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AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative Timeline Explained

There was finally time...lines!
Image via Spike Chunsoft

AI: The Somnium Files is a visual novel that incorporates a multiversal story-line. As you play through, you unlock branches of the flowchart and different routes to explore and slowly piece together aspects of the story. The sequel – nirvana Initiative – takes this a step further by also introducing multiple protagonists spanning stories 6 years apart. Even after finishing the game, some people can be confused by the timeline and aspects of the story.

BE WARNED: Full game spoilers are ahead.

AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative Timeline Explained

Throughout the game you play as one of two characters and a corresponding point in time. You play Ryuki, 6 years in the past, and Mizuki, in the present. But this is a bit of purposeful misdirect from the game’s creator. You find out you’ve been playing with three characters. 

As you near the end of the game you find a new ally in an older version of Mizuki nicknamed Bibi. You learn the Mizuki we’ve gotten to know throughout the series is a clone of Bibi, which has implications on the timeline. While some of the investigation is seemingly in the present because you play as Mizuki, you’re actually playing as Mizuki Kuranushi, aka Bibi, instead of Mizuki Date, the one we know from the previous game.

Because of this, a large portion of the game takes place 6 years in the past. The game makes you believe that the bodies found happen 6 years apart because you’re playing as Mizuki. In actuality, they are hours apart as you play as a young Bibi instead of Mizuki.

So, instead of play as Mizuki = present, a lot of it is play as Mizuki = past. The identical clothing and hairstyle can throw people off of which is which, but there’s some minute differences. Bibi is much more concerned about money and raises while Mizuki is more concerned about being taken off the investigation.

If you want a more concrete way of looking at it, once you unlock the true timeline the ones with Mizuki on the left are Bibi while the ones on the right are Mizuki.

Any Mizuki’s On the Left is Bibi

Image via Spike Chunsoft

Related: The 5 Best Visual Novels like Alice in Borderland

If you’re looking for more visual novels, check out the five best visual novels of 2022. You can find more guides, list, and news on Gamerjournalist.

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