Muv-luv Alternative and Muv-luv [Spoiler Heavy]

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#76 by delirius
2011-08-14 at 19:25
That's good to know, I hope more mecha dramas will get translated.
#77 by moogy
2011-08-14 at 20:16
there aren't any mecha eroge other than alternative and demonbane so have fun with that

(baldr series doesn't count, it's VR. megalaughter also doesn't count because it's about defeating aliens with bad puns and is a joke liarsoft game. okiba ga nai... lol)
#78 by gabezhul
2011-08-14 at 20:28
Okay, I got to the part with Marimo and... It's less depressing and more tasteless. I mean, seriously, why did they do it like that...? x_x
#79 by emmanuelvr
2011-08-14 at 22:13
#80 by delirius
2011-08-14 at 22:39
@moogy Damn, this sucks. Especially that I hated Demonbane (for me it symbolizes all that went wrong in modern anime/manga/VN industry)

@gabezhul How is it tasteless? Or rather how does getting killed in a tasteful way look in your opinion? I'm genuinly interested xD
#81 by gabezhul
2011-08-14 at 22:58
Well, first of all, a tasteful death-scene is simple, void of melodrama, doesn't show the goddamn gory details and is NOT FUCKING SHOVED INTO MY FACE AT RANDOM INTERVALS FOR AN HOUR! I mean, geez... -.-'
I know it's purpose was to be shocking on the first place, but there should be a limit to everything...

By the way, after playing chapter 7, I hate this game. I could have spend my time resting or studying a new language or doing something constructive, like making lolcats, and instead I'm making myself annoyed with the goddamn utsuge plot... Oh, and it's steadily stealing my sleeptime too... T_T
Meh, I don't care, I'm gonna read this thing to death with extreme prejudice! D:<
#82 by delirius
2011-08-14 at 23:38
First of all I simply don't get why people start acting like little babies the moment there is some gore involved. Lots of people die horribly in MLA. Readers know that and yet the moment something happens to one of the heroines the epic whining starts. Well sorry, this VN actually tries to be consistent with its own setting, if you don't like important people getting killed in a brutal fashion (the only one that exists btw) I recommend staying clear of it. There are lots of eroges for people who are too sensitive to face any suffering. Also her death scene is pretty simple - I don't see anything particularly complicated about getting half of your head bitten off.

Also, Morimo was like a mother figure to him. Do you honestly believe that death of such an important character, who was bonded emotionally with protag should have been "void of melodrama"? Takeru got heavily messed up so it's a pretty natural thing that he will keep remembering it all the time. It was traumatic as fuck, the whole character development would be a joke if he somehow magically learned how to cope with what happenned right before his eyes. This is one of the best things in this VN - someone important dies and it actually has real consequences on the protagonist.

Her death would be in fact tasteless if:

1)If there was no gore. Yep, I'm serious. Lots of people die brutally in Alternative and you want Morimo to somehow magically be above the basic laws of the setting? Just so that a sensitive reader can be spared seeing something brutal? That's both tasteless and childish.

2) If there was no melodrama. I explained it above. She was too important to him.

3) If he didn't keep seeing her all the time . Also explained it earlier. He had a PTSD.

As you can see I disagree with pretty much everything you said above and find your definition of "tasteful" death completely wrong.

P.S. MLA is not Utsuge (so it doesnt have utsuge plot).Last modified on 2011-08-14 at 23:44
#83 by wolff
2011-08-15 at 01:47
Tolerance for these kind of things is highly personal and subjective, so I won't argue with you about your reaction to chap. 7, Gabe. That having been said, you can't deny the masterful way Takeru's PTSD was handled, even if you didn't like it. As someone who's lived through an event or too that I'd just as soon wipe from my memory banks, as well as someone who works on a psych ward for a living, it was downright horrifying how real Takeru's heroic BSOD felt to me. At one point I looked down at the keyboard to see my hands shaking. Obviously somone at Age was working through some personal demons of their own in the creation of this VN, and it resulted in some of the finest storytelling I've ever seen in any medium.
#84 by loctar87
2011-08-15 at 03:48
I thought Marimo's death scene was good. It was a real shocker and very memorable. I found all of the random deaths to be emotional in some way or another, but the overly dramatic, "I'm off to die now, Goodbye everyone" deaths were overdone, and they didn't really strike much emotional in me at all.

gabe is right about the damn repetition. It's like they thought I was playing the game in 5 minute intervals and they wanted to keep reminding me every of every emotional moment that had happened from the beginning of the game. If there's anything that makes a moment less emotional, it's experiencing it 10 times in a single playthrough.
#85 by gabezhul
2011-08-15 at 08:07

After progressing a llittle further, I have a few things to say.

First off, I have to retract my previous statement about this being an event-based story. The first six chapters were like that, but the seventh and eighth chapter pulled the brakes so hard the events not only stopped but started going backwards...
The most obvious thing I have to note is, once again, how I really got annoyed by Takeru going in circles. Disagree all you want, but try re-reading the story and watch out for how many times he gets the exact same determination from the exact same sources, only to get shaken by something for the umpteenth time and start the whole thing over again. Yes, it's good characterization, it's realistic, it fits the mood, but I have the right to be annoyed by it, so I am...

@Delirius: Would you please not jump at my throat and hear me out? You asked "how does getting killed in a tasteful way looks in your opinion", and I stated that opinion. A general opinion, mind you, not something referring to Marimo's death specifically (BTW, spoiler-tagging stuff like that seems redundant by now, so I will mark this thread as spoiler-heavy...). I realize that her death was crafted this way on purpose, but I still hold my claim that we did not need to see the gory details, much less get them pushed into our faces every five minutes during the better part of chapter seven.
Mind that I'm not saying Marimo's death could be done differently, I can't really think of a better way of showcasing her death either. This way of dealing with it was necessitated by the other elements of the story, so I have to acquiesce to the way it was portrayed. However, there is one thing I still can't accept, and it's the gore. And no, it's not because, by your words, "I'm acting like a baby".
If it was only offending my sensibilities, I could forgive that, but there was something else about it that I can't overlook: It was a cheap move. That way of death was NOT aimed at Takeru, it was aimed at the reader. It could have served its purpose without showing all the details, but they went with this in order to shock the reader, and in the most basic, primal way possible. This kind of writing, that relies on gore-shock-value, especially when it could have stood on its own without it, just offends me. I just hate it when writers try to tug on my heartstrings with such obvious, downright unsightly methods, and thus no matter how you argue, I still find this death-scene tasteless...

And finally, the repetitions are really getting on my nerves. They are not deal-breaking or anything, but when about one-tenth of chapter 7 was flashbacks to ten minutes before, it really started to get grating... -_-Last modified on 2011-08-15 at 22:32
#86 by overmage
2011-08-15 at 09:17
I guess gore is not for everyone. Personally, the very violence of the scene itself, basically was what really SMASHED it into my head.

I think if it had not been so violent, it wouldn't have had the impact I had.

The Japanese, being a more reserved people compared to Westerners, had much the same views on the scene that you had, Gabe. :P (That scene was omitted in the all-ages version, which, not so coincidentally, has a higher rating on EGS, which is overwhelmingly japanese)Last modified on 2011-08-15 at 09:19
#87 by gabezhul
2011-08-15 at 09:50

