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 directed by Akira Okada, written by Kotaro Uchikoshi, and developed by Spike Chunsoft. It is set to release on June 24th, 2022 (JP), June 24th, 2022 (NA), and July 8th, 2022 (EU) for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Steam. The story follows two pairs of protagonists —an older Mizuki partnered with the returning Aiba, and the rookie Kuruto Ryuki partner with the new AI-Ball unit Tama— investigating the mysterious 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. On January 25th of 2022, new information was revealed regarding the main protagonists of the game, revealing the identities of the main leads Kuruto Ryuki and Tama. Just two days later, on January 27th, the first story trailer for the game was released, showcasing many new and returning characters and revealing the release date as June 24th, 2022. On March 10th, Weekly Famitsu released an article featuring new information on the game and an interview with Uchikoshi and Okada; the article featured an in-game image with a QR code, which fans discovered led to the mysterious video "Fray to Free." The gameplay trailer for the game was released on April 5th, showcasing the new mechanics introduced in the Famitsu article.
On May 9th, the European and Australian copies of the console versions were delayed to July 8th due to manufacturing delays and global shipping slowdowns.
Six years ago, the right half of a corpse was discovered. The left half was never found…until six years later, completely fresh with no signs of decay. 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…
The story of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative is seemingly split into two separate "sides", following two different pairs of protagonists. In "Side: Ryuki" the protagonists are Kuruto Ryuki and Tama, ABIS investigators, set 3 months after the events of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES, as the right half of a body is found during a gameshow. In "Side: Mizuki" the protagonists are returning characters Mizuki and Aiba, set 6 years after the events of both AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES and seemingly Side: Ryuki, as the left half of the same body is found in the middle of a stadium, the body showing no sign of decay.
The story of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative follows two separate protagonists accompanied by one assistant AI each, totaling the game up to 4 playable characters. The list of all 4 protagonists are:
- Special Agent Mizuki Okiura/Mizuki Date (VA: Corina Boettger EN, Tomoyo Kurosawa JP): The main protagonist of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. She appears as the protagonist of "Side: Mizuki" set 6 years in the future (18 years old), and as a supporting character in "Side: Ryuki" 6 years in the past (12 years old). She's ABIS's new Special Agent. A Psyncer who uses the Psync Machine to infiltrate the brains of suspects and key witnesses. Mizuki lost her left eye and is now fitted with a replacement eye equipped with advanced artificial intelligence (the AI-Ball "Aiba"). Despite still being a high school student, her strong physical abilities and clever mind have earned her a special accommodation in ABIS. A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES.
- Aiba (VA: Erika Harlacher EN, Akari Kito JP): The main deuteragonist of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative and an assistant investigator. She appears as the deuteragonist of "Side: Mizuki" set 6 years in the future (12 years old). Aiba is an autonomous artificial intelligence that usually takes the form of an eyeball residing inside Mizuki's left eye socket. Her job is to assist Mizuki during investigations by connecting to networks to gather information and using special functions such as X-ray and thermographs. Because she has been working as an assistant investigator for a long time, she is adept at reading human psychology and emotional states. A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES, where she was previously the partner to Special Agent Kaname Date.
- Special Agent Kuruto Ryuki (VA: Stephen Fu EN, Atsushi Tamaru JP): The secondary protagonist in AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. He appears as the protagonist of "Side: Ryuki" set 6 years in the past (23 years old), and as a main character in "Side: Mizuki" 6 years in the future (29 years old). He's ABIS's new Special Agent. A rookie investigator with a strong sense of justice. However, he is not the hot-blooded type; he has a reserved and gentle nature. He is a well-educated young man. Unfortunately, both his parents and his brother have passed away... Fighting through his painful past, he aims to solve difficult cases with his partner, Tama, who is implanted in his left eye socket.
- Tama (VA: Anairis Quiñones EN, Ai Kakuma JP): The secondary deuteragonist in AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative and an assistant investigator. She appears as the deuteragonist of "Side: Ryuki" set 6 years in the past. Like Aiba, she is an AI-Ball equipped with advanced artificial intelligence. She is usually found in Ryuki's left eye socket and supports him in his work. She has a motherly quality to her, being both stern and kind (although she is 90% stern...). She inspires Ryuki by whipping his ass into shape. Purely coincidentally, she is also a sadistic character who literally enjoys whipping ass.
In addition to that, a whole slate of characters will appear in AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. Some will be returning, and some will be brand new. role.
