By Chris Melchin / February 22nd, 2017
Author’s note: Links lead to 18+ websites and content. All review images and content are potentially NSFW. An all-ages version of the game is also available.
|Title||D.C. III R ~Da Capo III R~ X-rated|
|Release Date||January 20, 2017|
|Genre||Visual Novel, Eroge, Romance, Comedy|
|Age Rating||18+ (X-rated), All-ages (Steam)|
Rounding out my exploration of the Da Capo series is the third and final game in the trilogy, specifically the English release titled D.C. III R ~Da Capo III R~ X-rated. Da Capo III was originally released by Circus in Japan on April 27, 2012, and Da Capo III R is an updated version released in 2013 with some extra content and side stories. The English version, released by MangaGamer, launched on January 20, 2017, with an all-ages version available on Steam and the eroge version available through their website.
Da Capo III is initially set roughly 20 years after the events of Da Capo II, although the bulk of the story takes place over 100 years earlier in the 1950s. The future segments share the series location of Hatsune Island, while the past sections are set at the Royal London Magic Academy, nicknamed Weather Vane, below the city of London, England. It follows protagonist Kiyotaka Yoshino (known as Kiyotaka Katsuragi at Weather Vane), his childhood friend and his past self’s adopted younger sister Himeno Katsuragi, his upperclassman Ricca Morizono/Greenwood, his upperclassman and his future self’s live-in older cousin Charles Yoshino/Maroth, his younger classmate Sara Rukawa/Chrysalis, and his hardworking younger friend Aoi Hinomoto. Accompanying them at Weather Vane are Kiyotaka’s best friend Kousuke Edogawa, fellow members of the Detective Club Mary Holmes and Edward Watson, the uptight noble Ian Selway and his personal maid Rurika Odet, the strange upperclassman Suginami, Ricca and Charles’ fellow student council member Tomoe Gojouin, and the mysterious, childlike amnesiac Sakura.
The story is divided into four parts. The first part, “Prologue”, serves as the framing device and is the only part set on Hatsune Island. The second part “Weather Vane” provides the bulk of the game; it is divided into two chapters, with the first “Weather Vane” acting as a common route, while the second chapter “Spinning Wheel” has four different versions: one each for Himeno, Ricca, Charles and Sara. The third part, “Zero”, is unlocked after finishing all four routes and helps to tie them all together. The final chapter “Da Capo” concludes the overarching story and bridges it with the ending of Da Capo II. There are also five side stories, with extra scenes focused on Aoi and side characters Tomoe Gojouin and Weather Vane Headmistress Elizabeth. Another side story reveals the background between Kiyotaka and Himeno starting at Weather Vane and the beginning of the common route, and the final one serves as a more direct sequel to Da Capo II, set roughly five years after that game’s ending. It’s slightly disappointing that so little of the game follows the Hatsune Island versions of the characters, but it’s undeniable that their Weather Vane versions are decidedly more interesting just by virtue of attending a magic academy. Like with Da Capo II, the previous games aren’t required reading to enjoy this one – with the exception of the final side story which even includes a new character from the never-localized Da Capo II Plus Communication – but they do give context for the setting and introduce the few returning characters.
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