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2015-10-04

Repercussion of the Golden Witch Review

Title: Repercussion of the Golden Witch
Release date: 2012-12-11
Developer: Ozaki
Publisher: Ozaki

"Repercussion of the Golden Witch" is another Umineko fan-game, which somehow flew by everyone's radars. Not only I haven't played it during my Umineko binge a few years back, but it wasn't even included on VNDB before I added it. It's time to see how it fares in comparison to other VNs of the same ilk.

The game has a tangential relation with another Umineko fan-game "When the Seacats Cry". It was even mentioned by Kinjo in the comments for my WtSC review, but I quickly forgot about that and didn't check if the game was actually released. Both "Repercussion" and "Seacats" were born as actual image board fights between two members of the community Kinjo and Ozaki. Later they were transferred into a VN format almost completely verbatim with only minor edits for better flow, which is a major drawback for this game.
What vanity! You had your own portrait painted.
Ozaki was the game-master for the "Repercussion" and Kinjo was the detective. However, Kinjo was pretty bad at playing the game and flailed around a lot, which makes the game protagonist to look like a moron. Moreover, the actual board battle went for about six months and the players tended to forget certain things - this transfers very badly into the computer game.

Let me give you an example: Kinjo finds a key on Natsuhi's body and ten minutes later finds a locked box that, according to the servants, belongs to Natsuhi. What do you think he does? He tries to smash the box open! What happened, I think, was that what lasted ten minutes in video game, went for two months in real life and the player forgot about the key. Eventually Kinjo lost the game and the solution to the mystery was revealed only in this VN. In order to enjoy the VN to the fullest, let's forget for a moment the story of its origins and just look at it as a visual novel.
Lovers' quarrel.
Three years ago Ushiromiya George was killed during the annual family gathering. The culprit was never found. Now Krauss decided to invite the family for a Christmas celebration in order to heal and close the wounds of the past. However, the murderer is among them and he or she is gonna strike again. It's time for Kinjo, the son of a famed detective Gilligan Goldbar, to save the day.

Of course, our detective is completely inept - he is always late to crime scenes, he cannot make heads or tails out of the crimes, he gets into shouting matches with members of the family and he wastes his time on completely unnecessary things, like crossdressing as a maid (!) or going on kleptomaniacal binges like a cliché western RPG "hero". Not to mention, that he manages to lose the items he has collected and forgets about the items he still has. In other words the game becomes a comedy, rather than a proper murder mystery. It's like watching "The Naked Gun", only Frank Drebin still manages to save the day in the end, while in the game the day is saved by Battler.
And that serves what purpose?
"When the Seacats Cry" was a pretty long game - it had four chapters and lasted for more than ten hours. "Repercussion" is pretty short in comparison - you won't spend more than four hours with this VN. Moreover, the game is pretty linear. There is some interactivity, but it doesn't change the outcome and at worst it devolves into "But thou must". You can get the "game over" scene if you are doing particularly badly, but that's it.

While I disparage the protagonist for being a moron, sooth be told I don't think I would have done any better. The game is rigged in such a way that there doesn't appear to be any clues as to who the culprit is. Once the time to point out the murderer came, I cheated and checked the guilty party on the gameboard. It's just that all the murders were committed without leaving any evidence. And there would have been plenty of evidence, if Kinjo actually did his job and asked pointed questions, like going up to Jessica and enquiring: "Were all the letters actually written by you"? For that matter, now that I think, Jessica should have wondered about the additional letters too, but we get no indication that she is worried about that.
A moment of genre savviness.
There are more discrepancies, which I consider plot holes in the VN: How was Kinjo injured if it was specified that no person of woman born can injure a detective? There was no indication that there was anything unusual about the culprit's birth. And how did the culprit steal the gold without Genji and Krauss noticing anything? Haven't they checked on the treasure at all during the three years since the George's murder? And I completely failed to understand why Krauss moved George's body... There was absolutely no reason to do that!!!

Oh, well... I don't consider "Repercussion of the Golden Witch" to be a good game. Actually is a pretty silly affair with a stupid protagonist and an even stupider crime. All the characters are acting as plot demands rather that as their true selves from Umineko. George is the greatest offender as his personality was butchered and then shat upon. Writing is also pretty barebones as the plot moves at breakneck speed, which is the fault of the game origins.
Kinzo is pretty spry for a dead guy.
On the other hand, the game can be read as a comedy, especially considering some of the murder mechanics made me burst out laughing out loud. The way Natsuhi was killed make me gape at the screen repeating "No, this didn't happen". Alas it did. If you don't mind the inherent silliness of this VN you might just get a few hours of mindless fun, but don't expect a higher quality product, like "Seacats".

Links of Interest

Visual Novel Database
Official game site
Game download link
Endgame solution
Original Seacats board game turned into this VN

Final Verdict: 59%

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