May 26, 2012

Game review: DRAMAtical Murder

Made by: Nitro-chiral
Genre: Yaoi, Sci-fi, Adventure, Romance
Summary: Aoba is your everyday guy, who works at a junkshop and lives with his grandmother on the island Midori Jima. Unlike most young people his age, Aoba doesn't play the virtual fighting game Lime and neither does he belong to a gang. When people suddenly start disappearing all around town, rumors say that the legendary team Morphine is back. Aoba decides to help his friends and find the truth behind the accidents.

Let's start off with some word explanation...

are machines that humans own. They are a cellphone/computer/HDD/GPS/everything else you could ever need in one AI. They come in many different shapes and models, changing how advanced they are depending on price and release. Aoba is extremely caring about his All-Mate and always keep him by his side. Other people often comment on how he is too protective over it.

is a virtual fighting game that young people play. It can be one vs one or teams fighting each other. When fighting in Lime your All-Mate takes another shape and fights along your side.
A judge named Uzui is present at all times and if a game is played without her, it's considered illegal. Hackers often play those kind of games and cheat by changing the rules, such as if a person is hurt in Lime, they get hurt in real life too. They can also change the stadium as they please to their own benefit. The purpose of Lime is to dominate the field, aka the opposite of Lib.

Lib are like ordinary street gangs. Pick out a leader, claim territories etc. Lib-teams and Lime-teams don't often get along very well.

Aoba is one of the few people who doesn't belong to a Lime or Lib group. He got many friends who does though, for example Koujaku, who is a leader for a Lib team. His other friend Mizuki is the leader for Dry Juice and our protagonist often goes to their territories to hang out. Aoba is living a peaceful life, except the fact that many customers try to hit on him over the phone. Strangers often comment how smooth and sexy his voice is and he is sometimes mistaken for a girl.
The island Midori Jima is split into several districts. The old district, where Aoba and his friends live, the abandon district, where not many people go and then there is the Platinum Jail. The Platinum Jail is a super high-tech city where only hand-picked, rich and famous people live. The whole city is surrounded by big walls and you can only enter if you have been officially invited. Everything is owned by a man named Toue.

One day Aoba receives a Spam mail but accidentally downloads the file attached. Later at night he starts it up and it appears to be a game. Aoba asks Ren, his puppy All-Mate, to launch it. The game is an old-school rpg but before he can get anywhere it ends suddenly. The words "To be continued..." appears on the screen.

Aoba shuts it off but suddenly gets a painful headache. It's not unusual though, he have been having them for as long and he can remember. Tae, his grandmother, is always trying to find new medicine to help ease the pain but so far none has really helped. (Oh boy, where have I heard this before?).
Besides the headache Aoba's hair is also extremely sensitive and he never lets anyone touch it.

When delivering a package for a customer next day, Aoba is suddenly surrounded by a bright light. His head start to hurt but he suddenly realize he is in Lime. Ren is standing beside him, this time in human form and asks him if he is alright. Aoba shouts that whoever challenged him to quit the fight, since he never played Lime in his entire life. He can't see Uzui around either, so it must be a hacker of some sort.

A man with a green bunny mask appears before them, telling Aoba to fight him. When trying to explain, he is attacked by an army of rabbits, hurting both of him and his all-mate. Ren asks for a command but Aoba is clueless what to say or do. His headache is much more intense than usual and he suddenly blacks out while screaming. Ren runs up to him, asking what's wrong, but is instead greeted by Aoba acting very different, ordering him several advanced attacks on the rabbit opponents. Aoba starts screaming again and everything turns white.

Aoba had no memory of the fight and after spending some time resting up he is back at work.When stepping outside there is a man laying on the ground outside the shop. Aoba helps him up and the weird gas mask wearing man calls himself Clear. He says he heard Aoba's voice "calling out to him" and keeps calling him Master.

Kojaku had earlier asked Aoba to call Mizuki and check if everything was alright, since there is a lot of rumors about disappearances in Lib gangs. Mizuki casually shrugs it off, but Aoba get a feeling something is bothering his friend.
When returning home that night, he finds the door unlocked and a man he never seen before in his room, hacking his computer. The man revel himself to be the face behind the bunny mask and he is here to find out how Aoba defeated him in Lime. When insisting that he doesn't remember anything, the hacker threatens to destroy Ren. Suddenly Koujaku opens the door and starts fighting with the unknown man, all while Clear pops up outside the window. Everyone is shouting and screaming until Tae appears and tells them to shut the hell up.

