Vanilla: Garden of Judgement (バニラ 審判の園 Banira: Shinpan no Sono) is a visual novel horror game created by Charon.
In life and death, in the paradise between those, you will know your own crime. Where are they going when they remember the sins committed in the past? Everything is told in the story. The player will check with his / her eyes. The destiny of their fate.
Vanilla: Garden of Judgement is a drama visual novel in which the player assumes the role of Blanco. Its gameplay mainly consists of reading and progressing through the story's narrative and dialogue. The game's text is accompanied by character sprites, which represent who Blanco is talking to, appearing on top of background artwork.
It follows a branching plot line with linear sequences and multiple endings, where the plot's direction is affected by the player's decisions.
Chapter 1: First Contact
A boy that wakes up in a strange garden without memories. He encounters a girl dressed in white who explains they’re in a place where their sins can be cleansed. She acts like he knows him and says she’s been waiting for him for a long time, but he doesn’t remember her. The girl introduces herself as Vanilla and guides him to a white castle inhabited by three girls. The proud and arrogant Lilith, the cheerful and tomboyish Sima and the mature and reasonable Soyo. Since the boy doesn’t have a name, Sima names him Blanco ("White" in Spanish). He decides to adjust to his situation and start his new life with the girls.
As days pass, he starts having nightmares of his past life. Vanilla explains him that he’ll eventually remember his past and the sins he has committed, which are the reason he’s trapped in that place. She also advices him not to get too involved with the girls.
Chapter 2: Gardenia
Blanco tries to adjust at his new life with Lilith, Sima and Soyo. Despite their differences, he’s happy to have them at his side. He goes to the library, when he meets Sima. She reveals she likes writing books and gives him a book named "Girl's Inferno" that tells about her past.
She used to be a teenager named Satori. She was gloomy and had no friends, her parents having divorced when she was young. She was also an aspiring writer and her pseudonym was "Shiima", even though her works were never that popular. Until the day a boy approached her and claimed to be a fan of her works, but only said it because he wanted to date her. Disappointed that he didn’t approach her for her talent, she rejected him. However, the boy didn’t give up and often stalked Satori to the point one day he tried to rape her. Satori killed him in self-defense stabbing his neck with a pen. It’s unknown what happened to her afterwards, but she died while trying to dispose of the body.
Sima admits that the girl in the book is her and asks Blanco if she can be forgiven for her sins. Blanco has the choice to forgive her or not.
- Bad End: Girl's Inferno
- If Blanco chooses to forgive her, Sima calms down and decides to live together with Blanco with Lilith and Soyo at their side. Sima decides to put her past behind and thanks Blanco for supporting her.
- Sima's Ending
- If Blanco says she can't be forgiven, Sima breaks down and says she shouldn't have shown Blanco her past. She starts ranting about how she disposed of the stalker's corpse and how everyone would judge her if they find out about her sin (murder). Sima concludes that Blanco is as selfish and shallow as her stalker and tries to kill him, but she vanishes before she has the chance. Confused about what happened, Blanco encounters Vanilla, who tells him that Sima is gone and that he shouldn't get too attached to the girls. It then cuts down to Sima alone in a flower field. She admits that all she wanted was somebody to love her for her talent and who she was. She comes to the realization that the world they're trapped in must be hell. Her hair turns white before vanishing forever.
Chapter 3: Desire
Blanco has nightmares about a lonely black-haired girl. He remembers she was important to him when she was alive but can’t remember why. Meanwhile Lilith and Soyo are very concerned about Sima’s disappearance. Soyo is scared they’ll be the next ones to vanish while Lilith is very moody and angry, having a fight with Soyo and then leaving.
When Blanco goes to search for her, she finds Lilith masturbating to thoughts of him. She realizes he’s watching her and kicks him in embarrassment, causing him to faint. After Blanco regains his senses, Litlith apologizes and explains she has a very strong libido and she used to date many boys when she was alive. She realizes it’s something weird and bad and that something must be wrong with her. As she says this, Blanco has a memory of someone who hated herself for having a "tainted body".
Lilith remembers about her past. She used to be a college student named Riri. She was very beautiful and popular but she was also very selfish and arrogant, only dating boys for sex and money. She joined a broadcasting club composed of male members and started dating them all for fun. Eventually they found out and one of them, Andou, decided to take revenge by kidnapping Riri and burying her alive.
Afterwards Blanco finds out from Soyo that Lilith is missing, just like Sima the day before. He has the choice to search for her or not.
- Bad End: Moratorium
- If Blanco chooses to search for Lilith, he goes to the forest Sima mentioned before. Despite knowing the forest is a place of no return, Blanco goes anyway and finds a crying Lilith. She has finally remembered her past and is disgusted by the horrible things she did. They continue to walk in the forest for some time until they realize they’re now trapped forever. Accepting her fate, Lilith confesses her feelings for Blanco.
