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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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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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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!
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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
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.
This song was made by Lamaze-P, in 2008. This song is about Vegetable juice as you guys deduce on your own. In the song Miku talk about how good vegetable juice for your body and its really cheap(200yen). And this song makes children love veggie juice.
Because of the popularity this song went to the hall of fame, not only that there are lots and lots of remixes both funny/stupid and genuine remixes. Also this song has been featured in all vocaloid games and live concert.
Finally, this song is featured in the medley "Nanairo no Nico Nico Douga" .
For the next post i will talk about some characters from Hetalia. So be sure to check my blog.
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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...
On my journey to try and write a complete story, I found it incredibly satisfying creating my story's universe. Mostly characters, relevant parties, and cause and effect. So after a few months of creating, I end up with a decent amount of details and a fair chunk of my story plot filled in.But I haven't written a story. In fact, I haven't even completed a single scene in it's entirety.Strange.These "details", feel so integral to the story. I feel like I'm creating the story. And yet when I google "how to writing", everything is dead focused on the scene: making the perfect scene, the build-up of scenes, scene dialogue, etc.It seems like our focuses are different.Anyways, without going into how modern writing is too presentation focused, let me lay out these two contrasting features which constitute a story.A WorldThe world of a story is its own characters, and their thoughts, interactions, histories, and details.And a timeline of events with explanation cause and effect.To me as a writer, a world is already the story. Creating the locations, characters, and happenings. Just like how facts and forensic evidence can tell a story, the existence of this separate world, it's characters and events makes it a story to me.
Telling a Story
However, there is another huge element in stories. That is, how we convey them.When we talk about a good writer, we often applaud their gripping text, captivating storylines. A good part of that is the art of presentation. The first implication of presentation is that of selection. Not every fact and character's thought reaches the reader's eyes, and certainly not every cause and effect is layed out.A story consists of a series of scenes which convey the journey, and also bring the reader through the build-up and through the climax of the story.Beyond that, a story has description, which helps the reader to imagine the scene and put them there.A scene can have a mood, which immerses the player. It's possible to like a scene just for it's mood. Note this mood is a very subjective thing which is both conveyed and imagined. A mood might also might suggest something about the character's lines of thoughts, or it might connect to the punch line of the scene.A narrator can use different tones, which achieve similar effect to a mood. For example, the ironic tone in the narration of the post apocalyptic world SukaSuka encourages us to grin painfully as we hear about curious history and the downfall of foolish parties, deserving and tragic alike. A caustic tone in another post-apocalyptic story could be emphasizing to the reader that human lives matters little here. Of course, the writer could offer up these ideas directly, but a tone or mood simply hints at them.Mostly what these things contribute to is to bestow an experience to the player. This is a subjective experience which is distinct from the world that the author created. Before you think I'm saying "objective rulz", I note that it is possible for a story's universe to have certain emotions or ideas that permeate through it, which the author was trying to convey in the first place.I guess this is why they talk about stories often having an over-arching message. I personally am not a big fan of stories having a primary message, though that it is definitely something which can be done. However, even without having a message, stories usually end up effectively talking about something. This is because they inspire us to think about the phenomena/conflict that they depict.In closing, my fellow VN readers, I leave you with this. Think about a story you've read or are writing.Does the world exist for the sake of the telling, or does the telling exist on behalf of conveying the world?
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.
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.
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.
Well, the ass safari was less than I had hoped. Meryl will literally run away if she spots you, not to mention, her footsteps sound different than the other guards. A shame.
Meryl runs off to the bathroom and we are treated to a nice long scene of character development. Meryl claims to have wanted to be a soldier all her life after seeing and hearing of heroes like her uncle, Campbell, and Solid Snake, soldiers who are soldier and not the genetically modified soldiers of FOXHOUND. Snake claims he is no hero (a theme we will see more of). Regardless, Meryl wants to help Snake. Snake is reluctant at first, but agrees since Meryl tells Snake to shoot her if she slows him down. She pulls out a Level 5 key card and says the next area we need to get to is the Commanders Office. Off we go!
The guards have all gone for some reason. The strange haunting music that was playing before has also stopped. All is quiet. We enter into a long hallway, and the music is back. A strange, haunting hymn like chorus. Meryl runs in front of us, and falls to the ground. The screen starts flashing, and the perspective keeps changing. Meryl suddenly stands back up, and in a hollow voice claims to be okay. Her voice sounds as if its behind a mask.
"Come on Mr. FOXHOUND. The Commander is waiting."
We enter the room and the door locks behind us. Meryl seems to lose her mind, raising her gun to us.
"How do you like me Snake?"
"Make love to me Snake! Hurry!"
