Thursday, September 10, 2015

10+ Intentional and Unintentional References in Enigma


Enigma: An Illusion Named Family is a Korean indie RPG horror game by AV Media, and I'm so glad to be in this small fandom. It's a lot similar to The Crooked Man though not really a free game, and there are more gameplay aspects and a really flipped plot. Despite that, here are some cultural references (movies, anime, shows, etc.) that I've noticed from this game. Spoiler alert: stuff about the ending could be scattered here so read at your own risk:

1. Umineko no Naku Koro Ni 

We'll start with the obvious one, since this is a visual novel-style game that has a very similar theme to Umineko. From the big mansion, to family inheritance rivalry, to mystery murder solving, and roughly everything. Minhyuk reminds me of Battler at some point. Instead of fighting parents, we get fighting siblings instead. The plot twists and character auras really give off that When They Cry vibe, not just for Umineko but also Higurashi and others. Not to mention Minhyuk being abused by his mom was totally like Maria Ushiromiya's case.

2. Death Note 

This is another obvious one, since it was legitimately mentioned in the game's dialogue, on Minhyuk's conversation with Yuna while holding an apple in his hand, to which they mention Ryuk from Death Note. Samoon totally looks like L, to be honest. The true ending also features a character pose very reminiscent of Kira / Light Yagami . . . "all according to keikaku (plan)".

3. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters 

Minho definitely acts like Seto Kaiba (along with Yuna, Cheun and Minwoo probably being Tea/Anzu, Mai and Joey respectively), but most importantly, Minhyuk and his split personality is totally mirroring on Marik Ishtar and his own alter ego, even more so because both Marik and Minhyuk have abusive parents that were killed by their own split personalities (Marik's is his abusive dad), and the only difference is that Yami Marik didn't win over in the end.

4. Kingdom Hearts 2 (and BBS)

Remember that scene where Roxas found out that inside the old mansion, there's an underground laboratory? How about Roxas' frequent headaches? How about the 'fake' Twilight Town'? That's exactly what Minhyuk had to go through, especially in the true ending route. Sora and Roxas are also split personalities, although both of them were good guys. On another note, Ventus and Vanitas from Birth By Sleep (BBS) closely resembles Minhyuk and his split personality very well.

5. Tokyo Ghoul 

It's practically a whole array of TG characters: Chief Choi resembles Shuu Tsukiyama, Minhyuk is Kaneki Ken (and his split personality could be Shiro/White Kaneki or Nishio Nishiki), Yuna is Touka Kirishima (though she looks like Hinami lol), Minho is Amon Kotaro, Minwoo is probably Ayato Kirishima (because he's kind of psycho-dorky), Samoon could be Uta, Cheun is definitely Rize Kamishiro and last, but not the least, Mr. Steward is definitely Yoshimura-san (especially in the true ending). And did I mention evil Minhyuk's eyes are totally ghoul eyes? 'v'

6. Ib 

Their mom loves to collect paintings and doing so has bankrupted the family legacy. You'll see a bunch of paintings throughout the mansion, though. Not to mention, both games have endings where the main character is "all alone" and both main characters are associated with the color red.

7. Mad Father 

You'd think it's just the mansion that's similar and the blood, gore, parental issues and gameplay. Actually, the true endings of both games are insanely similar (pun intended).

8. Serial Experiments Lain 

Split personalities and experiments. Both series are really flipped with plot twists. The only differences:  Lain has 3 personas and Minhyuk only has 2 and Lain doesn't live in a mansion.

9. Chaos;HEad 

Takumi Nishijou is quite like Minhyuk as a delusional shut-off from the world kind of person. The only difference is that Chaos;HEad is a psychological girls harem but the ending is a bit similar to Enigma in some way, only the other way around for Takumi.

10. Kuroko no Basket 

Cheun and Yuna are pretty much Alex and Riko. Minhyuk and his split personality could be Kuroko and Akashi respectively (or Akashi and his other split personalities). Minwoo reminds me of Kise, Minho is kind of like Midorima and Samoon could be Murasakibara or something. Not exactly a direct reference but it's fun to find that the characters kind of match each other like in Tokyo Ghoul.

11. The Crooked Man 

Both are pretty depressing RPG horror games that includes (really hot, suicidal / homicidal / psychotic) guys. David Hoover and Yoo Minhyuk have both gone through tough times (and their hair color is kind of similar, too). Both of them got over their depression, although in Minhyuk's case, it was a bit more . . . complicated.

12. Paranoiac 

Delusions, delusions everywhere . . . pretty much what it is, except Paranoiac has a girl protagonist named Miki. (This game is from the same developer as TCM, though).

13. Snow White

Connected to the Death Note apple reference. You know what happened.

14. 7 Days, See No Evil, Moon Angel, Diary of Broken/M-Series some of my other original games and stories

In 7 Days, the protagonist also got saved from drowning and was adapted by that woman who saved him. The bad ending is a lot like the true ending of Enigma. See No Evil was a lot like Enigma because of the family tragedy aspect, but in reverse, similar to Chaos;HEad. 

In Moon Angel, I have a Harry Potter-based magician character who also has a split personality (although he's actually his stillborn twin brother) who becomes the main villain of the 2nd arc. In DOB and M-Series, there's a technology that can rewrite memories and also modify physical objects and people, and the main character (Hibiki Kurobu) is kind of like Minhyuk in a way that he's gone through a lot of tragic stuff so much that his Zeryte form might have been his own split personality in a way.

15. The Little Matchgirl

Okay, this reference is something that I only realized when I listened to the omake drama audio on YouTube (which also revealed that Minhyuk became a masochist lol), in which Minyuk was shouting "Matches! Buy my matches, please!" and it all makes sense. See, The Little Matchgirl fairy tale (go Google it) is a direct reference to Minhyuk lighting up his way with a matchstick (instead of a flashlight or a lighter) and seeing delusions, much similar to the original fairy tale story that is also pretty dark in its own way.

16. Gakkou Gurashi!

Both protagonists Minhyuk and Yuki have a common ground for "altering" their reality, especially in the 2nd ending of the game where he tried to create a "different route" so that "everything will be fine".

17. The Boogie Man

A similar RPG horror by Uri from the Strange Men Series (The Crooked Man, The Sandman), The Boogie Man is also set in a huge area (a castle instead of a mansion) with many dark mysteries. Spoiler alert for TBM: 

The first bad ending is directly similar to Enigma's ending (the culprit is the main character's inner demon all along) and that fact is also canon towards the end because Boogie Brendon isn't exactly the one with the paper bag head, compared to the hallucination Boogie Man that Keith encountered, much like how David confronted the Crooked Man (who might either be Duke MacGahan himself or just his inner Crooked Man), and might be similar to the Boogie Man that Sophie encountered. Both Enigma and TBM involve a protagonist trying to deal with a killer in the dark, trying to save everyone. Both Minhyuk (and Samoon) and Keith also constantly blame themselves for events that happened in the past. The only difference is that Uri's games all have happy true endings (although most of my ships don't become canon in the end).

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I might add more to the list if I notice other possible references. Enigma isn't a very known RPG horror game but I think it's a really great game that reminded me a lot of my original stories and games as well.

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