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

Transhumanism

Member
Aug 20, 2019
398
Wow, this game is amazing, just finished it! The story in this game was engaging and full of a lovable cast of characters. Shame that most games don't have stories as good as this.

I remember playing 999 and Kamaitachi No Yoru like 10 years ago and just remembered those are from the same developer. I have been put off by VNs recently since most are just eroge with simple stories to get different girl routes.

Are there other visual novels as good as this? I am opened to them being +18 if they actually have a good story.
If you like SciFi there is the Muv Luv trilogy which is considered one of the best VN series of all time.
I personally haven't played it but IIRC there are 18+ sex scenes (which should be optional) in the first game, which is also the worst one.
 

Dee Dee

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,533
I'm finally done with this! I hated Somniums so much, oh my goddddd. So much that I stopped playing for a week upon reaching the final Somnium with disgust.
When I picked it back up, it turned out it was the most linear Somnium of them all, and then I just watched a very long epilogue.

Now, the good thing: I really liked the story. I thought I had it figured out a few times, and then stuff kept escalating. In very cool and fun ways!
I would have enjoyed more Chris Hackney, but that's just me.

There were so many bad things though. WTF at the lewd stuff lurking it's head into every single scene (or at least 80% of scenes). Can you not? Chill with the porn jokes already, holy shit.
ShovelForge can go die in a fire and take all Somniums with it.
The game crashed on me three times (Switch version) and loading in animated images of evidence literally sucked life force out of me. I could feel my body decay slowly in those agonizingly long pauses. Jeez.
Why does A-Set not wear pants? Like, at all?
Why can I not use you-know-who's model in the dance menu?

Anyway, deeply flawed, but entertaining game.
 
Feb 15, 2018
617
Finished this yesterday. Loved it. 2 of the somniums caused me a bit of frustration, but it was basically just a case of weighing up risk and reward (and doing the numbers to minimize time use). Then i got that in to my head i really quite enjoyed them.
Thought the plot was great and loved the music. Found the performance frustrating in places (massive pauses when loading in flash backs etc) and the game crashed on me once (no progress lost).
Most of all, the game made me laugh. I thought the MC was great, and his often exasperated tone really resonated. He reminded me of Napoleon Dynamite tbh!
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,462
Finished this last night. This is a solid ass game

+ Great production values
+ Fucking hilarious
+ Soundtrack is incredible, might just be my favorite of the year
+ Well paced, doesn't overstay it's welcome

Overall really great game. However.....

As a huge fan of the Zero escape games I just can't help but compare them. While this game is more well made and more consistent than the zero escape games, in terms of tone and story it just doesn't compare imo.

While it never comes close to reaching the lows of the zero escape games it also never comes close to reaching it's highs either. The ZE games were just incredible plot wise and in terms of it's plotwists. Also it's use of really cool sci fi concepts. This games has all of these as well but it feels very restrained I guess is the word. I feel like it never really went all the way with it's concepts in the way the ZE games did. Also I love the tone of the ZE escape games better. While they definitely had there goofiness I felt like they were like 20% goofy and 80% serious. While this was 80% goofy and 20% serious. I think my main issue is that I never really felt a sense of danger or tension while playing this, at least not in the same way as the ZE games. Overall I know it was a deliberate design choice and that Uchikoshi was going for something different but I still yearn for something similar to ZE

But yeah in a vacuum this is a fantastic game.
 

Basileus777

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,693
New Jersey
I quite enjoyed this. Strong character work and unlike a lot of Uchikoshi's works it doesn't depend on swerves. It's probably his best work since 999. It executes on the "surprising but inevitable," a well plotted story that never really has a moment of shock, but feels like a story that has momentum.

Mizuki is the best character. Her route was the peak of the game.
 

Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,646
I played the first three hours and I am loving it! The quality seems so high, from the graphics to the story that is really intriguing.
In my first timed Somnium, I finished it with 1 second... really! I hope the next ones won't be much more difficult.
I want to play it, anyway, without using any guide, so I would like to ask you some questions, so that I can spend the least time as possible:
1) does the branching happen after a decision at the end of a Somnium? For example, now I am in the left branch after deciding to hug Marika. If I slapped her, now would I be in the right branch? Or maybe was it depending on the cage that I chose?
2) are there many band endings, or they can be easily avoidable?
3) when I finish a route, then should I replay one whole Somnium to take a different final decision and get into another route?

