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I figured since this game can be charitably described as “tangled” I should probably include a refresher course for what we have and haven’t seen so far. I’ve sorted these by character, but all the information is still in the order we originally saw it. I realize that making people bounce back and forth through this document to read this stuff in that order is unnecessarily confusing and complicating matters, but when you really think about it, is there anything more appropriate for this game than that?

Anyway, meet our cast of intrepid teenagers. These are their stories:

Juro Kurabe

(1) (Chapter 1) As the kaiju invasion begins in 1985, Juro witnesses Iori Fuyusaka summon a Sentinel and follows suit. Renya Gouto, who is also there, calls him “Izumi,” which Juro rejects. Some days earlier, Juro discovers files with his photo and the name “Juro Izumi” in the office of Ms. Morimura, the school nurse. Later, Juro and his friend Kyuta Shiba walk home when they encounter Keitaro Miura looking pale. When Juro touches Miura, whose forehead is glowing mysteriously, Juro’s hand begins to glow and a giant robot called a “Sentinel” appears, destroying a local video store. Shiba suddenly grouses about “Okino’s damn code” and a “forced activation protocol” before saying Juro “needs to forget about this.” Juro then clutches his head.

(2) (Chapter 8) In the cafeteria looking for Shu Amiguchi (because Shiba wants to play video games at his place), Juro encounters Natsuno Minami. Natsuno has asked Juro to take in Miura for a while in return for not telling anyone that Megumi Yakushiji is also living at his house.

(3) (Chapter 21) Having missed Shu Amiguchi before, Juro finally discovers his location by eavesdropping on Tomi and Iori. Juro asks Shu if he can hang out at his place due to his own “troubles at home” and Shu agrees. Shiba then mooches off Shu’s game console for a few hours while Juro talks to Shu about a traumatic dream he had that’s been causing him to avoid Megumi. In the dream, an older man resembling Juro (going by “Izumi”) has already killed multiple people and has chased down Shu (as “Ida”), Megumi, and Iori. Izumi shoots all three of them and is about to finish off Ida before Morimura appears and incapacitates him with something that appears to be Fluffy’s magical gun.

Iori Fuyusaka (Allegra Clark)

(1) (Chapter 2) Iori, who overslept and is late on the first day of school, is running with the customary toast-in-mouth to class. She bumps into Ei Sekigahara, who picks up the student ID she leaves behind as she absconds. Later that day, Iori and her friend Miwako meet Tomi “Usami” Kisaragi. They hear about a cat on campus from Natsuno, and Iori goes out to look for it. While outside, Iori encounters Juro and Shu talking about mysterious dreams they’ve been having. Back during the final battle, Gouto explains to Iori and Juro about defending the terminals and activating “Aegis.”

(2) (Chapter 12) While walking home from school with Miwako and Tomi, Iori recalls an incident with Juro and Shu. Juro remarks that it feels like they’ve met before, and Shu talks about his dreams.This causes Iori to bring up a dream she had that Shu was in. In Iori’s dream, she is in a futuristic city and mentions having been sent back 16 years to around the time she was born without Juro or Okino, who she was with before. Suddenly, a giant non-Sentinel robot appears and Shu pops out. Shu calls himself “Tetsuya Ida” and Iori “Chihiro Morimura,” and says he was sent there by the future Morimura to find her. The two then flee the scene.

Takatoshi Hijiyama (Kaiji Tang)

(1) (Chapter 3) In 1945, Hijiyama chases after Kiriko Douji, a girl he has a crush on who has been accused of espionage. Kiriko is the daughter of Professor Douji, who supposedly designed the Sentinels. However, none of this is true: Kiriko says that Douji’s actual daughter lives in Tokyo, and she hasn’t stolen any intelligence on the Sentinels because she designed them. Kiriko then disappears in a flash of light shortly before Ei appears in pursuit. When Hijiyama confronts him, Ei mentions that “Kiriko” is actually a boy named Tsukasa Okino, and mentions that he’s going to time travel. Hijiyama refuses to leave and is brought along when Ei shifts to 1985. Six months later, Hijiyama encounters Okino again and follows him to an abandoned warehouse. Back during the final battle, Okino talks to Hijiyama, but it is unclear where Okino is or if he is in a Sentinel. Okino tells Hijiyama not to talk to the others about him.

