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(+1)

this game .. has ruined me .. plz .  it was very fun to play through -- despite only getting three endings --  i couldn't bring myself to play more </3
it was really well done n i enjoyed it -- at some parts --  very much !!!

this game will forever contribute to my declining mental state , it may have even declined it farther .. ( half joking , not mad though <3 )

(1 edit) (+1)

This game is absolutely Brilliant,  I am intrested to see what else you guys have created and will create. Thank you for the amazing game!!.

My favorite was Junoru, His personality is really fun and his story is very well through out. (Only negative is that I ended up disliking Kurato afterwards because  Chain and him being on friendly terms with him going as far as being rivals. Though this was all because of how attached I was to Junaro  so it's more of a personal thing) Though he wasn't the least liked male lead, I absolutely despised Zeikun because of his rude nature. Though I loved how cute Sachiro was, so at the end of it all they balance themselves off, truthfully more to the positive side since I love Junoru and Sachiro.

(On a sidenote: Would have enjoyed a Yuri Route with our good friend Ikiya)

(+1)

Wah, this was so good, thank you!! :D

I probably liked Zeikun and Junoru the best, though I think that's just down to personal preference.  All of the routes were so fun!

Let the excited theory-crafting commence!!!

SPOILERS BELOW

My impression in trying to piece everything together was that MC was one of those blessed souls as we found out in Zeikun's route, but other routes didn't necessarily know.  For example, Junoru did not know that the "zombies" could be purified (Sachiro/Zeikun) or that they were inhabited by bad spirits.  He viewed it from a "scientific" background, which makes sense due to his past.  He also didn't know that the MC drew spirits to her and assumed it was because his "essence" or whatever rubbed off on her. xD  

My guess would be that the state the "zombie" thing puts humans into makes them a perfect vessel for evil spirits?  They can be killed, but also purified, and the cells themselves are also passed down through families as we learn in Junoru's route?

I had the impression that Rasumi's major goal was to drive out and kill the forest demon, which she used the undead to do.  In Zeikun's route where you tell her that you would sacrifice yourself, she sees you as a good little minion since it seemed like she heightened your spiritual powers to exorcise Zeikun, as was her goal all along.  If you didn't play along with her.... yeesh. O.O  I'm not exactly sure what her problem with Zeikun was, but we already know she seems to delight in the pain of others.  She didn't even show remorse when she got poor Kurato possessed! >(  Used him as an experiment!  

In Junoru's route, when you escape from her, she hints that she is using the undead for some purpose... I guess what we saw in Zeikun's route?  I suppose we'd have to assume that he probably (at least eventually) dies in other routes.  Seems like Rasumi is a patient killer and doesn't mind waiting for things to go her way.  ....o.o

I've also been puzzling about Blace.  You have to choose some very specific options in order to get the death end where he accidentally (?) fries your memory.  Based on the fact that you have to choose "liking" him or "preferring" him somewhat to not get that ending, is the implication that he feels too bad to fry you if he knows you unironically like him?  It seemed to be implied that he had a mind-reading power.  And he is such a poor lonely bean. D:

For Kurato, I was having a hard time distinguishing between what separated his romantic from his normal end.  What really changed, provided you didn't get mind-wiped by Blace?  I did all the "ding" choices and, since there was no ding for choosing to wish for Blace or Kaichi, I chose Kaichi since I thought it would bring Kurato more resolution.  That seemed to put me on the normal path?  What was the thing that didn't happen there to separate his normal from romantic ends?  Gaining the cooperation of the twins?  

Anyways, you might not even see this since it has been so long, but thanks again for the wonderful time!  I hope you are doing well. <3  And I hope anyone else who reads this enjoys the theorizing!  It's one of my favorite things to do with this kind of game.  I did get some of my answers reading comments below, like about Chain's ancestor with the same CG, or Kaichi's heart, so thanks for that!  I was also wondering at what point Roya took the potions, so that helps explain the... murder. x)  I was so sure the little jerk had also orchestrated the bullying situation with the poor legless ghost since he had told the boys to come to the school that night, but maybe he just got busy with the teacher. x.x  Interesting how two parts of that story were separated by route.  I guess the Romantic route one where we learn about legless boy was the deeper memory that Kurato was repressing, so it was more key for him to think about?

Gotta admit, having routes for Chain and Roya would be super hot, but I can't think of any way that would work.... out.  xD  They're both so.... murdery. xD!!!  I could definitely see routes working out for Blace and Kaichi though!  Maybe Jace, but I get the distinct impression he's more murdery somehow. >.>  Well.... to be fair, Kaichi is also pretty murdery, despite the fact that he tries to justify it.  <.<  

Heehee, have a good night!

(Also, Chain's name cracks me up. xD!!!)

(+1)

Ahum, I've played this game like a year ago when I started running out of otome games to play. It was my first pc otome AND MAN IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. It was amazing in every way, the music was fitting and cool, the characters and backgrounds were just so pretty and the story blew my mind. Especially at points in which I remembered something from another route I played, one of the hints that just clicked after processing the info.
My brain just went like: holy damn, so that's what was going on?


Spoilers in the following paragraph.


I cried multiple times too. Thanks a lot for that. Like, I got Sachiro's normal ending and was happy for the MC and him.
Then I got the achievement 'We part again after anyways lol'. Realizing this, I straight out started bawling like a baby and couldn't stop.

The characters were amazing, with everyone having different personalities and histories. You slowly realize the bad guy had their reasons and nobody's completely bad or good throughout the game. 

Thank you for developing this, it was truly amazing to play! and even after getting all the endings, the extra's we got were amazing. Just seeing characters shirtless mmmmmmm

I'd recommend this game to literally anyone. The art is so gorgeous.

(+2)

Okay I've spent the last three days playing through every ending on every route I'm going to go to say this was a pretty amazing storyline and what was great was each route was a different story with different personalities to each character and side character. Very rarely do at home a novel companies think of that or if they do think of it they don't do it well oh, but this was done very well.

So here's my wishes, WTB a route for Jace, Blace and Chain. I would say Roya and Kaichi  as well but that might be asking for a little too much but there was a few roads were I felt that the two of them were very much likeable characters and maybe had more than just a passing interest in the main character. I think they both could very well have been fond of her. But that's just me reading into their personalities and their actions towards her in certain routes.

 I never was really a fan of visual novels that have tragic endings mostly because I get very attached to characters in these stories and I bawl like a baby when there are tragic endings and I hate the migraines that come after however this is obviously a horror story and so therefore death is inevitable should you choose wrong.

anyway should you ever decide to release DLCs or whatever of those three characters that I oh so much want to see romance routes for I would gladly pay because it would be very much worth it. other than that I truly did enjoy this thank you.

(+2)

I really, really love this game!!! Like, well done. I want more content; it deserves so much more recognition. I fell for Kaichi all over again, the side character  😭 I actually played this game in 2019, but I came back for more!! It's that good!!! Ugh, I can't help but wish for more!! lol I love, love, love this game

(+1)

Okay, I love Junoru a lot now, he's my favorite. I don't want this game to end!!! Dude I swear I'm gonna give you money or something when I do have it. 

(+6)

If anyone is contemplating on whether to play this or not, download it!! This game is amazing, each route has a different story so it doesn't get boring. There's so much gameplay and so many characters to fall in love with, each of the side characters are so interesting! 

The art is phenomenal. For a game that can be downloaded for free, the quality is amazing. Each CG and sprite are so beautifully designed and drawn, I was so amazed when I first played. 

The music and background music is also outstanding!! The music made me feel so immersed into the game and at times actually made me feel a bit scared @@ The opening music and scene is so well made, this whole game feels so professional.

