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Shadow of Memories (シャドウ・オブ・メモリーズShadou obu Memorīzu) is an adventure video game released by Konami in 2001. The American release of the game is called Shadow of Destiny. Shadow of Memories is the release title for the Asian and European markets. Originally released for the PlayStation 2, it was later ported to the PC and Xbox in 2002. A recently announced PlayStation Portable version was released in October 1, 2009 in Japan and on January 26, 2010 in the United States.
The main story revolves around a 22-year-old man named Eike Kusch who dies in the beginning of the game in the year 2001 in a fictional German town named Lebensbaum (Life Tree), loosely based on the actual German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, from being stabbed in the back after leaving a small diner. However, he wakes up in a dark, strange place, where a mysterious voice offers to send him back in time to prevent his death.
Given the ability to travel through time via a device known as a digipad, Eike has to visit four eras 2001, 1980, 1902 and 1580 - in which he will meet people that are all somehow connected to his life and destiny, as well as figure out a way of stopping his own murder at various points in the present.
Eike's time-travelling adventures can result in drastically different games. Sometimes, the actions of a character in one play-through can be completely different in another, revealing different origins, and wholly different lives depending on Eike's actions. There is an overall set of actions that can be inferred from the different endings, but there are also conflicting results that cannot possibly co-exist. It is up to the player to find out what is truly happening in the game.
Eike, an ordinary man on an ordinary day, goes for a walk after visiting a cafe. However, he gets silently stabbed by an unknown assailant. He wakes up in a strange 'room' where a voice offers Eike the chance to be alive once more. Although Eike is initially sceptical, thinking the voice to be a malicious spirit, he accepts the offer. The mysterious voice gives Eike the Digipad which allows Eike to time-travel, but it can only be used at certain times. Eike revives and wakes up in the cafe once more. Startled, he leaves and wanders the town, until he stumbles upon a fortune-teller and seeks advice on whether he might still die again. The fortune teller confirms Eike's suspicions; Eike will die at 2:30 PM if he is alone at that time. Using the Digipad, Eike travels back in time to 2:00PM and informs wandering townspeople to gather in the town square at 2:30. Upon returning to the present, Eike sees that his plan has worked, as a small crowd of people have arrived to watch a performer. Eike also watches, and his would-be killer comes along, but flees the area upon seeing the crowd. Eike returns to the fortune teller to see if he has successfully avoided his fatal fate. However, she now informs him that he will now die at 3:00 PM.
As the time reaches 3:00 PM, Eike finds the local bar on fire, with spectators gathering to watch. A crying boy begs Eike to save his grandfather who remains inside the burning building, and Eike eventually runs in. As he enters, the fumes from the fire almost kill Eike like the fortune teller had predicted, but Eike escapes death by time-travelling into the past; to 2:30 PM. Eike runs to the bar, which has not yet been set on fire. He finds some burning paper which started the damage, and extinguishes it before it spreads. Alternatively, Eike can talk to the bar owner and he will dispose of the matches, thus stopping the fire. Returning to the present time of 3:00 PM, Eike finds that he has prevented the building fire - thus saving himself and the boy's grandfather.
In the town centre square, Dana (the waitress from the cafe) finds Eike and informs him of a red gem that she thinks he may have dropped in the cafe. Eike says it isn't his, but the lighter she also found does belong to him. She hands it over and the two talk about each other, when suddenly Eike is shot from behind a nearby tree. Eike once again finds himself in the mysterious room, but the mysterious voice again revives Eike. Eike, now in 2:30PM, makes it to the town square before the 'previous him' does so, and meets Dana, thus regaining his lighter. Knowing that he's about to be killed, Eike uses the Digipad. However, this time, Dana is also transported through time with him. Eike drops into a time many years previous (1580 AD), and finds himself in an argument of a group of people against a woman, named Margaret, who likes to dress differently. However, Dana is nowhere to be seen. Using his cellphone (or, alternatively, lighter), Eike scares away the other villagers. Margaret invites Eike into her house as gratitude - the house that, in present day, the fortune teller lives in. Eike is introduced to Helena - Margaret's blind and sick mother, and Hugo - Margaret's curious little brother. Hugo, confused about Eike's clothing, searches him and finds the Digipad. He speculates to what its purpose may be, and correctly assumes that it's for time travel. Eike leaves the family to search for Dana, but is unable to find her. Instead, Eike manages to persuade a villager planting the tree in the town square to either plant flowers or build a statue, which Eike's assailant will be unable to hide behind in the present. Eike travels to 3:00 PM in present day, and looks for his killer, but cannot see anyone suspicious. Just then, a vase lands on Eike from above, killing him.
