story

At least, what I remember. See, I need to write EVERYTHING down or I forget! This is probably a little (okay, very) muddled in its present form, as I was scribbling this down between play sessions. Some of those sessions were looooong, and my memory is piss poor, so some information is missing. It's still complete enough to read and understand, though!

Also, this is chock-full of wiseass comments and whining. Maybe I'll clean it up eventually. :D Nah, I won't. This crappy stream of consciousness kind of story is pretty amusing. Get a coherent story here:
a decent explanation of all the endings

1-2-3 GO!

The game starts with some quotes from the bible. That's how you know this is going to be scary shit. XD

And God said, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven."
And God created great whales and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and God saw that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply on the earth."

Which seems normal, and then you get this one too:

Only be sure that thou eat not the blood; for the blood is the life, and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.

Which naturally inspires flashbacks to Dracula and stuff like that. If only this game was that tame. Vampires? Pffffffft. That's for kids.

After that, my memory's a bit fuzzy. It's something about running, and wild emotions, and finally you're presented with your first choice. Unlike other visual novels, Sweet Pool doesn't present actual choices of what to do... there's no choosing between "run away from Tetsuo" or "punch Tetsuo in the face." Instead, two corners of the screen light up with funky organic looking things (think blood vessels or nerves) and you click on either BLUE/reason or RED/instinct. The direction of the story proceeds accordingly. Right now, we're doing Makoto's path which is 100% reason, and since it's our first playthrough I'm not sure how much changes. I think some scenes are affected much more than others.

Anyway, after that, you get the opening video which is just messing with your head cuz it makes this game look normal. Yeah, right. Just wait for the crazy mindfuck later. >.<

The next few scenes are just to introduce the characters and their personalities. You learn that Youji is a skinny punk who never eats (despite this, he looks quite hot in his nekkid scenes :9), Makoto never stops eating and likes to mother Youji, Tetsuo is an asshole and is hated by everyone, Zenya is a psycho, and Kitani looks like an axe murderer. A bit different from the usual BL game stereotypes. :3

The action heats up a bit when Makoto and Youji go out to eat (Youji only has coffee, what a twit) and Makoto tells him a rumor about Zenya. Apparently, Zenya disappears at 5pm every day, which coincides with a clock in town that plays a famous Japanese nursery rhyme. Interesting, but no one thinks anything of it and the two go home.

The next day, Youji's feeling crappy at school and wants to go home, but he's caught by the chemistry teacher and asked to deliver some stuff to the chem room. Fine. He goes to do that, but a strange feeling comes over him while he's alone in the room and... You know, there's just no delicate way to put this. He gets all horny and starts touching himself. He gets so into it that he starts fingering himself *ahem* BACK THERE and is surprised to feel something... squishy?

Youji is interrupted by Tetsuo's arrival and quickly fixes his clothes and hides behind a desk or something. The story got a bit muddy here because it's hard to tell their voices apart, but it seems like Tetsuo pretends he didn't see anything until he leaves the room, and he says "I won't tell anyone." Youji freaks out and leaves.

The next day... the students are talking about something strange that was found in the chemistry room. Or rather, only one of the students could see it, and the others just stood around wondering what he was talking about. Apparently one of the students assigned to clean the room found a puddle of blood with little fleshy bits in it.

DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUN.
And then the player is thrust into the world of FUCKED UP menstrual/abortion nightmares. I TOLD YOU. This game made me afraid to poop, guys. >.<

Okay, where was I? Next day (or so, my memory isn't the best), Youji's chemistry class is doing an experiment, and he's distracted by the thoughts of what happened in the room and absent-mindedly burns himself. Tetsuo treats the burn, but the teacher sends Youji off to the nurse's office and makes Tetsuo escort him. Youji's not happy about this and kind of rushes off ahead. Tetsuo catches him and traps him against a wall in the hallway, and Youji notices that his burned hand is covered in blood. He pushes at Tetsuo and gets blood all over him too, but Tetsuo doesn't say anything about it.

I think this is the point at which Youji runs off to the bathroom because he's feeling crappy. And, uh, he kind of GIVES BIRTH to a bunch of fleshy bits. From his anus. Yes. Naturally, he FREAKS OUT and runs away. Zenya comes by later and finds the bits. He's very interested, but annoyed by the little crawly bits (which apparently look and pulse like little hearts, ugh) and stomps on them, killing them.

Oddly enough, no one is talking about the bits the next day. It's like they don't really exist, or only certain people can see them (aka Zenya and Tetsuo). This giving birth to bits seems to happen every day at 5pm (that's my guess, anyway), and what I don't understand is why Youji always plops 'em on the floor. Dude, there's a toilet RIGHT THERE.

