Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Nov 152021

We’ve got one last review that came too close to October to be written after I finished the game, this time for the otome visual novel Norn9: Var Commons.

I picked up Norn9 for one simple reason. The main theme was composed by Nobuo Uematsu.

I know, that’s not a good way to decide on a game purchase, but that’s how I ended up with a copy of Norn9, and this year I finally decided to play it.

Unlike the previous otome games we’ve discussed, Norn9 has multiple protagonists. In fact, you initially play as an elementary school boy, who is going through his normal life when he suddenly finds himself seemingly in the past, and then is picked up by a futuristic flying ship.

You’re introduced to this ship and the people on board through his eyes before you get a choice of which character to follow next, one of three young women who are the actual protagonists.

Each protagonist in turn has three love interests, so while nine love interests feels like a lot, it works well being split across three heroines.

These characters all have psychic powers of one kind or another, and they’re on a mission for an entity known as The World, on their way to receive orders about how they’ll use their powers to maintain world peace. This is a pretty intriguing setup, which makes it all the more disappointing that the plot just sort of fizzles out.

Most of Norn9 does not deal with the main plot at all. The end of each route returns to the overarching story to wrap things up, some more than others, but it often felt rushed to me, like it didn’t want to dwell on the plot too long.

And the epilogue, meant to clear things up, left me feeling even more confused on some points.

So let’s talk about the romances. Like I said, there are three protagonists and nine different love interests. The heroines all have distinct personalities, which was nice, and there was decent variety among the love interests. Some were more memorable than others (okay, I admit, it’s been just over a month and I’ve already forgotten a good number of them) and the actual character writing was generally solid.

Norn9 had a lot of funny moments and romantic moments that made me enjoy playing it, but everything about the story just left me feeling like it was incomplete.

Now, there’s a fandisc/sequel that supposedly fixes a lot of these plot issues and tells a good story. Unfortunately, it was never translated. Here’s hoping that one of these days they decide to give Norn9 another shot and translate the fandisc here as well! I didn’t have the best time with Norn9: Var Commons, but I enjoyed it enough that I’d pick up the fandisc if it ever comes out.

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  One Response to “Norn9: Var Commons – Romance and a Vanishing Plot”

  1. […] is coming west for the Switch. I played Norn9 on the Vita and found it to be enjoyable, though I disliked the incomplete feel of the story and said I’d […]

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