There is a suggestion that some of the best-written villains are the ones whose stories make them look like the hero from their side. The Caligula Effect: Overdose offers an opportunity to think about that, thanks to the ability to join the antagonistic group. In the original The Caligula Effect, you could only be a part of the heroic Go-Home Club that fights to escape the virtual world of Mobius and return to reality. Here, your allegiance can shift to offer an additional perspective.
First of all, the Ostinato Musician story elements aren’t something you decide to opt into right from the outset of The Caligula Effect: Overdose. The game starts by establishing you as a member of the Go-Home Club. You have to fully complete both Kagi-P and Sweet-P’s arcs. This means you have a sense of what is going on in the world and get some hints as to the identity of Thorn, the Ostinato Musician’s leader. Then, before taking part in the new Stork arc, you will have an opportunity to go to the station. There, Thorn will be waiting under the bridge with a door and an option.
Thorn makes a case for not making a decision about Shogo and the Go-Home Club being 100% in the right without knowing about the people in the Ostinato Musicians and rest of Mobius first. The recruitment seems similar. You meet. You visit their unique room. You get a disguise, which is Lucid, the mysterious new musician with an original look designed to hide the protagonist’s identity. This includes a theme song. However, this isn’t a true alternate route. Instead, you have options. After getting your Lucid identity, the Stork arc proceeds as normal. You work alongside the Go-Home Club to face him and undertake his dungeon. But after that, Lucid is introduced to two of the most recently defeated Musicians, Sweet-P and Stork. You then work with them to brainwash people at the school again. Once it is all done, you just happen to return to the Go-Home Club just when all the excitement ends.
However, this storyline does mean seeing another side of things. In addition to completing all of the Go-Home Club character segments, which lets you learn more about their lives and inner trauma, you get to go through the same sorts of episodes for each of the Ostinato Musicians, getting to learn why they are the way that they are and help them come to terms with what has happened to them. (In fact, getting through such stories when they come is important, if you want certain characters to live or die in the story.) You also get to see the “good” guys in more of an antagonistic role. While escapism isn’t the best option, seeing the Musicians in this way at least makes it easier to understand. Especially since a few of them seem like they’ve had to deal with extraordinary circumstances too.
The real payoff with the Musician episodes comes with the additional endings. If you stick with the Go-Home Club, you have the ending from The Caligula Effect. If you go with the Ostinato Musicians, you have that ending with an additional epilogue or a bad ending. If you take the time to complete every character’s storyline, then stay true to the Go-Home Club, you get the best ending. If you side with the Go-Home Club and never bother with the Musicians, the original ending remains. If you stay 100% true to Thorn and the Musicians, then there is an entirely new bad ending. While the character episodes do take a bit of time to all pursue, someone could make the decision between the standard and bad ending on the same file by making an extra save file right before the final arc, then making your decision regarding who you’ll side with in the final moments.
The Caligula Effect: Overdose‘s Musician segments aren’t really like their own, full route. Rather, it is a supplement to the main route. Which works rather well, since someone could have the option of choosing to go through that door and see the extra content, then get to experience both sides. When the end comes, they still have the option of choosing who will have their ultimate loyalty, having different final boss experiences and endings when they do.
The Caligula Effect: Overdose is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC.