It is confession time. For all my Type-Moon discussion on the blog there was a distinct hole in my studies of the translated works of Kinoko Nasu in the fact that I had never played Kagetsu Tohya (Ten Nights of the Singing Moon). When I first checked the status of the translation it was incomplete and so playing the game slipped my mind. But I finally got off my duff to play the game for my Type-Moon panel. Kagetsu Tohya is as sequel to their original visual novel Tsukihime but it has a different feel and mechanic to it than the original which is a trend that would carry over to Fate/Hollow Ataraxia as well. Unlike Tsukihime that has 5 different paths than are mostly linear within their own storyline Kagetsu Tohya only has one path but it branches and loops in a variety of ways. It also has quite a bit of side stories and bonus materials that you can unlock as well.
Shiki Tohno has been experiencing some strange days. Recently he finds him self in a bit of a haze as he can’t remember what he has been doing for the last few days. Everyone he meets seems to be slightly confused as he is and claims to have seen him in multiple places at once. While Shiki tries to regain his memories he learns that there has been a rash of murders in town like last year but they seem not to be vampiric in nature. On top of that he learns that he is trapped in a Groundhogs Days style time loop. What does his fuzzy memory, a doppelganger, and endless day, and a mysterious but familiar girl in black all have in common?
After the opening you find yourself stuck in a loop every day. You get to make several choices and if you are killed, trigger certain confrontations, or go to bed the day will end and you will find yourself back at the main screen. You soon learn that while it seems you are making no progress in fact by triggering certain scenes will be given new choices or given different results to old choices that will eventually lead you to a way to break out of your endless nightmare. The main game if played optimally is rather short. By making all the right choices to unlock all the content with a guide it only took two days for me to play through the main storyline. Since you are stuck reliving the same day again and again much of the text can be auto-skipped after a few iterations. The story is about equal the one path in the original game. The main problem is that while you will eventually find the right events to get to the ending it is very possible to miss unlocking content unless you have a guide. So it comes down to a choice of discovering things for yourself or being sure to get everything as it is not that hard to miss some of the side material.
As you play though the main game there are a bunch of side stories you can unlock.The content covers a wide variety of material including canon stories like Red Demon God and Crimson Moon that contain valuable world building side stories, Imogirisou and Hisui-chan, Inversion Impulse! that are mostly gag stories, and Flower of Thanatos which is salacious story involving everyone’s favorite twin maids. There are also some cute little summer festival stories and hidden story if you unlock everything. On top of that there are little daily message screens when you load up the game or go back to the title menu. Apparently there are over 200 of these and contain everything from information about unseen Dead Apostles to who was the first Kohaku cosplayer.
When all is said in done there is a reason this is not called Tsukihime 2. Everything in the game including the main story of Twilight Glass Moon, Fairy Tale Princess feels like a side story. That does not mean that Kagetsu Tohya is superfluous. About half the material from Melty Blood come from here and if does round out many of the characters (unless your name is Yumizuka Satsuki) and the Type-Moon world in general. Also most of the stories are great. The main story is told in an interesting manner and does have some major changes for a few characters. The Tohno Family Con Game was my favorite story with its mixture of humor and sentiment especially for any Kohaku fans. The sex scenes are even a little more wonky than they are normally for Nasu but the translation patch lets you cut them out if you want so you can enjoy the game without those interruptions and the fact that there a not that many naughty scenes all in all in this game. Definitely worth a look especially considering how quickly you play through it if you set your mind to it. My only regret was not playing this sooner.