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

asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,391
Mexico
Day 4 of the green route (still very early in the day)

Holy shit Iris and Ota are now dead.

I feel horrible :(
 

Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,676
I have just finished Ai after running a marathon of the last 1.5/2 hours this morning. Wow, what a game, with a perfect true ending, too! This VN has been able to amaze until the very end with its plot twists. And the most amazin thing is that there aren't aby loose ends at all, everything is perfectly connected and explained, everything makes perfect sense too. It will be absolutely in my top3 of 2019 GOTY.

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!
I am now reading some spoiler posts, and I noticed that you wrote the same things I wrote the other day, and at the same time
we were partially wrong. Date isn't really the Cyclops killer, but he just had his body!
 

Funyarinpa

Self-requested temporary ban
Banned
Oct 26, 2017
8,939
Disabling NVIDIA overlay seemingly helped somewhat with the crashes, I progressed past the point where I stalled the game, and am now basically almost done with the game, only have 2 paths left to pursue, I think.

The midgame was really rather weak (unfocused, meandering writing with not very compelling characters) save for Mizuki's route, but the game fucking SOARED the moment "Alice" came into play. (Needless to say, hearing "all-ice" again got to me.)

Learning Hitomi's backstory was... it was highly reminiscent of going through a particular VLR ending. It got to me, and the rightmost timeline (I think?) stands head and shoulders above the rest of the writing in the game so far.

I just spoiled myself on the New Cyclops Killer by peeking a bit too far ahead in the thread, but that's fine. Hilariously, it isn't exactly what I was invested in, by this point.

Excited to get to the true ending in a day or two.
 

Vylash

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,274
I did at first too until someone here mentioned it's mostly about time management (using the Timeies) than it is about trying to find the logic to the puzzles.
I'd have less of a problem with it if it had a feature like danganronpa where you can hit a button and see everything you can interact with before I actually have to start running around
 

asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,391
Mexico
I'm doing the right branch and I'm confused what the hell is happening after see everything (I could so far) in the left branch.
 

Funyarinpa

Self-requested temporary ban
Banned
Oct 26, 2017
8,939
I'm done sans the epilogue (it's 8am, pulled an all nighter).

Hitomi's backstory was fucking incredible, it's easily the game's peak. The body changing killer idea is pretty cool but the ending itself mostly fell flat when the anime fight cutscenes interjected the narrative at a very bad time. I feel like there are a bunch of small inconsistencies everywhere.

Aiba's sacrifice had me a little teary but it's such a contrived way to go about the very end that it didn't get to me.

I'm happy I played it, even if just for Hitomi's backstory. A few of the somnium themes and Falco's theme were great but besides that I didn't like the music much; its sound direction sucked but ZTD's original tracks were far more enjoyable.
 

Funyarinpa

Self-requested temporary ban
Banned
Oct 26, 2017
8,939
Date: You are both
awful parents.

I agree.
That, alongside one particular somnium and a particular identity reveal, is one of my favorite moments in the entire game. You don't usually see

protagonists call other people out on their friends' bullshit like that.
 

Euler

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,564
One thing I'm really happy with is how the whole Lemniscate/Tesa videos from before the game's release tied into the full game.

So Iris in some videos was possessed by Saito, and in some videos it was simply her brain tumor delusions. I think it was really well done because I remembered the whole "bloody, killed animal drawings" from the youtube videos, and at that time in the game I thought it was Iris for real. I rewatched the youtube videos after finishing the game and I think it was in general really well done. There were less hints for the full game than I expected. I liked that Naixatloz etc was just a red herring.
 

asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,391
Mexico
I'm early in the fourth day of the right branch... and I'm not sure what's going on, and I want to know asap. Why I need be at work right now? :(
 

Funyarinpa

Self-requested temporary ban
Banned
Oct 26, 2017
8,939
I finished the game.

