Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ben's Top Horror - #2: Chaos;Child

I've been waiting for the day I get to talk about this one! Although, I guess that's my fault? Well, whatever.

Chaos;Child is a visual novel set within the very popular Science Adventure series, and sadly not enough people seem to know it exists. "Oh, but then how is it so popular then!?" That's what you're thinking right now right? Well that's a simple answer. Because of Steins;Gate.

Steins;Gate has been a fan favorite in the video game and anime community for many years now, and it's often regarded as one of the greatest time travel stories of all time. Although it may have a slow start, the pay off is something those who experience it will never forget. Because of this you'll often see it being recommended by nearly everyone, and fans are pretty vocal about it in general. However what a lot of people don't realize (even many of these "die hard fans") is that Steins;Gate is only a small part of the greater series -- the Science Adventure series (as I've already mentioned).

The actual timeline of this series in chronological order goes something along the lines of this:
  • Chaos;Head
  • Steins;Gate
  • Steins;Gate 0 (Released after Chaos;Child)
  • Chaos;Child (The game I'm here to discuss)
  • Robotic;Notes
  • Robotic;Notes DASH
And then technically some other things I won't be going into, as things may or may not be changing... We'll see... Putting that aside though, S;G was only the second entry in the series, and it was a part of the setup Chaos;Head originally introduced. While it may be a fan favorite, it's only a small piece of the puzzle. If you move forward past that, the reality is that some of the other parts of the series are just as good -- if not better! Chaos;Child is one of those, and easily what I'd consider one of the greatest visual novels of all time. (Just avoid the anime.)

So, what is Chaos;Child? Well, minor spoilers ahead.

The game starts with a streamer getting ready for his live stream. Everything is just about ready to get started, but then he hears someone at his door. "Oh, it's you" he says as he opens the door -- the person standing behind it being someone he obviously knows. He then proceeds to invite them inside, and asks them if they want something to eat. They decline however, so the streamer goes on to make something for himself instead. So he pulls out a loaf of bread, and begins cutting it into slices. "Huh, that's odd" the loaf of bread is hard. He notes that it's too soon for it to go stale, and uses a bit more force to cut through it. Thankfully this works, and the bread is cut into several nice slices -- which he then takes back to his computer desk.

As the streamer eats the bread he notices something odd. Most of his viewer comments are saying strange things. Something about what he's eating? The streamer thinks it's odd considering he's only eating bread. But then he too notices something is odd. As he looks at the bread and the pool of blood around him, he slowly starts to realize what he has done. That "hard" piece of bread isn't bread at all. It's his arm. This strange event marks only the first in a string of murders that will rock the city to it's core. That's when our young Takuru comes into play.

Takuru isn't a "normal" person at all. His day dreams can sometimes be so real that he completely loses touch with reality. He's also obsessed with being a "right sider," and comes up with his own rules on what is the right, and wrong thing to do. It's basically his excuse to look at his fellow classmates and call to them idiots. That's just how he is though. He's not the best with people outside of his friends, and he'll avoid them or push them away when he gets the chance. Unless it has something to do with his investigation team that is.

As a part of the school's newspaper, he takes an interest in weird things, and uses the club to investigate them. Of course this means the murders. Despite being something he should stay FAR away from, Takuru breaks into the latest crime scene and -- well, it's not good. This event however sets his adventure into motion, and changes everything he thought he once knew. And as a player, it's something you will never forget as well.

One thing that's so great about Chaos;Child is it's characters. Every single one of them is very likable, and you genuinely care about them all. The things these characters have to go through can be hard to watch at times because of this, but it's well worth sticking with it. Then there's the mystery of it all. The story is very good at making you believe what it wants you to believe. The answer to a question can be directly in front of you, yet the story will find a way to make you blind to it. It's not something you can ever see coming, and just when you think you have everything figured out, a new piece of information will come along and make you rethink everything. It's a great style of story telling, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. It's such a shame that it's overlooked by so many
people. Plus, horror wise, it's not all bad. Just ask Serika. She seems to be fine!

Oh... Right...