Review by hooi

Reviewed: 05/22/01 | Updated: 02/09/02

It's fun to be a spirit!!

Introduction
Close to ~Inori no Oka~ (Hill of Prayer) is released on April 19, 2001 by KID (Kindle Imagine Develop). Most of staffs are consisted of the people who created Never7 ~The End of Infinity~. The character designer for the game is Goto P. He is a very popular fanart artist. Anyway, when I finally got all girls' endings (including the alternate endings), got all CGs and got all the things in J-Web, it's a ''WOW!'' for me.

Story:
You are Homura Motoki-kun. You are having a ''taking photograph'' date with your girlfriend, Kashiwagi Yuna-chan (whom you started dating last Christmas Eve), and her camera, Tanaka-kun ^,^. The date is filled with flashbacks about what happened in the past and among them is the reason why Yuna-chan is living alone.

At the end of the date, it was raining. Yuna-chan saw something and chased after it. You saved her from the accident, instead you got hit by a car.

When you are conscious, you discovered that nobody can hear or see you. You panicked, as you started to think that you are a ghost, when you see yourself on the bed.

Later, you found out from Tachibana Koyuki-chan that you are not completely a ghost yet, because you are still connected to your body by some sort of string. In addition to that, you also found out that your girlfriend, Yuna-chan cannot seems to remember you and your two good friends are trying their best to make sure that she does not remember you. Why? Find out yourself :P

There are two persons who can see you in the real world, and they are Koyuki-chan and Mai-chan. You learn ability to move small objects from Koyuki-chan and learn the requirements that you need to fulfil before you can go back into your body again from Mai-chan.

The three conditions that must be fulfilled so that you can go back into your body, and they are are: 1)Your body is still working [Body Condition] 2)You must have desire to stay alive strongly [Spiritual Condition] 3) Somebody must desire you to be alive strongly (parents doesn't count ^.^) [Destiny Condition, Ai no Chikara or The Power of Love ^.^]. All three of the conditions are very important elements in the stories.

Gameplay:
There are two parts of the game: 1)Room Part 2)Adventure Part. In the Room Part, you have to attract Yuna-chan's attentions to things in the room that remind her of you, like the things you gave her, etc. She forgot about you, remember?

Your ability to attract attention takes life-force out of you and there is a time limit. You also can read her diary to find out what she is thinking at moment. Kids, don't try this at home. The CGs of the things that you found in the room is recorded in the J-Web of Yuna-chan's Mobile phone.

By the way, I just want to say that the Room Part is in Yuna-chan's room only, because there are rumors out there that it is in other girls' room too. The adventure part is pretty much the normal thing you see in a typical Ren'ai game (Romantic Love Game). If you just played the game for the CGs, you can download the key files from Close To Official Fan Webpage to unlock everything.

Music and Opening Movie:
The music and sound effect in this game are pretty similar to Inifinity. It feels as though they are taken out of Infinity. The 3D opening movie is pretty cool and the opening song are pretty nice.

Japanese Requirement:
This game is pretty text intensive. If you are not too proficient in Japanese, I suggest you stay away from this game.

Final Comments:
The game feels a bit like Infinity (or Never7 ~The End of Infinity), mood, music and stories. As with all the other two Kid's games that I played, it has very, very complicated, but nice and extremely interesting storylines.

However, I feel the game is a bit short compared to Infinity. I like only three girls' scenarios. Shoko-chan's story is quite touching, especially the ending part. Yuna-chan's ending is cool. I really like her epilogue the best at the hospital. Koyuki-chan was unapproachable at first, but her ending are beautiful, especially her happy ending monologue.

I admit I was a bit depressed after getting both Koyuki-chan's endings. They just don't satisfied me somehow, as I cannot really describe it as Happy Ending.

Anyway, this is the first time, I had to work hard to get a Bad Ending in a game. It's all because of Close To Official BBS True Ending occult group. They mentioned that the other ending that I am missing is True Ending, so I expect a lot out of it, but to discover that it is a Bad Ending.

To unlock Mai-chan's scenario, you have to win Yuna-chan first. At first, I thought she is just there to attract lolicons (she is shougakusei or elementary school girl, after all), but her story is the best, really touching. I never see it coming at all and it answer all questions that I have about Yuna-chan's scenarios.

Anyway, the game is a bit tough, especially getting Koyuki-chan's bad ending and finding stuffs in the room, especially Okayama-kun and some of the items for the J-Web. I was extremely disappointed with what I get (a stupid sound) after I got all the items in J-Web, especially after I struggled to get the last three items (Item 4, 29 and 33). I have to thank Close To Official BBS for helping me to find the last three items, otherwise it is just impossible for me.

In additional to that, when I play this game, I felt that the game is made rather hastily to meet a deadline. It is also probably due to the annoying factor of finding the right item to attract Yuna-chan.

This game is intended for people who are interested in romance and mysteries.

Rating: 9

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