Your Turn To Die Theorycrafting

So since I'm still coming up with theories and things to ponder over from Your Turn To Die, I figured I would share some of it with the world. Basically, I organized some notable information and listed plot points that are still unexplained or otherwise worthy of further examination.

My intent is for this to be open-ended and aid in making theories, while not taking away from any actual future developments. To that end, I'm focusing more on "things to pay attention to," or putting together context for things that already happened. I also don't want this to seem like The Only Valid Theories by any means, so don't take it that way. Making public speculation when you're a central figure in a fandom is hard, but this game makes me wanna do it anyway, so here we are.

This goes into spoilers for all sorts of details on every route up to Chapter 2, Part Two, and may accurately hint or guess at future reveals, so be warned!

(With the release of Chapter 3, Part One, I intend to stop adding anything to this post and leave it as-is for posterity. After a while, I'll make a new post using all knowledge up to the new part.)


First Trials

Sara + Joe: Red key escape. Both survive.
Kanna + Kugie: Red key escape. Kugie dies.
Mishima + Nao: Red key escape. Both survive.
Keiji + Megumi: Unclear. Keiji apparently lets Megumi die. (Seen in the victim video Nao purchases.)
Q-taro: Bring the box with Miley's head, and distribute the cards for the first Main Game.
Shin: Be lectured about how he can't win, then dispose of the documents.
Reko: Unknown, but survived it. (No confirmation she was paired with Alice.) Doll Reko mentions the First Trial when recounting her memories, but gives no details; whether she was paired with Alice is glossed over.
Alice: Unknown, but survived it. (No confirmation he was paired with Reko.)
Gin: Unknown, but survived it.
Kai: Unknown, but survived it.

Naomichi (9.9%): Crushed to death trying to reach switch. (Victim Video 2)
Shunsuke (8.2%): Killed by swinging blade, yelling at someone he assumes is watching. Knew something about Sara and her importance, and perhaps the purpose of the game in general. Not clear how the trial was meant to be survived. (Video in Miley's room)
Anzu (8.0%): Killed by some sharp objects. Not clear how the trial was meant to be survived. (Victim Video 1)
Mai (7.5%): Shoot the unloaded gun. She chooses wrong and shoots herself. (Victim Disk F)
Ranmaru (5.3%): Injured somehow and bled to death. Not clear what the trial was or how it could be survived. (Victim Disk E)
Hinako (1.1%): Hung, then beaten to death by Ranger. (Did he only come in after he thought she was dead?) Not clear what the trial was or how it could be survived. (Victim Video 3)

While the victims can largely be identified by putting the pieces together, I could potentially have Anzu and Hinako mixed up. Sara describes the girl in Victim Video 1 as a "middle school, maybe high school student." Hinako is a middle schooler, while Anzu is a high schooler, and one of the two is not properly seen (Victim Video 3). But the one who wants to die being Hinako makes sense with her having the lowest non-zero percentage, whereas Anzu's is fairly high.

Observation: All the non-candidates, except presumably Kai, were put in paired "red key" First Trials with the candidate they had a connection to. (If Kai had one too, you'd expect a fourth keyhole on the box.) There was at least one other paired First Trial where both were candidates (Keiji and Megumi), but it looks to be different - Megumi was chained up instead of on a bed, and it seems you had to press a switch to save the other rather than using a key.

Another observation: Unless there were more pair trials than I'm currently assuming, there were 16 First Trials, matching the number of candidates. And 8 of them - exactly half - had someone die.



Sara: Her mom is only seen unconscious. Her dad tells Kai he isn't Sara's birth dad, and that she'll have to learn this someday.
Joe: Unknown. Could make some vague assumptions from how he reacts to Gin talking about his dad.
Keiji: Raised by a single mother.
Kanna: Adopted from an orphanage. (Could be Asunaro, but she doesn't comment when it comes up.)
Kugie: Standard two-parent household, according to Kanna.
Q-taro: Doesn't remember parents, raised at an orphanage named Asunaro.
Shin: ???
Reko: Standard two-parent household, according to Reko AI. Mom: "A little weird, but affectionate." Dad: "A good guy, but gives into temptation [likely referring to how he craved fame and abused Reko's talent]; hated him for the longest time, but he's woken up and gone back to being ordinary."
Alice: See Reko.
Nao: Standard two-parent household, according to personal info documents. "Born to a middle-class, extremely average family. The father has been an office worker for 20 years. The mother has carried various jobs. No siblings. The father is under his wife's thumb."
Kai: Gashu is his dad, though Sara's dad thought of him as family.
Gin: Current father (with bad drinking habit) married mother when he was 2, according to Gin AI.
Mishima: ???
Naomichi/Ranmaru/Megumi/Shunsuke/Anzu/Mai/Hinako: ???



