For the past five years, the Manten Aquarium has been the source of numerous urban legends – fish with human heads, blood red water, and an exhibit that is only open on the full moon. Do you dare step foot into this place?
Sound of Drop – fall into poison – is a visual novel that revolves around best friends Mayumi (Mayu) and Himeno. The two are Junior High students, and decide – much to Mayu’s displeasure – to visit the Manten Aquarium one Sunday. The Manten Aquarium has become the home of quite a few urban legends, all revolving around the full moon. The Sunday they decide to visit? It just so happens to be a full moon.
Sound of Drop is a VN that revolves around choices. Taking one wrong step at a crucial moment will mean your death, sometimes dying in the most painful ways imaginable. After Mayu ends up alone, extremely strange phenomenon begin happening. As it turns out, each room changes every time you enter it, pulling from a different timeline. This leads to some rooms ending up wanting to just plain kill you, whether it be by orcas, jellyfish, or deadly poisonous frogs.
As far as VNs go, I thought the art style, music, and sound effects were all fantastic. While there’s no voice acting present in this title, it doesn’t need it. The sound effects will keep you on edge, and you’ll feel yourself fall into despair as you discover all of the bad endings.
The reason Mayu had been hesitant to visit the aquarium was because five years earlier, her little sister Mari had disappeared there, after they had a fight involving a keychain. Mari is one of the few other characters you meet in this story, and most seem to suddenly have a dramatic personality change. One guy, Hiyoshi Kenji, suddenly goes crazy while you’re going down a staff hallway. The main “antagonist” is barely shown, though she will gives you the chills when she finally reveals her true intentions.
As Sound of Drop is a choice-heavy VN, one would think choices would have a greater effect on what happens.Other than the choices that give you a bad ending, most of the regular choices have basically no effect on the outcome, with only a few of them actually changing what true ending you are heading towards. When it comes to the bad ending choices, you luckily know that you’re on one of these as the choices will appear in red. If you do end up with a bad ending, the game will autosave at every choice prompt, so if you haven’t saved in a bit you can fall back on this. Unfortunately, if you do a replay from a prior save, it doesn’t actually seem to save at choices anymore, even if you have it set to do so. In these cases, make sure you save a lot, especially if you end up trying to fill out more endings!
This release is a rerelease of the original Sound of Drop. While most people are used to content becoming censored when it comes to English releases, – fall into poison – actually ADDS more content. Available after you complete the game for the first time, if you start up a fresh save, you’ll be in an essentially “new game+” mode. This will allow you to access a whole host of additional bad endings along with two more true endings. I feel this is a nice touch, especially in comparison to most VNs receiving censored content.
While Sound of Drop manages to keep you on the edge of your seat, whether it be from not knowing if you’re going to die from this choice or what might be through the next door, it would have been nice if there had been more time with some of the additional characters. Completing the story will only take you around 3-4 hours, depending on the number of bad endings you hit and how fast you read. The art style is absolutely fantastic however, and with everything combined together you’ll feel both the utter beauty and complete malice of the Manten Aquarium.
If you’re a fan of visual novels, or even perhaps a fan of the old Goosebumps choose-your-own-adventure style stories, then Sound of Drop – fall into poison – is for you. It did feel like some of the choices didn’t have enough of an effect on the story though, so you’ll still be stuck on a general story path regardless of your choices. Despite the length, Sound of Drop – fall into poison – is definitely worth the asking price thanks to the number of endings and the artwork. You may want to avoid this VN if you dislike blood though, as there’s quite a bit of it in the bad endings.
Sound of Drop – fall into poison – Review Score
Sound of Drop – fall into poison – is available now on Steam.
I would like to thank Sekai Project for providing me with a copy for review.