The release of Fate/Apocrypha has put me in a very Fate mood recently. As a result, I was inspired, over the weekend, to go back to the Fate/Stay Night visual novel. I’d got hold of it this time last year, but at the time I didn’t get far passed the prologue. This time, I got a little further, and discovered a new facet of the gameplay: the ‘bad end’.
All things said and done, I can think of five visual novels that I’ve had experience with. Out of those, one didn’t have any decisions, three are largely linear (though there might be some deviation if I keep playing, though I’m fairly sure there isn’t) and then Fate/Stay Night.
The workings of the Fate VN will need no introduction to most familiar with the series so I’ll keep this section brief. The VN is split into three routes: Fate, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven’s Feel. On the face of it, these three routes fit in largely with the three heroines of the tale: Saber, Rin and Sakura, though in truth there is a lot more to it than that. The game doesn’t allow you to play the routes out of the order above and as such the game gets progressively darker as you play each route. But I digress.
Continue reading Getting a ‘bad end’ and trial and error in visual novels
Have you ever wondered what it might feel like if your partner was a bit younger you, but looked ten years younger? Do you wish that the special person in your life would refer to you using honorifics only? Was your answer to either of these questions yes? Then today I will be talking about the visual novel route for you – Asa, from If My Heart Had Wings.
Asa only joins the visual novel half way through after the club has been formed and Amane has left the Soaring Club. She initially arrives at Flying Fish Manor with her sister, Yoru, as a way of trying to live away from her wealthy family, experiencing life for herself. It is convenient then that when the two arrive, the glider also needs to find a new home – and they just happen to have a hangar to house it. The cost? Membership in the Soaring Club for Asa.
Before I talk about the romance in this route, I want to talk about some of the aspects that distinguish Asa as a character. Compared to all of the other characters in the story, Asa has very few special talents to distinguish herself from a crowd. Ageha is practical, Amane is intelligent, Kotori is obnoxious and Aoi is a boy. More than any of these things though, Asa struggles because of the comparisons we are invited to make between her and Yoru, literally identical in looks, but far more intelligent and supported by her successful and demanding family.
Continue reading If My Heart Had Wings: Asa’s Route
When I was originally playing through the common route of If My Heart Had Wings, I was quickly put off going for Kotori’s route. For the most part in this section she wasn’t a likeable character at all – this decision however, was a poor one.
If you take nothing else from this post, remember that you if you decide to play If My Heart Had Wings, play Kotori’s route first. So far I have only played Kotori and Ageha’s routes and while I didn’t not enjoy Ageha’s story, I found I got so much more out of Kotori’s.
Habane Kotori is the poster girl and main heroine of If My Heart Had Wings. She is the first person Aoi encounters on his return to Kazegaura and is generally the reference point for the entire cast, regardless of which route you play. Generally, the story follows Kotori as she develops from a cold, insular girl ready to give up and quit school through to a character who desperately wants to achieve her dream.
I really, really enjoyed playing her route. It took me a fair while longer than it did for me to completely Ageha’s (roughly 15 hours to 10) and the story really benefitted as a result. The story focuses on Kotori’s battle caused by her disability towards flying a glider through the legendary ‘Morning Glory’ cloud. This only really scratches the surface; so much happens in order to get to this final destination.
Continue reading If My Heart Had Wings: Kotori’s Route
It’s been a while since my last post on the visual novel If My Heart Had Wings, and with a big announcement for March coming tomorrow (I’m really excited!), I thought now was the perfect time for the next.
As with any visual novel, If My Heart Had Wings is based on several different routes. In IMHHW’s case, there are five routes in total but you probably wouldn’t guess it when you start the game. In fact, when I started playing, it seemed that there would be two, maybe three routes. The two that seem obvious in the early stages are that of the game’s poster girl, Kotori, and childhood friend, Ageha.
No one is going to argue with me when I say that to begin with Kotori is thoroughly dislikable. Of course, she can justify this and later on things become clear, but you can forgive me for first going with Aoi’s childhood best friend, Ageha.
Continue reading If My Heart Had Wings: Ageha’s Route
If you’re familiar with the visual novel format, you’ll know that usually, before anything substantial really starts happening in the plot, you are introduced to the story and characters in ‘the common route’. If My Heart Had Wings does not stray from this tried and tested formula, and it is it’s common route that I’m going to talk about here.
If My Heart Had Wings is a lengthy VN and it’s common route reflects that. Although I listen to all of the voice acting, I consider myself to be a pretty fast reader but it still took me around 12 hours to complete. There aren’t many decisions to choose from throughout the game generally so you only get three choices before Aoi’s choice of heroine is decided (unless you finish Kotori’s route and then you get a fourth).
Continue reading If My Heart Had Wings: The Common Route
I’ve played visual novels on and off for a while now – in fact I’ve even completed one (yes, just one). At Christmas I was given If My Heart Had Wings, a story about mechanical gliders and the people that make them.
More about the story below, but first what I’m going to do over the course over a few articles. So far I’ve completed the common route and am half way through the first heroine routes and as I play through each I’ll offer my opinions on each, give indicators on the few decisions you get to make. I’ll also let you know my opinion on the restoration patch, add-on ‘Sweet Love’ and anything else that doesn’t fall under the main routes.
In If My Heart Had Wings you play as male protagonist, Aoi as he returns to his hometown and joins the Soaring Club. The story goes into a lot of depth on it’s central theme of flying, but also focuses on overcoming ones limitations.