A preface: While the existence of some participants' collars is not yet clear, I don't think a lack of one automatically means they're a traitor. Sure, it could mean that person is "not intended to die," but this seems dubious - the kidnappers could easily put a collar on everyone to avoid suspicion, and simply not have it do anything to any "special" participants. Not having a collar could also mean that person "broke into" the game, or else was able to remove their ccllar, and is hiding the lack of it from the kidnappers as much as the players.

Sou's collar is generally covered by his scarf, but he shows it in C2P1, along with the key hanging around his neck.

Gin's collar has yet to be seen. The two-sided target illustration is one of the most clear pictures of his actual body so far, but it's still covered by his cape there. One of his negotiations gives the option to scratch his throat, which is not one of the options Gin suggests himself, but Sara doesn't seem to notice anything amiss.

Oddly, Kugie's collar is not actually visible, possibly being behind her shirt collar. It could also be that the sole sprite of her is how Kanna remembers her before the Death Game.

Most of the Floor Masters' collars have not been seen either, so again, consider what one of them not having a collar might actually imply. They're being "tested" by some presumed superior(s), so if one of them doesn't have a collar, that implies they're resisting that control. Also, they look more plain than the participant collars, so it's not certain they have the same capabilities.

Miley's collar is just barely covered by a red ribbon tied right around where it should be. (Incidentally, said ribbon is probably meant to suggest that her head is detachable, ala the scary story. Although - and I doubt this is significant - the ribbon is not actually visible on her head nor torso before she's assembled.)

Ranger's collar is covered by his orange bandana, which he has even in Victim Video 3 (Hinako's) despite not appearing to have anything else but a shirt at that point. I'd guess the bandana is part of his original outfit rather than from a victim - he refuses to take Hinako's clothes, so I doubt it'd be hers.

Safalin's collar is covered by her blue wrapping things.

Gashu's collar is generally covered by his tall shirt collar, though he shows it in C2P2, and it's visible in the sprites of him losing his composure.

Sou's shadow in the illustration at the start of C2P2, though a silhouette, has a pretty identifiable collar-shaped bump.

In the C2P1 bath illustration, everyone's collars are gone. I could see the Floor Masters wanting to remove them if they aren't meant to go in water, and this being safe to do as long as they have everyone confined in an area. But it's interesting that their removal and reattachment would just be glossed over. The fact everyone's collar is removed means that the truth of Gin's collar could be concealed from the men - but should also mean that whichever Floor Master handled him knows if he has one or not.

Probably mistaken or otherwise meaningless missing collars: "This is it!" Sara, Q-taro in the first war of words, Keiji talking about hallucinations at the start of C2P1, some attraction game overs, illustrations of Alice dead on the floor (the sprite of his corpse afterward still seems to have it, so it didn't come off).

Also to note: None of the AIs have collars, naturally.


Mysteries, Observations, and Theories (in mostly chronological order)

Before Even Starting

In the animated icon on RPG Atsumaru and around the top-right of the silhouette logo (mostly covered by Sara on the title screen, but unobscured on the save screen), you can see a mysterious blue-haired person. She has the exact same hair and eye color as Alice, and was featured in Nankidai's second anniversary art (though in the very back, next to Mew-chan, Joe's pocket dog, and a Nao-hair-beast), where she even has striped clothes like Alice's. Though some have suggested she was a beta version of Alice, the fact she's remained visible in the icon/logo to this day (and her existence now getting openly referenced) seems very suspect. If she is going to appear in the game, how is she important enough to be grouped with the other main characters over Alice, and how has she been "hidden" thus far?

