Trivia and the Denpa-esque that Wasn't

Hi! This is shino, the director, scenario writer, and character designer for Lachesis ∨ Atropos.

Following the postmortem, which ended up longer than I expected, I'd like to talk about the story, world, and inspirations of the game.

Please be warned that there will be spoilers ahead.
Do not read this unless you have completed all of the major endings of the game or do not care about spoilers.


Why did I choose to write this game? And what stories were it born from? This is the story of Mana, Towa, and Shiki.

Idea Origins

There are two types of people in this world: the ones who have too many ideas, and the ones who don't. Incidentally, I fall in the former category. 

Always having lots of ideas and not enough brain cells to flesh them out, not to mention time, choosing a story idea to create is an endeavor.

If I dig into my files from two years ago, I find the following snippet in my Fall 2019~Summer 2020 ideas document:

The String is Black
The red string of fate doesn't exist, but I can see the black string of hatred.
The girl over there. It looks as if her neck will snap off like that of a broken doll. So many strings. Strangling her. Why? I wonder.
And it seems she hates me for some reason.

I have many story ideas that have stuck around for a few years and changed over time. 

I can't say if this is the starting point for Lachesis ∨ Atropos, but it does share an important point! Namely, the black strings of hate.

What a different story.

Perhaps if our detective and Shiki met at a different time. If Mana and Towa met at a different time. In a time, in a world that never happened, could this story take place? I think it would be interesting, but... it wouldn't happen if both twins are still alive.

This story never happened because Lachesis ∨ Atropos did.

Is that a happy thing?

Fun fact: Who is the Red Queen's initial scrappy notes originated in that same Fall 2019~Summer 2020 document!

One way or another, a story about black strings made its way into this year's idea document. Pieces were torn from it. Pieces were added to it.

And our Lachesis ∨ Atropos was born.

For the selection of which game I'd write for Spooktober this year, Lachesis ∨ Atropos won out over the following:

  1. Japanese mythology mermaid cannibalism game
  2. Chinese setting chuuni zombie game

Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a cannibalism theme?

Denpa (My Fleeting Delusion)

Originally describing the game, I called Lachesis ∨ Atropos a "denpa-esque" story.

What is denpa? 

I wouldn't be able to give a satisfying answer, so I won't bother to answer. Only, I'll state that Lachesis ∨ Atropos is not a denpa game. Slightly disappointing.

I wondered what I was seeing, imagining, at that time when I said that this game would be denpa-esque.

I made the statement before the outline was done, so perhaps the rush of outlining caused some details to fall to the wayside.

To be fair, t-there's a cult?

I'd like to read more denpa games and write something denpa one day, but for now I'll put down that pen and wait for the right story to hit.

(I'm still stopped at the End of Summer ending in Subahibi... I have to prepare my heart...)

If you want to read denpa yuri, please go check out Soundless!

On a tangentially related note, I happened to reread my favorite Liar-soft game, Shikkoku no Sharnoth, only a few weeks before August this year. For folks who are familiar with the Steampunk series, I did not intentionally write Sharnoth fanfiction this time!

Apparently it just seeps into my brain...

Golden eyes? That... was not intentionally a reference to the Steampunk series. 

The dialogue option that led to mentions of fairy eyes were however one!

And after seeing the monster references I passed Akua, my girlfriend told me that I "was just giving her Sharnoth pics." (This is slander!) Apparently I have Sharnoth brainrot.

Keeper's dialogue also channeled a bit of Baron Munchausen and Kotomine. Alas, we don't get to see too much of Keeper in the game, so she is forever mysterious...

Character Trivia

On another visual novel related note, Shiki's name isn't a reference to Tsukihime.

Although you can almost actually get all of how everyone's names are spelled from the game, here's the relevant kanji anyhow!

Shirasagi Mana白鷺愛
Mikami Itoha三神糸羽
Mikami Towa三神遠永
Mikami Shiki三神糸希

Mana's name can also be read as "Ai," but I chose to go with Mana. I think it suits her a bit better. Her name is also a reference to my oshimen from a now rebranded idol group.

Itoha's name was mostly chosen for the "string" (糸) character. Similarly with Shiki! 

Originally one of the two could have been called Kei, but I chose not to go with such a heavy reference to Akaiito.

Now for an actual AkaAo reference, Mana's beloved mentor Shoko's name is a reference to the protagonist of Aoishiro!

It's an extremely good game!

Along with one of the previously mentioned Akaiito, SUCCESS is releasing a remaster of Aoishiro that includes an English language option in 2023. I hope you'll check it out and enjoy the game that's in my top three visual novels as of right now.

(Incidentally, Soundless and Sharnoth are also in my tops)

Q. What was 三神 (Mikami) previously?

A. 見神


Moving on from the inspirations, I'd like to talk about the story itself—the parts that made it in and the parts that didn't.

Content Warning: All topics from the game itself are fair game, mentions of teenage pregnancy, unwilling pregnancy

Structure and Scene Cuts

The initial structure of the routes was as follows:

  1. Lachesis
  2. Atropos
  3. Parca (true route)

As you may have noticed after playing the game, we did not end up with that structure of routes. In fact, no endings are locked behind getting other endings!

What exactly are these old routes about?

  1. Lachesis - The string mender. Matching with Shiki's role in the story. This would have been Shiki's route. In this, Towa is guaranteed to die. In other words, we can consider this to be an older variant of Shiki's bad end.
  2. Atropos - The string cutter. Matching with Towa's role in the story. This would have been Towa's route. Similarly, Shiki would be guaranteed to die, a variant of Towa's bad end.
  3. Parca - The Roman name for the Fates. A true route unlocked after clearing the previous two. Everyone lives, but they trigger a calamity and must stop it.