I loved each route, although Sachiro and Kurato will always remain my fav :> I was so sad when I found out the side characters remained as side characters >_> They were all so unique and I found myself wanting more of them all!! <33

Overall, this was a fantastic game. The art, the music, the story, everything was so fun!! Totally recommend this game ^^

(4 edits) (+5)

I have managed to finally get all the endings, achievements, CGs, and looked at the extra scenes! So finally, I can post a review of my final thoughts.

This game was generally very enjoyable. I loved the art and the mystery, and the horror scenes put me on the edge of my seat! 

The opening video was a real treat! It seriously looks like a professional otome opening, and I love the song! I also love how the soundtrack is entirely original, which is rare for free indie games. I really love the sentimental and sad piano tracks the most. 

Artwork... it's really gorgeous! There's 60 CGs you can unlock in the gallery, but some other sketchy looking art and I recall a couple other CGs that do not appear in the gallery. There were some sprites that felt out of place though, as they didn't look as polished as the rest, but generally everything is eye-pleasing!

Unlockables... I really love the achievement system as it encourages players to make a variety of different choices. Also keeping the extra scenes and sketchbook locked behind getting all of the endings is a genius way to get players to desire a 100% completion. 

Prologue... the opening scene at the mansion really drew me in, which I feel is the prologue's strength. Some felt the prologue as a whole dragged, but I didn't think it was that bad. Some character introductions were more interesting than others, sure. Even so, the opening scene was enough to keep me going because I feel it really helps set the supernatural mystery tone! And I am sure at least one of the character introductions will pique your interest!

Routes.... I ended up playing in this order: Kurato > Junoru > Sachiro > Zeikun. Getting on routes is very straight forward, you literally choose who you want to investigate from the four suspicious individuals you meet in the prologue, and walla. I picked Kurato first simply 'cause he was weird and I wanted to know what was up with him. He's a pretty fun character, and his route has a lot of action and horror. Junoru's route ended up being my favorite of them all. He is so sweet, and whilst the romantic ending was lovely, I also equally enjoyed the tragic ending. It held a well written emotional weight to it that showed how much the MC cared about him. I also loved the MC's portrayal the most on Ju's route, especially how she'd always refer to him as "my friend". Sachiro's route was very interesting, and I must say the "Normal" ending actually was my favorite opposed to the romantic route. I feel it felt more natural and that ending felt so warm and sweet. Lastly, Zeikun... whilst interesting, it was sadly my least favorite route. Whilst I enjoyed many scenes in it, I didn't really feel much chemistry between the two (romantically or friendship wise). The highlight on this route for me was actually the moments with Ikuya and Lioji on the "Normal" path.

The story itself.... whilst there's many well written horror moments, emotional moments, heart pumping action, and an intriguing supernatural mystery, there's a lot about the story that feels very rough around the edges. Not everything adds up and rather than the routes complimenting each other, they almost seem like different versions of the story. One character in particular seemed to change to suit what was going on in a particular route. Even the MC herself feels a little different per route. So depending on what route you're on (even what version of said route you're on), some paths are written better than others. As I mentioned earlier, I enjoyed Junoru's route the most as I loved the entire route as a whole. Kurato's route would probably be my second favorite, whilst Sachiro's I liked the normal path most, and Zeikun's felt a little bit more messy to me. I also wish we could see some of the other main characters make more than just a short cameo appearance in the other routes, I think that may also be why it felt a bit disjointed at times. 

Even so, the dev's hard work and passion shows in this novel and despite these flaws, this is a very memorable game I know will become a beloved classic in the OELVN community! It's obvious a lot of love went into this project, and it shows, and I think the dev should be proud of it! I look forward to whatever you come up with next, Pinlin!

(1 edit) (+2)(-1)

I wonder how can i buy the full pack? I really want to hear the full OP song!!! I really LOVEEEE this game!!! and where can i found the Japanese lyrics? I only found the original English version...

(1 edit) (+2)

Under downloads, you can find the "Dark Nights Soundtrack" pack. It has the full opening, all game soundtracks and bonuses. I updated my blog and added a romaji version of the lyrics. Now you can sing along! 

http://darknights-time.weebly.com/blog/opening-video

(+3)

I really liked this game, My Fav route was sachiro's route

kinda missed his cute face and little form

(+3)

I just played it, and I was totally caught off guard by the quality of the CGs and storylines.

The side characters were too handsome, I ended up wanting a Chain, Roya, Blace, Kaichi, and Jace route as well.

Though I do think that way too many things are happening in the village that I don't really understand what is actually going on, it feels like something different is going on in each route. Like in Sachiro's route, they were possessed (??), in Junoru's route they were zombies, and the explanations don't really complement each other very well so I was a bit confused.

But all in all, it was just awesome. If there will be a sequel or something like that, I will definitely buy it.

(+3)

Pinlin, I LOVED this game. Definitely my favorite I’ve played so far. The art is amazing, and the storyline is amazing. And the music. I cannot get over the piano music that plays during all of the scenes <3 I’ve tried to find the music online so that I could listen to it more, but I couldn’t find any other than the ones on Soundcloud. Do I have to pay to get them all? They’re amazing, and thank you for the great game. 

(+3)

Your words make me delighted. Thank you for dropping your thoughts. DN is my first project but I was ambitious in every aspect.

The uploads on Soundcloud were previews of work in progress. I didn't upload the music anywhere, except for the OP song piano version on my youtube: 

The only place you can find everything is by buying the full pack on itch. As a bonus, it has the full OP song in higher quality and unused tracks. If you do consider getting it, thank you in advance! 
(+6)

The art in this game is fantastic, it's so beautiful and I'm in love with all of the character designs. I'm sure that everyone who plays this will want a Chain, Kaichi and Roya route.

I love that the MC has a strong confident personality, its so rare to come across in these types of games but I love it when it does and it is done well. 

Thank you for this great game Pinlin. I will be purchasing any other otome games you release :) 

(+4)

Just started this about two days ago, somehow I've already played 15 hours apparently. LOL. I'm loving this so far, I'm still only early on into chapter 2, but I wanted to just say off the bat that the "opening theme song" scene thing was amazing! Just so professional, freakin' awesome, and well done! I'm sure I will come back and comment or review on this much more as I continue/finish the game.

(2 edits) (+4)

Hello ! My review may not be structured, I'm sorry for that but I will try my best even though I'm not fluent in English. I will talk about the elements that marked me the most.  

Spoilers below  


__________________

This game was such a pleasant discovery. I liked the way the story went on smoothly while revealing important elements about the plot.  

The prologue lasts 7 days and it was a good start to get familiar with MC's environment. I liked how her personality was built up. She is straightforward, considerate and caring. She's also bold and brave at times. She likes reading, she usually spends her time at the library. She is always eager to take part of anything unusual. Yet, she feels stuck in her routine that is unsatisfying according to her. She doesn't have any mid- or long-term goals and it seems like she is not looking forward anything. Or maybe I got it wrong, I apologize if that is the case. So, her constant feeling of boredom leads her to visit an abandoned mansion at night. But she hadn't made any discovery. Afterwards, odd events unfolded in the village and it picked up her interest even though they were bone chilling. 
 

__________________

Sachiro's route  

Sachiro is a lonely and lost boy, working hard to find his true purpose and make his dream come true. He is reserved, nice and but also insecure about his identity. He seems really lonely and he is kind of envious of human life yet he is confused of many aspects. Also, I loved how the story twisted and got to learn many things about the world MC lives in. For example: the spiritual world, Shinigami, angel and how they interact and how they impact the human world even though it's quite abstract but I got to learn more and more throughout the entire game.  

I found out a lot about him, how devoted he was towards others without people truly acknowledging him, even if it meant losing his sanity, even while losing other's trust. Yet he called himself selfish when it comes to his own dream. Strong, brave, loyal, humble, I think those qualities fit him the most.  

Ikuya and Lioji have been MC's friends for quite a long time. They both got more involved in the story that I expect from side characters.  

