Title: The House of Fata Morgana: A Requiem for Innocence
Publisher (Localization): Mangagamer
Platform: Microsoft Windows
Genre: Adventure, Gothic, Mystery
A young girl, whose blood is claimed to have miraculous healing powers, kneels battered and beaten before the lord of the land. In the village where she was born, she was worshiped as the daughter of God. And now, the lord holds his sword high in the air, moments away from beheading her.
“You’re a damned witch wearing a saint’s skin!”
But before he can swing his blade down, a young man interferes, saving the girl.
So begins the first “happy” chapter of the young girl’s life.
And so begins the first act of a tragedy that would come to span nearly a millennium. (Mangagamer)
Mournful that day.When from the ashes shall risea guilty man to be judged.Lord, have mercy on him.Gentle Lord Jesus,grant them eternal rest.Amen.
A Requiem of Innocence is a companion to The House in Fata Morgana, consisting of main episode, sub episodes, gift which includes a backstage segment, and a bonus track after you finish all the stories. It is imperative to finish Fata Morgana before playing Requiem to be able to understand the significance of the stories.
If you wonder what the quote above is about, it is the English translation of the lyrics of “Lacrimosa“, from Mozart’s “Requiem in D Minor”, which plays at the beginning of the main episode. Excellent choice of music, as the lyrics describe the theme of the main episode really well, and probably why this game was titled Requiem.
I will try my best, but I don’t think I’ll be able to talk about this game without giving out some spoilers. Of course, it is best to finish the game before reading this.
Story: I’ll talk first about the main episode, since it is the highlight of the game. This was the part that I had been waiting for the most since I finished Fata Morgana. It tells the story of Jacopo and Morgana, from the time when they first met until the end of Morgana’s life, when she cursed the men who had wronged her. We already knew the first part of the story when Morgana told it in Fata Morgana. However, in the main episode, we get to see the events unfolding, mainly told from Jacopo’s point-of-view. We also see other characters who are not mentioned in Morgana’s story, but still bear some importance. This part of the story has more heartwarming and comedic moments (usually at the expense of Jacopo, our resident butt monkey), which make it all the more heartbreaking when you know how it will end. The interlude tells the story of a particular character. Fata Morgana has Bestia, who is already creepy, but the character whose background is revealed in the interlude is a beast of another kind. Finally, the beginning of the second part completes the puzzle of why and how Jacopo turns into a ruthless lord. The rest of the second part is basically the true history. In Fata Morgana, we have Michel in the thick of things which changes things slightly. The scene in the tower in Requiem, with Jacopo the only witness to Morgana’s end of life, recalls into mind what I thought about the end of the Third Door: It’s too late, Jacopo. You’re too late. Oh, and in the end, when Jacopo figures out what Morgana is about to say in reply to his “I’ll show you the world”? HURTS. SO. DAMN. MUCH. Good job at breaking my heart even further, Novectacle.
The sub episodes have three stories: “Assento Dele”, “Tales Wasted Away in Obscurity”, and “Happily Ever ~After~”. “Assento Dele” tells the story of Imeon and Michel, before Michel meets Giselle. I like the way it is told, which begins with a scene from Michel’s childhood. That’s the first clue that all is not what it seems. This story talks about friendship and dream that will never come true, and I think it’s beautiful. “Tales Wasted Away in Obscurity comprised three short stories: “A Slow-Killing Poison” about the fate of Rhodes family after the events in the First Door from the eyes of Arthur Baldwin, the fiancee of Nellie Rhodes; “Defectives” about Yukimasa’s encounter with a woman who he keep company with for some time; and “The Painting’s Ramblings” about the fate of the Bollinger family after Michel’s death. These short stories do not add much to the overall story, but they do answer some lingering questions. From these three, I like the last the most. Go, Georges! “Happily Ever ~After~” is self-explanatory enough; it tells the story of Michel and Giselle in the modern world! They finally get their happy ending, but gosh, they make me so jealous. It’s fine, though, they deserve it, so I’ll just let them be and wish them all the happiness in the world.
Talking about the backstage segment though, it is chaotic. It’s fun though to see all of them just fooling around and making Jacopo the butt of the joke as usual.
Now finally, the bonus track titled “Fragment”. *inhales deeply* Oh dear, where do I even begin? The main episode is plenty sad, but I already cried out most of my feels when playing Fata Morgana, so I didn’t cry that much, only at certain moments. “Fragment”, though, wrecked me. It turned me into a sobbing mess. I finished it around midnight, which was a mistake, because I ended unable to sleep until dawn because I kept crying. I just have so much feels about these two, okay? And “Fragment” is like the answer to my prayer. No, they do not get their happily ever after, but they can finally face each other honestly. Morgana talking about wanting to learn things from Jacopo as if they have a future together. Jacopo being honest about his feelings. Morgana lamenting their past. Them holding hands. Jacopo saying “I love you”. Morgana calling Jacopo by name. And BAM! A picture of Jacopo and Morgana holding hands in a field of wheat shows up. Then it became the background picture of the game menu. Now every time I open the game, I will always look at that picture. *sobs* You’re so cruel, Novectacle. Now I cannot help but to wish that they can find each other again in the next life and do better this time. Ugh.
In conclusion, I love the main episode, I love “Assento Dele”, but most of all, I love “Fragment”. They are beautifully written and emotionally invoking.