About the story, instead
I am already seeing Date as the old Cyclops killer, let's see if I understood how Uchikoshi plans the development of his main character
 
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momerath

Member
Oct 27, 2017
52
This game was a delight for me. I think it comfortably lands as my second favorite Uchikoshi game, after 999.
 

takoyaki

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,208
I played the first three hours and I am loving it! The quality seems so high, from the graphics to the story that is really intriguing.
In my first timed Somnium, I finished it with 1 second... really! I hope the next ones won't be much more difficult.
I want to play it, anyway, without using any guide, so I would like to ask you some questions, so that I can spend the least time as possible:
1) does the branching happen after a decision at the end of a Somnium? For example, now I am in the left branch after deciding to hug Marika. If I slapped her, now would I be in the right branch? Or maybe was it depending on the cage that I chose?
2) are there many band endings, or they can be easily avoidable?
3) when I finish a route, than should I replay one whole Somnium to take a different final decisions and get into another route?
You can get through the whole game without a guide. You’re never really lost about what to do next and the Somnium parts are mostly trial and error.

1) If you look at the small flowchart during a Somnium, you sometimes see points where it splits into two. That’s where the story branching happens.

2) There are a few but you really have to try hard to get a bad ending. There’s also at least one hidden joke ending. Be sure to exhaust all dialogue options if you’re trying to find those endings.

3) Yes. That’s how you unlock all paths and get to the final ending.
 

Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,646
You can get through the whole game without a guide. You’re never really lost about what to do next and the Somnium parts are mostly trial and error.

1) If you look at the small flowchart during a Somnium, you sometimes see points where it splits into two. That’s where the story branching happens.

2) There are a few but you really have to try hard to get a bad ending. There’s also at least one hidden joke ending.

3) Yes. That’s how you unlock all paths and get to the final ending.
Thank you very much! For traditional VNs I always use a guide, but for VNs like Ace Attorney, Zero Escape and this one, where there are large gameplay sections, I prefer trying to not use them (unless I get stuck for hours of course). I am already seeing it to become one my favourite games of this year, I am just hoping that the Somnium part won't have to be repeated many times - fortunately the time is not "real time", I never liked to be limited by a timer like in Majora's Mask.
 

Ryuman

Member
Nov 1, 2017
278
Thank you very much! For traditional VNs I always use a guide, but for VNs like Ace Attorney, Zero Escape and this one, where there are large gameplay sections, I prefer trying to not use them (unless I get stuck for hours of course). I am already seeing it to become one my favourite games of this year, I am just hoping that the Somnium part won't have to be repeated many times - fortunately the time is not "real time", I never liked to be limited by a timer like in Majora's Mask.
Each one has a collectable that unlocks screens and concept art but they are basically just achievement fodder. The skip feature lets you blast through very quickly when you need to go back for the branching paths.
Glad you got the game and are enjoying it, by the way. I saw the trouble you went through to get a copy and honestly I feel bad since I was the one who pointed out those retailers to you in the first place.
 

Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,646
Each one has a collectable that unlocks screens and concept art but they are basically just achievement fodder. The skip feature lets you blast through very quickly when you need to go back for the branching paths.
Glad you got the game and are enjoying it, by the way. I saw the trouble you went through to get a copy and honestly I feel bad since I was the one who pointed out those retailers to you in the first place.
I didn't remember at all who suggested me 365games, don't worry! It was my decision to buy there, after all, and it could happen to everyone. They refunded me (I am still waiting to get the money in my bank account because I used a virtual credit card, that expires after payment, but I assume I will get them after some days) and I bought the second copy from Amazon.it, where it became available 10-15 days after the day one. At the end I used the month while I waited for my copy to finish both Clannad and Link's Awakening, and now I still have a full month to play AI before Pokémon.
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,812
Australia
IT'S ALL COMING TOGETHERRRRRRRR!



The game is finishing off so strongly. So much payoff! The reveal of who the frozen body truly was? That was a stroke of genius! So much just got connected with that reveal! And that All-ice reference was fantastic!

I'm currently in Boss's somnium and I have a feeling things are only going to get even more crazy.

It's pretty obvious that Date is the original killer. I already know he's So's son. Date is currently 30 and 18 years ago would have made him 12 when he killed Iris's mother. It lines up.

For so long I thought #89 and Date were somehow the same person, or at the very least significantly linked, but now I'm guessing some sort of consciousness switch has happened? The "dosage" mentions from Aiba are probably to make Date sane and suppress his violent urges?


