Follow TV Tropes


Visual Novel / 428: Shibuya Scramble

Go To
Shibuya's story is in your hands. Characters 

428: Shibuya Scramble ("428: Fuusasareta Shibuya de", lit. "428: Blockaded In Shibuya") is a 2008 Visual Novel for the Wii, published by Chunsoft. It is one of the few games (and the only visual novel) awarded a perfect 40/40 score from Famitsu, and was later ported to the Playstation Portable, Playstation 3 and mobile devices. It is released internationally as 428: Shibuya Scramble on Steam and Playstation 4 on September 4, 2018 in the US and September 21, 2018 in Europe. The game serves as a Spiritual Sequel to Machi, which was released in 1998.

In the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan, a young woman named Maria Osawa is kidnapped and held to ransom by a criminal organization. Hitomi, the sister of the victim, is ordered by the criminals to deliver the ransom money to a contact at the famous Hachikō statue outside of Shibuya Station. However, the exchange takes an unexpected turn when the kidnappers suddenly order Hitomi to "find a blue van" before fleeing with the money, and a mysterious man attempts to murder her.


Over the next ten hours, events quickly spiral out of control, and as the government moves to blockade Shibuya, it becomes apparent there is something far more complicated and dangerous about this kidnapping than first appeared, especially when a mysterious criminal mastermind known only as Alphard turns out to be involved...

Unlike most visual novels, there are five protagonists whose individual stories play out over the course of the game:

  • Shinya Kano: A young police detective assigned to supervise the ransom exchange. When the criminals flee with the ransom money, he quickly gives chase.
  • Achi Endo: A chivalrous former street-gang leader who happens across Hitomi during the botched ransom exchange and ends up saving her life.
  • "Tama": A temp worker currently employed as a giant cat mascot named Tama. She is mysteriously drawn to a pendant she found in a second-hand store, and is saving all of her wages to buy it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Minoru Minorikawa: A Hot-Blooded freelance journalist. After receiving a desperate phone call from his former boss, he agrees to help complete the latest issue of a magazine within a single day by following up article leads within Shibuya.
  • Kenji Osawa: A renowned virus researcher and the father of the kidnapped girl. After returning from an overseas business trip, he receives an anonymous email that claims an antiviral drug he had been working on has been illegally tested on humans.

Using a timeline chart, players must navigate all five stories simultaneously in order to progress towards the ending, with decisions in one story directly affecting another. For example, if Achi chooses to immediately approach the ransom exchange in his route then he is wrongfully arrested by Shinya; this in turn causes Shinya's route to stall because he arrests the wrong person. In another instance, choosing to give accurate directions to a pair of yakuza members will cause them to show up at an inappropriate time in another character's route, making it impossible for the latter to proceed.

A bonus scenario for this game dealing with Maria friend's past was created by Kinoko Nasu and Takashi Takeuchi of Type-Moon fame. This scenario eventually got its own spinoff anime called Canaan (which, to give fair warning, does spoil a few plot twists of the game).

As the game has been out in Japan since 2008 and the game has only been released worldwide in 2018, late arrival spoilers apply to the tropes below. You have been warned.

428: Shibuya Scramble contains examples of:

  • AB Negative: Subverted in that the reason Suzune hasn't had a heart transfer is cause she has Bombay blood and only a few dozen people in Japan even have it. It's the reason why Detective Tateno had been trying to kill Hitomi, trying to render her brain-dead enough. In the end, it's a friend of Suzune's who gives up his heart to her.
  • Action Girl:
    • First off we have Miku, who is a well known fighter in her neighborhood. However, she ended up being no match for...
    • Tama, surprisingly. When Miku & her ended up fighting, she is able to fend off Miku's attacks and defeat her. Her backstory reveals that she, (as Maria), learned this from...
    • Canaan, who even when greatly outnumbered is able to defeat multiple assassins going after Achi & Hitomi. She also manages to save Hitomi from a bombing by pulling a Diving Save.
    • It also applies to Alphard as well, considering that the Canaan that we saw in game is actually Alphard all along.
