This page will serve as an FAQ for people new to AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES and its related content, or those looking for answers about certain aspects of the story after finishing the game. This page is spoiler free, aside from the final section.
- 1 About the Series
- 2 About AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES
- 2.1 What is the gameplay like?
- 2.2 How long is the game?
- 2.3 How many endings/routes does it have?
- 2.4 Is there a recommended route order?
- 2.5 How does the game reflect its M rating?
- 2.6 Are there guides or walkthroughs for the game?
- 2.7 Are there any collectibles available?
- 2.8 Any tips and tricks while playing the game?
- 3 About AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative
- 4 About the "Lemniscate" ARG
- 4.1 What is an “Augmented Reality Game”?
- 4.2 Who is “A-set”?
- 4.3 What do the “Lemniscate” videos consist of?
- 4.4 What are the supplementary materials to the videos?
- 4.5 Are @Lemniscate_Aset and @a_set_on the same person or different people?
- 4.6 How is “Lemniscate” connected to AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES? Is it canon?
- 4.7 Has everything in the ARG been solved?
- 4.8 Is there a recommended order for the videos and supplementary content?
- 5 Answers About AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES (Spoilers)
- 6 References
About the Series
What is the AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES series?
The AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES series is a video game/multimedia series centered around the same made up of several properties:
- The game AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES, released on September 17th, 2019;
- A series of YouTube videos under the name "Lemniscate", aired from January 30th to July 5th, 2019, plus its accompanying in-character tweets, starting from January 30th, 2019 and continuing to the present day;
- And the upcoming game AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative
What is AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES?
AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES is a puzzle-adventure/visual novel hybrid mystery video game, written and directed by Kotaro Uchikoshi and developed by Spike Chunsoft, both known for their work on the Zero Escape series. The game follows Special Agent Kaname Date and his partner Aiba from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. The pair work for the Advanced Brain Investigation Squad, a special unit of the MPD that solves crimes by delving into the dreams of suspects and witnesses.
The plot begins with Date's investigation of the murder of a woman named Shoko Nadami. As Date and Aiba investigate her death, the case expands to involve a large, interconnected cast of over twenty characters. The player can make certain choices that affect the direction the investigation takes, resulting in new information or unexpected turns. The story explores past incidents, strange disappearances, criminal syndicates, conspiracy theories, and the secrets hidden 6 years prior to the game's events.
What is “Lemniscate”?
"Lemniscate English" (in the West) and "Japan Lemniscate" (in Japan) are the two different YouTube channels that hosted the "Lemniscate" video series, intended to promote AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES. The videos feature the character A-set, an internet idol dedicated to producing weekly content. Most of her videos are vlogs featuring herself, her talent agency Lemniscate, her various friends, or her producer Kotaro Uchikoshi. As more videos released, a narrative began to develop between both her videos and her accompanying tweets.
The "To-Witter Accounts" are a set of Twitter accounts run by A-set and other characters. Since the start of the video series, these accounts tweeted on a near-daily basis. Their tweets are written in-character and serve to flesh out their personalities and fill in the gaps of the videos' narrative.
Together, the "Lemniscate" video series and the "To-Witter Accounts" are known to fans as the "A-set Augmented Reality Game", or "A-set ARG" for short. The videos and social media accounts also included a number of puzzles and ongoing mysteries, allowing fans to solve them as a community and influence the story's development. While the video series is currently finished and the ARG elements have dwindled down, the social media accounts are still active to this day.
What is AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative?
AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative is a sequel/continuation to the original AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES, written by Kotaro Uchikoshi, directed by Akira Okada (promoted from Assistant Director), and developed by Spike Chunsoft. The game follows Special Agent Mizuki Okiura, newly recruited into the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's Advance Brain Investigation Squad, and paired up with the previous game's partner, Aiba, to solve more crimes requiring to delve into the dreams of suspects and witnesses.
Not many details are currently known, but the story is set to revolve around Mizuki and Aiba investigating the resurgence of the Half Body Serial Killings.
When does the series take place, and what is considered “canonical”?
The "Lemniscate" videos and accompanying tweets appear to be set in real time on the dates they were posted, starting from January 2019 onwards. Many videos and posts contained various references to real-world events that matched up the time at which they were published online. While some fan speculation calls into the question the exact timing of the ARG's events, the YouTube videos are all set in 2019.
The exact dates of the events of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES are not stated in-game, only that it begins on a Friday night in November and takes place over the following week. Several clues from promotional material, character profiles, and in-game dialogue indicate that the game's events begin on November 1st, 2019, two months after the game's real-world release date.
How "canon" the game and ARG are to each other is unclear. Inconsistencies between the two indicate that they may be separate, and notably, the "Lemniscate" videos feature AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES as an in-universe video game that A-set promotes. It is accepted among some fans that the game and ARG take place in the same world, but different timelines. When or how these timelines may diverge is unknown, but it is likely before the start of the ARG.
Meanwhile, AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative's exact framing is currently unclear, but the game seems to be set 6 years after the events of the first one, making it set in 2025. It's also unknown if the game continues from the original's "true" ending or if it perhaps takes place after one of its alternate endings.
The AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES series takes place in a universe slightly different from our own, so it seems generally safe to assume that most things in our world have a counterpart in the world of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES. There are numerous references to other media, or names meant to parody others (e.g. ShovelForge, a Minecraft parody, or "8-12," a play on "7-Eleven" stores). Additionally, this wiki considers any media referenced by the official Twitter accounts "canon" to the universe of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES.
Is there a recommended series order?
AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES (AI) and "Lemniscate" (ARG) can be enjoyed separately from each other. AI can be played completely blind without investing in the ARG. The ARG can be enjoyed as promotional content leading up to AI, or as supplementary content to watch after completing AI. It is also possible to watch the Lemniscate series without relying on any of the accompanying Twitter material, or it can be read after watching the videos. Outside of those two, AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative (NI) is stated to be completely playable as a standalone game, without needing prior knowledge from AI or the ARG to enjoy NI.
However, if you wish to experience the series as a whole, sticking to the release order is recommended: each individual Lemniscate video, the accompanying tweets, then AI, and finally followed by NI. This means watching a single episode of the video series, reading all the Twitter material following the video, then continuing to the next video in the series. Since some videos and tweets were posted after AI's release, there are a number of recommended stopping points listed below.
- For a cursory introduction to several characters without any major story content, watch the Lemniscate videos (and read the accompanying tweets) through either the 3rd video "Tesa Visits Maid Cafe Sunfish Pocket!" or the 5th video "Tesa's Matsushita Diner Review! Omelet Rice Edition!"
- For more in-depth story content while avoiding direct gameplay footage that some consider to be spoilers* for AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES, watch (and read) through to the 14th video "It’s time to talk about the Cyclops Case (might lose subscribers for this...)"
- To experience all of the game's promotional content, you can do the following:
- If you want to only watch the videos, watch through to the 23rd video, titled "Graduation"
- If you want to read all supplementary material along with each video, follow all the material in release order until the date "September 17th, 2019," the original game's release date. This is recommended for the full experience.
- *Admin Note: The "spoilers" in the Lemniscate ARG have been the subject of fan debate over whether they reveal too much or are a strategic part of the game's marketing. This content has also been featured in trailers for the game. While it is important to the development of the ARG's narrative, discretion is advised if you wish to avoid any content directly from the game.
The videos can be found in order here, and if you wish to read all the accompanying Twitter material, use the page "To-Witter Archives (Tesa)" for the English edition and "To-Witter Archives (Aseton)" for the Japanese edition (translations pending). A more detailed guide to reading and watching the ARG can be found below, along with a commonly recommended route order for the game itself.
About AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES
What is the gameplay like?
The gameplay of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES is divided into two types of chapters: Investigation chapters and Somnium chapters. Investigation chapters have Japanese titles consisting of two kanji, with its romanization ending in the letters "AI." Somnium chapters have English titles beginning written as puns to the song "Singin' in the Rain," structured as "PSYNCIN' IN THE ---" followed by a word ending in "-aiN."
Gameplay in investigation scenes is similar to point-and-click adventure games, with a cursor to select objects and a fixed camera that player can pan around the environment. All objects with a name can be investigated, and new text or dialogue will appear while the name is green. Selecting a character prompts up to four dialogue options to appear. Occasionally, extra button prompts will allow the player to investigate a character or object with one of Aiba's special functions, including as X-Ray, Thermography, Zoom In, and NightVision. An investigation scene ends when all important objects have been inspected and all key investigative questions have been asked, at which point the player can choose a new location from the map or the game will auto-advance.
Somnium chapters, on the other hand, are 3D puzzle rooms the player can explore to solve. Once the puzzle starts, a timer will count down from 360 seconds. Time in Somnium moves as the player moves, so it will slow to a crawl when standing still. The player fails if the timer reaches zero. To clear the puzzle, a number of Mental Locks must be cleared by performing the correct actions on certain objects. Every action costs a set amount of time, from as low as 6 seconds to as high as 999 seconds. Many actions will allow the player to obtain a TIMIE, a special item that affects the amount of time an action takes; some TIMIEs divide the time cost by a fraction, some set the time cost to a fixed number, and some "penalty" TIMIEs will forcibly multiply the cost of the player's next action. The player can hold up to 3 TIMIEs at once. By carefully managing actions and TIMIEs, the player can clear a Somnium well under the time limit.
In addition to the primary modes of gameplay, there are a number of gameplay elements that appear in certain investigation chapters. While talking to suspects in the Interrogation Room, the player must present the correct evidence to contradict their statements. Depending on the statement, up to 3 pieces of evidence may be required. When looking at the evidence list, the player can select each element to either summarize the information it represents, or present it to the suspect. Successfully clearing an interrogation segment without presenting the wrong evidence will earn the player an achievement/trophy for each scene.
Additionally, some chapters feature Quick-Time Events known as "Shooting Events." During certain action sequences, Date will combat armed individuals, and must make use of Aiba's Predictive Analysis to efficiently take down all the enemies. To succeed in Aiba's instructions, the player must complete button prompts within a short time limit. In some cases, Date will load his gun, the Evolver, with a special bullet, and the player must keep the cursor on the target to fill up a meter before firing; these events also sometimes have a timer. Failing any button prompt results in an instant Game Over, and the player must restart from a checkpoint. Every Shooting Event (with one exception) earns the player an achievement/trophy for clearing it without failing any prompt.
One final gameplay element appears during certain pivotal scenes. Date is given a question or choice, and a question prompt appears in the top left corner of the screen. This question can be answered just like selecting a dialogue option in investigation scenes. Many of these questions have no penalty for wrong answers, and some even result in a humorous reaction. However, a small number of these prompts can result in a Bad Ending for selecting the wrong answer.
How long is the game?
