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Posts Tagged ‘Visual Novel’

Just a pretty quick post today.

For starters, I was inspired to make a new wallpaper! Check it out:
jt-1440-Heroes-Of-Fate

As always, click the above to see it full size.

As you might imagine, I decided to start playing through Fate Stay Night again. Much to my shock and amazement, its actually been nearly a year since I finished Heavens Feel for the first time and unlocked everything, but its been far longer since I played the Fate route. And of course, I’ve had a HD wipe and PC change since then as well.

So, a couple of days back, I finally got around to reading the second novel of Fate/Zero, the prequel, which is now fully translated on Baka Tsuki. Shortly after that, I was sorting through some stuff and found the disc, apparently through some strange chance (its always the way, eh?).

Despite the fact that it was late, I decided to slam it in (not literally, of course!) and relive what is still probably my favourite Visual Novel. I know alot of TYPE MOON affectionados would probably say ‘but Tsukihime is better!‘ I still maintain that whilst Tsukihime does indeed have a marginally superior story, Fate is a better package as a whole, as a visual novel.

As of the moment, I am currently up to Day 10 of the replay of the Fate Route, and I’m still rather enjoying myself. Of course, this has put play of Touhoumon temporarily on hold, but ah well…

Anyhow, this wallpaper manages to combine nearly all the main heroes and heroines! (and villians!). Though it looks a simple job, it actually wasn’t since each set of characters came in three’s and in order to get them all in there, I had to split them and redraw several missing parts. Avenger and Illya were especially a pain to place correctly and needed a fair bit of work. I gave Kirei some Black Keys as well for no real reason apart from the fact that I find them cool. The Melons, Excalibur and the crying Taiga by the text was a last second thought, but I think ended up a nice touch, especially since theres no image of Taiga in this style to use. I also decided to make Irisviel and Kiritsugu ghostly, for obvious reasons.

Well, thats all. See ya again soon!

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Well, here’s an oldie goldie, finally translated for everyones enjoyment thanks to the hard working chaps at Non Directional Translations.

Kanon had a decent full length anime adaptation in 2006 that covered most of the points of all of the routes (actually, there was also a previous 13 episode adaptation, but it was pretty atrocious). Its pretty well known as the game that propelled KEY into the limelight as a decent game creator much as Tsukihime did the same for TYPE MOON.

Since this, they also did Air and Clannad, both of which are equally well known, as well as a couple of other titles.

But anyway, Kanon starts with the fairly generic ‘guy returns to X town after Y years with limited amnesia conviently forgetting that he totally charmed up Z girls when he himself was a kiddie.’

Bloody players. The lot of them. Nevertheless, though the initial stimulus is exactly groundbreaking, what sets Kanon apart from more generic titles is that it actually establishes some really nice personalities in the girls and buffs up their characters so you appreciate them.

So much so that, despite the fact that I was evidently going to go for the Mai route first, I felt a little sorry leaving behind Makotos pranks and Nayukis Morning Narcolepsy.

Actually, in my case, I should clarify that I ~actually~ have a soft spot for Sayuri and her little ‘Ahaha!’. I mainly went the Mai route to see as much Sayuri as possible, LOL. I guess I like genki girls with third person narration and superhuman cooking skills. In fact, I’m a little dissappointed there isn’t a proper Sayuri route (there’s a little mini-route that explains her third person narration and wrist scar, but thats all). I suppose Kaori gets an even shorter end of the stick though, since you see alot of her early on and yet theres no path (not even a mini-route) for her, only her sister, Shiori.

Also, I have no love for Ayu. Her constant taiyaki theft and stalker like appearances don’t seem cute at all. Well, it does nothing for me, anyway. I guess it floats some peoples boat.

As a game, its also refreshing to see that the choices are not totally devoid of logic. It usually pretty obvious which selection will give you points with X girl or raise flags. Theres nothing more irritating than when a choice between ‘Sweep the Floor’ and ‘Mop the Floor’ has a profound impact on the paths available in a game. Some people will know what I’m referring to. If you don’t, don’t worry.

Kanon has the ‘Huuuuge Eyes’ syndrome in its artwork. You know, those stonkers that take up half the face. Far worse than even typical anime eyes. But oh well, apart from that, its decent art. I can’t but feel a little shortchanged after the amazing special effects that some games, like Chaos;Head and Fate/Stay Night, can generate, but then again, all can be forgiven because the actual game is still up to par.

