Umineko – Turn of the Golden Witch – 10/5, 6:00 AM to 7:30 AM

Last time, Beatrice is acknowledged.

Whelp, let’s go find some corpses!

Kinzo wakes up, and realizes he wasn’t one of the roulette’s sacrifices. He wonder if it was chance or his wards.

We jump over to Gohda. Ah. So things have changed. Glad I made that spreadsheet.

Shannon is alive as well, as is Genji. Though, if these are truly random, this doesn’t have any significance. It’s been kind of waffling on whether Bea picks the sacrifices here or not.

Shannon tidies up the dining room and finds a note. Oh, right, Rosa never read Beatrice’s letter! Hmmm.

Anyway, the note just says ‘Chapel’ on it.

We jump over to Rosa. That’s at least three different people this time. Anyway, Genji knocks on her door and tells her something unbelievable about the chapel, but we don’t get to know what it is.

The chapel is apparently located in a grove separate from the house. It was built at the same time as the main building and is quite old, though it’s been remodeled a few times. I was about to say it’s weird for them to have a Western-style chapel but then I remembered Kinzo is a reverse-weeb.

Anyway, I take it the corpses are here this time?

The other servants are outside the chapel, including Kanon. One more person accounted for.

Sure enough, the bloody magic circle is on the door.

Kanon pointed at a single line of English written below the creepy magic circle.

[…] “Happy HALLOWEEN for MARIA.”

Uh-oh.

Rosa starts freaking out and yells for the servants to check on Maria and get her siblings. But as she does, she realizes: she’s the lowest-ranked, so why was she informed first?

So I guess like last route was really Natsuhi’s, this one will be Rosa’s. And Shannon/George’s.

Rosa felt something creepy crawling slowly up her back…

Rosa: “……D, …did you try to check inside the chapel?”

Kanon: “No, not yet. We tried to check inside, but…”

It’s locked, and the key is missing.

Then Rosa remembers that Maria was given an envelope, too.

That’s right, there’s no mistake, she had handed it over. When Maria tried to open it, that witch told her not to open it yet, then she surely said “The time to open that will come soon”… Rosa was sure. ……There could be no mistake. ……That letter which had been handed to Maria…………

The key?

Rosa runs to the guesthouse. All four kids are there sleeping. So who does that leave dead?

Krauss
Rudy
Kyrie
Natsuhi
Hide
Eva

Possibly Nanjo or Kuma, as I’m not sure if Hide and Kyrie would outrank Rosa or not and so they might still be alive.

Sure enough, the key is in the envelope in Maria’s purse. We also get confirmation from the narration that Battler is alive as well.

When they get inside the chapel, Kanon sees something:

……Over there, was the altar. In the place where normally a pastor would preach of God’s love, there was a table that shouldn’t have been there.

The table is elaborately filled with pumkpkins and candy. And…

And there were people seated at the table. Three people on each side facing each other, seated in chairs.

Oh god.

Krauss and his wife, Eva and his husband, and Rudolf and his wife.

So Nanjo and Kuma made it, and the kids are all really alive.

Plates piled up with sweets, glasses with lovely drinks. Several ornaments in the shape of pumpkins… …They were all decorated in a Halloween style, …and while it might have been pointless to imagine at a time like this…, she thought that this would surely have made Maria happy if she could see it.

Rose slowly approaches.

And [the candies] were all distributed across the carpet, which was covered with blackberry and cranberry jam…

Oh god the music just got terrifying.

Rosa screams.

The six of them were seated at a Halloween party, all of them with their stomachs sliced open, all of them had been killed. Was the jam that covered the floor, something that they couldn’t finish eating… which had overflowed out of their stomachs…?

No!! The contents of their stomachs had been thrown out across the floor!! And that wasn’t all. From their stomachs, almost as though… almost as though! As though they had poured out!! S… sweets!

Oh jesus.

Rosa vomits.

The furniture servants are in shock, and Gohda starts shouting to call the police.

“G, Genji-san, Shannon-chan, please ask Father for instructions. Gohda-san, go together with Kanon-kun and call the police. Then, have Doctor Nanjo come here…”

As soon as she says that, she realizes Nanjo can’t do anything and there’s no point.

Alright, time to update the spreadsheet.

So we have three repeat deaths: Rudy, Kyrie, and Krauss. We also have a different form of injury, which is significant for two reasons: a) I feel like I’m justified in keeping track of how the injuries are portrayed and b) there’s no chance for a case of mistaken identity like last time, when the faces were mutilated. However, keeping in mind And Then There Were None, this was done in a way where playing dead wouldn’t be too hard to do with costume makeup and some very shallow breathing. Let’s keep an eye on Nanjo and how they deal with the corpses.

Back with the kids, they wonder where everyone is. Maria is having a tantrum because Rosa opened her letter.

As they search for the adults, Nanjo comes down, and says he doesn’t know where anyone is either. Then Gohda and Kanon come in. Gohda darts into the servant’s quarters and Kanon commandeers Nanjo.

They saw Gohda through the door to the servants’ room, which had been flung open. He was holding the receiver and violently pressing the hook. From that, they realized that he was trying to call a hospital or the police. In any event, he was trying to call someone because a serious emergency had occurred.

They realize something serious is going on and chase after Kanon and Nanjo. They barge into the church before anyone can stop them.

Oooh, the music here is really cool.

As everyone cries, MetaBea and MetaBat pop in again. Beatrice points out that she left the faces alone this time so they could be sure who was killed, while Bat is just like, this is some fucked up shit.

 So, Battler, is it alright to leave the examination of the corpses to Nanjo? Isn’t it traditional in mystery novels for the doctor who performs such examinations to be an accomplice? Then don’t leave the examination to Nanjo. Do it yourself. Make completely sure that without a doubt, the six corpses are those six people, that they aren’t pretending to be dead, that they really, really are dead!! 

Yes, I was thinking this too, that Nanjo could be in cahoots.