If we were to compare Parca's ending to anything, it would be Towa's route. Calamity, the Stringless God, depending on how you go about in Towa's route, you may fail to stop the Stringless God from entering the shining world.

In order to manage the scope of the game, the Parca ending was distributed across Towa and Shiki's routes, which were split into two endings each.

As a result, we lose some info on Parca, the demons, and the angels, but we get more gay! GIRLS KISSING!

To address some interesting points:

Q. Can the twins "birth" monsters as well?

A. Yes. The demons can be born from both of them. 

In the correct situation, there is the possibility of angels being born from the remnants of their souls as well. 

They are girls who are messing with the natural order of the world by touching strings. They are girls born outside of the natural order of the world.

Towa falls to the ground like a puppet with her strings cut, her pretty golden eyes empty. Tearing open her back like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, a monster bursts out, dripping with her blood. Yet it speaks with her voice and asks me...

"Why... why are you afraid of me?"

A tragic scene that we were able to avoid. After all, the monsters can speak.

Q. What are the angels?

A. An antivirus program for the world.

Automated existences, they respond to when humans lose all strings for some reason or another and "crush" the bugs. They do not account for the Stringless God's actions of planting the eggs of demons in the future-dead.

In a sense, the Stringless God is saving these lives...

Q. What are the strings in the context of the demons and angels?

A. The protective layer of the soul.

Emotions are like the immune response mechanism against the cancer of the soul. While cutting all strings may in fact give some sort of freedom from a higher puppet master, it matters little when the end result is death.

The demons are born from the remnants of human souls.

All children require sustenance.

Q. What is the Stringless God?

A. P̷͖̩̈́̅͐͆̽͒́͌͒͋̾̑̎͝͝ͅą̴̪̦͓̦͉͉̫̱͍̉͋́̅̅͂͋͐̋̉̕ṙ̸̬̮̲̹̦̰̜̲͉͉̯̺̜͉͎̏̍̎̓c̴̱͊̈́̆́̈̊̀̈́̈́̕͠a̷͍͉͓̘̹̩͖͉̼̜̅̓̀̅̏͠͝ͅ

Mikami Itoha

Regarding Mikami Itoha, although a very important character to the plot, she is filled with unknowns up to the end.

Is the Mikami Itoha we see truly the woman who Shoko loved?

She was a receptacle for Keeper's plans, both for the birth of the two priestesses and for the manifestation of the Stringless God.

She was a person who wanted to become a person but was never treated as such by the people closest to her—not by her father, not by Keeper, not by her daughters that she didn't care for.

Mikami Itoha was always a bit of stoic one, so the underclassman Shoko would have had to be the one chasing. They became close, but Shoko left for Teito in the end.

The birth of Towa and Shiki caused a chasm between Itoha and Shoko.

No one but the Mikami family head and Keeper were aware of the unnatural pregnancy. As Itoha had always been rather sickly, it was easy to hide her away from everyone and everything during that period.

Thus for Shoko who wasn't aware why Itoha refused to see her, she could only think:

"She abandoned me."

Thus for Itoha who didn't know why Shoko wouldn't come bother her anymore, she could only think:

"She abandoned me."

They're oddly in sync.

If we look at the timeline, Itoha would be a teen, too young, at the time of the twins' birth. What was she supposed to do?

A villain no one mentions in the tale is really Mikami Itoha's father.

Is Itoha's role more like that of the Virgin Mary given the task of birthing a savior by her god?

Or that of Lavinia Whateley, born into an unfortunate family of madness, who gives birth to monstrous children?

While Mikami Itoha isn't someone Mana understands, she's someone Shoko cared for deeply, someone who cared deeply for Shoko.

...Both of them die without being able to address the person most important to them.

Even though we don't get to know her very well, it'd be nice for Mikami Itoha to be able to get her happy ending too. Maybe she can meet Shoko in the afterlife just as Mana's joked, and the two can see where they go from there?

As for the mystery of Keeper... I'll leave that a mystery for now.

The Twins

For the heroines, I'm sure you've already gotten to know them playing the game. Their fragile sides, their cute sides, their strong sides, and their stubborn sides.

I hope you were able to see the sides of them that made Mana fall for them even if only in a short period of time.

Q. Why is there no kiss in the happy Shiki ending?

A. Shiki's the type of girl who takes things slowly and carefully weighs her priorities.

Q. What's with the smartwatch?

A. Smartwatch == ojou! That's the shino design way.

Jokes aside, regardless of whether Towa's pants and jacket have pockets, since she doesn't really have any friends, she stopped carrying around a smartphone. The watch? It's got everything she needs, like the time.

She can even play Tetris on it if she really wants to...

As always, I have lots of things to say, but I'll cut it off at here.

Thank you for reading through my ramblings! And more importantly, thank you for playing Lachesis ∨ Atropos!

I hope you enjoyed your time with my girls. I had a lot of fun making this game, scribbling out their designs, writing their story, and watching all the pieces come together.

Whether I'll return to this world in the future is a question I won't answer.

However, I hope you'll remember them fondly and come back to see Towa, Shiki, and Mana again from time to time.

May we all reach our yearned for happy ending


Get Lachesis ∨ Atropos


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oh, i'm happy to see akaao shoutout, i love these games super super lots. and i'll check soundless for sure. btw i noticed the onsen where mana stopped reminds the inn from akaiito. i wonder is it reference or just a coincidence :D


A fellow person of culture! The inn's a coincidence, but I'm super looking forward to the official English in the remasters - especially since there's no full fan translation for Akaiito ( ˙꒳˙ ) 

I hope you'll enjoy Soundless! (ノ´ヮ`)ノ*: ・゚