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[COMPLETE][Mature] Friends don't let friends kill each other - Let's Play Higurashi When They Cry!; (9/25) Matsuribayashi-hen, Extra Chapter 2 - Other extras and final goodbyes
Topic Started: Oct 28 2012, 05:54 AM (104,114 Views)
NeonBlack
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Welcome to my new Let's Play! In this thread we'll play through the-


Wait. Wait, waitwaitwait. The heck's with the moonrunes in the logo? I can't read those things!

-oh. That. Well, I chose the original logo over the English one just for aesthetic reasons, but believe me, they both read the same. Well, okay, not exactly the same. The words are different, sure, but the meaning is the same. More or less. And what it says is the name of the game (for a quite broad definition of the term) we'll be running through in this LP thread: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, also known as Higurashi When They Cry, or just Higurashi for short.


First time I hear that name. What is this Higurashi thing?

Higurashi is an episodic visual novel written by Ryukishi07 and published by the doujin circle 07th Expansion from 2002 to 2006 in Comiket and other doujin conventions. Its popularity is surprisingly high for an amateur self-published visual novel, both inside and outside Japan, and has managed to spawn many adaptations to other media: an anime full of narm and the usual QUALITY animation of Studio DEEN, but still surprisingly watchable, a handful of quite good mangas covering all the original story arcs plus some additional ones, two (hilarious) live action movies, spin-off games like Higurashi Daybreak and enhanced versions of the original game for the Nintendo DS and PS2 consoles. Not bad.


Hold on, a visual novel? Aren't those all creepy Japanese dating sims full of porn? Welp, I'm outta here...

No, wait, it's not like that at all! Granted, many (most?) visual novels fit those criteria, but Higurashi is quite different from your average dating sim.


How so?

Well, for starters, it has no dating sim elements whatsoever. The story is not about a hopelessly naive and dumb MC trying to decide which of the many young women who seem to be randomly falling for him should he pursue. There are some hints of romance in the story here and there, but it's never the driving point of the plot.

Second, and a direct consequence of the former point: there's no porn. Like, nothing at all. That's a really good thing, given the context of the story and the relative ages of some of the main characters. Ahem.


Hm. So if it's not about awkward teenage romance, then what's it about?

Higurashi is a murder mystery at heart, although it includes relevant elements from other genres. The major themes of the story are friendship and trust. Saying any more than that would be spoiler-y, so that's all you get. For now.

Lastly, the most important difference between Higurashi and most visual novels is the fact that it contains only one route, and there are no relevant decision points along the way, meaning the story is completely linear and devoid of bad ends. This can be a good and a bad thing, as we'll see.


But if there are no choices to make, then what's the point? Wouldn't this make for a very boring Let's Play?

Not really. While the actual gameplay only consists on clicking after every sentence in order to read the next one, Higurashi's story is structured in a way that's perfect for this kind of threads.

Higurashi is divided in two main halves, each of them containing four big chapters or "arcs". The first four arcs are known as the Question Arcs, and they introduce the setting, the characters and the mystery, giving the reader clues about its solution. The second half of the game (called Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai) holds the four Answer Arcs, which gradually give us the solutions to the enigmas of the first half while introducing their own questions. By the end of the eighth arc the mystery will be solved.

So, what's to do in a Let's Play with a game like this? Easy. All readers are encouraged to speculate a lot, form their own theories and post them in the thread, even if they sound far-fetched or illogical. They're also encouraged to shoot down and debate opposing theories, all in a civil way, of course. There won't be any points awarded for any correct guesses (the game is old, spoilers exist and people love to cheat!), but no one can take from you the satisfaction of unraveling the mysteries of Hinamizawa before anyone else.

Although, a word of warning: it's said that the Question Arcs don't give the player enough information to completely deduce the correct solution to the enigma. Despite that, with some guesswork and a little bit of imagination it's possible to get quite close to a complete answer, or at the very least a partial but quite satisfactory one. Do your best!


Okay, that sounds mildly interesting. What's the format going to be like?

Mixed, and quite a bit redundant. Higurashi is frequently called a "sound novel" instead of a "visual novel" given the high importance of music and sound effects in the impact the story has on the reader, while the visuals are mostly secondary. Thus, doing a simple screenshot + text LP would not feel "complete" to me, even if I provide links to the OST at the right points of the story (the music, by the way, is good in the first half and absolutely amazing in the second, so look forward to it). On the other hand, doing a full video run would be problematic, since audio commentary would just get in the way and annotations and such are awkward to the extreme. Also, I don't have a mic. Oops.

