Community The Visual Novel Council | All Choices Lead To Here

Kvik

Play Trails from Zero — Councillor's Orders!
Dec 6, 2018
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Downunder.
Theorycrafting about how Battler is going to pull himself out of the many conundrums laid out by Beatrice is half the fun.

The other half is obviously Beatrice's (and Lambda's) cackling. :dana_blanket:
 

skLaFarebear

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Dec 4, 2019
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Aki route finished in Baldr Sky 2. Another fantastic route to go along with the Chinatsu route from Baldr Sky 1., but with some pretty significant plot revelations on this side of the story. It's finally nice to get some answers about
what the Ark project is and what Seira's was ultimately planning behind the scenes, as well as the establishment of both Kou's and Sora's simulcram's being able to receive information from the Es system and being able to send that information to the host (hence all the memories of people that aren't you being fed to you brain). Which also in turn, confirms that Sora is still alive somewhere. Of course, it feels like some of the answers revolving around ark are still eluding me, mostly in it's ties to the singularity and in who was the one who's been sending Seira all the simulations about the future.
Ultimately, the most burning questions that have been present since the Rain route, which are the biggest crux of the story and still the biggest remaining mysteries about why everything played out the way they did, is still ahead of me, but it finally feels like I can start putting 2 and 2 together to ultimately discover what actually happened.

Reminiscence is up next, followed by the Makoto and Sora routes. There's still a ton of VN ahead of me after 90 hours, but it's a pretty big testament to the game that even after 90 hours I'm still hooked and am looking forward to playing more. Muv Luv and Umineko were the last two VNs to make me feel this way, which says a lot for me personally. Should mention that even after so long that the localization is holding up perfectly. I really can't give SP and Steiner enough credit here. This is absolutely one of the best localized VNs I've had the opportunity to play.

Oh, not sure if it was mentioned here, but it looks like two weeks back, Giga/Team Baldrhead announced a new VN coming this year Senkou no Clarias
 
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Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
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Reminiscence is up next, followed by the Makoto and Sora routes. There's still a ton of VN ahead of me after 90 hours, but it's a pretty big testament to the game that even after 90 hours I'm still hooked and am looking forward to playing more. Muv Luv and Umineko were the last two VNs to make me feel this way, which says a lot for me personally. Should mention that even after so long that the localization is holding up perfectly. I really can't give SP and Steiner enough credit here. This is absolutely one of the best localized VNs I've had the opportunity to play.
Wow, that's some really high praise.
Umineko and Muv-Luv are two of my absolute favorites, so I'm gonna have to look at my backlog and despair move Baldr Sky up the queue.
Hopefully I can make room for it for when the Steam summer sale starts.
 
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skLaFarebear

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Dec 4, 2019
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Wow, that's some really high praise.
Umineko and Muv-Luv are two of my absolute favorites, so I'm gonna have to look at my backlog and despair move Baldr Sky up the queue.
Hopefully I can make room for it for when the Steam summer sale starts.
I wouldn't be surprised if when all said and done it's up there with one of my favorites. It's a slow burn, but I like it more and more coming off of each play session. The cyberpunk AI dystopian aesthetic is my absolute jam.
 
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Kvik

Play Trails from Zero — Councillor's Orders!
Dec 6, 2018
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I've finished with Ao's route in Summer Pockets. It was rather good, although still bittersweet and typical of heroine routes where it left you wanting because it's not the conclusion you hoped for, but it's a happy ending nonetheless. The CGs are particularly gorgeous and the summer island holiday setting is great. I picked up a few misspellings and some rather curious vocabulary choices though. Looking forward to start the other routes tonight.

Finished with The Twins' route in LAMUNATION! last night as well. Bad puns, dirty jokes and memes is just what I needed after Summer Pockets. I didn't realise they had H-CGs every chapter for the last 3 chapters of their route, though. The story isn't anything to write home about, but I'm mainly in it for the bad puns and dirty jokes so I can make some concessions.
 
