Follow TV Tropes


Visual Novel / Nightshade

Go To
Amidst the wind whirled blossoms in the dark, the cruelest battle begins. What is the price of life?

Hyakka Hyakurou Sengoku Ninpou-chou, localized in English as Nightshade, is a historical romance otome visual novel, developed by Red Entertainment Corporation and Lantern Rooms and published by D3 Publisher. It was released in 2016 for the PC and the Playstation Vita, and was later released on Steam in English in 2017.

The story takes place in Japan soon after the Sengoku Period. The Tensho Iga war has decimated the Iga clan, with the few remaining members being adopted into the rival Koga clan. As part of this process, Kando Ueno and Kagari Momochi were married, and their daughter, Enju Ueno, is our heroine. She is considered the village's princess and a symbol of peace, but longs to be recognized as a shinobi. Her wish seemingly comes true when her father assigns her to her first mission in Kyo, the capital, along with a number of her friends, who are also skilled shinobi. But conflict looms on the horizon, threatening both Enju's life and the country's peace.


Nightshade provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Enju and Kando have almost no relationship at all, let alone a familial one; he seems to see his daughter only as a tool, and that's when he's in a good mood. A large part of Enju's desire to become a shinobi is to gain her father's recognition. In every route, Kando abandons his daughter to her fate when he learns that she is suspected of Hideyoshi Toyotomi's murder and may go so far as to send her childhood friends after her with orders to kill her, or kill her himself. To make matters worse, in at least one route, she's being framed for a murder that he himself ordered!
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: On his route, Kuroyuki is attacked by ninjas that use poison needles but is barely kept down for a moment; he casually mentions that he's been trained to take poison.
  • Advertisement:
  • Age-Gap Romance: Hanzo's route. Enju is sixteen, and while Hanzo's age isn't outright stated, he is old enough to have been childhood friends with Enju's mother. note 
  • Altar Diplomacy: Enju's parents had this, as their marriage was meant to unite the Koga and Iga clans.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Kuroyuki's ninjutsu feeds off of memories. By the time of the events of the game, his feelings for Enju and his resentment toward Gekkamaru is all he remembers from his childhood.
  • Anyone Can Die: The bad endings can feature Enju and/or her lover dying, probably horribly. In Chojiro's route, it's especially bad; Kyara, Ennosuke, Kasumi, and Gekkamaru all die unavoidably, and the bad ending has Chojiro and Enju kill each other when they realize they can't be together any other way. Gekkamaru's route is much the same, except Chojiro is added to the list of unavoidable deaths in Gekkamaru's place and the player is left wondering for a bit if Gekkamaru himself makes it out alive in his own route.
  • Asshole Victim: In the routes where Kando dies, you will probably have a hard time managing to feel any sympathy for him, especially since you've probably just learned about something horrible he did.
  • Battle Couple: Hanzo and Enju develop this on Hanzo's route. Ultimately subverted in the good ending when they both retire from the path of the shinobi.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Kyara and Ennosuke constantly bicker, and though it's never outright confirmed, one of the common route bonus scenarios as well as main-game subtext suggests they have more than platonic feelings for each other.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Both Chojiro and Gekkamaru's good endings come at the price of all of Enju's Koga friends (save for Kuroyuki and whichever of the two Enju's romancing) and with the knowledge that their deaths happened for basically no reason.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Gekkamaru's feelings for Enju run deeply and are extremely obvious to anyone who pays attention. Even if you don't take his route, he remains devoted to Enju to the point that he is willing to forsake Koga and become a fugitive just to stay with her, and he will not hesitate to give up his life saving her.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Goemon pretends to betray Enju near the end of his route, in order to trick the Fuma clan into helping him stage a faked death for her in front of the elders. He admits later to having wanted to tell her what he was up to all along, but that he never had a moment alone with her to explain.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 5, which is the start of the character routes, has everyone enjoying a day off after completing their mission in Kyo, and Enju will spend the day with whichever love interest she has the most points with. It even has a triumphant ending as Enju takes down an opponent in combat. Then Chapter 6 opens with Hideyoshi Toyotami's murder, and Enju being framed for it.
