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Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


General content warning! This game gets very dark in places and spends time on things including animal torture; suicidal ideation; attempted suicide; child abuse and neglect; school shootings. This list is not exhaustive!

Spoiler Policy: none. Not in tags, no coy wink-wink, nudge-nudge stuff either.



Holding The Holy Pain
(Recommended watching; they made an actual anime OP and then just shoved it onto a DS)

Holding The Holy Pain

Lux-Pain is kind of a visual novel for the DS. It was released in March 2009 to just about zero fanfare whatsoever and for good reason (and also bad reason). The game is primarily a psychological horror mystery and it's not bad at being that.

It's mostly just hampered by having two different translations mixed in here together. One of these translations is competent-ish but weirdly decides to help with inconsistencies in things like "where the game is set." So that's fun. This translation is used exclusively for the voice acting.

The actual text itself has a translation that I will generously describe as dogshit. It was done by Killaware (the developers) in-house. Pick a thing that you can mess up. Any thing. There's an example of it in here. Probably more than one. It is genuinely so terrible that it has been held up as an example of What Not To Do in at least one book.

So, yes, Lux-Pain is a game that is mostly text driven and it gets that very same text horrifically wrong. Very often. It is a bad game. It is tonally weird and will probably give you mood whiplash at least once. I still really enjoy it for reasons I cannot explain. Maybe you'll agree with me. Maybe not. Let's find out together.

Table of Contents

Pandora (Part One) [CW: animal abuse]
Pandora (Part Two)

Mystery (Part One)
Mystery (Part Two)
Mystery (Part Three)

Dragonatrix fucked around with this message at 23:45 on Jun 16, 2020

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Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


So, these things are how they appear in-game. It's... quite awful. Naturally spoilers may be abound if you're not entirely caught up yet.

Character Profiles

In alphabetical order for convenience.



Data

The in-game encyclopedia... of sort. It's interesting, even if some of it is a mess. Highly recommended to at least skim through!

Group
Personnel
SIGMA
Places
Miscellaneous

Dragonatrix fucked around with this message at 16:42 on Jun 4, 2020

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


Content Warning: This update includes direct, explicit mentions of animal torture. From the point of view of both the animals and their abuser.

Pandora
covers the whole update; its a good way to compare the differences between the written and voiced dialogue



October, year unknown. Pandora, the first woman, was given a jar containing all the world's evils before it broke, releasing them.



This particular tale begins a fair bit later than that, though. On a moonlit night on October 1st...



Near an apartment complex in a fairly large city.


Dark Noise





The boy has beautiful ash hair & a feminine white face, but his black, shining eyes are especially unforgettable.

Anyone who looks into them are met with the feeling they are being hit with a strong searchlight.





So, we begin in media res. You're not really given any time to play catch up, so try not to get left behind. It also decides to start with the more focused horror aesthetic, which is (in my opinion) the game's biggest strength.

Also, as far as I can tell, the dubbed voicework was done by Funimation. Pretty much every voice actor in this works for them (or, at least, did in 2008). Atsuki here is voiced by Jason Liebrecht, who's other roles of note include Akira Takizawa in Eden of the East, Hei in Darker than Black, Rob Lucci in One Piece, Lavi and the Millenium Earl in D.Gray-Man, Qrow Branwen in RWBY, Dabi in My Hero Academia and (most recently) Vulcan Joseph in Fire Force.



The... very similar names are just a thing you're gonna have to deal with. When the first two we get are Atsuki and Natsuki that is not a great sign.


Silence



Somewhere, a blue haired girl's pendant begins to glow.



This covers part of her body in strange tattoos...



Which is a good visual cue for her using a type of clairvoyance.



As she sees a projection of the apartment building and the surrounding area, two points of particular note stand out...


Dark Noise



Natsuki is voiced by Monica Rial, who is stuck doing her incredibly high-pitched voice yet again. She has good range, and can do other stuff really well, I promise! Her other roles of note include Bulma from Dragon Ball Z Kai/Super, Lulu Bell from D.Gray-Man, Kuina and Tashigi from One Piece, Shiro from Deadman Wonderland, Tanya Degurechaff from Yojo Senki, Tsuyu Asui from My Hero Academia and Mereoleona Vermillion from Black Clover.

The target is a little bit past where Atsuki is now.
There are many small Shinen, so I think it's an apartment building.

Specific terminology like this is thrown out pretty fast and loose, especially early on. Mercifully, I find it pretty easy to figure out what it means from context. We're lacking any useful context right now, but it'll be apparent quick enough. There's also an in-game glossary accessible later, which is, uh, incredibly unhelpful.

But there are two possible matching Shinen...
I can't be sure which one's the target...
It's okay. I'll check it out.
Okay. Be careful.

Scare Bell



This seems like it'd be a "okay but how does that work" thing. Nah, this is one of the times where it actually makes sense and is internally consistent. It gives very, very little to go on though...

We know the Original is here, because this is where the Shanghai Silent infectee incident started.
That man infected ten thousand people in only three months.
As a result, thousands of crimes and suicides have occurred.
We found him and checked. He wasn't the Original.
He, too, was infected by someone.
We found out he was infected here, in Kisaragi.

Dark Noise





Everyone in the building seems to be aleep. All the windows are dark.



Hurry, use Sigma to find the target's hiding place!
Okay; I'll search now.

Silence



Much like Natsuki, Atsuki has a strange piece of jewelry that begins to glow. In his case, its a ring with a lion signet.



Natsuki's strange tattoos are a pair of wing, but Atsuki's appears to be a large animal paw. Looks like a lion's, even, matching his ring.



Atsuki's eyes light up with a golden glow, finally making that weird searchlight line make a bit more sense. Kinda.

Natsuki's did this as well, but it was less clear.



To Atsuki, the world around him shatters...



Revealing an etherial version lying underneath it all.


Dark Noise



Sigma is, uh, short for... Signum-Anima apparently. We'll be seeing this particular thing a lot.



Or I will at least.


Σ -SIGMA-



Atsuki's Sigma is one of our most common gameplay mechanics. We see the etherial version of the world on the top-screen and the normal version on the bottom. There's usually (but not always!) two Worms we need to find here, which are those red circles up top. That tells us their general location, so we just Erase parts of the real world to get to them.

It's not really complicated or difficult, but there'll be more wrinkles to it later. For now, we're just getting used to the mechanic.[/i]

Silence



Each Worm represents some kind of topic. Their names are displayed on the bottom, and a general summary up-top. I'll just edit these down to one-screen for every single one in the future.

Whisper



Also, they're generally all incredibly well-done and should be viewed in full. So, I'll make videos of them all and link those as well. You really just can't get the right experience and feeling from them otherwise.



Dark Noise



Silence



Oh yeah, and there's weird RPG levelling mechanics that affect Atsuki's SIGMA segments. I genuinely don't know why this is even here. It adds nothing and is completely ignorable. It does make a difference, kind of, but it's very minor and you would almost never notice if you weren't actively trying to spot the differences.

You pretty much just level up at fixed points too, so it's even more useless.


Dark Noise



Both Residual Shinen feel strongly like death.
I'm gonna take on the target and bring Silent out!
Atsuki, wait! Liu Yee will be there soon!

Silence





There are cardboard boxes and trash everywhere, like a garbage dump.

Atsuki notices a large Residual Shinen on a cardboard box in the back of the room.



Just two more of these to deal with. Nothing too difficult here either. Basically a repeat of the one we just did in that respect.



Mist





Horns of Dark



Dark Noise



*Back of the room.

From the Shinen, it seems he died two weeks ago.
The Shinen of the animals he'd killed was on the box.
He was a sadist who enjoyed torturing animals.
He was infected by Silent, but not our target.
If he was the Original, there'd be traces of Silent.
The Residual Shinen on the fifth floor must be it.







The darkness is teeming with violence, waiting.

It feels like it's waiting for an opportunity to pounce, like a hungry beast.



Silence



Silent infectees must have gathered together to die.
I ate the mind of one who was still alive, but not the Original.

Dark Noise



So, two things here. First off... that text. Just... yeesh. It's not even the worst we'll be seeing in Episode 0, never mind the game. But that's not a defense.

Secondly, Liu Yee is voiced by Chris Sabat. You definitely know who that is, but in the off-chance you don't, he's been in like almost every popular anime ever. Other notable roles include Vegeta, Piccolo and many more across the Dragon Ball series, Roronoa Zoro in One Piece, Officer Yusuke Saito in Darker than Black, Yami Sukehiro in Black Clover, Major Alex Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist and Toshinori Yagi (All Might) in My Hero Academia.




Your job is finding infectees and targets, right?
Don't do that again.



You should tell us when you arrive!
I made securing the target a priority.
From what I gathered, they were having a falling out.
If I didn't hurry, they all may have killed themselves.
Okay, okay, I got it.
You'll have plenty of reports to write...
I look forward to them.

Silence





The vicious growls of animals can be heard coming from beyond the bushes.



No, that's not the dog speaking. It's a small child talking to the dog.

Mystic



This small child, specifically.

The girl bows her head and points to the second floor apartment Atsuki was just in.

