Curate of Curiosities

Final Words

(Click here to skip to the final assessment.)

You've probably noticed that in both games, I've gotten the bad endings. Most of Charon's games have multiple endings, that are classified as "bad" or "true."

In order to get Mikoto Nikki's true ending, you have to choose to hug Mikoto when confronting her in the closet. Because that's a perfectly reasonable thing to do when finding out that your crush has murdered her parents in cold blood.

Even she seems to realize how little sense this makes.

Even so, you have to double down to make her feel better.

Never mind the fact that eventually, someone is going to wonder what happened to her parents and Yukimaru, and tip off the relevant authorities.

You know it's the true ending when there's an actual credit sequence.

For Full Bokko Youchien's true ending, obviously, you need to choose not to kill Kotomi.

To my utter lack of surprise, it felt a bit more anticlimactic than the bad ending.

Kotomi tells Mitarou that she bullies him because she cares about him. Nothing we don't already know from the bad ending.

The only other noteworthy thing about this ending is that it's made very clear that his mother is Mikoto.

Now, onto my final assessment.

I did enjoy Full Bokko Youchien, just not for the reasons that Charon anticipated. Most of the game consists of its main character being insulted and abused by his classmate. This wouldn't be so bad if her insults weren't so wildly inappropriate for someone her age, that it becomes nigh impossible to take any part of it seriously. The abrupt shifts in mood and awkward translation aren't helping, either.

Then there's the ending, where you have the option to push Kotomi off a cliff. While it seems to come out of nowhere, you can reasonably assume that her treatment of Mitarou pushed him past the breaking point. It's pretty effective...up till the very end, where the mangled corpse of this 6-year-old girl talks about how she wanted to die because she couldn't confess her feelings, then it went right back to being goofy. Not to mention that the true ending, where Kotomi is perfectly upfront in confessing to Mitarou, flies in the face of this.

Mikoto Nikki is slightly better. The gameplay is extremely simplistic, but that's never been a priority for Charon, anyway. Mikoto's backstory, as told through her diary entries, does a good job of building suspense, and anyone who has grown up with parents with high expectations can relate to it. The main problem I have is the endings. Yes, I can understand that trying to run away wouldn't end well for Matarou. But do you expect me to believe that in order to get the best outcome, you have to comfort Mikoto right after she admits to killing her own parents? Do you expect me to believe that he would even be willing to do so in this exact situation, or that no one would investigate the disappearances of the three people she killed? (Granted, Full Bokko Youchien does address the latter point.)

While I did find something to enjoy about both of these games, I'm not exactly sold on the rest of Charon's portfolio. After all, there are only so many obsessive, mentally unhinged anime high schoolers that one man can handle.