Snake sees a man in a gas mask floating behind her.
"What? You don't like girls?" the man asks.
Well, we need to subdue Meryl before doing anything else. Preferably in a non-lethal way, requests Campbell. We unleash a few punching combos and knock her out. The floating man in the gas mask finally reveals himself as, Psycho Mantis. Now we let him read our saves, deaths, alerts, and memory card. Mantis tells me that I am "a highly skilled warrior well suited to the stealth mission." He obviously does not read this blog. And with nothing on my memory card, he moves on to shaking my controller. Thank you Dualshock 3. Thats it for the demonstration. Time to fight.
The Mantis fight is a very strange, meta fight. The first thing we need to do is a fun controller trick, otherwise he will dodge every single one of our attacks. The screen will go black at this time, and the word, "HIDEO" appears in the top right corner. Mantis has a few attacks. For one of them, he goes invisible, and appears in areas of the room to throw some sort of energy blast at me. Another attack is picking up furniture and spinning them around in a giant circle. He will also flat out just throw crap at you too. One trick to find him sometimes is to go into first person mode. The perspective will be from his, and not yours.
This fight is as simple as just dodging his attacks and popping a round off in his face in between his attacks. After a while, he will again, take over Meryl. Same drill as before. We knock her out. Mantis commends us for being highly skilled. It takes skills to beat up women in the MGS universe apparently. Failing at his plan twice now, Mantis now orders Meryl to shoot herself. We stop this from happening, again by beating Meryl up, and Mantis takes things to the next level, again. Now we use the first person perspective to spot him as he no longer removes his cloak except to throw things at us. A few more shots, and he down for good.
Now for a codec call. We reassure Campbell that Meryl is safe. Naomi claims that the effects of the mind control will wear off. Then in a passive aggressive manner, Naomi asks Snake why bothered to save Meryl when he has killed tons of others of people. Mantis tells us the way to get to Metal Gear, claiming that Snake has no past, no future, and no hope. He is helping Snake, because Snake is just like him. Mantis then drops that he did not agree with the Boss' revolution. He just joined up to kill as many people as he could. Snake, is worse than the Boss he says, and says Snake is a monster compared to himself. It also seems Meryl has fallen for Snake, but there may be no future together for the two. Mantis then opens a secret door for us, and claims it was the first time he had ever helped someone.
Now for Meryl to have a crises of doubt. Snake threatens to leave her behind, and she quickly regains control. She then pushes snake about what Mantis said about him. She drops the issue and asks Snake his name.
"A name means nothing on the battlefield."
"How old are you?"
"Old enough to know what death looks like."
"No, but I was raised by many people."
"Anyone you like?"
"I've never been interested in anyone else's life."
"...You're a sad lonely man."
And with that line, we end Part 4. Psycho Mantis is an extremely memorable villain and was just awesome to experience the first time around. His theme song is haunting, and matches him perfectly. The first time I ever did his battle, I did not know the controller trick. I died enough that Campbell eventually called me and told me what to do. It was funny and sad. Like this playthrough.
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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.
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!
There are a lot of ways to start a written piece that would have been more stylish than starting by complaining you couldn't find a way to be stylish enough, but this will have to do for now.
After all, this is the third or fourth time I've attempted to write this -- and I'm not even really sure why I'm doing it, since this isn't really needed or welcome. It's gone through the stages of an apology letter, a comeback statement, a continuation of something (like the pursuit of Western genres for visual novels) as if nothing had happened and now it's even past the stage of a dismissal of itself, although it may not seem so for its first two paragraphs but should seem so due to the fact that it's being published here at all.
Well, I'm convalescing, I think. This is probably a sign.
I vanished from this website and from the internet at large last year. I crumbled too hard, too fast, and left everyone behind. Didn't leave everything -- you can't stop, after all -- but I did leave Fuwanovel in general and the reviews team in particular. During a tough time and in a position where I should be doing things, even. So, to the reviews team, yes -- I should be apologizing. So, I'm sorry. At the very least, for not writing reviews in the past months. Also, for still be using dashes instead of parentheses after all this time if I can help it. I can still help it.
The visual novel I'm making broke me down. I was not, and still am not prepared for a project this large. However, all aspects of my life became entangled with it - it's my final project for University, I have a contract with the government that legally forces me to finish it and make it a source of income both for me and for my team so that we're revealed as the city's new gamedev talents and I put so much personal stuff in it that making it is now both the one place I run to when I have something personal to talk about and the only place I have to run to. Which, as you maybe can spot as a positive feedback cycle, has made me consume myself using it. So there you have it. Visual novels finally brought me down, because I wasn't prepared for them.
