Duplicity: Beyond the Lies (Roseverte.net)

Requested by kristi78968.

Yukina Kudou may seem like your average high school student with health problems, but she hides a dark secret.  She works as an assistant to her principal’s science experiments; her current job is to observe Youji Kataoka.  If she fails, her principal can’t be responsible for the consequences.

I try to avoid giving anything away in reviews, but I’m not sure if I can do so in this one.  If you have not played the game, let me warn you there might be spoilers.  The game is about identity, people who put on a fake personality in front of others and hide their real one from the world.  Yukina seems like a shy and sickly girl, but is actually a determined assistant.  Youji seems like a nice and polite guy, but is actually a withdrawn rebel without a cause.

Kouichi seems like a polite gentleman, but is actually a scientist with a dark secret.  The mysterious boy seems like a happy observer, but hides his own pain deep down.  Even Yukina’s friend Nao actually has a separate personality inside of her.  Yukina has four routes she can go on, she can become Youji’s girlfriend for real, she can have a deeper relationship with Kouichi, she can discover the truth about the mysterious boy, or she can find out the truth about everyone else.  I have to admit, the relationship with her principal is somewhat creepy.  Yukina has memories of him raising her and admits that Kouichi is her legal guardian.  Not to mention the fact that she’s a clone of his dead girlfriend.  It gives me this stalker vibe and it feels like wife husbandry.  Maybe I’m supposed to be feeling like this, it’s difficult to tell with this game.  At least with Cafe 0 you’re supposed to find the protagonist’s relationship with her school counselor creepy.

You might think the game is just another visual novel, but you couldn’t be more wrong.  It starts out as a life simulation, you choose what path you want to take and after it’s set you play through a story.  You can choose between gossiping, studying, observing Youji, helping Kouichi, or resting.  During weekends, your only choices are studying or resting.

Your skill rises depending on the activity and you activate events depending on either skill or love points.

In the middle of the game, you take a test.  How well you do affects Yukina’s status among her classmates and the ending you get if you fail to find a set path for Yukina.

The game is intriguing and addictive.  I give it 8 out of 10, not as good as Cafe 0.

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