North American boxart
|Genre(s)||Adventure, Visual novel|
Lux-Pain (ルクス・ペイン Rukusu・Pein?) is a visual novel-type adventure video game developed by Killaware and published by Marvelous Entertainment for the Nintendo DS video game console. The game was released in Japan on March 27, 2008. It was published in North America by Ignition Entertainment on March 24, 2009, and in Europe by Rising Star Games on March 27, 2009.
This game is mostly a visual novel, but there are a few new techniques specific for the DS. When using Lux-Pain, the player 'digs' into their surroundings using the stylus and touch screen. The player can also 'dig' into people's feelings and emotions to find worms, or deep emotions. However, if the player digs in too long and is unable to erase the worms that surround the person, the person's mind becomes corrupt and it becomes game over for the player. The game also ends if you lose a battle against one of the Silent. However, in some cases, if you lose against a Silent (mainly in boss battles) you are able to retry.
Lux-Pain is set in the historical Kisaragi City, a town plagued by mysteries from small mishaps to murders - with no logical explanation as to why these events occur. It seems "Silent", a worm born through hate and sadness, has infected humans and forced them to commit atrocious crimes. Atsuki's parents are the victim of such crimes. To avenge his parents, Atsuki goes through a dangerous operation to acquire Lux-Pain in his left arm, a power so strong that it turns his right eye golden when using it to seek and destroy Silent for good. In this game, however, there is a strong difference between Silent and worms. Worms are a sort of offspring created by Silent that are transferred to anyone who comes in contact with the host of the specific Silent. Worms are much weaker than Silent and are eliminated after simply finding them with the stylus and pressing on them for several seconds. Silent are considered the bosses of the game and though you face many smaller Silent they slowly show the larger Silent who is much stronger. After the first 10 "episodes" you face the first true Silent. This Silent is caused by the emotions of a deceased 12-year-old girl whose parents left for dead in her room. Though not mentioned specifically there are over 685 known Silent and you start with the 683rd.
- Atsuki Saijo (西条アツキ)
- Atsuki, the main character in Lux-Pain, has survived alone after his parents died. Having "Σ" transplanted in an operation that few survive, Atsuki revived with sparkling black eyes to destroy "Silent". He has a special power of Σ with which he can feel the invisible world to find the existence of darkness. He wears a black contact lens on his right eye because it shines gold at the expense of getting his power. The power of Lux-Pain is kept in his left arm. During the game, Atsuki stays as a highschool student in the local school. He is voiced by Mamoru Miyano in Japanese and Jason Liebrecht in English.
- Ray Platière (レイ・プラティエール)
- A former member of PHALANX years ago and also the founder of FORT. He is one of the government personnel brought in when there was confusion on the slaughter in the official residence, 10 years ago. Not only did he prove the existence of "Silent", but he also resolved the murder. Taking this opportunity, the government established the organization known as FORT, or the Force for Obliteration of the Risk of Terrors, with the fight against "Silent" as its most significant issue. He is voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa in Japanese and J. Michael Tatum in English.
- Liu Yee (劉毅/リュウ・イー)
- He belongs to FORT. ALthough he seems to be skinny, he is an expert in kung-fu and has a well-trained body. Liu Yee has the power of "Σ erase", which is different from Atsuki's. He is a pessimist and goes his own way. He values one's own experiences over ideals. He is voiced by Takehito Koyasu in Japanese and Christopher R Sabat in English.
- Natsuki Venefskuja (ナツキ・ヴェネフスカヤ)
- She assists Atsuki and the other members in FORT. Natsuki also got a Σ transplant, and has the power to detect Shinen in distant places. She is voiced by Minori Chihara in Japanese and Monica Rial in English.
- Nöla Döbereiner (ノーラ・デーベライナー)
- Nöla is also a member of FORT and supports the main character. Her main role is to assist in gathering information or investigating "Silent". She is calm and theoretical. She is voiced by Eri Kitamura in Japanese and Colleen Clinkenbeard in English.
