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Company: Blue Impact
Wingfield, a kingdom in a different world than the world of humans, was ruled by a race of white-winged people who lived in peace. However, this peace was brought to a halt when a mutation of the race, those with black wings, who had lived under the white wings for years, decided to revolt against them. Using magic that the White-Wings didn't possess, the Black-Wings invaded the castle and killed the royal family.
However, there were a few survivors: the child prince to the throne, who escaped the attack to the world of humans with the lieutenant of the imperial guard, and the King's brother, who had left to the world of humans previously when he fell in love with a human woman. But they were not overlooked by the Black-Wings, who came over to the human world in search of them.
Finding the King's brother, he and his wife are killed, but their infant twin sons survive, entrusted into the care of one of their young guards, who places them into the safety of an orphanage. But the twins, Shou and Kai, are separated as children when they are adopted by different people, and grow up unknowing of their angelic origins.
Years later, Shou finds himself accepted into Yuusei Highschool, where those associated to Wingfield have gathered, both intentially and unintentially. And it is here that several of the Black-Wings have begun their plans to strike again at the White-Wings.
Birthday: March 27th
Shou is an energetic, honest, and positive person, despite his childhood of losing his parents and having to live in an orphanage, and then lose his younger twin brother, Kai, at the age of five due to them being split by adoption to different people. He is the type that acts first and thinks later, and because of this is a bit careless. He is accepted into Yuusei Highschool off of a scholarship for his amazing skills in Kendo, even though he isn't very good academically. Seiyuu: Yamaguchi Kappei.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Since his father was the brother to the King of Wingfield, though his mother was human, Shou is half White-Wing, half human, and part of the Wingfield nobility, though he is initially unaware of this. He and Kai were saved as babies from the attack on their parents by a young Sena, who was a guard to their family. They were placed in an orphanage where they grew up for five years before they were separated from different adoptions. Shou was adopted by a kind couple and lived a fairly normal childhood after that. When his adoptive parents passed away, he transferred to Yuusei Highschool on his scholarship.
Birthday: March 27th
Kai is Shou's younger twin brother, though he has no memory of him. He is very much the opposite of his brother: cold and reserved, extremely intelligent, strategic, and a bit mouthy and arrogant. He became the adopted son of the head of the Misonou Finacial Corporation, brought up to become the heir of the company, but is sent to attend schooling at Yuusei Highschool due to connections between his adoptive father and the principal of the school. He is also unaware of being half White-Wing, like his brother. Seiyuu: Midorikawa Hikaru.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Being Shou's younger twin brother, Kai is also half White-Wing, half human, and a member of the Wingfield nobility. After they are saved as babies by Sena and put into the orphanage, at the age of five Kai was adopted by Reiya Wakayabashi and put into his research center, where they were testing candidate children to become an heir to the Misonou Financial Corporation. It was during this time that Kai lost his memory of Shou. Kai was chosen of the candidates and adopted by Misonou, and raised to take over the company. He left to Yuusei Highschool due to manipulation from Reiya, principal of the school.
Birthday: January 7th
Anri is a shy and withdrawn person, the type that is easily bullied and teased, and he is also often mistaken as a girl due to his effeminate features. He grew up in a poor family with a weak mother and without a father. He received a scholarship into Yuusei Highschool, and is known for his talent at playing the flute. His music has magical properties, and he also has the ability to sense ghosts and is prone to possession. He is Shou's roommate and classmate. Seiyuu: Miyata Kouki.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Anri's magical and supernatural powers are due to him possessing Wingfield blood in his ancestry. He is initially unaware of this, until later when he is able to manifest very small wings.
