Monster Girl Quest Review

Title: Monster Girl Quest
Original title: もんむす・くえすと!前章 ~負ければ妖女に犯される~
Alias: Monmusu Quest! Origins -Assaulted by the Vamp-
Release date: 2011-03-09
English release date: 2011-07-23 (Rogue Translator)
2015-04-13 (DLsite)
Developer: Torotoro Resistance
English publisher: Rogue Translator (as a fan-patch)

So, it's finally time to review a JRPG, where we are a spiky haired boy with a GAS (Giant Ass Sword), a bad attitude and a penchant to save the world from the big bad Monster Lord terrorizing weak and helpless humans... not. "Monster Girl Quest" is a wonderful deconstruction of many of the prevalent JRPG clichés while being an engaging JRPG/VN hybrid in its own right.

A true Hero is always saving kidnapped Princesses! How could I possibly refuse such a perfect cliche!

Deconstruction begins.
I came to MGQ with high expectations as the opinions on the net about the game were mostly positive and were not disappointed. MGQ is a first part in an upcoming trilogy and as of now only the first has been translated. But never fear, Rogue Translator has already released the demo of the second game in English, so we are expecting to see it translated quickly after it's released in Japan.

In this game we play the role of Luca - a naïve village boy, who strives to be a Hero and beat a fearsome Monster Lord. There is a catch though, while many people hate monsters and would rather see them exterminated, Luca's life dream is to see humans and monsters coexisting in peace. He sees Monster Lord as an obstacle to coexistence, thinking that she is the one that incites monsters to attack humans indiscriminately. Luca is naïve and dense, but not an idiot and while some situations might challenge this claim, he is not oblivious to the ways of the world and his single-minded charge toward his goal is admirable.

At the beginning of the game, Luca is to be baptized as a Hero for his quest, but something goes wrong and the game world's resident Goddess Illias doesn't appear for his ceremony. Not dejected, Luca marches on his quest without his Goddess protection and is quickly saddled with a companion - a powerful monster named... Alice.

Believing in an immature view of world piece, with everyone living in harmony peacefully with no issues... What is that but idiotic?
Aww, Alice, you are not scary, you are adorable. I want to take you home...
Alice is one and only heroine of the game and an awesome character to boot. Belonging to a race of lamias, ancient Greek vampiric half-humans half-snakes, she can do some really wicked things with her tail ;-) Alice claims to be a traveling gourmet in search of more and more interesting foreign cuisine and uses a 500 year old travel book as her guide! Unbeknownst to Luca, Alice is in fact Monster Lord herself, whom he is on a quest to slay. The previous statement is as much of a spoiler as a gender of Chris in Princess Waltz. In other words, Luca is the only idiot who has no clue, while readers are groaning in frustration. Alice at first treats Luca like dirt and will denounce his dream as delusional, but later she grows up to like and respect him. The chemistry between Luca and Alice is a driving force for the game and their banters never get old.

If I have one complaint about Alice is that her food fixation starts to grow old by the end of the game and you just want her to stay silent about the matter. That's really not such a big complaint as Alice is a main deconstructor of many RPG plot devices. One particular instance has her and Luca visiting a theocratic Vatican-like city-state. Its priest-king gives you a quest to visit three wise men in order to acquire their knowledge after which you will become a bearer of "Goddess Sword". What follows is the most laughter inducing section of the game, especially if you choose to answer the questions given to you honestly.

If I have one complaint about Luca it's not his denseness, but his unwaivering faith in Goddess Illias, especially considering it's at odds with his goals. You see, one of the Holy precepts of Illias is for humans not to have sexual relations with monsters. On the other hand most monsters need humans for reproduction, so in order for coexistence to be achieved, the precept needs to be broken. Whenever Alice points that one out to Luca, he gets flustered and ends the conversation. But I suppose that is a part of character growth and will be addressed in more details in the second part.
I detest this bitch.
Illias herself only appears in a few dreams of Luca and after lost battles to give some tips and spout racial slanders. If my Genre Savvyness is correct, we will meet Illias at the end of the trilogy as the Big Bad and the final boss of the series. Of course that might be deconstructed too as it's hard to say yet what direction the series will take.

Princesses do not give blowjobs!
-Random prostitute

Would you like to pass away like that?
Starting with the (largely incorrect) above claim, let's talk about sex and more sex. Every monster in this game (all 68 of them) is a female (just like the title says). Losing a battle with any of them will end with Luca being raped and subsequently killed, made into a sex toy or forced to marry said monster. Now here is my biggest complaint about the game - there is a shitload of H-scenes and that would be good and proper, but they are of very inconsistent quality, mainly due to an inconsistent art. It's obvious that lot of different artists worked on the game and it's already easy to see in the "paper dolls", but even more obvious once you loose a battle.
No CG for you, infidels.
Some scenes have an obvious CG sequence for a scene just as it should be. Other scenes have an interesting combination of enlarged sprites superimposed on the background, but some of the defeats only have sprites having sex with some internal exhibitions and here is my main gripe. I hold a firm belief that if you haven't got resources for CG sex, you shouldn't make adult scenes at all. It was very anticlimactic that even some of the boss battles (like a certain book monster) only have "paper doll" sex. I think that the author should have lowered the count of those scenes but increased the quality and content of them. I said "content", yes. Many of the scenes follow the same routine of Luca cumming incessantly while stuck in the monster's mouth and frankly it's not hot. Some variation would be nice instead of reading about Luca's 23rd orgasm in a row... Some people obviously would have complained if not all monster girls had their scenes, but I think that quality is above quantity. Incidentally, my favourite H-scene in this game is if you loose to Frederika in the Haunted Manor.
It's not as short as it looks...
VNDB claims that MGQ is a 2-10 hour visual novel, but that is not true in essence. Oh, sure, you can finish the game in that timeframe on "normal" difficulty and not loosing any battles on purpose, and that is what VNDB cares about. But all us perverts will spend much more time, especially is we care about the RPG part of the game as the only way to play it is on "hard" difficulty. "Normal" here is just too easy and fit only to those who care only about the VN part of the game.

And here is another of my gripes with this game - once you take out battles, sex and Luca-Alice character interactions, there is not much plot left. In essence, Monster Girl Quest is an introductory part of the trilogy with not much happening yet and what's more it was an experiment as the creator didn't know if it will sell. It did, better than anticipated, so we can expect the other parts of the trilogy be of much better quality. And I for once am eagerly awaiting to once more immerse myself into monster girl world, because seriously, who doesn't love monster girls?
My pants are haunted!
Upon playing the (very short) demo of the second part I can already notice some positive differences. The first part didn't have any sprites for common townsfolk and what we saw were only shadow theatre-like silhouettes. The second part already has "paper dolls" for common folk. I expect more improvements in the full game.

In the end I can heartily recommend Monster Girl Quest to everyone who actually likes monster girls, RPGs, their parodies and hilarious situations.

Links of interest

Visual Novel Database
Official Japanese site
Buy the Japanese version of the game on Dlsite Japan
English patch v1.1 or direct link
Buy the English version of the game on DLsite English (DLsite translation)
English walkthrough
English trial for the second game in the trilogy

Final verdict: 76%

1 comment:

  1. About part2 I guess the reason why some villagers got their own full detail sprite because they are gonna turn into monster and eventually fight against you.