- Mika Nozaki (野崎ミカ)
- One of Atsuki's classmates. She has short, bright blue hair and large blue eyes. She is headstrong and independent, and she works as a journalist for the local newstation and shows great potential. She is childhood friends with Rui Yamase, Akira Mido and Ryo Unami. Often becomes the target of Silent infectees. She is voiced by Mikako Takahashi in Japanese and Kate Oxley in English.
- Nami Kamishiro (神代ナミ)
- Yayoi Kamishiro's little sister. She is short, and has long auburn hair. She is the first character Atsuki sees and a telepath who is aware of Atsuki's powers and has the power to talk to animals. A dog named Melody always accompanies her. She is voiced by Mamiko Noto in Japanese and Cherami Leigh in English.
- Rui Yamase (山瀬ルイ)
- Rui is one of Atsuki's classmates. She is tanned and has curly, blonde hair. She is a telepath and works as a fortune teller, assisted by her power to see a person's future. She refuses to tell her friends' fortunes because she fears that she will see their death. She is voiced by Kaori Nazuka in Japanese and Brina Palencia in English.
- Ryo Unami (宇波リョウ)
- One of Atsuki's classmates. His friendly personality is often overtaken by his love for: learning, history, philosophy, books and reading. He has wavy blue hair and round glasses. He manages a bookstore that was inherited from his father and is a neighbor right next door to the building Atsuki lives in. His best friend is Hibiki Kiryu. He is voiced by Naoki Koshida in Japanese and Todd Haberkorn in English.
- Yayoi Kamishiro (神代ヤヨイ)
- One of Atsuki's classmates. The information on her keeps stating that Atsuki thinks she is pretty. She has long, straight auburn hair. She is often found in the school art room painting alone. Despite her calm demeanor, she is a very lonely girl that is jealous of her younger sister's personality and wishes to be spoiled. She is voiced by Atsuko Enomoto in Japanese and Monica Rial in English.
- Yui Yamase (山瀬ユイ)
- A detective in Kisaragi Police Force. She is Rui Yamase's older sister. She has the largest bust of the character span, and gets drunk a lot with her friend Mako. Her reason for becoming a cop is different than Mako's in which she joined to follow in her father's footsteps. She is voiced by Masumi Asano in Japanese and Colleen Clinkenbeard in English.
- Shinji Naruse (成瀬シンジ)
- Atsuki's classmate. He has messy purple hair and is good with computers. At first glance, he appears spoiled because he gets away with truancy, hacking and insulting the teachers but that is not the case. He is voiced by Tsubasa Yonaga in Japanese and Greg Ayres in English.
- Akira Mido (御堂アキラ)
- Atsuki's classmate. He is a martial artist who holds the ideals of Bushido. He has green hair. His father, Kenichi, owns the restaurant called Sweet Ring, which is known for its low fat and delicious sweets. He is not in good terms with his father due to the fact he blames him for his mother's death due to him leaving them and going overseas in Paris to learn pastry from a famous French baker. He later on gets over this idea, and builds a better relationship with Kenichi and often assists his shop. He is voiced by Yuichi Nakamura in Japanese and Robert McCollum in English.
- Hibiki Kiryu (桐生ヒビキ)
- Atsuki's classmate. He comes back to Kisaragi School halfway through the game after studying aboard. A telepath who also has Σ powers like Atsuki. He has cyan colored hair. He is best friends with Ryo Unami and constantly worries for him. His caretaker is the nurse Honoka Hino. He is voiced by Kenji Nojima in Japanese and Eric Vale in English.
- Arthur Mays (アーサー・メイズ)
- The art teacher at Kisaragi High School. He is recognizable with his blonde hair and polite manner. He is suspected of having the Original Silent which is later proven false. He is voiced by Kazutoshi Hatano in Japanese and J. Michael Tatum in English.
