And Still It Whispers to Me

Digital Incorrectness is going to be a little more serious today, I promise this won’t be the trend! It’s mostly odd timing so soon after my previous article, but a game I was starting to fear would never get released in English, Narcissu 2, was finally released over the weekend, I immediately grabbed it and planned to go through it. As an added bonus, tomorrow I will have an interview with the person who spearheaded the translation project, Agilis of http://www.Neechin.net . So here is my personal review of Narcissu 2.

The Installer.

The installer is easy enough to understand with a wonderful interface, it even includes the original Narcissu for those that missed out. I highly recommend going through it first if you haven’t. You get to choose your translator, and whether to have voices or without. (I recommend with voices, and personally I enjoy Agilis’ translation most, though they’re all good, strong translations.)

The Interface

The interface, what’s there is very nice and clean, though they had some issues with the menu. It includes a list of hot keys for things like fast forward, skip, even choosing the text speed. While not necessary I wish this small issue had been fixed. Not because it needed it but because this is probably the only major flaw I’ve found in Narcissu 2.

Story.

Narcissu is all story, being a visual novel without options, it was designed and it’s entire purpose is to tell a beautifully sad story. As some of you may or may not know I have some health issues, and occasional am forced to visit the hospital for them. Narcissu and Narcissu 2 (it’s prequel) are about life with chronic diseases, in particular a small hospital in Japan, and even more specific, the 7th floor of the hospital, where people are all but left to die.

It talks about the melancholy they feel when people pity them, the guilt they feel with the burden they place on their families, and their small struggles to smile everyday. A wonderfully sad tale that I am a bit close to.

Compared to the first the story is still as compelling, has you empathize very strongly with the characters and leads you through a narrative where you know the ending before it starts, but it still manages to catch you off guard emotionally.

Visuals

The visuals are very limited, tiny little sections of the screen, whether the small size of the visuals makes them impact you more or less, I can’t say, but their choice of visuals and the limited visibility in them help to set the tone that everything including you feels so small, so limited. The images are usually pretty simple, with many re-used ones, sometimes with a different hue attached to it. While not outstanding in any sense, even for a visual novel, they serve their purpose.

Music

The OST in Narcissu is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard, and Narcissu 2nd Side follows the tradition. With haunting melodies that can send chills down your spine, and music that can almost lift your spirit in the face of such a sad topic, Narcissu’s soundtrack is a must hear for anybody that loves instrumentals.

Overall.

Overall all it is a wonderfully polished read, a beautiful story, an interface and visuals that serve their purpose, a beautiful soundtrack. And at the price of ‘free’ I can’t recommend it enough. If you enjoy this kind of story at all, take a look at it. I’ll post the site below where you can read about it and download it. And I want to send my thanks to all of the people who made this game, and to the hard working volunteers that translated it, for letting me enjoy such a wonderfully done game.

Narcissu 2nd Side Web Site –  http://neechin.net/narcissu/

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