Cartagra -GD-

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#1 by warfoki
2014-11-01 at 20:36
Since the translation is out, might as well have a GD (general discussion for newcomers) for it.

And considering that MG puts out something actually worthwhile once in every 2 years or so, I'm considering actually paying for this just for the sake of supporting them. That being said, $35 is quite a lot of money for me, so I'd like to have an answer for an important question of mine before I'd do that.

I've stayed clear of KnS because of the glaring, 3.0 strong Only Bad Endings tag. I can deal with heavy drama, characters dying (as long as the story doesn't make an obscene hobby out of that, a la Game of Thrones), but I absolutely hate games and VNs that make my decisions meaningless by screwing me over with a range of absolutely horrible bad endings anyway. I simply feel cheated by that.

So my question to whoever has read this before: Does this happen here? Do I have a chance for an at least bittersweet ending or is this one those "whoever enters here, give up all hope" titles, where everyone gets brutally murdered or worse by the end of it?

Please make the answer as generic as possible and put it under spoiler tags anyway. I don't want to know the bodycount, or whether X heroine gets to stay alive or not, etc. A simple yes or no answer for my first question would suffice, the second one is mostly there for clarification.Last modified on 2014-11-01 at 20:41
#2 by xraider
2014-11-01 at 21:02
Some early KNS spoilers just for you, warfoki :

Haven't read it yet but the MC of cartagra shows up in KNS with his wife, so i assume they had a happy end. Not sure about the whole other cast, but knowing innocent grey, they're probably all dead

If you don't want to read that, yes, you do have a chance for a bittersweet ending
#3 by wakaranai
2014-11-01 at 21:36
Hatsune is fine in KnS, too. so i assume it has at least two "good" endings.
#4 by warfoki
2014-11-01 at 21:42
Okay, those answers are enough even without the spoiler fields, so thank you. Off to spend half the money I own...Last modified on 2014-11-01 at 21:42
#5 by finjas
2014-11-01 at 21:43
Kara no Shoujo has a 'true' end which isn't exactly bad. Though, it isn't exactly good one either. But it nevertheless isn't pointless screwing over. It may be depressing for some, but it at least wraps up the story, making it complete, even though there are some major unresolved issues. So it's worth it.
Can't say anything about Cartagra though, yet. I didn't finish Japanese version and just bought this one today. And, by the way, it looks stunningly beautiful. Not just the artwork (Sugina Miki is my favorite artist), I mean everything is so QUALITY (in a good way). Japanese Version was slightly less impressive.
Mangagamer done a really good work here, porting to Unity. Smooth animations and fonts and everything else. It was worth 35$, I guess.Last modified on 2014-11-01 at 21:46
#6 by triphonic
2014-11-02 at 07:49
So far the game has far surpassed my expectations, but then again I'm stuck in chapter 2. I can't seem to get past Feb. 10th when Rin disappears and you have to search for her. Regardless of what I do, I always end up getting kidnapped in the school, leading to a bad end. Is there a walkthrough somewhere, or can somebody tell me what I'm doing wrong here?Last modified on 2014-11-02 at 07:53
#7 by seo
2014-11-02 at 08:59
I agree with finjas, main heroine survives, MC survives, evilmaker is dealt with.. its not fairy tale style, but innocent gray style, but still good end.. well, better than other alternatives for sure... but back to topic, sounds good, Im looking forward to Cartagra and endless deaths of MC (yaay) :)Last modified on 2014-11-02 at 20:03
#8 by finjas
2014-11-02 at 09:58
This one is incomplete yet, though.
link - here's the more detailed and complete Japanese one.
#9 by warfoki
2014-11-02 at 11:06
@Seo: Spoiler tags please, not everyone has read KnS.
#10 by zetsubou-bimmy
2014-11-02 at 17:54
So is it true that all InnoGrey games are more or less blatant rip-offs of the Kyōgokudō Series by Natsuhiko Kyogoku ( link ) and the only exceptions are apparently KnS2 and Flowers?
#11 by finjas
2014-11-02 at 18:08
Let's say it like this: there is some merit to this statement.
At least it is very much true about first Kara no Shoujo. But I still think KnS have something unique about it. At least the style and the atmosphere are great. And, kinda obvious, Kara no Shoujo has an entirely different point. Both production-wise and plot themes-wise. Yes, you could call it a copy of the first two novels of Kyougokudou series, but it's a good copy.

Halfway through Cartagra, though, it doesn't seem to have much in common with Kyougokudou series in particular, instead being generally average detective mystery with shock content. I'm a bit disappointed even. Though, I personally am still having fun with it, since the style of the game is very much my thing.Last modified on 2014-11-02 at 20:31
#12 by kiru
2014-11-03 at 09:26
Interesting. Loved the Mōryō no Hako anime, so I should probably give these two games a spin.
#13 by finjas
2014-11-03 at 12:39
Finished it. I don't even know what to think. It was kinda fun because of the atmosphere and the style, but after Kara no Shoujo Cartagra is a let down. I expected too much from essentially the first work of Innocent Grey. I guess, I would have loved it more if I had read it before KnS.
Comparing Cartagra to Kara no Shoujo, the latter was much more complex and had more individuality to it.
Cartagra is not only too short, it is also just... plain. As I said, it seems completely average until you step on the true route. Only then the plot picks up and the mystery becomes at least a little bit interesting. And yeah, I'd like to update my answer to #10 - the 'true mystery' has very much in common with first Kyougokudou novel. But, considering how hugely Natsuhiko Kyogoku influenced the whole Japanese culture, I don't think it is something surprising or dishonest. I bet it was natural for writer and he didn't intentionally try to imitate anything.
Overall, I liked the game for it's style, for atmosphere, for Toji and... that's pretty much it. It pains me to be this harsh to Innocent Grey, but I just can't do anything about it.
But it's still a good read, I guess. Just don't get your expectations too high if you have already read Kara no Shoujo.Last modified on 2014-11-03 at 13:52
#14 by verdun
2014-11-03 at 18:48
I just finished it and I enjoyed it.

