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Memories of the Library

SINoALICE Global launched in July 2020 with its first collaboration event, with NieR:Automata. This included a special conquest against a Disembodied Emil Nightmare.

After a stage ends, you can befriend any of the CPU or co-op players... if they aren't bots. Lammy was a special bot for the event "An End to Summer Dreams", and this is what popped up when trying to follow her.

The ending of "An End to Summer Dreams", with Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty looking upon Lammy and a mountain of Twilight Crystals.

Guild medal events typically came with pages like this, which tallied the total amount of medals earned by the guild.

The Space Invaders collab event is where SINoALICE truly begins its decent into weirdness.

The first and only character popularity contest in Global was held in October 2020. Most of my votes went to Sleeping Beauty.

Global's first Christmas event came with a special purification screen... well as a special home screen background.

As with all gacha games, the playerbase dropped a bit after the initial launch period. Guilds with only a few people, or even just one person, started to become more common.

My profile, from February 7, 2021, shortly after joining Jellicle.

As far as I can tell, this is the very first time that Jellicle slimed: March 26, 2021

Commemorating our sliming with a bad pun.

The incredible "Campout Cuisine" event, starring Alice, Sleeping Beauty, Dorothy, a racoon, and a whole lot of stock photography.

Oh, and the curry that is actually apple pie, really!

April Fools' Day 2021 involved a very strange scavenger hunt.

Schiroh tallies the number of guildships we take down during a Colosseum match.

Our crowning achievement in Gran Colosseum was reaching (and winning in) the League 2 finals in May 2021.

One of the weirder collabs was with the Fishing Star franchise. One of the story battle attacks involved a whole school of fish swarming at you.

NEVER FORGET (I'm sorry, aliciaLX!)

First Anniversary time! Lammy joins us in counting down the players' favorite Nightmares, while fighting... the dev team.

I finally got Sleeping Beauty/Poacher thanks to a special catch-up grimoire that ran during the First Anniversary event.

We're having fun! We're having fun!

The event "End of Summer Shadow" was one of a few that we got that were held at or near the same time as in Japan.

My profile on September 21, 2021, featuring a hard-won Snow White/Mage.

During the first Colosseum Sin, we prepared for a losing battle with a team of Kaguyas.

We had, of course, built up a reputation for using a certain other class during similar situations.

The crossover event with Final Fantasy Brave Exvius was pure fanservice.

A lovely progression screen for the second Christmas event, in 2021.

One of my all-time best pulls.

"Divine Mechanism of Rebellion" was an event that paid homage to giant robot shows, complete with "Next Episode" teasers.

During Valentine's Day, players would receive chocolate versions of familiar upgrade materials.

My home screen on March 10, 2022. The Dorothy's Workshop classes had recently debuted, with one of them being Pinocchio/Corrective Measures, as seen here.

Even the Nightmares suffered from allergies during the pollen and idol themed "Ode to Sakura". test caption

Shooting Gallery events were rare, but often had the best prizes.

From the introduction of "Sanctuary of Children's Song", a Children's Day-themed event whose scenario was rerun in May 2022.

"Mystery in the Limelight" came complete with the option of deducing a culprit for the event story's crime scene.

One of the stranger in-game conversations for JellicleCats.

JellicleCats continued to climb the ranks, eventually cracking into the overall top 500, which was, of course, quite... nice.

Okay, maybe THIS was my best pull. Note the special 2nd Anniversary outfits for Parrah and Noya.

We once got into the semi-finals for Colosseum Sin!

And we wound up in second place!

World Gran Colosseum was an extravagant, though imperfect, event, which pit the JP players against Global. During the second and final WGC, MilkVoid made us Global players proud by climbing the ranks.

Non-participants could watch the matches live in-game, though they were plagued by lag.

"Autumnal Ardor" was themed around photography, and included a feature where players could arrange the event characters for snapshots.

In the winter of 2022/23, we all wished each other Merry Christmas via the in-game chat, and then we all did it again for the New Year.