The main characters pivotal to the plot are:
- Iris Sagan (VA: Jackie Lastra EN; Nao Shiraki JP): A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. An internet idol affiliated with the talent agency Lemniscate, appearing at 18 years old in the past. 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.
- Kizuna Chieda (VA: AmaLee EN; Emiri Suyama JP) — The daughter of the uber-rich Chieda family, appearing at 18 years old in the past. 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 friends with Mizuki.
- Andes Komeji (VA: Brent Mukai EN; Shinobu Matsumoto JP) — A former "Quiz King" turned comedian, appearing at 46 years old in the past. 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.
- Kaname Date (VA: Greg Chun EN; Tarusuke Shingaki JP): the original protagonist of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES. Date is a Special Agent at ABIS, and Aiba's former partner/host. However, Aiba is no longer in his left eye socket, and instead an eyepatch rests where she once resided. He is stated to play an important role in the story.
The supporting characters featured in the main mystery are:
- Amame Doi (VA: Faye Mata EN; Risa Kubota JP): A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. A Sekiba High Senior and "Mermaid" at Sunfish Pocket, appearing at 18 years old in the past. She has a sharp tongue, but is never really malicious. She's in the school dance club with Iris and Kizuna and is friends with Mizuki and Ota. A regular at Brahman and close with Gen.
- Gen Ishiyagane (VA: SungWon Cho EN; Yasumichi Kushida JP): A man who runs a restaurant called Brahman World Cuisine (無国籍料理ブラフマン, Mukokusekiryōri Burafuman) in Golden Yokocho in the past and the present. Always wears a mask for some reason. His cooking is excellent. The restaurant is frequented by members of ABIS, such as Mizuki and Ryuki.
- Shoma Enda (VA: Greg Vinciguerra EN; Hiromi Igarashi JP): A 6th grader and Komeji’s son, appearing at 12 years old in the past. His parents are divorced. He lives with his poor comedian dad, but despises him. In the same grade as Mizuki, but doesn't seem to have much contact with her.
- Tokiko Shigure (VA: Laura Post EN; Yoko Soumi JP): The President of NAIXATLOZ Japan Branch, appearing at 53 years old in the past. A believer in Simulation Theory, she sincerely believes that the world she lives in is fake and was created by someone. According to her, the purpose of Naix is to find a "seam" that should exist somewhere in this world, to bring down the false world, and to lead people to liberation.
- Chikara Horadori (VA: Frank Todaro EN; Mitsuru Ogata JP): The Director of the Horadori Institute of Genetics, appearing at 60 years old in the past. A brilliant scientist who established the Horadori Institute of Genetics at a young age. The institute mainly researches DNA treatment and gene therapy. As the investigation of the Half Body serial killings progresses, the Institute's involvement with the mysterious "Bats490" video, suspected to be related to the case, emerges. As the director of the institute Horadori also becomes a target of ABIS's investigation.
- Lien Twining (VA: Y. Chang EN; Hidenori Takahashi JP): A locksmith, appearing at 22 years old in the past. A young man who frequents Matsushita Diner, Lien was there when Ryuki went to the diner as part of his investigation. He had recently lost his job, and was alone at the diner, mourning his loss, but found love at first sight with Kizuna and proposed to her on the spot.
- Masked Woman: A masked assailant that attacks Mizuki at the stadium. She appears to be female based on body shape.
The minor recurring characters in the game are:
- Ota Matsushita (VA: Zach Aguilar EN; Natsumi Fujiwara JP): A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. A Net Idol otaku, NEET, and enthusiastic follower of Iris, appearing at 24 years old in the past. He has taken up in managing the newly reopened Matsushita Diner.
- Boss (VA: Allegra Clark EN; Yuko Kaida JP): A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. ABIS's Commander, appearing at 43 years old in the past and at 49 years old in the present. She is present during the investigations of both halves of Jin Furuei's body.
- Pewter (VA: Sean Chiplock EN; Hiroki Goto JP): A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. ABIS’s engineer and a brilliant mechanic, appearing at 37 years old in the past and 43 years old in the present. He manages and operates the Psync Machine for both Ryuki and Mizuki.
- Mama (VA: unknown EN; Kenta Miyake JP): A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. Owner of the bar Marble in Golden Yokocho, Shinjuku, appearing at 36 years old in the past. She also works as an information broker in the criminal underworld, and has taken up fortune-telling as a side business.
