[Guest Review by Bigbossbalrog] Visual Novel – Atlach-Nacha

Warning 18 + content

Title: Atlach-Nacha

Year: 1997

English Translation: Not Yet Available

Length: Only one route, but a huge amount of options and ways to approach the story, leading to very dramatically different playthroughs (An average playthrough usually takes about 20-30 hours)

Genre: Horror, Romance, Yuri (Has het as well, though that can be skipped Hatsune-style. The main relationship is pure Yuri.)

System: PC

Gameplay: Very deep choice system. For example, you can choose to avert eating someone or even having sex with them. The game is actually pretty non-linear, so you can choose to do stuff in no certain order.

Developer: Alice Soft

Rating: 18 + (Full-on vivid detailed rape scenes, besides the “regular” eroge content. It’s also extremely violent. For example, one scene depicts Hatsune slaughtering a group of rapists and devouring them. Unlike those horrible rape simulator things, Atlatch-Nacha handles it’s darkness a hundred percent serious.

Background Released by Alicesoft in 1997, Atlatch-Nacha was part of a collection of other Alice games. Proving to be extremely popular, Alice released it standalone in 2000.

Technical: Basic menu system, no voice acting, and is written in an unique third-person perspective.

Trivia: Hatsune is considered iconic in Japan, which means that all other portrayals of the Lovecraftian spider deity are modeled after her.

atlach nacha visual novel yuri

Named after the Lovecraftian spider-god Atlach Nacha, Atlach-Nacha is a romance-horror visual novel created by Alicesoft, a famous H-game company. Considered by many to be one of the most important visual novels of all-time, it single-handedly pioneered the Yuri genre and pushed the boundaries of what storytelling could accomplish to a whole new level. It should be noted, while Atlach-Nacha is loved in Japan, it’s practically unknown in the West.

atlach nacha visual novel yuri

Storyline: 10/10

Taking cues from both Lovecraftian literature and traditional gothic horror, Atlatch-Nacha tells an extremely (I’m talking Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain mixed with Hellgirl and Spec Ops: The Line dark) dark and graphic tale of betrayal, love, the inner evil of mankind, and the nature of how power can corrupt the best of souls.

In Atlach-Nacha, there is zero, and I mean ZERO, good versus evil elements. The majority of the game consists of evil versus evil conflicts, with only a few characters barely qualifying as moral. The story involves a Jorogumo (a spider daemon from ancient Japan that can take the form of a beautiful young woman), named Hatsune Hirasaka, whose nest has been destroyed by her long-time rival Shirogane.

Hatsune decides she needs to hide from the world in order to restore her powers, since she was severely injured in a fight. She chooses a high school as her new nest and takes what she needs from there. Hatsune feeds by devouring the flesh of humans or consuming the sexual energy that intercourse brings.

The story begins during a stormy night, when Kanako Miyama, the secondary protagonist of the visual novel, is being gangraped at the back of the gymnasium by some male students. However, Hatsune decides to intervene, grisly slaughtering them in a display of gore-ish badassness before literally devouring them.

Initially, Hatsune only saved Kanako because she was planning to rape or eat her herself, but since she’s already satisfied by her previous meal, she decides to spare the young schoolgirl. Hatsune later seduces her, manipulates her. and turns her into her personal tool.

A good portion of the story shows Hatsune interacting with the staff and students of the school, with flashbacks from the past appearing every now and then, which help develop the story and the characters. Soon Hatsune begins to sense Silver, her rival, which leads to her making preparations for the imminent battle.

The entire storyline is depressing as hell, especially Hatsune’s horribly tragic backstory, as well as the endings that are either huge downers, or very bittersweet. Heck, The game is just one huge tragedy.

While the game is extremely dark for a Yuri product (or game in general), it’s nonetheless fantastically told and written. The game makes huge strides to make us sympathize with the characters, even the bad ones (besides Silver, who is just a monstrous jerk), and doesn’t go with the cliched “complete monster” stereotype that most visual novels go for.

Characters: 10/10

Atlach-Nacha has a pretty large cast of characters, mostly Hatsune’s various victims, so I won’t go into detail about them.

While Kanako is a great character, she not that noteworthy. She’s there to make sure Hatsune doesn’t stray too far from her humanity, and can be seen as a guardian angel due to her morality. Her character is affected by the progress of the VN, and she can turn out radically different in multiple playthroughs. However, Hatsune and her relationship with Kanako carried the entire Visual novel for me.

Hatsune Hirasaka
atlach nacha
“Know your place, pig….”

