A Visual Novel I’d Rather Forget

I really don’t know how it happened, but it stared with me working at GameStop and noticing we received used PS Vita’s in at only 139$. After trading in some games, using a 15$ coupon and then adding on my employee discount, that 139$ transpired into 6$. I was super excited for the system because unlike most, it’s not region locked. I was giddy for a few minutes before thinking, “Shit.. I don’t have any games.” I looked through the PlayStation network for only a few seconds before the game, Amnesia: Memories showed on the screen. I was a bit apprehensive, while it looked visually brilliant, and I do like visual novels—an interactive fiction game, featuring mostly static graphics—the dating aspect of the game had me a bit wary. However, because I knew I had a blog post to write for my Graphic Novel class, I thought why not give it a try. So here we go!

 

While there are a lot of different aspects of this game, I would like to talk about the most disturbing because to me, that’s what had me looking at my screen saying. “What the actual fuck?”

 

The game beings with the protagonist being talked to by a ‘spirit.’ He explains that somehow he got trapped in her memory and because of that, the protagonist lost her memories to make room for him to live there. It’s a bit odd and I was hoping for more of an explanation to come forth in the actual storyline, but don’t count on it, it never happens. It’s one of those moments where you have to just accept the information that the developer created.

 

Once the protagonist understands she lost her memories, the ‘spirit’ tells her that she should keep her amnesia a secret. You don’t want people taking advantage of you. Which again I understood, but it seemed a little dark for the bright aesthetic the game was already giving off.

 

Orion informing you of your lost memories.
Orion informing the protagonist of her lost memories. 

 

After the introduction you pick a world to live in Heart World, Clover World, Spade World, or Diamond World. Each world has a different main male character and this male is always the protagonists boyfriend at the start of the game. Seems normal enough.

As you progress through the story the protagonist is given questions she must answer. The thing is, you have to answer them in a way to not give suspicion to your amnesia. As you answer questions, they affect three criteria, Affection, Trust, and Suspicion. I thought this game would be easy, but it turned out to be a lot more challenging then I gave it credit for. (Or maybe i’m just bad at dating not only in real life, but virtually as well.) These bars affect your ending, and you can either receive a good ending, a normal ending, or two types of bad endings. And let me tell you, a bad ending is a hell of a bad ending!

 

This is where I finally get into how this game is a bit… messed up. For one story, the protagonist starts in the hospital, you don’t know why you’re there and only later find out that someone tried to murder the protagonist by pushing her off a cliff. Well… she slipped by herself, but then when the guy came to make sure she was okay, she accidentally calls out a different guys name and because of this he tries to bash her head in. If that ain’t love I don’t know what is!

 

Another storyline involves one guy getting so upset he becomes a crazed serial killer who stabs the protagonist to death in a lust-filled rage. On similar lines, another bad ending results in a guy trying to protect the protagonist by locking her in a cage.  There is actually a conversation on a youtube video of Toma’s (A character in the game) bad ending where a user named Emma Cohen says, “ok am I the only one who is terrified of toma now?” and where someone responds with “Yeah he’s awesome when he doesn’t snap!! He’s the most warm out of all of the guys in my opinion..”  Warm?  HE LOCKS YOU IN A CAGE!!!

Oh! The protagonist also gets pushed in front of a car, too. Yeah, you later find out that the guy that pushed her in front of a car dies because he was staring at her through her window and he slipped and fell to his death.

 

Creepy, right? The thing that makes me so uneasy is that these characters have good endings too, where the protagonist and the main male live happily and all is well in fantasy visual novel world! But I feel like people are forgetting the fact that these people are actually crazy! Sure you answered correctly and got a good ending, but the fact they have the ability to go apeshit-crazy and murder people and try to murder you? I think our main girl needs an intervention—stat!

 

In all honesty, this game was brilliant. Yes, while all these men were killers and stalkers, and super obsessive, all I could think about was how entertaining this visual novel was. It was beautiful, it had an individual watercolor color scheme for each word.  It had Japanese voice acting for every line of text except the protagonist, and in the end the story enveloped me. When clues were being dropped that my lover tried to kill me and I had to pick whether to trust him or not, I had to leave my game and grab a glass of wine before returning! I do think the premises is a bit dark, but it was kind of a sick, entertaining type of humor to me.  This game just was released in the west as of August 2015 and is available on the Ps Vita, Steam, and soon iOS.  Enjoy your killer, stalker, obsessive boyfriends everyone!

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