- Hitomi Sagan: A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. Iris's mother, appearing at 37 years old in the past. Her right arm was injured in an incident in the past, so she cannot move it.
- Moma Kumakura (VA: Kaiji Tang EN; Wataru Takagi JP): A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. The chairman of the Kumakura Family, appearing at 48 years old in the past. He attends a gameshow with Chinpei Wagai, Iris Sagan, and Mizuki Okiura, where the right half of Jin Furuei's body is found.
- Chinpei Wagai: A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. A former member of the Kumakura Family, appearing at 24 years old in the past. He attends a gameshow with Moma Kumakura, Iris Sagan, and Mizuki Okiura, where the right half of Jin Furuei's body is found.
- The Bodyguard: A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. He works for Tokiko Shigure, President of the Naixatloz Japan Branch, as her secretary and bodyguard.
- Inspector: A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. An inspector from the Metropolitan Police Department. He seemingly has a forgettable name.
- Ritsuko Enshu: A returning character from AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. The receptionist at Lemniscate Entertainment Offices.
- Jin Furue — The president of Music Food and the first victim of the Half Body Serial Killings, seemingly killed 6 years ago. His right half was found at Studio Dvaita, where his body is caught in an explosion, witnessed by the 12-year-old Mizuki. However, in present day, his left half was found in an empty sports stadium by the 18-year-old Mizuki.
- A group of genetic scientists dressed in red hazmat suits. They work as scientists at the Horadori Institute of Genetics.
- Detective: An investigator present at both crime scenes, attempting to solve and understand the mystery of Jin Furue's murder.
Much like the previous game, you play as Special Agents Mizuki and Ryuki as they explore Tokyo in search of clues, witnesses, and suspects. The gameplay is split between investigation in the real world and investigation of dream worlds, or Somnia.
In real-world investigations, the player moves the cursor to select objects and people in order to interact with them. Aiba and Tama come with unique AI Sight functions, such as the returning Zoom, X-ray, and Thermo, which can seemingly now be toggled from a selection. A new mechanic introduced is "Virtual Reality," where an entire 3D space is recreated within VR, and the additional "Truth Reconstruction" allows for the player to recreate the crime scenes as if editing or filming a TV drama, chronicling all the event together. The final new mechanic is Wink Psync, a miniature form of Psyncing in which, rather than diving into a person's subconscious dreams, the protagonist envisions a character's present conscious thoughts, which could reveal new information and/or determine if a witness is lying or not; these Wink Psyncs appear to have a 6 second time limit.
In Somnium investigations, the player complete a variety of puzzles with a time limit of 6 minutes, where interacting with objects will consume a set amount of time. Taking different actions may cause the story to branch in different directions, but running out of time will result in a game over. The TIMIE mechanic and progression through Mental Locks return, but quality of life improvements are introduced, such as toggling the flowchart on or off, toggling the TIMIEs to be visible, and icons signaling what objects to interact with. Movement in Somnia is expanded with the addition of swimming underwater and flying through the air. Also the game features various difficulty modes as well as multiple endings.
Featured Locations and Somnia
Various new and returning locations are featured in AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative:
- Harbor Warehouse District — A district in the Koto District, where the Okiura Fishery Cold Storage Warehouse is located.
- Matsushita Diner — A diner owned by Ota Matsushita's parents.
- Police Headquarters — The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's headquarters, and the base of operations for the Advanced Brain Investigation Squad.
- Boss's Office — The ABIS offices owned by Boss, where Psyncers visit Boss to discuss their investigations.
- Psync Room — The room in which the Psync Machine is stored. A subject can be placed in the Subject chair while they're asleep, and a Psyncer can then sit in the Psyncer Chair to dive into the subject's Somnium. The engineer and other officer overlook and operate the Machine from a room above.
- Interrogation Room — A room inside Headquarters where suspects can be questioned by the agents and detectives.
- Ikume Shrine — A local shrine that Ryuki and Tama visit during their investigation.
- Date Residence — The residence for Kaname Date, Aiba, and Mizuki.
- Lemniscate Entertainment Offices — The offices for the Lemniscate Talent Agency, where Iris Sagan and Ritsuko Enshu work.
- Sunfish Pocket — A sea-themed maid cafe served by "Mermaids." Amame Doi works at the cafe, while Iris Sagan is a former employee.
- Sagan Residence — The home where Iris Sagan and Hitomi Sagan both live.
- Kumakura Office — The offices of the Kumakura Family, where Moma Kumakura works at.