Um, mister... did you know?
The guy on the second floor killed a bunch of animals!
I'm gonna turn him in!
That's why I came again with Melody to look for evidence.
Woof!
But that guy... he never comes out of his apartment.



That's what Melody says. What do you think?



So, uh, this is a weird thing. During scenes like this, or down-time, or... most of the game, really, Atsuki is treated like a regular silent protagonist. He gets the occasional dialogue option but otherwise says nothing. And then during important scenes, or basically anything that's ostensibly plot related he actually gets dialogue and says stuff.

It's like they couldn't decide what to do between the two, so they just kinda threw in both. It's not a big deal or anything, but it's very noticable and just plain bizarre.


Maybe you're right.



This just happens on the top-screen sometimes. It's never explicitly made all that clear whether or not this is good or bad, or even what it means. You can kinda piece it together eventually at least, and it's pretty simple even though its obscured for literally no reason:

It can either fill from the top to the bottom, or vice versa. As you'd expect, top-down is a decrease and bottom-up is an increase. The colour is indicative of the emotion effected, and we'll learn what they all are later. Some are pretty obvious (red is anger, yellow is joy, blue is sadness etc.) at least.



I... what?


I knew right away, because Melody said so.
Woof!



The girl turns around and walks back to Atsuki.



Nami here is voiced by Cherami Leigh. She's pretty much exactly who's voice I'd mentally read Nami's dialogue in, honestly, so I cannot complain about this at all. Notable stuff includes Asuna in Sword Art Online, Kneesocks in anty and Stocking, Sailor Venus in Sailor Moon, Lucy Heartfilia in Fairy Tail, the Wild Wild Pussycat: Pixie-Bob in My Hero Academia, Makto Niijima in Persona 5 and Ulala in Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash.

I won't tell anyone about your powers.
If someone finds out, you'll get bullied... like me.

The girl chases after the white dog as it runs up the stairs to the apartment.



Why did she know about his power?

The power of Sigma is top secret. No-one has ever found out about it before.

The shadow of uneasiness grows over Atsuki's heart.

End

In all honesty, as an opener, I really like (most) of this. The prose and clunky translation don't do it any favours, but the idea conveyed is pretty solid and interesting and the Sigma Viewer is a fairly unique idea that lets us see the Shinen thoughts and general emotions of people and animals. That it was used to convey their dying moments is legitimately kinda creepy and it really makes you wonder what else it can be used for.

Dragonatrix fucked around with this message at 00:22 on Jun 2, 2020

mateo360
Mar 20, 2012

TOO MANY PEOPLE MERLOCK!
ONLY ONE DIJON!


Ah, I see your trying this again. Despite all it's flaws, it's a game i actually like.

Zack Ater
Apr 17, 2013

I am protector of the innocent! I am the light in the darkness! I am truth! Ally to good! Nightmare to you!


Oh hey, I think I remember an earlier attempt at this. It'll be interesting to see where it goes!

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA



Oh man I was so bummed when the last LP of this fizzled out. I want to see what happens without actually playing it myself, damnit. Good luck!

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


Ah, Lux-Pain. It could have been beautiful, but, well... if I were to LP this, I would have titled it, "Atsuki Saijo and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Translation".

Looking forward to seeing this thread.

PS: Cute girl and a cute dog? I think I saw this anime once upon a time...

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?



I'm glad that you're trying this LP again. I'm sure that it will work this time. Right?

I hope I didn't write the exact same thing the last time this LP was attempted.

Psycho Knight
Jan 19, 2017

"Being a fangame and not bound to a rating, Pokemon Reborn is able to expand more on topics such as death and the extreme dangers Pokemon could pose. These topics...are treated with the respect such a subject deserves."

Let's throw a Medicham into a volcano and make it give the T2 thumbs up!

I remember this game. I'm pretty sure I still have it. At the very least I know that I have a mini artbook for it (which is also very cavalier about throwing around random terminology without any context).

I don't recall if I ever finished it, but I do remember the translation being horrid, as you said.

Dragonatrix posted:

October, year unknown. Pandora, the first woman, was given a jar containing all the world's evils before it broke, releasing them.

Yes... it broke .

Weird how they got the "jar, not box" aspect, but not the "opened and not broken" part.

orenronen
Nov 7, 2008



This has been somewhere on the back of my list of games to sometime play for a while now, and the thread inspired me to fire it up in Japanese and play through this first update doing a line-by-line comparison with the translation.

It's... weird. I'm pretty sure the text was written by a native English speaker - there are choices made here I don't think even a fluent Japanese English speaker would've made unless they were an experienced translator, and if they were I'm pretty sure they'd also be a better writer.

There are several aspects to why this script feels so awkward. First is that, yeah, it's just clumsy writing. The Japanese script won't win awards for prose, but I've read much worse and it does occasionally come up with a nice turn of phrase. The English script, on the other hand, just reads like someone who doesn't really know how to write. More importantly, though, is that it almost looks as if it was under a strict character limit constraints - the translation takes the Japanese text and strips it of almost everything that's not essential to the bare meaning, and sometimes also of stuff that is. It's missing fine details from descriptions and all sorts of nuances that makes a better logical flow between sentences. There are also some real translation mistakes, some of which you pointed out (but I'll add that I'm pretty sure the line with "The vicious growls of animals" actually refers to just one animal - the dog that shows up immediately after it)

Finally, "Shinen" is one of those words that really shouldn't have been left in Japanese. It's written in Kanji in the Japanese script (思念) and is a common word meaning "thought" or "contemplation". It's obvious from the way it's used that the characters are using it as a technical term and not for its bare meaning, but at least you get *some* idea of what it's all about just by looking at the word.

Also, since you're talking about voice actors - the Japanese cast is, for the most part, veteran voice actors you've probably heard somewhere before. Atsuki himself is Mamoru Miyano who is probably best known to VN readers as Steins;Gate's Rintaro Okabe, but while I loved him there in this game it sounds (so far) like he phoned it in.

Nick Buntline
Dec 20, 2007
Doesn't know the impossible.



orenronen posted:

This has been somewhere on the back of my list of games to sometime play for a while now, and the thread inspired me to fire it up in Japanese and play through this first update doing a line-by-line comparison with the translation.

It's... weird. I'm pretty sure the text was written by a native English speaker - there are choices made here I don't think even a fluent Japanese English speaker would've made unless they were an experienced translator, and if they were I'm pretty sure they'd also be a better writer.

There are several aspects to why this script feels so awkward. First is that, yeah, it's just clumsy writing. The Japanese script won't win awards for prose, but I've read much worse and it does occasionally come up with a nice turn of phrase. The English script, on the other hand, just reads like someone who doesn't really know how to write. More importantly, though, is that it almost looks as if it was under a strict character limit constraints - the translation takes the Japanese text and strips it of almost everything that's not essential to the bare meaning, and sometimes also of stuff that is. It's missing fine details from descriptions and all sorts of nuances that makes a better logical flow between sentences. There are also some real translation mistakes, some of which you pointed out (but I'll add that I'm pretty sure the line with "The vicious growls of animals" actually refers to just one animal - the dog that shows up immediately after it)

My recollection from looking into it is that yeah, the people involved really should have been able to produce a much better translation than this, so the final product is kinda inexplicable. Programming limitations would make sense; the other best guess I had was just total lack of communication in the team, leading to stuff like the voiced lines getting translated twice, proper nouns getting multiple different translations depending on which chapter you're in, etc.

On the latter, I wonder if you could confirm what the main character's organization is named in the original text - it seemed like you could tell how many people were doing translation work by how many different ways it gets translated/mistranslated, and I'm curious if "Fort" is accurate or another character limit restriction or something (I suspect the latter).

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


Some stuff I've seen makes me think it's just FORT in English (it's displayed as such during the animated intro, for example), but it might be inconsistent about that in-game. It does manage to get mangled very blatantly a couple times, so I can really only guess.

If it's not that, then it's likely a character limit thing because it'd have to function as an acronym in both.

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?



I might be recalling it incorrectly (I mean, it's been over a decade since this came out) , but I remember Ignition Entertainment saying that the developers were the ones that created the English translation, and Ignition felt that it was good enough and kept it as is. Ignition clearly did create their own translation for the dub, so I'm not sure why they decided to keep the poor translation over the dub translation.

Polsy
Mar 23, 2007



Yeah, I figured probably character limits as soon as the text said 'apt' where the audio had 'apartment building'. The text has pretty much been an abbreviated version of the audio so far, though I guess there's still plenty of time for it to get worse.

orenronen
Nov 7, 2008



Nick Buntline posted:

On the latter, I wonder if you could confirm what the main character's organization is named in the original text - it seemed like you could tell how many people were doing translation work by how many different ways it gets translated/mistranslated, and I'm curious if "Fort" is accurate or another character limit restriction or something (I suspect the latter).

The one time it's mentioned in this scene they use katakana フォート (fōto), which as far as I can tell is only used for the loan word "fort".

Here's an example of I mean by the translation being abbreviated:



The Japanese here literally translates to roughly, "The current target's nationality, age and sex are unknown, and the only thing known about them is their strong appreciation for art".

Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is that sometimes the highlighted words don't match which words are highlighted in Japanese.

