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Thank You GundamAce - Root Double Info and Discussion


littleshogun
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Well, first of all congratulations on successful Kickstarter for Root Double, even though it's kinda shaky at the middle. My comment is that for Sekai if next time you want to release the VN that has less exposure than this one, I would suggest that you better did the Thunderclap and better tier earlier (Although I understand that maybe this time Regista was kinda hesitate to allow Sekai at first, while back at Libra the decision to make the Kickstarter was started from the staff of Libra themselves iirc), since I'd read that many of the user feel here your move was kinda late. Anyway since this project was already funded, let's move on to discuss this game, and if you still want to discuss the Kickstarter, please go to this thread. For the release date, hopefully around March (Although if the release was got pushed, I'll make sure the thread will be not drowned).

Anyway, from the title, it was obvious the credit should go to GundamAce or back in Gamefaqs forum ShadowBlackMage since he was as the leader of Lemnisca Translation did the translation. Once again, if some of Lemnisca member came here (Or especially GundamAce), thanks for translating this game and 2 previous games (I/O and Never7).

For the premise, as we knew Root Double was dealing with 9 people (3 people from rescue squad and 6 civilian people) trapped in nuclear facility which about to explode within 9 hours. To make it worse, actually there was a drug that could prevent radiation, but unfortunately in best case scenario it was only enough for 6 people, leaving 3 people dead. By reading that, you knew that the chance of all people to survive were very slim. So of course they need to trying to search where they could escape within 9 hours. Oh, apparently this game maybe Takumi Nakazawa answer to 999 which was made by his fellow back at Infinity project, Kotarou Uchikoshi. I mean what's with 9 people and 9 hours (Oh and one more info, the drug I mentioned was only capable to prevent radiation for 1 hour. The drug supply was only 54 drugs, in other word only enough for 6 people like mentioned before). For trivia info, the drug name was Alone Desire.

As the story goes, there was also some mysteries which accompany them to their escape. There were 6 mysteries, and the mysteries were:

  1. The captain rescue squad loss his memories
  2. Some of trapped civilian were high school students (Normally in VN it's not a mystery, since they like to involve high school XDDD. The question is more like why the high school students could come into nuclear facility)
  3. There was dead body inside facility
  4. The reason that the incident happened, and why they couldn't get out easily
  5. And last mystery was about the people who should not exist but exist at the nuclear facility 

There you go with the mystery. For more info, once again you could look to Kickstarter page, or Animesuki forum here. And once again thanks to GundamAce for the info translation back at Animesuki forum.

As for the review, here's from Awesome Curry Chronicle (WARNING - Some MAJOR SPOILER there) and below's from GundamAce. For special service I'll post his review, from A route to his final review (The game was divided to 4 route - A, B, C, and D). He wrote the review in Animesuki and Gamefaqs back at 2012 (I was interested to Root Double since 2012 by the way). So, here's the review from GundamAce

Route A Review (I'll use spoiler for shorter page, although guess it's already very long)

Spoiler

Wow... just wow. This has got to be one of the best, if not the best, opening route of all time. I mean it. While the pace of the first in-game hour of the route was slow, but after that, it turned into some of the best pacing I've ever seen. There were new developments that occured back and forth that made every single moment of the game exciting, with virtually no clue to what would happen next. For those who complained about the slow pacing of Ever17, they would love this, as it combines breakneck pacing while still managing to balance character moments. Even more shocking is just how much content they were able to pack in each in-game hour. It took me 15 hours to actually complete this route because of how much content there was in it (though part of it has to do with my Japanese reading speed).

The characters were all likeable to some extent, though I don't feel that I've developed the connection with them that I developed with the Ever17 cast yet, though. My favorite character in this route was Kazami. She seemed very Tsugumi-like, though nowhere near as cold, while still having the parts that made Tsugumi likeable. Jun was probably my second favorite, followed by Yuuri, Watase, Ukita, and Ena. Ena is particularly notable because she feels like a Mayuzumi 2.0. done right- while she's initially argumentative with the team, she can be swayed by reason, cares about others besides herself, and eventually apologizes for her attitude, knowing it was wrong. Again, like Ever17, so far, I don't hate any of the characters in the game.

Mysteries... hoo boy, where do I begin? This route has given me more mysteries than You's Route did! I took notes of all the questions I have, and as of this ending, I've been left with 36 questions, several of them containing the usual WTFckery Nakazawa is known for. There's many theories I've developed, but none that I can say for sure are right, so until I get answers, I'll just have to keep guessing. Either way, it did an excellent job in the mysteries department.

My only real problem was that I felt like the characters didn't get enough development (it feels like there's something missing from them for some reason) and I would have liked to get to know them a bit better. There's also the fact that the area that the characters are confined in is a bit TOO small, so there's a lot of backtracking in the game, but the game skillfully manages to avoid making it repetitive and boring by giving the characters different reasons to backtrack each time, so it works out pretty well.

So Root A (as of the Normal Ending) gets a 9.5/10 from me. Superb pacing, generally likeable cast, intriguing plot, and many mysteries, but I feel like I wanted them to develop the characters more so that I could feel more for them (though part of the fact was that I was spoiled on a few things due to translating various things from the main site). All I can say is this: fantastic, and I hope the Good Ending is even better.

Route B Review

Spoiler

Just cleared Root B.

HOLY. F***ING. S***. This route was just pure f***ing awesome. Words cannot describe just how great this route except perhaps this: My mind f***ing exploded.

