Much like other yuri visual novels which take a while to play through, Fatal Twelve is an investment in both time and emotions. And in my opinion, the pay-off is still worth it.
I’ve long entertained a pet theory that yuri visual novels can be much more brutal compared to other visual novels and Fatal Twelve only further proves my point. I mean, the opening scene shows how the protagonist, Shishimai Rinka, gets caught in and dies from a terrorist’s suicide bomb attack. Things can only go down from there, right?
Well, not quite. Turns out 11 other individuals also died on that exact same day at the exact same instant. As a result, Rinka and these 11 others are forced to participate in an ongoing trial dubbed the Divine Selection. Over the course of a twelve week period, the participants have to find out each other’s names, cause of death, and regret. Once a participant holds those three pieces of information regarding another participant, the knowing participant can choose to “elect” and thus eliminate said participant. The elected will thusly die again (since everyone’s deaths had been undone in order to proceed with the Divine Selection).
There’s a lot more to the Divine Selection, of course, but it’s better to experience it yourself. It’s clear, however, that this is a setting that is rife with tension and emotion. After all, this is essentially a life-or-death game and some participants happen to be more desperate to live than others. Consequently, the uglier sides of humanity are highly visible. But with that being said, so are the more beautiful and tragic visages of humanity. Characters whom players may have initially considered irredeemable or morally bankrupt are fleshed out and successfully painted as human over the course of Fatal Twelve.
And while all of this is happening, a passionate yuri love flourishes in the background~ nothing explicit happens, but several women are clearly and explicitly drawn to other women, which is something worth celebrating in a world where ambiguity runs rampant (and where some viewers just don’t see most CGDCT shows as being incredibly gay like I do).
…with that being said, I ended up really really supporting a het ship that wasn’t meant to be. Which is highly irregular since I’m more often way more supportive of yuri love. I guess star-crossed lovers is just way too attractive of a concept to me…
I have nothing but praise for the highly polished UI for the game. There’s even a Summary icon in case you’re feeling lost, which is something that you don’t see too often in visual novels.
Similarly, the overall aesthetic of the game is top-notch. I love the character designs and the highly detailed backgrounds seen in both real life and in the dream world.
As a final note, I only played through the three “good endings.” There’s seven endings in total: four are bad, two are good, and the last one is the True Ending. One day I may go back and play through the bad endings, but I felt like I had already cried enough.
Overall, I would have to say that Fatal Twelve is a game that’ll relentlessly tug on your heartstrings. I know I cried many times while playing this beautiful visual novel.
If you’ve played through Shadows of Pygmalion, then you’ll know what to expect since both games are quite similar: a tale of tough decisions and depressing moments with a subtle yet noticeable undercurrent of yuri love.