I had never heard of Root Letter before so I had no idea what it was about. At first glance, you’d think it’s another dating sim where you just try to pick the best choices to win a girl’s heart. However, I went onto read the story which was about Takayuki Max who wrote to a girl named Aya as a penfriend. One day one of her letters wrote, “I killed someone. I must atone for my sins. This is farewell.”
You play as Takayuki 15 years later since Aya stopped corresponding and he decided to track her down by going to her home town. However, all her classmates deny knowing her and the strange thing is, they say she had died long before she became Takyuki’s penpal… Could she have been a ghost? Takayuki intends to find out.
So this official visual novel sequel actually takes part just before the “true ending” in the prequel where Okabe has undone everything, back in the beta timeline. Kurisu has been murdered and he is so depressed and traumatised that he refuses to try one last time in reaching Steins Gate where World War III never happens.
Interest probably grew in the Otakusphere towards Steins;Gate because of Black Rock Shooter since it is illustrated by the same artist Huke and, I admit it was the art that caught my eye in the first place when I saw an article about the game. Then it was the story line.
Since I can’t discuss the game spoilers in the forums I might as well pour it all out here. I’ve written this all from memory so there will be places that are inaccurate and I’ve tried to slim down to the most important points.
Needless to say, for those of you watching the Steins;Gate Anime TV series, spoilers ahead. Be warned! Although you might want to read about the individual character endings that the show probably won’t cover.
Prologue, Chapter 1 – Time Travel Paranoia
Episode 1, 2, 3
The story starts off with Okarin (Okabe Rintaro), a “chuunibyou” with delusional “mad scientist” ambitions, who goes to attend a presentation about time travel but discovers Kurisu Makise, a young genius, murdered. When he sends a message to his friend Daru about the matter, he suddenly finds himself in the streets of Akiba with everyone gone. Mayuri wakes him up and he finds the presentation cancelled with a large satellite crashed in the very building he was in earlier.
Originally a visual novel game for the Xbox 360 released back in October 2009, “Steins Gate” will be making its way to the PC this July 30th (updated to August 28th due to quality issues) with new event illustrations added.
This is the second game produced by a collaboration between 5pb and Nitro+, the first being “Chaos;Head“. Apparently this game’s gathered quite some interest in the West too judging by what I can find using just the English name.
The story tells of Rintarou Okabe, a “sufferer of chuunibyou” which is slang commonly used on the popular Japanese 2ch discussion site to describe males who act as if they’re still in the stages of puberty, acting and saying things that are completely inconsiderate of others such as anti-social behaviour. Written 厨二病 instead of 中二病 (same pronunciation) to give the term distinction from the original meaning which was used to refer to females who act as if they’re still in junior high.
In Rintarou’s case, he is a self-proclaimed “mad scientist” who starts his own “Mirai Gadgets” circle (a term used to refer to people with similar interests) in Akihabara right after being admitted into university. One day, he and the other two members of his circle create their 8th gadget, the “Telephone Cooker” and discover it has a feature that they had never planned – It allowed the user to send a message/mail people in the past.
With it they learn that a European science organisation by the name of “SERN” has been experimenting to create a mini black hole in order to create a time machine and begins to find strange things happening around him such as large groups of people suddenly disappearing. Rintarou even witnesses the murder of 18 year old prodigy, Kurisu Makise who was featured in the American science magazine “Ocarin” but for some reason, finds her still alive hours later.
When so many “coincidences” happening around them and the butterfly effect taking place, the Mirai Gadgets team know that they must be very cautious with their new invention.