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Spirit Hunter: NG (エヌジー) is a supernatural horror adventure game developed by Experience, Inc. for Steam, the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita. It is the sequel to Death Mark, but features a different cast and setting.

Set five years after the events of Death Mark, the story follows a teenage delinquent as he finds himself embroiled in the supernatural. A friend of his younger cousin was supposedly killed in a hit-and-run, but he discovers the truth after a mysterious black postcard bearing a riddle is left at his apartment. Solving the riddle leads to an encounter with "Kakuya", a fox-like spirit who kidnaps the protagonist's cousin and inflicts him with a curse, forcing him to investigate and pacify vengeful ghosts if he wants to continue living and rescue his cousin.

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Helped along by his childhood friend and an idol who was close to the first victim, alongside a variety of other colorful characters, the protagonist is forced to play Kakuya's twisted game.

The game was first released in 2018 in Japan, then received an English localization in 2019.

Warning: Due to its nature as a horror mystery, be wary of unmarked spoilers and gruesome descriptions.


Spirit Hunter: NG contains examples of:

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    #-D 
  • The '90s: The game is set in 1999, five years after Death Mark, which also took place in the nineties. This is shown with Akira's Nokia mobile, a reference to Y2K, and gothic lolita fashion only just coming into style.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • A few details about the characters and story can only be found in the character profiles unlocked throughout the game. Most notably, it goes into more detail about Satomi and Yuri, and how the former came to meet and conceive a child with Yakumo.
    • The Urashima Woman novella provides details about her past that aren't present in the story, along with providing a name for the midwife that killed her - Yasuko Kuramoto.
  • Animal Motif:
    • The rabbit motif from Death Mark shows up in a few, subtle ways; the bathmat in Akira's apartment has a bunny design, his aunt's bar is called The Black Rabbit, and Kakuya, despite her fox-like appearance, is an explicit reference to The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, which is loosely connected to the Moon Rabbit myth.
    • Turtles are featured prominently in the Urashima case, inhabiting the lake that the Urashima Woman haunts. It's later revealed that the Urashima Woman's murderer dumped dead fetuses in the lake, which possessed the turtles and caused their shells to bear human faces. In one Bad End, Kaoru is found dead with turtles spewing out of their mouth. This is a nod to Urashima Taro, the hero of the folklore that the Urashima Woman is based on, who was rewarded for saving a turtle's life.
    • Dogs are front and centre for the Kubitarou case, as they are the primary victim of her decapitations. Maruhashi's devotion and loyalty to Seiji are compared to that of a bulldog, which foreshadows him becoming one of Kubitarou's victims, later found wearing a dog mask and collar.
    • Birds are prominent throughout the Screaming Author case. The silhouette first seen outside the house resembles a crane, the titular screaming sounds like a bird warbling, and evidence around the house relates to a performance of "Lac des cane", or "Duck Lake". A young girl was slated to play the part of a princess becoming a duck, which Yakumo made a literal reality, kidnapping and mutilating her into a bird-shaped monstrosity.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In one of the Screaming Author Bad Ends, Ban's arm is severed off when the Screaming Author drags them away with razor wire, reflecting how the Author itself had its limbs removed when it was alive.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • One of the Screaming Author's victims was the very man who brutalized their body and killed them. As their other victim was unintended, it makes it easier to feel pity for them and their horrible circumstances.
    • The Killer Peach's victims were all part of a club that was embezzling money out of their company, and one of them was a peeping tom with photos taken non-consensually of his female co-workers. Moreover, when she discovered that their president was responsible for covering up a department store fire, they brutally murdered her and hid the body. Suffice to say, Akira has no sympathy for what they went through at her hands.
  • Baby-Doll Baby: Kubitarou's severe mental disorders caused her to mistake a teddy bear for a younger brother that she didn't have. When the bear's head fell off, she started decapitating others in the hopes of offering them to a sacred cedar so that he could be "revived'. Putting a head back on the bear and offering it to Kubitarou is necessary to pacify/destroy her.
  • Bad Moon Rising: The Demon Tsukuyomi is rumoured to only appear when it's summoned during a full moon. When Akira and co. call on it, then flee to the roof when it goes berserk, the moon has turned blood red.
  • Beast with a Human Face: The turtles in Urashima Lake are possessed by the spirits of various dead fetuses, which mold their shells to resemble a human baby's face.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: When Akira is arrested by Ooe, he doesn't make things any easier for himself by not bothering to answer her initial questions. In the resulting Crisis Choice, the way to succeed is to honestly answer Ooe's questions, but also make it clear that Akira isn't intimidated by the police or the prospect of being held by them.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: According to D-Man's last card, Mary (the Big Bad from Death Mark) and Kakuya, alongside other doll spirits, are theorized to be working together to create the Hyakki Yagyo, a march of spirits.
  • Big Blackout: In the Killer Peach case, Ban bribes a Moon Tower employee with three million yen to cut the power to the entirety of Moon Tower, allowing him and the rest of the cast to sneak in and investigate the spirit.
  • Bizarrchitecture:
    • The Miroku Mansion has a secret passageway that somehow deposits a person back at the mansion's entrance. Rosé theorizes that going through the passageway leads to a Miroku Mansion that's in a different state than the previous one.
    • Stepping out into the 44th floor of the Moon Tower does not lead to an office like Akira and co. expected, but instead a ruined, time-displaced department store. This turns out to be the work of Tsukuyomi, which activated the time loop when it was turned into a spirit.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: While Death Mark was no slouch when it came to Body Horror, NG really turns up the amount of gore and blood. The Kubitarou case has on-screen decapitations, to name just one example, and children and animals aren't safe from death either.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: When facing Demon Tsukuyomi, Akira rushes forward and attacks it with a katana, spraying its blackened blood all over him. Since he has the power of psychometry which is activated when he touches blood, this actually provides him an important clue to Tsukuyomi's involvement with Kakuya.
  • Bloody Horror: Blood plays a much more prominent role in this game compared to its predecessor. Most of the deaths are shown in their full, gory detail. The main character can use psychometry by touching bloodstains, and each spirit leaves a blood pool behind that he can use his ability on to gather clues.
  • A Bloody Mess: At the mini shrine in Kintoki, Akira spots something that looks like red intestines splayed over the offering plate. It turns out to be red bean paste from a squashed manju.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: A bolt of spiritual intervention strikes down on the protagonists after the Kubitarou case. It sets a tree alight and causes it to fall over, hitting Seiji and Kaoru on its way down. Akira has to choose which of them he helps first.
  • Bookcase Passage: The Miroku mansion has a second floor, but seemingly no way to access it. Akira discovers the door leading up by placing a certain mask on a frame in the entranceway, which causes said door to swing open.
  • Book-Ends: The game starts and ends with Akira walking past a pair of drunk salarymen in an alleyway, to signify that the events of the game are truly over and Akira has returned to his normal, everyday life.
  • Brick Joke: One of the first drinks that Seiji gifts Akira is Nata de Coco Au Lait, with Akira wondering where Seiji gets such weird drinks. A few chapters later, the same drink is available as an optional gain from a vending machine, with Akira remarking that it actually doesn't taste that bad.
  • But Thou Must!: Enforced by Kakuya at the end of the game; if Akira tries to make a dialogue choice that she doesn't like, then she'll get rid of the option entirely and overwrite it with one she likes.
  • Call-Back:
    • The D-Man sidequest connects NG to Death Mark, and so has plenty of references to the latter; the OOParts magazine that starts off the quest has the Death Mark spirits on its cover, the D-Cards have the eponymous Death Mark imprinted on them, D-Man's acquaintances include Mr. K (aka Kazuo Yashiki, the Death Mark protagonist) and an ex-detective (Satoru Mashita, one of Yashiki's companions), and his final card says that he and the Death Mark crew are after the Hyakki Yagyo, a demon parade that served as the Sequel Hook in DM.
    • In the Screaming Author case, Rosé reveals that she was hired by Yashiki to investigate the spirit, and she makes reference to his confrontation with Hanahiko in the first game. If the spirit is defeated with Ban as the companion, then he also confirms that he knows Yashiki, since he was the one who took care of the spirit that killed Ban's son.
  • Capture and Replicate: The last chapter reveals that Kakuya attempted this with Ami, possessing her body so that Kakuya could remain by Akira's side forever. She's found out due to his psychometry, and so does away with Ami and traps herself and Akira in another world.
  • Cat Scare:
    • Near the beginning of the game, after receiving a strange black postcard, Akira's doorbell rings despite him seeing no-one through the peephole. What at first seems to be the working of something supernatural turns out to be his friend Seiji pulling a harmless prank on him.
