Introduction to Ever17 – The Out of Infinity – Visual Novel Primer



If I had to pick one of the Visual Novel’s
that made me fall in love with this genre all those years ago, this would be definitely
be on the list. For many people, it’s probably Umineko,
Clannad, Stein’s Gate or Fate/Stay Night which are all fantastic picks, but Ever17
-Out of Infinity- holds a special place for me, and I believe deserves to be as highly
regarded as the rest of these classics Ever17 is the tale of seven individuals trapped
in a collapsing underwater theme park. Mysteries spring up however with merely escaping
becoming the least of the survivors concerns. Visual Novel Primers are as always introductions
to a Visual Novel, going over background information, plot & gameplay overview, and a tips and opinion
section. With the release of “Himmel Edition” by
reddit user Aexis_Skyen which brings tons of quality of life improvements to this classic
along with a revamp of an old official translation and of which I’ll be using footage from,
I thought now would be a great time to reintroduce this classic to everyone. Especially because the Himmel Edition really
does fix some of the biggest issues I had with the original release. No disclaimer necessary as Ever17 has no 18+
elements. Even without those elements though, I really
recommend that if you were going to give any visual novel your time, you should give it
to this one. I will have links to the Himmel Edition patch
in the description box down below, however as to the game itself, it has an officially
translated version by the now defunct Hirameki, which you can probably find floating around. You will need this translated version first
to apply the Himmel Edition on top of. Timestamps will also be down below as always
which will help you in jump to specific sections of this primer, all my previous primers have
this as well but I realized I haven’t mentioned it until now. Oh and this primer will probably be longer
because boy do I have alot of nostalgic feels for this great Visual novels. Opinions will have a section dedicated to
itself. Ever17 Out of Infinity is probably KID’s
magnum opus if you will, and one of the game’s of the “infinity series”. KID stands for Kindle, Imagine, Develop, a
japanese company founded in 1988 which started out porting PC games to consoles, then moved
on to making their own Bishojo Games. The first release they did was Memories Off,
a long-running series that has been booted around and varies exceedingly in terms of
quality, might be good, but honestly I don’t know, I’ve not played it myself. The 2nd series that they made is what captured
my interest though, and that is the Infinity series. The infinity series are a group of 4 visual
novels released by KID during their lifespan as a company. Technically the series is comprised of 5 visual
novels, but Code 18 was exclusively made by the group that they sold the intellectual
property rights to and is frankly, terrible, So we’re not going to talk about it. The infinity series is characterized by their
use of hard science fiction. Initially romance was a big part of the visual
novel with their first release of Never 7: The end of Infinity, but they quickly shifted
away from that to make really good science fiction visual novels instead. Themes like, escape from secluded places,
an absolute ton of mystery surrounding the characters, life and death drama, and crazy
blow your mind plots are common across the series. The 4 visual novels, any of which I’d be
happy to talk about in the future, are Never7 End of Infinity, Ever17 Out of Infinity, Remember11
Age of Infinity, and 12Riven the Psicliminial of Integral. That last title though WHEW am i right? Only the final game has not been translated
in any form. Although originally released in 2002, Ever17
has actually been remade in 2011 by Cyberfront the company which KID sold their intellectual
property to, which rewrites the scenario, shortening some scenes, adding happy parts
to bad ends, and uses kinda ugly 3D models instead of character sprites to save on…
something I suppose. Since most people seem to like it alot less
than the original, and it had a new writer who did god knows what, we’ll stick to the
good ol 2002 version with improvements done by the himmel patch. Unfortunately this will be the last we will
probably see of the Infinity Series as KID went bankrupt in 2006. They gave all the intellectual properties
including the infinity series to Cyberfront in 2007, however after releasing the travesty
known as Code 18 they went bankrupt in 2014 and the series has since died. I would like to point out that I don’t mean
Code 18 is directly responsible for the failure of the company, it’s just one of their many
failures they’ve done. As for where the infinity series intellectual
properties lie, I assume they’ve just never been handed off and the series is dead. But hey, they left 4 fantastic and unique
visual novels to remember them by. Of course I’d definitely recommend Ever17,
as I’m currently doing my primer on it, but Remember11 is great as well with tons
of suspense and insanity. 12Riven is not translated, and honestly might
be a little too much sci-fi for the average consumer, and Never7 I straight up never played,
but again would be willing to check out if anyone is interested. As I mentioned in the very beginning, the
basic plot of Ever17 is tale of seven survivors who are trapped in the underground aquatic
theme park known as Lemu. The main perspective from which we view the
game is comprised of Takeshi, an outgoing optimistic university student who does his
best to rally the survivors, and Kid his opposite who is a shy young boy suffering from amnesia
but nonetheless tries his best to survive. The other survivors along with them are Sora,
one of the staff member of Lemu stranded with them and a computer engineer, Tsugumi a dark
