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Enter a world without Christ, a postreligous society
Enter a dream, that you are fully aware of dreaming
Enter the birth of 2 new species "Reploids” and "Hybrids"
Enter Zion, the last Christian missionary on Earth with amnesia
Enter the mystery of seven extraordinary children and their journey to unlock the past
Enter The astrofront, Earth's artificial orbital ring.
Enter C:\ _Detroit.exe
This is the first short kinetic novel of a shared visual novel universe. Think of it as a prologue. This visual novel will be on PC, Android, and iOS.
Right now, this visual novel is 90% complete:
The story, programming, sound effects, and music are complete!
I just need three people to help me out.
I need a background artist to help me out with some additional assets.
( You can use whatever art style you like. I am just looking for an aesthetic that resembles their real-life personalities. I will provide you references to help you design them. All of the characters are of high school age. They are all African American and Asian respectively.)
I need voice actor to voice Elder Zion.
(For this Zion's, you need to be able to sing.)
I need a voice actress to voice Alexis Jackson.
For more casting information: https://www.castingcall.club/projects/detroit-exe-chapter-1
Detroit.exe: Chapter 1 will be available on PC, Android, and iOS.
This first chapter is freeware, an unpaid project that will be free for everyone forever. The sequel will be a commercial project. This is just to get people into the series, and if it goes well with our niche market. I guarantee you that you will be compensated awesomely. I am a visual novelist of my word.
As for me, you can call me Happiness+ I'm an EVN developer that has skills in poetry, prose writing, python programming, and voice direction. Making visual novels is literally my dream and I love doing it. The reason why I love doing it is because visual novels are art. We as EVN developers are on the cusp of a revolution. The revolution being a new renaissance of western visual novels and I want my stories to be the spark that sets the flame ablaze.
I invite you to join me in the revolution!
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First, I'm going to state that all charage/moege are harem-ge (with the exception of kinetic novels with only a single heroine). In all these cases, you have a bevy of heroines that are, at the very least, friendly with or somehow attached to the protagonist. There are a three standard types of harem that I consider to be general umbrella types. These harems do not include nukige sex-only harems or the type of harems that pop up in gameplay hybrid VNs, as these often have distinctive story-exclusive reasons for harem formation.
The Disconnected Harem
This is the standard-issue harem for modern charage/moege. In this harem situation, the protagonist is independently connected to most of the heroines, with very little or no interaction between the members of his harem of latent deredere troopers. The reason this has become the dominant harem in the charage genre in the last seven years or so is because it is the one that is the most 'tasteful' to monogamists and traditionalists. In this case, the heroines either have no real connection with one another or only weak connections that become tenuous the second the heroine path begins. Games that have these harems tend to have extremely weak casts of characters in general, and there is usually very little or no real conflict between the characters (low incidence of love triangles, few jealousy attacks, etc). As a result, games with this type of harem tend to have weak or nonexistent plots, lackluster SOL outside of ichaicha dating, and 'convenient' drama that is resolved so quickly it might as well not even exist. These harems generally disband at the end of the common route, as the protagonist seems to completely forget any attraction he had to the other girls and they fade into the background.
The Dominant-Sharing Harem
The Dominant-sharing Harem is defined by the members of the harem being at least somewhat familiar with each other (often friends, family, or members of a group or club) and able to be cooperative to an extent while competing for the protagonist's love and attention. Girls in this kind of harem situation (Shuffle is a prime example of it) are ok with the idea of sharing the protagonist in the abstract, but in practice they want to be the 'first wife' or the 'wife' and relegate the other heroines to the mistress or concubine status (though it isn't always stated this bluntly). This is perhaps the most realistic harem situation, as, historically, real harems - other than royal ones - have usually been structured with a head or first wife and a number of secondary wives, often married with the permission of or by the choice of the first wife, lol.
The Everybody's Equal Harem
The Everybody's Equal Harem is, just as the name indicates, a harem where the protagonist essentially loves and treats all the heroines equally and the heroines accept this situation, albeit often with a tacit understanding between one another that they won't stop aiming for a Dominant-Sharing type situation. As such, this can often be considered a prelude to a Dominant-Sharing Harem result in practical terms. A classic example of this would be the end of the Grisaia series or the ending of Strawberry Feels, where the protagonist himself never forms a preference, even if the heroines do build a sort of pecking order based on dominance of personality or circumstance. Tiny Dungeon's Endless Dungeon ending can also be considered this kind of ending, whereas the individual routes represented by the first three games would be considered Dominant-Sharing harems.
Why I bothered with this post
Anyone who has been an otaku as long as I have been has to accept that harem-thinking is essential to SOL otaku-ism. As early as Love Hina and Tenchi Muyo, rom-coms have been creating wacky harems and weird situations that result. This is because romantic comedy is the easiest type of comedy for anyone to get into, and the easiest one to empathize with... and comedy used to be the dominant genre in otaku media (though romance always came a close second).
The evolution from that type of loose harem (though in later incarnations, the Tenchi universe threw off all pretense of not being harem-ist) to the current situation took decades, but it was a natural evolution in visual novels in particular, due to the fact that most visual novels are multi-route, heroine-focused affairs. Charage in particular, with their focus on SOL, inevitably give off a sense that the protagonist is the center of a harem, even if it is only in the common route. Since this kind of situation appeals to the more primitive parts of the male psyche (males are genetically predisposed to seeking multiple mates, though socialization and emotional attachment overwhelm this in modern settings), eroge tend to abuse this flagrantly.
Oh yeah, if you haven't figured it out, I like harem endings that aren't sex-heavy... but that isn't so much because I have a thing for 'collecting' bishoujos. Rather, I like the various situations that result in VNs, as they are often intellectually interesting, heart-warming, or hilarious (or all three). Nukige-style harem endings are boring and make me roll my eyes, mostly because I question whether anyone has that kind of stamina, and because ignoring the emotional and practical aspects entirely like that makes it hard to suspend disbelief. If a plotge can make me think a harem would work, I want to see it work, lol.
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Yo, I'm back from the dead! (though I can't guarantee that I won't die again) And what was the miraculous thing that had the ability to revive me? Of course, it was the latest title from the legendary eroge maker Winged Cloud, Sakura Beach, which was just released on August 14th! I mean, if their previous titles from the Sakura trilogy were all so successful like that, there is no reason for them to not make another one, right??
Okay, joke aside, let the summer trip to Hell begin.
Seiji is a daydreamer who spends too much time thinking about space. When he was given a chance to visit the beach with his two childhood friends, all he can think about is his chance to take out his telescope and look at the stars. But gradually, he begins to realise that his childhood friends want him to pay attention to them instead of the constellations...
Our MALE protagonist (wait, isn't this a yurige?!). A dense guy that loves the space more than girls.
Osananajimi No.1. A classic over-the-roof tsundere girl that always try to act mature. A good cook, and one of the smartest student at school, but has no swimming ability.
Osananajimi No.2. A cheerful and immature girl that loves to tease the MC and make lewd jokes. A complete opposite with Ayumi (terrible cook, bad in study, but extremely good at sports, especially swimming).
The story progression can be summarized like this: Seiji, Ayumi and Momoka came to this particular beach-side hotel on their summer holiday. As they were having fun day to day on the beach, the girls tried hard to make Seiji notice their feeling, and also tried to make him confessing the truth behind his obsessed with studying, which they found really unusual. Gradually, Seiji opened up more to them, told them about the thing that he was trying to cover up, his fear, and his true feeling toward his two friends.
One thing I have to say, is that their plot this time is actually pretty decent for a OEL moege. At least better than their previous titles that I played. However, their plot development is still all over the place, with a ton of random events that just happen out of nowhere without any explanation (I will run through this later in the nitpicking section below). Moreover, some important-looking events even contributed absolutely nothing to the plot, almost were just there to satisfy the fetish of a certain group of players. Yes, I'm talking about the yuri scene, which made me thought that this was a yurige. Just suddenly come then go, no freaking explanation whatsoever.
They also brought back a bunch of fan-service scenes that were literally just a copy-paste from Sakura Fantasy (and maybe the whole damn series), and even those scenes were so forced that made me just go "wtf?".
Typos are still lying here and there (and sometimes, it's not even typo, it's just a dumb and funny mistake), seem like their QC need some more practice.
I have a little complaint about the fact that every single day in their vacation happened in a exact same pattern: Wake up -> Go swimming at the beach -> Random talk -> Go home -> New day, wake up -> ...., though, being a guy that almost never go to the beach, guess I'm in no position to judge people. That said, the only once time I went for holiday in a seaside city for a week, I only spent 2 days for swimming, and the other 5 for going around, visiting this and that place.
This is my personal taste, but imo, Winged Cloud totally trashed their strongest point, which is the art, this time. The new art is just so much worse, although it's still "acceptable". The BGs are decent-looking though.
Btw, what happened to their old artist? Rage quit?
After 5 minutes of playing, I decided to turn off the music and turn my fripSide playlist on.
Do something about your boring music please, Winged Cloud.
Though I did say that the plot was decent, $10 for this game is still a big no. Both the plot and the fan-service quality did not go anywhere near that price. So, if you want to pir---I mean borrow it from someone out of curiosity, then go ahead. BUT DON'T GIVE WINGED CLOUD ANY MORE MONEY PLEASE!
- Decent plot (wait, is this even a pro?)
- All-over-the-place plot development.
- Cliche fan-service scenes.
- Unexplained details.
- Boring-to-death music.
I mean, why not? With a game full of problem like this, nitpicking can give us much more fun than even the game itself!
I recommend Mega or Mediafire.
Fake stuff everywhere. Seem like this hotel couldn't afford to stuff their pillows with cotton, so they had to use rocks instead.
Btw, it seems that in the world of Winged Cloud, girls are temporarily deaf when they are changing clothes.
No no man, it's the censorship light doing its work!
Girls these days. They love to swim with their full clothes on, then later change to their swimsuit to go to the cafe.
Is that a new fashion trend? Am I really this behind?
Meanwhile, Momoka was out there, having fun by herself, while these two flirting around. Poor girl.
Gold > Diamond confirmed. I blame Riot.
Right after decided to build a sand castle, the girls headed straight to the ocean and the MC went to sleep.
The castle? Screw it~
Yo Ayumi so tsun when the writer tried to write her name, he accidentally wrote "tsun" instead.
I can feel the cold just by looking at you two.
Along with a quite amount of cinnamon, fish sauce, mango sauce, chocolate sauce...
RIP Ocean a.k.a Umi-chan (?-2015)
I thought he wanted to say "it might be me". Turned out he was just another dense MC.
You said you did not look you liar! How come you could describe perfectly what happened like that?!
Look at the neatly arranged pantsu collection on the bed. Fabulous.
1. By the scene from the window, this is no where near the 20th floor.
2. These kids don't look like they can afford to live in a 20+ floors hotel.
3. No one is dumb enough to walk from the 20th floor down to the ground by stair, except in emergency situations.
4. MC got dragged head-on-the-floor down 20 floors by stairs. He should be brain-dead by now.
I call BS on any 20+ floors hotel that has no elevator. Or hide them in a place that no one can see.
Btw, you people had been here for days, and hadn't used the elevator once?!
Joke on you, that's how I always cook my dinner. And they are all great!
The next day, Momoka lay flat on the bed, coughing like SARS.
BS, last time you clearly said that you were fine with harem too!
