Part 54: HikikOMORIUPDATE 54: HikikOMORI
We've seen the end of Sunny's route - whether that end was good or bad or worse. However, I made mention WAY back in Update 11 that there is... another route in this game. Not only is there another route, but there's at least another couple hours of content that we have not seen or experienced. This route has two colloquial names - The Omori route, or the Hikikomori route. This route features a lot more of Omori, rather than Sunny. We're going to be going on fantastical new journeys and adventures to explore unknown lands... but we'll be doing so, without leaving Sunny's house.
The branching path, in this case, is when Kel knocks on the door on day 1 or, potentially, day 2. If you do decide to not open the door on day 2 but did open it on day 1... you'll get placed back on the Hikikomori route. Though there seems to be some debate as to whether you unlock all the Hikikomori content. I would assume so, because otherwise nothing would happen on the final night. Regardless, I'll be starting a fresh playthrough to take us through Sunny never leaving his house. My one gripe, and it is a major one in my opinion, is that besides some incredibly minor scenes in the real life sections on days 1 and 2, there are no changes in Headspace until the night of day 2 - and even then they are incredibly minor. Meaning you have to replay the game all the way till Black Space before the new Hikikomori content shows up. This is probably fine for people who played and beat the game, took a break, and then jumped in fresh a couple weeks or months later. Less fine when you're doing an LP of the game and just spent an untold amount of time doing the Sunny route. Making me redo Sweetheart's castle? That's a low blow game, a very low blow.
Anyway, this is going to be a short interlude update to bridge the two routes together. I'll only be showing off the differences until the Hikikomori route starts in full on the night of day 3. I'll also show off another couple of things for the hell of it - mostly stuff from the original run that I feel are really pertinent information to take with us into the new route. So expect this update to jump around a bit, feel free to go back and check the original updates if you need more context. First off, we will not be opening the door for Mari on night 0. Believe it or not, that's an actual major choice! Opening the door for Mari is what causes all those Hell Maris to appear and torment Sunny. So if we don't open the door, no Hell Maris! Problem solved! This cuts out quite a few jumpscares out of the picture, though not all of them...
Sunny... Are you there? I'm... I'm cold...
Sunny gets a bit guilt-tripped but that's a small price to pay for no more hell-maris.
Skipping ahead a couple of hours... Nothing new or noteworthy really happens between Night 0 and Day 1. That was Updates 5 - 10 if you want to relive the dreamworld again. But... we're here at the main branching path... and we're going to be choosing the option that Sunny is actually most likely to choose if he wasn't a video game character.
I was wondering... if you wanted to hang out one more time before you go... or whatever... for old time's sake, y'know?
Let's be real here, we've seen what happens if Sunny leaves his house. It's the option that a strong majority of people chose... but would Sunny actually choose it? Based on what we know about him, and what we'll continue to find out about him in the Omori route... I don't think he ever would have answered this door - were it not for our intervention. To the point that there was a part of me that wanted to feature the Hikikomori route first, if the Sunny route wasn't so damn good and interesting. Sunny loves running away from his problems, and there's nothing easier to do than to just... do nothing rather than something.
Kel will continue knocking on the door... giving us even more chances to answer it and change our mind. But we will not be doing so... we're going back to bed.
That's right, instead of going outside and playing with his friends, becoming the pet rock champion of Faraway, tutoring kids, or literally ever meeting Mincy... we're staying inside and doing chores.
Piles of dirt appear in every room in the house (except the toybox room and piano room, Sunny refuses to go in those rooms still). And we need to find all of them and watch Sunny slowly clean them up. It's boring and it sucks... and it really drives in that this is an awful choice if you've been outside before, but if you haven't... why would you have answered the door? It could have been another Hell Mari, for all we know.
Well, this looks familiar! Regardless of whether you leave the house or not on day 1, Sunny still has the same nightmare home in the evening. I made jokes about how Sunny didn't eat much during the normal route... but getting dizzy and fainting is a thing you do when you don't eat. And there's no telling how long Sunny didn't eat before we took control. It definitely fits, for a kid with depression.