The next time it happens (or maybe the time after that), Tetsuo follows Youji into the bathroom, they struggle, and then THAT happens. And while this is happening, Tetsuo is molesting Youji. Yeah, I don't get it either. At this point, it kind of seemed like he was examining Youji instead of seriously groping him, and when he leaves he says something like "that's not good." Thank you, captain obvious.

At some point in here, we find out that Zenya's right eye (the one under the eyepatch) is actually infected or something with a weird fleshy thing similar to the ones Youji's been leaving in the bathroom. x.x

Moving on... Zenya is now interested in Youji and tricks him into coming around to the back of the school, saying he wants to talk to him. He's friendly at first, then totally snaps and beats the shit out of Youji, who blacks out. He wakes up in a room with no light except a TV with static on the screen... annnnd Tetsuo is there, passed out. There's a strong smell of some sort in the room that clouds Youji's mind, and he's drawn to the blood on Tetsuo's face. It starts with Youji kissing him, but Tetsuo wakes up and molests Youji again. It kind of fades to black but I think he just jerks him off, nothing more. (That's LATER. *eyeroll*)

Zenya is pissed off by this result (he was watching on a hidden camera XD) as he was expecting the smell to affect Youji differently, and for something to happen that would drive Tetsuo insane. I don't really get it, but it seems like Tetsuo saved his own ass by molesting Youji.

From here, I think it cuts over to Zenya and how he makes the mistake of losing track of time, so he's still at school when 5pm rolls around. He locks himself in the bathroom and is in terrible pain, something to do with his fleshy eye and his skin feeling like it's going to split and peel. Yuck. Kitani comes to take him home.

Next day at school, Zenya goes up to Youji as he's going home and says he wants to talk to him. Youji, in a rare fit of common sense, runs the fuck away, but as he approaches the school gate he remembers that Kitani is always out there and he's stuck between him and Zenya. He changes course and runs back to the garbage area to hide, but naturally gets caught. Things get tense and it really seems like Zenya is either going to beat or molest Youji, but then...! Tetsuo shows up and twists Zenya's arm behind his back. The two argue, and it looks like things will get violent, but then it hits 5pm and Zenya beats a hasty retreat.

So this is where you would think the happy fun beginnings of love would start to blossom between Youji and Tetsuo, riiiight? BZZZZZZZZT WRONG! It's time for RAPE! Seriously, what the fuck? The worst part is that the CG used for this scene is the one that made me say I wanna play THAT game! because their faces look all LOVEY. *headdesk*

Tetsuo leaves without a single word of apology or explanation, and Youji drags his sorry ass home for a weekend of hardcore hallucination. Maybe. Apparently he spends two or three days locked up in his apartment, producing mass quantities of squishy bits that crawl around on the floor but eventually shrivel up and die. He mentions that the sound of them crawling around is "annoying" more than once. Ewww.

Who comes to visit? Why, Tetsuo the rapist, of course! Actually, he was sent by one of the teachers to drop off some homework since Youji missed school. Nothing much happens except Youji screaming his head off for Tetsuo to GTFO, which he does. Later, there's another knock on the door and Youji goes to check it out, but no one is there. There is, however, a container of food out there. Mysterious!

And then there's the fishtank scene. Youji's looking at his fishtank and thinking about how the fish are so beautiful in comparision to him, who is unnatural, and one of those squishy blobs CLIMBS UP THE SIDE and falls into the tank. One of the fish ends up exploding into a squishy blob too. Ugh.

Finally, Youji's feeling better and decides to go to the hospital for a checkup. He sticks one of the squishy bits into a bag and takes it with him to show the doctor. o.o After his exam, he's informed that he's simply exhausted and seeing things, and when he tries to show the thing in the bag IT'S GONE DUN DUN DUN. Youji leaves, confused, and goes to school, thinking that he could try getting some info from Tetsuo or Zenya.

When he gets to school, he overhears a conversation between some students who are talking about how Tetsuo was beating the crap out of Zenya that morning, and both were sent home for the day. Makoto comes over to Youji to talk about it too, but Youji gets annoyed with Makoto's trash talk about Tetsuo. Why? I have no idea. Anyway, Youji is pulled aside by a teacher who gives him some homework to deliver to Tetsuo, kind of returning the favor. Youji, wuss that he is, accepts the papers and leaves right after school to deliver them.

Cut to Makoto, who is intensely annoyed by this. Long story short, he's jealous that Tetsuo was asked to deliver papers to Youji when HE'S the only one who's friendly with Youji in the entire class. But his feelings are deeper than that and he finally admits that he really wants Youji all to himself. The scene ends with him doing a literal headdesk and saying something like "I'm so gross, being all gay like this." (Rahenna says admitting the problem is the first step. :3 I'm pretty sure this scene only happens if you're following Makoto's path.)

