Game Review: Period:Cube

 

mainOriginal Japanese Title: ピリオドキューブ ~鳥籠のアマデウス~
(Partially) Romanized: Period:Cube ~Torikago no Amadeus~
Translation: Period:Cube ~Amadeus in a Birdcage~

Since my resolution to try to play more of my games and whittle down my black hole backlog, I came up with a new strategy: any time I start a game, I need to play it a little every day until I finish it. This would be to make sure that I not only finish a game, but I also finish it in a more timely manner. It seems to have worked decently well because the game took me about a week and half to play and well..I’m writing this review, aren’t I?

This is going to be a spoiler review but you can skip down to the Non-spoiler section if you want the general commentary about the game as a whole. I didn’t mean to make the plot descriptions as detailed as they came out so for all you guys wanting the read the Non-spoiler part…I’m sorry, you have a lot of scrolling to do.


The story prologue has Kazuha running away from dog-like monsters in a forest. She tries to attack but it doesn’t do much. Hiroya comes to save her.

Quest 1 (this chapter is actually the Common Route) starts with Hanamiya Kazuha talking to a classmate from school. In this conversation, you find out that Kazuha has an older stepbrother (her mother married his father) that she gets along well with. Their parents got together when she wasn’t even one-year-old yet, so she felt like they were her family her whole life. After a while, she gets approached by her childhood friend Hiroya. When he hesitates to start the conversation, her classmate takes this as a cue to leave, and he asks Kazuha if she’s been able to get in contact with her brother Shiki. Apparently, neither of them have been able to get in touch with him for a while, but Kazuha had figured he’d just been busy with school. Hiroya feels like his odd lack of contact is connected to an online game they both play called Arcadia.

Arcadia is an online RPG that pits Demons against Angels. There are 25 game servers that follow the alphabet World A through Z with the exception of World V. For some reason, World V does not exist so there are strange rumors surrounding that missing server. Hiroya had gotten a message on Arcadia from Regulus (Shiki’s character name in the game) that warned him away from World V, which is why Hiroya is certain Shiki’s  disappearance is related to the game somehow.

The two of them do detective work and try to figure out what happened to Shiki, although that basically just entails going to his apartment. The room looks like no one’s been there for a while (the newspaper and mail is piled up), but the computer monitor on the desk is on and says “Accessing the World V.” Hiroya explains to Kazuha more info about the game, expanding that the rumors about the nonexistent World V was that people would get trapped in the game. Hiroya and Kazuha decide to investigate further later. They exchange contact information and decide to do more investigating the following day.

Kazuha has an odd dream about walking through a large library looking for her brother but being unable to find him.

The next day, Kazuha goes to her brother’s campus to ask around about him, but she comes up empty. Hiroya contacts her while she’s at Shiki’s apartment and she tells him that she wasn’t able to get any useful information. They decide to try out the game to see if they can find anything out from accessing World V. Hiroya stays at home to play his own game and guides Kazuha through the process over the phone to make a sub-character on Shiki’s account. She chooses to be a troubadour as a character that predominantly heals/inflicts statuses but can also attack with a knife/bow. As soon as she finishes customizing her character, Kazuha and Hiroya both get sucked into World V.

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When Kazuha and Hiroya get thrown into Arcadia, they run into some dog beast monsters and Hiroya beats them up. They find out from system-sent messages that they’ve entered the game world and while it mostly functions like how the game usually works, there are a few changes. The biggest change is that if their HP reaches 0, then they die in both the game world and the real world. The goal of the game is to clear it by beating the final dungeon, the Ark. Angels and Demons are still enemies in this world because if a Demon clears the final stage, then the whole Demon race can exit the game but the Angels are then basically sentenced to death and vice versa.

Other changes include the scarcity of items that weren’t that rare before and the fact that portals that used to let them warp directly to places don’t really exist anymore except the one that lets you warp to the door of the final dungeon.

There are “Special Quests” that players can partake in. If you beat those quests then you and whoever was in your party can logout temporarily and return to the real world for a while. The time you can stay in the real world is dependent on the level of difficulty of the quest. Time flows differently between the game world and the real world. The equivalent is that one hour in the real world is approximately one day in the game world. Players need to set their homepoints, which is the place they return to after they return to World V. If you don’t assign a homepoint or if for some reason you cannot access your homepoint, when you return, you’re sent back to the same location from where you beat the quest.

Some important key terms:

  • The Ark (Hakobune): The game’s final dungeon
  • Twilight City (Tasogare no Miyako): The town where Demons congregate
  • Majestic Palace (Eiga no Kyuuden): The place where Angels congregate
  • The Adventurer’s Town (Boukensha no Machi): A town where both Angels and Demons congregate
  • Jaws of Death (Shi no Agito): A misty smoke-like thing that erases the data of anything it touches. This includes the landscape, animals, monster, and players
  • The Room of God’s Legacy (Kami no Isan no Ma): The deepest part of the dungeon. Players who make it to this room are able to exit the game after beating the final boss
  • Soul-sleeping Illness Outbreak (Toppatsuseikonsuishou): What the doctors are calling a condition that’s inflicting a lot of (mostly young) people. They can lose consciousness at any time, and it’s like the patients are in this mode of sleeping for long periods of time. No one knows the cause because nothing else seems to be wrong with the people inflicted with it. This is basically the bodily state of players trapped in World V

The three cities (Twilight City, Majestic Palace, and Adventurer’s Town) are all considered safe havens because monsters cannot enter there and the Jaws of Death also doesn’t touch those places.

Sometime after he and Kazuha enter the game and he gives her some quick basics, they get attacked by a pair of both Angels and Demons coming after the Divine Sword.

In this world, there are three high-level swords that are supposed to help clear the final dungeon: the Cursed Sword Glacies, the Holy Sword Lumen, and the Divine Sword Amadeus. While the first two are actually rare item weapons, Amadeus (while still considered a rare item weapon) is different.

When she entered the game, Hiroya asked her what race she chose. Even though Kazuha had selected the same race as him, she didn’t have ears like him. Hiroya wonders about this because she looks like a human even though you can only choose to be a Demon or an Angel. They later find out through a system message sent out to everyone that the Divine Sword is now in play and Kazuha’s game ID is listed as the ID of the Divine Sword. The Three Swords are items with high stats and have some extra benefits so having more of them on your side would make it easier to clear the final dungeon. Of course, Glacies and Lumen basically belong to one race so Amadeus is really the sword that would tip the balance in one race’s favor. This is why everyone starts to come after her regardless of if they’re Angels or Demons.

After the two parties find out that Kazuha is actually a player and not an NPC like they originally imagined, they get attacked by a bear monster. The forest they’re in is actually supposed to only have weak monsters, but the bear is stronger. He ends up killing one of the Angels and the other parties flee. Hiroya tells Kazuha to run while he takes care of the bear because her level is only level 1 and he’s worried about her getting hurt since she could die. This choice is basically what splits up the routes into three main divisions.

If you choose to have Kazuha fight with her knife, you enter the Hiroya/Libera route. If you choose to have her run, you enter Radius/Zain’s route. If you choose to use her  harp to inflict a status on the monster, you enter Astrum’s route. Demento’s sub-route branches off from Astrum’s route at Chapter 5.

After playing all other routes, Poyopoyo’s route unlocks following Hiroya and Libera’s division from the first choice but then branches into its own route after that.

The official recommended playorder from the blog is Hiroya–> Radius–> Zain–> Astrum–> Demento–> Libera–> Poyopoyo but they do mention that they would like everyone to enjoy the game in their own way so it’s not like a set order that you need to follow for the revelation of everything.

I personally played it in the order Hiroya–> Radius–> Zain–> Libera–> Demento–> Astrum–> Poyopoyo. The only real reason I played it differently is because I had a feeling I would like Astrum most so I wanted to put him near the end and I didn’t think I would like Libera or Demento so I moved them up in the play order. I do want to say that if you don’t do this order, you should probably do Demento after Astrum because Demento’s route branches off of Astrum’s and it feels a little weird if you do Demento first.

The order I reviewed the routes is in the order I played except I switched Demento to after Astrum to be more logical.


Hiroya
HIROYA

Hiroya is the childhood friend of both Kazuha and her brother Shiki. In the game, he’s a human beast, which is a part of the Demon race. He seems to be a physical unit and attacks with his claw weapons. While his level is decently high in Arcadia, he isn’t a strong player (at least compared to other players in the game). His level is 32 when Kazuha and Hiroya get trapped into World V.

After Kazuha decides to stay and fight, she doesn’t do much damage and Hiroya ends up getting badly hurt. With strong feelings of wanting to save him, Kazuha ends up activating the Divine Sword’s power, which is basically having a large number of golden swords drop from the sky. In this case, it killed off the bear. It starts to rain so they take cover in a cave. Despite using a healing item earlier, Hiroya ends up collapsing.

Libera enters the scene and explains that he’s been poisoned and if he isn’t given an antidote soon he’s going to die. Libera gives Kazuha an antidote that she can use on Hiroya and while it works, he’s still really weak.

Quest 2: Kazuha dreams about the library again but doesn’t remember it too well when she wakes up. A little after that Hiroya, Kazuha, and Libera head to the Twilight City. They get acquainted with Domina, the person in charge of the inn in that city and book a room there while they get their bearings. Hiroya gives Libera a huge amount of money asking him to buy them necessary supplies. Kazuha receives a message from Regulus (Shiki’s login) asking who she is. While she answers him, she never receives a response. Hiroya expresses how inadequate he feels because he wants Kazuha to rely on him more instead of enduring it on her own without saying anything. He wonders if she wouldn’t hold back so much if Shiki was with her instead of him.

Quest 3: The next morning, they find out from Domina that Libera probably went off with their money. Since they still need supplies, Hiroya and Kazuha decide to go around town. During this time, they run into Poyopoyo. Poyopoyo is a small informant monster. They find out from him that someone took a screenshot of Kazuha when she was using the Divine Sword’s ability and is dispersing it for money. The two of them decide to try and get to the Adventurer’s Town under Poyopoyo’s suggestion. He tells them an NPC called Zain should be able to help them out. On the way, they run into a lot of monsters and have a hard time beating them when they get saved by the Cursed Sword wielder Radius. Around this time the Jaws of Death starts appearing on the field. Kazuha sees a mysterious man. He tries speaking to her but she can’t hear him so in the end he uses motions to direct her to a safe place. For some reason she’s the only one who could see him. After he helps them, he disappears. While talking, they discover that Radius is planning on taking a Special Quest. He reluctantly lets them join in a party with him for the quest so they too can return to the real world for a while.

Quest 4: Kazuha dreams about a younger Hiroya crying and saying everything is his fault. She then wakes up in the real world back at Shiki’s apartment where she first entered the game because they had beaten the Special Quest. Hiroya and Kazuha meet up in real life and try and research more about World V. Kazuha ends up picking up Shiki’s high school graduation album while in the room and recognizes that one of Shiki’s classmates, Yuuki Natsu, was the mysterious man who helped her navigate their group to safety away from the Jaws of Death. They try to call the number listed as his contact but when they do, the person who answers the phone informs them that he died. They do a little more research and decide to try and contact Astrum, the leader of the Angel race, in order to get more info. Neither side seems to be able to completely trust each other but they find out from Astrum (who found this out from hacking) that the V server seems to be located somewhere completely different than all other game servers. Soon after they finish talking to Astrum, their allotted time in the real world ends and they get sent back to World V.

Quest 5: Kazuha sees that large library again and when she regains consciousness in World V, they’ve returned to the Twilight City, but the mood seems to be a little strange. Before they get a chance to read over the message, the NPC Zain greets them saying he’s been looking for them because they hadn’t gone to the Avdenturer’s Town. They run into Libera again and he apologizes for taking their money, but he wasn’t the one who took and sold the screenshot of Kazuha. When they finally read over the message, it basically says that the rules have changed regarding the Jaws do Death. Initially, the towns were safe from the mist but they no longer will be. Basically, it’s meant to motivate/force the players to try and beat the final dungeon faster. Even though they aren’t the most powerful group, their group comprised of Libera, Hiroya, Kazuha, and Poyopoyo decides to enter the Ark. While fighting a powerful monster, Demento (later exposed as a PK or playerkiller) tries to kidnap Kazuha. Hiroya and Libera beat down Demento, but Poyopoyo seems to have disappeared. Demento isn’t as beaten as they seem to think and he wounds Libera badly. Shiki then makes an appearance and beats Demento up some more using his magic. Hiroya and Kazuha worry about Libera, whose HP is now dangerously low after being attacked by Demento. Shiki says he’ll do something to save him.

Quest 6: Shiki leads them to what looks like a throne room with a large floating cube in it. He inputs some info into a control panel and the cube lowers. When Kazuha asks what it is, he says it’s the Period Cube. Kazuha remembers hearing a voice from somewhere telling her to stop the Period Cube…suddenly they hear the Mission Complete jingle. Shiki claps and congratulates them, welcoming them to the Room of God’s Legacy, the deepest part of the dungeon. Libera is surrounded by light and disappears. Shiki informs them that now Libera can live without dying inside the cube. He explains that Kazuha can see him again if she wants as he’s waiting in there. Shiki starts to get on Hiroya’s case, saying that it’s all Hiroya’s fault for getting Kazuha involved in this dangerous situation, just like in that car accident many years ago. Shiki actually never liked Hiroya because he knew how important he was to Kazuha. Hiroya asks if Shiki plans to trap Kazuha in the Period Cube as well, and he responds that he is, but not yet.

During this conversation, Shiki sends Hiroya into the Period Cube because he would do anything Kazuha wants and he knows Kazuha would be sad if Hiroya wasn’t present when it’s her time to go. There’s still some preparation that needs to be done before he can send her to the Period Cube too so he has a room prepared for her until that time. Before he can bring her there, Natsu makes an appearance again and brings Kazuha into the Period Cube, where he gives her Hiroya’s soul and tells her to please stop the Period Cube. With the last of his energy, he sends Kazuha and Hiroya to the real world to try and aid her in this mission.

When Kazuha wakes up in the real world, she notices that even though Hiroya’s soul had gone back with her, he still hadn’t woken up. Not knowing how much time she has, she contacts Natsu’s mother again to try and get more info, who in turn asks about Shiki. Apparently Shiki was there when Natsu passed and she figured that Kazuha was asking about Natsu because something happened to Shiki. As a mother, she hasn’t been able to bring herself to read it yet, but she says that she can give Kazuha Natsu’s journal in case it can give Kazuha any clues about Shiki. She goes to the hospital to get the journal. Natsu’s mom is there because her younger son has a weak body and often has to go in and out of the hospital. He also seems to have contracted the Soul-sleeping Illness that’s been circulating among mostly young people. On the way she runs into Rei (Radius in the real world) and he goes with her to try and help her out. When he hears about Natsu’s younger brother, he mentions to Kazuha later that he’s probably one of the players trapped in the game.

She gets contacted by Astrum and Rei decides to stay with her when she goes to meet him. They meet up and the three of them go to Shiki’s place, where Hiroya is still sleeping. A little while after, Hiroya finally wakes up and they catch Rei and Astrum up on the situation, that Shiki is the mastermind behind World V. They find some info in Natsu’s journal about the Period Cube needing souls to reboot and upgrade, which means it isn’t complete yet, so they still have some time to stop it. Rei figures out that Natsu and Shiki are actually the creators of the whole Arcadia game. Astrum and Rei are both running out of time before they need to return to World V so they decide to band together to beat the Period Cube.

Quest 7 is the final showdown. Having enlisted the help of Astrum and Radius, Hiroya and Kazuha return to World V. As promised Astrum and his party, Clarus, meet up with Hiroya and Kazuha at the Twilight City and Radius joins them later. They try to enlist the help of as many strong players as possible to go through the Ark again. When they get questioned about the presence of the Angels, they explain that there should be a way for both Demons and Angels to be released from the game. The high-level Demon party Forte also joins in. Forte is comprised of the leader Ira (a small powerful-hitter demon), Jocus (a healer), Mergo (another physical attacker), and Miseria (she controls undead monsters to attack). Hiroya is chosen to the be the leader so all the Demons have someone to follow since all the Angel players already follow Astrum. They decide to head out the next day so that night Hiroya and Kazuha finally confess their love to each other.

The following day they go to the Ark and make their way to the final room where the Period Cube is being held. A final boss Golem appears and Shiki brings Kazuha over to the Room of God’s Legacy while everyone else fights the boss. Kazuha asks why he did all this, and Shiki responds that World V is like a test. When the Period Cube is completed, a new world can be created, an Eternal Paradise. Basically, a world where death does not exist. After defeating the boss, everyone else enters the room and the Mission Complete music plays again. Too late Hiroya realizes that they shouldn’t have entered the room and all the people who beat the monster, including Hiroya, get sucked into the Period Cube.

In the Good End, Kazuha decides that if it weren’t for her and the Period Cube, such terrible things wouldn’t have happened to anyone. She decides to use her Divine Sword’s power in an attempt to destroy the Period Cube and herself, but Shiki blocks the swords from harming her. Using the power must have tired her out because Kazuha finds herself in the strange library again. This time, she’s finally able to remember what she forgot, which is a memory from when she was a child.

She was walking with Shiki after talking about a pet that had died the night before. Hiroya sees them from across the street and calls them over. Kazuha, getting excited, wants to go and play immediately and lets go of Shiki’s hand, going to cross the street to where Hiroya is. She gets hit by a car. During the time she’s unconscious from the accident, she enters the large library. The library’s administrator reveals this place to be the Akashic Records, a place that exists everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It will appear in front of people who search for knowledge. The Akashic Records have limitless info. The past, present, and future are all mixed into it. At the time, Kazuha was too young so her consciousness returned back to her body. However, she finds herself back there again and the manager asks her now if there’s something she wishes for. Kazuha wants to save everyone and return them to the real world, so she’s given one of the books.

