Title: BLACK WOLVES SAGA -Weiβ und Schwarz-
Developers: Rejet & Otomate
Release Date: 26th January 2017
Length: ~35 Hours
Links: Official Site, VNDB
This game takes place in a world where multiple races exist ~supposedly~ harmoniously, amongst them are the wolf-type “Volf”, cat-type “Cathiy” and of course the plain humans – “Hyuma”. The Cathiy race has been rulers of the country known as Weblin for centuries. Unfortunately, 10 years ago there was an outbreak of a deadly virus known as Zodiva – a cruel disease that causes its sufferers to die painfully. Luckily, it was discovered that this plague was being spread by the Volf so, in order to save Weblin, the Cathiy ordered for all Volfs to be exterminated.
10 years later, we join the young Hyuma girl Fiona on the eve of her 16th birthday. She’s lived a very sheltered but comfortable life but unfortunately three men – the Cathiy crown princes Mejojo & Auger, as well as the quiet Volf Rath – make a sudden impact on her life, mainly for the worse…
This game is a port of the originals that combines both games (Bloody Nightmare & Last Hope) into one. BN is more focused on the Cathiy & LH on the Volf. Just pick the game you want to play from the title screen~
Fiona is the heroine of this fairytale(?) and is a Hyuma who unfortunately has been in poor health ever since she was young due to having a health condition known as Lobeira, which causes her to have a weakened immune system. Due to this, her overprotective family decided the best way to keep her safe would be to lock her in a giant tower with only a few servants for company. Despite this, Fiona maintains quite a positive outlook on life even though she one day longs to explore the outside world. She is also Mejojo’s fiancé.
Mejojo Von Garibaldi (CV Sakurai Takahiro)
Mejojo is the Cathiy crown prince & fiancé of Fiona. He did have a previous fiancé but she died some years ago in tragic circumstances. Mejojo definitely has the aura of a ruler and commands a small army known as the Chu Chu Knights. He’s very close to his brother, with the pair never being far apart. He has a very strong hatred of the Volfs.
Auger Von Garibaldi (CV Yoshino Hiroyuki)
Auger is the younger of the twins & is the more outgoing of the pair. He’s not particularly keen on Fiona but seriously dotes on his older brother. Auger also has a habit of sneaking around & definitely knows more than he would ever let on. He can play the violin.
Nesso Galland (CV Miki Shinichirou)
Nesso is Fiona’s older brother and is very, very protective of her. He works as a knight so is often away from home but always returns with presents for Fiona. Fearing for her, he is very reluctant to let her out of the tower & is not pleased with her engagement to Auger.
Zara (CV Ishida Akira)
Zara is a rabbit-type & is Fiona’s loyal + doting butler. Due to the rabbits’ affinity for science, he is well versed in medical knowledge so is in charge of Fiona’s medication and well-being. Like most of the few remaining members of the rabbit race, Zara was originally a slave before being bought by Fiona’s father.
Rath Vogart (CV Kaji Yuki)
Rath is a member of the Volf resistance group & lives deep in the forest after escaping the violence shown towards his race all those years ago. He tends to keep to himself and rarely speaks. He doesn’t quite agree with the violence the resistance group are showing. In Last Hope, he comes looking for Fiona for some reason.
Arles V Felnoir (CV Morikawa Toshiyuki)
Arles is the leader of the Volf resistance group. Before the genocide of his race, he was a distinguished knight & from a well-off family so is highly intelligent as well as being a formidable fighter. However, war has changed him and he now just seeks vengence for the violence shown towards his kind. He seems to have a soft spot for Fiona for some reason…
Guillan Guinor (CV Taniyama Kishou)
Guillan is a member of the Volf resistance group. He’s super hyper and speaks his mind, leading to Arles often scolding him. He admires Arles a lot, often acting quite puppy-like around him. Guilan is not really a fan of Rath since he doesn’t believe he’s enthusiastic enough about the group’s cause.
Guilan only has a route in Bloody Nightmare
Julian (CV Hosoya Yoshimasa)
Julian is the softly-spoken Cathiy gardner of the palace’s inner garden where Fiona ends up staying. He is tasked by Mejojo to be Fiona’s caretaker during her time in the castle. He’s very kind towards Fiona but also obedient to the princes. His past is shrouded in mystery.
Julian only has a route in Bloody Nightmare
Pearl & Ricchie (CVs Nobuhiko Okamoto & Shimono Hiro)
(There’s not really any non-spoiler images of them individually so I’ll just introduce them together – Ricchie is on the left & Pearl on the right (as they appear on screen))
Pearl & Ricchie are twin dog-type brothers who grew up on the streets before being bought as companions/guard dogs for Fiona. Despite being suspicious at first, the pair grew to adore Fiona and are barely seen without her. Unlike most other animal-types, Pearl and Ricchie spend equal amounts of time in their animal and human forms.
Pearl & Ricchie only have routes in Last Hope
Elza Clifford (CV Kishio Daisuke)
Elza is a lion-type and is a knight whom is good friends with Nesso. He hasn’t really met Fiona before being dragged into her rescue mission. Elza is very outgoing and friendly but takes his job seriously. He also likes to make jokes and tease Nesso about how much of a siscon he is.
