Exogenesis - Perils of Rebirth [post-apocalyptic visual novel]
The Perils of Rebirth
“All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy.”
As tensions continued to escalate between the major powers during the first half of the 21st century, Japan began building an underground structure to protect the nation from the threat of complete annihilation. In 2020, the world was thrown into complete chaos. Protected by its anti-ballistic missile systems, Japan's metropolis withstood the flurry of nuclear warheads launched upon its soil. However, bioweapons were unleashed on the Japanese people, eradicating millions in a short span of time. Nuclear weapon engagements elsewhere caused a global disaster known as The Nuclear Winter.
In 2035, unforeseen problems led contingency supplies in the underground network to dwindle at dangerously low levels. A charismatic young man led a small band of survivors outside the underground shelter to assess the inhabitability above ground. Several years later, one man from the original group returned to the shelter and rallied a selected few to the outside, claiming dangers still existed and the new group will be the vanguard of mankind’s survival.
It is 2071 and a religious group called Sanctus Ordo Lumina has an iron grip on Novus Tokyo, the only city in the wasteland formerly known as the Japanese archipelago. Smaller settlements outside Novus Tokyo struggle to survive as Sanctus hoards the majority of resources. This stranglehold gives birth to a rebellious faction - the God’s People Army. However, the founding of the GPA is shrouded in mystery and the truth behind its intentions to liberate may be beyond what meets the eye.
“We’ll save you!”
“We’ll get help!”
“Just stay there! Hang on tight, okay?!”
“It’s impossible… haha… Yu…”
Yu holds her hand
“No, no, no, no, NO! Don’t say that!”
“The place is rigged. If we touch those metal arms holding her, we’re all going to blow to smithereens!”
“SHUT UP! There must be something we can do!”
“Please, leave me. I don’t want you guys to see me go. It’s a… girl’s request… ok, Yu?”
The young girl smiles, notwithstanding the pain from her bleeding arms and the contraption that entombed her to apparent doom.
Yu lunges to her, but he is stopped by Eiji’s big arms.
“Get a grip, Yu. Don’t you want to honor her dying wish?”
“She’s not going to die! Miho, I’m going to save you!”
“Bad news. The control panel ain’t working. Sorry to say, but there’s not much we can do, bud.”
Yu glares at Hisoka with fangs of a beast enraged.
“You heard him, Yu… Please, I don’t want to burden you with the memory of my… death… let me pass on in peace.”
Yu starts kicking and throwing about in Eiji’s arms, but it was no use. The older, stronger man started pulling him away from the contraption and towards the exit.
“We’ve done everything we could. Let’s get out of here!”
It's 2069. Yuudai Sayashi’s ragtag club of “treasure hunters” (referred to as looters by those who know them), Durchhalten, was closer to real treasure than they’ve ever been. Overly eager, Yu’s sister Miho ran carelessly towards the vault and triggered a deadly trap that proved to be fatal.
Two years later, Yu comes across a startling discovery. The mythical Noah’s Ark, borne of legend by those who believe the old world can be restored, turns out to be a real thing. With the help of genius kid Toshio, he learns about the existence of the Lazarus Protocol inside the Ark – a system that can recreate anything from the past – a machination developed during the time when humanity’s survival was uncertain. Using the Ark, Yu believes Miho can be brought back to life.
Before setting out to find the Ark, however, Yu wants to bring the Durchhalten back together. The group had disbanded two years ago after the tragic incident, and he wants everyone to be there when Miho opens her eyes once more.
“It doesn’t matter which path I have to take. I will save my sister.”
The story’s protagonist and leader of the Durchhalten. He is street smart and charismatic, having had to learn how to survive the hard way after he and his sister were abandoned when they were young. By nature, he enjoys helping others the most, and that’s why the members of Durchhalten were attracted to him.
“Most interesting. Let’s see some anarchy!”
Being a trickster, he looks deceptive the moment you see him. Although well-meaning most of the time, he enjoys watching and occasionally partaking in chaotic situations. He harbors a confused feeling of rivalry towards Yu, but is mostly concerned with his traveling metal band Ardent Scenery, which he plays lead guitar for.
“Use your damn head, hear me?”
With a hidden past which tailored him into the hardened survivor that he is now, Eiji is the oldest and plays the role of the mentor in the group. He is the voice of reason when things turn sour and the Durchhalten relies on him to make the right decisions. His appearance is mature and demands respect, standing at 6 feet tall and wearing clothes fit for a bar owner. Despite being only in his mid-20s, he is mocked about his old age because of his terrible sense of direction.
“The only thing that won’t lie to you is science.”
