Our destinies intertwined. Fate had posed us against each other. Our titanic battle sent shockwaves blasting across the seas of time. Nothing has been the same, since then.
And now, we’re going to do it again.
Some of you who’ve been following the blog for a while, or plunging into the archives, or who might otherwise call yourselves “Aether Historians” might recall the first time Lost to the Aether faced off with our fated rival, the always-in-development murder playground known as Yandere Simulator. The feud everyone finding my blog through a search as well as destiny itself demanded. Our clash was titanic. My victory, overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that it actually made the search terms for this blog normal for a good long while. Which was something I wasn’t prepared for, really. C’mon guys, let’s get this stuff weird again.
Anyways, in case you missed it, we just finished up October. Which is a well-regarded time for getting into spooky/horror media, and I got caught up in that myself. Wanted to pick myself up a good horror game. And coincidentally, at the same time, Yandere Simulator came out with a big content update. The game’s been in development for seven years by this point, and the developer feels that he’s almost ready to complete the game, having got about everything done that he can on his own. But to really get the game finished, he’ll need to hire people to do the parts of it outside of his capabilities, which will require a crowdfunder, but after the standard cycles of long development time plus short internet patience, he feels he’s not poised for a successful crowdfunder right now. So, in order to demonstrate the product and build up faith and interest in it again, he’s used the assets he currently has to develop a full story mode for the game, for the first time. Albeit not the story mode everyone was expecting. That’s the one he needs to hire people to do the animations and the voice acting and the whatnot for. Rather, we’ve got a fully-fledged prequel story mode.
Anyways, I was looking for something horror-themed to play, and a game where you’re basically a horror-movie villain sounded pretty solid to me at the time. And I can get behind the idea of putting out a show of good faith for your audience, work to show you’re taking them seriously with a lot of new content. And besides, it was probably my victory over this game years ago that cost it a lot of it’s positioning. So I figured it’d be a good time to jump back into it, and see just how much the game has grown since I defeated it last time. We’re still fated opponents, but maybe destined rivals this time, rather than enemies.
Here we go. For a good comparison to our old post, rather than jumping in to the prequel story mode, I’m going to be going for the main, incomplete story. Because that’s what we did last time. The full game will have ten rivals, but the current edition only has one that’s fully set up, so only a single level’s equivalent of content. But that’s fine for the sample we’re going for. After all, I’m trying to make amends, of some sort. Don’t want to crush this game too fully again.
Starting up, the first thing it has you do is customize your senpai, the absolutely heartthrob that will be the subject of your and at least ten other girls’ affections. I love customizing characters, and I know super well what makes the female mind fall in love with someone, so you can rest assured that I will create a being who is the pinnacle of attractiveness.
And there. There he is. Ladies, you may take a number, and form a line to your left. He won’t have time for you all but don’t worry, there will be consolation prizes.
And then we get a cutscene detailing the premise of the game. So, if you’ve spent too much time around certain parts of the internet, like, you know, this blog, you’ve probably heard of a few of the ‘dere’ types of characters in Japanese fiction. Yanderes are characters that seem sweet and lovely, but then turn around and inflict horrific violence out of a hidden insanity driven by their affection. Or something like that. People find that attractive, apparently. I’ve got at least two posts on this blog touching on that. Well, three now, I guess. Anyways, that’s us. We’re one of those. We spend our whole life feeling nothing, until one day, we run into senpai. Then all of a sudden, a feeling blossoms through. Complete, all-encompassing love. Or something that ol’ Yan-chan confuses for it.
Anyways, Yan-chan is so enraptured by that feeling that she immediately resolves to inflict bloody horrors on anyone who gets between her and the object of her affection.
So she stalks him. Some other girl catches her doing so, and texts her some information on another girl with designs on him. And kind of encourages her to take drastic action.
I’m guessing there’s lots of people in this scenario that could use a bit of professional help.
And with that, we’re in the game proper. We start off in our bedroom, with a few interactables, but so far, only one that’s really meaningful, an anime we can watch to teach us new murder methods. Which seems kind of inappropriate for a high schooler, frankly. From there, I can check out the basement, so I do so, and find it a perfectly equipped murderhole. Also has a cassette tape in there, of which I can figure out no way to play. Because it’s 2022. Who has cassette players anymore?
I do. In my car. In the real world. Aether. That’s who.
Anyways, not a lot to do at home, so I head to school. I get there, and immediately make two impressions. The first, last time I played the game, going to school meant I spawned in with the camera buried underground and staring up my own skirt. That seems to have been corrected in the years since then. And second, holy hades are there a lot of people now. I find myself in the midst of a sea of students. All of them individually designed, and as I find out through playing the game further, all of them with their own schedules and pathing. That’s an impressive thing to see coming together, really.
This is my first time with full control here, so I start messing around, seeing what all the buttons do. I find a button that makes me laugh. This creeps out everyone around. I do it again. Senpai hears that time. And my laugh was apparently so creepy that he never wants anything to do with me again. I got a game over within like thirty seconds of starting the game proper. Harsh.
Ok, starting that over again. This time, no laughing in public. I start formulating a plan. But not much of one. First step is to find my rival/target. I do this quickly, as she’s talking to senpai just off the walkway into school. Second step is to find a reason to… you know, do something about her. Because although Yan-chan is down for wanton murder, Aether’s really not. I have a hard time playing the bad guy in games, particularly when it comes to inflicting horrors on the innocent. Like, I don’t have any moral compunctions with it, really; I’m not sinning by having my electronic avatar commit simulated violence on collected bits of graphics and ai mechanics or anything, but it does require going somewhere that just doesn’t come naturally to me. I usually go for the super good moral choices in games. That’s just more satisfying to me.Continue reading