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skLaFarebear

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Dec 4, 2019
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Been taking a break from Baldr Sky to play Aokana. The VN overall has been very excellent through it's common route. Decided to do the Mashiro route first since I plan on doing the routes for each of the girls and I heard that Mashiro's is best to start with. Mashiro's route in comparison to the common route was....underwhelming. The romance feels very unnatural, with neither party really showing any kind of interest in each other before you lock into the route (maybe a tiny hint on Mashiro's side, but it feels very out of nowhere compared to the other 3 especially on Masaya's side). There were some good things in the route like the drama and backstory between Misaki and Mashiro, which will probably rear it's head in full in Misaki's route as well as
Asuka's painful heartbreak when she found out Masaya and Mashiro were dating.
From a character and story perspective though, it was mostly underwhelming as almost none of the plot threads set up from the common route were ultimately solved and we learned next to nothing about Masaya's backstory or his trauma from playing FC. It very much feels like the introductory route it was set up to be, but even then the Masaya/Mashiro dynamic could've used some better setup going into that route as I found myself starting to mash through a bit of the dialogue. Which is a shame because there was some great stuff in there about Mashiro as a character and her growth for the love of FC. The climax of the route itself was nowhere near as crazy intense as the end of the common route's climax was either, which was expected, but still a bit disheartening.

Regardless, I hope to expect better things from the other 3 routes. Up next is Rika!

 
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AHA-Lambda

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I thought Higurashi Chapter 8 was supposed to be up for pre order today, but still nothing?
 

Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
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I thought Higurashi Chapter 8 was supposed to be up for pre order today, but still nothing?
No, it was up for pre-order on the MangaGamer store for some days (and has now been released there), but MangaGamer haven't put their games up for pre-order on Steam for a while. At this point I am not even sure if Valve allows pre-orders for smaller games. But it'll be available on Steam in a few hours anyway.
 

AHA-Lambda

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No, it was up for pre-order on the MangaGamer store for some days (and has now been released there), but MangaGamer haven't put their games up for pre-order on Steam for a while. At this point I am not even sure if Valve allows pre-orders for smaller games. But it'll be available on Steam in a few hours anyway.
Posts from their Facebook page today implied that it was going to be up for pre order 😕
Obviously hasn't happened though 🤷‍♂️
 

Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
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Posts from their Facebook page today implied that it was going to be up for pre order 😕
Obviously hasn't happened though 🤷‍♂️
It might have been a mistake on their part.
But the only thing I can find on Facebook says to "pre-order on MangaGamer.com today", though I suppose you could read that post as implying the availability of pre-orders on Steam.


Nice to finally have an official confirmation of this from MG.

A 2020 release by MangaGamer was already listed on the official Musicus website when it went up last year, so I guess this announcement means that we are now close to the actual release date.
 
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AHA-Lambda

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It might have been a mistake on their part.
But the only thing I can find on Facebook says to "pre-order on MangaGamer.com today", though I suppose you could read that post as implying the availability of pre-orders on Steam.



Nice to finally have an official confirmation of this from MG.

A 2020 release by MangaGamer was already listed on the official Musicus website when it went up last year, so I guess this announcement means that we are now close to the actual release date.
This is what I based it off of


Talks about ordering "today" the day before release.
Doesn't really matter now anyway, it's out 😁
 

Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
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New MangaGamer project update (copy/pasted from their discord):
  • Sona-Nyl of the Violet Shadows: 100% translated and 100% edited. "Refrain" bonus content 25% translated.
  • Room No. 9: Out of beta
  • Eternal Torment: Out of beta
  • Trinoline Genesis: 100% translated and 40% edited

Secret Projects
  • MUSICUS, AKA Secret Project #1: 77% translated and 76% edited
  • Secret Project #3: 86% translated and 81% edited
  • Secret Project #4: 83% translated & 71% edited
I'm personally really looking forward to Sona-Nyl, though I do need to play Shikkoku no Sharnoth before Sona-Nyl gets released.
 
