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8 hours ago, Silvz said:

These questions show how hard the games are

Yeah, no kidding! There's a ton of information to take into account, some of which contradict each other, so if someone actually manages to figure out the entire mystery simply by playing the question arcs, I'd say they deserve something like this:

pXL7kZ.png

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I had the most randomest "Oh hey I wonder what Spike Chunsoft made over the past couple years, I was a real big fan of Danganronpa/Zero Escape"

Not really feeling up for 'dungeon crawling rpg' so I skipped Zanki Zero

But I splurged on Al Somnium Files, an adventure sci-fi murder mystery (?) https://vndb.org/v26532

Also randomly picked up the modern 2019 version of YU-NO even though they're just the publisher for that https://vndb.org/v1377

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I had a few days on no-reading but I'm back with it and I'm hoping I can keep reading at least 1 hour a day :) So, 11eyes again haha

Man, I felt like in only an hour, a LOT has happened. The pace really is different :o So here, my comments so far!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
19
 Advanced issues found
 
3
 
 
1
 Advanced issue found
 
 
 
 
0
 Advanced issue found
 
 
Spoiler
  • Is Yuka's route the NTR route? First was my little date with Kukuri, now Shiori being tsundere with me... What next, Kaori?
  • Shiori is my spirit animal: always reading like there's no tomorrow.
  • I don't... have a "real me". - Shiori; I sure hope they don't let her go to waste because I'm getting my hopes up for a char development here, c'mon guys D: She doesn't have a route so I hope she doesn't end up as only a mysterious girl. Also, that quote gave me the feeling that there will be strong relations between Lisette and her.
  • In that cross-view in which Lisette meets Michael, it's supposed to be serious and dark but then he yelled "Hallelujah!" and I lost it :wahaha:

Alright, my theory so far is that Lisette created the Red Night so she could seal her magic and "wicked power" and also destroy that world, also destroying herself? Maybe she wants to save herself by destroying her magic, idk. She probably wants to protect the real world, for some reason tho.

  • lmao even Yuka can feel the NTR coming, she's jealous at. Chill, brudah
  • Kakeru being a punching bag to Misuzu and Yukiko... god, I wish that were me :makina:
  • So, apparently Kukuri has a dead sister? They ain't related by blood cuz she's adopted but there's more to it, I know it. Her dead sister would be the same age as her nowadays were she alive.
  • Finally, I ship Takahisa and Yukiko so much <3 It helps that they are canon lol man, Yukiko's route is going to be weird (now THAT is the ultimate NTR route, oof)

 

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Day 10 of reading 11eyes! :D Man, today was a big ride, holy moly. I just wanna jump to certain parts but I will write everything I wrote down on my notebook, hehe.

Spoiler
  • Man, I really ship Takahisa and Yukiko;
  • Wait, what? Takahisa is sleeping around with Saiko? Holy shit... I mean, I shouldn't be surprised but still-- I only saw them as family, not lovers or, as Saiko puts it, "fuck-buddies";
  • Bruh, the Saiko h-scene with Kakeru wasn't totally uncomfortable at first but it sure as hell was unexpected with me being in, you know, YUKA'S ROUTE. Ah, yes, this is definitely the Ultimate NTR Route;
  • Oh man, so Saiko loves loves Takahisa but knows he loves Yukiko (more) and left her because of that... poor Saiko :( disclaimer: this was me before that  cross-vision, we'll get to that later, yikes.
  • After the h-scene when Yuka wakes up, the fact that Kakeru tries to act normal makes me so fucking uncomfortable, holy shit D: I never thought I could regret an h-scene so much, oof;
  • Oh noes, an h-scene between Takahisa and Saiko, can't tell who's the protag here lol the worst thing? They recycled the h-scene material from the one with Kakeru and Saiko :meguface:
  • Jesus, that one cross-vision in which Takahisa pushes Saiko, naked, against the window... yikes forever. Finished that and wow, now I just feel bad for Saiko and I understand why Takahisa wants to keep his distance from her...

 

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Day 11! Hmmm, today's reading was interesting for sure. There were many things happening but I didn't write down a lot.

 
 
2
 Advanced issues found
 
 
Spoiler
  • Oh, so Yuka has some kind of magic? Like Acedia?
  • Man, it's so weird how Kukuri can just heal them after the fight and suddenly they don't feel tired or hurt. I still feel tired from reading that alone lmao
  • I like how naturally Takahisa told Yukiko his feelings for her, awn. Maybe there's hope for him.
  • Update: I take it back, Takahisa is a still an asshole, sigh :amane:

 

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I've been playing more of Ebon Light and seeing such a high-quality free/PWYW game is really a delight. The main story is the same throughout your playthrough but the branching is really unique and provides a lot of replay value. For one thing, your MC has stats which help define or shape her personality and there's a variety of choices you can make to increase/decrease these stats which impact the storyline. The painterly style is beautiful and provides a unique aesthetic for this dark fantasy game which also has a lot of interesting lore accessible from an in-game glossary. There's also MC customization available so you can change the MC's hair style/color, eye color, skin tone, and even clothes later on. 

However, what I love the most about this is that your personality doesn't impact whether your love interest stays with you or not. I mean, you can play a sweet, kind main character or a ruthless, cunning one and still get a happy ending. The story involves a young woman who drinks something she shouldn't have (which kinda gives her abilities) and gets taken to an island full of elves with a militaristic society. From there, she can choose if she just wants to survive or seek power- although, power may be the key to her survival. It's quite choice-heavy so again, a lot of branches. Also there are emo elf LIs. Each playthrough is fairly short- maybe four hours, but the branching makes it so that things don't get stale. 

In any case, I have been following the development of this game for years and the end product is everything I wanted and then some. It has  garnered quite a few fans in the otome game community and I really want to share it with everyone. Seriously, please check this game out. You don't really even have to romance anyone to get a happy ending. It's a good plot-focused VN with romance and emo elves I happen to love. Ebon Light is a very unique game and one of the best VNs I've played. And did I mention it's free/PWYW?

Edited by Daydreamer97

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2 hours ago, Daydreamer97 said:

I've been playing more of Ebon Light and seeing such a high-quality free/PWYW game is really a delight. The main story is the same throughout your playthrough but the branching is really unique and provides a lot of replay value. For one thing, your MC has stats which help define or shape her personality and there's a variety of choices you can make to increase/decrease these stats which impact the storyline. The painterly style is beautiful and provides a unique aesthetic for this dark fantasy game which also has a lot of interesting lore accessible from an in-game glossary. There's also MC customization available so you can change the MC's hair style/color, eye color, skin tone, and even clothes later on. 

However, what I love the most about this is that your personality doesn't impact whether your love interest stays with you or not. I mean, you can play a sweet, kind main character or a ruthless, cunning one and still get a happy ending. The story involves a young woman who drinks something she shouldn't have (which kinda gives her abilities) and gets taken to an island full of elves with a militaristic society. From there, she can choose if she just wants to survive or seek power- although, power may be the key to her survival. It's quite choice-heavy so again, a lot of branches. Also there are emo elf LIs. Each playthrough is fairly short- maybe four hours, but the branching makes it so that things don't get stale. 

In any case, I have been following the development of this game for years and the end product is everything I wanted and then some. It has  garnered quite a few fans in the otome game community and I really want to share it with everyone. Seriously, please check this game out. You don't really even have to romance anyone to get a happy ending. It's a good plot-focused VN with romance and emo elves I happen to love. Ebon Light is a very unique game and one of the best VNs I've played. And did I mention it's free/PWYW?

I saw your recommendations last time and I greatly appreciate them. However, this particular one seemed to have a style such that I decided to leave it be.

That said, given what you are describing now I simply cannot ignore it, I see. Not a fan of dark stuff, generally, but I'll see what I think of it.

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Day 12! :D I haven't read as much as the other days but man, today's cross-visions were something else o_o"

Spoiler
  • "And well, when it came to people like the Black Knights trying to get in the way of Kakeru-kun's and my happiness... I didn't care if they died." - big yandere Yuka vibes, oof
  • Wait, what? Yuka's sudden memory of Ayame Garden came out of nowhere :o I wonder what that was about, it was only a split second but I saw blood...
  • Update: oh gosh, Yukaia is definitely becoming a yandere, yiiiiikes...

 

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Chapter 5 of Higurashi = done.

Spoiler

I was apparently right to suspect Shion, and my theory about it not being Mion doing horrible deeds in that torture room turned out to be right on the money. (Well, it was technically Mion since they'd been switched at birth by mistake, but that revelation doesn't really change anything about the whole torture room situation.)

I was feeling a bit bad for Shion and her unrequited love at first, but as soon as she started blaming Satoko for all the problems within the Houjou family, all my sympathies went out the window, and then she just dove straight into madness from that point onwards.
Satoko had to endure some awful stuff in chapter 3, but the torture scene with her in chapter 5 was downright heartbreaking. I'm hoping that isn't the true ending for her, and it might not be, since it's contradictory to some of the other endings. The many contradictions between chapters are actually what I'm most confused about, and I have no idea how they all tie together. I hope the explanation for it all will prove satisfactory.

