Some time ago, we had the pleasure of experiencing the twisted world of Novectacle’s The House in Fata Morgana, a haunting and thrilling visual novel that took place across multiple centuries. Tales of deceit, betrayal and torture were shared in a mansion rumoured to be haunted by a witch. We rightfully gave it top-marks for its gripping writing, brilliant visuals, and eclectic soundtrack, just to name a few of its many strong points.
So, here we are with The House in Fata Morgana: A Requiem for Innocence. It’s kinda like a prequel, or side-companion, that eloquently coincides with the main game. While it’s strongly recommended that you complete the first title before delving into this, this is still a gruesome and heavy tale that’s well-worth reading alongside.
That being said, those who have already played the main game should hopefully know by now of the tragic life of Morgana, a young girl from the 11th Century who was led to believe she was the daughter of god, and that her blood has healing properties. Eventually, she finds herself under the care of Jacopo, a plucky and hot-tempered peasant who has his eyes set on power and revolution.
A very unlikely, and rather strenuous, bond develops between the two as Jacopo takes care of her, despite her bitter and haughty behaviour. The titular character is a tough character to like, but this is because of her deceptive and tragic upbringing. There are many trials and tribulations that the characters face as events unfold, such as Jacopo becoming an impostor lord. Seeing the outgoing and empathetic Jacopo become the very thing he fought against is crushing and depressing, but engrossing and justifiable. You can expect a whole bunch of messed up themes: cannibalism, torture, paedophilia, betrayal, and so much more.
The backstories for these two characters were already touched upon before, though this was usually via pages of lengthy narrations rather than actual dialogue exchanges. Here, however, you are shown, rather than told, the tragic events. Everything is fleshed out in greater detail, with a memorable and well-written cast of new and returning characters. You’ll end up revisiting some particularly gruesome and saddening events that were lightly touched upon in the previous title, too, and that means more fantastic artwork to ponder at.
Compared to before, the soundtrack is a lot smaller. There are no doubt more than a handful of gems to enjoy here, ranging from melancholic tunes on piano and strings, to cheery, fast-tempo ditties that accompany some of the light-hearted moments. The tracks with vocals are always the highlights; none of them are in English, but that gives them more charm.
It should be mentioned that A Requiem for Innocence is not an interactive tale, since it’s made up of flashbacks. On rare occasions, you’ll be halted by any multiple-choice answers to pick from, not like they’ll affect the story in any meaningful way. Fret not, though. Included alongside are three sub-stories based around the events of The House in Fata Morgana. While they’re not particularly long, they’re still entertaining distractions that fill in a few blanks by sharing untold tales of certain characters. There’s even an epilogue to the main story, which is incredibly heartwarming to read.
While it may not be as mysterious and suspenseful as its predecessor, The House in Fata Morgana: A Requiem for Innocence stands strong as an emotionally breathtaking tie-in to the main game, thanks to its top-notch writing, indelible cast, excellent soundtrack and superb artwork. It seldom holds back and can be very upfront and raw with some of the topics it touches upon, so it’s bound to leave just as much of an impression as the first entry.