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Attack on Titan: Escape from Certain Death (進撃の巨人 死地からの脱出 Shingeki no Kyojin Shichi kara no Dasshutsu?) is a visual novel and game made for the Nintendo 3DS. It features an original story which takes place before the 57th Exterior Scouting Mission.
Set before the Female Titan arc, the Survey Corps are ordered to investigate Elsnir Castle. The protagonist is an original Survey Corps member and a local of the area; they guide the group to their location. During their investigation, Titans surround them and the ground gives way beneath them, scattering the group. The protagonist's omni-directional mobility gear is broken from the fall. They must escape the castle's underground ruins by working alongside the characters from the series.
Players decide their protagonist's name and gender. Choosing male will make Mikasa their default companion while selecting female has Levi accompany them. Additional characters are unlocked as the player successfully escapes with at least one partner. These particular characters are paired together when they travel with the protagonist: Reiner and Bertholdt, and Krista and Ymir.
There are two key character parameters that affect the likelihood of a successful escape: "Despair" and "Affinity." Both affect the tone of character interactions during the game. Despair lowers their likelihood of survival and impedes the player during random events. Death occurs if it reaches 100%. Affinity lowers Despair, upping their hopes for escaping alive and unlocking additional character events.
It's necessary to search each area to proceed with the story. This can be done by double tapping on the shiny bits within the touchscreen mirror of an area. Items can be found and equipped to proceed with the story, alter the hazards of Titans and random events, or to locate different weapons for challenging Titans. Events that proceed with the main story are indicated by exclamation points within the touchscreen map.
During the search option, Titans may attack the player ("Battle Act"). Battles are conducted via button sequences; pressing the right button combination enables the series characters to evade a Titan's attacks and retaliate. Button taps are rated as "Miss," "Good," "Perfect." Good and Perfect ratings boost affinity; Perfects are also a necessary requirement for unlocking events with certain characters.
Rooms may be locked by a trapdoor which starts the "Synapse Link" sequence. Three gears keep the door shut; listen carefully to the protagonist's partner(s) to select the right keywords for breaking through them. Failing to break the trap leaves the door locked; successfully unlocking it lets the group pass.
Timed events may randomly appear to alter the flow. Should the player choose the wrong options or run out of time, despair ratings rise.
Should the player reach a place with no Titans, the player can initiate "Break Time." This is the easiest method of learning characters' opinions about the protagonist and to provide extra insight to their particular partner. Each Break Time is limited to three topics per session. Topics which can potentially boost affinity are marked with a star icon. These conversations will often include multiple choice answers; try to choose the correct option to further boost affinity. The player can earn special still illustrations based on their successful completion of a particular character's events.
If the player escapes with multiple characters and has completed their character events, special events will unlock with other survivors.