When you think of a horror game, you think scary. Not this game. It’s beautiful. The concept, the plot, the characters, the music, the sound production, the colors, etc. Even one of the ghosts is quite fashionable! Okay, I am being overly enthusiastic about the game. The game is good but it’s not cosmetically perfect. Recycled ghosts, cheesy jump scare moments, and frequent wraiths spotting sort of destroyed the horror atmosphere. However, what the game did right is making a horror game feel and look beautiful. I can only imagine those who enjoy this game tend to lean toward their “feminine side,” the emotional side. If I could describe this game in a sentence, it’s feminine all around just like the moon, and like the sea, it tugs and pulls you in.
I am going to confess. I think the order of the story can be confusing. The order of story starts with Misaki and Madoka exploring Rogestu Hall. They were lured to the island by the cause of their friends’ death, believing that the island had something to do with their past. According to the synopsis, 5 girls went missing on the day of the Karuga Rogestu festival which occurred every decade on Rogestu Island. Three out of the five missing girls: Misaki, Madoka, and Ruka went back to the island to solve the mystery that caused their amnesia. While investigating the Rogestu Hall, the girls discovered they were part of an illegal clinical experimentation that attempt to cure the Moonlight Syndrome which caused the people on the island to lose their memories and their sense of self. Their only relief is to head toward the Moon where it gives them some of sort relief (I like how the Moon is used to describe light–a soft light that guides the living because death as we know is presumably and utterly darkness). The incurable disease Moonlight Syndrome caused a mass death on the island which then resulted in the abandonment of the island altogether. But how did this Moonlight Syndrome come about? The answer lies in the Karuga Rogestu ritual dance. In the dance, the maiden wears a mask, acting as a vessel surrounded by five girls called the organs. Each plays a different instrument. Because the mask was not perfect it caused the ritual to fail and the face of the maiden to blossom death. Anyone who sees her dies. If you were to ask me, the story makes more sense if it begins with Detective Choshiro Kirishima, but that would defeat the mystery and suspense parts, and I wouldn’t be able to find joy trying to piece the story together.
When I take a step back and look at the story, what I find so poetic about this concept of this story is the notion that people are made of a tune. Each and everyone have a different tune. When there is no tune or noise–we called it death. Also, the moon is a metaphor for memories that makes up the soul. The Rogestu Karuga ritual also known as the Rite of Descent in ancient times is a spiritual dance where the “living souls meet the dead.” Why perform such a horrific dance? Well, we learned that Rogestu Island is the gateway to Hallow Realm where the dead reside. The dance is meant to ward off the dead from reaching the moon (the living realm). To do that, a ritual is performed by a maiden and girls who have high spiritual potential. They must be in tune with the Moonsong that pacifies the dead back to their graves.
There are more details to the story that I left out, but I believe I got the main point out of the way. The story can be a hit or miss with some folks who prefer a linear story. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the abstract idea and the metaphor: The soul is an orb, a light, the Moon that houses one’s memories. One without a soul becomes void. Hence, blossomed death. This game is pretty abstract like a messy painting but it all seems to come together at the end.
Note: This is just my interpretation of the story. I may update and correct information in this article accordingly.