The History And Development Of Momoka
Momoka was developed by Moca in 2018 and is still downloadable from Itch.Io. It was created while Moca was in school for the 2018 Indie Making Game Contest, and has since gotten a confirmed prequel and remake titled Momoka ReBirth.
The Story Part 1: The Calm Before The Crazy
Momoka starts with a group of girls talking about a rumour they heard about their school. Saying that if you sneak into the confession booth at 3 AM. The spirit of a priest will answer your confessions, however, if it isn’t your deepest darkest sin, the priest will get pissed and haunt you forever. Naturally, no one believed her story, it is here that we meet our protagonist Momoka.
Momoka and her two friends, Kumi and Chizuru continue to discuss the rumour and annoy another character, Arisa. Who is trying to sleep. Unfortunately for our sleepy fourth character, Kumi is of the belief that SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK! And so she tells Arisa to suck it up.
After Kumi’s friends make fun of her for her crappy ghost story, she challenges them to go investigate it themselves, with Momoka doing the intelligent thing and saying no. Eventually, after a bit more dialogue, Momoka agrees to do it since Chizuru is going with her. Sigh. There goes the first intelligent RPG horror protag I guess.
Anyways, after sneaking out of their room, they head to Sister Kazuko’s office, unfortunately for them, it appears Sister Kazuko was four steps ahead of them, as she fell asleep inside her office. In order to complete their idiotic mission, Chizuru offers to lead Sister Kazuko away from her office so Momoka can grab the keys.
After Momoka hides, Chizuru causes a loud crash, which surprisingly only drives Sister Kazuko out of her office and doesn’t alert any of the other sisters. Something’s not adding up. Anyways, after Momoka steals the keys, the two girls go to the chapel, only to find it completely unlocked. What a waste of time.
Anyways, after breaking into the open chapel, Chizuru offers to do it herself so Momoka doesn’t have to, well, she’s a good friend…I bet she dies later huh? Chizuru goes into the confession booth, with Momoka excitedly waiting outside. Only…Chizuru doesn’t come out for a while.
Momoka calls out for her friend. No response…oh no. I feel Deja vu hit me. Momoka is about to enter the booth until…it’s revealed that Chizuru was trolling her friend. Huh. Anyways, after meeting another student who was also about to confess their greatest sin to the dead priest, they make their way back to Kumi.
After proving to her that ghosts don’t exist, Kumi backtracks and claims “I was just trying to mess with you.” Uh-huh.
The Story Part 2: Things get weird.
The next day, Sister Takako comes barging into the girl’s room, asking who snuck out. The girls are just about to get away with Scandalous escapades…until. Arisa snitches on them, probably still pissed off that the three amigos were busy talking to each other rather than actually sleeping.
Even though Momoko could have easily continued to lie, she decides to fess up that it was her and her alone that snuck out and not Chizuru. Throwing herself under the bus in order to protect her friends. Wow. That’s some selflessness right there.
Anyways, after Momoko leaves with the angered Sister, it appears that Sister Takako had more plans than just spanking our harrowing protagonist, as we get a decently detailed description of something pinching Momoka in the neck. Yeah, I think we all see where this is going.
After Sister Takako finishes doing her Tanner impression, Momoka wakes back up to being blindfolded and tied down to something. (And this is my obligatory reminder that Momoka is a minor, so don’t get your head in the gutter people!), before we are treated to a sickeningly detailed description of Momoka getting her legs cut off that I will spare you the details of. We’ll get to my biggest problem with the game later.
Once the player and Momoka regain vision, we find our protag tied to a chair, with no legs. After some more detailed descriptions of Momoka’s situation, we are finally given back control and are free to crawl around on the floor. Looking around we find a pile of bones and a door. Hmm, I wonder which one could be used to escape.
Inspecting the door reveals that, gasp! It’s locked. But! There is a giant crack in the wall, with something sparkly. Now if only we could reach it- OH YEAH! We have a chair!
In a move that is pretty smart on Momoka’s part, we push the chair we were previously tied to towards the giant crack and yoink the sparkly thing- annndddd it’s too far away. Welp, time to desecrate the dead. Doing exactly what I just joked about, Momoka reluctantly takes a bone from her dead cellmate and uses it to jingle the sparkly object down, oh hey! It’s a key!
And now we have the biggest issue yet. Momoka can’t even reach the keyhole, so, using our trusty friend, we push the chair over to the door and unlock it. After leaving our skeleton friend behind, we find a long hallway and a wheelchair. Well, that fixes the issue of crawling on the ground forever.
After testing to make sure the wheelchair isn’t about to collapse on her anytime soon, Momoka continues on finding most doors locked, except for one… suspiciously open door. Now, I’m sure most of us would resign ourselves to doing nothing until someone came since that suspiciously opened door is probably either a dead-end or a one-way ticket to getting stabbed by some crazed nuns.
Unfortunately, Momoka is far too headstrong so she goes in anyways, finding a completely empty room…just kidding. It first appears normal however soon, we are treated to another overly detailed segment in which the entire floor turns into possessed meat and Momoka is unable to escape as her wheelchair gets captured like some kind of messed up capture the flag.
