- 1 Notice
- 2 Forward
- 3 FAQ
- 4 General advice
- 5 The Good Bits
- 6 If You Read Section A And Skipped Right To The Bottom
Forward[edit | edit source]
Angel Beats: 1st Beat is an outlandishly convoluted game. A single playthrough of the Matsushita route can involve upwards of TWO HUNDRED choices, and a preposterous number of those choices have lasting effects on incidental dialogue, change the manner in which characters react to you, or in some cases cause major, dramatic shifts in the game's plot. The choices you make spiral into further choices down the road, and even after spending three months completely immersed in it there are sequences I still have yet to figure out how to activate.
What I'm getting at with all this is that in my opinion, playing this game with a guide that dictates all the choices you make completely defeats the purpose of its design. This is a game that was made with experimentation and chaos in mind; half the fun is seeing just how far it lets you push the more out-there options. It gameifies the visual novel medium not by adding in stats or minigames, but instead by being more reactive than any other VN I've ever played. Getting on the character routes isn't particularly hard at all, but it's also not really the point.
In short: I have absolutely no intention whatsoever of writing a comprehensive, choice-by-choice guide to this game unless people really, REALLY want one. If that sounds like you, feel free to skip to the bottom. Otherwise, read on for a quick faq and some helpful tips on getting through to the character routes, followed by more specific advice on how to get to some of the really good scenes that are buried deep enough in the nightmarish fractal-maze that is this game's progression that 99% of players would never notice them if we didn't specifically point them out.
FAQ[edit | edit source]
Since I'm writing this guide about two weeks before the patch drops, this section's going to be a bit sparse until people actually start asking questions! Possibly it'll remain that way, who knows. There are definitely a few that have come up repeatedly over the course of translation and testing, though, so I'll address those in advance. Note that this section is spoiler-free, so read away, ye who care about such matters.
Does this game actually have an OP?[edit | edit source]
A: Yes, but it's almost definitely not where you'd expect it to be. Don't worry, you didn't accidentally skip it.
How much of the anime does this game cover?[edit | edit source]
Is it worth playing if you've seen the anime? Alternatively, do you need to have seen the anime to play the game?
A: Respectively: lots, yes and no. The game covers most of episodes 1-11 of the original show, and helpfully (albeit sometimes inaccurately) points out which episode you're in up top in the game's taskbar. There's a TON of game-exclusive content, even outside of the character routes, and it includes an absolutely massive lump of totally new world and character building. It also establishes everything you need to know to appreciate the story without having seen the anime at all; the only things you'll miss are parts of the anime's conclusion and a few scenes that the player character just isn't around to see, since the game sticks pretty solidly to his perspective. In short, it's extremely worth playing whether you've seen the anime enough to have it memorized or haven't seen it at all, even taking into account the fact that it's not technically finished.
What happened to Beats 2-6?[edit | edit source]
As of May 2020, there has been no further update on the progress, or release of Beats 2-6. Neither Key Visual Arts has ever made anything close to a public statement regarding them. While there are plenty of plausible theories about what happened and why they've been delayed and/or canceled, there isn't a need to go into blind speculation here. What we do know for sure is that regardless of the lack of its promised sequels, this game's very much worth the time and stands on its own as a finished product, excepting a couple episode's worth of endgame content that you can experience via the anime. It would be absolutely amazing if they materialize someday, but even if they don't, what we did get's pretty fantastic on its own.
Why could I make [choice x] last playthrough, but it's missing in this one?[edit | edit source]
This game adjusts the decisions available to you dynamically based off of the choices you've made previously. If you've been playing Otonashi like a sane and reasonable person, for instance, you won't get the options that let him be a degenerate sex-pest. You have an almost distressing amount of power over his fundamental personality, really. Similarly, the game tracks how the characters you interact with react to your choices, so it's possible that they'll react in different ways to the same choice depending on how you've interacted with them so far.
What font should I use?[edit | edit source]
Whatever you want, basically. I'm partial to MotoyaLMaru, but you do you; it probably won't break anything unless you pick something really out there.
General advice[edit | edit source]
You have been warned: here be spoilers. I'll try to keep them as broad and general as possible, but discussing some plot/choice details is inevitable, so I'd highly encourage a playthrough or two before you read on (or, even better, not reading this at all until you feel like you're stuck).
