I have been a busy little gamer, haven’t I? In addition to doing all these routes I also started Atelier Totori Plus, played it a little, wasn’t feeling it and started Sorcery Saga instead, which is right up my alley. Plus it’s a roguelike so I’ll be done soon, just as soon as I die about 30 times. More on those games some other time. Today let’s talk about all the routes I did in La Corda d’Oro 2 and how I finally got Hihara-sempai’s true ending.
Okay, “true” ending isn’t how the game describes it (IIRC they call it the 連鎖/chain route or something) and the ending itself isn’t any sparklier or prettier than the regular ending. However it does have a developing story that makes it more deserving of the term “true ending” than the ambivalent mushy-wushiness of the normal route.
It’s also considerably harder to get because, as I suspected, raising a guy’s affections too high too quickly causes him to forget all his troubles and focus only on his love for Kahoko. There’s a lot more drama and less romance on the events route, but IMO the payoff is much more satisfying because you’ve supported him through difficult times. Or at least you were in the general vicinity when it was all going down, which is virtually the same thing.
The tricky part about getting a chain ending is triggering the 3rd chain event. You’re likely to be close to unlocking a guy’s third heart (400-500 affection) by the time it becomes available. If you get the third heart first, you can’t get the third chain. If you even trigger a third heart events – even if you answer wrongly – the chain route is closed off forever. Earlier and later chains are also tricky, but it’s the 3rd that trips me up on every route. You have to keep multiple saves and keep reloading once you meet the conditions so you trigger the right events. Phew!
The sad thing is by the time I finally swallowed my pride and checked the FAQs for how to get the alternate routes, I had already done the regular routes for every character except Shimizu, Fuyumi, Kanazawa and Amou. Much as I love La Corda d’Oro 2, there’s no way I could do the whole thing all over again. I had to pick whose story I really, really, really wanted to see before putting the game away for a while and only the mystery of Hihara-sempai’s commercial came to mind.
What’s eating Kazuki Hihara?
As I mentioned on his normal route, Hihara-sempai got a starring role in a commercial. However he didn’t seem too thrilled with the way it turned out. What could be making Hihara-sempai so unhappy? Did they stiff him on the payment or something? That would make me depressed, I tell you.
The IRS wants what percent?!
But in a way, what they did was worse. They had Hihara play the trumpet for the advert but dubbed his performance over with a pro’s. On top of that, he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement preventing him from telling anyone the truth. I don’t know what’s worse for a budding musician: being told your playing is lousy, being forced to pretend someone else’s performance is your own or realizing that none of your friends and family can tell the difference. Poor Hihara-sempai. There there, I’ll comfort you.
Yunoki, move! I said I’d do it!
Luckily he has a few discerning and understanding friends like Yunoki, Kaji and… Hino? Hino you’re lying, you didn’t notice a thing. But she pretends she did and he buys it. So although Hihara desperately wants to confess the truth to the world, his friends persuade him to wait 50 years before saying anything in order to minimize the legal fallout. Kaji also talks him into signing up for external music competitions so he can see where he really stands in the world. And a good time was had by all.
After all that drama, it feels really natural when Hihara shows up under the Christmas tree and tells you how special you are to him and how he wants to be with you forever and ever. Awww, Hihara-sempai~<3~~<3~ And that’s why I call this the true ending.
Shimizu GET along the way
Shimizu’s is the… collateral damage ending, I guess you could call it? Meaning I got him without trying while aiming for Hihara’s true end. As long as you get a guy’s affection up to 920-ish before the final concert, La Corda d’Oro 2 will give you his normal ending. You might have to see at least one event and go on one date as well, not sure. Either way it wasn’t a problem because I had a lot of time to spare while trying to avoid raising Hihara’s affection too high.
Shimizu’s issue is that he’s searching for a muse to help him write better music. Somewhere along the line he realizes he writes and plays better when Hino is around. Then I lost his true route, which is fine. Something-something Alma Mahler something Shimizu is such a weirdo something. When I met him under the Christmas tree at the end, he told me that his music sounds better when I’m around so he hopes I’ll stick around for a while longer. Yeah sure, I wasn’t going anywhere anyway.
My opinion of Shimizu hasn’t changed much since the last game. He’s still a dull, sleepy slacker. If anything he seems even more sluggish than before. His dedication to music does come through very clearly and I admire that. But as a romantic prospect he’s not exciting at all. You wouldn’t be able to talk to him about very ordinary things like movies or fashion or computers or anything that’s not music. Let’s just be friends forever, Shimizu-kun.
Violinist-zoned by Tsukimori
“I’m attracted to you…. as a violinist.”
“I want you to stay around forever… as my rival.”
Thus spake Tsukimori Len in his so-called normal ending. As the face of the game, Tsukimori has always played harder to get than the other characters but I thought he would make an exception this time, seeing as I got his affection so high and stuff. Nope. You will be hard pressed to hear him say anything that could possibly be construed as warm or affectionate throughout his route, even when he’s walking you to and from school every day.
His story is that he developed an interest in studying abroad after hearing about Ousaki’s trip to Vienna. He put in an application somewhere or the other and that’s the last I heard before losing the true route. Doesn’t sound like he needs/wants my help for anything so… let’s just be violinist rivals forever, Mr. Moon Forest.
Yunoki is as mean as ever
Yunoki’s storyline is that he promised his family that he would only pursue music until he graduated from high school. Now that day is drawing nearer and he doesn’t know how to feel. Plus his family business is on the rocks so he might not have the luxury of following his dreams for much longer. Sounds nice and serious, right? Like something I would want to dig deeper into and try to help him solve… if he wasn’t such a massive jerk all the time.
Seriously, he can’t get through a five-line conversation without sneaking something mean in there. Even his nicest comments are backhanded compliments. Stuff like “You actually look good for once” or “This black tea is amazing. Not that someone like you can appreciate it, of course.” I think the modern kids call it ‘negging’? I call it a cue to run far, far away. Of course I went ahead and got Yunoki’s normal ending anyway (it’s not romantic in the least) but after that I want absolutely nothing to do with him.
It’s strange though, because he’s such a nice guy on Hihara’s route. A really caring and perceptive friend who always looks out for Hihara’s best interests. He even calls me out and tells me not to dare break his best buddy’s heart. I thought this might be because Hihara doesn’t know Yunoki’s true nature, but I’ve seen two different events where Yunoki lets his mask slip in front of Hihara and they’re still as tight as ever afterwards. So Yunoki’s just nasty to me and nice to everyone else. One of those guys. Yeah, no.
What’s next for me and La Corda d’Oro 2?
Part of me still wants to get everyone’s true ending. Let’s see, if I played on Easy and skipped every event I had already seen… It’s not… impossible. Another part of me wants to play the 2 Encore fandisk, which is short but offers a new form of gameplay. And a third part of me wants to start a completely different otome game altogether. My otome game backlog is so long I’ve gotta play at least one a month or I’ll never get anywhere.
That being the case I will very reluctantly move on from La Corda d’Oro 2 and start something else soon. In the meantime Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Sorcery Saga and Totori will keep me occupied for the next couple of weeks.