Category Archives: Back To The Future

Angels Of Death – S.A.L.S. AOD-2

Angels Of Death – Severe Acute Laziness Syndrome (SALS AOD-2)

Good morning! Here we are back with the Back To The Future column, EleRantula writing!

As those who follow us know, in this column we retrace step by step, from game to game, the history of the current Horror RPG (abbreviated to HOR-RPG many times) …

This will be the last article. For us, the Storytelling Focus Generation ends here. There will be many questions from you, including:

“But there are and there will be many other games that will make Horror RPG history, you can’t stop at 2016! For example, there is Omori who- “

 “ That will be discussed in due course… ”

(On the Tin Coffee Pot Time, where you’ll see these cute little faces!)


All this paraphrase is to say that the time machine of Back To The Future stops at Angels of Death because, even if you surely say no, many (if not all) other games today take inspiration from this title. 

So, whether it’s for marketing methods or from the point of view of the actual development of the game… Angels Of Death was a blueprint.
The one from which many now take inspiration and that even authors treated here in Back To The Future use to rejuvenate themselves.

What, however, we consider a “virus” (citing, even improperly, the pandemic in progress) for this current.

Let’s use the time machine for the last time: due to all our travels it got a bit bruised, but this is the last effort it will have to make to take us to …


Product History

Yes, to 2015.

“But Google says 2016!”

As if we were to trust the Steam releases as the beginning of the entire Product History …

If you search any Wikipedia, you can find this information:

And therefore from this we can draw only one conclusion, which we also found in the case of Cloé’s Requiem …

Guys, we have to resign ourselves: the era of the “game published individually by an independent lil’author that then became popular because of its value!” is OVER and also by quite a piece.

Let’s see for a moment what the … “Denfa Minico Game Magazine” is.

Or maybe we should say “Den Fami Nico Game Magazine”!

(The page this screenshot comes from was created to advertise the manga about the game in 2017, but it takes you back to the original Den Fami Nico Game Magazine page, where it appears to have been advertised for the first time, even before release. of the multilingual version on Steam)

Ok, so Den Fami is an indie game distribution site…

As you can see, it also initially released games that are now leading the way in the current “Indie-RPGMAKER-Horror” in Japan, including The Case Book Of Arne and Noel And The Mortal Fate…

But let’s see who works on this… Magazine.

The company appears to be called Vaka . Let’s see their “About Us” page.

That’s how mafia indie game developing works.

So, back to how Angels Of Death started…

Yes, even in this case it went forward because of contacts.

This method is not new to Sanada , we learned from The Forest Of Drizzling Rain case that he was acquainted with those in the manga field.

But above all, this way of working is not even new to the creative field in general. Contacts are the basis of everything , you have to meet people, get involved, make affiliations… In short, a big mess if you ask what I think.

So, certainly for the Japanese public, the sponsorship of this game, initially released as free (you can still download an old Japanese version in fact) has existed since 2015 …

And from this all my prelude derived, which was also meant to confirm what we mentioned in the article on Cloé’s Requiem and which we will deepen later …

But as we all know Angels Of Death was known around the world in 2016 via Steam.

And here the interesting things to say about the game’s development history are over.

Really, it’s almost boring how much this game has gone on normally.

Positive reviews …

Negative … (Yes, I filtered the negative reviews because there are only 193 compared to the positive ones, more than 2000)

But, in general, its release did not cause much sensation in the public : it was a normal game that for was popular for some time and it was liked by many.

At least, in the West …

As far as I know, in our slice of the world we barely had the Collector’s Edition of the Switch version of the game, complete with action figures.

But in Japan… Oh mom, in Japan.
Here we are dealing with a COLOSSUS.

And you know that when I mention the reception in the outside world, if I don’t take interesting comments from videos or reviews I quote all the accolades that the game has had, to give you the slightest idea of ​​its spread.

Today I will make this list in a much more excited way first of all because it is the last time …

But above all because it is the most incredible and sensational case to date.



COLLECTION OF PARODIC STRIPS !! (in the genre of “My Hero Academia: Smash !!” or “One Piece PARTY”) 5 VOLUMES !!

(With the second volume that has the same subtitle as the second Deadly Premonition …?)

These … Two more things here … So NOT ONE, BUT TWO ARTBOOKS !!
(Even if one is a Fan Book… I don’t quite understand how it works…)

And at the end…


We are at the highest points right now!!

Do you think it’s over with the anime ?! Did you think AoD hasn’t grown even more ?!

But of course not! The anime has brought all the benefits of having an animated series from an established studio in Japan …

(In the photo the voice actress Haruka Chisuga and the voice actor Nobuhiko Okamoto, voice actors of Ray and Zack in the anime)

And I didn’t count the merchandise shops!

So guys, after discovering this whole empire that created what was not a very virtuous indie game (as we saw with Pocket Mirror) with too many contacts to support it … It seems almost strange to me to talk about THIS GAME on a column in which it was written about that little fish that was Cloé’s Requiem, about Mad Father and The Witch’s House which after the release on Switch remained in a very long stalemate at the level of fandom.

This is the longest list of… Acknowledgments? Let’s call them this, that I’ve ever done in this whole column.

I should, generally, pass the ball to my sister asking you how, in your opinion, Angels Of Death became such a large commercial giant so malleable by large corporations … But, since it is the last article, I would like to conclude sort of the last time you’ll ever see this section of Back To The Future.

“Product History” in these… How many, two years? Went through ups and downs.

This I would consider one of the downs, actually. Really, before the development of the game … There was, honestly, nothing. Or rather, nothing that I can find or that I consider interesting. It started as a project after The Forest Of Drizzling Rain, Sanada had contact with Vaka who thought about the distribution… And it ends here. I have not found anything that would make me theorize like in the case of Cloé’s Requiem, nor a mixed reception like Mogeko Castle or even some kind of track from years and years before the game was released, like in the cases of Pocket Mirror or Corpse Party.

Yes, the Product History section has often been short and I bet anyone who reads these articles may have skipped it many times.

In the introduction to the Back To The Future column we say, about this section:

Sometimes it could include research and analysis of the history of the work from its creation to distribution, but in most cases it will be analyzed (often for lack of data) the impact it has had on the public – large public – and in what context it was launched. We speak of “general public” when we mean all those types of spectators or players who have nothing to do with the RPG Maker community, who often don’t even know what this tool is. The audience therefore becomes for us a yardstick for measuring the impact of the work in the “outside world”, analyzing what types of fandoms were born from the titles that have become an icon of the current, then in some cases become real media phenomena .

And in general we always ask ourselves this question:

Is the RPG Maker universe really relegated to being an amateur phenomenon? Or could we invest in a new market?

To answer we cannot just relegate ourselves to analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the game and / or analyzing it internally together with what we call the “Author-Work Relationship”, that is how they treat their work.

To find out if you can invest in new markets, if you can go further from the indie RPG Maker, as Undertale did in the case of Game Maker … We need to know the whole context behind it ; the beginning, development and conclusion of the history of development of what we will then analyze. It’s useful to understand in which situation the people who “did it” to do something complete , or it serves to understand why “certain titles did not have the success they deserved” without necessarily giving blame it on the “strong corporations who only want their things” or the “idiot sheepish crowd who gulps down only cheap or commercial products”: we have seen in the case of Mogeko Castle that, even if it was really a valid title for a great commercialization (at the same level of Angels Of Death, I bet it!) … Nothing has ever been done, because in my research I have not noticed a really large or intense distribution of the game.

Because to analyze a phenomenon you must first spend hours and hours on the PC on various Wiki, Japanese Wikipedia with a translator, official sites, forums, Japanese indie game distribution sites (until I have written in this column I had no idea of ​​sites like freegame.mugen and Freem!, even though some people might have known them for years) …
Descend further and further down the rabbit hole until you say “okay, I think that’s enough information to write!” even if you know that you will never have absolute knowledge , you know that you have certainly missed a detail or two because you were not there to analyze the phenomenon while it was happening and you arrived late or even just because of linguistic or cultural barriers…

But these searches, in the end, must always be enough to construct a discourse . To know why the hell “this game went like this” in the market or even why “this game IS like this”, because you will surely know that many times the substance of a game derives strongly from the context in which it was made , to give a basis on which everything written in the other sections of the articles in this column can be founded.

In my opinion it is the most tiring of Back To The Future, not to brag or play the victim (Ele wrote all the paragraphs on Product History), because there is a lot of research to be done and information to filter, know which ones are still valid, interesting, useless, evaluate what is worth talking about and make a case study interesting and what is actually normal to do, know if any sources are still reliable and / or how to do it one can construct a discourse on all the researches made.

But I’ve never regretted researching. I discovered a lot of scoop writing for Back To The Future, delving into this current as much as I can through all these “development histories “. They made me learn a lot about how a market can work (and you will hear some good ones in the next sections, I tell you!), How you can sponsor yourself, how far you can go and many other things that I will surely treasure during the work that the Ludi Tarantula team is doing for his game, which we have mentioned a few times here in the Archives.

I still don’t say goodbye to you , because I will certainly be in the next sections of this other great article that will mark the end of the Back To The Future column and possibly the end of the Ludi Tarantula Archives together with what will be the article on the “Selfish Confort Dilemma” …

But in any case, as when the day comes to an end in the streets and the first shops start closing, the Product Story of the most influential Horror RPGs ends here, with one of those games that has managed to rise to the upper floors that we have. never known here in the Indie game field.

At this point, let’s explain why corporations have been able to give Angels Of Death so much space!

Let’s face it right away …

It is because it is the RPG Horror that comes closest to the anime product. Really, even those who liked it think so!

We’ll talk about why later in this paragraph, but let’s think about this very thing. Why has an anime-like product become so popular?

The reason is more trivial than you think . We had already discussed it when in the reviews column we talked about Midnight Train and we will bring this out to the last part of this article …

Unfortunately, from what we have noticed, above all the current of Horror RPGs is mainly followed by passive spectators , despite being videogames.

So we started to evaluate Horror RPGs as if they were just their stories, as if they were for example an anime or similar.

The Angels Of Death phenomenon is a direct consequence of this, simply . As we said in that article, this “passive-invasion” (yes, I take inspiration from the British invasion of the 60 ‘) or the invasion by passive spectators of the videogame world has led to the exaltation of types of products that have great passive works as masters !

So Angels Of Death was able to take a very large slice of the public … In fact, to PLAY Angels Of Death you don’t even have to be a player anymore! So much so, it’s a B-rated shonen / seinen done on RPG Maker, in the end!

And that was a good trigger to make it what it is today.

But what actually made it a bit more edgy anime and done on a video game engine?
We will divide this answer into two points, as we did for the Mogeko Castle’s narrative registers.

-The characters

If not the plot (even it is fully marketable too), many say that the strong point of Angels Of Death are the characters.

From a personal point of view, I can tell you that they are, from first to last, stereotyped and also very annoying … But this is actually the point.

They are weird. They are crazy killers, but since they are put down in a certain way they are glamorous.

Let’s talk about this guy, for example.

Zack or Isaac Foster. Even before entering the … Building of the Angels? (It doesn’t exactly have a name, I made up something on the spot) he He’s always been a killer because of a troubled past, which also brought all those bandages on his body.

(From V For Vendetta by James McTeigue, 2006)
Yeah, the reason why Zack has those bandages is this, right?

So we, as sane people, take it for granted that a killer is someone the game is supposed to “distance” from us , someone we can’t sympathize with or, in any case, would have the role of an antihero or similar characters.

Just a little parenthesis …

I appreciate how he is almost more of an idiot in the game, compared to the manga and the anime.

(Some of his quotes genuinely make me laugh, I admit) 

While it doesn’t make too much sense with his killer nature at the moment, this contrast could have created a good character in my opinion: example, the anti-hero role I mentioned earlier.

But speaking of practically all the serious scenes of the game and all the adaptations of this title…

What is emphasized about Zack?

Literally a “bad boy” with a heart of gold who has the questionable hobby of killing people and generally being a PSYCHOPATH, impulsive and problematic!

…But these last three traits are only brought up when the narrative requires it.

Otherwise, Zack doesn’t seem to have any “disagreeable” or unjustified traits.

So his calling himself a “monster” does not become a demonstration of self-awareness for which, however, Zack refuses to improve himself … But simply the tropos that the abusive educator brainwashes the child who then brings these ideas about himself as an adult .

And in this scene, totally contradicting the psychopath that he is, Zack feels some kind of empathy towards Ray. In fact the distorted view that Ray has of him as “God” sickens him.

Okay, but why does he care at all?

IN THEORY Ray is no longer useful for his purpose, Zack should just … Leave her there. I don’t want to be evil or anything, just trying to get in the mind of someone who should be insensible to these things, given the fact that he is a serial killer, so something similiar to a full-on psychopath.

Well, that’s in theory.

But Angels Of Death in its characters needed these elements:

-A design that is… Flashy, to say the least.

-Something that can at least resemble ambiguity …

In the case of Zack a crazy side, which makes him “sparkling”…

But he is still able to feel empathy.

-But, in cases like Zack’s (and, in the manga and anime, Eddie) a dramatic and exciting story to accompany him, so that we can understand him (in our opinion) at 360 °. This topic will be explored in the article on the “Selfish Confort Dilemma”

-Instead for many other characters, attitudes so extreme that they always keep the audience awake.

Cathy is one of the most “trashy” and extreme characters in the game: she has one of the most dramatic and longest chapters and her personality is literally “HAHA! Torture to whom I consider scum is so great! ” I mean… Um, no one knows exactly what kind of people she refers to exactly, but shortly you don’t have to get on Cathy’s nerves.

In fact, she is another of the most popular characters.

I tell you, it is not even a bad thing to deal with or even just create certain characters . Even series like Danganronpa use the aforementioned expedient for many of them to make themselves recognizable.

Nagito Komaeda is one of the more twisted characters in the series, even more than Kokichi Ouma from Danganronpa V3. And guess what? he Is one of my favorites and his sudden actions entertained me during Danganronpa 2 Goodbye Despair.

Genocide Jack (or Genocider Syo) another personality of Toko Fukawa , killer of “cute boys” becomes one of the main twists of the second chapter of the game. she is one of the most iconic characters of the first Danganronpa and is explored further in Ultra Despair Girls.

Angie Yonaga , the girl at the center of the image, revolves around the stereotype of the extreme religious girl, in general. In chapter 3 she becomes the main reason for “movement” and conflict.

So we can conclude that the “personality” of the game is all about the characters and how extreme or even just weird they can be. It makes them objectively more appealing and their being eccentric convinces the viewer of their unpredictability , so that they are more convinced to follow the work just to see how the aforementioned will act. This title has only extended this concept to all characters in the game.

So the characters in Angels Of Death may or may not be written well, but you have to admit what the heck, they work really well.

Another element that many seem to ignore in a game since it is taken for granted, when instead in my opinion it is CRUCIAL to make it marketable …

The direction.

We have already talked about directing with Mad Father and Cloé’s Requiem, and we will talk about it in what will be the latest article in the Ludi Tarantula Archives.

Direction is practically one of the means to mark whether a work is suitable for a large audience or whether it is an authorial product . Directing a marketable product gives the viewer as much as possible in terms of emotions: for example, a sad scene has saad music, whining from many characters (in the most extreme cases or even, in the negative, over-dramatic) … In short, the emotion is exaggerated to communicate it to the viewer at best. This is what a more typical direction of an authorial product, or simply a drier direction does not do.

As a person who has been involved in directing the cutscene for a long time, I tell you that it is very difficult for some (for example myself) to be able to do the first type of direction. You are afraid of falling into the ridiculous, in the simple over-drama, make the scene look fake …

(I took this scene as an example because it is dramatic and flat of pathos thanks to the music)

But my God, I have to learn that DRAMA WORKS!

We already talked about the inspiration from passive works in the case of Mogeko Castle …

And we have already talked about dramatic direction in the case of Mad Father. I still consider it one of the greatest exponents in the Horror RPG field who has managed to do a dramatic direction… Called “cheesy” by many.

Heck, just say you don’t like Mad Father, because Angels Of Death has some pretty good drama spikes too.

While the use of pixel-2D graphics doesn’t do justice to what an anime shot can be, we understand that in terms of directing, Angels Of Death really does its job.

This is also due to the fact that I really like Makoto Sanada’s drawing style, but I liked how the two “Show image” appeared in terms of rhythm…

Like this part where the action scene is over and Cathy is dead: in short, when you exit plan B3. You can feel the whole atmosphere of an “aftermath”, the music makes a lot of atmosphere while you discover the latest info on Cathy and do the last things to go to the next floor.

For this second case, after the excited scene Sanada does not let the music go into fade and / or leaves us in complete silence for these last parts, which for example I would have done a long time ago, when I was learning to direct cutscene, but  still accompanies us with music.

From the types of scenes that are created (the so much action that the story gives helps in this, that’s what I mean by “marketable plot”), the various gimmicks and even the music used that, even if we will discover in the Author-Work Relationship a bad enough thing about the Angels Of Death music that will make us drop the magic a bit, they are really spot on and, again, this thing is not easy to accomplish

It’s all so anime, so positively dramatized to the extreme that the scenes , even by those who didn’t like the game (like me) are always and anyway impossible to ignore and strike a lot in terms of impression, even if the concepts they communicate can be part of a problematic writing.

Everything I am saying will seem very little , or for some it will seem stupid notes … But we have seen with Pocket Mirror and other games with disastrous direction that creating a “classic anime scene” I repeat that is not not at all simple and getting something like music and rhythms right is something to appreciate every time.

So, we talked about what makes Angels Of Death work. I have written relatively little , compared to what will be in the Defects of the Opera … But let’s face reality.

In today’s times, captivating characters and dramatic direction that gives exaggerated emotions are the only two things that matter. We’ll get a better look at this through all the flaws Angels Of Death has but…

In the Archives, many merits of many different games have been written. We have certainly given context to the words we wrote many times: the merits we listed were also given by the common opinion that people had in games …

Now for the puzzles (Ao Oni), now for the suggestiveness (Pocket Mirror), now for the depth of the characters (Cloé’s Requiem – We have dedicated an entire appendix to the characters of Nubarin and Nanashi No Chiyo!).

As the introduction to the Back To The Future column also says, the aim of the Trump Card section was to find out how the game treated itself positioned itself in the Horror RPG timeline , why it was a more iconic, shiny or whatever you like compared to so many other games that are considered minor. In short, how it makes itself recognizable in the boundless sea that is this videogame current.

With Angels Of Death we have reached the end. The only reasons why a game is now appreciated by the public is a direction that works and that gives what it has to give in terms of emotions and captivating, characters that are problematic but at the same time perfect enough so that they can cause various positive effects on various audiences. And this is one of the reasons why the Horror RPG story ends with Angels Of Death for us.

Because if we were to describe their way of building a recognizability line for so many other games today, we would have to list the same two things every time.

But now, with this second category of Back To The Future concluded, let’s go to what we can define …

Thermometer of… Professionalism?

Thermometer of Professionalism

Compared to the other articles, where PaoGun was passing through the points that make up the Thermometer of Professionalism, for this last article … You will spend even more time with me!

…Of course, that’s not a good thing at all.


Here, we are already starting very well with a nice black smoke instead of the usual Thermometer…

As you can see, over the course of the last few articles it has taken quite a few hits, up to this point.

Very well…

As in the article on Cloé’s Requiem, the sections will have a different order.

You know that we usually follow this order: Packaging -> Author / Work Relationship -> Defects of the Work.

Again for the sake of convenience, even today we will overturn these rules.

There will be the Defects of the Work , then the Packaging will come and then, in the end, the Author-Work Relationship

Thinking about it, this increasing importance of the Author-Work Relationship compared to the Defects of the game itself really makes us think about how much, in today’s market, an interesting story or even the personality of an author behind a product matters more, than judging the work itself.

But we will talk about this in the Packaging and in the Author-Work Relationship, all together.

For now, after saying why Angels Of Death works …
Let’s say the things that actually as a product, although it suits us in the market, does not make it a complete videogame “blockbuster” , because they impact on the overall quality of the game.

Defects of the Work

Yes, I’m still in this section too! I really don’t want to get out of the way, huh?

We will also go through the flaws of Angels Of Death together, so …

Let’s say right away that I’ll be objective: I don’t like A LOT of things about this game , but I will also objectively comment on those that, although I find them very annoying, are considered minor defects , such as the last one we will talk about. These types of defects have little impact on the overall gaming experience and only if you go to re-play, analyze or even just re-watch the title a second time, can they be seen.
But Angels Of Death also suffers from two problems which in our opinion, both members of the Ludi Tarantula Team, have a huge impact when playing even for the first time.

Let’s get rid of the most painful problem now.

You know, illogicality (which we will talk about at the end of the Defects Of The Work) is not the worst thing that can happen to this game.

This is actually a big flaw my sister noticed , but I agree with her that it’s the biggest sin and mistake of the whole game, along with the gameplay (more on that later) .

Unjustified changes in tone.

From floor B6 to floor B3 we have a rather linear tone. The captivating storyline that we have described above, with the direction we have described above. All okay, a fairly edgy dark work, but also enjoyable, I admit.

From the B2 floor, I don’t know what the hell Sanada was thinking, a long phase starts…

Very long…



PHASE OF HALLUCINOGENS AND MENTAL BLOWJOBS ON GOD WHEN THE ONLY THING WE HAD TO DO WAS FIND A DEVIL OF MEDICINE FOR A CHRISTIAN (We thought we’d make this joke because in the Pugliese italian dialect people are called “cristiani” so “Christians”), WE CAN TRULY SAY IT, THAT IS BLEEDING TO DEATH!

Really, these phases serve NOTHING for development of the plot , the medicines (since from the beginning of the game we have Zack who knows that this is an assassin structure) could be taken right away when we were still on floor B5: you know, just to be careful!

So, in addition to the total uselessness of these phases, which only exist to offer a minimum of puzzles and “gameplay” that we didn’t have FOR THE ENTIRE GAME (but we’ll talk about it later) …


No, no, no…

Why… It… It doesn’t make any sense…

(Notice how Gray at this point, before the next screenshot scene, VICTIMIZE those who are actually murderers for blaming Ray without any heck of a sense. Should that be something that makes this work controversial? Provocative? When in reality it just sends a disgusting message to those who are multiple killers because the narrative … To be brief, it sucks at sending a controversial message that should be the one of the whole game. But back to us, if I continue it will get nighttime before I even expect it.)

Sanada, I thought you grew up from this…

Exactly! A total change of tones that makes the part of the game dedicated to the B2 floor unnecessarily abstract in a sinister attempt to try miserably to make this work profound, intelligent or in general that wants to deal with big themes!

Hell, we went from cutting off a woman’s hand with nonchalance and indeed, this action is even glorified and / or made “cool” and action …

To a courtroom scenario? With the JUDGMENT OF GOD ?!

Seriously? The whole game up to B2 was a GLORIFICATION of breaking one of the 10 Commandments of the Moses tablets: Thou shalt not kill. We said it: the characters of the assassins have been made beautiful, glamorous and captivating with the mad scientist with the story of the double eye: ooh interesting! The gravedigger child who is in love with Ray even though he wants to kill her: what a beautiful contrast between childhood love and wanting to kill! Wow, duality between something childish and something serious and IMMORAL! Cathy treats torture as something to be spectacular! Wow, so sick!
(Monokuma had been doing it since 2012, but I’ll leave this out …)

Zack himself … Basically a “killer with reasons” with which we should LIKE him because dear spectator, you too want to kill anyone you think is of deplorable morals …

Now YOU Sanada , who have kept the game going in total action edgy, have made assassins beautiful in our eyes , making us assume that Angels Of Death is one of those over-the-top works that sometimes simply ignores even those that are the common morals when one is from the point of view of sick people (or in any case not so stable folks) …

Example: In Danganronpa V3 Killing Harmony, an incestuous relationship is involved between Korekiyo Shinguuji and his sister. This is wrong and Korekiyo is always seen (even before and especially in this moment) as a creepy person.

You distort us ALL THE VISION WE MUST HAVE OF THE WORK, to make a nice speech about the will of God, about “our will”, about what is right, what is wrong …?

But wait, to give us these kinds of complicated and real beautiful speeches, or even just make us think about these …

Isn’t the job of works that start out as COMPLICATED already?

Hell no, Angels Of Death! Commercial “trash” (with “trash” I mean something more “light”, I don’t know if I explained myself) you were born and commercial trash you stay! That’s not how the tones of a narrative work are made!

What the hell is now, at the last moment, this pseudo-ambiguous symbology (but which actually has little or no meaning) of the killers as “angels of death” and which therefore need to be justified?

Was Kira also an angel of death then, Sanada? Is this the vision that the game wants to provide on those who commit damn GENOCIDES?

Damn! Light Yagami existed to be opposed by L! Light Yagami represented man’s temptation to have power over the life of others and how man can be CORRUPTED by it …

Death Note on this topic creates a whole speech, from the first to the last episode !
There are constant symbologies to the church, to God… But that’s okay there.
Because the entire opening and concept of the work starts from an interesting human paradox and that paradox is studied, even without giving any answer … Because there is no universally accepted certain answer to these issues, at least not totally.

Really Sanada, what the hell is this your habit of putting big themes into pure entertainment plots? In the Trump Card I have been really tame, your characters work well, I have understood the mechanism (if I didn’t make that seen enough, I’m a Danganronpa fan, so I’m also used to these “extreme” characters) …

But these changes in tone are not justified with a “hmm, you’re too critical”. They also bothered me a lot the first time I played Angels Of Death. What did you expect? That I would not have been there skipping the dialogues throughout the philosophizing of Gray and the other characters about who God is, what God wants, the impure, the pure …

I didn’t open the game for this! I didn’t come here for this!

So, heck, how should I take Angels Of Death?

I’ll never know! Because on the one hand we have the first 3 floors that show us that it is an over the top, sparkling, action-packed work …

On the other hand, we have the last two which are full of mental jerking on major themes…

So: Angels Of Death is deep or not?

(Uhm, yes, I would say no to you because the “big themes” are limited to kilos and kilos of useless dialogues from the characters and no serious discussion, because the game always has the “trash” frame of the first three plans, which makes this title unsuitable for dealing with the big issues … But well, I leave the question open!)

And as if that weren’t enough … There is also the gameplay to discuss. Yes, even that is not safe from my perennial wrath.

… Although many other people have had the same feelings that I have.

In other games we have seen the gameplay was done well, with communication problems (Akemi Tan, Ao Oni), very forced and fallacious (as we have seen here on the Ludi Tarantula Archives in the very old review of “A Figment Of Discord”) or a lot standard to have nothing to say about it.

… The gameplay in Angels Of Death is not there.

The experience is practically this: after a long cutscene, FIVE STEPS are counted … And another one immediately starts!

Look, without further ado, ssince we’re talking about gameplay let’s compare Angels Of Death with another gameplay we’ve analyzed:

We have seen with Mad Father that the way in which you get to the main scenes works really well: always provides obstacles consistent with the plot and / or the context in which we are, together with an integration of the exploration of the immense mansion of the Drevis through which we find the means to move forward. This creates a huge phase in which the player is free to practically do whatever they please, even though they know that the goal is to move forward in the story by eliminating the obstacle (which can be a puzzle, or even just something that doesn’t keep us going in general as a spirit). Although, in any case, the player does not feel that they are lost in a “gameplay phase” totally detached from the story, because the phases in which you play are connected in a very strong way with what, if not, would have been a very long and boring cutscene.

This keeps the player active, this makes them sense that they exist because they are doing their job: helping Aya to counter the effects of the curse. It is literally what a game has to do and the main reason why you play a video game and not watch a passive work! The player’s interaction with the game world, the IMMERSION also given by “feeling like a protagonist”!

“The plot has to go on somehow”

But can it really be done only and only with stupid cutscenes?
Mad Father tells us no, despite being as story-driven as Angels Of Death.

But even if you don’t want to do a gameplay like Mad Father’s…

I can really give you a lot of examples of how you could keep the player awake, even if a story was being told, but I’ll just mention one.

This is the opening scene of “What Remains Of Edith Finch”, winner of a 2018 Best Fiction Award at the British Academy Games Awards.

In fact, the game focuses on a rather busy narrative and as far as I can understand (as a game, mea culpa, I still have to play it!) there do not seem to be more “free roaming” moments where the player is totally alone. The game itself was considered a walking simulator.

But even just looking at this opening scene, I can understand that someone capable worked on this title. It was all about the art department and the suggestion, making the player walk in an environment that, even if it is known to Edith, is new to the player.

I know very well that this scene, compared to those shown in Angels Of Death, should be an initial, very evocative, presentation scene. But I particularly care about one element …

The game with the girl’s narration slowly presenting the context in which the story will then move, lets the player interact with the environment from almost every point of view. As players we know that there is a linear path that we can follow, but in any case we can look around, go back… And the game doesn’t stop us from doing it.

The narrative is driven BY THE PLAYER.  The game waits for the player to move forward, lets them go for their own time. In the end, it is the player who has to lead Edith, what’s the point of blocking them?

We can conclude from this that in well-done titles you don’t put rockets on your back because without cutscenes or massive scenes in general, the atmosphere is lost.

The person who lives the experience is not tossed left and right by the game because “the plot must go on” , it is not pulled away because the characters have to do everything. In good titles, the game trusts you, because in the end YOU have to lead the protagonist.

And a well made title does that.

And this gives the experience a beautiful effect: you always have a certain type of control over what you are doing, you always have the brain active, even if you immerse yourself completely in the game and in its narration (for story-driven titles). I consider this the beauty of video games and that, as a game developer, I tell you that it is very difficult to do: if you do not find the lazy expedient of the “phase with the puzzles” you must have a monstrous ability to integrate everything without letting the player go too out of the way but at the same time don’t make them feel constrained.

And I got all these nice words out of what is considered a walking simulator. Then, automatically, a very simple gameplay. But a gameplay is there and you can feel it from the point of view of the immersion.

So does it still seems acceptable that a narrative can only go on in cutscenes and that the only reason for you to walk around a bit is to solve some puzzles or even just give you those five minutes to save, because after five steps the narration still goes on?

Because really, I don’t consider this to be driving players, but dragging zombies!

“Employee #427’s job was simple: he sat at his desk in Room 427 and he pushed buttons on a keyboard. Orders came to him through a monitor on his desk telling him what buttons to push, how long to push them, and in what order.
Although others may have considered it soul rending, Stanley relished every moment that the orders came in, as though he had been made exactly for this job. And Stanley was happy.”
-Introduction to The Stanley Parable, 2013 game developed by Galactic Cafe

Really, every time I play Angels Of Death I feel exactly like that.
Am I exaggerating? I don’t think so.

But why is this a problem?

I already made this speech during the review of Midnight Train, a minor title by author Lydia.

Let’s start by saying that the various difficulties to be overcome in the game are not directly connected in a certain way to the plot … But they seem a mere outline!

There is a reason for this, though.

Unfortunately, from what we have noticed, above all the current of Horror RPGs is mainly followed by passive spectators, even if they are video games.

Thanks to the youtubers, mainly, they were able to approach these fan titles, for example, of anime, TV series, movies, etc., because even if the videos were about video games … The spectators were passive always and in any case, since someone was playing other.

So we started to evaluate Horror RPGs as if they were just their stories, as if they were for example an anime (eh, how many times have we seen attempts to make Ib cutscenes animated, for example?) or similar , but this is also thanks to a gameplay that in many cases (including two of the “masters” Ib and Mad Father) was closely linked to the story and the environments, therefore indivisible from it, and also an integral part of the atmosphere.

This “gaming devaluation” of RPG Horror, this almost lowering it only to “a good story” and that’s it has led to this: people who have never been gamers who “pretend” to make products for gamers.

But the problem here is even bigger.
Lydia was an independent author who, alone, gave birth to the deformed baby that is Midnight Train. But, in fact, Lydia was a victim of the devaluation of RPG Horror in general and, in unconsciousness , gave birth to a really lazy gameplay.

But, in fact, she did it unconsciously.

Angels Of Death had professionals behind its publicity, so I assume it was overseen by a sizable team of people even during its development: resources were not limited at all and knowledge of the market and / or knowledge of how to behave when developing a video game was not limited. The people behind Angels Of Death were perfectly aware of everything they were doing , but whoever took care of the game didn’t care about … Making it a video game.

And this is one of the reasons for the title of the article, why “laziness” was brought out. Those who want to establish themselves as professionals are literally saying, while developing a VIDEO GAME that it is not important to play!

So, in short, they disrespect the video game in favor of a passive work, such as an anime.

So, even more briefly, (I dare to say it) they have given the shit out of the media and used the video game not as the primary way to tell their story, but only as a stupid means of getting to what they really wanted: an animated series!

And do you know the problem?

This mentality is not limited only to this title.

… But we will see this in the author-work relationship.

Before moving on to that, let’s talk about the last problem.


Let’s face it, anyone could tell us that the writing of Angels Of Death is incomplete, problematic and is based for many elements on insights given by the manga or in general derivative works.

Really, Eddie was really foolishly defeated in the game but the writer wanted an excuse to show his face … So it shows in the anime and manga.

But… Yes, from the fact that we put this point in the end you will understand that this is not the worst , although I will be very, VERY angry also on this point.

Since we have to speak for indicative examples, we will explain this… Not excellent writing (which is actually found in multiple parts of the game) with one of the more serious examples.

So through the link between this…

And this.

I … I don’t even need to explain it to you. Just looking at these two screenshots you can see this gigantic plot hole.

“It is said that Ray has been lying all this time!”

Well no! It wasn’t Ray who told Zack that she is a sacrifice and even if it was, we are explicitly told that RAY IS A SACRIFICE. There are not even any clues , any elements that could lead us on the way to which Ray is not a normal sacrifice in the … Construction, but a owner of a floor!

No, we are told for the whole game that she is a sacrifice and she is treated by EVERYONE as a sacrifice! I challenge you to play Angels Of Death again and find a minimum element before plan B2 that can in the least lead you back to an origin of Ray as the owner of a floor!

“What if it was all concocted to make us believe she was a sacrifice too? What if Ray had “made an agreement” with the whole system to have her treated as a sacrifice? “

My answer remains the same: there is no indication that she is a master of the floor …  EVEN WHEN SHE IS ALONE. Why should she pretend when she is alone ?! Why isn’t there any kind of foreshadowing either? At least to show that Ray’s is not a normal case, it’s an anomalous case, something!

I don’t care if these things are “explained in the manga”, “explained in the prequel”, explained who knows where. A PLOT HOLE remains in the game , the largest in the entire title, which already does not boast excellent writing, as we said before.


Okay, we have a menu that I personally don’t like.

But it must be said that a logo of THAT DIMENSIONS and simple “New Game” “Load Game” “Exit”, with a bloodstain that immediately immerse us in the “edgyness” of the whole game immediately give the brand idea , which we must become attached to , because we must BUY , the games that have that logo!

Okay, hysterical delusions aside, we’ve talked too much about such a meager menu.

Let’s move on to the UI!

Okay… It was held the same since The Forest Of Drizzling Rain, but this time you can’t see the map behind…
I thought the move to more established teams and publishers would make the game upgrade from this point of view as well …

You know, for a game played by professionals at least I expect more, right …?

Instead, they wanted to keep it simple , with only the half-body of Ray dominating the screen, to compensate for the once again sparse menus.

Come on guys, Angels Of Death is a professional game… Let’s see the maps!

Those, even if not much mentioned by my sister in this paragraph, are also part of the packaging because they have a very important role in the style of the entire title that is then played, it is precisely where the player will move, where the scenes happen, literally what makes up the scenography of the events-

Um… I mean…

Photography and certain sporadic scene elements, such as the reflections of the windows and the moon in the maps of the last few episodes certainly dampen the effect …

But if we take the photography away, we get this:

And… And my reaction always remains this one…!

“12 euros? 25,000 lire for this shit here? But it’s madness! ”
“Madness? Don’t you know this map is from Makoto Sanada? One of the greatest living developers in the current Horror RPG? ”
“What developer is that, my map designer with 5,000 lire does it better!”
(Values ​​appropriately changed to suit the situation … Because 30,000 lire is little more than the price of the game.)
-Three Men and A Leg (Tre Uomini E Una Gamba), 1997, Aldo Baglio, Giacomo Poretti, Giovanni Storti, Massimo Venier.

And in fact, I can show you that games that have had half the visibility, success, MONEY AND PEOPLE that Angels of Death has had and earned demonstrate much more commitment to dealing with game scenarios!

Accha, as madlad that she is, totally changed the perspective of RPG Maker: because she DID NOT LIKE it, she wanted the side scrolling game because it looked good, and she did! In fact the maps are beautiful!

Now, moving on to another title, let us see some maps of The Witch’s House without lighting, please!

The Witch’s House, even in its first version, has some beautiful maps: even in this game some of them can’t stand comparison with many titles today, but I see a certain taste in the general composition of these environments …

Or at least DECENT window tilesets!

(What are these drawn with? Paint ?!)

Hell, do we want to talk about Sen?

Dudley and The Mysterious Tower was not successful, let’s also say it was a colossal flop… But in the maps it immediately put down a clear style, with well customized and stylish tilesets, as well as sprites.

And the Mad Father remake?
… And at this point we also count that of The Witch’s House, since they did the same thing.

Sen and Fummy heard that the maps of the free versions of their games WERE NOT SUITABLE FOR A COMMERCIAL GAME, so they made a commitment (perhaps along with others; I sincerely hope they were helped) Presentable on the Nintendo Switch and Steam the game, with graphic upgrades that don’t joke!

Do you see? In the case of Sen … He could leave Mad Father as he was, he could distribute it for 10 euros on Nintendo Switch like this, regardless of the appearance of the maps (to say, The Crooked Man was put on Steam for a fee with all the old resources used by Uri …). But Sen is a good developer (really, we renew our esteem for him, even with all the weird things he added to the Mad Father storyline …) and he THINKED about how the environments are presented and the impact that these have on the player. Because Sen cared about the project and the fact that he wanted to improve the experience for those who paid for the game … In my opinion it shows that he respects us.

Makoto Sanada instead , compared also to his namesake Kedouin (whom we also mention because he too accepted a way to modernize his very dignified game, for what could have been a more modern Corpse Party), he didn’t care about his project . And he didn’t care about us and our money either.

But let’s see these thorny relationships now, In the Author-Work Relationship… And above all why this is so.

So let’s get ready for one of the biggest provocations we’re going to do here … Which has to do, again, directly with KADOKAWA, Enterbrain and all these beautiful names.

Author-Work Relationship


We finished the packaging paragraph with a not bad accusation.

“Makoto Sanada didn’t care about his project and he didn’t care about us either.”

Do you think I summed up the Author-Work Relationship that concerns this latest game of the current Horror RPG as we know it, right?

Not really. In this section, compared to all the other articles, we will not talk about “an author”, through interviews or anything like that.

Really, the one interesting interview with Makoto Sanada only made me feel an absurd amount of cringe when it was said that his cutscene direction comes “from theater” and not from the more classic anime mixed with classic RPG Horror directing, just for a damn black screen scene where only the two characters are seen…

And then, in general, all the things he said were so generic that if I were to base this section on this interview I would spend a few lines on it, then I would go directly to lunch break.

Heck, we only know about him in particular that he graduated in theater  (and this seems to give him the right to say that his cutscenes are attributable to the theater… Okay…?). For the rest, always the same things.
“I used to play since I was a child”
“I discovered free games thanks to Ao Oni”
“I’ve always liked making stories, I used to do it since elementary school”


In any case, there does not seem to be any “relationship” between Author and Work for Angels Of Death. We have already seen it also for The Forest Of Drizzling Rain.

So … Today we don’t care how the author approaches his work.
In this case, the author is cold , irrelevant and with generic statements about it.
I don’t feel any attachment between him and his works. And this is neither good nor bad . It’s just very strange for an indie title, where we all feel like we are “putting ourselves completely” into what we create.

Sanada’s seems to me, however, how someone from a larger company would behave.

Ah, the big companies. Every indie developer wants to make an affiliation with someone who can export their work to a huge audience.