Ousaka Kurisu (Chris)
Birthday: October 12th
Chris is a very nihilistic person; his parents were killed when he was young and he became very pessimistic and resigned about life. He has attended Yuusei Highschool for several years because he has to keep repeating grades due to sleeping during his classes and not really trying to do his work. Despite being rather laid-back, he also has a lively and teasing side, and is rather popular. He is Kai's roommate. Seiyuu: Suzuki Chihiro.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Chris is the son of the late King of Wingfield, Prince Christopher. During the attack on Wingfield Castle that took the lives of his parents, he was protected by Shion, the lieutenant of the imperial guard and aide to the King, who took him to the human world and raised him. Because of their relation in the royal family, Shou and Kai are cousins of Chris.
Birthday: September 3rd
Sena is the Biology teacher at Yuusei Highschool, and also the head of the dorms and firearms club advisor. He is a very serious and awkward person. He keeps a very kind, calm, and unemotional demeanor about him. He has a pet bird, Pipi, that he is rather attached to, while being a bit introverted around people. He is Kai's charge while he attends at the school. Seiyuu: Masutani Yasunori.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Sena was an imperial soldier that was part of the guard for Shou and Kai's parents. When their mother was killed, she entrusted her infant twin sons to him. Being only twelve at the time, he put them into an orphanage, but continued to watch over them from the shadows. He was in love with Mari, Shou and Kai's mother, and his bird Pipi previously belonged to her. He is rather emotionally shut off from living a lonely life, growing up alone in the human world from such a young age. He still watches over Shou and Kai, honoring Mari's wishes.
Birthday: December 12th
Shion is the history teacher at Yuusei Highschool, and also the advisor to the Art and Literature and Karate departments. Shion is very serious and faithful, with a strong sense of justice and a fiery spirit. Despite he very strong and masculine demeanor, he also has a domestic side, with a talent for cooking and sewing. Seiyuu: Suzuoki Hirotaka (Ishikawa Hideo when the Kohaku no Hitomi 18+ Voice Add-on is applied).
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Shion was the lieutenant of the Wingfield imperial guard and aide and bodyguard of the King, and is an expert at military arts. He saved Prince Christopher, who was only a child, from the attack, and brought him to the human world, where he took care of him. He blames not being able to defend the royal family against the Black-Wings on himself, that it was his responsibility, and since then dedicates his existance to taking care of Chris and defending him.
Birthday: November 3rd
Naoto is a friend of Shou's from junior high. Shou transferred from his junior high school, but they were reunited at Yuusei Highschool. They are both part of the Kendo team, but feels jealous of Shou's skill, and though he thinks of him as a best friend, he considers him a bit of a rival when it comes to Kendo. He is a very cheerful and strong person, but has his quirks, such as enjoying ghost stories even though they scare him. Seiyuu: Kishio Daisuke.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Naoto is from a family of Black-Wings, and is used by Ran, a skilled Black-Wing soldier. When his wings are free and he is in fighting stance, he becomes like another person, possessed with anger.
Birthday: February 29th
Nagi is best friends with Kai, and a year older than him. He is a bit obsessed with him, giving him compliments, such as finding Kai's long hair beautiful. He is very mysterious, and wears a chain around his wrist though no one knows why. Though he can be seen at night in the courtyard outside the dorms, he is not a student at Yuusei. Seiyuu: Takurou Nakakuni.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Nagi met Kai when they were in Wakabayashi's testing facility as children. They became very close, and Nagi took care of Kai, becoming a bit like a protective and comforting older brother as Kai forgot about his own brother. They were separated when Nagi was taken into other testings and Kai was adopted by Misonou. It is discovered that Nagi is a Black-Wing, and becomes very violent when it is unleashed.
Reiya is the principal of Yuusei Highschool. He is a very ambitious person; the former principal was driven out of the school, and then Reiya then took over his position. It is rumored that he is affiliated with the Misonou Financial Corporation, but no one is sure if this is true or not. Seiyuu:Inoue Kazuhiko.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Reiya's real name is Reiyard, and he is the leader of the Black-Wings from Wingfield. He is a cold-hearted person who will his own ally if they become unuseful. He is trying to relieve the Black-Wings from their painful fate of being considered a lesser-race living below the White-Wings.
