AI: The Somnium Files Sequel nirvanA Initiative Revealed by Uchikoshi The Absolute Madman
On June 30, Spike Chunsoft announced Ai: The Somnium Files nirvanA Initiative for a Spring 2022 (March-June 2022) release on PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S Windows 10, Steam. This is a sequel to AI: the Somnium Files released on September 19, 2019, written by the legendary Kotaro Uchikoshi.
The game was first teased on June 29 as “Nine Eyes TV” with a mysterious page featuring several riddles. Those who managed to solve the puzzles would be greeted by an ominous skull and a countdown, which revealed the announcement trailer.
AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative, official story pitch from Spike Chunsoft
Six years ago, the right half of a corpse was discovered under mysterious circumstances. The left half was never found…until six years later, when it was discovered completely fresh with no signs of decay, as though the victim was alive until just recently. Now, newly-appointed Special Agent Mizuki and her AI partner Aiba are tasked to solve the bizarre Half Body serial killings…
AI: The Somnium Files is what is called an ADV (Adventure) game in Japan, and what is misnamed a visual novel outside Japan.
Basically, in an ADV, rather than going through dialogues and choices like an usual visual novel, you’ll be able to take tons of different actions, and most notably move around. Either through a menu, or like in Ai: The Sominum Files‘ case, directly by moving your character in third person.
Recent ADV games are the Famicom Detective Club remakes on Switch, which are perfect examples of how to do a great ADV in terms of mise en scène.
Officially, AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative is described as a “Detective Adventure” game. You’ll solve puzzles, riddles, and rack your brains a lot.
Special key visual by Yusuke Kozaki
Yusuke Kozaki is back as the character design for this sequel. The artist is known outside Japan mainly for his work on Fire Emblem Kakusei (Awakening) and FE If Fates) on Nintendo 3DS. Personally, I much prefer his work on Kaihou Shoujo/Liberation Maiden, and on No More Heroes. His character designs on Fire Emblem just never clicked with me.
AI: The Somnium Files Sequel – Pre order, limited edition
An official site for this AI: The Somnium Files sequel has been opened, and the press release had details on a limited Collector’s Edition for $120:
- AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES – nirvanA Initiative
- Exclusive Good Smile Company POP UP PARADE ~170mm PVC figure of the beautiful AI-Ball “Aiba”
- SECRET OF THE WORLD: THE DEFIniTIVE ART BOOK featuring concept art and illustrations by Yusuke Kozaki
- HARMOniOUS DISCORD official soundtrack by returning composer Keisuke Ito
In Europe, the physical version will be published by Numskull Games.
Kotaro Uchikoshi, Takumi Nakazawa are collaborating on this sequel
You should definitely follow Kotaro Uchikoshi on Twitter. He’s not super active but very responsive to support. He has both an English account, and a Japanese account you can follow too especially if you speak Japanese (or are learning).
He’s a cool dude who jokes about how only people outside Japan care about his newer games since the Zero Escape series. While his fans in Japan only want to hear about the Infinity series he co-wrote with Takumi Nakazawa.
In fact, Takumi Nakazawa confirmed that while he didn’t work on the original AI: the Somnium Files, he “helped a little” with this sequel:
Recently, Kotaro Uchikoshi, Takumi Nakazawa, and Too Kyo Games released World’s End Club worldwide on May 27. A peculiar game following a group of teenagers with supernatural powers in a post-apocalyptic world. They’re also still working on Tribe Nine (we don’t know if it’s actually a game, an anime, or a media mix project with both formats) and other projects.
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