- Graham Miller (グレアム・ミラー)
- A mysterious CIA agent who infiltrates Kisaragi as a spy, he is a telepath with powerful Σ abilities. Whoever talks to him has a change in personality later on. It is later revealed that he is the main antagonist in the game who is after Rui and Nami's powers. He manages to capture Nami but is later defeated by Atsuki in the final battle. He is voiced by Showtaro Morikubo in Japanese and John Burgmeier in English.
- Edward Steiner (エドワード・スタイナー)
- An old man that owns Kisaragi's AMS Bank. He is also a famous writer who published the book Phantom. Hibiki met him during his study aboard. It is later revealed he is the leader of the group PHALANX that aims to live cooperatively with Silent. He kills Reiji Takano and nearly destroys Shinji's mind but is later defeated by Atsuki and his mind crushed by Liu Yee. He is voiced by Banjō Ginga in Japanese and Bill Jenkins in English.
- Lil (リル)
- A little girl that Arthur Mays met on Rainbow Hill about one year prior to the game. She was the reason why Arthur changed his style of painting, but is also the reason why he got infected with "Silent". She is the Original Silent that Ray names The Voice of Eternity. She is voiced by Asami Imai in Japanese and Brina Palencia in English.
- Meilin Fu
- A 22-year-old Chinese woman who is into cosplay, and owns a shop called Pumpkin Witch. She becomes affectionate towards Atsuki if you manage not to annoy her. She has the ability to quickly change her Shinen, so she may or may not be a telepath.
- Mako Ando
- Loved by everyone in Kisaragi, she is a kind detective who is known for often being clumsy. She's been Yui's best friend from highschool and all the way through college. Has been known to eat excessive amounts of cake. While Mako is searching for the Kisaragi serial killer, she gets fatally stabbed while trying to save Mika Nozaki from an attacker. Even after her death, everyone still misses her dearly.
- Kyosuke Kagami
- He's a 26-year-old private investigator. He is a strange man and often suddenly changes the way he talks. He wears a big hood and strange clothes, which is apparently his policy. He is later found dead while investigating a case on someone who goes by the username "Plus" on BBS who mysteriously disappears.
- Tomoyo Hirooka
- A heavyset lady who has a thing for money and pretty young boys. She is the caretaker of the Kisaragi City Civic Hall. She wears strange clothes and only sees men as objects.
- Yuzi Okura
- Owner of the internet cafe YUZI. Has bad business sense, and frequently renovates his shop. He is seen as very abnormal, has flicky blonde and brown hair and a strange-looking hoodie.
- Shigeru Enokida
- He's the manager of the Kisaragi post office and owns a small idol called Kee-chan that sits in his front pocket. He is often seen in conversation with the clay doll and claims that Kee-chan has magical powers. He looks after Melody and adores Nami dearly and is a very kind old man but gets seriously angry when someone is being mean to Kee-chan or Nami.
- Aoi Matusura
- A language teacher at Kisaragi High School who is extremely strict but also very cute. She really cares for her students and is often seen getting very worried for Shinji Naruse. She is also seen shouting at or chasing Reiji Takano around when he skips work or brings in his invention to find Odo. She is secretly in love with Takano and wishes she could be more like him.
- Reiji Takano
- A history teacher at Kisaragi High School. He is often seen walking around with his Odo-measuring machine. During class he is easily distracted and often babbles on about other things like his ideology, rather than teaching history. He is often told off by Ryo and Aoi. Later on his body is discovered in Chitose Pond after a mysterious extended absence from work.
- Honoka Hino
- Kisaragi High School's nurse. She has short orange hair in a pony tail. She is a good counselor but has a rough way of speaking. She loves cake and used to work at the hospital but sometimes assists over there. She's a very fun-loving character and cares a lot about her students, especially Hibiki Kiryu, and acts as his guardian. Later on she questions the purpose of life and is overcome with emotions of sadness and death and believes she lied to her patients when she says that they have a purpose in life and that it will be alright. One day at the Kisaragi Hospital, she goes crazy and stabs her patients, killing 4 and injuring 3. After she has been apprehended by police officers, she attempts to attack them and is shot and killed.