Ran is the mathematics teacher at Yuusei Highschool, and the homeroom teacher for Shou and Anri. He seems to have a partnership with Reiya, in both public and private matters. He is involved in many strange departments at the school, including a sorcery club (even though Kai is the only one that could really be associated with such a club). Like Reiya, he is also very ambitious, as well as a bit cold and mysterious, especially in his involvements at Yuusei. Seiyuu: Kosugi Juurouta.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Ran is also one of the Black-Wings, and the sub-leader of their clan. Though he is Reiyard's right-hand man, he has his own ambitions that he plans to set in motion. He has very strong hatred against the White-Wings, and wants to bring their people to destruction.
Karen is the calligraphy teacher at Yuusei, and advisor to the Kendo team. Though he has a feminine appearance and is obviously gay, he is also very strong and talented with a sword. He is in love with Reiya, and though he tries his best, his advances are not very successful. Seiyuu: Majima Junji.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Karen is a Black-Wing, and one of their soldiers in the revolt, and a very strong one at that; he was part of the group that group that attacked the Wingfield royal family. He doesn't seem to have a real grudge against the White-Wings, but because he likes Reiyard, he fights deligently for them to serve under him.
Ruka is the music teacher at Yuusei, and the advisor of the tea ceremony club. Though she is a beautiful woman, she is actually quite strong and masculine. Being the only woman at the school, and beautiful and seemingly gentle at that, she is the target of many students' affections. Anri, as one of the students in the music program, has friendly relations with her. Seiyuu: Fukai Haruka.
Additional spoiler info (highlight to read): Ruka is one of the Black-Wings, and another soldier that took part in the attack at Wingfield Castle. Though she can show gentleness, she is a very strong fighter and has a very vengeful side.
Angel's Feather is a combination of visual novel and RPG. It is divided into ten chapters, where the story plays out in an ADV mode and at different points in the story it switches to an RPG mode where you explore areas and fight battles.
The story-mode portion of the game is where you view the story of the game and set up character pairings. It plays out like any other typical ADV, only it is not heavy on options: the only options found in the game are choices to visit different locations to interact with different characters or view events, a set of two options when you trigger a love event (one to go ahead with the event and one to cancel it), and a few special events that have some options. Therefore the story is linear, with the only differences being which characters you pair together, with a total of three pairings set up per game. During story-mode parts of the game, you may use the Ctrl-key to fast-forward over dialogue (there is also an option in the Options screen to shut off voice during fast-fowarding so you don't have those annoying little voice blips as you skip through the scene.)
There are times during the story where the game will go into an RPG-mode. The RPG-mode is your standard dungeon-crawling turn-based RPG system: you navigate through areas where you have random encounters with monsters and fight bosses in a turn-based battle mode where you select your characters actions from an action list, which includes attack, magic, special move, items, defend, and retreat.
The areas are 3D and are navigated by right-clicking and holding down on the mouse to change the screen perspective, and during battles, the camera angle swings around the characters as they attack. Therefore, you need a pretty decent video card to run the game smoothly. However, the game also has a 2D-mode for the RPG portion of the game which can be selected when first loading the game. Unfortunately, it looks terrible: the graphics are horribly pixelated and they don't even animate the legs walking so you look like you are "gliding" across the ground. However, you still may rotate the perspective of the screen during 2D-mode (in fact, you have to in order to see exits and such). The only good parts of the 2D-mode is that it gets rid of the annoying camera angle swings during battle and is less taxing on your system if you have a bad video card. Below is a comparison picture between 3D-mode and 2D-mode:
When first loading the game, you have the options to set the 800x600 resolution into a full screen mode or a window (for those with a resolution set higher than 800x600), the color setting (True Color, High Color, ect.), 3D or 2D mode, and movie quality. These options are mainly for trying to find a setting that makes the game run well on your system.
