Release Date: November 20th 1997
Page count: 109
This books features a collection of character profiles, Aramata’s reports on the town’s locations, a column about the game’s image singer, a full breakdown of the game’s scenarios, a short story version of the unreleased chapter 陰約 INYAKU and an in-depth Q&A with director Suda about the game’s hidden mythology.
Most of the book’s contents have been translated by FFTranslations.
●Second year student at Hinashiro High/protagonist
The protagonist of the story. She is incredibly curious, leading to her frequently becoming wrapped up in incidents. More than once, her life has been endangered.
Formerly a prototypical trend-obsessed teen who loved anything popular, Mika has recently begun to have doubts about herself since meeting Yukari and Chisato. What changes will her meeting with Ryo cause to her?
The other protagonist of the story. He is a high school drop-out who currently works at a bike repair shop.
He is in love with his elder sister Kyoko, but suffers due to his inability to accept it. After Kyoko’s death, he is attracted to Mika, who looks just like her. Upon learning of the strange things happening around Mika, he decides to protect her.
It is unclear whether this an attempt to atone for his inability to protect his sister, or out of love for Mika.
A student at Hinashiro High, and Mika’s senior. She is like a sort of leader to Mika and Chisato. She unconsciously gives off an aura of rejection, rejecting all modernistic things. She remains in a relationship with a man who visited Hinashiro High as a trainee teacher.
Mika’s senior and Yukari’s friend. She possesses supernatural powers, saving Mika and Yukari from danger on many occasions. Her power is seemingly not psychic. Might she be some sort of higher being, different from normal people?
A student at Hinashiro High, and Mika’s junior. She, like Chisato, is part of the archery club. She lives life at her own pace, and is never swept along by what goes on around her. Sometimes she can be clumsy, but that is just one of her charms. Posesses a strong sixth sense.
Ryo’s elder sister, and his only supporter. She passes away in a bike accident, but continues to have a big influence on Ryo even in death. Things didn’t seem to be going well with her boyfriend, Sumio Tohba.
Kyoko Kazan’s boyfriend. He is a playboy, and has had relations with several other women besides Kyoko. However, Kyoko was a special person to him. Sumio is jealous of the relationship between Kyoko and Ryo, displaying an unusual fixation with him.
Sumio’s little sister. She loved Sumio as more than a brother. She has dated Ryo in the past, but he was nothing more to her than a substitute for Sumio. It is also true, however, that she is jealous of Ryo’s attraction to Mika.
The headmaster of Hinashiro High. He is a skilled manager, employing Swedish management techniques, and has turned Hinashiro High into a top class and prestigious school in the space of a year. His personality is gentle, and he is liked by the students.
A student at Hinashiro High. She was involved with Sumio, but to him, Kimika was no more than one of his many women. Hurt after being tossed aside by Sumio, she burns him and herself to death.
Mika’s classmate. She and Mika get on well enough to be called good friends. She has a bright personality, and is the type to say anything without hiding what she thinks. A kind girl who cares about her friends.
Mika’s classmate. She has a short temper and won’t put up with anyone she can’t stand, even if that person is a teacher. She isn’t too fond of Mika, who immediately jumps at boring rumours.
A second-year at Hinashiro High. She is a good friend of Miho’s, and they are often together. She dies after being pinned under a fallen piece of material inside the under-construction old gym. No one knows what she was doing in such a dangerous place.
A second-year at Hinashiro High. She is a member of the astronomy club. Perhaps due to her intense character, the people around her view her as strange. It is unclear whether she realises this or not.
Mithra / White-haired boy
Aside from the fact that his hair is white, he looks just like a normal child. However, he is not human. His true form is that of Mithra, the god of contracts. He possesses supernatural powers, which he uses to toy with Mika. It seems clear that he is involved in the many strange incidents occurring within Hinashiro.
He seems to have known Chisato and Yayoi, who also have supernatural powers, for a long time, but it is unknown what their true relationship is.
Claims to be Chisato’s little sister, but no one knows the truth. Even Yukari, a childhood friend of Chisato’s, was completely unaware of Yayoi’s existence. Despite her calm exterior, her personality is brutality itself. She casually carries out cruel actions such as leading Mika to perverts. Like Chisato, she possesses supernatural powers. Does this mean that she really is Chisato’s sister?
His principal work is as an author, but that has been going badly lately, and these days his work primarily consists of reports for magazines. He has bountiful knowledge of the occult, helping out Mika many times. It may be the two’s shared love of the occult that led him to come to know Mika, a female high school student living in a completely different world. He never directly gets involved with incidents, leading to him often being called useless by Mika.
Hinashiro: investigating this mystery hotspot!!
Author: AramataHinashiro, the ultimate mystery hotspot of the Kanto area. Let’s peel back its mysteries!
Hinashiro. I first developed an interest in this town upon becoming acquainted with Mika Kishii, a student at Hinashiro High.
Every town comes with its own bizarre rumours and legends, but these are particularly abundant here in Hinashiro. Mika Kishii, with enough curiosity for two people, would never have overlooked it. She and her friends, Yukari Hasegawa and Chisato Itsushima, set out in order to figure out the truth behind the rumours. Nothing so far stated sounds out of the ordinary, though, does it? It is true that each generation has curious-minded boys and girls who are drawn to these sorts of tales.
In this case, however, the situation was a little different. What the girls were trying to verify was not a baseless, everyday rumour. Beginning with Hanako-san appearing at Hinashiro High, most of the rumours they investigated turned out, shockingly, to be true.
Here, I will provide a few of the rumours the girls checked out for reference.
First of all was a rumour about I Park. Mika and her friends began investigating the park after one of Mika’s acquaintances claimed to have taken a spirit photo there. As they investigated the park, girls learned that the car park above had once been the location of a site where executions by beheading were carried out. As the torii built to soothe their souls has been torn down, the spirits of those executed at the site had begun to wander the earth.
There was a rumour about a construction site, too. Amazingly, it turned out that a secret military base had been constructed underneath the construction site during the war, and the spirits there had continued the manufacture of a terrible weapon, unable to accept the reality that the war was over. Finally, this weapon went on a rampage, blowing up the entire base. Despite causing a stir over an old unexploded bomb, this was not the case. the explosion had undoubtedly been caused by “Kongo Teppei”, the secret weapon of the old Japanese Army.
