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Ever 17: The Out of Infinity is a Japanese science-fiction visual novel produced by KID, originally released on August 29, 2002 for the PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast also. A Microsoft Windows version, Ever 17: The Out of Infinity - Premium Edition, was released on May 16, 2003, with a Premium Edition releasing for the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 on November 27, 2003. In December 2005, Hirameki International released an English edition of the PC version in the United States; an Xbox 360 version was also released. The Premium Edition was released in Japan on March 12, 2008 for the PlayStation Portable, while a PC Infinity Plus version was released on April 4, 2008, also in Japan.
Ever 17 is a part of the Infinity series by KID. The other entries in the series are Never 7: The End of Infinity, Remember 11: The Age of Infinity, and 12Riven -the Ψcliminal of integral-, all of which take place within the same universe.
Ever 17 is hugely popular amongst the visual novel community. The game is available in 4 different languages, including original Japanese, Chinese by two different companies, English by Hirameki International and Russian by WinKiller Studio, and there even were attempts of fan translation into Spanish and Italian.
Gameplay and system
As with most visual novels, Ever 17's gameplay consists of reading through text accompanied by still images and music and occasionally making choices that will have a bearing on the storyline.
Takeshi and the Kid are the main characters, whom the player can control and view the storyline through. Each has a different path through the game, and each has different endings. Takeshi's endings involve Tsugumi and Sora, whereas the Kid's endings involve You and Sara. Obtaining each of these endings relies on making the correct choices throughout the scenario. After the player has completed all four of Takeshi's and the Kid's endings, the final path, Coco's path, will open. Once the player has started the game after unlocking Coco's path, new choices appear early in both perspectives that determine if the player moves to Coco's path. This path is longer than the others, switches between Takeshi's and the Kid's viewpoints, and, once the switching begins, has minimal choices to make, none of which makes a difference to the overall story.
Ever 17 also has a skip or fast forward function, allowing the player to either skip through any text he or she has already seen or to skip all dialogue. There is a shortcut feature that allows the player to skip to any day on any route, provided they have already cleared that day.
Core development team
- Director: Takumi Nakazawa (Regista, formerly of KID)
- Scenario writer: Takumi Nakazawa, Kotaro Uchikoshi (freelance, formerly of KID)
- Character designer: Yuu Takigawa (freelance)
- Music composer: Takeshi Abo (freelance)
Ever 17 is the tale of seven individuals who come to be trapped within the underwater marine theme park, LeMU, 51 meters below the surface. During an apparently normal day at the park, an incident occurs, placing almost half of the facility underwater. The path to the surface and the communication lines are cut off. In addition, LeMU is under constant assault by severe water pressure, limiting time to find a means of escape to 119 hours. Escape is not the only concern, however; many questions arise as to the legitimacy of the accident and whether or not those trapped there were brought there for a purpose.
As the situation grows more desperate, the people trapped inside LeMU grow closer. They begin to uncover the answers to mysteries about themselves, LeMU, and the situation itself. As the end of LeMU grows nearer, so too do the mysteries and relationships forged by the situation grow deeper. Ultimately, it is up to the characters not only to survive, but to discover the truth behind LeMU and themselves as well.
The plot of Ever 17 is told through multiple storylines that ultimately intersect. The player must reach the "good ending" for each of the initially available storylines in order to unlock the final storyline that weaves the previous stories into a single narrative.
When on Coco's route, as in the prologue, the perspective constantly moves back and forth between Takeshi and the Kid. It is revealed that these two storylines took place at different times. When playing as Takeshi, events happen in 2017; when playing as the Kid, events happen in 2034.
The common thread through both of these stories is revealed to be the reader, who is known as Blick Winkel. Blick Winkel exists in the 4th dimension, and is able to traverse the time between both of the stories in order to help the characters toward the true ending.
2017 is the true date of the accident in LeMU. A pharmaceutical company, Leiblich Pharmaceutical, established LeMU as a cover for their underwater research laboratory known as IBF. IBF was tasked with researching microorganisms, and developed a deadly virus known as Tief Blau (TB). On May 1, 2017, IBF lost containment of TB within the facility. One of the escaping researchers opened the manual emergency exit from LeMU to the surface and let out the air pressure, causing the disaster.
Coco, the daughter of one of the IBF researchers, had been exposed to TB shortly before the disaster while visiting her father, a researcher in IBF. Her symptoms appear while they are trapped in LeMU, and the group gains access to IBF in an attempt to cure her. Coco is placed inside a high-pressure oxygen treatment pod to help her body fight the virus. The rest of the group, except for Tsugumi, soon show signs of TB. This discrepancy is due to Tsugumi being a carrier of the Cure virus, which has rewritten her genetic code providing her with immunity to disease, as well as freezing her aging at the appearance of 17 years. The group, learning of this, decides to take the risk and inject themselves with Tsugumi's antibodies in an attempt to save themselves.
Tsugumi returns to LeMU to find her pet hamster, Chami. After hearing of this, Takeshi returns to LeMU to rescue Tsugumi, as the park is nearing its limit. He saves Tsugumi (who, unbeknownst to either, is now carrying their twin children), and copies Sora's data onto a disk, saving her as well. By the time Takeshi and Tsugumi return to IBF, the rescue vessel that had contacted them earlier has come and gone. Fortunately, there is a small submarine available. However, on the way to the surface the batteries die, so Takeshi exits to give it enough buoyancy to save Tsugumi. Takeshi dies on the ocean floor. Coco also dies, trapped in IBF because she left her oxygen pod to find her robot dog Pipi, and the rescue team did not find her.
