[Otome Game Review] Norn9 Act Tune

March 15, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Posted in Games, Otome Games | Leave a comment
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It’s the third game of Norn9! Last Era felt more like a sequel, so I guess we can say that Act Tune is finally the fandisk. The game has three scenario selections: Memoria, Legend of Norn, and Cantabile. Unfortunately, the game got really bad reviews (and I can see why, after playing the game), but I can’t say no to more Akito, can I? (=゚ω゚)ノ

This a full game summary-review, so lots and lots of spoiler ahead!

Memoria

The Memoria stories are scenes within (or after) the stuff that happened in the first two games. It also has two school stories for each character, which are random happenings at Norn Academy.

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Team Scenario

The scenario happens during the time when the Norn people are still at Norn. Some people are complaining about their current grouping so Kakeru suggested that they shuffle the groupings again. After drawing lots, it is decided that the new teams are:

  • Koharu team: Heishi, Natsuhiko, and Sakuya. The team holds a tee party for their members.
  • Mikoto team: Kakeru, Akito, and Ron. They spent the day working in the field.
  • Nanami team: Masamune, Senri, and Itsuki. The team joins the hiyokos with their hanami at the rooftop.

After spending a day with their new team though, everyone realizes that they are still more comfortable with their old team so they decided to just go back to the previous grouping.

Extra Scenario

These are scenes that happened in between (Extra I) or after (Extra II) the Last Era Concertos. The Extra I scenarios are really short and aren’t that worth mentioning so I won’t include them here.

Yuiga Kakeru (CV: Kaji Yuuki)

Kakeru and Koharu are still running their 何でも屋 business, and the second extra happens after their wedding and Koharu is already Yuiga Koharu. One day, Koharu suddenly felt some weird headache, lost her sense of taste, and began being emotional but these are all signs that she’s… pregnant!! 駆やったじゃん!ww I’m still bitter that we don’t get to see Akito and Nanami’s love child but I’m happy to know that Koharu is no longer alone and can now have a family of her own (Senri is still Koharu group best boy though! w)

Ichinose Senri (CV: Shimono Hiro)

The second Extra scenario is continued from Senri’s proposal in Last Era when he gave his parent’s wedding ring to Koharu. Senri didn’t want everyone in Norn to know about it so he asked Koharu to keep the engagement a secret, but some of the guys heard about it during one of the girls’ girl talk. Everyone decides to throw a surprise party for Senri to celebrate. Look at cute Koharu in a box though (´ω`* )‏ 

Toya Masamune (CV: Satou Takuya)

One year after their wedding, Masamune and Koharu are still running the library. To celebrate their first wedding anniversary, they decide to go on a trip. One of the most boring extra scenarios, like hello?? how about some sexy time with Masamune??

Azuma Natsuhiko (CV: Ono Daisuke)

In Extra II Mikoto and Natsuhiko are married and have a son (meaning this happens before Natsuhiko’s Last Era concerto epilogue). Mikoto wants Nagisa to know about this, since she’s Natsuhiko’s family too, so she asks for Setsu to help her contact Nagisa who is currently in the “World” island. Nagisa comes a week later, and Mikoto lets her meet the child. Kind of like forming another family bond between Natsuhiko and Nagisa, thanks to the child.

Nijou Sakuya (CV: Mitsuki Saiga)

Sakuya and Mikoto are still working on the world history book, and during one of their day offs, they go back to their hometown so Sakuya can ask Mikoto’s parents for permission to marry their daughter. Of course, Kuga and Nijou family are in good terms, so unlike what happened to Itsuki when he faced Mikoto’s father (in Last Era), Sakuya and Mikoto did not face any problems and soon get married. 

Kagami Itsuki (CV: Yusa Kouji)

Probably the most boring Memoria Extra and nothing really happened. It continues from Last Era. Itsuki just got a kiss from Mikoto and that’s it. Yo, this is Itsuki so where are my sexy scenes at???

