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If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. ~Pearl Buck

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There are no masterpieces this month. My subjective choice for VN of the Month January 1998 is Machi - maybe it's the impact of 428 sequel. I've very difficult history with Divi-Dead as both times I tried it I fell asleep. No true ending is worth such boring gameplay. And I just can't appreciate dating SIMs without impact on story to evaluate Sentimental Graffiti properly.

1. Blood Seed 2 ブラッドシード2 [980114] Arkham Products 1
Space cruiser Triant 2 from the free planetary association established a primary contact with an unknown life form while executing its mission. An organism entered the ship and started to attack crew members. No weapons could kill it and the crew had to separate the hull of the ship and abandon it. Then the military ship found the drifting hull, but men were wiped out... First and second missions to annihilate the organism were miserable failures. The four remaining members of third mission had to destroy the ship by destroying it with missiles.
With that the incident was supposed to be over...
You actually play as the biological organism. You need to explore dungeons and evolve by absorbing girls. With raising levels even the toughest security robots stop being a problem. Game's pretty obscure.


2. Kuon 久遠 [980114] M'
Kuon used to study abroad, but now enters prestigious research academy in Japan on a secluded island. To pay his bills he starts a part-time job with one of campus facilities.
A fortune-teller appears before Kuon giving him meaningless prophecy and promising to meet again...
An obscure self-raising SIM. Every day you help out around the campus, do part-time jobs and meet girls. No idea where this all might be going since there is not a single review and there's no patience to get through a SIM game.


3. Pompom Pretty Parfait Okosamayou ポムポムプリてぃパフぇ お子様用 [980114] JAST
Hero is a college student. Before summer vacation he receives an e-mail from his father asking to manage one of the stores for two months. The store is actually a cafe with cute cosplay girls as waitresses. Will he succeed?
You start with four friends working as waitresses and one assistant manager. You need to determine the schedule, converse with waitresses and go on after work events. Each girl has parameters and each girl is only good for one-two jobs, not all of them. There are seven endings - one for each of four girls, one for assistant manager, one for ending up alone and one for failing in sales. The number of events with each girl is small and winning in sales competition during 2 months is quite challenging.


4. Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Hoshimitou Kanashimi no Fukushuuki 金田一少年の事件簿 星見島 悲しみの復讐鬼 [980115] Hudson Soft 1
The idol at the height of the popularity got involved in a scandal scandal. Idol manager Tachibana Yufu was searching for the truth of it and was found dead. The police asserted Yufu's death as suicide, but there were two people who had suspicions in that.
One was former idol and Yufu's best friend Katsuragi Yo and another one Yufu's fiance Takuya Asagiri. The two of them decided to take revenge at a leisure facility "Hoshijima" where the stakeholders gathered, but there was a also present a grandson of Kaneda detective Kanedaichi and his friends ..
The purpose of the game is to commit a perfect crime - a murder - and get away with that. It just has everything that I can't stand.


5. Private Garden プライベートガーデン [980115] Tetratech 1
A puzzle game where you move blocks to form an image of a guy or a girl using all the blocks. Easy as it sounds, there is little space given to move the blocks and if any block slips off the platform, you have to try again.
Do the puzzles and get HCG, easy as that. There is some kind of review.


6. Mix Candy 2 みっくすきゃんでぃ3 [970131] Cocktail Soft
Fandisc containing screensavers, wallpapers and a short erotic story 『性欲ロボゼツリンガー』 as a part of the Erotic Baka Novel series.
Story is erotic humorous one about one special robot.


7. Maigo no Kimochi 迷子の気持ち [980116] Foster
Naoto lives in a famous club that his mother owns, that's why Naoto is well known around the town. One day he sees his classmate Asami wondering around downtown and falling victim to nanpa. After listening to her circumstances Naoto hides Asami in his house.
It starts as if there is some meaning in the plot, but then you start to see H events at different places and start to set up your own, even with Asami, so story goes to the background. I still liked the system of moving around the map even thtough story is very linear and you need to go to exact one place each time to progress it.


8. Machi 街 [980122] Chunsoft 1 2 3 4 5 6
Machi is a story of 8 unrelated protagonists, all with their own problems and objectives, all living in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan. The story spans 5 in-game days and is told through a huge number of live-action still photographs. The protagonists are varied, including a high school playboy, a gamer geek police officer, a struggling actor, an ex-Yakuza man, a TV scriptwriter and many more. Each of the protagonists lead a completely different story that even defies genres, with one story having a lighthearted comedy style while another having a dark, ominous tone.
The player must play all of the stories in parallel, jumping across different protagonists, and backtracking to re-select branches which not only affect the active protagonist, but also other protagonists through often bizarre twists of causality.
Since its release in 1998, Machi has amassed a cult following among Japanese Sound Novel players, causing a yearning for a sequel for years which did not come to fruition until 2008 which had the release of the spiritual sequel, 428: Fusa Sareta Shibuya De.
There are good English reviews for it.


9. Sentimental Graffiti センチメンタルグラフティ [980122] STACK software 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The protagonist, Tanaka Ichirou, is a high school student who, prior to the spring vacation of his third year, receives a letter simply stating "I want to meet you." During middle school, his frequent transferring of schools allowed him to form unique relationships with various girls. In order to search for the sender of the letter, he travels nationwide to various places, and meets the 12 girls of his memories once again.
Game has at least three English reviews and a lot of information in English


10. Adrastea アドラステア [980123] Bell-Da
In 2050 life extinction on the Earth progressing rapidly due to natural destruction, wars, hunger and indiscriminate murder. Humanity lost morality and approaches its end.
You are going to leave struggling Earth for distant stars in search of gods who abandoned humanity to regain knowledge and morality from them.
It's actually a quiz game to make love with six goddesses each with different topic. After all the goddesses captured you can challenge the Queen of goddesses and regain merits for the humanity.


11. Dice Kiss [980123] Meifuru House Karen
It's two months before Xmas. The hero decided to find a girlfriend before Xmas.
Board game. You throw the dice and move to some field where some event should happen. There are five girls to clear. It's plain tiresome to wait till you roll a good choice for your girl. And the dice rolls very slowly...


12. Divi-Dead [980123] C's Ware 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
My name is Ranmaru Hibikiya. Today is my first day at Asao Private School...
My uncle is the dean of this school. About a month ago, he paid me a visit and offered me enrollment at his school. Seeing I've been out of school for a long time, I accepted his offer. What was the catch? He asked me to keep an eye out for him. Bluntly, I was to be his spy...No problem.
Well actually, there was a problem. Once I arrived, I started noticing some disturbing things. There was violence and misconduct happening on campus, not the usual past times at a private high school. As I got deeper into my investigation, I came across a possible correlation between an underground society and the unusual behavior of my peers. I realized that I could not trust ANYONE.
There's just one last thing...After transferring, sometime between all the sexual escapades happening on campus, and my investigation, something horrifying happened to me. I...
Join me in my quest to uncover the horrible secrets at Asao Private School.... and find out what fate holds for me...
Game is localized and has many English reviews.


13. Girigiri Paradise ぎりぎりパラダイス [980123] May-Be Soft 1
GiriGiri Paradise has a rather simple story: the protagonist, a teenager named Keiichi, is having a vacation. Together with three young, pretty girls (initially only friends of his), he goes on a journey, which ends in a small hotel on the sea shore. Exploring the surroundings and meeting local people (some of which are young, pretty girls as well!), Keiichi realizes that this trip is gradually turning into the busiest sex adventure of his life...
Game turns into erotic adventure very fast, so there's no real development besides H story. From time to time you have freedom to choose location just to encounter more H events.


14. Mahou Shoujo Pretty Sammy ~Heart no Kimochi~ 魔法少女プリティサミー ~ハートのきもち~ [980129] Interchannel
Contains two stories: "Nazo no Shinheiki!? ~Codename wa Kirakira Rakuda~" and "Moero! Honou no Choco ~Valentine made ato 3 hi~"
An evil organization captured a mysterious secret ray weapon. Magical girl Pretty Sammy gradually gets involved in the incident.
Saturn exclusive for fans mostly. There's full voice and lots of animation.


15. Kau 飼 [980130] 13cm
Hero is a pharmacist who follows his father's steps who is a president of a pharmaceutical company. Of course, he's not interested in the current work. So in the end father suddenly requests a certain job from the hero - to train sex slaves for Tachibana play. What's with this play and why is he chosen trainer?
Training H SIM + AVG with twenty girls. Plot-less nukige.


16. Rashin 裸唇 RASHIN [980130] Pias
There was a strange woman in the castle I found in the forest. But I can not remember anything.
But why I have a sense of deceitfulness...
Mystery H adventure. Nothing is really explained. There are rooms and moving around triggers some girl H story. Each girl has two stories and two costumes. A normal nukige.


17. Seikimatsu Taimaden Tsumugi-chan SOS 世紀末退魔伝つむぎちゃん SOS [980130] Desire
Tsumugi-chan is a girl from a demonic master clan who lives in a mountain temple. While still being inexperienced, a difficult job came in for her one day - to investigate the seven wonders of the school and eliminate the evil contained there. An apprentice exorcist and psychic who can not control her abilities will help Tsumugi-chan to uncover the mystery hidden in the school!
Game's based on an ancient erotic manga and the contents is largely erotic plus some bakage.

The only masterpiece game of February is Yatsu no Na wa Diamond

1. Let's! Pirates Trouble Vacances Let’s!パイレーツ とらぶる・ばかんす [970207] ZyX
Two female pirates earned lots of money and are came to a resort. They get interested in rumors of a mad scientist experimenting with monsters creation and look into the matter only to get caught themselves.
Les SM H bakage story. The interaction between the main heroines is pretty fun, but rather short. Windows version has a nice 3 minutes intro animated video and seems to have more animated scenes, but I failed to launch it on modern pc.


2. Seiyoku Gakuen Seraphita 聖翼学園セラフィタ [970207] Space Project
Futanari Rei transfers to an all-girl school to seduce all the pretty girls in the local student dormitory.
First of all, game is from Space Project that only produced really trashy works to the moment. But this time they initially create a supertrashy environment to stir up the craziness. Second part of the game is mostly erotic, but first part is quite enjoyable as there are many strange jokes and dialogues. Some lines are voiced, so atmosphere is relayed all right. It has some charm, but second part quickly hit all the enthusiasm out of me.


3. Yaku Tsuu ~Noroi no Game~ 厄痛 ~呪いのゲーム~ [970207] Idea Factory Co., Ltd. 1 2
A game company has released a title only for it to be received coldly by the press. The company's president disappears soon after, and mysterious deaths begin to occur.
For all those very small number of people who liked the prequel - here's the awaited (?) sequel. At least they have the guts to joke about the curse of the game company after releasing a bad game. Graphics are so weird and scary that this game received one of the worst ratings everywhere - probably from people who never played it. Game is quite short, hardly reaching two hours. You start just as before, in the group of five. It's also a sound novel, but the story is much more impressive than in the prequel and it tackles some deep themes.


4. BS Tantei Club ~Yuki ni Kieta Kako~ BS探偵倶楽部 ~雪に消えた過去~ [970209] Nintendo R&D1 1 2 3
Ayumi Tachibana returns to her parents home in Ochitani village over vacation to visit her mother, Toshie, who is recovering from illness. She meets with her mother and her old friend Reiko for the first time in years, hoping to ease her fatigue by relaxing at her childhood home. However, Gozo Kusano, the former mayor of Ochitani village, is found dead the next morning in a secluded area outside his house. Toshie was the discoverer of the dead body, and she is apprehended by the police as a suspect because her footprints were the only ones found in the snow near the crime scene. While waiting for her mother to return from the police station, Ayumi learns of a long-lasting feud existing between the Tachibana family and Kusano family. An ochimusha legend passed on in the village, an investigation from 18 years ago, and this new murder all tie into a set of serial killings which Ayumi must solve before it is too late.
Quite famous NES detective series. There is an English review.


5. Amagi Shien 天城紫苑 [970214] Clip House
Kimido Fumi is a popular mystery writer. But she also solves incidents in real life. In a local ryokan she is asked to investigate the death of a man.
The main feature of the work is live action and two famous former AV actresses playing the main roles. There seems to be a 18+ PC version, but Saturn one is much more widespread. Content is quite specialized and aimed at detective dorama viewers.


6. Ekudorado ~Kagami no Naka no Oukoku~ エクドラード ~鏡の中の王国~ [970214] Black Package 1 2
A young high-school student named Seirou has a normal, boring life: days resemble each other, and so do the nights: every night he sees the same strange dream: two girls talking to each other, one of them saying something about a coming darkness... One day, he and his female classmates find a mirror in an abandoned house; when they touch the mirror, they are transported into the magical medieval land of Ekudorado. The hero must first find his classmates, who are scattered around this world, and then find a way to return to our reality...
RPG and card battles mix. Story is one-way road and there aren't grinding opportunities, but if you lose, you're transported to the closest town and can gain some more exp on the way. Cards balance is not the best and some elements are just better. There's no real connection between the battles and H-scenes. There's very little justification for inventing the whole parallel world rather than just start in it. There's no story behind using cards. Game feels like its elements are gathered randomly and it does not encourage to explore its world.


7. In Days 淫DAYS [970214] Lunar Soft
Collection of five short stories:
1. Over the Dream
2. 罠
3. TU. I. SI
4. 究極解決因果マン
5. あたしはあたし
Stories are of erotic nature and end in 5 minutes each.


8. Roommate ~Inoue Ryouko~ ROOMMATE~井上涼子~ [970214] Datam Polystar 1
Ryoko is seventeen, her family has moved from Tokyo to New York, and she is staying behind to finish school. Her father (a friend of your father's) has asked that she move in with you in your apartment (where you have a spare room) so she can complete her studies. But Ryoko misses her family and is emotionally vulnerable - so it's time to for you to do some moving in of your own.
In Roommate Ryoko you have three years to develop a relationship with her. Using a truly innovative real-time feature, the Saturn's internal clock affects how the game plays out.
There is an English review.


9. Yatsu no Na wa Diamond 男の名はダイヤモンド [970214] Pis-Ton Soft 1 2
In the beginning of 21th century, technology has evolved in unprecedented ways. But so did crime. Huge corporations, which were in fact criminal organizations, came to control the world. Finally, a mega-corporation known as Connection has taken the power in its hands. Everything was sponsored with its money; the governments and the law were silent. Only vigilante groups called "Connection-Killers" still tried to resist. In 2015, in Detroit, one of those people, nicknamed DD, witnessed the death of his comrades...
A year has passed. DD moves to Brain City - a highly developed, modern city, the center of scientific research. It was built on an island in the Atlantic Ocean, which appeared after a volcano eruption. It is controlled by Connection. DD opens an investigation office in the city, trying to get to the heart of Connection and defeat his old nemesis, despite the hostile atmosphere and the grave dangers that await him there...
Gameplay is walking around the town and encountering enemies beating them, so not too intriguing. But game is chaotic in a good way - it uses all kind of weird enemies and lots of gags. A work with lots of charm, but it came for PC-98 when the tides already turned for Windows and romance games.


10. Hizumi 歪み [970220] MBS Truth 1
Hizumi is Japanese word that literary means "warp" in English. Like the word "warp" implies, the whole game is so twisted that it is [almost] impossible to happen. Basically, the game is about you, the main character, doing the same twisted thing everyday. You're constantly having sex with the girls in your class, teachers, mother, and friends. Having sex with girl is just like a normal exercise in game. Hizumi first starts with the main character [I don't know how to translate his name] having "fun" with his stepmother and ended next day still having fun with his stepmother. After the special "treatment" from your stepmother, who is no longer living with her husband or your father, you went to school and have more fun with your classmates and teacher. During the break of each class, you will walk around the campus and talk to many people (mainly girls). If you went to the correct place at the right time, H-scene will follow afterward. After you got home from school, you will find yourself reading adult novel and all the sudden your stepmother came in and night excercising with you.
Hizumi is a game filled with twisted fantasy. Every event happened in the game is twisted. You would have fun with an OL (Office Lady) while taking the subway to school. You would get special couching from your teacher in her office. You would be invited to a "special group basketball training" from your friend. You would play a doctor-patient game with a girl you grow up with. And, the most twisted part of game is that you would have fun with your stepmother every day and night.
There is an English review.


11. Tasogare no Kyoukai 黄昏の境界 [970220] Tiare 1 2
This is a horror-adventure about a high school student who is a treasure hunter. You'll need to explore some horrifying dungeons to investigate a mysterious sequence of murders.
Hero lands hands on one of five manuscripts stolen from mysterious village shrine. When all five are gathered, it's rumored to be possible to summon a demon. This is ... an exploration game, sort of. You see the dungeons from first person view like in old rpgs and have to watch your lamp and draw maps to get through the maze. Events are generated on moving through the map. There are ghosts encountered on the way but they are mere obstacles - if you fight them you die. Game deliberately tries to confuse leaving lots of things hanging in the air. For example, the meaning of the title is not clear at all or the conclusion that this demon is involved with the murder. There's a lot of torture in map drawing and getting through the maze. Probably the best part of it is that we get an ending with one of three female characters once we deal with the demon.


12. M Hard [970221] Aaru 1
You're a normal college student. Your mother needs a heart transplant. Your father's mechanics shop can't pull in nearly enough money to pay for the surgery. Just then, this rich sadistic woman shows up and makes you an offer. She'll get the best doctors and pay for the operation, IF you become her slave.
There is an English review.


13. Ningen Konchuu ~Nozoki~ 人間昆虫~覗き~ [970221] Poison Breath
When the guy was a child, he killed a lot of insects, about 100 a day. Now, as their revenge, he got turned into insects and has to live as a mantis, bee, spider and beetle. Will he ever be able to return to human form? He will never view insects the same way again.
Poison Breath games are always nauseating and dark, but this time they surpassed themselves. The vision of two humanoid insects with insect attributes having sex is not that easy to sweep away. But since the second title relates to peeping, most of the time this disgusting insect just peeps.


14. Boku wa Keiichi Onna Janshi no Itazura 僕は圭一 女雀師の悪戯 [970228] Segue Laboratory
Hero arrives to the dormitory only to find that no good rooms left. He decides to challenge his female sempai in a stripping card game to get the room.
Very short straightforward game. Game uses some specific BGM handler so it only launched with BGM off for me.


15. Taxi Genmutan ~Strange World Act. 2~ TAXI幻夢譚 ~ストレンジ・ワールド Act. 2~ [970228] Sorciere
Hero is a taxi driver. He chooses which passenger to take on a ride and can opt to interfere in his client's affairs at any moment.
Same as prequel, some uncommon entourage is chosen for the stage. Lots of different stories can originate from the taxi and game provides lots of variants for development. Total number of branches is 42, but stories are very short.

Foreword: I don't believe Alice Soft - they can only make eroge and bakage. But this game was highly praised overseas. Who knows, maybe it's the game that can overcome my aversion.



Title: Diabolique

Developer: Alice Soft
Date: 1998-05-28
VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v2261

 Synopsis: In this world, here are two kinds of intelligent beings. One are humans and the other are Diaboliques. Diaboliques possess power, violence, intelligence, and eternal life. Their life form was categorized into four levels, the lowest division lacking intelligence, reproduction ability and beauty and the fourth being very intelligent and able to change form.

For thousands of years, human race has been suppressed by the danger of diabolique. However, a legend has passed on through generation that there's diabolique that kills its own species. This diabolique was Azulite - one of the only five Lord Diabolique (the ones of highest category). Being known as the "species killer," Azulite has come up to kill diaboliques. At here, he met a girl named Letticia. Her innocence and tragic background has attracted Azulite, and soon Azulite fell in love with her. However, the two lovers were separated after Letticia was killed. They promised to see each other when she was reincarnated. Carrying with the promise, Azulite once again set off on a journey looking for Letticia.


Structure: There are roughly five big parts corresponding to five different time periods.
Length: 16 hours
Game type: Command selection adventure
Difficulty: Easy. Story is one way road and bad ends are possible only if make a bad decision in battle. Even then the game kindly suggests to load from the beginning of the battle rather than finding your earlier savegame.
Character Design rating: 8/10

Protagonist rating: 10/10

Story rating: 10/10

Game quality: 9/10

Overall rating: 10/10

Rating comments: Two games in a row with a 10/10... either my standards are that low or the games are that good. I actually stand for the latter. My only complain to game quality is that it's not voiced and music only lasts for couple minutes and fades before the next scene is reached. And I did not particularly like the way the five Lord Diaboliques were presented. We get short scenes with them between the main Azurite story parts and only by the mids of fifth final part we're told their names and their governing elements. So through the game they are just random guys and when we get acquainted to them, there's already a climax part pending. I'd like to get more of Lord Diabolique characters.



Protagonist: Azurite is absolutely fabulous as a protagonist. He lost most of his memory, but he knows that he's the strongest of Lord Diaboliques. He remembers he's searching for something and wanders around killing his kin and getting food and shelter for that. He travels in a human form and he looks like a very tall elf with his long hair, slender body and big sword. But in this cruel world drowned in blood he's the only gentelman. He's very polite, kind, good-mannered and modest. He never drawn his sword against any human no matter how bad he's bullied or hunted (well, not in human state at least he-he). And he's a one-woman man. From the moment he met Leticia in humiliating conditions he felt a deep sympathy towards her. He's never laid an eye on any other woman and when one woman throughout the story tried to force herself on him, his manhood could not react at all. He's very loyal and that makes the story unique. Well, he's quite sensitive too and he can afford to cry when he's with Leticia. He's a great cook and at mornings he always greets Leticia in an apron and with a ladle inviting her to have breakfast. 


Characters: Each of the five story parts has its own set of characters. I adore party adventures and story part 2 and 3 were about adventuring in two different parties and that was absolutely cool. I really liked those different party members with fancy characters, but they don't play significant role. Only Leticia follows throughout all the parts (actually, even she's absent in one part) and enemies. There is also Aria girl that has an important role in 4th and 5th story parts, so let's look at those two girls.



Leticia: Well... she's different. Part 1 shows us canonical abused scary girl. Part 2 is an absolutely different, bold and picky personality and a different appearance. Part 3 is again totally different from those two, but I would not like to spoil here. In Part 4 she's absent and in Part 5 she's basically canonical Leticia again, but she remembers all the previous reincarnations as well. Well, she's quite a typical heroine like in many single heroine stories. Sensitive scared crybaby who knows next to nothing about the world and that gives Azurite an opportunity to act protective and teach her basic facts about the world. But as for me, Part 2 and Part 3 Leticia reincarnations are much cooler, totally different personalities and great stories.



Aria: She's a usual native Indian girl, curious and brave. She recovers Azurite body when he falls into a trap and takes care of him while he recovers. But Azurite falls into the same trap for the second time (well, he's not wisest man) and she dies stepping up and getting all the blows that were ment for Azurite. That's an inevitable spoiler because there's not point discussing Aria as human. Azurite makes a misfortune (intelligent creation) of her she stays protecting those ruins and waiting for Azurite. Well, that's the biggest charm about this girl. She's becomes a killing machine, but she regains her memories - she looses humanity, but she has intelligence and senses. She's condemned to wait for Azurite for hundreds years in that dark den and eventually he comes... not alone, but with Leticia. There's a very touching scene of jealousy risen inside Aria towards Leticia and that and her damned fate make her a very memorable character.



Story: Story is superb throughout first four story parts. There's a lot of diabolique fights, lots of death, lots of adventuring. Part 2 and 3 features adventuring inside two different parties and that's just the best moments of the game. Part two is also a perfect slice of life on top of that. So we get to know Leticia in part 1 and eventually lose her. In part 2 after 60 years we discover her soul in a different girl and eventually lose her. At this point I already thought I knew what would happen in leftover parts. But part 3 is totally shocking - there's no Azurite in it, there's no Leticia in it - main three characters are a pub girl, a huge warrior woman and pub girl's brother who wishes to go adventuring and joins that huge warrior woman. For two hours the story lingers and you start to put up with the fact that's it's a totally different story when - BAM - Azurite appears in a totally unexpected way - BAM - Leticia appears and the chapter shortly ends. Ok... now I adjusted my expectations and the leftover stories were bound to be the same Azurite is searching for Leticia, but in other humans forms, easy as that. And fourth chapter gives another shock - there's Azurite in his usual for throughout the whole chapter, but Leticia does not make appearance in this chapter at all - not her soul, pretty much nothing! Just wow. So fifth chapter should finally be about meeting of two heroes, right? NOT. For one and a half hour you watch a slice of life about 7-year old reincarnated Leticia and her 7-year old friends. And I'd like to assure you that watching a slice of life about 7-year old first graders is not fun in any way - that was the most torturing part of the game. But fifth part is the longest one (about 5 hours long), so there is enough time for heroes union and new confrontation setting and final resolution. I'll tackle the fifth chapter in Themes more.