Chain's background is totally unknown I guess mysteries makes the game more interesting because it gives more room for the player's imagination  

Rasumi's contract is a scam for sure and a greedy and apathetic angel. She is one of the main antagonist. Though her motives were not really discovered but according to the extent of her wrong doings, it seems quite huge. At least, I couldn't understand them.  

The romance did not affect the plot, still was slightly present.
 

__________________

Zeikun's route  

I got even more into this VN. They were way more interactions with MC's friends, Chain and Kaichi.  

It was quite satisfying to see MC once again taking actively part of the whole order. Even though,  she is self-aware about her limits, she is eager to do anything for the sake of her friends and the village. She meets a lot of inconveniences along the way but she made it through the end with the help of her friends, Chain, Kaichi and especially Zeikun. Zeikun is aloof at first but he is committed to achieve his goals, but that led him to become selfless. Despite his good intentions, he is misunderstood and loathed because of his nature. Yet he did everything to go against his own nature for sake of everyone. MC played a huge part in Zeikun self-acceptance and helped him changed his point of view of humans. She never gave up, even though, she went through a lot, especially in the normal ending which has a huge plot twist compared to the good ending. The normal ending was heart-breaking. The good ending has some dark sports (especially about Rasumi's and Kaichi's whereabouts).  

This needs to be an anime, even though it's a visual novel, you managed somehow to make it really interesting and immersive. The OST are pretty great to listen to.  

MC could have enhanced her power as a blessed soul but (un)fortunately it did not happen.  

Though, the MC doesn't seem mentally affected. Maybe I am wrong I mean she is obviously but in my opinion it's not this obvious in the dialogues or and monologues. 

__________________

Junoru's route 

We found out that Roya and Junoru are living deads.  Roya sustains with flesh and as for his brother it wasn't revealed or maybe I missed it. He is worrying about his elder brother's destructive behavior.  Though Junoru tried as much as he could to protect him and prevent him from doing any more harm. Yet he is feeling insecure about his image and capabilities and compares himself to his elder brother. He is facing a huge dilemma with his nonchalant brother: he needs flesh to survive but his actions multiple the living dead. On the other hand, he is still caring about Junoru. The thing is, they didn't even choose to live this kind of life to begging with.  

Here is my favourite dialogue from this game:  

Junoru : would you sacrifice your happiness for others? Let's say either you or people can be happy, wouldn't be selfish to keep it for yourself? If someone can't even enrich people around them... what it the purpose of living?  
MC : If it makes me happy as well then sure. [...] we live for ourselves in a first place so it only makes sense to make our happiness our top priority.  You can't make people happy if you're sad too, right?  

It makes a lot sense; you can't be completely selfless or selfish. You need balance, I guess.  

MC met Roya on multiple occasions and she managed, despite him being wary, to work together in order to keep the village safe and prevent any unnecessary damage.  

Regardless of what happened the MC was always standing up for her own goals.  Chains despised her for siding those brothers. He loathes any supernatural creature and according to him they don't deserve to live. I've always wondering how comes the MC is being so tolerant.  

Roya got killed by Chain and was found by his brother in the bathroom. He thought Chain would be trustworthy enough to accept his last will which was to let his brother alone. Roya thought that nobody was happy around him anyway.  That line felt like as if Roya was depressed. As if his existence wasn't really meaningful or worth living. Maybe I'm wrong ... for sure, he felt empty and thought his sacrifice wouldn't be in vain. Even with a huge power he was granted/cursed with, the fact that most people wanted him and his family dead hurt him more that he would like. As if he has no place in this this world.  

Since then, Junoru has been mourning and has been dwelling in his sorrow. Yet he still has a strong will to prevent the rise of the living dead. Even though,  he wasn't aware of what he got himself into centuries ago, since he was involved, he couldn't just give up his responsibilities.  He didn't want to live in guilt forever.  

Jace and Blace keep the gates of Hell and Heaven, thought they quitted their position. Jace, Blace and Junoru used to be friends a century ago. They moved to the village in order to kill the living dead.  

Junoru's parents were researchers. They manage to create something that grant immortality instead of curing illness as they planned to in a first place. My theory is that the unsuccessful experiments created a living dead and they multiplied since then. The twins killed Junoru's parents.  

It all started with pure intentions but people got greedy and they became inhuman.  Ready to do anything to get this formula.  

Roya and his brother spent a decade on their own and were chased by the former researchers. They got fired by their parents and held grudge against them. After a decade they were still chased and got drugged. They somehow manage to runs away and they slept for a century. Junoru and Roya remained in a slumber for a long time and woke up a few moments before day 1. So, he is feeling as if everything happened just a week ago. That was probably a lot to take in. 

__________________

That is all for me. I'm sorry I'm not writing about Kurato. The last time I played this game was a few months ago and my memories of his route are a bit blurry. But overall, I enjoyed each route. I'm glad I got the chance to experience it. Thank you very much for sharing such an exciting visual novel.  

(+1)

Wow this is a really amazing game. Thank you so much ^^

(+1)

Hello I was wondering if you are going to make this game for android?

Hi! The game is designed for PC and so far I have no plans to export it for android. Another reason is that I'm not exactly a coding expert so it'll take a lot of time. If anyone is interested to take on the project, please let me know. I'd be happy to assist.

(1 edit) (+2)

I have played many dating simulators/visual novels and this is absolutely one of my favorites. The art is stunning, the characters are interesting, the dialogue is very catchy.  One thing I do not like is that there are very attractive people in the game, yet most of them are not romanceable. Overall the game is amazing and I 100% recommend it. 

(+4)

Finally gotten the chance to play this game, and enjoying it so far! I've only played through Sachiro's route yet. 

The strongest point of this game is obviously the visuals. It is gorgeous! The opening is such high quality, on par with anime and big copany VNs! Plus so many sprite variations and backgrounds, and the sheer amount of CGs, especially how the routes are shorter than in other VNs. Oh, and the menus too, so creative and pretty! 

It's clear the developer's strong suit is art, which sadly also means writing is not. If you don't mind some constructive criticism... The ideas and plot are great, but bogged down by the prose. On my first read, the prologue seemed boring. Maybe it was intentional to show the heroine's boredom...? But a stronger opening hook would benefit the game for sure. Eventually, I was grateful I pushed through it, because Sachiro's route was nice! Loved how their lives were entangled with the heroine~ Yet to play the other routes to judge. Still, there were times I was left confused, especially about the "why"s: why the sequence of events, how one leads to the other, and why the characters are doing and saying what they do. It's okay to slow down the events to explain and reflect a little. It also felt like some of the reveals came too early? Like Sachiro's identity. I'd already guessed it, so great job for dropping the hints! But remaining in suspense longer would have been fun. All in all, great plot and story elements are there, I enjoyed reading, I just missed the glue to blend it together better. Keep practicing the writing and pay more attention to the internal logic and you'll get there!

On the other hand, the music is also great! It sets the atmosphere so nicely. I can see the amount of care and love put into this game, and my overall experience was great! Looking forward to playing the other routes (might come back to gush about them haha), and possibly future games from the dev~

(+2)

MY FAVORITE GAME EVER I CONTINUE TO RECCOMEND IT FORVWER TO EVRYOEN I LOWVE THSI KSUFVHAB

(+2)

i've had this game on my laptop for over 5 months now and i keep going back to it. i love it so much, the music, the characters, the visuals, the words, just everything.

Sachiro and Kurato (also Junoru) honestly whisked my heart away.

kudos to you for making such an amazing game;

and to anyone who hasn't tried it yet, go for it!

(3 edits) (+1)

does anyone know how to get achievement 21 

(+1)

This game is so good ah..  