After being revived yet again at 5:00 PM, Eike receives a phone call from Mr. Eckart, asking him to come to his museum. Eike arrives and talks to Mr. Eckart, enquiring about the alchemist Dr. Wagner (Margaret's father). Eckart gives Eike the book "Alchemists of Our City," and Eike leaves. However, on the ground floor of the museum, Eike encounters the man who keeps reviving him. The man calls himself Homunculus and proves that he has powers by sending Eike into the past. Transported to 1979 AD, Eike meets a much younger Eckart, who has only just achieved ownership of the museum, and his wife has just given birth to a girl. After only a short while in this time, Eike attempts to return to the present, but discovers that Homunculus has drained the Digipad of its power. Eike recharges it and returns back to the present, where he asks Eckart about his daughter. Eckart recalls that his daughter was kidnapped, and his wife killed, shortly after their child was born. Sorry for asking such a question, Eike leaves and finds Homunculus waiting for him downstairs. Eike now believes in Homunculus' powers, and the two co-operate, with Homunculus instructing Eike to find the red gem again and give it to Wagner.
- Eike Kusch
The protagonist of this story. During a previous visit Eike fell in love with the city - the backdrop of this story. Standing about six feet tall, Eike is a mild-mannered youth. He doesn't talk much about himself. But an inexplicable shadow shrouds him. He dies at the beginning of this story, but his death also gives him the ability to travel back to related past times. Taking advantage of this magical ability, Eike tries to reverse his fate. He handles all developments calmly.
Homunculus is the name used by a mysterious creature who seeks to help Eike escape his death. He is the one who gives Eike the DIGIPAD which he may use to travel through time.
Dana is a woman who works part-time at the coffee shop where Eike awakes from his death. Having no family, Dana is somewhat timid and shy, but has a quiet strength at her core. She tends to think mainly of herself, often feeling that no one understands her. She suffers from a persistent sense of loneliness.
- The Fortune Teller
- Eckart Brum
A broad-minded man and the Curator of a private Art Museum, Eckart has known Eike for many years. He apparently loves cats. His museum houses many items associated with the city, including paintings by native artists and old photographs. Eckart appears to be hiding something very important from Eike...
- Miriam Brum
Eckart's wife, who died in a random shooting on a snowy day in 1980.
- Dr. Wolfgang Wagner
Doctor Wagner lives in the Middle Ages, selling medicines and studying Alchemy in an underground laboratory. He had earlier sought a cure-all for his ailing wife, a quest that ended in failure and death. The death of his wife has deprived him of all hope and led him to pursue a different course of research...
- Margarete Wagner
The beautiful daughter of an alchemist living in the Middle Ages. Margarete is a cheerful, active girl, who never hesitates to put her thoughts into action. Plagued by household chores, Margarete dreams of someday being able to leave it all behind. After meeting Eike, Margarete develops a longing to the present.
- Hugo Wagner
Doctor Wagner's son and Margarete's little brother, Hugo worries constantly about his ailing mother. His feelings toward his father are complex, including a streak that borders on hatred resulting from his father's apparent obsession with his research in spite of the condition of Hugo's mother. Hugo is an extremely quick thinker at an awkward age.
- Helena Wagner
Doctor Wagner's wife, Helena is also the mother of Margarete and Hugo. Already blind when Eike visits her, Helena is a bedridden invalid. She dies soon after...
- Alfred Brum
- Sibylla Brum
Alfred's daughter, Sibylla is a strong-minded, precocious girl. Sibylla looks after her younger brother every day and therefore longs for some company other than a sleeping baby.
- Oleg Franssen
Oleg is a film producer. He appears to find his conversations with Eike in 1980 particularly inspiring. His ancestors include a photograper in the early 20th century and a painter in the 1580s.
There are eight endings to the game. Six are available at first. The last two must be unlocked by achieving the first six. The endings are presented in an alpabetical format, A-E, with B having two variations, and then two "EX" endings.