I'm starting to ramble now. I really can't wait to see how this all ends. Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant storytelling!
 

Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,646
I am currently at 10 hours and I haven't finished any route. I am in the left part of the flowchart. Firstly, I went into the green part and
and I was stuck, because I first need to see other branches. Maybe that is the true ending route, who knows. After all, we see who is So's killer... Boss! I suspected that among her and Pewter an enemy could be present. On the other side, the old Cyclops killer seems not be Date .. even though he is quite similar
Then I continued with the right-bottom part of the left branch
where Iris and Ora are alive. I immediately noticed that the polar bear used the knife Ota gifted her mother... That is suspicious (even though she has dementia, I doubt she is the killer).
There are still so many mysteries, I am loving the story and also the Somnium parts are quite good, some of them not immediate but never annoying
 

asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,386
Mexico
I played like 20 minutes in my commute. The game is nicer than ZTD. It's too bad now I need to work lol

Edit: Love the game have touchscreen controls. It's really appreciated in this kind of games.
 
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Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,646
I finished my first route, Mizuki Route.

First of all, I must say that I loved the relationship between Date and Mizuki! They are both "tsundere" and are not open about their feelings, but they really are a family more than the original one for Mizuki. I loved that, when Date woke up, Mizuki told him "Welcome home", and he answered "I am at home". Before that, in fact, Mizuki defined a family as some people who exchange that kind of sentences.
I am also happy that this route still leaves many mysteries unsolved.
Let's just think about what I found out, between Mizuki's route and the partial green route:
- The polar bear was So, who however used the knife belonging Ota's mother (if I correctly saw it in the video, I am not sure 100% of course, but it really seemed so).
- In the green route, Boss killed So. Besides, she also appeared in the Somnium with the Original Cyclops Killer. I suspect she is more involved that it seems. Maybe not with a bad role as I was thinking, but let's see.
- Another mysterious character is Iris' mother. At the end of Mizuki's route, the girl says she saw her with So.
- Finally, Ota saw Iris driving the car alone. What did she do?

At the moment, I don't think that So is the kiiller of Mizuki's parents, or if he is, he anyway has an accomplice.
I am at 12 hours but the puzzle is far from to be done, I am really enjoying this game!
 

Feep

Lead Designer, Iridium Studios
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
1,663
Finally managed to force myself to finish this game.

I admit some of the ending had that old Uchikoshi charm with how it all came together, but good LORD this was a weak entry for me.

- As mentioned ten trillion times before, Uchikoshi undercutting wildly serious and dramatic stakes with idiotic cuts to porno mags is an absolute disaster. At one point, a dramatic shootout where a twelve-year-old child's LIFE is in danger is resolved by shooting a bra off a line, causing the mercenaries to abandon their objective to go look at women's underwear. This shit made me physically *angry*. Absolutely pathetic trash running through this entire game, even the very end, where Date secretly hopes a girl less than half his age, the adopted daughter of a woman he was romantically involved with, and one that he partially helped raise at age 12 would make out with him. Come the fuck on.

- The Somniums were also an absolute disaster. Trial and error illogical nonsense. Occasionally, due to how complete unknown future time requirements would be, you'd get into a situation where you'd *have* to restart the entire thing from the beginning due to the "three diamonds" mechanic. Every time I entered one I literally considered stopping.

- Pacing was rough, especially in the Iris route. More wasn't better, here.

- Many things unexplained, including Mizuki's strength and any kind of connection between parallel worlds. You could kind of take the parallel world thing for granted, considering it's just Uchikoshi's thing, but great care is given to narratively justify the mechanic in previous entries, and it kind of bothers me.

- There were some positives, however. The central mystery was well done, and Mizuki and Moma (minus occasional pervy breakdowns) were excellent characters. The voice acting was fantastic overall.

But goddamn. Uchikoshi, get a grip, dude.
 
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Chopchop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,411
Finally managed to force myself to finish this game.

I admit some of the ending had that old Uchikoshi charm with how it all came together, but good LORD this was a weak entry for me.

