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Phew... I finished it. After 3 months of reading it, little by little, I decided to seriously read it and finished today!

I enjoyed Clannad as a whole, it wasn't a bad experience, but After Story didn't hit me as hard as I thought it would. Maybe it's because I already knew what was going to happen or maybe it's for other reasons. Either way, it was 7/10 for me.

:thumbsup:

My thoughts on After Story:
 

Spoiler

 

I feel like Clannad is one of those works in which the reader's view and opinion of it heavily depends on his view about family, their own experience with family and for sure their maturity. I say this because, personally, I was skeptic all the way from them moving in together to Ushio's death. Nagisa is way too imature and frail to bear a child and Tomoya only wants to live with Nagisa, which is NOT a good reason to have a child. Overall, they romanticized the whole early pregnancy thing and well, mostly everything else: abusive families, (bad) parenting... there's also a lot of sexism throughout the entirety of the game but I could "ignore" that because, well, this is a Japanese VN from 2004 lol

It bothered me when Nagisa was like "no, I don't want to end this life inside of me". Was that supposed to be... emotional? It's just stupid, since that's not even a legit life yet, but ok, you do you and die lol I really despise Nagisa

The Ushio raising scene made me gag. As someone with abusive parents, the way the game made a whole scene out of Tomoya doing the bare minimum bothered me, ngl.  Also, when Tomoya's grandmother said his father "was a splendid father" and I was like "he what?". How? Because he didn't abandon his child? Because he didn't let him starve? Good fucking job, asshole. Guess what, you forgot to emotionally raise him, in a healthy way. Parenting is not just feeding and housing someone.

Anyway, the Ushio dying CG was pretty neat! In the way it was drawn, I mean lol

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the girl under the tree... Is that Ushio? If it is, how is Ibuki or Fuko not older? Were they too lazy to do more sprites? lmao

 

After that, I did Sunohara's Ending and Jet Saito and had a damn good laugh, hahaha!

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My next reading will be the little bit left to finish Ace Attorney: Miles Investigations and then return to Kara no Shoujo 2 :illya:

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guys I solved it I solved it, I finally know why mmorpgs make female armor so skimpy     Sharty's face is just priceless

Picked up, or rather finally started Ace Attorney trilogy on my 3DS. Finished the first game, in the middle of Ep1 of the 2nd game, which is atm a shame because i expected Phoenix to start off veteran

Only for H-scenes. Edit: Most VNs have some kind of flash or pause that occurs at the end of h-scenes... it isn't always obvious, but once you've picked up the knack for it, it is easy to stop th

10 minutes ago, Leonor said:

I enjoyed Clannad as a whole, it wasn't a bad experience, but After Story didn't hit me as hard as I thought it would. Maybe it's because I already knew what was going to happen or maybe it's for other reasons.

I'd say it was probably mainly because you didn't like Nagisa. And, as you pointed out later, it was apparently too old-fashioned for you, and so it clashed with your (more progressive) worldview. So there's no wonder it didn't work for you.

(For example, I seem to like it exactly for some of the reasons you disliked it for...)

Edited by adamstan
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5 hours ago, adamstan said:

I'd say it was probably mainly because you didn't like Nagisa. And, as you pointed out later, it was apparently too old-fashioned for you, and so it clashed with your (more progressive) worldview. So there's no wonder it didn't work for you.

(For example, I seem to like it exactly for some of the reasons you disliked it for...)

You're probably right haha I try to ignore some things because of the context of the work but yeah, that's probably what happened. Welp!

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Playing Love Escalator using NekoProjectTH with Textractor is much smoother than Win port with AGTH 👍 Now I also could make the window double-sized (1280x800), so now it's a breeze :) As for the game itself, I'm liking what I see. It isn't the greatest thing I've ever seen or played, but interesting enough to keep me hooked ;) I like how it looks, and Rie (main heroine) is cute :abilove:

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It's also worth noting that this version has actually better opening than the remake (unless the latter has another one somewhere later). It's a nice animated sequence, in the style of anime openings, while the remake has only some credits appearing over the backgrounds slideshow.

