Remember 11: you should experience this.

#1 Edited by AndrewB (7689 posts) -

There's a visual novel series that you may be familiar with even if you live outside of Japan. It's called the Infinity series. As the only part of the series localized in English, Ever 17: The Out of Infinity became a cult classic amongst those in the know. It has its dating sim elements, but is mostly famous for its "you might need a degree in theoretical physics to fully wrap your head around what's going on here" story, which I won't go into detail about for the obvious reason that you should also go and experience that if you haven't yet!

Anyway, Remember 11 was the next chapter in the Infinity series. Though it was released quite some time ago now, and two more VNs which are technically from that series have been released (12Riven was the last to be written by the same lead who worked on all of the others, and for a story-driven series, that's kind of important), I bring up Remember 11 now both because it tops the also excellent Ever 17 in terms of story quality and intrigue, and because there's an English patch out there finally; a project years in the fan-translating oven. And I feel, as the title suggests, that you should bloody well experience this regardless of who you are, though especially maybe if you're coming fresh from another visual novel (with the only similarities being they're both quality products). I'm mostly posting this to boost awareness of another awesome visual novel now that a few have cropped up in discussions here on Giant Bomb.

Still in their shrink wrap.

Whereas Ever 17 had way more of a dating sim aspect to it (you had to follow every girl's route to get to the true ending, too), Remember 11 drops that for the most part, pretty much playing up one single romantic plot and even throwing that on the backburner. This one is all about the story. And like Ever 17, this one is even more so a "you might need a degree in theoretical physics to fully wrap your head around what's going on here" scenario. There are tips to fill you in on the technical jargon, so all the pieces are put in place for you to understand what is happening even if you don't (of course).

I don't want to spoil anything, but I want to figure out some way to covey to you how fantastic the story here is, and how it's something that can only be experienced in the visual novel format. There are many, many bad endings here, but you want to see them to understand. Everything that happens fills in an extra piece of the puzzle. The story is so gripping that I spent a good 3 years waiting, checking the translation project website and reading every bit of translated text as it came.

Without trying to sound like I'm trying to sell the game (all I really want is more people to talk about it with), the premise is split between two people.

Not your average "stranded in a blizzard" tale...

Kokoro: A college age student of sociology, flying overseas to meet and study a murderous patient being held for treatment at a remote, isolated rehabilitation clinic called SPHIA, whose plane ends up crashing onto a mountain in the middle of a terrible blizzard. Kokoro wakes up in one of the mountain's shelters along with 3 other survivors. They're all forced to survive the harsh climate and hope for rescue.

Nor your average amnesia of convenience contrivance.

Satoru: A man who wakes up with amnesia within SPHIA, after a fall from the facility's belltower (and no, it's not the same as every other amnesia contrivance story, otherwise I wouldn't be impressed enough to write this). Satoru tries to piece together his memory, while in the meantime an unseen killer within the facility continues to make attempts on his life.

Then there's the part where the same kid shows up at both places. And then the part where Kokoro and Satoru mysteriously swap consciousness at seemingly random periods of time, experiencing things through the other person's body. So while both characters have their own separate paths (you're locked to Kokoro first), their stories intertwine with one another heavily, probably more so than you'll initially guess.

Those descriptions don't do the VN any justice, but like I said, I can't really say too much without giving away pieces of the plot, and I got the most out of it by going in fresh, with my only experience being from Ever 17 before it. But of course, if you have played it (or Ever 17), I'd be happy to hear some story discussion (anyone?).

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

A.) Is the game free?

B.) Can I jump into the story without having to play all the other Ever17 games?

C.) Is Ever17 a thing, or did I just make that up, somehow?

#3 Edited by AndrewB (7689 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

A.) Is the game free?

B.) Can I jump into the story without having to play all the other Ever17 games?

C.) Is Ever17 a thing, or did I just make that up, somehow?

A.) Yeah, that was the part I was too heartbroken over to discuss. The short answer is no. Only way to legally obtain it is to import. Even Ever17, which is available over here, is really tough to find these days. But Never7, part of the series which came before Ever17, was at one point made available for free.

B.) Yes, though there are minor plot pieces common to the series. Remember11 actually takes place before Ever17 in the overall timeline, but that doesn't really figure into the story of Remember11 in any significant way.

C.) It's a thing that I mentioned about as many times as the thing I was supposed to be talking about in this post.

#4 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

Remember11 is indeed pretty great!

