OP Analysis – R11 EXPLAINED

Note: The translations on this page are mine. They probably have flaws in them, so please tell me if you notice any mistakes. However, I hope I captured the spirit of the message intended in them.

The opening cinematic is packed with meanings in both the lyrics and the visuals. Nakazawa tells us that he oversaw the creation of the OP carefully:

01 『little prophet』Singer: KAORI

The OP theme. It’s very cool and I’m happy with it.

In order to foreshadow the beginning of the story, a lot of meaningful keywords are included in the lyrics. If you listen to the full version after you’ve solved the game, your impression of the song will change. I think you’d be able to find out what that phrase meant. (In particular, the truth of who is holding “madness similar to murderous intent”. Perhaps while playing, the character you believe this refers to will change many times)

By the way, the lyrics of part 1 symbolize Kokoro’s chapter, and the lyrics of part 2 symbolize Satoru’s chapter.

— Nakazawa Takumi, Remember11 Sound Collection p. 6

So let’s take a crack at deciphering it now that we’ve finished everything.

Lyrics

01   What is the pure white sun looking at now?

02   Even if something began shouting in this enormous universe,
03   it is undoubtedly too tiny for anybody to notice.

04   If the endless landscape is a gentle lie,
05   even the meaning of life will be lost somewhere.

06   The time that was prophesied is surely drawing near
07   The soul was left behind in the very cold world

08   What is the pure white sun looking at now?
09   I want to sleep. I want to sleep deeply.
10   I want to sleep. I want to sleep deeply.

11   Keep the ugly figure veiled.
12   The unstable and chaotic pride. The madness that resembles murderous intent.

13   I’m looking for a shadow that resembles you
14   Did something change as I gathered real material?

15   The vague memories that were lost
16   Welcome to the place of light the prophet has revealed

17   What is the pure white sun looking at now?
18   I want to sleep. I want to sleep deeply.
19   I want to sleep. I want to sleep deeply.

20   The time that was prophesied is surely drawing near
21   The soul was left behind in the very cold world

22   The vague memories that were lost
23   Welcome to the place of light the prophet has revealed

24   What is the pure white sun looking at now?
25   I want to sleep. I want to sleep deeply.
26   I want to sleep. I want to sleep deeply.

“What is the pure white sun looking at now?” Those words are repeated many times and likely refer to SELF, looking down on the world.

Since the first part refers to Kokoro, we can infer that lines 02-03 are about the cabin member’s feeling of helplessness and isolation as they wait on the mountain to be rescued. Lines 04-05 seem to extend this idea, but it may be implying that the entire world is a lie concocted by SELF or Satoru.

The prophecy in line 06 is the Yukidoh Plan, and the soul that is “left behind” is SELF, trapped in a loop.

Line 11 and 12 are initially cryptic. However, the “ugly figure” refers to the darkness hidden within the hearts of humans, and it tells us to keep this hidden from the world. In the story, this darkness is represented by the Shadow archetype and refers to Inubushi.

The next line tells us there is a disruptive pride, and a murderous intent. Just as Nakazawa said, your opinion on who it refers to will probably change throughout the story. Is it Inubushi that slaughtered the hospital patients? Or maybe it’s Utsumi who wants to exact her revenge? The unstable Enomoto that seems very fond of stabbing people? Or maybe the cabin members after they lose their sanity waiting to be rescued and turn on each other? And finally, what about Satoru who wants to kill SELF?

If we take lines 11 and 12 together and assume they refer to a single character, we get a different picture. Who would they refer to, and who is saying them? Personally, I believe it’s Satoru talking about SELF. He’s saying “suppress your foolish assumptions (chaotic pride), don’t reveal the darkness in your heart. Don’t turn Sayaka into a monster”.

Lines 13-14 are from Satoru’s perspective. He’s looking for a shadow/personality similar to “you”, referring either to SELF or Sayaka, and he’s wondering if the plan is still proceeding smoothly as they approach the deadline.

Finally, his memories are about to be lost. This sets up the scenario that Satoru has created. This is the world that the “prophet” (ie. Satoru) has led them to.

Visuals

REAL

The video is divided into three distinct parts, which take roughly the same amount of time. The first is an introduction to the characters and the setting. Note that it puts the date on the cabin side, but it avoids it for SPHIA. It subtly implies that both events are simultaneous and plants that perception in your mind.

