Title: Gao Gao! 2nd ~Pandora no Mori~
VNDB link: https://vndb.org/v8695
Youtube walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq9jc6oE6uhjsWcOoBDaZg2h
Synopsis: A biological experiment that began in 1993 led to a terrible disaster in the beginning of 21st century. A virus that turned living beings into mutants and monsters has been unleashed. Soon the Earth turned into a terrifying place of chaos, as more and more human beings became infected. Unspeakable violence obliterated human civilization. Within a few years, humanity was on the verge of total annihilation. The Era of Darkness began.
But not all hope was lost. Humans began building cities known as "Domes", isolated from the wilderness, protected by glass from all sides, cut from natural resources. It was possible to start building civilization anew.
On one fateful day, the famous scientist couple Mizuhara were killed in what looked like an accident. Their project, which showed new ways of fighting the virus, descended into the grave with them. Their two children were separated and for a long time were unaware of their origins. But the wheels of destiny keep spinning, as the young Mizuhara is about to discover the truth about his parents, and perhaps bring new hope to humanity...
Length: 7 hours
Game type: Command selection adventure
Difficulty: Easy - there were only couple moments to bruteforce - apart of that the pace is good.
Character Design rating: 7/10
Protagonist rating: 4/10
Story rating: 6/10
Game quality: 7/10
Overall rating: 6/10
Rating comments: Huh, the worst rating of all games in the series. The biggest complaint this time is absolutely spineless and useless protagonist. We see his crying face so many times that the desire to hit him arises. Luckily, his female cousin Lucia hits him so many times during the game that even desire to hit him vanishes. Another my complaint is that the game gets very ero-centered by the end of it sacrificing some of the story for the sake of it. I'm glad it was fixed in later installations, but here it left a negative impact for me. And that brings forth my complaint about the story which I'll explain in the story description. Overall game quality stays on the same level as other games of the series which is very high.
CG: As usual, all the full-screen pictures are reserved for HCG which are rather uneven. But half-screen CG are very nice, yet as usual reserved only for event scenes.
Overall comments: So it's the weakest game in the series, but does it mean it's bad? I consider Gao Gao series to be the best visual novel series in the whole pre-Windows period. Thus Pandora no Mori surpasses a vast majority of pc-98 era games. And it holds much value for the fan of this series. First of all - most of jokes that keep repeating through following games are originated here (like in example "Information is transferred to the central host" "Oh, host is a man who is dating women!"). Here we finally get to know the origins of the mermaid story that goes through 3rd and 4th games. There are a lot of other symbols that get into following games (like Laila comes to a computer and exclaims that it's strange that it has not broken down after her approaching - and that theme repeats a lot for Ilia).