Tag Archives: Red Entertainment

The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: Best Character Arc

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards I’ve devised in collaboration with the community to celebrate the sorts of things that never get celebrated in end-of-year roundups! Find out more here — and feel free to leave a suggestion on that post if you have any good ideas!

We’re all about narrative-centric games here, as you know, with many a visual novel and plot-heavy RPG having been explored in great detail to date!

Regular commenter ASD wants to know which characters had a particularly interesting, satisfying or otherwise noteworthy arc from the games and visual novels I’ve played and covered in the last year. Who went on a personal journey and discovered things about themselves as a person over the course of the game’s complete runtime?

Quite a few, as it happens, but one in particular stands out in my mind when I think back over the year gone by.

And the winner is…

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Our World is Ended: The Harmony of Chaos

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Doubtless many of us have thought at one point or another what it would be like to lead a “perfect” life, with nothing to worry about, nothing to fear or perhaps even nothing to think about.

Chances are these thoughts were followed up in fairly short order by the conclusion that such an existence would actually be rather tedious and boring, as desirable as it might seem when contemplated from afar. Human beings are at their best when confronted with some sort of adversity, after all, whether said adversity is something that is about to kill you or a particularly tricky error in a piece of JavaScript.

A core message at the heart of Our World is Ended is one of true diversity: the acceptance of others, regardless of how unfathomably different they might seem to you and how much of a problem it might seem to bring such disparate elements together — and how those differences, when assembled into something greater than their individual parts, can actually create something incredibly strong.

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Waifu Wednesday: Yuno Hayase

Who doesn’t love a good girl? That, it seems, is the angle that Yuno Hayase, valued member of game developer Judgement 7 alongside her sister Asano, is going for.

Throughout the early hours of visual novel Our World is Ended, Yuno represents a source of relentless positivity and optimism. She’s always there to encourage protagonist Reiji and her comrades in Judgement 7, whether the situation is simply enduring a hot day or fleeing for their lives from mysterious men in black.

But, unsurprisingly, there’s a bit more going on beneath the surface than her airheaded first impressions might suggest. Make that a lot more.

Spoilers and heavy mental health stuff ahead.

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Our World is Ended: Who Wants to Live Forever?

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Immortality or eternal life is often depicted in fiction as some sort of grand, ultimate goal — both for heroes and villains under various circumstances.

Normally, achieving such a lofty ambition involves any combination of magical power, epic quests, battles with mighty gods and/or fairies, but here in boring old reality we’re actually much closer to achieving that goal than you might think — albeit in a rather more mundane manner.

It all depends on your definition of “mortality” and “life”, and that’s one of the more interesting subjects that Our World is Ended explores over the course of its complete runtime.

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Our World is Ended: Worlds Apart

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One of the most interesting aspects of Our World is Ended is how it explores the idea of virtual reality and other worlds without following the usual isekai format.

Instead, what we have is an interesting tale where it’s initially not altogether clear what is fantasy and what is reality, and over time we find ourselves questioning whether certain aspects of one or the other might be preferable.

It’s a timely tale, too; with the growth in consumer-grade virtual reality hardware and a variety of companies exploring the possibilities of augmented or mixed reality, Our World is Ended offers an intriguing exploration of both the pleasures and pitfalls of such technology.

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Our World is Ended: First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

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A common theme explored throughout the visual novel medium in general is the idea of people not being quite what they appear at first glance.

The reason for this is mostly a practical one: the very nature of the visual novel medium makes deep dives into multifaceted, layered characters a viable thing for creators to explore. Enthusiasts of visual novels are already accustomed to the medium’s slow pace and relatively limited interactivity compared to games with a stronger emphasis on their mechanical components, so writers and developers are more than happy to allow us the opportunity to get to know the main cast extremely intimately.

That doesn’t mean those first impressions the characters set don’t matter, mind you. On the contrary, they are extremely important for setting expectations as to how those characters will behave and interact — and then, in some cases, subverting rather than confirming those expectations. Let’s take a look at how Our World is Ended’s cast presents itself in the early hours of the game as the narrative is getting underway.

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Our World is Ended: Introduction

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Even among the already niche-interest community of Japanese video games, visual novels tend not to get a ton of hype about them… at least here in the West.

That’s why when a new one comes along and its localisers are confident enough to refer to it as “a new masterpiece of narrative visual novel storytelling”, it’s probably worth taking notice. Of course, it’s pure marketing-speak, but it also demonstrates a certain amount of faith in the product — and perhaps a track record of the game being well-received back in its native territory.

Is Red Entertainment’s Our World is Ended, also known as 俺達の世界わ終っている (Ore-tachi no Sekai wa Owatteiru) worthy of the descriptor “masterpiece”? Only one way to find out!

Continue reading Our World is Ended: Introduction