Chapter 1, Part One

What are the hands reaching for Sara at the very beginning of the game supposed to mean? One might assume early on that it's Sara's stalker, but I really doubt it's Kai.

Some of the things Sara can examine in her living room stick out to me, though it's hard to make concrete theories about them right now. Regardless: "A photo of my grandfather who died when I was young." "A photo from a family trip to Hokkaido." "Bookshelves. Ranging from dad's complicated books to manga and magazines, they're not at all organized."

A prevailing mystery: Why does Keiji initially trust Sara? I also wonder about the circumstances of his First Trial - if it's as simple as "he let Megumi die because of his past with her" (such as we know it).

Is there something to the fact that Joe claims he tried to punch Kai at Sara's house, and yet never remembers Kai is the stalker? Maybe Kai, being a trained assassin, just knocked Joe out before he could get a good look? Then again, Joe does follow this with suspicion that there's a traitor among them, so maybe he does know and doesn't tell anyone for some reason... but you'd expect him to warn Sara.

A quick summary of everyone's stories of their kidnapping: Q-taro was kidnapped when going drinking after a baseball game. Reko was kidnapped while going to meet her bandmates. Kai doesn't give a story, but it seems like he went to Sara's house to warn her and got caught. Mishima and Nao were kidnapped at a security checkpoint while driving back to Nao's house. Joe and Sara were kidnapped at Sara's house. Gin was kidnapped answering the door for what he thought was his mom coming home late. Kanna and Kugie were kidnapped while walking home. Alice was kidnapped after being called for a visitation and no one showing up.

Now for the more interesting ones. Sou says he was attacked walking to his part-time job at a convenience store at night, but he's supposed to be self-employed, so this may be a lie. That said, he theoretically only becomes a huge liar due to his First Trial, so what would he have to cover up here? Keiji says he was kidnapped while going after "petty thieves" with Megumi... but this clearly can't be true. Why would he be with Megumi if he's an ex-detective? Or was he not with her? Why even mention his partner when that could lead to suspicion about why she's not there?

It seems significant how the key from Kanna's First Trial "fits perfectly" in the box despite not being made smaller; it might imply that one group (if not specifically hers) was expected or forced to fail. Considering how Gashu (who manages 3F) seems to prefer the death of non-candidates, and the "red key" First Trials all involve non-candidates, it could have been a setup. We can't be sure the Kizuchis' key was whittleable, or that they had sandpaper; you could also read into the sandpaper being hung up high, and Kanna being short. Kanna says she didn't follow Kugie's directions (presumably too panicked, though all she says is "Kanna's an idiot"), but this doesn't necessarily mean there was a solution.

Notably, when you visit Kanna's First Trial room, it has no sandpaper nor numbers on the wall (yet does have an input box), and Sara remarks that "something feels different." That said, these could have been removed when the body was cleaned up. Also, while the characters observe that all trials have been beatable with no one dying, I wouldn't say that's definite (Ranger's statement only applied to the Sub-Game) or holds true for non-candidates. Regardless of the truth, I can imagine Shin "0.0%" Tsukimi realizing when he sees the room that Kugie never had a chance, and instantly feeling sympathy for Kanna.

Who was the person Keiji shot, and what were the circumstances? He says it was a criminal, yet someone important to him. Presumably, in the C2P2 flashback with Megumi, this is the incident he thought he deserved punishment for, but that she covered up. If so, then we also know the person was unarmed, yet it was apparently self-defense.

Something a little curious is that Alice was not involved in the Second Trial (practice vote), and yet this never seems to come up as an issue. In the Main Game, not participating means death, but clearly it doesn't here. Perhaps more relevant, though: when did Alice get his voting tablet, since he wasn't there for the initial distribution? The answer could be as simple as it being left on the Last Supper Room table without comment before Main Game 1, but on the other hand, Gashu publicly announces the situation with Q-taro's tablet (albeit not naming him directly) before Main Game 2.

The Second Trial results excluding Sara are 3 votes for Mishima, 0 votes for Sou and Nao, and 1 vote for everyone else. Since Joe reveals that he voted for himself in the Second Trial, we know that Sou didn't actually vote for Joe. This implies Mishima's 3 votes came from himself, Nao, and Sou. Why did Sou vote for Mishima? Or is there someone else who voted for Mishima, and that's who Sou voted for?

