In this blog post I want to tell how I started to play otome games/ visual novels (a.k.a my favorite hobby of recent years) and talk about one of the most special and beautiful otome game of all times in my opinion: Code Realize Series. You can skip the story telling part, if you want and read the long review about the game.
Everything started when I, as an anime watcher, found a multifandom anime video (amv) on youtube. I couldn’t find that video but this is a similar one. In the vidoe there were scenes of Code realize to be released anime adaptation. And of course I got curious and found the name of the anime and watched it whenever the new episode comes.
I watched the anime. It was not bad. It felt like it has an unused potential, how to say something feels off. But I was really obsessed with the series because
- Its story takes place on one of my favorite settings and one of the cities I’ve always wanted to visit: Steampunk London
- Main characters are from famous literature works or historical/legenderous characters. Arsene Lupen, Impey Barbicane, Victor Frankestein, Abraham Van Helsing, Count of Saint-Germain, queen Victoria
- It has many mysteries. Cardia Beckford, who is amnesiac also can melt everything she touches due to her poison in her body, should not only find her missing father, but also the reason behind her poison.
- Magic, science, sorcery, technology, alchemist and more… This series included them all.
- Main character Cardia, unlike many other female main characters, tries to do something, which must be appreciated because she can leave all of the works to the people around her. Rather than sitting all day and act like a proper lady, she decided to improve herself, and she started to wear like a tomboy, because she can kick better with tomboy clothes.
After finishing the anime, checking the comments and learning that this anime is adapted from a game, that unused potential thing made more sense. Seriously have you ever seen an anime or movie adaptation of a game that worthy of its original ? Later on I started to believe that this anime is like advertisement for the game. Good selling strategy. It worked 🙂
I’ve learnt that game is exclusive to PSVita and cannot be found in other platforms(later it came to ps4 and nintendo switch). And I watched some gamers videos on youtube. Especially I’ve watched the videos of Saint because I believe he is the most neglected guy on the anime. After finishing his playtrough on youtube I said to myself I should get this game no matter what.
The game mechanics were great for me. It was like a voiced story book with more than one ending. BGM’s, seiyuus amazing performances, and reading the lines as “I” makes the player live the story, even if you are watching from another players screen. There weren’t any action in comparison to parkour games, and I cannot say I am good at parkours games at that time.
After long negotiations with my dad, I finally persuded him to get me a PSVita. My mum was shocked, her beautiful girl was to spend money on games, she used to never do that before etc… Actually I did not give a damn about my mums disapproval. Why should I ? Girls playing games is a normal thing now, Even if it is not, it should be.
Normally I wanted to get PS4 because at that time I was obsessed with another game series whose main character is, again, Arsene Lupen(inspired). Maybe I will write blog post about that as well.
Whatever… Main problem was finding vita, because vita is known “dead console” and it was expensive. Not just console but also games and memory card. We, me and my dad, went Doğu Bank, famous technology department on Sirkeci. We asked again and again and couldn’t find a brand new one. I remember one of the shop keepers asked me “Buy Xbox, women prefer that more, it has more action(?).” I was like “what?!” I talked with my bff who has xbox she said that they play dancing sports game on xbox and they are moving their body…
We went to Kadıköy, could not find it either, Finally we bought it online. My first online shopping except books. I was excited. My cargo came without any troubles. I was so happy that I could fly. I bought the game digitally and begin to play it. I liked it so much that I begin to search and play other ones as well. Now I’ve finished more than ten and there are games that I am currently play it. Of course I started to play other games as well, but my favorite genre is undoubtfully otomes.
Thanks to otome games, I’ve become more interested in Japanese culture which I was alread interested. I was reading Japanese literary works, manga and watching animes before but my interest deeply increased. I’ve started to learn Japanese and while learning language you learn the culture as well, yeaaay. BTW otomes ore VN’s general are great Japanese learning tool.
But if you ask, what are those otome games, let me explain briefly. Otome/乙女 means maiden in Japanese. So otome games are the story based games that targeted towards female audience. They are subbranch of visual novels and one of the main target of the game is having romantic relationship with one of the possible characters. In that sense they are similar to dating sim, but the story itself is more complex and we discover the whole picture through routes.