Various factors and play styles may affect play time, but most players tend to average around 30 hours. The time may fluctuate based on reading speed, puzzle solving speed, and how much optional content the player explores during investigations, as some have reported a playtime of 20 hours or 35 hours. It may take a few additional hours for 100% completion in obtaining all the achievements/trophies and FILEs.
How many endings/routes does it have?
The number of endings fluctuates depending on what a person may consider an ending. Taking into considerations Story Locks, Bad Endings, Game Overs, and many variations of each of those, one could say there's a grand total of 40 endings, but that's not really representative of the full lineup. For those who wish to avoid spoiler-free on the specifics, the true number will be hidden under spoilers.
|Minor AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES spoilers here!|
|There are a total of 5 story branches and 5 main endings, with a 6th joke ending if the player considers Achievements and Trophies as indicators of Endings. This wiki utilizes a naming system to refer to endings for convenience, based on the letters A and B from where the story branches in a Somnium. The endings are:
There are 5 main branches that split off from Day 2 of the story. Branch A has an emphasis on the New Cyclops Serial Killings while Branch B has an emphasis on the Disappearance of Renju Okiura. These two main splits dictate what many consider to be the two "halves" of the game. All of the routes last up until Day 5 or Day 6, with the bulk of the game taking place on Days 3 through 5.
Additionally, there are 3 Story Locks in the game: one in Annihilation Branch and two in Resolution Branch. The first Resolution Lock requires full completion of the Ota, Mizuki, and Iris Endings, and as you reach the second Lock, the Annihilation Lock opens, and with the Annihilation Ending obtained, the rest of the Resolution Branch is available.
Is there a recommended route order?
In theory, the game is designed to be played in whatever order the player decides to take, making their own independent choices at the parts of the story that branch off from each other. However, most fans of the game agree that certain measures should be taken to experience the "ideal" story order, as certain routes can act as spoilers for each other, or otherwise continue story elements introduced in other branches. Additionally, this order is "reinforced" by the game itself, via the order of Achievements/Trophies, the coloring of the branches, and how the files are saved in the game's data. As a recommended route order requires speaking about the number of endings in the game, the specifics shall be covered up in a similar spoiler tag as above. That said, if you wish to know simple information about the route order, read the following: Certain Somnium branch off into either an A branch or a B branch, each of those leading into a different timeline. If you wish to follow the recommended order, stick as close as possible to the A branch (the left side) as much as possible. The bare minimum that is recommended is that, for the first branching Somnium, PSYNCIN' IN THE PaiN, choose the Left Bird Cage and head to the left side of the story branch, as it is highly recommended to go left first instead of right.
|Minor AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES spoilers here!|
|The Recommended Route Order for AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES is as follows:
There are certain jokes and story elements that are introduced in the Ota Route, that are followed up in the Mizuki Route soon after. The Annihilation Route follows similar beats as the combined Ota and Mizuki Routes (Branch AA), but concise and not in as much detail, as it appears the game expects you to know about what happens in Branch AA beforehand. The main Branch B of the game overall covers content of the game at a different level from Branch A (some have referred to it as "nearing the endgame" content, and many consider it to be written in the same style as other games written by series creator Kotaro Uchikoshi), and it includes a lot of information in Branch B as common info early on that is treated as major plot twists in the endings featured in Branch A. And with Resolution Route acting as the game's "final route," many recommend clearing Iris End before diving it.
This is the logic behind the Recommended Route Order, along with other factors, such as the game files including all relevant information organized in an [Ota -> Mizuki -> Annihilation -> Iris -> Resolution] order, and with the main color branch that the game begins with being red, the color of the Ota Route. If you wish to experience an order where you don't encounter all the Story Locks in the game, then the order would be [Ota -> Mizuki -> Iris -> Resolution (Lock 2) -> Annihilation -> Resolution]. If you wish to play by encountering ALL the Story Locks, then the order is similar to the one above, laid out as [Ota -> Mizuki -> Annihilation (Lock) -> Resolution (Lock 1) -> Iris -> Resolution (Lock 2) -> Annihilation -> Resolution]. There's some flexibility in actual orders, but as long as you understand what's written here, anyone should be fine at making their own judgements in a Route Order. If you wish for help in how to reach certain paths while you're playing, then the pages of all the Somnium is recommended, as it contains guides to all the Somnium spoiler-free outside of each Somnium.
How does the game reflect its M rating?
AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES has an M rating for containing "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, and Suggestive Themes." According to the ESRB, this is the kind of mature content the game contains:
- This is an adventure game in which players follow a detective (Kaname Date) as he investigates a series of murders. Players inspect objects, interact with people, and control futuristic technology to uncover peoples' secrets. Some cutscenes depict dramatic instances of violence: a man's head exploding after being shot; a woman's torso cut open by a saw blade; characters removing their/other characters' eyeballs; a figure repeatedly stabbing a woman. Most of these violent scenes are highlighted by blood-splatter effects and/or gore/chunks of flesh. The game contains some suggestive material: guards distracted by “porno mags,” depicting figures in bikinis/lingerie on covers; references to “perverts,” “pedos," "a receptionist with huge breasts,” and a character that “wants to see your boobs” in game text/dialogue. The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “a*shole” also appear in dialogue.
The game also contains various other Content Warnings that players may need to be aware of:
|Minor AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES spoilers here! (Content Warning)|
|As stated above, the game has excessive amounts of gore and detail in how characters are killed. Beyond the saw blade and a head exploding, there is also an instance in which a person's body is found mutilated into smaller pieces and stuffed inside an enclosed space, the pieces visible to the player. A body that is frequently seen throughout the game is that of a naked woman, and while it is not featured in any suggestive position and doesn't show any explicit content, it nonetheless exists.
Also stated above are the more sexually suggestive material in the game, most of which center around either the receptionist, a single mother, or an unseen character in the story. The more worrisome content revolves around a small handful of jokes specifically aimed at the main female lead of the game, who had just turned 18 a few days prior to the game's start, but they're infrequent and, for the most part, hard to find.
The game also contains strong content that many may find uncomfortable beyond just the gore and sexual jokes. The most prevalent (although never explicitly shown) are elements of physical abuse between family members, and a sexual relationship between one character twice the other's age. The game also uses various afflictions of mental illnesses, such as dementia and cancer, and various disabilities as part of its developing story.
Are there guides or walkthroughs for the game?
There are various walkthroughs online that one may find to solve the trickier puzzles, simply giving you a checklist order to complete. The wiki itself contains guides in how to solve each Somnium by laying out all the possible choices, time used, and TIMIEs to locate, all with explanations on how to obtain access and what each choice results in. In some Somnium, it may perhaps be better to create your own steps to reach the end rather than rely on a checklist that could change based on random TIMIE spawn. If you wish to find all the Somnium and their spoiler-free guides, go to this page here.
Each Somnium page also contains information on how to obtain the hidden items, and using the information given, strategies for beating the timer can be developed if needed. For help on how to obtain all the achievements, see the Achievements and Trophies page for their descriptions.
Are there any collectibles available?
Investigation chapters contain a set amount of collectibles of their own to obtain, while Somnia chapters contain their own collectibles as well. Both of these are accumulated in the menu known as FILE, sorted as entries. The investigation collectibles are labeled under the [Appendix] folder, while the Somnia collectibles are labeled under the [Album] folder.
The Appendix contains a list of keywords that are used throughout the main story of the game. They are obtained when characters speak that phrase or to a tangentially related topic in the conversation. Almost all of them can be ultimately obtained by simply playing the story and reaching key moments, making the achievements/trophies tied to them relatively easy, but full 100% completion is difficult as some entries are hidden in optional and hard-to-find dialogue conversations during Investigations. A full guide for the Appendix Entries can be found here!
The Album contains a set of concept art for the game, which can be unlocked by beating two special conditions in all the Somnia, one for each entry. The first condition is to clear the Somnium without passing the 360 second time limit, which may be more difficult in the later Somnia; there is no time limit in both SINKIN' IN THE BRaiN and PSYNCIN' IN THE CHaiN, so the album entry is collected automatically when the Somnium is cleared. The second condition is to find a hidden item located somewhere inside the Somnium world, and by locating it and examining it, the file is collected; sometimes they're hidden until a specific part in the level, sometimes they get locked out when too much progress is made, and sometimes it's always available.
In addition to that, there are the Achievements and Trophies that can be obtained in the Steam and Playstation 4 versions of the game. Again, please use the Achievements and Trophies page for help in those cases.
Any tips and tricks while playing the game?
- When investigating, if an object or person has its name shown in green text, it means that it can be investigated some more. Some objects contain jokes overlaid on top of multiple clicks, meaning that you may need to press something over and over. In the case of a character, if you can speak with them, you may also select the "Look" button (X for Playstation) for information on that character; this action, too, may contain several jokes overlaid on multiple clicks, so keep examining them for more content.
- In some investigation segments, a character may ask to direct your attention to an object, to which you can examine and progress the story further. Occasionally, when this occurs, the previous dialogue option you chose for the character will remain behind, and choosing that dialogue option again will have the frame receive a gray vignette on screen, with Date's inner monologue mentioning the object in question. This choice exists simply to remind you to look at the object, it will not disappear or change no matter how many times you choose it, and it will persist there even if all dialogue has been exhausted from the object beforehand.
- While not very frequently, there are cases where an investigation may auto-advance to the next scene after all relevant information has been examined. This occurs more often than not at the beginning chapters of the game, nighttime sequences, while driving Date's car, and sometimes in parts of the story where you're not in "Free Roam". Take into consideration the context of the scene before investigating in these sections:
- if you are in a location to find evidence, then it's recommended you speak with the characters before investigating the environment
- if you are in a location to speak with a suspect or PoI, then it's recommended to inspect all the objects first instead
- if there are multiple characters to speak of, then more often than not only one or two of them are "key characters" within the scene, while others serve as backdrop, meaning it's best to speak with the backdrop characters before speaking with the key characters you came to speak with
- if the character has multiple dialogue options to select while speaking with them, ask them what you think is the most irrelevant questions at the moment, as they most likely aren't key pieces of testimony. However, if you choose what you think is the most irrelevant, but the scene allows you to continue asking that same train of thought, then you more than likely started the actual key piece of testimony, or at least one of them, so best jump to another question.
- While on "Free Roam", the player has the option to choose any destination among a menu of locations. It is recommended that you play through these sections from the top to bottom, for two main reasons. First, because it's currently considered the most chronological order of events (as doing them in a different order may result in the game backpedalling in certain scenes where some key information was carried over from one location to another). Second, there are a few instances in which the location at the very bottom of the list will auto-advance the plot forward, and you will be unable to explore the other locations unless you jump back to an earlier scene via the Flowchart.