The storyline, art, character, music, design..  all of it is so great..  I really love it  ❤️❤️   

Thanks for making this game  ❤️❤️❤️

Ah actually, I know this game a long time ago..  but just got the chance to play it 



Also...   I see "DATENKOU" name on the credit..   is that the "DATENKOU" I know?  😅   I think it is..  😁

(+1)

I love this game! Every route was interesting for me to play, I love the music and the art and everything I just- :D Its just so awesome! My favorite route was Junoru's one and Kurato's. I enjoyed the mystery in the game and every ending was intriguing for me.  Also every side character was interesting for me but my most favorite one is Chain, he was really cool! I am glad that I found this game! :D (and sorry if i have mistakes, English is not my first language^^;)

(3 edits) (+2)

the game is amazing!! I love all of the routes and I like how each route is always different. CGI is beautiful and the music is amazing, thank you for making this game! 

(+2)

I don't speak English very well, so I apologize in advance for any mistakes
 
I was very pleased with the game I sat and did not believe that the game was over, I wanted to continue and plunge deeper into this pleasant atmosphere and continue to recognize other characters 
 
I really liked some of the phrases, for example, “don't jump to conclusions,” which the heroine often repeated. They showed me that the characters are not stupid and think before doing something 
 
I also really liked all these stories with ghosts, zombies, bloody prints, etc., in some places it was creepy, and I love that It would be even better if you could insert mini videos that would scare you even more. For example, when a school ghost appeared at the heroine's house, it would be possible to insert a video where we peer into the darkness of the corridor and watch him crawl towards us, it would be even more creepy 
 
And it would also be interesting if the characters in romantic endings didn't always stay in the human world. Rasumi in one of the routes gave a medicine that prevented turning into a zombie, so she could have fulfilled the heroine's desire to become a spirit (or someone else) and go with the chosen guy to his world, but in return she would also require something serious and here it would be possible to unwind the plot). Well, this is purely my personal opinion) 
 
I liked the Junoru and Zeikun routes. But I also cannot ignore the minor characters who have sunk into my soul - Kaichi, Royа, Blace, Jace, Chain. Perhaps I even liked them more than the main characters 😄
 
I would very much like to know if there will be a second part, in which it will already be possible to romance them? I would be incredibly happy. I think their stories will be no less interesting and will delight all fans)

(+1)

Played this game a while ago, but wanted to come back and write a review because this game totally deserves some praise!
This is one of the best free VNs I've played, I can't believe it's free. The art is gorgeous and the characters are fantastic. They are all very distinct and memorable. The different routes as great as well, they really branch off and so the story unfolds in different ways, which I love. The world is intriguing, I like the supernatural/fantasy(?) elements, though it stays pretty vague, which is okay for this kind of story. It's very light on the horror, which I appreciate, though some of the death endings are sudden and somewhat funny (the achievements in this game have very humorous titles). The MC is absolutely hilarious, I enjoyed her internal monologue. And the way she interacts with others is unique as well. MCs can be a bit of a blank slate but this one is not. There are lots of very funny parts in the game in general, the banter is great between characters, and I think the game balances the dark and light elements very well. I found the romance very believable in each route, and Sachiro ended up being my favorite route despite the fact that he's a child for like 75% of it. Junoru's route was hilarious and revealed a lot of info about the story, which why it might be good to save it for last. Zeikun is unfriendly initially but it's very fun seeing how that changes, and Kurato was initially my least favorite because he was a little too aggressive, but I definitely liked him towards the end of his route (they're so sweet together!). I went back and re-played this recently, and it was just as good as I remembered. This is a super good game, and I would totally check out any future games from this creator.

(+4)

Oh My GODD! I have started the game yesterday but already finished everyone's routes except Kurato's! and so far i love it so much! to the point I feel so attached! (I cant count how many times I cried in Junoru's route haha!) This game has my stamp of approval and you really feel like you are experiencing everything in real life! I just wish there are routes for Chain , Kaichi and Junoru's brother perhaps even the gate keeper twins (Jace and Blace I think). Chain so far is my favorite he is just so mysterious! I'd love to know more about him!

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I almost finished it and that VN is sooo interesting and lovely and the art is so beautiful, I hope for more routes of the other guys :o

 I really wanted to donate a bit, despite I am quite poor, cause he really deserves it and the vn is too nice to be completely free! But I can't do it via paypal or credit card, yet and there is no instant transfer option :'( This is sad :/ 

(+1)

You finished this game surprisingly fast! It's a delight reading your feedback every time. Regarding donations, thank you so much for considering! I really appreciate the gesture. I made a kofi page: https://ko-fi.com/pinlin and if you prefer direct transfer, feel free to send a private message on my social media.

I noticed the change in music volume, but couldn't find a solution. The composers worked individually and their styles differ. I tried editing the soundtracks myself, but it resulted in loss of quality. 

ty :) Yeah, I got kinda addictive haha cause I am a visual novel lover and it was very interesting, too.  OK, nice, maybe I'll write you then some time cause of a little donation, but now december comes and every € counts haha ( I'm quite poor). Bit I keep it in mind, you deserve it ^^

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[ edit: I would love to a yuri/girl x girl route for Rasumi as well :3 ]hiya xD I just wanted to say, OMFG, that story is so thrilling and cool, the vn is cute, heartwarming, creepy and thrilling at the same time, I totally like it 😊 and i never expacted that twists in the way they came out and still on sachiros route 😮 😃 very good^^ The only thing, that bothers me a little is, that the music most time is quite faint, but in some scenes it is so much louder, but there is only one bar to set the music volume. But that's it. I really enjoy the story, it is very good *__*

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I love this VN, it has so nice characters, the boys are quite the hotties haha and the story is very interesting ♥ I even shared it on facebook in visual novel groups and on my visual novel page, (Kuru's Visual Novel Paradise - The Pure Joy Of Visual Novels)  Where I recommended it :D But I really would have liked a Kaichi route^^ Whatever... you are so talented, you should do another VN like this, i would play it, too =) 

(+3)

Hello! The game's base seems strong. I feel, personally, it would be even more without the romance. I really enjoyed the audio and visual horror elements, even though the writing was pretty good too. I feel like it would better if Miyoko was a police investigator instead of a student? She would probably be able to meet all the characters and use her resources as an investigator. I think the writing may need a bit more suspense, but I really like the overall base of the game! (side note: Kaichi and Chain are really growing on me. I feel like their personalities have even more depth than the main characters. I find that it is really good writing when I can hate and like them at the same time. Hopefully, a future route for those two?)

(+3)

Hello! First of all thanks for the game I really love it! I enjoy all the routes but I wish theres a route  for Roya, Chain and Kaichi (especially kaichi omg i love that shinigami) I hope in the future it will be added please hear my request っ╥╯﹏╰╥c

yes, i think the same :D i wanna have routes for chain, kaichi and roya :o some nice stuff about this "badguys" would be awesome *_* 

(+1)

Hello I haven't beat the game yet but just wanted to say so far I'm really enjoying it. I'm on Day 11 of Kurato's route. It's not a perfect game, like Tigress said there are some issues with lack of world building or characters accepting some pretty odd things without question. 

I feel that the history class with Mr. Blanchett would have been a good oppurtunity to have fixed some of these problems. Maybe you could have had some of the students asking him questions in class about this mysterious demon of the forest so that he could have given us some more background information. Also incorporating more of the village and folklore into the story would have really helped flesh things out. Like having the characters explore more of the village. There was one VN i played where the character read paragraphs from library books that talked about the myths and folklore of the world to try and solve the mystery of what was going on. Doing that really helped flesh out game and gave you more background info. It doesn't have to be a gigantic wall of text or anything like that but just enough where the world feels more real and the player understands whats happening.

Another thing that was a bit off was the lack of contractions. There was a lot of "it is" instead of just it's or "do not is not" instead of just don't or isn't. It made the main character feel a bit unnatural since most people don't really talk like that. 