In the movies we see the “company” or even just any person who has to do with marketing as someone / something big and bad, who just wants to make dirty money through the work of “young artists”, which they exploit with inhuman conditions and abuses …

(The first example that came to mind is Uncle Ian from the Alvin and the Chipmunks series, when the Chipmunks become famous and when he wants to make the Chipettes successful he shows every time, as a good caricatured villain, his avarice and attachment to success through exploitation)

We always see them as tyrants, of which we always understand every bad step but which we cannot beat, because they are “too strong”.

But after doing this nice little speech …

I say that in reality we have neither done nor will do a good job of giving the message not to completely demonize the figures related to marketing.

(Cloè’s Requiem PT2 “Six Characters In Search Of An Author)

But in any case, this statement still stands:

“In fact, we wanted to make one thing clear: We would not want you to think that we are satisfied with the conclusions we have brought to you in this article. We are not satisfied because generally we do not like simplistic formulas: what we want to tell you is not: “Kadokawa is Satan!”, there are so many dynamics to take into consideration and then, damn it, if it is a corporation there may be an important reason, who knows how many “departments / fields” (I don’t know the professional term) it is divided into. ”
(Cloè’s Requiem PT2 “Six Characters In Search Of An Author)

So … We know that talking about large corporations like Kadokawa-Enterbrain is risky , given that we also don’t have the resources to study them completely from the inside.


But there is a reason why we said these phrases and introduced this topic.
We are quite sure of what, for many, could be a reason not to take ourselves more seriously, to give us conspiracy theorists and denigrate whatever we have to say, when and if this article will be shared enough to reach a certain number of people.

But we don’t care. We felt that all the pieces fit together.

So, at this point, let’s deepen the great phenomenon that struck Cloé’s Requiem and which has Angels Of Death as its representative, the reason for this sentence in the History of the Product:

“Guys, we have to resign ourselves: the era of the” game published individually by an independent autorino which then became popular because of its value! ” it’s OVER and a long time ago too. ”

And above all, why Angels Of Death with all this brought with it what we consider a virus, which has expanded for all future titles:

The Severe Acute Lazyness Syndrome.
Coded “SALS AOD-2”.


From the beginning of this article you will have noticed how we have always emphasized that those who worked on Angels Of Death consider to have been professionals.
For Sanada’s previous title, The Forest Of Drizzling Rain, we didn’t speak in those terms.

Although it must be said that what differentiates him from other cases is that he did not start from nothing. It is known that he already had some minor contacts to help with the distribution of his title.

And this distribution, as we saw in the game article above, gave it a good reception in Japan.

You think it can end here.

“Sanada already had contacts, he used the same with Angels Of Death!” 

It may even be that he used them. It is possible that he managed to come to this …

Through the contacts he already had.
In fact I don’t take it for granted that, together with what we will say later, Vaka has helped a lot in the “recommendation” of the game to larger production houses.

But in these cases, in my opinion, the case of Cloé’s Requiem has to be re-brought out.

In Cloé’s Requiem there is in my opinion an even more sensational demonstration of Kadokawa-Enterbrain’s operations on indie games.

Nubarin and Nanashi No Chiyo were two relatively little girls who, using RPG Maker, had made a… Pretty mediocre game.

As far as I know, it didn’t have all this great reach to even get to two interviews and the Tokyo Game Show invitation.

So now we have to get the tool out and how it has been used in all the projects that have had this “sudden success”.

This is RPG Maker VX ACE, the engine on which Angels Of Death was created.

You can see that in this image there are already sprites, trees and a road.

This is because, from RPG Maker VX onwards, Degica established itself as the publisher of the various versions of the engine.

“Degica not only translated the engine, but also gave it a nice boost: he undertook to build a community around the product.


But Degica also imposed new rules that were fairly strict for the community back then to follow.

You no longer had such a wide sleeve for pirating and exploiting other people’s resources, which meant “no more fan games using copyrighted material”. The days of glory and plunder were over.

RTP (Run Time Packages) given by Degica came in “help”, encouraging the community to create games that could use these resources, to fill the lack of tilesets and sprites.”

This piece comes from a pretty old article about the history of RPG Maker that I wrote when I was writing for the online magazine ICrewPlay.

Here, these are the files that make up the RTPs of RPG Maker VX, engine of Cloé’s Requiem:

Notice a similarity?

It has practically used all RTP assets.

Cloé’s Requiem for his development therefore used ENTIRELY tilesets provided by Degica. The only original assets are the sprites and images, along with some music (apart from classical music).

Good Buriki Clock, good.

Let’s go to Angels Of Death…

These are the RPG Maker VX Ace RTPs.

Do you notice a certain similarity?

Hey! I know what you are thinking!

“Ugh! But that’s only 10% of the map! ”

Sure, sure …

Now I’ll show you one of the most popular maps of the game, to explain myself better.

Beautiful huh? It was also complimented during the interview we mentioned earlier.

“It can’t be one of those tilesets.”

You will tell me.

No, in fact it isn’t.

Do you see more similarities now?

Here it is.

Do you think those are tilesets taken from the internet or in general some free resource that you can use freely, which would make the Angels Of Death case totally detachable from Cloé’s Requiem?

Sanada just used DLCs.

And if we also see in the game files, 90% of the game tilesets are all DLC released by Degica.

“tilesets” folder of chapter 1 of the game.
墓 場 It seems to mean “4 Cemetery”)

My theory gets stronger and stronger when we see what types of tilesets are currently being designed by Sanada or someone in the game’s development team in general.

These only have Japanese names.

Quite out of style, compared to the detailed tilesets we see for all game maps, right?

So we can say that, for a good 90% of the game Sanada religiously used ONLY material that Enterbrain / Kadokawa paid for from a tileset point of view…

(Joel Steudler is one of the composers I can recognize that he worked on the BGM pack distributed by Degica)

And some of the music also seems to come from dear Aunt Degica.

Are you having any doubts?

Well, these can be confirmed by the Mogeko Castle case.

For me this title, with a few tweaks, could have outclassed Angels Of Death without any problems.

The graphics in general are really beautiful, accurate and above all stylish and captivating, from the drawings (from the CG, very professional in terms of design, to the immediately recognizable potrait style) to the tilesets and sprites made entirely from scratch in pixel art; the plot is adventure with a lot of action, is based on a storied structure and has many different registers (as we have seen in the article on this title always in Back To The Future) and above all different characters, strange, never boring and ambiguous exactly like Angels Of Death (if not better, I consider Moge-Ko much better written than Cathy) and also has a whole world and society to explore with sequels and prequels – highly anticipated by fans of the game is Mogeko Castle Gaiden!

…But the Funamusea games, unfortunately, only have merchandise and manga made by the game’s author.

I mean, it’s a good thing, it’s not a bad thing if people buy them … But in my opinion this creator hasn’t achieved all the success she deserved.

Yet the game is done with RPG Maker VX ACE. We are not talking about Mad Father (done with Wolf RPG Editor). It would have been perfect for advertising…

But no, Funamusea was able to create all the resources of the game on her own and Degica did not see it as a good chance to make it a phenomenon as those thugs like Buriki Clock (in Japan) and Sanada.

And do you know why?

It is because Sanada and Buriki Clock have used the engine “as they should have done” , as it has always been expected by those who created RPG Maker: do something creative … But with the packages given by the reference companies .

Just as they desperately tried to do in 2007 with far more clumsiness and far fewer artists.

So, given that it was realized that in 2007 this thing brought the tool to ruin, they took advantage of the fact that the Horror RPGs had partially saved RPG Maker from total mockery (which it still suffers today …) by users of other engines and it was decided to reward those who, in Japanese soil of course, were able to use the resources given by the program itself or by Degica via DLC to do something that at least resembled a nice narrative RPG in the least (but really minimally, considering the case of Cloé’s Requiem…) marketable , to show the world that “we can all be artists” with THEIR engine.

I have already stated this. I don’t know anything about the internal dynamics of supporting certain types of projects . So I don’t know exactly what happened to reveal Angels Of Death and … Cloé’s Requiem, compared to Mogeko Castle.

But it seems to me that they wanted to show us that 60 euros (and more, including DLCs!) were worth spending on their product…

Because it gave us the possibility to be the new viral phenomenons , even if we don’t have the means and / or the skills to create what is becoming one of the most powerful modern storytelling mediums of recent years.

And here we go to the title of the article, which is directly linked to why the Thermometer of Professionalism is now destroyed.

Let’s compare the two thermometers of Cloé’s Requiem and Mogeko Castle.

Apart from the fact that one is drawn better, one is drawn worse …

With these judgments it could be predicted that Mogeko Castle would do much more success , at least in Japan. It could be expected that some publishers would consider it, at least to put it on Steam.


And, in the case analyzed today…

Here we are not talking about cases like Pocket Mirror, where there is a sensible reasoning why it should be highly marketable, where (even if not in the narrative) there has been a great effort in the development of the game to make it as palatable as possible. to an audience.

Here we are talking about titles that get the maximum result from what is considered the least effort , compared to types of authors like Astralshift, Funamusea and … Yes, it burns me to say even this name but I have to say it for strength, even teams like Omocat’s in the development of OMORI.

Again for our own motivation, namely that we do not know the precise dynamics that exist in these huge rounds of money and contacts, we do not know how common this phenomenon is in Japan or on the part of KADOKAWA (and / or collaborators) in general . We don’t know exactly how many games in Japan have been treated with this method , so we don’t even know how much it is used compared to other marketing ploys that a corporation as big as KADOKAWA can afford. So we can say that we don’t speak as professionals or totally knowledgeable on this matter…

But I can tell you that even from our eyes, those of simple gamers … Which eventually became the same kind of developer that Funamusea was … (Not in terms of quality, we would never allow ourselves to tell us ourselves, but from the point of view of how customized the game’s assets are, so a purely technical factor)

We are honestly afraid.

Literally an expanse of black wood, with a bookcase and two chairs right in the corner. In general a very empty map, with tilesets that I recognize for a mile (they come from the first RTPs of RPG Maker VX or VX ACE), covered only by the two potrait and the dialog box.

Do I really need to comment? Here, too, an empty map, one-color and one-theme, columns just to frame the mess of stone we are seeing, in the scene a fire that has the same quality of in the same quality of the explosions of the first seasons of South Park, potraits that are CUT and have empty space beneath them, tilesets that are totally out of style compared to the sprites and in general I don’t understand where the hell the scene takes place.


The effect of the sun practically makes the whole scene and gives it a bit of atmosphere along with the photograph. Here, too, the sprites and potrait deserved totally different maps, but with tilesets (although I don’t quite understand where they come from, unfortunately) they REALLY went on a budget and without even doing a certain type of work with goddamn proportions: the lamps are tiny compared to the sprites, as are the machines, the tree and the large building on the left. Kanawo, you didn’t make such bad maps for Blank Dream!


And for a moment I look out too, PaoGun, to point out something to you.

It is almost ironic to think that many authors boast that they “exceed the limits of RPG Maker”, “offer beyond what are the possibilities of the engine” (if you want to laugh, such a concept is also told in the Sanada interview we mentioned), and other similar phrases when it was probably all meant to be so from the beginning . Now, going beyond the split between our hypotheses and reality, I want to launch this provocation and let the imagination flow…

Let’s imagine these producers are telling us, “Yes, yes, we are wrong! You can remedy this if you test us, experience how good you can be!” using what may have been a bad reputation to turn the omelette and make it your own marketing strategy regardless of how bad a title may be or not. Who cares, in the end audience expectations for a quality work are lowered! The important thing is to pamper your consumers well and spoil them.

So now I talk to you authors, yes yes, to all those who continue to think they can be the new “great creatives” of the century showing themselves as the heroes who revolutionized the engine: the Enterbrain, Degica and Kadokawa totally hosed you. They hosed all of us.


(This time forever, or maybe not?)

And with that, our journey ends.

And it is precisely in these circumstances, in the last article of Back to The Future, that we realized that we have not actually concluded anything relevant, if not to open even bigger doors. Probably with all our instigations at this time we are making your hands itch, perhaps because you would like the topic to be gutted properly, deepened, and not left to mere spectacle as we did in this article.

We reveal a small confession: in the future, our great desire would be to create a nice article-investigation on this topic.
But they are those projects that take time, it takes data, it takes resources. We don’t know if we will ever be able to achieve something like this, but it would be what we feel we need to achieve. But not getting lost in small talk, perhaps you might have asked yourself this question if you have followed us since the introduction of Back To The Future:

But in short, has a market been consolidated or not?

Well, how do we define it … Indie game market? Market of the current Horror RPG? Indie fiction market ..?

Well, what do you think? We have shown it to you all this time, we have described it in the articles of this column …

The answer is yes.

It was not even born and has already developed over the years many facets and all very complex. Can we say that there is still the possibility of being able to live of this, that is by being a developer without having special programming knowledge? The facts would tell you no, or that the odds today are slimmer than in the past and that the only cases in which it seems that a road has been opened to build a relevant business (and from which significant sources of revenue can be expected just that) were the Corpse Party case in ’96 and the Anges of Death case , almost absurdly exactly 20 years later, in 2016 .

I would like to insist on one thing, it just amazes me that such a phenomenon has been created .
We live in an age in which linear paths are visibly flaking off , I have mentioned this topic several times in some articles and especially in the one on Astralshift and Pocket Mirror. Many times you may have heard these words: “if you study this means that this will correspond to your profession”, in our case, “you become creative only for recommendations from the environment or you become a video game programmer only if you study that and we specialize “.

Now, whether we have criticized these authors or not doesn’t matter, because all the people we talked about in the Archives (and not just in Back to The Future) have built a product by becoming responsible for numerous areas of the creative sector to be able to publicly use it to other people . Some of these people have managed to obtain a more relevant result than you could have imagined, just try to scroll through the images of all the titles that have passed in front of us during these fifteen years and think about how this thing has become more and more obvious in our eyes over time.

Impressive, isn’t it?

Among all the insults we have launched at these titles and the people who made them, we are still talking about finished and finished works that have reached an audience, have generated fandoms, and these we have spoken of are only grains of rice respect to much bigger phenomena and in different fields.

We have complained many times about different things, but we still believe in the possibilities of being able to generate new drivers in this environment, in this so unusual market . And since this is the last article for the column and we’re feeling romantic, John Bon Jovi sang: “Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame. Darling, you give love a bad name “.

The authors of the past and the producers of the engine have formed on the one hand a dream, the one that every narrative work already offered by giving us experiences, then stories and characters with which we can escape from our daily life. Then this dream became bigger , deluding ourselves that we could become something in our turn , become famous by talking about us, our words and our ideas through their tools. They showed us something and made us believe in some possibility, we do not believe that this is impossible. What we have shown you during these articles I simply define it as a “bad name”, but the lyrics are clear: we always talk about love, as always about art we will talk about , who boast of its appearance more sophisticated or more exuberant for entertainment here we are referring to the art of communicating , a possibility that presents itself before our eyes at no cost (more or less) , in the round, being able to exploit all the possibilities that a creative videogame work can do.

For this, we tell anyone who wants to jump in and has been discouraged by what we have written, grab this wave and build your way because we are the first deluded to believe in these last possibilities and we could not forgive ourselves for having shot down someone’s hopes.

And with that, we turn off the engine and get out of the car. The lights go out.

Once again, thank you for spending your time with us.

-PaoGun & Ele, Ludi Tarantula Team

Pocket Mirror – “The cake is a lie”

Welcome back! After three articles dedicated to Cloé’s Requiem we will return to talk about a title that you actually care about!

We left the theater …

Or rather, we left the more classic theatrical masks that we demonstrated and removed during the analysis of the title of Buriki Clock …

But today we return to using the word “spectacle” thanks to the Astralshift Pro team.

In previous articles we have almost always talked about a solitary developer or a duo … But today we will expand our field of action to an entire team. About 8 people worked on Pocket Mirror.

But why do we go back to using the term “spectacle” with them, as we did with Mad Father and Cloé’s Requiem, albeit in two different contexts?

Well, guys, to answer that question we have to look at each other in the eyes.
Why did you like Pocket Mirror?
Look at the protagonist’s potrait, the frame, the map, the lights…

My God, they’re almost sickly.

Already from this simplistic analysis of a screenshot we can guess that we have arrived at the title that in the current Horror RPG represents an era that goes on until today. It is cursed by many and at the same time acclaimed by as many, unconsciously or not.

It is the era of the purely visual spectacle, of the so-called “graphics”, which have now become the main element (together with metaphors, let’s not forget those!) to evaluate a video game as “art” or as rotten trash to throw at the dogs! In this article we will start talking about this, guys!

But let’s skip these introductions now.

Let’s face it, all this texts introduces everything we will deal with in an all too generic way …
In the end they only serve to attract you, to force you for one reason or another (who knows, someone even to see how far our probable pretentiousness reaches) to sit for hours to read this whole article, and then earn only our analysis in your head, and thoughts that can be right or wrong …

I don’t know about you, but in all of this I find some similarities with …

Pocket Mirror.



But now, let’s start the dances!

Given my fiddling with the Wayback Machine, we can say that development started around 2013. The first signs of life on the internet of the Astralshift team are on Tumblr, where they were already starting to make weekly updates.

… And some sneak peeks of what exactly the game would have been about.

(… The writing continues, click on the image for the link)

So the team behind Pocket Mirror, compared to other developers we’ve covered here in the Archives, didn’t start their business with the game’s release, making players make their story. Astralshift has started to hype since the game was at 10% development.

While it doesn’t seem like it, as the “pre-game-hype phenomenon ” is new to the generalist Horror RPG panorama, this makes Pocket Mirror’s Product History very important to our study of the current in this column. This game in our opinion gave a more professional boost to the team of developers who would come after them. But we will deepen how much and why Pocket Mirror was important in the current in the Asso Nella Manica, which today will be a little different, as well as in the Author-Work Relationship.

Back to 2013 and the white and blue ask blog.

They posted information about the game and answered questions from fans, who were already waiting for more content …

But it is possible to make some theories about exactly how they have grown so much from Tumblr since the first asks they had.

(Yes, for completeness I have reported the entire exchange)

“Anonymous. We are asking for VOLUNTEERS.”

It may be a theory that the dissemination of posts or anything that had to do with the recruitment of volunteers has made the team famous, given that for some platforms they had already proven to have very capable artists on their first core team in an early development state; even if it is not excluded that after an initial rise on Tumblr they asked for the help of volunteers only there, the hypotheses are only these two.

So, in general, it is possible to imagine that they went on like this for a while, with highs…

And some lows…

Until 2014.

January 22, 2014, the Pocket Mirror demo is released.

For the aforementioned graphic quality, for the premises that for many seemed interesting and for the fact that we could already get started thanks to a demo, Pocket Mirror already earned mostly positive comments from that year.

As well as various gameplay videos, and in general all the progress that we have already observed, studied and re-studied through many other titles that have become popular …

And all this already from its demo.

And here we return to the speech I mentioned earlier, on the previous hype and popularity of a game even before it comes out, totally abandoning the canons of the “independent developer who publishes a video game out of nowhere”.

So Pocket Mirror, due to these more elaborate distribution operations, becomes very famous… But the authors don’t vanish into thin air.

Oh my God, I’m crying!

Indeed guys! The step taken by Astralshift is bigger than we think! Given the great opportunity to create content thanks to the good number of people who worked on the project, the team has always kept active on social networks between content created by themselves and by fans, who have always kept close with constant posts and even streams!

They therefore behaved like a big production company.

Their work has paid off , with fans considering the game a “masterpiece”, the “best Horror RPG of our time” and other similar absolutistic phrases that, as we will see in the Work Defects, can be safely denied.

This huge success led them to create a prequel to Pocket Mirror:
Little Goody Two Shoes, still in a state of development, but who already wants to show us how Astralshift has brought out even more the big guns , and will demonstrate concepts that I will present in the conclusion of this Product Story .

So guys, as Little Goody Two Shoes is still in development, so it can’t be fully judged, this very short summary of a success built in about 4-5 years ends here.

I can tell you that the Development History of this game I consider to be a bit borderline . Astralshift was not as anonymous as the various Japanese developers we have covered here, but Pocket Mirror was not even a mediatic case as big as the title we will cover for the end of Back To The Future, Angels Of Death.

So … Think of this game as a big bridge between two different game development perspectives in the current Horror RPG.

In our timeline we chose Pocket Mirror as a post after Cloé’s Requiem and before Angels Of Death due to the fact that in the story that includes the most significant titles of the current HOR-RPG (how long had I not used this abbreviation?) This was the title that brought this current closer to something less niche, something closer to the indie game landscape in general, and further away from the imagination that was created around these horror titles made with RPG Maker (mainly) with all their features.

But I won’t be the one to analyze this great step forward.

Pao, to you!

Okay, I’m here.

So we have said that this paragraph will be quite different from the one we have discussed so far; why?

Just know that right now I’m sadly listening to Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare to strengthen myself while I regret the crap that was the “Trump Card” paragraph I wrote for Ib. At the time, I made a speech on context that really went too far, taking away a lot of space from the internal analysis of the title… I think I overlooked it a bit.

In any case, in short, I couldn’t help but get nostalgic because you know that the “Trump Card” paragraph for Pocket Mirror will be treated in the same way. Really, it was an important step guys.

Now, it being understood that this game makes me nervous in various ways and for this there are various reasons why I do not support the project, but I can not fail to recognize that they have thrown new expectations in the public .

I will spit it right away because it is useless for everyone to go around this: Pocket Mirror’s Trump Card, the feature that made it unique in the eyes of the audience, was the spectacularity of the graphics.

Here, and now that I have finally produced a sentence that can be as clear as possible from the first reading, we can squeeze ourselves and chat together a bit about the historical context.

Generally we must consider how nowadays the types of titles that depopulate are those, for example, that use the most sought-after tilesets (more or less, this is a bit of a thorny topic in reality) but above all in potraits (busts characters) display anime graphics that are somehow recognizable as normal marketable products.

Let’s just take a look together and try to give a before and after.

2011 – 2013

(From top to bottom: Paranoiac – Original version, Hello Hell … O ?, Seven Mysteries, Sukuttee)

(Original version / Remake we all know)

If you remember, we talked about how the first generation was characterized by a certain variability in the titles, with for example always different drawing styles …

While the older games, or those that became classic in the same period, were concerned with keeping up with progress and started “commercializing” more, as we will see shortly.

2014-2020 (Present)

(Angelic Syndrome, The Case Book Of Arne, Noel And The Mortal Fate, Claroscuro. We are currently not sure if Arne is an actual Horror RPG of the current, but is considered such, as is Noel And The Mortal Fate.)

Here, we had anticipated this talk with Mad Father. Mad Father we can say that he was the pioneer in this sense, Pocket Mirror was a worthy successor.

We can say that this was another important step that started to define the tool as “a good way to tell your own stories” ; and above all this happened through the current of Horror RPGs.

We will see the consequences of this in the future, the last article will be on the anime game par excellence in this panorama, Angels of Death , a title also finished under the wings of Kadokawa who made the most of it. the idea to instill hope, to young developers, “to be able to produce low-cost anime with the Enterbrain tool!”.

For the moment we certainly cannot blame Pocket Mirror, which wanted to push its resources to the maximum trying, according to the authors themselves, to produce “pieces of art” . So let’s try to re-cap the situation: not only do we have to thank Pocket Mirror for having shown, once again and with the evolution of graphics, to be able to produce titles of great commercial value, but we also have to thank for the aesthetic quality of these renovations.

Now I speak to those who use the RPG Maker tool. Come on guys, let’s be honest, how many of us envied them seeing how they raised expectations for indie video game graphics?

There are some imperfections that make it a rather amateur title in reality and they are the reasons why it has aged really badly , we will see it in the defects of the work, but for the nature complete of the project, for the professional identikit that its authors have built and for the unusual creative outlet of the artists who worked on it have contributed to ennoble the nature of amateur videogame titles, in 2D at least (no, I don’t know so good the landscape of independent 3D titles).

The spectacularization has invaded the main narrative structure a little too much , but the general impressions on the qualitative revolution of the work certainly did their job. To reward the raising of the bar that has been achieved, I will limit myself to to mention the memorable moments that characterized Lisette’s arc, which represents for us the best summary of what we think has stood out in this game and of which we certainly imagine the authors are very satisfied.

Here, I mentioned this screen in the previous article. Even if it doesn’t mean shit in its meaning, it is certainly commendable to include an animation of this type within a Horror RPG; they refer me to the experiments that Disney conducted with Fantasia to try to revolutionize the common conception that we had towards animation.

To anticipate the times: the giant Lisette in its context makes little sense and then we’ll see why; in Fantasia by Walt Disney let us remember that there was musical accompaniment as the basic idea; that was the real red thread of the film, animation was mainly used to enhance classical music.

For example in this part as well as others (although it is a transitional part between the Harpae and Lisette arcs) there are generally examples of a beautiful animation given only by the use of the images on RPG Maker.

And speaking of mentions regarding the arch of Harpae, this area deserves one.
I wanted to mention this explorable area because I personally consider it one of the most beautiful in the game’s most beautiful narrative arc on a visual level; and then here is one of my favorite pieces from the soundtrack.

Another special mention goes to this moment.

Here, yes, the chase scene. I mention it because it was considered by some to be a real plague to deal with. In other contexts you might get angry at the apparent inability to solve it, because it was really impossible to understand at first glance how to orient yourself; but in this case it was meant to be a mere excuse to do something different and stimulate the player to try a different kind of experience than normal, you have to give him credit.

This paragraph concludes with two final remarks.

First of all I will mention here for the first time the concept of Market Driver , I will inaugurate it with this article for two reasons.
The first reason is that it is a term that I learned this year (quite simply, a cultural upgrade); the second reason is that in this generation it will be more and more frequent to find paid titles, so we can in fact begin to define a market in the most theoretical sense of the term: exchange of services or products in exchange of money .
In reality we could reflect on this and retrace the other contexts in which we have treated the Author-Work Relationship in terms of merchandising and actually understand the years or periods in which the practice has spread. even for relatively older titles, to try to contextualize it.
Here, let’s start by reminding you that in 2014 the Pocket Mirror demo came out and in 2016 the official release took place. Let’s take a look at what happened during this time.

I mean … Nowadays you can see this one on sale.

Really Fummy? What the fuck- I mean, how the heck did you thought about this?

All this to make you understand that, waiting for mutations that can extend and professionalize this world even more, we have come to speak of a current that, born from random authors distributed on platforms for free, has now come to have referents on which you can do some merchandising above , which for the moment in the Archives we had limited ourselves to making lists which now, if you think about it, acquire a meaning </ strong >.
Before moving on to the second consideration, you have probably guessed it yourself, but I’ll explain what we mean when we introduce a term like “Market driver”: this refers to the new indicators that characterize a market and Pocket Mirror has been an active agent in this sense because, as we have said, it has changed the audience’s approach to the current . Before there were random, anonymous authors, now there are production teams that come up with clear logos to be recognizable . Before, titles like Ao Oni or Akemi Tan were fine in which it was enough to play and run away from a monster to have fun; now we want the centrality of a character to follow the stories BUT NOT ONLY: the product must be packaged in a certain way and possibly must boast a certain depth , because nowadays there are players who call the Mad Father cutscenes “cheesy”.
We will speak once again of the productive context to make other reflections, because for the moment we will dwell on this second aspect to make our second consideration.

… And this is about depth .

Perhaps some of you may have been perplexed that the “symbolism” that this title claimed to have has not been inserted as a Trump Card: my answer is, first of all, that here there is no kind of symbolism to begin with.

Hey, down with the pitchforks, we had already gotten there a long time ago: we are mainly talking about “a shattered identity”.

Indeed, I’ll tell you more: as much as the authors or fans might come here to talk to me about the meaning of a scene, as much as you could tell me about the meanings of the video-presentations of the characters or say “heey, look! She made the promise to Harpae because she didn’t trust her growing hysteria represented by Lisette! This is a great metaphor for social constriction and the construction of our identity! And Goldia is a little saint because the side of her in “Fleta” as a child was repressed! ” I will never be convinced that there is symbolism in this game because primarily has NEVER been contextualized .

There is no form of coherence between one arc of exploration and another, everything is an end in itself . To try to make you understand I take it a bit like the subplot of Kotori Obake in The Forest of The Drizzling Rain : that the story is about motherhood and the abuse suffered is of no use to the main plot ; but this is not the section to talk about because Pocket Mirror problems we will address later. The reason why I propose this second consideration is because we noticed with Ele a growing demand from consumers of the current to follow “plots” of titles that manifest themselves through symbols and details to be discovered; it seems that on the one hand we are looking for a “beautiful experience so as to spend beautiful hours, without commitment” and on the other hand we are looking for “the great work with multiple facets and meanings that WE must understand so that WE do the our theories and WE use OUR fantasy with a basis given by someone else. ” You can see that Ele got a hand in this part, huh? Geez, so aggressive …

Well, you have seen the word “we”, “our” underlined … No, it is not for some kind of pro-communist tendency, but it is for a discourse that we will discuss in more detail in the article dedicated to the Audience-Work relationship … We will also talk about a title that is gaining momentum these days.

So, in short, Pocket Mirror has satisfied a very recent desire today, that of “thinking about a work”: the authors have always treated it as a metaphorical game and the fans took their word for it, so they tried to pick up what they could, they found a kind of profound meaning… And suddenly the game became a masterpiece. As I said, we will return to this entire speech, but for now we can only say …

Well played, Astralshift. Well played.



Very high.

Very high because, as you know, when we approach the thermometer of professionalism it refers not only to the individual titles but to the way in which everything that comes before and after of these is treated …

And in this sense it must be recognized: they are professionals who have made themselves . So for this occasion the thermometer is not destroyed. We have put some scotch and bandages on it.










As Ele had observed in the Product History we can realize the truly professional approaches Astralshift has of their creative personality . We just have to look at the way they use social platforms: they know that they have made an innovative product for its times and recognize it , they want to enhance it and they know how to do it well, they know how to sell </ em >.

It is something that we wanted to value because we realize how hard it is to build a public identity. But we will talk more about this in the Author-Work Relationship, because it is a rather hot topic nowadays.



Obviously the packaging is a summary of what we have said so far.

Perfect: already from the menu, spectacular graphics invade your screen, complete with flying glass fragments , Goldia’s eye that opens …

Although in my opinion this menu is not very suitable for a video game simply because in this way the choices become “not very visible” and not very pragmatic in their use. So nothing, in short is really impractical. Yes I know it is a script, but used in this way it is almost infeasible in our opinion. That is, it really is all dominated by the image that is placed in front of you.

As for the main menu and the item menu …

It’s funny that they used scripts here too, to which they only added some graphic enrichments. Look, the script they used is Moghunter’s. Do you see? Midnight Train has it too.


I mean, that’s it really, they enriched it with frames. I recognize they have a nice aesthetic sense but at this point why didn’t they make a menu with variables?

Just asking. Because since this is a title that wants to push its limits, I took it at its word.


Here we are; lately I have to say that this paragraph is more and more … “Lit” from some article to this part.

Here we are really doing nothing but emphasize the “linear” approach that Back To The Future has: pick up on a discussion that we had already done with the first titles of the first generations. Do you remember, no, how many paragraphs spent on Ib and Mad Father to talk about the new production contexts in which they were born and the new features that led to the current HOR-RPG?

When we talked about the Author-Work Relationship, they were mostly quite complicated relations, mainly linked to the fact that after the first title, their “name” died . We had talked about the problem of sen and the super nova effect you can have on the Internet, especially of something that is not well stabilized; we also talked about the effect it can have if a developer relies on a more powerful distribution company: here the tenacity with which the brand tries to survive is really valid.

These comments were posted under the title trailer submitted to the contest – AstralShift, by the way: this one is what I would just call a great marketable game </ strong>; come on, there’s nothing wrong with not calling it artistic. Really, it’s not artistic it’s … Just very very professional and I already congratulate you on that.

Eh, what to say, guys: why do you think they would have participated in a competition in the first place?

These are activities that are normally done to be noticed by a publisher , you participate to seek more visibility of course but above all to obtain external support: for distribution and above all to look for a sort of stability (and this is another reason why we thought it important to take an interest in the world of publishers)… And we know very well what this means.

This historical period is different from all the others, it is an age of change where new professions appear that are not always known especially if you face that phase of your life in which you try to understand what it will be your professional identity. In the creative field then, boy if it is complicated.

As we said before, it is very difficult to become aware of your product and understand …

“But me, someone that is distributing this thing in public, what do I want to communicate to others?”.

It is not a predictable procedure, in the new description of “What are Archives” we have declared it: we too, to have the awareness we think we have now… The Archives have played a fundamental role for it. Because they have always forced us to deepen other realities that we are not in. And then generally experiencing the experience first-hand: also understanding how to best monitor the media tools that you have at your disposal and being active on them in order to try to maintain a facade as professional as possible is not an easy thing to do at times.

All this talk can lead us to an interesting reflection on the relationship that AstralShift had with Pocket Mirror, as well as it could lead us to discover together with what intentions they produced the game …

Like a psychotic escape from amateurism.

The search for volunteers, the high quality graphics, the drawing style manifested in the videos, the constant attempts to produce a title that was exaggerated and not least was accepting the misunderstandings and misunderstandings by stating that this is a symbolic title in order to keep all the elements of immersive spectacle within it .

In short, what I can interpret from these attitudes is that Pocket Mirror doesn’t really really want to tell something, it doesn’t want to tackle some kind of theme within it but it is a simple desperate attempt, to be is clinging tooth and nail to show that you are capable of revolutionizing the independent gaming landscape. A game created to prove something to someone .

The number of people involved also seems a point in favor of my thesis; which, reflecting with you on all that depressing speech we have faced, can only make me look at them with great admiration. They want to show us that it is possible to treat the independent creative landscape of audiovisual and videogame works as a decent job and from which it will be possible to create a profession capable of giving us stability.

Ele in the history of the product had already said what he meant to say:

“This was the title that brought this current closer to something less niche, something closer to the indie game landscape in general, and further away from the imagery that was created around these horror RPG titles. Maker (mostly) with all their characteristics. ”

For this, for our part as developers, we extend a huge thank you , although we will be very, very strict in the section “Defects of the work” and we will have our reasons for being so.


Okay guys, before passing this part of the article to Ele who will tell you some very very important things, I prefer that for this time we can immediately pluck our hurting tooth out and reveal the main flaw of Pocket Mirror.

Well … The biggest flaw was in the structure .

Ohh, you know what it means when there is a defect in the structure  isn’t it? When there is a defect in the structure there are the most serious types of consequences, you never get out of it; it’s like injuring an artery : these range from simple confusion to real complete misunderstandings.

Do you know that sense of emptiness with which you found yourself confronted with the ending?

Try to guess the reason: this is nothing more than the outcome of a story, vaguely defined as such, told in fragments filled with phases made of empty explorations .

So what’s the main problem? Where is the misunderstanding?

Well, in this case the misunderstanding lies in expectations. In fact, a good part of the players and spectators who followed Goldia’s path expected a development of the events.

And finally we get to talk about the main problem.

It’s a really curious question, because the way they sponsor their products seems to want to reach the infamous “general public” : marketability, affection for the characters, “lovely artstyle” and so on; many premises that have not been respected in practice.

Here, I mentioned the problem already from here. Now we will dissect it together.

Let’s start with our premises.

So, as I had already told you recently, always in the second part of the Cloé’s Requiem article, a narrative structure, or in general the structure of a product has to do with our use , therefore with the emotions that we make available in the consumption of that title . It is the skeleton that supports the logic of our tears or our laughter, it is the heart that pumps the blood and brings the work to life to then reach our heart and is as responsible as good direction. The arteries are the direct one; that carry emotions towards us. Emotions are that blood.

Okay, forgive me this little quote and no, honestly I don’t like Coppola’s movie adaptation that much.


As we said before, we said that Pocket Mirror’s main problem, the reason for the “big lie”, is that the game betrayed certain expectations on the part of the audience … In fact, the authors tried to justify themselves in this way.

Okay, okay EvilHairBrush, let’s review together what’s going on in this game . Okay?

Therefore. Here we are, we are players in the third run who have reviewed this title after some time to be able to write an article.

To begin with we have certainly ascertained that we are traveling in Goldia’s head, right? We await confirmation from the game …

Ahh, yes, of course, the demon who should have stolen her identity-

Yes, yes, poor martyr Lisette who gets mad at her …

(This and other screenshots were taken from Soldier-Puffs “Walkthrough | No Commentary” videos on Pocket Mirror)

Yes, the quotes to Alice in Wonderland but dear God, but you want to answer the question or not?

Are we or are we not in Goldia’s head?

Oh, okay. Thanks a bunch.

Just being sure.

Can you confirm that you talked about her and her pathological illness? 

Ohhhhh, okay! PERFECT.

So, please, tell me why, to begin with, we haven’t seen this girl evolve not once in the course of the plot!

“Noo, she evolves !!

She weeps for Lisette …

she reconciles with Harpae …

She faces Fleta! “

Sorry, I would like you to focus on another thing instead. Try to follow me.

Fleta’s Arc

Harpae’s Arc

Lisette’s Arc

(In Lisette’s arc, a CG is dedicated to Goldia’s sadness, more than just a single potrait … But I think it’s a good equivalent)

Here, and here comes the theme of coherence . Once again, we had already talked about it in Cloé’s Requiem, for what concerned the very crude and careless link between Michel’s crazy behavior and normal behavior.

But the point is that there is a variation between behaviors that we can compare. Do you remember?

Badly done, but it’s there .


This moment in Cloé’s Requiem values ​​a change in the plot: this image was shown only after we saw such a change . It was an image that represented relief because of the end of the tiring path of redemption that Michel and Cloé had faced.

To explain to you even better than what I’m talking about:

If I first see these three sequences of images I am moved, because I know that something has been dealt with, that a conflict has been resolved . You can also see here that it is possible to intercept a before and an after interspersed with a position and awareness . Here the stance is given by the reading of Cloé’s diary for which the vision towards her changes.

On the other hand, if I see this sequence of: hallucinogens followed by a random subspecies of comparison in which always the same expressions are used and not even a form of change in what should be being the main protagonist as well as the mastermind who first and foremost, together with the demon perhaps, created this fucking world of wonders , I honestly can’t move. Yeees, we may be surprised by the graphics but honestly: now Goldia is now mourning Lisette’s death, but why should I care? She was just a bully towards us, but we have to feel a little pity for right at the end , there are not enough reactions or positions taken by Goldia that can enhance this change .

To explain it even better: in the image above you have this.

BEFORE: Michel breaks the bookshelves at Cloé’s house, Michel reads the diary that makes him change his vision of things and cries; and AFTER  his growth path is rewarded with a “spectacular” image . In the image below we have this other situation.

BEFORE: We have Goldia wandering from map to map with the vague intention of facing Lisette, hallucinogens, hallucinogens, some background reveal, hallucinogens, some vague dialogue… Did I mention hallucinogens already?

AFTER we have the scene where she is crucified and they confront each other and finally Goldia’s crying who says she loves Lisette like her other personalities.

Do you think this is a decent development of a character?

That’s why I mentioned coherence.
In this story arc, Goldia has very little interaction with the situation she is facing!  If you notice, she becomes a toy in Lisette’s hands. We do not have a reflection, not a stance, nothing that justifies the presence of this central scene (“I want to look at you with my eyes, I want to understand you” ) ever happened, but above all I would like to point out that first of all there is no narrative expedient that should justify this change in their relationship . In short, total emptiness until the final pity-party.

Furthermore, in addition to the problem of coherence between behaviors , which we have already seen to be a key point for stories driven mainly by the actions of the characters, there is, once again, another big problem which is the release of information.

So what are we going to do now? In fact, as we did with Cloé’s Requiem we will take care of rearranging the information that during the game we got to a excessive distance from each other and completely randomly.


Ready, set, GO! Here is explained on the fly the plot of Pocket Mirror.

A)  This girl… Mother … Girl-mother sold her children to a demon.

If you had not understood there is the crucifix turned to make you understand that THIS IS SATAN.

B) So she went crazy after the deal , presumably, because tormented by guilt.

