Written By: JP
Developer: Kawamata Hiruma
Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux
Genre: Shounen, Action-Adventure
Release Date: November 16, 2013
Your Primary GOAL, isn't to beat this Game in the fastest way, or fastest time. But, to understand all the story and this game's chronology from the begining, until the end. ~The Author
We haven't covered a lot of laughably bad titles on this site. Pretentiously Bad? Check. Offensively Bad? Double Check. But Laugh Until You Wake Up The Neighbors and Nearly Choke To Death Bad? This is a first. So we might as well savor it my friends, because this kind of bad only comes once a year. Shall we begin?
In the world of Timun Mas a continent has been hurled into the atmosphere by Morgana Le Fey in a bid to rid the world of the ancient warriors who fought for justice and all that other good stuff heroes fight for. Legends from every region of the world continue to exist on said continent but because of their absence humanity has lost its way. So, to break Morgana's spell they must make mankind remember their noble deeds by recreating them, which will lead to the continent crashing back to Earth and saving humanity...via total annihilation. Our heroes everyone!
One said legend is the story of Timun Mas who lives with her mother in the Java Union region of Pangaea: said continent in the sky. She lives her life merrily until she comes under attack from an ogre who promised to kill her when she came of age. To her help in her fight is her Mother, who is hoping her husband can get a diamond from the head of a dragon so that she can save her sister who killed their parents and helped a witch abuse her as a child and her Uncle, another hero who is looking for his wife who was once the wife of a Chinese swordsman who died helping him learn to master the sword and who is also aiding the collection of heroes in the genocide scheme.
So, everything make sense to everyone? With that said, are you ready for the Curve?
This is all my best guess of the plot.
I've played Timun Mas three times now: twice alone and once on my first Livestream show. And from then up to now, I am still not completely sure of the plot. It's never really properly told; instead it is content to slam it on us in waves of ridiculous exposition. But it soldiers on: determined to tell this idiotic story of this idiotic girl. And I call Timun Mas idiotic only because the game treats her like an idiot. Your first choice is whether or not she remembers what her Mother told her to get from the marketplace. If you chose wrong, she runs home crying and the game ends. I laughed.
Timun is one of the worst protagonists I've played as. Everything they portray as an unlikable trait they amp up to about 11. And sure some shounen heroes have similar traits that are annoying or unlikable, but they have other things that allow them to grow out of those traits. Courage, Compassion; at the very least a love interest that whacks them a few good times when they're being dumbasses. Timun is just a dumbass and we're supposed to like that about her. Yay?
As I alluded to the story is split into three chapters with Timun's....things that happen taking up two of the three chapters. The first chapter is laughable as the author stacks tragedy upon tragedy for Timun's Mother and Uncle because a sad childhood isn't angsty enough. Oh no; there's child abuse too! And an evil twin brother! And attempted rape! And Fratricide! And an evil sister who was turned into a stone! But, as ridiculous as that is, it reaches for another level as they go into Chapter 2 and King Arthur explains the larger world and back story.
As our own Will Wellemeyer pointed out, there are ways that this could've worked. But it is dealt with in such a mindlessly heavy-handed way, both demanding that you take their plight seriously without giving a proper enough explanation of WHY YOU SHOULD, you just end up laughing at the absurdity of it all. And to remind you, a bunch of legends are planning to commit mass murder because humanity sucks. If we haven't seen it done before, it would still be a laughably stupid plan.
This all rushes to a decent to still-dumb fight in and an Epilogue that you will slap yourself for having sat through. It is simply ridiculous cliche after ridiculous cliche until you have to walk away from the monitor before you laugh straight through the floor. There is no other way to put it.
Presentation & Gameplay
An interesting note here is that halfway through the game switches from a visual novel to what it calls 'visual manga'. In other words, it goes from color from black to white and employs CG panels to further not tell its story. In better hands, this could've been an interesting addition...however with the subject at hand it is not.
Gameplay wise this thing is broken. Clearly the author translated it to English on his own, and what is left is an all-out mess. Going through each particular problem is redundant: all of it needs to be re-edited. Outside of the translation, the game itself is insanely buggy. One particular one that had me laughing for a good hour was during the tail end of Chapter 1 when Timun has to fight the Ogre using magic seeds: an homage to the folk story the game pretends to be based after. After using all the seeds, REGARDLESS of the order you use them, the game will politely inform you that you failed to stop the Ogre from killing Timun and the game is now over. But if you click forward, the game will then inform you that Timun is not only fine, but won her fight...the one she just lost.
...Yup. Let's just move on.
Weird? ...DO YOU SEE HER FACE?!
Was I offended by it? No. Insulted? No. But just on a technical level that goes into creating fiction, this is the worst. Apparently there is a Chapter Zero and more on the way and I haven't decided on how I will treat future installments. But it is nice to know that if I ever need a good laugh, I have this pile of epic fail to go to.