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Karifean's Blog of Visual Novels

The House in Fata Morgana First Impressions

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Do you know that feeling when sometimes you just get into the mood to drop everything you're doing and spend the next few days doing nothing but reading?

The House in Fata Morgana (or Fata Morgana no Yakata) is a visual novel for sale on Steam. The initial parts of the novel are written in second person narration of all things as You, the master of a mansion, are awoken by an unfamiliar maid.

Unfortunately it seems as if your memories have been lost. Thankfully the maid has an idea: she will show you fragments of old stories taking place in this very mansion across multiple centuries. She has hope that by seeing these old memories, you may recover. And so she shows you several different 'doors' in succession, each telling a story that occurred in that very mansion in a different time period. The narration switches to third person narration in these segments, as the maid is the one narrating and commenting as the story unfolds.

So far I have only cleared the first door and stopped where the second starts. It seems as if the stories generally follow the formula of normal happy days slowly starting to fall apart. I've heard the second door is where a number of readers were fully hooked, and I'm looking forward to it. The first door was interesting (although it had a slow start) and I'm hungry for more.

The soundtrack has been pretty nice so far, although the sound direction could use some work. The novel is unvoiced, so the music ends up taking over scenes very easily, and some tracks just don't feel like they fit with standard talking scenes. The creepy tracks however, man, those work perfectly.

Obviously what stands out about this visual novel is its art style, which is one I've never seen before in this medium. I like it. It has a significant effect on the atmosphere of the entire novel, and so far it fits with the circumstances and themes the story has touched upon quite well.

Naturally one of the reasons I was so eager to pick this one up was because I'd heard it compared to Umineko. So far I just had to snigger a couple times when a line or plot point felt vaguely reminiscent, but so far it definitely feels like its own thing, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. We'll see how it turns out.

So... anybody else feel like picking this one up?