In fact this error made of her in her youth led to serious consequences …

So, either because of the repressive context of the 19th century, or because she is a child of Satan , our little Goldia could not grow so healthy mentally: rebellious personalities have been born since she was little. That’s why Goldia generated Harpae’s personality to stop the mess that Fleta and Lisette were up to . Harpae has thus become a sacrificial victim to submit to good manners and etiquette, striving to pass Goldia as a good young lady while Lisette has been repressed and hidden in Goldia’s subconscious.
PS: We are talking about the sacrifice that Harpae makes; and thank goodness she wasn’t born in a poor family! Note the black swan as a detail … We’ll come back to you later.

For the moment we continue with the plot.
) When the game starts; Goldia begins her psychedelic journey where she has to try to deal with all her personalities…

D) And after finishing the narrative with Lisette, Goldia is ready to face the final big boss and confront Enjel, specially created by the demon according to what her video presentation tells us.

(I pause to point out how insistently the theme of the pact with the demon returns. If we’ve learned anything from the old article on Cloé’s Requiem we know that when authors put several times, in a decontextualized way, the same plot detail means that it was an important element that they did not know how to explain . In this case we can shift this difficulty from understanding in the strictest sense of the word, to memorization . In fact AstralShift constantly tries to remind you of the fundamental things to memorize on the plot trying desperately to put them back in the middle in various points of the game even when you are talking about something else, as in these scenes that are contextualized in the middle of the clash between Goldia and Lisette and repeat phrases said in reality from the beginning of the game.)

… But returning to the meaning of the pocket mirror and to the evil plan of Satan

(This son of a bitch destroyed it!)

WOOSH, and like this the adventure is over: we defeated the artificial personality and Goldiancina woke up from a coma. We went around these few plot points for seven whole hours.

Here, this was the plot (we have excluded for the moment the other possible endings to try to make a summary as linear as possible). Did we miss something? Probably yes, but the point is that these are minor elements compared to what should be “the main plot”.

Can I say something? Is it normal that Cloé’s Requiem was much clearer in terms of issues for me?

CLOE’S REQUIEM. CLEAR, CLOE’S REQUIEM : two text boxes and summed up the main problem for you, let’s be aware .

-And from here, Elerantula at your service!

To deepen the theme of coherence in Goldia’s behavior and better explain why Pocket Mirror’s narrative structure does not work, let’s try to take a break, breathe a moment and expand.

Let’s start with the discussion of DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder, which we had already had the opportunity to deal with in Cloé’s Requiem.

In summary: Enjel is an intruder element in Goldia’s head, created by the demon to “take control” of her head / soul, so that she can control her as it was done with his brother (so it seems).

… And it was created to exploit the dissociation that Goldia made with her other personalities who wanted to take control of the brain through the mirror.

So what we should try to extrapolate from the plot is the battle for the conquest of one’s brain for a demon, and to do this it was necessary to face a path of cure from one’s disease.


Okay, so, let’s start by talking about this “dissociation” …

Guys, I didn’t think of returning to this disease from the appendix on the characters of Cloé’s Requiem.

Why do these girls “fall asleep” or even die, as if to give the idea that they will never come back?
From what I know, one path for dealing with a case of DID is to make all the so-called personalities live in a peaceful way within the same so-called “system” , that is the person who originally had the body (before traumatic experiences or, as the case may be, whatever has favored the development of the disease). In short, it is a path of pacification between personalities to ensure that they cannot harm others. In short, to see these girls die … It makes us misinterpret the treatment of the disease.

Furthermore, the discourse of “taking control” on which Lisette goes so much does not make the slightest sense, if we really talk about a case of DID, because who has this disease must be treated professionally precisely because, after a phase of mental dissociation, other personalities can take control suddenly, without warning . There is no hierarchy, there is no philosophy of “taking control” as one usurps a throne. This is exactly the thing that can make the life of an untreated patient very difficult.

Now I’ll show you a nice quote from a symptom of DID, with a maiden that we have already had the opportunity to study:

What she calls a “curse” appears suddenly, without her remembering any conflict . There are no phrases like “Oh, she’s taken over!” or similar. She simply does not remember a few days, because (also being Cloé untreated, poor thing) the so-called curse appeared abruptly, “without passing ‘go!'” we say in Monopoly.

(We bring you these images again to make you notice how disturbing it is to see always the same person on the screen, which in this game instead we have never seen)

It just doesn’t work the way it is described in Pocket Mirror , it’s not that simple: it’s not like these other people never show up again after a treatment path that is also so half improvised! The DID does not cure itself in a so complete way!

Let us all remember: Cloé had to die in order not to suffer anymore.

“But there is the supernatural factor, Cloé suffered alone, Goldia had the opportunity to confront her personalities thanks to the … Mind palace created by the demon!”
(Yes, I allow myself to reference Sherlock)

All right. If you wanted to show how the intrusion of a demon allowed Goldia to face herself in such a direct way…There had to be more contrast with the real world, in which Goldia was dealing with a real disease, and her path in the… Mind palace to finally get cured.

But the fact that for the sake of classic horror all girls actually have a side “with glowing red eyes” makes it all the more confusing!

They are all possibly dangerous personalities then !? Wasn’t it just Lisette the unstable one?!

So the game itself doesn’t help, if Astralshift wanted to go in this direction! We never know how disturbed Goldia really is and how much the demon in her head is doing, except Enjel.
And no, if Goldia is a sick girl, I don’t think every bad thing that happens in her head is the demon’s fault.

So, first of all, as a “lesser sin”, we would say that the disease has been treated roughly. But what we are left with is a mental journey anyway; in fact, you might find that disease or not-disease we cannot expect to see some sort of clarity of exposition of events if we are in a person’s head . In fact, what Pocket Mirror tells us is this: “You are in Goldia’s head, DUH.”

Very interesting. So we are dealing directly with the functioning of a “system”.

But here we return to the element of coherence that we had anticipated before.
Why are we talking about coherence of behavior? Simply because we do not know the so-called “true Goldia”, not even in the most intimate or internal moments in her personality.

I’ll copy-paste this whole part from my notes … Very brutal, don’t take them as totally lucid thoughts as a way of speaking, but I think they are more meaningful than any formalization I can do by writing one day after.

…We don’t know SHIT about this system’s “original personality”. We are in her head, but she is passive for EVERYTHING, as if she was in a goddamn EXTERNAL environment , when that is HER HEAD, which should be conditioned by her mental processes.


What happens is not dictated by her thoughts, by the subconscious, by NOTHING, because they are magical fucking random environments, which have no connection with a possible reality in which she lived, so it is all very alienating and NOT CREDIBLE: if a personality “dies” in the scene we see “the symboooll” but if we we pay more attention we can say:

“Hey but in Goldia’s head this DOESN’T MAKE SENSE”

That is, it is all so external that if a person gets a fever it is not because, what do I know, Goldia wants to suppress a certain part of herself as much as possible … No, it is because her personality had it for a cold wind or cold weather.

Okay, okay, let’s explain this seemingly idiotic example by getting a good dose of sedative, the one we use for elephants.

By that half-delusional reasoning I meant this: yes, we always take the example of the so-called “cold wind” that gives one of the personalities a fever.

We players / spectators must not consider that one and only as a “scene that is superficially useless but that hides a very deep message that I cannot understand for now, because it takes a second run”. Absolutely not , I venture to say that by doing so a developer does not respect the player.

Simply, if something happens, it is because it must be functional to the narrative.

In a lot of works, of course, you want to give a certain message with scenes, but you have to have a context, you have to have a base , you have to make sense of these scenes.

Returns once again this paragraph which we have always told you about in the course of many other articles.

First of all, think about the narrative structure on the surface, how compelling but above all how logical it is.

Here, to present this problem have you noticed that I have not made examples of particular scenes?

It is because unfortunately, if we want to exaggerate, this big mistake spreads throughout the entire Pocket Mirror! I am not an expert, but as a player I had a bad experience, that is, the one for which I felt I was not moving forward and therefore wasting time!

And the worst part is that all these errors, especially the correlation between events and Goldia’s behavior, have been masked as “unconventional storytelling”.

…And here we begin to deal with a burning issue, but to do so we will begin with an example.

The name of the girl we command throughout the game, Goldia.

This problem to be solved is presented to us, like many classic Horror RPGs, from the first minutes of the game. So we have to “find out the name of this girl”. But why do we have to? Shakespeare said that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” …

Okay, no more chatter. I’ll help you for a moment. In fictional works, “discovering the name” is to actually discover a real identity: a particular past to which the name / surname is linked , or of which noble you are the lost daughter.

But the name “Goldia” is not connected to anything.

Don’t get me started on the nobility of mind: so was good and good she remained, that she has acquired the awareness does not change anything from the beginning to the end of the game . This here is not presented to us as a different character from how she appears, not even through others who tell her, so that we can (if we are smart) already make connections between this elusive “Goldia” and our protagonist. Showing us other girls who are supposed to represent her doesn’t really matter nothing if we don’t find confirmation of this through her behaviors.

A good example is not difficult to find, but since with my sister we are recently reading Les Miserables, the classic by Victor Hugo-

Okay guys, I’ll let you sing: Do you hear the people sing? Sing the song of angry men … Okay, let’s finish this little theater.

And let’s take Jean Valjean .

In the book, to hide his identity, after a series of events he calls himself Pére Madeleine: this Madeleine guy is described as a good man, who gives everything to everyone, in general a saint. Quite the opposite of what we saw with Jean Valjean, presented instead as a dangerous ex-convict who in the last chapter in which he appears with this name is desperate because he has understood his condition as a “miserable”.

To put it down more generally then, in the novel we first met Jean Valjean for quite some time when he was a convict …

… But then we have people who describe Pére Madeleine. Those who know the story already know that Valjean changes his life … But according to the functioning of the work, which in my opinion has originated what is now a stereotype, the one of “making a character change life in such a radical way” …

(Personally, I really don’t like the 2012 musical adaptation, but it’s to make you familiar with who we are talking about)

Here, the “stereotype” says that we should be surprised that Madeleine is actually Valjean … But because there is a whole discourse on identity in every point of view of him that he carries with him!

Who is Goldia?

And the girl we command throughout the game even before we know the name, who is she?

If not the exact same person!

And so…

“Ok, she’s called Goldia, it’s written on the gate”

“Hi Goldia, I’m Jared, I’m 19-”

This small example will actually serve us to talk about another important theme, which is the presence of symbols throughout the story. As you may have seen: this game can’t be symbolic, because it doesn’t even carry a basic theme .

-Okay Ele, from here I return, PaoGun. Let’s calmly return the reader to our premises.

Let’s say that I choose a key for reading and I can give a meaning to all the narrative arcs: the maturation of Goldia, as we said.

The world of Egliette and Fleta is the world of games , where as a child she felt like a princess; the world where Harpae lives , in a mainly closed place that goes from underground in the attics, represents the repressive and hypocritical society of the time (especially in the puzzle phase with clothes) while the painter’s room, the one where school problems can be solved, were the activities that Harpae carried out so they were intended for Goldia’s education in good society, and to top it off the “world” of Lisette is in is … Well, it says “Hell” at one point. I suppose it is Goldia’s subconscious that ended up in Satan’s hands then: I deduce, therefore, that it is simply a nightmare considering the rhythm of the scene. Enjel’s arc doesn’t count because she has a subplot of her own. 

But, if we consider that in the specialized critique of works of fiction people always try to correlate all the elements in order to find a theme that connects them , because attitudes and Goldia’s behaviors seem more relevant to an external adventure? As if it were a horizontal narrative line (events) instead of vertical (character actions) ?

Goldia is not nostalgic for the world of games, she does not frown at the hypocrisy of the dressed-up guests, she never screams and is not terrified of the nightmare she lives with Lisette.

This inconsistency cancels any type of theme if we start from the simple concept, as we said before, that we are in her head.

On a theme that does not exist, what symbols should be included? These only turn out to be just a weird jumble of ideas.

Having given you these examples we can begin to better understand what we meant when we talked about the conflict between text and paratext. That is: if you wanted to make a game that is only symbolic and in some way destined to narrow niches of the public first of all you would not put it in such a linear story and you don’t promote it as a sort of “event game”, because that is usually an operation that is done with “blockbuster titles” , you know, of titles that have for real the goal of speaking to everyone and therefore the blatant approach is a hundredfold more justified.

This is why I take this opportunity to make this little digression: however “cheesy” the Mad Father cutscenes may be, or however “trashy” the characters of Misao may be, at least sen is an author who in our opinion knows what it means doing entertainment first of all, we like them a lot in their pragmatism, and this was a concept I had already talked about in the Cloé’s Requiem article. Entertainment is something that comes before symbolism even in a great profound work: entertainment really means knowing how to speak to more audiences and making them PARTICIPATES of a “unique” experience, unique in the sense “equal = understandable for all” .

And so…

Oh yes? Are you sure? Damn, we had the new Tarantinos in our little current and we didn’t know that.

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Now, assuming that the “storytelling revolution” in cinema is a somewhat difficult topic to talk about because “storytelling” is an element of films that changed to depending on the historical context and function of the film; so… Well, I don’t think we ever talked about storytelling as a “revolutionary feature”, it was more something that belonged to Hollywood. However, the reason why I’m quoting Tarantino is Pulp Fiction: I can say that there is an unconventional narrative because the events that led to the development of a story were told in a non-linear and continuously fragmented way.

Storytelling is done with time, with a timeline at your fingertips, okay? Not with spaces . Yes, space is a central element because it contributes to how certain information can be grasped, but it is mainly with the distribution of information over time that a story is built . A story is a consequence of events, isn’t it?

I would like to take a moment to talk about the structure in the most general terms: I now understand it as the intentions of the game and the genre in which to define it.

We take Yume Nikki, we take Ao Oni and we take Mad Father. Okay, are we there?

Yume Nikki: I know that I have to explore environments to have an alienating and hallucinogenic experience: my experience depends on me.

Ao Oni: I have to solve puzzles to finish the game and in the meantime escape from the blue demon: I expect jumpscare and chases.

Mad Father:  a very long introductory cutscene makes us understand that our goal will be to satisfy Aya’s wishes and help her free her father from zombies. We will go past obstacles, we will explore the house and in the meantime we know that we will have to do all this empathize fully with another character .

Am I too deterministic? I do not think so.

Look, I want to give you an example of a true Italian: do you know La Dolce Vita? For cinema fans not knowing it is practically a heresy.

Here, even there in the fragmentary nature of the structure (because; hey, an art film knows how to talk to its audience) we talked of a character whose actions over time were consistent with his characterization and path of inner corruption.

We have the party where Marcello goes after the VIP, Sylvia.
“Marcello, come here!”. To make you understand who we are talking about.

We have the church as an immediate contrast in which he meets in the church his friend, writer, father of a family, the most holy Steiner-With a crucifix on the side of the frame that highlights the nature of him as a saint.

The friend commits suicide.
“Maybe he was afraid of himself” says Marcello, before going to another party.

Final party.

Poor Marcellazzo is no longer able to hear the voice of the little girl he had met at a certain point in the film, the voice of innocence.

And here is La Dolce Vita explained. What a good critic I am, huh? Yeah, this is why I don’t call myself a film critic.

I wanted to bring you this example because this film in the common imagination is considered one of the forms of the most complete expression of individuality . Something relegated to the idea that a few true lovers of the genre and “chosen few” can understand , with all the symbols within it . How the movie deprives its understanding to an extended audience? By changing the direction, drying particular moments on the stage, avoiding telling a linear story with an open conflict that needs to be resolved because of course, an author’s work is not a Hollywood title; it has to change the way something is communicated to you .

But can you see that here too the coherence between the various elements, the red thread, the structure that gives life to the work is not lacking?

So this is mainly the reason why I believe that arguments like “a game that is to be rediscovered in multiple plays” in this area really doesn’t make sense. The replay value is an enrichment in such a product: you should discover information that you did not know, not try to understand something that was not understood well from the beginning ; nor should one try to understand only at a later time where the work would end up and with what kind of language .

So, let’s answer the question together: why did Pocket Mirror have every intention of telling a story without having a clue how to do it?

Because for information that came to us only at the end of the game what we have lived all the time is a story that took place in Goldia’s head and we faced some kind of inner journey to make her mature, for recurrent background; but also for the fact that Goldia had an identity to discover and this detail we knew from the beginning of the game helps to fuel expectations for a narrative development . The point is that there is not even a silent protagonist in the game, or a particular relationship that is created with the player as in Hello Charlotte, that should give us some idea that this was meant to be an experimental title. NO, this is the personal story of a girl who must discover herself told in a linear way, through narrative arcs

When in fact there is no development that is clear . We should continue playing this title as if we were on a sightseeing trip.

Because, I repeat, Ele got very frustrated playing, but I re-viewed the videos to look for screenshots for the article liked it all in all . If we take off the filler elements some of the scenes after all are beautiful and evocative, I talked about it in the Trump Card of the new expectations that have risen for those who try this title and it is a very valid ground of comparison for the creators of tomorrow.
BUT the game had to be clearer with itself.

… Let’s take another example of decontextualized symbolism through which they tried to cover the absence of plot development.
Let’s take Lisette’s crown of thorns, which was inserted instead of explaining to you concretely what she suffered : it seems to me a bit exaggerated as a symbol for a personality that is all in all hysterical .
Not to accuse you, my girl, but you are a martyr but up to a certain point, that is, the sense of the Bible is that Jesus was a pure person who took on sins that he did not do , am I wrong?

I do not know if in these cases in bothering the Bible you will find the ridiculousness that I am finding there.

And so with the other examples we have done: Swan Lake, the work of Pëtr Il’ič Tchaikovsky, a work that spoke of something else used here to tell us that Harpae was the black swan because it was not “the real Goldia “, in the midst of many other pure white swans shown in the image … Or they meant that she got dirty because she was getting stressed and was less and less pure because of it.

You know the real story, don’t you? Odile, the evil daughter of Rothbart or the magician who transformed Odette into a swan, had managed through a spell to deceive the prince who would have believed her Odette and would have therefore declared her love for her, as a consequence Odette dies for the ache. Here instead how should we interpret it?

Or to give another example, the theme of gold and the name “dipped in gold” which indicates nobility of soul, the nobility of the “original identity” treated as some sort of discovery for a girl who in the end remains the same before and after having discovered it …

Yes, yes! All right! The demon had stolen her name because of the pact but then why doesn’t this ever intervene? I repeat: what kind of demon are you? Ellen’s black cat was more efficient than you at deceptions, he kept a closer eye on the witch than you did on your victims, damn!

This is why the question that some may ask: Is this an overrated game? No , or we won’t even have talked about it as a historical piece in Back To The Future. The merits must all be recognized. But I repeat these are things that should prompt greater reflection on what to call a masterpiece or not: in my opinion a masterpiece does not exclude its audience from its understanding. A pact is always established between reader and author, spectator and authors, players and programmers.

Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland also uses the white rabbit trick to lead you down the hole to indicate that a story is starting here . Even in Yume Nikki we see that Madotsuki goes to sleep before we are transported to her hallucinogenic world!

For example, why didn’t you show us from the start of the game that Goldia just went into a coma? Maybe with hints that she wasn’t breathing well, that she had nightmares, I don’t know maybe a close relative worried about her.

And so we know that this girl fell asleep in an asylum room, first of all, and that we entered her head.

Come on, how distressing this scene would have been if we had known everything from the start? I would have had the chills personally, assuming the possibility that she would never wake up. I took this as a reference because it’s pretty much the same asylum room from the finale, we’ve seen it together before.

… Maybe, why not, the adventure we lived took place in the course of one night. A troubled night in an asylum.

Anyway, nothing, now I’m dreaming too much.

In conclusion, this was our explanation of Pocket Mirror’s deadly sin , “the big lie”: adopting an identity that did not belong to it.

And this has had consequences , because every action corresponds to a reaction, because if there was someone who praised the lived experience totally ignoring the narrative premises and trying to forgetting that she was going through a story; there were also people who, even from the very beginning of the game’s production history, were frustrated by the lack of clarity of this project .

(Ah, speaking of coherence and consistency in intent, I honestly wonder how they will make the fairytale universe of Little Goodie Two Shoes coexist with the coexistence of elements such as mental hospitals and medical realities of a certain historical period that were in Pocket Mirror) .

To which was added the very powerful Trump Card given by the desire for renewal ; in short, what we talked about before.
Associating such a noble intention with such a huge mistake makes the consequences even more serious, for a progenitor of this type, in defining the new “market drivers” of the current Horror RPG; that from pushing to renew oneself becomes a: “let’s look for artists, who cares if you don’t understand anything”, or said in a more formal way we are less and less concerned about understanding what kind of skeleton we want to assign to our products  making these much more confusing or weak. Or… Jumble. In any case, the important thing is to collect as many audiences as possible (isn’t it true, Omocat? -Oh, you see that we will have our reasons for talking about her video game as well). The essentials are no longer represented by phrases like: I want to talk to this public . The important thing becomes this: “I want to make myself known to everyone ; and to involve as many people as possible I have to surprise them (I add: I have to surprise them since I don’t know other ways to make my title more captivating ).

Let’s say that here we can officially say that the generation of the “story-telling focus” has begun; or wanting to create narrative structures even forcibly if they work to attract audiences. This is the downside so we will now talk about the various minor flaws.

Did they damage the game in any way? Absolutely not.

The experience you live with this title is in itself very enjoyable and the music does its job well . This series of points that we will list are to be considered more as a list of reproaches that we place at AstralShift with the harsh severity that is made towards a model student who still has, in our humble opinion, so much arrogance to leave behind.

Did you want to play a game “artistic and with a rich sensory experience?” . Well, let’s look at various minor flaws that make this title light years away from the label of “excellence” that is assigned to a true work of art.

-The word to Ele.

Here, the spider explains! You have no idea of ​​the poison he has to inject when he replayed Pocket Mirror for this article!
Yes, I have a lot of poison in my pincers and it never goes away… I’m fun at parties, I swear.

Let’s go to the beginning because, in fact, I criticize everything apparently without criteria so we don’t even start playing that I have my nonsense to say.

Apart from my personal directorial nitpick, where in my opinion the music had to stay for some time before showing … The only two dialogue boxes for which this music is in the scene, before we sink into total silence. Yes, the music that fades with an unprecedented bluntness.

Let’s see how these first premises were put down.

Writing with a black background at the beginning presenting us with a situation unknown to the player?

Oh, man! I wonder where I already saw this kind of introduction!

(Games pictured: Ao Oni, The Forest Of Drizzling Rain, Dreaming Mary, Ib.
And with the latter two, together with Pocket Mirror, we have 3 mothers talking to their daughters about … Things.)

… The conclusions are yours.

Guys, not to be unprofessional, it’s the only time I’ll probably use a reaction video but …

This was my reaction to replaying Pocket Mirror a week ago.

And I had this reaction not only at the beginning, but for the whole part that I re-played, especially in the field of directing . Therefore, in the context of the sensory experience that the title boasts.

Yes, I am permitting to say that for a “metaphorical” game, Pocket Mirror has an extremely average direction (except in the arc of Lisette, where it simply went for the total show because Astralshift got better at using RPG Maker, and thus leveraged its artists even more; and in the gramophone scene in the library, where simply the library atmosphere and sound made everything less dull); indeed in the early stages of the game bordering on mediocre and in certain scenes with elements that have been taken and pasted from passive audiovisual works!

Wow, I’m pretentious today. I even talk about directing, when I didn’t go to any kind of school or anything that has to do with directing!
I tell you, as a mere consumer of fictional works I can give you a fairly insignificant example in itself, given more than anything else by the lack of control on the part of the authors. It is an example that makes me understand that there is some underlying problem, especially in the criterion in which to put certain directorial “clichés”.

I will directly post videos of the single scenes with some of my notes, which will also be taken up in the writing of the article itself … But these other directing details, first of all for their quantity, will connect to the final discourse on the directed by Pocket Mirror in its entirety.

So … Here it is. It’s a very stupid example, but one that made me laugh personally.


It’s just me? Only I have noticed something strange … Especially in the rhythm of the scene?

It will be my philosophy, but when directing a scene even on RPG Maker, it’s all a matter of rhythm: if the rhythm cannot be followed, it falls in amateur.

Here the rhythm breaks, because the right timing has not been given to the sound effect, so Goldia’s potrait appears while the latter plays, when it was meant to emphasize the doll moving by itself (come on, there isn’t even a camera pan? ).

Here it is. With this inattention (which, as I said, can also be caused by simple carelessness) and, in the scenes that are not “buggy” a rather classic direction … They wanted to make “great scenes”, because this is the “great game”.

… Well, on the following topic I wanted to open a little parenthesis.

Here, this scene seemed normal to you the first time you saw it. But for The Rebirth Of Franklin Albrecht we are constantly looking for free sound effects that we can use, so we understand very well the problems in finding sound effects

… So knowing that we too have various problems finding the right sounds etcetera: it was too much to find a BGS (Background Sounds) that had more to do with a whole environment of more or less aristocratic girls?

Come on guys, you have so many people, so many resources, you could have found something better!

Here we are. With this occasional inattention (which, as I said, can also be caused by simple carelessness) on the one hand and a rather classic direction on the other … They still wanted to make the “big game” , or concepts like that. All this also gives me the idea that not all the scenes have been treated in the same way.

Apart from the sound sector, let’s go to another problem in detail: more constant and even more serious if desired. It has to do with a directing gimmick widely used by Astralshift in general, including in the Little Goody Two Shoes trailer:

The lights that, for no reason, fade when they have to show us something.

Nice presentation of a new environment, right?


Don’t look at me like that, I too had believed Astralshift at the beginning, I just said: “very anime presentation of the magical place, lol.”. But when I thought about it for five minutes, after running my brain with some healthy caffeine, I realized that something was wrong.

But where were the lights before? If Goldia fell and then she woke up and the animals were already dancing … What’s the point of giving us this kind of presentation?

TYPICALLY , in an awakening scene after a fall the environment is introduced with music , because the character has passed out, and then when she opens their eyes there is a situation that has already begun.

The situation was dominated by the direction, who did not know how the hell to introduce the atmosphere of the ballroom in a spectacular way (for some reason, because really, it was very easy to do such a scene).

Here we return to the discourse on the meaning of the scenes and all the elements you put in them.
This expedient of moving / thinning lights is used when a light is actually turned on, so that there is a “surprise” effect when something that is new is presented to the viewer …

… But a light must always come on, or the protagonist must always have a transition between dark and light that makes sense on a concrete level.

It took me so long to be a fu… Too many bad words? Are we unprofessional? All right…

So, I wanted to cross all the “t”s and I did, albeit in a short time and not as well as Astralshift could afford, with a kiind of storyboard on how the scene could be rendered.

It is not mandatory to see it, it was done in a very short time, but in the meantime I hope it gives a general idea.

But back to us, why is this directing problem more serious? Because first of all it is not caused by distraction, there is a problem in the basic idea of ​​how the presentation of the ballroom should be rendered …

And then because it is continually used in the game without shame and, I repeat, without any sense …

(Note: in my opinion, in some cases a simple camera-up would have been fine, as was done in the scene of Egliette’s death)

And finally, because it’s not considered a bad gimmick by the developers themselves. We see this in the Little Goody Two Shoes trailer, minute 2:34

So generally speaking, as a game it doesn’t have too unforgettable narrative scenes, if we take away the artists and the wonderful music. If we think only of the content and how it was directed, Pocket Mirror is, really, an interchangeable game with many others who want magical atmospheres and things like that.

Just saying: if Lydia, author of Aria’s Story, had had the amount of artists that Pocket Mirror had, she would have had very similar (if not identical) ideas in directing for her story.

But let’s stop pretending we’re Kubrik.

With gameplay and experience for the player… How is this game?

I won’t even waste many lines: after all, this isn’t a real review. Both are disappointing for me.

Although Pao highly praised the immersion work done by the game, for me the so-called “sensory experience” that describes Astralshift in their various bios, I didn’t feel it very much …

Since the maps we interact with have blur used many times , according to Pao, (our game’s map designer, so she already had to deal with parallax editing) hastily , and a photography with warm tones in most cases (see the splendor of the dress room in the arch of Harpae or the magical world of Enjel) which aims to be a union between Alice In Wonderland and Dreaming Mary, in an even more “magical” version … And if I can say it more trashy, in the successful attempt (because many liked them, Pao in the early development of The Rebirth Of Franklin Albrecht had the Astralshift maps as a reference) to be eye catching .

The exploration phases have atmospheres that are the same as other games : you change music, you change context and you can have, I always use this example in a very derogatory way (I do not give this title not a shred of respect for my reasons), Aria’s Story.

So as an experience, we can say that a casual gamer can be very attracted to it, one who has seen many times typical “magical” atmospheres in many different works … A little less.

The gameplay… It’s a “cutscene discovery” with puzzles decontextualized from everything else. Period. And during the cutscenes you passively undergo events as much as Goldia does. And this is not even an extra point for “identification for the player”, because we remember that we are in the head of Goldia herself.

It’s basically the Angels Of Death gameplay , which is quite criticized on Steam.

“But with Little Goody Two Shoes they have done things big, in fact in their bio Astralshift says they want to bring innovative gameplay!”

Okay, let’s review the trailer together, maybe we introduce some kind of new mechanic!

Ah-ha. Ok, typical exploration that will surely be in the forest and someone’s house to keep the plot going , “mysteries to discover”… Which is a nicer way to say once again that the plot is great, character routes that we will have with the various characters like visual novels… For some reason…? And the various endings that we bring with us from Ib which will be like a true, a bad, a good ending and maybe if the “relationships” with the other characters are developed you will have certain types of route endings…

So also combining items …

Although this thing makes me doubt, it may be ok to have some crafting : it’s the only thing that I actually don’t know exactly what it will be used for and I’m curious.

Then there are also cited “strategic choices” and once again the relationships with other characters.

And in the end…

… The trailer ends like this. With … With lights that show us these pumpkins like this, to make us have a heart attack.

… “Aridaje”, they say in Rome.

So what to say?

Um… Considering that I’m pretty sure of all my theories about the context in which all the features presented in the Little Goody Two Shoes trailer will be used…

What do you want to focus on? What mechanics do you want to innovate? To make gameplay rich, you don’t just need to put as many features as possible: it is something that many very minor indie games (some that are on or other portals) have been trying to do for years, without reaching any really satisfying result …

So, as gameplay director of team Ludi Tarantula I recognize that it is impossible to create new mechanics out of nothing . I also wander in the dark sometimes when I have to offer as much interaction as possible to the player in a very, very story-driven game. I recognize that standing up for groundbreaking gameplay is not easy at all, I have to say this by in their favor.

But in my opinion this problem can sometimes be solved by putting certain mechanics in a nice particular context , reinterpreted in a certain way just because of what they serve to the story … In general, make special very normal mechanics because they are in your project, which has a certain very strong imagery that reimagines the same functioning but in different lights.

But, perhaps it is also because it is only a trailer, I have not yet seen by Astralshift such strong contexts as to totally re-imagine the mechanics, “revolutionizing” them as they say.

To be honest, for now I have only seen many graphic improvements from Pocket Mirror: the drawing style changed, as well as the engine, therefore also a different type of perspective in terms of maps, lipsynch, frames for dialogues, totally personalized menus…

So every time I see this new project I always have one feeling:

It seems to me that no matter how much they evolve with engines, mechanics and all … Something tells me that even the prequel to Pocket Mirror will be, in the end, all entertainment for its own sake.

So, now that you have heard all this criticism of absolute graphic beauty, and beauty of the genre, you will scream …

“If you think this doesn’t make sense, then we have to be with the shotgun pointed at whatever spectacular element we see ?!”


We have repeated this many times.
In my last sentence “spectacle for its own sake”, I wanted to tell this concept, which we would also like to communicate to all the aspiring game developers out there:

The yardstick must be the criterion of choices . Because what differentiates a thing done well and done badly is that in works done well everything is functional; when something is spectacular and you just realize it because things are there because God wanted them.


And a question that arises spontaneously is:

Why? How good is it to do what you are criticizing, that is to create spectacle without saying a linear plot “like normal people”?

Well gentlemen, it is because today we are in the era of visionaries.
Yes, we are regressing to the 60’s, I dare to say, even if the next game we will cover in Back To The Future will reflect a completely different reality …

We are all unique, we all have special and beautiful ideas that deserve to be valued and supported by as many professionals as possible!

Ah, how many times have you read such phrases said in good faith?

In theory they are to give more security to those who are not sure of what they are doing and have actually good ideas …

But everyone wants to feel comforted and complimented in life , let’s face it. These suggestions, these concepts in general are taken into consideration and internalized by anyone who finds themselves in more or less similar situations.

A more … Social and from the public’s point of view will be made in the article dedicated to the Audience-Work Relationship, so get ready.

But speaking of authors … I introduced this acid conclusion of the Work Defects by saying that “we have returned to the era of visionaries”.
That should be a good thing, right? The visionaries are these so-called “geniuses” who create products for which the consumer asks “but how did they come up with that?”.

In this context I would like to interpret the term “visionary” from a very contemptuous point of view, unfortunately. I will summarize my point of view with the phrase of a youtuber that I respect a lot, Uricksaladbar.

“If David Cage has an idea, he’ll get it in!”
(speaking of Beyond Two Souls)

David Cage, you know? Beyond Two Souls, Heavy Rain, Detroit Become Human…

What by now a lot of people, especially American audiences, is criticized for its narratives with sometimes questionable qualities, and similar to B-movies.
Just the one who wanted to make “the video game industry more mature”.


Ah, sorry. I have the wrong biography. Or maybe not?

I used Urick’s phrase to introduce you to this parallel view, which the more I discover about Astralshift, the more honestly I find fitting.

“… And in this jumble of confused narrative schemes we find the decontextualized symbolism with which they wanted to patch up the narrative holes.
Let’s take Lisette’s crown of thorns, which was inserted instead of explaining to you concretely what she suffered : it seems to me a bit exaggerated as a symbol for a personality all in all hysterical .
Not to tell you anything my daughter but you will be martyr but up to a certain point, that is, the sense of the Bible is that Jesus was a pure person who took on sins that did not belonged , am I wrong?”
-Ludi Tarantula Archives

“The story of Beyond Two Souls, when put chronologically, exposes how meaningless the artistic choice was! Faux-artistic choices like that make a game mature? Christ!”

For me these two people, David Cage and EvilHairBrush worked the same way.
They have a great idea to develop, they think about the other narrative elements to introduce , a general story with elements and themes probably seen by some worthy work … And an artistic idea to “make their game “compared to others of the same genre, which otherwise would have the same vibes, the same types of characters, the same narrative choices.

Both of them therefore, to enhance their great idea as much as possible, took care of the charm to give to their games, to make them more similar to actually mature products that they value, so they took care to find as much support as possible, financial and staff…

Because they are geniuses. They are “visionaries”, who “have seen” what a work needs to be considered profound, poetic, unconventional, particular, to be considered ART!

… They know how to distinguish a “mature work” from the plethora of childish works, which are less cinematic than theirs or which do not make the player say “wow” as soon as you see the title screen … Works that do not have the same depth as themselves, of them who dealt with strong themes in an incredible way and with a truly enviable sensitivity!

Here is the problem.

It is as if these two projects did not really understand the concept of “editing” the basic ideas , to make them accessible to outsiders who do not live in their minds… It’s like they didn’t thought about editing ideas that they deserved a very heavy editing job. From every point of view. The “ideation” stage is never passed for these types of developers.

And it is so because …

“Art is subjective!”,
“If you don’t like it, go away!”,
“How can you judge so harshly !? What do you know what the author meant ?! ”
“They put in so much work!”
“You don’t understand it!”

Let’s go back to what I said at the beginning of this ending paragraph in the Work Defects. These morals and concepts have now reached the developers of today, and will continue to be passed down to those of tomorrow.

This is exactly one of the reasons why there are products like Pocket Mirror.

Because there is not a minimum of self-awareness when it comes to our artistic ideas.


This was a very important and inevitable step in our time machine journey.

Now that we are nearing the end I almost feel compelled to talk to you more with an open heart, because for the final title, Angels of Death , we are going to do a spectacular article and for that I don’t know if we will stop to chat together as we always have, so I take advantage of the conclusion of this article to draw my last observations.

Today we have said so much, in my (PaoGun) opinion indeed we have even exaggerated … But this is because everything must be looked at in its context . In fact, before arriving at the conclusion of Back To The Future, with which we will close the season, we will dwell for a while on other columns such as the Tin Coffee Pot Time (because as we gradually reach the ” contemporary era” we can reflect more and more on the surrounding production reality ).

Even if we seem like really bad and sour people when we write for the Archives, know that in reality we always feel so much bitterness when we talk about things that make us angry, this is when we work on the internal analysis of the titles, both in talking about realities external to a product; because actually it is really sad to realize the difficulties that must be faced in a context in which one could apparently say: “Hey! Today it is different, everyone can emerge with their creativity! ” and yet it is not like that at all.

But it is precisely for this reason that instead of burying you we would like so much to push you into research and information. Because we are the first to bring up numerous topics without going into them all in depth.

If we resume for a moment the reflections on external contexts and return to the topic on the publishers that we had introduced in previous articles … In my opinion we have never thoroughly investigated the path with which it all began: “How did it go for Kedouin? What was his relationship with the publishers? ”.

For wanting deadlines to be respected, for wanting synthesis (associating the word “synthesis” to our articles makes you laugh, we know, but we refer above all to the human brain’s need to “synthesize concepts”); we ask ourselves limits on many topics that generally deserve more in-depth analysis.

We would like to convey this concept: the Archives are just the beginning; it’s the kind of mindset we’d like to see more prevalent (get pissed off at others? No, the behavior we’d like to see more prevalent is asking questions ), and if we have the arrogance to say so it’s simply because we have become accustomed to seeing that normally, in this panorama it is not spread enough as a model of thought.

This is because, at least according to our life experiences: being objective changes you forever. Seeking objectivity in everything changes the way we see things especially in the case of investigating something, in our case, for example, that we are trying to investigate the fate of a market in which, all in all, we are pouring our expectations for a professional future.

In short, we are anticipating our greetings here, hoping that living this long journey with us started in 2019 will remain in your mind and stimulate you to seek more and more information. And so …

Thank you. Thank you so much for making it this far.

We will meet again shortly with you in the Tin Coffee Pot Time, which Ele is pawing to have a chat with you.

Cloé’s Requiem (2nd PART) – The business of children, four characters in search of an author

Good evening and welcome back.

Please go to your designated seat…
Your chair. Or sofa, if you have paid for the priority ticket.

Here is the infamous second part of the article on Cloé’s Requiem … The one in which we had to spit out facts, the one in which we had to expose all the rottenness surrounding this game!

Excited? I hope so!
… Because we, in reality, were somewhat stained by the time gap between the first and second part of this duology of articles.

“… So you didn’t even want to write?”

It will be unprofessional to say it in the article itself, but … More or less!

You know, we lost … The fire, if you know what I mean : we put off a lot of time before we started writing (to say me, Ele, I’m writing this intro on February 21st, and the release date will be between February 27 and February 28 …) and a lot of past notes saved us, they reminded us of those sleepless weekend evenings when we commented on the whole context of this title and how much we scraped the bottom of the barrel to get there to our “shock conclusions” with statements that not even the worst afternoon talk shows can give you.

But fear not. We had lost our enthusiasm simply because we hadn’t talked about it for a while …

But we are back on track. to hear about Nubarin again, Nanashi No Chiyo, their slips … You will see that we will return with all our energy , and I solemnly promise that we will satisfy all the hype we put in the previous article for this part.

… Above all, we’ll satisfy the hype for of our anger.

We are done looking at overt psychopaths, mentally dissociated people, just insanely jealous mothers, or whatever kind of person the asylum would be home to! We finished reading diaries to get information, analyze in detail dialogues to notice the good part of genius that this game has!

The anger begins! Start from THIS ARTICLE (yes, I’m not afraid to put the caps lock) what for me is the last, painful … And entertaining, for these sick bastards with a thousand eyes 1 , macro part of articles of the entire Ludi Tarantula Archives!

From this game we will go further and further down … But you will see the obvious effects of this general decline (from every single point of view) as time goes on, until the last article on Angels Of Death.

