Cartagra review

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I present to you, a review of (in my opinion) the best mystery horror VN ever made, Cartagra, by Innocent grey.

Premises: You, Takashiro Shoujo, is hired to be the bodyguard and detective of a rich actress named Kohzuki Kazuna, who wants to go to Tokyo to find her long lost twin sister (whom the family already told you is dead).  The twist? Her twin sister is your lover from years ago, gruesome murders are occurring in the city, and for some reason they are all connected to you…

Characters:

Kohzuki is the daughter of a rich and quite powerful family, and her dream is of being a great actress. She’s quite cheerful and child-like, and she is the main heroine of the story.Even if you don’t know it, she has a very deep connection to the strange mysteries that are happening within the city…

A shy young girl who works at the brothel you’re staying at (you know the owner and the rent is very cheap), Hatsune has very little involvement with the murders, and her path is the only happy ending in the story, even if, or perhaps because,  it does not reveal the person behind the murders.

Nana’s your sister, she loves you, and I don’t mean the sisterly way. She’s extremely intelligent, can be quite cruel at times, and is quite proud of her fighting skills.I ntrigued by the murders, Nana goes to investigates them, not knowing of what it was going to lead to. She has an ending, but it is considered to be a bad ending.

You can see the minor characters here.

Story:

The story is that of a suspenseful horror mystery, having its setting in Tokyo several decades ago. Filled with (often gruesome) details , it’s absolutely addicting to read. The murders are described in detail, and that coupled with the torture scenes makes this game not fit the the faint of heart. You are led on by the writers, who make you think you’ve discovered the true killer, only to discover it is a read herring. Almost all the characters have more than one side to them, and each has little quirks that makes them come alive.ev00039

The true ending is absolutely mind blowing, discovering the true mastermind is like discovering the true identity of Kid in Ever17 or the true identity or Oyashiro-sama in Higurashi. I was absolutely amazed at how every little detail was wrapped up and how well placed the hints throughout the story had been.

However, one has to keep in mind that this is an eroge after all, and there are many h-scenes, almost every bad ending has its own h-scene, and just about every female character joins one of them. There are also many bad endings that has its own h-scene. Unfortunately, I went through all of them and I have to say that in order to fully enjoy the game, I’d recommend getting a walk through and avoiding the bad endings.

Art:

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Let’s face it, the art is STUNNING. The character art is delicate and beautiful, and the quality of the background art rivals that of Fate/stay night. The tone of the art, which leans towards colder colors, reflect the season and the style of the story very well, and I have no complaints other than that I wish there were more event CGs.

Music:

You can see the lyrics here.

I loved the music in Cartagra, which happens to be, in my opinion, the best music I’ve ever heard in an eroge. The styles vary from pop to jazz to rock to techno and even has some xylophone thrown in for good measure. The tracks marry well with the atmosphere. and while there isn’t an track that will get your blood boiling, there are some really beautiful pieces of music.

Programming:

The system was easy to use and the menus were stylish. However, there were very little effects used and no falling snow (save for the opening menu). I thought the transition between scenes were a bit slow at times, but that wasn’t a big problem. A feature that I liked was how when you go to the voice menu, turning on a voice gives you a message from the voice actor.

Story:9.5×5=47.5/50

Art: 10×3=30/30

Music: 9/10

Programming: 7/10

Total: 93.5/100 A

jumpc_mlg0203Over all, this was an amazing game that I’d recommend to anyone who can read Chinese or Japanese,  doesn’t have a heart problem and is of legal age. And since there’s a translation project started on this game, there’s a good chance the English audience will get to enjoy it one day.

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13 thoughts on “Cartagra review

  1. Pingback: translation project for cartagra « nice_tea’s visual novels

  2. I was stunned by the 5th picture! O_O
    Just watched the youtube video; character design and the stylish art would be my major reasons for getting this. Geez, the pictures (minus the 5th picture) would make great wall papers/banners.

  3. Pingback: Chinese Visual Novel Translation Scene | when Ritsuko times out

  4. You should make a complete review of Nagomibako. I’m very curious as to how Rin’s better ending turns out, or what it takes for Shugo to reconcile with Yura, or who this new “Shiori Minami” character actually is.

    • I’ll see if I can, when I get a chance to play it again.

      Now, my memory’s a bit fuzzy, so don’t quote me on this. Rin…doesn’t really have a better ending. It’s kind of a prequel or something of the sort, so the crap that happens to her still happens. It didn’t take anything for Shugo to reconcile with Yura, he was fully supportive of everything that she did (cannibalism and all) from the very beginning. Shiori is a family member of a certain character. I won’t spoil it, but it’s pretty funny when you find out. She’s the main character of the third and very light-hearted crossover story that takes place in Nana’s school. It’s good for a laugh, but doesn’t really add to the story of Cartagra or anything.

      • That’s too bad. I thought that Rin (and Aoki or Takako from Cartagra) would have better endings in the Nagomibako fandisc. It was much too bad that you couldn’t have a good ending with any of those characters in Cartagra.

        I don’t think Yura engaged in cannibalism herself, though. Maybe you could e-mail me with details about the crossover story, since it’s highly unlikely that it’ll ever be translated. The game CGs for that story are quite odd-looking too.

  5. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was once a entertainment account it. Glance advanced to far introduced agreeable from you! However, how could we keep up a correspondence?

  6. I will be grateful for answers.

    Cartagra:

    The very beginning of the game.
    Can know who is buried? Who is this girl?

    Who killed Takako?
    Impaled on rods.

    • It’s been a few years so I might have remembered incorrectly, but the one who was buried was a woman that looked like the older sister, that the older sister used to fake her death with the people she was with at the time (this occurred before the main story began). And it is also the older sister who killed her because Takako looked like she was getting too close to the protagonist and the older sister was jealous.

      • Older sister = Yura? That killed the woman had a name?

        You can write someone Yura killed during the game?

        Fortunately, that in Nagomabiko is also a good ending with Yura. Maybe she was a murderer, but I liked this girl. 🙂

        Only kill Takako I can not forgive her.

      • The woman that was killed wasn’t named, as far as I can remember. It might not have been Yura physically doing it, but she definitely planned and arranged the killer.
        I don’t think that ending in Nagomabiko was a good ending… No matter what they’re going to end up unhappy.

  7. Both can not be happy. Yura or Kazuna.
    In Nagomabiko Kazuna comes back or not. If she does not come back it is a happy ending with Yura.
    Shugo is with her when she awoke.

    In the path of Kazuna he was not with Yura during her wake.

    You can write what people Yura killed during the game?

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