Mark Plays ‘RE: Alistair ++’

Many thanks to Madeleine, who commissioned me to play this game. It’s the very first visual novel style game that I have ever played, so I’m very thankful that I got to experience this.

These videos both have some spoilers about the general framing device, some plot points, and I read a lot of dialogue out loud, but they DO NOT spoil the “answer” at all. (Though the second video contains my prediction for the identity of Alistair. I WON’T SPOIL ABOUT WHETHER I WAS RIGHT OR NOT.)

Part 1

Part 2

This game is adorable, hilarious, and a lot more difficult than I expected. You play as Merui, who struggles with a player named Alistair in her loving RPG game who steals an item she was just about to win. What unfolds is a part mystery, part role-playing. See, not only do you have to figure out which person in Merui’s life is the actual Alistair, but you STILL HAVE TO LIVE MERUI’S LIFE. There are ways to level up parts of Merui’s characterization, you can form relationships with different guys, there are ways to make money, and you can actually purchase things that affect the game’s story. (Which is very crucial to figuring out the big mystery.)

Plus, it’s so well animated!

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 1.35.23 PM

 

Also this happened at some point? Like, I was just talking to a dude and he was basically like WOW WE ARE A GREAT COUPLE. Whoops???

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 2.15.51 PM

This is what the “stats” section looks like:

 

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 2.32.32 PM

Here’s the thing: the passage of time matters. The game keeps track of every day that passes, and you only have 30 days to guess the identity of Alistair. Plus, there are some SUPER DRAMATIC PASSAGES.

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 3.06.00 PM

 

OMG LOOK AT THIS.

I am not going to spoil the end of the game, but I did get this:

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 3.22.58 PM

 

I hope you, too, can eventually figure out who Alistair is. The game lasts anywhere from an hour to two hours max, and I completed it in about 80 minutes.

The game is available for free on Mac and Windows!

 

 

About Mark Does Stuff

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25 Responses to Mark Plays ‘RE: Alistair ++’

  1. Haeralis says:

    VISUAL NOVELS!!!1 VNs are my guilty pleasure, I gotta admit. It's why my first thought upon seeing Mark Plays go up was OH SHIT I HAVE TO SEE IF HE'S OPEN TO VISUAL NOVELS SO I CAN PITCH HATOFUL BOYFRIEND TO HIM. And then I did.

    This looks pretty awesome, so I'll definitely check it out. Thanks, Mark!

  2. caysie renee says:

    I'm pretty sure RE: Alistair++ is the first dating sim I've played (besides maybe Hatoful Boyfriend, surprisingly enough) where I didn't somehow screw up so bad that I got a Bad End the first run. Because believe me, if there is a way mess up and get a bad end, I will unintentionally find it and then probably laugh so hard I cry about it.

    But I'll have to watch the videos and come back with more comment, it's been a while since I've played this game! I do remember finding it super cute. (I, in general, am a sucker for visual novels/dating sims though and could probably go on way past my welcome rambling about them.)

  3. elenuial says:

    I really enjoy visual novels, dating sims, and life sims, bu they are kind of niche, so the places that offer them usually have limited payment options. Since I live in a non-Western country, credit cards are pretty much an impossibility for me, which leaves me out of luck. But this one is free! It's been a while.

  4. curagas says:

    LMAO i'm the one who commissioned this and i'm glad you enjoyed it, Mark!! i think it's one of the better visual novels out there – especially for one that's totally free. i have literally played it like six times, so i guess i'm biased, BUT STILL.

  5. Chrysalisis says:

    Whoa, never even heard of this VN before, I guess I'm gonna have to check it out! :D

    I've read a ton of visual novels. Some of them are awesome, and have intricate plots that really mess with the presentation style to make a very unique reading/playing experience.

