Thursday, May 8, 2014

An unconventional love story


Song of Saya is one freaky game, that’s probably why I love it so much. It’s a visual novel, in which the protagonist has suffered a brain injury which has affected the way he perceives reality. The world around him appears to be covered in blood and gore, and everyone he meets looks like rotting meat-monsters. Everyone except one person, or *spoiler warning* rotting slime monster. This is where the dating sim element comes in, which is central to almost all Japanese visual novels and is the thing which takes this game to a whole new level of freakishness.

The love interest Saya appear in the eyes of the main character to be a pretty young lolita character, in stark contrast to the decaying world around him. In reality she can probably best be described as some sort of extra-terrestrial slug. Due to the same brain injury that makes him perceive all normal humans as disgusting monster like creatures, he perceives Saya as a beautiful girl. This leads to a very unconventional love story that is probably more appealing to fans of Lovecraft, than to your average reader of romance novels.

The disturbing story of Song of Saya makes it a niche product, in a genre that at least outside of Japan has to be described as very niche. Still I imagine this game to be better suited for western tastes than most visual novels. It is relatively short unlike most visual novels and is really more of a horror-story than a dating sim, things that I would imagine would appeal to western gamers. At least I found it to be very enjoyable and I tend to get bored with visual novels pretty quickly.