for elise ~Elise no tame ni~


For everyone who wanted to experience the crappy salaryman life.

for elise ~Elise no tame ni~ is a 1996 game by Craftwork (same company as Sayonara wo Oshiete)

vndb EGS


Our main character Hioki (name changeable) is a salesman, work he is not very good at nor likes very much. He’s secretly in love with his coworker Yaegaki Chitose, but she seems to prefer to criticize his (poor) performance. And his other coworker Kubota seems fond of ratting him out to their boss when he skips out work to instead sleep on the park or watch a movie at home (that is, most of the time).

So people at his office keep looking down on him, but worry not, he will soon enough meet several women outside the office that also will look down on him.

(And a kindergarten teacher that’s kinda cute)


But after being hit by a ball in the head when meeting said kindergarten teacher, he starts getting frequent headaches, and increasingly vivid dreams of him ravaging all these women that keep being an obstacle between him and Chitose (even if she would not take note of him in a million years, right?)

(And these are only dreams, right?)


for elise was the first game of Craftwork, with Nagaoka Kenzou in the staff, who would also later be in Sayonara wo Oshiete. Maybe it was because of this, but the only idea I had about this game before playing it was that it was a kind of a proto-sayooshi.

Which, after playing it, I have to say is kinda off the mark.

I went in expecting the madness aspect to be important, and to have some denpa-ish elements of not being able to differentiate what is real from what is not, but the scenario is actually pretty straightforward.

That also meant that I kept trying to enter additional routes after finishing two expecting some additional explanation, when there is actually none; these two routes are all the game has, and they are actually basically the same, with the same ending (it’s a pretty short game).

So I was in a wrong disposition when playing this, so I might not have enjoyed it fully (if you can “enjoy” this kind of games).

However, as just an utsuge it works.

…kind of.

This game is basically telling the story of a loser in life in a shitty job that keeps being taken advantage of by everyone, especially the women in his life, and how this stress builds up and eventually explodes.

This would certainly be not a cheerful story but it could be worth reading. The atmosphere is good, and the bgm helps this oppressive atmosphere; and the ending doesn’t hold any punches (do not expect this to be an uplifting story)

On the other hand the text might be too short for its own good and I was not quite able to become immersed in this depressive atmosphere.

And the delusions scenes are famed (as much as anything related to this game is famed, in any case) as shocking, but for the most part they are clearly just delusions and didn’t have quite the impact (it might be that I’m already completely rotten though).

The characters are good; as in, they have their own clear motivations and they work in the story. Which in this case means that they are for the most part nasty.

Except Chitose, Chitose is good.

Chitose has no time for your shit

On the other hand, the system is as basic as it could be while still keeping the ability to actually read the text. No backlog, no skipping already read text, no cg viewer, only saving at the end of the day, it barely recognizes keyboard inputs (this could be a problem of newer operative systems though?). I guess the game is short enough for all this to not be that much of a problem though.

(Maybe it was par for the course for 1996? Have not actually played a lot from that time period).

It has an old style adventure game system of having to look/talk several times at everyplace before being able to move to the next location, repeat.

So to close things up, this is a pretty gloomy utsuge, and should be approached as such. It has a less than perfect pace but good atmosphere, but the system and production values show this being over 20 years old. If you want a short depressing story and have already read everything newer you may as well read this; at the very least it’s not a waste of time.*

*You may have to waste some time making this run on newer Windows versions though


6 Responses to “for elise ~Elise no tame ni~”

  1. Great review! And really happy to see you interested in visual novels enough again to update this blog.

    Back in 1996/1997 multiple routes were very uncommon and Shizuku/Kizuato were an exception rather than a rule, so I’m really surprised to see it implemented there. Can’t you hint what’s the difference between the routes – they are centered around different women or smth? Nice that the ending is same hardcore for both routes.

    You’ve again picked one of the most difficult for reading, but historically important works and shed the light on it. Thank you for your hard work. Now I have a full picture regarding it.

    Sadly Flowers ~Kokoro no Hana~ is not hookable. I’m sure it only looks innocent, but shares utsuge roots with the other Craftwork games. Can’t check the mentioned in Japanese reviews frequent comical references as well since I’m not confident reading raw unhookable games.

    • The routes are defined by a different woman each. Depending on a couple of choices the first day, the main character meets one of two girls that becomes central to the plot progression.
      They are not really “heroines” though; the story ends up centering basically around Chitose, how would be the closest to the game’s main heroine. And the ending is exactly the same in both cases; as in, the route girl is not involved in it. The branches converge in a single ending.

      Didn’t know that about Flowers; haven’t really heard anything about it actually, but guess I can check out what kind of game it is

  2. On a second look Flowers is a normal school romance game and quite boring as such, so probably not worth your time. It’s just very difficult to associate this kind of gloomy drawing with something positive anymore. Too many heroines to implement special plot moves, I guess.

  3. Interesting; I am not aware of what in intimate terms the plot has to say, but being a prototype of sayoshi, it seems to me a genuine event to observe with greater attention; but I am curious the image of that peaceful head sleeping; says something beyond pure metaphor; In any case, the undeniable thing is that you are back and that is good to know.

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