So after clearing [Misao], I’ve decided to play the second game developed by the same creator.
Yay for a game with the word ‘Mad’ in it. XD
Needless to say, I was excited about it. This time around, I played the game on my mom’s PC while she was out running errands. The game itself is longer than Misao and the game play programming was a lot more streamlined than Misao.
However, upon clearing the game … let’s just say I’m not really happy with what I see in the True Ending. So this review is going to have two scores: A completely fair and objective score and my personal score for the game.
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 [Mad Father]. 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)
(This was a forewarning for [Misao], but it applies HEAVILY for this game as well)
Mad Father is a free downloadable game made within the Wolf RPG Editor by Sen (The Miscreant’s Room). The game was originally released in Japanese Language, but it was translated by vgboy.
You can download the game from here.
Aya lives in a secluded mansion with her father Alfred and his assistant Maria. A year ago, her mother, Monika, supposedly passed away from illness. One night on the eve of the anniversary of her mother’s death, Aya is awaken by her father’s scream, only to find her home is now plagued with walking corpses. Refusing to leave without her father and seeking to save him, Aya now faces the horrors of her father’s dark secrets.
Like Misao, this game is a horror adventure game focused on exploration, puzzle solving, and scavenger hunt. You take the role of Aya Drevis and explore her manor, now plagued by the curse of an evil spirit. Unlike [Misao], the game does not end simply by just collecting items. You will have to plunge deep into the manor and uncover the dark secrets of Aya’s father.
Once again, there is no battle in this game; you will have to outsmart the walking dead, sneak pass them, or even trapping them some times.
Exploration and Graphics
The game was created using a program called ‘WOLF RPG Editor’, just like Misao. However, the graphics this time around is much more beautiful and detailed. In Misao, the sprites looked like the game was in an 8-bit era. The sprites in this one look more modern and detailed. I would like to say it reminds me of SNES’s Rockman 7 sprites’ colors.
The environment within the game is also a heck lot creepier and more nerve racking. I was actually very nervous while I explore each room in the game, unlike in Misao where I just simply run around place and hit Quicksave whenever I suspect that I’m about to trigger some troll traps.
The 21 Gems
These gems are optional collectables, as far as I know. Collecting all of them unlocks the gallery mode and a small cutscene after you get the true ending. These gems are scattered about the whole manor in a form of glowing orbs on the ground. Some of these gems also required that you do extra fetch quests or puzzles.
Aki gets the iron bat while Aya gets the chainsaw. Oh, lovely.
Pressing the C or SHIFT key equips Aya with the Mini-Chainsaw (after you picked it up). You can use this chainsaw to break barrels or cut various stuffs that are blocking your way. Sadly, you can’t use this against the hostile spirits or monsters.
Don’t even try.
There will be times when monsters caught on to you. In such case, mash the button as indicated to shake free of the monster. You must do so before the life bar on top right is completely depleted.
Death Traps are back. And while they still end your game when triggered, they are not as unforgiving and abundant as in Misao. As far as I recall, there is only one troll trap that I’ve encountered, but it was due to my own curiosity.
Since you no longer have the Quicksave to protect you, you will need to save your game a lot. Luckily, the save point (a crow) is scattered all over the mansion in literally every other room where you can possibly screw up (so you can restart there should you mess up anything).
Once again, there are multiple endings in this game – two bad endings and the ‘True’ ending, which is equally messed up. And in fact, the game’s True Ending is what caused me to have second thoughts about this game’s score. I’ll put the spoiler and explain why after giving the game its unbiased score below.
I heard that in the second play through, there would be notes scattered about the mansion, reinforcing the truth that happens in the true ending. I haven’t played the second round, but honestly, one round of that ending is already enough.
To be honest, I don’t really have any significant unbiased gripe with the game aside from the True Ending, which I will be explaining below.
The game play was a lot more streamline than Misao and the storytelling was done many times better. There’s really not much I have against the game. Well, if there are any, then it might be these two:
- They could have allowed you to use the chainsaw to cut more stuffs or at least defend yourself. I mean, you only get to use it for a couple of times after you get it. Really felt like it should have a little more use.
- The grappling system is basically “Press X to not die”, much like Silent Hill: Origins’ grappling system. It was a great idea to duel against the hostile monsters, but rather blank and empty.
Overall, if you only focus on the game play aspect, this is an extremely fun horror adventure game.
This game is definitely fun and the game play is a lot more polished than Misao.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being ‘awesome’, this game gets a solid 9 from me.
Seriously, for an indie game, this game is very fun and the scare factors hit right on the spot. The whole game was a lot more nerve racking than Misao and I was actually paranoid when moving about the dark spaces. I honestly can’t find the big flaws to attack this game. And since I don’t give any game a 10 out of 10 (unless it’s a biased score), 9 pretty much means a full score.
If you like horror adventure games with puzzles, give this game a try. At least in terms of gameplay, it will definitely not disappoint you.
My ‘Personal’ Reception of the Game
I make this section because the biggest gripe I had with game is significantly subjective and personal. Obviously, my ‘personal’ score for this game will be lower than what I gave above.