Getting through common[edit | edit source]
There are a couple common stumbling points when it comes to the common route! The first and most frequent involves Kanade. There's a point in episode 8 where you MUST invite her along with you to go fishing, and if you haven't gotten to know her sufficiently well by that point, you'll be railroaded into a (really fun!) bad ending instead. To avoid this, you just have to attend class when given the option and talk with her proactively over the course of the game up to that point. Note that there are some GREAT scenes if you choose to run from or fight Kanade repeatedly instead, and I'm reasonably sure that you don't have to be friends with her at all to get into the Iwasawa route, so that might be a good time to mess around with alternatives here.
While there aren't any other ways to completely lock yourself out of the proper endings that we've discovered so far, there are a couple of other sequences that can doom you to a bad ending without that fact being clear for a good long while. The biggest of those is probably on Day 21, where you MUST successfully invite Kanade out for food and then successfully break out of jail. There are something like three different bad endings that can spin out from doing this sequence wrong and some of them are pretty cool, so I'd encourage experimentation, but just be careful about where you overwrite your saves.
Finally, if you make it through the whole of Common without ending up on any of the character routes, there IS a common ending, of a sort. It's a unique and extremely entertaining scene that I'd recommend everyone try to find and see, but it's also a bit confusing since the game just sort of abruptly ends after it's over, with no credits or anything. So, watch out for that.
Yui[edit | edit source]
Getting on Yui's route isn't incredibly hard, but on the flip side her route has an unusually large number of points at which it can branch out in subtly differing ways. I mean, you can meet Yui for the first time at no less than seven different distinct moments in the game (this isn't actually relevant to getting on her route, it was just a horrific pain to translate and I want people to appreciate the fact).
The only major factor that can really screw you up is probably pretty obvious: let her join your baseball team. Refusing her there almost definitely locks you out of her route, so, yeah, don't do that thing.
That's about all that needs to be said as far as getting on her route goes. Another factor worth noting, though, is that every once in a while one of her scenes will railroad you into getting on her bad side. This doesn't lock you out of the route or anything, but her dialogue can vary quite a bit depending on how your previous interactions with her have gone, so it's a good idea to keep a few saves handy if you're invested in not pissing her off TOO much and end up needing to back out of picking one of her scenes. Skipping the ones in which nothing super major happens between the two of you/the game forces you to screw up will probably not prevent you from getting on her final route, so no worries there. That said, note that pissing her off to some degree is inevitable; this is Yui we're talking about after all.
Finally and least importantly, there's a sequence where you can choose to make Yui call you by a nickname. I HIGHLY recommend dropping a save at that point since one of the three choices makes a later scene play out in a substantially different way. In my opinion it's very worthwhile to see both versions of that scene, so I definitely recommend going back and seeing how the other nicknames play out. Also they're all hysterical, so hey.
Iwasawa[edit | edit source]
Iwasawa's where things can get a bit tricky. You need to prioritize her pretty early on, for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who's seen the anime. Visit her early and often―it’s recommended that you turn down Hinata’s offer to give you a tour, since that lets you see her starting in day 1―and go for the music-based prompts whenever it's a choice between one of them and something less directly musical (ie, praising her song instead of flagrantly hitting on her). That said, some degree of hitting on her seems to be helpful, at the very least in the 'expressing explicit interest' sense—as in, saying you're interested in her specifically rather than that you're a fan of the band. When talking to characters OTHER than Iwasawa herself, it's usually best to be upfront about your interest in her.
Next up, during the sequences where you have to pick a conversation topic for her, some topics get good reactions while others get not so great ones, and it's possible to lock yourself out of her route entirely if you really screw it up. Generally speaking, the good topics are sound, the speed of sound, and plants. The least safe topics are biology and bodily functions—picking those one after the other in either order is route suicide, basically, so I'd recommend against it. Speaking of suicide, it's another unsafe topic. 'Adult stuff' can go well or poorly, depending on a secondary choice and potentially how much she already likes or dislikes you (not sure if that's really a factor; this game makes me paranoid). Food and medicine seem to be pretty neutral; frankly I have no clue how they factor into things, but they're safe enough when you're out of good topics.