An example of the ridiculously detailed stats for a single attack done in Colosseum.

From Nutcracker's exposition-heavy Act of Fusion arc, which also featured unique backgrounds and combinations of Nightmares.

The finale of the Fullmetal Alchemist collaboration, the very last collab that Global would receive.

The White Day event "My Fair Beau" saw Snow White, Dorothy, Gretel, and Cinderella become male idols. Players could attend special meet and greet sessions with each one to gain their affections.

Gretel's brother had quite an unexpectedly large role in this event.

As Act of Fusion moved into Act of Elimination, things started to get a little weird during Colo...

...and then a lot weird.

Act of Elimination took its name seriously.

An image from a preview video for an Act of Elimination arc.

Alice vs. Cinderella was a match for the ages.

"Sanctuary of Children's Song II" came about, and with this sequel, the return of the phrase "Lolisho".

Amongst the final new class types that Global received were the Demon series, inspired by the Demons summoned during Colosseum.

From the "SINoZOMBIE" event in June 2023. Of course, the August event would feature sharks...

Sharkshooter, aka Shark Gun, was a featured weapon that many of us received in a certain banner instead of whatever class we had wanted. It was indeed a curse.

Third Anniversary arrives with tripled rates for the daily free 11x banner.

Here are Parrah and Noya in their Third Anniversary finery.

Alice and Dorothy face off against each other as Act of Elimination continues.

"Jaws of Terror" ended with a giant Little Mermaid taking on Jawzilla.

The Big Little Mermaid made for an amusing clear screen.

Our team, buffed out to the max.

Yoko Taro: don't say he didn't warn you...

Chatting with Dainsleif, one of my co-op buddies, after the End of Service announcement drops.

"Autumnal Ardor" and its photo booth return, this time with more character options.

Goofing off in Conquest co-op, knowing that this would be one of the last times we could do so.

Grinding with ecilaOnis.

SINoALICE is a predatory gacha game. Heavily built around drop-in co-op and guild vs. guild PVP, it is laden with power creep, with many of the strongest units and summons paywalled. If you wanted to be the best, you had to pay up, to the potential tune of thousands of dollars over the course of the game’s lifetime.

However, for those who were a bit more casual—in other words, the vast majority of the playerbase—SINoALICE could be a good, even great time. The story was decent, the characters were varying degrees of fun, the music wonderful, and the in-game community reasonably friendly. I loved it. I did dump somewhere north of $500, including gift card funds, into the Global version of the game these past three years, but it was out of love for the game and its characters. Even though I wish I could have spent more time with them, I don’t regret my purchases.

That’s right, SINoALICE is shutting down. Starting from today, the final chapter is available, and the game’s servers close for good in the wee hours of November 15th. We first heard about the impending closure two months ago, when crystal sales abruptly ended and a final roadmap was posted. We were shocked and saddened, but made peace with Pokelabo’s decision, being well aware of the dire straits the game had been in over the past year. Unfortunately, our story is ending with the fifth act, Act of Elimination; Japan was able to get the three which followed, and many more timed events and collaborations to boot.

The in-game world of the Library is one in which fairy tale characters come to life, battling and eliminate Nightmares and, eventually, each other. There are a ton of stories for all the characters and many Nightmares, and even more weapon tales, those being a tradition in Yoko Taro’s games. That said, here are some of my own stories of playing SINoALICE. Some of these memories are imperfect, but they are all things I hope stay with me as this game fades away into obscurity.

(And while you’re here, click on the image at the top to scroll through a gallery of three years’ worth of SINoALICE Global screenshots! )

The Beginning of the End. The title screen. Click through for more...
The Beginning of the End. The title screen. Click through for more…

Today's login screen. The final update has gone live. Please note that some of these pics are slightly out of the original screenshotting order.

For my final home screen class, I had chosen Little Mermaid/Dragoon, from the FFBE collab.

Farewell messages in one of the three chat rooms.

All the Grimoires that are left are the free standard ticket and daily ones.