  • Actor Allusion: Some of the actors also played parts in the spiritual predecessor Machi, and this will occasionally be made fun of. Apparently, Detective Kajiwara once met a stylist who looked "just like him" (and who bolted away when hearing that Kajiwara was a detective: the stylist in question was a drug addict in Machi), while Kuze has an older brother who dresses as a hippy and wastes his days playing songs to random passerbys, referencing the actor's appearance as the hippy blackmailer Monday in the previous game.
  • A Day in the Limelight: After beating the game you can take quiz about things relating it. Answering each question correctly unlocks a story based on one of the game's many side characters.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Osawa and Ai were wed as a political move by Ai's father to secure Osawa's talent for his company. Osawa agreed to the match in order to provide his young daughters with a mother figure. This partially fuels Ai's resentment towards Osawa, as she had sacrifice her relationship with Tanaka for someone who would end up being cold with her.
  • Arc Number: "428" can be be pronounced "Shibuya." Also, if you look carefully at the assorted phones in-game, the incident happens on April 28th (4/28).
  • Arc Words: "Never lose sight of what you're supposed to protect. Ever."
  • The Atoner: A twisted example is found in Detective Tateno. He intends to make up for not beeing able to save Achi's mother by providing a compatible donor heart for her ailing daughter...a plan which will eventually call for him to put a bullet through the skull of one Hitomi Osawa. After this plot comes to light, he decides to become a straight up example of this trope by shouldering the responsibility of escorting Maria safely to her father's lab, a process which will cause him to come into conflict with the rest of Shibuya's police force, so she can have a chance to be saved.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The relationship between Toyama and Hana is estranged to say the least. The former is a depressed, deadbeat writer trying to make ends meet and seriously contemplating suicide while the latter is a girl that seems to spend the first few hours running away from him but actually helping his financial situation as best she can. When Tama helps find them get back together, Hana is exasperated of her father's behavior. But Minoru remembers a time where she was young and happy helping him in his office, and when he personally gets Toyama a good punch for his troubles, father and daughter leave to get the last story they need, hand in hand.
  • Bash Brothers: Susumu and Achi used to be this when they were both in S.O.S together.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Ozu and Segawa, the two yakuza working for a loan shark. They are mostly seen running at other comic reliefs and act like oafs but they are shown to be extremely brutal in a few bad endings. They are also willing to kidnap Toyama's daughter and make her work her dad's debt.
  • Big Bad: Alphard is the mysterious Diabolical Mastermind behind the kidnapping of Maria Osawa and the plot to steal the UA virus antiviral drug, and is manipulating every antagonist to achieve this goal. He turns out to be Hitomi's teacher, Leland Palmer- except he himself is working for the real Alphard, the girl disguised as Canaan.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Minoru, of all people in Kano's perspective. He was able to provide Kano the faulty dry ice machine to deactivate the bomb by convincing the Wandering Angels theater group to surrender it after chasing after them throughout his entire route.
  • Big Eater:
    • Chiri. One segment has her eat through an entire Chinese buffet's stock of food. A bad ending has her compete in, and win, an eating competition where she eats a 1,000 scoop sundae!
    • Maria as well, since she managed to place second in the same eating competition.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The true ending. The Scramble isn't blown up, Kano finally gets Rumi's father's blessings to marry his daughter, Minoru's group meet their deadline, Alphard is taken into custody without shooting Kenji and the real Canaan is revealed to be alive. However the CIA still manages to obtain a sample of the Ua virus antiviral thanks to Alphard sneaking a blood sample from Hitomi. Alphard is also freed by the CIA after handing over the antiviral, causing Canaan to chase her down and confront her.
  • Blah Blah Blah: Minoru's ill-fated encounter with Ai (if the player decides to make him investigate the irritating beeping noise from his detector) ends with both of them getting into an argument that eventually devolves into nonsensical blabber.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: The Burning Hammer drink which Tama's boss is peddling. It's so potent that it straight up causes Kano to pass out in one bad end.
  • Blood from Every Orifice: How people infected with the Ua Virus die.
  • Book-Ends: The beginning and the ending of the story starts with Hitomi acting as bait by waiting for a criminal at the Hachiko statue with Kano and Achi present, triggering and resolving the plot respectively.
