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:
Recent:
Very Positive (33 reviews) - 100% of the 33 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,345 reviews) - 93% of the 2,345 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 15, 2007

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Play Narcissu 1st & 2nd

 

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
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6
    • Processor: Any 64 bit processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (33 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,345 reviews)
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1,406 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
It's very understandable why this game is highly rated and recommended for those new to visual novels. The two vns are free, although there is no fancy CG or dirty scences, you shouldn't find your time wasted on these vns.

Plot: Very well written, able to make you have feels. The story doesn't lie to you.
Characters: You're given just enough information for the characters to be real and the rest is up to you.
Time: You can play both novels in under 5 hours.
Music: Music is pretty and appropriate
Voice Acting: not usually something i review in vn's, but even though i don't speak japanese, the emotion is apparent.
Take the time to read through these.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 4
Playing Narcissu is like entering a ring with a professional boxer. Prepare for emotional blow after blow, even when your eyes are swollen and weeping you stay in the ring until the very end. Better have the tissues near. Although the 2nd comes chronologically first I recommend playing 1st then 2nd. 1st helps get you into the world and tells a short sad sweet (albiet slow) story. 2nd is about twice as long and really gets you into the depth of the story of the true protagonists. Well written and nicely acted. Very nicely illustrated backgrounds and lovely if sparse character artwork. One minor complaint in the unrealistic nature of certain part (particularly the journey time in the first part) but if you can quiet the mathematical extreme logical part of your brain and just enjoy the emotional narative Narcissu is well worth the read.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 8
My stats seem to be a bit broken for this one since I didn't have Steam open while I read through it but, I truly enjoyed this VN. I tend to like VN's that get an emotional response from me and, even though the author said that he was trying to avoid doing so, he got one from me.

I still remember when I originally read Narcissu 1st back in 2005. It hit me hard (whenever a novel of any kind opens up with suicide statistics you know you're in for an emotional ride) but, Side 2nd really fleshed out Setsumi's character in a nice way. The epilogue even gives us closure for our unnamed reader surrogate protagonist from the first novel which really helped me tie up the loose ends in my mind.

With this being free too, it's an easy recommendation for anyone who enjoys this medium.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 8
Wow okay, I am sure many people may see a easy game to 100% especiallly if they read the guides on steam and realise I quick way around reading it all out I urge people to at least read all of the 1st one; I wasn't too sure about the story at first but at the end I was left with tears in my eyes and on the verge of crying' such a beautiful story even if you do not get it at first.

It is a simple read yoru way through it, no choice options or anything like that but to me that didn't really matter, that story touched me in such a way that as I said made me have tears in my eyes, while I can not recommend this game to anyone that is more into being active and doing things in what you do rasther than just read, I can recommend it to anyone that has see's a value in the beautifulness of a good story or has been touched emotionally by games or things in the past.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 9
*Feels Intensifies*

11/10 would feel again
11/11 would cry in the corner again
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
My heart is broken. It just makes you think off all the pain people like this have. But it really gives you new perspective on it and that's why I liked this so much, even through all the tears.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
Loved it. The story was beautiful, I thank all the people that worked on this amazing visual novel.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
497 of 539 people (92%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 25, 2014
Narcissu 1st & 2nd is a Japanese visual novel developed by stage-nana and written originally in Japanese by Tomo Kataoka. This VN tells the story about the residence of 7th floor Setsumi Sakura and her experience during the last moment of her life.

This game includes both the Narcissu 1st & Narcissu 2nd. 2nd being the prequel and 1st is the main story of Setsumi.
The 2nd tells the story of Himeko Sunohara as her life take a 180 degree turn when she was diagnosed with a diseased that can't be cured, thus she's moved to the 7th floor. Himeko used to work as helper in 7th floor so she kinda used to the situation, but then it all changes when she met Setsumi.

Narcissu 1st set appx. 6-7 years after 2nd. The story is focused on the anonymous Protagonist (just think of him as us) who is terminally ill & Setsumi as both of them realizes their feeling of not wanting to die in the hospital or at home with their respective families. The two of them begin a long journey accross Japan until they find that place...
NARCISSU

I have completed the game 2 years ago and when I found this game on Steam Greenlight, I immediately vote it up as I think this COULD BE first step of introducing the Visual Novel medium to the West. Currently the game is in Early Access but don't let that bother you because the story itself is completed & translated. I'm also part of the Closed Beta tester and I could say that Sekai Project did a good job of making the game engine compatible with Steamwork.

Definitely a must have if you are an avid VN player or you are interested in this medium, even after 2 years of finishing this, I still get dem feels moment :') a Masterpiece indeed!
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466 of 544 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 25, 2014
All aboard the feels train. Choo choo!
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223 of 241 people (93%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 25, 2015
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".

Usually I would start a review with some sort of story hook, an attempt to use my own words to evoke the kind of atmosphere you can expect from the full experience, something to show you at a glance whether it could really speak to you or whether you would not connect with it at all. In the case of Narcissu 1st & 2nd, I feel that no matter how long I try, I will not be able to top the original summary by Insani (quoted above and throughout this review), the fan translation group that first brought Narcissu to English-speaking audiences. Instead I will just quote their writing where appropriate and dive straight into the facts myself.

