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I've come to know of 'Narcissu' from a friend's numerous Facebook posts. There's been considerable information regarding the availability of the visual novel on Steam strewn all over the internet. At first glance, I didn't think too much of it. I'm not a hardcore gamer, and the times when I actually do play something are at best pathetic. I'm just relieved that there's nobody else snickering at my rookie attempts. Maybe it's me, but frankly a lot of games are simply too difficult to progress. Anyway, eventually I paid some attention to 'Narcissu', partly because my friend's subsequent posts made to the top of my news feed. Some kind of sign I reckon? 

So, what exactly is 'Narcissu'? It's a visual novel that dates back nearly a decade ago. The game was first released in its original Japanese language in 2005. Numerous translations followed suit. 'Narcissu' remains free to play, and with the recent porting of the game over to Steam, it provides a timely opportunity for newbies to the game like myself to get acquainted. 'Narcissu' is currently in Early Access. Oh, 'Narcissu' here actually contains two games, simply titled 'Narcissu 1st & 2nd'. As of now, I've already completed the first instalment.

Gameplay should be a piece of cake even for the beginning gamer. Visual novels require little from their players, and in the case of 'Narcissu' all that's needed of us is clicking the mouse. Nope, players aren't given any mind-boggling, life-and-death questions to ponder about. It's a very down-to-earth game that also provides players with necessities such as save-load and chapter selection. Just sit comfortably, have some popcorn or something, and start the game.

That said, however, 'Narcissu' isn't an ideal game for those who are more into colourful, exciting, intense, [insert other adjectives here] gaming experiences. The storytelling is slow, the graphics aren't some groundbreaking effects, the soundtrack might bore some to sleep, and the visual transitions are repetitive. But for those who wouldn't mind a beautiful (yet depressing) story, please give 'Narcissu' a go. I'm glad that I've tried it.

Oh, I forgot to add...if your emotions could potentially cause a catastrophe, it might be better to play the game slowly (pun absolutely intended). As mentioned, 'Narcissu' is beautiful but depressing. The story touches on the fragility of life, the struggles to find the slightest hint of will to live out the remains of an irreversible situation, the temporary escapes in order to preserve sanity, the dependence on each other under those circumstances, and the fulfilment of one's wish for the final time. Both the protagonists have to come to terms with their enemies - their lives. Why not sickness? In my opinion, there are things far worse than sickness, even though what the characters are suffering from is terminal. The male protagonist doesn't have a genuine family. His existence at home is at best nondescript. As for the girl, her perception of life has already been altered before she contracted her illness. Ironically, their illnesses are what free them from their supposed sufferings.

'Narcissu' also refers to a type of flower, commonly known as the daffodil. In the story, the female protagonist has a wish of being surrounded by daffodils, which the male protagonist goes all out to help fulfil it. Imagine how breathtakingly beautiful the scene would be if 'Narcissu' ever got a greenlight for either a live action or an anime adaptation. The long car rides would be quite interesting too, since there are several locations. I wonder who would be an ideal choice to play the girl? I'm not very familiar with the new blood these days. Oh, I about Miyazaki Aoi? She's not new but I kind of enjoyed her performance in 'NANA'. As for the guy, how about Matsuda Ryuhei? If anyone finds this pairing somewhat suspicious, nope I've never watched 'The Great Passage' although I did come across the movie poster online some time ago. That reminds me, both of them appeared in 'NANA' as well (but they didn't have any scenes together).

Anyway, do consider playing 'Narcissu'. It's not a bad way to pass a lazy afternoon.

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep

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