women with a sharp tongue and an even sharper personality, Matsunaga Sara a young girl who
is a super hacker of sorts, Tanaka Yubiseiharukana which everyone thankfully shortens to You
who is a part-timer at LeMU, and Yagami Coco a super weird girl who probably has space
magic. On the date of May 1st, a major accident occurs
in LeMU, submerging half the facility underwater. The path to the surface and communication
is cutoff. With a 119 hour time limit before the water
pressure breaks the facility, they have to find a way to escape from this ever sinking
theme park. Mysteries however crop up one after another
as they look for a way out, was this really an accident? And if not, why did it occur? Ever17 is a visual novel through and through,
which means the only input the player has this time round is at certain points the player
makes choices which influences how the rest of the game plays out, whether it’d be immediately
or at some point later in the game. Unlike a visual novel like Majikoi, your choices
are important, and Ever17 has no qualms about tossing you into a bad ending should you not
make enough of them correctly. Although even the bad endings do bring a bit
more to the story. Since we got extra time as usual, I’ll talk
a bit more about the plot here. As I said earlier, you play Ever17 through
the perspective of two protagonists, the outgoing Takeshi and the amnesiac Kid. Past the prologue, you are quickly given a
vital choice which determines which of them you will play for the rest of the story. The story unfolds quite differently depending
on which of the two you decide to follow, even though they interact with each other
quite often throughout the game. Characters act quite differently when playing
as Takeshi as opposed to playing as Kid. In fact, each of the two protagonists having
their own set of endings. There is a decent amount of science talk,
probably not too much beyond what you would learn in an introductory college course, but
still a fun read. Conspiracies are definitely abound with many
characters ending up in LeMU for reasons that to put it mildly, are unnatural. The characters themselves, although falling
under some really strong character archetypes “I’m looking at you Tsugumi” have quite
a bit going underneath. This isn’t a Visual Novel about picking
your favorite heroine, but rather one about unravelling the mystery of the entire story,
with each route carrying different pieces of the puzzle. The story is definitely not complete until
you have gone through to the end at least once for each route. And that should be enough to give an overview
of Ever17, that said I still got quite a bit to say, about my opinions, and some tips on
what to look for in reaching the end. Since Ever17 is a visual novel, this section
will be dedicated to giving a few hints with regards to getting the routes, and a bit more
about how it works so that you can feel more confident on reaching the end. There will be minor spoilers in this section. I hinted at this pretty hard earlier, but
Ever17 is a visual novel with a true ending that does it’s best to answer the mysteries
presented throughout all the routes. In order to access this true ending however,
you are first required to complete all four of the main routes with their “good ending”
at least once before this path is unlocked. After you beat all the routes, you are then
able to access it by selecting a few specific choices during either path in the story. Ever17 is the kind of visual novel where the
true ending is the finale of the story, and each route beforehand acts as a way to set
up the foundation blocks for the true ending to take place. So, be prepared to go through quite a bit. Luckily with the Himmel Edition, the skip
function has been super improved by at least 10 times so it should be a lot less of a drag
compared to when I played the game. As for how the routes work themselves, there
are 2 main routes, one for each of the two protagonists. Each of the paths have two heroine endings,
along with one finale that again can be accessed once all 4 have been completed. Ever17 goes by what I like to call a relationship
point system in order to determine whether you get a good or bad ending for the story. What I mean by this is that throughout the
game as you make choices, these choices may or may not contribute to a running tracker,
increasing or decreasing points for the heroines. At a certain point close to the end, Ever17
will check whether the player has a high enough point score with that heroine, and will use
that to determine which ending they get. If all this sounds familiar, it’s because
many visual novels use this system, with a notable example being Fate/Stay night. With that in mind, the easiest hint I can
give to getting a good ends for this game is, make every choice that the person you
are going for likes, and whenever you split up and have to make a blind choice, save before
to check if the place you pick ends up involving that heroine. Although Ever17 hides this point system like
most other visual novels, the Himmel Edition actually includes a debug mode which lets
you cheat and look at the relationship counter. Completely up to you whether you want to use
it or not. I replayed Ever17 again quite recently and
was able to get to all the good endings quite easily without relying on this debug method. So, I haven’t exactly hid the fact that
I like this visual novel quite a bit. I have alot of respect for Ever17 both as
the visual novel that really got me into this whole genre in the first place, and especially
in-context to when it came out. Ever17 first came out in the year 2002 on
the dreamcast, and a few monthes later 2003 on PC. Now, I didn’t play it then because at the
time I didn’t know Japanese and had to wait for the translated version which came out