Not having long to live due to a heart condition, Yubiseiharukana artificially impregnated herself with a clone, and gave birth to Yubiseiakikana in 2015, prior to the accident. In the true event, Pipi approaches Yubiseiharukana with both the disk of Sora's memories and the footage of Coco trapped in IBF. The Kid in 2017 is actually Ryogo Kaburaki, who later plays the part of 'Takeshi' in 2034.
LeMU is soon rebuilt. Tsugumi gives her twin son and daughter to an orphanage in order to keep them from being human test subjects for Leiblich. They are separated, and live under the care of foster parents who name them Hokuto and Sara. Yubiseiharukana and Kaburaki stop aging in 2022, due to the Cure virus.
Yubiseiharukana and Kaburaki set up events so that Yubiseiakikana, Kaburaki, Tsugumi, Sara, and Hokuto are trapped in LeMU. Sora's memories of the 2017 incident are erased. Kaburaki plays the part of Takeshi. Hokuto (the "Kid" in 2034) loses his memory due to interference from Blick Winkel. Blick Winkel is fooled by the event seeming to repeat itself, causing his previous memories with Takeshi to bubble up and overlap with Hokuto's consciousness.
All the events of 2034 are staged to trick Blick Winkel out of hiding and into helping rescue Takeshi and Coco, who died in 2017. Yubiseiharukana talks to Blick Winkel, and explains that Blick Winkel told her to do it so that Takeshi and Coco can be saved. Blick Winkel travels back to 2017, and with the aid of Hokuto sharing its perspective, arouses Takeshi on the seafloor and forces him to swim to IBF. Once inside, he finds Coco and injects her with Tsugumi's antibodies, as she had not received the treatment before. Able to see time as a perspective, Blick Winkel warns Yubiseiharukana in 2017 not to save Takeshi or Coco right away, as that would create a time paradox, in which the events of 2034 that caused Blick Winkel's appearance would have never happened. In response, Blick Winkel has Takeshi and Coco enter cryogenic suspension in the IBF facility. Back in 2034, he informs everyone that Coco and Takeshi are still resting in suspension in IBF. By jumping the time gap Blick Winkel manipulates the events in order to save everyone in 2034, including Sora, who now inhabits a robotic body along with her memories. Also, due to an information leak by Yubiseiharukana, Leiblich Pharmaceutical is exposed for being behind the Tief Blau outbreak of 2017, meaning the cast is now free from its clutches.
A university student separated from his friends. He is very emotional and passionate, often using actions to express his feelings. Sleeping for 17 years in the underwater research facility IBF with Coco from 7 May 2017 until 7 May 2034. He is infected by Tsugumi's cure virus in order to treat his Tief Blau.
An amnesiac youth stuck in LeMU. He remembers nothing of his past (not even his name) or why he is even at LeMU. The others trapped in LeMU have taken to calling him "the Kid", or simply "Kid". He mostly keeps to himself, not being as animated as Takeshi. It is later revealed at the near end of the game that the kid in LeMU year 2017 incident (Takeshi's route) is actually Takeshi-in-disguise at 2034 incident (Kid's route) with the name of Ryogo Kaburaki. And Kid in the incident at year 2034 (Kid's route) is actually (Real) Takeshi and Tsugumi's son named Hokuto.
You is a part-time employee at LeMU, trying to get closer to her father - who disappeared working at LeMU when she was only a year old. She's outgoing and optimistic, bringing relief to an otherwise dire situation.
Tsugumi is a mystery. At first glance, she's wary, cold-hearted, and rarely speaks at length. She seems to be hiding something from the others. She is also initially quite distrustful of the rest of the group.
It's revealed that Tsugumi is a carrier of the Cure Virus, a rare genetic virus that enhances the body, stops its aging after five years, and has great curing power, being able to heal severe injuries in minutes and rendering her immune to nearly all diseases. She was kept as a test subject by Leiblich for eight years until she eventually escaped.
The only full-time staff member of LeMU to be stranded, Sora is a professional computer engineer, as well as the main AI. Although she is an AI, she can think on her own, as she tries her best to get everyone stranded on LeMU to safety. She thinks rationally at all times, not allowing emotions to sway her decisions. She is programmed to act 24 years old with blood type A. She likes flowers, animals, and anything living in nature.
Sara is a second year student at Kyumeikan Girl's High School. Before graduating, You was also a student there and Sara's senpai. She may not look it, but she is an experienced hacker, capable of breaking into nearly any computer system. Sara is also obsessed with ninjas and ninjutsu.
Sara came to LeMU on a class field trip, but now she is stranded along with the other characters.
An innocent, happy-go-lucky girl stranded on LeMU. Coco can't seem to keep focused, being prone to spurts of childish behavior. She is always seen with her dog, Pipi.
- Blick Winkel means "perspective" in German.
- Tief Blau means "deep blue" in German.
- Tsugumi performs a Turing Test on Sora. In the English version this was mistranslated as Tooling Test.
- Note: the text can be seen in the SCRIPT.DAT file; the first line of each passage is referenced here. MOV_END.e17, the ending movie, is playable in a media player.