Back to Youji, who arrives at Tetsuo's house and rings the bell. A woman answers; Tetsuo's mom. She invites him in for dinner and won't take no for an answer, so Youji enters the house to wait for dinner to be ready. He goes and sits with Tetsuo in his room, but neither one says anything, and before Youji can run away, they're called to dinner. The dinner scene is pretty cute, and Youji ACTUALLY EATS SOMETHING. Also, the food on the table is suspiciously similar to the stuff that was left outside his apartment...

Next day, Youji goes to school and brings the food container with him, intending to return it to Tetsuo during lunch. He meets Tetsuo on the roof during lunch and returns the container, then sits next to him and kind of talks to himself about how Tetsuo freaks him out. Tetsuo offers him a sandwich and he runs off, dropping his wallet on the stairs. Tetsuo comes back to the classroom and returns it, then touches the back of Youji's neck (oh, yeah, this is an important plot point, he keeps staring at or touching Youji's neck) and says "it's oozing again." Youji reaches back and sure enough, there's blood. No one else can see it, though.

Makoto busts in here, picking a fight with Tetsuo for always bothering Youji, and physically dives at him before Kamiya, the chemistry teacher, shows up and pulls them apart. After school, Kamiya talks to all three boys individually, leaving Youji for last. It seems like a normal "just checking in" conversation until Kamiya tells Youji the story of a mythical creature called the Antlion. The Antlion came up earlier in the game - Zenya's crazy father was going on about it for a while. The story of the Antlion is that it has the head of a lion but the body of an ant, so the head wants to eat meat but the body can't digest it. Antlions just die soon after being born. I swear this is some sort of reference to Youji's condition in some roundabout way.

The OTHER thing that made the two of us scream "AGH Kamiya's in on it!" is that as punishment for fighting with Zenya, Kamiya made Tetsuo agree to be Youji's tutor. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

So Youji's pissed and gets ready to go home, but it's raining. Tetsuo shows up with an umbrella and Youji runs away into the rain, but he can't get away, and he eventually realizes that Tetsuo just wants to share the umbrella. They ride the train together and Tetsuo gets off at Youji's stop, intending to walk him home. Lulz. They actually have a bit of a conversation on the way. When they arrive at Youji's apartment, Youji notices that Tetsuo's shoulder is all wet because he wasn't fully under the umbrella, and he offers to get a towel. Tetsuo says no and walks away, but he comes back and whispers in Youji's ear... AN APOLOGY! Then he leaves for real, and Youji's left staring after him wondering if he actually APOLOGIZED for raping him. Yes, yes he did. Unexpected!

Youji goes inside, gets changed, and there's a knock at the door. He goes to the door thinking it might be Tetsuo, but SURPRISE it's Makoto looking all sorts of pissed off. The music here changes to be very tense and kind of evil, and that's where we stopped because I have a BAD FEELING about this. >.< However! All turns out okay (only if you choose reason, maybe?) and Makoto yells a bit, but leaves without trying anything. Whew.

CUT to Zenya doing fortunetelling with his dice and spazzing because no matter how many times he rolls, the result is the same. Kitani takes a look and says that the rolls are random, and Zenya flips out. FLASHBACK to the day he and Tetsuo fought at school. Zenya was taunting Tetsuo, whispering stuff like "your precious Youji is a monster" into his ear, and Tetsuo snapped and punched him in the face. The two got called to the staff room, and as Zenya was leaving to go home, he passes THAT MAN in the hall who mutters "worthless" under his breath. There's a brief conversation with THAT MAN insulting Zenya, ultimately ending with "you're the only one who's not male." HUH? Anyway, I'd bet my next paycheck that THAT MAN is Kamiya, the chemistry teacher.

Next day, Youji goes to school and Tetsuo comes up to him at lunch, reminding him that they were supposed to study. Everyone in the class is starting at them because OMG TETSUO INITIATED CONVERSATION, and Youji gets pissed and stomps off to the roof of the old school building. When Tetsuo gets there, Youji realizes that neither one brought stuff for studying. Fail. XD Tetsuo did remember lunch, though. The two sit, and Tetsuo offers Youji a sandwich, which is refused kind of rudely. Tetsuo raises his arm, and Youji closes his eyes, afraid he's about to be hit, and... Tetsuo starts petting his hair. After a little bit, he hugs Youji to him and keeps on petting him. Youji figures it's safest to just let him do whatever and looks up at the sky. After all, Tetsuo smells nice. (If this isn't explained soon, I'm gonna snap!)

