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Don't get me wrong, I didn't mean to completely discourage you or anything. I still liked some of the characters and their backstories, which kept me playing, and I think I finished all (!) of the routes after all. So I'm kinda like those people who 100% clear their plate at a restaurant and still complain about the food having been bad. ;)

Still, let me give you just two (of countless) examples when it comes to spelling, and that's Diane. I liked her route, so I found it a bit irritating that her name header - when she is saying something - would suddenly read "Diene" instead of "Diane". That's a bit much, you know?

Or one time Honoko says "I thought you would be more existed for it", when it's about their continuation of magic practice. Clearly, she meant to say something like "I thought you would be more *excited* about it". "exist" as in "to be present in this world" doesn't fit here at all.

See what I mean? And it's literally full of that, you'll get it every few lines. Had to play only for seconds to come up with those two mistakes just now.

However, if you do make another Yuri VN, I'll surely be back on board again, because I wanna see how you'll continue from here on out (and because I simply love Yuri). And I may critize again as well... Not sure if that's encouragement or a threat to you though, haha... ;)

Wow, I... I have no idea how I missed those... I guess I really should make sure to do editing when my head's clear rather than after all nighters.

I'm glad you liked some of it at least, and if you don't mind I would like to get more feedback on those parts as well (Characters, story etc.)

I will definitely be making more VNs in a future, I won't let one failure stop me. True I might take some time to improve my art first and to raise a budget to hire some help for my next project. (And of course, it will be GxG, I absolutely love GxG!)

(3 edits)

I just replayed parts of the VN to refresh my memory a bit so I can talk about different routes and characters.

First: !A WARNING! There are some spoilers in this first part of my post.

Second: I want a Mao route. ;) Somehow, for her character (because she is so animal/cat-like), the broken grammar even works in her favor, because it makes her more adorable. Actually, she was the first one I wanted to go for, but sadly, that wasn't possible...

Then, Diane and Honoko. Like most girls from this VN, those two should be discussed together. I liked them, because they had such a firmly intertwined past. That made it easy to imagine the rivalry between the two, which I guess has been going on for quiiite some time. Going for either of them feels a bit like a "childhood friend wins" ending (which I love by the way).

As for our "newcomers" Rena and Ria (sometimes called "Rie"?!), the right word for the two sisters would be "contrast". At first glance, one is warm and kind, the other brutal and cold. Their routes were quite short, but I liked their endings, especially Ria's. I guess I'm a sucker for her type of character, like a Kuudere spiked with a slightly more than healthy dose of jealousy and vengefulness. A character that gives you a strong shell you need to break through to get to the soft core - that's good, some people enjoy this type of person.

And what about our best friends, Iori and Nene? Hmm, to me they were the least interesting, even though Nene was quite fun (what with her teasing our girl and all that).

I guess my favorites would be Diane, Honoko and then on a very close 3rd place, Ria. So yeah, in that order. Although, depending on my mood, I might give that 3rd spot to Rena...

Alright, that covers the girls. Now as for the story... Hm. It didn't sit quite right with me. But for that, I guess I have to say:

!!!MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD!!!

The whole "virus" thing seems strange. Sure, humans are often brutal, but not everything physical is bad, so that's why I call this setup some kind of strange "spiritual elitism". If we take a look at how tremendously brutal both Lumen and Diane were in the past - they basically committed wide-scale mass murder, if not genocide - I can't see them as being any better than the worst regular humans would've been. One scene for instance quite graphically describes how Diane kills a crusader, fantasizing about "torturing him more".

Also, what is that so-called "virus" to begin with? In some parts it feels like the VN is trying to tell us, that "being a human is the virus itself". Because, the few humans shown in the Diane/Honoko route didn't seem infected at all. They seemed like the classic witch hunters we would imagine when thinking about a somewhat more fantastical medieval age, but nothing that seemed fundamentally wrong. Criminals maybe, from the players' point of view, yes. But clearly not more so than the magic wielders who decided to burn them to ash by the thousands (actually: tens of thousands, just to pay for one life that hadn't even been taken at that point!).

The VN goes ways to show us, how hideous and horrible regular human beings are supposed to be in this world, when compared to "pure, spiritual" ones, and that just rubbed me the wrong way, because it appeared to be too extremist for my tastes. This is especially true given the actions that the "more supreme beings" have committed before their ascension to Astral.

