Tag Archive: serial killer

Notch Main

She runs through the darkened forest with wild abandon. Tree branches slash her face as twigs snap savagely against her ankles, fleeing with hardly a glance towards the ground. Her lungs burn. Her eyes piercingly sting with each tear ripped out by the wind. As she falls to the ground, she wishes with all her might that things would end differently…

In its own corner of the world, a small island village quietly waits for the world to remember – or perhaps, forget – that it exists. A once bustling tourist location, it is all but deserted of visitors from far off lands; only leaving its dwindling number of citizens to carry on its legacy. This is a town that lives forever by its olden ways: there is no true government, simply two rich and powerful families that rule over the town from their far off estates in the forest; there is also no hospital, simply family doctors who tend the ill and injured. The town is peaceful; it’s residents content with life…

Notch Girls

However, when young girls begin showing up mutilated and murdered, the townsfolk hardly know how to handle the situation. With peace shattered and an unknown killer residing in the area, it can be hard to know who to even turn to. But when those we love are brutally taken from us, it tends to strike vengeance and determination into our very core.

…Nanami didn’t deserve to die…

Notch – The Innocent LunA: Eclipsed SinnerS is a supernatural murder mystery Visual Novel developed by Angels Blue Digital Entertaiment and DEZ Studio. The player takes on the roll of the main protagonist: a young man seeking to save the girl he loves after she is slain in cold blood. He sets out to speak with the two ruling families about the murders but uncovers a much deeper rooted cause than anyone could have ever anticipated – mass killings, abusive relationships, families ripped apart, torture, lies, forbidden resurrection, alternate dimensions, pacts with devils and the enslavement of gods.

Notch Sister

To begin with, the story is beautiful, sad and captivating from the basic premise surrounding the main character and Nanami to all of the additional characters met that weave such integral pieces to the tale. The masters of each ruling family try to recover from the murder of their households all the while grasping tightly to dark secrets from nearly twenty years past. Meanwhile, the protagonist comes across numerous intriguing personalities on his journey to save Nanami: the caring and mysterious maid, Hitomi, who works for one of the ruling families; Rika, a dainty mute girl in a tragically abusive relationship; Saki, another almost-victim of the brutal killer; and Misa, a mysterious lolita-esque girl with abilities to traverse dimensions. Throughout the title, in learning their stories they both add greatly to the overall atmosphere as well as create a unique diversity whilst moving the main story along. It draws the player in quickly and does a fairly good job of holding their attention despite one of the game’s main flaws.

Aesthetically, the game provides a beautiful mixture of art and music styles. From anime/manga style drawings of the female characters to almost pastel sketches and water colors; the drastic contrast presents a beautiful landscape in which the story is portrayed. Oftentimes a picture can be worth so much more than words and it certainly rings true in this case. Additionally adding to the landscape would be the soundtrack. Made up of serenading piano arrangements, soft melancholic vocal tracks and even epic rock anthems (a la boss music) provide a near perfect backdrop for a majority of the scenes throughout the game.

Notch Misa

Unfortunately, there is one jarringly disruptive feature that nearly destroys all other beacons of recommendation: the writing. It is understood that translation can sometimes be attributed to sentences being a little off or seemingly simple, but this goes beyond that. Simple wording and sentences can be easily excused; however, it is the unnecessary repetition that is truly insanity inducing. After a few hours of playing the game, the writing became so frustrating that I found myself simply tapping the Enter key non-stop and skimming the lines as they quickly went by. The story is phenomenal, but I understood what was meant the first time it was said…the additional 15 statements trying to explain and send the sentiment home were just overkill. It demonstrates that its fast forward feature simply could never be fast enough. Take for example the following excerpt (keep in mind, this is but a mild example):

“I tried to stay alive…I didn’t surrender in the face of brutal tortures…But you didn’t come to see me…I was waiting for an impossible dream…”

“Don’t cry…I live to atone for my sin…Now I have redeemed my sin…I don’t expect you to forgive me…I am unworthy of being forgiven…I hope you can have a happy life from now on…I am going to die…but you can still enjoy your life in this world…I don’t expect your forgiveness. I just want my inner world to regain peace…I am going to say goodbye to you…I don’t regret trading my life for yours. I can have a chance to say sorry to you..I finally did this…Promise me you’ll have a good life…”

…and this goes on, even still.

Aside from that glaringly (oftentimes obnoxious) detail, Notch – The Innocent LunA: Eclipsed SinnerS is a game that will entrance and mystify. You will truly be drawn in by the art, music and story and yearn to find out more – if you can slog through the endless streams of unnecessary text. Should you decide to give this one a try, the 14 endings that, despite their differences, remain curiously connected will offer plenty of replay value. It is a story that will stay with you – at least in part – long after it is through.

Will the killer be brought to justice or remain free?

Will you be able to save anyone?

Will you be able to save yourself?

Notch Bloody

I hope someday you will forgive me.


Death Note

Do you know shinigami love apples?

