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Ryuusei World Actor Badge and Dagger and Dies Irae Interview with Kaziklu Bey



Ryuusei World Actor Badge and Dagger

I'm going to be blunt, I'm not fond of what was done with the previous game, and I felt like this one was a repeat of the same mistakes. That's not to say there aren't a lot of good points to this game and its predecessor. Kinugasa Shougo is an excellent writer (as VN writers go) with a great skill in characterization and scenario design. However, just like the first game, this one cuts off without completing the story.

I'm not nearly as angry this time, as I was expecting it. This game was obviously meant to be just another part of a longer series of games (probably a trilogy, given the situation with Ruka at the end). I don't feel this game deserves a horrible rating, but I also feel that it doesn't deserve to be rated overly well until the series ends.

For those interested in the paths, a similar tactic to the original was taken here, where the heroines are mostly irrelevant except as characters. In a sense, that is even more true this time around. Ryouko and Fuyumi are never really presented as real heroines (for one, because their characterization is ridiculously weak), and one can't really call Ryouko's path Ryouko's path, since it is essentially semi-casual H on the way to progressing the main story instead of actual romance or a connection between the two.

Honestly, I felt that Kinugasa managed to be slightly less haphazard with the 'ending' while completely mishandling the heroines this time around. The cut-off for this game feels more like building up for another episode than an abrupt severing of the plot like the first game. However, in exchange, he botched the heroines.

I am not going to hate on this game as much as I did on the first... but I recommend that most people wait until the series concludes before playing to avoid frustration.

Dies Irae Interview with Kaziklu Bey

Yes, I finally pulled this one out of the dusty bin for a rainy day last week.  My need for chuunige has been great lately, with there having been no new good ones since Silverio Ragnarok a little over a year ago and nothing since Trinity before that.  I'm going to start out with a clear statement for those who have played Dies Irae but not this game... it quite surprisingly doesn't really add anything significant to the canon or exceed expectations, at least in my eyes.

This game is essentially an opportunity to get to know a character who was central to both KKK and Dies Irae but who generally took on the role of being kicked around in the latter and had an odder role in the former.  Wilhelm Ehrinburg is a man who considers himself to be a vampire, reborn in the mud of the slums of Hamburg before World War II and the killing of his own parents.  He is the kind of psychopathic monster that pops up periodically throughout human history (more often lately), and he was a perfect fit for the Black Round Table and its soul-sucking adherents.  In Dies Irae, it is easy to perceive him for his humanity because there is a much crazier person in his immediate vicinity (Schrieber), but the fact is, he is the kind of person that would have ended up on death row in any peaceful era.

This game does a very, very good job of showing you Wilhelm's personality flaws, his hangups, and his particular 'curse' (if you are unfamiliar with Dies Irae, Mercurius essentially proclaims the 'curse' of each of the Black Round Table's members' destiny).  The girl who serves as the heroine of the story is a perfect foil to his dark nature, a pure-hearted girl who, while born under similar circumstances, managed to be a person of virtue and piety.  

This game is based in the 'blank period' between the historical assassination of Reinhardt Heydrich and the events of 1945 Berlin set in Dies Irae.  This period is not referred to in the Dies Irae story in any significant fashion, and most of the characters tend to focus on the period before that assassination when reminiscing about the past in the original game.  The exception would be Kristoff, whose fate was decided shortly after this game's ending.

This game was written by Masada, so it is obviously well-written and excessively wordy.  Due to DMM's drm, I had to read it without aids of any sort, so my head was hurting seriously by the end (really, why does Masada feel the need to use so many obscure kanji I don't normally find in paper books, much less VNs?).  Yes, I could have read it in English... but I think most of you know my hangups about reading other people's translations by this point.

There is only one serious battle in this game, which occurs toward the very end, and the game as a whole is much more predictable than most Masada games (mostly because it is made to fit within the canon, so you know certain people won't die and certain people probably are dead).  However, I will say this game has a great deal of charm for someone who liked Dies Irae.  Seeing the Black Round Table characters without the distraction of Ren's perspective or a short side-story was enlightening in some ways and in others only confirmed my impressions from the original.  

In the end, the only conclusion I can give you as potential readers is that this game really is only valuable to fanboys of Dies Irae.  Despite the chronological order, I don't recommend playing this first, as it spoils certain aspects of the setting you aren't supposed to know about to enjoy the story of the original.  As a stand-alone chuunige, it just doesn't work, but as a side-story prequel, it is just fine.


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