Since they couldn't study at lunch, Youji goes to Tetsuo's house after school. Tetsuo is a good tutor and Youji finally feels like he's learning something. When Tetsuo leaves to get them something to drink, Youji gets tired and takes a nap. He wakes up with a weight on his shoulder - Tetsuo's asleep and leaning his head on his shoulder. VERY CUTE CG. (But what about Makoto, bitches? I'M ON THE MAKOTO PATH!)

Okay, memory's a bit vague until the more recent bits because I haven't been updating regularly. We're still playing regularly, though. Public service announcement: the Makoto path sucks.

So I'm probably missing a bit here, but we cut to Kitani at the bar getting hassled by a member of his former gang. (Also of note - Tetsuo's part time job? Bartending. At that bar. Yes, even though he's 17 years old, max.) Anyway, it seems that old man Okinaga has been asking the gang for lots of money, and they want Kitani to make him stop so they don't have to "do something" to stop him. The slimy guy gives Kitani a couple of spy devices and leaves.

Back to the Okinaga house, maybe the next day? Kunihito is "going for a walk" but Kitani knows he's going to a karaoke bar to meet with a man named Kamiya. DUN DUN DUUUUUUN. Kitani follows in his car and goes into a fast food place nearby to stay within range. It was a long conversation, so I'll summarize.

Kamiya (and Kunihito) are members of a cult called "The Free People" that wants to somehow resurrect the people who were punished by being killed in biblical disasters like the flood, destruction of Sodom, etc. Apparently these people no longer have human shape, and only some people can see them - it seems to be triggered by a near-death experience like Kunihito had when he was shot in the head. Kunihito's family was hardcore involved in the cult, so the cult was WAY pissed that Kunihito decided to become a Christian. In order for "Them" to be reborn (there's a LOT of words in quotes in this part, indicating that they're either important or totally made up), a high-class Male and a Female must mate to produce a Purebreed.

It doesn't take a degree in rocket science to figure out that Youji's the female and Tetsuo is the high-class male. And suddenly we understand just why it seemed like Kamiya was trying really hard to force the two to spend time together.

Anyway, Kamiya's not happy about Zenya messing with Youji and Tetsuo, and warns Kunihito about keeping Zenya under control. The cult doesn't want money, they just want Zenya to stay out of it. Zenya is another "male" but not a high-class one, and Kunihito is happy about that. He promises to talk to Zenya, and the conversation ends.

Next day at school, Makoto comes up to Youji before class to tell him that Kamiya wants to see him in the chemistry class after school. Youji heads over there right after school, but the room is dark. The door's open, though, so he goes in and sits in the dark with his back to the door. I'm a clueless block of meat but even I knew this was stupid. Of course, someone enters the dark room and jumps on Youji from behind, knocks him around a little bit, then holds a knife to his throat. Guess who?

Yes, it's Makoto the suddenly insane, and he's ranting on and on about how he hates Tetsuo, how Youji's become weird ever since he started talking to Tetsuo, and why isn't he (Makoto) any good? He eventually forces Youji to make a choice - who's better, me or him?

This is the final choice for the Makoto path, and to get Makoto's ending you have to choose reason, so we went with it. Youji, feeling that it's best not to mess with someone who is crazy, nods his head to indicate that Makoto is indeed the better choice. Makoto is not pleased by this, knowing that Youji "chose" him to save his own butt, not because of how he really feels.

And, well... this just isn't a pleasant scene by any stretch of the imagination. The game, as always, described everything in loving detail, but you're just getting a summary from me because thinking about it makes my brain cry. Makoto rapes Youji, and afterward he licks some blood from Youji's hand. Apparently it's delicious, and he keeps cutting Youji and licking his blood. Fade to black...

After this scene, cut to Makoto at school joking with his friends. He has bandages on his arms that no one seems to notice. At the end of the day, they stop at a fast food place to eat, and his friends comment that he's eating more than usual, which seems impossible. Makoto leaves and returns to Youji's apartment (it seems he lives there now...), which is dark and dirty and smells like animals. He goes into Youji's room which is covered in brown stains, and there's a bunch of dirt and other stuff on the floor, including a lot of long white splinters. Makoto sits down on the floor and leans back against the bed, thinking about how desperately hungry he is - no matter how much he eats, a terrible hunger gnaws at him. He unwraps the bandage on his left arm, and a CG showing the damaged flesh is shown. Makoto has been eating himself. He thinks about Youji and how he wants to see him, and is saddened because he can never see Youji again. He picks up some of the white splinters off the floor and holds them in front of his eyes, letting them slip through his fingers and back to the floor.

And then Marfisa and I looked at each other in horror and said OMG HE ATE YOUJI. HE RAPED, KILLED, AND ATE YOUJI. I'M SO SCARED HOLD ME PLZ SOB SOB.