- Marble — A bar in Golden Yokocho run by Mama. The bar now features fortune-telling as a side business.
- Studio Dvaita — A studio lot used for filming different programs and seemingly hosted by a man with a blocky head. Iris Sagan, Mizuki Date, Moma Kumakura, Chinpei Wagai, Boss, and Ryuki participate in a gameshow hosted by Andes Komeji called Faith to Face, parodying Kazou Taishou (known as Masquerade in the West). However, the right half of Jin Furue's body was found on stage with a sign leading to the Fray to Free video.
- Horadori Institute of Genetics — A laboratory operated by Chikara Horadori. The main laboratory is a room with large tanks filled with colored liquids, a large computer or machinery in the center of the room, and various desks filled with lab equipment and test tubes.
- Naixatloz Japan Branch — An office owned by Tokiko Shigure. The back wall features a diamond-shaped emblem composed of straight lines forming 4 smaller diamonds. The desk holds a small, bright trophy, while the corner hides a larger statue of a man. This office is the subject of a Somnium.
- Sekiba High — An all-girls' high school that Iris, Amame, and Kizuna attend in the past and that Mizuki attends in the present.
- Brahman World Cuisine — A small restaurant owned by Gen. It is located in Golden Yokocho alongside Marble.
- Misetan Department Store — A department store that features a small park on its rooftop, fill with various attractions such as spinning airplanes, a stand-up stage, and a ferris wheel.
- Tokyo National Stadium (TBD) — A large multi-purpose sports stadium with a racetrack looping around a sports field. The left half of Jin Furue's body is found in the stadium 6 years after the right half was originally found.
- Yoyagi Park — An outdoor park, seemingly separate from the amusement park. It's located among trees and natural terrain, and features small water fountains.
- Aioen Orphanage — An orphanage that Kizuna and her friends frequently visit.
- Cathedral — A mysterious cathedral. An incident occurred in the past within this cathedral that left Ryuki traumatized.
- Mizuki's Scooter — Mizuki's mode of transportation, much like Date's Car in the previous game. It contains a charging port at the dashboard for Aiba.
- Ryuki's Limousine — Ryuki's mode of transportation, driven by Tama. The inside of the limousine features a minibar with drinks.
The game features various Somnia accessed throughout the game. Here is a list of Somnia identified throughout promotional material. Seemingly, the Somnia are divided into "Side: Mizuki" and "Side: Ryuki", which each Side playing as a different team of character's
The list of known Somnia in "Side: Mizuki" are:
- New Investigation — Location: Interrogation Room, Cathedral, and Date Residence | Subject: Kuruto Ryuki and Mizuki Okiura (Reverse)
- A Somnium that starts at the Interrogation Room as Aiba questions Ryuki, where a Reverse Psync is enacted where Tama briefly explores the Date Residence. In the A Branch of the Somnium, after Mental Lock #1, it transforms into a crumbling Cathedral with explosions and fires. Solving the Somnium requires interacting with objects that have or lack shadows.
- Location: Aioen Orphanage
- Solving the Somnium involves having Aiba engage in child-like activities around the park area, such as interacting with a "Diary" with a chapter titled "Little Blue Riding Hood", or engaging in some mini-game with the swings alongside Kizuna.
- Location: Unknown
- Aiba investigates inside a Somnium in what appears to be the indoor area of a building complex. A blue silhouette is seen floating inside a strange sphere, while Aiba finds a piece of paper with cryptic writing inside.
- Location: Yoyagi Park
- Aiba is seen swimming around inside what appears to be an outdoor park of some kind, with stone slabs or markers around the area. It is unclear if this is an extension of Ikume Shrine, the park seen in other footage, or some unknown cemetery.
The list of known Somnia in "Side: Ryuki" are:
- Location: Studio Dvaita
- The Somnium acts as a gameshow, where the host speaks to Tama asking questions and prompts.
- Location: Misetan Department Store Rooftop
- Tama can be seen in an animation at the park, suggesting that at some point this location is featured as a Somnium.
- Location: Enda Residence
- Tama appears as a small doll inside a dollhouse located inside the Komeji Residence. A towering Shoma appears above the dollhouse looking down at her.
- Location: Naixatloz Office
- The room begins in a normal state, but eventually it turns 90 degrees as the wall with the insignia and statues becomes the floor, making Tama use air traversal to reach parts of the Somnium along the now-tall room.
