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Visual Novel / Messiah

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Messiah is a Yaoi Visual Novel game developed in 2006 by CORE-DUSK with artwork done by Carnelian (No Surface Moon, Tōka Gettan, Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito). The story follows a young musician named Takuto Katsuragi, a Broken Bird traumatized by a history of sexual abuse, leaving him reluctant of engaging in romantic relationships, disgusted with the idea of homosexuality, and a strange scar on his back. His only fond memory of his childhood is befriending a man over a shared fascination of flowers.

Takuto's band Dizziness is given the chance to debut under a major record label if he agrees to live at his boss' mansion as his escort. However, one night, he encounters Koh Haishima, a mysterious, wealthy man, and is immediately fascinated by him. Meanwhile, Takuto's roommate and junior from high school, Ryouta Sasamori, secretly pines for him, confining him in a Love Triangle he doesn't want. All emotions break loose once Takuto and Ryouta become trapped in Koh's mansion during a courtesy visit, where Koh, who turns out to be not only be a vampire, but also the same man Takuto met as a child, intends to keep him as his lover. On the other hand, Ryouta is determined to help Takuto flee the building. Aside from deciding who to choose, Takuto is also forced to face the dark secrets of his past when they begin to resurface.

In addition to the main game, an Alice Allusion spin-off titled Messiah: Paranoia Paradox was also released, giving Takuto two more Love Interests to choose from, and three drama CDs, Another Menu, that play out post-scenarios of particular endings of the game. Like the drama CDs, four Light Novels with post-scenarios were released. A visual fanbook titled Trinity Messiah and several light novels were also released. Bonus materials can only be exclusively ordered from CORE-DUSK's official website by members of CORE-DUSK's fanclub.

Not to be confused with the main trope All-Loving Hero (fomerly known as "The Messiah"), or any of its related tropes, Messianic Archetype, or Messiah Creep. For the manga by by Suu Minazuki, see Watashi No Messiah Sama. For the first person hack-and-slash game developed by Arkane Studios, see Dark Messiah.

Tropes present in Messiah include:

  • All Just a Dream: The Mind Screw premise of Paranoia Paradox is that Alice puts Takuto into a weird dreamland where he's supposed to solve his issues with Koh/Ryouta. Getting the bad endings will immediately wake him up.
    • In Ryouta's good endings, Ryouta questions if all the events in the mansion were just a dream.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Just how did Takuto get that scar? And what really happened to his adoptive father? Well...
  • Attempted Rape: Takuto's foster father tries to pull this on him. Didn't end well.
  • Audio Play: Three in total:
    • Taste Sweet: Audio adaptation of the Christmas-themed Light Novel Sweet Order, with a Koh story titled "Between the Sheets" and a Ryouta story titled "Eggnog."
    • Taste Spicy (Stinger): Audio adaptation of the Ryouta story in the Light Novel Spicy Order. note 
    • Taste Spicy (Angel Face): Audio adaptation of the Koh story in the Light Novel Spicy Order. note 
  • Berserk Button: Takuto will open a can of whoop-ass if you call him a girl or gay.
  • Broken Bird: Due to his Dark and Troubled Past, Takuto pretty much has a jaded view of romance.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Takuto was raised in England and is implied to have at least some British blood in him, as he's also described as looking pretty feminine.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Ryouta progressively becomes this during his stay in the mansion.
  • Chained by Fashion: Takuto and Ryouta have to wear chains when they stay at the mansion. For Takuto, the chains are used for something other than imprisonment...
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Takuto was sexually abused by his adoptive father and several other men growing up, as he reveals to Ryouta later on.
  • Dead All Along: Chiharu was killed by Koh (in Ryouta's route) or a random rapist (in Koh's route) a year ago and resurrected as an angry spirit bent on Revenge.
  • Deal with the Devil: In Paranoia Paradox, a secret scene reveals that all along Tsukasa was involved with the events of Takuto's dream as part of a deal with Alice, who promised to put him in any dream scenario he wants if he helps Takuto.