Okay, now we know why Makoto's path is much shorter than the four Tetsuo paths. And looking at the Zenya one, that's even shorter than Makoto's. DO NOT WANT. Restart! Now we're following one of Tetsuo's paths. The first half is the same for all four, then it splits out to all instinct or all reason for the rest of the choices except the last one. There's four paths total because the final scene of each path has a different ending for instinct and reason.

Everything is roughly the same up to the "Makoto attacks you in the chem room" part, with just a little more tenderness between Youji and Tetsuo. When Makoto attacks, there's no choice, and Youji is rescued at the last moment by Tetsuo, who appears almost as if summoned when Youji suddenly thinks of him. Makoto rants a bit about "why couldn't this go my way?" and runs off. Youji notices that the cut Tetsuo received in the struggle is healing quickly, right before his eyes, and Tetsuo puts his hand behind his back to hide what's going on. I forgot how this scene ends, except that as the two are leaving school, Tetsuo the study-bot grabs Youji's arm and reminds him that they need to go study. Srsly.

Cut to Tetsuo's house. I don't remember how this comes about, but studying ain't what happens. ^^ The two end up making out on the bed, and while Youji thinks it's kind of weird, he actually enjoys it. YAY. So tired of Bad Stuff.

Next day, Youji goes to school and sees Zenya standing by the gate. He tries to avoid him, but Zenya whispers something as he passes that makes him freeze - "what happened to Mita is Youji's fault." Once Zenya has him, he goes on a bit about how Youji is bad luck to everyone and how everyone who gets close to him will go crazy. Youji has no idea what's up until he gets into class and everyone is gossiping about Makoto being in the hospital, and rumor has it that he took a ton of sleeping pills the night before. Youji, naturally, can't focus on anything in class, and he sends his sister a text message at lunch, asking if he can come talk to her RIGHT NOW. She writes back to say yes, and it's off to the hospital.

Youji's sister Erika looks a lot like him (just shorter and with boobies), and she's also frail, which is why she's still in the hospital after having her baby. It's a tender scene and there's a nice contrast between Erika, who is so warm and talkative, and Youji, aka Mr. I-Only-Grunt.

Of course, this game being what it is, there's a good deal of horror wrapped up in the scene as Erika tells Youji more about the car accident that killed their parents. A tired truck driver drifted into their lane and there was a high-speed head-on collision that completely destroyed the front of the car. Youji's aunt (I think) and both of his parents were killed, and it was literally a miracle that Youji lived. Why? Because his parents threw themselves on top of him to protect him, but all three were pierced by a steel bar from the truck frame and died instantly. Yes, all three of them. But somehow, Youji started breathing again on his own after being brought to the hospital, even though he had been pronounced dead at the scene.

Other oddness - Youji was covered in a substance that was very similar to blood, but wasn't. No one was able to figure out what it was. And Erika told Youji that their parents had told her many things when Youji was born, including that "everything changes" and to keep on taking care of each other no matter how much either of them change in the future. I think somewhere in this scene, Youji also remembers that his father had the ability to heal very quickly (just like Tetsuo) but he never thought it was weird because he believed that's how all adults were.

Spooky. Then they go peek at Erika's baby through the nursery window, and Youji finds out that it's a boy named Yuuji - the Yuu from her husband's name, and the Ji from Youji's name. Very sweet. Afterward, Youji returns to the lobby and is about to leave when he sees Kamiya exiting the hospital. He remembers that Kamiya was going to visit Makoto in the hospital and realizes that by chance, it was the same hospital as his sister. Back up the elevator to visit Makoto.

I absolutely loved this scene. Makoto is just so genuinely sad and confused, and tries to explain why he acted so strangely (an unusual scent that's been hanging about Youji recently), but he's just so vulnerable. Youji could have crushed his soul in an instant, and I have no doubt that Makoto would have found a way to succeed in killing himself. Youji's kindness and forgiveness in this scene made me tear up. Yes, I'm a sucker, but this was a GOOD scene. Youji promises to wait for Makoto to return to school so they can go back to old times (only better because Youji will open up to him more), and is about to leave the hospital when...

Kamiya approaches, and this time he's not playing Mr. Nice Teacher. He tells Youji to stay away from Makoto because he'll just end up causing problems for everyone who cares for him. We finally learn that the "nice scent" coming from his body is some sort of pheromone, that Youji is indeed the host to a "female" of the "inner presence," and that the funky bits he was leaving all over are a sign of being the host. Kamiya even tells him about the cult and urges Youji to come with him, because the cult will take good care of him - after all, he's what they've been looking for all this time. Youji thinks Kamiya is a total nut and dismisses his words, but he knows on some level that it's all true. He "needs to make sure" of something (my money's on Tetsuo and his corresponding "nice scent") and leaves the hospital.