Natsuno Minami (Erica Mendez)

(1) (Chapter 4) At school, Natsuno breaks up a confrontation between Yuki Takamiya, her old childhood friend, and Nenji Ogata. Later, after track practice, she encounters mysterious men in black, and discovers a small robot that she believes to be an alien in the track room. She names it “BJ” after the first words it says to her, “B J Eleven Five.“ BJ leads Natsuno to Tokisaka Shrine, where he shifts them into 2065, which has been destroyed by the kaiju. BJ explains that he is looking for Sentinel #17 before they retreat back to 1985.

(2) (Chapter 9) Natsuno has been keeping BJ at school in the track room to avoid detection, but he keeps trashing the place. When Natsuno leaves with BJ for the gate, she is confronted by an MIB and told to show the contents of her bag, which BJ is hiding inside. Natsuno flees, encounters Nenji who works himself up into a horny frenzy, tries to help, and gets punched out, then hides in a classroom, where she witnesses Yuki working with the men in black.

(3) (Chapter 23) Natsuno comes back to the track room to find that the track captain has discovered BJ in box form after he trashed the place again. Natsuno tells an awful lie and claims he’s an alarm clock. This time, Natsuno evades the MIB and heads to the gate at Tokisaka Shrine, shifting to 1945. Natsuno overhears a conversation between Tamao and Gouto where Tamao says that the new pills Gouto has been giving her are suppressing the visions of the future the old pills gave her, as well as Tamao mentioning “the weapon at Ayame Pass.” Natsuno heads there to find Sentinel #19, which is unfortunately not the one BJ is able to pilot as it belonged to his dead friend instead of him. BJ detects a change in the systems of this Sentinel before the two are forced to hide from an arriving Miura. They overhear Miura mention that Professor Douji is suspending operations for an unknown reason. After Miura leaves, Okino shows up and the two overhear him say that his “test” of nanomachine reconstruction on Miura’s brain was successful. Okino removes the lock on the Sentinel and then adds something else, mentioning that “the data” will “spread from Miura to the others,” surely referring to the activation protocol Juro encounters. Natsuno and BJ then head back to Tokisaka Shrine only for Okino to show up again. Okino notices that the settings on the shifter have been changed and resets them before shifting away, stranding Natsuno and BJ in 1945 until BJ can reanalyze the password or whatever. Natsuno is then spotted by Miura, leading to the scene in Miura’s prologue.

(4) (Chapter 24) Natsuno hitches a ride back to 1985 by squirreling herself away in an access hatch of Sentinel #19 when Miura takes it to fight the kaiju. The Sentinel itself has buried itself halfway into a building, and Miura has already fled the scene. BJ and Natsuno do the same. Some time later after school, Natsuno has searched for Miura but believes he has been captured by the MIB. Natsuno realizes she has left her notebook with sensitive information about BJ and the kaiju in a classroom and goes to look for it. After she finds it, BJ tells Natsuno that a mysterious presence is approaching and she should run away, before “Tomi” approaches and fires at Natsuno with the magical gun. Natsuno runs and hides in a stall of the girls’ bathroom, but is cornered when suddenly Tamao Kurabe arrives. Tamao, who is identical to Erika Aiba, reveals that she is an android based on the real Tamao Kurabe, with “Tomi” being another that has been taken over by a being named “426”. The two androids fight while Natsuno cowers in the stall, only emerging once the noise stops. The bathroom has been destroyed and the Tomi android has been shredded, but Tamao begins acting oddly before temporarily incapacitating BJ and pointing the magical gun at Natsuno, 426 having switched bodies from the Tomi android to the Tamao android. 426 tells Natsuno that she is the new commander of the kaiju before shooting her in the cheek. When Natsuno comes to, both androids are gone and she has no memory of what transpired.

