Paradise Hotel 51

Where Gaming Dies

Moonlight Syndrome Deep Psyche Files

Release Date: November 21st, 1997
Page count: 111
ISBN: 978-4073901075
Scans (Archive)

The town of Hinashiro has been drowned under the wave of urbanization. The new world left in its wake has abandoned the superstitions of ages past in favor of the material and the rational. However, an unfamiliar kind of madness is brewing within the cement walls of its apartment complexes, muffled by the loud music of its night clubs. This new society, where people can be exchanged and replaced like commodities, is the one where Mika Kishi and Ryo Kazan are walking along by themselves, in parallel lines, seemingly going nowhere. Hidden from sight, a white-haired boy is laughing at them. Above them, the moon observes them silently.

Unlike the other Moonlight Syndrome books, Deep Psyche Files seems to be more of a personal project on part of the editors to share their own thoughts and opinions about the game.
The first segment of this book contains a summary of each Twilight Syndrome scenario, even going as far as to replicate the aesthetic of the Twilight Syndrome manuals. These summaries have been translated by FFTranslations.

The second section moves into Moonlight Syndrome proper; the editor initially gives his thoughts on how different the setting of Moonlight is compared to the previous games (no real depiction of ghosts, Mika Kishii as the new protagonist, so on and so forth), and comments on the game’s reputation as a “kusoge”, saying that whether or not it’s a “good” or a “bad” game, is less important than how weird and out of the ordinary the game is. The book then goes on to the describe the game’s controls and provides a short blurb for each of the game’s ten scenarios, plus a map of Hinashiro high-school.

From this point onwards, the book proceeds with summaries of the first five scenarios, each followed by a crash course in several psychoanalytical themes, namely “What is psychology?”, “Greed”, “Group psychology”, “Personality disorders”, “Neurosis” and “Perception”. It seems that the editor thought that the key to understanding Moonlight Syndrome was to utilize psychoanalysis on the game’s cast; he went as far as to include diagrams to give a better rundown on these concepts. This segment is closed by one of two columns in which the editor attempts to explain the cryptic ending of the game.

The next section is about the game’s cast, with a character relationship chart and individual profiles for each of the main characters where the editor tries to assign a psychoanalytical template to each of them. This chapter is also closed out by the editor’s musings about the ending. It is then followed by the latter half of the scenario summaries, again interjected with psychoanalytical columns.

The backend of the book is occupied by several pieces of concept art and scenario drafts, some of which are not present in the finished game and were also examined in the In-depth Guide.

Twilight Syndrome: Chapter Summaries

The Original Rumour

“The Original Rumour” could also be called the game’s prologue. It is short, but its eeriness and scares aren’t lesser than those of the main game. Especially since it is at the very beginning, it makes quite an impression.

The bathroom from the rumour

Everyone must have heard at least once that Hanako-san resides in their school bathroom. Hinashiro High is no exception, and Hanako-san is rumoured to exist here, too. Three incredulous high school girls decide to see whether or not it is true. This is done out of mild curiosity, with no deep thinking behind it. The girls never knew that this would be a day that they would never forget…

The password is…

The trio arrive at the bathroom. A tightly sealed door makes the rumour seem more credible. The way to summon Hanako-san is to turn around three times in front of the door, then knock three times… But there is no response. This time they spin three times, followed by “crunch, crunch, stomp, stomp, crunch stomp stomp…” There is no change – was it just a rumour after all? As they give up and go to leave, something eerie appears behind them. When they turn around…

Run from the girl!

No matter how far they run they can’t shake her off, and however many stairs they go down they can’t reach the floor below. Gradually, the three are cornered. It may seem strange for them to summon her and then flee, but the girls did it only out of curiosity, never thinking that she would actually show up… As they run, they reach the roof. The girl approaches from behind. What is the girls’ fate!?

The First Rumour: Spirit Photo Park

Mika obtains a spirit photo. In order to find out the truth behind it, the three head to I Park late at night. The atmosphere of the park suits the incessant ghost stories about the place.

The rumoured spirit photo

Mika’s spirit photo was taken at Kobe Bridge, I Park. The trio immediately set out, taking pictures here and there. As they proceed further in, they discover a torii gate standing by the entrance to an unremarkable car park. There is nothing resembling a shrine in sight. The following night, however, upon returning to the place they are greeted with a sight that makes the silence of the day prior seem like a dream.