  • Brutal Honesty: Hanzo. It's a quality that Enju comes to appreciate on his route.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Enju thankfully manages to do this in a number of the routes.
  • The Charmer: Goemon's personality to a tee.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The letter that Kuroyuki receives from Kando. In his route, it's confirmed that the letter ordered Kuroyuki to kill Hideyoshi.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Enju's Signature Move is a ninjutsu that whips up a whirlwind of cherry blossoms; she generally uses it to either escape or try to get the drop on someone.
  • Childhood Friends: All of the main characters that come from Koga are childhood friends.
    • There's also Hanzo and Kagari, Enju's mother; they came from the same village and were close as children. As Enju never got to know her, she is of course rabidly curious about what her mother was like.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Gekkamaru, Kuroyuki, or Chojiro's routes.
  • Children Are Innocent: Subverted in Goemon's route. Enju insists on taking a lost boy named Mokichi her, Goemon, and Gekkamaru find in the middle of the forest. While left alone with Enju,he tries to kill her but luckily she is saved by Kuroyuki.
  • Commonality Connection: At one point, Enju and Hanzo through Enju's mother. And also through chives.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Enju, her love-interests and many central characters all have one specific colour prominent in their colour-schemes.
    • Enju is light blue, Gekkamaru is red, Kuroyuki is purple, Goemon is orange, Hanzo is green and Chojiro is plum.
    • Kyara is fuchsia, Ennosuke is yellow, Kasumi is light orange, Ieyasu is dark blue and Kando is black.
  • Cruel Mercy: Gekkamaru's good ending. Instead of killing Hideyoshi then and there in revenge for their friends, Gekkamaru instead promises he'll kill him later but that he won't know when. His threat is so effective that months down the line, Hanzo reports to Enju and Gekkamaru that Hideyoshi has already died, sick and extremely paranoid until his last breath.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Hanzo is considered World's Best Warrior in-universe and he lives up to the title. Any enemy he goes up against tends to fall pretty quickly, and he only really has trouble in the latter chapters of his route because he's fighting people he really doesn't want to kill, first Enju's friends from Koga and then other fellow soldiers of Ieyasu. The only real exception to this is Goemon, who seemed to be able to stand against him better than most the one time they fought in earnest. Granted, it's noted that Hanzo is less calm than usual during that fight, since he's furious with Goemon for kidnapping Enju.
  • Dead All Along: Kyara in Gekkamaru's route. After she works with Enju to stop some of the shinobi who had been controlling her body via ninjutsu, it's revealed she'd been dead all along and that the ninjutsu was the only thing keeping her alive.
  • Death Glare: Hanzo has an unfortunate habit of looking very serious and sharp when he doesn't necessarily mean to be, and this combined with his stoicism means that he comes off as very intimidating to younger shinobi like Enju and her friends. Even the normally unruffled Kuroyuki is nervous in his presence.
  • Death of a Child: Kasumi is the youngest of the main characters and is murdered in some routes. Enju herself is only sixteen and the game's main plot involve various groups of people trying to hunt her down and kill her. Also, Kuroyuki has flashbacks of killing multiple people, including children.
  • Death Seeker: A variation in Goemon's bad ending. Yodo attacks Enju and kills her; Enju admits that she could have dodged it if she had tried, but didn't because she had already accepted that she was going to die either way. Tragically, in this ending she never learns that Goemon had a plan that would have gotten her out alive.
  • Declaration of Protection: Enju gets quite a few of these from her various love interests and Gekkamaru in particular. It's justified with Gekkamaru because his job since childhood has been to protect her, but he clearly means it as something deeper than that.