The characters who currently intrigue and confuse me the most are Rika, with her spot-on prophecies and sporadic Takano-like behavior, and Takano herself, who's basically a living contradiction. Rena's also a bit of an anomaly, with her severe attitude changes and oddly sharp instincts.

Other than that, it was nice to finally get a confirmation that the Sonozaki's weren't behind the incidents (although that effectively means that Shion's victims were killed for nothing). I'd been suspecting that was the case, since it all seemed a little too convenient. As of now, I don't have a clue who the real culprits are, what with all the contradictions and characters frequently exhibiting strange behavior.

I'm hoping for some jaw-dropping reveals in the upcoming chapters! Three more to go.

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3 hours ago, Seraphim88 said:

Chapter 5 of Higurashi = done.

  Hide contents

I was apparently right to suspect Shion, and my theory about it not being Mion doing horrible deeds in that torture room turned out to be right on the money. (Well, it was technically Mion since they'd been switched at birth by mistake, but that revelation doesn't really change anything about the whole torture room situation.)

I was feeling a bit bad for Shion and her unrequited love at first, but as soon as she started blaming Satoko for all the problems within the Houjou family, all my sympathies went out the window, and then she just dove straight into madness from that point onwards.
Satoko had to endure some awful stuff in chapter 3, but the torture scene with her in chapter 5 was downright heartbreaking. I'm hoping that isn't the true ending for her, and it might not be, since it's contradictory to some of the other endings. The many contradictions between chapters are actually what I'm most confused about, and I have no idea how they all tie together. I hope the explanation for it all will prove satisfactory.

The characters who currently intrigue and confuse me the most are Rika, with her spot-on prophecies and sporadic Takano-like behavior, and Takano herself, who's basically a living contradiction. Rena's also a bit of an anomaly, with her severe attitude changes and oddly sharp instincts.

Other than that, it was nice to finally get a confirmation that the Sonozaki's weren't behind the incidents (although that effectively means that Shion's victims were killed for nothing). I'd been suspecting that was the case, since it all seemed a little too convenient. As of now, I don't have a clue who the real culprits are, what with all the contradictions and characters frequently exhibiting strange behavior.

I'm hoping for some jaw-dropping reveals in the upcoming chapters! Three more to go.

Just came by to say that I'm loving your spoiler-free impressions of the story. Keep on going, I think the answers are pretty satisfying, although they may not be what you'd expect.

Oh, and play Umineko after it. It is even better than Higurashi.

Edited by Silvz

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4 hours ago, Silvz said:

Oh, and play Umineko after it.

Yup, that's the plan! I've been putting it off for years just because people recommended playing Higurashi first due to there supposedly being some shared elements or something. I don't really know any details, but I guess I'll find out soon enough. I've seen a spoiler about Umineko containing

Spoiler

a time loop,

but I'm hoping that's something that's present from early on, like in Higurashi, rather than some game-changing reveal towards the end of the story.
Other than that, I've managed to dodge any information about Umineko, so it's basically a blank slate for me.

I've also started reading Raging Loop whenever I'm not reading Higurashi. I'm not usually a very big fan of werewolves, but it works well in this case and the story is pretty intense and engrossing right off the bat. My main concern is that my brain might overheat from the Higurashi + Raging Loop Mystery Combo Attack, so maybe I should start considering something like this:

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Higurashi.

Spoiler
10 hours ago, Seraphim88 said:

I was apparently right to suspect Shion, and my theory about it not being Mion doing horrible deeds in that torture room turned out to be right on the money.

Yep. I was waiting for your reaction for this particular reveal. :) Now, let's see what you'll think about the next chapter. By the way, chapter 6 is my personal favorite (and 5 and 7 come next).

 

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3 hours ago, Seraphim88 said:

Yup, that's the plan! I've been putting it off for years just because people recommended playing Higurashi first due to there supposedly being some shared elements or something. I don't really know any details, but I guess I'll find out soon enough. I've seen a spoiler about Umineko containing

  Hide contents

a time loop,



 

Umineko's is way less impactful than Higurashi's. While the latter restarts everything in each chapter, in Umineko the story goes on through each chapter.

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That actually sounds preferable! Some of the stuff in Higurashi feels a bit repetitive because they talk about it over and over again in each chapter. It's not too much of a bother, but I think there's some room for improvement/streamlining.

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Day 13! :D Today's reading was... a little of everything lol Training, lovin' kisses and nightmares!

