Umineko No Naku Koro Ni Review

 6 / 10 Banzai!s

The Game:

Translated as When the Seagulls CryUmineko No Naku Koro Ni (うみねこのなく頃に) isn’t exactly a game, any more than Plastic’s Linger in Shadows. Though still classified as a Japanese “visual novel,” the player does not make choices, such as in titles like To Heart 2 DX or L@ve Once: Mermaid’s Tears. Rather than obtaining a “good ending” and avoiding a “bad ending,” the player simply hits play and “watches” the story from beginning to end.

Developed by 07th ExpansionUmineko No Naku Koro Ni was first released on the PC in August of 2007 with its first of four episodes, “The Legend of the Golden Witch.” The episode was released during the Comic Market, and was reportedly sold out within thirty minutes. This earlier PC version was described as a “sound novel,” because there were no voice actors – only music and sound effects to establish mood. As the popularity of Umineko No Naku Koro Ni soared, it inspired a manga and anime adaptation, a series of novels, and even a fighting game. Then in 2010, Alchemist redeveloped and published the game for the PlayStation 3, which included voice actors and new artwork which were more in sync to the anime.

The story takes place over the days of October 4th and 5th of 1986, on a secluded island called Rokkenjima located near the Izu peninsula of Japan, and owned by the head of a wealthy family, Kinzo Ushiromiya. Kinzo, who has locked himself in a room of his mansion, is dying, and so the other members of the Ushiromiya family meet at the island to discuss how to divide up Kinzo’s assets once he’s gone. Including the servants, there are 18 individuals on the island.

During a family meeting, the Ushiromiyas receive a letter from the mythical Golden Witch named Beatrice, who supposedly exists somewhere on the island. Beatrice had given Kinzo ten tons of gold to restart his financial legacy after the Ushiromiya family was nearly bankrupt following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. A portrait of Beatrice hangs in the dinning room bearing a strange epitaph and riddle. According to the letter, whoever solves her riddle will inherit both the gold and role of the head of the Ushiromiya family. But time is running out, because the 18 habitants of the mansion are being murdered one by one. To make matters worse, a typhoon has arrived, making escape from the island impossible.

Umineko No Naku Koro Ni ReviewThe main character is Battler Ushiromiya, son of Kinzo’s second son Rudolf. Most of the first episode involves Battler attempting to stop the murders by figuring out who is behind them – refusing to believe the deaths are at the hand of a fabled witch’s magic. The following three episodes in Umineko No Naku Koro Ni replay certain moments on October 4th and 5th though with some variations, while Battler and Beatrice sit in a “limbo” watching the events unfold. For Battler to give up in his quest, is to admit that the murders could not have been executed without the witch’s magic.

What I Liked:

As I mentioned earlier, Umineko No Naku Koro Ni is not really a game, but merely a story (which happens to have trophies on the PlayStation 3 version). There’s no shooting aliens, climbing and swinging on vines, piloting starships, or even making decisions. Simply load up each of the four, 15-hour episodes, and start reading until it’s over. So really, giving this game 8 / 10 Banzai!s means the story received 8 / 10 Banzai!s.

I enjoy a good story, whether it be in a game, a movie, a novel, or told from a friend, or even an enemy (though I have very few of those). And I enjoyed the story of Umineko No Naku Koro Ni. In some ways, it was like a strange combination of the boardgame Clue and the TV series Lost. There is a mystery to be solved, and questions to be answered. The ultimate question is, of course: is one of the 18 individuals picking off the other Ushiromiya family members, or is it the witch Beatrice with her magic?

Despite not actually hitting any buttons or moving characters around in this “game,” the story is told in such a way as to invite the “players” to figure things out for themselves. If a certain family member was murdered in a certain room that was locked, who had the key? And where was that person during the time of death? To avoid any stretching, Beatrice occasionally states her dialogue in red, symbolizing an absolute truth. For example, The murderer came in through the door, to avoid both Battler and the “player” to start thinking someone had a jet-pack and soared in through the window to murder someone. This sets up the scenario in such a way that only logic can solve the riddle. If logic fails, then like Battler, the player is forced to accept that the murders could only have been executed with magic. In which case, the witch won.