Atlach-Nacha’s villain protagonist Hatsune Hirasaka is simultaneously one of the most evil, but also sympathetic characters in the whole game. She’s a century-old spider-daemon and extremely powerful, being able to take on a gang of strong men with zero effort. Described as being very polite, if a little strange by her classmates, underneath her exterior, Hatsune is extremely ruthless and cruel. She has no regard for human morality and ethics, viewing them as lesser beings and considering herself beyond human morality.

One way of dealing with a noisy upper-classmate is to kidnap his little sister (giving you the option to rape her BDSM style, while you have her captured), lure him out, and then messily devour him. Despite all of this, Hatsune is very sympathetic, due to a number of reasons. Without spoiling anything, Hatsune is very similar to Ai Emma from Hellgirl, as well as Gabriel Belmont (otherwise known as Dracula, the Dragon) from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, as a very tragic figure who became a villain due to horrible circumstances and factors that were beyond their control.

Hatsune may be a monster, but she’s only a monster because humans made her one. However, since you can pretty much control her actions, you can make her spare her prey and even help them with their problems. You can also try the more difficult stuff, like wooing your target with your good old-fashioned charm, instead of raping them, which is why I think Hatsune can be seen as far less cruel than the rest of her demon-kin. It should also be noted that, unlike other dark visual novel protagonists, Hatsune doesn’t do these things out of malice or sadism. She does it because she wants to survive.

However, her most redeeming factor by far, is her pure, genuine love for Kanako. While she originally views Kanako as a prey, she falls head over heels in love with her. And this isn’t a “twisted” love like Sengoku no Kuroyuri, Hatsune treats Kanako very well, and they’re honestly adorable together.

atlach nacha
Dawww

These humanizing aspects paint Hatsune as sympathetic, without justifying her evil actions. In fact, the ending is determined by how moral Hatsune has been through the game, as well as how redeemable the play thinks she is as a character and person. Hatsune is one of my, if not my absolute, favorite visual novel characters. Hatsune is a villain, but she’s a very well written, well grounded, and complex one that can be sympathized with very easily. Also, she’s a complete and utter badass.

Yuri: 10/10

atlach nacha
OH DAWWWWW

Atlach-Nacha has tons of Yuri. The main relationship, as I talked about above, is utterly adorable, and I love it. Hatsune is very tender when it comes to her loved one, although there’s some BDSM scenes between them, too (It’s all mutual though). The rest of the Yuri content can be rape-ish at times.

While Hatsune doesn’t need to, you’re sometimes given the option of raping others, both males and female, though she prefers females for sex. If you’re a fan of BDSM, it’s quite prevalent here. There’s also some hetero actions, and if you want to, you can also form a harem….

Sound: 8/10

Atlach-Nacha is very well-known for its kickass soundtrack, as it’s main theme, “Going On”, has been remixed countless times. Containing stirring instrumental pieces as well as lonely, melancholic piano numbers, it’s very diverse and sets the tone of the game. Unfortunately, the game is not voiced. The sound effects are pretty good though, especially the thunder and rain ones.

Art: 8/10

atlach nacha
Coming onto the spider-daemon

Atlach-Nacha is a pretty old game. It looks excellent for its age though, all hand-drawn in wonderful Alicesoft fashion. However, it still is an old game, and you can tell. Though to be honest, I prefer the hand-drawn style of Atlach-Nacha to the gimmicky CG of alot of recent Visual Novels.

atlach nacha
Remember kids, don’t trust spider-ladies who offer you candy!!!

Total Enjoyment: 9/10

One of the best Visual Novels of all time, Atlach-Nacha, proves that tasteful, grim, dark VNs can exist. With one of the greatest villain protagonists of all-time, a compelling, dark, tale of evil against evil, as well as true love; Atlach-Nacha proves to be a masterpiece. Though, it shows it’s age at times (If this was 1997 though, it would earn more than just 10/10).

To add icing on the cake, since I’m a big Lovecraft/Cthulu mythos fan, it remains very faithful to its namesake, portraying the themes of terror, horror, and madness very well. In other words, leagues better than Nyaruko: Crawling with Love *shudders*

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18 thoughts on “[Guest Review by Bigbossbalrog] Visual Novel – Atlach-Nacha

  1. O-o I had no idea taht spider-lady Hatsune was as iconic as you described o-o
    I am interested to know where I can find more of her portrayed iconic-ally.

    I only peeked at the CG but is there a “true ending” ending for this game?

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  2. Tachei from Akuma no Riddle, Ai Emma from Hellgirl, Atlach-Nacha from Crawling with love. There's countless examples, LOL. And yes the true ending is, thankfully the good ending. The rest are downers.

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  3. Unfortantley, as popular as it apparantley is in Japan, It's…pretty obscure in the west. I can only count a handful of people I know who've played it, and none that I know in real life. The music is more well known.

