer students from Germany, and he and Rusalka are dating.
- Magical Incantation: All characters use them for activating their Beri'ah and Atziluth. Some of them also use them for activating their Yetzirah. Many of these incantions are lifted various works of literature, ancient texts, and opera.
- Magnetic Villain: Everyone is drawn to Reinhard due to his overwhelming power and charisma, with Ren describing him as having the kind of regal aura reserved for tales about ancient kings of legend.
- Monumental Damage: In the anime, the battle between Ren and Reinhard is so fierce that it sends out shock-waves that travel across the entire world, destroying everything from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Opera House in Sidney.
- Multiple Endings : Unsurprisingly for a visual novel, there are more than one ending.
- Kasumi's ending: While the LDO has been fended off, everyone in the main cast barring Kasumi in either dead, missing or comatose. As an added bonus, Kasumi's children are fated to become the next Sonnekind and bring back Reinhard.
- Marie's ending: Most of the cast died but Reinhard has been defeated by Ren and Marie has taken Mercurius' place on the Throne and as such became the new Goddess. Her Law enables her to give an happy ending to the dead by reincarnating them in the world with their loved ones, including her. However, Ren remains an Ageless Hadou God separated from his friends bar Marie and this ending leads to Kajiri Kamui Kagura.
- Kei's ending: Ren and the others managed to stop Reinhard's coming but they find themselves completely overpowered by him and unknowingly to them, only owes theirs lives to both Kasumi doing a Deal with the Devil with Mercurius and Beatrice making him swear to not bring back the Battalion Commanders after their defeat. While Ren has lost Marie, we are treated to a Where Are They Now where he travels the world along with Shirou and Kei searching for and sealing Ahnenerbe while bracing themselves for the LDO's return.
- Rea's ending: Like in Marie's route, the LDO is defeated and Marie inherits the Throne, however Marie remains the only Hadou God and Ren fully frees his soul from Mercurius's blood. We are then treated to a new world where Mercurius never incite's the formation of Reinhard's Obsidian Round Order and as such barring Beatrice, Trifa and Rusalka, most of the LDO dies during World War 2. Back in 2006, Ren, who is the great-grandson of Rusalka and Lotus moves to Japan and proceed to meet with the rest of the cast and becoming True Companions with them again.
- Mythology Gag: Ren has a poster for Paradise Lost in his bedroom, one of Light's earlier novels.
- No Swastikas: Zigzagged in various ways. While the core plan of the antagonists involves forming a giant Swastika, it is almost never shown clearly in its entirety, only clearly visible once at the end of Kei's route. A more straight example would be the flashback segments which show Nazi Germany, where characters have the signature red armbands but with no swastika's on them.
- Nostalgic Musicbox: The track Ewige Wiederkunft, a track usually reserved for scenes of reminiscence, makes use of a music box to help sell the nostalgic feeling.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Despite the novels namesake, this trope is averted with the themes based on the Dies Irae hymn being completely instrumental. The anime however manages to play this completely straight with said themes. The anime also includes chanting in some of the other themes as well, most notably its instrumental version of Einsatz.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: Lohengrin
- One Steve Limit: Averted. There are two members of the LDO that bears the real name of 'Anna', Schreiber (Anna Schreiber) and Rusalka (Anna Maria Schwägelin). The sidestory Omnia Vincit Amor, where both characters are reborn as normal humans bearing the first name of 'Anna' humorously referred them as "White Anna" and "Red Anna" respectively.
- Origins Episode: The Die Morgendämmerung sidestory acts as an origin story for the formation of the Longinus Dreizehn Orden and Reinhards awakening.
- Personality Powers: Justified with Beri'ah, since they're manifestation of their users' desires.
- Physical God: A greater part of the cast, but particularly Reinhard and Mercurius, the former of which more or less makes characters who could level a country or five with ease shit themselves with fear using an inkling of his full power. Mercurius manages to top this by having his weakest form of attack be tossing tens of thousands of stars, shrunk to the size of golf balls, as a god-rending hellfire barrage.
- Present-Day Past: The story is set in 2006, yet the anime adaptation shows the characters using smartphones, something that didn't enter widespread use until several years later.
- Purple Prose: And how.
- Reality Warper: Anyone who manages to achieve Beri'ah will start to alter reality around them according to their own desire. There are two main ways this manifests. The Transcendence type mostly affects the user themselves while the Emanation type affects their surrounding, however it is not limited to those two and some variation or mix of them can also manifest. If someone achieves Atziluth, them this reality warping will start to affect the multiverse itself.
- Sentient Cosmic Force: Achieving "Atziluth" or Godhood makes you this, as it involves expanding the character in question's internal world until it is a massive universe of its own. Two Atziluths cannot coexist however (At least, not unless Marie is made the Throne God) , so two people with Atziluths activated will have to do battle for superiority.
- Shown Their Work: For a Chuunige Visual Novel, its quite clear that a lot of research has been done on classical literature, opera, Norse Mythology and WW2 history.
- Soul-Cutting Blade: Ahnenerbe can damage souls.
- Soul Jar: Ahnenerbe grant their users supernatural abilities, including immortality, but they can be killed by (and only by) destroying it.
- Spoiler Opening: The opening movie of the Amantes amentes version shows the final battle between Mercurius, Reinhard, and Ren in his Eine Faust: Finale form.
- Static Character: Pretty much the entire roster end the story as the same people they were in the start with only some very minor character development spread out here and there. The focus of the story is instead on who they are as people and how they got to where they are now.
- Story-Breaker Power: Reinhard when he shows up in Sakurai's route. He's at an inkling of his true power and the most damage the protagonists manage to inflict on him is slightly scratching one of his fingers, which was all he needed to block Sakurai using her and Beatrice's Beri'ah at the same time. He even lampshades that Mercurius said that the events of the Swastika opening would finally give him a challenge and expresses his utter disappointment.
- Took a Level in Badass: Getting an Ahnenerbe seems to do this. Turning genuinely scary murderers and soldiers into super-powered Ghostapo members.
- Talking to Yourself: Karl and Ren have the same voice actor.
- Kei and Beatrice as well.
- They Do: In Nihil Diffcile Amanti, which serves as the epilogue of Rea's route and the visual novel as a whole, Ren Fuji and Rea Himuro tie the knot while feeling the warmth of Marie's embrace.
- Title Drop:In Marie route, the VN's original ending, in Ren and Reinhard's aria chant duel sequence, the name of their Atziluth forms the original title of the VN: Dies Irae - Also Sprach Zarathustra. In Rea route's first ending, and the original ending for the "completed" re-relased VN, the Atziluth aria duel between Reinhard and Mercurius once again ends by dropping the title of the renewed VN - Dies Irae - Acta Est Fabula. Once again, in the Drama CD that was later adapted as Rea route's second ending in the Bleached Underpants re-re-release of the game, the title is namedropped by Reinhard and Marie: Dies Irae - Amantes Amentes.
- Unholy Ground: Any place where a Swastika has been opened is rife with the vengeful spirits of those that died there, as such people instinctively avoid those locations and leads to immense discomfort for those that do enter. The lone exception is the amusement park in Kasumi's route where most of the souls involved are innocent children which don't hold grudges, leading to people still flocking to the park even after the Swastika has been opened.
- Villainous Breakdown: Inverted emotionally with Reinhard, who only gets happier as it looks like he might lose. He had never had a problem fighting anyone before that due to his Story-Breaker Power status.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: The obvious example aside with Shirou and Ren, given that the former put the latter in the hospital for months, Reinhard and Mercurius are more or less this though Reinhard eventually finds out that Mercurius' friendship with him is basically just a way to try and control his Apoptosis.
- Where It All Began: At the end of Rea's route, Ren and Shirou beat each-other to bloody pulps on top of the school roof, mirroring the events at the start of the story.
- World of Ham: Suffice to say, there is no shortage of characters hamming it up in this novel, with only only getting even more hammy as it goes on.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: When someone uses their Creation Figment, not only do they start to affect everything around them by their desire, the user themselves start to be affected by it with the source of the desire becoming more and more pronounced. For example, Schreiber Hates Being Touched. Normally this isn't to much of an issue for him, however, as he starts to manifest his desire more and more, it starts to increasingly affect him mentally and eventually becomes desperate to avoid physical contact.
Tropes associated with Interview with Kaziklu Bey:
- After Action Patchup: Wilhelm ended up quite battered and bruised after his battle with Machina and Schreiber resulting in Claudia patching him up after he returns to their hideout despite him not really needing it due to his Healing Factor.
- Arc Words: "Kiss in the Dark". A phrase the keeps having an overlying importance to the plot.
- Chekhov's Gun: The blood that Claudia liked from Wilhelm ends up coming back in a big way when it proves to be his key to victory in the climatic battle with Methuselah.
- Combat Breakdown: The battle against Methuselah at the start could best be described as an all out war with the whole of the L.D.O. involved fighting to the best of their abilities. It ends up concluding with Wilhelm and Ludwig, both at deaths doorstep, beating the living daylights out of each other with nothing but their bare fists.
- Diabolus ex Machina: Methuselah is defeated. Wilhelm expresses his love for Claudia. Claudia expresses hers. Cue her rosary turning out to be an Ahnenerbe that allowed for the activation of her Beri'ah that burns everything in range and uses her soul as fuel.
- Downer Ending: At the end of it all, Claudia dies while Wilhelm was never able to claim her soul. Wilhelm himself lost part of his soul due to using it in his Creation Figment. In the end, he can't help but bitterly laugh at the absolute joke this whole thing turned into and at the fact that Mercurius was correct from the start.
- Drone of Dread: When Wilhelm gets trapped in some sort of darkness that forced him to witness Beatrice's and Lisa's darkest secrets, only a constant drone can be heard instead of music.
- Entertainingly Wrong: Wilhelm and Eleonore both hypothesize Ludwig's true goals possibly along the lines of usurping Reinhard and luring everyone into a false sense of security until he strikes. Beatrice, on the other hand, thinks Ludwig is trying to go after Claudia in some sort of bizarre love triangle between him, Wilhelm, and Claudia. Turns out she's right on the money, and Methuselah has no intentions of going after the LDO at all.
- Humans Are Bastards: Human souls makes for extremely powerful fuel for magicians, however, no one in their right mind would use them as humans inherent greedy and vicious nature makes using them extremely dangerous and is viewed as downright suicidal.
- Leave No Witnesses: After Ludwig incapacitates a group of Soviet soldiers, Wilhelm notes that they can't leave them alive and proceeds to kill them by crushing their heads. Just as he is about to crush the last one however, Lisa makes him realize that the others never intended to let them live in the first place, they just didn't want to do it in front of Claudia.
- The Lost Woods: Katyn forest, the place where the Soviets executed over 22000 PoW's and where their spirits now linger.
- Magic Versus Science: Mentioned as part of the backstory. In the past, magicians used to be dime a dozen as there wasn't much need for magic to be all that extravagant. But as science advanced, magic struggled to keep up and it became harder and harder for it to achieve the same things that technology could do in much simpler ways. By the time the story takes place in 1944, magicians are considered almost extinct with only three known true magicians known to exist, Crowley, Rusalka and Mercurius. According to Mercurius however, the real reason the magic's influence weakened was due to the god of the world growing older and weaker, and thus, things that used to be easy became a lot harder to achieve without technology.
- Mood Whiplash: Lisa is going through a rather somber description of their mission in Katyn forest and the nature of human souls, and then all of a sudden Claudia butts in proclaiming that she needs to use the "facilities". Everyone was left speechless by the sudden turn of the mood.
- Not What It Looks Like: Early on, Rusulka and Beatrice walk in on Wilhelm and Cladiua as the later is about to help her with her bandages. Both end up misunderstanding what is going on. He pretty much tells Dinah that is was pretty stupid and that she should just ignore that part. He does manage to explain to them though.
- Prequel: The story is framed as an interview starting some time before the events of the main Dies Irae plot line with the bulk of the narrative being Wilhelm recounting his past, providing background information of not only him, but the rest of the Obsidian Round Table as well.
- Saved by Canon: Seeing as this is a prequel to the original Dies Irae starring the members of the LDO, it's easy to guess that nobody but Claudia and Ludvig ends up dying.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In the end, Wilhelm fails to break out of his curse of always losing whatever he chases with Claudia dying without him being able to absorb her, on top of losing a part of his soul, namely the part of him that loved Claudia.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: Turns out Wilhelm get's along surprisingly well with Eleonore. This mostly stems from their similar views on Reinhard despite being so ideologically different otherwise.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: On the mission to Katyn forest, Wilhelm has to work closely together with Beatrice. To say that those two go together like oil and water would be an understatement.
- Universe Compendium: Downplayed, the novel provides a simple glossary to help readers get up to speed on some of the terminology and how the magic system functions, but it is not all-encompassing.
- Villain Episode: A side story focusing on one of the villains of the main novel.
- Villains Out Shopping: The members of the L.D.O. still has to get food and the like in order to not waste energy which in turn results in Claudia dragging Wilhelm all across the local market.