Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Really live up to its reputation
Shortly after i finished Extra/Unlimited i continued to play Alternative straightaway. No doubt people say this VN masterpiece with the quality of work shown which is why this title make the Muvluv franchise become famous. It is one of the most Grimdark VN that i have read as well(Saya no Uta was in the place previously) due to the apocalyptic settings and plenty of deaths. Unlike most VN, this VN only have one route which takes 14 hours at least and the choices appeared in the game doesn't affect the overall outcome.
Muvluv Alternative begins with Takeru having his memories from every Extra/Unlimited route awaken again to the beginning of Unlimited universe. With his clear memory of the outcome of Alternative V(which happen in Unlimited) where Humanity is wiped out by BETA on Earth with bitter end,thus he decided to help Yuuko Sensei to finish her Alternative IV project. Eventually when Alternative IV finished he managed to see Sumika in Unlimited verse where she become the key to victory against BETA . Will Takeru be able to love Sumika again? you will find out later in the game.
The story is divided into several main arcs where the first arc are similar with the one in Unlimited except Takeru still maintain his memory of the training which make the cadet training to be a cakewalk for him.
-Coup d'etat arc
-Alternative IV arc
-Yokohama Base Defense
-Kashgar Hive infiltration
So what is BETA?How could the population human reduced to small fraction of its total population after 30 years of their landing to earth? they are basically alien creatures that landed on earth 30 years prior to Unlimited. Shortly after their landing due to late response by humanity who still struggle with each other BETA easily overwhelm the Asia Continent in its first few months after the first hive landed. While they have no aerial unit they make sure Human's Aircraft obsolete against them asany aircraft flying nearby their range will be shot at a instant by laser class BETA and thus force human to engage them mainly on ground battles with TSF as their Primary Arsenal. In 1999 36 million Japanese are killed in a week after the landing of BETA to Japan and on 2001 Humanity is reduced to 1 billion population only. Based on conversation of Takeru with the Beta's leader on earth, BETA didn't recognise Humans as living beings which why they kill human with no hesitation.
In a battle BETA are always have superiority in Numbers where a hive usually have hundred of thousands BETA where human only have hundreds of army in disposal. So basically BETA are similar to Zerg/Tyranids/STMC though they are still quite docile compared to those Aliens. What make BETA looks fearsome is the fact that their look are very ugly and they kill their target in a gruesome way.
This VN is pretty Grimdark as In the game you will see plenty of main characters die in the gruesome way. Marimo's death is notable one considering her death is most explicitly shown where her head is bitten off by Soldier class BETA and Takeru reminisce it all the time in PTSD arc which makes it even worse. 2nd reason why the series are grimdark is that the member of Isumi Valkyries where Takeru joined during PTSD arc had 80% of the cast died including all of Takeru's love interests by the end of the VN which also make the ending pretty tragic. While some of them died by self destructing their TSF, some of the member got killed by BETA as well. Suzumiya Haruka probably had the worst death even compared to Marimo while it is not shown explicitly. Lastly is Sumika's background where she is capture by BETA and went through cruel experiment by BETA which lead her drama of rejecting Takeru shortly after the Sadogashima Invasion despite her love towards him.
Alternative is not solely popular due to its epic yet grimdark story which could be the darkest one used for a Real Robot series. Despite there are only 4 battles and 2 of them are the major one, the battles are really intense. You will find the mecha action are well illustrated despite VN is not a really good for animating mechas. The Sadogashima and Yokohama base battle are the great ones especially. Takeru is shown very badass and probably the best TSF pilot of the whole series where he can take down swarms of BETA by himself even with the fortress class ones which makes his fellow pilots admire him. Music are really good as well considering there are some awesome theme like Storm Vanguard and JAM Project themselves are the one who sing the opening for this game.
After playing Alternative i had to admit that Sumika is the one who deserve Takeru the most with her having the purest love for him. The drama of her with Takeru before and after Sadogashima arc is simply touching. Currently i played Altered Fable which supposedly the continuation of Alternative where The Alternative casts are in the Extra universe though i only understand roughly 30 to 50% of the content since it is currently untranslated. I would really recommend any VN or Mecha fans to try this game and if possible play Extra/Unlimited first.