    • As well, the game starts and ends with Kano and Achi as the only playable characters.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Canaan and Alphard in the true ending. The final scene is them pulling a gun on each other and the sound of shots being fired.
  • Bottle Episode: Osawa's route mainly takes place in and around his house, in contrast to the other protagonists who traverse the whole Shibuya in their own routes.
  • Breather Episode: Hour 17:00, with only one bad ending and a very linear path to easily pave through any Keep Outs going through. Fitting as the two-hour long endgame is much harder and intense narrative-wise.
  • Bridal Carry: Achi flees with Hitomi this way after she starts lagging behind while they're been chased by the man with a cane. He later does this again so that they can escape the scene of the minivan bombing.
  • Broken Pedestal: Tateno Kyozou, Kano's mentor in the force.
  • The Cameo: Aya Kamiki appears as herself looking over Hana's poems.
  • Carrying the Antidote: Averted. Alphard has free access to the Ua virus, but not to its antiviral. They infect multiple people over the course of the game so that they can manipulate events to allow them to get their hands on sample of the antiviral, while at the same time destroying all other sources of the antiviral.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: The supporting cast and even side characters with limited appearances have defined personalities and names, some of whom are further fleshed out in the bonus scenarios.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Tateno willingly douses himself in gasoline to talk down a arsonist holding people hostage. It was this moment that inspired Kano to be a detective like him, even having a notebook full of sayings he made like a bible. Kano would later also risk his life as well as a criminal's by sitting in gasoline and hover a light over it to get Leland to tell him the password to the antiviral security.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The faulty dry ice machine from Endo Electronics, which manages to save the entire Scramble from being blown to smithereens by Alphard's bomb.
    • The Aya Kamiki ringtone. Both of Alphard's bombs are triggered by that sound.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Several, with Professor Palmer, the taxi driver who constantly appears throughout Minoru's route and Jack Stanley's boss being the major ones.
  • Clingy Costume: Tama's costume becomes this when the zipper breaks. Her shady boss still insists on putting her to work on tasks where the giant cat costume is nothing but an additional hindrance.
  • Clocks of Control: Katayama is almost always checking his pocket watch and reminds Minoru of the deadline of his magazine down to the second.
  • Closet Geek: Unbeknownst to everyone, Osawa is a fan of J-pop star Aya Kamiki, to the point where he is a member of the singer's exclusive fan website for fans over the age of 40. Kano's father-in-law also turns out to be Aya Kamiki fan as well, operating on her forums under the identity of a teenage girl.
  • Color Motifs: Each of the main characters involved have different colors associated with them. Achi has red, Kano has blue, Minorikawa has green, Osawa has purple and Tama/Maria has yellow. At the 18:00 block, Jack has gray and Tateno has orange.
  • The Conspiracy: During Minoru's plot, mentioning the word Nakamura brings us a transmission from Spike Chunisoft's Koichi Nakamura, where he is in captive from a shadowy group and asks us players to keep the game safe from them. Can be quite tough to find since it doesn't give us a bad ending for choosing this
  • Continuity Nod: The game was never meant to be a sequel to Machi (due to that game's commercial failure), but it technically takes place in the same universe, so there is a number of small references throughout the game. They are almost always tucked away in the explanation screens, so that new players won't have to deal with anything they don't know during the story proper, while anyone who's played Machi still gets some fanservice.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Osawa's boss Makino purposefully sold the Ua virus for profit. Osawa's cure is just another way for him to profit from the chaos. He also has no trouble trapping Ai in a loveless marriage with Osawa just to make it easier to control the both of them.
  • Creator Cameo: The game's scenario writer appears as the one who lets Achi and Hitomi into the camera room.
  • Death Seeker: Implied to be with Tateno, where he didn't hesitate to douse himself in gasoline to talk to an arsonist.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Toyama cross the horizon before the game even begins, after his scratchcard scheme goes belly up. Minoru hits his in the 16:00 segment, after he hears that Toyama died in the van explosion. And finally Osawa hits rock bottom after learning that the Japanese government is set on quarantining Maria instead of finding a cure for her (a decision which will absolutely lead to her death).
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Osawa steadily opens up to the people surrounding him as his route progresses.