Syukuri Akito (CV: Sugiyama Noriaki)

After Akito’s proposal, Akito and Nanami start to save up for a wedding ceremony. But Nanami can’t wait too long and she’s like, No Akito, I want to get married to you asap, so she looks for an inexpensive place to hold a wedding ceremony. The two prepare for the ceremony, and Akito sew Nanami’s wedding dress by himself! Whoaaaaa waifu goals!! After a month of preparation, Akito and Nanami finally hold their wedding ceremony AND I AM HAPPY. All other Extra Memoria scenarios might be crap, but as long as I can see Akito and Nanami and Akito get married, I am satisfied ♡

Muroboshi Ron (CV: Sugita Tomokazu)

After Ron and Nanami got Natsuhiko to make Ron’s artificial eye, Ron can now see clearly but he’s still lazy af who acts like a little spoiled kid that thinks only of himself. Jfc Ron, when will you ever change for the better. Anyways, the two are on trip when they see a lost kid so they help him find his mother. Nanami’s surprised that Ron is being helpful with the kid but turns out he just wants to get rid of the 邪魔者 fast so he can ichaicha with Nanami asap.

Otomaru Heishi (CV: Yoshino Hiroyuki)

After repairing the church and having their wedding ceremony there, Nanami and Heishi started living in the village. Since they stopped their photography commission job for the rich person, Nanami is worried that Heishi no longer wants to take pictures, but he explained that he still wants to continue photography but is just prioritizing his flute job first to make a stable living for the two of them

School Scenario

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This part is just random scenarios set in an alternate universe Norn Academy (lots of the extra drama CDs have the Norn Academy as their setting). Basically, the characters are the three girls and the twelve guys:

  • Kakeru is the representative of class N.
  • Senri is the kid who doesn’t go to school often and would rather lock himself inside his school dorm room.
  • Masamune is the classics teacher and homeroom teacher of class N.
  • Natsuhiko is the strict Physics teacher who takes out his gun inside class.
  • Sakuya is the usual model male student.
  • Itsuki is the chemistry teacher who is really good at teaching and can make his lessons very interesting and easy to understand.
  • Akito is the guy who works part time after school and also helps at the school cafeteria.
  • Ron is the teacher who doesn’t really care about the world, doesn’t teach, and actually uses the chem lab’s beaker and alcohol lamp to make instant ramen. He’s also the vice homeroom teacher of class N, but really, he doesn’t do a thing.
  • Heishi is the energetic kid whose grades are always in danger zone.

Legend of Norn

The Legend of Norn is another alternate universe story. The idea originally came from Happy Focus event, where the seiyuus acted out a skit with the characters in an RPG world. The Legend of Norn sprites were also first shown during this event.

The story takes place in a faraway Kingdom, where Suzuhara Sorata, the hope of humanity and a dragon researcher, was suddenly kidnapped by a mighty dragon, so the twelve heroes of Norn set on a journey to save him. It’s really an RPG-type story in which they have to battle with several monsters along the way, talk to the townspeople to look for clues, and search for items that can help them with their journey. After finding information about Sorata’s dragon research, the twelve heroes divide themselves into three groups of four, with each grouped tasked to find a specific item that will help them during the final boss fight ww

Koharu’s team is tasked with “Magic key.” In the first town of their journey, they discover that thieves have been stealing from the townspeople so they help catch the criminals. The group split into Masamune-Koharu and Kakeru-Senri pairs in catching the criminals, with Masamune using his sword skills and Koharu supporting him with her fire magic. Later, they catch the thieves and the townspeople reward them with items that can help them in their journey, including a necklace with a white flower pendant that said to be made by Sorata.

Moving on, as they are thinking of ways to get info about how to get the magic key from the lake, the group gets approached by a man who claims to be a traveller and knows someone who can help them get info. However, it turns out that the man is the leader of a church who worships the dragon and wants Koharu’s group dead (because they were tasked to kill the dragon they consider as god to save Sorata). The group almost gets attacked but thanks to Kakeru’s quick noticing of the situation, he manages to get ahead of the dragon church people by locking them inside the church using his plant magic. In the end, they forced the church leader to spill the beans, and they learn that a certain white flower beside the lake can help them find the magic key.