Back in realish time, Gohda runs in and says the phone lines are down. Jessica points out that School!Beatrice is the obvious suspect and runs to confront her. Kanon and Gohda chase after her.

Meanwhile, Maria creepy-laughs that the banquet has begun. Rosa slaps her, but it’s pretty understandable this time.

Battler is trying to keep a cool head and figure out wtf is going on, but he’s having a tough time. Then he notices an envelope on the altar, addressed to “those who remain.”

It’s… the same letter Maria read last time, about collecting interest and the murders stopping if they find the gold by solving the riddle. So… what’s the letter Rosa got?

After they read it and realize what it means, Battler notices gold ingots on the table. As they freak out, Maria says she’s ready to go to the Golden Land, and the scene ends.

The clock advances to… 6:43, which is weirdly specific.

Meanwhile, Jessica bangs on Beatrice’s door as Kanon and Gohda try to calm her down. It’s not working. Finally Kanon gives her the key to the room.

Obviously Bea is gone. She left a letter.

Do you think I’d be that senile, to wait comfortably in this place for you to barge into here? You’re too wild to be suitable for this intellectual game. What kind of faces did your parents, who raised you to be so stupid, make? Yeah, I saw them, they had a truly stupid look just like you. Now, their bellies are full in the land of sweets!

Ahahaha Beatrice is the best.

Jessica is understandably not entertained and just starts smashing things. Okay, maybe she’s the best.

Gohda is afraid she’s going to hurt herself and finally manages to get her to stop lashing out, but she just breaks down on the floor and sobs. She starts to hyperventilate but won’t let Kanon or Gohda help her. Finally Kanon asks Gohda to leave, saying Jess needs to cry it out and he’ll watch her back as she does.

Gohda was a veteran with many years behind him. He had seen a great number of people in his life. So he knew of the vigorous sparkle that could be found in the eyes of those who had self-control. He had surely seen that in Kanon’s eyes. Therefore, he would leave this to Kanon. When you think about it, maybe this was the first moment that Gohda had trusted Kanon and relied on him for a job…

Aw, that’s sweet.

As Jessica suffered from her asthma, …it seemed she was heading towards her room, leaning against the wall. ……Kanon chased after her wordlessly. If she had asked for a hand, he would have jumped over and supported her. …But as long as Jessica didn’t ask for that, he hid himself, watching over her from a distance where he could come to her rescue at any time.

Awwww.

She finally collapses from the asthma attack and Kanon walks over and gives her his shoulder. She takes it, and he guides her into her room and prepares her inhalor. She takes it, and finally starts to calm down. He realizes she still needs to cry for a while.

“I won’t, …let you be alone. …………………..So, I will be in the corridor. …At any time, ……call me.”

As he turns to go, she makes a noise, and he stops. They stare at each other for a long time. Finally, she says it was nothing.

As Kanon repeatedly questioned himself, he walked down the corridor. ………He felt like the window at the end was coolly calling to him

He wonders, if he weren’t furniture, if he would have understood whatever she left unsaid.

Obviously, Beatrice is there to mock him.

A distant man like you hurts women the most! You couldn’t understand. You don’t have a clue how much you have injured Jessica.

She says it’s because he’s furniture, and laughs.

She says they’ll be the perfect sacrifice for the second twilight. Kanon disavows his feelings for her, hoping to make it not work, but Bea says, fine… I’ll just kill her for fun, to watch you suffer!

Jessica screams, Beatrice suddenly vanishes, and the music is weirdass Latin chanting. Never a good sign.

Kanon runs to help Jessica.

Jessica was surrounded by countless butterflies, and was waving her hands around, trying frantically to swat them.

[…] Jessica gagged violently. …Almost as though the butterflies were triggering an asthma attack, sneering at her. But when Kanon ran towards Jessica as she choked, the butterflies stopped attacking her, and this time, they began to elegantly dance a rondo around the two.

Jessica: “………Kanon-kun……, Kanon-kun………”

Kanon: “…It’s alright. …………While there’s still life in me, ……I won’t let anyone lay a finger on you. ………Come out, Beatrice!! Are you satisfied with this!!”

Beatrice cackles and appears. She snaps her fingers, and the butterflies clump together. Out of the clump crawls… furniture.

Kanon tells Jessica to stay behind him, and keep her back to the wall at all times.

“So, you’ve taken it out. ………How does it feel to have the fact that you are a subhuman being exposed in front of the girl you have feelings for?”

Probably not good, but Kanon refuses to be goaded. He says he knows he can’t beat her, but he’ll do everything he can to disrupt her until he dies or help comes.

They fight. Jess is just in shock, wondering if she’s even awake.

Kanon is hit, and Jess manages to break through her shock to yell at him not to give up. This seems to be what he needs for the final push, because he manages to trick the goat-furniture and destroy it. Then, he lunges at Beatrice.

But it’s obviously no good. She taunts him, calling him furniture over and over. Finally, Jess can’t take it any more.

“I don’t need a reason. ……Kanon-kun is Kanon-kun. No, his real name is different, ……but a name doesn’t make him furniture! Kanon-kun has his own way of living. That’s a very noble thing, and it’s up to him to decide. ……There’s no such thing as not being able to have an opinion because he’s furniture, or not being able to have his own life because he’s furniture!!”

She says he chose to protect her, to sacrifice himself for her. There’s nothing more human than that.

Bea just cackles, and says they’re obviously perfect for the lover’s sacrifice.

Hmm. So the deaths are associated with deadly sins.

Asmodeus of Lust

Huh, so the stakes are wielded by furniture. This does explain some things in the universe where this is all supernatural.

Kanon looks at her and realizes the goat was child’s play, and this is furniture he could never hope to contend with. She readies the stake and…

Kanon’s back had been the target… But Jessica had predicted it. She had predicted that the witch’s target would be the complete opposite of fair and honest… his back. But she had no way to block it.

…She had no intention of sacrificing herself. She thought that there was no way other than this to protect Kanon’s back. So, she could do nothing but block it with her own back.