  • Demoted to Extra: Surprisingly averted for the most part. Whichever route you take, the other love interests generally still appear and are often instrumental in how the game ends.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Given his Villainous Fashion Sense and the perpetual evil grimace his sprite wears, it comes as no surprise that Enju's father is evil.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Happens in the bad endings, in one form or another to Enju, her love interest, or both of them.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Gekkamaru in all routes but his own, of the Low-Key Yearning variety. He is so devoted to Enju that he would think nothing of abandoning his village, or his own life, to keep her safe. In every single route, he abandons Koga without hesitation in order to break Enju out of prison, although someone may beat him to it depending on the route. In Chojiro's route, he even dies to protect her. It's justified, as he is working under the spell Enju's mother had cast on him as a child to protect Enju at all costs.
    • Kuroyuki, in Chojiro and Gekkamaru's routes. Played with in Goemon and Hanzo's. He usually shows up to side with Enju even when he's not being romanced; however, it's implied that he's the actual killer of Hideyoshi in Goemen and Hanzo's routes, making his decision to side with her there perhaps somewhat motivated by guilt.
  • Driven to Suicide: In general, a shinobi that fails his mission is no shinobi at all, and if given a choice between capture and death most will pick the latter. One of the men that attacks Ieyasu in some of the routes kills himself once Hanzo defeats him, rather than reveal who hired him.
    • Enju's mother committed suicide, but the matter isn't delved into much unless you're on Hanzo's route, since Hanzo knew her when they were younger. It's also subverted in that same route; it turns out that Kando murdered her after she tried to assassinate him.
    • Hanzo's and Chojiro's bad endings both have Enju and her lover commit suicide rather than be forced to fight each other.
  • Dying as Yourself: In Chojiro's bad ending, he and Enju are forced to fight until only one of them is left alive, and they choose to die together instead of continuing.
  • Dying Dream: In Kuroyuki's bad ending, Enju is murdered by her father. As she bleeds out, Kuroyuki makes her see an illusion that they're back with all their friends in Koga and everything is safe, ensuring that she dies at peace.
  • Failed a Spot Check: On the routes where Kuroyuki murders Hideyoshi, he apparently didn't realize that Enju was in the next room, and this leads to her being accused of the crime.
  • Faking the Dead: In Chojiro and Gekkamaru's routes, it's revealed that Hideyoshi Toyotami used a Body Double to fake his own death and frame Enju for it, as part of a plan to choose his son's guardian by seeing which of the Five Elders could get to Enju first.
  • Fiery Redhead: Kyara is as fiery as her red hair suggests. She doubles as a Tsundere.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Chojiro's route, when Ennosuke confronts Gekkamaru and Enju he points out that he has no choice but to pursue them because the entire village will die if Koga doesn't kill Enju themselves. Gekkamaru replies that he doesn't care and that he'd let the village die to protect Enju. While he's saying this, his eyes glow bright golden, suggesting that it was Kagari's spell talking instead of him. The spell is only outright acknowledged in his own route, thus this moment is a small hint to the player that Gekkamaru's Undying Loyalty is not entirely his own.
    • As opposed to the bloody death of Hideyoshi in Chojiro and Gekkamaru's routes, in Goemon, Kuroyuki and Hanzo's routes, Hideyoshi's body has no blood or wounds. This is a hint toward the fact that his true murderer is Kuroyuki, as revealed to be the case late in his route.
    • The first time Enju meets Hanzo in the common route, he seems strangely surprised to hear she is the daughter of Kagari. This is foreshadowing the eventual reveal that he had known Enju's mother when they were younger.
  • Frame-Up: In Chojiro and Gekkamaru's routes, Hideyoshi deliberately framed Enju for his fake "murder". Subverted in the other 3 routes, as though Kondo ordered Hideyoshi's murder, Enju being there at the time was more of a convenient accident than a deliberate plan.
  • Genre Savvy: Goemon can tell Enju is a shinobi within seconds of first seeing her, although he doesn't figure out what her mission is until she directly confronts him.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: One of Kuroyuki's eyes glows red whenever he uses his shadow techniques.
    • Whenever Gekkamaru's eyes glow, it means Kagari's protection spell is influencing him and anyone posing a threat to Enju better run.