Not that I'd ever give up on it -- rather, it's the one thing making me give up on everything else, including friends and other things I like, including -- which is ironic, considering -- Fuwanovel. I won't talk about the process here, this is not an ad. I'd just like to tell you I'm convalescing, I'd like to apologize to the Reviews Team and if any of you every wondered where I was, it was the place furthest away from visual novels I could: the innards of one.
As I still am.
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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
Flowers: Le volume sur printemps (AKA Flowers: Spring Volume) is a yuri game set in an all-girls catholic school. You play as Shirahane Suou, a shy girl who has come to the school seeking friendship. You see, she has heard that at this school a certain system exists that pairs up girls who are in the same year. With a system such as this, even an introvert like Suou can surely make at least one true friend! Or, so she hopes...
Let's introduce our three main characters:
Suou is an introverted bookworm who has been homeschooled most of her life. Her lack of interaction with others her age has crippled her socially, and her one experience attempting to attend a normal school was a disaster. On the plus side, she has striking good looks that earn her easy praise from all around her, and when it comes to anything nerdy, including such things as fantasy novels and horror movies, she is quite knowledgeable. She's also got the mind of a detective, but we'll get to that bizarrely out-of-place addition later on.
Mayuri is a cool beauty whose laid-back attitude makes her an instant hit in the classroom. She is a bit of a tomboy, and sometimes she takes things perhaps a bit TOO easy, but it's also clear that there are times when her sunny smile is just for show...
Rika is the class president, and has a very mature, lady-like personality. She is very concerned with making sure everyone obeys the school rules, but even more concerned with making sure everyone in the class gets along. She is a mediator and defuser of situations, though perhaps she is too quick to help others, and not quick enough to find help for herself...
I am only covering characters here who have routes in the game, though I will say that the supporting cast is full of great characters who I hope to see more of in later games in this series.
Anywho, on with the review.
The writing in this game is very good. The feels are for reals. As you watch Suou change and grow through her experiences, and as you see the many, many layers of each character being peeled away, revealing lifelike complexity and multi-faceted personalities, you can't help but feel that you are one of these girls, going through these things with your dear friends. The emotional scenes strike home very hard, and I found myself teary-eyed multiple times on both of the routes.
The music, though sparse, is very good. Especially during the opening scenes, music is used in an almost sound-novel like manner to emphasize the scenes. One song blends into another in a kind of crescendo that really sends a thrill through you as you go through the prologue. While I wish there would have been more tracks and a few more cases where music was used to great effect like in the prologue, what is there is effective (though you will get tired of the one or two 'everyday' tracks that play almost constantly when there isn't another special song to play).
The CG is... excellent. Absolutely amazing. I've seen good CG in VNs before, but I've never felt as much like I really wanted to collect each one as I have in this game. Normally in non-H games CG seems to serve very little purpose except emphasizing certain scenes, but in this game the CGs are definitely rewards worth striving for.
Just... AHH! And they're all like that!
This game appears to be low budget. There are a few reasons why I feel this way. First, there are maybe like 10 music tracks. It's seriously hilariously bad how often they force you to listen to the 'everyday' music. I mean yeah I realize it's the theme meant to represent your everyday life at the school but it plays for 90% of the game, I kid you not. No matter how much you like it at first you will get sick and tired of it before you pass the halfway point. Second, every character has all of two poses and maybe 2 changes of clothing (with the same poses for the changes). It's bad. Especially when the text describes a character doing something they are obviously not doing. Also, for certain characters (who I will get to in a moment) the poses given them are good for basically none of the emotions they actually want to show. Now, I realize we're probably going to get more costumes in later games and that this is meant to be the first of probably 4 games (one for each season, the 2nd one is already out), but that's still no excuse to only have 2 poses. That's just sad.
But a low budget can be forgiven. What can't be forgiven is the absolutely bizarrely bad character design. I want you take a look at these two characters:
When I first met these two I was convinced they were going to be the villains; bullies that spread bad rumors about me or something. They don't look like friendly, puppy-like little sister characters who act in huggable adorable ways. Except that's the role they actually play in the game. Their voices are also adorable and don't fit the images they were given at all. In fact, even in CG they look completely different from their normal sprites:
See? HERE they look like cute little kids, which is what they act like. If they had expressions like these on their sprites I could probably forgive the narrow necks and angular faces, but they have all of 2 expressions they can give and neither of them are cute! I don't know what the sprite artist thought he was drawing, but he and the CG artist (I can only assume for my own sanity that they were different people) obviously got mixed signals.