For now, with talking cats, dry expressiveness, correctors for dark circles, contradictions to the messages given by the works themselves …

… And very, very French school uniforms …

(Wow I never thought I would see Michel with a Japanese gakuran and Pierre with a cardigan.)

Sit down once again and watch us flay the ideas you can have about this game as an “innocently soared to the top of the charts”, of “oh, two such young authors made it to the top!”

Watch us skin the entire mask that has covered and still continues to cover Cloé’s Requiem!

Cloé’s Requiem – The business of children
Second Part: Four characters in search of an author

But after this arrogant introduction, let’s take a chill pill … Before we get to the hottest revelations in the article, we need to have a basis for these, right?

Let’s start with a statement:

Cloé’s Requiem, since its first show of popularity, has had outside help left and right.

“Yeah, right! And the crop circles prove the existence of UFOs! Couldn’t this damn title go on alone? You always see rottenness and marketing in everything, I knew it! ”

Thank you! You made me arrive very smoothly to the question I wanted to ask, and to which Pao will answer shortly …

“Why couldn’t this game go on on its own in the first place?”

“Wait, what about the author-work relationship?”

Oh, I forgot! For this article only, to leave you the best at the end, the categories will be swapped , so …

Pao, get the list out!


Okay, here I am finally back to work to face together, once again, the innermost analysis of this game to begin the second part of this journey!

And also … Hahah yes, Ele mentioned a list. Yes, a list … In fact, as we did from the first Midnight Train review, we decided to draw up a small ranking of the defects that have marked Cloé’s Requiem.

But before introducing it, I’ll give you one of my usual premises.

I know it. I know that somewhere you will be cursing me for having once again this damn piece from Mad Father article

And it’s time to do the reckoning:

“The clarity of the main plot is essential and the preferable starting point to trace the main path […]”

So far we have in fact seen in the titles that have passed through the Back to The Future to make for most of the cases the great ascent to the red carpet for the category of games that have made the history of the current and which for the most part had the two aces in the sleeve essential for the success of a narrative title: narration and gameplay .

We have therefore seen for most of the cases positive examples to which we always refer as models of inspiration from which to take; from the gameplay exploited to expand the background in which the plot moves (this both in The Witch’s House and in Mad Father , as well as the potential unexpressed by Ib ) to a clear and linear script from the beginning on which the gameplay could support , I speak of Mad Father and in a some sense Misao.

Guys, you know what? If you “stick” to certain titles it is not just for the style , on the contrary I believe that today it is a yardstick that must be overcome if we want to start digging and aiming on the value of these works and treat them with dignity like any other fictional work and not just nostalgic hobbies that take us back to childhood, given how they have evolved. We cannot remain anchored only to the lights that decorate the Christmas tree and let slip the majesty of the fir that lies right in front of us, little noticed compared to the glow of the electronic gadgets that should enhance it and not obscure it . We cannot afford it and neither can you; at least here, with us in the Ludi Tarantula Archives. Think for a moment of Ib as something beyond the “sophisticated and elegant style with an unforgettable experience” or The Witch’s House as different from the “creepy gameover game. and full of animations “; Mad Father is not only in the dramatic content it expresses inspired by family melodramas.

What made the titles we have talked about so far unforgettable, perhaps you know inside you better than me or Ele, was their internal quality . They had a solid, homogeneous structure with clear intentions, they always knew where they wanted to go and everything that wanted to be communicated was communicated. Nothing was left to misunderstanding, or very little; indeed: this consideration has almost always turned out to be true in our eyes for most of the games we’ve talked about well .

The key is structure . Always.

And with this we are actually anticipating one of the themes that will then be dealt with in detail with the article we have planned immediately after the one dedicated to Pocket Mirror ( “Style: The Ultimate Trump Card? ”), so you know I’m giving you a huge spoiler with just that premise.

But back to us.

Maybe you too will have turned up your nose to see “Cloé’s Requiem” in the Back To The Future time-line, it was not treated exactly like “all the other games” especially for what happened since the First Generation onwards in terms of fame. People screamed about it but not too much, the youtubers played it but apart from being a bit influenced by the “final depression” they did not seem particularly active emotionally, the brand was carried forward but the news does not seem to have had any kind of feedback, the history was really circumscribed and “closed” and often there were moments in which, for better or for worse, everyone approached to interpret them as he could.

He looked a bit like “the bastard son”, the one out of place among the other titles in Back To The Future: even The Forest of Drizzling Rain could at least be connected to the author who produced Angels of Death .

So, draw your own conclusions.

Think about the 200 pages we wrote to talk about this title, on how much enthusiasm we have put into talking about it and on the in-depth study dedicated to its characters …

… And now try to welcome with me the sense of inner anger in imagining this game that did not best express the potential it had due to its failure for both of the two pillars that should distinguish these products. Every player or spectator understood one thing for another, something that could be revolutionary was underestimated even by the authors and publishers themselves. I will talk more about this when I address a speech in the paragraph dedicated to the Author-Work relationship, I can promise and assure you that I am not using this term inappropriately.

Storytelling and gameplay. Gameplay and storytelling.

So, my friend who still reads, follow me once again in exploring the ruinous structure of this game by trying to take these words literally: like a visit to a beautiful, unsafe house, because it could collapse from a moment to the next .

– Ranking: from 3rd to 1st place on the podium of the main defects of Cloé’s Requiem –

Actually this part of the paragraph, as I have reiterated so far, could be summed up in a very simple word which is stability .

Stability is built with all the elements that come together, so that is why we will almost inevitably have to try to talk about it in more depth.


This defect is therefore the first component of its instability . But … Why is Cloé’s Requiem an unclear game?

You could tell me: “hey sister, look, there is no problem in terms of structure! We know that we have to free Cloé from the curse with good feelings by playing together, it is a narrative structure organized through the discovery of the floors of the house as in The Witch’s House and we even discover the reason why Michel ran away at the beginning of the game! “.

Here, but the problem is where the game wanted to tell about the characters. For those lost in the first part of the article remember this: this is a character driven story , so first of all the actions that accomplish and define the characters we could all agree that cannot be unclear to the spectator / player .

This problem I would relegate to various factors, first of all …

  • Consistency between informations

For example, the problem that I have already mentioned in the first part of the article, we see Michel at the beginning of the game, and  it does not seem at all that he has just committed two cold-blooded murders! 

If the game had been a little more coherent, it would have had to be represented with disturbing elements that could characterize Michel right from the dialogues and not show this side only in game overs, as if it were an accessory feature.
Because if you treat what was for the character a very important turning point for his personality or perception of the world as an element to be overshadowed and then instead in the main scenes you just show him to me as a normal kuudere  the player gets confused. You, the author, are thus deflecting the perception of the character in the public eye because a scene like this:

And immediately after a scene like this:

Placed one after the other, they are truly disconnected from each other, when compared with the context we have seen so far!

I will make you understand better what I mean:

If the diary scene is the reason why there will be no more scenes like the game over one then you have to put them on the same level !

We have to see clearly the contrast between his attitudes in the course of the plot!

To take Ellen as an example: many people reasoned about the cruelty of the witch towards other living beings and creatures of the house or about the famous clue of the red icon in the dark room. But all this was always supported by the underlying apathy that was shown in the character ; here we cannot consider disturbing the detail on the protagonist who easily deprives a girl of her eyes if these elements are not found in the main plot. 

So my question is: why didn’t you highlight this disturbing side of him in the first dialogue with Cloé ? He seemed to be a really nice guy to her! A little off-putting, of course, but it was exactly the saving vision that Cloé had of him in her diaries.

So, going back to The Witch’s House, it would have the same problem if Ellen didn’t have an apathetic face from the start and the game showed us an image of her as the sunny and kind girl that was Viola for the sheer sake of inserting the shot on stage in the finale.

Well, I’ll tell you something about twists: these have the ability to make us feel really stupid , because, as I said maybe in other circumstances, they just toss the truth in our faces. that had been in front of us all that time .

An excellent fictional work that has this characteristic is the honest one, which never betrays the viewer and nor ever contradicts itself . It is simply based on elements that we take for granted and for this reason they create in us beliefs that seem obvious at first friction and for this we do not pay attention anymore: we avoid explaining a detail because the viewer can fill the gap with his assumptions, and then all he does is show the clues that he will ignore a priori because he is already self-convinced of his own ideas .

For those who missed it, I refer you to to the article about The Witch’s House in which we spoke abundantly of its narrative structure: the diaries of the witch constantly accompanied you to each floor to make you perceive this story as something separate from the character you commanded; you assumed that “you were guiding Viola, a simple house visitor ” simply because the game starts with this quiet girl walking into a house .

Instead, we always had the revealing detail at hand thanks to the character icon , which we took for granted as a personality trait of Viola, and it worked alone as a revealing detail. That’s why this game , not wanting to adopt a traditional or linear narrative form, did not insert dialogue until the twist (excluding the cat as a save point that serves as another telltale clue).

So, given this explanation, returning to Michel: his behaviors are among the most interesting elements of the game; but the most disturbing aspects of her are layers treated only as an accessory, as I have told you so far.

Let’s take a look at narrative facts for a moment. In short: to kill an adult man and woman with that frail body he has, Michel had to land a lot of stabs before seeing them dead – think of the facts of crime news: killers inexperienced with edged weapons find themselves raging on the victims with numerous stab wounds before killing them-, that is; this child had the fury to inflict who knows how many stab wounds on two people one after the other .

I mean, really, try to imagine the blood bath in which Michel was immersed.

The lack of coherence with what is seen in most of the time goes to directly undermine the perception that the public has about the character , however, so the game becomes a waste. I mean, what’s the point of writing such complex characters if they don’t have to be understood by the audience?

In reality there is another problem that has constituted the lack of clarity in the exposition and to talk about this unfortunately we would have to show the other side of the coin of what was one of the most unique features of the game, but at the same time we could almost define as the reason why this title could never have remained on the “crest of the wave” for long, that is …

  • The text

Choosing a purely textual narrative mode prohibits the presence of visual elements on stage , which help to remember certain scenes a hundred times more than textual ones!

Add to this …

  • Time

There is too much time between clues and this will cause the spectator / player to get distracted . In fact, I would say that the problem is the arrangement of information in the game timeline

It is wrong and generates inconsistencies.

I remind you that in order to make such a long article in the first part my sister and I had to rely on our memory, only in this way were we able to make the necessary connections for the analysis .

To give a very, very subtle example why not take Alain’s line in the Moonlight flashback at the beginning of the game… Do you remember it? We had the opportunity to deepen the subject in the analysis of the characters. Recall that we associated the Alain-Cloé relationship with the Michel-Cat relationship: in the game the information about this animal only reaches us at the end of the second act! Furthermore, when the Michel / Alain association returns in a clearer way it is only for a game over , i.e. a variable that may not even be discovered by the player and the association much more difficult .

Let’s remember the appearances in chronological order: start of the game

Then the phrase obtainable in the gameover, close to the first midpoint (so in this case in the middle of the story) 

And finally the explanation of the line that becomes obtainable in Michel’s flashback which comes much more later than the gameover described

(Speaking of abandoning the cat “in such a desolate place” I think it deviates a little too much from the intentions that were intended to be given in the game; especially if this concept is taken up again – indeed, anticipated – in such an ambiguous moment as the gameover in which Cloé is killed due to a spurt of violence

A little experiment. Try reading the lines in this order and you will see that the correlation will be even clearer:

You see? Reading them in succession next to each other has a different effect, they give more the idea of a possible forerunner of a Corruption Arc than the random arrangement they have in the game .

Ah, and consequently to all this…

Hyde: “Lucy, You were pleaning on leaving without saying me goodbye won’t you?”
Lucy (scared): “I’m not going anywhere”
Hyde (approaching): “That’s right, you’re not going anywhere”

FHS – Live performance of Sympathy, Tenderness (reprise) and Confrontation
From the Frank Wildhorn musical Jekyll & amp; Hyde, Opening Night, March 2015

Like this. Just to fish out a trauma together with you and understand together why cases of femicide are still very widespread (and in most cases by men very close sentimentally to the victim). Oh yes, another note to consider: I would like to clarify how in the version of “Con Amore” we will talk about and in the same promotion of what was this Cloé’s Requiem all these disturbing details regarding Cloé and Michel’s relationship have been totally censored .

However, keeping on the same theme and returning to think about the problematic narrative structure there is a scene much more important that we can take as an example….

… That is the diary scene REPEATED after the flashback.

Here it is again. This scene returns in this article as many times as it does in the game: in this case its “reprise” occurs after Michel had just finished telling us about his “first murder”.

… Let’s proceed in order.

If you remember well this scene where he apologizes to Cloé and feels guilty after destroying her house it happens BEFORE Michel’s flashback, so before we could understand that all this time he had somehow associated Cloé with his cat.

So the first problem, first of all, is that much, much earlier was anticipated to us a detail for which at present we cannot make any connections.

But what could be an even bigger problem?

The main problem we encountered was its own repetition : we see it twice in the course of history in a completely decontextualized way .

You remember how long the flashback that explained Michel’s life was long, more or less, don’t you?

In the flashback we learned about: the conflictual relationship with his father; the conflictual relationship with his brother Pierre; the ambiguous and generally conflictual relationship with the maid Charlotte and then the object of comfort represented by the cat Cloè.

Now, the point is that, as I said earlier, the two authors have inserted the scene from Cloé’s diary twice throughout the game to explain to you that the comforting object represented by the cat , was transferred from the cat to the co-star, that is from an animal to a person .

As I said before: the two authors, at the time they developed to the game, have not been able to create immediate links between the main plot elements , you can see it above all in this scene that they wanted to bring you back TWICE just to explain it to you. This is where you realize that no matter how hard they tried to explain the game’s storyline they failed .

Why did I come to this conclusion?

We can see this in the flashback itself .

A lot of elements go between one important detail and another even within this flashback: after we know about the cat that was abandoned by Charlotte we have the quarrel with the father, then the plot moves back to the parent-child conflict ; then there is the scene in which Charlotte is gossiping and even her death/ her accident.

I have prepared an outline for you to understand:

We have the opportunity to get the choice of doing “pat pat”, we can understand that more or less from there that the arc of “Cloé as a cat” is starting. Let’s say that opens definitively with the reading of her diary; because it is here that the problem is revealed to us for the first time through a forced cutscene followed by the excuse made to Cloé.

Then, after the filler gameplay session such as the murder of the cello and dinner, we finally discover Michel’s flashback in which after the presentation of all the elements of his depressing life there is a direct consequence the continuation of the “confort object” theme , because we are clearly shown that the cat is the only comfort element he has left in that house and losing him is it was evidently a hard blow. Then there is the murder of Charlotte with all the explanation relating to the fact that Michel was losing empathy for human life and finally this bloody cat arc closes with a RETURN TO THE DIARY SCENE, a remnant of something old with the addition of the CAPITAL AND RETORICAL EXPLANATION in its textuality which wants to reinforce the meaning of this difficult scene.

So I would say that the problematic element that was randomly inserted here in the structure had to be patched with as much text as possible to badly reconnect the pieces of texture to each other like when trying desperately to stick pieces of paper with tape.


That is really is a mess: between the points that should be part of the subplot on the association of human Chloe with the cat and the overcoming of this infantile vision is in the middle the subplot about Charlotte and her murder ( aka the beginning of the curse) . This element creates real interference!

Do you see? I propose the scheme again!

Whether this plot element had to be explained,  this wasn’t the moment, because it completely distracts from what is another plot detail relating to Cloé’s objectification .

Let’s try to remove for a moment the scene where Charlotte was killed and try to propose an alternative solution .

  1. For starters, once we got this revelation in the flashback that the cat was abandoned in the mountains, I would temporarily stop the flashback. One could take advantage of the fact that Cloé had been standing there watching the performance to immediately make a visual link.
  2. Then you could show HERE how he had overcome his attachment to the girl , maybe he gets an epiphany, he has a panic attack in which he takes refuge in Cloé but then realizes he being making a mistake; he moves away and isolates itself : so we are shown in a scene in the present and not re-proposing a scene already seen that was created for another plot point.
  3. And then from here numerous solutions would open up to be able to face the third act: after the interruption of the flashback in fact the opening of the redemptive arc of Michel . It started with the guilt he has already overcome (Cloé’s objectification which he interrupted just in time) to face “the red eye” – perhaps from this plot point it became more and more recurrent; as if to represent a “reminder” to indicate that reminders have been interrupted.

So in short they coould have exploited the focus on “minor” guilt  to reveal Michel’s “major” faults all through gradual discovery: you gradually discover what happened in that flashback and then the crime concerning the murder of his father .

So starting from this new proposal try to imagine this tormented boy wandering in the basement, the most underground and darkest place in the mansion, who since his epiphany is surrounded by the vision of red eyes until he reveals the crimes to us, spectators of him. So we could tell here about Michel’s growing insensitivity : from the beginning of the curse (the first murder), up to all the animals he killed in the meantime, up to the release of final violence for which he killed his father . A third act of the kind focused only on this reveal would have given a nice help to the gameplay that would have been more focused on this theme ( and made the l flashback of the Nocturne, or the first meeting between Cloé and Michel, in my opinion still more powerful and poetic in my humble opinion; because you see a boy treated like a saint who has recently rediscovered himself as a monster ) …

… And it would have replaced everything that third act useless and rambling which instead took place in the basement…

Tell me what the fuck these puzzles are supposed to represent and when they are enjoyable.

It, however,  was a third act concentrated mainly on Michel  (since it focuses on the subplot of the instruments to which blame is assigned; and the place where we have the reveal on the murders ; the place where Charlotte is seen in the form of a curse; and finally it is also the place of the final battle against Alain -we have already seen how here the defeat of Alain can be strong on a symbolic level -) : at least it would have had bases more solid!

Like, the whole mess we described could have been avoided simply by delaying information about a particular plot event to reveal it at a later, more appropriate, time. Unfortunately, this did not happen and we all replayed the reprise of a scene we had already seen due to interference…

I want to highlight once again how these two particular events come one after the other and the alienating effect they give

And to which the consequence, reviewing the scene in the diary and passing again to the point where it speaks of “having treated Cloé like shit” triggered a reaction like this in all of us:

“But what does that mean?” / “Why does it matter now?”


To conclude this first point, let’s say this too.

Perhaps someone will remember that, even without the section dedicated to deepening the characters, we already knew that the article would be divided into two parts. This is because we had already foreseen that talking about this game would be a really long operation for the work of dissecting and interpreting the themes: the reason is, as we have taken the liberty to consider, that nobody understood this game.

Returning, therefore, to our premise: they never wanted to discuss the innovative themes it brought up, even too thoroughly .

Over the years this work has been increasingly mistreated and superficialized, we will see it in the following paragraphs, however, we do not want to assign the blame only to the operation one promotion that followed, you can see here that a good percentage of this fault is the work itself .

And, in reality, there is another flaw inherent in this great issue relating to stability to be considered. I’ll call it like this:

  • The text, PT.2

In fact, in the last act, especially following the flashback of the Nocturne and the approach of the “final big bosses”, there was a great excessive presence of the text .





The text prevailed over everything and overwhelmed the feelings it wanted to tell, ending up in a spiral of retorical mental blowjobs.

In general I could say that from a certain point in the game the plot became more and more synthetic by closing badly the arcs that had been opened and introducing elements that only confused the ideas, this did not help the narrative plot already incomplete in itself.

But all this… All this actually reveals to us the sincerity and transparency in the production of this title by those who could be called true random authors. A great commitment certainly, but little experience that deserved to be acquired over time.


Gameplay? Did anyone say “Gameplay”?

Yes, I’m back, EleRantula to report!

So, before going into the details that also concern the narration, which my sister will take care of, let’s analyze how the story of Chloé ‘s Requiem makes us play.

Good. As I mentioned in the appendix on the characters I wrote together with the first part of the article, this is one of my favorite Horror RPGs …
But I definitely didn’t replay it twelve times because I really liked “playing” it.

Simply because, guys, the gameplay of Cloé’s Requiem … It’s harmful.
Yes, you read it in the title. But let me explain better.
Hey, back there!  I see you, what is it now ?!

“… If the gameplay is so ‘harmful’, problematic and all you want … Why don’t you put it on the same footing as Midnight Train, huh? What, do you like the characters so you ignore a gameplay totally detached from the plot and badly done? “

Ah, here it is, a classic.

It is obvious that Midnight Train is a much more serious case.

If you have seen these errors in Cloé’s Requiem …

You know what? It is comprensible.

But let’s cross every “t” : Midnight Train’s puzzles are completely decontextualized from everything we are experiencing, even if it tries way too hard to tell a “great plot”.

In Cloé’s Requiem, simply … Except for a few cases (the eyes of the dolls, the murder of the cello and the parts in the third act), the puzzles serve to introduce subplots , or in any case elements connected to the context (the various phases connected to the waitresses, which form a large part of the second floor, the introduction to the red eye symbol to indicate Charlotte and many other examples.)

Introducing subplots through a first encounter with characters / contexts /… through a playable phase is a good system to adopt.

… If only these subplots were ever developed or continued in some way!

All these ideas to create a stronger context, a more complicated plot and a larger cast… They disappear. They dissolve.

Poof. Gone With the Wind.

“Buriki Clock, if you just introduce me, without developing me… After my introductory cutscene, what will become of me…?”

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Oookay Ele, after this introduction, let’s go back to the base.

So here I am, I’m Pain-In-The-Ass-PaoGun. Perhaps someone will remember what I wrote in the first part of the article for what concerned the subplot of Cloé’s mother.

Given all the premises that Ele kindly gave us, I believe that the time has finally come to confront ourselves in the round with this arc. We try to understand exactly what the problem is and we tackle everything step by step.

First of all I propose here the scheme that Ele made, cause she remembered the game unlike me. Yes, I suck.

(The red wiriting are “personal notes” in Italian language that my sister used for help me…I’m sorry guys, we don’t have time to correct them)

“Well?” You must be thinking now.

“What is problematic about this scheme? It is the management of a counter-clockwise second floor gameplay! It is very geometric and clear… ”

You have no idea how confusing this game is.

We had already mentioned in the Mad Father article about the variety of actions that must be taken before moving from one area to another, however these were situations and puzzles that you could deal with from the beginning without waiting to finish the ‘previous riddle . This was Mad Father’s greatest asset.

But in Mad Father the elements correlated well with each other . There was a manageable zone and a clear division between the elements that were needed to tell you a part of the plot (see Aya’s mom perfume unlocking you a flashback, and it came back a second time when Coron stole it from you and when Aya used it to make mice escape) and those needed mainly for gameplay; you were perfectly able to understand and carry with you the crucial elements for the entire gaming experience .

Let’s take an example: the chainsaw.

It is introduced with a flashback to make you understand immediately the role of that particular object in the plot and then sen makes sure that you cannot forget by letting you use both to break free-wheeling barrels and to solve a puzzle .

Instead, for Cloé’s Requiem we needed a scheme to try to remind us how the gameplay was structured. Because it was hard to remember , making associations based on memory alone was impossible , if we want to exaggerate.

What we have realized from this diagram is that can be used to summarize all the flaws we have complained about so far

… But let’s get our hands dirty right away and see how the narrative arcs were presented on the second floor of the house .


So, it all begins when you finish playing the Moonlight and get the key to enter this room . The theme of maids and the association with teddy bears is introduced.

We find a note on the maids who worked in the house: therefore you have to cut the bear to unlock access to the new room, the mother’s room (this part of the puzzle could be translated as a reference to the puzzles of The Witch’s House now that I think about it, as were the dolls in the first floor).


What can I say, we commented on this scene at length in the first part of this epic quest which is the article on Cloé’s Requiem.

We have described it as the best scene in the game and we can now define what is the opening of a subplot: we are in fact delving into the fate of the maids in the Ardennes household.

EVEN IF: Yes, in the first part of the article I called it “Mother’s Arc”, okay, I was wrong, but this is because it deepens a lot on the thoughts of this woman, but let’s say that at least towards the end of the diary you return to talk about the abuses suffered by the maids.

The vision of maids as teddy bears is strengthened: in short, this form of objectification of people is passed from a mother towards her daughter to a mistress towards her servants.

Thinking about it now, it’s not that it feels terrible, technically in chronological order the maids were the first to be represented as teddy bears and therefore diminished in their identity as human beings …

…But I repeat that on the one hand, for what we read in the diary, I would have preferred that the theme linked to the figure of the teddy bear, something so “cute and innocent” had been maintained towards her daughter because, I repeat, it would have not only spoke of a much stronger and more twisted bond but, also given the girl’s design , it would have been a much more impactful detail.


3 ° – CLOE’S ROOM ’

And here we have a break.
Why am I saying this? The mother killed the waitresses okay, we saw it from both points of view.
Yet I am using this term, “interruption”, because after we have already delved into a new plot aspect linked to Cloé’s past, we will unlock another maids room that we will need. to close their subplot .

But. B-but but. Sorry. But uh, just do it first?

Anyway, then we’ll get to talking well about the last room.

What I mean is that their story eventually stops suddenly before we can be told the details or have some kind of conclusion . It’s very strange because by now Cloé’s flashback should have caught all the attention of the player ; among other things, in the meantime we saw another digression because we had received some music scores and it became known that the piano broke ; then the player should be ready to go on with the main storyline … And then instead from the third floor we find ourselves back in the second , where they will go through the story of the maids again!

… And their story, so to speak, had no impact on the perception of the main flashback . That is, their fate, whether we knew it or not, made no difference . Do you remember the mother’s diary? At least there was more connection between the two topics.

About elements that will never return never again in the course of narrative development and to which it will be very difficult to attribute a precise meaning to them : in the screen of this third point we mentioned one ….

Yo, too, bro.
(Yes, we know that’s a type of greeting used in Japan)

4 ° – THE ROOM of the maids (conclusion)

Of course. We had not removed them from us: their story had yet to be finished , because they had to make us understand that their bodies had been burned and we will have to burn the teddy bears in turn to find out.

After this last action that must be performed for the gameplay only now we can define the arc of the waitresses concluded, with an important piece of the main plot which meanwhile moved on without them .

I want to anticipate a probable objection that might come to your mind: with the fact that they come back even later as wisps who prepare dinner perhaps I should doubt the narrative structure that I assumed it was meant for them and think again about the possibility that it was a purpose-built subplot so fragmented , but …. I would prefer to see that point of the game it as a sort of epilogue of their bizarre story: that is, now they are spirits; is no longer something that concerns them as closely as the deaths they suffered .

So, in short, I can say that my rage quit can be justified:

Why the fuck was the flashback to Cloé’s past if before we still had to close the story arc on the maids?

That is, I repeat, it is obvious that their story thus takes a back seat and it becomes much more difficult to remember .

And another factor not to be overlooked in this great mess that is this little arc is this

Why are you already anticipating Charlotte’s presence in the same room?

“Ehhh because she’s a maid too!”
But what kind of crappy justification is that? No, I can’t accept it.

But damn it, we haven’t even been introduced to the character so obviously the player can’t make any connections . But we hadn’t even been made to understand that had something to do with Michel’s past!

You look at these eyes and you think they are just scene details to make the house more creepy , you think they are something to overlook , when instead you go on in the game and you only discover that they are a representation of the curse from which the main character suffers! I mean, nothing important, really.

So: the association with the cat / diary scene; the narrative arc of the waitresses on which Cloé’s flashback is superimposed, the bad presentation of Charlotte within the game; all this has to do with the very technical world of information distribution in a story.

Returning once again to Charlotte, to make you aware of the gravity of the situation I would like to shift the subject on the temporal level. Look, I try to give you an approximate time.

Considering what our playing times have been (with Ele we replayed on purpose to be able to do the calculation…Even If I admit we chatted a lot during the playing) four hours (or three…) pass before we are finally explained what the fuck the red eyes mean!

And then the point is that the red eye , something so important related to the murders that Michel committed, is not even that recurring in the game . Indeed, it appears in a room where a subplot is already closing, as you have seen.

“You’re a jerk! Those red eyes are just maids!”

Ah. So how does it work? Every maid in town when she is hired also gets a passport to the afterlife: “when you die you will acquire the eye of Big Brother”? That is, if I had to choose to picture this (that the maids are so present in the house , through eyes, teddy bears and wisps more than the mistress herself at home … Not the excuse that they died with hatred and for this reason they have “a shape of their own” I do not accept it: in how many ways they would like to but show these women?) or make a nice plot link and associate the red eye with Charlotte (which if she says “I’ve been watching you all this time” it would be nicer to imagine that from the beginning of the game those eyes were referring to this sentence)… I prefer to link to the main storyline and link the red eye only to Charlotte.

On the one hand, offering you even a minute of the title as I did in this article, it might seem at first friction an analysis of a person who gets angry for a while and “you can’t enjoy a work of fiction like a normal person ” . No, that’s not it, really.

Because these defects such as coherence within a narrative STRUCTURE deserve to be treated . The narrative structure will also be something invisible in an audiovisual narrative work compared to, perhaps, the graphic style; but it is actually the logical basis on which we build the emotions for which we will remember that work . They have to do with our experience , with what we live.

I am getting really angry about this type of flaw because, as I told you, are those types of flaws so internal to the structure itself that risk too much of altering the perception of the spectator / player compared with the work , so if they do not understand the intentions of the work itself or of the author it ends up in some cases that the spectator / player adds their own interpretations or in the worst case that they forget what they see simply because they do not understand it; and do not want to try too hard to do so if the work is not as collaborative.

So, here is a wasted opportunity; especially in cases like this game where such interesting and current topics have been dealt with.

And so I want to conclude the gameplay analysis. You saw it from the diagram we presented to you on the second floor: it is dispersive , really. And we tried to prove it to you.

1st PLACE – The supernatural content

Believe it or not, so far we have discussed two major flaws in what was just the form . That is, the way content was narrated .

This one that we will put first is not a defect concerning the form, but a very serious defect concerning the contents themselves . Nor is it a content like any other, but an element through which the entire supernatural subplot of the game is supported.

Gentlemen, we are talking about THE CATS; or the supernatural subplot that was supposed to sustain all this acid trip-

That’s right, let’s talk about these little things now. Attach the bell to Noir, Attach the bell to Blanc, good sister and bad sister and the bad sister who becomes a cat. Mew Mew, amiche vincenti…(first words of the italian opening of Tokyo Mew Mew)

Ah, no, sorry, not her.

Actually with these screens I have already partially anticipated the main problem that these cats bring … (I am referring above all to a screen in particular).

Apart from the fact that it is a background which is explained little and badly : the idea of ​​curses taking on their own form is nice, but why a person should transform themselves right in a cat together with their own curse? I mean, what twisted point is this? But this would be part of the first two flaws on the writing and therefore on the narrative structure that we have already discussed extensively.

So … Apart from these problems, the reason I put this point in the first place is only one and it is very simple . That is, simple even if you followed Ele’s article on the characters and on the educational path that Michel pursued. And this also concerns Cloé to a large extent.

… I remind you of the screens.

(She know everything)

Here, now that we’re at it. I remind you once again the two screens of the apocalypse that we have been discussing for a long part of the duration of this article!

Okay! Okay! We are in pool position. We are getting there … You may have arrived there …….

……Here it comes…!

THEREFORE. The reason why I put this plot element first is that IT COMPLETELY GOES IN CONTRADICTION WITH AN ELEMENT, equally important in the plot, THAT WAS INTRODUCED BEFORE!

And one of the most important and difficult rules to keep in mind in a work of fiction is: NEVER LET THE ELEMENTS ENTER INTO CONTRADICTION WITHIN THEM. Because this generates paradoxes from which it is then difficult to get out and find a solution.

That is.


As the good Richard Benson said:

“Are you fucking kidding me ?!”

That is… .Yes. Like Ichigo from Mew Mew, in this version of Cloé’s Requiem Cloé has been turning into a cat all this time!

The astral projection probably came from the cat. Yeah, as a “projection” otherwise where the hell it should project itself. By the way: why she turned into a cat and Michel didn’t? What exactly are the requirements to make this element true ?!

I don’t know if you are perceiving this as the colossal bullshit I am perceiving .

Let’s try to look at it a little from various points of view.

FIRST. As I had anticipated in the Appendix on the characters by sneaking a few sentences from Ele, the separation of Cloé into two cats has removed the possibility of having a development arc that could be as complex as that of Michel , never being able to confront his “cursed personality”.

If Cloé had dealt with this more frustrated side of her personality in a different and more human way, for example approaching her case as an actual identity dissociation disorder (therefore having only one “physical character” on stage that changed their personality), the moral would have been closed in a clear and explicit way and the message of not to pass from an excess would have been given to another in the vision of a human being (as a saint or as a demon depending on our personal advantage) , but to recognize a nuance in people between black and white which is gray , the more complex shade and would have been a great result for the Horror RPG genre, where now almost by definition people are deliberately demonized and made monstrous …

I’m not mentioning these two at random, we mentioned their cases just when we were talking about Michel

Once I had heard two Italian youtubers commenting on the “ How filthy ” scene. When asked by the colleague “what is happening?” seeing the protagonist break the furniture, the other replied more or less like this:

“Ah, well, it’s normal for it to behave like this , in Horror RPGs these things always happen …

I don’t know what you think, but what I think is that when you choose a genre you are actually choosing a linguistic code . A code for talking about certain facets of characters does not make these slaves the genre they belong to .

The reason why we think that the characters in this game, if re-evaluated properly by the authors and publishers, could be revolutionary in a context more related to the sphere of marketing is that they would overturned the canons of normal characters who in a great fandom come from the sphere of “gore” which are horror narrative works and would have done it with great maturity.

Moreover, they would have done this through a more traditional narrative form, therefore with the association of the themes that occurs indirectly (and with this advance partly what I said earlier when I mentioned the team game Salvato: not necessarily the stereotypes of certain types of characters would have fallen through more experimental products such as Doki Doki Literature Club; which followed a more fragmented narrative approach – the numerous variations based on route- and meta).

SECOND, the most important.

With the existence of this clause Michel’s arc of redemption becomes a joke, because we reiterate that it is really stupid to make him regret having treated Cloé as a object of comfort , in this case a pet, if you then make this plot detail true .

I mean, really, it’s stupid. Very very stupid.

To make you realize the gravity of the situation: wanna cry? Well, get this little summary of screens in succession.

Here, wipe away your tears and now think that they made her a real cat because of this poorly explained plot detail. Doesn’t it make you angry to think how little you get it right with respect to the whole tragic aspect of her story? Something tells me that this very serious contradiction was created because they did not know how to explain the existence of two Cloés in the house. Here’s why.

PLUS, beyond these two very serious points to take into consideration, let’s just try to think that, like a virus , these two beasts of the Devil not only infected the quality of the original game, but to explain their subplot, the authors were pushed to create this abortion…

So you have to be careful. “Simply” this. You simply need to have a little more awareness, so as to decide what to keep and what to cut to follow a logical thread of the single discourse.

Really, you can add all the themes you want in a work but it is very important that the points you want to deepen do not contradict each other .

But nevertheless, despite all this anger that exploded during the writing of this article, there is an even more important point that we would like to reiterate ….

And it’s that we really have a deep affection for this game.

We continue and we will continue to take up the cudgels for it : these are not mistakes made out of pretentiousness or malice, whim or laziness for that matter but simple clumsiness of the first experience .


And to conclude this great “chapter” of the article in which we demonstrated how Cloé’s Requiem is a too amateurish game for the new needs narrative  drawn up for the Second Generation of Horror RPGs we will talk about Packaging in general as a further confirmation of this thesis… The Packaging will however be an appendix.

We want to treat the aesthetic style like an appendix , you got it right.

So let’s try to walk the end of our path by commenting on the graphic aspect.

I immediately start by saying that I will not bring you another screenshot of the game here to see the maps because by now, really, in terms of screenshots of this damn game I imagine that you are saturated with regard to our articles: if you rewrite a bit you can review them and realize for yourself that only the lighting of the environments is saved, because in themselves the tilesets of Rpg Maker arranged in that way are not all this marvel and make the title, unfortunately, really amateur .

On this I want to point out an important detail: certainly there do you remember the abysmal change of style of Corpse Party Blood Covered compared to the original CORPSE-PARTY (the ’96 one): you can see that a production company got its hands on it because there was an important modernization work also on the graphic level .

You see what a difference, the quality has improved a lot (even if these versions like this …. I didn’t mind the retro graphics at all I have to admit that to widen the target it was really necessary to modernize them).

Well, it doesn’t seem strange to you that for having had an external help Cloé’s Requiem -Con Amore- has kept the same bad quality of the maps?

In short, in this damn new version on which they will base a remake they have only taken care of to change the focus of the themes .
But …. As we always say: everything has its time. We will return to this topic.

So here we are talking about the packaging … On the cover I would not have anything special to say; there are the silhouettes of the characters drawn in an almost skeletal way, I am not particularly crazy about it but I admit that there is a good filling of the screen. The logo in the center, the two figures on the sides and the icons of the two instruments above and below; it’s good.

What some players have said is “unusual”, and so many of their compatriots on Freem! that released reviews also thought, is not so much in the menu (putting the character in the center with the features on the sides in my opinion is a good and very intuitive choice) as in the strange functionality concerning the equipment system of the objects .

As Ele might well explain to you, the equipment system is a default feature that the engine offers you when you start a random project; we know well that RPG Maker is a tool created to generally design fantasy titles in which there are battles to be faced and therefore weapons to be equipped, which give a certain percentage of attack, defense and other technical values ​​to be set in based on your battle strategy. Probably the two girls at the time will have seen this default feature and will have considered it useful to assign conditions in which having equipped tot object made something happen; removing any numerical values.

What does this make us understand? Once again this detail is useful to make us understand the nature of “casual game” that had this title that did not even bother to stray a bit from the default features, both for the maps and for the UI interface.

Perfect, you are now prepared. You have had all our justifications even if in case this article will ever be seen by a wide audience, the flame will always have for the minimum paragraph a biiit less argued than the others.
But you know… It’s also to keep our conscience clear.

So now we’re in the final sections.

Authors-Opera relationship, what can I say?

Thanks to the first part, we re-introduce Nubarin and Nanashi No Chiyo , the two cousins ​​ who worked on the object of our screams:

Left: Nubarin (scenery, drawings, character design), on the right Nanashi No Chiyo (music, outline of the story).

You have already seen this image: the two girls even made it to the Tokyo Game Show.

But heck, you have seen how many problems and how little marketable the game actually is! We had an entire section dedicated to the lack of narrative clarity, the harmful and dispersed gameplay in information, as well as the fact that certain characters are the total opposite of “marketable stars”!

So why? Why did they get so high in their boom period?

Keep glued to your sets, people, because here we will introduce a real trip of various points that, when I sensed them in the aforementioned sleepless weekends, stunned me for a week.

But let’s go very slowly … Let’s review what has been for them in the period of success , and take some information that, if analyzed better, can lead to quite uncomfortable conclusions …

(They are translated somewhat roughly in English, given my no knowledge of Japanese. But I’m sure of the concepts.)

Why did I underline these parts of articles? Don’t like the writers’ choice of words? Do I want to criticize them in some way?

Nah . Here we are talking about something much more external to the precise interviews, and more related to the image that was given in general of the two authors, which (possibly, this may be a conjecture) has also brought more people to the game.

I have personally noticed that in many interviews given by them it is always quoted or in any case emphasized that “These two girls are (they had, by now. Nubarin graduated, so to speak) only 19 and 16 and have created a video game!”

Here we begin to talk about a real case of marketing operation done on the person of the authors themselves .

Why guys, if you are asked what image do you have of the “game developer” what do you have in mind?


But let’s get to what I mean .

Let’s talk for a moment about anime / manga culture. Fans of these types of media (call them what you want: otaku, albeit a negative term, weaboo, weeb…) are the main target of HOR-RPG, whether the audience is Eastern or Western.

We know how popular is the attachment to the imagination of the young, pretty and pure girl by this community.

Artist: ク ロ (Kuro) on

(Something tells me this fanart will look much more disturbing to readers my appendix about the characters of the game …)

In one obviously very very subtle case, I believe that this was reflected in how Nubarin and Nanashi were treated in the indie gaming industry . And no, I don’t think it has to do with the fact that people ask thems how they organized themselves with school: even an adult game developer has to get organized with work, right? So, let’s get back to us.