- As mentioned ten trillion times before, Uchikoshi undercutting wildly serious and dramatic stakes with idiotic cuts to porno mags is an absolute disaster. At one point, a dramatic shootout where a twelve-year-old child's LIFE is in danger is resolved by shooting a bra off a line, causing the mercenaries to abandon their objective to go look at women's underwear. This shit made me physically *angry*. Absolutely pathetic trash running through this entire game, even the very end, where Date secretly hopes a girl less than half his age, the adopted daughter of a girl he was romantically involved with, and one that he partially helped raise at age 12 would make out with him. Come the fuck on.

- The Somniums were an absolute disaster. Trial and error illogical nonsense. Occasionally, due to how complete unknown future time requirements would be, you'd get into a situation where you'd *have* to restart the entire thing from the beginning due to the "three diamonds" mechanic. Every time I entered one I literally considered stopping.

- Pacing was rough, especially in the Iris route. More wasn't better, here.

- Many things unexplained, including Mizuki's strength and any kind of connection between parallel worlds. You could kind of take the parallel world thing for granted, considering it's just Uchikoshi's thing, but great care is given to narratively justify the mechanic in previous entries, and it kind of bothers me.

- There were some positives, however. The central mystery was well done, and Mizuki and Moma (minus occasional pervy breakdowns) were excellent characters. The voice acting was fantastic overall.

But goddamn. Uchikoshi, get a grip, dude.
I agree with all of that. The somniums and the action sequences were among the weakest parts of the game.

The somniums were incredibly half baked, considering they are the core gimmick of the game. I would have enjoyed them a lot more if the time mechanic was gone entirely and you were just allowed to explore them at your leisure in some sort of special investigation sequence. Being a dream, I wish they emphasized the bit about seeing hidden memories or lies hidden in the environment more, instead of leaning on the whole "lol its a dream so things are randommmm" thing all the time. I played this game in the evenings, and I often fell asleep in the somnium sections.

The action sequences are atrocious and basically needed to be cringed through every time.

Date's perviness was also a big turn off to my enjoyment of the game. The only time it was amusing was in the joke ending.
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,812
Australia
I don't think AI's soundtrack is consistently as strong as the soundtrack for the Zero Escape trilogy. However, some of the tracks are really incredible.

999 had Morphogenetic Sorrow. VLR had Blue Bird Lamentation. And now AI has given us all this wonderful masterpiece:

 

Dec

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,247
staring at the settings menu before beginning here. Wondering if I should toggle "Skip Unseen Content" off, as it defaulted to On.

Also is the English dub in this any good?

Thanks

edit: It seems maybe it's a toggle to have to manually press A to proceed to the next text only for text you've never seen before.

Just going with Skip Unseen Content Off and Japanese to be safe
 
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deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,543
staring at the settings menu before beginning here. Wondering if I should toggle "Skip Unseen Content" off, as it defaulted to On.

Also is the English dub in this any good?

Thanks

edit: It seems maybe it's a toggle to have to manually press A to proceed to the next text only for text you've never seen before.
You probably want it off; I dunno why it defaults to on. I played on PS4, so excuse the buttons used, but having it on means when you press R2 to skip it doesn’t care if you’ve already read things or not. It’ll stop and not skip new content if you have it off.

I largely liked the English dub. Some of it can be a little iffy; there were some big emotional scenes that could have been delivered a bit better for a couple characters. There’s a major character late in the game where I just feel very weird about their delivery too. But overall, pretty solid work, and I really found the voices for some characters in particular to be very fitting.
 

asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,386
Mexico
I think the appendix stuff is a interface spoiler lol 2 hours and half, the game is getting better and it's just starting

Edit: Album I mean.
 
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Chopchop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,411
staring at the settings menu before beginning here. Wondering if I should toggle "Skip Unseen Content" off, as it defaulted to On.

Also is the English dub in this any good?

Thanks

edit: It seems maybe it's a toggle to have to manually press A to proceed to the next text only for text you've never seen before.

Just going with Skip Unseen Content Off and Japanese to be safe
The English VA in this game is stellar. Everyone sounds good. No bad anime dub voices at all.
 

asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,386
Mexico
I arrived to the first branch moment and go to
hug Mizuki, later find out her father is dead.
Immediatly decided go to the other branch and now I'm wondering what the hell is happening.

Uchikoshi always deliver.
 

daveo42

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,115
Ohio
Just finished the game within the past hour and it's probably my goty. The whole ending was just perfect, especially considering the amount of stuff you had to go through to get there. I'm also glad I somewhat guessed a few of the twists, but mostly by misinterpreting a few of the hints. It did help by going blue instead of red off the bat. I think the somniums worked well with the story as well as were interesting puzzles to solve.

