A Look At – Boku no Kanojo Wa Gatenkei – Neverending True Romance

The year of 2012, late autumn. Tanaka Masashi, an architect, and Tanaka Misaki, a beautician, are in their third year of marriage. Masashi is invited with his wife on a friendship trip to an onsen by Aida, an executive director of the construction company, a frequent business partner of Masashi’s firm.

The year of 2016. During the time when Misaki starts systematically being late in her way from work, Masashi finds an unexpected item in his own bedroom…

(Boku no Kanojo wa Gatenkei is an NTR Visual Novel, originally released by ELF in 2011)

There’s a particular meme that permeates the community regarding ELF (as I am wont to do, I shall mention that they are the creators of classics such as Yu-No, the -Saku series, the Dragon Knight series and Words Worth), which goes like this – “ELF used to be an industry powerhouse, until they foolishly inserted NTR into their pure love moege. This caused their ironic downfall into transitioning into a niche NTR company, until they were finally unable to make ends meet and shut down.”

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A Look At – SuccuSeka – Sartre in Monstergirl Land

Enjoy a new succubus adventure game—
a thrilling heroic fantasy that takes an erotic twist as irresistible succubi train you in pleasure!

Resist temptation! If you fail and give into temptation, your journey might come to an end quickly. But! Multiple endings means all you have to do is try your best to resist again.
Be careful, the situations are indeed… tempting…

SuccuSeka ~Resist Succubus Temptation~
(Original Name: サキュせか ~誘惑に負けないで:サキュバスに管理された世界で~)
is a fantasy Visual Novel by Doujin Circle Wakaba Shoukei, originally released in 2021

Visual Novels can be a bit exhausting as a hobby – they’re generally very long, multi-route affairs, with an expectation that the player reads all of them in order to access the “true ending” of the game. With how common it is to see any given game being listed as 50+ hours on VNDB, seeing one listed as Short (2-10 hours) is a breath of fresh air.

Due to its short length, I shall be freely dropping spoilers throughout, so if you wish to experience this game unspoiled, it’s probably time to save this article for later.

SuccuSeka was an impulse play that lead to this impulse write-up, which is a bit ironic given the theme of the game. It was meant to be a palette cleanser in between “deeper” games, and nothing about its advertising present the game as anything more than popcorn material, so it might be curious as to why I’m writing about it, but I suppose by bringing this up I’m already signaling that I don’t quite believe it falls cleanly in the Nukige territory.

Not that you’ll believe it when you boot up the game, as it starts off with the main character Rei* and his childhood friend Meimei being teleported into a fantasy (?) world as a mysterious voice implores him to save the world, which isn’t going to win points for being as original as Tom and Jerry in 2023.

* Strangely enough, while marketing materials use what I believe is the accurate translation for his name, the game itself uses “Ray” instead.

Within five minutes of the Isekai happening, the protagonist and his galpal just stumble into houses where strange women make the flimsiest efforts to lure you into abandoned rooms to seal your fate. This happens like… four times, and every time you reach a Bad Ending, you get brought to the Succubus Room, or what I like to call “the Peanut Gallery”, where the same four women involved in these Sudden Bad Ends bicker with each other while offering advice on how to progress by pointing out the not very subtle clues you might have missed in the dialogue leading up to the choice, like the innkeeper accidentally muttering about how rare it is to have visitors (she’s not remaining in business due to generous government grants, it seems.)

For whatever reason, it’s the most amusing part of the game to me.

By the by, these ladies show up for a grand total of 5 minutes in the actual game – a fact which they point out themselves.

I sort of figured I had the rhythm of the game down at this point – it’s a game about being sharp, keeping your wits around you and a bit of light deduction going on so you don’t fall into traps, right?

Well no, not quite.

I want to say the game’s Steam blurb, with its tag line of “Who will you choose? Meimei(heroine) or other girls?”, is actually sort of misleading. Maybe intentionally so, because it presents the choice between “choosing your pure childhood friend” and “giving up to the temptresses” – if you look at that and are a veteran of the medium, you sorta get a certain impression on how the plot “is supposed to be” – a “pure love” route where the main character and heroine makes it out alright, and “standard nukige plot.”

But that’s kinda thrown out the window because very early on, the pair are attacked by an outright succubus (everyone before then presented themselves as human), who overpower them with her might, and the girlfriend is transformed into a succubus herself when she sacrifices herself buying time for the MC to escape. She actually ends up as this weird Yandere frenemy whom the protagonist tries to change back several times throughout the game but also has to reluctantly team up with at times.

