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Thread: Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen ~Eden with roses and phantasm~ Discussion

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    Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen ~Eden with roses and phantasm~ Discussion

    This is my first try on a Daisy Daisy title, so far I'm quite happy with the production value and quality of the game.

    First the art is great, there's a few problem with some of the heroine's face in some CG but our eyes are affixed to the guys right? *crickets*

    Next the story, for a mystery VN this is really good. The setting is like Dramatical murder (Isolated island) but on a friendlier scale. It's not entirely focused on the drama though, so it has that Gakuen Alice feel where they focus more on the campus life and hierarchy. It also reminds me of Garnet Cradle but completely reverse situation with the heroine and in a modern setting.

    A downside of the game is the abrupt open endings. Do you think they'd consider for a fandisk with their approach?

    Then the boys, my first pick was Tooya, but then Haru was just too adorable..in a sexy way. You know what they say "Shower together to save water".

    So how's your experience so far? Any questions/theory about the game?

    For walkthrough I chose Otomeseijin. There were too many bad endings in the game that I resort to a walkthrough. Tip: Don't forget to turn on Easy mode in the start screen.
    Last edited by Sakimichi; June 6th, 2015 at 12:40 AM.
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    Re: Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen ~Eden with roses and phantasm~ Discussion

    I'm chugging along very slowly because I read slowly and I have limited free time but I love the artwork and the story setting so far! Man, this game has so many routes and ends so I'm following a walkthrough as well. (^^);

    Just by first impressions (and looks!), my favorite characters goes like Toya > Riku > Haru > Ichiha > Rei but I think mostly like them all so far, lol.

    I did have a question though, for people who have completed a couple of routes. How did you choose whose route to play first? Do some routes have more "spoilers" than others in terms of revealing the truth? Or does it not matter since you need to play through everyone's Stone and Rose routes before the Truth route unlocks? I tried googling for a recommended play order but didn't come up with anything consistent.

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    Re: Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen ~Eden with roses and phantasm~ Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by wildcard14 View Post
    I did have a question though, for people who have completed a couple of routes. How did you choose whose route to play first? Do some routes have more "spoilers" than others in terms of revealing the truth? Or does it not matter since you need to play through everyone's Stone and Rose routes before the Truth route unlocks? I tried googling for a recommended play order but didn't come up with anything consistent.
    You don't actually need to play the Rose Routes, you can just do the Pebble ones and the Truth Routes will unlock, except for Rei's. Basically, you need to do everyone's Pebble Routes to unlock the Truth Routes and to unlock Rei's Truth Route you have to do one of the Truth Routes first. Needless to say that Rei's route is the one that reveals the most information so I'd leave Rei for last if you don't want everything revealed to you right away (not that you could since it's locked anyway). The Pebble Routes seem to be the set-up of the mystery, and the Truth Routes are where everything is revealed, so the play order kind of matters, and some things aren't revealed in certain routes: if I were to come up with a play order from the least revealed to the most revealed from the mystery, it would be something along the lines of Ichiha>Haru>Riku>Touya>Rei, Ichiha and Haru being somewhat interchangeable.

    I will warn you beforehand of the amazingly long text wall and apologize in advance, since I know it's really huge ^^'

    Anyway, now for my own opinions on Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen, since I finally did all the Truth Routes: to be honest, I got blown away by this game. I never thought it would be as good as it actually turned out to be: this is not because it's the best otome game I've played or anything like that, but actually because I had the lowest expectations possible for it. After all, it seemed to have the premise of, "the ordinary commoner girl transfers to the hierarchy-based prestigious school for the rich and falls in lurv <3" so I completely assumed it was gonna be one of those terrible games where the heroine is some doormat and she gets bullied around and protected by the rich super noble bishie and that the guys were gonna be the worse archetypes who'd mostly be meany faces to her at first 'cause she's a commoner or something; you know, the kind of things you assume when you don't bother to read the actual premise but get the gist of it by browsing through the website a bit ^^'

    What I got, instead of something as terrible as that, was actually a really nice game that focused quite a bit on its mystery and story with, to my surprise, psychological elements on it though it also does have a prominent shoujo feel and doesn't get too dark. Right at the start of the game, there's Neri's father's mysterious disappearance and the fire and the transfer and all that, which was amazing since it felt people cared enough to set up the mystery right away so you could get interested in it.

    Not only that, but I really liked Neri, the heroine: she's straightforward, honest and strong-willed, seeing as she always sticks to her beliefs and tries to do and say what she feels is right, and tries to make sure she doesn't let herself just get depressed; I mean, yes, she's also really dense, but I think that's connected with how honest she is, so I don't mind. It got me really sad that they didn't say her name and sometimes barely showed her face in CGs because she's a heroine with an actual personality, backstory and very strong ties to the plot; it didn't make that much sense to me that they'd do that to her.

    Seriously, I really liked that Neri wouldn't just stand around, that she'd try to do something, act upon things, and do what she felt was right. Some of her best moments pop to mind when I think of the game, like when she told Riku off for not saying thank you when she picked up his handkerchief and called him Riku-san since -sama was weird and she'd screw up saying Takamine-sama XD or when Ichiha went like, "Rather then Math equations, I'd rather solve the equations of our love <3" and Neri laughed (that was also my reaction, by the way), because it was so lame she thought it was a joke XDD

    I liked how the hierarchy was handled: the students accepted it as something to abide by, and they each acted like their actual class, not wanting to be Pebbles. A lot of the characters had this air of "We're from a completely different social class than you," which was honestly great coming from something like this; Moeka is a good example, while the Rose Class seemed to represent this nicely as well. The Resistance was those that would be against it, like some people would definitely do, and it all worked really nice. My only complaint here is that there was no School Social Revolution in the actual game to completely abolish the class system (mwahahaha)!

    The Routes seemed to be the Pebble, Rose and Truth routes respectively, but the Rose Route might as well be a bad end route since it's not even cannonical and as far as I've experienced of it, nothing good happens on them (I did Ichiha's Rose Route, since I was just starting the game and didn't know anything); besides, Neri, if we consider her personality, would most likely become a Pebble. The Pebble Route seemed more like a Prologue than an actual route to me, especially since the endings were very open, leaving hints of the mystery so you can look forward to the Truth Route. What sucks is that you have to do every Pebble Route to unlock the Truth Routes, and I guess the start of the Pebble Routes can be a bit dull since it doesn't change: despite that, the actual routes were fairly unique from each, with only a few common things between them.

    Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the Truth Routes: the Truth Routes are where the action actually starts, and you get mostly everything revealed to you in every Route; this causes the routes to repeat themselves multiple times. Even though they have variations of their own, I'm pretty sure I saw the same Edward (great guy, by the way) and Kaburagi scenes like, 3-4 times without being able to skip them for some strange reason; I'm also pretty sure I read some of Neri's lines like, 4 times from route to route. It gets a bit tiring to get the same things revealed to you, you know? Even then, each route had some piece of information that wasn't shared in the others, so at least that was a thing: besides, you only get to really know the guys in there (as in, their backstories and whatnot), so it's still pretty nice.

    About the story, I'm pretty sure it's obvious by his appearance alone but, well, the main villain totally happens to be
      Spoiler: Story spoilers 
    none other than the Principal, Kaburagi; a shocker, right? I mean, his red eyes, overall appearance and creepiness, man, I would've never guessed that he was behind everything. It was interesting how he was portrayed as some sort of psychopath, who did not feel the emotions people would (because, well, he's a psycopath) but I can't quite say I thought that the story took a great turn when it revealed that he wanted to make Neri his waifu because he liked his mother, since she felt strong emotions that he didn't have: I mean, I get it, but it's creepy nonetheless.


    I honestly thought the story was going to have something to do with Doppelgangers, but that wasn't the case at all: it really took a surprising yet really nice psychological turn that I wasn't quite expecting. Anyway, now to talk about the characters: I ended up liking them a fair amount too, so much in fact that I found it hard to choose who to go with at first. I immediately loved Touya, since he was just such a good guy and he wanted to erase the weird hierarchy; this made me want to do his route last. Due to this, I decided to go with Ichiha, raged because the Rose Route sucked and just changed routes for Riku and made sure get myself down to Pebble Class no matter what, 'cause that's where the real good endings are!

    Riku was actually way better than I thought he'd be: I don't know, he and Neri just work off each other so well that it makes him and his route more likable. Not only that, but he was also kind of adorable since he was so proud of himself, a bit like a kid. Well, there were some instances where he wasn't too pleasant, but I was honestly expecting so much worse from this guy that I didn't mind it as much... somewhat. To be honest, the downside to his route for me was that it felt a bit too much like a shoujo manga for my tastes, but beyond that, there's nothing in particular. Afterwards, I got to doing Ichiha, and I also liked him a lot: like, he's the flirty guy who doesn't to commit to things, so I was expecting an absolutely terrible route, like anyone would from that kind of guy. I predicted he'd show his "true self" at some point and start being a prick to Neri but then she'd realize she was in love and chase after him and then he'd be in love with her too and everything, and they'd get together so everything'd be alright or something.