Thus, I've decided to do both. Each update will be primarily screenshot-based, with the text of those that have to be left out due to the 50-images-per-post limit transcribed by yours truly, plus my own commentary added in in italics, and will also contain links to the game's original music wherever it's appropriate. But I'll also provide a full video covering the same part of the game, complete with music and sound effects for those of you willing to experience the game in full, but free of any commentary, be it spoken or written. That way, everyone can choose how they want to follow this run. You can even do both if you like!


Neato. Now, this being a Japanese amateur game of sorts it's surely been translated by a bunch of nerds on the Internet, with sloppy grammar and lots of mistakes everywhere. Am I right?

No, thankfully you aren't. Higurashi has been officially translated and digitally distributed in the West by Mangagamer. Now, this doesn't automatically mean that their translation job was stellar. There are some mistakes here and there and lots of awkward phrasing, but overall it's quite readable. Mangagamer's greatest sin, though, was cutting content from the original games, including some of the OST tracks and a few minigames. This is more noticeable in the second half of the game, Higurashi Kai.

Luckily, "a bunch of nerds on the Internet" jumped in, managing not only to restore some of the lost content (the missing music tracks, most importantly), but also creating patches that improve the games in different ways, most noticeably replacing the charming but decidedly amateur-ish graphics of the PC version (those hands...) with the crispier but somewhat lacking in personality and expressiveness ones from the PS2 remake. I've applied all these patches to my copy, so that's why some of the screenshots will look different from what you may find in Mangagamer's site.


Let's imagine for a second that I watched that supposedly half-decent anime adaptation at some point. Do I gain anything from following this?

Well, at the very least you get to see how badly DEEN butchered the original. :sweatdrop: But seriously, while the anime version was decent most of the time and unintentionally (I hope?) hilarious at certain points, it does manage to ignore and miss lots of important stuff going on in the story. This happens the most in the first season, in which they managed to squeeze six arcs into twenty-five episodes, thus rushing the heck out of some parts. The second season is better since they only have to deal with the final two arcs, plus some extra recap episodes at the start that help patch some of the holes left open by the first half of the show, but it's still incomplete. As most adaptations are bound to be, on the other hand.

So, you can use this LP as a rewatch of sorts, only this time you'll be sacrificing DEEN's QUALITY animation for a good amount of "extras", including better pacing, lots of important (and not that important) background information about the setting and the characters, and the TIPs, just to name a few VN-exclusive perks. You'll surely have fun pointing out how much the anime screwed up some particular points when they appear in-thread, or may even find yourself thinking "oooh, now that makes more sense!" from time to time.

Now, if there aren't any more questions-


Oh, just one more, sorry. You've totally stolen ChorpSaway's format and layout, right?

Yup! By the way, go read Chorp's Little Busters! run if you haven't already! I would, but I'm still hoping that the anime will turn out to be decent and I don't want to spoil myself. :v:


Now, if there aren't any more questions... No? Oh, finally. Well then, let's get some ground rules set before we start, okay?

Rule 1: all speculation and theories should ideally be put in spoiler boxes and marked as such. In the remote chance that any of you dear readers doesn't know how to include a spoiler box in your posts or how to rename it to something more significant than "spoiler", I'm sure the answer you need is somewhere in the FAQ thread, all the way up in Dry Erase. If it isn't, just write {spoiler=title of your spoiler box}Content of your spoiler box{/spoiler}, only replacing { and } with [ and ]. Easy, right?

Rule 2: this rule goes for anyone with knowledge about Higurashi in any of its forms (game, anime, manga, whatever): NO SPOILERS, PLEASE. I'd bold it, underline it and make it size 36, but I think putting it in all caps should be enough. If for whatever reason you really need to include minor spoilers about parts of the story not covered yet in the thread, or about events that have been covered but not properly explained yet, please, for all that's good and pretty, do it inside a big fat spoiler box and name it something like "MASSIVE SPOILERS, DON'T READ UNLESS YOU REALLY DON'T MIND ABOUT THIS." If in doubt, don't include them at all. Simple.

I'll be quite lenient with the first rule, especially when there's discussion going on about a particular theory, but the second will be enforced as much as I can, because badly placed spoilers can really kill the enjoyment of anyone following this LP without previous knowledge about the story. So don't make me call the mods, okay? You don't want to see Pillow angry. Really, you don't.

With that out of the way, let's get started, shall we?