Later Koujaku and Aoba talks about how strange Mizuki have been acting and they definitely thinks it got something to do with team Morphine.When they turn around the hacked guy have been eavesdropping on them and Koujaku is just bout to start fighting with him again when Tae interrupts. Before everyone leaves, the hacker tells Aoba that his name is Noize, and that he wants to fight him sometime again.
Noize vs Koujaku

Noize then shows up the next day at the junk shop, asking Aoba to join his Lime team, Raff Rabbit. Aoba declines but Noize drags him away to watch a Lime fight. They run into Koujaku who starts arguing with Noize as usual. The cops suddenly appear and everyone runs.
Koujaku and Aoba ends up in Dry Juice district, but to their shock all of the team tags have been replaces by a new name - Morphine. There is blood everywhere but no sign of anyone alive. Virus & Trip, Aoba's yakuza friends, greets them and says they spotted Dry Juice members on other territories a few days ago.

Aoba later receives yet another Spam mail. He deletes it but directly after gets 20 more of the same mail. When he finally opens it, the spamming stops. It's the same game as last time, starting off where it left the last time. This time the character goes to a castle and see an old lady being dragged away by bats. The game then ends. Aoba sighs and starts walking home, but quickly realize the resemblance between the old lady in the game and Tae.

Just as he feared, the house is empty when he arrives and when opening the doors a dead body with the Morphine logo is there. Before he can do anything else, Aoba is hit by somebody from behind and passes out. When he wakes up he is in an old, broken down apartment. A man with dreads and a pink parrot sits in front of him and orders bystanders to rape Aoba. Despite the heavy headache, our protagonist tries everything to escapes. He starts screaming and passes out, just like when fighting in Lime.

An unkown man stands before him as he wakes up, telling Aoba that he is one of the men who keeps calling the junk shop just to hear his voice. The man takes out a knife but before he can do anything the boss walks in and throws him out. His name is Mink and he says he got nothing to do with Tae's disappearance. He is willing to help Aoba find his grandmother but in return he want to use Aoba as a bait to find Morphine. Not having much choice, Aoba agrees and they head back to the junkshop.

The gang gather together and come to the conclusion that Tae have been kidnapped by Morphine. Noize had with the help of other hackers pinpoint her location to an abandoned factory in the abandoned district. When the party arrives there they are greeted by Dry Juice members with hollow, dead eyes. They immediately start attacking Aoba and his friends who fights them back. Aoba runs off to find his grandmother and makes his way to the parking lot on the other side. Mizuki is standing there with a knife against Tae's throat, waiting for him.

Suddenly something strange happens to Aoba, and he finds himself in Mizuki's territory back at the city. But things are weird and distorted and he hears Mizuki calling him. Appearing before him, Mizuki is bleeding and crying, begging for help. He tells Aoba about how Dry Juice been splitting up slowly ever since Lime got popular. But Mizuki wanted everyone stay friends and be a family, like it's always been. He wanted to stay together as a Lib team. So Mizuki seeked help from Morphine, but before he knew it everything was destroyed.

Aoba tries to calm Mizuki who at this point is screaming like a crazy man, when the headache throbs painfully and he blacks out. He hears another voice calling him, telling him to destroy everything. To give in to the dark side.

When Aoba wakes up he sees Tae safe beside him and Mizuki passed out on the ground. Tae tells him everything is going to be fine, and brings him back to their house.
Everyone sat down together and Tae admitted she had some explaining to do.When she was a younger she used to work for Toue at his research lab. She had joined hoping to find a cure to diseases and brain tumor, but soon realized Toue was searching for a way to manipulate people's minds. Toue succeeded even without Tae's help and created team Morphine. When Aoba met Mizuki in the strange dream-like space, it was actually inside of Mizuki. Aoba have the ability to enter people's mind by using his voice. This ability called "Scrap" is very dangerous to use though, because it also destroys the person who's mind Aoba is entering.

Tae continues to talk and tells them how Aoba used to play Lime. He was a very famous player but one day something inside of him awoke. There are no further details except that when Tae reached the hospital, Aoba had entered the nurse mind and completely destroyed her psyche.

When Aoba asks why he got this mind controlling ability, Tae says she simply doesn't know.

A punk-ish brat who is only 19 years old, but that doesn't stop him from anything. He is very bold and straightforward but doesn't speak his mind very often.
The next day Aoba gets a call from Virus & Trip, telling him to evacuate the house. The police is outside and Toue is on his tail. While escaping together with Noize, Aoba gets another spam mail. It's another clue to the strange game, this time the hero goes through tunnels and end up finding a key. When the game is over a letter pops up. It's an invitation to Platinum Jail. Not sure if it's a trap or not, Aoba decides to go there either way and Noize wants to come with him.