The terrifying spoils

Even though your goal is a spirit photo, there are several spoils you can obtain here. Not only can you take photographs, but you can also save tape recordings. You can view these right away by choosing “preparation” before playing.

The Second Rumour: The Music Room’s MF

A female student, “MF”, hangs herself in the school’s music room. It is said that since then, she has been waiting there for her boyfriend, the music teacher. In order to check out the rumour, the three sneak into the music room at night…

“MF” was the music teacher Okuno’s girlfriend?

Mayumi Fujita, “MF”, committed suicide in the school’s music room. Amidst several rumours about her motive there is one saying that she was the girlfriend of Okuno, the music teacher, and that even now, after becoming a ghost, she is waiting in the music room for her teacher to come. What happens to Mika and the others, who can’t resist the rumour…?

An invisible fear

The campus late at night is creepy. Just entering a classroom will set you on edge. What sets this rumour apart from the others is that you hardly see any ghosts. Knowing that something is there but not being able to see it makes it even scarier.

A piano playing late at night

The air tense, a piano song suddenly begins to play. An announcement summoning MF echoes throughout the school. The realistic audio will make you gasp, and the conversation with MF as she possesses Mika in the gloomy music room will pull you into the screen with its intensity. The scrawl behind the calendar in the music prep room is spooky, too.

The greatest difficulty

This rumour is thought to be the toughest in Search. Viewing the best ending is not easy. There are detailed branching points, and small differences in response cause a great deviation in the ending. Getting a handle on the key points will make the rest must easier.

The Third Rumour: Last Train

An unnatural number of the dead are said to appear at Murayamadai Station. It is a famous mystery spot, used as a location many times by TV shows. As always, the three set out with their curiosity to take spirit photos. Late at night at the station, it really feels like something is going to appear…

Exploring the station at night

The trio wait for the station attendant to leave, then sneak onto the premises. According to Mika, there are haunted spots dotted all over the small station. There definitely does seem to be something strange about the atmosphere, with things such as flowers being left behind the stairs. Maybe this might be the real deal after all… As soon as they begin to think this, several figures appear inside the supposedly empty station. Are they all ghosts…?

The phantom Platform 4

If things go well, Platform 4, which shouldn’t exist, will appear midway through. Not only that, but even though the last train passed through long ago, an announcement plays stating that a train is about to arrive. A station attendant, who should have left already, appears, saying that the destination of the approaching train is Yuyamigaoka. They have never heard of this station before. Something is wrong. Chisato eagerly insists that they must leave now.

The identity of the train

This train is actually tied to two polar opposite endings, where if you get on it you get the bad ending, and if you don’t you get the good ending. Since I’m sure that many people will already have played the game, I will reveal that the train is a ghost train that ferries the souls of the dead. Proof of this can be seen in the photograph which is later developed. There is also a scene during the chapter where it seems as though Mika will be hit by a train, and if you don’t quickly choose a direction to dodge in the game is over.

The Fourth Rumour: The Seven Mysteries of Hinashiro High

The fourth rumour is “The Seven Mysteries of Hinashiro High”. Several things about this chapter differ heavily from the others, and the ghost stories are slightly different from those before them. Some people’s impressions of the game so far may be changed by it.

There’s a time limit!?

The most distinctive thing about this rumour is that it has a time limit. If you don’t clear them all within 40 minutes, the game is over. You won’t be able to see the ending if you don’t check out all of the rumours quickly. The map is expansive, but aside from that the difficulty is low.

Scurrying…

The good ending here is a bit eccentric. The outcome is more of a joke than something to do with the occult. This is worth seeing, since it contains events unseen so far in previous rumours. If you are unable to complete the rumours within the time limit or fail to discover the truth of one, a cursed event occurs. Your ending changes depending on which path you take during the event conversation.

One More Rumour

As well as being the prologue to Investigation, this rumour serves as the epilogue to Search. Mika becomes pen pals with someone calling themself “S.H” as a mere joke, but as things progress, suspicious things begin to stand out…

The girl in the library

Visiting the library, Mika happens to discover a letter-like scribble on the desk. She decides to try responding semi-jokingly. Upon visiting the library the following day, a reply has been left for Mika. The other person’s name is “S.H”. Claiming to be shy, she refuses to tell Mika her class or name, but due to ill health she is always in the library. Their correspondence continues for several days, and suspicious things gradually begin to stand out about “S.H”. Despite her saying that she is always in the library, Mika has never seen her there. Yukari and Chisato tell Mika to stop replying, but she ignores them.