There are 20 save slots, which in my opinion is /way/ too small for a game such as this one, and one of the biggest downfalls in its design. The game includes tons of Options in its Option screen, such as separate volume settings for background music and voice, message options such as speed, message window colors, coloring unused options, and displaying furigana over difficult kanji in the text, and some options for disabling special effects.
The game includes a CG gallery that hosts a /huge/ amount of CGs: with the 18+ add-on applied, there are over 250 images, in beautiful quality by Studio E.go! artist Yamamoto Kazue. There is also a Memorial section where you may replay the sex scenes from the game, and a Music Room where you can play the excellent opening theme, "White Revolution", and the background musics from the game.
The CD-ROM version of Angel's Feather can be a bit fussy installing on a system. First of all, you absolutely MUST be running an operating system that has native Japanese language support, and it must be properly configured or you will not be able to install or play the game. I have instructions for setting your system into Japanese on my Japanese Game Installation Guide. Using third party programs like NJStar Communicator or AsianSuite on Windows 98/Me will not work.
I have made an installation guide showing the process I used to install Angel's Feather from the CD-ROM version: Angel's Feather Installation Guide. If you have other installation problems I do not have the answers; these are simply the issues I ran into on my system.
Please note that the CD-ROM version of Angel's Feather has SafeDisk protection. You will need to have Disk 3 in the drive for it to make the protection check when you load the game. If you have an image file that was not properly imaged around the protection, you may need to apply the cracked Angel's Feather .exe. There is also a noCD patch that lets you load the game without having to have Disk 3 in the drive (however, it will then not play background music, since the music is stored on Disk 3).
After installing the Angel's Feather CD-ROM version, make sure you apply the Angel's Feather 1.02b Patch. This was put out by Blue Impact and corrects minor issues with the game. This patch is for the CD-ROM version only, do not apply it if you are using the DVD-ROM version of Angel's Feather or it could cause issues.
For the DVD-ROM version of Angel's Feather, I had no issues with installing the game, the full game installs straight off the DVD. Since it was released some time after the CD-ROM version, there is no need to apply the correction patch; in fact, doing so can cause problems (I know it gave me issues when I accidentally applied it on my DVD-ROM install, and I had to uninstall and reinstall the game). The DVD contains the background music and will make a protection check, so you will need the DVD in the drive when you play.
If you plan on applying the 18+ add-on CD, install it directly after you install the game and have patched it (even though the 18+ add-on is a normal CD-ROM, it installs fine with the DVD-ROM version of the game). The 18+ add-on disk does not have voice, so these scenes will not be voiced when you see them in the game -- this is normal! However, if you have Angel's Feather ~Kohaku no Hitomi~, there is an option on that game disk to add voice to the 18+ scenes in the original Angel's Feather. It also changes Shion's seiyuu to his new seiyuu in Kohaku no Hitomi (Ishikawa Hideo), and adds some new CGs. Make sure you already have the original game installed and the 18+ disk applied first. It is the button on the Kohaku no Hitomi install screen that is highlighted below. You do not have to install the game of Kohaku no Hitomi just to apply the voice files from the disk to Angel's Feather.
AGTH Compatibility - Angel's Feather is compatible with Anime Games Text Hooker. It must run from a /p or /pn parameter (available as of AGTH Ver. 2007.5.2). Make a shortcut of the agth.exe, not the Angel's Feather game .exe. Place this shortcut inside your Angel's Feather install folder. Right-click your AGTH shortcut and at the end of the Target line add /c /pnaf.exe. Launch Angel's Feather. After the game is running, then launch your AGTH shortcut.
Angel's Feather (18+ Version) Capture Guide - A capture guide in English made by myself for getting all the CGs and endings in the game. The guide deals heavily with shortcuts to help cut down on playing time.
Angel's Feather 1.02b Patch - A correction patch put out by Blue Impact to correct problems with the CD-ROM version of the game. Make sure to apply this patch directly after install if you are playing from the CD-ROM version of the game! However, it is not needed (and can even cause problems) with the DVD-ROM version of the game.