Girls (I would add that in my opinion if they had been boys the impression on them would have changed radically…) which are very young have approached something as technical as creating a video game ?! ”

(As an Italian I had to, sorry)

What more do I need to say? The situation explains itself.

The youth  and … Even gender, it seems (this detail is often emphasized in titles or interviews) of the game’s authors has been largely exploited to get the title higher, even if this game is not at its own made for a large audience.

“Oh how cute, the little girls did a game.”

Yes, since I’m a damned sadist, I want to give you the sickest or most annoying image of this thing possible. Are my morals coming into play? Certainly. Can you consider it a “normal operation”, disagree with me and consider what I say a gigantic hyperbole? Obviously.

But as a girl who is the same age Nanashi was when she and her cousin released Cloé’s Requiem, these reactions, general shock and “ cute-ization” of what actually were two game developers like any other in the world …

Pull out the sociological analyzes you want, this discourse can be further expanded. I just say they honestly make me puzzled.

But after this first revelation, we can move on to another question:

If they had this type of popularity, given more by the idea they give the authors than by the quality of the title itself, how did it affect the future works of Buriki Clock?

Fantasy Maiden’s Odd Hideout , as good a thriller as it is, but it features many unclosed subplots, a few holes in the script given in part by them, and a pretty long filler subspecies that makes the game very long and, when the plot does not go on, also quite heavy.

Trauma Traum … I don’t know if the fact that we don’t know Japanese is a big issue, but playing it with the translator we noticed (in the early stages) a general lack of linearity and lack of clarity that made the game borderline tedious. And here not even the characters are good, as they are all walking and living stereotypes.

From these two very brief analyzes you can see one thing: no one taught Buriki Clock, no matter how old they have grown and how far they have progressed with their education, that their way of doing game development had huge flaws, if they wanted to expand professionally.

So simply … They made the same mistakes they made with Cloé’s Requiem . Indeed, they worsened with Trauma Traum .

But in those cases there were neither competitions, nor the “first debut” factor to save them from the great ditch that is being forgotten by the internet.

But to see what I mean, we enter the mud barefoot (not to mention another brown substance, smelly and with a soft consistency), let’s see …

…………………………… ..

…………………………… .. 2

OK then. Let’s talk about this .

For Cloé’s Requiem: With Amore there is a file with an incomplete translation of the dialogues, so we were able to better analyze everything during our confusing actual game play.

I start by saying that Con Amore is neither a spin-off nor an extra edition (as they want us to pass) … Con Amore isn’t even a game, come to think of it, given the total lack of stimulating gameplay.

Con Amore is … A bad idea. 3

Yes, many Italians will find the quote to Yotobi inappropriate, but at least I find many similarities with the case analyzed by him, the one that concerns the italian actor Beppe Convertini.

“Your characters are beautiful, girls, fangirls and fanboys love them! What would you say to doing something else together? Like an idiocy? “ 4
-Possible sentence said by a random member of KADOKAWA to Nubarin and Nanashi.

Guys, really, people who have seen that video have surely noticed that even Con Amore is a product that aims only at “fun, tragedy and romance for boys and girls ot all ages ”!

“-Walk around Michel
-Sit on his lap 
(I would like to point out the second choice that yes, some cats do, but … This cat has a human conscience. I mean. She thought about doing this with a human brain. Furry bestiality?)

“Aw, you wanna play?”

(Furry bestiality. How ambiguous all this is.)

Okay, I’ll stop with the analogies with The Ideal Boyfriend, I risk abusing them!

I hope that this case analyzed by Yotobi has helped you to understand what the structure of Con Amore really is: very simple “playable” clips of a non-existent (because, for all that the boys of Cloé’s Requiem have done and experienced in their lives, that life is really a utopia: maybe they could be angry just because some biscuits for breakfast 5 …) daily life.

It features the four main characters and …

Goddamn furries .

Period. Really, my description of Con Amore ends here.

“But plot elements are mentioned when you go to Cloé’s house!”

Ah? So re-playing Cloé’s Requiem from the point of view of the annoying kitten considered a real “plot”?!

“But there are adds-“

Oh, let’s talk about the additions Con Amore has made to the storyline now…

… Like the justification to a rapist !

This is a plot element that deserves to be explained, along with other ABYSSAL BULLSHIT (such as the resurrection of Cloé, a cat’s dream of becoming human; Alain’s plan to have Cloé cursed so “his beloved child,  sick from birth,  would live forever” ) , we needed a whole game, don’t you think, fucking goddammit?!

“I’m afraid of losing Cloé. He* seemed obsessed with it ”

* In the “game” you see a “demonized” version of Charlotte (this storyline is part of the so-called abyssal bullshit …) , a cursed version of her spirit. In the scene it is quite clear that with “Him” Alain refers to HIS personal cursed version. 

My God.

The curse! It was the curse that raped Chloé!

It was him*! The one who can’t be named!
Sure sure! Sick people do not exist, it is always something / someone else’s fault!

My God, I’m having flashbacks of …


Guys. Let’s be aware: in this product everything that must not be done is concentrated in something done for pure marketing.

A very serious thing like rape was justified to create yet another reason for “comfort”, so it was lightened (disrespectfully) in a huge way Cloé’s heavy backstory , also making her a less tragic character .

You would have found it uncomfortable to dress such a traumatized girl as a Japanese maid, eh?

(This stuff also has 91 retweets.)

We will discuss it later as one of the three case studies that we will address in the article on the “Selfish Confort Dilemma” …

But for now we can consider this recent catastrophe as a demon .

A demon that sucks out all the possible depth of any story, just because the audience has to freak out about how “keeewl” a generic hot character is in the game without fear of cheering on psychopaths, pedophiles, hysterics or just … Pieces of shit!

Moreover, to put salt on the wound of my poor and young heart, in this jumble of all that is wrong in the world they try to patch up the few clarity of plot with careless justifications by not telling any story and also joining in form of “videogame” the characters reduced to the bone and dried of all their personality, and have been used in vulgar marketing operations to beg for public!

“I’m afraid of losing Cloé. He * seemed obsessed with it ”

… Tu quoque Petro, fili mi…? 6

We are good, let’s try to explain to you what message they tried to launch with the new plot:

In short Cloé’s Requiem “Con Amore” already from the subtitle should make you understand that llllove is the central theme. Am I right?


Mh. Unambiguous word to say to the person who has just welcomed you.

“This whole world gives me warmth”

It’s global warming.

Many times Noir repeats in the course of the game that “ was loved by many people , everyone took care of her “, from the Alembert house to the Ardennes house in which we are covered with fucking cloying daily skits; instead…  Blanc became Alain’s scapegoat . Let me explain.

Because they added the subplot that “Chloé would be doomed to die because of poor health from infancy”, so by a certain age she would be dead anyway?! (In the original version she was weak because she hadn’t eaten and slept for days as she said herself; even the curse had weakened her) Alain realized that not even medicines could help her, so he inquired about the curses to look for a way to make it survive longer. And since curses take on a life of their own from very strong feelings he must have seen fit to beat up this poor cat to see how the phenomenon happened. And I swear, you see scenes where you see Blanc’s corpse covered in blood and after a few scenes it’s like nothing has happened to him, but he’s just very, very pissed off.

So if the concept was not clear I repeat: if in that house the father raped his daughter it was because of Blanc , who somehow had some strange side effect about this asshole beating him up.

“I’m back”

“BITCHES!” (Ele’s artistic freedom)

… But also Noir, when it looked like she was killed when the house was infested with curses here and there, was able to resurrect! As it is anticipated at the beginning of the game on the other hand.

So TAN TAN she came back just in time when Michel arrived at Cloé’s home for the sanitation- I mean, purification peration. Here basically we live the plot of the previous game where the two play and look for scores (indeed the cat helps them to look for them because “the music and the scores represent the dimension of happy memories”, let’s remember) and Noir, helping Cloé to resurrect when she seemed dead, gave her back “the love received” by bringing her back to life as Blanc returned the hatred to her father , managing to prove “to the viewer” that if you do good you will receive good in return and if you do evil it will go against you; and demonstrating instead to Blanc, probably, that hate will also be a strong feeling that it will survive for a long time, but love always wins over everything and even death; in the face of the old plot in which the black cat had to kill the white one!


All very nice, too bad that:

1. These WERE NOT the issues that the original game treated. That is, the story of Cloé’s Requiem was something much more “internal” and mature, we explored the different human facets as we had to see together. It was the story of this boy who had a growth path ; ideally moving away from a social context in which there was child exploitation (it is also mentioned in a dialogue between Charlotte and Michel to say – she was happy to sleep in a bed warm and get some bread every day, while Michel simply believed that they had hired Charlotte only because it was cheap given her young age-; so, to say, this theme was not so hidden ); a social context in which children like him and Pierre were used as a source of income , a social context in which there was silence where the girls became sexual objects , a social context in which there was the objectification of the same waitresses literally torn to pieces like soft toys, because used as an outlet for the frustrations of a high-rank crazy woman (it would have been too gore and unrealistic as an element, but it can’t be more explicit than that…).
…From all this context we have simply seen how Michel, destined to grow as a future executioner had the courage to become aware of his sins and then GO AGAINST THE CURRENT; and in all this it seems to me that in the world we live in, considering the easy distortion of the image that you can have of your neighbor a refresher on all these issues related to objectification can only do well.

In short: we know that probably following the epilogue of the game he will go to prison as he says he has to “go back”; therefore after the expiation of his guilt we can feel reassured that he will become a responsible and conscientious adult and , why not, who will be able to actively intervene against future abuses that he could witness during his life. Really, again, realize how important this experience he had was.

2. This is a message (the one Con Amore delivers) that we honestly perceive as very simplistic: surely there is some truth regarding the rotation of karma, if we want to put it this way, but to say that “if you receive hate you will cultivate hatred and if receive love you will cultivate love “, put in such an abstract way and REGARDLESS of the personality of each one … It puzzles us. In short, everyone faces the difficulties of life in his own way, again: see Michel himself from the original game that managed to detach himself from the abuses he suffered in first person! 

But let’s say that this second point “is a detail”, let’s not dwell too long.

Anyway, let’s get back to us.

Guys … This type of story, characters and justifications want to replace the original truths that we analyzed in the Trump Card.

“We have decided to make a remake of Cloé’s Requiem!”

And there are the two furries.

I need soda, I need to have the energy to give you the second big reveal about this game.

I go and come back.

…. Okay, here I am again .

So, guys … Let me put up with this umpteenth stab in the heart and answer this question yourself:

“Why are they doing a remake, possibly changing the whole tones of the story and the characters, because of these kittens making everything so much more beautiful and cute?”

Here, someone raises their hand … There, in the back row!

“For money!”

Eh… More or less.
If they only wanted to squeeze the product it had to be more marketable, and only then could they do remakes, releases on consoles and so on.

You see how sen did it, right? Their product left the road open for them!

In many promotional images we continue to see Alfred as a monster exactly as he was seen in the original game, there has been no work of softening, indeed.

That is to say: this is the actual header found on Steam .

In my opinion there is something else underneath.

Let’s see, in view of this remake, if there have been any promotional art on the game …


Useless or without context art does not count …

Nothing, I can’t find anything!
Nothing… No cursed pianos, no murders of musical instruments, no cursed Cloé, no very disturbing Alain…?

Strange. To be the game they now push as a workhorse (or rather, how they clung with their nails to their previous successes …) there is little promotion of its true content .

Well guys, from this sudden remake and this lack of promotion of the Cloé’s Requiem that came before “Con Amore” … I can theorize that for the authors, given what they want to do now with these poor guys , it is very likely that the original Cloé’s Requiem was just a draft.

Or to be more exaggerated, an error .

A jumble of concepts that they have tried to put together in a plot, but which they have still felt incomplete, because many of these are not explained or left too much to interpretation.

But at this point, even with remakes, reboots and so on and so forth: in these times, people are fighting on who is best distributed …

“I’m afraid of losing Cloé. He * seemed obsessed with it ”


“Keep Cloé alive for as long as possible … How can I do that?”

Bad writers always come out no matter how cute and well designed the characters are. Buriki Clock wanted to make Cloé’s Requiem less “amateur”, but above all to make it something more marketable …


… But we have seen the effects of this.

But why, I asked myself?

WHY ?!

Why do they do…

All of this…?

Then, the epiphany.

Thinking about what we have said so far, and then move on …

Nearly everyone you see –
Like him an ‘her,
An ‘you, an’ me –
Pretends to be
A pillar of society –

(from the interview at Famitsu)

A model for propriety –
An ‘piety –
Who shudders at the thought
Of notoriety!

The ladies an ‘gents’ ere before you –
Which none of ‘em ever admits –

May ‘ave saintly looks –
But they’re sinners an ‘crooks!


(Promotional art for the novel “Cloé’s Requiem: Andante”)


Hypocrites! 7


Do you remember the first concept we introduced to you in this second part of the article?

“Cloé’s Requiem, since its first show of popularity, always had outside help.”

Eh, eh. We finally get there!

Notice that it will not be the first time we will talk about Kadokawa, who seems to be the cause of all ills regarding the commercialization of Horror RPG.

So, as always, we go very slowly, because only from these images the theory will seem to the limit of conspiracy.
Indeed, we explain just those.

What made me exclaim: “There is a very interesting and rotten system behind it!”?

In the reprise of Façade, as the first image I showed you this:

Where was the very first introduction of Cloé’s Requiem made to a larger audience, and where could it be more visible?

Comptiq, magazine published by Kadokawa!

With what competition did they become popular?

And what platform was this contest on?

NicoNico, platform of a subsidiary company of  Kadokawa !

After the initial distribution phase, where were the two authors interviewed? indies-game/blomaga

As you can see, it always has to do with NicoNico.

(This is probably my conjecture, but also the fact that on the aforementioned site the game was described as a “masterpiece” even though it didn’t have such a huge fanbase, and it wasn’t even so well received in the West, something that Angels Of Death for example had …
This makes this more of a marketing operation than a genuine interview.)


But in any case we can see that the two main interviews were released only on certain platforms:

Exactly, only platforms belonging to Kadokawa or subsidiary companies to it .

So, unless every single distribution company in all of Japan is somehow from Kadokawa … It didn’t just manage the publishing ion of the novels …

But the entire distribution and future marketing of the Buriki Clock brand . From start to finish.

(I defaced the photo of these two poor girls just to make you understand in a disturbing way what I’m talking about?
… Yes.)

There was no case. There is no genuineness in the “success” that this game has made in Japan.

And you know what?

It must have sounded strange to us from the start! In the West this game was forgotten after a year … Because there was no “Kadokawa” to cover the two authors.

For us it was an indie game like any other.

In fact, referring back to what I said, about the fact that this game is not made for a large audience, like what the products advertised and distributed by Kadokawa typically have …

* Update from last time!
The guy on the left is one of the characters from… Uh…
“Luciano Family”…? Something like that…? (The online translator is… Eh.)
Content is shared and created by Buriki Clock simply because Nubarin works on it. *

Remember the original designs, guys. Remember the style, the palettes, the types of expressions that were given to the characters.

Nubarin’s drawings have different facial expressions depending on the character . A bright character has a cheerful laugh, and a cool character has a modest laugh. It also depends on their personality. You can tell which character they are by just looking at their face without the hair. -Nanashi No Chiyo

Most likely the main features of the game have been changed to make them more relevant to the “portfolio” of the distribution company which took it under his wing.

Everything I wrote paragraphs and paragraphs about was something that, according to a major, would never, ever work.

So, returning to the “Author-Work Relationship” question in the case of Cloé’s Requiem…

Well, it’s an unnatural relationship, not 100% decided by the authors. It was chosen for them to portray the relationship between a title that could be a masterpiece (if only it had more capable hands to model it) and authors who were inexperienced at the time, and now corrupt, if we want to use hyperbole …

It is a simply “non-existent” relationship, and without any hope of recovery.

The only thing we can do now, we few fans of that messed-up videogame draft, is to wait for the most “complete” product, what it should have been, already having our vision reddened and with the irrepressible desire to destroy libraries .

And at the end of this I want to bring a little talk about the characters: again PaoGun is here with you.

I anticipated what I meant before and now I can express it:

They cannot be distinguished anymore.

Nubarin, Nanashi, do you realize what you could do?

You came from the current of “controversial games” par excellence and this feature could make your characters unique (since they are the only highlight that could be saved from this game ). But now they’re just like so many others. You have lost because without Kadokawa (and Enterbrain … We will talk about this company in the future) you go nowhere.

Return the dark circles to Cloé! Give Pierre his falseness, for God’s sake! In addition to being the most “guessable” character in the removal of all his muscular tension and mimicry that distinguished him in the character design …

You who had the courage to approach a main character to the figure of a rapist allowing him a path of redemption; you who made us understand how the heck was the “educational” system to which the characters were subjected in this era … An era that, although it may seem distant in many respects, is it is actually very close to today’s society .

You who have for this dismantled piece by piece a stereotype as old as the world of now put this mask back on him ?!

It’s the same character.

Yes; I know that type of examples, with those kind of chibis is not very brilliant because the key of type of marketing operation is the stylization and simplification of character design, I know perfectly well that there is a deep economic and cultural context behind all this… But we certainly wouldn’t be so angry if we didn’t have to confront this context in which the sense of content has been completely transformed with help of some types of “games substitutes”; provided that, as we say from the beginning, no type of promotion is addressed to the controversial issues of which the original game spoke. Let’s talk about a passage like Façade in dividing this case study into “game and market”. The more controversial side of the title was removed in order to be sold and paid with its identity.

A catastrophic change that can be summarized in two simple images:

From Michel facing Alain…

… To the cat who now confronts this man for help our youngs characters.

If you follow Back To The Future from the beginning you have seen the case of Corpse Party from the distant 1996 to Blood Covered: the background has been enriched , the cast has grown , the graphic style was even changed but the sense of substance did not change ; that is to see characters close to us, therefore ordinary people , who face an adventure in a world supernatural showing different facets from their normal habitual context .

Ayumi, the typical badass, reliable and serious class rep (also very classic in the anime scene)
brings out the worst in her by demonstrating her infantility, albeit in two different ways. 

Sachiko was always there as an antagonist to bother everyone! And therefore not even the meaning of the spirits was altered since they could be these positive or evil depending on their psychological conditions at the point of death.

The protagonists did not change : you could recognize them because they were the ones who stayed the most time on stage and you saw them every time having to make decisions, make choices, act to move forward and face obstacles.

They were always responsible for their actions, there was not something or someone facing difficulties for them. Let’s realize why we can’t do this for a character driven title like Cloé’s Requiem: in the original game it was all about telling a path of inner growth. Cats were a visual concept, “a metaphor”, and making them active protagonists completely altered the meaning of the work .

As Ele had already mentioned, we are witnessing a general deresponsibility of the faults of the characters and of all their complex and twisted facets to sell them better .

We can conclude this painful journey by reflecting on the tragic irony that hangs over this brand: Nubarin and Nanashi have treated, immediately and in turn applied to their own characters the path of objectification exactly as made their own protagonist in the first game. They did what their work denounced!

Here is the quote at the title of the article. In addition of course to the quotation from the great Pirandello’s work, “Six characters in search of an author”, I wanted to consider the chapter “Five characters in search of an author” of the game “The Simpsons” released for Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable a narrative arc in which the characters face a level in which they will have to defeat their own author , Matt Groening, of which we have reported here a picture of the final cutscene.


And what to say at the conclusion of this? The liquid is low: this is an amateur product . Its “professional nature” is constructed, fictitious … So yes, by now you have noticed it: we are gradually destroying the thermometer of professionalism from article to article .

To this I can add only one consideration: marketing should enhance a product, not distort it .

I perfectly recognize that for the title that was produced it could have been a bit difficult to find a long-term positioning in the market, but it was not impossible to achieve this goal without sacrificing its complexity.

This case study was really important to deal with to bring you an example , perhaps even classic in some ways, of a side effect . But side effect of what exactly?

The entry of indie developers into a market, as vast and ruthless as that of audiovisual products in the East.

So, yes, that’s exactly what it looks like. It is exactly the conspiracy theory that you would have expected but … After all we will deepen a discourse on “who is behind” for this very reason.

In fact, we wanted to clarify one thing: we would not want you to think that we are satisfied with the conclusions we have brought you in this article . We are not satisfied because we generally don’t like simplistic formulas: what we want to tell you is not: “Kadokawa is Satan!“, That is, there are so many dynamics to take into consideration and then, damn it, if it is a major a there may be a reason, who knows how many “departments / fields” (I do not know the professional term) it is divided: simply from this case it only emerged that in relation to this independent work they had, according to our interpretation , little interest; because both they, and the authors consequently, are more concerned with forcibly wedging Cloé’s Requiem into a type of market that did not belong to it than seeking the potential to make it emerge differently . This was the kind of discourse we wanted to come up with.

This is why the research work for the article on how the world of videogame publishers works in the independent field (restricting ourselves to the cases of the current RPG Horror for obvious impossibility of covering, only in two people, an area of research SO VAST that a team deserves) becomes necessary in order not to fall into hasty conclusions.
Understanding who they are, what types of contracts can be stipulated; because what was done between Kadokawa and Buriki Clock was an affiliation , which is a very different operation from a normal type of contract that editor and developer agree to a single game – we all know that Kadokawa does not only occupy the videogame field, it is precisely a corporation: a multifaceted company-; and then there is certainly the case of Corpse Pary, which we have already dealt with in the Ludi Tarantula Archives, in which new subjects have taken over the creative field), so the question arises spontaneously: how and to what extent they can access changes in the creative field? These and many other factors are not of secondary importance. And then, again, understand who the most influential subjects are , what their brand identity is and what types of products they distribute *, and of course how the scope of distribution works and how many opportunities these can offer.
* In the case of Kadokawa in relation to Cloé’s Requiem, perhaps the idea was ipopetically this:

“the product is too dark for our audience , we want to reassure the audience (or any reason related to the target they wanted to turn to) but the tearful story and pretty characters are an excellent advertising to make the product known as a lucky “casual game masterpiece”  and consequently encourage the purchase of the tool “…

(You don’t know what very great topic we spoiled, you will notice it when we deal with it in the future with the case of Angels Of Death)

Because let’s remember, after all, that in the market the first goal is to obtain a source of income and above all of resources to bring the business into a virtuous circle of production.
… So…

This is really just the beginning.

We have only seen on one side of the coin what it means when an author and an editor / distributor little interested in the quality of the single work and more oriented towards mere consumerism meet: the results cannot be very happy if the author (in this case) is unable to fully understand, and therefore place somewhere, his own creative work.

Man is not one, but two,
He is evil and good!
An ‘he walks the fine line
We’d all cross if we could!

It’s a nightmare
We can never discard
So we stay on our guard
Though we love the facade
What’s behind the facade?


Therefore, from here on the final stage of the Back To The Future column will begin, the column created to include, through individual case studies , how the Horror RPG market is evolving today .

With the next article we will have a different example of the path that has taken from “amateur product” to “professional product” whose beginning of the production history is certainly different  from that of Cloé’s Requiem and of which the team extends from two people to about eight.

Gentlemen, we are referring to the ambitious and spectacular

Pocket Mirror .


1 … Entertaining, for these sick bastards with a thousand eyes”:
Quote to “
The Trail To Oregon ” , a Team Starkid musical. The character of the Father in the song Dysentery World describes with horror the spectators as “of a thousand eyes”. Also, he asks viewers if watching them die would entertain them, “sick bastards.” 

Since in the first part, with Façade (who will return, as in one of his thousand Reprise in Jekyll & Hyde), we were talking about musical theater … It seemed right to mention the modern one too, right?

2 “…………………”:
Quote to Cloé ‘s Requiem itself, who in its direction uses immense periods to lengthen the time.

3 “Con Amore is … a bad idea”
Quote from the video by youtuber Yotobi: “
The Ideal Boyfriend” – The Late Show with Karim Musa | S2 Ep.14

4 “ Your characters are beautiful, girls … Idiocy?”
Another quote from episode 14 of the Late Show with Karim Musa

5 “… Cookies were stolen for breakfast
Dialogue existing in Con Amore.

6 “Tu quoque Petro, fili mi?”
Petrus (“Petro” in the ablative case) is the translation of “Pietro”, a translation in turn of “Pierre”.
Adaptation of the famous phrase “Tu quoque Brute, fili mi?” Literally “You too Brutus, my son?”.
The first sentence that Ele learned while studying Latin, it is assumed that it was said by Caesar to Brutus after the 23 stabbings of the Ides of March.

Cloé’s Requiem (1st part) – Appendix: Multidimensional Characters

As this story is character-driven, as PaoGun said a moment ago with all her justifications for the case , it is our duty to focus on the characters. We can finally begin our adventure!

Before getting to the core, however, I wanted to introduce this paragraph with the fact that this title was one of the works that gave me an introduction to how a character is given facets, to how to imply certain details of their nature, and in general to the concept of character analysis , which I will do here, from character design to the representation of certain disturbing details. Certainly there will be criticisms of the general writing (because, as will be said in the second part, this title also suffers from serious problems at the level of writing, especially the supernatural subplot …), but … Expect the results of years and years of study on these guys (in large part also done by Pao), and get ready to immerse yourself in the multidimensionality of the characters of Cloé’s Requiem .

They will be sorted from the least “interesting” case to the most complicated and fun to analyze, so …

Charlotte – The Japanese “maid”… In France?

Yes, as you may have guessed, the stalker-maid Charlotte is the less profound character in the game.

Come on, you’ll understand me, look at her design!

(I don’t have a precise idea of ​​who the guy on the left is. It comes from a game that Buriki Clock seems to sponsor a lot …) 

She is one of the characters I take less offense on, even when Buriki Clock does nasty marketing operations!
And this is simply because she is the one who most follows the stereotype from which her character starts, the japanese dandere .

Yes, the fans of Puella Magi Madoka Magica immediately thought of her, the past version of Homura Akemi: shy girl with glasses and braids.

I open this parenthesis: I don’t know if it’s just me, but especially in Japanese works the braids are always seen as a symbol of weakness… Maybe Charlotte with loose hair would become like this?

For those who have seen the link, or simply know the dandere stereotype, it is possible that you will tell me:

“Dandere ?! Charlotte is not sweet at all, she is a bi-“

Indeed, I agree!

It is practically one of the few things that detaches her from the stereotype of, in fact, the dandere, devoted to her master, shy (especially with the opposite sex), in general closed and taciturn (before being obsessed with Michel, after all, she didn’t even talk much, which is perfectly in line for a dandere character).

But, alas, this characteristic of being bad people anyway, even if a character is based on the stereotype of the “shy girl”… Charlotte shares it with another character (and therefore, I think with many others).

Toko Fukawa from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.

Even Toko, while stammering, having glasses and … Well, the usual braids that, now, we link to an idea of ​​”weakness” in general , is a very acidic and antisocial girl.

“Why does e-everyone keep making fun of me …? I hope you all win the l-lottery and get hit by a b-bus …”
-Toko in Chapter 3 of Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc

“I’d love to s-scoop out that nasty brain of yours, throw it on the g-ground, and spit on it!”
-Toko in Chapter 5 of Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc

And that, together with her at times almost hysterical attitude of her when she is stressed / irritated, makes her a more particular character for me.

… Unlike Charlotte.

Although they share both braids, a relationship ability with others equal to a stool and an obsession with the serious person on duty (in the case of Toko, Byakuya Togami) … Charlotte is much more bland as a character, since he often blushes, etc …

However, speaking of her obsession with Michel, in Charlotte’s case we add the factor of Michel’s objectification (we will often repeat this word, keep it in mind!), Associating the his figure to safety and stability , also given his talent with the violin (which makes him useful and capable of doing something, compared to her who can only clean), and yet there is something that doesn’t come back to me…

Here, this… Redshank? Part of her… I just don’t understand it. She is a little girl recently introduced to high society, I do not think she had indoctrinated into this way of doing in her education (as we will see later with Pierre).

Here she is. This is Becky. We wanted to propose an honorable quote to this anime, Shōkōjo Sēra (Lovely Sara) , which took reference from the book “The Little Princess” (1905) by Frances Hodgson Burnett and as some, perhaps, will remember if fans of the historical anime of the 80s, it speaks of a very rich girl who fell from grace following the death of her father, forced to living in poverty and working as a kitchen maid for the boarding school in London where she was staying. We wanted to mention this work in particular also to make a comparison between Japanese audiovisual products that speak of a certain historical context that Europe lived . What we are talking about is certainly the Industrial Revolution , a phenomenon that sadly accompanied the theme of the division of the population into classes and in particular the exploitation of child labor of which series speaks, it seemed very interesting to introduce the work from this point of view.

I propose a reference to to the superlative soundtrack of the anime .

I add 5.52 minute to the list

You are welcome.

Now, come on. Just imagine Charlotte cleaning the floors of the Alembert house while she tries to be careful not to be seen for too long around by the residents in the house. Because this seemed to be the reality.

Becky’s character in the anime shares the same life story as our Charlotte, yet in addition to having a more breezy character despite being a sweet girl, did not grow up adopting the mechanisms that move the bourgeois society of the time, therefore did not even develop the malice that Charlotte demonstrates many times

… Because it is much easier for a young girl to be empathetic towards her peers!

This mistake could have been fixed if the need to draw “cute” characters, along with the need to include the shy girl obsessed with the protagonist, hadn’t been so important.
With the maids of the Ardennes house, in the mother’s cutscene, we see girls gossiping about the fact that Lady Ardennes has become old, as you will remember.

But those girls seem to have been working there for a while, and being (unlike Michel’s, which seems to have fallen from grace) Cloé’s family part of the upper bourgeoisie, most likely those maids had worked for other gentlemen. In fact they are certainly much older than the girl we see in the Alembert house.

So, in short, to fix this part of his character that does not find a very logical explanation it would have been enough to give Charlotte a few more years , so that she could gain more experience on the functioning of bourgeois society .

But closing this parenthesis, let’s return to the general impression you can have on this girl.

Even though she has these moments …

… That detaches her at least from the stereotype, the Alembert house maid has little to analyze, being in the end only a narrative device for Michel’s first murder (or perhaps would have died better than being hit by a chandelier on the head if it weren’t), having been made deliberately insistent about what the boy hates most .

In fact she nurtures reflections that would be clearly more suited to the character of Mr. Alembert , who continues (for his own purposes) to push his son to play and make the world account for his abilities, ignoring any type of a more emotional factor like the fight with Pierre, even if from Charlotte’s point of view it was put down as a “hatred” that Charlotte feels towards the other twin …
However, the concepts that make it just a “trigger” for Michel don’t change.

And indeed:

Eh, dear Charlotte, about your dear and mentally unstable “young master” we’ll talk about it later …

Well, if she has surprised you by the adjective “mentally unstable” linked to a character like Michel… In his analysis you will see some good stuff, I assure you. 

But for now let’s go to her brother, for whom Charlotte felt so angry.

Pierre – One side of the facade: the drama of appearing

I have a particular preference for this character.

He is presented to us simply as “Michel’s twin (more… Cool, according to some fans…)”, also blond and blue-eyed.

… And he hold a suspender. Is it too tight?

We will go into more detail on this later, but …
Have you ever had a tick when you are really upset? To stick your nails under the skin of your hand, bite the back of it?
Um, some of you have probably said no.

Haha… It always happens to me…

Um, back to us …
On the surface, what we see of him before his breakdown moment is simply a smart guy , a bit on the “smug” side when he talks about Charlotte’s obvious obsession.

But what makes him immediately stand out, always speaking superficially, is the repression of his anger towards his brother.

But we’re not going to talk about exactly that, analyzing Pierre Alembert.
Let’s go back to hours before this moment of anger and liberation.

If this dialogue at first friction seems really didactic to me, the potrait that Pierre shows makes me elevate it. A lot, too.
More than a very obvious foreshadowing on his frustration in having to continue to practice with respect to his brother, this sentence with that bitter smile connected … It makes me sound like a dig.

In the end, that’s what makes Pierre unforgettable: constant bitterness.

Oh, speaking of these last two screenshots.
Did you notice that sudden change of expression?

In the penultimate he was still trying to persuade his brother to play alone, given his father’s orders … So he was trying to be more convincing and less disturbed by it, even if he surely (as it is) will have marked it.

As obvious as water is wet, Pierre has repressed a lot in this scene as he has repressed his frustration since he started playing with Michel. He has now become a master in the art of repression!

In fact, immediately after a wait of 60 frames …

“Michel, I’m saying this for you, you have to aim higher…”

He threw it on the “brotherly love” that he clearly does not feel in this scene.
In fact, as soon as his brother contradicts him, with the infancy (which we will analyze later) that distinguishes him …

“… Dickhead.”


I hear his curses from here …

But why and how did he learn to be like this, practically like a pressure cooker?
Here we come to the main reason why Pierre is my favorite character (even though the most complicated in terms of character is his brother).

Pierre is a child of his context.

It is not common to find these types of characters , especially in the current of independent Horror RPGs. This is mainly due to the fact that there is so much focus on the single characters … that they do not take into account the context in which they are.

We describe Pierre with a few adjectives : false, therefore “bipolar” (not in the sense of illness, but in the most common sense of the term), frustrated up to violent hysterical outbursts (which we will resume with Michel), easygoing and (if we want to say it) a good speaker.

Tell me: in his situation in the 19th century, how would a perfect little man ready to become a gentleman behave?

It may seem like a silly question, but as I said it is not very common to find characters so integrated with their environment. If the myriad costumed works that you can see these days don’t help you find a concrete answer, I tell you that society at the time was even more rotten than the one we criticize so much now . Although I don’t know much about history (the part of the literary woman who tells you everything in detail… I leave it to my sister, she knows more than me …) I can say that was based precisely on the same principles on which Pierre is based; including repression of negative feelings (such as visceral hatred) to save one’s facade.

This great integration into the environment obviously comes from the example of a man that Pierre had all his life, his father : a classic man of the time who was very detached towards his children, indeed willing to use them to get back from his loss of money. Pierre has therefore learned also how to strike without being too direct with words.

But in the exact moments in which this expression is used (pierre3-5 in the game files), together with the constant detail that is in every potrait , that is to hold the right suspender, the facade breaks for those five seconds of “………… ..”, only to then show Pierre pretending again.

I asked you a question before:
“Have you ever had a tick when you’re really upset? To stick your nails hard under the skin of your hand, or to bite the back of it? ”

Here, if we take into account his nature as a repressed person, we can interpret the tightness of the riser as one of these ticks I mentioned earlier.

In my opinion that’s what makes him really creepy as a character; demonstrates (albeit marginally because the game then focuses on something else) on the one hand the effects of the education of the time…

Which ultimately hurt him mentally (obviously, right?). Also because he’s not a mentally stable man (and, even in that case, many end up going crazy for the accumulated feelings), but a teenager in the end: the most unstable age of all in the emotional field . The habit of heavy coercion on the part of his father and such a direct confrontation (given the criticisms of the people) with the world and with his brother led him to violent outbursts, hateful thoughts towards those who care about him, and moments of pure hysteria… Which he always had to cover up in the end with falsehood.

In the end, Pierre reflects a little the idea of ​​the time that children had as adults in miniature . In fact, in the eyes of some players, Pierre has become nothing more than a repressed worm, ready to threaten his brother to kill himself.

Well … To move on to the next character, moving from the Alembert home …

“And I’m certain, life is terribly hard …”

Cloé – “Façade”, in its entirety

“When your life’s a façade!”

Oh yes, now let’s talk about this poor girl. Yes, if you don’t understand I have a soft spot for her… But she also makes me feel pity.
Well, already from the continuation of the song you will have understood that also with her I will talk about multiple faces, certainly.
To this, however, one could get there just by looking at her in … Face. Haha. I’m funny.

Apart from her expression, on that little face, under those round purple eyes, which suggest such a cute character, like a (although I hate to use this term for her …) “moe” character …

It is not a feature of astral production, when she is already dead, the potrait I have been considering is called “cloe life 1-1”, so it was used in the flashbacks of the game. So we can consider it just a thing of her design, which immediately suggests her double… 

(Every time I like to notice the detail that the skin of the living Chloé from flashbacks and that of astral production are different)


Quadruple face.

Okay… Here we have to go very calmly already… We will analyze each of these attitudes of this poor star.

First side: Astral production – “kawaii melanchony”

Yes, it’s a pretty weird title. But if we take into consideration how he behaves in this state… You can understand.

Being a so-called “basic bitch”, Cloé’s attitude in these scenes always made me smile , she’s so cute!
Especially when we know her past, the player is inclined to feel empathy for this poor girl traumatized by her childhood because of a monster who found herself as a father (who then conditioned the whole family to abandon it to itself.)

This is mainly because of the element I’m harassing you with.

(Scarface, 1983.
Yes, yes, it’s always me, Ele, who writes this part of the article, I assure you.)

As for Pierre (although to be honest for me Buriki Clock did a masterful job with the expressions of all the characters), Cloé’s potrait because of how his entire facial expression was structured through the big purple eyes they almost always communicate melancholy , even if it has a design for which some consider it a “loli”.

Well, after all Nanashi No Chiyo herself, speaking about her cousin, expressed her ability to character design in an interview as well.

Nubarin’s drawings have different facial expressions depending on the character . A bright character has a cheerful laugh, and a cool character has a modest laugh. It also depends on their personality. You can tell which character they are by just looking at their face without the hair.

In fact, you may have already noticed in the very first potrait that I showed you that for most of the game she has eyebrows, even if only a little, arched. This, save in some expressions of her, gives her a perpetually sad look many times, however much her mouth smiles.

So we can say very well that the real drama of Cloé is not her curse, that was “taking over” before her death … However, we will talk about that at the end .

Second side: The diary – “I am human”

These sentences, even if they are didactic, never fail to make me sad . In Cloé’s diary we are shown the most serious and saddened part of her, the one that has always hidden from us until the end of the game her astral production.
What to say? A girl with a trampled childhood, but who has always understood that what she endured is unfair (unlike Pierre, who ended up learning from his abusive parent).

“Friendliness, gentleness,
Strangers to my life,
They are there in his face… ”

“I am in love with the things
That I see in his face-
It’s a memory I know
Time will never erase … ”
Sympathy, Tenderness
(Jekyll &Hyde: The Musical) [2]

I know well that the theme of this article is related to Façade, but I have not refrained from mentioning this other song from the musical.
… But that in the end she ended up trusting what (as we will see in her paragraph and how he was introduced to you by PaoGun) in the end, when he returned to her to “save her”, he would share the sentences in red with his own predator, the one who ultimately represents what he really is … Bad luck, let’s call it that, different from what we will understand later as “curse”:


Yes, I put it in italic, bold and I made the text even bigger.
It is practically a central theme in the game , especially when it comes to Cloé.
PaoGun had also introduced it to you in her part of the article, this girl has been objectified by practically everyone, starting with her own parents.

“I’m not someone’s doll”
(I also interpret it in general as a “toy”)
Nor a pet ”

“That stuffed animal”

“You exist for me. Because you are my daughter. ”

[… And other similar phrases, but you can understand objectification very well given what Alain did to Cloé]

So, after this beautiful, almost tearful moment…

How did Cloé’s fragile mind react to these traumas connected to the sick people in her life?

Third side: Cursed Cloé – Curses as diseases

She has created another Cloé.
Now, we finally got to the main event for ‘this girl.
This is because exploiting the facade of the “curse” I would like to introduce an entire theory on which the title of this … Part of the paragraph is also based.

“Curses as diseases”

Now, I don’t know psychoanalysis so well to make complete diagnoses, (when there is a need to do them, Pao will help me) but reasoning with my sister we came up with this theory. What is it based on?

“In short, this representation and continuous distancing that the book takes, in the form of an investigative title, from the beloved by all Dr. Jekyll, could certainly remind us of the level of  distancing and demonization that makes curses. “

Pao said, in her part of the Trump Card. Surely the curses are taken both by Cloé and by Michel, as “things” totally separate from them …
But in my opinion, in the case of Chloé, this thing is not totally false.

Returning to the classic that we have taken into consideration for many parts of this Back To The Future … If Jekyll has completely separated himself from his sick part and, in his case, even a murderer … Cloé did it initially through dissociation mental. </ Strong>
As I said initially, she “created another Cloé” as a coping mechanism for her trauma (keep in mind the terms “coping mechanism”, they will also return in the case of Michel).

