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Nosebleed

[Spoiler Free] Lucy -The eternity she wished for- Review

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I should have done this earlier while the hype for the game was still going on but better late than never right?

I hope this review will shed some more light on what this game is actually about because I think it deserves more attention.

You can read this whole review without fearing any important spoilers will be revealed. If anybody wants to discuss or ask about specific spoilers, they are free to do so as long as they use a spoiler tag.

 


Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- is a remake of a 2010 Korean visual novel that is the result of a Kickstarter project started by M-Vizlab. The project attempted to translate the original game in both Japanese and English as well as rewrite the story and remake the art assets in order to deliver the most polished version possible. The campaign successfully reached its goal and went on to raise a total of 18,155 CAD, meaning several of the stretch goals were reached, one of which included full voice acting in both Japanese and Korean for the main character, Lucy Valentine. About a year later, the game is finally released on both Playism and Steam for users worldwide to enjoy.

I have to admit I was very excited when this title was initially announced. Not only because it would be the first Korean visual novel I would get to experience, but also because I have read several Korean web comics and I know just how different and engaging fictional stories created in Korea can get. Does this mean I am a little biased? I wouldn’t deny that, but I did not really set any expectations for what the game was going to be about, so I like to believe my first play through of it was as unbiased as possible and that’s what I’ll try to carry over to the people reading this.

The story starts off with you. Yes, “you”, the protagonist. From the get go the game sets itself up for self-insertion by having an unnamed protagonist with the name tag “You”. This is a very curious choice given the events that unfold later, but I guess the creator thought having a self-insert protagonist was his vision for the story, and I have to say that despite my personal disdain for these types of protagonist, this one didn’t really impact my overall enjoyment, especially given that the game is set up so that the characters would never really need to call you by your given name so very rarely does cognitive dissonance kick in. The only problem, and this is a general problem with these types of protagonists, is that the choices they make while carrying “your” name might not actually be the choices you would make, and that may break some of the immersion, but again I think the story handles this fairly well and most people will hardly notice it.

So who are “you”? You are a regular student going on about your life in a technologically advanced world where owning an android at home is an everyday thing. The only caveat is that you hate androids in general, and so does the family you live with. While not much is given to the reader about the protagonist, the game does make it clear that they do not like robots, and this is what sets the tone for most of the game and the future interactions you will see.

One day, while going home, you decide to drop by the local junkyard, and that’s where you encounter a fallen android amidst all the scrap metal. This android is more realistic than any other you’ve seen and you wonder why it’s even there to be destroyed. Against what you previously said about disliking androids, you decide to take this one home, perhaps due to a sense of pity, but regardless, it’s now your responsibility. And this is when we’re introduced to the main heroine of the game. Although it might seem unreasonable for a character that’s set themselves up as an android hater to take an android home, I think the protagonist’s inconsistent morals are what later make these moments make some sense, so even though I was initially questioning it, I later became to understand some of the reasoning behind it.

MPDf3Mx.jpg
(Could anyone really ignore this!?)

After several comical attempts at talking with the android, you discover she’s named Lucy Valentine and that she’s a multi-purpose android that can essentially do all kind of house work. However, some of her parts are severely damaged and she is unable to move. The following day you take her to the repair shop and drop her off there while you go to school. In school we’re introduced to yet another character, and the protagonist’s supposed best friend, Gears. Gears is an android fanatic and owns several of them at home and he is an incredible contrast to the protagonist, which makes you wonder how they became friends in the first place. Although they might initially come off as the comedic relief character, Gears actually represents one view of the world, the side that wholeheartedly accepts androids.

Once school is over, you drop by the repair shop where you’re greeted by Lucy, who’s now fully recovered and jumping around, excited for your return. She calls you “master”, and despite your attempts at making her call you something else (the game actually prompts you to type a name you want), she ends up not believing that’s your name (in my opinion, “Onii-chan” is a wonderful name) and continues calling you “master” anyway.

After chatting some more with Lucy and getting familiarized with her new personality, you arrive home, only to encounter your father in the living room. Similar to the protagonist, the father is unnamed and is always referred to as “father” by both the protagonist and Lucy. Much like Gears, the father character represents another viewpoint of the world, one that despises androids and their existence. The father is very adamant when he sees Lucy and thinks she is a worthless robot that could never replace a human being. Despite this though, you convince him to let Lucy stay, so long as you don’t let her affect your grades and you take responsibility for her. After this, the main journey of the game begins.