    • In the Screaming Author case, Akira returns home to see that his apartment light is on. He's naturally cautious, since he's already being haunted by a spirit. It turns out to be his companion Rosé, who broke into his house to meet him.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • At the start of the Kubitarou case, Maruhashi explains that the sacred cedar tree in Kintoki used to protect against lightning, and there's been a greater amount of thunderstorms since it was chopped down. Cut to the end of the chapter, where lightning strikes down on the protagonists and forces Akira to choose whether to save Seiji or Kaoru.
    • After driving off the Screaming Author with her voice, Rosé teaches Akira about instruments that are used to mimic a bird's cry - one of which is the kokyu, a violin-like instrument. When they're later tied up by the spirit, Akira has his companion rub horse hair against wire to mimic a kokyu, which calms the bird-like spirit.
    • When asked about Yakumo Miroku and his horror literature, Natsumi reveals that she's a big fan, but that her sister (Akira's mother) was even more obsessed than she was. To the point that they had a son together, which is how Akira inherited Yakumo's spiritual power.
  • City People Eat Sushi: Akira, Seiji, and Kaoru go to a sushi restaurant for their first meal together. Working-class Akira is uncomfortable with the formal food, while Seiji and Kazuki (a Yakuza heir and a popular idol respectively) are much more at ease.
  • Code Name: In the Killer Peach case, the projects that the Moon Tower employees were working on all had colorful code names like "Rainbow", "South Dragon", etc. They become relevant when Akira has to puzzle out a password relating to them.
  • Collection Sidequest: The D-Man sidequest has the player figuring out locations via basic riddles and finding cards that exposit about events that happened between NG and Death Mark.
  • Connected All Along:
    • At the start of the game, Akira helps a girl in gothic clothing scare off a mohawked man that was harassing her. It later turns out that Akira actually has pre-existing connections to both of them; the man serves under his best friend, while the girl is friends with his younger cousin.
    • The spirits, at first, don't appear to have any connection to each other or to Kakuya. This becomes increasingly less the case following the Screaming Author case - the man who created the Screaming Author is directly tied to Kakuya. He was also acquaintances with the man who would become Demon Tsukuyomi, who in turn was pursued by the woman who would turn into Killer Peach.
  • Continuity Creep: The first two spirits that Kakuya makes Akira investigate, thus comprising the first two chapters, don't seem to have any actual connection to her beyond being spirits in the general area. This changes with the Screaming Author case, which features an author who's tied to Kakuya's past.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • While the game has many notable ties to its prequel Death Mark, there's also a few inconsequential references put in for fun:
      • Momo's gravure photo has her made up like a doll and posing on a red couch, with it being based on an urban legend about 'a doll in a mysterious mansion'. This is all a reference to Mary, the protagonist's advisor from Death Mark.
      • When Akira asks Kaoru what he could be, if not a human, one of her answers is a humanoid weapon that was developed in secret by the old army. This is exactly what the Kannon Soldier from Chapter 5 of Death Mark is.
      • One of Natsumi's notebooks contains information on the scar-like Death Mark that plagued the characters of the titular game. Kaoru explains that she knew someone involved with the case, and that she took much of her inspiration for Momo Kuruse from it.
      • When explaining the Miroku Mansion's Bizarrchitecture, Rosé references roads and staircases that impossibly loop you back to the same spot, which were featured in Chapters 3 and 6 of Death Mark.
      • According to Ami's profile, she once talked to a dog with a human face, a reference to Genta from the third chapter of Death Mark.
    • One of D-Man's cards tells the tale of the Princess Mach urban legend. If Ban is alive at the end of the game, then his epilogue scene mentions that he's investigating the very same spirit.
  • Convenient Coma:
    • At the end of Kubitarou's case, Akira is forced to pick whether to save Seiji or Kaoru from a collapsed burning tree. Whoever he doesn't pick will be comatose for the rest of the game, to justify their replacement by a new companion character.
    • When Natsumi comes close to rescuing Ami from Kakuya, Kakuya responds by putting them in the same coma that she put Akira's companion into at the end of the Kubitarou case.
  • Cooperation Gambit: Ban sets up a tentative deal with Akira and Seiji, wherein they'll provide each other with all the information they have on spirits, since Akira's connection to Kakuya is too useful for him to antagonize them.
  • Cope by Pretending: In Miroku's Mansion, a trio of dolls representing the little girls who were killed in the attic needs to be pacified by the protagonists to proceed. One of them wants to go to school, so Akira and Ban roleplay a student and teacher until the doll is put at peace.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The CEO of Sumii Group is a real piece of work, as are some of his employees. They're part of the 5/5 Club, which embezzles money out of the company and various other illegal transactions. It's also revealed that he covered up for his son when the latter started a department fire store, killing twenty people. When a dietwoman tried to expose them, they brutally murdered her, disposed of her body, and covered up all of their crimes.
  • The Corruption: As revealed in the Bad End, Akira's Bloodmetry can go out of control and cause his body and mind to deteriorate. A voice comes along and "helps" him by transforming him into a non-human, which causes him to go completely berserk and start murdering people.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: When Akira returns home after investigating Miroku Mansion, he finds "Don't Look" written on his bedroom wall in a suspiciously red substance. Next to it is peeling wallpaper, which when pulled back reveals a bird-like stain on the wall.
  • Creepy Ballet: In the Screaming Author case, attention is drawn to a ballet performance of "Duck Lake" that one of the victims was slated to star in. It's eventually revealed that said girl was mutilated by Yakumo to resemble a crane, much like how the princess in the play is forcibly transformed into a bird.
  • Creepy Doll:
    • A chilling trio appears in the Screaming Author case. When Akira returns there the second night, he finds life-sized dolls wearing masks and posed like humans. Each of them represents the tortured victims of the house owner, and Akira must figure out how to pacify them so that they can move on and he can retrieve their masks. It's later revealed that Yakumo turned the girls into dolls in order to offer them up to Kakuya, appeasing her for another ten years.
    • One of the toys collected in the Demon Tsukuyomi case is a girlish doll with a chilling, high-pitched laugh.
  • Cry into Chest: Ami cries and throws herself into her cousin Akira's arms after being rescued from Kakuya, letting out all her fear from the ordeal she suffered through.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Discussed by Rosé in the Screaming Author case. She brings up the peeking taboo, referencing famous tales like Pandora's Box and The Crane's Wife, after a ghostly rumour ended with a woman being driven insane after peeking into her neighbour's Haunted House.
  • Cymbal-Banging Monkey: In the Demon Tsukuyomi case, a cymbal gorilla toy mysteriously appears and starts causing a ruckus after Akira and company investigate the Moon Tower roof. Akira brings it along with them as evidence, and it later proves useful in the fight against Tsukuyomi.
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: By the end of the game, Akira and co. have spent so long hunting spirits during the night that the daytime sun hurts their eyes.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Kubitarou decapitates a poor dog and strings its body up by a streetlamp. An officer comes across it and screams, catching the protagonists' attention.
  • Deadly Bath: Kaoru's potential death in the Urashima case happens when they take a bath after the Urashima Woman is destroyed. They're found there in bloody water with turtles spewing out of their mouth.
  • Deadly Game: This time around, the mark of death is given to the protagonist by Kakuya, a spirit who appears every ten years and forces unwilling victims to play Kakuya's Game until they lose - which, in this case, means a gruesome death.
  • Death of a Child:
    • The deaths in the Screaming Author case are particularly horrifying due to the victims being girls that are no older than thirteen. The protagonists struggle to listen through the cassette tapes that document their final moments, where they're all screaming and begging for mercy.
    • The first victim of the Momoi fire was a young boy that the arsonist deliberately covered in gasoline and set alight, a depraved act that makes Akira sick to the stomach when he witnesses it via his psychometry.
  • Decapitation Presentation: In one of Kubitarou's Bad Ends, Seiji is possessed by Kubitarou and decapitated by her after being lured to her haunting ground. Their head is "decorated" with a sapling and displayed for Akira to find.
  • Destroy the Evidence: After covering up for a department store fire, the CEO of Sumii Co. went to great lengths to cover up the crime - up to murdering a woman who attempted to unearth the truth. This bit him in the behind when she came back as the murderous Killer Peach.
  • Dialogue Tree: The Judgement system is a variant, where Akira can occasionally pick between five expressions to react to a dialogue with, ranging from pissed to gleeful. If he reacts positively enough to a character, then extra information will be unlocked in their character bio.
