The Origins You Never Knew About Steins;Gate Protagonist Okabe Rintaro: Chaos;Gate

In hindsight, Science Adventure is a somewhat humorous series since, well, most people familiar with one of its properties, Steins;Gate, aren’t even wholly aware that it even is a series. While the West has seen resurged efforts in recent years to better deliver the myriad of entries the franchise houses, Steins;Gate has always, will likely forever be atop an unreachable pillar of popularity the other titles can’t ever dream of reaching.

However, despite Steins;Gate’s popularity, there are bounds of information the average fan simply isn’t aware of, especially regarding its connectivity to the other parts of the Science Adventure series. One particular facet of its existence I’ll be doing my part to elucidate today concerns Chaos;Head, the debut Science Adventure entry largely unknown in the West, save for a widely panned anime adaption.

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Believe it or not, one of the first appearances of the iconic Steins;Gate protagonist, Okabe Rintaro, was in supplemental media directly correlating to Chaos;Head. Called Chaos;Gate, this short story was initially featured in a September 2009 magazine meant to promote the upcoming launch of the original Steins;Gate visual novel, which was on October 15, 2009. Chaos;Head was relatively well-known in Japan at the time, having been released the year prior on April 25, 2008. So, it can be assumed that Chaos;Gate was written to introduce Chaos;Head fans to the next entry’s protagonist, Okabe.

Detailing specific contextual points of this story would spoil some elements of Chaos;Head, which hasn’t been localized yet, so I’ll refrain from doing that. There are some spoiler-free parts I can mention, though. Chaos;Gate is told from the perspective of Sena Aoi, one of Chaos;Head’s many heroines, during the course of the visual novel’s main story. In the midst of her tasks, she encounters the legendary Okabe Rintaro, who wasn’t quite so legendary at this point.

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Sena’s stern, no-nonsense attitude clashes with Okabe’s Hououin Kyouma persona, with the former even falsely temporarily believing the latter to be an antagonist. But, of course, Hououin Kyouma being Hououin Kyouma leads to him blindly embracing Sena’s seemingly unrealistic terms and claims, with throwaway answers that catch her off guard. Although, by the end of their confrontation, Sena realizes that he’s screwing around, and they…callously part ways.

This story wasn’t the first time Okabe appeared in media since the first chapter of the Steins;Gate manga was published a mere four days prior, September 26, 2009. Still, it’s pretty close to a first appearance. Honestly, it’s unfortunate that cool stories like this are absurdly obscure, but there is an undeniable sense of satisfaction in the discovery.

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At the time, I don’t believe anybody could have predicted the massive cultural phenomenon that Steins;Gate would become, rapidly leaving Chaos;Head in its wake. Here’s hoping the upcoming Nintendo Switch and Steam releases bring some more eyes to the long-since overlooked first Science Adventure entry.

If you’d like to read Chaos;Gate for yourself, a dedicated fan team called NS2C translated it, viewable via Github. However, it is worth reiterating that it does spoil crucial story elements of Chaos;Head.

Additionally, Science Adventure fan Spiderfreak1011 published a YouTube video adapting Chaos;Gate via the in-game engine, with Okabe sprite work and Steins;Gate music implementation. The translation used here is also from NS2C.

Thanks to prominent Science Adventure community member Fasty for giving this article a once-over to validate historical accuracy.

Chaos;Head Noah / Chaos;Child Double Pack is releasing for Nintendo Switch in the West on October 7, 2022. Further, Chaos;Head Noah is releasing on PC via Steam on the same date. Chaos;Child is already available in the West on Steam, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita.

Chaos;Head Noah / Chaos;Child Double Pack is a physical release of the collection that includes both games, a Steelbook, and lingerie DLC (only for Chaos;Head Noah). Regarding this, the official website states that the protagonist’s fictitious waifu, Seira Orgel, will not adorn her lingerie costume DLC for the North American and European releases.

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Chaos:Head Noah can be seen as the director’s cut version of the original Chaos;Head which was a PC-only release in Japan. Noah added character routes and released for several consoles. Unfortunately, no edition of Chaos;Head has ever received an official localization.

Chaos;Child is a visual novel taking place 6 years after Chaos;Head Noah, focusing on a new cast. This title did receive an official English localization from publisher PQube on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and by publisher Spike Chunsoft on PC via Steam.


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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual. Fan of JRPGs, Action, Platformers, Rhythm, and Adventure titles.