All in all though I'm still enjoying it. I definitely feel that you have a talent with this and that if you keep working towards improving your writing and storytelling that you could create something pretty amazing. I look forward to seeing whatever you have planned in the future :) 

(+2)

Hello, thank you for the feedback! Classmates asking for stories is a great suggestion. The MC does explore the library in one of the routes- but I didn't want to use the same event everywhere. Each route explores some of my ideas so unfortunately, they don't feel complete. 

The use of contractions was a stylistic choice. It feels weird in narration so we decided to leave it out completely for consistency. In that case, you might not like Junoru's speech because it pushes further in that direction haha.

I came to the conclusion that regardless of when I release the game, it will always contain imperfections. I could endlessly attempt to improve, but the product will never be finished. Besides, the community provides insightful feedback. That is more important than guessing what people might like. Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the game!

(+1)

Yeah as a creator I understand. You don't want to try to make something perfect because that's impossible the important thing is just learning and developing from the mistakes you've made and to keep moving forward. And I'm sure I'll enjoy the rest of the game. I'm looking forward to playing the other routes.

(+5)

Hello, thought I would leave some thoughts here.

Looking through the comments, I'm glad that you have so many satisfied fans. Maybe I'm not the target audience for this game. I hope that my constructive criticisms can maybe offer a different perspective. I played Kurato's route and I played until Day 22.

Let me start off with the best parts of the game. I adored the soundtrack, it was beautiful. I also enjoyed the melodic nature of the sound effects. The character art was gorgeous as expected.

Parts of the game I did not enjoy:

The most significant aspect of the game that I feel was not executed well was the world-building. Nothing was cohesive or explained. Every supernatural character under the sun exists in this universe and no one bats an eye, but it doesn't seem like this was the intention of the work. Everything is supposed to be secret, but A: almost every single side character is a supernatural creature or involved in the supernatural (usually a balance of human characters or supernatural skeptics helps keep this seem secretive and realistic). And B:  the MC isn't surprised at any of the supernatural creatures or events, when she should be. The first mention of the supernatural- the school ghost- the MC questions others if they believe in ghosts, but later when she sees it, she doesn't react at all. It would benefit the story for the MC to have shock and disbelief whenever she encounters any new phenomenon that normally would shock an average person. She just blindly accepts everything and then moves on a couple of lines later. There is no self-reflection at all. She just moves on.

The pacing also had significant issues. This story is supposed to be a horror story where the mystery of villagers disappearing is the main problem for the characters. But none of the characters seem freaked out or scared by this. Lioji in particular is extremely calm when he should be scared the most as he has insider knowledge. The MC often walks at night, breaking curfew, and isn't scared in the least. More emotional reactions would keep this feeling immersive and realistic. I couldn't care because the characters didn't care.

The pacing would improve if there was more push-and-pull to the events in the story instead of bad events happening quite often and then not getting resolved. There is never hints in the story, just straight events like villagers being kidnapped and killed. Nothing that could be creepy or is possibly ominous that the player could worry about or think about in the back of their mind. Things are told instead of shown, with low reaction from characters. I would suggest reading or watching more slower-paced horror to improve the feel of these sections. In particular, the first two manga volumes of Higurashi are insanely skillful at pacing, depicting scenes with hints of horror, slowly building the intensity until the reader realizes the true situation of the protagonist. Since the setup is similar, I couldn't help but feel that this work would be improved by adopting some of that strategy.

Finally, the dialogue just wasn't strong. The characters felt one-dimensional, due to the dialogue. For example, the scenes with the MC and her two friends don't feel like realistic scenes of friends talking together and having a good time. They just feel like characters either talking over each other or just simply advancing the plot. A lot of dialogue serves only to advance the plot. Additionally, the player gets tired of having mysteries about characters be hinted at by the characters themselves, then immediately unaddressed. In any normal situation the MC would press further for answers. Instead she just lets these topics go. I also thought that the romance felt very forced. It didn't feel organic. The characters would just suddenly get romantic when the cutscene art showed up on screen, then just forget it and get back to their normal personalities.
Plotwise as well some things didn't add up. A lot of characters were introduced only shortly before they became significant, so the player couldn't wonder about their purpose, it was pretty much instantly explained. For example, (SPOILER) Roya was introduced and then a couple days later, was killed. It is also confusing as he confessed to the murders, but the characters just chose not to believe him, and didn't show any evidence to the player. How is the player supposed to confirm that he wasn't the killer? Jace and Blace were also introduced suddenly mid-way through the game and were immediately involved in the main plot. (END SPOILER)

I really appreciate your work on this game and I'm glad that it makes so many people happy. I hope my criticisms can help you to improve this work. Feel free to message me  to respond or if you want more clarification on any of the issues I brought up.

(+2)

Hello! 

It's rare to receive constructive criticism. More than often people tell what they dislike, but not why or how it can be improved. I really appreciate your time in writing your detailed thoughts and sharing tips.

I agree that the story lacks an explanation in the supernatural department. Almost all, if not all, the characters are very accepting with the strange events occurring. Now I look back at the story, I wish that the characters had more moments to reflect.  The emotional development could have more layers. During the time I wrote the first draft, I had no much visual novels for reference. For example, I played Amnesia Memories where a side character has so much "inner monologue" that felt highly annoying. I took the extreme other side with my writing. In recent years,  I write stories that are closer to myself. Not only I feel more connected, but it's easier to take real life references than starting from scratch. This way the fictional world will feel more realistic. I should've done more research on this aspect.

I didn't take time to create a layout of the plot. All of the writing was done on impulse and edited multiple times later. The order of events was all in my head; it was easy to mess up the timeline, especially with so many plot lines. This project taught me to make better planning and create an overview.

My editors/proof readers often told me to show rather than tell. I've liked to add more reactions of the characters than leaving it open to interpretation. Most hints are left there because they're explained in other routes. One thing I did plan was that every storyline is connected through details even though they're from an entirely different perspective. I'm not sure how to explain the romantic aspect, because this is very subjective.  I tried exploring different pacing with every character. Kurato is the type that is the most open about it, while Zeikun takes a long time to show any affection. 

I want to improve my writing for future projects and critiques like these help me a lot! Aside from that, I continue to work on myself as a person too. I reflect more on my actions and I like to explore the creative field to expand my library. I think that sometimes a writer's personality reflects in their work. Whether it's their way of thinking or what they enjoy.

(+1)

Thanks for your reply as well! I'm glad this was helpful. Your insights into your creative process was really intriguing, and I'm glad you shared this.

It was really interesting to hear that you planned to avoid too much inner monologue- I'm glad that you steered clear of that as that is often a worse option. One possible way to show more reflection without going into thoughts or monologues is to expand on dialogue and add more emotional reactions. I also love the idea of the connected routes. I didn't get to experience this but it sounds like a really intriguing way to tie the whole story together.

Beginning works often set the course for success in later works so its great that you discovered new strategies that help you in your writing. I wish you the best of luck for future projects! If you ever need any assistance with editing or story development feel free to reach out to me. Good luck :)

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In zeikun route, day 80 it wont allow me to continue and it says "required more affection points to unlock after story" and "end of chapter 4" okay i'm confused how do i get affection points? or do i need to finish all endings? 

Those are all the "ping" sounds during choice making. In other routes it's crucial, because those points decide which ending you get. In Zeikun's route it's one choice moment that decides.

Thanks for replying! 

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Hello Pinlin, I finished all routes and endings last night and just had to say that this game is AMAZING! I've never left a review on a game until now-- that's how much I like Dark Nights, lol. This is easily the best otome I've ever played. The art is absolutely PHENOMENAL, and the writing and characters are all ridiculously good. I love what you did with the extra scenes, archive, and sketchbook since they motivated me to do all the routes and endings (which is another thing I never do for otome games, but this one's an exception since it's THAT good). I'm very invested in this game and its characters, so I have a lot to say... this might get a bit lengthy LOL

 SPOILER WARNING for anyone reading this who hasn't finished Dark Nights yet!