Characters: We know the main players from Fata Morgana, such as Morgana, Jacopo, and Maria, but here we see them in a different light. They have different personalities, and the story helps you to connect their past selves to the current ones in Fata Morgana. Morgana is my most favorite character, followed by Jacopo. So imagine my excitement when I found out there’s going to be a story with them as the focus.
In Fata Morgana, we see Morgana as the cruel witch who has no qualms about making people suffer. However, in Requiem, we see Morgana as a regular girl. Well, she still cannot completely let go of the part of her that is “the saint” though, which is why she can be arrogant at times, but she’s trying to adapt and to be less… judging. She’s more guarded around other people, as expected of someone who has experienced betrayal, but she has no issue quarreling with Jacopo. It’s fun to see their interactions. We get a glimpse of how Morgana may become if she lives a normal life.
Jacopo, on the other hand, turns out to be someone who is actually good at heart. For someone who has been living in the slums for as long as he can remember, it is amazing that he is not jaded. He has great ideals, and he is willing to realize those. However, it does prove to be his fall as well. Absolute power corrupts absolutely after all. It guess it’s not entirely his fault; too many terrible things happen in succession to the point that he lost it. He makes terrible choices. I will only blame him completely for what he does when he meets Morgana again. He still has the chance to make things right, but he makes the excuse that he has gone too far to back down now. *sighs*. That’s the problem with Jacopo; he continues to make excuses until everything is too late. I can sympathize with him and feel bad for him, but I also think he deserves to the butt monkey. Well, here’s to hoping that in his next life in the modern era, he learns his lessons.
As for Maria, I feel neutral about her in Fata Morgana (my hate is already reserved for another evil character), but yes, I don’t like what she does to White-Haired Girl and Jacopo. So imagine my surprise to see Maria as the nice big sister type. I like this personality of her, so I have revised my opinion of her.
What about the side characters? I think they are also really well-written. They each have their own objectives and unique characteristics. Ceren is a particularly interesting one, and I think I quite like Odilon. Barnier is just downright terrible. He’s the cause of Morgana’s suffering and I hate him for it, but as a villain, he’s rather straightforwardly crazy, so he’s not that interesting. I don’t really like Gratien, and I am rather satisfied to find out that I’m right about him.
Imeon from “Assento Dele” is another interesting character. I like how, even in the face of certain and imminent death and after suffering from the effects of his hideous disease, he still has humor; he is the kind of person who will greet Death with inappropriate remarks. Heh. He also proves to be a noble person, a person fitting to be Michel’s friend. His and Michel’s situations remind me of how much better the world we currently live in than during those centuries ago, and I’m grateful for that.
Game system: I won’t say much about this since it’s practically the same with Fata Morgana. I didn’t experience any issue when playing.
Art: The artist’s the same, so the style doesn’t change. It’s still as beautiful as usual, but I have to especially laud that CG in “Fragment”. It is beautifully drawn even if it’s just a black-and-white picture. If anything, it is because it is black and white that we can focus on the expressions of Jacopo and Morgana. I also love other CGs that feature both Jacopo and Morgana (okay, I’m biased). Another especially cruel CG is Morgana, with undamaged face, smiling. Ugh. Also, I think they chose the right moments for the CGs. Those CGs perfectly depict the most dramatic and emotional moments in the story.
The sprites also picture the characteristics of the characters really well. You can guess rightly a particular character’s traits from their expressions, clothing, and poses.
Sound/Music: Requiem has original soundtracks, but reuses some music from Fata Morgana. It also uses some epic music from MACHINIMASOUND for the battle scenes, which I love so much. Then, there’s the fitting “Lacrimosa” playing at the beginning. I feel neutral about Requiem‘s original soundtracks, except for “Serie de Fragmento (English Ver.)”. Fata Morgana has the instrumental version, but for Requiem, there is a vocal singing in English. Admittedly, I didn’t think much about the instrumental version back then, as it was eclipsed by other outstanding tracks in Fata Morgana. However, the Requiem‘s version makes me realize the significance of this song. It is Jacopo’s song. Read the lyrics and you can easily imagine Jacopo singing that song (even it is sung by a woman). I also notice how this song always plays during the moments when Jacopo and Morgana are being honest to each other: when Jacopo carried Morgana on his back and during the entirety of “Fragment”. This song is part of the reasons why I cried so hard during those moments; it really enhances the emotion of the scenes. Now, it is one of my all-time favorite songs.
Final Impression: One has to play Requiem to have greater understanding of Fata Morgana. We are brought back to the tragedy that starts it all, while tying up the loose ends. They are tied up really nicely too, which shows how well Novectacle plan the whole story. While I think Fata Morgana is still better, I think I’m more fond of Requiem (as I said, I’m biased). Fata Morgana and Requiem have been a roller coaster of feels, and while I hate the actual roller coaster (I will NEVER ride it again), I do not mind, even eager, to be swept up in the thrill of those stories.
I guess this marks the end of Fata Morgana‘s world. What a glorious end. I know there is a reincarnation story, but since it is only available in PS Vita (which I don’t have) in Japanese (which I am not fluent in), I am not sure I’ll ever get to read it. All in all, I’m really happy that I have the chance to read one of the best stories ever. All those tears and money are worth it.
Now, I will continue my mission to spread the love for Fata Morgana. Wish me luck!