Seventh Coat is a free side game by Novectacle released on April Fools’ Day of 2013.
Dark†Knight (nickname), who’s ridiculed and frowned by society, is a game creator, particularly free indie games. One day, a young girl who’s a fan of his work sends him an ardent e-mail. At the age of 27, living on the brink of society, his life changes once he meets that bright young girl, and as she expresses her feelings about his games, he begins to give birth to a new game in the year 2013.
Dark†Knight manages his own website, Royaume Heven, where regulars who frequent the site are free to write comments. After inactivity, one frustrated regular named J.B. in Royaume Heven’s BBS continues to troll, “How long are you going to be inactive, shitty game maker?! Hurry and bring out a new game!”
And then finally, Dark†Knight himself announced a single sentence: “I will release a new game on April Fools’ Day.” On the day of April Fools’, the name of the game uploaded in the BSS is titled, “Seventh Coat,” but once downloaded, Dark†Knight and the regulars flies into a RPG-like parallel universe?!
Looks like Novectacle went all out with this game as it is around 3 hours long, and they even made Dark†Knight’s Royaume Heven site dedicated to the game where you can check Dark†Knight ‘s profile, the games he made, and the BBS comments. I’ve never seen a VN game maker, especially a doujin circle, this dedicated to April Fools ever. Probably closest is a spin-off game or a completely new game that can be completed in an hour, but this one is off the charts and a great effort was put into this.
I remember playing Seventh Coat after completing Fata Morgana no Yakata, and once I saw the characters sucked into the game world, it was all new to me for it seemed completely different from Fata Morgana. I thought to myself, “What the hell am I playing?” but of course, I remembered it’s an April Fools’ game, so I expected lots of fun, humorous, and gag scenes.
Since this is a short game, my review for this will also be quite short. Seventh Coat uses characters from the original Fata Morgana game, except for one character, and the setting takes place in modern times in Paris. Dark†Knight has no life, no girlfriend, no real job, sleeps at day, wakes up during the night, a shut-in, so basically a hikikomori NEET who produces indie games. He chats with a close friend of his whom he met online through a MMORPG, and who supports him as he continues making games and supports him emotionally as he continues living his shitty daily life. This changes as Dark†Knight receives an e-mail from a girl, a fan, who would like to meet him in real life. The young girl is cute, sweet, and very supportive of Dark†Knight’s games and because of her supportive and enthusiastic words, it inspired Dark†Knight to make a new game. Once the game is made, Dark†Knight and the regulars who frequent the BBS of Royaume Heven are somehow sucked into the game, and they must find a way out.
I expected fun and games, which Seventh Coat did deliver, but there are also touching and suspenseful moments too. Seventh Coat presented quite a few plot twists, which I didn’t expect at all, but that’s the best part about them. Also, as expected, tragedies happen, although it’s not as extreme as the ones in Fata Morgana no Yakata, it’s more related to “real life” tragedies and some of these “real life” tragedies hit close to home, so I emphasized with a few of the characters. If you’re wondering what kind of game Seventh Coat is in general, the first thing we see is a poem from The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Volume 1’s Inferno, Canto 4 that gives us hints on what’s about to unravel, but I doubt anybody really paid attention to that poem.
Seventh Coat uses the same game settings and template as Fata Morgana no Yakata. The logo is nicely designed and it’s also the eye catch that changes from blue to orange as the story changes from real life to in game. Monsters do appear, several of them, and if I heard correctly, when a dryad appeared on screen, it was accompanied with a Bulbasaur sound effect like in the old Gameboy games. There are only two CGs, which is understandable for this is a free short game made for fun, but you cannot retrieve it since there’s no Gift area section in the main game screen. Also because of that, you can’t re-listen to the tracks used in the game. Novectacle got a lot of different composers to compose for Seventh Coat, and none of them are the ones from Fata Morgana no Yakata, except for Yusuke Tsusumi who only composed the ending theme song. Seventh Coat has quite a few English vocal tracks and 8-bit chirpy tuneful tracks, which I greatly enjoyed. The 8-bit tracks fit in well with the game itself and they are very pleasing to listen to, plus it feels nostalgic and indie-like.
The characters’ speech sounds like they’re talking in game and they use in game terms, and sprout phrases like, “Cheat weapons ktkr!!!” I especially enjoyed one of Dark†Knight’s conversation with J.B. that went like this:
“Why did you give her such a skimpy outfit,” asked J.B., for which Dark†Knight responded with, “I thought this game needed some fan service.” J.B. firmly closes his eyes and gave his approval. “…….GJ.”
I also liked the conversation between Dark†Knight and his good friend when they type casually together. His friend types with a lot of “wwwww,” and jokes around when he calls himself a virgin when asked if he was popular with the ladies. His friend is really laid-back, calm, and supportive, and I guess he’s a true internet friend.
Seventh Coat is a fun and emotional side game with a different outlook of the original characters. I walked into this game with no clue what it was about. I didn’t even read the summary, I only went to the Royaume Heven site. I expected happier times and characters battling monsters in a RPG, but then the inevitable despair and tragedies happen. Although this is a side game that isn’t related to the original game’s storyline, I feel like some of the characters’ dialogues and interactions should’ve been included in Fata Morgana instead, just without the internet and game slang. What really stood out to me is the life of Dark†Knight. I feel sorry for him when people calls his games kusoge which heavily reminds me of the documentary, Indie Game: The Movie, and how some creators put forth a great deal of effort and time in their game for it to be successful even if the feedback from others are negative. So in Seventh Coat, you see his struggles with balancing life and the creation of indie games. Also, prepared to be fooled.
Check Seventh Coat out if you want to see the characters interact like they’re in a RPG game and other crazy hijinks.
Also check out Novectacle’s 2015 April Fools’ game, Vegetacle -Carrot Cake Character Shuffle Incident-, where there’s body swapping and way more humorous scenes that will have you laughing throughout the entire game.