So, for those who know a little about how the human psyche works …
Yes, Cloé Ardennes suffers from DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder.

For those who have not yet understood this speech that I am telling you, I too find it hard to explain to you, we can help each other together with Wikipedia, even if it’s not real clinical advice:

“Symptoms such as dissociative amnesia, depersonalization and dissociative fugue are related to the diagnosis of DID and are never diagnosed separately. ”

I guess it’s a clear example of “depersonalization”
“I’m not Cloé.”
“The real Cloé has been cursed.”

And if we take into consideration the fact that she has dissociated herself as a coping mechanism… We have a dissociative fugue.
“Psychogenic or dissociative fugue means a sudden, unexpected departure from one’s environment, with inability to remember one’s past, confusion about one’s identity and partial or complete assumption of a new personality . ”

Taking on a new personality, when she killed her father.

“Most patients with DID had suffered sexual or physical abuse

I think all the pieces come together: Cloé is a sick girl, before being a “cursed” girl.

The curse of the house, which Pao elaborated on in her part of this huge paragraph, simply made it possible to split physically the two parts in Cloé’s head, so it fully represents her mental disassociation , which however has already done, when she felt she was undergoing the effects of “a curse”. 

So, Cloé after death split into two different sides.
But the Cloé who wrote about all her torments and her sorrows in her diary, the Cloé who was really marked by the abuses she suffered … She is the one you will see if you superimpose these two CGs.

Cloé is not nor a “teddy bear”, nor a demon if she rebels against these treatments.

She is neither the sweet, almost holy spirit of a dead girl, nor a bloodthirsty beast consumed by a curse. In the end, Cloé is just a sick girl. A person, as she herself points out.

  Or at least that would have been the moral of the whole game  (you'll understand why later)  if you don't
had been  some subplot ! 

I just suggest a little clue . For those who know the musical from which we are taking inspiration can guess that in all this we have never mentioned a song…

… A certain song called “ Confrontation ”. This is because Cloé has never had the chance to really confront her curse!

Her character had great potential but, as you have seen, all we have described here are facades . The many facets of her personality never meet, we never have the opportunity to see a real chronology of her psychological change.

The reason? Well, we will see the reason in the Work Defects .

Because this game, in addition to the lack of clarity (we repeat again that in the dedicated paragraph we will obviously explain why is unclear) also has a very heavy flaw which causes a lot of contradictions and which hindered the construction of the character of Cloé.

For the moment, therefore, let us stop at this point and return to concentrating on the interpretation of multiple personality.

Now you will tell me:

“My God, if Cloé is suffering from these problems, what kind of sick bastard is Michel?!”

We will see it soon. And I’m afraid. I have known these facts for years and have to write it to you and I’m shaking.

Michel -… Christ.


… Okay, let's get started!

Don’t be fooled by his pretty face. You may think he is the typical kuuur, childish, problematic kid… But in reality he is much worse

Michel Alembert. How can I start explaining Michel Alembert? [3]

To understand this character  totally … Let’s go from the beginning of the life we ​​know, okay? Then we will expand …

Yes, my fear of talking about him is papabile , because I simply do not want to miss any details from at least ten years of solitary analysis (by me and my sister) on this boy!

So … Yes, he being the protagonist, so the only one who has an actual character development , and also being the most complex character in the game … We should divide his path into parts, and we will have to follow the events chronologically instead of following the plot.

Phase 1 – Diagnosis

Before moving on to the main theme of this first phase, let’s recap some crucial elements of Michel’s life . This will help with his final diagnosis.

Obviously, based on the way his father treats him, Michel has doubts that he is actually using him.

With this dialogue that happens a few days later … In which the information is slapped practically in your face, we know that Michel’s doubts are well founded.

But the next dialogue is likely to be more important than the previous one, as that’s what gets Michel to the limit.

“After his twenties, he will be an ordinary person.
Better use him now, when we can… ”

This line (even better structured in terms of dialogue) obviously marks it. Especially for the term “use” that Michel’s father used to talk about him.

Here returns a case more or less analogous to Cloé’s , and another central theme of the game: the exploitation of children, albeit from different points of view . We have it very marginally even with Charlotte.

This scene, where Michel’s doubts about his blatant exploitation are confirmed, takes place after the “death” of Michel’s cat, Cloè.

Here, let’s go to the cat for a moment, and why the event of her “death”, added to the revelation of Michel’s well-founded suspicions, took him to the extreme (although, this we will see it later in his diagnosis, he was a well-disposed subject already).

-Cloè, transitional object-

I felt compelled to put a headline on this part, even if it falls within the first piece of this long paragraph on Michel.

You remember the cat, don’t you?

That potrait, in my opinion, is really creepy .
Really, for how fast the change of expression is, it looks like a jumpscare.

And do you know what I tell you? That potrait is perfect for the situation!
Indeed, it is more than anything else perfect for the parallel which I will show you later, as in this scene Michel seems to have no fault, as he takes care of a cat who helped him through that difficult time.

But why then did I use more “serious” terms like “transitional object”?

“The transitional object is often the first possession ‘not me’ that truly belongs to the child. This can be a real object like a blanket or a teddy bear, but other “objects”, like a melody or a word, can also play this role. ”

Well, yes, you know the stereotype in the movies of the smallest child (maybe a little brother) who always has some kind of teddy bear in his hand? Here, connect this to this.

But I would like to link this precise part of the concept to Michel…

“The transitional object is often the first possession ” not me “that really belongs to the child. “

Don’t worry, we’ll figure it all out later with the scene we nickname “How Filthy”.

For now I just wanted to introduce you to the concept of the “transitional object” linked to Cloè … Along with that very disturbing potrait.
As I said, we’ll review all this later , and when you review this concept … Ooh, that’s where the real reason why Cloé’s Requiem is a “horror” game.

However, we can conclude that, most likely due to the lack of family affection, (his father treats him as we know it, his mother … Isn’t presented…? Maybe she died, or something like that. If any source can confirm that the lady of the house Alembert has passed away, I think this can further strengthen my final thesis) Michel has not yet fully reached the stage where one detaches oneself from a transitional object.

Now, without going into more complicated and even useless clinical speeches, Michel is continually described to us as childish.

“… Because of your childish desires, you cause me so much trouble!”
Here again we can see how Pierre, despite being the younger brother, looks down on Michel, having understood how the world works before him.

“That’s true. He complains, throws tantrums… ”

“… Like a child” I would add.

These are just two examples. So the thesis of a lack of development from this point of view , due to the lack of affection (or a sudden detachment from it, if the mother of the two brothers is confirmed dead), at this point is < strong> totally possible .

But besides the constant need for something to comfort him, what effects has this lack caused in Michel’s life, from the point of view of his behavior?

Let’s help each other once again with Wikipedia, as we did with Cloé.

Many of the points mentioned will be connected to the scene of his first murder, although there will be points preceding this one.

Be careful though. Michel has not completely descended into the abyss of what is commonly called “psychopathy” . Michel was a very predisposed subject throughout the game and was starting to show symptoms. Simply if he had not been helped in time (as we will see in the third part, “The therapy”) he would have fit perfectly with these descriptions… Because some attitudes, even at the age in which he is shown to us in the game, approach them fearfully.

Yes, we are there, we are at the title of this paragraph.

“Psychopathy can lead to committing acts of shocking cruelty, as no feedback on the victim’s emotions is possible.”

But what kind of reaction is that when you see a dying girl asking for help?!

The even more “funny” thing is that he… He leaves. He runs away. And he leaves Charlotte there.

“Psychopaths get satisfaction from their behavior, and feel no guilt or remorse for their actions. On any threat or harm caused to third parties, psychopaths feel no shame or guilt, while they rationalize their behavior , blaming someone else or omitting any responsibility “

“If they are caught out or faced with unexpected questions, they simply rework their narrative to fit the new reality without stopping to think about things.” 

Yes, these thoughts come directly next to each other.

“Hare (a professor, maybe?) writes about a convicted murderer who talked about his murders in a completely dispassionate, disinterested way”

“I had to steal sometimes to get out of town, yes,
but I’m not a fucking criminal”
-Ted Bundy, famous serial killer

(Here we have simply the famous “propensity to lie” of psychopaths “)

But also before of this moment, the symptoms that Michel shows as a subject at risk are also present in scenes like

“They are known to break relationships, plans and leave work unfinished

“They are generally not embarrassed or worried about lack of success in life.”

“In the workplace, indeed, they are known for irregular attendance, frequent absences, and unreliability.”

… There are clear signs of a subject propensity to subsequently suffer from a form of psychopathy.

But why do I always emphasize the terms “inclined” or “at risk”?

“Psychopaths do not perceive their emotions like normal people: some doctors have described them as simple “proto-emotions” or “primitive responses to immediate needs””

Does this seem like a proto-emotion?

Do reactions like these match this other sentence?

“Although psychopaths do not feel deep emotions , they often pretend to experience them.”

Absolutely not.

Here, remember this part? Where the quote said:
“If caught out or faced with unforeseen questions, they simply rework their narrative to fit the new reality without stopping to think about things .”

There is an inconsistency . Michel actually reflect on his actions, the questions he re-elaborates the answers… He asks them to himself.

Also, by showing you the screenshots above, I wanted to point out that Michel has not yet fully developed the main element that distinguishes psychopaths: the lack of empathy.

Although he demonstrates many times (especially in situations that bother him) detached behavior (heck, the kuudere stereotype on which it is based has its foundation in this!) you never see, apart from his outbursts of violence, a total lack of empathy in his character.

But even if we have these signs that can make us breathe a sigh of relief in his mental health … Well, his character is often put in parallel with Alain Ardennes, one of the biggest monsters we’ve seen in this game.

Phase 2 – The damage

“Sympathy, tenderness,
Warm as the Summer,
Offer you their embrace. ”

“Friendliness, gentleness,
Strangers to my life,
They are there in this face ”

“Goodness and sweetness
And kindness
Abound in this place! ”

(Images from the 2012 Jekyll & Hyde production with David Hasselhoff)


Sympathy, Tenderness ( Reprise)
(Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical)

I know, with this introduction I will have given you a heart attack … But everything will be explained to you. For now, let’s focus on the last screenshot.

“I love you.
… Good night, my Cloé ”

Even at the beginning of the game Michel has a similar sentence in red, where he considers Cloé as “his”.

You also saw it in the introduction of its paragraph, right?

Eh? “It isn’t from Michel?”
“It’s Alain’s line?”
“Are you misinterpreting everything?”

Ah … I must remember to not have to deal with those who have played Cloé’s Requiem at least 10 times.

So … Let’s start with the events following the scene of his first murder, okay?

“I killed an animal for fun. Then I became addicted. There are always dead cats and birds in my room. ”
-Diary of Alfred Drevis, Mad Father

“Their lives aren’t worth much…”
(Talking about a hamster)
-Yuuya Kizami, Corpse Party: Blood Covered

Sadism, often expressed as cruelty to animals ”

Okay, do you understand how bad his situation can be?
Well, let’s move on to something much worse , which will help you understand the meaning of the phrase “My Cloé, mine and mine only” connected to Michel.

“It’s like you killed her”

… Although she, to say, she could have survived by running away and therefore she could also be alive.

“If you ever go away from me … Even if you had life, it would be as if you were dead to me.”

This sentence comes after Cloé’s first flashback, the one with the background Moonlight . At the end of the show and final pleasantries, before going down to the illuminated ground floor … There is this sentence, totally out of context .

Don’t you think these latest screenshots connect too well to Michel’s situation with his cat? 

“She went into the mountains alone, without me. So she’s dead to me. ”
So, if we enter into the mentality that the sentences in red, which seem totally out of context, are in reality a mirror of Michel’s situations and thoughts of Alain, in the end…

Yes, the game gives us a clear correlation between the two.

Don’t worry, have some tea. I’ll make you soften the blow …

Perfect, break time is over! There is still so much to say, come on!

But what is this correlation for? To make us even more worried when we talk about Michel?
…Not exactly.

“Ahh come on! In that scene, Michel was possessed by Alain, the connection obviously exists! “

Um … More or less.

To get to that moment, which we will analyze later, we go through various stages…

(It talks about Cloé. Hm… She makes him recover sanity… We’ll get to that later.)

(This dialog option can be obtained BEFORE reading Cloé’s diary)

“Bro, are you like… Stable? Mentally?”
-I, Ele, having this option about a year ago

“No! He’s not!”
-I, writing this at 18:02 on 29/12/2020

This apparently useless option … Or made just to show Michel blush, is actually soooo precious for the scene we will now analyze …
Finally, here’s the scene no one seems to have understood nothing

– “How filthy” –
Cloé, transitional object: Part 2 –

Therefore, we have already ascertained that Cloè (yes, for convenience from now on I will differentiate the two from the accent … The black kitten will have the grave accent – So Cloè, the girl the acute one – therefore Cloé) has performed the function as a transitional object for Michel in his life, until it is “dead” in his eyes.

But hey! A girl with dark hair and an innocent attitude is still alive!

One thing some people realized was this.

Michel, sick as he is, thought that Chloé was the human reincarnation of Cloè.

Yes, this guy really thought that Cloé was the reincarnation of a cat!

… At least, according to this theory.

What I will present to you, on the other hand, I think is more relevant to his reasoning.

Now, we always remember the transitional object thing.
Michel did not exactly think that Cloé was the reincarnation of his cat , but unconsciously (at least, before the scene from which the screenshot above comes from) made Cloé a substitute for his first transitional object, Cloè.

This reasoning would explain this scene.


“The transitional object is often the first possessed ” not me “that belongs to the child. ”

Do you remember?

So we can understand that having taken Cloé as her “object” of comfort, seeing her father’s photo album made her “impure” in his eyes… 

By now Michel had connected the girl to something beautiful, something pure, innocent and safe. In this exact scene, he finds himself demythologizing Cloé , describing her as “dirty”.

An additional reason could be why someone else had touched her. In almost every possible sense.

So he literally used her as an object of comfort, even coming to possession.

“But how? Michel had also been exploited and treated as a tool, how is it possible that he treated Cloé like this? “

Let’s go back for a moment to Michel and the revelation (“revelation”…We can’t exaggerate now) of his father’s exploitation.

I take the liberty of interpreting this sentence as: “… So this is how the world goes.”

Remember Pierre’s case?

“This great integration into the environment obviously comes from the example of the man Pierre had all his life, his father : classic man of the time very detached towards his children, even willing to exploit them to recover from his loss of money. “

In this scene we have the exact moment in which the exact same thing occurs.
Although he despises him, since “in the end that’s how it goes in society” Michel has unconsciously objectified Cloé in turn as a coping mechanism for the abuses he went through.

And this sentence explains it.
“Why do I have to be used by a guy like that?”
And above all, I add …
“Why do I have to be the one being used?”

So, after coming to this conclusion with Michel… Let’s think about that poor girl, let’s think about Cloé. My God, she never runs away from this thing! She never escapes from being objectified!

Her mother, her father and Michel…

Go back for a while, when my sister told you about the photography of Cloé’s Requiem.

“The screen tint, which first becomes dark and then increasingly red, supports the child’s extremely psychologized vision of reality, because in this particular point of the plot the direction is all focused on the characters who are the real stars of the game. “

We have a much more subtle case in this scene… Indeed, in Alain’s entire room.

The colors are blue, almost purple . To suggest a parallel and demonic dimension, if we want to exaggerate with the imagination … This is because the game is keen to let us demonize as much as possible Alain as a figure, as if he were a beast .

Let’s go back once again to the novel from which we took reference throughout the article. You thought Michel had nothing to do with the “split-double” talk, huh?

(I would have loved to draw something…
But for lack of time, here’s this.)

And here we go back to the beginning of this long, long paragraph!

I hope I was clear with everything. It was really hard for me to write, this paragraph was very complicated and touched a lot of different themes and a lot of different scenes…

So, before we get to Michel’s therapy, which amounts to the final stages of the game…

Let’s recap how problematic this kid is , via a simple list with just a screenshot or two accompanying each point… Where I’ll explain some details even better.

  • Michel, having always been exploited by his father, has developed some symptoms so it can be assumed that he is a boy who risks becoming a psychopath as he gets older.

(Including great childishness and no worries about any failures in life, like in this case working for his father)

  • Also, the affection he never had in his family (or suddenly broke away from) gives him the constant need to attach himself to anything that might connect with positive feelings , thus making the first cat who finds him his first transitional object, to which he gives the name Cloè.

  • Given all that has happened with his brother, the discovery that his doubts that he was being exploited were well founded and the death of his kitten , Michel takes the extreme act against the maid Charlotte.

  • This is his breakpoint, the one that increases even more the risk of him becoming irrecoverable, making him even disinterested in the act of murder. So, automatically, making him disinterested in the value of human life.

  • To escape from his house, he arrives at Cloé’s house. Michel’s wanting to help her and being kind to her stem from the fact that, resembling his cat Cloè in “innocence”, he unconsciously transformed Cloé into his second transitional object .

  • In short, he objectified her, as his father always did with him, and as Cloé’s father did towards her daughter. This gives the game the ability to make a disturbing parallel between the concepts expressed by Alain and the concepts expressed by Michel, which are identical in multiple scenes .

  • So Alain can be the “bestial” part of Michel, due to the suggestions given by the directing and the same possession and objectification they did towards Cloé, which unfortunately unites them. 
    The thesis of the double will be further strengthened when we talk about the final fight against him.

  • The only thing that differentiates them is the reason of Cloé’s objectification:
    Michel has, as many young undiagnosed abuse victims do, twisted his trauma of objectification against Cloé, as a coping mechanism. For Alain, it was just sick lust.

  • This explains “How Filthy”, the scene about the photo album :
    Michel, having made Cloé his second transitional object , so something beautiful, cute, innocent and positive of course… So not even considering her anymore as a person with her problems, is more shaken than normal as he sees Alain’s photo album , and his view of Cloé drops to the point of considering her “filthy”. 

Okay good … So, from this point …
How does everything evolve? How did Michel have his path of redemption?

Phase 3 – The final therapy

Okay… From this side on we can get some fresh air, we will follow the crucial facts more or less in a more or less perfectly chronological way.

During this moment …

To get the story going, you need to go to Cloé’s room.


And I say, at this point, since Michel had not considered her as human until the moment we will see now …

Cloé, dear, did you think he should save you ?!
HIM ?! [4]

But back to us …

Here, from this scene onwards what we call the therapy of Michel D’Alembert will begin, to restore values ​​that he has only lost throughout his life.
In this scene he recovers the most serious: the consideration of human life, which he had lost with the murder of Charlotte.

“Cloé is just like me”
Thinking about it, having wrote the entire second part in one day (which I’m continuing now, it’s currently 9:30 pm), this sentence strikes me even more after describing Michel as the one who hadn’t even considered Cloé as a person… Now he considers her his equal.


While it is a stretch as big as a house for the player to read the note “behind the piano”, we can interpret it as a “litmus test” that Michel does, to test his mental health … And also, if desired, his empathy. Empathy, the only thing that in the end he never lost, which saved him from the advance of his latent psychopathy.

Okay, I’ll label this potrait as “the gaze of the repentant man”

Finally Michel is sure he can heal completely from er …
His selfish desires, he says …

From his illness, we say.

So, he apologizes.

Cloé’s response represents the player’s reaction (including me, at the first play!) to this whole scene.

Really, the Italian youtuber that Pao and I followed the first time we spotted this game reacted with a

“Okay, uhm… So what?”

But we will deepen this thing in the second part of the article, in the Defects (HUGE defects, I would say) of the Work.

For now let’s focus on one thing … Let’s remember, Cloé was unaware of all the sick conception that Michel had of her …

That’s a really fucked up thing to think about!

I mean, if she had known what Michel thought of her, if he had never changed and the plot would have continued … Their relationship would have been, unbeknownst to a lot of players who would have done loooots of fanart, toxic at very high levels!

I… Guys please don’t let me think about it, Michel is already frightening to me as a person, thinking that his buggy mind has been cured is the only thing that doesn’t make me fall into depression.

So, now let’s think about continuing his path to sanity…
Yes, because he still has a little thing to fix…

Which was definitely not the one represented in this scene!

Aahh, if the third act of Cloé’s Requiem could be placed, for me, in the Work Defects in almost its entirety, this is one of the worst scenes!

“At least as long as the authors say I need more screentimeee…”

Okay, we’ll get mad at these scenes in the Work Defects…
(I’m putting you hype, huh?)

So… Take this interpretation with a grain of salt, because my general opinion of this scene is that it was done just to give Charlotte more screentime , since on the first floor there was the room with the eyes dedicated to her …

… And to show that Michel had killed his father and another maid…

From this sentence, probably, if we take into consideration what we said with Cloé, about the “Curses as diseases” and that it was the murder of Charlotte that was Michel’s “breakpoint”, in the midst of his outburst…

Yes, this is probably his representation of his risk of psychopathy…?

The problem is that Charlotte does not show up in a phase in which Michel is perhaps still in doubt, or he is still completely ill… But rather when he is “already in therapy”, when he is already redeeming himself. And furthermore, even if Charlotte were his latent psychopathy, Michel does not face her … At first he runs away, then he stands there, with poor Cloé (who literally “spawns” on the map) still unaware of everything asks him:

“With all due respect, can you PLEEEASE tell me what damage do you have?!”

So… Yeah. The “gray scene” doesn’t make sense.

As well as the puzzles we’re going to have after it … So let’s jump right into the important scene, okay?

(Apart from this sentence, which in my opinion reinforces all the theses of the part on the damage of the disease)

Ah and yes, the scene with the Nocturne in the background only serves to “reveal” that Cloé and Michel had already played together, so we’ll skip that too…

And more inconclusive puzzles …
Oh God! Now you understand, in part, why I put this entire phase in the Work Defects, personally!

Ah, now finally, before we get to the final stages (from the “fight” against Alain onwards, although I won’t talk about the endings for the same reason that I will explain below)…

“Wait! There’s the whole subplot of Michel’s hatred of the violin? You didn’t talk about it!”

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before, but that will be almost totally in the Work Defects As well as the endings of the game , together with all the steps to get the real one, that is have the protective amulet…

Since Michel’s hatred of the violin and not himself, I explain it to me as if it were a simple further symptom of his psychopathy (it has already been mentioned with Charlotte the “do not blame oneself but people or third things”, typical of psychopaths) and the endings are part of the game’s confusing supernatural subplot

They will have their own section.

But now we are continuing to analyze Michel’s journey towards being a decent human being.

“This scene is also useless! You will break Cloé’s curse by fighting the white hair girl, what does he have to do with this?! What’s does that girl have, two curses?! ”

No she doesn’t have them…! I said it about her, when I was talking about her!

Bad luck, let’s call it that, different from what we will understand later as “curse”: Objectification.

“Oh God, again?”

Oh yes, again! But here returns the theme I mentioned in the second part of this very long analysis on the goddamned Michel D’Alembert!

I have put this edit in this article three times …

Michel still has to completely disintegrate his “beastly” part , and in this scene Alain represents a concept that I introduced to you in the re-cap of the concepts of the second part of the analysis.

“Michel, having always been exploited by his father, has developed some symptoms so it can be understood that it is a boy who risks becoming a psychopath as he gets older .”

Alain represents precisely this risk and defeating him involves having the resolution of having recovered one’s good ideals, and never falling into the same mistakes again in the future.

In fact, in a so-called “bad ending”, that is a failed therapy according to my vision of the game, Michel says he is “the same as that time”:
in short, he blatantly says that he has failed to change, and that he will surely become a dangerous subject in the future.

So… One hit, two hits, three hits with the hammer …

Yeah, dude, you could have become like him when you grew up.
Bad , bad, bad.

Perfect, finally Cloé is released from bad luck that makes her always be taken as an object by everyone …

And above all Michel-

Oh! He answered himself! At least once you helped me understand what the hell you think … Asshole!

Yes, that insult comes from many repressed curses towards him … Entering Pierre’s head hurt me, huh?

Yes! That was the cause of your “curses”! Objectification! I was repeating it until I had to vomit!

So, thanks to this holy phrase, we can understand that Michel has finally clearly understood that his entire coping mechanism to, in fact, cope with what he went through in reality is the wrong thing to do , which causes hatred, toxic social relationships destined to end badly and suffering from those in front of you!

Let’s take a moment to give Michel a round of applause , he managed to solve all the mental problems of about, I dunno, eight years of life (I don’t know when he started playing and being exploited) in one night!

… And that now, from the  True Ending onwards, he will have to deal with a sense of guilt that will haunt him for life probably, in prison. And he’s also an orphan.

…. C’est la vie .

Really, let us realize the psychological evolution that he has had.

From this …

To this …

To this!


Our journey, together with Michel’s, was a long one to go …
We’ve been through a lot, just analyzing his character, don’t you think?
Michel, being the main character, had a truly masterful character development in my opinion , albeit interspersed with what-the-fuck parts, and others inexorably ruined by the confusing plot (main reason why not I’ll talk about the endings).

But as you have seen in the rest of the article, Cloé’s Requiem in general boasts a truly exceptional cast , with almost all the characters-

“Sick! They are all sick in the end, for you! ”

Karen, again ?! [5]

Here, now I’ll explain better… Interesting characters to follow the events of (especially in such a character-driven story, as my sister already said!), given their complicated situations and contexts who created… Yes, really fucked up people!

The direction , then, for those who liked this game with all its elephantine defects, it proves in many parts interesting, and which in my opinion deals with such complex themes with little drama that other works would dramatize a lot, in the wrong way and uselessly, making the work in bad taste.

So… Yes, at least in my personal opinion…
… Stop pointing pitchforks at me…
Cloé’s Requiem is not perfect. Really, it isn’t . That is, in some parts it makes me think “damn this game is so shitty!”…

But, for these elements that we have described to you, and which may or may not have attracted the public (because I just have a slight suspicion that it was only attracted by the melodrama), I venture to say that it will remain one of my favorite Horror RPGs .

… Of which in the second part we will discover all the crap that surrounds it, and we will both be angry as beasts!

“At the end of the day,
They don’t mean what they say,
They don’t say what they mean,
They don’t ever come clean –
And the answer –
Is it’s all a Façade! “


[5] The prople who have read the latest devlog on The Rebirth Of Franklin Albrecht will know that we are referring to an imaginary person who is constantly pissed off at us

[4] Hello! I’m a wild PaoGun and I’m here to link you to another version of the scene from the musical Ele has put screenshots for. I refer you to this: Sympathy, Tenderness (reprise) \ Confrontation – Jekyll & amp; Hyde , is the 2015 representation with Frank Fernandez in the title role. Do you want to suffer from insomnia for the next month? Good. Listen to the whole piece and think that those screams you hear in the video from the poor victim could have also belonged to Cloé, because of Michel himself. In short: Hyde kills Lucy when he discovers that he wants to run away from him , there is the reprise of a song that had belonged to all the hopes that this person represented for the girl , and among other things at one point in the passage we hear the killer’s voice become higher than normal, like the ones of a child . It is very different from the idea of ​​the “great shadow with a hoarse voice” that I have heard so far.

[3] From “Don’t let yourself be fooled…” to “How can I start explaining Michel Alembert?” : Quote to Janis Ian from the movie “Mean Girls”, talking about equally indescribable Regina George

[2] In the musical this song has a reprise. This will also happen in this article .


Cloé’s Requiem (1st part) – Business of the Children, the new stars of Horror RPGs

Ladies and gentleman, sit down so that you can receive our warmest welcome. Well, the guys you probably came to read this article for the performers that will soon delight you, to get you satisfied with their artistic… and not artistic skils.

Ah, did I say something wrong?

But what could it matter to you, dear ones right now, let’s kick off the dances and let the introduction begin!

To start telling you this story, being lovers of both literary classics and musicals, we have not found a better way than “Façade” to tell a game set in Europe from a European point of view.

Our compliments go to the authors for the choice of the historical context! It is so distant from us, more than two centuries now separate us from those individuals and those ideals. We understand that you will have felt the nostalgia …

Which of these societies which was the one of late 19th century metropolises inspired by Victorian Puritanism (and if not beyond, given some scientific discoveries that are seen in the title) was better for tell the plot of this game!

Which among these if not a society that lies to itself , suffering from falsehood and malice.

These were at least the themes that concerned the book from which the passage is taken, focusing on dualism of the individual, which in one of the neo-Gothic literary classics par excellence , “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & amp; Mr. Hyde ”, splits in half.

Jekyll fights against the more repugnant side of him to death; so we will tell the story of how two child prodigies in the world of entertainment – of the music scene, we mean – fight against the bad feelings manifested below form of curses.


Okay, here we are guys. Forgive this… Dazed prologue, compared to all the normal introductions we have made. You will probably be very perplexed by what we have just expressed in the article, as well as by the cover for the first time totally drawn by Ele! By the way, we hope you liked it.

What could we tell you if not to apologize on the one hand and ask you to follow us to understand what we are talking about when we look at this title.

Cloé’s Requiem was a great source of inspiration for us for the story, direction and story of the characters (we even called our cat Cloé!) and it has been just as much frustration for us,  for the marketing operations that followed. What you will notice is how the effects of including gender in the larger dimension consumerist and commercial have made themselves heard for such a title.

We are here to explore together the history and characteristics of another Horror RPG with you. What we can promise anyone who decides to follow us all the way is that a story will follow that, we believe, will not easily forget.

Welcome to part one of the article on

Cloé’s Requiem

Hello! Hello! It’s EleRantula speaking!

Well, guys, let’s start this epic quest!

Although Buriki Clock did not reach the levels of Makoto Sanada’s media phenomenon, they released two interviews on Cloé’s Requiem : one on Famitsu, one for Nicovideo (apparently they participated in a festival organized by NicoNico , but we’ll focus on that later).

But! To get to those we should wait for the “Author-Work Report”, which will be present in the second part of this very long article.

So, to be as technical and methodical as possible about the development history let’s start thanks to their site (and thanks, as every time, also to the English translation of Google Translate from Japanese to English, which, however macaronic, helps me enormously) to see exactly how the game was “born” and how it continued to exist, and then expand even more in the various topics, which will then touch scattered points of this list.

Well. Not a bad list.

So, let’s start in October 2013, after Nubarin’s first title “Kusoge Story” (literally, ‘Terrible Story’, being “Kusoge” a Japanese term for a terrible video game) of which I don’t even have current traces except the page by Freem!

I think the Product Story is going to be pretty long today… Dang, I have to divide it in parts.

Part 1: 2013: An average start to an average game.


“Cloé’s Requiem has been released”

The game was released on October 2, 2013, released on Freem! like many others in the genre, and is 11th in the download rankings of the site. .

Here, too, we know the identity of the game’s authors … Or at least what they call themselves: Nubarin and Nanashi No Chiyo (although personally, since she is called Chiyo Nanashi in many interviews, I suspect that Chiyo Nanashi is the real name of the second member of Buriki Clock, the team of these two authors).

According to the Japanese Wikipedia page:

“Production started at the end of July 2013 and Nubarin said she” wants to make a horror game using a western-style building” At the beginning of development, the protagonist was supposed to be a sculptor, but since Nanashi was studying music at school, he changed into a musician and the game became a work with the theme of classical music. “

Furthermore, it seems that Nubarin was inspired by The Witch’s House.
What the hell does this game have to do with The Witch’s House in terms of substance? I’ll never get it.

In any case, the game gained a lot of popularity after its release.

“And why on earth?”



“Cloé’s Requiem wins the ‘Fighting Fighting Award (Horror Classic Award)” at the Nico Nico Self-made Game Festival 2 “

Here’s why!

Cloé’s Requiem participated in the NicoNico Self-made Game Festival . It is a showcase event for independent games; according to what I have read from the rules, everyone can participate… As well as our Buriki Clock team.

They got the “Fighting Spirit Award” (Or “Classic Horror Award” or “Fighting Fighting award” … I would really like to know Japanese for these things) and although to see the title you have to go through many other games that have won in this category, it seems that this award at the online event organized by NicoNico dedicated to indie games gave Buriki Clock the necessary boost for having made its subspecies of boom or, in general, more visibility.

And indeed …


“Cloé’s Requiem is introduced to the public, being published in the monthly ‘Comptiq'”

PROBABLY this one, the game was being released in early October, and this was printed in early October

Comptiq is a Japanese magazine dealing primarily with computer games, published by Kadokawa Shoten.

“Wha? Who?”

Those who don’t hang out a lot in the Japanese scene regarding the promotion / publication of fictional works will wonder.

From Wikipedia: Kadokawa Shoten is a Japanese publisher and division of Kadokawa Future Publishing based in Tokyo, Japan. Kadokawa publishes manga, light novels, serialized manga such as Monthly Asuka and Monthly Shōnen Ace, and entertainment magazines such as Newtype. Since its founding, Kadokawa has expanded into the multimedia industry, particularly video games (such as Kadokawa Games) and live-action and animated films (such as Kadokawa Pictures).

We have already mentioned this … Multinational, it seems, in the article on Yume Nikki . But keep it in mind, we will need it especially for the second part of this article, in the Author-Work Relationship , together with Enterbrain.

So, although it is not clear to me how much space it had, if it had only a short article or an entire presentation sheet, in 2013 (I desperately searched for the month through the covers of the Comptiq editions that came out that year, but found nothing given my zero knowledge of Japanese) Cloé’s Requiem begins to expand in Japan, up to…

Part 2 – 2014: The Supernova.

NicoNico’s participation in the festival and the subsequent article (I guess) on Comptiq led, as I said, Cloé’s Requiem to more than good visibility, up to…


“Interview for Nico Nico Self-made Game Festival Game Creator”
“Interview for Famitsu”

“Cloé’s Requiem at the NicoNico stand of the Tokyo Game Show 2014”

According to the “Media” section of the Japanese Wikipedia page, this game was exhibited in the NicoNico section of the 2014 Tokyo Game Show:

Or rather, the light novel that sums it up, which we’ll talk about later.

With a lot of article that bears the name of:

… We will discuss this in the Author-Work Relationship, though.

But also … Okay, really? After so little time since the article for The Forest Of Drizzling Rain I have to re-do this stupid skit in which I list every single way in which the poor games we deal with are milked to death?

Okay, okay, it’s funny … Geez …

Breathe in with me…

An appearance on Japanese Mezamashi TV (oh, this is new), two novels (in my opinion, both … With a few words to describe them. You have seen one in the image on Tokyo Game Show), a small comic in the magazine “Almost Free Game Magazine”, about three interviews (we add an interview for Mole Games, after the Tokyo Game Show), a part of the 2015 NicoNico Chokaigi Haunted House (we have already mentioned it with The Witch’s House and Ao Oni), a manga called “Cloé’s Requiem -rêveur-” (which tells a whole other story, huh ?!), a collaboration with the Princess Café in Tokyo and-

What? Don’t believe me? I am very serious! These things are strong in Japan!

Ahem, so … You interrupted me just when I was saying the highlight …


Sorry, my blood runs cold just to see this.

You will understand better why later, in the second part of the article… I can only tell you that, as you can see, the two cats that have few screentime in the game have been humanized.

Yes, don’t try to find meaning in these marketing operations , don’t worry about the meaning of this narrative element… Not yet .

Okay … So, you have now understood that Cloé’s Requiem in 2014 had practically every kind of success possible , so much so that it also generated an extra spin off / story.

Given this, I wanted to talk more about the “Supernova” phenomenon.
My sister had already talked about it in the Mad Father article, and it is based on a very simple question.

“Did the success continue?”

In the case of Cloé’s Requiem …

No . I’ll tell you dryly.

The success of the production team, after the first two years after the release of Cloé’s Requiem, has not continued, although Buriki Clock has continued to make games.

(You are more likely to know this because it has been translated into English: Fantasy Maiden’s Odd Hideout)

This game is called Trauma Traum.
I just tell you that if you know him, you have the same urgent need for stalking as I do for the developers of Horror RPGs.
(Well, I write the Product History for a reason)

What are these games, then, in the history of Buriki Clock?

I want to consider them, unfortunately, desperate attempts to continue being a real production house , and not just the authors who have had “luck” (you will understand in the second part why those quotes) with the their first title and milked it to the last.

Up to the last really.
(Image from Buriki Clock’s Twitter profile, showing Pierre who has suddenly forgotten all the pent-up frustration and hysteria shown in the game …)

Of course, these other two titles also had merchandise : Fantasy Maiden’s Odd Hideout had a novel, along with other gadgets such as pins, etc. in the official Buriki Clock store, Trauma Traum even a… CD? I think it’s a sung cd, but in any case they have had their events and also funding …

But after 2014 the decaying era of Buriki Clock has begun.

You can make sure of this if you answer another very simple question that I ask you.

Have you ever heard of Buriki Clock, outside the current Horror RPG and outside of Cloé’s Requiem?

But apart from this question, which I leave open even if we all know the answer …

Let’s go back for a moment to 2013, the beginning of the golden age for Nubarin and Chiyo.
What, therefore, 7 years ago brought Cloé’s Requiem where it is now …

Eerie backgrounds, classical music, a story set in the past … It is a title that certainly has its own class, no doubt about it.

I’m not sure what can be said for the beginning. There’s the Buriki logo, and then you directly start to take on the role of Michel, incredibly calm after carrying out his third cold-blooded murder , who runs before the chaff of time chases him (also called the cop , or as some would say, so as not to be put in the jail by the beak cit. [1] ).

But we have anticipated this for you , to make you understand how, here too as in other games, narrative consistency is certainly not the workhorse of the title. In reality, what is shown in the game as an introduction is the boy who runs away from something by going, through the passage of a coachman, to an unknown house. And that’s it.

But we can see, before the new mansion is introduced …

… Yes, in short, this sort of medieval fortress …

Okay, from here we can see two things : the first is that is introduced from here the one who will be the co-protagonist of the story (no, she is not the main protagonist because we follow the change in his attitudes over the course of history as much as Michel does), the second thing that we understand instead is that surely it is a person that has some screws loose.

But what we are interested in knowing is that it happens following the first flashback that will be introduced to us by the game. Apparently the words that have been introduced to us do not concern the main plot, they would seem out of context, but the game forces us to change our minds by finally giving an identity to this mysterious voice!

Here he is, in his magnificent sprite. This explains why in the second part of the game the girls preferred to use silhouettes rather than draw new adult figures.

The point is that once the flashback is over we have these three lines:


Hey, but then that crazy maniac is Cloé’s father!

Damn what a lousy man. Why… . This is ultimately the most disturbed character. No?

Oh-oh-oh, well finally after so much procrastinating…

… After only mentioning the topic even when it would have been appropriate to talk about it …

We can finally talk about a character driven story where the characters are valued properly!

Let’s try to introduce some theory. Probably many of you will already be able to guess what this definition indicates: we are essentially talking about a type of story that goes on on the basis of the actions that the characters perform . I realize that at first friction it can be difficult to distinguish the stories with horizontal development from the vertical one, so I will try to give you some examples.

Horizontal development stories rely heavily on external inputs that push characters to take action, at least that’s what I’ve noticed. Nothing takes away from the fact that the gimmicks and therefore the categorizations often mix, but as regards the Horror RPGs I noticed that this has never happened to me, so I can bring you more concrete examples: take Mad Father and The Forest of Drizzling Rain .

On the one hand, the story begins because of a curse, so Monika who unleashed it is the antagonist of the story and moves the story for Aya, who will have to fight the zombies. Mad Father is, among other things, very easy to classify in a type of horizontal storytelling also because of all the action sequences and particular gameplay that characterize it.

The Forest Of Drizzling Rain could be defined in the same way, the events are mainly focused on the background of the village in which Shiori and Suga are involved. The Witch’s House could have been a character driven story?

So, surely the characters are more active, Ellen was the one who killed her parents and made the deal with the demon starting from her inner motivation and a rather static external environment, however if we should consider the video game in the its context I wouldn’t dare to say that it intends to tell you a story , the title seems rather anchored to its gameplay before shedding light on the background.