  • Death Equals Redemption: The only way that Takuto can leave the mansion is if he kills Koh, since the mansion is his Mental World.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Takuto comes off as very sarcastic sometimes in his narration.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Takuto in the Solitude ending, where he sleeps with anyone and threatens to kill them if they betray him.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: In Paranoia Paradox, after racking up so many points against Syusei in the card game, you have to lose to him in the next round in order to unlock his scene.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Takuto, and he hates it because it's gotten him into some unfortunate incidents in the past.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In classic Visual Novel fashion, there are plenty of Multiple Endings. There are a number of three bad endings, three good endings, one normal ending, and one "true" ending in the original game.
    • Solitude (Ryouta's worst ending): If Takuto distances himself from Ryouta on day 4, this leads Ryouta becoming an increasingly Crazy Jealous Guy about his relationship with Koh, and as a result, their friendship falls apart. Once Ryouta confesses that he's jealous of Koh for being intimate with Takuto, Takuto takes it the wrong way and becomes convinced that he can't trust or love anyone, since everyone else around him never did. He becomes Ax-Crazy and kills Ryouta, Koh, and Shibamata. A Time Skip shows him having some Intimate Healing with one of his bandmates, Syusei, hinting he may kill him later should he "betray" him.
    • Slave to the Dark (Ryouta's bad ending): If Takuto begins to succumb to his vampire side on day 10, he will start to see Koh to discuss privately to save Ryouta. This doesn't sit well with Ryouta, and at one point, he goes into the Mad Lover, Fetishized Abuser territory that he rapes Takuto. Koh discovers, rapes, and kills Ryouta with a Kiss of the Vampire. Takuto, completely broken by betrayal and subsequent loss, loses his will to kill Koh, and in order to save Takuto from dying, Koh Brainwashes him to be his mindless Sex Slave forever.
    • Over the Rainbow (Ryouta's best ending): If Takuto apologizes to Ryouta for ignoring his feelings on day 15 and also tells Alice that he is determined to leave, Takuto and Ryouta will grow closer to each other and depend on each other more. Takuto accepts his past and Ryouta unconditionally accepts Takuto's flaws. When Takuto starts dying because of his vampiric state, Koh refuses to help him, as he believes Ryouta has tainted him beyond assistance, and Ryouta will try to shoot Koh. He fails and Koh severely injures his hand, causing Takuto to shoot him instead. The two flee the mansion and continue on with their lives as equals and lovers. Ryouta has to quit the band since he can't play the guitar anymore, but decides to join the police force.
    • The Silent Cage (Ryouta's good ending): If Takuto doesn't apologize to Ryouta for ignoring his feelings on day 15, it's implied that they grow closer based on their insecurities, and Takuto doesn't grow out of his jaded personality. Similar to Over the Rainbow, Koh refuses to help a dying Takuto because he thinks he's been corrupted by Ryouta. Ryouta shoots Koh, setting himself and Takuto free, but he feels guilty over killing him. Though both of them are emotionally damaged, they continue their lives as normal, as if all the events were All Just a Dream, and later get together. The main reason why this ending is ambiguous is because of Takuto's subsequent behavior, as he becomes a Love Hungry, Fetishized Abuser Seme to Ryouta; the red flashes he gets every now and then still come back, hinting that he hasn't gotten over his past. A good number of people initially believed this was another bad ending until the fanbook listed it as a good ending.
    • Behind (Koh's worst ending): If Takuto makes little attempt to help Koh, Koh will remain jaded. Ryouta, upset that Takuto doesn't love him, strangles him to death.
    • Alice in Forbiddenland (Koh's bad ending): If Takuto doesn't agree to kill Koh, Alice will stab him since she doesn't want to see Koh fall in love and get inevitably rejected.
    • Missing (normal ending): Takuto falls in love with Koh, and decides to stay in the mansion while Ryouta leaves. Since Takuto doesn't want to kill Koh, Koh uses his Mind Control powers to force him to shoot despite his protests.
    • Endless Snow (Koh's good ending): Takuto and Koh both come to love each other, but Takuto agrees to kill Koh.
    • Eternal Moon (true ending, stems off of Missing): Takuto becomes inaugurated as a vampire and lives with Koh and Alice as Ryouta continues the band without him. When Ryouta realizes Takuto left flowers for him at the concert, he makes a Race for Your Love, only to find that Takuto has left without saying goodbye.