  • Ditzy Genius: Kenji Osawa may be a genius virologist, but has absolutely no idea how to operate a microwave or prepare even the most basic ready-cooked meals.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Detective Tateno gets severely nauseated when even the thought of firing a gun comes up, thanks to the trauma the death of Achi's mother left on his psyche. In several late game bad endings, Alphard gleefully exploits this flaw for their own gain.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: Alongside their tendency to encourage a Gambit Pileup with their schemes, Alphard also makes their plans intentionally imperfect to achieve their goals while causing maximum chaos. In a meta-sense, the game itself seems to encourage players to pick some seemingly wrong choices in order to unlock Keep Outs for other characters or to proceed to a good ending.
  • Downer Ending: The normal ending. While Shibuya is saved from being bombed, Kenji is fatally shot by Alphard, who later manages to escape from CIA custody thanks to her contacts there. And to add insult to injury Alphard's employers now have a full monopoly over the Ua antidote, which paves the way for it to be used in future bioterrorism attacks.
  • Driven to Suicide: Minoru's former boss, Toyama, tries to hang himself in his office after his last ditch attempt to get himself out of debt spectacularly fails. Failing to stop him in time or being unable to complete the magazine draft before the deadline will lead to a bad end where he succeeds.
  • Dumb Is Good: Achi in a nutshell. He's dumber than a bag of rocks, but he'll do anything to ensure the safety of a girl he met barely a few hours ago.
  • Eat the Evidence: In a last ditch attempt to stop Minoru from accepting lifelong responsibility for the supposedly deceased Toyama's crippling debts, Chiaki eats the loan sharks' contract which Minoru was about to sign.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Detective Tateno Kyozo and CIA agent Jack Stanley and became playable characters in the final 18:00-20:00 timeblock.
    • To a lesser extent, Koichiro Katayama shows up near the end of Minoru's route to reinforce the magazine deadline.
  • Evil All Along: The foreign woman introduced as "Canaan" is actually Canaan's arch-nemesis (and Big Bad) Alphard.
    • Leland Palmer, Hitomi and Maria's college professor, who comes off to almost everyone as an Absent-Minded Professor who deeply cares for his students despite not being fluent in Japanese until the reveal.
  • Evil Stepmother: It is strongly implied in Osawa's story that his wife Ai may have had a hand in the kidnapping. This is ultimately subverted - she wasn't involved at all, and actually manages to save Maria by persuading her father to give Osawa access to his lab. Even Hitomi defended her during her lunch with Achi that she's actually reasonable to deal with and is willing to give her advice when needed
  • Evolving Title Screen: Shown in the character selection menu:
    • Minoru's appearance changes to make him look charred and battered after he gets caught in the 16:00 minivan explosion, and he remains in that state through the end of the game.
    • Tama will appear as Maria after taking off the cat mascot costume, and will later change clothes to match the ones she bought at the mall.
    • Maria and Osawa will disappear from the character select screen as their characters' stories "finish" before the epilogue. Once you unlock their characters, Jack and Tateno will replace them.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire story takes place within ten hours in one single day, starting from 10:00.
  • The Faceless:
    • Kano's fiancee Rumi, whose face is never revealed throughout the game until the post credit scene after you finish Mean Clean story.
    • Detective Tateno in Kano's flashbacks in order to conceal from the player that he's the mysterious man with the cane who's persuing Achi and Hitomi.
    • Canaan in Maria's flashbacks in order to conceal that the girl in the game is not Canaan.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Achi and Kano did not get along at first. It doesn't help that in Kano's perspective, Achi initially looked to be Hitomi's kidnapper. When they finally meet at 17:00, the two became fast allies as the story progresses with better understanding of each others' actions.
    • Kano and Jack Stanley. The two started their forced partnership with friction but grew more trusting of each other as the story progresses, to the point where Jack suggests treating Kano for a drink once the case is over.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: The first time-block at 10:00 has you taking charge of two characters whose story lines happens co-currently. From the second time-block onwards, you take charge of five characters with their stories progressing simultaneously and sometimes intertwining. Despite Tama/Maria and Osawa's stories concluding earlier before 18:00, two more characters join in, with still five characters' stories in charge by the player in making it to the final time block, though Minoru's story concludes before the climax Helps that the player can jump to one character to another at any point in time to make following the plot less daunting.
