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AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Adventure
Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
Release Date: June 24, 2022 (US), July 8, 2022 (EU)

About Rainier

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'AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative' Reveals New Characters, Investigative Elements, Story Details - Screens

by Rainier on May 2, 2022 @ 12:55 a.m. PDT

AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative is a detective adventure by Zero Escape series Director/Scenario Writer Kotaro Uchikoshi.

Six years ago, the right half of a corpse was discovered under mysterious circumstances. The left half was never found...until six years later, when it was discovered completely fresh with no signs of decay, as though the victim was alive until just recently.

Now, Special Agents Mizuki and Ryuki, along with their AI partners Aiba and Tama, are tasked to solve the bizarre Half Body serial killings while unveiling the mysterious plot known only as the Nirvana Initiative…

Two is one. Two opposites is the main theme of the game. For example, Yin and Yang, man and woman, double helix... Love and hate could also be one of them. The title "AI" also means "love" in Japanese. Similar to the previous work, this game will involve various types of love. Familial love, love for the opposite sex, and love that is not bound by any framework. In addition, this work will dive into the opposite of love, hatred. A love-hate mystery that begins with half of a corpse. I hope you enjoy.

From the above-mentioned theme, it was decided in the early stages that the game would have dual protagonists, and Mizuki would be one of them... She was the most popular character from the previous title, and personally, I wanted to write about her growth...

Well, what about the other protagonist? Obviously, at first, I thought of Date, the protagonist of the previous game. However, if the story was about Date and Mizuki, the flavor lingering from the last title would become too strong, and it might be too hard for new players to follow... So, by interweaving an existing character and a new character, anyone can enter this fictional world.

Kaname Date will of course appear. Not as a minor appearance, but as a character who plays an important role... So, Date fans, never fear! This sequel will feature an even cooler (or less cool) Date, so please look forward to that.

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.


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".


Wink Psync
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.


Virtual Reality
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.


Truth Reenactment
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 Returns and Introducing New Characters 

Iris
VA: Jackie Lastra
Japanese VA: Nao Shiraki
Internet Idol
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.


Komeji
VA: Brent Mukai
Japanese VA: Shinobu Matsumoto
Comedian
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.


Kizuna
VA: AmaLee
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.


Players can pre-order AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative now.

The Collector's Edition ($119.99) includes:

  • AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative
  • Exclusive Good Smile Company POP UP PARADE ~170mm PVC figure of the beautiful AI-Ball "Aiba"
  • SECRET OF THE WORLD: THE DEFIniTIVE ART BOOK featuring concept art and illustrations by Yusuke Kozaki
  • HARMOniOUS DISCORD official soundtrack by returning composer Keisuke Ito

AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative is coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC (Steam) on June 24, 2022 for $59.99. The physical version of the title will be published in Europe by Numskull Games.


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