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This article is about the player character in the games. For the main character in the anime, see Ritsu Shikishima.

The protagonist of The Caligula Effect is a second-year student at Kishimai High School and, like many others in Mobius, entered it to escape the harshness of reality.

Following their realization of Mobius not being the real world and encountering μ and Aria, they join Shogo Satake and eventually replace him as President of the Go-Home Club.

Appearance

Design

The male protagonist is a young man with neat black hair, bangs mostly curved off to the left. He has gray eyes, and like most of the people in Mobius, wears the school academy uniform, though slightly altered in that he wears it open with a red flower pendant or tie around the collar of his shirt. This pendant is the same flower as their Catharsis Effect's flowers.

The female protagonist, much like her male counterpart, wears a modified version of the school uniform and wears it open with the same ribbon/tie/pendant around her neck. However, her shirt is colored white and wears suspenders over her shoulders. She has short brown hair and gray eyes.

As the Ostinato Musician Lucid, their appearance changes drastically. Their face is masked by a black skull, similar to a Digihead, and is dressed in a black coat with a scarf and pants, along with a black fedora hat. The scarf has several "X's" printed on it, with only a single "X" on the right side. Strangely, their torso is completely invisible and shows the red interior of their coat. It is also shown in their in-game introduction cutscene that their entire body is invisible except for their head, and it is a characteristic many characters comment on in-game. Depending on the angle of the camera in-game, faint outlines of a skeleton are visible in the chest area. The interior of the coat has a silver design of a rose. Connected to their pants are white suspenders that criss-cross over each other but don't reach up to their shoulders. Two white straps also hang down from their waistline. The coat has a gold cross pinned to the left side, where the emblem of Kishimai Academy would be. Curiously, in Lucid's portrait and artwork, the skull is incomplete with several holes and a smokey appearance, but in-game cutscenes and model show the head is complete and lacks any holes or smoke.

Regardless of gender, the protagonists' Catharsis Effects are relatively the same. It takes the appearance of two gun-like shapes, with two extra protrusions on the top and bottom, as well as several connecting rods near the front of the guns. The protagonists' arms will be blackened up to the forearms and the Catharsis Effect ends at the sleeves; the male protagonist's collar also exhibits this effect. In-game, these guns have some sort of flower sigil on their sides in white, and also exhibit a red vein-like appearance on them.

As a Musician, Lucid will lack the classic Catharsis Effect spike, flowers, or outfit adjustment, but their weapons remain the same. Their gun models will also lack the flower sigil visible on the protagonist's guns.

Personality

The protagonist is usually silent, thereby allowing the player to depict how they can be portrayed in the game. Like most denizens of Mobius, they entered because they felt as if they no longer had a place in the real world or simply didn't belong there. When first introduced, they are naturally stunned upon seeing a classmate who should have graduated already being introduced as a first-year student and realize that there is something wrong with Mobius.

A defining trait of the protagonist is that, like the other members of the Go-Home Club, they are willing to return to the real world, despite having suffered from circumstances that led them there, showcasing a resolve to face this trauma head-on. However, in Overdose, it is possible for this resolve to falter when questioned on it by Thorn, thus leading to their eventual betrayal.

History

The protagonist's life before entering Mobius is relatively unknown, though during the process in which they awaken to their Catharsis Effect for the first time, there are various choices for the player to decide. Among those is a dark secret that caused them to be judged harshly and wanted to escape from the criticism, an event to where they wanted to forget what happened but were unable to, or a combination of the two.

Story

SpoilerNotice
"Also... the Hidden? Couldn't that be something even you don't want to know?"

The following content contains spoilers. Please proceed at your own risk.

The Caligula Effect

Now, discard all that hate, and get ready to enjoy your time with everyone! Welcome... to Mobius!
— μ to the Protagonist

Kagi-P Arc

As the protagonist enters Mobius for the first time, μ speaks to them and asks them for their name before telling them about Mobius and how no one can be hurt there. Following this, they live a life of ignorance, living out a daily school life.