Table of contents


Prologue ~ Welcome to Hinamizawa


In the next update: main characters, assemble!
Edited by NeonBlack, Sep 25 2013, 03:07 AM.
In progress: One Manager, Fifty Years, All the Cups: Neon plays Football Manager 2016 (Last update: Oct 8th 2017)

COMPLETE: Friends don't let friends kill each other - Let's Play Higurashi When They Cry! (Upd: 09/25 - Matsuribayashi-hen, Extra Chapter 2 ~ Other extras and final goodbyes)
COMPLETE: The gold, the witch, and the corpses in the wardrobe - Let's Play Umineko: When They Cry! (Upd: 05/21 - Final extras (II) ~ Final extras!)

Those Things I Used to Write
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it me @ you

Neon I do not get angry that easily D:

also why are you only playing higurashi when they cry

would it be better to play when they're laughing
SPECK
(updated 17.04.18)


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Sperance
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Oooh, boyo, Higurashi. I've seen the anime adaptation and read the (multiple) mangas, but I never actually played the original VN. I'm going to nitpick at everything like a little bitch and laugh at people who don't know how messed up this cute VN actually is
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ChorpSaway
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"...I was only kidding."

Oh boy, another VN readthrough here! And it's basically the complete antithesis to the other one!
I personally haven't seen either the VN or any of the adaptations of Higurashi, but I've heard good things, so I'll make sure to keep an eye on this thread. The opening certainly leaves quite a bit to be explained and answered and I'm intrigued.

Spoliers for LB! Talk
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Hawkfire
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*helicopter hands off into the distance*

Oooooh, a Higurashi LP! I've seen the anime and read some of the manga, but I've never played/read the original... I can't wait to see the theories of the people who haven't seen it yet...

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NeonBlack
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Nice to see interest in this run from the start! Now, let's see what Hinamizawa has in stock for us, shall we? Today's main theme is: character introductions!

Onikakushi-hen, part 1 ~ Classmates


TIPS 1 and 2 (read after the main update!)


In the next update: a guided tour around Hinamizawa!
In progress: One Manager, Fifty Years, All the Cups: Neon plays Football Manager 2016 (Last update: Oct 8th 2017)

COMPLETE: Friends don't let friends kill each other - Let's Play Higurashi When They Cry! (Upd: 09/25 - Matsuribayashi-hen, Extra Chapter 2 ~ Other extras and final goodbyes)
COMPLETE: The gold, the witch, and the corpses in the wardrobe - Let's Play Umineko: When They Cry! (Upd: 05/21 - Final extras (II) ~ Final extras!)

Those Things I Used to Write
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it me @ you

... Well. It's a visual novel, all right. :B

vn physics
SPECK
(updated 17.04.18)


~ you're all invited to the official nuzlocke writing chat ~
~ adrian ramos drew all my avatars, but not on purpose ~


"It wath anger from the patht" - Today at 4:44 PM
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ChorpSaway
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"...I was only kidding."

Oh sure, get us all comfortable before all the murders happen, game. Real nice of you.
But oh boy, what a cast of characters. I cannot wait to see how they all help investigations. And also how much trouble they'll get us all in.
And c'mon, if slow buildup were an issue, I wouldn't read basically any VNs or be doing a readthrough of one.

More LB! Talk
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Sperance
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Welcome to Hinamizawa, where nothing is as it looks and even the smallest thing is foreshadow. You know, I noticed Mion and Keiichi are more of a tease than I remember them being...
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NeonBlack
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Replies still go here


This will probably be my last daily update, since I'm all caught up with where I'm at in-game, and I also want to dedicate some time to my story run. Expect the next update in two-three days, and I hope to keep that same pace from then on.

Anyway, onto the next part, in which we know a bit more about the village, its inhabitants and its past. Today's main theme is: food! Rena's delicious food, to be precise.

Onikakushi-hen, part 2 ~ Hinamizawa


TIPS 3 and 4


In the next update: games, punishments and other shenanigans! Oh, and some backstory too, I guess...
In progress: One Manager, Fifty Years, All the Cups: Neon plays Football Manager 2016 (Last update: Oct 8th 2017)

COMPLETE: Friends don't let friends kill each other - Let's Play Higurashi When They Cry! (Upd: 09/25 - Matsuribayashi-hen, Extra Chapter 2 ~ Other extras and final goodbyes)
COMPLETE: The gold, the witch, and the corpses in the wardrobe - Let's Play Umineko: When They Cry! (Upd: 05/21 - Final extras (II) ~ Final extras!)

Those Things I Used to Write
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ChorpSaway
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"...I was only kidding."

Yay for casual wear and even more casual situations! And we get to see what I assume will be a common minigame, Teasing Rena Until She Overloads. I like the cast so far, they all seem diverse enough to keep my attention.
And also an old murder? How could that possibly relate in a game about murders?