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




quote:

Natsuki's strange tattoos are a pair of wing, but Natsuki's appears to be a large animal paw. Looks like a lion's, even, matching his ring.

You mean Atsuki?

quote:

This just happens on the top-screen sometimes. It's never explicitly made all that clear whether or not this is good or bad, or even what it means. You can kinda piece it together eventually at least, and it's pretty simple even though its obscured for literally no reason:

It can either fill from the top to the bottom, or vice versa. As you'd expect, top-down is a decrease and bottom-up is an increase. The colour is indicative of the emotion effected, and we'll learn what they all are later. Some are pretty obvious (red is anger, yellow is joy, blue is sadness etc.) at least.

Near as I can tell you always want it to go up. Regardless of the colour. That was the principle I used when I played this game and I got the best ending. There's kind of a weird convoluted thought process to it that I kinda intuit but the game never explains. I'll remove this if the OP doesn't want it here, it's not plot spoilers and the game never explains this mechanic:
Basically when the thingy goes up, it means you achieved an emotional response in the target, which in turn means a likelier chance for a Shinen to appear thus letting you learn more about the target. AFAIK the colour of the emotion is more or less irrelevant, with exactly one obvious exception. So long as an emotional response is achieved, you're closer to the Shinen and thus closer to gaining more info on the person.

orenronen posted:

Finally, "Shinen" is one of those words that really shouldn't have been left in Japanese. It's written in Kanji in the Japanese script (思念) and is a common word meaning "thought" or "contemplation". It's obvious from the way it's used that the characters are using it as a technical term and not for its bare meaning, but at least you get *some* idea of what it's all about just by looking at the word.

Yeah this bothered the hell out of me since it took me ages to understand what the gently caress a Shinen was. Though TBH the best translation for it would be something like a Psychic/Emotional/Mental Trace rather than Thought.

Seraphic Neoman fucked around with this message at 00:22 on Jun 2, 2020

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


BTW! I'm told someone is doing a retranslation project.

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




Godspeed, this game is long as gently caress.

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


That's amazing and I wish them luck with it. That it hasn't updated in 6 months is not really much of a surprise, though.

Seraphic Neoman posted:

You mean Atsuki?

Oops. Fixed, thanks!

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


Lux De Luna



Now that we're done with checking out that apartment, we're in Kisaragi proper and have a fair few places we can go.



There's more than the two we can see here, even, but before we get to that...



...We'll take a gander at the Menu options, right quicklike. Viewing is something we'll use properly later, but it's what Natsuki did before.

Item is empty and useless right now, and Mobile is something we'll use at least once per Episode. Well, not this one though. It's too late at night to give us anything.

That FORT option, though, is one that we are going to use right now.


FORT



This is where we can... select the Viewing option again... for some reason. Data is where we can see the in-game datalogs and stuff. You can find 'em in the second post if you wanna read it. I recommend it because it's utter nonsense. Both by design and because of very bad translation.

Record is actively unselectable right now. We'll see it later, maybe. Advice is a bit self-explanatory, but sometimes it has actual scenes hidden behind it. Like right now, for example!


Translation Is Hard
highly, highly recommend you check this out if you can!



So, normally I'd just transcribe the voice acting in scenes where I can. This time I'm not doing that, because it makes a bit of a silly decision. I'll be using most of the voice clips still, because the text is maddeningly bad here as well but...


What's up, Atsuki? Nola's checking something.
Or maybe... *giggles* You wanted to see me?



"Photo." They... they translated FORT as Photo.

Ordinarily, I'd ask how does that happen, but not this time. As pointed out by forums poster orenronen, while referring to another scene...

quote:

The one time it's mentioned in this scene they use katakana フォート (fōto), which as far as I can tell is only used for the loan word "fort".

Most likely it's the same here, but someone else did this bit, saw that and lacked context.



I know what this is trying to say here. You should be able to roughly figure it out from the intro we saw already.

I have no earthly clue what this is actually saying.



The text for this scene uses Japan and Japanese places where relevant. The voice acting for whatever unfathomable reason decides to make it America.

This will not be the last time something as basic as "location" gets confused.


I wanted to go to Japan too...
Using "Viewing" is easier at the actual scene.
But the Chief says no.
How mean, really!
"I know why. You just wanna see Atsuki, right?"
That's what he said. What do you think?
No, I wanna go to Akiba and I want to see Genjuku.
Also, I really wanna try the food there.
I've never tried it before.
I said so, but he ignored me...



Ah, we finally have a name for our blonde-haired lady in charge. Nola is voiced by Colleen Clinkenbeard. Much like Chris Sabat, if you're reading this you know who she is. Her noteworthy roles include Son Gohan in Dragon Ball Z, Monkey D. Luffy in One Piece, Mia Fey in the Ace Attorney anime adaptation, Ran Mouri in Detective Conan, Erza Scarlet in Fairy Tail and Momo Yaoyorozu in My Hero Academia.

Natsuki, could you come here?
Gosh, she's so annoying.
Natsuki, hurry! Something is happening in Hong Kong!
Oh, leave me alone!
Nola's calling me. I gotta go!
You should go home and get some rest.
See you. Bye bye!

End



So, with that we're done with FORT for the time being. We'll take this moment to check out the two locations we have in our immediate area. Starting with this one, since it seems more chill.

Malum





Meanwhile, two blabbering girls are coming closer. They seem a bit sloshed.

I'd like to fall in love and get married, but there's no one at the police station!

So, this scene is very weird. It features two characters other than Atsuki. It features voice acting. Only one of these two characters has a voice actor.



And what she says only vaguely gestures in the same direction as the written text. Very occasionally. If about half the scene wasn't purely text only, it'd make for an even better example. Case in point: the second quote here IS voiced...


No way! You know I don't like the quiet types!

...Yeah. There's a few times the difference might be worth noting, so I'll flag the audio-line as such with that icon.

Well, you're stuck. It must be hard for the prince waiting for you from afar.
It's okay, 'cos I've got you.
Cheers, to us two beauties!
Yeah, cheers!

The two girls saw Atsuki's figure drawing nearer.



Of the two people here, Yui has the voice acting. She's voiced by Colleen Clinkenbeard, same as Nola.

Hey, boy! What time do you think it is?
It's already... um, one second.

The two girls glanced at their watch for who knows how long. They're probably too drunk to get a clear look at the time.



As mentioned earlier, Mako does not have a voice actor. This is frequently jarring, like, for example, in this scene.

Well, it's already 1AM. You should go home too.
Mako's right. It's 1AM! 1AM!
We're gonna arrest yoooou for being out so late, you got it?



Very occasionally, there's little things like this. Almost like it remembers to try and be interesting when it's just being a Daily Life Simulator.



You okay, Yui?!
Uh, I... I think so...
Oof. I think we may have had a few too many.
Hey, I won't let this happen again. Go home!
We'll be put in protective custody if we don't...

I'm pretty sure that "we" is not the pronoun you're looking for there. Now, whether or not this is just another in the astronomically long line of mistakes, or intentional, is hard to say.

Almost, almost deinitely a mess up though.


The girl called "Mako" wandered off with her drunk companion.



We're kicked back out to the map here, of course. Only one spot left to go by the looks of things.

Pale Ophelia

Nocturne





He hears a poem on the night breeze

I see a sentence that has no punctuation.





Not the best poem I've ever heard, but it's not even remotely close to the worst either.

Low bar, I know.


A man watchs the ocean under the brightly glowing moon.

He read the poem

and seems to miss someone as he looks to the heavens.

Is this a dream... or an illusion...
Show me your smile, one more time.

When he stops, the world is silence.

The only sound is the ocean.

...Then it's not silent. Like, c'mon. Took all of one sentence.

He looks off to the distance.

It's hard for him to leave or stay, but he walks away with sad eyes.



Throughout this scene, this guy is in fact voiced! By J Michael Tatum, at that. As is usual, he's super prolific and has been in pretty much anything you can think of. Some highlights include Zarbon (and many more) in Dragon Ball, Kraft Lawrence in Spice and Wolf, Isaac Dian in Baccano!, Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler, Enel in One Piece and Tenya Iida in My Hero Academia.



He also just automatically has a negative reaction before Atsuki can even say or do anything.

You're smart people. I'm sure you can gues what emotion blue represents.


Atsuki feels a strange presence about him.



He also serve as our introduction to using Sigma on people!

Σ -SIGMA-



There's a bit of a noticable difference here compared to when we were using it to find Residual Shinen, huh?

We need to switch to that Search function for this one.



This lets us scan Arthur to find here his Shinen is currently located. The search area is larger than it looks, and it's even colour co-ordinated. It uses a blue/yellow/red scale which is a bit weird but whatever. Easy enough to get used to.



Once we've found 'em that way, we'll switch back to Erase and it works like before here. If we're too slow at that, though, they disappear and need to be searched for again.

Plus, after a bit, they just appear on the top-screen anyway. This just means that you can skip using Search if you really want to.

The whole process is a bit annoying, but whatever.




Strange Boy

Scare Bell





That Girl

Memoria



Nocturne



He just looks at Atsuki and leaves.