The music too, was acceptable. Typical, and of course, not on the level of Crescendo’s awesomeness, but decent to the point where I didn’t want to mute it as some games can drive you to do.

Anyway, here’s a whole heap of screencaps of me following Mai’s route. I think I went a little overboard, since I ended up making about 30, of which I’ve already done a serious pruning to get to the less than 20 I’ve got here. There’s probably too much Sayuri. So sue me.

Kanon-5

Nayuki’s normal demenour. She’s a tried and tested narcoleptic who develops amazing running skills to compensate.

Kanon-3

But you are a thieving wannabe angel girl. I don’t see what the problem is?

Kanon-4

As well as its possible to get along with a girl who sleeps 13 hours a day to be refreshed, Kaori…

Kanon-2

Yeah, probably. I am a dating game protagonist, after all…

Kanon-6

Look who’s talking, fireworks and miso soup bath girl!

Kanon-7

Actually, I don’t think the game expressed the same level of fear about Akiko’s jam as the anime managed to. Probably because there was less inane smiling involved.

Kanon-8

Please, Sayuri, do that little ‘Ahaha’ again! It melts me at the knees!

Kanon-9

Its not that Mai is dense, au contraire, she just has her priorities sorted well.

Kanon-12

It was so amazing that even I don’t remember it.

Kanon-13

You don’t say? I’m sure some varieties of toads are actually furry as well. Over, you know, the warts and all that.

Kanon-10

Uhuh. I have no objection to this statement.

Kanon-11

Priceless. Totally worth getting pummeled.

Kanon-14

Like I’m going to disobey an order like that when you’re wearing that dress…honestly…

Kanon-15

Admittedly, Sayuri seems to have that smiling expression a heck of a lot. Oh well.

Kanon-16

I actually didn’t think kimono’s were worn on graduation. Apparently so, here.

Kanon-17

Of course, one is screwed completely with Sayuri anyway. You can never marry her. She always speaks in the third person. How is she ever supposed to say ‘I do?’. Frack. (this shot is from the Sayuri mini-route, by the way…hence its placement after Mai’s epilogue…)

Anyways, you should indeed go and play this. Its quite the classic to casually pass up. Ahaha.

Somehow I get the feeling my ‘Ahaha’ would be more of a deadpan chuckle rather than something cute. Remind me to never try that again.

(sigh) Well, hope you enjoyed this little Visual Novel diary. I’ll continue to post them from time to time, so keep tuned.

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Otherwise known as: ‘How to adulterize a Loli’

And yes, I’m well aware of the fracked up double meaning there. Just nervously laugh and move away if you have to.

Anyway, I’m apparently continuing the recent trend in my artworks of upgrading young Loli’s in beautiful bishoujos, since here’s another for y’all:

b-Ilyasviel+5-years

Its the lovely Ilyasviel von Einzbern!!

Yessiree, it’s everyones favourite psycho albino Mage loli given a trip in the ageification device.

Or, at least, its what Taiga imagines her to be, given five extra years.

I think I just became inspired to do this after looking at the previous Carlie sketch and then making the mistake of browsing Wakachans Type Moon board (which I have kept away from until just recently) and thinking, ‘why not do that with Ilya, eh?’. Well, specifically, I laughed after seeing this image:
sacchin-beserker

What if Ilya’s servant Beserker was not Hercules, but rather, it was Satsuki!

Its a match made in heaven!

Team of the lost and forgotten TYPE-MOON heroines! Ladies of the deleted route! I salute you!

I especially wanted to do the whole ‘what’cha doin’ Onii-chan’ pose with the whole tilted forward, head pulled slightly back thing going on, as if peeking mischeveously. It maintains her childlike demeanour despite her adult-ified features. Adding the roaring Taiga into the background was actually a last second decision, but I thought it would fit, and was quite pleased with it (I don’t usually do over-exaggerated faces!). Of course, I kept her usual outfit, as changing it might make it seem more like I was drawing her mum, Irisviel. And yes, as you might imagine, I used the above image for reference on her outfit, though I omitted the frills from her skirt.

Anyways, sorry its just a short post today. I’ll probably put up a summary of what I’m watching, as per usual, given a bit of time.

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Well, had to wait quite a while for a sub of the Taisho era baseball daughters. It just came out today. I also had a anime fest and got around to watching Princess Lover! as well, so I’ll cover both shows in this little post.

