rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
My response to running out of Higurashi, apparently, was to write a heavily Higurashi-inspired Final Fantasy XV fic. This is horrible and I apologise sincerely for it.


Title: When the Cockatrice Cries
Fandom: Final Fantasy XV
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 4,200
Summary: Something is wrong with Prompto's friends. Something is seriously wrong. He's starting to feel he might not be safe around them.
Warnings: Psychological horror, sexual threat.


When the Cockatrice Cries )
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
I've run out of Higurashi! There are three remaining instalments, and they exist - they were first released just over a decade ago - but they have yet to be re-released on Steam with better art and a fresh translation. So I suppose I'm just going to have to live in suspense until they come out at... some unknown point in the future. Why did I become so invested in this story?

I'm deeply sad that 'Meakashi' didn't have an all-cast review session. Keiichi never got to attend the game afterparties because he didn't have character art, and when he finally does get character art there's no afterparty!


Spoilers for Higurashi: Meakashi (and Tatarigoroshi). )


This is so frustrating! Usually, when I run out of an in-progress work of fiction I'm enjoying, I can tide myself over until the next release by reading fanfiction, or writing fanfiction, or poking through reactions online. But I can't write fanfiction when there are so many mysteries I don't know the answers to, and any existing fanworks or online discussions will be ridden with spoilers for later games. So I've played through fifty hours of this series and suddenly hit a brick wall.

In any case, this is a fine addition to my increasingly worrying collection of videogames about teenagers being horribly traumatised.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xii: fran glares; tremble with fear! (don't cross me)
'Imagine that your favourite cosplay is stripped entirely naked because of your stupid desire. Now, think! If you take all of their clothes off, that's not cosplay anymore, is it?! That sort of video is rampant lately! It's just lamentable! Humans without clothes aren't civilised, they're animals! If only naked girls excited you, you'd be a pack of dogs.'

Direct quote from Higurashi: When They Cry. This is a game about murder.

I love that Keiichi steps in in an attempt to save Shion and then goes '????? I've just realised this is a genuinely dangerous situation and I have no idea what I'm doing!' Keiichi, you're hopeless.

(I'm so used to being inside Keiichi's head! It's weird to see him from the perspective of a different character.)

I'm around chapter twelve of instalment five, 'Meakashi', and by this point it would probably make most sense to finish playing before posting an entry, but TOO BAD; I have a lot to say and I'm posting an entry right now.


Spoilers for Higurashi: Meakashi. )


I suppose this is making up nicely for the fourth instalment being insufficiently horrifying, at least.
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
Here is an entry of bullet points, because today I have nothing to say that exceeds a paragraph.


- I'm a little further in Tales of the Abyss, and GUY CECIL IS SUCH A GOOD FRIEND. I want to be friends with Guy Cecil. Sadly, his phobia of being touched by women presents an obstacle to hugging, but other than that I think we could get along pretty well. (I'd have to accept that Luke would always be his priority, of course, but it would be unreasonable of me to grumble when his fondness for Luke is the reason I want to be friends with him in the first place.)

- Verdict on the fourth instalment of Higurashi, 'Himatsubushi': NO KEIICHI, TERRIBLE INSTALMENT. I'm here to fondly watch Keiichi suffer, Higurashi! I signed up for psychological horror and teenagers internally collapsing, not cop drama!

- There's also a sad lack of Keiichi in instalment five ('Meakashi') so far, but at least it's got the 'teenagers internally collapsing' aspect (and Keiichi's name appeared in the puzzling opening credits that only actually credited fictional characters, rather than any real people, so I suspect he'll show up later on). 'Meakashi' also contains a version of a song I listened to a lot nine years ago, and it was incredibly disconcerting to hear it in context and go 'wait, I recognise that tune'; I'd forgotten Higurashi was the original source! It was like seeing Troy bring pizza into the burning room in Community and going WAIT, I'VE SEEN THIS GIF.

- Recently, I watched the first episode of a Ukrainian crime drama entitled THE SNIFFER, about a man who solves crime with his superhuman sense of smell. It contains, you'll be pleased to hear, intense CGI sequences where he draws in a deep breath at the crime scene and all the smells swirl and scurry around, forming a picture of what happened there. The killer was trying to quit smoking. He was wearing a nicotine patch; it was on his right arm. A whirlwind of scent surrounds you. There's so much blood in the air. If a cat enters the room, you will have an allergic reaction so strong you won't be able to leave your flat for three days. Your wife left you long ago; your son is involved in drug dealing. Why were you cursed with this incredible nose?

- (I said I wasn't playing Higurashi for cop drama, but I'd definitely play an instalment in which THE SNIFFER tried to get to the bottom of the mysterious happenings in the village.)

- A recent dream I somehow failed to record here: I dreamt I met Sherlock Holmes as played by Benedict Cumberbatch and he declared with ferocious pride that he had ‘all the penises’, and he stripped off his trousers and pants in one motion to reveal he had a cluster of one big penis surrounded by lots of tiny penises, and I woke up feeling incredibly troubled.
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
'An empty classroom... with nobody here. Maybe while no one was around... the desks crept about of their own accord, licking the floors clean of dirt. If I suddenly stepped into a place like that... would the desks, in their surprise, fly at me, crush my bones, and eat me alive...?'

?????????

In related news, I've finished the third instalment of Higurashi: When They Cry!


Spoilers for Higurashi: Tatarigoroshi. )


In conclusion, ??????????
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (Default)
'If I were to liken her statements to a meal, it would be sort of like... she'd just tried to stuff a whole plate of duck into my mouth, and now I couldn't say anything.'

Er, Keiichi, are you all right? Are you hungry? That's a bit of an odd analogy, there.

I've been playing the third Higurashi instalment, Tatarigoroshi! I'm in chapter eight, I think.


Spoilers up to chapter eight of Higurashi: Tatarigoroshi. )


There's a surprising warmth at the core of Higurashi, and I think that's the reason it works. It could easily have been about horrible people doing horrible things to each other, and I wouldn't have cared. But instead it's about friends who genuinely love and care about each other, and who nonetheless find themselves doing horrible things to each other, and that means I care a lot.
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
I've finished the second Higurashi instalment, Watanagashi! My thoughts are under the cut.


Spoilers for Higurashi: Watanagashi. )


My favourite part of the Higurashi games might actually be the full-cast party at the end of each one, where all the characters gather together to celebrate finishing the game and discuss the story as if they're actors in it. It's a nice way to make everything feel a little less dark. Keiichi is so affronted that all these terrible things keep happening to him.
rionaleonhart: the last of us: joel and ellie look out at the ruined horizon. (lot of ground to cover)
I have no idea why Dreamwidth apparently has an 'anonymously buy two months of paid time for a random stranger' function, but I'm certainly not complaining! Thank you so much, unknown donor! I wonder whether you know who received the time. (If you do, I'm sorry that I took a few days to post an entry of thanks! I hope you see this.)

My immediate reaction was 'oh, man, I've got so much icon space! This time I'm definitely going to address my shortage of cheerful and friendly icons, rather than just filling up all the space with smug icons I'll never have cause to use.' And then I immediately uploaded some smug icons. I just can't stop myself.


I'm five hours into the second Higurashi instalment, Watanagashi; I've just played through the night before the festival. My main thought on this instalment so far: Higurashi, you can't take my weakness for psychological meltdowns and combine it with my weakness for weird romance! That's just unsporting!


Spoilery notes on the first half of Higurashi Ch. 2: Watanagashi. )


I'm not feeling the spark of writing inspiration for Higurashi, but I sort of hope I do at some point, because I increasingly want to write some weird, complicated Keiichi/Mion. To be honest, though, it's probably more likely that I'll end up writing Higurashi AUs for all my other fandoms, rather than fanfiction for Higurashi itself. Prompto becomes convinced that all his friends want him dead! He still loves them, but he's increasingly terrified of them! It's great! (By 'great', I mean 'horrible'.)
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
I've finished Onikakushi, the first instalment of Higurashi: When They Cry! It is extremely troubling. It also contains, I suspect, the most dramatic Cup Noodle purchase scene in the history of fiction. Here are my spoiler-filled notes.


Spoilers for Higurashi: Onikakushi. )


That was an adventure! A horrible adventure. And of course I've got the next few instalments lurking threateningly on my computer, so I'll have to brace myself and start the second part at some point.
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
[personal profile] batman: I've been playing Higurashi: When They Cry! It's about teenagers descending into paranoia and murdering each other and - where are you going?
Steam: Please confirm your purchase.

Higurashi is a game I became vaguely aware of some time ago. I thought 'huh, that sounds potentially interesting, maybe I should check it out' and Googled it and was instantly put off by the character art. But, fortunately for my shallow side (and the worrying side of me that can never resist a story about paranoid, murderous teenagers), there's now an official Steam release where the art has been redrawn!

Maybe 'game' isn't the right word; there doesn't seem to be any actual gameplay. It's a visual novel without narrative choices. (It calls itself a 'sound novel', but there are still graphics and visual novels still have sound, so I have no idea what the difference between a sound novel and a visual novel is.) I'm going to call it a game anyway, for convenience's sake.

I was expecting Higurashi to take a moment to introduce the characters and then jump straight into the horrible things, much like Dangan Ronpa, which wastes no time in going 'here's the cast, here's the horrible situation you're in, here's the horrible thing you'll have to do if you want to get out of it.' But three hours passed, and nothing horrible had happened yet; I'd just been watching Keiichi play silly games with his friends. And at some point, I suddenly realised, I'd shifted from impatient 'when are the murders going to start happening?' to 'oh, no, this is cute, I don't actually want everyone to be miserable.'

Too bad. Four hours in, everything became miserable. I knew exactly what I was signing up for, and yet there was still a part of me going 'MAYBE IT'S FINE, MAYBE IT'S JUST GOING TO BE A CUTE DATING SIM.'

([personal profile] batman pointed out that Keiichi seems to think he's in a dating sim at first, and I immediately felt awful for him. If only!)

I don't know what Keiichi looks like, and for some reason my mental image of him is close to Hajime Hinata of Super Dangan Ronpa 2. I love Hinata, so just that inexplicable mental image automatically doubles my fondness for Keiichi. Enjoy your unearned affection, Keiichi. I'm sure it makes up for all your traumatic experiences.

The Dangan Ronpa series is still the gold standard for visual novels about murderous teenagers, and Higurashi is highly unlikely to seize its crown. If you're looking for a teenage murder mystery on Steam, get Danganronpa instead. (Or there's Danganronpa 1 + 2 Reload, now available for PS4! I swear I don't work for Spike Chunsoft.) But Higurashi is certainly holding my interest. I might make a less vague entry when I've played a little further; right now, things have only just started to go downhill.