  • Free-Range Children: Hana is often shown unaccompanied by any adult throughout the story, due to Toyama constantly needing to flee from debt collectors. This becomes heartbreaking after Toyama's (supposed) death, where Kano can find her alone, in tears, in front of Shibyua's police station.
  • Gambit Pileup: Invoked Trope. Alphard's planning thrives on people's own instincts and agendas taking over and causing chaos in order to obscure their involvement.
  • Guinea Pig Family: Roughly a week before the start of the game Osawa was forced to inject Hitomi with the experimental U.A antiviral after she managed to become infected with the virus. While his main goal was to save his daughter's life, he also admits to himself that he was filled with excitement at seeing if his research would bear fruit.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Minoru's Character Tic when talking to people, especially when he's asserting his views.
  • Guide Dang It!: Good luck figuring out the correct sequence for the final segment where all five characters are together and must choose who does what at a critical moment, as there are no hints given when you reach a bad end. Additionally, two of those characters are not even unlocked by default; doing so requires triggering numerous flags in the other routes that are not readily apparent.
    • Figuring out how to unlock the Special Episodes is this. Not only do you need to be at specific times in specific characters, but it has to be at specific lines where you must wait for a button prompt to unlock that episode.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The CIA, who were the ones who employed Alphard in order to seize a monopoly on the antiviral agent for the Ua virus. Interestingly, Jack Stanley, the first CIA agent you meet, was not in on this scheme and is in fact their Token Good Teammate.
  • Hammerspace: While it's one thing Detective Kajiwara just kept pulling out bananas in Osawa's storyline, it's played for laughs in his Special Episode. He pulls out a banana, two curry buns, a carton of milk, a cup, a pot of tea, comb, handheld video game, rice crackers, screwdriver, a folding umbrella, a stuffed Tama plush, a police light, a skateboard, a chainsaw, a grappling hook, and a fire hose! The only thing he forgot was his handkerchief.
  • Hero of Another Story: Mean Clean is this in his scenario, being a sentient plastic water bottle fighting against pollution compared to the seriousness in the rest of the story.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: The Big Bad, Alphard, spends most of the story impersonating her arch-nemesis Canaan, and makes a big show of trying to hunt down the evil arms dealer behind the entire plot, to the point that she's the first one to even bring up Alphard's name.
  • I Am Who?: "Tama" turns out to be Maria, who escaped from her kidnappers but developed Identity Amnesia because of a blow to her head.
  • Identity Concealment Disposal: When "Tama" is revealed to be Maria, she sheds the costume and her name changes in the menu screen.
  • Ill Girl: Achi's sister Suzune, who is in desperate need of a heart transplant but who's rare blood type means that there are no matches to be found. Her condition takes a turn for the worse at start of the game, which causes her father and Detective Tateno to attempt to make Hitomi braindead in order to use her heart as Suzune's much needed donor organ. In her post game story she is ultimately cured, thanks to a friendly boy who prolonged his life enough to transfer her his heart.
  • Imagine Spot: In Achi's story, Hitomi gushing about Tanaka causes him to imagine her having a romantic session with the older man.
  • Interrupted Suicide: The beginning of Minoru's story has him rushing to put a stop to Toyama's suicide.
    • At the start of the 16:00 segment Kano narrowly stops Minorikawa from jumping off a building if choices are made on his side to get Minorikawa so depressed he considers it.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Minoru, who's forced to put his reporter skills to the test during his route in order to save Tomoya.
  • Irony:
    • The plan of Daisuke & Tateno to save Suzune by killing Hitomi ended up being foiled by Daisuke's son Achi.
    • Alphard plans hinges on the mistakes of people. Ultimately, her final plan (of blowing up Shibuya) is gone for good thanks to a mistake from Minoru's side.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: It can feel like this at times; fortunately, the game only progresses one hour at a time, and there's a handy timeline/interaction chart to help you figure out which events cause knock-on effects on others.
  • Killed Off for Real: Surprisingly for a game that centers around bio-terrorism, Mamoru Tanaka is the only person that did not survive in the path of the normal/true endings.