The story wasn't as good as Kara no Shoujo, but I thought it was more coherent. When I reflect upon it, I'd say the story is pretty good, not great. I had only one significant issue: Why didn't they just shoot Akao in the temple? And why doesn't a former special forces soldier have bullets in his rifle?

This novel really reinforced my love of Innocent Grey's art and style.

The characters weren't annoying but only a few stood out. Toji is no doubt my favorite. I honestly wasn't too fond of Shugo.
He gets too much help from Toji and Nana, the former providing the muscle that a former soldier/detective should have while Nana provides key plot points when the detective should be doing it himself.

Also, this novel was far more easy to navigate than Kara no Shoujo. I got stuck in the latter and had to resort to a walkthrough to get through my frustration.
#15 by finjas
2014-11-03 at 20:01
I also felt quite disappointed when they added mind reading to the plot at the very end. Like, what was the point?
And I also don't understand why did Arishima himself ask Shugo to help Kozuki household? Why? What was it there to him? And how did he even know about the fact that they're looking for Yura? I mean, althoug it is also arguable, you can speculate that Arishima asked Shugo's help in murder investigation in hopes that Shugo as a third party will help him testify against Ikuma, so that it wouldn't look like Arishima betrayed Senri. But why guide Shugo to Kozukis? Either I missed something or the twist is incoherent.Last modified on 2014-11-03 at 20:07
#16 by verdun
2014-11-03 at 23:22
Arashima's whole deal was engineering the fall of the Senri so he could embezzle the money. When he found out Koizuki was having a search arranged for his daughter, his holy prophet, he used Shugo to uncover the conspiracy and hopefully pin it all on Yura and Akao.

At least thats how I understood it and they probably could have done a better job clearing that up.
#17 by finjas
2014-11-04 at 00:41
Yeah, that makes sense.Last modified on 2014-11-04 at 01:15
#18 by noirx
2014-11-04 at 08:13
Finished it. First things first, Shugo should retire from his work and let his sister succeeds him~
#19 by wakaranai
2014-11-04 at 08:59
Nana is brains, Toji is muscles, that makes Shugo a dick.
#20 by pendelhaven
2014-11-04 at 09:33
I need to fix my server so that I could play this in peace. for some reason I can't use the 4gb ram patch even though I've used the same program countless times before and worked.

fucking motherboard is ruining my plans.
#21 by gumak
2014-11-04 at 18:48
0/10 kusoge because I couldn't save Rin ;(

Seriously though, I enjoyed it a lot. Art is great and I really like the cold color palette. Plot was interesting but I wonder - what was the accident year ago that made Shugo resign? Have I missed something?

It seems I was right to wait with reading KnS since you say it's better than Cartagra. But now I need some cute, fluffy moege after all this suffering.
#22 by wakaranai
2014-11-04 at 19:48
then brace yourself, because Cartagra is nowhere near KnS in terms of depicting characters physical suffering. the only characters that tortured and murdered before our eyes (not counting Shugo in bad ends) are Otoha and Yura's double in the intro. all others die off-screen. try to apply Otoha's fate to the most of female cast, main characters included, that would give you rough idea of how it goes in KnS.

and i said "physical suffering" because mental trip in Takako ending was kinda fun, despite "route" itself being rather weak. there wasn't anything like that in KnS.
#23 by finjas
2014-11-04 at 21:19
I'd say KnS is way more depressing and overall emotionally engaging game, not only in terms of quantity of physical suffering.
To be honest, Cartagra didn't manage to get any kind of emotional response from me.
There was only enough to just keep reading, but not much more.
All in all, I guess this is the main reason I didn't like the game that much. Every other flaw I found only because there was nearly nothing to make me overlook it.
And about 'suffering' (any kind), if you asked me, I would say that Cartagra didn't provide anything significant on that part whatsoever. And I wouldn't say the same about KnS.Last modified on 2014-11-04 at 21:29
#24 by noirx
2014-11-05 at 04:59
Well in Cartagra, MC is pretty weak(role-wise and other stuff accounted for), it can't be helped if Cartagra is way lesser than KnS. But I do personally think it's not bad in its own regard.
#25 by pendelhaven
2014-11-10 at 13:59
#21 ehhhh, I actually solved that in my first playthrough. Rin dies according to script though. nothing you can do.

I'm at least glad that this VN isn't employing KnS's really bad choice structure system. Or maybe I'm not seeing everything yet? Here's hoping it isn't as bad as KnS.

To be honest, Cartagra didn't manage to get any kind of emotional response from me.

I bet this is coming from someone who got the feels from Tojiko in KnS. Cartagra would probably induce the same feels if Hatsune died instead of Rin.

Nana is brains, Toji is muscles, that makes Shugo a dick.

I agree with this on one point only. Shugo should have asked Kazuna to call for backup. But no, he had to "indiscriminately push" her on the ground for more drama.

One more thing, Nana minus glasses equals Tojiko. Or is it just me?

edit: god damn it the second arc is too easy to solve for me. I'll wrap this in spoilers just in case my prediction is correct.

Kazuna's theater friend Akao here will be our main suspect this time. When he said he "likes stories like that (referring to his solving the first crime)", all flags are raised. it's him this time.

It also isn't helping that the censored name in the NVL styled segment (before this intro scene) is a guy.

And finally, why did this guy got a CG just from introducing himself? he's definitely our guy.
Last modified on 2014-11-10 at 14:56


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