Taisho Era Baseball Daughters

Again, my preview from before is fairly on the mark. There’s really little to say about this show other than the prior prediction being rather true: It does indeed feel remarkably like Princess Nine stepped into a Time Machine and sped back a few decades. Of course, in a way, it skewers itself in doing this, because it changes the probability of the story from ‘possible’ to ‘highly unlikely’. Since, hey, japanese girls in this period are only ~just~ beginning to get any sort of real recognition of rights at all; and alot of the public conciousness is into the fact that they are ladies or nothing.

Of course, I guess thats the point of the show. Its just it strains historical accuracy a little, but no worries, as long as it turns out entertaining, eh?

Naturally, this first episode is establishing the premise. The first few eps will likely be similar, following the recruitment of the other girls needed in the team. The protagonist is really dragged along for the ride here, unlike her fire headed princess nine counterpart. Anyways, some pics
baseball-d3

Koume has a “What the frack did I just get myself into?” face. She’s got the bizarre permanent blush as well…

baseball-d2

I can think of many things that boys do. The first one that comes to mind is NOT baseball. So I just LOL’ed at my perverse thought process.

baseball-d1

GAHHHH! Its like hitchcocks birds gone anime style! This is part of Koume singing a bizarre history song during the first few minutes.

baseball-d5

Aha! I spotted you, great-grandmother of Tsuruya-san.

baseball-d4

The class rep’s chillingly doll-like movements somewhat scare me. She’s such a ‘perfect’ mannered young lady you think she’s gonna crack the screen.

These sports type shows always take a while to accelerate, and this is no different. Its got a very slow pace. If they don’t do it quick enough, such shows also manage to fall flat. We shall see.

Princess Lover!

Now this managed to surprise me a little. I guess I was expecting a flat out harem comedy. I mean, who doesn’t see that hilarious title and think otherwise, eh? Hence, getting into the right mindset was required before tackling it. However, it opened with a surprisingly interesting and even action packed (if hilariously ridiculous) first outing. Mainly because there was a car chase a horse and carriage being chased by a jeep and motorcycle. But of course, the horse and carriage was at no significant disadvantage against the motor vehicles, since it was driven by an AWESOME BUTLER.

No, I am being serious. Teppai is also (currently) a strong male lead. He’s tough, valourous, only a little perverse and stubborn enough to be likable, with good combat prowess. Of course, he ~could~ do an Asu no Yoichi on us yet, so I’m holding a breath for him at the moment to see if his behavoir can continue to err on the side of good. We’ve not seen enough of Charlotte yet to determine if she’s annoying, but similarily, she hasn’t made any blunders yet either, so things look okay. Sylvia is obviously a Saber clone (given breasts, of course), but she’s okay as well. Anyway, pictures to follow ze words, as usual:
Princess-Lover-1

Teppai’s mum was awesome. Female control at its paragon. Shame she dies in the first 3 minutes. Yeah, that was a spoiler. Oh well.

Princess-Lover-2

The Carriage/Jeep/Bike Chase was Lul Wut, but awesome. Mark Sullivan is apparently the head of the US secret service. I had to look that up…

Princess-Lover-3

Kappuchu!

Princess-Lover-3a

Stop hiding Loli’s behind your leg. Its just not proper etiquette!

Princess-Lover-4

Like I say, Sylvia is obviously Saber given a Rapier and some breast implants to replace her usual Flat chest and Bastard Sword combo. (does she keep Excalibur there when she’s not using it?)

Princess-Lover-5

Teppai’s little sparring match with Sylvia was also pretty fun.

Its a good start for a harem show. It looks to be at least as decent as Akane Iro Somaru Saka. If it develops into the decent romance of the season I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Finally, I still need to finish off with G.A. and Kanamemo. Probably by Monday. See ya then!

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Well, I was procrastinating a little on blogging just about CANAAN in the hopes that there would be another show to place in the same post, like Bakemongatari or something, but subbing of the other parts of the new season seems to be progressing pretty slowly, so this is the only significant new show so far subbed.

As anticipated, this certainly has some distinct appeal. Harkening back to Nasu’s earlier works in Tsukihime and Kara No Kyoukai, CANAAN seems to concern itself with sense and perception taken to new levels. Canaan, the main character, who the show is named after, possesses an ability called Synesthesia, which allows her to concentrate all of her senses, turning all of the information from them into visual information. Its a little like the movie of Daredevil, where he ‘sees’ the sound waves: only that in CANAAN, she applies hearing, smell, touch and taste as simultaneous layers over the top of her normal vision.