The next big point is during episode 3. You absolutely have to abandon the mission to go check on her when given the opportunity, and you have to run into the gym and stop her shortly after that. Choosing options that involve worrying about her possibly contributes to being given the option to do so, so it's generally a good idea.
Next up is the baseball game. The only really major thing here is that you have to turn down Hinata's request and join Iwasawa's team instead. The GirlDeMo baseball sequence itself is much less hard to navigate than the standard one, and so long as you avoid the obviously terrible decisions it should be pretty easy to get through.
After that, you should be pretty much home free. Three miscellaneous points: dropping out of the Guild operation results in a piece of absolutely hysterical dialogue further down the road, so I highly recommend it, talking to Hisako once or twice can't hurt as long as you don't piss her off too badly in the process, and suggesting Sekine come along for the operation in episode 5 is not technically necessary for the route but is absolutely hysterical and highly recommended. Last, if you're given multiple choices and one of them involves crows, the crow choice is almost always the best one.
Oh, and one more final point: there's actually quite a fair bit of Iwasawa content that you can only see if you keep her around after episode three but do NOT end up on her actual route. To get to that, all you have to do is follow the same general process but deny being interested in her romantically whenever possible. Big-time Iwasawa fans (you know who you are) might be interested in exploring that a bit; the scenes aren't earth-shattering content or anything, but they're probably worth your time.
Matsushita[edit | edit source]
Matsushita's route is easy enough to get on that I don't think there's any real need to elaborate much here! Meet up with him as often as you can, go along with his whims, and don't fall into any of the Common pitfalls, and you'll probably be golden. The big thing that's worth noting is that a few meetings you'll have the opportunity to send Matsushita away for a very solid chunk of the game. This does NOT impact your ability to get on his route whatsoever, so sending him off or keeping him around are both totally valid options. Key actually poured a disgusting amount of resources into making that possible, but I'll let you discover exactly what I mean by that on your own. It’s very worth seeing how both options play out.
Next Beat[edit | edit source]
Next Beat is the epilogue-ish bonus chapter that unlocks after you've cleared all three character routes. That said, even after you've unlocked it there are several specific scenes you need to have seen in the main game in order to make it through to the end. If you haven't seen those scenes then various vital dialogue options won't appear when you need them, and you'll get forced into a mini bad ending.
To finish Next Beat, you need to have unlocked achievements 177 - 183. The requirements for unlocking them are as follows, and can all be cleared out in one playthrough with proper planning:
- 177: Extremely easy: just choose 'Do we really need to go that far?' after the first tornado.
- 178: Also extremely easy. Go to class the first time Kanade tells you to, and you're golden.
- 179: Survive long enough to get to the bottom of Guild during episode 2.
- 180: Tag along during the Angel Area infiltration and see her computer get hacked. You'd have to try VERY hard to not encounter this one at some point during your three playthroughs tbh.
- 181: At the end of episode 3, when Takamatsu is depressed, join the conversation with him ("Talk with Takamatsu and Ooyama"). Then, choose "I'm the same way." Note that this second option only appears if you're friendly with Iwasawa at this point; choosing her twice on the map before then can be enough, as long as the conversations go well. If you're given the choice to chase after her when she plays her new song in HQ the day before, it should work out.
- 182: Unlocking 182 happens naturally and unavoidably as you're trying to unlock 183, so see below for both.
- 183: This is the hard one. There are a bunch of prerequisites to unlocking the scene in the first place, and frankly I'm not entirely sure how many of them are absolutely mandatory. I recommend making it to the bottom of Guild, going to class, and not pissing off Yuri, to start. Seeing Kanade's computer (as for achievement 180) is definitely, absolutely mandatory, as is sympathizing with Takamatsu like you do for 181. If you've gotten all of this right, then the next time you get to the map screen after the sympathizing-with-Takamatsu dialogue you'll have the chance to visit Yuri. Do that, and you'll be taken into a sequence where you answer a string of questions. Play your cards right during that sequence and you'll unlock both achievements 182 and 183. If you get kicked out of the office without getting one of them, just back up and try again until you work it out.
Once all of this is done with, you'll have all the dialogue options you need to get to the end of Next Beat! If you've been paying attention the answers to choose should be pretty obvious, the sequence is pretty short, and it's sort of the capstone puzzle to the whole game, so I'll refrain from giving detailed instructions on which those unlocked options are. You'll make it through, I believe in you!
