Steins;Gate was developed by 5pb. and Nitroplus before being adapted to a full-length anime series two years after its release. Following the success of the original Steins;Gate, we got yet another anime visual novel in the form of Steins;Gate 0 for PS4 and PS Vita. The sequel surpassed all expectations, and we expect more to come from the franchise. If you have a thing for dark and twisted tales, we strongly recommend checking Steins;Gate 0 out. It does not matter whether you opt to play the visual novel or watch the anime and it is completely up to your personal preference. There are two versions of the game, with the Japanese variant being much darker than the western release.
Steins;Gate 0’s Descent into Darkness
Following the events of Steins;Gate, Okabe finally finds himself in the Beta worldline and is visited by Suzuha who travels to Okabe using her time machine. Even though Okabe had avoided the dystopia of the Alpha worldline and all other parallel universes connected to it, the Beta worldline can potentially suffer the same fate. The only way to prevent the world from going into ruin is to save Kurisu from being murdered and preventing World War 3. But the truth is, there is no way to save her.
A parallel we can draw from the setting is what we experienced in Life is Strange. No matter how hard Max tried to alter the events of the past to keep Chloe from dying, it only made things worse. Despite his attempts, Okabe becomes a tool of fate itself and ends up killing Kurisu. While Okabe does have the option of going back in time and trying again, he can’t bring himself to see the love of his life die one more time. With no clear solution to the problem, Okabe receives a transmission from his future self. The only way to saving Kurisu is to find the perfect timeline which we know as Steins;Gate.
Coming back to the present, Okabe finds himself sinking in guilt after killing Kurisu. He ends up destroying the time machine and all traces of his research. All that is left of Okabe is an empty shell of a man he used to be. We are then introduced to Maho, a neuroscientist who also happens to be a close friend of Kurisu’s. After learning about Okabe’s relationship with Kurisu, Maho offers to help. It is revealed that Maho had been working on a human memory backup mechanism that could restore the personality, voice, and memories of Kurisu. We have seen a similar theme in ‘Black Mirror’s ‘Be Right Back’ episode. At the end of the day, it is all science fiction. While it might be possible for humans to preserve their memories, personalities and physical characteristics in the future, one life is all we have. However, things do not have the same stakes in Steins;Gate 0. Kurisu’s death can lead to World War 3 and Okabe realizes that the only option is to go ahead with the Amadeus protocol.