The story takes a bit of a tonal shift after that – eventually, the protagonist is cornered by a different succubus and in desperation, taps into the inner power of the Yuusha* to unleash a holy light that… cures his attacker?

* This is a very Dragon Quest term that’s usually translated to Hero in English, but I have to be a weeb because I need to convey the exact cultural implications here

So SuccuSeka doesn’t actually take very long to turn into a character-based and more shounen-y plot where the hero tries to rescue the girls from their fate – turns out they aren’t born as succubus, which would usually be the assumption for monstergirl stuff, but were humans that have been transformed due to a curse. After becoming allies with the now cured girl, the hero goes around acquiring more of said allies by curing them, with the final goal of being able to lift the curse from the world.

Honestly I want to say it actually becomes sorta wholesome after this, naughty looking outfits aside. The opportunities to get a “bad ending” suddenly becomes a lot more scarce as the game goes on, and a lot of them also eventually just end with “ok, you die, fade to black and reload game?” instead of an elaborate, drawn-out description of the MC’s lewd fate as they would have in the early game.

(Strangely enough if you ignore every single bad ending in the game, I think there’s literately no sex scenes in the main plot, which isn’t something that happens very often – usually you’ll have at least one that’s unavoidable on the linear path, but they avoid it entirely here.)

Most interestingly, the game also uses the state of being a succubus as an allegory for descending into hedonism in order to run away from your pain. It’s not a hidden allegory that would require extensive literary training to uncover, or even basic high school education – they just discuss it outright.

A succubus exist in the state of having no self-control, acting entirely on impulse. There’s a scene where after losing in a battle, that particular succubus attempts to beg, bargain and grovel her way into convincing the heroes into allowing her to retain her state of being. Realizing that they have no intention of doing so, she desperately screams “DON’T TAKE MY HAPPINESS AWAY!” before she is bathed in the holy light.

Later, that same character reflects on the irony that when she was a succubus, returning to being a human was something that was the scariest thing to her in the world, but as a human, being changed back into a succubus is now what she fears the most. When the MC expressed some self-doubt at his actions, having seen glimpses of their tragic backstory that explains what they went through before they were transformed, wondering if he was really taking away their happiness as they claimed, she answers “No… it was like a state of being intoxicated all the time. I don’t intend to return to that life.”

Unfortunately I don’t think there’s a high resolution version of this image

I don’t really want to cover the entire game, though I could, because it’s honestly pretty short, but I will say the game throws some interesting world-building in the end. The curse is revealed to originate from an ancient battle between “God” and the Hero. They were originally lovers*, forced into a confrontation when “God” revealed to her his plans to “save the world from itself” by transforming the women into succubi, thus ensuring humanity would live simple lives of pleasure, with no pain, suffering or strife. The Hero rejects this, stating that a life of utter hedonism would be no better than a living death. They eventually strike each other down and with her dying breath, she realized that he could have just went ahead with the plan without her knowledge and be too late to stop – but he did so because he wanted to witness whose strength of conviction would win out in the end.

* Interestingly enough, the Hero is a woman. It’s usually a very male gendered title in Japan – I think the “Demon Lord” position ironically has more gender diversity overall with more women in the role.

I don’t know, I just think this is weirdly antithetical to a lot of monstergirl stories – they’re usually very tongue in cheek about the whole “Oh no, I’m the zech slave of this beautiful woman and I’m forced to spend the rest of my life boinking her with no worry of food / shelter / other needs for the rest of my life, woe is me, what a terrible fate!” endings.

Yet in the main plot, the game asks you to question whether that’s a life truly worth living, when normally it’s presented as a casual fantasy to wave your primate to before you go back to slaving away for $$$ in your real life. Well…

The game, unfortunately, ends with a cliffhanger – as it turns out, where the MC is the “chosen one” of the Hero, his girlfriend is likely the “chosen one” of God, and becomes the new “final villain”, and it sets up a future conflict with the stakes of whether he can succeed in his original goal of returning to his original peaceful life.

However, while Re;Lord has the benefit of being completed in Japan, with localization being the only task remaining to complete, SuccuSeka is 2 years old in Japan and its creator doesn’t seem to be rushing to conclude this serialized story anytime soon – according to VNDB, it’s the one and only game created by this indie company for now. Oh well.

They forgot to translate the character profiles

The thing that most fascinates me about this game is that I have an inkling it wasn’t originally intended to be the way it is, that it was part of a bigger project before they had to recompile and push it onto the market. There’s a lot of factors, but the biggest one to me is, funny enough, the peanut gallery characters.