    ... Instead, I got to see him being friendly to Neri and being a dork after he stopped going full "Imma totally make ya fall for me" mode (which was pretty fast), talking about his sister and acting all happy and stuff, and when I fell to Pebble Class, him actually giving a shizzle about me and talking to Neri again after a while. Then there was this really nice drama with the play he'd be doing and his sister and his commitment issues and whatnot, and in the end, I thought it was a pretty cool ride. I think Ichiha has some pretty funny lines and moments, so he's definitely one of my favorite dudes, though I don't think most will think the same.

    I did Rei after Ichiha, wanting to get him out of the way despite knowing that he'd probably have the most spoilers; after all, I don't really care about getting spoiled story-wise. I mean, Rei never seemed really interesting beyond his obvious ties to the plot and
      Spoiler: Rei spoilers 
    his other personality, Shou, who was basically the one behind a whole ton of stuff.
    Rei wasn't too bad, but his amazing bishie aura doesn't quite appeal to me, and the route got a bit boring when the drama kicked in since Rei and Neri were moping around so badly: when it seemed like things were going to be done with, it would go wrong or just wouldn't happen just so they could mope around again.

      Spoiler: More Rei spoilers 
    It was kind of funny how there was basically a love triangle with Neri being liked by Rei... and his other personality lol, since Shou liked her from way back XD Since the route got a bit boring, the times where Shou would barge into Neri's room (because there are no locks on the doors for some stupid reason!) and get all rapey was one of the most entertaining moments, as uncool as that is. In the Truth Route, when Rei and Shou merged, Rei got so creepy that I couldn't really like him the same way again: like, "Ultimate Bishie Rei has evolved into Slightly Creepy Ultimate Bishie Rei!" XDD


    Anyway, Rei's route was pretty long, especially when you compare it to Haru's or something. Seriously, I did Haru after Rei, and Haru's route felt so short. The route in itself was actually really nice, and I liked Haru a lot but it felt so fast! Like, "Hey, we're talking to each other!", "Oh no, trauma!", "Your trauma's partially fixed and we found out some things!", "It's fixed and we confessed our love!" and the end. But then again, I don't think I'd want Haru's route to drag so I guess that's fine? Or maybe it was just my imagination and it had the same length? I don't know. By the way, Haru's CGs were sooooo pretty! Seriously, Haru looks so good in his CGs that it's amazing: well, the art in the game is already really good but Haru looks the best in my opinion.

    I saved Touya for last, since he was a really nice guy and all, but I kind of regret it. I don't know, his scenes in the common route were great fun and I really like Touya but somehow, when I get in his route, it stops being fun. I don't know, I mean, in his route we do detective work and then we get some "eh" drama in his route about his trust issues or whatever and honestly, that just wasn't any fun at all, especially when I had such high expectations and wanted to see some sort of revolution. By the end of the route, I just wanted to be done with Touya, despite still thinking he was a cool guy. I got demotivated because of this to such an extent that my play order for the Truth Routes became Haru>Touya>Rei>Riku>Ichiha, playing Haru first so I could get motivated again.

    I actually like Haru's Truth Route a bit better than most: things kind of flowed well there, while some other routes were a bit forced with its developments (so the scenes could get repeated). Well, but then again, Rei's was also good story-wise, though that's expected of it since it's the one that reveals the most about the story. I wonder if the cannon pairing is ReixNeri... I totally don't ship this.

    Anyway, I enjoyed playing this game more than I thought I would, surpassing my amazingly low expectations in every way. The art is very, very good, despite the lack of Neri's face in some CGs, and I love the opening song. Sucks that you can't skip the ending song; I've even memorized the first part of the lyrics! It's also kind of dumb that the guys have to talk for like 5 minutes when you start or quit your game... and they know the time 0.0 I haven't 100% completed the game but honestly, I don't think I'll bother with the Rose Routes unless they actually happen to be worth the effort for some reason. Besides, I was totally in the middle of playing Walpurga no Uta before this game so I should totally get back to that now...
    Last edited by Aines445; June 12th, 2015 at 09:55 PM.
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    Re: Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen ~Eden with roses and phantasm~ Discussion

    I was hoping to chat about this game with fellow fans!

    Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen (ZKG) is an amazing game. In fact, it's one of my favourites now! I was skeptical at first since I was thoroughly fooled by Daisy2's promoting of ZKG as a simple inter-class romance story for most of the marketing period. However, after playing the trial, I just knew I had to get this game and that I'll love it. It's the same good feeling I got as when I played my other favourite otome games like Black Wolves Saga and Chou no Doku Hana no Kusari. AU$85 is steep, yes, but I'm happy to have paid for it in order to support Daisy2 for creating such an interesting game with high production values.

    There's so much I want to talk about, but I'll try not to make a post that would kill a tree to print off.

    My initial character preference was Riku > Touya > Rei > Haru > Ichiha
    Now it's something like Riku > > > Haru > Rei > > Touya = Ichiha.

    My initial play order was Riku > Rei > Touya > Haru > Ichiha
    My truth route play order was Riku > Haru > Rei > Touya > Ichiha

    Yep. I clearly did whatever I wanted for the truth routes. I considered saving Riku for last since he's one of the two central heroes. However, I predicted that the gist of the truth routes that don't involve the individual stories of the guys would be similar, I caved so there was no risk of a "stale" feeling for my favourite character.

    I loved how the Rose and Stone routes had very clear distinctions between them instead of being a cheap gimmick to change Neri's uniform or to get lazy and just change the dialogue slightly to suit Neri's social class. Both had distinct flavours and storylines. Some of the Rose bad endings were great in the sense that not even Neri is immune to corruption by stress, power or influence, if the right conditions are met. It's almost as if the Rose route is a "bad ending route" in an of itself.

    As for the theories and mysteries, I thought the writing was quite consistent and there were enough hints. By the end of the trial, I had formulated some theories based on some direct hints and not-so-obvious hints.
      Spoiler: About My Theories 
    My main theory that Kaikyuu Gakuen is a psychological research facility turned out to be partially correct. Until the detail about the soup containing an assortment of hypnotics and anti-anxiety medicines (mainly benzodiazepine according to Edward), I thought that the social class system was created purely to experiment on cult mentality and/or how far people are willing to go in order to attain and maintain power and influence. After "the big soup reveal", my secondary theory was that the students are guinea pigs for pharmaceutical experiments.

    The writers actually did a good job of hinting. An example is the characters' "research subject numbers" through their "fake" names (like "Riku" being 6, "Rei" obviously being 0, Nanase Touya being 7 and 10 to make 70 and so on). I noticed very early on (like most people with a basic understanding of kanji would have) that their names all had numbers, but thought little of it until playing Rei's Stone route and reading the DVD scene. By then, I was convinced that everyone there (with the possible exception of Neri) were some kind of psychological research subjects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakimichi View Post
    Do you think they'd consider for a fandisk with their approach?
    Considering the game seems to have done quite well and they did make a fandisc for Sangoku Rensenki, I'm crossing my fingers and toes that ZKG will get one. I'd love to read about the events between the true endings and the epilogues. I'd like to learn more about ZKG's Japan and how "everyone handled the truth", to put it vaguely to avoid spoilers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    Anyway, now for my own opinions on Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen, since I finally did all the Truth Routes: to be honest, I got blown away by this game. I never thought it would be as good as it actually turned out to be: this is not because it's the best otome game I've played or anything like that, but actually because I had the lowest expectations possible for it. After all, it seemed to have the premise of, "the ordinary commoner girl transfers to the hierarchy-based prestigious school for the rich and falls in lurv <3" so I completely assumed it was gonna be one of those terrible games where the heroine is some doormat and she gets bullied around and protected by the rich super noble bishie and that the guys were gonna be the worse archetypes who'd mostly be meany faces to her at first 'cause she's a commoner or something; you know, the kind of things you assume when you don't bother to read the actual premise but get the gist of it by browsing through the website a bit ^^'