The structure of the route was very similar to Route A in I/O, with Natsuhiko and Mashiro having a bit of resemblance to Hinata and Sakuya from that game. What was really surprising, though was just how different this route felt from Root A- seriously, up until the end, it felt like a route from a completely different game, but it makes sense. Because Root A pretty much exclusively dealed with the events inside LABO, it was this route's job to give exposition on the outside world and all the terms that define the world of Root Double. 

But what I really liked about it was that it doesn't just give you flat out exposition and leave it at that (there were a few, but those were justified, because they were actual in-universe class lectures). No, what they did was manage to give you exposition that at the same time, developed the characters, so that at the same time you were learning about the world, you were also learning something new about the characters (both history and backstory). There was just one exposition part that I felt went on for way too long, but it's justified because that's the exposition that gives you the scientific explanation for how Beyond Communication works.

The characters were great. This route fixed my main problem with Root A, in that I felt like all the characters got proper development. I think the main reason for this is that there were a lot of casual conversations in this route where we really got to learn about the characters, whereas Root A's characters were almost always in danger or in a hurry, so almost all conversation was related to the situation at hand. My character rankings in this route were Yuuri, Mashiro, Miyoko Tenkawa (Natsuhiko's mother- for some reason, I really like her, even though she doesn't appear in that many scenes), Natsuhiko, and Louise. However, just because I have them ranked does not mean I hate any of them. Far from it, I loved all of them, and they were truly great characters. Nakazawa or Tsukishima once said that your perceptions of the characters would differ greatly depending on which route you played first, and I agree- this route vastly improved my impressions of some of the characters that I disliked a bit in Root A. So it did an excellent job with characters, and like Ever17, there wasn't a single one of them that I hated.

The mysteries were very good. There were less than there were in Root A, but this time a lot more of them were of the WTF variety, rather than "I just haven't seen the piece of information I need to figure it out yet" mysteries. My current number of mysteries/questions is now 71. Let's see if the game can solve them all...

But the thing that sealed everything for me was the ending. It hit me with a completely shocking twist that just blew my mind away, changing everything I thought I knew. And the climax, which happened afterwards, was just full of awesome. It was practically 2 straight hours of "HOLY S***"! It was so exciting that I had to stand for the last two hours when I played the route because I was so excited/shaken that I couldn't sit down. The route's ending cleared up a good number of mysteries I had from this route and Root A, but there's still a ton left. I'd love to talk more about why I loved this ending so much, but that would involve major spoilers.

I give the route a 10/10. Very likeable characters, good plot, and of course, the awesome ending and climax. And it turns out I was right- by finishing this, I've unlocked a new route- Root C. I'd like to play it right away, but I've almost completely filled up my save slots, so I think I'll first tackle all the Bad Endings in Root A (there's 17 in total). Until next time then!

Route C Review

Spoiler

Finished Root C. It was a fairly short route that was only about 3 hours long, but my current completion is only slightly over 52%, so I've still got a ways to go.

There's not too much to say about it. It was basically a summary of Root A, but provided answers for some of the more Mind Screwy parts (but not all of them). And I have to admit... I was a little disappointed by the answer to it. Not because it wasn't foreshadowed or it was a Deus Ex Machina, no, they properly foreshadowed it. I guess the reason I was disappointed was because it felt a little too... simple? I dunno, I guess I was kinda expected a more complicated or mind blowing answer, something that really changes the way you think about things, like in Ever17 or the ending of Root B. To quote one of my earlier reviews, rather than thinking, "Whoa, that's amazing!", I was more like "That's it?"

On the other hand, there was a very good moment near the end of the route where they answered another question, and then I was suddenly hit with an epiphany as I realized that it answered several other questions I had, where I got the, "That's it! It all makes sense now!" feeling that Ever17 and 12Riven gave me, so that worked out very well.

Other than that, though, it was mostly okay. It was kinda like the part in Coco's Route in Ever17 where you're made to rewatch Day 6 of Takeshi's Routes. At that part, I was more interested in finishing that section so I could find out what happens next- it was kinda the same here (though they managed to keep it interesting with the fact that even this "answer" couldn't explain all the Mind Screw, though granted it's not that intense of Mind Screw at this point). Also, the very last scene of the route was rather surprising, and it makes me curious to know just what exactly was going on.

I'd give this route an 8/10. It was kinda like watching a recap episode that has a few scenes of new material interspersed between it- it's okay, but you'd rather be watching an episode with entirely brand new content. As I said, I was a bit disappointed at how simple the "answer" was for those parts, but at the same time it still provides a few new mysteries and relevations that put a whole new light on older events.

However, it's not over yet. I've unlocked one last (I think) route, Root D. And the trailer for it makes it seem like it's going to be epic, and that everything will finally be solved. So I'm really looking forward to that. So yeah, this was kinda the low point of the game, but I'm sure the next route will make up for it.

Route D Review (Keep in mind this review was for normal version, because I'd heard that XTend version had Route D changed. Correct me if I'm wrong)

Spoiler

All right, I FINALLY finished Root D, obtaining the True Ending. My thoughts?

I personally loved it... but at the same time, I can see many people hating it.

The route was just absolutely jam packed with content (it took my 30 hours to finish). Not only did it solve every remaining mystery in the game, it also added so many things to the plot that I didn't even think would happen. While it didn't have any huge mind-blowing twists like Ever17, it still had a lot of surprising twists and unexpected plot developments. In particular, the route did a great job at throwing me off at times. For example, during the route, I came up with a theory about a potential plot twist. In the end, it turns out I was right about it, but the game threw me off in the middle, making me think that I had guessed wrong, and so I believed I was wrong until the game showed me that I had been right.