Cut to Tetsuo's house. Youji enters without saying anything and the two go to Tetsuo's room. Youji starts telling the story of the accident and how he died, and mentions the hallucinations he's been having recently and how Tetsuo has seen some of them too (like the blood on his hand/neck). Tetsuo listens without saying anything, and when Youji finally asks him "what do you think of me?" we get a WTF answer of push Youji against the door and kiss him like no one's ever kissed before. Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially when Youji's returning the kiss like a champ. This is quite possibly the hottest description of kissing I've ever had the pleasure of reading. All that bitching about this game going into too much detail about walking down the hallway or describing Bad Scenes? I take it back. Except on the rape scenes. x.x

We also get this brilliant conversation:
Youji: What... am I?
Tetsuo: You're... mine.

NOM NOM NOM. At some point, Youji's poor body can't take the incredible hotness and his knees give out. To the bed for continued sexy time. Apparently Japanese school uniforms aren't well made because the buttons on Youji's shirt pop off pretty easily when Tetsuo tugs at it. Or maybe this is creative license. No one cares at this point. :9

Unfortunately, we had to stop here because this scene is long. REALLY long. And we just know it's going to go on to describe every detail of the good stuff, but people, I have to get up at 6am for work and I can't be crawling into bed at 1am after a scene like that. It was hard enough to get my brain to STFU after mere kissing and groping, ppl. ?

[Another break in the summary, though we've been playing pretty regularly...]

After the kissing, the predictable happens. :D Unfortunately, it's not as good as the kissing IMO because there's too much pain and forcefulness and an overarching sense of unwillingness. I don't like that sort of thing. I get much more enjoyment out of a story with passionate kissing and petting than I do out of a story with reluctant but hot woohoo.

And now I'm missing another chunk of story because it's all blending together in my head. *sigh* Let's skip ahead to the next thing I remember clearly, which is Kitani sneaking into the shrine in the basement of the Okinaga house early in the morning. He finds a large box that's just stuffed with all sorts of information on the cult, and he starts reading an old notebook that was written by Kunihito's uncle. He doesn't get too far before he's cracked over the head by someone who caught him there - fade to black.

Cut back to Youji in his apartment, the next morning. He's lazing about in bed and thinking back on sleeping with Tetsuo the day before. Despite the unpleasant way it was described, Youji's memories are fond and he's been feeling a strange sense of giddiness ever since coming home the night before. As he's enjoying his doze, his cell phone starts buzzing and he picks it up to find a text message from an unknown number. Come to the school. I'll tell you everything. Youji's sure it's a trap, but since he's a moron and the player has no control over him, doofdoof gets ready and heads out.

Back to Kitani, who wakes up groggy and cuffed to a doorknob in the living room. He checks his watch and finds that a whole day (?) has passed. That makes no sense, though - I think it's been 12 hours, not a whole day. Anyway, Zenya's there, babbling about how he's off to a party, and no, Kitani can't come, so be a good boy and take care of Christie (the iguana) for me, okay? Kitani asks to be released and insists on coming, but Zenya refuses and gives him a shot of a sedative (which is why he slept so long in the first place after being whacked on the head). Kitani fades out, but wakes up about an hour later with Christie on his shoulder. The key to the handcuffs is around the iguana's neck, and he frees himself and heads to the basement, hoping to find some clues that will tell him where Zenya and Kunihito went.

Now, I didn't tell you what Kitani read in the notebook before he was smacked in the head because I thought it would make more sense to do it all at once. PLZ to pay attention as the entire premise of the game is explained here, kthxbai. I'm going to summarize the information because going over it exactly as it was presented would take forever.

There are many souls in the world of people who were punished by god for blasphemy and other things... think flashy Old Testament punishments. These people have been cursed and are not allowed to take human form, so they're stuck as - you guessed it - blobs of flesh. These "people" are referred to as Them (karera). The leader of Them is called The Lord (onushi-sama), a rare creature that does have human form due to being a Purebreed. I'm a little sketchy on this part, but it seems that They can infect and take over human bodies, turning them into Male and Female of their race. Also, eating a bit of The Lord's flesh will cause a person to become infected. This infecting isn't really that important of a detail because it seems like most of the Males and Females are spontaneously born to human parents.

Basically, They are parasites that alter human bodies for the purpose of reproduction. The game calls them symbiotes but really, they're parasites. Anyway, almost all of the human hosts are Male; it's mentioned several times in the story that The Free People (this is the name of the cult) has been waiting decades for a Female to be born. The humans with a Male parasite heal quickly, and the higher the quality of the Male, the better the healing ability becomes. The Female has no special ability. Both Male and Female will release pheromones as they search for a partner. Once a potential mate appears, the Female will start releasing "signal flesh" - aka Youji's funky flesh bits. If the Female mates with a Male, then "seed flesh" will be released, and any human who eats it (yeah, gross) will become infected.

