Ghosts Of The Abyss
Always the same deal, return to sender. Ghosts, lovers, the mail. My new mantra, Heavenwill protect the working girl. Not from erosion, the side of a hill that grows steeper or less steep,Any particular heartbreak. Instead: existential. Dante's inferno, Angels and Not Angels, la de da.Look into the abyss and the abyss will look back at you, Nietzsche says. Come bride take my name, the radio sings. [End Page 90] Benji tells an urban legend: phantom motorcycle driver looking for his OneTrueLove. Out on the bridge past midnightin Okeanna, Ohio, flash your brights, he'll come to the car. When they tried it, Benji got the williesso bad he saw orange, almost passed out. At First Beach in Washington, the Pacific threw an entire driftwood tree onto shore. Once, after a date,every streetlight I drove under turned off with a wink. My thought: something sinister playing itself out.Like houses at dusk, low-flying planes, like an empty closet. In New York City, a strange boy got in bed with X and would not get out.I don't let myself think about the things I can't think about. My sister balances on two logs at a driftwood beachand it is easy to believe she will not fall. The wind howls on Mount Moscow, Bethany says, so forlorn. For no reason, you'll find peaches rotting near the entrance to the most winding trail.The stoplights in my town tonight are all red, hyperbolic, stop stop would you just stop. So I do. [End Page 91]
Ghosts of the Abyss
After defeating the female ghost, Mio passes out and learns in a vision that the ghost, Miyako Sudo, was trapped in the village and then strangled by her boyfriend's ghost, seemingly an act of madness after he was also trapped in The Lost Village. During this vision, brief scenes of a woman in a white kimono is shown, laughing maniacally, an event that is also described in Miyako's diaries and is implied to have been an influence in her mental disintegration before being found by her boyfriend and killed. Mio wakes up from the vision alone and sees her sister about to leave the house by herself, apologizing and saying that she must go. Mayu is then shown following a trail of crimson butterflies deeper into the village, stopping in an alleyway where an unknown woman in a white kimono is standing, facing away from her. Mio traces Mayu's path and is led towards the house of the village's ceremony master, the Kurosawa House. She views Mayu entering through the front gate, but cannot reach her in time, and discovers that the gate to the house is now locked, forcing her to go find the keys. When leaving the gate, Mio is also greeted by the crimson butterflies, which lead her to a storehouse where she meets an unnamed white-haired boy (Itsuki), who is locked inside the storehouse for unknown reasons. Itsuki says to Mio, whom he refers to as "Yae", that "the ritual is about to start" and the she and Sae must leave the village immediately. He tells Mio that "Sae is about to start the ritual at the ceremony master's house," and tells her how to find the gate keys so she can go stop her. At this time, it is unknown to Mio why she is being called Yae, but there is no doubt that Itsuki's reference to Sae overlaps with Mio's twin, Mayu, who is also at the ceremony master's house, implying that Yae and Sae are also twins. Before departing, Itsuki tells Mio that if she cannot find a way to leave the village, to come back to him for assistance. Mio is now free to explore the village to search for the gate keys, which opens a new area at the back of the village where veiled priests are seen traveling up a path to a shrine housing an old mirror, along with an area atop a hill with an alter and torches being guarded by a group of angry villager ghosts. After retrieving the gate keys from their respective shrines, Mio makes her way to the ceremony master's house.
Inside the Kurosawa house, Mio encounters more ghosts of the villagers and veiled priests who speak, saying things like "the twins that become the sacrifice have returned" and "The Kusabi is coming", though the Kusabi is not explained at the time. A scene then shows Mayu walking in a trance-like state through the house, murmuring "The Repentance has begun. Everyone is dead," before entering a room where the unknown woman in the white, now bloody, kimono (Sae) is standing. After Mio also makes her way to that room, she receives a vision where the room is covered in dead bodies and Sae is standing in the middle, laughing maniacally, before an entity of a tormented man covered with ropes appears and begins to chase her. Unknown to Mio at the time, this ghost is called the Kusabi and it pursued and murdered many of the village's inhabitants during the Repentance, the disastrous result of the failed Crimson Sacrifice. Mio finally escapes the Kusabi and continues to look for her sister. In the house, she finds research from The Folklorist, Seijiro Makabe, which describes the Crimson Sacrifice ritual's purpose to seal the gate to hell and how it results in Twin Shrine Maidens becoming crimson butterflies that return to watch over the village. His research also finally reveals to the player that the Repentance is a reference to the disaster that occurs whenever all of the multiple attempted ceremonies that make up the Crimson Sacrifice ritual end up failing, a time when the gate to hell will open and release calamity, plunging the village into darkness. Later, a vision shows the Folklorist, along with his assistant, Ryozo Munakata, arriving at All God's Village in order to conduct this research and is interrupted multiple times with images showing the Folklorist being tied up in ropes, thus turning him into the Kusabi, though this process and connection is still not explained to the player. The Folklorist's research additionally reveals that Munakata is looking for his friends, the twin boys Itsuki and Mutsuki, in the village, but they are nowhere to be found.