During the Freshman Entrance Ceremony, after they give their speech, the teachers call Kensuke Hibiki up as the Freshman Class Representative. This shocks the protagonist, as during last year's Graduation Ceremony, Kensuke Hibiki was the Senior Class Representative and should have graduated last year. Following this, the protagonist realizes that something is amiss and escapes the auditorium, heading to the station in order to get out of the city. However, they are unable to escape.

μ, who was holding a concert nearby, arrives and informs the protagonist that she hasn't finished creating the city yet. Confused about what their decision to try and leave, μ asks if they are dissatisfied with Mobius and promises to make it better before asking if they have a wish. Afterwards, Aria arrives in an attempt to convince μ to return with her. μ refuses, attempting instead to bring everyone's wish to fruition before leaving. A few in the crowd suddenly attack the protagonist out of anger for making μ leave. Shogo Satake then arrives and helps the protagonist, taking them away and escaping.

After escaping the mob, Shogo explains Mobius' nature as a world created for people who don't belong in the real world before stating that he and a few others wish to return to the real world. He is initially shocked by Aria's existence, who then explains that she and μ were originally simple song synthesizer programs who developed a consciousness. When they saw the suffering of humans expressed in the songs they made, they wished to make a safe haven for them in the form of Mobius. However, at some point, μ usurped control from Aria and lost most of her power in the process and is now trying to get μ to return with her back to where they belong.

Members of the mob that attacked the protagonist then arrive before transforming into bizarre creatures, who Aria identifies as "Digiheads." She then states that the protagonist has the ability to fight back: by asking them about their trauma and what they wants to do to fight against it, she helps them unlock their Catharsis Effect. With this power, the protagonist successfully defeats the Digiheads. Afterwards, Shogo introduces them to the others in Mobius who wish to return home: the Go-Home Club.

Overdose

In the remake, the player has the option of choosing a female protagonist, which substantially affects interactions with the Go-Home Club as well as certain scenes. Additionally, players will also have the option of choosing to join the Ostinato Musicians under the name of "Lucid," in order to discover both sides of the story.

Kagi-P Arc

During Kagi-P's arc, the first meeting with Ayana Amamoto differs based on the protagonist's gender. Ayana runs down the hall, colliding with the protagonist. Shogo will then offer help. If the protagonist is male, Ayana will scream and push both of them away before running down another hall and out of sight. If the protagonist is female, Ayana will apologize to them; upon seeing Shogo, however, she will scream and push him into a wall before running away.

When searching for Kagi-P in the Year 3, Class 4's room, the protagonist, Shogo, Naruko, and Kotono will meet Eiji Biwasaka, who directs them to the Year 1 Class 1 room. Kotono mentions Shogo beating him out in a race, to which Eiji appears to hold a grudge about, and the group is asked about the Go-Home Club. Before Naruko can say anything revealing them, Shogo hurries them all out and into another corridor. He and Kotono talk briefly about letting Eiji join the group, then continue the search for Kagi-P.

Sweet-P Arc

Ayana's second appearance is again different depending on protagonist gender: the male protagonist, Shogo and Kotaro will be pushed away, while the female protagonist will again be able to interact calmly with Ayana before Shogo and Kotaro show up.

When Mifue asks for the protagonist to join her in crashing the tea party, there is different dialogue from Rose regarding Sweet-P's acceptance of the protagonist tagging along depending on their gender.

After dealing with Sweet-P and learning about some sort of event that requires a ticket, the Go-Home Club splits up to investigate further. The protagonist returns to the stage where they first met μ and encounter Thorn, who offers them a chance to meet with her. She then shows them a door and states why they came to Mobius, mentioning one of the choices you chose as part of the protagonist's reason for entering Mobius (an example being if players chose to have the protagonist possess an inferiority complex, thus having them want unwavering confidence). Thorn says μ can grant that wish and says that they are being used by Shogo Satake. She also states that their actions are causing a rift that threatens Mobius' stability, and wants to make sure they understand what it is they are getting themselves into.

Thorn mentions again she knows why the protagonist entered Mobius, and also why Shogo entered it, and also why many people came to Mobius and want to stay in it. She tells them to enter the door if they want to learn the truth. Should the protagonist refuse, the game will follow the standard route of the Go-Home Club. If they accept, however, then they will follow the Forbidden Musician Route.