JellicleCats' final records. Note the blank field in the upper right; that originally contained a countdown timer for Colo. It permanently disappeared after accessing this page.

My final stats and profile.

Tales of Beginnings
– I was there on day one of Global, and played every day since, up until now, and plan to continue on for a little while yet. The final chapter that was released today will permanently lock the player out of their account, reminiscent of Ending D from NieR RepliCant/Gestalt and Ending E from NieR:Automata.
SINoALICE was my first gacha game. I remember reading through each new update as they were posted, but eventually just skimmed them instead, as a lot of info would be reused depending on the situation.
SINoALICE Global started out a full three years behind JP, so a lot of the time that followed was spent playing catch-up, with constant banners and very few rerun events.

Tales of Characters
– The first character I became attached to was Snow White, who is the classic Yoko Taro Angry Lady with Long White Hair. I played through her story bits and don’t think about the other characters much.
– Realizing that Twilight Crystals, the game’s pull currency, can be readily obtained by clearing main story chapters, and, needing more of them, I play more of said main story. My number one favorite becomes Sleeping Beauty, with Gretel in second place, and Snow White in third. Later on, Princess Kaguya becomes my fourth-place favorite.
– During the clam-digging event “An End to Summer Dreams”, Sleeping Beauty/Poacher becomes my first must-have class which I am unable to pull from her Grimoire, or gacha banner. This event also introduces Lammy, a Nightmare in the form of an adorable young clam. Lammy becomes a fan-favorite, in the same vein as Emil or Pascal from the NieR games. I eventually obtain Sleeping Beauty/Poacher from a special Grimoire during a different event.
– My first paid Nightmare was Lammy (1st Anni.), which replaced Mau Archelon during our Colosseum matches for a long time—they have the same ability, but Lammy is much cuter and sillier.
– My second and last paid Nightmare was Pride, the Fullmetal Alchemist villain who was available for sale during its collaboration event.
– My only two paid classes were Gretel/3rd. Anniv. and Gretel/Sorcerer. The latter was, if I remember right, the second ever paid class in the game, and hadn’t been available since then until the Third Anniversary event, which was when I bought them. My Gretel collection was completed for the first time. The only other character I would compile a complete collection for in Global is, of course, Sleeping Beauty.

Rapunzel and Snow White during the February 2022 Valentine's Day event, "An Elegy for Love So Sweet".

Tales of Events
– My favorite event of all is “Campout Cuisine”, which featured Alice, Dorothy, and Sleeping Beauty camping and dealing with a mischievous raccoon, amidst much fourth-wall breaking. Eventually, the backgrounds become stock photo clip art, with the characters represented by an ant, a pair of glasses, and a bed, respectively. There’s also an “apple pie” which is actually Japanese curry (it’s a long story). SINoALICE‘s major events were often humorous, and “Campout Cuisine” was the funniest.
– Another memorable event was “An Elegy for Love So Sweet”, the 2022 Valentine’s Day special which featured a visual novel section with Rapunzel and Snow White making sweets together. As one of the in-game spectators noted, “it’s the Promised Land of Yuri in full bloom!”
“Divine Mechanism of Rebellion” was the rare co-op guild event which featured Nightmares in the starring roles. This particular story was structured like a tokusatsu hero TV show, with giant robots and next episode previews.
– Special features in other events included the photo booth in “Autumnal Ardor”—a guild co-op event which was the very last one rerun after End of Service was announced—and “overworld” maps in the second Christmas event and the That Time I was Reincarnated as a Slime collab.
– Other regular event types included armor events, where new sets of armor could be obtained while reading through stories about various Nightmares, and Conquests, co-op focused limited-time events where powerful Nightmares could be taken down. Eventually, a selection of nine early Conquest events were put into a monthly rotation. Due to a somewhat tricky strategy that greatly depended on well-coordinated co-op, “Venomous Fangs” became the most notorious of these monthly reruns.
– For all of these events, my class type of choice eventually became Paladin, though I sometimes played as Breaker, Sorcerer, Cleric, or even Mage, depending on the situation and/or my mood at the time.

