First off, here’s the prologue for NORN9. The individual routes in NORN9 are not that long so I initially thought of collating everything together but…that didn’t work out ‘cos I write too much anyway haha.
The game starts off in Sorata‘s perspective (CV: Abe Atsushi), a 12-year-old boy who happens to be on a special field trip with his class to the National Diet. They’re not the only visitors today but it’s not like Sorata is paying any attention. By the way, Sorata is apparently such a smart kid that he recently received the Prime Minister Award recently, though his classmate jokes that he must be aiming for the Nobel Prize instead. As the guide shows them around, he mentions how the building’s construction first started in Taisho Year 9 and was only finished in Showa Year 11 – Sorata knows all of this fully well already, including all the big events that occurred in Taisho era – WWI, formation of LON etc. He sees that learning in elementary school only requires one to memorise things rather than explore and research – so he doesn’t see any individuality in this field trip where everyone learns at the same pace with the same teaching and then to merely write a reflection essay to “develop” oneself. The class moves to the assembly hall area and throughout he notices the stained glass windows but is unable to recall the exact term – until a voice tells him so. He then hears music but it appears that he’s the only one. The screen switches to one full of greenery before someone calls for Sorata to once again–
He suddenly finds himself on the streets of Taisho, though he only realises so after a young girl (Koharu) helps him out. While he’s shocked at first, the girl offers to bring him along to a ship she’s going to board. She doesn’t really understand when Sorata tries to explain that he came from the future, but he observes that she’s still willing to go along with him instead of leaving him alone. So Sorata decides to follow her, though she’s unable to introduce herself as it’s been too long since someone last called her by her name lol. (Poor) Sorata is given another surprise when he sees a large globe-like airship welcome them later in Taisho era, but before he can react he’s dragged in by the girl. A confused Sorata starts trying to reason that this is probably a UFO pfft, only for the both of them to be entangled in ivy vines. They’re released later though and brought to a large meeting-like room. The girl is confirmed by the rest that she’s a power user, though no specifics are delved into so Sorata remains clueless. He explains that he’s from the future and recounts all the major events that happened, only for the rest to kind of acknowledge him which causes him to feel taken aback at how easily they accepted everything. They decide to bring him along to Origin of the World. They also question on why the girl is wearing the same uniform as them, even though it’s something which should only be received after boarding. In response, she can only answer that she was given it by a traveller. Feeling upset for her, Sorata stands up for her by saying that cosplaying must be her personal interest and one shouldn’t attack her for it lol. Since they can’t pursue further, they leave the issue alone for now.
Sorata soon notices that they’re flying though and passes out from shock. He doesn’t believe in anything non-scientific, and the likes of novels and games are full of beautiful lies to him. He refuses to believe that stuff like supernatural powers exist ‘cos if they do, the world would’ve long been controlled by it. And if one can travel to the past, the world would collapse at this rate. As Sorata is sleeping, the three girls are together and the other two realise that the new one doesn’t know anything about this ship or what their goal is. They’re sent out from Japan to other countries as envoys in order to maintain peace, it’s the mission they’ve been given by the World. Sorata wakes up and basically after this, he can choose which “team” to get more familiar with for the next day – everyone on board is split into teams to take care of the daily chores.
If you go with Koharu, Sorata basically gets acquainted with Kakeru, Senri, and Masamune . If you go with Nanami, Sorata gets to know Akito, Ron, and Heishi. And if you go with Mikoto, Sorata finds himself with Sakuya and Itsuki too. No matter the choice, the ship gets attacked all of a sudden and everyone heads to the dining area for safety – except Mikoto who remains outside as her ability helps to protect everyone from the attack. (From Mikoto’s perspective, you’ll see that the attacker demands for her to come with him as he desires her power, if not he’ll endanger the ship. Sorata, upon Sakuya’s persuasion, goes to find Mikoto and recognises that the attacker is carrying a gun, and that his ship has missiles. The attacker decides to retreat for now, as he wonders about Sorata’s presence on this ship.) When the attack is over, Mikoto joins them and informs them that the attacker is the same man as before – and he used some sort of device to attack them. This matter has been reported to the World but they’re told to take care of it within. It’s also here that you get to choose which heroine to move on to. Everyone splits up into teams to check the situation, before gathering together again to decide on what plan of action to take (with the exception of Sorata). It’s also here that Koharu finally recalls her own name which was given by the traveller, though only her first name.
During the meeting, Mikoto raises the issue that there may be a betrayer among them. Mikoto’s ability is basically creating forcefields but the only damaged area was on the 2nd floor of the ship, which should’ve been well-protected like previous times. Moreover, the attack appears to have been done from the inside, rather than from the outside – so it’s likely that the culprit is a user who possesses a power for attacking. (Depending on whose perspective you go with, it is hinted that betrayer may not necessarily be a power user and is most probably an accomplice to the attacker. And if the person had chosen a place where people gathered (like the dining area) then everyone would’ve died – so it’s questionable whether it was pure coincidence or not. So the goal is likely to be to create suspicion among each other.) Kakeru (purposely) suggests everyone coming clean about their powers, even though the initial rule they set was to never question each other about their power, birth and upbringing. But there is opposition so Kakeru goes on to suggest forming teams of 2 each instead to keep a better watch over each other. It’s here that you choose which of the guys your chosen heroine pairs up with. Worthy to note that the other two heroines will get paired up with someone else as you progress too. Also, the ship’s name is Norn which makes a reference to the three goddesses in Norse mythology. It’s mentioned that the ship only has 9 rooms yet excluding Sorata, there are 11 of them in all. Sorata is also explained by Mikoto that the World is a collective opinion of all the countries in the world, which makes Sorata think of it like the UN.