Upon entering the waiting room that μ created for the Musicians to bond, she mentions the protagonist's face looks pale, possibly referencing the trauma the protagonist suffered in the real world. She then grants them the form of their Ostinato Musician persona, dubbing them "Lucid." This is done so that the protagonist, as Lucid, can interact with people who can only thrive in Mobius and with the Musicians without them knowing they are the President of the Go-Home Club. In this form, μ will be their companion, instead of Aria.

After the encounter with Thorn, the protagonist will then meet Eiji again in the plaza nearby, and Kotono will join in. This will eventually lead to them discovering that the ticket leads to the location of a hot springs area. After this, the protagonist will be given the option of allowing Eiji to join the Go-Home Club. Eiji will be thankful if he is accepted into the club; he doesn't appear to take it harshly if he isn't, however, Kotono and him will have a negative reaction.

Stork Arc (Overdose only)

The Go-Home Club arrives at the hot springs, with everyone expressing wonder at the area around them. Kensuke and Shogo will have a brief conversation about Stork's music. After a few minutes of exploration, Kotaro will mention Stork's music again, drawing the ire of a few female fans. The protagonist can choose to either side with Kotaro or the fans; siding with Kotaro will bring more insults from the fans, while siding with the fans will diffuse the conflict somewhat until Kotaro is dragged away from them. The group will eventually track Sweet-P down, and after checking the mens' hot springs, they will conclude Sweet-P is in the girls' side of the hot springs.

What happens in the next cutscenes will change depending on the protagonist's gender. If the protagonist is male, they will be stuck waiting outside, somewhat exhausted by Kensuke's attempts to peek inside; they will also be trampled with Shogo and Kensuke by the escaping girls. If the protagonist is female, they will join the girls in searching the hot springs, and consequently gets caught up in the chaos when Stork is caught inside the area and Ayana shoots him. Either way, they will regroup with the others outside and participate in the information recap. They are also given a dialogue choice in accepting Ayana to the Go-Home Club, which only provokes different reactions from the girls or the boys depending on the choice.

From here the protagonist can talk to the other members of the Go-Home Club and gather their insights before going to hunt down Stork. As the protagonist constantly finds Stork, he will express outrage that his mimicry and hiding skills aren't fooling the group. After a few minor fights, the group corners him in the co-ed hot springs (really just the boss combat area) and fights him. Upon his defeat, Stork will mention Shounen-Doll's location at the library before fleeing the scene.

If Eiji is with the group at this time, this will trigger a cutscene in which he suggests the hunting of all the Digi-Heads to destroy Mobius instead of finding μ. The protagonist can choose to support Eiji's point or question his method. Eiji will express some distaste if the protagonist questions his method, but regardless of the choice, Shogo will bring up Aria and letting her talk to μ. The Go-Home Club will all agree that Eiji's method will be their last resort.

However, if the Musician route has been initiated, Shogo will bring up the idea of ambushing the Musicians by protecting the people who return to sanity. By protecting the laggards, the Go-Home Club aims to draw out the Musicians to gather more information and get more people to see the truth behind Mobius. Eiji posts that the Go-Home Club is hunting Digiheads at the school and the group returns to prepare for the Musicians.

If the Musician route isn't taken, the Club will go to the library immediately instead of using the ambush plan, and neither the ambush cutscene or the next arc will take place at all. This will also prevent the player from doing any of the Musician arcs as Lucid.

Kishimai High School Arc (Overdose, Musician only)

At this point, if the protagonist is working with the Musicians, Thorn will send them a WIRE message asking them to come to the Musicians' waiting room. Once they arrive, Thorn will introduce them to Sweet-P and Stork; the former will remark on Lucid's gender and identity while the latter will note the usefulness of Lucid's invisible body. Thorn will then order the three of them to go to the school to re-brainwash the laggards. When the two of them express doubts, Thorn threatens them with a return to the real world, which they both refuse to do. Lucid will then gain Stork and Sweet-P as team members and returns to the school. Instead of fighting Digiheads, as a Musician, the protagonist now fights Laggards, which will act the same but take the appearance of students with Catharsis Effect spikes. μ will also play Lucid's song, Suicide Prototype, which will replace the original song in the school and during combat. The cutscene will also show the Go-Home Club's reactions to learning of the Musicians arriving, as well as their reactions to Lucid's appearance.