Worth pointing out that I edited this new file to give me a WTF value of 13 and I got this to appear! I knew I wasn't crazy to have seen it on my original run.
Since Sunny never leaves the house, he still has the steak knife with him. So we can just cut right through the spider web this time.
Here's an image that probably makes a lot more sense now than the first time we saw it... Outside of that, nothing new happens for quite a while. Let's jump ahead to Sweetheart's castle for our next little bit of continuity.
You may recall the Keeper of the Castle and how nothing came of that in Sunny's route? Well, we'll be coming back later on but we're here for something different this time. If we stand on this grate... a scene appears. And last time, Omori saw Something in what seemed like a land of white light... This time...
A place of fire and brimstone appears. Probably nothing to worry about, to be honest. Could just be an allegory for Sunny forgetting to turn the AC on during the summer. Though, while we're in Sweetheart's castle, let me show off something I missed on Sunny's path.
You can stand on the middle pedestal and have people clap and cheer for you as Omori and friends get called Art. Finally, now I can show my mom and tell her playing video games wasn't a waste of time after all.
There's no other changes during the rest of the first night. The scares in the real world are the same as before, Sweetheart's fight remains the same, and the Lost Library has no differences. But when we wake up... there's already a difference. Kel does not knock on Sunny's door on day 2 if you don't answer on day one. Which made me very sad... he's been trying for months but gives up this close to the end, knowing Sunny isn't going to answer.
Yeah, what would we be doing if we went outside... Reviving a dead marriage? Reconnecting a son with his father? Saving our friend from drowning? Nah, we've got better things to do:
Like washing the dishes! Much more fun for a 16 year old boy to do.
We get a menu of things to wash, the order doesn't particularly matter - like in real life. But if you don't start with some big items to make room in the sink first, you are objectively wrong.
You have a chance to break one of the items while washing them.
Hopefully it wasn't one of the mugs she cares about...
Wow, bathing? Sunny, I don't think you did that in the whole three days we knew you last. Though I guess you made up for it by actually eating...
It's... already the evening. Sunny it took you like 4 hours to wash the dishes. Sure, I've taken an hour before because literally every dish in the house was dirty including several pots and pans... but a whole afternoon?
Same as the previous night, Sunny still has to face something in the water. Even though he's just asleep in his bathtub. And the same as before, it's the exact same scenario except Sunny already has the knife. Still... it's worth revisiting.
Dear Little Brother
Constantly returning to the image of the stairs... not knowing what they mean or why you're so afraid of them. It's got to be terrifying for Sunny.
This scene still plays out too. One of the most traumatic events for Young Sunny, made even more so by the fact that his incredibly loving sister was who saved him... and then...
Not as happy a wake up scene though. No Hero and Kel to greet us, just the cold waters of a sitting bathtub.
No Hell Maris make it a lot easier to look into the mirror... though the fact I don't know if one will appear anyway makes me... extremely nervous. Knowing that it won't appear and still being terrified of it, pretty good game design I'd say.
When we leave the bathroom, we can see the toybox room for the first time in this route. But... Sunny still refuses to acknowledge it. It'd mess with me a bit if this was my first playthrough. Especially since, if you leave the room and come back, the door disappears again. Anyway, let's head back to bed. There's nothing else here for us.
Well... This is a bit creepy. I guess the positive part about spending more time in Headspace is there's less time to spend out here... where Sunny's mind is allowed to roam free.
The shattering sound was this portrait that fell to the ground. There's no way to inspect it and see what it is... but I'm going to take a wild guess and assume it's a portrait of Mari.
If my head was creating such images as to have someone sleeping in my bed, I'd be doing anything to get that to stop. A bed is a safe space, and if it's not I need a trip to the therapist.
Regardless... let's actually put Sunny to bed and get back to what he loves -
HIGH PITCH RINGING SOUND
Only day 2, we've still got another day to go.
This whole scene happens the same as before, with no changes. Which... I don't really like since it really felt like the dream world was reacting to Sunny having experienced the real world for two days. The playground still has no one there, just like before... but there is a minor but important difference.
