Now it’s time for a short review of an indy game introduced to me by my good friend. She posted the website to download this game on my Facebook Timeline, noting that it’s similar to Corpse Party. Obviously, I was immediately interested, but the problem is it cannot be played on a Mac iOS. Because of that, I had to wait until I had a chance to play it in my university’s library computer lab last Tuesday, while waiting for my exam to start (In case you are wondering, it’s PE >_>. So don’t worry about me not having enough time to review for it).
It was a fairly short game, considering how I could clear it in just a few hours before my exam starts. However, it was also a pretty fun game to play. So without further adieu, let’s get into the review!
Note that aside from points where I specified otherwise, my opinion is always completely objective and built up from an absolutely neutral point. While the title is called a ‘Review’, this article is nothing more than an experience sharing session of someone who has played the game.
* This review will contain spoilers to [Misao]. Please proceed at your own risk.
* This game contains grotesque imagery and depicts violence, murder, bullying, and sexual assault. Be warned that there are also many scenes in which characters do and say unpleasant things. Playing this game is strictly forbidden for those unable to make a clear distinction between reality and fantasy. (credit)
Misao is a freeware horror adventure game by a developer named “Sen”. The game was created using ‘WOLF RPG Editor’.
The game was originally in Japanese, but it was translated to English by a kind person under the name “vgperson”.
You can download the game from here.
The story starts with Aki, the main protagonist, hearing a strange voice saying:
Aki reckons it was the voice of Misao, her classmate who disappeared 3 months ago, but was not sure about it. Later that day, during school, Aki heard Misao’s voice again. After that, an earthquake occurred and when she woke up, Aki found that her school was taken to ‘The Otherworld’, created by the vengeful spirit of ‘Misao’.
Why was she taken to this place?
What happened to Misao and why is she cursing everyone?
Aki decides to step up and free this school, plagued by the horrible curse.
Much similar to Corpse Party, this game is a horror adventure game focused on exploration, puzzle solving, and scavenger hunt. You take the role of Aki and explore the haunted school, filled with death traps and plagued by evil spirits. To clear the game, you have collect six ‘Parts’ that will help you lift the curse from the school and return to your world.
There is no battle against spirits in this game; you will have to outsmart the evil spirits haunting the schools to get items for your next clue.
Exploration and Graphics
The game was created using a program called ‘WOLF RPG Editor’, so as you might expect, the graphics is sprite-based. If you’ve played Corpse Party: Blood Covered before, you’ll get an idea of how the game works. Fortunately, Aki moves pretty fast on the screen, so getting around places does not take too long. This also helps a lot during one spirit-chase sequence to get an item.
If you’ve never played Corpse Party before, then try imagining old sprite-based RPGs on NES like the older Final Fantasy games.
In this game, there are 9 items that will help you solve certain puzzle, outsmart some spirits, or needed to collect the necessary ‘parts’ to clear the game. You will find these items scattered around the school for you to collect. Some items, like the coins for vending machine, are meant to be used only once, while the others, like the iron bat, is used many times in the game.
The goal of this game is to collect these six ‘Parts’ and use them to lift the curse from this school. Some are pretty easy to locate, while the others’ are more subtly hidden.
After the first time you visited the library, you will be able to use ‘Warp’. Warp allows you to travel to the ‘Library’ or ‘Student Council’ rooms instantly. Library is where you can ask for hints, and Student Council room is basically your save point.
Pressing ‘C’ or ‘SHIFT’ key on your keyboard allows you to perform a ‘Quick Save’. If you happen to get caught in a death trap or killed by vengeful spirits, you will restart on the spot you made a quick save. This is extremely helpful because the school is filled with death traps and you never know when you will accidentally trigger a trap. You can continue from Quick Saves unlimited amount of times, but the quick save itself is deleted immediately when you quit the game. So be sure to make a hard save at the Student Council room before you quit.
As mentioned earlier, there are several death traps and vengeful spirits roaming this school. Curiosity and adventurous spirit can very easily punish the player off-guard.
Similar to Corpse Party’s [Wrong Ends], triggering these traps instantly end your game (there is no collectable list of ending for you to complete however). Some of the death traps are obvious, while others are extremely subtle; you won’t know that it’s there until you accidentally trigger it. On the other hand, there are some traps that just plain trolls you or punish you for being curious or adventurous. Those include the ‘telephone trap’ in the science lab and the ‘note’ near the school entrance.
For main game, there are a total of 3 endings for you to choose from – Bad, Good (normal), or ‘Truth’. The ending is determined by a certain choice you made after collecting all the six ‘parts’ (as a result, you can make a separate save file that allows you to get multiple endings in a single run).
I got the ‘Truth’ Ending on my first run, because the option that leads to a ‘Good’ ending seems a little too convenient. If I have the time, I’ll try to get the other endings.
That said, I don’t even know how to trigger the ‘Bad Ending’.
After clearing the game on the ‘Truth Ending’, a short post-game mode of sort would be unlocked. In this mode, you will discover the events that occurred after the Truth Ending of the main game, as well as unveil certain events that were not explained in main game. This mode is fairly short and there isn’t really a game play in this one – just a simple exploration and text reading.
Oh, and that thing in the room’s corner is this mode’s save point by the way.
Upon clearing the [Truth] Mode, you will be allowed to enter a secret password. Type it down and you will be allowed to enter the Bonus Room, similar to the Oracle Room of Star Ocean 1. Inside, there’ll be various sprites used in the game. Conversing with them reveals behind-the-scenes information such as their original designs and the creator’s intention for the character.
I really love these kinds of bonus because it’s fun to read the creator’s comments and learn the behind-the-scenes facts of elements in the game before they become the final product that we know.
[Male Aki] Mode
After clearing the game once (not sure if it has to be on Truth Ending), you can replay the game using the ‘male version’ of Aki (I believe he is supposedly named ‘Akito’). I have yet tried this mode, but I sure will in the future. I heard that male Aki has slightly different personality from female Aki.
My only real gripe basically sums down to ‘the game was a little too short’.
Like I said, I cleared the game in just a couple of hours before my exam starts, even though I got lost and had to look up Google for the walkthrough.
Plus, I really would have prefer it if more story was built up before Aki proceeds to cleanse the school of the curse. I mean, the whole story’s setting was too convenient. Aki had Misao telling her to ‘Find me’, and suddenly, when they are magically taken to the haunted school, Aki became determined right away to save Misao. If the story built up how Aki thought of Misao as a friend when the story started, instead of explaining it in the post-game chapter, it would have made everything a lot more solid.
Finally, this might be a mistake on my part due to having limited time to play this, but I thought that the ‘Lily in the vase’ puzzle’s hint was a little too subtle. I absolutely had no idea that the blackboard in front of the school was pointing to the seats where we had to put the lilies in, until I watched the Walkthrough. Same goes for the Science Lab’s computer code. Where are you supposed to get those codes anyway?
Then again, if I had more time to play this, then this might have not bothered me.
Despite being a little too short, this game is pretty fun. And for an indy game, this one is definitely not bad either. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being ‘awesome’, this game gets a solid 8 from me.
Considering how this game was not made by professional developers, I have to say the creator of this game really did well in putting everything together. The game itself was pretty fun and the various traps, including the troll ones, are definitely amusing. If you guys enjoyed Corpse Party: Blood Covered, then I really recommend you try out this game.
And that’s it for my review. Hope you guys enjoyed reading it, and I’ll see you again next time. As for now, I am looking into another horror adventure game, Mad Father, created and translated by the same creator and translator.