On another occasion, the girls accidentally opened a gate to the spirit realm whilst attempting to summon “Hanako-san” based on an incorrect rumour. This caused a terrible situation in which Hinashiro High became a gate bridging the land of the dead to the land of the living, with ghosts flooding the school. The sole reason why this failed to develop into true catastrophe was my own accurate advice.
The condo where Mika Kishii lives. Locals have nicknamed it “the pyramid palace” due to its unique exterior, and all who live in Hinashiro are familiar with it. It’s peculiar enough that when I myself first glimpsed the building, I thought it to be some sort of ancient temple or huge grave marker rather than a residence.
This is a standard communal housing complex. As it stands right beside the pyramid condo, local residents refer to it by such names as “the pyramid palace’s ramparts”. Recently, there has been a string of suicides by children from the complex jumping to their deaths. Perhaps some sort of spiritual cause within the apartments themselves may be to blame?
The school attended by Mika Kishii and her friends. There has been a succession of suicides and more by its students, leading to some unpleasant rumours surrounding it for a time, but the newly-appointed headmaster has recently managed to clear the dark perceptions of the place. The current school building was rebuilt after the current headmaster took up his position, making it super hi-tech and fitted from top to bottom with the latest facilities.
As far as I can tell, however, the sinister air that I once sensed from the previous building has not let up one bit. If anything, it almost seems to have intensified.
The trendiest nightclub in Hinashiro currently. Events are held there on the weekends, and it teems with youths. According to my enquiries, a young man named Sumio Tohba whom Mika Kishii formerly courted was quite well-known at the club. I should like to check it out for myself at some point.
The other station in Hinashiro. Many young people can be spotted here, perhaps due to trains bound for Shimokita passing through. Rumours about Hinashiro Station, such as ghosts appearing there, are incessant, but no such tales are told about this place. It makes my occult researcher’s heart ache.
Near Shimokita Station
You might call Shimokita a town for the youth. Consisting of a cramp of boutiques and fancy cafés, a middle-aged person such as myself would be quite out of place there. Mika Kishii is fond of the location, and seems to make a habit of visiting often. It appears as though she likes anywhere with a bustling atmosphere, however…
A column dedicated to Mikoto Momono, the singer who made her debut with the song “あなたは海の底” (you are at the bottom of the sea), which played during the credits of エピローグ EPILOGUE.
A scene-by-scene breakdown of the game’s ten scenario, complete with an explanation of the game’s system, conversational flowcharts, puzzle solutions and maps.
Three unused scenarios from the game, presented here through their characters’ profiles and comments by the director.
Yukari’s boyfriend who appeared in Twilight Syndrome. After finishing his training to be a teacher at Hinashiro High, he is now a teacher at Meiryo Private High School. “呪力” was the scenario with the most intense content. He is a helpless bystander in its story. His helplessness is a proposition in opposition to the game’s pseudo-freedom. I wanted to portray Yukari and Kazuya’s private lives in 呪力, and had planned to include a depiction of sexual content.
Ryojun’s rival. He has been pursuing Ryojun since middle school. Even after creating a group, he constantly battles loneliness. He leaves this world whilst dreaming of Ryojun’s friendship.
A man who has always been protected by Ryojun. However, his secret feelings towards Megumi, his hopes and everything else have been stolen from him by Ryojun. His hatred leads to the birth of Hyper Tokio. He is in complete contrast with Ryojun, the fragility of his mind creating a supernatural power.
The captain of the baseball team and, to Tokio, a dazzlingly blessed person. However, his intimate relationship with Megumi causes a tragedy. The scenario writer spoke to me about wanting to make 呪力’s story similar to that of School Wars. Ryojun’s role here is that of Yuki Matsumura, who helps out Aesop, a frail boy. However, behind his tough exterior is a surprising weak side.
The manager of the baseball team. She is a deeply affectionate woman who lives on her feelings for Ryojun alone. She is even jealous of Ryojun and Tokio’s friendship, and absolutely loathes Tokio. Unable to suppress her emotions, Megumi stabs Tokio.
Tokio’s dark side. He exists purely on his hatred for Ryojun, using his power to make strange things happen to Megumi. This is the character I regret not releasing most. I think he would have been filled with an even more impulsive malice than Mithra. He uses his left arm gun (psycho gun) to excitedly murder people. He comes and goes between dreams and reality, hunting with the same finesse as Freddie. He is, of course, modeled on Sid Vicious.
Toshiki’s girlfriend. After he is stabbed, she flees without even trying to help.
Toshiki’s friend (underling). He turns his back on Toshiki and turns Nozomu and Satoru against him. He attacks the absentminded Toshiki in the central district.
Toshiki’s friend (underling).
Toshiki’s friend (underling).
Punks King, Club, Dia
Punks who pick a fight with Kanae and Masami and are taken out by Kanae. They are based on Alex’s team from A Clockwork Orange.
Yelled at and abused by her father, she plans to slit her wrists. Along with the blood pours out an intense grudge, the karma solidifying and taking a human form, becoming a butcher. She has a depressed and very introverted personality. She is a classmate of Mika’s, but has no real friends, with Rumi simply worrying about her. Watched over by Zengo, she vanishes.
Kanae’s boyfriend, but he treats her like an object and only sees her as an object of his sexual desires. He loses his temper easily, but is weak. The ultimate loser.
Kanae’s father. He used to be a super elite salaryman, but fell victim to corporate restructuring due to the effects of the recession. He was unpopular due to his overbearing work, and lost his job. He turned his frustrations on his daughter, which has progressed from violence to sexual abuse. With these actions as a trigger, Kanae’s karma takes form, and he falls into this Kanae’s hands.
The elder brother of Arisa, who appears in the game. Taking the same occupation as Aramata, he is a self-proclaimed scholar of the psychic. He is treated as a third-rate talent, just about managing to get by in ways such as appearing on late night TV variety shows. He is awkward and a little stubborn, an anachronism who is incapable of riding a wave. He is also an idiot of a big brother who dotes upon Arisa. I considered putting him into Henshitsu many times, but it never ended up working out.