Staggered by fan backlash over its censorship of President Yukino, Kagura Games has partnered with JAST and MangaGamer to provide uncensored releases.
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Once upon a time, in the magical land of Fuwa, there lived a troll named Whore. Whore was the ugliest troll in Fuwa. He was so ugly that no person alive would ever come near him. Now, this would of course make Whore very hungry, for he could never catch a meal. He always felt jealousy towards Nosebleed, the handsomest Prince of the land, son of Queen Aeru and King Tay. Whore, devoured by envy and hunger, set out on a journey to find Nosebleed and make him his first meal in a century.
Whore, had at last found where Nosebleed lived. In a strong desire to get revenge on Nosebleed for being born beautiful, he sent letters to the nobles of Fuwa. These letters reported that Nosebleed assaulted one of the lolis of Loli Mountian. This was against the law of Fuwa, as the loli's were highly valued and respected by all who lived in Fuwa, as the moé ones. However, he forgot about Sir Steve, the protector of loli's who never missed a single assaulter. Sir Steve would know if Nosebleed truly did this, as he was blessed with the power to send out a million eyes to watch over the loli's and alert him of any trouble.
When this plan failed, Nosebleed approached Whore, and banished him to 4-chan where he would have to live among those even uglier than himself. They say, Whore will make a return 1,000 years later to have another shot at revenge.
So I just spent 50 minutes of my day watching this. Trying to process what I just watched is hard, there's just so much information to take in. I watched it alongside OriginalRen, SuikaShoujo and The Major, yet despite our best efforts, our brains simply were no match for the depth and intricacy this anime provides.
I'll try to give you a feel, a small sample of what it feels like to watch "Issho ni Sleeping: Sleeping with Hinako", but I truly believe that the only real way to appreciate this show is to just watch it yourself.
So first off we have our heroine Hinako. Hinako really likes to sleep. Her main trait as a character is not being able to fix the strap on her shirt.
As you can see from this cleverly crafted angle, this entire anime is told in first person perspective. But we're just scratching the surface of how thick the plot really gets.
After Hinako changes clothes, covering your face so you don't see her changing, even though she just ends up sleeping in her underwear anyway, she goes to sleep.
And thus, our sleep adventure begins!
That is the face of pure bliss.
Here we have some amazing shots that truly depict the wonders of a 2D girl sleeping.
A real good close up of the heroine, it's almost like she's breathing on youIn this shot here, you can see Hinako's breasts changing sizes, giving us a clear reason why Hinako just can not get the left strap of her shirt to stay in place, her left breast simply doesn't have as much mass.
This shot here is a classic. The subtle twitch Hinako's leg makes each time really provides livelyness to her sleep, making you feel like you're sleeping right next to her.
10 minutes in and the anime really ramps it up by having Hinako turn to the other side. In my opinion this was one of their best moves yet.
Here we get a first glimpse of Hinako's windowsill which displays a clock and a vase with a plant. This is a very intringuing as the clock displays no numbers, a fact that will become really important later on so make sure you keep it in mind.
Another very rare shot of Hinako's armpit, one of my personal favorites if I daresay so myself. The disproportionally sized breasts really help elevate that armpit.
18 minutes in and the biggest game changer yet, Hinako makes use of one of her pillows! We can neither confirm nor deny if there's any significance behind this pose and the pillow's peculiar shape.
And just 30 seconds later we are shown Hinako's sleep eating abilities.
This is one of the rarest shots in the whole story, at the 22:22 minute mark, Hinako dangles her arm from the bed. What a delightful display of character.
And this 24 minute mark is the crucial turning point where we have a clear view of Hinako's room and lo and behold, nobody is sleeping next side her, even though we're supposed to be there, what could this possibly mean!?
At the 26 minute mark, Hinako has a dream about the moment we confessed to her and she gladly accepted our feelings. While the dream itself lasted a mere 10 seconds, I could really feel a deep emotional connection with Hinako's character just from watching her sleep for the past 26 minutes.
And in the next minute, Hinako wakes up. I'm sure we were thinking the same thing, and that is how much we love each other. Hinako, being the amazing girlfriend she is, sings us a lullaby with really inspiring lyrics such as "Go to sleep, go to sleep on Hinako's chest" which have the result of making her fall asleep.
At the 30 minute mark, Hinako has yet another dream, this time about when she was training hard to lose weight, she even gives us advice on how to be BIG like Hinako.
And now, the biggest game changer yet, Hinako falls off her bed! My heart could barely take it, seeing Hinako fall on the floor after 30 minutes of sleeping really came out of nowhere, this anime sure knows how to tug on your heart strings.
And now starts the most romantic scene in an anime I have ever seen.
What a straightforward approach. Hinako tops all those tsunderes in generic romcoms, you don't get this level of romance too often.
Of course we have a really deep connection with Hinako, and she reassures us of that by returning our feelings (even though we didn't really say anything, I'm sure our feelings got acress).
I had to hold back my emotions over how realistic everything got, the intense urge to kiss my screen really started to come out.
Hinako wastes no time though, she knows what her main goal is, this woman has her priorities set straights, that's why right after this she once again heads to bed and instantly falls asleep. Pro sleepers really are something else.
But the thrilling ride isn't over yet, can you believe they still have more in store? This time, Hinako invites us to sleep on the same bed as her. My heart almost jumped out of my chest. The anime really makes this a realistic experience by tilting the camera 90 degrees. It truly felt like I was right next to Hinako.
35 minutes in, Hinako does yet another unpredictable thing, she decides to get a night snack. Gosh, this anime really doesn't hold back on the plot twists.
Brushing your teeth is important too. Even if you didn't eat anything. Deep.
Once again, after falling asleep, Hinako falls on the floor. This time facing the other way, I liked that change of pace, this anime really knows when to spice it up.
She doesn't forget her girlfriend duties though and reminds us we are also an entity, a sentient being, and thus we need sleep as well. Notice how her strap keeps sagging lower and lower, symbolizing we're reaching the end of our journey.
After she falls asleep, Hinako has one last dream. In this one though, she ended up getting fat due to eating so many snacks. I'm sure she'll resume her training the next day!
And now, after a whole 40 minutes of Hinako sleeping, morning comes, and this is where the plot really thickens!
You see, after this, Hinako sleeps with us again, twice, do you not see what this means!?
This whole time, we've actually been trapped in a dream world, but not just that, we were trapped in a dream world, inside a dream world, inside a dream world, inside a dream world, and we weren't a human being either, we were a ghost that posessed random objects around Hinako's room in order to try to wake her from the dream by looking at her body from several different angles. Remember the clock I mentioned at the beginning? What was missing? Pointers! That's because in this dream world, there's no time flow! We've been stuck sleeping with Hinako over and over, that's why she always wears the same outfit when she sleeps.
I could barely see this coming, it came by so fast my brain just had no time to process it.
This anime is a deconstruction of the human psyche, one that if you're not paying attention to, you will miss its profound message, the 50 minute length time really manages to portray to intricacies of the brain by having the same still shots over and over again across the timeline, you really feel like you're diving into Hinaki's profound sleepiness and tracing its patterns.
The emotional bonds you manage to form with Hinako as you watch her sleep from every possible angle really make this a standout from the crowd. You can not get this deep level of characterization anywhere else.
It brought me to tears as my eyes were strained while I wtched 50 minutes of a girl sleeping on a bed, making me empathize with her.
The story sucks you in, almost making you fall asleep just like Hinako.
This 16 year old girl who can't put on a shirt strap properly is the apogee of all female characters. If you haven't used the term "waifu" now, I'm sure this anime will change your mind.
Issho ni Sleeping: Sleeping with Hinako is, without a doubt, the best anime ever made.
Welcome to this week VNTS Review and as for the title seeing that we finally have Lilycle released and I already parodied Idolmasters back when it's release date announced as The Idolmasters Lily Girls, I decided to add first impression as in I'll treat this as episode 1 review of Lily Girls lol (Of course you wouldn't be able to see the next episodes of Lily Girls). As for my first impression about this week is kind of dry seeing that the official update is very scarce with only Mangagamer releaded Lilycle release here along with following Mangagamer release (Trinoline), so perhaps there wouldn't be much to talk at this week. Regardless of that, let's see what I can write for this week as well.
From fan translation, we have Eustia was at 64.17% translated along with 48.82% edited, Harugi's Branch was at 56% edited, Watamasu was past halfway (55%) translated, Tokihogushi was past halfway (55%) edited, and Natsuki's route in Hoshiori was past halfway (58.68%) translated with overall Hoshiori was at 94.72% translated (Which mean the release time for Natsuki's patch is drawing closer). There's also a project by Surferdude to translate Eiyuu Senki GOLD for the reminder, and apparently the translator (Surferdude) was already translated a lot of the sex scenes although personally I would wait until the full patch is released though (I knew that I might be hoping too much, but to me it's the best option for now).
From Mangagamer we'll going to have Trinoline release at April 18th later (One day after big election in Indonesia here), in which it mean that Mangagamer did get around of minori's inactivity (They also said that they still continuing with Supipara funding). While this is quite a big news seeing that Trinoline did have big size (At around 11 GB) and big breast, I'm more interested whether Mangagamer was already prepared Damekoi for their next release or not seeing that both of Damekoi and Trinoline did have same status in that both VNs did awaiting for additional material from the company itself, at least before Mangagamer announced Trinoline as their next release after Lilycle (I'm still think that emote system in Damekoi was just a gimmic from Hermit there, so actually Mangagamer didn't really need to work on the newer version imo). I knew that my prediction here is can be wrong, so let's wait and see what Mangagamer will announce at next month for their next release.
About Lilycle, congratulation for it's release here. While the system is supposedly the same as Yurirei and that the art is quite like the painting, my interest is more towards the seiyuu though because the seiyuu themselves make Lilycle here more interesting here. In which some of them were involved in Idolmaster like Mangagamer blogpost state and we also got Hatsune Miku's voice (Fujita Saki), so at least it should be very appealing if you look from the seiyuu alone. As for the VN itself, I would say that the graphic is very bright (I find that it's very similar to idol mobage graphic) and the text is very hard to read because sometimes the text color did use very bright color (While this help personalized the characters, it could be very annoying to read almost invisible text). As for the premise, we have the three girls find themselves trapped in the dilemma in which each girls must chose one of another two girls to be her lover, only to be complicated with each girl did also confused as well because of the dilemma. Other than triangle GL love, in here we'll also have several couple that was available in the drama CD beforehand bringing the total girl into 15 girls, and unlike the trio MCs at least they only need to deal with one girl so it's less confusing. Go get the VN from either Mangagamer store or Steam store, and have fun.
That's all for this week VNTS Review, and sorry for being short here. See you next week.
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The Saga of PINK
The following is meant to serve as background information for Eclipsed's Danganronpa Steam Giveaway. Try your luck at it, if you dare
Question for Giveaway: "Who is the mastermind, The Ultimate Pink?"
Hello friends of Fuwa,
As you may have noticed, it has happened.
I have changed my avatar from the ever lovable Zero no Tsukaima's Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière to the ever lovable To LOVE-Ru's Nana Astar Deviluke.
Some of you may recall prior to my settling down on Louise that I have had a history of frequently changing my avatar, so this should come as no surprise, though naturally I understand that some people don't like change and so this choice of mine will unfortunately leave a slight bitter taste in your mouth. Oh well~
On the bright side, multiple features and traits have been retained... pink... tsundere.. beating on the perverted male protagonist...flat...Nana looks pretty damn good with her hair down...