    What I got, instead of something as terrible as that, was actually a really nice game that focused quite a bit on its mystery and story with, to my surprise, psychological elements on it though it also does have a prominent shoujo feel and doesn't get too dark. Right at the start of the game, there's Neri's father's mysterious disappearance and the fire and the transfer and all that, which was amazing since it felt people cared enough to set up the mystery right away so you could get interested in it.
    I pretty much thought the exact same thing until I played the trial. After that, I was hooked, and was confident things are completely not what they seem in ZKG. The marketing was well done and in conjunction with my low-to-moderate expectations enabled the story to blow me away. I loved the story, though it's certainly not the best mystery I've ever, ever read. Good intrigue and mystery (especially across multiple routes) is scarce in otome games, so now I know ZKG is a rare gem. It initially seemed like a terrible shoujo manga and borderline Ouran rip-off but thank GOD this isn't the case. Yes, some parts were akin to shoujo, but I'd say in the good sense, not the bad. Neri's type of character could have gone very wrong IMO. I've studied some psychological science so that was an element of ZKG that made me much more into the story. I was surprised they didn't go darker than they really could have, though I think it's a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    Not only that, but I really liked Neri, the heroine: she's straightforward, honest and strong-willed, seeing as she always sticks to her beliefs and tries to do and say what she feels is right, and tries to make sure she doesn't let herself just get depressed; I mean, yes, she's also really dense, but I think that's connected with how honest she is, so I don't mind. It got me really sad that they didn't say her name and sometimes barely showed her face in CGs because she's a heroine with an actual personality, backstory and very strong ties to the plot; it didn't make that much sense to me that they'd do that to her.
    For the most part, I really liked Neri way more than I expected, though sometimes I got quite frustrated with her. That feels much more relatable to me than those Tsukiko and Yui protagonists as she actually seems like human being. To be honest her density and lack of intelligence (she's not totally retarded but is certainly on the "dumb" side of the intelligence spectrum) sometimes got too shoujo and ridiculous in my books. I know why she was written like this, so I've accepted it, however. These two traits of hers are handled like ACTUAL FLAWS, unlike the "I'm clumsy, dense and a bit dumb for cuteness lolsy~" like many other otome game protagonists. I loved the scene where Neri returns Riku's handkerchief as well- it shattered my expectations of both of their characters at once when I saw it during the trial!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    I liked how the hierarchy was handled: the students accepted it as something to abide by, and they each acted like their actual class, not wanting to be Pebbles. A lot of the characters had this air of "We're from a completely different social class than you," which was honestly great coming from something like this; Moeka is a good example, while the Rose Class seemed to represent this nicely as well. The Resistance was those that would be against it, like some people would definitely do, and it all worked really nice. My only complaint here is that there was no School Social Revolution in the actual game to completely abolish the class system (mwahahaha)!
    I was just going to comment on how well the hierarchy was dealt with, too. It was both amazing and depressing how attached these "high society kids" were to the social caste system, considering how archaic such a system is. While a lot of fiction likes to portray characters that stand up against these systems, the reality is that the majority of those that live within strict caste systems abide by them 'cause they don't want to be the outcast. Like you said, the Rose class exemplified this, and many people would have felt the same as Neri. How many of us behave like we're from a British period movie? ZKG fans loathe Moeka from what I've gathered (since the trial) and I can see why, but her character is an excellent example of how "ordinary people" would respond to their friend's [Neri's] change in social class in such an environment. Not totally heartless but not "brave" enough to relinquish what they have and face adversity. While I dislike Moeka, I thought her character was handled well and am glad she isn't just another "loyal best friend character". One could even say that Moeka is like an affront to that stereotype, along with Sannomiya Mayako (damn, she's so pretty and I got a bad feeling about her from the outset) and that Maki chick from Ichiha's route.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    The Pebble Route seemed more like a Prologue than an actual route to me, especially since the endings were very open, leaving hints of the mystery so you can look forward to the Truth Route. What sucks is that you have to do every Pebble Route to unlock the Truth Routes, and I guess the start of the Pebble Routes can be a bit dull since it doesn't change: despite that, the actual routes were fairly unique from each, with only a few common things between them.

    Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the Truth Routes: the Truth Routes are where the action actually starts, and you get mostly everything revealed to you in every Route; this causes the routes to repeat themselves multiple times. Even though they have variations of their own, I'm pretty sure I saw the same Edward (great guy, by the way) and Kaburagi scenes like, 3-4 times without being able to skip them for some strange reason; I'm also pretty sure I read some of Neri's lines like, 4 times from route to route. It gets a bit tiring to get the same things revealed to you, you know? Even then, each route had some piece of information that wasn't shared in the others, so at least that was a thing: besides, you only get to really know the guys in there (as in, their backstories and whatnot), so it's still pretty nice.
    To me, the prologue was pretty much the start of the game until just before the individual routes. Then, the first half of the love interest's story was their individual Stone route and the concluding half was their Truth route. If you meant in the context of the overall story, the prologue is pretty much the concluding moments of the Stone routes' good endings. While I can see people don't like locked routes, I think it was a good decision. Why make a multiple route mystery game which doesn't ensure you'd check out multiple routes? The Pebble routes did have their standalone stories that were designed to bond Neri (and the player) with a love interest, only to drop a mystery bomb towards the end that leaves enough of an impression. By locking the truth routes until you've seen all five Stone routes, the writers ensure you're equipped with basic hints and knowledge to enjoy the Truth routes without too much confusion and having the truth revealed to you too early.

    I respected the consistency of the mysteries within story, though I do agree with you that this did make some parts of the storytelling process suffer because certain details had to be repeated since you can play the Truth routes in whatever order you like (save for Rei's; you have to finish at least one other Truth route first). I think Daisy2 should have been more black-and-white about the route play orders instead of this strange half-handed method they employed. Unless their goal was to give you a sense that Rei's route was only "slighty the most important", they should have locked Rei's Truth route until completing the others, or make a strict, enforced play order with Rei obviously being last. Even the Truth routes are multiple mystery routes themselves- as you noted- and I love that. Maybe some players would have preferred a singular, linear route that puts everything on a silver platter for them, but ZKG isn't complicated enough to need that IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    About the story, I'm pretty sure it's obvious by his appearance alone but, well, the main villain totally happens to be
      Spoiler: Story spoilers 
    none other than the Principal, Kaburagi; a shocker, right? I mean, his red eyes, overall appearance and creepiness, man, I would've never guessed that he was behind everything. It was interesting how he was portrayed as some sort of psychopath, who did not feel the emotions people would (because, well, he's a psycopath) but I can't quite say I thought that the story took a great turn when it revealed that he wanted to make Neri his waifu because he liked his mother, since she felt strong emotions that he didn't have: I mean, I get it, but it's creepy nonetheless.
      Spoiler: Story spoilers 
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure Souichirou was designed to plant the seed of doubt from a very early stage. I was fairly certain that he was "evil" after his talk with Neri outside the cafe, when he pretty much equated his students to ants and treated the school's obvious problems as though it were a source of amusement. A real psychopath/sociopath would never reveal themselves as such; after observing Souichirou, I didn't think the writers needed to spell it out for the readers. I agree it's definitely interesting that Souichirou was revealed to be a psychopath. I found it more interesting how his first two motives for the experiment just screams "psychopath", and especially how he revealed that he's been the way he is since he was small. By then it wasn't revealed explicitly that he has an antisocial personality disorder, but I went "Ah hah, psychopath!" the moment he said that. It's good that the writers didn't give him some sob story to try and justify what he did- his hollow motives were meant to instill that sense of "all this, for some stupid shit like that?"

    I'm still not sure what I think of his obsession with Arika. I pretty much called it when Neri was in that wedding dress (it was a gut feeling, not anything founded). Souichirou was so obsessed with Arika because she wouldn't become his, like everything and everyone else in his life up until that point. Her emotional nature imbued a sense of passion in him, which is something he didn't have (he mentioned never felt a fire/enthusiasm for anything until he met her, so something along those lines).

    In any case, psychopaths/sociopaths are uncommon in otome media, so it was an interesting addition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    Riku was actually way better than I thought he'd be: I don't know, he and Neri just work off each other so well that it makes him and his route more likable. Not only that, but he was also kind of adorable since he was so proud of himself, a bit like a kid. Well, there were some instances where he wasn't too pleasant, but I was honestly expecting so much worse from this guy that I didn't mind it as much... somewhat. To be honest, the downside to his route for me was that it felt a bit too much like a shoujo manga for my tastes, but beyond that, there's nothing in particular.
    That's exactly why I adore him- my first impression of him was the "arrogant ore-sama do-s prince who's perfect at everything and can have/buy any girl he wants". Instead, he's quickly outwitted, easily provoked, short-tempered, innocent, emotional and childish. However, I agree with Rei- I like Riku's straightforward, no-nonsense, no beating-around-the-bush personality. Also, the contrast between his overbearing and bigoted manner versus his childish innocence and kind nature made him interesting, as well as the scenes where he is very unpleasant much more so. I was thinking how awful the social caste system made the students.
      Spoiler: Riku-chan Spoilers 
    I suspected he's actually a very, very insecure guy and was heavily compensating due to the pressures of his rich and powerful family. I never expected him to actually be an abandoned child from Ring Area 15 who fantasised about being a prince because of his sad experiences. After what he went through, it's no wonder he wanted to become powerful and leave his destitute situation by any means (like his "Boss" wished). It was sad that by getting his wish of being powerful to come true, he ended up taking on the traits of those who oppressed him and Boss, and Riku even used the same "justifications" to do so. He would never realise this without Neri, in addition to literally having absolutely nothing but her, which makes Riku all the more pitiful IMO. Shou wasn't just being a jackass when he called Riku something like "the most pitiful prince of this school that can't be saved". In one of the Truth bad ends, his attachment to being powerful is made all the sadder... He learns the error of his ways yet when he gets head injuries, the fantasies he defers to is being in power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    Anyway, Rei's route was pretty long, especially when you compare it to Haru's or something. Seriously, I did Haru after Rei, and Haru's route felt so short. The route in itself was actually really nice, and I liked Haru a lot but it felt so fast! Like, "Hey, we're talking to each other!", "Oh no, trauma!", "Your trauma's partially fixed and we found out some things!", "It's fixed and we confessed our love!" and the end. But then again, I don't think I'd want Haru's route to drag so I guess that's fine? Or maybe it was just my imagination and it had the same length? I don't know. By the way, Haru's CGs were sooooo pretty! Seriously, Haru looks so good in his CGs that it's amazing: well, the art in the game is already really good but Haru looks the best in my opinion.
    I actually think Rei's Truth route is much longer than everyone else's all up, but I didn't time it so I can't definitively say. I guess it's because Haru has one of the least ties to the overarching plot as opposed to Rei, who probably has the strongest ties. Haru is my second favourite character. I really liked how he is hardly anything like the stereotypical bullied character. It helped that I knew about the paintings that were significant to Haru; that helped me appreciate his character and route better. I agree; his CGs are among the best. So pretty! :O

