Community The Visual Novel Council | All Choices Lead To Here

Cacher

Romantic Storm
Jun 3, 2020
2,317
6,467
113
Phoenix Wright
Can't go wrong with this one. This series is something everyone should play. While the first two games are great, the third game is a masterpiece through and through.

Danganronpa is a good but not great alternative. Definitely worth playing, too!
 
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Snakethesniper

Time Traveler
Jan 11, 2019
798
1,289
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Now that I've discovered magpie I guess I can go ahead and buy Baldr Sky since it's on sale, I was worried about the low resolution
 

AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
2,064
4,781
113
Ok I took y'all advice and cut my VN list down a little, only another 30 ish to go :face-with-cold-sweat:

Cut out:
Root Letter & Root Film
Clannad series (I'll just watch the anime and save the 100+ hours, I hear it's a very good adaptation anyway)
Corpse Party OG version (looks like the new version makes this mostly redundant, and I could YT anything missing)
Iwaihime (only reason I was interested was cos of R07 but I see it's a <7 score on vndb, and cuts gotta happen somewhere)
 
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Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
5,204
10,078
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Can't go wrong with this one. This series is something everyone should play. While the first two games are great, the third game is a masterpiece through and through.

Danganronpa is a good but not great alternative. Definitely worth playing, too!
Yeah, the post was already big enough for me to not precise if I’m familiar with an entry or not. In those cases I already finished AA 1 years ago and the only thing that makes me pause is that with my ocd I will feel the need to replay it, and I still have memories of it.
Danganronpa I dropped at the third chapter but willing to give it another chance.
That explains why they are not higher on the list.
 
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Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
855
1,265
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Seems like Sol Press has possibly gone out of business (screenshot is real, but not mine):


If they have gone out of business for good, then this might be the last chance to grab whatever games they have listed on Steam:

 
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skLaFarebear

MetaMember
Dec 4, 2019
451
858
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Seems like Sol Press has possibly gone out of business (screenshot is real, but not mine):




If they have gone out of business for good, then this might be the last chance to grab whatever games they have listed on Steam:

Rumors have been going around that they've been selling their existing translations/work to other publishers to pay off their creditors.

I also hope they pay their employees that I've heard have gone several months and even years without being paid (source below)


 
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ZKenir

❀ Child of Raikou ❀
May 10, 2019
1,971
5,213
113
They can go now, I have all I wanted.




as far as I am concerned I'm only a bit sorry because they had chilvalry of a failed knight license for the LN, but oh well...
 
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skLaFarebear

MetaMember
Dec 4, 2019
451
858
93
Muramasa Nemeis Route Done after 48 hours

I'll have some wrap up thoughts later. I'm not ok. Still got a huge chunk ahead of me to go.





Edit: WOW I sure was not expecting that jump scare on the fucking title screen bruh
 
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skLaFarebear

MetaMember
Dec 4, 2019
451
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Muramasa Nemesis Route Thoughts

This route was a rollercoaster of highs and very little in lows. It offered some of the best character development for both Kageaki and especially Kanae, who was a massive question mark for the 30 or so hours you spend in the common route. You knew there was something dark behind that facade, but the rabbit hole ran much deeper than I thought, even knowing how dark this VN was. The confrontation of the truth behind Yuhi's death between Kageaki and Kanae still remains the highlight of the entire VN, and was a massive changing point for both characters. As the end of the route stated, it was the moment that ultimately sealed both their fates, Kageaki to his death and Kanae to her breaking point where she could neither break free from her creed for vengeance since birth, nor from her feelings of pity/love for Kageaki and ultimately sentenced themselves both to a pitiful death. Even before the end of the route, you knew there was no way for this story to have a happy ending, especially when Kageaki reaffirmed his belief that he doesn't deserve any type of redemption when he fought and killed Konatsu's group right after maybe thinking it'd be ok for him and Kanae to just run away from it all.


In terms of action highs, the infiltration of the Otori household was over the top in how fun it was. Seeing Kanae just mop everyone, and ultimately Shishiku was thrilling from start to finish. And speaking of thrillers what the fuck happened in the basement with Kageaki and Chachamaru. I have so many damn questions and theories floating around about Chachamaru and her relation(?) to Kageaki and Hikaru, but something tells me I'm not gonna get much in terms of answers even in the Hero route and I will need to see the rest of the VN through. The final fight between Kanae and Kageaki was also incredible both from it's emotional highs and the fight choreography itself. There isn't much I can say about it to describe how great it was, but I'd say it even eclipsed the fight between Sorimachi and Kagaeki from ch4. Just incredible stuff all around.