So why the change then?
Contrary to the popular misconception of my preference of the color pink, my favorite color is purple. Now, between Louise and Nana, who has purple? Ding ding ding! Nana.
1. You really went Louise -> Nana just because Nana has purple eyes?
Yes. Purple eyes are hawt. Give me a character with purple eyes that I really REALLY like and I'll switch to that asap.
2. RIP Louise?
I still fking love Louise so don't be surprised if I switch back and forth or become a Bandwagoner-Traveler or>.>
3. So is Nana your favorite character from To LOVE-Ru?
Surprisingly, no. It's still Yami > Momo > Mikan > Yui > Lala > Nana etc... though I am very fond of Nana for her similarities to Louise. Besides, wouldn't you agree Momo or Yami as my avatar would definitely feel off?
4. What have you been up to (Fuwa-wise)?
My activity on this site -like a few others- has dropped pretty heavily, though I think this is just a phase that we're all going through / it's that time of year andnotbecause we're all gonna abandon Fuwa soon. Maybe. Hopefully?
5. Brah, you sure pink ain't your favorite color?
Yeah, I'm sure. Though, maybe it's my second favorite color by now?
6. The name of the culprit will be revealed by The Best Pink.
Chapter 1 - The Death of Louise?Spoiler
"This isn't fair! Eclipsed, that baka! I'm supposed to be the best pink! Why would he abandon me for some flat-chested alien?"
"Look who's talking! And hey! It's not like I wanted to be his avatar or anything! Didn't you read what he said? He picked me because of my purple eyes, not because of my pink hair. What kind of reasoning is that...? But it's not like it matters now. Didn't he already change his avatar to Yotsuba?"
"Hmph, you're right. Who cares about Eclipsed, I have Saito anyway.
What about you, Nana? Do you have someone to go back to?"
"W-w-what are you talking about! O-of course I do!
H-h-h-his name i-i-is R-R-R-Rit-"
"Okay, that's good. Well, I'll talk to you later.
But man, I wonder what Yotsuba had over us..."
: "Huh? O-oh, w-well...there is one thing..."Spoiler
That baka inu!!!!!!
Udders are SO overrated!
~~So who's the best pink? Stay tuned for the next Chapter in The Saga of Pink!
Chapter 2 - The PINK SAGA Begins!Spoiler
Louise woke up in a daze. "Where...Where am I?"
Gazing upon her surroundings, she found she was in a room bathed obnoxiously in the color pink. Pink beds, pink curtains, pink tables, pink chairs, pink carpets, pink doors... pink as far as the eye could see. There was even a pink note on the table. She picked it up and read it:
"Greetings Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière and welcome to the 1st Round of the PINK SAGA, a game designed to determine who is most deserving of the title, "Best Pink". You and eight other contestants have been chosen as the "Nine Pink Maidens" who will have the honor of competing for this title. Congratulations.
Participation is mandatory. Failure to do so will result in a very, very, VERY unpleasant punishment. You have been warned.
Your first task will be to escape from the Pink Room you are currently trapped in. Solve the room's mystery, and you will be able to move on to the next round and be that much closer to obtaining what is truly yours."
Louise immediately crumpled the note and threw it away in a fit of annoyance. "WHAT'S THE POINT OF ALL THIS?!!" She stomped towards the pink door and grasped the handle. *Jiggle jiggle*. "Tch, locked. Well..."She took a deep breath, brandished her wand, and uttered a single word. "EXPLOSION!"
The pink door was engulfed in a bright light and with a loud PWRRRRFFFFF!!! it was destroyed. "Hmph, so much for solving the mystery". Louise proudly made her departure out of the room, but not before taking one last glance behind her. "Best Pink, huh..."
Her reward for escaping the Pink Room was to be greeted by a labyrinth of hallways & corridors. And more pink. Whatever place she was in was completely composed of this color. It was becoming very disturbing. She began pacing faster, growing more and more anxious with each passing second, searching desperately for an exit. Questions were filling her head. What is this place? Why am I here? Who-
Her train of thought was disturbed by the echoes of running footsteps. She couldn't tell which direction they were coming from, but there was definitely more than one person...two...three...four...five...............eight people, and they were all coming towards her!
Paranoid from her earlier thoughts, she closed her eyes, took out her wand, and began her incantation to defend herself- "EXPL-"
"C'mon! There's gotta be a way outta he- GEH! LOUISE?!" cried a familiar voice.
"OSION- Huh?!... NANA?! ...And...??!!!"
Louise from Zero no Tsukaima. Nana from To-Love Ru. Clover from Zero Escape. Yumina from Yumina the Ethereal. Sachi from Grisaia no Kajitsu. Rise from Princess Evangile. Madoka from Madoka Magica. Yuuna from Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru. and Inori from Guilty Crown.
The Nine Pink Maidens.
Only one of them can become the Best Pink...
Let the PINK SAGA begin!!!~~Chapter 3 - The Best Pink ISpoiler"The requirements for becoming the Best Pink are simple: you must be the last person to survive. How you end up becoming sole survivor is up to you. Of course, you may all choose to live here peacefully for the rest of your lives, but I'm sure you all have urgent responsibilities to fulfill in your respective worlds...
Louise - The Kingdom of Tristain needs your power as the Void Mage lest it face ruin. Also, Saito pretty much has no reason to be in Halkeginia if you're not there.Nana - Mea needs your help to convince Nemesis. Oh, and Rito is up to no good with Momo.Clover - Welcome to your Fourth Nonary Game <3 ~
Yumina - Kirara is going to give you harsh discipline if you don't show up for the next Presidential Election Debate!
Sachi - Maybe it's good that you're here, so you don't do something crazy at your school...
Rise - Masaya won't be able to attend Vincennes Academy next year if you don't win the Election!
Madoka - Homura-chan is waiting for you.Yuuna - Everybody in the Hero Club is waiting for you!
Inori - Shu won't be able to stop GHQ without your power...
Only the Best Pink will be granted permission to leave. Who will emerge victorious, I wonder...?
Let the PINK SAGA begin!!!"
Clover's eyes went wide in disbelief. "No...This can't be... not another Zero..." She looked down, visibly disturbed.
Nana was suspicious. "HEY! Cow udders! What's that about another Zero? And what does it mean by this is your Fourth Nonary Game? Are you Zero?"
Clover shook her head in anger. "Of course not!"
Yumina stepped in. "Wait, you guys! We have to all trust each other if we're going to get out of here! Don't fall for Zero's trap! "
"Y-Yumina-chan's right. Let's work together!" Madoka agreed.
"We should explore this place, top to bottom. There will definitely be an exit somewhere!" Yuuna exclaimed."If you all become weary during your search, please come see me. I am proficient in over 50 therapeutic massage techniques," Sachi added.
"Why are you wearing a maid costume?" Louise quipped.
"Clover-san, if I may ask, would you mind telling us more about these 'Nonary games' you have been a part of?" Rise inquired.
"We should all take the time to talk about ourselves. It would appear that not everybody is from same universe..." Inori suggested.
Clover nodded. "Yeah, you're probably right. I'll start then. My name is Clover Field. In my world, I was a participant in something called the Nonary Game..."
TL A: XX-XX-XXXX
Rise was wallowing in despair. Originally the most high spirited and confident of the group, her extended stay at the Pink Palace has finally begun taking its toll on her psyche.
"How long have we been here?...the White Lilies must have lost the election already... Masaya...Masaya's gone now..." Tears formed in her eyes. Her chance to reform Vincennes Academy has long expired. That was all she ever wanted...
"Rise-san, there you are!" Sachi emerged from the shadows and walked up to the disinterested Rise. "I have something I wish to discuss with you."
Rise gave Sachi a cold stare. "Hoh... And what is it do you wish to talk about? Didn't we all already share everything there is to share with each other? And then we've done absolutely NOTHING but wander around in circles for god knows how long. My world is ruined by now. What's the point anymore?"
Sachi didn't waver. "Yes, we've been here for a very long time indeed... But remember, the damage that has been done to your world during your absence can be repaired as soon as you return, and for that you must remain hopeful".
Rise said nothing.
"But I digress. I have come to you to with an urgent proposal: unite with me and Clover against the special ones."
Rise was confused. "Unite against the special ones..?"
"Surely you've realized it by now, did you not?" Sachi explained. "You, Clover and I are the only individuals without any special powers. Louise, Madoka, Yuuna, and Yumina all have magical powers, Nana is an alien, and Inori is a monster. Clover overheard them plotting to take out the weakest first- that's us. We have to take the initiative". Sachi extended her hand to Rise. "Rise-san, join us".
Rise thought for a moment, eyeing Sachi's hand. She then made her decision. "Thanks, but no thanks, Sachi-san. The fact that everyone is finally starting to make a run for the Best Pink just shows that they still have a purpose- their world still has hope. Unfortunately, I no longer have both".
Suddenly, Sachi tossed a canister onto the ground, releasing a plethora of white smoke around Rise.
The last image Rise would ever see would be a masked Sachi lunging straight towards her with two knives.Spoiler
"Ahahaha, good job Sachi!" Clover bounced into the room, giving Sachi an ecstatic applause. "You did it!"
"Thank you, Clover-san." Sachi replied. "But It really is unfortunate Rise-san decided not to join our alliance..." Sachi removed her gas mask. "How were things on your end?"
Clover gave a sly smile. "Tee-hee, they're all E-X-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-E-D. It was soo easy to lure everybody else into that bomb-rigged room of yours. All I had to do was scream that I had found an exit, and then once everybody showed up, KAB-OOM! It was spectacular, you should've seen it!!"
"I see..." Sachi replied. She took a deep breath. "So... it's just us two now..." She braced herself.
Clover nodded. "So it would seem. Thanks for your help, by the way. You really are an obedient one, arent'cha? Truly one of the best maids". Clover's smile became twisted. "But are you... the best pink?" She began laughing hysterically.
"Kh-!" Sachi immediately made a dash towards Clover, brandishing her two knives to make the fatal cut-
-But Clover easily sidestepped her attack and drew her own weapon- an axe, freshly stained with blood- and swiftly brought it down on Sachi's neck.
It was over within seconds.
"Tee-hee-hee, didn't I tell you about my job? I'm a much better fighter than I look, silly." Clover began dancing around in joy. "YAAAY!!! Hey, Zero!! I won!! I'm the Best Pink!! NOW LET ME OUT!!!"
*Step* ... *step* ... *step* ... *step* ... Clover's victory dance was quickly halted by the sound of approaching footsteps. She immediately turned to face the source.
"ZERO!!!" But then she was frozen in fear as she caught a glimpse of 'Zero'. "No, it can't be...Why..."
'Zero' slowly approached Clover, step-by-step, not uttering a single word, only emitting a very twisted smile. It was as if she was being mocked.
"No... Why is it you?! You're supposed to be-!!!"
In a state of panic, Clover raised her axe and began charging at 'Zero'. "WHY IS IT YOU?!@#"
Chapter 4 - The Best Pink IISpoiler
TL B: XX-XX-XXXX
Madoka had made up her mind. There was no choice left.
"Kyubey! Grant me my wish! Make me a Magical Girl!!!"