Megumi Yakushiji (Cristina Valenzuela)

(1) (Chapter 5) In 2024, Megumi and Tomi Kisaragi are walking to school when a Sentinel suddenly appears next to them. The Sentinel contains Juro Izumi, who says that he has come from the future and the frontline has been broken. Six months later, Megumi is in 1985 (god). In between these scenes, Megumi and Juro Izumi became lovers, but Juro left to fight the kaiju again and had Morimura bring Megumi and Tomi to 1985. At school in 1985, Megumi sees Juro, but Morimura tells her that they had to give him a new identity as Juro Kurabe to save his mind from the damage it took operating the Sentinel. Morimura tells Megumi not to go near Juro again. Months afterward, Megumi encounters a talking cat that says he can help restore Juro Izumi if she helps seal the “Deimos Code,” a “curse” that destroyed the cat’s world. At the final battle, Megumi, Tomi, and Nenji fight together, and Tomi mentions being shot by Megumi.

(2) (Chapter 17/18) Megumi arrives home at the Kurabe residence to find that the cat, Fluffy, is already there. Fluffy goads her about having shot Renya Gouto with a “magical gun” as part of their contract, having done so after Gouto expressed a willingness to have Juro get back into a Sentinel to fight the kaiju. Gouto also mentions needing a password to “remove the infection” from the Sentinels or anyone who uses one will end up like Juro. After Megumi shoots Gouto, Fluffy explains that he will forget the incident. When Juro arrives home, he treats Megumi with brusque annoyance. The next day, Megumi witnesses Iori speaking with Juro and hopes she is a witch in a fit of jealousy. Fluffy also gives Megumi a new “witch” whose “powers” need to be “sealed,” Ei, but she is unable to successfully shoot him because she poses with her gun out like an imbecile and he gets the drop on her. Megumi flees, remembering the event in 2025 after Juro Izumi left to fight the kaiju when she discovered his battered Sentinel and she stayed with him as he faded, overuse of the Sentinel having damaged his mind permanently. Also Ei showed up again during that last scene.

(3) (Chapter 26) Megumi talks with Miura at the Kurabe household and remembers “sealing” him with the magical gun, finding out about his surgical scar from Fluffy. Fluffy also mentions that the “component” embedded in Miura’s forehead forces the “witches” to use their “magic,” but also makes them immune to the “curse,” preventing him from suffering Juro’s fate when using a Sentinel. Back in the present, Miura hears about a gas explosion destroying a video store on TV and suddenly leaves. Fluffy tells Megumi her next target is Shu Amiguchi. The next day, Megumi approaches Shu and asks to speak with him, which upsets Juro. They meet alone on the roof after school, but when Megumi shoots Shu with the magical gun a Sentinel suddenly appears, Shu having come into contact with Miura as well. Juro also witnessed the entire incident, but Fluffy tells Megumi he can alter Juro’s memories to remove this event.

Shu Amiguchi (Mick Wingert)

(1) (Chapter 6) One day while riding his motorcycle, Shu runs into Yuki and local delinquent Wajima about to come to blows. Shu intervenes and “rescues” Yuki, then hits on her for a bit before dropping her off near the headquarters of Shikishima Industries. Yuki mentions she’s about to transfer to Shu’s school, Sakura High. Before leaving the area, Shu witnesses Morimura enter the Shikishima building. Later, Shu has a dream where a woman who looks exactly like Morimura calls him “Ida.” She sacrifices herself to send “Ida” back to Sumire Bridge 16 years prior, telling him to find her younger self there and tell her everything. When Shu wakes up, his TV mysteriously turns itself on, and the idol Miyuki Inaba starts talking to him through it.

(2) (Chapter 15) The day after his encounter with Miyuki Inaba, Shu finds Miura at school conversing with a robot that may or may not be BJ. After it flies off, Shu makes a bad joke about Miura being from the future, which distresses Miura. Shu then remembers a dream he had, where he (referred to again as “Tetsuya Ida”) and Tomi talk in a ruined 2025. After expressing confusion about where the populace disappeared to, they talk about Tomi’s online presence as a singer, where Tomi realizes that the fan who encouraged her that she had feelings for was Ida. Miura then arrives with Morimura to rescue them.

