Spike-Chunsoft have shared some more details about AI: The Somnium Files, this time focusing on the Somnium Parts (where you get to explore the dream world), and on some of the characters. Of course, there’s also some brand new pictures to check out!
As mentioned previously, you play as one Kaname Date, a detective from a special department of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (known as as ABIS). You have to investigate in order to find a serial-killer carrying their misdeeds in Tokyo. Investigation is carried out in two parts: the Investigation Parts (in the real world), and the Somnium Parts.
The Somnium Parts take place in the dream world, and more precisely in the dreams of key peoples related to your case. Exploring those very dreams is the only way for you to find some vital clues, and get to the bottom of your cases, but as you can imagine, it’s not going to be that straightforward. In order to find all the clues, you will need to get rid of Mental Locks, and go even further in the subconscious of the dreamer.
To investigate in the world of dreams, you need to use a device known as PSYNC. It allows you to go into the dream (aka: memories) of a subject, but only for a short amount of time: you can only stay in there for 6 minutes. Naturally, you need to solve all the mysteries within that time limit.
Some of the screenshots below show the player exploring the dream of a girl who lost her voice due to shock (caused by an acccident).
As for the Mental Locks mentioned above, they are basically barriers that prevent the dreamer from remembering important things… such as vital clues. Your goal is to find all necessary clues to get rid of those Mental Locks.
During Somnium Parts, you can examine various things (such as items, mechanisms, etc.), and you can choose between several actions for them. However, each action uses up some of your time, and considering you only have 6 minutes in the dream world, you need to think carefully about which action to take.
Just like previous games from Kotaro Uchikoshi, AI: The Somnium Files features a branching storyline, with various routes to “choose from”, each with a completely different ending. Clearing the various routes allows you to see the story from different angles, and get to the very heart of the story.
Here’s some examples of routes:
- You managed to get Mizuki’s voice back > you get new testimony from her as a result
- You didn’t manage to get Mizuki’s voice back > you get an earful from Iris
As you can imagine, the dream world during the Somnium Parts can look radically different for each of the characters.
Next, here’s details about some of the characters in AI: The Somnium Files, and more precisely members of ABIS:
- Kaname Date (voiced by Tarusuke Shingaki): a police officer and a member of the ABIS unit. Using PSYNC, he can dive in the dreams of suspects and key characters. He lost one of his eye 6 years ago, and it was replaced by an artificial eye called AI-ball, which is equipped with Artificial Intelligence;
- AI-Ball (voiced by Akari Kitou): Kaname Date’s artificial left eye. In the real world, it can take the form of a cute little creature, moving around. But in the world of dreams, it takes the form of a beautiful young woman. It’s directly linked to Kaname Date’s brain, and basically serves as his “avatar” in the dream world;
- Boss (voiced by Yuuko Kaida): Kaname Date’s boss, and commander of ABIS. She’s known the detective for a long while. She can be quite the cunning tactician;
- Pewter (voiced by Hiroki Gotou): a genius engineer from ABIS. He’s the one who came up with not just the PSYNC device, but also AI-Ball. As such, her personality reflects his personal tastes.
Finally, here’s the latest set of screenshtos and characters artworks for the game:
AI: The Somnium Files (Switch) comes out on July 25th worldwide.