The Floor Master's code has a rule about giving explanations for trials beforehand, which the Second Trial deception seems to either break or circumvent. Did Miley actually break the rules with that but seemingly go unpunished? Or does the existence of an explanation, even if no one saw it, mean it's not a rule violation? (Or does her verbal explanation that leaves out the "draw" part suffice?) Regardless, she doesn't seem to care about the spirit of the rules, which makes me curious who wrote them.

Chapter 1, Part Two

Who's the silhouette you see in the Red Room? It's surely not Alice, since he should still be stuck in the locker then. Considering we have another mystery person on 1F (the one Miley's talking to when you come down from 3F), they could be one and the same. Also, why is there a torn piece of the handwritten roster there? The fact Alice is listed on it may be related (such as Alice or Reko not wanting anyone to see the name Alice Yabusame), but that still doesn't explain how it ended up in anyone but Sou's hands. (Recall that the tear marks match exactly, so it can't be another copy or anything.)

Who took Mishima's head out of the box, and why? Nao suspects it was Kai once she remembers him threatening her, and while she never clearly states it, I suspect that means she trusted him to watch the box while she went to attack Sou. But why would Kai take the head? The characters theorize there's something about Mishima's corpse or collar the kidnappers didn't want anyone noticing. If it's the collar, perhaps this has something to do with Sou learning how to remove his collar. It may also be worth paying attention to later deaths and how those bodies are collected: the Main Game victims are in a place the players can't return to on their own, and Alice/Reko's body is eventually collected after everyone leaves, apparently without an announcement.

Who died in the White Room? It doesn't seem like it matches any victim videos to me. Maybe it was Megumi, and the illustration is just kind of misleading; this is supported by how Keiji urges Sara to leave and let him investigate the room. On the other hand, there's an implied connection to the Black Room, where Shin had his First Trial.

It's a little unclear who Sara hears fainting before the first Main Game. The likely implication is Kanna, since she arrives late, but it's the kind of detail that could have greater significance than it seems. Miley's comment about whether Sara made the right choice to participate seems odd too, and makes me wonder if there is a situation where not participating at the price of your death would be beneficial. If the Sacrifice doesn't think they can win a Sacrifice victory, them not participating would cause that to not be a risk for the others, but that's about the only situation I can think of. Something similar might be true for the Keymaster, but it's dubious whether the Keymaster dying in a way other than being voted for wouldn't still result in a massacre.

When Kai says that "17 people have been secured," where exactly does that number come from? My guess is he estimated it from the database he hacked into, implying it contained the 16 candidates from the roster plus Sou Hiyori. The original Sou Hiyori being in a list of participants is interesting to say the least. But between both the roster and the rules forbidding the Floor Masters from lying, how could he be hidden?

Why did Sara get nominated in the first Main Game? She received 2 votes in the preliminary round, and while one can likely be sourced to Sou, the other is uncertain. Joe's 2 votes were very likely his own. Kanna's 2 votes may have been from Q-taro, based on "usefulness," and Kanna herself. Sou's 2 votes are probably from Kai, given his warning before the final vote, and Reko, given how openly she distrusts him. That leaves three uncertain votes for Kai and one uncertain vote for Sara, with Keiji, Nao, Gin, and Alice's selections unaccounted for.

An alternate possibility to the above: Kanna didn't actually want to die, and voted for Sara at Sou's instruction. Thus either Keiji, Nao, Gin, or Alice voted for Kanna, and the other three voted for Kai. Also of note here is that Sara can avoid claiming she's the Keymaster until after the prelims, and it doesn't change the vote totals. So while Alice avoids voting for Sara in the final round because of her claim, you can't rely on that when reasoning out the prelims.

I wonder what kind of "vital information for our escape" Kai actually had? He did seem to know about the secret passage to 3F in the kitchen, so that indicates something beyond what's on the laptop. Before voting, he specifically calls out Sou as a danger, which, like, yeah. But I wonder if he knows something in specific about him (or the real Sou; the laptop says he doesn't know Sou's name, but maybe he found out after writing that). There's a possibility of there being something else on the laptop that the others chose not to reveal to Sara, instead telling her "there was nothing important." After all, Kai's message is interrupted just before he gives his theory for why there are fewer than 20 person files... So like, was it just not an interesting theory? Huh?? Maybe they simply forgot Sara didn't get to read the whole message...?