Also, the writer gets hung up on his own cliches way too often. This is mainly targeted at two characters, one of whom we are constantly told has a 'smile like a patch of spring sunlight' and another has a 'teasing, catty smile'. Which, I mean yeah that works for description, but we are literally told this about those two characters CONSTANTLY. There are seriously times with the latter character in which she has the cat smile multiple times in the same scene. If you take a drink every time that character is likened to a cat you will be drunk by the end of your first meeting with her in the story. It's ridiculous and a small failing on the part of the writer.
And, my final complaint (well, for the Bad section... I've got one or two for the Ugly) is that one of the two endings is a horrible sequel-baiting cliffhanger. I mean I should have expected that from a game that appears to be the first in a series of possibly 4 games, but it was still a low blow. A serious punch in the gut, especially because I was so emotionally invested in the characters.
I've got to say the saddest thing for me (besides the stupid cliffhanger sequel-bait ending for one of the routes) was honestly the character design fail I mentioned above. I really loved those two characters and I feel that the designers really dropped the ball on making their sprites, and now they're just going to re-use those sprites for every subsequent game in the series so it's never going to get better. If this was a novel, without visuals, I never would have pictured those two looking like they do, not in a million years. All I can do is look forward to the CG, in which they are actually drawn correctly.
The mysteries in this game made me mad, but we'll get to why and how in The Ugly, because they were that bad.
Gahh! Everyone's wearing the same thing all the time! Even in their pajamas everyone looks fairly similar. Happily there is at least one costume that stands out during the game:
Just. Yeah. You can feel the power of the prayer. I wonder what's going on in this scene? Guess you'd better read the VN and find out!
There is a scene where Suou and two other girls are up at night in the library of the school and they decide to tell ghost stories to each other. The stories are great chillers and, even though they're not meant to be terrifying or horrific, they hit just the right notes to send some shivers up your spine. There are even special CG just for that scene to add to the spookiness with images. It's a great scene and it felt like a kind of bonus, since the plot of the game itself has basically nothing to do with the paranormal. Definitely my pick for the raddest scene.
The two girls mentioned earlier could have been this if their character designs had been handled a bit better. I still liked them in the CG, but it just wasn't enough. Sadly I must say that this game really does not have a sufficient level of cuteness, so moe fans should stay far away.
The mysteries, again, were bizarre and stupid and horrible but again we'll get to that in a bit.
There were neither animals nor pet-like characters in this title so there's nothing to discuss.
Also, no villains. Skip!
The mysteries in this game are stupid.
I thought Innocent Grey was sort of known for making psychological thriller stories, so you'd think they would know their way around writing a good mystery, but in Flowers it is quite the opposite. Firstly, I don't think this game even needed the shoehorned-in mysteries that mainly just act as barriers during the story. Failing one causes you to get a bad ending and, in fact, that's basically the only way to get a bad ending. I won't even say I didn't like them because of how difficult they were. I think if you carefully read all the text leading up to the mysteries (and by this I mean ALL the text, on both routes leading up to the mystery) you would probably have a good chance at guessing the correct answer. Even failing that, you can save and just guess and check easily enough.
The problem is that the mysteries make no sense IN CONTEXT. While it's simple for you as the player to pick from the small selection of answers given to you, there are several moments when I felt like there was no possible way the characters in the game could have made the logical leaps necessary to arrive at the conclusions they do. Not only that, but the ways in which the mysteries are set up are incredibly contrived and make it clear that the mysteries were apparently added in either as an afterthought, or because Innocent Grey felt they couldn't write a story without having some element of mystery in it.
Characters say or do things no one in their position would say or do, people jump to bizarre conclusions based on little to no evidence, events line up perfectly so that some obscure bit of knowledge the characters just happen to be talking about ends up being the key point to solving a mystery that happens a few days later that, for all intents and purposes, should have absolutely nothing to do with that obscure bit of knowledge.
The only mystery that felt like it actually fit into the plot and was well made was also the most idiotically obvious one, with the answer being painfully clear almost before the mystery even begins.
When I first heard about this game a lot of the rumors said it would have mystery elements or might have a darker side due to Innocent Grey's influence. Instead what I found is that it was an amazingly emotionally complex yuri story with the most out of place, dumb obscure-fact riddles thrust in as checkpoints that made no sense in-universe.
It's easy to set aside the stupid mysteries and the low-budget quality hiccups in light of the amazing, emotional writing. This is a great yuri story, and the start of a great yuri series. The experience isn't too long, and it will leave any player hungry for the next game. I think it may be early to give a final verdict before the whole series is available to look at as a whole, but as a beginning it definitely has me sold on wanting to know more about these characters and what's in store next for them. Avoid it if you're not into yuri or games that are severely lacking in moe, but anyone else should pick this up and enjoy this short, bitter-sweet tale.