Arriving at one of the districts in Platinum Jail, Aoba used the map to find where their home during the stay was. The day after they decided to explore and saw the giant tower in the middle of the city, Oval Tower, where Toue is. On the way back Aoba buys some food from vendors and is annoyed when his companion keeps asking what the meal is called. Noize says he never eaten anything besides pizza and pasta, which leaves Aoba speechless.

When turning around to ask another question, Noize is nowhere to be seen. Aoba eventually find him in a dark ally, fighting with a bunch of punks. Before they get any major injuries, Aoba grabs the hacker and runs back to the hotel. Noize does not like this at all though, and asks just what hidden agenda Aoba has. He didn't gain anything by saving him, so why should he? Just for what purpose is he using him exactly?
Confused and unable to answer any of the question above, Aoba instead notice Noize is bleeding heavily from his hand. After several minutes of fighting and arguing back and forth, he finally agrees to Aoba helping him. Asking for his motivations again, Aoba yells that he is simply worried about him and that he isn't using him at all. Noize kisses Aoba and says it's just "human nature, instinct and hormones" (aka, no homo) so they go to his bedroom. ヾ(≧ω≦) ノ

They infiltrate the Oval Tower the next day, but run into problems before reaching Toue on the top floor. Aoba saves Noize and they hide in a storage room while waiting for the enemies to disappear. Noize still got hurt but when Aoba tries to help him, he once again refuses. The two of them starts fighting and Aoba notice there is something weird with Noize. The blond man sighs and tells him the truth;

He can't feel pain. His senses are extremely low so he often can't taste food or feel pleasure from sex at all. This is the reason he got all the piercing and didn't notice or care when he was injured. Noize continues the story by telling Aoba about his childhood.
His family is very rich businessmen whom never had any time for Noize at all. Like many children he got violent in attempt of getting attention but his father punished him hard. He was locked in a room with no windows and no communication with the outside, except for his tutor and maid. When he got older he finally manges to escape and started to play Lime, looking for any sort of feeling he could grasp.

Noize notice Aoba is injured when trying to leave the room, so he makes up a plan. He is going to look for medicine while Aoba stays in the storage. Noize also leaves a part of his All-Mate there, so they can keep communication if needed. But minutes go by and Noize is not coming back.
Aoba leaves and ends up on the top floor, where Toue should be. Instead Noize is there, waiting for him. Lime is activated and Aoba sees how Noize eyes are hollow and dead, just like Mizuki's was when he was manipulated by Morphine. About to die and running out of options, Aoba decides to use Scrap on Noize, hoping he can find his true self in his mind.

Noize is my second favorite character in the game. His growth during the last part is a nice touch. His sex scene was adorable and the ending made me laugh a lot. Plus, I'm a sucker for guys with piercings (。♥‿♥。)

Aoba's childhood friend whom is the leader for his own Lib team. He is a ladies man but tries not to break any hearts. He works as a hairdresser and have a fascination with Aoba's sensitive hair.
When arriving to Platinum Jail, Koujaku and Aoba is stopped by some ladies, interested in them. They flirt around with Koujaku and feeling frozen out, Aoba announces it's time to go.

But Koujaku says he'll join Aoba later, and stays with the girls. The following days Aoba is alone in the hotel while Koujaku is out partying. Aoba gets pissed being ignored and stalks his friend one night after hearing the door shut. Koujaku goes to a club but Aoba is stopped when trying to enter. A blonde man called Ryho helps Aoba getting pass the guard and says he's a friend of Koujaku. He gives Aoba a membership card and disappears into the mass of people dancing.

Koujaku and Aoba when they were younger
Our hero starts looking for his friend, but stops soon, feeling nauseous and weird. The heavy music is extremely loud and got and odd beat. Aoba passes out on the floor and wakes up when Koujaku is shaking him. He carries Aoba back to the house and helps him to bed.
Aoba can't help but feeling like an ass for not trusting his friend. They used to be so close when they were younger but now he feels they've drifted apart. Koujaku tells Aoba not to go there again, and Aoba says he's worried, wanting to know what Koujaku is hiding.

Later Aoba accidentally opens the door while the hairdresser is taking a shower. Koujaku didn't notice at all, but Aoba saw something he couldn't forget. A bright, red tattoo covering the back. The motive is blooming japanese flowers, but it doesn't look normal, it's almost as if they were alive.

Next day Aoba knocks on Koujaku's room, wanting to talk. But once again Koujaku is out somewhere. Feeling frustrated and angry, Aoba goes to the club once more. He meets Ryho, whom says he'll keep an eye out for Koujaku in case he sees him and that Aoba should be careful.
It starts to rain and Aoba runs home, hoping his friend have done the same.

