Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~

Who am I?

What am I?

Where did I come from?

Where am I going?

Loved by no one.
Needed by no one.
If my existence
holds no meaning,
then why am I here?

2016-01-14-131618The year is 1853 and the Royal Guard is on a mission to catch a monster. They have found the unkept mansion and there they find a girl. A girl with poisonous skin and blood. Without any resistance Cardia is captured and to some extent she is relieved as she thinks that she might be killed. She has spent the past two years alone after all. She needs to be alone to avoid hurting anyone. But the girl, who is not supposed to know love, is taken away from the Royal Guard by the Dashing Gentleman Thief and her story of love is beginning.
2016-01-12-102610Victor Frankenstein (CV: Tetsuya Kakihara), also known as Fran in Japanese, was a government alchemist, but is now wanted as a terrorist. He’s actually a very nice person who is fleeing the government because of things they do and he saved Cardia from some men who were going to sell her off as a prostitute, I suppose. He ends up hiding out at Lupin’s hideout in exchange for trying to cure Cardia from her poison which seems to be caused by the crystal imbedded in her chest, but he quickly realizes the Horologium is what keeping her alive despite the fact she does not having a beating heart.

Normal End
2016-02-07-214837After Finis’ death, Twilight is still moving and it turns out Queen Victoria herself is controlling them. The queen lets Cardia and Victor, who infiltrated the palace, that Cardia will turn into a monster in 30 hours. But as they flee from there, Cardia collapses and wakes as there is only 9 hours left. An explosion with Zicterium forces them to flee and then Twilight gets their hands on Cardia, forcing Victor to find the Zicterium for them, which is also the substance that, as he just has realised, will save Cardia. Cardia flees, but in the end they just played the game the enemy wanted and with less than an hour left before she awakens to a be death itself, Victor and Cardia tries their best to save Cardia herself, London, Britain and the world.

They manage to save London, and with that Britain and the world. But Cardia, so close to her transformation when she will kill Victor through her own poison and lose her will, decide to take her own life. It breaks Victor’s heart, but eventually, he needs to stop mourning the girl who sacrificed herself for him.

Bad End 1
When Queen Victoria offers an option for Cardia to save Victor who wants to save Cardia, Cardia decides to take the queen’s offer despite Victor’s protests. Cardia doesn’t want to ruin the life Victor has, like she had done in the past and she wishes that Victor is happy.

Bad End 2
After the terrorist attack on the poor part of London, Victor tells Cardia to run and she does as he tells her. Ignoring how she’s feeling, she runs as fast she can, away from the Zicterium gas. With 7 hours left until she awakens, Aleister finds her to escort her to Queen Victoria. As she has no strength left to resist, Cardia requests that the government sees that no one is hurt when she turns into a monster, to make sure Victor stays alive. Aleister promises that her powers will be used for peace.

Bad End 3
Cardia has been taken hostage and Victor has to give the government the Zicterium to get her back. But no one comes for Cardia and she turns into a monster.

True End
2016-02-07-235240Cardia and Victor manage to save London and Victor also manages to extract Zicterium for Cardia to drink and she survives without changing into a monster. Some time later the two are living in the mansion that Saint-Germain forced upon them and Victor has found a neutralizer for the poison in her body.

2016-01-11-204908Impey Barbicane (CV: Shoutarou Morikubo) is an engineer who wants to go to the moon and who is working with Lupin from some reason or other. He’s a total ladies’ man and tries to hit on Cardia, but that just kind of flies over her head because she doesn’t understand it. He’s superhuman in physical abilities but is also a very caring person and when they found a hurt dog, he cared for it to health again and named the male dog Sisi after some queen. He is a really good engineer (but the others won’t admit it around him due to his… stupidity). Although stupid, he IS reliable when you really need him.

Normal End
2016-02-11-151850At the research facility they found a paper with Nemo’s name and photograph and after Finis’ death Impey and Cardia leaves to find Nemo, which they find. It turns out Nemo has had something stolen from him and Cardia and Impey decides to steal it back for him. Nemo offers them to stay at his home, but it turns out Nemo’s they enemy and he captures them to get the Philosopher’s Stone which the Horologium will transform into. But Cardia manages to escape and saves Impey. Cardia is, however, ill  because Nemo could a piece and it could kill her if they don’t do something quickly. But Nemo is on their tracks and threatens entire London to get Cardia. Not running away from the danger Cardia and the rest cooperates with the government to stop Nemo. Impey manages to take the missing Horologium piece back and Cardia’s life is saved.

