Visual Novel Review: The House in Fata Morgana
Synopsis: You awaken in a decrepit old mansion.
A woman with eyes of jade stands before You, informing You that You are the Master of the house, and she is Your Maid. However, You have no memories, no concept of self – or, indeed, any certainty that You are even alive.
The Maid invites You to join her on a journey through the mansion’s lifeless halls, to behold the numerous tragedies that have befallen its residents. She suggest that among them, perhaps You will find some trace of Yourself.
“The House in Fata Morgana” is one of the most beautiful visual novels I have ever played. Beautiful art and beautiful music tie a beautiful tragic set of stories behind the doors of a cursed mansion. This is the type of visual novel that will not just leave an impact on you as you’re reading this but it will continue to ensnare you even after you close the doors. However, you may look at the previews and pictures and think that the choices are varied and could easily get a game over. Without giving too many spoilers away, there may be some choices that could lead to different endings but it’s surprisingly linear. If you’re trying to get all the achievements, then, by all means, try all the different choices to see how each ending is as gut-wrenching as the next. Surely, there are a few dead ends but most of the choices are pretty common sense.
Without the music, though, this game would be nothing. There are many different songs that are in different European languages, but, especially in the first half, it does become repetitive. After a certain pivotal moment, the music does change up a bit but regardless if it repeats itself, it’s always such a joy to listen to and it sets the mood better.
The art itself is super beautiful and almost has a certain feel to it. This game is a horror thriller gothic story so there are a lot of horrific images throughout the game. There are a lot of horrific situations that goes on and the art clearly depict those in a very good manner. It doesn’t go over the top with its gore – it gets to the point rather quickly – and it shows how monstrous people can be. When it’s light-hearted, though, and you will be so happy for those moments, it doesn’t do anything over exaggerated either. The art is not ‘anime’ in any sort of way and it works with the tone the best. There are some awkward poses for sprites and not as much variety but considering the possible reasons for it, it’s good.
Now, the writing itself is super amazing. You really have to pay attention to what’s being said and what’s being narrated. The devil is truly in the details. Motivations are explained not to just have the reader sympathize, but mostly, to understand why the characters did what they did. These characters are more than just sprites on a screen and words on a word document – they are people. They are people with flaws and imperfections. Everyone, especially the main characters, have these flaws which got them into the position they were in. There’s no real main ‘villain’. Once you learn the history the characters have gone through, you will understand why they react in the manner they did.
One of the problems with some ‘gothic’ games and stories is that they tend to want to add in as much torture to their characters and leads as much as they can in what they believe to be a ‘beautiful’ way. They don’t add in the downtime, or reprieve, for t heir characters to breathe and to be themselves. It’s very important for your characters to take the time to breathe and to relax. They need to interact and they need some sort of happiness to be their flawed, human selves. The tragedy itself isn’t beautiful but how the humans within the story live and thrive in spite of it is what makes a gothic beautiful and enjoyable – and “The House in Fata Morgana” does that in spades. There may be some instances where it feels that it doesn’t let up at all, but, again, the devil is in the details.
However, the only thing I can say about this game is that it is extremely heavy to read. It’s so hard to read at times because it does deal with emotional, physical, and mental abuse along with domestic violence and actual violence. Death is also a major theme in this game as well. It is not a light read at all and would not recommend to those who could be triggered by this kind of content. While there are reprieves, it’s honestly far and few in between especially with regards to the actual story that’s being told. Unless you’re able to handle these types of themes, reading others’ tragedies in this game will remind you of your own and I wouldn’t blame you if you passed this up because of that.
But for those of you who are able to do so, please buy this game immediately. I encourage everyone who’s able to read this to do so.
Posted on November 21, 2020, in ★★★★★ – 5 Stars, The House in Fata Morgana, Visual Novel Reviews, Visual Novel Series and tagged goth, novectacle, The House in Fata Morgana, visual novel, visual novel review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.