There are certain events that can affect the ending:
In chapter 5, you tell Margarete she is your ancestor(endings A - C) or say nothing(D & E).
- Ending A
Eike travels to 1980 and finds Homunculus lying in the snow at the park, exhausted. He tells of how he switched two babies, revealing that Dana is really Margarete and Margarete is the real Dana. Homunculus explains the fragility of his body, and denies the murder of Mrs. Eckert. He switched babies so there would be a link in timelines for Eike to follow. Eike requests that Homunculus returns to the present to help Hugo, which he agrees to.
Eike then visits the fortune teller and is shocked to learn that she is really Helena Wagner, now a disembodied spirit trapped in this plane. Upon leaving the shop, which returns to ruins, Homunculus appears and is scared by the spiritual presence. Eike gets the idea to summon Dr. Wagner's spirit to talk sense into Hugo, which Homunculus does. Hugo and his 'father' talk. then vanish in a haze of smoke, at which Margarete realizes it's not her real father. Homunculus tells her and Eike that Dr. Wagner isn't dead yet.
Eike then realizes he was a pawn. All the time he thought he was saving his own life, it was really to ensure Homunculus was born. Homunculus tells Eike he did save them both, then requests the Digipad back. Eike complies, but accidentally drops the device, which sends a shard into Homunculus and kills him. Eike declares it was fate that befell the creature. Margarete is adopted by the Eckerts, who feel almost like they got their daughter back. She and Eike are at the park where they find a tree, in the spot where Homunculus died. Inside the tree is the Philosopher's stone.
- Ending B1
Eike discovers the fortune teller's identity. Eike convinces Hugo to enter the hut, where his mother's spirit collapses the building with him in it, killing him. Homunculus appears and Eike talks about being a pawn. Eike returns Margarete to her own time, returns to the present, and gives Homunculus the Digipad back. Eike decides to have a drink at the bar to celebrate living.
- Ending B2
Eike finds Homunculus and then returns to the present. When the time comes, Hugo is fed up and decides to abandon Margarete in the present, which will corrupt history. Mr. Eckert appears and wrestles Hugo, telling him to value what he still has, not take it out on others. Hugo apologizes and returns to the past with Margarete, and Eckert leaves. Eike returns the Digipad, then decides to have a drink at the bar to celebrate living.
- Ending C
Eike neither finds the fortune teller nor tries to find Homunculus, but instead (after telling Margaret she's his ancestor and not convincing Dana to return with him) travels to 1580 and enters the ruined lab. He searches for a way to reverse the past but is forced to hide when he hears Hugo and Margarete's footsteps. While Hugo searches for his father's research a huge time machine appears in the room and an elderly Hugo steps out, offering to teach the younger Hugo how to use his time machine. Eike gets out of hiding and frightens the elder Hugo. Old Hugo tries to escape, threatening Margarete, but Hugo intervenes by grabbing him. This results in a dimensional paradox and both Hugos cease to exist. Eike goes back to find Homunculus completely alone and then learns he's Homonculus' pawn. After Homunculus leaves Eike with a cryptic farewell, Eike realizes he has been missing the beauty in the world, and lies down in the street to look at the stars. Two drunk men then run him over in their car. The camera then focuses on Eike's broken body as he dies. The credits do not roll.
- Ending D
Eike allows Dana to stay in 1580 and he travels to and enters the ruined lab. Eike finds Wagner's notes about the stone and burns them, just as Hugo and Margarete enter. When they leave, Eike returns to the present. Hugo begins to fade away, while his past self tries to read the burning notes; upon which past Margarete convinces him to help find their father. Hugo completely vanishes, then Margarete follows soon after. Eike talks with Homunculus and asks a question about Wagner, who avoids answering and takes back the Digipad. Dr. Wagner's discovery is revealed when he is shown working in his lab, moments before its destruction. Homunculus is created and tells Wagner he can have a wish, but at the cost of his soul. Wagner laments his lost years. Upon wishing for eternal youth, Wagner tries to reseal the creature with a pentagram, who retaliates by erasing Wagner's memories. When the smoke clears, the viewer can see that Wagner actually is Eike. Eike/Wagner picks up the stone, then aimlessly wanders the town, with no memory of who he is (the truth of Eike's origins are hinted in ending A, when Homunculus claims that Wagner still lives, and in ending E, when Wagner's real daughter, Dana, thinks of Eike as a father figure).