The battleship is set to self-destruct and Cardia is set to look for an escape pod while Impey stand behind in the control room to try steer the big ass air fortress away from Buckingham Palace to minimize the damage. He knows he has no chance of surviving, but hopes Cardia will.

A year later Cardia is going on off a journey to America because she found a sponsor for a large-scale experiment to reach the moon. And, of course, Impey’s missing.

Bad End 1
While trying to save Impey at the Nautilus, Cardia ends up having to fight and it leads to her defeat.

Bad End 2
While advancing at the Nautilus, the airship is hit. The engine is damaged and they can’t go on. Cardia dies while looking at the moon with Impey.

True End
2016-02-11-171152The battleship is set to self-destruct, but Cardia refuses to leave Impey’s side. Impey manages to make an emergency landing in the Thames and they both survive. A year later they still live at the mansion, while everyone else has moved out, except for Sisi. Impey proposes to his beloved Cardia as an experiment was successful and despite not being free from poison and the fact she’s not a real human, she has no problem saying yes.

2016-01-13-172626Abraham van Helsing (CV: Junichi Suwabe) is called the Human Weapon as he was a fighter in the Vampire War and he also apparently killed the king of the vampires, Delacroix. While the past is hunting him, he is hunting down a “certain man”, Finis, that’s supposedly immortal and van Helsing was trying to get Cardia for that reason. However, because of circumstances, he joins Lupin gang as well, cooperating to reach his goal with Cardia and the other’s help, while he gives them a hand when need be.

Normal End
2016-02-13-120844After Finish death, Cardia decides to go back to Wales, but gets caught by Jack the Ripper. Cardia manages to untie herself while Jack isn’t around, but Jack is approaching. The girl runs for her life, and is saved by van Helsing. From this incident they learn that London will be filled with evil if Cardia isn’t handed over and investigating Azoth, the person behind Jack’s capture of Cardia, becomes a priority. Then investigation leads them to hunt one of Delacroix II’s subjects, and the battle almost kills van Helsing. The investigation continues and the further they get, the more it would seem Finis is the mastermind behind it. While trying to save the last of Finis’ political enemies, they end up seeing Finis, and naturally, van Helsing chases the boy. He’s gone for a while, then comes to say his last farewells to Cardia, but Cardia can’t accept it and together with Lupin and the rest they chase van Helsing to the hideout of Twilight. There they learn the truth about Azoth and van Helsing’s past. He chases Azoth to get his revenge and Cardia chases him, unable to leave the man alone. Azoth plan was to make van Helsing a kindred spirit and van Helsing loses is senses.

Azoth dies with a last command: Kill Cardia; and unable to disobey, this is what van Helsing sets out to do. Cardia is ready to die if that’s what going to save van Helsing. But before he kills her, he regain his senses and stabs himself. He draws his last breath after saying Cardia is the person he loves. A month later Cardia and Delacroix II live together at the mansion and Delacroix II tells Cardia he won’t leave her.

Bad End 1
After being caught by Jack the Ripper, Cardia tries to resist to save herself. But it results in him feeling she’s unworthy the person who helped him and asked for her, and he decides to torture her to death.

Bad End 2
While trying to escape Jack the Ripper she decide to melt a door, but it takes too long and Cardia is killed.

Bad End 3
While in a fight against vampires with enhanced strength, Cardia chooses to stay with Delacroix II instead of chasing van Helsing. She is stabbed in the chest by Azoth

True End
2016-02-13-121739Van Helsing stabs himself after coming to his sense and Cardia grieves his death loudly. It wakes him up as he’s about to depart to and he says he can’t die now. A month later the two of them happily live together at the mansion and all the cases have been wrapped up. He promises he will make Cardia as happy as he can and show his love in all the ways he can until he knows a way to cure her from her poison.

2016-01-12-135857Saint-Germain (CV: Daisuke Hirakawa) is the owner of the mansion where Lupin has his hideout and is a French count. At least currently. He is a mysterious man who seem to somewhat speak in riddles. He ended up with Lupin as he was bored and just actually happened to come across the two when they were at a bar planning and was stubborn on joining them, as he used to be very bored. Basically, he’s just in because he wants amusement.

