Yami no Koe is a series of corruption nukige from Black Cyc. This post will cover Yami no Koe I-III, although there are a few other entries in the series.
I won’t mince words: Yami no Koe has no story. In the first game a group of students and a couple teachers are shipwrecked on an island inhabited only by a mysterious mistress by the name of Sayoko and her maid K. Sayoko puts them up in her mansion for a month and her and K spend that time dragging them into depravity. In the second game Sayoko sends K to a school to drag the students and teachers there into depravity. In the third game Sayoko is trapped in said school and must use a salesman to drag women in the area into depravity to complete a ritual that will release her.
I can’t elaborate beyond that because there’s nothing beyond that. Oh, I and II each have a girl trying to combat Sayoko and K’s devious plans but this is barely touched upon. Other than that each game opens and closes with a scene or two of plot. The rest of the scenes are nearly entirely ero or at least buildup to the ero. The Yami no Koe games might have the highest ero:non-ero text ratio out of any eroge I’ve played. I suppose the scattering of non-ero scenes aren’t painful to read and are sometimes enjoyable because you get to see the corrupted characters interacting. So the story isn’t bad just nonexistent.
Although Yami no Koe doesn’t have much of a story it does have gameplay. It doesn’t have much gameplay either. Or rather the gameplay isn’t much of gameplay. The gameplay varies slightly between each game but the concept is the same. In I you assign Sayoko or K to a character every turn, and depending on who you assign to who you may raise one of two bars, red and blue, that signify some hidden desire of the character’s. When this fills they become corrupted and can be used to corrupt other characters, and another bar appears that must be filled to fully corrupt the character. In II each character only has one type of bar but each map area has two different characters (giving the game at least twice as many characters as I). Only one character per map area can be corrupted in a playthrough, though, so they basically act like the red and blue bars from the first game. There are also support characters you can discover that can be used to aid in corrupting the main characters, and are necessary for some of them (I think). In III there are only five characters, all female, and it returns to the red/blue bar systems. However instead of using characters to corrupt the girls you get a case of fifteen items to bring out their different attributes. The challenge is matching the right items to the right characters.
I’m not sure why I wasted the time explaining all that. Probably to give some basis and context for my next claim: that the gameplay is downright tedious. It’s a neat idea in theory but it gets to be a pain in the ass quite quickly, before even completing one playthrough. I don’t think I finished a second playthrough for any of the games. I finished one playthrough, got a bad end (even a single mistake will make it impossible for you to achieve the goal of the games: to fully corrupt all the characters), then halfheartedly made some progress through a second one before just downloading a 100% completion save data.
In looking for categories to give Yami no Koe a decent score, because I really did enjoy the games, I resort to this one. The majority of the cast varies between games. These characters, the ones subject to the corruption, are one-dimensional stereotypes that are made two-dimensional by being given hidden sexual tendencies that awake over the course of the game. The corruption process is enjoyable to watch even though it’s too shallow to be considered good character development by scenarioge standards. Fortunately this is a nukige not a scenarioge.
The two reoccurring characters are Sayoko and her maid K. Sayoko only has a major role in I and has just a few lines in II and III. Which is no loss; she’s not an interesting character. She’s completely overshadowed by her maid K. Even for me, one of the few people in this fanbase who don’t have a maid fetish, K is great. She’s cute and slutty and looks great in those glasses she rocks in II. Sadly her role in III is greatly reduced compared to the first two games.
The soundtrack is run of the mill gothic stuff. It sounds alright in a retro way if you set the BGM to midi.
The voice acting is not remarkably good or remarkably bad. K is voiced by Miru (Yuka in Gore Screaming Show) and I think I’ve found a new eroge seiyuu to actually care about. Her voice is just like K: cute but incredibly erotic in the sex scenes. In other words ero-kawaii.
The art varies across the games. It’s got some rough spots in I, hits its stride in II, then takes a bit of a dive in III. Since all of the games are somewhat old they have older style art, in the good way. I liked the art in all of the games but found II’s to easily be my favorite.
Since the majority of the Yami no Koe games is ero scenes it’s good that the ero scenes are good. The erotic theme here is the moral corruption of the characters. As I already mentioned the actual corruption process is shallow but the ero is still very satisfying because of the glimpse it gives you into the dark side of human desire. The ero isn’t as dark as in some other Black Cyc games, there’s no guro or tentacles, instead being a more realistic type of darkness that you could actually find in real people. There’s a lot of yuri, which I’m not usually into but many of the yuri scenes still work. There’s also some yaoi, although all of it’s crossdressing related which makes it slightly less gay.
I’ve mentioned a few times in different blog posts that I prefer shorter ero scenes. Yami no Koe has some really short ero scenes and reaffirmed my preference for brevity in sex scenes. The good scenes are good enough that they can be reused a number of times, so they don’t really suffer for their length, and the not so good scenes are over quickly enough that they never irritated me and don’t negatively affect the overall experience of the game.
Pros: Plentiful quality ero; good oldschool art; K-sama
Cons: Tedious gameplay; no story
The Yami no Koe games are well worth playing if the corruption concept interests you at all. I’d rank them II > III > I but you might as well play all of them.
One interesting thing I learned from Yami no Koe is that I might be a hedonist. At some point I realized that deep down somewhere I felt glad for the corrupted characters in some twisted way. They just all seemed so happy once they were able to accept their dark, hidden desires and honestly embrace pleasure. Then it even got me thinking about society and shit. And about how humans choose to live life and what is the best way to live life. About the nature of happiness. Nukige are strange things sometimes.