It’s one thing to live under someone’s shadow even when they’ve passed away, but what do you do when the spotlight is on the dead that is still producing pieces of art?

Well, in InvertMouse’s adventure/visual novel game “Without Within 3” we get to follow our amateur calligrapher Vinty who has been living her mundane life after her last two misadventures, though her minor triumph from a local calligraphy contest is a nice milestone to brag.

without within 3 some girl

I would say it is hard to make it big if the deceased was still hard at work.

Anyways, during her private gloating over the small victory she noticed trends about Kiki, a deceased calligrapher, leaving her works well after her death.

So it wasn’t long until Vinty received an email from someone she least expected, with a ticket to Singapore attached. She now joins her “rival” Excelia in order to catch a ghost, or whoever is behind these events.

without within 3 its kiki

Kiki was known as a legend among calligraphers, at least those who remember. But they don’t know the full story behind her fame.

“Without Within 3” is Vinty’s third misadventure as she joins the professional, now unpopular, calligrapher Excelia and her investigation of the Ghost of Kiki, a legendary model and calligrapher, as her works are left behind at the scenes of her appearance.

The only issue you may come across would be the references to the previous novels so I recommend checking those out as well before reading this one. Otherwise, Without Within 3′s story is fairly standalone.

without within 3 its vinty

Despite Vinty is on a mission she does take the time, though quickly, to admire the sights.

“Without Within 3” starts off as a nice down to earth adventure from the view of an inspiring calligrapher as she investigates the mystery while touring Singapore and Malaysia. Later in the story, however, you’ll find more to this ghost story than you’d expected.

Much like to another story of InvertMouse’s I’ve read (“The Last Birdling”) Kiki’s tale is one of an unlikely pairing of childhood friends and tragedy.

without within 3 nice looking visuals

The CGs for these places are a sight to behold, but fascinating to learn that they actually exist.

“Without Within 3” has only one course in its story so there aren’t any choices or multiple paths to follow.

The only user interaction in the novel is reading, but there are some links to videos (and a special page) to flesh out the sites Vinty explores.

As for the narration of the story, it reads as the narrators would normally recount the events, especially the depressing details.

without within 3 a game about tragedy

At first, I wasn’t sure myself but then found this game was about tragedy.

The music also sets the mood, from the lighthearted to the somber scenes, as you read. The tracks that play during a scene where a link pops up make excellent background music for the videos as well.

The backgrounds for the scenery are simple though the CGs based on landmarks in Singapore are accurate to their real-life counterpart.

without within 3 whenreality does not comply

The game can be bizarre but Vinty remains grounded to reality, even when reality does not comply.

Crowds and other individuals mostly consist of silhouettes, Excelia’s cloned bodyguards, and one simplified comedy portrait that a key character deals with too often.

Vinty goes out-of-the-way to describe the people she comes across, though one of them has their own portrait in the novel (but you can’t help but love the guy).

The cast of interest, Vinty, Excelia, Kiki, and other key characters, have a unique fashion to them which helps give them an attractive design.

without within 3 excelia and vinty

“Without within 3” offers great visuals, an interesting story, a cast of colorful characters and tons of adventure.

However, they were given some quirks to their designs to add to their personalities, such as Excelia’s disguise cap that somehow works on anyone that is not a calligrapher.

This novel may become serious at times but that’s not to say it wouldn’t get weird.

The visual novel hits its high marks when you get close to the end as the CGs start to paint an emotional tale of Kiki’s from what drove her into calligraphy to her last moments.

without within 3 on the young version of kiki

There are very few to no down sides that I can mention when it comes to “Without within 3”. However, one con that I can bring up is being lost to references from previous novels if you start here.

So when you put all of this together then you get a well written story that has a good amount of lightheartedness with tragedy that’ll lead to tears. Furthermore, in a way, these characters, despite being in the profession of calligraphy, are relatable.

Simply put, “Without Within 3” is a worthwhile read that (though you should be ready for some depressing ghost tales) should please both fans of the series and fans of visual novels in general.

Pros:
+A well written visual novel about Vinty’s third misadventure and a heartbreaking tale of fame, friends, and art.
+Blend of great art, a soundtrack ranging from cheerful to somber, and InvertedMouse’s story telling creates an emotional read.

Cons:
– You will be lost with references to the previous novels if you started the series here.

Gameplay:  4/5
Story: 5/5
Graphics:  4.5/5
Sound/Music:  4.5/5
Controls:  4/5
Replay value: 3/5

tgg grade 5 out of 5

Verdict: 5/5
”Without Within 3” is a fantastic story about calligraphers, a mystery, and a touching tale where events can go from cheerful to heartbreaking.

You may feel tears welling up as you read the visual novel late in the story but if I could say one thing, crying isn’t a waste of energy.

Title: Without Within 3
Developer: InvertMouse
Format: Windows
Genre: Adventure, Tragedy Visual Novel
Resolution: 1578×888 Windowed
Release date: 2018-05-03
Difficulty: You may cry
Spent time: 5+ hours
Average grade internationally: 84.00% Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI 16+/Teen
Price: $5.99 ($11.67 for Without Within 3: Complete Edition)

Credit:
Robin Ek – Editor

tgg author avatar David Lucas
David Lucas
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @GamerFoxem

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