The furniture of the witch, which had changed its form into a demon’s stake, was stuck deep into Jessica’s back. It was an obviously fatal wound that reached as far as her lungs.

Damn. Clever Jess.

The second stake is Satan of Wrath.

…If you were a human, I’d say it’s time for you to step down, but since you’re furniture, maybe I should say it’s time for the stage manager to carry you behind the stage!”

 “…I am not… furniture anymore. I won’t… doubt that again!”

A nice sentiment, but it doesn’t save him.

“…Sorry…. I couldn’t protect you….”

“…Don’t worry about it… You were really… cool…”

Lol, I love this exchange.

“……You know, Kanon-kun, ………you aren’t, furniture anymore…”

“…Yes…………… I was, ……too late, ……in realizing that……”

She asks him his real name… but they die before he can say.

Beatrice laughs that he’s still furniture, no matter what.

After taking a puff from her pipe, the witch breathed the smoke at Kanon’s corpse…

It vanishes into the air.

The witch played dirty until the very end. The corpses of the two who had been able to understand each other in the end, were not even permitted to be close to each other… If someone had been watching, they would probably mourn that this was indeed a disgrace to the dead. However, Beatrice was far crueler than that… the reason for that would soon become apparent…

We actually move back a bit in time now, to 6:50, where Shannon is informing Kinzo of what happened.

Kinzo’s all ‘so it begins…’ and Genji asks what they should tell Rosa. Kinzo says he doesn’t care and he doesn’t care what anyone does.

LOL! R07 is apparently a Douglas Adams fan.

Kinzo then says the servants are free too, after one more task: he wants to tell them ‘about everything.’ He says he will dictate a will and one of them should write it. Shannon and Genji are shocked, since in the past Kinzo has angrily refused to write a will.

“Well then. If I am to speak of my life, I must begin writing from when I met that witch. Shannon, copy this. My meeting with Beatrice took place a long way back. What year of the Showa era was it…? I think, after the war…”

And we flash back. Oh. Did not expect this. Or anything, but this in a more low-key way.

But — shit. Goddammit game, we jump back to Battler in the chapel. I got all interested for nothing.

Nanjo tells Rosa they should lock the place up and not touch anything so that when they can contact the police, the crime scene hasn’t been disturbed. Gohda agrees, and they leave the chapel.

As they leave and close the door, the kids see the magic circle for the first time. Maria calls it “the seventh magic circle of the sun.” Was this the same as last time? Yes, checking on my old posts, it’s the same one. So either these are very important and can’t change or not important at all and no one is bothering to change them. Super helpful.

Battler: “……And there’s some English written. …’HAPPY HALLOWEEN FOR, …MARIA’. ……I see. And the key to open this door was handed over to Maria, …is that what this is?”

George: “…But this is the chapel. Maybe Maria doesn’t mean Maria-chan, but the Virgin Mary. ……In that case, you could read this as blasphemy against God, in the name of Halloween. They say that witches who make contracts with demons swear to always defile God’s name. ……In that sense, this really is a witch-like crime.”

That’s actually an interesting interpretation. Alright, George, you get a cookie. Don’t eat it, I’ll likely be taking it back soon.

Bats asks Rosa if there’s anything she wants to tell them about the temple vis a vis why they perp may have decided to go through all the trouble to set this up there instead of, say, stuffing them in a tool shed.

Rosa says all she knows is that the chapel was very important to Kinzo and off-limits to everyone except at the annual deep cleanings the servants had to perform. I feel like this must relate back to that weird scene of everyone swearing fealty to Beatrice from earlier. Was Rosa in that? Yeah, she was. So it’s not like Bea made them all come out and then murdered everyone then. I’m also not sure if that happened already or was happening meta or in the future or what, but taking it at face value, it seems like Rosa is keeping something pretty big from the kids.

I have to say, with R07 I assume everyone will end up being sympathetic (dude made me feel bad for Takano, who was trying to murder an entire town…) but it would be pretty entertaining if Rosa’s route was just about how it turns out she’s pure evil.

George points out the inscription over the chapel doors, which reads, in English, “Unless a miracle occurs, this door will never be opened. Unless a miracle occurs, you will never be blessed.” Maria adds that “Grandfather’s magic is based on astronomically low probabilities. …In other words, the miracle that would open this door, ……would probably require an incredibly vast magical power.” She also evil-laughs and Bat bops her.

This tells us that the chapel is significant and is related to the ritual — perhaps the sacrifice of the six is the power to open the doors? — but I’m not sure of more than that. Or, is the miracle the solving of the riddle? I have no idea.

Rosa wonders if Kinzo built the chapel with the hopes that he’d one day marry Beatrice in it, which would require her return from death aka a miracle, and the chapel would only be used in that case, so the ‘miracle’ in question would be a theoretical wedding between Kinzo and Bea. This is an interesting idea, too.

They all agree it’s romantic in a kind of weird, Kinzo-y way.

Suddenly, Rosa starts freaking out about the door, and Maria cackles and says she was wondering when everyone would notice. Rosa points out that… there was only one key to this door, and it was in a sealed envelope in Maria’s purse while the murders were taking place. Well, on the list of ‘inexplicable things’ this is low — I think someone having a duplicate of the key is pretty obvious.

Unless it’s like a really old-style skeleton key, I guess, but surely those can be duplicated, too?

As everyone freaks out because I guess there are no locksmiths in Japan in the 80s, meta!Bat pops up to say you’ve got to be kidding, another locked-room mystery? Bea needles him, and he says there’s also nothing to prove there’s not a secret passage only the killer knows about. OR A GODDAMN LOCKSMITH.

Anyway, they go back and forth, and Bea says fine, we’ll introduce a new rule to the game.

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Battler: “Are you telling me to believe that…?!”
Beatrice: “This is a game between you and me. In a game, the rules are sacred!! Those who take that lightly are not qualified to play!!”
Battler: “Alright, I got it, I’ll accept that rule!! Even an elementary school kid can get into an endless argument and find fault with everything. Then let’s restart right now, and continue where we left off. I’ll repeat it again. ‘Dad and the rest used a hidden door to enter the chapel, or were carried in through it’!”

While I certainly consider the rules of fair play sacred, I’m not sure I believe Beatrice feels the same way. But, fine, I’ll go with it for now.

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Duplicate GIF

Beatrice: “Stop!! I will supplement the rule. …..When I speak the truth, I will use red. When I do, I do not bear the responsibility of establishing that by showing proof! It is simply a fact and the truth!! The reason is simple. I carried out all the crimes with magic. So for any impossible crime, all I have to do is wave my magic staff before your eyes. But that wouldn’t make a game! It would be like the barbarism of ignoring victory and defeat in a chess game and punching your opponent!”

I want to be like “It’s insane that the game thinks we need literal in-universe hints” but it’s not I absolutely need hints plz give me hints I accept my metatextual overlords

Beatrice: “So shall we resume once more? Six people definitely entered through the door. I unlocked it with magic. ……How will you defeat this magic, this closed room?!”
Battler: “……Th, the key! Genji-san and the others said there was only one key, but that’s impossible to prove! The culprit secretly made a duplicate key…!”

FINALLY

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MOTHERFUCKING GOD DAMMIT

Maria did it.

Or, more seriously, someone steamed open/resealed the envelope.

Bat says lockpicks. Also a good point. But Bea red-letters that only the key can open the door.

Bat says they removed the hinges, also also a good point. But, When the door to the chapel is locked, it prevents any and all methods of entry or exit!

Steam is where I’m placing my bets. She also red-letters that they entered through the front door, not any side doors or anything.

Okay, I should start keeping track of these. I’m going to add a sheet to the .xls from last post and collect the clues.

Anyway, Bea taunts him, and he thinks about Kyrie’s game theory, and trying to view things from a different perspective: “…That’s right. The direction of my thinking was backwards. This is how I should think. How was the chapel, which wasn’t a closed room in the first place, made to look like a closed room?”

What? We know that. The key was put in an envelope and given to Maria, and by all appearances she was uninvolved and had it when it needed to be used, and so it looks like a closed room. How is this helpful?

Oooh, what he’s getting at is that Maria wasn’t actually given the key initially, and a switch was made at some point. Hmm.

This morning, Rosa definitely took an envelope out of Maria’s handbag, and thereby obtained the genuine key to the chapel.

Ah, but this isn’t what he was saying. Clever clever, Batty bats.

Bea says, The key to the chapel truly was the object inside the envelope I gave Maria, but this isn’t quite the point he was making either. So I was on to something with my steaming the envelope — the key was taken from Maria’s bag and replaced later.

She tries, The envelope that I handed over to Maria and the one Rosa opened are the same thing!, but again, she can’t rule out tampering.

Bea admits she can’t say the envelope wasn’t tampered with, but as she admits defeat here, she reminds Bat that all denying her means is having to admit someone in the house is a murderer, and a vicious one.

With that, the clock moves to 7:30 AM.

So!

This was basically a Fair Play 101 course for people unfamiliar with the detective fiction genre, and it was a very good one. All of the rules Bea established here are Fair Play rules — R07 essentially created and solved a simple locked room in order to show how these types of stories generally work, under the assumption that a good proportion of readers won’t be familiar with those rules. On the bright side, I was a step ahead of the narrative here, so I’m at least not a complete idiot and presumably won’t have my degree confiscated. Its two main points are: 1) the crux of Fair Play: thatthe mystery is solveable in a logical way not reliant on authorial sneakiness or bad faith, and 2) the key to working within those parameters, the fact that if you only look at it from the POV of the people on the victim end you’re going to flounder.

This was a very smart thing to do from an authorial perspective, and it one of those things that’s really particular to the medium. There is just not enough time and space for this in a traditional novel, but here in VNland where we already know each of the 8 parts will be roughly a full-length book, possibly more, you can make long digressions like this without it feeling random or like it’s dragging things down. This is an A+ use of VNs.

And if Fair Play is new for anyone here, welcome! You’re now enjoying The Grandest Game in the World. Here’s to hoping it never ends.

65 Comments

  1. beanbug says:
    Beatrice really does it all! Party planning! Catering! She even reserved the location and set the whole thing up for everybody! I don’t get why everybody’s so angry, she’s basically doing all that heavy lifting for you.

    (I couldn’t find video of that “we’re throwing a halloween party at our house!” parks and rec scene, but please imagine I have posted it here.)

    Poor Kanon. He couldn’t just get killed by a goat, Beato had to specifically kill him with an anime girl. That’s gotta be the worst way to go. Or best. It depends.

    The red is a fun mechanic; since this is from R07, normally your first thought would be something like ‘there’s some BS solution here like lockpicking,’ and not actually engage the mystery because you feel the solution will be something cheat-y like that. So you have this, where Beato basically sets up that this game is fair play…by laughing at you humans who still doubt that it was done by a witch, but still! Cannot understate the importance of copying that down as closely as you can.

    It’s a pretty interesting use of the medium, too. It was one of the big reasons the anime wasn’t that great-they had to adapt that, and it’s hard to do if you’re not like, MADHOUSE or Trigger or what have you. I didn’t watch it, but I think they settled on something like “cover the screen with a red filter and have the words scroll by really quickly on the bottom,” which is kinda boring. It lacks the energy the VN does, though the manga manages to adapt it really well.

    1. illhousen says:

      Well, that, and they crammed a pretty meaty game into five episodes, which did it no favors. Don’t know about following episodes, but, given the anime’s overall runtime, they probably weren’t really better in that regard.

      Umineko has a pacing that can be charitably described as relaxed, with important plot points often being repeated several time (What is it, Lassie? Timmy NEEDS MONEY RIGHT NOW?), but, while it can most likely be trimmed up, it can’t easily be compressed to the extent the anime needed.