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skLaFarebear

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Dec 4, 2019
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Rika route done in Aokana! I ended up enjoying this one a fair amount more than the Mashiro route on the whole. To get the negatives out of the way first, I'd say that while it was overall a much more consistently good experience, it never reached the highs of the best moments of the common route or the Mashiro route. It was missing out on the inner team drama that made (parts) of the Mashiro route more compelling and overall just ditched a ton of lingering plotlines from the common route to focus on Rika and her own story. For better or worse, it felt like an extension of the common route. On the plus side, it was a ton of fun, giving us great moments where all four of the main girls (and sleeper heroine Madoka) were together having some fun banter with one another. This route was also the continued rise of Satouin, who had some of the best lines and moments of the route. Truly the peak ojou-sama among ojous. The masaya/rika banter was really cute overall too and didn't feel as unnatural as the romance did in Mashiro's route with her and Masaya. The end of the Rika route overall I'd say was also one of the stronger moments in the whole VN and definitely launched Rika up a few spots among all the characters in my eyes.

Up next is my favorite character, Misaki. Time to see if my favorite girl of the VN also ends up having my favorite route.



This one gets a lot of hype from the Aokana community and after doing a quick sneak peak, I can see why, with how heavy some of the dialogue gets within only the first 20 minutes. They've foreshadowed it in the other routes, but there's definitely a lot more going on with Misaki than meets the eye compared to every other character.

Probably gonna be slowing down a bit overall on Aokana though considering I'm back to work starting tomorrow and wanna get back into finishing the Reminiscence for Baldr Sky. It's been quite some time since I've enjoyed VNs this much bouncing back between Baldr Sky and Aokana which are both excellent. Probably not since I finished Utawarerumono almost two years ago tbh.
 
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Snakethesniper

Time Traveler
Jan 11, 2019
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Started Umineko recently, still on chapter 1 but things started moving, curious to see how the mistery evolves since for now
the murders seems to be done by beatrice? but I still didn't see her, so maybe is not that simple
 

ZKenir

❀ Child of Raikou ❀
May 10, 2019
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every time I visit the Totono store page and I see Nitroplus I'm reminded of Muramasa and that makes me sad
 
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skLaFarebear

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Dec 4, 2019
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Baldr Sky longpost time

Reminiscence story done in Baldr Sky 2. I had heard some fans/people who played the games call it one of the lower parts of the VN, considering about 60% of it is retreading on previous scenes from the flashbacks (with slightly more added content) and 40% being brand new added scenes, mostly focusing on the remaining two characters upcoming routes. I have to say that I was actually impressed with how well done it was in many aspects. Knowing what I know after playing through 4/6 routes, replaying through those scenes made me realize how well crafted the foreshadowing was for events that would take place in the present day, as well as now being able to properly understand some of the scenes that took place in the past much better. It also made some of the scenes that didn't have much of an impact on me in hour 15, hurt so much more on hour 100. It's a bit reminiscent of replaying through Muv Luv Extra after playing through most of Alternative (just a bit).

Some of the most powerful scenes were in the new added ones though, as you learn the backstories of Sora and Makoto, and as Kou slowly bonds with Sora. For spoilerish reasons, I'll avoid going too deep into why, but the relationship between Kou and Sora is as many ways fun as it was painful to experience which
makes the final D-day scene with Sora over the phone so much more tragic on a second viewing than on the first go around, after having spent so much time getting to know the character better. Seeing Kou mentally (and partly physically) devestated after the events led perfectly into the Makoto route.

I started the Makoto route as well (5/6) and pretty much everything has been flipped upside down compared to all routes before this right from the get go. Being a bit biased as I'm a huge fan of Rain, but her and Kou already had some of the strongest scenes of Baldr Sky 2 within the first hour alone, showing that they're both in it together for the long haul. And speaking of Kou, playing off the Reminiscence and the circumstances leading into this route specifically, I'm liking him so much more as a main protagonist than I did in the early parts of Baldr Sky 1. It's obvious now that the game clearly isn't holding back for it's third and final act, which I greatly appreciate. I still have a whole lot of Baldr Sky ahead of me, but 104 hours in (blowing past my Steam record for most played game) and we're still going stronger than ever.
 