"A wise decision, Madoka!" A radiant pink light showered Madoka as she was imbued with the powers of a Magical Girl. "Now go, become the Best Pink, and we'll finally be able to return to our homeworld! Homura's been waiting for us!"
Madoka took off, preparing herself for the horrors she would inevitably face.
"It's no good, she's too stro- GHghGH!!!" Yumina was violently pierced through her abdomen, her blood spilling to the ground.
"YUMINAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Yuuna dashed over to Yumina and embraced her now lifeless body. "Yumina!! Stay with me!! Yumina...! YUMINAAAAA!!!" There was no response. "Sniff... so... that means..." She looked around her. The bloodied corpses of Louise, Nana, Clover, Sachi, Rise, and now Yumina all littered the room. "I'm the only one left..." She sobbed.
*Step...* *Step...* *Step...* Footsteps were slowly approaching Yuuna from behind.
She wiped the tears from her eyes and turned to face the one who killed them all. "You..." Her mind was filled with rage. A pair of enormous gauntlets formed around Yuuna. It was her Mankai form, blossoming her powers to their full potential.Spoiler
The killer gave a dry, hollow laugh before giving Yuuna a cold, heartless stare. "Yes... A monster...That is indeed..."Spoiler
...what I AM!!!
Madoka mustered up her courage, and then charged valiantly into the room.
But it was too late.
At the center of all the chaos was a berserk Yuuna, her fists pounding mercilessly onto a lifeless Inori. "MONSTER...!!! MONSTER...!!! MOOOOONSTER!!!"
"Yuuna-chan, stop!!!" Madoka ran over to Yuuna and grabbed her shoulders. "It's over... you can stop now..."
"Madoka...chan....??? You're still... alive?" Yuuna gazed upon Inori's body. "What... What have I done...?" She began weeping.
Madoka embraced the sobbing Yuuna. "You had no choice... You did what you had to do."
Yuuna began crying louder. Madoka hugged her harder in return, silently apologizing as she resigned herself to her fate.
"...Just like I had no choice in what I'm going to do next-"
Yuuna gave Madoka a hard shove, escaping from the latter's embrace. Madoka landed on the ground with a glorious light thud, revealing a peculiar pink arrow in her hand. It was obvious what her intent was.
Yuuna was speechless. "Madoka-chan... Not you too..." Tears were resurfacing in her eyes. Madoka was the most innocent, the most sweet of them all. How could she...? Yuuna couldn't understand it. Everybody had unresolved conflicts in their world, but to actually consider killing others just to return...?
"I'm sorry, Yuuna-chan. I really am..." Madoka spawned a magical pink bow. "But I have to become the Best Pink. I have to return to my world. Homura-chan and the others are waiting for me."
Yuuna closed her eyes. "So that's how it's going to be, huh..." She opened her eyes, facing Madoka with the eyes of a hero. She readied her fists- "Well, at least now we'll get to see who's the better Magical Girl!!" -and began charging at the other Magical Girl.
Madoka knew this wouldn't be a fair fight. She took aim at the determined-looking Yuuna... and fired.Spoiler
Madoka stood victorious over Yuuna.
"Mankai form. A phase where your Magical powers blossom to their full potential. But every flower that blooms must also wilt... If you hadn't faced Inori, you probably could've defeated me..." She grimaced. "I wish you did."
"Well done. Simply well done!"
"???" Madoka was startled at the sudden voice. She was the last of the Pink Maidens, so that voice could only belong to one person-
"I am Zero. Congratulations on becoming the Best Pink."
"Thanks..." Madoka analyzed Zero. She couldn't identify the figure thanks to the ominous black robe and gas mask, and Zero was likely using a voice scrambler.
Suddenly Kyubey came running in. "There you go, Zero! Madoka has become the sole survivor- the Best Pink! Surely you will allow her to return to her homeworld now?"
Zero glanced at Kyubey, then gave a quick snap of the fingers.
"!!!" Kyubey immediately was torn apart violently, atom by atom. Madoka could only spectate in absolute horror. "K-K-kkKyu...bey...?"
"Do not grieve. The Kyubey can replicate itself infinitely in its quest to prevent Entropy." Zero explained. "But never mind that. We have more important matters to attend to..." Zero turned to face Madoka, and took off the gas mask, grinning ever so maliciously at the crowned Best Pink.
Madoka could not believe what she saw under the mask.
"No... It can't be..."
Chapter 5 - The Best Pink IIISpoiler
TL Z: XX-XX-XXXX
There were only two Pink Maidens left.
"Don't play dumb! I know you're Zero!!!" Nana was chasing down 'Zero' with all of her might. "It should've been obvious from the very start!"
"I'm telling you, I'm not Zero!!!" Louise was frantically trying to reason with Nana, but to no avail.
"Uh huh, sure, LOUISE THE ZERO!!" Nana scoffed. "It can't get anymore obvious than that!!"Spoiler
"That's just a coincidence!!!"
Louise could not believe her luck. Her failures as a Mage led to her being labeled Louise the Zero which then led her to being suspected for being this world's 'Zero'.
"Lies!!" Nana clenched her teeth. "Everyone... Everyone's gone because of you." A bright light began forming at the tip of the Devilukean Princess's tail. "I won't forgive you!" She charged at Louise.
"Kh-!" Louise had no choice but to defend herself. She took out her wand. "Explosion!"
Nana easily dodged the epicenter of the explosion and lunged at Louise, elbowing her in the gut and sending her flying backwards. "GghhGH-" this isn't good... I don't have Saito here to protect me while I cast my Void Magic...!
Nana started making her way to the collapsed Louise. "Why... why do all of this...?" The bright light on Nana's tail grew larger with each passing second.
"I'm.. telling.. you... I'm... not...Zero..."
Nana was unconvinced. It certainly did not help either that a very, very big explosion was what ended the lives of the other Pink Maidens after everyone gathered when Clover claimed to have 'found an exit', leaving only Louise and Nana the remaining survivors. It was only natural that Nana would thus claim Louise- a wielder of explosion magic- to be the mastermind.
"Tch. Stubborn until the very end, huh... Well, whatever."
Nana leaped high into the air, taking aim with her tail...
and fired a beautiful ray of light at the fallen Louise.
The attack enveloped the room with dirt and debris, obscuring all vision.
When it finally settled, a defeated Nana was collapsed on the ground, nearing death. *Cough* "I see... so you used your World Door magic to... redirect my own attack to me..." she coughed up blood.
"Nana... I'm sorry..."
"Don't be. I... I know you're not Zero. Besides, since it was just between us two... I thought it would be fun to finally settle... who was the Best Pink... once and for all..." Her voice became faint. "And it looks like... You're the better pink..."
Louise broke down in tears. She hugged Nana. "I- I won't let Zero get away with this! I swear I will avenge you all!"
Nana used the last of her strength to force a smile and gave Louise a slight pat on the back. "Yeah... You do that." Satisfied, she finally closed her eyes.
"Marvelous. Simply MARVELOUS!" a cloaked mask figure stepped out of the shadows, giving Louise a slow applause.
"!!!" Louise faced the enigmatic being.
"So, you're the Best Pink this time around huh Louise? Jeez, it only took you like, what, 26 tries?! Pfffft"
Chapter 6 - The Ultimate PinkSpoiler
(continued from Louise End)
"So, you're the Best Pink this time around huh Louise? Jeez Luis, it only took you like, what, 26 tries?! Pfffft. Y'know, I can't believe you all fell for Clover's 'I found the exit!' herpa-derpa bomb trap for that many timelines!"
She didn't even have time to exclaim the usual "You're Zero?! IT CAN'T BE!!! WHY?!@#". BS cliffhanger quotes before I so easily slit her throat. I've waited long enough. I've waited for each of the Nine Pink Maidens to become the Best Pink. All for this very moment.
"Gh...gkH!!!.." Louise collapsed, mortally wounded. "Wh....W-"
"Why, you ask?" I scoffed, ready to begin my long awaited dark monologue. "Simple! Because I LOVE pink!" I roared. "Pink is the best color! Pink is master race! Pink is life! Pink is EVERYTHING!!" I flashed a sinister smile. "And now that I have finally killed all of the Best Pinks..."
I removed my mask in front of the dying Louise in one final act of mockery. Tears welled up in her eyes as she gazed upon me."Sorry. Guess I was the better pink, after all. The best of the best." I turned my back to her, walking away victorious.
"The Ultimate Pink."
Louise couldn't let it end there. As Zero walked away, with the last of her strength, she wrote a phrase because writing the killer's name straight up would be no fun: LITTLE GOB
This concludes the vol 1. Saga of Pink. If noone deduces the Ultimate Pink by 12:00AM PST next week (March 23rd), the culprit's identity will be revealed and the Danganronpa Steam Giveaway cancelled/no winner.
//////WARNING: UNEXPECTED TRANSMISSION////////
@Dergonu <Lucy Giveaway Winner> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
"It would have to be Nana. She has motive! She is also an alien, and alien chicks are nuts"
@SoliduBattuManu <Solidbatman's clone> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
"Littlebusters is a 4/10 VN, so the killer is Haruka."
@Tiagfvarela <Tiag > Tiago> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
"You are doing yourself a service if you listen to what I say. Louise is obviously the killer, having killed herself so it would look like she couldn't have been the killer so that she could get away with not being the killer."
@Flutters <TheTrueKudster> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
@Clephas0 <AbsoluteZeroStomach> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
"Mmmm... If you're using a Fuwanovel theme that doesn't have a white background, you probably saw it already... other than that, try highlighting the text below ///True(?) End///. Solve that, and you'll probably solve the mystery once and for all."
@ZenonThePhiloftheFutureDelicious <Disney Fanboy Ex-Sachi Fate-Geeker> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
"Saw the True End, wtf is a Gob?!"
@OriginalRen <Most Original Guy> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
"Stop copying my games, I am entitled to be the only person doing giveaways, and no matter what idea you come up with, I will claim you copied me, because I am the originator of original."
A/N: Just teasing, don't be butthurt if you read this Ren :3
@Half-Life <Decay> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
"Umm... why bring me into this?"
///TRANSMISSION INTERCEPTED; ERROR, ENDING NOW///
Chapter 7 - The Fuwans
Louise couldn't let it end there. With the last of her strength, she soaked her finger with her own blood and began etching her last words onto the ground.
"Hoh... is this your final act of defiance, my precious Louise?" I kneeled over beside her and read the phrase out loud. "LITTLE... GOB...? That's your dying message?" Poor Louise. I was expecting something far more ominous, far more significant. Not that I knew what a 'Gob' was, anyway. Probably some alien cousin to Nana's pet Meda-Q.
I looked at Louise one last time. She wasn't breathing anymore... I ran my fingers through her hair affectionately. "Good bye, Louise."
"Now then..." I stood up. "It appears the Morphogenetic Field has been accessed... by them..." I put on my gas mask and took off into the shadows as I prepared to make my final stand as the Ultimate Pink.
@Clephas0 <AbsoluteZeroStomach> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
@Dergonu <Lucy Giveaway Winner> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
@Ekuripsu <Clipsy-chan> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
@Flutters <TheTrueKudster> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
@Half-Life <Decay> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
@OriginalRen <Most Original Guy> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
@SoliduBattuManu <Solidbatman's clone> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
@Tiagfvarela <Tiag > Tiago> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
@ZenonThePhiloftheFutureDelicious <Disney Fanboy Ex-Sachi Fate-Geeker> has accessed the Morphogenetic Field
The Nine Chosen Heroes have finally arrived!!!