Back at the apartment, Koujaku is waiting for him. He pushes Aoba down and starts biting and licking him violently, like he was possessed. Koujaku ask what Aoba was doing with "that man before"(Ryho) but Aoba keeps shouting for him to stop ripping his clothes off. Aoba finally uses his Scap ability, the voice that makes people do as he says, and his attacker finally stops.

Koujaku leaves without saying anything and Aoba is left alone, sobbing. He goes out for some fresh air and walks around town randomly, trying to make his mind up what to do about the situation.
He runs into Ryho whom comfort shim and brings him along to his tattoo studio on the second floor of the club. He drugs Aoba and starts telling him about how fascinated he is by him and "the other person inside of him".
When opening his eyes, he is completely paralyzed. Aoba smells ink and foxface is smiling beside him, telling not to worry. Koujaku kicks the door open just in time and saves his childhood friend. Ryho is congratulate Koujaku for finding him and asks how the tattoo is? Koujaku goes crazy again and is about to rip Ryho to pieces when Aoba uses Scrap to stop him again.

Ryho escapes to the Oval Tower and his chasers run after. During this time, Koujaku finally spills the beans. His family is a famous yakuza clan, and he is the heir. It's complicated though, because his mother is a mistress and not the leader's wife. Ryho gave him the tattoo on his back, which is cursed with some kind of mind manipulation Ryho use. The tattoo drove Koujaku insane and he killed most of the clan members, including his mother. When arriving at Platinum Jail he noticed the girls had tattoos made by Ryho (he have a very special style) which is the reason he went with them. All this time he have been looking for the person responsible for killing his mother.

They get to the top floor and as expected Ryho is there waiting for them. Turns out Toue got a part to play in his mind controlling tattoo ability. Koujaku is aggravated by Ryho's comments until he finally flips and goes berserk. His body size doubles, ripping off his kimono and the tattoos on his back are going crazy. Aoba pleads for him to stop and even after killing Ryho, Koujaku is not satisfied. He turns for Aoba and once again cornered, Aoba uses his Scrap ability to enter his friend's mind.

I had a hard time during Koujaku's route. He was supposed to be Aoba's childhood friend but it feels to me as he almost ended up being the worst friend of all (except Mink of course). I know he got the biggest fanbase out of everyone but...I don't know, I guess he just doesn't feel very trustworthy to me. ヽ(ー_ー )ノ Maybe it's the hair fetish

A strange but very charming guy with extremely good hearing who calls Aoba "Master". He is a bit of an airhead and sometimes say illogical things, but you can tell his heart is in the right place.
The night before they leave for Platinum Jail, Aoba hears someone singing outside his window. It's a soft, gentle lullaby. It was Clear standing outside with his umbrella (Despite no rain, he is afraid the stars might fall down).He tells Aoba about his grampa, whom raised him and taught him everything he knows, including the song.

After finding their apartment in Platinum Jail, both of them are very tired and turn in early.
When waking up the next day Aoba find Clear in the kitchen cooking - with nothing but an apron on. Aoba punches him in the face and tells him to cut the crap out lol.

So they start to investigate things about Toue, and since Clear is an airhead he goes around asking dangerous gangs if they know how to break into the Oval Tower OTL. One of the punks wants money for the information, and when Clear denies, he attacks him. They start kicking Aoba as well, who didn't realize they were standing behind him. Clear gets extremely angry seeing his Master hurt and almost kills the guy, if it weren't for Aoba stopping him.

And what does Clear look like under the mask? Tadaa~
The next day the continue searching but end up meeting the same gang from yesterday. This time they came prepared. They beat both Aoba and Clear, saying how if the gasmask don't 't do as they say, they would hurt his precious Master. Clear agrees and Aoba desperately tires to help as the gang pour acid on Clear, the smell of burning skin in the air. But Clear just stands up calm and asks if they are done. Frightened, the punks run away, leaving a panicking Aoba with his friend.

Clear insists that everything is fine and that the damages are zero, but Aoba insists on him taking of his mask and washing his face just to make sure his skin isn't burnt. Clear gets extremely cautious and explained that his grandfather told him never to take his mask of no matter what. Underneath, he is a monster and he don't want to risk scaring Aoba off in any way.
Being the sweetie that he is, Aoba tells his friend that he would never hate him or run away from him, no matter what he looked like. He trusts him and will always be there for him.
So Clear takes off the mask slowly, studying Aobas reaction. After a moments of silence, Clear says
"I'm different after all, aren't I?"
"You're wrong. There is nothing different with you. You look beautiful"
"R-Really? Have you looked properly? Are you sure?"
"Yes. You look just like me and everyone else. Normal."
"I'm...normal? Honestly?"
Clear starts crying and Aoba just smiled gently the entire time.