Kazuya Kitamura and Zenko Kahara were planned to be involved even in the epilogue, too, as joint leads. Zenko was regretful in particular, since his CG rendering was about 70% complete. By the way, Kazuya and Zenko were supposed to appear in the opening, too. It’s a shame that the scenarios were cut midway through development.
A third-rate DJ who is past his peak. Clinging to the past, he hangs around the diner owned by the bartender, an old friend of his. Attracted to Miwa Misaki, he tries to figure out the mystery surrounding her, and gets caught up in the incident with Arisa Kahara. Tatsuya was also attracted to Miho. Miho takes over his body, and he is shot by the hitman and pulled into the darkness by Miwa – just like Ryo and Mika…
Miho Misaki is the same being as her (sister). In reality, she is created from a tumour in Miwa’s body.
The chairman of a major company. He is Miwa Misaki’s father, and also the person who knows the secret of her birth. He tries to have Tatsuya Aihara, who sniffs around Miwa, taken care of.
Hired by Shintaro Kazami.
An old friend of Tatsuya Aihara’s, and the owner/barman of Diner King. Arisa Kahara is a regular customer of his. He actually also appears in Mowdei. Pay attention to the bar counter in the club Lost Highway! He is modelled on Eric Cantona.
Unused Scenario “Inyaku”
“Inyaku”, as written here, is an unreleased scenario for Moonlight Syndrome with a story centred around Ryo. The specific background and events are different, but we have decided to publish it here in the form of a short story as a clue to help you figure out the mysteries hidden within the ten scenarios contained within the game. I particularly want to make Ryo’s surroundings and his contract with Mithra as clear as possible, since he is hidden in the shadows during the main game. I intended to write it up as a short story without damaging the main game’s background as story as much as possible, but be forewarned that some parts have been cut or added.
The background of the contract god “Mithra” and the game’s worldview that is deeply connected with it that still remains unsolved within the story of Inyaku will be revealed in the form of a question and answer with the developer. It will be accompanied by additional explanations for difficult terminology and the editors’ unique interpretations, and I hope you use it to help you understand the game more deeply.
Gods and gods, gods and people, people and people, people and cattle… Or perhaps countries and the earth, the earth and crops, harvest and thriving. War and victory, commerce and prosperity, education and growth, love and fulfilment are not exceptions, either. Whether large or small, wherever any possible two things came face to face, the god was there.
To form a deep connection, because it was right… with his “ten thousand eyes” shining, day and night, past and future, good or bad, even stood in the rift between the light of the heavens and the jet black darkness…
The god’s name was Mithra. Mithra himself was a contract.
Sumio Tohba wandered through the darkness. Until just a little earlier, he had been riding along the mountain pass road inside Hinashiro Forest on his bike with Kyoko. Now, he was alone.
Because Kyoko was gone…
Because Kyoko had danced in the light…
Kyoko tossed aside her helmet, smiling easily.
“This is revenge…” she murmured.
At the moment of Kyoko’s death she had been joyful, wearing a look of ecstasy.
How many questions had he asked before Sumio suddenly noticed the bright light of the full moon? The light illuminated Sumio’s way. At the light’s end emerged Sumio’s voiceless wish.
Will you go down this path? Or… the light seemed to ask.
He had no intention of fighting it. Even before Sumio’s decision had transformed into a distinct intent, the light burst, knowing.
Low flames danced. The sound of them brought Sumio back down to earth. He was surrounded by noise. Firefighters and policemen were hurrying about. People from the press and irritating rubberneckers were squirming around, too. Kyoko!?
He caught sight of a crushed bike in the corner of his eye. It was definitely hers. A large truck, cradling its wrecked corpse, smouldered and smoked. They were the embers of the flames that had cremated Kyoko Kazan, Sumio’s beautiful girlfriend.
Sumio realised that, standing near those flames, he was face to face with a boy who looked to be only about six. Strangely, no one tried to question them.
The boy laughed innocently. No – though he looked like a child, his hair was as white as an old man’s, and his eyes glinted coldly, filled with the light of the full moon that looked down on them from high above in the heavens. There, Sumio saw the light of hope that he had clung onto.
The boy laughed at Sumio once more, then vanished into thin air. Sumio again translated the details of the secret agreement he had exchanged with the light of the full moon into clear words, then pondered them. He knew that there was no going back. Not anymore.
The light of the full moon was called Mithra. With the conclusion of the ritual, the secret rite of contract made with “him”, a new story was about to begin. From the distant past… and in all times.
I want to cry, but the tears won’t come out. Have I lost my mind?
Kyoko is dead, but I still want her to think of me as a good brother…
I want everyone to think of me as a kind brother who cares about his sister…
I want people to think of me as a poor, tragic hero…
I want sympathy…
I’m filled with wicked thoughts…
Did Kyoko see right through me?
I feel guilty…
I never thought about a life without Kyoko!!
Ryo Kazan drove his bike to Reigetsu Pass, the place where his sister was said to have been in an accident. He wasn’t purposefully driving slowly, but he was struggling to reach his destination. It was like time had slowed down.
Kyoko’s death hadn’t been simple information to Ryo. The police had notified him. He’d seen it on the news, too. That was all, though. His emotions had deserted him.
The sluggish passage of time gave Ryo the chance to string together hollow words, making him hate himself. That was why he had to end it, quickly. As if it had been waiting for this determination, Ryo’s warped time quickly righted itself. And, as if urged onward, Ryo found himself standing at the scene of the accident.
…But when it came to verifying the body, Ryo faltered, putting off something that had to be brought to an end.
“We can do it once you’ve calmed down a little…” the policeman informed him and left.
Ryo was trembling. The policeman had seen it and felt sympathy.
The tongues of the flames, once a huge fire large enough to threaten Hinashiro Forest, now simply licked at their surroundings – at Kyoko’s bike, and the big truck, too… Ryo squeezed his eyes shut, as if trying to run from this reality.
“Hahahahaha… Wimpy little man!”
The cruel voice of a child pierced Ryo’s ears. His eyes flew open, and he looked around him. All he could see was the retreating back of the policeman.
“Kyoko is crying. Hahaha…!”