First off, I love what you did with the routes and storylines for this game. Usually, otome games have one villain and the routes tend to get somewhat repetitive since the player will know what the villain will do, but that isn't the case here. I was seriously thrown off going from my first playthrough on Sachiro's route to Zeikun's route and seeing Rasumi shift from being the main villain to a support character! All of the side characters have good and bad sides depending on what route the player is on, and I think that's genius. At first I hated Roya in Kurato's route, but then I loved him in Junoru's route. I love the duality each of the characters portray, as it really adds depth to the story. Though, Rasumi tends to be pretty antagonistic overall, lol. I also enjoyed seeing how everyone's stories connected to one another. For example, how Sachiro and Kaichi knew each other, and how Kurato and the Kenriji sons went to school together. I was also absolutely baffled when Kaichi was revealed to be Kurato's childhood friend Tenshi! Every character seems to be connected the others in some way, and I loved seeing their different relationships play out. Even the characters that only appeared for a short while (Namely, Yokishi and the Kenriji brothers' parents) caught my eye! Plus, all the designs are super unique and memorable-- I envy your character design skills!

Secondly, I have some questions about some of the characters now that I've seen all the game has to offer. 

1. When he dies in some of the endings, Kaichi is shown to have no heart. Does this have any sort of correlation with his curse? Or is having no hearts just a common trait for all shinigami? Kaichi's my favorite side character, and I love his personality and backstory!

2. Is Rasumi's ulterior motive ever revealed? She's a super interesting two-faced character with a lot of secrets. I was thinking that she might be causing all this chaos just for the sake of her own entertainment, but I'm not sure.

3. Why is it that Roya takes interest in the MC, and why does it seem like he's able to tell when his death is coming up? Furthermore, is he craving his own death? In Junoru's route, he says that he'll probably die soon, which ultimately ends up happening a short while after this claim. In Kurato's route, him and Kurato fight and he loses, but he says some things about how he's been wanting to die once he's already been defeated. His character is pretty complex, and I wasn't expecting to like him as much as I do!

Next, I was wondering if you have any art or writing tips to offer? I'm absolutely in love with all of your different styles! I have a hard time with drawing backgrounds myself, and I would stare at the in-game backgrounds for a solid few minutes when they popped up since I was so impressed at your skill. I also have a hard time coming up with good character designs. I'm working towards creating a webcomic in the future and am working on my art skills, so any tips would be immensely helpful :D

And lastly, my personal rankings of the routes are Junoru -> Kurato -> Sachiro -> Zeikun! Though, my favorite boys are Kurato and Sachiro, haha. Zeikun isn't really my type, but I still surprisingly really enjoyed playing through his route! Sachiro was adorable, and I loved his route even more once his spirit form was revealed. Junoru is one that I seriously wasn't expecting to love as much as I do! I really enjoyed the pacing of his route. And finally, Kurato is my absolute favorite because of his design and personality. Loved his dynamic with the MC! I'm a sucker for characters who used to know each other when they were younger.

Alright, I think I've covered everything that I wanted to! Thank you so much for this wonderful game! I loved playing every second of it, and I (like many other people who have played this) would definitely be interested in a possible sequel with the side characters. Though, this game is already perfect for me as it is!

Thanks again! Your art, characters, and writing are all phenomenal! Will definitely stay tuned for your future art and projects :D

(+1)

Thank you for leaving an in-dept review! They help me a lot with writing, art and future productions. I'm pleased that this game left you a lot of positive thoughts. I added a lot of things I like about otome games or things in general that is rare: variety in routes which makes replaying fun, diversity in plot but the same universe, importance of side characters and more. The bonus content is a reward for people who like to explore all the world's corners. I had a lot of ideas and that  shows in how each route is presented.

Your perspective depends on the playing order and it shows multiple sides of the supporting roles. Each main character faces the story from a different perspective and I wanted to do that with others as well. I purposedly didn't let the main characters interact much so they're left in mystery until you play their route. Junoru's route did have the most hidden characters. Even though they had short screentimes, I'm happy that they made an impression. The Kenriji parents are based on their sons (I designed them later). Yokishi is an older OC. Instead of creating new, I wanted to give an existing character a place to shine.

 Regarding your questions:

1. Kaichi was stabbed in his heart which caused his first death. Rasumi removed the heart from his corpse later for keepsake and curse. It's Kaichi's emotions and the odd circumstances that gave him the chance to be revived as shinigami. It's a similar story with the ghost boy where he couldn't move on with missing body parts. Rasumi has a tendicy to curse people into children. To her, children are weaker and more 'pure' than adults. It was an attempt to make Kaichi forget about his hatred, but he actually retained all his memories. Another reason is that having no heart is a metaphor for having no feelings. It isn't exacyly in Kaichi's case, but in most cases he follows logic (until he met the MC haha).

2. Rasumi's motives were never clearly releaved. She seems to have different goals in every route. I initially wrote her to be an observer. She acts according to the situation. Hence MC's choices decide the outcome in Zeikun's route. She seems to act for her own entertainment because she is used to perform with a smile (her background as an angel and following orders with no obligation). Rasumi's own story isn't the focus in all routes, so I left that behind (future idea?). It is hinted that she had links with Jace.

3. Roya learns that Junoru gets along with the MC and tries to involve her further with them (just to hangout). His little brother gets lonely and he isn't the right person to comfort. Since his awakening, Roya has been chasing down every blood relative of the people that betrayed his parents- which is also his food source. Since the chase is coming to an end and he knows no other decent way to stay alive, he rather die. Part of it is his guilt for killing. He remembers his emotional abuse towards Kurato in the past so it feels like a justified way to die in his hands. At the same time, he is chased by Chain. It's impossible to run and hide forever in this small village. The last thing he wants is being taken by Chain. 

I'm only a hobbyist writer so I can only share personal tips and things that I did.
- Something that gives inspiration is studying other's work and note down what you like/dislike. Even badly written pieces are interesting resources because they tell you what to avoid.

- Consistensy. More of a technical part. I had multiple editors and proof readers working on 1 route. I did that to lessen the workload and more opinions. I did limit the amount of people per route, otherwise the style will go all over the place. It took a few trial and errors to assemble the teams. Even if you're a top notch writer, you need at least a second/third opinion. It can do good to ask someone within and outside the community. They'll give a fresh look.

- Mannerism, speech and way of interactions with other are all elements that add dept to a character. Each individual has their own and that makes them unique. It's not that just their hobbies define who they are. I try to avoid arch-types and make my characters multi-dimensional. It's not that they're a bit of everything, but it surrounds a core.

- Keeping the world small. The more you add, the more you have to explain. You'll risk plot holes and maybe write about them just for the sake of it. One of the biggest problems creators face is that it doesn't get finished. Often I start with the outlines, then fill the details. I do that with drawing as well. If the fundamentals don't make sense, it's harder to edit it all later.

Now about art. This is a seperate journey. I took some time off the project to improve my skills.

- For projects like visual novels, I had to produce a hell lot within a short time. I was experimenting with styles and found something that is easy to work with. Simple, pleasant to look at and can be easily drawn. All characters were designed 'simple' in my standard. The designs weren't hard from any angle or pose. Keep in mind you'll be drawing the same character over and over if you plan do add CGs. A lot of small details might be overlooked. The definition of 'simple' is subjective.

- To be honest, initially I wanted to use stock images for background. Later, I realized that will look very inconsistent paired with other art. I didn't need to learn amazing background skills, but just something that works well with the sprites. I used not to enjoy drawing environment art, but grew to like it after studying them. So my advice is; start on things you like to learn. The first few creations might not turn out great, but that is a step further. Continue to polish your skills.

- Focus on one thing at a time. You'll be less overwhelmed and improve faster.