Ei Sekigahara (Kyle McCarley)

(1) (Chapter 7) Ei flees from a man in black pursuing him. He knocks the MIB out with a phaser and steals a communication device. His oldest memory is of a few days ago, waking up next to the corpse of Morimura, finding at the scene the phaser, some pills, a note with some numbers, a mysterious key, Iori’s student ID, and an envelope with a file giving instructions to kill Morimura. He flees from the scene as the MIB arrive, because he blatantly murdered her. Later, he encounters Yuki, who leaves him a robot identical to BJ with a message from his past self on it. Ei’s past self tells him he’s “from another dimension” and to find the information he left behind. Back at the final battle, all 13 of the Sentinels converge to defend the terminals.

(2) (Chapter 11) One night, the communication device Ei stole begins to emit sound. Ei answers it and is praised by a mysterious voice for handling “the Morimura assignment.” The voice knows that Ei has seen the recording from his other self and instructs him not to trust anyone. Ei examines the ID card he found in his pocket earlier and decides to find Iori at Sakura High the next day. When he meets up with Iori, she mentions having confessed her feelings to Ei, which he has not responded to. Ei decides to investigate the nurse’s office for clues about Morimura, which Iori offers to help with after class. After Iori mentions a “secret” of Morimura’s, Ei suddenly remembers an incident just before the kaiju invasion in 2064 where he overheard Morimura talking with Tetsuya Ida, who is also the SIU director, about “Operation Aegis,” which will stop the kaiju but apparently destroy the flow of time or something. They also talk about “closing the loop.” After Morimura leaves, Ei talks to Ida about a deal they made where Ei will give Ida control of certain Sentinels in exchange for Ida’s promise to stop “using” Ryoko Shinonome.

(3) (Chapter 25) Iori escorts Ei through campus to the nurse’s office. On the way, he sees Yuki and attempts to chase after her to ask about her delivery of the message from himself, but is unable. Upon entering the nurse’s office, Ei discovers some pills that Morimura was apparently administering to Ryoko, Shu, and Juro. When Iori leaves to try to obtain a key to Morimura’s desk, Megumi enters the office and points the magical gun at Ei, resulting in a Mexican standoff between them. Megumi expresses confusion about this, saying she’s just doing what Ei asked her to, but Tomi arrives suddenly and intervenes. Megumi runs away and is chased by Tomi, but not before Tomi’s choice of words awakens a dormant memory in Ei. In the memory, Ei is investigating a destroyed facility in 2104 he got shifted to after the battle in 2064. Ei complains about his headaches before being attacked by two awakening androids, but is saved by Tomi. Tomi says that the surface in this era is covered in lethal radiation and that Ei has been infected with “code DD-426,” a program in his nanomachines that is destroying his memory and damaging his brain, potentially causing him to become a husk. Tomi tells Ei that in exchange for his help shifting out of the era, she can stall the effects of DD-426. Ei agrees, but realizes that Tomi is an android taken over by an escaped AI. The AI tells him to find Tsukasa Okino, the pre-eminent expert in DD-426.

Yuki Takamiya (Laura Post)

(1) (Chapter 10) A few days before Yuki transfers to Sakura High, she is brought into the offices of the SIU (Special Investigations Unit) following an altercation at another school where she broke the bones of several gang members. The director of the SIU offers Yuki a job going undercover at Sakura High investigating the link between several students (including Natsuno) and Shikishima Industries in exchange for transferring her imprisoned father to a safer facility. Yuki bristles at the offer and the rudeness of Ryoko, who is also undercover and her direct superior, but the director believes she will accept. Two weeks after transferring, Yuki discovers that Natsuno has gone missing and that strange people have been witnessed around her house. Yuki confronts both Ryoko and the director, who tell her not to investigate.

