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SINoALICE
Japanese: シノアリス
Rōmaji: Shi no Arisu
Genre: Role-playing game
Developer(s): Pokelabo
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Platforms: Mobile
Release Date: JP June 6, 2017

SINoALICE (シノアリス) is a free-to-play social game. The general outline of the game's scenario is authored by Taro Yoko, while the vast majority of the game's scenario is written by PokeLabo staff members who are fans of Yoko's works. General gameplay has characters slaughter spirits known as Nightmares in the Library, a mysterious fantasy world of stories. Main characters are public domain characters in literature whom destroy others in hopes of granting their wish to revive their respective Authors.

On March 26~April 17, 2018, players could participate in a Drakengard 3 collaboration event quest, the second Yoko Taro game collaboration for the social game (the first being NieR:Automata). Its main selling points are an original scenario authored by Yoko that stars Zero and Mikhail, the ability to use Zero, One, Accord, and Mikhail as in-game characters, and the introduction of the human form of Mikhail. All of the voice actors reprise their character roles in SINoALICE.

Logging-in during the collaboration rewards all players with Zero/Breaker (sword job class). The event "Weapons Merchant" gacha may grant players with the weapons that unlock One/Breaker, Accord/Sorcerer (grimoire job class), Zero/Cleric (magic staff job class), or Boy Mikhail/Paladin (spear job class). Leveling the weapons and job classes grants access to bonus weapon stories and job stories which were also authored by Yoko. Mikhail in his dragon form, a new version of Two and Cent, and a new version of Three, Four, and Five can appear as SS Nightmare summons.

If the players use Drakengard 3 characters for the collaboration event, they will receive additional Zero Medals. These medals can be used to exchange items. Hard Mode has One and Brother One simultaneously appear as a boss.

Along with the in-game collaboration, Square-Enix launched two Twitter campaigns that randomly awarded a Boy Mikhail parka and Maaya Uchida, Nao Toyama, and Taro Yoko's autographs. Deadlines for both campaigns are April 26, 2018.

The instant the 14.0 and 14.1 updates for the DOD3 collaboration went live, tablet/PC players and certain Android and iOS systems could not launch the game. This includes players who could previously play SINoALICE before the update(s). Developers are currently addressing the problem.

During the DOD3 revival, the other Intoners could be obtained as Characters. Two and Three could be obtained through the gacha, and Four was purchasable with real world currency. Five is an event reward given to players who earned a set amount of tickets.

Lore

Story updates up to June 30, 2020 have revealed that the two puppet navigation characters (Gishin and Anki) are "Administrators", or "ones who tie worlds together." If there is a significant distortion within another world's logic, Gishin and Anki can attach it to SINoALICE's main setting, the Library. Once the fusion begins, it is irreversible until a set time has passed. During the predetermined "Period," any entity (living, dead, spiritual manifestation) can interact with the Library.

Anyone caught within the Library's powers is compelled by its world logic to continue an endless war. Visitors to the Library often return to their home realms once they have rectified the distortion. A common reaction to those who experience and leave the Library is comparing it to a dream. In the case of Code Geass characters, Suzaku and Lelouch's "shadows" remain sapient for as long as the Period exists.

Mainstays of the Library are "Characters" who are distinguished by their innate trait and nicknames lifted from literary characters in public domain (i.e. Alice, Snow White, Dorothy, etc.). They murder others within the Colosseum to gather lives and become stronger. Whoever is the strongest will be granted a personal desire. Initially, this meant resurrecting their "Author" yet later jobs and scenarios suggest different wishes.

Gishin and Anki can arrange for specific Characters to eradicate world distortions. Should Characters fail to do so, they will be trapped within it forever. During these instances, Characters put their blood feud with one another on hold. In the off-chance a distortion is rewritten outside of the puppets' powers, the world will require a hard reset. Gishin and Anki may inhibit weaker forms for the Characters to defeat, thus triggering the world's destruction. Fourth-wall breaking instances occur, especially if costumes are involved.

When the Period nears its conclusion, it's possible that the world tied to the Library will collapse. Characters will be erased within that world's end.

Since multiple worlds can exist and be destroyed within the Library, multiple variations of the same Characters can cross paths. One Alice can be Santa Claus, another Alice can be corrupted by a weapon's spiritual possession, another Alice can fall in her quest and become a monstrous Nightmare. For the sake of their wish, Characters will also kill their other selves they encounter.

The only ones currently known to retain their memories of all possible Characters and worlds is Gishin and Anki, and Nutcracker. However, all three have imperfect recollections of what transpired. According to Nutcracker, the Library's fusion to realms like the Modern World has happened at least 45 times.

Those outside of the Library's influences may be able to view the Library as a giant black sphere that magically appears into their world. The Library's Characters might be seen as normal people, but they cannot be photographed or recorded. Often, observers see Characters as black figures who wield destructive energy and spout undecipherable gibberish. Modern military weaponry is powerless against them; only another Character can injure a Character.

Creator commentary

Yoko Taro considers SINoALICE to be an original IP that is separate from both Drakengard and Nier, mainly because he doesn't understand social games. He is aware that his name is being used as a marketing gimmick to draw in Drakengard and Nier fans. Square-Enix approached him to conceive a social game before but only got serious about the proposal due to Automata's commercial success.

The majority of SINoALICE's scenarios are written by fans of his works in PokeLabo. Yoko's own contributions are a rough story outline, occasional creative requests, and the authoring of a single character story (often Alice's) to serve as a base for the other writers. He would rather that fans give credit to where it is due and not to him directly.

In the scope of the social game's Yoko collaborations, Yoko authored the event scenario and the weapon stories for Drakengard 3. Within the ending of that scenario, the results of Accord's observations are inconclusive as to whether the Library is anything like an afterlife. She only states that the Intoners "had somehow revived" within the unexplained phenomenon. It is also not confirmed if that Accord could escape the Library to return to the others or not. Yoko wrote the Nier Automata event scenario (which edges toward a dream for 2B) and loosely okayed the idea for Nier Replicant (a dream for Emil). During an interview, he commented at how aghast he was with the latter's gloominess.

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