Normal End
2016-02-16-170546After Saint-Germain assassinate Finis, Cardia decides to leave, but is stopped by Saint-Germain who is heading toward the mansion. But he’s not against leaving. Instead he joins Cardia because she shouldn’t put the others in danger. Together they walk to a hideout of his, a mansion that looks just like the mansion they left, but is hidden in the forest. But at the new mansion Cardia feels the others are missing and suggest that they let the others know about this mansion. But the count won’t allow that. Cardia is drugged and taken to a room that looks like the one she had in the previous mansion. He tries to kill her, but fails, and after that she’s locked into her poison-proof room while the man is making a new batch of anaesthetics so he can kill her.

Cardia finds an opportunity to escape and gets back to the original mansion. Due to an attack, the group changes location and Cardia tells everyone what happened since she disappeared. They decide to go back to the underground facility to find clues about Idea, something Saint-Germain had once mentioned. But while there the group is suddenly attacked once again. They all manage to escape thanks to Saint-Germain, but as a result Omnibus, the leader of Idea, visits Cardia’s mind and asks for a favour. “Let yourself be killed by Saint-Germain so I don’t have to end his immortality.” The next day, at midnight she and Saint-Germain head to the meeting place. Determined to give up her life for Saint-Germain’s sake, Cardia state she was never really alive, but Saint-Germain can’t let his beloved die. He decides to rebel against Idea and now Cardia and the rest are trying to find Omnibus to change her mind about revoking Saint-Germain’s immortality. With the conditions that she together with Saint-Germain defeat Guinevere and that Cardia destroys the Horologium – Cardia’s artificial heart – Omnibus promises to save Saint-Germain. But despite Guinevere’s defeat, Saint-Germain is badly wounded and dies. As she is ready to die, Omnibus offers to make Cardia an apostle. With Saint-Germain’s wish in her mind, she accepts the offer.

Bad End 1 (or more like, Good End)
When they come to his mansion Saint-Germain asks Cardia to make a decision; either she does indeed choose to stay at this mansion, or she can go back. None of the option should be wrong. She chooses to go back. Saint-Germain however doesn’t follow her all the way. And after they part, Cardia never sees Saint-Germain again.

Bad End 2
Cardia trusts the Count won’t hurt her and doesn’t resist when he comes with a poisoned dagger to kill her. Of course, she dies as he stabs her in the chest. But as she dies she feel Saint-Germain’s tears and the last thing she see before her death is the sad eyes of the man.

Bad End 3
While trying to escape, she uses her poison on a kind of poison-proofed door. Just as she manage to melt through the lock, Saint-Germain catches her and stabs her. She dies in his arms.

Bad End 4
Cardia can’t decide what to do and what she wants and at the Tower Bridge, with tears running down his face, Saint-Germain ends the life of the one he loves.

True End
2016-02-16-171717Saint-Germain wins and Cardia is ready to die and Saint-Germain has a life –  limited life – given to him. But Omnibus decides to let Cardia live, thanks to Guinevere. Happily the two of them see the sun rise. Six months later, Cardia and Saint-Germain are travelling, trying to find a way for Cardia to live without the Horologium.

UNLOCKABLE ROUTE
2016-01-11-164335Arséne Lupin (CV: Tomoaki Maeno) is a gentleman thief and he’s a little ridiculous and jokes a lot, but Cardia doesn’t get the jokes. He also calls himself a “thief with a heart of justice” (really, it’s “thief of justice”, but close enough, I guess?) which Cardia finds is a contradiction. He rescues Cardia from the royal guard. Or actually, he’s out to steal her heart. He believes she’s a clue to finding her father, Isaac Beckford. He also promises to make Cardia’s wish of touching him come true, as he’s going to steal her heart.