Why? Because they’re overly detailed for their role as complete throwaways in the plot – my favourite is this Elf Archer woman, whose Elf Archerness is not actually used in the scene that she’s in. No one seems to point out that she’s an Elf (the native inhabitants from Yapan clearly recognize Succubus as being supernatural creatures that don’t exist in the “real world”, but Elves, apparently, do not cause even a blink of an eye) and neither does having a quiver full of arrows and a bow come into play at all.

The other characters are a mommy MILF innkeeper, and strikingly, an armored warrior-type who’s the owner of a weapon shop, and a high ranking PriestessNun – so… a Fighter and a Healer. On the DLSite page, these characters have a full character preview write-up that’s a little too fleshed out for their actual role in the game (and one of them has a sprite that was never actually used in-game from what I can tell)

My gut feeling tells me that this might originally have intended to be a more “traditional” RPG story with an adventuring party and when that fell through, their character designs were reused to the most fitting roles they could come up with, which didn’t end up meshing with the new story.

We may never know the true story tho………

Anyway long story short – I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Is it mind-blowing? Probably not, I don’t want to sell the idea that this is deconstruction on the tier of Dark Hero Party, and you can see a lot of the “this was meant to be something else, I know it” cracks, with reused CGs and “text only” scenes which feels like there was some budget cuts here and there. I like what it tried to do though, so good enough for me.


Originally, I had figured the series abandoned due to the VNDB listing, with the English release simply a way to earn additional income from an already completed project. However, I decided not to be lazy and actually look up the developer’s social media.

Turns out like a lot of doujin circles nowadays, the creator has been looking into producing media in other mediums in order to supplement his income.

Now is time for Bum Reviews
With Lester B Bum

Interestingly, the two products being offered are all Allissia themed – she’s the Innkeeper character, if you forgot. Guess this truly is the age of the Mommy MILF audience.

One of them is an ASMR product, a rather common output of doujin circles due to its relatively low production cost, I assume, and the other is, funny enough, an NTR-themed CG/Illustration set that I assume is a prequel set before she turned succubus.

It also introduces the character Ange – Allissia’s daughter.

As it turns out, Wakaba Shoukei has already announced the next game – SuccuSeka TE Ground Zero (Can Kojimbo do anything original). Heck, the Trial version was just released last week.

Unfortunately, those waiting for the conclusion to the tale will have to wait, as Ground Zero seems to be a prequel – a tale revolving around Iece, a character that only appears during the non-canon parts of the original SuccuSeka, who can only be describe as a Space Loli Pope (TM).

The gimmick of the game seems to be regarding Ys Iece’s ability to receive visions – one of a timeline where the heroines go about their ordinary lives… and the other, where they are corrupted. Heck, at the start of the game, you are able to choose whether Iece herself is in human or succubus form. I’m definitely curious to see where this gimmick will lead to, though I would definitely prefer just getting the conclusion of the tale.

Incidentally, the trial is completely unvoiced at the moment, with plans for voice to be added later. I’m thinking this is a bit of a passion project rather than a profitable venture.

(Speaking of, the English version of SuccuSeka was unable to secure the rights to the voice acting for global release, which is not the first time this has unfortunately happened in Visual Novel history, see Majikoi. The good news is that a fan-patch is available to restore the missing voices and I highly suggest using it if you wish to play the game.)

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A Look At – Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei – A Non-Traditional Romance

Hikomaro is a doctor.
He is also a pervert.
One day, Sakimi, a construction worker, arrived at his office inquiring about a minor abdominal pain. Over time he gained her trust and began giving her advice about marriage life, eventually talking her into revealing her future plans of having children.
But being the pervert that he is, he soon takes advantage of that trust…

(Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei is a Netori Visual Novel, released by Elf in 2013)

Marosewaterlongname was a game that I picked up on a recommendation, and given the brand that I’ve seem to have built in modern day… well there’s basically only one reason anyone ever recommends me anything, so you can basically expect some fairly specific tags on this post.

The game’s name translates to “Maro’s patient is a blue-collar worker”, though I suppose in terms of cultural meaning I would probably translate that last bit to “tomboy”.

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Ramble Ral – Abaddon: Princess of the Decay

Here’s something for the Halloween season… I said, missing the deadline by a year when the game was still relevant… anyways!

Keeping it short, it’s an RPGMaker horror game inspired by Sweet Home for the NES, which, to be honest, is mostly known for being the inspiration for the President Evil series, rather than a game people actually played, but I digress.

