Death and Ker – Rayless Night

So I read another video game fan fiction, and you can check out my badly-expressed thoughts on why these things are so great at this link.

Death and Ker is based on Persona a classic dating sim/role playing game about Japanese students hunting mythological manifestations of the Jungian collective unconscious while the rest of the world is frozen during midnight. It’s absolutely brilliant, check out the great music and art style in the video above. Rapping and singing during battles? Yes please!

The Playstation Portable version of the game, which I played, allows you to choose whether the protagonist is a boy or a girl. I chose to play the game as a male character, because it required less imagination on my part, but Death and Ker goes with a female protagonist. The big consequence of this is that some street punk who died tragically in my run of the game becomes a love interest with a considerably longer life span.

Beyond that I can’t say much about Death and Ker‘s plot because most of it would be incomprehensible to those unfamiliar with the source material and because the story is set after the game. And you want to play the game. Suffice to say that Greek mythology buffs will get a special enjoyment from this story Death and Ker.

Rayless Night captures the characters’ personalities, motivations and voices perfectly but I felt there was something lacking about the pacing. Fan fiction is an inherently serial artform, so the story felt more episodic than most novels. And I wasn’t entirely clear on the importance and consequences of the main character’s quest, although that could be due to sloppy reading on my part.

There was something about the premise which I also found unsatisfactory. I can’t go into too much detail for fear of getting spoilery, but at the end of the game the protagonist had to permanently leave her friends so that they could stay safe. Rayless Night reunites her with the old gang, by having an unfortunate side character take her place. This felt like cheating.

Of course Persona fans should read this book. And if you’re not a Persona fan you should become one by playing the game. But if that’s too much for you, go read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality instead, which according to my calculations is the best fan fiction with the widest popular appeal.

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