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At the lake, the group decides that it’s Senri who should be diving into the lake because he 1) is good at swimming 2) has water magic. After several minutes of Senri not going back into the surface though, Koharu and the team started worrying so they dive too and follow Senri… only for Koharu to see that Senri has found the magic key but he’s been influenced by its spirit to stay underwater forever! Koharu’s almost influenced by it too, but fortunately, the white flower necklace from Sorata prevented it, and with her words, Senri and the spirit of the magic key agreed to go back to the surface. With their tasked item obtained, the Koharu’s party then meets with the other teams.

Mikoto’s team is tasked with “Summoned beast.” Among the three items, this item has the least information, so they proceed to the town where the beast legend came from to learn and search for more info about it. The search wasn’t easy though, because the townspeople only have few and vague things about the summoned the beast. This is where Itsuki, whose skill is finding stuff, goes into the spotlight when he figured out that some of the old beast drawings and statues around the town points to the location of the summoned beast. With this, the group concludes that it’s inside a tower outside the Eastern Forest.

As the group enters the forest, Mikoto notices that she cannot use her barrier magic. Thinking that it’s just because she’s tired they continue on, later seeing a wounded hiyoko. Sakuya helps the hiyoko, which decides to go with them. Soon, they face a mid-boss monster right before leaving the forest. To make the situation even worse, Mikoto-Sakuya got separated from Natsuhiko-Itsuki in the middle of the battle. They almost get owned by the monster but the spirit inside the hiyoko appeared and saved them. After the battle, the spirit inside the hiyoko introduced itself as the summoned beast, and the hiyoko is his familiar. It explained that Mikoto losing her barrier magic is a trial for her to see if she is worthy to be its own master.

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The group then goes to the tower to see the actual summoned beast and sign Mikoto’s contract with him. If you played Final Fantasy I, the tower here in Legend of Norn is just like the Mirage Tower because 1) it doesn’t show up in the map until you complete a certain task 2) there are lots of monsters in it 3) the scenery changes in every floor. They make it up to the top floor where they meet the actual summoned beast, but just like the magic key, the summoned beast hates humans because they use him for their own selfish wants. Natsuhiko and Mikoto then fight the summoned beast as a final boss battle (and because Natsuhiko challenged the beast into choosing him as the contractor instead of Mikoto //that Natushiko CG looks so good tho!!). In the end, they won and the summoned beast approves of Mikoto as his new master.

Nanami’s team is tasked with “Mineral.” Among the three items, it’s the item that has lots of known info and the easiest to obtain, but well… Nanami’s team is also the most easygoing so… www. They head to the town where the mineral is sold, but upon arrival, they learn that it’s out of stock every where, because they can’t harvest it due to a scary monster that recently moved on to the mineral harvest site. Thus, they needed to get and harvest the mineral by themselves. Problem is, no one wanted to show them the way to the mineral harvest site so they’re stuck in the town, until Heishi and Nanami helped a young boy from being eaten by a monster and the boy’s father finally offered to be their guide.

With their guide’s help, Nanami’s party enters the Forest of Confusion. They had no problems until midway when they are attacked by monsters that releases pollen that can make anyone who inhales it see hallucinations. Luckily, Ron isn’t affected by this because he is an emotionless stone who has no dreams and desires. Ron helps Nanami, and when she gained consciousness, she lights up a torch to keep the pollens and monsters away. The next day, the other three people finally wake up.

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Before proceeding to the harvest place, Nanami warns Akito that the monster that they’ll be fighting might be a bird-type monster. Nanami wanted Akito to not go and fight with them, but ofc Akito insists. They then face the bird boss monster but to the team’s surprise, the boss is actually controlling a big flock of birds so Akito’s like HOLY–I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS ??!!! Nonetheless, Akito was able to think of a way to fight boss monster by blocking the mineral’s light–which is the source of light of all the small birds–, and with their teamwork, they are able to beat the boss bird monster. With the monster at the mineral harvest site gone, the townspeople are able to make stuff out of the mineral and Nanami’s team are able to obtain mineral weapons.