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    I saved Touya for last, since he was a really nice guy and all, but I kind of regret it. I don't know, his scenes in the common route were great fun and I really like Touya but somehow, when I get in his route, it stops being fun. I don't know, I mean, in his route we do detective work and then we get some "eh" drama in his route about his trust issues or whatever and honestly, that just wasn't any fun at all, especially when I had such high expectations and wanted to see some sort of revolution. By the end of the route, I just wanted to be done with Touya, despite still thinking he was a cool guy.
    Touya himself is fine and likeable, but his routes were disappointing. I liked him more as a "side character". I guess in the context of the story and how the hierarchy was written, a revolution would have been difficult to make believable. Anyhow, I actually liked one of his Rose bad ends the best, mostly because I liked what Neri had become in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    I actually like Haru's Truth Route a bit better than most: things kind of flowed well there, while some other routes were a bit forced with its developments (so the scenes could get repeated). Well, but then again, Rei's was also good story-wise, though that's expected of it since it's the one that reveals the most about the story. I wonder if the cannon pairing is ReixNeri... I totally don't ship this.
    It's hard to believe at this point that Rei isn't the main guy, considering his Truth route reveals the most about the story (though you can never understand everything unless you complete all Truth routes, IMO) and the major players. I feel sorry for all the other guys, but I'm not budging from team Neri x Riku.
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    Re: Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen ~Eden with roses and phantasm~ Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    I pretty much thought the exact same thing until I played the trial. After that, I was hooked, and was confident things are completely not what they seem in ZKG. The marketing was well done and in conjunction with my low-to-moderate expectations enabled the story to blow me away. I loved the story, though it's certainly not the best mystery I've ever, ever read. Good intrigue and mystery (especially across multiple routes) is scarce in otome games, so now I know ZKG is a rare gem. It initially seemed like a terrible shoujo manga and borderline Ouran rip-off but thank GOD this isn't the case. Yes, some parts were akin to shoujo, but I'd say in the good sense, not the bad. Neri's type of character could have gone very wrong IMO. I've studied some psychological science so that was an element of ZKG that made me much more into the story. I was surprised they didn't go darker than they really could have, though I think it's a good thing.
    Yeah, I got really surprised at how good it was compared to the expectations I had for it: although it's not my favourite game (my favorite games aren't decided by objective quality so yeah...), I think it's pretty close. The plot of the game wasn't a masterpiece but in otome game standards, it might as well be, since it was pretty well executed. I don't know, it really felt like the people behind the game actually cared about the story as much as they cared about making it a good otome game, which is something that makes me like it more: not only that, but mystery and psychological themes are so uncommon in otome games that it really makes it stand out. They did do some clever marketing, because it allowed for me to have the lowest expectations possible so I could be pleasantly surprised, those clever bastards... ^^'

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    For the most part, I really liked Neri way more than I expected, though sometimes I got quite frustrated with her. That feels much more relatable to me than those Tsukiko and Yui protagonists as she actually seems like human being. To be honest her density and lack of intelligence (she's not totally retarded but is certainly on the "dumb" side of the intelligence spectrum) sometimes got too shoujo and ridiculous in my books. I know why she was written like this, so I've accepted it, however. These two traits of hers are handled like ACTUAL FLAWS, unlike the "I'm clumsy, dense and a bit dumb for cuteness lolsy~" like many other otome game protagonists. I loved the scene where Neri returns Riku's handkerchief as well- it shattered my expectations of both of their characters at once when I saw it during the trial!
    Yeah, as far as I'm concerned, it's already a miracle when otome game protagonists show signs of being more than bland or having a personality, so Neri was a very welcome change. There were some times where she'd do stupid things, but I could forgive her because, more than a protagonist standing in for you, she felt like a character to me, and that's always something I can appreciate. Though, precisely because of that, I wished for less CGs with her face hidden... ^^' I also think Neri is an example of how a good protagonist can make a game much better than if a self-insert-ish protagonist had been used: I think that if the game's protagonist weren't Neri, it wouldn't have been as fun of a ride. Haha, even when I was restarting the game to do a new route, I'd stop jumping by that scene with the handkerchief so I could see it again since it was so nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    I was just going to comment on how well the hierarchy was dealt with, too. It was both amazing and depressing how attached these "high society kids" were to the social caste system, considering how archaic such a system is. While a lot of fiction likes to portray characters that stand up against these systems, the reality is that the majority of those that live within strict caste systems abide by them 'cause they don't want to be the outcast. Like you said, the Rose class exemplified this, and many people would have felt the same as Neri. How many of us behave like we're from a British period movie? ZKG fans loathe Moeka from what I've gathered (since the trial) and I can see why, but her character is an excellent example of how "ordinary people" would respond to their friend's [Neri's] change in social class in such an environment. Not totally heartless but not "brave" enough to relinquish what they have and face adversity. While I dislike Moeka, I thought her character was handled well and am glad she isn't just another "loyal best friend character". One could even say that Moeka is like an affront to that stereotype, along with Sannomiya Mayako (damn, she's so pretty and I got a bad feeling about her from the outset) and that Maki chick from Ichiha's route.
    I like how it was somewhat realistic, in the sense that when someone is raised in a certain environment, they adapt to it: the people in the Rose Class really represented that "rich mentality" that they could do as they pleased because they were of a higher status than everyone else, so they had no qualms about ordering others around. I don't dislike Moeka (I'm neutral to her), mostly because she was also "shaped" to think in the ways she does by the system of the school: due to that, she thinks everything is about trying to aim for the higher class; I think her character was more meant to better represent the mentality instilled upon the Bee Class (which was the middle class) of trying to keep up appearances as much as they can and not be against whatever the Rose Class says so they can hope to be there as well. Hahaha, I didn't like Sannomiya Mayako since she corrupted Neri's mind ;_; I was quite traumatized because I usually don't want any bad ends on my first playthrough of a game.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    To me, the prologue was pretty much the start of the game until just before the individual routes. Then, the first half of the love interest's story was their individual Stone route and the concluding half was their Truth route. If you meant in the context of the overall story, the prologue is pretty much the concluding moments of the Stone routes' good endings. While I can see people don't like locked routes, I think it was a good decision. Why make a multiple route mystery game which doesn't ensure you'd check out multiple routes? The Pebble routes did have their standalone stories that were designed to bond Neri (and the player) with a love interest, only to drop a mystery bomb towards the end that leaves enough of an impression. By locking the truth routes until you've seen all five Stone routes, the writers ensure you're equipped with basic hints and knowledge to enjoy the Truth routes without too much confusion and having the truth revealed to you too early.

    I respected the consistency of the mysteries within story, though I do agree with you that this did make some parts of the storytelling process suffer because certain details had to be repeated since you can play the Truth routes in whatever order you like (save for Rei's; you have to finish at least one other Truth route first). I think Daisy2 should have been more black-and-white about the route play orders instead of this strange half-handed method they employed. Unless their goal was to give you a sense that Rei's route was only "slighty the most important", they should have locked Rei's Truth route until completing the others, or make a strict, enforced play order with Rei obviously being last. Even the Truth routes are multiple mystery routes themselves- as you noted- and I love that. Maybe some players would have preferred a singular, linear route that puts everything on a silver platter for them, but ZKG isn't complicated enough to need that IMO.
    I actually liked that the Pebble routes were more like the "first half" of the Truth Routes, with the Truth Routes being the second: because the Pebble routes were about bonding with the guy and hinting at mystery in the end, I liken them to an introduction the actual story rather than the character's route in itself, since you only get to find out most of the mystery in the Truth Routes.