  • Guile Hero: Ieyasu straddles the line between this and Magnificent Bastard in most routes, as he's more an Anti-Hero and often takes a True Neutral position in contrast to the full antagonism of the other Elders. He tends to be somewhat conniving and is planning to take over the country soon after the events of the game, according to Hanzo (and actual Japanese history). That said, he doesn't particularly want Enju to die and even sends Hanzo to protect her in most routes despite that he is the World's Best Warrior and could probably kill her easily.
    • He is this more straight-forwardly in Hanzo's route. He agrees to simply use proof of Enju's death (in the form of her bloody sash) to ensure he becomes Hideyori's guardian instead of insisting on her body, allowing Enju to live on in secret and sparing Hanzo from having to either kill her or defy his orders.
  • Hanging Our Clothes to Dry: On Hanzo's route, Hanzo and Enju have to do this after getting soaked in the rain.
  • Happy Ending Override: Even in the good endings, Enju is generally still considered by the rest of the world to be a dangerous criminal who murdered Hideyoshi, and even after defeating all her pursuers, she has no real way to clear her name, and thus can never return home to Koga. The exception to this is Kuroyuki's route, in which definitive proof that someone else committed the murder comes to light.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Gekkamaru dies protecting Enju in Chojiro's route, and in the same route Enju attempts to kill herself to set Chojiro free from her.
  • Heroic Second Wind: During Gekkamaru and Enju's second encounter with Chojiro in Gekkamaru's route, Gekkamaru is able to defeat Chojiro despite bleeding out from a deep wound due to Kagari's spell.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Enju is rather hard on herself, particularly when it comes to her skills as a shinobi.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Our very own sweet Enju was accused of murder.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Hanzo knows a surprising amount about tea ceremony and is a talented calligrapher.
    • Kuroyuki's bright disposition is an act he puts on in an effort to recapture the identity that he lost along with his memories.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Goemon attempts this while the Kyo shinobi are hunting him, standing around unobtrusively and smoking a pipe to cover up the lingering smell of smoke bombs. Unfortunately for him, Enju can differentiate between the two smells and can also smell the blood on him.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Despite being shinobi, the characters prefer fighting each other face to face.
  • Historical Domain Character: Two of the love interests, Hanzo Hattori and Goemon Ishikawa, and most of the supporting cast; including the Five Elders, Hideyoshi, his son and concubine.
  • Interface Spoiler: The true identity of renowned thief Goemon Ishikawa is treated as a plot twist and isn't revealed until after the route split several chapters in...but since he's a romance option, his sprite is in most of the game's menus and all you have to do is open one up to find out who he is. It's "Goro", a man Enju meets in passing during her mission in Kyo who immediately figures out that she's up to something, though he isn't quite sure what.
  • Interrupted Suicide: In Chojiro's route, Enju tries to kill herself in an attempt to keep Chojiro safe from the consequences of continuing to associate with her, but Chojiro arrives in time to stop her. She attempts the same in Gekkamaru's route after their fight with Ennosuke ended in his death, but Hanzo steps in and convinces her otherwise.
  • Killing in Self-Defense: In Hanzo's route, Enju is forced to kill one of the Nokizaru shinobi attacking her and Hanzo. Later in the same route, she kills her father in self-defense; notably, these are the only instances throughout any route in which she takes a life.
  • Kissing Cousins: If you take Chojiro's route; Enju's mother was from the same clan as Chojiro and was his aunt.
  • Lethal Chef: Most of the shinobi have cooking skills that range from "tastes like charcoal" to "literally destroys buildings". Gekkamaru, Hanzo, and Kasumi are the noted exceptions.
  • Loss of Identity: Kuroyuki went through this after his childhood training destroyed all of his memories; the only things he remembered were his feelings for Enju and his resentment that Gekkamaru was chosen to protect her and not him.
  • Morality Chain: Enju becomes this for Kuroyuki during his route.
  • Multiple Endings: There are five potential love interests, each with a good ending and a bad ending.