As the characters introduce themselves, you start to get an idea of the world as it really is. This is the REAL portion of the video.

SYMBOLIC

After all the the characters are introduced, a white silhouette of Yuni stands up and points at the camera asking the fundamental question:

who_are_you
Who are you?

In contrast to the first part, the second part is more symbolic. There is a lot of emphasis placed on the sentences that show up on the screen, and the meaning of those words isn’t obvious unless you’ve done some thinking. It essentially outlines the true story of Remember11, Sayaka, the Yukidoh Plan and Utsumi’s twins.

This is very much like the game itself. The first half of the game is fairly surface-level. Kokoro doesn’t dig too deep, but Satoru’s chapter attempts to address the questions raised so far. In between the Kokoro and Satoru halves, between red and blue, is a single question:

“Who are you?”

“You” is SELF, the entity that Yukidoh is trying to kill and that Yuni is trying to fool.

Once, life was born from nothingness.

The implication is that SELF created all the characters and personalities from nothing. If Unus Mundus is true, then everything is born of SELF and returns to it.

The twins born from the same axis share a mysterious destiny.

There are two pairs of twins in the game: Satoru and Sayaka, as well as Alpha and Omega. It’s interesting that there are two pairs of twins experiencing the exchange phenomenon.

Where does that leave Hotori and Kokoro, who are also caught up? Well, it turns out that Kokoro is born the same day as the Yukidoh siblings. And Hotori… Well, Hotori wears a sweater with the words “Wood Carbuncle” written on it. I have no idea what those words mean, but we do see Blondie’s body wearing a shirt with the same words. Perhaps Hotori was somehow related to Enomoto or Satoru.

In any case, we have literal twins (Yukidoh twins, Utsumi’s twins) and symbolic twins (Satoru and Kokoro).

They chase endlessly in search of their lost halves.

At first this seems to refer to Satoru and Kokoro who are trying to meet the person they’re exchanging with. But with the previous line in consideration, it likely refers to Yukidoh and Sayaka. Yukidoh tries desperately either bring back Sayaka or avenge her, his missing half. The endless chase is the infinite loop.

Exceeding light… Exceeding infinity…

This is a reference to the exchange phenomenon, which happens instantaneously, across time and space.

A pair as a whole. Or possibly, a middle ground.

Here I’m not sure. It seems to be a reference to the early belief that there are only two exchange points (a pair), but then it corrects itself by saying there’s actually an equilibrium point in between. This means there are three locations, three personality swaps, three separate timelines.

Alternatively, we might translate this as:

  • A pair becomes one. Or perhaps something in between.

Because of the exchange phenomenon, the boundaries between Kokoro and Satoru become blurred, and they start to be treated as a single entity.

A man (Satoru) and a woman (Kokoro). A shadow (Inubushi) that dropped her mask (Mayuzumi). A great mother (Utsumi) by the side of a wise old man (Yomogi). A hero playing the fool (Yuni).

The above is a clear reference to the Jungean archetypes. The hero is the only one that’s not mentioned in-game and might be a reference to the real Satoru.

Red and blue. What’s in between.

While red and blue are featured heavily, there are other colors in the game. The final primary color is missing, but it appears prominently in the game logo and click-to-continue icon. You could also think of “transparency” or “grey” as what lies between colors. The transparency/grey appears on the edge of the message box when SELF is not following Kokoro or Satoru’s perspectives. It’s the perfect color to represent what is between as it encompasses both male and female parts, and neither of them at the same time.

red_blue_grey
Between the red of Kokoro and the blue of Satoru is the green/transparency/grey of SELF.

The one who holds everything. The one who is everything and is nothing. The Trinity. Neither a god nor a demon.

This is SELF. It is a zero-dimensional being, encompassing everything and nothing. The trinity is the unification of the archetypes. They depend on one another, and even though they are individually separate, they are all parts of SELF.

Where is… That Guy?

Where is SELF?