Can you solve the mystery behind the Ultimate Pink before they do?
Because I'll be busy for the rest of the week I'm cutting this short
The mastermind, Ultimate Pink, is me Eclipsed
Louise's dying message, LITTLE BOG unscrambles into BLOG TITLE
Welcome, fellow Fuwamembers, to the FuwaRecognition thread. Starting this March, we’ll be highlighting some of the best contributions made by our members each month. From snazzy blog articles to delicious forum threads, and perhaps even a few things more on the shitpost part of the spectrum, we'll keep an eye out for the cream of the crop. And then we'll gather them here. Just for you.
*holds up giant APPLAUSE sign*
A-hem, so this is the first time we're doing this and it might be a bit rough; next time will be at the end of March. Anyways; without further ado, let's get to our highlights.
Our first highlight on threads comes from two Ask Me Anything topics posted in the span of this month: from our dear provisional Tay, @Kaguya, and from the anti-moege task force founder himself, the saltlord himself @VirginSmasher.
It’s now Kags’ fifth year on these dear forums, and members of new ’n old had a lot of questions, climbing over to 50 comments, almost unheard of in this day and age of lacklustre forum interaction. Even after the glory days of lolis long passed, Kaguya still swears close to his heart how they indeed are the master-race that rule over this weeb-dom, mostly in nukige form. Charming.
@VirginSmasher’s AMA, on the other hand, is mostly an appreciation of past glory and his good friends, met before he died out, but he also remembered some newer members who are already becoming an integral part of these forums of today. Quite a lot of internal banter and jokes flew here and there, but it is quite touching to see even older members returning from long breaks of apparent irremovable death.
As you might have seen, we have a new EVN on the horizon, or rather, KickStarter: One Last Crane, developed by @Blissful-Works This visual novel is being developed by an Indonesian team with some members over at Tokyo, Japan, and it has a an odd goal amount of 10,052 dollars, though this is due the publicization of the project being handled from Japan, which also makes the whole project page ask all money in yens. A risky play, let’s see if it pays out for them.
The novel is planned on being released for four languages: English, Japanese, Chinese, and Indonesian. Quite the amount for still quite a small goal, but we’ll have to see how it pans out in the end, at least they are in no shortage of ambition.
While the art-style itself is quite generic, it does look modern and does its job as presentation well enough, not to mention that the KickStarter page itself is quite stylish, but only time will tell how it’ll go over. All we can do is wait.
@EastCoastDrifter has done something unique on the forums that no one would even think of. He loves space, and he has extended his love to the members of the Fuwanovel community by creating a Fuwanovel Solar System. Using a program called Space Engine, Drifter has taken the liberty to name all planets in this system after very prominent Fuwamembers. It’s a great tribute to the community and you should really check it out. Furthermore, Drifter says he’s not done, and has plans to create more Fuwa solar systems to feature more members in the future. If you want a planet named after you, feel free to post in the linked thread or contact Drifter personally.
Hi I'm Zaka and I'm the only one that cares about blogs on the team. Maybe. I didn't actually ask the other guys. Shit. So uhh, here's my recs...
@Clephas writes accessibly about (for the most part) untranslated Japanese visual novels. This time, we have some posts about the recently released third VN in the Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru series, of which the first actually has a translation by MangaGamer. Unfortunately, the second is where people think it actually got good. We start with a more general note on the series, then move on to a review of Otoboku 3 itself.
While Clephas has been writing for quite a while, @MaggieROBOT is a bit newer to the scene. She focuses on Otome and BL VNs, and for this post we'd like to show you her post on an upcoming BL visual novel (fresh from the pot, baby. That thing is probably the first blog post to come right after this one. Oh yeah. That's how we roll. - Kaguya) as well as her review of the robot-romance Otome VN Sakuya. Go ahead and look for her post complaining about a trap in a moege not having a route if you like things on the more humorous side of the spectrum
Just For Fun!
During the process of writing this post.
Well you know I’m all about that nepotism baby. That's right, this is just for you. Rising 1.8% female readership (thanks Maggie) local GM and blog post connoisseur Kaguya here. To close the blog review section up, we’ll be highlighting the post where I wonderfully delve into the mind of writer Setoguchi Ren’ya, explaining his past and his involvements with the little-known work The Shawshank Redemption as well as how that work affected the VN industry, finishing things with a bang as I explain his history and the hidden messages within Swan Song.
And finishing things off in a suitable grand scale, much like a writer who traps himself into writing continuously larger powerlevels until his shounen manga gets to a point where it doesn't even resemble the original, we will be looking at two posts made by Fuwanovel's current closest figure to Jesus, @Kiriririri (Who unlike our creator, did revive. How about that?)
He died for our sins as he bravely made two deep posts about the current state of the VN community that were completely hidden by the evil staff... Until now. Gaze upon them and marvel, this is the true work of a genius!!
February is over. We bled. We sweat. Friendships were broken and renewed, and old members revived from their graves and mingled with the new pringles to take us where we are now. And the community persists, as glorious as ever.
March is here. And in this rewind, I declare FebruaryFuwa absolutely Fabulous!
Year 2001 is a year of lost opportunities for visual novels, at least for chunige. The matured industry failed to produce breakthrough works. Of course there are lots of new cool openings Visual Novel Openings 2001 with songs.
My list of masterpieces in 2001:
- Yougen Tennyo
- Vampirdzhija Vjedogonia
- Silent Hill: Play Novel
- Gensou Suikogaiden Vol. 2: Crystal Valley no Kettou
- No Reality
- Chain Ushinawareta Ashiato
- Cosmos no Sora ni
- Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
- Ashita no Yukinojou
- Kagetsu Tooya
- Eve: The Fatal Attraction
- Memories Off 2nd
- Green Green
- Jisatsu no Tame no 101 no Houhou
- Kazoku Keikaku
I can only settle with chunige as VN of the Year, and it's going to be Eve: The Fatal Attraction as the only long thrilling story-centered work. I also choose this work that is a remake of on old Eve game to show how secondary and muddy industry has become in 2001 for chunige. Too many disappointments and false hopes this year including Lipstick ADV.4 , Sayonara o Oshiete ~Comment te Dire Adieu~ , Bittersweet Fools , Rije ~Saisei no Ubugoe~ , Assassin Ann , Virus and Faust . But everything may change in 2002 , my peek into it already proves resurrection of story-centered games.
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In the Fallout 4 thread here, I was seemingly cynical on the game for no reason. I have reasons, I just didn't post them. So to not be that bitter pointlessly cynical guy, I'll talk about why I'm still not very excited for FO4. I'll start by talking about Bethesda's older games, because a lot of posters here weren't around for them, and I'll establish the trends that make me skeptical of more Bethesda-produced open-world RPGs. Bethesda started the Elder Scrolls series as just some self-insertion sandbox for their in-office D&D campaign. This is fine, Arena was a charming game in its own right. But it had nary an ounce of narrative to it, which was normal for anything other than adventure games at the time. The world was threatened and you were given a vague directive at the start, you went from dungeon samey dungeon, and eventually found the bad guy, killed him, and won the game. With Daggerfall, you had a bit more introductory story. The world was in trouble and only you can save it. You had to accomplish several tasks before confronting the big bad. Every once in a while you met with an NPC who had small amounts of exposition. There were more side-quests strewn about with some pretty basic objectives, mostly without any story behind them. The game was procedurally generated (not on the fly) so that's to be expected. There were also books around that explained the world a little, it was pretty interesting. You went from dungeon to samey dungeon, killed the bad guy, won the game. By this point, people started expecting more from not just RPGs, but from games in general. Narratives were becoming a big thing, Bioware and Black Isle started doing their things with storytelling in RPGs, and Metal Gear Solid in action games. Bethesda felt like they had to adapt, they had to tell cool stories with strong narratives in their games, too!
Morrowind was actually a pretty dang good first attempt at this. The world building was surprisingly strong, the setting was unique and interesting. It held inspiration from Heart of Darkness, which was fairly bold for a fantasy RPG. There was a complex political climate with clashes between colonizers and the colonized, on top of this world-threatening event that's going down. You met many of the people deeply involved with the sticky situation the island finds itself in, including the local god-king Vivec who is holding the island hostage by artificially suspending a giant meteor above it (including preserving its inertia) and claiming that if followers stop worshipping him, the meteor will crash and kill everyone. Welp. There's lots of cool stuff like this strewn about. But here's the thing, it's all relating to the setting and the backstory. Anything beyond that is pretty threadbare. Your mission was to find the savior the dark elf prophecies speak of so this person can save the world from some looming evil. You go from dungeon to samey dungeon, and BIG TWIST: you were the savior the whole time! You save the world, game over. You saw a lot of cool stuff along the way, but it felt more like a sightseeing tour than a proper narrative. You were an agent following the whims of others the whole time, too. You get the sense that no one at Bethesda had any experience writing these kinds of stories. But the world-building was so cool that you wanted to keep exploring for hours on end, seeing the unique sights of Morrowind and getting involved in their conflicts. The main quest kind of sucked, but the side quests were a lot of fun. They themselves didn't have particularly strong stories and were mainly filled with one-dimensional characters who just wanted a task done, but there was some real neat stuff thrown in there, like the last dwarf alive, in some plague colony, with his lower body replaced by mechanical spider legs. Cool! It was also the first TES game with an extensive mod community.
(Morrowind was full of bizarre flora, fauna, and architecture)
Oblivion was a disaster in a lot of ways. The industry was firmly planting itself in support of strong narratives in not just certain kinds of games, but ALL games, now. While Half Life did a lot for storytelling in shooters at the time, it was nothing in comparison to Max Payne, an intense third-person shooter with a lengthy, twisting plot and plenty of dialog. There was Warcraft 3, a real-time strategy with an epic fantasy story attached (the previous WC games had stories that were more window-dressing than anything). If your game didn't tell a long, complex story, it was junk. It didn't matter what kind of game it was. Even Rockstar got in on the trend with their nonsensical murder simulators, Vice City and especially San Andreas. Bethesda could not afford to release an open world RPG without an absolutely epic story. But here's the thing, they SUCK at at storytelling! They're good at writing backstory, at worldbuilding. Every other facet of their writing is terrible. But gosh darn if they weren't going to try. They splurged on several very expensive voice actors to deliver their surely incredible dialog, then only had a handful of VAs rest for the rest of their hundreds of characters. Oops. The dialog in the main questline was as generic as possible. There were no truly interesting hooks to it, the player didn't have to make any difficult decisions, and the characters were as flat as cardboard. You were tasked to find the savior, did so by going from dungeon to samey dungeon, doing a LOT of busywork in closing those damn oblivion gates, and BIG TWIST: there is no twist! You find the savior and he defeats the final boss, saving the world for you. You weren't even the main hero! Bethesda's one saving grace, their world-building, failed them here. Cyrodiil was originally written as a dense jungle with interesting, dynamic cultures, but was retconned because they deemed verdant plains and deer-filled forests to have more mass appeal in the US and Europe. They spent a lot of money developing a complex AI system where every NPC would have needs and wants, and would seek out their own methods to fulfill them, and then disabled it because it didn't work at all. One thing Bethesda did do is up their game on the side quests. A lot of them were generic, but there were these main guilds in the game, and each one had their own storyline, and some got reasonably involved. They were mostly kind of middling, but the star of the show was the Dark Brotherhood questline, where you join a guild of assassins. There were twists and turns to its story, shady characters with grey-area motives, many assassination contracts had complex setups, and there were multiple endings to the quest line. It felt like its own game. Looking back on it, it's really nothing special, but it was like a small pond in the middle of a scorching desert, an oasis players took solace in and gathered around as a shining example of how to do questing in an open world game. One man wrote and designed all of these quests, Emil Pagliarulo, and his work stood out so much from the rest of Bethesda's offering, they handed him the reigns to all of Fallout 3.