End

Lux De Luna



Back to the map we go, and this time a more general overview of the city. From here, we can see that it's broken up into 7 areas. Helpfully numbered one through seven. It lets us know where there's anyone to talk to in the city, and even roughly where they are in each area.



We could've come here before either of the places in Area 6, incidentally. There's not much of an indication you can do that, other than the Return option in the bottom right corner.

By the way, it's unrelated to that but the DV in the Church description stands for "Domestic Violence." Top of my head, that is never relevant, thankfully.


Mystic





A large man stands in front of a church-like building, trying to operate a strange-shaped machine. He utters his thoughts.

Describing a church as a "church-like building" is... it's certainly something. I can't even say it's wrong!

Well, this will have to do. I think I'm done for today.

The man stands up tall.

Huh?

He notices Atsuki. He approaches Atsuki with a smile on his face.



Are you talking a walk this nice autumn evening?
Oh, sorry, I'm not some kinda weirdo.



I dunno, this still seems kinda weird to me...

..Um, can I ask a question?
I know its abrupt, but...
Do you believe in powers that you can't see?
Like demons and spirits and things like that.
Maybe...

We could say that we don't believe it, sure. But we use a literal magical artifact to read people's minds.



Of course agreeing with Takano here makes him happier. That's just expected, really.


Really! So you believe? That's good to hear!
Heh, a lot of people just make fun and don't listen.
Ah, maybe I'm a little bit over-interested.



Don't attempt to ever try and figure out whether or not this is supposed to be in America or Japan. The game can't agree with itself. Not even between text and voice acting, either. The text has already flip-flopped between the two!

When I told my mom, she screamed my ears off... Heh.
It a machine that measures life energy called "odo."
Basically, it's a radar that can spot the unseen.
On full moons like tonight readings are more accurate.

Shame it doesn't help the text any.

Anyway, "odo" is a pretty blatant orgone equivalent. Why they didn't just call it orgone is anyone's guess though.


Maybe it lacks power, or the cycle's off, but...
The measurements are low.
So I figured I'd call it a night.



Sure, let's go with that.

Well, see ya around boy.

As Takano spoke, he carried the heavy machine and waddled back home.

Lux De Luna



Tohodo is the only place available at all now. We can back out to the larger city overview, but it's a waste of our time.

Mystic





No narration or anything this time, huh? Just a "choice" between leaving the area or entering the building. How generous.



We'll be spending very little time actually in here. It's functionally just a place to sleep for the night. Fair enough, really.


It's a new apartment complete with the furniture Atsuki requested.

FORT



It's unfortunate that it wasn't the target, but...
One suspect has been eliminated. That's good.
One more thing.
Before Liu entered the room, they were mailing someone.
It's interesting...



What's a high school got to do with group suicides?
You may be able to find something out.
In Shanghai, a similar case was reported.
The group suicides had the same motive as our target.



Dragonatrix fucked around with this message at 17:44 on Jun 4, 2020

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


quote:

He hears a poem on the night breeze

And how shall I begin? /
To spit out the butt-ends of my days and ways.

Seriously, hearing Natsuki (voice) be like, "I wanna see New York!" Is just ... yeah, this game's translation is something special, in that discomplementary way.

mateo360
Mar 20, 2012

TOO MANY PEOPLE MERLOCK!
ONLY ONE DIJON!


Dragonatrix posted:


So, this scene is very weird. It features two characters other than Atsuki. It features voice acting. Only one of these two characters has a voice actor.

...

[i]As mentioned earlier, Mako does not have a voice actor. This is frequently jarring, like, for example, in this scene.



I'm sure the was a conscious choice for reasons...

Polsy
Mar 23, 2007



I don't necessarily hate 'this is America actually' but you really have to put in the effort to make it consistent, and, well. Hmm.


Dragonatrix posted:

We'll be put in protective custody if we don't...

I'm pretty sure that "we" is not the pronoun you're looking for there. Now, whether or not this is just another in the astronomically long line of mistakes, or intentional, is hard to say.

Almost, almost deinitely a mess up though.


This is some classic 'there's no stated pronoun in the Japanese dialogue so you have to guess*'

* unless you're actually reading the scene in which case it's pretty obvious from context. Whoever translated this bit either didn't figure that out or they didn't have the full scene to work with for some reason.

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


Second post updated to include the in-game character bios and what's intended to be the in-game encyclopedia. Recommend giving at least that a brief once over, if only because some of it is genuinely interesting... primarily in how bad and dumb it is, but hey.

Meant to get them up a wee bit earlier, but better late than never.

Psycho Knight
Jan 19, 2017

"Being a fangame and not bound to a rating, Pokemon Reborn is able to expand more on topics such as death and the extreme dangers Pokemon could pose. These topics...are treated with the respect such a subject deserves."

Let's throw a Medicham into a volcano and make it give the T2 thumbs up!

Polsy posted:

I don't necessarily hate 'this is America actually' but you really have to put in the effort to make it consistent, and, well. Hmm.

I can't stand it, personally. A small part of it is a personal reason of me just hating foreign stuff that's been "Americanized." That's not limited to only Japanese media.

The bigger reason is that it's almost always poorly done, as is the case here and in games like the Phoenix Wright series. It brings to mind the days of 4Kidz anime dubs. It takes a huge amount of work and effort to effectively transform a game from a completely different culture into one that naturally feels like it's from a local culture. Stuff like social etiquette and architecture/design are still present in dialogue and backgrounds. You need to do a hell of a lot more than changing a few names to avoid it turning into a laughable mess.

For example:


Ignoring the fact that the dude has a Japanese as hell name and teaches in a clearly Japanese school, 50k Yen (which is like $470), suddenly turns into 1.5x the annual salary of nearly every primary/secondary teacher in the US. This dude apparently just routinely drops that on personal projects.

Then of course you've got all the Japanese place names and signage and stuff that might pop up in backgrounds which the localization team can't change without putting in time on redrawing artwork.

And what does it all come down to? Who are these changes for? The fans of anime/Japanese stuff will hate it because it's loving stupid. Meanwhile, people that would be bothered by a game being too "foreign" are sure as hell not going to pick this



off the shelf.

Psycho Knight fucked around with this message at 17:22 on Jun 4, 2020

Polsy
Mar 23, 2007



Psycho Knight posted:

Ignoring the fact that the dude has a Japanese as hell name and teaches in a clearly Japanese school, 50k Yen (which is like $470), suddenly turns into 1.5x the annual salary of nearly every primary/secondary teacher in the US. This dude apparently just routinely drops that on personal projects.

This was actually Americanised - he says 5 million yen. Apparently the character profile is right to be suspicious.



Psycho Knight posted:

And what does it all come down to? Who are these changes for? The fans of anime/Japanese stuff will hate it because it's loving stupid. Meanwhile, people that would be bothered by a game being too "foreign" are sure as hell not going to pick this off the shelf.

But yeah, that's a pretty good point.

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!




Pandora was functionally an in media res prologue. It gave us our setup, and introduced the main concepts we are about. Mystery is our proper starting point to figuring things out.

It's also a lot longer.


Nightmare

Noir





I cried from deep inside my soul at the regret, sorrow and urges of rage that I felt.



My father died two years later. I can see his eyes.
He smiled on his death bed and said, "the world's full of sorrow."
Seeing the images of my parents, I realized how much I loved them.
There was no reason for them to die.
I see my little sister's smiling face, bright and wise.
She had a beautiful smile.



The intruding monsters overtook me in my sleep and devoured my sister.

For once, I feel like the text works better here so I left it as-is. "Devoured" is just stronger and more emotive than "ate [her] up".

I let out a war cry. Wanting to burn everything around me to the ground, I howled furiously.



Mirage



A lump, tasting like metal, tightens up in my chest. My mouth tastes bitter.
The cold sweat on my body feels like blood.
I used to dream, long ago. Since joining FORT, I haven't dreamt once.

Atsuki rubs his left arm.

That's the same arm he uses to scan with Sigma. It's a fun little detail.

Blood builds up in Atsuki's face and arm, and he loses consciousness.



FORT



Okay, let's start the briefing!
Target, age and sex unknown. All we know is they love art.
FORT intelligence is confident that the target is in Kisaragi.
It's the same place the Shanghai Silent Infectee Incident started.



Yeah, we know. It's basically the only detail we've ever been given about that.

It's just background lore in practice. The repetition of it implies that nothing beyond this was really thought about, though, which is fair enough.


As a result, thousands of crimes and suicides have occured.
We found him and checked, and he wasn't the original infectee.
Someone else infected him with Silent.
Checking the infection path, we found Kisaragi City.



You'd think this'd be a detail worth looking into then. What that guy did while he was here, where he went, who he met with? Forget about it. As far as our investigation cares, the Guy From Shanghai was never here.

Your job is to find and confirm any Silent infectees.
Last night's incident seems to be Silent related...
I wonder who they were trying to contact.
They sent mail to your new school. Right, Atsuki?
It's a good opportunity. Look into that for me, okay?
If we find anything new, we'll contact you.



It's creepy that she knew you had powers.
If you find anything by Sigma, let us know.

End

Finding an unknown recipient of an unknown email, huh? And all we know is that they're at this school? I feel like if we know that much, we should know who it was a well. They'd be likely using a school related email address in that case, but whatever. It's a start.

