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AI: The Somnium Files |OT| AI Have 999 Complex Motives

Kazer

Member
Oct 27, 2017
655
Just got the platinum in a little over 27 hours. I'm still missing 9 entries in the appendix but don't think I'm going back for them.
 

Mr. Lemming

Member
Oct 25, 2017
109
More games need a musical number by a large portion of the voice cast.
 

sredgrin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,932
Still early on and wtf, Ota is supposed to be 24? I thought he was, at oldest, a young teen.
 

Avalon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,563
Game was fantastic and I can't wait for Death March Club. Kodaka and Uchikoshi is a dream team.

There's just one real plot hole that's sticking out to me and it's the fact that
Date shares his memories through different timelines
They never explain this!
 

JaredG

Member
May 17, 2018
1,626
Game was fantastic and I can't wait for Death March Club. Kodaka and Uchikoshi is a dream team.

There's just one real plot hole that's sticking out to me and it's the fact that
Date shares his memories through different timelines
They never explain this!
That's just Uchikoshi being Uchikoshi. If I recall correctly, they did suggest at one point that there's some connection between dreams and parallel worlds which could imply that being a psyncer could eventually give you a vague awareness of the multiverse, but really, the actual answer is that it's a staple of Uchi's games so it's in this one too. Fortunately, everything plot-critical that Date remembers from another timeline can also be explained by him regaining his memories as Falco and Rohan. It's just minor stuff like recognizing the taxi driver or recalling Mizuki crying at the hospital that can't be explained any other way, so it's easy to just... kind of ignore it and pretend it's not a thing lol.
 

DarKaoZ

Member
Oct 25, 2017
452
The game was great... when it was serious and didn't do dumb stuff. The sexual innuendos went way overboard and got annoying, so I'm a bit let down because of that.
 

ryushe

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,828
I just finished my first route (Ota's route) and I hope the other routes are better because I've been a bit underwhelmed with this game so far.

Also, unless it's more present in other routes, I'm not seeing how this game goes overboard with the sexual stuff.
 

CielTynave

Member
Oct 25, 2017
870
So I've done a few routs and hit a lock on the left side of the flow chart, and I'm going down the right side, and is it just me or are there a lot more technical issues in the scenes along these routes? Lots of frame drops, "flashbacks" taking forever to load in, and unvoiced lines or even the wrong line playing entirely sometimes...
 

HylianSeven

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,758
So I've done a few routs and hit a lock on the left side of the flow chart, and I'm going down the right side, and is it just me or are there a lot more technical issues in the scenes along these routes? Lots of frame drops, "flashbacks" taking forever to load in, and unvoiced lines or even the wrong line playing entirely sometimes...
On Switch? Yeah, there's a lot of those. The portability was still worth it to me, but otherwise Steam and PS4 are superior.
 

Chopchop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,424
Just finished the game. I liked it overall, though I think a number of aspects just fell flat to me. Mostly the stupid pervy stuff and the cutesy anime idol dancing/cheering stuff. Besides those things, it was a pretty neat story with a mostly likeable cast.

I think after playing a bunch of Uchikoshi games, it's hard to feel as surprised as before, because he did recycle a few big reveals from his previous games. The body swapping was kinda sorta new (though it was touched on before), but the stuff about taking knowledge from different timelines and particularly the Iris/Manaka twist were done before, so when they showed up here, they simply didn't have much impact.

Despite that, I liked how solid the overall story was. There were no dull-as-dishwater side routes like in E17, and there were no serious asspulls like the complex motives shit in ZTD. Everything was telegraphed and foreshadowed well enough so that every step felt cohesive. In fact, I think they foreshadowed so many things and showed so many Chekhov's Guns throughout the story that it was partly why the ultimate twists weren't that shocking. If you've played Uchikoshi games before, you know what to look for.