  • Evil Twin: Takuto has one in the Paranoia Paradox game.
  • Fetishized Abuser:
    • Koh. From trapping his love interest Takuto and said love interest's suitor in his mansion to raping either or both of them, depending on the route.
    • Takuto becomes one in the Silent Cage ending, especially in the Another Menu: Taste Spicy (Stinger) drama CD. Sure, he's conflicted about it but still behaves pretty shittily.
  • Flower Motifs: Takuto is represented by white roses (pascali), which mean "purity." Koh is represented by blood-red roses, which are expressions of bold love and mystery. Ryouta's favorite flower is the sunflower, which represents his bright, energetic, and outgoing personality.
  • Friends with Benefits: Syusei really wants to be this with Takuto, as it's pretty clear he's lusting after him instead of loving him.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Koh is the product of a human woman and an incubus.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Alice, one of the servants at the mansion, is blonde and is on good terms with both Koh and Takuto. She's genuinely nice to everyone, too.
  • Hopeless Suitor: This is what Ryouta appears to be unless you choose his good endings. In Another Menu: Taste Sweet, both Tsukasa and Syusei feel this way, as they are attracted to Takuto too.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Koh is immortal. Because of this, he hates his Half-Human Hybrid origin and decides to become the embodiment of Takuto's sins so he can die peacefully. In Ryouta's route, he specifically targets Takuto and kills everyone around him, from his parents to his female acquaintances, just to nurture his hatred so he's able to use a special gun to put him to rest.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Koh to Takuto, since he deliberately traps him in his mansion and makes sexual advances on him routinely.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In all of Ryouta's good endings, Chiharu gives up pursuing him. Also, in Paranoia Paradox, if you get all the scenes in the game and play through it again, there's a secret dream sequence where you meet Tsukasa, who is all grown up and wants a date with Takuto before completely giving up on him.
  • Immodest Orgasm: The Uke (Takuto, and sometimes Ryouta, especially in the Silent Cage ending) tend to get this while the Seme (Koh) tend to get the more stifled Grunting Orgasm.
  • The Killer in Me: The person who killed Takuto's adoptive father is actually Takuto himself, who instinctively defended himself during an Attempted Rape.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Takuto gets his neck bitten several times by Koh, sometimes during intercourse.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Takuto Used to Be a Sweet Kid up until his parents died. It really shows in his Troubled, but Cute appearance.
  • Just Friends: Takuto pretends to be Oblivious to Love when it comes to Ryouta, because he'd rather they keep their relationship like this.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Takuto can't remember the details of his foster father's death very well because Koh sealed his memory.
  • Light Novel: Four in total:
    • Sweet Order: Christmas-themed compilation with a Koh story titled Beneath the Sheets and a Ryouta story titled Eggnog.
    • Spicy Order: Compilation with a Ryouta story note  and a Koh story. note 
    • Stray Order: A Syusei story. note 
    • Sacred Order: A compilation with a Koh story and a Ryouta story.
  • Love at First Sight: In Ryouta's best ending (Over the Rainbow), Takuto claims that he fell in love with Ryouta the moment he saw him.
  • Love Hungry: Takuto becomes this in the Silent Cage ending, where he becomes completely obsessed with making Ryouta depend on him, as he craves his attention and wants to corrupt his "goodness" with his darkness. This is especially evident throughout his monologues in the Taste Spicy (Stinger) CD and how he subjects him through so much humiliation just so he can hear a Love Confession.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: In the Slave to the Dark ending, Ryouta cracks under the pressure of seeing Takuto deal with Koh that he becomes Yandere.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Ax-Crazy Chiharu wants to kill Ryouta because he used her as a substitute for his lust for Takuto.
  • Love Redeems: A non-villian example, but the Over the Rainbow ending, Takuto believes his heart has healed because of Ryouta's unconditional love for him.
  • Love Triangle: The main triangle consists of Koh/Takuto/Ryouta. Also becomes a Love Dodecahedron if you consider the other two Love Interests that Takuto could be paired up with in the spin-off Paranoia Paradox: Syusei and Tsukasa, both members of Dizziness. In Another Menu: Taste Sweet, Tsukasa and Syusei both admit they like Takuto. Chiharu is also in love with Ryouta. The wrong choices you can make can ultimately turn into a Psychotic Love Triangle, as both Koh and Ryouta start becoming more possessive of Takuto without caring for his mental well-being.
