The events of the When They Cry franchise occurs in multiple different timelines, though there is an overarching timeline connecting the events from Rika Furude's point of view.
- Around 1000 years prior to the events of 1983, a group of spiritual beings arrive at Onigafuchi. Among them is Hanyuu, who is eventually sacrificed when the presence of the beings infects the villagers of Onigafuchi with a mysterious disease. Following Hanyuu's sacrifice, the villagers begin a religion centered around the deity Oyashiro.
- A group of Italians are forced to dock at a Japanese military base on Rokkenjima after their submarine sustains a chlorine gas leak. A fight breaks out over the ten tons of gold on board the submarine, leading to the deaths of every member of the Italians and the Japanese other than Kinzo Ushiromiya and Beatrice Castiglioni.
- Beatrice Ushiromiya gives birth to a baby. In order to hide the baby's parentage, Genji Ronoue offers the baby to Natsuhi Ushiromiya, who had been having trouble conceiving a child of her own. Natsuhi is severely hurt by this and pushes the unnamed servant carrying the baby, accidentally pushing them off of a cliff. The servant is killed in the fall but the baby miraculously survives. Genji gives the baby to the Fukuin House and tells Kinzo that the baby had died.
- At the peak of the Dam War, a construction worker is murdered by a group of coworkers.
- Satoko Houjou falls victim to Hinamizawa Syndrome and pushes both of her parents off of a cliff.
- Battler Ushiromiya makes a careless promise to his romantic interest, Shannon, that he will return to take them away on a white horse after one year.
- Rudolf Ushiromiya marries Kyrie Ushiromiya, leading to a fight with his son, Battler. Battler leaves the Ushiromiya family register and lives with his grandparents.
- Ange Ushiromiya is born.
- During the Watanagashi Festival, the priest of the Furude Shrine began having heart problems. He was taken to the Irie Clinic but was ultimately pronounced dead from a heart attack. On the same night, the priest's wife went missing. Her slippers and a suicide note were found in front of the Onigafuchi swamp, leading the public to believe that the priest's wife killed herself to appease Oyashiro's anger. In truth, the incident was orchestrated by the Mountain Hounds under orders from Miyo Takano. Miyo had the priest's wife killed as the wife had been attempting to withdraw her daughter, Rika Furude, from the Irie Clinic's study on Hinamizawa Syndrome. The priest was killed to maintain the appearance of one death and one disappearance every year.
- Shannon realizes that Battler has left the family and won't return to Rokkenjima.
- Satoshi Houjou falls victim to Hinamizawa Syndrome and murders Tamae Houjou. Five days after the murder, Satoshi goes to buy a large teddy bear for his sister's birthday and begins to exhibit symptoms of the terminal phase of Hinamizawa Syndrome. Kyousuke Irie takes Satoshi to the basement of the Irie Clinic for treatment and has the Mountain Hounds manipulate information so the murder of Tamae Houjou appears to have been done by a drug addict. The drug addict is made to confess to the murder and later dies by choking on a spoon.
- Miyo Takano manages to fulfill her plans to "ascend to godhood" by killing Rika Furude and causing the Great Hinamizawa Disaster. Upon Rika's death, Hanyuu uses her powers to take Rika back in time to a parallel world. Rika goes through several different timelines attempting to defeat Takano, including Onikakushi-hen/Meakashi-hen, Watanagashi-hen, Tatarigoroshi-hen, Himatsubushi-hen, Tsumihoroboshi-hen, and Minagoroshi-hen. Every time Rika fails, Hanyuu takes Rika back in time to a new parallel world. After just over 100 years worth of time-hopping, Rika and Hanyuu manage to defeat Takano in Matsuribayashi-hen.
- Shortly after defeating Takano, Rika is hit by a truck and falls into a month-long coma. During her coma, she dreams of the world of Saikoroshi-hen, wherein no one dies. When she wakes, Hanyuu informs Rika that she won't use her power again, even when Rika dies.
- Battler Ushiromiya writes letters for each of the cousins at the request of Kyrie Ushiromiya. He notably does not include a letter for Shannon.
- Toshiro Gohda begins his service as a chef to the Ushiromiya family.
- Kinzo Ushiromiya hangs the portrait of Beatrice in the hall of the Ushiromiya Main Building and mounts the witch's epitaph beneath it.
- On November 29, Sayo Yasuda solves the aforementioned epitaph and ascends to the Ushiromiya family headship. Kinzo Ushiromiya dies on the same day.
- Eager to mask the aforementioned death of Kinzo from their relatives, Krauss Ushiromiya and Natsuhi Ushiromiya devise a plan to act as if Kinzo is alive yet reclusive until Krauss is able to settle his debts; once the debts are settled, Kinzo will "suddenly disappear."
- Battler's grandparents pass away and he reconciles with his father, Rudolf Ushiromiya.
- In the summer, Sayo Yasuda tests the viability of Rokkenjima's hidden explosives on the island's shrine, resulting in its destruction.
- The Ushiromiya family has their annual meeting on Rokkenjima. Battler is in attendance for the first time since 1980. During the meeting, the island explodes. The sole survivor, Eva Ushiromiya, returns to Japan's mainland and adopts the only other member of the Ushiromiya family, Ange Ushiromiya.
- Rika Furude and Satoko Houjou are accepted into St. Lucia Academy after years of study. Rika takes to the new environment well, however Satoko refuses to make new friends and becomes jealous of Rika.
- During a return visit to Hinamizawa, Satoko enters the Saiguden and touches a broken horn. She is met with the supernatural being Eua, who grants Satoko the ability to travel between Fragments.
- The reporter who interviewed Keiichi Maebara dies in a shipwreck (Tatarigoroshi-hen only).
- Eva Ushiromiya dies of illness. Ange Ushiromiya, the sole remaining member of the Ushiromiya family, searches for the truth behind the Rokkenjima massacre.
- At the end of her journey, she asks Tetsurou Okonogi to fake her death so that she can live a private life as a children's novelist.
- On her way to Rokkenjima, Ange murders Juuza Amakusa and Captain Kawabata, believing that the two were conspiring to kill her. ("Trick" ending only)
- The parents of the reporter who interviewed Keiichi Maebara find their son's interview tape for Keiichi (Onikakushi-hen only).
- After Rika Furude experiences the world Tsumihoroboshi-hen, Rika's despair and hopelessness coalesces into a separate being, Frederica Bernkastel. Bernkastel lives for a thousand years and spends much of that time trapped in a Logic Error before miraculously escaping.
Number of Timelines
Each new timeline is represented by a "fragment" found in Purgatorio. In theory, there are an infinite number of possible fragments. In terms of fragments visited by Rika Furude, the novels never provide a specific number of timelines. However, the novels do claim that Rika lived for the equivalent of just over 100 years in the time loop. The length of the loops varies; Rika claims she could originally travel backwards almost a full year, however her powers waned by the time of Matsuribayashi-hen and she was only able to go back a single week. Assuming an average of 6 months, a medium estimate of timelines Rika visits is around 200.