Friday, January 8, 2016

WAS is loss. And time loops. And awkward teen romance.

My favourite thing is when a project manager sends me the trailer for my next job and it blows me out of the water. That happened with WORLD END ECONOMiCA, it happened with Shin Mazinger, and it's happened here with WAS: The Hourglass of Lepidoptera.

Also I never knew until I started working on visual novels how amazing their openings could be.

Okay okay okay. Look here I'll show you.

See what I'm saying? Yeah. Even if that doesn't tell you a hell of a lot, it's still pretty amazing to look at.

WAS feels me, really. Plot-wise, I mean. It's an AU where Japan won the war, but things still aren't that hot. A sheltered rich teen named Tadayoshi wakes up in a church in the slums to discover that, one, his whole life has been stolen from him and he is presumed dead; and two, he has magical psychic powers activated by a sparkly blue butterfly. In order to survive in his new life, he must adapt to a life of selfless service among the church's orphans, become a martial arts master, and find someone like him with green butterfly powers.

Also there may or may not be sandworms.

I've not done many games lately with bad ends or alternate routes, but this one brings them back for me. I always get a little fun out of seeing where things branch, where the bad ends take one, and how they're dealt with. And I've gotta say the WAS way of dealing with it is pretty inventive, as it becomes part of the narrative. That's all I'll say, though; there's plenty to spoil here.

WAS was meant to be in multiple chapters, and I'm hoping it still will be, but I've not heard anything yet about the continuation -- fingers crossed, and if it does continue, I hope to continue working on it. Nonetheless, I highly encourage everyone to give this game a go. The art is beautiful, the story is inventive, and the creator sets it in his hometown -- just a little way of showing us where he grew up and what kind of food they like.

Though if there are sandworms in Tottori Prefecture, I'm not sure I wanna go touristing there.

You can pick up WAS on Steam right now.