Lux De Luna



We're dumped right at school. This is a pretty common occurrence, for obvious reasons. It's technically an eighth area, and it sure feels larger (to me) than the other seven. We can't leave for a while, of course.

Kisaragi





Since this is clearly dialogue between two different characters, maybe they should have speech marks here. It's clear and all, but it's presented like normal narration so it's kinda... messy and very amateurish. I'unno, just a thought.

A teacher is at the gate.

She's checking each student that passes by. She looks serious, and makes sure to look each student in the eye as she greets them.

Suddenly, her gaze stops on a group of students.

Hey, wait!

On the subject of remembering speech marks, they did include them for this line.



Oh no, high schoolers... holding hands?!


In an instant, the romantic atmosphere had completely disappeared.

What are you doing, holding hands like that?!

The speech marks are gone again, here.

"S-sorry!"

...And here, they are indeed back.

This. This is what makes it messy. Actively alternating between whether or not to include them is incredibly jarring.


They split up and run into the school.



I transferred here today.



We could play coy and act like a regular normal student, but that has a negative reaction. Maybe best to not do that.

Oh, I see. Nice to meet you.
I'll introduce myself.



"Which language?"

"Yes."


I hope you like it here!

The teacher's cheeks suddenly turned red. Apparently noticing this, she starts talking again.



It must be hard to transfer this time of year.

It's October. If we take the presumption that we're in Japan, yeah, this makes sense. That'd put it about halfway through the school year, since it starts at the beginning of April.

If we take what we've mostly been presented, so far, we're in America. That means we're about a month into the school year. In my completely inexperienced perspective, that sounds like a very relaxed and easy time to transfer.


"Good morning, Ms. Matsumura!"

Incidentally, no speech marks here (again). No comma either, which somehow bugs me marginally more.

Good morning!
Oh yeah...



If you need anything, let me know right away.
I hope you enjoy it here!

Lux De Luna



We've a couple places we can go now that we're in the school proper, it seems. The art room is a bit of a longshot, but we're looking for someone who really loves art and also someone at the school. It's unlikely, but not impossible, for those to be the same person. It's worth a shot at least.

Yayoi Kamishiro

Bona Fide





There's no one else there. She concentrates hard on the canvas, the only audible sound being the movement of the brush.

She holds the brush out and checks over the painting.

Then, she finally realies that Atsuki had entered the room.



You're here early. Here to paint something?



We haven't, right...?
You're a transfer student!
The teacher said we'd have a new student today.



Existing pretty much to prove what I said in update 1 right, Yayoi is voiced by Monica Rial. Here she gets to do a normal, sensible voice and it sounds good and fine.



...Okay, this? Right here? This is what makes the half-actual character, half-silent protagonist thing jarring and nonsensical. Atsuki talks and does things! Just have him actually ask!


I'm here because Arthur may be coming back soon.



He works as a substitute teacher here.
What an opportunity, huh?



Recently, he's been sick and hasn't come...

Atsuki can't take his eyes off a particular painting.

It's because he felt a fleeting, but black and bent, Shinen from it.

Mirage



So, I didn't mention it before but the timer is 90 seconds long at the moment. Except it starts running before we have contol, which is a tiny bit inconvenient.

Also of note is that the timer is only around when using Sigma to scan people. That it's here means that we're also gonna pull something out of Yayoi's psyche, along with the Residual on the painting.




Colors Fade

Noir





Seems Kind

Nocturne





It's not super common, but now that we've got these two Shinen they combine into a third...

People

Memoria





There's something mildly inconvenient to me about this sliding bit. It feels like an unnecessary step that just kinda gets in the way.



And it's a lot of hassle to learn the name of the thing we just sat through.


Bona Fide



I'll be in the classroom. See you later!

Twilight



Same as the man at Rainbow Hill last night.



This seems like a bit of a stretch, but I guess when you're dealing directly with people's emotions and psyche it's easier to draw conclusions like this.

As for Silent, he's closest to the target from what I can tell.

End

Well, that didn't pan out quite the way I'd have liked. Still, we did get some useful information and learn a thing or two about our strongest suspect for the Mysterious Art Lover.

Atsuki is jumping to conclusions here, though. We've technically met two people that we can presume like art. Of course Arthur is the closest to the target at the moment. We don't have any other realistic candidates yet.



Seems unlikely that there'll be any overlap with the email stuff, then. Worth our time to go and check that out directly.


Mystic





He's sitting at a computer, working on something.

Okay, finished.

He's done transferring data onto a portable PC.

He gets up and trots over to the exit, and sees Atsuki.



I haven't seen you around. Are you new?
Well, whatever!
We've just met. No point in discussing that.
Okay, I'll hurry!

Whisper



Someone infected with Silent, like them?
If anyone here is infected, it would be a strong Silent.

Presumably he means if they were infected via email. We know literally nothing about how a Silent infection is caught or transferred or anything, though.

The Original must be very powerful.

...And that has nothing to do with anything here.

Mystic



If their partner received their mail, then Residual Shinen must still be here.



I don't know why it bothers giving us a choice here. We can leave, sure, but it doesn't help. We can't do anything else until we get the Residual so..



Suicide Spot

Scare Bell



Twilight



The Shinen tells me he read that mail.
But, he's not related to them. He happened to find the mail.
His Shinen tells me he went home to trace the sender on his own.

Mystic



That boy must've erased it.

Hm, that's kinda suspicious. If he didn't know what it was or who it was from, why get rid of it?

FORT



How about the boy on the computer that morning?

Atsuki tells her that, judging by Residual Shinen, he wasn't involved.

He reports that since the boy had erased the mail in question, he had certainly seen it.

I see, let's follow these two routes.



*someone else

We've got to find them.



We need to find out what that mail said.

Well, the Residual we just read does sorta tell us. It was in code, so That Kid doesn't know yet either.

Okay, Atsuki. Work on those.



Only one option available now. Guess it's time for class.

Sunny Spot





Aoi said this while looking around the room.

Oh, it looks like Naruse isn't here.
Well then, everyone, take good notes and show them to the absentees later.



Oh, Nozaki, you weren't here either?



What!? Oh my, oh my... Is that so? I'm sorry!
Ryo wasn't here either...

Aoi says embarrasedly as her cheeks turn red.

Then she turns her attention to Atsuki.



After that, I'm a bit afraid to ask, but...
Saijo, what do you think of this school?
It's great!

Our only options are to be enthusiastic or unsure. Being unsure despite being here for less than an hour gets a negative reaction. Yep.



Really? That's good.
I really hope that you enjoy your time here.



Well then, let's start the lesson!
Open your books to page 276.

Bona Fide



...Uh, wait, what?



This is a real thing, surprisingly. Wakanashu is a collection of poems that was written by Shimazaki Tosen and published in 1897. Before that, he was an English teacher in Tokyo (from 1891) and then Sendai (from 1895). Wakanashu is generally considered to be the first thing created specifically as part of the Meiji era of Romanticism in Japanese literature. Shimazaki created four more collections of poetry following the positive reception to Wakanashu, before becoming a novelist in 1906 and...




form, it's called Japan's own romantic anthology.

Okay, look. One of his novels, Shinsei, was highly controversial when it was released (1918) and absolutely should still be now. Because it was an autobiographical account of his incestuous relationship with his niece. Who, shortly after Shinsei was published, he got pregnant. At which point he promptly fled to France for nearly a decade.

He went back to Japan eventually, becoming an English teacher again and kept writing novels until he died in 1943.



...I, uh, maybe Wakanashu was republished late September 20XX.

Or maybe it's not supposed to be "week."


The anthology also contains the well known First Love.
Perhaps you've come across it before?



Well? Nothing?

As you might expect, this is also accurate. Impressively enough so is the translation of that half of the first line:

quote:

you had swept back your bangs for the first time
when I saw you under the apple tree
the flower-comb in your hair
I thought you yourself were a flower too.

you stretched out your pale white hand gently
giving me an apple:
like the ripening red of the autumn fruit
my first feeling of love

my sigh, without any awareness
touched your hair
the joys of love's offerings
drinking your love...

under a tree in the apple orchard
nature's narrow road
who left this token here?
your question gave me a piercing pleasure.


This next novel should come with ease. Here's a hint:
It deals with the Spring, starting anew, the joys and sadness of youth.







...And then it just kinda gives up being useful or even remotely coherent right at the very end there. Complete babbling messes like this are usually reserved for later in the game.

Hmm... such a wonderful love as this...

Sunny Spot





Saio, if you need help with anything from today...
I'll be in the staff room. Come see me any time.



Don't forget to study!

Mika Nozaki

Ticktack



Mika is voiced by Kate Oxley, who usually does bit part characters, extras, or young boy. There's a few exceptions here and there though. Notable stuff includes Mai in School Rumble, Kimiko Sakurazua in Ouran High School Host Club, Miwako Sato in Detectve Conan, Fuyumi Todoroki in My Hero Academia and Akane Tsunemori in Psycho-Pass.

...Yeah, not really many major roles in her filmography that I can find.


Ms. Matsumura's class is pretty deep, isn't it?
Her lessons are so good, because she's so diligent.
But, she can get sidetracked easily...



