Kamikaze is one of those times when reality and fiction start breaching each other’s boundaries, oddly. The effect of Kamikaze in game terms as opposed to what its real world counterpart would be is most interesting.

In the Shadowrun game world, Kamikaze is a tailored amphetamine given to troops to increase most facets of a person’s immediate abilities. In Shadowrun terms, this includes a boost to Body, Quickness, Strength, Willpower, and Initiative as well as negating some immediate damage. The effects last anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. It has a high addiction rating (4P) and has numerous side effects. Large doses, according to the source book Shadowtech, can cause “excitement, tremors, euphoria, and dilated pupils. When these doses are “excessive” side effects include anxiety, hallucinations, and spasms. Overdose causes death. Long-term affects include destroying the user’s metabolism reducing the user’s mental and physical endurance by removing a box from their condition monitors. Shadowtech also lists a note citing many companies in the world using it as an alternative to “mass troop biological or cybernetic augmentation”. On a final note, a fictional message board post in Shadowtech comments on the usage of Kamikaze, “it’s a fiscally sound decision to keep using it”. Others agreed in the real world many years ago.

Many sources will cite Japan as giving methamphetamines to kamikaze pilots during World War II, which leads to the assumption of this fictional drug’s namesake. This was fiscally sound to sacrifice the plane and pilot in exchange for the damage they would cause. In the real world, amphetamines can cause abnormal heart rhythms, anxiety, irritability, and euphoria; essentially the same “desired” results of taking the less and less mythical Kamikaze drug. Sometimes truth is just as strange as fiction.