The plot was excellent. It concluded everything nicely, tied up all the loose ends, had an intense climax and finale, and had a great epilogue. This was the first Nakazawa game since Ever17 that I felt had a great, satisfying conclusion.

The route's main feature was its character development. I'll talk more about it in my overall review, but this route was mainly a character study, delving into each and every one of the character's backstories, feelings, motives, and their perspectives on the plot. Without giving too much away, let's say that the characters were the strongest part about the route.

Now, with that said, this route did unfortunately have one major problem. The key issue in the route is "pacing". Specifically, the route's main feature was a gameplay system called the RAM System. So as not to give away spoilers, basically, every time it was used, it put the main plot on hold for about 1-2 hours while you used it, allowing you to learn a wide variety of things. However, you have to use it about 6 times in between very short intervals, meaning that while the plot's going on, you have to put it on hold for many hours before you can get back to it. For example, at one point in the plot, one of the protagonists runs into danger. Just then, you have a RAM System input, and then you have to wait until you're done to find out what happens. You can see an abridged version of the RAM System bits, but you can't get the True Ending/Good Endings if you do that, and you'll be stuck on the Normal Ending path. And then again, you have to go through the RAM System 8 times right in the middle of the climax (though it's only about half an hour each in this case, but still...) , and you need to go through all 8 to get the True Ending.

Personally, I mostly didn't mind any of this at all, as I found the RAM System personally fascinating, but even I admit it was a bit dragged out. But for people who hate slow pacing... yeah, you might not like the system. I personally think the RAM System material should have been its own route or something, though on the other hand, the RAM System was essential to the plot. But it still kinda killed the pacing.

In the end, I give this route a 9.5/10. I really want to give this route a 10, but even I can't excuse the slow pacing (cramming all the characters backstories into one route probably didn't help). I know it sounds like I'm complaining about this route, but aside from that, everything else about the route was superb. The plot, twists, solving of the mysteries, and the characters themselves were excellent. I just really wish that there was something that could have been done with the RAM System that didn't make it bog down the pacing so much.

Gundam Ace Final Review

Spoiler

Story: 10/10
In my 12Riven review, I said that Kotaro Uchikoshi must have been insane to pull off that kind of plot. If that's the case, then Takumi Nakazawa must have been three times insane as Uchikoshi was to pull off this kind of plot. To use a metaphor, it's like buying a puzzle box, thinking you've bought a 100 piece puzzle, but when you finish it, you realize that you'd actually bought a 10,000 piece puzzle. What do I mean by that? In short- the plot was absolutely superb. Every single detail was clearly planned out in advance, everything scene was written with at least three separate meanings in mind, every line of dialogue carefully thought out. Long story short, every single thing in this game was important, the plot had incredible depth to it, and it all fit together in the end. The plot seems rather simple in the beginning, and at first I was rather disappointed at how simple it looked compared to the Infinity series. But Root D changed all of that, showing that the plot was far more complex (not in a confusing way) than I ever could have imagined, and it's simply mind blowing just how much everything ties together so well. Even so, the plot was not too difficult to understand, and was certainly easier to comprehend than Remember11 and I/O. It doesn't quite have the Mind Screw of the Infinity series, but it makes up for that with just how deep the game is, how much content they managed to pack into it, and how it has so many mysteries, yet manages to solve all of them in the end.

The science used in this game is much more theoretical than the Infinity series, what with it being based around the idea of psychic powers being scientifically possible, but it actually gives a legitimately well thought out for said powers to exist and how they'd work. Honestly, I thought that Uchikoshi's version of psychic powers and its explanation (Psi users in 12Riven) was way too much to buy, but here it feels like that psychic powers really could exist in real life, so I give it credit for that. The TIPS system in this game was much more along the lines of its usage in Remember11 than its I/O form- though overall, this means that the TIPS weren't quite as important as they were in I/O, though they still give important information.

Music: 7.5/10
This is, unfortunately, the game's biggest flaw. The OST was composed by Takuma Satou, and consists of 32 tracks. Unfortunately, they're not all very memorable, and tend to be rather... outdated sounding? I feel that if the songs had used different instruments for different parts, it would have been a lot better, but it didn't, so there. The music felt out of place at some points, and it was very predictable what would play when. However, that doesn't mean it was terrible. In my opinion, the best tracks were, by far, "The Truth Is Revealed" and "The Brave Decision", the latter being an awesome song that played in the highlights of the game. The OP and ED were also very good, and their instrumental versions were simply wonderful. But in the end, this is the weakest part of the game. I know they're not working together anymore, but I feel that if Takeshi Abo had scored this game, he could have done wonders for it- this feels like just the kind of game that Abo needed to have composed for.

Graphics: 10/10
The art style in the game was great. The characters were very well drawn, the overall art style was nice to look at (the CGs in particular looked wonderful, though there were admittedly one or two CGs that were Off Model), and the backgrounds were well done. However, the aspect of the graphics that I praise the most may be surprising- the background characters. Usually, when a VN has to depict a scene where there's a group of people in an area (like classrooms, shopping areas, outside of buildings, etc), they just show an empty background. But in Root Double, they not only show all the background characters that are supposed to be there, they also give each one a unique character design. That's just great in my opinion, as it feels like I'm looking at actual people rather than imagining them, and it goes to show just how much detail was put into this game.