    • Should the player make several wrong choices in the final time block, Kenji Osawa will be shot dead in the normal ending.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Achi. He initially formed the group S.O.S. (K.O.K in the Japanese version) with the goal to protect Shibuya from thugs and clear litter around the streets of Shibuya. Though he's stepped down as the leader of S.O.S by the time the story starts, he spends his entire route protecting Hitomi from danger.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Tama gains her name after seeing her coworker eat an egg (tamago) for lunch.
  • Loan Shark: A pair of them appear in both Minoru and Tama's routes, both times trying to collect their dues from either Toyama or Yanagishita respectively.
  • Locked into Strangeness: The real Canaan has white hair as a result of her exposure to the Ua Virus.
  • The Lost Lenore: Achi's mother for his father and Detective Tateno.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Tateno and Daisuke are trying to make Hitomi brain-dead so that her heart can be used to save Suzune, the daughter of the woman who both Daisuke and Tateno loved.
  • MacGuffin: The pendant that Tama wants to buy. It belongs to her, though thanks to her Identity Amnesia she doesn't remember receiving it from Canaan. Furthermore, it has a GPS tracker in it that allows the heroes to find her.
    • In the epilogue, turns out the pendant was a GPS tracker and a bomb.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: Hitomi, whose body contains the antiviral to the Ua Virus.
  • Market-Based Title: Downplayed. While the '428' title remains unchanged in both Japan and international markets, the game's subtitle in international markets is 'Shibuya Scramble', whereas the original subtitle in Japan is 'Blockaded in Shibuya', possibly to avoid spoilers occurring around the halfway point.
  • Married to the Job: Detective Kajiwara in Osawa's route, which caused his wife and daughter walked out on him. Kano's further father in law also was a cop who neglected his wife in favour of his work, which is why he absolutely doesn't want his daughter marrying a policeman for fear that she'll suffer the same way his wife did. Osawa is this at the beginning of his route, but has turned over a new leaf by the end of the game.
  • Master of Disguise: Sasayama, Kano's detective colleague. He is known to wear different disguises during missions. In the game, he is shown disguising as a homeless man, an otaku and a street dancer. And in a bad ending, in Tama's cat suit as well.
  • Meet the In-Laws: Kano's finds out that his future father-in-law is in town to discuss a potential marriage to his daughter very early in his route. However abandoning the kidnapping case to attend the meeting will always result in a bad end, either for him or Minoru, who is delayed long enough by Kano's actions that he fails to prevent Toyama's suicide.
  • The Mentor: Both Toyama and Minoru play this role, former for Minoru (though as flashbacks show, he was more of a Stealth Mentor) and the latter for Chiaki. Minoru is shown to have picked up Toyama's brand of mentorship, namely forcing their apprentices to continuously rewrite their drafts until they produce a perfect, print worthy article.
  • Multiple Endings: There are 87 different endings in total, with 85 bad endings, one normal ending, and one true ending. There's also 3 more stories: Suzune, Canaan and Mean Clean, the last one will show the production scene where the crew work on the plot for 60 days.
    • Some of the joke endings fall under the sillier side of the bad endings: Kano quits the police force and joins his father-in-law to become a farmer, Minoru quits his reporter job to become a fisherman to clear Toyama's debt since he earns more money that way, Tama/Maria joins Yanagishita and Chiri in eating competitions instead of pursuing her true identity etc.
  • My Greatest Failure: For Detective Tateno it's not saving Achi's mother during a hostage situation. His drive to set things right fuels most of the conflict in Achi's route.
  • Mysterious Protector: Canaan to Hitomi and Achi. Most of the events in Achi's route were engineered by her so that she comes across as this, since the later stages of her grand plan depend on her being able to use Hitomi's favourable impression of her to gain Osawa's trust.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Occurs in several of the bad endings, the most notable being when Minoru is beaten to death by a punk wielding a nail studded bat.
    • Minoru deliberately baits the S.O.S into giving him one during his own route, so that he can gather enough material to be able to finish the final article needed for Four Star General Gossip.
  • No One Sees the Boss: "Alphard", a notorious criminal-for-hire whose age, nationality and even gender are a complete mystery. This allows her to hide in plain sight by masquerading as Canaan.