What? Ryo finally realised that the voice was coming from above his head. He reflexively looked up at the sky. Ryo’s eyes fell upon a curiously sparkling light amidst the darkness. It was the white-haired boy’s eyes. The boy was floating in midair. Affirming that Ryo had noticed him, his lips twisted into a grin and he was slowly absorbed into the darkness.
Ryo, startled, put himself on guard. Not because the boy had vanished into the night sky, but because a black mass, which must have appeared at some point, stood before his eyes.
“Ryo… Help me…” the black mass murmured, squirming. Ryo’s body froze. “I’ll do anything… Help me…” the black mass pleaded again, then burst and crumbled into pieces that scattered themselves over Ryo. Ryo’s mind sparked, too.
His cry alone echoed throughout Hinashiro Forest.
“You’re Kyoko Kazan’s brother, right? About the accident – I was wondering if Kyoko had committed suicide…”
“Hey! Don’t hog him all for yourself. Ryo? People are dead because of your sister. Would you call this joint liability? You’re her only family. What do you think about all of this?”
“Ryo! We’ll make Kyoko into a tragic heroine…!”
Jostled about by the press, Ryo finally managed to push his way over to a policeman.”The accident must have been caused by the truck driver drink driving or falling asleep at the wheel. This, though…” the policeman said, handing a helmet to Ryo. Kyoko’s helmet! “It must be, huh?” The officer mmed, looking convinced.
There was hardly a scratch on Kyoko’s helmet. It had apparently been found a distance away from the crash site. That must be why they suspected suicide.
“But, ahh, don’t worry about it,” the policeman said with a laugh, then abruptly tore off the sheet with the expression still plastered to his face.
Ryo came to his senses, letting out an unvoiced scream. The sheet was soaked with sweat.
A body covered with a sheet.
A body with the sheet torn off.
Something black and burnt.
Repulsive, curiosity-filled eyes, eyes, eyes.
Microphones thrust into his face.
The flashes of cameras.
A clean helmet.
After that, the images alternately appeared and vanished, making Ryo’s sleep light. Moving his swollen eyes, Ryo looked at the framed picture beside his bed. The photo was of his sister Kyoko and her boyfriend Sumio, Sumio’s younger sister Rumi, and Ryo himself. All of us smiling without a care, Ryo thought emotionally. It was peaceful back then.
—I haven’t seen Rumi since then.
—Me? Looking depressed.
—Sumio… Screw him. He hasn’t even called!
Ryo looked at each of the faces in the photo one by one, finally entranced by the face of Kyoko. She was smiling, her face filled with love. Her smile enveloped him gently, causing him to doze off. “What a baby,” Ryo would surely have said if he could have seen it for himself.
“Ryo… Wake up. Ryo!”
In his dream, Ryo could hear someone calling to him.
Kyoko? No. Kyoko isn’t here anymore. Don’t call me!
Rumi? Is that you? Don’t wake me up, he answered.
“My brother… My brother…”
Sumio? With the name in his mind, Ryo finally opened his eyes and leapt up.
“Rumi! What’s happened to Sumio!? Answer me!” Ryo yelled, having an ominous feeling.
“My brother said he was going to die. Then he left, not long ago. …He said he was going to end it.”
“What? What does that mean!?”
“You know! If… if you’d protected Kyoko properly! This never would’ve happened!”
“What’ve I done!? Don’t just make your mind up. I don’t have anything to do with it. That’s Kyoko and Sumio’s problem, isn’t it?”
“But my brother ran from me… He was mine…”
Ryo took a long, hard look at the face of the woman who was the sister of his sister’s boyfriend, and who had once been his own girlfriend.
“You’re crazy, Rumi! Keep your delusions to yourself.”
“You’re just lying to yourself! You let another man take your beloved sister… You’re just using the fact that you’re siblings to pretend that you don’t feel the way you do…”
Ryo managed to resist the urge to knock Rumi over and pressed her.
“Where did Sumio go?”
“Come on! You suffered too, didn’t you? We’re the same, Ryo…”
“Enough. Where did Sumio go!?”
“Ryo… I feel like I’m falling apart. …Help me!”
“Fine. Where did he go? Huh?”
Calming Rumi and finding out where he had to go, Ryo climbed onto his bike with a tut. He had sworn that he’d never go there again, but not if it cost Sumio his life.
The engine vigorously sputtered to life. Ryo straddled his bike and headed for the pass.
“You gonna go and die on me!?” he bellowed.
“Sorry to keep you waiting!”
Mika Kishii hurried over to the Alfa Romeo that had come to a stop on the road before her apartment building.
“I’ll introduce you, Mika. This is Suzuki,” Kimika Takahashi said, introducing the owner of the car to Mika.
“Hey! Nice to meet you. I’m Mika Kishii.” Mika greeted him with her usual cheerful enthusiasm, getting into the car.
“We might as well go over Moon Bridge,” Kimika Takahashi said, turning, from the passenger seat, and the car began to move jauntily.
“Oh, that’s great. I’ve never been there before!” Mika said joked, trying to dispel the gloomy mood.
Moon Bridge was the bridge that spanned the entrance to Reigetsu Pass, and had come to fame overnight for how beautiful it looked lit up at night. Mika and her friends often spoke of it as an attractive location for a date they’d want to go to with their boyfriends. Her boyfriend… wasn’t with her. Mika suddenly remembered her classmates’ depressing conversation from that afternoon.
“They’re saying that Kyoko’s dead. Don’t you remember? For a while, everyone was talking about how you two looked just like twins.”
“Come to think of it, wasn’t Rumi’s brother dating Kyoko?”
A woman who looked just like her had died. It came as a shock. Not only that, but she was supposedly the girlfriend of Sumio Tohba, Rumi’s older brother. Mika had met with Sumio Tohba the night before at the same park as always. Maybe he had been a little down… What had he been thinking? It hurt a bit. It was in the midst of her anguish that Kimika Takahashi had proposed that they go out for a drive that night.
“Are you free tonight, Mika? Let’s go to Reigetsu Pass, before it’s haunted!”