Finally, if a highly compatible Male and Female mate, there's a slim chance that a new Purebreed will be born... but if this happens, the parents will die. (I see what you did thar.) Tetsuo is a very high class Male who can heal like crazy, and the cult wants him to mate with Youji, the only Female to appear in decades. They're hoping for a new Purebreed to be born that can become another Lord of their cult. The mark of a Purebreed (pay attention, this is important!) is beautiful, blood-red eyes.

Alternately, sacrificing a Female to the current Lord will restore it to glory. See, the current Lord is a big ol' lump of flesh because pieces of it were eaten by way too many people. That's the thing Kunihito has been worshipping in the basement.

Got all that?

Kitani finds an old map of the cult's "holy place" in the notebook. Hmm, it's a map of the town! And hey, the school is circled! OMGZ. He puts Christie back in her tank and dashes off to his car.

Cut to the school... and back in time a bit. Youji heads in the front door and immediately notices something wrong - those funky flesh bits are everywhere, and they're after him! One lands on his head and covers his nose and mouth. He blacks out and wakes up a little later in the chemistry room. There's flesh bits all over, and they're surrounding him, even acting as ropes to hold him down. Eww. There's also a crazy old man in the room going on about how great it is that Youji's the Female, and how he should be honored to be sacrificed to The Lord. Youji understands the Female stuff, but has no idea about the other things man is ranting about. Oh, it's a good time to note that Youji and Tetsuo NEVER learn that the old man is Kunihito, aka Zenya's father.

Zenya shows up just as the clock strikes 5pm, and Kunihito urges him to hurry and kill Youji quickly, making his death as quick and painless as possible in thanks for making The Lord's revival possible. Zenya pulls out a butterfly knife and advances on Youji - only to turn around and stab his father in the gut. Repeatedly. Kunihito is shocked by the betrayal and collaspes, whimpering, as Zenya turns his attention to the block of meat he had been holding. He stabs The Lord and it pretty much explodes in a shower of blood. Whee! Now it's time to bother Youji. I forget exactly how the conversation goes, but just as Zenya has the knife pressed to Youji's throat, Tetsuo busts in.

Zenya and Tetsuo fight, though it's hardly fair as Tetsuo is unarmed. Tetsuo gets cut up a bit, and eventually Zenya backs him against a wall and drives the knife into his shoulder. Yow. Tetsuo stays calm and grabs the knife, tossing it away (the second time this mistake is made in this game, I'll have you know!), and lunges at Zenya. This is where we learn that Zenya is crazy and always in pain at 5pm because his body is not compatible with his parasite; he was fed a piece of the old rotting Lord by Kunihito when he was a child. He didn't ask for or want to be involved with the cult or this crazy parasite business.

At this point, it's not fair to call it a fight; he just beats the crap out of Zenya, to the point that Youji is terrified and tries to stop him. Tetsuo lets Zenya drop to the floor, but a moment later, Zenya is up with the knife in his hand and stabs Youji in the thigh. Tetsuo pulls the knife from Youji's leg (ow) and rams it into Zenya's gut. Zenya staggers over to the windows and collapses, pulling the curtain aside. The remains of The Lord and the various flesh bits start bubbling as if their blood is boiling in the sunlight. Ugh. Finally, Tetsuo grabs Youji's hand and they run for the exit.

The entire school is filled with Them, flesh bits everywhere, all ready to attack. The only way to go is up. Annnd I think we cut back to Kitani. Or maybe this first part was worked into the previous scene. My sense of scene order is a bit messed up here, but the story is intact. He's poking around the school, disturbed by the fleshy things, but they're not attacking him, and he heads for the courtyard. The school chapel is in the courtyard, and he's sure that it must the the "holy place" mentioned in the notebook. Thing is... there's nothing there. Well, crud.

Back to Youji and Tetsuo as they run up the stairs to the roof. Youji falls into a bit of a trance and They speak to him in his mind. The game's final three decisions are made one after another; as we're on the instinct path, all three choices are red. I can't remember all three questions, but two are:
- Do you understand our loneliness and despair, forced to live without human bodies?
- Do you accept us? (This is the last question and absolutely key - going with reason here gets a different ending.)