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  4. Pity. Would love to see this game get picked up by Yuri Project or some other VN translating sites. Creepy yuri sounds good to me. Also glad to meet another person who acknowledges Nyaruko as being crap.

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  5. Very good review. Atlach-Nacha one of my favorite yuri visual novels, after the Akai Ito and Aoi Shiro of course. I believe that Hatsune and Kanako are the perfect couple, as it Kanako helped Hatsune understand the real values in life. Frankly speaking, I also played Atlach-Nacha only in order to navigate the route to Kanako and watch the development of relations between Jorogumo and human-girl. One word I really liked the universe Atlach-Nacha and so that it is happening. I'm not a fan of Horror and Guro, but Atlach-Nasha and Crimson Climax (Hotaruko), for me are the big exception. Overall, I was pleased to read your review, Bigbossbalrog. I wish you continue to do the same good reviews.
    P.S. I would be glad to talk with you. I am sure we have a lot in common with you.

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  6. Thanks. Lol just trying to help out Lena and spread word about obscure VN's. As much as I like Soma Hanaibra, too many people seem to think there the only Yuri VN's out there. Lol you like Aoi Shiro? Fantastic VN, though I much prefer it's sister game Akaiito

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  7. Of course I like Aoi Shiro. But Akai Ito I love most. Since Akai ito feelings between the main characters are described in more romantic, especially for couples Kei and Yumei. In addition Akai Ito can be considered a true masterpiece, among other yuri visual novels. Yumei is my favorite character because I really like in nature (and hair color), on Chikane Himemiya from Kannazuki but Miko (my first and favorite yuri anime). Kind, brave, strong in spirit and ready to protect your loved one even at the cost of his own life. That's why I like the product Kannazuki no Miko and Akai Ito, as well as other works that inherit their spirit of the genre. Atlach-Nacha is also the heir of their spirit, despite the fact that in the beginning the protagonist wanted to enslave the whole school and her students, imprisoning them in his web.

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  8. Ehhh, I would compare compare Chickane to Hatsune then Yumei, or even Homura Akemi. Completely without remore or pity, and extremely ruthless in there plans, whever there well meaning or not. Yumei is purity incarnate, and the embodiment of good.

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  9. That's right. Yet Chikane went at it in order to protect and save his beloved, Himeko. That's why I admire her and. Chikane much loved Priestess of the Sun, and in addition to her she no longer needed. Unfortunately it is very postural Himeko realized that as that interfere to prevent the total burden that priestesses are for each of their lives.

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  10. I found this VN years ago by accident looking for Lovecraft stuff and became obsessed with finding more about it because of the kickass soundtrack. I was honestly surprised to see a blog post about this; although, I wouldn't exactly call this game iconic, it seems kind of niche from what I've seen.

    I'd also would like to take a crack at translating it but my Japanese is rather meager and I can't figure out how to use all these VN tools. So in the meantime, I'm kind of hoping that you would provide more spoilered summaries so I can know more aboutthe plot.

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  11. The game itself is a cult classic, and alot of characters are based on Hatsune (Atlach Nacha from Crawling with Love is essentially Hatsune in her Kimono)

    Though to be honest, I wouldn't recommend playing this. It's fucking depressing. Like really depressing. And uber dark.

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  12. Don't worry about me, I'm ready for the worst.

    Also, I can't seem to find any reference to Atlach Nacha in Crawling with Love. Am I going to have to watch it?

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  13. Know this a bit late to comment, but someone needs to pick this up to translate. It saddens me to say it probably won't though. From what I heard, the Kanji in this is fairly difficult and the simple fact it's as dark as it is just means no one WANTS to translate it. Hopefully sometime in the future though. However, with the recent localization of quite a few yuri VNs, there is a small glimmer of hope this will get an official English release. Cross your fingers, yuri fans!

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    • As for myself, I’d like to just pretend that the epilogue didn’t even exist and that there is a happy ending after the end of that after all, because all it did is take the “sweet” out of the “bittersweet”-ness of the ending to this game.

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      • While I adore her as a character, Hatsune is fucking evil. Like pure fucking evil. Sadistic, ruthless, and is devoid of every moral in existence. She’s a very tragic character, but that doesn’t excuse the fact she rapes young girls (and boys if you choose), murders countless innocents, and feeds off of them. She may love Hanako, but that in itself is pretty damn twisted considering the fact she also uses her as a means of feeding, and luring her victims.

        If I recall, you need to work damn hard to get the “good” ending. In which it’s hugely bittersweet, but Hatsune gets some form of redemption. I really think she dosen’t deserve a truly happy ending for her sins, but if she genuinley tries to change throughout the game, I like the bittersweet aspect of the “good” ending.

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