  • Diary: When investigating Yuri Takamura's death, Seiji and Akira discover that she had an online diary that accounted the last few days before the hit-and-run that killed her.
  • Diegetic Switch: When Kaoru shows off her singing chops to Akira, her song first starts out in-universe. Eventually, background music accompanies it for the sake of the audience. The same thing happens when Seiji sings the same song in an optional scene.
  • Die or Fly: Rosé speculates that this is how Akira's psychometry came to be - his already fine-tuned instincts were sharpened even more by the grave danger that Kakuya put him in, which awakened his latent ability to glean the information he needed from blood spatter.
  • Dies Wide Open:
    • In one of the first Bad Ends, Kaoru is murdered by the Urashima Woman, their eyes glassy as they stare up at the ceiling with bloodied turtles crawling out of their mouth.
    • Seiji is decapitated by Kubitarou in a Bad End while they're still alive. When Akira finds the head, its eyes are wide open in fear and are staring right at him.
    • One of Rosé's deaths has them with open eyes as they're grotesquely distorted by razor wire. The result is a dead gaze that makes their mutilated corpse all the more chilling to look at.
  • Disconnected by Death: This is how Natsumi is incapacitated in the Killer Peach case; they realize a vital clue that can help them save Ami, but are knocked comatose by Kakuya's curse before they can relay the information to Akira over the phone.
  • Disposing of a Body: In the case of the Urashima Woman, her swollen stomach was filled with rocks to weigh her down, then she was stuffed into a suitcase and thrown into the Urashima Lake. The killer disposed of dead fetuses in the same lake, which went on to haunt the place just like the Urashima Woman herself.
  • Ditch the Bodyguards: At the start of the Demon Tsukuyomi case, Seiji or Kaoru (depending on which you saved in the Kubitarou case) will finally break through the security assigned to them in order to meet up with Akira and the rescued Ami.
  • Do Not Attempt: While infiltrating the Moon Tower, Rosé uses her Master of Unlocking skills to lift a fingerprint and bypass a scanner with it. When noted hoodlum Akira tries to get a look at her work, officer Ooe cheerfully tells him not to even think about it and has him back off.
  • Double Entendre: When Ban interrupts Rosé and Akira's talk, Rosé laments that she was about to give Akira an intensive private lesson. Given that, in the same sentence, she expresses her attraction to cute young men like him, it's not hard to see what she's implying.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The "Normal" End is actually pretty dismal - because one or more of Akira's companions were killed, their grudge manifests as them preventing the Nagoshi no Gi ritual from working. This leads to Kakuya (rather gruesomely) possessing Seiji or Kaoru and having them drag Akira into Kakuriyo, where it's implied that Kakuya kills him. And since the ritual was imperfect, it's only a matter of time before Kakuya escapes again.
    • The Bad End, predictably. All of Akira's companions are dead. The grief overwhelms him, as does his Bloodmetry power, until a mysterious voice offers her help. However, his Bloodmetry is too powerful even for her, and he's turned into a murderous Spirit that kills Ami and Natsumi.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Yuri's last diary entry has her remarking on a flute that she can hear, and that its pretty tune will help her sleep well that night. The flute-player is Kakuya, who would then proceed to lead her to her death.
    • When talking about sneaking into a park, Kaoru compares it to dedicated fans sneaking into an idol's green room. Akira asks if she did just that, with Seiji quipping that she probably stole her clothes from Momo Kuruse, unaware that Kaoru is Momo.
    • Later on, Seiji remarks that he thinks Kaoru would be a horrible actor, completely unaware that she has a secret identity as an up-and-coming idol star.
  • Driven to Suicide: The eventual fate of the Screaming Author victims, who become insane from the constant screaming in their head and kill themselves to get away from it.
  • Due to the Dead: One potential ending of the Screaming Author case has Ban host a short memorial for the child spirit. This is revealed to be because he lost his own child to a spirit, and so the mourning serves as sympathetic characterisation for him.
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    E-K 
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: To get the Bad Ending, every one of the spirits must be destroyed rather than pacified, leading to the deaths of Akira's companions. This is about as difficult to accomplish naturally as the Golden Ending, and odds are you'll be deliberately aiming to get the Bad Ending rather than stumbling upon it.
  • Empty Room Psych: Akira's water closet never comes into play. Despite the spirits that frequently haunt his apartment, and despite every other room in the place having some relevance, the toilet never contains a scare or has anything else involved with it.
  • Every Man Has His Price:
    • Ban is determined to get the dirt on Seiji and his Yakuza ties, but he is willing to back down from doing so in front of Seiji's friends when he's offered a handsome bribe.
    • The tables are turned later on when Ban uses a bribe to get a security guard to cut the power at Moon Tower, allowing the group to sneak in and investigate the Killer Peach.
  • Evil Phone: There's an old-fashioned home phone that can be found in Miroku Mansion. It appears in a room that Akira already searched, and when he answers it he's hit with intense nausea. After that point, the chapter's spirit continues to harass him through his own mobile and home phones.
  • Fairytale Motifs: Many of the spirits contain references to Japanese folklore. D-Man suspects that this is deliberate on Kakuya's part, making them like fairytales while she's hosting them.
    • Kakuya is an obvious one to Princess Kaguya from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Her riddle references the tale, with the solution being to "cut" the letters "bam" and "boo" out of the listed phrase.
    • The Urashima Woman's case is inspired by the story of Urashima Tarou, and contains multiple references to it. The island's lake that the ghost inhabits is called Ryuuguu, which is the same as the palace from Taro's story. On the island is Tamate hall, a play on Tamatabako, which was also in Urashima Taro's tale. Finally, the lake is infested with turtles, which references how Taro saved one in the tale.
    • Kubitarou of Kintoki is inspired by the legendary folk hero Kintaro, who was, in turn, said to be inspired by the real-life warrior Sakata Kintoki. Kintaro was known as an incredibly strong child who carried a hatchet to protect his animal friends; Kubitarou, conversely, uses its incredible strength and axe to decapitate animals and collect their heads.
    • One of the central characters of the Screaming Author case is a children's fairytale novelist, so naturally, the chapter is rich in references to them. The three most prominent are Swan Lake, Momotaro/The Melon Princess, and Tsuru no Ongaeshi.
      • A modified ballet of "Swan Lake", known as "Duck Lake", was to be performed by the victim of the case, but she was kidnapped and horribly mutilated to resemble a bird (like how the princess in the story becomes a swan).
      • Akira receives a dog, pheasant, and monkey mask, the three creatures that join Momotaro in his journey. He has to place the masks in the order that they joined Momotaro in order to proceed to the mansion's attic. Ban and Rosé's constant sniping is also reminiscent of the rivalry between the dog and monkey. When off to confront the spirit, Akira's mark recites a version of the melon princess' "Tonkarari" poem.
      • It's revealed before the final confrontation with the Screaming Author that Yakumo wanted to transform her into a crane so that she would repay the favour back to him. This is revealed in a document he titled "Tubasa no Ongaeshi", a play on "Tsuru no Ongaeshi" using the victim's name.
    • Momotaro returns in a greater way for the Killer Peach case. The spirit's face looks different to those who see it - either a dog, pheasant, or monkey, the three animals from Momotaro's tale. This is why she earned the name Killer Peach, as Momotaro is the "Peach Boy". Later it's shown that her child drew her like Momotaro, so she took upon his aesthetic when fighting against injustice, and also said child was named Momotaro, which is why he made the connection.
  • Fake Relationship:
    • To distract the guard at the Urashima Lake, Seiji and Kaoru pretend to be lovers in the middle of an argument. To Seiji's surprise, and the player's amusement, Kaoru ad-libs that she's pregnant and goes off on a rant against the hapless guard.
    • To lure out a spirit that supposedly only attacks couples, Kaoru brings along Akira and pretends that they're together.
  • Family Business: The Black Rabbit was left to Natsumi by her late husband, and is popular with its limited customer base for its cozy, easygoing atmosphere.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • The Killer Peach case features a CG of a woman in a lacy black bra, which is disturbing for multiple reasons; there are mouths all over her body, she's barely alive, and it's the protagonist's aunt.
    • Would you like to see a CG of a naked Rosé? How about a shirtless Ban with his hair down? The Demon Tsukuyomi case has them if you destroyed Killer Peach previously, leading her to seek revenge against your companions - Rosé is found naked with a katana gored through her stomach, while Ban is literally split in two.
  • Fight Clubbing: In middle school, Akira's friend Seiji used his Yakuza connections to set Akira up in an underground fighting ring. His winning streak was unbroken and he was one of the most popular fighters as a result. He calls it quits just prior to the events of the story, which Seiji reluctantly abides by. In Seiji's ending, Akira decides to get back into it, recognizing that he can't return to a mundane life.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: Seiji's firearm sees use in the confrontation with Kubitarou when he shoots it into the air multiple times to catch her attention.