As said in another thread, after the mass acceptance of KS hopefully people will branch out.

#5 Posted by AndrewB (7689 posts) -

@Cloudenvy: Only problem is you have to try really hard to seek out Remember11. I also feel like it's really hard to get the message out as to what makes this series great without spoiling the big reveal to each one.

Only other option is to make a spoiler thread!

#6 Posted by SpaceRunaway (873 posts) -

I was already getting a lot of weird 4chan deja vu with all the Katawa Shoujo discussion going on, and now a Remember 11 thread just compounds that.  :P
It's okay, Remember 11 is really good.

#7 Posted by AndrewB (7689 posts) -

@SpaceRunaway: That's the thing though. Remember11 isn't 4chan material. For as awesome and surprisingly not pervy as Katawa Shoujo is, the thing was developed from a sketch on 4chan. Even Ever17 stick closer to its dating sim routes. Remember11 is a story, through and through. That the cliche setup is totally not what it seems is typical from the series, but it still surprised me.

Anyway... glad to see someone else thinks it's good!

#8 Edited by commanderdarx (1 posts) -

This game was amazing it was the first of the infinity series i tried it blew my mind next thing i was reading ever17 wich was great too since then im searching restlessly for something as good as this i've read the entire higurashi no naku koro ni and 999 for the ds i loved them too so this game for my is special it's the starting point of my interest for visual novel's sadly i dont know any more games with the plot as good as this :'(.

#9 Posted by DonChipotle (2842 posts) -

I liked Remember 11, but I liked Ever 17 more. Both are very good though

#10 Posted by yyninja (59 posts) -

@AndrewB: Just completed Remember11 today and it's definitely a unique experience. I was hooked to the VN genre after playing 999 which led me to Ever17 and then to Remember11 through the GiantBomb wikis. Thanks for letting duders like me know about this game.

As much as I enjoyed playing Remember11, it does a poor job from a storytelling perspective. Yes the story is brilliant but requires extensive extracurricular reading in the TIPS (codec) section to understand everything.

I feel that Ever17 is the better of the two infinity games that I've played. Ever17's had a story that was more complete. Remember11 has the better setting, characters and sci-fi elements but it ends with too many questions and too little answers.

#11 Posted by AndrewB (7689 posts) -

@yyninja said:

I feel that Ever17 is the better of the two infinity games that I've played. Ever17's had a story that was more complete. Remember11 has the better setting, characters and sci-fi elements but it ends with too many questions and too little answers.

I think I can agree with you on the "tips" thing. I guess it's just a matter of where they throw an information dump at you; inside of the story or outside - for those tips which have vital information not really explained in the natural course of the VN.

On the other hand, yes, it's a *very* complicated story, and I love it for that. It's so complicated it's taken me multiple playthroughs beyond just getting all the endings in order to understand. When you go back and play it after you think you have everything down, you *will* see hints to other stuff that you didn't get before, and that will lead to a revelation. Maybe some people don't appreciate such a difficult story, but I think that's what made it so fun for me. Where pretty much every spoken word holds deep significance, it's a blast going back and connecting the dots to figure stuff out on your own. If you have any specific questions, I can try to answer them. Otherwise I might actually suggest you seek out a discussion of the story somewhere to maybe gain a better understanding (assuming there's something you're missing).

The feeling I had immediately after that "true ending" was "that's it? That's the end of the game? Is this just demanding a sequel or something?" But really, that's not the case at all. The ending is a hard ending. The "fade to black" is the 0 dimensional perspective being sealed away inside the infinity loop after being denied existence by Lin. The project is a success. I think the only part of the story I'm a little sketchy on is the Kagome Kagome song. I want to think that it's some sort of subconscious trigger device to call/release the 0th dimension being, but I might be wrong on that.

Ever17 is definitely a more easy to understand story which wraps up neatly and heartwarmingly. They very explicitly detail every little thing throughout the course of that true ending. It was also the first visual novel I ever played, and while thankfully not being the "dating sim" that most are, there are still those elements which make it feel a little awkward to me (this coming from someone who loved Katawa Shoujo to death, so maybe that's hypocritical). I like Remember11 for being the first in the series to throw those conventions out the door. Like I said, it's just a damn good *story.*

Glad you liked it (and Ever17) though! Wish I could tell you to go try Never7, but I don't understand that ending one bit and the dating sim parts are very in-your-face and not interesting (well, besides Yuka).

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