Legends are typically past down from generation to generation and vary by culture. However, some of these stories have lessons within them that don’t always end on a happy note. Well, in the Liar-soft developed-visual novel Adabana Odd Tales, readers get to explore a world where two characters piece together these classic stories, whether the ending is happy or not. This creates a truly unique setting that has me excited for the conclusion.
Adabana Odd Tales begins by introducing readers to an amnesiac protagonist named Shirohime, who is seconds away from being attacked by a mysterious creature. Luckily for her, a strange man armed with a brush for a sword named Kurofude interferes and saves her. Before they have to face more creatures, Kurofude creates a door using his brush’s magic, and they escape to the world of Adabana.
Interestingly, Kurofude doesn’t seem too concerned with Shirohime’s memory loss. Instead of babying her or proposing a quest to regain her memories, he tells her what role she plays in their duo. Evidently, the two can enter books, which have missing words caused by bookworms. This stops the stories from completing, so it’s up to them to defeat the book worm and restore the words.
Shirohime has the power to turn bookworms into ink, and Kurofude has the ability to turn that ink into the missing word. It forces the two to work together and search for these devilishly cute creatures. However, it seems that the writers have taken an interesting twist with this premise by having the two complete books with not so happy plots. Sadly, the two can’t change the outcomes. Instead, their only job is to complete the story. Well, that doesn’t stop Shirohime from trying, and bad things end up happening.
There’s another layer of mystery here as the story teases the possibility that this is all just a dream or that the two protagonists are only two young kids with an active imagination. However, before you learn too much, Shirohime is pulled back into the dream-like world to progress the narrative.
It’s interesting to understand the world through the mind of Shirohime. She isn’t useless or lacking confidence as the process of her job comes naturally to her. The reasons for her memory loss isn’t eluded to, but there’s something definitely going on that has my attention to understand more. Kurofude, on the other hand, is stern and can seem cold until you see how close he actually is to Shirohime. He’ll do things like read her facial expressions without her having to say a word. Their relationship is something that will be interesting to see develop throughout the narrative.
The illustrations are simply gorgeous as the developer went for a classic character design with the use of watercolors. The story mimics what you’d see it in a storybook, and they don’t downplay it for a second as this level of detail can be found in the backgrounds and supporting cast as well. However, I would have like to see a little more movement in the character’s bodies as they seem to have only one pose.
After playing Adabana Odd Tales, I’m entirely on board for the dark fairy tale adventure. The characters are complex and unordinary, and the story is unlike anything that I’ve read. Each character doesn’t play into any particular tropes, and the themes explored seemed to have way more depth than the 2-hour demo could possibly convey. The only sad part is that I have to wait for the game’s full release.
Adabana Odd Tales has a planned release date on PC-via Steam in June 2020.
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