Root Double: Before Crime * After Days is a visual novel set in 2030 about a group of students trapped in a nuclear power plant and the rescue team trying to save them. The title was developed by Regista and was directed by Takumi Nakazawa, who had famously helped create the Infinity series at KID Corp. Root Double was initially released in Japan on June 14, 2012 for the Xbox 360 with a port later being publish for the PC in September. An "Xtend Edition" of the game was later released for the PlayStation 3 in 2013 and the Playstation Vita in 2014, which featured more artwork and additional endings among other new content.
An English localization of the Xtend Edition was successfully Kickstarted by Sekai Project and was released for the PC on April 27, 2016. The English translation was created by Lemnisca LLC, who had initially worked on the game in an unofficial capacity as a fan group but became an official company shortly after Root Double's release. Sekai also later published the PlayStation Vita version of Root Double on March 13, 2018.
Before beginning the game, the player must choose to play either Root After or Root Before (referred to in-game as √After and √Before, or simply A and B) first. Root A places the player in control of Watase Kasasagi, and begins shortly after an accident occurs at the LABO research facility, whereas in Root B the player takes on the role of Natsuhiko Tenkawa, and begins in the days prior to the incident. The game is designed so that either scenario can be played first.
After completion of both stories, Root Current (√Current or C) is unlocked, followed by Root Double (√Double or C) following completion of C. The Xtend Editon, initially an expanded version of the game in Japan and the basis for the English localisation, adds an additional scenario called the Xtend Episode which serves as the game's true ending.
Senses Sympathy System
Root Double differs from many other visual novels through its use of the "Senses Sympathy System", rather than direct choices. In Root A, the nine major characters in the game (other than the player character, Watase) are represented on the Enneagram, which is a model of human personality. These characters are referred to by one of the nine personality types used in the Enneagram (such as Loyalist, Challenger, or Peacemaker).
Before a branch in the story (which may be a minor change or effect the ending of the game), the player will be prompted to input their sense/sympathy for each character on a sliding scale. A low choice may represent that the player dislikes the character or disagrees with the opinions they are promoting. On the other hand, a high choice indicates that the player likes the character or agrees with the course of action they are proposing. Based on these inputs, the story will continue on an appropriate story branch.
After reaching the Good Ending of Root A, "Answer Mode" will be unlocked, allowing the player to choose from a list of choices rather than using the Senses Sympathy System.