  • No Social Skills: Osawa has difficulty opening up and talking to people so much so that he prefers researching on viruses rather than open a conversation with another human if he's given a choice.
  • Non-Specifically Foreign: Canaan. The game describes her as having 'Middle Eastern' features, but does not describe her nationality further than that. This also applies to Alphard as well throughout most of the game when impersonating as Canaan.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Several of the bad endings, especially the ones where the character involved is unharmed but is unable to investigate the central mystery any longer. Standouts include Tama, Chiri and their boss going on to become wildly successful Snake-Oil Salesmen, or Kano leaving the entire police business behind to marry his girlfiend and settle down on a farm.
  • Only Friend: Kajiwara Yoshio, the officer in charge of the kidnapping case, slowly becomes this to Osawa over the course of the latter's route.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: The father of Kano's sweetheart is dead set against his daughter marrying a policeman. Which is ironic, because Kano chose to join the policeforce in a misguided attempt to impress him.
  • Patient Zero: Maria/Tama, who was infected with the Ua virus shortly after she was kidnapped in the hopes that she'll go on the infect the whole of Shibuya once she goes symptomatic.
  • Parents as People:
    • Osawa much prefers dealing with viruses than people and comes off as cold to both strangers and his family as a result. But deep down he cares for his daughters Hitomi and Maria very much (a fact which surprises him as much as them).
    • Toyama is in crippling debt and struggles daily to keep a roof over his daughter's head. However the moment she came under his sole care he gave up his lifelong dream of becoming an independent publisher and started focusing entirely on printing gossip magazines that he used to loathe, because gossip magazines are what sells and therefore are what is going to put food on the table for her.
    • In the past Kajiwara was a textbook absent father. In the present he deeply regrets not being there for his child, and urges Osawa not to make the same mistakes regarding his family that he did.
    • Daisuke Endo is a man scarred by loss, who is willing to do anything and sacrifice anyone if it means saving the people that still remain in his life.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Hitomi is usually The Quiet One, whereas Maria is the Genki Girl between the two.
  • Post-End Game Content: Upon reaching the normal or true end of the main story, additional scenarios are available for the player. One of them is the aforementioned Canaan scenario which serves more of a backstory/prequel to the anime.
  • The Promise: At the end of Osawa's storyline Kajiwara promises to ensure that Maria arrives safely at his lab. He pulls this off by ramming a police blockade to break it up enough so that Tateno and Maria can pass through it - at which point he's too injured to go any further and passes off the duty of seeing the promise through to Tateno.
  • Prone to Tears: Chiaki Iso, an acquaintance of Minoru. Though she's a great writer, she starts the game with a fear of talking to people and easily breaks down in stressful situations. She does manage to grow out of both traits as the plot progresses.
  • Race Against the Clock: Minoru needs to complete the draft of the latest issue of Four Star General Gossip by 8:00pm, in order to save his boss from falling victim to Yakuza loan sharks.
    • Most of the protagonists realise they're facing a much more serious deadline midway through the game. Tama/Maria needs to be both located and given the Ua antiviral before the virus's incubation period is over, or she'll turn symptomatic and, the in worst case senario, go on to trigger a worldwide pandemic.
  • Revenge Before Reason: An overarching theme of the game is to avert this, putting aside personal grudges so as not to lose sight of what's most important.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The scene after the opening credits make little sense for players going into the game for the first time. But as the game progresses, the opening scene, actually taking place shortly before 16:00 marks the penultimate point where the situation for the main characters go From Bad to Worse.
  • Rotating Protagonist: One of the main mechanics in the game where you follow and take charge of five characters' choices. And then there's two more characters, totaling it up to seven.
  • Save the Princess: Aichi's route revolves around keeping Hitomi out of harms way.
  • Series Mascot: Tama.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Minoru is quick to accuse Daisuke Endo of this once he finds out that the latter was responsible for setting up and maintaining Shibuya's unoffical CCTV network. He turns out to be right, as Daisuke is later revealed to have been using the cameras to feed Achi and Hitomi's locations to their mysterious pursuer, Detective Tateno.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Yanagishita and Chiri disappear entirely from the main plot around the halfway point, where the truth behind the kidnapping is revealed and tracking down Maria Osawa suddenly turns into a race against the clock.