Angel's Feather (18+ Version) Full CG Capture Save File - A save file that unlocks all the CGs in the game. This is a hacked save file that will also unlock CG 10-15, which normally is not unlockable when playing the 18+ version of the game.
Angel's Feather is considered one of the most popular boys' love games. This shouldn't come as any surprise, as it contains an involved story, great cast of characters, beautiful art, and a non-standard gameplay, all things that are very important to the over-all appeal of a game.
One of the most notable parts of Angel's Feather is how involved the story is, an area that is usually lacking in most boys' love games. The game is even split into ten chapters, similar to what you would find in an actual novel, where it plays out the struggle between the White-Wings and the Black-Wings, the roles and backgrounds of the characters involved, and the relationships between the characters. Therefore, it has very good plot and character development. Of course like most Japanese games that have good stories, it is harder to follow than the more shallow plotlines of other games, which always leaves an impression of wanting to know more details. However, it isn't too hard to at least get the overall gist of the story since it is heavy on CGs and voiced.
The art is the game is top-notch, drawn by the famous artist of Studio E.go! (the ero game parent company to Blue Impact), who is known for her very soft and detailed CG style. There is also a bit of variation, as flashback CGs are done in a bright and simplistic water-color style, making those parts stand out from the present-day story. And there are also /lots/ of CGs, the highest count I've found yet in the games I've played up to the point of doing this review: 212 in the standard version of the game, and if the 18+ add-on is applied, the count goes up to 269. If the 18+ voice-add from the Kohaku no Hitomi (the sequel to Angel's Feather) disk is applied, this also adds a scene at the end of Chapter 1 with three more new CGs (though unfortunately, these are not added into the CG gallery). For those interested in the 18+ CGs, they are very well-done, though admittedly not very varied in content: typically the first love event is always a kiss, the second always a handjob, and the third always anal sex. Even so, they are definitely sexy and nice eye candy. And for those that don't like 18+ material, the main disk of the game is non-adult; the sex is only included when the 18+ add-on disk is applied. This makes it good for a large range of BL gamers; those that only like mild boys' love, and those that like sexual boys' love.
The voice acting in the game is top-notch: the seiyuu do a great job and fit the characters nicely (though admittedly I can't compare the difference between Suzuoki Hirotaka, the original seiyuu of Shion, and Ishikawa Hideo, who is the seiyuu if you apply the 18+ voice add-on from Kohaku no Hitomi, since I only played the game with the 18+ voice add-on applied). However, one of the biggest downfalls is that the 18+ CG add-on for the game was /not/ voiced; meaning as you played the game, it would be voiced, but then anytime it came to one of the added 18+ scenes, the voice stopped, which not only feels sloppy and inconsistant, but is also disappointed since voiced 18+ scenes are more appealing to fans. Blue Impact probably heard some disappointment about this, because when they released the sequel, Angel's Feather ~Kohaku no Hitomi~, they included an option off the install screen to add voice to the 18+ scenes. However, I feel a bit bad about those people that played through the whole game initially (it is a /long/ game) and then would have to play all over again now that the voice add-on is available two years later; plus the 18+ voice add-on isn't available as a separate disk, it is only on the Kohaku no Hitomi CD, so they would have to buy the entire game to be able to add the 18+ voice to the original. However, it is completely worth it: they did an /excellent/ job voicing the sexual scenes. I'm glad I put off playing the game so I didn't have to replay to hear the voice-acting in those scenes; I can't even imagine what it would've been like without them, it truly added to the sexiness of the scenes.
One of my other favorite features of the game: multiple pairings. Instead of having one main character that can be paired with the others, there are several different possible pairings: 17 different character pairings, five of which where the seme and uke positions can be switched, for a total of 22 possible pairings. The downfall of the multi-pairing system is the large amount of replaying that has to be done in order to see them all, since only three can be set up per game, and replaying the game is a bit taxing due to length and repeated battles. Due to the character's roles, the pairings include friends, incest, care-taker, and teacher/student relationships, themes that are often appealing to most boys' love game fans.