Is there a reason Sara is the one given the buttons to try and save Joe/quicken Nao's death? In the former case, she's begging Miley to not kill him, so yeah, sure. But the latter mostly seems like a followup to the Joe thing. Then again, I suppose Sara not voting for Nao (who would've picked Sara to escape with) is what decides Nao's fate.

What's with Sou and Kanna's conversation in the Chapter 1 epilogue? Kanna apparently told him "I want to know everything" and is now distraught over it - what exactly and how much did Sou tell her?

Chapter 2, Part One

Is there some deeper meaning to the scene of Gin and Q-taro dying at the start of Chapter 2? It seems almost like a flash-forward to the end of C2P1, but that's not something the game really does elsewhere. I wonder if it falls into the same category as Sara's dream about Sou dying before Main Game 2, and just isn't remarked upon (perhaps because it's followed by the dream about Joe).

Where does Sara's dad fit into this? The C2P2 Sou-dies ending confirms he's involved in the Death Game, and has a gray collar like the other Floor Masters (or at least Gashu). In light of this, it's obvious why Kai was found out, and why they used the phrase "thankies a million" - it may have even been Sara's dad himself who was writing those emails from the organization. At any rate, dad's actual role or importance is still unclear.

Dad being involved in the Death Game introduces an apparent contradiction: Why does ASU-NARO need to send Kai to watch Sara? Maybe they just wanted Kai to be her "unseen hero" looking out for her whenever she leaves home, while dad could stick to being a dad? Furthermore, while at first one might assume Sara's stalker or later kidnapping is why he feels his family is in danger... it turns out he employs Kai to watch Sara, and seems to be with ASU-NARO. So who or what is the danger? (And while he says Sara's being "targeted," it's not strictly Sara he's worried about - he tells Kai "my wife and Sara live safely thanks to you.")

If you ask Safalin who made the dolls, she says "It was not me; I just keep custody of them." So who did make them?

Was the cruel message on the smartphone really a forgery, and if so - though it may not matter much - who wrote it? It seems safe to assume Sou wrote the nice version, at least.

What does the Hades Incident have to do with the plot? Basic details: It happened decades ago, so Keiji only read police files about it. Many crime rings sent representatives into a Death Game, and the winner became a "ruler" of the criminal underworld. But their organization collapsed, apparently due to the police. Keiji warns Sara against trying to tie everything together, but in a story like this, I think it's about tying the right things together.

Why does Nao end up with a victim video that Sara can't buy? "Reko's treasure" indicates that there is at least one item not on display that you can only get by asking for it, but it's difficult to explain this with that. Was Nao uncertain about which video to buy, given the lack of any details, and Gashu presented her with a secret one? Compared to the other three, it has very incriminating content, so maybe Gashu was envisioning an outcome where Nao openly suspected Keiji and got herself killed.

Why does Miley give Sara, and only Sara, the roster? Is it like part two to showing Shin his 0.0%? (Except she doesn't explain what it means, so not really.) She seems to enjoy the Death Game itself, and thinks the participants trying to make an escape would be "amusing," so maybe she wants to stir things up, but this is oddly... precise? It turns out that her giving it to you allows you to expose Gashu, and Gashu is quickly able to connect the dots to know it was Miley who did it. But could she actually anticipate that? Maybe her intent was to mess with Sara's highest odds by giving her incriminating internal documents, but it doesn't turn out that way at all. Or maybe she wanted Sara to expose the "candidate" distinction in general - Miley perceives Gashu as trying to destroy the Death Game, and considers his later meddling to kill off a non-candidate an affront to the Main Game's purity.

Who stole Sara's wallet? Granted, it doesn't affect anything, because everything goes the same way whether she has 50 tokens or not. Which would also mean the thief never had a need to use the stolen tokens themselves, suggesting it was solely to keep Sara from making a trade. Putting it like that... yeah, Sou stealing it right when he traded Sara the Sacrifice seems pretty likely.

