Gloomy Sunday ~ Sombre Dimanche

After wanting this game for months, I finally bought it from DLSite. That in itself wasn’t strange… what’s strange was the fact that someone who’d readily admit to being a coward and avoids watching thriller/horror movies like a plague… decided to buy and play a thriller game. Sure, I had to stop playing every few minutes or so just to calm my nerves, but dear Lord this game was worth it.

…still not going to watch any horror/thriller movies though.

The premise of the story, copied verbatim from Deja Vu (I hope they don’t mind…?):

It’s the sixth day of incessant rain in the city.
The entire country had been shaken by a series of bizarre murders, occuring late at night on a deserted street.
Because slashing throats and tearing open stomachs were his modus operandi, the criminal was rumored to be a “Modern-day Jack the Ripper.”

But the fourth victim was the last- the crimes just stopped.
Did he fear that the police would find him, or is he preparing for his next crime?
Eventually, the existence of “Jack the Ripper” began to fade from everyone’s minds, though the mystery and terror remained.

…and now, in October.
The rainy season has come again.

The protagonist, though he lives a boring, mundane life, is antisocial and rejects others. One night, he encounters a stuffed rabbit wielding an enormous axe in a nightmare.

What awaits the protagonist is a new world, cloaked in a semblance of reality but slowly eroded by madness: the stuff of nightmares.

Drowning herself in the song Gloomy Sunday, his mother commits suicide in the bathtub.
The twin brothers who only exist at school on Sunday.
The junior from the track-and-field club who can’t run anymore because of his family’s deaths.

The protagonist continues to roam the “world with no way out” in the ceaseless rain.
He has no idea of the “truth” that awaits him there…

Title screen

Other than that… this is one game where anything else I say would be a major spoiler. That, and the fact that even if I want to explain the story, I don’t even have an effing clue where to start. To put it simply… this is a game that can’t be summarised. Because to summarise it and get the general feel of the game across, I’d need to type every single thing that happened in it. Every little detail had its significance, and you simply can’t leave any out. And the way all the little details revealed its significance was just… beautiful.
(…if I sound overly adoring of this game, it’s because I’m still basking in the afterglow of the ending.)

The story… to put it simply, it’s not a game you’d play when you want something light and happy. Characters were broken in a way that would give any therapist a field day, and the events that happened… depending on your sensitivity, you might get squicked, horrified, disturbed or just shrug it off. At its base, it’s about broken people trying to move forward with their life, so expect quite a bit of despair. If you want romance… run for the hills.

The gameplay was straight VNs with multiple choices, although you’re unlikely to need a guide. Reason being, when you see 2 options, 1 will continue the storyline and 1 will lead to an ending (so as long as you save beforehand you can always figure out which option would continue the storyline). Not a Game Over though… an Ending. This game had 20 Endings, each with its own conclusion and title name. And to see all the little details, you do need to see all 20 Endings. And all I can say is this… after reading all the story and seeing all the endings, when I finally got to Ending#20, it felt like a triumph, a fitting conclusion to the whole story.

The game do work with AGTH without any additional code, although some of the text were actually images so it didn’t get translated.

Art style was rather simple and somewhat sketchy, which worked well with the story. It helped to give the game a surreal, nightmarish quality. There’s quite a number of Event CGs, although only a few of them that wasn’t creepy. As you can see on the screenshot, the background images didn’t cover the entire screen. It’s difficult to explain, but to me that actually gave off a slight claustrophobic feeling, exactly like being trapped in a nightmare with no way out…

Music was simplistic and none of them was memorable, although they all fit the scenes nicely. I looked up the source of music, and it seemed like it’s mostly from copyright-free music websites. Still, must had taken a lot of time to find a particular music that would match the game itself. Sound effects were applied all over the place for this game, which really built up the atmosphere. This was one game where I found that I dreaded the sound of door opening. Every single time.

…if you’re wondering why I posted screenshots, all of which happened only a few clicks apart, it’s because:

  • They happened very early in the game that it’s not a spoiler.
  • Each of those screencap was made when I had to stop playing to calm my nerves.

Also, ignore the red outline… the screencap software I used added that red outline for some reason. There’s a guide here for those who need it. For those of you who want to try playing the game in English… hopefully one day Deja Vu will release the English trial.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mimi
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 14:40:34

    >:D freaking LOVE creepy games~~! I totally wanna try this. it sounds freaking baaaaaaad ass.

    I’m so excited!! I’ve never heard of this game before, and now I totally wanna play it!! The summary slash thing from Deja Vu makes it sound super great. And details, details, details always make a great story!! This sounds great. must. go. play. now….. lol!

    Reply

    • sharakael
      Mar 03, 2011 @ 16:08:22

      Your comment made me happy😄
      I wasn’t sure if there’s any worth in reviewing DLSite games (and one that’s not otome too)… but I liked the game so I wished that by posting the review people would at least know the game is out there (and hopefully buy it to support the maker). So I’m happy that this review at least got you interested in it😄

      Reply

  2. Mimi
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 12:20:34

    I’m so happy you posted this review, I’ve actually seen this game before, the cover of it, but I never bought it or downloaded the trial, so I’m so glad you put it up!!! I totally forgot about it, but all I remember was thinking that it sounded interesting~~

    I’m playing “the noose” right now which is by ZigZag, the ones who produced Gloomy Sunday~ It’s… freaky. Lol. Which makes me happy! Haha😛 I’m definitely gonna have to get this game now!!

    Reply

  3. leeta
    May 12, 2011 @ 11:20:54

    O__O ini ceritanya errr…serem ato disturbing? hmmm jadi pengen nyoba..dan errrr… ini ngagetin kah kun? sampai2 suara pintu aja nakutin gt?

    Reply

    • sharakael
      May 12, 2011 @ 13:54:13

      I think it’s more on the disturbing/creepy side… and it’s not exactly a game with surprises. The reason why I dreaded the sound of door opening was because I always dreaded something bad was going to happen. And more often than not they did, which left me going “OSH*T”

      Reply

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About…

Just an otome game fan. ...who spends a lot of weekends playing otome games on PC with a Japanese dictionary propped open on her lap.
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