It was the kind of thing that Mika would usually have sprung on someone. She was bold and forceful. She had used others’ misfortune as the source of her curiosity and enjoyed it. She hated herself for it, but today it was Kimika’s turn. Mika hadn’t managed to say no. That was why she was here. Was it some sort of poetic justice? Mika smiled bitterly, on the verge of tears.
“Oh, Mika! Look, look!”
At Kimika Takahashi’s sudden call, Mika looked up. The pass of the beautiful moon. The scenery that spread out before her lived up to its name. Mika was captivated by the shockingly round, pure moon.
“It’s sooo prettyyyy!”
The beauty of the manmade lights of Moon Bridge, too, stole Mika’s gaze. She let out a sigh. A flood of light. That was what it was.
“It’s like the moon’s gonna swallow me up. Ahh, I wouldn’t mind if I died right here.”
“Die, die! Kyahahaha!” Kimika Takahashi mocked Mika, fooling around.
“The moon… it’s so big!”
Sitting in the back seat, Mika realised now that she hadn’t noticed that Kimika Takahashi, making merry in the passenger seat, had no laughter in her eyes.
Kyoko Kazan and Sumio Tohba… The thread of Mika’s fate that bound her to these two through a strange destiny, was being pulled from a place she did not know. Mika, however, did not yet know the fear of a lunatic.
“Yeah… What is it?”
“No matter what?”
“Even if I tell you not to?”
“Yeah… You must know why, Yayoi…”
Sumio Tohba stopped his bike in front of the Reigetsu Pass drive-in, saying words of parting to the woman who was with him. From their conversation, it was easy to see that there was a deep connection between Sumio and the woman he had called Yayoi.
“But, but, you…!”
“Stop it. If you say any more, “he”‘ll hear us.”
Yayoi fell silent, staring quietly into the darkness. She seemed to know well who the “he” Sumio had mentioned was. Her face was lit up by the headlight, giving off a bewitching air.
“Take care of Ryo for me,” Sumio said, looking at the woman.
“Sumio… Don’t go…!”
The sound of the engine echoed loudly in the night sky, drowning out her voice.
It appeared before Mika and the others suddenly. In a flash, it attacked them. That was how it felt. Headlights drew closer to the front of the Alfa. They couldn’t get out of the way!? It was going to crash into them! Bracing herself for impact, Mika planted her feet firmly.
…But, contrary to expectations, the Alfa smoothly passed through the light.
“Sumio…” “Tohba…” Kimika Takahashi and Mika both murmured. Sumio’s face was clearly visible within the light.
“Did you see that? What do we do, Mika? Did we hit him? Is Sumio dead?”
They both leapt out of the car, but no one was there. Mika felt as if though something was amiss. The feeling turned to reality with Kimika Takahashi’s next line.
“I… I was supposed to be the one to kill him!”
“Huh? What was that, Kimika?”
Kimika Takahashi’s eyes gaze wandered in midair as she approached Mika. She gripped upper arm tightly, as if to tell her that she wasn’t getting away.
“Stay with me, Mika… Stay with me until the end! We’re friends, right?”
Kimika Takahashi’s fingers sank into Mika’s arm. You’re in danger! Mika’s instincts screamed in warning. But Kimika Takahashi, possessed by an unknown power, was not going to let Mika shake free and run. Without resisting, Mika fell into the darkness.
Ryo’s bike, running wild in search of Sumio, was brought to a stop by a woman wearing a bewitching smile. It was the same woman who had been with Sumio at the pass drive-in. Her slender lines were lit by the headlight, but there was no weakness in the animosity that overflowed from her body.
“Who are you?”
Ryo couldn’t conceal his discomfort. The woman put a slender finger to her cheek as if only just noticing something, moving her alluring lips.
“I haven’t introduced myself, have I? Not that my name is worth knowing, but… it’s Yayoi Itsushima. Do you remember me, Ryo Kazan…?” The woman who called herself Yayoi spoke Ryo’s name in a relaxed tone. “I’ve heard a lot about you from Sumio. About you and your sister, too…”
Ryo glared at Yayoi, getting the jump on her.
“How about instead of prying, you get out of my way? I don’t know what you are to Sumio, but if you care about him, get out of my way!”
“It’s because I care about Sumio that I’m talking to you right now. Why don’t you let him die peacefully?”
“Is that all you wanted to say?”
Yayoi walked slowly over to Ryo and brought her body close, tempting him with her refined features. “You have a sister complex, don’t you? How lonely it must be, not having anywhere for it to go. How about it? I’ll let you take her place. The place of your sister, your beloved sister… How about it, Ryo? You can do whatever you like…”
“What’re you after?”
“Rationality is quite useful, isn’t it…? What a shame. I was so interested in you… Did you know? Kyoko loved you… Both siblings, in love with each other…” Seeing Ryo’s rage-filled stare, Yayoi drew back, pulling back her hair and spitting, “What a pervert.”
Ryo let the anger bubble forth. “Is that all you have to say!?”
“That’s why Sumio had Kyoko…”
“There are some things people don’t want to know!”
Ryo resettled his bike, the sputtering engine cutting off Yayoi’s words. She backed away, looking disappointed.
“But your fate isn’t so gentle. It’s going to get tough from here. Goodbye…” Yayoi finished, watching Ryo drive away.
It was clear that Yayoi had been buying time so that Sumio could “finish it”.
Would he make it in time? In his panic, Ryo surpassed the maximum speed, trying overtake the car in front of him, but it wouldn’t make way. Ryo felt something strange in the air.
“We’re finally alone. Are you listening, Mika? Let’s go to him, together. I know everything. I know that Sumio wasn’t serious about me. I know that he was sleeping with a bunch of other women, too… But… I feel bad for Kyoko, but he’s mine… All of Sumio belongs to me. I knew about you, too, Mika.”
Kimika Takahashi, who had stolen the car from Suzuki, spoke to Mika as she drove. Mika was slumped in the back seat, unresponsive. As Ryo drew up beside the car, his eyes stopped upon Mika’s face.
Keeping pace with the car, Ryo stared intently at Mika’s face.
Kimika Takahashi, sitting in the driver’s seat, ignored Ryo’s command, continuing to talk to Mika.
“But we’re friends, right? Fufufu… So I’ll share him a bit with you. I won’t keep Sumio all to myself. I won’t let the other girls touch him, though, so don’t worry. Are you listening to me, Mika? Just a little further now… Just a little further.”