- Lilith's Ending
- If Blanco chooses not to search for Lilith, he tells Soyo that she choose to leave on her own will and that it’s likely she doesn’t want them to go after her. He tells Soyo that they must accept Lilith’s decision. Even so, he feels bad for leaving Lilith to her fate, but Vanilla tells him not to worry about her anymore. It then cuts down to Lilith alone in the forest, having collapsed from exhaustion. She admits that despite her sin (lust) all she wanted was to be loved by someone. Her hair turns white before vanishing forever.
Chapter 4: Soyokaze Breeze
With Sima and Lilith gone, Soyo and Blanco decide to continue without them. Soyo is scared that she’ll be the next to disappear and begs Blanco not to leave her. She and Blanco sleep together that night, but this only succeeds in bringing memories about his past, remembering that he used to sleep with someone as well.
Soyo tells Blanco that she remembers her past and wonders about the purgatory they’re trapped in. She realized that the purpose of the purgatory is for sinners to remember their past and they’ll be able to move on and disappear once they accept it. She then proceeds to tell Blanco about her past. She used to be a woman on her late twenties named Kazami. She was married, but her husband was distant to her. Despite her desire to have children, he wasn’t interested and was cheating on her. Resenting her husband’s infidelity, Kazami started seeing a young man called Yukimaru. After some time she became pregnant and realizing her husband would find out, she threw herself from a cliff.
Despite remembering everything and confiding into Blanco, Soyo believes she deserves to be properly punished for her sin (infidelity). She asks Blanco to beat her and he has the choice to accept it or not.
- Bad End: White Curtains in the Breeze
- Blanco decides not to hurt her and convinces Soyo to start over together so she would forget about her sin. Afterwards they live together in purgatory as a couple. Blanco muses that he hasn’t seen Vanilla since and wonders if she’s the ruler of purgatory or something.
- Soyo's Ending
- Blanco decides to hurt Soyo until she’s beaten to a pulp. After some time, Soyo begs him to stop, but Blanco continues to beat her until she disappears. With Soyo gone, Blanco realizes he’s alone and wonders if the purgatory they’re trapped in is hell after all. It then cuts down to Soyo accepting that all she wanted was to have a child and apologizes to her stillborn baby for committing suicide and not letting him/her live. Her hair turns white before vanishing forever.
Chapter 5: Garden of Judgement
Blanco has a memory when he was alive. He used to be a boy named Shirou who fell in love with his classmate Hakana, a gloomy and lonely girl. When he confessed his feelings for her, she admitted that she was poor and her father had forced her into prostitution in order to bring money to the house (and he spent most of the savings). She believed herself to be tainted and that she didn’t deserve Shirou’s love, but he reassured everything was fine and they started dating.
Even after becoming a couple, Hakana was still plagued with nightmares of her time in prostitution so Shirou decided to marry her. However, his mother opposed to this and accused Hakana of being a gold digger. Actually the mother was just extremely jealous and overprotective of her son and didn’t want to be separated from him. Shirou was too afraid to stand up to his mother, which only brought Hakana deeper into despair. She committed suicide by throwing herself from a window and Shirou followed her soon after.
- True Ending: Everlasting
- Blanco/Shirou finally regained his memories and remembers that Vanilla is Hakana. She had been waiting for him all this time and now they’re reunited again. However, now that Shirou remembers his memories of their sin (committing suicide) they’re forced to disappear, like Sima, Lilith and Soyo. As they vanish, Hakana thanks Shirou for loving her despite her "tainted body".
- Blanco is the first Charon's protagonist whose name doesn't end with "-rou". Until the True Ending, which reveals his real name is Shirou.
- Soyo's lover is a grown-up Yukimaru from Mikoto Nikki.
- The game is loosely based on the anime Angel Beats, a story about young people trapped in a purgatory. Blanco's story is similar to Otonashi, an amnesiac teenager who lost a loved one when he was alive. Vanilla's role is similar to Angel/Kanade, a white haired girl that seems mysterious and the sovereign of the world, while in fact she's just a normal girl who has a connection to the protagonist. Also, Sima's design resembles Yuri.
- The names of the girls are based in their named back when they were alive.
- "Sima" has the same pronounciation as "Shiima", Satori's pseudonym.
- "Lilith" (リリス Ririsu) comes from "Riri" (リリ).
- "Soyo" comes from the word "Soyokaze" (微風) which has the kanji for wind like her true name "Kazami" (風見).
- Averted with Vanilla/Hakana. She only chose the name randomly because Blanco/Shirou didn't recognize her and they were vanilla flowers nearby.