Gameplay: 10/10
The gameplay in this VN is truly one of the most unique systems I've ever seen. The SSS isn't that hard to operate, as all you have to do is adjust character trust levels, but even so, it's fun and offers for a lot of replay value as you try all different kinds of combinations to see what's possible. Generally, you can get through pretty easily if you keep your trust values on max for all the characters, though there are some exceptions. Even so, you need to be really careful with your choices, otherwise you'll end up getting stuck in the Normal Ending and having to go back all the way to the start of the route and try to do better. On the other hand, it's incredibly obvious when you've made a wrong choice and gotten a Bad Ending, so those who hate accidentally falling into Bad Endings will love this, though I personally think that it takes a little bit of the fun out of the whole process (I personally love stumbling into Bad Endings, though it can get a bit annoying at times). The RAM System, ignoring what it did to the pacing of Root D, was absolutely fascinating to me, but I can't really say anything about it due to spoiler reasons.

Characters: 10/10
All right, I'm just going to say it right here, right now. This is, in my opinion, the best overall cast in any VN I've ever played, and may be the highlight of the game. There's just so much detail put into every single character, to the point where you don't just get to know them as characters. By the end of the game, you know them as people, inside and out. You'll know their backstories, their motives, their feelings, what they're thinking every single situation, how they feel for every other character... it's a kind of depth that I"ve never seen before in a VN (though some characters did get less development than others, they still had way more development than the average VN character). It feels like all of them could have been a protagonist in their own right. I loved every single one of the characters- hell, I even love what could basically be considered the closest thing to a physical "villain" in this game: by the end of the game, I felt really sorry for them and myself wishing that I could have done something for them. I cared for each one of them and genuinely wanted them all to escape. Just like Ever17, but this time, you know everything about the characters, so you care for them even more- while in Ever17's case, there were admittably characters who didn't really get much of an in-depth study, like Coco. 

One thing I love about this game is that the protagonists were NOT player avatars- they were fully developed characters with their own unique personalities and motives. Giving them a voice of their own is cetainly a plus. Another thing I must praise about the game is that it finally achieved a feeling of "unity". By that, I mean a feeling where every single cast member was in sync. In pretty much all the other Infinity/Infinity-esque games, only a select few characters are in the know about what's truly going on, and so the other characters are shoved aside while those select few deal with the plot. While I love the Infinity series, I admit that that part can get a little annoying. Not the case here. Here, all the characters worked together as one, every character was important in the end, and they just felt like so much more of a team for that reason.

My favorite characters were.
1. Kazami
2. Yuuri
3. Watase
4. Jun
5. Miyoko Tenkawa
6. Natsuhiko
7. Ukita
8. ??? (Ai Shimizu's character)
9. Mashiro
10. Louise
11. Ena

One more minor note that made me happy:
 

Spoiler for Minor end-game spoiler: 

Spoiler

This is the only other Nakazawa work apart from Ever17 where my favorite pairing ended up being the Official Couple.



Voice Acting: 10/10
This game had great voice acting. My favorite voices were probably Ai Shimizu as ??? (spoiler character), Mitsuhiro Ichiki as Natsuhiko, and Rina Satou as Kazami. With the exception of Ukita (who I basically dubbed Scientist!Tomitake) and occasionally Ena, this game was particularly notable in that although I knew almost all of the voice actors, I never really heard them as the voice actors, but as the characters. Specifically, what I mean is that when you hear a character voiced by someone you recognize, you can only really hear them as their voice actor, but in this case, that wasn't it. For example, although I only know Akane Tomonaga as Hotori from Remember11 and Seira from Chaos;Head, I didn't hear either of them- I heard Jun Moribe. They did a great job at putting life into their characters, and were a great part of why I loved them- because they just felt so real. I admit at first that I didn't like Kei Shindou's voice as Louise, but after a scene or two, I got completely used to it, and it didn't bother me any more. My only minor complaint was that both Tarusuke Shingaki (Watase) and Mitsuhiro Ichiki (Natsuhiko) probably overdid it a bit whenever they had to scream.

Overall: 10/10
I confess, people- I'm having trouble deciding what's the better game- this or Ever17. On one hand, this game didn't really have the mind blowing twists Ever17 did, and the final route had admittedly slow pacing. On the other hand, this game had a more complex plot than Ever17, was tied together much better, had a much larger scope, solved all its mysteries (and had more mysteries than Ever17 to boot), still had very good twists, had a better cast, and could get just as emotional as Ever17. For now, let's just say that it's tied with Ever17 for my favorite VN.

In any case, it's Nakazawa's best individual work, and a masterpiece in my book. While I liked I/O, I have to admit that it was a very bizzare game (perhaps too bizzare at times), and though I like Remember11 a lot more than I did when I originally finished it, nothing can ever change its ending. This game, on the other hand, had almost everything I loved about the Infinity series, yet still manages to keep it's own identity as its own game. One thing's for certain- this game needs an English translation, and if it ever gets a PC version, let's just say you've already got a translator with a great interest in translating it waiting for it... 

My final word on this is this and only this: well done, Takumi Nakazawa. You've finally managed to create a work that can rival Ever17, possibly even be better than it.

There you have it, although if some of you find it better than Ever17 or not later is depend on you I suppose.

Oh finally, since GundamAce mentioned cast, guess for next I should do some commentary for the cast and character, like back in KoiChoco and Noble Works. One interesting thing about 9 characters was the system called Enneagram. It take too much time for explaining it, so I'll give Wikipedia link here. And for 999 games, actually there was also some info that Uchikoshi confirm that he design the character based on Enneagram. There was discussion about that at Gamefaqs, and here's the discussion (Watch out for spoiler though in case you didn't finish 999). 

For the cast, I'll give them based on Enneagram from 1 to 9, some info, and the seiyuu. But before tha, I'll give some info about 2 additional characters first.