The story itself so far is rather generic high-school romance, but not as fluffy as typical later moeges. Also, the game itself is a mix of VN and dating-sim segments, a bit like Fureraba or SukiSuki. I'll try to write more when I finish it.

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On 8/25/2020 at 11:58 PM, Silvz said:

Not trying to make fun or anything, but complaining about sexism in VNs/anime is, sadly, redundant. About Nagisa's statement, there are plenty of "parents" who think that way, and a lot of them do the same thing that they did.

Oh, for sure! Hahah sadly it IS redundant, I just said that in Clannad's case, it really affected me ^^" I do like to point out these things, even if it's just from a critical and personal point of view :ren:

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On 8/26/2020 at 9:28 AM, Leulight said:

Playing Grisaia no Kajitsu right now, my 2nd VN, unless the first Danganronpa game counts as some sort of VN.

Personally, Danganronpa is a vn, but I'd say it's both a vn and an adventure game, in a way. Grisaia sounds fun, I have been wanting to read it for a long time x_x have fun! :wafuu:

:abilove:

16 hours ago, Silvz said:

DR is VN. Also, play the other games in the series.

I agree! The second one is considered the best, although the third is my favorite haha 

Edited by Leonor
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14 minutes ago, Leonor said:

Oh, for sure! Hahah sadly it IS redundant, I just said that in Clannad's case, it really affected me ^^" I do like to point out these things, even if it's just from a critical and personal point of view :ren:

I kind of have the same criticisms about Clannad as you, except that I found Nagisa somewhat bearable which in turn made the emotional scenes impactful enough for me to still love the game.

Spoiler

If Clannad has one big weakness it's its tendency to romanticize problematic interpersonal dynamics. From their personalities, immaturity and personal circumstances I totally get why Tomoya and Nagisa would want to start their own family as quickly as possible. But nobody (including the writers) ever bothers to seriously ask if they actually should. 

Also the abusive parent redemption arc might be the anime trope I hate the most.

 

As for my personal reading progress, I recently played Three Fourths Home, a seemingly pretty obscure game from 2015 which sadly isn't on vndb. I get why, as it has continuous gameplay (although very minimalistic; you basically just push down one button) and no sprites. The core of the game is a long telephone call where you pick dialogue choices though so for me at least in spirit it's enough of a VN to mention it here. If you want an impression of what the game experience is like, the developers uploaded a video of the first five in-game minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKVvglBBRmk

It's only about three hours long even if you count in all the bonus content which includes a soundtrack about 50 minutes long where most of the tracks didn't even make it into the actual game (and which you have to listen to in full to unlock a bonus scene). There also is a collection of short stories and a photography project which gives the experience a mixed media vibe. Also it's very good and you should play it, at least as long as you're not allergic to metaphor. It's not super pretentious or cryptic or anything like that but its elements tie together more thematically than plotwise.

 

After this pleasant surprise I started reading YU-NO (the remake). I still think it's kind of a weird decision to do a shot for shot remake of a VN with only updated art and sound and a few added quality-of-life features. The game still feels somewhat dated, not in a bad way, but the overall pacing as well as the "raunchy" parts still give out rather clear early VN days vibes. As for the VN itself, so far I like it. I already mentioned the pacing which can drag a little in the beginning. I'm nine hours in and the game still hasn't really set up what its central conflict is going to be (or at least why I should care), which feels weird in a mystery game. Other than that it has been a nice read so far.

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18 hours ago, Silvz said:

DR is VN. Also, play the other games in the series.

I definitely plan to.

2 hours ago, Leonor said:

Personally, Danganronpa is a vn, but I'd say it's both a vn and an adventure game, in a way. Grisaia sounds fun, I have been wanting to read it for a long time x_x have fun! :wafuu:

Yeah I think of DR as a "semi-VN" if that's even a term lol.

Well It's just my 3rd VN (after DR), but I still want to say it's been really great so far.  It has a genuinely great cast and character writing. So, definitely try it when you get the time.

Edited by Leulight
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On 8/27/2020 at 6:57 PM, alpacaman said:

Also the abusive parent redemption arc might be the anime trope I hate the most.

YES!!! :lewdhazuki: 

On 8/27/2020 at 6:59 PM, Leulight said:

Well It's just my 3rd VN (after DR), but I still want to say it's been really great so far.  It has a genuinely great cast and character writing. So, definitely try it when you get the time.

Yes, I can't wait! :sugoi:
----------

As for personal progress, I've read more of Kara no Shoujo 2 and woah, I managed to bug it as it kept turning upside down and back to normal a bunch of times before I finally restarted it lmao

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I'm always reading a bunch of stuff, but the game that really surprised me is Raging Loop. I wasn't expecting it to pull me in like this or be this good. If it finishes strong this will definitely be one of my all time favorites. If not then I suppose at least I'm really enjoying the ride. I hope Kemco makes more VNs. Normally, they're just making a crazy amount of mobile JRPGs.

Edited by ciel_yuri
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Read Real Life Plus, and let's just say that the middle school and high school period here is not as long as Ginharu (And the elementary school period is also short for the info). Then is that mean that it's a good news if you didn't like Ginharu long writing? Not exactly because all of the sections are over rather quickly, as in it just jump directly without some warning. Granted that it's just short VN so I can't exactly fault it, but I think they can at least add some more lines. The VA here is honestly quite bland as in she's very stiff, but apparently she's AV stars in Japan so there's that (I didn't find her performance in sex scene is that good either, though what do I know about AV stars acting in adult video).

Then if I say negative things, is that mean that it didn't have positive? Of course it is, in that the heroine did cosplaying Cure Marine from HCPC (Heartcatch Precure) and there's also some reference's talk about Marine's relationship with one of cadre. There's also the fact that the MC have sex with her in Cure Marine costume, in that after the MC do the deed the heroine lament that she can never wear the cosplay outside. With that while I didn't know whether it's true or not, I guess I can say that the author might be a hardcore fan of Cure Marine so much that he wrote about MC have sex with someone who cosplaying as her. In order to get that scene, you need to use the guide from Steam in order to get 'The Happy Couple' ending, so you better aim for that ending if you play this. By the way I also tried the other endings, and it's ranged from either the heroine is going overseas or live together. And speaking about heroine, rather than dream actually in here she's more or less grew up based on your choice so in summary it's sort of like Princess Maker except without gameplay.

Overall even with the gimmick of having sex with Precure cosplay, I just think that this VN is not quite detailed as Ginharu when it come to describe the growing up story and therefore it's not as good as that. Although of course feel free to disagree here, especially if you didn't like Ginharu long writing.

PS - By the way I sort of think that HCPC here is kind of overrated, although I understand though on why this series manage to have a lot of people took a liking to Precure, especially with the ending which to say quite unusual for Precure series.

Edited by littleshogun
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Today I finished Love Escalator, but since I wasn't completely satisfied with it, now I started reading remake - Lovers ~Koi ni ochitara~ (I found working hook for it) - to check if they fixed the most annoying problems. I'll write more on both titles together, when I complete it.

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Wow, it's an end of an era. I actually played soooo many VNs on my Vita, ranging from the thrilling Danganronpas and Zero Escapes to sci-fi shenanigans Steins;gates and Chaos;Child's to fantasy funtimes like Ar Nosurge and Utawarerumono trilogy, even Muv Luv, and a whole crapton of Otomes. All on a "dead" device that is the Vita:

9TwTwwm.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

....But now it's time to Switch it up 8) 

3F2CnK0.jpg

Yup I finally caved and got a Nintendo Switch. Originally wanted to wait for a New Nintendo Switch Pro XL or something, but they came out with the fking Lite instead. Pretty excited~

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13 hours ago, Eclipsed said:

Wow, it's an end of an era. I actually played soooo many VNs on my Vita, ranging from the thrilling Danganronpas and Zero Escapes to sci-fi shenanigans Steins;gates and Chaos;Child's to fantasy funtimes like Ar Nosurge and Utawarerumono trilogy, even Muv Luv, and a whole crapton of Otomes. All on a "dead" device that is the Vita:

9TwTwwm.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

....But now it's time to Switch it up 8) 

3F2CnK0.jpg

Yup I finally caved and got a Nintendo Switch. Originally wanted to wait for a New Nintendo Switch Pro XL or something, but they came out with the fking Lite instead. Pretty excited~

new rumours say it'll come next year

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Finished Evenicle 2 trial, and let's say that it's gameplay is more or less very similar to first Evenicle although with some changes. Storywise, it's more or less resembled Evenicle first chapter albeit with some difference. I'll try to write more about it later but overall I look forward for the overseas release.

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Currently playing Hapymaher, i found it pretty good especially the ost,. The last VN that i finished was Majikoi, one of the greatest pieces of media that i touched, wonderful comedy, excellent chemestry between the cast, nice protag. For the future i am looking foward for Aokona, and waiting for the complete translation of Ginharu

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Yesterday I finished Lovers ~Koi ni Ochitara...~, which is a remake of Love Escalator that I played before.

It's quite decent high school romance VN with some light dating sim elements. Main heroine is Rie, and her route is pretty good. I guess I actually shouldn't use the word "route" here, as it doesn't apply too much. The thing is - Rie and Takashi (MC) get together at the end of the prologue, and whole game is mostly about her. There are two side heroines, Noriko and Hanako, but they don't have proper routes. And to get their endings you basically have to be a dick and neglect your girlfriend, while dating side chicks instead.

It's all especially grating in PC98 version, where in story part there are no choices, and everything happens in dating sim part. By taking chosen girl to a date that she likes, you collect "relationship points". If you fail to establish good enough relationship with Rie she'll leave in December, and that opens path for other endings. But other than that, the story doesn't in any way react to the fact that you're cheating bastard neglecting his cute girlfriend. And as for Noriko and Hanako - apart from some scenes in prologue when they get introduced, they don't have any events at all. You just take them to the dates during dating sim segments - which are just a few repetitive lines, and once you get enough relationship points, you can take them to the love hotel and watch h-scene. And then hold ctrl key right to the end - which again is very short and rather unsatisfying. That's why, even though main route was good, I rated Love Escalator with 7/10. It would probably be 6.5 or even 6, but it got bonus points for great pixel art graphics ;) But with only one good route per three heroines, it doesn't deserve higher score.

Now, having the bad out of the way, let's talk about good.
(this applies to both versions, I'll point out the differences in text where relevant)

While MC isn't exactly great person, he was relatable to me with his insecurities. And his indecisiveness comes back to bite him in the ass. I really liked the main story - it follows basic high-school romance conventions, but not necessarily moege conventions, since it predates almost all moeges ;) So it isn't all fluff, flowers and rainbows - MC has his insecurities, there are rivals appearing a few times, and well, there's main problem of secretly dating a girl that your best friend has crush on. The thing that stood out - in a good way - was how side characters were treated. This VNs introduces tons of side characters - and almost all of them have sprite and voice. Also, the friends of MC and Rie aren't there just to provide background - they have their own little stories, and they even get short arcs shown from their perspective. There are lots of funny interactions between cast. Well, there's one thing this VN shares with lots of moeges - best girl Mayumi isn't a heroine :saber:
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(and there were no fandiscs...)

Lovers ~Koi ni Ochitara...~  was great improvement over Love Escalator when it comes to the structure/system - it at least partially fixes the most glaring shortcomings of previous version.

  1. Main story got extended - they added two additional arcs (school trip and cultural festival) that were only briefly mentioned in PC98 version. Also, there are lots of choices added - some are meaningless, but some affect relationship score, so now it isn't restricted to dating sim part.
  2. Noriko and Hanako got at least their mini-routes. When you unlock them by getting enough relationship points and failing Rie's route, there are two additional events for each of the girls. So while not full-fledged routes, it's great improvement over PC98 version. (Also, they added more h-scenes for them, with the first one happening in-story instead of dating sim.) Noriko's story was okay. Hanako's was a bit WTF to me, I don't get what did MC see in her, but to each their own ;)
  3. Dating sim part was greatly improved and expanded. Now for each date spot there are bunch of scenes, which also form kind of mini stories (and some are random). Also, in some spots there are quite funny minigames of various kinds. Beating those unlock secret CGs or H-scenes. Which brings us to the next point...