Throughout the arc, Sweet-P and Stork attempt to interact with their fans; Sweet-P is rebuffed for the truth of her real identity while Stork gets busted in another peeping attempt. This attempt also results in Ayana and Mifue finding Stork and planning to capture him. Sweet-P will attempt to step in, but more mentions of her true identity leave her unable to react. Lucid will ultimately intercede on both their behalfs, to which Ayana will remark on their appearance and gender. Aria will then release both Mifue and Ayana's limits on their Catharsis Effects, and the Musicians will have to fight them.

Upon winning, the Go-Home Club members will retreat, while the Musicians, satisfied with their progress, will return back to the waiting room. μ and Thorn will remark positively on the results, with Thorn noting how popular Lucid's song is and the effect it will have on the number of Digiheads. The protagonist can then return back to the Go-Home Club, where both Kotaro and Shogo will chew them out for not showing up on time to help stop the Musicians. The Go-Home Club will react to the appearance of Lucid before proceeding with their plan and heading to the library.

Hot Springs Arc (Overdose, Musician only)

After Lucid's initial introduction, subsequent story-based Musician outings will allow the player to choose the battle and area music.

After the library arc, the Go-Home Club will come up with another ambush plan taking place in the hot springs. Lucid will be introduced to Shonen-Doll, and after Thorn gets μ to threaten the Musicians again, they will be sent to the hot springs. Shonen-Doll will express distaste and outrage at being grouped with Stork, Sweet-P and Lucid, thinking them perverts. He will also mention his want to meet up with Suzuna in the real world, which informs many of his actions within the hot springs. Stork will mention a shortcut within the hot springs that the party uses to get to the women's hot springs.

Once inside, Stork will suggest that they peep on Suzuna and Naruko, who are inside. Shonen-Doll will refuse to, which draws their attention, and the Musicians are exposed to the duo. Aria's appearance will result in a boss fight against the two with the same limit release as last time. When defeated, the two retreat, Suzuna in particular telling Shonen-Doll to stay safe. Afterwards, the Musicians will return to the waiting room.

When coming back from the waiting room, the protagonist will be questioned by Kensuke and Kotono as to where they have been. If they reply they got lost Kensuke will note this as suspicious, whereas if they reply that they were in the bath too long, they will be scolded in a more humorous way. Either way, they will be told that what's done is done, and the Club will set their sights on Sea Paraiso.

Sun Temple/Theme Park Arc (Overdose only)

Instead of heading straight to the aquarium, the Go-Home Club will stop by a theme park called the Sun Temple first. The theme of the park is used for a live escape event; entrants play the role of the Children of Mu planning to escape to Mobius where they can meet "Ra μ" and attend her live concert. The crowd of people outside state various things, μ is performing live and Kuchinashi being the producer being the most important takeaways. The Go-Home Club enter, being stamped with a blacklight stamp resembling a squid. The announcer, who calls herself Gardenia, gives the entrants instructions and to climb up the temple to meet μ.

There are riddles that block the way up each floor of the tower, and choosing an incorrect one will send the player to an area in the floor below. An incorrect choice will also result in various Go-Home Club members expressing their annoyance with the player. After correctly solving the first riddle without Kotaro's input, the Club will be surrounded by Digiheads and Eiji will awaken. The final riddle's solution doesn't seem to have an influence on the cutscene that happens afterwards, as either answer will result in the Club being trapped by a cage that rises from the ground. It may possibly affect later parts of the game, but this is unconfirmed and may just be another way for the player to develop their protagonist. This will also result in the Club missing μ's live performance, and Eiji will begin to panic. The player has the choice of leaving him or feeling pity for him, but this choice isn't important in the long run.

After μ's performance ends, the protagonist and the rest of the Go-Home Club will meet Kuchinashi and μ, the former intent on not letting Eiji escape and the latter defending her when Eiji loses his temper. After he makes a deal with μ to lower the cage, he will attempt to attack Kuchinashi, resulting in the Club fighting against the Musician. After she is defeated, Eiji will beat her up and then get into a fight with Ayana. The protagonist will stop the fight by firing a gun into the air; the player has the option of stopping either Ayana, Eiji, or simply saying that it's not the time for them to be fighting one another.