In terms of lows, like I said there was very few. Some of the choice points were a little annoying and I had to even brute force one (guessing defend -> evade -> break contact -> west lmfao) and the downtime you spend inside the GHQ prison was a bit long in the tooth, especially spending time for characters like Cannon and Professor Wolf who ultimately ended up playing more minor roles in the route than I thought they would.

Regardless, this route was equal parts exhilarating and heart breaking and I'm excited to see where it goes next when I brutally murder Kanae and decide to team up with Ichijou in the Hero route.



 
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Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
3,240
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Downunder.
(Muramasa Nemesis Route)

The confrontation of the truth behind Yuhi's death between Kageaki and Kanae still remains the highlight of the entire VN, and was a massive changing point for both characters.
It feels very poetic in a way, because they both after the same thing: peace and a place to die. I suspected that on some level, Kageaki is aware of who is piloting the William Tell tsurugi.

I have so many damn questions and theories floating around about Chachamaru and her relation(?) to Kageaki and Hikaru, but something tells me I'm not gonna get much in terms of answers even in the Hero route and I will need to see the rest of the VN through.
I have just finished Chacamaru's route last night and you won't be disappointed. I don't want to break out the Tiermaker, but she's up there. :flare_smirk:

Some of the choice points were a little annoying and I had to even brute force one
I like the joke options during the infiltration of the airship so it's not a total loss. :flare_lmao:
 

skLaFarebear

MetaMember
Dec 4, 2019
451
858
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(Muramasa Nemesis Route)



It feels very poetic in a way, because they both after the same thing: peace and a place to die. I suspected that on some level, Kageaki is aware of who is piloting the William Tell tsurugi.



I have just finished Chacamaru's route last night and you won't be disappointed. I don't want to break out the Tiermaker, but she's up there. :flare_smirk:



I like the joke options during the infiltration of the airship so it's not a total loss. :flare_lmao:
Muramasa Nemesis Route

There was a point in the fight where he almost realized it was her, but gave up when Muramasa shook him out of his thoughts, so I wouldn't be surprised if maybe he realized it right at the end. Tbh on recollection that whole final fight + the way it plays out almost feels like a bad end. I did go back to try and choose the "to protect kanae" option though it led to a game over. I am curious if there's some sort of alternate ending you'd need to unlock by making different decisions, I was more than satisfied with how it all played out, but I might revisit it eventually and see.

I'm very forward to hanging out with Chachamaru eventually, I really like her character from the brief glimpses you get of her in ch3 and in a few scenes here or there.
 
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Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
5,204
10,078
113
Has Baldr Sky Steam release been censored and is there an official R18 patch ?
I have no idea about the situation of the game in this domain. A very quick google search gave me that, is this the patch or is it some half-assed mod ?
""
 

sprinkles

Junior Member
Dec 8, 2018
289
448
63
There was an unofficial patch on release day of Baldr Sky (so it was more like a semiofficial patch).
 

Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
3,240
7,366
113
Downunder.
Is this the patch I linked to or should I search more ?
Yes, Shadow Wolf is the one you're after.

In fact, make sure you get all three files here.



Remember, if in doubt, go to VNDB first and foremost, not Reddit. But you can also ask us in this thread too, of course. :flare_smirk:
 
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EdwardTivrusky

Good Morning, Weather Hackers!
Dec 8, 2018
5,284
9,838
113
Li Kao The Movies Patch is 1.8gb and only uncovers some nipples so it's not essential if you want to cut down on download size.
I've had the ShadowWolf patches downloaded for months but only bought Baldr Sky the other day on GOG.
 
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Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
855
1,265
93
Somebody managed to get information about Johren's DRM implementation and it's not great.

