VN of the Month April 1993 - Quintia Road 2

There aren't masterpieces this month, but I find Quintia Road 2 to be the most interesting story-wise and thus it's VN of the month.

1. Mahou no Shougakusei Clit-chan 魔法の小学生クリットちゃん [930491] Toukyou Club

A letter comes to a man living alone. It's an invitation to a magic girl academy for a week with the freedom to do whatever he wishes there.
It's just a lolicon doujin game.

2. Yougen Doumu 妖幻道夢 [930413] Ponytail Soft
A youkai broke the seal placed on the shrine resulting in youkai outrage.
The system is choosing places on the map and restoring the seals in each spot. If we succeed in summoning the youkai of the area the battle in the form of quiz game begins. Game is notorious for dwelling on traditional japanese folklore. Still CG are probably the selling point of the game.

3. Quintia Road 2 クィンティアロード2 [930415] Communication Group Plum 1 2
News Chrome is a young FBI agent who was pursuing an evasive target on a mission. Suddenly, the suspect disappeared into a portal. Following him, News found himself in a desert. Before long he meets a princess named Sarah who asks him to aid the inhabitants of the magical world Quintia against a mysterious sorcerer.
Unlike prequel, there's no English review for this game and information is scarce. In the world News was teleported to magic got out of control. Fairies and dragons became an everyday sight. And evil magician Edwin Rune was preparing to dominate the world. Same five kingdoms persisted, same commands, including feature anxiety command that could do something good or something bad. Game got light RPG elements as heroes got stats, basic inventory items and real tactical battles. But at the same time story got linear, you can't choose where to go anymore, so satisfaction was not high. Playing the prequel is required to understand the gags scattered around the same locations.

4. Lipstick Adventure 3 リップスティックアドベンチャー3 [930423] Fairytale 1
This entry in the Lipstick Adventure series continues the story of the young private detective Gorou and his sweetheart Otomi. After attending a friend's marriage ceremony, they return to Gorou's office and find a strange package in the flowers. The package contains pictures of Otomi and several other girls, her schoolmates, some of them naked. Gorou heads to Otomi's high school to begin the investigation, without realizing that he will soon become involved in a sinister conspiracy...
Final work of the series. Well, there was 4th game 8 years later made by a new company, but that was an ordinary eroge already. So in 3rd Lipstick Adventure Mami is again a schoolgirl and events take place roughly a year after first game. It's also new for the series to finally have a good sound support. From time to time perspective changes to Mami's eyes. H element was totally eliminated with provocative moments and occasional naked breast being all that's left. The plot got an unexpectedly serious dimension. First you find photos of Mami's classmates naked, then the spouse of former school director was found dead. So story was not too light-hearted. Overall good old Lipstick Adventure was back in its most technologically advanced form. It's still a great game, especially for those who played previous two parts, but compared to audacious newcomer VNs of 1993, it's fabula just got old.

5. Ranma 1/2 - Byakuran Aika らんま1/2 白蘭愛歌 [930423] Klon 1 2 3
The game features an original story centering on a new character, Arisa Nanjo. After Ranma Saotome's friends go missing, it is up to him to track them down.
There are English reviews.

6. Image 2 イマージュ2 [930427] Software House Parsley 1
Like its predecessor, Image 2 consists of three episodes, which are unrelated to each other story-wise and can be accessed from the main menu; each episode can be played in two different ways ("scenarios"). All the three episodes are set in medieval/fantasy environment.
The first episode tells of a "cursed" treasure room somewhere on the outskirts of a town; the only one brave enough to venture there is a young hero named Recardo. In scenario A, Recardo has to find a way to defeat a demon, using objects from the treasure room; in scenario B, he has to face a female demonic creature and seduce her without getting killed in the process. Scenario A has a large turn-based battle that can be lost; the key to winning is usage of items.
The second episode stars the fighter Rush and his female companion Femir; traveling across the desert, they enter a town, and Rush decides to participate in a fighter competition. This episode differs from the other ones (and most other Japanese-style adventures) by having free movement in top-down environment. Scenario A puts the player into Rush's role; the gameplay here contains slight, mini-game-like elements of role-playing, as Rush has to win turn-based battles, gain money, and buy better weapons, equipment, and items to survive. In Scenario B, the player controls Femir. While Rush is fighting his battles, Femir investigates a strange disappearance of female warriors.
The third episode is the most traditional one, both from the point of view of story and gameplay. This rather minimalistic episode depicts a meeting between the young boy Fand and the girl Remia, who is from another town. Fand shows her around, the two have a date, and the rest of the episode evolves according to the player's decisions for both characters (Fand in Scenario A, Remia in Scenario B).
Second part is a huge way forward from the first one. This time each episode has a real story and there are even several branches in some. I was really grateful for the RPG episode in particular. The game is still ero-centered, but with a story emphasis now.

7. JYB ~Mehame Haruuga wa Himitsu no Jumon~ JYB ~メハメ・ハルーガは秘密の呪文~ [930428] Cocktail Soft 1
The game's hero, a young man named Otomegawa, encounter Chururu, a cheerful female magical creature, who accidentally curses him to become a woman. Only the princess of the Magic Land can lift the curse. The princess has been reborn as a human being and is currently living on the Earth. The problem is that as a human, she has no access to her magical powers that would help Otomegawa solve his predicament. Only a moment of true ecstasy (and since this is a hentai game, we all know what it means) will awaken her true potential! Luckily, the princess also happens to be lesbian, which perfectly suits Otomegawa's current condition and the means necessary to achieve the goal...
It's more like a detective game where we search for a girl that fits description. Game incorporates concept of time alike Classmate, so difficulty level is very high. At the same time there are as many as 15 girls which further increases playtime if aim to clear. An unusual and well known game at that time.