Since in GundamAce review that he mentioned Ai Shimizu character, guess I'll better mentioned Ai Shimzu first. In case you wonder who will Ai Shimizu voiced, here's the character. As for the character, I couldn't explain it since the info was nothing, and if you ask my opinion, she was not important at all. As for Ai Shimizu herself, her role was (By the way her pseudonym mostly had some connection with automotive brand) Sanjou Makoto in Noble Works, Komine Sachi in Grisaia franchise, Napoleon in Eiyuu Senki, Elina in Dracu Riot, and Tamaki Sakura in Hatsuyuki Sakura.

As for Miyoko Tenkawa, she was Natsuhiko's mother, and she works at LABO and according to VNDB she rarely come home. So she like Hinata's father back in I/O, while we could said that Natsuhiko situation resemble Hinata's. For the seiyuu, she was voiced by Sayaka Ohara, and her role was Kela Hazel in Galaxy Angel trilogy, Dahlia in Duel Savior PS2 Version, Urotorii in Utawarerumono, and most famously in VN she was Beatrice back in Umineko.

As promised earlier, here's the other characters info, starting from 1st Enneagram. Oh by the way all trapped people based on Enneagram.

  1. Ukita Keiji (1st Enneagram, The Reformer) - By the way, his enneagram and Loise enneagram was mistakenly written in kickstarter page as the Helper. According to the description, he was Natsuhiko neighborhood and work at LABO as one of the researcher. His voice was provided by Toru Okawa, and his role was Tomitake in Higurashi franchise, Arawn in Tears to Tiara, and Gasai Itsuki back in Comyu.
  2. Mashiro Toba (2nd Enneagram, The Helper) - According to description, she was one of our MC (Natsuhiko. Oh this VN had 2 MC by the way) childhood friend. Her biggest pride was cooking and take care of Natsuhiko. Back in TV Trope, GundamAce describe her position was like Sakuya back in I/O. Her voice was Asami Imai, and her role in VN was Makise Kurisu back in Steins Gate, Okitsu Ai in Yumina the Ethereal, Morishita Michiru in Koi Choco, and Yoshitsune in Eiyuu Senki.
  3. Ena Tsubakiyama (3rd Enneagram, The Achiever) - The teacher at Natsuhiko and Mashiro school. For hard word, she was kinda want to achieve something as the enneagram said, sometimes to obsessive to the goal I think. For easier word, especially to Remember11 veteran who read this, just thinking of Mayuzumi Lin when she trapped at LABO. As the seiyuu, the name was Toyoguchi Megumi and her role was like I said before Mayuzumi Lin in Remmeber11 and Junko Enoshima back at Dangan Ronpa.
  4. Louise Yui Sannomiya (4th Enneagram, The Individualist) - Half Japan and half French, and transfer student in Natsuhiko school. Nicknamed Salyu and she had ferret called Alice. For some reason, she was willing to live with Natsuhiko. For the seiyuu, Shindou Kei, no notable role in VN or anime, although some of user here may elaborate it. Oh GundamAce made a comment that Salyu design remind him of Feili from Chrome Shelled Regios.
  5. Watase Kasasagi (5th Enneagram, The Investigator) - One of our MC and the captain of rescue squad. At the beginning, he was lost his memory for unknown reason. But before memory loss, he was calm man and with dry sense of humor. His voice was Shingaki Tarusuke and his role in translated VN was none, although Fate/Zero fan may recognize him as Matou Kariya.
  6. Kazami Tachibana (6th Enneagram, The Loyalist) - Chilhood friend from Watase and vice captain of rescue squad. She was take the lead while Watase suffering memory loss. Her seiyuu was Rina Satou, and her role in VN was Souya Misaki in old VN Snow Sakura, Kusakabe Yuki in To Heart 2, Yoshitsune in Majikoi S, Nami from Aoi Shiro, and Ushiromiya Ange in Umineko franchise.
  7. Natsuhiko Tenkawa (7th Enneagram, The Enthusiast) - Another MC, and he was only high school students. He like to be alone, just like Hinata back in I/O. For a little commentary, at the beginning he was liveng in harem situations lol, with Mashiro came to his house every morning, Salyu living in his house, and another his childhood friend Yuuri also live in same house as his. For the seiyuu, the name was Ichiki Mitsuhiro and his role in anime (I didn't comment his performance in VN because he didn't had any role in translated VN yet) was very lame MC from old anime Magikano (By the way, I watched it back at 2007) Haruo Yoshikawa. Of course Natsuhiko was more handsome than Haruo lol (Even though both of them wear glasses).
  8. Jun Moribe (8th Enneagram, The Challenger) - Kazami junior in rescue squad, and her goal was that she want to become the heroes who protect the weak. That's why she choose to become rescue squad as first step. Her seiyuu was Tomonaga Akane, who in VN she was play as Inubushi Keiko and Suzukage Hotori back in Remember11, Seira in Chaos Head, Nagamine Nozomi in Seinarukana, Kawakami Kazuko aka Wanko in Majikoi, Soejima Hisoka in Comyu, Kazami Kazuki in Grisaia franchise, and Oda Nobunaga in Eiyuu Senki.
  9. Yuri Kotono (9th Enneagram, The Peacemaker) - Another Natsuhiko childhood friend, and live with him. According to the info back at Animesuki, she didn't like to go outside house, but for some reason she was trapped in LABO, while according to Natsuhiko she should be at home. I quite take a liking to her design back at 2012. Her seiyuu was Kaori Nazuka, and her role in VN was Flower MC Shirahane Suou. Oh if some of you like to watch Fate Ilya, she was play Miyu Edelfelt.