- Careful use of TIMIE is key to solving most Somnia in the game. You can only store up to 3 TIMIEs at a time, so if you reach your limit, it may be in your interest to spend a TIMIE elsewhere (although not always, see below). The beneficial kind of TIMIEs are the fraction TIMIEs and fixed TIMIEs, and while fraction TIMIEs are great cutting down plenty of time, the fixed TIMIEs are at its most beneficial if the time allotted in the TIMIE is equal or less than the resulting time if you were to use an available fraction. Example: in a choice that takes up 90 seconds, a fixed TIMIE of  is more beneficial than a fraction TIMIE of 1/2 (which results in 45 seconds) as the  will not be a benefit for a choice that takes up 50 seconds (where a 1/2 TIMIE lowers it to 25 seconds).
- If you are in a Somnium with choices of relatively low time value, and you obtain a fixed TIMIE of a high value, it may be more beneficial to discard it. Obtaining a TIMIE of  when the available choices don't tend to pass over 60 seconds is rather ineffective. It may be best to try and use the earliest TIMIEs given to you whenever you can, and when the  is at the end of the line, obtain a different TIMIE to discard it. That said, it's best not to go out of your way to simply get rid of it, as it may waste more time than actually spending it. Get rid of it naturally as you play.
- Some good TIMIEs you may obtain are  TIMIEs and 1/7 or 1/8 TIMIEs, as they are rare ones that cut down the time dramatically. The best TIMIEs out there are the  TIMIEs and the 1/9 or 1/10 TIMIEs, as they are so rare that they are mostly found at fixed locations. All of these are best saved when you encounter a choice that takes up an extremely large amount of time, generally in the triple digits. Sometimes it's even best to save them for the final choice in the Somnium, as they may be the deciding factor between beating the time limit or passing it.
- In almost every single Somnium, there are objects that many consider to work as "buffer objects" or "rest objects". These objects have choices that spend a low amount of time and occasionally give very beneficial TIMIEs to use. They have two main benefits:
- In a Somnium where all the choices are at high value (such as PSYNCIN' IN THE SWaiN), the best strategy may be to look for the "rest object" to obtain a good TIMIE at a low cost, to avoid spending a large amount of time on your first choice.
- If you obtain a multiplier TIMIE, which force you to multiply their times, using a "buffer object" that only has low times will let you buffer off the multipliers away, so that you may not have to suffer through expensive use of time in other objects.
- If you feel lost or unsure about what to do next in the Somnium, it may be beneficial to interact with objects and select "Investigate" whenever possible. More often than not, they present a big clue as to what your next step should be, at the expense of using up a small but invaluable amount of time.
- When you fail a Somnium, you get the option to "Restart" or "Retry". Retry lets you start at a Mental Lock checkpoint, getting you back on your feet, but the benefit of Restart is that the game memorizes what choices you've done, marking the correct objects on the list as well as allowing you to skip seen dialogue. The benefits vary per personal preferences. Additionally, objects that are necessary to clearing a Somnium will be marked with a √ when you Restart or when you begin the Somnium once it's cleared. However, the √ will always be present on the object, even before or after its needed, and it will also be present across different branches of a Somnium, where it may not be needed whatsoever.
- Some people have reported problems while playing in certain parts of the story:
- In the chapter Day 2: Saturday –saikAI–, there is an investigation scene in which you interrogate a character inside a diner. Those who simply want to experience the story and do not seek any additional dialogue throughout investigations may find themselves troubled in this area, as one of the mandatory actions needed to progress the story is to inspect an object that the player is not clearly directed to examine themselves, leaving some people stuck trying to retread dialogue conversations. Take this investigation scene as a lesson to investigate various objects throughout the game, as they are not always simply a set of optional dialogue.
- In the chapter Day 5: Tuesday –dakkAI–, there's an investigation scene in which you must inspect four objects in the dark. However, because of the player's brightness settings, the objects may be hard to find, as they blend with the darkness. The objects are an oil drum, a crane, the people in the area, and a truck all the way in the back. That last object is the hardest to find, so it's best to move the cursor around in the darkness, or simply use the NightVision screen given by inspecting other objects.
- In the Somnium PSYNCIN' IN THE MaiN: 2, an elaborate puzzle must be solved by aligning various objects into the shape that's needed to be produced. However, it's difficult to tell some measurements while wandering around in third person, not to mention all the distractions that appear in that segment. The best way to solve this segment of the Somnium is to use the in-game map, which lays out the entire area from an eagle's eye perspective. This is an extremely helpful tool in figuring out the shape and size of the pattern that must be made.
- In the Somnium PSYNCIN' IN THE MOUNTaiN, many have gotten lost wandering the Somnium, even with the map, due to its visibility. Try to follow the brightened path and pay attention to the object names that are always visible to you. That said, the most troubling part of the Somnium are the three rocks, which many players have gotten distracted by them. These three different rocks, which make up half the object list at any given moment, are completely unnecessary to clearing the Somnium, and only seem to exist to trap players into giving you TIMIEs, which it sometimes may not give you.
About AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative
What is the gameplay like?
No details on the gameplay for AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative (NI) has been revealed so far. However, it is likely that the gameplay for this game will be similar to that of the original AI. Players will most likely investigate various areas around a city map, inspecting objects and speaking to persons of interest. Presumably once per day, the player will dive into the Somnium of a character in order to uncover more information about the investigation.
More information will be written here as it's officially revealed.
How long after the first game is this set?
According to Corina Boettger, Mizuki Okiura's voice actor, NI takes place 6 years after the original game, and so Mizuki is 18 years old. As such, this would indicate that Mizuki is about to or has graduated from high school and enrolled to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department to become a member of the Advanced Brain Investigation Squad. This also means that Mizuki's new partner in the force, returning character Aiba, is now 11 years old, and all characters from AI are now around 6 years older.
Six years before the events of this game, which is to say the same year that AI and the New Cyclops Serial Killings took place, the Half Body Serial Killings also began to occur and remained a mystery. In present day for NI, the Half Body killings have resumed once more, and the now recruited Mizuki must investigate these murders, a large leap from her days as a 12 year-old girl in the original.
What were the odds of this game being made?
With the exception of the game Zero Escape Volume 2: Virtue's Last Reward, the game director Kotaro Uchikoshi is known for making video games without any sequels planned for them. AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES is no exception, as it was made with the intention of keeping it completely standalone. Any story elements that may feel unresolved or unaddressed were meant to be points of engagement and speculation among fans to determine what is truth or false, and let the player create their own ideas of these elements. However, a great benefit of unresolved plot points is that they can be of excellent use for a sequel.
Uchikoshi is always open to the idea of a sequel to his games, and the second and third entries of the Zero Escape series were created solely by fan demand. As such, it's possible that the large amount of fan demand for a new game in the AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES series ensured that NI was able to be successfully greenlit.
On January 3rd, 2020, as a response to a fan asking for a sequel, Uchikoshi asked his followers if they wanted to play a sequel to AI. Within the next few days, his post received over 100 replies from his various fans, almost all of them encouraging a new entry in the series. Nearly 18 months later, on June 30th, 2021, nirvanA Initiative was announced to be in development.
Which Ending does this game follow?
The original AI game contained various endings to its story, with one particular path leading to a grand finale, the true conclusion to the mystery. By that logic, the events of NI should be expected to be set years after the events of that grand finale, within that particular timeline of events. However, various fans have picked up on certain information regarding this game that could indicate that the events of this story could be a sequel to a different timeline in the original game. And in addition, this wouldn't be the first game made by Kotaro Uchikoshi that acts as a sequel to another game's bad endings. Click below for more information with spoiler information.
|Major AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES spoilers here!|
The current known information for AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative is that the player plays as an 18 year-old Mizuki Okiura as she teams up with Aiba to solve the Half Body Serial Killings by Psyncing with persons of interest and enter their Somnium. In the Resolution Ending, the Cyclops killer is caught, Kaname Date is returned to his original body, Mizuki is formally adopted by Date, her friend Iris Sagan is treated and cured for her cancer, and most of the characters receive a happy ending. Having NI be set in the Resolution timeline would ensure that all the happy endings the characters received remain intact.
However, this base description shares similarities to a different timeline from the original AI: in the Mizuki Route, Mizuki discovers that she has a compatibility to use the Psync Machine with Date, and is able to navigate her very first Somnium in PSYNCIN' IN THE CAPTaiN. This route manages to continue the plot point of Mizuki learning to become a Psyncer, and she grows closer to Date as a father figure in this timeline than in any other timeline, at least visibly seen. However, a sequel in this timeline means that Date remains in Saito Sejima's body, Iris Sagan is killed, and So Sejima remains in the body of Iris. Any story that continues in this timeline would exist with these factors in existence.
Likewise, Uchikoshi has stated that NI will not require knowledge for AI's story, as the second game will have "almost no spoilers" for the original, and that to ensure this they established "a little gimmick in the game". This could be in reference to a different timeline or it could be something completely different. To ensure that Date's presence doesn't spoil the original game, it's possible that it's set in a timeline outside of the Resolution Route to remain in Saito's body. It's possible that characters such as Iris remain dead from specific endings to ensure that the sequel doesn't get a chance to re-introduce them and implement spoilers for the original.
The specifics are all currently unclear, but as more information is revealed, everything will become clearer.
About the "Lemniscate" ARG
What is an “Augmented Reality Game”?
An Augmented Reality Game, also just referred to as an AR game or an ARG, refers to puzzle-oriented games in which aspects of reality bleed into playing and beating the game itself. Common aspects of ARGs include finding clues at real-life locations or uncovering hints within online sources and coding.
In the context of the "Lemniscate" ARG, it consists of three things: a story developed via characters on different media released in a chronological order, player interactions with these characters in the story, and the player input given via these interactions that can affect the story. Occasionally, clues and codes were given to the general audience that were solved by fans as the story progressed, and much of the overall narrative is left up to interpretation.
Who is “A-set”?
A-set, known as Tesa in English and Aseton in Japanese, is an internet idol, YouTuber vlogger, and, from our perspective, a VirtualTuber. She released videos where she sings, dances, vlogs about her every day life, and does Let's Play videos on video games. In the story, A-set began making small YouTube videos sometime around 2017 or 2018, before being hired to work for the Talent Agency Lemniscate in mid-2018 and resuming her YouTube career as A-set. Outside of the videos, she is also active on her To-Witter account along with her friend Mato, and occasionally hangs out with her other friend Mizuki.
What do the “Lemniscate” videos consist of?
Lemniscate English and Japan Lemniscate are the two channels associated with A-set, and where her vlog videos and Let's Plays were uploaded. A-set released a video once a week from January 30th to July 5th, 2019, before taking a hiatus. She returned for one video in September and one video in October, but resumed her hiatus from that point on. A grand total of 25 videos in total were released in the main set of videos, although there are a handful of supplementary videos that feed into the story. You can access the English channel here and the Japanese channel here.
What are the supplementary materials to the videos?
Along with the videos, there are several To-Witter accounts that serve as supplementary content filling in the stories of the videos. In Japanese, there is only one channel for "A-set (あせとん)" (@a_set_on), wherein Aseton tweets out daily content about her day-to-day life and liveplays various video games.