But even the best games have their downpoints. One of the things with Angel's Feather is that you will need a fairly decent system to play the game smoothly. Though the game runs in 800x600, which is the resolution of my computer, it was very hard to play on this resolution because when using Ctrl+Alt to minimize it, resuming it then distorted the picture (though clicking the mouse to the next line of dialogue at least fixed this). I also had times where the game locked up on me, especially if something else started running on my system, so it is a little taxing on RAM. It also screencaps the pointer (which most games do not), so you either have to stick the pointer in the lower-right corner (which still leaves a few small black pixels in the shot) or need to be playing in a window to move the pointer off the game screen for screencapturing. Also, the 2D-mode they have included to make the game run better on low-end systems sucks: the graphics on it are horribly pixelated, the characters "float" across the ground since they don't even animate their legs moving, and in many cases the lack of effects and pixelation makes it hard to tell what things are and navigate. I actually prefer 2D games since I have a visual problem with 3D, but it was just impossible to get around in their 2D-mode, which meant some headaches for me from the constant swinging camera during battles (of course this is a personal orientation problem that I have, and the 3D-mode probably would not bother anyone else). I only wonder why they bothered to include a 2D-mode when it looks so bad it is nearly impossible to play in it.
I also was not very happy with their save system. There are only 20 save slots, and for a game this long, there really needed to be more. The techniques for shortening gameplay rely heavily on reloading from specific points in the story, and if you accidentally save over one of them, this can mean /a lot/ of replaying. I found I often had to back up my save folder to make sure I didn't do this, and also keep a written list of exactly what points in the story were saved in each save slot so I'd know where to reload later. Also, when you save in story-mode, when you load you start back at the beginning of the scene instead of when you made the save, another inconvenience.
Also, the game requires a large investment of time in order to win all the endings. While the RPG-mode is appealing at first, it becomes extremely tedious to have to do the areas and battles over, and over, and over to win all the endings; even with using shortcuts to cut down on replays, it takes at least 18 plays of the last level and fighting the last two bosses. I got pretty sick of having to replay all those battles just to get all the endings, not to mention how much time it took. If you are only interested in winning a few pairings, this probably won't be so bad, but if you want full capture, prepare for putting in some major dedication.
Angel's Feather is definitely a game that rightly deserves the recognition it has among BL gamers, since it hits all the major high-points of what makes a really appealing game. Since it is originally non-adult, those that don't like sexual boys' love can enjoy the game, and since there is an 18+ add-on disk, those that like sexual boys' love can enjoy it as well. Well worth a play by any fan of the BL game genre; just be prepared to invest a large amount of time if you want to play through all the possible endings.
Blue Impact's Official Angel's Feather Site (Japanese) - The company's site with information on the game.
Half Adder's Angel's Feather Capture Guide (Japanese) - A complete capture guide for getting all the endings in Angel's Feather.
Kouryaku no Yakata's Angel's Feather Capture Guide (Japanese) - Another capture guide for Angel's Feather.
Angel's Feather Ring (Japanese) - Official Japanese webring for Angel's Feather sites.
Angel's Feather Moe Doumei (Japanese) - Another webring for Angel's Feather.
Angel's Feather Live Journal Community (English) - The Live Journal community for anything related to Angel's Feather.
Chronicles of Wingfield (English) - An English site dedicated completely to Angel's Feather! Has story and character information, gameplay information and screenshots, and update status for the translation project.
Angel's Feather @ Bishounen.com (English) - Story and character information for Angel's Feather.
Disclaimer: All written text and capture guides © Boys' Love Games Headquarters. All pictures and downloads are copyright of their respective companies and artists and are for promotional use only. I am in no way claiming the art as my own, nor am I trying to infringe upon the company's rights. I am trying to promote these games by allowing a foreign audience to see some artwork from the game.