(Spoiler) The devs must hate harem protagonists

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#1 by janpri
2022-01-16 at 19:55
< report >I'm just playing the 7th chapter (after not playing for like 3 week after seeing Marimo being eaten alive) and guess what happened? Sumika had her head crushed under a fallen beam.

I just can't play this anymore. I really don't understand how can this be regarded as the best (or one of the best) VN ever when. The only thing I feel after every gameplay is depression and I've heard the ending is also bad, so there's no reason to hope in anything better.

I'm pretty sure this game was made only because the developers hate harem protagonists and so they created this to show how they would like them all to end up. And I also hate myself for playing the amazing and funny "Extra" for dozens of hours only to see everyone suffering, being crushed under beams and with their eyes falling to the ground as they're eaten alive.

I wish this wasn't canon but just some fan made game.
#2 by zenraMan
2022-01-16 at 20:41
< report >lol
#3 by animenger
2022-01-16 at 22:03
< report >I agree that Extra is a superior VN and Alternative certainly isn't for everyone. I had an AWFUL time the first time I read it. I was like "Yo this is depressing TRASH." (though I did learn to appreciate it after trying it again later please don't attack me) Basically I know how you feel. If you don't like it now you're definitely not gonna like it later so if you're debating dropping it I'd suggest just doing it now and getting it out of the way.
#4 by janpri
2022-01-16 at 22:43
< report >#3 I really don't know what to do now. I mean, I am the kind of person who usually doesn't drop things and to be frank, I am really curious how it will end but at the same time I think this is too dark for me.
It would be one thing if I haven't played Extra and the series was from the beginning just sci-fi mecha about this "alternative" world where people battle with aliens and die on a regular basis, but after experiencing dozens of hours of Takeru and all the girls living completely normal lives with all the romantic, comedy and ecchi elements and now seeing the very same Takeru being forced to watch Marimo (who he even had had sex with) being eaten alive with half of her head missing and Sumika (literally the main heroine of the first game) being crushed under some beam is TOO over the top.

I just really want Takeru to finally die. That was the only thing running through my mind as I was playing the game today. Not because I'd hate him or think he deserves it, but rather the opposite. This is just too much for a person to bear.Last modified on 2022-01-16 at 22:55
#5 by casualreader
2022-01-16 at 23:06
< report >I agree with #3, if it's not your cup of tea and you already know it's not the happiest of the endings, you'll probably just keep suffering until the end, specially since you liked Extra so much. I'm sure this is a story that'll remain in your memories for a while too, for good or bad reasons. (though you've seen what's the most unforgettable scene for me already, Marimo's death, since it came out of the blue)

It's been more than 5 years since I played and I honestly don't remember much anymore, aside from the fact that at least a few more shocking scenes await you in your gameplay. One of the things that make Alternative great though, in my opinion, is exactly what you didn't like: how they create this very dramatic and intense experience out of an everyday, slice of life story.
#6 by animenger
2022-01-16 at 23:18
< report >Okay let me give you some tips here based on my own experience to help you decide whether you wanna drop it or not.

-There aren't a whole lot of ups to balance out the downs
-If you're feeling bad about things now I don't recall things getting much better later compared to where you are now (basically it doesn't let up)
-This is particularly painful for people like you and I since we both seem to have gotten super attached to Takeru by the sound of it. (Things stay pretty much the same all the way through for him.)
-On a good note I will say that the ending is probably a bit better than you think (Though you PROBABLY still won't feel that it balances everything out)
-If it's something like the gruesomeness getting to you let me warn that that doesn't get much better either!

Bottom line is that later is gonna be more of the same pretty much. I dare say that you're already supposed to be fairly into it by the time you're done with chapter 7. Again, I wasn't my first time through either which is why I can relate and tell you all this.

Now for the question: Should you drop?
My answer is probably yeah. I read all the way to the end feeling like you do right now my very first time and I just felt AWFUL afterwards. Like I had wasted a whole bunch of time. It had not picked up at all for me and the experience was just excruciating. My advice? Find some other thing to invest yourself in ASAP and maybe try Muv Luv again later if it re-catches your interest. (That second part is what I did anyway)
#7 by janpri
2022-01-16 at 23:37
< report >#6
Damn, I really don't know if I'll be able to continue if it's going to be just about Takeru suffering all the way till the end. But at the same time I feel that if I dropped it at this point I'd probably never pick it up again, since I've already spent around 40-50 hours on it with my reading speed...

Just one last question: Is it ever going to be explained exactly why has had everything happened to Takeru? Why did he, absolutely out of the blue, wake up in some fucked up alternative reality (with his Gameboy and in his own room that later on magically dissappeared) one day, traveled in time and finally became some conductor whose presence kills people?
#8 by animenger
2022-01-16 at 23:40
< report >That does get explained. They bring that stuff up at the end of chapter 7 for a reason after all.
#9 by animecac
2022-01-17 at 10:15
< report >#7 I'd recommending finishing the game for a sense of closure. Some of the darkest stuff you have already experienced, although there are still several more to dark moments to come. Despite what you may have heard about the ending, it does give some closure and everything gets explained. There may be suffering all the way to the conclusion - but that doesn't mean that the ending doesn't give you a sense of resolution.Last modified on 2022-01-17 at 10:16
#10 by userrico
2022-01-17 at 11:37
< report >because Kagami Sumika from betaverse want to meet Takeru so much just because Takeru in the original betaverse already dead and she don't want anyone to have Takeru in Unlimited if he choose 1 girl, after that she always forced sent takeru back in time and erase his memories with 1 heroine he chooses in unlimited <-- I spoiler that
#11 by plisken
2022-01-31 at 05:25
< report >#1 Stick with it. Yes, it's a gut-wrenching series of events that happen in Episode 7. This is by design. KEEP. GOING.