After this, the Club will proceed into the aquarium arc as usual.

Ending

During the final act of the game, as the party prepares to face off against Thorn, the protagonist has the option of returning to reality or staying in Mobius. Choosing the latter option will result in the protagonist revealing themselves as Lucid to the Go-Home Club. Outraged by this betrayal and unwilling to fall back now, Aria administrates the Catharsis Effect Overdose to its full potential, though Thorn muses if they will be able to recover from the massive strain. If you completed their Character Episodes, the Go-Home Club will react to this betrayal very harshly, either demanding answers from them or wanting to kill them for betraying their trust.

After defeating the Go-Home Club, Lucid and Thorn enter the Metaverse-Es and subdue Aria, thus allowing μ to fulfill Thorn's wish of destroying reality. The Go-Home Club, sometime afterwards, are all returned to their former states as denizens of Mobius. In the background, reports of the Astral Syndrome rapidly growing can be heard while the protagonist is giving a speech at an assembly, referencing the beginning events of the game. The reports are cut short and everyone in the assembly hallise gone. When μ notices that everyone is gone, she asks where everyone went and demands answers from the protagonist, who is fading away.

Catharsis Effect

The Protagonist/Lucid is by far the most versatile unit in the game. To be able to break shields, counter Melee and Ranged attacks fairly quickly and have a number of multi-hitting attacks to keep enemies in the air for combo potential means they have what it takes to adapt in battle depending on the team setup. Along with being able to greatly recover HP and get rid of any debuffs is a big plus too. Do note that even though Lucid is the Musician counterpart of the Protagonist, they share the same skillset, the only difference is the name of their Overdose Skill. Here are their Catharsis Effect Skills and Support Skills.

Catharsis Effect

  • Singularity Ray / Singularity - Omega
    • Must fill the Stress Meter
    • Uses 0 SP
    • Power 1180
    • Attack Skill Level 3 / Defense Skill Level 3
    • Hit 1
    • [Overdose Skill] Kick the enemy into the air, then unload a salvo of bullets into it.
  • Dual Trigger
    • Requires 8 Skills Points to upgrade
    • Shooting Skill
    • Uses 40 SP in first phase, 32 SP in second phase, 20 SP in third phase
    • Level 1: Power 85  >  Level 2: Power 97  >  Level 3: Power 110
    • Attack Skill Level 1 / Defense Skill Level 2
    • Hit 4
    • A hail of deadly bullets.
  • Vintage Strike
    • Requires 12 Skills Points to upgrade
    • Rush Skill
    • Uses 80 SP in first phase, 64 SP in second phase, 40 SP in third phase
    • Level 1: Power 110  > Level 2: Power 126  > Level 3: Power 130
    • Attack Skill Level 1 / Defense Skill Level 2
    • Hit 3
    • [Ranged Counter] Launch the enemy into the air if guard is successful. (In-game description is wrong. It launches the enemy into the air if the enemy performs a Shooting Skill).
    • Triggers "Somersault Slaughter", a Rush Skill that kicks the enemy up in the air and those closeby. Hits 2 times. 
  • Disruption Trigger
    • Requires 8 Skills Points to upgrade
    • Shooting Skill
    • Uses 65 SP in first phase, 52 SP in second phase, 32 SP in third phase
    • Level 1: Power 20  >  Level 2: Power 23  > Level 3: Power 26
    • Attack Skill Level 1 / Defense Skill Level 1
    • Hit 12
    • [Melee Counter] Leap backward while firing forward.
  • Shadow Pierce
    • Requires 8 Skills Points to upgrade
    • Shooting Skill
    • Uses 50 SP in first phase, 40 SP in second phase, 25 SP in third phase
    • Level 1: Power 220  > Level 2: Power 253  > Level 3: Power 286
    • Attack Skill Level 1 / Defense Skill Level 1
    • Hit 1
    • Break the target's shield with a powerful blow.
  • Rapid Fire
    • Requires 16 Skills Points and reach Level 15 to unlock and upgrade
    • Shooting Skill
    • Uses 40 SP in first phase, 32 SP in second phase, 20 SP in third phase
    • Level 1: Power 10  > Level 2: Power 11  > Level 3: Power 13
    • Attack Skill Level 1 / Defense Skill Level 1
    • Hit 18
    • Barrage the enemy with a multitude of bullets.
  • Impulse Spinner
    • Requires 8 Skill Points and reach Level 20 to unlock and upgrade
    • Shooting Skill
    • Uses 60 SP in first phase, 48 SP in second phase, 30 SP in third phase
    • Level 1: Power 165  >  Level 2: Power 189  >  Level 3: Power 214
    • Attack Skill Level 1 / Defense Skill Level 2
    • Hit 2
    • Fire off powerful shots with both guns. Deals 150% damage to enemies in the air. 
  • Leaden Retort
    • Requires 12 Skill Points and reach Level 30 to unlock and upgrade
    • Shooting Skill
    • Uses 70 SP in first phase, 56 SP in second phase, 35 SP in third phase
    • Level 1: Power 35  > Level 2: 40  > Level 3: Power 45
    • Attack Skill Level 1 / Defense Skill Level 2
    • Hit 8
    • A burst of bullets from short range. Launches enemies Risk 4 or higher.
    • Triggers "Vanguard Break", a Shooting Skill that launches bullets from a short range in the form of an X, launching the enemy. Hits 6 times. 
  • Ninth Sense
    • Requires 48 Skill Points and reach Level 35 to unlock and upgrade
    • Shooting Skill
    • Uses 150 SP in first phase, 120 SP in second phase, 75 SP in third phase
    • Level 1: Power 150  >  Level 2: Power 172  >  Level 3: Power 195
    • Attack Skill Level 1 / Defense Skill Level 2
    • Hit 3
    • On enemies with Risk 5 or higer, executes a relentless combo-and-launch combo, finishing with a devastating air laser.
    • Triggers "Punishing Rain", Protagonist's/Lucid's Ultimate Skill, a Shooting Skill that appears to be a deadlier version of Vintage Strike and Somersault Slaughter with a much larger AOE and broad firing range shooting out a laser. Hits 8 times.