Tch! Ryo tutted at Kimika Takahashi’s crazed expression. He slowed down slightly, this time trying to approach Mika in the back seat.
“Get up! Stop the car!”
But Mika didn’t budge.
When Ryo heard the laughter, his bike was drifting. As he drifted along, Ryo, at his wits’ end, stared at the Alfa, smoking next to a dented guard rail.
Ryo tossed his bike aside, sprinting over to the Alfa. Kimika Takahashi’s arms and legs were sticking out, twisted in an unnatural way. Ryo ignored her, peering into the back seat in search of Mika. She wore a beautiful expression. He felt a flood of relief.
“Kyoko!? You’re alive! Wait! I’m coming to help you!”
Ryo was unaware of Mika’s existence. He desperately tried to pry the door open, to save his sister Kyoko. But Mika, the one he thought was Kyoko, slipped from his arms. Her upper body slumped onto the ground. Her face was near Ryo’s feet, her legs still on the seat.
The scene of the accident from his nightmare reappeared before Ryo’s eyes. Then, from amidst the darkness, the white-haired boy appeared. It was Mithra.
“The girl isn’t Kyoko. They are the same, though.”
Ryo glared at the supernatural being in the form of a child.
“She’s a special girl, isn’t she? She’d been waiting for you. But I killed her…”
“You were there yesterday, too, weren’t you!”
Ignoring him, Mithra continued his own conversation. “Hehe, I know all of it. About you, and Kyoko, and Sumio… We’re all friends.”
“Are you screwing with me? Who are you!? What do you want!?”
“Nothing. I’m just playing with you all. You should play with us, too, Ryo…”
“Stupid kid! Ugh! What have you done!?” Ryo’s body began to tremble uncontrollably.
“It’s a fun game. Such fun, hehehe… Ahh, I’m getting excited!” Mithra rocked back and forth in midair, laughing happily. “Well? It’s an exchanging game. I’ll let you decide what you want to do. You might not have a choice, though…”
“Cut it out! I’ll fucking kill you, shitty kid!”
“You’re a loud one, aren’t you? Come on, keep it down. Here, listen up. I liked Kyoko, you know, but she wouldn’t listen to me. What a naughty sister you have.
“Kyoko…!? Did you… kill Kyoko? You… Killed her…!”
“Cut it out with the accusations. I was going to help her, you know. But Kyoko just wouldn’t…”
“Uwaaaah! What did you do to Kyoko!? What did you do!?” Ryo roared animalistically.
“You’re a noisy man. If you don’t listen to me properly, I’ll kill you.”
There was a flash of light, and Ryo’s body ceased to move. The boy continued talking.
“So, since Kyoko isn’t here, I’m going to use this lady… But she’s dead, right? That’s why I want to help her, why I have to help her.”
Help me… Help me… Mika’s weak voice coiled around Ryo’s frozen body and wouldn’t leave.
“See! She’s asking for help, isn’t she? I’m a good boy, so I can’t just ignore her. Hey, Ryo, let’s save her! Okay?”
Mithra slid through the air, moving before Ryo, their heads roughly level.
“Really? Kyahahaha, yaaay. Really really? Hehehe, hehehe. Hooray, hooray.”
After pretending to strain his ears, Mithra clapped his hands with innocent joy.
“You’re more grown up than Sumio, Ryo. Keep your promise, okay?” Then, as if he had just remembered, he added, “Um, it’s not fair if I just save her, is it? Gimme a reward! Yeah…” An ominous glint shone in Mithra’s eyes. “I’ll take any person you embrace. Well? Got it? It’s a promise, okay?”
Mithra hid himself within the darkness, Ryo’s body freed. But Mithra’s voice alone continued to drift through the darkness for some time, as if for emphasis. A living person, okay? Of course! It doesn’t matter who. Make sure to keep your promise…
Ryo had no way of knowing that this was a secret rite of contract between himself and Mithra.
Ryo drove down the mountain pass road on his bike. In the end, Sumio had died without saying anything to Ryo.
A full moon hung in the sky, but its dull silver light was beginning to change. The sky was starting to brighten. Colour returned to the mountain pass. The morning sun would show its face soon.
It was all over. He wanted to rest – to forget it all. The nightmare was over… Ryo believed that. But…
“It won’t end.” A boy’s voice echoed throughout Hinashiro Forest.
Ryo brought his bike slowly to a stop, straining his eyes and ears. A woman’s silhouette appeared amidst the sunlight. It was Mika. Ryo simply stared at her as she walked over to him tiredly, unsteady on her feet.
Once Mika stood before Ryo, she let out a relieved sigh and collapsed. Ryo reflexively reached out, wrapping his arms around Mika and embracing her tightly, with all of his affection.
A boy’s laugh ran through Reigetsu Pass, carried on the wind, innocent, as if he were rolling about with laughter.
Mithra and the fairy’s prank
Is Mithra a real god? Are Chisato and Yayoi really sisters? There must be many people who have played the game with these questions in their minds. Here, we will have Goichi Suda, the director of Moonlight Syndrome, answer several of these questions. We have additionally provided a supplementary article and our unique interpretations (marked with ※), so please use them for reference.
Please tell us the background of the god Mithra.
He is based on the Mithra of Zoroastrianism. I was thinking about something based on Zoroastrianism for a project plan I was working on before Twilight Syndrome, but it ended up being put on hold, so I decided to use some of that – Mithra – in Moonlight Syndrome.
Why did you decide to have Mithra be a white-haired boy?
It’s very simple. Twilight Syndrome was a story about girls, so I wanted to put in a boy.
At first, it was supposed to be set at a Catholic girls’ school in Yokohama (specifically near the Foreign General Cemetery). I had the idea of putting in a mixed boy as the owner of the land. That’s when I started thinking that maybe it wouldn’t feel weird if we had some sort of devil type thing in there… It’s a carry-over of that background. His likeness, of course, is based on Akira.
Yayoi and Chisato are angels
Zoroastrianism is a religion from ancient Persia (modern day Iran) which is thought to have been established in around the sixth century BC. Zoroaster is the name of its founder, Zarathustra, as it is written in Greek.
It is said that the symbols of this religion are its ideas on the dualism of good and evil and its eschatology. Its good faction is led by the supreme god Ahura Mazda, who is constantly fighting against the might of the evil god Angra Mainyu, but in the end the final judgement is conferred and the powers of good prevail. After their victory, it is said that the world will be reborn into a new, ideal world.
Mithra is a god who represents covenant, and is also the guardian of the law. Mithra is always watching to make sure that contracts made in his name (worshipping the good god Ahura Mazda, living properly, etc.) are always properly carried out, as well as conferring justice in the other world after the resulting judgements.
He also seems to have been popular as the guardian deity of war in ancient Persia, where conflict was constant (people pray for victory = make a contract to be the victor). Mithra, the guardian deity of the country, would crush any enemies who put his country in danger with fierce retribution, and was also the god of things such as livestock that would bring profit to the country. When worshipping Mithra, it is said that people would sacrifice cattle as sacred animals, reproducing the divine protection of Mithra.
Due to his nature of dual extremes, being a protector of the good but also ruthless, Mithra seems to have been viewed as sitting in the middle.
※Long ago, Mithra was treated as equal to the supreme god Ahura Mazda, but in the Zoroastrian reform he was dropped to a yazata, a normal angel and the bottom rank of the seven great angels. This is said to be both because Zoroaster hated bloody rituals using cattle, and also disliked him being more popular than the supreme god. This treatment apparently later created legends of fallen angels and demons in Europe. In any case, it seems as though Mithra’s popularity fell, but sadly, his nature as a god of vengeance was greatly wished for by those who could not escape the conflict later on.
In Zoroastrianism, it was thought that time had existed before the world’s creation, and that it would continue to exist even after the world came to an end. It was also thought that the time containing the history of the world was a “limited time” excised and created from this constant, eternal time. It seems as though there were people who thought that this “eternal time” itself was the god Zurvan.
The god Chisato was based on
Hvar (the sun) makes its way through the heavens, bringing the day to an end. By doing this every day, it causes the changing of the seasons. This means that the sun is considered to be a companion of Zurvan (time). The other half of its nature, Rashnu (justice), is an angel who confers judgement after death. With his golden scales, he is said to measure a person’s good and bad deeds. In the world of Zoroastrianism, heaven is divided into three levels, and which of the worlds you go to is determined by the weight of your good deeds. There is also a hell, of course. If the scales fail to tip in either direction, you will be sent to the lowest level of heaven, called Hamistagan.
※Hanako-san from Twilight was a messenger from the spirit world. Half of Chisato is an angel who governs judgements in heaven (the other world), so it wouldn’t be strange for her to have a thorough knowledge of the spirit world. Her nickname of “spirit realm radar” wasn’t just for show after all.
The god Yayoi was based on
In the Zoroastrian world, it is said that along with the heavens, ruled over by Ahura Mazda, and the world of darkness, controlled by Angra Mainyu, there is also a world of emptiness. This world of emptiness is controlled by the god Vayu (wind). Since the world Vayu inhabits is between the heavens and world of darkness where good and evil intermingle, you can think of him as a man-in-the-middle like Mithra. Wind also represented space. Furthermore, it seems as though space was regarded in the same way as Zurvan (time). There are also witches called Pairilas who were said to seduce men with their charms, and were compared to shooting stars.
※It is said that good and evil were born from Zurvan (time). In short, both good and evil are contained within time. If you think about it that way, the midway nature of Mithra means that he is Zurvan, too. Then Chisato being one of three siblings (refer to Twilight Syndrome) means…!?
Who are Chisato and Yayoi really? What is their connection to Mithra?
Mithra, Yayoi and Chisato are gods who are part of the yazatas.
This was set up by having Yayoi and Chisato be Zoroastrian gods as the groundwork.
Strictly speaking, Yayoi is a fusion of Vayu (the wind god) and the Pairilas (witches), who are on the side of the evil god Angra Mainyu, while Chisato is a fusion of Hvar (the sun god) with Rashnu (an angel who symbolises justice), who is on the side of the good god Ahura Mazda.
This means that they are both fusions of gods who are part of Zurvan (time). Because of this, I decided to make them sisters.
※If you compare the gods’ nature of Zurvan to the blood flowing through their bodies, perhaps this makes them like sisters who share the same blood.
What is the meaning behind the image of Hanako-san overlapping with Chisato when Chisato and Lil are talking in Fuyou?
Think of Hanako-san herself from Twilight Syndrome as Chisato Itsushima. We made a highlights version of Twilight Syndrome in the past, and there’s a scene in the promotional movie on the disk that implies that Chisato is Hanako-san.
Chisato in Moonlight Syndrome is a yazata (a multitude of divine spirits), so does that make Hanako-san one of Chisato’s avatars?
Yes. She needed a temporary form to use as a messenger for the people living nearby, so she became Hanako-san.
The people who had contracts with Mithra and their reasons
Ryo saw Mithra as Sumio
You could say that Sumio’s contract was the beginning of everything that happens in the story. So, what was it that he wanted? It was the eternal separation of Kyoko and Ryo. He apparently offered up his own death and soul to Mithra for this. Does this mean that Ryo formed a contract with Mithra about Mika? This is not the case. It seems as though Ryo thought Mithra to be Sumio when he made contact with him. Sumio must have been quite important to him. When executing Sumio’s contract, pointing out the existence of Mika to Ryo and making him choose of his own volition whether or not to protect her, you might say that Mithra was displaying the majesty of a god of justice…?
Lil was saved by Chisato
The headmaster and Lil actually had contracts with Mithra, too. The cost was, of course, their deaths. It is Mithra’s intent that leads to Kimika Takahashi’s pretty face ending up in the headmaster’s office. However, he was destroyed by Chisato before Mithra could take his soul. When the headmaster’s office suddenly collapses in Dowaku, it is seemingly due to a phenomenon caused by Chisato’s will. In the world of Zoroastrianism, it is said that when you die, you cross Chinvat Bridge and receive judgement. If Rashnu’s scales lean towards goodness, the bridge is thick and stable, but if they lean towards evil, the bridge becomes as narrow as a knife and you fall into hell. It is just like the image of falling into hell. On the other hand, Lil is spared. This is because she was saved by Chisato as Hanako-san. The price of her father taking her place (as he was passing beneath as Lil jumped) must be a heavy burden to bear, though…
How did Sumio and Yayoi become acquainted? Did Sumio know who Yayoi really was?