  • Flat "What": Akira's reaction when Kaoru asks him, seemingly out of the blue, to take his clothes off. She wanted to ink a protective incantation on him but didn't bother explaining that beforehand.
  • Folk Horror: Many of the spirits are inspired by Japanese folklore, and murder their victims in ways that reference the old tales. Of particular note is the Screaming Author case, where the titular author deals in children's horror folklore, and as such, the chapter is littered with homages and references to Japanese folk tales.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Maruhashi's devotion to Seiji is compared to that between a dog and its owner. This is in the chapter where dogs are being decapitated by Kubitarou, a fate that Maruhashi shares just before Akira confronts Kubitarou.
    • Masaru accuses Yakumo of not being sexually active anymore, with Yakumo refuting him. This is said over a CG of Yakumo holding a Kakuya doll in the exact same way as Akira holds it, who later turns out to be his son.
  • Ghostly Chill: The story is set in the middle of summer, but Akira notes that an unusually cold wind stirs up during his meetings with the mysterious Kakuya spirit.
  • Ghost Story: As with its predecessor, each chapter has an infodump near the beginning where a character will divulge the tale of the chapter's spirit, told in the form of a rumour.
  • Girly Skirt Twirl: Upon finding a magical girl stick in a department store, Kaoru takes it up and starts twirling around in imitation of the character it belongs to. Doing so causes her skirt to fly up, and she threatens Akira with a curse if he ended up peeking (Akira being Akira, he didn't see and had no intention of peeking).
  • Golden Ending: The best ending is achieved by making sure all of the spirits are pacified and all of the companion characters are kept alive. Kakuya is successfully sealed away, the companions go about their lives, and Akira has a cozy end with either Seiji or Kaoru and Ami.
  • Go Look at the Distraction: On the second night of the Urashima Woman case, the investigation trio works out a system for two of them to sneak into the Urashima Lake while the third distracts the security guard with a phone call.
  • Good Needs Evil: Seiji tries to justify the presence of the Yakuza as a necessary evil. Without criminals, the cops would be out of a job, so the current arrangement is mutually beneficial. He then goes on to ask who made the world so corrupt in the first place.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: At the start of the game, a memorial is set up for Yuri at the point where she was run over in the underpass. One of the game's first tasks is getting fresh flowers for the memorial, with it being said that Yuri's friends Kaoru and Ami visit the place frequently. More generally, the spirits of ghosts manifest in the place they died, thus the characters must visit those places often to pacify them.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: While going up the elevator to confront Killer Peach, Akira and his companion end up getting stuck in a small time loop. It works out in their favour, as it prevents Ooe's deaths from sticking.
  • Guide Dang It!: While Death Mark was generally thorough in explaining what item had to be used where to beat the boss, NG is a little laxer in its explanations, and it's entirely possible to face a boss without having all the items required to beat it. This is especially apparent in the Urashima Woman case; the way to beat her is to show her a calligraphy contest poster that proves her child is alive. The problem is that said item is easily missed (it spawns in the starting area that the player has already looked over multiple times already), the woman's name is only given once, so the familial connection can be easy to miss, and all the evidence up to that point seemed to indicate that the child died in stillbirth - but convincing the Woman of that leads to the Bad End where Kaoru dies.
  • Hair Decorations: In the Urashima case, Akira finds a hair ornament that belonged to a victim of the Urashima Woman. By using his Bloodmetry power on it, he's able to get his first glimpse of the spirit. Later on, it finds use when Seiji crafts it into a makeshift lockpick.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: This fate befalls Ban if the Killer Peach is destroyed and seeks vengeance against Akira's companion - when Akira finds them a few days later, they've been split cleanly in half from skull to pelvis, each half of their body splayed out on the elevator floor.
  • Harder Than Hard: In-Universe, the rules of Kakuya's Game are much more difficult for Akira than its previous victims - where they had to play mundane games with Kakuya, like marbles or hide-and-seek, Akira has to pacify vengeful ghosts that can kill him and his friends in a variety of gruesome ways. Rosé explains that Akira is basically stuck on Kakuya's "Nightmare Mode".
  • Haunted Headquarters: As it turns out, Akira's apartment has a power to it that attracts spiritual beings, which is why they have a habit of leaving their haunting grounds and following Akira home. When Rosé suggests that he move out, Akira refuses since it's too much hassle, and he isn't afraid of the spirits anyway.
  • Haunted House: The Screaming Author spirit is found inside the Miroku mansion, an odd blend of Alpine-Japanese architecture where a children's author is said to live - though he hasn't been seen in a long time, and the house instead has become infamous for the strange screaming that permeates it.
  • Haunted Technology: The first victims of Kakuya's curse are run over and killed by driverless cars that she summons to the underpass. Surviving against one constitutes the first Survival Escape.
  • Hazardous Water: The Urashima Woman was drowned in Urashima Lake, and thus all of her victims suffer from drowning. When confronting her, Akira and his companion have to escape on a boat across the lake while fending her off.
  • Hearing Voices:
    • As a portent of their imminent death, and reflective of the pregnancy theme of the chapter, Kaoru hears the sound of a baby crying just before they're killed by the Urashima Woman in a Bad End.
    • The victims of the Screaming Author constantly hear screaming in their head after encountering the spirit for the first time, which eventually drives them insane and causes them to commit suicide. Akira starts to experience this after his first visit to the Miroku Mansion.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Akira's relationship with Kaoru, which features subtle Ship Tease and clear interest on Kaoru's end, is reflected in his equally important relationship with his Childhood Friend Seiji. Anything that Akira does with Kaoru, he can do with Seiji - go along on a pseudo-date, give them a ride on his bike, listen to them sing, or get a special ending with them. Kakuya is revealed to be madly in love with Akira, and is jealous of both Kaoru and Seiji for being closer to Akira than she is - in the Normal End, she can possess either one of them in her attempt to violently romance Akira. All that said, Seiji is more attracted to Akira's aunt, while Akira doesn't show much interest in romance at all.
  • Hostess Club: If Seiji is saved during the Kubitarou case, then he'll invite Akira to a hostess club later to let off some steam. Not by interacting with the hostesses, of course, but by blackmailing a man out of his company secrets.
  • Human Notepad: Attempted by Kaoru, who tries to ink the Heart Sutra onto Akira's body in order to protect him from his supernatural curse. Seiji walks in on them while Akira is undressing, which makes him put a stop to it.
  • Human Sacrifice: As revealed in the Demon Tsukuyomi case, the reason Yakumo was mutilating girls was to turn them into dolls and offer them up to Kakuya, satisfying her need for a Deadly Game and keeping her sealed for a further ten years.
  • Humans Are Bastards: A running theme throughout the story is that much of the conflicts are caused by human cruelty: the spirits are all vengeful because they were horribly treated in life; their murderers got away with it because of the corrupt society they live in; and even Seiji, the heir to the Yakuza, bemoans the rotten state of the world.
  • Hypocritical Humour: When Akira asks Ooe to keep him updated on the Momoi Department fire, she responds that she's not allowed to divulge investigation details to civilians. He immediately calls her out on how many rules she's already broken, and she cheerfully concedes the point.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Happens to Rosé in one of the Killer Peach Bad Ends - their body is posed such so that Akira and company can see the katana that's been stabbed right through their stomach and is protruding, blood and all, from their back.
  • Improvised Lockpick: In the Urashima Woman case, Akira and Seiji need to break into a shack to obtain some oars for a boat. Seiji asks Akira to find items that could substitute for a tension wrench and a metal wire; once he has them, Seiji is easily able to pick the cylinder lock.
  • Indy Escape: The first Survival Escape pits Akira and Ami against a possessed vehicle that drives down a narrow alleyway towards them. Akira gets Ami to safety by forcing her into a nearby storage unit, then leaps up and clings to the ceiling pipes as the car barely skims under him.
  • Infinite Flashlight: Akira carries with him a flashlight that never runs out of battery, regardless of how many dark areas he uses it in. It's even noted in its description that it lasts for an unusually long amount of time.
  • Insecurity System: The Sumii company proves to be rather lacking security-wise in the Killer Peach case. Ban is able to bribe a guard into killing the power for the building, half of the employees have computer passwords that are easily accessible, and the toughest piece of security, a biometric bypass, is thwarted by Rosé lifting some fingerprints off the boss' possessions.