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Ramble Ral – Frail Hearts: Versicorae Domlion

(Articles in the Ramble Ral section are presented “as is” with minor editing. For more information please see its section page. They will probably contain spoilers for the game in question)

In between niche RPGMaker games of a specific nature, quite a few of which I play for vaguely questionable reasons (such as “Amateur attempts at art is really fascinating to me”), I find myself weaving in those from a different background that are short, but hopefully interesting ones. Coming across Frail Hearts by chance and being attracted by a bite-sized experience, my opinion is that it’s actually fairly solid, though there are some strong flaws.

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SRW DB ENGAGE Rerelease!

To coincide with the Live a Live Remake, a new version of SRW DB, the premiere SRW Fangame (lie) featuring the Near Future scenario, now has a rerelease!

This version of the game now has a significantly improved English support, with many UI elements and text that were previously Japanese-only now translated into English.

Enjoy this blast from the past by downloading the game, right over at the SRW DB Page!

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A Look At – Re;Lord

This is a story where demons lived among the denizens of the world. And it’s the demon realm that was about to face an unprecented crisis when three “Witches of Ruin” suddenly appeared and invaded the demon country of Saarland.

Possessing power beyond what the demon kingdom could muster a defense against, Saarland had no choice but to surrender the region of Groessen to these invaders. The witches were not content to stop there as they also decided to make an example out of the demons by transforming them into stuffed animals to further rob them of their dignity.

Half a year has passed since the appearance of the witches. As if straight out of a fairy tale, the majority of the people of Groessen have been transformed into stuffed animals and live under the rule of the Witches of Ruin. It is up to Wilfried, son of the governor of Groessen, to lead his ragtag army into battle with the witches and liberate Groessen.

(This Article has been made possible by a kind backers on my Patreon!
Thank you DanKunX for your kind support)

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A Look At – Succubus Academia

Due to the sudden appearance of the seductive Succubi, the Academy begins to collapse due to the influence of the Dream World, becoming a dream-like setting where fantastic “monsters” roam for their prey. If unstopped, the “real” world will soon become nothing but a distant memory.

With no real means to battle them, the only hope for the Academy is for a human to satisfy them, in hopes of them leaving after devouring their fill. However, the only way to satisfy a succubus… is to be drained to death.

This is the story of the Chosen Sacrifices…

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Fire Emblem Fangame Roundup: Part 1

A Friendly Easygoing Guy

Hello and welcome to another installment of rounding up fangames. However, today we shall move on from the world of Super Robot Wars and set our sights on fairer shores for a change of pace: The Fire Emblem community.

More than a decade after the release of Fire Emblem 7 for the Gameboy Advance, this unassuming game spawned a dedicated community of fangames through modification of the original, with the game code being deeply dissected it’s only rivaled by Final Fantasy Tactics as an engine for fangame creation.

With how long the community has been around, so too has the attitudes towards strategy game design changed as experience in the hobby grows. While early attempts were rough due to major limitations such as the inability to change certain cutscenes, today FE fangame creators have access to many features such as mechanics from FE games both past and present and full control over the script, allowing them to easily build their dream game… if they’re dedicated enough.

Of course, with so many of them available, it might be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. The tastes of FE fans have changed, and I can safely say that simply slapping a smattering of underleveled, underequipped brigands on a wide open plain is no longer considered the pinnacle of game design. As usual, I hope this series will help bring attention to some that you might choose to consider, rather than be paralyzed by the wide spread in front of you.

Justice and Pride

Traditionally, going from the official Fire Emblem games to fangames tends to be a bit of a cultural shock. As fangames tend to be created by dedicated longtime fans of the series, there is a tendency towards a higher difficulty level overall, due to the expectations that anyone going into the field is already familiar with the concepts such as commonly accepted long-term strategic decisions – using the Jeigan rather than benching him, early promoting choice units (especially healers) in order to acquire more early powerhouse units, proper enemy baiting tactics and much more.

Justice and Pride is thus our starter introduction to the scene, as it refreshingly aims for a difficulty curve more similar to games like FE7, allowing players to enjoy themselves casually… without being a complete cakewalk like certain other games (Sacred Stones joke here)

J&P is also a good showcase to witness the QoL improvements that are now considered the de facto standards for GBA FE Fangames, especially for players coming in from the 3DS games with their massive breakthrough in that department. Some examples of such features are being able to press Select to view the total range of all enemies at once, view character Growth Rates and finally, the addition of a Fates-like skill system, perhaps the most impressive of the bunch, as only the final GBA game had implemented a rather rudimentary version of that feature.