And this reason is one of the main reason why I am so interested in this genre. Sometimes while reading books or watching movies, series etc, you ship two people and my ships are usually not canon:( I hate writers for this issue and I try to get healed through fandom. I feel like those games are the greatest cure for this. I mean it feels like reading 5 book instead of 1, 5 series instead of 1…
By the way romanticism is not always the main deal. Personally I like those more. They feel like VN’s more. Main story is more attractive I think. Such as Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk, Collar x Malice, BWS…
Also we can change main character ladys name in this games, even we can close her picture next to text box. Those choices are given in order to make the player feel more immersed in the game. Even because of this, main characters personality is usually empty or better(?) she has amnesia. Even some cases main characters face is unseen, or eyes are unseen. They are covered by hair, bangs. Personally I prefer well written heroines with personality, even it is opposes mine.
Bunun dışında bu oyunların Japonlar tarafından Japonlara yapıldığını, içinde çeşit çeşit absürtlüklerin bulunduğunu da unutmayalım 🙂 Beni en çok şaşırtanlar yandereliğin bir sınırı olmaması ve trap/crossd
Also another fact, this games are made by Japanese people to Japanese people, so they include absurd things in big variety 🙂 I am still surprised that there is no limit in Yanderes, traps/crossdresser and rejestic brothers.
In my opinion golden age of otomes was PSVita era and some of its legacy lives on steam. I do not know, maybe you’ll want to check them out and support this industry😋
Code Realize: Guardian of the Rebirth
Code Realize: Guardian of the rebirth is a game developed by idea factorys subcompany which focuses on developing otome games Otomate. It first released in 2014 when PSVita was a popular console, and a year later it tranlated into English by Aksys Games and put on western market. This game has one anime adaptation and 2 fandiscs. I played this game in 2018. Now I am playing, actually finished second fandisc, and some parts in order to write this review/summary.
Story, 1. episodes summary, Steel London
This story begins when Leonhardt and the people in his command invade a remote, old manor in Wales where a monster lives according to rumours. This is an order from the queen. (Actually story begins with Cardia and her dad’s monologue…)
Leonhardt and soldiers found a girl sleeping on chair with a room full of plush toys. They couldn’t believe that this girl is the monster. A bold soldier hold her chin while saying “Is this.. really a monster?” His hand get burned. The intel they got was right. This girl is poisonous, a poison that can melt anything it touches. They ask Cardia to surrender, and come with them. She just accepts.
On their way back, a voice is heard, later laughter. A mysterious man on the far away ruins says something like “I am legendery thief Arsene Lupin, gentlemen thief, thanks for helping me with abduction guys, queen would be proud.” then he turns on the Cardia and says “Today I am here for my dear lady, to steal your heart.” While Cardia and everyone is shocked, a gase bomb makes everything blurs, while soldiers are after Lupin…
…Lupin abducts Cardia. They go deep into the enchanted forest. Lupin introduces himself once more and he insists that he is really here for Cardias heart. Cardia tells she cannot touch anyone due to her poison…
Next morning, Cardia wakes up in an automobile. Lupin whose bored just seeing two expression on Cardias face which are poker face and sad face, tries to make jokes but it seems Cardia has nothing to do with jokes. Later while they are on picnic Lupin tells that he is actually after Cardias dad, Isaac Beckford, and the heart he wants to steal is actually something called horologium. According to his research Horologium is a stone with infinite energy that mad scientist Isaac Beckford(things are getting weird here) embedded in her daughters chest. Somehow this stone is the reason behind Cardias poison, also it works as Cardias real heart(omg, who doesn’t like some good metaphors😁)
Cardia says she just remembers the last two years of her life, and was waiting for her dads return. She adds she did not go outside and have no idea about updates. Lupin says he can help with this and tells that his father is a famous scientist that turned London into a stell city, known as modern prometheus and one day get disappeared without any trace. He also adds that he is looking for a terrorist plan that may or may not be related to Isaacs disappearence.
