Operation Backlog Completion 2024
May 312021
 

Over the weekend, I finished up a visual novel that had been recommended to be several times, Raging Loop.

Raging Loop’s story is partly based on the Werewolf deduction game.

The main character is a young man who gets stranded in an isolated village just in time for the Feast of the Yomi-Purge, a deadly event where villagers become wolves and attack the humans by night, while certain humans are granted powers to help identify the wolves and choose who to hang each day.

Structurally, the visual novel made me think of the Zero Escape series right away. It has a flowchart to follow all of its branching paths, with certain paths blocked until you reach bad endings that grant you the “key” to unlock new choices.

Also like Zero Escape, this aspect is part of and acknowledged by the story, as well – that’s where the “loop” in the title comes from.

It’s a bit more linear than I expected, with only a handful of points that let you actually choose a path to see first instead of just following bad endings until you can reach a better outcome. I didn’t mind that, though, since the story is pretty interesting as it unfolds.

Sometimes the writing feels like it’s trying to be too clever for it’s own good, but overall it’s really an intriguing and thrilling story.

Now, once you reach the true ending of Raging Loop, you unlock a substantial amount of additional content. First, a series of short extra stories become available, set after the end. Second, new scenes are added throughout the entire visual novel, providing new details and showing scenes from other characters’ viewpoints.

I highly recommend reading these. When I reached the end, I was somewhat unsatisfied by the ending and frustrated by some of its more ambiguous points. Reading through the additional scenes and extra stories really helped to clear everything up and left me satisfied with the story after all.

Click for Raging Loop spoilers
Raging Loop explains away the “supernatural” elements of the feast with an explanation that would make Professor Layton proud, but that still leaves a lot of questions regarding the loops and “god.” The bonus content really helps clear up what was legitimately supernatural and what wasn’t.

I disliked that the first playthrough withholds information Haruaki knows for the sake of having some last-minute twists (such as Mitsuji’s identity), but everything else was good.

Wondering what’s up with a certain character? Confused about an aspect of the game’s lore? The answers are there. Oh, and if you felt disappointed by some of the bad outcomes that are essentially “I died and don’t know why,” those get explained, too. It makes the whole story so much better, and leaves me able to confidently say Raging Loop is worth reading.

Apparently there’s another visual novel set in this same universe, Death Match Love Comedy, that Raging Loop has some slight references to. Here’s hoping we get that one localized as well!

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  2 Responses to “Raging Loop: Werewolf by Way of Zero Escape”

  1. I also binged through Raging Loop recently, though I am still going through the bonus content. It’s funny that I played this so close to Gnosia, another werewolf-inspired VN. I do think Gnosia followed the werewolf premise better, but I still greatly enjoyed the story focus of Raging Loop and look forward to getting my own final questions answered by reading all the extra info.

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