CW: Rape, torture, dismemberment, necrophilia, murder, violence, bestiality, pedophilia, and all around extreme gore and sexual violence. I can not even begin to list every potential trigger in this game. If you have no triggers, you will after reading Maggot Baits. The content of this game will be described in detail in the text of this review.
So, I know a lot of you have been looking forward to this one. It’s been almost four years since I posted my review of Euphoria. It’s kinda strange to think that of every review I’ve written, that one was the one that blew up the most. It’s fucking insane how much traffic this review brought in compared to everything else I’ve written. I think it’s the closest that Guardian Acorn has come to going viral, and it’s weird to think that it’s about a game like Euphoria. Four years later, and I’m still stunned that a game like Euphoria exists. Something so brutal and potentially traumatizing yet also beautiful. I’ve written over 20,000 words about it on this blog and it still does not feel like I’ve done it justice, yet at the same, I’m so hesitant to recommend it.
Given the significance that Euphoria held to both me personally, and the growth of this blog, it only felt right that I cover Clockup’s spiritual successor as my 200th game review. You know, there was part of me that was worried that Maggot Baits wouldn’t live up to my expectations. After all, nothing has really come close to the WOW factor that Euphoria had on me. While I do still prefer Euphoria overall, I must say, Maggot Baits comes pretty damn close. However, the same warning as Euphoria stands. Maggot Baits is absolutely FUCKED!!!!
Actually no, that’s nowhere near enough to sum things up. I started out my review of Euphoria by pointing out how potentially psychologically damaging this could be to anyone who plays it. Maggot Baits is not only more disturbing than Euphoria, it’s A LOT more! let me put it this way; Euphoria actually had to have a lot of violent and grotesque content removed in order to get it approved by a ratings board. Euphoria… was the result of Clockup holding back. That’s right, you fuckers thought Euphoria was as horrifying as hentai got, but it gets so much more sadistic, depraved, and outright traumatizing. For Maggot Baits, Clockup just went to a different ratings board that wasn’t as restrictive towards violence. Maggot Baits is what was created when Clockup is no longer held back.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this because I dislike Maggot Baits. Quite the opposite in fact. It’s just a matter of how much you’re willing to put up with for an amazing story. Given that there are likely plenty of amazing stories out there that don’t risk traumatizing you, it comes down to whether or not you are looking for something as dark, horrifying, and depraved as this game. Those that actively seek out the kind of stuff that will push them to their limits and that depict the side of life that most of us ignore will love this game, but to everyone else, proceed with serious caution.
You need to be a special level of desensitized to get through this game. It’s not enough to say “oh I made it through Euphoria, I’ll make it through this.” If Euphoria was so intense that you couldn’t play it for more than an hour at a time because it was just that scarring, don’t even entertain the thought of playing Maggot Baits. Otherwise, I have a test for you to determine if you can make it through this game.
Go onto Youtube and type “[ Maggot Baits ] Alison-Chan Roulette Torture ( Gore )” into the search bar, then click on the first video. See if you can make it through the whole scene without stopping the video. If you can’t do that, then this game will fuck you up. I say this because the scene in question is one of the tamer scenes in the game.
For those that are too scared to look it up, don’t play this game for one, but I’ll also describe the scene in question. Picture a crowd of rich assholes crowded around a young girl strapped to a table. One of those roulette wheels from the casinos is set up, and each spot is labeled with a different body part. In order, the body parts the roulette selects are her left ear, right leg, left breast, and her right eye. All four of these body parts art then removed from the girl’s body in graphic detail, each complete with her horrific screams and cries. And when I say “graphic detail,” I mean in both the text AND the artwork.
For those of you who just want to know what kind of fucked up shit happens in this game, but know they can’t handle the game’s actual content, here are some brief summaries of the most horrific scenes. Just don’t read this list while eating.
- After being raped, a girl gets her stomach carved open and has her intestines pulled out and stuffed into her mouth.
- A woman gets fucked by a pig.
- A woman has a torture device stuffed inside her vagina that tears open a hole so wide, you can’t tell where her vagina ends and her asshole begins.
