Spike Chunsoft's AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative isn't hiding much when it comes to detail. The company has sharedeven more information about the upcoming sequel, which sees fan favourite character Mizuki take centre stage along with a brand new investigation agent, Ryuki.
Between these two characters, the game's story focuses on the 'Half Body' case, where six years after the right half of a corpse appeared, the left half has suddenly been found. As Mizuki, now a newly appointed special agent, and Ryuki, an agent from the past, you must uncover the mystery of this case.
We've got a bit more detail from Spike Chunsoft on what this past and present story split will entail.
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.
Not only do we know more about the story of this murder mystery sequel, but the publisher has revealed the identities of a few more characters that we'll be meeting along the way, and Mizuki isn't the only returning favourite.
Fans will remember internet idol Iris, also known as A-set or Tesa, as the bright and peppy teenage girl who was internet and social media savvy. Her interest in the occult and urban legends is still strong. Now, Iris is a senior at Sekiba High, and she is also part of the dance studio. She witnesses the sudden appearance of half of a dead body alongside Mizuki.
A brand new character for the sequel, Kizuna is part of Iris' dance club and a good friend to her and Mizuki. She is the daughter of an extremely rich family.
Another new character, and a professional comedian. His TV appearances haven't been very successful, but he has made a living as a quiz show host. He was the host of a webcast where the right half of a dead body suddenly appeared.
It seems like Spike Chunsoft are all for spilling the details today, as after a brief look at some of the new gameplay elements a few weeks ago, Spike Chunsoft has revealed just a bit more, along with a brand new look at just how these play out.
We uncovered some of these features ourselves in our interview with the game's director, Akira Okada, so check out that if you want even more information on what to expect:
New Investigation Elements
The game consists of two parts: Investigation and Somnium. During Investigation, the story unfolds as players navigate the real world, examine crime scenes, and conduct interviews with suspects and witnesses. Here the objective is to gather information and collect evidence.
The main protagonists Mizuki and Ryuki both have a prosthesis in their left eye. This prosthesis or “AI-Ball” is equipped with advanced artificial intelligence, as well as visual functions such as X-ray, thermal imaging, and night vision that can help them uncover clues. Mizuki and Ryuki have used the AI-Ball to secretly see what’s behind a wall or inside a closed box, and even changes in body temperature; something not possible with the naked eye. For the sequel, AI-Ball’s new functions include “Wink Psync,” “Virtual Reality,” and “Truth Reenactment.”
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.
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.
We're inching ever closer to discovering the mystery behind the Half Body case as AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative releases on Switch on 24th June. Let us know what you think of the look of the game so far in the comments!