Normal End
2016-03-25-145402After finding out the truth at the facility and Finis is killed, Cardia decides to leave the mansion to look for clues at the mansion in Wales where she woke up. But someone saw her and she is chased by a mob of angry villagers out to kill her to solve their own issues. Not able to stand the treatment of Cardia, Lupin saves her. Despite all, Cardia still managed to get them a clue that leads them to St. Paul’s Cathedral. They return to London, but the peaceful city they left is now under martial law and Lupin and Cardia decides to save the Queen Victoria, who is still fighting rebels at the palace. But at the palace grounds Cardia meets Finis who tells her about the plan her father has made for her. Lupin rescues her and the queen and they make plans for taking London back.

2016-03-25-155607A day later, the Queen has gathered all her troops and the plan is put to start. But Cardia is kidnapped during the operation to get rid of the mastermind. But while hostage Finis finalizes the catalyst process of the Horologium and she will turn into a true monster. What Finis doesn’t know is that Cardia has the option to take her own life. She chooses not to and Lupin saves her, but after running and running, Finis gets to them and kills Lupin which means Cardia no choice to return with her brother. The Horologium’s change completes and it’s time for Isaac to take what she has been fostering with her life – her heart. But Cardia refuses to give up and is absorbed by the main body of Isaac and into his mind. There she learns what cause Isaac to turn into the man he has become – the man who would create Cardia and Finish to put the world into eternal war. She is about to fall into eternal sleep, but Lupin saves her. Lupin kills Isaac, but Finis is still alive. However, the Nautilus starts self-destructing and is falling toward the earth, and Finish falls out of a hole in wall.

Eventually the couple falls through the floor and into the sky, heading to the same fate as Finis…

Bad End 1
Cardia tries to resist against Finis, but is put to sleep so Finis can use her for his goals.

Bad End 2
To save Lupin from suffering and death, Cardia sacrifices herself by taking the pill she had received from Omnibus and saves the world and ruins her father’s plan.

Bad End 3
Cardia doesn’t want to let Isaac do what he wishes, so she decides to commit suicide. Isaac is however too fast and Cardia’s attempt fails. She is instead absorbed into his mind and falls into eternal sleep.

True End
Cardia and Lupin miraculously are saved mid-fall by Impey and the gang who saw them fall down. Six months later Cardia and Lupin get married.

Fin
Cardia refuses Lupin’s offer. She has read that thieves can’t be trusted and hence she leaves the stunned Lupin behind to search for her father alone.


THOUGHTS

Cardia is our heroine. As the perspective sometimes changes from Cardia's point of view, you occasioanlly get to see her as a sprite and she also has her own CG, as seen above.

Cardia is our heroine. As the perspective sometimes changes from Cardia’s point of view, you occasionally get to see her as a sprite and she also has her own CG, as seen above.

Victor, aka Fran, is like the most adorable little thing ever. So sweet. However, it’s pretty annoying to hear “Fran” and read “Victor” and I think that could annoy anyone, even if you don’t know Japanese. A friend, Cas, said they should have changed it to Frank and not Victor, and I agree. It would had more sense due to what they say. He has a very delicious painful past but is a very kind person who wouldn’t harm a fly unless that fly is a threat to Cardia. I really like his route and my favourite end of the entire game was the painful normal end of his.

Idiotic womanisers aren’t my thing, so Impey started off with lots of minus points. He got a couple of plus points for wanting to help Sisi, but lost more because of the story behind Sisi’s name. Sometimes it got a bit too much and although there were moments of seriousness in Impey, I just couldn’t take him seriously. He had a few moments where he was just smooth without ruining it, but it wasn’t enough for me to enjoy his route. I felt more like I suffered through it and I assure you it wasn’t because of my hip which, days before playing his route, partially dislocated. He just wasn’t my type and I enjoyed Cardia more than Impey. After this route I really just want to date Cardia, at least the Cardia in Impey’s route. She was strong and often was an opposite to Impey’s stupidity.

Van Helsing, or just “Van”, became one of my favourites. He was a nice run after Impey, because while Impey’s full of comical relief, this one is more serious. It still has Impey in it, but it’s not so much it’s painful to play it. This guy also has a painful past, but his painful past, unlike Victor’s, runs a little further back in time. Which, naturally, means more pain. I feel both Victor and van Helsing are very similar, but their different personalities and the varying circumstances still make their routes different enough to make them both enjoyable.