Now that all three items are obtained, the twelve heroes proceed to the dragon’s lair to face the ultimate boss and rescue Sorata. After Nanami and Itsuki find Sorata though, Sorata explained that the dragon is not an enemy, but is actually Aine, the last living being from the dragon clan. 800 years ago, she was accidentally cursed by a magic stone and gone berserk. The items that each party collected were actually used by the legendary hero from 800 years ago to protect Aine and the people. The magic key of Koharu’s group, which can read the emotions of living beings, is the item that can detect and find where the magic stone is. The summoned beast of the wind, which made a contract with Mikoto, is the being that the legendary hero from 800 years ago used to seal Aine. The mineral weapon that Nanami’s team got is the only weapon that can destroy the cursed stone on the dragon’s chest.

After the group destroyed the cursed stone, Aine went back to normal, Sorata is rescued, and the whole country is saved from the dragon. The king then holds a party in recognition for the twelve heroes.

Meanwhile, Sorata writes a book about the adventures of the twelve heroes, and the title is “Legend of Norn.”

Cantabile

Another story that happened while the Norn people are still at Norn. Because of hentai Setsu’s doing, the girls turn into chibi again, so Itsuki brings everyone into the dream world to find a way to bring them back to normal. Each group faces a challenge again, this time, in the form of mini games. The mini games are very easy, so there’s no problem in getting an S rank in all difficulties. Whatever the case, there’s no trophy that involves clearing all mini games with a high rank, so it doesn’t really matter. 

Thoughts

The Memoria stories are crap. As an FD, I think the Memoria Extra stories should be the main focus of the game but they are very short and unsatisfactory that they live up to their scenario name, EXTRA. I also heard that the writer is different in this game so the change in writing style was very obvious right in the Memoria prologue, where it feels that they were trying too hard to make the characters act and talk like their character. Okay, I know it’s the prologue and they must have thought that there is a need to show the player how each character is different, but come on, this is already the third Norn9 game and we already know everyone very well.

There are also little plot holes in some Memoria scenes, especially when it comes to Natsuhiko. In the Memoria Team scenario, it’s really weird that every one is so chummy with the the attacker Natsuhiko, especially since this happens in Var Commons chapter 1. Isn’t Mikoto supposed to hate Natsuhiko during this time? Another one is in the School scenarios. We all know from Var Commons and Last Era that Senri can deal with Natsuhiko, and can even outsmart him. So why is Senri so afraid of Natsuhiko in the School scenarios? I think it would be better if, despite Natsuhiko being a really strict teacher, Senri can still outsmart and talk back to him in Norn Academy.

Nontheless, if the Memoria Extra scenarios aren’t enough, there’s still the short stories. Some short stories are good (i.e. Ron’s and Akito’s). Each also has a CG, though it really sucks that these short story CGs have *gasp* EYELESS HEROINES!! Hey Norn9, are you pulling off a Voltage stunt now? ;;;

The Cantabile story… is even worse than Memoria. I’m pretty sure that the writers didn’t know what they were doing when they wrote Cantabile, and just shoved in any story that might fit with their mini games. But really, if they were able to make it work out in Last Era, why can’t they do it again it again in Act Tune? Oh right, different writers.

Despite all the failures in the Memoria though, Act Tune tries to make up for everything in Legend of Norn. Because Legend of Norn is unexpectedly really good. The flow of the story is really interesting and I say that Legend of Norn is the best thing about Act Tune. I won’t be surprised if Otomate makes a standalone Legend of Norn game! (make it a real RPG please!) ww

Overall, I’m not surprised at why most consider Norn9 Act Tune as a kusogame. Really, they could’ve ended everything in Last Era because this ending is already nice. But I’m still glad that there’s Act Tune and I honestly enjoyed the game. Seeing all the Norn9 characters again made me happy, and the Akito x Nanami wedding is OTP goals ;;w;; (Although I wish they could have shown Akito and Nanami having a baby too, because Kakeru x Koharu and Natsuhiko x Mikoto had child ends!!).

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So, is there a chance for a fourth Norn9 game? I doubt it, but knowing that Act Tune gave us this, then there might be a chance……

(and if they do, expect that I’ll be playing it too! ww)

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