The story of J&P does not end with this game, however, as additional games in the same universe such as J&P Gaiden has since been developed after the release of the original. Due to a change in design philosophy, I hesitate to recommend these games at this moment, but mostly due to the fact that I’m recommending J&P as a beginner’s game where the other games in the series lean more towards the “Experienced” side that’s usually the norm for FE Fangames. Feel free to check them out if you’re into that though.

The Four Kings

While new features are cool and exciting, not all fangames should feel obligated to use them, especially if they run counter to their personal design philosophy. While a very popular mechanic, some people consider FE’s skill learning mechanics to take away from the elegant simplicity of earlier games in the franchise.

One such fangame that eschews this feature in favor of its own take on character uniqueness is The Four Kings. And just what is its answer to the question of how to differentiate characters from each other without the sheer potential that having access to character skills gives you?

Unique weapons for each and every single one of the characters in the game.

Whether it’s Cielo’s Skyshot, a bow with an oddball 4 Range, Zachary’s Restrainer which deals half of the enemy’s HP on hit, Max’s Claymore, a massive blade that leaves the opponent no chance to counterattack or just the basic simplicity of Lionel’s Sabre, a sword effective against other Sword users, each character has a unique tool available only to them that grants them an edge over the competition.

Unit differentiation has always been something that Fire Emblem has struggled with, especially in earlier games where characters can start to blend in together and feel redundant due to the necessities of balancing around permadeath.

With that in mind, the standout feature of Four Kings fits snugly with the rest of the design in order to bring out the strength of its characters – due to the set-up of the game, most of the cast will see play in some form or another, with changes made to the standard FE mechanics to facilitate seeing your units as more than interchangeable pawns, such as an improved form of the Relationship mechanic where characters can get bonuses by being in close proximity with each other – in 4K, units are able to attain bonuses from a radius of 3 rather than 1, making it significantly easier to utilize them.

Coupled with strong mission design which require you to have a strong grasp of your units’ individual strengths and weaknesses, Four Kings is definitely a very solid fangame overall which really showcases its designer’s ethos and tastes when it comes to the Fire Emblem series. Just like J&P, Four Kings has additional games in its universe, such as the short prequel Deposition that you can check out after the main game if you are thus interested.

Void’s Blitzarre Adventure

Out of the games covered here today, this is by far the most “non-traditional” one, which also paradoxically requires one to be quite familiar with the general tropes of Fire Emblem to fully comprehend what it’s trying to do, and thus I have saved this for last.

VBA was created as part of a project known as a “Blitz”, a collaborative project where a group of interested creators team up in order to create a fangame under a very limited amount of time (to prevent schedule slippage and perfectionism), which is an original concept which I totally was not inspired by at all.

Due to the nature of the project, Blitz doesn’t have a plot to speak of, outside of the memetic “The Demon King killed my family!” line, which has become a running gag as the sole motivation of our heroes in similar projects.

Rather, Void’s strength lies in playing with many of the common FE gameplay tropes. For example, while a questionable idea, you can literally promote the main Lord at level 1 if you wish, as she starts with her special promotion item right from the very beginning of the game, a contrast to the common GBA FE criticism where they could only do so very late in the game through forced story events.

Or how about the starter Paladin character Leeroy, usually an invincible powerhouse in many other FE games. In VBA, he does have the massive power part down… in exchange for having god awful defenses, together with the pictured skill that will ensure that everyone and their dogs will hunt him down as a No.1 priority.

VBA’s gameplay is just wild overall – buyable Stone scrolls, which delivers an attack that petrifies enemies that can be used by anyone (thus meaning the only character stat that matters is Accuracy), Ballistas as drops, weird character/skill combinations, the list goes on. From a pure gameplay perspective this fangame is just a topnotch take on the usual Fire Emblem formula. I highly recommend it once you have some familiarity with the core FE systems under your belt.

That’s all for the first installment of the Fire Emblem fangame round-up! With such a wide variety to choose from, I hope this helps in taking your first steps into the wide world. As always, til next time.

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A Look At – No Tears Rebirth – A Revolution in the Republic

Theme of this Product – “Pure Love”

The hero rides on his adventure in order to prevent the revival of the lord of another dimension…

No Tears Rebirth is an indie/doujin RPGMaker by NoTearsProject released in 2017 (JP)

(This article will contain major spoilers past a certain point, please refrain from reading past the point if you wish to experience the game on your own)

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