Much like seeing the lines of death in Tsukihime, such an overload of sensory information causes the brain serious trauma in a normal person, so we subconciously block or stop most of it. But a person with the Synesthesia can actually control the floodgates, so to speak.

Naturally, our heroine in this episode primarily uses it for ass-kicking. But then, it is a first episode. Proper explainations come later. But they have certainly set up some interesting seeds and amusing characters in here, like the guys wearing the animal heads (presumably they are experiments and they wear the heads to prevent said overload from senses, given what happens when the hats fall off), the leader of the snake group, the ‘I have no concern for men’ type woman, her ninja-paper assistant, the mute girl who likes flowers, target girl who has her cuddly merchandise shot, the genki kawaii cameragirl, her wannabe savvy reporter boss, and of course, Canaan herself.

Anyways, some piccies for you.
Canaan-1

I chew candy cigarettes whilst sniping balloons, cuddly animals, and fleeing suspects. She naturally gets bitched at for wasting ammo.

Canaan-2

This girl apparently likes airplane food. Strange tastes. Nevertheless, I LOL’ed

Canaan-2a

What’s more, she Appreciates having having a third eye drawn on in marker pen. Lul wut!

Canaan-3

RAAAAAAWWWWWRRRRRR!!! I am C.G. the dragon!

Canaan-4

This seems somewhat dodgy, tying her up like that. Apparently she and Canaan are friends though, so its okay… (WUT!?)

Canaan-5

This guy is always looking for a scoop. He really does find one too, what with all the gunfighting and corpses he’s about to come across.

Canaan-6

Smile! You’re on Canaan Camera!!

Canaan-7

I don’t think anyone knows what she’s doing. Its one of the great mysteries of the universe.

Canaan-8

Rooftop gunbattles were never so much fun. Amazingly, nearly everyone in the festival below just thinks the spectacle is all just part of the show and ignores it. Which is actually a snide comment on selective perception, I guess.

Canaan-The-Eyes!

Oh sh*t, her eys went orange. Now you’re f*cked.

Canaan-Synethesia

Synesthesia in action. It seems to include Infra-red, vibration perception, x-ray, scent and visual light. All in one convienient package.

Canaan-Fanservice

And some fanservice from the ending credits.

Well, as expected from Nasu’s new baby, this has a stupendous amount of potential and an exciting first episode. I think its pretty much guaranteed itself a slot with this rather good showing.

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Yessiree, its that time again, where I analyse my latest VN selection.

This time, feeling immensely brave, I decided to pick up the Dagger/LoSs translation of Chaos;HEAd which is relatively well known for being a serious MindFuck. In fact, delusions (ranging from ultra-violent and insane to just purely ecchi) are in fact a key element of the gameplay.

What differs this game from usual is that rather than presenting the normal 1,2,3 choices, every so often, you’ll hear a strange noise, and see a pair of blips resembling a heart monitor at the top of the screen. One of the blips is green and flat-lining from loss of pulse; the other red and pulsing like a frantic heart beat. You can click on them; and whenever you do, Takumi (the protagonist) will find the next scene suddenly interrupted as he plunges into a peculiar day-dream or full blown delusion.

Selecting the green one typically makes something perverse, fantastic, or just plain bizarre to happen. Like a girl confessing her love to you in the street. Or getting the 3rd dimension sucked out of you by an anime character, turning you into a 2d person. (nope, that really happens!)

Choosing the red one typically makes something paranoid, disgusting or violent happen. Like a girl confessing her love to you and then stabbing you in the eye with a gleaming kitchen knife. Or the person in a street turning into a vile green zombie and sucking away your soul.

And, there’s also the secret third option. Ignore the blips. Carry on reading the text rather than bowing to your curiosity. And you shake off the potential for a delusion. Sometimes, this is rather important. Spend all waking hours day-dreaming, and you’ll miss vital clues that are required for you to figure out the weird shit thats going on in the game.

Takumi is a seriously screwed up guy in the first place. He’s a borderline hikikomori. Though most anime and game otaku (including myself) can, on some level, identify with him, though he’s quite far in the extreme to the point that most sane people would almost be aghast of his obsessive, antisocial behavoir (also including myself…). He is not a likable protagonist, really, but given you see through his eyes and understand a little of his viewpoints, you henceforce tend to find yourself more sympathetic rather than horrified (or bemused, if you click lots of green things, LOL).