From the way the story wrapped up (the dance number reminded me of a play ending, where the whole cast shows up, sings, and takes a bow) and the way it seemed to freely go lighthearted whenever it wanted, the game felt like a fun pet project for the whole team. The game didn't feel like it took itself too seriously, and it felt like it was made with a light heart (despite the game easily being the goriest of the Uchi games I've played). So hopefully the devs had fun making this game. It felt like they did.
I'd say of the games I've played, I'd go:

999 > VLR > AI > E17 > ZTD.

I think E17 had the better ending, but AI had much more consistently interesting storytelling.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,397
beat it

sequel about how Iris mind controls everyone to being her fan and participating in that dance number when? pewter redemption arc can be there cuz he wasnt in the dance
 

Synohan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
723
The cast of this game and the voice acting is phenomenal. Need a cast like this in an RPG. Mizuki is one of the rare young characters that don't drive you insane. Her interaction with Date is great.
 

Hanuli

Member
Oct 28, 2017
102
Finished and loved it! I'm so happy to get an Uchikoshi game that manages to solve most of it's plot threads.
Loved most of the characters too. A solid mystery though I felt the ratio of puzzle to story was a tad too low. Then again the puzzles were not that good anyway so maybe it's just good there were so few of them.

Why was the musical number in english only!? It was very jarring after playing the game in japanese!

A lot of the story revolved around parenthood and I found the different takes on parenthood very wholesome. Makes me want to be a parent someday. I wonder if Uchi has kids? ZTD has some parenthood stuff, but AI has A LOT more.
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,849
Australia
So I've done a few routs and hit a lock on the left side of the flow chart, and I'm going down the right side, and is it just me or are there a lot more technical issues in the scenes along these routes? Lots of frame drops, "flashbacks" taking forever to load in, and unvoiced lines or even the wrong line playing entirely sometimes...
Portability doesn't seem worth it when you get all those issues. Glad I chose the PS4 version!

The cast of this game and the voice acting is phenomenal. Need a cast like this in an RPG. Mizuki is one of the rare young characters that don't drive you insane. Her interaction with Date is great.
It is straight up one of the greatest voice acted videogames ever. For a visual novel I'd actually say it's the GOAT, overtaking VLR.
 

basic_text

Member
Oct 27, 2017
562
Derby, UK
Finally finished this at the weekend and outside of some questionable content (mama being referred to as a 'Monster', bad porn references and the Momo 'motorboating' content etc) I loved it to pieces. One of the first games in a long time to hold my attention to play through to completion.

Time to go back and do all the 999 endings I guess!
 

Ailanthium

Member
Oct 27, 2017
554
Didn't they mention that it was only the old Psynch machine that needed to go in behind the eyeball and that as long as no damaged was caused, it could be reattached without issue.

I think?
Yep. This is why
every character that Saito psyncs into keeps their eye until just before they die, i.e. when he ditches their body and finds a new 'host'. You can only really notice this directly through Iris and So, who both keep their eyes until they're killed, but when you talk to them when they're running around as Saito they've got both eyes. You're actually killing Saito in the Mizuki Ending, not So Sejima.
 
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basic_text

Member
Oct 27, 2017
562
Derby, UK
Yep. This is why
every character that Saito psyncs into keeps their eye until just before they die, i.e. when he ditches their body and finds a new 'host'. You can only really notice this directly through Iris and So, who both keep their eyes until they're killed, but when you talk to them when they're running around as Saito they've got both eyes. You're actually killing Saito in the Mizuki Ending, not So Sejima.
Shit, totally forgot about spoilers, all tagged!
 

Cat_o_Nine

Member
Dec 12, 2017
366
USA
Just started this game, it's pretty funny but it makes me a little frustrated in terms of what is similar to the JP justice system.

Ota threatens to sue the MPD for defamation? uh that wouldn't fly in the states lol
 

Joe Molotov

Member
Oct 25, 2017
275
I think I'm getting close to the (true) end. I've finished the Iris, Ota, and Mizuki routes (and got the Atami joke ending). I feel like I understand most of what's going on now.

