Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ uses the character of Herlock Sholmes in many ways. One is a way to reference the Maurice Leblanc collection Arsene Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes, which pitted the thief against the legendary detective. The other is to give Lupin a rival that is not necessarily a villain, but rather a friendly sort of foe that makes routes more interesting and keeps Lupin on his toes. With the addition of a Herlock Sholmes route in the fan disc, Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~, we get a little something more. It helps add more mystery to the PlayStation Vita game and PlayStation 4 collection, while also giving an interesting story that might make people think while fleshing out characters.
One of the first things Code: Realize’s fan disc does is get rid of the elephant in the room. We all know Herlock Sholmes is Sherlock Holmes in the original story. But right away, his route explains why he used the fake name. We see a flashback of the incident at Reichenbach Falls, which left Sholmes “dead.” We meet Watson and have the stage set. Then, we have the reveal. Sholmes is Holmes, but Cardia and the audience can go ahead and think of him as the man we dealt with in other routes. Already, we are being set up to deal with investigations.
What gets interesting about this Code: Realize route is the way it keeps twisting around. Mysteries are gradually introduced and unfold as you play. For example, Sholmes’ storyline begins with Cardia encountering Jack the Ripper, of all people. In order to escape him, she has to use her poisonous touch to hurt him. This means he learns about her ability, declares her a demon and makes her a target. The way it is set up, it seems as though he could be the “big bad.” Seeing Cardia work with Sholmes and Watson on this Jack the Ripper case eases us into the idea of a detective mystery with romantic elements.
As we wade further in, the story expands to offer an opportunity to learn more about other people who played parts in Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~. More mysteries appear, and we get to watch as she works things out with the help of people like Watson and the bachelors from the original game. We see both Finis and Aleister again, giving more insight into both characters and giving us a chance to see how Sholmes and Watson react to them. Queen Victoria and Leonhardt both reappear, adding a little bit of royal intrigue as they are targeted again. I also like how this route does a bit to flesh out Van Helsing’s character a bit, what with his connection to Aleister.
I think what I liked most is the parallel that can be drawn between Cardia and Sholmes as characters. Both of them come across as people who can attempt to keep up walls around themselves to protect people around them. They know what happens to people who get close. Sholmes knows he is a target for people like Moriarty, as they want to test his intelligence and skills. Cardia knows how hazardous she is to peoples’ health and that people may want to use her poison for nefarious deeds. By seeing them interact, we get to see them interact and grow.
Having the Herlock Sholmes route in the Code: Realize fan disc gives people a chance to see another side of the game. It lets us explore some mysteries and work out the truth alongside Cardia, Sholmes and Watson. We get to see more sides of different characters as the investigations go on. As a capper, we get to see how two characters that may be hesitant about letting down their walls learn to do so together.
Code: Realize ~Bouquet of Rainbows~ is available for the PlayStation 4, and Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ is available for the PlayStation Vita.