Spoiler
  • Yukiko is in loooove~
  • Jfc the finger-sucking scene was hecka suggestive... Kakeru sure likes too suck
  • That training tho... I wished I could've felt more empathy for him :/
  • Wait, did Liselotte want to take Yuka's body before she forgot everything?
  • Every time things get cute between Yukiko and Takahisa, he just gotta ruin everything... ugh.
  • Okay, so... did the same thing that made the kids go bat-shit crazy in Ayame Garden happen to Kakeru's sister? That's why she killed herself? Hmmmmm... more questions.

 

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Finished Al Somnium Files 

Overall a pretty satisfactory murder mystery with plenty of pseudoscience thrown in to keep you from being able to *logically* deduce the truth behind the murders until they literally spit out the secret behind said pseudoscience at you some 80% of the way through the VN. It's definitely not like Danganronpa/Ace Attorney where you can figure out the culprit early on/throughout; you'll have to wait until nearly the end for this one to learn the truth. Still was very entertaining just going through the motions though.

First off, I have this BGM playing on repeat as I type this. Glad Spike Chunsoft was able to come up with another catchy interrogation theme~


Let's get the introductions over with. In Al Somnium you play as (first name) Date Kaname, an amnesiac (go figure) police officer/detective/agent of Metropolitan Police Department's (MPD) secret elite Advanced Brain Investigation Squad (ABIS). The ABIS have access to a highly classified technology known as the PSYNC (PsychoSYNaptic Neurological Connection(?)) system, our main pseudoscience plot element machine that allows one individual designated as the PSYNCer to connect and neurologically dive into another individual's- the PSYNCee's-subconscious in order to find the secrets hidden within their "Somnia", or dream realm.

So I thought this VN would have a pretty straightforward formula akin to, say, Danganronpa, which had a basic flow consisting of 1. Murder happens 2. Gather evidence 3. Solve the murder through class trials. Rinse repeat for 6 Chapters. Al Somnium would do the same: have a murder, gather evidence, then bust the perp through PSYNCs, rinse repeat right?! LOL NOPE!!! Instead what you basically get is a narrative where the once the first murder happens, you then go on a massive wild goose hunt chase only to always be a step behind and playing catch up wondering who the eff the killer is for nearly the entirety of the story. The further you go, the more bodies pile up, and instead of finding answers, you'll only pile on more and more questions. I'm making this sound like a bad thing, but I think it was actually pretty well done and effective at keeping you engaged purely on the WTF IS GOING ON, I NEED TO KNOW!@# aspect.

Date is missing his left eye, which is instead replaced by an ABIS provided advanced artificial intelligence eye-ball dubbed Aiba (clever right?). Aiba serves as Date's main investigation partner/companion- she's the Navi or Midna to Link from the Zelda series. Really great partner character, I really love stories that are able to incorporate a partner for the main protagonist. Other characters include Mizuki (Date's tsundere 12yr old roomate living with him due to special circumstances); Iris Sagan (18yr old rising-in-fame net idol) and her mother Hitomi Sagan (raised Iris single); Ota (24yr old otaku/Iris fanboy), So (a shady gruff politician). A decent bunch. Minus So.

Iris Sagan. Net idol. Best Girl fo' sho

Spoiler

She has pink hair. You know me. This VN is instant 10/10 the moment she popped up on screen.

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NGL, if I met her for the first time like that I would probably unintentionally stare at her for an unspecified-until-you-get-creeped-out duration as well. JK JK.

 


There is an accessible at all times Flowchart where you can return/jump to any point of the story at anytime. If you know Spike Chunsoft, you know the significance of these Flowcharts >.>

Spoiler

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Gameplay was satisfactory, although unfortunately was never able to achieve the same thrilling highs as Zero Escapes' escape rooms or Danganronpa's Class Trials imo. Throughout the entirety of the story you are given moments to cursor-point-and-click the backgrounds for extra scenic info/banter between characters. This ultimately degrades into a fluff/padding mechanic: you will never be able to miss key information that a certain Kara no Shoujo was infamous for (in that it locked you into a bad ending for missing something in one of the point and click investigation segments). So 80% of the time you will be clicking a chair in the background just to result in "this is a chair" description, but you'll find yourself checking everything anyway just so you can completionist grey out everything on the map and see all the character banters if any. Quite a chore. You can probably shorten your playthrough of this VN by half if you completely skip clicking everything.

Spoiler

4C6YE4n.jpg
 Don't mind the corpse, look at that cute little eyeball hamster thing- that's Aiba! I won't show you her "human" form, but it's apparently based on Date's tastes lol.