      1. Act says:

        Wait, the entire game was five episodes??

        1. illhousen says:

          First Sound Novel episode (in its entirety, from introductions to the Tea Party) = 5 anime episodes.

    2. Act says:

      It’s a pretty interesting use of the medium, too. It was one of the big reasons the anime wasn’t that great-they had to adapt that,

      I honestly can’t imagine the headache that adapting this into any other format would be. Manga would be slightly easier than anime because it has words, but this is really, really tailored to being a VN.

      Japan is at least as bad as the US, if not worst, with the whole IT MUST BE A MULTIMEDIA FRANCHISE OR ELSE thing, and this is one of the irritating results. Why does everything also have to be a show and movie and book and comic and…?

      Irritatingly Umineko didn’t even get figures, just shitty adaptations with no merch payoff.

      1. Heatth says:

        The anime didn’t succeed, so the merch didn’t follow. A pity.

        I think an Umineko anime could have worked. Just not an adaptation. Like, a different story set in the same universe. Heck, might not even have the same characters at all (with the exception of the witches, maybe). The original Umineko story is just not a good fit for a more visual media.

        Higurashi actually have an “adaptation” like that. The is at last one side story tha was originally exclusive to manga (it have since been adapted into a VN, I think) that worked well as a standalone story. It didn’t even take place in Hinamizawa, though the Great Hinamizawa Disaster was an important backdrop. Of course, that was manga, not anime, but my point you could have make an animated Umineko that didn’t have to follow the actual original story.

      2. beanbug says:
        Umineko did get a couple figures! There’s official ones of three of the girls and maybe 8-ish chibi ones of other characters? 

        They’re…kinda bad. And for some reason there’s three figures for both Maria and Shannon but only one of Beato (it’s not even a full sized one, it’s a chibi). I guess I can get Maria, she seems kinda popular as a character, but the Shannon stuff’s pretty close to titty figures. 

        There’s also keychains as well, but that seems to be it merch-wise. Which is a shame, I’d kill for some Beato stuff. 

  2. Socordya says:

    It lacks the energy the VN does, though the manga manages to adapt it really well.

    How does the manga do it?

    (oops, this was supposed to be a reply to beanbug)

    1. beanbug says:
      Same as the VN! Beato’s speech turns red, but there’s no physical manifestation of it. 

      This is a bit ahead of the liveblog but not technically a spoiler (Act has seen this if they’ve gotten to the end of the episode, but it’s a little ahead of where the liveblog is), so I’m linking instead of posting. Here’s an example. 

      1
      1. Act says:

        Wow that is an ugly art style for this story.

        1. Keltena says:

          Kind of glad I’m not the only one who finds the EP2 mangaka’s style absurdly off-putting, honestly. I’ve skimmed a lot of the manga, and the EP2 adaptation manages some cool moments here and there (the climax of the prologue looks great), but the artist’s bizarre way of drawing faces keeps me from enjoying most of it.

          EDIT: Also, not sure if the red text in the panel beanbug posted is a choice on the scanlators’ part or what, but at least in the official English releases, the manga actually indicates red by using a different font. Which is probably the best way to handle it in a black-and-white medium.

          1. illhousen says:

            Is it the same artist who did Higanbana manga? I could not take it seriously because of faces. They were so ridiculously over-the-top.

            1. Keltena says:

              Google says nope—Umineko EP2 is illustrated by Jirou Suzuki (who apparently also did the Curse Killing arc of the Higurashi manga), while the Higanbana manga is Ichirou Tsunohazu.

              The over-the-top faces are pretty much a mainstay throughout the manga from what I’ve seen, though; some artists just make them considerably more narmy than others. (And, in the case of the EP2 manga, manage to make even normal faces weird and creepy by virtue of art style.)

              Reply
            2. Heatth says:

              I think the When They Cry series kinda got a fame for over the top faces, so the authors were just trying to follow suit. I blame the Higurashi anime.

              Reply
          2. beanbug says:
            Yeah, that was a scan. If I was to choose an episode for Jiro, I guess I’d go with 2 like R07 did? Lots of faces in that one. 

            3/8 of the time you’ve got Kei Natsume, who’s pretty good, at least. Wish he got Akitaka onboard a bit more though, they were great in episode 5. 

  3. illhousen says:

    Now that the red text mechanic was introduced, I can finally post these:

    2
    1. EnviTheFool says:

      Poor Gohda.

      Also, these kinds of images make me wish that I got the Screenshot Generator to work.

    1. Heatth says:

      Man, I remember those. That is kind of a blast from the past.

    2. Act says:

      i see i’m far too late for those dank-ass memes

  4. Cosmogone says:
    >>“So, you’ve taken it out. ………How does it feel to have the fact that you are a subhuman being exposed in front of the girl you have feelings for?”

    Let it be known that I’m not making a dick joke right now, which is proof of my heroic willpower.

    >>Huh, so the stakes are wielded by furniture. This does explain some things in the universe where this is all supernatural.

    Could you elaborate please? I think I’m too distraught by Asmodeus’ frilly crotch to think about the implications here.

    >>So either these are very important and can’t change or not important at all and no one is bothering to change them. Super helpful.

    I think it’s crucial. The seventh pentacle is used to break shakles and has this verse inscribed: ‘Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder. I will offer unto thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the Name of IHVH.’ The magical explanation is probably that Beata uses it primarily to create locked-room murders. It may also be a declaration that she’s freed and the game has started. Imo, the most important here are the implications: we get a direct confirmation of what Beatrice told Shannon earlier. Beatrice seems to really be “chained” on this island mentally and/or physically and wants to free herself. Hmm. I hope we get more seals in the future, so we could parse her motive. Just from looking at her killing methods, it looks like revenge, but I’d really like more details.

    Also, holy shit, so that’s what the colored text Umineko fans always reference is about? I… don’t even think they give us an unfair advantage. It’s not that I think the mystery is unsolvable, but I’m 100% sure R07 has an… interesting understanding of fair play.