*sigh* Seriously, are you listening to me? I just told you that I had no problem with the gore itself, I had problem with how it was such a calculated scene, designed to shock the reader in such a basic way. I have no problem with the bloody details, hell, I disemboweled pigs when I was ten, so a little raw meat is the last thing that's going to disgust me.
What does, however, is how the writer was trying to play into my primal instincts instead of my intellect with that scene. Having a shock-death like that is one of the cardinal sins in my eyes as a writer, along with stuff like torturing people the writer previously made us care about just to make the villains look evil and killing children just to shock people.
These are things that, no matter the circumstances, always disgust me, because the feelings these generate are not really deep, they are default, instinctual, they are aimed at the animal inside the man to have a primal effect, something that I find cheap and tasteless.
Do I have to elaborate even more for you guys to understand what I'm trying to say?Last modified on 2011-08-15 at 22:32
#88 by ice
2011-08-15 at 09:51
If you're using a preconception of what Japanese people are like and random numbers on a rating site without knowing what they mean to judge what people think about that scene, you're wrong. Also, the scene wasn't omitted in the all-ages version, it simply didn't pan all the way up. Hell, the tentacle rape scene is basically still there. Alternative's "all-ages" version kind of pushes the limits.
Ports/re-releases always have higher scores on EGS because they get less votes. The censoring of one scene has nothing to do with it.
#89 by emmanuelvr
2011-08-15 at 10:20
What does, however, is how the writer was trying to play into my primal instincts instead of my intellect with that scene. Having a shock-death like that is one of the cardinal sins in my eyes as a writer
Making the reader feel the exact same thing the main character is feeling is great writing in my opinion, and not many writers pull it off as cleanly as they did here. A situation like that is indeed instinctual, and doesn't rely on pre-death speeches. People die suddenly, without last farewells, and in ugly ways. And the witnesses do react to that. No time to cry, no time to think "I'll miss you". Making the reader relate (or rather, react equally) to the main character in such a way is great, specially when it also functions so importantly in the story, to the point of almost making the whole chapter. That and the diary scene. Many people do gore stuff, but not many implement them this well. What's more, it's the only big death that Takeru actually experiences with his eyes, and it's, in fact, the only death of it's kind for us viewers until Tama's, who's also seen by Takeru. I can't help but want to clap the writers for doing things like this. They weren't trying to make you react just because (Like, for example, Elfen Lied), but because that's exactly the way the main character was reacting. Whoever didn't FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF BETA with Takeru during Tama? Seriously?.
If anything, I find the deaths in chapter 8 of lower skill of writing due to being so common in concept and execution, to the point of predictability. Chapter 9 is better in this regard to 8 though.

Tl;Dr: I found the shock well used as little times it's done. Saying it's not directed at Takeru is a little silly considering it marked a whole stage to him.

But to each his own.

That said, there is one horribly tasteless scene in MLA. But it has nothing to do with deaths. Well, sorta nothing to do with them.Last modified on 2011-08-15 at 10:50
#90 by overmage
2011-08-15 at 11:12
If you're using a preconception of what Japanese people are like and random numbers on a rating site without knowing what they mean to judge what people think about that scene, you're wrong.

It's not a preconception, the outcry is well known among vn circles in Japan, if you have a contact there you can ask him for proof. I only cited the numbers to back up my point, but didn't derive it from them. If you don't want to believe me, that is your prerogative /shrug
Being an Asian myself I can also speak for my fellow Asians a bit better; we are not identical to the Japanese, but our sensibilities are somewhat the same on quite a few issues as compared to whites.

Also at gabe, sometimes primal works better than intellect. Overly attempting to pander to intellect can make something seem pompous / overly preachy at times, at least in my opinion. Not everything in life needs to have deeply intellectual lessons / reasons behind them; sometimes things just happen because they just do, for the sheer hell and horror and unpredictably of it, which is one of the messages I feel the VN has brought across well. Marimo's death was entirely senseless and there was no intellect in that death - but that was exactly why it was there, because sometimes, shit happens and there isn't any good reason for it. The important thing is that whoever is at fault doesn't matter, you just suck it up and do what you have to do; that is the core message of MLA to me. Shit happens, whether for a reason or not, shit just happens. We do what we have to do anyway.Last modified on 2011-08-15 at 11:20
#91 by delirius
2011-08-15 at 12:26
@gabezhul Ok, as I've said in Kara no Shoujo board some time ago I'm most eager to dislike shock value if it's there just for the sake of shocking the reader. Hell, I'm the first to rage then. But with Morimo's death situation is different. This kind of traumatic experience was necessary for Takeru's character development. It wasn't cheap. I mean if Morimo's death was tasteless than basically the same can be said about every brutal death in history of cinema/literature/art, no matter how consistent it was with the setting (and her death was very consistent).

Let me change the subject a little. I'm sure you've seen Saving Private Ryan. You might remember how during the Omaha beach scene there was a young soldier lying around with his insides spilling out of him, screaming for his mother. Bullets flying everywhere, lots of mortar explosions, dead bodies piling up on the sand. Tell me, do you think that this young soldier's death was tasteless just beacuse it was suppossed to shock the viewer? Just because someone calculated it to be shocking? I don't think so. Why? Because it was suppossed to show the horror of war. It's the same case with Morimo. If there are some brutal/gory deaths in cinema/literature/art you don't consider tasteless or made just for the shock value then I simply don't know why Morimo's death's shock value was cheap, while those other brutal shocking deaths you don't dislike so much (if there are any) are ok.