(´;ω;`) God I cried like a mofo here.
Clear had his mask on the day after, and Aoba couldn't help but comment. Clear says he is still feeling nervous and his grandfathers instructions echoes in his head, but if Aoba wishes for it, he will take it off. He continues by asking Aoba a personal question, what the difference between life and death is. Clear says he sometimes is afraid to go to sleep, thinking that he might never wake up again.
Aoba says that there isn't a correct answer to the question, but from the sound of it Clear sounds scared of something. But since he is scared, it also means that he treasures what he have. Even if life is scary sometimes and bad things happened, you try to get by it day by day, sorting out your feelings.

They turn on the TV later, thinking the news may have some clue on Toue. And there on the screen is the man they have been searching for. He is talking about some upcoming event and music starts playing which causes Aoba to get extreme headaches. That other voice inside of him also starts talking and he almost passes out from the intense feeling. Clear notice something is wrong and turns the TV off, running to Aoba's side. Clear said that was a music called Dye, a special music made by Toue to control people. Clear asks if he can ease Aoba's pain in any way, and his Master says he wants to hear Clear sing again.

It was raining outside when Aoba woke up. The house was empty so he goes out to look for Clear. He finds him in an ally talking to two guards, to his surprise looks like a copy of him. The two Clear clones starts mocking Aoba, asking Clear how the hell he could chose this person as his master instead of Toue. Clear screams that he doesn't belong to Toue but is interrupted when the two clones starts singing Dye music. Aoba falls down to his knees and tries to keep the music out, but the nauseous creeps on him and he can feel his body going numb. They stop after tormenting him for awhile, saying they will be back for Clear later and that he shouldn't forget about his true master.

Clear apologizes and admit he have been keeping secrets from Aoba. As Aoba might have suspected before, he is not human. He is a cyborg made by Toue to control people with Dye music. But when he heard Aoba's Scrap voice calling out to him, he realized Toue was not his master at all.
Clear tears up and says he was afraid Aoba would abandon him if he knew that he wasn't human.
Aoba smiles reassuring and says he will always be there for Clear, no matter what. Clear says he wants to call Aoba by his name from now on and they share a sweet kiss in the rain.

They both get a mail from Toue with an invitation to the Oval Tower directly after. The two of them head there, not wanting to waste any time. As expected, Toue is waiting for them on the top floor.
He says Clear is defected to think anyone else but himself could be his master, after all, he created him. Toue explains to them that Clear was a corrupted robot which was thrown away, but before they could burn his body a man found him and was able to start him up again. The man, whom Clear known as granpa, told the android to always hide his face in order to protect him from Toue.

The two clones from before enters the room and says they are new upgrades, far superior to Clear. Toue orders the "brothers" to give their long lost brother a welcome back gift. The robots attacks both Clear and Aoba without hesitation and move incredibly fast. Laughing at Clears poor attempt to strike back, Toue explains he have a protection program inside of him, making it impossible to attack his fellow robots. Clear is stuck with an idea and turns smiling to Aoba. His mouth forms the words "I'm sorry, Aoba-san" and as he shoves the knife to the side of his head he can hear Aoba screaming his name. Without even being aware of it, Aoba activates Scrap and finds himself inside Clear's mind.

Clear ended up stealing my number one spot out of the guys. I got a thing for androids/cyborgs since way back so when I found out he was one it just made me happier. He also loves jellyfishes which ironically I do as well (´∀`)♡.  I honestly didn't really have a clue what his route was going to be like before reading some comments on forum. His track in the drama CD made me tear up again. It takes place before they go to Platinum Jail and is about how Clear shows Aoba his secret spot on top of the roof. His route goes from comedy to love to seriousness and ends with bittersweet tears. Just a perfect read if you ask me.

Big, silent guy known who is the leader for his team Scratch. He got a pink parrot with him which is his All-mate.
The day after arriving in Platinum Jail, Mink goes off without saying anything. Aoba follows but Mink stops him when reaching a club. He tells Aoba to run away and play and that he is doing "adult stuff". Aoba get's pissed for being treated like a kid and when Mink says he is here to find out about a drug, Aoba insists on going with him.

In the club the music is awfully loud and the two of them get a VIP room. They barley have time to sit down before Aoba feels like throwing up and his whole body is numb. He tires to leave but blacks out on the dance floor where two douchebags starts kicking him. Mink sighs and forces him to stand while complaining what a fucking baby Aoba is for not being able to handle Dye music.
The other side of Aoba suddenly comes out to play and the "good" effect of the drug starts working. Aoba whispers in Mink's ear to rape him as hard as he can until he is completely broken and can't feel anything else but his dick inside him. Not missing out on an offer like that, Mink takes Aoba to an empty hallway and do as he was asked while asking if Aoba always was such a dick loving slut from the beginning.

