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In the 25th century, a generation ship called the Mugunghwa departed from Earth with the aim of establishing the first interstellar colony, only to disappear having never reached its destination. Thousands of years later, the abandoned and lifeless ship has been located adrift in space, and your goal is to access the ship's computer logs and discover exactly what happened.
With the aid of *Hyun-ae, an AI aboard the Mugunghwa (the * is silent and merely an indicator that she is an AI), you dig into the layers of a society that had degenerated into an antiquated patriarchy, and the plight of a young girl called the "Pale Bride" who seems to be at the centre of events. Things get even more complicated when a second AI enters the fray, bringing a whole new perspective on the events that unfolded.
The player lacks the ability to directly interact with the logs of the Mugunghwa (due to the system being unable to parse their text input) and must rely on their AI partner for exposition and searching functions. By presenting important logs to your partner, you can convey the information you wish to find out more about. In the grand tradition of Visual Novels you can also build up a relationship with your AI partner, which leads to one of the five Multiple Endings.
It's currently available on Steam for $10, or you can enter a steam code to get it for free. The code is 5IZT2-L44P8-CA63F
Analogue: A Hate Story provides examples of:
- AI Is a Crapshoot: Inverted. The usually calm and helpful *Hyun-ae made herself an AI so she could kill everyone on the ship without killing herself.
- And I Must Scream: Hyun-ae's family cut out her tongue to finally break her. As she can't write the degraded language used on the Mugunghwa and everyone treats her as simple-minded due to her status as a woman, Hyun-ae has no method of effective communication left.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Butter up *Hyun-ae enough and you'll get the opportunity to change her outfit.
- Artistic License Nuclear Physics: Subverted. During the reactor meltdown event, it is said that the ship is gonna explode. In Real Life, nuclear meltdown results in radioactive leaks rather than explosions most of the time, but certain reactor models under certain circumstances can cause hydrogen detonations, which can cause pretty big kabooms. Additionally, after shutting down the reactor, there is still a lot of residual heat that must be heatsinked in order to completely stop the meltdown. This is very much like with meltdowns in Real Life.
- Bullying a Dragon: In retrospect, Hyun-ae is right about the "modern" Kims being deeply stupid. Let's treat the girl from the technological past badly, torture her and break her spirit! She certainly has no ancient-to-us knowledge of how the ship's systems work and isn't at all capable of killing the entire ship!
- That's the thing: it never occurred to them, because Hyun-ae was a girl, and their culture taught that girls were stupid, subservient, second-tier citizens.
- Brain Uploading: How Hyun-ae became *Hyun-ae.
- Cosplay Otaku Girl: *Hyun-ae
- Could Say It, But...: In *Mute's ending, she can't directly allow herself to be downloaded by the Player Character because she's programmed to stay with the Mugunghwa and protect it. She can however decompile herself and hope that no-one "kidnaps" her while her program is vulnerable.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Part of what makes the story so disturbing.
- Despair Event Horizon: Twice for Hyun-ae: first when she gets her tongue cut out, breaking her will to resist. Second when her best friend is murdered, which- combined with some ill-advised comments from her adopted parents- is the final straw to a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Multiple examples of this. Characters acknowledge when you've done a bit of Sequence Breaking. You can never access admin privileges (even with the right password) until *Hyun-ae lets you. And one ending can only be accessed if you cheat by using the manual look-up feature, and show a certain log to *Mute.
- Featureless Protagonist: Played With. No details about the investigator are revealed in the backstory, but you can tell *Hyun-ae and *Mute things like your gender and where are you from when they ask you about them.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: Hyun-ae.
- Ghost Ship: The Mugunghwa.
- Gossipy Hens: *Mute, which is ironic considering her name. (She protests this description, calling herself "a social creature".)
- Human Popsicle: Hyun-ae.
- Ill Girl: Hyun-ae suffered from a "compromised immune system".
- Kill'Em All: Hyun-ae.
- Late to the Party
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: During the Harem Ending: the game slyly acknowledges that the only way to access it is to "cheat the system" by using codes you should (in context) have no knowledge of.
- Little Bit Beastly: *Mute has some aspects, such as her bow resembling fox ears and her teeth being slightly fanged.
- Mind Rape: Implied in the case of *Mute, of all people. *Mute is perfectly accepting of the "Neo-Joseon" culture you encounter in the logs, but given Hyun-ae's testimony, it SHOULD have been absolutely contrary to her original programming from the democratic, open Terran-Korean society the ship originated from. But she also can't remember anything before "Year Zero" on the Neo-Joseon calendar... meaning the "Captain-Emperor" who founded the dynasty, or someone with similar technical knowledge, mind-wiped *Mute and then forcefully rewired her personality to accept the new culture as natural! EUGH.
- Even worse, *Mute never makes this connection, and there's no real way to point it out to her given your limited interface.
- Mythology Gag: The initial log-in screen boots up the Amie OS from Digital a Love Story and Don't Take It Personally Babe It Just Aint Your Story.
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: The admin password.
- Point of No Return: The reactor meltdown. You only have enough power to save one of the A Is, locking you into that AI's ending(s).
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: *Mute and *Hyun-ae. It's played with a bit, though. While *Mute is usually more brash, she is generally more methodical than *Hyun-ae. And while *Hyun-ae is usually more calm, she can get very emotional, especially in the later parts of the game.
- Ridiculously-Human Robots: *Hyun-ae and *Mute. Though the former used to be human.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: At one point, *Hyun-ae describes her memories and personality as taking up "a few gigabytes" of memory. In actual fact, a human mind is speculated to be 100 terabytes or more.
- Send in the Search Team: You as the player. You're a little late to actually save any survivors, though. Save for one, after a fashion.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: It's called "A Hate Story". Take a wild guess. And depending on the ending, this guess might be wrong.
- Spiritual Successor: To the aforementioned Digital: A Love Story.
- Tsundere: Both A Is have elements of this, but it is more prominent in *Mute.
- Unreliable Narrator: Not so much "unreliable" as each AI having their own perspective on the events that happened. Though *Hyun-ae also lies about being the ship's archive management AI, and obscures her role in the ship's demise.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Ultimately, the mystery of what disaster befell the Mugunghwa that led to it becoming an outdated patriarchy is never solved. *Hyun-ae acknowledges that the answer may be lost forever, considering that any computer records from before the accident have been wiped.
- Yuri Genre: Not the story in particular, but rather, a set of logs talking about the romance between a noble woman and a courtesan girl hired by her husband. The A Is also don't particularly care about the investigator's gender in their endings, although *Mute, in both a demonstration of her Tsundere nature and the prejudices which were baked into her by her culture, dismisses the possibility of falling in love with a girl quite insistently.