“S.H”‘s dilemma

After a few days of correspondence, things begin to change. “S.H” proclaims that she will soon die. Mika, not being fond of gloomy topics, refuses to go along with the bad joke. However, the content gradually escalates…

To Investigation

Asked to meet her before the end comes, Mika heads for the place she is told about. Yukari and Chisato, suspicious, follow Mika. Mika stands alone on the edge of a cliff on the high ground. Something seems strange about her. What could be wrong…?

The Fifth Rumour: Hinashiro Grove

This scenario serves as the conclusion to Search‘s One More Rumour. The ultimate goal of this scenario is to bring back Mika, who is taken away by Sakura Himegami in Search.

What becomes of Mika…?

Mika disappears into thin air right before Yukari and Chisato’s eyes. Hoping that she might have left behind some sort of clue, Chisato suggests that they head to the library. Perusing the documents there, they arrive at the conclusion that if they visit Hinashiro Grove in the other world, they will find Mika there. As they do so, Mika confronts Sakura Himegami.

The pair head to Mika’s side

Walking back upstream along the undergroud Odairigawa, they realise that it is indeed within a different world from their reality. Yukari and Chisato wander around the same places. With the assistance of a biwa-playing priestand a bird, they gradually draw nearer to Mika. There, they find a shrine just like the one the hills behind.

Can she return to the real world?

Sakura Himegami’s diary remains within the shrine. Through it, they hear Sakura’s sorrowful cries. They also learn that the shrine is linked to the place where Mika and Sakura Himegami are. Encouraged by Chisato, Yukari calls out desperately to her. She must bring Mika back to the real world.

The Sixth Rumour: The Twilight Boy

Investigation deals with several heavier themes than Search. The theme of this Sixth Rumour is the social issue of bullying. Pay attention to how it is depicted within this world.

Why did the boy commit suicide?

Kimihiko Tatara, a boy in the class next to Mika’s, commits suicide. A rumour spreads that it was caused by bullying. One day, Mika obtains information that a student who stayed behind late for club activities saw Tatara’s ghost in the gym equipment storeroom. The three hurry there to check it out. After investigating the equipment storeroom, he appears, but ends up vanishing without answering any of their questions.

Tatara’s classmates

What was going on in Tatara’s class…? They ask students from the class, and it seams as though he was being bullied after all. They also learn that two people were the ones primarily responsible for it. One of them, Kuroda, is hurt in the gym.

What is Tatara’s grief?

Despite talking to Kuroda and Tatara’s mother, they still don’t know the truth. Wanting to ask Tatara how he feels, Chisato makes contact with his ghost. Through him, Chisato vicariously experiences the bullying he was undergoing from Saeki and the others and collapses. Chisato understands everything – what he is doing in the gym equipment storeroom, and why he killed himself. All she has to do now is to make Saeki understand.

The Seventh Rumour: Telephone Call

One day, Yukari receives a mysterious phone call. Is it simply a prank, or could it be a message from the dead? All will be revealed by unravelling Yukari’s forgotten past.

Strange things start happening all at once…

Yukari arrives home and turns on her cassette player, but it suddenly breaks. She looks at the clock to set the timer on the other clock, but realises that even it has stopped. Then, she receives a phone call in which a girl’s voice simply repeats, “Hey…” Yukari questions her over and over, but the answer is the same.

Something is off

Yukari receives a phone call from a delivery courier saying that he will arrive to deliver a package in 15 minutes, but even after the time has come and gone he does not show up. A little while later she receives another call, saying that he did come by but she was out. Yukari, never having left her room, is bewildered. Later, Chisato calls and suggests that the phone calls may be connected to Yukari’s own past…

What is her forgotten past?

Yukari decides to look through a photo album from her childhood. In it, she finds a photograph of herself and Chisato as children. Later, her mother calls and tells her that Sacchan, a girl she was friends with as a child, has passed away. Was the voice on the phone Sacchan’s…? Did she want to tell her about their promise from so long ago that was left unfulfilled? Finally, the phone rings one more time.

The Eighth Rumour: The Rusted Pitfall

This scenario is set in a huge air raid shelter left behind by the former Japanese army. The girls encounter an old man who believes that the war is still in progress, but in the end he decides to sacrifice himself.

