Apparently, I have a thing for themes of “time.” Time travel, time manipulation, and the likes that take place over defined periods always pique my interest. While many protagonists have the power of time manipulation, it isn’t a mechanic that typically used by enemies, given that it’s so powerful. I suppose this is why developer Lucid A96 decided to use it to create an extremely dangerous monster in their indie visual novel Historia – Chapter 1.
I will point out Chapter 1 is relatively short, only clocking in a few hours, so if you want to just check it out now with even fewer details, follow the developer’s Twitter account, which will share the release date.
Historia puts you in the shoes of Doug, a high schooler with a dysfunctional family who often hangs out at his friend Max’s place to avoid them. Tonight is one of those nights, except the moments of solace, are interrupted. Not by an angry father, but a horrifying translucent snake monster right out of my nightmares.
With Max’s life on the line, Doug attacks the creature, and by some miracle, he lives. Doug that is. Max doesn’t last through the night. If he was ever there at all. You see, no one seems to know who Max is, and the home is owned by some stranger. These events lead Doug to meet Emma, a girl who wants to kill the serpent by any means necessary.
There aren’t many characters introduced throughout the story, but there are quite a few unique sprites for characters and a variety of well-drawn environments and CGs. I’m also hoping for a soundtrack release at some point because the game’s background music is really good at immersing you into the story.
More often than not, I complain about protagonists who are faceless, but I honestly didn’t notice this time. Historia – Chapter 1 tells such a fast-paced story that punches scene after scene, with tensions and mystery running high 24/7 that Doug’s design was the last thing on my mind.
One primary reason for the constant tension is the monster, the rainbow aura serpent. As Emma and Doug try to figure out how they can kill it, they’re acutely aware that all who are consumed by the serpent are erased from time itself. Combine that with the fact that Doug’s mental state is rapidly deteriorating, and we’ve got a recipe for success.
Historia – Chapter 1 tells an entirely linear story but makes full use of visual novel tools to tell a compelling tale. It is, however quite short, so some players might want to wait for more chapters before jumping into this tale. Still, I’m very excited to see where the story goes next.
If you’re interested, the developers are running a small ARG that is connected to the story somehow on their blog, with puzzle pieces being discussed on their discord. How pertinent is it to chapter 2 is anyone’s guess.
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