  • In-Universe Soundtrack: Momo's popular song "Wander Rabbits" is heard in the background when Momo makes an appearance, but can also be heard in-universe as Akira's ringtone and playing in the local convenience store. Also, one of Akira's CDs apparently contains the game's jazz track, as revealed when he listens to it one evening.
  • Ironic Echo: In the Kubitarou case, Kakuya forces Akira into making a Sadistic Choice between his friends Kaoru and Seiji. At the end of the game, Kakuya repeats the question, this time asking Akira whether he prefers her to his friends.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Kubitarou of Kintoki goes around singing a children's song about the sacred cedar tree of Kintoki. Given that Kubitarou is an axe-murdering spirit with a horrible, groaning voice, the effect is rather chilling.
  • It Won't Turn Off: After visiting the Miroku Mansion, Akira is haunted by the Screaming Author. It keeps calling him via his mobile, and then via his home phone, the latter even after he's unplugged it. It's not until he smashes it to pieces that he's finally relieved from the calling.
  • Jump Scare: The game features multiple, usually a ghost that will briefly appear just to spook the player. The game even has the option to toggle a jumpscare mode, where they'll become more frequent.
  • Kill the Lights:
    • Kubitarou has the ability to drain light from her immediate vicinity - including even the protagonist's flashlight - which helps with her aversion to bright light.
    • In the Screaming Author bad ends, the light from both Akira's flashlight and the paper lanterns in the attic are knocked out by the spirit shortly before it murders one of Akira's companions.
  • Kinda Busy Here: In the Demon Tsukuyomi case, Ooe gets a call while she and the rest of the group are fleeing for their lives from the titular Tsukuyomi. Taking the call turns out to be important, however, as it provides them with an important clue on how to take Tsukuyomi down.

    L-R 
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: A sequence in the end-game has Kakuya wiping Akira's memories of Seiji and Kaoru, out of jealousy that he's closer to them than he is to Kakuya.
  • Last Grasp at Life:
    • In the Game Overs where Akira is drowned by the Urashima Woman, the death CG has his arm desperately reaching for the surface as the last of his consciousness slips away.
    • When Ban dies in the Screaming Author Bad End, their hand can be seen reaching out to Akira as they're dragged away by the Author's razor wire. To complement the effect, said hand is blurred and overexposed as it's closer to the "camera" than the rest of his body.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: As Akira finds the resolve to fight back against Kakuya in the climax, the game's main theme kicks in as he tells her, in no uncertain terms, that he hates her. Later on, it picks up against once Akira discovers the method to trap her in Kakuriyo.
  • Last Words: In one of Kubitarou's Bad Ends, Kaoru's very last action before they die from decapitation is remembering to thank Akira over the phone for showing concern for them.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility:
    • The Urashima Woman's midwife desired a child of her own, but never managed to conceive one. This eventually drove her insane, to the point that she murdered the woman and stole her child.
    • Yakumo desired a child, but it was incredibly difficult to conceive due to a spermatogenic disorder. Unknown to him, he did have a son who inherited his spiritual power like he wished.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When investigating Yuri's death doesn't turn up anything suspicious, Seiji laments that there's nothing "interesting" and that people naturally derive enjoyment from a good, mysterious death. Of course, the entire appeal of the game is unveiling the mystery behind the spirits and their mysterious deaths.
  • Learned From the News: Akira tries to keep the details of Ami's abduction a secret from her mother, as he worries that she'd become involved in the supernatural and be put in danger as a result. However, Natsumi learns anyway when a detective tells her all that they know, so Akira is forced to fill her in on the rest.
  • Lightmare Fuel: If Kaoru is around in the Demon Tsukuyomi case, then she'll take Akira to investigate a vending machine and the spiritual rumour surrounding it. While the rumour itself is serious (a spirit is supposedly killing couples with poison) and the ensuing investigation has a Crisis Choice, the whole thing is played like an awkward date between Akira and Kaoru, and is pretty funny as a result.
  • Likes Clark Kent, Hates Superman: Downplayed with Akira's apathy towards Momo Kuruse, Kaoru's idol persona. While most people are head-over-heels for Momo, Akira is disinterested in her and prefers Kaoru to act like herself while around him.
  • Liquid Courage: Before the final confrontation with the Screaming Author, Ban and Rosé knock back a drink in preparation. Akira isn't so lucky, being underage.
  • Little "No": In Kaoru's ending, she offers to host a seance with Akira. After all the supernatural danger that they and their friends had been put through at Kakuya's hands, his response is a plain but firm "No".
  • Long Neck:
    • When confronting her face-to-face, it's clear that the Urashima Woman's neck is far longer than it should be. This makes for a chilling scene when Akira is escaping her by boat and she can be seen in the water, her long neck slowly rising out of the water.
    • If Rosé dies in the Screaming Author case, then their neck is unnaturally elongated by razor wire to give them a grisly resemblance to a crane, the motif of the chapter.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: The police are ignorant of any supernatural happenings and can't do anything to prevent the various grisly murders at the hands of spirits. However, they have much less issue finding evidence that Akira was at the scene of the crimes (stopping said spirits and saving lives), and promptly haul him into the station during the Killer Peach case.
  • Losing Your Head: In one of Kubitarou's Bad Ends, Kaoru is decapitated. Not only do they remain alive for a minute, but they're even capable of holding a conversation over a phone, something that they recognize should be impossible.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • In the Screaming Author case, Akira overhears a young girl complaining that she's starving. In the original Japanese, the word she used was in a dialect that Akira wasn't familiar with, thus he couldn't parse what she said. In the English version, he's never heard the word "famished" and mistakes it for a name, with Ban baffled that he could make such an error. It stands out as odd since otherwise, Akira doesn't have any problem with large words (and would possibly be familiar with "famished", given that he used to live in poverty and would skip meals often).
    • When meeting her for the first time, Ooe mistakes Momo Kuruse for Banana Kuruse. "Momo" is peach in Japanese, meaning that Ooe got her fruits mixed up, but this isn't clear in the English version.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: At the end of the game, Akira puts some strings together and comes to the revelation that his Disappeared Dad is Yakumo Miroku, the man who not only created the Screaming Author spirit, but was responsible for sealing Kakuya away until his power disappeared.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • When Akira reaches the peak of the time limit that Kakuya has set for him, the extra mouths infesting his face will jibber on about whatever action Akira has done to anger the chapter's spirit.
      Don't don't look inside don't look inside inside Don't look don't look inside don't look inside
    • In the Screaming Author case, a voice begging people to 'not look inside' can be heard repeatedly if someone attempts to get inside the Miroku Mansion. This turns out to be because the spirit trapped there doesn't want anyone seeing her disturbing appearance after she was experimented on by Yakumo.
  • Marked to Die: Akira suffers from a particularly gruesome one once Kakura involves him in her game. When he gets close to the time limit, extra mouths and boils manifest on his face.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The spirit known as Demon Tsukuyomi came about after a man killed twenty people in order to fulfill the criteria for the pre-existing Tsukuyomi ritual. After the spirit is dealt with, Akira and his companion discuss whether there was an original Tsukuyomi who granted the man's wish - and thus turned him into a "new" Demon Tsukuyomi - or whether it had been fake to start with.
  • Medical Horror: The Urashima Woman was murdered by her midwife, who is shown in a CG holding a terrifyingly large syringe while making off with the bloodsoaked newborn.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Ami's headphones were gifted to her by Yuri shortly before the latter was killed in a supernatural hit-and-run. After Ami herself is kidnapped by the same spirit, Akira uses his Bloodmetry on the headphones to get his first clue to Ami's location.
  • Mercy Kill: While all spirits are essentially being put to rest rather than forced to continue their tumultuous existence, this is explicitly the case with the Screaming Author, who outright asks Akira to set it on fire so that she can escape the monstrosity that her body has been turned into.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: As it turns out, Rosé was investigating the Miroku Mansion for a reason completely separate from the Screaming Author spirit - namely that it was rumoured to hold an object with great spiritual energy. It was by happenstance that this put her and Ban in Akira's path just after Kakuya told him to find the Screaming Author.
  • Mirror Monster:
    • Akira uses his psychometry to view the moment where Ami was in his bathroom, seconds before being kidnapped by Kakuya. There he notices a menacing, shadowy figure in the mirror that Ami can't see herself, with fox ears that match Kakuya's.
    • In the same bathroom, Akira takes a shower after visiting the Miroku Mansion. The accompanying CG shows a bloody hand reaching to Akira from the mirror - though he feels something odd and leaves before it can do anything.