Although I didn’t initially think about it, the game clearly attempts to set the protagonist as someone who lives in between this android hate/love dichotomy, a dichotomy represented by two characters the protagonist interacts with on a daily basis and that Lucy comes to disrupt, and this is essentially the central theme of the game and what most of the story that follows centers around.

Most of the main story deals with interactions between the protagonist and Lucy and their relationship. When I say “relationship” I don’t mean a romantic relationship. Yes, that’s right, this game does not center around (or have, for that matter) romance, which is actually something I quite appreciated. Yes, they could have gone for some human x robot romantic plot, but they decided to keep it more grounded in reality and in the setting the story takes place in and focus on other key aspects of human and robot relationships, mainly whether or not an android can fill the same kind of roles a human does in terms of emotions and feelings.

The tone of the story is set up very nicely and subtly without going overboard. I never once felt like things were being rushed, even though there was never really any noticeable filler. Each scene is important and reveals something, and even if it’s not related to the actual plot it’s a scene revolving around the connections between the characters, which I truly appreciated seeing. If you think the whole thing is a drama fest though, I'd like to inform you there's plenty of nice comedic relief moments you will witness throughout the day, most of which revolving around Lucy's social awkwardness, and I don't mean to say that she is shy, but rather the complete opposite.

43PPPYt.jpg
(I wish I could look this happy doing the laundry too :()

The story also touches upon the dichotomy I mentioned earlier, by having the protagonist make several choices that either lean him towards one side or the other and are also the main causes of both his internal and external (primarily with his father) conflicts.

Apart from that, the perspective shifts multiple times, primarily to the perspective of some doctor you don’t really know who seems to be in charge of Lucy before she met you. Not much is told in these moments other than what seems to be the backstory of Lucy when she was still in her development stages.

Going any further than this on the story would make me reveal important scenes and plot points, but I think the general outline I gave is more than enough to explain what the game’s main themes and atmosphere are like. The story spans across a total of about 4 hours, the first hour of which I roughly covered before.

As far as branching plots go, I was somewhat disappointed with the game. None of the choices apart from the last one actually matter, and the last choice merely has two options, meaning the game really only has two main endings. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine if a visual novel doesn’t even have branching paths, but for a title that seemed to have so many interesting choices to make during its main story, it sure lacked when it came to those choices affecting the outcome. The choices are primarily used in the end game to collect achievements or for pure comedic effects.

In terms of characters, the game naturally spends a great deal of time around Lucy and her antics, leaving the rest of the characters as more of a background noise than anything. 

Lucy is an extremely cheerful girl who I think is very likeable by anyone. Although some people dislike overly cheerful characters, Lucy’s personality does not feel too over the top but rather purely human, with her primary goals being making the protagonist have a happy and easier life. She tries her best every day to do the house chores when her master is not around and she tries to prove herself to his father constantly in hopes that she will be acknowledged. I found myself in love with Lucy pretty quickly and I think that anyone who initially does as well will likely have a great time during most of the story.

I7dDsyH.jpg
(You either love that smile or you're literally Hitler)

The other character that has a lot of relevance in the protagonist’s daily activities is his father, who’s the main source of all the conflicts in the story and who seems to be really abusive towards his son. It’s somewhat hard to comprehend his actions, even when the game later on somewhat tries to explain itself. In fact, I was genuinely concerned for the protagonist’s safety in his household, but maybe that was the intention as well.

Lastly, Gears is mostly only present when the protagonist is confused and needs someone to consult. As I mentioned, Gears loves androids and is very knowledgeable on them, so he becomes the protagonist’s number one choice for getting information on Lucy. He’s also like I said a representation of a viewpoint that loves androids, and he opens up the protagonist to the idea that androids aren’t actually all that bad.

The protagonist himself also managed to have some relevance, even if he doesn’t have a name, as he’s the one caught up in this divided world where he doesn’t know whether he should like or hate androids and he’s constantly questioning whether or not what he’s doing is the right thing. Personally I find that this is the most engaging aspect of the story and what kept me wondering if he will succumb to his father’s hatred for androids or if he will become independent and do his own thing.

