This is a story of disease and suffering; of medication and adverse effects; of thoracotomy scars and cellular poisons; of the living who cannot help but to die and of the dying who cannot help but to live; of a resting place other than "on 7F" or "at home".
User reviews: Very Positive (1,046 reviews)
Release Date: May 15, 2007

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early access?
We're still not satisfied with the improvements with the engine to feel that it is ready for primetime. Therefore we put the game out to Early Access so more people can play and report any bugs. Also we are still doing script work which will occasionally break save files.

What's missing?
Steamworks integration isn't complete so achievements are not recorded.
Waiting on achievement icons
New translation still needs to be inserted”
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Play Narcissu 1st & 2nd

 

Recommended By Curators

"A short and sweet kinetic novel (no choices) about two young people who are terminally ill and go on an adventure together."

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November 17

Sakura Spirit 66% off!

If you're looking for a comedic visual novel after Narcissu 1st & 2nd you can try out Sakura Spirit! It's on sale today at 66% off so don't miss it!

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About This Game

... on that blindingly bright day ...
... on that very day of winter ...

This is a story of disease and suffering; of medication and adverse effects; of thoracotomy scars and cellular poisons; of the living who cannot help but to die and of the dying who cannot help but to live; of a resting place other than "on 7F" or "at home".

This is a story of so many things.

But most of all ...

This is the story
of a girl whose heart was standing still
and a boy whose breath was being stolen away,
both of whom die.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6
    • Processor: Any 64 bit processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 30
Early Access Review
Conclusion/tl;dr up top
Narcissu, being a kinetic novel, is not for everyone, but those who don't mind a "game" based primarily on reading or who are already fans of visual novels as a genre will be rewarded with a great story that will make you think and might just make you feel. Plus, hey, it's free, so it's hard not to recommend.

The nitty gritty
Narcissu is a kinetic novel released by the doujin circle Stage-Nana in Japan and published here on Steam by Sekai Project. The story rotates around young people from the 7th Floor (the hospice ward). That is, people whose death has been decided. Without saying much as to the plot, I feel like the novel eloquently covers some heavy subjects: What are the things one has to do before dying? Faced with an unavoidable demise, how might people react to take back independence lost and march vibrantly toward their final act? How does one smile at the end, and how do those left behind smile after?

Gameplay
For people who have experience with visual/kinetic novels, this section is probably unnecessary, but for the unintiated:
A visual novel generally works like a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book with graphics, music, and sometimes voices. The "player", usually in the guise of the protagonist, makes choices throughout the story that affect the plot. However, Narcissu 1st & 2nd are Kinetic Novels, so they have no choices and very little player interaction aside from a click or press of the enter key to advance the text (though autoplay is actually the default setting for Narcissu Side 2nd, and the author mentions in the notes that he himself sees it more like a movie). Personally, I'd describe it as a long minimalist cutscene with save, load, and backlog options. The game itself is much closer to a novel or a reading experience than a game, and this, no doubt will be what turns a lot of people off from Narcissu, if not the genre as a whole.

Answering common questions
Length?
Narcissu was about a 3 to 4 hour read for me. Narcissu Side 2nd (the included prequel) was 5 to 6 hours. Understandably, it might be a lot of reading for some, but both games are neatly divided into chapters, and the save feature works like a bookmark that you can use at any time.

Order?
Narcissu was released in 2005, and Narcissu Side 2nd was released in 2007, both are included in this release, and I read them in the release order. However, Narcissu Side 2nd is actually a prequel to the events of the original Narcissu, and in the notes for Narcissu Side 2nd, the author suggests reading them in chronological order.

Replay Value?
That probably depends on the player. The original Narcissu was kind of an experiment in minimalist storytelling for Stage-Nana, so it was released in both voiced and unvoiced versions, as the author wanted to see how the voices changed people's impression of the work, and subsequently Narcissu Side 2nd is presented similarly. An interesting mirror of that for this release is that two different translations are included: one made with the intent to localize the novel smoothly into English, and one made with the intent to replicate the phrasing of the original as faithfully as possible and paint a mental picture close to what the original author intended. Though I'm writing this review after just one reading, I can see how this approach would add replay value, and I intend to revisit Narcissu after it stews on me a bit.

Why is this free?
Narcissu is a doujin (or fanmade/amatuer) work and was released for free in Japan. When Sekai-Project announced this Steam release, they said that in the spirit of the original release, Narcissu on Steam would be "As free as Steam would let it be," so here we are. With that said, don't take the lack of a price as a reflection of quality, because, quite frankly, there's no rule stating that professionals can't do doujin works. The music and voices are especially standout in this release, and a few of the voice actresses have both anime and game roles to their credit.