Date is So Sejima's son (who killed Iris's real mother), or at least his body is. At some point he body swapped with the real Date using the prototype PSYNC machine that requires removal of the eye to psync. Presumably the son's brain is still jumping in and out of new bodies as the New Cyclops Killer, using the prototype machine to switch to different bodies and leaving the old ones behind.

I'm not sure exactly how #89 and the Original Cyclops Killer fits in, but I feel like maybe he was Date's original body.
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,610
Finished on Saturday and just read through this thread now; figured I should drop some random thoughts as well, as the friend of mine who’s also playing it isn’t done yet, and in the meantime I wanna just get some things outta my head, haha.

Overall, I was pretty fond of it! I did find the sex jokes incredibly tiring, which should not be a surprise; don’t think I need to restate what everyone else has said, but it was just way too constant and all the stuff about the porno mags is just... why. That mostly became less of a problem when I got further in, though, which let me stop being annoyed and appreciate the rest of the writing more. And I did really enjoy a lot of the cast, thankfully.

Also, I had skipped most prerelease coverage and had somehow gone in expecting mostly a 3D investigation sort of thing, so it totally being a VN was a weird thing to realize, though that wasn’t a bad thing by any means. I’d made sure to not play a VN alongside it thinking it would be close enough and instead it was just literally that. And part of why it’s a little hard to compare to ZE for me is that it does feel like a much more “normal” VN in some ways, and it’s going for different things besides. I think I’m more into what 999/VLR were focused on, but there’s some characters and sequences around them in this that hit me harder than what’s in ZE, I guess? So they both have their strengths. It’s an extreme improvement over ZTD, in any case, so I’m happy I just set my expectations low after that instead of avoiding the game entirely.

It’s kinda weird to see that people here apparently largely disliked the Somniums, though? I actually really liked them! Part of it’s that I found the humor in them legitimately very funny, especially compared to the sex jokes, but I also think the mechanics just really clicked for me? I wasn’t considering it a logical puzzle as much as just seeking out Timies and messing with new options using them, mitigating the skulls as needed, and so I wasn’t ever very frustrated as I expected to have to restart once or twice to apply what I learned properly. I was mostly just annoyed about how retrying a section doesn’t mark things you’ve seen even though restarting does (so you’ll need to toggle your options and risk skipping something new to skip through the things you have actually already seen), and at how sometimes it was not clear at all how your prior actions could actually change the Timies given for other options.

But that was pretty minor overall. I even went back and found all of the hidden objects except 1 by myself without much trouble. I also immediately rushed through Ota’s 4 extra times because I realized that the last line changed depending on your choice and was a different Kamen Rider (well, one’s Ultraman, but) reference every time and I wanted to hear the first one I’d picked in Japanese too.

Some more spoilery thoughts below...
I bounced back and forth across the first branch every time. My order was... green (lock) -> purple (lock) -> red (Ota) -> blue (Iris) -> yellow (Mizuki) -> the jumps back and forth between True and Annihilation.

Yes, that does mean I didn’t believe Iris before I believed her. I’d made the switch instead of the disco ball by chance, then had gotten the ??? material but had already made the monument. So when I ran out of time and had to restart anyway, I just tried using that and went down that path. Was kinda not expecting all that about the tumor to be dropped before that lock, lol; kinda wish they’d let me be ignorant of that, as I don’t think there’s really much gained by knowing she really isn’t correct when it was already hard to believe her anyway. Actually, on that note- kinda surprised at the lack of locking overall! Given how much stronger the Ota and Mizuki routes are, it’s weird to me that they wouldn’t lock at least one (and ideally Mizuki’s) between Iris’s to pace that out better.