From there, she enters the Period Cube and based on the knowledge she got from the book, is able to free all the people that had been previously trapped in the cube. Shiki once again verbally attacks Hiroya, saying that everything is his fault and he was so close to completing the Period Cube. If Hiroya hadn’t been there, the accident wouldn’t have happened and “that thing” wouldn’t have happened to Kazuha. Shiki is unwilling to elaborate on what he meant by saying that and Hiroya tells him that this plan of his was wrong so he’s going to stop him. Hiroya and Kazuha then work together to break the Period Cube and Kazuha and Hiroya wake up in Shiki’s room, except this time, the screen that was previously Accesing World V is now just static so they know that they had triumphed and everyone was released from World V.

A little further in the future, they run into Radius/Rei at the hospital when they went to check on Shiki’s condition. He seems to be in a vegetative state as he only just stares out the window without really registering anything. Hiroya talks a little about how some players from World V seem to be playing again (like Forte) and he seems to keep in touch with Astrum. Outside the hospital, Hiroya gets the courage to ask Kazuha to be his girlfriend, to which she responds yes. The two of them hug and kiss, affirming their feelings.

In the Merry Bad End, after Hiroya gets absorbed into the Period Cube, Kazuha starts to buy into Shiki’s idea of a perfect world where there’s no suffering and no death. He confesses his feelings to her as a romantic kind of love and says he doesn’t view her as family. He tells Kazuha to wait (I’m pretty sure on the throne chair) as he still needs two more souls for the Period Cube to be complete. Luckily, the two members of Forte that stayed behind initially come and they get pulled into the Period Cube, thereby completing it. Instead of going into the Period Cube together now that it’s complete, Kazuha decides to stab (kill?) Shiki because she doesn’t need him anymore. Initially she wanted to get along together with Hiroya and Shiki like in the past, but Shiki’s words made Hiroya sad and Shiki is no longer family to her anymore (he said that himself when he confessed to romantically loving her) so she’s choosing Hiroya. Kazuha finds her way to the Akashic Records again, but this time her wish was only to live in that new world with Hiroya. She had the opportunity to free the other souls but decides Hiroya is all she needs so the two of them then stay together in that new world. Hiroya is blissfully unaware of how much blood is staining Kazuha’s hands.

For Hiroya, while I liked him and I’m usually fond of childhood friends, I was more interested in wanting to play with his furry ears than wanting to romance him if that makes sense. He had cute reactions because he would blush easily, and you could feel that he held the heroine as important and wanted to be as important to her as her brother (while still respecting her brother at the same time), but I guess he just didn’t appeal to me in that way. Plus the more often Hiroya attacked the less I wanted to hear his voice. Sorry, Okamoto Nobuhiko, but something about it just became annoying after a while.

I think Hiroya’s route was a good intro to the game so I’m glad I played him first. Like I said earlier, I think you can mix up most of the routes in an order that you wish, but after playing everything I still feel like Hiroya’s route was a good one to start with.


Radius
RADIUS

Radius is the wielder of the Cursed Sword Glacies. He’s a high-level Demon and is renowned for only playing solo. He travels alone, refusing to join in any parties and basically exhibiting a cold personality to others. In the real world, Radius is Aijou Rei, an idol. He probably has the least connection to all other characters in the real world.

After choosing to run, Kazuha ends up getting a little lost. Natsu appears but like last time, she can see him but not hear him. He helps her find her main menu that fills her in a little about the game and she comes to understand why everyone would want her as the Divine Sword. She stumbles across Radius fighting some monsters in a forest and ends up getting hit by one, almost killing her.

Quest 2: With only 1 HP left, Kazuha is seriously in some big trouble. Radius tries to guide her to joining his party and gives her his sword to hold on to. Later, we find out it’s because the Cursed Sword has some healing properties to it. He finishes off the last few monsters and the Mission Complete sound plays. Radius had been doing a Special Quest, so because Kazuha was added to his party, both of them return to the real world. Kazuha tries to contact Hiroya only to find him passed out. Hiroya’s mother then takes him to the hospital and is thankful that Kazuha checked in on him so they were able to find him. He seems to have contracted the Soul-sleeping Illness that’s been going around lately. In the hallway, Kazuha runs into Radius, or Aijou Rei as he wants to be called since they aren’t in World V. There’s a rumor that you can disappear if you talk about World V while in the real world so he asks her not to talk about it and basically tells her to never appear in front of him again because she’s an eyesore. Kazuha decides to try to stay out of his way because she had caused him so much trouble even though he saved her.

She goes home but when she gets to her room, she sees a bright light like when she entered World V the first time so she figures it means she must be going back. Since she hadn’t set a home point, Kazuha finds herself back in the forest where the quest had been beaten. She still has the sword Radius gave her. Demento comes and tries to take her away but before he can, Radius comes back. He says he only came to get the sword back from her, but he ends up battling Demento. Being a PK, Demento goes full out, but it’s harder on Radius because he’s holding back in order not to kill his opponent.

The battle gets interrupted by  the Jaws of Death mist started to appear. Radius tells Kazuha to run but having already done that earlier with Hiroya, she decides to stay even though there isn’t really anything she can do. Natsu appears again and grabbing Radius, Kazuha follows Natsu’s directions to a cliff. This seems to be a good way to escape from the deadly mist, so they tumble down the cliff. When they reach the bottom, they talk a little and he asks her why she didn’t run. He feels like she’s tormenting him because there was a time he didn’t want to run but he did and ended up leaving his friends behind. His sins won’t be erased no matter what he does so in a way he thinks it would be better to die but he doesn’t want to. Kazuha tells him not to die and that she’s thankful he’s alive. A little after this, they get confronted by more monsters. Radius is already weak from the previous battle, so they’re in a tight spot. Wanting to save him, Kazuha ends up activating her Divine Sword power, killing off the monsters.

Quest 3: Kazuha wakes up in the inn run by Domina in the Twilight City. She finds out some info from Libera like how people in the game will often use Latin names because they could be pre-selected. He hasn’t heard of Hiroya or Shiki (in this route she doesn’t know what his game username is). When they go downstairs, everyone is under the impression that she’s friends with Radius in real life since he came in with her and he’s known to not pair with anyone. Ira in particular wants to know how she got him to party with her because she’s been trying for a long time to get Radius to join Forte. When she comments that he just saved her a few times and that he’s very kind, everyone’s like…no way, he’s totally not kind. Ira wants Kazuha to join Forte as well so they can go to the Ark together but Kazuha’s level is low so she’s worried about going there. They (Forte plus Libera) decide to take a Special Quest the next day so they can level Kazuha up a little and also so they can return to the real world for a while.

Kazuha is asked by Domina to bring a tray of food to Radius that night. She tells him of her plan to go on a Special Quest with Forte and asks if he wants to go with them. He basically tells her once again to not appear in front of him anymore and she thanks him for his help. Before she leaves, he tells her to change her ID search setting to Private so it’s harder for people to locate her. If they’re close to her nothing can be done but the way it’s set right now, everyone can look her up from all over. Kazuha is thankful for this words and leaves.

Quest 4: The next morning Radius goes on his own way and Kazuha meets Miseria and Mergo, the other two members of Forte. They all go to find the NPC Zain to get a Special Quest that would work with Kazuha’s level. The quest is to take Zain with them to the Adventurer’s Town. Zain cannot fight and if they let him die then they fail the mission. It’s established in this route that Zain is a strange NPC because he seems to have freer movement and can actually have a conversation with people, but no one really makes a big deal out of it. They successfully beat the mission and return to the real world. Kazuha goes to visit Hiroya at the hospital and runs into Rei there. She thanks him again for his help, but their conversation isn’t that long because their Special Mission had been short so she returns to World V while they’re still in the hallway of the hospital.

When she returns to the Twilight City, everyone gets the message about the Jaws of Death now having free reign everywhere. Kazuha finally finds Hiroya and while she’s happy to see him, she also finds him to be acting a little strange because he seems to be in a hurry to cart her off to a safe place. He mentions that he doesn’t want to put her in any danger any more, especially since they just got reunited. He lets her know that he found Shiki, and that’s actually how he found her. Shiki seems to be doing fine but right now she needs to go with him.

Quest 5: Hiroya brings Kazuha to a field that leads to the Ark but before they can go any further, they run into Demento, who attacks them to try and take her again. When Kazuha tries to stop him from attacking Hiroya, he attacks her too, treating her like an item. Hiroya gets beaten up by Demento and before anything worse happens Forte plus Libera come to the rescue. Jocus heals their wounds while everyone else fights Demento. While they’re preoccupied with the fight, Hiroya pulls Kazuha to the warp portal that takes them to the doors of the Ark. He leads her to a hidden door where they enter a hallway that has no monsters. He takes her further in until they reach a nicely decorate bedroom…and then Hiroya proceeds to lock her in there. Poyopoyo makes an appearance and offers to listen to her experiences and woes since she entered World V. Kazuha is upset that she’s locked in this safe place while all her friends are out there fighting for their lives. She tells him about how she entered with Hiroya and how she was saved by Radius. She feels bad for causing more problems for the latter. Using some special power he has, in order to free her of some of her burden, Poyopoyo returns her to the real world for a time.

Before returning to the real world, she’s intercepted by Natsu in the Period Cube, where she can actually hear him this time. She thanks him but he tells her there isn’t much time as he’s starting to fade. He basically just tells her to stop the Period Cube but most of the other important or helpful information gets cut off.

When she wakes up, she’s in an apartment she doesn’t recognize. Rei took her to his apartment on his bike since she had passed out earlier. When she tells him that she didn’t return to the real world through a Special Quest, she ends up explaining everything to him that happened: Hiroya taking her and locking her in a room, the existence of a hidden safe path in the Ark, Poyopoyo returning her to the real world temporarily, etc. She even ends up telling him about Natsu and the Period Cube. Rei hasn’t heard of it but he tries to look it up with no results. Her mother contacts her and asks if she’s coming home for dinner, but Kazuha decides to return to Shiki’s apartment instead of going home. Rei decides to go with her because he’s worried that she’s going to get in trouble or faint on the way since once again she doesn’t know how much time she has here. One of the workers from a convenience store on the road to Shiki’s place collapses and Rei seems to think he might be a player who had to return to World V.

After buying some snacks and refreshments, they go to Shiki’s apartment. Rei comments that the room is really clean and Kazuha says that her brother’s a neat person, but Rei mentions it looks more like someone who doesn’t have an attachment to anything. They snack and talk. Kazuha enjoys herself so much that she wishes this time could last longer, but the reality is that he needs to return to World V soon and she probably does too. Rei notices she’s gotten quiet and asks her why her expression is so down. Without waiting for her answer, he pulls her upright and tells her they’re going out.

Quest 6: Rei brings her to a planetarium to lift up her spirits and even holds her hand while in there. Afterwards they go to a coffeeshop, so it’s basically like they were on a date. While walking back, Kazuha thinks about how she felt closer to him while they were holding hands but also far because there were things she wanted to say but couldn’t say. She ends up getting lost in thoughts and tags so far behind him she can’t see him anymore. He runs back, scolding her for spacing out and then tells her to contact her family that she’s not going home that day because he wants her to go to his place. They end up doing that and he gives her a key to his place, saying he needs to return to World V soon and if he goes back first she can leave whenever. She tells him she doesn’t want to leave and while blushing he tells her she can do what she wants.

Kazuha thinks about how when they return to World V they won’t be able to see each other and he makes a movement to hug her. He was purposefully cold to her and he thought she’d give up if he treated her that way but she always smiles even when she’s troubled, like that time when she was so close to dying. She tells him that he’s a good person and he’s saved her many times but he says that’s not true; he’s actually a coward and it would’ve been better if he’d died because he was a killer who let his friends die in front of him.

The scene flashes back to when he obtained Glacies with his party at the time. They defeated a monster and Glacies dropped as a rare item, but then the Jaws of Death mist started falling around them. They were in a cave so it was hard to escape. Radius was unable to do anything to save them and he alone was able to escape. His party’s leader was the last one to go and he told him to live and go beat the Ark. Kazuha cries for him but Rei blames himself. He feels like because he hadn’t been calm and had given up when things started falling apart, everyone died. He was prepared to die after going through everything and being trapped in the game but at the last minute he decided he didn’t want to die and that’s why things played out the way they did. His party member had smiled at him just before being engulfed by the mist and she tells him it’s because he wanted to convey his desire to have Radius live. She thanks him again for living.

A little while after, Kazuha wakes up on Rei’s couch. Apparently after their heartfelt discussion she had fallen asleep. He tells her she could sleep more but she declines. They talk more and he tells her that he doesn’t understand why she isn’t angrier about her situation. She hadn’t done anything wrong and yet all these things happened to her. He also confirms that he took her out earlier that day to cheer her up. The light to return to World V appears and Rei says that it looks like he’ll be leaving first. Kazuha tells him she doesn’t want to part with him and he says he feels the same. Before he returns to World V, he tells her to wait for him because he’ll come find her no matter what. Soon after, Kazuha also returns to World V.

When she gets back to her room, she rattles on the door again and it’s still locked. Hiroya then enters the room, demanding to know where she went and how she escaped. She tries to get him to let her out but he declines, saying she needs to stay here where it’s safe. Outside everything is being destroyed by the Jaws of Death. She asks how he knows that and he doesn’t answer but says that the Period Cube can’t be stopped anymore. He confesses his feelings to her, saying that he only wants to keep her safe. He also explains a little more about how he got in touch with Shiki. Apparently Shiki used an NPC to give Hiroya stones that had Shiki’s voice recording, telling him to save Kazuha and to bring her here to this room since the Period Cube can’t be stopped anymore. Kazuha understands that the two of them want to keep her safe but she needs to leave the room because she wants to do something to save everyone else. She uses a little of her Divine Sword power to create a small-scale attack that she uses against Hiroya. It doesn’t hit but it shows she can attack if necessary. Hiroya tells her to stay and suddenly Natsu’s voice can be heard, saying he found her.

Quest 7: Natsu gets a chance to talk to Kazuha again but he doesn’t get to convey much more information regarding the Period Cube, but he tells her once again to stop it. Kazuha makes her way through the dungeon, trying to find the Period Cube and runs into Poyopoyo who tries to get her to return to her room. She asks if Poyopoyo is her brother because he had the power to return her to the real world, which is a power only someone like the founder would have, but he avoids the question saying he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Hiroya appears and when she tries to run from him, she accidentally triggers a golem to appear. Hiroya tells her to run but she regretted running last time so she stays and they battle the golem. They let their guard down because they thought they defeated it but they were wrong. Fortunately, Radius enters the scene with Forte, Libera, and Zain and they all beat down the golem. Kazuha goes with them to find the Period Cube and they run into Astrum and his party Clarus along the way. They were fighting another golem and Forte joins in the battle. Kazuha uses her Divine Sword ability and basically recruits Clarus to join them because if they stop the Period Cube, they should be able to save Angels and Demons alike.

They progress to the room just before the Room of God’s Legacy and Zain says he’ll go in because if anything happens, he’s not a player so it’s the least dangerous for him. A few Angel players think the Demons are trying to one-up them and sneak off with the victory, but when they enter the room, the Mission Complete sound plays and they get absorbed into the Period Cube. Zain’s voice and speaking style suddenly changes and he’s revealed to be Shiki, who’d taken over Zain’s body. It shouldn’t be surprising since in World V, only the person’s soul/spirit is turned into data in the game so it’s not like his avatar has to be his actual body. He does his whole spiel about using Arcadia to make a new world where there’s no death and no one seems to want this type of world. Kazuha says she wants to be in a world where she can make her own path. Shiki says under his breath that she can say that because she doesn’t understand anything. They can’t really do anything though, because if any of them enter the room then they’d be taken by the Period Cube like the previous Angel players.

Demento makes an appearance again and beats Kazuha up until she has 1 HP left.

In the Good End, Radius starts beating him up but then Demento moves into the Room of God’s Legacy. He doesn’t get absorbed because he hadn’t participated in the battles so he didn’t clear the mission.Kazuha is the Divine Sword so she’s not affected by the mission like everyone else. Shiki in Zain’s body tries to attack Demento but he’s not strong enough and ends up getting beaten down. When he’s very weak, he changes back to regular Zain as Shiki seems to have left his body due to the injuries. Demento comments that stabbing an NPC feels the same as stabbing a player and Zain expresses happiness at being the same as everyone else just before he dies. Despite the danger, Radius enters the Room and beats Demento up. A little while after, he gets absorbed into the Period Cube. No one else can do anything though because they’d just be absorbed as well. Demento, while weaker, gets back up but before he can harm Kazuha anymore, Natsu appears. He tells Kazuha that she can’t die and since Shiki had to leave because of his injuries, now is the best time to stop the Period Cube. He tells her he created a backdoor and that she needs to call back Radius’s soul so they can beat it together. She does and Radius returns. Coming back from inside the Cube, he goes and opens the backdoor. It asks for a passoword and he enters “Et in Arcadia ego,” which basically means that death exists even in a utopian world.

Everyone is surrounded by a bright light and was able to return to the real world. Kazuha and Rei wake up in his apartment and rejoice. A little while in the future they meet up for a date. Shiki was found in his school lab room and he’s been in the hospital since then, but he doesn’t really respond to anything and just looks out the window. The doctor says that recovery will be hard for him. Two girls spot Rei and know he’s the idol, but when they see him meet with Kazuha, she’s so ordinary they think she must be his family. He kisses her in front of them, dispeling Kazuha’s insecurities. Feeling so full of love for him, Kazuha decides to call him by his first name. It makes him all happy and embarrassed that he says they need to go to his house. Now. She’s confused because they originally had plans to go to the planetarium but he told her that after she called him by his name, there’s no way he can endure sitting next to her in the dark without doing anything so they need to go do his house to I guess have some loving time.

In the Merry Bad End, instead of just beating him up, Radius has the intent to kill Demento. He’s regretful that he didn’t do that earlier because if he had, this wouldn’t have happened to Kazuha. The Shiki controlled Zain uses his magic to bring everyone into the Room of God’s Legacy in order to hurry along the upgrade of the Period Cube. Everyone gets absorbed but after Radius is taken, Natsu appears. He tells Shiki that they were wrong and everyone should only have their one life to live. Shiki says that Natsu’s existence now shows that they were right. Natsu argues that he’s already dead but Shiki disagrees, saying what they created is the reason why they can speak to each other now and it was only Natsu’s body that stopped working. Natsu uses the last of his energy to bring back Radius, giving him his knowledge and memories of crafting Arcadia, World V, and the Period Cube.

Shiki informs Radius of how he originally had planned to take Radius anyway for his sister’s happiness since she seems taken with him. Even though he’s in Shiki’s way, because it’s what Kazuha wants he would do it. Shiki already knew that his wants and Kazuha’s wants wouldn’t mesh so he decided t throw his desires away as long as she’s happy. Radius attacks Shiki’s Zain body, telling him to throw himself away now to make room for a world for Radius and Kazuha. Zain dies but it’s not explained whether Shiki just returned to his own body or whether he died with Zain (because he didn’t seem to leave his body like he did in the Good End).

Radius completes the Period Cube update and he’s now living in a reflection of the real world. He’s returning home while Kazuha is cooking dinner. He makes a move to try and have some sexy times before dinner, but then you hear Astrum pounding on the door, telling Radius to return the world to the way it was. Rei has been “cleaning,” which I think translates to killing everyone who had gone into the Period Cube because he believes a world with just Kazuha and him is ideal. He tells Kazuha to wait because she has nothing to worry about and he’ll be back shortly.

I don’t want to say that Radius is forgettable but…I didn’t do a good job of balancing between playing the game and writing the review so I ended up writing a good portion of it after finishing everything. When I was writing tidbits about everyone’s route, I found that Radius was the one I had the least memory of. It could be chalked up to him being one of the earlier routes I played, but I guess his route stood out to me the least? He’s also the character that’s the least connected to everyone in the real world so that could contribute to his lack of impact…This didn’t mean I didn’t like him. Maeno’s voice was nice here and I did think Radius had some cute moments.

Another thing that as interesting was I think Radius’s route spent more time in the real world than in the game. Since time moves differently in the worlds, having him spend more time with Kazuha in real life felt like they spent less time together overall because in the game world, one day is basically one hour. So while the romance that developed between them seemed logical, it also felt a little fast.

I do have one complaint about the planetarium CG. It said that he held her hand but the CG didn’t change so it felt weird having her talk about his big, safe hand when she’s not holding it in the picture. This route felt the most “otome” because it had more romantic date scenes like this. I don’t want to discriminate against other guys, but his character type probably also contributed to his route feeling more romantic/otome because he’s an idol.

I did not appreciate Hiroya getting all locked-room-crazy on me. I TRUSTED YOU HIROYA. I’m really not fond of this locking people up thing so I’m sorry to say it made my opinion of Hiroya a little less but I do admit that when he was confessing his feelings to Kazuha I felt a little bad for him.


Zain
ZAIN

Zain is an NPC (non-player character) from the Adventurer Town (a neutral town that’s in between the Twilight City and the Majestic Palace). In other routes, it’s revealed that Zain is a strange NPC because usually, NPCs don’t leave the places they’re assigned to and they can’t really hold conversations because they have set phrases and things they’re meant to do. Zain, however, travels freely and he speaks more conversationally. He’s also kind of mysterious because people seem to not remember there being an NPC named Zain before this game.

Quest 2: When Kazuha chooses to run again, she walks around and finds Zain sleeping by a beautiful lake. He wakes up greets her, welcoming her to Arcadia. When he tries to continue speaking, he finds that he has no memories except his name. Kazuha explains how she’s trying to find her brother and childhood friend Hiroya and Zain decides to go with her.

They return to the forest where she left Hiroya, but he was nowhere to be seen. They hear a scream and find Demento attacking Ars, who’s a master crafter Demon. They proceed to save Ars by distracting Demento and using a smoke screen since Zain can’t fight and Kazuha is weak. Ars thanks them for saving his life and Kazuha asks if he’s heard of Hiroya. Ars hasn’t, but he tells her that if she goes to the Twilight City she should be able to find more information since there are so many people there. He’s planning on returning there after his quest for materials. Kazuha and Zain decide to travel with him as he gathers materials needed for him to make things. Crafters can make weapons and accessories but they cannot fight so this works out for Ars. As a thank you for saving his life, he offers to let them pick out something from his collection of crafted goods. I initially thought he was offering one item per person, but I might have misunderstood and he was offering one total because Zain picks out a ring for Kazuha. saying he doesn’t need anything for himself and I don’t think Kazuha picked anything on her own.

When they eat dinner, Zain wasn’t initially planning to eat because he didn’t understand the feeling of hunger but at the prompting of both companions, he tries it out and wonders aloud that this is what “delicious” tastes like. When they settle down for bed, a similar thing happens where Zain doesn’t really feel tired. He talks a little with Kazuha and he holds her hand. He really enjoys touching her. In fact, touching her makes him want to touch her even more…all over. Before he can do any more, he topples to his knees and Kazuha, worried, asks him what’s wrong. Zain doesn’t really know himself what’s going on but he says that he hears a voice and it feels like someone’s trying to get into him but he resists. The episode passes and Zain says that he’s alright now.

Quest 3: Zain and Kazuha help Ars finish up getting his ingredients. Zain comments on how he’s envious of Ars’ ability to get so engrossed in what he’s doing because he doesn’t have anything that makes him feel that way. Kazuha tells him that it’s fine if he tries to find something now. She doesn’t have anything she’s exceptionally passionate about either so the two of them can find it together. While they’re leaving, Kazuha gets the feeling they’re being watched but she can’t see anything so she lets it go. However, as the screen fades out Demento’s voice can be heard.

Ars takes Zain and Kazuha to the Twilight City. He shows them the Ark, explains about the rumor of how people shouldn’t talk about World V in the real world, etc. They run into an NPC who greets people as they enter the town and Ars explains how they’re non-player characters and they’re pretty simple creations that can’t do many complex things. After Ars runs off to make his creations, Kazuha gets approached by two Demon characters who know she’s the Divine Sword and try to take her with them. Zain tries to stop them but he isn’t strong enough. One of the Demons recognize Zain as the NPC from the Adventurer’s Town and gets annoyed that a mere NPC was trying to get in their way. Before they can cart Kazuha off, Domina comes and reminds them that they shouldn’t be fighting in town and if they want her to accept their business in the future, they should leave Kazuha be.

After the two disgruntled Demons leave, Domina brings Kazuha and Zain over to her inn. Zain feels useless because he couldn’t save Kazuha on his own and Domina says it’s fine because they were able to make sure she was safe. Zain doesn’t feel satisfied with this because he wants to be Kazuha’s hero. Domina mentions how she’s never met and NPC like Zain and Zain gets even more depressed about how he’s different from everyone else. They explain to Domina how they met and saved Ars and Kazuha mentioned how Zain saved them when they were running away from Demento. Domina comments that he actually can properly be Kazuha’s hero. Domina lets them stay the night for free as a thanks for saving Ars.

They decide that Libera would take Kazuha on a Special Quest the next day so she can return to the real world and check on Hiroya, etc. That night, Zain and Kazuha end up sleeping in the same bed. Zain likes how he feels when he’s around Kazuha so he wanted that arrangement but Kazuha was planning on sleeping on the couch. However, if she slept on the couch, Zain said he would sleep on the floor so she gives in and they both sleep on the bed.

Quest 4: The next morning, Libera and Kazuha go on the Special Quest. Zain wants to go but everyone else tells him to stay back because he can’t fight. Kazuha tells him that she would be appreciative if he stayed while she’s out so he can greet her when she returns. While on the quest, Libera explains more about the Three Swords and the wielders of the other two swords, Radius and Astrum. He explains that unlike the Demons, who only have a bunch of random high-level parties, the Angels are a little more organized into a community. For example, Astrum’s party Clarus is more like a community than a party now. While doing the quest, Libera guides her through the basics of fighting and she levels up. He tells her that the more she levels up, the more skills she’ll get.

While finishing up the quest, they get attacked by Demento. Libera’s HP is really low so he can’t really do anything, but then Zain comes to the rescue. He holds Demento back, telling Kazuha to run. However, he’s weak so he can’t hold him back much. When he talks to Demento about how important Kazuha is to him and how he needs to protect her, he comes to the realization that his duty is actually to protect Kazuha. He tries to reject this though because he wants to protect Kazuha of his own volition, not because it’s his job. He gets attacked by that feeling of someone trying to enter him again but still holds on to Demento.

Soon after, the quest boss, Big Horn, appears.He stabs Zain and Demento with his…well, big horn. Before they disappear, Zain apologizes for not being able to protect Kazuha. Apparently they disappear in a strange way so they’re not sure if the two of them died or what. Kazuha is anguished over Zain’s possible death and activates the Divine Sword power that kills off Big Horn. They’ve now completed the Special Quest so they return to the real world. When she leaves her brother’s apartment, Kazuha somehow runs into Zain. He’s wearing casual (eg. non-Arcadia) clothes and his hair is brown instead of the usual shade. The Special Quest as an easy one so they don’t stay in the real world very long. When Kazuha returns she meets up with Libera and explains about seeing Zain in the real world, he tells her that isn’t possible but she’s certain she saw him there.

Quest 5: Back in the forest where Big Horn is defeated, Zain appears, being a little disgruntled from coming back from the real world. He immediately starts looking for Kazuha but laments when he can’t find her. During this time, he hears Demento’s voice. Zain tells Demento to leave but Demento tells him he can lend him power. Demento basicaly talks Zain through his biggest desire, which is to save Kazuha and keep her to himself. When Zain asks why Demento would help him, Demento replies it’s because they’re one person now. Apparently Demento is now inside of him because during that time they somehow merged. Demento encourages Zain to take what he wants because he’s free to do as he pleases. Zain agrees and goes on his way to get Kazuha.

When they get to the inn, Libera explains what happened in the forest where Zain disappeared but Kazuha is certain that she saw Zain in the real world. Before they can contemplate this further, Hiroya comes in looking for Kazuha. Poyopoyo is there too because he was the one who conveyed the information to him. She starts tp remember about Zain and Libera explains to Hiroya and Poyopoyo what happened. Poyopoyo explains it would be impossible for an NPC to be in the real world but Hiroya says that he knows Kazuha isn’t the type of person to lie. They decide to go to the forest where they fought Big Horn to try and find Zain. When they get to the forest, they set up camp for the night. After talking a little, Hiroya goes to patrol the area while Kazuha stays by the campsite. Zain appears while she’s alone and they unite happily. He pulls her away from the campsite, telling her he got back all his memories when he returned. He lets her know that the Twilight City isn’t safe because there are a lot of people who are after the Divine Sword and she should come with him so he can protect her. She hesitates because she’s with Hiroya now and Zain seems annoyed that she found him.

He tells her all he needs is her and he doesn’t really know or care about Hiroya. Is Hiroya more important to her than him? She replies that they’re both important to her but this doesn’t satisfy Zain because he wants her to only care about him. Zain’s mood and personality has changed compared to before so she’s a little scared and starts to back away from him. He gets upset that she tried to run away from him. He recalls that he’s now “free” so he can do as he wants and he informs her that he wants to be with her forever….therefore, they should become one. He sticks his hand on the Arcadia logo on her chest and his hand actually goes into her body. His feelings and desires pour into Kazuha and she enters this kind of daze where she just blindly follows Zain and doesn’t quite register what’s going on. While Zain is in the process of taking Kazuha away, Poyopoyo comes to try and stop Zain, saying that as an NPC Zain should’ve done as he was told. Zain now has the ability to attack with a knife though, saying he’s no longer an NPC. Since Poyopoyo is in their way and he doesn’t want to be controlled any longer, Zain kills Poyopoyo off and they continue on their way.

Quest 6: Zain explains that someone was controlling him and his memories of his previous role at the NPC in the Adventurer’s Town was erased. His new goal was to protect Kazuha to the point where his knowledge of being an NPC wasn’t there. Now that he’s not an NPC anymore, he wants to go to the Ark to defeat the person who can control him in order to truly be free. This way the two of them can be together forever. While in the forest, they run into Astrum and Clarus. Astrum figures out that Kazuha is the Divine Sword Amadeus. He tries to recruit her to join them, but she has a debuff placed on her (from Zain) which explains the lofty state she’s in. Zain knows all about Astrum and the Holy Sword but Astrum knows nothing about him. When Zain doesn’t answer his questions clearly, Astrum tries to beat it out of him with Lumen. Kazuha stops him, telling him not to do terrible things to Zain. They decide to remove the debuff from her but even when she returns to herself, she still doesn’t want them to hurt Zain.

She tells Zain that he shouldn’t do what he did to her anymore and he promises that he won’t. Since Astrum and Clarus are on their way to the Ark too Astrum uses this as an opportunity to tell his party that the Divine Sword Amadeus is coming with them on their journey. At this point in time it seems like the high-level teams are all making a move to the go the Ark because the Jaws of Death have destroyed the towns. The group fights through the first layer of the Ark and Zain introduces a hidden path where they wouldn’t run into any monsters. Astrum questions why Zain knows of such a path and Zain says he knows a lot about Arcadia. Kazuha says she believes in Zain so Astrum decides to follow even though he hadn’t encountered the path personally yet. They use the path to make it to the final room. While fighting, everyone notices how resilient the golem is. Zain explains that the golem’s weakness is the letters on its forehead. It says “emeth,” which in Latin means truth. If you erase the first “e” the word changes to “meth” which means “death.” Astrum gets rid of the first “e” and then the golem easily falls on the next attack. Zain explains that the next room is the last room in the dungeon but he tells them that they shouldn’t enter the room because it’s not the Room of God’s Legacy like what they expect but it’s the room that contains the Period Cube. He thanks them for bringing him and Kazuha to the room because it would’ve been hard on their own since they’re weaker.

Zain tells them not to worry because he plans to return everyone to the real world. He only wants the new world to have just Kazuha and himself. Everyone else isn’t needed. Poyopoyo makes an appearance and says that he did a good job. Apparently Zain’s job was to protect Kazuha but also bring over strong players to the end of the Ark. Zain freaks out because he thought he was coming here of his own volition. Poyopoyo tells Zain that as a creation, he doesn’t have his own consciousness and tells him to stay away from the Period Cube. He uses that electric current thing again on Zain to move him away. Zain tries to go back to it because if he has the Period Cube then he can create a word with just him and Kazuha and they can be together forever. Poyopoyo keeps telling Zain not to touch the Period Cube but Zain doesn’t listen and everyone’s engulfed in a white light.

Quest 7: Kazuha finds herself in her room and can see and hear Natsu again, who she hasn’t seen since the beginning of the game when he showed her how to use the main menu. She asks him how they returned to the real world but Natsu informs her that they’re still in an imaginative world. Zain just rebooted the Period Cube to make a world that looks like the real world but it’s still World V, just in a different form. Natsu continues to explain that Zain’s data mixed with a player’s data which is why he has a consciousness and is no longer an NPC. In this world, their souls are separated from their bodies so they can live forever because they’re not connected to a body that decays over time. However, if they stay here too long their bodies in the real world will die. Kazuha asks who Natsu is and he explains that he and a friend are the ones that created the Period Cube. They thought a world separate from their bodies would make them free but he now believes they were wrong. He approached her because in World V she’s the only one who could see and hear him. He explains that the  Period Cube is at the school he attended because that’s the location of World V’s server in the real world.

On the way from her home, they run into Zain. Natsu asks Zain to listen calmly to what he’s saying for the sake of Kazuha. He tells Zain that this world isn’t meant for living things. If he truly cares about Kazuha, he should let her return to the real world. Zain just views Natsu as a threat to them and says that Kazuha’s the first person to say she wants to stay with him so he’s just trying to make that wish come true. During this conversation, Shiki makes an appearance. Kazuha’s happy to finally see Shiki but she’s confused as to why he knows Natsu. Zain realizes that Shiki is the one who was controlling him earlier. Zain had only come to see Kazuha so he uses magic on Shiki to immobolize him on the side. Kazuha pleads with Zain to stop the Period Cube because at this rate everyone will die. Zain says it can’t be helped because it’s to let them live in this world together. Shiki uses a magic attack on Zain and informs them that they can use magic in this world because he gave himself access to the Period Cube on his smart phone as a backup. Zain and Shiki battle for a while until the Jaws of Death disrupt the battle. Natsu uses up his energy to get rid of the Jaws of Death and tells Kazuha before he disappears to use her power to stop the Period Cube.

Zain complains that everyone is only getting in his way and his method isn’t wrong. He disappears to where the Period Cube is located. Hiroya finds them and Shki explains they aren’t in the real world. They run into Radius and while they can’t explain what’s going on right now, he decides to go with them once he finds out they’re still in World V. Shiki explains that they should be able to access everything they had in the previous version of Arcadia so Radius takes out Glacies. Once they reach Shiki and Natsu’s school they notice the Jaws of Death is surroundng the area. Over there they run into Astrum. Shiki tells them to put the three swords together. With their powers combined they should be able to push back the Jaws of Death. It’s limited though so they can’t all enter the school. Shiki says that as long as he can enter it should be enough. Kazuha says that right now Zain must be feeling lonely so she thinks it’s the best if she’s the one that goes. Everyone else is okay with the decision except Shiki but before he can stop her she runs to the school.

The place she finds Zain is the area by the lake where they first met. He tells her he only wanted a place where they could be together but he keeps getting blocked every step of the way so he wonders if he was wrong. From earlier he only had strong feelings of liking her. He thought it would be better if everyone else around her wasn’t there. Even though she cherished them he couldn’t care for the people she cared about. So for her benefit, it might be better if he disappeared. Kazuha tells him that’s not true and she wants him to stay with her. He says that he’s become a terrible person but she says that she wants him to stay with her because she likes him. He says that he understands and he won’t give her up to anyone. He decides to return everyone to the real world and he knows he can join them there too since he now has his own soul.

However Shiki wasn’t able to just stand by so he starts to break the Period Cube, which in turn starts to make the world itself start to crack.

In the Good End, Zain says he’ll do something to stop Shiki because if he breaks the world now they’re all going to die. Zain changes over to Demento, who tells her that he initially planned to use Zain to try and beat up her brother but that never happened because Zain was only concerned with her. That’s why things turned out this way. Demento-Zain tells Kazuha he’ll lend her all his power because him and Zain are the same person (so they have the same feelings regarding her). Kazuha gets transported to inside the Period Cube with Zain and they release everyone from the Period Cube.

It fast-forwards to the real world where Zain/Karasuba Minato (Demento’s real world counterpart) is with Kazuha. Aparently Hiroya started working at the same convenience store so he and Zain get along more. Demento was apparently a lonely person. He didn’t have any goals or aspirations and just worked at the convenience store because it was necessary to live but he hated that part of himself that he couldn’t change. That loneliness was the same as Zain so that’s probably why they came together the way they did. They run into Rei outside and because he’s no longer in World V he no longer has the Soul-sleeping Illness so he might see them less but because they’re in the same world it’s not like they’d never see each other again.

They visit Shiki, who’s in the vegeatative state like he is in other routes. It seems like it would take a miracle for him to recover but Zain believes a miracle is possible. After all, an NPC like him was able to come into the real world and live like he does which was a miracle as well, so a miracle for Shiki’s recovery is possible. Zain doesn’t hate Shiki for his past actions because it’s already done and it’s not like Zain was innocent either since he’d done many bad things as well. They see a young boy in the hallway that looks familiar to Kazuha but she can’t place where she’s seen him (it’s Libera in the real world by the way). Kazuha’s really happy to have Zain with her and he finds this so cute that he wants to kiss her. Kazuha lightly kisses him and he can’t hold himself back anymore so he kisses her again. He tells her that he loves her as they happily hold each other.

In the Merry Bad End, because Shiki starts to destroy their world, Zain decides that he wasn’t wrong after all and he can’t accept Kazuha’s precious people. He uses the Period Cube to return everyone else to the real world and says that now he can be in a world with just the two of them. After some time she’ll be able to realize that things are better this way.

In the real world Hiroya wakes up next to Kazuha’s still body. Shiki comes running in and they take her tot he hospital. Hiroya beats himself up over not being able to protect her, thinking it’s his fault for letting her go at the end to Zain. Outside the room he runs into Shiki. Shiki blames him, saying that it’s all Hiroya’s fault because he didn’t properly protect Kazuha and he let her out of his sight. This held true for the car accident and the time that Zain took her. Hiroya also blames Shiki, asking why he didn’t appear in front of them earlier when he knew that Kazuha had gone to that world to look for him. Shiki tells him he doesn’t understand anything. He doesn’t understand why he created that world and with what feelings he made the Period Cube. Hiroya says that of course he doesn’t understand because Shiki wouldn’t tell him anything…but the one thing he does understand is that Kazuha won’t ever return. He leaves the hospital.

Kazuha wakes up from a sad dream crying. She wonder why she would have a reason to cry when she’s so happy and peaceful in this world. She decides to go outside and walk around noticing how quiet it is because there are no people. Zain finds her and tells her he was surprised to wake up without her next to him as he’d gotten used to waking up next to her and hearing her voice first thing in the morning every day. He notices her eyes are red and she informs him of her sad dream. He tells her not to worry about it and she agrees since she’s so happy here with him. The two of them enjoy their time together, continuously living in this world with just the two of them where every day is the same.

I was insanely disturbed by the fact that Zain forced himself into Kazuha and “made her understand his feelings.” I can attribute it to him not starting as human and taking longer to understand human emotions and what’s okay and what’s not okay, but that doesn’t mean is disturbed me any less. By doing this, he basically bent her to his will because he was afraid of her leaving him. To be honest it felt like a metaphoric version of rape, especially because the way he was speaking sounded very sexual.

The first time Zain gets zapped, I initially thought because of the timing if it was like a punishment from Shiki for trying to touch Kazuha. After playing the whole route, I was wondering if that scene was actually Shiki trying to take over Zain but Zain ended up resisiting. I don’t think that was ever fully explained. The other thing is that I wonder if the more personality and experiences Zain has, the more he’s able to hold onto his self because he has more “self” developed? He exists in everyone else’s routes but he also gets easily taken over by Shiki and a unique incident happened in this route (Demento merges with Zain) so I’m not sure.

I think the concept that Zain develops his own consciousness is pretty interesting but  I didn’t really buy into the whole Zain can exist in the real world because he merged with Demento’s soul thing. It felt forced. I honestly would’ve preferred a bittersweet good end because it would’ve felt more realistic.

Another thing that bothered me was that when Zain and Demento first combined, Zain’s hair was a more natural brown but then later at the end, his hair even in the real world is the same as his game self. I don’t know if it’s because Zain completely takes over Demento later on, but it just felt weird since it changed. I feel like it would’ve made more sense for his hair color to have changed in the real world or if they hadn’t changed it the first time.

My last complaint is that in every other route, when they return to the real world, Shiki is always in a vegeatative state. I’m attributing this to the fact that he was probably separate from his body for a long time. But suddenly in Zain’s Merry Bad End, Shiki is able to wake up completely normal. There’s no explanation for this at all. I suppose it was to increase the animosity between Hiroya and Shiki but I just don’t get why he was suddenly okay in this route. Did he return to the real world more this time? Maybe when Zain killed off Poyopoyo the first time, since it probably meant Shiki needed to go back to the real world he went back to his body sooner so it was easier to function like normal? That’s the only logical thing I can think of but I’m bothered by the fact that it just wasn’t properly explained.


Libera
LIBERA

Libera is an imp (a demon magic-user). While he’s a male in real life his character in-game is a female. He purposefully chose a female character because females usually get help from male players. Basically, this means he’s showered with gifts and free rare items. From this you get the impression that he’s very jaded. He doesn’t like to fight and rarely goes out in the field, preferring to stay in town. You find out that he’s been playing since the game was in the Beta stage, but his level is still low because of this lack of inclination to train and fight.

In Libera’s route, we find out that he’s often in the hospital because he was born with a weak body. His real name is Yuuki Riku so that means, guess what, he’s Natsu’s younger brother. There was zero surprise for me in this revelation.

Quest 2: Libera meets Hiroya and Kazuha in the field because he had heard about the Divine Sword and was curious about it. When Hiroya and Kazuha explain that they’re in Arcadia to look for her brother, Libera mentioned that the name Regulus sounded familiar to him, but that person had been looking for people in both the Twilight City and the Majestic Palace. Since Libera helped them earlier, both trust him and Hiroya tells Kazuha to go to the Twilight City with Libera to investigate while he goes to the Majestic Palace.

Once they reach the Twilight City, Libera takes Kazuha shopping for items and supplies. They run into two Demons there who seem happy to see Libera. They converse with Libera and from the conversation Libera is trying to sound more helpless. He said he went to the field but it was scary. They give him some rare items like a bracelet. They notice Kazuha and want to be her friend but Libera asks them to wait until next time because she’s a new player (he seems to be trying to make sure they didn’t find out that she’s the Divine Sword). The other players give Kazuha some accessories as well because she’s a cute girl and also because she’s a low level.

They go to a clothing store and Libera finds a cute but revealing outfit for Kazuha to try on. Kazuha doesn’t want to at first but then Libera kind of strongly convinces her to so she does. Poyopoyo makes an appearance commenting on how cute she is and Libera introduces Poyopoyo as the informant monster. A little after, a group of Demons come by looking for a girl who resembles the Divine Sword from a screenshot. Libera pulls Kazuha into a closet while they search for her. Then Poyopoyo says that she already left the area and directs them outside. Deciding it would be best to head to a safer place they go to Domina’s inn. There they runs into more guys who decide to give Libera more things. Once the guys leave Libera’s personality changes again and he tries to figure out what to do with all the items he received because he doesn’t even really want them. He tries to give some to Kazuha since he thinks it would be useful to her and he would sell the rest at the market. Kazuha refuses them because they were things he received but Libera says it’s not like he asked for them and the other people would be sad if he rejected them so he just accepts them.

Since Kazuha doesn’t have much money it’s determined she would help Domina out with some chores in place of money. When she gets up to her room she receives a message from Hiroya. She planned to write a detailed response but in case it falls into the wrong hands she didn’t want to be too detailed so she deletes it and starts to write a simple response instead. Around this time, Libera comes by to check on her. Kazuha is still under the impression that Libera is a girl so she thinks it’s a little strange that her heart skips a beat when Libera gets close to her in order to read the screen to view Hiroya’s message. After some conversation, Libera returns to his room.

Quest 3: Kazuha meets Forte in the morning and it’s decided that they would help her level up a little through a Special Quest. Libera reluctantly tags along because Kazuha wants to go with him but he’s not fond of fighting and prefers to stay in the town. In the middle of a fight, they hear someone else screaming for help so Forte goes but they go too quickly and end up leaving Libera and Kazuha alone when the final boss appears. The monster attacks Kazuha but Libera blocks it, getting hurt in her stead. He tells her to run away by herself. A bright light appears.

Quest 4: After the light fades Natsu appears. Kazuha can’t hear him but she sees him gesturing to the forest. Kazuha brings Libera that way to try and get away from the monster, but they run into another one. Libera’s already badly hurt but he tells her to run away because she’s so weak she can’t help him anyway and he’d do better on his own. Kazuha know this to be a lie so she calls on her Divine Sword power and slays both monsters. While she’s doing this, she can finally hear Natsu talking. Libera can hear him too. Basically Natsu is Libera’s older brother, although he calls him by his real name Riku. Natsu tells Libera to come to the Ark so that he can be returned to the real world but Libera’s not hearing of any of this. He has no desire to return to the real world because he has no place of belonging anymore since Natsu died.

After Kazuha slays the monsters they beat the quest and return to the real world. She finds out that Hiroya has been hospitalized for the Soul-sleeping Illness and runs into Libera at the hospital. Through a conversation with his mother she confirms that Natsu died and that Riku is at the very least a World V player. She goes to see Riku and figures out that he’s Libera but he doesn’t want to talk about World V because of the rumor that if you talk about it in the real world you would disappear.

A little while after, they return to World V and meet up with Forte. They receive the message about the Jaws of Death having free reign over all places including the towns, which had originally been safe from that mist until now. Libera reveals his true nature and tells Kazuha that he actually hadn’t heard anything about Regulus/Shiki. He had just wanted to separate Hiroya from her so that he would possibly be able to use her as the Divine Sword, but that plan fell through. He calls Forte out on trying to make buddy buddy with her and raise her level when in reality they want to take her to clear the Ark like everyone else and that’s the only reason they’re helping her. Kazuha still wants to talk with Libera but he’s over it and leaves her with Forte.

Quest 5: Kazuha returns with Forte to Domina’s inn. Apparently two days have passed since their quest in this world but she hasn’t received any message from Hiroya since then so she’s worried something happened to him. She sends him a message to check on him but receives no response. Domina tells her to go rest upstairs and gives her keys to a room as well as some cocoa. Along with worrying about Hiroya, when she’s alone thinking in her room, Kazuha also thinks about Libera. He’s helped her a lot until now and she feels bad that she’s caused so much trouble for him and dragged him around everywhere.

Suddenly, there’s a lot of noise and the building shakes. Miseria comes to find her. The Twilight City is getting attacked by the Jaws of Death. Everyone except the two of them seems to have evacuated the building already but jumping out the window is the only form of escape since other parts of the building have fallen apart. Miseria is too scared to do it. Kazuha ends up falling out the window and Libera catches her, which is lucky because if she hadn’t landed properly the damage might’ve been high enough to kill her. Miseria faints from Kazuha falling so she also safely makes it out of the building too.

All the survivors who got out of the city go into a nearby forest where everyone gets their bearings. The threat of needing to clear the Ark is even stronger now than before. Someone mentions that Kazuha is the Divine Sword so they should be able to win if the Divine Sword is on their side since they also have the Cursed Sword Glacies. Libera berates everyone for treating Kazuha like a weapon/rare item when she’s also a person. He pulls her on the side away from prying eyes and feels a little embarrassed. He felt like he had so many friends in this world but to have them treat a girl like an item is the worst. He initially liked having a lot of friends because they would do things for him and he’d always been showered in gifts but after a while the glamor wore off.

The next morning, Forte, Libera, and Kazuha head out the the Adventurer’s Town. Currently it’s the only town still standing. There, they meet Zain. When he finds out she’s Kazuha, he tells her that his job is to bring her to the Ark. Libera is against this because she’s a person and he believes she should have her own will but Kazuha decides to at least go with Zain and Forte to the entrance. She hasn’t decided yet if she wants to go further into the Ark.

Quest 6: The field contaning the warp portal that goes directly to the doors to the Ark is actually very close to the Adventurer’s Town. Libera questions if they can trust Zain because NPCs are technically part of the system so it could be a trap. He feels even more suspicious when Zain can’t respond to why he needed to bring Kazuha to the Ark. While they talk this out, Natsu appears. Like before, only Kazuha can see him. He leads her to the warp into the Ark. Libera follows her. He asks why she’s doing something so dangerous and she responds that she wants to return to the real world together with him. He decides to follow her and trust that Natsu is leading them properly. Natsu leads them to a door that opens to the hidden path where they would encounter no monsters. After walking a little, they hear the sounds of a battle and encounter Radius fighting Big Horn. They help and the three of them beat the monster.

Natsu appears and can now be heard because they’re closer to the Period Cube and therefore closer to him. He explains that he’s one of the founders of Arcadia but they need to trust him because if the Period Cube completes like his co-founder wants then no one would be able to return to the real world any longer. He explains about the Period Cube and its purpose. The stronger players would be lured into the Ark and if they beat the final boss and enter the final room, they would be absorbed by the Period Cube. He enlisted the help of Kazuha because as the Divine Sword, she would be the only one who would function differently than other players and would not be absorbed by the Period Cube.

Shiki takes this opportunity to appear, revealing himself as the other founder. Everyone finds out how everyone else is related (Shiki being Kazuha’s older brother, Libera being Natsu’s younger brother, Natsu and Shiki being friends since high school). Shiki forces Libera and Radius over to the Room of God’s Legacy and the Mission Complete jingle sounds. Kazuha activates the Divine Sword power before Radius and Libera get absorbed into the Period Cube. Natsu tells them he has just enough energy to return them to the real world for a little while. After having a heartfelt conversation with Riku, Natsu disappears.

When she returns to the real world, Kazuha goes to find Riku at the hospital. He tells his mom that there’s something he needs to look into no matter what but she wants him to rest. He confesses to his mom about how he also thought that it would’ve been better if he’d died instead of Natsu and how he held back his feelings while being sick, etc. Kazuha’s words of wanting to stay by his side and his promise to Natsu to get along with their parents gave him the strength to finalyl say all those things that he’s wanted to say for a while. Riku’s mom gives them Natsu’s journal, saying she think it might help them. Initially she had tried to read it but it was full of things she didn’t understand and it didn’t mention their family at all so she hadn’t been able to bring herself to read it until the end. Kazuha and Riku take the book and go to Shiki’s place to do as much research as they can before they have to return to World V.

Quest 7: While at Shiki’s place, Riku reads over Natsu’s journal. It mentions things about the game’s alpha and beta tests. Riku hadn’t participated in the alpha test so he knew nothing about it, but he had been part of the beta test. They talk a little more about it and he comes to a realization, a way that they may be able to stop Shiki and the Period Cube. They would need to enlist the help of a lot of players and it could put them all in danger. Riku doesn’t have 100% faith that his plan will work but Kazuha believes in him. He tells her that after they come back to the real world, he’ll properly confess to her.

Since the Twilight City is no longer standing, when Libera and Kazuha return to World V it’s at the entrance to the Ark. They meet up with Radius and Forte there. Hiroya finally responds to Kazuha’s message and they find out that the Majestic Palace was destroyed by the Jaws of Death too. Libera tells Kazuha to call Hiroya over to meet up with them. He must’ve been close by because soon after, Hiroya appears…along with Astrum and Silent. They came with him because Astrum wanted to meet with the Divine Sword Amadeus no matter what. Libera asks Astrum if he’s able to round up a bunch of Angels and he says he can. Excited, Libera explains the plan to everyone there and they head down to the field to make contact with the other players. Libera says tha with this plan, everyone should be able to return to the real world.

Forte, now a full party with Radius, Libera, Kazuha, and Hiroya part of their ranks, travels back to reach the last room with Astram’s party. They manage to get back there and this time the final boss Golem is spawned. While everyone else fights, Kazuha asks why Shiki was doing this. Shiki seems like he’s about the mention something but changes his mind and says he did this all for his ego. However Kazuha knows he must be doing it for her but he’s hiding something and Shiki doesn’t respond. During this conversation, the game starts to get very staticy. Shiki asks what’s going on and Libera responds that while he isn’t a strong fighter or a high level, he has a lot of friends and he told them all the go to the outside of the dungeon.

Shiki sends his consciousness to Zain’s body and notices the large amount of players there. Silent, who stayed behind to manage the Angels who didn’t go with Astrum’s party, notices the change and realizes the traitor was Zain (or someone who took possession of Zain) after all but soon after Shiki’s consciousness returns back to Kazuha and Libera. Since Libera had participated in the beta test with Natsu, they found that if a lot of players were in the same place at the same time, it would overload the system and cause a huge lag.

In the Good End, the lag successfully works. Even though Libera had participated in beating one of the final bosses, the Mission Complete jingle never came up and the Period Cube didn’t absorb him. Everyone else is still trying to beat Golem, which is significantly harder with the lag. They all band together and use their strongest attacks at the same time to finally make the system go haywire.

Kazuha and Libera embrace after waking up in the real world and beating the system.

Five years in the future, Shiki is still in a vegetative state. Despite all the wrong he’d done, he’s still her brother and Kazuha wants him to recover. Riku surprises her outside. Apparently he got accepted into a university in a foreign country. Kazuha doesn’t want to get in the way of his dreams, but she tells him she doesn’t want him to go because she doesn’t want to be separated from him. He tells her he won’t go; he just wanted to tease her and hear her say the words. He wants to graduate from a Japanese university and stay with her longer since they’re dating now.

In Libera’s Merry Bad End, in the final showdown against Shiki, they succeed in lagging the system, but before they can successfully shut the Period Cube down Libera gets a terrible pain in his chest. Shiki informs them that while most physical problems from the real world don’t have an effect in Arcadia, death does. If Libera is feeling a pain in his chest like that from his real body, it means he’s dying. Unable to to accept Libera’s imminent death, Kazuha unleashes her Divine Sword shower. The screen blanks out and Kazuha finds herself in the Akashic Records. She feels like the place is familiar but kind of ignores it for more important things. The library’s administrator points her to the book she’s looking for and she gets the knowledge she needs to grant her wish.

It’s not explicitly explained, but I think she  sacrifices everyone else to complete the Period Cube’s reboot before Libera dies and changes the world to look like the real world. She goes on a date with Riku and they run into Natsu at a nearby convenience store because he’s apparently working there part time to get Riku the game he promised him. Kazuha and Riku go to a beautiful lake and enjoy their time looking at the sky in this world where they can be together forever.

I don’t really understand how his body’s condition suddenly went from weak to normal in the Good End (but I guess five years is a long time so things can change). I just felt like they didn’t really explain anything about it. I’m not into shota characters at all so I really liked the time skip because Riku looks much better there (probably because he looks almost like Natsu hah). I do want to say that it’s weird to me that Riku looks older after five years but Kazuha looks exactly the same. This really contributes to my feelings that she just looks too young.

I also found it really sad that in the Merry Bad End, after finally making himself free from his overprotective mom he died. Like..does anyone else think that this sucks? His mom must be regretting letting him go with that girl (Kazuha) because he was just fine earlier and then he rebels and goes off and dies. It’s not like I’m not bothered by anyone else dying in the Merry Bad Ends, but this one bothered me more possibly because of this added element.


Astrum
ASTRUM

Astrum is basically the elected leader of the Angels. He used to be the leader of the high-level party Clarus but that group is now more a community than a party. He’s also the wielder of the Holy Sword Lumen. In the real world his name is Aso Tooru and he goes to the same school as Shiki. Since Shiki is always the top-ranked student, Tooru always comes in second and that seems to have given, or at least contributed to, an overall inferiority complex he has. In the real world he doesn’t have great social skills but in the game he has a commanding presence and smooth way of speaking (basically he’s roleplaying as a leader).

After Hiroya tells Kazuha to run, she decides to stay and fight instead. When Kazuha tries to stop the monster bear using a harp skill, it doesn’t take and Hiroya gets really injured. They run away and when she apologizes for not being useful, Hiroya says it can’t be helped because her level is low. The monster follows them but before anything worse can happen, Astrum and his party appear and save them after finding out that Kazuha is the Divine Sword Amadeus. Astrum wants Kazuha to go with them back to the Majestic Palace since he would be able to protect her there. He doesn’t think Hiroya can protect her on his own and Hiroya reluctantly agrees that this is probably true. Kazuha agrees to go on the condition that Hiroya can go with them.

Quest 2: The group makes their way to the Majestic Palace where Astrum prepares a room for Kazuha (and I’m guessing a separate one for Hiroya). They get settle in and while Astrum has leader things to do, he sends Silent (his right-hand man) to guide them around the city. While admiring the architecture they overhear two disgruntled Angels talking about how unseemly it is for a Demon to be in the Majestic Palace even if Astrum says he’s a special guest. They also comment on how Kazuha seems really plain for someone who’s supposed to be the Divine Sword. Silent confronts them and they run off. He’s thankful that Hiroya didn’t make a scene over how ill they talked of him.

Suddenly, an Angel rushes in asking for emergency care. He brings over Silent (and Kazuha and Hiroya since they were there too) to a group of injured Angels who had apparently gone to the Ark without permission from Astrum. A little while after, Astrum enters the scene and tells them he’s thankful they came back alive and they should recover first. They can report to him after. One of the Angels lets him know that the Jaws of Death appeared in a forest. This was alarming news because initially the mist would only appear near cliffs. The panicked Angel believes that this means they’ll all be swallowed by the Jaws of Death if they don’t clear the final dungeon soon. This sends everyone into a frenzy. Someone mentions that they should be okay though because they have the Holy Sword Lumen and the Divine Sword Amadeus on their side.

Hiroya gets mad at them for treating Kazuha like an item because she’s a player like everyone else. Apparently not everyone knew this because they thought her low stats were a sign that she was an item or an NPC. Kazuha doesn’t want to give them false hope so she informs them that she can’t use the Divine Sword’s powers. The disgruntled Angels believe that she’s holding back because she doesn’t care for her “wielder” and they curse at Hiroya for trying to monopolize her. Astrum scolds them, saying that she’s a new player and just entered the game and got sucked into World V not knowing anything. They can’t expect her to be able to go the dungeon because Divine Sword or not, she’s a player like everyone else and if her HP reaches zero she’ll die too. He tells them that Hiroya and Kazuha have been established as his guests and if they’re attacked like that it’s the same as everyone throwing mud at him. He understands their concerns but Clarus doesn’t need Angels who can’t follow their leader. He apologizes to Kazuha for making her the center of a scene.

Later that night Femina, an Angel who’s too weak to fight and instead helps out with chores, helps Kazuha settle in. They talk a little about Hiroya and Astrum. Femina mentions that while the latter is a little weird because of how he speaks, there’s truth behind his words so everyone looks to him as their leader. He was actually well-known in Arcadia even before World V because he was such a strong player. After Femina leaves Kazuha thinks about her role as the Divine Sword and gets overwhelmed so she goes onto the balcony to look at the sky to try and calm down. Astrum comes to see her and apologizes once again for the actions of his underlings. He asks her to forgive them because they’re all scared. She says she understands and apologizes for being useless. She asks him if he would be willing to let her go to the field so she can level up. She knows she won’t be able to go to the Ark right away, but she wants to be able to protect herself and become useful to everyone. He agrees to let her do this but tells her to rest for tonight.

Quest 3: They head out on the Special Quest the next day. Even though Hiroya can’t join in an Angel party he comes too for extra support. They all work together and Hiroya seems to get along well with the other Angels in the party. At some point, Kazuha is in big danger from one of the monsters but the others wouldn’t be able to block in time so Astrum uses the skill Sacrisphere, which allows him to take the damage from one party member of his choosing, connecting them with a golden chain. In this way, Kazuha is able to avoid getting hurt. They beat the monster successfully and Kazuha levels up. Since they completed the mission, everyone in the party minus Hiroya returns to the real world.

In the real world Kazuha looks more into Astrum because of her conversation the previous night with Femina. The time in the real world is short and soon after Kazuha and everyone else go back to World V where Hiroya is waiting.

They find out from Silent that there is generally an order to which players return to World V and it has something to do with how much damage they inflicted on the monsters and how much hate (the monster aggression) the player has accumulated from the monsters. Astrum is the last player to return. For some reason, the Sacrisphere chain hadn’t disconnected and Astrum says it’s material evidence that the bond between them has deepened! Hiroya asks Silent to do something about his superior but Silent just goes on his way, saying that isn’t his job.

The game fast-forwards and Femina greets Kazuha from returning from the field. Apparently she’s been going every day so her level’s a little higher now (level 5) but it’s still not good enough to tackle the Ark. She walks around outside and overhears two Angels talk about how fed up they’re getting with Astrum. Astrum and his party haven’t gone to the Ark at all lately because they’re wasting time trying to level up the Divine Sword with no results. While her level is increasing it’s not fast enough and she hasn’t even exhibited any signs of the Divine Sword’s skill.

Quest 4: Kazuha runs from the area where the two Angels are conversing and runs into Hiroya trying to get some new armor but he’s met with some resistance because he’s a Demon and they don’t have Demon items in the Majestic Palace. Hiroya understands and takes this in stride. However, feeling bad, the vendor offers to make him some Angel  armor from an equivalent Angel class to see if that would work instead. When she walks back on her own Silent calls her over to where those two Angels are complaining to Astrum about the Divine Sword issue they mentioned before. They ask him how long until they can clear the Ark and he says they need more time. Basically they tell him they notice that he only goes and plays with the Divine Sword. She hasn’t displayed any spectacular skills so it’s a waste of time. It’s not her fault if she can’t activate the skill(s) but if that’s the case they should stop investing time in her because she’s just like all other players. Kazuha jumps in and says that she understands where they’re coming from so she wants them to give her another chance. If she can’t activate any special skills on the next mission then she’ll leave the Majestic Palace. Astrum objects to this but he gives in in the end because he wants to respect her feelings.

That night he talks with her about it and says that it’s up to him what happens and if she can stay but he understands her perspective. He didn’t take her in expecting anything from her and that hasn’t changed. The next day they work hard at the mission but nothing spectacular happens. The two Angels mention this and while Silent agrees that nothing happened, he doesn’t think it’s right that the two Angels were unwiling to celebrate a comrade’s progress like all the other party members. They’re basically moved out of the reserve of players who go to the Ark because he doesn’t want to fight along soldiers with that attitude. Since they’ve cleared the mission they return to the real world.

Kazuha decides to try and investigate more about her brother so she goes to his school. She runs in to some classmates of his and finds out he’s actually the top-ranked student but he doesn’t really have many friends. They just recall the one, Yuuki Natsu, but that friend passed away in an accident recently. During this conversation Astrum, Aso Tooru in this world, calls out to Kazuha because he recognizes her as Amadeus. She recognizes him as well but he’s unable to converse well with the other two students when they ask him about his relationship to her. Tooru basically tells them to back off because he has no reason to tell them anything about his personal life so they leave.

Kazuha and Tooru decide to go to a coffee shop but conversation doesn’t progress well for a while. After they order, he starts to ask her why she was there and she explains about her brother. When he finds out her brother is Shiki he freaks out. She actually finds she doesn’t know that much about him. Tooru is further shocked by the fact that Shiki’s own family is unaware of his high class rank and Kazuha explains that her parents aren’t particularly concerned with grades because they think other things are more important. This makes Tooru feel stupid because obviously this isn’t the case for him. Kazuha mentions that she’s happy to have met Tooru because it makes her resolution stronger but he takes this negatively, telling her not to look down on him. Obviously she must be comparing him to her super smart high-ranked brother so he’s not even close. He decides to leave, saying that he has nothing more to talk to her about. He isn’t Astrum after all. He’s just Aso Tooru here.

Quest 5: When Kazuha returns from the Special Quest,everyone is frantic over the message about the Jaws of Death now being able to enter the cities. Just like last time, she notices the Sacrisphere chain is still connected to her. The two Angels who were dissatisfied with her cart Kazuha off to force her to join their party in an attempt to beat the Ark but she resists. Demento saves Kazuha from the Angels by basically killing them all off only to take her to the Ark himself. After fighting a few monsters he explains more about what he is, which is a Fallen Angel. Fallen Angels are reduced to level 1 (I swear that’s what they say but his character profile doesn’t show this reduced level), can only use one skill, can only fight with knives, cannot enter towns, and cannot party with anyone else. As a Fallen Angel, he doesn’t fit with either the Demon or Angel race so he wanted to beat the game to see if everyone else would die as a result since neither race actually beat the game.

He tries to make her fight in order to see her power. He tells her that if she doesn’t do something then she’ll just end up dying. Since she doesn’t know how to use the Divine Sword’s power, Demento basically does all the fighting. At one point she does give him a buff to increase his stats though he seems surprised she was able to do that since she shouldn’t be able to use that skill on a non-party member and he can’t party with anyone. While the skeletons in this area are weak, there’s just so many of them that after a while things start to look bad for Demento, which means they’re also looking bad for Kazuha. She gets hit by one of the skeletons but feels no pain. She forgot that she was still hooked up to Astrum via the Sacrisphere so if she takes too much damage then Astrum is the one who would die.

Around the time she starts freaking out about this, Astrum makes an appearance. He defeats the monsters and she apologizes to him although he says no apology is necessary. He detaches the Sacrisphere chain after telling her that he won’t let anyone lay a finger on her. He turns his attention to Demento. Astrum tells him that if he doesn’t try to take Amadeus like he recklessly did just now then he’d be forgiven and can enter Clarus again. He would make sure that they clear the Ark and return to the real world. Demento just laughs this off saying why on earth he would want that. He says that he’ll enjoy killing off Astrum right now. He mentions that he was actually not the one originally planning to take Amadeus. It was his underlings. He took care of them so Astrum should be thankful to him. Astrum feels it was a waste of time to try to reason with Demento and they both fight until Kazuha stops them. She tells Astrum that Demento’s already injured. If he keeps fighting him he’d probably end up killing him and then he’d become a killer, which she doesn’t want. Demento takes this as an opportunity to jet it out of there, saying he’ll kill Astrum another day.

She uses some cream to treat his injuries and he tells her not to use it anymore. He does a small healing spell on himself. She asks why he came when in the real world Aso Tooru had been that mad earlier. He asks if she thought he was going to cut the Sacrisphere chain and let her die when he knew she was in trouble. She responds that he could’ve died though and he says that it’s true because of his position it would’ve beeen bad if he’d died but he couldn’t just leave her alone to fend for herself. He blames it on her, saying that he doesn’t usually care about other people but in her case she keeps apearing in front of him and she’s adorable and is it wrong that he wants to save her? His flood of words exhausts him and he’s so embarrassed that he wants to die but she tells him he can’t die. She wants him to promise her that he won’t die. He says in World V he can’t make such a promise but she says he can. Before their conversation can completely wrap up, more skeleton monster make their way to them.

Usually Kazuha feels afraid and unsure in front of opponents, but this time she doesn’t feel that way. She tells Astrum to stay behind her. He asks her what she’s talking about when her level isn’t high enough to take them on but she has confidence she can do something this time and activates the Divine Sword’s power.

Quest 6: Kazuha lost consciousness after using her power and Astrum brings her out of the Ark. When she comes to, he asks if she remembers anything and she does remember how she’d used the Divine Sword’s power. They converse a little and Astrum sets her ID search to private so no one can find her unless they’re physically nearby. He originally hadn’t had her change the setting because he thought as long as him and his party were protecting her then if others found her it wouldn’t matter, but he could see now he had misjudged that since Demento found her. Astrum decides it would be best to change locations before continuing their conversation. Thinking that she’s still weak, despite her protests, Astrum carries her to an area by a cliff. He tells her they should rest here for the night because if any monsters come they would have no place to hide so they could spot them easily.

Astrum explains what happened while Kazuha was taken prisoner. When he returned to the Majestic Palace, it was in disarray because it was getting eaten up by the Jaws of Death. When he couldn’t find her, he started to look for her, completely forgetting about the ID search option and trying only to see her figure. When he felt the damage she got from the Sacrisphere he was elated because he knew it meant she was still alive. He feels responsible for everything that happened to her because he knew Demento in the past. I’ll explain it in more detail in Demento’s section though because they say basically the same information from different perspectives. Kazuha mentions that it’s not his fault and that Astrum has so many people who rely on him because he’s worthy of that trust. From this conversation she realizes that she likes him and she tells him so. He gets really flustered and embarrassed but you can tell he’s happy. He falls asleep after all the excitement and Natsu makes an appearance.

Like in all other routes, while she can see him, she can’t hear him. Natsu disperses a memory to her where she sees Shiki and him conversing at their school, talking about the Period Cube. The next morning she asks Astrum if he’s heard anything of the Period Cube. When she explains the room they were in, he said it sounds like a lab in their school so there must be a connection. While in the forest the run into Poyopoyo and Hiroya. After the Majestic Palace was erased, all the surviving Angels went to the Adventurer’s Town. They’ve all been really worried about Astrum.

They make their way there and reunite with the other Angels. The Twilight City has also fallen to the Jaws of Death, so there are a lot of Demons in that town as well. The Angels and Demons start to bicker with each other, but I’m guessing because of Kazuha’s feelings, she lights up all three of the swords. It brings everyone’s attention to her and she mentions she’s not on either side. Astrum jumps in that they’re trying to find a way for both Angels and Demons to prevail but they need time to look into it. Basically the time he’s asking for is so that nobody tries to enter the Ark since if anyone beats it it would spell doom for the other race. Radius asks about what they’re looking in to but because he has nothing concrete yet Astrum doesn’t want to say anything.

Lots of people are skeptical (like Libera) but some people like Mergo believe that it’s possible the Three Swords coming together at a time like this must mean something. Wanting everyone to see how serious he is, Astrum goes as far as bowing down. All the Angels are shocked because he would normally never do something like this as their leader and many of them follow suit. What’s funny though is that they all mention his roleplay. “He might be too into the roleplay, but he’s a good guy and has saved us many times.” “He’s really trustworthy even though he’s a little weird.” Those kinds of things are said about him. Astrum doesn’t appreciate them all making fun of him and he wishes they could’ve followed up with better things to say. However, this is effective enough into convincing most of the players to give them three days of time, which is three hours in the real world.

They decide to make a team picked by Kazuha as the Divine Sword but she does something that shocks everyone. She makes a team that mixes both Angels and Demons, which they shouldn’t have been able to do. At first they wonder if it’s because she’s the Divine Sword but when Astrum tries it he can do the same. The whole time in World V they could’ve partnered across races. Astrum says that Kazuha is amazing and truly their goddess. As a new player, she’s the only one who would’ve been able to make that mistake since all the seasoned players would’ve been set on thinking it was impossible. This discovery seems to inspire more hope in people.

Quest 7: After beating the Special Quest, Tooru and Kazuha head over to his university to find the room she saw in her vision. In that room they find both Shiki’s body and the V server. After finding the paper with key information, Tooru is able to hack into the system. Not being able to help with that Kazuha grabs some snacks for him. While hacking Tooru finds out the true intent of luring players to the dungeon. Going into the Room of God’s Legacy wouldn’t free everyone from World V, it would only trap those high-level/talented players in the Period Cube. Kazuha feels letdown since they finally found a way for everyone to work together. However, since Astrum is able to hack into the system he comes up with a plan. She would return to World V alone at the appointed time but he would stay in the real world and use hacking the help everyone else out. Before Kazuha returns to World V the two of them confirm their feelings for each other.

Back in World V, Radius is waiting for her and Astrum to return but she explains that Astrum won’t come back. Being able to work with the system, Astrum sends everyone who’s participating in the final quest a system message explaining the truth of the Period Cube. He opens a voice chat with them so even if he’s not physically there he can help them out. Since he’s not there he gives the Holy Sword to Silent to use. The group makes their way deep into the dungeon following Astrum’s instructions and fight Golem. However before they can defeat Golem Demento appears and stabs Silent, almost killing him. He lands the last hit on Golem and enters the Room of God’s Legacy, trying to clear the game normally and not knowing about the Period Cube. Demento gets absorbed into the Period Cube.

Since she wouldn’t get absorbed, Kazuha has to enter the Room of God’s Legacy to fiddle with the Period Cube. Astrum gives her a code that she needs to enter into the Cube. He tells her to make sure she enters it correctly, so if she needs to do it slower to be more accurate, than she should. Before she can finish entering the code, Zain tells her she shouldn’t do that or the new world can’t be completed. He goes to the Period Cube and closes the command prompt so Kazuha can no longer enter the code. After a time, everyone realizes that Zain is currently Shiki. After Shiki sabotages the program that Astrum prepared, the latter freaks out and laments that he can’t ever seem to beat Shiki.

In the Good End, Kazuha berates her brother, saying that while she understands he must’ve had a reason for doing this, there are some things that should not be done. Kazuha believes in Astrum so strongly and expresses that faith in him that he pulls himself together and brings back the input screen. There’s a time limit however so she needs to work quickly. Natsu makes an appearance to help them out and uses the last of his energy to temporarily stop Shiki from interfering with Kazuha. He can’t hold him off for long though so Shiki believes he’s won, but Kazuha makes it on time and releases everyone from World V. Shiki wakes up, noticing he’s returned to the real world and figures that Tooru is the one who got in the way of his plans. Since he doesn’t care about anyone else Shiki can’t recognize him but Tooru feels amazing because he’s finally beaten Shiki at something.

Kazuha wakes up in the hospital and immediately wants to go and see Tooru. When she goes to see him they’re both really happy to be reunited. Hiroya comes to interrupt them saying that they’re causing problems for the nurse who needs to examine Tooru. Before they part, Tooru asks Kazuha to go out with him, proceeds to mutter how uncool he is to himself, and Kazuha responds that she will go out with him. He’s surprised to learn that he would be her first boyfriend. He does his usual long-winded talking that Hiroya interrupts again, reminding them that they’re causing problems for the hospital. When Kazuha and Hiroya are alone in the hallway he voices surprise that the first person she wanted to check on was Astrum and not Shiki. You can tell he’s letdown that she wants to date Astrum though.

About 6 months later, Kazuha is waiting outside the school gates. She gets approached by the male students who gave her info on her brother and Natsu previously. They mention her brother’s been on a long break. Is he planning on quitting school? She responds that she doesn’t know yet. It seems like when he woke up, Shiki lost years of his memory and even though nothing seems to be wrong with his brain, he no longer speaks. They invite her out for tea but before she can respond Tooru makes an appearance and basically tells them to stop trying to hit on his girlfriend and kisses her forehead. They take the hint and leave. In the aftermath, he mentions how in the past he would have never imagined he would be in this type of situation in the future, but he’s fine with it because she’s his girlfriend now.

In the Merry Bad End, Tooru loses to his feelings of inadequacy and ends up killing Shiki in the real world, which makes the Shiki-controlled Zain disappear in the game. Tooru feels triumph for a while, finally “beating” Shiki until he realizes what he’s done and then freaks out. He’s completely fallen apart and can no longer lead them. Natsu makes an appearance, feeling bad that has guidance has led to such an end. He can’t part from the Period Cube and the farther people are from it, the less he can do. He was hiding from Shiki until the end to try and find a moment when he could be the most useful, but he was too late. He says that he and Shiki were wrong, and at this rate all the players will die. f someone with access from outside helped them they could probably stop it. They both know that Tooru is now unfit to help them though. The Period Cube is a program that can’t stop once it starts running, but there isn’t enough souls for it to complete its course. If a new world isn’t created, the current World V will be swallowed by the Jaws of Death.

With this info in mind she tried to use her Divine Sword power to destroy the Cube, but Natsu stops her, saying it would just kill everyone. As her main desire is to protect Tooru (he can no longer stay in the real world because he’s become a murderer), Kazuha makes a decision. She touches the Period Cube (I don’t know if she draws power from it or what) and asks Natsu how many souls are needed to complete the Period Cube’s upgrade and he says 7. Kazuha uses the Divine Sword’s power to break the wall between the rooms that separates the final boss room from the Room of God’s Legacy, essentially extending the room so they’re now in the same room as the Period Cube. In this way, she sacrifices them and Radius, the whole of Forte (Ira, Jocus, Miseria, Mergo), and Silent are absorbed into the Period Cube. Kazuha brings Astrum back into the game but because she touched the Period Cube, her data is all messed up and her our appearance looks strange. She holds out her hand to Astrum, asking him to come with her to a gentle new world where no one gets hurt. He asks where this place is and she tells him not to worry, she’ll take him there. He just needs to give her his soul.

Fast-forward a little and Astrum is still his usual leader self in the Majestic Palace (that seems to have been restored). Kazuha is awake but is in a mostly vegetative state but you can hear static. Astrum worships her as an important person for Arcadia. Natsu makes an appearance and Astrum is ready to fight him but Natsu has no intention of harming either of them. He warns Astrum that killing him might make this world break since he placed himself at the nucleus of the Period Cube. He just came by to see the world that Kazuha, or more accurately Astrum, wished for. He would return one day if she ever wakes up from that state, but even those words seem like it would take magic to come true. After Natsu leaves, Astrum goes back to Kazuha’s side. While she isn’t speaking, through the static, it’s almost as if you can hear her, saying things like “if you wish, I’ll make you a king.” “If you wish it, we can be together forever.”

Astrum was actually a really hilarious precious baby. He started off as my favorite but I’m not 100% sure if he stayed on top. I’ll expand on this more in Poyopoyo’s route because my commentary won’t make as much sense until you read that route.

His interactions with Hiroya were funny too. I didn’t really add it in the plot details but Astrum had a tendency to get really close to Kazuha and like kiss her hand or just stand close to her in general and Hiroya would always be like, “Hey! Get away from her you ero Angel!”

I also liked that they made something good come from Kazuha being a new player because it was kind of annoying otherwise. Being a new player made it easy for everyone to always have to save her and she would get kidnapped or almost kidnapped a lot and it just made her too vulnerable. I thought there would be zero benefit in her being such a newbie but I guess at least they addressed it once, which is more than I expected. I still would’ve preferred if they found another way to introduce the game than making her such a noob. I don’t even play that many RPGs and it was painful for me to have everything have to be so painstakingly explained.

While I liked how much more complex Astrum’s Merry Bad End was, I feel like it was one the only one that made me like the featured character less. It could be because I was so strongly biased towards Astrum or maybe it was because it was the least “merry” of all the bad ends, but it just felt…off. It felt more personal that he killed Shiki somehow. It wasn’t like people weren’t sacrificed or killed in all the other characters’ bad ends but at least in those ends it felt like the main couple would be happy together even if everything else was wrong with the worlds. In this end, Kazuha isn’t even really herself. I like that Astrum still looks up to her in a goddessy way because it kind of puts a flip on his devotion to her previously in the old game world, but it felt a little empty because she was basically broken.


Demento
DEMENTO

Demento is a Fallen Angel as a result of being a PK (playerkiller). Despite the fact that if you die in Arcadia you die in real life, he still gets enjoyment from killing people off. Since I played his route before Astrum, in Demento’s route I learned that people who kill across race (like if a Demon kills an Angel) will not be labeled as a PK because those races are enemies in the game. You only become a PK if you kill people within the same race (Angel killing an Angel). As addressed in Astrum’s route, Fallen Angels are reduced to level 1 (although this doesn’t match his profile), can only use one skill, can only fight with knives, cannot enter towns, and cannot party with anyone else. In the real world his name is Karasuba Minato and he works part-time at a convenience store that’s on the way to Shiki’s apartment.

Demento was a strong Angel who was originally part of Astrum’s party Clarus. There was an incident where he ended up killing a party of Demons (it wasn’t confirmed but I’m pretty sure it was the well-known party Insania since they never came back from the Ark one day), but Astrum considered it an accident and just let it go since he wasn’t a PK. However, Demento later does end up killing fellow Angels too because he liked the thrill of it and that’s basically how he became a Fallen Angel.

His route branches from Astrum’s route at Quest 5. If Astrum’s affection isn’t high enough and you start to choose the Demento answers when he appears, then you go into Demento’s route or sub-route, I guess, because it doesn’t feel like a full story since he kind of appears with not much time until the final battle.

Quest 5: After the confrontation with Astrum in the dungeon (which happened after he killed the Angels trying to kidnap her), Demento takes Kazuha out of the Ark. They stop by a lake and rest there. Demento can’t go into any towns after all. Kazuha asked why he became a PK and he explains that he got a thrill from seeing the pain and despair on people’s faces when they got killed. He also liked how it felt when he too would get close to dying because being close to death helps you feel alive. That’s basically his reason. She tells him it’s wrong to kill people just for that and even though her words anger him, I guess her honesty or something else about her stops him because he starts to strangle her but lets her go.

The next day, they go on a Special Quest that also drops a rare item he wants. Kazuha is somehow able to ask him to join a party with her despite the fact that usually PKs cannot partner with anyone but he concedes. When they run into the monster, he leaves her to fend for herself in an attempt to bring out her Divine Sword’s power, but when it doesn’t work and she’s in danger of getting hit, he attacks the monster to direct its attention to him. She decides to also help fight and the two of them beat the monster and get the rare drop. She picks it up and gives it to him. Before they disappear he mentions how strange she is because most people would’ve tried to run from him when they had the chance and wouldn’t have given him the rare item so easily.

Quest 6: When Kazuha returns to the real world, she stops by a nearby convenience store. She sees a worker who looks like Demento there and follows him home when he’s done with his shift. He lets her in when she knocks but asks if she’s a stalker to follow him home. He mentions that in real life he has to work part-time because money is necessary to live and comments on how boring it is here. He prefers life in World V significantly more and wants to beat up anyone who tries to complete the final dungeon since it would mean needing to return here for good. He asks her why she didn’t run when she had the opportunity and she says it’s because he saved her and she didn’t want him to die. Even though she doesn’t understand his perspective completely she does understand what he meant by how much more alive you feel after being close to death. She smiles at him and he takes it as her making fun of him so he makes a move to kiss her forcefully, saying that if she comes by herself to a man’s apartment she shouldn’t complain if anything happens. When he lets her go, she’s been scared enough that she leaves. He comments that even if she leaves now, when they return she’ll be his again anyway.

When Kazuha returns to World V to the cave they beat the monster, she runs into Femina and some other Angels who tell her that the Jaws of Death has wiped out the Majestic Palace and everyone’s gone to the Adventurer’s Town. Before she can go off with them, Demento attacks them but doesn’t go as far as killing them when Kazuha asks him to stop. She tells the other Angels to run, which they do after apologizing for making her sacrifice herself for them. Kazuha follows Demento.

Quest 7: He takes her to the Ark and brings out the muffler rare item they got from the previous quest. He says that this item will allow them to pass by strong monsters. It doesn’t just make the wearer(s) invisible but also masks their scent and sound so they can go through safely. After fighting a lower level monster, they use the muffler. However, once they reach the room with Big Horn, the item doesn’t seem to work. They engage in battle together but both get kind of beaten up. He asks her why she was so reckless and attacked the monster and she said it was because she didn’t want him to die. He told her he’s going to fight the monster on his own and to run when he does because it’s the only way to get her out of the Ark. Kazuha is surprised by this and asks what he means by that. He decides that he won’t take her through the dungeon anymore so he wants to release her. At the point, he’s beaten up pretty badly and the monster is ready to attack again so Kazuha activates her Divine Sword power and finishes off the monster.

A little after this, Shiki appears. He joins their party and brings them to the Room of God’s Legacy where the Period Cube is. He explains the whole thing about using the Period Cube to create a new world where there’s no death, no pain, and no suffering. He’s about ready to complete it too because just a bit earlier the Cube absorbed Hiroya, Radius, Astrum, the members of Forte, and a bunch of other nameless Angels so it has enough souls to complete the reboot. He makes a move to try and kill Demento because in his opinion a PK isn’t necessary to that world. However, Demento doesn’t get killed off and actually wounds Shiki. Natsu makes an appearance, telling Demento and Kazuha that there’s still time to stop the Period Cube. Regardless of what happens, the souls already in the Period Cube cannot be freed. Once enclosed, they can only exist in the new world which would be created after. All other souls would be returned to the real world once the Period Cube finishes the reboot.

In the Good End, Demento tells Shiki to create a new world that mimics Arcadia. He wants to stay in World V and go to the new world and he tells Shiki to stay too because he seems like he would be a fun and worthy opponent. When Kazuha protests this Demento mentions that there’s no place for either of them in the real world because they’ve both killed too many people. Kazuha, however, doesn’t belong in this world and should return to the real world. Hearing this, Kazuha starts to cry. Seeing her tears, Shiki calls her over to have a talk. He tells Demento he wants to have a few last words with his sister if this is goodbye forever. Shiki asks Kazuha if she likes Demento, and while she isn’t sure I think he can tell that she does. He tells her that he’ll always fulfill her wishes, whatever they are, even if she’s unaware of his own feelings. He wishes he could’ve been with her longer, but this is a final goodbye. Shiki completes the Period Cube.

In the real world, Shiki’s body had been found in a lab room in his university. Hiroya’s body is in the same condition. Kazuha is sad that neither of them will ever wake up, but she tries to think that those two, along with Radius, Astrum, and the members of Forte, are having a good life in the new world. Even though she knows Demento is also over there, she goes to his apartment and finds his passed out body. Upon prompting, he actually wakes up. Shiki had decided to follow his sister’s wishes and returned Demento to the real world. However, Minato has no memories of what transpired in the game and doesn’t recognize her at all.

Some time passes and he and Kazuha get together. He does wonder why he forgot her but he’s happy to be with her now and when she asks him if he feels alive, he responds by kissing her, telling her that he can feel her warmth and softness and that feeling is what it’s like to live.

In the Merry Bad End, Demento wants the upgraded Period Cube to be a replica of the current Arcadia because he likes it. It would be a little different though. He wants a world where they would all continuously try to kill each other (probably because that’s when he feels the most alive). I guess because it goes along with what Kazuha wants, Shiki is fine with this and he creates an Arcadia where Demento and everyone else who got adsorbed into the Period Cube basically just keep fighting each other in and endless cycle. Everyone always tries to take Kazuha away from Demento and he always holds onto her, sayng that she’ll belong to him forever.

I actually really didn’t want to play this route because I wasn’t into his character when he appeared in anyone’s route. In fact I wanted to kick him wher eit would hurt. He was just all self-gratifying violence without a care for anyone else. The reason he did that kind of fell short to me as well. I was hoping he’d have some amazing backstory to at least partially make up for all his annoying actions throughout the game but nope. He was just someone dissatisfied with life. To further prove this, his Good End isn’t even completely happy. Some people are trapped in the new world and since his hands are stained with blood, the only way for Minato to be happy was losing his memories of when he was a killer. I don’t know that doesn’t seem too great to me. I really could’ve done without this route honestly.


Poyopoyo
POYOPOYO

Poyopoyo is a monster that doesn’t attack people but instead acts as an informant. He prides himself in knowing everything and his info is never wrong. I don’t recall if this was revealed or hinted at in any other route, but I already got into this route knowing that Poyopoyo was Kazuha’s brother Shiki because I had been exposed to the drama CDs before the game. It was hinted at in several routes and in one route (Was it Radius’ route?) she actually guessed he was Shiki but he never responds. This might seem like a dumb reason but you can also kind of tell Poyopoyo is Shiki because Shiki’s Arcadia outfit mimics Poyopoyo’s if you look closely enough.

Poyopoyo’s route opens up after you play  all the Good Ends for each guy because it opened after I finished Astrum’s Good End, not his Merry Bad End (and Astrum was the last character I played). It branches off of Hiroya/Libera’s route very briefly. Instead of choosing the answer that would put you on Libera or Hiroya’s route, there’s now a third option. If you choose that, you get set on the Poyopoyo route.

Quest 2: Libera and Hiroya leave the cave go to patrol the area but don’t come back for a long time. It starts to rain and the loud thunder scares Kazuha. She sees a bright light and Natsu appears. However, since she can’t hear him she doesn’t know what he’s trying to convey. Suddenly Kazuha hears a weird sound and Natsu disappears. She wonders if he disappeared because he was running away so she heads deeper into the cave to try and escape whatever is coming. At some point she hits a dead end so she decides to attack to try and protect herself. She ends up running into Poyopoyo. He tells her he’s not her enemy and that he’s actually an informant so he can help her. He asks her how she got into World V because usually everyone is already a player from Arcadia. She explains that she entered World V while playing with a friend and she’s looking for her brother. After he finishes with his questions, she says that she wants to check on her friends but he tells her they’re probably waiting the rain out somewhere so she should wait here for now and they can search for them together in the morning.

She dreams about being in a large library but not knowing what she’s looking for.

The next morning they search in the forest for Hiroya and Libera but pull up a blank. When she gets to a field, there are two Demons there who seem interested in her. Poyopoyo tells her to run because they’re after the Divine Sword. When she gets to the forest, Demento makes an appearance and kills off the two Demons. She went into hiding while he beat them up. Even though she had wanted to help them Poyopoyo told her to stay put because her level is weak and that player is a PK so he wouldn’t hesitate to kill her. Poyopoyo tells her to head back to the cave they were in earlier because he has a plan.When Demento is distracted, she runs to the cave but he’s somewhat close behind. She reaches the dead end she had run into previously. Poyopoyo tells her not to worry and presses something that opens up a path where there previously had not been one. Once she gets inside, he closes it. Demento loses her trail and Kazuha and Poyopoyo slowly head deeper into the cave. She finds out later it’s actually a dungeon so she runs into a monster. Poyopoyo guides her through the fight and she wins. They continue walking with the intention of getting to a town since this path leads there.

Kazuha steps on something that makes her fall into a dark hole and she loses consciousness. Poyopoyo’s voice and speaking style changes because he’s turned into his regular Oniichan form . While he’d yelled out at her not to step on the spot where she stepped his warning had been a little too late. He told her he would take responsibility for this and make sure she isn’t hurt anywhere. He gets excited from being able to examne her body and feel her skin because all this time he’s always…

Quest 3: Kazuha dreams about a memory from when she was in an accident and Shiki is holding her, saying he won’t let anything happen to her ever again. She says that as long as Oniichan is with her she doesn’t fell afraid or alone.

The next morning, Kazuha meets Jocus and Ira. She explains that she was with Poyopoyo. Jocus recalls that this cave has weak monsters but a lot of gimmicks. Poyopoyo makes a reappearance and seems happy that she’s safe. When Ira asks if Poyopoyo has seen the Divine Sword he answers that Kazuha’s the Divine Sword. Ira asks Kazuha to join Forte and they explain to her more about clearing the dungeon and the Three Swords. They’re on their way back from the Ark and heading to the Twilight City. As Poyopoyo seems to trust them, Kazuha and Poyopoyo go with them. Once they reach town, Ira’s tired so Jocus and Ira head to Domina’s inn while Poyopoyo takes Kazuha around. They run into Zain but Poyopoyo wants to go on “a date” with Kazuha so he hurriedly pulls her away. They go to the market where Ars is selling some accessories. There’s a cute necklace that Poyopoyo thinks would match Kazuha well and Ars shows them a pair of earrings that would match the necklace. Poyopoyo tries to buy both for her but she refuses because it’s too expensive. Ars decides to offer it to them as half price so she would accept the present and Kazuha finally agrees much to both Ars’ and Poyopoyo’s delight.

They head to Domina’s inn and get a room for the night. Kazuha asks Poyopoyo to stay with her. When Kazuha falls asleep, Poyopoyo turns into Oniichan again. He notices that she didn’t change out of her regular clothes because she was too tired and doesn’t think she’ll get proper rest this way, so he takes it upon himself to change her clothes. He gets excited again, enjoying her smooth skin and nice body shape. He wants to tell her how he wants to touch and kiss every single part of her but he thinks she would scorn him after so he won’t say it. But he’ll enjoy himself a little while right now because it’s Arcadia after all, which is an imagined paradise.

The next morning Kazuha is completely refreshed. She notices that her clothes are folded nicely on the side table and she doesn’t remember changing into sleeping wear. Poyopoyo told her she changed herself, borrowing night clothes from Domina since she didn’t have any the night before. She must’ve been really tired to not remember doing that. Kazuha takes what he says at face value but feels like she’s forgetting something important…

Quest 4: They head downstairs and meet up with Ira and the rest of Forte. Ira really wants Kazuha to join but she’s unsure of herself. Poyopoyo tells her to do what she wants to do. He elaborates that when you’re not sure of what’s the right thing to do then you should do what you want to do. Feeling empowered by his words, Kazuha decides to go with them. She’s still weak but she wants to get stronger.

It fast-forwards a bit and Kazuha’s level is a little higher. She apparently goes on quests with Forte every day but she’s sitting this one out because they went to the Ark, which she isn’t ready for yet. She’s spending the day getting supplies and also using the time to look into the three people she’s looking for: Shiki, Hiroya, and Libera. The Demons in the market place haven’t come across any info. She sees Zain after and he doesn’t have any info either but he mentions that he notices Poyopoyo isn’t with her today. She said Poyopoyo told her he has something to do that day. Zain wants to spend some time talking with Kazuha but mid-conversation he completely changes and abruptly decides to head back. Kazuha is fine with this but wonders what brought on the change.

Kazuha goes back to the inn and Domina asks how her investigation went. She informs her she hasn’t heard anything about any of the three missing people. Domina’s a little worried about Libera in particular since he usually only stays in towns. Ira chimes in that he also hates fighting. Since Forte has returned they join in the conversation. They all know Libera so they instead ask about Hiroya and her brother Shiki. She explains that Hiroya is just a friend (Miseria asked if he was her boyfriend) and then they ask about her brother. She basically tells them that he’s pretty different from her because they’re actually step-siblings so they’re not related by blood and he’s cool and popular but doesn’t seem to have a girlfriend. Domina says that the conversation has strayed to being more personal rather than being useful info to help them find her brother and Hiroya and she catches Poyopoyo eavesdropping on the conversation as well. Forte suggests that they take a Special Quest the next day to return to the real world so that she can at least check on how Hiroya’s doing there. If he’s awake or asleep she’d be able to confirm that he’s doing okay in World V.

That night she talks to Poyopoyo in her room. She wants to take the Special Quest but Poyopoyo doesn’t think it’s necessary because she won’t get much out of it. Kazuha argues that he brother might be back though. While she’s worried about Hiroya, the whole reason she even got pulled into World V was because she was worried about her brother and Poyopoyo might not understand how important that is to her. Poyopoyo says he was only trying to help but what she wants to do is the most important…even if it means ignoring what he says. Poyopoyo leaves the room sadly and Kazuha feels bad for what she said. She goes to sleep crying, feeling upset over this.

Shiki in his Oniichan form goes to Kazuha’s room at night. He notices that she’s been crying and wonders if it was because of him. He knows it’s wrong and he shouldn’t be doing this but ever since that first time he touched her, he can’t seem to bring himself to stop because she’s so soft and warm. He’s in ecstasy. Ever since she was a child she was the type of person that wouldn’t wake up once they fell asleep, but he keeps touching her like this and doesn’t wake up. He wonders aloud if she’s actually awake and is purposefully pretending to be asleep to arouse him. He tells her she should be careful because it would be terrible if she found herself in this type of situation with another man. He’s really curious as to what her expression would be if she caught him doing this but at the same time he doesn’t actually want to find out.

Kazuha dreams of the library again, but this time she’s aware that she’s looking for her brother. She feels like she sees him at the end but doesn’t think that was really him because she gets the feeling that she would never be able to find him in this type of place.

When she wakes up the next morning and goes downstairs, Poyopoyo and her both mutually apologize to each other and she informs him that she will go on the Special Quest. When she wakes up in the real world she tries to contact Hiroya but he doesn’t pick up. She tries to contact his family instead and finds out he’s in the hospital and diagnosed with the Soul-sleeping Illness.

Quest 5: On that note she returns to World V. While talking with the other members of Forte, they get the system message that the cities are no longer safe from the Jaws of Death. Everyone starts to freak out and they all look towards Kazuha, saying as the Divine Sword she should try to work on clearing the final dungeon faster. Ira gets on their case saying Forte will definitely clear the Ark. However, just because their levels are weaker it doesn’t mean they can’t do anything. Domina can’t fight because of her bad leg (I forgot if I mentioned this in order routes) but she made this inn for everyone else and that’s her form of fighting and helping players so no one can make the excuse that they can’t help out at all. They decide that the Jaws of Death isn’t going to swallow up the city right now so they would start getting serious about the problem the next day.

That night Kazuha is woken from her sleep by a man screaming. She looks out the window to see a man (it’s Shiki but she doesn’t know that right now) with a knife brutally beating up another man. Apparently that player was trying to steal the Divine Sword in the middle of the night. Shiki asks why he would do something like that since it’s not like he’s strong enough to use her to beat the Ark. He ends up killing the other player through his brutality. Kazuha must’ve accidentally hit something because Shiki turns around at the sound. She quickly ducks from the window but she’s not sure if she was fast enough. She hears footsteps approaching and wants to hide but opts for going in her bed and pretending to be asleep. Shiki comes to her room and asks if she’s sleeping. He tells her that he’ll make sure to keep her safe and no one would steal her away so she should sleep peacefully. Through this whole incident Poyopoyo is not present.

Kazuha tries to sleep afterwards to forget what she saw but she was unable to. Poyopoyo didn’t come back the whole night. When she goes down for breakfast, she asks Poyopoyo where he went and he said he had to get an early start to his morning. She checks if he went anywhere the previous night and says that he spent the night sleeping with her like usual. He seems happy that she’s taken an interest in him but Kazuha feel downhearted because she knows he’s lying to her since he had been gone from the night before. A Demon approaches Domina asking if she’s seen his friend. The two of them had plans to go on a Special Quest today but he hasn’t seen him and his luggage is all still there so it doesn’t look like he went to the market to get supplies. Kazuha, realizing that missing player is probably the one killed the previous night, tells everyone she’s not feeling well and rushes to her room. She once again tries to forget everything.

Kazuha is later woken up by Miseria bringing her a tray of food from Domina. Miseria can tell something’s bothering Kazuha and Kazuha talks to Miseria about what to do when you know someone is lying. Miseria basically says personally she would keep quiet, but it also depends on the person in question and the intent of the lie. If it’s a kind lie or one with ill intentions. While Kazuha contemplates which type of lie Poyopoyo told, Mergo comes in saying that the Jaws of Death has started to eat away at the Twilight City.

Quest 6: Miseria, Mergo, and Kazuha all run out of the inn. Everything is chaos outside. Mergo tells Miseria and Kazuha to run to where Ira and Jocus are at the entrance to the town but a building falls and separates Miseria and Kazuha. Kazuha goes through the market place to try and escape but it’s blocked over there too. Mergo is one of the people trapped there. Poyopoyo finds her and tells her that he has a path she can take to safety, but he can only take her because it’s narrow and would be dangerous if more people came. Unwilling to leave the other people behind, Kazuha activates her Divine Sword power. While it doesn’t get rid of the mist like how it does monsters, it does push it back enough for all the other people in the marketplace to escape. Kazuha overdoes it and ends up using all her energy so she can barely move afterwards. She thinks to herself that this must be the end for her. However, Shiki comes to her rescue and uses a warp stone to teleport them to a field that has a warp gate to the Ark.

They run into Ira and Jocus there, but apparently Mergo and Miseria haven’t caught up to them yet. Kazuha wants to help them find them but Shiki vetoes the idea saying he needs to take her to the Ark so she can be safe. When Forte tries to fight him on this he imprisons them with invisible rope that would zap them if they move. He wants to kill them because they’ve put her in dangerous situations repeatedly and she almost died because she was trying to save a Forte member in the market place. If he kills them now then he’d never have to worry about her endangering herself to try and save them again but Kazuha’s against this idea so he refrains. Barely. Shiki’s voice had been the same cold one she’d heard from the man who killed the other player the previous night so she now knows for sure that it was Shiki.

Shiki kisses her and admits that he’s never viewed her as a sister and loves her as a woman. He knew it was strange that he felt that way even as a child but he couldn’t help himself. He puts a sleep spell on her and takes her to the Ark.

A scene shows a young Shiki walking through a library, now identified as the Akashic Records. The knowledge Shiki is seeking is a way to transcend death. From here he gets the idea to separate the soul from the body and put it in a different place so that the soul doesn’t ever die.

Quest 7: Kazuha wakes up in a nicely decorated room but she’s locked inside. Shiki comes to see her and he tells her not to worry because even though his feelings are the same he won’t do anything to her now. He tells her that Ira and Jocus are still alive and so are Hiroya and Libera. Hereveals that he’s the mastermind that trapped everyone in the game. He also admits that he’s the one who took Libera and Hiroya basically he doesn’t like Hiroya, who always try to play the hero. He didn’t kill them though because he knew it would make her sad, so he just put them in the Period Cube. She can see them again later. Shiki’s necklace catches her interest but she doesn’t quite know why. Shiki wants to stay with her longer but he still has some preparations to do so he leaves her. After Shiki leaves Natsu finds her and says he’ll give her his knowledge and memories.

From his memories, Kazuha finds out about how the two of them created the Arcadia game and Period Cube. Natsu gets into a traffic accident and Shiki uses this as an opportunity to test the Period Cube and separates Natsu’s soul from his body. He thanks Natsu for letting him do this experiment because it seems like it’s going to work out and he can use this to save Kazuha.

When she comes back to herself she’s agonized over what’s going on, knowing that Shiki’s doing this for her so it’s her fault. Shiki comes back and notices she doesn’t look well. He wonders if she’s gotten too stressed and offers to cook her favorite food, french toast. Kazuha asks what he’s hiding from her and what she forgot. She unleashes a little of the Divine Sword’s power and Shiki talks about how it was a coincidence that she picked up that ability. He had originally planned to use the Divine Sword’s power himself. Of course he blames it all on Hiroya, saying it was his fault for having Kazuha make a sub-character on his account when he did. He continues to blame Hiroya, saying it’s his fault just like the accident.

The word accident triggers Kazuha’s memory and she remembers that she forgot things after the accident. Like that their pet Lucky died, or that she gave that necklace to Shiki. She wants to know what else she forgot but he tells her she doesn’t need to remember. The things she forgets doesn’t impede her everyday life so it’s fine. He would always ask her how she was doing every day over texts because if she forgot everything at least he would be able to remember. Natsu’s accident really scared him because he realized that Kazuha could die at any time. In the world created by the Period Cube, a person’s soul, and therefore their personality and memories, would go with them without bodily problems so in this world she would never forget him again. Kazuha tries to comfort him saying that she won’t forget him anymore and whil Shiki appreciates the words, he knows she can’t promise that.

A gimmick in the Ark activates and Shiki needs to go. He locks her in the room again but this time she has an option to unlock the door, which she does. Kazuha enters the Room of God’s Legacy just as Astrum and Clarus and Radius defeat Golem. They enter the room and start to get absorbed by the Period Cube. One of the Angels freaks out and goes after Shiki but Kazuha blocks him so he ends up stabbing her instead.

In the Good End, while Shiki laments over Kazuha dying, everyone else gets absorbed and she activates her Divine Sword power, which seems to take the two of them to the Akashic Records. There, they both meet up with the library administrator and he says it’s been a while. Shiki’s wish has already been granted so now it’s Kazuha’s turn. Stopping the Period Cube would not solve all their problems because her brother would still be a murderer. After some contemplation, she asks if there’s a way to turn back time. The administrator says there is but wishes to know why she would seek that particular knowledge out. She wants to rewind time to before the accident. The origin of all of this was her getting into that accident so if they stop that from happening then Shiki would’ve never made the Period Cube in the first place. In that way, she’d be able to save everyone. She reads the proper book to fulfill her desire.

It flashes back to the accident but instead of letting go of Shiki’s hand to go to Hiroya, she continues to hold it and the car passes by. She starts to pick up important memories that she’d forgetten like when she first met Shiki and he gave her a doll (that looks like Poyopoyo). She’s still really young so she can’t speak much, but she says “poyopoyo” when she sees the doll so that becomes its name.

The next part starts off like the prologue where Kazuha’s with a classmate and runs into Hiroya and they greet each other. She tells her classmate that they’re childhood friends. After school she goes to Shiki’s university and runs into Tooru and Natsu. Tooru just kind of runs away and Natsu greets her, asking if she came to see Shiki, to which she responds she is. He plans to go to the hospital later because his brother is getting released. She says that when things settle down perhaps she and Shiki can go over and visit them. Natsu responds positively but also tells her to take it easy since it’s exam time and he’s rooting for her. Shiki runs over to Kazuha and asks if she was waiting long. She said she hadn’t been waiting at all. Shiki figures out that it was because she had been talking to Natsu, which makes him a little grumpy. On the way to his apartment, he doublechecks if she’s sure she wants to hang out with him on a day off because that must be boring for her. She says he’s being silly because he’s the one who invited her.

After they get to his place he decides it might be better if she returned home after dinner after all. Kazuha said she’d do that if he really doesn’t want her here but he corrects her and pulls her into a hug, saying that if she stays he’ll want to do things like that because he likes her (in a romantic way). Kazuha responds that she likes him too but he tells her their type of likes are different. Kazuha said that’s possible, but Shiki’s always been number 1 for her and even if their types of like are different, her feeling for him is a special one. She surprises Shiki with a kiss on the lips and he tells her that he was holding himself back for so long. If she wants to change her mind she needs to do it now because after he won’t ever let her go. Kazuha feels in her heart that this is right and tells him she won’t go anywhere.

In the Merry Bad End Kazuha feels herself dying but knows if that happens Shiki would lose it and stop caring about anything, which means a lot of other people would die and Shiki would be suffering. In order to avoid this kind of end she uses the Divine Sword’s power to complete the Period Cube.

The world that’s created mimics the real world. She wakes up and eats Shiki’s french toast, runs into Hiroya before school and they discuss the plan to have a nabe party at Shiki’s place later. After school she meets up with Rei and they go to the convenience store to get some stuff needed for the nabe. She almost forgets something but Minato brings it to her attention and tells her to be careful because he might keep it for himself next time.

At Shiki’s place Kazuha has a fun meal with Shiki, Hiroya, Natsu, Riku, Rei, Zain, and Tooru. They all bicker and have a generally funny dynamic. Kazuha and Shiki see everyone off and then Shiki walks her home. She says goodnight but he says their conversation isn’t over. He topples her on the bed and places himself over her. He asks what she thought she was doing acting all friendly with all those other guys and gets all jealous on her, asking if she’d let any of them see her like this and she said she hadn’t. He says if that’s true then she should be able to show him everything and starts undressing her. They have some sexy time and then Shiki bids her goodnight.

A prompt pops up. If you choose “today was also a fun day” then the whole day repeats itself. If you choose “something feels a little off” then the screen gets a little staticy. Kazuha feels like she’s forgetting something but she shouldn’t remember it…and then the screen shuts off.

First off, mad props to Toriumi for the Poyopoyo voice. Initially I was worried how I’d be able to handle this stylized way of speaking but it actually wasn’t as terrible as I expected. Since he made an appearance a lot, I got used to it and it was almost…cute?

I don’t always like Oniichan characters but I’ve noticed lately I tend to gravitate towards them more than usual. I think for me, while Shiki lived up to his Oniichan-ness I expected him to be…more. More of what I’m not quite sure but he just didn’t live up to my expectations. For the route that needs to be opened it was structured almost like every other route. Sure, there were more revelations, but it followed almost the same template so it didn’t hit me as hard as I wanted it to.

A question I wanted to answer was who was best boy, but in the end but I honestly can’t say who it is with certainty. It’s in between Astrum and Shiki because while Astrum amused me and made me happy for the majority of the game (in his route and outside his route), certain lines from Shiki and some of the things he did really hit some of my pings. The reason I can’t choose one over the other with confidence is because like I mentioned earlier, Astrum let me down a bit in his Merry Bad End and Shiki didn’t live up to all my expectations. Plus Shiki and those wandering hands over his sleeping sister’s body. Like dude why? She’s sleeping. I legitimately sat here for a while working on the review, trying to choose one over the other and every time I felt pretty confident about one, I would think about the other and would feel less sure so I kind of just gave up trying to have a definitive favorite.

What was strange to me about the Merry bad End was that it seems like it was created to be the perfect “real world” where Kazuha can be friendly with all the guys from the game, but she only briefly met most of them so I don’t know why they were there? Why not choose players that she actually spent time with, like Forte? Were they there because of Shiki? That also doesn’t make sense completely because he really couldn’t be bothered with everyone else unless he gets turned on from being jealous over Kazuha. While I know he’s very into doing what Kazuha wants, if she hadn’t met these people, how would he know that she would want to hang out with them? The other thing is that the Period Cube needs a certain amount of souls to complete so I wonder if there hadn’t been enough in the Merry Bad End so that’s why the world they’re in is incomplete and therefore keeps repeating.

I really liked the tie-in of the doll that Shiki gave to Kazuha at the beginning (or would that be at the end?) since it shows the connection between the creation of Poyopoyo and how much Kazuha means to him.It also was a nice foil to how every time Kazuha hugged Poyopoyo too tightly he would always say he’s not a doll, but the whole creation of Poyopoyo actually started because of a doll. It really illustrated how much Shiki was into his sister because even small details like this didn’t go unnoticed by him.

For Kazuha’s defective memory, as the final reveal for Shiki’s motivations, I don’t think it was explained well. I liked the lead up to it with some details scattered here and there like how Kazuha would know things about her brother but realized she didn’t really know him, like what his favorite color was or who his friends were. Initially I first thought that was because he was being secretive but it might be because she forgot. I really don’t think the actual memory defect was explained enough though. Honestly, I don’t know too much about memory illnesses but I couldn’t tell if Kazuha’s memory problem was just related to Shiki or if it was related to more things but it just affected Shiki badly. And if she had a memory problem overall, why did no one else notice it? Why did it not make an appearance in anyone else’s route? It seemed almost like a cheap plot point. If they had explanded on it more or changed it a little, it could’ve been really interesting but it just was kind of presented and I went with it but I wasn’t completely satisfied with it as the explanation. The lead up was done much better than what the actual revelation was.

While I can see how it would’ve been hard for them to be happy otherwise, I also wasn’t satisfied with the use of the Akashic Records to rewind everything to before the accident. There’s cause and effect in the world and being able to change this felt too convenient.


More Spoiler Commentary

The Akashic Records, while a cool idea, just seemed really random. It felt like it was thrown in here to make a lot of hard-to-fix situations come out happy. It didn’t appear in every route and I think they could’ve done something different and worked with what was already in the plot rather than make this be a thing. I didn’t see the value in this being in the game when there’s already other issues.

I don’t understand why Shiki needed to run World V in his room when he was accessing it from the actual server that was at his school. I don’t recall if they ever explained this. Was Shiki running it there for when he was actually ready to bring Kazuha into the completed new world?

This is actually really important too but I have zero clue how anybody besides Hiroya and Kazuha got pulled into World V. I thought that would be explained but it never came up. We know that all the other players besides Kazuha originally played the regular Arcadia, but how did they get trapped in World V? Did Shiki pick and choose people somehow? Was it random? Did they log in to their regular Arcadia game one day and find themselves in World V? I don’t know because it never came up which I find a little strange.

It felt unrealisitic that Kazuha was so dense. People would explain things to her about how Arcadia and World V works but then she would forget or not retain it. Don’t you think in a life or death game you would remember things more? After the final revelation about her memory problem, this made a little more sense, but in the game she didn’t seem to completely forget things because once she got reminded she would be like…oh yeah. So it felt like it was more her personality than a memory problem. Who knows though.

On a similar note, I don’t get why everyone could recognize Kazuha immediately in the real world while she took a long time to (except with Astrum. She recognized him rather fast). Everyone would seem “familiar” but she took too long to recognize people for it to feel realistic. They do mention in the game, particularly in reference to whenShiki would take control of Zain that not everyone needs to look how they do in real life, but…I mean, all the guys do. And if they do make their real-life selves resemble their game-counterparts I would’ve appreciated the consistency.

I don’t know if they explained it in more detail and I just missed it, but I feel like Natsu’s accident that killed him was never properly explained either. In Shiki’s Good End, Natsu lives after time was rewound but I don’t get why because it was supposed to be a traffic accident. If it wasn’t related to developing Arcadia and the Period Cube, why did time rewinding change that? Was it really an accident and Shiki just used that as an opprtunity to test the soul-confining process or did Shiki actually have a hand in the death? I’m going with the former because he seemed genuinely happy to see Natsu when he appeared before he noticed he was ruining his plans, but I can’t be sure. Maybe Kazuha not being in an accident just shifted the course of things so somehow Natsu doesn’t die but because we don’t know the details of the accident I can’t see the connection.

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GENERAL COMMENTARY ON THE GAME (Non-Spoiler)

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PLOT: If you’re expecting a really detailed and complex plot, this is not it, but if you like premises like Sword Art Online, I think you’d enjoy this game. The plot didn’t overshadow the romance, but I did feel like the romances developed a little too quickly for my tastes most of the time and the core of the game is based on the plot. I could see why Kazuha was becoming more important and meaningful to each character but sometimes I found myself not believing the romance. Given more time, I might have, but part of it could have been attributed to the flow of time itself. I realize in my detailed plot explanation it might not seem like there are many love scenes, but it just came out that way because of the way I wrote it I think. I was trying to cut out the detail where I could and what actually ended up happening was me cutting out the detail regarding love scenes.

There were certain key events that happened in each storyline that could help you gauge how close you were getting to the end, but sometimes the sense of time felt skewed, especially because they utilized time skips here and there. I actually couldn’t tell you concretely how much time passed in Arcadia in each route but sometimes it felt like they were only together for a few days or like…maybe a week and suddenly they’re important to each other which I just didn’t buy.

Astrum, Hiroya, and Shiki’s progression  made the most sense to me because Kazuha already knew the latter two and it actually felt like Astrum spent a lot of time with Kazuha. The most poorly timed one was probably Radius in my opinion.

I think that I would’ve preferred a set recommneded play order where little bits of the plot would be revealed in each route rather than you finding out the same thing over and over again. I did notice they tried to vary it where they could, but the plot was essentially the same so they could only change so much.

THE BAD ENDS ACTUALLY MADE SENSE for the most part. I have mixed feelings about Bad Ends in games, because sometimes they can add an extra depth to the story but most of the time I feel like they just get thrown in to give the games bad ends, but this time I could legitimately see things twisting in the directions presented in the bad ends if something went wrong.

CHARACTERS: I liked the variety each character posed to different angles of the world and the story but in terms of likeability, the characters were a mixed bag for me. I detailed more info on them in the Spoiler part of the review, but in summary:

  • I wanted to like Hiroya more than I did but he was a decent character. As the childhood friend who understands the heroine’s love for her brother, his issues made sense.
  • Radius wasn’t a bad character but didn’t leave a big impression overall. He was also the most “otome” feeling route.
  • I didn’t dislike Zain but I didn’t really care for him either. I liked what his route added but him as a character just didn’t grow on me.
  • Libera was kind of a brat and while his jadedness was warranted, it just turned me off his personality. I liked him more for his connection to the story than his character personally.
  • I didn’t like Demento at all…his route felt unnecessary to me
  • Astrum was great. I just found him really adorable and I always gravitated towards him in a lot of scenes he appeared in.
  • I had mixed feelings about Shiki because he didn’t quite live up to my expectations but he also hit a lot of my pings

The characters were interesting enough that I was able to focus on their routes fine while I played them, which is always a good thing. My attention did stray to Astrum quite a bit because he was just really amusing to me. and Shiki also held my interest a lot because he would drop some pretty deadly lines that either made me feel things for him or hinted at certain things in the story. Despite this, I feel like my wandering eyes (and sometimes feelings) didn’t detract too much from whoever’s route I was actually on.

ART: The art style is pretty nice. I haven’t played any other games by this artist yet personally, but I like it fair enough. I do have a few complaints though.

  1. Kazuha just looks too young most of the time. Like, she’s supposed to be in high school, but she looks like she’s in middle school to me and sometimes that felt weird when I compared how she looked to how the guys looked.
  2. My second complaint is that sometimes I thought the CGs looked a little too different from the sprites, or at least they had different feels. For example, I really liked Astrum’s sprites but didn’t care for how he looked in most of his CGs. This could just be a personal thing though.
  3. My third and biggest complaint is…kiss CGs.kissI’m sorry for my horrendous cropping job as I was trying really hard not to leave any room for spoilers but WTF IS UP WITH THESE ALMOST KISS CGS?!??!!?!!Like…why are their lips not touching but it sounds like they should be? It was weird to me how all the kiss CGs except two, did this. The fact that there were two “actual” kiss CGs made me mad because it’s not like they couldn’t do it, they just chose not to and I haven’t the faintest clue why. IT LOOKS WEIRD AND UNNATURAL. UGH.

They made the start screen change slightly depending on the time of day you were accessing the game, which I thought was a nice touch.

Sometimes Poyopoyo would also fly around with an apple

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ANIMATION: THE SPRITES AND BACKGROUND MOVE. Whenever a game has sprites that move it always makes me super excited. By move I mean that the characters’ mouths move when they speak, they blink, and their hair kind of…sways, like it’s moving in the wind. The background moves in the sense like, if they’re in a forest with sunlight steaming through the trees, the stream of light changes a bit, or if they’re in a cave with crystals, the crystals glisten.

They do a little animation when someone attacks, which is kind of nice because it makes the battles actually seem like they’re doing something rather than just with text description alone.

MUSIC: The music was pretty good. There are a few tracks that I’m probably going to listen to a while after I stop playing the game but I wouldn’t consider it super special. I think it matched the mood of the game and the RPG setting pretty well.

I do want to mention the use of that “WE WON” track. I forget what the actual track is called and I’m honestly too lazy to look it up at this point, but it was always used in the good ends after they triump. Unfortunately, it wasn’t consistent. Some routes didn’t use it and some did. If you’re going to make a track like that you should use it in each route equally.

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SYSTEM:  The heroine is unvoiced, which is not my preference but it’s the standard. If you keep the default name, other characters will say her name. I also kept the default name for her avatar (because you can choose that name too) because since it was the same as her name, I figured that would keep it voiced, which it did. Plus, since she spends so much time in the game world, it makes sense to keep her name unless you don’t care for the name voicing of the heroine.

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You would get an instant notification if a choice you made changed your route:

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I was misled when I looked at the system pre-release into thinking that the RPG-like choices would work in a more RPG-ike fashion. They didn’t. I think they just affected the Divine Sword meter or the Affection meter of the guy. I honestly didn’t check because I just followed a guide so I can’t say for certain what those choices affected.

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Speaking of choices, despite the fact that I did use a guide, I think it would be pretty easy to figure out how to get the ends/the route because you could see soon after making your choice whether you made the “right” one as the guy would get a gold sparkle animation thing if the answer was correct. So you could probably get to every route without a guide if that’s your inclination. If you do want a guide, I used Choro’s one.

Standard Otomate controls seem to apply, however I’d like to mention a few things that stood out that I liked:

  • If you press the left joystick up, the backlog appears. In the backlog, you can use the square button to make characters repeat a line and the circle button will let you rewind the game to that point. I honestly don’t use this option as much so I don’t know if that’s a normal thing to be able to rewind but it was handy when I missed something.
  • There’s a Jump to the next choice option! If you press the right joystick up, provided you’re not already at a choice, you have the option of skipping to the next choice! Unfortunately, because I didn’t play around with the controls earlier I didn’t actually get to utilize it when it would’ve been useful, but I think this is a really cool thing to implement. By the time I used it I had already read everything so I’m not sure if you can only use this option when you read the text already or if you can use it the whole time.
  • Tapping the back touchpad will relight your screen if it dims during the Skipping Mode.

They utilized a flowchart-like structure (labeled “History” in the main menu) that was very straightforward and made it easy to follow. Almost like they listened to my complaint from Kokuchou, you were able to choose a starting point from the flowchart and actually play the game from there. This made it really easy to get onto a new route and you could’ve actually gone through the whole game with probably only one save file because of this. It also made life easier for me when I wanted to replay certain scenes or ends.

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When you choose to start from a point on the flowchart, this option appears that lets you adjust the Divine Sword level and chosen guy’s affection level:

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From my understanding, the Divine Sword level needs to be above certain key battles or you can get Game Overs because Kazuha doesn’t have enough power. The Affection level affects whether you get the Good or Merry Bad Ends.

They gave profiles in-game that would update pretty well when a player got attacked, healed, gained status buffs, were affected by status debuffs, was poisoned, they leveled up, or members of the party changed. They would only show the dateable guys though so you couldn’t see the status of your whole party.

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What I found annoying was the incosistency with the leveling up. If Kazuha is such a low level and participated in high level battles, she should’ve leveled up more than she did. After some endgame or near endgame battles, even if she did stuff, her level wouldn’t go up. I understand if you make her start on a low level but she should totally be able to level up more than they let her. The highest level she got in any route was 5.

TRANSITIONS in this game were a little weird. On Auto mode, in the default setting, sometimes conversation would feel unnatural. If a character has a “….” or other non-speaking line, it would skip too quickly. Sometimes if one characrer was speaking for a while, places where a slight pause would feel more natural didn’t exist.

Another thing is that transition into other scenes, particularly relating to movement on the map, felt abrupt because they didn’t fade out. The music and the scene would just cut off. On that same note, because of this weird way the scenes would just kind of stop, the endings also felt abrupt. Like they’d have this pretty good scene and it would just end with the Fin note. It just felt very stitled and ruined any mood that might have been going on.

GLITCHES/TIPS: This was something I noticed in Libera’s route, but in the first part of the game, one of Libera’s magic attacks has “honoo” in it and they wrote it in hiragana but the last two times he used that attack it was written in kanji. I realize this is a small thing but hey, it’s a thing. It’s not exactly a typo but if you’re going to commercially release something any little thing helps you seem more professional.

I did experience one hiccup right at the end of Astrum’s route, but it’s probably an error in the guide rather than a game glitch. It seems like Kazuha’s Divine Sword gauge wasn’t high enough so I got a game over. Therefore, I used the History chart to start at the chapter I was in to try and progress. I started with the Divine Sword level and Astrum Affection level each one point higher than what it was set to and then I progressed fine afterwards. SO if you experience any Game Overs, it’s probably related to the Divine Sword level.

GAME STRUCTURE/EXECUTION: The Common Route was short! It was literally one chapter and then it branched out into the dual routes (Hiroya/Libera, Radius/Zain, Astrum, Demento, Poyopoyo). While I didn’t always see how the routes connected because really, once you made one choice the route would change already, overall I liked the structure of the game because it minimized repetition where it could. Like I mentioned, some key events had to come up in every route but I could see the effort to vary things in certain places, which leads to my next point.

Something I really appreciated in this game was the differences in how they make the final battle play out. Like, some elements have to be the same for obvious reasons, but how they win played out differently and everyone had a different strategy, which I thought was a nice touch because it would fit the character whose route you were on.


Overall/Concluding Thoughts: I like this game quite a bit. It’s not a game that I would recommend for everyone without reserve, but it was fun. At the very least, it was a good effort. I do have to mention that the backstories and overall mystery was pretty predictable though so if that really bothers you then I wouldn’t pick this up. There are also some plot holes, unanswered questions, and cheap plot usages. Like I said though, I enjoyed playing this game, which I think is the most important thing in a game.

I also feel like it was kind of educational in a way. Through the process of writing this review, I had to find a lot of ways to translate things, find romanizations for words not officially romanized, and I learned about a lot of terms that exist not necessarily in Japan. This last point is a little difficult to explain without giving spoilers though since I had to make it very vague.

I want to take this time to thank my buddy, Echo, for putting up with random LINE messages from me where I asked for help with some terms I wanted to translate to check if I still knew how to English. She also helped me find the romanizations for Glacies and Clarus which I feel pretty good about based on the reasearch.

I really didn’t intend for this review to be so long but when I was replaying the games to get the plot down, it ended up becoming super detailed and I just couldn’t stop and apparently kind of suck at summarizing. I literally spent a whole 3-day-weekend working on this review and then some. So I would say to definitely not to expect reviews like this from me all the time because I actually feel like a zombie right now.

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2 thoughts on “Game Review: Period:Cube

  1. Congrats for finishing the game *throws confetti* and thank you tor the extremely detailed review 😀 I played Hiroya, Astrum and half way through Radius now and for some reason I think Hiroya is somewhat yandere I suppose? Heck in Astrum bad ending was actually the fuq for me XD I’m not gonna lie, im actually pretty interested in Demento route actually it seemed kinda interesting and im not a big fan of violence and selfish bastard.

    Kuroyuki’s art was actually pretty awesome (heck, i thought it was from Rath and Fiona from BWS) but that kiss CG tho.. Damn it. They were barely kissing, I won’t even called it a peck either. But overall, people weren’t kidding when they said this game is pretty much similar to Sword Art Online XD so far I’m enjoying this game.

    P. S. Happy extremely belated Anniversary for your WP account!!! Sorry since I was busy with schools and stuff so I didn’t notice at all 😦 but glad to see you arounr soon

    • Hello hello! Nice to hear from you again :). And thanks about my blog anniversary. You can’t help it when real life gets busy so I appreciate the well wishes all the same.

      I didn’t know you were planning on playing Period Cube too! I think Hiroya only seems a little yandere in one route honestly. In some people’s routes he barely makes an appearance. It seems we’re in agreement over Astrum’s bad ending. Demento’s character might appearl to some people but I just couldn’t get into it. He did such terrible things in everyone else’s routes that I wanted something interesting to happen in his route but it was basically what I expected it to be.

      I’ve seen some of Kuroyuki’s art from other games even though I never played them and it looks like it got more detailed. I just…the kiss CGs were so bad. I couldn’t deal with it. It looks like they’re like…touching their checks or something, but not their lips. Due to the SAO-premise, I really thought they would try to gear the game more towards people familiar with RPGs, but that wasn’t the case here. You could’ve played this game with zero RPG knowledge, which made the explanations of terms and how things work a little too tedious in my opinion.

      I hope you continue to enjoy the game even if you encounter some WTF moments!

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