Hi everyone, this is my first blog post but hopefully not my last. I wanted to show off my most recent cover, as I feel immensely proud of it. Plus, I've started playing Steins;Gate and it's SO COOL. I can't wait to get into the meat of the story! I'm sure there's some Steins;Gate fanatics here, heheh. Enjoy!
This is a casual review of Air - standard edition, having played all 3 heroine routes plus "Summer", and "Air".
The translation I used is by Sheeta, and not Gao-gao translations (sorry).
I have seen the anime version a long time ago and I barely remember any details from it. I heard that the VN is better and so I tried it. After finishing the VN, I double down on that statement.
I want this summer to be the best I've ever had. Because this is the summer I met you. - Kamio Mizusu
Some background: Air is released by KEY after Kanon, and before Clannad. I'd classify the game a Nakige, much like Clannad After Story.
The game has the theme of Summer, compared to Kanon's winter. I'm not sure if Clannad had a season theme.
Art: Key style. I personally like KEY style. I cannot really comment on the intricacies of the art and the CGs. I do think the number of CGs are quite few but I'm just spoiled.
Music/Sound: It's ok. There are a couple of memorable and catchy tunes (Minagi's theme) but nothing too bad, nothing too fantastic.
Story: I don't like the fact that I'm forced to play the other two heroines to unlock Summer+Air. Kano's route felt like a massive filler. Minagi's route is decent, while Mizusu's route felt just like Little Buster's Rin route is when playing it for the first time --- stopped short of the climax. Overall the heroine routes suffer from an unbearably SLOW development. I drowned on slice-of-life with what seems like 80% of the game. Literally felt like only 3 sentences out of a day in Air contributes to the advancement of the plot. It's quite anachronistic to make this comparison but, Air feels like an unrefined Clannad. If you are a KEY fan, you will see elements of KEY style in Air. The humor is hit-or-miss, not as good as Clannad or LB. Tension build-up was way too slow in Air, which is something they vastly improved in Clannad in my opinion.
Stegosaurus. Gao. Gao - Yukito
The highlight of the whole game for me was Summer route. It contained tension from very early in the route and kept me hooked from start to finish. I'm not sure if going through two unrelated filler arcs was worth getting to Summer. But I would say this route even trumped the final route "Air", and is the main bone of the game. Summer is very impactful. Most of the final route "Air" was mostly a repeat of Misuzu's route and it's quite unpleasant to go through the slice-of-life elements again with barely any change on the narration... The story line outside of "Summer" arc only spikes in drama at the end. Tension in the mid-route is almost non-existent. The mysteries are so-so.
Beginnings always need a tiny bit of courage. Happiness can bloom from just a few words. -Yukito Narration (?)
As for themes, I'm not really good at analyzing but I will try. The setting takes place on a rural town, and as such cell-phones and modern technology doesn't exist as much. By playing Air, you get a sense of the laidback countryside, with its elderly. The setting is so simple there's nothing eyecatching or interesting. But simplicity in itself seems to be what the setting conveys. Sky and flying are the main aspects of the story and there are countless references to it in-game. There are some great quotes all throughout the game, but I wasn't engaged too much with any kind of philosophical stimulation. I'm sure there are countless other themes that the game conveyed but I won't bother brainstorming at this point.
Just another summer day. A mundane, typical day. Maybe that's all I wanted. -Yukito (Narration)
I'm used to spend everyday traveling. So now, living a life in one place is the start of a new adventure. -Yukito
Scores: I'm not going to try to come up with arbitrary number for every category but I will give this VN an overall score of 6-7; meaning I will put it in the AVERAGE category. I have played or watched so much slice-of-life stories that I'm just numbed to the majority of the scenes here. Usually at that point, if there are no main plot developments happening, then humor is the only one that keeps me going. Air's humor is spotty as I mentioned before.
Will I recommend this?
If you like other KEY titles and its narratives, and are a fan of drama --- then yes. If you are a beginner or new to the Visual Novel scene, play this one later. There are countless numerous other better VNs than Air. Part of the reason I have survived through this game was because I was already a huge fan of KEY (having replayed Clannad like 4 times). As a standalone game it's so-so, not a bad VN, but not superb.
And so I leave you with a few more quotes.
Is there any meaning in wings that can't fly? -Minagi Tohno
They're precious memories of when you used to fly through the sky. (???)
- Read more...
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Writers Note: What you are about to read is merely a chronological compilation of ordered thoughts on the conclusion I've come to draw regarding the Universe of the Little Busters!. You may find that it will be mixed with events that happened only in the anime. That is because not every piece of work is done right to perfection, and sometimes, even if it is once in a blue moon, an adaptation does produce something better than the original.