Ultimately, as the main focus of the game, the characters managed to bring out the main themes pretty well and they did often make me question whether or not I was going on the right path. Their interactions are all relevant, none of them feel like filler, and that was probably the most enjoyable part to witness. 

After you complete the game, there’s multiple achievements to unlock, some of which include extra side stories that attempt to explain certain events in the story. The game really makes sure you take the most out of it and if you missed certain things in your first play through you’ll have to go back and replay it to get the achievements.

Moving on to the more technical side of things, the art is another great selling point for this title. As I mentioned in the beginning all the art assets were remade using the Kickstarter funds and boy did they pull it off. For such a short game, the developers understood when to have a CG to capture the moment and I think there isn’t a single important moment I could point to that does not have its own CG. The character sprites are lively and have several different expressions that properly convey their emotions, Lucy being the one with the most attention to detail, honestly almost every single CG with her in it was incredibly heartwarming to look at. Whoever was in charge of this game’s art design really nailed it.

cuqIzGA.jpg
(Look at that face. LOOK. AT. THAT. FACE.)

In terms of sound, the game does not have a lot of variety to offer, but what it does offer fits perfectly. Outside of the background music itself, which I actually really enjoyed listening to, the game has plenty of sound effects that it utilizes to bring the most out of the scenes. Ironically, the thing I remember the most about the sound is the menu music. I think it’s the first time a song has stuck in my head so much.

The voice acting was fairly good. I played the game in Japanese since that’s the language I’m more familiar with and the voice actress did a wonderful job as far as carrying Lucy’s bubbly personality goes. I did attempt to play the game with Korean voice acting but unfortunately it sounded too strange for me to find it enjoyable. I don’t want to comment on whether the Korean voice acting was good or bad since I have almost zero knowledge on the language, but this time I preferred playing the game with what I was familiar with. You can also not play with voices if either of the two bother you.

Lastly, on the writing front, the English is a bit stiff. I can't comment on the translation since I don't know anything about Korean, but overall a lot of the sentences feel a tad bit unnatural, not so much that you're questioning the nationality of the characters speaking, but enough to be noticable by those who really value that kind of stuff. Also Lucy speaks in 3rd person. Take that last part as you will, I personally am not a fan of the 3rd person speech in English but at the very least it was applied consistently and if you take into account that Lucy is a robot, maybe you can cut the game some slack for making this choice.

In the end, Lucy is a game about building bonds and fixing bridges between characters as well as tackle the issues that a world with hyper realistic androids could bring to a society. Does it deal with a lot of morals and science? Not exactly. I think the story is more about the protagonist and his journey to coming to terms with himself and androids, it’s just that it so happens to have a nice side message on top of being a heartwarming tale.

If you want a small yet impactful story about a human and his android, I think Lucy will certainly fit the bill, especially given its price tag. As for me, it was a journey I don’t regret taking or paying for and I hope more people who finish the game feel the same way as well.  I found myself completely absorbed in it after a while and I was even caught off guard by the game multiple times, which if I were to elaborate on would completely spoil the story, so do yourself a favor and go try it for yourself.

Final rating: 69/69 go read the actual review.

If you want to pick it up, the game is available DRM-free for $9.99 on Playism as well as on Steam. The Playism version also comes with a free Steam Key.

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I'll be honest, my review is very barebones in terms of what the story actually covers, but I think discovering things yourself is a big part of being immersed in this game, so I believe this way people can still enjoy it even after they read the review. I did my best to cover the themes and the general atmosphere of it though.

I hope to hear your thoughts when you finish it. I was honestly quite saddened that barely anyone commented on the game except for Palas, because for me it was such a great journey and I wanted to talk about it but no one had played it yet.

Considering so many people liked this review (thanks guys!) I hope the game will get more coverage and fans in general.

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20 minutes ago, Eclipsed said:

Shit, now I REALLY gotta finish this if good ol' NB liked it that much.

PS Use your powers. Make a Lucy emote. with that face. do it.

You know what, that's a great idea. I'll do that when I'm on my computer. :sachi:

Glad to see my review wasn't in vain. Please do share your thoughts when you finish.

