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Baldr Heart




Now, for those who are wondering, the reason I chose to play Baldr Heart first is fairly simple... it is the VN most anticipated this month, at least by the people I talk to.   Baldr Heart is the fourth game (if you count the Skydive and Zero games as a single game each) in the 'primary series' started with Baldr Force.  This series follows the evolving interrelations between humans, the net, extreme VR, and AIs, storywise.  The gameplay in all the games is a relatively fast-paced battle mech action system that evolves a lot of explosions and bullets flying.  Except for Zero, the series retains a pixelated appearance that is reminscent of the ps2 or psx eras for its gameplay.  The series tends to be heavy on the dystopian elements, as well as transhumanism.  Zero's setting in particular is horrifyingly dystopian, with children selling reservations for their own body parts and dismemberment videos in advance to strangers on the streets.

Baldr Heart doesn't go that far... though it definitely strays into the area of mad science.  I can't really say a whole lot about the setting without spoiling Skydive and Zero, sadly.  This game is based 200 years after those games and the events in them are the base upon which the entirety of the society in Baldr Heart is constructed. 

Now, I feel a need to address the biggest complaint from those who were looking at this game.  The fact that most of the characters are students... a definite divergence, as the series has in the past had most of its main characters in their early to mid-twenties, save for a few rare exceptions.  That fact is one of the series' main attractions for many readers, as many VN fans go to the Baldr series specifically to escape the slice-of-life-in-a-school-setting that plagues  most VNs.  So, in the eyes of many fans of the Baldr series, this was a huge betrayal... or at least a turn-off.

Typical of a Baldr game, this element, that would normally have been a simple way to dumb it down for the 'mainstream' (as so many readers name it contemptuously) is actually used to accentuate the sharp differences between the Baldr world and the modern Japanese settings of most normal VNs.  While it is true that Sou isn't as bitter and broken as a lot of Baldr protagonists either begin as or end up, he nonetheless has his own share of horrifying experiences in his past, and he has taken lives in combat before.  He is a mercenary who returns to his homeland after receiving a brain injury trying to save a young girl trapped in the net.

There is a play order to this game... Tsukuyomi>Mao>Yuri>Nagi.  With each successive path, more of the game's mystery is revealed, until you reach the core of things in Nagi's path.  I'm going to be blunt... if you thought Yuri's path was a bit screwy, Nagi's is even twistier.  The Baldr series loves its mindfuck plot twists filled with pseudo-science and philosophy, and in that sense, this is the Baldr series at its best.  However, this story structure means that Tsukuyomi's path, in particular, is fairly unsatisfying since it reveals next to nothing about what happened in the past or what is going on during the story.  I also felt that the game fell back on emotionalism a bit too often for my tastes... while it almost always comes down to that in any given Japanese game, I honestly thought the 'Fay' were going a bit too far that way.  I know they were probably searching for a new theme after Zero, but I still found it a bit trite.

That said, this is still a Baldr game, and thus a mix of filthy human desires and high ideals stain the world crimson with the blood of thousands along the way, leaving me satisfied that Giga didn't abandon the series core precepts.  They were just a bit too obvious when they designed the setting and theme, lol.

Overall, this game will get mixed reactions from Baldr fans while being perhaps slightly more accessible for those who might have had trouble with the much darker atmosphere of the previous games... in that sense, I think Giga probably made a mistake, as that dark atmosphere is one of the series' attractions.  As a VN, it is very well written and smooth to play... showing off the skills of Giga's writing staff to their fullest.  It reminds me of why so many who read Giga games say 'Giga is great... if you just play the Baldr series.'



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Totally agree with this review.

As for the gameplay difficulty, i started in hard, and it was ok at first but past some point (near the end of mao's route), it become hard when you have allies on the map.

To be more precise, there is a lot of ennemies and it take time to kill them, the problem being that your mates dies and it's game over lol. Boss fight aren't a problem though, i feel hard mode is the way to go for boss. I switched to normal at some point and now the game is too easy xD.

Maybe i'm not dealing enough damage for HM.


Anyways, the game isn't bad, i was really dissapointed at first (when i was in tsukuyomi's route) but now i'm in yuri's route and it's pretty good so far.


I wouldn't say no to switch MC from sou to kou though ^^.

Now i need time for finishing this game, but i have to work...

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In Baldr games, it is assumed you will play the game on normal, and your character's abilities generally reflect that.  Your weapon growth speed also reflects that, lol.  On normal, only certain bosses are supposed to be able to butcher you until Nagi's path (where some of the bosses from previous paths are normal enemies), and this is fairly standard for a Baldr game.  I played through Tsukuyomi's path twice because I got the bad ending the first time, so I probably had a much stronger set of weapons than is the norm by the end...

Compared to the last part of Skydive, though... it isn't nearly as hard.  For one thing, the last boss doesn't teleport or have an instant kill force charge attack, lol.

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Guest Jamkendred


Umm. I'm sorry if I'm not in the right place to ask this, but I read a post a while back of you saying that you would post a clear save for anybody to use. I don't mind story oriented games, but the baldr games have always been appeal to me in their battling sections so I was wondering if you post a clear file so I could possibly bypass the story and play the trials fully unlocked. Thank you.

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