Amazing, simply amazing. Best in the series so far, might even be the best COG/Hosted Games ever. Right up there with Tin Star and Mecha Ace.
I had a few complaints with Book 2, where I felt despite a lot of great writing and world building, not much really happened compared to the first book. Book 3 made up for it and then some. So many memorable scenes and characters. I was very pleasantly surprised to see Nishi return, and didn’t expect to come to care for Kohaku and Kuniko so much, despite meeting them so late into the story. Fantastic job.
I’ve been one of the readers asking for Toshie to be a RO since the first book and finally got it! She’s the best The ending was heartbreaking yet bittersweet. Masami gets to see her sister- the future Empress, Hatch becomes one with his spirit and will keep the peace. It’s only our favorite Ronin who has a difficult path to take ahead of him. I can’t wait for the inevitable confrontation with Junko. And I hope Toshie follows him sneakily even though he doesn’t want her to lol.
Thanks for Samurai of Hyuga. This is the absolute pinnacle of interactive fiction. I can’t do justice with my words for how lovely it was. Needless to say, I will be replaying it with different character types again and again.
Thanks for replying , (and sorry I’m only answering now)
I know some people think that the MC shares a blame for what is going on with Jun/ko, but I don’t see why. They never reached out and said anything to the MC, so how were they to know?
I’m not entirely sure which side of that debate I take, but at the moment I’m leaning toward the idea that, as some have mentioned, the MC might have ‘known’ at least subconsciously - if we agree that the demon couldn’t be privy to that sort of information on its own and must have simply brought to light what a younger MC either didn’t at the time understand or chose to ignore.
Also, the MC themselves appear to blame themselves for not seeing the ‘signs’, saying something to the effect that Jun/ko was “just a child crying out for help”.
On the other hand, even if the MC didn’t know, it can still be argued that they (unwittingly) contributed to a pattern of Jun/ko entering ‘problematic’ relationships (with complicated power dynamics and generally based on some sort of violence or abuse). Which, now that they know that, may lead them to feel like they must make amends for it (again, even if they weren’t at the time aware of what had happenned).
The fact that Jun/ko can see the innocence in our pint sized companion and notices the particular bond we have with our pint-sized employer just fuels their fire more.
Agreed. But its because of that heightened reaction in response to our bond with “our pint sized companion” (adorable description by the way), and the way Jun/ko’s experience twists it, that I thought it may lead people to reconsider (not necessarily dismiss, just change) their perspective on that particular RO route with Masa.
Which can be either because we now know the much more personal and darker way Jun/ko will react to that relationship over others - and therefor the higher danger they pose to Masa (I think now larger than we intially supposed) -, or because (if your MC does feel a renewed desire to help/reach out to Jun/ko, or even just feels guilt over how they handled their relationship in the past) they know how and why this particular romance with Masa will affect Jun/ko much more than any of the others, and therefor avoid it simply to not hurt Jun/ko in that specific way. (Though, again, this requires your MC to feel quite a significant amount of caring/responsibility toward Jun/ko - for the reasons stated above-, which I understand many do not).
And I really enjoy story and chemistry between Masami and Ronin, so I definitely wouldn’t mind her ending up as RO.
Absolutely! And given your approach to interactive fiction as sort of “screenwriter”, the relationship with Masa certainly has a lot of interesting elements to dig into, given they’re like polar opposites of one another - differing worldviews, clashing social classes, astronomically different childhoods (we assume), etc. A lot of juicy material to challenge the MC with.
But just to clarify (as I don’t think I worded my original post very well): I meant to ask, yes, whether the revelation changed your views on romancing Masa (yes vs no), but also, if Masa does become an RO and you do choose to pursue that route, whether it has changed how you’d approach that romance.
Sorry if you feel like you’ve already answered the question.
On side note, i’m kinda depressed that nowadays when someone mentions ROs alot of people first thinking about sexual relationships… I’m more into innocent puppy love XD
Agreed. (in which case, Masa is a pretty good choice. they are the puppiest- well… maybe Hatch is the puppiest…?)