CG: There's a lot of CG, actually. I'm totally satisfied by is quantity and quality. Here are some gore CG for the taste of it. There's a lot of CG, actually. I'm totally satisfied by is quantity and quality. Here are some gore CG for the taste of it.












HCG: Believe it or not, but there are only two and a half hentai scenes in the game. Two scenes for 16 hour long gameplay. I'm sorry, is this really Alice Soft? Well, it is. In order to make up with just two H-scenes there are a lot of half-naked/naked shots. A lot of enemies are drawn the way to amplify eroticism. There are a lot of flashbacks and occasional nudity scenes, so don't worry, it's very much Alice Soft, just adapted to fit the pure love eternal reincarnation story. And the only Azurite and Leticia H event is one of the most memorable in my gaming experience. There's no music and no voice during that. Only the rising and fainting gusts of wind are heard. The scene is maid as manga scrolling strips overlapping each other with up to 4 small screens deployed at one time. Very beautiful and touching.

Sound: Sound is my biggest complain. I'm used to unvoiced games, that's ok. But each bgm fades after some two minutes and during the rest of the scene there's dead silence so I really often had to check whether I forgot to turn on sound or something. Actually, there are also nice sound effects during actions, but everyday life scenes lack them a lot.



Themes: So first four chapters were pretty much brainless merry adventures with some sad resolutions. I loved those the most. But then came final fifth chapter and game suddenly turned into a nakige. The great diabolique/human war broke out and our heroes are hunted from both sides as well as by four Lord Diabolique. Leticia shakes in hysteria crying that's she's tired of running and hiding asking to leave her alone. Azurite is totally depressed as well because he can't give anything besides his feelings to the woman he loves. Those are very depressing scenes that last throughout the whole fifth chapter. But at the same time a lot of serious questions are raised.

1) Time brings change. Leticia was hiding in the forests with Azurite for 11 years and now she's 18 and she's tired, she wants a normal life. Feelings alone aren't a solid basis of relations.

2) What's better - to reincarnate, lose memory and start anew or to keep on living? Surprisingly, I feel like the game says that reincarnating even with memory loss is much better. First four chapters are a vivid example of it. It used to be a great romance story, but once heroes got together and Leticia turned 18 things have changed. She'll soon get old and die of boredom in the forest. Bearing the burden of past lives memory is already difficult. So when fire kings visits her alone in the forest and suggests to wipe her memory she's pretty much ready for both memory wipe and even death and reincarnation since reality has turned into such a heavy burden.

3) What's good and what's evil? Diabolique Lords are almighty cruel creatures that enslave humans, but with the story flow we start to see their characters, their griefs, their losses and they aren't seen as evil anymore. Humans used to be on losing side, but with the invention of firearms the balance shifted and humans started to kill even 24 Diaboliques getting very close to hunting Diabolique Lords. While diaboliques mostly used humans for sex pleasures, humans started to torture diaboliques just for the sake of revenge and those tortures were inhumane. At fifth chapter we're given the ultimate choice - shall we support the Diabolique Lords or shall we keep on hiding and fighting diaboliques. Supporting Diabolique Lords leads us to the first game ending with Azurite regained memories and power of Lord Diabolique of darkness and Leticia happily living with him. This is not a true ending, but I don't see it as a bad ending either. Humans with their lowly desires are hardly better than diabliques. While they were weak, they used to humiliate their own kin. And the story of Leticia in Part 1 is a vivid example of that. Now they got the power and they start to torture and humiliate even diabolique gods. Under diabolique lords dominance the Earth survived for thousands of years and they never really cared much about the humans, never tried to wipe them. And there's big question whether the human dominance going to be better. Azurite understands that and he chooses the third way. No spoilers.

Humor: I don't really need humor to enjoy the story, but it can be a very nice addition to the story. In this game those seldom humor moments present were of Alice Soft bakage heritage. Here's one example of its "humor". Chapter 2 Leticia takes Azurite's clothes and gets to wash it while Azurite sits covered with a blanket. He wants to get breakfast and set coffee, but Leticia notices that it's dangerous and he could get a scorch. Azurite suggests that he wears an apron to prevent that. -But you don't have anything to wear, all your clothes is being washed! -I can wear an apron as I am! -NO! PLEASE! NO WAY!



Overall comments: Atlach-Nacha was the first game of Alice Soft to shake my beliefs in Alice Soft as a sucky company. But it's Diabolique that made me surrender and shake off all the grunts. Diabolique is really an astonishing adventure and pure love story. It's ever surprising, mysterious nature keeps the thrill on all the time and I finished this 16 hour story in just two sittings. It has plenty of touching moments and an ultimately satisfactory ending. It's a waste to bury such story just because the game is old, has command selection gameplay and meciocre sound support. You can always glimpse on the game through my video playthrough as well.



Foreword: Who does not know of Leaf company? Who does not know that its games Shizuku and Kizuato are considered the first modern type visual novels? But how many of us actually played those? There are some good English reviews of those (1 2 3 4 5 6 7) and I initially only relied on those as well. But the historical significance of Kizuato made me change priorities. Throughout the rest of 90-s and the first half of 2000-s I encountered quite many story-focused visual novels that are described by Japanese reviewers as "degraded version of Kizuato", so I really needed to see the original myself to get the proper idea. As for Shizuku... it came first and is a curious blend of old and new types of visual novels. Why did Leaf bother to make two remakes of it if it's a plain nukige about radio waves? Or maybe it's a dark-themed masterpiece akin to Moon by Tactics? I hope to answer those questions here. And I decided to make a comparative review to spice things up. Screenshots on the left belong to Shizuku, on the right - to Kizuato.

Title: Shizuku | Kizuato

Developer: Leaf | Leaf

Date: 1996-01-26 | 1996-07-26

VNDB link: https://vndb.org/v235 | https://vndb.org/v184

Youtube walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4ivg044iMI&list=PLENAECnNmAq-I8SGBuae4loVKdMDk6axP 




Synopsis: When one of his classmates suddenly gets mad in the middle of the class, the protagonist's uncle, one of the teachers in the school, asks him to investigate this matter after school. He starts the investigation with the help of one of the girls from his class, an investigation that will lead them to many horrors...

The protagonist is visiting his four cousins' home. He starts to have weird nightmares. Soon, he finds out that their family has non-human genes and the beasts in them want to hunt, and the ones who hunt are the males. Will he be able to help his cousins, will his love be enough or will he be devoured?

Structure: Three routes + Omake with total number of endings being 12  Six routes + Omake with total number of endings being 26.

Length: 25 hours | 40 hours

Game type: NVL AVG | NVL AVG

Difficulty:  Easy as there are few routes and branches, but to get all 12 endings best to follow walkthrough  | Moderate as there are many routes and endings and it's easy to miss some of bad endings and some omake routes

Character Design rating: 5/10 | 9/10

Protagonist rating: 6/10 6/10

Story rating: 5/10 | 8/10

Game quality: 7/10 | 9/10

Overall rating: 6/10 | 8/10

Rating comments: Nukige-like story really hurts Shizuku. All the main events happen during just one day and there's not even remotely enough time to get to know the girls. Girls also aren't too cute or interesting. Protagonist is a faceless embodiment of the player and we make all the decisions for him, so his presence is not felt at all. Still the game manages not to fall into nukige category and maintains its storyline which is worth praising.

Kizuato characters are totally adorable - every one of them! Each route follows a different pattern. Story is a fascinating one and each roots adds new details to the overall story. Protagonist is a faceless one and without much presence, but a good game does not need the protagonist to be great. So the question hangs in the air - why not 9 or 10 score then? As for me the routes are rushed and follow the same pattern - general route up to the half of it, then getting to know one of the girls better, then something bad happens and we hurry to help. And even though some details are added in consequent routes, those don't add much to the story and after first exciting route - second, third and fourth routes look really plain. True route was also disappointing for me as it added finally something new to the story, but failed to present a satisfying finalizing mark just freezing the state of events as it was.

Protagonist: Nagase Yuusuke is quite a failure as protagonist and being called Nagase-chan by the girls makes him even more humiliating. A totally generic high school student.

Kashiwagi Kouichi is a young adult, so he is at least mature. He's also not really a generic protagonist since he has quite a background behind him. He comes from an ancient Kashiwagi clan and his father mysteriously died as well as the girls father. So he has some mystery behind him, but I don't remember his face being shown and he does not show special personality traits in the dialogue, so I'd call him generic protagonist.




Saori is a red-hair cheerful volleyball team member. Her route comes first and it's a really good route. And not just because of novelty as we see the carcass of the story for the first time. First - Saori has a bright personality and laughs a lot. Second - there is only one H event in her route and it's a voluntary one. Third - her route has the most of life essence as Saori and Yuusuke openly oppose the enemy, put up hell of a fight and emerge victorious from it. If only the other routes were similar. There is also one strong and shocking moment in the route bad ending, but it's the only bad ending that has nothing to do with H events, so it's really nice.

Mizuho is short brown-hair student council secretary. Being the filler mid-game route it is the most miserable route. Mizuho cries often, feels miserable about herself, admits lying all the time and is drawn as a totally self-insufficient personality. She has no friends but Oota and was dragged after her to the student council. Mizuho has no motive to help with the investigation but to help Oota. And on top of that the route is full of helplessness and rape with it ending only thanks to external factors, but not the heroes.

Ruriko is a mysterious short blue-hair girl who turned from a school idol to a weird goofy girl a year ago. She's more like a robot than a girl, but she has a very strong sixth sense, a mysterious aura around her and she gradually gains human traits throughout her route which looks really satisfying. Her route is a true one answering many questions, but it's also a route that features a lot of bad endings with all of the three girls and in that regard is very tiresome to get through.

I would also like to notice the absence of sub-characters in this game. There aren't friends, schoolmates or some external characters. All we have is Yuusuke's uncle and the three girls under influence of radio-waves - one of them being Oota and the others aren't even given names.

Chizuru is the oldest of sisters and the route is the most exciting one as it's full of action and cool-looking CG. Many other people as well as myself call this route a favorite one.

Azusa is a tsundere and has a misfortune to present one of the middle routes - and the result is truly grievous - route is full of H events and adds nothing to the story.

Kaede is a cold-hearted calm sister who devotes her life to a shire. And for the whole route we try to reveal her human traits. Her route tells us the clan story and gets to understand the routes of the problem.

Yumiko is a side-character who works as correspondent. Her route is a very short one (just one hour long!) and is basically a single long H event.

Hatsuno is the true route to my deepest regret. She's the youngest loli sister with bright personality and affection for her onii-chan. I really hoped she would not have her own route, but I guess developers needed an imouto route as well - and Hatsuno makes a great imouto.

Rikka route added only in the last remake of 2009. She's a totally new - maid - character that comes with a totally new after-story with a new villain. And it's a totally good route that adds lots of new cool everyday life scenes for old characters. But just remember that it was not meant to be in the original game and should thus be treated as a sequel with old characters, but since it's just one route it was not wise to release it stand-alone so it was released together with original.



Story: Shizuku story is almost entirely retold in the synopsis. Oota gets mad one day and goes to the hospital. When uncle asks us to investigate strange gatherings of students at night school we can either investigate it or ignore it. If we choose to ignore, we're showed the graduation ceremony that becomes a huge orgy because of commands passed by radiowaves. So radiowaves use is not the mystery of the game - it's showed in the very first hour of the game. Only the mystery of personality of the villain persists, but it also becomes soon uncovered as we come with one of the girls to the night school to bear witness of the events happening there. Each girl has her own reasons to accompany the hero to the night school, but those don't change anything - a confrontation happens followed by game's end. So the game has no mystery, no story and no likable characters (maybe apart Saori) - what's the game for then? My guess is that the game is a thrilling eroge in unusual conditions, nothing more. It barely manages not to fall in the depths of nukige and presents mostly a historical interest.

Kizuato story is not really special. First half of each route takes nice and warm slice of life with only distant sings of the beast living in Koichi. In the second half something happens - either a mysterious enemy shows up or someone gets kidnapped or like in true route we just get to find an ancient cave and explore it. So it's a simple enough composition. But through the dialogues we get to uncover many secrets of the past and get to know the girls well. The most intriguing question is what about the beast part? I'd say it does not have that much emphasis in the game, actually. We get to have strange visions and people torn apart, but there's no telling if those are of Koichi doing. And thankfully beast instincts aren't used as a pretext for rape scenes - that happened only once. There aren't bad endings when Koichi would wreak havoc and kill everyone. Mostly beast instincts only show up during confrontation scenes. And the main theme of the game is learning to control those instincts. So as I see it Kizuato is more of a charage with a fancy intriguing plot rather than a full-scale action driven story. Rikka route is so big that it can easily qualify for a different game. It has a new serious story with some new characters and and presents a very satisfying development with a lot of interaction with all the heroines.



CG: I only played the remastered version, and there are only some 10 non-HCG there which is a dreadfully small number. But what I really liked in Shizuku is the use of camera focus and animated camera shifts. Those really help to put emphasis on dialogue situations and show better what's going of from hero's perspective. Overall there are few outdoor daytime scenes in Shizuku and omnipresent dark areas make up for the gloomy pressure atmosphere.

There is a moderate number of non-HCG in Kizuato, but both CG and HCG look great and really refined there. Most of dialogues take part in well lit areas or on sunny days outdoors which contributes to good impression.

Sound: BGMs are very few and I grew tired of listening to the same main tune each time something important happened. Voicing is good, but due to the game nature those moans really get stuck in the head.

BGMs are sufficient and pleasant, but not special. I totally liked the voicing since the four sisters have very different personalities. Hatsuno voicing is just perfect and always enjoyable to listen to.




Shizuku is not a too complicated game, so it's useless to search for concealed meanings there, but I liked that each character route had a different theme. Saori route has the power of reason and overcoming even hardest obstacles for the right thing. Mizuho route is based on friendship with Oota and has a nice resolution of friendship prevailing all the odds (even though it's the the most weird ending as everyone just forgets about the villain). Rikka route is centered around the inner connection of two siblings.

The curse makes the make theme of Kizuato. The whole clan is cursed with transformation affinity, but the males of the clan also subject to madness at some point of their lives. Koichi is the last male descendant of the clan with the rest of males taking miserable deaths full of suffering. Noone was ever able to cure it or control it. This desperation makes the theme of the game, but on practice the beast problem does not stand as grave in the game.


So Shizuku is not our usual galge, but it has an absolutely awesome part. That's omake. Main game suffers from lack of slice of life part and omake makes up for it. It's a total bakage that breaks the fourth wall constantly. It looks like seiyu and scenarist just wanted to fool around and had their full at it. Basically heroines discuss the game and what kind of character everyone is which leads to forcing Yuusuke to choose the girl he likes the most. And since he can't make a decision girls participate in sport and cooking competitions. 

There was some humor in 2009 Rikka route, but can't remember any of the original. But that awakening scene with two sisters getting embarrassed by the state of Koichi body was nice.

Overall comments: So here are first Leaf visual novels. What makes Kizuato a contemporary visual novel?

  • Different long route for each heroine 
  • Long enough main part with heroines introduction
  • Heroines aren't isolated in their routes but act alongside other heroines in the main course of the story.
  • Text-heavy narration for which NVL system was introduced
  • Has erotic content (which distinguishes from sound novels).
  • Rich sub-character cast.
  • Branched routes and multiple endings including bad ones.

And here's what's wrong with Shizuku:

  • Almost no sub-characters
  • No introduction to heroines (no slice of life part)
  • Too short time period taken
  • Abundance of H events
  • Each girl route follows absolutely the same pattern
  • Game has 12 endings (10 for main game and 2 for omake) and a lot of parts are shared between them, so it gets very repetitive and there's a constant deja vu feeling.
  • Repetitiveness is aggravated by the use of same phrases for countless times with different intonation. There were at least 5 such spots in the game when the characters may repeat the very same phrase for over 10 minutes. It may look fresh for the first time, but later on it only irritates.

Both games systems remind contemporary visual novels, but Shizuku as the first test bullet contains numerous flaws. My plank for masterpiece games is a bit low - 7/10 is enough to get there, so I consider Kizuato with 8/10 a masterpiece. It has great heroines cast, solid intriguing story and it surpasses nowadays charage a long way. 

As for Shizuku, it holds mostly a historical significance, but it still a worthy game if only read Saori route, then the very end of Ruriko route and the hilarious omake, of course.




Foreword: May had zero interesting releases without review for me, so I chose one with the English review already (1). My hope in nakige is crippled, so I wonder if it can be restored with this game, just as it affected this review's author.

Title: Ashita Deatta Shoujo

Developer: Moonstone

Date: 2003-05-30

VNDB link: https://vndb.org/v464

Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSo0XrcBv54&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_DLXni9hleM4mOM7gpQmjf


Synopsis: "It's summer. The place is a crater lake near the naturally ambient, rural village "Takachiho". The protagonist is standing still, blankly looking at the far-away sky.


His memories of the past have been lost.

It's a strange thought, but to him on that day, the sky seems tailored to both dusk and sunrise, a mysterious color..."

The protagonist, Tachibana Takashi was a freeloader in a house, living there with four beautiful sisters. Until suddenly, one day, a sad incident occurred...

Game type: Rural crime mystery with memory loss

Character Design rating: 6/10

Protagonist rating: 6/10

Story rating: 9/10

Game quality: 9/10

Overall rating: 8/10


Rating comments: Wow, it's a very good score from me to a nakige/utsuge. Basically only relatively weak characters and two lolis downgraded the overall impression. There is also lack of CG, and many important scenes conveyed by text alone.

Protagonist: Ryuu is our typical guy, representation of reader. Game shifts from present to past very frequently, but protagonist does not have memory in any of periods. Typical good-for-nothing lad.


Characters: I played just two routes, as usual. Both Sanae and Fuyuka are our older sisters. But if they wore the same clothes it would be impossible to distinguish between them - the only difference is that one has straight hair and the other one wavy one. The same, actually, may be told for younger sisters Rin and Misato - only hair and clothes makes them look different. The biggest flaw with the heroines is that they hardly really communicate with each other, it's just so wrong for blood-related sisters living together for all their lives. And it's pretty weird how side-character girls are better fleshed out.


Story: Reader is hooked right from the start with time shifts and mysterious diary reading. Whenever I thought that game finally entered SOL state with eating tarts and such, I was corrected over and over as there were always dialogue lines with ambiguous context or sudden change of atmosphere and music. I don't think this game has filler scenes, it really punishes for the lack of attention. There are different mysteries hinted all the time. 

The directorship is really cool as time shifts are presented in really confusing manner, like in present they go home, then time shifts to past and they also just arrive home. 

The biggest problem is the ending. There is that a-ha moment when suspense cover yields, but the shift between the main game flow and the revelation is huge which can easily alienate some readers.


Overall comments: Game resembles Kizuato from Leaf in many ways, but deliberately takes a turn towards ambiguity and suspense over action. I liked both approaches. Ashita Deatta Shoujo demands more attention and imagination from the reader and gives less in the field of visuals and characters. But curious mind will find a lot to like in this metaphysical approach to the mystery.

Oh, come on, just go read this other review (1), it's so much better.



The masterpieces of the year are:
1. Miko to Akemi no Jungle Adventures ,
2. Salad no Kuni no Tomato-hime ,
3. Eiyuu Densetsu Saga
4. Again
5. Jigoku no Renshuu Mondai
6. Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin: Ohotsk ni Kiyu
7. Corridor
8. Wingman
9. Time Tunnel
10. Zarth

First of all, Death Trap is not included in the masterpieces list because it does not feel exciting to me. But we're still left with as many as 10 masterpieces on our hands! Lots of novelties and good stories this year, but the VN of the year 1984 is Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin: Ohotsk ni Kiyu. And one of the reasons for that is that this work both used command selection AND allowed to use only a short list of commands. Another reason is that the game feels very realistic both in characters, dialogues and landscapes. The mystery is great as well since the three consecutive murders seem completely unrelated. No other work in 1984 is same engaging. It just feels like a professional AAA class game like no other game of 1984.

1. Abyss アビス [8401] Humming Bird Soft 1
Events take place in 3001. You were in the middle of the confidential "ABYSS" space mission when got abducted by the Space Crime Syndicate and got memory erased. You need to know where you are and transfer coordinated to the mother ship in order to destroy Shinjigate Base.
Text parser is rather merciless. The aim is to destroy this space syndicate that succeeded in developing the final weapon. There's a full video walkthrough of the game.


2. Akujo Kamakiri 悪女かまきり [8401] CSK Research Institute
Game is based on the events of the movie of the year 1984 with the same title. Fujimura Masako aims to get insurance money by killing Dojima with an electric cord while he takes a bath.
Game does not have much text and most of the time it's the items rendering one by one over and over. Text parser is used. Mouth of the heroine is animated. The furniture is totally unproportional and leaves a bad feeling of CG. She kills the man and leaves in the red car, probably just like in the movie.


3. Doukyou ~Kaisou Densetsu~ 道鏡 ~怪僧伝説~ [8401] CSK Research Institute
Game is a fantasy based on legend of Doukyuu - a yokai of a mirror during 8th century (Nara period).
Historical erotic adventure with monks and mirrors. At least this time numbered choices are used instead of text parser.


4. Manji 卍 -まんじ- [8401] CSK Research Institute
The wife is cheating on the man with another woman. The man tries to show his love to his wife by lying down with that woman partner. The original is a novel by Junichiro Tanizaki, and in 1983 the movie of the same name was produced by Toei.
The game begins with the scene where the wife, the hero and the wife's mistress are sleeping side by side and the aim is to lie down with the mistress without waking up wife, otherwise it's a bad end. Answers need to be input with katakana. So this is where NTR genre starts!


5. Office Love no Tehodoki ~For Lunch Time~ オフィスラブの手ほどき ~FOR ランチタイム~ [8401] CSK Research Institute
You're a section manager of a company. So the only free time you have is lunch time between 12-00 and 13-10. There is a 23-year old colleague that can be targeted.
Each command wastes some 30 seconds of the lunch time. Command input made this game very difficult. There are very few common commands that are accepted. And there are even traps set like not extinguishing cigarette starts a fire.


6. Onsen Mimizu Geisha 温泉みみず芸者 [8401] CSK Research Institute
A man and a geisha at hot springs.
Game is a part of Serious World game pack. There is both text parser and command selection. The aim is to get man's percentage and geisha's percentage to the top up from 0%.


7. Time Secret タイムシークレット [8401] Bond Soft
You can go back and forth in time to different eras to solve puzzles. In addition there are battles and you have hp and attack stat as well as weapon attack stat. In Time Secret you need to discover the weakness of alien "Danak" race in order to save the colonial planet "Farras" in 2552 AD.
A very good SF implementation with a large number of screens (CG). Both command input and command selection are used.


8. Kidou Senshi Gundam Gundam Daichi ni Tatsu 機動戦士ガンダム ガンダム大地に立つ [840310] Rapport 1 2 3
Game covers episodes 1 and 2 of the anime work with the same title.
Command input is used. Action is quite good, but commands are way too specific like get beamrifle, get namarme, catch sayla etc. Quite impossible to figure them out without walk through even if u seen that title. It's funny that the output is actually in English. There is quite much information on the game in English in the three links listed above.


9. Demons Ring デーモンズリング [8403] Nihon Falcom 1
Crawley, the king of Jeremiah was destroyed by demon king Salone. Now that his son Dumrin is of age, he sets off to avenge his father.
Game is basically about mazes. That's what shows us opening of multiple corridors (I think the first opening in VNs, no music ofc) and that's how it really is. There are mazes of the house and of the undergrounds. Game uses new technology to render full screen in just one and a half seconds and this game is the perfect show off of that technology. That's why there are so many maze screens which would need over 10 seconds to render as of late and now just 1. That was quite revolutionary and it set a new standard for the new games to come.