    1. Act says:

      Let it be known that I’m not making a dick joke right now, which is proof of my heroic willpower.

      Honestly it’s so obvious I figured it had to be intentional. He literally took out his sword.

      Could you elaborate please? I think I’m too distraught by Asmodeus’ frilly crotch to think about the implications here.

      I was thinking of the Eva-Hide murders from last route, where they’re killed in a locked room with no sign of a struggle despite Hide being in the shower and Eva in bed. If the stakes are actually magical homing furniture, that makes sense.

      And yeah, those costumes. Though at least it makes slightly more sense than the Angel Mort ones…?

       I hope we get more seals in the future, so we could parse her motive. Just from looking at her killing methods, it looks like revenge, but I’d really like more details.

      I agree. I think based on her conversations with Shannon as well as some too-real stuff she says later this route, she’s not willingly part of this. She seems to very much be coming from a ‘I’ll be the monster you made me’ position. Or maybe I just want her to be more sympathetic than she is, idk.

      1. Cosmogone says:
        >>If the stakes are actually magical homing furniture, that makes sense.

        Huh. Okay, that makes sense. Though I’ll be damned if I don’t find a reasonable explanation for the murders.

        >>Though at least it makes slightly more sense than the Angel Mort ones…?

        Honestly, it’s less the absurdity of their clothes and more how much they contrast with the rest of the setting. I’d be less bewildered if the stakes were tastefully clothed on ly in the blood of their enemies.

        >>She seems to very much be coming from a ‘I’ll be the monster you made me’ position.

        Ooh, that’s  super interesting! I’m looking forward to your analysis of the next episodes.))

        1. beanbug says:
          Though I’ll be damned if I don’t find a reasonable explanation for the murders.

          The reasonable explaination is simple! A witch did it with magic!!!

           

          The stake uniforms are just…really. Out there.  Please give them pants Beatrice, it’s raining outside. 

          1. Cosmogone says:
            >>A witch did it with magic!!!

            But I thought we had this cleared: witches don’t exist, it was Genji in a wig all along.

  5. illhousen says:

    Also, that updated goat is fucking buff.

    1. Act says:

      I wanted to be shocked that it was a goat monster but I was too distracted by its rockin’ biceps.

      More seriously, though, this is another one where the updated art seems to not quite *get* the original art. The shadowy, willowing sprites for the goats in the original were more intimidating because they didn’t lay it all on the table, not less.

      1. Heatth says:

        I kinda like the idea of more buff goats. The original do seem a bit too thin. But the new graphics went overboard and, yeah, completely fucked up the shadowy thing.

        1. illhousen says:

          I don’t know. Buff monsters in general don’t do much for me, horror-wise (unless it’s, like, weird body-horror buff where muscles are indistinguishable from tumors and the like).

          Going for more ethereal feel, making them look more like holes in the world slightly warping background around them would have been a superior option, I feel.

  6. Heatth says:

    Possibly Nanjo or Kuma, as I’m not sure if Hide and Kyrie would outrank Rosa or not and so they might still be alive.

    Technically Rosa outranks all spouses, remember the dinner table sitting order? Even Natsuhi is below her. Eva explicitly threw that at Natsuhi’s face in the last episode. In practice, the servants still go to Natsuhi before any other sibling, as seen in the first episode.

    I want to be like “It’s insane that the game thinks we need literal in-universe hints” but it’s not I absolutely need hints plz give me hints I accept my metatextual overlords

    Now you are thinking like a proper Umineko fan. =p We all must bow before the might of the Red.

    And if Fair Play is new for anyone here, welcome! You’re now enjoying The Grandest Game in the World. Here’s to hoping it never ends.

    Umineko was my introduction to Fair Play Mysteries (though, in retrospect, Harry Potter follow some of the basic rules as well, for most of the books). It did convince me to go read a bunch of Agatha Christie books (including And Then There Was None, of course). I should go read some more, they are fun.

    1. Act says:

      I am an illogically passionate Christie fan. I literally have two bookshelves worth of her novels and they’re basically my favorite thing to read. I always wanted to get into Dorothy Sayers more, but I found Sayers to be… not as entertaining? She just doesn’thave the knack for people and storytelling that Christie does, even if she’s technically a good, if not better, writer. Also I can’t get over that Whimsey is a dick in the early books.

      1
      1. Heatth says:

        Christie is great. I wouldn’t describe myself as a fan, but I read some of her books and liked them all. I feel like I should try other authors, though. She is the only mystery author I read which is probably a bit limiting.

        Before, though, I want to read some Miss Marple stuff. The only non-Poirot book I read was And Then There Was None and I should fix that. Any suggetion?

        1. Act says:

          Well, there’s a reason Holmes is such a cultural staple — Doyle really is a master. I didn’t like Carr — I thought he was super smug and it just made me angry. I’m also a huge Sue Grafton fan, though obviously she’s not Golden Age. Dashiell Hammett is my favorite of the hardboileds.

          I actually prefer Miss Marple to Poirot overall. I don’t know that I have a favorite. Murder at the Vicarage is the first one, and it does pay a bit to read the Miss Marple ones in order, since there are more callbacks than typical in this type of mystery.

          1
          1. Heatth says:

            I heard Doyle preceded the “Golden Age” and, thus, his stories weren’t much ‘Fair Play’ as Sherlock would often use clues that were not known to the reader to solve the mystery. Still, probably should check it out regardless. They should still be good stories, afterall.

            Thanks for the suggestions. I will check Murder at the Vicarage and then move on from there.

            1. illhousen says:

              Check out the Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Poe if you go for classics. It’s the first ever “proper” detective story that essentially defined the genre. Many elements present in Sherlock Holmes stories can be traced back to it.

              It also happened to read as… ah… a parody of detective stories, which I honestly though it was back when I read it for the first time without knowing the historical context. So there is that.

