Hayarigami (Officially known as 流行り神警視庁怪異事件ファイル - Hayarigami Keishicho Kaii Jiken Fairu — Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Strange Case Files) is a Survival Horror Visual Novel game in the Hayarigami franchise made by Nippon Ichi. This is the first in the main Hayarigami game trilogy that takes place entirely in the Greater Tokyo Area. This is one of the few games that isn't officially released by NIS outside of Asia.
It was originally released on the Playstation 2 with a regular and limited edition on August 8, 2004. Due to the game's success and favorable reception by critics and gamers alike, the game was ported/remade by NIS for the PS2, the Playstation Portable and the Nintendo DS, most of them having new scenario content or new characters as Hayarigami Revenge - Keishicho Kaii Jiken Fairu (流行り神Revenge警視庁怪異事件ファイル — Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Strange Case Files - R Evenge) for the PS2 on July 14, 2005, Hayarigami Portable - Keishicho Kaii Jiken Fairu (流行り神Portable警視庁怪異事件ファイル — Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Strange Case Files - Portable) for the PSP on December 15, 2005 with a "Best Price" release on July 5, 2007 and a digital release on July 1, 2009 and finally, Hayarigami DS - Toshidensetsu Kaii Jiken (流行り神DS都市伝説怪異事件 - Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Strange Case Files DS) for the DS on June 11, 2009. The games were given a 15+ rating (Currently C rating) by CERO due to the mild violent content.
A tie-in novel known as Hayarigami Keishicho Kaii Jiken File 0 (流行り神警視庁怪異事件ファイル 0 — Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Strange Case Files - File 0) was released by Famitsu Bunko in 2004. The events in the novel take place during the events of the first game. A Drama CD was released in the limited edition version of the game.
Players assume the role of Assistant Inspector Junya Kazami, a once promising detective in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's Criminal Investigation Bureau's Section 1. At the start of the game, he was ordered to be transferred to the MPD's Historical Archives Section instead, located on the 5th basement floor, due to a troubling incident that involved him. Kazami is assigned to work with Sergeant Soichiro Kogure, another officer assigned to the section and his subordinate under the command of Inspector Ranko Inudo. The two men subsequently investigate occult cases if a criminal is using the paranormal to commit criminal activities or if the paranormal is truly involved after all. Their first case together sets them to investigate an urban legend called Chain Mail that has information on a Serial Killer responsible for a string of murders in the GTA...
To make progress in a case, the game calls for the use of "Inference Logic", a relationship chart where players determine the relationship between the suspect/s, witness/es and persons of interest over a case. Completing the chart will yield more information to help a player progress. "Self-Question" relates to how the case progresses if Kazami is sure that it can be explained by science or by paranormal means. "Courage Points" are used during certain question scenarios where its use can determine the progress of a case. Running out of them will impede your progress in making a choice that has a point embedded, so be very careful with them.
There's an attempt to make the series as a live-action movie, but Music Cinemas Japan went bust as of 2012, so NIS placed it on indefinite hold.
An LP of the game in English is being done by Tainted Beef. It's incomplete. Otherwise, a blogger named Snakeskin is translating the details of the game's events and the entries from the FOAF database.
Hayarigami contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The official website gives the characters their bios, including their age and background. In addition, some of the game articles released by Famitsu and Dengeki give more additional info on their bios as well.
- Creepy Basement: The prologue of the game starts with someone who is in a basement for some reason in the dark. He also doesn't have memory of himself or how he got there.
- Do Well, But Not Perfect: You can complete a case and get, for instance, a B or C rank and still earn some of the hidden content.
- Event Flag: This happens when you get to the Self-Question phase of a case investigation. Choosing a response will diverge to solve the case with a logical or a paranormal belief.
- Gameplay Grading: The ranks (From good to worse) consist of S, A, B, C and D. Getting a good score allows you to get more unlockables.
- Guide Dang It!: A guide is needed if you're trying to get a 100% rating on a case.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: How the police treats cases that are seemingly paranormal in nature.
- Multi-Platform: The game was developed for the PS2, the PSP and the DS.
- Nothing Is Scarier: When the MPD pursues a case that has the paranormal as the only reasonable answer, this can happen. Basically believing in the paranormal means that all police-based logic has to be thrown out of the window.
- Omniscient Database: The Friend of a Friend database or FOAF has names, terms, etc. compiled for a player to review again after the subtitles show them in green letter to indicate their importance during an event.
- Paranormal Investigation: The HAS' investigation gets into this if Kazami believes in the possibility of paranormal involvement.
- Police Are Useless: Averted. The MPD summons the HAS to covertly investigate cases that have supernatural angles in it.
- Serial Killer: Kazami and Kogure's first case with the HAS has them investigation Chain Mail information on a mysterious serial killer in Tokyo.
- Shrouded in Myth: In-universe, many of the MPD officers have wondered about the "true" purpose of the force's Historical Archives Section and Kazami's recent assignment with them. There were rumors that a detective was killed were found in the 5th basement floor, but no one was able to corroborate them since it was publicly sealed off. This allows the unit to do their work without getting any unwanted attention.
- Shown Their Work: Most of the game FMVs show the entire MPD building in design, including the roof. Justified that it's suppose to be a game portraying the MPD itself.
- Survival Horror: The game's environment. Since it's a visual novel, the players need to carefully make the appropriate choice when a case delves into the paranormal.
- Urban Legend: The game's theme and focus. This will be repeated for its sequels.
- Who You Gonna Call?: The MPD HAS. Officially, their job is to compile and record cases the agency had been involved in the past and in the present. Unofficially, the MPD calls in the officers to investigate crimes that may or may not have the presence of the supernatural. This allows Inspector Inudo to get into a case without raising too much attention since their "duties" are not that known to the public.