H-scenes. :pantsu:

Animated and interactive. It's quite interesting, since it adds kind of role playing element to the game. There are only two in-story scenes in Rie's route. The rest is up to the player. You can go to the love hotel or home on every date and keep fucking (and there's a lot of animations/CGs to discover), or you can have more "wholesome" relationship. It doesn't affect the ending, so it's possible to finish this VN with different approaches. And the H-scenes are also kind of separate minigame, where both characters gradually "level up". MC has "action points" - starting with 3, but can get up to 7, while Rie has "endurance" - some actions have greater cost, so when you overdo it by demanding too much, she'll either slap you (at low relationship/sex skill levels) or start to cry, so you have to watch out. So I guess it's kind of realistic in showing that when it comes to sex people need to get used to each other, and it was actually quite satisfying to observe how they gradually got more comfortable with each other. Also "leveling up" gradually unlocks different poses or variations of those.

For side heroines Noriko and Hanako the system is simpler - after the first time, if you go to the "H" date, you get three random poses each time.

The animations looked very good, and I found them quite hot. I think they were the best animated H-scenes I've seen so far.

So, considering all of the above, I'd rate Lovers ~Koi ni Ochitara...~ with 7.5/10. Good, but not without thorns - I stil miss a bit longer epilogues, proper routes for side heroines, and Mayumi's route :P And I still consider the way to enter side routes solely via dating sim part flawed.

Also, there's this review. I mostly agree with it.

For my next read I might finally try Bokuten. But it's also possible that I'll get tempted by Sakura Strasse or Sukimazakura to Uso no Machi

Edited by adamstan
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  • 2 weeks later...

So I finished the YU-NO remake. My main takeaway is that it was a poor decision to do a shot for shot copy (minus the h-scenes) imo. Not in the sense that the things that they reworked are necessarily bad, although the visuals certainly aren't perfect. I haven't played the original so I have no nostalgia for its artstyle or voice acting. But rather there is a disconnect between its updated packaging and its script and gameplay system which are both barely able to hide their age. For example the pacing, story progression and plot construction are pretty weird from today's standards. They totally made sense when the original came out. The multi-route mystery was a novelty at the time and I imagine employing a point-and-click adventure gameplay mechanics for progression probably made the most sense at the time but in a 2019 release the pacing feels excrutiatingly slow at time when you have to click different places on screen to get lots of tiny pieces of information, especially as most of what you learn doesn't really have an impact on the true route. I think a reworked script that employed a more modern VN-route structure and got rid of some its more dated aspects could have worked wonders for a YU-NO remake and made it worthwhile for both fans of the original and new readers. As for the remake we actually got, just upscaling the original art and adding the QOL features to the gameplay would probably have carried better results imo.

The current Umineko discussion has made me kind of want to re-read it next. Originally I planned to wait for Umineko Gold, but that project sadly seems to be dead in the water (pun somewhat intended).

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Finally done with the Umineko question arcs. It ended up taking a lot longer than I expected (almost two months), mostly because the first two episodes were less exciting than I hoped for, which led to me putting them on hold several times in favor of other games and VNs. Things started getting more interesting in episode 3, and then even more so in the fourth and final episode.
 

Spoiler

After learning in Higurashi that events depicted on-screen might be fabrications that only show up based on the perspective of the scene, I naturally ended up being skeptical about all depictions of witchery and did a lot less speculating this time around overall.
However, I do have some theories and thoughts, so I figure I might as well share them, no matter how far off the mark they may or may not be.

1. I think Battler and Ange are full siblings. First of all, we learn in one of the chapters (I think it was the third one) that Battler isn't actually Asumu's son; he just Asumu'd he was.
*cough* Aaanyway, it has seemed a bit weird to me from the start that Battler and Ange would have exactly the same hair color if they only share one parent. (I mean, it's technically possible that they could, but it seems highly unlikely.)
We're told at one point that Kyrie and Asumu were pregnant with boys at the same time, meaning there is very much a chance that Battler could actually be Kyrie's son and that the story about his death was faked for one reason or another. (In any case, I sincerely doubt the story about her supposedly dead son has no relevance to the plot. I get the feeling it's either a case of deception or a trigger for a revenge scheme.) Speaking of fakes...