Next day Aoba doesn't remember much but he is left with the feeling that he wasn't acting like himself. Mink have a clue on something big going down with Scratch, so Aoba decides to follow.
They get to an abandoned warehouse where the gang have stored tons of illegal weapons and suddenly Aoba realize that he don't want to get involved in this.
The police raids the place and everyone is shooting at each other. Mink hands Aoba a gun but the guy insists on not wanting to hurt anyone. Mink gets his hands on a megaphone and tells Aoba to use his Scrap powers. Without thinking it trough, he does, but this also effects Mink's team members.
The two of them escapes and back at the house Aoba apologizes for messing up. Because of him, almost every Scratch member was taken by the police.

As a way of saying "Hey, don't beat yourself up about it. We all make mistakes", Mink calls Aoba a pussy and emo faggot, punches him in the face and rapes him violently against the wall. While he does so he says he wants Aoba to remember that he is in charge and that he is the one giving him this pain.

Next day Aoba hears Mink talking on the phone. He sneaks up close and hear Mink talking about "handing someone over." Not leaving anything to chances, Aoba decides to escape later that night. Mink can't be trusted. But Mink was already onto him and was waiting outside. He drags Aoba back to the apartment and beat him up until his face is covered with blood. Mink then processed by raping him so hard and sudden that the poor kid blacks out. That other voice inside Aoba wakes up instead and laughs like a manic at Mink. He says Aoba won't be submissive no matter how hard or many times he gets raped. After that, he disappear and leaves Mink with a unconscious Aoba.

When he open his eyes Aoba finds himself tucked in bed with Mink sitting beside him smoking. He feels dizzy but is still happy Mink is there and thinks that maybe he isn't such a bad guy after all.
Aoba falls asleep again but feel Mink reaching his hand out and stroking his hair before leaving.

They decide to attack Oval Tower the following night and they get in by jumping across town with Mink's rocket motorcycle. They land just below the top floor but there are already guards there shooting at them. Luckily the two of them are able to escape to the fop floor without any wounds. Toue is waiting for them in a big room.

He greets both Aoba and Mink, welcoming them to his city. He is happy to see Mink doing so well for "being the last survivor". Mink growls and Toue continues; Mink is the last survivor of "the family clan of gods". His family had the knowledge of secret herbs that could both heal and do other incredible things. The herbs also affected their blood which made it special. Toue wanted to know about the herbs but the clan only allowed faithful and people chosen by god to have it.
So Toue brutally killed everyone and destroyed their village. But the scientist failed and couldn't find anything special about the herbs at all. It was almost like it was a miracle.

Toue laughs bitterly and asks what Mink want in return for information on the herbs. He can have anything he wants. But the survivor is only interested in revenge, so Toue calls his two robots to sing for them. Mink and Aoba collapses on the floor by the Dye music when Aoba suddenly have a flashback.

It was when during the time he played Lime. His named used to be Sly Blue and one day his Scrap powers went out of control. He can hear the police officers talking behind his back about the victim
"Yes, his mind is completely broken. Very heavy brain damage. He might never wake up again".
Aoba screams that it wasn't his fault and suddenly he is back to reality.
Mink is staring out in the empty room and doesn't seem to hear him at all.
Have the Dye music completely taken over his mind? Aoba decides to use Scrap to try to save him.

Uh, yeah...that was..weird. Mink's character isn't really clicking with me at all and Aoba's sudden love for him by the end of the game is to me very unrealistic. I honestly just wanted to get his route over with. A weird thing is that in the game folder you can see 2 unused CGs with Mink which is supposed to be his non-rape sex in the epilogue, but they cut it out. Wonder why?

True Route
The true route is a special character that only is capturable after finishing everyone else's routes.
I was honestly a bit surprised and had no idea that he had a route until I actually got my game.
The true route is basically a mash-up of the other guys route except that it holds the answers to every question you had up until now.

In the true route Aoba goes to Platinum Jail alone. After he arrives Ren starts acting very strange and very emotional. The two of them have had a routine of nuzzling after finishing a check-up, but suddenly Ren starts rejecting him. Aoba thinks Ren is damaged from Lime fights and promises to fix him when they get home. In the mean time he goes to an All-Mate store in Platinum Jail to see if they have any old spare parts.

When they get there Aoba is impressed with the new models. Super high-tech and expensive with new features and accessories. Ren suddenly runs off hurt by the fact that Aoba seems to prefer new models compared to him, since he is a very very old one.
While Aoba is running around he stops next to a sleeping man on the street. The man had snow white skin and looks at Aoba with grey sad eyes. Something happens at that point. It's like a shock went through his whole body. Aoba hears something and shouts Ren's name, but when turning his eyes back, the spot where the man sat is empty.