2 years after in late 2005. At the time I played it, there weren’t too
many games that made me sit down after finishing and just think “Wow, damn.” and I mean
this in-context to all games, not just visual novels. I suppose Cross Channel came out about that
time as well, but Cross Channel was more of uh, “The hell just happened”. Also it got an english fan translation alot
later, and back when I had to wait like everyone else for the small tricklings of english translated
visual novels to come out. Exclamations aside, even taking it outside
of the context of it being a 16 year old game, I played it again a few days ago and was still
impressed by the presentation and story. Probably the only part of it that has aged
dramatically are those CG scenes, but I think they still have nostalgic charm to it. Ever17’s deep mystery involving explanations
of basic science theory, real-life experiments and plenty of twists was quite something,
done almost a decade before 999 ever jumped into that wagon and in my opinion, does it
alot better and in a succinct experience. It’s like if the escape series didn’t
try to keep on sequel baiting and was instead a story that felt complete from beginning
to end. In fact, I would feel relatively confident
saying that Zero Escape series took heavy inspiration from the infinity series, but
this one is better as a whole in my opinion. Going to jump into some pros and cons, although
I will avoid any spoilers as the game has quite a bag of tricks that would be a shame
to reveal preemptively. My first huge huge positive for Ever17 is
that I think it’s probably one of the best Visual novels I’ve ever played to do a true
ending structure. I’m a fan of the whole climatic finale that
wraps up the visual novel, Ever17 blows every other game I’ve played outta the water when
it comes to this. The way it makes every route a part of one
continuous narrative, how each route manages to still have emotional ups and downs despite
the fact that it’s only one part of an incomplete puzzle. The fact that the true route makes use of
it’s position as the finale. It’s a true ending in the truest sense of
the word where without completing it, the player would actually be leaving Ever17 half-finished. This isn’t quite the same as an enforced
route order like the one present in Baldr Force, as every route except for the last
one is accessible from the start, so they don’t have to have a set of introduction
surface routes, then a set of somewhat deeper routes, and so on. Instead, each route present in the story tackles
a different part of the narrative, so no one specifically gets shafted. There are of course drawbacks to having this
kinda of long route-spanning story. For one, you end up having to replay early
parts of the story, although this is somewhat mitigated by the multiple perspectives the
story has, making it so you technically only need to replay each story twice. The other obvious one is that, you gotta play
through every route to experience the story. It’s not like other visual novels where
you can maybe tackle like 3 routes of your preferred heroines, then call it a day. Ever17 expects you to go through all of them,
which is not too bad as the visual novel isn’t super long. With the new skip function I finished it in
about 10 hours, but it was my second time around so accounting for that, let's say roughly
17 hours is what you’d be looking at. The next positive I can say is that, this
is also probably one of the better multiple perspective stories I’ve had the chance
to play. The way it uses two perspectives to tell it’s
story is done well, so that the two routes the game has feels wholly different from another,
even if the situation is the same. I’ve played visual novels like root double
where they do have two separate routes, but none that have quite let you play the exact
same situation but from a different perspective. Probably because it would lead to repetition,
but boy does Ever17 does a good job when it comes to that. Finally, I dig the science talks. A visual novel I can think off the top of
my head that does something similar is 999, and well, personally I think Ever17 does it
straight better. 999 feels like they just explain a bunch of
science experiments to the player as a way to make themselves sound smart, and to give
red herrings as to what is happening. Ever17 on the other hand does a great job
of integrating these science talks into what is happening in the story. Making them feel more organic as opposed to
just shoehorned in their for the sake of having them. Presently, I can recognize that most of what
they talk about is similar to what you would learn in various introductory science courses
at university, but for me when I first read it, it really did blow my mind. Even now, I believe Ever17 would still be
great for those who don’t already know about all this science stuff to get a nice introduction
to it. The infinity series does this as a whole,
but Ever17 manages to strike a nice balance between the whole Sci-fi aspect, along with
having a good amount of time dedicated to building friendships. The two future games in the series go way
harder, which is absolutely fine as well. As for why the LeMu the theme park and most
of the locations inside LeMU is in German, I assume that’s just because foreign is
like, sounds really cool…? And that’s about all I can say without diving
into spoilers, that said if people are at all interested, I might make a follow up analysis
video with some spoilers where I can talk about all the fun things, and really point
out some of what I found good and bad in this visual novel. Buncha crazy stuff to talk about, if I do
end up making it I’ll have a link to it at the end. Before I wrap this primer up, I’m going
to do a quick ranking of all the routes in the game from best to worst, where I’ll