- A graphic scene of mass rape and mutilation that involves more than one woman’s breasts and limbs being torn off, having holes carved into them that are fucked, and one of them either eats a woman’s eyeball or crushes it in their hands. Yes, I know, you’d think I’d remember but this game just throws so much fucked up shit at you.
- A woman gets kidnapped, and when she has no way of escaping, resorts to saying that she’ll sexually please her kidnappers in an attempt to get them to spare her life. Her kidnappers are also necrophiliacs, so she has to offer less resistance than a corpse would and pretend she likes it, or else they’ll kill her.
- Maggot larvae (“Maggots” in the context of this game are revolting tentacle demons that rape women) crawl into every orifice on a woman’s body and crawl around inside her. At one point, they almost cause her eye to pop out.
- A woman literally gets fucked in the head to the point that her intelligence is reverted to that of a 3 year old.
- A woman is fucked after having all four limbs cut off.
- A woman has a demon baby pulled out of her womb by hand and is then impregnated with another demon baby to replace it.
- A woman is burnt alive inside a brazen bull. Most of the cast are immortal and can’t die, including the woman in this scene.
- A woman is crushed by a steam roller and you see her blood and guts get squeezed out of her.
I warned you.
These grotesque torture scenes are intended for two types of people. The first of those are people who are looking for material that will push them to their limits. The types of people who go into these games to see something they’ve never seen before. That was the key reason that I went into Euphoria to begin with, and it definitely applies why I went into Maggot Baits.
The second group of people that this game can appeal to is fetishists, particularly guro fetishists or sadists. I’ve recently discovered that I fit into the former category. Guro is one of those fetishes that, as far as I know, only exists in people suffering from some sort of childhood trauma, which is why I’m firmly against the moralistic puritanism in leftist circles. That being said, even I have my limits when it comes to guro. For me at least, it’s not just about throwing blood and guts all over the place. Instead, it’s more about the contrast between something horrifying and something beautiful. I often find that a lot of guro artists think that throwing blood and guts all over the place will make something erotic to guro fetishists, with a similar logic to those that think giving a woman giant tits and a small waistline will make something erotic to normie cishet men and lesbians.
As was the case with Euphoria, Maggot Bait’s sex scenes are poorly written and often grotesque. While Maggot Baits was better than Euphoria at occasionally invoking sexual arousal, the majority of scenes just did nothing for me and have the same problem as a ton of other eroge I’ve reviewed in that the description is repetitive and mind numbing. I want to make it clear that Maggot Bait’s story is an absolute masterpiece of writing talent, and it hit me on a number of emotional levels, but Jesus fucking Christ does that not show during the sex scenes. I must have seen a variation of “this once mighty and ferocious warrior has been reduced to nothing more than a squealing, perverted pig” at least twenty times in this game. I’m kinda kicking myself for not keeping count, because it’s so fucking absurd.
The biggest exception to this seems to occur in scenes of outright torture, where the description is every bit as gruesome as the accompanying visuals and sounds. I assume that there was significantly more effort put into these scenes because they actually lend themselves to the story. These gruesome moments of carnage and depravity convey an overwhelming sense of fear and dread. Despite the intensity of these scenes, I could not look away from the screen because I kept wanting to see what happened next, and the most disturbing scenes were when the torture was emphasized rather than the porn.
Despite how fucked this game was, they really dropped the ball in regards to the titular maggots. The game tells you that they are these, disgusting, revolting creatures that are a key plot point, yet the scenes involving them are among the least interesting in the game. The reason that they end up as uninteresting as they are is because whenever they become part of the plot, this game suddenly remembers that it’s a hentai game. And believe me, I’m not one of those people that thinks a game can’t have both a good story and some smut, but Maggot Baits just isn’t very good at it.
The most egregious example of this has to be the “Welcome to the Monkey House” route, which completely abandons any semblance of plot in favor of the type of idiotic nonsense that’s normally reserved for something like Starless. To be fair, the content of this route is not as scarring as Starless with exception for the pig fucking scene, but they are just as dumb. You have this route where the main character is dead and the rest of the remaining cast is at the mercy of the main villain. This route could have amped up the horror factor to an even more absurd height, but instead, they decide to just graft giant dicks onto all the women and have them fuck each other.