Here's everything we know so far:

  • The DRM is Denuvo branded, but appears to be some sort of discount version that offers little protection.
  • The DRM works by you having you enter a license key when starting up the game for the first time.
  • The resulting license is tied to the device and the executable [according to support].
  • If the DRM uses online checks then they are very infrequent, but the way it works probably wouldn't necessitate such checks.
  • You can activate a game on three devices simultaneously.
  • To activate a game on a fourth (etc.) device, you must first deactivate another copy by running "game.exe /revoke" [according to support].
  • Major OS updates or hardware upgrades will be identified as new devices and increase the number of activations [according to support].
  • Even moving files around have caused games with this DRM to require re-authentication, possibly using up an activation.
  • It's not clear if you can deactivate an executable after an upgrade has triggered a new activation and "recover" activations that way, or if they are lost forever. And it seems unlikely that you'd be able to deactivate a game activated on a no longer working OS.
  • You will not be able to revoke activations in case of OS updates, hardware modifications, and "destruction of the device" [according to support]
  • If you run out of activations, then you gotta make a new account and buy the game again [according to support].

On one hand it's nice that you don't have to go through support to manage your licenses, but on the other hand it sucks that you need to manage this shit in the first place or risk losing access to your purchases.
 
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skLaFarebear

MetaMember
Dec 4, 2019
451
858
93
Somebody managed to get information about Johren's DRM implementation and it's not great.

Here's everything we know so far:

  • The DRM is Denuvo branded, but appears to be some sort of discount version that offers little protection.
  • The DRM works by you having you enter a license key when starting up the game for the first time.
  • The resulting license is tied to the device and the executable [according to support].
  • If the DRM uses online checks then they are very infrequent, but the way it works probably wouldn't necessitate such checks.
  • You can activate a game on three devices simultaneously.
  • To activate a game on a fourth (etc.) device, you must first deactivate another copy by running "game.exe /revoke" [according to support].
  • Major OS updates or hardware upgrades will be identified as new devices and increase the number of activations [according to support].
  • Even moving files around have caused games with this DRM to require re-authentication, possibly using up an activation.
  • It's not clear if you can deactivate an executable after an upgrade has triggered a new activation and "recover" activations that way, or if they are lost forever. And it seems unlikely that you'd be able to deactivate a game activated on a no longer working OS.
  • If you run out of activations, then you gotta make a new account and buy the game again [according to support].

On one hand it's nice that you don't have to go through support to manage your licenses, but on the other hand it sucks that you need to manage this shit in the first place or risk losing access to your purchases.
Unbelievable that at the very least, there's no revoke all button/key somewhere either on the exe or the store itself and they expect you to run a /revoke command in the run prompt. Just baffling all around, but maybe i shouldn't be so surprised when the store itself is such a piece of shit as well.

VNs are already one of the most pirated mediums out there because they already deal with the old stigma of "well they're not real games so I'm not gonna pay for them," and this is only going to push more people, justifiably, towards pirating.
 
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Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
3,240
7,366
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Downunder.
I didn't have a good experience buying Dohna Dohna from Johren. First, I tried buying it directly from the store's page. That didn't work. I thought maybe it has something to do with my VPN, so I turned that off. Still no luck.

Then, I decided to try buying their doge coins instead since they have that limited time 15% extra offer. It still doesn't work. The 3D-secure authentication started fine but I always ended up at an error page. Tried it three times and encountered the same result. Then I thought maybe something wrong with my CC. I called my bank to clarify. They said no transaction attempt was recorded from Johren at all. :flare_think:

Confused, I tried purchasing the smallest pack from the "normal" section instead of the limited offer ones. And that, surprisingly, worked.

I have no idea why the store is such a dog's breakfast. I spent almost two hours for a process that shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to complete. I would've given up if the cracked .exe thing isn't proven to be legit. :flare_pout:
 

ExistentialThought

Coffee Lover ♥☕
Feb 29, 2020
696
1,904
93
I owned everything, but Newton and My Fair Princess. I impluse bought My Fair Princess now, not even sure I even wanted it and might return it later.

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ExistentialThought

Coffee Lover ♥☕
Feb 29, 2020
696
1,904
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I have no idea why the store is such a dog's breakfast. I spent almost two hours for a process that shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to complete. I would've given up if the cracked .exe thing isn't proven to be legit. :flare_pout:
Yeah, payment issues on other sites make it hard to buy any VNs outside of Steam. I swear so many of them give off the impression they are selling my card data haha. Johren in particular gives off that vibe.
 