Instead of Mari waiting at the docks for us, it's Kel.
While you were gone... everyone...
Got tricked into signing contracts! So... we all have jobs now!
Sniff... We're growing up so fast...
My job is to point people to the Last Resort. That's where I work.
It's kinda sorta close by.
Come on, I'll show you! It's just across the water.
The first four lines are the exact same as before, with the last three being the new additions so Kel can justify being here, I guess. Before we continue on, here's a gif of Omori playing alone in the playground. It suits this playthrough better than the one where Sunny actually leaves his home.
Though I would be remiss if I didn't let you know the devs absolutely didn't prepare for you to head back to the park with Kel in tow.
Now then, if we head to the Last Resort. We're going to notice the path is a bit easier this time.
First off, Kel is the one who helps Omori get over his fear of drowning. Which I REALLY don't like compared to Mari. Sure, Kel is a very good friend of Sunny/Omori. But even as a kid, he was not as close to Sunny as Basil or especially Mari. Obviously both of those characters are very triggering for Sunny, Basil especially, but Mari's significance to Sunny cannot be understated. It's what makes the entire game so good. And having Kel as her stand in here somewhat undermines that. I'd rather some goofy ass solution occur to get Omori across the gap rather than Kel just going "Don't be scared dude."
That said, the entire part of Sunny slowly accepting Mari's death is completely skipped for obvious reasons. It's worth pointing out that if this is your first playthrough, you won't even realize Mari is dead at this point. And why would you? What would Sunny gain from forcing himself to accept even that?
This is it for new lines in this area. The toll gator still won't let you through because its a "double-carpool toll lane." You can come check this out in the Sunny route too, but you're unlikely to do so since, c'mon, gotta get the whole party together!
BY YOUR SIDE
Omori! It's so good to see you again!
Anyway, as I was just saying... working pays the bills, but it's not very exciting. So me and Omori are gonna go get Aubrey and Hero... and then...
Ohhh yeaaaaaah! That's what we were going to do!
Hehe... Always happy to help. Let me know if you need anything else, okay?
There's no awkward/depressing scene with Mari this time. Which makes sense, since nothing has happened with her in this route. Which has also been the theme of this playthrough so far - not a lot happening that's different. Things change soon, I promise! Just not for me. Another couple hours of gameplay before we get to the good stuff.
Mr. Jawsum now has a framed picture on his desk now, if you investigate it - you can see it's a picture of him and Hero. He really did enjoy Hero's free labor the most
Night 2 has a few more spooky moments for us, as you can see upon waking up. A lot of the spookiest shit the game has is hidden behind opening the door for Mari on night 0. So my playthrough is going to be somewhat calmer, in comparison.
We can finally investigate the Toy room door and get dragged in tonight. You would still have no idea what the hell is going on if this is your chosen first route.
Going into the living room... there's something new in front of the back door.
Oh... uh, nevermind! Nothing's there.
I made an offhanded reference to this in update 35, but if you have a WTF value of 13, you can get a funny interaction with the book reading Humphrey here in his gut.
This is the only instance of a swear in the whole game, and you can only see it if you have the highest WTF value. I saw people thinking this was an edited line by people but no, it's real! And you can only see it the once. If you talk to them again they go back to talking about reading a book about air conditioning. And, let's be real, as a Texan I fucking love air conditioning too.
We didn't get to see the semi-final key scene because the key was in the experiment tank while we were being chased. So here it is, it's by far the worst.
Feels like some elder god crawling out of our nightmares.
Anyway, that's it for our catchup to the Hikikomori route. Everything else during the route was the exact same, and all the new content will start with the next update. Took you 5 - 10 minutes to read and 13 hours for me to get to this point... I'm not really sure how you fix the fact that the dream world is the same for both routes to this point. I'm reminded of Nier Automata, which also had a 2nd route be very repetitive with slight changes before you get to the route with all the changes. Once you get through, you understand why everything needs to be repeated... but it is a SLOG to go through again. I guess if you can figure out how to bridge that gap, then maybe you've a new career in game design.