Unfortunately, we're gonna be doing love poems for a while...
Next class, she'll probably start from the same place!
It's rare, though. It'll get easier again, soon enough.
See ya!

End



It must be hard adjusting to a new school.
Please take your time getting used to it.
Oh, right! I forgot!
Please wait a minute!



Rui, do you have a minute?
Sure!



Huh? Wha..? You're the new kid, Saijo, right?
And you want me to...?
I'd like you to show him around during lunch.
Hmph. Fine, I guess. Well, whaddya wanna see?



Okay, you got it!
...Since you teach us and take care of us and stuff.
Well, let's go!



It wasn't unusual for Rui to do this sort of thing, but such intimate behavior is usually reserved for couples. Aoi's face turned red as she watched them.

Then, she felt unsure about her decision to let Rui show Saijo around.

We've already seen part of the school, but we have a lot more to see. Probably a good idea to take a quick break here.

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




The thing that gets me is how tonally all-over-the-place the translation is. In fairness, that sometimes...works(?) for the story but most of the time you get weird poo poo like here.

Some kid is sending an email? HE MUST BE CONNECTED TO SILENT gently caress I FOUND THE CELL IT'S AN ENTIRE NEST

EndOfTheWorld
Jul 22, 2004

I'm an excellent critic! I automatically know when someone's done a bad job. Before you ask, yes it's a mixed blessing.

Cybernetic Crumb

It's weird because it's like this game doesn't understand how email works? So, the creepy guy in the apartments was emailing someone at the school, and they can't figure out who because he was just sending the email to The School or something? Like the school has a big in-box for all emails that all students access from one room. I guess there wouldn't be much of a mystery if Nola could just say "Ah! He's was emailing Larry@kisaragi.edu!"

Thanks for picking this back up, Dragonatrix! Despite the awful translation and some other flaws, I really got a kick out of this game back when I played it on the DS. There's some cool stuff in this game that I'm gonna enjoy seeing again!

capitaldelendaest
Jan 2, 2020


bad translation and awkward gameplay aside, I really like this game when i played it as a teen. Thanks for the nostalgia OP

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


Lux De Luna



So, it's time for our "tour" around the school but there's something else to do first.



We haven't seen what we can get on our phone yet, and now's a good opportunity for it.



...Granted, 2/3rds of it aren't accessible right now. But one option is.


Sky Blue



Might as well get that ticker out of the way now:

New influenza strain strikes Europe. Deaths exceed 1000s. Rush to find vaccine.

Riots across N-land. No word from president. Capital destroyed. Allies might engage; nat'l assembly takes urgent measures.

Japan P.M. Yashiro: "N-land in crisis; SDF might enter conflict."

Boy, does that feel a bit... too real here in mid-2020.

I've got a migraine. I feel awful!
But the show must go on.
I can't sit here moaning about it.
I'll just do my best to get through today's news.



Disagreements are found in the peace-keeping alliance.



...Speaking of things that are perhaps a bit too real.

I suppose I should be glad it's not an actual C Virus.

Or worse, a T or G Virus.


quarantine in name only.
It's still quite trustworthy.
Everyone wants a piece of the Asia funds.
This isn't the first time this has happened.
Bit of a downer, isn't it?
Until next time, then. See you again.

We'll be checking in on this news broadcast every now and them. Usually at least once every episode. As seen here, it's sometimes a bit... confusingly worded, like everything else, but at least you can get what it's trying to say.



As a general rule, for places we've already seen I'll swap from their description to the Viewing result for the area.

Well, provided there is one at least. If there's no one there then it naturally can't give us anything.


Akira Mido

Sunny Spot



A boy is slumped over his desk, sleeping.



Hey, tough guy! Quit being so lame and wake up!

Now that she's gotten an actual voiced line, we can tell that Rui is voiced by Brina Palencia. Like most of the others we've seen so far, she is very prolific. Notable roles include Ciel Phantomhive in Kuroshitsuji, Holo in Spice and Wolf, Yuno Gasai in Mirai Niki, Mamoru Mineta in My Hero Academia and Tony Tony Chopper in One Piece.

He wakes up, realizes the voice he heard was Rui's, and goes back to sleep.

Oh no, you didn't...

All of a sudden, she runs to his desk and starts to tickle him.



Hey, hey! Cut it out!

After finally waking him, Rui sticks her tongue out and moves away.





Heheh, I thought I'd introduce you to Saijo.
Huh? I already know him!
Aoi introduced him in class earlier. Remember?
Of course. I just thought I'd introduce him properly.
Ugh, what's the matter with you? You can be so weird sometimes.
You're so shy, you forced me to introduce him like this!



...No, this isn't a misattributed line. This is actually Rui...

It's not like you ever try to make new friends.
Whatever. Hurry up and introduce yourself.
Ugh. I get no respect, I tell ya.



Akira is voiced by Robert McCollum. As you'd expect t this pint, he has a lot of roles. These include Oda Nobunaga in Drifters, Julius Nova Chrono in Black Clover, Donquixote Doflamingo in One Piece, Watanabe no Tsuna in Garo and Chizome Akaguro (Stain) in My Hero Academia.

My... hobby? Talent? It's bushido.
I'm not really into studying, and my friends can be kinda lame.
He's always been aloof, but he's painfully honest.
He's a bit crude and crass, but he's really a good guy.



Don't freak out, it's just a compliment. Let's all have lunch sometime!
Okay. Nice to meet you, Saijo.

End



I feel like this is a good time for the one that doesn't add a new character. Just for variety, if nothing else.

Bucolica





Aoi Matsmura's voice rings ut through the teachers' room, causing a chill.

Strange devices and books are spilling over onto her desk from the next desk over.

They have appeared to have fallen over while Aoi was eating lunch. All kinds of things cover her lunch box.



A chubby teacher fumbles around as Aoi shakes with anger.





That sure is a face he's making.

Takano remembers something as he passes Atsuki.



So, do you like game mechanics that are actively unexplained? You don't? Well, too bad here's one anyway. Occasionally, we get this colour-coded response system to pick from. We don't pick actual dialogue options or anything, just the general tone of how Atsuki responds;

Anger = Red;
Surprise = Orange;
Dismay = Green;
Cool = Grey;
Sadness = Blue
Laugh = Purple
Happiness = Yellow

So it kind of overlaps with the top-screen emotional changes we can see, but also kind of not. The colour choices seem pretty arbitrary, but they're mostly based on emotional psychology work from the early 1980s by Robert Plutchik. It's still not a perfect fit, so I don't think it's really worth going super deep into (at least not right now).

Anyway, as for this, this is the closest we get to a tutorial on this system. We'll poke through all of them to see what happens.


quote:







We, we met last night, remember?
You forgot?
Wow, what a surprise. You're a student here, huh.
Hm? I've never seen you here before...
Are you the new transfer kid, Atsuki Saijo?

quote:







I didn't think we'd meet again.
And at school, no less.
So, so you're, a student here, huh?
What a small world!
Hm? I've never seen you here before...
Are you the transfer kid, Atsuki Saijo?

quote:







I'm usually pretty good with faces...

I'm sure of it! You're the boy from last night!
I'm so surprised that you're a student here.
Hm? I've never seen you here before...
Are you the transfer kid, Atsuki Saijo?

quote:







Remmeber, we met late at night last night?
When I was measuring Od.
Wow, so you're a student here, huh?
I'm glad to know that.
Hm? I've never seen you here before...
Are you the new transfer kid, Atsuki Saijo?

quote:







I'm glad to see you, but...
Who would've thought?
To think you were right here under my nose.
But... hm? Huh?
Hm? I've never seen you here before...
Are you the transfer kid, Atsuki Saijo?

quote:







I'm so happy!
So you're a student here.
How dumb of me not to have recognized you.
Hm? Huh? I've never seen you here before.
Are you the new transfer kid, Atsuki Saijo?

quote:







I was hoping to talk to you again.
What a surprise! So you're a student here, huh?
Hm? What what now?
Hm? I've never seen you here before...
Are you the transfer kid, Atsuki Saijo?

Since this is the first one, the differences are pretty minor. It's hard to mess up, since either the Sad or Joy increases are technically successes in a sense, but Joy Up feels better to get. The Joy Down (appearing from top to bottom) is the only actual bad result.

We'll go with the Happiness reaction on our end, for this one. Either way, they all meet back up here:




It was the voice of Aoi, angry about Takano's stuff ruining her lunch.

If you don't hurry I won't have any time to eat!
Ah, okay! Be right back!

Takano jumps up and runs past Atsuki, out into the hallway.



Takano's wandered off to the Quad, it seems. We could go somewhere else, but we might as well see what he's up to over here.



Ah, Saijo! Eh? It is Saijo, right?
That was so embarassing just now.
I usually make Aoi angry at least once a day.
My research materials get in the way, but...
I just get good ideas out of the blue sometimes.
I need my matierals close or it's inconvenient.
So, what as it again?
You wanted to talk to me?

Well, we could remind him that he's meant to be getting stuff for Aoi but that's a bit rude. Best not to do that, then.



Ah, that's right!
I haven't told you about my theories yet, have I?
Yesterday, you saw living proof of my theories.