Elza only has a route in Last Hope
Character design and artwork for this game was handled by Kuroyuki, known for her work on other games such as Gekka Ryouran Romance & Period Cube.
Bloody Nightmare Ending: Ikuyome no Yume
Last Hope Ending: OATH
All Songs by Lasah
The game has a total of 29 BGM tracks, with 8 being new for this port. Unfortunately, the OP/ED songs of the original games aren’t featured.
As I stated earlier, when you load up the game, it asks you to pick which one you want to play. The “Special Scenario” is 1-2 newly written Short Stories that act as epilogues to the characters’ routes in each game. Unfortunately, there’s no new CGs or anything but they are voiced.
The rest of the system is pretty standard but there is a fun “grooming” mini-game where you can poke the guys & change their affection levels:
Getting the character to either max or zero affection results in them saying special phrases. Both games have differing their own version of this so make sure to check it out!
(The Fanbook actually has a comprehensive guide of where to click to get specific spoken lines!)
Another fun omake is the ability to ask the characters questions or make the characters say certain things. Again, both sets of of games have their own version of this and it normally unlocks once you finish that character’s route. The ones where they make animal noises are hilarious!
So, completely ignoring the fact that Otomate had a part in this series, I like Rejet a lot – while their stories may be a little whack, they do make interesting characters so when I read that this was considered rejet’s best game I knew I had to give it a try! (I dunno if it’s still counted as their best game since I know Ken ga Kimi has a lot of fans – will get to that one soon-ish…)
I’m not going to beat around the bush: I LOVE this game! Firstly, the setting was really interesting & well-developed which really got me hooked. I also really enjoyed the pacing – it’s literally impossible to predict what’s going to happen and some scenes left me in absolute shock, which I adored. Okay, there definitely are some very dark & disturbing scenes but that is to be expected in a bleak “fairytale” like this + I personally never found the game as grossly haunting as I have seen some claim it to be.
One thing I thought was interesting was that I’ve seen a couple of (JP) reviews mention that the game has no “happy endings”. This is actually something that I would disagree with – while the endings generally aren’t 100% sugar overload like most Otome Games, the main characters do end up happy in plenty of the endings. Now, there are some bittersweet aspects to certain endings & *specific* characters may lack truly happy endings but I found many of the endings to generally be “hopeful” and certainly not as bleak as I expected.
Love them or hate them, the characters are integral to the enjoyment of this game & I definitely appreciated most of them for what they brought to the table.
I actually really liked Fiona as a heroine – the game needed her innocence and naivety for it to work. However, she is still pretty mentally tough and dealt with her situation in the best way she could, which I appreciated.
Ah, the twins~ They’re something else. They had a really interesting (& tragic ofc) backstory but seeing how events have twisted them was really fascinating. I think Mejojo is the more forgivable of the pair & sometimes you get a slight glimpse of the man he could’ve been. However, Auger is something else entirely – it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a hero of an otome game who straight-up admits he genuinely doesn’t like the protagonist. He’s a piece of trash but I still lowkey enjoyed reading his routes – anything to get a glimpse into the mind of this strange character. His ending in Last Hope was hilarious, especially combined with the short story.
Rath was a good boy, a very tragic boy but good nonetheless. I really enjoyed the start of Last Hope as I thought the interactions between Rath & Fiona were great. He’s clearly the main boy of Last Hope & his true ending greatly reflects that, with it matching the general tone of the game.
Do you ever play a game and think – oh yeah, she/he is *definitely* the writer’s favourite? Because that was 100% Arles. His routes in both games were pretty great & surprisingly cute for a character I initially assumed was going to be terrifying.
Ah~ Nesso was a good rejet onii-san. Siscon to the max & thirsty as hell, just how I like them (haha). His ending in Last Hope was glorious.
I like Zara, he’s great during the common routes of both games and very needed during group conversations. However, his routes weren’t spectacular in either game and almost wish another character (*cough*J U L I A N*cough*) was given an extra route instead.
Now onto the boys that the games screw over by only giving one route. First up is my precious Julian – 1000000000% best boy and all-around good guy who deserves the world and so much more. Did I cry over him? Yes.
Okay, okay enough fangirling but I really thought that Julian was a really interesting character whom had a fascinating backstory and actually underwent good character development during the course of the game. I don’t know if I will ever forvgive the writers for only giving him one route but at least his true route in Bloody Nightmare was hands-down the best route in that game.
Next is Guillan, who should’ve had a route in Last Hope given that he’s a Volf & that game is about the Volf clan mainly????? Obviously Otomate took one look at him & went “nope” which is a shame because I found him to be surprisingly cute at times.
Pearl & Ricchie are absolutely criminally cute – I just want to give them a hug. However, their routes are very much copies of one another until the epilogues which is kinda unfair. Shame on you Otomate!
Finally is Elza, whom I had little to no expectations for but ended up being one of my favourite characters. I won’t spoil anything but because he hadn’t really interacted with Fiona before the start of the game, it felt like he had the most typical “otome game” type of route. I don’t know how to explain it but his route was very enjoyable.