Tales of Guilds
Snow White/Breaker, a sword-wielding class, becomes my first main, used in my profile and during guild battles in the Colosseum, aka “Colo”.
– I only ever joined casual guilds, and, not being a Discord user at the time, tended to avoid guilds which mentioned it.
– The first guild I joined was, if I remember right, called Legion. It didn’t last long, with its members gradually abandoning the game.
– The second guild I joined was SUUUUPER. The only other player who is consistently active is the friendly guildmaster, Poxx. Eventually, they don’t log into the game for a long time, and I started searching for my next guild.
– The third guild I joined was Blade, run by a kid in Massachusetts who went by Arsene, presumably after the Persona 5 Persona. Other regulars in the guild included Oz and Lillianna, the sub-masters who seemed to be a married couple, also in Massachusetts; Shadotora, a fellow Snow White/Breaker user; Aria; and ecilaOnis.
– I stayed in Blade for a few months, longer than any other guild thus far, and even played a little Genshin Impact with Arsene. Eventually, most of the regulars drifted away except for me, Arsene, and ecilaOnis. Then, it was just me and ecilaOnis, who I also played co-op and Conquest events with quite a bit.
– The two of us, hoping to squeeze more wins out of this largely abandoned guild, switch from Vanguard to Rearguard classes, with me eventually settling on the Sorcerer class, which specializes in reducing an opposing team’s power. It proves to be a learning curve.
– A Gran Colosseum—a monthly guild vs. guild event with special rewards—was looming, and no one was around to sign us up for it. I messaged ecilaOnis and we began searching for our next guild. They initially signed us up for {empty}, but upon looking over all the members’ profile, saw one which included Nazi dogwhistles. I reported and blocked that account, then told ecilaOnis that {empty} would be no good, and why. We began our search again and, thanks to ecilaOnis, wound up with Jellicle.

NieR:Re[in]carnation got a SINoALICE collab of their own, featuring that game's characters dressed as Alice, Snow White, and Red Riding Hood.

Tales of JellicleCats
– Jellicle, later JellicleCats, was the fourth and final guild I joined. I have been with them from roughly six months after Global launched, through to the very end.
– Aside from the guildmaster Hayley, and ecilaOnis of course, the other members who I’ve known more or less this entire time included microtia and Alicia, a married couple in Illinois; EmmaDee, the resident gay Little Mermaid fan; Schiroh, a German player and fellow Gretel fan, who eventually stopped attending Colo most likely due to the time difference, but showed up again in the last week; Rachel, our bishie-loving paladin from Brazil; Staff-Chan, aka Morgis, the sub-master who rarely showed up to Colo but was a constant presence on the Discord; and SetXun, a quiet but reliable face during Colo.
– Other Jellicles of note during my time with the guild included Emm, an Aussie who eventually gave up SINoALICE when it started becoming an unhealthy addiction for them; Lavenza, who also had an alt under Exsanguis (or maybe Lavenza was the alt?), a more competitive player than any of us, and one who I stayed in touch with via co-op battles after they left the guild; Murasaki, who, like SetXun, was a steady regular until the end; Bolten, a cleric and Dorothy fan; and MustardMan, the best of the last round of new recruits.
– My mains for JellicleCats ranged from Gretel/Half-Nightmare, to Gretel/Gluttonous Tiger Sorcerer, to Sleeping Beauty/Sweet Dreams, to my final one, Little Mermaid/Weeping Onion. All of these are Sorcerer classes, though I typically played with a mix of tomes and staves in the last year or so.
– When sub-classes became available in Global, this opened up several possibilities for new strategies. For JellicleCats, this eventually led to our greatest legacy: sliming. We would create sub-sets with Snow White/Slime, a free class given away during the That Time I was Reincarnated as a Slime collab, and bust them out in the vanguard whenever we were losing overwhelmingly or winning overwhelmingly. During some special events, sub-sets featuring the masochistic Princess Kaguya would be brought out when we were facing a battle we would be sure to lose.
– We eventually learned that we weren’t the only “slime guild”, and that there were a few others. I am unsure of who was the first to use this “strategy”, or if these other guilds came up with this approach independently, as we had.
– JellicleCats was one of the factors which drove me to finally join Discord. The guild’s server is small, but still going strong.