throw out my opinions on them along with revealing my favorite heroine of the game at the end. I will be completely excluding the true ending
route as that one I can’t say much without getting into spoiler territory. Let me emphasize before starting that all
these routes are fine, and do a great job if introducing new mysteries. That said, yeah I like some more than others
so let’s go! Akanegasaki Sora: Let me be the first to say
that I like Sora as a character, like a china dress with long hair and a bombshell? Whose nice, honest, and the most level headed
of the group? Sora is great, my only problem is just her
position as one of the main heroines of Takeshi’s route. While the ideas brought up in her route are
interesting, it’s nothing that none of the other routes do an equally good job of discussing. Her competition just does a better job overall. Out of all the characters, I think she’s
got the cutest flustered face. Tanaka Yubiseiharukana: If Sora was the more
science, less drama route of the two for Takeshi, Yu’s route is the same for the kid’s. It’s not that having more science is bad,
is just that when it comes at the cost of having not quite as good drama that’s when
I have problems with it. Luckily it does contain quite a bit more new
information, and Yu personal character. I did greatly enjoy seeing more of the inner
struggles she faces as opposed to what you get to see outside her route
Matsunaga Sara: Sara’s route probably as a whole probably has the best drama and the
best reveals. Normally that would be enough to put her in
first place at the top, it’s just that well, I honestly don’t like the kid nearly as
much as I like Takeshi, and I don’t like her as much as I like Tsugumi by the end. Something about her random fascinating with
using Gozaru and ninja just doesn’t quite click with me, which is funny since I like
a character who is pretty much that in Duel Savior, but well, I think that it’s a quirky
character trait, rather then the character actually being a ninja. Probably straight up my least favorite heroine
out of all of them present in Ever17 Komachi Tsugumi: There’s always something
to be said about the classic tsundere character, icey at first but mellow out later, and Tsugumi
is probably one of the prime representations at that. As the other heroine of Takeshi’s route,
I think she does a far better job of revealing what happens in Takeshi’s route, having
a good amount of drama, and but most of all dang is it nice to see her not viciously biting
at everyone who comes in contact with her. A great contrast to how she acts literally
all the time. Also probably has the best romance of the
game by a longshot. And my favorite heroine is, Yu, or ye know,
Tanaka Yubiseiharukana. That last name is something to behold, but
dang did I enjoy her bubbly vibrant personality, and her willingness to play around with both
of the main characters, even if it goes a bit far at times. Short hair is always a personal plus for me
as well, and my favorite kind of character is usually always the one who looks like they’re
having the best of times. Tsugumi would win, if Tsugumi didn’t act
like she had a stick stuck up her butt the entire time. And that is Ever17, a legendary visual novel
that has thankfully been revived by the user known as Aexis_Skyen with a patch that gives
overall vast quality of life and script improvements to the original translation by the now defunct
Hirameki studios. Ever17 is one of my favorites, a multi-perspective
tale of survivors trapped in an underwater theme park. There are mysteries to be had, questions about
reality to be solved, with the risk of ever encroaching danger present. It’s a simple plot that manages by the end
to be an unforgettable story, filled with enough science and interesting ideas to get
a young reader at least fascinated with all these concepts and hopefully interested in
learning more. Again as I mentioned during the primer, if
anyone is interested in me making perhaps a analysis video with spoilers where I dive
deeper into the plot and talk about all the fun things the Ever17 does, good and bad,
tell me down below in the comments. I’ve personally have always held back from
going anywhere deep with these introduction videos, but would love to rave or rant about
Ever17, or perhaps other visual novels I’ve done. Or, if anyone is interested in learning more
about any of the other games in the infinity series throw me a comment about that down
below as well. Could always use an excuse to dive back into
that crazy mindscrew that is Remember11, or Riven12 which borders on a straight science
lecture, or even checking out Never7 for the first time. As always there’s the like button is down
below, and if you’d like to support and stayed updated to when the video comes out,
hover over the logo in the bottom right now or center screen later and tap the subscribe
button and bell icon that appears. Quick status update and twitter handle will
appear in a sec. I post about channel updates and what I’m
up to there usually. Thanks for sticking around, so it’s been
like 3 weeks since I said I’ll try to get the next video out in a week, but well, that
is why I said “we’ll see” in the last one. At this rate I’ll just straight say monthly
videos, hopefully it doesn’t come to that though. This time nothing quite as cataclysmically
bad happened, really the reason I didn’t have time to work on the video is cause I
got really absorbed into playing Soukoku No Arterial, an untranslated eushully visual
novel cross cardgame RPG, so absorbed that it will definitely be the next primer I will
be working on immediately after releasing this one. If I end up doing an analysis video of Ever17
links should appear about now, otherwise yeah thanks for sticking with me even though I
fall off the map so often, and I’ll see you next time with Soukoku no Arterial!