- Location: Horadori's Laboratory
- Chikara is confirmed to be the subject of a Somnium, and his laboratory appears in a Somnium. The walls of the room appear to become transparent while the glass cylinders are operated in some way. Tama is trapped inside one of those cylinders over the course of the Somnium
Depending on the region and console, different versions of the game will include different audio tracks and/or text options. Below is a chart that lays out all the available options for each region and console:
|Audio Tracks||Text Options|
The game is planned to release in at two separate editions on consoles: a Standard Edition and a Collector's Edition. To compensate, the Steam release also includes a Deluxe Edition with its own set of bonuses.
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, 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 on June 24th, 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”
The Deluxe Edition is a special Steam-only bundle of the game, featuring downloadable content which is discounted at 21%, at $70.26 USD. The contents are as follows:
- Digital download of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative — $59.99 USD
- Digital download of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES —nirvanA Initiative— Complete Soundtrack — $19.99 USD
- Three sets of downloadable content — $2.99 USD each, collectively $8.97 USD:
- AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative DLC Kimono Set: includes special Kimono costumes for Aiba and Tama.
- AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative DLC Monochrome Set: includes a special black palette swap costume for Aiba and a white palette swap costume for Tama.
- AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative DLC B-Movie Horror Set: includes three special pairs of costumes for Aiba and Tama, one pair of zombie makeup, one pair of gas masks (based on the Zero mask from the Zero Escape series), and one pair of shark headgear.
Store-Exclusive Pre-order Bonuses (Japanese exclusive)
Exclusive to Japan, special retailers will include their own exclusive items available when pre-ordering the game at their stores. The retailers and rewards in question are:
- Amazon JP Store: Exclusive Tama PC wallpaper and Aiba smartphone wallpaper (it is unclear if there's alternating wallpapers for the characters)
- Otakara Hajime-ko (お宝創庫, lit. "Treasure House") stores: Exclusive Aiba button badge in her AI-Ball form
- Rakuten stores: Two exclusive Aiba and Tama acrylic stands, one per each character and both appearing in their AI-Ball forms
The game will feature special downloadable content, 3 sets available for $2.99 USD, and 2 special sets available for free for a limited time during the first 3 weeks of the game's launch. The costumes included are:
- Hot Dog Costume Set (Free) — A full-body hot dog costume that cover everything but their faces and limbs. The ketchup and mustard trails make an interlocking twisting design similar to a strand of DNA, a common theme in nirvanA Initiative.
- 3 Pattern T-Shirt Set (Free) — Three white T-shirts with different designs at the front. Both Aiba and Tama wear these shirts on top of their normal clothing, with their skirts peeking out the bottom of the shirts. The designs are:
- Kimono Set ($2.99 USD) — A special purple kimono for Aiba and a special orange-to-red kimono for Tama, both adorned with special floral designs and floral headgear.
- Monochrome Set ($2.99 USD) — Palette swap costumes for Aiba and Tama, black for Aiba and white for Tama.
- B-Movie Horror Set ($2.99 USD) — Three special costume options for Aiba and Tama:
- Zombie makeup: special makeup for Aiba and Tama that make them look like zombies.
- Special gas mask: a special headgear designed like the gas mask worn by the villain Zero from the Zero Escape series.
- Shark costume: a special headgear where Aiba and Tama have a shark doll biting onto their heads.
Articles and Interviews
Here's a list of listed articles and interviews in relation to the game:
- Spike Chunsoft's September 2021 Collector's Edition Press Release
- Spike Chunsoft's January 2022 Lead Character Profiles Press Release
- Spike Chunsoft's January 2022 Story Trailer Press Release
- NintendoLife's January 2022 interview with Kotaro Uchikoshi
- Weekly Famitsu's March 2022 Issue + Interview with Kotaro Uchikoshi and Akira Okada in Japanese (full translation by AAABatts and edited by LordThantus)
- Spike Chunsoft's April 2022 Gameplay Trailer Press Release
- NintendoLife's April 2022 interview with Akira Okada
- Spike Chunsoft's May 2022 New Characters Press Release
- Spike Chunsoft's EU Release Date Change Press Release
- Spike Chunsoft's May 2022 Characters Trailer Press Release
- Spike Chunsoft's May 2022 New Somnium Elements Press Release
- NintendoLife's May 2022 interview with Kotaro Uchikoshi
- Joshin Web's May 2022 interview with Akira Okada in Japanese
- Spike Chunsoft's June 2022 New Characters Revealed Press Release
- Spike Chunsoft's June 2022 Twitter Campaign Press Release
- Spike Chunsoft's June 2022 Deluxe Edition and DLC Press Release
- Spike Chunsoft's June 2022 Anime Expo T-Shirt Press Release
- Spike CHunsoft's June 2022 Mini-Game and Bonus Content Press Release
Official promotional images for AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative:
The first batch promotional images from the official website and January Press Release:
Second batch of promotional images from Weekly Famitsu's March article. Some images are currently only in Japanese:
Third batch of promotional images from Spike Chunsoft's April Press Release:
Fourth batch of promotional images from Weekly Famitsu's April issue and Spike Chunsoft's May Press Release:
Fifth batch of promotional images from the Playstation Store, exclusively available in Asian countries:
Sixth batch of promotional images released alongside the Character Trailer:
Seventh batch of promotional images released for the May 2022 Somnium Elements Press Release:
Eighth batch of promotional images released for the June 2022 Characters Press Release:
- 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.