Fallout 3 was a cool game, although it didn't feel very much like a real Fallout game. I'm not talking about the shift in perspective and gameplay, but the shift in tone, storytelling style, and world design. And you know what? Bethesda's writing still sucked. It became clear that Emil Pagliarulo is not an especially skilled writer. When taken out of the sea of shit the rest of Oblivion was, Emil's quest design and writing was shown to be fairly amateurish and not actually all that interesting. The story still felt uninspired. It was a personal story to find your father (and maybe save the world in the process), but therein laid the problem. The player character was still nameless, mute, and devoid of personality. Can you really tell a personal story involving family with that kind of setup? Well, you can, but you can't get anyone to care. And while the world design was reasonably interesting in its own right, with plenty of unique sights to see, the setting overall was a total failure. It was meant to be 100 years after the apocalypse, but it felt like it was just one year, with no organization, barely anything in the way of factions (other than two shadowy organizations), and people still scrambling and scavenging to survive. I still had more fun with it than I did with Oblivion, but it felt so lacking in so many areas. A couple years later, New Vegas came out developed by a different studio, one staffed by members with experience developing previous Fallout games, Obsidian Entertainment. And it totally clowned Bethesda and their attempt at a Fallout game. It had its own set of downsides, but gosh was New Vegas fun. Many characters individually had more depth to them than the combined depth of all of FO3's characters combined. The quests had a wealth of options, diverging branches, and alternate outcomes. The dialog was often witty and compelling to listen to. The world truly felt like how a post-apocalyptic world should feel like, with budding governments, organized banditry, and more overt faction wars competing for territory with the citizenry caught in the middle. They even managed to make the story feel personal despite your character being a no-name cipher. Many of the dungeons felt more unique. There was more loot with a crafting system. The combat, armor, and weapon systems felt more balanced and more fun. The one point I will concede is that aimlessly exploring the wasteland felt a bit more frustrating and less rewarding.
(an example of the branching structure of one side quest in New Vegas)
Would Bethesda learn from their mistakes in Oblivion and Fallout 3, and Obsidian's triumphs in New Vegas? Yes and no. Skyrim was fun. Bethesda's world-building strength has returned to them Skyrim was gorgeous, varied, and a joy to explore. They incentivized exploration in some really smart ways. Character leveling didn't feel so broken. The story, though, was still a problem. Bethesda is still shit at writing. You are the chosen one, overcome these trials, delve through dungeon through samey dungeon, kill a dragon or two, and save the world! It was still stock fantasy fair, without a hint of depth or creativity. That's okay though, because exploring the world is fun. What about the questing in the rest of the world? Well, the faction quests felt like stepped-up versions of Oblivion's faction quests. They had a bit more dialog, a bit more story to them, but most of them were still kind of mediocre. The characters were still largely one dimensional. Most of them did allow you to make a decision or two, which could affect the outcome in some inconsequential manner. The stand-out side-plot in this game was the civil war. It created an interesting political climate, but how much did it really impact the world? You could side with one faction or the other, and each had their own quest line. The faction I sided with lead up to a cool battle where we laid siege to a major city, and assaulted it. There were missions that lead up to it that determined the effectiveness of the soldiers, siege weapons, etc. When you finally got into the battle, and catapults were going off, spells were firing, and soldiers were charging the gates, it was so cool! Then the scripting broke at multiple points, requiring reloads. Well, it's an Elder Scrolls game. Then you won the battle, some buildings were smoldering a little, and a different man sat on the throne. That was it. You could go into towns occupied by the opposing faction and no one would bat an eye at you. It felt like the battle had no impact whatsoever. It was all a bit underwhelming. Bethesda repeatedly teases the players in their games, make grand promises, and fail to deliver time and time again.
I'm kind of getting sick of being disappointed. I'm getting sick of being a no-personality mute who is little more than an errand boy. I'm sick of the samey dungeons in every single game. I'm sick of the quest design that feels like you're going down a straight predetermined line instead of doing things your way. I'm sick of the shoddy writing, the shallow characters with crystal clear motivations, the stale and generic dialog, and the simple boilerplate storylines. Yes, Bethesda makes some great worlds to explore, but you know, I've played every single Bethesda game. I've played plenty of other compelling open world games. I've kind of had my fill. I watch the Fallout 4 trailer and am filled with apathy. I'm not saying Bethesda should ditch the open world, not at all, but I need something more. I'm looking forward to E3 this year. I'm a long-time fan of Bethesda's games, and I desperately want them to prove me wrong. But I won't hold my breath for it.
On a side-note, The Witcher 3 has been giving me that something more. Its characters are all fascinating, even the minor ones. The story is a compelling search for your adopted daughter in trouble. The quests are sprawling with many avenues of approach and outcomes, even the side quests. The writing is entertaining and never fails to capture your attention. You are prompted with so many decisions on such a constant basis, all of which have some impact on the world big or small, that it no longer feels like you're playing a god controlling the fates of these characters, but you ARE Geralt of Rivia, in the world, making these decisions. It's an incredibly immersive experience. You end up never wanting to reload and take back your decisions, because they become so personal. And the open world is not sacrificed even a little in the face of this narrative experience, with a huge world to explore with an enormous amount of things to discover. The Witcher 3 allows us to have our cake and eat it, too. What is a Bethesda game in the face of this?
(as I write this, I'm itching to jump back into The Witcher 3)
Nosebleed guided whore by his hand. It was dark; they were walking among some trees.
"Are you alright?" , Nosebleed turned his head back, slowly, trying to see whore's face through the darkness. Whore nodded.
They reached a glade. The moon allowed them to see each other's faces. Nosebleed had a different wig: still Nico's black hair, but he wasn't using twintails. Princess whore had a passionate, yet afraid, gleam in her eyes.
Whore got near the river flowing down there. She saw her reflection. She trembled.
"Are you feeling cold?", asked Nosebleed. He came behind her, with his right hand on her shoulder, and the other hand holding a bottle. Looking at his reflection on the water, whore blushed. "I brought hot chocolate with me." he continued.
"...?" Whore turned back, staring at the bottle and then, at his eyes. She smiled, accepting the offer. "Thank you."
As whore opened the bottle, Nosebleed lost his balance.
"Ah..." He fell on the top of her. "Oops." The hot chocolate was all spilled on their faces.
"It's hot! Hot!" Whore screamed.
"I-I'm sorry!", Nosebleed also felt the heat. He tried to hide his embarrassment, as he tried to find a way to clean her face. But then, he felt something soft on his chin running through his cheeks, until his forehead. He widened his eyes, surprised. Whore smiled at him happily, holding his chin, and then licking his lips.
"It has... Good taste... Very... Good taste.", she said, blushing.
"The chocolate? Or my...?"
"Can I... taste it too?"
Whore nodded in agreement. Nosebleed licked the princess' cheeks, smoothly, feeling every single flavor there was to be felt. She asked him with her eyes: "Did it taste good?"
"Amazing." Both of them smiled. They advanced on each other, Nosebleed pushing the princess on the ground. They didn't even feel pain anymore, instead of it, they licked each other as fast as they could, so the chocolate wouldn't freeze.
Their faces were finally clean.
"Guess it's time to sleep, nyan~", said the princess. "Can I... Sleep on the top of you?"
"I want to hear your heartbeats. It will give me good dreams."
"Princess... You do know... What we have won't last long, don't you?"
"Hm." , she nodded. "That's why I want..." , whore comfortably set herself on the top of Nosebleed, with her ear on his heart. "... To enjoy every single moment of it."
Next morning, Nosebleed was lazily still sleeping, while whore had already waken up. She looked at Nosebleed's cute face, passing her hands through his dark Nico wig.
"Nico Nico nii." , she tried to imitate him.
And then, there was another voice.
"Who's there?" It was a male voice. Whore got scared. Some people knew her identity before she became a troll. What to do? What to do? Before she could think of anything, two soldiers came out of some trees.
"Oh." one of them blushed. "Sorry to interrupt your moment, ojou-sama!"
"Cute girls? Hnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng. The black-haired maiden is cosplaying my waifu..." the other screamed, excited.
"Hm. ~" Whore's fears seemed to be unreasonable. "There's no problem. Now please we need to rest alone..."
They were already leaving, however, another soldier came up. A general.
"Guys, what you're... Uh?" His eyes met whore's. He identified her the moment he saw her. "You!"
"Master, what's the problem?"
"That girl is the one who was transformed into the troll! She's whore! She's a criminal!"
Whore shook desperately.
"Sir, you must be mistaken." a soldier replied.
"I am not! How dare you?!"
While they were arguing, Nosebleed woke up. "Uh... What's happening here?"
"Nosebleed!" the general recognized him. "What are you doing with this criminal?!"
"General Eclipsy! I... " he looked at whore, shaking of fear. "I don't know what this person is doing here." He sighed.
"What?!", whore was wordless. She was taken by her arm by Eclipsy.
"Come on, whore! I will take you to your place."
"Where are you taking her?" asked Nosebleed.
"She is going to be executed."
"What?! No... I forbid you! Don't do that."
"Free me!", whore screamed.
"She is going to jail first. The execution will just happen tomorrow. Talk with the nobles first, then." The general and his men went away, leaving Nosebleed alone.
"Oh God, what have I done?" Everything was fine. He was so happy. She was happy. But everything was messed up now. And even if he annulled her sentence, she perhaps would never forgive him.
"I don't understand. Are you asking us to free her?", prince Marie asked. "Also, nice dress, Nosebleed."
"Thank you. I mean, she's done nothing wrong , so I don't think she should be..."
"Nothing wrong?!" General Usagi exclaimed. "Did you forget that she invaded our country, disrespected our laws, used a false identity, offended the majors, and above all things, claimed YOU were a loli kidnapper?"
"I didn't but..."
"Have you weakened yourself, Nosebleed?" Marie instigated him. "I remember the times you punished every single traitor with your own sword! But now, just look at you, is that related to the beauty of that whore?"
"No, not at all. I'm not biased."
"Well then, give that whore the right prize, so that she will never appear here again!"
"Right... I'll... Do that..."
Midnight. Steps echoed in a dark corridor. Whore couldn't sleep: the hour of the execution was approaching. Someone opened the door of the end of the corridor. The person came closer and closer, until whore could see his face. She looked the other way.
"Princess..." Nosebleed wore a hopeless expression.
"I don't... Want to talk to you."
"I'm truly sorry."
Whore turned to face him. Her green eyes were illuminated by the stars, out of the window.
"Traitor." She slapped him in the face. Nosebleed couldn't look at her directly.
"You said you loved me!", she screamed at him, ferociously. "And then you let me in this jail, waiting for my death! Is that what you call love?! You lied to protect yourself! You didn't care about me! I know I did bad things, but..." she pulled Nosebleed by his dress, sealing his lips with an intense, but bitter kiss. "I... Don't want to die." Tears started pouring from her eyes. "Please... Save me."