Let's dive into something that's very dear to my heart. If someone were to ask me what my favorite anime would be, the first image to jump to mind would be Little Busters!. But then I would hold my tongue and take a moment to rethink. It is actually the visual novel that I am in love with, but I have found this story so endearing that I can't help but wish they would rephrase their question. It must have been three years since I've read this story, and it still resonates with me today.
I have written a chronological-half-analysis-not-a-review essay of a sort.
Little Busters! Origins
The origins of Little Busters began when Natsume Kyousuke wanted to help his younger sister, Natsume Rin, make friends. The first member to join was Inohara Masato.
In his youth, Masato felt belittled and isolated by his classmates and eventually started picking fights to stop the snickering behind his back. It worked for a time. No one laughed at him anymore, but everyone stayed away from him. His community dubbed him a monster and he felt more alone than ever.
Kyousuke learned of the boy and together with Rin had set out to defeat him. The tough fight was won by the Natsume siblings and ended with Kyousuke extending Masato a hand of friendship.
The next to join was Miyazawa Kengo, a young kendo prodigy. It was never explained why Kyousuke wanted to defeat him. I speculate that he thought Kengo was spending his entire childhood practicing at his father’s behest and wanted to free him.
Kyousuke challenged the elder Miyazawa, defeated him, and secured Kengo's freedom.
The four members eventually discovered Naoe Riki, a boy who was hospitalized after a car accident took the lives of his parents and left him with narcolepsy.
Around this pre-adolescent age the heroines we know and love also go through some things of their own that develops into regrets. Kamikita Komari loses her older brother which causes her to develop regressive tendencies and psychogenic amnesia. Kurugaya Yuiko grows to become a prodigal student and shuts herself from the rest of the world. Saegusa Haruka and Futaki Kanata are pitted against each other to determine who the criminal child of Saegusa Shou was. Noumi Kudryavka was in Tebua struggling in her studies to become like her mother. Nishizono Mio develops the imaginary friend and persona of Midori.
The history between here and the beginning of the Little Buster's visual novel is left to the imagination. Each heroine's route gives a rather sufficient glimpse into their past such that most of their history can be inferred. In the opening of the anime adaptation of Little Busters: Refrain each member of the main gang can be seen tending to Riki, who had succumbed to narcolepsy.
High school & Adolescence
Let's start where they are in high school in the real world.
I postulate that the gang did not form a baseball team in the real world, and instead went about their typical antics much like they did in the VN's common route during the slice of life portions of their days.
It is also likely, and supported by individual characters' accounts that the main Little Busters members and the girls that would later form the other half knew little of each other. This is backed up by Kyousuke's account during his route in Refrain where he states that he looked for others who held some sort of regret in their lives. In other words, it could have been anyone! However, our Key girls likely held regrets that resonated with Kyousuke, such that he found them useful for strengthening Rin and Riki. That would imply everyone became friends over the course of the events in the artificial world(s).
There are several moments of significance worth noting before the trip happens. Haruka and Riki's first meeting at her beloved bench. She laters alludes in her route that this chance meeting made the bench that much more important to her. Kud loses her mother to the chaos happening back in Tebua after the failed launch, and declined to travel to her home country to find her. Koshiki Miyuki is forced to quit archery after losing sight in one eye and commits suicide.
Time goes on and the class trip arrives. Kyousuke sneaks into the bus so that he could be with the rest of his friends on his last year.
Now to the juice of it. Their happy little days would come to an abrupt stop, and a new beginning would come forth. On their way, the bus suffers an accident and goes crashing down the side of a mountain. Thus begins the Little Busters story as we know from the visual novel.
Kyousuke's plan has been ruined. He had created such a great place for the shy Rin and his friends. All gone because of an unforeseeable, freak accident.
So he wouldn't have it. It would not be the end of it. At best he wanted to save the lives of his precious sister and dear friend Riki who had known nothing but misery for a good part of his life. It was going to be tough, because the very two he wishes to save possess the weakest hearts. They would lose their will as soon as they learn of the tragedy, but even so, Kyousuke wants them to go on. So he devises a plan to make them stronger.
How? By creating an artificial world wherein they can replay the last month leading up to their accident. He would usher Riki and Rin into a series of trials to resolve each of the heroines' and Keybros' woes. Doing so, the two would undergo a forced maturation and mentally strengthen themselves in preparation for the tragedy that will ensue. The perk of this world? They can reset it almost as many times as they needed (To an extent).
Key magic, of course.
The Clock has Stopped, The Artificial World
Kyousuke selected the heroines and through their cooperation, with a little help from Key magic, created an artificial world with their collective consciousness.
From here until Refrain is the bulk of the Little Busters visual novel. It isn't necessary for me to talk about every heroine's route as you are likely familiar with them already. Just keep in mind that RIki will go on to fail many times before he successfully resolves each of the girls' regrets.
