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Friday, January 15, 2016

Ame no Marginal: Moe Purgatory is a thing.


Followers of the blog know that I'm becoming a fan of visual novels via working in the visual novel industry, not vice-versa. I'm learning as I go. That means I'm learning more about the creators and their usual subject matter.

New to me, but growing more and more familiar (as you'll find out in later entries), is Tomo Kataoka, best known as the creator of the first two Narcissu games. I didn't know much of the Narcissu series until recently save for the fact that it dealt with some heavy subject matter, and Ame no Marginal isn't terribly far off content-wise.

In this case, you (our male hero), stuck in something of a dead-end life, take an elevator into a rainy vacant landscape, otherwise populated only by a cheerful white-haired girl. She's not terribly forthcoming about what the place is, why it is, or why either of you is there.

Then night falls. And she wants you gone.

There's a lot more to the story than just you and your new friend, obviously, and that unfolds in the second half (which I'm not even going to attempt to touch on -- it should be approached blind if at all possible). But, as you might expect of the mind behind Narcissu, it touches on some heavy territory: mortality, organized religion, illness, absolution of guilt...

Yeah, and you thought this was a game about standing out in the rain with a little girl. I mean, it is, but. You see.

I actually worked on this game with a second editor, editing the first half myself and overseeing the second. That's a fairly new experience for me (and one I've been through a couple times recently as I just worked on a couple games too big for just one editor -- again, you'll see more on that soon), but I like working in a team dynamic and it was neat to take a step back for one portion of the game and get to have my hands slightly out of the guts of it more so I could read along.

Ame no Marginal is one of those things like Fire Walk with Me where it's good, but you gotta make sure you're already in an 'up' mood before you take it on. It's pretty and atmospheric and will probably have you weeping a little by the end. Unless that's just the rain.

You can buy Ame no Marginal on Steam right now.