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Burnout
February 17th, 2012, 01:43 PM
Ah, Guilty Crown. A clear example of budget misuse and wasted potential - I DROP IT EVERY WEEK, BUT I KEEP COMING BACK. As according to /a/, a group of trained monkeys on typewriters could hammer out a better script...


-But in anticipation of the upcoming Lost Christmas VN, here's the essential question: How would one do a Visual Novel? After all, the lovely female characters are one of the show's good points - As well as the music and the Void designs. The show actually lends itself best to a VN format; The main character's distinctive superpower is really quite limited, narrative-wise, and barring *severe* tinkering, it's not exactly suited to the format.


Synopsis:


YOU are ANON (Default name = Ouma Shu), a *totally* average highschool student living in GHQ-occupied Tokyo. You're a nice guy, really, though you're plagued by horrific nightmares of Lost Christmas: You're superficially a nice guy, but you have a lot of pent-up, gnawing guilt that's eating you from inside out.


Through a series of entirely unfortunate events, you get mixed up with the Undertakers - A group of terrorists fighting to free Japan from foreign rule - and their blonde ubermensch leader, Gai. Ultimately, you'll gain the power of the Void Genome making you one of only three superhumans on earth.


Now, as we're going on a canonical source, events have to proceed according to the series - But as you're (specifically) not a complete pussy, and you're not stuck with a single love interest, you *can* change things.


The Paragon/Renegade gauge of the game is the Power of the King meter, which tracks your behavior between Kind King and Tyrant. Note that both are *equally* gameable - You'll be forced into the role of leader, anyway - It just depends on what kind of leader you plan to be. This isn't a Light side/Dark Side dichotomy - Ideally, you'd want both to be as high as possible, though the former charts empathy, and the latter is a measure of your force of personality. Just like Mass Effect's Paragon/Renegade interrupts, you'll unlock extra events and scenes if you meet the criteria.


You gain Tyrant points when you use physical force (Or the overwhelming power of Voids) to bust your way through problems. You *also* gain them when you exert your force of personality - Conversely, Kind King points are gained through talking things out, empathy...And by being a manipulative bastard who talks people into things.


The story's divided into three main arcs, with multiple chapters within each: Prince, King/Reign and Emperor.


Prince:


As in the show, our story begins with you skipping class to work on your pet project: A video diorama of the city as you remember it, before it was eaten alive by the Apocalypse Virus. Through sheer coincidence, you meet Inori - A pink-haired beauty who strikes you as instantly familiar, when you hear her singing your sister's favorite song. Things get *strange* when she offers you a...cat's-cradle, *just* like your sister - It's up to you whether you respond with fear and loathing, blank confusion, or curiosity.


The meeting's interrupted when a group of soldiers burst in, and promptly arrest Inori: If you try to stand up for her (Tyrant points, for being assertive and confident), the soldiers are ready to rough you up...But they let you off with a warning, instead of a summary excecution when they realize your mother works for GHQ. Shortly afterward, you discover a...little robot thing, carrying a strange cylinder full of pretty colo-


-The Void Genome resonates with you, and you promptly suffer a bizarre epileptic fit. When you wake up, hours later, it's to a voice with an internet connection, requesting (Or is that nagging?) you to return the stolen property. While you might balk at bringing a biological weapon to wanted terrorists, you might decide that you want to know more about the hauntingly familiar girl (+Inori points), or the sweet-voiced girl on the other side of the channel (+Tsugumi). If you're smart enough to realize that these are *totally* the Undertakers, you get Kind King points for deducing this (obvious) piece of information.


Besides, those jackbooted GHQ thugs smashed your display. Fascists!


Of course, you quickly run into some difficulty - You're heading into a bad part of town, and the local lowlives aren't about to let you pass. Some brief fistcuffs (Tyrant) or impromptu parkor/triggering Fyu-neru's tasers might help (Kind King), but things quickly go south...Until Gai himself turns up to save you, FACEPUNCHING all comers like a boss. After all, bare-knuckle brawling is a *lot* more interesting way to meet someone, than begging not to get beaten up.


You're *really* certain you've seen him before, but there's no time to catch up on old acquitances...The Antibodies are closing in on the area, and they're going to kill absolutely everyone. Still, the Undertakers now have the Void Genome, the ultimate trump card...Which you've *used*, somehow. And as it's already bonded to you, it looks like you've been conscripted. The thing is, you have no idea how to activate it...Until you try to protect Inori from an attacking Endlave, which gives you an infinite Air Hike, Shields from Strike Witches, and a blade that cleaves evil.


