So Liarsoft's classic visual novel Forest was just translated about a week ago by Ixrec and co. over at Amaterasu Translations. It's a many-layered construction of magic and sex and fairy tales, dueling narrators and past identities, and some of the cleverest use of metafiction in any story you'll encounter.
It might be my new favorite visual novel, bar none. Cross Channel is probably better overall, and Muv Luv Alternative a more traditionally fulfilling story. But Forest is different. It's not so much a visual novel as it is a puzzling anomaly. Games like it really shouldn't exist. Thinking of Planescape Torment and Nier here. Obviously not quite the same as either of them, but whatever. It's odd enough to join their company, I think.
Pretty much half of it went over my head the first time around, so I'm playing it through again. Hard to figure out what's going on behind the scenes since so few people have played it over here. Anyone else playing this thing? Any theories, thoughts, ideas about the plot? I have my own theories but I'll save those for when I finish my second playthrough.
For those who still aren't sold by this thing, know that this game includes:
-trains that transform into dinosaurs
-references to everything from Watership Down to Narnia to Five Children and It, of all things
-awesome Irish folk music re-purposed from what must be the public domain
The best thing? The writer of Forest is in charge of that Girls' Work project for Type-Moon. Which is also, coincidentally, about crazy metaphysical shit going down in Shinjuku. Spiritual sequel, maybe? Really, really excited.