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Amazing VGM: Appetite (Starless: Nymphomaniac’s Paradise)

TW: Mention of Rape. Don’t worry, next Amazing VGM won’t be based on a hardcore hentai title.

Well, I’m sure no one would have expected this coming from me. Yes, I stand by every word of what I said of my Starless review. Starless was not only the worst gaming experience I ever had, but it was also one of the worst life experiences I have had in general. I don’t want to go too much more into it as I’ve already said enough before, and because this is a positive article here.

This specific song… is the complete opposite of what Starless represents, and it is almost symbolic in a way. Starless, is basically meant to be a black hole of pure evil that nothing escapes from, and surprisingly, I don’t just mean that as a way of insulting the game. Plot wise, this game is basically what amounts to people being forced through sexual slavery to the point where two weeks will feel like years. Any light of positivity becomes tainted as the game turns it into something sick and unpleasant.

The act of sex itself probably suffers the most. Sex is a natural thing between human beings, and is often done as an expression of love; yet in Starless, it is only used as a means of entertaining sick and disgusting people while destroying the lives of others. This can be seen most with Mitarai’s portrayal.

Her implementation into the plot was one of the most forced and manipulatively depressing things in the game. They specifically had the key aspect of her character being that she gets corrupted and driven insane, and trying to make you feel bad for her compared to Sawatari. “Oh what Sawatari? You just came to this job so you can get money for a car? Guess what though, Mitarai came because she needed the money to pay for her brother’s operation so he doesn’t die! Doesn’t that make you feel like a petty materialist, at least you get money in the end, and she gets nothing!”

So where does this song come in, one may ask? The specific instance that this song plays is during the few consensual sex scenes in the game that are done out of remote intimacy. Specifically, the first scene this song plays in occurs after a brutal gang rape scene where Mitarai was forced to have sex with all four members of the game’s male cast, and where *description has been removed for your safety.* As a result, Mitarai is trying desperately to wash herself off and force the semen out of her vagina to avoid pregnancy in a rather pathetic display. While in the process of doing so she somehow gets horny and actually starts masturbating on her own while doing so, which leads to her having actual consensual sex in order to remove the remaining semen. (Yes there is actually something done that gets it out that makes sense, but it is rather disgusting so I’ll spare you).

Starless | Mitarai
Well uhh, she’s kinda cute I guess so… that’s a plus???

Despite the shitty writing here, it does portray what was legitimately attempting to be a tender moment between the two, and this song starts up during this scene. The scene itself, was one of the few I didn’t skip simply because of the music alone grabbed me.

This song represents the small glimmer of hope in a bad situation. When I first heard this in game, I thought, if only for a moment, that this game may attempt something of substance… which was quickly dashed because that was actually when the game really started to go to hell, but I will say that, as much as I despise the game it originated from, this song would not fit nearly as much if it was from a game that wasn’t entirely made out of nightmarish fetish fuel. This song feels so ethereal and spacey. It makes one feel like you are now outside of the earthly realm, and are weightless. All that exists is you and your lover, and you both feel each others embrace. The harsh and cruel world outside cannot hurt you here, even if it is only for a moment.

From a compositions standpoint it is interesting how the first few notes start off key, as if to create a better contrast between the rest of the game and the moments where this plays. That “spacey” sounding synth also helps this song further invoke the otherworldly sound that this track has. And that piano melody is simultaneously elegant and graceful while maintaining just the right level of presence that it does not sound too soft or too abrasiveness. It does not feel like I’m listening to a normal song when I hear this, it instead sounds… heavenly. Kinda fitting considering this is a remix of the track “Heaven’s Gate” that plays in the the intro, which is another breathtaking track feeling out of place in the soundtrack of this horrific game… okay that probably applies to the entire OST. Yeah, I don’t think I can use a better word for this. It really is one of the best video game songs I have ever heard.

So yeah, despite the fact that I wish I never played this game, at least this song was pretty good and has an emotional pull to it. Does it make the game worth it? Fuck no, but at least it’s one thing that can be salvaged, and it is always good to look on the positive side of things, the golden flower inside every Pandora’s box, and that is ultimately the way of getting through times of adversity.

Note: This article was originally put up as a DeviantArt journal entry on November 7th of 2015 shortly after I finished the game. At the time, I found its content so sickening and deplorable that It gave me serious mental trauma that left me in a depressed and nervous state for multiple days afterwards, and it took me months to fully get over it. I originally had a hastily written review that read more like I was outing an abuser than reviewing a game, but that review has since been taken down after I re-reviewed the game a year later in greater detail and with a clearer mind. I still think Starless is a bad game, but at this point in now, that’s all I see it as, and I can even appreciate some of the finer parts of it. I also needed to add some extra text since the original piece did not talk about how the song sounded.

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11 thoughts on “Amazing VGM: Appetite (Starless: Nymphomaniac’s Paradise)

    1. I take it you didn’t read the part about me not liking the game, or my review for that matter. lol it’s okay. If I am to play another Sei Shoujo title, it will likely be Bible Black since it is the most tame of his works in English, from what I could find. It would have to seriously impress me to get me to check out Discipline or Closed Game though.

      1. Sorry to hear the game traumatized you so badly. I really liked the game personally and think it’s one of the best games I’ll ever experience but having said that I played and completed the game over a period of months. I understand you completed most of it in a period of two days (ouch!). Unless you’re a hardcore sadist or masochist I wouldn’t recommenced a rushed play-through like that as you do need time to process the game emotionally.

        This game does have the ability to eat people that think they have something to prove for breakfast so if you’re going to be spending time staring into the abyss please be advised to take some eye strain breaks when you feel like you need them.

        I did play Bible Black, Discipline and Heartwork before playing Starless so that kind of helped prepare me for the experience and for the most part once I finished my business on an H-scene I quit the game for that day. In that respect the extra long H-scenes and pacing of the game kind of encouraged me to take a break from the game which helped me get through it. I do have mixed feelings about the game but I’m glad I played it. Kind of reminds me of Drakengard 3 in that respect.

        1. Yeah, choosing this game as my 2nd eroge was not one of my smarter decisions. Over time, I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of finer points to the game, and there is some interesting subtext, and I can tell there was some serious passion put into this when compared to a number of poorly written hentai games that just try to cram as much fucked up fetishes into the game as possible. In regards to being broken by the game, I should note that Euphoria was just as fucked up content wise, and I absolutely adored that game.

          I think the two games are comparable in what they try to accomplish, IE erotic stories that blurs the line between pornography and psychological horror. Both of them have a lot of subtext and deeper themes upon a closer look, and both were highly ambitious projects. What separate them to me, however, is that the characters were uninteresting to me, and the story has some serious pacing issues, which means the game shifts between being boring and being horrifying. I admit, that I likely would not be as traumatized if I played it today as I was back then, simply because I’ve gotten older and more resilient. But I probably wouldn’t have a positive opinion either. But for what it’s worth, I can see why others enjoy it.

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