In preparation for the release of the Silverio series' conclusion, Silverio Ragnarok, next month, I decided to replay Silverio Trinity, one of my favorite chuunige. First, I should note that I consider the Silverio series to be one of the three most well-designed VN settings in existence. One is Eushully's Dir Lifyna, the other being the Nasuverse (Type-Moon's Fate and Tsukihime universe). In terms of details, unique aspects, and generally fascinating fun, they all have their high points. Dir Lifyna's high points mostly revolve around the intricate dance of dark gods, light gods, old human world gods, demons, demi-humans, and the faith-based magic that make up its background. The Fate/Tsukihime universe's strengths lie in its approach to the occult, the inhuman, the mystic, and the unnatural.
Silverio's strengths lie in a combination of turn and turnabout philosophy mixed with a world that has survived the tribulations and trials of our own, plus another fifteen hundred years (and one cataclysm that ended our civilization). As in the excerpt of Silverio Vendetta I previous translated,
The first game had an intensive philosophical focus on the two extremes of victory and retribution. Zephyr himself is defined as an eternal loser, whereas Valzeride, the antagonist, is defined as the ultimate victor.
In many ways, Trinity is an answer to the question Vendetta poses, since Vendetta, despite its ending, didn't really pass judgment on the argument between the two extremes. Trinity's protagonist, regardless of which path you are on, is a straightforward young man who is facing a fate that is in many ways far worse than Zephyr's in Vendetta was. However, he is also potentially the second-wisest character in the game (behind Galahad, who is an example of the best kind of priest) in the game, depending on the path. His experiences and his limitations have the potential to give him a perspective unique among all the characters in both games, which makes him an ideal protagonist for the second of three games.
Like most Light games, this game has over the top action... but it needs to be said that some of it is seriously crazy even for Light. Gilbert is probably among the top three scariest characters I've seen in any otaku media... not so much for his abilities (though he is extremely capable) but for how his mind works. He is unbelievably intelligent, simulating literally hundreds of potential outcomes for each action he takes, manipulating everyone involved in the story with a skill that makes my head hurt. What is worse is that he is also ruthless without being in the least bit cold-blooded. What do I mean? Gilbert is the kind of guy who will kill someone, hate himself for it, and use his anger at himself for what he did to them as fuel to keep him going on his path.
This game, like Vendetta, uses a very similar approach to telling its story to Dies Irae by Masada. It is heavy on exposition, relying far less on the dialogue (in fact, dialogue is often as not used as an accent in key scenes) than is normal in most VNs, often waxing poetic about the characters' thought processes, their nature, and various other elements key to the scene.
The story of Trinity is based three years after Vendetta in the city of Prague. Prague is one of the few cities that remains mostly unchanged from our own era... save for the fact that the Japanese National Diet now sits in its center, making it a religious spot for the Japan-worshipers of the world-spanning religion based in Canterbury (which is also the name of the nation that rules the British Isles). It is also a strategic key point for both Adler and Antaruya, two countries that have been at each other's throats for decades at the point this story begins. As such, it has become a quiet battleground, with people fighting and dying in surprisingly large numbers but no one really acknowledging the conflicts in the open, so as to avoid showing weakness to the other two nations.
In general, it is a pretty explosive setup.
Now, I love this game... on my third playthrough, I found myself translating random scenes and sending them to friends, who complained that if I was going to tempt them with excerpts, I should translate the entire thing (which of course, I didn't deign to respond to, lol). It has its flaws (the fact that there is no Alice path... I'm a sucker for mature heroines who have survived horrible pasts more or less intact save for a wide streak of amorality), but it shows off the best of Light's non-Masada team's skills. In fact, it was this game that led me to pronounce that they had surpassed Masada, simply because they have proven to be far more consistent than he is (he reminds me of George Lucas... dreaming grand, often poetic, but with eccentricities that get in the way and with a tendency to pander at weird moments).
If you want a game with great exposition, an interesting concept, a deep setting, and great characters, this one is an excellent choice... if you've already played Vendetta. Unfortunately, most of this game doesn't make sense without playing Vendetta.