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The House in Fata Morgana

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I seem to be writing more and more of these short review things but THIS WAS TOO GOOD OF A STORY NOT TO TALK ABOUT!! It also has romantic elements in it so… I’m still keeping to my blog’s theme of otome games, right? LOL. Seriously though, I have to write my thoughts down to find release and I hope in doing so I can convince some people to try this game out. I’m going to try my best not to spoil anything (this game is best when going into it blind) but some analogies and references I make might hint at things so proceed past the read more at your own risk.

First though I’m going to talk about my general thoughts about The House in Fata Morgana. I found it to be a story that nails the delicate balance between despair and hope. You’re given happiness and then it’s ripped away, but when you’re in despair you’re given a reprieve in hope and happiness. Fata Morgana is a story about how humans and the unshakable principles that make each person unique can lead to tragedy; but it’s also a story about how every human has the capacity for resilience, hope, and forgiveness, and how those can make a difference. I think, ultimately, it’s a story about humans in all their messy and glorious humanity and the connections – and influence – we can have on each other (and it’s also a story about how perspective is everything).

TL;DR: Fata Morgana takes you to the terrifying depths that humans can fall into but it will also lift you up with displays of the human capacity to connect and support each other. It’s a very well-done story with despair and hope that ends on a beautiful and uplifting note (which is what these kind of stories need, imo, otherwise you’d just crush your readers with all the tragedy LOL).

I do have some criticisms though. The pacing can be a bit off at times such as giving massive backstory on characters when, at that point, you have no idea why you should care or what you should even take away from it. Also, I don’t know if this was a localization issue or not but on a technical standpoint the writing can be a bit bland for a gothic suspense/horror/romance story. HOWEVER, the craft and entirety of the story is masterful. Everything is placed in the game for a reason (the game answers everything) and it’s amazing how many layers this story has. At one point you end up reading the same scene three times but this happens after you gain additional knowledge each time which warps your perspective of that scene and it just. blew. my. mind.

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Hana Awase 「姫空木編」 ~ Ranking ~

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I thought it would be easier to just gather all the card fights here in another post so people can look at these when they’re playing. If anyone has any questions about the card games, they can ask me here as well. I’m just going to summarize/commentate the opponents up until we reach the 5 Brights and their scenes, which I will properly translate. By the way, you can’t reach the 5 Brights until your second play through.

(Full view pictures at 850 x 595).

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Hana Awase 「姫空木編」 ~ Iroha ~

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Iroha (いろは)
CV: Terashima Takuma (寺島 拓篤)

Iroha is Rank 1 among the 5 Brights and a third year Kaei of the Chisengumi. He is emotionless and seems to care only about fulfilling his duties and protecting the senki candidate’s virtue (which he does, to an obsessive degree). He also possesses the rare characteristic of having full moons in both his eyes, which grants him a large amount of power and a mysterious magnetism. He seems to have a mysterious connection to Mikoto and an awareness of the state of this world.

DAY 21. Mikoto decides to request the help of one of the 5 Brights to save Himeutsugi and the others in the auditorium.

(Full view pictures to see them in 850 x 595).

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Hana Awase 「姫空木編」 ~ Himeutsugi ~

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Himeutsugi (姫空木)
CV: Tachibana Shinnosuke (立花 慎之介)

Himeutsugi is a second year Kaei of the Gekkougumi. Everyone thinks of him to be a kind, deeply considerate, and sympathetic person. In fact, he is frequently called “Hime-sama” which is a play on his name and means “Princess”. But he’s actually known to be a playboy in his own right, at least among his minamo; though he gets along well with men too. He was a scholarship student whose talents brought him to Kaen, where he quickly became one of the 5 Brights and close friends with Mizuchi.

DAY 20. Mikoto heads to the auditorium where the 5 Brights (actually only Iroha and Karakurenai) are supposed to propose to her. WE’RE DETOURING TO GET A BAD END.

(Full view pictures to see them in 850 x 595).

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Hana Awase 「姫空木編」 ~ Karakurenai ~

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Karakurenai (唐紅)
CV: Hino Satoshi (日野 聡)

Karakurenai is one of the 5 Brights and a third year Kaei of the Oukagumi. He is known to be a genius at Hana Awase and also a distantly related to the chairmen of the school, Kaen. He treats all of his minamo equally and like possessions, but they all love to be played by him. He’s a playboy who normally doesn’t pursue girls who belong to other men, but he believes he’s made a claim on Mikoto and so he makes aggressive advances on Mikoto.

DAY 21. Mikoto decides to request the help of one of the 5 Brights to save Himeutsugi and the others in the auditorium.

(Full view pictures to see them in 850 x 595).

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Hana Awase 「姫空木編」 ~ Mizuchi ~

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Mizuchi (蛟)
CV: Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)

Mizuchi is one of the 5 Brights and a second year Kaei of the Koukokugumi. He is a son from the ancient and honorable MIZUCHI family and comes off as being very strict and prideful, but he is also sincere and kind in his actions. Everyone teases him for being pure and prim because he has no idea how to treat a lady other than with innocent respect.

(Because Mizuchi’s game was first and he got to have a happy end, he’s going to be the first one to have a bad end in this game, haha).

DAY 21. Mikoto decides to request the help of one of the 5 Brights to save Himeutsugi and the others in the auditorium.

(Full view pictures to see them in 850 x 595).

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Hana Awase 「姫空木編」 ~ Common Route ~

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The second game in the tetralogy of Hana Awase. It is set in another universe (likely following the events after Iroha’s route in Mizuchi-hen). Much like the first game, the common route is going to cover up to when Mikoto has to make her choice between the men. I will try to include as many scenes as possible but, by nature of the exploration system, there will be a section at the end with missed scenes.

(I’m going to be playing the game as I blog so this time my comments won’t have any foreshadowing to them. EDIT: I can start my NG+ right from the proposal at Day 20, so I won’t be including any extra scenes because I’m skipping them, oops).

(Full view pictures at 850 x 595).

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Hana Awase 「蛟編」 ~ Iroha ~

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Iroha (いろは)
CV: Terashima Takuma (寺島 拓篤)

Iroha is Rank 1 among the 5 Brights and a third year kaei of the Chisengumi. He is the strongest of the kaei and everyone looks up to him and desires to be him, especially since his eyes have the full moon. He’s quite emotionless, which gets him get called a robot a lot, and he’s also strict on the rules. He’s very distant from the world and if it weren’t for Momotose he would be wearing the same dirty clothes everyday.

(I cried many times while finishing up this post. If you’re going to read this then I suggest having a box of tissues nearby. Also, now that I’m finally done HA I can concentrate my full efforts on DiaLov and Amnesia Later. Thanks for being patient!)

DAY 21. Today is the day that Mikoto needs to choose a partner to do Kabatsu with and help her awaken as a senki.

(Full view pictures to see them in 850 x 595).

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Hana Awase 「蛟編」 ~ Mizuchi ~

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Mizuchi (蛟)
CV: Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)

Mizuchi is Rank 3 among the 5 Brights and a second year kaei of the Koukokugumi, which Mikoto ends up joining. He appears stiff and very formal, but it’s easy to see his sincere and kind nature. Everyone teases him for being pure and prim because he has no idea how to treat a lady other than with innocent respect; however, there is a reason for his rigid self-control, obsessive adherence to rules, and how strict he is on himself.

(Gods, I am so sorry for how long it took to get this out. I’ve been terribly busy with school and the time that I do have free is taken by Fire Emblem: Awakening and Tokimeki Restaurant. I really really apologize! Just one more to go and then back to Diabolik Lovers and Amnesia Later.)

DAY 21. Mikoto must choose a partner to do kabatsu with and to help her awaken as a senki.

(Full view pictures to see them in 850 x 595).

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Hana Awase 「蛟編」 ~ Karakurenai ~

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Karakurenai (唐紅)
CV: Hino Satoshi (日野 聡)

Karakurenai is Rank 2 among the 5 Brights and a third year kaei of the Oukagumi. He is known to be a genius at Hana Awase and is so strong that one minamo isn’t enough to support him. All of his minamo love to be played by him and he treats them like his possessions. He’s a playboy, selfish, and savagely possessive of what he considers to be his. He also thinks of himself first before anyone else, but is this his true character?

DAY 21. Mikoto wakes up in her room and realizes that today is the day to decide on a partner to help her awaken as a senki and to do kabatsu with.

(Full view pictures to see them in 850 x 595).

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Hana Awase 「蛟編」 ~ Himeutsugi ~

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Himeutsugi (姫空木)
CV: Tachibana Shinnosuke (立花 慎之介)

Himeutsugi is Rank 4 among the 5 Brights and is a second year kaei of the Gekkougumi. Everyone thinks of him to be a kind, deeply considerate, and sympathetic person. In fact, he is frequently called “Hime-sama” which is a play on his name and means “Princess”. But he seems to have a hidden side to him, a side which not many can see or even understand. Perhaps the “Princess” doesn’t want to be a “Princess”.

DAY 21. Mikoto wakes up in her room and realizes that today is the day where she has to decide on a partner for her to do kabatsu with and to awaken as a senki.

(Full view pictures to see them in 850 x 595).

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Hana Awase 「蛟編」 ~ Common Route ~

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The wheels of fate turn without rest, stopping for nothing and no one. Love is not just joy and happiness; Love is obsessive, overwhelming, unrequited, and sorrowful. A love without reward is still love. But the winner is the one who is shone on by the moon. The losers; playthings to fate’s machinations. This is the world of Hana Awase, where only the flower touched by the blessed water blooms.

“Although its scent still lingers on,
the form of a flower has scattered away.
For whom will the glory
of this world remain unchanged?
Arriving today at the yonder side
of the deep mountains of evanescent existence.
We shall never allow ourselves to drift away,
intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams.”
“Iroha” by Ryuichi Abe.

(Because I adore this game so much, I decided to do a common route for it. The path, depending on which person you choose, happens at the end of this common route. I sincerely recommend you take these happy moments in this common route to heart because after this it is just a speeding freight train to despair _(:3」∠)_. This is a ridiculously amazing game though; my game of the year. PS. I promise to return to DiaLov!)

(The wonderful Lore at Tealdeer also made an English primer for this. Full view pictures at 850 x 595).

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BWS: Bloody Nightmare ~ Guillan Guinor ~

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Guillan Guinor (ギラン ギノー)
CV: Taniyama Kisho (谷山 紀章)

Guillan is one of Arles’ trusted friends and confidant, despite being half his age. In return, he looks up to Arles and constantly seeks praise from him. He seems to extremely love violence and often acts as an interrogator for the wolves. He’s a bit spoiled and acts like a selfish child. His way of talking is rough and usually insulting, but he is true to his feelings.

(If you right-click on the images and click “view image” you can view them in full size which is 1025 x 575).

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BWS: Bloody Nightmare ~ Rath Vogart ~

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Rath Vogart (ラス ヴォガード)
CV: Kaji Yuuki (梶 裕貴)

An emotionless young man. He has been afflicted with Zodiva which caused him to lose sight in his left eye and made him resigned to his death. However, after meeting Fiona, he is given hope again and starts to believe and trust in others. He carries a lot of emotional pain with him and tends to be a lone wolf. In truth, he has a gentle soul but it is hard to hold onto that in this world.

(If you right-click on the images and click “view image” you can view them in full size which is 1025 x 575).

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BWS: Bloody Nightmare ~ Zara Skeens ~

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Zara Skeens (ザラ スキーンズ)
CV: Ishida Akira (石田 彰)

A dutiful butler in the service of the Galland family, but he also acts as a pharmacist and creates medicines for Fiona. He absolutely adores her and places her safety and health above everything else which can make him a little strict towards her. He is actually a war orphan and the last of the rabbit race.

(If you right-click on the images and click “view image” you can view them in full size which is 1025 x 575).

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