2. The Battler taking part in the "killing game" isn't the real Battler. One thing that points to this is the fact that he couldn't answer Beatrice's question about a sin he supposedly committed, which would make sense if he isn't the one who actually committed it.
Also, the whole "number of people alive on the island" argument that keeps being brought up again and again as evidence for the existence of witches, can be refuted if the Battler on the island is a fake. The real Battler is just assuming that he himself is actually part of the game and thus counts himself among the number of people there. On the other hand, if he actually isn't, he should be excluded from that count and that makes it entirely possible for someone else to act as a fake Battler without the number of people exceeding what we've been told. (It's actually kinda funny if this is the case, since Battler once proposed a theory about this very thing in regards to Kinzo as the 18th person.)
In chapter 3, the other family members acknowledged someone as Kinzo, the head of the family, despite the fact that Kinzo himself was already dead. That, combined with my other theories, leads me to believe that the fake Battler might be that Kinzo. I feel like the fact that the other family members acknowledged him at all is in itself proof that it must be a person they already know well. If it was someone unknown to them or someone they, for one reason or another, considered unworthy of headship, they would most likely start protesting vehemently as soon as that person revealed themselves.
To add to this theory of mine, there's also the fact that the title picture for Umineko - Answer Arcs on Steam shows Battler wearing a cape very similar to the one Kinzo had. (If my theory is actually on point, that picture is a pretty big spoiler.)
While on the subject of Fake Battler, I might as well mention that I think that white-haired guy (his name escapes me at the moment) employed by Ange in the future might actually be him. He seems to fit age-wise, and, as it so happens, he's apparently specilized in sniping, which could no doubt explain many of the cases of people's heads being blown off. I can recall a certain other event where people started dropping dead from major wounds, namely when Ange visisted the island in 1998. And oh, wouldn't you know it, Mr. White Hair just so happened to be on the island at that time. That's quite the coincidence.
One of the things that speak strongly against this theory is that the Battler left behind on the island after the murders in chapter 4 (the same Battler who couldn't answer Beatrice's question) seems to act like the normal Battler during his inner monologue at the end. It could just be another case of convenient use of perspective though, I guess.
(Sidenote: It's entirely possible that the "fake" Battler might be the one bearing that name and the "real" Battler is actually called something else, but it wouldn't really make a difference here; my point is just that the Battler on the game board and the Battler off the game board are different people.)

3. To add to my previous theory, I think both the real Battler and Beatrice might already be dead. The battle between them off the game board doesn't make much sense from a realistic viewpoint, but it could easily be explained if it's some sort of afterlife where the rules of the real world don't apply.
I'm guessing they were in a relationship that was cut short due to tragic circumstances and then they got stuck in a limbo where Beatrice retained her memories while Battler didn't, and now she's trying to make him remember.
The second choice on Battler's test on the game board in chapter 3 asked him to name the person he loves, and it seems highly likely that Beatrice's name was supposed to go there and the reason her mood did a 180 is because Battler didn't realize that.
As for the sin Battler supposedly commited, I don't have any theories whatsoever at the moment, unless she's referring to him forgetting her.

4. I don't know if there's actually anything to this, but I feel like there's something suspicious about Jessica. First of all, she has at times shown some reactions that seem somewhat overly dramatical. People can of course react to trauma in many different ways and maybe this is just the way she is, but to me as an outsider, it kinda seems like she's trying to fake an emotional reaction to something that didn't actually come as a surprise to her.
Then there's the fact that she, in one of the first two chapters, was very much against holing up in Kinzo's study, by far the safest room in the mansion, as a safety precaution. Rather, she wanted to go to the parlor instead, which is probably the least safe room of them all. Even if she didn't like the smell in Kinzo's study, like she claimed, I find it hard to believe that she'd actually be willing to put her life on the line just to avoid it. To me, it seemed more like she deliberately wanted to keep everyone out of the study, either to put them in harms way or to conceal something that she didn't want them to find there.
Furthermore, during her pre-death phone call with Battler in episode 3, she seemed abnormally pushy about convincing Battler that a witch was responsible for everything that had happened. Kyrie did the exact same thing during her following phone conversation with Battler after that, which felt suspicious for the same reason.
On the note of convincing people that the witch is real, I'm pretty sure that's the entire purpose of the magic circles. It puts the idea of something occult going on in the minds of the people there, which in turn would make them more suggestible to accepting the notion of supernatural causes for subsequent incidents.