I'll try to keep my thoughts to bullet points.
-Hitomi is my favorite character, I love her so much. Her backstory was easily, EASILY the highlight of the game. Nothing else really got to me as much. One of the best Somnia too.
-Overall the mid-game writing and early game writing was rather weak, felt directionless and tensionless. I suppose it comes with the domain of not having an isolated setting.
-Mizuki END is the best route after the path where you learn about Manaka.
-The twist about the murders was really clever but it didn't get to me emotionally.
-I had some moments where I was like "Yes, this is the Uchi I fucking remember. Fuck yes, he's back." Hitomi's backstory, of course, was there; but the first time I felt it was in the first Somnium. Sinkin In The Brain is an excellent track that reminds me heavily of Placidity from VLR.
-Pewter being Renju's lover was an amazing fucking twist because I remember looking around the Psync room at the beginning and giggling at his yaoi stash.
-The sex jokes went too far with Moma and Iris insisting on a date and stuff. When it's between Aiba and Date it's funny but with other characters it doesn't really resonate. The entire idea of Falco kissing Hitomi to shut her up and then them dating is pretty damn badly written, but the bigger picture (assassin finds love etc.) was nice. If you think about it, So and Date getting to live the life they want is rather bittersweet.
-Music overall was meh. Nothing really got to me besides Sinkin In The Brain and Falco's Theme, but some Somnia have baller tracks.
-Two things got to me in the epilogue: "Oh I have cancer stopping headband it's nothing" was very Uchikoshi, and when Hitomi went from calling Date "Falco" to "Mr. Date". It kind of hammered home that the man who was Iris' "Uncle" is, in a sense, gone forever.
-I'm still unsure if Mama is portrayed offensively or not and I don't know enough about trans issues and portrayals to say. I loved having her around though.
-I didn't get the cuckoldry and Mizuki-talking-about-LGBT-people scenes.
-The true ending was contrived (with all the "I'll give you a convenient amount of time to stop me from shooting her") and honestly, I saw the "Falco/#89 is Date" twist from a mile away so it didn't do much for me. Aiba disappearing got to me, but she came back just as suddenly so I'm just happy she's back. I'm not sure if I ship Aiba or Hitomi more with Date honestly. Probably Aiba, unless due to memories being fractal Date gets his old self back.

I can't truly feel at peace about it until I've nitpicked every single feeling I have about the game but I liked it.
 
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asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,391
Mexico
When Ota is scolding you that mean you are fucked.

I guess don't believe Iris will make Date pick a balance between protect Iris and Mizuki, but will go with the choice to believe her because the flowchart make it looks like it's going to finish it soon.
 

Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,676
When Ota is scolding you that mean you are fucked.

I guess don't believe Iris will make Date pick a balance between protect Iris and Mizuki, but will go with the choice to believe her because the flowchart make it looks like it's going to finish it soon.
You are making the correct choice by first going into the
believe Iris route
Storywise it is the best order in my opinion.
 

asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,391
Mexico
You are making the correct choice by first going into the
believe Iris route
Storywise it is the best order in my opinion.
To be fair I kinda got spoiled this path don't resolve that much
and at least I didn't knew about Pewter and Renju.
Now I'm on the pink route, and I have some thoughts about what happened six years ago.

By the way, regarding Iris route...
It's funny how this route would end happy if this was a Zero Escape game (and the Parallel World theory really apply, but I'm not 100% sure yet), so it's nice how the game subvert the output here.
 

Geg

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,736
Finished the game tonight. I haven't felt post-game completion depression this hard in a long time; I fell in love with this game's cast and don't want to leave them lol.

Mildly upset that it feels like Mizuki gets a happier ending for herself in her own route than in the true ending, since it looks like she still hasn't had that moment where she decides to be honest with herself about her feelings about Date as a parental figure. At least there's the implication that the two of them will join families with Hitomi and Iris at some point, though I would have liked to have actually seen that.

Also I played through the game in Japanese so it was really jarring when the credits scene was suddenly in English lol. Is that a glitch or is it like a weird license issue?
 

asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,391
Mexico
My head... is hurting. Wow.

I can follow the green route now, but I have the feeling about what's going on now, except Shoko murder and certain stuff about the left branch lol

Amazing game.

Edit: I did green route. My thoughts so far.

I kinda suspected about the sequence of killings in the left branch before even Boss told in the right branch about exchange personalities, but I didn't knew why. And about Saito and Falco exchange... it was obvious since the Boss mentioned that.

That mean Saito is in Boss body in the Ota ending, but he is still in Mizuki ending? But in Mizuki ending So mentioned about being "Date" father... where the hell went So and Saito then.

And holy shit we go full morphogenetic field now lmao
 
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Kiria

Member
Oct 29, 2017
513
My head... is hurting. Wow.

I can follow the green route now, but I have the feeling about what's going on now, except Shoko murder and certain stuff about the left branch lol

Amazing game.

Edit: I did green route. My thoughts so far.

I kinda suspected about the sequence of killings in the left branch before even Boss told in the right branch about exchange personalities, but I didn't knew why. And about Saito and Falco exchange... it was obvious since the Boss mentioned that.

That mean Saito is in Boss body in the Ota ending, but he is still in Mizuki ending? But in Mizuki ending So mentioned about being "Date" father... where the hell went So and Saito then.

