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Posts tagged “Steins;Gate Zero

“Absolute Zero” – Steins;Gate Zero Review

(This review will contain light spoilers for Steins;Gate Zero, and massively heavy spoilers for the original title. You can consider this a spoiler warning. This may also be called God’s final warning to those who rebel.)


I was probably not as shocked as many of you when I initially saw Steins;Gate Zero announced. It had come at a time when my cynicism towards the series was at its highest, and I began wondering just how much they intended to milk the franchise with low-quality, low-effort stories of little consequence. The fact that Steins;Gate Zero was to be based on an existing trilogy of light novels felt like the final nail in the coffin! My apprehension was through the roof. I was fully expecting more of the same; a low effort story and the typical franchise milking fare that so many pieces of fiction suffer through.

If I could go back in time and slap myself in the face for my doubts, I would.

Steins;Gate Zero is without a doubt my favourite piece of Steins;Gate-related supplementary material. Not only does it seamlessly weave itself into the original plot, it also manages to add so much more meaning to what was presented in the first title.


“This is the story of the future that could not be saved.”

A much darker story than the original, Steins;Gate Zero explores the future of the Beta Attractor Field, and the foundation behind the Video D-Mail. It’s a long, twisting story with numerous surprises and revelations.

Steins;Gate Zero’s story diverges from the original during the endgame sequence of the Visual Novel, or Episode 23 for you anime-viewers out there. I won’t get into the details, but the basic gist is that two key things are missing from the scenario; when Okabe is at his lowest, he does not receive a D-Mail telling him to watch the news, and Mayuri does not smack him in the face. The latter seems of little consequence, but you should know from the original Steins;Gate that even the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings can have unintended and far-reaching consequences.

The absence of these two small, seemingly minor, details creates the foundation for Steins;Gate Zero’s Beta World Line a World Line in which Okabe is not only crippled by the fact that he has lost the woman he loved, but also riddled with the guilt of knowing that he was the one to drive the knife through her.

This Okabe has given up entirely on saving Kurisu’s life. He has given up entirely on reaching the Steins Gate. This is an Okabe that has resigned himself to his fate, an Okabe who has fully seen the scope of his own grand unimportance and has completely accepted it. It doesn’t matter to him that World War Three is guaranteed. It doesn’t matter to him that he’s crushing the wishes of a girl that travelled through time itself to save the future. He’s simply tired, a man in mourning.


To cope with his grief, he has abandoned the Future Gadget Lab entirely and is focusing on his university life. He indulges in normal activities like tennis and assisting his teacher. But even that is a shallow facade in truth he can barely keep himself together, relying on various therapists and pills to keep himself stable. He’s a traumatized mess of a man, and the darker theme of the story is clear from the get-go.

Things go as standard for Okabe until he attends a seminar and is introduced to three key characters.
The first is Hiyajo Maho, a plucky woman who, despite her short stature, is a few years Okabe’s senior. She was Kurisu’s lab partner at the Viktor Chondria University in America, where they were working on a very special project.

The second is Alexis Leskinen, a Finnish-American university professor, and a man who was supervisor to both Maho and Kurisu in their laboratory back in the USA.

The third is their project: “Amadeus”, an AI system that they claim houses the ‘soul’ of humanity. It uses the memories of a human as a base and, for the most part, is just like that person. Who is that person, you might ask?
Makise Kurisu.


As a person that knew Kurisu (though Maho and Leskinen don’t know the truth of it), Okabe is asked to field-test Amadeus, to talk to her regularly through his phone and gauge her responses.

It is here that the intrigue truly begins. As Okabe’s interactions with “Kurisu” pile up, so does the mystery, and soon enough our broken protagonist once again finds himself in a grand conspiracy as he struggles against the shift of worlds and the flow of time.

Steins;Gate Zero introduces several new characters to its story, and something that it does far better than the original is the development of its cast. Okabe is not the only protagonist whose eyes we see through in this story. The game has multiple narrators and often shifts between them to show us what they’re doing at any given time. I feel that this was an excellent choice on the part of the creators as it gives us a glimpse into the minds of various other characters without keeping the plot centered on Okabe. Daru and Suzuha are especially well-developed, and their family dynamic is one of the most heartwarming aspects of the game. It is through Suzuha’s eyes that we learn more about the blackened skies of 2036, and about the mysterious young girl named Kagari as well.

