Follow TV Tropes

Following

Visual Novel / Zodiac Axis

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zodiac_media_0.jpg
Don't run, little human. If you do... I just might have to chase you.
Advertisement:

Upon graduating from Lunar City University with a degree in journalism, Alison Harte is desperately looking for an entry-level job to gain her a foothold in the field. One day, she receives a phone call from a person that introduces themselves only as 'Pathfinder', allegedly the founder of the infamous online tabloid Supernature, for whom no story is too outlandish to be published, as long as supernatural events are involved. After a bizarre (and bizarrely short) interview, Alison is hired to investigate six apparently unrelated individuals that Pathfinder claims house the 'Spirits of the Zodiac' and thus wield mysterious powers connecting them to the ancient founders of Lunar City.

Alison accepts the nonsensical job - after all, there is no way something this far-fetched could be real. All of the subjects appear to be perfectly ordinary people leading average lives: mild-mannered diner owner Beckett Armistice, gruff delivery man Halten Augustine, bubbly singer-songwriter July Regale, paranoid sound engineer Leaf Lewis, pragmatic businesswoman Marin Teller, and laid-back primary school teacher Zaxary Harvenfest. And, huge ad revenues and her mysterious, voice-changer using boss aside, Supernature is nothing but a bunch of hokey conspiracy theories... right?

Advertisement:

Zodiac Axis is a visual novel that blends suspense, romance, and Asian-inspired fantasy elements using charming characters and a lush worldlore. Alison has to balance her job at the tabloid (and, indeed, writing good articles is part of the game), her growing relationships with the people she is investigating, and a slew of attempts on her life as part of a tangled web of lies and mysteries surrounding the Zodiacs and Lunar City as a whole. A demo version is currently available for free, with beta access to the common route also available for purchase. Hero routes are to start being released for beta testing in September 2018, with a view of the whole game being released commercially in 2020 due to its planned 50-hour scope.


Advertisement:

This visual novel contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Subverted, for the time being: Marin, who sports a glaive in her Zodiac form, has yet to fight with it on-screen. July, with no combat training, fights Rhys with her dual fans shortly after she becomes an activated Zodiac, and does well. Alison starts training to become one in Beckett's route, getting initial training with a sword, though in order to survive against an ambush of trained fighters, she needs to use her wits instead, subverting the trope.
  • Action Survivor: Alison is not quite yet an Action Girl, but she definitely qualifies for this.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Beckett, as part of stopping Alison from getting herself killed trying to bargain with the Cat.
    Beckett: You are worth more than the moon and the sea and the stars combined! You are worth more than anything I could describe - no, anything I could imagine! I love you with all my heart and soul and you are an absolute moron!
  • The Big Damn Kiss
  • Bishōnen and Bishoujo: All the potential Zodiacs, and for very good reason.
  • Break the Cutie: When July figures out the source of her powers and how she gained them. Alison goes through this on a regular basis.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Gradually, the group begins falling apart, until they completely separate due to Zax's split personality rearing its head at the end of the Common Route, with homicidal tendencies.
  • Camp Straight: The Cat is essentially an evil David Bowie at his campest in a kimono and a cat mask, not above indulging in an evil giggle or two. He also shows a strange and creepy interest in Alison. This trope does not make him any less terrifying.
  • Catchphrase: a few:
    Beckett: (after suggesting something very archaic or outlandish) Isn't it normal?
    Halt: (after sharing a random fact with surprising insight) Had a job once. You don't need to know.
  • Cheerful Child: Jeffrey, Beckett's nephew.
  • The Chick: July fills this role among the Zodiacs.
  • Cool Old Guy: Halt acts like one, though he looks just as young as the other Zodiacs. Based on available historical documents, he's at least several decades older than the rest of them.
  • Cool Teacher: Zax
  • Crapsack World: The Lower, home to the gangs of Lunar City.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Alison tries when attacked by the Cat's minion in the Lower.
  • Dance of Romance: Averted - you'd think someone would dance with Alison at the Lunar Waltz, but all the Zodiacs excuse themselves for various reasons.
    • Also averted in Beckett's route, where the village festival ribbon dance, which he has to open as head of the community, generally means the start of new couples. The village expects him to dance with a highly compatible girl that had been selected for him since childhood, but he refuses to dance with anyone since he can't dance with Alison without essentially committing them to one another.
  • Dating Sim: Though the dating seems to be almost incidental, as the game features an extensive story aside from romance.
  • Deal with the Devil: Alison attempts to strike one with The Cat in Beckett's route. Beckett puts a stop to this the moment he realises what's going on, knowing it has to end badly.
  • Dr. Feelgood: Blackeye, Halt's underworld contact, has access to a stash of drugs ranging from ones that can calm a hysterical person to supremely addictive ones.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Beckett himself lampshades that he's only known Alison for three weeks, yet they are engaged at the end of his route. This is justified in-universe, as she's the only person to ever support him, show him kindness, and care about him for him, not what he represents.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: A very subdued version - there's a tiny note in Beckett's journal entry from Alison: "he's kinda hot though, lmao".
  • Evil Phone: Once the Cat figures out Alison's phone number, he calls her to cheerfully inform her he's sent a thug to kill her. He also seems to have bugged it, as he can identify per precise location based on her making a single call.
  • Fair Cop: Rebecca Armistice, Beckett's sister.
  • Family Business: Mutt's Morsels Diner, which has been in the Armistice family for a very long time. This is partly because the Dog family serves as a centrepoint for the Zodiacs and they needed a place to hold meetings if necessary.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Cat acts this way towards Alison and, partly, Dexter, though they seem to have some sort of deal going on.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: July, though absolutely sweet, is a disaster at cooking. She thinks broth is hot water and Leaf thinks she can burn salad.
  • Forbidden Zone: Lunar City is situated on the only liveable continent of the world. The other continents have toxic environments.
  • Genius Bruiser: Halt is by far framed as the most dangerous fighter of the Zodiacs and is the first to figure out Alison is a journalist for Supernature without needing to read her mind.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Zodiacs are generally nice people, but calling them good is a bit difficult. With the exception of July, all accept the necessity of collateral damage to protect their secret. Beckett, Marin, and Halt in particular dispassionately advocate letting innocents die when their powers could have saved them easily. They also consider killing Alison a viable possibility once she encounters them in their activated forms. Leaf and Zax have some moral issues with this, but until push comes to shove and killing Alison is a real option, they suppress these thoughts.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Alison and Zax though not Zax's split personality Rhys.
  • Heroic BSoD: Alison goes through several as the Cat's psychological torture intensifies and she goes through multiple attempts on her life. Beckett has a strong one near the end of his route when the pressure of always being perfect and never being rewarded gets too much and he snaps.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The Zodiacs all lead very normal, everyday lives. This is part of the reason the government has had them under observation for the past 20 years.