In English, there are several accounts. First there's "A-set" (@Lemniscate_Aset), where Tesa tweets out about various aspects of the week and in news about the gaming industry. Next there's "Mato" (@Ota_Matsushita), who tweets about his favorite anime and games, as well about different fanart of A-set. Then there's "✨" (@fluerichaji), the account for Fluerichaji, who tweets about AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES and other Spike Chunsoft related games, as well as one time making commissioned fanart for Mato. The last of these is "Kotaro Uchikoshi Eng" (@Uchikoshi_Eng), the English account for Kotaro Uchikoshi, and who occasionally interacts with Tesa and Mato. Some extra accounts include @AuthorOrangutan, @opticilium, and @KetoneGrade, which have only ever been active once, but are part of the story.
In addition, other accounts that could be consider part of the story are Uchikoshi's Japanese account (despite the minimal interaction), the Spike Chunsoft accounts, and other developers of the game. And lastly, all fans who have interacted with A-set and Mato and have gotten reactions in response are part of the story as well.
In addition to everything on To-Witter, there are also other elements beside it that contribute to the ARG, such as two specific interviews related to the story. First is the A-set interview done by GAMESPOT's Michael Highman, in which the English version of A-set (Tesa) is interviewed alongside Kotaro Uchikoshi. The second is an Uchikoshi interview by Gabby Snyder during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2019, wherein elements of the ARG bled into the interview and vice versa, affecting the characters of the story. The events at GDC and Anime Expo (AX), both 2018 and 2019, are also relevant to the ARG, in particular most events related to Spike Chunsoft during these times. Finally, Tesa and Mato once interacted with the AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES Discord Server, expanding the ARG's story even further.
If you wish to explore all these events in their proper order, see the question below about "recommended view order."
Are @Lemniscate_Aset and @a_set_on the same person or different people?
As shown to us in the video "You Won't Believe the Friend I Just Made!", Aseton and Tesa appear to be two separate characters with their own separate content. English accounts associate with Tesa, while the Japanese accounts associate with Aseton. As they interact in the video, it appears as if Aseton and Tesa have their own set of friends named identically the same. When looking at their To-Witter accounts, the content they release does not match at all between each other (i.e. Tesa to-witing about bad weather while Aseton to-witing about the sunny weather). The common interpretation is that either: both Aseton and Tesa are from separate timelines with separate continuities, or the entire video is a skit on her channel. It's unclear which is true, although most prefer the "alternate timelines" idea, even if their interactions are seemingly unexplained.
How is “Lemniscate” connected to AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES? Is it canon?
As explained in the "Series" section, the canonicity of "Lemniscate" in relation to the story of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES has been contested by many ever since the release of the game. The Lemniscate videos indicate that the ARG stories began when A-set began her career as an idol, making her debut in January 2019, while the game indicates she has been an idol for a little under a year, in November, logically placing the game after the ARG in November 2019. Small inconsistencies can be found throughout, such as A-set never visiting the bar Marble prior to the game (despite visiting in the video series) and not visiting Bloom Park in years (despite, again, visiting in the video series). Another inconsistency is the years since the "Chemical Plant Explosion," which is mentioned as "6 years ago" (2013) in the ARG but "8 years ago" (2011) in the game, but as this inconsistency exists in promotional material as well, it's safe to say it's solely an error in promotion. The biggest inconsistency is about the knowledge A-set learns throughout the ARG, in regards to AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES, but for simplicity and to avoid revealing spoilers for the ARG, we are gonna sidestep this in the discussion.
While the ARG and the game seem disconnected from each other, it's hard to dismiss the ARG as just "non-canon." Many elements about the characters and lore of the game are revealed in the ARG, and while there are inconsistencies between them, there are also neat consistencies that align themselves well. And it can't be denied that the story of the ARG is affected by events that occurred in the past, a past elaborated on in AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES. As such, the most commonly understood explanation is that the two stories split off their collective timeline sometime between 2013 and 2019, most likely late 2018, where the events of A-set's internet career diverged as the story developed. Ultimately, any specifics between both are unclear as of now, and will most likely remain a mystery in the foreseeable future.
Has everything in the ARG been solved?
According to members of Spike Chunsoft's localization team, which fans spoke with at Anime Expo 2019, all the ARG elements of the video series (i.e. hidden codes and messages throughout the videos and to-wits) have been solved by fans. This means that, as of now, the ARG is officially complete.
In regards to elements of the story, many aspects of the video series remain unresolved. As stated above, its direct connection to AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES remains unclear, as well as other story elements that were technically revealed in the game itself, but only explained in the continuity of the game. Additionally, Kotaro Uchikoshi has stated that the videos and to-wits themselves may not even correlate to the same timeline with each other, and that any mismatch between them could be attributed to that; however, no concrete answer has been given regarding this. As such, the ARG has many elements open to interpretation for fans to dig in and discover for themselves.
Is there a recommended order for the videos and supplementary content?
The best way to recommend the "Lemniscate" ARG is to watch and read everything in chronological order, in the same way that most fans experienced it whilst following the ARG. The best guide to use to read the ARG content is to follow along on the page To-Witter Archives (Tesa), which chronicles the entire ARG from the perspective of the English To-Witter accounts. Every video and article related to the story can be accessed from this page, organized by date released.
There exists a few other pages related to this one, named To-Witter Archives (Aseton) and Weibo Archives. However, the first one is entirely written in Japanese and the second one entirely in Chinese. As there are currently no full translations of all the relevant messages in these, the to-wits and Weibo posts have not been fully vetted by anyone to make sure there are no spoilers for the game included in them. Additionally, the ARG elements only truly exist in the English accounts, so this "recommended order" list will only apply to the English To-Witter Archive.
A playlist including most of the videos listed can be found here. The order is as follows:
- Video: Iris Sagan's Anime Expo video
- Video: Uchikoshi Introduces Net Idol A-set!
- Video: Invincible Rainbow Arrow
- To-Witter: January 30th-February 6th, 2019
- Video: Tesa's Top 3 Favorite Snacks and Mascots!
- To-Witter: February 6th-13th, 2019
- Video: Tesa Visits Maid Cafe Sunfish Pocket!
- To-Witter: February 13th-20th, 2019
- Video: There's No Way This Trespassing Idol Can Be This Cute!
- To-Witter: February 20th-23rd, 2019
- Article: Here's What Happened When We Interviewed Zero Escape's Director And His New Idol
- To-Witter: February 23rd-27th, 2019
- Video: Tesa's Matsushita Diner Review! Omelet Rice Edition!
- To-Witter: February 27th-March 6th, 2019
- Video: A-set Reservations Unknown
- To-Witter: March 6th-13th, 2019
- Video: 6
- To-Witter: March 13th-20th, 2019
- Article Excerpt: See below*
- To-Witter: March 20th, 2019
- Video: rw nw prt m hrw
- Article: A.I. The Somnium Files Interview with Mr. Kotaro Uchikoshi and Mr. Akira Okada — Where, oh where, has A-Set gone?*
- To-Witter: March 20th and 21st, 2019
- Trailer: AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES GDC 2019 Trailer
- To-Witter: March 21st-27th, 2019
- Video: A-set's GDC All-Access Convention Report!
- To-Witter: March 27th-April 3rd, 2019
- Video: Sneaking Into ABIS!
- To-Witter: April 3rd-10th, 2019
- Video: Exploring a Dreamworld!
- To-Witter: April 10th-17th, 2019
- Video: This Is Your Idol
- To-Witter: April 17th-24th, 2019
- Video: Zanki Zero Let's Play! Can Tesa Survive the Ruins?!
- To-Witter: April 24th-May 1st, 2019
- Video: It’s time to talk about the Cyclops Case (might lose subscribers for this...)
- To-Witter: May 1st-8th, 2019
- Video: My 10-Day Vacation Diary
- To-Witter: May 8th-15th, 2019
- Video: AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES Let's Play! Detective Tesa!
- To-Witter: May 15th-22nd, 2019
- Video: That Time I Got Forced To Do Impressions by an Egyptian God
- To-Witter: May 22nd-29th, 2019
- Video: Tesa's Spirited Away Adventure: Picture Book Edition!
- To-Witter: May 29th-June 5th, 2019
- Video: Tesa Answers Over 30 Questions at Super Speed!
- To-Witter: June 5th-12th, 2019
- Video: "Invincible Rainbow Arrow" Dance feat. Mizuki, Ota, and...White Horse Woman?!
- To-Witter: June 12th-19th, 2019
- Video: Spike Chunsoft's 6-19-19 Stream*
- Video: Sneak Peek at AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES LE/Day One Edition!
- To-Witter: June 19th-26th, 2019
- Video: You Won't Believe the Friend I Just Made!
- Video: Graduation
- To-Witter: July 5th-September 17th, 2019
- Game: AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES (clear until completion)
- Video: A-set's AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES Exclusive Launch Day Let's Play
- To-Witter: September 17th-October 23rd, 2019
- Video: AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES Let's Play Part 2! Ota is here!!!
- To-Witter: October 23rd, 2019-Onward
Answers About AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES (Spoilers)
Common Spoiler Questions
How was the timeframe of 2019 determined within AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES?
We know that the events of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES more than likely takes place in November of 2019 based on several clues within the game. The following is our findings in determining the year within the setting of this game:
- 1st Evidence: The near-future/modern day
- Back in Anime Expo 2018, a press release by Spike stated that the game is set "in a technologically-advanced modern day Tokyo, Japan." In an interview with Uchikoshi, he states specifically that "The setting is the near future, where technology has progressed further than where it is now." The first statement confirms the game is within a generation or so from present day 2018, while the second statement confirms that its set "in the future." Using the game's release date as a basis (September 17, altho im partial to July 25th as it was originally intended), this would mean the setting should take place at some point after 9/17/2019. Any instance afterwards, is acceptable, any instance prior is impossible.
Conclusion 1: Time frame given is 2019-onward.
- 2nd Evidence: Post-war generation
- So Sejima's biography in promo material and ingame state that he is part of the "Post-WWII generation," meaning he was born in 1945 or later. His age ingame is 60 years old, with his birthday coming in December —a month after November, the game's setting—, so the year the game is set in is 61 years after the year he was born. That gives us a starting frame. The endframe is trickier, because Japan doesn't particularly have a "Post-WWII Generation" by name. Instead it has the Japanese Baby Boomers (1946-1950), the Danso generation (1951-1960), and the Shinjirui generation (1961-1970). "Post-WWII" will frame it in the Baby Boomers, but since the gap is so little (and based on conclusions you will see down below), let's extend our framing to the Danso generation. That gives us 1946-1960, a 15 year timeframe for So to be born. We could alternatively use the "Post-WWII generation" time frame used in the US, which goes from 1943(????)-1964, extending the framing by 7 years. Add 61 years to the numbers, and we should get our time frame for AI.