8. Metal Eye Metal Eye [930428] Elf 1 2 3 4 5
In Metal Eye, the player takes the role of a young weapons expert named Findhill. His father was apparently involved in a project that dealt with creating artificial life forms. But recently he has disappeared without a trace. Findhill remained alone, in a small town surrounded by vicious monsters. He wants to become a hunter, just like his father once was, to get rid of the monsters roaming the wilderness, and get to the bottom of his father's disappearance and his mysterious project.
As the next Elf game, it was stormed out of the stalls by the army of Classmates fans. But actually Mr.Hiruda was not in charge of the scenario this time. The battles balance was laughable, the encounter rate high, but need to struggle through to get to the real game, right? Not really - you fight through and see bed scenes with beautiful girls, that's how VN rpgs work. So many players felt betrayed. It was actually a good SF story with animated battles some novelty RPG features. So quite an average RPG, but the problem was that such average games hurt Elf reputation greatly.

9. Ripple Cafe リップルカフェ [930428] Garuda
A collection of three short stories:
1) Maze dungeon
2) Life in Neorvous
3) Orchestra hit
Game is not hookable and obscure, thus it's difficult to comment on the content. At the very least the stories vary greatly and have significant story components. There are also game overs on the wrong selection.

10. Bishoujo Hunter ZX 美少女ハンターZX [930429] Softhouse Bonbee Bonbon 1
In the 1990-ies, increased tension between powerful countries of the world and economic crisis have eventually lead to open hostility. By 2018, the world was nearly destroyed in a devastated war. A handful of scientists working for peace have devised a plan - called "Project ZX" - to prevent this disaster from happening. All they need are a dozen of young, pretty girls, who would be trained with the newest scientific equipment. The hero of the game is a lazy teenager, fan of computers and - surprise! - pretty girls, and he is the one who is entrusted by an old scientist to find and recruit these special girls, aided by a robotic bird named Chico.
For the first time I see a noble aim of saving the world in a nanpa game. Game is divided into two parts with a free girls order. But the girls in the second part get information from the girls in the first part and thus are much more difficult to capture. There are 15 girls available for capture.

11. Four Flush フォア フラッシュ [930429] Agumix 1
In the future, the cities of the Earth merge into a single megalopolis. Life has stabilized, and each new day is similar to the preceding one. Human beings have lost connection to the culture of the past. The huge city doesn't even have a name, and is simply called "City". Poor people live in the slums, and have no access to the quarters of the rich. Corruption reigns. The hero of the game belongs to an organization of assassins known as "Card". His last mission is to kill corrupted policemen who have been trafficking drugs. The hero must hide, but his relationships with other "Card" members are anything but clear...
Hard boiled SF setting with good visuals, sound and frequent animation. What's more to desire? Sometimes there's just something missing. Commands vary for each scene, so immersion is greater than in usual interactive adventure. But after great introduction the work lingers without much tension. Drawing is done my popular manga artist, but it won't be to everyone's taste. Story ends in a satisfactory fashion, but lacks excitement. Spontaneous H scenes killed the atmosphere for me.

12. If イフ [930429] Active 1
IF contains four scenarios, which are unrelated to each other and can be accessed directly from the main menu:
The first scenario stars a 19-year-old young man who accidentally makes a wish and summons a cute-looking female demon, who is ready to serve his "master"... in various ways, including what you just thought.
This scenario is sub-titled Triangle, and is dedicated to a high-school student who has a rather uneasy relationship with the girl he likes. One day he meets a female childhood friend, which further complicates his love life...
Set in medieval (feudal) Japan, the scenario tells the story of a young man who is on his way to the capital city, to study martial arts by a famous teacher. He gets sick and has to stay in a mountain village. Soon he notices that strange things begin to happen there, and has to find a way to release a woman from a curse that was placed on her.
The last scenario is set in a small village that lies deep in a forest, in a fictional country, and focuses on a young boy named Indy. He fancies the daughter of the village elder; one day she is kidnapped by strangers, and Indy swears to rescue her.
There are several features of this work. All the stories take place in different time periods and have a short text introduction each. Another interesting innovation is that each scene has its own set of commands and at most two selections of the same command are needed to proceed with the story. So it's more than a command selection, but less than a choice selection type.

13. Shinc [9304] Libido 1 2
The plot of Shinc is as simple as its title: the hero - aptly named Hero Narcissus - is a lone adventurer in search of a job. He arrives at a town which is populated mostly by young sexy women. The hero hasn't even enough money to visit the local brothel. Since the king hasn't asked him to rescue a princess (yet), his first quest, given to him by the pretty weapon shop owner, is to venture into a nearby cave, "Realm of Anguish", to defeat the monsters lurking there and retrieve valuable items. Naturally, this is just the beginning of a long career, which involves saving the kingdom and becoming a true hero.
RPG with quite simplified rules for this genre. The only prominent feature of this work is scrolling CG, so that 1/3 of the screen is seen to up to 1/8th of the screen. Quite mediocre plot, so game may have value only for RPG fans.

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