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Narcissu 3rd-Die Dritte Welt has been brought to visual novel fans worldwide under its new title Narcissu: A Little Iris. A Little Iris is a dark and tragic addition to the beloved Narcissu visual novel series developed by Stage-Nana. Narcissu is a series of short visual novels that surround the themes of life and death often using characters who are terminally ill. A Little Iris is the 3rd game in the series as the original Japanese version’s title implies but it takes place in a very unique setting from the rest of the series and is considered more of a spin off. A Little Iris was previously only available to Japanese audiences but earlier this year that all changed thanks to the success of the Narcissu 10th Anniversary Anthology Project’s campaign on Kickstarter. A Little Iris was released on Steam late April 2016 as DLC for the base game Narcissu 10th Anniversary Anthology Project. In order to play you must have previously purchased the Anthology Project individually or have the Anthology Project Season Pass.

A Little Iris does not take place on the seventh floor of the hospital like the rest of the games in the series do at some point. The game instead takes place within a medieval European setting during a time of great conflict in which the young heroine becomes a target due to her status as a princess. Princess Iris was kept locked away in a room which she could not leave until the day she was finally brought outside at the age of eight to be married into a neighboring country. Before being sent off to the country of her betrothed she was forced to watch the belongs which were proof of her identity be burned. After arriving in the new country she was sent to live in the castle were she was treated as one of their royals at first. After another war began she was soon her original home country was caught in the middle due to alliances with both countries at war. She became a possible target due to the fact that if she were to be killed her country of origin might side with the north and battle against the country she is now royalty of. Many attempts were made by even those of her original home country to kill her. Soon the prince she was betrothed to was killed and she was imprisoned by his country as a result. It is during her long years of imprisonment that she must learn to use a blade to survive. After finally escaping the prison she ends up beginning her journey with a mercenary who was originally hired to kill her in an odd twist of events. It becomes the story of a girl who despite many years of suffering wants to survive and a man who wishes to one day soon die an honorable death after his heart has been wounded by murdering many innocent people. As the story progresses you will learn more about the mercenary’s tragic past and what led him to becoming the person he is now.

 

A Little Iris is darker than the rest of the series and the graphics reflect the game’s darker tone perfectly. The graphics manage to depict Iris’s struggle for freedom in a way that holds true to the innocent tone of the Narcissu series despite Iris’s tendency to kill off soldiers. The images in the game do have one minor flaw in regards to Iris’s appearance. Iris does not appear to age properly through the story, Fortunately, the issue of Iris’s appearance does improve significantly later in the game. The game does not really have much for animation but it is easily made up for with the game’s sound effects and music which add a greater level of depth and emotion to the game’s tragic story. The graphics and sounds of the game stand on equal footing with the game with is a very good thing in this case.

 

A Little Iris is a high quality visual novel that manages to fit in as part of the Narcissu series regardless of its many differences. The game features a well thought out story that ties into the series’ themes of living and dying through a unique new perspective. It is interesting to see the Narcissu series go from the seventh floor of a hospital straight to a Medieval European setting for just this one game. The soundtrack and graphics in the game are high quality and contribute to the quality of the game. It is a must have addition to your Steam library if you enjoy emotional visual novels and even more so if you enjoy the other games in the Narcissu series.

 

PROS: Powerful Story, Emotional Soundtrack, Strong Characters

CONS: Very different Narcissu title compared to previous ones

 

SCORE-9.0/10

This review is based on a purchased digital copy of Narcissu: A Little Iris DLC on Steam. 

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