A traveller with a mask is found injured, and a nearby village takes him in. In this village, animal tails and ears are common, and they have no qualms taking care of him until he recovers. The man found that he could not remove his mask, and mysteriously, cannot remember a thing. The Elder names him Hakuoro, and soon he finds himself embroiled in a battle to defend his new-found home and village from enemies abroad.
Utawarerumono means the thing or story that is sang about. It means a legend that is remembered and sang about for many years past. We find home and peace in the new village that our protagonist awakes in, and realise that the protagonists have a few advanced ideas that he put to use to benefit the village. Soon, however, he will be forced to put his strength to the test to defend his village from corrupt officials, and conquer his enemies, all with the aim of maintaining peace and protecting his new-found family. For a story of this setting, it is aimed at being soothing and healing, as we see how the familial love develops, as Aruruw opens up to Hakuoro, as the villagers come to accept Hakuoro, and as his enemies, even come to accept him. He makes new allies and enemies along the way, which also means more playable characters in battle.
The game is primarily a text-based visual novel, however, there are stages at which battle will commence, and the player will need to win to advance to the next chapter. The battle is a strategy turn-based one, with each character taking turns to move and attack enemies. It is tricky because there are only limited battle opportunities and only the chraracters that participate in battle gain exp and level up. The other characters remain the same level, and are unlikely to be used again because their levels remain stagnant and lower than the average enemy. Due to this, you will end up selecting a select few to carry on using throughout the game, which is a little disappointing. It might be easier if there were other battle opportunities besides the main story, like in side stories.
The background music is so relaxing and chilling at times, it really helps soothe you. I really love the start of Utawarerumono, free without worries. Towards the end, things get serious, of course, and there is a parting with the main characters. It ends pretty well done, with a tinge of bittersweet. I really do recommend this visual novel! The anime pales in comparision in setting such atmosphere.
The game is very addictive, so much so that I ended up spending another whole day playing it again. To set the atmosphere, it would be good to get the voice patch on it. Then again, Utawarerumono has sequel games on PS3 which might be worth a look if you have a PlayStation.
The number of screenshots I inadvertedly took. Which indicates a high enjoyment score.
Tuskur, the old Grandma, represented their ideals of home and warmth, kindness and what it means to help unconditionally. Even after she passed on, the villagers of Tuskur continue to embody these values and this really lets you feel a sense of home.
Karura, the story of Karurawaturei, was gripping. Her story was included as part of the main storyline. The story of a clan that took pride in its strength but never sympatised with the weak, and led to its downfall.
My writing quality deteriorates terribly if the work is a masterpiece since I have no idea what to write on anymore. It seems like I’m over the gushing phase of this, or more like, it never felt like a piece of work to gush over, but something to slowly enjoy. It is a masterpiece in its own right, but it is terribly difficult to describe how it is so since it is the work as a whole telling you, showing you a story of a little village, the story of war and strength, and the story of a mysterious man, whose backstory may leave you a little in awe. Anymore might be a massive spoiler, and I believe good stories should not be spoiled, so do go ahead and try this game out.