As the operation concludes, you briefly fight the vicious Daryl Yan - And it's up to you whether you slice his Endlave in half, before destroying the local broadcast server with your magic sword (Tyrant), or ambush him in his cradle and use the Kaledioscope to messily turn their own lasers back upon them (Kind King). The Undertakers pull out, taking you with them; Even if you don't accept Gai's personal offer to sign on (+Tyrant and +Kind King points for following the script), their scientists still want to figure out *why* the Void Genome resonated with you, and *you* specifically.


Training arc! You meet Tsugumi and Ayase, and we've *finally* run into the other romanceable heroines; Surprisingly, you take well to the training, and get to know the girls a little bit more...Right up to the mock Endlave battle. It's entirely up to you whether you win the match by drawing out Argo's Void (Tyrant), relying on Tsugumi's analysis of an Endlave's blind-spots to evade it (Kind King/+Tsugumi) or actually disabling the thing by luring into a pillar, then repeatedly shooting it in the back of the head. (King King/+Ayase.) As you've already met Inori, this is the chance for the other two to 'catch up', affection-point wise.


Either way, when you win, you get a boost to all parameters...And your *very* first assignment. It turns out that *someone's* seen you at the site - Gai wants you to track him down. But because it'd *really* help to have a Void on-hand, in case of a confrontation, he's sending (Heroine with highest affection) to accompany you...And teach you how to, as they say, shot web.


Of course, 'Sugar' is Yahiro - You either hold back from the obvious solution of murdering him because a) You have his *word* that he'd keep his mouth shut. b) It's going to be impossible to explain if he ends up unaccountably dead.


Like the lovable traitor he is, he turns you in to GHQ the very next day.


After some SHENIGANS, including Inori doing a Matrix-style leap, and Gai cosplaying as Phoenix Wright, you escape. (Holding onto the pen, to play both sides against each other, gets you Kind King points.) Helping Tsugumi's plan go off without a hitch, or assisting Ayase in the Endlave-on-Endlave brawl that follows, gets you affection points with either girl. Levelling the entire place with Inori's Void gets you a delicious helping of Tyrant meter, too; Everyone wins!


It turns out that you got a little *too* into the giant-robot smiting; Exhausted, you wake up in the base's infirmary days later, with the highest-rated Heroine by your side. Your bad dreams are getting worse - And so *familiar*, too! Fortunately, the next few missions are effectively breather episodes (Infiltrating a cruise ship, trying to find the original source of the virus, eckscetra.) In each case, you get to pick your favorite heroine to accompany you - She'd be your 'date' on the cruise ship, the one who catches Souta's eye in the group vacation...Ultimately culminating in a romantic interlude, specific to each heroine, by the end of the 'fillers'.


Inori: You've finished your display of the city at last! Inori's *really* happy to see Tokyo 'as it was', before it became...You know, crystal-ly and all. She has a new song, too, just for you - And she'd really like you to hear it.


Ayase: The mission's a simple one - You're in the same truck as Ayase, one carrying her backup Endlave. Unfortunately, your heart-to-heart chat is interrupted by a GHQ ambush that kills the driver (Or destroys the Fyu-neru driving the truck) and smashes Ayase's command cradle, leaving both of you in a tight spot. With no other option, she has to place her trust in you - Which is *hard* for a girl who prides herself on self-reliance. You draw out her Void, and make a dash for safety - With Sleeping Beauty in a princess carry.


Tsugumi: A virus patterned on the Apocalypse Virus has the Undertaker base on lockdown, and the security systems set to murder absolutely everyone who looks at them funny. Cut off from her beloved force-feedback sphere, Tsugumi is understandably distraught...Fortunately, working together, a combination of her tactical sense and her cloning Void creates a literal army of decoys which distracts the systems long enough for you to initiate a hard reset. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to avoid fondling those kitty ears *too much*.


Things are settling into a rhythm when HOLY SHIT, THE LEUKOCYTE'S NUKING EVERYONE! As a break for all the ren'ai girl-chasing, the next chapter is a TOTALLY MANLY Gai-tastic one, where you have to work together to thwart the threat of ionic death from above. We find out that you and Gai *knew* each other from long ago...And he's either assured by the fact that you still have a good heart/haven't changed (Kind King) or have become the *man* he's tried to be. (Tyrant)


Of course, things don't go *quite* so smoothly when you meet Yahiro again; He's on the run, and in the clusterfuck that follows, his brother dies. This gives your confidence a *big* hit...Your ability to use Voids is severely affected, because there's simply too much weighing on your mind. It could be played one of two ways: You *can't* draw Voids any longer, because you can't muster the state of mind required (Like trying to 'perform' when you're severely distracted) or the Voids you draw are no longer stable.


