This page describes in detail some of the in-game elements with which you may interact.
The creators of this game have graced you with occasional checkpoints that activate as the player-character reaches some location or activates some cutscene, etc. After that, if you die or choose to retry, you'll continue at the checkpoint instead of the beginning of the level.
While restoring from a checkpoint, the player-character's inventory is meddled with. For example: the amount of bullets resets to some certain amount. Some level-specific objects are eradicated and you need to go get them again in unlucky cases. If there are some additional important events or objectives in the level, regarding the second mission objectives for example, the checkpoint will usually not restore them even if you had completed them before dying (i.e., breaking the sake bottle at Kyoya's Day 2 - 07:00).
Checkpoints can occasionally be abused. This means: consciously retrying for the sake of acquiring bullets, health or losing alerted shibitos off one's back. Rarely skipping a part of the level.
When a character dies, he starts his death animation. It takes a diabolically long time to run through. This was mended in Siren 2, in which death animations are up to 75% shorter.
The dying of either you or the non player-character that follows you (your sidekick) is considered a failure and the game ends. While dying, no cutscenes or other events may be entered. For example, if you kill an enemy whose death activates a cutscene, that cutscene will not activate if you or your sidekick die at the same instant. Also, as the death throes begin, the light effect of the player-character's flashlight is diminished, as if it suddenly wasn't on anymore (to darker the mood).
A dying character cannot be attacked or targeted. This may result in awkward situations where your sidekick gets attacked while the player-character is dying "safely." But note that when this happens, your sidekick will not die no matter how bad a beating he gets. The same applies in reverse too: if your sidekick kicks the bucket, the player-character shall taste the chalice of eternity.
- Special events
- It's possible to get both you and your sidekick to die at the same time. If this happens, only your player-character will make his dying sound and the camera concentrates on him.
- It's possible for you to die while a text message is shown at the screen's bottom - a graphical glitch happens.
- It's possible for you to achieve game over inside the sightjacking screen - get someone to attack your sidekick, and then sightjack at the exact moment he dies.
- It's possible for you to achieve death while a cutscene is right about to start. The game takes an extraordinarily long time to wait (about 5-6 seconds) before the pre-cutscene's black screen suddenly awakens into the all-too-familiar "Mission failed" jingle and text.
You see these at the bottom of the screen at the beginning of the levels or when you've achieved something the game deems as important. They are like normal text messages except that they do not interfere with the game time or events in any way. They disappear as soon as you press , , , if enough time has passed, or if your character is dying.
There's a small bug in which the sub-objective message will not disappear by itself. So you could theoretically complete whole levels with the message showing, but it doesn't seem very useful. The bug activating may have something to do with pressing extremely lightly while the message shows - somehow the game may think that the message disappears while it actually doesn't.
Other small bugs include empty sub-objective messages or simply non-existent sub-objective messages (where there should be).
The 180 degree turn
By quickly flicking to the back, your character will turn around. This is faster than just turning around 180° normally, though the actual length of the turnaround animation varies from character to character, Tamon's being the slowest, Reiko's (or other female characters') the fastest.
This movement actually consists of two parts. There's a brief moment before the "turnaround" when you can still cancel the animation or do some other stuff of your liking. For example: activate 180° turn and sightjack instantly afterwards. Your character will first go into sightjack, and, after you close sightjack, instantly turn around. Or, crouch right before "turnaround" starts, and the whole 180° will just cancel out. Read more about its functionality at the section "Pre-emptive 180" at the special technique listing.
While in attack stance, you can't go to first person view (via ), change camera (via ), sightjack, crouch, run (or even walk, if there are no enemies nearby) or enter any menu. All you can do is attack.
Your player-character can attack with his fist using a glitch. First, get a character with a projectile weapon. (Tamon, Kyoya later on, etc.) Then shoot with your weapon, then release (during the attack) and go to the normal menu to unequip your weapon. After you leave the menu, your player-character will do a quick jab with his/her fist! The attack is not very useful due to it not having any range and not doing any damage either. Read more in a further section about "IWS - illegal weapon switching".
The enemies in this game don't have attack stances, like in Siren 2; their mechanisms for moving and doing whatever they do is simpler.