You will understand exactly why Sumika got crushed the way she did. And it wasn't her head that got crushed. It was everything BUT her head. This should be a clue.

Takeru will be at the end of his rope, and begging to be erased from existence. However, all is not lost. There IS a ray of hope in all this. One of the most important lessons you will learn in life is that hope can be found even in the darkest despair.

Bit of a spoiler: there will be many tears shed by the end. But I will say this: it will all have been worth it. Trust me. Everything is resolved by the end. And it's not the greatest VN of all time because everyone is a masochist who enjoys suffering. It's the greatest VN of all time because the story is just that amazing.

And this is probably an even bigger spoiler: There is an epilogue of sorts that picks up a week after Alternative ends. It's known as Altered Fable/Before the Shimmering Time Ends or in its latest incarnation, photonmelodies (the official English release). All I can say is that it's pure, zany silliness, and even more ridiculous than the madcap hijinx of Muv-Luv Extra.

And yes, ALL WILL BE EXPLAINED. Including why Takeru ended up in an alternate universe, why he time-traveled, etc. EVERYTHING.Last modified on 2022-01-31 at 05:35
#12 by animenger
2022-01-31 at 07:13
< report >I'm telling ya though there's a chance finishing isn't a good idea since not everybody feels the same way as #11. (Again, an example being me the first time I read it.) I'll courteously play the other side and warn that there is a chance that you finish it and just have an awful time the whole way through BUT you could also go the way of #11 and have a great time by the end. (I pray that you do if you finish it because I wouldn't wish the awful time I had on anyone else 😭)
#13 by plisken
2022-01-31 at 08:27
< report >I think the fundamental problem is that people don't quite get the themes that the ending touches upon. Fate/determinism vs. free will and agency.

MAJOR SPOILERS, DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED Sumika's final act of love for Takeru was to ensure that conditions were optimal for his return home. She used the last bit of her power to not only restore his homeworld, but to alter it for the better. Sumika set conditions so that Takeru would be given the freedom to pursue whoever he wished, as well as increasing the roster of potential love interests (Yuuhi is alive and well in the Extraverse now and attracted to Takeru, Mikoto is no longer dressing like a boy, Kashiwagi is romantically interested in him, etc.) Of course, Sumika didn't exclude herself. If Takeru so wished, he could pursue her as well. ;)
There's also Kasumi, who followed Takeru home. A lot of readers assumed that she was simply the Extraverse version of her. Not so. Remember that Kasumi was artificially created in the Alternative universe for the express purpose of defeating the BETA. She would never have been conceived in the Extraverse. Kasumi used her power to observe Takeru's homeworld, and presumably asked Yuuko to transfer her over. This explains why Kasumi breaks down in tears of happiness when she's reunited with Takeru and Sumika in the end.


Overall, I think the ending was pretty much how it had to end. A lot of readers wanted Takeru and Sumika to be together in the end, but the fact that she left the decision up to him after being chained to fate for so long is the most appropriate ending of all. Last modified on 2022-01-31 at 08:31
#14 by animenger
2022-01-31 at 08:31
< report >I agree with this actually. Very well put. I actually had a friend of mine tell me that I only had the awful time I did because I read the fan TL the first time. (Pretty much proven at this point since I reread it with the official and actually like... had fun and understood what everyone was on about) It's just that when I see someone struggling to read this for pretty much the exact reasons I struggled the first time it's like... I at least gotta try and warn them you know?
#15 by plisken
2022-01-31 at 10:35
< report >I agree that the fan translation was spotty at best. The official one definitely cleaned it up and made it a whole lot more accessible. Not sure if the fan translator was trying to be too literal, or what, but at times it seemed like complete gibberish.

Glad to hear you enjoyed it in the end. I'm guessing the OP is probably reading the official English translation, as it's more widely available these days. Their concerns seemed to be mainly that the story takes a very dark turn, which it certainly does. I wanted them to know that the rest of the story isn't just a "dunk on Takeru" fest of gloom and despair.

Episode 7 is well-known for being a massive shock to the system, and it's designed that way. Whatever false sense of security the reader may have felt up to that point is shattered abruptly when the danger and its consequences are staring them right in the face. And as Takeru tries to run away, his problems only mount further and further, which makes it all the more impactful when a thread of hope presents itself and you realize all is not yet lost. It's a relief, and I remember at that point feeling so grateful that I shed some tears in Takeru's stead. Goofy, sure, but I was invested in the story and it hit me 'in the feels', so to speak.
#16 by kiru
2022-01-31 at 10:39
< report >And here I thought the entire point of Extra and Unlimited is to build up all the hate for the involved characters, so you can enjoy the later parts of MLA.
#17 by janpri
2022-01-31 at 14:01
< report >#16 How exactly does Extra build up any hate towards anybody?
#18 by sakurakoi
2022-01-31 at 17:54
< report >[quoted]It's the greatest VN of all time because the story is just that amazing.[/quoted]
Heh, and here I thought it was among the greatest VNs of all time because like other 'great VNs' it manipulates the vested negative emotions of a small majority through further peer-pressure, the snowball effect, acceptable art and a little bit of luck.

I really did not think that being depressive AF plus plot-holes amount to a good story since it is so common in amateur works that never get finished.

Turns out one just has to finish them with some outlandish explanations (that up the premise and coincidence count even higher) and let the magic of interpretation do the rest.

People should not stop writing their Nakige, Utsuge and equally 'beyond Drama/Thriller'-works (that may not be games/VNs) just because of some haters, after all, as evident that's the only way to get remotely rich in this industry. I'm surprised that no one got a Nobel Price yet but welp, no one reads Authors with a Literature Nobel Price anyway, they are all posers who can't even implement tentacle-pleasure-corruption properly even if their life depended on it.

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