Uh, when...? You got a big ol' failure yesterday. Apparently.



Takano soon remembers what he was originally doing.

Ah.......
Ah! Oh no!! Oh my God!!
Oh, Saijo! I gotta deliver lunch!!
Sorry, we'll finish later! See you again!

...I know it's easy to forget, but he's a History teacher. Those lessons are gonna be weird if/when we get to see one.



Anyway, we've got two places left to go. We've vaguely been clockwise so far, so we might as well keep that up.






In the Nurse Office, Honoka Hino was taking care of one of the students.



...yeah, I guess. You could say that.
Aoi and I will be making food to sell this year.
I'll have you work hard!



What, you got a problem?
...not really, well... no.
Well, either way you're gonna help so be prepared.
...I see. Understood.
Okay, I'll be going now.





The student who needs me the least! Why're you here?



Even I have one or two things troubling me, you know.
Trouble with classes, worries about the future.
I AM worried, you know.
You always work too hard, and do everything yourself.
You should come talk to me more often.
Hey, young man!



Dilligent, smart, hard-working, and REALLY cute!
Well? If you're gonna get married, this is it, huh?



Ahaha, look at you, getting so embarassed!
Wha- whatever!

Rui puffs up her cheeks and goes out to the hallway. Honoka is staring at her, apparently amused.



Come see me if you have any troubles or pains, okay?
I'm usually in here.





Well, I guess this is technically our first item.

And it's the school nurse's phone number, kinda. What this does is let her message us. Yeah.



That just leaves one place left to go now. I was saving this one for last because it's by far the longest, so let's get to it.


Ryo Unami et al.
(sidenote: this covers the rest of the update)

Kisaragi







It's usually called a cafeteria, but sure. I guess that works too.

Usually everyone gathers here to talk, but...

Rui looks around and sees Ryo Unami reading quietly in the back.

Ah, there he is!
Hey, Ryu Unami!
Woncha come on over here for a second!

Ryo Unami smiles as he closes the book he was reading.

He stands up and as he starts to say something, he laughs and shakes his head.

He seems very calm, but Atsuki can tell he has a brighter side to him.



Who're you supposed to be with that weird voice?
You know the restaurant next to my office building?



Who is that? I don't know him.
Mika thought it was hilarious. Does everyone know him?
Ah, I see, sorry...
You weren't there when we went that time.
I have no idea when that was.
And I have no idea who this Mr. Tamotsu is.
Well, she's made this a strange first meeting.



Ryo is voiced by Todd Haberkorn, and that fact is the entire reason I learned this game existed at all. In the far flung year of like... 2009...ish, he was my favourite voice actor period. Naturally, that means he's also got a ton of roles including Genthru in Hunter x Hunter (2011), Akise Aru in Mirai Nikki, Natsu Dragneel in Fairy Tail, Allen Walker in D-Gray.Man and Firo Prochenaizo in Baccano!

I run a bookstore in Area7 called Tohodo.
No comics or magazines, but I have a lot of rare books.
Come on by sometime, if you're interested.
If Ryo gets a hold of you, it's Ancient Rome this...
And Middle Age architecture that. Nothing but history!
He'll talk about all kinds of weird stuff.
Ahaha, you make too much of it.



I only do that if they're knowledgeable.
Huh? Knowledgeable? Well, I gues you're right.
You don't talk to just anyone at length.
Come to think of it, you've never talked to Mika or me about difficult things.



Alright, I'll be going now.



Aah, Unami!

Rui tries to follow after Ryo, but it appears as though he has already gone.

Next time I see him, he'll get a low kick and I mean a LOW KICK!
I'll kick him so fast, he won't even see it.

Malum







Ohmygosh, ohmygosh! Are you two going out?!
Huh? What the...?
Don't play dumb! I have evidence!
Last night, Yamase and Saijo were found... kissing!



Ouch! Rui, that was mean! I can't believe you just hit me...
Oh, shut up!
Don't jut make stuff up, because there's no news.

...Again, this is seeming a bit... real.

Hehehe, sorry... I was just messing around.
But I do have a pretty good scoop.
Yeah? What's that?
Actually...

Mika moves close to Rui and whispers in her ear.



Why is Mika surprised...?

No way... Really?
If it all goes well, that could be a huge scoop.
I know! So you get my excitement, right?
Yeah! Do your best, Mika!



Seagull News is that broadcast we saw earlier, by the by.

Okay! Byebye!
You're not gonna cut class AGAIN, are you?!
It's okay for today!



It's just a local station, but she works for Seagull.



Only if this is in America. And even then, if she's specifically going for the Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting then... that's very, very hard for a single person to win. The last it happened was in 2010 when Raquel Rutledge (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) won for reporting on fraud and abuse in childcare. She was so thorough and efficient that despite being about local issues to Milwaukee it had effects on Wisconsin State, and America as a whole. Most winners for Local Reporting are either specific teams or the entire staff of a newspaper.

Okay, let's move on!

Mika Nozaki's Shinen hangs in the air.



Almost seemed like we weren't gonna get SIGMA here. Got a bit of Residual to scour through for... some reason.



Yesterday Incident

Scare Bell



Bona Fide



So, what do you think?
I like it.

Like usual, the alterative is pretty much objectively awful and bad. Subtlety and nuance with our dialogue options doesn't really exist, huh?





When I first saw it, I was like "what IS this?"
It seems like knights and witches would be here.



Know what? This school has a hundred year history.
I like to think of it as a cool, classy grandpa.

...Why?

Not only her words but also her Shinen show she has a strong love for the school.



Oh no... I haven't eaten anything.
I gotta get some bread, at least.
You should eat too, okay? See you later!





A second one of these already, eh? Definitely not complaining here.

Also, I think Rui looks weird without glasses here.


Rui's Residual Shinen lingers.

The nice thing about Residual is that it's in fixed locations, and has no possible error. This does mean that they take like 10 seconds (if not less) to do, but that's fine with me.



I Like School

Mirage



End



Now that we're done with the tour, we're getting skipped to the very end of the school day. We've got a lot of places to check out in the school, huh? Looks like it's everywhere in the school, except the art room. Might take a while...

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




This introduction to the cast doesn't really work to well IMO. Just too much of a mess and the translation isn't doing it any favors. Which is a shame, they're a likable enough bunch.

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!




Quite a fair few places to go today, huh? Let's start with the Quad, since it's apparently empty.

Kisaragi



It also contains insults about many people.

The owner's name is written on the back.

The name says "Takuya Inoue".



That's all there is here, so we're booted back to the map. We should probably return this to Takuya soon.



But it's our first actual item, so we'll take a quick look at it in our inventory. The QR Cards are just a wy of keeping track of those things we got last time from Honoka and Rui. They just display the same thing as they did before, even.



Anyway, speaking of Takuya he's hanging out in the computer room right now. Very high Anger level, though...




What do you want?

Atsuki shows him the notebook.

Huh?! W, why do you...



Gi- give it back!!



We could've come here without the notebook, but that's mostly just a waste of time. Takuya's still here, but has like one line of bland dialogue and then we just leave. Not worth the hassle.

Takuya grabs the notebook out of Atsuki's hand.



We've a lot of Sigma stuff to do this time around, by the way. Like every location we're going to has it. It's quite annoying.

This one's noteworthy since instead of being a regular Shinen we get from the Worm, its the book itself.



Okay, so, we have A Lot of these to go through today. If you want to see them like normal, you can do so here:


My Notes

Naturally, I recommend this. For the time being, we'll skip over them in-thread. I'll put them at the end of the update in a slightly different form than we're used to seeing...



Whatever!

Takuya scowls at Atsuki and runs off.

Well, that was odd.



Let's go back to class to talk to Akira. We kinda got very little out of him before after all.

Also, yes, you're seeing that correctly. On the Psychoviewing stuff Purple is used for Hatred. That one colour is used for three different things, two of which are antithetical to each other no less.




There's no one here but me. Did you forget something?
Or do you have some business with me?



So, last time it was very hard to get this emotion wheel thing wrong. This time, it's very hard to get it right. Out of the seven options here, six of them give you...



An Affection decrease. Anger, Dismay, Cool and Sadness make sense in some way. Surprise could go either way and while Laughter is ostensibly positive, here it gets parsed as laughing at him.

The sole exception is Happiness, which is the only actual positive response we can get from this. For a given definition of positive...






Well, sorry but...
Can you ask me tomorrow?
I'd just like to be alone right now.
Sorry. See ya.



So, it's worth noting that Akira relocates to the Quad more often than not here. This is pretty much option agnostic to a point. Some of the negative options cut it short, some don't. All the ones that carry on to here are functionally identical:







Akira's Anger goes up, he has one line of dialogue and we can use Sigma or leave. One of these is more helpful than the other.


Strong?



The ones that don't carry on to the Quad have Atsuki use Sigma in the classroom instead. Those ones don't get the Anger increase. This is both good and bad; Anger being a negative emotion is generally one we want to avoid, but it increasing can be paradoxically good despite that.