And holy shit we go full morphogenetic field now lmao
SanpAI ending doesn't resolve the case so likely bad things will still happen on that route but the game just cut it off
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,849
Australia
I arrived to Ota: END. The writing of this game is very good.

Edit: I passed the mark of 10 hours! Who would believe I started this a week ago.
It really is. Hitomi's backstory in particular was seriously fantastic character writing. Mayumi's was incredibly well done too.

That's why when people focus solely on the sexual jokes it seems unfair and it sells the game short when it handles the serious moments so incredibly well.

The game knows when to be serious and when to be silly like 95% of the time, which is something I personally think Danganronpa failed at.

It tackles a lot of serious themes that most games won't even touch and it totally pulls them off shockingly well with an eerie sense of realism. That's why I can forgive a few lame jokes.

The game is a triumph when it comes to the amount of emotions it makes the player feel - anger, disgust, sadness, confusion, shock. The humour never got in the way of those moments for me.

For example, when you go to confront So at his mansion, the whole electrocution scene and shooting a bullet through a pipe was obviously whacky and ridiculous (in an entertaining and charming way I thought), but right after that when Mizuki was being held as a hostage, the game turned on the serious switch fast and my heart started racing. I went from being amused to panicking and being tense instantly! The way the game constantly juggles scenes like this is not easy to do and I think it's worthy of praise.

Do they go overboard with the sex jokes? Yes, they do. Some of the stuff with Iris and Moma in particular was really pushing it. Same with the receptionist. The problem is that they limited the humour to puns (a lot would have been lost in translation unfortunately), obscure references and sex jokes.

The humour needed more variety. Yet even with that said, I still clicked on literally everything multiple times because occasionally some of the dialogue would be hilarious and it would be worth listening to all the other jokes that didn't quite land.

On the plus side, a lot of the crappy sex jokes and puns are from clicking optional stuff in the environment, so if they really bother you, you can just limit yourself to what you click.
 
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asagami_

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,391
Mexico
It really is. Hitomi's backstory in particular was seriously fantastic character writing. Mayumi's was incredibly well done too.
For a moment I thought
Hitomi robbed Iris, but it was just she take care of her after her real mother was killed ;_;
When I replay AI (in english dub) in a few months I will check better her scenes.
 

beelulzebub

Member
Oct 25, 2017
928
About to start the first of the two locked paths (top left corner of the flowchart).
Date is So Sejima’s son, and is the actual cyclops killer, but he and #89 switched consciousnesses 6 years ago. Neither of them have memories earlier than that, and since switching consciousnesses is a feature of the Psync system, this could be when that took place. More accurately Date is the body of the killer and not the mind and soul.

This terrible thing Uncle Falco did has to do with figuring out the true identity of the Cyclops Killer and taking matters into his own hands, and the incident with Hitomi getting shot and Uncle disappearing has to be when he was carted off to switch bodies. Also explains why Hitomi, Iris, and Date all seemed to reference knowing one another without recognizing each other. Hitomi and Date say a few times that they can’t shake the feeling they’ve met before. Iris straight up dies seconds before calling Date “Uncle” in the Iris end. They haven’t seen #89 since then and wouldn’t know that he now carries the consciousness of the Cyclops Killer, and may tragically assume he’s Uncle were they to see him.

As to why their bodies had to switch I’m not clear on. All I know is that So Sejima apparently has an iron grip on ABIS, so it could be this entire organization is an elaborate front to protect the identity of his son as the killer and So having an illegitimate child. The identity of the Cyclops Killer is classified, and if I’m right, is kinda beyond the realm of reasonable explanations anyway. Lol

The only major hole in this theory is that #89 isn’t missing an eye, which appears to be one of the quirks of the prototype Psync machine.

Won’t check back in here until I finish.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,456
beat this in a course of 4 days which is something i've not done in a while for a 20hrs game. Usually takes me a month or so. Enjoyed it. Dude still got it!

Still... like with zero escape, i found the core 'gameplay loop' to be a bit lackluster and the dream stuff not really add that much to the story that a different system wouldn't have offered something better. Plenty of times I felt like I really didn't learn that much from this sequence.

Still though... good times. now i got this song stuck in my head. I really can't think of any other japanese game that has a song dubbed in english before lol.
 
Mar 19, 2019
410
I don't know if this was brought up here or not, but I figure I may as well leave a quick disclaimer.

AI: The Somnium Files is a murder mystery VN. Though it has the tension and subject matter of a contemporary mystery novel, the format and "style" of mystery-writing are more similar to that of Golden Age-styled mystery novels. That is, the game's mystery is entirely, legitimately solvable. If this is the kind of mystery you want, and you want to enjoy piecing the clues together yourself to figure everything out before the denouement, do the B-Route last!

The B-Route seems to be intended as your final stop, as it reveals information that tips off a lot of the mystery's tricks and even may spoil you on the culprit. The A-Route gives you plenty of information needed to solve the crime (loosely) and the B-Route, until the end, offers supplementary information to offer the "smoking gun" for your theory, so to speak. At the very end, however, it tips the mystery (perhaps unintentionally).

For the ideal sleuthing and mystery-solving experience, any new players should be careful to only pursue the A-Route paths first.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,456
neat interview. Glad i wasn't the only one pretty confused
who's who.
Like for most of the game I had it on autoplay, but thats when i paused shit and drew out a sketch of who's who on my galaxy note phone lol
 

Exodist

Member
Oct 30, 2017
36
Quick question here, it was a few weeks since I started and I forgot what the game tutorial said about those hidden orb items you can find in the dreams, are these purely for bonuses or will I need to get all of these hidden items to unlock all routes/true endings etc?
 

Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,676
Quick question here, it was a few weeks since I started and I forgot what the game tutorial said about those hidden orb items you can find in the dreams, are these purely for bonuses or will I need to get all of these hidden items to unlock all routes/true endings etc?
They are only collectables, they are not needed to unlock routes.
 

Exodist

Member
Oct 30, 2017
36
They are only collectables, they are not needed to unlock routes.
Excellent thank you! I'm about 12 hours in and just suddenly remembered about them... I believe Virtues Last Reward you had to get all the bonus files to get the true ending? So I suddenly panicked and wondered if I needed to go back and get them.
 

Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,676
Excellent thank you! I'm about 12 hours in and just suddenly remembered about them... I believe Virtues Last Reward you had to get all the bonus files to get the true ending? So I suddenly panicked and wondered if I needed to go back and get them.
If I correctly remember,
in VLR you just had to play all the escape rooms on the hard difficulty, to get the secret ending where Kyle was present (and which made us think about countless theories about him)
 

Vylash

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,274
oh god i love the idea that if you think someone's lying you can just grab them, put them to sleep, and tie them up to a giant machine
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,610
Excellent thank you! I'm about 12 hours in and just suddenly remembered about them... I believe Virtues Last Reward you had to get all the bonus files to get the true ending? So I suddenly panicked and wondered if I needed to go back and get them.
In this case, it just unlocks some concept art. So no real need to go out of your way unless you’re really interested in seeing that and/or want the trophy for it, I guess. Though I found most of them pretty easily when I went back looking for them myself, so if you use a guide it should go fast.

If I correctly remember,
in VLR you just had to play all the escape rooms on the hard difficulty, to get the secret ending where Kyle was present (and which made us think about countless theories about him)
Kyle...

we still gotta wait most of a decade to see if Uchikoshi’s ridiculous interview answers actually pay off...
 

Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,676
I would like a sequel, but at the time this game is perfect as a stand-alone instead of being part of a longer series.
All the big plot points are solved by the ending, in a sequel they would just use the same characters. It is completely different from VLR, where the ending clearly hinted to a third game to conclude the trilogy.
 

Vylash

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,274
man i decided to
trust iris
and before the damn somnium even finished i totally regretted my decision
 

Exodist

Member
Oct 30, 2017
36
Finished the whole game now, took about 20 hours and played on Switch. I did get one crash but in handheld mode the game looked fine, but it did take a long time to load some of the dialogue bits (when it came up with like the pictures of characters/locations). As a huge fan of Zero Escape (surprise surprise), I did like this but a few things irked me. I really enjoyed the serious, dark, horror-esque vibes of Zero Escape, those games just oozed with a sense of despair and hopelessness and I just loved the fairly consistent tone of those games, with a few bits of humour here and there. This game is a bit of a mess in comparison, I really enjoyed the main story which is ultimately the main draw, but the action sequences were absolutely cringe worthy and just really took me out of the game, as well as the humour in general. The somnium bits were pretty terrible as well and were a massive step down from the escape rooms. That said, as the story is the main focus it's still a game I'd recommend and I'm excited for whatever Uchikoshi cooks up next.
 

Trigonometrize

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,887
You cannot possibly overstate the amount of bad and misplaced humor that is in this fucking game. Way to drag down what has been so far an otherwise above-average experience.

When Date started making jokes about being hard while looking at Hitomi in Somnium after earlier today he'd embraced her for her daughter dying it's just so embarassing.