I started a short webcomic "Monochrome meets Color" to improve my composition and story telling skills. It was a small project of about 180 panels done in 3 months. Those short projects are very informative and I get to know my limits.

I hope this answers your questions. Thank you for the support!

(+1)

Thank you for taking the time to reply! I learned so much more about the characters I had questions about, and now have a much better understanding for art and story creation. You've really helped me out; again, thank you so much for the detailed response!

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Hi Pinlin, I really love Dark Nights! the characters are all super interesting and their design are top notch, the art is amazing and the music is great!

I do have have some questions tho, haha, to be honest all of the supporting characters ( Chain, Jace , Blace , Roya and Kaichi) really caught my eyes. Is there an chance of getting their routes ? I´m definitely routing for a Chain one.

I still have to play sachiro´s route but roya seems to be keep dying ? Is that an important part of the story? He did seem to try to be a bit of a better person in Junoru´s route when he tried to cook, I wonder if there can´t be a" happy endnig" for him well he did say in kurato´s route that he wants to die but I don´t think he really wanted to more like he knew, he is goint to get killed sooner or later.

And I find it a bit odd how chain didn´t kill kurato after he found out he has been cursed, I thought he would show no mercy but thats not case.

( my favourite route is Junoru´s btw I reaaaally love him)

Thank you for creating this wondeful game! Looking forward of more ! ( sorry my english is not the best)

(+2)

I'm pleased to hear that you had a good experience. Thank you for the praises!

Actually, Chain's story has been on my mind but I haven't had the chance to go for it. For now, I wait until I have more time on my hands and if there is enough interest.

If you play through all routes, you'll see what's in store for Roya's fate. So far he only interacts in 2 routes and appears briefly in another. The comment above yours had a question regarding him as well. I explained a bit more about him in the reply. Be warned that there are spoilers. I recomment to read after you've completed the game or have played enough.

(+1)

Thank you so much for replying!

(+8)

I really loved the game, but...Chain route when?

(+1)

I'd LOVE one too! <3 

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Hi Pinlin, I just wanted to say that I finished playing all routes and endings of the game today and holy crap, I LOVED IT ALL SO MUCH. Your art is absolutely AMAZING, and the storyline was so engaging. Usually, after getting into a new game or fandom or whatever, I have a lot of things to say, so sorry if this comment drags on forever xD

[SPOILER WARNING to those who are reading this comment who haven’t finished all endings of the game!]

First things… questions I still have regarding some of the deeper lore/plot.

  1. RASUMI: I’m not sure if you deliberately decided not to reveal all of Rasumi’s motives and backstory, but it kind of feels that way because I was left slightly unsatisfied by the things that didn’t get revealed. After finishing Kurato and Junoru’s routes, which I expected to reveal more about Rasumi, I felt as though there was almost nothing new, apart from the impact Rasumi had on the two romance-able characters’ backstories. There’s also the thing about her being oddly kind and helpful in Zeikun’s romance ending, but really horrible in Zeikun’s normal ending (this double faced nature of her is so fitting for her being a Gemini, though that of course is a stereotype for the sign…). I also want to know if Kaichi ever managed to get Rasumi to break the curse on him! This just makes me go crazy on making my own theories on who she is; and for right now, I’m assuming that she is some sort of fallen angel or corrupted angel that now works for herself rather than any higher power. I’m curious to hear your thoughts about her and who she may be, and how you developed her as a semi-villain character!
  2. CHAIN: Okay, I have no idea why on Earth I like him so much. He’s cold and ruthless and clearly doesn’t care a lot for others apart from Kurato (somewhat) and maybe even MC in some routes… but I still feel like there’s something more to him than just a supernatural creature hunter. But besides me hoping dearly for a route for him (whether it be from MC’s perspective or Ikuya’s, since I read in an AMA about how you considered making Ikuya the POV for a sequel… personally, I would really like to see Ikuya x Chain because that is the most ridiculous but weirdly wholesome pairing ever), I have a couple thoughts about him. That part in Junoru’s backstory chapter where this hunter woman(?) shows up, the same CG of Chain’s eyes was used, and in the Extra Scenes part unlocked after all endings are reached, Roya seemed to suggest that he recognized(?) him “even after all these years“ (or something along those lines)… That part really got me thinking about who Chain really is. First of all, is that hunter woman from the past one of his mentors? One of my theories is that there are a generation of supernatural hunters that either are or aren’t related by family relations. It’s possible that the very first hunter held a grudge against supernaturals, and then someone who also had a grudge went to him/her and asked him/her to train them. Another theory is a bit more far-fetched, but it’s that maybe Chain isn’t really human after all? Maybe his soul lives on through the generations, taking the form of different bodies in order to disguise his true identity. Of course you don’t have to tell me his backstory if you’re planning on keeping it a secret for now, but I just wonder about him… ;^)
  3. ROYA: I don’t know if this is a plot hole or something, but in Kurato’s flashback chapter, it’s shown that Roya murders his teacher for sending death threats to the Kenriji family. However, at this point Roya shouldn’t even have his supernatural powers yet, and I really wonder how on Earth a young child like him managed to kill an adult… Maybe there’s an explanation for this? Also, I think it’s implied that Roya is the one who killed the school ghost boy (I forget his name), but I’m not really sure. It makes sense (sort of) that someone like Roya wasn’t the best person even as a child, but I find it a bit odd how no one ever suspected him or called him out for his actions (except Junoru for that one time). And I also wonder why he has extreme bullying tendencies anyway. Does he to some degree have mental or emotional issues? Does he simply look down on others that much? I don’t know, some parts of his backstory just doesn’t really make that much sense to me, and I was hoping that you could clear some things up, if you wanted to share!
  4. JACE/BLACE: I think a lot of their backstory was already revealed, but I just have one question: how do they determine which clients to accept and such? I don’t really understand why they would ever work for sketchy people like the dudes who murdered the Kenrijis. Since the reason why the twins appeared in Kurato and Junoru’s routes is because Kurato and Junoru are the source of the issues going on in the village (except they’re also caused by Roya and Rasumi), and they need to return balance to the human world, it’s odd that they would randomly accept the jobs of random people who are acting out of spite and cold blood. Is there something that I’m forgetting about their backstory that explains this, or did you just never reveal it?

Okay, now that all of my questions are out of the way… I’m going to say a few thoughts about the existing routes!

Routes ranked from 4th to 1st place:

#4: Kurato. Although he’s an awesome character, he’s just the personality type that I feel least interested in. That’s not to say this route was bad in any way! I really enjoyed playing through his route! I only felt like the romance came a little too soon compared to the other routes, and I’m just not super interested in his personality.

#3: Zeikun. I love his personality and character design, and there’s really nothing wrong with his route at all. However, I just prefer other routes a bit more than his.

#2: Junoru. This boy is too precious. I really love soft personalities in otome games, especially in a game with such a complex and dark plot. It complements the story well! I also loved the flower symbolism in his route; even though it was sad, I adore his normal ending CG. He looks so peaceful, resting over the flowers. I feel bad that he had to go to hell rather than heaven, though. Oh, on that note… CAN I JUST SAY THAT SENDING HIS MOTHER AND FATHER TO SEPARATE AFTERLIFE REALMS IS LITERALLY THE MEANEST AND CRUELEST THING EVER.