While I applaud this obvious attempt at pandering to my tastes, it’s kind of a mood killer to constantly see the phrase “male genitalia” thrown around, despite the fact that the genitalia in question is clearly attached to women in this context. I get that this was inevitable in the original Japanese script given that it was 2015 and all, but this is the kind of shit that localization exists for. It’s not like changing this specific phrase will alter the plot in any specific way. Hell, you’d get a major boost in exposure when The Quartering makes the inevitable “Sadist rape hentai goes WOKE???” video? I can guarantee that making the overall experience better for trans people will offset the performative backlash stages by people who had no interest in it to begin with. If Jast USA can get away with shoehorning dated memes into their and still profit, I’m sure that you guys can manage as well.
Another problem with this route is the obvious plot hole that grafting giant dicks that cum buckets every two seconds onto witches that literally get their power from semen. I swear, no fucks were given on this route, and I can’t tell if it’s better or worse than how Euphoria handled its boring ass sex scenes. While the pacing is far better on the two serious routes, it effectively makes the Monkey House route worthless. The plus side is that it is entirely skippable, and you only need to read through the Red Harvest route to access the Ashes and Diamonds route.
It needs to be emphasized that Maggot Bait’s extreme content is the biggest barrier it has to accessibility. But at the same time, that’s also what makes it special. With exception to the Monkey House route, the content is so intense because of the amazing writing at work. This story is very much worth reading for those that can stomach this kind of content. Maggot Baits is far more than just mindless torture porn, and there is a lot to unpack regarding its story and characters.
Maggot Baits takes place in Kantou, Pandemonium, a ghost town inhabited by all manner of criminals and is the host to constant murder, rape, and bloodshed, so much so that the government has given up on policing it. The city is a horrific war zone where it’s every person for themselves, and where the horrific atrocities of the outside world are everyday occurrences. On top of this, the area is host to immortal, destructive beings called disaster witches, who frequently leave destruction in their wake.
The game stars Shougo Tsunuga, an ex-cop who returns to Kantou seven years after failing to stop a massacre that lead to the city’s degradation. Over the course of the game, he teams up with many of the disaster witches to take on the cabal of criminals responsible for the incident seven years ago, and who participate in the subjugation, rape, and torture of the disaster witches in retaliation. Over the course of the game, you learn the truth about the incident that took place seven years ago, just what the disaster witches are, and how they all tie together.
Not only is the story intense and compelling, but the writing is also incredibly deep, enough that I plan to write an essay about this one as well. I mean, what choice do I have? Every time I write something like this, I can just imagine someone laughing their asses off in background. But I’m serious, games like Euphoria and Maggot Baits have vastly more emotional depth than any mainstream AAA games or blockbuster Hollywood movies. Part of me wants to say that these writers should not be stuck working on sadist rape hentai, but there’s also part of me that thinks these games work precisely because these writers know what type of game they are making.
That’s the biggest contradiction with these games, that both of them simultaneously indulge in what they critique. Similarly to that of Euphoria, Maggot Baits is loaded with feminist symbolism and commentary. In fact, it’s even less subtle about it than Euphoria was. The game even directly paraphrase’s one of Andrea Dworkin’s most infamous quotes. You know, the one about how under patriarchy, every woman’s fear is to be raped and abused. Of course, the disaster witches are a stand in for women as a whole in Maggot Baits, a choice which is hardly subtle given the feminist connotation that witches have. That one torture scene I referenced earlier in the game even directly states that the event is a modern day witch hunt. Honestly, I can go on for hours about the feminist subtext of this game, but I’ll save that for the inevitable analysis I have planned further on down the line.
That is not to say that Maggot Baits is intended as a feminist commentary, In fact, there’s a wide variety of themes touched upon in this game. One significant example is our protagonist Shougo Tsunuga, who is intended to be a depressingly realistic take on a typical action hero in fiction. He goes into the police force due to a combination of a propensity of violence, and a naive, childish faith that good will always prevail over evil. His entire worldview and reason for living is shattered after he becomes the sole survivor of horrific massacre in which several women were violently raped, dismembered and killed, and that killed Tsunuga’s entire squad. After waking from a five year coma caused by his wounds, he becomes cynical and jaded, and is focused solely on putting an end to the organization behind the massacre by any means necessary.
