AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initative (アイ：ソムニウムファイル ニルヴァーナ イニシアチブ, AI: Somuniumu fairu niruvaana inishiachibu) is a sequel to AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES set to release in Spring 2022 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Steam. The story follows an older Mizuki Okiura and her partner Aiba solving the case of the Half Body serial killings.
The game was initially teased by the Spike Chunsoft Twitter account on June 28th, 2021, under the hashtag #NineEyesTV, linking to a website with various puzzles centered around 9 eyes. Solving all the puzzles revealed the password "Nirvanainitiative", which led to a countdown for June 30th. At 5 PM PDT, the website changed and the announcement trailer for AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative was revealed.
On September 23rd, the exclusive GoodSmiles figure for the Collector's Edition was revealed, featuring Aiba in both her human and hamster form. On November 24th, the cover art for AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative was revealed, featuring brand new and returning characters.
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, newly-appointed Special Agent Mizuki and her AI partner Aiba are tasked to solve the bizarre Half Body serial killings...
So far, only two characters have been directly identified as part of the returning cast. They are as follows:
- Special Agent Mizuki Okiura (VA: Corina Boettger EN): The main protagonist of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. A newly recruited Special Agent assigned to the Half Body serial killings. A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES.
- Aiba/AI-Ball (VA: Erika Harlacher EN): The secondary main character of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. Aiba is an autonomous artificial intelligence and Mizuki's new partner, residing somewhere in Mizuki's left eye. She takes on the form of a young woman in digital space. A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES, where she was previously the partner to Special Agent Kaname Date.
Additionally, a set of different characters were revealed with the cover art of the game, but their identities are currently unknown in full. The characters in question are as follow:
- A young man who seemingly works as a Special Agent and Psyncer at ABIS. He has wild black hair, wears a black jacket over an orange vest and with a black tie, and holds a version of the Evolver. His left eye is bright red to match the new AI assistant. Many have noted that his appearance bears a striking resemblance to the character Falco, but younger.
- An AI assistant, a variant model of Aiba that is partnered with the unknown Psyncer. Her hair and overall patterns are similar to that of Aiba's but she wears a pitch black suit and a black hat, and on her hand she holds a crop whip. In her Eye form, the colors of her iris is red rather than yellow, the stem of the eye is longer, and the gelatinous body forms the figure of a woman rather than a hamster.
- An unknown young man who stands with his back against the viewer. His hair is slicked back, and he holds a smirk on his face.
- An unknown young woman with slick bowl hair with bangs that reaches her eyebrows and long flowing hair down her back and over her shoulders.
- A perplexing man with a cube-shaped head. His hair is short along the top surface, and what appears to be a birthmark or a bindi upon his forehead.
- An unknown individual with seemingly short flowing hair and with headphones. Their face appears to be distraught by some happenstance.
- An unknown gentleman with bald head and a short beard. He wears a suit and an undershirt with a collar, as well as large glasses with the rims holding it from above.
- An unknown woman with long flowing plaid hair over her left shoulder, wearing at least a turtleneck.
- An unknown large man with a strong build. His hair flows backwards, and he appears to be wearing an earring on at least his left ear.
- A mysterious large man wearing what appears to be a mascot mask with big eyes and a wide smile. He wears a hat on top of this supposed mask, along with a suspender jumpsuit over normal clothes.
- A young man with a jacket and collar, with flowing hair tied up into a bun at his back. His appearance bears a striking resemblance to that of Special Agent Kaname Date from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES.
The game is planned to release in at least two separate editions: a Standard Edition and a Collector's Edition.
The Standard Edition is the version of the game that will be available on all regions. It will be sold at the starting price of $59.99 USD, the standard price for all console video games. It comes with the game itself within the standard box. This version will be available on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Steam, with physical versions for the Switch, PS4, and Xbox One being confirmed so far. It is planned to release in Spring 2022.
The Collector's Edition is an upgraded edition of the game, featuring many bonus materials and collectibles. It will be sold at $119.99 USD and is currently only announced for North America. This edition will be sold for the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.
The Collector's Edition comes with:
- A Collector's Edition outer box featuring an original box artwork design by Yūsuke Kozaki
- Physical copy of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative
- SECRET OF THE WORLD: THE DEFIniTIVE ART BOOK: collection of concept art and illustrations by Yūsuke Kozaki
- HARMOniOUS DISCORD: official soundtrack by returning composer Keisuke Ito
- An exclusive Good Smile Company POP UP PARADE ~170mm PVC figure of the beautiful AI-Ball “Aiba”
Official promotional images for AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative:
- Much like in the previous entry, the name AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES covers various meanings, with AI meaning "artificial intelligence," the words "eye," "I," and "愛 (Ai)", and an upside down VI (6), and Somnium Files referring to "dreams" and "case files".
- The sub-subtitle, nirvanA Initiative, holds its own significance:
- The letters A and I are the only ones capitalized in the title, placed at the end and beginning of each word, separated by a space. It's in reference to the main title, "AI," as well as the Half Body serial killings, in which the bodies are found separated, vertically cut in half.
- The standard initials, N and I, stand in for the Japanese number "二, ni" (two (2)), in reference to this being the second game in the AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES series.
- It is speculated that "Nirvana Initiative" is in reference to a subject present within the game's story, which is currently unknown.
- In the game's announcement trailer, Mizuki is seen playing on a portable console, of which it holds various significance:
- The console itself seems reminiscent of either a Playstation Vita or a Nintendo Switch, although the joystick and button layout does not match either.
- The console is adorned with an Adorabbit sticker. Adorabbit is Mizuki's favorite mascot from her time in AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES.
- The game Mizuki is seen playing is the HD remake of Zero Escape: Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors, featured in the Zero Escape: The Nonary Games collection. Kotaro Uchikoshi, series creator and scenario writer for nirvanA Initiative, is also the creator of the Zero Escape series, which is his most popular work in the West.
- Mizuki plays her game atop the Okiura Fishery Cold Storage Warehouse, located in the Harbor Warehouse District. In AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES, the Warehouse is owned by her father, and various incidents occur in or near the warehouse throughout the original game.
- According to Kotaro Uchikoshi:
- According to Corina Boettger, the voice actor for Mizuki, the game is set 6 years after the events of the original AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES, making Mizuki 18 years old and Aiba 11 years old.
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