Unless of course you consider all variants of calculated shock value, no matter how consistent with the medium it comes from, tasteless. But if that's the case than I hope you realize that everything in those kind of mediums is calculated to cause a specific reaction with reader/viewer. Which means that you don't really have a problem with the "calculated" part (because that would mean you dislike everything what causes some kind of emotional reaction) but with shock value itself.Last modified on 2011-08-15 at 12:28
#92 by gabezhul
2011-08-15 at 12:54

All of you guys are missing my point so hard you might as well be aiming at something else... -_-

Here's the deal, as simply as possible, only dealing with this issue instead of using the broader definitions I used earlier:
I have already admitted that, taken the circumstances and the goal of the scene, Marimo had to die there and had to die a gruesome way. I'm okay with that. However, it seems like you are misunderstanding what I found tasteless in that scene. Maybe I should choose a different word then: mundane. That scene was UNDERWHELMING. Yeah, I can already see the flames burning, but I don't mind, that doesn't change my opinion.

That scene would have worked better without showing all the details, or rather, no details at all, just the description. Why? Because it left nothing for the imagination. You see every gory detail, and no matter what you say, it's only for the shock value, to burn it into your mind. I say it was mundane. It might seem a great and decisive moment to you, but I find that this was the safer bet, playing it for imagery that works on everyone, hence it being an instinctive shocker.

How is not showing anything better, you may ask? Simple: it's your imagination. Of course if one has little of it, it's not nearly as effective as just shoveling a bloody picture into people's faces, but it would have left a lot greater impact exactly because it was you who imagined it. Hell, I would say the most mind-numbingly terrifying part of MLA was not Marimo's death, or speaking of that, any other character's death, but when you hear unit 00's insane ramblings about her being torn apart into a brain in a jar while still conscious. Try imagining that with all the details and Marimo's death suddenly feels a lot like s troll in a park... As they say, great horror and great drama are not what is shoved into your face, but what hides behind your own imagination.

So yes, that's why I said it's tasteless, because it relied on the shock-value of graphic presentation instead of letting the reader create their personal Gigerian nightmare. I HATE when they take the leash of creativity out of my hands just to push some shock-gore down my throat.

Feel free to disagree, but I doubt you can convince me otherwise, apparently the way I perceive this scene greatly differs from the norm...
#93 by delirius
2011-08-15 at 13:48
What happenned to Sumika was much worse in itself, so Morimo's death would feel like a stroll in the park no matter if they showed what happened to Sumika or left it to readers imagination. Actually I'm pretty sure you would feel much worse if they indeed would show graphically the process of her getting reduced to a brain in a jar. You might say they are just limiting your creativity but when it comes down to imagining suffering human mind automatically blocks off the most disturbing images and pushes them somewhere deeper to protect itself. At least that's the case with most human beings, I'm not saying it's the same with you.

However keep in mind that graphical presentation of violence doesn't have to limit the reader and stop them from creating their own Gigerian nigthmare. For example when I saw Morimo's head getting mutilated I was imagining how terrible it would have to feel to have something bite into your face like that. I didn't feel like it was limiting my creativity at all, I simply found a way around it and made the scene feel even more disturbing.

Tbh I'm just surprised there is someone here who hates gore shock value even more than me but even I feel it's suitable in rare cases (I absolutely hate almost all gore mediums as I find them cheap). Like you said, I can't persuade you because our ways of perceiving and thinking simply differ too much. Also, sorry if I offended you earlier but your first post about Morimo's death did feel kind of whiny, which annoyed me xDLast modified on 2011-08-15 at 13:57
#94 by overmage
2011-08-15 at 14:12
delirius, I think you might want to spoiler your post for gabe's sake. The entire first paragraph.

Although I do agree with you entirely delirius I feel when it comes down to extreme stuff, showing the actual thing is often more horrifying than the imagination.

Gabe you've been warned don't read it for nowLast modified on 2011-08-15 at 14:13
#95 by delirius
2011-08-15 at 14:21
Nah, Gabezhul was already heavily spoiled, he's the one who mentioned it first.Last modified on 2011-08-15 at 14:22
#96 by emmanuelvr
2011-08-15 at 17:41
Feel free to disagree, but I doubt you can convince me otherwise, apparently the way I perceive this scene greatly differs from the norm...
As long as you don't selfishly shout 'bad writing' like before I don't think there's a problem. At least it's aknowledging taste rather than objective criticism.