Anyway, thanks for answering! (and sorry it took me like two days to answer back)
I agree! I saw some thought the Tosh romance was too fast or rushed, but I got to disagree, personally I liked it a lot–or rather, it fit my impulsive/perverted MC perfectly well. Tosh’s character development grabbed me this book, I enjoyed the way he/she challenges the MC.
I wonder if Book 4 will focus on the Ronin’s mindscape, I certainly hope so? I loved the extra challenge of building a team in book 3! THe saddest part was when the Ronin doubted themselves halfway through the book
Considering the author stated they didn’t want any pedophile scenes, it seems a Masa romance isn’t likley.
Honestly the way their relationship now is perfectly fine. It gives the the Ronin the perfect chance to show their softer side and character development. I liked seeing how far they would go to keep the kid safe, as well as protect the innocence. It also gives Masa a good view of the Grity reality of the world.
Though I will have to admit the if the chance to get some payback on the good ol’ ruler for sending us on this quest comes up…yeah I’m taking it.
Man, I can’t believe I’m saying this but if there is a chance Masa’s going to be a romance option, it’ll likely be whenever the MC returns to them after their confrontation with Jun/ko.
The reason I suggest this is because our absence gives them more time to grow, and thus; Masa being a romantic interest more appropriate. Like somebody suggested earlier, there’s even the possibility of there being a timeskip which would also allow M to mature during then.
The MC’s reunion with Masa could happen as soon as the conclusion of Book 4, or even in the events of Book 5. Kinda scary to think that far ahead and what might’ve happened to our ronin along the way.
But who knows what will happen to the MC and their companions in the next instalment? Who bloody knows…
I’m not sure how I would feel about the relationship even then. We basically know the kid as about 14 years old and act as their gardian. It would take a significant time skip for them to grow up, and even then if we did romance them it would make us the Ted Nugent of Samurai…which to be fair is a pretty funny concept, in a god help us kind of way. I can can kinda see why Devon has avoided listing them as a option so far, but yeah at this point who the hell knows.
I’m wondering why the Baron arc dragged on for so long into Book 3? It really made this game feel like a marathon.
And the source of the Jigoku Ittō-ryū’s power lies in an act of cannibalism. The question is, is that literal or figurative? One uses the Strike of Non-Thought by emptying oneself of anything human and becoming a husk, driven by nothing but raw killing intent. Maybe the Ronin was only able to use it because at a point in their lives they forgot themselves and surrendered completely to pure survival instinct, feasting on the flesh of dead children.
So if the power isn’t derived from the act itself, but what it represents, then what did Junko do to have wielded it? What did Gensai do to have CREATED it?
A lot of the the descrptions of them such as describing them as prepubescent, baby face, or barely over four feet along with other details about their devepment lead us to estimate about 12 or 14. 14 is the generous number, but yeah definatly not 18.
I’ve never felt the need or seen any signs of the Masami romance angle a lot of readers bring up. Not every female needs to be a RO. They have a very parent/child, or at the most older/younger sibling like relationship, where they both care for each other. The MC’s thoughts have never even drifted in that direction, we know this because it’s all in first person.
Just doing a time skip and making Masami an adult just for the sake of a romance would kinda undo the great character and relationship building over the last 3 books imo. Others are free to disagree of course, but it’s a route I’d never play through.
I was also under the impression that Masashi was around 12-14 years old given the vague descriptions throughout the books. I don’t think a romance is possible because, even if our ronin was 10 years older, that would still be considered pedophilia, plus, as HitenMitsurugi said, it wound ruin the dynamic between the two of them. And let’s not forget Junko’s messed up past - we don’t want a repeat of that.