As with all Science Adventure games, the TIPS section remains a handy glossary to help along those unfamiliar with particular terms. The translation of these terms was done quite well in the PQube release, and I doubt anyone will find anything to complain about.
Much like in the first game, Okabe’s phone is vital to how you progress in the plot. Choosing whether or not to use your phone at pivotal moments in the plot will alter the direction of the narrative, resulting in one of five wildly different endings. These endings are also a major improvement over the endings in the original game, which were all disconnected from the final result. All of the endings in Zero feel like they mean something, and they all have bearing on Okabe as a character. Also the True End is much easier to reach, so the game gets bonus points for that alone.
The texting system from the first game has been replaced by RINE , an instant messaging application designed by Daru. RINE is a major improvement over the system in the first game; you can see the full message before you send it, you have the option of sending funny little character stickers, and the entire conversation plays out immediately so you don’t need to constantly monitor your phone for updates. One thing I will note as a slight disappointment was that the RINE stickers and phone menu buttons were left untranslated in the PQube release. This will cause minor confusion at worst for English speakers, however, so it isn’t a massive problem.


In Summary
Ultimately, Steins;Gate Zero is a tale of redemption. A tale of transformation from broken and battered man to selfless hero. A… Zero to Hero story, if you will (I’m sorry). It is a much darker tale, and it has a lot to tell. I personally found it much more enjoyable than the original, and I loved the original.
If you are a fan of the first game then I strongly recommend that you play through Zero.
I feel it’d be more appropriate to say that “Steins;Gate” as a story is incomplete without this vital entry. It is not a title to be missed.

Overall I rate Steins;Gate Zero a Ø/Ø. Idds bretty gud.

I played Steins;Gate Zero in Japanese at launch and in English before western launch.
Thank you to PQube games for providing me with a review copy of their English release.

Steins;Gate Episode 23 (β)

Just in case you didn’t see this, I recently translated a special episode of the Steins;Gate anime that was broadcast during the Nico Marathon.

By Zero

A variant of Episode 23, it does NOT lead to the original story’s True End, instead diverging midway and becoming the introduction to Zero’s story.
It’s a must-watch if you plan on following Steins;Gate Zero.

Check here if you’d like to download it.

That’s all for now.

– Steiner

Steins;Gate Zero – Kagari Shiina and Divergence from the Epigraph Trilogy

A recent magazine scan has shown a few new interesting details about the enigmatic Kagari, Mayuri’s adopted daughter from 2036, as well as the story’s relation (and departure) from the plot of its source material, the Epigraph Trilogy.


I will provide a translation of the scan below.


New Information on Steins;Gate Zero! An unexpected person makes an unexpected appearance…?!

Zero is the upcoming follow-up to Steins;Gate, a work that has captured the hearts of countless people. The content we’ve received this time is nothing short of astounding. It’s the grown-up version of Shiina Kagari. She was first introduced as a young girl that accompanied Suzuha back to the past. What chain of events led her to becoming a grown-up? Please enjoy our pictures and commentary.

The feelings that pass through time, and shake the world–


“It’s hopeless… nothing I do will work……”

The story begins with Okabe Rintaro failing to save Makise Kurisu. The painful event lit by the dim evening sun will surely incite heartache.


“Why? Why are you forcing Okarin to shoulder the future?”

Mayuri argues with Suzuha as the girl soldier looks down at Okabe with an ice-cold stare. She knows what Okabe went through to save Kurisu better than anyone else.

-Will there be salvation in this tale that begins with despair?-


“Why are you whispering? Are you trying to hide me from your friends?”

“Amadeus”, the artificial intelligence that uses Kurisu’s memories as the basis.


The Beta World Line’s Future.

In a world without Kurisu, the “PhoneWave” is never created, and the few events that greatly affect the future are never resolved. It is the world line in which nothing but the cataclysmic Third World War awaits.


A grown-up Shiina Kagari makes an appearance!?

A grown-up Shiina Kagari. We don’t know what kind of life she led, but it seems like she makes an appearance in the time period when Mayuri and the group operate as LabMems.


