Taking a break from my RPG pilgrimage to review Nachtigal, an otome game by Cyanide Tea. Before you read on, do note that this is a review and not a detailed summary of the game. Please visit the official site for more information.
Miranda Namatgira is a college student who visits Belgium for a holiday. One day, she loses track of time and ends up lost in the woods. Upon seeing an old castle, Miranda goes inside in the hope of finding help… but she runs into two vampires and is taken captive instead. Miranda’s fate will be determined on the 22nd, where the rest of the old castle’s residents return from their trip. Until then, she will be living with the two vampires—Adrian and Luca.
While the game itself is rather short, the story is very well-written. It has a really good balance of funny, lighthearted moments and scenes that are downright creepy. The vampires portrayed in this game aren’t misunderstood beings who only need love. They are vampires, and they can kill you anytime if you’re not careful. Try talking back or threatening them and see where that takes you LOL. The game’s atmosphere is by no means heavy though, mainly because Miranda is really calm despite the situation she’s in. She adapts pretty quickly too, considering she spends her time befriending the statues in the hallway instead of weeping over her fate. There are some parts that feel rushed / abrupt, particularly in Adrian’s route, but it’s understandable due to the length of the game and Miranda’s “deadline”.
As for the endings, Nachtigal offers six endings. Adrian and Luca each has one ending, and you can get a delicious 3P ending too with both of them. The other three explores different possibilities of what might happen to Miranda, and I have to say I loved ending 5 and 6. They’re refreshing… in a way. These two endings are determined by Miranda’s decision to either live or die, but the conclusions for both cases are just so tragic. Ending 5 especially left a really strong impression on me, because I totally didn’t see THAT coming. I won’t spoil them though, you should go and find out by yourself.
One of the endings is a bit gory. Just a bit though, because it didn’t bother me at all despite my phobia of blood. It might come off as surprising because everything happens so suddenly, but hey it feels good. Let the game surprise you!
As far as heroine goes, I loved Miranda a lot. She’s sassy, but not to the point of being annoying. She’s optimistic, smart, quirky and can be very assertive when dealing with the vampires. This could get her in trouble at some points, but she doesn’t dwell in her mistakes for a long time. In fact, she gets over them and moves on pretty quickly. What I love the most though, is how she truly cares about the vampires and lets it show clearly. She’s not afraid of interacting with the vampires as well. They might have captured her, but that won’t stop her from playing strip poker with them. (*´艸`*)ｧﾊ♪
Also, she’s gorgeous. Let me say that again. SHE’S GORGEOUS. She’s beautiful both in a Victorian dress and casual clothing, and I love the way she’s drawn. Might be a bit biased because I love Auro’s art, but I really like the combination of Miranda’s hair color and skin tone. Plus, her eyes look absolutely brilliant. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:*
ADRIAN VAN DE NACHTIGAL
Adrian is a charismatic and confident second generation vampire who loves searching for fun things. Including 3D puzzles and board games. He dislikes formalities and tries to get Miranda to just call him by name instead of “Lord Adrian”—like Luca told her to. Adrian is usually friendly and has a rather childish side to him. He’s curious about Miranda, but his mood can go downhill in an instant if she inquires a bit too much. He also has a very cute blush. Especially during the strip poker scene, and also towards the end of his route. 8D
Actually, I didn’t expect to like Adrian at first. Yes, for the shallow reason that I like Luca’s design better. That changed the moment I hit the revelation in his route, because uh… HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HIM after learning all of that!? C= C= C= C= C= C= 。・゜゜ヽ| ；∀；|ノウワァァァァァァンッ! His ending is the reverse version of one of the scenes, and I absolutely loved how things worked out for both Miranda and him in the end. That, and how she makes fun of all the corny lines he says LOL.
Luca is a third generation vampire, working as a servant for the family. Or rather, for Adrian. Unlike his master, Luca values formalities and traditions. He doesn’t let his emotions show most of the time, and he calls Miranda’s footsteps “elephantine” with a straight face. In the beginning, Luca thinks it’d be for the best if they kill Miranda… but his opinion of her starts changing the more he interacts with her. Despite his position as a servant, Luca can be VERY sarcastic while dealing with Adrian. As said by Miranda, his usual facial expressions are either annoyed, or super annoyed.
Since Luca rarely shows how he feels, I keep getting unexpected ドキドキ moments whenever he smiles or grins—even though it doesn’t happen that often. _(:3」∠)_ In contrary to Adrian, who chomps on Miranda directly, Luca uses a knife to get her blood because he believes biting is intimate… so the development is clearly visible when he finally uses his fangs. His ending is the exact opposite of Adrian’s, and I really love the contrast portrayed between them.
…though I have to say I love Adrian a bit more because of his background. ｡･ﾟ･(*ﾉД`*)･ﾟ･。
Man, I love the visualization of Nachtigal. The CGs are very clean and beautiful, the sprites have a rich variation of expressions, and the UI compliments the game’s theme perfectly. My favorite is probably the small moon phase wheel in the upper left corner. They don’t have any clocks or calendars in the castle, so I think it’s a clever way of showing the progression of time. It might be trivial, but I love observing these things. It’s the small things that counts, right? 8D
Help. I need help getting this game’s music out of my head. It’s been looping nonstop ever since I started playing. The music selection is rather simple, but powerful. Every single track brings out the atmosphere of the scene, and overall they really fit the feel of the game. Sometimes I do feel that the BGM changes a bit too suddenly, but it was only in a few scenes.
No final thoughts for you. Go play it!
Nachtigal is a “pay what you want”-ware, so you can pay as much as you think the game is worth or get it for free. If you’re not sure, you can get the game first and pay after playing it. It’s extremely generous for such a beautiful game. Not to mention you can also get the gorgeous artbook.
I wish I can pay Lore and Auro immediately with something more than a mere review. ｡ﾟ+(σ´д`｡)+ﾟ・ｸｽﾝ…