    And some of them are bad. Like really, REALLY bad. In fact, a lot of VNs that people hold up as the really good ones often come with caveats – there's usually some horrid sex scene in the middle of the story, and even if you can just skip through it, it's still a bit creepy. And most of the time the scenes don't even make sense in the context of the story – I'm looking at you, Fate/stay night. >=( I mean, I don't have an issue with porn, but when it comes out of nowhere and it's suddenly super graphic and the way it's done comes off as kind of misogynistic… yeah.
    So there are certain VNs I love that I can recommend without thinking twice, like 999 for the DS (which is amaaaaazing), Umineko, Analogue: A Hate Story, Hatoful Boyfriend, Cinders, and a few others.
    And then there are ones that I like a lot, but have a hard time recommending, like anything by Type Moon (Fate/stay night, Tsukihime). And then there's the ones I never recommend to people, like Saya no Uta, because… um. o_o Well, let's just say that as a horror fan I like it, because it did it's job and scared the crap out of me and left me unsettled for days, but it is not for people with weak stomachs… and that's even without considering some of the very questionable scenes in it that probably didn't need to be there. I kind of can and can't believe that the same guy that wrote Madoka Magica wrote it…

    So basically, just be careful about what you read! Any of the VNs people recommend on here are fine. Just wanted to share some personal experience with this medium so that other people getting into it for the first time don't get weirded out like I did at first.

    But I am so going to play this one! I love fluffy little VNs like this. :3

    • sertaki says:

      Fate/Stay Night has actually a very nice storyline, but indeed some of the sex scenes are kinda not needed/very strange. Some have very dumb reaons for happening at all Oo.
      I think the PS2 version of the game has them all replaced by strange dream stuff or the like – or just mod your game to be censored ;)

      • Chrysalisis says:

        Oh, I agree completely about Fate/stay night. I thought it was awesome! Although I did like Fate/Zero a lot more in the end. Vg jnf cebonoyl gur trareny ynpx bs uvtu fpubby xvqf. XD
        I would have had a mod to censor the game if one had been available at the time… :( What I ended up doing was just holding down the skip text key whenever those scenes happened, which was obvious because that one annoying music track would start playing. Most of those scenes are just kind of laughable because they're so badly written, ohg gura gur barf va gur Urnira'f Srry ebhgr… htu, fb perrcl naq zrffrq hc, V qvqa'g jnag gb jngpu.
        And I've heard of the infamous replacement scenes from the PS2 version… fbzrguvat nobhg znan qentbaf naq onq PT qbycuvaf…

        • sertaki says:

          gur trareny ynpx bs uvtu fpubby xvqf va sngr/mreb vf n irel tbbq cbvag. Vg unf npghnyyl terng punenpgref gung ner abg Nepure :Q
          Zna, Nyrknaqre gur Terng jnf n sha thl, naq Xvevgfhth jnf cerggl njrfbzr. V ernq gur abiryf nsgre svavfuvat sngr/fgnl-avtug ohg qvqa'g trg gb jngpuvat gur navzr – v fhccbfr gungf jurer lbh ernyvmr gur ynpx bs uvtu-fpubbyref zbfg.

          OGJ v npghnyyl znantrq gb sbetrg nyy gur gehyl perrcl fghss hagvy lbhe pbzzrag – whfg unq zrzbevrf bs gur zvyqyl perrcl raretl-inzcver frk.
          VAFRPGF TB NJNL!!!!!

          • Chrysalisis says:

            Un, V'z gur bgure jnl nebhaq – V'ir frra gur navzr bs Sngr/Mreb, ohg arire ernq gur obbxf. Vf gur genafyngvba nal tbbq?
            Lbh fubhyq gbgnyyl jngpu gur navzr gubhtu, vg vf gur zbfg rcvp guvat rire. Ernyyl jryy navzngrq svtug fprarf!
            Naq lrnu, fbzr bs gubfr fprarf jvgu gur ohtf naq nyy gur fghss jvgu Fnxhen naq ure fuvggl snzvyl naq hhhhhtu. Sryg tebffrq bhg naq hapbzsbegnoyr sbe n ybg bs gung ebhgr. Ng yrnfg gur raqvat jnf gbgnyyl njrfbzr… zber fgbevrf fubhyq raq jvgu svfg svtugf gb gur qrngu. XD

          • sertaki says:

            vaqrrq gung jnf njrfbzr :Q

  6. adaptation says:

    The one time I played a visual novel-type game, I was a high school history teacher and one of my students blackmailed me into having sex with her.