Saint-Germain’s a very pained soul and I love delicious pain. So I really enjoyed his route. Probably more so than anyone else’s. At first I was like “oh great, another Toma” when he drugged and then locked in Cardia in a room, but I didn’t keep that thought for long. However it had so much happening and somehow I feel like this route was a little longer than the previous 3? Lol, maybe it was just that I’m reaching the end. I didn’t particularly enjoy parts of Cardia. She loses some of her strength and does go into what is like… “I can change him” while chasing Saint-Germain through the majority of the route.

OMG IT’S LIKE I DATED KAITOU KID. YES, PLEASE, I WANT THAT TO HAPPEN. *coughs* So, Lupin obviously remind of a completely different thief who I like a lot. I kept being super excited about it, because, lol, I really love Kid. Lupin even looks similar, although they still have their differences in appearance, and honestly they are similar in personality as well. However, I’m sorry to say that this was the route I enjoyed Cardia the least. On Twitter I described her as so madly in love with that all her common sense and knowledge flew out the window, I believe. She is very strong in the other routes, but in this she is definitely more of a doormat. She still kicks down a door, for instance, but in general she just kind of is a damsel in distress the majority of the time. On top if that, this route – which is the revelation route – felt longer than any others. But on the other hand, they basically crammed in the 4 other routes into Lupin’s route to some degree, and added new information. But I’m not done! This is also the route I felt the translation failed the most. The English from time to time started to become more gibberish than English.

I did really enjoy the normal end on Lupin’s route. It was so, so, so, so sad and I started crying my eyes out.

I don’t usually give a suggested order for playing the routes, but I would really, REALLY suggest playing the route in the following order: Impey -> van Helsing -> Victor -> Saint-Germain and then you unlock Lupin. You could switch to doing Van first, but I feel like the suggested order is the best if you want to get more and more clues, and you could change it up and do Impey’s any time, really, and before I settled on the suggested order above, I was thinking Saint-Germain third and I did get agreement from Twitter. However the other three should probably be done in that order simply because there is some foreshadowing that way and you get more and more clues. I even regret not doing Impey first, even if I got that suggestion. Ending up with the order above kind of ended up in some serious spoilers for other routes. I might add my fav routes are in a different order: San, Fran, Van, Lupin and lastly Impey. Lupin is my favourite guy though.

The extra stories are pretty nice as well and you get a CG in each of them. The main point is fan service (we need to get some bare skin, right girls?) but they are pretty funny, especially Victor’s/Fran’s. I feel pretty sorry for him though.

2016-01-14-154124

My favourite illustrations are sadly not of the CGs you get but mostly background or “less important” things like this illustration used for when they fly the ornithopter. Generally I appreciate the amazing backgrounds more than anything in this title.

I really hate complaining on such a great game and admittedly, I wasn’t going to but you know… Aksys absolutely ruined my plans of going “Well, this wasn’t so bad, so go ahead and buy it if you want to play a great game with a decent translation.” Because decent was what I expected. Decent was not what I got. Good was not it either. Great? No. Awesome? Well, I guess “awesomely bad” would be to be a bit over the top, but it was not even decent. A decent translation has typos and maybe a few extra words and two “and” in a row or the like. A decent translation might be a bit inconsistent in its translation. Hakuoki was decent. This? In Fran’s/Victor’s route a lack of negation changed the meaning of something Victor, THE MAIN GUY IN THIS PARTICULAR ROUTE, said AT A VERY CRUCIAL POINT. It led to a very serious inconsistency in story for those who doesn’t understand Japanese. I wasn’t okay with this, but I could understand a mistake can happen and that might be it (or it was a really bad mistranslation).

Then I went on to get Impey and you know what? THEY TRANSLATED THE LINE “I’ll be BAAAAACK” that Nemo says as his airship crashes to “You haven’t seen the last of meeeeee!”. This line is spoken in English with Japanese accent (aka Engrish) but you can hear he does indeed say “I’ll be back”. So, really, what the hell was the point in translating a line already in English? If the script said something else, sure, I GET IT. But I don’t think that Nemo went off script. I. Seriously. Doubt. That. Karen, an editor at Aksys, tweeted and said it’s possible that the editor didn’t get to see the original Japanese text and didn’t know it was in English, but that just pushes the responsibility onto the translator and QA, where an audio mismatch should have been noticed. But it doesn’t change an English line was translated into something other what was spoken.