Umineko No Naku Koro Ni ReviewWhile each of the four episodes retells the events during October 4th and 5th, the events are so different that the story never drags on. For one thing, different characters are murdered in different ways. Or the young female “deadly sins” arrive to commit their murders, or a member of the Ushiromiya family is given the witch’s powers. Each episode is different enough that they feel like completely separate stories. Though the end result is always the same: Will Battler figure out who is behind the murders, or will he have to accept it was Beatrice’s magic?

What I Didn’t Like:

There’s nothing I particularly disliked about Umineko No Naku Koro Ni, for as I said, this is more of a visual novel than a game, only without any choices to be made. perhaps my only disappointment – like the TV series Lost – was that the game’s end still left lingering questions which, to this day, I still ponder over. Though it’s not fair to say this is any fault of the game, as Umineko No Naku Koro Ni only contains four episodes.

There is a second game which I have not yet “played,” titled Umineko No Naku Koro Ni Chiru, which contains episodes five to eight that – I would hope – answer some questions left behind the previous game’s cliffhanger. Umineko No Naku Koro Ni Chiru is considered one of the rarest PlayStation 3 titles here in Japan, though I was lucky enough to have found a copy at a used game shop – but paid a hefty price for it.


Umineko No Naku Koro Ni is not for everyone. For one thing, it’s all in Japanese. Supposedly, there are English versions of the PC version floating around the internet. But Alchemist never made an English version for the PlayStation 3, and I seriously doubt they ever will.

As far as the platinum goes, this one is quite easy – regardless of your Japanese skills. Simply hit play, and let the story unfold automatically while you sleep or go to work. You may not be able to enjoy the game, but at least you’ll have a new platinum for your collection, without even having to hold a controller.

And if your Japanese language skills are up to the task, I’d highly recommend it. Despite being a “game” in which you don’t do anything, it really forces you to think logically and test your analytical skills – all while enjoying an interesting story with colorful characters.

written by Damon Finos

Umineko When They Cry Trophy Guide

Umineko When They Cry Trophy Guide. Difficulty: *  A visual novel in the murder mystery genre with a splash of supernatural and even horror. Even if possessing no understanding of Japanese, the Platinum requires no skill, only text skipping.

Game Name Difficulty Trophies Developer Country Bronze Silver Gold Online DLC
Umineko no Naku Koro ni: Majo to Suiri no Rinbukyoku * 28 Alchemist / 07th Expansion Japan 10 11 6 0 0

Umineko When They Cry

Umineko No Naku Koro Ni: Majo To Suiri No Rinbukyoku, roughly translated as "When Seagulls Cry: the Rondo of a Witch and Reasoning," is a visual novel in the murder mystery genre with a splash of supernatural.

In October of 1986, a group of relatives set out for their yearly get-together at the Ushiroya family's mansion on an Izu island. Once everyone gets settled, the topic of discussion becomes the problem of the island's ownership and treasure. A ton of gold, which had been saved for financial security, has gone missing and the eldest son is the suspect. Also thrown into the story is the witch Beatrice, who long ago has been living in hiding on the island, and apparently has returned. While everyone gathers safely in the mansion without escape due to a coming typhoon, strange murders begin taking place, leaving behind letters from the witch Beatrice. Could these continuous deaths be at someone's hand, or are they the result of witchcraft?

Like most visual novels, the game uses voice actors, text and still images to tell the story. However, unlike many games in the genre, Umineko No Naku Koro Ni does not involve any choices to be made. The story, in all its entirety, takes roughly 50 hours to get through.

For more information, check out our Umineko No Naku Koro Ni Review


This may be considered the easiest Platinums in the PlayStation 3 library.