    I understand the sentiment of locking routes so you can have the best playing order for the story and all that, btu I do have to admit that I hate being limited in such a way: really, what if I don't like the dude I have to play before my favourite character? I think that was the logic behind letting the player choose freely in this game too, but I guess it would kind of backfire since this game actually gives importance to its plot (which is something I greatly admire about it, by the way).

    Having to do all the Pebble routes to get to the Truth ones isn't a bad choice, but for the Truth Routes, I think it would've been better if a set of routes (like two) would be the only ones unlocked and when you'd do one of them, it would unlock another set and so on: since this game has five characters, it could have been something like Ichiha and Haru being the first ones you could do, then Touya and Riku and then Rei for last or something. Then, I could just pick Riku and not have to do Touya to unlock Rei ^^ (I didn't examplify with Haru and Ichiha because I'd do both routes anyway) But then again, if I don't do certain routes, I won't understand some things... even so, I'd think that it's that curiosity that would make players do all of the routes, like in my case: I did all of the routes because I wanted to know the story, so I imagine most people playing this game would feel the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
      Spoiler: Story spoilers 
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure Souichirou was designed to plant the seed of doubt from a very early stage. I was fairly certain that he was "evil" after his talk with Neri outside the cafe, when he pretty much equated his students to ants and treated the school's obvious problems as though it were a source of amusement. A real psychopath/sociopath would never reveal themselves as such; after observing Souichirou, I didn't think the writers needed to spell it out for the readers. I agree it's definitely interesting that Souichirou was revealed to be a psychopath. I found it more interesting how his first two motives for the experiment just screams "psychopath", and especially how he revealed that he's been the way he is since he was small. By then it wasn't revealed explicitly that he has an antisocial personality disorder, but I went "Ah hah, psychopath!" the moment he said that. It's good that the writers didn't give him some sob story to try and justify what he did- his hollow motives were meant to instill that sense of "all this, for some stupid shit like that?"

    I'm still not sure what I think of his obsession with Arika. I pretty much called it when Neri was in that wedding dress (it was a gut feeling, not anything founded). Souichirou was so obsessed with Arika because she wouldn't become his, like everything and everyone else in his life up until that point. Her emotional nature imbued a sense of passion in him, which is something he didn't have (he mentioned never felt a fire/enthusiasm for anything until he met her, so something along those lines).

    In any case, psychopaths/sociopaths are uncommon in otome media, so it was an interesting addition.
      Spoiler: Answering to Spoilers with Spoilers 
    Well, I was guessing from the very first time I met him that he was evil by his appearance, so it kind of sucked when everyone would go like, "Oh, the principal is such a good person!" Like, come on, he made up the hierarchy, that's bound to be evil (the revolutionary mind inside me dictates it)! I suspected that he had some sort of obssession or goal related to Neri when he asked her to dance on the ball, since that's an immediate red flag in my book (in terms of creepiness, like, geez, he even had a CG!): I mean, you're way older than her, back off you creepy bastard! Besides, he'd do all sorts of things for Neri, so I think it was well hinted at. Even so, it didn't fail to make me creeped out.

    I also found it interesting that he was a psycopath, which also fits in with the overall psychological theme of the game: the fact that there was no sobstory to justify his actions actually kind of helped his case, since it accentuated the fact that he was just like that by nature. I think he was a fairly well-done character, but I can't say I like him... By the way, Neri's father was also from a rich area, so isn't it totally purposely ironic that Neri was originally supposed to be from a nice rich family and the guys from the poor areas?


    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    I actually think Rei's Truth route is much longer than everyone else's all up, but I didn't time it so I can't definitively say. I guess it's because Haru has one of the least ties to the overarching plot as opposed to Rei, who probably has the strongest ties. Haru is my second favourite character. I really liked how he is hardly anything like the stereotypical bullied character. It helped that I knew about the paintings that were significant to Haru; that helped me appreciate his character and route better. I agree; his CGs are among the best. So pretty! :O
    Well, yeah, Rei's route is basically the longest, but Haru just seemed like the shortest route out of everyone's for me, it felt like it was over so fast: was it really just me? Haru's route made me want to search for the paintings he was talking about, so it was an educational experience too? It was a really good route in my opinion, as it was a route that made me more curious about the mystery in the game; besides, I just liked Haru's attitude. Maybe I liked the route so much that it felt really fast? Riku's route didn't feel fast...

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    Touya himself is fine and likeable, but his routes were disappointing. I liked him more as a "side character". I guess in the context of the story and how the hierarchy was written, a revolution would have been difficult to make believable. Anyhow, I actually liked one of his Rose bad ends the best, mostly because I liked what Neri had become in it.
    Yeah, I thought Touya was a really nice guy, and I still like him somewhat (My liking towards the guys is along the lines of Riku>Ichiha>Haru>Rei>Touya) but his route wasn't as fun, so it definitely made my impression of him drop in comparison to the others ^^' I know that a revolution would've have been too much to ask from the game (and not really its objective either), but I thought Touya's route was going to focus itself on the hierarchy, but it didn't do that at all: I mean, he's from the Resistance, he's the leader, the Resistance is about taking out the hierarchy and he has a route, so I think it was justifiable that I was disappointed when it was mostly, um... not about that. The way you talk about the Rose Ends makes me want to see them but, ah, I have a feeling that would cause me pain and sadness ;_;

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    It's hard to believe at this point that Rei isn't the main guy, considering his Truth route reveals the most about the story (though you can never understand everything unless you complete all Truth routes, IMO) and the major players. I feel sorry for all the other guys, but I'm not budging from team Neri x Riku.
    Nuuuu, RikuxNeri all the way, they work so well together! I don't like Rei as much as I like everyone else, so it's kind of sad that he probably is the main guy... At least you can just kind of pick freely since there's more than one Truth Route.
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    Re: Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen ~Eden with roses and phantasm~ Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    The plot of the game wasn't a masterpiece but in otome game standards, it might as well be, since it was pretty well executed. I don't know, it really felt like the people behind the game actually cared about the story as much as they cared about making it a good otome game, which is something that makes me like it more: not only that, but mystery and psychological themes are so uncommon in otome games that it really makes it stand out. They did do some clever marketing, because it allowed for me to have the lowest expectations possible so I could be pleasantly surprised, those clever bastards... ^^'
    Yeah, that's one of the many reasons why I love this game. It's like I can feel the creators' efforts emanating from the game. Yep, dat marketing was a brilliant strategy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    I also think Neri is an example of how a good protagonist can make a game much better than if a self-insert-ish protagonist had been used: I think that if the game's protagonist weren't Neri, it wouldn't have been as fun of a ride. Haha, even when I was restarting the game to do a new route, I'd stop jumping by that scene with the handkerchief so I could see it again since it was so nice.
    Definitely. Can you imagine somebody like Yui dropping into the Stone class? Oh wait... she might like that... y'know, deep down! :S Haha, whenever I remembered, I never skipped the handkerchief scene too! Especially the bit when Riku gets pissy again because Neri doesn't use "-sama".

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    I like how it was somewhat realistic, in the sense that when someone is raised in a certain environment, they adapt to it: the people in the Rose Class really represented that "rich mentality" that they could do as they pleased because they were of a higher status than everyone else, so they had no qualms about ordering others around. I don't dislike Moeka (I'm neutral to her), mostly because she was also "shaped" to think in the ways she does by the system of the school: due to that, she thinks everything is about trying to aim for the higher class; I think her character was more meant to better represent the mentality instilled upon the Bee Class (which was the middle class) of trying to keep up appearances as much as they can and not be against whatever the Rose Class says so they can hope to be there as well. Hahaha, I didn't like Sannomiya Mayako since she corrupted Neri's mind ;_; I was quite traumatized because I usually don't want any bad ends on my first playthrough of a game.
    Very true. The hierarchy was so well-handled that there's a lot of good things to talk about it. That's exactly what Rei meant by saying, "sorry, he [Riku] doesn't have any ill intent" after Riku essentially called Neri "rubbish" for coming from Ring Area 10 at the Queen's tea party. To these kids, especially the Rose class, it's as you say- they honestly don't think or can't empathise that what they're doing is wrong because of how they were raised. Then again, there are those who seem to understand it's wrong, but come up with "justifications" like "it's the school's rules", "I'm a Rose", etc. There was an interesting scene in one of the Rose routes in which Mayako and Neri are conversing in the latter's room over tea about getting a "personal aide". When Neri says it's wrong to enslave the Stones just because they're lower, Mayako gets frustrated and yells at Neri to stop being idealistic, or something along those lines.