Falling from heights
When jumping down from a place that is easily over the player-character's height, the player-character will do an especially slow and tired effort in getting up. The result is different from character to character, old and young characters suffering the most. If the player-character has a sidekick following, he'll usually jump down as well.
These kinds of falls do hurt all the characters, even though only few locations can literally kill them. For example, the long fall down Rokkaku's shed's roof - your sidekicks die after three jumps, occasionally the player-character too, like Kei. Another in-game exception is if you're starting to climb down a ladder when you're attacked. Instead of successfully climbing the ladder, the player-character falls down and dies if the fall was too big.
A clever way to escape recovery time is to have a shibito attack you while you're getting up. The bad part is that you will get damage – and with characters like Risa, it is straight to death from only one strong hit. Also, it requires some strict timing and luck.
If you fall on your sidekick or a shibito, he'll get knocked backwards, but he'll probably not get any damage.
- Enter in-game menu
- Enter normal menu
- Check out your map
- Get in attack stance or attack
- Climb or drop down
However, you can still do these actions:
- Walk, strafe and back away
- Look around
Fortunately you also get one additional ability you never otherwise have, which is zooming.
Locations with first-person view
Occasionally you stumble to some places in which you'll see everything from the first person (the player-character's eyes). These are for example the innards of the closets, innards of the cars, etc. You enter these locations with the in-game menu.
When you're in one such a place the time stops, even the Time Attack-display disappears. You still do waste some very meager amounts of "total time," as using the in-game menus somehow adds some little digits of time in the counter. There is one notable exception to this rule: the closets in the abandoned house.
When you're in a FPV-location, it's impossible for you to die. It's impossible to get any shibitos alerted either. For example, the enemies will not notice Harumi from the abandoned house's closets even if the closet door is open. In some cases, the game simplifies the outside areas so that the enemies disappear from the field and essentially stop doing anything.
The camera's default position is aimed right in front of the player-character. You may move the view around, but if you let go of the controls the view quickly returns to the default. If you move the camera away from the default position before activating a cutscene, you'll usually get a redundant treat of seeing the camera flicker quickly to the default and back.
- The closets
- Can't die or get anyone alerted
- Can't fight enemies
- Can't move
- Time won't stop
- Can enter all the menus
- Can sightjack
- Can't operate flashlight
- Most normal in-game menu commands unavailable
- The player-character's character model won't disappear
- Every other FPV-place
- Can't die or get anyone alerted
- Can't fight enemies
- Can't move
- Time will stop
- Can't enter any menus except the in-game menu
- Most normal in-game menu commands unavailable
- Can't sightjack
- Can't operate flashlight
- The player-character's character model disappears
With flashlight on, your enemies are able to notice you from much farther away than normally. The flashlight ruins your stealth, even though as an obvious advantage you're able to see much farther yourself.
Sometimes you need flashlight to be able to examine or activate things. Don't worry about this, it happens very rarely.
These are a method for transportation up or down. When embarking on a set of ladders, there's a slow animation which the character attempting to climb must partake. The same calls true if the character is leaving the set of ladders from either end. If a character is attacked while on the ladder or while s/he's getting on a ladder, s/he'll drop down and die if the fall is high enough. If a character jumps down the ladder and hits another who is climbing the same ladder, the one who was hit will fall down. If 'circle' is pressed while on a ladder, the character will jump down quickly and safely, even though the recovery time from a large fall can get on nerves. If the character is too close to the ground s/he just descends down like normally instead of jumping.
Most of your enemies can climb ladders, but they can't attack you or do anything interesting while they're hanging there. They can drop down or ascend or descend, that's it. There's one glitch available for abuse, though: you can get a shibito stuck at the ladder's upper end by provoking him to descend at a wrong time.
Opening and closing doors
When opening or closing a door there occurs an animation, the length of which differs from different door type to another. Before the animation, there's a moment of auto-positioning.
Certain doors can be opened either the fast way or the slow way (there's a different animation, other noticeably longer than the other). The player chooses between them by pressing down either a shorter or a longer duration. It changes to the faster if you're chased or hurt. Also, this kind of speed differing doesn't happen when closing doors.