Van Helsing’s routes didn’t include much problems and although I found some typos in that as well as Saint-Germain’s, they were both alright. But Lupin’s suffered a lot and the further toward the end I got, the worse it got. In chapter 12 English grammar just started to stop working. The common route had some issues as well.

So… Thanks for completely ruining this. I had actually hoped for a goddamn DECENT translation where I couldn’t actually complain about much, BUT YOU COMPLETELY RUINED IT. I know I’ve read Aksys outsourced both Norn9 and Code: Realize, but fuck this. Fuck all of it. I’m done. I’m so done. And yet we know I will be playing both Sweet Fuse and Norn9 later.

I know I’m a monster, and that I’m filled with a poison…
But I don’t want to think about it anymore.
It’s just as Father said.
I should stay here, alone.
I shouldn’t seek love.
That way, I won’t have to endure anything that might hurt me.
As long as I shut myself in here, I won’t hurt anyone and I won’t be hurt.
So… I won’t…

-Cardia

Except for all above there was also times I questioned the translator’s and editor’s English knowledge. As in “This is either a really bad typo or someone needs an English lesson” at times, but also “Uh, I could probably do this better than you, thank you very much.” A sentence in particular was criticised by a friend of mine when I post a screenshot of it on Twitter. The sentence was long and, really, could have used a couple of commas to make more sense. I didn’t really spend a lot of time commenting on weird wordings or lack of commas on Twitter, but yes, there were some obvious literary flaws in this translation on a rather fundamental level, especially if we talk about them in a – what word should I use? – aesthetic meaning. Commas have a practical purpose – of course – and that’s part of grammar, but when a complicated or long sentence is read, many won’t be able to take in the entire sentence as it is. The comma offers a pause for the reader while being a way of showing that this part belongs with this part of the sentence. Too many or too few commas is dreadful in a literary piece, as this game obviously is, as it makes it harder to read. You can’t put them just wherever you like in a literary piece like this as commas still have a purpose, but it can certainly help making use of them when needed and used properly.

Names also seemed to have no importance to the translator. Names could be misspelt or just changed and how the characters addressed each other could change from one moment to the next, especially if it wasn’t one of the main guys.

It was in general just a very sad translation. Actually, to be completely honest, I doubt that anyone actually looked over this thing after it was translated. there were some so painfully obvious things that would had needed fixing that it’s clear that no one had actually taken a look at it, at least not all options or the routes after the common route. Van Helsing suffered the least, so maybe someone checked that. But that is not an acceptable job. This was not an acceptable release. And out of Norn9 and this, this was supposed to be the much better one. I dread the nightmare.

The name page. If you choose the default name, Cardia, they will say it.

That being said, this really is a great game! Although the story is serious, it’s filled with jokes and funny moments. You can read it as it is, a story. But you can also dwell into the deep, philosophical thoughts this game provokes. Who am I? Why was I born? What is my purpose? What is a soul? What is free will? What is emotion? What is the correct path to walk down through life? What is being human? What is being alive? What is right and what is wrong? I might replay the game at a later date and just analyse it because there’s so much beneath the surface and I’m not particularly fond of the idea of writing an essay on the deeper meanings of this game in this, already plenty long post.

The game is divided into a common route (chapters 1-8) and the then route of the guy (chapters 9-13) and although you have time get to know the guy in the first 8 chapters, I do feel that the romance is a little crammed in into some of the guys’ route. Like, a serious moment where they basically reason why to fight, then a romantic scene followed by the fight for life. Or the romantic moments when you’re surrounded by enemies and everyone is just standing around while you basically confess. But it’s definitely not missing in romance, lol.

I like how none of the choices are random, really. Cardia always has reasoning behind her actions and you can understand why they happen. Also you don’t have to get all the choices “right” to get the true end. Nothing in life is so straightforward getting all right means you get the best possible outcome and I feel like this is a very realistic approach, as we have choices to make in this game. Some of them are fatal, some might not really affect the outcome too much. The characters are also well-made and the enemies have reasons to what they do and aren’t just purely evil.