Conclusion
(finally)
Well, I put it at the top for a reason...

This is an excellent release that feels like a labor of love on the part of the author. To me, it stands as a great experiment in minimalist storytelling (especially in the original Narcissu, where I found myself endeared to the characters even with next to no background given about them). Though the novel (and the genre) may not be for everyone, if this feels like your kind of thing, and you have the time to give to reading a great story, I can't not recommend it.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
31.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 8
Early Access Review
A short but touching story, was an emotional ride. The soundtracks amazing and just adds to the whole aura. It's free so you can't really go wrong. Better than some VNs I've paid for in fact. Give it a try!

Take note it's not a game but a Visual Novel and unlike many other VNs there's no decision making. It's just reading and clicking through the story.

Story: 9/10
Music: 10/10
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
Early Access Review
All I can say is.............. Manly tears were shed
Soundtrack was great
Story was amazing
10/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 2
Early Access Review
Place this with the sound on - the music is well worth a listen. The characters are lovable and the dialogue is perfection. Needless to say - it's definitely worth playing. Setsumi <3
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 2
Early Access Review
I love the story of it.
I prefer the voiced version.
The BGM suits it a lot.
If I'm given a scale of 1 to 10,I'll go with 10 without any hesitation.
I highly recommend it especially for otakus.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 13
Early Access Review
Narcissu is a sad, haunting tale accompanied by beautiful artwork and music, and it’s a good example of a literary form of the visual novel. It requires a little patience from the reader, but it’ll make you think, and unless you’re carved out of stone, it’ll make you feel, too. You may feel sad, you may feel confused, you may even feel outraged, but your emotions will be stirred, and that was the author’s sole intention. It’s a road trip worth taking.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 3
Early Access Review
One of the best thinggs i ever expericenced it made me cry alot even made me depressed a bit definatly worth everyone should get it
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 3
Early Access Review
lets talk a little bit about how to cope with severe depression
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
68.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 10
Early Access Review
This is not a game in the traditional sense. You don't have to navigate, survive, move, do anything at all. Consider it a Visual Novel with no decisions points at all. Think of it as listening to a story.

One playtime of N1 is about 3-4 hours, and N2 approximately double of that. (Notwithstanding the time spent crying) Although the game allows you to save, I suggest taking a Saturday afternoon to finish your first playthrough in one sitting. I wouldn't finish N1 and N2 in a single day though, as both are very emotionally draining.

The music is powerful. It complements the game really well, and is a good setting for the mood. The theme musical piece of N2 is just beautiful, although very painful if you understand the meaning of the lyrics. This is especially more so when you consider Himiko's background. There are only about 10+ song tracks per game though, and each song track is not perticularly long, so you may observe that the music gets repetative after a few hours. The VN offers a choice of voiced and unvoiced version, in Japanese. I love the voice acting. The tone was well done, and you can feel the personality and emotions of the characters through their voices. It was actually painful for me to listen to it, as though someone who was really hurting was there, right in front of me.

The graphics isn't bad, but neither is it great. There's no animation throughout the entire game, it is just a series of largely nondescript scenery artwork. It probably would have been rather weird without the art, though.

There's nothing much I can say of the story without being too spoilerish, so really, just try it out for yourself. Narcissu is a very though provoking piece centering on the topic of death, mainly on the process of dying. I'll not touch on the points raised, leaving the story open to your own interpretation. The writing transported me into their world, made me internalized their emotions as though I was the one actually going through everything. This is a real tear-jerker, although I'm glad its not because it wants to be a tear-jerker. That is to say, the storyline is not written such that it becomes a sad story, rather, the message behind the story generally evokes sad feelings in people.

I've came across people who complained that the story behind N1 was too linear. (I must admit, I was an idiot for missing the blatently smoking Chekov's gun at the beginning) This is not a detective mystery novel, and to put an unexpected twist ending would go against the point of the game. N2 is significantly longer than N1, but touches on more topics as well. It is the prologue of N1, giving more details of unexaplined things which happened in N1, and giving more depth to Setsumi. Even so, it is a distinctly seperate story from N1.

After finishing N2, don't close the game just yet. Go back to the main page, as you've unlocked a short Epilogue/Acknowledgements. It is concluding section from the author, giving us what the ending after N1 would turn out to be.