Support (Exclusive Skills)

  • Field Clearance
    • Requires 24 Skill Points to unlock
    • Uses 45 SP in first phase, 36 SP in second phase, 22 SP in third phase
    • Removes all debuffs from nearby allies.
  • Calamity Prophet
    • Requires 32 Skill Points to unlock
    • Uses 150 SP in first phase, 120 SP in second phase, 75 SP in third phase
    • Drastically increase your Accuracy and Critical for a time.
  • Heal Virtue
    • Requires 12 Skill Points to unlock
    • Uses 80 SP in first phase, 64 SP second phase, 40 SP third phase
    • Restore a large amount of health to an ally.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In the game, the protagonist was the first character to develop the Catharsis Effect, and afterwards, Shogo developed one. However, in the anime, Shogo has already developed a Catharsis Effect. According to Aria during Episode 3, Ritsu wasn't capable of developing one until Episode 6.
  • Regardless of the protagonist's gender, their identity as the Ostinato Musician, Lucid, will look the same. Each time Lucid is introduced to members of the Ostinato Musicians, they will express confusion over the gender of Lucid.
  • The word "lucid" refers to being clear in mind and perception, which is ironic as both Lucid's origin and the theme of their song Suicide Prototype stem from the Protagonist's uncertainty regarding returning to reality.
  • Both genders of the protagonist wield the same Catharsis Effect.


[v · e · ?]
Caligula
Go-Home Club​: Protagonist (Ritsu Shikishima)  •  Shogo Satake  •  Izuru Minezawa  •  Kotaro Tomoe  •  Kensuke Hibiki  •  Kotono Kashiwaba  •  Naruko Morita  •  Mifue Shinohara  •  Suzuna Kagura  •  Ayana Amamoto  •  Eiji Biwasaka
Ostinato Musicians: Sweet-P  •  Mirei  •  Ike-P  •  Thorn  •  Shonen-Doll  •  Shadow Knife  •  Wicked  •  Stork  •  Kuchinashi
Other: μ  •  Aria  •  Marie Mizuguchi  •  Koki Tadokoro  •  Himari Minamide
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