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ZKenir

❀ Child of Raikou ❀
May 10, 2019
1,971
5,213
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Yeah, payment issues on other sites make it hard to buy any VNs outside of Steam. I swear so many of them give off the impression they are selling my card data haha. Johren in particular gives off that vibe.
after the JAST mess whilst migrating to the new website i'm gonna avoid publisher stores as much as possible, they're all shit and to be used only as the last resort and during sales as far as I am concerned
 

Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
3,240
7,366
113
Downunder.
Speaking of JAST's store, they never did restore my past orders. They did restore my games inventory, yes. But not the order page. It only has orders placed since Muramasa.

It's not a big deal since I kept the transaction emails, but overall it's still not a good look for a supposedly fancy new store.

Meanwhile, on Steam we can recall past orders from the very beginning. :flare_lmao:
 

skLaFarebear

MetaMember
Dec 4, 2019
451
858
93
Speaking of JAST's store, they never did restore my past orders. They did restore my games inventory, yes. But not the order page. It only has orders placed since Muramasa.

It's not a big deal since I kept the transaction emails, but overall it's still not a good look for a supposedly fancy new store.

Meanwhile, on Steam we can recall past orders from the very beginning. :flare_lmao:
It's because they only migrated the libraries themselves and not the transaction history, don't ask me why.

Yeah, payment issues on other sites make it hard to buy any VNs outside of Steam. I swear so many of them give off the impression they are selling my card data haha. Johren in particular gives off that vibe.
In MG's defense, once you get over the fact that it looks like a website that hasn't been upgraded since the 90's, I've never had a problem actually buying anything on there for as long as I can remember.
 

ExistentialThought

Coffee Lover ♥☕
Feb 29, 2020
696
1,904
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It's because they only migrated the libraries themselves and not the transaction history, don't ask me why.



In MG's defense, once you get over the fact that it looks like a website that hasn't been upgraded since the 90's, I've never had a problem actually buying anything on there for as long as I can remember.
I had issues with MG, or at least, their prior processor. I think they obtained a new processor last year? Otherwise, I have never been able to purchase something from them without needing to call my bank. I should try it again sometime.

I just wanted to purchase the rest of the KnS series. I never finished the first KnS after the others were barred a Steam releases since I was not sure I would be able to read the whole series.
 

skLaFarebear

MetaMember
Dec 4, 2019
451
858
93
I had issues with MG, or at least, their prior processor. I think they obtained a new processor last year? Otherwise, I have never been able to purchase something from them without needing to call my bank. I should try it again sometime.

I just wanted to purchase the rest of the KnS series. I never finished the first KnS after the others were barred a Steam releases since I was not sure I would be able to read the whole series.
Strange, don't think my CC flagged me once when I tried to purchase from MG, but I'd believe it.

Meanwhile the first time I bought something from DMM my CC company understandably were like "hmmmmmm how about you call us first."
 
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Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
3,240
7,366
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Downunder.
While we're on the payment troubles subject, the fraud protection on the Johren website is actually good ... when it works. It basically sends an OTP via SMS to my mobile number in order to proceed with the payment. So we don't have to call the bank anymore to confirm "yes I'm buying 1000 lot of candles from this site for uh, research purposes". :flare_nekomimi:

Still, I would've preferred it if the OTP can be generated through my bank's authenticator app instead.
 
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Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
855
1,265
93
MangaGamer's current payment processor got my VISA card closed for suspected fraud when I first tried to make purchase, but thankfully I was able to clear it up with my bank pretty easily and get them whitelisted. I haven't had trouble since.
 

EdwardTivrusky

Good Morning, Weather Hackers!
Dec 8, 2018
5,284
9,838
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That reminds me i need to contact my bank and check about MG or contact MG and check with them first. I made a couple of purchases years ago but since they got a new processor none of my orders are accepted.
 
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AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
2,064
4,781
113
Ok I'm finally getting back to Chaos Child after a long break.
I'm about to make my way through all the side character routes, but is it worth getting all the bad endings? There seems to be loads and they're not necessary for the true ending I believe?
 

Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
3,240
7,366
113
Downunder.
The Japanese Windows version of Sharin no Kuni was built using kirikiri engine. The latest version is GPL-licensed, available on multiple platforms., well-documented, and thousands of VNs, small and large were made in this engine, from Fate to Oppai Academy. I don't know why it would take six months to do proper aspect ratio switching when fan projects can already implement the same feature. It just screams incompetence to me.
 