10. Miko to Akemi no Jungle Adventures ミコとアケミのジャングルアドベンチャー [8403] SystemSoft
Miko and Akemi went on a long-awaited African trip, but their airplane crashed. Now you need to lead them out of wild jungle with dangers on every corner.
Game features scoring system depending on how much you do before leaving the jungle. You need to escape the animals that you encounter. This game is one of the originators of command selection genre. It's possible to only select commands to beat the game. The drawback is that the number of commands is huge, some 30. But given the large number of screens that you need to go to the drawing speed is painful.


11. Keiko-chan no Himitsu 慶子ちゃんの秘密 [8404] Champion Soft
Your tutor Keiko disappeared from the room. You need to find her to continue love lessons.
Searching games weren't frequent yet and it felt fresh. The item you need to find is placed randomly around the room so it's not enough to memorize location once. And there are a lot of such situations where you need to find something. Command input is only allowed in katakana.


12. Kaze no Tani no Naushika 風の谷のナウシカ [8406] Game Technopolis 1
Game is based on the anime work of the same title. You manipulate main character Nausicaa with numeric keyboard, collect items, shoot, ride your vehicle.
There seems to be several different games for different platforms, but the game was so crude and ugly that there's a legend that the director Miyazaki was so furious that he banned gamefication of any of his works ever again. It was crude for year 1984. When I look at picture now I just wish I won't see nightmares featuring that. There's a nice article in English on it.


13. Nanako SOS ななこSOS [8406] Game Technopolis 1
Game's based on anime work of the same title. There are a few mini-games in the game, one of which places Nanako against a giant aardvark in a yakyuken game. The aardvark gives her hints if she wins, but she has to strip if she loses. Nanako ending up naked results in a Game Over.
Characters ask you questions and you need to answer them in katakana. This is a game for hardcore fans of the anime that I've never even heard of (probably because it's old anime for younger kids). Native speakers reviewing the game had great trouble getting it through because of very specific anime-related command input.


14. Alice アリス [8407] PSK 1
This is a parody on Alice in Wonderland. Alice opens a book, follows the bunny into the hole and gathers notes to decipher JAWON which is a key to get out of this world.
Quite a beautiful and entertaining work and also with many naked scenes - the price was as high as 8,000 yen at that time and the size was two diskettes. There's a lot of weird adventures like stealing a magical bra and giving it to the shady raincoat man. We even get to kill a dragon at some point. Command input in English characters is used and there's a walkthrough around, so it's possible to clear it even on emulator.


15. Ankoku-jou ~Souzou-shin Gyarian no Fukkatsu~ 暗黒城 ~創造神ギャリアンの復活~ [8407] Enix
The game is an adventure part of the series of jrpg games. Dark apostle wants to become the ruler of the world with the help of legendary mirror of Laval. In this grand adventure featuring 9 chapters and over 460 split screens you need to defeat him.
It was the hugest adventure of the time, but gameplay was quite boring and lacked originality. Lots of screens are actually the variants of the same CG with minimal differences. There's very little text on top of that so screens change at very fast speed.


16. Salad no Kuni no Tomato-hime サラダの国のトマト姫 [8407] Hudson Soft 1 2 3 4 5 6
The evil Minister Pumpkin betrayed his king, kidnapped his daughter, the lovely Princess Tomato, and began to terrorize the land of vegetables. The king entrusted Sir Cucumber with the task of freeing his daughter and his kingdom. Without further delay, the brave warrior embarks on a long journey.
This old japanese adventure was the first to be imported to the West and thus it's well known there. I'll only give some review links, but there is a great number of reviews for this game.


17. Eiyuu Densetsu Saga 英雄伝説サーガ [8408] Arrow Soft 1
Dragon assaults village and girl is needed as sacrifice to calm him down. In order to help your sister you set off to find the holy sword and face dragon at the sacrificial site far in the north.
The graphics are superb compared to other games of this year. Also you only choose from commands instead of typing them. There is a good English review on this game. The game is fascinating even today. First of all, you need to make your map of use premade one by other users to understand where to go. Basically you need to move only by roads and explore the three caves scattered around. Caves can bring avalanche (instant game over), spider battle (winning is based on luck) or finding the legendary sword. And after that all is left is to discover that dragon. And there's a cheat - when you die it's possible to say a secret phrase and be resurrected with the legendary sword. Game's beautiful, because all the images are drawn elsewhere and then digitalized. The screen rendering is instant. Pure command selection in English is used. The game is definitely a masterpiece and the paragon to look up to.


18. Zarth ザース [8408] Enix 1 2 3 4
In the 21th century, powerful computer systems were invented. However, the humans failed to control them. Near the end of the century, one of such systems, Orion, triggered a devastating nuclear war. A few survivors found a shelter and went into a cryogenic sleep. A hundred years later, they wake up and go out onto the surface, to face a new, unknown world...
Inferior technology (quite long screen rendering speed at MSX), but otherwise very impressive. People at that time could not believe that such beautiful pictures could be achieved with primitive MSX. And Zarth came 3 months earlier than Wingman. So the survivors of nuclear world war wake up 100 years later from cryogenic sleep. But now the regenerated Earth is in danger again - you need to go to the Moon space station and get rid of nuclear weapons. This game is often referred as Mirika, because everyone remembers the magazine ad with her beautiful face while Mirika appears in game only in opening and never again - such a bummer! Zarth should have been the final part of tetralogy, but first three parts were never finished. Good game with good action, but buried by inferior technology and manual command input. There is also quite much information in English available.


19. Jigoku no Renshuu Mondai 地獄の練習問題 [8409] Humming Bird Soft 1 2
The main character is a lower angel who entertains an exam to become senior angel. It's a practice exam in the hell surroundings. You talk to different people in hell layers - Cleopatra, Hitler, Dracula, John Lennon, Napoleon, Merlin Monroe - walk around lake of blood and mountain of needles and answer the quiz.
Depending on your actions on the way to exit, you gain score. 60 is needed to pass the exam. If someone gains 100 points and sends the proof to the developer, his name will be published in the magazine. That was promissed. It seems impossible to gain 100 points, but imagine the competition! Game is short and tedious since you need to input commands manually. There's a very good English article on the game.


20. Shin Taketori Monogatari 新竹取物語 [8410] Cross Media Soft
The game is a gag parody on japanese Taketori legend. The purpose of the game is to discover anything at any opportunity and have fun.
There are three difficulty levels and multiple endings. Game features some nude scenes. Slow rendering of every screen makes gameplay painful. Since it's a parody it's supposed to bring more fun for those familiar with all these ancient legends and folktales. A very original work taking into account multiple difficulty settings, multiple endings and possibility to enter characters in English, romaji and kana.


21. Shiro Densetsu 白伝説 [8410] Crystal Soft (old)
It is the land of conflict. Red and blue people fight each other day after day. White people appeared - "We shall rule this land". Can you proclame leadership over the land as a white man?
Setting is horrible. And since you're being thrown into the game without even this little knowledge unless you read the manual, game looks like a chain of random events. You need to get to village elder and then revive some god after a maze of caverns. Everything else is optional, but there seems to be a lot of such optional secrets. Command input and slow rendering don't make things easier. The feature of this game is physical strength bar which depletes with every action, so taking notes required.


22. The Death Trap ザ・デストラップ [8410] Square Co. 1 2 3 4
During the 1980-ies, the relationship between the free world and the socialist block became increasingly tense and hostile. Many countries began to prepare for a global-scale war, working on new weapons. One of such countries is the mysterious "B country" in Eastern Africa. Eager to seize power with biological weapons, an organization associated with this country kidnaps the famous scientist Dr. Gitanes. An agent named Benson is sent to B country in order to rescue the doctor and avert the new threat to world peace.
Some african "B country" kidnaps a famous scientist who can produce biological weapons and you're on spec op to rescue him. First game made by Square with scenario produced by future FF creator and the most financial successful game at that time selling over 500,000 copies. Command input still present, but screen renders from left to right and quite fast. Graphics is top notch for the time. Game features half screen as your outlook, half screen as map (always present) and text at the bottom. So what made this game so popular? My guess is the seriousness of approach. Serious story - briefing at headquarters - flight on a helicopter - using a parachute - map movement - two separate branches of how to get to the scientist - it all looks professional compared to amateur games of that time. Only Eiyuu Densetsu Saga had graphics same good, but had quite plain gameplay and weird screen sequence (like you get 5 slightly different pictures in color one by one, then the rest disappears and only main one stays). There is quite much information on the game in English.


23. Corridor コリドール [8411] Koei 1
King sends three princes on a journey so that the prince who gets the most wonderful journey becomes his successor. The player prince is searching for the legendary cursed castle to become next king.
You get text and images (usually separately - one or another) and often get to make a choice among 1-6 variants. There are stats and lots of fights that rely on some real mechanic, not just luck. But most of the time we just read a wall of text. There are lots of bad endings as well.


24. Godzilla ゴジラ [8411] Toho
Game is based on the first Godzilla movie. There are three parts - first you investigate the incident - then you pursue the monster and invent what to do with it and finally you confront Godzilla with oxygen destroyer.
Game's quite lackluster for year 1984 - still low screen rendering and still command input with ugly graphics. Toho games are the only ones that I can't load with emulator whatever modes or roms I try.


25. Kaitei Gunkan 海底軍艦 [8411] Toho
Game's based on 1963 year japanese film about submarine. It is divided in two parts: first you search for an enemy with command input and then action based underwater battle.
Another Toho game. And this the rom is just impossible to find. Game's graphics done in basic so they are... both bad and slow to render and paint.


26. Wingman ウイングマン [8411] TamTam Co., Ltd. 1 2 3
Kenta is a Japanese teenager who is obsessed with superhero stories. One day, he meets a mysterious girl named Aoi. She tells him she is from a dimension called Powdream, and gives him a powerful item called Dream Note, which can fulfill wishes. Kenta is eager to realize his dreams by asking to be transformed into a superhero named Wingman. However, the dictator Rimel fears that the new hero will endanger his existence in Powdream, and swears to get rid of Kenta by separating him from Aoi.
Wingman is a popular manga and anime hero. This is a story of Aoi, a girl who escaped her dimension to protect "Dream note". The hero of righteousness "Wingman" is to protect Aoi. There are four fights and after each fight you learn new fighting techniques, but loosing does not affect the game outcome. This is definitely professional level of work. CG, faces, battles, different weapons, constant use of sound effects. And the creator is Enix company. Now i know why FF series were a success. Because professionals from Square (The Death Trap) and Enix were there. Story is original side story of anime. The game actually has a full English review made at our times by the guy I next to worship for playing such old games nowadays.


27. Harry Fox は~りぃふぉっくす [841210] Micro Cabin 1
Little fox child caught a disease called Romus disease. Mother fox remembers a story from old woman that a certain mushroom cures this disease and sets off on a journey to a Shinto shrine where those mushrooms grow. Mother fox encounters various dangers o the forest.
I've countered 10 animals, one hunter and a swarm of bees on the mother's way. Scenery is very bright, screen is rendered vertically and very fast like in Eiyuu Densetsu Saga. Text shows on the same screen as image and there are some really cute animals, including fox itself. Sound effects show up when needed and they're better than usual short beeps. Text parser with katakana input is used.


28. Again アゲイン [8412] Enix
Heavens dweller needs to live 7 lives to become a Holy Spirit .There are 7 short stories. Each story is a life we live to become Holy Spirit in the end. All stories vary in gameplay: there is rpg story, surgery opperation, puzzle etc Finally all stories get connected.
The game takes multiple forms and is unique for that. That's a new level of storytelling - a conceptual work. There's a good video walkthrough.


29. Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin: Ohotsk ni Kiyu 北海道連鎖殺人 オホーツクに消ゆ [8412] Login Soft 1 2 3 4
A corpse of a man is discovered at Harumi Wharf, Tokyo Bay (game features real geographical locations). The main character, police inspector, investigates the identity of the victim with his subordinate Kuroki and tracks the source to Hokkaido island. Second and third murder cases occur one after another. What's the purpose of the criminal?
Another murder investigation from the same authors as Portopia Renzoku Satssujin Jiken (1983). Screen renders slow but picture is made very simple to make the pace good. You get to choose from 9 commands, so tedious, but not too much. As for the story, what happens next differs with pc88 and later versions. A very realistic and persuading setting. I can see the appeal here. There is enough information in English on the game.


30. Time Tunnel タイムトンネル [8412] Bond Soft
In Time Tunnel story picks up where Time Secret Ended. Your time machine collapsed and your are taken prisoner at space station. You need to use this planet Time Tunnel technology to go back in 2552 AD and fight off Danak invasion.
In these games you can go back and forth in time to different eras to solve puzzles. In addition there are battles and you have hp and attack stat as well as weapon attack stat. Time Tunnels has as much as 4 endings including a bad end. 140 screen splits. Command inputs and slow screen rendering again. On your time travels you get to meet some celebrities like Beethoven or Murasaki Shikibe. This is probably the first visual novel to implement multiple endings which are four in this game. And not everything is done with text parser here - directions are used to move around N S E W. The story of the game makes it a masterpiece, but it's next to impossible to play nowadays.


31. Lagrange L2 ラグランジュL2 [8412] Vehicle Software
Federal military research ship "Gallia 201" was destroyed by a mysterious missile attack in area L-2 on the way home from Mars back to Earth. The only survivor escaped by jumping with a spacesuit in the open space. Out of pure luck he was found and dragged by nearby ship...
Wow, this game is so serious and difficult. Basically you wander at the space station with an aim to fly away on a spaceship. Some tasks are timed which is insane with command input. There are 14 scenes overall with each presenting some kind of puzzle.

The masterpieces of the year are:
Joshi Ryou Panic,
Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken,
Star Arthur Densetsu I ~Wakusei Mephius~,
Mio no Mystery Adventure,
Dezeni Land.
The VN of the year 1983 is Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken, because it introduced command selection that was used for many years to come. It's a huge step from text parser. There was another revolutionary game Star Arthur Densetsu that introduced point-and-click elements for the first time, but the main part remained with the text parser there.


1. Lolita ロリータ [8305] PSK 1 2
Lolita: Yakyuuken is a simple video game adaptation of yakyuuken, a Japanese parlor game that is essentially strip rock-paper-scissors. The gameplay involves pressing one of the three numbered keys (1, 2 or 3) corresponding to the rock, paper and scissors moves of the game, trying to beat the opponent's choice. All this is done while seeing a drawing of a young girl. The girl removes an item of her clothing after each successful round, and the player wins the game when she is completely naked. The player character has five symbolic clothes items, i.e. losing five rounds leads to a Game Over.
Game is made by one person in a week as a hobby to show to friends.


2. Lolita 2 ロリータ2 [8305] PSK 1
It is a very simple text-only adventure in which the protagonist must track young girls after school and have them perform various actions (a few of them of a remotely sexual nature). The sparse descriptions are in Japanese, but the text parser is English-only, recognizing the four directions (N, S, W and E) and a few basic commands such as "Look" and "Use". Much of the game is spent navigating the protagonist through the invisible, text-only maze by typing the directional commands. A few items must be found and used in order to complete the game.
It's more like a bunch of mini-games with CG as reward. The aim is actually to assault 10 girls and not be caught by the police officer.


3. Joshi Ryou Panic 女子寮パニック [8306] Enix
You infiltrate a girl's dormitory to try to find your kidnapped lover.
Game was innovative in a way that it did not have either command parser or command selection. It's just like modern visual novels - you select an action and game goes on to till the next branch. Game has time limit and multiple bad endings. That's a real masterpiece of its time.


4. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken ポートピア連続殺人事件 [8306] Enix 1 2 3 4 5
Kouzou Yamakawa, the president of the Loan and Savings Company, was found dead inside his mansion. Despite all the evidence indicating that it was a suicide, a detective (i.e. you) and his assistant arrive at the scene for further investigation.
The player must resolve the mystery of a murder by searching for clues, interacting with characters, and solving item-based puzzles.
There are at least four English reviews of the game.


5. Oooku Maruhi Monogatari 大奥マル秘物語 [8307] Nihon Falcom
Main character is a female who comes to the inner chambers of Ooku castle in search of her master favor. She performs various tasks with the ultimate aim of giving birth to a child.
Game has both selection out of several variants close to modern visual novels and frequent command input sequences. The title has a huge "secret" sign encircled and actually it's really difficult to get what should be used where in this game.


6. Star Arthur Densetsu I ~Wakusei Mephius~ スターアーサー伝説 Ⅰ ~惑星メフィウス~ [8307] T&E SOFT Inc. 1 2 3
In 3826 Jamil leads an invasion against Galactic Federation and destroys one planet after another. The main character Star Arthur is searching for the legendary sword to crush Jamil's ambitions.
Game is beautiful enough and occupies as much as three floppy discs. Most of the time you need to break free from a prison or some other secluded area, like a desert. Command input is used.


7. Mio no Mystery Adventure ミオのミステリーアドベンチャー [8309] SystemSoft
You get caught in the rain and hide in the mansion. Upon entry you hear "I've got a present for you - It's your death!" Now you got to solve puzzles, defeat devil, the master of the house and find a way out.
Each room is a puzzle that needs to be solved with command input to proceed. There are also N S W E directions to keep in mind.


8. Lolita Syndrome ロリータ・シンドローム [8310] Enix 1 2 3
Pretty girls live in the Maison Rolita. In order to make friends with the girls, you'll go play with them. They're waiting for you in rooms 1 through 5. Now, go into their rooms and play!
There's a good English review of it.


9. Dezeni Land デゼニランド [8312] Hudson Soft 1 2
The aim of the game is to find a legendary treasure hidden in the Dezeni Land amusement park and safely escape. The game features numerous areas in the amusement park.
There's a good English review of it.


10. Ooi! Kaguya-hime ~Kinuginu no Wakare~ おーい! かぐや姫 ~衣衣の別れ~ [8312] Ponyca 1
You're placed in a field of humongous bamboo filled with menacing birds. You might think the idea is to shoot the birds, but it isn't; instead, you have to shoot the proper section of bamboo before you run out of ammo or the birds hit you enough to end the game. Successfully clearing the stage causes the princess who is garbed in several layers of kimono to take one off.
The reward is erotic drawings. It's very surprising that instead of shooting birds you need to shoot proper section of bamboo and find princess there.


11. Star Arthur Densetsu II ~Ankoku Seiun~ スターアーサー伝説 Ⅱ ~暗黒星雲~ [8312] T&E SOFT Inc.
The story picks up where part one ended. You obtain the legendary sword. A hologram of a two thousand year old wise man sends you to Orion with the newly obtained weapon and your adventures on the way there take the whole game time.
It features recognition of four parts on the screen for point-and-click and also has 3d shooting sequences. It could not repeat the success of the original game though.


12. Shijigen Shoujo Ridia 四次元少女リディア [8312] Champion Soft 1
You are a member of science object investigation team and are on a mission to investigate the mystery of Bermuda. You end up in a parallel world and continue investigation.
Game was shipped on 4 floppy drives. Stereoscopic glasses are included with it which are useful for some scenes. That's really innovative - Champion Soft makes a remarkable appearance at that time already.

Blog purpose 

Well, I've been around VNs for about 15 years. As far as I can remember, my first game was MS-DOS Three Sisters Story, what we know now as San Shimai. At that time such games were the first erotic games along with Snake games and Poker ones and were referred as forbidden fruit. That game was a shock - what should have been a light experience turned out to be a really difficult story. All the characters were so nice that I really did not want to blackmail their father and looked for ways to stop my brother from revenge. Risa was so young that the only feeling I had was to protect her. The scene of fire and confrontation with brother was very well set. So what's the blog purpose? I'll get there... eventually...

So over this time I've played a lot of VNs, mostly in japanese with Translation Aggregator and sometimes with machine translation just because I missed VNDB appearance and kept thinking that TLWiki had the full list of english translated VNs... how I was WRONG. I've even looked through all the titles on Getchu just to pick several companies which art I especially liked. One of those games was Katahane by Tarte and I just played all games of that company since I'm kind of completionist (like I've watched over 1000 anime titles till had absolutely nothing left to interest me, watched all the doramas that interested me at d-addicts wiki etc etc) and those were very weird games, but at least I got a quite different outlook. So, the purpose of the blog? I know, I know, any time soon I'll be there...

So my purpose is to know absolutely all of VNs great stories. But I see some difficutlies in there (you see them too, right?). Anime has only about 3500 TV titles (and there's just a handful of really interesting OVA) and the majority of them have subs, so watching 1000 tv seasons of anime is not that big of a problem. So what should I do with over 20,000 novels of average 10 hours length with my still limited knowledge of japanese and greatly limited time? I've got and easy answer - just get rid of bad VNs and read good thorough reviews on the plot of good VNs. Phew, case closed... Well, not really. So the purpose of this blog... no, not yet! But I promise it wont take long!

So VNDB actually discovered the world of translated VNs for me but description tells us quite nothing about the game, only about the synopsis and no matter how many times i reread it, I don't seem to understand anything about the game. And discussions either show the everlasting 0 or some unanswered question and almost never a review, let along a thorough one. And since there are a lot of VNs there without the needed tags, I can completely miss some titles, which is inappropriate for such a completionist. Reviews are scattered around multiple blogs and forums and google tends to forget to render a great deal of them. Visual novels are virtually books, books = stories, that's the most important aspect of them and can't be ignored. So I really need a review section on VNDB. And since it might not come in our lifetime, I've promissed ( https://vndb.org/t950.310 ) to make my own vndb for reviews till such section comes to life. And here it is http://vndbreview.tigrimigri.com

Since I've zero experience with web design I had to use a ready solution - semantic mediawiki (and grind through that). There are quite some annoying technical restrictions which are gracefully avoided in VNDB and no beauties of custom css and such, but it does the job and allows me to gather reviews and show the result in a comfortable way. That's what really matters. Even though it's on a free hosting with free domain I really hope you can add some links of reviews and impressions in there as well since I can miss smth from 98,000 posts of VN talk in here.

And since I hate to waste other people's time here's my review of one of antique VN oddities Cosmology of Kyoto to make the whole post useful.


Cosmology of Kyoto 

Foreword: Today's patient is Cosmology of Kyoto. There are quite a lot of English reviews of the game, but although the general idea behind them is overall praising - none actually gave any kind of evaluation score and that's something that i'm going to fix here.
Title: Cosmology of Kyoto

Producers: Soft Edge & Yano Electric

Release Date: 1993 (english version 1994-08-01 for Mac OS)

VNDB Linkhttps://vndb.org/v14314

Game Type: Unique eduactional story on Heian period in Japanese history
Summary: Step into the mind of an ancient Japanese person in the Heian period in ancient Kyoto. Live their fears, fight their demons, and understand their history and legends by actually experiencing them first hand.
Story Length: Medium (10-30 Hours)

Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy

Comments: The Story is more or less easy to grasp as there are only few actions that actually needed to be taken to get the endgame notion. What makes it this long is slow adaptability to interface, game mechanics and great the abundance of exploration options.
Character Design Rating: 8/10

Story Rating: 10/10

Protagonist Rating: 5/10

Game Quality: Varies

Overall Rating: 8/10

Rating Comments: I am most assuredly going to be blamed for setting such a low rating to a unique educational spiritual and revolutionary game for the time of its issue, but i believe i have some good points to support my choice.

First things first - mechanics of the game. Cosmology of Kyoto is and interactive adventure and most of the time we spend wondering the streets. Turning only allowed by 90 degrees. There are only three things that are worth mentioning here. We need a katana to defend from multiple vagabonds. We need to learn Sutra to defend from demons. We need special outfits to be allowed to special places.


The example of extinguishing demons with Sutra

There are several other objects that have limited utility. Some items are just needed to be given to the right person. Money is good to learn rumors. Mirror useful to see what garments u have on. I've only found one utility for the bow - to shoot at flying kimono in one of the events, but there might be more.
Nothing can surprise the inhabitants. Moreover some 80% of them turn out to be either demons or possessed.
Events, CG and animation are great but events and reading through encyclopedia take only couple hours of pure time, and the number of hours of seeking for anything on the streets take hours and hours. Game really takes it slow and that's something that contemporary consumer is not accustomed to.

Character Summary: There are only several named characters in the game and all of them are covered well by encyclopedia. Half of them are mad, the other half are priests and warriors who  actually help us defend from devils in some events. Protagonist has no character at all. Despite the fact that we create our body and face at the beginning of the game - with each death we're given a random body.


The most useful character in game



Encyclopedia is the single thing that's absolutely fabulous
Sexual Content: None
Comments: The only couple times the naked woman's breast actually appeared on the screen the woman was eaten alive or strangled to death the very next second. Those several women that actually showed interest in the protagonist were in a few minutes time decapitated/torn to pieces/cut through.
Affection for the Characters: None
CG Score: 10/10. The game actually looks amazing for the year 1993. Pretty much every creature and person is animated when you approach them close enough. The game boasts 256 colors and the actual picture still looks more or less decent.

Music Score: 5/10. I failed to hear any music. It might be due to the fact that i failed to find Mac PC to play in original and used DosBox for that. But as for voices, all the dialogues are voiced (but not the protagonist) and voicing quality is good.


Some hell layer. Human eating his own brains is quite a mild example of what's happening there.
Addictiveness: Quite Low. When you beat the game since there are only couple dozen events in the game and apart of that it's just aimless wandering around the streets with an ugly interface and talking to beggars trying to know something new.
  • Unique atmosphere of medieval Japan
  • A well made built-in encyclopedia that holds information on all the locations, all the named characters, all the events background and what not.
  • Great events and actual pictures. I think i've seen about a hundred of different demons with their unique faces and bodies. The scenes and very vivid and memorable, especially those of seven layers of hell.
  • Game claims to be educational and contains quite a few historic figures.
  • Most of the time is spent in aimless wondering
  • Game fails to exhort educational function due to the fact that all historical events are greatly folklorized and fails to play entertainment function since apart of rare events there's nothing really fun about it.
  • Interface and controls are very simplistic for the interactive adventure exploration game
  • Several bugs that make the game freeze. E.g. there are two cool old men, one 800 and another 900 years old who know absolutely everything in the world, but while speaking to them game always crashes.
  • There aren't masterpieces this month, but among more traditional visual novels Trouble Chaser Dai 4 Wa - Saishuukai definitely stands out, it's also the most interesting episode in the series being the final one.

  • 1. A Hard Day's Night 吉永サユリがやってくる ヤァ!ヤァ!ヤァ! A Hard Day's Night [951006] Hard
    Teacher instructs the class that at summer vacation textbooks are prohibited and only erotic journals are ok to read. And then he visits students at various locations to check if they follow instructions properly.
    Game is made like a parody, but things go ecchi very fast.
    2. Manami ~Ai to Koukan no Hibi~ 真奈美 ~愛と交換の日々~ [951006] Red Zone
    Manami sex life with her partner has become dull, but everything changes with meeting a swinger couple at dancing lessons course.
    The most weird thing in the game is that Manami whose name is in the title does not have much action during the game after the opening sequence. The focus is on her partner and different swinger club wives.
    3. Trouble Chaser Dai 4 Wa - Saishuukai トラぶるCHASER 第4話 最終回 [951006] Nihon Create
    In the final episode Daisuke gets kidnapped and it's revealed why he's been hunted for this whole time.
    All the mysteries get uncovered and we get to look at villain point of view. There's of course a grand battle involved. Since 3rd episode of the game is a lost piece we also meet some new girl pilot for the first time here.
    4. Majo Gari no Yoru ni 魔女狩りの夜に [951013] Ail 1 2
    Majo-gari means "witch-hunt"; indeed, that is the only thing the protagonist of the game, a young priest living in an unspecified European-like town, thinks about. According to his own words, he believes neither in God nor in the devil; his life is dedicated to one horrifying passion: torturing innocent women...
    There is an English review.
    5. Gakuen Bakuretsu Tenkousei ! 学園爆裂転校生! [951020] ZyX
    A fighting girl transfers to a girls school. Rules and student council are very strict there. After the girl refuses to dress normally and give away her gloves and kneel-pads the student council kidnaps her roommate.
    There are several endings with some being bad ones. The aim is to go around the school, trigger events and beat enemies which leads to les scenes. The overall playtime and the number of CG are small.
    6. Immoral Study Scenario 3: Asakura Manami インモラルスタディ シナリオ3 朝倉まなみ [951020] Scoop 1 2 3
    The third scenario of Immoral Study describes yet another somewhat unusual teaching experience in the life of Mr. Hitosuji, a young and handsome private tutor. This time, the victim... err... pupil is Asakura Manami, a shy, quiet girl who lives together with her mother. Hitosuji is supposed to make Manami a better student - but instead he chooses to participate in S&M relationship between mother and daughter...
    Game is localized and has impressions in English.
    7. Koko wa Rakuensou 2 ここは楽園荘2 [951020] Foster 1 2 3 4
    The Paradise Heights apartment has changed after half of your uncle's company got liquidated. After the money went, so did some of the tenants. Now Keigo Nakadai (You) works for a toy making company (but still stays at Paradise Heights).
    Rumor has it that a competiting company is stealing your brilliant ideas...and the source of the leak is someone with high rank in your company! Fortunately, the new tenants also work at the company as you join forces with them to find out who is conducting industrial espionage behind your back...as well as some entertainment on the side...
    There are English reviews.
    8. Briganty ~The Roots of Darkness~ ブリガンティ ~The Roots of Darkness~ [951027] Giga 1 2 3
    Gady is a black magician and a skillful martial artist who travels around with his personal fairy Leena. Gady is more interested in sexy girls than in anything else, and Leena calls him "the pervert of the century". One day the two of them find a girl in the woods who begs for help. After Gady agrees to help her, she robs all his money and disappears. Before long Gady and Leena meet a sword master girl named Sephina, who explains that her sister started acting strangely after finding a mysterious sword. This is where Gady's adventure begins.
    One of the most hated VN creators Giga makes it appearance on the visual novel scene! But they are praised for action game and their first game is actually an action, or rather a platformer. There's a good English review for this game.
    9. Charade [951027] Apple Pie 1
    Charade describes the daily high-school routine of a girl named Kazumi. The game proceeds from one school day to another, putting Kazumi in the same situations, facing the same choices. Those choices, as well as random events and meetings with other characters, schoolmates and teachers (only female), change Kazumi's viewpoints as well as relationships with the other girls.
    Yuri school ADV. The weirdness of this game is that you set the setting yourself, like this girl will be in the theater and arts clubs and we'll start to pay her attention. And at any time in the morning we can choose - forget it all and get a new setting. Characters aren't cute enough to empathize as well. Game is fully voiced, but making a setting yourself and participating in constant loops just in hope to find an action that would lead to some branching is not the most exciting occupation if you're expecting a story to be told.
    10. Leap Toki ni Sarawareta Shoujo LEAP 時にさらわれた少女 [951027] Ange
    Hero has finally confessed and made love to his childhood friend Ai. But as he wakes up in unfamiliar place, he can't find Ai anywhere. He begins his search.
    Hero needs to travel through the time by having sex with school nurse and find traces of Ai in different time segments. There are multiple endings depending on whether he chooses some local girl or keep on his search. There are a lot of selections and branches in addiction to already confusing time travel. It's an experimental work with a lot of edges, oh well, and it's not hookable.
    11. Power Slave パワースレイブ [951027] Umitsuki Production 1
    Tetsuya is a rather ordinary Japanese teenager, who prefers hanging out with his sweetheart Rika than going to school. His passion are 3D video games. The newest game machine which allows the player to completely submerge into the virtual world, modeled according to his desires, has captured his heart. But one thing is strange: lately, Tetsuya keeps seeing himself as a killer and rapist. Dreams begin to haunt him. Is this just a side-effect of the game, or does he have a dark side he knows nothing about? Or maybe the game took him to another world, which will from now on become part of his life?..
    Quite an unusual mix of genres and with animated scenes on top of that. The first work of the company we all know as Jellyfish for being the only ardent adept of fully animated eroge. A merry game, but not hookable and rather short.
  • Youjuu Senki 2 -Reimei no Senshi-tachi- and Eve: Burst Error are the masterpieces of the month, but the upper hand is naturally with the legendary Eve: Burst Error
    1. Moon Gate ムーンゲート [951102] Fairytale 1
    Zion is an adventurer who lives with girl Lina. One day a mysterious person brings him a shining gem and calls it a present to his excellency Zion from his majesty. His best friend Tolland appears from the stone and requests to go to imperial capital and revive the Agarta Empire together. Tolland restores a part of Zion's power, burns down the village to cut off the road back and disappears in a flash.
    A rare RTS fiend in visual novel row. Game's not very friendly with emulators not launching on ntkp and eventually hanging on anex.
    2. D.P.S. Zenbu D.P.S.全部 [951110] Alice Soft 1 2 3
    D.P.S. Zenbu, is, as the name implies, a complete collection of scenarios (total of 15) from all the previous D.P.S./Dream Program System series entries:
    D.P.S. SG
    D.P.S. SG Set 2
    D.P.S. SG Set 3
    Super D.P.S.
    No changes have been made to graphics or gameplay in any of the scenarios.
    As a bonus, the game also contains the 16th scenario, entitled Megumi's Story. The scenario is non-interactive (the player simply has to press a button to scroll the text) and depicts the first sexual experiences (some of them violent) of an innocent teenage girl.
    There is an English review.
    3. Hare Nochi Munasawagi 晴れのち胸さわぎ [951110] Cocktail Soft 1 2
    The story of Harenochi Munasawagi does not start in a very original way: the protagonist is a high-school boy named Kazuhiko, who is - surprise! - permanently horny, displaying his "affections" at any given opportunity to anyone young and female, including even his childhood friend Chihiro. But while the focus on the story is on Kazuhiko and his quest for physical intimacy (which often results in girls getting angry and beating him up), there are other rather disturbing elements that come into play later - in particular, bunny-like demons who share Kazuhiko's passion for the opposite sex...
    There is an English review.
    4. Youjuu Senki 2 -Reimei no Senshi-tachi- 妖獣戦記2 -黎明の戦士たち- [951110] D.O. 1
    Over 10 months has passed since fierce battle with the beasts. They should have been weakened by A.S.S.P. by now, but a new threat rose again...
    Is there a future for mankind?
    The battle with the stakes of A.S.S.P. and humankind existence starts now!
    The final chapter in the strangebeasts confrontation story. Gameplay-wise it's the most refined in the series with all the irritation factors eliminated. Events happen one after another and story develops in a very severe and tough fashion. Interaction with your subordinates now also brings important implications, they aren't just bio soldiers anymore, they are your battle buddies that followed you to the end of the world. The deployment is realistic and final battle can have a big impact if you got attached to the girls.
    5. Eve: Burst Error Eve: Burst Error [951122] C's Ware 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
    A Bizarre Serial Murder Mystery. There's A Serial Killer Close By. A Prohibited Psychothriller. The Multi-Sight System Reveals Surprising Truth!
    In this game there are two heroes, Kojiroh and Marina, who are each called to solve their own cases. This game allows you to switch characters at any time to solve the mysteries these heroes encounter. This "Multi-Sight Adventure" allows you to view what's happening behind-the-scenes from the other character's perspective, bump into each other, and sometimes even help each other out. Together, they come closer and closer to the shocking truth through their combined actions and skills of deduction.
    Marina's Episode: Marina is a national intelligence agent with a 99% success rate. Her new assignment is to protect the daughter of a Japanese embassy official stationed abroad. As you encounter numerous attackers, you become aware of a dangerous government dispute that is the root of all these attacks.
    Kojiroh's Episode: A seemingly down-on-his-luck private investigator finally gets a break, as he is hired to locate some mysterious piece of art. Even though he feels a little weird about this case, the pay is huge! Yet he may be drawn into an unexpected nightmare involving a string of bizarre murders.
    Probably the best known old game. Lots of English reviews.
    6. Messenger from Dark Night メッセンジャー フロム ダークナイト [951123] TopCat
    Hero is half-demon who has his demon part "dark night" awake every evening. Such person transfers to a new school that accepts half-humans as students.
    The game can be called an adult sound novel. There are multiple branches and new branches open up after main branches clearance totaling 80 endings. Some of those endings have only slight differences, but just dig the number. The content is different for various branches, but it's not lovey-lovey, on the contrary it's rather dark and has multiple confrontations prepared. If it came out a bit later and was a bit more like a visual novel and not like a book, it would have all the chances to take away the pedestal of originator of visual novels from Leaf.
    7. Koukan Nikki Dai 2 Shou ~Seiya o Anata to~ こうかん日記 第2章 ~聖夜をあなたと~ [951124] Fairy Dust
    New love adventure takes place during winter. While at part-time job hero gets acquainted to different girls and by the Christmas Eve he can confess his feelings to one of them.
    Characters are lively and overall mood is bright. There is an ending for each heroine.
    8. Majo-tachi no Nemuri 魔女たちの眠り [951124] Pack In Video 1 2
    The protagonist (default name Toshio) is working at his office one day when he receives a call asking for help from a girl he knew as a child (default name Yoriko). The next day he discovers that this same girl apparently killed herself by way of self-immolation. He decides to go investigate the girl's mountain village, and depending upon the choices the player makes, may uncover the truth of the matter...
    Literary adaptation of famous horror writer. Year 1995 was a boom for so called "sound novels" which are NVL novels with walls of text on some background with music. It's the closest thing to a book and these are usually short horror stories and I've blocked previous such games since they had multiple stories. This one is the first one with long and more or less long coherent story. There are four parts presented as trials and after completion a true story opens up.
    9. OL Sousamou OL操作網 [951129] Witch's 1
    Akizuki is an ordinary Japanese man who works in an office. One day his boss asks him to discreetly investigate a case of stolen prospects that could damage the company's reputation. Akizuki must talk to the female co-workers and find out the truth. However, his mind is more occupied with his own personal expectations from these attractive ladies...
    The most fun feature of the game is an ability to roleplay either a serious co-worker or a full-scale playboy.
    10. Coming Heart [951130] May-Be Soft 1
    The hero of this game is a teenage boy who failed his high-school examination; as a result, his parents decided to transfer him to a special school in another city. The young hero is at first sad and depressed, but soon discovers that the situation might not be so bad after all: the mansion in which he is going to leave is not empty, and his neighbors are all young pretty girls...
    Story itself is a commonplace, but with an addition of torments over university entrance. Character designs are quite good and atmosphere is bright.
    11. Jack ~Haitoku no Megami~ JACK ~背徳の女神~ [951130] Silky's 1 2 3
    Jack Martin is a private detective. Long time ago, a terrible accident has left deep scars on his psyche, and he tries to atone for what he has done. On board of the space shuttle Gold Mary, Jack joins an organization that fights interstellar terrorism, employing people with psychic abilities. Soon thereafter, the captain of the shuttle is found murdered. Have terrorists infiltrated the shuttle, or is one of Jack's comrades a double agent? Jack must solve the mystery, at the same time discovering his own special abilities... whatever they might be.
    There is an English review and also my review now. Protagonist is actually quite elaborate. He accidentally shot a child in the past and suffers from this trauma trying to find ties to that child murder and being depressed about it.
    12. Mahou no Tenshi Creamy Mami - Futatsu no Sekai no Monogatari 魔法の天使クリィミーマミ 二つの世界の物語 [951130] Wishbone 1
    Based on the anime Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel. The original tells the story of a 10-year-old girl named Yuu Morisawa, who gains a magical ability to transform into a grown-up young woman, eventually becoming a pop star and acquainting the inhabitants of the Earth with the rest of the galaxy. Yuu appears in the game, but is not the protagonist; the player controls four young women in four different scenarios: two of them, Yuri and Aya, on the Earth, and the other two, Ora and Sita, in an alien world, mixture of sci-fi and medieval fantasy. The story goes beyond the original anime by introducing a magical, sacred land known as Finality, populated by fantasy being, and calling the guardians (the four girl protagonist) to bring peace to the galaxy.
    There are so many early games about ability to transform into grown-up woman that they all start to look the same. But here there are four distinct stories targeted at girls, naturally.
    13. Memories ~Shiroi Yozora ni Mau Tenshi~ メモリーズ ~白い夜空に舞う天使~ [9511] Petit 1
    Memories is a dating-oriented game that can be describe as a light simulation with elements of a visual novel. The game's story premise is abstract: the player character explores a small town, hoping to meet and eventually date young women. The game world consists of photorealistic still pictures of locations; the player's only interaction with the game consists of choosing to travel to these locations and advance the time. Female characters will appear in specific locations at specific times of the day. Several meetings are usually needed to initiate a date. Presents and money can be given to the girls as well.
    A very generic dating sim from a fresh company. And very exhausting since girls can appear any minute anywhere so need to basically stay at the same location and advance time all the time and create chart of when someone appears.

To Heart is the only masterpiece of May 1997.


1. Chiyomi-chan for Me ~Kateikyoushi Seikyouiku Hen~ ちよみちゃん for Me ~家庭教師 性教育編~ [970502] Ume Soft
What a lucky guy, he has a beautiful girl to help him study for his exams. She even accepts him when he ask her to be his girlfriend. From then on, it's study and fun times. He will be happy, if he doesn't get distracted by his classmate or the ghost of his first love.
Girl is a tutor, but actual studying ends pretty soon. Game is of ero-centered nature and has only very short impressions.


2. Kidou Senkan Nadesico ~Yappari Saigo wa "Ai ga Katsu" ?~ 機動戦艦ナデシコ ~やっぱり最後は「愛が勝つ」?~ [970502] Sega
It is a dating sim with players taking the role of Akito Tenkawa and attempting to build relationships with the female crew members, although there are a few mecha elements included.
One more anime offspring. The crew counts 10 members. There are 8 chapters each containing an adventure part with target character emotional scenes and the battle part where you repetitively push one button for the win. What's interesting - if you distract attention in favor of some different girl, the target girl's favorability drops. Anyway, mediocre Saturn exclusive for anime fans.


3. Akazu no Ma あかずの間 [970509] Visit 1
The story (written by Yoshikazu Takeuchi) is a futuristic one, taking place in a near future where the player's character arrives a a building tower in a helicopter and as soon as he arrives there strange things start to happening (he listen to girl screams, strange noises, etc.).
Another sound novel without a single person and about just wondering around the building. As usual, more about senses than a story.


4. Ice Cream アイスクリーム [970509] h.m.p
No info


5. Kuento ~Wasureenu Hibi ni~ クエント ~忘れ得ぬ日々に~ [970509] Excellents
Collection of three stories.
The first story is about girl Ai and her difficult life with the stepfather told from different perspectives.
All stories seem to have zapping perspectives. Since game only launches on WinME and lower, it's not hookable and I only glanced at other two stories without trying to understand anything. But the first story plot moves like this - Ai quarrels with father, then they hug, then get close. Next Ai past is shown up to the moment she got violated by a guy (and whom she might have killed afterwards). Her female friend that features on the cover listens to this story, gets moved by it and both girls make love, the end.


6. In'yoku no Meikyuu 淫欲の迷宮 [970516] Motion
Explore a vast 3D labyrinth and discover its secrets.
Kusoge. 3D dungeon exploration. Much of exploration and H events are animated.


7. Photo Genic フォトジェニック [970516] Sunsoft
In Photo Genic the player controls a young boy that got a job as a photographer. The main goal of the game is to improve the boy stats and photograph skills to make him win the heart of one of the girls of the town.
During the game the player makes decisions about what his character will do each week (gymnastics, study, take another job, etc) to improve his stats. He also can walk around the town to talk to the people and the girls, the more in touch that he is with them the more possibilities to take a better photograph and date them. After taking the photographs the player can view them in the photo gallery.
There are three girls of interest. This work is interesting because it has SIM part as photographer and ADV part of wandering around the town and event scenes. Graphics of this game is really impressive with a lot of bright CG. Cute, but nothing else.


8. Dousei 同棲 [970523] Tactics 1 2
Dōsei is a social and sexual simulation game that focuses on the life of a young Japanese couple. Masaki Yamada and Manami Minase start living together shortly after having graduated from high school. Most of the game is dedicated to the depiction of their everyday life at home, of which the majority explicitly describes their sexual relationship.
That's our first Tactics (Key) game. Drawing is very similar to next "One" game. Game has an English review.


9. Fukushuu 復讐 [970523] Crowd 1
You are a high school student and were embarrassed in front of the class by 4 girls TWICE, each time it was involved with another girl. Now you decide it's time for getting your revenge and you have to choose a partner for additional help..
There is an English review.


10. Inshin Miko 淫心魅娘 [970523] T2 Co., Ltd.
During a date in an amusement park hero gets "demon soul" attached to his chest. The girl who did it is a foreign priestess and queen candidate. She asks hero to eliminate other candidates by depriving them from virginity. "Demon soul" attached to the chest slowly eats the soul and there's no other choice but cooperate.
Multiple branches and endings story. It's nice that there are quite many variants of story development and it's not necessary just to capture other priesteses. Capture is difficult as branching is not too evident and the ending depends on both whether to H different girls or not and in which priority to capture them.


11. Nouryokusha 脳力者 [970523] MBS Truth
Our guy got hit by a baseball in a park on his way home. This awaken his special mental powers. His power has 4 targets. They are his childhood girl, teacher, school badgirl, and adopted sister. Since he can see into their heart and can control them, he has his way with them. If he only go after the one he loves, she might save him when the time comes. The main part of this game is nasty, but the happy endings are very sweet.
Content is pretty dark and insulting, but character design is good enough to struggle to the happy ending. Story develops fast, so it's possible to see it all in an hour's time.


12. Ryuuteki Gosennen ~Dragons of China~ 龍的五千年 ~Dragons of China~ [970523] Imagineer Co., Ltd.
China, 2099 AD. During the construction of a new Olympics stadium, the ruin were found at the basement. The construction machinery damaged the sealed pot and a black dragon appeared from it with a thunder and flew away. He appeared in Tokyo and destroyed it to the ground and the next day the world was hit by multiple natural disasters bringing the humanity to the brink of extinction. At the global academic conference of ancient ruins it was decided to acquire the power of a good dragon in order to deal with the evil dragon. You are Ken, the participant of that conference and you hurry to find the good dragon of China.
Command selection adventure with occasional battles during movement. It's not a serious ADV game, more like and entertainment game for pupils to have fun with battles. Game also features very unusual character design.


13. Seiki ~Ryoujoku no Kamen~ 性鬼 ~陵辱の仮面~ [970523] Outlaw
The protagonist is a high school student that one day finds a magical mask that turns the wearer into a serial rapist, and uses his newly gained powers to score with several of his classmates.
Reverse bullying sick game. The only good thing is that there are several scenarios. System is especially bad as messages tend to skip and often first choice is selected despite your decision.


14. To Heart [970523] Leaf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
In this game, you play as Fujita Hiroyuki, a high-school student who seems to have more interest in romance than in his studies. In his school there are several pretty girls, and his goal is to be nice to one of them, to make the right decisions when talking to her, and ultimately to win her heart.
There are English reviews of this game.


15. Nyo-Manji 女卍 [970529] iMAGE CLUB
The only review I found says the hero eradicates something strange. Obscure ero-centered work.


16. Youjo Ranbu 2 妖女乱舞2 [970529] Zone 1
Your mother, on her last breath, reveals the secret of your identity. After that, you, the hero of the story, travels around the world as a mercenary to find more about where you came from, and as you perform more tasks you find out more about yourself.
There is an English review.


17. Hi School Jam Hiすく~るJam [970530] Jam 1
You start off as a second year student of the school and you are on the student's council as well. Your goal is to be elected as the next student council's president at game end when the seniors graduate.
There is a good English review for this game.


18. Shuukan From H 週刊フロムH [970530] JAST
Atsushi, the son of a very rich man, returns from abroad to his hometown. After getting some quarrel, his father cancelled giving him money and now Atsushi has to find any temporary work around the whole city. You as Atsushi try various jobs – from stadium to the hospital or the news agency. There are also plenty of pretty girls around the city and you make attempts to get them known better and maybe even eventually date with one of them.
ADV with location choice on the map. Each week you try a new job and there's a new girl at each job. It's a light work with a comedy touch.

Doukoku Soshite... is the only masterpiece of the month and thus is VN of the Month.

