The Falconers: Moonlight is a supernatural thriller visual novel set in the 19th Century West Coast of New Zealand. Falconer, Cassandra Winter, is on her first solo mission. Can she save the people of Moonlight from their plight? Or will she disappear into the mist like so many others before her?
This review will go a bit deeper into the game in regards to story and new character introduced. To read my initial thoughts about the game, check out my first review talking about the demo.
★ ☆ ✰ Rating: 7.5/10
It should be said first that the art and the animation of the game is really great! Everything is done to give the player that “Western Colonial” frontier that come from the time and everyone is dressed appropriately, especially Cassie who is hunting some really disgusting beast and she is always seems prepared to fight. The backgrounds also do a good job in setting the “mysterious and dark” that comes with everything that is going on within the town and how everyone seems to be hiding something. Yet, they are still detailed and are also very approach to the time setting the game takes place in. The animations do a great job in showing of the action sequences of the game, especially when Cassie is fighting though it might get a little confusing when it suddenly appears out of nowhere when talking to other characters. There is some high quality design and aesthetic going on, but the story falls sort of short in the end.
After a certain scene, the player meets Cassie Winter who is entering the town of Moonlight which is mourning the loss of 86 lives in a recent mining incident, though she is there for another reason. Cassie is there to seek answers for the sudden disappearances within the town and if they are related to something she hunts named a “Culler”, but there is more it than that. While she might have been brought into Moonlight by the richest man in town, a lot of people –Weka and Biddy– are weary of her questioning and her title of “Falconer” though that doesn’t stop them from giving Cassie all the town gossip. Cassie tries her hardest to find what is going within the town, its people, and how everything is connected. She is in for a rough fight for her first solo mission, but she doesn’t seem to give up so easily.
The story does a good job in introducing the concepts of the Cullers and Falconers, as well as explaining the setting of the game, including historical and cultural. At the same time, while Cassie briefly explains her own background, she still remains a mysterious character, but some things that she says are frustrating because it relates to things the player doesn’t know yet though it might be the setup for a future game. However, it feels very short, once everything is explained most of the story moves quickly as Cassie tries her hardest to stop the “Seeder” from destroying the town. Yet, with all the information given, it is sort of easy to figure out who the culprit is going to be but it does a bad job in steering the character into believing who they actually want them to be. Though, there are good points to the story as well.
The writing does a good job in showing Cassie’s frustration as the story move forward. Since she is on her own, she thinks about everything and the player is able to connect to her emotions in regards to this mission and the people around her. Cassie is a really proactive heroine and she always tries her hardest to make sure everything goes well. She is a quick thinker and though she is serious at times, she can crack a smile and teases others as well. She might be frightened and have very little experience on her own, but that doesn’t stop and ever when it does — she seems to have a strong reasoning behind it.
It might be a bit harder to connect to the other characters, but all of their own motives are eventually explained. It is also great to see that all the characters, despite their differences, work together in order to defeat the Culler. The endings gave minor changes, but the player feels their loss but also that they really helped Cassie defeat the Culler and even the hope that Moonlight will keep forward after all this tragedy because that it what humans do.
The story has its faults here and there, but it has a solid protagonist and is a strong introduction to hopefully a longer series. So, if you have time, consider checking it out!