  • My Greatest Failure: Enju's mother, Kagari, spoke to Hanzo while she was pregnant and asked him to run away with her; he wasn't able to, and she ended up being murdered by Kando. Hanzo is deeply remorseful, feeling that she and Enju would have lived much happier lives if he'd done as she asked.
  • Never Found the Body: A subversion occurs in Chojiro's route. Kuroyuki's body presumably gets washed away in a river during a fight, and Chojiro and Enju presume that he is dead. In the bad ending, he's never seen again, but in the good ending he resurfaces to assist in their escape.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: On some routes (definitely on his own but also implied on Goemon's and Hanzo's), Kuroyuki is the one who murders Hideyoshi, on orders from Kando Ueno. Apparently he didn't realize that Enju was in the next room, and she ends up getting framed for the crime.
  • No Escape but Down: Occurs in Gekkamaru's route after Gekkamaru is injured during his and Enju's first encounter with Chojiro.
  • Protectorate: Enju is this for Gekkamaru, and effectively for all of Koga as well, since she's basically seen as their princess.
    • It's deconstructed in Hanzo's route; Enju realizes that she's completely unprepared for the real life-or-death situation she's now in because she's spent her whole life being protected by others, and resolves to become strong enough to keep herself alive.
  • Psycho Serum: Kando gives the timid Kasumi a "medicine" in Hanzo's route that changes her into a blood thirsty psycho.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Kyara and Enju, with Kyara being the more fiery red oni to Enju's shy and sweet blue oni. Their colour schemes even line up perfectly.
    • Gekkamaru and Kuroyuki. Contrary to their colour-schemes, Gekkamaru is the calmer and more practical blue oni, where Kuroyuki is the cheerful, happy-go-lucky red oni... At least, on the surface he is.
  • Reverse Escort Mission: Enju is the target of this on every route.
  • Road Trip Romance: Minus the Belligerent Sexual Tension; Gekkamaru, Goemon, Hanzo's and Kuroyuki's routes boil down to this. Enju and her chosen love interest grow closer while on the run as fugitives and eventually fall in love. Notably averted for most of Chojiro's route, as he spends a good chunk of it apart from Enju and actively hunting her down on Kondo's orders.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In Hanzo's route, Enju kills her father in self-defense. And absolutely no one was sad.
  • Shadow Pin: One of Kuroyuki's techniques.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Kuroyuki was subjected to years of mental torture during his training, and the jutsu he learned there specifically feeds on memories and souls, rendering him a shell of his former self. Part of the reason he fixates on Enju is because she is the only person he remembered after forgetting the rest of his childhood, and the only person who has kept him from losing his mind already.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Enju is basically considered the village's princess and thus has never been allowed to go on a mission before; as a result, she is a bit naive about the ways of the world, though it doesn't generally hinder her too much.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Enju is typically shy and sweet, and has blue-tinged white hair.
  • Signature Move: Enju's ninjutsu Hyakka Shofuren, which whips up a wall of cherry blossoms around her to hide her from view. She uses it to defeat Goemon in every route, and it becomes prominent in some other routes, particularly Chojiro's, since he's the one who taught it to her.
  • Stepford Smiler: Kuroyuki puts on a cheerful front, but his route reveals that he is nowhere near as composed as he seems. Years of torture and learning techniques that feed on your soul will do that.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Kuroyuki saves Enju by doing this in his route.
  • Supreme Chef: Unlike most of his friends, Gekkamaru cooks very well, and Kasumi is called from Koga to cook for the group after it comes to light that most of them don't know the first thing about working in the kitchen and making Gekkamaru do all of the cooking wouldn't be feasible.
    • Enju insists that Hanzo also makes delicious food, although Hanzo himself doesn't seem to think it's that good.
  • Taking You with Me: Chojiro's bad ending. Enju and Chojiro, forced to fight to the death and seeing no other way out, kill each other behind the cover of Enju's signature ninjutsu.
  • Tell Me About My Father!: Gender-inverted. When Enju learns that Hanzo and her mother were childhood friends, she starts asking questions about what her mother was like back then, since she never got to know her.