The girl had her young design revealed a long while ago, but here we have her as an adult. This CG might be surprising to those that have read the novels.


Kagari wearing a Shrine Maiden’s outfit. It seems that she has a lot of interactions with the rest of the LabMems.


The reliable time traveller showing off her martial arts as she protects Kagari from a sudden attacker.

Suzuha high kicks the attacker trying to restrain Kagari!
Is she being targeted by someone…?


Is this adult Kagari, too?!


The Time Traveller’s Connection

Shiina Mayuri gave Shiina Kagari, her adopted daughter, to Suzuha, and the two went on to time travel to the past, where they meet Okabe and the others. The connection born between the two survivors of the war-ridden world is one of the key points of the plot.

Original stories that are fresh even to the readers of the novels!
Zero is based on the three side-story novels, Epigraph of the Closed Curve, Pandora of Eternal Return and Altair of the Point at Infinity.

However, it also has its own, completely new scenarios.
The product will have sharp drama for both those who have never read the novels and those who have.
Those who can’t wait for the release and want to avoid spoilers, feel free to read the novels before the end of this fall.
This contributor was greatly amazed by the speedy pacing and the shock value of the original works and always wished to see them adapted into a game, so I expect a lot of things from Steins;Gate Zero.

It also seems like it will also have scenes told from the perspective of other characters.


“Oh, Okarin. It’s been a while.”

So yeah, to summarize… this is extremely different to the material it’s drawing inspiration from. I’ve read the Epigraph Trilogy and the Kagari featured in that story is nothing like this. So huzzah, I’m just as much in the dark as everyone else now, I don’t know whether to rejoice or panic.

Either way, seems things became more interesting, that’s all for now.

– Steiner

Steins;Gate Zero Update – Story and Mechanics

The Steins;Gate Zero Website has once again updated, now with more on the plot and game mechanics. I’ll translate below:


Hououin Kyouma Has Been Locked Away

Okabe Rintaro, who had given up on saving Makise Kurisu, was plagued by flashbacks, horrifying dreams, and traumatic memories of his experiences as he traversed the World Lines. With Mayuri’s support, he attends therapy and seeks out professional and medical help. His friends are truly concerned for his well-being, he is now clearly a man in the deepest pit of despair. Sadly, “Hououin Kyouma” has long since been sealed away.


A meeting with those that knew Kurisu.

Kurisu was researching Artificial Intelligence as a student of the Victor Chondria University.
Her colleagues, Professor Alexis Leskinen and Hiyajo Maho, came to Japan to hold a seminar about it.
By chance, Okabe met with these two teammates and learned about the “Amadeus” system which could preserve human memories.
The primary system installed within Amadeus? Kurisu’s memories.

Amadeus System

“Mr. Okabe Rintaro. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I am Makise Kurisu.”

An Encounter with Kurisu’s “Memories”

Okabe is asked by Professor Leskinen to test the Amadeus System, and talk with Kurisu’s “memories” on a regular basis to further develop its capabilities.
However, this was not the Kurisu that Okabe knew.
Naturally, she had none of the memories that he had forged with her over that summer.


“Back when we first spoke to each other, you called me ‘Christina’ or something like that, right?”

Discussions with Kurisu. His distance begins to close in.

As a tester, Okabe continues to talk with Kurisu’s memories on his Smartphone.
As he talks to the girl over an extended period of time, old, powerful feelings begin to well up within him. He grows closer to “her”, but this also fills his heart with despair.


Christmas, New Years, a Lively Lab Life.

To support and cheer up Okabe, the LabMems and their friends keep things bustling and lively, doing events such as a Christmas Party and New Years festivities.
Featured in the the Santa cosplay is Amane Yuki, the woman that will eventually marry Daru and bear Suzuha as their child. Suzuha is also seen in Shrine Maiden attire. The story of these two women will also play a vital role.


Unidentified Assailants

As the LabMems enjoy themselves, the lab is suddenly attacked by a group of unidentified men wielding firearms.
Okabe is horrified and struck with memories of Mayuri’s many deaths in the Alpha Attractor field.
But who are these men? They can’t be SERN, can they? The PhoneWave (Temp) doesn’t exist in this World Line…

…To Be Continued

Game Mechanics


A Smartphone will be used for the trigger system in this game, featuring two primary applications; Amadeus and RINE.
These applications will tie into the plot and be used in guiding the route the story takes.