  • Missing Child:
    • Kakuya kidnaps Akira's young cousin, which kickstarts the plot and motivates him to play along with her game. Meanwhile, her mother is shown to be worried sick, spending most of her time at the police station while they try and fail to track her down.
    • The Screaming Author chapter features a serial kidnapping case, with elementary-school girls being kidnapped every ten years around the Miroku Mansion. Said girls were victim to horrible experimentation by the house's owner, until the last victim turned into a spirit and started haunting the place.
  • Modular Epilogue: The ending of the game has Akira explaining what the characters have been up to in the aftermath of Kakuya's Game. As some of the characters can die during the story, their respective snippet is dependant on their survival.
  • Momma's Boy: Masaru is a dark version- his utter devotion to his mother highlights his general psychopathy, and when she passes away, he murders twenty people in order to try and bring her back.
  • Mood Whiplash: A somber moment where Akira and Rosé realize how exhausted and distraught Natsumi is at the disappearance of her daughter is interrupted by Ban's cheerful arrival, having just arrived from a mahjong game. Rosé rags on him for ruining the mood.
  • Morton's Fork: The rules of Kakuya's game, as she decrees them. Lose against her? Then you'll be gruesomely killed by a spirit. Win against her? Then she'll start up another round and keep going until you lose.
  • Mugging the Monster: Maruhashi picks a fight with Akira at the start of the game, bolstered by his connection to the Amanome family. He's unaware that a) Akira has years of experience as an underground street fighter, and b) Akira is best friends with Seiji Amanome, aka Maruhashi's superior. He quickly goes down, and later on, apologizes profusely to Akira for his mistake.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Like its predecessor, the game has alternative endings for each chapter that are dependant on how the player deals with the chapter's spirit. If they "appease" the spirit, then they get the standard good end to the chapter; destroy the spirit instead, and the companion they took along will get murdered by the last remnants of the spirit.
    • The final ending of the game depends on various factors; how many companions are alive (which will change their epilogue scene), if any of them are alive at all, and whether Akira saved Seiji or Kaoru in the Kubitarou case.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction: Bandou and Kagawa from the Killer Peach case are both part of a club embezzling money out of their company, and both have blackmail on the other to prevent either of them from snitching; Kagawa has documents proving that Bandou was embezzling, while Bandou had an e-mail proving that Kagawa was fooling around after-hours with a secret lover.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: Kaoru explicitly states that spirits only appear at night-time, as proven throughout the game by the few morning scenes being mundane and free of danger.
  • No Body Left Behind:
    • In the case of the Urashima Woman, her body - alongside the bodies of various fetuses that the murderer disposed of as well - couldn't be found by the police. It seems to imply that a person's physical body disappears when they turn into a spirit.
    • In some of the Bad Ends where Akira's companions die, their bodies will disappear after Akira finds it for the first time, causing him to question whether what he saw actually happened or not.
  • Not Proven: The CEO of Sumii Group was responsible for covering up a department store fire that claimed multiple casualties. Definitive proof linking him to it is found during Akira's investigation, but is lost again due to a finicky bit of time-looping, leaving Akira and his companions as the only people who know the truth of the incident. Not that it matters too much, since everyone involved with the case is dead by that point.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Seiji walks in on Akira undressing in front of Kaoru, and asks with a smirk if he's interrupting something. Akira quickly clarifies that Kaoru wanted to paint symbols on his body to protect him from the vengeful spirits they're up against.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • Kubitarou's modus operandi is collecting heads. She doesn't discriminate and collects them from toys, plushies, animals, and humans. Maruhashi is decapitated by Kubitarou and their body is found with toys stuffed into their open neck. Depending on the ending, this fate can also befall Seiji or Kaoru; Seiji is possessed and then decapitated by Kubitarou, while Kaoru is beheaded while talking to Akira over the phone.
    • The Killer Peach's victims are all decapitated by the katana in her possession. This is her way of getting revenge for them cutting her own head off while she was a human and investigating their corruption.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: In one of Kubitarou's Bad Ends, Akira has a conversation with Kaoru over the phone, where she says that she's injured but he doesn't need to pick her up. Akira goes to her location anyway, but can't find her. Using his psychometry, he's able to see the same phone call from Kaoru's perspective - she had just been decapitated by Kubitarou, and her words to Akira over the phone were her last.
  • Only a Lighter: In Seiji's backstory, he learned how to pick locks so he could pilfer a gun from his father's safe. Turns out the gun in question was just a very fancy lighter, gifted to his father from a friend in Sicily.
  • Optional Character Scene:
    • Depending on who he saves in the Kubitarou case, Akira can get a unique scene with either Seiji or Kaoru; the former takes him to a hostess club, while the latter goes spirit hunting with him.
    • To a lesser extent, there's a CG in Kubitarou's case that can only be seen if Akira takes Seiji along to the final confrontation with the spirit.
  • Orifice Evacuation: In the Urashima Woman's Bad End, Kaoru is found dead in a bathtub with tiny, blood-soaked turtles spewing out of their mouth, the same ones that infest the Urashima Lake.
  • Otaku: Two of the Killer Peach's victims, Bandou and Kagawa, are revealed to be idol fans. This becomes relevant when it comes to guessing Kagawa's password, as it ties into the idol's CDs.
  • Outfit Decoy: To serve as a decoy against the Killer Peach, Ooe takes a shirt that smells like her victim and runs off with it, causing Peach to give chase while Akira and his companion make a break for it. Later on, Akira does the same thing, distracting Peach so that his companion can figure out a way to defeat her.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: In the Kubitarou case, Seiji brings along an automatic pistol that he keeps tucked in the back of his pants. He modified it with a special safety that only he can turn off, so that at least alleviates some of the inherent danger of stowing a gun that way.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish":
    • In the Kubitarou case, a forgetful priest writes down a riddle to help him remember the password to the lock on the well. The riddle in question relates to the cedar trees that used to grow in the area, and the protagonists must use contextual clues to puzzle it out.
    • In the Killer Peach case, the password to Bandou's computer is not only easily found underneath his desk, but also turns out to be Bandou's own surname. Even worse, accessing the computer reveals a second unsecured password for his boss' computer.
  • The Peeping Tom: Takada, one of the victims of the Killer Peach, is revealed during investigation to have a secret stash of photos. Said photos are of his female coworkers in various states of undress, taken by secret cameras in the restrooms and other hidden locations.
  • Playing with Syringes: The titular Screaming Author spirit is revealed not to be the actual author, but instead his victim, a young girl whom he surgically mutilated to resemble a bird in accordance with a fairytale.
  • Pocket Dimension: Kakuriyo, the space that Kakuya is keeping Ami captive, is eventually discovered by Natsumi to exist inside a mirror, rather than being the afterlife like was previously suspected. It's soon shown to be Akira's mirror, and at the end of the Killer Peach case he's able to rescue Ami from it. When finally confronting Kakuya, she drags Akira into Kakuriyo and toys with him mercilessly.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: When Akira uses his psychometry to witness one of Killer Peach's killings, she seems to be aware of his presence despite being in the past. She glares at the spot that Akira is viewing from and attacks it with her katana, causing Akira to panic and back out of the vision.
  • Police are Useless: The police and security in the game only serve two roles - an inconvenience to the characters when they're trying to investigate after-hours (until Seiji or Ooe use their connections to get rid of them), or as fodder for the murderous ghosts.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo:
    • In the Urashima case, it's revealed that Kaoru got her information on the Urashima Woman from an OOParts magazine that's run by Moe from the first game.
    • In the Killer Peach case, Akira catches part of a music program that's describing the huge success of Ai Kashiwagi, one of the companions for Death Mark's fourth chapter.
    • In the Bad End, Yashiki, the protagonist of Death Mark, arrives too late to stop Akira from being transformed into a monster.
  • Prolonged Prologue: In contrast to Death Mark, which drops the player immediately into the supernatural and has them tackle the first chapter within the first hour or so, NG takes longer to establish Akira's relationships and mundane life. It's only after he does so, faces a tutorial spirit, and meets Kakuya that the plot really gets rolling.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: The confrontation against Kubitarou happens at the Kintoki railroad crossing. Depending on the player's actions, they can lure Kubitarou in front of the train and destroy her, though this leads to a Bad End where Akira's companion is murdered.
  • Recurring Location:
    • The underpass that Akira takes to his apartment is where the first spirit is fought, and is also where Akira's meetings with Kakuya take place afterwards.
    • While most of the haunting grounds are one-off areas, the Moon Tower gets revisited after the Killer Peach case, as was hinted would happen when there were still unsolved mysteries after the case was solved. As it turns out, there's a second spirit intertwined with the tower's history.