Probably Uchikoshi's tightest work when it comes to story and pacing. I need to replay 999 and VLR, but this might be his best work.

Now on to the platinum.
 

eXistor

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,857
I'm finally done with this! I hated Somniums so much, oh my goddddd. So much that I stopped playing for a week upon reaching the final Somnium with disgust.
When I picked it back up, it turned out it was the most linear Somnium of them all, and then I just watched a very long epilogue.
I don't even bother with them, I just look up the answer. The seem to exist purely to waste time. I had hoped they would actually be puzzle-based, but it really is just interactions with mostly arbitrary objects and seeing what happens. Outside of those, I really like the game.
 

asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,386
Mexico
I'm forgetting to bring the stylus-like stick which should be in my room. It should be a better experience than the Joycon sticks.
 

Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,646
I finished Ota's Route.
I am really loving all the characters who have been deeply explored in their routes at the moment. This is the turn for Ota and his mother. Their relationship has been difficult, they also had to bear the death of Ota's father, but each one really loves the other. Ota, in particular, had the possibility to grow up in the story, understanding that he had often been selfish (e.g., when he asked for a different kind of chocolate, when he decided to to give up university to become a writer) but he will have full time to make it up and allow her mother to peacefully live the last part of her life.

This route doesn't add so much information about the Cyclops murders, except for the fact that Ota's mother is absolutely innocent as it was clearly predictable. However, at the end of the route, there are two important pieces of information:
1) Iris took the knife from Ota's mother! When there were the credits, I continuously asked myself: "What about the knife?" And I got the answer from minutes later. I am starting to think that Iris isn't totally innocent. It is true that she has been killed by So in another route, but I am really intrigued by how things really are.
2) Shoto's eyebll was in Renju's intesting... I am still asking myself what this actually means.

And now it is time to continue with the right part of the flowchart!
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,812
Australia
ADRIAAAN!

This joke might honestly be the funniest thing I've ever seen in any game ever. The delivery of the line is perfection. You have to watch until 26:35! SPOILER WARNING:

 

eXistor

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,857
I'm at my wits' end. I'm so close to the platinum but the 1 thing I can't get is:

Psyncin' in the Main 1. Iris A Dream Document. Whatever I try I always end up losing all time in the final interaction (touch the star). I've tried everything, but I always get x4 or 1/2. Even when I do get a good one like 1/6 it's never enough.

I don't even care about trophies much, but this is literally the last thing to so and it's driving me nuts.

Am I missing something here?

/edit: Found it! Turn out that, yes, I am indeed an idiot:
for some reason I just completely walked by the ??? which gives a 10 Timie.

So overall I liked it. I wasn't overly invested in the story and I found the lack of locations to be a bit of a bummer and the Somnium parts were awful. Also, the story structure used a gimmick a bit too similar to 999 and VLR, but it's not a big deal I suppose. It was funny and I liked the characters. Nothing too amazing, but worthy of a playthrough.
 
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takoyaki

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,208
Ai Demo available on US PSN and eShop, you can try the first full Investigation and Somnium for free. It's also coming to the EU stores "soon".

 

ryushe

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,819
I went down the left (red) path initially and finished Ota and Mizuki's routes and went up the green route (The Falco stuff is still locked out for me) and while I enjoyed the game overall, I didn't quite understand the hype...

That was until I went down the right (blue) path and ho boy did this game just get freaking awesome all of a sudden! The story is much more interesting and I feel like I'm constantly getting great nuggets of information.

Ai Demo available on US PSN and eShop, you can try the first full Investigation and Somnium for free. It's also coming to the EU stores "soon".



I kind want to download the PS4 demo to see how different it looks/runs compared to the Switch version but I don't want to "ruin" the Switch version for myself if the PS4 version is that much better.
 
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Oct 29, 2017
3,812
Australia
Mizuki is the best character change my mind.
This was wholesome as hell lol did she record herself playing the full game??
I don't know about best (it's so hard to pick a favourite character from this wonderful cast) but she seems to be the most popular:


EDIT: I'm not too sure if she's recorded herself playing the full game. So, in the words of Aiba: "Unknown."

Wet! Refresh! A-set!

 
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Man God

Member
Oct 25, 2017
21,788
The mermaid got robbed. She's top three material. Some of the best conversations in the game are with her. She's unnamed in the actual game but she's definitely in the unlockable notes.