In my opinion, such people would probably go to the nine hells and become demons rather than gods. ;)

This went so far, that at some point I felt I should side with the normal humans, against this magic/spiritual supremacy thing, because the magic wielders seemed like the actual threat to life and safety of common people, and they seemed quite hateful too. They didn't even treat humans as intelligent, sane beings but just as things that need to be extinguished...

Astral itself (its system of ascension to godhood, and its division into several parts, the priest caste etc) was kind of well-crafted. I just don't feel right about what happened back on earth and the initial step of ascension based on the information given to me by the VN's storytelling.

Seems weirdly twisted, also the memory erasing thing. If a spiritual world like Astral erases some of my memory permanently, it feels as if it's trying to hide something very important from me. And I don't like that, as I wouldn't wanna lose even my bad memories - because they are a part of me, that shall not be taken from me. And how people just wholeheartedly agreed with the erasure didn't seem credible to me.

So that part of Astral seems a bit fishy in my opinion. If I were there myself, I would'nt want to learn more magic to ascend further, but to dissect and learn about Astral's own inner workings and true purposes first, because it didn't seem all peaches and cream to me. Almost like there are some horrors sleeping below that pretty-looking surface...

Because there was always this feeling... "Something here just isn't right".

Alright, that was a VERY long reply and a major wall of text, mostly full of subjective views and opinions, but I hope this can still help at least a little bit.

PS: I want a Mao route! ;) Mao is cutest! ;)

Thank you for the replay. It's really nice to get some feedback on my work.

First regarding Mao route, I did consider adding a route for her, but time just didn't allow it. By the time I finished those five routes I was already twice over the time I was originally planing to devote to making this VN (I worked on it for 13 months and had originally planed to make it in 6). I also considered doing something a long the lines of DLC routes for Mao, Nene and a new character later on, but sales don't justify to do that now.  Maybe someday in a future if I ever decide to do a full remaster... maybe...

As for the story,

In the world of this VN the more one advances spiritually the more one is intelligent, emotional, reasonable/sane, conscious, pretty much everything, and the opposite is also true, so yea the ones who have accepted a virus have so low of any of those that that they are beyond hope and just something to be extinguished witch is clearly understood by characters and the reason why they treat them as such. In this world there are only two possibilities for a future, advance and reach Godhood or case to exist, and virus embraced ones that have descended to such low levels that they have no chance of ever reaching Godhood and could as well not exist as it's only a matter of time before they do stop existing completely (True they already have so low consciousnesses that they current state could barely even be considered existing/living) and during that time they cannot contribute to anything, just destroy and taint everything they touch . They represent the worst of humanity but not in some subjective moral god or evil way more in an being small, pity, way, as if people who are only alive on the outside but completely and permanently dead inside and whatever they do they do mostly instinctively, making a world a worse place just by being in it. This VN doesn't really work in good and evil format, if anything advancing and becoming more is good doing the opposite is bad, everything else just is.  All in Astral aiming to reach Godhood, become creators of worlds, are beyond such concepts of good and evil, black and white.


PS: In Mao's case, broken grammar was intentional, that's just the way she talks. I'm glad you liked it.

Hmm, I'm still not sure if I can grasp the nature of that world. So what if I do not want to ascend (and not descend either of course), but just to live my merry life on Earth, because I like physical things (like physical love, food, drink, a warm breeze in spring, etc.), and because I'm happy with what I have? Do I still have to be eliminated then, even if I never chose to harm anyone? You say it's not "black and white" or "good and evil", but the fact that I have to make progress by force (towards Astral and divinity) or be extinguished is pretty binary in itself. There are no other choices? Feels wrong to me. What about freedom?

So if I want to just live peacefully (and physically), I cannot, because some higher being will always murder me, no matter what I do or don't do. That's kinda... I dunno... I don't get it? So I have to become a god first, then create my own (virus-free?) world just so I can go back to square one and get myself a physical body to enjoy my skinship, meat and beer. ;) And this time, nobody will kill me, simply because I'm far too powerful?!

I just don't get this at all.