Talking with Amadeus

Okabe is selected as a tester for the Amadeus System, which allows him to contact “Kurisu” at any time and engage in conversation with her.
“She”, too, can contact him whenever she wants to…


Messenger Application

A change from the previous game’s text message system, RINE is a software developed by Daru for speedy instant message contact with friends. You will use this to converse with the other cast members over distances in-game.

That’s all for the time being.

– Steiner

Steins;Gate Zero – Update and Character Profiles

The Steins;Gate Zero website has updated once again with a more expansive homepage and full descriptions for the cast members, I’ve translated these beneath.

“This is the story of the future that could not be saved.”

November 2010, Attractor Field Beta.
The story of the World Line in which Okabe Rintaro, after suffering through great hardship and many trials, ultimately gave up on saving “her”.
Griefstricken, he is confined to the deepest pit of despair.
His friends are concerned for him and his worrying behaviour.
But what happened to “she” who was never saved?
Featuring new characters that never appeared in the original Steins;Gate, this is the story of the “Zero”.
The story in which “she” still exists…

Kurisu couldn’t be saved.
Okabe was swallowed by regret and despair.

Okabe returns to his everyday life, constantly feeling the crushing pressure of his own regret for being unable to save Kurisu, crossing many World Lines to save everyone, only to fail miserably at the end.

Then he meets them, those that knew Kurisu.

Okabe attends a University seminar and meets Professor Alexis Leskinen along with his assistant, Hiyajo Maho.

From there, Okabe learns of the “Amadeus” system.

A system that allows the storage of human memories in a computer interface, creating perfect emulation of that person.

A chance meeting with Kurisu’s “Memories”

A meeting with this “Kurisu” within the “Amadeus” changes Okabe’s life completely…

Edit: Forgot to mention the voice actors –
Shiina Kagari: Han Megumi
Alexis Leskinen: Yōji Ueda
Nakase Katsumi: Honda Mariko
Kurushima Kaede: Kino Hina
Judy Reyes: Nishimura Maya

Character Profiles

Zero Okabe

Zero Kurisu

Zero Mayuri

Zero Daru

Zero Suzu

Zero Maho

Zero Kagari

Zero Luka

Zero Faris

Zero Moeka

Zero Yuki

Zero Nae

Zero Fubuki

Zero Kaede

Zero Leskinen

Zero Reyes

July 25th – Kurisu’s Birthday

It is now Kurisu’s Birthday in Japan. The Steins;Gate Zero website has been updated accordingly with a few messages and a desktop background.

I’ll translate what it says here;

Makise Kurisu, born July 25th 1992
A student of the American Victor Chondria University, she skipped several grades and graduated at a young age.
She proceeded to become a researcher at the very same university, specializing in the field of Neuroscience. Another notable accomplishment was having a thesis published in the well-known Sciency Magazine at the tender age of 17.

Try as I might, I would be hard-pressed to find another scientist anywhere near as cute, wise, inquisitive, captious, and merciless as you.”
– Alexis Leskinen

“Kurisu, Happy Birthday.
It would be no stretch of the imagination to say you have the talent of someone favored by God, you’re amazing.
Of course, I could never say such a thing to your face… that’d be way too embarrassing.”
– Maho Hiyajo

Bonus: Translated version of the Wallpaper.

Kurisu Background.

Steins;Gate Zero – Website and Famitsu Scans

The Steins;Gate Zero website recently came online, I’ll translate what’s said there, though it’s mostly stuff we’re familiar with. At least you should be if you’re familiar with the Epigraph Trilogy.

“This is the story of the future that could not be saved.”

