|Release||April 21, 2006|
RapeLay (レイプレイ Reipurei) is a 3D eroge video game made by Illusion, released on April 21, 2006 in Japan. Compared to Illusion's previous games, the main story is shorter, it features an improved 3D engine and is mainly played through mouse control. The game centers on a male character who stalks and rapes a mother and her two daughters. Three years after its initial release, the game garnered international attention and controversy for its content. Yoshimura Tei was arrested for obscenity charges. Similar to 2004 video game The Guy Game, the game was subsequently banned in several countries. This game could be only downloaded digitally in North America.
In story mode, the player rapes the three women in the order of Manaka, Yuuko, and Aoi. The player starts off in the train station. Upon entering the train, the main character gropes the woman the main character is currently in the train with. After the main character finishes raping all three women, the players has the option of free play scenes.
After being caught by Aoi groping a woman on a subway train, Masaya Kimura is arrested by authorities. On the morning of the next day, Aoi and her young sister Manaka help their mother Yuuko find a wallet she lost around their home while talking about the incident the previous day. Unknown to them, Kimura secretly eavesdrops on their conversation while waiting outside their house. It is revealed here that his father, a well known influential/important politician, managed to release him from custody. When Kimura discovers that Yuuko is widowed, he decided to put his revenge plan into action.
Kimura first starts with the youngest, Manaka. Following her to the subway, he gropes her on the train. After getting off the train, he traps her in a public bathroom and rapes her, taking pictures of her semen-covered naked body with his mobile phone. Kimura instructs Manaka to feign sickness the next day and stay in her room.
The next day he follows Yuuko, the mother, from her house to the train station where he fondles her on the train. Kimura follows her to the city park. As per his plan, Manaka calls Yuuko on her mobile phone, telling her that she is in the bushes at the park. When Yuuko walks towards the bushes, Kimura ambushes her, ties her up and rapes her in the park. He takes pictures of her semen-covered naked body before handing her over to his gang of henchmen on the side, who detain her for him.
The third day he follows Aoi, the eldest daughter, to the train station and shows her the photo of her tied up mother. Shocked, she can only follow his orders as he gropes her on the train. After getting off the train, she asks Kimura why he is doing this, at which point she remembers he is the same groper whom she reported for molesting a woman. Getting in a vehicle, Kimura and his henchmen take Aoi to a hotel owned by his family. He violently rapes her in a mini-suite room and takes photos after withdrawing.
After having his way with Aoi, Yuuko and Manaka are taken into the room via a secret door. With all 3 captured, Kimura reveals his plans to make them his sex slaves. Yuuko tries to cover for her daughters and pleads with him to take her instead. He considers this and tells Yuuko he might spare her daughters if she can prove her worth. Yuuko gives him a very long blowjob while her two daughters watch. When Kimura seems pleased at her performance, Yuuko thinks she has won her daughters' freedom. Instead, Kimura reveals that he will never change his mind and that they are all there to stay. Yuuko breaks down in the end, Manaka breaks next and finally Aoi as well. The game ends with the ominous title card that as a new day starts the Kiryu family horror has 'only just begun'.
The game is open-ended and there are two possible outcomes to the game where the main character dies.
- Black Ending – Kimura impregnates either Manaka or Aoi and decides to keep the child. After a certain number of days afterwards, Kimura falls onto the train tracks and is killed by a moving train. This ending is avoidable when a girl gets pregnant, at some point, the game asks the player whether he/she wishes the girl to have an abortion. If the player selects "no", the black ending will play.
- Red ending – If the cowgirl position is used with Aoi before she breaks, the game will shift onto a scene of the same cowgirl session where Aoi brandishes a knife and stabs Kimura many times while hysterically laughing. The scene goes black, where a voice-over of Aoi is heard. The epilogue then reveals Aoi's fate as she is being held questioned by the police for Kimura's death.
- Masaya Kimura (鬼村 将哉 Kimura Masaya) – The main playable character. Masaya is the son of an influential politician who becomes a chikan that stalks and subsequently rapes the Kiryū family after his release from prison. He never speaks in the game and his dialogue and lines are only through typed narrations before and after rape game sessions.
- Manaka Kiryū (桐生 愛花 Kiryū Manaka) – the younger of the two Kiryu sisters who has short black hair and wears a blue dress. The player can make her wear cat ears so she can meow and/or produce cat noises. Voiced by Natsumi Yanase (credited as "Izumi Maki").
- Aoi Kiryū (桐生 蒼 Kiryū Aoi) – the eldest of the two Kiryu sisters who is a brunette girl with long hair and wears a schoolgirl uniform. The player may choose to have her hair in a ponytail (default setting) or down and free-flowing. Voiced by Mao Enokizu.
- Yūko Kiryū (桐生 夕子 Kiryū Yūko) – the widowed mother of the two sisters. Yuko is a brown-haired woman with short hair who wears a green top and a beige skirt. Yūko also has the largest breasts and optionally can wear glasses to make her produce virgin/geek sound effects. Voiced by Akari Tomiyama (credited as "Kaori").
Reception and controversy
Critics of violent game imagery, such as British Member of Parliament Keith Vaz, have cited games involving rape as an example of why video game content needs to be more strictly regulated, and Yoshimura Tei was arrested and charged with obscenity. RapeLay in particular had come to Vaz's attention in 2009, three years after its initial release, as being one of the rape games purchasable on Amazon.com, despite not being officially distributed nor supported outside of Japan, and he vowed to bring the issue into the British Parliament to prevent the game from being sold. Amazon subsequently removed the game from its website. Equality Now followed up on the game, urging activists to write to Illusion and then-Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso in protest, arguing the game breaches Japan's obligations under the 1985 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. In May 2009, these actions culminated in the restriction of the sale and production of RapeLay by the Ethics Organization of Computer Software (EOCS), an independent Japanese ratings organization for adult games, making the purchase of the game impossible.
The distribution of RapeLay has been banned in Australia due to a campaign run by Women's Forum Australia, under the directorship of Melinda Tankard Reist.[non-primary source needed] Former Minister for Broadband Stephen Conroy wanted Google Australia to censor search results for downloads of the game, but this did not occur. The game is also the only one to be effectively banned in Argentina. Citing RapeLay as an example, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, in his concurring opinion vis-à-vis the case Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association wrote, "It...appears that there is no antisocial theme too base for some in the video-game industry to exploit."
Articles in defence have also been written, many noting that rape is a lesser crime compared to murder, yet there are thousands of legal video games in which the goal is to kill enemies. Illusion's response to the controversy was one of bewilderment and a reiteration that the game passed Japanese laws and is not sold outside Japan. Illusion later removed references to the game from their website and ceased distribution of the game, citing concerns over the impact on the industry.
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