- However around Chapter 16 to 18 if you manage to talk to her in all of her events and remove her silent she'll not became crazy and still alive.
- Sayuri Makino
- A Kisaragi High School student. She is a great student but has problems speaking to people that she does not feel close to. She likes the shop Pumpkin Witch, anime, games and birds. She is often seen in the PC Room with Shinji Naruse.
- Razzly Portman
- A fashionable journalist and newscaster at Seagull, and a good friend of Mika Nozaki. She seems nice but is also strong-willed. A powerful woman.
- Kenichi Mido
- The owner and baker of the pastry shop Sweet Ring and Akira's father. He's very close with Mika and initially ignores his son. He often gets into fights with Akira but deep down he cares dearly for him.
- Ai Handa
- A college student who works part time at Tohodo while Ryo is at school. She is often bossing Ryo around, and has no interest in old literature which makes Ryo wonder why she works there. She's very cute, wears an apron and has her green hair up in a clip.
- Tomo K.
- An elementary student and a classmate of Nami's. His abnormal behavior due to Silent infection reflects on not seeing Nami. After Atsuki removes the Silent, Tomo becomes a telepath and is able to read minds. He later helps Rui hide when Graham controls the town to believe that Nami and Rui are witches.
- Kei Tono
- A 12-year-old boy that appears out nowhere and tells Rui that people are coming to kill her. He moves in with Rui and swears he will protect her. He has silver hair and has intense eyes. At first, Mika tries desperately to search for him as she believes he's Rui's true love. Kei is actually a part of Atsuki's soul who was separated from him when Rui tried to read Atsuki's fortune.
Lux-Pain was developed by a team of ten individuals at Killaware, which was founded by former Atlus members Takeo Higashino and Kazuhiro Yamao. The game took a full 14 months to develop from start to finish. Higashino describes the plot as being "dark," and states that social problems such as truancy, group suicide, mental abuse on the internet, and cruelty to animals inspired him to create the game. He states, "I think this game is a kind of 'antithesis' against the distortion of the current education or the recent crimes that occur amongst young people." Lux-Pain was translated internally at Killaware, but the Japanese voice acting was replaced for its localizations.
The soundtrack for Lux-Pain was composed by Kenji Ito and Yasuyuki Suzuki. It was released in Japan April 23, 2008. A CD featuring two vocal songs from the game ("Holding the Holy Pain" and "On/Off") sung by Yoko Takahashi was released on March 12, 2008. Two pre-order bonuses were included with the game with its release in Japan. They include Lux-Sound, a set of pre-arranged songs from the game's soundtrack along with a drama track; and Lux-Paint, an artbook.
Lux-Pain has not received much praise, with current aggregate Game Rankings and Metacritic scores of 51 out of 100. Its localization was almost universally mentioned as being poor, with Austin Shau's GameSpot review noting that it "makes the story harder to follow than it should be," and "results in too much unintentional humor to take any of Lux-Pain's commentary seriously." The review expresses disappointment over the notion that what could have been a "poignant experience" is ruined by its failure "to deliver on the most basic element of a novel-style adventure," referring to its apparent poor writing. Daemon Hatfield of IGN remarked, "This graphic adventure doesn't make any sense, and all players are allowed to do is clumsily poke at static scenes and wade through endless pages of poorly-translated dialogue." Modojo's Robert Falcon pans the game entirely, calling the characters "useless."
The Daily Telegraph online gave a more favorable review, though writer Chris Schilling also mentions the game's "wonky localisation, with grammatical oddities ranging from female characters being referred to as ‘he’ to confusion over whether the setting is Japan or America." He does opine that while "you’d presume those issues would be difficult to overlook ... developer Killaware has crafted a world you’ll find ... difficult to pull yourself out of" and praises its "genuninely interesting themes – the kind most gamers are afraid to approach."
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