After escaping the meat room, Momoka realises the stitches on her legs have been ripped open, causing her to begin losing blood fast. In a last-ditch attempt to save herself, Momoka bravely travels up the stairs, losing more blood as she continues, before death can open the door for her, however…another Momoka appears.
The Story Part 3: I’m Sorry. What’s Going On?
We switch POV’s to this new Momoka. Who is obviously horrified at our hapless hero’s condition, as our original protag dies a painful death, the only thing she can ask of this new Momoka is “Kill me.” And, that’s exactly what our new Momoka does, mercy killing our old legless Momoka.
Momoka’s friends, Chizuru and Kumi come down to check on her, finding the now-dead remains of a legless Momoka, and a traumatized standing Momoka. Both the girls comfort her, mentioning a…waist thing? And another sister looking for Momoka? Weird. I’m sure we’ll get an explanation later, anyways.
Continuing on, the girls find that they are trapped. Oh boy, and the only thing that’s actually helpful is a set of notes written by “Sister Keiko”. The note essentially says that there’s an alien down in the basement with the girls. And after reading that convenient note, the floor randomly opens up. Okay.
After the three girls enter the room, another sister named Sister Etsuko comes in and claims she’s found the girls, before a loud screech cuts her off, telling the other sisters to move ahead with the original plan. Our three amigos then find another note from Sister Keiko which explains that the alien mentioned earlier was actually just a regular priest until some kind of alien crawled into his ear…an alien that is addicted to sex…and have the sisters grind up the girls legs to be used as fertiliser.
Anyways, after our trio somehow don’t contract nausea from the thought of human meat being used as plant food, they continue on, finding another unlocked door, somehow not running into the crazed sister, and then…backtracking to the room they were previously in to find an axe that for some reason wasn’t available until after they backtracked. Yay for convenience.
After solving a few more simple puzzles, another door gets unlocked, revealing…the way back into the hall they were just in. Anyways, after that, the girls open another secret door. And more notes.
Now, I’ll save you the details of this one as reading it made me want to stab my eyes out, however, in a nutshell, the girl’s legs are cut off so the alien can…procreate with them easier, and being drunk means you cannot be controlled by the weird alien monster. Even worse? All the girls are forcibly sterilized beforehand, and the sisters are impregnated with clones of the victims.
So, naturally, Chizuru begins freaking out and Momoka has an epiphany, what if she, was a clone? However, there’s no time to worry about the ethics of clone life as they have to keep moving. The trio heads towards an elevator hoping to find Sister Keiko, but before they can, Sister Etsuko appears from out of absolutely nowhere to wave a gun around and ultimately do nothing but shoot Chizuru.
Later, the now duo meets Sister Keiko, who appears to be hiding out in a room, she demands to know who the girls are. Kumi introduces her and Momoka as the two girls explain their plight to the drunken sister. Keiko then dumps a whole lot of exposition onto the girls and beats them over the head with the message that the alien has to die.
After a bit more exposition and Sister Keiko forcing the girls to drink vodka (that’s not a joke by the way), they head back down only to find! Gasp! Chizuru died because she was shot! Sister Etsuko is also dead, assumedly by the gun as well. Arisa also returns and she exposition dumps on how the girls were all killed by the sisters. And then goes on to say that she mercy killed Sister Etsuko because she asked her to. Well, this got depressing.
After a bit more dialogue the group minus Arisa heads off for the final confrontation.
The Story Part 4: The End?
Once finding the room the alien is in, the three head in…initially everything seems normal, however, as legless Momoka will tell you, that room is full of trickery. As it turns out, the alien had become the entire room, lifting Kumi and Keiko, and making them drop their weapons before the eldrich abomination begins to do…something to them? I’m not going to think about it.
Anyways, after a quick pep-talk from sister Keiko, Momoka regains the courage to destroy all the fleshy pods, in doing so, she obtained the needles previously used on the girls, stabbing them into the monster. This makes the monster very sleepy so it ends up passing out as Keiko and Kumi are released. Then, we get another detailed depiction of Kumi slamming an axe into the poor priest’s head until the alien pops out.
And after all that the game ends with Keiko shooting the thing and- wait. That’s it? That’s the ending? No epilogue, dialiouge not even a CG, just…that? Okay then.
The gameplay isn’t very difficult, with a few puzzles that just takes a little bit of common sense to figure out, the game does have a bad case of tell don’t show, however. It’s honestly more comparable to a visual novel with RPG elements rather than an RPG puzzle game with dialogue.
And while tell don’t show can be effective (Corpse Party being a great example) the difference is that everything in the game is described with so much detail, even if it’s completely unnecessary.
The Character Design And Music
Overall, the character designs are solid, the sprites look pretty decent and I do especially like the way legless Momoka looks when sat upright, as we can still see her lack of legs quite clearly, which is nice attention to detail.
The soundtrack is decent, I’m unsure if it’s original or royalty-free, but it fits the scenes when included so I won’t complain.
In conclusion, the game isn’t awful. It’s got potential, but the glaringly half-baked and often confusing storyline really holds the game back for me. I’ll definitely be checking out Momoka ReBirth when it comes out however and I trust Moca to be able to expand and clear-up the messier parts of the story.