I’m told that the anime, lacking internal monologue, made him hence quite hideously unlikable. Though I’ve not seen it to confirm that.

In any case, he finds himself embroiled in a series of seriously MindFuck murder cases, which begin with his witnessing of a guy crucified to a wall with hundreds of cross-shaped stakes, by a “cute” pink haired girl covered in blood. That would be bad enough. But. The night before, during a Chatroom conversation; he got links to picture of the same scene. Taken before the time of death.

What is real? Is the murder set up before hand? Pre-meditated and made to seem like something else? Does he have prophetic abilities? Does he suffer from some psychosomatic condition?

Then there’s the strange songs a popular band sings, with their lyrics ringing a disturbingly similar prophecy before the murders. And the fact he KEEPS seeing girls with bloody huge, glowing, “Di-Swords”. As if the screwed up delusions weren’t enough to ruin a crazy anti-social netrunner geeks day!

Anyway, some pictures for you:
ChaosHEAd2

Takumi’s favourite scene: in front of his PC. He apparently plays his favourite MMO on the LCD whilst simultaneously browsing on the CRT, apparently. Who says multitasking is for girls? Bonus points for spotting Al-Alzif in this picture.

ChaosHEAd3

Wow, thats serious Harem thinking, right there. He has taste too. After all, Saber and Rin are there, as well as Vita and Al.

ChaosHEAd4chat1

I like the chat-room sequences that occur on the monitor. Must’ve have been problematic to translate them, so kudos.

ChaosHEAd4chat2

You get to select what your ‘pet theory’ is, here, through multiple choice. I lol’ed. As you may discern, I selected no for glasses but believe knee-socks increase power by over 9,000!
ChaosHEAd5

Yes, sure. Its anime, so that might actually work.

ChaosHEAd6

HOLY SHI-

ChaosHEAd7

‘How can something cute be so terrifying?’ is another one of the games theme’s; I think…

ChaosHEAd8

Sheer psycho-mismatch of line to scene here, right?

ChaosHEAd9

I really like his sister’s facial expressions. She also has some classic lines, like:
ChaosHEAd10

Excellent! She’s obviously a dab hand at the insult fencing from Monkey Island! In a strange moe sister character type of way. Sort of. Or something.

ChaosHEAd11

There’s several parodies of famous brands, websites and stuff in the game, like this Wikipedia pisstake. The ‘encyclopedia of useless knowledge’ part especially made me chuckle.

I’m currently into Chapter IV, and I can say its a serious screw up. In a vastly entertaining way, of course.

Make sure you have a strong stomach and more importantly, an iron will, before you think about looking into this game. As in, you need a like for Visual Novels, and a tolerance for horror elements to play it.

But if you do have this in you, there’s some profound (if peculiar) entertainment and a very postmodern story to be had, which I can recommend.

EDIT: For some reason my Links widget dissappeared at some point in time and I only just noticed. No idea why. Anyway, its back again.

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Engrish is great. Or something like that.

In any case, I’ve hardly had much time for blogging in the last few days since I’ve been hard at work on the 5th Edition of my Anime Roleplaying system, Aniventure. As you might guess, the older edition was lost on the hard drive death. Fortunately, not all of it was lost, however, and instead of having to rewrite everything from scratch, I at least had some stuff remaining.

It now works off a brand new dice system entirely of my own creation; which I call the ‘Stacks’ system. It uses competing D10 clashes to resolve situations and looks to be quite interesting even at this early stage of playtesting. It also works harmoniously together with percentiles when those are needed; and completely suits the craziness of anime based combat. Building mechanics around it is a pretty interesting process.

In time, I’ll probably actually update the Aniventure page on this blog with the new material; and possibly put up web-samples for use, though further testing of the material means that it might be a while yet before this is realised.

In other news, I also made a new wallpaper to share with you all:

jt-1440-Satsuki-BloodEye

I always wanted to do a Satsuki wallpaper; but never actually ever seemed to get around to it…until just now. She always had my support as Tsukihime’s ‘forgotten heroine’, though its plausible she’ll make her way into the remake (when it comes around) at bequest of the fans.

In this case, her right hand bloodlust version got alot of subtle edits. I’m particularily pleased with the glowing eyes.

I guess its ‘another vampire, another blood moon’ scenario from my perspective, but oh well, its still pretty cool. As always, click the picture to get the full sized wallpaper.

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