Again, there is The Crooked Man with whom we had faced the matter of the hero’s journey. True, a lot of space is given to the intentions of the characters and as subtle as the definition of “character driven” actually is, I could also say that this game is. However, there is something that holds me back from defining it as such, and it is the constant presence of the antagonist, the crooked man, who is the real engine of the action and is what drives David to leave. If you remember the scheme of the hero’s journey, it involves a double relationship with the call to adventure into which he is pushed: first he rejects it and then accepts it, thus investigating the personalities of the main characters. It is true that the crooked man would be a metaphor for David’s current state, but we cannot deny that Duke really exists (indeed, he really existed) and that is why we must take into consideration all his interventions that have conditioned the actions of the protagonist.

And it is for this reason that I insert the plot of Cloé’s Requiem to fall perfectly into the type of character driven. In fact, if you think about it the type of background in which the characters are found is rather static, it would be much easier to imagine a story more on the slice-of-life style than a horror genre plot, this because certainly the choice to work on a work in costume partly determined the nature of the product as a “historical title” (although, to be a game set in France by our “European cousins”, little historical imagery is found – especially for some elements -, and from this point of view it is not very reliable. In any case, yes, this little slip also happened with Mad Father – but maybe we shouldn’t insist too much if their target audience was the Japanese one).

Therefore, precisely because it is a static background, everything that the characters do derives from inner reflections and psychological changes on their individual and social state.

But I will not be the one to talk to you in detail about the characters, there will be Ele in the second part of the Trump Card  (spoiler: she is the one between the two who had spoken of the case of Satoshi in Corpse Party, she’s also responsible for writing our characters, so I’ll leave you in good hands for that).

However, I don’t even remember from which article this feature was, I believe in The Witch’s House, but also for Cloé’s Requiem we have two trump cards in one, and – at this point you should have understood it, indeed, perhaps it might almost seem obvious – character development is one of them.

I and you will focus on the second point, the direction . We are talking about a direction that has allowed us to love and make memorable a confusing plot and a supernatural background more inaccurate than Corpse Party’s!

So I think for a while you will have to have suspense about the discourse linked to those three screenshots…

… And about the twisted mindset that this infamous kid  develops throughout the game.

So, back to us. The direction of this title is actually very very particular, because it responds many times to the style of the game which is mainly based on the narration of events (and not) in wall of text . Basically a Satan’s bestiality, if you know how much we condemn this practice in our articles.

But Nubarin and Chiyo managed to take advantage of this “style limitation” by putting all the emotional tension between the lines of text in the game . I can say that they did it very well, and it was a very, very difficult task. Knowing how to do a good direction is not at all obvious , let alone how they will have done that they did not even have the visual support to enhance: everything comes from reading the texts and the sound repertoire. The problems started when they started rushing and loading the main content up to the ending…

But we will talk more about this in the future. So we try to focus on the focal points and try to do, as we didn’t do since Blood Covered, an in-depth analysis on a specific sample .

The scene that I propose is this.

Many of you will remember it as “the mother scene” or “the mother’s diary”. Yes, let’s talk about that, one of the wonderfully opened, poorly developed, and worst ended story arcs.

Why do I say “worse ended”? Well, well …

Do you think it’s a decent way to end a subplot?

Do not worry, starting from this scene we will then analyze why by talking better about the Work Defects.

However, let’s go back to talking about the positive points. As I mentioned earlier the scene centered on the mother’s diary is in my opinion among the best in the whole game .

So, to begin with we have already met Cloé upstairs.

Ah, and I would like to note in particular how the one we saw during the chase …

Her, here she is. Even if we can guess, also given Michel’s suggestion, that this “thing” we have seen resembles Cloé, it is presented to us in a completely separate way (I am speaking of a physical separation, in the literal sense of the term) and obviously by a personality totally disconnected from the one encountered upstairs.

At this point in the story it would be easier for the player to interface with the “cute and cuddly” side of the girl he just met…

… And then this is introduced instead…

As we said before, this will be an analysis of the text in the most literal sense of the word .

First of all: the “music” used in this part I could define it as a reference to knives with which you intend to pierce your ears . The metaphor to which I am referring referred, from a particular textbook on directing (whose name I currently do not remember), to the music that appears in the opening credits of the very famous Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock .

That’s what I meant when I said that the direction of this title is excellent. It offers a lot of emotional depth to the lyrics, which matter as much as the visual side of the title and indeed complement it. Without the texts of Cloé’s Requiem we would never be able to understand its all-round meanings (… indeed, unfortunately, the misunderstandings and misunderstandings have occurred anyway, but we will discuss this in the future).

Cloé’s mother tells us about her feelings towards her daughter…

Perfectly plausible, given not only the plot of the game but also the contexts of the time. For the uninitiated we are talking about a type of society where normally girls from good families, once they reached a certain age, were ready to enter society, that is to say to be married , therefore when they dressed them up for the holidays to look for a good match who does not say that mothers, themselves married very young in most cases, could not feel a sense of competition in comparisons of daughters?

… That’s it.

I am not a historian, what I know comes from some personal insights that I was able to make about the time.

Obviously, in any case, by “perfectly plausible” feelings I mean the feeling of envy . What is written after is actually not so normal …

Keep this screenshot in particular….

This comes before the one above. You will need it later for what Ele will tell you on Cloé

We can note, certainly an interesting element, that the vision she has as his daughter is that of a teddy bear.

And this is why we found it really confusing to associate the teddy bear theme with the maids, even though she killed them. This is because it was a theme that seemed truly “special”; unique, closely linked to her daughter and, even more interestingly, this description that the mother gives us of Cloé fits very well with the “sweet” and “rounded” design of the little girl. They have made full use of the character design assigned to Cloé here, is not an end in itself.

Let’s add a point in favor of this magnificent scene: its continuation outside of the diary. In fact, we have the gossip between the waitresses which then manifests itself in the two teddy bears.

Here we tie everything perfectly: a maid saw that Cloé’s clothes were cut and to the lady seemed right to kill her. The scene continues until you check the picture of the woman who has aged.

This relationship with the text is however different from the type of relationship that is offered to us with the text in Faust Alptraum: one because there are images to comment that are simply described, and then because I see it more as a experiment to try to replicate a more “literary” type of narration or as a “manifestation of erudition” than with the intention of transmitting emotional sensations (this is one of the reasons why although it is among my games favorites I certainly can’t take it as an example to talk about narrative titles).

Before Ele can introduce you to the main theme of the game, I would like to mention another scene in which the direction, indeed, the direction of photography is was phenomenal.

This particular moment of the game taught me a lot regarding the evocative rendering of the scenes. The screen tint that first becomes dark and then increasingly red supports the child’s extremely psychologized vision of reality , because in this particular point of the plot the direction is all centered about the characters who are the real stars of the game. Even more than what happened in The Crooked Man, here the environment is modeled on the basis of how the character in question is experiencing his personal situation.

… Consequently, this superfine work of dramatization of the events allows us players, spectators and here to me and Ele as critics (if you think we have the right to be defined as such) a satisfactory work of interpretation .

Yes, you will remember from the Mad Father article, this will be the second time I mention it during our journey on the Ludi Tarantula Archives.

If the work allows us to interpret it then we will finally be able to build our meanings on the basis of the language on which we have been taught . So, here I am taking the liberty of working on the interpretation of the sign of what concerns for me a theme (any theme, not the main theme. We will see in the future why I want to make this difference) which can be extrapolated from the game. I will extrapolate it, for example, by examining the use of the color red in this game and then I will link it to other elements.

First of all, as you might guess, I’m not choosing it randomly, since not only does red appear violently on the screen whenever a distorted dimension of Michel’s personality is introduced , but there are other details who insist on this color.

We could talk about the red writings, used when you want to highlight a distorted concept expressed by the characters as you can see from the same screen above, but we can generally dwell on numerous examples.

The red eyes from which the boy is haunted in the maids’ room…

… The return with Charlotte’s red eye (and the sense of being watched and controlled), when she reveals herself in the gray room, connected this time with her curse … We can connect this to the theme of possession, both did and suffered by Michel.)

When Alain reveals that he wants to kill his daughter, a scene that took place shortly after we saw the “rescue” carried out by Michel (an act of jealousy, probably – the theme of possession also returns here, keep this in mind for the Appendix -)

Or, well, at this particular spot where we can see a wild Cloé (hey, for once we don’t use that expression as a meme) with a red dress . Here we can see her eyes or her hair, white, are used to build another association for us with the curse closely connected to Blanc, precisely.

This is a very very explanatory image actually this , we have not used the term “wild Cloé” by chance. And this is precisely because we associate these two colors that represent two specific themes that are therefore closely linked in the title: passion and death .

Ahahahahahah, yes. Passion. Passion .
Put this way, I realize that now it seems that I’m talking about a soap opera, after all the hyper-intense dramatic register of the game does nothing but enhance this bizarre thesis. But I swear to you that I am telling you these things with knowledge of the facts, I am aware that if I do not express myself at my best I risk to make you think that the issues that the game faces are a lot of bullshit.

We refer to this image in which it is seen for the first time…

Here. Here the use of white dominates. White and red.

I want to mention another moment that can be achieved if, by staying in “crazy killer” mode with Michel and killing the white cat you can see how this, according to the description, seems to have a chance to move, unlike the black one .

Let’s try to reflect on one thing: the fact that at the point where it is shown in the game Cloé was wild would like to emphasize that what she became a victim of was the accumulation and loss of control over all his most negative passions .

Note that when I use this term I am referring in particular especially to the classical conception , if I do not remember erroneously we are talking about an idea that derives from Ancient Greece, that what concerns the theme of “passion” intends to understand the term in a very negative meaning and which is opposed to the “purity of soul” instead characterized by absolute rationality .

Well, now that I remember well, I’m sure of what I’m saying: it was Plato who used the metaphor of the white horse and the black horse (here as “black horse” we have the white cat, which for those who do not know it in Japanese culture is a color associated with death), and I’m also pretty sure I’ve used the use of this metaphor often during some delirium on my own I suppose. But don’t worry, I don’t mean to give you a big ass discourse about this.

What interests us now is that Cloé, as well as being a victim of her own more negative passions …

As shown in this screenshot in which she carpeted the walls with her little hands stained with blood…
We could say that she was the victim, first of all, of the unbridled passion of her parents. It is no coincidence that on the one hand there is lust , on the other hand envy , themes dear to Christianity regarding the treatment of deadly sins.

Yes, then, if we add to this a brief reference to anger…

…We can say that we are more on horseback with the rest of the cast.

Okay, leaving aside these idiotic digressions (capital sin and Christianity have nothing to do with what I want to tell you, I don’t want to confuse your ideas), why am I telling you this? Let’s get to the point. From the strong association that we have seen within the game we can say that not keeping control of one’s emotional state leads inexorably to death , but the white cat that does not seem to suffer the same fate as the black one and the spreading the “Chloé curse” throughout the house before it leaves us permanently feathers would like to suggest that once these strong feelings are generated they will hardly tend to die .

After all, the curses in Cloé’s Requiem are negative emotions that can take on a life of their own, aren’t they?

The white cat is destined to survive, expands in the environment and in people’s minds, is incredibly active , and its destructive disposition is extremely contagious. This unlike his alter ego, the black cat that once killed never wakes up again, thus decreeing the status of being passive and closely linked to a condition of death, of undergoing object .

Well, here are the Yin and Yang. These concepts shouldn’t be foreign to our girls. Ahahah, Noir and Blanc. How fucking nice .

So what?

Already. So, well, this I think should finally explain ( at least partly ) why the first thing we did in this article was associate Cloé’s Requiem with “The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll & amp; Mr. Hyde ” by dear old Stevenson.

In the book he was presented to us as these species of monster, hunchbacked ( lame, blind and deaf and so on , to quote Quasimodo as another wretch of 19th century literature) … A monster yes, a capable demon of stepping on a child .

One of the most loved scenes by illustrators of the century!

And then, come on, how can you not fall at the feet of this great man?

Can’t you see the splendor?

In short, this representation and continuous distancing that the book takes, in the form of an investigative title, from the beloved by all Dr. Jekyll , it could surely remind us of the level of distancing and demonization that curses take place.

… Which in this case, linking Cloé’s Requiem to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde becomes: put control on your passions (negative feelings) or you will be the cause of tragedy and death .

Jekyll keeps his distance from Hyde by disavowing him as Cloé keeps his distance from Rambo-Cloé , who is treated as an enemy to be defeated.

Yes, she can be defeated with a hug, ok, but she is still a beast of Satan to defeat.

That is to say, this is the vision that the Puritan Victorian society had of its passions at the time.

If the society that claimed to hold off and fear of its worst sides it was because it was the social structure itself that said it to maintain order .

And as you can see now our insistence on the song “Façade” will certainly be clearer, or at least I hope so.

Leaving aside that here we speak of Victorian society, in France people have generally differentiated themselves from their attitude precisely to be “more avant-garde” if we want to say so; we are not talking so much about historical clarifications as of thematic proximity with the title. In fact, in the social context that we are presenting for the article masks were created in society because society based its principles on unattainable models which didn’t can find confirmation in the daily reality of facts but no one had the courage to point it out. It was the poor side of society to which “eccentric” behaviors were attributed, after all.

They were the dangerous people who deserved to be mistreated (“punished”) and marginalized, isn’t it? Not the gentlemen belonging to high society. It was an excuse to justify the distinction between classes and this is what the literary classic denounced.

Or rather, it didn’t denouce it completely. At the time it was already a scandal to associate a beastly figure with the idea of ​​the perfect English gentleman. Imagine if Stevenson had made them compare in a more direct way.

… But in the musical we are talking about, one thing happened.
In the musical there is a song like Alive ! – And I recommend that you click on the link as this takes you directly to the version sung by Anthony Warlow, also the voice of the Phantom of the Opera for those interested.

(Images from the 2012 Jekyll & Hyde production with David Hasselhoff)

In this scene we can finally see how Hyde is not only closely related to Jekyll given the murder of individuals who, after all, we see since the prologue that were on his nerves, but in particular we see that in the transformation he finally gave vent to all his frustrations .

Scream to the world of his joie de vivre (see how he feels free from min 3.42 !) even if it means welcome within oneself the forces of evil (I quote the lyrics), and then so we could also interpret the potion as a simple stimulant, nothing more than an artificial drug, perhaps. An exciting.

Everything he repressed here comes to light, including the weird fetish for Lucy that you can hear at 1.49 minutes of the first link I passed you (believe it or not, this prostitute’s subplot will also be mentioned later). You will realize this for yourself, if you pay attention you can hear how it seems to smell the air like an animal , but the point is, heck, we can realize that what is singing is not he’s a demon like the others, but Jekyll himself! After all, there is no Edward Hyde.


… .Ah, well, what do you expect me to tell you at this point?

For me, the matter is clear: one of the best features of Cloé’s Requiem is that it lets the characters go completely free .

Yes. Exactly.

But really,  totally , perhaps too much. Okay, what am I trying to tell you?

That first of all even though the final enemy to be defeated is Cloé herself in the end she is the only one who transforms, who seems to have a metamorphosis and not even as complete as Hyde’s morphology. In short …

… Guys, let’s remember one thing together.

The one on the left and the one in the right image are the same person.

Here too, the boy in the left image and the boy in the right image are the same person . It is so obvious.

Only the expressions change, they do not do any metamorphosis, they simply change over time and this is what makes them wonderful characters, from our point of view, which have even been able to overcome the myth that the literary classic launched. As promised, in fact, later on we will dedicate an appendix just for them.

How to conclude this, then?.

Stevenson seems to tell us, with Jekyll’s suicide, that the only way to escape this existential conflict is death. There is no escape.

Buriki has preferred to propose an alternative solution : with the growth and recognition of the error it is possible to purify oneself from the disease and return to empathize with one’s neighbor, rationalizing one’s mistakes and returning to the right path .

This also happened with another character from Fantasy Maiden’s Odd Hideout, to which I will only mention here: Ange.

… Let’s say that wild-Cloé was not the only “animalized” character of their title .

Here, this CG you had met before while reading the article when you saw the cover of the game, you see her crying on the grass. Well, know that she is crying, for those who do not know, because she just remembered having committed a miiinor crime like mass infanticide. In her game of origin, one of the most recurring sub-texts was that of the primordial instinct of nourishment  (oh well, we’re talking about vampires and it couldn’t be otherwise). In addition, here too, to the web of inner growth.

It may not seem like it, but this title had all the credentials to be defined as an excellent thriller!

Yes, it seems to be a characteristic of the Buriki Clock characters to confront their more primitive sides.

And yes, compare with these. And they suffer there.

Yes, they suffer a lot.

So here’s one of the themes that the game addresses , according to my interpretation : acceptance of yourself and facing your worst side.

So, reconnecting to the discourse started before, the yin (our passive side, connected to reasoning) and yang (the active part, the chaotic and irrational energy of our behaviors) must coexist in a balanced way in our life choices.

And finally guys I’m done digging, I’ll get out of the box soon.

As you can see I’ve talked about other themes, in this first part of the Trump Card, that the game doesn’t even seem to insist that much because in the end, Buriki Clock’s real focus was another one.

However, know that all these ways in which I was able to read the work derive from the many little clues left on the road by the game itself . In any case it is still at the base of the criticism to work on the meanings of the text on the basis of the same letters printed on the paper .

Do you remember? We had already talked about this topic in the article on “ RPG Horror and Storytelling ”.

In short, I was able to interpret a theme dealt with by elements of direction and staging ; as we had anticipated since the article by Mad Father , this is where we can realize all that a profound work can do. This is all the beauty and potential of interfacing with a story that does not stop at first appearances .

(Ah- and I add: the themes as you can see are constantly intertwined with the events you of the main plot and its characters , right Sanada?)

Now, we also said that in addition to directing, the SECOND Trump Card are the characters . And with this you will understand why in the course of all the previous analyzes we have chosen not to focus on character development that other narrative stories have presented to us.

And this refers us, if desired, to the introductory part of this paragraph when the first thing we pointed out was to say that this is a character driven story.

We have not analyzed other characters in this column precisely because all the other works we have analyzed did not want center the focus on the characters but, in fact, dwell more on their “adventures” than they lived (the search for father, the escape from the Gallery, the pure gameplay in The Witch’s House ect ect ect…)

To talk about the characters it is necessary to interpret their emotional facets.

… Because it is extremely important, really, vital , that in an interpretation work you work with details that are already provided in the work under analysis , for do not risk making theories and “over-analysis” for their own sake.

We could also have formulated free interpretations, but in fact we are told little about the contrasts in the behavior of the characters, for example.

A first element we noticed about the other characters in Back To The Future is that the conflict of their personalities, if any, is treated more as an exceptional event than a real path of growth.

Let’s take Mary in Ib, for example, in the ending “A Painting’s Demise”.

Yes, here we see her as a “victim of her home environment” that she runs around the rooms and finally calls her father’s name.

However, this is an ending. Why don’t we look at how it behaves in other contexts for a moment?

Even if you want to reveal the side of a “child in need of love”, however, this is constantly in conflict with emotional tension , since we are from Ib’s point of view , according to which we are dealing with a probable crazy killer .

… This happens most of the times she appears.

Let’s take a practical example?

See what happens in the most classic ending, “Promise of Reunion”.

Would you have spared her life with that ravenous look?
Really, tell me if in so many points in the game she is not treated only as functional to her role as antagonist only useful to keep the plot going.

Well, it doesn’t surprise me that in this part who knows why instead of empathizing with her many fans have limited themselves to noting “oh, no! This madwoman is murdering our beloved Garry! ”

Kouri will certainly has been stratospheric in offering the emotional conflict of the audience towards a character who all in all is borderline (not so much an antagonist as an end in itself), but not enough .

A character in most cases changes over the course of a story , a character needs a path to tackle , which is the main reason why in the Corpse article Party we had not really talked about the characters (because even if they had an ambivalence of personality this was not dealt with within a specific development).

So what I’m trying to explain at this point is not to give you the round up of characters to understand “who is the best” but to understand which of all these has the most linear development within their own plot. I am simply explaining to you the reasons why we have not covered all the characters in the Archives with whom we confronted during the column.

Let’s take another example: Ellen.

Ellen, Ellen, Ellen.

She’s good, right? We all love Ellen. Even in this game, one of the few moments in which he seems to reveal the reasons for her murders and deceptions seems maybe the diary, but honestly I would almost venture to say that Ellen’s character is indeed unrecoverable . You will agree with me, for anyone that was traumatized the first time for The Witch’s House finale, that this girl embodies pessimism in mankind .

Already only for the fact that she lives like a parasite in the body of another person. Surely it would be very interesting to study in other areas how her sociopathy was formed (as we had already said in the dedicated article) but since we are here on the Ludi Tarantula Archives, a site on which we intend to dwell on the focal points of the internal analysis of the game in the strictest sense of the term (a point on which we would have stunned you already enough, I suppose) it simply did not seem appropriate to deepen.

This is why I told you about the importance of internal clues, and this is why the only one that perhaps comes closest to the requirements for a character analysis to be called complex like the characters of Cloé’s Requiem and Aya, it is no coincidence that we had opened a parenthesis on his growth path in the article on Mad Father.

Who else do we have, David? We just felt about David that we had nothing to add to what The Crooked Man game had already said . We mentioned the strange case of the Corpse Party characters a little while ago! We had already talked about it in their dedicated article, while for what concerns Mogeko Castle, as much as the theories to be elaborated on the characters may be interesting, we cannot understand how we could dedicate particularly in-depth analyzes on them.

But, look, if you still have doubts, I propose an example on a similar theme concerning the representation of the characters on the stage.

Here is a practical practical example of how these two could, all in all and at first friction, both appear as ugly faces proposed as jumpscare but which in reality are treated very differently.

This, by now you know the image by heart, is Cloé cursed before the battle. Close up, dark circles. Laughter can be heard above all in the background and the scene is ultimately static .

This is Alfred in the final chase. A potrait that occupies the whole screen pops out with an ear-splitting laugh ready to open our backside with its roaring chainsaw.

And this is how all this long justification on why this was the first case in which we focused on the characters of a work ended .

But see it this way.

From this moment on, the gates of Hell have practically opened wide and these very long parentheses on the analysis of the characters and themes within a narrative videogame work will surely return several times in future articles.

Because since this generation the titles have come out more and more fucked up.

Okay, okay, beyond everything I’m making a generalization because anyway these will also be the exponents but we have never analyzed all the titles released in these periods.

What I am trying to say is that today we have taken a fundamental step that will surely serve us for the future, especially for the last two reviews we have (so beware that we are not talking about the Back To The Future column) which will show us, on the other hand, how not to write a character , consider it as a great gift we offer you for as we approach the end of our reviewing business.

But now I think I’m really digressing too much, I’m spoiling more than I should.

So, after exhausting you only with what was in the end a introductory hat to start approaching the style of the game and the way it treated the characters, I can finally give the floor to Ele , who will finally dedicate herself to their internal analysis .

So here they are finally just for you, Charlotte, Pierre, Cloé and Michel!

… Music…

“The ladies an ‘gents’ ere before you –
Which none of ‘em ever admits –
May ‘ave saintly looks –
But they’re sinners an ‘crooks!

Hypocrites! ”

[1] Directly in reference to the lunatic, magnificent and very elegant gentleman of the evildoers Jack Dawkins called the Dodger!

Because when it comes to costumed works I will certainly not stay away from all possible and imaginable quotes. Ah-Ah-Ah. Ahh. Heck.

The Forest Of Drizzling Rain – A simple game in a complex context

… Do you want to know the truth?

We had very little desire, after our long period of absence, to return to the Ludi Tarantula Archives, especially for of Back To The Future.

I, PaoGun speak mostly regarding my case. We had reached such crucial points in the demo that I was nervous about stopping everything suddenly to “talk about other titles”: I thought, “ man, I would really like to continue working on producing the story of our game! ”.

However, in the last few days something has happened that reminded us that by writing these articles we are not just “talking about games”. History of the product, history of horror rpgs, what we tell on this site are stories in this column we are just collecting them to tell a greater one . The great epic tale of a genre of games, of a generation of authors, but not only that. It is also the great story of a tool.

After all we are now finally talking about the Second Generation, with which we could finally conclude the increasingly intricate and painful journey from the world of Horror RPGs to the market of Horror RPGs, but this is only the beginning of the long third act that we will begin in the company of Makoto Sanada with his first experience, The Forest of Drizzling Rain, to go together, one step at a time, in one of the great “demons” that the liberal market has produced since the beginning of the centuries, corporations .

But for this you will have to continue to patiently follow the column until the end. Whoever has it lasts wins it.

Ele will start with the “ Product History” , I, PaoGun, will see you later with the “Trump Card”.

-A development troubled by pure impatience-

This being, I honestly say, a passing article in the column to pass from the first to the second generation, I will not really talk specifically about the public personality of Makoto Sanada and how he started producing video games (not even in the Author-Work Relationship), as I did in the very first Back To The Future article with his namesake Makoto Kedouin…

Because I’ll just leave that job for the Angels Of Death article.

For now I start by saying that in an interview for the magazine “Almost Free Game Magazine” about Angels Of Death, Makoto describes the start of the development of The Forest Of Drizzling Rain (which I will shorten for convenience to Kirisame ) as an inspiration from the case of Ao Oni , which he discovered together with his friends in the period following his degree in theater.

… Well, that makes me criticize anyone who denies Ao Oni for one reason or another. It literally inspired the Makoto Shinkai of Horror RPGs.

Back to us, RPG Maker VX Ace took over and started the development of his first, most forgotten, title. Sanada had various problems with the development of the game, still being less able with the program than he is today.

In fact, the very first library scene…

This one, it seems , was incomplete (for some reason) for a full six months before the game ended its development…

Also, for other reasons I couldn’t find (honestly I skimmed the information about Kirisame from the interview, as it was mostly about Angels Of Death, and I don’t know if they were ever specified) , the development of the game suddenly stopped for a year, to give space to the planning of the game that is, by now, Sanada’s phenomenon.

“While I was making” The Forest Of Drizzling Rain “, there was a time when I stopped making it, and I came up with the idea at that time. First, I came up with a situation in which a girl climbs up the building where the murderer awaits, and the story expands from there. “

– Approximate English translation of part of Sanada’s interview for Almost Free Game Magazine

After this sort of “sabbatical year”, Sanada goes back to game development, and inserts the character of Sakuma , since according to the author’s vision, it would have moved the story and made it more complete.
So, probably with much impatience in starting to tell the next story, the development of Kirisame ends.

So on 11 October 2013 the first version of Kirisame Ga Furu Mori is released on the Freem! website.

The game quickly gained popularity in Japan, albeit much less in the West… Which is really strange, given that in basically every article in this column we have marked popularity in the West as a big step.

This title, on the other hand, did not have many American, Italian, or whatever players, but …

Ooh, could we have skipped the phase in which I list the various derivative works and merchandise of a popular game, at the beginning of this second season?!

Gaaaaaaasp… ​​

Manga! Novel! Additional book with interviews with Sanada and insights into the game! Various merchandise, including…

Microfiber cloths…?

And above all, get ready for the biggest treat…

A Drama CD! Yes, those very popular CDs in Japan that are mostly about anime (The first case that comes to mind for me is Haikyuu!!), with also prominent voice actors like Rina Hidaka (voice of Silica in Sword Art Online) as Sakuma or Shintaro Asanuma (Voice of Mitsuru Sasayama in PSYCHO-PASS) as Suga!

So we can say with certainty that Sanada’s debut in the Horror RPG field (I would like to clarify this, since in the field of the creative market in general he had already entered it in 2007, being part of the team of writers for the horror film Exte: Hair Extentions ) was an incredible success in Japan!

… And that seems to have been enough to secure him a place in heaven with his next work.

Yes, for now with the development history I have been quite concise (and calm, compared to the things I discovered about this author that have come up with a nice little speech between me and my sister, but we will talk about it in the Author-Work Relationship and in the article on Angels Of Death).

Makoto Sanada and his titles’s background is quite vast, and can be explored to a large extent. But, I assure you, you will get more information in the last article of this column. Stay Tuned!

For now, though, let’s see what most likely attracted the Japanese audience to this game.

-Good premises… –

We are talking about the generation of the Storytelling focus, so the strong point can only be the storytelling, right?


No really, we had anticipated this somewhat in the Mad Father article, a game that turned out to be one, if not the only title with a linear storyline rich in contents able to tell them properly.

So what sets The Forest of Drizzling Rain apart? It is perhaps the direction , as happened in Corpse Party ? Let’s try to make one thing clear. When in a trade we notice that some things are done well and other times not, we shouldn’t be so sure that we are talking about established workers.

I immediately put my hands forward saying that this title has numerous points where the direction is really excellent , I am referring, for example, to the beginning of the game…

The contents show us very little. We are introduced to a funeral, but it’s the way we meet the protagonist Shiori that matters. A few small talk, we can collide with her pain when she arrives in the kitchen and she tells us that she will have to put away all the preparations she had organized to celebrate her birthday with her newly deceased parents. In this scene we have one of the first parts from the sound department by now we should have understood from Corpse Party that the work on the soundtrack contributes at least 50% to the success of a narrative title or less as much as the plot and the graphics.

Here I would also make a special mention to the long sequence of the museum! The best in the game in my opinion.

So, you must have understood that I am referring particularly to the succession of night scenes , from entering the building and meeting Sakuma until we see Suga on stage for the first time. The rhythms are right, because we will have continuous interludes both to begin to interface with the legend of the Kotori Obake, but above all a really well distributed rhythm from one scene to another.

In fact, the premise of a great adventure seems to be built perfectly in line for reaching a young target, capable of enhancing the environment being explored. Here in particular the choice of music was fundamental, we consider the use of all the percussion that characterized them, almost giving us the impression of being in a jungle and this fits perfectly into the context of the village lost in a thousand mysteries.

However, “the music changes” since Sakuma’s escape occurs a few days later. Suddenly the development of the story runs wildly starting to show us flashback after flashback and the direction gets lost in suspension stalls sometimes too too abstract and with tones that are not very relevant to the rest of the game : Is there any fan of the game who remembers this scene?

No? Well, if the answer is negative I think it’s natural to have it removed from memory , let’s think about it for a moment. For those who remember: I don’t know about you all, but for us it was a sudden blow to the heart to hear about abortions, births and childbirth-themed gore, this is only the culmination of the long dazed phase in which Shiori will end up trapped in the cave.

In general the other suspense and mystery scenes dedicated to the background of the story weren’t bad at all , the problem arose especially when the game added the sub-text on the Kotori Obake. Apparently this overhang in the registers will remain a paradoxical feature of the author also in Angels of Death .

But we will have a whole paragraph to calmly discuss the flaws of the work, here we should focus mainly on its positive points after all.

What I would call the title’s Trump Card is the choice of context . It may seem trivial to your eyes, but we will realize all together, going on with the column, that it is not trivial at all. Many times we choose to produce narrative titles nowadays knowing little or nothing of the environments within which the characters will move, so the idea of ​​giving so much space to a particular village is excellent and would have offered many ideas of everyday life as well as ideas to develop a very bad background behind the main plot, unfortunately the opportunity was wasted.

We consider this choice as a return to the origins of the stories of Japanese animated works (including those belonging to the horror genre), a move that is almost always extremely effective. The title moves almost hand in hand with Mermaid Swamp (and the idea of ​​making the protagonists lose in a remote place while on vacation …) as regards the choice of subjects: tradition seems to be the watchword.

After all, The forest of Drizzling Rain itself is a truly classic title in its essence, and is certainly a feature that sets it apart from other Horror RPG titles. This familiarity with which the players (and especially the spectators) have been able to collide has allowed us to leverage the rather characteristic characters and to whom we become attached with ease , we could not avoid making a mention to the boys.

It was certainly a really appreciated choice to enlarge the cast to at least four members, because the idea of ​​including the girl and the policeman in addition to the two main characters contributed to the illusion of being following a complex plot, their presence turned out to be a great idea to fill in the absence of an entire village .

Maybe at this precise point this may be just a narrative expedient, but it was a very useful scene to avoid fossilizing on the sequence of flashbacks that will be shown to us shortly. Other points in which these characters have played an important role were above all in the beginning (filled with all the excellent premises we have discussed) and at the end (in which they become very useful to calmly close the narrative circle that opens on the past by Shiori and Suga).

(Here is one of the flashbacks with which we interface after
–Hey, but those are the same sprites as in Blank Dream!)

This is another point in favor of the subject that has been chosen .

Another point about directing that I mention is this: so many times when we hear about this game many people remember some of the scenes they saw, as well as the characters. This is a very positive clue regarding the attention of the players, especially if we compare it with the degree of reception of Corpse Party. In conclusion, if I could I would insert the entire first act in the  Trump Card  only for the premises it promises, because I would feel really guilty to decree only that choice in the game as a “winning” feature. But the second half of this title is unfortunately part of the game and these unfortunate choices on development and direction will be debated.

Ah, how do you say? You see it slightly shattered? Nah, maybe you are wrong.

You have no idea how alienated I feel to speak in this sphere of professionalism thermometer, as far as Makoto Sanada is concerned at least.

As you can see it is more than half. Why are we giving such a strange judgment?

Let us remind ourselves and also for those who do not remember the criteria well: in this context we pass an eye on everything, from the title itself to the external operations that have been carried out in this regard.

Let’s be clear:







width = For this time we neglect the title, it was certainly appreciated by many the idea of ​​putting the items on a theme instead of the normal “start, continue and close”, yes. One of the few interesting things I would notice is how the game title is highlighted.

Going into more detail …

Let’s start by highlighting the obvious default resources that have been used. Would the skills of a person who has studied theater seem to be put to good use in this way ? Yes, Makoto studied the art of theater and staging. Yet the graphics sector for maps is reduced to the bone for a narrative title of this type and above all to be by a person who seems to have all the creative awareness to be able to produce better. With this I am assuming that the scenarios do not have been designed according to a reasoned and precise artistic direction .

Now, let’s take a look at the menu.

It is very simple, almost minimal. It was an excellent idea to put the image of the characters who accompany us, even if the dirty lines of the drawing are very evident, what matters is how they have an excellent concept, Sanada’s style has always been really recognizable after all, certainly a point that has come in handy for Angels of Death. But doesn’t it seem to you that something is wrong?

The ideas seem perfect and yet everything continues to appear to me as if it were a great draft, either for the mapping, or for the drawing strokes; it is certainly not the kind of quality that I would expect after the manga that was distributed so much was presented with these kinds of artworks!

I don’t think I’m talking about a trivial operation, after all, both sen and Fummy had two really solid games behind them in the graphic composition from which they were then supported by derivative works, we can also mention the last game discussed in the column, Mogeko Castle, a game in which a lot of heart had been put into customizing tilesets and interfaces. Keep this in mind for the future, as it will be a theme that we will pick up on.

Go, Ele.

Author-Work Relationship – battered, but not like you think

The title of this paragraph will seem strange to some of you.

“Battered? But how? Makoto has allowed a lot of adaptations! ”

In fact, I wrote “but not like you think”!

The game, from a commercial point of view, has not been totally thrown away in favor of Sanada’s most acclaimed work. Kirisame , in fact, in 2018 (two years after the release of Angels Of Death) had a release for mobile devices, along with little additional things that demonstrate a minimum of persistent commercial attention to the game .

Official stickers for the “LINE” messaging app, very popular in Japan.

Skits that seem to be called “Dot Theater”
Those who know Japanese and want to further enlighten us on this operation, you can click the link.

Okay, okay, sorry, I’m PaoGun again. Before I re-pass a the word to Ele I would like to point out something.

You will notice how in the next section I often defend the linearity of the narrative development. This is something I wouldn’t normally do, especially with these types of authors (getting to know him better during our research made us reevaluate him worse than we thought before, believe us) but you have to admit he knew what he was doing, it should surprise us given the production context it comes from . You could see this from the “Product History” when Ele he mentioned Sanada’s collaboration in writing a film, here you can make a difference with Makoto Kedouin from Corpse Party. If you remember the article, otherwise we tell you here for the new readers of the Archives, we talked about how the very first version of the game was derived from a contest, a contest in which an independent author, among the his daily commitments, found himself wanting to produce a title that would then make way for an entire genre of video games (the next article will abound with the theme centered on “randomly picked” authors). We will notice this together when we talk about the defects of this work, but The Forest of Drizzling Rain never suffers from too strange jolts of the narrative development , as it did in CORPSE-PARTY. But it suffers from other kinds of flaws that mainly concern the construction of the subtexts, as mentioned before, and the haste in the second part of the story. In “Product History” we said that production had stopped. Why does the recovery seem to have been so painful?

-To you, sis.

-Thank yoou, Pa!

So why doesn’t this paragraph end here?
Simply because I would like to talk not only about what is done on the author’s blogs / social networks to understand how the game is treated by him.

… Simply because it would be summarized in fairly generic sentences: you never forget the first title you develop, this is perfectly intuitive.

But to largely criticize Sanada’s haste in starting Angels Of Death for a product that, as PaoGun said in the Trump Card, really had good premises.

I take the liberty of saying this because of the hasty way in which the story was developed to get to the endings.

After seeing that really slow start, where one could foresee and could also expect , indeed, a story developed with the right timing…

… We have this?

A hasty and incomprehensible way to show what connects the two protagonists?
I really believe that if Makoto hadn’t been in any haste to finish this game as soon as possible, to develop a new one that intrigued him more… Well, more background would have been explained (because, as will be said in the Work Defects, there was really so much to explain if you wanted to and no, secondary works such as manga and novels do not count as explanations of the background), the plot would not have stopped in this way to explain the flashbacks and get to the end… In short, would have avoided so many flaws.

So, also considering the development background, according to which Sanada when he was doing the final parts (and I think this one too) already had the prototype of Angels Of Death on his mind… I can say that the the relationship he had with this product during its creation is a feeling, I suppose, of sufficiency.

Yes, it is really sad to end this paragraph like this, but… Well, we have to introduce you in some way to our almost perennial mood during our second meeting with this author, and end of this long journey.

So Sanada … See you in 2016, where we will know if your rush for this game has led to something good in the work you have been waiting for so long to make.

(Spoiler : no)

work defects

Here we are together again folks. Now let’s try to resume together the discussion we started in the Trump Card.

So let’s go back to this point in the story for a moment.

Yes. Yes, that’s right, the one where Shiori is attracted to Kotori Obake in her lair, let’s talk for a moment.

After having recently confirmed that she was a resident of the village and the “museum” was her home the next morning we learn that Sakuma has escaped, everything allows the player to infiltrate the forbidden forest where a few minutes before she was just been told not to enter for any reason.

So let’s go, after a long introduction let’s dive into the enemy’s lair and suddenly discover the whole splatter side of the game…

Yeaah, YEAAAAHHHH! Blood, abuse, death, an extremely creepy room with background that doesn’t seem too good for a target group of kids, okay, okay, please let’s reconcile for a moment: sorry, but what the heck does it have anything to do with the story of Suga and Shiori?

Okay, as children they had to deal with the promise they made to this woman, to this spirit. So what? Where would you like to go with this, Sanada?
Can you explain to me why the heck Shiori is attracted to this cave that talks to her about childbirth and child abuse? Yes, I understood that as a child you made a promise but why insist so much on this point? Would you like to give some hints about her age and that somehow it will have to do with the issue of becoming a “young mother”? Because among other things it seemed to me to understand that the theme of the Kotori Obake was this, or am I wrong?

We have been in contact throughout the game with what appeared to be an adventure and mister titleor to finally find ourselves divided by two different patterns. On the one hand there is the main plot, the one on the two protagonists, which follows a certain direction and on the other hand the story of the antagonist goes somewhere else. Among other things  it does not seem to me that in the course of the game the social identity and nature of the village has never been sufficiently deepened – if not obviously from the negative and violent point of view that explains the birth of the evil spirit but this is not enough, especially if we consider that the family of the two positive characters had to do with all this -, the story of the Kotori Obake is first presented to you as a popular legend among colored books, or as a fairy tale, choose the definition you like best. It is presented as a fairy tale ( very gory ) which then turns out to be real, period. It ends there.

In the flashbacks we are given only a few clues about the character of the kids and then it’s explained why Shiori had lost her memory, that’s all, and it is done with a disarming speed. Before you could see that I underlined the adjective “very gory” story simply because this “fairy tale” goes totally out and clashed with the general tones of the game and above all the protagonists do not seem to develop any kind of reaction towards the story.