The game is a visual novel which doesn't require any choices to make. Though it takes 50 hours to complete, you needn't be present with the controller in hand. Simply load up an episode, and let it play. A nice Platinum to earn while you're sleeping or at work.

Knowledge of Japanese is not necessary for the Platinum.

First, at the main menu, select Config. Once you exit out, you'll have earned your first trophy.

Next, select Episode 1. Once it begins, you can hit R1 and let it play by itself. At this point, you can either watch and read the text (if you understand Japanese) or play your Vita, go to sleep, or head off for work. Each episode is around 12 hours or so.

Once it's finished, head back into the main menu and select Tea Party, then Episode 1. Again, you can hit R1 and let it play out. The Tea Party story takes about 45 minutes.

Then, go back into the main menu and select ????, then Episode 1. Hit R1 to let it play out. The ???? story is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Then from the main menu, select Characters, and Episode 1. Select each character with the "New" icon by pressing circle. Also, flip between the alive and dead characters by pressing L1 and R1.

Finally, go back into the main menu and select Tips, and Episode 1. Again, select each tip with the "New" icon by pressing circle.

From then on, follow these same steps in the same order for Episode 2, 3, and 4. If you followed them correctly and used the R1 button, you should have the platinum by the end.

If you're still missing the 50 Hours of Playtime and/or 30,000 Lines of Text trophies, simply load up another episode and let it play out with the R1 button.

Other than the steps we've posted under the Advice tab, trophy guides aren't all that necessary for the Platinum. But we've got a few just in case:

Here's a great Trophy Guide, by Aeliana:

This is a breakdown of the Time for each episode, provided by j4stringthang:

Lastly, here's a basic Trophy List:

ToHeart 2 Trophy Guide

ToHeart 2 Trophy Guide. Difficulty: *  A romcom visual novel updated with new content since its first release on the PlayStation 2 in 2004. Even if possessing no understanding of Japanese, the Platinum requires no skill so long as you follow a guide.

Game Name Difficulty Trophies Developer Country Bronze Silver Gold Online DLC
ToHeart 2 DX Plus * 28 Leaf Japan 5 18 4 0 0

ToHeart 2 DX Plus

ToHeart 2 DX Plus is a Japanese romcom visual novel, and an updated version with added content from ToHeart 2, which in turn was first released on the PlayStation 2 in 2004. Players follow the story of the main character, while periodically making choices to particular events, as well as selecting which character's story to continue each day.

The male protagonist is Takaaki Kouno (whom the player can rename), a high school student who is generally shy and awkward around girls. The story begins in the Spring, after Takaaki's parents have left on an overseas business trip. His best friends are the wealthy Yuuji Kousaka, and the younger Konomi Yuzuhara who lives down the road. Depending on the player's choices, Takaaki spends his year at school interacting with friends and classmates, often leading to finding true love.

ToHeart 2, originally released in 2004, received critical acclaim by numerous Japanese magazines for its well-developed story and colorful characters, and has since been ranked the 3rd best visual novel of all time in Japan, out of 249 popular titles, by Dengeki G's Magazine poll.

Despite there not being any English version for the PlayStation 3, the Platinum is still easy to acquire even if you don't understand a word of Japanese. As a visual novel, all you'll need to do is text-skip and clear sets of stories, making choices along the way and a few strategic saves.

If you are text-skipping and following one of the ToHeart 2 trophy guide links under our Links tab, then the Platinum can be earned in around 12-14 hours.

In our Links page, check out the trophy guide by MainComptonese, which is a valuable source to learn what choices to make and when to include a save point. For the most part of the game, you'll be following (or text-skipping) the story by holding R1. At various moments you'll need to make choices, which you can choose by referring to Maincomptonese's trophy guide.

Each day for the main character usually begins with him waking up, heading to school, and taking part in some event during class. After school, there will be maps of different areas, each with a particular character's story to select. Hit R1 to move the Map to the Right, and Circle to select the location. Again, use MainComptonese's trophy guide to learn which location to select, depending on where you are in the story.

