Visual Novel Review: Merman's Captive

7/03/2015

I'm a sucker for underwater stories.

I'm not sure how many of you guys know that, but I'm completely biased about this kind of stories. I've always been fascinated with the ocean ever since I was a little girl, so stories that concern the deep blue sea are forever interesting to me.

That is why it's no surprise that I absolutely loved this little gem of a visual novel, The Merman's Captive. <3

Visual Novel Review Merman's Captive


Official Description: Cyn has always lead a pretty solitary lifestyle, never tending to worry much about anything, unless Sorren manages to get him wrapped up in some type of scheme. But when he's strapped for stones and in need of some fast cash, a seemingly easy retrieval job becomes much more than he bargained for. Now he's saddled with an insufferable mer who's[sic] only wish is to go home and get as far away from him as possible. The only way he's going to solve his problems is by selling the mer to the highest bidder. But can he really doom another soul to a fate he's been fighting against his whole life? Or will he finally give in and live up to his Noct heritage?

Features:
-Female and Male Routes
-9 different endings per character
-A morality meter that tracks the decisions you make

Rating: 13+ for mild blood, violence and language.


Likes:

  • Disclaimer: I absolutely adore stories set under the sea, so please forgive me if I adore this VN way too much.
  • The story was really awesome! (Okay, maybe I'm biased. But really, it was quite good.)
  • Lovable and unique characters-- each one was really interesting, with a background story of his/her own.
  • I just love the art style~
  • The morality meter is a new feature that I've only tried in one another VN-- The Pirate Mermaid, which is also a story set under the sea. (Somehow)


Dislikes:
  • It's incomplete. </3 I would have loved to play the boy route and get to know the other boy, too. </3
  • I personally think that Orla's sprite is too small compared to the other sprites, but maybe that's just me.


Visual Novel Review Merman's Captive
Orla? Wherefore art thou, Orl-- oh, there you are. Um, Soren? You arm is... um.
Thoughts:

First of all, I want you guys to know that... yes, I absolutely adore stories that have something to do with the ocean. <3 (How many times have I said that in this blog? Hahaha) As a swimmer, I could probably spend a whole week at the sea and never get tired of it. Oh, if only it was possible to see and breath underwater without having to bring those heavy tanks and wear those masks.

Secondly, I just want to say that I love, love, love Cyn.

Visual Novel Review Merman's Captive
Awww, cutie. Orla, stop looking at him like that.
It's more of a personal preference than anything, but I always find myself attracted to the seemingly bad boy types with a good heart. No, I don't want someone who's only nice to me and a jerk to everybody else (also known as "***holes" in real life)-- I just like characters who are misunderstood in stories, because they always turn out to have the most interesting character development plot-wise.

And Cyn is a very good example of that kind of character. From birth, he was raised in a very chaotic and hostile environment. Most of the merpeople around him are plain thieves, killers or just outright evil, so he's definitely grown up to be one tough fish. But he's the protagonist, so of course, he's not evil. He can be a jerk at times, though, but he really has a good heart.

On the other hand, our pretty female protagonist, Orla, is a captive from the neighborhood kingdom. She and her brother, Korcha, were kidnapped by Cyn to be sold as a slave, or probably something worse, but Cyn ends up being Orla's caretaker when she gets badly wounded in a freak accident which also... killed her brother. (It's dark, huhu, but this is one of the reasons why it's rated 13+)

Visual Novel Review Merman's Captive
Do you know how hot you are, Mr. Soldier? Oh why didn't you have enough screen time?!
Basically, the game is all about how Orla's fate is completely up to you. (Or Korcha's, although his route isn't finished yet so it's not available for a playthrough.) Based on your choices, Orla could either be freed, or subjected to a life of torture. (No kidding about this one.) There are actually plenty of dark undertones to this story, but nothing too graphic, so don't worry. Personally, I wish there was some sort of sequel or spin-off game, because I would really love to get to know more of Cyn's world and the other characters. No, really, could I please start a petition asking the creator to create more games in this setting? Hahaha. I want to read more mermaid stories. *sobs*

So, like I said, writing is where this VN really shines, but the art is just as good as well. Everything was done by one artist, and by everything, I mean all the backgrounds, and sprites, and CGs, so the whole game looks very clean and pleasing to the eyes.

There are a lot of endings, by the way! I got endings 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 9. My favorite has got to be Endings 5 and 9, though, because those are the good ones, if I remember correctly.

Visual Novel Review Merman's Captive

Aside from the writing and the art, which I both loved, the GUI is also pretty noteworthy here. It's nothing grand, but I like its simplicity and how it fit with the overall "hue" of the game. And though I didn't notice it that much, the soundtrack was also pretty fitting for this VN. There were actually some action scenes apart from the normal romantic scenes (hihi), so I was glad to hear that the tracks used in the different scenes actually fit the scenes. :D

Anyway, 9/10 strawberries. It's not perfect, and it's not even complete yet, haha, but I most certainly loved it! Would most probably play again for those pesky 3, 6, and 8 endings. -___-

Check it out here!

(P.S. This is a scheduled post.)

(P.P.S. I should put this as a full disclosure: Kingv, the creator of this VN, is the artist of one of the VNs I am writing the script for, but we are in no other way connected whatsoever. I've never even talked to him/her before. Hahaha. This review is my completely honest appraisal of this game.)

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