“Tears of Yggdrasil” is a visual novel that is inspired by Japanese drama VNs with Norse mythology thrown into the mix, having a story that starts off as a typical school day but suddenly dealing with a phenomenon that going through Yggdrasil (don´t miss out on our Sekaiju Yggdrasil full demo playthrough!). The developer, MoonStar, is currently looking for funding to help finish the project through Patreon, and the current build of the novel has a good start.
The slice of life novel starts with Kogara Sachi, the insertive caretaker/childhood friend who was literally born a day before our hero in the same delivery room, trying to wake up Yamakazi Kusanagi, our perverted otaku with a heart of gold. His day stays normal if you decide to comply with Sachi and wake up, giving you dialogue that leads to the Love Ending. However, if you wanted five more minutes, things start to get grim as soon as our hero gets hit by a car after an earthquake. Sachi will do anything for Kusanagi to bring him back, from covering his comatosed body from falling debris to stabbing an armed military guard with a shard of glass.
This was an interesting take for a slice of a life story, putting a dark opening arc like that. When Kusanagi ends up in Alfheim, the story stays grim when he’s seen as an enemy, but then it suddenly switches over to a romantic comedy. At this point, we meet the other two ladies of interest. First, there’s Princess Alvaerele Ikeshia, the Elvish Tsundere that resurrected Kusanagi to find out what’s going on with all the earthquakes in her world let alone why she woke up in the middle of the night to find his dead husk laying on her as it groped her breasts. And then there’s Elisven, the socially awkward Meido that, according to her bio on the website, is continuously threatened and beaten by prejudiced elves because they think she’s a Dark Elf spy.
This is a really good start, just couldn’t help but feel a tone whiplash after the initial “Welcome to Alfheim” scene, introducing comedic dialogue when it started off on a serious note (even though one of the first things you see is a Companion Cube among a ton of things). Nonetheless, with a story that’s about finding out what’s causing the earthquakes between Earth and Alfheim, and other mysteries, I would like to see where this goes.
Character designs are simple with some JVN quality vibe in them. Kusanagi looks mellow for most of the scenes (all things considered), but the star attractions are the pretty ladies, especially with elf women with nice oppais of course (I approve). The CGs are also done well but the style is different from the artist who did the character portraits, which is obvious in one of them. The backgrounds for the scenes come from two different resources; Uncle Mugen and Aswaforce.
They are extremely good in quality with Aswaforce’s very stylish it looks like it left the CG artist to resort to making their own background. In general, the art has some excellent quality, there’s even a little Yggdrasil tree branching out in the dialogue box. However, with four different artists/resources with distinct styles there are going to be some clashes in the art direction.
The music is pretty good and covers the basis for this novel, but the piano tracks are the best part with scores that include relaxing melodies, seraphic compositions, and lovely tunes that set a romantic mood. There are also a few dark toned tracks that set a few scenes up with a bit of eeriness and dread, and while there just a few of them, there are only a few scenes that need to be grim.
“Tears of Yggdrasil” also features full voice acting that sounds like American anime dubbing, but it’s also at a good quality. A few lines don’t match the dialogue. However, with the actors wording the sentences differently as they read them off. Nevertheless, this is not the worst offender in a visual novel for this to happen; to my knowledge that honor goes to “Lux Pain.”
+ The story has a great start with some grim elements in the opening arc
+ Great piano scores make up the soundtrack
+ Character designs and CGs are at a pretty good quality
– The transition of the tone going from grim to comedic romance is very sudden
– The art styles between artists contrasts are a bit obvious and clashes here and there
“Tears of Yggdrasil” comes off as an ambitious project, and so far the visual novel has a good start. As between what I’ve seen in the current build of the novel and what’s laid out on the website and tumblr page I’m interested to see how the story will unfold, so hopefully the developer will finish this story.
The Gaming Ground
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