    You described Moeka's purpose and representation of the Bee class very well. There is always a sycophantic character in any story with (especially archaic European) social classes, isn't there? While I know Moeka is the better person, as a character, I preferred Sannomiya Mayako. If Moeka is the "perfect" Bee, then Mayako is the "perfect" Rose. The general themes of the Rose routes really don't allow for there to be a good friend. In fact, it would be unnatural considering how bitchy and superficial the Roses are. Anyway, I liked how pretty much all the friend characters cannot really be called a "true" friend. This is disastrous when combined with Neri's worryingly low ability to doubt people. It did get frustrating to watch her idiotically trust obvious sly dawgs like Mayako, but it made for an interesting story (or made the story, period).

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    I understand the sentiment of locking routes so you can have the best playing order for the story and all that, btu I do have to admit that I hate being limited in such a way: really, what if I don't like the dude I have to play before my favourite character? I think that was the logic behind letting the player choose freely in this game too, but I guess it would kind of backfire since this game actually gives importance to its plot (which is something I greatly admire about it, by the way).
    Hm... Now that I think about it more, locking routes is probably a lot more risky in terms of player reception than it seems. I'm a patient 100% completist player so I can deal with it, but for players who only want to complete the character routes they care about, this would have been frustrating. But like you mention later, in your post this may not be such a big issue for ZKG as the nature of the game would make most players want to try the other routes. From a psychological perspective, locking routes also instills a sense of importance and expectation of higher quality in the said locked route. It's a risky move, as if you can't back up this instilment, your readers are probably thinking how anticlimactic that all was.

    I definitely see why Rei's Truth route was locked, but still maintain that the half-handedness was baffling considering the imbalances of how much is "revealed" in the other Truth routes. Still, it's a non-issue to me and didn't affect my enjoyment of the game. If I forget a detail, I can just go back and read it again, or make saves in the scenes I feel that are important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
      Spoiler: Answering to Spoilers with Spoilers 
    Well, I was guessing from the very first time I met him that he was evil by his appearance, so it kind of sucked when everyone would go like, "Oh, the principal is such a good person!" Like, come on, he made up the hierarchy, that's bound to be evil (the revolutionary mind inside me dictates it)! I suspected that he had some sort of obssession or goal related to Neri when he asked her to dance on the ball, since that's an immediate red flag in my book (in terms of creepiness, like, geez, he even had a CG!): I mean, you're way older than her, back off you creepy bastard! Besides, he'd do all sorts of things for Neri, so I think it was well hinted at. Even so, it didn't fail to make me creeped out.

    I also found it interesting that he was a psycopath, which also fits in with the overall psychological theme of the game: the fact that there was no sobstory to justify his actions actually kind of helped his case, since it accentuated the fact that he was just like that by nature. I think he was a fairly well-done character, but I can't say I like him... By the way, Neri's father was also from a rich area, so isn't it totally purposely ironic that Neri was originally supposed to be from a nice rich family and the guys from the poor areas?
      Spoiler: Spoilerception: There Be Dragons Awaiting to Burn Those Who Have Yet to Attain "Truth Routes" 

    I pretty much mentally LOLed when Neri (and everyone else) raved about their awesome principal. Did he have to have two white horns on his head and a pointy red tail before he could even make them suspicious? Who knows... maybe some brainwashing was involved.

    Technically, child Riku made up the hierarchy (which was subtly and nicely foreshadowed when Neri wonders at some point why the names of the classes are so long... Fast forward to Riku's Truth route where he names the teddy bear he gave to Neri "Sougon no Chinmoku Arthur". His naming sense is grandiose since he was still a kid. Another example of a nice blink-and-you'll-miss-it-hint by the writers). Kaburagi liked the idea so he "merely" brought it to life. Since Riku was a somewhat innocent child, I guess in the end- technicalities aside- it's Kreepy Kaburagi's doing, huh...

    Yeah, that dance- especially his comment in the end about "waiting for Neri"- was pretty much the moment Kaburagi had no hope of being seen as "not fucking creepy or villainous" by me. Now that I recall it, another foreshadowing/hinting about the plot involving himself, Maria and Neri was when Neri had to get a dress for the ball. How did he know her sizes? Neri just figured because of the Kaburagi power he somehow found out... I should have been more suspicious then! Totally forgot about it. It's amazing how much you pick up on hints and such after you complete the game.

    Exactly right about the goodness of there being no sob story. Plus it would have been a technical gaffe if he were still a psychopath if he became the way he was because of his environment. That's more of a sociopath thing, so... I can't believe there are otome writers that do even basic research. Scary, huh? Hope the tradition continues! While Kaburagi certainly is very surface-level, I agree he was handled well.

    About the rich-poor irony, that is almost certainly on purpose. Interestingly though, while the "secondary main guy" is dirt poor with literally nothing to his name (not even possessing a name he remembers) (Riku), the main central hero still has connections to immense wealth (Rei). With the exception of Rei, it seems like the more elite and haughty the character was in Kaikyuu Gakuen, the more destitute they actually were in reality. I guess the lower you are, the grander you dream? Poor kids... They don't even technically exist and nobody even knows or gives a damn they're gone. Kaburagi's selection of his research subjects is in line with paedophiles and rapists that target lower socio-economic areas precisely for this reason...

    Ugh, even though it's not super-dark and is relatively happy-ending, this game can get quite depressing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    I know that a revolution would've have been too much to ask from the game (and not really its objective either), but I thought Touya's route was going to focus itself on the hierarchy, but it didn't do that at all: I mean, he's from the Resistance, he's the leader, the Resistance is about taking out the hierarchy and he has a route, so I think it was justifiable that I was disappointed when it was mostly, um... not about that. The way you talk about the Rose Ends makes me want to see them but, ah, I have a feeling that would cause me pain and sadness ;_;
    Sorry, my last post wasn't meant to imply that your disappointment isn't justified. I was honestly expecting one of Touya's routes to involve a revolution myself.

    I've played many visual novels, and wouldn't call the Rose ends of ZKG "traumatising". They tend to be quite brief (especially the bad ends) as they're not connected to the canon plot. If you're interested in basically the "even uglier side" of the social caste system, I recommend it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    Nuuuu, RikuxNeri all the way, they work so well together! I don't like Rei as much as I like everyone else, so it's kind of sad that he probably is the main guy... At least you can just kind of pick freely since there's more than one Truth Route.
    *High fives* Damn straight! Even so, I actually liked Rei a lot more than I thought I would. To paraphrase you, his "bishie appeal" isn't the type of guy that interests me in an otome game, but I found him endearing nonetheless.


    BTW: For those who mentioned that there's no way to skip the movies, I figured out by accident that merely minimising the game window and then maximising it will cause it to skip!
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    Re: Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen ~Eden with roses and phantasm~ Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    Definitely. Can you imagine somebody like Yui dropping into the Stone class? Oh wait... she might like that... y'know, deep down! :S Haha, whenever I remembered, I never skipped the handkerchief scene too! Especially the bit when Riku gets pissy again because Neri doesn't use "-sama".
    Oh God, I don't even want to imagine if Yui was the protagonist of this game XD Haha, my favourite part of the scene is actually when she screws up saying Takamine, and then sticks to Riku-san (and, of course, Riku getting pissed off at this); Neri was so good in that scene...

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    Very true. The hierarchy was so well-handled that there's a lot of good things to talk about it. That's exactly what Rei meant by saying, "sorry, he [Riku] doesn't have any ill intent" after Riku essentially called Neri "rubbish" for coming from Ring Area 10 at the Queen's tea party. To these kids, especially the Rose class, it's as you say- they honestly don't think or can't empathise that what they're doing is wrong because of how they were raised. Then again, there are those who seem to understand it's wrong, but come up with "justifications" like "it's the school's rules", "I'm a Rose", etc. There was an interesting scene in one of the Rose routes in which Mayako and Neri are conversing in the latter's room over tea about getting a "personal aide". When Neri says it's wrong to enslave the Stones just because they're lower, Mayako gets frustrated and yells at Neri to stop being idealistic, or something along those lines.

    You described Moeka's purpose and representation of the Bee class very well. There is always a sycophantic character in any story with (especially archaic European) social classes, isn't there? While I know Moeka is the better person, as a character, I preferred Sannomiya Mayako. If Moeka is the "perfect" Bee, then Mayako is the "perfect" Rose. The general themes of the Rose routes really don't allow for there to be a good friend. In fact, it would be unnatural considering how bitchy and superficial the Roses are. Anyway, I liked how pretty much all the friend characters cannot really be called a "true" friend. This is disastrous when combined with Neri's worryingly low ability to doubt people. It did get frustrating to watch her idiotically trust obvious sly dawgs like Mayako, but it made for an interesting story (or made the story, period).
    It's exactly as you say: I remember that scene with Mayako talking about getting an aide, thinking, "wow, these people are so out of touch with reality that they think slavery's okay." The part that really hits me is the fact that in hers, it made perfect sense to enslave the Pebble Class (I don't know, is it wrong that I translated it to pebble instead of stone? It just made more sense to me because they're like the pebbles on the side of the road or something), because she was a Rose and had the right to do it. She did tell Neri off by saying she was too idealistic or whatever, and I'd discuss on that if I truly remembered her argument ^^' But it's as you say, she is the "perfect" Rose: it's really because she's such a good representation of the Roses, aka the high class, that I don't like her; I hate people with her kind of mentality, and I can't relate to them due to class difference.

