Dies Irae

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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A visual novel by the company Light (no not that light)[who?] that has had a colorful release history.

Ren is a high school student. He had a violent fight against Shirou, and was hospitalized for two months. One day, he leaves the hospital, and tries to start a new life. But, it never comes to him. A dream of guillotine..., a murderer who chops off someone's head..., and the knights who chase him.... Ren crosses over the boundary between ordinary life and extraordinary life. "I just wanna go back..., to a boring but peaceful life...." A voice of Shirou suddenly echoes..., "If you live in this town, you'll go mad sooner or later...." A war.... What will happen to Ren in the end...?

Originally intended to be a visual novel with only a single route; Dies Irae underwent some quick rewrites due to Executive Meddling after artwork posted during development lead to interest in characters who were not the main heroine.

Dies Irae: Also Sprach Zarathustra: Had routes for two heroines: Empathic Weapon Maria and Ren's Childhood Friend Kasumi. Due to the hasty rewrite certain key scenes were shortened and back story was left out.

Dies irae Also sprach Zarathustra -die Wiederkunft: Fixed that, adding some new music and plot to make the whole story more enjoyable and also make a bit more sense.

Dies Irae Acta est Fabula: Added two additional routes one with Ensemble Darkhorse tsundere character Rei Sakurai. The other a route focusing on Emotionless Girl Rea Himuro and adding a somewhat vague ending that was filled out in a drama CD.

On the surface it is a regular supernatural story with lots of Gratuitous German and Latin but its focus was truly on the Rule of Cool and its unapologetic admission that although the story is cliche, it was the characters that would drive the story and their interactions received most of the effort.

A PSP version was released in June 2012 with the appropriate changes called Dies Irae Amantes Amentes.

Directed by Mayuki. The Nintendo Switch version has Masada Takashi as co-director.

Tropes used in Dies Irae include:
  • Actor Allusion: Reinhard’s voice actor chose ‘Tom Cruise’ (in katakana) as his pseudonym while working on Dies Irae.
  • All There in the Manual: Two online back stories have been published as well as five Drama CD’s all documenting additional back-story that really explains quite a bit about a lot of the L.D.O. Such as how they all first met and Beatrice’s and Kai’s rebellion.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Karl Kraft does this in the introduction. Makes him all but untouchable except in one route.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Marle, who is the anthropomorphic personification of the guillotine used in the French revolution.
  • Badass Normal: Shirou, who in a few routes never gains any magical ability but still fights with the magically empowered L.D.O. and be taken as a serious threat.
    • Specifically, Wilhelm pulls out his Briah ‘Der Rosenkavalier Schwarzwald’ and only succeeds in taking Shirou down with him.
  • Badass Abnormal: Shirou in the routes where he does acquire his Yetzirah. In Marie’s route he acquires it while punching his way out of a monster that had supposedly killed and eaten him! Easily his Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Despite being a group that the Schutzstaffel found too intense the L.D.O. members are given significant characterization. It is revealed that the few that are not out and out evil and are mostly forced into their roles. Plenty even rebel in all the routes to do their own thing. Not for good reasons each time though. Beatrice and Valeria do everything for their loved ones while Wilhelm just wants a go at fighting Wolfgang/Ren/Shirou/anyone.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Reinhard who cannot be happy unless he is fighting to stay alive, which is hard given that he is so powerful he needs to engineer the apocalypse to do so. As Ren eventually fights with him on even footing due to a Heroic Second Wind his response is to laugh with joy as he cannot see any other way to live. Hell for him 'taking it easy' and 'barely working' is being head of the SS!
    • Karl Kraft can see into the future and as so goads Reinhard into his whole plan of re-creating the world so that he may see something he could not immediately predict the outcome of. His general actions when a member of the L.D.O. freak out all the other members except Reinhard, remember that the L.D.O. is composed mostly of Complete Monsters or Blood Kights and they feel Karl is too weird.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Tubal Cain. He only gets worse from there.
  • For the Evulz: Wolfgang just Wolfgang. He sings nursery rhymes while he stabs people to death. Although killing people and drinking their souls gives your relic more power Wolfgang was a serial killer before he was drafted into the L.D.O.
  • Ghostapo: The Longinus Dreizehn Orden or L.D.O. is this played dead strait. A unit made up of people who Took a Level In Badass at the very least.
  • Historical Domain Character: Half the cast
  • Light Is Not Good: Big Bad Reinhard is the only character with a white uniform, uses a golden holy lance and seems almost to give of golden light. He also starts the apocalypse for fun.
  • Never My Fault: The German soldiers in the prologue set in World War II are very unapologetic about starting the war with Russia and complain loudly about story being Written by the Winners.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Getting a relic seems to do this. Turning genuinely scary murderers and soldiers into super-powered Ghostapo members.
  • Talking to Himself: Karl and Ren have the same voice actor.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Inverted emotionally with Reinhard who only gets happier as it looks like he might lose. He had never had a problem fighting anyone before that due to his Story-Breaker Power status.