Review by TheSAMMIES

Reviewed: 03/18/13 | Updated: 01/10/14

Continuous Erotic Sci-Fi Adventure

Warning! This game has some screwed up stuff in it. There’s cartoon characters having sex, torturing each other while they’re naked, rape, and some really bloody violence. This game is most certainly not for the faint of heart. If you are too young or are easily offended by pornographic video games, then you should not play this game.

Dareka…, or roughly translated as Someone… is a Japanese sci-fi adventure game set on a space station. It started as a feature in Pink Sox magazine, but as the story got better and more complex, it became more popular. Dareka… Special is a game that features all six episodes crammed into one cohesive story. It collects every episode from Pink Sox and redraws most of the art to make it look better than it did on the MSX.

Story- The story is completely in Japanese, but you don’t need to speak a word of it to know what is happening. The pictures alone do a good enough job at conveying what the text is trying to say. The art is very good too, but we can get to that later. Dareka… when it comes down to it, is about characters. The main character is never seen until the very end. It’s supposed to be a cipher for you, the player. You do get to see him in the ending, but he looks generic, like as normal as you could possibly imagine. The main character, a fill in for you, gets involved in a love triangle. There are two girls who like you and it gets this Archie Comics “Betty vs Veronica” dynamic going for a while. Then things get even more complicated. The space station has been having problems. Sensors have been detecting paranormal activity. Sometimes the power goes out and bad things start to happen. The mystery unravels as the game goes and once the game reaches its climax, you will be hooked. You really get to know the characters in this game and barring a few exceptions, they have a lot of personality and are likeable.

One of Dareka…’s problems is that while it does have a gripping story about some interesting characters, it takes forever for it to go anywhere. The pacing is just absolutely horrible early on. In the beginning, the game really does not know what it’s doing. You meet the two girls, have sexual encounters with them, and the overarching story really just takes a backseat to carton pornography. The pacing gets better later on, but the cartoon sex ends up going from relatively normal and loving to full of rape and torture. This kind of punctuates the story’s shift to a darker tone later on when the villain’s evil plans really start to fall together. Don’t worry, you don’t do any of the raping. Dareka… is too classy for that.

Presentation- All of the graphics have been redrawn. They still tell the same story as it did in Pink Sox and have the same art style. They just look different and a little bit better. The music is a bit louder than it was when it was in Pink Sox, but this really isn’t a bad thing. It sounds great and that’s what counts.

There is some animation in this game. Not very much, but it’s there where it counts. Lips move when characters speak. Lasers flash when guns are fired. Sirens go off when something is wrong. Tears flow when someone has died. This actually also applies to sexual scenes. Fingers twitch in one lesbian scene. Some characters have disturbing animated genitals. Tears flow during a particularly brutal rape. The limited animation lends itself to enhance the drama of the normal scenes and make the sex scenes strange and a bit unusual in some cases and heart wrenching in others.

Gameplay- Dareka… is a Japanese style adventure game. You get options through the game, which basically boil down to “look, talk, think, and move”. There are some contextual actions that you can only perform during certain scenes. Early on, your one girlfriend can take all of her clothes off and just sort of move around the room naked because no one else is around. Otherwise, get used to mashing the “talk” and “think” commands. They’re the ones the game wants you to do most often.

The beginning of the game is actually poorly designed. You have to explore the space station to advance the story. Unfortunately, there is simply not a lot to explore. Many of the rooms are empty, so you end up just trying to guess where you are supposed to go. It’s frustrating because many of the rooms tend to look the same. If you can get past the initial poor pacing and frustrating exploration parts, the game gets streamlined and there is no more exploring to do, only advancing the plot. Once the game really gets into high gear, it moves fast and the story and as a result the game, picks up and becomes a lot more gripping.

Usually adventure games and visual novels have more than one ending. Dareka… is going to disappoint some people here. There is only one ending, and while it is a cool one, it’s the only one you get. Oh, and stick around after the credits for an awesome surprise when you get there!

It is a little hard to recommend Dareka… to people who can’t read Japanese, but if you can slog through the beginning, it gets really good. Try it if you’re a fan of Japanese adventure games and see if you like it. If you’re brave enough to look past the language barrier, or even learn a bit of Japanese, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Cool Fact- For a time, you could buy this game in vending machines. Taking the human interaction out of buying pornography? That’s genius!

Also Try- Metal Slader Glory on the NES. It’s pretty similar, taking place in a sci-fi world and essentially playing like an interactive comic book, but lacks the often times disturbing sexual themes Dareka… has running through it. It also got a remake on the SNES.

Rating: 8

Product Release: Dareka... Special (JP, 07/31/93)

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