And again, they did what you said you wanted them to do in every other scene that Takeru didn't witness in first person (I actually wanted to see EP 8'sHaruko's death since getting acid'd sounds weird as shit, but then realized what the writer's probable intention with showing gory scenes was.)
Ultimately, if you don't want the VN to take advantage of the visual attribute you should try and seek other mediums for war stories.Last modified on 2011-08-15 at 17:46
#97 by gabezhul
2011-08-15 at 18:39
As long as you don't selfishly shout 'bad writing'...
Wait, wait wait! What are you talking about? When did I do that? I never said anything like that. MLA's writing is pretty much the best I have ever seen, my nagging is not about the objective quality but how I don't really like this particular style of overly calculating conduct. When did I ever give you the impression that what I said was not subjective? -_-?
#98 by emmanuelvr
2011-08-15 at 18:49
Having a shock-death like that is one of the cardinal sins in my eyes as a writer, along with stuff like torturing people the writer previously made us care about just to make the villains look evil and killing children just to shock people.
One would usually interpret that as 'that's bad writing', specially considering the later about villains is pretty much bad writting. If you didn't mean that, then sorry, i misunderstood you =PLast modified on 2011-08-15 at 18:50
#99 by gabezhul
2011-08-15 at 18:59
^ I'm going to write this in front of all my post in this thread, it will save a lot of time otherwise would be spent with setting the plethora of spoiler-tags. :P
@Emmanuelvr: Well, okay, maybe I should have used some other expression rather than "cardinal sin", but still... :P
I complain because the writing is near perfect, and these "flaws" keep getting on my nerves, like bug-stains on the windshield of a Bugatti. They do not diminish the value of of the product, but they are still unsightly and take away from the perfection...

Now then, on to finishing episode 8 (it's a little weird reading in two hour increments, but I'm still keeping a steady pace. :P). I have a feeling it's going to be a massacre... -.-'

<Edit> Hmm... A lot less died than expected... Whatever, I'm pretty sure the whole team is going to die sooner or later, or at least that's what my intuition tells me. This story just LOVES to revel in this "killing off the characters for impact and shit" formula, though I cannot really fault it since it does it pretty damn well.

Oh, and I found another "flaw", but honestly, this one felt like an amateur writer's mistake, something that really baffled me...
I already recognized the pattern in ep 7, so when the Kashiwagi and Isumi started to spill their heart for Takeru before the mission, I paused the game, pointed at the screen and said:
"These two are talking about motivations and giving Takeru some emotional support, which means they are going to die in this mission, probably going out with a big bang and saving everyone's backsides, while probably leaving behind a heroic message that will give resolve to the ones left behind."
Then I unpaused the game, kept reading, and lo and behold, it is once again ascertained how I stand above your puny humans with my superior precognitive abilities. Har-har-har... ( ̄ー ̄)
I mean, seriously, this story relies on death-flags so hard it's almost comical, and though it's a well known cliché of the war-story genre, overusing it in such a predictable manner is still a little distracting... -_-

P.S.: Once again,, don't look at me like that. I'm a living flaw-finding machine, so I will hound this game's every corner and find even the most insignificant flaws just out of sheer principle, even if you don't think it's a flaw at all. :P

P.P.S.: Oh, and Delirious; I can point at a tasteful death-scene now, and it's Kashiwagi's. She died a hero without all the shock-gore, melodrama, trumpets and whatnot. My only problem is that her death is totally overshadowed by Isumi's sacrifice, but I can live with that. Hers wasn't a bad death either, but It just felt it would have been more fluent if it relied less on that extensive melodrama...Last modified on 2011-08-16 at 08:50
#100 by hayate135
2011-08-17 at 00:17
Oh, looks like you've ended up rating MLA a 10, fun to see another person that has enjoyed this wonderful game to that extent =). Also, thanks for switching the thread title to [Spoiler Heavy]. With the thread having been [Spoiler Free] even after game-breaking spoilers have rolled in, had I not read MLA several months before, I'd have been spoiled silly.

Seeing as you've given your play-by-play thoughts during your playthrough throughout the thread, what were your final impressions/thoughts, and what elements of the game directed you toward giving it an ever-so-prestigious gabezhul 10/10?