I’ll put this under a cut, since it’s so long.
Starting off, the island segment was a tiny bit of a drag, but I chalk that down to having excessively played the demo and being a perfectionist about my ronin’s response; calculated stoic, I didn’t think it’d be that hard to figure it out! The deduction segments were nicely done and enjoyable, which was a surprise since I’m a shoddy detective. Most importantly, spirit animal armor! When my ronin was geared up like a ninja, I was thrilled.
The battle against the illusion of Gensai was great. The favorite instrument playing in the background made it all the more dramatic, and the dialogue between the ronin and former teacher had me absorbed. After the battle, when my ronin wondered whose katana he was holding, I was like… What?! He forgot?! Definitely wasn’t expecting that one.
Later on, when your companions danced around the subject of the name carved into you, I was pulling at my hair. How am I going to protect all of you when I technically don’t know there’s danger?! Ignoring that, the bonding moments between the companions and the ronin were nice. I can’t say I wasn’t expecting Jun to show up in the middle of learning how to read or getting a massage, though. At the very least I was expecting a courier to run by with Momoko’s tongue in a box.
Toshio came on very strong this time around, which caught me off guard. I was half tempted to pursue a romance with him, but I’ve been holding out for a potential Masashi romance. Toshio did make it difficult to say no, I’ll give him that. Then a farmer wanted my ronin to wed his daughter, and Kohaku was being not so subtle with his admiration, and I was thinking, “What cologne is my ronin wearing?”
Reading the part where the ronin was on their knees in the village after attacking Shatao, and the other parts afterwards where the ronin was similarly beaten down, was very frustrating. The ronin’s failure to end the farmer’s life quickly was hard to read, especially when they had to call upon one of the students to finish the job. I could definitely feel the humiliation my ronin was.
The real kicker was failing to save Ige; Daisuke, Hatch, Nishi, and Kohaku had all gotten through with only Nishi being injured in my playthrough, and I was expecting Ige to come out alive as well. The description of his death was heartbreaking, and I was left reeling. The moment where the ronin could say “I am nothing but the wielder of my katana” while watching Ige be killed pretty much crushed me.
The final moments can be described with one word; wow. The ronin harming their own students, then proceeding to shove a katana through Shatao’s throat, Hatch taking Shatao’s place, while Masashi gets a happy reunion with his sister, and then my ronin decides to take the opportunity to quietly slip out to face the past. I can only imagine Masashi’s reaction when he finds out his bodyguard is absent on the job again. Let’s not forget poor Toshio, failing to stop the ronin from leaving, and the students… Well, I didn’t expect it to end like that!
With less paragraphs I’ll say this was a very well written entry. It felt much longer than the past two, which was a pleasant surprise. I definitely enjoyed reading it.