Conclusion 2: Time frame given (from a Japanese perspective) is 2007-2021. From a Western perspective, it's 2004-2025.
- 3rd Evidence: A Holiday on Monday
- At certain scenes in Day 4 within the game, both Hitomi and Iris mention that they both don't go to work/school because the day they're in, a Monday, is a national holiday. With the game set on November of whatever given year, that gives us 2 holidays to work with: Culture Day (Nov 3), and Labor Thanksgiving Day (Nov 23). Both holidays don't hold schools on their respective days, with Sundays being the exception, wherein the holiday is moved to the next day, a Monday. So what we have here is years in which Culture Day and L. Thanksgiving Day are celebrated on Sundays or Mondays, to allow schools to be closed for Monday. Narrowing down the years from 2000-2030 just to make this less dense than necessary, let's list out the years possible.
Conclusion 3: Potential years in which AI are set are:
- Final Calculations:
- Using the information above, we can begin narrowing down the years available.
1. The earliest it can be set is 2019. So 2019-onward
2. The latest it can be set is 2021 (JP generations) and 2025 (US generations). So 2019-2021 or 2019-2025
3. The only available years within this time frame are 2019 and 2020 (plus 2024 and 2025 if extending it with US generations)
Ultimate Conclusions: By logic, we should be dismissing all the US generations completely, as Sejima was born in Japan and not the US. It's a product of localization, which in turn could certainly be an important factor to consider, but from just looking at the Danso generation (the Japanese Baby Boomers don't make the cut based on our first rule), the game's only possible setting is 2019 or 2020.
Taking all of this into account, and comparing what we have established as the timeline of events for the ARG series, the most reasonable conclusion is that the events of AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES is set in November 1st-6th of 2019, the ARG is in an alternate timeline of January-July of 2019, and the upcoming AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative will be set in 2025.
What is the actual time table for Saito’s movements across all timelines?
For a short version, see the images below as they list the amount of body-swapping that occurs in the game.
Skipping over Saito's backstory, let's start with his first body-swap. Sometime in November 2013, Hayato Yagyu, in the body of Rohan Kumakura, confronted Saito Sejima over the Cyclops Serial Killings. However, Saito caught on fast, and had his bodyguards kidnap Hayato, taking him to the Kabasaki Chemical Plant. Saito interrogated Hayato using a truth serum, learned about the Prototype Psync Machine, and within a week, had his men steal it. Using the Prototype, Saito swapped bodies with Hayato (inside Rohan), but the transfer was interrupted, and once Saito arrived in Rohan's body, was left as a broken man with incomplete memories and a lack of sanity. These events span a single week in November, and within a few more days, "Rohan" is arrested for breaking into the Sagan Residence, and the verdict concludes that "Rohan" is clinically insane, and so Saito is taken into a mental hospital for the next 5 years.
In 2018, the actual timing being undetermined (but most likely to be around Fall), Saito regains his sanity and all his memories are restored to him. He breaks out of the mental hospital, and somehow finds a way to get in contact with Shoko Nadami, a business associate of Rohan. They meet at the Chemical Plant, where Saito drugs Shoko and keeps her unconscious, as he places her in the Prototype Psync Machine still resting in the factory. As Shoko wakes up in Rohan's body, she sees herself in the mirror and runs away in a panic, climbing up the stairs to the top, and then falling to her death. As such, Shoko dies that day, along with Rohan's body, while Saito gets away in Shoko's body.
For the next year, Saito became obsessed in returning back to his original body, still inhabited by Hayato Yagyu, now going by the name of Kaname Date. He spends a full year learning about Date's new life, as well as his past life, such as his connections to the Okiura family and the Sagan family, and with that, he plans out his murders, preparing to strike at the most opportune time.
On October 2019, Saito makes his first move, by visiting Fuchu Prison and meeting Inmate #89, Rohan Kumakura inside the body of Hayato Yagyu. Saito sneakily reveals himself to Rohan, then leaves, as he prepares for his murders. During the visit, Hitomi sees him leave.
On November 1st, 2019, Saito calls for Renju to appear at the factory, where he drugs him, swaps bodies with him, and ultimately kills Renju in the body of his ex-wife. He displays Renju at Bloom Park, NILEs Mizuki to meet him there, and watches as plans unfold before leaving in Renju's car.
On November 2nd, Saito visits HQ under the pretense of "identifying the body" as Renju, and is then interrogated for a few hours. He leaves HQ and prepares step two of his plan, meeting with the staff at Sunfish Pocket and coordinating with the people at Lemniscate to host a spontaneous party at the maid cafe, secretly attempting to use the event to close up the restaurant and easily kidnap Iris Sagan. At around 5:00 PM, he calls Iris Sagan while at Sunfish Pocket, and depending on the branch, different events happen.
- In Branch A, Iris accepts the invitation, meets with Saito at Sunfish Pocket, then he takes her to the factory, drugging her, and then swapping bodies with her. He kills Iris Sagan while she is in Renju's body, and she is displayed at Sunfish Pocket for others to find.
- In Branch B, Iris decides to stay at home, and in a panic, Saito takes Renju's car and drives to her house. Heading from Chiyoda District to Meguro District, Saito passes by the Minato District through the highway, and ends up in a car crash, ending unconscious and taken to Central Hospital.
On November 3rd,
- In Branch A, Saito, as the A-set impostor, goes to work at Lemniscate Entertainment Offices on a podcast all day, unable to properly prepare for the next murder. By sunset, Date passes by the office and takes him into Police HQ, interrogating him over the events of "Renju's" death, and then Date Psyncs into his Somnium. After the Somnium, Date takes Saito to either the Matsushita Diner or Marble, meeting with Ota, and Date is knocked unconscious as he takes "Tesa" away in his car. Taking a break at a FamiSto in Fuchu City, Saito takes Ota's car, drives to the Sejima Residence, and convinces his father So Sejima to tail along with him, ultimately ending with Saito swapping bodies with his father.
- In Branch B, Saito wakes up past midnight at the hospital after his surgery, and escapes out of the hospital, taking a rental car to the Sagan Residence. He convinces Iris to leave her livestream and tag along with him, taking her to the chemical plant. However, she escapes his grasps, and so Saito begins searching for her all over Tokyo, including Sunfish Pocket and Ikume Shrine. Sometime during the day, Saito simply just collapses from exhaustion and sleeps for the rest of the day.
On November 4th,
- In Branch AA, Saito takes So Sejima, inside Iris's body, to the Okiura Fishery Cold Storage Warehouse and livestreams his attempted murder on his father. However, he is thwarted by Ota, and is soon force to escape out the back with an injury to his left leg. For the rest of the day, Saito rests with his injured leg, pretending to be So Sejima as he hides behind bodyguards inside the Sejima Residence. Date comes to interrogate him once, but he remains at home for the remainder of the day.
- In Branch AB, Saito takes So Sejima, inside Iris's body, to the Okiura Fishery Cold Storage Warehouse and livestreams his attempted murder on his father. Ota attempts to thwart him, but Saito ultimately succeeds in killing both So Sejima and Ota Matsushita in the warehouse. He escapes with ease from the factory, and remains at the Sejima Residence. During the day, Saito calls Boss to the residence, kidnapping her, swapping bodies, and ultimately killing Boss, in So's body, inside the factory, whilst recording everything on camera, sending it to Boss's computer. He places So's body inside a jar, cut up into pieces, and then visits Hitomi Sagan at her house, kidnapping her and taking her to the factory, where he straps bombs to her and sets up a timer.
- In Branch B, Saito wakes up in the morning and makes contact with Pewter, who believes he is speaking with Renju. He convinces Pewter to keep him up-to-date on the events of the case, and Saito decides to hire mercenaries for his own personal use in kidnapping Iris. At midday, Pewter tells him about #89, convinces him to release the inmate from police custody, and Saito acts as the getaway driver for Rohan. With Renju's body slowly dying, Saito heads to the factory and switches bodies with Rohan, with Rohan dying in Renju's body and Saito remaining alive in Yagyu's body. Saito gives the mercenaries over to Pewter, and prepares his next move.
On November 5th,
- In Branch AAA, Saito contacts Boss and has her arrive at the Sejima residence, kidnapping her, swapping bodies, and ultimately killing Boss, in So's body, at the factory, whilst recording everything on camera, sending it to Boss's computer. He places So's body inside a jar, cut up into pieces, and proceeds pretending to be Boss at Police HQ, where he meets up with Date and discusses the serial killings. It's unclear what happens to him after that.
- In Branch AAB, Saito receives an update from the MPD, believing to be contacting So Sejima, about the investigation and the discovery of blood in the crime scene. Saito drives to the warehouses in Koto District to determine the truth, but finds Kaname Date already speaking with the investigator Araya Kagami, so he flees the scene as Date chases him. Soon after, he meets up with Hitomi Sagan also in the Koto District, near the Date Residence, where they discuss the blackmail that Hitomi presented to So Sejima before the swap occurred. Later that night, Date and Mizuki both break into the Sejima Residence, taking out various bodyguards, but Saito takes Mizuki hostage. Date uses Aiba's help to release Mizuki from Saito's clutches, but Saito retaliates. In the Bad Ending, Saito succeeds in killing Date, and he presumably kills Mizuki soon after. In the Good Ending, Date is believed dead as Aiba dies, but the agent surprises Saito by shooting him in the forehead before he could kill Mizuki. With that, Saito Sejima dies in his own father's body.
- In Branch AB, Saito lays a trap at the Sagan Residence for Date, using Boss's body to convince the Special Assault Team to help out. However, Date overpowers them all, taking Saito into custody at ABIS, and using the Psync Machine to dive into Saito's somnium once again. Once Date reemerges, Saito wakes up, and the interrogation begins, but after much stalling, the livestream for Hitomi's murder begins, and Saito proposes an ultimatum to Date. In the Bad Ending, Date refuses to switch bodies with him, resulting in Hitomi's death, and Date takes out his anger by killing Saito Sejima while he was inside Boss's body. In the Good Ending, Date agrees to the body swap, and Saito returns to his original body while Date is left lying on the floor with Boss's body's injuries. Aiba shocks Saito unconscious, and while it's unclear what happens to him, it is likely that he was arrested by the MPD in his body, while Date (now in Boss's body) vows to take revenge against Saito*.
- In Branch BA, Saito, now in Yagyu's body, attempts to call Iris and convince her to come with him, but for one reason or another fails to do so. It is unclear what happens to Saito after this, but it appears that he cleaned up Renju's body and left the chemical plant alone, developing his plans elsewhere.
- In Branch BB, Saito, now in Yagyu's body, calls Iris and convinces her to come to the chemical plant. Once there, he takes her hostage and calls Hitomi Sagan, using a voice changer, to convince her to take Date to the factory. A full day passes, and Hitomi and Date finally arrive at the abandoned chemical plant, wherein Saito knocks Date unconscious and restrains the two.