    I stopped playing visual novels after that.

  7. Passing by says:

    Visual Novels aren't really my thing. I did really enjoy the Ace Attorney series, but those are more point-n-click adventure games.

    Speaking of unintentional relationships in games: Ba zl svefg cynlguebhtu guebhtu Znff Rssrpg, V jnf RAGVERYL nppvqragnyyl syvegvat jvgu Xnvqna. Gur qvnybthr bcgvbaf jurer xvaqn inthr, naq V pnaabg ernq fhogrkg, rira vs vg jnf jevggra va oevtug arba pbybhef. Riraghnyyl, V whfg ebyyrq jvgu vg.

    • BettyTheThird says:

      lol I just KNEW that it was about Xnvqna, same thing happened to me! Though I left him for Yvnen.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Nccneragyl dhvgr n srj snaf pbzcynvarq gung gur bayl jnl gb nibvq ebznapvat Xnvqna (be Nfuyrl vs lbh qb n znyr Furcneq, sernx) vf gb abg gnyx ng nyy, be or n pbzcyrgr wrex.

    • Ninjababe says:

      YBY! Gung'f jung unccravat gb zr abj qhevat zl svefg cynl guebhtu.

  8. BettyTheThird says:

    aw some time during last summer I stumbled upon Hatoful Boyfriend and then had a short but intense dating sim love affair
    of course, none ever reached the brilliance of HB but I thought that RE:Alistair was really, really cute, I think I actually played through it enough times to get all endings, though my first ~bf~ was still my favourite. (computer guy)

    This is as good a time as any to repeat my wish for a Bioware dating sim! Yes, I will demand it until it finally happens!

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      The best comment about Hatoful Boyfriend: "If my parents walked in on me playing this, I would switch to porn. It's easier to explain."

      • BettyTheThird says:

        that sounds…about accurate

        • Mark Does Stuff says:

          I am so terrified of Hatoful Boyfriend.

          • BettyTheThird says:

            and rightfully so!

          • sertaki says:

            haha so Visual Novels terrify you, while zombies are the most awesome thing ever?

            Mark i like the way you think :D

          • sertaki says:

            i just read what hatoful boyfriend is about.

            I am terrified.

          • TDT says:

            with good reason! but I can assure you it all turns out to be worth the terror and bewilderment. (especially if you're enjoying the visual novel medium, it's a really good example.)
            gotta admit, when I saw it on your list of confirmed games I did a little dance in my seat (okay, more like an ungainly full-body flail) from sheer joy. I know you've had to dial back the pace of Mark Plays, but I'm really looking forward to you eventually playing it, if it's still in your plans.

  9. Anon says:

    Mark should play Clannad, or just watch the anime(though he shouldn't record himself doing it unless he want everyone to see him cry THAT hard).

  10. enchantedsleeper says:

    OH MY GOD I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT YOU PLAYED A VISUAL NOVEL AND THAT I ACTUALLY KNOW IT!!!! I just navigated to Mark Plays for the first time in months, thinking, 'I wonder what Mark's been reviewing since the last time I checked this site', and then I scrolled down and saw "Re: Alistair ++"

    Me: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

    I know EXACTLY what I want to commission you to play now. I mean I already had an idea for something, but this has superseded it. Holy crap, I need to commission this NOW. I never even considered that you might play a VN but WHAT A GREAT IDEA! Hnnngh.

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