Lkyt. Review – We Found Love in a Hopeless Place

    Title: Lkyt
    Developer: Parade
    Release Date: April 20, 2023
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: MangaGamer
    Genre: Visual Novel

Lkyt. is a BL game developed by Parade, whose other English-translated works include No, Thank You!! and Room No. 9. This time around, they decided to explore a historical fantasy setting, making the romantic and erotic aspect of the title a part of the character development in this tragic tale.

Lkyt. tells the story of young men born in the Shoreline Nation, a land that resembles samurai-age Japan. For centuries, they’ve proudly lived as a warrior nation fighting to protect the world against the evil forces of the Dark Reign. These creatures, also known as hollows, acted on an instinct to kill everything they touched, corrupting creatures into a foul, dark version of themselves.

Fighting these bizarre creatures is complicated as they corrupt whatever they touch. However, the Shoreline people are gifted individuals trained from a young age in martial arts and a unique power they carry within, magic. By breathing and circulating energy through their bodies, these warriors can protect themselves from many wounds and increase their basic skills to become true powerhouses.

Lkyt 2

Lkyt. is a samurai tale with this fantasy aspect added to explore the concept of having willpower against certain death. During the game, we see how much this mentality affects the people of the Shoreline Nation. Though the game’s narrative discusses the naive outlook of these heroic attitudes, it also embraces this innocence as an inherent aspect of their essence.

One of the best examples of this pure mindset is our protagonist, Tasuku. Son of a strong warrior and his wife (who used to be just as powerful before giving birth), he’s a humble boy whose experience in battle restricts to duties as a foot soldier. Despite his inexperience, the boy may be one of the strongest in the nation at the moment.

Lkyt 3

Unfortunately, the situation is more dire than they could have anticipated. Every few centuries, the nation would have to deal with the emerging crisis of the Dark Reign forces emerging, but hollow activity indicates they’ll attack much earlier than predicted. As such, they see themselves dealing with a hopeless situation, organizing their small contingent to handle the threat.

Because of a series of events, we see the crisis evolve significantly, reducing their already small group to an even more compact team. As such, these samurai warriors will see themselves fighting against impossible odds. Suicide missions are just part of the game, and they must be tough and courageous to deal with the big wave of darkness that’s still incoming.

Lkyt 4

A part of the game then revolves around the concept of bonding. As Lkyt. includes magic in its setting, characters can become closer to someone they deeply trust, communicate telepathically with their partner, and grow stronger with them. By cutting their palms and putting them together, they entrust their lives to one another, like the old tales of warrior partnership born of sharing sake.

However, as this is a BL visual novel, Tasuku doesn’t only become closer platonically with his partners. As our twenty-one-year-old boy realizes his feelings for them run deeper than friendship, they also get intimately involved through sexual intercourse. Just like other Parade games published by MangaGamer, these scenes include no mosaic, and it’s easy to notice how much the illustrator, Norizane, loves the male physique and muscle details.

Lkyt 5

At first, the player has three choices for Tasuku’s partner, unlocking a fourth one after beating one of the other routes and an epilogue after doing all of them. The first option is Takeru, the younger son of the Emperor, who’s supposed to take over his place after his death. He’s stoic and acts serious, usually not having much to say unless necessary.

Ango is another prestigious member of the imperial forces. He’s honored as one of the mightiest men in the Shoreline Nation, using a battle axe to pulverize hollows. Both Tasuku and Takeru admire his strength and look forward to facing Ango in matches. However, after the latest mission failure of the Shoreline Nation, he sees himself in a complicated situation that fills him with regrets and forces Tasuku to learn more about them.

Lkyt 6

On the other hand, Yael comes from the Desert Nation. He has no duty to help these warriors, usually behaving with a cynical, practical outlook. Despite how negative he may seem, Tasuku sees how much he cares about this new home of his as well as the people around him. His perspective is not one of insensitivity.

Finally, Towa is the Divine One of the Shoreline Nation. As a religious figure, he receives a lot of reverence and guides all citizens in their times of need. However, his seclusion from the rest of the populace makes him seem like an ethereal creature. The distance makes people relate more to the Emperor and his other son fighting on the frontlines. No matter the route, Towa will help Tasuku, showing himself to be a humane and curious fellow at times.

Lkyt 7

Lkyt. explores these characters and the samurai setting to a fascinating degree, discussing topics relating to human nature. One thing to keep in mind when picking this game is that this is a tragic tale through and through. While there are moments of hope and true beauty in the bonds between characters, which even avoids the non-consensual sex trope, the game can get considerably dark, exposing gory details such as viscera. 

It’s hard to consider any endings “good” as they’re more about giving a satisfactory closure to the story rather than having characters happy ever after. Love and beauty are ephemeral, but they shine bright amidst this hopeless scenario.

Lkyt 8

There are, however, a few points of contention to the game’s quality. The first issue are typos and grammar issues. Though not too usual, they are noticeable enough to be annoying at times.

The other problem is that the visuals are sometimes a little too economical, such as the first battle scene in the game or a few moments that rely solely on the static backgrounds with no character art present. They aren’t major issues, though, as the experience is fantastic overall.

Lkyt 1

Lkyt. is an incredible visual novel about the tragic experience of warriors fighting with all their might against impossible odds. This fascinating samurai BL may not be for the faint of heart due to its dark nature and some gory details at a few times. However, for those willing to take the plunge, it offers an unforgettable experience among the best the visual novel genre can offer.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.

Ivanir Ignacchitti

Random Japanese games are my jam. Handhelds, RPGs, VNs and PC banzai.