Corpse Party is quite a game. This is a title that’s gone from an adventure game Makoto Kedouin made in 1996 with the very first RPG Maker game to something that’s been remade, updated and posted to handhelds, consoles and smartphones. And not just in Japan. This is a game that’s been released worldwide.
But, here’s the thing. There are a lot of Corpse Party games out there now. Some of them are even pretty much identical ports of the initial installment. How do you tell them apart? How do you know what to play? Well, allow me to make sure you’re prepared for this party.
Corpse Party (PSP, 2011 and iOS, 2014)
This is your basic Corpse Party experience. We’re following high schoolers Satoshi Mochida, Naomi Nakashima, Mayu Suzumoto, Seiko Shinohara, Ayumi Shinozaki, Yoshiki Kishinuma and Sakutaro Morishige, their teacher, Yui Shishido, and Yuka Mochida, Satoshi’s little sister, after a Sachiko Ever After friendship ritual goes wrong and transports and traps them in another dimension. They’re separated and left to wander the dilapidated and Heavenly Host Elementary School, which is filled with dangerous and horrifying spirits. You’re actually controlling the characters as they go through the school, helping them find items, solve puzzles and hopefully survive. Multiple endings are available, depending on your performance. Now, even though this was our first, official English exposure to the game, it is a remake of the 2008 PC game, which was in turn a remake of both the NEC PC-9801 and mobile versions of the game. It adds voice acting, larger areas, improved graphics and event CGs.
Corpse Party (PC, 2016)
The PC version of Corpse Party is pretty much identical to the PSP release. There are a few additional, supplemental features that improve the quality of life and add extra information, though. There’s PC-exclusive character art, for one. It also has some scenes that might be a bit different from the handheld versions of the game. A text skip feature speeds through text you’ve already read and helps with unlocking additional endings. It also offers four bonus chapters, one of which is a retelling of “Tooth,” Corpse Party: Book of Shadows’ seventh episode.
Corpse Party (3DS, 2016)
The 3DS version of Corpse Party is almost identical to the PSP release. Character sprites have been redrawn, the art stills offer stereoscopic 3D support and the soundtrack’s received a new arrangement, but it’s largely the same. The only difference is, it has four Extra Chapters, all of which are unlocked as you play and different from the PC version’s four bonus chapters.
Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (PSP, 2013)
Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is essentially a Corpse Party fandisc. It’s filled with eight complementary side-stories following major and minor character before, during, and after the original game, with some scenarios following different its different endings. Unlike the original Corpse Party PC game and its successors, which used RPG Maker to create a more active and involved experience, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is a visual novel with some point-and-click adventure elements. Its tales follow familiar characters, like Naomi, Seiko, Mayu, Yui, Satoshi, Yuka, Sakutaro and Ayumi, as well as unfamiliar people trapped in Heavenly Host Elementary School.
Corpse Party: Blood Drive (Vita, 2015)
Corpse Party: Blood Drive is a direct sequel to Corpse Party and one of the stories in Corpse Party: Book of Shadows. It is set two months after the survivors managed to correctly perform the ritual needed to escape Heavenly Host Elementary School and return to the real world. However, Ayumi can’t move on. After meeting some mysterious people, she decides she must reclaim her family’s Book of Shadows and attempt to use it at Heavenly Host Elementary School to bring the people lost in Corpse Party back to life. It’s an active adventure game where players explore environments just as they did in the first game, only in a new, 3D game engine.
Corpse-Party (NEC PC-9801, 1996)
This is the barebones, basic, RPG Tsukuru Dante98 version of Corpse-Party. There is no voice acting and CGs are absent. The story is even different and less detailed. Only Satoshi, Naomi, Ayumi, Yoshiki and Yuka are present. There’s no Sachiko Ever After ritual, though Sachiko still exists. After telling a horror story after school, they wind up transported to the haunted school in another dimension and decide to split up into two groups to find a way to freedom.
Corpse Party – The Anthology – Sachiko no Ren’ai Yugi Hysteric Birthday 2U (PSP, 2012)
This… is a strange game. It’s a visual novel starring the heroes and villains from Corpse Party, but it’s a romantic comedy. All of the people are trapped in Heavenly Host Elementary School, but Sachiko gives them an option. “Do a romantic comedy or die.” You then get to go through nine slice-of-life stories that are darkly funny and rather silly.
Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient (PC, 2013)
Corpse Party 2 is an entirely new adventure game. Set five years after Corpse Party: Blood Drive, a high schooler named Ayame Itou wakes up in Amare Patriarcha Crucis. It’s an abandoned hospital in about the same state as Heavenly Host Elementary School. Suffering from amnesia and awakening in an operating room, Ayame goes in search of answers while also trying to find a way to escape the hospital alive.