A good little detail that's easy to miss: When announcing the rankings at the end of C2P1, Ranger pauses slightly before saying "Sou Hiyori." (Granted, Miley and Gashu don't when announcing him as a final vote candidate in Main Game 1 and 2.) The fact the Floor Masters go along with his alias is pretty interesting; maybe they allow that kind of thing as a general rule, or maybe him assuming the name Sou was all part of their plan. Does it not count as "lying to deceive participants" if you're keeping up a participant's lie?

I kind of wonder if the ぽ ("po") badge Gashu wears means anything. Although I suspect the plant in his pocket is an Asunaro, or at least represents one. Maybe it's like an onomatopoeia for a plant springing up or budding?

Chapter 2, Part Two

What's with Sou's dream at the start of C2P2? The first part makes sense for what he says his First Trial was, but then he sees himself dead in the Hidden Room, picks up Kai's frying pan after the Main Game, and then Sara kills him. A Japanese fan pointed out that there are similar/opposing lines when compared to Sara's dream at the start of C2P1:

"How long are you going to run...?" / "How far are you going to run...?"
"I'll make you more comfortable." / "Here, I'll kill you."
"You... You aren't Joe!!" / "Sure enough... That's your [Sara's] true nature..."
"I love ya... Sara." / "It's your turn to die... Sou."

This might be a hint that Sou's dream here parallels Sara's hallucinations. Knowing his chances of winning are 0.0%, he has nightmares about how he might die at any opportunity and tries to "Move -> Run" from it. He fears he could have died from a sneak attack like Nao's, and anticipates Sara killing him (and inherently distrusts her) because she has the highest odds to win. When faced with these possible deaths, he reminds himself to leave behind "every remaining trace" of his former self and weakness. As for picking up Kai's frying pan and saying "dead men tell no tales," I'm unsure, but it might have to do with Kai not being a candidate and thus not on the roster he saw.

How valid is Q-taro's claim that the organization "didn't expect" Ranger to kill Alice/Reko? Sure, they may not have expected Ranger to violate the code like that, and it seems to be supported by the fact that the illustration after Gashu's suicide shows the desks arranged with a clear gap where Alice/Reko would've been. But the game is full of deathtraps and other ways for people to die outside of a Main Game, like the Clear Chip requirement. Surely the organization wouldn't make one plan with the assumption of everyone surviving all of that? Indeed, you'd have to expect they have backup plans upon backup plans. If anything so far has been "unanticipated," I'd say it's just Ranger and Gashu's deaths - even the escape attempt doesn't seem that unaccounted for.

Why did Keiji know right off the bat in C2P2 that you could make two other people trade? Did he just pick up on that possibility from Gashu's wording? If he wasn't certain, what was the plan if he was wrong?

Who is the person visible through the window in Miley's room, seemingly hooked up to an IV?

Is there a particular reason the computer in Miley's room was playing that video, or why those Victim Disks are hidden around 1F? If they're not just a somewhat clumsy way of fulfilling a need to show all the victims, it feels like they could be intentionally provided by the kidnappers as "clues" - after all, there's the same implication behind the purchasable Victim Videos. Though what clues are they expected to get from them? And unlike the videos, there's seemingly nowhere to play the disks except a room they theoretically aren't meant to find.

What were Joe and Kai talking about in the 1F security footage? I have a pretty good feeling that Joe changing his mind about there being a traitor just before the Main Game is because of this conversation. At present, it's hard to think of what they might have said that would be groundbreaking information for us at this point, but I'm sure it wouldn't be treated as a tantalizing mystery if there wasn't something. Besides Kai revealing that he's Sara's protector, not stalker, they could've talked about some common points: both are non-candidates, have a connection to Sara, and were apparently kidnapped together at Sara's house.

Who was Miley talking to in the dark 1F? It feels sort of like Safalin, but she's supposed to stick to her own floor (granted, Miley does secretly come to 3F), and it's too clearly presented as a mystery to be that simple. Really, the whole thing is pretty weird. Just beforehand, you hear Gin scream. You take the key with the tag and hear the two coming. Miley asks if someone escaped (one would assume Gin) and ??? apologizes, then notices the key is gone, and Miley tells them to give it up. Then she just starts talking about Gashu "trying to destroy the Death Game"? She also tells the mystery person to both go to the Monitor Room to watch Gashu and retrieve Ranger's chip, implying they're able to go to 3F. There's even an implied additional instruction Miley's going to say before the tablet sounds. And of course, the key you take gets completely forgotten and has yet to be used. (Shouldn't a tag normally say something on it?)

