Ever17: Beauty in the eye of the non-believer / Visual Novels

Ever 17 – Beauty in the eyes of a nonbeliever (Day 3)

This series of blogs is intended to document my journey as a new comer to the world of Visual Novels. I apologise in advance for this late post. Playing one route per day and then writing a post for it really isn’t as easy as I thought. I played until 2am last night and just had to get some sleep first. But anyway, here’s today’s post!!! Enjoy!

If this is your first time reading this series of blogs, be sure to start from day one: http://synian.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/ever-17-beauty-in-the-eyes-of-a-nonbeliever-day-1/

Day 3: You’s Route

Note: This post contains spoilers

Time spent playing: about 13 hours

Before I even began You’s route, I already knew what I would write in this post, or so I thought. I’ll start with complaining about repetition, followed by a rant regarding spelling and grammar, after which I’ll give praise to a few interesting points, before immediately dismissing all merits as irrelevant, and finish off with an argument about how the journey is as important if not more important than the end goal. I would go as far as calling Ever 17 down right bad, because regardless of how good the “true ending” might be, 10 minutes of brilliance could not make up for 50 hours of wasted time.

But I was wrong.

First of all, the story of You’s route was told in a completely different point of view to the previous two routes. It helped to fill in gaps I didn’t know existed while adding new material to think over. The pleasant change of perspective is one I had expected to happen to the second route, but gave up hoping when it didn’t. Fitting the two perspectives together seemed easy enough at first but then strange things began to happen. For a start, Coco was nowhere to be seen yet a girl called Sara appeared out of nowhere. In the first two routes, during the blackout, You always suggested that we look for Sora first, but in the third route she openly stated Sora can’t be found. Tsugumi also wasn’t the one to fix the generator, while kid somehow knew the generator room was full of steam.

What is even stranger is that every character seems to know, to a degree, what happened in the last two routes, but not enough to be aware of it. Tsugumi appears angrier than any previous route and was saying strange things like “I don’t know why you are all trying to do the same things you did before” and “are you sure it wasn’t because I threw off your schedule?”. At the same time, characters were often finishing each other’s sentences, or swapping roles and taking up each other’s dialogues entirely.

Perhaps the most notable example is when everyone was trying to pick a name for Kid, Takeshi said: “How about John?” before immediately dismissing himself by saying “Don’t you think that would be a little rude to all of the people named John?”. This is followed by Sora correcting Takeshi, by quoting what Takeshi actually said in the previous two routes: “ Or, ‘it’s kinda of random, but how about John Doe?’ Don’t you think that’s kind of rude to the other Johns?”

What also really bugged me is that the fluctuating life sign indicator. Sora is a hologram, so the correct reading should be 5, yet no one seem bothered by the fact that the reading settled on 6, not even Sora herself. It makes me think that maybe Sora isn’t just a computer, or if she is, then she is somehow alive? The relationship between Coco and Sara also seem peculiar. Could it be that they are actually the same person? When Sara was rescued out of the elevator, I distinctively remember hearing Coco’s voice. Not to mention, the whale room scene where the Kid held Coco’s hand, and she somehow turned into Sara. I assume for a moment that Coco/Sara counts as two people, and Sora is a machine, then can the last “survivor” be in fact referring to me, the player? After all, at the end of every route, it distinctively shows there is still one more life signs in LeMU, followed by a message saying something along the lines of “This is not the end of the story, You are still trapped in the infinite loop.” Could the game actually be talking through the fourth wall? Or am I thinking too much and it’s really just referring to Chami or Pipi?

Then, there is the question about which year it currently is. In all three routes, when Kid asked Takeshi what year it was, Takeshi replied: 2017. Yet when You was looking up data about her parents, a message from 2019  read that You’s father died 34 years ago (not 17 years ago), and her mother died 15 years ago. This implied that the current year is 2034, not 2017. But that cannot be You is only 17 years old, and she saw her mother just days ago. The ending was also slightly inexplicable. When we saw You’s “mother”, the mother said “You are me.”

What did it mean that You is also her mother? Could they be clones of each other? Then a thought struck me. What if this whole thing is a setup to replay an event that happened 17 years ago? Meaning, it is actually 2034, but the sinking of LeMU happened in 2017. After all, what the first two routes have emphasized over and over again is that people are nothing more than data, software. Data can be preserved, cloned, and reproduced. Then it begs the question: Who would do this? And why? Was the breakout of TB also part of the plan? Or is it an accident?

Meeting Sora on Isle Null also seem to imply that the Copy of Sora made my Takeshi of the second route in HIMMEL, somehow managed to get delivered to the Takeshi of the first route in IBF, which somehow was transferred into the third route. Not only that, but the copy was implemented into a physical body. I was quite shocked to see that Sora actually tapped the Kid on his shoulder, and the Kid shook her hands.

There are plenty more examples of things I noticed, but I think it’s obvious by now that I’m getting really into this Visual Novel. I am seeing hints from the smallest word choice to the largest abnormality. After every scene, I would pause for a while and be lost in thoughts. Even while I slept last night, I was having dreams about Ever 17. It’s a similar feeling to reading Sherlock Holmes, or watching Detective Conan, or solving a Rubik’s cube, while somehow being more interesting than all three of those combined. I can almost feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins as I click through the dialogues. To help me keep track of things, I have started a spread sheet timeline of what happened in each route. I am also taking careful notes as well as screen shots while I play. Often, I would replay the save from a previous route just to check some small details.

I understand that some people might disagree with the way I am playing Ever 17. I suspect being so careful with the first four routes will take some of the surprises out of the ending, but like I said before; I think the journey is equally important if not more than the ending. Frankly, thinking analytically, taking notes, trying to figure things out is probably the only way I can get through Ever 17. Even if I try, I can’t force myself to turn a blind eye on obvious contradictions like how there are only five people, but the life sign indicator shows six. The only way I can ignore obvious problems is if I treat all the contradictions I can find as plot holes, bad authorship. That would essentially reduce the whole thing into a collection of bad romance not worthy of my time. So Instead, I choose to believe that Ever 17 is a masterpiece, and because of such, I will treat it with all the scrutiny that a masterpiece deserves; scrutiny that only a masterpiece can stand up to.

So with that, I begin the 4th and final route before I get to experience the famous “mind-blowing” ending of Ever 17. To get the latest updates, be sure to follow my blog, subscribe to me on twitter, and I’ll see you next time.

For Day 4′s post click here

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