    • Akira's bathroom proves itself important in multiple chapters; it's where Ami gets abducted, it ends up haunted by the Urashima Woman, and the mirror is a portal to Kakuriyo, meaning that Ami was trapped there the whole time. It's also where the final confrontation of the game takes place, as Kakuya faces Akira from Kakuriyo.
  • Red Herring:
    • Each chapter gives the player multiple items that can potentially be used in the confrontation with the chapter boss. Some of them have no effect at all and will lead to a Game Over if Akira tries to use them.
    • Kaoru gives Akira a talisman bracelet to protect himself against the Urashima Woman. However, if he actually tries using it, then it has no effect and the Urashima Woman will kill him anyway.
    • At the beginning of the Kubitarou case, it's explained that the spirit is likely the ghost of a notorious Serial Killer. However, it's eventually revealed that the rumour was mistaken, and the actual Kubitarou is a young woman who's not acting out malevolence (though she is still responsible for the decapitation of various innocent animals and people).
    • In the Kubitarou case, all routes but one note  will lead to Akira being in possession of Seiji's modified handgun, which he stows away in his apartment. It never becomes important again, even though his apartment is investigated by forensic police, and at the end of the game he passes it back to Seiji without any fanfare.
  • Regularly Scheduled Evil:
    • Every ten years, the evil spirit Kakuya appears and forces people to play games against her that they can never win - for if they do win, then Kakuya just plays with them again until they lose, and thus meet a tragic fate.
    • Also every ten years, a preteen girl is kidnapped by children's author Yakumo Miroku, who mutilates her into a doll to appease Kakuya for another ten years.
  • Rescue Introduction: The player is introduced to Akira and Kaoru when the latter is being harassed by Maruhashi. Upon seeing Akira, she pretends that they're together to try and get away from the situation. Akira reluctantly goes along with it, beats down Maruhashi, and they both escape.
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: While investigating the Miroku Mansion, a phone starts going off. Akira goes into the living room, and notes with trepidation that a phone is in there that he doesn't remember being there the first time he checked the room.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • If one goes through the prologue armed with the knowledge that Ami was participating in Kakuya's game before Akira, her decision to buy Yuri an offering and her behaviour relating to it gain a new meaning.
    • Going through the game while knowing the endgame twist that Yakumo is Akira's father offers up the chance to pick up on the few subtle hints leading to the revelation.
  • Riddle Me This: The first sign of the trickster Kakuya's curse is a riddle on a black postcard that she leaves for her victim to find. The one that Akira and Ami solve contains a reference to The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, implying that Kakuya is related to the Princess Kaguya from the tale.

    S-Z 
  • Sacrificial Lion: Maruhashi is a prominent side character in the first two chapters, with their personality and relationships being fairly fleshed out, but they meet an untimely death thanks to Kubitarou. Their death shakes Akira to the core as he realizes how truly dangerous the situation is, and it makes him reluctant to involve anyone else in the investigation. It takes a pep talk from Kaoru/Seiji to get him back on his feet.
  • Sadistic Choice: If Kaoru and Seiji are both alive at the end of Kubitarou's case, then Kakuya will force Akira to choose between them by sending a lightning strike down on their location. The character that Akira chooses to save first re-appears in the Demon Tsukuyomi case, while the other is stuck in a coma until the end of the game.
  • Secret Keeper: Ami and Yuri, and later Akira and Seiji, find out that Kaoru Hazuki and Momo Kuruse are one and the same, and keep it a secret from the public and their other acquaintances.
  • Self-Deprecation: When Rosé is describing the protagonist of Death Mark to Akira, specifically the time he used a broken umbrella to protect himself against Hanahiko:
    Akira: What the hell kind of idiot is that?
  • Sensory Overload:
    • Kubitarou is destroyed by luring her in front of a speeding train, but it's not the impact with it that kills her - she instead evaporates when the train's bright lights shine upon her, triggering her oxyopia.
    • Akira's psychometry allows him a glimpse of a victim's past by touching their blood. When he tries it in the Miroku Mansion's attic, he's overloaded with images due to the blood pool belonging to multiple people, and he fails to glean anything useful from it.
    • The Killer Peach has an acute sense of smell that she uses to identify her victims. When facing off against her, Akira makes use of this to overload her with a scent and cause her to be disorientated.
  • Shrines and Temples:
    • In the Urashima case, the Urashima Woman was killed in front of the shrine at Urashima Lake. Akira gets a glimpse of the shrine thanks to his Bloodmetry, which helps narrow down the investigation. While the Urashima Woman attacks those who enter the shrine, she can't go too deeply into it herself, as the centerpiece wards off spirits.
    • In Kubitarou's case, Kubitarou haunts an area where a sacred cedar tree used to rest. In remembrance of the tree, a mini shrine is built, and investigating it provides some clues as to how to open the nearby well.
  • Shower Scene: The Screaming Author case features a scene where Akira takes a shower in his apartment, including a split-second CG of Akira's soaked, naked upper half. Though it quickly becomes Fan Disservice when one notices the bloodstained hand reaching out to Akira from the mirror.
  • Show Some Leg: In the Urashima Woman case, the protagonists learn that one of the lake guards is a big fan of Momo Kuruse. Kaoru dons the persona and attempts to appeal to him, but it doesn't work and they're forced to find another way in.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After introductions are made, Rosé Mulan says that they should get down to business.
    • One of the jumpscare ghosts in the Killer Peach case bears a strong resemblance to Jeff the Killer.
  • Sick and Wrong: Seiji reacts this way when he realizes that Akira's gonna search through a well that contains severed animal heads. Akira counters that his life is on the line, and he's already had to search a corpse already, so he's desensitized to how gruesome it is.
  • Smash the Symbol: Angered by God's apparent refusal to bring her younger brother back to life, Kubitarou cut down the sacred cedar tree that was used as a place of worship. As a result, she was branded a heretic and murdered by the townsfolk.
  • Solar and Lunar: There are two rumours associated with the Urashima lake: if one throws a rock in when the sun is at its highest, then they'll be blessed with an easy childbirth; throw a rock in at midnight, however, and you'll instead be haunted and killed by the Urashima Woman.
  • Sound-Only Death:
    • The victims of the Screaming Author case were taken up to the attic of Miroku Mansion and had their limbs amputated while they were still alive. This is all revealed via cassette tapes that Akira and his companions listen to, the screams from the girls having a heavy mental toll on them.
    • In the Screaming Author's Bad Ends, Akira's companion is dragged off into the attic room and the door slams shut. Akira hears their scream and some painful-sounding contorting- by the time he opens the door, the companion is already dead.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In the Demon Tsukuyomi case, a crazed man chains up a group of people, kills one of them when they try to reason with him, and then coats a child in gasoline and sets them alight. Because this horrific scene is taking place in a department store, "Jingle Bells" can be heard in the background, the dissonance just making it all the worse. The song continues after the flashback is over and Akira sets about investigating the burnt remains.
  • Spell My Name with a Blank: Following on from Death Mark, characters have their names shortened to initials when they're being reported on. In the case of the Urashima Woman, this makes it impossible to track down her child, as he's only known as Boy T.
  • Spooky Photographs: At the start of the game, Ami and Akira come across a photo booth in the underpass that they don't remember being there before. Ami begs him to take pictures with her, and he obliges. All of the photos turn out great, except for one where Ami's face is a horrific mish-mash of eyes. They nervously put it down to a malfunction, when in reality it's a precursor to their first spiritual encounter.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: Generally, Akira can pick from one of two companion characters to accompany him in various parts of the investigation. While some segments are locked to a character (for example, you can't confront the Urashima Woman with Seiji) others are not, and so you can get different dialogue or even different Bad Ends despite the role of companion character being functionally the same.
  • Stealing from the Till: The victims of the Killer Peach were members of the 5/5 Club, a group of Sumii Group employees who embezzled huge amounts of money out of the company.
  • Story Branch Favoritism:
    • Downplayed; you can take either Kaoru or Seiji with you during the Urashima Woman and Kubitarou cases, but the former favours Kaoru and her spiritual prowess (and, in fact, cannot be completed unless Kaoru is the companion character), while the latter favours Seiji and his more practical skills.
    • At the end of the Kubitarou case, you can choose to save Seiji or Kaoru from a lightning strike; whoever is saved gets an optional scene with Akira later. Seiji's scene not only contains a unique CG, but also a whole vocal performance of Momo Kuruse's song by Seiji's VA.