He met her at Lost Highway, like Kimika. They had a normal relationship, but Sumio gradually began to change, brainwashed by Yayoi. That said, he was always that sort of guy, so he slowly realised that something was wrong with Yayoi and that he had got himself caught up in a huge, uncontrollable maelstrom.
But sensing his heart burn with his feelings for Kyoko, he is pulled in by Mithra. He subconsciously senses Mithra lurking behind Yayoi and plans to make contact with him… That’s how it went.
What was the ending to the “fairy’s prank” that Chisato told Mika about in Henshitsu?
“Prank”, the hidden scenario in Twilight Syndrome, is the original version of Henshitsu. The “prank of the fairy” is a different concept from Twilight Syndrome, so you can think of it as a pre-scenario for Moonlight Syndrome.
The explanation for it includes internal relationships with others. Mika’s erratic actions, graphic words and killing (or being killed by) people are all actions taken because she has been caught up in a “a fairy’s prank”. So, no matter what Mika does, Ryo can forgive her. It’s trial from the fairies to Mika… or Ryo, rather.
I still hadn’t thought of the character of Mithra at all by this stage, but you can think of the fairy as the original form of Mithra.
What is the meaning of the line Ryo says to Mika: “When the moon’s sorrow overflows, you will be seen off by the two horses of abstinence… to someone who forgives all.”
“When the moon’s sorrow overflows~” was something I wrote at the start with the image of Moonlight Syndrome in mind. It comes from the moonlight in the title, and hints at the events of the epilogue.
“To someone who forgives all” is a feeling of self-admonition that Mika Kishii has towards herself for her actions (pranks and making up stories) in Twilight Syndrome. It also signifies the question of whether or not Ryo will forgive Mika as a person.
Can Ryo stand to protect a woman Sumio had relations with, despite feeling something like a mix of love and hate for him? It’s a representation of this jumbled relationship between Mika and Ryo.
After Sumio falls victim to Kimika Takahashi at the club, Ryo receives a phone call from Kyoko. Does this mean that chronologically Kyoko’s death comes first, followed by Sumio’s?
Think of the concept of time in a story where Mithra is involved as different from time in real life. The gravity of acknowledging a person’s death is represented by the feeling of the length of time.
For Mika’s classmates, Kyoko’s death isn’t something that affects their daily lives. They have the weakest and fastest recognition of it, and it’s explained in conversation format in the game’s prologue. Next, Mika learns more information from the news than she heard from her classmates’ conversation, and in Mowdei, Sumio first acknowledges it when he initially sees Kyoko’s head.
And then, in the final scene of Mowdei, Ryo acknowledges it. Since Ryo had the deepest connection to Kyoko, it takes him the longest time of all to become aware of her death.
The death of someone close to you. I tried showing the gap that everyone has felt (or will feel) towards death using a staggering of time.
Could the story of Moonlight Syndrome be considered to have taken place within Ryo’s inner universe? Or do the inexplicable events that occur during the story actually occur in the real world?
What would happen if the phenomenon of mental revolution that Ryo undergoes, triggered by the death of Kyoko, happened not just to him but to the whole of Hinashiro? The headmaster, Kimika Takahashi, the people at the club… If all of the people scattered across town, too many to depict, were to simultaneously undergo this internal revolution…
I think of it as a realistic story with this exaggerated to an extreme.
Ryo definitely does exist within Hinashiro, and he experiences a realistic story up until Dowaku. There is no definite explanation for the epilogue. You could say that all of the characters in the story are walking along by themselves, and so at one point I had to rewrite the epilogue due to the circumstances of their journeys. The events are completely different.
Did the characters within the story head for the conclusion in the epilogue of their own will, or did they become caught up in and fall victim to the relationship between Mika and Ryo? I think these things came together to create the final scene.
Except for Aramata, each of the characters were pushing forwards towards the final scene, which concludes the story’s reality… Please think of it like that. I decided not to decipher or put into order the baffling details.
Yayoi appears in the scene with the big tree in the epilogue, but appears in the real world right afterwards…
The “edge of the world” (the big tree scene) is the purest, most primitive place. Yayoi puts aside her good will and other emotions towards Ryo, reuniting with him at the “edge of the world”. There, Yayoi watches Ryo and the conclusion of it all in her most human-like state, then watches Mithra’s death in the real world at the end to bring an end to the story.
Why isn’t Rumi at the “edge of the world”? That’s because I couldn’t take the time to write about her properly. The depiction of Rumi is something I wish I could’ve done more with.
One of Yayoi’s lines is “poor child”… Was Mithra destroyed?
Yes, he was. Mithra was a victim, too. In a way, Yayoi was a faithful servant of Mithra’s, but if you look at it from another perspective, you might say that Mithra was used and sent to his destruction by Yayoi.
Maybe you could even say that it was even Yayoi’s jealousy towards Mika?
Can “the edge of the world” be thought of as Ryo’s best memory that turns into an image and appears as a place?
Do the other people have their own visions of the “edge of the world”?
The grassy field that appears during the story is a shared vision of the “edge of the world”. Mika, Chisato and Yukari return to the “edge of the world”, thinking of the place with nostalgia and homesickness.
“…Walk your own path…”
It is said that free will was revered in Zoroastrianism, where good and evil are in opposition. This means that one must have the self-awareness to choose the faction of good gods of their own free will and fight against evil. In short, you can assume that they meant “take responsibility for yourself”; that if you discover a sprout of evil within you, you must pluck it out by your own efforts. I am sure that this does not mean rejecting the advice of others, however. This is similar to the way in which Ryo has the assistance of Kyoko and Chisato before he arrives at this answer for himself.
In the end, Ryo faces up completely to his own weakness and fragility, choosing the path of going against the great power of Mithra. How you interpret the conclusion is left to the player’s free will.
An explanation for the more obscure terms present in the game, including the various pop-culture references.