3 thoughts on “Introduction to Ever17 – The Out of Infinity – Visual Novel Primer

  1. One of not only my favorite VNs ever, but also one of my favorite stories ever. I loved every moment of Ever17, and I consider it to be up there with KimiNozo, SubaHibi, Daibanchou, Ace Attorney, and Muv-Luv as one of the few VNs I’d consider to be honestly flawless. The True Route is up there with Heaven’s Feel and Jabberwocky II in terms of writing.
    Might try out the new patch some day, but it’s really weird for me to see You written as Yu. I also will throughly miss “naturally I knows the hacker,” one of my favorite lines of any VN ever, as I assume the translation will be better.
    I’ll have to disagree when it comes to best girl, as Sara is definitely my favorite. She’s very relatable (especially with her backstory), and I like my characters to be relatable. I love them all though, and they’re all some of the best VN heroines.
    Also, man, I really wish that I could be able to lose all of my memories in order to replay the true route of this visual novel. I just want to be mind blown by those twists once more.
    (I’m sorry if my rant was annoying, I just really love talking about visual novels a lot.)

  2. I don't know if you mentioned this or not
    But Takashi Abo made the best music a VN can get.. the music is just 10/10.

    And in my opinion, better than Zero Escape Trilogy music combined.

    Btw: I finished this game recently in May. The main reason is that Uchikoshi is the writer. I just had a blast with Zero escape so I looked back at his previous work and saw this.

    Sadly, to avoid spoilers, I didn't search for anything regarding the game and that made me miss Himmel edition.

  3. Fantastic game… and the Himmel patch is awesome, it fixes a lot of problems that i had with the original release.

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