5. I find it a bit suspicious that there's a space inbetween Rosa and Maria on the character screen.
It might not necessarily mean anything, bit it could also mean that someone with a relation to one or both of them is going to show up at some point. I currently don't have any theory as to who that might be, though.


I've probably forgotten to mention some things, but this'll have to do for now. I know there's a recent Umineko discussion post here on the forums that I'd love to read, but I haven't dared venture into it due to fear of getting spoiled in some way. I'll probably have to put it off until I'm done.

On that note, I think it's about time I move on to the answer arcs, and I'm looking forward to seeing if any of my theories managed to hit the nail on the head.

Edited by Seraphim
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7 hours ago, Seraphim said:

Finally done with the Umineko question arcs. It ended up taking a lot longer than I expected (almost two months), mostly because the first two episodes were less exciting than I hoped for, which led to me putting them on hold several times in favor of other games and VNs. Things started getting more interesting in episode 3, and then even more so in the fourth and final episode.
 

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After learning in Higurashi that events depicted on-screen might be fabrications that only show up based on the perspective of the scene, I naturally ended up being skeptical about all depictions of witchery and did a lot less speculating this time around overall.
However, I do have some theories and thoughts, so I figure I might as well share them, no matter how far off the mark they may or may not be.

1. I think Battler and Ange are full siblings. First of all, we learn in one of the chapters (I think it was the third one) that Battler isn't actually Asumu's son; he just Asumu'd he was.
*cough* Aaanyway, it has seemed a bit weird to me from the start that Battler and Ange would have exactly the same hair color if they only share one parent. (I mean, it's technically possible that they could, but it seems highly unlikely.)
We're told at one point that Kyrie and Asumu were pregnant with boys at the same time, meaning there is very much a chance that Battler could actually be Kyrie's son and that the story about his death was faked for one reason or another. (In any case, I sincerely doubt the story about her supposedly dead son has no relevance to the plot. I get the feeling it's either a case of deception or a trigger for a revenge scheme.) Speaking of fakes...

2. The Battler taking part in the "killing game" isn't the real Battler. One thing that points to this is the fact that he couldn't answer Beatrice's question about a sin he supposedly committed, which would make sense if he isn't the one who actually committed it.
Also, the whole "number of people alive on the island" argument that keeps being brought up again and again as evidence for the existence of witches, can be refuted if the Battler on the island is a fake. The real Battler is just assuming that he himself is actually part of the game and thus counts himself among the number of people there. On the other hand, if he actually isn't, he should be excluded from that count and that makes it entirely possible for someone else to act as a fake Battler without the number of people exceeding what we've been told. (It's actually kinda funny if this is the case, since Battler once proposed a theory about this very thing in regards to Kinzo as the 18th person.)
In chapter 3, the other family members acknowledged someone as Kinzo, the head of the family, despite the fact that Kinzo himself was already dead. That, combined with my other theories, leads me to believe that the fake Battler might be that Kinzo. I feel like the fact that the other family members acknowledged him at all is in itself proof that it must be a person they already know well. If it was someone unknown to them or someone they, for one reason or another, considered unworthy of headship, they would most likely start protesting vehemently as soon as that person revealed themselves.
To add to this theory of mine, there's also the fact that the title picture for Umineko - Answer Arcs on Steam shows Battler wearing a cape very similar to the one Kinzo had. (If my theory is actually on point, that picture is a pretty big spoiler.)
While on the subject of Fake Battler, I might as well mention that I think that white-haired guy (his name escapes me at the moment) employed by Ange in the future might actually be him. He seems to fit age-wise, and, as it so happens, he's apparently specilized in sniping, which could no doubt explain many of the cases of people's heads being blown off. I can recall a certain other event where people started dropping dead from major wounds, namely when Ange visisted the island in 1998. And oh, wouldn't you know it, Mr. White Hair just so happened to be on the island at that time. That's quite the coincidence.
One of the things that speak strongly against this theory is that the Battler left behind on the island after the murders in chapter 4 (the same Battler who couldn't answer Beatrice's question) seems to act like the normal Battler during his inner monologue at the end. It could just be another case of convenient use of perspective though, I guess.
(Sidenote: It's entirely possible that the "fake" Battler might be the one bearing that name and the "real" Battler is actually called something else, but it wouldn't really make a difference here; my point is just that the Battler on the game board and the Battler off the game board are different people.)