Ren appears and says he is indeed feeling a bit strange. Aoba says not to worry and promises a thousand times to fix his hardware when they get home. They turn on the TV back at the apartment and sees Toue making a announcement for an upcoming event. Beside him is a very familiar man, but Aoba can't remember where he seen him before.

They go to the event the following night and  listen to when Toue announces that his son, the heir of Toue cooperations, is here. Aoba recognizes it's the same man whom he met earlier. Just like before, he get a strange feeling when watching him. Big screens all over the city zoom in on the young mans face. Aoba get extreme headaches and everyone in the crowd is suddenly hypnotized. A moments later everyone is cheering and screaming they love Toue and his his. Toue announces that "the poor, poor, outside people" will receive a live watching too. Knowing Tae and all his friends back at the District will get brainwashed when watching, Aoba decides to stop Toue.

On the elevator up to Oval Tower's top floor, Ren is awfully quiet. Aoba asks whats wrong and suddenly notice pixels covering his All-Mate's eye. Ren says he didn't want to worry Aoba and runs off further into the building. Aoba uses his Scrap power over and over and until his headache is extreme. The other voice inside of him starts talking but Aoba screams for him to shut up and that that other voice isn't him. He turns around to find Ren shut down after a guard kicked him. Sad but determined to fix it, Aoba picks up Ren and continues running.

He finds himself in a strange lab with tanks. Inside of them were weird creatures, everything from Aliens to mermaids. Aoba hears a voice calling for him and is about to run when Virus & Trip stands in the doorway. Guards quickly surrounds Aoba and captures him. Turns out Virus & Trip are the leaders behind Morphine after all. They talk about how happy Toue will be, now that his family is finally back together. Aoba is confused and the two twins laugh at him, saying he is just as cute as usual. Aoba is actually one of Toue's creation. He and Sei, the young man from before, are actually twins. They were created to be gods, with the power to control and manipulate other human beings. Aoba does this by using his voice (aka Scrap) while Sei uses his eyes. This explains the event before when the whole city was manipulated by a look from him.

Aoba and Sei were connected by their hair when being born (like Siamese twins) and when they cut it off both of them died. But Sei awoke a moment later so Toue kept him while telling the scientist to get rid of the dead baby. Tae had a feeling something was wrong and wanted to have a proper funeral for the child, so she took him home. A few hours later Aoba came back to life and Tae decided to raise him as her own. Aoba represent death while Sei represents life. They are each others opposites yet their mind is one.

Out of nowhere, the door flies open and Koujaku, Noize, Clear and Mink runs in and saves Aoba. They get to a safe room and after checking everyone is alright and Noize starts asking about Ren. They try to start him up again which to their surprise works. But Ren is not the same anymore. He howls and growls at Aoba. The dog bites his hand and Aoba gets the feeling Ren isn't even a part of the machine anymore. Ren is a part of him.
Lime is suddenly activated and a bunch of defected All-Mates stand there, ready to attack. Noize explains a virus which makes your All-Mate have feelings and a conscious is spreading quickly in the area and guesses that it got to Ren too.

Aoba decides to use Scrap on himself, sensing that Ren is inside his mind somehow. He sees himself in the reflection of Koujaku's sword and goes deep inside his mind. He finds Ren but his voice doesn't reach out to him. An error appears in front of him asking questions considering his All-Mate and screens showing how life was through Ren's eyes was. He was always watching Aoba, never being able to reach out or protect him the way he wanted to.

They reunited after passing the questions and Aoba now understand how Ren feels. Ren explains he was originally a part of Aoba's soul, a voice he used to talk to as a child. Ren's sole purpose was to watch over and protect him. But as the child grew up the voice he used to talk to faded and Ren desperately tried to find another way to talk to him. One day Aoba found an empty and shut down All-Mate, which Ren transferred to. He could now continue to talk to Aoba and be close to him just like before.

Everything was fine until that fateful day when Aoba's power went berserk during a Lime game. He became afraid of himself and what he could do, shutting away that part of himself. Thus "Scrap Aoba" was born. Virus & Trip erased both Aoba's and Ren's memories to make sure it would never happen again. With time Ren became a soul of his own, believing he had been an AI his whole life. When the virus attacked him, his memories and feelings returned but he didn't know what to think of it. The two of them return to the real world and finally go to the top floor.

Ren's route was pretty unsuspected but I really enjoyed reading it. You couldn't really predict what would happened next and the pace in the text was good. The final showdown might have been a bit anti-climax, but I guess you can't have everything.

