Foreword: I’ll be honest: this game was the most hyped for me this month, and possibly even the entire year. I held so much expectations from its previous titles, and I was just twisting in agony of what was to happen after the first two parts.
MFW This game
Well my dear friends, you have the finale of the trilogy and the end to the title “Ley Line”. The one thing I really appreciate about Unisonshift Blossom and this game is that they know when to stop, unlike other companies who try to milk out as much money from sequels and fandiscs as humanly possible. There will be no other games relating to this series from Unisonshift, but I’m looking forward to their other games, which have a great setting of their own.
Finished in a single day, this short game delivers a promising and definitive conclusion to the end of the series. Let’s see if they did it effectively, yes?
Just a fair warning, however, that to effectively deliver my point, I will have to include some minor spoilers. Sorry guys :|
(I’ll try to be as conservative, though)
Title: 時計仕掛けのレイライン －朝霧に散る花－(Tokijikake no Ley Line -Asagiri ni Chiru Hana-) [Lit. Trans: The Clockwork of Leyline – The Flower that Wilts in the Morning Fog-]
Producers: Unisonshift Blossom
Release Date: January 30, 2015
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v16212
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=831780
Game Type: Sci-fi mystery novel
Summary: The mystery is solved, and the Special Task Force group has finally defeated the Evil of the school… maybe…? Well, the problem is that the events from 20 years ago is still not solved, and the German guests from the 2nd title are still staying over for some reason. In addition to the real Michiru (who is currently recovering from using a large amount of magic) still frail, Mitsuyoshi (the protagonist) is really at a loss to what to do.
Otherwise, it’s just a peaceful day without troubles… until there’s some rumors regarding an artifact (Myst) in the infirmary room. However, the team soon realizes that this was just a trap set by Futahi, the cunning Homunculus Headmaster. The team soon find out that the Headmaster has not given up on reviving the “Students of the Night” and will go through anything possible to do so.
Just what happened 20 years ago? Who is the mastermind behind this? Working together, the truth behind the tragic story is slowly revealed… which started out with a simple “Hello”.
By this character, who’s supposed to be an important character, but gets the least amount of screentime
Story Length: Short (10 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Slightly Difficult.
Comments: As with other titles, the difficulty doesn’t stem from multiple routes, but the fact that the game asks you “questions” which you answer with what you think happened. At the end of the game, there is a “scoring” section where you are given a rank depending on how well you answered questions. For the first two games, I received SSS and SS ranks respectively, but for this game, I got just a plain “A” rank, which suggests that either I forgot most of the plot from the previous games or was a little dull when answering these questions.
If you don’t want to bother, feel free to use a walkthrough or just save-and-reload. You are given a humorous CG corresponding to your rank.
SSSS-rank quality CG right here
Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 8/10
Protagonist Rating: 8/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 8/10
Rating Comments: Quite the decent game, except perhaps I may have been a bit TOO hyped for it. The beginning starts out powerful as with many other games, but loses its inertia throughout the middle and finally resorts to a semi-deus-ex-machina plot at the end. It still receives some higher scores, however, since it references events and scenes from the previous two titles, which are always a plus when you have a series like this one. Episodic atmosphere was also greatly appreciated.
Character design falls due to the seemingly lack of planning with the new characters and the relationships between them. This includes the relationship of the character “Andre” and Mitsuyoshi, which really came out of the blue and wasn’t hinted at all in the beginning scenes or even in previous games.
On the other hand, story was amazing. Sure, there was your semi-deus-ex-machina in the climax scenes, but the conclusion is greatly satisfying and worthwhile. Including the “afterstory” (which is included in the Gate of Dreams Another Story) with Ushio, you can definitely see the producer’s intent to let this game be a finisher, so this was a big plus.
Protagonist regains most of the score in this game with him being in more action relative to the other characters. It’s also him in the finale scenes when he learns of his own identity, and his own powers that bring the true finale of the game.
Character Summary: Let’s try to get some character summaries in! I’ll just pick and choose the most important characters to the story, in addition to the ones I haven’t discussed yet.
Obviously, first is Michiru/Mitsuyoshi. These two siblings (with the former being absolutely freaking adorable) are related by blood and are very close. They have similar tastes–both of them love spicy things. Even Shizuka becomes fearful of the little frail girl who wolfs down Habanero Sauce like it was nothing. Their relationship seems to even incite Ushio, who is obviously affectionate for our protagonist, to the point she genuinely questions if their affection for each other is “greater than that of siblings” at one point.
In fact, it is shown multiple times that Michiru and Mitsuyoshi can contact by a semi-telepathic method: As a comical scene, Mitsuyoshi would call for Michiru in his mind, with Ushio watching him. Obviously, the two characters do not expect anything, but just as they’re about to give up, Michiru uses the Janus’s key, pops her head out the door and asks if Mitsuyoshi called her.