Youji returns to himself, and Tetsuo leads him up to the roof. The flesh bits are unable to follow, so they're safe... for now. There's a long, tender scene here as the two finally have a real conversation about who and what they really are. Cue a really pretty CG showing the two of them holding hands under the sunset. Tetsuo has known for a long time that he's different from other people and never got close to anyone because he felt like an outsider. He was drawn to Youji (remember all that staring?) because he had the same scent, and thought, maybe this person is like me. It wasn't long before Tetsuo worked out that something deeper was going on and that he felt possessive of Youji because of the Male/Female parasite thing going on. At first, his interest in Youji was purely based on that instinct, but that started to change as they spent more time together. Youji talks about his fear and... some other stuff I forgot. Sorry, my brain melted at some point during this scene because Tetsuo FINALLY said Youji's name, and he said it a bunch of times all sexylike. That totally did me in.

Back to Kitani. He heads to the old building and is drawn to the chemistry room. He's horrified by the scene before him and rushes to Kunihito's side, disgusted to find that some fleshy bits are trying to climb into the wound in his stomach. Ga-ross. It's obvious that Kunihito is beyond help, and Kitani's attention goes to a figure by the window - Zenya. Zenya is kneeling there, clutching a large flesh bit to himself, and he offers it to Kitani, calling it his child. (Ya really.) Kitani ignores it and holds Zenya up, demanding to know who attacked him and Kunihito. "Was it those two?" he asks, and Zenya nods, which is total BS but whatever. Zenya dies in Kitani's arms... very touching scene.

Kitani picks up his gun and heads out with a new mission - kill those parasitic bastards.

Back to the roof. Youji and Tetsuo are kissing under the sunset, with another nice CG of their shadows on the concrete. Just as they're feeling relieved, Kitani bursts through the door, gun ready. Tetsuo shoves Youji behind him, and there's some tense conversation before Kitani pulls the trigger and hits Tetsuo in the side. Tetsuo falls to his knees and Youji moves to stand before him. (Kitani, I think, isn't sure who is Male and who is Female, but earlier he reasoned that a gunshot should be enough to take out a Male because the bullet stays in the body. Or something. So he's not too concerned.) Kitani sneers at this display of protection and taunts Youji, asking if he's saying they want to die together.

Youji launches into some big long speech about wanting to survive (assuming red/instinct for the final decision) and how he and Tetsuo and They have been caught up in a bitter struggle for survival. It's unfortunate that Zenya and Kunihito had to die, but it was a case of "us vs. them" and it couldn't be helped. Kitani wavers a bit at this honest and passionate speech, but that's not what causes him to stop. No, that's Tetsuo getting back on his feet, STICKING HIS HAND IN HIS OWN SIDE, and pulling out the bullet. Plink on the concrete. Both Kitani and Youji are frozen, staring in horror.

Tetsuo doesn't waste the opportunity; he runs at Kitani, who is shocked by how fast he can move, and sucker punches him. Kitani goes down and the gun goes flying. Tetsuo grabs Youji's hand and they run through the school to the exit. None of Them get in the way, obviously satisfied that Youji has accepted them and spoken on their behalf in front of Kitani. Once they reach the gate, they realize that they're too messed up to take the train, so they steal Kunihito's car which is conveniently unlocked and has the key inside. They zoom back to Youji's apartment and head inside.

The apartment is full of Them too, but there's no malice. Youji and Tetsuo enter the bedroom and collapse on the bed, exhausted. Tetsuo doesn't seem to be recovering from his wound, and Youji's thigh hurts like hell now that he's not running for his life. In other words, it's the perfect time for mating! They get undressed, and Tetsuo's wound is covered with dark veins that seem to be holding it shut. Youji notices that dark lines are starting to rise on his own skin, as if in response to Tetsuo's veins. There's none of the nonsense pain or unwillingness like there was before; it's pure pleasure as the two come together, and yet... something strange is going on.

Strange as in getting stuck together. Yes, their bodies are melting into each other, literally. Neither seems to feel any fear; rather, they've accepted their fate as the hosts of Them and have become infinitely compatible through Youji's acceptance of Them. Youji feels "something like love" and is content to hold Tetsuo - not that he's physically able to let go. Youji and Tetsuo hold each other and talk quietly about eternity, finally deciding that there is no such thing as they lose consciousness.

Cut to Kitani arriving at the apartment and finding Them all over the hallway. He busts into the bedroom and is greeted by an odd sight - there's a large cocoon-like lump of flesh on the bed, and a damp, nude child lying on the floor beside the bed. (OMFG.) His first instinct is to shoot the boy, but something makes him pause and wonder if the boy is just another innocent victim caught up in the cult's game. Kitani gets closer and kneels beside the boy, finding him to be perfectly clean and spotless in the filthy room, just a bit damp. He decides to take the boy out of the apartment and lifts him in both arms, finding him to be lighter than expected. The boy finally stirs as Kitani carries him, raising his head and opening his eyes.

His beautiful red eyes.

THE END.