Each playthrough will consist of working through the story of one of the characters. After completing that story, unlocking that character's respective trophy, and saving the game, you can then reload one of the specified save points and continue with a different character.

Once you've unlocked each of the character's stories' trophies, there are a few miscellaneous trophies to unlock, which may involve unlocking missing CG photos. If you've been following MainComptonese's guide, you can reload those save files and try to unlock a different picture. The pictures are random, which means you will have to reload these save points several times until you unlock the rare photo (such as Sasara's white skirt) and thereby unlock the trophy.

This is a valuable Trophy Guide by MainComptonese, which also explains which choices to make and where to make save points:

Here is a Wiki Link if you'd like to learn more about the story and characters:

Lastly, here's a basic Trophy List:

Love Once Mermaid’s Tears Trophy Guide

Love Once Mermaid’s Tears Trophy Guide. Difficulty: *  A visual novel about a high school boy whose life is turned upside-down when two female mermaids decide to live with him. Even without understanding Japanese, the Platinum can easily be obtained if using a guide.

Game Name Difficulty Trophies Developer Country Bronze Silver Gold Online DLC
L@ve Once: Mermaid’s Tears * 16 Maid meets Cat Japan 0 6 9 0 0

L@ve Once: Mermaid’s Tears

The game is a Renai Adobenchaa - or Love Adventure - game, played similarly to the old Choose-Your-Own-Adventure YA novels. A story unfolds, with pictures and voice actors, and the player makes choices which dictate either receiving the "Good Ending" or "Bad Ending." L@ve Once was first released for the PSP in Japan in 2010, and the PS3 in 2011.

The protagonist is Shouji Takanashi, a High School student, who recalls a memory from his childhood when he discovered two young mermaids swimming in the sea. Years later, he comes home from school and is shocked to find two girls - Mei and Meru - in his home. It dawns on him that these are the twin mermaids whom, for years, he believed to to be a dream. Will Shouji find love among Mei, Meru, or one of the other High School girls? The choices are up to you.

A mermaid can only love once.
If a mermaid is left heartbroken, the sea will bubble and she'll vanish.

This game requires no skill whatsoever - you needn't even understand Japanese, which is good because there's no English version. Simply skim through the story, making different choices, and reach all possible endings.

This Platinum can be earned in under 10 hours, if you're not bothering to read the text.

Despite being a Japanese-only game (and not a particularly popular one, at that) we HAVE managed to find a few Love Once Mermaid's Tears trophy guides, which you can check out under our Links tab. They're helpful, but not incredibly necessary.

There's a trophy for each "Good Ending" for each girl, and their "Bad Ending" as well, making up 12 trophies. Most of the choices aren't important, until "October 19th" when the Mermaid Mom asks which girl is in your heart - either Mei, Meru, Risa, Nagomi, Hibiki, or Michiru. This will determine the route. The following choices won't matter, except for one - which will determine the Good or Bad ending. This is where the trophy guides will help out, in case you don't feel like writing down which decisions you've made and going back to select alternatives. There's also another trophy for having seen all 12 endings.

Afterwards, just select Extra Memory from the Menu screen, and read through all the memories for another trophy.

What's left is the trophy for completing the album. By now, it should be pretty full. This means selecting any previous choices you haven't yet made. Again, either check out the trophy guides in our Links page, or write this stuff down.

Always save after the credits!

You can skim through the text by hitting the "circle" button. When you're replaying the game, and if the text is part of a story you've already seen (you saved the game, right?) than just hold the R1 button, and you'll skim through the text at lightening speed! You can even hold the R1 down with an elastic, and play your Vita while you're waiting for the next choice option.

Here is a great Trophy Guide by Aeliana, who shows all the choices to make and in which order:

If you're still struggling with completing the album, check out this site which shows a complete list of all the Possible Choices. It's in Japanese, but so is the game - so just match the Japanese characters if you can't read it:

Finally, here's a Trophy List in Japanese:

And a Trophy List in English: