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Visual Novel / Dies Irae

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Halt, O time, for thou art fair beyond measure.
I wish upon your unending star – guide me to heights unknown!

"Come, gather and bear witness to my opera, now in the making.
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."

A visual novel by the company Light and the second game in the Shinza Bansho Series that has had a colorful release history.

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 1945, as the Red Army storms Berlin and World War II nears its end, 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 with the Third Reich's collapse 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 was streamed on Crunchyroll. Funimation's Simuldub premiered 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 its 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 ~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:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: 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.
  • 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 CD’s 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 Beatrice’s and Kai’s 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.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: In Kasumi's route, Father Trifa rips out Lisa's still beating heart and uses it to open the Swastika at the amusement park.
  • 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.
  • Bedmate Reveal: Ren get's a double case of this as wakes up and finds out that Marie has materialized in his bed. And then he realizes that Kasumi is lying in the same bed right behind him after he hugged her until he fell asleep the night before.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: Marie was born under the guillotine as her father volunteered to carry out the execution of its latest victim.
  • 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 repeating and sabotaging the Transmutation of Gold over and over again.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Tubal Cain. He only gets worse from there.
  • Breather Episode: "Chapter V Holiday" is a fairly calm chapter that focuses more on Ren being out and about with Kasumi and Marie rather than any action or significant plot details. It also happens to take place right in-between two rather hectic chapters.
  • 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 were Kasumi as Spinne claimed thanks to that fact.
  • 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.
  • Creepy Child: The undead ghost children from Lebensborn. While they are fairly innocent as far as ghosts go, they still managed to be quite unsettling regardless.
  • 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.
  • Doorstopper: This game is even longer than Fate/stay night, and all things included, one is looking at almost 75 hours worth of reading with some sources claiming it to be even longer than the King James Bible.
  • 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 is disrupted, it is only delayed as opposed to actually stopped.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After several routes of defeats or narrow victories, Rea's route really puts Ren and his friends through the wringer as they have to fight not only against increasingly bleak odds but against each other as well. But all this hardship and heartache finally allows them to eek out a conclusive victory against the Eternal Recurrence that has ruled their lives and create a new world where everyone is alive and happy and where history goes as it is supposed to with the true death of Reinhard during WWII. It all closes with Ren and his loved one taking each others hands in marriage, finally allowing the characters the closure they have so long deserved.
  • Eldritch Location: The Throne, which is located at the center of the Universe and houses the current Hadou God.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Shirou in the routes where he does acquire his Yetzirah. In Marie’s 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.
  • Evil Weapon: All of the Ahnenerbe are weapons with significant amount of bad karma tied to them and are constantly trying to drive their wielders into further and further killings.
  • 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.
  • Forced Sleep: Ren alongside Shirou and Ellie ends up being put under a spell by the ghost children in Kasumi's route. preventing them from waking up and following Kasumi as she left for the church.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mass Hypnosis: In order to make sure that the students are going to the school where one of the Swastika's are even with everything going on, they are all put under a spell that compels them to go. The name of the chapter where this happens? The Pied Piper. It is perhaps fitting that it is Rusalka that is behind it.
  • Mega Meal Challenge: Kasumi and Marie decide to eat a pair Jumbo-Sized Parfaits that are free if you can eat it in under half an hour. Ren calls them some kind of perversion of nature.
  • Metaphorically True: Even though the members of the Obsidian Round Table have been told how the Swastika ritual works, a lot of it is based on half-truths keeping most of them from realizing the rituals full scope.
  • 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. Kasumi meanwhile has a poster for Gunjou no Sora o Koete in her's, another visual novel by Light.
  • The Needless: None of the Die Ewigkeit require things such as food, water or even oxygen as they can simply use souls for sustenance. Most however eat and breathe normally anyways as they view it as a waste to use the souls they have stocked up for such banal things.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: The majority of the story's conflict and action takes place during night. Justified as the nature of the LDO's operations is reliant on the city being populated as if nothing bad is going on.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: During the revolution, there was a priest that was executed despite being good and beloved individual who went out of his way to help those in need. One of the people who ended up living a happy life thanks to his actions where Marie's father, the very same man who would then take up the role of his executioner.
  • 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 music box remix of Einsatz, is 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: ”Cathedrale” and ”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.
  • Rewatch Bonus: There is quite a bit of subtle foreshadowing here and there, and knowing some of the later plot reveals can make comments that seemed inconsequential early on take on a whole new light.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: At one point during the common route while Ren is trying to convince Kasumi that he and Kei are dating, Kasumi get's a little, liberal, with her imagination leading to Ren thinking Urge. To. Punch. Rising....
  • 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.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Yetzirah, the second degree of Die Ewigkeit allows for the formation of one's relic, materializing it out of thin air.
  • 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.
  • Soul Power: The basis of Die Ewigkeit allows one to use souls as a means of both defense and offense. Defensively it allows the user to resist standard weaponry as most weapons can only take one life while they have thousands in stock, hence why only weapons of mass destruction can really hurt them as they are capable of killing thousands. Offensively it acts on a similar principle, taking multiple lives in a single strike. Due to this, soul count and mass is quite important.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: In general, characters are free to complete their sometimes lengthy chants without interruption, even in the middle of heated combat.
  • Takes One to Kill One: While killing an Ewigkeit user is doable in theory for a normal human, in actual practice it is nigh impossible. This is due to the way Die Ewigkeit works as it gives its users effectively extra lives on top of a whole host of other abilities. Thus the only really effective way to kill one is to use weapons that take "several lives on each use", and normal such weapons like bombs and nukes just aren't practical. Hence why Ahnenerbe exists, weapons wielded by Ewigkeit users, as they attack the soul directly and can take all those extra lives with more limited attacks. The only known instance of a normal human killing an Ewigkeit user was Shirou killing Wilhelm at the end of Kasumi's route, and that relied on a very specific loophole created by the users own powers.
  • 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-released 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 all-ages re-re-release of the game, the title is namedropped by Reinhard and Marie: Dies Irae - Amantes Amentes.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Getting an Ahnenerbe seems to do this. Turning genuinely scary murderers and soldiers into super-powered Ghostapo members.
  • Translation Convention: Despite a good chunk of the cast being German as well as one being French, everyone speaks fluent Japanese.
  • Undead Child: The ghost children from Lebensborn, all of them spirits of the failed ubermenshen that died under Lisa's care.
  • Undead Tax Exemption: Kei and Rusulka make themselves transfer students in order to keep an eye on Ren and "motivate" him. And given that Suwahara City was pretty much founded by the LDO, they have next to no problem weaseling themselves in despite their unsavory backgrounds.
  • 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.
  • Wedding Finale: The final epilogue is all about the marriage between either Ren and Rea or Lotus and Anna, serving as the final closing out to the story.
  • 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.
  • Wise Serpent: One of the central villains of the story is Mercurius, also known as the Mercurial Snake or simply the Snake, and carries the caduceus as his mark alongside a general snake motif. In the wider Shinza Bansho Series he is known as the God of Wisdom and the Father of Magic, no small part thanks to his Eternal Recurrence which has afforded him knowledge unrivaled and is ancient even by the Gods standards. This vast knowledge also makes him one of the most competent schemers in the series.
  • World of Ham: Suffice to say, there is no shortage of characters hamming it up in this novel, with only getting even hammier 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.

Acta Est Fabula (The Play is Over)