I think that's all of the info from Root Double I could give it here. Although there's still more about world building info, but you could read it at Kickstarter or GundamAce info. Use this thread for future discussion of Root Double in near future. And sorry if I couldn't provide more info. Hope you like my post here.

PS

Almost forget, here's the OP Video for Root Double thanks to Sekai Project

 

Edit - I'd just remember that one of VNDB user made a review for Root Double. So like GundamAce review, I'll copy the review here. Oh the user name was crauxan

Crauxan Root Double Review - The review was made back at 2013

Spoiler

Yosh, just finished Root Double. They really aren't lying when they say it's freaking 50+ hours long; this took me 3 days+ of 16 hours play even with a walkthrough and various skipping of bad ends (most of them are kind of stupid >_>).

As usual, let's go with the plot first. Basically you'll play through 4 routes titled After, Before, Current and Double in that order to learn the entire story. There are two protagonists - the Rescue Team Leader, Watase and the Communicator high school student Natsuhiko whose point of view would tell the story and eventually the truth as everything is slowly pieced together, one by one like a puzzle.

I'm not going to spoiler anything, but let it be known (... wait a second did I just use an Umineko reference?) that this is a more emotional-fueled story as compared to the Infinity series (as in the logic build up and scientific theories are much more persuasive). I shed tears at the ending of Before; it was really touching (though of course... ~_~). One of the unique traits of this game - or should I say an accumulated fault actually - is that you would spend 70% of the read time reading into every characters' pasts and memories. After and Double are practically the only routes that talk about the 'present' (and in Double you still spend more time in the past than present - play it and you'd get what I mean), whereas Before is the story, from Natsuhiko's point of view, of the 6 days before the Incident, and Current is simply a retelling of After also from Natsuhiko's POV.

In a sense, I've never read a more emotionally complete Visual Novel in my life - there's always some regrets here, a little dissatisfaction there that a certain character did not get enough attention etc - but Root Double covers all 9 people's pasts, stories, motives and feelings in a most masterful manner. Unfortunately readers may sometimes be plagued by the fact that they're spending way too much time looking backwards when all they want is to know what happens next, but this is ultimately a subjective matter.

While the plot is certainly not all that unfamiliar, I'm surprised at how accurate the writer manage to pinpoint an emotion (though in retrospect I can't imagine anyone who wrote this to be any less sensitive). The crisis, climax and aftermath was exactly as the writer said in one of the character's lines, "It's as if I woke up from a very long nightmare". I'll leave everything else to imagination; I really can't imagine spoiling anything about this awesome story.

Characters. I don't really need to say anything, but heck, I read so many things about all 9 characters that I feel sick from overload. Rest assured that no one gets left behind, and you'll be smashed in the face with everything you ever want to know about your most hated guy/girl until you want to knock yourself silly. :P

Art wise it's not special but definitely well made. Honestly I don't have much to say about this except that it's a fucking pain in the arse trying to collect all of dem CGs even with a walkthrough to follow. Gawd. >_<

Music, same impression. The final song at the end is certainly beautiful, but I find the OP Song Terminus from Dsyfunctional Systems to be far more effective and touching. Then again, Dischan is made up by a bunch of geniuses. Still, they are definitely not bad at all.

Systems. First, the Sense Sympathy System is kind of troublesome to use but ties in very well with the plot, so no problemo. Second, I kind of like how they hint that: 

Spoiler

We readers are breaking the Fourth Wall and helping them through it, but that's not exactly accurate - I can't explain it really well like this - so whatever, that's fine.

 Finally, the Save System can be a little tricky to use since you have to save a lot of times, so be careful is all that I can say.

In short, Root Double scores 8.7 out of 10 from me. Most of the time the story didn't really surprise me - not even close when you compare it with the shock I experienced reading through epics like Ever 17 or Remember 11, especially Remember fucking 11 >_> - and if you pay attention it's easy to realize what the many hidden truths. Or if I put it bluntly, IT'S NOT EVEN A CHALLENGE; TRY ME HARDER! :D One hint - though it may come of as spoiler-ish, so I'll spoiler it accordingly:
 

Spoiler

All the scientific theories, logical guesses, and even the classic occult Seven Mysteries are all true.


And that's it for today.

 

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Am I the only one who doesn't like the Xtended version? The restructuring of the D Route pretty much ruins the whole point of the novel. If it weren't for the horrible paced and anticlimactic last route, I wouldn't like this game as much. I understand why people criticize it and it's kinda justified ... but that's the damn point you bakas lol. This game is not about crappy pseudo science or one mind-blowing twist after another. It's more about... characters.

However, that's my route ranking:

Route A: 10/10
Best thing ever. That's what Ever17 should have been. I wish every visual novel would be as thrilling and suspenseful and face-paced as this route. Really, it's that good.

Route B: 5/10
More than half of it is boring school slice of life. It wouldn't be as bad if you hadn't just read the glorious A-Route. I know this is all about character introduction and such but damn, Route A just introduced even more characters AND was one hell of a ride. Overall, it's not really badly written, it's just not impressive at all. At least the last hour is really good.

Route C: 7/10
Not really a full route, more an epilogue to B and the link to A. It's good enough to make it seem that the time wasted on the B route was worth it, at least. ^^

Route D: ??/10
I liked it. The original route, mind you. You probably wouldn't have liked it, so have fun with your Xtended version, haha. (No sarcasm intended.)