  • Summoning Ritual: A ritual is required to summon the Demon Tsukuyomi, in a way that's compared to an Ouija Board or Kokuri-san. Tsukuyomi is rumoured to grant wishes, and requires the summoner to burn an object of equal value to the wish in order to see it come true.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: The mirror world that Kakuya drags Akira into is marked with a distinctive purple tint, making it seem all the more otherworldly.
  • Tag Team: A returning element from Death Mark, Akira has the ability to switch which companion accompanies him to a haunted location. Companions tend to have different skills (such as Kaoru's spiritual knowledge vs. Seiji's practical) so the player has to figure out which one is more appropriate for the scenario.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: In chapter endings where the spirits are destroyed, as opposed to pacified, the protagonist and his companions will return home, safe from the danger of spirits... or so they think. Then it'll be revealed that the lingering grudge of the spirit is still around, and gruesomely murders one of the companions.
  • Take Up My Sword: In the Demon Tsukuyomi case, a time-displaced Killer Peach passes her katana onto Akira, signaling her approval at him continuing the investigation into Sumii Group that she could not.
  • Talking to the Dead: When putting new flowers at Yuri's memorial site, Ami talks to the dead girl as if she were standing right next to her. She then offers a prayer, and Akira is moved enough to join in.
  • There Are No Coincidences:
    • When Akira finds out that the girl he happened to save at the start of the story is a friend of his younger cousin, Seiji suggests that it's a work of fate, which Akira dismisses.
    • Played for Laughs when Ooe exposits that the Momoi Department fire happened ten years ago - Kaoru also claims to have seen a tsuchinoko ten years ago, and believes the two incidents are tied by a karmic fate. Akira immediately puts her down.
  • Thermal Dissonance: While investigating the Demon Tsukuyomi, Akira finds a chain in a burnt locale and is shocked to find that it's hot to the touch, despite looking normal and having no reason to be heated up. This is a form of supernatural imprint from the chain's past, when it was used as part of the ritual that burnt down the department store.
  • This Is Reality: After Maruhashi is killed, Akira laments that someone is going to die regardless of what choices he makes, and there won't be a happy "comic book" ending where everyone turns up alive and okay.
  • Title Drop: NG is first spoken by Ami in one of Akira's Bloodmetry visions, when she asks Kakuya what it is. When Akira asks Kakuya about it later, she threatens him with death if he ever figures it out. Its true meaning is discovered at the end of the Demon Tsukuyomi case - it stands for Nagoshi no Gi, the ritual that keeps Kakuya sealed inside a mirror.
  • Toilet Horror: Given her connection to water, the Urashima Woman's haunting of Akira's apartment centers mostly on his bathroom. When he tries to run a bath, he's hit with an illusion of grimy sewer water filled with clumps of black hair.
  • Too Many Mouths:
    • Kakuya's curse on Akira manifests itself as a mass of boils and extra mouths that grow out of his face. They grow louder and more painful the closer that Akira gets to the deadline that Kakuya sets. If he's able to appease the vengeful spirit and win Kakuya's "game", then the mouths disappear until she sets up the next game.
    • The same curse inflicts multiple mouths on a different character - Natsumi, who receives mouths all over their upper body rather than their face.
    • In the Demon Tsukuyomi case, a flashback to the arsonist responsible for the department store fire shows him to have mouths all up his exposed arms, revealing him to be yet another victim of Kakuya's game.
  • Torture Cellar: A torture attic appears in the Screaming Author case. The Miroku Mansion's attic was where Yakumo amputated the arms and legs off of little girls. This left behind a spirit who would scream every night, and when a neighbour came to investigate she was driven insane by the screaming and committed suicide.
  • Tragic Stillbirth: This appears to be the case with the Urashima Woman, whose child apparently died in stillbirth according to a certificate made by the midwife. In reality, the midwife lied, and proving the child is alive is what's required to pacify the Urashima Woman (insisting that he was stillborn will instead destroy her, and lead to the gruesome death of Akira's companion).
  • Transformation Horror: The Urashima Woman kills a security guard and dumps him in the lake. Akira finds the body later while it's in the process of being transformed into a turtle - its skin is grey and leathery, the eyes are milky white, and its lips are grotesquely morphing into a beak, leaving the corpse to bare its teeth in a gruesome grimace.
  • Trespassing to Talk: Rosé is fond of breaking into Akira's apartment or his aunt's bar and waiting there for him to arrive, much to his chagrin.
  • Trouble Follows You Home: Once Akira has visited the death site of a spirit, there's a very real danger that the spirit will follow him home and continue to haunt him there. It's later revealed that Akira's apartment contains strong energy that naturally attracts spirits.
  • Twisted Christmas: The Momoi Department Store was burned down during the lead-up to Christmas, leading to multiple families dying while they were buying presents for their children and loved ones.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location:
    • In the first Survival Escape, Akira and Ami try to run away from a car that's barreling down a narrow alleyway towards them. However, no matter how much they run, they remain in the alleyway, and realize that some other solution is required to stay alive.
    • The Miroku Mansion is revealed to have a hallway that impossibly loops back around to the Mansion's entrance. Depending on what mask is used to enter the hallway, the mansion changes subtly and offers more clues for Akira and co. to investigate.
  • Unreadably Fast Text: The final curse has Akira's extra mouths say something that skips by too fast for the player to read. It's encrypted with Kakuya's bamboo riddle to boot. It's merely re-affirming that Kakuya replaced Ami so that Akira would love Kakuya instead.
  • Unwilling Suspension:
    • In the fight against the Screaming Author, Akira and his companion end up wrapped in its wires and are dangled from the ceiling. They have to find a way to fight against the spirit despite being upside-down and only with a limb or two available.
    • A more gruesome take happens in one of the Screaming Author Bad Ends - Rosé is grabbed by wire from various directions, which hoists them into the air and pulls with such force that it bends their joints in unnatural directions, eventually killing them.
  • Victory Through Intimidation: At the beginning of the Kubitarou case, Akira and his companion come across a police officer who demands to see their ID. To get him off their back, Akira pretends to see a headless dog, which spooks the guard enough that he lets them pass without further questioning.
  • Waiting Puzzle: At the end of the game, Kakuya has Akira in her grasp and is forcing him to say everything she wants him to say. The way to get around this is letting the Crisis Choice timer run out, rather than picking any of the dialogue options.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Kaoru's reaction at the end of the game; while she does admit that she was scared at times, and recognizes the tragedy of Maruhashi's death, encountering real-life spirits only makes her more eager to face them again.
  • We Are Not Going Through That Again: At the end of the game, when Kaoru floats the idea of getting back into the supernatural, Akira rebuffs her. After all the danger that the occult put him and his companions through, he's done with it.
  • Wham Shot: Akira uses his Bloodmetry on his aunt's blood, to figure out how she was attacked by Kakuya. The scene shifts to Natsumi's perspective, with her getting a single glimpse of the culprit before she falls into a coma. It's cute little Ami, her daughter, and the protagonist's cousin.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In the Bad End, Akira's Bloodmetry becomes so powerful that it starts to deteriorate his physical and mental health. A mysterious voice helps out by transforming into something inhumane - with the new form comes new powers, and the complete degradation of Akira's personality into something primal.
  • Womb Horror: The theme of the Urashima Woman, a spirit who appears in the form of a pregnant woman. It's revealed that she was killed after childbirth by her midwife and had her baby stolen; she roams the lake searching for her child, and kills those who can't tell her where he is (or those who throw rocks into the lake, as she interprets it as an attack on the dead fetuses that were dumped there). After she's pacified, it's implied that the midwife filled her swollen stomach with rocks to weigh her down when she was thrown into the lake.
  • Yakuza: Akira's best friend, Seiji Amanome, is the heir to a Yakuza boss. The Amanome name is infamous throughout the city, and Seiji frequently uses his connections in the game to gather information, get rid of nuisances, or serve as protection for him and Akira. As a result of being so closely tied to the Yakuza, Seiji is a sadistic person who gets a thrill from threatening others.
  • You Are Grounded: At the end of the Kubitarou case, one of Akira's companions will be comatose. The other one will be temporarily grounded (Seiji by his father, Kaoru by her agency) to justify the inclusion of two new companion characters, though they do make a return in the Tsukuyomi case.
  • Your Answer to Everything: Akira is fond of using his physical prowess to solve his problems, something that Seiji calls out when they're up against a security guard and need to hide.
    Seiji: So barbaric. Ever try solving your problems withOUT using your fists?
  • You Watch Too Much X: When Akira asks Rosé if there's anything that can assist him against spirits, such as scattering salt or using incense, she remarks that he's read too many comics and that there's not really anything to give them an upper-hand against a vengeful ghost.

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