    I did like how Neri, in the Rose Route, became like the other Roses after a while herself, being exposed to their rights as one. Since they are Roses, it does make sense that there would be no real friend character: truly, it was quite surprising how you couldn't count as much on your friend characters as you could in other otome games, which makes sense due to the system the school has. Haha, Neri is really gullible; that was her worst flaw, but I kind of forgave it for her other traits. Whatever the case, I liked how the Rose Routes and the hierarchy in general was handled, and my distaste for the Rose Route is really due to my distaste for the Roses in general; I guess it was so well-handled that it hurt for me, as someone who's quite low-class ^^

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    Hm... Now that I think about it more, locking routes is probably a lot more risky in terms of player reception than it seems. I'm a patient 100% completist player so I can deal with it, but for players who only want to complete the character routes they care about, this would have been frustrating. But like you mention later, in your post this may not be such a big issue for ZKG as the nature of the game would make most players want to try the other routes. From a psychological perspective, locking routes also instills a sense of importance and expectation of higher quality in the said locked route. It's a risky move, as if you can't back up this instilment, your readers are probably thinking how anticlimactic that all was.

    I definitely see why Rei's Truth route was locked, but still maintain that the half-handedness was baffling considering the imbalances of how much is "revealed" in the other Truth routes. Still, it's a non-issue to me and didn't affect my enjoyment of the game. If I forget a detail, I can just go back and read it again, or make saves in the scenes I feel that are important.
    Yeah, I never really like locked routes (unless you can just unlock it by only doing one route, or if it's really, really worth it) because I'm not a completionist, and tend to only go for the guys I like. In this game, it wasn't a problem to me because I was equally invested in the story, since the game also cared about the story: in most otome games, I wouldn't bother (this is why I actually bothered doing all of the Pebble Routes and Truth Routes).

    The repetition of things only affected my enjoyment a bit, seeing as it would get slightly boring to see them realizing the same things over and over again (and I was getting so sick of the similar climaxes); Rei's route had more of its own content than most routes, but it did kind of become a victim of this as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
      Spoiler: Spoilerception: There Be Dragons Awaiting to Burn Those Who Have Yet to Attain "Truth Routes" 

    I pretty much mentally LOLed when Neri (and everyone else) raved about their awesome principal. Did he have to have two white horns on his head and a pointy red tail before he could even make them suspicious? Who knows... maybe some brainwashing was involved.

    Technically, child Riku made up the hierarchy (which was subtly and nicely foreshadowed when Neri wonders at some point why the names of the classes are so long... Fast forward to Riku's Truth route where he names the teddy bear he gave to Neri "Sougon no Chinmoku Arthur". His naming sense is grandiose since he was still a kid. Another example of a nice blink-and-you'll-miss-it-hint by the writers). Kaburagi liked the idea so he "merely" brought it to life. Since Riku was a somewhat innocent child, I guess in the end- technicalities aside- it's Kreepy Kaburagi's doing, huh...

    Yeah, that dance- especially his comment in the end about "waiting for Neri"- was pretty much the moment Kaburagi had no hope of being seen as "not fucking creepy or villainous" by me. Now that I recall it, another foreshadowing/hinting about the plot involving himself, Maria and Neri was when Neri had to get a dress for the ball. How did he know her sizes? Neri just figured because of the Kaburagi power he somehow found out... I should have been more suspicious then! Totally forgot about it. It's amazing how much you pick up on hints and such after you complete the game.

    Exactly right about the goodness of there being no sob story. Plus it would have been a technical gaffe if he were still a psychopath if he became the way he was because of his environment. That's more of a sociopath thing, so... I can't believe there are otome writers that do even basic research. Scary, huh? Hope the tradition continues! While Kaburagi certainly is very surface-level, I agree he was handled well.

    About the rich-poor irony, that is almost certainly on purpose. Interestingly though, while the "secondary main guy" is dirt poor with literally nothing to his name (not even possessing a name he remembers) (Riku), the main central hero still has connections to immense wealth (Rei). With the exception of Rei, it seems like the more elite and haughty the character was in Kaikyuu Gakuen, the more destitute they actually were in reality. I guess the lower you are, the grander you dream? Poor kids... They don't even technically exist and nobody even knows or gives a damn they're gone. Kaburagi's selection of his research subjects is in line with paedophiles and rapists that target lower socio-economic areas precisely for this reason...

    Ugh, even though it's not super-dark and is relatively happy-ending, this game can get quite depressing.
      Spoiler: "Nuuuuu, not the dragons!" =( 
    When Riku did it, it was a kid's game; when the principal did it, it was evil! Lol why did you remind me of Sougon Naru Chinmoku, now I'm laughing to myself, like, that bear stuck around even in the epilogue XD

    Kaburagi was pissing me off so much with always being around and being creepy that I forcefully skipped through the dance scene, so uh, I never did get to know what happened there beyond a flashback of him saying that he was always waiting for her, and that it had a CG (y u do dat ;_; ); The only thing that occurred to mind while I was doing that was how jealous Maria must've been, and she totally was XD

    When Neri almost got strangled with what seemed to be her doppelganger, I immediately knew it was the Queen; it was pretty predictable. Because of that, I totally thought it was gonna be about doppelgangers and not experimentation on humans and memories and whatnot: I dunno, the "I actually had a twin sister all along" thing seems so ridiculous that you automatically assume that's not gonna be it; I guess I got mislead then, too. Maria kind of creeped me out too, but for different reasons than Kaburagi: her love for the guy was pretty disturbing, and it's depressing the fact that it's mostly because her memories got manipulated.

    ... Man, now that I'm noticing so much foreshadowing in this game, it's making me admire it more. Well, Rei probably didn't live a rich life when he was with his mother, and I assumed he got experimented on a bit after he was entrusted to Kaburagi, his father, so he was pretty unfortunate in his childhood too. But yeah, it was really nice irony that the richer they supposedly were, the poorer background they'd have (weird way of saying it ^^').

    I honestly think it's good that the game isn't too dark, or it would've been even more depressing: too much darkness isn't really necessary, it kind of gets in the way instead. Besides, I'm a fan of fluffy romance =3


    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    Sorry, my last post wasn't meant to imply that your disappointment isn't justified. I was honestly expecting one of Touya's routes to involve a revolution myself.

    I've played many visual novels, and wouldn't call the Rose ends of ZKG "traumatising". They tend to be quite brief (especially the bad ends) as they're not connected to the canon plot. If you're interested in basically the "even uglier side" of the social caste system, I recommend it.
    Oh, I didn't mean to make you think that I was bothered with the way you wrote that; now I've gotta apologize as well, I'm sorry! In the beginning of the game, I was imagining an especially corny revolution-based route, since I thought the game was going to be terrible back then ^^'

    I was actually more curious about doing the Rose Routes just to see what the guys would tell me after I completed the CG gallery, is this wrong of me? XDD Like, geez, they talk for hours on whatever you click on in the menu, I can't help but being curious! But yeah, a part of me was also interested in what exactly the Rose Routes would entail, but maybe I don't really need to do every Rose Route... or does every Rose Route reveal something new of the castes? I'm doing this, but if that's the case, then I'm even more curious 0.0

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    *High fives* Damn straight! Even so, I actually liked Rei a lot more than I thought I would. To paraphrase you, his "bishie appeal" isn't the type of guy that interests me in an otome game, but I found him endearing nonetheless.
    I did end up liking Rei somewhat, but definitely not as much as I liked everyone else, especially Riku: Rei had some nice moments, and his personality had a few nice quirks beyond his bishie perfection (it's ironic that perfection is a flaw in these kinds of things, but it just is); his route was a bit draggy to me though, and
      Spoiler: Rei Spoilers 
    when he started using Shou's expressions after he merged with Shou, I got so creeped out XD Besides, the yandere and cruelty intensified, so in the Epilogue's CG (and some other previous CG on the Truth Route), his smile was kind of scary-looking to me which kind of tarnished the mood of that scene (it was pretty funny that the robot only worked properly when he was talking in his sleep XD).


    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaL View Post
    BTW: For those who mentioned that there's no way to skip the movies, I figured out by accident that merely minimising the game window and then maximising it will cause it to skip!
    I also found that out by accident on Haru's credits (which is a shame, since I didn't get to see all of his pretty CGs)... trying to hide the game from my brother <.<
    Last edited by Aines445; June 15th, 2015 at 11:57 AM.
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    Re: Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen ~Eden with roses and phantasm~ Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    Haha, my favourite part of the scene is actually when she screws up saying Takamine, and then sticks to Riku-san (and, of course, Riku getting pissed off at this); Neri was so good in that scene...
    The handkerchief scene is easily one of the best in the game. It's among my Top 5 (though I haven't really thought about the other 4).