It would be good to read the game notes too, especially the part about translator's disambiguation of the two translation versions and the choice of voiced or unvoiced versions on which to choose for your first time. For my first playthrough I used a voiced version of Agilis' translation and did it in the order N1 followed by N2. Although the author suggested playing it in the chronological order (N2 before N1), I recommend going through N1 first. There were limited information about the main character Setsumi, and her backgrounds in N1; I felt this actually helped to focus the story onto the important points. For those who don't like the slight confusion of not knowing the main character's background, go with the author's suggestion.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
Early Access Review
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 7
Early Access Review
Pretty good story and awesome music
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 8
Early Access Review
Strap up to anything you can, because you're about to get hit by the feels truck. And just when you're almost dead, you get run over by the feels train. Not for the leaky eyes and not for the faint hearted. I had to fight a whole army of salarymen to make up for the manly tears I leaked at the ending.

P.S. The achievement system is not totally correct yet, probably because this is still an early access game.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 14
Early Access Review
Great VN
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
Early Access Review
Oh gawd, my eyes sting...
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Early Access Review
Great Game but pretty sad story. Soundtrack on Point Tho. 10/10
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 4
Early Access Review
Super depressing
10/10 would slit wrists again
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27 of 30 people (90%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Early Access Review
For the very first time N1&2 looks like some slides of pictures integrated with simple words to illustrate an ordinary story which might happen all around and all the time all over the world but if you take a close observation on this <video> game, you would possibly discover some more than just a grieving and unfortunate story that you've watched for the first sight. It does require some more patience to watch, to read, to reflect upon the words in this video before you can eventually grasp its intelligibility. Also the BGM mainly played by piano (if there're other instrumental facilities included you can point them out 'coz I'm not good at this) goes perfectly well with the plot, absolutely brilliant and impressive.

Plot: 9/10
music: 10/10
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22 of 27 people (81%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
Early Access Review
Narcissu is a MUST in your steam library, but remember this is not a game, its a VN (visual novel), for people who are new into VN narcissu is a very recommended one, as it was the first VN i had ever played and i absolutely loved it, no regrets installing it.
The overall of the game is AMAZING, but the thing that will most stand out is the story and the music, there are some masterpieces that are worth listening to.

I give this visual novel a 10/10 without a doubt, anway, why are you still reading this review, go download it NOW.
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
Early Access Review
This Game.... Truly amazing with it's beautiful story and emotional plot.

It is one of the best works stage-nana had to offer so far in my opinion. The Ending will leave you in mixed emotions, sad, happy, relief and etc. You bet your ♥♥♥ you will have connections with the characters, the characters were pretty good and the main character was believable but there are barely any characters in this novel since it's focused between 2 characters so don't think this is a harem where you will bang every single girl nope instead you will have romance with this emotionless girl, not really love but you will see their mutual likings and views towards life and the situation they are in. I Highly reccommend this to anyone who loves beautiful things although this game was lacking in eye candy since only few pictures were given here to aid your visual needs so you'll have to use your imagination most of the time AND you can never miss out the soundtrack! The Soundtrack really fits the atmosphere and gives you an intense feeling! Kudos to the people in charge of the soundtrack, truly Amazing.

Now for the 2nd installment for this game, Man.... *Sniff* In my opinion this was the most powerful, it was the prequel for the whole story focused on Setsumi Sakura and Himeko Shinohara, it was truly amazing and beautiful and really really Unforgettable. Himeko Shinohara is a very likeable character that becomes ill after a bit and the climax to this was really memorable left me thinking for days. You should witness and experience it for yourself because there are literally no words for me to describe it.

Overall this was a good Visual novel, I repeat "Visual Novel" There is no gaming in this only interaction in browsing the different sections of the scripts most of the strength is given in the story.

9 / 10 Story
6 / 10 Art
9 / 10 Soundtrack

RECCOMENDED SO HARD THAT YOU HAVE TO PLAY THIS GAME, IT'S FREE SO GOOOOOOO It's worth your time :D
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21 of 29 people (72%) found this review helpful
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
Early Access Review
This is my first VN, and on the moment i started reading it, i directly loved it.

The story, it directly started giving me the feels.
It's about a girl, whose heart was standing still
And about a boy whose breath was being stolen away, both of whom die.


The music, is just awesome! It totally fits this VN!
And what do i have to say about the voice acting? It's more then awesome!

When i'll finish this novel, i'll just read it again!
It's just that good.

I really recommend this VN. Read it and i'll promise you, you'll like it :)
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