Mio finally reunites with Mayu, though she is beginning to show signs of possession, such as moving erratically and sometimes speaking as if she were someone else. Mayu claims that somebody was calling her to the house to perform the ritual again, but does not specify who. The girls now begin to collect butterfly diaries, which contain entries from both Yae and Sae, and finally begin to open up the backstory of their shrine experience, along with the events invlolving the aforementioned Kusabi. The first entry describes how the Folklorist is likely to be turned into the Kusabi (though that term is purposefully removed from the page) because they aren't ready for the ritual yet and they want to help him escape the village before that happens. Unable to escape through the house's front opening, the sisters try to pass through the basement. However, Mayu gets locked inside a prison cell while retrieving a key. The cell is held closed by a lock and the key for the lock is not nearby, so again the two must separate and Mayu has to wait for her sister to find the key. After leaving her sister behind, Mio is directed towards the Osaka house, where a family altar hides a passage to an underground storage cave. Mio searches for the key inside the cave, but mistakenly alerts the ghosts that haunt the village's underground. One of the ghosts drops the key that unlocks Mayu's cell and, after picking it up, Mio can either defeat the ghosts or avoid them. Key in hand, Mio returns to her sister's side. Upon Mio's return to the cell, however, she finds that Mayu has yet again disappeared. It is revealed that Mayu has entered the Kiryu House, another large house in the village, and is making her way to the Tachibana House through a bridge connecting the two houses. As the door to the Tachibana house is locked, Mio makes her way through the Kiryu house to retrieve her sister.
As Mio places her hand on Mayu's shoulder, she is swept into a vision that Mayu's sixth sense reveals. In the vision, Mio is walking down a path leading to the Hellish Abyss deep below the village. It is there that the Crimson Sacrifice takes place and, upon arriving at the abyss, she is shown that her sister has already fallen within. Determined to save her sister, Mio finds the other three crests, but before returning, she heads to the storehouse to see Itsuki one last time. When she arrives, she learns that Itsuki was imprisoned in the storehouse for helping Yae and Sae escape. The escape failed, however, and only Yae was able to leave the village. Sae was brought back to fulfill the ritual alone and Itsuki was locked in the storehouse. Unable to bear the grief of failing his brother and friends, Itsuki took his own life by hanging himself inside the cell. Like Mio, Sae went to the storehouse to see him one final time, but she arrived too late. Mio returns to the old tree and unseals the tunnel out of the village. While on their way to the tunnel, however, Mayu is captured by the ghosts of the villagers, who want to use her to complete the ritual yet again. Mio makes her way to the Kurosawa house, where the way to the abyss is found. Upon reaching the abyss, Mio is shown what occurred on the day the village was swallowed in darkness.
Since only Yae had escaped the village, the people panicked, not knowing if they should continue with the ritual. Sae waited for her sister to return, believing in the promise they made to always be together. In the end, the villagers decided that the ritual must go on or else the malice spilling out of the abyss will be too much. Sae was taken to the abyss alone and was hanged before being thrown in. Because the ritual was meant for one twin to kill the other, Sae's sacrifice failed, and her corrupted spirit returned from the abyss, bringing the darkness that engulfed the entire village. Along with Sae, the ghost of the Kusabi, an earlier sacrifice, returned and the two spirits unleashed their vengeance on the villagers in what was known as the Repentance.
Finding Mayu in time, Mio looks to see the ghosts lining up in a circle as she goes to tug at Mayu. Mayu says to her sister that there is no other way out but to finish the ritual, and Mio has no choice but to take her sister's life. Mio's hands are placed on Mayu's neck and soon enough Mayu is dead. The ghosts pick Mayu up, throwing her into the Hellish Abyss, completing the ritual. A single crimson butterfly soars up, and Mio chases after it in tears. She says how sorry she is before finally seeing Mayu is leading her to the gate. It is then seen swarms of the butterflies, all from the past rituals before the final scene shows. Moments later, Mio is shown sitting on a bench near the newly formed lake, her neck showing a crimson mark of what looks like a single butterfly, symbolizing the twins becoming one. 041b061a72