#1: Sachiro. Okay. I did NOT expect myself to like his route as much as I did. I’m not really into the shota types, so I was very hesitant about playing his route. But once I got into the 2nd-3rd chapter? Wow. I absolutely adore the plot line of his route. It has a somewhat Spirited Away kind of vibe, except it’s a spirit going into the human world. And can I just say that non-cursed/adult Sachiro’s design is my favorite thing ever. The moment I saw him, and got then to know his true personality? I knew he was best boy. Also, I really dig swordfighters in fantasy games. The CG you drew where he is about to kill all the evil spirits in the spirit realm was too amazing. I love the transition of his normal fighting self to the darker version where he looks much more ominous. Also, might I mention that one of my most treasured OCs in a medieval fantasy story I’m making is a swordfighter, is a Cancer, and has a dark/corrupted side that ends up overwhelming him at one point? I guess I just really like that type of character. xD

Lastly, I would like to conclude with this:

Pinlin. You are an amazing person. Your art is so good. Even though I’ve never liked anime art styles completely, your style is so captivating and beautiful on so many levels. The color schemes you use seriously soothe my heart. I’m a hobbyist artist myself (and am currently making a visual novel of my own, but it’s only a personal project for my friends for now), and the kind of stuff you do is what I aspire to be in the future. I loved every aspect of this game, and I really hope to see more games from you in the future, if you’re considering it. I’d be totally down for a sequel of Dark Nights featuring the side characters! Since you said that you would do a route for some side characters if you had enough requests for it: if you want to, I would love to see routes for Chain, Kaichi, Roya, Jace, Blace, Lioji… oh wait… that’s literally all of the male side characters. xD But in all seriousness, I think I would be most interested in seeing (as mentioned above) Ikuya featured as the POV, getting to know the side characters. Ikuya deserves more love and screen time! (That bit about her fighting Rasumi off with Zeikun? Spectacular.) But… you are your own person, and as a creator, you should do whatever you want, and I don’t want to be a demanding fan of any sort. Do what makes you most happy!

Phew! That was a lot of typing. I hope you’ll find the time to read this through and tell me your thoughts. Thank you so much for making this game. It’s been a pleasure playing through it. ^v^

-Nocte

(+3)

Thank you for this thoughtful review. In fact, I love reading long feedback so no need to apologize for it! Usually, I don't get to hear live feedback from players. By the time they finish the game, they've forgotten most of their reactions on events and scenes.

I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed all storylines. Each was created with a distinctive style for different preferences. The stories are obviously focused on the main characters so there is a lot missing about the supporting roles.

1. I regret not revealing not enough of Rasumi because so far she seems to be a black sheep despite her various roles. She is not the main villain in some routes, like she didn't cause the tragedy in Junoru's story. In Sachiro's route, she acts as a supporting character. Without Rasumi's help, Sachiro wouldn't be able to ever meet MC normally. In the bonus scenes there is a small dialogue between Kaichi and Rasumi. I left it as an open end, because these two have a seperate background story. Rasumi double-faced nature started since her traumatic childhood. A short scene is revealed in her diary during Kurato's route chapter 4. Another hint was left when Blace said Jace and Rasumi have a bad relationship. Jace is the guardian of Heaven's gate and Rasumi is an angel- which means they had some encounters before. The first time Rasumi meets MC, she acts very friendly. I had this idea that Rasumi watched MC from the heavens, thus knowing MC for a long time. If I ever get the chance to expand the lore, I'd love to write more about this character! I've created her long before Dark Nights existed so my mind is full of ideas.

2. Chain is also one of my personal favorites- the mysterious one. Just like Rasumi, I didn't reveal much about his background. Although, he is way more popular. The first encounter of Ikuya with Chain is that she walked away , scared. Their chemistry will be a funny or interesting development. His relationship with the MC varies a lot depending on which route you are. To reassure you, Chain is completely human. If he were super natural, he might dislike himself too(?) which sounds edgy. So far there were hints that Chain lives alone. His place has no any hints related to his friends and family. He met Kurato since he was a teen at the investigator department. He might have been working there longer. The woman in Junoru's route was one of Chain's ancestors since she looks like Chain. They practise hunting supernaturals for generations, but now there are none of those specialists left. It was mentioned somewhere Chain killed a cousin who turned into a vampire. Roya recognizes Chain because of his bloodline. Aside that, Roya encountered him a several times before. The "hunters" are known for their skillful and terrific tactics of capturing/killing supernaturals. There is a black market for these kinds, hence Roya is afraid of ending up there. If I would explore more of this world if I were to write Chain's story.

3. Arount the time Roya attacked the teacher, he already drunk one of those potions. His parents didn't know this. The school ghost was killed by other classmates and Roya has nothing to do with that. He tends to mess around with Kurato. Not all characters speak the truth at times. Kurato used to have a very low self-esteem which made him an easy target. Usually bullies aren't aware of the damage they cause. The teasing starts innocently and gradually gets worse. Roya didn't have any friends during his childhood, and still doesn't in present time. He has trust issues because of the events that happened in the past (kidnapping, conflicts with villagers, murder of parents, betrayal of aquaintances etc.) He doesn't look down on other people, like he saw some potention in MC, but prefers to keep emotional distance. The interactions with his parents were shown from Junoru's perspective. Junoru once mentioned that Roya, despite being older, wasn't a suitable heir because of his troublesome personality. He is mischievous in nature and naturally smart but doesn't put much of his talents to use. 
I thought that I covered enough of his backstory, but I realized that it was mostly told from other character's perspectives. Roya is a complex character because he acts as he feels like in the moment. I actually had him in mind as 5th romance-able, but 5 storylines felt way too much. 
The flirty arch-type might be the least likeable so I removed him. Now he is a side character somehow a lot people got their eyes on him lol.

4. There is a time skip from where the twins were forced to kill and present time where they work for themselves. I had a seperate story in mind of how they came to be- and it's pretty dark. The people who wanted to kill the Kenriji captured the twins to work for them. Luckily it didn't last long because the twins managed to escape a short while after the Kenriji were dead. They didn't appear in Sachiro and Zeikun's storylines because they are different creatures. The twin's main focus are humans/undead and those that jump through time by accident (Kurato). Unlike Chain, they completely unaffiliated. They act to what they think is right to keep the world's balance even if it needs sacrifices (Junoru's route). Jace tends to show less empathy as he is used to sending people to the Heaven. Blace has dealt with different tasks and sometimes hesitates to make decisions.

About the main characters, each has a distinctive personality. I had different editors and proof readers working on each route. Because of this, the MC might feel inconsistent. Although, in real life people tend to act differently in each relationship too. I'm glad to know that at least one of the main characters stole your heart<3 It's such a coincidence that we have similar elements in our stories. Sachiro was quite difficult to write, because I had no main goal for him in mind for a while. I re-wrote his story a several times before I came to this point. One of the major changes was adding his adult form. From there the rest became easy to direct his story.

Thank you for the praises on my style! I especially developed it for creating this visual novel. To be honest, I tried stepping away a bit from anime style because it wasn't perceived positively by people around me. I choose to focus on composition and colors as keypoints (I struggled with artblock and identity for a several years. Because of this, Dark Nights got affected by delay in development). After I finished all CG art, I added a lot of cutscenes and small animations. For Zeikun's route, I wanted the scenes in inkwash style. His themes are around oriental cultures, so I thought that was the most fitting. In Junoru's storyline, a lot cutscenes were more like graphic design and  "straight-cut". Sachiro's route should had more sketchy drawn scenes. It reflects his dreams but also uncentainty. For Kurato, it was a combination of all. During the last years of developemt, I wanted to experiment with visuals and it shows there.

All of the side characters have their own lore. I created this visual novel because I love my OCs and wanted to flesh out their stories. Even if I don't create visuals novels for them again, you'll see/read more about them in other forms (illustrations, comic, animation etc). In the bonus scenes I added dialogues that  couldn't find a place in the main story. 
Dark Nights is my very first published writing and I'm happy to receive so many positive feedback (´・ᴗ・ ` ) Anyway, thank you for your time playing and sharing your thoughts!

(+2)

Thank you so much for your detailed response! Ah, so much stuff makes sense to me now.

Again, thank you for this game, Pinlin! I had a blast playing it and I eagerly await more content from you in the future, whether it be Dark Nights related or not! In the meantime, I'll be making more memes and fanart in the Discord. (*w*)

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