              Reply
            2. Act says:

              I love Poe, but I’ve always found his Dupan stories to be unentertaining, largely because they’re thinkpieces first and stories second. It’s why Doyle could plagiarize him so thuroughly and no one cared — he made them actually interesting.

              Reply
            3. Act says:

              He does precede it, but he also laid the groundwork for it, so there’s a lot in common and the bulk of them are solveable, though yeah, some aren’t.

              Reply
            4. illhousen says:

              I mean, yes, but the first story is kinda hilarious in a way I think was unintended, especially if you have some background in mysety fiction.

              Reply
            5. Act says:

              Doy, yes, I misread your comment. NEVER MIND

              Reply
  7. Hyatt says:
    It’s funny that Fair Play rules are being so obviously established, since one of the taglines advertising the series was No Dine. No Knox. No Fair.
    1. Heatth says:

      For reference, you can see it in the ‘umineko_op2.avi’ located in the ‘movie’ folder if you are using the Steam version (also all other versions, I am pretty sure, but I can’t check). I believe this was the original pre release trailer. For reference, here the full tagline:

       

      No Dine.

      No Knox.

      No Fair.

      In other words, this is not a mystery.

      But it happens.

      All it happens.

      Let it happens.

       

      Once again.

      No Dine.

      In other words it is to starve.

      Starve while demanding the fair, and die.

       

      Witch in gold, Beatrice

       

      So, yeah, a Fair Play kind of mystery, for you to enjoy. =p

      (also, “Witch in gold”. Gonna guess this is “Golden Witch” as translated by Ryuukishi07 himself.)

      1. beanbug says:
        Found that on youtube, for anybody who’s too lazy to open the game (like me). 

        No Dine is probably a good thing. His ‘fair play rules’ are 50% actual rules and 50% potshots at other popular mystery authors. You can read them here, though I’d warn against actually applying them-even without knowing the culprit, it already breaks rule 16 to pieces. There’s also the issue of you’re essentially crossing off a quarter of the cast entirely on the basis of ‘Willard was a massive classist’ via his weird obsession with no servant culprits. 

        I’ve been reading his books-the third book, the Greene Murder Case, is surprisingly close to umineko’s setup; a bunch of awful relatives who absolutely hate the fuck out of each other get murdered in the middle of a snowstorm and waste no time accusing and guilt-tripping each other. It’s wild. There’s also a couple of characters who have similar names to actual umineko characters, too. 

        there’s also a lot of references to phrenology in a completely serious light, which trips a looooooot of my bullshit sensors, along with a lot of things that i will fight willard h. wright (dine’s a penname) with my own two hands over. 

        2
        1. Hyatt says:
          But the No Fair seems to be a lie, so No Dine might be a lie, too. Something to keep in mind (along with Knox).

          Though it definitely isn’t following Dine to the letter, given #3:

          There must be no love interest in the story. To introduce amour is to clutter up a purely intellectual experience with irrelevant sentiment. The business in hand is to bring a criminal to the bar of justice, not to bring a lovelorn couple to the hymeneal altar.

          “Without love it cannot be seen,” after all, and we’ve had one couple get married by their own definition during the story.

          1. illhousen says:

            Mmm, not really sure it’s a violation, to be honest. I always interpreted it as “there should be no love interest for the protagonist.” Suspects (which is to say, everyone on the island except possibly Battler, given his current role) are allowed their passions and their lusts so long as they fall under “establishing enough verisimilitude” rather than, you know, treating them as characters whose stories might be interesting in itself.

            1. Cosmogone says:
              >> I always interpreted it as “there should be no love interest for the protagonist.”

              What! Are you telling me Battler’s game with Beata is purely platonic antagonism? Is it setting off so many shoujo hell bells by accident? I don’t buy it :P

              Reply
            2. beanbug says:
               

              Are you telling me Battler’s game with Beata is purely platonic antagonism? Is it setting off so many shoujo hell bells by accident? I don’t buy it

              I don’t really see the shoujo hell bells, but that won’t stop me from writing…whatever this is. I’m sorry in advance. 

               

              It was the very first day of class, and Battler was excited; however, that didn’t stop him from sleeping in late, running to school with a slice of toast in his mouth. However, his excitement was short-lived; the second he sat down, a new transfer student introduced herself. Her name was Beatrice, and shortly after she’d written her name in katakana on the chalkboard, she’d spun around and made a declaration. 

              “My name is Beatrice, and I am a witch!”

              She sat behind him, next to the window specifically in the back right corner of the room, like all shoujo protaganists do. 

              However, much to his surprise, later in the day he got closer to her again…as he tripped and accidentlly fell on her. Please note that the end position they ended up in looked a lot like they were doing The Sex. This detail is very important. Beato blushed, stammering as she shoved Battler off of her. 

              “G-get off me, y-you imcompetent loser!!! Or I’ll curse you!”

               

              The day after was a hot springs trip. Please don’t think too hard on why a school is having a hot springs trip or even if it is appropriate, as you will get a headache. What is important is that there’s that obligatory scene where all the girls compare boob sizes in an extremely realistic way that every boob-haver absolutely has every time they see other boob-havers. 

              Also important is a scene where Battler sees Beato wrapped in a towel and thinks she’s pretty and also a scene in the boob comparison scene where Beato confesses thinking Battler is cool or whatever (he’s not, which is how you know this is an au). 

               

              Months passed, and they’d slowly grown close to each other, and finally, a festival came around. There’d been rumors flying around the school, talking about how Beatrice was going to confess her feelings. He hadn’t thought anything of it until she’d come up to him at the beginning of the festival, decked out in a golden kimono, fidgeting and nervously avoiding his gaze. 

              “B-battler…do you want to watch the fireworks with me?”

              He’d nodded the second it came up, leading the two to sit upon the top of a hill, watching the fireworks burst into flames in the sky. As the night wore on, she placed her hand upon his and slowly looked him in the eyes.

              “Battler, close your eyes.”

