Imabikiso (忌火起 in Japanese) is a Survival Horror Visual Novel made by Chunsoft (Currently, copyright is held by Spike Chunsoft) and published by Sega on October 23, 2007 for the Playstation 3. A Nintendo Wii port known as Imabikiso: Kaimei Hen (忌火起草 解明編 in Japanese) was published on August 7, 2008, which has additional story chapters not included in the PS3 release. An Apple iOS port was published in 2012. Currently, it's not available in the Japanese Apple Store.
The game was designed by Koichi Nakamura with the artwork done by Harukiho Sato. Both games currently carry a C rating under CERO. The game was made using animated/static photography with some live-action filmwork mixed in between to create the visuals. According to the production team, the visuals were inspired by the work done in the Ring and Grudge movie series, which you can see in some of the VN scenes in the game.
A new and mysterious drug known as "Vision" has been hitting the streets of Japan, being a hit with young people, especially to those studying in university. The drug, if and when taken, allows the users to see visions from a user's perspective while being high, created from a mysterious flower called Imabikiso. Players take control of a university student named Hiroki Makimura, who gets together with fellow student Manami Hayase and a few other students when they hear news reports of students being mysteriously killed with horrific burns on their bodies.
The two later investigate a mansion that's believed to be linked to the drug's creation and to Imabikiso after some of their classmates in university begin to die after taking Vision.
Imabikiso contains examples of:
- Anyone Can Die: Taking Vision can kill you eventually. Even Hiroki, who's trying to survive the mysterious ghosts plaguing his vision, usually won't make it out alive if you choose a bad ending.
- Choice-and-Consequence System: Like most of Spike Chunsoft's VN games, the choices you make determine the ending your character will get and it'll also include whether Hiroki will survive or not.
- A Day in the Limelight: Some of the paths in the game have Hiroki trying to go on dates with Manami, who's trying to move on after her boyfriend died saving her from an accident a year prior to the game.
- Event Flag: The VN usually offers Hiroki three choices, even mundane ones like whether or not to ignore Manami when she's shocked upon seeing a news broadcast of charred bodies.
- Fantastic Drug: The creation of Vision, made from Imabikiso.
- Guide Dang It!: A guide is needed if you want to unlock all 36 endings.
- Jump Scare: There are some scenes where the mysterious ghosts can sneak up behind Hiroki.
- Man on Fire: Hiroki dies in this way when a burning ghost grabs him forcefully.
- Multiple Endings: There are thirty-six endings to discover.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The images are depicted with most of the characters' faces covered in black, giving the game a dark and scary atmosphere.
- Survival Horror: The game's atmosphere. The only way for Hiroki to survive is to carefully make the right choices when the opportunity presents itself.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Depends on how you interpret the appearances of ghosts and mysterious persons showing up after Hiroki investigates the origins of Vision. In some of the endings, he can get killed by them.
- Title Drop: The source of Vision is made by a mysterious flower called Imabikiso.