It was really interesting to see the differences between Rejet’s game (Bloody Nightmare) & Otomate’s game (Last Hope) – LH is definitely tamer in terms of violence and had longer character routes but I personally feel like the main story & pacing in BN was better so prefer that one overall (although they’re both extremely good games).
I really like Kuroyuki’s artwork in this game – it looks whispy and almost whimsical, definitely an almost fairytale look. There are some weird angles/limbs but I can forgive those. There’s a really good amount of artwork considering that this game is on the longer side.
The BGM is top class with all of the tracks being very fitting & emotive. I ended up buying all of the music CDs related to the game so that should show how much I love it. As much as I love the new OP song, I’m saddened by the lack of the original songs because they were great. The original ending song to BN called “Testament” is incredible – definitely worth a listen. Lasah has such a beautiful voice~
Now onto the worst thing in the game – the skip system. Dear lord it was unbearably slow! This game is very common route-heavy (like they’re 6 & 8 hours long in each game) so you have to skip through the entire thing super slowly at least 6 times per game which is insane. I actually timed it & just the skipping (no reading at all) took just over 30 minutes. If the game wasn’t so good I wouldn’t have put up with it!
My Score: 9.5/10
Unfortunately, there were a few tiny niggles (slow skip & lack of Julian route in LH mainly) that stop me giving this game a “perfect” score but I still love it to pieces and actually can’t believe that rejet & otomate managed to team up to create a game of this quality. The characters & story are just so interesting that when you start playing this it’s very hard to put down and the game has left a lasting impression on me, months later.
This is firmly in my list of top otome games & if asked, I would recommend it without hesitation. However, if you really are adverse to darker themes then maybe don’t play this.
Julian > Elza > Rath > Nesso > Guillan > Arles > Pearl > Auger > Zara > Ricchie > Mejojo
Sorry for the looooooong delay in this review but I hope to start posting once a fortnight from now on – next up will be the switch port of Yoshiwara Higanbana.
Thanks for reading!
“Ah~ Nesso was a good rejet onii-san. Siscon to the max & thirsty as hell, just how I like them (haha).” BIG MOOD.
Oof I love this game. I remember when Bloody Nightmare first got announced and I was SO. EXCITED. I think that was like the start of the more serious and darker otome game trend. I honestly love rejet (although recently I’m side eyeing the pretty hard) but I think BWS Bloody Nightmare was definitely one of their best games just based on content, craziness, character and plot. That being said, Ken ga Kimi is still #1 in my heart!!!
I didn’t like Last Hope as much as I did Bloody Nightmare, but the only reason is because I really enjoyed the dark story line of Bloody Nightmare. I am the type that easily gets really tired of the traditional modern, slice of life, fluffy game. I prefer darker more mature themes, so BN was like a godsend to me.
I heard Usotsuki Shangri-la is not nearly as crazy as rejet’s previous games, and I’m lowkey sad LOL. I know moshikami had some crazy stuff apparently but I think the crazy characters, the staple thirsty ass siscons and the ridiculous plots make rejet’s games great and make them stand out. They used to dare to do that kind of stuff, and honestly I wish they would keep doing it. Sigh. GIVE US MORE OTOME GAMES, REJET, LESS DRAMA CDS LOL ;_;
Anyways great review!! You should def play KgK soon, I loved it and cried a lot LOL
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No one does a creepy onii-chan quite like Rejet, haha~
I didn’t realise that BWS was the start of darker otome games, thank goodness for it! Agree that reading too many slice of life games can get dull. I can definitely agree that BN was more unique but my soft side enjoyed the fluffy-ness of LH (Fiona & Rath’s grand “adventure” at the start was too cute!).
I’ve not really heard much about Usotsuki Shangri-La either, which is definitely a shame – the strong polarising effect of most rejet games is most of the fun! I’m still hoping to pick up the game in Japan though if I can find it cheap. I actually pre-ordered Moshikami but still haven’t played it (whoops~ When did it even come out?)
As much as I enjoy many of their drama CDs, I have to 100000000% agree – whatever happned to that Dorico(???) game announced years ago?
Ooooh, wait KgK is tragic? I lowkey want to play it even more – I think I’ll need something to counteract the overpowering fluff of Starry Sky!
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Yeah I think BN was the start of the darker trend to a lot of otome games and I am 100% okay with it haha. I do like my fluffy games too and I did enjoy LH but I gotta say… BN was just so wild compared to the games around that time that it makes it hard to ever forget the game lol!
Yeah I just picked up usotsuki shangri-la and moshikami second hand lol can’t wait to play them hehehehehe
Yeah they announced dorico so long ago and yet they haven’t had any news around it. I’m worried it’ll just end up fizzling out and become a dropped project. Or it’ll get stuck in development hell…
Yeah KgK has some pretty tragic endings! I cried quite a few times. It was also a game where I really ended up liking all of the guys! I usually have at least one or two guys that I’m kinda meh about, but even the one that I was ‘meh’ about at first I cried so hard during one of their bad endings LOL
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