An interesting note that there is about a month or so between Riki's awakening into the common route/artificial world and the day after the baseball game where the date cuts off. That is not counting the time between the baseball match to the class trip, and the time Riki spends with the each heroine, including the number of times he's failed. Which means that they had likely spent years within the artificial world. I wouldn't be surprised if Little Busters is Christopher Nolan's inspiration for Inception.
We will never know which heroine Riki was thrown into first or whose regret he solved first. However, it is my belief that it went a little like: Heroines+Rin1>Kurugaya>Rin2>Refrain. I don't think I need to order the "Heroines" route as doing so will only be redundant. I will explain why I believe Kurugaya likely occurred right before Rin2.
Let's not discuss the semantics good and bad regarding the Little Busters: Refrain adaptation. That being said, I did like some of what they did with the anime. Specifically with Kurugaya because things make sense to the story.
First, we can infer from her actions and manner of speaking to indicate that she is aware of the artificial world more so than the other heroines. Whether Kyousuke allows her to retain her memories or she can exert her own control like him is unclear. Though the latter makes more sense.
So, why do I believe Kurugaya's route occurs right before Rin2? Most people and walkthroughs will tell you to play her route last for the reason that it spoils the artificial world. But that's just a technical detail to suggest a pseudo-forced playing order.
In regards to character-motivation and chronology of the world, this is what I believe: The order in which Riki resolves each girl's regret, Kurugaya Yuiko's route directly precedes the Heroines'+Rin1 routes because she could not have developed an interest in love as she did in her route without seeing the profound effects it had on the other heroines in their respective routes.
She discovered love.
What does this feeling compel her to do? She creates her own world to explore this foreign emotion as many times as she wants, for as long as she wants so long as her world holds. A world that Riki will experience many times over.
A theory that I developed is that each person has a certain amount of energy in which they can shape their own world. This energy is expendable, and expends at a rate proportional to how much detail goes into their respective world. All of the Little Busters had been pooling in their energy to sustain many worlds/routes. Komari, Haruka, Kud, and Mio in particular expanded their world beyond the school and by the time Riki helped each them their energy had nearly depleted.
What I believe happened was that when Kurugaya finally wanted to explore the feeling of "love" none of the heroines had enough energy to support her world but herself. She didn't want to go to the Keybros for help because her wish deviates from Kyousuke's plan. So she created her world It is why she calls it, "selfish," because:
- On a thematic note she would keep Riki from maturing.
- She was sustaining her own world for her own sake.
The theory supports this because the extent of Kurugaya's world was within the school to mitigate energy loss, and most of it was spent in the broadcasting room. She then spent what energy she had left to repeatedly recreate the world, and to expend as little as possible rendered it less and less distinguishable from the previous until it became an exact repeat. It makes sense why, in the anime, right after her arc ends she is not seen disappearing with the other girls (Another thing the anime did well to portray).
In Rin2, we have the final mission. The secret of the world. Rin must survive on her own at their sister school, but all that becomes too much for her to bear. After everything that she had gone through the final task was insurmountable to her.
Riki confronts Kyousuke at the dead of night who affirms that he was the mastermind behind the "Secret of the World" missions. However, he after their conversation was interrupted, he was only left with more questions. Eventually he convinced Kyousuke to allow Rin to visit. Riki, having seen the strain this mission has been on her, brought Kengo to his side and challenged Kyousuke to a game of baseball with the hopes of bringing her back permanently. Riki and Kengo lost due to CHEAP TRICKS. Riki ran away with Rin but is later caught and taken back to school.
Little Busters!: Refrain
Kyousuke will ask Masato and Kengo to help him create the artificial world again. Despite the foul play Kyousuke pulled on Kengo the latter agrees to help one last time, but with his own condition: should Riki fail this time, he will no longer give his assistance and instead spend what remains of their time in the world playing.
The world resets once again and Riki enters Refrain. Everyone who has read or seen Refrain knows what happens here, and there should be no confusion as to the chronological order of the route. Riki goes on to recruiting Masato and then Kengo in a similar fashion to how Kyousuke did when they were younger. Together, the four will pull Kyousuke from despair just as he had done for Riki in the past. The original team plays baseball one last time, say their goodbyes, and the artificial ceases to exist.
The Clock Ticks Again
Or so they thought.
What happens next has been a matter of debate for some time now.