Is the virus in this now-godless world the key? If so: What *is* that virus? What is its nature? How does it infect people? When Rena and Ria come to Astral, they seemingly came from a very advanced world (she spoke about phones once?). That means humankind can't be just some mindless mob, they're a thriving high-tech civilization pursuing scientific progress, which doesn't have reaching divinity as a goal, even though it might result in such a thing at some point in time...

The whole concept is very hard to understand (and hence accept) for me. Maybe because of my cultural background, I don't know - I'm from Europe, which has a Christian background and I'd call myself a secular pantheist. Maybe I'm wrong, but parts of your concept remind me of Buddhism. Never liked Buddhism either, it eludes my value system. Like Buddhism teaches us to reach "ascension" by ridding ourselves from all desire. To me, ridding myself of desire would mean death. No desire - no fun - no life.

While Astral isn't the same, the ascension to it it has a similar concept of getting rid of a LOT to get there, even very important things. Maybe that's why I don't like it? Hm.

Ah, sorry for my ramblings, I hope this doesn't annoy you. ;)

I don't mind at all, as I said it is nice having someone to talk to about my work.


I'll try to explain it a bit better.

Regarding no good and evil. Look at it this way, if you ware programing a game that has action in it, let's take a classical fantasy game for example, you would need both good and bad guys in it. Now if those characters in your game come to life, could you really judge/punish the bad guys for being what you created them to be? Even if you ware to give them a free will from begging and they choose to be bad by their own free will, you are still the one who made not only the possibility for them to be bad but also made it necessary for someone to be bad in that world for it to work the way you wanted it.  So in the end bad guys would still be doing exactly what you wanted them to do just as much as good guys. As a creator of worlds you would need to create both good and evil and therefore be above it yourself. Rather than something that should and shouldn't be done, both sides are necessary part of that world, neater less than the other.

Regarding choosing to not ascend, just staying were you are. Well in this world ascending, working on yourself spiritually is as basic as breathing, eating, drinking water, you can't choose not to do it without harming yourself (descending) nor is there any reason why would anyone choose not to do it. So to put your question with those examples it would be "You have to choose between eating or starving to death? There are no other choices? This world is forcing me to eat? What about freedom? " Makes no sense right? Just add to this example a factor that you are a child that grows at it eats and that's basically it.  The only way you can stop growing would be if you die. The only difference is that death in case of not ascending spiritually would be spiritual rather than physical (witch is even worse as in this world when you die physically you are just reborn but when your soul dies you're gone for good) and that this death comes way slower, true dozen of lives.

Virus is like a mental illness that convinces people not to ascend/advance and rather to embrace descending, further speeding up self destruction.

I have no idea where you got the idea that getting to astral requires getting rid of your desires or anything like that. It's actually completely opposite of that. I thought I made it clear in VN that the more you advance the more you are in every way and that that includes the more you can experience. Sure there are temporary setbacks like one can't eat food that doesn't have a physical manifestation and is pure energy until one learns how, but once one does they can experience joy of flavor like they couldn't possibly experience before, not to mention the endless possibilities of flavors that one can create with Godly powers. Advancing is obtaining more in every way, not giving up on things.

Witch is just one more reason why in this world nobody would ever choose not to ascend other than being infected with a virus.

Ok, I see, I think I understand this a bit better now. About the "desires" thing, that wasn't related to your game world directly. That was just an allegory in regards to a slightly similar (but not identical) concept. Or rather, what I thought to be a similar one.

Anyway, if I were to create a world (as a god), I would probably make it a tabula rasa. So in essence, everyone would truly choose their path, I would not predetermine anything for them. Becoming "good" or "evil" (or rather. something in between) would be a choice of those beings themselves, while influenced by their surroundings - so, much like our world. They wouldn't even have to have ethics, if it's not in their nature. And then I would just watch how that universe evolve without interfering (unless I get bored ;).

Anyway, on a logical level, your comparison between growing up and eating and spiritual growth makes sense (both being absolutely natural in their respective universes). Of course, if one were to artificially stop their growth or stop eating and drinking, or start hurting themselves in our world, we would consider that a mental illness as well. So I get that analogy.

I just never made that connection in my mind while playreading, especially since you depicted the "infected" as rather normal individuals. Ah, and also because Diane seemed to be a rather murderous and mad person to me at a certain point in the game.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to explain this a bit better!