The music gives me a kind of Sharin no Kuni vibe, though I guess that's just due to the setting more than anything.
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Sperance
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Aaaaaaand cut! Things start to get creepy. Unaware people, can start getting your brown pants ready
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Ah, Tomitake! There we have our murderer - oh wait he's not a butler is he

Dangit.
SPECK
(updated 17.04.18)


~ you're all invited to the official nuzlocke writing chat ~
~ adrian ramos drew all my avatars, but not on purpose ~


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NeonBlack
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You already know the drill...


You might have noticed that the thread title has a little addition in the form of a [Mature] tag. This update is probably not bad enough to deserve it (although the second TIP probably gets close to the line), but things will get messy in the future, so I thought I'd just slap it on and call it a day. Don't think anyone should be surprised to see it, given the kind of story we're talking about...

Anyway, here we go again. Today's main theme is: old maid!

Onikakushi-hen, part 3 ~ All fun and games


TIPS 5 and 6


In the next update: P.E. and zombie tag!
In progress: One Manager, Fifty Years, All the Cups: Neon plays Football Manager 2016 (Last update: Oct 8th 2017)

COMPLETE: Friends don't let friends kill each other - Let's Play Higurashi When They Cry! (Upd: 09/25 - Matsuribayashi-hen, Extra Chapter 2 ~ Other extras and final goodbyes)
COMPLETE: The gold, the witch, and the corpses in the wardrobe - Let's Play Umineko: When They Cry! (Upd: 05/21 - Final extras (II) ~ Final extras!)

Those Things I Used to Write
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oh god

suddenly it's not a visual novel any more D:
SPECK
(updated 17.04.18)


~ you're all invited to the official nuzlocke writing chat ~
~ adrian ramos drew all my avatars, but not on purpose ~


"It wath anger from the patht" - Today at 4:44 PM
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clock (32-bit) - Today at 4:44 PM
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ChorpSaway
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"...I was only kidding."

Ganpai is a term used in mahjong for when someone marks tiles in order to gain an advantage. Exactly like that card game.

And yeah wow let's waste no time getting to the MURDERS~ and messing with the mood of the game so far.
Geez, with that whole dam fight and some of the other scenes so far, I keep getting this serious Sharin no Kuni feel from the game. Can't wait to see how far this'll go and how crazy it'll get.
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NeonBlack
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The chapter title says it all, I think, so I won't waste my time building up the expectation. Today's main theme is: exercise!

...wait, what?

Onikakushi-hen, part 4 ~ Zombies!


TIP 7


In the next update: cards, swimsuits and cat ears, oh my!
In progress: One Manager, Fifty Years, All the Cups: Neon plays Football Manager 2016 (Last update: Oct 8th 2017)

COMPLETE: Friends don't let friends kill each other - Let's Play Higurashi When They Cry! (Upd: 09/25 - Matsuribayashi-hen, Extra Chapter 2 ~ Other extras and final goodbyes)
COMPLETE: The gold, the witch, and the corpses in the wardrobe - Let's Play Umineko: When They Cry! (Upd: 05/21 - Final extras (II) ~ Final extras!)

Those Things I Used to Write
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Quote:
 
This guy's a goldmine full of vaguely disturbing sentences, isn't him?

I think the translators at Mangagamer are getting to you. This is the (incorrect) object form, not the (correct) subject form. :v
SPECK
(updated 17.04.18)


~ you're all invited to the official nuzlocke writing chat ~
~ adrian ramos drew all my avatars, but not on purpose ~


"It wath anger from the patht" - Today at 4:44 PM
PI L LW OW
clock (32-bit) - Today at 4:44 PM
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ChorpSaway
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"...I was only kidding."

Most intense game of tag ever. Double agents, triple agents, death by moe, wow. I wish all games of tag were this awesome.
And cool, photo man shows up again to say ominous things while we dig Colonel Sanders out of a dump site! And then Rena can kiss it or whatever. Also, I just realized that Rena's portrait is moved up so that she looks the same height as Mion. In actuality, she's about halfway between Mion and Satoko.

"Echigo-ya" literally means "a shop in Echigo", where Echigo was an old province in north-central Japan. It's also the name of a large chain of stores in Japan. In the context the game uses though, Echigo-ya is thought to be a synonym for a dishonest merchant as a villain of Japanese period dramas.

Also, no, you must feel the pain of every VN reader and deal with wanting to read more VNs than you are capable of and having a gigantic backlog forever.
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Mightyena Queen
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Granted in Japanese language, they don't have different types of words like "drink, drank, drunk, drinking" rather they stick with one word and just add past additions to the same word
Some of the words look like they were lost in translation though...
But I still like this game ^w^
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