Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a sexual servant for three incredibly beautiful women? In Starless: A Nymphomaniacs Paradise, you are exactly that. You play as a student named Sawatari as he takes on a two-week job as a servant at the Mamiya families mansion. The title is by the studio Empress, and released by JAST USA. It also carries Sei Shoujo’s signature art-style of big-breasted women. This is also the game that was so intense with it’s hardcore fetish imagery that I can now only watch vanilla porn.
The story of Starless begins with our main character, Sawatari, looking for work through a magazine at a local market. He skims through and finds an ad for a position as a servant, with no previous experience required and that it apparently pays 4 Million cash-monies. He calls the advertiser and they agree to let him for the position. However, if he was successful, he would have to live at the mansion for an entire two week period. So, the next day, he packs his things and heads off to the mansion in a taxi.
After arriving at the mansion, he starts the interview off with the mistress of the mansion. While it begins on a rather normal note, things quickly start to become a little more strange. It’s clear that this wont be a normal job when Sawatari is forced to disrobe and perform all kinds of lewd acts to test his abilities for this new job. At first, he seems reluctant to comply with these tasks, but, it seems that he has been drugged and his libido gets the better of him. After passing, he starts his new job as a servant.
Starless progresses fairly linearly, as it is a visual novel style game. The player will sometimes get a few options to choose from that will affect the story in minor but significant ways, especially pertaining to the events leading into the ending of the game. In our playthrough, I played it as how I would probably behave if I was desperate for the cash monies, which was pretty much as a yes-man unless it had to do with money. I gave it a second playthrough where I would be as terrible a servant as possible and try to escape with another new servant, Mitarai.
It’s a pretty long game if you choose to not escape from the mansion, and the answers to each of the games prompts help influence the final scene that you will receive at the end of your two week servitude. Our ending was pretty bad, but it wasn’t as bad as the ending we got escaping with Mitarai. Help the blue-haired chick! Don’t swat her off like we did.
One of our biggest gripes with Starless was that the H scenes were way too long early into the game, and the story segments were far-and-few between. There was just way too much sex, and too much sex that went for far too long. As a game that seems to be themed on sexual torture, this prolonging of each sex scene seemed like torture in-and-of itself. I don’t know if this is a plus or a negative, but it’s certainly something to be mindful of. Fortunately, the story itself is pretty interesting, so you’ll want to push through the torture to see if Sawatari actually makes it out of the mansion alive and with his balls still intact.
The scenes do eventually start to become shorter, and you’ll find that the game will only show a few moments of a scene later on in the game if it’s one that you’ve gotten the point of already. For example, every morning, Kyouchi, the Mistresses son, a late teen, will breastfeed on Mikako’s, another servant and mother of Makoto, boobs. At first, this scene takes forever, however, later down the track it’s only a few minutes long. Even more, the game will have a different scenario in place of the usual routine, showcasing a different H-scene, often in a different area. For example, Makoto and Sawatari will be drained of their semen by the Mistress in the morning, however, in one instance, Sawatari gives her an anal enema in the bathroom and she craps everywhere. Unfortunately for fans of scat, in the English release, scat has been censored. As has bestiality. Incest is still in though.
Even more, the game changes things up at 4-5 days in when Sawatari and Mitarai begin their sex-training. Things get incredibly torturous for the two. Especially Mitarai, who seems to be expected to do much more in regards to the sex than in comparison to Sawatari. However, this does not mean that Sawatari has things easy either, quite often you have to sit there and watch as he is ordered to carry out these sexual acts himself under the influence of drugs and not be able to step in to make him stop.
I’m pretty sure that there was a scene for every known fetish out there. Except for lolicon, there were no lolis in this game, which considering Sei Shoujo’s artwork, is a given at this point. Some of the lewd acts in this game had me literally holding my own balls as I could feel Sawatari’s, or Makoto’s (another servant), pain in real life. Seriously, some of these scenes go above and beyond what they need to do, and you’ll either love the game for it, or you’ll go along with it just to see how much worse things can get for the characters. And things do get worse and worse for these characters.
I actually liked the personalities of the some of the characters in the game. For example, Marisa, the hermaphrodite girl. Man, if there’s a sequel or spin-off to this game, it should just be a game involving her and Sawatari living in the mansion and being rich and stuff. I also found Marika, a purely tsun (not tsundere, there is no cute here outside of her looks) character, enjoyable. She’s a bit of a bully and clearly gets off on dominating the crap out of the servants, but you know that she only saves that attitude for the servants she likes (Sawatari). This is kind of exemplified later when the mansion is host to an orgy/auction and she’s being strangely nice to people she doesn’t care about. Even the Mistress was strangely charismatic. If I was Sawatari, I’d return to do more work for these ladies next holidays for sure.
If you’re doing the game as a full run, it’s a full 15-16 days in game time, and each day runs at around a really long time if you let it play itself. Some sex scenes last 30-40mins if you leave it on auto. Clicking through aggressively is still a substantial time investment and you do miss some of the mostly meaningless dialogue doing it this way. There is a skip function, but only use that for text you’ve previously read to speed things up.
Starless has some rather interesting dialogue if you pay attention to it. It often ranges from hilarious, like when the Mamiya family is in the same room as each other, to typo-laden, like the QA testers were skipping the text to get through the torturous pain of this game. It’s also fully voiced, although some words are clearly censored. Whenever the words for genitals come into the dialogue, you can expect to hear censor beeps in the voice track.
I’m a massive fan of Sei Shoujo’s art work so I’m probably biased in saying that the art for Starless was pretty well done. Each of the women seem to be meticulously crafted to get men to react a certain way to their physique. They seem almost too womanly for the most part. However, I do have to admit that the breasts on the female characters are ridiculously huge. The game even makes fun of this at one point when it states that one of their breast sizes are 100cm. Seriously, for boobs to be that big, they’d have to be on a 3m tall woman or something, right? By far though, the most beautiful girl in the game would have to be Marisa, even if she is a futanari character. The second prettiest is the Mistress. Also, in the opening scene, Sawatari has this awesome backpack, does anyone know where to get one?
The mansion itself is rather nice to look at and has some pretty detailed rooms. However, I found that for a setting as large as a mansion, it was a tad underused. You’ll mostly be moving between the same 6-7 rooms, with not too many extra, throughout the entire playthrough. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I feel that the setting was a little under-utlilised.
Overall, Starless: A Nymphomaniacs Paradise is a rather interesting visual novel by one of my favourite producers. If you’re a fan of a multitude of fetishes, including sexual torture, definitely check out this title. If you’re someone that can’t stand long-winded H-visual novels, you might want to steer clear of this one. I did enjoy the story, even if it was lighter than the sexual elements, and the characters really made it worthwhile. Marisa is best girl.
Rating: This Game Messed up my Sexual Preferences /10
Starless: A Nymphomaniacs Paradise is released by JAST USA. It is out now for PC. This review is based on the full release and was supplied by JAST USA for the purposes of review. The author is a fan of Sei Shoujo’s work, so there may be some bias’ within the review. You can grab a digital copy of the game from JAST USA’s website for ~$40, or the limited edition box from JList for ~$50.