Last time, we broke down the free launch DLC and launch trailer for AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative, which I’ll share again below for those who haven’t seen it yet. Now, Spike Chunsoft has shared longer descriptions of previously revealed gameplay mechanics as well as new info on the story and characters, one of which is portrayed by a certain popular YouTube star. Let’s dive in!
AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative Starts With a Gruesome Discovery
A story where the present and the past intersect. A story told from two perspectives.
The story opens with the discovery of the left half of the body of a victim from the Half Body serial killings which occurred six years ago. Even more bizarre, the body shows no sign of decomposition. Mizuki seeks the assistance of Ryuki, the agent once assigned to the serial killings.
Mizuki’s Story: The Present
This story is told from the perspective of Mizuki, a newly appointed ABIS agent. Guided by a mysterious message she is the one who discovers the left half of the body. In order to solve the case, she seeks out Ryuki.
Ryuki’s Story: The Past
Here we see the story of the Half Body serial killings from Ryuki’s perspective. The investigation begins when only the right half of a body suddenly appears in a studio during a game show. Mizuki also appears here as a 12-year-old girl.
AI: The Somnium Files certainly got gory at times, but vertically sliced bodies are… something else. Note that there are two protagonists this time: Mizuki, the precocious kid from the previous game who is now an ABIS agent, and Ryuki, a colleague who has history with the serial killings.
AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative Has New Gameplay Elements During Investigations
Our protagonists’ AI-Balls (their prosthetic robot eyes) are outfitted with new tech that manifest as new mechanics during Somnium investigations. The trailer above showed these off, but here are their official descriptions.
When conversation yields little results, Wink Psync allows agents to easily read the thoughts of others. Wink Psync displays strong memories as dreams to reveal the lies and concerns of other parties.
With Virtual Reality, agents use a recreated virtual space to gather clues. The virtual space includes information scanned from X-rays and thermal imaging. By switching modes, special views can be applied to an entire space for investigation. Using Virtual Reality also involves solving puzzles or codes placed at a scene.
When enough clues are gathered in Virtual Reality, the game moves on to Truth Reenactment. While reviewing the flow of an incident, clues are applied to questions that have emerged, to clarify the truth. If the truth can be revealed without contradiction, agents will be able to see a visual reenactment of the incident.
Iris Is Back in AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative, and AmaLee Plays Her Friend
Spike Chunsoft shared three new character profiles, one of which is the peppy idol Iris, whom fans of the first game are no doubt well acquainted with. AmaLee, a popular voice actor and YouTuber slash VTuber, plays her schoolmate and friend Kizuna. Check their profiles out below.
VA: Jackie Lastra
Japanese VA: Nao Shiraki
An internet idol affiliated with the talent agency Lemniscate. Her idol name is A-set, but her fans call her Tesa. She loves the occult and urban legends. Iris is a senior at Sekiba High, and a member of the dance club.
Iris and Mizuki were present at the studio when the right half of a body suddenly appeared during the webcast of a game show.
VA: Brent Mukai
Japanese VA: Shinobu Matsumoto
A former “Quiz King” turned comedian. His stage name is Andes Komeji. He has made some TV appearances but isn’t very successful.
He was the host of the game show when the right half of a body suddenly appeared in the studio during the webcast. The appearance of the half body marked the beginning of the Half Body serial killings case.
Japanese VA: Emiri Suyama
Sekiba High Senior
The daughter of the uber-rich Chieda family. A senior at Sekiba High, she is a member of the same dance club as Iris: she’s even won a contest before. Kizuna is good friends with Iris. Through Iris she is also freinds with Mizuki.
AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative comes out next month on June 24th for PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam. You can absolutely still catch up before then, but if you’re really pressed for time then check out Audra’s review and the Retro Encounter spoilercast. For more adventure game news, keep visiting RPGFan!