This section contains full spoiler to Mad Father’s True Ending, so do not highlight the following part if you do not wish to be spoiled.
Aya’s Father, Alfred Drevis, is a scientist that conducts experiment on living humans. He works in his underground laboratory with his assistant, Maria, who he has an affair with behind his wife’s back, Monika Drevis (Aya’s mother). Monika knows of this and is obviously pissed, but she seems to love him very much, so she did not speak a word. This was how the story started out and we were not given any other background aside from the fact that Monika died due to sickness.
At this point, I speculated that Alfred wanted to create a perfectly beautiful body for his sickly wife and bring her back to life should she passes away.
The game starts and after a while into the game, we found out that it was Aya’s mother who placed the curse on this house. She wishes to take Alfred away with her to the after life. In the end, Aya has no choice but to sprinkle the ‘Magic Water’ onto her mother to exorcize her and save her father. However, a horrible twist occurred when, at the blink of fading, Aya’s mother shows her a flash back of the past.
Monika reveals to Aya that Alfred wants to turn Aya into a doll. Basically, he wants to preserve her and put her on display as doll.
Why? Because he’s a psychopath.
As a result, Aya attempts to run from this maniac but trips over a doll nearby. Before that maniac chainsaw his own daughter (It was to stop her from running. He excused that he can fix her legs by putting long skirts that covered the sliced legs up. Yeah right, asshole), Maria stopped the psycho by stabbing him with knives. Prior to the final confrontation with Aya’s mother, Aya read Maria’s diary in her room and gets to understand Maria’s feeling a little better. Maria was left to die on the street, but Alfred picked her up, planning to use her as his test subject. However, upon seeing her medical prowess from healing another test subject up in one night, he decides that she is useful and wants to keep her around for a while.
Anyway, upon reading the diary, Maria and Aya began to bond up. As a result, she gives Aya full respect and saves Aya from the very man she loves. The scene ends with the manor being burned down at the request of one of the spirits haunting the manor, so that no one else would be able to take on Alfred’s work.
To be honest, if the ending ended with a twist there, I would have been absolutely happy. But, well, the game says, “No no no. Let’s see what happens a couple of years later”.
Oh yes, before that, during the event where Aya and Maria are leaving the mansion, Aya happens to pick up a red textbook that was seen lying in Alfred’s lab. The game never directly tells us what the book was about; the scene simply cuts off to an event years afterwards. A poor young sickly girl travels up the mountains to see a doctor who was rumored to give ‘free treatment’. Knocking on the door, that doctor is none other than Aya Drevis, who has grown up into an adult. The sickly girl introduces herself as Jean Rooney. Aya brings Jean inside to a patient room and lets her lie down on a bed. As Aya begins her treatment, she comments something along the lines of, “You have such beautiful eyes, Jean. Don’t worry, you will no longer suffer any pain.”
The scene cuts off to the room nearby where Maria, who did not appear to age one bit even though Aya is now grown up, was seen standing still and commenting, “She is so much like you, doctor.”
Aya took after her father’s obsession in preserving living people into dolls. Maria herself also seems to have been turn into a doll, but since she respects Aya, she does not seem to show any signs of resentment. The book Aya picked up probably belonged to her father, containing his research notes, and it is what drove her insane like her father.
The second run of the game was said to have ‘memos’ written by Monika and Alfred scattered around the mansion, which further emphasize how Aya actually shows sign of have mental instability since her young age and reinforce the feasibility of this ‘true’ ending.
With all that spoiler out of the way, here are the ‘personal’ gripes I have with this game:
- I absolutely loathe horror stories than ended with ‘everyone dies’ and ‘protagonist takes over the works of the antagonist’. These kinds of endings give the vibe that “all we did were in vain” and “I watched / played the movie / game for nothing”. I mean let’s face it – You struggled getting through the whole game only to get an ending that was almost a ‘Screw you’ in the face.
I am not saying that games where protagonists die or something like that are all bad. But it must not give the vibe that “All that we did was for nothing”. For instance, Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core is an example of a game where the protagonist dies in the end (and we even know that before hand), but it did not feel like his death was in vain.
In a much closer example, if perhaps, Aki did stay with Misao in the after life, I wouldn’t mind that as well since everything was ‘settled’.
The only exception to this case is if a sequel is obviously promised at the end (like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest).
- Minor gripe, but this game did not have the bonus room. Honestly, I love that Bonus Room feature from Misao, but as far as I know, this game does not have something like that. If it does, feel free to tell me how to access it.
- Finally, this is completely personal, but here’s a picture of Jean, the girl who went to get a treatment from Aya in the true ending. Looks familiar? If not, then this might help explain why this is totally personal.
So yeah, these are all my complaints to this game – all of which are completely subjective and personal. That’s why I cannot include these in the main review.
For all the points mentioned above, my personal score for this game is 6 out of 10.
The true ending was the biggest turn off for me, among all my personal gripes, and it was also the major impact on my personal score. In fact, I’m still pissed off about it right now. If the ending had just end at the twist I mentioned above, I would totally have no complaints with this game.
And so that’s it for my review. Hope you guys enjoyed reading it, and I’ll see you again next time.