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Review of Nijuuei

SubjectNijuuei
Shadow and Shadow
ByVote: 7.2kimika on 2021-11-09
ReviewHistorical horror by Scaji about a swordsman who is trying to overcome his curse on the island full of mystery?
Sounds interesting, but as with most of the ancient vns, it has the usual problems about which version to use or how to make it work with barely any info about it.

Here is your guide
There are 3 versions available you can choose from:
PC version - has h scenes and good graphic but no voice acting and you most likely will need to setup a VM to be able to normally play it. Not recommended unless you really want those H scenes as the voice acting is pretty good so the loss would be rather high;
PS1 version - has voice acting but with horrible pixelated graphics and censored some of the bloody cgs. I played this version and was too late to realize it was a mistake, not recommended;
And finally, the Dreamcast version - the most optimal variant that has both voices and good graphics and with no censure (at least in the couple of cgs I've seen). Recommended for the best experience.
How to setup: simply download the Redream emulator, launch it and specify the destination of your game files - it should work right from the box.

About the story, it is highly based on Japanese mythology and the Ebisu legend in particular. It goes as far as deep down into Kojiki for investigation of its origins and most of the mystery is based on your understanding of the different interpretations of it with a lot of kanji play and stuff, so if you are into mythology you will definitely enjoy this. Also don't really expect much horror here, it has a few pretty outputting cgs but that's about it, the enemies that were supposed to be scary ended up being funny instead (especially the famous 凶虐 and 兇虐 brothers, I really liked those guys).

The protagonist was really likable, he was extremely strong both mentally and physically and with a very straightforward personality, you rarely can see characters like this these days. Though can't say the same for the rest of the main characters, I really liked Fuurei (mostly thanks to her seiyuu) but the rest of the heroines were rather weak. Their relationships were written really poorly so don't expect to see here any romance at all. I ended up liking side characters a lot more, especially Juubei and the twins, wish there was some route with them.

And since it's Scaji you can expect the usual talks about the end and the beginning of the sky but to a much lower extent, the main theme here was the Possibilities - each person have countless possibilities of living their lives, so even if you lived your whole life by killing you still have a possibility of loving and there is no need to choose the one over the other.
And just to sum it up:
「生者も死者も祈りによって結ばれています」
「弔いは死者だけにむけるものではなく」
「生者にも向けられます・・・」

Also about the choices, there are a lot of them, you have to make about 30-50 moving choices per day for 12 days and it makes it feel like one of those old RPGs rather than a vn, and if it's pretty fun at first it gets tiring really fast, so I recommend to play with the guide from the start, because it can take you hours of going back and force if you missed some random event.
But there is one more problem here, and that's the routes. There is a total of 3 different heroine routes, but in reality, they are all exactly the same just with the different girl sprite in some of the scenes near the end, so unless you would really like the heroines for some reason there is no point in finishing more than one route, as it takes forever to get through all those choices each time. What I would recommend though is at least collecting all of the bad endings on the way as there are some pretty interesting among them.

Overall I would say I had decent fun going through it despite it being really dated and not without issues and would recommend it to any Scaji fans as you can see here the forming of some of his major themes that he continues to explore in his further works.

Comments

#1 by loki1
2021-11-09 at 20:31
< report >
simply download the Redream emulator, launch it and specify the destination of your game files - it should work right from the box.
Text doesn't display for me link. Tried messing around with settings and still wasn't able to get it work. I have it for ps1 but would prefer to play the dreamcast ver.
#2 by kimika
2021-11-09 at 20:43
< report >@1 weird, are you using a Japanese locale? I also remember having a similar issue with a different game, it didn't display the text even with Japanese locale but worked fine when I launched it with Locale Emulator so you can try it out
If it won't work you can just try out different dreamcast emulators or different Japanese bioses
#3 by ProtectSatoko
2021-11-12 at 01:32
< report >Hi, just commenting here since I came across @1's problem while trying to emulate this and have found a solution. Hopefully this ends up being useful for someone else.

Apparently, this game uses the DC's bios font to display text, but Redream uses its own custom bios, one with no non-ascii character support as of now.

So all you need to do is find yourself an original bios on the internet and place it on the emulator's folder under the name 'boot.bin'. link