Emotions are in fact kept track of (a very rough version of this can be seen later) and all increases bring us closer to something. Usually it's Shinen or optional side stories and the like. Sometimes its a very bad thing that we want to avoid, though. This one is kind of just whatever. We're on plot rails for the time being, so we've gotta live with it either way.




Whatever. Stay here as long as you want.

Whisper



Akira Mido. Just like Rui Yamase says, he seems completely honest. Not two-faced. No secrets.
I can tell, because it's so easy to read his thoughts.



But there's darkness deep within his heart. Painful memories of someone who deceived him.
The memories have left a deep shadow on his heart.
Probably something to do with Silent. I need to investigate this further.



So, now that we're about halfway done with our options, we've... got a lot longer before we can leave school than it seems like. There's a reason for that.

Kisaragi



In the cafe after school... You meeting someone?
I'm waiting for Aoi.
She's making a list of old books she wants.
I've been here 10 minutes, so it may take awhile.

Whisper



I should try to use Sigma to look into his mind.

Kisaragi



Okay, another way to interact with people. 'Cos we didn't have enough of those already. This one is for a more general conversation, but it has its own quirks anyway. Info lets us ask about specific topic, Memory does nothing at all until later (we can't even select it) and Talk is for generic bits, like so:



Thanks. But I'm fine.
Aoi is pretty laid back, but she always keeps
her promises.

We can choose Talk again and get different dialogue, but it's two lines of generic chatter. And then one line of generic chatter. And then one different line of generic chatter. And then it loops. There's a few times when it's worth caring about and/or doing, though.



As for the Info menu, we have three things we can ask about. Might as well go in order.




He hasn't been feeling well recently.
He hasn't come to school in two weeks.
I'm into art history, but I'm no good at painting.
So I'm always secretly reading in class.
And, to be honest, I don't know him that well.

Like before, we could ask about Arthur again but he just says the same thing. Pretty much verbatim, even.



So let's ask about the school instead.




Both my father and my grandfather studied here.
Lots of good teachers.
But there are a few with personality problems.

We've met two teachers so far. Hard to say from that what he means by "personality problems," but Takano is definitely an example of they're pretty... different.



Just leaves the last option, then. The one that's obviously plot relevant and we were outright told is what we need to progress. Ryo works well as a decent enough tutorial for this mechanic because of that.






Immediate Sigma sequence here.

Smart Hobby





What about it?
Anyway, she's so late!
I'm gonna go see what's going on.
See you later.



Order doesn't matter here, by the way. We can do Aoi and Ryo however we like. Neither one affects the other's scene.

Sunny Spot





Aoi's a pretty simple version of this as well, for what it's worth. We're not told upfront what the way to progress is, though, which is the only real difference between here and Ryo's.

Talk



I'll help you out any way I can, you know.
Talk to me about anything.

Talk (2)



I'll think of some way to help, so tell me anything.
You just transferred here, so you're still shy, huh?
Any little thing is okay...
Come talk to me about anything, okay?



Info gives us the same choices as before, so we might as well go in order again.



Arthur Mays is the art teacher.
He's not feeling well, so he's taking some time off.
I'm a bit worried...
He hasn't contacted me recently. I hope he's okay.
I should think of something to do for him.



You don't have to worry about him.
We'll take care of him.
Please look forward to Arthur's return.

Info > Kisaragi School



I hope you can get along with everyone here.

...Yep, that's it.

Info > Morning PC Room



No, I haven't gone in there yet today.
Why do you ask?



Ah... Is it...

Aoi's expression changes.

With that, her Shinen starts to swirl up.

Shinji Naruse





No idea who that is. They were the only person Aoi noticed was missing from class, though...

I know he's doing something wrong...
Um... please don't get upset with him about it.
He's just really curious, that's all.
I'll talk to him about it, too.
Please don't worry about him, okay?
I'm trusting you.



Just leaves the Nurse's Office left to go to, then.

Bucolica



Or, wait...
Don't tell me you don't know the way home?



Yep, another one of these again. This segment is basically an extended introduction to this, for some reason.

Talk



Hahaha, oh my God. I wasn't serious, you know.
Even if you just moved, you won't get lost at your age.
Oh, but there was one kid with NO sense of direction.
He'd get lost even on roads he was familiar with.
Hahaha, if you ever get lost, come to me, okay?

I think if I can do that, then I'm not actually lost.

This didn't help us out with figuring out what to talk to Honoka about. We do have a couple clues though; she's a nurse and Arthur is off sick (just gonna have to ignore that we met him at about 1am this morning and he seemed fine). Seems like we should save that one for last to me.


Info > Kisaragi School



Don't tell me you're sick of this school already?
Sure, it's got its problems.
But comapred to other schools, I think it's nice!
All you need is to get used to it and make some friends.

Wow, that's pretty casually savage. Anyway, talking to her about Kisaragi School again is kinda just a repeat of the same question she asked here, but with this useful line:



This is a good thing to bear in mind and serves as her actually giving us a tutorial.

Yes, what is easily the simplest mechanic we've had thus far is the one that gets the most direct tutorialising. Don't think about that decision too hard.


Info > Morning PC Room



Or, do you need something with me personally?
Someone told you, right?
It's embarassing, but I'm just incompatible, I guess.
I was always bad with electronics. Anything I touch



Y'know, I don't think this is meant to be a reference to Good Omens, but I can't help but parse it as one anyway.

So out of fear, I've never even touched a PC.
So... hahaha...
I've never set a single foot in the PC room.

Info > Arthur Mays





Seriously, I wonder what happened...

Arthur





I mean, he stays in his room for days doing one painting.
It'd be weird if he didn't get unhealthy.
I couldn't do it.
When you think about it, artists have a hard job.
You feel better now? Go home for the day.
See you later.

Whisper





Yeah, so that boy we met very, very briefly this morning was Shinji. Natural conclusion from speaking with Aoi, at least.

He was in the PC room, but the Residual Shinen there says he isn't involved.
He saw the mail by chance and is checking it out.



If she involved in last night's incident, Shinen would say so.
She can't be the target.
But there's something about that painting.
Shinen of such despair and sorrow is very rare.
I need to look into this again later on.



Her Shinen tells me she is some kind of reporter.
Chances she's involved in the incident are low.



So far, I have not found anything dangerous.



He'd only be in the PC room to study.
He can't be the target either.



Bristly Shinen, but he wasn't involved either.
I should check up on him later, just in case.



Worried about the art teacher, but unrelated to the incident.



Seems like a great teacher.
Seems totally unrelated to the incident.



I also sense a deep darkness.
I need to check up on him more later on.

Lux De Luna



Ah, good, we're finally done with school. The rest of the day is ours to do with as we please. Sorta. We can't go literally anywhere, of course. Still, at least we can go to different and new places. That's gotta count for something.

Do that later though. First, we're gonna go to FORT right quick.



There's an option in there to view Shinen we've collected from people. This isn't a perfect option, since it lacks the colour coding, the fancy visuals, the music and all Residual Shinen. It works well enough here, though.

As for the thing on the bottoms screen, that's how you select what Shinen to review. Yeah it's clunky. The colour matches the correct emotional state for the time, but the size and position are completely arbitrary and don't correlate with anything. Pretty much just style over substance, really.








Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




If you do Cool to Akira in the classroom you instantly cut to the Sigma sequence. I didn't know that you could improve other emotion points with him there.

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


I have forgotten most of this game but I remember it's mostly intelligible at this point.

Psycho Knight
Jan 19, 2017

"Being a fangame and not bound to a rating, Pokemon Reborn is able to expand more on topics such as death and the extreme dangers Pokemon could pose. These topics...are treated with the respect such a subject deserves."

Let's throw a Medicham into a volcano and make it give the T2 thumbs up!

Polsy posted:

This was actually Americanised - he says 5 million yen. Apparently the character profile is right to be suspicious.



My bad, I assumed that this was one of those lovely (Convert Yen to Dollar) translation errors that gets made constantly. I'm surprised that they correctly adjusted that while doing such a bad job on everything else.

Dragonatrix posted:

There's no one here but me. Did you forget something?
Or do you have some business with me?



"Happy" is one way to describe the expression that Atsuki is making. Looks more like he's about to confess some deep personal feelings, assuming that colour is representing blushing.

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Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


HI there, folks. I'm sure you've noticed by now that the forums are just a tiny bit On Fire. This is absolutely deserved because this situation is, quite frankly, utter garbage.

For understandable reasons, odds are good that this won't be finishing up (definitely not on here at least) anytime ever.

I won't begrudge anyone who doesn't feel comfortable posting on this site any more because of Lowtax being a physically abusive piece of poo poo. I know I don't at least.

If you're not in it already, all I can recommend for site-related stuff specifically related to LPs right now is joining the official Unofficial Let's Play Discord. Other subforums are making their own too, so check your regular haunts for those.

Other things are, of course, to take care of yourselves at this time. I liked to use this site as a way to frequently ignore that the outside world is kind of an awful mess right now, and that's stopped being possible today. I can only imagine that it's so much worse for some other people.

Lastly, it's included in the announcement already, but abuse is absolutely not a joke and claims should be taken seriously. If you know of any local shelters or organisations that deal with (domestic) abuse and could use your help, I can only urge you to do what you can.

Whatever happens, God bless and it's been fun.

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