 

Interrogation scenes. They're honestly pretty barebones and lackluster interrogation scenes compared to the bombastic DR's Class Trials or Ace Attorney's back and forth Courtroom Trials since this VN doesn't revolve around this gameplay mechanic like those aforementioned do. They were fairly entertaining to playthrough though, mainly because of that catchy theme that plays during them (linked in the youtube vid above). But yeah I would've liked there to be more substance to them.

Spoiler

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The Iris interrogation scene was probably my favorite interrogation scene of them all. Mainly because it's Iris, and you all know I have a thing for pink haired grills, 'specially idols... But also because it was the one that required the most logic with the...(case spoilers)

Spoiler

... 310 lbs elevator load being Renju's 160lb + 44lb barrel + Iris's 105lb body GODDAMN I felt like a genius

Then when you learn that Iris during this scene... (mega overall plot spoilers!)

Spoiler

...was actually Saito in her body, with actual Iris herself being long dead in Renju's body, I just HAD to replay this scene again. Got some MEGA goosebumps. ASETONCHAN ;-; 

 


PSYNC/ entering Somnia worlds: the flagship core gameplay mechanic of Al Somnium Files. This is the trumpcard method Date utilizes as an agent of ABIS to interrogate key persons of interest. By Psyncing with them and entering their subconscious (Psyncees are usually rendered unconscious/sedated beforehand), Date is able to visit their Somnia, an ethereal dream realm where the Psyncee is "the author, director, and actor of their play" (without any conscious control over it), and Date is the Psyncer "the audience witnessing this play".

It's all very abstract- the VN shifts to a 3D free roam surreal environment where you can move around and perform tasks while in another person's mind with the goal of breaking through their Mental Locks to reveal their secrets buried deep within. Btw, did I mention that PSYNCs have a 360 sec (6min) time limit? Any further and the Psyncer risks having their mind/consciousness absorbed by the Psyncee completely. Walking around and performing Actions consumes Time, so Date is always racing against the clock. It's an artificial way to add difficulty to this gameplay, but you're never really punished too hard for failing since you can always reload and then skip to where you last left off.

Unfortunately, even this flagship PSYNC mechanic left me feeling unsatisfied: while there are indeed some epic wow moments to be had, most of the time Somnia experiences are RNG/trial and error based; you cannot logically deduce what action would progress you deeper into someone's mind. What should I do with this fan? Blow on it? Kick it? Grab onto it? Whoops one choice was wrong. Whoops the second choice was wrong. Whoops the third choice is wrong. So the fan's not the answer, how about that random pot over there? Shit, out of time, gotta restart and try again.

One of the lategame PSYNCs is ESPECIALLY guilty of this: After going through a fairly lengthy and confusing labyrinth to break through several Mental Locks and actually running fairly low on time by the end of it, the devs actually had the gall to slap you in the face and choose from (not really spoilers i guess?)

Spoiler

1i8c0EK.jpg

999secs for an action are you kidding me?!?! I know I said in general that Somnias were easy and not very punishing especially since you could just reload and skip through dialogue, but this Somnia was an actual "Yo fk you and your reload+bruteforce trial and error". Literal nightmare. Maybe that was the point though, given whose Somnia this was...

 

 To give credit where it's due though, here are some Somnia moments I enjoyed: (MASSIVE SPOILERS)

Spoiler

Mizuki's. No words needed. Just see the screenies. Probably my favorite Somnia based on wholesomeness.

Spoiler

loEoNeP.jpg

 



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Mizuki picking Date THREE TIMES over her parents, with him pushing her away each time until the third, the skull time multiplier increasing with each attempt, was a LEGENDARY FEELS moment. They nailed this moment perfectly, clap clap. I kind of wish you had to do it more maybe 5-6x? Man I was OSHITT-ing my pants seeing that skull number go up as Date rejected Mizuki.

Overall I'm super super fond of Mizuki. I always thought it a bit weird how Date had this 12 year old girl as his roommate and yet barely ever interacted with her (especially on other routes) but this route really captures the untold the bond these two share together. Also when you hear Date's wish he made at the shrine...UGH just so WHOLESOME!

 

MAYUMI - just pretty wholesome in general

Spoiler

SggAMkG.jpg

Funny- I actually chose "turn time backwards" my first attempt even though I KNEW metaphorically you were supposed to move time forward for Mayumi/ Ota's mom, but with baka Date being all like "THERE'S GOTTA BE A HAPPY MEMORY DOWN THERE SOMEHWERE!@#" I thought you had to go backwards to access the memory of where she was given the kitchen knife+apron for Mother's Day. RIP.