  • These Hands Have Killed: In Hanzo's route, Enju kills one of the Nokizaru shinobi in self-defense and feels extreme guilt over it; she even feels bad about all the ninja that Hanzo has killed defending her, because they were after her in the first place. By the time she takes her father's life at the end of the route, she has come to terms with it, but notably, the good ending concludes with her and Hanzo both giving up the path of the shinobi.
  • Third-Person Person: It's not translated in the English written dialogue, but listening closely to Kasumi's recorded dialogue reveals her to be one of these.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: A thief he may be, but Goemon is no murderer and goes out of his way to avoid killing others, even if they're trying to kill him. It's implied to be because he regrets having taken lives when he was a shinobi. In his bad ending, this is subverted; he completely snaps after witnessing Enju die and uses an illusion jutsu to make everyone in the room (save for Hanzo and Ieyasu, who were quick enough to escape) murder each other horribly.
    • Enju and Hanzo adopt this mindset when they fight each other's clans in Hanzo's route.
  • Tranquil Fury: Goemon's bad ending. After Enju dies, he very calmly announces to the room that they're all going to die for what they've done to Enju. Hanzo is quick enough to grab Ieyasu and escape, but no one else is that lucky.
    • Gekkamaru's good ending after Hideyoshi reveals his souvenir box of her deceased friend's hair and admits to Enju that not only was he never dead in the first place, but that her friends died in some twisted game to choose his son's guardian. Enju very calmly remarks about her complete and utter rage at this reveal, and follows it up with an attempt to kill Hideyoshi and her father in vengeance. She even manages to land a slash on Hideyoshi, blandly commenting afterward that her slash was too shallow to kill.
  • True Companions: Enju, Gekkamaru and Kuroyuki in all routes. Also, Enju and her friends from Koga in Kuroyuki and Goemon's routes. In the rest they are ordered to kill her at one point or another, and have no choice but to (try to) obey.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Gekkamaru and Kuroyuki to Enju. Both of them end up coming to help her despite being branded a criminal and fight to protect her with their lives. Justified in both cases, as Gekkamaru is under a spell and Enju serves as Kuroyuki's only memory and link to humanity.
    • Hanzo to Ieyasu. In his bad ending, he'd rather commit suicide than have to choose between his orders and the life of girl he'd fallen in love with.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Downplayed on Hanzo's route. Hanzo is bewildered by his feelings for Enju at first because he's never loved anyone romantically before, but he figures it out pretty quickly and isn't shy about expressing it afterwards.
  • Yandere:
    • Kuroyuki, though it's somewhat justified and downplayed, given his backstory. His route reveals that he'd been tortured for the 8 years he was away from Koga and that his memories of his childhood are all but gone aside from Enju. He becomes obsessed with her because he views her as his only connection to humanity and the only thing keeping him from being a complete "monster". When he realizes she'd been blamed for Hideoyoshi's murder, hatches a plan to rescue her without their friends and convinces her not to trust anyone but him. He mercilessly kills almost all the shinobi that come for Enju, though he doesn't do anything worse than beating up her friends (and Goemon) when they come. After his deception is revealed to Enju, he decides instead that he wants to create a happy world for her, and puts all his energy into removing all threats to her life before he's executed for Hideyoshi's murder.
    • Goemon's bad ending dips its toe into this trope. After Enju is killed by Yodo, he uses a powerful ninjustsu to create illusions that cause the Elders (aside from Ieyasu, who Hanzo manages to get out of the room just in time) to start murdering each other. His bad ending cg plays heavily on Yandere imagery; him staring straight ahead with blank, teary eyes, cradling Enju's body as the carnage rages on around them.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Even if Enju successfully defeats all the shinobi following her, she has already been branded a criminal and has no way to prove that she didn't commit the murder she's been accused of, and this generally leaves her unable to return to Koga. On Kuroyuki's route, it's proven that her father was the one who hired Kuroyuki to commit the murder, but she chooses to leave Koga with Kuroyuki afterwards rather than staying behind.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: