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The Black Hand is a Kinetic Visual Novel combining a highly dynamic and varied visual style where no two screens are the same, and a gorgeous soundtrack that will make you feel like you’re Lisa Blackman herself, on her journey towards Bone Pit City, the Capital of the United States of Draculia, on the eve of a revolution.
Defeated long ago by the Heavenly Hosts of the Skylands, the Blightlanders, whether vampire, werewolf, or undead, were long forced into suppressing their inner beasts in trying to pretend to be something they’re not: a Human. Even if it means taking some “medication” that ultimately cuts their lives short and, ironically, makes them more likely to go Feral from the pain.
And under the ever vigilant eyes of their Angel Handlers, and the ever present flash of their flame-throwers, the mutants from the Blightlands can’t help but wonder: Is being a monster really that bad under these conditions? Would you sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of those that hate you for what you are?
Is your condition actually a curse? Or were you branded “cursed” by people who wish to keep you on a leash?
> Word Count: ~80,000 words
> Music: Approx. 40-track OST
> Art: Dynamic, hand-drawn animations and CGs unique to every scene
As is normal in small-town Draculia, in some swamp in the middle of nowhere, most people reach for their guns when they see a mutant. And not that I blame them, as most of the mutants around here are Feral, and when they see you, they always go for the throat.
And mutants bite hard, so deep and won’t let go. And if you somehow wrench them away, you’re not safe at all. It only just means the disease will kill you instead, and turn you into one of them, eventually.
Such is life in the Blightlands.
Not all mutants are the same though. Some of us keep our wits intact and wished we could hold a decent job, and a place to stay; to find a guy to date and some friends to dote. And it would be great if people could tell the difference, but most will not, out of fear.
As for me, being a werewolf in Swamp Town was never easy.
I can’t say I was surprised when I found out they had fired me from Betty’s diner, and for the same reason as the dozen times before. “How can you trust in her if she’s a werewolf?!” They would say. “Can’t you see she’s dangerous?! Get her out of here!!” They shouted.
And when I told the customers I needed the money to pay for my medicine to keep the disease in check, they all scoffed at me. They wouldn’t listen. I could see it in their eyes, they already made their minds and wanted me out. I was a danger, and that’s the end of it. And with all those eyes glaring holes into me, demanding I go away…
It made me wonder if they didn’t have a point; that I was born in the wrong place as the wrong kind of person, and we could never be happy if we stayed together.
I don’t remember much of what happened after that, only that my eyes were soggy and that I was walking on my own in some dark corner of Swamp Town, looking up at the sea-side platform above, wondering.
My dad always talked about the city above the swamp, where you can see the sky, and where opportunity and chance is available to all, no matter what disease you have. He talked about a place where people like me can be happy; a place for those the rest of the world could never accept: The cursed, the eldritch, the mutant, and the undead.
My dad would always talk about Bone Pit City, the city of night. And as I looked above the sky blotted out by the continental platform of steel and industry, I wondered:
“Maybe I belong in Bone Pit City.”
Lisa’s that kind of girl with a hedgehog’s dilemma: She wishes only that people would speak to her and get close to them, but every time she does her lycanthropy comes to the forefront and makes any interaction awkward and sometimes violent, like she was defined by her one disease.
Lisa wishes only she could find somebody to relate to, and swamp town made it clear it won’t offer any of that. And so, with not much choice, Lisa might have to journey far and away to find her place.
Betty has always been a firm believer of the group.
It is the group’s synergy and love for one another that allows them to thrive in some of the harshest biomes in the planet, like Swamp Town, surrounded by monsters as it is. So it came to no surprise when she stood by the group regarding a little werewolf girl called Lisa, which the group insisted had to be driven away, out of safety.
And that would have been the end of it, had the guilt of her deeds not eaten away at Betty for the rest of that night, demanding she make up for Lisa, in one way or another.
Lisa’s father, and a nasty piece of work nobody speaks to. And that was back then, before he shagged a feral werewolf and got her pregnant, turned into the butt of a hundred jokes and kicked out of the Zombie Hunter Guild out of fear of (non-existent) werewolf STD’s.
Now the man lives with his daughter in the butt end of the swamp, at the outskirts where the monsters are plenty and the swamp-water floods the first floor, living precariously, the both of them, and hoping “mommy” doesn’t come howling for their blood, and other fluids.
Or at least, that’s how the jokes thrown around in town would have it.
A true mystery, if entirely mundane. CIRO is a hobo, plain and simple, and nobody knows much about him other than him stalking the sewers of Bone Pit City, looking for food and a cramped hole to the spend the night.
That said, his expertise in navigating the steel beast of Bone Pit City’s sewer system might be just what Lisa needs to get to the city.
NefariousWizard - Writer, Lead
GGenogold - Artist
Triptune - Composer
Dovahkitteh - Programmer
1) Which character sounds most appealing to you, and why?
2) Is there a part of the premise you like the most?
3) What would you be expecting to see out of a game like this?
4) Overall thoughts and impressions + any comments?