Also, I’ll echo the sentiment I saw some people say of it being kinda unfortunate to be stuck with Iris in the epilogue instead of Mizuki; even having played Mizuki’s route fairly late it really felt like it’d been a while since I was around her, which is probably only made worse if you do things in a different order. It makes some amount of sense given that he didn’t bond with her as much on this timeline... but he’s still adopting her, so something progressed on that front anyway. Iris was fine enough, but she wasn’t nearly as fun to be around as Mizuki was, and some of the stuff with her + Hitomi was a little too saccharine for as well. I’m sure some of that’s intentional - that even Falco, heartless assassin, finds himself enjoying the Okonomiyaki War, etc. - but Mizuki was just a much more interesting character to me. At least I felt very satisfied with Mizuki’s ending; making her Psync with Date felt like the kind of thing that could easily have been on a True route, so I appreciated them going that far there.

And then the ending dance... well, when it was just Iris I was like “sure, ok, whatever”. Then they kept having shots of Aiba and Date just staring, and Aiba joined, and it was at least funny even if it felt fanservicey. And then Mizuki burst in with that line alongside everyone else aaaaaand it ruled, very down for super goofy musical ending and not just having those 2 dance. That postgame mode is just inspired too; I just sat there laughing at So’s bodyguard doing idol moves for a few minutes afterwards. I’ve been trying to pin down what the Somnium humor reminds me of and I think the answer is “something someone would make with Source Filmmaker or MMD and such”, so to get real MMD vibes off the ending and that mode is pretty fitting!

Anything else, hmm... Ok, so maybe I’m alone on this but even as someone who largely liked the English dub: did anyone else not like #89/Date’s real voice? I can’t tell what exactly about it bothers me - I think it’s the delivery, specifically the way he ends lines - but it frequently felt off in a way that dragged the epilogue down a bit. I don’t think it’s just being so used to the previous voice either; something about it just sounds wrong.
 

Ryuman

Member
Nov 1, 2017
285
The funny thing is that including 'This Man' was probably not Uchikoshi at all, but Assistant Director/Game Designer Akira Okada. When I saw it in the game I remembered this interview immediately
 

ShinobiBk

Member
Dec 28, 2017
7,297
For my adventure game fans, how good is this game? I saw CohhCarnage speak highly of it but he's not exactly a fan of the genre. Want to know if this is something I should pick up later
Is the Switch port up to snuff? I don't see why it wouldn't be but you never know
 

ryushe

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,828
OK, I'm pretty sure it has been spoken about time and time again, but am I missing something with Somnium sections? Like, am I supposed to be able to parse out what I need to do in order to progress each memory lock? Are there clues I'm overlooking?

I'm going down Iris' route now and I'm kind of stuck in "F's" Somnium and I find it hard to believe that I'm supposed to just know what to do.
 

JaredG

Member
May 17, 2018
1,626
OK, I'm pretty sure it has been spoken about time and time again, but am I missing something with Somnium sections? Like, am I supposed to be able to parse out what I need to do in order to progress each memory lock? Are there clues I'm overlooking?

I'm going down the Iris' route now and I'm kind of stuck in "F's" Somnium and I find it hard to believe that I'm supposed to just know what to do.
Psyncin' in the Curtain? I remember that one was very arbitrary and trial-and-error, perhaps the most in the game. I'd say there are only a few Somniums where the solutions are something you can logic out without guesswork. Most of them do follow a sort of logic, but it takes experimentation to figure it out and even then there will be some times where you just have to guess.
 

CielTynave

Member
Oct 25, 2017
870
So having finished and loved the shit out of the game, I can't help but think there were a few characters on the box art that really didn't need to be there lol.
 

Joe Molotov

Member
Oct 25, 2017
275
Correctly using your Timies is the most important part of the somniums. Trial and error doesn't hurt you that much as long as you're not wasting a lot of time or picking up unnecessary negative timies.
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,610
Mermaid rules; I think she may be my second favorite character after Mizuki?

Also, yeah- like I said in my previous post, I wouldn’t treat Somniums like puzzles most of the time. Rather, the puzzle is often manipulating the order of Timies so that you have enough time to progress through the correct options. Don’t hesitate to just pick to fully restart after you figure things out, either; you can hold R2+O (or the equivalent) to quickly speed through everything extremely fast with better Timie decisions. Maybe make sure you have it set to not skip unseen text first, to be safe.