I also appreciate that they actually speak Cardia’s name if you choose not to call her something else. It took a while though before it happened and Impey was the first one to say her name, lol. Also, one of the features in this game is that you can mute characters you don’t like the voice of (or for some other reason don’t want to hear), which was a feature I missed in Barkuoki because I really dislike MikiShin. I had to either mute them all (and I didn’t want to do that) or force myself to listen to MikiShin. I chose the latter. In this otome game you don’t have to choose. You can both mute individual voices and all of them, so it’s all up to you!

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By mixing good story, serious topics and thoughts with comedy and light-hearted moments, Code: Realize generally has a nice mixed pace and never gets too dark nor too light. The “not too dark” is mostly thanks to Impey being a comic relief.

The art is well-done overall, but I prefer background and illustrations of the ornithopter or even the steam train more than the CGs that don’t live up to the quality of the sometimes absolutely amazing backgrounds. But the art isn’t bad though and some might prefer the CGs and sprites over the backgrounds of Steam London. It’s obviously a matter of personal taste. I need to point out some CGs look a bit off though. The soundtrack is good as well and it’s doing a great job of setting the mood as it should. You will know when a funny moment is happening and when it’s ending and I honestly would hum some of the tracks. I’m not too fond of the opening, but really enjoyed the ending theme.

I definitely recommend this game, definitely more so if you play the original Japanese one, because it’s a really good game with good story, well-written characters. Even the enemies get to shine in this game and you learn the reasoning behind the actions, which make them very human and that is something I appreciate in any story. As for Cardia herself, she’s not exactly a doormat heroine, which I have pointed out earlier as well. She saves the day just as much as any of the guys and although she starts out without some knowledge and much of a personality, it develops through the game. However, I don’t support Aksys releasing a bad translation, so you should only get this if you can bear inconsistencies, mistranslations and other things that aren’t typos. If you know Japanese well and is as particular about how the spoken lines are and how the “subtitles” become, you should also stay away. Far away. In fact, really, I think everyone should stay far away from this translation.

BUT, if you despite all are ready to play this in English, it’s worth mentioning that if you don’t like Hakuoki because it’s slow and history heavy, this steampunk themed game might be better for you. There is certainly more lovey-dovey times in the game although the lengths of the games are approximately the same, and even though it’s set in 19th century Great Britain most of the alternate history is explained in the glossary, rather than in game, leaving more space for action, love and some painful pasts. (lol)

“Luckily for me, I’m old enough to walk on my own, without needing a God to hold my hand every step of the way.”
“I’ll be walking on my own two feet, thanks…with her.”
-Arséne Lupin

Finally, this is really just a sidenote with trivia, but the a fair share of the characters are based on fictional character, although I’m not saying they are entirely true to their original characters. Lupin is originally from a novel series by Maurice Leblanc, Victor is the main character in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, Impey is from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and van Helsing is from Dracula by Bram Stoker. As for Saint-Germain… Well, there is a fictional Count Saint-Germain in a series of novels, by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, based on a real person, so you can do the math, can’t you?


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5 thoughts on “Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~

  1. I’ve been waiting for this review, yes, woohoo! O(≧∇≦)O
    I hope next time there’s a PSN sale for both this and Norn9 I’ll have cash to buy them, I won’t feel for supporting this if it’s cheap enough/a good sale like this time (12$ I believe), though I do hope they do a EU sale since I don’t have a US account (⌒_⌒;)

    It’s sad that instead of improving from Hakuoki they went down a worse path, their Sweet Fuse was good, but then this happened. I can’t wait for Norn9 if this a bit a messy but considered a good translation by those that got both hands haha (⌒_⌒;)

    The art, graphics and design are definitely superb, so I’m glad the story delivered too! ヽ(*≧ω≦)ノ

    • “a bit messy”? *weeps*

      Well, I’m sure there will be a sale on PS Store EU at some point. Just keep your eyes open. I’d still say it’s better to just get the Japanese version.

  2. “Names also seemed to have no importance to the translator. Names could be misspelt or just changed and how the characters addressed each other could change from one moment to the next, especially if it wasn’t one of the main guys.”

    Honestly, this sounds like they had multiple translators working on it. Who never spoke to each other. That’s bad. Real bad. orz

    • I know right? And if it was a single person… Well, that’s just even worse. I didn’t have to look at the credits, I’m afraid. All I caught was that Karen ___ proofread, lol.

  3. Pingback: Taisho Alice Volume I | The Anny Blog

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