Kid genius who remembers absolutely everything because of a medical condition called hyperthymesia. He loves technology, and you can tell by the homemade gadget with the LCD screen that he wears on his arm. Being the youngest in the group, he is one to force himself in the shoes of an adult only to fail at it. He invented the “D-phone” which is the radio device that the Durchhalten uses to communicate. He is also quite fashionable thanks to his dotting parents who want only the best clothes for him.
“Why don’t you die already? You’d look wonderful dead.”
She has this mysterious air around her, like a bona fide Goth girl. Hayami wears skull and cross accessories. She likes to speak of death nonchalantly but she fears it the most after a tragic event that made her look at life in a very different way – a secret that she keeps from the group.
“Will he ever look this way?”
The group's mood-maker. She tries to cheer everyone up in the darkest of times, but she actually has manic depression which turned her into a recluse during her childhood. She does everything she can to put away her past under the rug, including singing cheerful pop music in Yoyogi Park every day.
Exogenesis is set in a lively backdrop – or at least, as lively as a post-apocalyptic Earth where people are barely making ends meet can go. The game world has a story of its own, laden with the dread of having survived a largely nuclear World War III, as well as the threat of another gargantuan conflict because mankind is never without dividing differences. The themes below help define the game not only as one man’s pursuit for his beloved dead sister, but also as a tale of characters struggling for survival in post-apocalyptic Tokyo when the great city is only starting to get back on its feet.
War the Destroyer. No matter what the motives are behind it, destruction is always the ultimate result of war. War waged with modern day weapons, including WMDs and bio-weapons, can push humanity back to the dark ages.
Everyone has something to hide. In this game, every character lies to someone at least once. Healthy relationships are based on trust and understanding despite differences. This is reflected in the conflicts and resolutions of subplots between characters.
Death separates. Yu spends the entire game trying to revive his dead sister and witnessing how death separates people in many ways. Families are broken, relationships come to an end, and survivors are more detached from the world around them as a psychological defense mechanism.
Nothing is ever what it seems. The story of Exogenesis thrives on twists and turns, keeping players on their toes for there is self-serving deception and death at every corner.
It’s never a war to end all wars. Unhindered by mutual assured destruction, World War III erupted prior to the events of Exogenesis. Like the war of global scale before it, WW3 was said to be the war to end all wars, given the breadth of such modern conflict. However, history proves to repeat itself with the birth of new organizations that vie for control and power as humanity rises from the ashes.
No one-trick pony. There is always more than one way to get things done. Just because a certain approach worked on a character doesn’t mean it will work on another, especially since the Durchhalten is a mixed bag of personalities after all. Moral choices are also often ambiguous, so players need to anticipate what their decisions could lead to.
May God have mercy. The Sanctus Ordo Lumina organization represents how life after the end of the world could be controlled by worldwide religious organizations, the same way civilizations were reigned over and pitted against each other during the Dark Ages. Another religious group, the God People’s Army (GPA), schemes to stop Sanctus from establishing an oppressive new world order.
Evil is easy. Choosing to do good is often more difficult than lying and cheating your way to success.
The music of Exogenesis is composed by a talented young musician whose track record includes writing music behind the scenes for several AAA video game studios and major TV networks. If you live in the US and watch a lot of TV (even commercials), you've probably heard his music.
Here's one track that will be in the game:
Hey guys, I just wanted to share the game we're making and hopefully receive feedback on how we can improve the game. Exogenesis is an Ace Attorney/Zero Escape type game which combines elements of visual novels (lots of dialogue, branching storylines) and adventure games (interactive locations, puzzle solving). We'll be posting updates when we can, so I hope you like 'em!
I'm interested. Looks like you've got good artists on your team. But I'm wondering if you have a website or something to follow?
We're definitely working towards that! Right now, the focus is on making the game and getting feedback as we move along. :D
Added a new track that will be used in the game. I hope you guys like it. :)
We've redesigned the main cast. Is it better?
Here's another location that will be in the game.
The backgrounds are awesome.
Although for a post apocalypse scenario I'd thought the characters would wear more Fallout-ish garb.
That's one thing we're working on after getting a bunch of similar feedback. Here's a sample study sheet (just faces though):
Those backgrounds are definitely the most attractive thing about this VN so far. :)
So is this going to be a one-linear-story thing or will there be multiple routes?
I'm glad you like 'em! The story branches out quite a bit. Yu has several options at his disposal in recruiting his old crew, and his actions will have repercussions. :)
I love how your artist captured the anime artstyle without a western feel in it.
Glad you like it!
Here's one location for the game.
Uploaded a couple of new tracks to our Soundcloud. https://soundcloud.com/exogenesis-ga...s-instrumental
Check out this new screenshot. :D
Been a while since the last update, so here's a new sprite!
Check out this WIP transition screen. :)
Here's a new screenshot for y'all. :)
Take my money. No seriously, I only head about it just now but I'm intrigued enough to support. Kickstarter seems to be moving along nicely. :P
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