    • Kano's colleague Sasayama, one of the main sources of comedy in Kano's story, is hospitalized after being stabbed in the stomach shortly after Kano teams up with Jack Stanley. After that he's only mentioned briefly at the end of the game.
    • Surprisingly defied with Minorikawa, who plays a pretty significant part in the story, is involved in some serious moments, and never loses his goofy demeanor outside of one bad end. No matter how high the stakes are, he and his story have plenty of humour ready at a moment's notice.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Tama's boss, Yanagishita, who was conned into stocking "health drinks" for an inflated price and decides that the appropriate response is to sell them at an even more inflated price.
  • Stern Chase: The vast majority of Achi's timeline has him and Hitomi fleeing from the mysterious man with the cane.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Quite a few things go up in smoke throughout the game, or have the potential to. It's noted as Alphard's more recent modus operandi ever since a bombing incident in Chicago.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Tama is the only female protagonist. This is a major hint to her true identity, as, out of the entire cast mentioned during the early stages of the game, there is only one other girl whose whereabouts and appearance are both unknown.
  • The Needs of the Many: After it's revealed that Maria is primed to become Patient Zero for a Shibuya (and potentially world) wide Ua outbreak, the CIA force the Japanese police to issue an order for her to be quarantined. To the authorities the life of one girl is a small price to pay for the safety of the general populace.
  • The Stoic: To most people Osawa acts like an emotionless man who shows little care for those around him. He shows a less stoic side where Hitomi and Maria are concerned - to the point where he completely breaks down after finding out that his only option to cure Maria of the Ua virus is gone.
  • Twin Switch: Hitomi and Maria. More exactly, Hitomi was the person who was sought after since she was the MacGuffin Super Person who has the Ua Virus antiviral contained in her bloodstream; Maria pretended to be her in order to protect her...and the entire thing was orchestrated by the Big Bad unbeknownst to them both.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Jack Stanley invokes it, not breathing a word to anyone else of his endgame plan to try to stop Alphard. Though in his case keeping quiet is very justified, as by that point Alphard has successfully infiltrated the protagonist's inner circle by masquerading as Canaan.
    • Played with in regards to Minorikawa's plan to interview the S.O.S. He refuses to talk about it, then when he goes in for the interview...he antagonizes everyone and gets beat up. Except that was his plan, since attempting to interview a gang and getting beaten up for it is enough material for an article. Then a different character explicitly says the plan out loud, mocks the S.O.S. for falling for it, and calls Minorikawa a genius for thinking of it, completely destroying any hope of getting away before the gang realizes they've been duped.
  • Unwitting Test Subject: Osawa calls the participants of the Ua antiviral clinical trials this. They were all poor, uneducated laborers who gave their consent due to being dazzled by the vast amounts of money on offer and so were probably not entirely aware of the full ramifications of the trial, namely that they'd need to be infected with a virus which normally has a 100% fatality rate.
  • The Virus: The Ua Virus.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Achi and Susumu. Their relationship crumbled after Achi left S.O.S
  • Wham Shot: The game have several:
    • Tama removing her mascot costume and is revealed to be Maria Osawa.
    • Kano witnessing Sasayama being stabbed in a video, then showing us the To Be Continued screen, mentioning he has to be hurt in order to proceed to the best ending.
    • Jack finding a photo of Maria and the real Canaan when looking through her belongings in Endo Electronics, realizing that the Canaan everyone interacted with throughout the game was a fake all along.
  • Workaholic: Osawa, who's far more interested in playing around with viruses than maintaining meaningful human relationships. This comes back to bite him in the ass later, as his inattention results in his assistant growing bitter enough to be persuaded to collaborate with Alphard and being able to pull off his part in Alphard's scheme without raising any suspicion - while having an affair with Osawa's wife.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Alphard explosively terminates Tanaka and also tries to do the same to Professor Palmer during the climax.
  • You Remind Me of X: Kano's persistence and personality deeply reminds Jack Stanley of his deceased younger brother.

Alternative Title(s): Four Two Eight Fuusasareta Shibuya De


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: