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Karifean's Blog of Visual Novels

Umineko no Naku Koro ni (Arcs 1-4 / first half) is out on Steam!

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As of right now, Umineko no Naku Koro ni, known in English as Umineko When They Cry, has been officially released on Steam! Chiru is not included yet, so this is just the first half of the entire story. And I know what you're thinking. "Why would I pick up an incomplete story?" Fret not, there are still good reasons to pick it up and read it now, and because Umineko is the best, I'll relay those reasons to you now.

Just to quickly recap for those who don't know: Umineko no Naku Koro ni tells the story of the Ushiromiya family conference of 1986. The entire family gathers on a remote island on October 4th, but unfortunately, a typhoon comes in, trapping them on the island for at least a few days. A mysterious letter appears from someone who should not exist, and soon enough things start getting deadly for everyone involved...

I awarded Umineko the spot of my #1 favorite visual novel back when I made my Top 10 list more than a year ago, and there hasn't been another VN since that had any chance of dethroning it. It has the best plot, the best characters (actual flawed human people, yay!) and the best soundtrack of anything I've ever read, played, watched, whatever. And it's strongly influenced me personally, both in the way I look at the world and other people, and how I interact with them. I consider myself a happier, better person for having read it.

Now let's get back to those reasons to get Umineko right now, shall we?

The middle is a good theorizing point. Umineko may not have any notable choices, but it's still the most demanding visual novel I have ever read. This is not a VN to read for one hour every evening when you're trying to get yourself sleepy. There is so much care and thought put into Umineko that would be utterly missed if you read it like that. To get the most out of Umineko you need to invest into it, think about it, read deeply into why everything happens the way it does, make theories, maybe also exchange ideas with other readers. I rushed through all 8 episodes like it was nothing and in hindsight I regret doing that.

The mysteries of Umineko become clearer and clearer with every episode, and the exact middle between the two halves is one of the best possible points in the story to take a step back and think hard about everything you've been shown thus far. Who knows, maybe you'll even be able to solve the deepest mysteries of the story right there and then...?

You can join the Rokkenjima Umineko Tea Party. Speaking of tackling the mysteries with friends or as a group, the Umineko Tea Party aims to do just that! Over the next four weeks, the community will come together and read Umineko Episode 1. Newcomers and veterans alike will be participating and there is a very strict no spoiler policy in place so it's a friendly environment for theorizing.

If reading through Umineko with a bunch of strangers, bouncing ideas back and forth, trying to unravel its tangled mysteries, sounds like a good time to you, consider dropping by! I'll be there.

You're still getting a smurfton of content. "Half" of a novel may not sound like much, but when that novel happens to be Umineko it's a different story. According to the gaming wikia's list of longest video game scripts, Umineko's first half is estimated at about 950 thousand English words, which is nearly the length of the entire Harry Potter series. And yes, the second half is equally long. Naturally, if you don't happen to be as much of a speed reader as Pumpkin, that's gonna take a while. There's no question that this release will keep you busy for quite a long time.

That soundtrack. As I mentioned before, Umineko has the best soundtrack of any game I've ever played or visual novel I've ever read. And I'm absolutely not exaggerating when I say that. Not only is the soundtrack incredible, the game absolutely has the sound direction to back it up, and it uses its great OST phenomenally. If you like good soundtracks, you don't want to pass up on this.

Edit: If you want someone else's eloquent opinion as to why you should be reading Umineko, here: Umineko When They Cry 1-4 Released on Steam!

Well then, are you convinced yet? If not, drop me a comment, or a visitor or mognet message, I'll gladly keep going. Seriously though, Umineko is something that I can both admire for how amazingly well-crafted it is as well as appreciate immensely on a personal level for how much it influenced me, and as such I can only give it my highest recommendation. I probably wouldn't be here now if it weren't for Umineko.

And hey, if you happen to be into Higurashi; Umineko is its spiritual successor, taking concepts and ideas that first appeared there and taking them to the next level. It doesn't have nearly as much of a horror focus as Higurashi does - at least not past Episode 1 - but lovers of Higurashi's mystery elements will feel right at home with Umineko.


Updated 07-09-2016 at 01:36 PM by Karifean

Miscellaneous , Video Games