1. Kunoichi Torimonochou くのいち捕物帖 [980205] Polestar Co. 1 2
Long ago, during the Edo period, those chosen to become ninja train in secrecy from youth, living in an isolated village to become a secret agent for the shogun. Here, a young girl is training to become such an agent; her name: Ran Sagajo. Along with her talking ninja squirrel companion Sasuke, she has begun a trip to Edo to continue her train
You generally choose destination and wait for events to happen. Battles are played in the way that you select a command and opponent selects and you watch the outcome, much like the other VN fightings. When energy is accumulated to the max, a special move can be used. There are stats and places to train them. Game's appeal point is a good balance between animated story sequences and picturesque battles.


2. Yume no Yukue Karuizawa Monogatari 夢のゆくえ 軽井沢物語 [980205] Fair Dance
In Autumn wandering in the forest of Karuizawa of autumn leaves, I met a girl in a white dress living in an old villa.
In winter three of my classmates and I came to ski and I had a vision of a girl in white dress again..
In spring I walked in the forest of Karuizawa to find a girl in white dress.
And in the summer I shall wander between reality and daydreaming.
Obscure work, mostly due to the fact that there is no save function in the game.


3. Ahiru no Pantsu あひるのパンツ [980206] Segue Laboratory
My name is Rika. I live with my mother. Today I sell Pantsu in town. Although it is already late, only two pieces have been sold. What shall I do...
One playthrough takes some 5 minutes and there are several scenarios. And most of them inevitably fall into H category.


4. Natural ~Mi mo Kokoro mo~ Natural ~身も心も~ [980206] F&C Co., Ltd. 1
Rumor's spreading of a hot new couple on campus! A professor is giving the sexy swim star some very special lessons. And this teacher's pet is hot to trot and learning all kinds of new tricks!
Yet another erotic training SIM, but this time it's kind of pure love bright training which is rare. The characters are also cute and easygoing. So this work represents shift from dark hardcore eroge to bright softcore ones in the years to come.


5. Kyouken Densetsu Crazy Knuckle 2 狂拳伝説クレイジーナックル2 [980213] ZyX
Lunar shadow was a legendary ultimate fighting school, but its last descendant lived 80 years ago.
Kusakabe Aoma is a bouncer of the street gang group in the city called Crown City. But he wants to get to know his true self. One day he arrives to the usual place, but instead of smiles of other members all he sees is a sea of blood.
Compared to the prequel text has gone better. Scenario is the debut work of Arakawa Takumi who gave us Ayakashibito, Bullet Butlers and several other interesting works. There is a good balance of seriousness and comedy. The atmosphere gone even darker than that of the prequel. Fighting system got more difficult. Animation is widely used. H events are densely packed, pretty much with every battle. So a good entertainment work, but not more.


6. Sadistic Medicine [980213] FlyingShine
A big pharmaceutic company develops a new medicine and sets experiments first on animals, then on humans. It seems to be a revolutionary aphrodisiac.
First Flying Shine works are so terrible. Blurred real-life photos plus NVL walls of texts are accompanied by HCG.


7. Happening Journey はぷにんぐJOURNEY [980220] Euphony Production 1
Masaharu is long in love with his childhood friend Yuki, but lacks the courage to tell her his true feeling. One day Masaharu's friend Takagi asks him to go on a ski trip together, telling him that he would also take Yuki for Masaharu, so that Masaharu would take Miki, his partner in their tennis club, for Takagi. Somehow their plan becomes known to other girls too, who start insisting on joining the trip - so the party now consists of seven boys and girls. Will Masaharu have a chance to tell Yuki his love during the trip?
There is an English review of this game.


8. Megami no Shizuku ~Jonason 95~ 女神の雫~Jonason95~ [980220] Xyz
Daughter of a famous deceased thief Aya Kisaragi teams up with her father's buddy Unko. They excel in whatever job they take. This time they aim at three Nobunaga sacred treasures hidden in remote area mansion, but they get into a trap...
There aren't reviews of this game and game's super rare, but chronological row of CG shows us first the CG from the prequel, then a spree of HCG, so I guess briefly the story of the prequel is retold followed by H fest.


9. Doukoku Soshite... 慟哭そして。。。 [980226] Data East Corporation 1 2 3
In this game, you play the role of a high-school student (whom you can name as you like). A bus takes him and his classmates to the school every day. But this time, just when the hero was talking to one of his classmates, the lovely girl Riyo, a car drove up to the bus, there was a sound of a crash, and then the hero became unconscious. When he woke up, he found himself, his classmates (most of whom were girls), and a couple of unknown people in a locked room in a strange mansion. Soon the hero realizes something terrible is going on in the mansion. People are being killed under mysterious circumstances, their corpses hidden; he finds a memo soaked in blood and a photograph. Will he be able to solve the mystery and to protect the people destiny brought him together with?
There are three English reviews of this game.


10. Misa no Mahou Monogatari ミサの魔法物語 [980226] Sammy Corporation 1
Misa no Mahomonogatari - Heartful Memories tells the story of a young girl who got a mission from the queen of a magic world called Firimu, to travel to the human world, find a young girl and train her into a tarot magician so that she could defeat the evil forces willing to conquer both of the worlds.
The game takes place in that high school and will last 4 years of training, the main character of the game is Misa and during that time period she has to train her abilities, meet different people and classmates, and face the evil that endangers the world.
A raising SIM to train a justice magician girl. And that's enough already to stop discussing it.


11. Coach! Oshiete コーチ!おしえて [980227] Nouvelle
New teacher was suddenly invited to a girls' school as an advisor to the athletics division. The final goal is to win the tournament! Is it possible to train six champions?
Raising SIM with week as time unit. Apart of training routine there is summer and winter vacation training camps and various events. Period is one year. The biggest complaint about this game was that there is no H events in here, only peeping in the changing room etc. The worst part is that despite each heroine having unique profile, all the events and text are absolutely the same for each of them - zero personality. Also even with max stats (256) it's actually a game of luck whether you win tournament or not. A rare kusoge...


12. Houkago wa Fiancee 放課後はフィアンセ [980227] Sweet Basil
Tadashi Wakita lost his parents in an accident at an early age, but thanks to the assistance of his uncle Kanno Rotaro, he is a high school student and lives in a house. Uncle dies and leaves a will that nephew must marry one of his three daughters in order to inherit his property and he must do it before the deadline.
Depending on choices it can be either a pure love story or a tyranny story and choices aren't transparent at all. Game is not limited to three daughters, there are other, less profitable variants too. Each route takes about one hour and there is also a harem ending with five girls. Characters are cute enough, but H events are too frequent and dark side of the game constantly tries to pop up.


13. Kemono no Sumu Kousha -Shinshou- 獣の棲む校舎 -真章- [980227] T2 Co., Ltd.
Three days after the first incident. But there's no time to rest - a new request awaits Ikuro Makita.
Nothing is being told about the first incident. Protagonist always talks about incoherent things. Capture degree is very high as you need to remember all the appointments and at exact time be at exact place out of 20 places.


14. Mars Ball マーズボール [980227] Studio Jikkenshitsu
Humans migrate to Mars, where the description of ancient sport is found in the ruins and it becomes the new craze - the Marsball.
An ordinary salaryman gets fired and with his baseball experience in high school he tries his luck as a manager of a new Marsball team.
Baseball game with card battles and quite high difficulty. Most of the time you train and once in a while there is match. H-events are hard to unlock with flags and are over in a flash. It's weak as love story, weak as H-story... then it's probably just a gameplay oriented game.


15. Mukuro ~Mesu o Nerau Agito~ 骸~メスを狙う顎~ [980227] Saga Planets
When I woke up, I did not have a memory.
Who am I? Why am I here?
People around me do not have recollections about me as well.
I shall make my way with women using this position that I do not know anything.
And then I shall make my memory return... remember with my body!
Production values are good, but in the end it's just a mystery nukige with weak cast of characters and protagonist. There are multiple routes and memories show up consequently with routes clearing.


16. Shift! [980227] Trush
Boy drinks secret medicine "XYX" and and turns into a girl. The only way to get to original form is to have intimacy with girls. But that works only for a short time and there must be a permanent antidote solution... Will he be able to regain male form?
Medicine fantasies are pretty popular in 1998 as I see. And it's at least third game where gender is suddenly changed. Game is mostly of erotic nature, but with a comedy touch.

Wow, there's a mortal combat between such titans as Team Baldrhead, Alice Soft and Studio e.go this month. Well, Men at Work is the second RPG offspring of Studio e.go and it's just too simplistic to compete yet. Baldrhead is also the first part in the series and suffers from some technical problems and short duration. Mamatoto ~a record of war~ on the other hand is quite a polished rpg that even has English patch and it is the VN of the Month July 1999.

1. Gakuen Hyouryuu Senki 学園漂流戦記 [990701] Alice Soft
April 2005. Main character is a high school student on a voyage trip with a lot of his girl classmates. He's been in love with his classmate Suzuki Kaori for a long time and now is a perfect opportunity to finally confess. But after an incident Main character wakes up alone at a beach shore. What will he do now?
Game's a small addition to the main package of Alice CD. There's horrible command selection part and interaction with some items.... well... I did not care to make it through that.


2. Maid no Susume メイドのススメ [990701] Alice Soft
Hero is a nobility heir. He lives in a mansion with three maids. An important exam is approaching. Maids will assist him in preparation for the exam.
Another cheap addition to Alice CD. After a short introduction there's lots and lots of quizzes. Of course I never went through any of them.


3. Mamatoto ~A Record of War~ ママトト ~a record of war~ [990701] Alice Soft 1
You (Nanasu) are the prince of Mamatoto. You go out and conquer other nations in order to conquer the world.
There is stability/stalemate, so none of the nations can actually take over the world because if they start a war with another country, a third one might have an advantage. Mamatoto is different it has zero territory to worry about. The problem is, it doesn't have much of a population either. So you don't really have an army, thus for many years, Mamatoto, the moving fortress, has been hiding in the monster lands.
You, Nanasu, who has studied magic really hard has recently invented magic to create these magical soldiers. These soldiers are made via cards which you can obtain via battles. So the more battles you fight, the more cards you collect, and the more troops you have in reserve. So now, Mamatoto, the fastest moving fortress in the world, started its move to conquer the world. Mamatoto's goal isn't to get territory - it's to take out governments.
Game's localized - there's an English and a Polish review.


4. Baldrhead ~Busou Kin'yuu Gaiden~ BALDRHEAD~武装金融外伝~ [990702] Team Baldrhead 1 2 3 4 5
It's the future where the technology is being over-used and at the same time conflicts between countries and religion occur which causes a loss in theory and technology. The world is now in corrupted towns with ruins of ancient technology everywhere. The story takes place in future Japan,and the hero of the game is an ex-mercenary called Bloody Baldy who earns his living by being an armament banker...
Baldrhead is a linear adventure game with 2D action-shooter elements.
There is an English review of this game.


5. Ballerina ~Haitoku no Kurumi Wari Ningyou~ バレリーナ ~背徳のくるみ割り人形~ [990702] Zero
Main heroine is a ballet trainer. She gives lessons to several girls, but her lessons tend to become to intimate.
What a trashy nukige. There are some 6-7 girls to harass.


6. Hyper Broken ~Tamashii no Chikara~ Hyper Broken ~魂のチカラ~ [990702] Escu:de
The protagonist thinks that he is the strongest fighter around his school, until he got totally trashed by a new rival. If that wasn't bad enough, his sister got murdered and he was left for dead in his burning house. He got saved and found out that he has the potential to become the strongest person on earth. Will his girlfriend and other friends be able to keep him from the revenge-driven dark side of his power?
Poor Escu:de - it started with a very plain romance work and now fills the shoes of another visual novel fighting. What differs it from Crazy Knuckle 2 is very high production values and engaging and moderately difficult battles. Hero is very colorful and is voiced which creates a very solid atmosphere. Game uses songs very efficiently at crucial moments. Considered the limitations of the genre Escu:de managed to produced a paragon visual novel fighting.


7. Dokidoki Summer Lesson ~Kyoukasho wa Oshiete Kurenai~ どきどきサマーレッスン ~教科書は教えてくれないっ~ [990707] Megami
It's summer break, our guy is bored. He decided to find work as a tutor, his way of meeting girls and get paid for it. His student turned out to be his neighbor's sister. What will he teach her? And will he go after one sister or both, you decide.
There are only two heroines, so it's more serious than an average eroge. Text is surprisingly good. No wonder game got a full voice re-release 4 years later. H scenes are quite dark no the other hand. So game's almost as nice as Off Memories series, but much more tilt towards H.


8. Be With! [990708] Jewel
Hero has not had his hair cut for three years due to fear of having ears cut off. When his sister finally managed to cut his hair, girls in the school started to look at him with interest. What kind of future will he choose?
Game is quite short, but it's fully voiced (apart of protagonist) and quite funny. There are five heroines and they are strong willed and quite nicely outlined. Through several choices you choose a girl/several girls and there's an ending. Graphics is quite unusual. But the most disappointment is in the systems. There aren't options at all and BGM is deafening with all those beats. BGM is like 10 times louder than voices so it's quite difficult to discern phrases while it trumpets.


9. 7 Days Girl [990709] Pocket
Hero knew girl Hime when he was a child. She had a soft old-fashioned character. Now he meets her in Tokyo and she's totally different. It turns out that Hime suffers from personality disorder and each day of week she's a different person - seven in total. Hero asks gets a permission to look after Hime for a month to try to heal the distortion. Can he change Hime in just 4 weeks of living together?
All that is left to the hero.
Well, the personality that gets the most favorability wins. The conditions for the True End are very strict. Game systems is bad in the way that the speed is very slow. A well balanced work with a fresh concept.


10. Koi no Sweet Tart wa Ikaga? 恋のスイートタルトはいかが? [990709] Love Gun
There is a coffee shop "Gerbera" on the bank of a beautiful lake in Tokyo. Cute girls are serving as waitresses and establishment is famous for its homemade cakes. Hero is a university student who works here part-time as a waiter. This summer will be most entertaining!
The biggest difference of this game from other cafe games is that the number of characters is very small - just four heroines. At least it allows to build up a lot of unique events and advancements for each heroine. Branching starts right after welcome party and even dialogues change with increased favorability. Yayoi is the main heroine and she has the longest route of all. There is a good and a bad ending for each heroine as well as a lonely ending.


11. Kurumi-chan A-so-bo くるみちゃん あ・そ・ぼ [990709] Studio Neko Punch
Main character has just entered a university. He finally fled from his parents house and started to live on his own in a boarding house. There he met another inhabitant Kurumi-chan. They started to spend a lot of time together on a daily basis and soon became good friends... but is being just friends enough?
Game's some kind of SIM and I feel week in my tummy when I see such a huge number of all kinds of windows.


12. Labrum ~Yasashii Kizu~ Labrum ~優しい傷~ [990709] Tetratech
Hero is attacked by unknown person and is put into a hospital with a mortal wound. His childhood friend Mina saves his life by turning him into a vampire.He has to drink women's blood to live. 
At day time he is a student and advances relations with his classmates. At night time he insults heroines and sucks their blood. He needs to keep the balance for 30 days and develop a sincere links with some girl. 
Well, that's weird. Pure love and very nasty H with the same girls daily just does not make much sense to me. I only see that game's just for those weird H scenes. We need to move to some spot and if there's the heroine - make some choice, so gameplay is not really good as well.


13. Sorceress Empire ~Teiritsu Mahouin~ ソーサレス・エンパイア ~帝立魔法院~ [990709] Blue Bell
The era when magic declines gradually and is about to be replaced by science and technology. But there are still "demon" race monsters living on the outskirts of the empire and organizing skirmishes at border guards.
Hero is a battle magician responsible for three failure students. They have personal conditions that prevent them from learning normally. You have a year to train them into excellent witches.
There's a good dozen of parameters to track. As girls grow, they can summon a powerful monster that can participate in battles. Difficulty is easy and it's ok to train all three girls simultaneously. Despite the emphasized personal drama of each girl, the training method is almost identical, the difference is only in ADV sequences. It's a very good attempt to revitalize boring raising SIMs.


14. Towa no Yakata 永遠の館 [990709] For
19th century. Main character studies at a university abroad, but now for the first returns home for spring vacation. There he stumbles at his mother's diary saying among other things about a mysterious man "There is no way I can keep doing this ..."
Scenario is single road and once it's finished, a new one opens up and so on. H events are mostly of dark nature. Basically all the mysteries are known for the start, so it's not really good as a suspense story.


15. Sei Inma ~Ijimete Inku-chan~ 聖☆淫魔 ~いじめてインクちゃん~ [990714] Desire
Takahiro is a novice teacher. A demon suddenly appears before him saying that she's half angel and half demon and she does not qualify to enter either faction because of that. The strange cohabitation and rigorous training begins. Will she grow into an angel or a demon?
A raising SIM. Both angle and demon ways are possible. Game's strange that it does not have time limit. Otherwise a normal training SIM with parameters and play time around 3 hours.


16. Dearest Vampire [990715] Air Plants
Our guy is 1/8 vampire. His grandfather asked him to take care of a dead friend's family, which include four sisters and one brother. So now, in the first two months, he can chase after those four sisters, his maid, childhood girl, rival's sister or another vampire. The chasing is easy since he can check a location to see who is there before going, one advantage of a vampire I guess. In the later two months, he has to find a way to tell the girl he loves that he is a vampire and has to go through some obstacles to win her.
Game play is not good as it follows the same pattern: Good morning → Map move → Event → Date management screen → repeat from the next day . The whole game period of four months is divided into the first half (until harvest festival dance) and the second half which is actually division into general route and choosing a heroine and heroine routes. There are also mini-games. Clear is difficult since there is a random element in events generation and in order to capture a girl the whole chain of events must be triggered. The work is centered around love obstacles - hero has an evident race difference and girls have their own themed obstacles. There are six main heroines and two sub-heroines.


17. Lilienthal リリエンタール [990715] Dollhouse
The city of the Valley of Dragons... Lilienthal. The stories of three protagonists start here.
Brad is a boy who lives with his pet animal Lulu in a secluded castle. 
Chris is a male student of a medieval university who is sexually harassed by the girls around him.
Claris is a daughter of the king and is in search of medicine to cure the king.
You can start with either protagonist story, but it soon turns into moving North/South/Eash/West and exploring the town in every story. There are several commands of interaction with the world and there seem to be items as well. Should I even say that I had no patience to go any further?


18. Girl Doll Toy 2 ~Shisha~ Girl Doll Toy 2 ~使者~ [990716] Uran
For five years since the events of the prequel Erica has been living peacefully with Satoru. Satoru left the laboratory shortly after creating Erica. Following his notes the laboratory was able to create Erica Version 2, but the result was poor and director proceeded to illegal means. Meteor shower was launched to mount Fuji and at the same time Erica started to suffer from brain disorder. What caused the illness? Will Satoru be able to find the cure?
Well, there are zero reviews for this game, but it's basically the third game in the franchise with totally the same heroine, so I guess everyone got tired of it by the third game. The suggested mystery is not appealing at all to check it out.


19. Heisa Byoutou no Megami-tachi ~Goddess of Close Ward~ 閉鎖病棟の女神たち ~Goddess of Close Ward~ [990716] Archive
Our guy wakes up in a hospital without remembering anything. It seems he fell from a pedestrian overpass to the street. He is now in a hospital ward with 3 nurses and a female doctor. Can he remember his past and does he even want to?
It's a very confusing scenario. The theme is madness. There are many memory pieces flashes, but it does not get into integral story. Even in the ending there is no impact. The degree of H is medium.


20. Mahjong Mokushiroku Digital Novel まあじゃん黙視録デジタルノベル [990716] West Gate
There is not much information on the game... because noone really cares for this exciting mahjong adventure.


21. Amnesia no Hanataba o ~Parallel Story~ アムネジアの花束を ~PARALLEL STORY~ [990717] Red star
A secret is hidden in the holy barrier. A devastating epic nightmare is caused by a devil curse. This is the third part of the series of an evil spiritual disaster after Dawn The True Night and Cladlius' Beak.
Dark wizard Nike is searching for traces of magic between the three cities. On his way he will need to confront a holy knight and meet a mysterious girl who lost her memory.
Game's totally obscure and comes from a virtually unknown developer. Moreover, previous two parts of the series are even more obscure. So, I stumbled upon a maze in my first 5 minutes of gameplay and just stopped there since could neither turn back, nor pass through it in another 5 minutes.


22. Enema 2 えねま2 [990722] Manbou Goya
Ema is a student council president, nominated by former student council and her very close friend president Seira. Main heroine Shibuki together other council members Ema and and Kimidori sets to explore the old school building to uncover the school ghost legend. There girls fall down through the rotten floor and appear in a room with unusual drawings. There they have strange visions and develop new experiences as a result. The next day an angel appears before Shibuki. The angel claims that the world is in huge danger - sex demon starts to possess humans. In order to prevent possession the belly should be cleaned from all the poop. And that task is mounted on the shoulders of Shibuki. 
It's just Yuri+Enema. Really weird stuff, but character design and CG aren't bad.


23. Bagubee ばぐべー [990723] Zenos
Choose among 10 girls with different difficulty degree ranging form A to E. Clearing a falling bricks stage opens up CG. 
This is NOT a visual novel. It has zero text apart of description of each girl blood type etc. Genre is puzzle/quiz.


24. Chooita ~Subarashiki Chounouryoku Jinsei~ ちょ~イタ ~素晴らしき超能力人生~ [990723] 1
The story is about a guy that had an accident and from that got x ray vision. After having this supernatural power, unusual events start occuring.
There is an English review.


25. Deep [990723] Selen
Main hero is a bartender on a luxurious liner. He drugs girls with beverages and takes them to his torture chamber.
Doujin poop.


26. Doll ~Denshou no Chikara~ Doll ~伝承の力~ [990723] Forester
Princess Fiona, who is trying to take back the throne, visits the church ruined by a secret strategy. There she was met by the betrayal of her own men and falls into a dilemma. Fiona is ready to die.
However, a man who travels by the Noel accidentally kills all the knights in a blink of the eye. Fiona who see's this requests his help to reclaim her castle with various rewards. Although, Noel replies, "I am not interested and I got everything I wanted ..."
Even though it was a faint, Noel becomes interested when Fiona revels the tradition of the royal family. It is said in an underground labyrinth of the castle sleeps "the power of tradition", that can make any wish come true. With this information in tow Noel asks Fiona, "Do you believe such a stupid story? ... ... interesting, I will lend you my power."
First part is full of movie cuts and is quite intriguing to watch and occasionally interact with some objects. But the second gameplay part is horrible and short. Players were really unsatisfied with the small amount of erotic scenes which is a ripoff for the huge price of 9600 yen.


27. Drive Me Crazy!! ~The School of Pain~ ドライブ・ミー・クレイジー!! ~The School of Pain~ [990723] PIL
Main character is a delinquent who is sent to a SM school by the father of his fiancée. With his bully personality he is using beautiful girls as teaching materials there and letting students act casually towards them ...
SM game where actions are decided by roulette. There are 3 levels of sadistic lessons to get to graduation exam. 


28. Floreal ~Suki Suki Daisuki~ フロレアール ~すきすきだいすき~ [990723] 13cm
Jean Rotard is a lighthouse guard. He lives with a maid girl Merne for many years now. But Merne heart would spreads fracture by fracture with each day - should she involve Jean to heal her heart wound?
Story is written by a different author than the previous game, so they actually have next to nothing in common. First part of the game lacks excitement and the second part suddenly becomes SF and totally chaotic. The charm of the characters is not fully utilized. 


29. Heroine [990723] Cherry Soft
Our guy transferred to a new school. He is just in time to save the school theater club from being canceled. He gets to pick his heroine out of 3 girls for their next play. He also has to set schedule for set building, customs making, and practicing. Well, no matter, he still has time to chase the 5 club girls and 2 others.
We need to pass preliminary theatrical competition and then participate in the main event and for that need the right choices. Parameters and schedule are still here, so there's a lot of work to do. Three obligatory parameters must reach 100% by the contest or it's game over. The story is orthodox and very thin. There are a lot of events to try and fix that. There is a huge number of choices - each between three lines - even on the most trivial matters, so clearing is difficult.


30. Kimi ga Ita Kisetsu ~Primary~ 君がいた季節 ~Primary~ [990723] Age 1 2 3
Masaki has 4 childhood friends – Yayoi, Michiru, Marika and Akira who are all sisters, they let him stay in one of their family’s apartments since he doesn’t live with his family. Masaki’s hobby is photography and one day, he meets a famous photographer who lets Masaki become his apprentice. Time passes, and Masaki also gets a girlfriend too and life couldn’t be any happier for him. However, one day he is asked to go to America to work in the huge photography business over there but he thinks that having a long distance relationship would be incredibly hard. He now has a life-changing decision to make – does he follow his dream or does he stay with the person who he loves most in this world?
There is an English review of this game.