The Good Bits[edit | edit source]
The following are parts of 1st Beat that we of the staff just really, really like and want everyone who plays the game to see, presented in no particular order:
Angel No That's Not Juice[edit | edit source]
An extremely missable moment of weapons-grade Angel adorableness. To get this scene:
- Day 2: Go to class when given the opportunity. Train with Noda and get the crap beaten out of you AFTER going to class.
- Day 3: Train with Noda the first chance you get, and take your shirt off before he maims you. After that, bluff your way into going to class and stick to that bluff as far as it lets you go.
Hisako's Mini-Route[edit | edit source]
Let me start this off with a warning: This arc gets dark, REALLY dark, maybe too dark for some people. I HIGHLY recommend you be in a good headspace for this. Now with that out of the way, my general tip for those who just want a nudge in the right direction is to know when to push and when to back off. Be a reasonable human being, but don’t be a wharf roach. The two big requirements are: You need to be on Iwasawa’s good side and have some “proof” that you can handle her story.
This guide is based around the fact that you visited Iwasawa on Day 01 by leaving Hinata behind to explore. This is so you can get Iwasawa's "I'm interested in you" choice which unlocks Hisako's branch.
- Day 02:
- Day 03
- Visit Iwasawa
- Visit Hisako*
- It does*
- I can definitely help*
- Visit Iwasawa
- Visit Hisako
- No matter what it is, I can handle it*
- The other two choices don't matter
- Day 05
- After the Operation Iwasawa go bye-bye
- Join in the conversation*
- I'm the same way*
- I can't do that*
The Threesome That Was Meant To Be[edit | edit source]
This one's a bit fiddly! You need to progress several plot threads simultaneously to pull it off. You need to advance both the Matsushita and Noda sequences far enough to earn their trust before the baseball game—specifically, you need to meet with Noda enough times to tell him 'That's amazing' and Matsushita at least three times total. Additionally, it's super important that you hit on Hinata as much as possible and probably important to build up as many pervert points as you can when given the opportunity (not sure if that's mandatory, but it seems to help). If all goes as planned you'll get the chance to talk to Noda yourself when recruiting him for the team (it's recommended that you forget why you're there, challenge him to a duel, ask to touch his muscles, and give him an awful nickname).
Then let Hinata teach you the changeup and choose to go off on your own instead of resting, which will give you the chance to recruit Matsushita to the team. If Hinata calls you out on calling him by a nickname, lie your way out of it. All you have to do after that is stand up for Noda, not give him advice when he's up to bat, call a time out, ask Hinata if he's going to disappear and try to stop him from catching the ball! Note that if the CG where Hinata puts Yui in a ridiculous full body lock is different in a major and unmissable way, you're on the right track.
The Impossible Dream[edit | edit source]
This one's not exceptionally hard to get to, but is still kind of easy to miss. The trick is to keep visiting Matsushita, progressing as if you were going along his route, until the map screen where he no longer shows up as an option (which will happen the afternoon of day 3). When you get there, visit Yuri and hit on her blatantly (came to see you -> have a thing for you -> looks). From then on, keep following Matsushita when you can and do whatever you'd like when you can't (except for visiting Yuri; I don't know if that would hurt your odds of getting this scene but it definitely won't help them). Do NOT suggest that Matsushita go on a diet.
If all went as planned, you'll get to visit Matsushita twice on day 8. The second time you visit him, choose 'Yeah', followed by 'Persist'. The third choice should be obvious, and with that, your glorious quest begins!
We Genuinely Thought This Scene Was Cut Until a Tester Found it[edit | edit source]
This scene requires some VERY specific choices to get to. If you want to find it yourself, some general tips:
- 1: Perv on everyone, at all times, as much as possible. When given the choice between being reasonable and being a horrible sex-pest, always go for the latter option.
- 2: Make friends with Noda. This is pretty easy-just visit him and train with him whenever possible. When given the choice, say that he's your friend.
- 3: Reject Yui from your baseball team. This sends you down a very different route through episode 4, and is vitally important to progressing in Noda's mini-route.
- 4: When Noda's not available, use the time to visit/hit on Yuri. It's very important to establish that Otonashi has a thing for her by episode 6.
