She has long, black hair and jade eyes, and it is she who greets You when You first awaken in the mansion.
The Maid calls You the "Master" of the house, and at her invitation, together You bear witness to a variety of events that took place within these walls.
Shadows of her presence are visible in each of the tales. At times, she is there, and others... nowhere to be found.
Though she treats You kindly, her hands are cold as ice, seemingly devoid of life.
How, then, is she here now, with You?
The eldest child of the Rhodes family, seventeen years old.
A mild-mannered young man with flaxen hair. He often finds himself at the behest of his younger sister, Nellie, whom he cares dearly for.
Although Mell is intelligent, he lacks ambition. The priest at the church where he studies wants him to take up theology, but he has still yet to make up his mind. The time is quickly approaching for him to decide the course of his future, but he himself feels no urgency.
The performing arts make him fall asleep, and his reaction to paintings is always an indifferent, "Huh."
While Mell’s days are not particularly fulfilling, he is hardly discontent with his situation either. But one day, a young woman appears at his late grandfather’s mansion, changing Mell’s life drastically.
The White-Haired Girl
Presumed to be somewhere between fourteen and sixteen years old. Her birthplace is unknown.
She has snow-white hair, ruby-red eyes, and abnormally pale skin, giving her an otherworldly beauty that many find disturbing. She is also hypersensitive to sunlight, which forces her to remain indoors much of the time-much to her dismay.
Though reticent and passive, she also has an air of femininity about her.
One stormy night, the White-Haired Girl shows up unannounced at the Rhodes household. She is taken in as a servant, but it appears she may have come for more than just work.
The second child of the Rhodes family, fourteen years old.
An energetic girl with flaxen hair who-while she can be pushy and self-centered-is also sweetly charming. Nellie has a wide variety of hobbies: from card games to dressing up, foreign sweets to theatre, and-of course-talking. She is also quite the impressionable young girl.
Nellie is very close to her older brother, Mell, whom she calls her prince-a holdover from the make-believe games they played when they were younger. However, she’s at the age where her family is beginning to plan her marriage, which has Nellie feeling rather melancholic.
And then, one day, something happens to taint the girl’s once pure, childlike cheer.
The twenty-two-year-old daughter of a trader who, predictably, fell in love with a foreign merchant.
She and her beloved are lucky to see each other more than once a year, but the bonds between them are unbreakable. Though separated by the vast seas, their relationship lives on.
And then, one fateful day, she receives heartbreaking news: the Merchant has been involved in a fatal shipwreck. Pauline, however, refuses to believe he is dead, so she sets off on a journey in search of him.
A twenty-six-year-old businessman who has invested in the budding rail industry.
Ruthless and proud, Jacopo will readily toss aside anything and take advantage of anyone in order to further his own ambitions.
Having clawed his way to the top in a world where the language is deceit and manipulation, Jacopo cannot even trust his own wife. There are only two things in life he can believe in: money and power.
Just where will the rail industry-in which he has staked his entire livelihood-take him?
A maid who works in the mansion, twenty-four years old.
She’s affable and frank, cheerful and lackadaisical-but she never slacks on the job.
Maria is the only one in the mansion willing to get involved with Jacopo’s neglected, mistreated wife, with whom she’s begun to form a friendship. She’s also the only person who doesn’t seem to fear Jacopo, though no one’s quite sure why.
Passed away at the age of twenty-five.
In life, the Merchant worked on an international trade ship. While he could be somewhat standoffish, he loved Pauline dearly, and though they were often worlds apart, his devotion to her never wavered.
So how will their relationship change when faced with the ultimate barrier: death?
A beautiful game in so many ways - not just aesthetically, as the artwork and music are absolutely gorgeous - but the writing and characterisation are truly incredible. Rarely can a game make me feel such powerful emotions, leaving me racked with literally uncontrollable sobs one moment, only to be laughing a short while later; largely due to the sheer amount of empathy the game makes it easy to feel for the characters, even the ones least deserving of sympathy. This is once again largely due to the writing and music, which matches and complements each scene it is paired with to great effect, making playing the game truly feel as though one has been transported to another world - a world that might be thoroughly tragic a lot of the time, yes, but it is ultimately a deeply rewarding experience. This game has left a strong impact on me, and I imagine - and hope - it will stay on my mind for quite some time.
Everything Ryshdn said in the previous review is entirely correct. I was so blown away by this VN that I figured I should add a second voice telling you to buy. Let's go through it: Art - Really great. Fata Morgana has a unique style, and they run with it. The CGs and sprites are really really great, though I will admit some of the backgrounds are subpar. Music - You'll want to spring for the OST, 10/10 Menus/UI - Good. Has a CG and music gallery, which I always look out for Story - Here we go, this is where Fata Morgana really shines. A great overarching story that ties together these disparate tales from various areas into the one of the most satisfying conclusions to any piece of fiction I've ever read/watched/experienced.
I fully recommend it, and I'll be very much looking forward to the release of the fandisk (hopefully) shortly.
The problem with reviewing The House in Fata Morgana is that saying what really makes it unforgettable, what makes it one of the best VNs I've ever read, involves spoiling the hell out of it. I can safely talk about the aesthetics all day. The art is gorgeous, the music haunting (on that note, you really need to buy the soundtrack), and the writing some of the best of anything MangaGamer has ever published. It's clearly been put together with a great deal of love and care from everyone involved. Getting more specific than that about the game, though, is tricky. It's a twisted, uncomfortable tale, one that toys with your expectations and subverts them at every turn. But it's not a mindscrew for mindscrew's sake, either--there's meaning behind its twistiness, and a genuine heart behind all the tricks. Suffice it to say that this was the most heart-wrenching love story (and hate story) I've encountered in a VN, not to mention the only one to bring me to tears at its ending. I'd urge anyone looking for something out of the ordinary to give it a shot. And whatever you do . . . don't let go of her hand.