Kadh let me borrow his copy of Ever17 so I could play the game. It came with the promise that this is the best VN (visual novel) ever. Add in the benefit of no sexual content and I was willing to give it a try. Every other VN I’ve played has loads of sex.
The first thing I noticed was that it’s an old game. The resolution must be no more than 800×600 in the 4:3 format. That meant either looking at the game through a tiny window or changing my screen resolution to match the game and changing it back when I’m done playing. I chose the former and quickly switched to the latter.
I read the manual before playing and it seems there are two playable (male) characters and a cast of five (female) characters to interact with. That’s not unusual. Oddly, two of the female characters don’t appear in all playthroughs. If you choose one protagonist, one girl is missing. If you choose another protagonist, another girl is missing.
I decided to play through in alphabetical order: Sara, Sora, Tsugumi, Yuu. Kadh advised me to go in the order Sora, Yuu, Tsugumi, Sara instead. So, I’m doing the Sora route, which means my main character is Takeshi.
After setting the game up, I only had a little while to play and I got just far enough to choose which protagonist I will be playing. I made a few notes.
The game has an odd focus on the exact time. Takeshi’s first appearance is at 11:17 AM and The Kid’s is at 11:34 AM. Here are my initial impressions. Takeshi seems rather stupid. Coco is extremely childish. The Kid is confused and I think there’s something wrong with him beyond amnesia. I think the mascot that beat Takeshi up and put The Kid in its costume is Tsugumi.
In the hospital room, The Kid has a weird out of body experience where he sees Coco, himself and Sara, and a bunch of red lights. Suddenly, however, he’s back at the pool where he started at 11:34 and it appears that he jumps in and starts swimming. Instead of letting himself drown, he swims toward a light.
Then I get the choice of being Takeshi and looking for his friends, or of being The Kid and figuring out who he is. The Kid’s problem seems more interesting, but I follow the advice I’ve been given and choose Takeshi’s quest.
Has he been trapped in an elevator with Tsugumi for three hours before trying to get out on his own?