Snakethesniper

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Jan 11, 2019
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Finished Episode 1 of Umineko, wow! Really enjoyed it when things actually started! I have a technical question though, the episode 2 is still locked. Do i need to read the first episode of the tea party before?
 
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skLaFarebear

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Dec 4, 2019
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Finished Episode 1 of Umineko, wow! Really enjoyed it when things actually started! I have a technical question though, the episode 2 is still locked. Do i need to read the first episode of the tea party before?
Yup. Each episode is followed by a "Tea Party" and "???" which are basically epilogues that also connect the chapter to the next one. You have to do them to unlock the next chapter.
 
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Kvik

Play Trails from Zero — Councillor's Orders!
Dec 6, 2018
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Speaking of Key VNs, I've cleared Kamome's route in Summer Pockets last night. It's a rather short one compared to Ao's route, but it's still very melancholic and poignant. I'm really glad that the route order I've chosen makes sense in terms of continuity, because so far I haven't consulted a guide for this playthrough, although I might have to do so to get a 100% completion of the record sheet. Meanwhile, I might've chosen the route order poorly in Lamunation! because there was a plot element which doesn't make a lot of sense in Iris/Rayla's route. This element supposedly will makes sense if I were to do Lamune's route first.

Back to Summer Pockets -- I did run into a bad end in Kamome's route, sort of speak, but it was pretty easy to get back on track. There are two more routes to go, I think? The title screen changes when a route has been completed which I think is a nice touch.
 

Snakethesniper

Time Traveler
Jan 11, 2019
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Umineko doesn't have a skip already read text correct?

edit: ok it seems unnecessary
 
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skLaFarebear

Junior Member
Dec 4, 2019
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Back to Summer Pockets -- I did run into a bad end in Kamome's route, sort of speak, but it was pretty easy to get back on track. There are two more routes to go, I think? The title screen changes when a route has been completed which I think is a nice touch.
Title screen changes on progression will always be one of my biggest weaknesses. Games like Cold Steel 2 do this so well, and Baldr Sky doing this after finishing the first half (technically finishing 1 and moving to 2) hit me pretty hard with how much more melancholic the new title screen was.
 
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AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
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Playing through Higurashi Ch 8 just now, little disappointed with the format the episode has taken so far.
 

Theswweet

Dirty Weeb
Mar 12, 2019
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I started (and finished) Higurashi Ch 1. I know I'm only at the very start of the story right now, but I'm already greatly enjoying things.
 

Kvik

Play Trails from Zero — Councillor's Orders!
Dec 6, 2018
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How come y'all can finish these titles so quickly? :dana_fear:

I'm not the fastest reader, but I'm not exactly a slow one, either. Although, I always let the voice lines play in their entirety, plus auto mode is on most of the time.
 

Theswweet

Dirty Weeb
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How come y'all can finish these titles so quickly? :dana_fear:

I'm not the fastest reader, but I'm not exactly a slow one, either. Although, I always let the voice lines play in their entirety, plus auto mode is on most of the time.
Iunno what to say, I mean it took me a week to get through Umineko 1-4, and then another for 5-8.
 
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Kvik

Play Trails from Zero — Councillor's Orders!
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Umi 1-4 took me about 160 hours which is about 6.66 days so I'd say a week to finish it is normal. :dana_blanket:
 

Theswweet

Dirty Weeb
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I can't be 100% sure, since I played Umineko through a physical copy install, but it probably took me just over half that time to read all 8 chapters - and definitely less than half that time, probably closer to 1/3rd that time, to read 1-4.
 

Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
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How come y'all can finish these titles so quickly? :dana_fear:

I'm not the fastest reader, but I'm not exactly a slow one, either. Although, I always let the voice lines play in their entirety, plus auto mode is on most of the time.
I don’t wait for spoken lines (except for particularly significant lines), and never use auto mode, and that is probably what makes the biggest difference. Going by HLTB, waiting for the spoken lines/auto mode in Umineko means taking more than twice as long as the average reader to get through it.

It still took me about a month to read 1-4, since I read roughly one episode a week back then. But I’m spending a lot more time reading these days.
 
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Kvik

Play Trails from Zero — Councillor's Orders!
Dec 6, 2018
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I would never have skipped Kinzo, Beatrice or Lambda's cacklings. They're glorious! :dana_bed:

But yeah, what you said makes sense. I never used auto mode if the game doesn't have voice lines. I should keep track of the time I will take to complete Ciconia later in the Spring since it doesn't have voice-overs.
 

skLaFarebear

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Dec 4, 2019
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Aokana posting time

Finished up the Misaki route and wow I'm speechless. That route from start to finish was exceptional, with the final matches (specifically the finals) being the best of the entire VN. The character development between Masaya and Misaki was incredible and satisfactory in a way that nothing else came close to as of yet in this game, especially in tying up a lot of the massive lingering issues left over from the common route, especially on the warped hyper-athletic perspective of winning/losing and the dark consequences that can arise from that feeling. The Misaki/Masaya banter took it up to an 11, where even when the rest of the cast started to play a backseat and it focused much more on just Misaki, I was still extremely entertained by how fun and heartfelt the writing was, which isn't to say some other interesting side characters that I wasn't expecting didn't take the front stage and help deliver on what Aokana does best, which is it's amazing cast chemistry.

Clearly there was some favoritism on Sprite's end too, as the Misaki route by far had the biggest budget, getting it's own exclusive new songs and about twice as many new CGs compared to the Mashiro and Rika routes. Not to say it wasn't worth it, because like I said before, this route was just exceptional in every way and one of my favorite heroine routes of any VN I've played. I'll avoid posting any spoilers, mostly because it would just be me splooshing about how crazy the climax of the route was, but the Misaki route was definitely some of the best stuff in the whole VN so far and worth playing for it alone (though almost all of Aokana so far has been real amazing).

Next and last up is the Asuka route, aka, the main girl. I like Asuka quite a lot and have been looking forward to doing this route. I'm expecting some big things from it as many pitched it as the one to do last for the Aokana route order. It's time for the last stretch.



 
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Snakethesniper

Time Traveler
Jan 11, 2019
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Quick question about Umineko. Feel free to tell me to wait if it's something better explained later. I'm past the introduction of episode 2 of the questions arc
I saw all the background information of the characters flashback and basically Beatrice is now inside the mansion. When Battler goes to sleep there's the section in the "otherworld" with him and beatrice speaking and talking about the situation. At this point there are 2 informations that I don't know:
  • Is Battler in the "normal" world aware of the previous accident and the game with Beatrice? For now he moves like he's not aware
  • Is Battler "omniscent" ? Since he saw the lollipop trick but was nowhere near.
So I don't know if there are 2 Battlers, like one spectator and one actor, or if it's alway him but his someone omniscent of what happens in general.
 

AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
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Quick question about Umineko. Feel free to tell me to wait if it's something better explained later. I'm past the introduction of episode 2 of the questions arc
I saw all the background information of the characters flashback and basically Beatrice is now inside the mansion. When Battler goes to sleep there's the section in the "otherworld" with him and beatrice speaking and talking about the situation. At this point there are 2 informations that I don't know:
  • Is Battler in the "normal" world aware of the previous accident and the game with Beatrice? For now he moves like he's not aware
  • Is Battler "omniscent" ? Since he saw the lollipop trick but was nowhere near.
So I don't know if there are 2 Battlers, like one spectator and one actor, or if it's alway him but his someone omniscent of what happens in general.
I'm going to err on the side of wait and see how things develop on that one.
 
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