Wake up, shaken up, plastered on asphalt
Phones can’t block the voices of the masses
Seven days left between you and Death
Better race, place, Reapers won’t give up the chase
A boy comes to an intersection awash with people alone, unaware of how he got there. Then he receives a message:
Clear this mission…
Or face erasure
And with that, Neku is thrust in a life or death Game that sends him scrambling down streets paved with one riddle after another…
Now, when I bought this game, I actually wasn’t expecting a stellar story. But what I did find was an epic plot filled with twists and turns. I was glued to the DS for 2 weekends. I kept on promising myself I would stop next chapter, but I found myself firing the DS back up, 10 minutes later. The story hooks you instantly, and never lets you go.
You play as Neku, an orange haired emo kid wearing huge headphones. These headphones symbolize his secluded nature. The headphones are used to ‘block the masses’ Made obvious by the first cut scene, he hates the people living around him. He says people can only drag other people down. Obviously he isn’t’ a people person.… (Yea I said people 3 times in 2 seconds, deal with it.)
So remember, lonely emo kid wakes up in the middle of Shibuya, no memory how. But why is this important? Well, as you play through the beginning of the game, you meet up with Shiki. By the looks of it, she’s the complete polar opposite of Neku and, obviously, he’d rather have nothing to do with her. He learns about his situation, and why he needs to pair up with her.
When he woke up, he was entered into what is known only as “The reaper’s game” The rules are simple. Partner up, or be destroyed. Meet an objective when it’s given to you, or be destroyed. The length of the game is 7 days. Neku had no choice but to stick with Shiki. Along the way he met Beat and Rhyme, another team participating in the game. Beat is a hotheaded kid and is a little hostile towards Neku. He won’t accept his rude attitude, but he still has a big heart. (I especially like how he calls him “Phones”) Rhyme is his partner. She’s the brains of her team and a pretty cheerful girl. She immediately makes friends with Shiki, but Neku is, of course, a little reluctant to open up…
Beat then Rhyme
Honestly, it isn’t very interesting at first. But somewhere around Rhyme’s DEATH (that’s right, didn’t see it coming did you?) Things begin to have a not so lighthearted tone.
Neku and Shiki meet Mr.Hanekoma. Mr. H is one of the first guys Neku feels comfortable with. He can’t explain it, but Neku just feels that Mr. H is someone worth opening up to. Mr. H gives Neku and Shiki the run down on everything they need to know about the Game, and what exactly their fighting for. Mr. H. explains that the player pin all players wear on their hand, can be used to read minds. Now, when Rhyme dies, Beat no longer has a partner. As a rule, someone with no partner will slowly die before the day ends. Mr. H serves as an unofficial partner to Beat in order to keep him alive.
Somewhere along the way you start get little clues about the hierarchy of the controllers of the game. First, there are reapers in red hooded sweatshirts. These are the guys who exist in the over world map that give you missions to carry out. Then there are the reapers with wings who are able to control the Noise (monsters in the game) then there’s the GM (Game Master) who controls these Reapers. The GM takes all of his orders from the Conductor, the controller of the game and Shibuya. Players of the game are actually dead. Win, and you will be given a second chance, and returned home. Think of it as symbolism as hell or purgatory.
You learn all of this at the tail end of the 7 day limit. When I was fighting the GM in the game, I seriously thought I was at the final boss. After fighting him, Neku learns one of the unknown rules of The Reapers Game. Only one team member gets to live and return home. Now after being stuck with someone for 7 days, Neku begins to feel a little compassion for his friends. This newly reformed Neku gives Shiki her chance to live again and enters the game a second time. The entry fee? Shiki. Neku promises to fight for Shiki and ensure her safety.
Neku wakes up, again, in Shibuya. Naturally the first thing he does is try to find a partner. While walking around in one of the game’s areas, he is forcibly (unbeknownst to him) partnered up to Joshua, a mysterious pretty boy with a snotty attitude. Neku hates Joshua at first and doesn’t even trust him for the majority of the game. Whenever he reads his mind, he has a vision of his dead body, lying on the floor. Why is Joshua thinking about this?
Joshua. (He's sooooooo dreamy)
Joshua also has a strong knowledge of the game, and an incredible power. He has strong ties to Mr. Hanekoma and can be found talking to him frequently on the phone even though cell phones are rendered useless in the UG.
What the hell’s a UG? Well there exists to Zones, if you will, in Shibuya. The UG and The RG. The RG is the real world, where everyone is alive and well. The UG is where the Reapers Game exists. Everyone in the RG is visible to everyone in The UG, but not vice versa.
Going forward with the story will be borderline major spoilers, and I really don’t want to do that, seeing how I just spoiled to minor plot points. All I can say is TRUST ME. This stuff gets really, really good. Oh yea, and there’s a game somewhere under it too.
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