"Chaos;Child, Anne-Lou explains, sees Takuru's reality shaped by the delusions he experiences. This allows the main plot to break off into several different side-stories with their own endings, not unlike Steins;Gate."
In November 2009, an unimaginable event rocked Tokyo. A series of drastic earthquakes shook the city to its core, killing thousands. And in its wake, a mysterious spate of violent incidents terrorized Shibuya. Five schoolgirls lept to their deaths, holding hands. The body of a salaryman was found pinned to a back-alley wall by dozens of wooden stakes. The corpses of a man and an unborn baby are found desecrated together in a horrifying tableau. The internet dubbed these strange incidents "The New Gen Killings", and they remain unsolved to this day.
It is now September 2015, and it is happening again.
An even more severe earthquake has completely demolished Shibuya. The famous 109 Tower is in ruins, while the once-bustling Scramble Crossing is now resembles a charred war zone. It is here that high school journalism club member Miyashiro Takuru arrives with his camera and notepad, hoping to get the scoop before emergency services arrive on scene.
This is the setup to Chaos;Child, the latest in 5pb.'s Science Adventure Series. Although set in the same universe as the critically-acclaimed Steins;Gate, Chaos;Child is the direct sequel to Chaos;Head, the series' first entry that concerned the 2009 New Gen Killings. Following the surprise announcement of Chaos;Child's localization back in May, localizer PQube made an appearance at the MCM Comic Con, where representative Anne-Lou gave a demonstration of its first fifteen minutes to a live audience.
Those familiar with Steins;Gate likely remember its Phone Trigger System, in which story branches were determined by how players responded to text messages, answered phone calls, or ignored them completely. Chaos;Child's branches are determined via a similar method, the Delusion Trigger System. Protagonist Takuru is prone to vivid hallucinations, and it's up to players whether they want him to experience a pleasurable fantasy, a living nightmare, or opt against hallucinations at all. Fans of Chaos;Head likely recognize the Delusion Trigger System as that game's core mechanic, although it had no lasting effect as there were no branching paths. Chaos;Child, Anne-Lou explains, sees Takuru's reality shaped by the delusions he experiences. This allows the main plot to break off into several different side-stories with their own endings, not unlike Steins;Gate.
After explaining the system, Anne-Lou walked audiences through the beginning of Chaos;Child, which concerns the first bizarre incident. A frumpy NEET livestreams his dismal apartment to his audience, when he hears a knock at the door. Annoyed, the man leaves his webcam on to find out who's there, but the person outside refuses to identify themselves and simply repeat, "I'm here to help." Suddenly overcome by a feeling of calm, the streamer opens the door and lets the visitor in.
Unseen by the webcam, the man and his guest walk to the kitchen together, where they prepare a snack of sliced smoked cheese. Hungrily, the man takes his plate back to his computer and begins to eat in front of his audience, while the visitor remains off-camera in the kitchen. Strangely, the livestream erupts into hysterics, as if the man's eating is a source of great entertainment. It's at that moment that the man feels an unbearable pain. He looks down at his plate to find not cheese, but his dismembered arm; his sliced fingertips covered in bite marks. The spell is broken and the man goes into shock. What a show! The chatroom celebrates the incredible stunt they've just witnessed, as the man faces the camera and dies of blood loss.
Like its prequels, Chaos;Child is set to contain 50 hours of science fiction mystery, though this time with a much grislier air. Fans of the grotesque can experience as many delusions as they please when the visual novel launches this Winter.