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12 minutes ago, Tyrosyn said:

Am I the only one who doesn't like the Xtended version? The restructuring of the D Route pretty much ruins the whole point of the novel. If it weren't for the horrible paced and anticlimactic last route, I wouldn't like this game as much. I understand why people criticize it and it's kinda justified ... but that's the damn point you bakas lol. This game is not about crappy pseudo science or one mind-blowing twist after another. It's more about... characters.

However, that's my route ranking:

Route A: 10/10
Best thing ever. That's what Ever17 should have been. I wish every visual novel would be as thrilling and suspenseful and face-paced as this route. Really, it's that good.

Route B: 5/10
More than half of it is boring school slice of life. It wouldn't be as bad if you hadn't just read the glorious A-Route. I know this is all about character introduction and such but damn, Route A just introduced even more characters AND was one hell of a ride. Overall, it's not really badly written, it's just not impressive at all. At least the last hour is really good.

Route C: 7/10
Not really a full route, more an epilogue to B and the link to A. It's good enough to make it seem that the time wasted on the B route was worth it, at least. ^^

Route D: ??/10
I liked it. The original route, mind you. You probably wouldn't have liked it, so have fun with your Xtended version, haha. (No sarcasm intended.)

Damn, I have to completely disagree with you regarding Root B, that's probably my favorite route... for me, I really liked the slice-of-life, and the characters were all very endearing to me, with very touching moments. 

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2 minutes ago, LightBladeNova said:

Damn, I have to completely disagree with you regarding Root B, that's probably my favorite route.... for me, I really liked the slice-of-life, and the characters were all very endearing to me, with very touching moments. 

Perfectly legit opinion, I get what you feel. To be honest, if Route B was a normal Charage, it would be a very good one.
But at least for me, it's just absolutely not what I wanted to read after Route A. I think B could be written much more interesting without skipping the (actually good) slice of life stuff. I think there was definitely room for improvement.

Oh, by the way. If anyone now thinks he will read B before A because he wants to start with the slow-paced slice of life story... don't. Really, don't. Route A will be a completely different experience depending on whether you already read Route B or not.
In my opinion, A is more interesting without B-knowlegde.

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@fun2novel Thanks. I'll give the warning to the review. Although to me I think it was quite minor spoiler compared to ............ Never mind. And could you point out the spoiler for me, since I think there was none when I'd read the review.

Edit - I'd read again and I think I understand why you said that the review contain major spoiler. So I'd add the warning for major spoiler there. As for you, I think now I knew that you HATE spoiler with passion very much. Although to me it was still quite minor anyway, at least compared to what I learned in TV Trope. And just in case you want to ask me how much I knew, yes I knew all about Root Double Spoiler. In case you want to knew how much I know, here comes. WARNING - FOR YOU WHO DIDN'T PLAY THIS PLEASE DON'T OPEN SPOILER BOX. IT WAS MAJOR SPOILER. DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU IF YOU FEEL SPOILED. Although it will be major spoiler, I'd only list some basic understanding, but some of the reader here might like the spoiler. My opinion is that even if you feel spoiled, I think it should not be the reason to not enjoying the game. For some people who finished the game, because there were 6 mysteries listed, I'd like to list some of 6 spoilers.

Spoiler

FINAL WARNING BEFORE OPENING SPOILER. BELOW WAS VERY MAJOR SPOILER.

Spoiler

1. Apparently our rescue captain squad Watase and the professor Ukita was the terrorist member who want to bring out Rokumei Dark Secret into the light. In fact, there was a quote back in Animesuki forum from the bible. GundamAce kind of asking if Nakazawa was Christian by the way

Quote

"Woe to you, [teachers of the law and Pharisees,] you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean."
Matthew 23:27

2. As for the dark secret, it related to Before Communication ability research. Apparently Rokumei city did some experiment on 3 girls in term of their ability. I mean the communicator ability.

3. The reason Yuuri didn't like to go outside because she was not at home in the first place. In fact Yuuri in B Route was some sort of Natsuhiko delusion

4. The reason Salyu stay in Natsuhiko house probably it was because she was 1 of the 3 girls who experimented on their communicator ability, and Natsuhiko's mom knew how dark the secret behind the experiment (Since she work at the laboratory after all) and helped Salyu. Probably Salyu know Natsuhiko's house from Miyoko (Natsuhiko's mom name in case you forgot). Oh and Yuuri actually was also another experiment subject for LABO. 

5. Actually, there was no nuclear facility at LABO in the first place. Just thinking like back in 999 when it was revealed that the ship was in middle of the land (Looks like Nakazawa really create this game as the answer to Uchikoshi 999)

6. Here's the most major one. Actually some incident inside 'nuclear facility' was apparently illusion caused by high level communicator ability. The culprit was Ai Shimizu voiced character (I lied when I said she was not important), and her real identity was Nagisa Tachibana, Kazami little sister and apparently around same age as Jun. She was the last girl who experimented. The experiment was apparently so cruel that she became insane or something like that. As it was research, she had the codename Subject N (For Yuuri it was Subject Y and for Salyu it was Subject Y2).

 

I think that's all for the spoiler. If you still want to discuss spoiler, go ahead but don't forget spoiler box.

As for now, my mood was still sour after certain user here (Hey, my mood was not good okay) turned this thread to flame war. I kind of thinking to move the discussion to the new thread. But maybe better not, so I'd like to hope that this thread could be use to discuss Root Double. As for my response to certain user post, maybe I'll make one in future. That's all from me. And sorry once again, my mood was not good after knowing my thread was use for flame war.

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  • 1 month later...