For those who may not know: a shinigami is a god of death and every god of death is given a death note (a black covered notebook) of which to write down the names of humans to die; a way of extending their own lives and maintaining the overall balance of life.  A fact that may not be so surprising is that shinigami aren’t exactly known for their upstanding moral attributes and when boredom strikes one particular shinigami named Ryuk, he decides it would be a fun idea to “accidentally” drop a Death Note into the human world for someone to pick up.  That particular someone just so happens to be a young man named Light Yagami – a perfect student readying for college with superior intelligence, good looks, and popularity.  Light quickly understands and accepts the Death Note and Ryuk; the more he learns, the more power he realizes is at his disposal.  He then concocts a plan that will change the face of evil within the world. He decides he will become Justice.

However, the Death Note is not merely a blank notebook where anything goes – there are strict rules and warnings which must be followed – no exceptions.  These rules are written in the worlds most popular language – English – so that the greatest percentage of people would be able to comprehend.  A few of these many rules include:

1. The human whose name is written in the note shall die.

2. The note will not take effect unless the writer has the person’s face in their mind when writing his/her name.  Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected.

3. If the cause of death is written within 40 seconds of writing the person’s name, it will happen.

4. If the cause of death is not specified, the person will simply die of a heart attack

5. After writing the cause of death, details of the death should be written in the next 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

6. The note shall become the property of the human world, once it touches the ground of (arrives in) the human world.

7. The owner of the note can recognize the image and voice of its original owner, i.e. a god of death.

8. The human who uses this note can neither go to Heaven nor Hell.

While many other rules are written, even shinigami do not know everything of which the notebook is or is not capable of.  Information on the shinigami themselves (such as how to kill a shinigami) are for the most part left unknown, even to them.

Suddenly, the world begins to notice a trend of killings and this mysterious, un-named murdered becomes known as Kira (due to its similarity to the English word “killer”).  Kira does not just randomly choose his victims but rather kills only criminals. This becomes his own way of purging the world of evil; setting an example for others of what happens to those who stray off the path of righteousness.  Kira is unique from most serial killers though in numerous ways; the most significant difference being that the only thing Kira needs in order to kill is a name and a picture.  It is soon realized that only criminals who have been reported on the news or internet are being killed. People fear what they do not understand and as no one knows of the death note (and even if they did it would only instill more fear), this information sends people into a panic to protect their true identities at any cost or else risk becoming the next victim. The Japanese police and the American FBI are soon given the assignment of stopping Kira under the direction of a perfect detective known only as L; a detective who has yet to ever fail at solving a case.

It becomes a battle of the masterminds where one hesitant moment can mean life or death.  As soon as the task force has Kira nearly within their grasp some new, ingenious angle presents itself derailing the investigation even further.  It is a fast reeling game to see which side will reach the finish line first: should Kira be captured he is evil, should Kira prevail he is justice.  As time goes on and Kira’s killings continue, crime rates around the world drop significantly and far less criminals roam the streets. This is the making of a bright, new world…isn’t it?

So consider these questions:

Is obtaining peace through any means really worth the cost?

Can murder ever truly be justified?

A world of black and white could easily see an answer to these questions; but this world we live in, captured in shades of gray, must preserve life until its very last.  With that final understanding – no matter what good may have stemmed from Kira’s domination – Kira must be stopped.  The question that exists now is if he can…

Forecast: Heavy Rain

“No cloud, nor squall shall hinder us!” ~ Zidane, FFIX

Perhaps its the array of dark clouds looming outside, the torrential downpours, or maybe its just a case of watching too much Dexter lately.  Whatever the reason, my dark and creative mood this week has led me straight back into the arms of the PS3 psychological thriller Heavy Rain.

It’s one of those games where every action has a definite and unique reaction.  This of course takes the replay value to the next level as (if you are anything like me) it will drive you nearly insane wondering the ‘what ifs’ and ‘what could ofs’.  This will only be my second play through and I’m hoping that since I have a gist of what is going on this time that maybe, just maybe, all of my four characters won’t die, I’ll get to see more of the story, and perhaps I won’t get a repeat of one of the worst possible endings (there are about 22 endings, 6 main and 16 sub).

I promise I don’t suck at video games as much as this last paragraph alludes to, however, the atmosphere in this game is so dark and entrancing that it completely draws you in; it begins to almost blur the line that separates you from the character on the screen. The quick thinking and fast reflexes needed to escape sudden and difficult situations swiftly becomes flawed, rushed, and panicked; it is a feeling that many games attempt to achieve but fall short in doing so.  For those of you who haven’t heard of this game, here’s a glimpse into the intense, emotional, fear-gripped ride that is Heavy Rain:

The setting is an East Coast city where the term ‘rainy season’ barely begins to describe it.  The city is clouded with darkness and terror as a serial killer, known only as the Origami Killer, is kidnapping small boys; their bodies showing up drowned four days later with only a white orchid and a small origami figure left on their remains.  Shortly after the game begins the Origami Killer chooses a new victim; his name is Shaun Mars and you have four days to rescue this child and solve the intertwining mysteries surrounding this case.

The story progresses through four distinct points of view: Ethan Mars (Shaun’s father), Madison Paige (a journalist), Norman Jayden (FBI), and Scott Shelby (a retired detective).  The game cycles through the different characters automatically as you search for clues and follow leads as to anything that may give Shaun a chance to survive.  It is imperative you remember that time is a luxury you do not have as the rain continues to fall and the waters rise.

“How far are you prepared to go to save someone you love?”

Do you know the answer?

I do.