In Paranormasight, you experience the story of three different curse bearers who are involved in a battle royale over the Rite of Resurrection. While the story unfolds over their differing perspectives, one of them perfectly exemplifies the game’s themes and what it wants to say. Harue is, even though she is perhaps not the main protagonist, definitely the strongest of all the characters in Paranormasight.
Editor’s Note: This article will involve spoilers for Paranormasight‘s characters and story.
Let’s quickly go over the three main playable characters in Paranormasight. Tsutsumi is a police officer who wants to stop the Rite of Resurrection. So he goes around collecting curse stones from everyone. Yakko is a high school student whose former best friend recently committed suicide. Her discovery of her friend’s tragic secrets makes her want to use the Rite of Resurrection to try and bring her back. However, her friend Mio and Tsutsumi both convince Yakko not to go through with it. Harue is a mother whose family is distant and her son was recently murdered. She hires private investigator Richter to find out who killed her son and then, after she gets her curse stone, to track down fellow curse bearers.
There was never any question as to whether or not Yakko and Tsutsumi would use the Rite of Resurrection. Though Yakko felt tempted, Mio convinced her to avoid using the Rite. The narrative also went out of its way to establish that Yakko and Michiyo had drifted apart. Harue, on the other hand, has a story that is highly relatable. Even if you’re not a mother yourself, you can understand the pain and grief that a mother would go through if she lost her son in a manner as tragic as murder. What’s worse for Harue is that she feels the death could have been prevented if the police hadn’t prioritized their reputation over the life of her son. Unlike the other two, there was some real narrative tension behind Harue and the Rite. How far would you go for your child? In fiction, parents usually go fairly far.
But despite “How far would you go?” being one of the questions in the game’s tagline, what Paranormasight is really asking is: “What would you do if the power to resurrect someone exists?” And the answer to this question is that you should destroy it. You really shouldn’t use it at all and it shouldn’t exist to begin with. All of the tragedies in Paranormasight stem from the idea of bringing someone back. In Harue’s conversation with Ayame, Ayame points out that Harue’s desire to resurrect her son is for herself. Harue wants her son back but does her son want to return? How would her son feel if he comes back and finds out that his mother killed people for him? Even if Harue accomplished her original goal and stole someone else’s curse stone, his revival would still be on the deaths of others.
Though Harue is the one who is the most desperate for the Rite, she lacks the determination others do. This is because she needs to remain alive and free to take care of her son once he returns. In the story, Nejima and Ayame are also characters who actually plan to go for the Rite. Nejima has no qualms over murdering people. Meanwhile, Ayame manipulates others around her to use the curse, as well as actively uses it herself. Ayame is essentially Harue’s foil; she does everything that Harue stated that she would do, but for reasons that are far less sympathetic. But a good reason doesn’t excuse what Ayame does. I mean, Nejima kills people for his lover and he comes across as a monster. The game does not glorify the idea of killing in someone else’s name. It shows it for what it is: selfish, brutal, and barbaric.
While Tsutsumi’s career and paranormal knowledge allows him to move the plot in a way that sets him up as something close to the main protagonist, Harue is the most important of the playable characters due to her arc being so close to the game’s themes. In fact, I’d say that she could be the only playable character in Paranormasight and the game would remain good. Of course, they would need to rewrite some parts of it since Harue remains separate from the majority of the main conflict. Most people would indeed want to use the power of resurrection. But the game’s message, as well as Harue’s ultimate lesson, is that only misfortune lies beyond such a pipe dream.
Paranormasight is readily available on the Nintendo Switch and Windows PC. You can read our review of it here.