 

Iris - Shovelforge. 'nuff said.

Spoiler

Also I'm totally a diehard ASETONCHAN fan as well, it's the pink hair and gleeful personality, sorry I have absolutely 0 defense against it, so I totally chose Believe Her even though all the Illuminati Naixilusterousdkjfaklf was obvious BS (though, with all the pseudoscience going on, I did think there was a slight possibility they could swing with that shit. Thankfully they didn't.)

AiwIQsK.jpg

 

Boss / Saito - it's the big reveal Somnia. Of course it'll be one of the favorites, even if it pulled the BS 999sec tackle the ladder BS

Spoiler

zqeBErX.jpg

 

bWLxxXg.jpg

The game with its locked paths and cliffhangers actually did a REALLY REALLY good job up to this point in keeping you guessing whether the New Cyclops Murders are based off of one individual, multiple individuals, Date's pre-amnesiac self, the Boss, etc... then it slaps you with this scene of A kills B kills C kills D kills E and I was just utterly speechless. Literally for a moment (just a moment i swear!) i thought it was all one big string of motivated murders where Renju killed Shoko because she was a bad mother to Mizuki or something, then Renju who kept wanting to meet with Iris 'fessed to her and then she killed him for revenge for Mitsuki as her friend, then So went after Iris because of the Manaka cover up, then finally Boss kills So in the name of justice,,,.

But yeah nope, much easier to do the whole Eyyy Date, homie, my man, the body you are in belongs to an only-generates-oxytocin-when-he-kills psychopath, and he was the one who's been using a prototype PSYNC machine he conveniently obtained in order to do the whole A kills B kills C kills D kills E while swapping bodies each time using said protoype PSYNC machine!

Side note: while I did rip on Somnias for having RNG-trial by error methods, and particularly this one for the 999sec ladder BS, I'll give credit that up until then this Somnia WAS actually logically thematically solvable: the 1st door involves breaking the lock with a pick- the same used in the 1st murder (Shoko); the following key having a pick sitting on it. The 2nd door involves rolling an oil drum- used for the 2nd murder (Renju), the following key having an 8:00 timestamp- his time of death, etc.

 

 

Other random misc. comments/thoughts/moments: (ULTRAMASSIVE SPOILERS):

Spoiler

A-SET! YOU BET! I wonder how far the translation team had to localize for those rhymes. I know "Tesa" was what they localized the verbal "A-Set-tonchan"

Spoiler

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Really liked how the gang united to save Iris. Also always found it super silly yet super awesome how the head of a yakuza Moma became a powerful ally just because he's a diehard fan of her.

 

Too bad she DIES BY THE END OF THIS ROUTE ;-;

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Like I said, I had automatic bias for her. The tears flowed endlessly with this scene. And when you finally learn the truth MUCH LATER and reflect on this scene that her last words of "Are you..."  before passing was ultimately her hunch that "Date Kaname" was indeed Falco her long lost Uncle... man this route is just so damn tragic.

 

Mizuki vs. Army of Goons- I know I've been fangirling over A-set too much, so time to give Mizuki some love too because I also downright love this girl

Spoiler

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As badass as Mizuki is in this scene, overall the "combat" in this VN is one of its more jarring moments: the only real danger and deaths occur solely from the New Cyclops Killings which cause a great deal of dread and despair for the main cast, yet Date and Mizuki can end up facing a horde of goons in a shootout and they don't bat an eye.

Also weird is how Date can be one-shotted randomly despite generally being pretty capable. Getting WOK'd or StunGUNNED by Ota, getting Desk Slammed WHILE INTERROGATING 89... Also Aiba's calculation moments involving pornmags to 3.6x Date's reaction time were ehhh. Will admit the one really good Aiba Calculation was throwing Mizuki's pipe and redirecting a bullet through it to hit So. Needed more of those. The ecchi comments in general by Date throughout the VN were ehh. 

Oh sorry i started ranting. Uhh i actually don't have anymore Mizuki screenshots LOL, but uhhh the epilogue scene where Date and Mizuki weren't talking to each other at Lemniscate, with Iris having to "translate" Mizuki's gestures to Date was pure gold. And the reason they were fighting? Date didn't like how Mizuki cooked the eggs for breakfast and he told her up front. RIP </3

 

Annihilation End - the classic "Everybody dies". 

