Famicom Detective Club Part II: The Girl who Stands Behind

I played the fan translation of Famicom Tantei Club Part II: Ushiro ni Tatsu Shōjo (ファミコン探偵倶楽部PartII うしろに立つ少女), or Famicom Detective Club Part II: The Girl who Stands Behind in English last night and I was hooked. The game was originally released for the Super Famicom in 1998 (a remake of the 1989 sequel) via Nintendo Power and ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2004 as part of the Famicom Mini-series. I spent the whole night playing and then finished the game sometime today. I love mystery games and murder mysteries are always interesting to me as well. Some games that got me interested in these kind of text adventures are Snatcher, Policenauts, Deja Vu, and The Portopia Serial Murder Case. The original version of this game was on the Famicom Disk System and later ported to the Super Famicom and Gameboy Advance.

Two fan translation groups: “Neo Demiforce” and “Tomato” translated the Japanese game and released the patch on October 10, 2004. They did a great job translating the text. I’m no stranger to horror games on retro games and know that some can really spook you. Super Famicom Detective II did a good job of making my nervous about someone possibly standing behind me.

The story begins when you are adopted by an investigator, Shunsuke Utsugi, and trained as a detective…a position you accept because you are searching for your lost parents and Utsugi takes you in. You are assigned a case by Utsugi that becomes an interesting first case. Someone at Ushimitsu High School has been murdered. Ushimitsu is a school that has been plagued with ghost rumors for years. However, something lies within these creepy grounds and it’s your job to find out what that is. It’s difficult to know who to trust as everyone is looking to play an angle.

You question everyone from bartenders and students to teachers and policemen. The story is filled with twists and just when you think you have the story solved, you find new evidence. I got stumped a few times, but ultimately some parts are just about picking the right menu options. A version with voices would be pretty awesome, Snatcher-style. I have to admit it is hard to believe that Nintendo created this game, and it’s no wonder this game never appeared in the United States (besides the fact that most Americans fail to appreciate visual novel games the way the Japanese do). The eerie game soundtrack, color schemes, and anime scenes gave me the shivers at least a couple times throughout my play.

I finished the game impressed and wanting more. Definitely check this game out if you haven’t done so already. Hopefully someone will translate the original game, Famicom Detective Club, as the the second game is a prequel. Yet another day that I wish my Japanese foundation was stronger.

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