On November 6th,
- In Branches AAA, AB, and BA, it's unclear what happened to Saito following these timelines. In Branch AAB (the Mizuki Route), he's dead, so there's no story to tell with him.
- In Branch BB (Resolution Route), Saito speaks with the now awake Kaname Date, and then proceeds to Psync with him. The two swap bodies, as they both return to their original bodies once and for all. Saito attempts to kill Date and later Iris, but is foiled by meddling from Moma, Mizuki, and Ota. He later restrains Hitomi in his grasps, and makes Date choose between trying to aim his gun while sedated or surrendering. In the Bad Ending, Date attempts to shoot Saito, but misses, which results in Saito killing Hitomi; it's unclear what happens after that to the characters involved. In the Good Ending, Date throws away his gun, but Aiba convinces him to use the self-destruct function to destroy herself while inside Saito's left-eye socket, killing Saito Sejima instantly.
And so, that is the entire course of events for which Saito Sejima followed across the 5 main timelines.
Who abused Mizuki as a child? Shoko Nadami, or Saito inside Shoko’s body?*
A surprisingly common question asked by fans involves the relationship between Mizuki and her mother, some believing that the person who abused Mizuki was "revealed" to have been Saito all along. However, the truth is that the timeline of events don't match up with this interpretation.
From 2011 to 2015, somewhere in that timespan, Shoko Okiura began physically abusing the 4-8 year old Mizuki Okiura. This eventually stopped in 2015, when Shoko and her then-husband, Renju Okiura, got a divorce in which Renju took sole legal custody of Mizuki for himself (even if she unofficially began living with Kaname Date instead). From 2015-2018, the renamed Shoko Nadami continued her life solo as she grew her business and lived a lifestyle away from her ex-husband and her daughter, although it seems like she remained friends with Date afterwards. Sometime in 2018, Saito Sejima, in the body of Rohan Kumakura, coerced Shoko to meet with him, prompting Saito to swap bodies with Shoko and resulting in Shoko's death via a disorientated accident. From 2018 to November 2019, Saito Sejima lived inside the body of the deceased Shoko Nadami, developing his murderous plan.
From this, you can discern that the timeline of events do not match up with the claim that Saito Sejima was the one who was physically abusing Mizuki. Mizuki's abuse ended in 2015, and from 2015-2019 and onward, she lived with Kaname Date. From 2018-2019, Saito Sejima lived as a parasite inside Shoko Nadami's body. There is no possible overlap between the two events. As such, all of the physical abuse was caused by Shoko Nadami herself, before the divorce and before her death.
In the Ota Route, is Saito inside the body of Boss? What happened to her?
See above to the main Saito question, but it was confirmed by Allegra Clark, the voice actress for Boss, that Saito was inside of Boss's body during the events of the Ota Ending. Boss was called to meet with "So" where she was drugged, swapped, and killed inside So's body, and then later found by Date inside a vase at the Sejima Residence. It is unclear what Saito did after the final scene in that Ending and what his ultimate fate is.
In the Mizuki Route, the person who said “Killed by your own father” to Date, was it So Sejima or was it Saito in his body? If it was Saito, why did he say that?
As explained in the first question above, Saito Sejima was in the body of Congressman So Sejima during the events of the Mizuki Route. The real So Sejima was resting unconscious in the body of Iris Sagan, after being kidnapped by Saito inside So's body and being displayed on a livestream. The player can determine this due to Saito's fascination with fireworks, which Saito mentions during the course of this route just before being shot in the head.
But, if Saito Sejima was in So's body when Kaname Date was confronting him, why did Saito taunt the "dying" Date by saying "Killed by your own father"?
The most common "theory," if you will, is that Saito was simply making a joke mostly to himself, or to screw with Date mentally. While the situation was really about Saito Sejima killing Hayato Yagyu, the physical appearance of the scene has the bodies of So Sejima killing the body of Saito Sejima, so it appeared as if a father was killing his own son. Another possibility is supported during Saito's conversations in the Annihilation Route and Resolution Route, where Saito seemingly identifies people based on their physical bodies rather than the mind inside them (i.e. speaking about murdering Renju on Day 2 despite actually killing Iris in Renju's body), but it's unclear if there truly is any correlation.
How does Date remember events from other timelines?
Short answer: We don't know.
Long answer: A common trope used in various sci-fi visual novels, in particular stories written by Kotaro Uchikoshi, involve the protagonist learning about information that occurs throughout different playthroughs that the player has experienced. Sometimes this is via some elaborate scientific explanation detailing the possible connections, but other times it is left unexplained for the reader to interpret. As we would prefer not to delve into discussing spoilers for other series, the best we can say is that the latter possibility, the "left unexplained for the reader to interpret" one, is the most likely scenario. Iris Sagan and Ota Matsushita propose theories and examples of events where people spontaneously are transported or share memories across parallel universes, with no clear explanation in how it occurred, and as that's the only real mention of this situation in the game, then it is the best that can be used.
There are other common theories as to how Date could remember information from previous playthroughs. A popular theory is that the Wadjet System, which sees everything that Date sees through Aiba, somehow contains the ability to implant and/or transfer memories across timelines. Another common theory is that the Player themselves is an active force in the story, as everything You learn in the story so does Date learn as the game nears its conclusion. A third theory is that Date never learns information from other timelines, and that he is simply remembering events from before he obtained amnesia; while certain spontaneous memories like this are, in fact, due to Date's returning memory, not all the situations are like this, as sometimes Date remembers things that only occur in other timelines, so a form of transfer across space-time is certainly occurring.
Who is the actual original Cyclops Serial Killer? Rohan or Saito?
As the game states, the Cyclops Serial Killer is a combined role between Rohan Kumakura and Saito Sejima, so ultimately there's no real reason to differentiate the two characters from the role. However, let's entertain the idea and go into detail about the semantics.
In the case of Saito, he's the clear answer to the question as he is, after all, the person in the group committing the murders. If you were to ask who out of the two is a murderer, the answer would be Saito Sejima (although it's already implied that Rohan has killed non-civilians in his line of work anyways). He chocked his first victim with his bare hands, beat his second victim with a rock, shot the third victim with a gun, and stabbed the fourth victim with a knife. He is the one who derives pleasure from the act of killing, due to his oxytocin deficiency, and the pleasure of killing is more often than not a key factor in describing a serial killer.
However, while Saito may have the "Killer" part nailed down, it's in fact Rohan who performs the "Serial" aspect of the murders himself. The psychological profile derived from the Cyclops case would match better to Rohan than it would to Saito. The Modus Operandi for the Cyclops is designated entirely by Rohan's tastes: young women with beautiful eyes. The "Trophy Collector" aspect of a serial killer is performed by Rohan himself, as he is the one keeping the eyes taken from the bodies, to derive a similar but distinct pleasure from Saito's as he murders. The stalking and targeting process is done by Rohan himself, as he is the one to choose the victims, and most likely the one kidnapping them as well. Rohan has even taken claim to the name "Cyclops" the moment he sent the letter to the media in order sensationalize the murders, even if it's ultimately to draw attention away from the pair. With all this together, Rohan does seem to be the one clicking off all the requirements to qualifying as a serial killer, with the one exception being that he doesn't do the murders directly.
In the end, it's best for you to draw your own conclusion based on the analysis provided above. Feel free to discuss with friends and others about who best fits the role of "Cyclops Serial Killer," or agree that the two men are two halves of a whole.
Did Hitomi not blackmail So Sejima in the left side of the timeline (Branch A, Ota/Mizuki/Annihilation Routes)?
Based on a comment made by Mizuki in the Mizuki Route of the story, Hitomi did, in fact, blackmail So Sejima in the left side of the timeline. Mizuki spotted Hitomi speaking with So (who was actually Saito Sejima as a parasite) on Day 5 near the Date Residence, and they most assuredly were talking about the blackmail. As there was no time for the blackmail to occur after the livestream incident, and also simply that Saito would not be intimidated on a blackmail performed on him yet aimed at another person, then the most likely scenario is that it occurred on the night of Day 3 or earlier. And as the right half of the timeline had the blackmail occur after the split, then it narrows it down to Day 2 or Day 3.
So, what day did this happen exactly, and how did it play out? Well, I propose an explanation here.
On Day 2 of the right branch, Hitomi left the house before midnight in order to meet up with Mizuki and stay with here while she remains mute. As such, she spends all night with Mizuki, and on Day 3 is when she decides to do the blackmail. However, on the left branch, Mizuki is cured from the aphonia, meaning that she wouldn't have called Hitomi, meaning that Hitomi would've stayed at home, right? Well, when Date is interrogating Saito (who he believes is Iris Sagan), Saito mentions that Hitomi was gone from the house all night on Day 2, and didn't return until morning. What could she have been doing during that time, if Mizuki was no longer ill and did not need to be taken care of? It most likely was the blackmail that she performed on So Sejima. This means that Hitomi originally planned on doing the blackmail on Saturday night, but on the right branch was delayed to do so on Sunday night instead.
Another piece of evidence pointing at this conclusion comes from So Sejima's visit to the Kumakura Family. On Day 3 on the left branch, So Sejima visits the Kumakuras and speaks with them about "business," but is intercepted by Kaname Date as he appears on site. In the left branch, Aiba is able to detect So Sejima in the building, but on the right side the same isn't true. Even in the event that So was hiding the whole time in the right branch and never came out, it would've been something that Aiba should have spotted once Date activated the X-ray function on Moma's safe. This seems to tell us that So Sejima visited the Kumakuras as a response to the blackmail given to him by Hitomi Sagan, despite her instructions to not visit the Kumakuras for anything. In the right branch he doesn't visit because the blackmail event is postponed by a day, and since Date intercepted the meeting between So and Hitomi at the warehouse, ending with So's temporary arrest, it seems that these changes affected So's behavior about the blackmail, unable to approach the Kumakuras while the MPD seemingly suspect him for a murder.
So what happened is as follows: On Day 2, Saturday, So Sejima is playing mahjong at his favorite mahjong parlor, while Hitomi leaves the Sagan Residence at night. She blackmails So Sejima to come to the warehouse, and there, she presents to So the body of Manaka Iwai, and Hitomi makes her call, telling him to avoid meeting with the Kumakuras. Despite this, on the next day, Day 3, So Sejima heads to the Kumakura Office at around midday, but at around 3:30, Kaname Date appears, discovering So Sejima there with the Yakuza. So Sejima heads home for the day, but late at night, Saito Sejima (as Iris Sagan) takes So to the factory, where he swaps him and takes him back to the warehouse to die. In the Mizuki Route, Saito (as So) meets with Hitomi face-to-face (on a date that matches the meet-up in the Iris Route).
This should cover everything about the blackmail event under the theory it was on Day 2 in the left branch. It's possible that Hitomi performed the blackmail on Day 3, a few hours prior to the kidnapping, meaning that So Sejima was confronted with a blackmail ultimatum, and then a few hours later his "daughter" appears, dragging him along to the factory and then the warehouse within the span of one evening. Certainly possible.