3. To add to my previous theory, I think both the real Battler and Beatrice might already be dead. The battle between them off the game board doesn't make much sense from a realistic viewpoint, but it could easily be explained if it's some sort of afterlife where the rules of the real world don't apply.
I'm guessing they were in a relationship that was cut short due to tragic circumstances and then they got stuck in a limbo where Beatrice retained her memories while Battler didn't, and now she's trying to make him remember.
The second choice on Battler's test on the game board in chapter 3 asked him to name the person he loves, and it seems highly likely that Beatrice's name was supposed to go there and the reason her mood did a 180 is because Battler didn't realize that.
As for the sin Battler supposedly commited, I don't have any theories whatsoever at the moment, unless she's referring to him forgetting her.

4. I don't know if there's actually anything to this, but I feel like there's something suspicious about Jessica. First of all, she has at times shown some reactions that seem somewhat overly dramatical. People can of course react to trauma in many different ways and maybe this is just the way she is, but to me as an outsider, it kinda seems like she's trying to fake an emotional reaction to something that didn't actually come as a surprise to her.
Then there's the fact that she, in one of the first two chapters, was very much against holing up in Kinzo's study, by far the safest room in the mansion, as a safety precaution. Rather, she wanted to go to the parlor instead, which is probably the least safe room of them all. Even if she didn't like the smell in Kinzo's study, like she claimed, I find it hard to believe that she'd actually be willing to put her life on the line just to avoid it. To me, it seemed more like she deliberately wanted to keep everyone out of the study, either to put them in harms way or to conceal something that she didn't want them to find there.
Furthermore, during her pre-death phone call with Battler in episode 3, she seemed abnormally pushy about convincing Battler that a witch was responsible for everything that had happened. Kyrie did the exact same thing during her following phone conversation with Battler after that, which felt suspicious for the same reason.
On the note of convincing people that the witch is real, I'm pretty sure that's the entire purpose of the magic circles. It puts the idea of something occult going on in the minds of the people there, which in turn would make them more suggestible to accepting the notion of supernatural causes for subsequent incidents.

5. I find it a bit suspicious that there's a space inbetween Rosa and Maria on the character screen.
It might not necessarily mean anything, bit it could also mean that someone with a relation to one or both of them is going to show up at some point. I currently don't have any theory as to who that might be, though.


I've probably forgotten to mention some things, but this'll have to do for now. I know there's a recent Umineko discussion post here on the forums that I'd love to read, but I haven't dared venture into it due to fear of getting spoiled in some way. I'll probably have to put it off until I'm done.

On that note, I think it's about time I move on to the answer arcs, and I'm looking forward to seeing if any of my theories managed to hit the nail on the head.

nice theories, but  :P

about topic 5, it's just because the space right next to Rosa is where her spouse should be. It's just a design pattern

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@Silvz I don't know if Seraphim has seen your reply yet, but as obvious as it may seen, I would put it in spoiler tags so as to not affect the person's experience. Maybe I'm very wrong and they don't mind, but if you don't know how they'll react, directly replying to their theories, whether it seems obvious or not, may affect them negatively somehow.

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16 minutes ago, Mr Poltroon said:

I don't know if Seraphim has seen your reply yet

I have. While the reply makes it seem like my theories are off, which could be considered a spoiler-ish statement in itself due to process of elimination, I still don't know if I'm wrong on all accounts or just some, so I guess it's not too bad.

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