Narcissu and its sequel Narcissu Side 2nd are rather famous kinetic novels (meaning they have no branching story or player choices) with a strong legacy in the VN community. They are known for their use of minimalist visuals, mostly showing backgrounds with no character sprites or even just a gray void, with only very few character CGs inbetween. The soundtrack relies heavily on piano pieces, but also makes use of other instruments in some places, and features two title tracks with Japanese vocals. The engine shows its age in some aspects and does not have a fullscreen mode for example, but apart from that it has everything you'd expect, including save states and a soundtrack menu. As a reader, you have the choice between two different English translations or the original Japanese script, and you can opt to listen to the Japanese voice acting if you so choose.

Imagine what it would be like to have your entire life -- your friends, your family, your interests, your loves, your hatreds, your future -- all taken away from you in a single instant. Imagine a hard, lumpy bed, a noise-filled ward, the sharp sting of needles entering your flesh at all hours of the day, the indignity of being woken up just as you are about to fall asleep for incessant vital statistics measurements, the doctors whose names you don't know (but that's okay, because they don't remember your name, either; they just remember you as "the non-small cell lung carcinoma in room 6"), and your own name, your very own name, that you have just about forgotten.

Then you might have some clue as to what it is like to be dying in a hospital.

It would be off the mark to describe Narcissu as an "emotional rollercoaster" since the concept would imply lots of ups and downs, but even though Narcissu ends on a bittersweet note of resolution, it is pretty much devoid of "up" moments. VN connoisseurs might note that this places it in the utsuge genre, everyone else seeking more stories like it now has a keyword to search by.

The story is about an unnamed young man who falls terminally ill. After all venues of hope are exhausted, he is moved to the hospice ward of the local hospital, where he meets a girl of about his age who conveys to him the unwritten rules of the inhabitants of the 7th floor, of those who are going to die. The two begin a series of awkward non-interactions that culminate in their decision to reject the dichotomy of dying either in the hospital or at home, which kicks off the main arc of the story.

The way that Narcissu hones in on its themes with every fiber of its being is both its strongest asset and biggest liability. Everything about it, from the background visuals to the character interactions, is teeming with the drabness that you would expect from a story about young people in palliative care, which is not at all a melodramatic "woe is me" caricature of exaggerated sadness and self-pity, but a cold collage of loss and hopelessness rooted in questions that no human should have to ask themselves, such as: What does it even mean to be alive if there can be nothing to look forward to? Both main characters' actions and non-actions need to be viewed through this lens to have any hope of being understood.

In that sense, Narcissu as a piece of literature is more demanding of your sense of empathy than many other games and visual novels: It could easily be misunderstood as a story trying to show "normal" people what it is like to be terminally ill by taking their hands and walking them through the experience, but in actuality it's closer to a slice-of-life story about people who are terminally ill, that asks you to make the necessary mental steps towards those people on your own if you wish to understand them. In short: This story isn't written for you, it's written for its main characters.

One example that I can give without veering too far into story spoilers is Setsumi's attitude towards the protagonist. She initially comes across as standoffish and rude, and there's the tacit expectation of a pivotal moment where she finally starts to open up so the "proper" story can start, but that moment never comes. Where a less patient or empathetic reader might leave the story unsatisfied, we can instead take the opportunity to examine Setsumi's behavior with her medical situation in mind, and ponder the way that human relationships develop. Most of us go through life every day making small passing connections to people, but only once in a while do we meet someone we like enough to allow ourselves to be vulnerable around them (which takes courage) in hopes of forging a lasting connection that we can depend on in the future. But what, then, if there quite literally is no future? Suddenly there is no point in opening up to anyone new. Why bother taking the risk of potentially getting hurt if we will not live to see the reward?

The novel doesn't spell these details out to you, it asks you to understand the characters on the basis of their actions. Questions like why having a goal is suddenly such a big deal to the protagonist are left up to interpretation. The combination of strong characterization (which if you've seen my previous VN reviews you already know I am crazy for) and partially unapproachable writing is not for everyone, especially not if you are looking for light entertainment, but there is a lot of substance to it for people willing to make the effort.

In summary, Narcissu is a great visual novel that can be genuinely rewarding to read, but is ill-suited for those of us with short attention spans.

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.
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Recently Posted
SNatch
1.7 hrs
Posted: September 29
Narcissu 1st & 2nd is a visual novel game that is immersive, having a deep theme to it, detailed artwork, a crisp soundtrack and overall an intriguing storyline. Decent.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kd.whitaker
63.9 hrs
Posted: September 29
it realy makes you think 10/10 life always comes to a end. sometimes sooner than what we expect its scary knowing when you know you are going that is something a lot of us dont have to worry about a lot of us die in our sleep or get shot without knowing your the target or when you get hit by a car you dont know when your going to die but....they did
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Weeabo32
5.8 hrs
Posted: September 23
These VNs are great for beginners, and veterns of the genre shouldn't shy away from them either. The music and artwork fit splendidly with the narrative of the story. The 1st one I prefer over the 2nd, but this is not a nock on the 2nd. The feels are real, have your tissues ready. The text doesnt break immersion. The plot is mind numbly interesting. But neither is perfect. Both are kinetic novels (No choices) and Im not a huge fan of this. Also, the 2nd provides good backstory to the 1st, but the suspense and mystery are totally killed by the knowledge of the 1st. If you liked these, check out ChuSingura 46+1.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Saara
14.9 hrs
Posted: September 18
love it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kiraisjustice
10.8 hrs
Posted: September 7
the best VN I read so far.... still can't breath while listening to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6CGujQIqdk
Helpful? Yes No Funny