31. Kyoukan ~Eien no Inochi o Motome~ 兇館~永遠の命を求め~ [990723] Infinity
In order to gain eternal life a young man made contract with a woman spirit to insult and train four girls in just 7 days time.
True ending if commit all four girls in 7 days, if fail there is a bad ending. There are also several normal endings. Short nukige SIM.


32. Utagoe 淫声 ~うたごえ~ [990723] Apple Pie
Main character is a president of an idol studio. Now he needs to choose one of the girls to debut as an idol. Soon the whole world will know about her!
Half of the game is actually H lessons for the idol girl, so it's kind of a baka nukige, but... with singing... and often singing while... doing H and with mouth full. Really nice eleven songs and good voicing. This is one of those games that gave a strong push to the voicing of visual novels.


33. Utsusemi うつせみ ~空蝉~ [990723] Black Package
Our guy trains with a famous author. As a test for him, he is sent to gather info from a performance group, with the author's daughter tagging alone. There seem to be rumors about how this group gets their donations. If he can chase one girl per chapter, he will find out what this all has to do with a big fire 18 years ago.
Taisho era. The flow is like this: first movement → lunch break (information exchange with the teacher) → second movement → evening automatic event → night. There are many H scenes with different characters, but romance relations are only possible with one heroine which is set right from the first chapter. One playthrough is less than 10 hours and all the mysteries are only poured in the last chapter that lasts about 30 minutes. There are multiple endings, including a bad one. But generally it's a one-way road with couple opportunities for mistakes. There is no distinguishing feature to call it a masterpiece, but overall a very solid work with beautiful CG centered on Tasho era.


34. Nise Taxi 偽タクシー [990727] Vision
Main character runs a fake taxi that is specially equipped to insult the passengers.
Nukige, and since it's from Vision it's with animations.                                                                         


35. Find Love EX ~Mind Blowing~ Find Love EX ~マインドブローイング~ [990730] Lyceen
Ninosaki Kanosuke is a private detective in Tokyo. One day he gets a request from the hospital to find the missing nurse Ai. Now the number of missing women has increased. One of the accidentally found girls in semi-naked state told about being kidnapped by a stalker. As the investigation proceeds, the existence of a huge criminal organization becomes evident.
Find Love was quite a notable title thanks to console versions, so now's the time to reap that success on a rape/insult nukige. It hardly has anything to do with original Find Love apart of title and somewhat same looking girls.


36. Gen'ei Choukyou Club 2 幻影調教倶楽部2 [990730] J-Box
Main character is an upcoming musician. He is asked to produce a song for a Japanese opera "Neo Imagine". But his beautiful partner suddenly dies, and main character looses the will not just to create, but to live. He got drowned into alcohol and drugs causing an incident in SM club. His friend advised him to join a secret club "Love & Peace" where it might be possible to share new experiences and find a true partner.
Why... why this horrible game even got a continuation? 


37. Gen'ei Gaiden: Shinkinkan 幻影外伝 親近感 [990730] Omni-sha
"Love & Peace" secret SM club for people with abnormal sexuality. Hero dives in the world sensual pleasures. However, he's not satisfied with the action...
This time it's a SIM. The synopsis and the release date is the same with the Gen'ei Choukyou Club 2 are the same and this title is nowhere to be found, so it's all very confusing - theoretically might be the same title in the end.


38. Hakanai Omoi ~Anemone~ 儚想 ~あねもね~ [990730] Pearl Soft
The city where the old and the new live together.
Hero lost parents early and last year his grandmother also died. Since then he moved to distant relatives. Occasionally a mysterious memory of a girl crosses his head and the level of confusion gradually rises...
Play time is around 8 hours. Everyday scenes are substitute by the need to say something funny and those pseudo fun sequences last for a very long time, just to eat up players time. Then it gets only more confusing and ends with a fluke. Characters are totally unmemorable. Protagonist is one big hetare with amnesia. Even in the end he can't decide anything ... "because all the friends are precious to me". And it's a linear game with choices only for additional CG, so you can't decide on anything. A surprisingly tiresome story without any appeal points.


39. Men at Work! メンアットワーク! [990730] Studio e.go! 1 2
The game takes place in a Middle-Age western European town. At the daytime it is a very active and joyous town. However at night it's another story. After sun sets, monsters will lurk all around town which raises concern about the safety of the townspeople. As a result the town has set up a guild of hunters who go around at night and kill these monsters. Most of these hunters are doing so for money, and they rarely reveal their true identity to anyone. The player takes on the role of Wil, who in daytime is a geeky part-time history teacher, but at night is a strong hunter.
There's an English and a Russian review.


40. Triangle Heart 2 ~Sazanami Joshiryou~ とらいあんぐるハート2 ~さざなみ女子寮~ [990730] Janis
Makihara Kosuke works as a substitute janitor of woman dormitory, “Sazanami So”, while the regular janitor, who is his aunt, travels abroad. The contract term is almost over, but he has one thing worried about. Among the member of the dormitory, only Jinnai Mio doesn’t open out to him and doesn’t try to eat his dishes. Then, he makes the former janitor’s favorite dish to let her eat.
Moege. There is map movement to trigger events. Characters are cute and atmosphere is relaxed. But there are 12 heroines and the number of CG for each is small. Period is one year and intervals between the events are quite large. Play time is some 5 hours for first time and about 2 hours with skip for the next ones. The impact is less than the previous work. Nothing really stands out and such games are soon to be forgotten.


41. Graduation ~ Sotsugyou グラデュエーション~卒業 [990731] Joinac Corporation
Graduation...for all of us it's something we experience once and from which we go to a new path in life.
It marks a turning point in life, from which our lives will set out on a new moment.
It's also at the same time the point where we break up with people who are important in our lives.
Somewhere in Tokyo, at Seiran Academy is our hero, second year student Shuntaro Hidaka.
He's anticipating his upcoming graduation next year.
Will Shuntaro confess his feelings of love?
I've no comments for doujin Yaoi.

Foreword: Game first arouse my interest as alternative version of Subarashiki Hibi. Then I tried to get the glimpse of it by watching hentai OVA... and it was the worst hentai OVA I ever seen, so I was really infuriated since it did not say much about the game. Finally I've picked it up while investigating year 1999 and it struck me as something more serious than a nukige, especially after seeing those demon mind-screw CG. And it's been a while since I enjoyed a visual novel that much.


Title: Tsui no Sora

Developer: KeroQ

Date: 1999-08-27

VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v3246

Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq8vJwICEnwWJOz0Yf6ycKz3

Synopsis: Our guy got waked up by his childhood girl for school. Once they got to their classroom, they found out that a girl classmate jumped from their school roof yesterday. Soon, people started talking about end of the world on day 20th. Some even went crazy, lead by one guy. You get to see the events first through our guy's eyes, then his childhood girl's and two more people.

Structure: There are two routes - for Kotomi and Ayana, then there's the route from Kotomi point of view, then the retro-route from Zakuro eyes, then villain route from Takuji viewpoint. And it all finishes with epilogue route for Kotomi and Ayana.

Length: 7 hours 30 minutes.

Game type: Mindscrew end of the world theme ADV.

Difficulty: Easy since there are only 3-4 decisions to make.

Character Design rating: 8/10

Protagonist rating: 8/10

Story rating: 10/10

Game quality: 7/10

Overall rating: 8/10


Rating comments: I did not expect such high scores. Characters aren't voiced, but somehow they manage to feel alive. There are so many protagonists in this game that the rest of characters are easy to understand and remember. If it was only for Yukito, protagonist would get a full 10. Story does not seem anything special on the first glance, but with each route it opens up new depths and raises new questions making it a very integral, memorable and personal experience. I can't rate game quality good for the lack of CG, unvoiced heroes and macromedia director engine.


Yukita makes the perfect protagonist for me. He cites Kant, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard, Bible all the time. He looks like a hooligan, but is absolutely faithful and reliable even though he tries to shrug it off with crude words. He's pretty much the only one who stays calm, trusts in logic and comes to everyone's rescue.

Kotomi is Yukita's childhood friend. She is quite nice as a heroine, but when she becomes protagonist we get to see her constant hesitations and anxieties. It's a pain to see her crying "I don't know anything anymore", thinking "I must be alone and get stronger" and running away from Yukita at school.

Zakuro is the classmate of Yukita and Kotomi. At the beginning of the game she's already dead having jumped from the roof. But her story was the most impressive one for me. But more of it in the story part.

Takuji is the villain of the game. A shy small boy who at the same time wants to peel everyone naked and sentence to death. He's really cool as protagonist for having all kinds of hallucinations that make the game a mind-screw.

Characters: Who do we have left? There's classmate Otonashi Ayana who has her own route, but is not a protagonist for she's the most mysterious character in the game and her manner of thinking should not be revealed. There's also classmate Yokoyama Yasuko who enters the same kendo club as Kotomi, but at the same time really sympathizes Takuji end of the world ideas. Yasuko brother is the biggest supporter of Takuji as well. There's also guy Ozawa that bullied Zakuro, but at the beginning of the game he's dead. There's a magical girl Riruro, but her existence is under a huge question, hehe. We also have medical department teacher.


Story: I can't really tell about the story without some spoilers (although I'll try to hide heavy spoilers under a banner), so be aware. 

I. Game starts from Yukito perspective 7 days before the disaster and he can opt for either Kotomi or Ayana as the main heroine. The choice only determines couple short scenes of each heroine and determines whether Kotomi H event opens up or not. The contents remains the same. First two days are spent in mass neurosis as classmates keep jumping from the roof and rumors about the end of the world keep spreading. Then there are two days of open conflict of Takuji with the school that result in dangerous cult creation. Next two days are notable for Kotomi kidnapping by the Takuji group and her rescue by Yukito. The final day is not clearly shown.

II. Then starts the route of Kotomi which is exactly the same route, but from the eyes of Kotomi. She's there mostly to add girlish thoughts to the narration and of course to show her two days of captivity and torments (read: H events) while kidnapped. So it's kind of non-important fan-service route.

III. Well, when you think that the game is over, the next route opens up. And instead a week before the disaster we go to two weeks before the disaster to the body of Zakuro. She got raped and made photos of by bully Ozawa one day and from that time was blackmailed into intimate relations daily. But once she gets a letter saying "Rejoice, your torments will end tomorrow". Since it's the most impressive route for me I'd only tackle it under the spoiler banner.

IV. The seven days before the disaster are shown yet again, but from the eyes of main villain Takuji. We get to see how his ideas are formed, what pushes him, how he recruits allies and eventually names himself the savior of humankind. From that point it's hard to determine delusions from truth as he sees monsters, magical girl Riruru, her spirit father and gets instructions from them, but most of the time he seems to just be talking with the graffiti wall. He starts as savior of humanity, but through demonic teachings soon recognizes the need to purify humans before the final skies by killing them. The longest and weirdest route, but at the same time it still feels light.

V. Epilogues sheds light on events after the day X and give more questions than answers.



So let's start with the Zakuro route. The next day after receiving letter her offender Ozawa jumps out of the window right in the middle of the class. She hurries to the trash bin to recover the letter and it instructs her to meet the sender at the station. There she meets two cute young girls who say that they were blackened in the same manner. But through humiliation they recovered the memories of the past and shared those with Zakuro now. They are the warriors who keep reincarnation through the time to combat the end of the world. They have postponed it multiple times in great battles of the past, but in order to get enough strength for that they need to revive with superpowers. The next day they all gather at the roof of the school and are deadly terrified to jump down. But as the window of the possible reincarnation presses down, they take each others hands and jump from the roof... the end. Just WoW. The slice of life drama turns into affectionate eternal war of light and darkness, but only IF if you believe in that. They can be as well idiot fanatics to throw away their lives in vain - you decide.

Next is Takuji route. He organizes mass orgies and kidnapping of Kotomi. But what delivers the most is his imaginary talking to the magical girl Ririru and same imaginary sex with futanari Ririru and then futanari Ayana. He makes about a hundred people commit suicide by jumping from the roof, then confesses his love for Yakuto and jumps down the room himself. So here's where SubaHibi yaoi roots originate. Really crazy route where he compares himself to a famous dictator.
The epilogue shows us that nothing really happened after the Doomsday. But as they sit in the cafe on the 20th June Ayana kisses Yakuto, bids him farewell and suddenly Kotomi appears at her place. Kotomi says that it's 1st September and she's never heard of Ayano girl. And as Yakuto and Kotomi decide to stay forever an eternal sadness pierces that promise. 
In Ayano epilogue they talk with Yakuto about the essence of world, its beginning and ending and make love.


CG: Too few! But characters standing sprites usually look so good that the lack of CG is not that grave.

Sound: BGM includes few, but atmospheric short cycled compositions and there is no voicing at all.


Humor: Apart of this funny moment of skirt flipping there was one real joke. Yukito and Ayano stay at the roof. Ayano asks "- What book do you hold in hands?" "- Kant" " Why would you need a book about girl's genitalia?" "Wrong! It's not about that!" "So it's called just CAN'T? Why would you need a book about impotence?" Then he tries to tell her Kant and Wittgenstein theories. "Wittgenstein? Is that the male apparatus?". I don't remember any more moments, but for me it's important to have at least one funny memorable moment. 

Themes: There are a lot of themes. 

1) Is the end of the world possible? Yakuto tries to find an answer in Kant, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard and Bible books. He uses Kant's antimony to make a conclusion that the beginning of the universe is not provable and thus there can't be the end of the world. 

2) The war between light and darkness forces to impede/fasten the end of the world - is it real or imagination of fanatics? One certain route is devoted just to this theme.

3) Who actually saved the world? Was it Zakuro, Ayana or maybe even Takuji? All three came to contact to the higher essences and could influence that. Of maybe the world never needed to be saved and those are just superstition and ignorance? We have to figure it for ourselves.

4) The separate question is who is Ayana? Her every word is mysterious. She does not have parents, but she's always present at the most gruesome events late at night at the school.

5) What this game is even about? Again, you decide, the first two collages of screenshots allow to treat the game as spiritual mind-screw, youth criminal drama or eschatological religious confrontation of heroes and devils.

Overall comments: I have not read Subarashiki Hibi and can only judge it by reviews and vndb. But what I see there is that the core of the plot and the characters are absolutely the same. SubaHibi was enlarged immensely to fit the modern demand, but such detail would not be possible without this little weird gem from the 1990s.




Foreword: A C's Ware game at the mature period of company development, past DESIRE, Xenon and Eve:Burst Error. That's already enough to hook me. It has other attractiveness factors like title mystery that is Russian word Рабыни for "female slave". But why bother with Russian title in a nukige? Another reason is that cover has absolutely no premise for slavery. So mayhaps it's a sly puzzle that the company prepared for us? I'm more than willing to discover.

Title: Rabyni

Developer: C's Ware

Date: 1996-06-21

VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v9048

Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq_g_IirpxlYgTVj7C3WhmKz

Synopsis: Reiji is a loser high school student. He likes to peek after girls and girls detest him for that. He only has one childhood friend Misaki who brings him to school and helps him with studies. But everything changes after Reiji is caught by the teacher red-handed taking camera shots in girls' changing room...


Structure: Single road.

Length: Took me 9 hours

Game type: Command selection ADV  

Difficulty: Easy, but all the command selection moving around the same areas over and over again makes it exhausting

Character Design rating: 8/10

Protagonist rating: 5/10

Story rating: 5/10

Game quality: 4/10

Overall rating: 6/10


Rating comments: I can divide the whole game into three parts. Beginning part prior to being caught red-handed was actually a blast. First first five minutes of the game hero just decides on a very important question - to go to school or to skip school. That's a very amusing monologue. Next he picks up on every girl discussing their body proportions and each girl gets angry in her own way. It's a very nice comedy in the first part with nice characters and dialogues. I put a firm 8/10 to the first part.

Middle part changes the game drastically. His teacher blackmails him into becoming her slave under the threat of kicking him out of school with making his secret camera shots public. But it's not about sexual slavery that much - she rewards him with intimacy if Reiji has excellent marks and does the home chores like cleaning and cooking properly. In just couple days Reiji evolves greatly and becomes the best student in the class and starts to attract different girls attention. That's a hard to believe change, but still this part is very close to a romance work with getting to know girls better and helping solve their problems. I'd rate this part below the masterpiece level, but still quite highly, at 6/10.

Then comes the last part and the title of the game starts to kick in. Reiji becomes dissatisfied with constant treasons of Yoko-sensei and one day just coerces her to his will putting her to slave position instead. And from then on this master-slave attitude starts to shift to girls. Girls stop being subjects. Even though there is nothing about sexual slavery, Reiji starts to behave like a master easily punishing any of girls for misbehavior. That stopped looking good anymore and ending failed to impress. So this part is worth 4/10 for me.

The sum of those marks is 6/10 and the overall quality of the game prevents it from reaching masterpiece level. Game has no voice, repeating command selection gameplay, few locations and even fewer non-HCG.


Protagonist: Reiji is a nice protagonist while he's a looser. Then he's suddenly reliable good guy with a secret in his his closet. And then he's a master who treats girls around him like punishable objects. That's a bit of too much change for a single game, isn't it? That quickly severs the link between him and the readers.

Characters: There are some 6 girls, I think. But surprisingly enough two girls don't really have their H events. I don't really want to focus on girls since neither of them has their own route. Still girls are cute and dialogues with them makes the most enjoyable part of the game.

Story: I happened to retell the story in the rating comments section.

CG: Very few CG and few locations make the game look bleak. Animated H scenes don't help much since same scene may repeat over and over at different times and there's no dialogue in the mids. Palette is dim.


Sound: Nothing special and no voicing really hurt.

Overall comments: Game was not bad while I tried to evaluate it in the beginning and middle part, but final part spoilt it all creating an inevitably poor impression overall. Still I felt C's Ware puzzling feeling. There was even one scene when you suddenly make it from №300-sh to №1 in grades and have to participate in spontaneous test to prove your ability. It took me some 20 minutes to answer 8 out of 10 repeating questions correct, because many of those questions were different each time and I failed to understand how the knowledge of japanese baseball or which coin can be put to an envelope actually qualified as school knowledge. 

Game has a complex nature and is a treat for C's Ware fan like me. I'm really glad it turned out to be a quirky romance comedy rather that fall into fetishism.



Foreword: Absolutely unknown game in the West that has overwhelmingly positive evaluation in Japan. Which side would I take?

Title: Rocket no Natsu

Developer: TerraLunar

Date: 2002-10-11

VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v4190

Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_HLI2A5oFE&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_3lP089VAcjTRvabUf9dJf


Synopsis: There used to be a season called "Rocket summer"...

The Earth has become a member of the Galactic Federation and has accepted multiple emissaries from aliens.  Silver rockets are launched from the Earth on daily basis, but one day all inter-galaxy contacts cease and space port doors get shut.

Main character has dreamt of space travel since childhood. One day he decides to help girl Chise to participate in self-made rocket competition "50 Miles Over". Together with princess from the other star they form a rocket club. Will their dreams come true?

Structure: Roughly a month from 05.07 till 06.11

Length: 7 hours for initial route, some 3 hours for each of remaining 4 routes. Plus 3 hours for omake.

Game type: Space dream youth comedy with aliens

Difficulty: Moderate

Character Design rating: 8/10

Protagonist rating: 7/10

Story rating: 8/10

Game quality: 7/10

Overall rating: 7 or 8/10

Rating comments: It's 7 if you have sound stuttering like me and are't crazy about the genre like me. It's 8 for everyone else.


Protagonist: Takashi is pretty cool. He's so knowledgeable of rockets and so patient and attentive that I'd happily have same intelligent protagonist everywhere. 

Characters: There are five heroines which are very different. Chika route is forced as first - and she's the only normal human among all the heroines. She has the only normal route about passion for rocket building and normal romance. But after that surprises begin. There are two routes for each of aliens - Selen-chan and her guard Berthia. Characters are pretty crazy and so are their routes, but it was really sad for me to see ignorant and vain Selen-chan to have teary face in the end. Tsundere should never cry! Haruhi-sensei is... android teacher. And Akira is our normal childhood friend with a huge secret about her - the most shocking route for sure.


Story: Main route only covers characters getting together around Chika desire to build a rocket and being joined by aliens. Then each route has its turns.

CG: No complaints at all.


Sound: Everyone is voiced, including protagonist. That's absolutely superb. But sound stuttering that I got at Win10 really started to kill the fun around the third route I played. Freezes also got more and more frequent, so I did not record past 3rd route.

Thoughts:  It's the third rocket club theme visual novel that I play, and it's actually the best one of the three. The reason is the variety of routes and only interesting scenes. There's tension that leaves your interested from beginning to the end. Full voicing, bright atmosphere and colorful characters add up to the feeling. Omake about space adventures fits greatly to the picture as well.


Overall comments: Game is a masterpiece, no doubt. It's not a breakthrough game to become a pillar of new visual novel world. No, it's just a cosy cool place to visit and have a rest. I guess it's the real reason why it went unnoticed in the West - we need a breakthrough. The Japanese can be jerks about plotge, but they can rarely be wrong about a good calming charage.



Foreword: With script size of around 4.5Mb Hello, World is one of the largest visual novels ever created. Cyberpunk, Nitroplus and positive reviews (1 2 3 4) all promised a great time. However...

Title: Hello, world

Developer: Nitroplus

Date: 2002-09-27

VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v431

Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsNedut_3eE&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv-KYrXbyAGXRCg720guyMwo


Synopsis: Set in Akihabara in the near future, "Hello, world." is a hearty, feature-length, cyber battle-action/campus-life story about a robot boy and the girls that surround him.

Tremendous progress has been made in technical advances. Various networks have taken strongholds with each new generation. Though not nearly advanced as humans, two-legged robots are utilized in many practical areas throughout the world. Amid worldwide peace, the human race remains unchanged.

Kazuki Tomonaga is a robot made by an entity called "HIKARI" for the purpose of "GLOBAL ILLUMINATION". He's created with ingenuity as precise as that of a human being. Kazuki is commanded to research the concepts of "human emotion". Along the way he meets various girls and has exchanges with them. In their "exchanges" his "curiosity" gradually turns into "affection" and his mission becomes more intense. He gradually starts to build his own philosophy, not knowing he will be forced to make crucially important decisions in the near future.

Structure: Days from October 1st to October 30th

Length: 100+ hours

Game type: Cyberpunk android adventure

Difficulty: Relatively easy, most of choices are just about picking the same girl all the time

Character Design rating: 3/10

Protagonist rating: 6/10

Story rating: 6/10

Game quality: 6/10

Overall rating: 5/10


What? How can "Hello, world" not be a masterpiece - are you even sane? That would be my initial reaction as well, but I have my argumentation. All in its due time.

First of all, I was shocked by trash rating of the game in the most notable Japanese reviewer blog of old games ADVGAMER (1). The reasons for that are quite vague: overextendent, confusing in the second part and as a result a really boring game. But of course I just considered reviewer a weakling who could not understand the gist of the game - and bravely dived into the action.

The first half of the game is surprisingly orthodox despite the fact that protagonist as an android. He explores the world and the girls close to him. There are over 10 events with each girl to pursue with its romantic resolution. Pace is really bad, but curious side-characters and unfamiliar futuristic setting make it tolerable.


But then happens second part which is a set of action episodes with a bit of romance in-between. And it all comes to very simplistic story. There are five girls who have relatives suffered from a certain "evil" corporation. Hacker incidents start to happen breaking out into a full-scale machine rebellion. That's it! There's no sophistication in the plot at all. Of course, there are much more side-characters, every girl has her own circumstances, and there is a series of incidents leading to the culmination, but it does not change the fact that it's all done just to show action scenes, not to really move the plot. But the greatest tragedy of the game is that it lasts for 30 hours on initial playthrough, and subsequent routes need to go through absolutely the same plot, just with different romance events and the very ending. As ADVGAMER puts it, game either must have an unusual setting and take time to describe its details or have a common setting and then adhere to compact structure. But Hello, world tries to present a common setting like something new, and then prolongs it to insane lengths putting reader in the state of the ultimate boredom. 

