A while back, I posted a rant about Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly on the Otome Games reddit. I looked back at the post again and realized that I was still sufficiently annoyed enough that I felt the need to talk about it here as well. Some of the stuff will be copied and pasted from that post since a lot of my complaints haven’t changed, but I’m going to make edits and add more thoughts.
As the title says, this has spoilers for the whole game.
I’m not kidding.
Stop reading if you haven’t finished the game or don’t mind everything being spoiled.
- This game is WAAAAY to willing to pop people into a coma. I’m sorry, but having four people go into a coma is insane. Yes, about 25% of coma patients are due to a lack of oxygen, which drowning would cause, but four people. Really? To make it worse, three of them were from the exact same event. I find it highly unlikely that they would all go into a coma. You’d think one would just die, or maybe one would be fine, or maybe one would even die from something else like metal from the bus going through them. You can’t just put everyone in a coma! If Hikage somehow caused them to all go into a coma from the bus incident, which is the only way I can think to justify that, tell us! Please! Don’t just put everyone in comas!
- Why they died in the first place. Another game I played had someone lose an item they got from a loved one when they were a kid which made them go back into a dangerous area and then they died. I thought it was incredibly stupid then, and it is incredibly stupid now. If this sounds familiar, you might have guessed the game I’m talking about, or you might not have because apparently this is a trope that happens a decent amount and I hate it.
- Guilt for the Natsu and Kazu incident. I understand survivor’s guilt and how they would all blame themselves, but really, none of it was Karasuba’s fault. It wasn’t really Ai’s either since she wasn’t the only one who wanted to go to the manor. I don’t even know if I blame Takuya for loosening the ribbon. As terrible as it sounds, I find myself blaming Kazu for overreacting toward a ribbon more than Takuya for loosening it. This boils down to my hating that trope from the point above. It’s like something someone in a horror movie would do. Don’t go back for your phone if the killer is in the house; don’t go back for a ribbon if there’s basically a monsoon happening. It’s just common sense. I can’t even.
- Natsu dying. I’m going to walk step by step through his death sequence. Kazu falls in water, then Ai does. Natsu saves Ai. Natsu saves Kazu. Natus dies. So, if Natsu were close enough to the water’s surface that he was able to save Kazu (I know he’s in a coma at this point, but he’s not dead), it seems like he’d be close enough to live. Kazu was said to be pretty frail/weak, so I don’t think he was really kicking to the surface or making any progress on his own. It was probably 95% Natsu’s doing. I get that that means he was probably tired out, but it just seems like he’d be close enough to the surface to live if Kazu weren’t really helping himself any. To add to that, Kazu was under water way longer than Natsu, so really, it seems like he should have died regardless if Natsu got him to the surface. tl;dr Kazu probably should have died. Natsu seems like he had a better chance of living than Kazu, but I could see him dying due to exhaustion.
- I’m not sure why half of the endings existed. They came out of left field and made little sense. Karasuba becomes a yandere who is drugging her. Did he kill everyone else? I doubt he could have successfully killed everyone, especially Hikage. Hikage wouldn’t just let that happen. I’d imagine that later on Hikage offed Karasuba XD. Natsu somehow makes Ai think she’s married to him???? I guess maybe he was able to do this since he’s been in the world a while and got some power like Hikage, but it was never explained. Guess it’s magic. Takuya giving Ai a death hug was absolutely pointless. Kazu having two endings was pointless as well. Plus, in Kazu’s good end, how did the other’s get brought back? We’re left to assume they somehow stopped Hikage I guess? So many of these endings didn’t make sense and just didn’t serve a purpose. Nothing was added to the plot.
