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Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/31/1999

You are Ranmaru Hibikiya. You've been affected by a mysterious ailment most of your childhood, leaving you perpetually bed-ridden, weak, and prone to seizures. Somehow, you recover enough in your teens to attend a distinguished private school your uncle owns. But your uncle wants you to do more than just study. He wants you to investigate some very strange happenings. It seems the students have been more violent lately, and some have even been strangely ill. You discover that these occurrences are somehow related to certain "incense" being passed around campus. But there's much more to it than meets the eye, and soon you realize that you can trust no one... not even your uncle... and at times not even yourself. If you don't get to the bottom of things, you'll end up as just another dead body...

Divi-Dead is undoubtedly one of the more difficult bishoujo games I've played. For starters, the plot is really deep and complex. The mystery you have to solve seems to consist of fairly ordinary things at first -- student violence, possible drug abuse, etc. As you investigate, you discover that the problem actually stems from supernatural and occult origins. Suddenly it's all about resurrecting gods, making human sacrifices, getting bewitched by "the chant", protecting yourself with "the word"... very, very far from ordinary.

Divi-Dead spins quite a horrific tale and going astray will most definitely cost you your life. But while the story is excellent, the writing leaves a little something to be desired. The dialogues tend to drag, bogging down the overall pacing of the game. This is especially a problem when you re-play. There are four real endings, and getting them is no easy task. There are two major path deviations so you will definitely have to re-play (as painful as it is) if want to see everything CG-wise and plot-wise. Just grit your teeth and press the enter key or the mouse button furiously when you play again -- you'll have to go through a lot of the same lazy dialogues. It stopped being fun when I was trying to get the last two endings. I had to force myself to sit and play, and I actually downloaded Himeya's walkthrough just to get it over with quickly.

On a more positive note, Divi-Dead's production values are very high. From the exquisitely rendered visuals to the fabulous audio aspects (musical scoring, sound effects, voice acting) -- this game is no less than first-rate material. Even the male characters have voices... you don't get that in bishoujo games very often. The sexual content is very explicit -- you see absolutely everything. The English translation of some raunchy dialogues made me laugh. What's up with lines like "You hit the spot, loverman!"? Be prepared for some rather funny porn-esque talk. It provides some form of comic relief to an otherwise deadly serious ambiance. I should mention that there are several outrightly violent and gory scenes as well.

Divi-Dead is altogether a very challenging and worthwhile game. It can get tedious though, and I would recommend it only if: a. you have a lot of patience; or b. you like profound stuff.

Divi-Dead is packed with neat extras which include a CG gallery containing several exclusive artworks aside from the game scenes, a couple of desktop wallpapers, and a sound collection.

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Review Title:
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Approximate Length:
10-30 Hours
Suitable For:
Adults Only
General Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Hentai Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
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