Pokelabo's staff sometimes drew "official fanart" marking Global's anniversaries and other milestones. This is the one from the 2.5 Year Anniversary in January 2023.

Tales of the End
– The userbase dwindled, but apparently, SINoALICE Global was profitable, even though it was clearly running on a shoestring budget by the time the summer of 2023 rolled around. If it had been published in the West by Square Enix like it had in Japan, instead of being self-published by the developer Pokelabo, I very much doubt it would have lasted that long.
– Language support for new content gradually dropped over time, until only Spanish, Korean, and English remained. Then Spanish was gone, and then Korean. With well over a thousand Weapon Stories in the game, as well as Class Stories and, of course, event and main stories, SINoALICE may be the most text-heavy JRPG, of any kind, ever made. Given this daunting localization task, seeing languages being dropped was unfortunate, but understandable.
– Then, on September 1, 2023, only a few months after the Third Anniversary, End of Service was announced and Twilight Crystal sales were halted. We would have two more months of goodies, events, and Colosseum battles, then the final chapter would be released on October 31. Upon playing said final chapter, a player would be locked out of their account, permanently. The game’s servers would shut down for good on November 14th.
– The handful of us devoted SINoALICE players that had lasted this long mourned the impending death of our beloved game. Despite the bugs, lopsided matchmaking, occasional odd translation, and other hiccups, we loved this quirky piece of work, much like we have loved other Yoko Taro games. Maybe even moreso.
– I returned to the morass to post some feedback to the developers, thanking them for these past three years. One of those devs was so moved by my words that he asked for permission to translate and share it with his Japanese Twitter followers. Permission was granted.
– Hayley, being a longtime SINoALICE JP player, invited the rest of us Jellicles who weren’t already over there to join her guild there, Purritos. Many of us do. Having had a three-year advantage, JP turns out to be a much bigger game than Global, but familiar enough that I manage to get around various text-heavy menus with few problems. However, I found myself missing some small features that were exclusive to Global.
– The Last Colosseum Sin ended up being the only Colo Sin that JellicleCats didn’t qualify for, due to the number of available spots being cut roughly in half for our timeslot. I was particularly annoyed about this, in part because this final event featured the special visuals and music from WGC.
– On October 26, a slew of announcements go live in JP. That too is shutting down, in January 2024. The third and final CD soundtrack, and the sixth and final volume of the manga spinoff are also announced. Despair sets in on all of us who had hoped to have a new home after Global.

Thank You
– Once again, thank you, Pokelabo! Thank you Yoko-san, Maeda-san, Kat-san, Kaz-san, Omiya-san, jino-san, Okabe-san, and everyone else who did what they could with what they had to make this game so special.
– I would also like to thank the four guilds I had joined over the course of the game: Legion, SUUUUPER, Blade, and, most of all, Jellicle/JellicleCats.
– On behalf of JellicleCats, thank you to our many good rivals over the years, including TooSpoopyForYouuuu, {empty}, Madness, combo spam masters VanitasVanitatum, Cookie, Lovely, and several others I’m forgetting.
– Thanks a bunch to the many reliable co-op partners who’ve played with me up until now, including Fuchs, Wraith, Endless, Dainsleif, real_eric, Clotho, rymercy, trudeth, and, of course, ecilaOnis and Lavenza/Exsanguis. There are also those who dropped the game awhile back that I would like to shout out: Facmartins, Asia, VinceSocoo, Silversurf, tatsumi5, TheMollusk, Radzio, Aphaia, ghost24, and many more besides.
– If I have neglected to mention you, thank you as well! I will miss you all.
– And thank you for reading all of this! If you happen to have known me in-game, please take a moment to drop me a line and say hi!

The worst of all tales has ended. Time to move on to the next…