EdwardTivrusky

Good Morning, Weather Hackers!
Dec 8, 2018
5,284
9,838
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The Japanese Windows version of Sharin no Kuni was built using kirikiri engine. The latest version is GPL-licensed, available on multiple platforms., well-documented, and thousands of VNs, small and large were made in this engine, from Fate to Oppai Academy. I don't know why it would take six months to do proper aspect ratio switching when fan projects can already implement the same feature. It just screams incompetence to me.
If you read the reddit i linked which is a repost of the kickstarter message they said the developers were inexperienced with the engine...
We conducted detailed interviews with the development team of this project, and the reasons we were able to determine are that they lacked the technical skills to implement the functions they were trying to achieve, and that the debugging process was lax.
 

Knurek

OG old coot
Oct 16, 2018
1,736
4,092
113
The Japanese Windows version of Sharin no Kuni was built using kirikiri engine. The latest version is GPL-licensed, available on multiple platforms., well-documented, and thousands of VNs, small and large were made in this engine, from Fate to Oppai Academy. I don't know why it would take six months to do proper aspect ratio switching when fan projects can already implement the same feature. It just screams incompetence to me.
No, no, you see, it took them 6 years to reach the understanding they can't do it properly.
6 fucking years...
:negative-blob:
 
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Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
3,240
7,366
113
Downunder.
Muramasa Conqueror Route finished.

I have to say, this route has the lowest low, but also the highest high. There was a point where the story was kind of dragged on, but the payoff is amazing and well worth it. To briefly mention the low point of this route; I didn't care much about the American Dreamers/Green Dragon Society subplot. I understand that they are necessary for the grand scheme Chachamaru has plotted (And what a scheme it was!), but there are much more interesting things with Kageaki and Chachamaru.

And speaking of Chachamaru, she is such a great, fun character. She has a dark past, much like everyone else in this story, but her interactions with Raichou, Kageaki and Muramasa are endlessly quotable. Kanae and Ichijou have plenty of humorous lines in their respective routes, of course, but despite Chachamaru's short route, it ends up being very memorable. Sadly we don't get a proper duel between Raichou and Kageaki since everyone seems to insist that Raichou is the strongest of Rokuhara.

Speaking of great characters, I also like Yagyu Jo'ansai. Perhaps it is the juxtaposition of his soft-spoken mannerism and his mastery of stealth and sword techniques (As the duel between Kageaki and him during the Hero route have proven), but I kind of wish we could know more about him. We know a bit about Sorimachi and his own personal code, it's a shame that Narahara didn't expand Jo'ansai's character a bit more, apart from his personal relationship with Sayo.

Another highlight of the route is seeing Kageaki in Rokuhara uniform, with a very intense look on his face. I don't even know what is so funny about it, but I suppose it's the look of a man who is free of doubt and regret with a generous helping of "ow, the edge!". We don't see too many duels with Kageaki in this state, but thankfully this isn't even Kageaki's top form, as we can observe much later in this route.

One of the most poignant moments in this route is the chance encounter between Muramasa and Tadayasu. I'm glad that despite his loss of sight, Tadayasu is still pretty much the same person, perhaps even with a stronger conviction than before. He's already perceptive when he was introduced in the Prologue, and being able to identify Muramasa as Yuhi's killer within minutes of their encounter is no small feat.

Now, on to the highest high of this route: its unpredictability. Kageaki went from being a Police officer to a government assassin, then to a Rokuhara Colonel, and finally to a God-killer. And it doesn't stop there: there is a math puzzle that we need to solve in order to actually have the chance to kill the God. It's one of the rare occasions that I need to bring out a pen, a piece of paper and a calculator for a non-RPG game. I haven't been using any guide at all, so I find it oddly satisfying to solve the puzzle on my first try. The puzzle itself doesn't take long to solve, but I do wonder what would happen if I gave a wrong answer, since Muramasa the Second threatened a much harder difficulty puzzle if we had failed.

And finally, if Kageaki didn't already have a hard life because of Ginseigo, the reveal about the true nature of Hikaru's dream is ... both illuminating and horrifying at the same time. Obviously, Kageaki --being the way he is-- never forgives himself because of what happened. But logically, the Minato elder is the one to blame here. To excommunicate Kageaki's father because of circumstances beyond his control, and ordered Kageaki to take responsibility because of it -- it didn't sit very well with me. It's not a stretch to say that a similar thing has happened even in real life.


I still don't know what to make out from the Epilogue. Who are these Warlords, and why do they follow The Law Of Balance as their creed? Looks like there's another route yet to come.
 
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