OZMAFIA!! brought the unlikely combination of mafias and fairy tales with a heavy emphasis on the Wizard of Oz. You’re Fuka, a girl without any memories, living life in a town inhabited by a smorgasbord of eccentric characters, trying to find your niche.
The individual love stories had varying levels of success. (Click links for their separate reviews)
After completing the individual stories, the option for an epilogue and grand finale become available. Here we learn the truth behind Fuka’s past. This is all done in an organic way that doesn’t feel like an infodump, despite it being an infodump. Several small details in the narrative come together in the epilogue and several questions I had the entire time were answered.
For instance, we learn the identity behind the voice in Hamelin’s head. We learn about the memories Kyrie struggled with in silence. We learn the true identities of several characters. I’m quite satisfied with this epilogue and finale, and feel like it’s a great bookend to the game.
Final Thoughts Overall
OZMAFIA!! had varying levels of success. The “Love Triangle” mechanic wasn’t successful in my eyes, simply because as a romance reader, having to purposely cheat felt icky. Cheating isn’t something that will ever be romantic. It’s too painful. I didn’t like that we were supposed to like that the men were fighting over you and you sort of had your cake and ate it too. What made it worse was that the ending story lines were usually much, much, better than the normal romantic endings, as though we were supposed to enjoy the outcome that much more.
Fighting is normal in a relationship. No matter what, you will fight sometime. It’s part of being friends, lovers, family. But how we resolve those fights is key. When you have a fight with your lover and bounce over to the other guy who seems nicer because they didn’t argue with you, it feels incomplete, immature, and wrong. It goes from being a normal relationship with conflict to a boring one without conflict.
Preferable to this would have been two things — one, simply longer scenes with a more natural flow to them and longer routes for the other characters. As OZMAFIA, it’s obvious OZ would be the characters of focus, but several of the other romances felt painfully short compared to the others, and some of them needed the extra breathing room.
After about the third or fourth character, I became used to the way the game would cut off in the middle of a scene. That doesn’t mean I liked it. I hated it, in fact. I hated that it would cut off in the middle of a conversation without a natural ending. I’m not saying that every scene needed to end with a “See you next time! Bye!” but in all media we usually have a clear character or conversation end to signify the scene is over.
Hiding content behind the second playthrough ruined the immersion of a lot of scenes. A lot of characters that felt dry by their ending would have benefited from knowing their thoughts or the extra scenes that were only available on the second playthrough. Because the scenes cut off abruptly, it doesn’t make rereading them over and over enjoyable. Personally I end up skipping unless it’s a scene I really loved the first time through, which again, doesn’t do much for immersion.
Aside from the two characters I did not enjoy, the rest ranged from fantastic to average. Considering the size of the cast, I consider this a success. I still wish Pashet was a true romance choice, but the otoge landscape is still changing. On the American-developed end, we’re starting to see the gay romance option become available. My favorite overall character was (shocker) Kyrie. He was the most developed of the cast by far. In the epilogue and grand finale he plays a larger role than even Fuka does at points.
I’m pretty stingy when it comes to handing out hearts (I only have two five heart stories for otome games so far, and that’s out of at least four years worth playing them regularly) so to have half of the stories be scored with 4 hearts, and then to only have two be complete washes, is a really good record for a game. This is in spite of the narrative decisions I despised.
For a lead otome game for Mangagamer, I think they picked a good one to start. I ran into a fair share of typos during the story and I liked the localization decision to use Italian words for the mafia terms, even if they misused a couple of titles. It helped immerse the story better than the Japanese equivalents. It’s also one of the better otome game localizations I’ve had the pleasure of reading (between cell phone only titles and console titles) I hope this is a success for them and they choose to bring over another otome game.
The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. Even the small NPC characters get a character portrait. Every character has a wide variety of expressions that help tell the story, some even seem to only be used once or twice their entire arc, which for me, shows the level of detail put into the art. By contrast, the backgrounds were a little plain, but if I had to choose between expressive characters or fancy backgrounds, I’d choose the characters every time.
It was a little jarring with some lines voiced and other lines not, but each of the voice actors did a great job. There wasn’t a single voice that I shut off because it annoyed me. It was weird hearing Fuka’s voice in the epilogue, but her voice is really cute! I wish I could have heard it during the game.
The music… hmm…. well, I got really sick of the music. There is one track I loved to hear, but to be honest by the end of the game I was sick of hearing the same few tracks over and over. It’s just a natural burnout after hours upon hours of listening to the same track. When I play normal RPGs I usually get super sick of the battle theme, no matter how much I loved it originally.
My heart scale is defined as follows – 5 hearts = a story everyone will fall in love with, regardless of preferences; 4 hearts = a well-done story that people who love the concept will adore, and people who don’t may end up liking it; 3 hearts = if you like this type of story or this type of hero, then you will enjoy this, but those who do not like either of those things will probably not; 2 hearts = it had potential, it squandered it; 1 heart = just a waste of time from the get-go; 0 hearts = why was this made?
These are made of the epilogue and grand finale screens. In other words, these are the spoilers to end all spoilers. Personally, I feel like spoilers don’t ruin things for me. A good story is a good story even if I know what’s going to happen. That’s why rereading books or rewatching movies remains fun on the second or 100th time. So if you also feel that way and you haven’t played the game, go ahead. If not, stop right here. On a side note, I’m really upset I ended at 198 images total. JUST TWO MORE TO BE EVEN arrrghhhhhh~~!!
In the epilogue, a letter informing the characters their immortality is gone and the winner of a bloodbath would be granted any wish they desired sets all the families against each other.
A mysterious staircase is the only thing inside the tower.
But slowly… our companions are left behind.
And these scenes are rather heartbreaking to read.
But they keep going up, regardless.
Fuka is the only one who can reach the top, but before then, she realizes her true past. And Kyrie reveals he knew all along.
I was halfway correct — I assumed early on that one of the wolves would end up being Toto. Soh is both Toto and the tower. Fuka is Dorothy’s soul. Dorothy became a witch at the end of the Wizard of Oz story rather than going back home. But she could not use her magic for herself. So she created a town and made the lion, scarecrow, and tin man human, along with creating friends and family for them to interact with in the town.
She watched over them for many years…
Soh is the mastermind behind everything. He is the voice that tells Hamelin to kill. He is the one who created the weapons and set into motion the mafia dogfighting each other constantly.
Everything Soh did is for Dorothy’s sake. But Caesar alone is concerned about Fuka, and how Fuka felt.
But Caesar is magic, after all…
And after the events of the tower, everything returns to normal. But Kyrie alone is immune to the magic of Dorothy and Soh.
Dorothy is Fuka. Fuka is Dorothy. Fuka’s happiness will become Dorothy’s happiness.
And that is a happy ending.