Spoiler

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"Could I have had... a better future?" Practically EVERYONE was dead by the end of this route. Mizuki's parents, Iris, Ota, So, Boss...Even if Date held on to the belief that another him in a parallel world had a better outcome, he still exists in this timeline, and he will continue to exist in this timeline while we the audience can simply jump and spectate another plotline. It's one of those things you have to ponder for a moment about to really appreciate the utter tragedy and despair that this route resulted in. But you'll get depressed if you let it sink in too much so let's move on

In general one of my favorite things to ponder about with a branching plotline narrative is all the outcomes that did and didn't happen on a particular timeline. Like in this ending everyone dies but Date who is now in Boss's body. WTF is he going to do now?

In Ota's ending, the murders go up to Shoko -> Renju -> Iris/Ota averted -> So chopped up unsolved while Date goes on a wild goose chase thinking Ota's mom Mayumi could be the killer. Iris was in the hospital in a recovering from her injuries/coma... but guess what So's the one currently in her body technically at that point. Which leaves the person who chopped up So being Boss/whoever Saito bodyswapped next? I don't think they expanded on that, just left it on a happy note with Ota and his mom. 

Mizuki's ending is similar to Ota's, except during the Iris/Ota averted event So's body is injured in the leg and so Date eventually finds out its him and confronts him. So's consciousness should be in Iris at this point, with Saito in So's so Date probably killed the real Saito, effectively ending the New Cyclops Killings although not knowing so. Kudos to the "Date shot in the left eye" scene btw:

Spoiler

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Also find it hilarious how Saito gets absolutely cockblocked by Date just because Date tells Iris not to leave the house. That one simple decision stops Saito's entire kill streak on JUST Shoko (whereas he can do the full Shoko -> Renju -> Iris -> So -> Boss in the not telling Iris to not leave the house routes) because he then gets into a car accident and is hospitalized which makes up the bulk of "why is Renju missing?" during Iris's route.

Pewter is a little shit. I kept wondering after the whole "Date x Iris get shot at by a mob of blackops which was apparently Pewter's doing" was all about, and the narrative did mention but it wasn't really elaborated upon, but I think it was since he was Renju's love(?) who gave him that watch, when Saito who was in the body of Renju at the time asked Pewter for 'help' that's why he complied? Then there are other routes where he will assist Date and other routes (like the true route) where he opposes Date & Boss because of the "higher ups" (not his loverboy Renju) and I just simply could not keep track of whose side he's on for whatever route lol. 

Regarding Manaka Iwai: NGL, it did not occur to me that the Iris look-alike found in the forklift in the warehouse would be her own mother, even with Aiba doing the whole three questions thing with Date. I was probably 50% sold on the parallel worlds and Somnia alternating reality theory. At first I was fuming at the "plot twist" of "LOLOL THAT WASN'T IRIS, IT WAS JUST SOMEONE THAT LOOKS LIKE HER, LOLOL YOU FELL FOR IT NOOB". Then Aiba is like "Impossible to determine exact time of death, this body was frozen here for maybe 10y ears?" Huh? 10 years? "Also...she was pregnant, but gave birth before she died" and I'm like uhhhh wait a minute... then it's "She died ~18 years ago" NO FUCKING WAY HOLY SHIT, IRIS IS 18! 10/10 PLOT TWIST

Kind of sucks that she had to fall in love with So. I mean, really? That old ugly ass prick? How old even was he at the time? In the flashback he still looked old af, damn shame. Definitely couldn't have had a nice personality either since he just trashed Manaka+Iris in favor of his political career. Only redeeming thing for this guy is that he's purely a plain scumbag and never actually resorted to things like murder despite all signs pointing the possibility. Real glad Iris inherited all of her mother's genes and none of her father's.

Saito can kill his half sister Iris. I mean he kills his dad So as well, but man, killing the mother and then the daughter 18 years apart is thematically creepy to think about.

I don't ever want to see Iris getting sawed in half again. 

In the Annihilation End where everyone dies, wait I lied, Mizuki is also still alive, but man, both her parents and best friends Iris/Ota are now dead, and Date is stuck in Boss's body... wtf are these two gonna do now 

Date will never interact with Renju ingame on any of the present timeline(s)- by the time you find Shoko's body at the very beginning, Saito is already in Renju's body. Poor Renju.