“Oh wow, we defeated it.”
“Oh yes.”
“Shall we go for tea?”

What exactly should this experience have left them?

To be honest, the author was very clever because when he wrote these two stories he was very careful not to make them intertwine. They really seem like two different plots that almost coincidentally at some point crossed, in fact, although I find some really strange and “wtf” (to use a youthful language like Ele would do) points but…I can’t be totally angry with this title is really homogeneous and honest in its intentions , in its simplicity has found its fortune generating a story that is all in all quite coherent and linear, there aren’t too big plot holes in the overall storyline because he just treated it with a lot of secrecy.

Surely among the fans there will be someone who could tell me: “Ah! In reality, there is a close proximity because… Both parents died in a car accident so… As soon as they died, the dangerous mother figure takes over!”

Or: “No, actually Suga’s insecurity is closely linked to the children who were trapped by the evil spirit, because it is highlighted that he too has lost his mother…! And so this story is about his inner growth, this can be seen from… “

This is absolutely invisible, I will spare you the effort. There is no such thing that is dealt with in a sufficiently clear manner, not even in the scenes where Suga is seen killing children in the final acts. This whole complex subtext about motherhood is totally disconnected from the main storyline. So, I state that I also did my homework before writing this article trying to refer to external sources: I tried to brush up on the subject of Japanese spirits (the Yōkai) and what I have understood is that certainly in their variety of forms there are really many cases that depend not only on the single symbols attributed to them in their legends ( and so it was a responsibility of the game to try to associate a thematic defined to the story ) but which are nonetheless metaphors to express human feelings, so this weighs even more on the emotional power of the staging which should have enhanced such a plot.

You see? With these types of titles people struggle to associate symbology with plot, not in Ao Oni . Yeah, take it as an excuse to refer to the article.

Let’s go back to Sanada for a moment. If I am so bitter towards him it is because here, in The Forest of Drizzling Rain at least the predominant register is saved ( because there is a predominant register in the story, enhanced by a really good direction , I want to remember this ) which helps us in the immersion of the main plot. However… It’s here, in The Forest of Drizzling Rain.

Angels of Death doesn’t have this, because not only it included totally confusing themes, not very relevant to the title and harmful to the perception that we have on the characters but the latter have also affected the main plot by totally changing the cards and thus creating a great mess. Ed Angels of Death has been much more acclaimed and distributed as a work, creating new illusions in young authors approaching the RPG Maker tool . But we will talk about this in due course.

Okay, we’re ready to drive off guys. This may have seemed like a short and fleeting passage, but you know that we have begun to take the first step towards a truly complex world, and this is paradoxical for a title that has made classicism and tradition its strong point. As you have already understood for some time we will return to Sanada and the works he produces, this was only a prologue: the beginning of the end.

You remember the first article on Corpse Party , right? And well, we reference it everywhere now. Here I make a reference to try to make you keep in mind how in the article that for us represented the beginning of everything we focused more on the nature of the two games rather than on their production context even though we had started talking about them. The heart were the games themselves .

And this is because perhaps you will notice the difference with this article. Surely you will have found the external researches concerning the product richer in ideas than the internal analysis, you will have to get used to this to understand all the mechanism that is starting to build around and in this the next article that will end on the Back To The Future will be fundamental , it will be such a long and complex article for things that we will have to say that in these last few days we have decided to divide it into two parts . Two main characters with opposite characters, double temperaments of all the other characters , double register with which the themes are faced and the strange sub-texts that the story proposes, two authors and of double nature is the production story of one of  the more articulated and profound titles in the entire history of Horror RPGs. We are talking about Cloé’s Requiem, the double-sided game.

Mogeko Castle – More floors, more styles, more personalities

Welcome to Mogeko Castle, the only castle where you can be threatened by yellow cats and fight them with the power of prosciutto!

While the protagonist of the game goes to her last train stop, this is for us the last stop of the first generation with the time machine for “Back to the future”.

This title spread in 2014 and has been recognized as one of the most bizarre HOR-RPGs.

Some call it a parody of this current. Well, when a parody of something materializes, it means that the latter has developed elements that characterize it.

Let’s see together how the parodic RPG par excellence was born and raised.


Okay, this is one of the cases in which the various wikis on the game are fairly well-informed, and you don’t have to look for who knows what site to know the release date of Mogeko Castle in Japan: March 5, 2014 …

No, that’s wrong!

Do you recognize this game screenshot?
Remember the epic battles we all fought in Mogeko Castle?

Of course you don’t remember them, because the wikis are also provided enough to tell us that the very first release of the game was on April 1st, 2012 (how ironic to release a parodic game on April 1st?), In a version made on RPG Maker 2000, untraceable today on official sites, which precisely as a substantial difference compared to the game we all played and seen on Youtube, had battles at certain moments of the game. So we should start the development history of Mogeko Castle from 2012

…If only it had something to offer.

It seems that only one channel, Alex Lu, has brought (even without any commentary) the first version of the game on youtube. Even in its homeland the game wasn’t well known, having perhaps even been less “publicized” by the author herself.

It would not even be such a risky hypothesis, given that as of today it is still not clear to me how the 2014 version was so well known both in Japan and in the West, given that it also had no advertising in Japan: I haven’t found other sites to download it, only the author’s site.

After having had its space, in one way or another, in the Japanese Horror RPG community, this title (or rather, its remake, having been even more popular in the community in general) was eventually discovered by our dear Kate (VgPerson) and translated into English. Needless to say, the usual gameplay rallies started from that translation as has happened with many other titles, but Mogeko Castle had different reasons for being popular in the world HOR-RPG community.

In these three comments we had three different types of reception for the game.

Surely there are those who have appreciated the various elements that we will analyze in the Ace in the Sleeve, as well as the most surreal elements of the game … And who has been even a minimum disturbed perhaps by the same strange elements that made other players laugh or bewildered ( of this type of comments and why they are not all like this, even if we know what the game is about, we will explain it better in the Ace in the Sleeve).

In general, however, the reception on the game has been very positive in the HOR-RPG community, due to a factor that we will explain below.

Mogeko Castle has joined three genres together: adventure, horror and demential.

The demential genre is generated to break traditional narrative schemes, to act as a parody. And in our case Mogeko Castle is a game out of the box of what has become over time a full-fledged current: it already had its clichés, elements of vague similarity between one game and another (let’s take the example of the classic girl protagonist), atmospheres, types of plots. A current already formed thanks to the two generations that we have already treated – mainly the first one, not the Generation 0- at this point needed a parody that would ridicule them with “dangerous” monsters that at the dinner time bell turn into ridiculous beings (this it also makes them very ambiguous to the player), strange customs and strange other characters that we will find in the castle in general, together with the situations we will face.

So how did Mogeko Castle made its way into the global HOR-RPG community?

Mogeko Castle is first of all an adventure, it faces a journey in the true sense of the term (and not The Hero’s Journey we mentioned in the previous article): the goal of Yonaka is to find a safe exit from the castle, and in doing so he will come across all its different areas and varieties of inhabitants.

In this regard I would like to make a note on the gameplay of this game.
Although devoid of innovative mechanics, real puzzles (you only have a little difficulty in some pursuits, such as that of multiple doors) and in general enough if not much, lackluster, has an element that makes the game still enjoyable: interaction with the environment. In fact, we have many possibilities to interact, sometimes even in ways other than just talking, with the various types of Mogeko that we will meet, to activate mechanisms in the castle (although in many cases they will cause a game over or a bad end) or even simply collect items to the right and left, among vomit-filled rubbish bags to “fluffy books”.

Going instead from the narrative point of view of the game, given that the gameplay does not really offer anything, to be honest, during the History of the Product we talked before about the wide sphere of emotions that this title has provoked in gamers. This turns out to be its main Trump Card.

More precisely, the main strength of Mogeko Castle is the multitude of used registers and the management of them.

Above we said that this title is a demential adventure, right?


In the game we can remember these types of scenes, present above all at the beginning of the game but which are distributed for almost its entire duration, but also…

Not to mention the numerous and sometimes disturbing Bad Ends.

In short, if we talk about atmospheres and, as mentioned above, registers, Mogeko Castle really has everything. But how have all these different registers been managed to make them a Trump CArd, and not simple vibe inconsistencies that would have gone straight into the Work Defects? Let’s examine the three basic registers one by one.

-Demential Register.

As mentioned above, it is the predominant register in many parts of the game, especially at the beginning.

It’s pretty much what players came up with and are still fascinated by. I would like to speak in these paragraphs of the “style” of Mogeko Castle’s demential moments with regard to the situations and the background presented, comparing it with various Japanese works that may come close to the comedy of this title.

Let’s start by narrowing the field of action, and concentrating on demential works from a specific land: Japan. This is simply because Mogeko Castle greatly embraces the typical Japanese comedy which, in fact, relies heavily on demential. If you take any Japanese fictional work (but also many television games, the most popular, Takeshi’s Castle) many comic moments always have a demential nuance or simply leave the viewer glued to the screen just to see how out of the world the situation presented can become.

A high school girl confesses her love to a green creature with vaguely humanoid behaviors and they decide to be together forever, in spite of all their initial goals.

Two cat-form beings have an epic fencing battle.
It doesn’t need further descriptions.

We will take an example of a comic-demential anime for a theme that is quite recurrent in Mogeko Castle: the “sexual” theme (presented by the Mogekos on many occasions, in the form of statues or not, and there are also some elements of the game that at least allude to this theme). From this comparison we will then come up with points that will make us better understand why in general the comedy of Mogeko Castle has attracted so much: there are so many comic games with a demential nature, why has this been lucky?

Okay, so… The subject of sexuality is presented to us by the yellow creatures almost constantly.

The various dialogues or burst of anger that we could have between the Mogekos, with the Mogekos or by the Mogekos I think can express that I mean.


Recall the comment that we got to see in the Product History:

“Any attempt at comedy that the game would have liked to have is a little ruined by the fact that we are watching mascot rapist characters whose main motivation is to rape a high school girl […]”

So why, apart from some more serious comments, did the general public laugh while playing Mogeko Castle? Here the choice of the register together with the staging were fundamental.

Due to the register used, the demential one, in many of the moments when referring directly to sex we almost never has the “possibility” of seeing it in a too lousy or disturbing way: in this the characters of the Mogekos also help a lot, from the design up to the ridiculous attitudes, which we will discuss later.

This is why Mogeko Castle was able to treat this theme for 90% of the game in a grotesque way, at times dirty, but never too serious to be taken as disrespectful or of bad taste.

Now, this way of dealing with the “sexual” theme at times reminded me of an anime that I saw a few episodes long ago, when I was just getting closer to the world of anime and manga.

Here is Ayame Kajou, one of the main characters of the anime and dystopian-ecchi manga Shimoneta (also known as “Shimoseka: A boring world where the concept of dirty jokes does not exist“).

By replaying Mogeko Castle and remembering the scenes of this anime, I was able to find various similarities in the marginal treatment of the sexual topic in the two works, especially at the level of first reaction by an average spectator (myself, in this case).

But let’s take just one specific example.

In the image above you can see Ayame’s very first entry. Here, through her “uniform” for the terrorist acts of the organization SOX, she is immediately presented to us as a bloated girl and in general “dirty” for society.

In what scene of Mogeko Castle are we finally presented the Mogeko as “dirty” characters, instead?

But apart from the presentation of two types of “obscene” characters, which are similar to these two scenes?

Both, in addition to having their powerful staging, have a strong context behind them, making them more iconic.

Think about it: why is Ayame’s arrival on the scene so bizarre and it makes our eyes widen in Shimoneta?

You have to know that the anime is set in a dystopia in which the Japanese authorities punish anyone who uses even mildly sexual language or distributes obscene materials, to the point that all citizens are forced to wear peacemakers for the analysis of their every word and movement.

Here, after the presentation of this prohibitive context, we find this girl with underpants on her face, a cloth that could only get up with a minimum of wind and in the act of screaming dirty words to the four winds. Having become accustomed to the environment presented initially, we are surprised to see a character like Ayame.

In Mogeko Castle we are presented up to that point of the game with a mysterious train stop, with no controller, a girl lost in an unknown environment, where there is someone watching her… In the Mogeko forest, then, Yonaka had to escape from beings in her eyes even disturbing…

Who in the end argue like children about who … Must go first, yeah.
Here the Mogeko are presented to us for the first time as ridiculous characters, and the player can not help but laugh at this vibe break, where the game has gone from presenting the Mogeko Castle as something mysterious, together with its inhabitants , to presenting the Mogekos as actually childish and ridiculous beings even on conventionally more “thorny” subjects.

So, having taken the first completely comical scene from the game as an example, why does the whole comedy of Mogeko Castle works?

I said it above: because it has a specific context behind it. First of all, Yonaka’s (and player’s) main objective is to explore a castle to find an escape route. Adventure is the genre that is the backdrop to this game in particular, building an excellent base for resting on the demential approach that the game wants to follow. For example, we remember all the parts in which we are told the background of the castle, also through the seven Mogeko Specials (of which we enjoyed the scenes in which they are presented, very effective thanks to the theme that returns for each of them) .

-“Dramatic” Register, with which the plot continues.

There is not much to say about this. Do you know why?

Simply because we have already treated the backbone of this register here in Back to the Future: Mad Father.

Although the comical style is predominant, Mogeko Castle doesn’t give up on treating with certain seriousness certain important scenes of the plot which however develops a type of narrative plot progression (remember what we said before about the “adventure” genre and the several narrative registers).

The use of music, certain movements of sprites, tactics of the CG at certain times (although in Mogeko Castle there are many more, and with more variations, something that I, Ele, I really appreciated) Mad Father and Mogeko Castle share, given that they had the same inspiration, which many RPG Horror titles of today (for better or for worse) are also taking: the audiovisual work.

Mogeko Castle and Mad Father owe a good part of their professionalism to the directing level precisely for this inspiration from the audiovisual work.

On the one hand the presentation of a character who will enter the scene shortly by choosing to show it with a certain pathos, on the other a more “emotional and dramatic” scene from Mad Father

These two shots have clearly taken inspiration from those kind of works, and in many cases with this type of direction actually they manage to have a certain effect on the viewers, and therefore even the games that use these types of direction in many cases (not all cases,pay attention) succeed to give certain emotions to the player.

We can also take as an example the scene of the fight between King Mogeko and Nega-Mogeko.

Come on, how many times in any audiovisual work (at first friction has it reminded me of some type of Shonen anime) that has a minimum of action have you seen this type of shot?

It actually gives a sense of epicity, even if the fight is between two round beings with cat ears.

Mogeko Castle has therefore exploited, a bit like Mad Father did some time before, the “drama”, or to be more general, that type of direction coming from anime series (in this case action or adventure), making it work perfectly in the scenes it wanted to represent.

-Horror Register

The horror register used in Mogeko Castle has no particular characteristics compared to many other titles that we have already had the opportunity to analyze.
What makes it worthy of analysis is the direct comparison with its opposite: the demential register.

In this they certainly help the main danger that Yonaka has to face: the Mogeko species (and Moge-Ko, their dictator on the fourth floor).

As I said a few paragraphs ago, they are very ambiguous characters, and they are of every possible form, especially in function of the plan they occupy.

Normal Mogekos are, as I said, beings as stupid and childish as they are lethal. What makes them immediately disturbing is precisely the contrast between these two characteristics, which creates beings who for their whims also practice cannibalism among themselves (many dead Mogeko who are also found before the fourth floor prove it), and in general they are willing to do anything.


Here we have the perfect example of the contrast that is perennial in the Mogeko species: the words of this little creature may seem, from the tones that it uses, a simple childish whim.
But if we remember that it’s talking about destroying the entire castle (here also a very common hyperbole comes into play when “you get a tantrum”) and in the end take advantage of Yonaka’s corpse… You stop laughing for a moment.

Furthermore, as mentioned above, there are various types of Mogeko. The ones that are used most often to create a horror atmosphere (and are also the protagonists of a bad end) are Mad Mogekos.

…But the horror effect is also given by the indole of the human (or humanoid) characters that we will meet along our way, what they are able to do and what they actually do in various situations.

From these types of expressions in certain moments of the game when we open the menu, we can see that Yonaka is also a fairly ambiguous character, which also makes her disturbing in certain situations.

So Mogeko Castle, with three different registers that alternate, is the demonstration of how important is the way you can tell a story.
At this juncture, we were able to see the same characters every time with a different facet, in addition to the environment itself which often changed shape.
For example, in games like The Crooked Man or others that we have analyzed in Back To The Future, these continuous mutations during the game do not occur, or do not occur so often or between genres that are so different from each other.

But the time has come to ask ourselves: would Mogeko Castle be able to survive in the market?

We are pleased to find ourselves in front of a perfectly marketable title.

Later we will analyze more deeply those characteristics that at least for us weaken the maximum level on the thermometer.

The personality of the game is strong, with an effective promotion and distribution campaign it could easily reach large numbers.






If you remember the previous article, we had talked about how dark and dull the colors had gone.

Well, here we have a new spark. To represent the extravagance of Mogeko Castle we have first of all the enlarged tilesets and sprites.

We are often given CG, of which the most brittle ones (in the literal sense of the term or when you meet them the first time) are to represent the bizarre Mogeko.

Light blue maps, bloody maps, all devoted to exaggeration to ensure that this is certainly an adventure not to be forgotten and, in any case, also presenting numerous variations for the choice of environments. Also for the title screen.

The latter is dark, with Yonaka in the center and a red eye watching the player.

The menu has very large facades, with many little stars around that accompany the names of the rescues.



I would have to make a note about it: if this game had been in the hands of a professional company, it would have hit the mark.

If on the one hand having done the work of a production company in terms of personalizing the work certainly gives the author many points, on the other hand there was the distribution.

As we have mentioned before, a professional company would perhaps have been able to make the most of it: there is no advantage for the author to remain in the shadows. Such a strong game deserves an equally strong personality, building a myth of the author would certainly have played in his favor.


This title has perhaps one big flaw regarding the ending.

Once Mogeko Defective dies, the plot seems to get lost in delusional events that would like to suggest us to play the sequel that the author has been preparing for years.

The ending could have been an excellent opportunity to close the numerous narrative circles that had opened (above all of explanations on the background of the castle), thus maintaining the linearity of the title until the end it would have remained more easily active, at least in my opinion, player’s attention.

We are not talking only of those endings that leave possibility and interpretation to open questions, but a real hallucinogenic delusion that compromise the comprehensibility of a narrative work, which in this case had little to do with its demented aspect.

To make a small comparison: such a scene we expect it for such a work …

…This instead a little less. Especially after a succession of dramatic scenes in which we wonder if Yonaka managed to return home or had only illusions.

Yet despite this, it is difficult to remember this title without a smile for the memories it evokes among fans of the horror current among RPGs.

And with this the First Generation ends.

We could extrapolate a keyword to describe the Horror RPGs of this period, the years in which playing these titles was a trend: variability.

From the variability shown in Mogeko Castle, or the style of The Crooked Man which opposes Mad Father’s exaggerated family drama; from Ib’s minimalism to the sumptuous maps of The Witch’s House the current has stabilized and has found its own way, offering possibilities for wider teams, increasingly intense collaborations with publishers and more defined work agreements. These, dear readers, will be the production stories of Generation 2 titles: storytelling-focus.

The Crooked Man – The pain of living

Until now in this season of Back to the Future you have been able to appreciate with us the three great phenomena that would have helped to form the current Horror RPG for many elements, the so-called three “masters”: Ib, The Witch’s House and finally Mad Father.

In these games there has always been a common topic: the attempt to reach a more commercial language, the attempt to arrive to the general public and who knows, also have success and go higher, also with other media.

Ib with its “delayed” narrative, The Witch’s House with its light novel, Mad Father … With the whole game. But as anticipated in the article on sen’s title, we now have a return to the past, a title that made its fortune even if it was “released in the wrong generation”, an alternative to the dramatization given by the three RPG masters …

…Its name was The Crooked Man.

NOTE: In this article we will talk about the first version of The Crooked Man, the one that many players know and that reflects more than others the original spirit of the game. We will not take into account version 4, nor the Steam version.

Product History

“There was a crooked man walking on a crooked road” …
Okay, yes, you understand. But I tell you, I’m not quoting this historic nursery rhyme to talk about the game that currently uses it, we will talk about that in the paragraph of the Trump CArd and in the paragraphs dedicated to the Professionality Meter.
I would like to mention the “crooked” theme, because of my time spent on Google looking for as much information as possible, also in Japanese (bless automatic translators!) On the production history of this title: a forum where it was published for the first time, some kind of information about the production background…

Nothing, not even Uri’s Twitter profile tells me anything about this topic. I know she has a very nice dog, but I didn’t find anything relevant on the production history of the first Strange Man Series title.

Just to find out that the game came out in 2012 (we don’t even know on what month it was released!) I literally spent my time… To crook my back on the computer.
PaoGun is infecting me with bad jokes, huh?

Collecting the few info we have we can only take note of various updates to the game up to the so-called version 4, with some added music (we will talk more about it in the Ace in the Sleeve of this choice) and a few other things, together with the Steam version… That PLAYISM, the same PLAYISM that arrogantly took custody of Yume Nikki and the Mad Father remake, distributed without making too substantial changes to the most recent free version of the game, adding only Steam archievements and few other things. No comment.

Okay … So, given the limited amount of sources, we will skip the step of the first release of the game in its homeland and West, together with its peculiarities.

How was this title received by the public? For answering this question, the author’s twitter profile was helpful in summing up what led this title to being one of the masterpieces of the HOR-RPG.

The comment below, under Markiplier’s video, refers to the situation experienced by David’s mother in the game, introduced during the first scenes.

Okay, already from these two comments we can see that from the narrative point of view Uri has centered one thing: the themes and how much people can relate to them.
In the Ace In the Sleeve paragraph we will talk better about why the way some topics were covered in the game has affected so many people, let’s say for now that the staging has done its part.

But now let’s go to a reason much more “light” and suitable for the horror genre, namely the jumpscares.

When did we hear about jumpscare scaryness last time?

These three images say more than a thousand words.

Here we go to the speech said in the introduction: The Crooked Man was an isolated case of returning to the older generation of Horror RPG games. Even the gameplay of this title is in fact strongly based on pure exploration: although the story is very linear, we have the kind of gameplay that one would expect, in fact, from Akemi Tan, with the same types of strengths and weaknesses.

Having said that: so in detail, how an “old” title as this has paved its way on the generation of stardoms?

First of all there is one thing to consider: we can realize how Mad Father has built higher expectations regarding the narrative aspect of the RPG Horror.

And this in fact can be called a title with a very precise storyline, focused on an adventure that is nothing more than a metaphor for his inner journey.

The hero’s journey is a very old narrative scheme, it is possible to trace it in numerous works of fiction. The characteristics that distinguish it were analyzed and collected later between the 70s and 80s.
We have a call to adventure, namely a succession of phenomena that convince the main character, the hero, to abandon their ordinary world to embark on an adventure in an extraordinary, unknown world.

During the journey, which may include several stages, the hero encounters obstacles (in our case the crooked man), and helpers. Maybe Sissi, D and Fluffy will not be real helpers, but they are certainly allies who contribute to David’s personal growth.

So here we are at the critical point of the development preceded or succeeded by a revelation (all the memories of David will lead him more and more to identify with the figure of the Crooked Man) which is followed by the achievement of an awareness that leads the character to a transformation , it doesn’t matter if this is positive or negative. So the story ends, the hero returns home and can be said to be ready for a new trip.

As you can see it is a scheme that can be used in a very versatile way: fairy tale (the closest genre as well as the most transparent on the allegorical level: prince-sorcerer-defeats the dragon-free the princess), adventure-fantastic, dramatic work ( as we will see, for example, for this title), fantasy (see Frodo’s call to adventure, in The Lord of the Rings), and can narrate the most varied themes.

Well, Uri decided to adopt this scheme to talk about depression (or to give an interpretation of it, at least) on which she built a very precise and linear dramaturgical discourse to which she proposed her creative solution in the ending.

In any case it is an aspect on which we will not insist further, also because, a small note: this game is mainly focused on an awareness of the main character; the places explored and the events that follow one another have to do with a very internalized and personal reality: being this the generation of Character Drama and not being able to have deep insights into the contexts and the environments chosen, we preferred not to dwell more on the pattern narrative that in itself is nothing new: it is only very interesting that it has been exploited and also very well for a horror title, reconciling the journey (even physical, concrete) of our hero, in fact, and exploration which is the main feature of the HOR-RPG genre.

Well … Let’s move on to the main topic of this analysis. The style of representation.

Mario Alicata and Giuseppe De Santis in 1941 in the magazine “Cinema”, pushed to:

“Bring the camera on the streets, in the fields, in the ports, in the factories of our country to make our best film following the slow and tired step of the worker who returns to his home”

Stop! Don’t go away!

We will not mention other boring books on cinema or explain phenomena of the 60s to say what made The Crooked Man unique: you are still in my (Ele) hands, guys, here we think about facts! There is a reason which is very close to the game that explains why my dear sister recommended me to put this quote in this article … In fact, we let her speak for a few lines. For now I only know that these words have to do with a precise current of Italian cinema of the 1940s and 1950s: the so-called Neorealism.

Here I am, then. Paogun. If you have no idea what I’m talking about I will try to explain it briefly. I am referring to a film current in particular that developed after the Second World War, mainly in Italy, which assumed some recurring characteristics such as dramatic stories and social and personal defeats, representation of cities and towns in rubble told through a camera more unstable, “close to the actors” and “grainy film”.

We know what you are thinking: on the one hand a very specific cinematographic current that refers to a specific historical period, on the other a game that first of all is a horror title, then of adventure and exploration, which tells of dramatic events.

… And yet, it is precisely in the stylistic choice that this game stands out.

Like the Neorealism current (which in any case has spread widely both in Europe and in the world) has characterized itself as something alternative to the glittering Hollywood comedies, so The Crooked Man darkens the hues, chooses more busy themes and dries up the dramatization in opposition the extravagance and the brighter colors of Mary’s sketchbook, of the gardens of Drevis House and Ellen’s house full of talking flowers.

I (Ele, I’m back!) Was able to connect and find similarities in terms of types of stories, characters and atmospheres with the writings of the literary current of Realism that studied in middle school.

In short: focus on the life of low-class people and write about their stories… With always a thin layer of heaviness in the atmosphere, for one reason or another: poverty, misunderstanding on the part of society, many times by the characters themselves which can be influenced by these factors or not, etc. etc.

Here, in this regard we take David’s character.

Mr. Hoover is definitely not a rich man: this is shown to us by the small and cheap apartment he could afford, with a… Bed in the kitchen-dining room-living room.

Throughout the whole game David with every sentence that is not a more complex system message will make us sigh with sadness. He himself sees himself perpetually as a wretch who does not detach himself from his previous mistakes and is above all a very compliant person.

This type of protagonist can make us assume an adventure full of joy.

But there is not only David and his attitudes to make us understand what this game communicates. We reiterate what we have mentioned before: the choice of style and the overall atmosphere that derives from it.

Let’s compare an interior and an exterior of Uri’s game with an interior and an exterior of its total opposite: Mad Father.

Remember: both games use Wolf RPG Editor and in both places it was evening or night.

Even in these last two screens it is possible to see the huge difference in the management of the photography of the two games, even if the last image is in a daytime environment.

See how the colors of The Crooked Man are much less saturated?

It will seem strange to say, given that there are no particular lighting arrangements, but the very simple photograph of the maps of The Crooked Man communicates the heavy vibe of the game: abandoned places, a sad story of two sad men, surrounded by other characters with not too much… Crazyness, which are more anchored to reality than Mad Father’s ones, who had all sorts of oddities.

Also, continuing to talk about the atmosphere of The Crooked Man, apart from the cutscenes dedicated to the mother scenes of the game, during the gameplay there is no music.

At the beginning, I admit it, it seemed to me a choice that only made the game more boring, and at first friction I appreciated the choice of putting fixed music even during the gameplay in the 4th Version of the game, but continuing I realized that especially in the parts of abandoned places the lack of music in favor of loop ambience has a lot of effect, giving the sense of desolation that very respects the main genre of The Crooked Man, the horror genre.

Without forgetting how this choice makes certain cutscenes much more dramatic, to consider for example the initial scenes and the hospital one in particular.

So, as in most of the titles of generation 0 The Crooked Man explores the abnormality in everyday life, but unlike the previous titles it chooses a very specific theme, exposing it in a defined storyline, while not giving up the taste of exploration and isolation that characterized “its ancestors”.

Professionality meter

So. Yeah, the thermometer is more than half the height.

It is an excellent product, a story that is linear enough to be marketable even if it isn’t very accurate or strictly customized at the packaging level (for example, David’s sprite is not original, some parts of the UI remained the default ones and so on); moreover, it is the same style of the game and its very, very dry direction (we talked about it in the Trump Card) to reveal a double-edged sword as regards the binarism between “amateur game” and “professional game” which we are continuing to talk about.






We mentioned something about the packaging of the game in the previous paragraph (about the “spartanity” of certain choices on the interfaces … Even the CGs, who want to adopt a “cinematographic framing” with numerous close-ups, have this defect), however is a game that has its style.

The title screen is in black and white with the monster on the side, it looks almost merged with the black background.

The image, the title, the nursery rhyme in the introduction: the game continues to promise us that we will see the story of a crooked man, so here it is presented in the next scene: David and his new home. We will discover the failures of his life as he runs away from the monster.



author-work relationship

So, to begin with this paragraph we could notice how Uri is a very present author for her games.

Uri’s updates, compared to those of other developers, are very recent and the last Tweet (as far as it is very much of “service”) on the Strange Man Series dates back to June 24: ten days ago! Do you remember the “author in mystery” discourse we made when we talked about Yume Nikki and other titles, together with how Kona5 broke this rule? We have a similar case.

Here, however, we have an addition: an ask-box.

We have already seen in this section that Kona5 also responded (even in a less detached way) to the various comments on, but this contact with fans and with the work in Uri’s case is more visible.

(In this and in the previous photo you can see that Uri answers both in Japanese and in English)

Although the games are now a few years old, due to her constant updates (other titles that she is planning to make, questions, more personal posts… Her dog…), Uri has found fans that are still active today, which also years after the release of the various Strange Men Anthology titles (another name for the Strange Man Series) they still ask any kind of questions about the characters.

…Really, any kind of questions. I love the internet.

In addition, Uri in 2013 told the story of how The Crooked Man was born. We will not talk about it in detail, but in short it derives from an experience of the author’s brother.

Here’s the link of the english version, translated by VgPerson

Link for the japanese version, if anyone is interested

It was strange to find that behind such a dark and heavy game there is one of the most open to the public authors that we have seen in Back To The Future (also compared to Kona5, given that Uri is still active on Twitter, while Kona5 disappeared from the eyes of their potential public like many other authors), breaking that tradition that many authors analyzed in Back to the Future so far, relegated to the idea of ghost figures.

work defects

Linear narration… Gameplay with good, well-made ideas and also some original ones …

We don’t think The Crooked Man has… Particularly serious flaws.

I know, it is from The Witch’s house that we continue with this.

Let’s try to understand why.

The defects of this work refer mainly to specific sections of the game:

° The start, and therefore the introductory cutscene inherent in the presentation of the events because of its slowness (which the style of representation that The Crooked Man has chosen does not help to dispose of at all) and the numerous cutscenes before you could actually start playing.

° The ending. So yes, the ending, since it has completely distorted the characters that meet along the way because of a plot twist that betrays the dramatic-realistic nature of the game, relying too much on the supernatural and canceling any freedom of interpretation, especially for how the three (four, including David) characters were presented: real people with their real problems united by the persecution of the Crooked Man. It would have been much more impactful to see how much this issue is not relegated to a single individual, but it can involve each of us in our countless daily contexts.

Speaking of the end of the game, the final scenes (from the confrontation with Duke onwards) adopt only one register, the dramatic one. A whole other thing compared to the beginning, where the succession of cutscene, however slow, integrates more “genres”: it is true that we have the scene with the mother in the hospital with only the noise of the air conditioner, but the night at David hear strange noises and disturbing footsteps, and here we are catapulted into the horror genre… But without losing homogeneity in the predominant chosen atmosphere. It is not a very serious defect or that considerably ruins the work, it simply makes it lose part of its charm, and for this reason we wanted to analyze the ending of the game in this paragraph.

But the “greatest value” of these types of defects…

In addition to the minor ones like some logic problems that can be solved with some changes to the lines of dialogue:

Why on earth did he refuse to have at least the name of the person he was looking for? In this case it would have been enough not to have any information about the mysterious man not even to the landlady, maybe she didn’t have his name on the documents for a reason or another, etc…

…Is that they are mainly divided into separate sections.

As you have read, we are talking about the beginning and end of the game. Not of the central development, not during the exploration of the abandoned places, so also David’s past, on which the heart of the title’s message focuses.

Small curiosity: around the web we happened to find conflicting opinions on David’s behavior towards the monster and any logic defects that would derive from unnatural reactions in his behavior.

Everyone can classify this defect in the level of gravity that they consider appropriate, for example we think it is a justifiable error because of the extremely “psychologized” reality that the work shows us (we talked about it in the Trump Card paragraph). So we can reconnect, for example his behaviors and almost “carelessness” towards the oddities that happen in his new home to his predominantly yielding attitude towards life. So here, in our opinion, his hesitation before embarking on the journey is also justified, without considering that in any case he tried at least to give an answer to the phenomena that happened (like when he calls Paul to ask for explanations on the writing on the mirror).


The Crooked Man was a title that surely left its mark in the period in which the HOR-RPG had become a fashion giving, with its peculiar style, the possibility for fans to be able to observe deeper and deeper facets in the games that with time were discovered on the web. The importance of treating this game in Back to the Future derives from showing the variety of styles and representations that these games had, while referring all to well-defined characteristics.
For us it was also certainly interesting to note how this game is perhaps unique and one of  the few “survivors” of its kind, while in the meantime some other lover of the current already preferred to retire in the demented and parodic tones of Mogeko Castle.

Mad Father – Once Upon a Time… In “Hollywood”

It all started with “I know my father’s secret”, presented from the beginning with what we should have immediately understood as an exciting story intended for a large audience that willingly accepted to listen to it.

Here we are finally back after another couple of weeks in this section dedicated to trace, however approximate, a “story” of the Horror RPG. Yes, we know (for those who can remember at least) that we had initially set the date for June 14 but … Forgive us. At the moment, I speak as PaoGun, I am in the middle of the exam session and Eleonorada is alone with the production of our game, and each time these articles are becoming more and more demanding. I mean, guys, we’re talking about Mad Father.
You remember that, don’t you? Mad Father … Impossible not to have heard of it at least once for those who scroll in the category of indie games, but especially those who follow horror games “with a good story”. A phenomenal presentation card for the world of Horror RPGs.

Gentlemen, here it is serious, we are talking about a cult game.

The introduction at the beginning, the well-narrated events, the integration with the gameplay and the freedom of exploration that is proposed, the beautiful graphic relationship between maps and protraits (the images of the characters on the screen during a dialogue) we consider it the best HOR-RPG that has never been able to tell a story, and nobody nowadays – let’s say it, really nobody – has yet managed to steal the primacy.

That’s right, not even the Generation 2 games, the “Story-telling Focus”, as we called it.

So now, aspiring writers, screenwriters and developers, now open Word, hands on the keyboard and take notes from the “old” sen.

Product History

Guys what would you like me to say: Mad Father was the discovery, the tip of the HOR-RPG iceberg for a long and long time whose presence on the net influenced the discovery, of those who did not know them before, of Ib and The Witch’s House.

Here the “stardom” phenomenon, if we want to call it this, or the passion that has characterized players (and spectators) from all over the world of the Web that we have already introduced in the article on Ib reaches its peak and Aya Drevis appears in the engines of research inherent in his own game as an undisputed heroine of the events.

How did its journey start?

So, to begin with, we managed to trace back to a version of the game in which the project was still in development. A very interesting archive file offered by his Nicovideo channel (for the link to the video just click on the text).

The video in question dates back to 11 January 2011.
You can already see a big difference compared to the maps shown in the 2012 release. The video seems to have about 14,000 views, it would be interesting to note if in this case the developing project had been followed from the beginning of the project or the explosion occurred only when the title was released and those views were made only after the game was already known.

Now, in 2011 Misao was released, a title that was known only later than Mad Father, what we ask ourselves and whether it will have helped to create expectations in a more restricted community of gamers or Japanese fans of horror titles.

In any case, the official release of the title is clear to everyone: December 10, 2012. It is very difficult to try to find the site where the download of the first version of the game that was made is in, what we found was still once a Freem page, although it does not seem to refer to the version of the game that we all know, but to the changes that began to be made starting from 2014.

Curious how sen seem to have removed the traces of the first version of the game, the historical one, with which we all began to become attached to the events that took place in Casa Drevis, also releasing a new free version of the game, 2.9.

It adds very few things: the ability to adjust the volume, changed potraits (basically the ones from the Steam version), and a very slight static effect which, really, we didn’t really need.

So if the new free version of the game is no longer the “complete and original” one, what has changed in the Steam version of the game?

Aside from my (Ele) not exact understanding of the third point… The rest may seem normal, can’t it? Graphic improvements, better playability, relocated gems…

I think that Ines is Coron.

Here, the problems begin. Try to guess why I underlined this point …

… After a season and a half of Back to the Future I’m losing patience.

A novel!? Again!? Ah, I’ll say: compared to Ellen’s Diary, this novel is even more useless. Like others we have seen in this section, it tells the events of the game with some additions here and there. Stop, just this. It doesn’t add anything.

Phew … Here, I wanted to get to this … Life is too short to read every page of every crappy (I’m sorry for the harsh term but, like I said, I’m really losing patience here) novel on this Earth… And also because it never came completely to the West (a girl on Wattpad was translating it, but she stopped after two chapters) but at this point you will have understood this sudden change of dialogues and the addition of the past of a character that we didn’t care about anyway…

Let’s say it all together:

Sen linked the game to the novel!

It may seem trivial as a phenomenon, but in this regard I ask you to remember The Witch’s House. How, even in a remake, has maintained its dignity unless you only play one particular mode. Here… We have the opposite phenomenon, what I think is a bad example of a remake for a Horror RPG: add elements introduced in the novel in the remake, without “any escape” for the development of the previous plot.

Sen doesn’t seem to have released anything else after the release (and possible patches, given the constant bugs and crash reports …) of the unpleasant Steam version of Mad Father.
So, unfortunately, from my point of view the story of sen’s cult game ends here, in the anger given by these damn commercial operations that, many times, worsen the product also in terms of quality.

But going back to its old glories, to how Mad Father grew before decaying in this way … What can we tell you about the history of its reception?

Sure. And this is also because:

Well, here the user can deal directly with a story. They can completely escape from his daily experience by living someone else’s, unlike the type of immersion that, if you remember, the titles of Generation 0 offered us.

The idea that Horror RPGs can be treated as “passive” audiovisual works seems to have come up here.

We have all the items in full:

– Characters who, with their particular design or characteristics, can attract attention

– Strongly distinctive environments with a well-defined design as well as containing horror features

– An intertwined story, in this case told as a “great film” designed for the big screen industry.

Mad Father has ceased to exist as only a HOR-RPG and has created its own reality, in which the protagonist has often been seen alongside the other heroines of the current that preceded her, in particular Ib, Mary (ah yes, Mad Father was so influential as to make believe that “Ib stole Old Doll from it”. We simply say that he was able to give the piece a precise personality), Ellen, Viola.

What better way to close the story of the reception of this title if not with these images that have spread on the net for a long time?

The fictitious trailer prepared for April 2014 by Mike Inel created false hopes for many, many spectators who would have been ready to follow the events of the characters beyond their games.

As you may have read in other articles, by now you know that the best narrative game perfectly integrates narration and gameplay, and everyone does it with their own style: in this Mad Father taught people a lot. But before talking about the trump card that refers to the “soap opera” direction and the dynamic method with which the story is narrated, I want to face an observation.

To be precise, I want to tell you one thing.

We real