- Ending E
Eike convinces Dana to return to the present, but she is taken hostage by Hugo. Eike goes to 1580 and enters the lab, where he finds Margarete who is wondering where Hugo went and why there is a strange machine in the basement. Eike asks Margarete to come with him to Eike's time, and she agrees. When they arrive, Eike tells her that Hugo is trying to kill him, and she storms into the square to confront Hugo. She tries to reason with him, slaps him, and finally he backs down. Hugo promises to destroy his time machine when they get back home, and they leave via his time machine outside the city. Homunculus gets the Digipad back and he tells Eike the fate of Dr.Wagner:Once freed from his seal Wagner wishes to never see Homunculus again at which point he arranges for his permanent departure and gains his soul. Dana comments on how Hugo makes her think of how her brother would be, if she had one. Dana is still a bit upset about missing four years of her life, and Eike assumes responsibility. Dana tells him he sounds like a father, and they walk away together.
- EX Endings
The EX ending has three parts with two possible climaxes, but only one final scene. In EX mode, Eike can choose the phrases, "What, again?" and "Oh, Homunculus." Then, when Eike is awakened in the diner, he can visit the fortune teller. He tells her he's met her before, but not in this reality. She tells Eike that he can change fate to his liking. Eike then visits the square and watches the juggler, who gives him a message concerning the Philosopher's stone. Eike then returns to the diner, and retrieves the stone. He then enters the burning building.
- Ending EX choice 1
Eike travels to the 16th century and meets Margarete, and follows her home. He gives Dr. Wagner the stone, which allows him to make an elixir and save Helena from her illness. Eike wanders into the night and disappears from existence, happy to have broken the endless loop of fate he was in.
- Ending EX choice 2
Eike dies in the fire and confronts Homunculus in the void. He asks Homunculus to reveal himself and then throws the stone at him, destroying them both. Eike then fades away.
Regardless of either choice, the final scene is the same. A black screen, sounds of people talking, babies being born, life flourishing. A young man who looks like Eike is walking through the street in present day, and he is struck down like before. It turns out to be a soccer ball that hit him. A boy who looks like Hugo appears, and the Eike look-alike returns the ball, then continues his stroll through the streets. This gives the presumption that they are descendants of the Wagner family rather being the family themselves.
Each ending is an individual outcome, each replay is simply another time-line where Eike made different choices, and leads to its own end. Together the endings help explain many of the events in the story, though certain circumstances remain unsolvable (such as the reason behind the murder of Mrs. Brum, the original situation that led to the circle of fate in the story).
GameSpot gave the PS2 and PC versions a 8.2 and 7.7, respectively. IGN gave the PS2 and PC versions a 8.5 and 8.7, respectively.
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- In addition to the titles Shadow of Memories and Shadow of Destiny, the game was also had several development titles including The Day and Night of Walpurgisnacht (ワルプルギスの昼と夜), Days of Walpurgis, and Time Adventure.
- The original Walpurgisnacht-related titles were references to Goethe's Faust. Many similar themes are present, including a doctor who investigates dark arts in his thirst for knowledge, the homunculus, and the names Margarette, Helen, and Wagner. In the second section, Faust goes on to visit different periods of time with the homunculus.
- ↑ McWhertor, Michael (2009-10-22). Konami Announces Shadow of Destiny For North America. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2009-10-22.
- ↑ http://www.gamecrazy.com/games/game.aspx?ID=14920
- ↑ 
- ↑  Gamespot: Konami's TGS Software Lineup. retrieved 2 October 2008
- ↑  Gamespot: Days of Walpurgis Renamed. retrieved 2 October 2008
- ↑  Gamespot: Time Adventure Renamed Again. retrieved 2 October 2008
- ↑  Japanese Wikipedia: シャドウ オブ メモリーズ. retrieved 2 October 2008
- 'Shadow of Memories' at MobyGames
- Shadow of Memories at Game Rankings
- Official Shadow of Memories PSP websitefr:Shadow of Memoriesja:シャドウ オブ メモリーズ