Things We Wish We Knew Before Playing Mystery Detective Archives: Rain Code

From the makers of Danganronpa comes the next big thing from Spike Chunsoft, Master Detective Archives: Rain Code. The game’s relatively unique sense of progression within each chapter is bound to take some folks by surprise, plus there are some golden rules to success throughout its story that shouldn’t be taken for granted.


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RELATED: Master Detective Archive: Rain Code – Reasoning Death Matches, Explained

We’re covering all of the above and more with the following tips and tricks, so before you board that Amaterasu Express, be sure to bring both your ticket and this article along for the ride.

Updated July 18, 2023: We’ve added a video version of this guide to help you get started as a detective.


Leave No Stone Unturned

Meeting The Other Detectives Aboard the Train in Rain Code

This first one may seem a bit obvious for a game with ‘detective’ in its title, but hear us out. There may be times when you’ve pieced enough stuff together, both mentally and within the game’s narrative beats, to move on to another area. Never do so until you’ve thoroughly investigated every little thing in every available room.

Rain Code has a feedback loop for this stuff that many other games in its genre do not – you’ll gain Detective Points galore for the things you interact with. Sometimes, you’ll get a few more DP from looking at something twice. Don’t worry, it’s not especially often, and the game rather forecasts it ahead of time when a character recommends reassessing a situation, but still.

Bring Your Brain Cap

Midsummer Night Feed Rain Code

Rain Code kindly informs players about its Labyrinth Skills at the start of the first Mystery Labyrinth, but it’s up to you to keep tabs on all that going forward. While the skill tree and its equippable talents are rudimentary relative to full-blown, stat-driven RPGs, there’s still plenty of incentive to tap into it, as the right skills can make otherwise-tough obstacles a breeze.

An early example of this can be found in Midsummer Night’s Feed. It’s wise to invest further points in this path, because the fewer Solution Keys that Shinigami has to… er… let’s go with ‘give you’, the fewer variables you’ll need to account for at critical junctions in the story.

Don’t Fear The (Death God) Reaper

A phantom blocks the way in Rain Code's first Mystery Labyrinth

We were pretty tense our first time hitting the Mystery Labyrinth, which is where a good deal of Rain Code’s gameplay portions go down. In the Mystery Labyrinth, several sections involve fast-paced question-and-answer situations, and choosing poorly can result in death.

The good news is, Rain Code goes easy on us. Most instances of game over will bring you right back to when the question was asked, and that’s usually no more than a moment or two behind you. Sometimes, it’s a matter of seconds. Who said Shinigami isn’t fair when it counts?

Let The Villains Pontificate

Chapter 0 Reasoning Death Match Four Rain Code

Reasoning Death Matches are the closest that Rain Code veers into traditional RPG fighting, and they bring their own twists and turns to the concept. You’ll be dodging sentences, slashing sentences, equipping the proper Solution Keys to slash the correct sentences at the right time… it’s a lot.

While it can be tempting to slash the first thing you see that seems like the flaw in the foe’s reasoning, let their entire dialogue sequence play out once before acting.

This will save you time in the long run, because there will be points at which you’re leaning toward a particular statement, only for the game to send you back to the start of the sequence simply because they say something else that’s that much more incriminating. Once you have the full script, you’re in a better position to identify the bit of the conversation the writers want you to strike.

Collect Collectibles

The two lead characters in Master Detective Archives: Rain Code.

Strewn throughout Kanai Ward are memories for Yuma to restore between other characters and himself. These additional scenes cannot be viewed otherwise, and they’re enjoyable – not to mention worth DP.

Each chapter appears to have its own lineup, and the only time the game flat-out guides you to one is early on. Seek these out while searching the city!

Throw Away Your Letters

Chapter 0 Shinigami Puzzle Two Rain Code

Shinigami Puzzles are one of several different types of obstacles blocking Yuma’s path during Mystery Labyrinths. These are hard sometimes, as players have a short amount of time to aim for specific letters, in sequence, in order to spell out a certain word.

Try to do things naturally for a moment. But if you’re stumped, start chucking your sword at everything you can see, because the slowness of the barrel is going to mess you up big-time if you don’t get a move-on. After a couple of letters’ worth of guessing, you’ll likely have a keener idea what to look for, too.

Prepare For Trouble

Kurumi Wendy compliments Fubuki for being funny in a drenched part of Kanai Ward in Rain Code

Chapter Zero is filled with tutorials, including how to handle Quick Time Events (QTEs). This one pops up near the end, and apart from a handful of instances, you won’t need to think about these QTEs for some time to come.

Chapter Three, however, is jam-packed with QTEs. After the initial setup, you’ll be encountering a bunch of this, rather swiftly, sometimes within seconds of each other. Don’t let your guard down during this chase-filled third escapade. Keep your controller on-hand!

Difficulty Doesn’t Determine A Thing

Shinigami asking if the player wants to know what difficulty is in Rain Code

This last one’s quick. At the very beginning of Rain Code, Shinigami will ask you to choose a difficulty. Know in advance that your answer alters nothing. While we ordinarily wouldn’t bother mentioning something so simple, Shinigami’s a known trickster, so we weren’t 100 percent sure she was telling the truth here for a little bit.

This is just the first of many times Rain Code breaks the fourth wall, but it’s one of the most memorable!

Next: Master Detective Archives: Rain Code – Chapter 0 Walkthrough

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