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    It's exactly as you say: I remember that scene with Mayako talking about getting an aide, thinking, "wow, these people are so out of touch with reality that they think slavery's okay." The part that really hits me is the fact that in hers, it made perfect sense to enslave the Pebble Class (I don't know, is it wrong that I translated it to pebble instead of stone? It just made more sense to me because they're like the pebbles on the side of the road or something), because she was a Rose and had the right to do it. She did tell Neri off by saying she was too idealistic or whatever, and I'd discuss on that if I truly remembered her argument ^^' But it's as you say, she is the "perfect" Rose: it's really because she's such a good representation of the Roses, aka the high class, that I don't like her; I hate people with her kind of mentality, and I can't relate to them due to class difference.

    I did like how Neri, in the Rose Route, became like the other Roses after a while herself, being exposed to their rights as one. Since they are Roses, it does make sense that there would be no real friend character: truly, it was quite surprising how you couldn't count as much on your friend characters as you could in other otome games, which makes sense due to the system the school has. Haha, Neri is really gullible; that was her worst flaw, but I kind of forgave it for her other traits. Whatever the case, I liked how the Rose Routes and the hierarchy in general was handled, and my distaste for the Rose Route is really due to my distaste for the Roses in general; I guess it was so well-handled that it hurt for me, as someone who's quite low-class ^^
    I have just been sayong "Stone" because that's the first English equivalent I think of when hearing "ishi". "Ishikoro" can mean both but now that I think about it, Pebble works far better, since (as you said) they're like pebbles on the side of the road. For people so ignored, they seem to get much more attention from the Roses than the Bees do! Not good attention, granted.

    Yes, the writers obviously took care when trying to depict Neri's psychological changes, and it really shows in the Rose routes. Out of the "good" Rose route endings, I liked Riku's the most, and out of the bad Rose route endings, Touya's one was my favourite. Neri's density and gullibility was very frustrating sometimes- not because they're shallow "cute clumsy girl flaws", but because ZKG presented them as her actual, real flaws. Given the timeframe of the game, it really didn't take long for Neri to become a "real" Rose, though I'd still say she's one of the most moral ones (alongside Rei and surprisingly, Riku. Riku's often rude and domineering, but he's nothing compared to the leader of the school newspaper club, that Toudou guy who got Neri drunk, the Kuga siblings or of course, the beautiful Mayako).

    Speaking of the routes, I found it quite interesting how in the Pebble routes, the guys change for the better, and in the Rose routes, Neri changes for the worse. Where are all the most bittersweet and bad endings? The Rose routes! Not even subtle in trying to show that Neri isn't the one who needs to change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
      Spoiler: SPOILER="Nuuuuu, not the dragons!" =( 
    When Riku did it, it was a kid's game; when the principal did it, it was evil! Lol why did you remind me of Sougon Naru Chinmoku, now I'm laughing to myself, like, that bear stuck around even in the epilogue XD

    Kaburagi was pissing me off so much with always being around and being creepy that I forcefully skipped through the dance scene, so uh, I never did get to know what happened there beyond a flashback of him saying that he was always waiting for her, and that it had a CG (y u do dat ;_; the only thing that occurred to mind while I was doing that was how jealous Maria must've been, and she totally was XD

    When Neri almost got strangled with what seemed to be her doppelganger, I immediately knew it was the Queen; it was pretty predictable. Because of that, I totally thought it was gonna be about doppelgangers and not experimentation on humans and memories and whatnot: I dunno, the "I actually had a twin sister all along" thing seems so ridiculous that you automatically assume that's not gonna be it; I guess I got mislead then, too. Maria kind of creeped me out too, but for different reasons than Kaburagi: her love for the guy was pretty disturbing, and it's depressing the fact that it's mostly because her memories got manipulated.

    ... Man, now that I'm noticing so much foreshadowing in this game, it's making me admire it more. Well, Rei probably didn't live a rich life when he was with his mother, and I assumed he got experimented on a bit after he was entrusted to Kaburagi, his father, so he was pretty unfortunate in his childhood too. But yeah, it was really nice irony that the richer they supposedly were, the poorer background they'd have (weird way of saying it ^^').

    I honestly think it's good that the game isn't too dark, or it would've been even more depressing: too much darkness isn't really necessary, it kind of gets in the way instead. Besides, I'm a fan of fluffy romance =3
      Spoiler: 'Tis quite alright Aines, for the dragons shan't vanquish thee for thou hast verily completed the "Routes of Truth" 
    Another scene for the Top 5: Riku naming that teddy bear. It's Sougon Naru Chinmoku... no Arthur. That means Neri bothered to go back for the teddy... aww... those two are too cute.

    I've been skimming through the routes again for reviewing purposes, and God... while I always knew that Kaburagi was up to no good, he's so much creepier now. :/ Especially when you now know the weight and real meaning behind his words. Yeah, Maria was so jealous that she poisoned herself to divert Kaburagi's attention back to her! Though this wouldn't have been possible unless Shou brought her the poison...

    While a doppelgänger theory did come to mind, I stuck with "twins" as by that point, it was still early days and I thought ZKG is grounded in reality (which it is in comparison to other memory alteration stories; brainwashing and drugging psychologically imbalanced/traumatised people (particularly children in their developmental stages) and all). While it's very true that the "I had a twin all along" thing is usually poorly done and can often get ridiculous(ly stale, also), my opinion is that a doppelgänger would be way more ridiculous now that I have completed the story. Anyway, I would be quite surprised if there was anybody who thought that Neri's "doppelgänger" who was strangling her wasn't the Queen. I'm thinking the odd "doppelgänger" discussions that cropped up was a red herring of sorts.

    Nah, I get what you meant; it wasn't weird how you worded it all. In a sense, Rei's life has been as tragic as Riku's, though who you ultimately feel more sorry for is subjective in the end (and doesn't even have to be Rei or Riku, even though they have the most misfortunes). I guess ZKG decided that Rei be the main hero because he has the largest ties to the main villain in addition to being the prototype of Kaburagi's experiment. Though Riku exemplifies the ironic twist of the ZKG narrative the best, his ties to Kaburagi (in very unintentionally "inspiring" the birth of the Kaikyuu Gakuen Project) are much smaller than Rei's, hence the possible reason for his downgrade in importance even though the two are prominently displayed inside and outside of universe as important. However, in addition to inspiring Kaburagi, Riku may have stayed elevated in importance because Haru, Ichiha and Touya scored less in the aptitude parameters for the Project than Riku and have practically nothing to do with Kaburagi himself. Perhaps I'm thinking too much into this, but this is how I make sense of the "hero plot significance hierarchy".

    Now that I think about it more, I'm disappointed that you don't get to learn what happened to Japan in much detail at all. I guess you can glean from the proliferation of such a dodgy cult and the (possibly many) bad politicians who funded the Project that corruption played a massive role in Japan's downfall. ZKG isn't a political conspiracy story, after all. Which is fine!


    Quote Originally Posted by Aines445 View Post
    Oh, I didn't mean to make you think that I was bothered with the way you wrote that; now I've gotta apologize as well, I'm sorry! In the beginning of the game, I was imagining an especially corny revolution-based route, since I thought the game was going to be terrible back then ^^'

    I was actually more curious about doing the Rose Routes just to see what the guys would tell me after I completed the CG gallery, is this wrong of me? XDD Like, geez, they talk for hours on whatever you click on in the menu, I can't help but being curious! But yeah, a part of me was also interested in what exactly the Rose Routes would entail, but maybe I don't really need to do every Rose Route... or does every Rose Route reveal something new of the castes? I'm doing this, but if that's the case, then I'm even more curious 0.0
    I'm sorry for making you sorry! This could turn into a sorry-ception... LOL yeah, I was expecting a hammy "WE'RE ALL HUMANS AND WE ALL BLEED THE SAME WHEN WE GET HURT" speech from Touya as he riles up people in the assembly with the Queen looking on in horror.

    Not wrong at all! I don't think you need to get every single Rose end for 100% completion. For some characters, I think you get a final CG for the Rose bad ends, but for others, the Rose good ends. I can't exactly remember, sorry! What I can say for certain is that you don't need to read every ending to get 100%. Like most VNs, you unlock a single "CONGRATS" CG upon 100% completion.

    For obvious reasons, the Rose routes are the absolute best to get a taste of just how deeply ingrained the discrimination and elitism is. From memory, there aren't many (if any) overarching-plot relevant scenes. They're definitely not essential if your priorities lie in learning more about ZKG's overall main plot.

    I guess one way to put it is by using Neri's father's quote:

    "To learn of the truth (Pebble -> Truth routes) or to remain unaware of it (Rose routes), I wonder which one will make you happy?"

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