  • MacGuffin: Plenty of items are found in the game to serve as plot devices. In Ryouta's route, Takuto finds an earring that belongs to Chiharu Makita, a mutual friend of theirs, which introduces her into the story. Takuto also finds a fruit knife which reminds him of how his adoptive father died and is given a gun at the beginning of the game, which is the only way to kill Koh and escape the mansion.
  • May–December Romance: Koh is significantly older than Takuto since he already had the appearance of a fully grown male when he first met him as a child.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Ryouta treasures Takuto's class ring and keeps it attached to his cell phone.
  • Mental World: Koh's entire mansion and servants are built straight from his mind, explaining why Takuto and Ryouta can't leave the mansion and are cut off from the rest of the world. The only way to leave is to kill him with a special gun that runs on Unstoppable Rage.
  • Mercy Kill: In Ryouta's endings, Takuto admits to considering killing Ryouta so he won't have to suffer.
  • Metaphysical Fuel: Early in the game, Takuto receives a loaded gun that can only be used if the user strongly wishes to kill.
  • Mind Control: Koh is capable of doing this to Takuto. Goes into full Brainwashing in the Slave in the Dark ending.
  • Morality Pet: Alice is one to both Koh and Takuto. Since she's the only servant who is genuinely kind to Takuto, this makes him conflicted over killing Koh to flee the mansion, since killing him would kill her as well.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Chiharu tries to kill Ryouta so they can be Together in Death.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Even though Ryouta is most likely allowed to leave the mansion at any time, he refuses to go without Takuto.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks: Ryouta complains about this because he thinks his height and immaturity makes him incapable of being worthy of Takuto. It becomes a huge part of their argument in the fandisk game, and his avatar, the Prince of Red Heart, manifests himself in Takuto's dream as someone who thinks Growing Up Sucks.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The traditional rules of being a vampire are set, but Koh states that vampires refuse to drink blood from people who are dead or have had sex with others, reason being that the first harms vampires while the second may kill the person.
  • Parental Abandonment: Takuto's parents were killed, presumably by Koh, when he was a child.
  • Rape as Drama: Takuto was sexually abused growing up and this is fundamental to his backstory, though all of them are actually Attempted Rape, since he was fine upon getting his blood taken by Koh. However, he does get raped by Koh in the beginning of the game, and Ryouta in some of the bad endings.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Koh's eyes flash red when he wants to pull his Mind Control tricks.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Veronica was intentionally created to resemble Koh's mother.
  • Shower of Angst: Takuto takes several of them throughout the course of the visual novel. One of them turns into a Shower of Love with Ryouta.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Takuto smokes, but Ryouta doesn't. In Taste Spicy (Stinger) and the fandisk game he tries to because he thinks it makes him look more mature.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Takuto hates the way he looks because everyone sees him as a sex object.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The fanbook romanizes Syusei and Ryouta as "Syusei" and "Ryouta", but Paranoia Paradox writes them as "Shusei" and "Ryota."
  • Spin-Off: Paranoia Paradox is a spin-off game taking place in a wacky Alice Allusion world and gives Takuto the option of having two additional love interests. There are also three bonus drama CDs, Another Menu, released that occur after the original game and follow specific endings: in particular, Another Menu: Taste Sweet, is an audio adaptation of two stories from the Light Novel Messiah: Sweet Order, with Ryouta/Takuto for "Eggnog" and Koh/Takuto for "Between the Sheets." Another Menu: Taste Spicy (Angel Face), the Koh/Takuto CD takes place after the Slave in the Dark ending, while Another Menu: Taste Spicy (Stinger), the Takuto/Ryouta CD, takes place after the Silent Cage ending.
  • Viral Transformation: Takuto is slowly transforming into a vampire during his stay at Koh's mansion, and deals with Blood Lust and a strange Healing Factor. These stages become more intense as he involuntarily submits to ceremonial intercourse with Koh.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Near the end of the introduction stage, Takuto's classmate Kanako Fujisaki is introduced as a girl who's dating Koh, and shortly after her second appearance, she falls off the stairs and dies.