The Doll Storage shows almost everyone you'd expect: Mishima, Naomichi, Q-taro, Shin, Kanna, Sara, Keiji, Megumi, Gin, Anzu, and Alice. (I cropped the picture, but they're all there in the full one.) Reko's doll is missing due to the events of C2P1, and Joe's was visible in the doorway earlier, though vanished for unknown reasons. The three other non-candidates are also absent. But who are these four shadowy ones? In theory they should match up to Mai, Shunsuke, Hinako, and Ranmaru, but they... don't, really. (At best, Shunsuke's hair might match the second from the left.) Notably, those "missing four" are the three that can be seen in victim videos later in the chapter, plus Hinako, whose legs alone could be seen.

The whole Rio Laizer part presents a lot of questions. First, Safalin just giving you the chip is a little strange. But looking at the Web of Happiness situation, and the likelihood of her knowing the exit has collapsed, she may enjoy giving the participants hope so it can be taken away. Second, it shows Safalin's involvement in developing AIs: she's at the very least responsible for Rio's "positive emotions" in contrast to Gashu, the self-proclaimed researcher of negative emotions. Between this and her bleeding in C2P1 (cutting herself to demonstrate her medical salve), she's clearly human. With two Floor Masters shown to be humans involved in AI development, and another Floor Master being the "masterpiece" doll they created... I do wonder what assumptions we can make about the remaining Floor Masters.

What are Safalin's intentions? It's interesting to consider how all aspects of her come together: she tends to present hope then take it away (generally seeming nice but ultimately being an enemy), she has a machine to erase memories that she considers one means to happiness, and she believes both positive and negative emotions make a human. Some of the Floor Masters are shown to have conflicting ideas or different priorities, so I wonder if Safalin's revolve around AI development. Is carrying out the Death Game itself important to her goals?

Is Ryoko involved beyond what we've seen? Was she ever actually planned for inclusion in the game, or was she just important to keep an eye on because Sara is apparently important? While it seems that whenever candidates had close relationships with people (other than parents), those people were kidnapped too, it's possible it was pure circumstance: Joe and Kai were there in Sara's house, but Ryoko wasn't. Similarly, Nao was in the car with Mishima, and Kugie was walking home with Kanna. That is to say, perhaps the organization would observe anyone a candidate was close with because they COULD become a participant by circumstance, and they wanted to obscure any division between candidates and non-candidates.

What's the story with the Asunaro orphanage? The assumption is that it's tied to the ASU-NARO organization, but what is its purpose? All we know is it's where Q-taro was raised. Kanna came from an orphanage, but she's present when Q-taro mentions the name of his and doesn't speak up, so while hardly conclusive, it may well be a different one. But if there's something going on with people's memories of the real Sou Hiyori, it's possible people's memories of the orphanage are the same, and only Q-taro has enough attachment to remember its name.

What's going on with the original Sou Hiyori? What is the implication of him being "revived"? And why is he seemingly included with the candidates (or at least "participants")? Lastly, regardless of why they apparently forgot him, why does everyone recognize him in the first place? Alice says he murdered him, and Reko heard about Alice's victim, though tried to forget. He could potentially be the person Keiji shot (even if Alice believes he killed him), or Keiji might know the murder case, since we don't see him answer Alice at the end of Chapter 1. Q-taro, no idea; maybe Sou Hiyori was at the orphanage? Why Kanna reacts is the most uncertain, but it could have to do with Shin caring about her. Or she just recognizes the scarf but doesn't immediately realize why, as she is the one who points the scarf out in the "Reko lives" route.

What is the "That Incident" book all about? It describes a Death Game that sounds similar in structure to this one. The author wrote about it "quite some time" after it happened, implying he won the game. The fact he didn't take part in Russian Roulette, and is even shown standing outside bars, draws an interesting comparison to Shin, but I don't really know what to make of it. And of course, the biggest mystery is how some of the people and outcomes described seem to line up with this Death Game.