The trio head for the construction site

Chisato, Yukari and Mika decide to go to karaoke together. As they are singing, the subject comes up of a large number of bones having been discovered at a construction site where work has been suspended. Mika appears immensely curious, hoping that perhaps they might find some buried treasure. Leaving behind Chisato, who is engrossed in the karaoke, Yukari and Mika decide to check out the site. They discover an entrance leading underground and use it to descend. The transmission equipment still has power, and the generator continues to emit static electricity. It seems almost like the place is still in use.

This is no ordinary construction site

After walking for a while, they encounter a lone old man. However, he doesn’t seem to be aware that the war is over. He has lived here all this time, dreaming of achieving victory through a man-made soldier called “Kongo Teppei”. Whether or not you can talk him down is the key to getting the good ending. Once they explain to him that the war ended more than 50 years ago, Japan lost to America, and that there was an atomic bomb, “Kongo Teppei” beings to run wild. The old man tells the three to run, with himself remaining behind.

The Ninth Rumour: Occult Mystery Tour

This scenario is the one with the strongest horror tones in Investigation. The three accidentally open a gate between the real world and the spirit world. Are they able to return the ghosts infesting their school to the place where they belong?

The handball song Mika has heard

A girl with a bob is summoned in The First Rumour. Here, they summon this girl using a different method: singing a handball song. Upon doing so, they do not summon the girl, but instead seemingly open up the gate to the spirit world. Many terrifying experiences await them.

Many things have been set in place here to raise the fear level, such as the ghost of a swim club member and a girl being sighted, a man’s laughter echoing down the hallway… Yukari also encounters her other self. The emotions she had fought back spoken aloud before her very eyes, she passes out.

The mystery of the handball song

Upon making a call to Aramata, they realise that the issue is with the lyrics to the handball song. However, midway through their conversation the phone call cuts off. There is no choice left but for the trio to analyse it by themselves. It seems to be important for them to look for a place to perform the sealing ritual. If the ritual is a success, the spirits will gather within the school building.

The Tenth Rumour: The Otherside Town

A town where the dead who still have lingering attachments to the world of the living slowly forget their memories… That is the “otherside town”. After stumbling upon this town, the three gradually begin to lose their memories, too…

Kamishibai these days?

A girl called Chiichan who lives in Yukari’s neighbourhood goes missing at the park. The three try sliding down the slide she is said to always be playing on. They find themselves in a strange place, the same town as theirs, but somehow different. In the town are such things as an old man performing kamishibai and a street TV. After walking for a while, even the familiar shopping district begins to look different.

Their memories gradually begin to fade

The people in this town have forgotten simple things. Some don’t know who they are, others don’t know where they are… As they walk, the three, too, begin to lose their memories of things like their teachers and parents. They ask a sitting old lady about it, and she tells them that the town is a place for the dead to forget their memories.

Afterwards, the three find a bridge crossing a river. Although it is apparently impossible to return to the real world after crossing this bridge, Yukari ends up going across it. Chisato and Mika, who decide not to make the crossing, return to town, and Yukari arrives at Hinashiro High. As she walks through the school building, Yukari begins to remember things she had forgotten about her parents and more. She meets the bob-haired girl, who returns her to the world of the living.

Hidden scenario: to Moonlight Syndrome

This is Prank, which can be viewed by clearing all chapters of Twilight Syndrome‘s Search and Investigation with the good ending. This scenario could also be called the prologue to Moonlight Syndrome.

Mika stumbles upon a strange world

As Mika is making her way to school as usual, she is surrounded by a sudden golden wind. She asks Chisato about it, who says that it is fairy dust. Mika is doubtful. As she is returning home from school, she meets a man named Ryo. Despite never having met the man before, Mika treats him like an acquaintance. For some reason, he smells just like the wind from this morning…

Is it a dream or real life…?

Along with a headache, Mika is flung through a succession of worlds. The school, the town at night… Finally, she is disparaged by Chisato. Something seems off about her, but that is not the only strange thing Mika experiences. She finds herself at a love hotel with Saeki, even though he is supposed to have changed schools, is told by Sakura Himegami, who is no longer alive, to kill Chisato… And as she tries to return home, Mika finds a blood-covered Chisato blocking her path. Shockingly, Chisato speaks as though she has killed Mika’s family. After breaking free from this dream-like world, Mika finds Ryo standing before her.