- For most of the game, Karasuba felt like he was detached from everyone else. Like, he felt the least plot relevant and just got left in the sidelines compared to the others. The others had a main story arc, but he really didn’t. Takuya turns into a monster, Hikage is Hikage, Natsu has the whole “my first love/promised marriage” thing, Kazu saved Ai and was mysterious. Karasuba was just kind of there. It took the bonus stories/real world stories to really find out his purpose, but that made his character feel less important. It was sad that he got the short end of the stick. Admittedly, that does go along with his flashy personality in the Psychedelica world: he’s the least important plot-wise so he’s compensating for it. But…that’s so meta that he himself wouldn’t know he’s the least plot relevant, so that’d have to be a game maker decision, and I’m not sure I’m willing to give them that much credit XD.
- Hikage spends years thinking the kaleidoscope would grant a wish. Why Usagi never told him that was false, I have no idea. I get she would probably be scared, but after over 10 years of time (given their clothes and the manor destruction, it had to be a good 50 years at least), one would think maybe she’d get the guts to do it (but she didn’t and got shot, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything from her loool).
- Hikage seems to know basically everything that goes on, but he did seem pretty shocked that Takuya was alive. Did he really not know? Did he not know where Usagi was staying? It felt like he had a “3rd person limited” perspective (to use writing terms lol), but only when it was convenient for the story. Otherwise, he was shown to be an omnipresent being.
- I have no idea why that old guy was selling mourning jewelry and why Karasuba thought mourning jewelry was a good present. Sure, it was pretty, but really? Mourning jewelry? Why was there a guy selling mourning jewelry in a back alley? Who buys mourning jewelry in a back alley? The seller felt a bit magical/creepy to me, so I thought maybe he was somehow sent by Hikage, but that was never stated, so I’m just confused.
- Why could these jewelry pieces collect butterflies? Did Hikage give them to them? Did everyone at some point buy mourning jewelry from a creepy old man in an alley? What’s going on? XD
- I understood why Natsu couldn’t have a great ending, but boy, way to make the player feel guilty for choosing someone else. They threw his marriage promise at us so many times, I felt bad choosing another guy.
- Natsu’s marriage proposal event was not required for the main story even though it was brought up in the main story. That seemed really odd to me, especially since I waited a long time to do that event yet already knew about it. Considering how the game has locks, how about locking the main story at a certain point until I see the proposal story?
- HOW MANY TIMES are they going to make me see their drowning scene? They had to have shown it three times. It was depressing (and annoying). It barely even changed each time. It was basically the exact same descriptions all times that it played. Why would they do this?
- Why did Hikage just leave out a demonic book? If nobody could touch it, then maybe he should have put it away, or, you know, told her to not touch it since he was there when she did it?????? Hikage didn’t want her to get sucked into the abyss, so leaving it out was stupid.
- Why did the demonic book ending exist? It served no purpose at all. The only other time the abyss is really explored is in Kazu’s end, and in that end, it’s shown that you can get out, so the bad ending where you can’t get is out really pointless. It was just a mean trick by the game makers because they knew most people would fall for it and get stuck (I did XD).
- I couldn’t decide how to interpret Hikage’s ending. Did he and Usagi get reborn? Is Ai having some weird hallucination? I want to think they got reborn since they’re both wearing modern clothes, but I’m mainly just salty that the game ended there instead of giving us anything more. The drama CD implies he was reborn, so I’m going to go with that, but I shouldn’t have to buy a drama CD just to know the fate of Hikage.
- Kazu not telling about Hikage was dumb. He didn’t want to break their friendship that was already false???? He knew Hikage wasn’t okay, yet he didn’t tell them because he didn’t want to ruin their fake friendship.
- Was the happy ending where everyone lived and Natsu didn’t die just a dream, or was it an alternate timeline that actually did occur? Did it occur? Did we just play a game where the whole game is a bad alternate timeline? (Like another game series did I can think of <_<).
- In Hikage’s ending, did everyone but Ai die? This was really vague.
On a positive note, the “I can’t use technology/I don’t know what a phone is” was excellent foreshadowing. Natsu (probably) died before he knew what cell phones were/had one, and Hikage definitely died before cell phones were a thing.
Ahhh, it feels good to get that off my chest again XD. If anyone has any comments about anything I said or more complaints, feel free to leave a comment below!