Monday, June 15, 2015

Mizu: A Rainy Story - Guide Part One

One day, you dropped and broke a stone that was very important to you.
That day it stopped raining...

Skyline of a mountain lake with the title imposed over it.
Mizu, or A Rainy Story, is an interactive horror story for the hot season. Mortals interfere with the mountain gods, and the gods interfere right back, leaving a legacy for the generations.

This Guide will include the entire story but I will be editing the English for comprehension and syntax. Anything in italics is my commentary; anything in plain text is a quote or paraphrase. All images are from the story and dedicated sim.

== Part One === Part Two ==


[Getting Started]

You begin outside of a large building, beside which HUDs in Japanese and English are available over a scrolling series of instructions. Behind you is the shopping area with at least one object exclusive to this event for each store - I tend to go shopping first, setting up an appropriate outfit for the event, and there are many exclusives for this event! 

Finding the way into the theater was a little confusing - once you go through the door next to the instructions, go up the stairs, walk around a lovely hallways with a mise en scène and quotes from the story, and then through a narrow doorway into the theater. If you're doing the story with friends, sit on seats of the same color and you can travel through the story together. The story "starts" every five minutes, so there might be a gap before you go. Sit on the chairs and wait until you're transported.

[Scene 1]

You begin in your bedroom. Several of the items in the room are touchable - the cat under the kotetsu (She is an unfriendly cat who always sleeps in my room.), a broken stone (This is a reminder of my grandma. The other day, I carelessly broke it.), and a letter on the Western style desk.    

The stone and cat offer context, but it's the letter which moves you along - and which includes variations of the text found on Mizu's website. When you click on the letter, it starts things going through the HUD, covering your screen so you can focus on the details of the story.

I got a weird letter yesterday. There was no postmark and not even an address or name on it. I'm sure it wasn't sent by anyone. The paper had a slightly earthy scent, and its texture was rough, like it was very old. It frightened me, but I opened it anyway.
"The stored memories of Izumi keep leaking from a stone. Please come to our village right now. We need the stone back. Please."
The words from my letter were echoed on the television. “Stored memories of Izumi keep leaking. Now, all of the water is gone. The stone is gone. Everyone listen, please..."The news reporter kept reporting how serious the drought was. “Look at the lake floor, everyone. So much water has receded that we can see the ruins of Izumi village.”

At this point, the HUD offers you a chance to teleport or not. The neat thing is, if you're confused or want to check things out you can click "no" and everything remains for you to repeat over. Thanks HUD makers!

[Scene 2]

You decided to go there and found the old village, just like the news had said.

This is IZUMI...
It was isolated from the rest of the world. There is not a lived-in feel. The village lost their spirit. You felt frightened,
Let's go home...
When you were getting ready to leave the place, you were overtaken by an image from Izumi village. It was totally a Gothic experience.
What's that? What happens to me?! Oh my...

Awaji: You have a stone, the stone... Don't you? I'm... Awaji. Give me the stone, right now!
Her emphatic voice of tone compelled me to hand the stone to her.
She has gone without saying anything. She was so creepy... But the stone was a precious gift from my grandma... I should get it back from her.

[Scene 3]

At this point you're placed in a barren landscape with bits of building all over the place. You can touch a few things - mostly getting "nothing is happening" messages, but if you walk toward the building, a message from your HUD automatically pops up (Awaji might go into there.). The same happens as you walk around other objects - the well (I wouldn't be surprised if something crawled out of this well. I'm scared.), the weird structure (It might be a shed. The building is so run down it's hard to tell what it was.). Inside the somewhat noble building, beyond the newspaper (This is a story about the opposition to the construction of the dam.) and near the calendar (This is the year the village disappeared into the lake (1976).) is a pail of glimmering water that you can touch. Pay close attention, as there is no pausing during this event and it's easy to miss some of the details.

Look what's happening over there. The old house has vanished. Everything is full of life. People are moving and the house is young. It's hard to believe, but I saw it happen with my own eyes. The woman who took my stone is there. I would speak to her, but I can't.
Awaji: Tokosame, I'll tell you about a special ritual. It really works.
Tokosame: Mom(in-law), so I can have a child?
Awaji:Yes, that's right. You know the old shrine at the end of the village, right?
Tokosame: Yes, I do. It is in the cave near a spring, isn't it?
Awaji: On a night with a new moon, what you seek comes out from the shrine. Take it, cut out his liver and eat it...
Tokosame: Well, but... isn't that the god which protects the mountain? I don't believe I can do it...
Awaji: Oh, no Tokosame, that's why you must. I mean, he has enormous power and can make you pregnant. You want your child, don't you?
Tokosame: ...I'll kill the god of the mountains. ... the white snake.
Awaji: ...This is the night with a new moon.
Did I see what I think I just saw? Was I in a dream? The dreams says a spring outside of the village. Let me look the spring. Awaji might be there.