Why does Sara have a dream before Main Game 2 about Sou dying? Mishima being alive in it is really unusual, to say the least. I honestly can't think of a decent explanation that doesn't depend on some more out-there theories that currently lack solid evidence.

Shin admits to being shown the roster and his 0.0% and told how they got that data, but that alone doesn't explain why he always seems to know/have more than he should. So why does he? He knows about the card roles and the dummy rule, gets a stun gun and won't say where he got it, knows how to hack (this one at least could be a skill related to his self-employment), is able to remove his collar, knows the Joe AI exists and how to activate and apparently alter it... Even if he may seem vulnerable and claims he "told you everything" at the end of Main Game 2, he never really explains this knowledge, unless he truly doesn't know why he knows. Maybe the kidnappers told him a lot more than he lets on, but what would be the purpose of that? Do they just want to see if giving him every advantage can overturn that 0.0%?

A very curious detail: Sou has his scarf on when he removes his collar, but in the picture that follows that, it's gone, and the key around his neck is also missing. He very clearly does have his scarf in the "vote for Kanna" route picture with identical composition, so this is intended, but why? (Him collapsed on the computer console also seems to be scarfless.)

Why is there a Joe AI and doll? Nao's personal info being provided as documents all but confirms there isn't a Nao AI, and no doll of her has been seen either. The same goes for Kugie and Kai, though as an ex-member of the organization who was possibly brought into the game as punishment for his betrayal, Kai seems more likely to have something prepared than Kugie. If Joe's the only non-candidate with an AI and doll, what's so special about him? Is it just his connection to Sara? (But in that case, is there a Ryoko AI sitting around?)

Why does the organization even need the victory percentages? The only clear use they've gotten out of it seems to be telling Shin he can't win. Knowing (confirming?) that Sara has the highest percentage to win may be important to them, but it all seems a bit weird. Also, the fact they add up to 100% is very interesting. For one, it either means there was no "losing" outcome in the simulated runs where the Keymaster was chosen, or that case simply wasn't counted due to there being "no winner." Second, it implies that the Sacrifice never won, or wasn't actually able to leave together with a second person. Similarly, this could be explained by the second person not being counted as a "winner," but that would mean the win percentages, particularly Shin's 0.0%, are slightly deceiving (that is, maybe he could have survived via a Sacrifice who was willing to pick him).

However, the possibility of the Nao ending flies in the face of the percentages, and the premise of "only candidates can win." Unless we're just not being shown the following reality of Sara and Nao not being allowed to leave (which would be uncharacteristically cheap), it seems they actually do accept victory for a non-candidate - though arguably it's choosing a candidate to escape with that makes it valid. At any rate, Nao isn't on the roster, and yet she can win, which would seem to imply the addition of non-candidates may completely invalidate the odds that were tested using only candidates. (Which might explain why some would prefer to get rid of non-candidates first.) There's a lot to ponder about the nature of the "candidate" division: what it's based on, how much it really matters to the people in charge (clearly it does to Gashu, but the others?), why they would bring in non-candidates at all, etc.

If the percentages are based on test runs, what can we assume from the fact that Shin's First Trial involved showing him the results? Was his First Trial different in the simulations? The more differences there are between the simulations and the real deal, the more mysterious the purpose of gathering that data is. But perhaps the kidnappers, despite having winning odds, are interested in having a truly unpredictable game, and thus introduced new elements for the real deal.

For there to emerge one winner without a Sacrifice victory (or escape-ticket situation), in theory it must end with a 3-person Main Game containing a Sacrifice, or a 4+ with multiple Sacrifices. A 2-person Main Game doesn't work; at best, it would mean one of the two voting for themselves to let the other win, and any role distribution would be bizarre. (Maybe instead, it'd just be a fight to the death.) Regarding whether 3+ people can die in one Main Game: since Sara refuses to vote for Keiji in C2P2, it seems her assumption is that everyone tied for first dies. But this is hardly proof of the actual rules, and even if she's right, this couldn't be relied upon in a final Main Game intended to produce a single victor.

Posted July 27th, 2019

#your turn to die

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