The door is an obstacle, a wall, just like every other wall in this game. If closed it blocks the doorway, when opened it blocks the area wherever it happens to stand then. For some reason shibitos tend to sometimes fail in getting around opened doors - a good defensive tip for the defenseless characters like Kei or Risa.
The animation of the player-character opening (or closing) the door overrides whatever current animation he had while starting it. This includes (but is not limited to) attacking, crouching, and moving. Attacking in a doorway and closing the door before the attack is finished (sort of "canceling" it) is a good strategy for killing several enemies in this game safely, even Mina. Going into a crouch before opening/closing the door just looks funny, even though it's otherwise useless.
If there's a character standing behind a door that's opening or closing, he will be startled and a short animation occurs. If a character is badly positioned inside the doorway, closing the door may cause the character to zip inside the house and in front of the one who closed the door.
Locking and unlocking doors
The player-character has the ability to lock certain doors. It doesn't require any keys, it is simply an option which appears when you open the in-game menu in front of (or behind) certain doors. When choosing to lock the door, a short animation begins. Sometimes - it differs by the time and the place and the character - you may interrupt it at any time after the door "clicks," a sign which shows that the door is then locked. Sometimes the animation can instead be interrupted at any time, in a similar way like "Shout!" - even before the door is actually locked. So this is something to watch out for. But in any case, the animation also ends if the door is opened from the other side before the "click" is heard.
Graphic effect-wise, it looks like there are several different door locking animations, depending on where the lock is on the door. It's actually always the same animation, the only difference being the player-character's hand's location: the game recognizes the spot where the lock is situated and guides the player-character's immaterial hand there.
When a door is locked, it cannot be opened until it's unlocked. The player-character can do this by simply opening the in-game menu and choosing to "unlock." Like with locking the door, there's a short animation, and it's subject to the same rules - it's the same animation after all. If the door is naturally locked, as a part of the level design, it may require a key to open, or it may simply be inoperable.
A shibito can open a locked door by simply banging to it four times. It's not unlocked, though, until he physically opens it after doing the bangs - and when he does it, it'll open as easily as if it was never locked. When a shibito has opened the door this way, it can never be locked again. You lose the option for it, maybe the lock breaks? When a shibito has started knocking on the door, he will continue it even if the door meanwhile becomes unlocked, and if he then opens the door, its lock breaks all the same anyway.
Your sidekicks are unable to open locked doors of any sort. If you leave your sidekick behind a locked door, he either finds another route to you or then simply becomes immobile, with his head starting to twitch slightly (you can see it via sightjack). This is a sign of AI's incapability to calculate a route by which to come to you, and it also happens if your sidekick is too far away or on a too different height, etc.
When the door is banged at, it will shake. If your player-character is right next to the door, his position will change ever so slightly.
There are about a million things to know about these menus. One of them is: pressing several buttons at once counts. Try (in the normal menu) putting the cursor on "Exit," and then pressing and at the same time. Unfortunately this trick is not very useful in anything else but killing time.
Ramming into a wall
If you're running, have ran a certain distance, and approached a certain type of wall carelessly, you achieve a wallram. The player-character will predictably ram into a wall and waste some time. However, some unpredictable things happen too, such as your player-character's stamina sometimes recovering instantly for no reason.
The mechanism for running into a landslide is exactly the same, even though the end-animation is different.
- "Come here!": Means that you make your sidekick follow you. Your sidekick complies as long as he's not on a different elevation than you, or behind locked doors, no matter the dangers on the way. If he is on a different elevation, or inside some restricted area, he usually won't come, instead opting to stay where he is - and if you sightjack him, you see that his vision twitches eerily. This is a sign of AI's incapability to calculate a route by which to come to you. No problems, just open up a route or get closer to the sidekick, that should solve the problem.
- "Wait!": Means that you make your sidekick wait at wherever he is when you make him wait. The sidekick crouches and sometimes starts to talk by himself. If an enemy approaches, most sidekicks forget your orders and instead escape. The effect is the same as in "Run!.".