THIS. In my playthrough I had something with Toshio, but we never defined what. So, yes, there was attraction and we care for each other, but no one said anything about a serious relationship. So I gave Kohaku the vague option “It’s complicated” and now the ronin blames herself for… what? She’s not to blame! This made me uncomfortable, especially as my ronin is female and she’s blaming herself for “leading on” a guy. AND SHE DIDN’T. Because she didn’t say: Mmmm… maybe we’ll have something She said she HAD something with someone ELSE, but it was complicated. How is that leading him on?
I don’t know. To me I think it’s because Kohaku is kind of naive so cryptic/unclear answer just resulted in him believing in what he wishes to. ‘Complicated’ resulted in him thinking it was him that the Ronin was talking about. Since they got off with a bad start. He might think the Ronin developed conflict feeling for him. And well ‘no’ resulted in him thinking this is his chance. And though that might not be a green flag it’s something his weak mind after that trauma he went through tries to grab onto.
Not quite true. When Masashi/Masami appears to the ronin in the “other world” in the first book when trying to free you from the demon, your ronin—no matter how you as the reader feels—is extremely attracted to Masa.
I don’t think adding a romance necessarily undoes any character development because unlike some other characters, Masa has relevance and personality outside of their crush on the ronin. I trust the author to handle the implementation of it (if it does happen).
Honestly, I still can’t tell how old Masashi is supposed to be. On the one hand, he is usually always described as a child, is rather meek/short in physical height, and acts childish, so could be around 14ish. On the other hand, I have a really hard time imagining a 12-14 year old having as a mature intellectual outlook as Masa seems to. So based on that, and his/her magical skill, and dialog in books 1 and 2, I had thought he was at least 16ish–the MC describes him as around the same age as the young women in book 2 who were crushing over the Kabuki actor in the theater. So around the same age, as Ige, I thought, at least? Who is a teenager.
Of course an MC over the age of 20 or 30 would probably still think of a 16-18 year old as a “kid” in any case. It’s unclear how old the MC actually is, but we can say they definitely “feel” old, due to the hard life they have led, and aging isn’t seen as a good thing for a warrior/samurai. And if the MC is female? In a society like that, you’d be considered over the hill if you didn’t marry young, I imagine. I know, historically, it wasn’t that unusual for people to marry (and die) young. Life expectancy being what it was.
Still, I don’t see the MC as having any perverted intentions towards Masa at all (even if they do joke/tease sometimes) as Jun claims. Masa might have a crush on the MC, but the MC seems to instead value being close to someone in a non sexual way for once, as we can see with their friendship with Hatch.
It’s also apparent that some part of the MC is emotionally stunted too as a child due to his/her traumatic past, as reflected in how they appear to Masa as a child in the dream sequence at the end of book 1. There are at least two places where the MC describes Masashi as “fatherly”, which is odd enough given the age difference. That might just be symbolic though (a bit of a Jungian influence on the part of the author?). It really doesn’t seem like the MC has ever had a normal/healthy relationship of any kind with a member of the opposite sex, father figure included.
I don’t know how I would feel about a Masa RO at this point, but given Masa’s crush on the MC, his/she is probably going to be jealous when they choose someone else, whoever it is, and already seems to be jealous of Jun. Hopefully Masa doesn’t go off and do something stupid over it. Jealousy and unrequited love seems to be a big theme in the story. It might be Masa will love the MC no matter what we do, and will suffer consequences for that.
While I’ve never entertained the idea of romance with them, Masa being no older than early 'teens seemed blatant enough to me. While they are in the middle of a growth spurt, I never really thought of them as being older than 15, at most. Yes, intellectually, Masa is oddly mature, philosophical and contemplative, but their emotional maturity quite definitely breaks that illusion for me.
And, of course, said maturity is less startling when you know the historical period the game is modelled after. Considering Miyamoto Musashi was 13 years old when he struck down and killed his first opponent, and 12 years old was considered a coming-of-age in most households (with samurai households sometimes expecting their children to be trained killers by age eight), Masa doesn’t stick out as strange to me.