Cosmology of Kyoto

Foreword: This is the first review of the blog and the first review as a part of the Project get every single medium and long length English VN evaluated. Today's patient is Cosmology of Kyoto. There are quite a lot of English reviews of the game, but although the general idea behind them is overall praising - none actually gave any kind of evaluation score and that's something that i'm going to fix here.

Title: Cosmology of Kyoto

Producers: Soft Edge & Yano Electric

Release Date: 1993 (english version 1994-08-01 for Mac OS)

VNDB Link:

Game Type: Unique eduactional story on Heian period in Japanese history

Summary: Step into the mind of an ancient Japanese person in the Heian period in ancient Kyoto. Live their fears, fight their demons, and understand their history and legends by actually experiencing them first hand.

Story Length: Medium (10-30 Hours)

Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy

Comments: The Story is more or less easy to grasp as there are only few actions that actually needed to be taken to get the endgame notion. What makes it this long is slow adaptability to interface, game mechanics and great the abundance of exploration options.

Character Design Rating: 8/10

Story Rating: 10/10

Protagonist Rating: 5/10

Game Quality: Varies

Overall Rating: 8/10

Rating Comments: I am most assuredly going to be blamed for setting such a low rating to a unique educational spiritual and revolutionary game for the time of its issue, but i believe i have some good points to support my choice.

First things first - mechanics of the game. Cosmology of Kyoto is and interactive adventure and most of the time we spend wondering the streets. Turning only allowed by 90 degrees. There are only three things that are worth mentioning here. We need a katana to defend from multiple vagabonds. We need to learn Sutra to defend from demons. We need special outfits to be allowed to special places.

The example of extinguishing demons with Sutra

There are several other objects that have limited utility. Some items are just needed to be given to the right person. Money is good to learn rumors. Mirror useful to see what garments u have on. I've only found one utility for the bow - to shoot at flying kimono in one of the events, but there might be more.

Nothing can surprise the inhabitants. Moreover some 80% of them turn out to be either demons or possessed.

Events, CG and animation are great but events and reading through encyclopedia take only couple hours of pure time, and the number of hours of seeking for anything on the streets take hours and hours. Game really takes it slow and that's something that contemporary consumer is not accustomed to.

Character Summary: There are only several named characters in the game and all of them are covered well by encyclopedia. Half of them are mad, the other half are priests and warriors who  actually help us defend from devils in some events. Protagonist has no character at all. Despite the fact that we create our body and face at the beginning of the game - with each death we're given a random body.

The most useful character in game

Encyclopedia is the single thing that's absolutely fabulous

Sexual Content: None

Comments: The only couple times the naked woman's breast actually appeared on the screen the woman was eaten alive or strangled to death the very next second. Those several women that actually showed interest in the protagonist were in a few minutes time decapitated/torn to pieces/cut through.

Affection for the Characters: None

CG Score: 10/10. The game actually looks amazing for the year 1993. Pretty much every creature and person is animated when you approach them close enough. The game boasts 256 colors and the actual picture still looks more or less decent.

Music Score: 5/10. I failed to hear any music. It might be due to the fact that i failed to find Mac PC to play in original and used DosBox for that. But as for voices, all the dialogues are voiced (but not the protagonist) and voicing quality is good.

Some hell layer. Human eating his own brains is quite a mild example of what's happening there.

Addictiveness: Quite Low. When you beat the game since there are only couple dozen events in the game and apart of that it's just aimless wandering around the streets with an ugly interface and talking to beggars trying to know something new.

- Unique atmosphere of medieval Japan
A well made built-in encyclopedia that holds information on all the locations, all the named characters, all the events background and what not.
- Great events and actual pictures. I think i've seen about a hundred of different demons with their unique faces and bodies. The scenes and very vivid and memorable, especially those of seven layers of hell.
- Game claims to be educational and contains quite a few historic figures.

- Most of the time is spent in aimless wondering
- Game fails to exhort educational function due to the fact that all historical events are greatly folklorized and fails to play entertainment function since apart of rare events there's nothing really fun about it.
- Interface and controls are very simplistic for the interactive adventure exploration game
- Several bugs that make the game freeze. E.g. there are two cool old men, one 800 and another 900 years old who know absolutely everything in the world, but while speaking to them game always crashes.

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Anonymous said...

Alright here we go, see you at the end...

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