One of the flaws of the game is tasteless character design. Who said that green hair girl should have green eyes, violet hair girl - violet eyes, blue hair - blue eyes and red hair girl - red eyes?! That looks absolutely stupid. Character designs are trashy, and artist work manages to catch such poor angles at times that result looks super-ugly. There is just one girl with the design I like - that's Junko. Cool white long hair with really nice haircut, great black and red suit, mini-skirt and always carrying a gun. Just perfect! But she's not one of the heroines! She's just a side-character to help fight baddies in action scenes! Why-y-y???


The second disappointing feature is "partial voicing", but don't be misguided here, it's actually NO VOICING. We barely manage to hear how each heroine should sound during the first hour of play, then there are 30 hours of NO VOICING. Not in action scenes, not in culmination romantic scenes - just never. That's something really disappointing.

Game really makes the best of 3D rendering from Phantom of Inferno (close-ups on weapons) and Vjedogonia (moving vehicles), but action scenes remain confusing. The air battle between three aircrafts on one side and one modified air fighter on the other side left me really disappointed. Action scenes end with some sudden development rather than being one logical performance.


Routes are composed in one of the worst possible ways. Story is absolutely the same with just romance events changing from heroine to heroine. Then each heroine has her individual end where only she and hero survive as well as the true end where everyone survives. There is just a bit of fresh air in the individual endings of each heroine, but True ending of each heroine is absolutely the same... save for the last 5 minutes that describe heroine 6 years after the main events of the story. That's a real crime to make people try to grasp something new in 30-hour long route and not even giving anything really new. It's the same story, but we hope you have 150 hours to read them all - a horrible move.

The biggest problem with "Hello, world" is the aftertaste and lack of satisfaction. It's not that bad while it lasts for the first time even though pace is terrible, but each new "route" only brings anger and despair. I look back and only see dozens of hours of wasted time. What did I get in return? Nothing. Not a good story, not a good romance. Some flashy action scenes and some nice side-characters are the only things that I look back to without irritation. Game does not respect its readers. Readers should not respect such a disintegrated game.



ELLE / エル


Foreword: I just had to try Elf adventure title. Now I joined the army of Hiruda scenario fans.
Title: ELLE
Original Title: エル
Developer: Elf
Release Date: 1991-06-23
Summary: Post-nuclear world last survivors dome city. "Black Widow" organization is trying to obstruct plans for human survival while anti-terror organization along with lady sniper Elle oppose them.
VNDB Link: 

Video playthrough: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq_KMeaBzd3g0HXL2znhn-eQ
Game Type: Point and click adventure visual novel

Story Length: 7 hours.
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy!
Comments of Difficulty: One-way road. The worst thing that can happen is that you can miss optional H-scene or couple CG.
Character Design Rating: 9/10. 
Story Rating: 10/10.
Protagonist Rating: 10/10
Game Quality: 10/10
Overall Rating: 10/10
Rating Comments: I did not really expect this work to surpass De-Ja. But it actually did! Could not stop till finished it in one sitting. I can not give excellent mark to Characters since it's an adventure story and there's little time to crack complex characters. But apart of that I loved every second of it. Point and Click is much more fun than Interactive Adventure choices. There is much less effort needed to capture flags to progress the story compared to De-Ja, mostly because you don't need to think/look/investigate etc - story progresses just by talking and checking different locations for new stuff.

Structure: Game is one piece so it was difficult to say how much progress was left. Almost at the very end I was still of large amount of story to come since there were still two locations closed - but - BAM - unexpected stuff showed up and story shortly ended.

Story: First things first. I've NO idea what girl is depicted on game poster. The only blonde girl in the game was secretary side-character. That's not fun making a poster out of non-existing character. And there is zero trace of game's alias title - L-Elle.
Story felt a bit shorter than De-Ja. I can't avoid spoilers although promise not to spoiler heavily about the ending. So you join a unit of snipers to investigate recent abductions of humans by Black Widow organization and their leader Gimmick. "Sniper" is just a cool title, all you have is a hand stun-gun with volume ranging from light stun to lethal shot. So five of them are of low ranks and their officer is of S rank. You actually are of SS rank but you can't reveal that so it's blank rank and you're subordinate of a different intelligence body. One of lower rank snipers is girl named Elle who takes you on a tour around Media center and the city and then leaves alone. First you encounter a girl sexually assaulted by two Black Widow members, then as story progresses there are two more sexual assaults that you prevent right in the media center, the base of sniper organization. The attackers have bombs explode on arrest. Then one by one fellow sniper team members start to die just after they approach the mystery of Gimmick identity. Their bodies are gravely destructed, partly dismembered with all entrails out. Eventually Elle joins you as an investigation partner and together you eventually manage to reveal the secret of Gimmick. Then Ex-Machina happens (in a good meaning, nothing extraterrestrial or stupid) and everything ends in the spirit of Matrix.

Characters summary: Characters are all depicted very lively. It's a brutal man world story so males advance the story while girls here are just service staff : waitress, receptionist, nurse, pop-idol, tv drama star. They have quite episodic roles and involve a single H-scene each (Chris actually has one and a half since you save her from street gangsters in quite an intriguing state). So Elle is the only heroine here.
Elle: El Mines is a sniper division member. Right from the start she marks you as a pervert and you by chance come to the same place together following the same lead and find the body of first fellow sniper. After that She feels responsible and volunteers to join you to find Gimmick. She's quite a typical Elf main heroine very similar to Gachako from De-Ja. Loud voice, constant use of "ne, ne" , emotional behavior. Just like Lipstick ADV and De-Ja written by Hiruda before, the most fun stuff happens when she follows you to well-known locations and comments on everything and quarrels with every female around.
Protagonist: Joe Takanaka is the default name, but actually you get to insert your own name just as game starts. Again, very similar to De-Ja, protagonist is one hell of a pervert. Whenever he sees something with a skirt, he can't stand but to try to grab it, to lick it, to kiss it and to devour it with his eyes, of course.
Sexual Content: Low. But freaking funny! There are five sexual assaults made throughout the game by gangsters and in four of them you actually join the assaulters! One superfun scene is of Section chief who we found guilty in murder. So he takes his secretary hostage stripping her while threatening with a knife. We don't have a good angle to shoot him so we just join him to harass her together. The fun part is that he cries : stop right now, it's my secretary, what are you doing to my subordinate. Since it's point and click adventure, you can't skip scenes but must gradually kiss/touch/lick etc, but the good stuff is that H-scenes give you a new lead by the end of it, so it's not just a senseless act, but a plot move.
Affection for the Characters: High. Every male characters has strong individuality and you won't be able to forget them. Every female character is very cute and fun in her own way.
CG Score: 10/10. There aren't too many CG here, but I just love Elf CG, even H-CG and guro ones. Special note should be given to animations. There are hundreds of 3D animations in the game. Most of objects grow legs and other limbs and do weird things on clicking. Very fun stuff. Really. Every second object on a screen. Another great feature is short videos in most important plot moments. They are of great quality and they make you forget that you're playing a visual novel game. It's totally like anime in those scenes.
Sound Score: There are some 20 compositions and most of them were so-so, just to break the silence. I have not remembered any brilliant ones, but it probably due to the fact that all the multiple animated scenes have their own sound, not the usual compositions. But I never once got tired of any track and never ever felt like one track was looping for too long. So 8/10 it is.

Addictiveness: I'm hopelessly addicted to early Elf works now. And ELLE is awesome mostly because of point-and-click style. Now it's really interactive experience and you really feel like playing, not clicking every possible variant in each location over and over. Just talk and walk.


Humor: Yes! I'm distinguishing a special column for humor here. Game treats everything unseriously. Just look at this picture. Nurse whipping patient to make him drink medicine properly. One guy hanging on a rope. Another one in speed wheel chair. 3rd one smells a pile of poo. Next pair are having sex. Next to them is a nurse who's masturbating with a sofa. To the right is the guy who holds his own eye. Just below is the guy with his head in his hands. This nice grandpa in lower right corner has a dick showing up from his head and cumming on clicking. Every object is clickable and everything produces fantastic commentaries and/or animations. This no restraint humor is the best!

Technical Difficulties: Game is based on old fullscreen Direct-media and DirectX so it basically freezes on Alt-Tab, but as soon as I tried to run it in window-mode with DXWind, it was perfect.

Conclusion: Game that I'll never be able to forget. Every piece that I like came together and produced pervert protagonist comedy adventure story in sci-fi setting with a single intriguing story-line and great shock in the end. It's the first VN game I played that I liked without any but's.


Foreword: I do not believe in AliceSoft. As for me, they can only do that pornographic rapist Rance series over and over. So any work outside of Rance franchise is of interest to me to support or demolish this statement.  

Title: Prostudent G

Original Title: ぷろすちゅーでんとG

Developer: AliceSoft

Release Date: 1993-05-15

Summary: By the end of the 20th century, radical educational reforms have transformed the Japanese society. Students were split into opposing groups, and the more aggressive of those eventually formed a dominant organization named Order of Black Phoenix, centered on the cult of a mysterious person known as "The Queen". Outcast students have escaped to a secluded island near Okinawa. A wandering lazy and lecherous manga and anime fan named Gorō Endō teams up with a female teacher and a few students to lead an opposition force against the oppressive governing circles.

VNDB Link:https://vndb.org/v4701

Game Type: Command selection absurd bakage

Story Length: 6 hours

Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy!

Comments of Difficulty: One-way road with several choices affecting the ending

Character Design Rating: 6/10.

Story Rating: 2/10.

Protagonist Rating: 5/10

Game Quality: 4/10

Overall Rating: 4/10


Rating Comments: I had to force myself to finish it. By the mids of the story nothing sane was left and it got really difficult to follow that farce. For that reason I don't have the right to produce a structured review - it would rather be graphical impressions of the story with comments. Another thing is that game is a very crude port from PC-98 to Windows-95 dated by 1995, so it's same PC-98 edition, just with windows text extraction capabilities. No voicing, no remastered CG, no improved systems... nothing. I'm sorry, but there will be spoilers since the chances that anyone else gonna play this game are very close to nil.

Structure: One whole part.



We start as hooligan Goro (he claims to have sent to hospital many dozens of students) exiled with other outcasts to an island beyond Okinawa. He has really nothing to do and is dying of boredom. So when weird Noriko-sensei suggests he serves as her bodyguard in her trip to Ministry of education to propose two-weekend school plan, he reluctantly agrees.


But ech, she's ugly. Two other students join then on the ferry to mainland


So from left to right they are Noriko-sensei, ever-hungry karate-kid Choko and gun maniac Saori. But at the ferry eternally horny Goro sneaks into Noriko-sensei room and finds her with her usual glasses.


He immediately swears to always love sensei. But when Choko visits him the next minute in his room, he makes a woman of her. Sorry, sensei! Actually, the decisions to comfort plot girl characters is optional and it affects the ending we get.

So we get to the mainland and just go sightseeing. Since this is the part I was still reading attentively, here are some examples of game humor encountered.

  • We get to book store and while sensei is buying "The treasure of love" we want to buy quickly "How to SEX" and seller pesters us for a long time with questions like whether we want silver or gold edition and then persistently wants to sell us tissues. Goro declines saying that a real man needs no tissues! And seller insists that we'll definitely find use of those tissues, for example during influenza.
  • Fortune telling is being whipped. First magician points us at each of four directions consecutively and each time we explore that direction and find nothing. Another thing is that for fortune telling to work magician each time needs to perform a ritual like touching the girl's boobs or bondaging a girl. Choko and Saori were the poor participants.
  • When you die in battle, an angel appears before your eyes and offers to resurrect you. In one plot sequence (not a real battle) this angel appears with a rose in his butt and demands that Goro licked his butthole in order to resurrect. And Goro wanted to live.

After all the sightseeing Goro wants to visit adult store very much, but does not want Noriko-sensei to go there, so he suggests ladies go to a boutique and he visits the X place. And this happens when he returns.


Some elite guy from Black Phoenix captured sensei. And a good third of the game we just trying to get her back... We save some girl on the street from molesters just before that and now girl attacks presumably to let this guy get away with sensei.


So this is just first of many girl enemies ahead. Try to guess what happens when you defeat such an enemy... Right, typical Rance stuff. And I think there slightly less than 10 of such enemies throughout the game.

Anyway, we interrogate some punk from the Black Phoenix on the street and learn that sensei was taken to Osaka.

We find the bridge blown down and need to swim over the river and by the mids of  it Goro feels that he's got more difficult to breathe.


And the reason is Sailor - oh, I mean some nameless enemy. Saori helps us in this battle but something worries me...


Saori uses revolver and even SMG agains the pink head enemy. Oh, well, must be some special underwater arms, really. I should not even mention what happens to the enemy the next scene.

And it was still ok till some huge mech attacked our heroes with cannons and blasters.


Since there was nothing to do agains a giant robot, Goro just... summoned himself a new robot from the sky. REALLY?!?! What's wrong with this game, I wonder?! 

After we deal with the pilot in an additional scene the kidnapper of sensei shows up and whatever we do we get defeated. At this point resurrection angel only offers us to resurrect as a girl... and at this point I completely lost it. 

Next Goro girl was getting lots of harassment, some transsexual also showed up on the scene to support such a cute baby.


First Goro girl had to defeat some karate kid in karate competition with unorthodox methods like boob attack and tickle, then this win somehow got us access to some school where with this transsexual in girl clothes we hunted for the contents of school director safe. And then the company went further to Hokkaido. Somespace ship attacked and I guess Goro just summoned himself another spaceship, no biggie. As spaceship hit volcano, a multi-handed giant Budda appeared and for some reason became a threat!


At least there was no H scene after defeating this monster. Despite original goal was two-weekend school week proposal to the Ministry of Education, noone really bothered about it anymore. Instead, for some reason we storm the fortress of Black Phoenix to confront "The Queen". So on the way to this fortress Goro just dies in his cabin and angel gives no option but to resurrect as sensei kidnapper... Somehow the dude who claimed to be the toughest guy in Japan joins us since Goro claims that Goro is number one and that guy is number two. Anyway, this weird pair does most of the work in the fortress and the dude sacrifices himself to take one of the bodyguards out of action in this gay scene.


But instead of the Queen the ultimate boss is this... I don't have the words.


In our travels we bought or picked up some items that weren't of use not even once. So now is the chance to try all those items to defeat the boss.


The mighty boss is defeated with the banana peel and we get rape the queen scene. Game over. AAAAH! What the hell was that? We get a CG featuring afterstory of most of plot characters and that's it. I was not asking for a good story, but I'd appreciate at least a coherent one. And I can't stand rapist protagonists for their inevitably ugly moral image. That sums it up. My attitude towards Alice Soft has not changed, but i'm looking forward to next AliceSoft non-Rance game to prove me I'm wrong.

  • Isaku and Ryouki no Ori are masterpieces of the month, but the winner is Isaku since it's more traditional visual novel.

    1. Gakkou de Atta Kowai Hanashi 学校であった怖い話 [950804] Pandora Box 1 2
    Sakagami Shuuichi, a member of the school newspaper, is asked to gather information about the school's seven mysteries. He meets with six other students after school to listen to their stories.
    There is an English review.
    2. Hyaku Monogatari ~Honto ni Atta Kowai Hanashi~ 百物語 ~ほんとにあった怖い話~ [950804] Hudson Soft 1
    There is one hundred selectable candles. Each candle leads to a short story a few minutes long.
    There is one small English review.
    3. Immoral Study Scenario 1: Shirakawa Reiko インモラルスタディ シナリオ1 白川玲子 [950811] Scoop 1 2 3 4 5
    You are professor Hitosuji, a well-known teacher who possesses the remarkable gift of turning weak students into straight A ones. What's the secret of professor's method? As you might have suspected, the talented professor uses somewhat... ahem... unconventional means to attain this noble educational goal. This time, the "victim" is a young innocent girl named Reiko Shirakawa. She attends an all-girl and has never had any real contact with men. Controlling the cunning professor, you must seduce Reiko by selecting correct choices that are presented to you at almost any given point, avoiding disturbances such as the ugly housekeeper in Reiko's house.
    Game is localized and has English reviews.
    4. Kirishima Shinryoushitsu no Gogo 霧島診療室の午後 [950811] May-Be Soft 1
    Kyoko is a young woman who does some counseling in a high school; she must talk to people, listen to their problems, and try to solve them. Naturally, this being a hentai game, the problems are usually restricted to sexual fetishes, and the counseling often consists of helping the patients in such ways that new problems of a similar kind might arise...
    Quite a loose ero-centered story about counseling on sex problems.
    5. Frontier フロンティア [950825] Frontier
    A collection of short stories.
    Stories are set in some desolate future and quite elaborately done. It might be the peak of multiple stories genre, but whatever complicated prelude is, it inevitably leads to multiple H events.
    6. Isaku 遺作 [950825] Elf 1 2 3 4
    Unlike the sequels that follows you take on the role of Kenta, a high school student trapped by Isaku, the eldest brother of the Itou Family on the fourth floor of an abandoned school building together with fellow classmates and a teacher.
    The main objective of the game is to have the player and his companions escape from a locked school building, and to avoid having your companions captured by Isaku.
    The only way out is through a stairwell, the doors of which are locked on every floor. The player must search the rooms on each floor for clues and items that will lead him to locate the keys that will open the stairwell doors and allow him to descend to the next level and ultimately to a final confrontation with Isaku himself.
    Famous rapist series of Elf, but this first game has an ordinary high school student as protagonist, so it can be enjoyed. There is one English review. First things first: this game has an amazing point and click system, probably ideal one. There are items to pick up at school, but if misuse some needed item, you won't be able to get a happy ending, cruel as that. There are few VNs with escape as main theme, so it's a nice treat. The graphics of Elf here are in its blossom and it's especially cool that the most attractive character is Kumiko-sensei and not those multiple girls. Game basically has no flaws and manages to have all the elements in sync, so it's a masterpiece, just not for everyone.
    7. May Club 五月倶楽部 [950825] Desire 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
    The year is 2023, and you play the role of Hajime Kudo, a young man who has just finished his studies at Jiyugaoka University. Hajime is enjoying some downtime after graduation before he is scheduled to start his training with a CAT company and enter the corporate world as a "wage-slave". One February afternoon you receive a flyer advertising a Virtual Reality Dating Simulator called May Club, apparently the most advanced human interface unit of this type to be developed. In May Club, you can supposedly act out any desire you wish with other May Club users, a world where "virtually" anything is possible and physically represented, and inhibitions are forgotten. Naturally, you're intrigued, and make it a point to spend your vacation time at May Club hoping to meet the woman of your dreams before starting your new life.
    One of the well known old dating sims. Has many English reviews.
    8. Moratorium モラトリアム [950825] Gloria
    Your father remarries and you end up living together with three new grown-up sisters.
    This work has some gag situations in addition to H events. It can sometimes be seen as a unique comic book and it's easy to read.
    9. Ryouki no Ori 猟奇の檻 [950825] Studio Polaris 1 2
    A series of strange disappearances occurs in Zeroshiki Department Store, one of the largest shopping malls in Japan. The management is concerned and unwilling to involve the authorities. For an unknown reason they turn to one of their salesmen, a young man named Kuniharu Shitaku, requesting him to investigate the case and find out who or what is behind these disappearances. Kuniharu must explore the mall and gather information by talking to shop managers and staff, most of which are attractive young women who may not be what they seem at first glance.
    An ADV that incorporates time system. Every map movement takes some time. Suspense story about missing people that turns out to be about organs shipment. Even if you find the criminal, it's only the peak of the iceberg and the puppeteer remains unknown. Graphics is great. There are multiple endings and some of them are quite cheerful in contrast with the dark suspense mood of the game. Of course, there are a lot of bad endings as well, so a guide is almost a necessity in such time driven game. Very original game worthy of masterpiece title, but the modern remake of the game makes old version obsolete.
    10. Sakura no Mori 櫻の杜 ~さくらのもり~ [950825] Active
    Girls school recently started to adopt male students. There's an old urban legend about a ghost called "young lady" at school and three ghost study club members are set to investigate it.
    It's lesbian comedy. And it's more lesbian than a comedy. It's more or less fun through the middle, but don't expect to see any kind of story development here. Yet another bakage with emphasis on H-scenes.
    11. Trigger 2 トリガー2 [950825] ZyX 1
    Trigger 2 consists of three unrelated stories. The protagonist of the first one is Kerberos, the mythical guardian hellhound. Following a dispute with Lucifer, Kerberos was banned to Earth, where he assumed human form and eventually decided to battle monsters who had been sexually assaulting young women.
    In the second story, a seventeen-year-old modern-day girl named Ryoko is magically transferred to a parallel world known as Ryudo. There, she receives painful sexual "training" ans is send to battle machine enemies.
    The third story is set in American Old West and focuses on Marie, a female rogue who wants to pass for a young man. The rest of the plot depicts various sexual encounters of hers with men and women, consensual and non-consensual alike.
    Zyx continues the animated games race along with Sogna and Himeya Soft. But Trigger 2 is almost entirely committed to H events unlike his competitors.


1995 did not bring as many masterpieces as previous years while increasing the total number of visual novels significantly

First of all, let's prolong the chart

VN per year

























There's been a steady increase in total number VNs by 16% compared to year 1994.

The aftertaste is bitter as if I witness an overall decline in quality.

So let's see what year 1995 brought:

  • The number of VNs with high difficulties and genre mixes increased steeply
  • Command selection gets almost extinct being substituted with either point and click or ADV
  • Moe first focused on in Classmates 2 started its victorious march through the time
  • Conception of time showed up in several games at once after success of Classmates 1 and 2
  • First Windows VN - Sinkha

Let's count the masterpiece level games of 1995: 

Just twelve works? That's a definite decline from 1994. Eve: Burst Error is an unbeatable giant this year. It is the best known old game that has not lost a grain of its charm to our days. It has all the rights to be the VN of the Year 1995.

Oh, and some final words. The era of pc-98 is actually almost gone. Year 1996 will the transition one and 1997 will have only some leftover slowpokes on pc-98 systems. So let's say thanks to the magnificent beautiful world of pc-98 and dive into... very crude and ugly works of beginning of windows era...


VN of the Year 1996


The best year so far, actually. I really hope that I'll be able to say the same about every forthcoming year. 84 works during the year amounts for an average of 7 works each month - a very saturated year.

Let's prolong the chart.

VN per year





























There's roughly the same number of visual novels in 1996 as in 1995. Romance games are everywhere this year, especially in the second half of it where Windows games preside. First half of 1996 is quite traditional mixed pc-98 representation familiar by previous years.

Let's see what year 1996 brought:

  • Windows 95 brought 256 colors - something that pc-98 could never rival. Games not ported to Windows, but made specially for Windows like Dousoukai ~Yesterday Once More~ showed it clearly that there is just one possible future for VNs - on Windows and game consoles.
  • The second half of 1996 showed clearly that with the rise of Windows games, there are much fewer creative games as well as mixes of genres.
  • Bigger number of CGs and even more simplified gameplay tendencies persist - newer dating sims barely resemble the complexity of pioneers
  • 1996 was the year when game accessories like wallpapers started to sell well - that provoked the creation of specialized moe titles 
  • With Shizuku and Kizuato Leaf transformed the sound novel genre that used to be wall of text on some background horror stories into what we now know as contemporary NVL novels with big character sprites and eliminated gameplay elements .
  • 1996 is the first year that bore no new genre, no big development in systems. And that's also good as the market started to stabilize. 
  • There aren't that many RPG this year, but the remaining ones are of superb quality. Four masterpieces are RPG this year, plus two more games of the month are RPG as well.

Let's count the masterpiece level games of 1996: 

  1. 1. Angel Halo
    2. Be-Yond ~Kurodaishou ni Mirareteru~
    3. Bounty Hunter Rudy
    4. Es no Houteishiki
    5. Harlem Blade ~The Greatest of All Time.~
    6. Kakyuusei
    7. Kichikuou Rance
    8. Kizuato
    9. Kono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo YU-NO
    10. Ma Doll
    11. Mujintou Monogatari 3 - A.D. 1999 Tokyo
    12. NOëL NOT DiGITAL
    13. Pia Carrot e Youkoso!! ~We've Been Waiting for You~
    14. Sakura Taisen
    15. Star Platinum
    16. Stone Walkers

Sixteen it is! Just note that some of the games are included for sheer concept originality or impact they made on further works. But the game of the year can't be just an important game. It should be the best from the best and definitely not a dating sim. Nothing stands close to a girl who chants love at the bound of this world, YU-NO. I played it some five years ago. Both the real world maze and the fantasy world beautiful ending are still vivid in my memory. It's a great adventure with most memorable characters and a huge impact. Hands off, the best work of Elf and it's probably the last time Elf hosts the game of the year. Windows era shall have its own champions.