(2) (Chapter 19) Yuki and fellow student slash mystery novel buff Erika Aiba decide to investigate Natsuno’s disappearance. Talking to the track team, the pair discovers that Natsuno stopped coming to practice after a mysterious fire in the north building. Yuki questions Nenji about this and finds out that the incident, which took place in the girls’ bathroom, was rumored to not actually be a fire. Sure enough, when Yuki and Aiba investigate the bathroom, they find no signs of *fire* damage, but plenty of literally every other kind. The place is fucking destroyed, is what I’m saying. Yuki finds a pair of distinctive red glasses on the floor and questions Tomi about them as she wears an identical pair. However, Tomi claims innocence until Miwako says that she did see Natsuno running away from Tomi that day. Miwako also mentions having seen a plain-looking girl covered in dust walking away from the direction of the bathroom afterwards. However, Iori arrives and claims that she and Tomi were waiting for Miwako in a separate location that day, putting Tomi in two places at once.

Keitaro Miura (Zach Aguilar)

(1) (Chapter 16) From “Satellite Orbit” in 2187, Keitaro Miura and Natsuno Minami discuss space exploration and progress on a “colony.” Natsuno mentions that the “machines’ self-replication” may lead to “the invasion of intelligent life.” Miura states that if he could be born in any era, he would choose imperial Japan in the era of World War II, because he’s a goddamn lunatic. In 1944, Miura and Hijiyama go to visit the “old” schoolhouse, just built in this era, and talk about how Miura has been chosen to pilot the top-secret weapon called a “Sentinel,” allowing Japan to potentially win the war. They encounter Tamao Kurabe (which is also the name of Juro’s grandmother), who is showing “Kiriko Douji” around. Months later, it is Miura’s free day. Kiriko has vanished and been branded a spy, and Japan has been plagued by air raids. While talking to himself, Miura discovers Natsuno Minami hiding in some bushes before hearing an air raid siren. They run to the neighborhood where his sister Chihiro is staying with Tamao to find it burning to the ground. Miura finds Chihiro’s stuffed doll and fears the worst until she arrives with Tamao. The group then discovers that the arriving kaiju are the source of the destruction. Miura leaves Natsuno with Tamao and Chihiro to go fight them in his Sentinel, but Natsuno chases after him.

Tomi Kisaragi (Cassandra Lee Morris)

(1) (Chapter 20) After shifting to 1985, Tomi takes in the strangeness of the era, then pisses off Nenji by insulting his hair to the point that Gouto has to intervene. Tomi wishes to return to 2025 and find her parents, but Gouto tells her that it has been destroyed and they are gone. Tomi does not believe this and endeavors to dig up some kind of corporate blackmail on Shikishima so she can force them to allow her to return. Yes, that is actually her plan, and she tries to accomplish this by checking out financial reports from the library. Anyway, after mentioning Shikishima to Miwako, Tomi finds out that Miwako’s old childhood friend has a father that works for Shikishima, and asks to meet them. Unfortunately for Tomi, the friend is Nenji. Wah waaaaaaah! The two bicker for a bit before all three of them including Miwako are instantly and completely out-of-nowhere transported to a destroyed cityscape. They realize that they are in the same city, but a sighting of kaiju causes Tomi to realize that they are in 2025 and Gouto was telling the truth about its destruction. Afterwards, Miwako discovers someone else is there with them.

(2) (Chapter 28) Tomi, Miwako, and Nenji are still trapped in 2025, along with the unconscious Ryoko, who Miwako discovered passed out. Nenji brings back some soft drinks and mentions some dead kaiju, which piques Tomi’s interest. The two head over to some kaiju remains and remark that they look like machines before an android forces them to hide. Once it leaves, Tomi notices a Shikishima logo on the inside of the dead kaiju, leading them to realize the invasion was man-made. Tomi then messes around with a control panel with no luck due to her lack of a “Biometric ID” match, leading Nenji to try. It works, possibly due to his father’s status as a Shikishima board member. The two discover that the kaiju are actually terraforming machines from 2188 meant for planetary development that have somehow been directed to attack Earth’s past instead.