- "Run!:: Is a command only available when a shibito is chasing and close. During it the sidekick simply runs away to some direction, usually towards the shibitos and his untimely death. There are some pre-determined places on the levels where the sidekicks stops (if he gets that far) and crouches, until he dies or the player-character comes and picks him up.
- "Hide!": Is glorified "Run!,", using very restricted pre-determined hiding places above anything else. When you tell the sidekick to hide, they just run to the pre-determined location and crouch. Sometimes this command is used in making sidekicks discover objects, but not often.
- "Pull up!": Means that the player-character will lift the sidekick to an area where he's not able to climb by himself. This command is only available when on the edge of (and on top of) a certain-height of cliff - roughly as high as what the player-character is. If the sidekick is not nearby, he'll find his way to the location of the intended pull up.
There are some other special commands too, but they're too event- and location-specific to be mentioned here.
The ability that enables you to see the world through the sight of other living beings in the area, both enemies and allies. You can't enter the sightjacking mode if you have or pressed down. You can sightjack only while either crouching or standing and being idle. No sightjacking from, say, ladders. You can't move while you're sightjacking, and vice-versa, you can't sightjack while you're moving. Instead, the player-character is stuck in an animation in which he looks like he's heavily concentrating in some inner vision. You can sightjack while doing an attack though, as long as you're not pressing down at the moment.
The sightjacked vision is free from any darkness obscurity – basically, it's the effect of some night vision goggles. Every character can see as well as the other, even Yoriko without her glasses.
The player-character can get interrupted during sightjack. This happens if he's attacked by an enemy or he suddenly has to perform a "Pull up."
There's a slight bug available: if the player-character sightjacks while descending into a crouch (or ascending from a crouch), he'll get stuck to the ground for a moment after returning to the normal gameplay. Also, if you sightjack right before special camera angles activate, they may end up crooked.
You may shout with your character at any time you can open your in-game menu. When shouted at, nearby shibitos become suspicious - this calls true for both your shouts and the enemy shouts. Every player-character has at least three different sound clips for this, and an unconfirmed amount for the shibitos.
For making noise, shouting is not as effective as shooting with a gun.
This is done by pressing , and it can be done even without any weapons. Animation's speed differs from character to character, usually exceeding normal walking speed. Strafing has many uses in the game, mainly avoiding sniper shots from behind obstacles.
None of your normal opponents will ever strafe - the only exception is the second-to-last boss who starts doing it if you get too close.
Most of the humanoid enemies in this game have the ability to strangle other characters. This attack homes in whenever the player-character is close enough (at 100% hit rate), and it'll continue indefinitely until the player-character shakes himself off it (by wiggling ), or the player-character is attacked physically by some other enemy. The fastest possible moment the player-character can shake himself off is after about 1.20 seconds. When/if he does this, the enemy will be startled and he'll step a few steps back away (with one exception: Mina in Risa's 22:00). While choking, both the enemy and the player-character are stuck in an animation. The enemy will never voluntarily stop choking the player-character, so it's up to the player-character (or another enemy) to stop the process before eventual death. A short while of strangling tends to do less damage than an average physical attack.
If the player-character gets strangled the instant he activates a cutscene and gets teleported via it to some place else, the game acts as if he had wriggled out of the strangle an instant before the teleportation.
If a sidekick is strangled, he'll shake himself off the choke the first possible moment, unless he dies before that. You can't strangle any of your enemies in this game, and no more than one enemy can strangle you at any time.
There are three basic types of weapons: melee, projectile (revolver and rifle) and "other" (Uryen). The damage each character and shibito does when attacking depends solely on the weapon used. Some weapons are more powerful than others, as logic would tell you.
The player-characters can't attack anything barehanded (unless with a glitch), even though shibitos can: they can strangle or do a normal weaponless attack which will harmlessly pass through anyone in the vicinity. There are only a few special shibitos in the game who don't have any weapon equipped on them, though, and not all of them even do the aforementioned normal weaponless attack. Some are: the patroller near ore processing plant at Shiro's Day 1 - 03:00 MO2 and the mysteriously appearing dial lock shibito from Kei's Day 1 - 12:00 MO2.
The shibitos do not get hit from eachother's melee weapons, only projectile bullets.