  • Immortality Begins at 20: For the Zodiacs.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Beckett, whose self-esteem is very low due to always being berated for not being perfect by the village. He even asks Alison not to feel she owes him something or pity him when she expresses interest in him, which she gives him an earful for.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Alison herself.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: This is a key aspect of Beckett's route, as he feels Alison, as an urban Canton Silo girl, will feel unhappy and out of place in the rural, tradition-bound Canton Westex.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Alison has deep insecurities about being, at the end of the day, a very ordinary person with no special talents to speak of, especially as she becomes surrounded by superhumans. In his route, Beckett repeatedly assures her that she's far from useless, as she provides strong emotional support, conflict management skills, and instigates what comes close to a cultural revolution in Canton Westex by showing the villagers just how far they strayed from their claimed values of compassion and loyalty.
  • Kuudere: Marin Teller is very direct, keeps people at arm's length, and values logic above feeling in everything. She also develops into a good friend for Alison especially after she earns Marin's trust after Marin learns her secrets via mind-reading. Marin also despairs at being unable to keep the Zodiacs together when the revelation of Alison's profession triggers Rhys.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: Alison is left alone at the music store so Leaf can go investigate a messenger that brought her white flowers. The lights go out. The Cat appears. Alison survives, but being terrorised psychologically on a regular basis adds to her trauma.
  • Longing Look: If the seamstress of the village is to be believed, Beckett constantly looks at Alison with these when she isn't looking.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Wyatt, Beckett's brother, holds this belief.
  • Love Ruins the Realm: Wyatt is afraid of this happening, because he thinks Alison just sees Beckett as a chance to write a great story.
  • Mad Scientist: The Cat, whose entire interest in the Zodiacs is an experiment.
  • Master Swordsman: Beckett, who has been trained since early childhood to be a worthy successor to his grandfather. This is because the Dog is meant to be the protector of the Zodiac. He tends to carry his sword with him almost at all times, which can unnerve Alison.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The Cat's powers appear supernatural to bystanders when he saves innocents from a fire, but can actually be a result of his research.
  • May–December Romance and Mayfly–December Romance, potentially: Alison is a young woman in her early 20s. The potential Zodiacs all look to be in their early to mid twenties. This is because Zodiacs stop aging at their physical prime and always look to be the same age.
  • Mysterious Employer: Pathfinder, the founder of Supernature, uses a voice changer, sometimes indulges in an Evil Laugh, and just seems like your stock insane supervillain in a world without superpowers. This is all just a persona adopted by Dexter Ardent as part of the police's investigation into the Zodiac powers.
  • Mystical White Hair: Halt sports it.
  • The Nicknamer: July has one for every other Zodiac: Beckett is Pip, Leaf is Twitchy, Marin is Mars, Zax is Rhys (which makes him somewhat uncomfortable due to it being the name of his violent, split personality), and Halt is Uncle or Gramps. Alison tends to be Honey Nugget.
    • Rebecca Armistice nicknames her siblings The Beckster and Wy-guy. Alison just tends to be Harte.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Alison has a particularly disturbing one about being murdered by the Zodiacs and being swallowed up by the ground.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Alison can try this at the beginning to escape an awkward situation when Beckett finds her hidden among a pile of boxes at his diner.
  • Older Than They Look: Related to the May-December trope above. Out of the known Zodiacs, only July is confirmed to be 23. Zax might be mid-twenties due to the fact that his grandmother died 17 years ago when he was a child. Out of the others: Leaf is clearly stated to be 30, Beckett is at least 29 or 30 due to the fact that his younger brother has primary-school aged children, Marin has launched multiple successful businesses and her brother is the CEO of a conglomerate, which would put her as anywhere between 40 and 60, and Halt is at least 60 given that he was part of gang life in The Lower 30 years ago. Records also exist of someone with his surname being an explorer of other continents at least 100 years ago and the portrait of the original Tiger used in the Founder's Day play looks suspiciously like him, which could mean he's potentially thousands of years old.
  • Police are Useless: Averted, as the police arrive on the scene shortly after Alison and Beckett are attacked at the theatre and attempt to arrest them. Beckett's sister Rebecca from the Violent Crimes Unit is also quite effective, as is Dexter Ardent and his secret, Zodiac-observing secret unit.
  • Properly Paranoid: Seeing Alison receive a bouquet of 11 white flowers, Leaf immediately deduces this to be a death threat. He's right.
  • The Quiet One: Leaf.
  • Real Men Cook: Beckett is not just a diner manager, he's also a great cook. Cooking is part of how Dogs show love for others, and he cooks for Alison daily when she stays with him.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A subtle sign Beckett isn't as harmless as he appears.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Alison is generally described by people as "moderately attractive" (though their sincerity is doubtful on that. When she dresses up in traditional Lunar City clothes in Canton Westex, Beckett is stunned speechless.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: July.
  • The Snark Knight: Rebecca Armistice, Beckett's sister.
  • The Sociopath: The Cat.
  • Stepford Smiler: Beckett, who feels he must always appear calm and in control in order to lead the Zodiacs. His route is all about breaking past this and properly dealing with his grief and anger.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Marin.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Halt sports them, as befitting the Tiger of the Zodiac.
  • Team Dad: Beckett. Even his journal entry asks if he was destined to become this.
  • The Voice: Pathfinder.
  • Through His Stomach: If Alison successfully makes handmade dumplings for dinner, Beckett is hugely impressed and comments that he didn't think it was possible for her to be more appealing.
  • Visual Novel


Top

Example of:

/

Feedback