Nenji Ogata

(1) (Chapter 29) Nenji is on a train platform with Tomi when he suddenly realizes he’s been in this situation before. He originally followed Tomi onto her train home from school, but his last memory is of the train derailing. Nenji tries to convince Tomi not to get on the train, but after he gets into a pointless fight with Wajima she brushes him off. Nenji once again follows Tomi, but remembers too late the cause of the train derailment: the arrival of the kaiju. The train derails once again, and Nenji wakes up in his Sentinel cockpit. He panics over Tomi, but a mysterious voice contacts him and asks him about a “D-Code key.” When Nenji says he doesn’t know anything about it, the voice says “I’m sending you back” and tells him to find the key. Nenji comes to once more on the train platform with Tomi.

(2) (Chapter 30) Nenji ignores the voice’s instructions and focuses on trying to get Tomi to safety. He successfully convinces her not to board the train, but the two are eventually overrun by the kaiju invasion after escaping the station. When Nenji returns to the void with the mysterious voice, he demands that the voice help Tomi. The voice agrees in return for finding the key. Nenji then agrees to cooperate.

(3) (Chapter 31) Back on the train platform, Nenji asks Tomi and Wajima about the key, to no avail. After another loop, Nenji spots Iori and Okino together on the platform, recognizing Okino from somewhere. He decides to follow them onto their train to ask about the key. When he boards the train, neither are present. Nenji asks a young girl if she’s seen them, but the girl suddenly transforms into Iori. When Nenji asks her about the key, she transforms into Morimura the nurse, then Morimura in the black catsuit, then shoots Nenji with the magical gun. This awakens a dormant memory from when Nenji was seven, when Catsuit Morimura told him he would call monsters to destroy the world in the future, then shot him with the magical gun, implanting him with nanomachines to add onto “the program” already inside him. Afterward, Morimura said that doing this would allow them to prepare their weapons: the Sentinels. Nenji returns to the void and realizes that the mysterious voice had no awareness of where they were sending Nenji each loop until he told them.

(4) (Chapter 32) Nenji questions Iori about what transpired on the last loop, but she’s even more confused about what he’s asking than he is. Ryoko then shows up, so he asks her about the key but gets no answers. Nenji follows her onto her train, but when he boards he finds Ryoko and Ei passed out, with Ei holding a mysterious item labeled “DD-426.” Ida then reveals himself, saying that it’s “poison” used to infect the D-forces (the kaiju), with Ei and Ryoko ending up as collateral damage. Ryoko’s strange “condition” is a side effect. Ida says that fifteen teenagers are responsible for “commanding” the D-forces, which are an inescapable curse created by mankind. Then everything explodes. When Nenji returns to the void, he tells the voice about what he saw and the voice’s instructions remain vague. The voice’s static in its portrait starts to lift, revealing it to be Tsukasa Okino, who Nenji recognizes from the station.

(5) (Chapter 33) Nenji returns to the train platform and seeks out Okino. Okino seems confused by Nenji’s confrontation, and is ultimately chased onto the train. When Nenji follows, he is immediately thrust back into the void. Here, Okino expresses surprise that Nenji can see him before Hijiyama reveals himself. Nenji suddenly remembers getting sucker-punched and knocked out by Hijiyama, before he wakes up in a dark factory tied to a chair with a strange device attached to his head. Okino and Hijiyama, who are in the room in the flesh, wonder how Nenji broke out and answer his questions about the D-Code. The D-Code is a program that controls the kaiju, also known as “D-forces.” It was implanted into fifteen people without their knowledge, calling the kaiju from within themselves to destroy the world. Only one of these fifteen now-teenagers has the D-Code key at any one time. Okino and Hijiyama were trying to find the key by kidnapping Nenji, who used to have it, and extracting the data from him. However, the data was too buried in Nenji’s memories, so they had to have Nenji search himself. Upon hearing this, Nenji realizes that the train station was an illusion constructed entirely from his memories. Okino fixes the exploit that allowed Nenji to use the fake Okino’s access ID to leave the simulation, then moves to plug him back in, telling Nenji not to struggle because the device coming off his head forcefully could cause him never to wake up. Before Nenji goes under again, Hijiyama tells him that his only option is to cooperate and find the key.