The Date = 89 = Rohan = Saito body swaps really hurt my mind at first. Really hard to follow in addition to the Saito -> Rohan -> Shoko -> Renju -> Iris -> So -> Boss swapping while replacing left eyes and ingesting them that you were supposed to piece together during the Boss-Saito interrogation reveal. Probably was the worst my head ever hurt while reading a VN. Lol

I'd LOVE to do a character relations chart. With the body swaps included. Renju and Shoko are Mizuki's parents, Mizuki is Date's roommate and Ota/Iris's friend, Iris parents are Manaka and So; Manaka was friends with Hitomi/Renju and So's mistress but was killed by So's son Saito and so Hitomi raised Iris, Hitomi met Falco who was associated with Kumakura mob boss Rohan who covered up Manaka's death for So and did the Original Cyclops Killings with Falco. Falco body swaps with Saito creating Date who would years later meet Iris again, the list just goes on and on it's probably the most convoluted "Every character is related to each other" VN to date.

 

Overall this VN is a solid 8/10. Engaging murder mystery plot that utilizes pseudoscience, fairly likeable characters, solid sound track, decent gameplay that has its moments. Didn't feel like ermergawd mindblown masterpiece, but was definitely a fun experience.

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Oppai-lady

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Day 14! :D Finally, some fucking hints!

Spoiler
  • Misuzu mentioned ways of making Kakeru powerful with her family's blood permanently but there were certain conditions to be met... I've seen it happening in the anime but wow, is he going to get laid with ANOTHER girl on Yuka's route?
  • Hmmm I've noticed that there are some blue blocks in Kakeru's perspective (CrossVision) that are skipped :SmallKappa:
  • I'm still waiting for Shiori to play a bigger role...
  • Hah! So there were seven members, after all! I bet Shiori is one of them!
  • Is Superbia the previously so-famous female swordsman Misuzu admires? :rize:

 

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I've been putting off Chaos;Child solely because I hated Chaos;Head with a fiery passion and thought it was a sequel but apparently they're not related at all story/character wise(just same setting)

So time to check it out~

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I'm not really one for episodic releases but a bunch have been cropping out on itch.io lately and I thought why not? There are free one, the art looks nice, there's a lot of CGs per episode, and it looks like most have a consistent release schedule. With that in mind, I picked up Andromeda Six. Oh boy, what a great start. It only has three episodes out so far but what they have is really intriguing. Like most recent episodic releases, it has pronoun selection (meaning the MC doesn't show up in CGs), lots of love interests, both male and female (5 male, 2 female), and race selection (because space opera?).

Episodes are fairly short but there are a lot of options, with flirt options clearly labeled which would make you closer to your chosen love interest. This makes it replayable for me in between waiting for episodes. So far, I'd describe the story as a mix of Firefly and Anastasia. Anastasia was one of my favorite animated films so I was pretty excited to see the Anastasia in Space storyline. You play as an amnesiac who wakes up in a ship full of mercenaries but you regain your memories in like, Episode 3. The story is pretty well-written so far and there's also pretty strong characterization as you get to know the characters and their backgrounds. Really, my only complaint is the episodic release makes waiting so hard. I'd definitely pay money for this once it's complete- plus whatever special DLC episodes they may have.

Edited by Daydreamer97

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I've started reading Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception and it's a quite impressive experience so far. This title seems to have some serious production values under its belt. The 3D battle maps are also used to showcase animated events which gives many scenes a cool dynamic rarely seen in VN's. Especially since the 3D art looks quite decent (at least for a VN). The character art style was a bit unusual at first, but I got used to it pretty fast since the whole world has a coherent look where everything fits together. It really oozes atmosphere.

The writing was also pretty good so far, with a good balance of plot, slice of life and comedy. The interactions with Kuon are just great, ranging from hilarious to serious depending on the situation. It's also really fun to experience a well made fantasy world.

I think the only thing I didn't like that much so far, was the overemphasizing of the protagonists apparent physical weakness in comparison to the furry guys. While he balances it out with smartness and it also created some funny interactions, it still hurts my manly pride a bit when playing a character whose supposedly weaker than a liitle child lol. It also makes the battles with him a bit unbelievable. Though I guess it'll balance out with time. The zero to hero just seems a bit extreme here.

In Senren Banka I've finished Lena's route and I'm going to approach Yoshino's route next. I like the characters and the setting, but the plot is progressing at a snail pacing later on, which makes it difficult for me to read longer sections at a time. I wish Yuzusoft would put as much effort into their stories as into their characters. :sleep:

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Day 17! :D This one was shorter but oh boi, was it sad...

Spoiler
  • Man, "evil" Liselotte looks badass af
  • Wtf, who is that woman in kimono? Is that Superbia's human form? NO WAY
  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SAIKOOOOOOOOO! :rubycry: I can't believe she's fucking dead, no fucking way... bruh. I knew it already cuz opening spoilers but still ;u; I'm a sad potato now

 

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