[Scene 4]

Is this the right way? Okay... let's walk all the way to the back.
I can see the same light that I saw in that water bucket before. ... I reach over to touch it.
When you touch the water, another dream occurs. Pay close attention, as there is no pausing during this event and it's easy to miss some of the details.

Tokosame: Where are you? Please let me see your face. Please grant my wish... Oh please. Please come out...

Tokosame: Such a good girl you are. I'm sorry for getting you involved in this but... Please give your power to me. I need his child.
??: Who's over there?! Tokosame? Is that you?! What are you doing there?
Tokosame: ...Honey?! ...(silence)
Nagakumo: What are you doing out here at midnight? What are you holding?
Tokosame: Oh, this is a...
Nagakumo: ... A snake?

Tokosame: ...Yes it is. Your mother told me a ritual for making a child. On a night with a new moon, catch the white snake at the shrine and drink the contents of his bile duct...
Nagakumo: Drink a snake's bile duct?! You don't have to do such a sordid thing. We'll have a child before too long. Poor snake. We should let her go now.

Nagakumo: Go home, snake. Don't worry honey. We'll have a child.

It is as I suspected. When I touch the surface of sparkling water, I see pictures. Were those events from the past? I need to find other water with a sparkling surface.
There is a lot of sparkling water around - the trick is finding the proper one! Ones you have already touched will tell you so. Ones that aren't touchable yet will also tell you so.

[Scene 5]

Are they village people? They stand talking.
Old Man: Did you hear he just got a concubine?
Man: That's right. I heard she is young and beautiful. We will have no more worries if she bears an heir to the throne.
Old Man: But... the women in his family must be worried about this happening.
Man: Are you talking about Tokesame? Yeah, that's true... She relies on God all day. It's been a long time and she still hasn't had a child.
Old Man: Well... I remember Awaji also had a hard time when she married into the family. Nagakumo was already the heir. It means she was forced to marry the late Lord as his second wife for political reasons. Then she was forced to become a mother of another woman's child. ...That's a tough one.

Awaji who carried away the stone. Tokosame who wants a child. Did the wishes of the women show me that hallucination? I should go back to the old house.

[Scene 6]

Again, I touch the surface of the water without hesitation.

Nagi: ... I'm Nagi

[Scene 7]

Here is sparkling water again. Two village women stands talking. 

Woman 1: That concubine of our Lord's got pregnant so quickly.
Woman 2: Is that true?! That's such good news!
Woman 1: Didn't you know already?!
Woman 2: Well, so what is going to happen to Tokosame?!
Woman 1: Nagakumo treasures her, so I doubt they would get divorced...
Woman 2: Both Awaji and Tokosame have no children, so they are two of a kind now. Maybe they can have a good relationship and lick each other's wounds.

Woman 1: The other day, I saw Awaji throw a comb into the water well.
Woman 2: Was it hers?
Woman 1: I am not sure whose comb it was, but she looked grim. It might be Nagakumo's true mother's or Nagi's? Hmmm... I don't know.
Woman 2: Dear me... Woman are scary sometimes.

Woman 1: Look at you! You are such a big eater!
Woman 2: No! It's only five!
I should go back to the old house.

[Scene 8]

Tokosame: It seems hard for you to move. Take better care of yourself.
Awaji: You're carrying the heir to the throne. You should take good care of yourself for the baby.
Nagi: I heard that moderate exercise is good for an easy delivery. By the way... I have concern about our lord... I mean, He is still so active at night time... I hope my baby isn't surprised every night.
Tokosame: ...(silence)

Awaji: He must be so in love to you and the baby.
Nagi: I can't wait for seeing the baby's face.
Awaji: Look at your belly. The baby is moving a lot! Tokosame, come here. How about you and Nagi share in Nagi's good luck?!

Awaji: She is not breathing. A baby ... will die.

Awaji: What are you doing?!

[Scene 9]

Nagakumo: Tokosame, are you there?
Tokosame: Yes, I'm here. Did you decide the name of our child?

Continued in Part Two...