Kizuato – Scar

vndb EGS

Let’s start with a short review of Kizuato, one of the very first visual novels by Leaf, maybe better known in the English speaking community by the SRPGs Utawarerumono and Tears to Tiara (to which this holds no resemblance).

Opening (with French subtitles, just because):

Originally published in 1996, this was the second game of the visual novel series, the first being Shizuku (which probably will get a post in the near future) and the third To Heart. It seems all these games held a huge influence in posterior vns, being very innovative for the time (not that I know about it, since by 1996 I wasn’t playing much of… anything actually, much less visual novels). Following vndb it seems Shizuku invented the denpa genre, and Kizuato was a big source for Tsukihime and Higurashi (and a lot other things). This one then went on to have a remake in 2002, with new designs and a short extra route (and Shizuku got one in 2004), and another one in 2009 (which comes with the 2004 version of Shizuku), with voices, again new designs, and an extra route after everything has been cleared, happening half a month after the main game events. Is this 2009 version which is being reviewed.

So on to the game. College student Kashiwagi Kouichi it’s staying for a few day in the Kashiwagi’s main house, were his cousins, four sisters, live. Their parents died when they were little, and since then they lived with Kouichi’s father, while he lived alone with his mother, until she died a few years ago. And now Kouchi’s father has just died in a strange accident, reason for which he has gone to his cousin’s house.

Kouchi himself, however, is more worried about the weird nightmares he’s had non stop since arriving to the town, in which it’s like “something” is trying to escape from himself. Especially with a particularly vivid one, where he dreams that he turns into a monster and attacks and kills some passersby. And to much surprise (his, not ours), that dream seems to have actually happened: the next morning the TV show news of the discovery of brutal murders, in the exact same place he dreamed.

Well, to talk more could enter into spoiler territory, so I’ll stop here. Suffice to say the first route proceeds in a maybe somewhat predictable (thought still satisfying) way.

After that you go on unlocking further routes (there’s a very strict enforced play order), which develop the nature and background of the mystery, and those go on surprising directions. And here is one of the strongest points of the game: it has a very well planed route system. Every route gives a piece of a bigger puzzle, basically without redundancy, and you have to go through all them to get the great picture, which is probably what one could have guessed at the beginning.

The heroines (the four cousins) are also pretty cute, especially the two younger ones.

Another point is that the protagonist is a (young) adult. This could make for an interesting dynamic; the heroines, however, are not (save for the oldest one), with two in loli territory (not that I particularly care, but figured should mention it), so in the end it follows the conventional MC – several girls in love with him.

It’s not all perfect, though; it has several flaws. Though the final picture is neat, the routes themselves (save maybe the first, but especially the second) are somewhat lacking. Not bad per se, but not outstanding either. The consensual H scenes are awfully forced also. Awfully. The rape ones are… better, from a story progression point of view, but if you are turned off by that then you are out of luck, since they’re abundant (and with heroines, in some cases). The game also suffers the usual “all the heroines were in love with the protagonist since always”, so the romance ends up coming out from nowhere. The additional route is also pretty underwhelming, and doesn’t really add much.

All in all, this was a satisfying game, though certainly not masterpiece. If I had to say it in few words, is a case where the whole is better than the sum of its parts.

And now I guess I need to give a rating, so this feels like a review? If so, I’d rate it at about 7.5 or 8 out of 10; despite its strong points, it has too many flaws.

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16 Responses to “Kizuato – Scar”

  1. Sounds creepy ><. I guess you can only expect that from something that's considered the precursor to Higurashi/Tsukihime.

    • It’s probably in the horror genre, but I didn’t find it actually that creepy, at least after the 1st route (maybe more in the 5th). Tsukihime and especially Higurashi (the questions arc) have a much creepier atmosphere.

  2. […] It’s now the turn of the third of the Leaf Visual Novel Series (see also, Shizuku, Kizuato). […]

  3. i know this was from a long time ago but i as of last year i got a fighter called Aquapazza and Chizuru is in it (i main her) and i REALLY want to learn her story. i’ve looked absolutely everywhere but can’t seem to find any place to get the game. i was wondering if you could help me with that.

    • Sure. Chizuru has the first route, and what I describe in the review is basically the first part of it. A more detailed (and spoilery) description follows (translate with http://www.rot13.com/)

      Puvmheh vf gur byqrfg bs gur sbhe Xnfuvjntv fvfgref, naq urnq bs gur ubhfr-phz-cerfvqrag bs gur pbzcnal. Ure cneragf qvrq frireny lrnef ntb, naq Xbhvpuv’f sngure (ure hapyr) gbbx pner bs gurz, ohg ur nyfb qvrq n yvggyr ovg ntb (guvf vf gur ernfba Xbhvpuv vf abj fgnlvat jvgu gurz).
      Gura jrveq xvyyvatf fgneg unccravat, naq Xbhvpuv qernzf jvgu gubfr xvyyvatf; vf ng gung zbzrag gung Puvmheh nccebnpurf uvz naq gryyf uvz gur gehgu: gur Xnfuvjntv snzvyl npghnyyl unf bav oybbq ehaavat va vg. Vg tvirf gurz fhcre-fgeratgu, rfcrpvnyyl gb gur znyrf, ohg znyrf nyfb raq hc gheavat znq. Puvmheh sngure npghnyyl xvyyrq uvzfrys jura gur oybbq fgnegrq orpbzvat hapbagebyynoyr, nf qvq Xbhvpuv’f sngure; naq abj Puvmheh cynaf gb xvyy Xbhvpuv, fvapr vg frrzf ur’f nyernql ernpuvat gung cbvag (v.r., gur xvyyvatf). Xbhvpuv vf yrff guna raguhfrq, naq ehaf njnlf; ohg Puvmheh punfrf naq pngpurf uvz. Puvmheh orngf Xbhvpuv, naq ur snyyf vagb n qvxr. Ohg gura nabgure bav nccrnef; gheaf bhg gur erny xvyyre jnf nabgure crefba jub pbhyq nyfb genafsbez vagb na bav. Guvf arj bav orngf Puvmheh, ohg gura Xbhvpuv shyyl njnxraf uvf oybbq, gheaf vagb na bav, naq xvyyf gur xvyyre. Naq gura gheaf onpx vagb uhzna; Xbhvpuv pbhyq cresrpgyl pbageby uvf oybbq. Naq guhf rirelobql yvirf unccvyl rire nsgre. (Gb frr guvf orfg raq lbh unir svefg gb frr n pbhcyr bs onq raqf gubhtu, bar jura Xbhvpuv yrgf Puvmheh xvyy uvz, naq nabgure jura Xbhvpuv xvyyf gur xvyyref ohg vf abg va gvzr gb fnir Puvmheh).

      Or something like that. I might be missing a few details.

  4. doesn’t seem to have it…

  5. still doesn’t look like it has anything -.-. it looked like i found it, possibly once (the 1996 version) but i couldn’t open it for some reason

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