One thing that I really liked was the information about characters that flashed by when meeting them for the first time. It's a quick and nice way to introduce them and fits the sci-fi setting.
There are some scenarios in the game where you only got 10 seconds to pick your choice. Nitro skip comes in handy as usual when replaying the game. Most character got one bad and one good end and there is also a 3P-end with Virus and Trip. (/^▽^)/

Final Score:
Story 8/10

My overall impression of the story is good, but there are a lot of things they could work on. The fact that all the routes (except the true one) is just a build-up makes me somewhat bitter. All of the routes also had the exact same layout which made it very predicting and a little bit more boring to read. That being said, the characterization in the game was simply wonderful. Noize was the one who made the biggest impression on me in that apartment and he was easy to relate to. Even before hearing his story you could pick up bits and hints about what kind of life he had and why he is the person that he is today. Him going from cold and suspicious to in the end trusting Aoba and believing in himself was really nice.

Ren's human form inside of Lime
The story in general had good writing in a way that it told information without being in your face. I also liked how Dye music were present in both Clear's, Koujaku's, Mink's route. DMMD is almost like a puzzle game up and the more routes you finish the closer you are to the finale. The events felt natrual and so did the characters reaction. One problem I had was how most of the routes included them going to Platinum Jail to fight Toue - but then forgot once they were there. The game is also very short compared to the rest of N+C games, even though True Route have an extra couple of hours towards the end. 

Music 9/10
Upbeat, fast techno music is how I would describe the OST. Even the slower tunes had a synth and ambient feeling to it. The bad ends had special songs which non really appealed to me except Clears. The opening song of the game is really good though.

Art 9/10
A very different approach by Nitro+Chiral compared to their earlier color palette. It's very bright colors and looks much more cartoon-ish than the other titles which works surprisingly well with the theme and storyline. The backgrounds were very pretty as well and Platinum Jails habitants changed look depending on which area you were in. The UI and color scheme in the game is extremely fitting and that alone raised a point.

Voices 8/10
Kisaichi Atsushi is Aoba's seiyuu and I think he did a really good job. Scrap Aoba have a much deeper voice which he pulls off without sounding restrained. Hino Satoshi also deserves a mention for his cool and raspy voice as Noize. At times it was a bit too quiet but most of the time he sounded very seductive and nice~

Total: 9/10
DRAMAtical Murder might not place as number 1 or 2 on my favorite Nitro+Chiral list, but that doesn't mean it's an enjoyable game. With good characterization and a solid plot I would recommend DMMD to anyone who is interested in it. I'm looking forward to see what game Nitro+Chiral makes next!


Usagi said...

"The other side of Aoba suddenly comes out to play and the "good" effect of the drug starts working. Aoba whispers in Mink's ear to rape him as hard as he can until he is completely broken and can't feel anything else but his dick inside him. Not missing out on an offer like that, Mink takes Aoba to an empty hallway and do as he was asked while asking if Aoba always was such a dick loving slut from the beginning."

I-I'm laughing so hard I'm crying sdgksf. But anyway I agree with you about Mink's route. It felt like there were different writers for each scenes and they mashed them up all together messily. Sometimes I also really can't relate to Aoba in his route. One moment he's like "Oh god this guy is crazy, let's get away fast!" and then in the end he's like "I love you so much so please don't die."...(*゚ェ゚)?

I agree with everything you said about Noise. Ahh, such a wonderful erogaki he is. ♥ I think the writers favor him the most since he's got two ero scenes and fluff everywhere in his route. XD The entire route made it feel like the two are seriously meant to be LOL. And Clear's...ahh, I agree with everything you said about him too! ;A;

I think Nitro+Chiral were really going all out for DMMD. I mean we had a lot of new stuffs and kinks going on in here - power play, 3P end and so on. I'm totally satisfied with all that though. XD Great review!

Yumii said...

Lol maybe I should just start writing ragereviews instead, because Mink's route was just (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ

Only thing I was a bit surprised with was that Noize got a slapstick comedy ending. I mean it was super cute and all, but I think a serious one would have worked as well.

Yeah I'm really happy I got the game after all and it was a good read with good characters and many emotions put into it.

So with fantasy, horror, action and now sci-fi crossed off the list, I wonder what genre N+C will pick for their next game?

Anonymous said...

My favorite character is by far Clear. It's such a beautiful story, I have never cried so hard in my entire life. I think they should make this story an anime, it would sell well in my eyes. On about every part in Clear's route made me cry like a baby, it's not easy to do that to me. Even though Clear was not born human, he seemed to me to have more compassion than any human I have ever witnessed. He is so beautiful inside and out and has an amazing heart.

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