- 5: It helps to hit on Hinata, as well. He gives a TON of good chances to build up perv-points, and if you've been going for both him and Noda you'll eventually get the chance to choose between the two of them. Choose Noda.
- 6: It's okay to skip Noda on day 2. That allows you to progress all the way to the end of the Guild mission and build up some precious perv points that you would otherwise miss. Not sure if it's mandatory, but it's what I did to finally get to the scene myself.
However, if you just can't seem to get to the scene even with these tips, you can follow the following sequence of choices to make it for sure. I'm starting them at the 'choose your nickname' menu, since the stuff that happens before then appears to be inconsequential and would take up a ton of space. There are definitely other ways to make it to the scene, but this one SHOULD be foolproof, in theory:
- All-Japan Mental Arithmetic Champion -> No problem -> (go through all mandatory choices) -> If you're here, I'll make do -> Seriously -> I do -> I'd feel better living with Hinata -> Accept -> It must be important -> Yuri -> I just came to see you -> I have a thing for you -> Stay here with me -> My heart's still pounding -> Stare at Hinata -> Go off on your own -> Yuri -> I just came to see you -> Take class -> Sit in front of Hinata -> Iwasawa -> Could be -> Go for the indirect kiss and chug -> Yes -> Follow orders -> Entrust yourself to Hinata -> Do as he says -> Dodge right -> Follow after everyone -> Believed in Hinata -> Stay here a little longer -> Abandon him -> Try to lift her spirits -> Is there a boy you're into? -> Follow her -> Try to talk -> Intervene with a tackle -> Fall back with Yuri -> Ask about his relationship with Yuri -> Go out on your own -> Noda -> I want to train together -> Challenge him -> Yuri -> I have a thing for her -> Have any hobbies? -> So, your hobbies? -> What's the Angel Area? -> Ask Hinata for help -> Go out on your own -> Noda -> Take off my shirt -> Yuri -> Check out Yuri's reaction -> Check it out -> Get an eyeful -> I'm jealous -> Noda -> Take off my shirt -> Yuri -> About the operation -> It's great -> Ask now -> Go along with Hinata -> Embrace him from behind -> Noda -> That's amazing -> Good -> And what about me!? -> You're right -> Take the front -> Yeah -> A hot-blooded showdown with Noda -> Can I touch your muscles? -> Call him Incredirack anyway -> I love this side of you, too -> Answer honestly -> I want you to scold me -> So... Niceschlong? -> I'd be happy -> Offer your shoulder -> Go with him -> Accept -> That's right -> Take Noda -> Because I like you -> Yeah -> Day you don't need reminders -> Get to know the other members -> Noda -> Exactly, Niceschlong -> Ask to swap with Hinata -> I'll go -> Otonashi -> Go make up an excuse -> Go make up an excuse -> Noda -> Let him -> Noda -> Thanks -> Sleep next to Hinata -> The bed broke and you fell down -> They're just hiccups -> Noda -> Go for a topping -> Noda -> Protecting Yuri -> Noda
So, yeah, now you see exactly why I've been reluctant to write step-by-step guides for everything, but I assure you this scene is, umm, 'worth it'.
If You Read Section A And Skipped Right To The Bottom[edit | edit source]
Don't say I didn't warn you.
There IS already a comprehensive guide to getting all the achievements in the game, which I myself used in my pre-translation playthrough before I knew better. It's extremely well put together and a lot of effort was clearly put into it; I commend the author, whoever they may be. Also I HATE it. In the name of efficient completionism, it feels like it goes out of its way to turn Otonashi into a chaotic evil sociopath in pretty much every route it guides you through. Also, and more significantly, in spite of getting me 100% of the achievements in the game it only took me through about 70% of the actual dialogue, skipping past some of my absolute favorite scenes in the process.
You can find that guide here... in Japanese:
As you can see, it's an absolute monster and translating the whole thing would be a humongous pain in the ass, even if it just involves copy-pasting in translated choices. I AM willing to do that thing! However, I'm not about to put the time and effort into it until I know for sure that people really, really want it. As such: if you want the completionist's guide in English, feel free to comment below, and if enough people clamor for it I'll get it done. Otherwise, if you want advice on getting certain specific achievements, drop a comment and I'll reply with advice on how to get there whenever I happen to notice it.