Lupin asks Cardia to join him and together they can search for her dad. This time game gives us our first choices. 1. Accept Lupins deal or 2. reject it. Second one is games first bad ending.😂
Cardia accepts Lupins deal and meet his partner Impey who was busy repairing the automobile to go back to London while they were on the picnic. Through the could of smoke Impey appears with his long hair and unweared sleeve work suit. He introduces himself as the genius inventor Impey Barbicane who will be the first person ever set foot on the moon. He fell in love with Cardia at the first sight and he will never shut his mouth about it, in the whole journey.
Cardia who arrived the London after a very knowledgeable trip with two noisy people, likes the city very much. And loses her way. Bandits tries have their way with Cardia and meet with her poison(hell yeah). And once again a gase bomb comes from somewhere and explodes and we meet our third LI, bachelor guy. Respect and say hi to our dear professor Victor Frankenstein. In this worldline is a runaway scientist from government, so let’s just call him Victor. The earphone thingy on this neck is actually a sthetoscope. He is a ginger just like Impey.
While bandits tried to get their way with Cardia, they opened her collar a little (no ugghh). Victor who comes with sleeping gase and make bandits sleep gets surprised when he sees horologium and get interested in Cardia. He says that he is actually interested in alchemy and knows Cardias dad. He also adds that he could help. Cardia accepts and thinks that Victor is a sincere guy. After they attacked by a secret organization called Twilight and deflect, Cardia suggests that they should find the place Lupin told her to come if she gets lost.
With the help of the map Lupin gave to Cardia, they found a big mysterious manor outskirts of the London and the building feels like deserted. When they came in Lupin and Impey attacks Victor. “How dare you abduct Cardia?! who the hell are you?” Verbal attack between boys start and before it turns into a real fight Cardia stops it with a loud scream “you get it all wrong! Let me explain”. After everything explained, everyone relaxed and talk about what happened to them, Impey tells Victor to “stay away from Cardia, she is my angel…” But neither Cardia, nor Lupin, nor Victor takes this seriously. Victor asks whether he can stay with them or not. Lupin says he should ask this question to mysterious noble owner of this mansion. Owner already knows about Cardia( we are coming to my favorite character😎)
Cardia gets acquainted with Sisi, the dog Impey gives a metal leg, somehow he hates the Impey the most. After the adventurous first day everyone goes their private room to rest, due to her poison Cardia must lying on her back and stay put, or else she melts the furniture. Sisi who likes Cardia very much(maybe because she is the only girl on the mansion) stays with Cardia as well and all of a sudden he leaves the room, and of course Cardia follows him. She sees weird shadows on the hallway. She finds herself on a room full with books. Cardia who thinks Sisi is here begins to search him and hears a voice behind her. “Good evening my lady. What are you doing at this hour at this hour, at this room?” When Cardia turns around she sees a gentlemen leans on window, his hair is shining in the sheer moonlight.
Cardia asks who is he naturally and the man introduces himself something like “you must be my new guest, Lupin mentioned of you. My name is Saint-Germain, French people gave me the title of count, but now I am owner of this manor. I am glad to meet you.” He adds she should leave the honorific count and pleased to acquainted with her. Cardia felt some distance some coldness in his smile, she compares them with smiles on portraits. Shortly Saint asks why she was here again. She replies with one word “sisi”. Saint says Sisi’s wherabouts are mystery for him as well. She says that she saw weird shadows on the hallway. Saint is surprised and says good night to Cardia. When Cardia returns her room she sees that Sisi is waiting for her and she sleeps.
End of the first chapter. But in this kind of games you usually has 5 main heroes. Our last character appears in the next episode also I have fun writing it, let’s continue with next episode.
2. Chapter, Strongest Stalker
The next day, Victor starts make experiments on Cardia, he make Cardia touch different metals in order to learn her poisons effectiveness and her poison melts them all. Victor says do not worry and they will find a solution for it. Later all the housefolk starts having their breakfast, 5 people and a dog. The dishes on the house are made by Impey, because Cardia cannot use fork and spoon they eat sandwiches. Meal begins with Saints prayer and they begin their conversations. Saint let’s Victor stay with them, in return he asks Victors story. Victor tells little, he doesn’t tell many details. He is welcomed at that table because everyone has secrets doesn’t like to share.