Like this (OMGMICHIRUSOCUTEGAHHHHHHH)
Regardless, it’s true that they both lost their parents in the fire, and neither of them really understands what happened that night. However, with the work they’re placing into solving the mystery of the school 20 years ago, they slowly find out more about themselves, and what really happened to their own family. It might even be connected with the events of the school. They also learn about their own relationship, and despite what they did to each other, they’re still blood-related siblings that love each other very much.
Right, next is Ushio, and it’s really surprising that even as the central character, she didn’t shine as she did in the previous titles. She does play a role in this finale game as well, except it’s not quite well-explained, and is even more of a deus-ex-machina than Michiru’s true identity being revealed. However, it is true that it’s due to Ushio’s actions that the group gets saved multiple times. Mitsuyoshi actually gets some bonus points from this due to the fact that he realizes what Ushio did (perhaps even the readers can figure it out before I did!).
Ushio is primarily used as a comical character outside of this role, as she is always flabbergasted with Mitsuyoshi around, or acting in extreme jealousy when he’s around another girl. The poor girl is actually the victim of “perverted dreams” which is displayed in the “Gate of Dreams Another Story”, and bashes her own anger/jealousy from these dreams at the unknowing Mitsuyoshi, who is always wondering what the heck just happened.
Omaru/Mutsuki is next. The reason why I pair these two is that if you’ve played the second title, they are alternate identities in the previous titles, except for the fact that Omaru was predominant over Mutsuki, whom Omaru was “occupying”. This made it so that even during the day, Omaru would be himself instead of turning into Mutsuki. It is suggested that the reason for this exception is due to him being “special”. It’s hinted in the second title but never really explicitly stated.
Regardless, the two are similar in personality, in addition to the fact that Mutsuki herself is what we normally call a “Tennen”, or someone who is oblivious to many things. This allows her to make some relatively blunt remarks and trouble the rest of the group.
Mutsuki was even less predominant in the main story than Ushio, only seeming to be a comical character as well as one of the candidates for H-scenes in the “Gate of Dreams”. She works hard within the Special Task Force, but is rarely of any help.
Regarding Omaru, he does come back in some of the scenes, which makes it relatively interesting since it’s only Mitsuyoshi’s “soul” being overriden by a Myst. In the ending scenes, Omaru do stand side by side with Mutsuki, which was another design I found to be favorable.
Omaru’s design is further enhanced by his setting of “being 20 years ahead of everyone”. This involves a relationship no one would have been able to predict, even though it was present from the very first moments of the game.
Rito is next, and is shown in all the titles as a quiet librarian also gets some love as the “alternate-what-if” scenario main heroine. Slightly longer than rest of the “Gate of Dreams” story, this explains her as a homunculus herself, who holds role within the school as one of the “seals”, but her meeting with Mitsuyoshi somehow changed this. Relatively unclimactic, but still heartwarming, Rito’s story will be good for people who were demanding her H-scenes from previous titles.
….. aaand that’s it
Speaking of Homunculus, these two also make an appearance.
Sexual Content: None / Low. As strange as it is, there is absolutely no sexual content within the main game. The only sexual content is enclosed within “Another Story” or “Gate of Dreams” where most of the stories (which house the sex scenes) are within a dream. The only exception is Rito’s route, which is effectively a “what-if” scenario, and Ushio’s After-story.
Comments: Well, I pretty much covered as much as I could. If I had to add in some other miscellaneous details, I’d comment that the atmosphere of this third game is very similar to that of the second game; full of mysteries and tense scenes where you don’t know what’s going to happen next. There’s just enough humor to keep things interesting, and while the game DOES saturate the game with its “own logic” (which may be relatively hard to follow and sometimes do not make sense), it didn’t feel anything like “chuunibyou” or other fantasy bullshit that other games incorporate. At least this game tries to explain the mechanics behind their own setting…
and fight scenes are pretty intriguing
All I can say is that if you’ve played the first two titles, there shouldn’t be a reason why you WOULDN’T play this one. I finished it in one day, but I really suggest other players to take your time with it; since you might catch something I haven’t.
Affection for the Characters: High
CG Score: 7/10. Great CG and SDCG, except I really wish there were more of them. I didn’t feel as if there were enough.
So yeah, CGs are pretty well designed (For some STRANGE reason, this reminded me of the series called “the girl who jumped across space” or something like that)
Music Score: 8/10. More tracks and even a stunningly intriguing Opening makes this score very high.
Here’s one of the tracks that I’m using as a “Battle Theme” music.
Addictiveness: Low. In order to really appreciate this title, I’d imagine that you have to play through the first two titles, and that’s pretty tedious, I’d say
Conclusion: A great finale from Unisonshift Blossom! While there are some flaws here and there that could have been fixed, I’m not complaining since I ultimately enjoyed this title. Too bad it’s relatively hard to “come back to”, but I’ll definitely keep my eyes on further Unisonshift Blossom games. I’ve played so many and all of them were at least decent, so I need to follow them from now on!
Good Finale is Good!