I have identified three possibilities.1)Key Magic. This possibility is the least satisfactory because it is synonymous to an ass-pull. It is a trademark that Key likes to use in many of their works. Most recognizable isClannad where Key Magic takes the form of orbs of light. I'll use the anime for the example. The protagonist Okazaki Tomoya accrues orbs of light for the good deeds he commits, which gives him a world where Nagisa and Ushio survives and are free of their fatal illness.In a similar, but unseen fashion, Riki and Rin acquires their world's form Key Magic from solving everyone's regret. Thus curing Riki from his narcolepsy and giving them a second chance at saving their friends and classmates.2)Limbo/ TV Lost-factor/ Escapism. This is one of the two most probable outcomes that I have long debated since finishing the visual novel. It also makes sense in a real world point of view. Unfortunately, this outcome would condemn Little Busters as one of the most tragic and heartbreaking stories humanity has ever told.In this possibility, the Little Busters and classmates are not saved. Riki and Rin's story ends when they escape and the former succumbs to narcolepsy. He wakes up in a hospital and finds Rin huddled up in the corner of the room. Unwilling to accept their condition, the two create a fantasy world within their consciousness to escape the horrible tragedy. An imaginary world where the Little Busters are alive and well, and they are still going about their youth.The heroine's routes can be seen as Riki going through the Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as the Five Stages of Grief, for Riki. The order goes as follows:
3)Natsume Kyousuke. The second of the two most probable outcomes and the outcome I have come to accept. This possibility banks on the very man who was the origins of the Little Busters, and the one who orchestrated plan to save Riki and Rin. The man with the plan, the master schemer, the Darkness Executives, Mask the Saitou, CHEAP TRICKS. It is not so outrageous to believe Kyousuke had a backup plan.In this outcome, Kyousuke creates one final world to test Riki and Rin's resolve to save everyone. Beginning when the duo supposedly first exits the artificial and ending where Riki and Rin wakes up in front of the bus crash for the second time.Wait a minute. Doesn't Rin and Komari meet one final time in the artificial world? Precisely. Which is why Kyousuke's backup world theory makes sense, and why the anime did a very good job in writing a scene that does not exist visual novel. The scene being where the girls except Komari disappears. Even after the boys disappear and the world collapses, Komari should still be there somewhere, right? That's because Komari did not leave yet, and she didn't leave because she found her way into the last world Kyousuke had created for Riki and Rin.There, Komari was able to meet Rin one last time to give her the courage she needed. Riki (though still an inexplicable miracle) overcame his narcolepsy, and together with Rin were successful in saving everyone who was on the bus, including the Little Busters.
- Komari represents denial. Seeing the dead cat evoked the repressed memories of her brother having died. She refused to accept this truth and in order to cope, while under the temporary influence of a regressed state, started believing Riki to be her brother.
- Haruka represents anger. Recall that a good portion of her route involved trying to find the right person to direct her rage towards. At first it was Kanata, then Saegusa Shou, then her "parents," and at some point, herself.
- Mio represents bargaining. Her route revolved around exchanging her life for Midori's. She truly believed that letting Midori take her place would grant her redemption for having forsaken her.
- Kud represents depression. Bear with me. This one took some research.
- Aaron Beck developed what is known in the field of psychology as the "Beck Depression Inventory." It is a test to measure an individual's level of depression. There are three negative cognitions that he developed from another theory. It is as follows.
- The student has negative thoughts about the world
- The student has negative thoughts about his future
- The student has negative thoughts about his self
[*]What does this have to do with Kud? Well, throughout the anime and visual novel she makes repeated remarks to demean herself. She is probably making fun of herself more than any bully ever did: she lacks confidence about her own image, concluded that she would fail the exam before it even began, and expected no one would ever want to be her roommate. There is more to list but the most damning is that she originally went back to Tebua to die. "Ни пу́ха, ни пера" "Ni puha, ni pera," "Neither fur, nor feather."
[*]Kurugaya represents acceptance. This is a bit of a stretch, yeah? Her route makes her seem more like she was in denial. A different approach to seeing how her route went down is that she knew and accepted death, but before she dies she would use her remaining time to experience love. She lets go of her "selfish" wish in the end because she understood the inevitability of her situation, and her letting Riki go was the ultimate symbolism of accepting mortality.
- Aaron Beck developed what is known in the field of psychology as the "Beck Depression Inventory." It is a test to measure an individual's level of depression. There are three negative cognitions that he developed from another theory. It is as follows.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am sure there are countless other conclusions people have reached on their own, and this is just one of them. At first I only wanted to compile my thoughts and give it a rest. Then I ended up typing a small essay and thought sharing it would be nice, too.
It is always important to keep an open mind, but never let someone give you all the answers without first taking the time to sort out your own.
I hope my version of the Little Busters! conclusion gave you just an inkling of clarity to their story. I enjoyed writing this and I hope you did, too!
I am always open to discussing stories so feel free to drop a message or comment!