- The character "二" is repeated three times in the game's title, twice in just the nirvanA Initiative subtitle.
- The Nirvana Initiative is "a mysterious plot" that Mizuki and Ryuki must investigate over the course of the game.
- The series title for AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES in Japanese is different in this game than in the previous entry. Before, the JP title was "AI:ソムニウムファイル", but in nirvanA Initiavite it's now "アイ：ソムニウムファイル", making the "AI" no longer romanized. This may have been changed due to confusions on the JP spelling of the name in the game's cover, which originally only included "ソムニウムファイル" below the English words.
- 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:
- On January 3rd, 2020, one and a half years before nirvanA Initiative was revealed, Kotaro Uchikoshi asked on Twitter if fans would be interested in playing a sequel to the original AI. The tweet obtained nearly 500 Likes, more than 100 retweets, and over 100 replies with an overabundant request for a sequel. This tweet most likely factored heavily into nirvanA Initiative getting green-lit into production.
- Visual Novel director and scenario writer Takumi Nakazawa has stated that he assisted in nirvanA Initiative's development. Nakazawa debuted in the video game industry alongside Kotaro Uchikoshi and have developed many games as a director/writer pair, partiuclarly the Infinity series and World's End Club. Nakazawa and Uchikoshi currently both work at Tookyo Games while assisting in development for nirvanA Initiative.
- The four free DLC costumes are based off popular memes, some tied to AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES:
- The Hot Dog costume is based off a "Weenie Man" meme song, which became popular in the AI fandom from a meme focused around the culprit of the original game (WARNING: spoilers for the original game).
- The White T-shirt with Atami on it is based off the Date's Atami Date Route from the original game, which became a popular joke among the fandom.
- The White T-shirt with the images of Tama or Aiba with a galaxy background is based off the "Cat Transcendence"/"The Prophecy Is True Cat" meme, where cat exaggeratedly reacts to a flower in a video.
- The White T-shirt with the images of Date, Boss, Pewter, and Kagami yelling excitedly is based off the "Reaction Guys"/"Gaijin 4-koma" meme, where 4 guys are excitedly reacting to something off screen towards the left, all sitting on a couch.
- The genetic scientists working at Horadori's Institute of Genetics wearing the red hazmat suits are actually re-using a model from Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, part of the same Zero Escape series by Kotaro Uchikoshi as mentioned above. The models in nirvanA Initiative are nearly the same, with the model being higher quality and with a logo for Horadori's Insitute of Genetics adorning their left chest area and their left forearm.
|Zero Escape: Virtue's Las Reward spoilers here!|
- Gematsu: "AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative delayed to July 8 in Europe"
- May 2022 New Characters Press Release
- AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative Character Trailer
- Spike Chunsoft's January 2022 Story Trailer Press Release
- AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative Story Trailer on YouTube
- Currently in a Japanese-only screenshot from a Famitsu article, Amame reveals that she lied about her age in AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES, telling the Sunfish Pocket manager she was 20 years old.
- May 2022 New Somnium Elements Press Release
- June 2022 New Characters Press Release
- Facebook post + comments by Kotaro Uchikoshi
- Kotaro Uchikoshi first and second Twitter posts
- To-Witter Archives Tesa 2020: January 3rd
- Takumi Nakazawa on Twitter
- Original Weenie Man Song video
- Weenie Man meme (spoilers for AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES)
- Know Your Meme entry for Cat Transcendence
- Know Your Meme entry for Reaction Guys