Decided to bump this thread, and sorry for long time didn't bump this. So, if some of the reader here want more info about enneagram, you could visit Enneagram Institute website here. And I will post the difference between normal version and XTend version below. Oh, some major spoiler there, but I think if some of the user here didn't care about spoiler, go ahead and open it. (By the way, the one who typed this was GundamAce)

Root A-C had no changes, minus the removal of the last choice in Root B.
Root D, on the other hand, had several retools, (Beware - MAJOR SPOILER BELOW)

Spoiler

mainly the fact that it had an entirely new branch where Natsuhiko grows to sympathize with Watase's motives and is horrified at himself for even considering the idea of erasing Watase's memories again. This causes him to be much more concerned about Watase for the rest of the route, and he expresses regret and reluctance at having to probe the others' memories. This causes the results of the route's final choice to change- one leads to the True Ending (the original branch that lead you to the True Ending in the original now only leads to the original Good Endings) and two new Good Endings- one where Natsuhiko wipes Yuuri's memories of him and decides to join Watase at Q and help him. The other one has Natsuhiko use his SSS to temporarily knock out Watase. Watase wakes up in a hospital and finds Natsuhiko and Yuuri by his side. They tell him that although he will go to prison for his crimes, they promise to expose Rokumei's wrongdoings in his place to fullfill his mission.

Also, the final 8 RAM Systems that occur in the control room when Natsuhiko is trying to think of a way to save everyone have been removed (since a lot of people complained that it was horribly placed, what with it being during the middle of the game's climax). Instead, there's an additional, optional route called the "Xtend Episode" where these show up instead (which kinda makes it like one of I/O's Prime Routes). The idea is that the whole group is in the helicopter during the end and fall asleep, while the "soul" reads everyone's memories. An additional RAM System has been added for Natsuhiko, which expands on a few of his relationships with others, such as his mother and Salyu. There's also a certain visitor who shows up in the last one...

Also, because this RAM System has been moved, Natsuhiko uses different flashbacks to prove to Watase that Q is responsible for all the misery that's happened in the characters' lives (since he can't use all the old ones), but the effect is still the same.

Oh, and finally the real reason I bump this thread was finally Root Double was up for Steam Store, so I think it's about time. Here's the store, and beware of spoiler from Bad Ending in picture gallery (Then again maybe Sekai didn't know that though). Since if the game was up to Steam Store, it mean that the game about ready to release, right (Or in JAST term meaning Golden Master)? Although I might be wrong though, since the release date was only show March. Well, let's see it later.

That's all for the bump today.

PS - If some of you want to discuss about the controversy regarding Root Double, go to this thread instead, not here okay.

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  • 1 month later...

Bumping this thread for obvious reason. Well, if we follow Sekai announcement it's only less than 3 hours left (Of course it will be released around afternoon, but I mean it's only 1 hour to April 28th at Japan) before download version release. Oh, and in 8 hours it'll be unlocked on Steam. For more recap, as reviewer Decay already played this and at this time probably readying for his review of Root Double. And since I was create this thread for discussing Root Double, just discuss it here if some of you will play Root Double in future. Have fun.

PS - The size according to Decay (I was PM him some days ago) was at 7.91 GB. Quite big, but then again we had 'Days' series where the size reach more than 10 GB HDD.

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Okay, anyone else here need the walkthrough for Root Double in order to unlock all of the ending? If that's the case, here's the walkthrough, courtesy of MAL user Justy here although some user here may already knew the walkthrough though.

Anyway, for my first impression well, the text here was ran slowly compared to some other VN so much that I decided to use instant appearance for the text setting, although it might be my old laptop though. For the system, you could also replay previous scene, just like Dracu Riot and Noble Works. The OST well, even if GundamAce said the composer wasn't the same one from Infinity series (Takeshi Abo), I think it still managed to had same tone as the Infinity OST one imo. Also like I/O (Same company) it also featured the completion, but unlike I/O you could access the Extra menu from the beginning.

For my story, it was once again deliver as the premise told us, the explosion in nuclear reactor. Our MC here got amnesia after he apparently meeting some kind of monster. From the moment after he rejoining the firefighting crew, which coincidentally comprised of only woman (Which actually comprised 2 man, 2 woman, and himself as the leader), he started to search for his memory and other survivor in the facility. And by going forward, they managed to find another survivor (Ena Tsubakiyama), who was spotted in embarrassing position. For the voice, I think not much comment other than they did well I think. Although if I may comment for Majikoi fan who play this game you'll should recognize Jun's voice as Wanko one. And also regarding the Ena's voice who resembling Lin's one back in Remember11, I couldn't comment much but I think Ena's here more cooperative compared to Lin (According to some of Remember11 review, Lin was uncooperative).

As for Decay's comment in regard of hiring eroge seiyuu for cheapening the cost, I would lean toward they hired the lesser known seiyuu (ie Salyu) to balancing the cost for hiring famous seiyuu like Toyoguchi Megumi, Satou Rina, and Sayaka Oohara imo. And also I think while Asami Imai and Akane Tomonaga was eroge seiyuu, the cost for both of them should be quite a lot because they had many role in many eroge (Beside Asami Imai also quite famousfor voicing Makise Kurisu in Steins Gate and Chihaya in Idolmaster). Although it was only my speculation though.

I think that's all for my comment here. Sorry if I couldn't comment much here and word it well.

PS - Hopefully the impression for Root Double will be good in the future.

PPS - Forgot to said this, but congratulations for @Fred the Barber whose name was appear on the credit, and thanks for backing this Kickstarter to made this game available to English speaking one (Let's not talk about controversy behind Kickstarter here).

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