Nosebleed felt an intense pain in his heart. He left the jail, running, breathlessly. He sang a song, then. A song that would survive centuries after his death.
"By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes,
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond,
Where me and my true love were ever wont to gae,
In the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.
O ye'll take the high road, and I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye,
Where me and my true love will never meet again,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond."
A tear came down from Nosebleed's eyes.
To be continued...
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Studio Élan, a company founded by Josh Kaplan, one of the authors of the highly-appreciated yuri VN Highway Blossoms (check out my review of it here), gathered an unusually large and enthusiastic following since its formation in early 2018. Engaging high-profile artists for their projects, utilizing Kaplan’s renown within the VN community and brilliantly spreading its message through social media, the relatively small team managed to become of the most high-profile actors on the EVN scene before releasing even a single title (not counting demos and prologues, which, of course, also had a large role of building the studio’s profile). With follower counts and Patreon support that could make many veterans of the scene jealous, the company spent the last year working on two interesting and well-marketed projects, both of them gorgeously-looking yuri VNs, while seemingly only getting more and more attention.
Considering the hype building up at insane rates, it was that much more crucial for Studio Élan’s debut title, Heart of the Woods, to deliver a compelling and memorable experience. While few people could doubt its stunning aesthetic – the demo and plenty of promotional material made that part perfectly clear – it was still a question whether it could create characters and story able to at least rival those of Highway Blossoms, to which the new game would be inevitably compared. Thankfully, I can quite confidently say that the full release, which showed up on Steam mid-February 2019, was pretty much everything fans could hope for – and maybe even more than that.
The game impresses with its visual quality and aesthetic from the very first moments and delivers more eye candy at pretty much every opportunity
I usually leave the discussion of visuals for the end on the review, but here it’s pretty much impossible to not address it right away. The visual aspect of Heart of the Woods is amazing and features a very consistent, detailed stylisation on a level that I genuinely haven’t seen in EVNs, apart maybe from Dicesuki’s otome games. The VN used art by three different authors (not counting the numerous background and UI artists), but all the assets fit the “modern fairytale” climate superbly, stay faithful to the character designs and, maybe most importantly, are simply a joy to look at. The sprites just ooze personality and even though they’re not as expressive or varied as I’ve seen in some other EVNs (most of the girls could probably use a few extra poses and sets of clothing), their level of detail and aesthetic qualities compensate for that quite well. The CGs are not extremely numerous (there’s around 20 for the 6-8 hours-long experience, including the H-scene ones), but similarly impressive in their quality and the game utilizes interesting visual tricks which should feel familiar to those that played Highway Blossoms. Even the small details in the UI and transition screens underline just how much thought and effort was put into the visual side of the experience and the end effect is nothing short of fantastic. The atmospheric soundtrack complements the art extremely well, giving the game a very consistent and compelling climate.
The story side of the experience, in my opinion, doesn’t fall far behind the visuals and utilizes a very interesting mix of modern-setting drama and fantasy. The beginning, featuring Tara and Maddie, two friends who run a YouTube show about paranormal phenomena, riding a train to a remote location to which they were invited by a fan, is pretty tense and down-to-Earth. After Maddie decided to quit the show and return to school after years of helping the charismatic, but irresponsible Tara in her internet-celebrity career, things are extremely tense between them and the introduction of Morgan, their strange and apparently mythomaniac host, only makes things worse. These opening moments establish the characters as believable and flawed individuals, dealing with relatable, every-day problems and while the game gradually introduces more and more fantastical developments (including the addition of the fourth main character, the ghost of the forest – Abigail), it never forgets about its cast being more or less regular people, struggling to cope with the unusual circumstances they found themselves in. They all grow significantly during the story, which is shown especially well thanks to the frequent switches in perspective, but also never lose their relatable qualities. While Maddie, at least initially, serves the role of the primary protagonist (later on the scales tip slightly to the side of Morgan, who also makes all the choices that affect the story), all of the girls are occasionally given a leading role and thanks to that we can learn about their thoughts and the events happening while members of the group are separated from each other. All of this adds quite a lot of variety and depth to the overall narrative and differentiate HotW from most stories of this kind.
The genuinely-interesting mystery elements and surprising plot twists make Heart of the Woods a more dynamic and refreshing experience than your standard, SoL-focused yuri VNs
While the writing for the game is generally very solid (I only have minor gripes with how certain crucial plot developments were dealt with later on and how the pacing got slightly weaker after the first half of the story), what is especially worth complementing is its prose. Heart of the Woods reads better than the vast majority of EVNs and reminded me how rare titles with real literary qualities are within the genre. The writing is not overly fancy in its language and structure, but extremely polished, have a very good flow to it and greatly articulates the different personalities of each heroine. The plot itself managed to positively surprise me a few times, with some pretty bold and dark twists saving the game from ever becoming overly-schematic. The final chapters maybe didn’t fully live up to the awesome build-up of the first three, but they still kept me engaged enough to never let me feel truly disappointed.
The excellent quality of the writing also extends to what some could expect to be the “main point” of the game, that is the yuri romance. As the plot here is mostly linear, the couples are pre-determined and your choices (there are four in the whole game) only determine the ending you’ll get. The romantic arcs are compelling and emerge in a rather “organic” way throughout the story, while never overshadowing the supernatural thriller that is at the core of it. The game never forgets about the life-and-death threat looming in the background, balancing between the slice-of-life moments and moving the plot forward in a consistent manner. The chemistry between the girls is also very well-done, with them gradually opening to each other and finding a connection through their shared hardships. Admittedly, all of this culminates in a rather cheesy “love conquers all” message and an extremely optimistic true ending, but for this reason I also very much enjoyed the two, alternative “bad” endings – those are not really fully negative, but rather bittersweet and are a bit more in line with the general tone of the story and the nature of the threat the girls faced.
Heart of the Woods’ romance is heavily-intertwined with other aspects of its story and develops rather organically throughout the plot, without ever dominating the narrative
The h-scenes (featuring exclusively Maddie and Abigail), which were probably also anticipated by many fans considering the game’s beautiful art, are in many ways similar to those from Highway Blossoms – relatively vanilla and showing up in places where it makes sense, without disturbing the story. They also offer a little bit of character development for Abigail, probably to the point I would recommend reading them even to people that normally skip on hentai, especially as they’re not long or explicit enough to get really uncomfortable. On the other hand, their absence is practically invisible in the “clean” version of the game and while the scenes themselves were definitely nice-looking and well-written, they’re in no way a necessary part of the experience.
In summary, I think Heart of the Woods is a fantastic debut by Studio Élan and an appropriate choice for the first 5/5 rating on my blog. It’s not a perfect game by any means (even to the degree that creating one is reasonably possible), but one that had a very high bar set out for it and still managed to surpass expectations in a spectacular manner. While Highway Blossoms was, at its core, a very conventional romance story, this VN managed to surprise and charm me in ways that I honestly did not anticipate. It should be able to satisfy not only yuri fans, but everyone interested in experiencing an interesting and emotional story, and I see it as a new standard by which all other EVN should be judged. It shows that the Western scene is by no means bound to mediocrity and iterative, forgettable titles as many VN fans make it out to be, while still being an indie and relatively low-budget title, just like every other commercial EVN. So, if you like visual novels at all and you’re not particularly averse to any of Heart of the Wood’s main themes, give it a chance – it’s really worth it.
Final Score: 5/5
+ Beautiful visual design
+ Interesting, well-developed characters
+ A well-paced, engaging main intrigue
+ Compelling romance that doesn’t overwhelm the “core” story
+ Superb prose
+ Great soundtrack
- Gets cheesy by the end
- Some plot developments are a bit too convenient
Cruel Angel's Thesis:
Little Busters (The Remake):
Want You Gone:
Yuuyake no Marginal:
Anyways, I don't think I'll continue with weekly updates unless people specifically say they want them, in which case I can easily make it happen. Otherwise I'll just do periodic bulk updates like this one.
...Unless I do another original song like Gentle Jena, in which case it'll get a separate post.
Another quick project plug: Luna Translations just released their v1.0 English patch for the Majo Koi Nikki (a.k.a. Witch's Love Diary) demo. And guess what? You should totally go get it. I've been helping out with their proofreading, and I can tell you they've done a bang-up job so far.
Best part? It's super easy to obtain. Qoobrand offers the trial, which covers the game's prologue, as a free download on their site. (You'll want to grab the first one, not Trial 2.) Just download it, patch it up, and Robert's your mother's brother. Just so you know, he gets a little grabby after two or three scotches.
It should also be said that Qoobrand jammed a bunch of H-scenes into the early hours of MajoKoi. Consider that fair warning... or the clang of a dinner bell, if you're hungry for that sort of thing. Unlike a lot of VNs, however, those sections are there for a reason.* MajoKoi is set up as an intricate puzzle, and the oddly early placement of the H is all part of the larger mystery.
So go on — pull up a chair, order yourself a Dragon Burger (medium rare), and settle in for a small taste of what Majo Koi Nikki has to offer.
Trial download: http://qoo.amuse-c.jp/01_mazyokoi/download.html
English patch download: https://lunatranslationstestsite.wordpress.com/downloads/
* Not a good reason. But a better reason than most, at least.
Ushinawareta Mirai o Motomete
We are trying to get this game translated, and had a somewhat functioning team back in December, where we had enough people to make decent progress. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, I'm the only translator left and the group, out of the two members we're left with, and am quite busy for the year, so I'm going really slow with the translations.
What's been done?
Most of the TL progress has gone to Airi, with the other routes having practically no progress. Minimal editing has been done, but is not recorded.
- Kaori 556/8159 6.81%
- Airi 4837/7236 65.6%
- Nagisa 0/7356 0%
- Yui 120/8334 1.44%
- Others 0/3839 0%
Total Progress: 4282/35056 (15.7%)
What we need:
In order of decreasing importance,
- Translation checkers
I'd be happy with even one new translator, because it will mean that the project would not be stagnating as much as it is now. What we need you to be is someone who will stick around to the end. Our last translator just disappeared on us, so I hope whoever comes next won't leave without saying anything. Hopefully, you'd have enough free time to make up for my really slow pace, to give this project some bit of progress. Joining us, you have a choice on any of the routes that isn't Airi. You'll be starting from scratch with the route, for better or for worse. Now if you're interested in this position, simply PM me.
Our plan now, is to finish up the translation route by route, followed by a round of editing, and finally a TLC/QC. One plan of action we are considering is for us to release a partial patch for each of the routes, because they do mostly make sense on their own (with the exception of Yui's route). However, this is not confirmed, and might change in the future.
I hope we can get the support necessary to finish this translation. If not, we'd have to put this project on hiatus until November or when we get another translator, whichever comes first. If you'd like to help, simply PM me, or even just leave a post in our thread.
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Well, I guess it’s time to show something.
Don’t worry, dearest follower of this site, I’m not dead, I’ve just been incredibly busy. I’ve had exams left and right, and thus, I’ve felt a little demotivated. But, I’ve never given up on this project, there’s no way I can. I mean, it’s been over a year since I started this “passion project”, and I still intend to finish it with all of my power.
I won’t give up, there’s no way I’ll allow myself that. This project is important to me, way more than you think. And yes, for a while, I’ve been incredibly dead, I’ve still answered every question coming my way on Twitter, and I’m still active as ever on my Discord server. There’s no need to worry, Biman -1- will see the light of day.
As for a “beta” patch some people have been asking, I will be looking for two beta-testers after proofreading is done, and after the testing, I will ship the translation out to the masses, and then focus on Biman -2.5- that I’ve neglected, and then onto bigger things.
I’ve been pretty horrible with my way of keeping all of you above water, but all I can do at this point is to ask for all of you to wait patiently and to have faith in me.
Well then, this’ll be another sporadic update that won’t become the norm for a while, but the next planned update is the recruitment of those before mentioned beta-testers.
Until then, everyone!
There was a fiasco at Nippon-Ichi Software (NIS) a while back, where the Disgaea 4 director left the company for Compile Heart. He was also the director for The Guided Fate Paradox and Zettai Hero Project, the latter of which being one of my favorite NIS games. At Compile Heart he and his team developed Makaishin […]
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Just a video of me playing the puzzle mode of this game. I plan to do more of them, but I won't make a blog post for each one. Instead, they'll be replies on this one, probably.
That said, I do plan to make something in this game involving the Fuwa community at a later date.
Urobuchi Gen and Nitroplus have proven themselves to be quite an irresistible lethal combination of dark gritty stories and highly quality stylized production values pinpointing straight into the heart of those visual novel gamers who look for something more serious and unusual, especially when compared to what their contemporaries are doing.
Vampirdzhija Vjedonia is Nitroplus’s only the 2nd game but unsurprisingly it keeps the company’s focus on pushing the envelope and trying something fresh and different with their every game but still build upon their recognized stylistic brand. This time Urobuchi (who is also the director) went for a combination cheesy Kaiju, specifically Kamen Raider (bike and mask included), mutated vampire monsters, and the western comic Blade. The premise is very cheesy, in fact so much that you can almost smell the pizza in the oven, it’s sticky and rubbery but sure can be tasty.
Somehow Urobuchi made it all work, even with hot thick layers of cheese the story is very dark and serious with almost no humor but plenty of gore. This all gets even darker and stranger as the plot progresses to a point that things might even feel uncomfortable for some. However this is not to make things darker for the sake of being dark but plays a crucial role in the plot and style of this visual novel. The game does a really great job of pulling your interest and keeps you wanting to know more about what’s going to happen next. It introduces new characters with critical roles to an overarching plot, conspiracies, science experiments, and lots of action. In terms of pacing the story almost never wastes your time. The story is presented as a series of episodes, each episode starts with an opening and an end credits videos which really gives it that Kaiju series feel, even if the tone is a lot more mature.
Speaking of presentation, this is where the game might be a hit or miss for some. In terms of visuals the game looks really good, at least for such an old game from 2001-2003, characters look great and are well designed with a really great color palette and cloth designs. The backgrounds are 3DCG, not surprising since Nitroplus relies a lot on computer graphics for their backgrounds. However the problem with the presentation is, first of all the music is bland and there are NO voices at all. No voices doesn’t mean it’s not a fun vn to play but it takes away from some of the more dramatic moments. Another problem are the monster designs, they aren’t just Ultraman cheesy, they have really bad designs and at times even funny, that is when you aren’t left asking yourself wtf am I even looking at.
An even bigger problem with Vampirdzhija Vjedogonia is that it has gameplay, and it’s a bad gameplay. Since the story plays out like an episodic monster of the week series (with an overarching plot), almost every episode has an action scene where the main character has to fight at least one of these monsters. Before the main character goes on a mission to kill the monster he can choose from a variety of weapons to take with him. As a player you have to pick your weapons carefully, some are better against certain monsters than others. Once you encounter the enemy you enter this really strange rpg style battle with menu selections. The problem is that sometimes whether you hit or miss are just random results. Other times it’s just knowing a patter, select the right choice in response to what the monster is doing. Sometimes the battles can take a long time to finish because you either keep missing or your attacks do very little damage. The end result is that it’s just a waste of time.
With all the praises the game gets it’s also important to know that the game was developed on a quite an old technology. It was only the 2nd game Nitroplus ever released and as far as I know back then they didn’t have their own engine back then and the game looks very primitive on a technological level. Their first game, Phantom of Inferno, was originally developed on Macromedia Director, today known as Adobe Director. For those who aren’t aware, Director was a multimedia content creation editor and was very popular in the 90’s. Think of it sort of like Flash. You can make animations, films, and even interactive games in it, a lot of people used it to make adventure games. The first Phantom of Inferno version looks extremely primitive and Nitro+ probably doesn’t want you to see it, however Vampirdzhija Vjedogonia on the other hand is a little more advanced with a much better, smoother, and more colorful art and better quality sound. So in terms of production values Vampirdzhija Vjedogonia is still playable but don’t expect the sound or the technology to wow you. Also, find a way to cheat through the gameplay parts and you’ll surely enjoy this little known game.
Goshujin-sama Daisuki is one of the many games left forgotten in my not-so-large hard drive. Due to the fact that it is a nukige, I didn't give it much attention until a few hours prior to writing this review. I bought it through Mangagamer a few years ago, but the fact that I spent actual money to grab a copy was still not enough to convince me to play it back then. I somehow regret that decision now. While it is a game that is far from perfect, I must admit that it is pretty enjoyable.
In Goshujin-sama Daisuki, you are put into the shoes of Yuuki Toshiya, the head of the world-renowned Yuuki Corporation whose products and sphere of influence are remained unknown, but that doesn't matter. They're just filthy rich. In order to keep his position as the head, he must marry to provide an heir for the corporation according to their family custom. The problem was he had roughly 2 months before the 2-year deadline, so he needs to act fast. But there's another problem: he's super perverted. That made him believe that no one would ever agree to marry him once they have learned his true colors behind his perfect guy persona. So the solution was to pick candidates and make her/them suitable for him instead. Therefore he chose three among his classmates, paid their family's debts to force them to work as his personal maid and that is without disclosing the fact of training them as his prospect wife.
It sounds perverted, of course this is an ero game, but it kinda gets better after a while.
The three girls are for the most part likable. We have Murakamo Sakura as a "normal" and cheerful girl thrown into this situation, Kuu Spitfire who has a very odd name but nothing special around her... except for her name and Shishiouin Hime as a loli tsundere ojou-sama. They are a generic cast of heroines if you have played enough VNs for the past who knows, eons? If you're new to the medium however, everything about their personality and reactions are surprising at least.
Aside from the three chosen girls, we also have another heroine, Ichijou Ema, who works as Yuuki's personal maid and the house's head maid. The true extent of her ability was never revealed. Though it is implied that she is very skilled by being able to handle the family's business at some extent, prepare every single meal and snack for Yuuki and do some odd jobs only rich people can order to. In other words, she's the perfect maid.
Aside from the massive amount of H-scenes which is pretty much at every corner of this game, the character interactions is what makes this enjoyable, and that is very surprising for a nukige. Not to mention some of them are really funny.
Each girl has their own problems which gives them enough depth to be likable, and of course those problems are solved, sometimes rather too quickly, by Yuuki through his sheer intelligence and assets. Yuuki is also not spared from the good writing as he was also given depth at some points in the story. His actions and decisions during the major points of the story are believable, justified and makes sense unlike almost all nukige MCs whose brain is made up of cottons thus doing the most absurd decisions at the most crucial points, if there is such thing. The story also managed to surprised me once. I definitely didn't see it coming. While that surprise wasn't a game changer, it still left a big impression to me.
The art makes this game better and considering that this was released in 2008, that just make it plain gorgeous. They are well-drawn. There are a variety of poses or sprites that helps portray the characters better. The voice acting also does a good job at conveying the characters' emotions. I was never in the brink of muting the game because of an awful acting. However the music is just, well, forgettable since I can't even think of how to describe my experience with it. Its good point perhaps is it wasn't annoying enough for me to mute it.
If you're here for the H-scenes you will definitely not be disappointed. There's lots of them, really. Look, the game literally starts with a fellatio! I initially thought that there will be rape or rough plays based on the synopsis. Well, I was wrong. It was primarily tame with one or two scenes arguably otherwise. There are the typical punishments involving vibrators but that's the "worse" the game has to offer. And don't you dare skip most them! Some scenes provide character developments and background stories. And here I was only expecting moans and the usual stuff. xD
Obviously the game has its flaws but they didn't break my experience as they aren't really a big deal in a nukige. Take for instance the unused potential of the tension between Yuuki and his uncle. In a normal story-focused game, that sub-plot will be expanded and often leads or paves way to drama and action. It could have showcased Yuuki's brilliance more. And also despite the absurd amount of H-scenes for 4 heroines, only 2 scenes got me excited. They aren't that bad at least but I've seen better. What bothers me the most was the repeated HCGs for different fellatio scenes. I'm not sure if it is because of budget constraints.
If you're curious, the game is basically linear; there are no routes. However the choices you make will make slight changes to the story and will decide what CGs you'll see in that particular playthrough.
There's really not much to say for these kind of games so as to conclude, I can't really recommend this for non-nukige fans. There's little to no reward for casual players. But if you have enough money and libido, you should consider grabbing a copy!
Purchase it in Mangagamer: link (NSFW)
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Final rating : It's a good game, play it, it's sorta scary
Very short Visual Novel recommended by Kaguya.
Alright, so first, their WILL be spoiler (maybe, maybe not). The game is less than 2 hours long so you're better up reading it than reading this anyway.
My impressions is that it's a pretty good game for one that relies on it's atmosphere. Honestly, I'm surprised about the intensity of a few scenes, about how with that music and graphics they manage to make you at least a little tense and scared. That's always a good sign.
That summarizes pretty well the very good points of the game, its Graphics and its BGM. Associating dark envirronements with quiet bass heavy background or sometimes high pitched very loud sounds did send chills down my spine. The kind of game which is better played in the dark for a better experience.
Another good point is how beleivable the fall of the narrator into insnity was. Maybe it's the setting or the magnitude of what is happening to him, but I thought it was pretty damn understandable that the guy was shitting his pants.
NOT SO GOOD
I'll end up with what I didn't like as much in the game. It's not very fair though since I did like it overall , but it feels more natural for me to present it this way.
First : why fucking highschool chicks ? Why do fuckin' japanese writters need to do this ?
Okay I'll say one thing here, that applies for every manga, VN, anime whatever EVER : Making girls do things they don't usually do (breaking stereotypes) is good IF AND ONLY IF it is not a recurrent pattern in story telling. Problem is, every goddamn male oriented VN writter feels the need to add some cute girl to their games ! It adds nothing to it ! Except making it look so ridiculous that you automatically guess that it's just a way to add characters that you think are original but are actual just ancored in a stupid anime tradition.
So yeah, the two girls in that game : Nada, not good, bad, wrong, out of place, classic.
Second : the story : It didn't make enough sense for me to say : "hey it's a good story". The only thing I thought was that the explanation was forced.
In those cases you can't ask for a real explanation obviously, and this is where it is tricky. "How with a fantastic/imaginary setting, can I this work ?" : I have no dayum clue, All I know is that I didn't buy it.
It's amusing to think that I did like a Story telling game from which I actually didn't really like the story. That artists team did one hell of a job. In a longer game, I don't think the art side can conpensate quite as much as it can in a <2h game.
Final rating : It's a good game, play it, it's sorta scary