Cardia Learns that Impey and Lupins knows them each other long before coming to London, had financial problems and one day they were talking about this at bar and Saint eavesdropped it and offered them some financial support. And that’s it.
Everyone one of them has different goals. Lupin wants to uncover the terrorist plot and find Isaac. Impey lost his device that enables him to go to the moon. Victor is a runaway scientist. But what about saint?
Cardia turns the Saint and ask “why did you let us in?” Saint says “You amuse me” and laughs. He says something like “I like to see interesting people pn my table, I have enough financial resources to support, and we will go on adventures” and laughs again 😂.
After the meal, except Saint and Sisi, our team go to a trustworthy doctor to get Cardia examined. Doctor says her case is beyond her work and when Victor hears that he says something like “your case is about alchemy, I was right even I did not say it out loud…” Our depressed team go to somewhere near the Thames to hang out. Actions, actions events events and knowledge everywhere…
And they got attacked. They hear guns firing sounds and screams. Lupin who tries to protect Cardia feels something cold in his nape. “Give me back the monster you stole, give me the horologium you fool.!”
Lupin who loves metaphors says “the only thing I’ve stolen was a ladys heart.” Hard boiled man says something like “Don’t act like a fool, give me the monster that twilight looking for.” Lupin continues with his gentlemen act because he was trying to think somethin off. Meanwhile Impey is beaten by the man, Victor throws his test tubes, his gase bombs I mean and Lupin somehow managed to put somehting on this guys gun. When the gun is exploded in his hand man stunned, and our team escaped for a little duration.
Victor says “I know this guy, he is the vampire war hero Abraham Van Helsing.” Also he doesn’t forget to add that they are certainly dead if this guy is after them. Van Helsing who finds our team hiding behind bushes rudely asks them they should come out. He begins to firing at the bushes randomly. Cardia who feels the bullets are coming closer, comes out from the bushes abd says the monster he is looking for is herself. She asks him to not to hurt anyone. After everything briefly told to confused Van, he gets the offer to join us. Van who does not trust Lupin and Impey accepts the deal because Victor is insisted and he trusts him. They all go back to mansion. Sain is happy to have more interesting guests.
I stop storytelling part at here to continue later. This is the summary for the first two chapter. I hope you get why I am obsessed with this series. It is longer than I expected.
Last but not Least notes
- This games story is like this. I tell it more than I intended to do and Ihave intentions to talk more. But if the story piqued your interest I recommend give a try to game or checking some videos on youtube or begin to anime
- If you want to watch the playthrough I recommend this channel, cause no commentary.
- Artwork and character designs are done by Miko. She did a great work. There are steampunk Detailed and beautiful art. I’d like to play other games she worked on.
- BGM of the game is as great as the visuals. Especially this track, one of the tracks that gives me chills on my spine everywhere. My other favorites are this and that.
- The game has great mechanics. Main screen changes the time of the day you play, in mornings you see clear sky, in nights you see starry sky. If you are lucky, you will see the ornihopter.
- Voice acting of this game is amazing. I will talk about this later when I write about this series again.
- This game also has others otome game features such as skip, auto and backlog. In gallery menu you can view CGI’s and listen the bgm. Also this game has a dictionary like thing.
- Not to forget to mention, from the path of genesis menu, you can jump the pre-played chapters. Game has 13 chapter. First 8 chapters are common route. According to choices you made on common route you can enter character routes. Some players found the common route so long.
- Canon boy is Lupin. His route opens after finishing other four characters. Also some new choices open in his route, recommend playing from very begining.
- Recommended play route: Impey- Victor- Van- Saint.
- Every character has one good ending, one normal ending, and four or five bad endings. In total more than 30 endings.
- After finishing every character, farservicey short stories opens.
- Because this is my first game of this genre, and made me feel many things, having interesting atmosphere and more interesting characters my very subjective point to this game is…
That’s all for today. I’ll add more details about the story, character introductions and more detailed review. See you soon.