Finally some competition! I rate all of Viper-F40Nails and Moon. as masterpieces. But Moon. is the one that leaves the biggest impact.

1. Chaos Blood カオスブラッド [971107] Ange
Komiya Soma is leading a casual university life, but one night he gets involved into strange case. A student girl stood naked on the rooftop, repeating meaningless words and eventually starting to pee.
It was only the first of a series of incidents to arise in the future...
Minor work. Ugly character design. Story is tilt to weird fetishes and the synopsis is set just to show them. There are three routes, each featuring two different girls.


2. Collector ~Seifuku no Mezameru Toki~ コレクター ~制服の目覚める時~ [971107] Melody 1
The story behind Collector is that the main character has attended a well-reputed high school for a long time. Yet, the main character was disgust by their strict school policy and the boredom in the school. He wanted something interesting besides attending school and go home. And thus, the main character participated in a strange club that his friend has introduced to him. In this club, the main goal is to seduce girls to the clubhouse and rape them! And guess what? The main character is assigned as the person who will be responsible to bring the girls to the clubhouse. From here on, your quest of hunting down girls begins.
There is an English review.


3. Kenshuui 研修医 [971107] Vector
Uchi Yamagami graduated from a medical faculty a year ago. He worked at a public hospital and now decided to change workplace for a private recently opened hospital. He has views for six pretty women around, but at the same time he needs to solve hospital's new problem - principal's wife caused a riot and a big contract was cancelled. Moreover coworker pharmacist is behaving suspiciously. Hero will need to solve all the problems.
The choice of a girl depends on the type of work chosen every day. In the dialogue there are options to raise and lover favorability.


4. Kinjirareta Asobi 禁じられた遊び [971107] Vision
Protagonist receives a funny flier from a woman with butterfly glasses on the way back from the company. It advertises a relaxing machine that makes sexual dreams true. He pays a visit to the place and meets another woman with butterfly glasses...
Ero-centered game without text, voice only. Lots of animation as always with Vision.


5. Kokuhaku 告白 [971107] Guilty
Three high school girls confess their problems to main character who works as a counselor. He will need to find the right approach to each of them.
Girls have very difficult sexual problems relating to different fetishes. And it's impossible to get to true endings till the normal endings for each girl is got. A very exhausting game.


6. Megami no Hohoemi 女神の微笑み [971107] Palette (old)
Humans are extinct, only computer "CZ 25" with a will keeps existing. He strongly wished to see his creator and other human beings, and one day the goddess of time comes before him. She decides to change the past in order to fulfill his wish.
Modern time. Takuya Saito fell ill on the day of exams and now he is a ronin. One day Takuya is inspired by old friend Hiroyuki to become a high school graduate. What fate awaits Takuya?
Multi-ending ADV. There are five girls to clear and story develops by moving around and triggering events. There are several chapters with the cutest girl in the final chapter. Story development is unnatural, same as goddess of time part looks irrelevant. There is no hint that with some ending future was going to change. Game feels incomplete.


7. NyanNyan Dream にゃんにゃんドリーム [971107] Misty
An old main is travelling around secluded locations to pick up little girls.
Stupid loli game, and it's not even nanpa, just H.


8. Viper-F40 [971107] Sogna 1 2
A police investigation unfolds as detective Lilia and her freelancing friend Raika attempt to solve the mystery of three missing persons. Their investigation draws the ire of a small gang...
There are two reviews of this game, including mine.


9. Nails ~Beginning of Your Heart Beat~ [971114] Jam
People and nail people share the same continent and are in constant struggle against each other. At some point a relative peace has been settled and both populations continued to coexist in several smaller nations.
The stage is Altair Kingdom.
Jam Rock is a famous swordsman. One day on the way home from the swordsmen dojo, he helped a girl chased by suspicious men. She only remembered here name - Minwi. She turned out to be a shrine maid of Theinhad Temple and her memory was sealed for some reason. Jam Rock decided to take her to the Temple of Zainhad, but he was declared as Minwi kidnapper.
Two people passed through the security net and reached the Temple of Zainhad. However, Minnie could not remember anything. That night Minwi was kidnapped by the nail people with a probable aim to bring her as sacrifice to gods.
Jam Rock's rescue adventure is only beginning now.
Dungeon crawl RPG or maybe SIM with map travel because there are no levels or stats. Changing the destination map changes characters that will become friends. Party characters have favorability scale and it rises whenever they are praised. There are 8 girls to clear and 23 endings overall. Battle is turn-based command selection. Controls is mouse only and you need to choose action, then target, then confirm, so three mouse actions for each character in each turn. There are random encounters happening all the time. So it's actually a masterpiece level game.


10. Reversible Karte RK リバーシブルカルテ RK [971114] Black Package
A young psychiatrist, Kyogoku Kazuya looks over patients at the prestigious Psychiatric Ward every day. From the day when his girlfriend was killed in front of him, strange cases of women being insulted by patients started to happen in the hospital. What causes those incidents?
ADV with favorability of heroines depending on the number of hitting their flags. The routes aren't really connected and there is no single theme - just loosely placed individual stories. It's not a dark themed game, but rather a charage in a weird setting.


11. Toriko 2 虜2 [971114] D.O.
Slave training simulator with prisoner as main theme.
Well, there is more articulate synopsis, but who cares. It still will be an insulting training SIM. Main character is different this time. It's reported that sequel became more complex and sophisticated, but I'm not going to check that.


12. Xtasy [971115] Dollhouse
Yusuke Kubota tries to give a birthday present to his childhood friend Hikaru and lassmate Miyuki. When he was approaching, both girls disappeared and then he himself was also teleported to a mysterious island. With the two girls he needs to find the clue about the shining stone that teleported them and return home.
It's essentially an RPG. There are even enemies to beat as well as parameters to grow. Movement has to be done with a mouse. Message autoplay can be turned on, but with no speed regulation. There's no recollection mode. So it's an exploration game with not very comfortable system and mediocre graphics (even though CG are ok).


13. Moon. [971121] Tactics 1 2 3 4 5 6
The story follows a young girl named Amasawa Ikumi who follows the recent death of her mother to an organization known as FARGO. Ikumi joins FARGO and uncovers their disturbing nature of harnessing psychic abilities through torture.
Game is localized and has many English reviews.


14. Gen'ei Choukyou Club 幻影調教倶楽部 [971128] J-Box
Hero who is given name Ryu is invited to join private videophone club by his school teacher. The purpose of this club called "Snake Pit" is to gather people with abnormal sexual preferences and share experiences.
Nothing I can enjoy. Just phone talks with H.


15. Hatsune No Naisho!! 初音のないしょ!! [971128] Leaf 1
Hatsune no Naishou is a collection of Leaf's mini games that any Leaf's fan should not miss. The CD contains several cute mini software including some mini games, screen saver, wallpaper, and CD player. The mini games packed in the CD include a mini action game called Heart By Heart with characters from To Heart, a mini RPG game called Leaf Fighting 97, To Heart Omake, and of course the adventure game Hastune no Naishou.
There is an English review.


16. Kemono no Sumu Kousha 獣の棲む校舎 [971128]
Ikuro Makita is a recently transferred professor at girls' high school. He gets a request from the director to investigate the circumstances of his son death that's reported to be a suicide.
You need to choose various places at school during day and sometimes night and that passes time. But there's a limited amount of time given, so wandering aimlessly inevitably leads to game over. The only review around says that the fame freezes at the second part of the game, so maybe we'll know of the exciting story from the game's sequel.


17. Lofty Form [971128] Aaru 1
Yakushiji Shion is the eldest son from the clan punishes bad people. But after he assassinated Empire's shadow Kurobe Akiyoushi, it is regarded as a rebellion against the Empire. He gathers the clan and moves towards the North. Every day they are attacked by pursuers. At the same time he is chased by the girl Hiramatsu Yae who fell in love with Shion.
Wow. Just wow. A serious samurai story somewhere in Edo period... Hero is too serious so it's others that fill in the gaps with everyday life scenes gags. Just imagine warriors talking about strange things with serious face, soft kind of humor. Hero literally has 30 lines in the beginning and hardly 100 lines by the end of the game, his presence is not felt at all. There aren't even his thoughts. Game has brilliant vivid and very beautiful CG, lots of cool enemies and gore. Characters are very likable as well. The game is not without the faults. The speechless protagonists is a questionable move. There's an influx of events by the end of the game and abrupt ending. There are a lot of women caught up in between the warring sides... well, it might be an advantage, actually. But I consider this game a masterpiece. In 1997 I only expected entertainment stories. Or maybe I just love samurai stories too much.


18. Mugen 夢限 [971128] Trush
Dream control system is invented which allows to travel to artificially created dreams. At first it was used only in medical treatment, but since 1999 became wide spread for stress relief. You are an operator who controls such machine. You need to choose your customer and lead him through the dream so that they like it.
Three customers, several types of dreams which somehow eventually end with a H scene.


19. Namida ~Ryuusei no Saddle~ 涙 ~流星のサドル~ [971128] Zero
Aizaki Shinobi is hero's first love. Her mood has dropped as of late and she started to avoid hero. He needs to get to know what's happening to his dear friend.
A really trashy game. There are only four locations to move around and that constantly triggers new girls appearance. Talk to them twice in a favorable way and they invite to spend a night together. It's nice that the game does not really end with that and you can break up with any girl after. Aizaki is the most difficult to capture. There are couple mingames at hero's room, but overall I got a really negative impression, probably because awaited a serious game.


20. Shinsetsu Kamiya Ukyou ~Untrue~ 真説 神谷右京 ~Untrue~ [971128] Altacia
Events take place between those happening in Ivory Tower and Missing Link. There is no detective story this time. Instead, there is a story of human relations. The client is a girl who had a relative stabbed in the heart. That's the fact that can can no longer be divided between falsehood and truth... "Untrue".
The heroine changed from the Missing Link, but has the same type of mind. The work is more about portrayal of a complex person's feelings and Ukyou ability to foresee the results of every minor action to the future. The work is based on contrast with the other vomules of the series, but almost all of Ukyou visual novels are very difficult to find to make comparisons.

Foreword: There is a good number of English reviews on this game (1 2 3 4), but those are all kinda short and non-structured. Now I know why and mine won't be an exception. You'll know why soon enough as well.

Title: Kuon no Kizuna

Developer: FOG

Date: 1998-12-03

VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v2773

Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq-CHIuWBfnU3DYzNCEcLjcV


Synopsis: This story starts out from the perspective of a high school student. One day a transfer student comes to his school, and tells him she’ll kill him. At the same time, he starts seeing weird dreams and people mysteriously gets killed in his city. Soon he realizes that them two are incarnated personalities of a man and a goddess that fell in love 1000 years ago. Since then, they have been trapped in a cycle of reincarnation and a battle against an evil god.

Length: Took me 66 hours for all routes.

Game type: ADV with choices and couple easy battles.

Difficulty: I followed walkthrough, so not too sure on difficulty. There are some fake choices, but there are also choices that lead to game over. And there are a LOT of choices, so it must be quite difficult.


Character Design rating: 7/10

Protagonist rating: 8/10

Story rating: 6/10

Game quality: 9/10

Overall rating: 7/10

Rating comments: This is one of the most ambitious projects I've ever seen. Just imagine - 66 hours. 66 hours of not raising stats, killing monsters or chasing girls over and over. 66 hours of pure text reading time. There's nothing like that in the 1990s and it won't be beaten till 2000s. You know, in many Japanese reviews of the time volume is a very important factor and there's often such criteria as cost-efficiency. Visual novels cost a lot and compared to solid books they used to lose all the time. But everything changed with Kuon no Kizuna. It became a paragon for both volume and visuals. 

I liked protagonist and characters enough, but they don't become cozy. They remain transcendent beings piercing the veil of time in an epic story, not really likable characters who I could respect for their characters or decisions, that's why it's 7/10. The story is indeed epic, but it does not go smoothly. We jump from reality to three periods all the time and the shifts aren't really explained, they just happen. I also did not like it that the first half of the story is pretty much the same for all three heroines and we just have to read it three times with little variation. That makes story only 6/10. But the quality of the game is superb, especially with full voice (excluding the protagonist though). The graphics are stunning and visual effects amazing. No complaints with the quality.


Protagonist: Mikado Takeru is a strong protagonist as he constantly has to protect those who are dear to him and he's the only one who can oppose demonic forces thanks to his demonic heritage. He's a one man army and hardly ever gets any help from the side. He'd be more realistic with voice, but he's quite cool even as he is now.

Characters: There are three heroines who have their own routes.

Takahara Mayou is our mysterious transfer student who greets Takeru for the first time with words "This time I will definitely kill you".

Itsuki Shiori is a childhood friend who Takeru lives with under the same roof.

Tokiwa Saya is the class teacher.


Story: The rant part. So each heroine has her route... but it's the same route, at least for the first half of it. In the second half some periods are developed for each heroine, but still there's a very strong feeling that you're watching the same story and it irritates a lot. 

There are four periods: Heian, Genroku, Bakumatsu, and the present. Present and Heian are really the same and those are the most boring parts, especially Heian. Heian focuses on a an ancient period of Japanese history where nothing really happened for dozens of years and that's why it's full of myths and legends - because there was nothing to do there. In Kuon no Kizuna Heian is when beasts invasion starts and it differentiates just a bit in the end depending on the heroine chosen throughout it. I especially liked Bakumatsu period for meeting and fighting alongside Shinsengumi (and sometimes against) and kunoichi. 


But there is a great problem with these periods - they aren't really connected to each other. People can die there or love there and in next period everything starts from scratch. That creates the feeling of multiple stories and I really dislike that genre. Nothing really happens throughout those stories, then beasts arrive, the short drama and it's over. Heroines aren't really able to hold attention. But what's worse, the heroine of your choice have play very small role till the very end of each part. 

But then comes the fantastic Special route №1 that arrived later with remake as an attempt to tighten the crumbling main story. Special route №1 lasts for some 7 hours, holds a totally new epic story with really great enemies and is a great ending for all the characters, so I can't praise it enough.

The Special routes №2 and  №3 are there for comic relief after all that superserious narration.

So overall the story really sucks, repeats itself in routes and has poor tempo. But the great special route makes up for it.


CG: Just fantastic. See for yourself.

Sound: I really appreciated full voicing and beautiful BGM. That kept me from sleeping.

Overall comments: This game was created to surprise the imagination. It has huge length and astonishing visuals, but there still was no culture of such huge coherent stories - thus the multiple periods format with lousy links between them. Dialogues are long and not too meaningful, fights are inevitably dull and poorly written, heroines fail to catch attention and the absence of humor makes it all a real torture. The sudden jumps between periods only add to the confusion. But this game bears a huge importance for the industry as it made long story-driven visual novels without gameplay elements viable while only dating SIMs, charage and nukige governed the ball.



Foreword: This is Kanno-san's scenario and I could not miss on it. There are a lot of good English reviews on the game so I'll try to just add some additional thoughts I have on top of those reviews.

Title: Exodus Guilty

Developer: Abel

Date: 1998-07-31

VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v172


 Synopsis:The year 2000. Kasumi Shindo is at first glance a run-of-the-mill high school student in modern-day Japan. However, beneath his normal appearance, Kasumi is in fact a top-notch treasure hunter. This time, Kasumi is aiming to seek out the lost 11th Commandment of Moses. Kasumi discovers that his childhood friend, Reina Tachibana is in southern Europe participating in an archeological dig. Pretending to be a tourist, he visits the excavation area and manages to get put on the excavation staff. But he is not the only treasure hunter looking for the Eleventh Commandment of Moses and before he knows it, he's embroiled in a dangerous adventure.

Structure: There are three stories - one 1200 B.C. fantasy story, one 2000 A.D. treasure hunting adventure and 13,800 A.D. future anti-utopia fantasy. Story-lines exist pretty much separately only to be loosely connected by girl Will and flashbacks from the other time to help on puzzles. All the lines coincide in the last chapters of last "Future" Volume 3. So basically I consider first two stories to be preparatory and I'll focus only on 3rd Future story. I feel that the chosen composition is wrong - it's 1st chapter of Past, then 1st chapter of Present, then 1st chapter of Future, then full Present, then full Past, then full Future. In my video walkthrough I went for showing full Past, then full Present, then full Future. This really feels more logical to me since all the roots and the Will story are in the Past. And when seeing all those first chapters one by one and then Present my head was already blowing up from the characters and the kind of mess it created.


Length: 21 hour

Game type: Epic multi-story ADV with minimal interaction (speaking of DVD version only, ofc)

Difficulty: DVD version is supereasy, but I got stuck once at a puzzle that was not properly described. I left a link at VNDB discussions page of the game to prevent other people from wasting time.

Character Design rating: 10/10

Protagonist rating: 8/10

Story rating: 9/10

Game quality: 8/10

Overall rating: 9/10

Rating comments: Why such a high score again? Well, VNs are akin to literature, what matters is whether I like it or not. And if I like it, there's no point thinking which one is better. I really loved the story here - arigato, Kanno-san! And that might easily be 10 if I played Japanese pc version. There are a lot of protagonists in this game and I have grudges to some of them. I think I'll develop on it in characters section. I also blame the structure as video is not as engaging as game and pouring all three story lines all at once was very confusing and only belief in Kanno-san actually made me unwind this mess. But when things get clear, it's a very engaging story - thus the high scores.

Protagonist: There are too many of them.

Characters: There are three sets of characters. The setup of characters on the screen changes a lot with the story. Let's look at characters in bulk, according to their epoch.



Past: Main characters cast are a swordsman Ales and his foster mother Masa. Masa bears some strange tattoo and she sends Ales to find Will - another girl with such tattoo since their fates were linked and Mother Spirit was calling to do that for some reason only Gods could understand. But in order to pay a visit to the God one needs to gather sacred books of elements and oracles of those elements. That's pretty much what we do during the whole Past chapter. Of course we find Will as well under strange circumstances. So Ales is a pretty straightforward swordsman who fulfills the will of his mother and who protects those who are dear to him and... pretty much everyone else, even his enemies, lol. This is a traditional fantasy story, so there's no need for quirky characters, but without some gameplay it's quite boring to watch. Well, some of the four oracles are pretty cool/funny so they ease the tensions and their interactions basically save the narration. This part is seinen enough, but it gets to be pretty dull due to very serious characters and lack of fights. 



Present: From left to right we have Kasumi, Ai's sister Reina and fiance Ai. Reina is much older and already divorced - she is always flirting making Ai mad. Kasumi and Ai actually only met 10 years ago and they they fight all the time over everything. Kasumi is basically interested in money and treasures and he does not really encourage Reina moves. Ai is also quite stingy and only Reina moves bring her tolerance to the brink and she starts acting aggressively to any "oppai" girl near Kasumi. That creates some comical situations, but at the same time is an eternal source of drama. And the further it goes, the more drama it is. So at times it was really nauseating. And at some point I got somewhat disappointed in Kasumi as well. It was at one scene where Kasumi was getting down to the den on a rope. Ai threatens to jump down from that insane height if Kasumi does not take her with him. Here's the exact extract:

- If not, I'll kill myself.

- Then die.

- I will die.

- Die right now, here. In less than 10 seconds.

- Meanie. I'm going to cry.

- Cry if you can. Cry.

It's presented in a comical manner, but it was not funny for me. Too much relations hustle, predictable characters' behavior and lack of intelligent talks did not let me enjoy this volume. So it's a great shounen story, but I can only appreciate seinen stuff.


Future: The cast from left to right is scientist Titi, secret royal family descendant Sui, self-supporting town boy Tatsuta and Sui's bodyguard Laily. Oh, and don't foget this animal... something (squirrel?) Railulu. Sui basically plays the role of straightforward and cheerful bakagirl while Laily is reserved and she does everything right. Titi is a chatterbox, she usually supports Sui in everything and provides scientific advice when needed. Tatsuta is a usual town boy who lives alone and who this time allows girls to have food and shelter for a mere trifle - wedding Laily! He's pushy and manages to win her heart little by little and this sideline is really nice. 


Story: I seem to have tackled a lot on story already, so let's finally focus on the main part as I see it - Future 13,800 AD. For 40 years earthquakes and acid rains devastated the Earth burying the scientific civilization and the remaining humanity declared science outlaw in order not to repeat previous mistakes. The royal house monopolized the right for science as people needed to survive somehow in this barren wasteland. Royal house suffers from a spree of coup d'etats and this last king is a very cruel man who's seeking for descendants of former family and especially for a girl matching Sui's description. Sui and Laily's foster mother asked them to find some Uu person and give him the Key of Will. And they have no idea where to search for those. That takes first half of Future story and the second half is meeting the guys from Past and Present and together facing their fate. 



CG: I seem to be not demanding towards CG quantity but this game has a whole ocean of CG - even many small actions have one. Game really tried to look like an anime so it has some animated sequences and a lot of screen changes. Outside of my habit, I'm not going to post gore CG this time since there aren't many of them and they can be spoilers.

HCG: None since it's initially a PS1 and dreamcast game and only much later it got PC version version. It's a very funny version to see since usual CG have low resolution and PC HCG are of very high resolution.

Sound: The good part is that it's full voice even with all the protagonists voiced. The bad part is that some lengthy conversations with side characters aren't really voiced or voiced up to 3-4 phrases. It does not hurt at all, but just for the justice sake let's say that it's only about 85% voiced.

Humor: Future part is culmination and it has quite much humor in it. One example is that Layla always apologies to Sui and says "It must be in my character". For the first times it looks ok, but later she tells the same thing to the very little notices like you look moody today or is it you stomach growling. 

There was one fabulous joke when Titi, Sui and Laila with Railulu needed to see guards out and they consequently tried to use sex appeal on them. First Titi failed with her charms, then Sui was ignored and sent off and then came this.


Game also uses repeats wisely. In this very scene the fourth try was Layla's and her appearance actually melted men's hearts and maybe something else as well. In another scene later on the three girls were trying to get food and shelter from Tatsuta and he asks a girl to become his wife. Titi and Sui blush and say they're not ready and here's the except:

- But let me tell you something, I have no interest in cow breasts or eyeglasses monkeys.

- ....Raylulu? What, are you...?

That was pretty awesome. 

Themes: It's mostly and adventure work with pretty straightforward characters, but there are couple themes that I was able to discern:

1) God's will VS human logic. This is the major theme of the game. All the time we're asked to do weird things. Seemingly horrible events occur due to some god's will without much explanation. The future part is the one where this conflict becomes the culmination of the game and heros are confused what to do - blindly follow God's will or send the Gods to hell and try to preserve humanity as it is. You can guess from the game's title which side wins.

2) Sacrifice. There are quite a lot of sacrifices in the game. Sacrifices are the least logical thing to do and yet so many characters choose it over persecuting their own goals. As one of the character explains: "Death is not the end. It's the beginning". Well, it falls in perfectly with the first theme. After all, it's the game about God's will and it's a difficult topic to develop since irrational actions won't get much appeal. Still the game does its best in that and sacrifices are seen as fulfilling some selfish-less desires for the greater good of others and at least look organic with the setting.

Overall comments: By now it should be evident that Guilty Exodus was much to my liking even though I tend to dislike religion and shounen stories. My first reaction was akin to that depicted in beliar review. Too much information poured at once, seemingly meaningless dull talks, false drama, religious preaching, random events, lack of gameplay. It's a different work that we usually get to see in visual novels. We got the worst release of the game translated - DVD video one. If it was a different release - it'd be a perfect game and I would not need to rant at all. If it was a different release, we'd need to pay great attention to game progress because it would be a gameplay issue. DVD release is basically a video with just a few meaningless choices so it's easy to get distracted, listen to it only as background and inevitably compare it with compact and fast-paced anime works. Guilty Exodus is very demanding to the player right from the start. It's easy to get confused with all that information. But if you take it seriously, you'll be able to enjoy one of the best stories written by Kanno Hiroyuki, on par even with YU-NO.