Ai to Yuuki to Kashiwamochi
Ai to Yuuki to Kashiwamochi (literally Love, Courage, and Leaf-Wrapped Rice Cakes, translated as Love Mochi in the iPhone version) is a puzzle game about Ai-chan. She's just like any other girl. And she's also an Ill Girl who dreams of a stark, brown world containing all the sweets she could possibly want to eat (But what she really wants to eat is kashiwa mochi), and a boy named Yuki. The gameplay is very similar to Yoshi's Cookie, and considering the theme of the game, it fits pretty well.
But Ai isn't just an Ill Girl, but the Littlest Cancer Patient as well. As the game progresses, she slips closer and closer to the edge. And Yuki? It turns out he's a shinigami come to take her away if she gets to that point. Once you play enough times, Yuki takes her away and you're left with just the game without Ai to cheer you on. You'll have to get 50,000 points to bring her back. Can be downloaded here.
A sequel of sorts, Ai to Yuuki to Kashiwa Mochi Kai (Love, Courage, and Leaf-Wrapped Rice Cakes: Unexpected Meeting) was later released at a convention, with its gameplay and storyline, if you take the most obvious interpretation, being a crossover between Kashiwa Mochi and Irisu Syndrome. As of 2011, it can be bought here, along with some Maou Monogatari Monogatari artwork that was packaged with the convention version. More recently, the creator produced an iPhone version of the original game in both Japanese and English, which you can purchase here.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming - Scoring 200,000 points gives you the best ending, where Ai overcomes death itself, and ends with a picture of Ai munching on the game's third namesake with her mother. And then her image on the title screen shows that she's gotten over the boy in her dreams, to boot!
- Just bringing Ai back is cause for celebration.
- Designated Villain - In the end, isn't Yuki just doing his job?
- Earn Your Happy Ending - You need to score 200,000 points for Ai to completely get over Yuki.
- Foreshadowing - Even without being told, take a good look at Yuki in the opening movie or the third ending screen. HIS ARM IS SKELETAL. Ending screen 2 also has a skeletal arm but you don't know who it belongs to.
- When the game over sequence starts and all the candy rains down, let it keep going. A single pill will fall out of the sky in the end. This stops happening after the 50,000 point ending.
- Grim Reaper - Yuki is a shinigami.
- Grotesque Cute - Yuki.
- Interface Screw - As you progress, the sweets on the title screen become medical supplies. And Yuki becomes a skeleton. And then there were none.
- Lighter and Softer - Compared to Irisu Syndrome, anyway.
- Meaningful Name - Ai mainly means love. Yuki, ironically, means courage. (Alternatively, it means "snow," depending on the kanji.)
- Mood Whiplash - There's no warning that Ai is slowly dying. It looks happy, and then you progress and the tiles on the title screen start turning into syringes and pills while story segments point out how ill Ai-chan is. Also the music played during the game over sequence is rather melancholy considering how bright and cheerful the rest of the music is.
- Multiple Endings - There's 5 ending screens, and three total endings. One bad, one where Ai just can't let go, and a happy one.
- Nintendo Hard - Looks easy enough at first, but if you can't figure out how to combo correctly, you have no hope of being able to get enough points to get anything better than the worst possible ending.
- Nothing Is Scarier - After the 13th game over , Ai and Yuki are completely removed from the game. The pause screen and animated introduction also changes to reflect this. Also if you get the 50,000 point ending, but have yet to achieve the 200,000 point ending, Ai looks as though Yuki is still in the scenes- although Yuki does appear in the animated introduction.
- Player Punch - No matter how many points you had before, you're going to get the bad ending. And then you're going to play like hell to get Ai back.
- Scary Surprise Party - The ending to Kashiwa Mochi Kai. Ai's mother disappearing and the various spooky pictures you unlock all turn out to have mundane explanations.
- Scoring Points - 50,000 for the Bittersweet Ending and 200,000 for the Happy Ending. Also up to 50,000 points, you get one of three screens that indicate your performance.
- Soundtrack Dissonance - The same cheery music will keep playing even on that screen on the top of the page. Even when Ai vanishes it'll be playing.
- Sugar Bowl: Kind of. There's plenty of sweets, but the main colors of the environment in Ai's dream is brown and orange-ish..
- Surprise Creepy
- Tastes Like Diabetes - And has it, if Ai-chan's illness is any indication.
- Tear Jerker - The Bad Ending.
- The Stinger - Once you do well enough, Kashiwamochi tiles are added to the game. Yuki moving away from his usual position in the Bad Ending reveals that a hospital was there all along. The hospital will then vanish after getting 50,000 points, replaced by Ai returning.
- Thirteen Is Death - Fail 13 times and the usual game over rains medical supplies instead of sweets. And then they fall away and Yuki, now a skeleton, takes Ai away. Also playing the game after the 12th game over will give you the title screen at the top of the page.