Partway through chapter 3 of Umineko no Naku Koro ni
(just found out about Kuwadorian), and is it wrong that ( spoilers for Battler's romantic prospects )
Anyway, since I didn't really pimp it in my last post, I would definitely recommend Umineko
to a lot of you on the flist who may be unfamiliar with it (especially with the less weeaboo of you).
Essentially it's a visual novel of the family drama-slash-murder mystery-slash-logic game (with possibly paranormal elements?) genre with hilarious characters and awesome music. Basically, as it's a visual novel your interaction is limited and primarily mental - your physical interaction mostly consists of clicking to advance the text - so it's not really a video game per se
. However, it's still pretty gripping.Umineko no Naku Koro ni
("When the Seagulls Cry") follows a hotheaded, boob-loving 18-year-old guy named Battler, who's returning to the island owned by his wealthy family, the Ushiromiyas - the island of Rokkenjima - for the first time in six years. While there with his father and stepmother, he is reunited with family members he hasn't seen in years - his cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandfather - and family servants. When a legend that the family received its wealth from the Golden Witch Beatrice in his grandfather's day resurfaces during the family meeting, stirring up discontent among relatives fighting over grandpa's inheritance, things get bad. When a typhoon closes the island off from the outside world for two days, things get worse. When people start dying, the shit really hits the fan, and no one knows who will survive - or whether anyone will - until the typhoon ends and the seagulls once again begin to cry.
The game is divided into "chapters," each of which tells the story of these two days slightly differently. The series revolves around the "for want of a nail" trope; the appearance of an extra person on the island before the meeting begins, for example, or the choice of a character to go to the guest house instead of the main house means that events change, and different people die at different times (or even survive). After the first chapter a framework arises into which all the later chapters fall - a contest of logic, how that logic can be twisted, and of whether the story is a mystery or a fantasy.
Or, to sum it up: It's like Phoenix Wright: Ace Logician with Adell and Rozalin of Disgaea 2, but from the makers of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
(so, set in a Groundhog Day loop with frequent violent, horrible death). Alternately heartwarming and gruesome. There's an anime and a manga of it, too - as with Higurashi - but I've heard mixed things about the anime. I can definitely vouch for the game, though!
For those of you who would like to try it out, and don't mind resorting to somewhat illegal methods to do so*, you can find the game available to download here
. (Or at least the first four chapters - the "question" arcs - which introduce you to the world and give you all the clues you truly need to solve it, though it won't make it easy. The "answer" arcs are still being released - two have come out so far, with two yet to come out - which will resolve most if not all of the questions raised in the question arcs and give us the solution, as well as presumably an ending for our characters that doesn't involve most/all of them dying horribly.)
The translation can be found here
(protip: if you use non-Japanese Windows or Mac, use the translation program to install the game from the CD image).* If you do object, the translation site has a link to the free demo from the creators' website, which contains the first chapter only.
...Now, I probably need to get back to that paper draft which needs to be sent out tonight...curse my work and its insistence on getting in the way of my fun time!