It reminds you too much of Lost Christmas, and the dreams aren't helping. Sometimes, you think you can almost see and *hear* your sister...And she's watching. WAITING.


Gai pulls you off the firing line, for some much-needed vacation time; The way you are now, you're a liability. Through sheer narrative coincidence, things choose that exact time to go straight to hell: You must assemble your B-Team of classmates to bail out the Undertakers, and stop the second Lost Christmas incident from happening. Again, a Tyrant will simply use their Voids to break through; A Kind King will take a sneakier approach, using Arisa's connections, Yahiro's shady past (Particularly his experience with boltholes) and Souta's militant otakuism to find his way in.


It turns out that it's *all* a trap to lure you in. You're the final piece of the puzzle needed to kick everything off: Chief Keido needs your Void Genome to set off the apocalypse. This involves killing you, and capturing Inori...And it's up to the dynamic duo of you and Gai to thwart his evil plans. Depending on the girl highest in the affection meters, there's a different take on the scenario:


Inori: Inori's conscious enough to resist, and in a realm made ENTIRELY of Void crystals, you summon her sword without being within line-of-sight. As she's fighting Mana's influence, it further frustrates your yandere sister's attempts to kill you.


Ayase: Ayase's brought her Endlave with her. While still severely outmatched, Mana has to waste time ripping it apart, before she can start working on you and Gai.


Tsugumi: With a makeshift rig of computers, Tsugumi provides analysis and encouragement - As does Fyu-neru. The little robot buddy is a potent distraction, after all.

This is, as they say, the big fight. It's Gai with his Void assault rifle, and you with Inori's sword, against an entire world of hurty crystal spikes trying to murder you. The plan is 'Make a beeline for Mana while your distraction gets torn apart. Then stab the crazy out of her.'


Mana's reasons, however, and the tone of your flashback, changes depending on whether you're more of a Tyrant or a Kind King. In the former, she can't think of a better person to rule the world with; You're strong, forceful, the kind of man she wants. In the latter, she's disturbingly in love with your kindness, and wants to have a lot of incestuous Void-babies.


Also, if Inori's affection is high, it's apparent that the Apocalypse Virus is twisting Mana's very real love for you into obsession: If it's low, Mana wants to murder you in a cruel and vindictive way for rejecting her. Either way, Gai gets *thoroughly* impaled, but gives you enough of an opening to stab Mana.


The world explodes, and everything shatters - You try to grab Gai, but you only manage to pull off his coat before you're forcefully ejected from the bizarre Void-realm. When you wake up, you're in a post-apocalyptic wasteland covered with crystals: The heroine's first on the scene to find you, and there's the compulsory hugging/weeping at how *everything* has gone straight to hell...And everyone's dead, Shoe.


EVERYONE'S DEAD, AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT.


End of Arc 1.


As a side note- It's a shame, but there's no room for sub-heroines like Hare, Arisa and...The girl with glasses. As the show hasn't finished it's run, as of writing, and Hare is canonically *dead*, it would change things far too much for them to have routes.


...Maybe in the PS2 release.


Also, the synopsis specifically ignores Inori's background as a 'Net Idol; It's had absolutely no bearing on the plot, hasn't been referenced, and is particularly ludricious in light of her dual life as a terrorist. To my eternal embarassement, I've failed to include more DAN EAGLEMAN - But it can generally be assumed that things play out according to the same structure, with the characters in the same roles.


The major difference is that, in the revised timeline, the training arc takes place before the player gets betrayed by Yahiro. Again, this is for the Visual Novel format: Otherwise, the PC wouldn't meet Tsugumi and Ayase until halfway through the Prince arc. Also, it makes the PC, as they say, less of a 'beta faggot', and gives him a more plausible reason to go *back* to school.

Keyne
February 17th, 2012, 01:45 PM
Ah, Guilty Crown.

You watch it just to drop it every week~~

Burnout
February 17th, 2012, 01:54 PM
So much potential, too. >_<

Ah, I've fixed the formatting, at least.