Starless: Nymphomaniac's Paradise | title screen

Amazing VGM: Memento Mori (Starless: Nymphomaniac’s Paradise)

TW: Mentions of suicide, murder, and the 1%. Thankfully I didn’t describe any of the sexual stuff this time.

I hate this game. I hate it with every fiber of my being, so much so that I don’t even feel like giving a melodramatic speech about how much I hate it (but I proceeded to do so anyway for some reason). Plenty of games have been unfun or annoying, but none have come close to being as much of a sickening black void from which any and all positive emotions are sucked away from you. Disgracing my computer’s disk tray with this horrific disgrace of a game for even 1/16th of a second more than I already have is up there with detransitioning on the list of things I am least likely to ever do.

Yes it’s just a porn game but the images, the sounds, the words… this game is the only thing I’ve played to ever make me legit suicidal and to regret every single life choice of mine. It’s damaged my soul in a way that should NEVER have been possible by a work of entertainment.

Perhaps the most damning thing about it is how it tried so damn hard. This game was in development hell for five years before its Japanese release in 2011 and in localization hell for almost four more. People actually put their time, money, and their labor into creating this. I don’t know whether to hate its director Sei Shojo or to feel sorry for him. I often tend to notice that those with the most sick and depraved sexual fetishes also tend to have the most emotional baggage or trauma. I can only imagine what must have happened to him to think making a game like this is a good idea. I know it was far from just making fap material because there was a genuine attempt at a artistic story here, a genuine attempt to be something deep; and the rest of the team must have thought so to.

Just listen to this, it’s absolutely amazing. Those opening piano notes capture you right from the start. Those strings are elegant and graceful, and that organ creates a stronger feeling of euphoria than any of the sexual content… which isn’t saying much. Everything just harmonizes and comes together so perfectly. This is such an excellently composed and well arranged track.

If I recall correctly, which I may not since I need to mentally block out most of the game to present another break down, this is one of the game’s ending credits themes. I think it may play during the bad endings precisely……dontthinkaboutwhathappeneddon’tthinkaboutwhathappeneddonthinkaboutwhathappeneddontthinkaboutwhathappeneddontthinkaboutwwhathappened……………..

That’s not a joke, that’s actually what I need to do every time I think about this game. I keep expecting every time to be different and to have myself calmly and rationally just explain my points. I mean, you are listening to the track right? This really does sound like something I’d hear from the Baroque or Classical era of music with the exception of the light percussion. Given the fact that this game basically is about college students being sexually tortured by people so rich they can get away with it. Seeing just how ruthless and how there’s such a lack of any humanity or empathy in these rich bastards. And just when I thought the 1% were bad enough as it is.

This track captures not only the tragic events of whatever happens to Sawatari, Mitarai, Sachie, Mikako, and Makoto, but also the tragedy that is the Mamiya’s existence. That’s not even taking into account the name of this track. “Memento Mori” (remember death) is a recurring phrase in many religions. One will notice how many of the tracks on Starless’s OST also have Biblical or mythological titles such as “Heaven’s Gate”, “Blood Sabbath”, “Inquisition”, “Garden of Eden”, “Cogito Ergo Sum”, and “Eli Lema Sabachani.” Hell the game’s intro theme is titled “Fallen Angel.”

“Eli Lema Sabachani” means “my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” and it’s the tile screen music AND plays in the final scenes before the ending credits on the worst endings. They are also the opening words of Psalms 22:2 and were said by Jesus on the cross. In the Japanese script,  the kanji for “ma (間)” in Mamiya is switched with “魔” and it now means “Demon Palace.” Marisa’s pet dog is named Cerberus. Lastly, during the “Escape” ending where Sawatari is killed and has his organs harvested on his last night alive, he says that despite his prayers, he knows that there is no God.

Starless takes place in Hell, and Marie is Satan. I don’t know if Sawatari is supposed to be Jesus or anything (doubtful since Jesus never went to Hell) but it is quite a clever analogy on their part.

Unfortunately all the symbolism in the world will not save a shitty game, both figuratively and literally. If anything, this track is also representative of the tragedy that is the existence of this game. So much thought and effort was put into something this bad. At the very least I am glad there are some people that like this game and who will likely be much more appreciative of the more positive elements, but to me it’s like trying to put band-aids on gunshot wounds. Just like Lucifer himself, nothing will save this game now.

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