I've run out of Higurashi
! There are three remaining instalments, and they exist
- they were first released just over a decade ago - but they have yet to be re-released on Steam with better art and a fresh translation. So I suppose I'm just going to have to live in suspense until they come out at... some unknown point in the future. Why did I become so invested in this story?
I'm deeply sad that 'Meakashi' didn't have an all-cast review session. Keiichi never got to attend the game afterparties because he didn't have character art, and when he finally does
get character art there's no afterparty!
The way I described the plot of 'Meakashi' to some friends unfamiliar with Higurashi
:- A guy says, 'Hey, look after my sister' to the girl who's in love with him.
- The guy mysteriously disappears.
- The girl goes, 'Wow, I'm really angry that he's missing. And I hate his sister. Maybe I'll just take out my feelings by murdering her.'
- While repeatedly stabbing his sister, she feels as if the guy is asking, 'Did you forget your promise?'
- SHIT, SHE PROMISED SHE WOULDN'T DO THIS.
- If only she hadn't forgotten! How could it possibly have occurred to her that he might not want her to murder his sister?
I can't believe that 'Meakashi' failed to explain how Keiichi ended up (probably) getting murdered by 'Mion' in his hospital bed when both Mion and Shion were dead. I'm going to laugh so hard if it turns out they're actually triplets. (I don't think Higurashi
would actually do this. But it would be hilarious.)
Something struck me in 'Meakashi'. Satoshi murders his aunt on the night of Watanagashi, and Shion later scolds Mion for not coming up with an alibi for him; she should have insisted he was with her at the festival.
This might explain why everyone claims to have seen Keiichi at the festival in the 'Tatarigoroshi' timeline. He thinks he's fallen into some sort of alternate universe where he was
at the festival, but no; everyone knows he murdered Satoko's uncle, and they're trying to protect him by coming up with this collective lie. They already lost Satoshi; they don't want to lose Keiichi under the same circumstances.
I seem to remember Keiichi felt his friends seemed hostile in the 'alternate universe', and that would make sense if they've created an alibi for him. They still love him (hence trying to protect him), but they probably resent him a little for forcing them into the position of having to cover up a murder.
It doesn't explain why Satoko says her uncle is still alive, but I'm still dubious about that claim. We never actually see
him alive after the murder. I suppose the cover-up might
extend to pretending that Satoko's uncle isn't dead at all, but I doubt it; Satoko really suffered in her effort to follow the orders he supposedly gave her after his death. I think Satoko's perception of reality has been destroyed and she genuinely believes he's still around. She wasn't at the festival, so she doesn't know Keiichi wasn't there and she doesn't have to be in on the cover-up. I think she's the only one in the group who doesn't know about the murder.
This is so frustrating! Usually, when I run out of an in-progress work of fiction I'm enjoying, I can tide myself over until the next release by reading fanfiction, or writing fanfiction, or poking through reactions online. But I can't write fanfiction when there are so many mysteries I don't know the answers to, and any existing fanworks or online discussions will be ridden with spoilers for later games. So I've played through fifty hours of this series and suddenly hit a brick wall.
In any case, this is a fine addition to my increasingly worrying collection of videogames about teenagers being horribly traumatised.