Learn More About FuRyu's Caligula With World Details, Gameplay Footage This game is sounding more and more Persona-esque by the day. 03.30.16 - 12:27 AM
FuRyu's upcoming Vita exclusive JRPG Caligula has been an intriguing project since day one, with a scenario penned by Tadashi Satomi of Persona 2 fame. Now, FuRYu has updated the game's official website with more information on the game's world, the protagonists, and their struggle against the "Digiheads", or those who have become enthralled by the virtual world they inhabit.
Come hear the voices from within the darkness. The main voice called itself "μ." When asked, you answer with your own name. μ proclaims proudly, "It is best to forget the painful reality." "From now on enjoy your life to the fullest." The painful reality... You can already no longer remember anything of the sort. Perplexed and in another place, μ says "Welcome to Mobius," telling you the name of this world. At that moment, your consciousness was cut.
When you become aware, you realize you're in Kishimai High School. As your consciousness drifts out of a haze you vaguely realize the situation. It seems you're in the middle of a graduation ceremony, and the graduation greetings are going to be performed. After a short time, the rearranging of your memories comes along... And you're a Kishimai High School first year student. A typical, carefree high school student living an ideal student's life in the midst of youth.
After some time passed, the school entrance ceremony began. You, who are of irreproachable conduct and excellent grades, and heavily trusted by those around you, were supposed to make a speech as the second year student representative. You go up on stage to make the address. However, a first year representative boy named Kensuke Hibiki then comes up on stage who, just the other day, read a response as a graduate.
I remembered the intense discomfort in your eyes as you projected Kensuke's face to be that of a monster. There are more. You realize that there are similar monsters in the students that would have seemed normal until now. You could not stand the fear, jumped off the stage, and began running to escape.
You noticed, you remember it all. This is a different world. The existence of reality. You experienced pain in reality... But even so, you must return.
"He lacks talent." "That person, too..." "I've seen it...”
During the ceremony that continued as if nothing had happened — where you jumped off the stage — only a few students were staring.
The plot of Caligula involves people who have been put into the virtual world of Mobius by μ, a self-developed virtual idol. Those who suffer in the real world and sympathize with μ's songs are invited to Mobius, which emulates an idealistic high school (as well as a small portion of the surrounding city of Miyami) because μ considers it to be "man's most glorious time." Regardless of age, those who enter Mobius become high school students and have different appearances and surroundings than they would in reality, enabling them to realize a life that was not possible for them in the real world. However, this cycle is never-ending, and μ keeps it that way by utilizing the Ostinato Musicians to do its bidding.
Those who become obsessed with μ and the Ostinato Musicians are known as "Digiheads". Because normal Mobius residents do not recognize the differences from reality, they are blinded to the changes occurring with the Digiheads, who become less self-aware and more aggressive. Because there are no restraints on them within Mobius, their self-control and linguistic ability erodes rapidly, making Digiheads extremely dangerous to the protagonists who wish to escape this virtual world.
There are more than 500 students in the world of Mobius, and each one of them can be interacted with by the player. But beware, as each one of them also has an "erosion rate" that shows how affected they are by μ's music and how close they are to losing themselves. Players can talk to these characters to learn more about their personal struggles and traumas, but if they're too strongly affected by the Ostinato Musicians and μ they will turn into enemies and attack the player.
Combat in Caligula involves the use of an "Imaginary Chain" system. By temporarily stopping time, the player can plan out a whole host of actions and see a "fantasy" of how they will play out in battle. In order to use this system effectively, the player must select actions that play off one another. For example, by using one action that launches an enemy, the next attack should be an airborne action that targets the launched enemy. Using an attack that does not correspond with the current chain of commands will result in a failure. By executing a successful Imaginary Chain, the performed actions will deal increased damage to enemies. It sounds like a really interesting combat system, and players are recommended to fully utilize Imaginary Chain to finish encounters as quickly as possible.
The characters who are trying to escape Mobius find themselves affected by the Catharsis Effect, which manifests itself as a black substance that breaks through the skin and forms a weapon. A common feature of those affected by the Catharsis Effect is a stake that erupts painfully from the chest and sprouts flowers, a sign of that person's inner will.
Pictured above are the protagonist, whose Catharsis Effect appears to take the form of a gun, and Shogo Satake, whose Catharsis takes the shape of a very large pistol. He's a mid-to-long range attacker, whose hysterics don't apparently match his usual personality. He also has broken handcuffs on each hand...
Next are Mihue Shinohara and Kotarou Tomoe. Mihue's Catharsis takes the form of a hammer and heavy armor that encases her mouth, making her a powerful attacker. She apparently has quite the attitude and isn't shy about showing her disgust. Kotarou's Catharsis Effect has manifested as a pair of large gauntlets, and combined with his large body, he is an excellent shield.
Kotono Kashiwaba, pictured below, has a Catharsis Effect that looks like a bow, which needless to say makes her an effective long-range and support character. It's noted that her Catharsis looks almost like angel wings, but can also be taken as a cage to keep out intruders. Also pictured below is Sweet-P, one of the villainous Ostinato Musicians whose music is targeted at woman and who lives by a creed of "irresistible cuteness."
Also pictured below are two more Ostinato Musicians, called Mirei and Ike-P. Mirei has a "queen-like" personality that calls her to even view μ itself as a rival, whereas Ike-P is a narcissist who is extremely confident in his appearance. Both of them are popular musicians within Mobius.
Last, but not least, you can check out the game's official Japanese box art and some gameplay footage below (about six minute's worth starting at around 28 minutes into the video). I sincerely hope that Vita exclusivity does not keep Caligula from a Western localization, because it looks really interesting. Caligula is due out on June 23rd in Japan.