Who is the mob doctor that’s mentioned often in the story?
The mob doctor's real identity is Dokuta Yogano, the older of the Yakuza thugs in the Kumakura Family. His profession as "the resident mob doctor" was confirmed in the chapter "Three Months Later: kassAI," when Date and Iris visit the Kumakura Office. One could argue that perhaps there are multiple mob doctors in the area, but based on Moma's wording in referring to Dokuta as "the resident mob doctor," it seems very much like he's the only mob doctor within the criminal underworld of this area in Tokyo that the game is set.
Dokuta Yogano is 48 years old during the events of the game, 2019, which makes the chances of him being the mob doctor in question very likely. In 2001, when Dokuta was 30 years old, he became affiliated with Renju Okiura, who was working for the Kumakura Family at the time. With Renju's friend, Manaka Iwai, needing a doctor to deliver the baby, Renju took her to Dokuta's underground clinic to deliver the baby on October 26th of that year. Soon after, Manaka was killed, her body buried by the Kumakura Family, and Renju hired Dokuta to fake the baby's birth certificate, renaming her to "Iris Sagan" as the daughter of Hitomi Sagan. Twelve years later, when Dokuta was 42 years old, he was contacted by Hitomi Sagan once more with a surprising request: to treat the injured Hayato Yagyu, known as "Falco" after being shot by a target. Dokuta had met Yagyu before, when Rohan Kumakura had restrained him in the Kabasaki Chemical Plant and forced to become an assassin for the Kumakuras.
It should be noted that Dokuta was aware of both Iris Sagan's existence and true identity as well as Falco's relationship with Hitomi Sagan, two pieces of information that were in direct conflict with the Kumakura Family at the time. It's unclear why Dokuta withheld the truth from Rohan Kumakura, especially in regards to Manaka's daughter being alive for 12 years, but it may be due to his honor as a doctor protecting his past patients.
I think I forgot the Inspector’s name. What was it again?
Well, that's easy! His name is..... ummm, is it Kagari? No, wait, ummm, Mogami? Or is it Kaniza? Hmmmm, hold on hold on, I think I got this. Ah of course, he works for the Metropolitan Police Department, an important figure in the story. I got it! His name is Akasaka!..... No wait, he's the detective in charge of the case, we're talking about the Forensic investigator here. Ummm... Sorry, I'm drawing a blank.
Uchikoshi's Q&A and Other Responses
Has the game's creator answered any questions about the game? Is there a Q&A available?
The game's creator, Kotaro Uchikoshi, frequently responds on Twitter to fans asking about his games whenever possible. As he lives in a Japanese timezone and doesn't speak English very well, he doesn't answer too many questions too often. But he's always willing to give more light into questions presented to him.
Additionally, Uchikoshi is known for doing Q&As for his various games (as, more often than not, they're needed). AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES is no exception, including a short Q&A done with Famitsu a month after the game's release.
This section will include answers given directly by Uchikoshi himself either on this Q&A/Interview or on Twitter. The full interview can be found here.
- Why is the Iris Route shaped inward into the spiral? – Article: "The reason why the Iris route is shaped like that on the flowchart is because the route is meant to represent a 'dead end.'"
- A curious statement in the article, considering the Annihilation Route, which held more dead characters in the story, is not shaped the same way, as if it's expected to continue past that point.
- In PSYNCIN' IN THE VaiN's B path, who is the woman stabbed to death by the blue silhouette (Saito)? – Article: "[T]he victim in the yellow clothes getting stabbed multiple times by Saito was Boss's original design. Since they decided to use a different design for Boss, she became the victim."
- This implies that Boss's final design came fairly late in production, as they seemingly already had this model available to use.
- In PSYNCIN' IN THE VaiN's A path, who is the woman with So Sejima's face? – Uchikoshi: "That is [So] Sejima. However, Saito's crooked personality caused it to be presented that way." The article further states that "Saito's brain is unable to produce cortisol, but his personality is also the result of not having a mother and the lack of love he received from his father."
- The common interpretation of this dream aspect is that the memory is meant to be of Manaka Iwai and So Sejima in bed, implying Saito witnessed this event of "love" between the two. As Saito doesn't feel the emotion of "love" unless it comes from murder, the memories of two figures in love (Manaka and So) is mismatched with the memory of Saito enjoying the pleasure of love (Saito killing the woman in the yellow clothes).
- In PSYNCIN' IN THE CURTaiN, why was the gooey wall and the various objects colored green? – Article: "Because by moving forward in a Somnium, the screen starts to turn red to indicate danger. The green appears calm by comparison. Thus, as the Somnium progresses, more and more of the 'calm' vanishes and is replaced with 'danger.'" The additional point was made that "Rohan and Falco (the real #89) are swapped in this Psync. That is why phone keeps ringing and someone looks inside the window. These were all caused by Falco inside of Rohan."
- The Somnium also has some inverse interpretations to this metaphor. The player is meant to confuse the situation as green for Hitomi being safe from Rohan and red for when the danger is close to approaching. This color variation is instead meant for Rohan himself, who is in the room, interpreted as Falco reaching him. From Falco's point of view, the green wall obscures the possibility of Rohan and Hitomi being together, but as it begins to recede more and more, the closer Rohan gets to shooting Hitomi.
- What is the skeleton that appears in SINKIN' IN THE BRaiN and PSYNCIN' IN THE CURTaiN? – Article: "The skeleton that shows up in the later half [of PSYNCIN' IN THE CURTaiN] is based on Date (Falco)."
- The skeleton is most likely a parallel for Date losing his left eye, hence the bleeding on it. As the act of body-swapping leaves residual memories behind on the host body for the parasite to pick up on, it's possible that the various aspects of PSYNCIN' IN THE CURTaiN that match up with PSYNCIN' IN THE BRaiN is based off Date's memory, the memories he left behind in his original body and the memories he's slowly recovering in the game.
- How were the TIMIE mechanics developed? – Article: "Early in development, Somnium levels featured no TIMIEs and time still went down even when standing still. After a long period of trial and error, Somnium developed into what it is today."
- What's that kick Mizuki uses in PSYNCIN' IN THE CAPTaiN? – Article: "[T]he low kick she uses on Date was based on a popular fighting game."
- It's currently unclear which fighting game the article is referring to.
- Why does the Date Residence only have one door? Where is the bathroom? – Article: "Date's room was originally used to test the game's Somnium features early in development. That's why it’s completely square. This is also why the only door in the room (the one Date bangs on while begging to use the bathroom) is both the entrance and the bathroom door."
- Game Designer Akira Okada later elaborated on his interpretation of the room's design. He drew a sketch on Twitter where he explained that the entrance to Date's apartment leads into a hallway, which stretches up to the main Residence room while having a bathroom entrance to one wall.
- Why is Date so obsessed with porno mags? – Uchikoshi: "In this world, porno mags are heavily regulated, so they are rare and getting them is tricky. That's the reasoning behind it." The article elaborates with "This is also why So's bodyguards and the hired gunmen react so dramatically as well."
- One of the ways that pornographic magazines seem to be regulated is through the use of vending machines, which most likely include various restrictions for purchasing the magazines.
- What happened to the early designs for Date wearing an eye patch? – Uchikoshi: "With that eyepatch on, he looks like a bad guy. In the end, you find out that he is the bad guy, so the design fits. However, I was afraid that people would guess the twist ending, so I had Yusuke Kozaki remove it."
- Is Aiba's appearance so similar to Boss because, before Date lost his memory, he was in a close relationship with Boss? – Uchikoshi: "I do think they were close, but I'll leave it to your imagination how close they were."
- In the game, Boss constantly flirts with Date and seems very attracted to him, while Date is not favorably against the idea of being with Boss, as mentioned by Aiba. As to how close they are, the only hint we have is that, sometime after Date's memories were erased, the pair would pour salmon roe and seaweed salad on each other's bodies.
- How was Aiba conceived as a character? – Article: "[I]n early drafts of the script, Aiba did not exist. This was because originally the plan was to use VR to dive in to the dream worlds, so the Investigation segments in the game were traditional visual novel style but the gameplay itself during Somnia would be entirely VR. Thermo, x-ray, and other functions weren't used, so Aiba was not needed. But right before writing on the scenario commenced, the VR idea was scrapped. The team wanted to add a gameplay element to the Investigations and also some kind of 'help' system for Date. Thus, the character Aiba was born. But when she was fresh in Uchikoshi's mind, she was just a automated drone that flew around the crime scene. It was the input from Okada-san, 'Why don't we have it speak in a Kansai dialect,' the Producer Yasuhiro Iizuka-san, 'Let's make her a girl, let's have her show up in the dream world' and other staff members that made her what she is now."
- In PSYNCIN' IN THE VILLaiN, why was the silhouette chasing after Iris Sagan? – Article: "In So's Somnium, the woman getting chased by Saito (the silhouette with a knife) was originally going to be [Iris's] mother, Manaka. But then players would know the twist ending too early, so this was changed to be Iris."
- The FILEs reveal an in-game explanation for this, in which So Sejima saw a picture of Iris Sagan during the interrogation, which reminded him a lot to Manaka, so much so that his memories of her was updated to this new image of her, changing what would be witnessed in the Somnium.
- Is Naixatloz all in Iris's imagination? – Uchikoshi: "If you believe in Iris they do exist, and if you don’t they don’t. That's how it is."
- We would like to add a quick note to this question. In the game itself, Date can ask Ota about Naixatloz, and he would proceed to give Date the information he already knows about Naix. This information does not match exactly to what Iris told Date, and it is implied that this knowledge is known amongst urban legend fanatics. This means that, while Iris's beliefs about Naixatloz are seemingly not real, the legend itself is not fabricated by her and already exists within this world.
- In the Ota Route (and Mizuki Route), what happens to So Sejima while inside Iris's body? – Article: "In the Ota route, the story ends with So inside of Iris. The staff members joked that So in Iris then entered politics and used her looks to climb the ladder and become Prime Minister."
- This scenario is completely possible within both of these endings, as So Sejima could still have access to his money (via signatures and account passwords, or from blackmail access from the MPD) in order to pay off the surgery needed to treat his new body's tumor, then proceed to start his political career from the start. Most of these canonical answers are also given as "jokes", so for now this outcome is seen as possible within the wiki.
- Why is Mizuki so strong? – Uchikoshi: "[I]t is a result of 'atavism.' According to legend, Mizuki's grandpa was raised by dolphins. This sounds like a made-up story, but it's true. He had super powers that allowed him to live while being raised by dolphins. Those genes live on in Mizuki, and she didn't realize her true potential until she started training... That's what happened."
- In the Japanese version of the interview, it is further explained that the gene is "bi-generational hereditary," meaning it skips a generation. This explains how Renju Okiura didn't obtain the same superpower gene that his father and his daughter had.