Imaginary

In contrast to the first two parts, the final part introduces concepts without trying to place them in a context. The names of the archetypes are introduced, which serve as convenient labels for us to use. A few more keywords are then shown:

OP_overlap_1OP_overlap_2OP_overlap_3

The text that appears between Kokoro and Satoru is a perfect demonstration of the game’s phases. In the first image, Kokoro and Satoru’s images are separate. There is a reference to the seagull (Я чайка), something Kokoro mentions at the very start of the game before their fates were entangled (EPR pair). Ayahuasca is a brew that contains both DMT and a MAO inhibitor to induce hallucinogenic experiences.

A moment later, the images of Satoru and Kokoro move on top of each other, representing their united nature during the exchange phenomenon. Here it mentions the Trinity, the ambiguous gender or androgynousity. Heteronomy means action that is influenced by a force outside the individual. That is exactly what SELF does when it influences the choices of the characters.

Finally, the two are separated. It mentions the Real, Symbolic and Imaginary. This is a theory proposed by Lacan that describes how a person becomes self-aware, among other things.

The game then shows a molecule of DMT — the hallucinogen that Alpha drinks — and shamelessly introduces the remaining cast of characters including Enomoto, Hotori, Sayaka, SELF and the fetuses.

op_end_1op_end_2op_end_3op_end_4op_end_5op_end_6

And finally, the OP ends by showing the Borromean rings over Satoru and Kokoro. Notice that the top-right and top-left rings separate the two and represents the transfer circles surrounding SPHIA and the cabin. The overlap between them is desaturated and colored grey. The final ring encircles the grey and represents SELF and the Third Area. This final ring also represents a baby, which is the product of a man and a woman and is held inside the body until it is born.

op_end_7

Note that in addition to representing the transfer circles and characters, the rings represent the “Trinity” of consciousnesses, and the union of Real, Imaginary and Symbolic. If just one of the rings is removed, the remaining two are no longer linked and the entire thing falls apart.

Finally, it ends with the line:

The labyrinth of memories that is killing [WATASHI]

This is the manifestation of SELF that follows Kokoro, and is a part of SELF that is rotting in the infinite loop.

Original Texts

Nakazawa’s Comments on the Lyrics

01 『little prophet』 歌: KAORI

OPテ一マですね。 とてもケールで気ニ入っています。

物語の始まりを予感させるために、意味深なキーウードが歌詞に沢山盛り込まれています。 ゲームを解き終えてからフルバージョンで聴く とまた印象が変わるんじゃないでしょうか。 そのフレーズが何を意味していたかが判明すると思います。(特に、本当の「殺意にも似た狂気」を抱いているのは誰なのか? たぶんプレイ中、 何度も対象となる人物が変わることしょうね)

ちなみに、 1番の歌詞がココロ編、 2番の歌詞がサトル編を象徴しています。

Lyrics

真っ白の太陽は 今なにを見つめるの?

大きすぎるこの宇宙で 例えば何かが叫んで
でもそれはきっと小さくて 誰にも気付かれない

無限に続いてく景色も 優しい嘘なら
命の意味さえどこかに 紛れてしまうよ

The time was prophesied that will approach surely.
(確実に接近するリミットが、予言されました)
The soul that was left in the world where it was too cold.
(とても寒かった世界にとり残された魂。)

真っ白の太陽は 今なにを見つめるの?

I want to sleep. I want to sleep deeply.
I want to sleep. I want to sleep deeply.

醜い姿はヴェールで 覆い隠したままにして
不規則で乱雑なプライド 殺意にも似た狂気

あなたに良く似た影を 探してしまうよ
リアルなマテリアル集めて 何かが変わるの?

The vague memory that was about to be lost
(失われかけた曖昧な記憶。)
Welcome to a place of the light that a prophecy book tells.
(ようこそ、予言者が示す光の場所へ)

真っ白の太陽は 今なにを見つめるの?

I want to sleep.I want to sleep deeply.
I want to sleep.I want to sleep deeply.

The time was prophesied that will approach surely.
(確実に接近するリミットが、予言されました)
The soul that was left in the world where it was too cold.
(とても寒かった世界にとり残された魂。)

The vague memory that was about to be lost
(失われかけた曖昧な記憶。)
Welcome to a place of the light that a prophecy book tells.
(ようこそ、予言者が示す光の場所へ)

真っ白の太陽は 今なにを見つめるの?
I want to sleep. I want to sleep deeply.
I want to sleep. I want to sleep deeply.

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