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On 2016/3/22 at 5:25 PM, Nosebleed said:

I'll be honest, my review is very barebones in terms of what the story actually covers, but I think discovering things yourself is a big part of being immersed in this game, so I believe this way people can still enjoy it even after they read the review. I did my best to cover the themes and the general atmosphere of it though.

I hope to hear your thoughts when you finish it. I was honestly quite saddened that barely anyone commented on the game except for Palas, because for me it was such a great journey and I wanted to talk about it but no one had played it yet.

Considering so many people liked this review (thanks guys!) I hope the game will get more coverage and fans in general.

Ok so I have finished the game. As for my opinions on it:

Spoiler

It was quite the ride.

The VN was rather short, but it achieved exactly what it needed to in that time. It was so beautiful, and I also had no idea how it would end. Like, the twists at the last part really caught me off guard, (and made my cry quite a bit I might add.)

It reminded me a little of planetarian, though it was more forgiving in its ending. I liked Lucy more as a character compared to Yumemi to be honest.

Anyways, yeah, I don't really know what else to say about it. The art was stunning, the story was heartwarming and just the right amount of dramatic. It didn't overdo anything. The voice actress for Lucy (the Japanese one, I did not play it with the Korean voices,) was good and the pacing in the VN felt pretty comfortable overall.

Gotta say, I didn't have any real expectations when I started it, (I even got the game for free thanks to Eclipsed :makina: ) but it eneded up being a really enjoyable experience.

Final rating, :lucy: /10. (Seriously Nosebleed, make it happen!)

 

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1 minute ago, john 'mr. customer' smith said:

I really liked the Korean voice acting, actually. it made it feel more unique

I kinda have a crush on the Japanese Lucy now, so I can't ever change it! :miyako:

Also, not understanding the voice actress is a rather strange experience, as I've gotten used to being able to pretty much understand most Japanese voiced lines.

(Maybe that means I should start learning Korean next :makina: )

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7 minutes ago, Dergonu said:

Ok so I have finished the game. As for my opinions on it:

  Hide contents

It was quite the ride.

The VN was rather short, but it achieved exactly what it needed to in that time. It was so beautiful, and I also had no idea how it would end. Like, the twists at the last part really caught me off guard, (and made my cry quite a bit I might add.)

It reminded me a little of planetarian, though it was more forgiving in its ending. I liked Lucy more as a character compared to Yumemi to be honest.

Anyways, yeah, I don't really know what else to say about it. The art was stunning, the story was heartwarming and just the right amount of dramatic. It didn't overdo anything. The voice actress for Lucy (the Japanese one, I did not play it with the Korean voices,) was good and the pacing in the VN felt pretty comfortable overall.

Gotta say, I didn't have any real expectations when I started it, (I even got the game for free thanks to Eclipsed :makina: ) but it eneded up being a really enjoyable experience.

Final rating, :lucy: /10. (Seriously Nosebleed, make it happen!)

 

Spoiler

I share the same thoughts. It was just a solid experience, and I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one caught off guard.

Like, seriously, to think the doctor was you all along... that was so well set up I don't think anyone could see it coming.

And yes, tears were shed during that final moment. 

I usually dislike games that have these really dramatic endings and then somehow try to overturn it with some deus ex, but the way Lucy did it was very believable and heartwarming that you don't even care.

As for the emoticon thing, I actually tried to do it, but they all look ugly or were too small to be noticeable no matter what I did. :(
If you can provide me with one that looks decent I'll gladly add it though.

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1 minute ago, Nosebleed said:
  Reveal hidden contents

I share the same thoughts. It was just a solid experience, and I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one caught off guard.

Like, seriously, to think the doctor was you all along... that was so well set up I don't think anyone could see it coming.

And yes, tears were shed during that final moment. 

I usually dislike games that have these really dramatic endings and then somehow try to overturn it with some deus ex, but the way Lucy did it was very believable and heartwarming that you don't even care.

As for the emoticon thing, I actually tried to do it, but they all look ugly or were too small to be noticeable no matter what I did. :(
If you can provide me with one that looks decent I'll gladly add it though.

Yup. It was just perfect :kosame:

 

Sadly I don't even emoticon :wafuu:

Maybe we can get TexasDice to help us out or something :miyako:

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