- How did Ota make enough money to follow idols when his parents' restaurant is closed and his mother is sick? – Uchikoshi and Okada:
- Uchikoshi: "That's how hard Mayumi-san worked."
- Okada: "So he was leeching off her..."
- Uchikoshi: "He doesn’t even have a job, so."
- Okada: "How awful of him!"
- Uchikoshi: "Before she (Mayumi) got sick, she worked hard to raise the money."
- Why was Boss's real name hidden until the end of Mizuki Route? – Article: "The team wasn't intentionally trying to hide her real name, but because Date and Pewter only call her "Boss," her name wasn't revealed until the end."
- Why did Moma Kumakura become of fan of Tesa?
- Storywise – Okada: "Maybe he had connections through Renju."
- Design-wise – Article: "When the Investigations were being written, the team wanted Moma to be hiding something so the player could use the special vision modes. So, similar to Aiba's evolution, Moma became an A-set fan to explore more of the game's mechanics. The gunfight at the warehouse district was initially only Date, but it was expanded to include the three 'Tesa fans,' Moma, Ota, and Mizuki."
- Why was Hitomi the original heroine planned for the game? – Uchikoshi: "I'm an old man, so I like women in their 30s."
- Why was Hitomi dropped from being the heroine? – Article: "When Kozaki-san delivered the design for Iris, [Uchikoshi's] heart changed. Iris became the main heroine."
- Why was Hitomi's arm working properly in the Grand Finale dance for the game? – Article: "[I]n the grand finale, [Hitomi is] dancing while moving her right arm, but there's a bit of fantasy involved there so don't worry about it."
- The entire dance sequence feels like a fantasy, especially in regards to coordinating a mob flash with all these people whom seemingly have no connections to each other. So that's why most of the cast could appear there, despite unrealistically being so.
- How was Ritsuko Enshu, the Receptionist, developed? – Uchikoshi: "I generally like panties, but I came to notice that 70-80% of men like titties. That's how I decided that there had to be a titty character in the game." Article: She is a new generation of character created through a miraculous collaboration of panty-liking Uchikoshi-san and the titty lovers of the world. Uchikoshi: "After saying 'titties' over and over, I became a titty lover too (laughs)."
- Since when was Iris being a YouTuber been planned during development? – Article: "[Uchikoshi-san] planned for a dance to be in the game from the beginning. That was why they made Iris a YouTuber and thought that maybe the fans can upload their own versions of the 'Iris dance' to YouTube."
- How was the idea of the Grand Finale conceived? – Article: "In the early stages, the ending didn't have an epilogue (the '3 Months Later' part) and the credits started right after Aiba exploded at the abandoned factory. However, ending it just like that was kind of sad, so we added an epilogue to it. When we added the epilogue, a staff member asked, 'Aren't the credits supposed to be after the epilogue?' He thought it was better like that, which is how it became what it is now. When considering how to end things, Uchikoshi-san thought, 'Iris's dance, I suppose.' But because it couldn't hurt to ask, he requested, 'Is it okay to have all of them dance?' Surprisingly, the team approved it, then made the fantastic ending for the game."
- Uchikoshi later supplemented this answer on Twitter by saying "Lonely... Yeah, it might be certainly true, but to be precise, it means like 'I felt unsatisfactory (something is missing) at the end of first draft.' And about the musical finale, I was inspired by Bollywood movies."
- Why did Saito Psync into Rohan six years ago? – Uchikoshi/Okada: "Saito was very curious and wanted to test it out. Saito has a crooked personality as well as an admiration of strong male bodies, which was part of that motivation."
- What happened after the Annihilation ending? – Uchikoshi/Okada: "I think Date, now in Boss's body, will somehow punish Saito. However, Date will have to live inside Boss's body."
- It's unclear how any of this could be developed further.
- Any connections to the ZERO ESCAPE series? – Uchikoshi/Okada: "Setting-wise there are no connections between the two projects. But the world of ZERO ESCAPE has unlimited potential, and you could look at it like the world of AI exists in one of the multiple timelines."
- As of now, this wiki will not acknowledge the possibility of the Zero Escape series being in the same universe as AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES.
- What does "chinchiko-ru!" mean? – Uchikoshi/Okada: "The reference comes from the game Machi: Unmei no Kousaten. It is a password used by the members of the 'Shichiyoukai.' There never was an explanation given for what it really meant."
- This reference seems to be exclusive to the Japanese release of the game, as it is never used in the English release. It was localized into the "Blow those boys away!" joke used in the chapter Day 4: Monday –syuurAI–, where Iris, Amame, and Mizuki recite variations of these phrases with different connotations.
- Ota and Iris are active on their official Twitters and YouTube. What is the connection between social media and the game? – Uchikoshi/Okada: "The timeline the characters inhabit differs depending on the tweet or video. Also, there are multiple accounts out there, but the only official ones are Ota's and Iris's."
- Uchikoshi seems to be referring to copycat accounts for A-set, a few of which exist. It's unclear if he's aware of Fluerichaji and her connections to Ota, or the three sockpuppetting accounts used before they were revealed in promotional material for the game.
- AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES is so good and I've only just started playing, how did you do this? – Uchikoshi: "I received a spiritual message from someone while I was sleeping."
- This is a joke answer from Twitter, but it's possible that is has relations to the ARG series.
- I don't like questioning the decisions of @Uchikoshi_Eng but... I feel like Date is driving a Renault Fuego and am getting flashbacks of "Mais qui à tué Pamela Rose?" – Uchikoshi: "I'm so glad that you paid attention to his car! But sorry, it is not 'Renault Fuego'. So what do you think that model of the car is? The hint is that the car was made in Australia."
- What is the character "Reika" based off? – In a series of tweets, in response to fans, Uchikoshi explained that Reika is "modeled" after the girlfriend of Mitsutoshi Sakurai, the CEO of Spike Chunsoft.
- Will Uchikoshi dance to "Invincible Rainbow Arrow"? – Uchikoshi: "If AI sells more than what we expected, I would do it."
- Does Date and Hitomi made it official as husband and wife? – Uchikoshi: "I will leave it to your imagination."
- Was it intentional that "Date" in English sounds a lot like "Dante" from Dante's Inferno? I also see a lot of Horus = Date inferences, which is interesting. – Uchikoshi: "It's very interesting, but I got his name from Masamune Date. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_Masamune But I think the idea that Date travels through the world of hell is intriguing. Thank you!"
- Date Masamune was a regional ruler during the early Edo period, known for founding the modern-day city of Sendai and for his iconic missing eye, the latter of which gave him the nickname dokuganryū (独眼竜), or the "One-Eyed Dragon of Ōshu". The lack of a missing eye is most likely the main inspiration.
- At the end of the Iris Route, why did Date remove Iris eye when he could just replace it after clearing her Somnium? – Uchikoshi: "He replaced her eyeball after [removing it]. It's just bleeding because some blood vessels are damaged."
- Who's Falco's Japanese voice actor? – Uchikoshi: "The voice actor of Date, Tarusuke Shingaki also played him. It’s a double role. Isn't it amazing?"
- What is the size of Date's... special part? – The question was asked in response to similar questions in regards to other protagonists that Uchikoshi has written. While no specific answer is given, he does give the following response, in regards to both Hayato Yagyu's body and Saito Sejima's body: "Pretty sure they are bigger than mine."
- What's the deal with Mizuki's form when lifting weights? – Uchikoshi: "She is not using muscle."
- Get Pewter out of jail, please. – Uchikoshi: "He is not in a jail..."
- When Date interrogates Hitomi, he remembers the conversation he had with her at the hospital, where Hitomi told him about Manaka being dead. However, while the dialogue used is from a different timeline (where the polar bear is stopped), the image used is of Hitomi by the Warehouse, which never happens in the game. Is this image a mistake, or is it actually one of Falco's memories returning? – Uchikoshi: Yes. “[A]ctually one of Falco's memories” is correct. 
- The interrogation in question occurs in Day 5: Tuesday –jutAI–, where the flashback can be seen in the diamond window frame. There, the player can see a memory of Hitomi standing at the Harbor Warehouse District, as she tells "Falco" about Manaka. In the chapter Day 4: Monday –syuurAI–, Hitomi recalls the second time she kissed Falco during one of their dates, where they drove around town and spent the night looking at the stars at the Harbor Warehouse District. This implies that both memories are connected, wherein Falco and Hitomi had a date driving around Tokyo, stopped at the Warehouse, where Hitomi opened up about Manaka's death, and the two shared their second kiss.
- Do you think we'll ever see the parallel world where Renju and Pewter get their happy ending together? – Uchikoshi: "If many fans also want it, maybe..."
- In AI, So Sejima paid the Kumakura gang to help hide the corpse of Manaka Iwai, who was killed by Saito. In the game, So says that he cannot be prosecuted, but would that be punishable in real life Japan? – According to Uchikoshi, the information So Sejima gives in regards to the law is based on the real world law in Japan, as is not made up for the game. He stated, "It is a crime for a family to become accomplice in hiding some dead bodies. But it is not a crime for the criminal's family to cover up or hide him somewhere. It is found in Article 105 of the criminal law in Japan."
- When asked specifically if So Sejima would be punished in real life, he responds with, "I think it [would] be punished. But a charge of corpse abandonment runs out the statute of limitations after three years."
- Corina Boettger clip from their stream
- To-Witter Archives 2020 (Tesa): January 3rd
- To-Witter Archives 2021 (Tesa): July 2nd
- Gematsu: Kotaro Uchikoshi announces AI: The Somnium Files for PS4, Switch, and PC
- Gematsu: AI: The Somnium Files Interview - A Look Behind the Scenes with Kotaro Uchikoshi
- Btrax blog: Gen X? Millennials? A Quick Guide to Japan’s Generation Cohorts
- Deloitte Review: Talking About Whose Generation? Why Western generational models can’t account for a global workforce, pg 88
- Wikipedia: Public holidays in Japan
- Culture Days in Japan
- Labor Thanksgiving Days in Japan
- Twitch Clip of Allegra Clark's stream (endgame spoilers for AI included)
- Day 5: Tuesday –seisAI–
- To-Witter Archives 2020 (Tesa): January 29th
- Day 3: Sunday –syokubAI–
- To-Witter Archives 2019 (Tesa): November 5th
- Famitsu's Interview in Japanese (untranslated)
- To-Witter Archives 2019 (Tesa): September 25th
- To-Witter Archives 2019 (Tesa): October 1st
- To-Witter Archives 2019 (Tesa): October 7th
- To-Witter Archives 2019 (Tesa): October 10th
- To-Witter Archives 2019 (Tesa): November 30th
- To-Witter Archives 2019 (Tesa): December 17th
- To-Witter Archives 2020 (Tesa): January 2nd
- To-Witter Archives 2020 (Tesa): January 30th
- To-Witter Archives 2020 (Tesa): April 9th