              “Huh? Why?”

              “B-because I want to kiss you, that’s why!”

              Oh. His face was no doubt red, so he closed them, hoping Beato would do the same and spare him the embarassment. 

              As the final firework lit up the night sky, the two leaned in for a kiss. Battler kept his eyes shut, but the kiss never came. A second later, he smelled something…weird. Metallic, even. And the noise of the festival abruptly disappeared, replaced by absolute silence. 

              Tenatively, Battler opened his eyes after a moment, only to be met with abject horror. Instead of the festival, he was sitting down in the middle of the chapel, light streaming in through the stained glass. And on the altar, sprawled in a pile, were the bodies of everybody; he barely had time to count them, but they were all there! Not even the servants were spared!!! They were all sprawled in a heap, with a girl sitting on top, not making a sound, up until she opened her eyes, affixing him with a stare that he could barely see through eyes filled with tears. 

              “This is what happens when you stop thinking and submit to the witch.” 

              And with that, she disappeared, taking the corpses and setting with her. 

               

              He nearly jumped out of bed the second the girl disappeared, only to be met with the darkness of his room.

              In the end, it was all a dream.

              4
              Reply
            3. Cosmogone says:
              @beanbug I… I was mostly joking when suggesting Beato and Battler were secretly in love and now I don’t know whether to thank you for the fic or to cry (it’s both). All I know is that this is all I’ll be thinking about during their interactions.
              Reply
            4. Hyatt says:
              Resist the urge to seek out more Beato/Battler fic. There will be a lot, it’s one of the most popular couples in the fandom, but 99% will be spoilery.
              Reply
            5. Cosmogone says:
              Not even surprised at this point, tbh.
              Reply
            6. Hyatt says:
              It’s hard to blame the fandom, the OPs for the PS3 version seem to ship them.
              Reply
        2. Hyatt says:
          Also, minor correction: Willard H. Wright is his real name, S.S. Van Dine is the pen-name.
        3. illhousen says:

          I remember Dine’s rules, and I found them weirdly laser-focused on treating a mystery as a logical puzzle for readers to solve rather than, you know, a story. He’s all, like, “I wanna read about an elaborate murder and find out how it was done, I don’t wanna burden myself with themes and suchlike shit.”

          I mean, his rules that actually deal with the fair play concepts directly are fairly correct and well-worded, but the rest…

          1. Act says:

            TBH my approach has always been to layer all the different rulesets over each other and take what’s in common. That usually eliminates personal preferences and, more importantly, weird grudges certain writers had against each other.

            1
    2. Act says:

      Honestly selling this as “Totally not a prototypical mystery, it’s completely unsolveable, totally” seems completely in line with R07 to me.

  8. Keltena says:

    I think that’s what they said: “Dine’s a penname”.

    (edit: Whoops, that was supposed to be in response to Hyatt. WordPress, why ;_;)

  9. Hyatt says:
    I somehow skipped the “a” in that phrase. Completely changes the meaning.
  10. Last time, Beatrice is acknowledged.

    I want to be like “It’s insane that the game thinks we need literal in-universe hints” but it’s not I absolutely need hints plz give me hints I accept my metatextual overlords

    Aaaand she’s acknowledged this time too. Beatrice is on a roll.

    1
  11. Socordya says:

    You sure are taking the « Kanon has a light saber somehow » thing in stride.

    Also the ridiculous pantless outfits of the stakes (it’s doubleplusextra ridiculous with the PS3 graphics)

    Here I was, expecting you to be all shocked and shit, and I’d be like, you sweet summer child, this is nothing.

    The chapel is apparently located in a grove separate from the house. It was built at the same time as the main building and is quite old, though it’s been remodeled a few times. I was about to say it’s weird for them to have a Western-style chapel but then I remembered Kinzo is a reverse-weeb.

    Not sure how it looks with the original visuals, but in my version it looks less like a chapel and more like a goddamn cathedral.

    Krauss and his wife, Eva and his husband, and Rudolf and his wife.

    Eva confirmed to be a transgender man?

    1
    1. Hyatt says:

      Also the ridiculous pantless outfits of the stakes (it’s doubleplusextra ridiculous with the PS3 graphics)

      Their outfits were designed by whoever provides Angel Mort’s uniforms. Actually, given Shannon’s full-body sprite, I think all female furniture get their clothing from the same source.

      Not sure how it looks with the original visuals, but in my version it looks less like a chapel and more like a goddamn cathedral.

      I think the VN uses exterior shots of the mansion when talking about the chapel.

      1. Act says:

        This may be total fanwank but they genuinely feel like a less-ridiculous callback to the Angel Mort costume’s insanity. At least it makes some sense for an evil phantom thing to not care about clothing.

    2. Act says:

      You sure are taking the « Kanon has a light saber somehow » thing in stride.

      One of the few things I was sure of early on was that the servants weren’t human, so it was more a feeling of okay, finally, we’re moving on this.

      Not sure how it looks with the original visuals, but in my version it looks less like a chapel and more like a goddamn cathedral.

      Hmm, it looks like a full-sized church, but not like, a mansion? It’s clearly too much for one person, but it’s not like Scrooge McDuck levels of giant.

      Eva confirmed to be a transgender man?

      Weirdly, I’m pretty sure I copy-pasted that from somewhere.

  12. Socordya says:

    Also:

    When I speak the truth, I will use red.

    This is poorly worded, since this imply by contraposition that literally everything in white is a lie, which I am pretty sure isn’t what was intended. “Everything I say in red is the truth” would make more sense.

    edit: it’s actually even worse than I realized, since “When I speak the truth, I will use red.” doesn’t even imply that what is red is true.

    1. Farla says:

      I never lie when I speak in red, perhaps?

      1. Socordya says:

        Yes, that would work:

        “I never lie when I speak in red”<=>”not lie<=red”<=>”red=>true” which is the point the game was trying to make

    2. Act says:

      “Everything in red is true” would work as well.

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