November 2010, Attractor Field Beta.
The story of the World Line in which Okabe Rintaro, after suffering through great hardship and many trials, ultimately gave up on saving “her”.
Griefstricken, he is confined to the deepest pit of despair.
His friends are concerned for him and his worrying behaviour.
But what happened to “she” who was never saved?
Featuring new characters that never appeared in the original Steins;Gate, this is the story of the “Zero”.
The story in which “she” still exists…

So yes, currently it seems that Zero will be a straight adaptation of the Epigraph Trilogy with some plot modifications. I’m not sure what to expect but if done well it could be very good. It’s set to release November 19th and I’ve already pre-ordered my copy. So once it comes out I’ll likely make a post about my first impressions and thoughts on the game in general.
Additionally, some Famitsu magazine scans were uploaded recently with some information about the game, I will translate them later on if time permits.

EDIT: I have now translated the images. I strongly disagree with the use of “Legitimate Sequel” when talking about Zero, because it isn’t, but the Japanese is 正統続編 and there’s no real way of getting around that. Thanks Chiyomaru.


The story in which “she” still exists…
The story of the World Line in which Okabe Rintaro, after suffering through great hardship and many trials, ultimately gave up on saving “her”.
Griefstricken, he is confined to the deepest pit of despair.
His friends are concerned for him and his worrying behaviour.
But what happened to “she” who was never saved?
Featuring new characters that never appeared in the original Steins;Gate, this is the story of the “Zero”.

New characters spin the wheels of a new future.

(Top-left image) <- Conversing with Kurisu is Hiyajou Maho, a character introduced in the popular Light Novel Epigraph Trilogy.

A new type of “trigger” makes an appearance?! Large changes in the game’s system, too?!
How exactly will the SNS image sending feature impact the course of the game?

Amane Yuki (VA: Tamura Yukari)
Suzuha’s mother, and Daru’s future wife. A positive thinker, she doesn’t let the little things get to her.

Hiyajou Maho (VA: Yahagi Sayuri)
Kurisu’s senior in university, and fellow researcher. Often mistaken for a child due to how young she looks.

Kurushima Kaede (VA: ???)
One of Mayuri’s cosplay friends. She sometimes appears in public events wearing costumes that Mayuri has made.

Nakase Katsumi (VA: ???)
One of Mayuri’s cosplay friends. She uses the stage name “Fubuki”. Popular for her boyish looks.

Shiina Kagari (VA:???)
An orphan adopted by Mayuri in the year 2036. She lost both of her parents in the war.

Tennouji Nae (VA: Yamamoto Ayano)
Only daughter of Tennouji Yugo, owner of the Braun Workshop located directly beneath the Future Gadget Lab. Normally keeps to herself, but is always brimming with curiosity.


(Top-right image: “Just what the hell is happening to Akiba…?”)
Steins;Gate’s “legitimate sequel” due for release on November 19th!
The “sequel” to Steins;Gate, making it the first proper continuation to be one of the mainline Science Adventure series entries. Bringing in new characters, Zero tells the story of the “Beta World Line” in which Kurisu was not saved. Familiar characters appear with new designs, and their actions and personalities have also changed considerably.

Okabe Rintaro (VA: Miyano Mamoru)
Leader of the Future Gadget Lab (AKA. The Laboratory). Has been in a state of unbridled despair ever since a certain incident in which he realized how powerless he really is.

Shiina Mayuri (VA: Hanazawa Kana)
Okabe’s childhood friend, and the one person who understands him best. One of the Labmems (Lab Members) of Okabe’s Lab.

Makise Kurisu (VA: Imai Asami)
The girl that Okabe once tried to save. If Okabe is the heart of The Lab, then she would have been the brain. After Okabe failed to save her, this new story begins…

Urushibara Luka (VA: Kobayashi Yuu)
Often mistaken for a girl due to his appearance and behaviour. Nicknamed “Lukako”.

Hashida Itaru (VA: Seki Tomokazu)
Called “Daru” by the Labmems, he is a super hacker. Also an expert in the culture surrounding Akihabara.

Amane Suzuha (VA: Tamura Yukari)
A time traveler from the future. Her actions often stand out as making her seem strange, due to the gap in culture between the future and the present.

Kiryuu Moeka (VA: Saori Goto)
A silent woman with a poker face, she’s unexpectedly talkative when it comes to text messages. Has a serious cellphone addiction.

Faris NyanNyan (VA: Momoi Haruko)
A girl who works at a maid cafe in Akihabara. She lives life at her own pace. Likes to add “Nyan” to the end of her sentences.