Tsunuga’s character arc represents the inherent contradiction in a society that glorifies violence while also criminalizing it, and also serves as a more realistic and thus more morbid example of what the violent action hero would look like in real life. In order to achieve his goal, he becomes a jaded asshole who treats his allies like pawns, and even puts them in danger in a few situations. This interpretation is also emphasized with the game’s title theme, “Tomorrow Never Comes.” The track sounds like theme to an intense action movie, which is probably because it was originally intended for the Justin Timberlake film Time’s Up. It also sounds like something by Linkin Park, which is fitting considering the amount of edge in this game.
There’s also a great deal of religious symbolism involved, particularly the type of symbolism that is very critical of Christianity. The character of Valentinos, is a self described servant of God who believes that God’s will is to enact violence and genocide on all that do not follow his teachings. What’s especially compelling about his character is not only the stylistic flair he his given in his dialogue and voice acting, but that he’s able to back up his twisted logic with scripture, and that he comes across as someone who genuinely believes in the fucked up shit he’s preaching. If it weren’t for the fact that this game is very anti-christian in a variety of different ways, I’d actually recommend this to this to Christians due to how heavily this game leans upon Christian mythology. One particular moment that stuck out was when Jesus’s crucifixion was described in grotesque detail in a way that drew attention to how barbaric of a practice it was, and when described in that way, it fit right in with the type of horrific torture depicted in this game.
It’s really amazing just how much personality every character in this story is, and how fascinating their backstories and motivations are. Everything from the romance between Tsunuga and Carol, to Alison’s naive desire to be a hero, to Sandy’s motivation in aiding the villains being rooted in her fear of oppression, and even the main villain who seeks to endure a greater collective torment than that of Jesus in order to save humanity from itself by removing their ability to sin entirely. There’s just so much I could discuss that the idea of writing about all of them is tiring.
The presentation is equally astounding, with some incredibly talented artists and illustrators on board. Half the reason so many of the H-scenes are so disturbing is because of the artist’s ability to convey pain and horror through art. And while I may not have been fond of the writing in the sex scenes, the character designs are all spot on. Oh, and there is actually an in-universe reason the witches all have ridiculous outfit, and it’s not even contrived! The only downside to the artwork is that there were a handful of backgrounds re-used from Euphoria, which kinda took me out of the mood.
As for the audio, I need to give serious props to the voice actors. Those scenes were so convincing because the amazing voice performance that these VAs showed. One of them was actually so convincing that they had the cops called on them in a recording session. The same also goes with the sound effects, which are also quite effective in every scene. As for the music, I am a bit disappointed that there was only one original composition, but the music selection was quite effective, and it’s hard to imagine some of these scenes with any other tracks.
I ended my review of Euphoria with perhaps the most powerful words that I will ever write in a game review. I said that it’s more appropriate to compare Euphoria to life itself than any other work of fiction. I said that as someone who suffers from frequent suicidal ideation and depression, and often struggles to find a reason to go on. I decided to end my review that way because there was no possible way that I could end it like a normal review. I don’t feel like I can end this review normally either.
I consider Maggot Baits to be one of the best visual novels that I’ve ever read, and I am glad I was able to cover it. And yes, I plan to also cover Clockup’s other dark eroge like Fraternite, Natsu no Kusari, and Erewhon if they get localized. And like I’ve been saying this entire time, proceed with caution on this one. The nature of this game ensures that it can never be anything more than a niche title, but it’s not always about how many people it appeals to. Sometimes, it’s about having a strong effect on a small amount of people, and if nothing I said has swayed you from playing this game, there’s probably a reason for that.
If you would like to support me or this site, then please support my Patreon if you would like to see higher quality content with more resources to put towards it. If you don’t want to spend any money on me, then you can also help out by simply sharing my blog on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, or anywhere else where others will see it. You can also follow this blog if you would like to be kept up to date on my stuff, or you could follow me on any of my social media pages (listed at the bottom of the page) and could stop by The Guardian Acorn Discord chat if you would like to talk to me and my homies.