Players are the deceased people who play in the Reapers' Game, a contest where winning Players have the ability to return to life or ascend. The players are chosen by the Reapers after they die in the Realground (reality). Although it is unseen, it is implied the players consent to playing in the Reapers' Game and are informed of its basic mechanics and rules.
Afterwards, they are moved into the district's Underground, an alternate dimension where they can see events in the Realground, yet cannot be noticed by any person there (living "normal" people which are unrelated to the Game). Their objective is to accomplish every mission that is sent to them, and survive battles with the Noise for one week. Reapers are not ordinarily allowed to attack players unless the Conductor or another high-ranking Reaper individually puts Shibuya on "Emergency Call".
After completion of a mission, all Players lose consciousness until the next day, when they must face a new mission. Players can be erased in the same conditions an alive person would die (not necessarily within combat).
All Players must bear:
- A special pin that distinguishes them as players, enabling them to "scan" the minds of non-players, among other effects. This pin varies depending on the district hosting the Game.
- Their cell phone, in which they receive missions via SMS (the in-game menu is designed like a menu from a cellphone). If this mission has a time limit, their right palms are painfully imprinted with a timer when they finish reading the mission requirements. This timer vanishes if they complete the mission.
They also are given a small set of other pins at the start of the game so they can use them in battle.
Players do not have any special powers beyond the psychs that pins give them. As a consequence, they cannot travel to other planes, with the exception of certain Realground areas emblazoned with a red Reaper decal. This is typically used for Players to access shops. Most psychs cannot be used out of battle (with exception of scanning and Psychokinesis), and most players can only use a small set of pins (as an example, Shiki is limited to only using psychokinesis and only on Mr. Mew). Every playable character in NEO: The World Ends with You including Neku show to be utter exceptions, being able to use virtually every collectible pin in the game. Still, the rule preventing him to use pins out of battle holds for them.
The exact nature of the Psychokinesis seems to very from Player to Player. For example, Neku and Shiki can both use Psychokinesis but Shiki can only animate objects while Neku can only move them from one place to another. Joshua can cause random street items to fall from the sky as well as use an above average array of psychs. He can do this in the Game because he is actually the Composer.
Players are ranked at the end of every game, and they may be erased, accepted within the Reapers or Angels (this only happens with the absolute best of them), or reincarnated, according to their performance.
The specifications of Player rules vary by region.
When entering a Shibuya Reapers' Game, Players must sacrifice whatever is most important to them. This is called an Entry Fee, and it is returned to the Player if they win the Game. This is enforced so that each Player is given the opportunity to reexamine themselves and grow over the course of the Game.
Shibuya's Game is built upon a partner system. A Player's first goal in this Game is to find a partner and forge a Pact or survival is almost impossible. Players who have not done this Pact or whose companion has been erased are thus unable to use psychs until they find a new partner and pact with him/her, having seven minutes to do so. They are also exposed to attacks from all Noise (the Pact normally defends them from Noise they do not intend to attack). These Noise are summoned by the Players' main enemies, the Reapers.
They must fight in pairs, with each member at a different "zones" in the same space; they only can sense the "zone" they are in (see Fusion attack for the exception to this rule). The reason for this is that the vast majority of Noise are able to live in both zones simultaneously, with each manifestation free to move independently from the other. Both manifestations share the same health, so when a Noise is erased in a zone, it disappears from the other one as well. Same applies to both players. Performance of a pair is increased accordingly to the synchronization between their actions. (See Light Puck and Cross Combo.)
The missions given all have time limits and if not met, every Player is erased. The time limit is visible on each Players' hand. If one or some players accomplish the mission, it counts as a victory for all players. The mission delivered on the last day of the week is always to defeat the Game Master of the week.
Each Player in a Shibuya Game is given a Player Pin.
Unlike Shibuya, the Shinjuku Reapers' Game is not designed for Player self-growth. As such, there are no entry fees.
The largest notoriety within a Shinjuku Game is the implementation of a team system. Each Player is able to join a team of which to play the Game with. These teams act as each others' primary opponents and it is encouraged for them to fight one another. Especially within a Scramble Slam. However, they may not erase one another unless a Sudden Death is in play. Noise do still stand as a major threat and are capable or erasing Players.
The team that ends the Game with the highest score out of all the teams is granted a wish. Every member of a team that ends the game in last place is erased. Any other team is forced to play the Game again. This cycle can continue infinitely until either the team is erased or wins. Players may only be entered into this Game if their Imagination is above that of the average Imagination of the current Players.
Each Player in a Shinjuku Game is given a Reaper Pin.
List of Players
The World Ends with You
- Neku Sakuraba
- Shiki Misaki
- Daisukenojo "Beat" Bito
- Raimu "Rhyme" Bito
- Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu
- Sota Honjo
NEO: The World Ends with You
- As mentioned in the Secret Reports, Players are not truly dead (only their physical bodies in the RG) and they merely possess different Soul code, and have been tuned in to a different plane.