So it has been quite the ride. But just as every story has a beginning, there must be an end too. And these eight persons have had their fair share of trouble: it was about time they got some rest. More or less.
Perhaps one fault with Machi, is that the endings are relatively disappointing. Perhaps it’s just a side-effect of spending such a long time with the scenarios: there was no way the ending could be satisfying. And yet, there’s something that makes me shake my head.
Perhaps it was because Numa’s motives for the bombing was a fair bit cliched – simply taking revenge on incompetent or greedy policemen. Ryuji got killed right after he had made his resolve to leave the city and start a new life – and while effective, you could totally see it coming a mile away.
Ichikawa’s scenario dives straight into X-Files territory as the days go by, and he arguably gets the worst ending of all – at least Ryuji looked satisfied with himself upon dying. Ichikawa cuts off his own left hand, almost dies of blood loss, and yet it looks like his “enemy” simply moved to the right hand. Talk about a downer! But it was fun seeing him go all Bruce Campbell, and then mailing the left hand to the TV producer.
It also gets a bit weird in Masashi’s scenario, which in spite of the craziness of the previous four days, in its finale enters a strangely serious discussion about the nature of a totalitarian state and the potential of mankind for greatness. I suppose it’s a good ending though: Masashi manages to understand the whole plot, and while he leaves without destroying the organization, the last shot of Sunday shows she’s not nearly in control as she thought. And Masashi meets Wednesday again. Of course with a punishment. Which is exactly what he wanted. Lucky him.
Yoshiko gets her good ending where Yoichi understand he made a really stupid bet, and apologizes, and they run off into the sunset… to eat donuts. Predictable again, and a bit too short. But the craziness of her scenario, especially the last day, kinda makes up for it.
Yohei solves his scenario… except not really. I mean sure, after the wedding gets interrupted (obviously it was coming), he mans up and announces to the world , via megaphone no less, that it was all his fault and he loves all the girls and all the kids. Well, that’s it, pretty much. Everyone makes up to each other and all is right with the world. By the way, Minako had his child too. This guy just can’t catch a break. And to think the game did give out two subtle hints in the first and second day.
Oh, and the fireworks which appear at the end of every character’s route? They were organized by Ryuji’s dad, who apparently decided to give this one last gift to his son – and just to make sure he will see it even if he left the city, he had them launched all over Japan. And hey, he doesn’t know that Ryuji is kind of dying, but at least he managed to see the fireworks lying on the ground and bleeding out. Works for them.
By the way. The last extra scenario, unlocked upon finishing the main routes, follows Aoi’s adventures around some of the main characters and is presented entirely in 90’s anime game style. It’s also very ecchi. I thought it was strange that the game got a Cero D rating. I didn’t bother reading this one, but I did play through quickly to take a few screenshots. Look at that Masashi. Just look at him. This is the closest we’ll ever get to a Machi anime. And hey… technically, even this scenario is canon.
So, what do they say… the most important thing is the journey, not the destination. I really had fun playing through the game, even if I wish the endings could have been more fleshed out. What’s next for Shibuya? From what I kow, 428 is not a sequel (supposedly Machi, despite its cult status, didn’t sell all that well so Chunsoft decided to make 428 an entirely new story), and none of the characters return. So this is the end of their story. A disappointing end perhaps, but a worthy journey.
And hey, the endings themselves might not have all lived up to expectations, but the credits were the best. After so many hours spent with those characters, seeing the cast during the filming was just so much fun.
It was fun, but I’m burnt out on visual novels. Now it’s back to twitch shooters and platformers for me.