A Closed World – The JRPG Where You Fight To Be Yourself

By Spencer . October 8, 2012 . 3:33pm

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Out of all the games I saw at Indiecade, A Closed World was my favorite. We’ve seen plenty of JRPG heroes struggle to be themselves, but A Closed World makes that the core of the game. The main character leaves his village debilitated by self doubt and enters a forest filled with demons. Instead of using a sword you can defeat these "demons" by making passionate pleas or logical arguments. "Demons" fight back by wearing down your mental state. You can restore your composure (read: life) by taking a deep breath.


If I said anymore about A Closed World I would spoil it, so why not try it for yourself? You can play A Closed World in a Flash enabled browser on Singapore’s GAMBIT site.


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  • Nito the first dead?

    • Derek E Nay

        I thought the same thing I saw that thing :P

  • Raze

    I don’t really understand about this game…

    The MC is run away with his/her lover to the forest right?
    And then…What happened in the end?

    • Akarnage

      *SPOILERS!! (I guess?)*

      Nope, he/she ran after.

      The MC (which is male for me) was gay and lived in a small community that didn’t accept him and his lover. Their only hope to find a world where they could be happy was beyond the “enchanted” forest. However when the lover asked him if he wanted to run away together the MC hesitated. Later his boyfriend gives up on him and accepts his arranged wedding with some girl.

      The MC followed and found his inner demons inside along with some hints at how his boyfriend gave up on searching for his happiness, at the end of the forest he finds a statue engraved with some words stating all the pain and suffering he has endured from those around him has taken him to this very place, and congratulates him for not staying on the safe side, risking everything and escaping the “Closed World”.

      *SPOILERS END!!*

      It’s a very tender message if you’re gay as it is very easy to relate to the MC and his “demons”, but if you’re not I don’t believe the writing is good enough to make you care for the boy and his lover.

      Hope I helped you understand :D

      • WizardoftheBlueOrder

        The writing is passable for making you care…at least, for me, it’s can be a very personal message.

        However, the writing if you pick female is awkward, in my opinion. It’s the same script with some substitutions, and becomes the story of a woman who loses her male lover to a marriage with another man. (With very supportive parents! What a strange town this is.)

        I just have difficulty working with that plot, as gay marriage is just so limited and locked away, a woman overcoming adversity and self-guilt in losing out is quite a different message. I feel that in some ways, it’s almost angry at a gay marriage, and that’s probably not the intended message at all. I expected it to be a similar message with a lesbian relationship, as disapproving parents who just don’t understand and cannot accept it are a common frustration most of us will have. (It doesn’t even have to be our sexuality that’s frowned upon.)

        So I suppose I will have to agree with you that the writing isn’t quite good enough, but at the same time, the message (for the male hero) is appreciated. Being able to move on, overcome every negative influence around you and in your personal life, and understand that you’re the better for it is a nice sentiment.

        It can be hard to take it to heart though.

        Edit: That said, I’m glad Spencer linked this. It’s much appreciated.

        • Akarnage

          I think that’s a bug.

          I rushed through the game a second time to re-read the inscription on the statue at the end and this time around the male MC had a girlfriend who married another woman.

          It could also be taken that homosexual relationships are the “normal” thing to do in the Closed World, and their heterosexual one was not well seen. The message in itself is the same, it just becomes kinda awkward.

          And I agree, I liked a lot in the end. The intro track and “battle” one were pretty cool, as was the whole design.

          • WizardoftheBlueOrder

             Ah, so it’s just kind of buggy. Thanks for clarifying, everyone. (@Akarnage:disqus and @Mr_SP:disqus )

            It could be taken that homosexual relationships are the “normal thing” in the Closed World, but I feel that muddles its meaning. (Because they sure aren’t the normal thing in our closed worlds.)

            And I agree, it is pretty good. The mechanics and meaning are good, even if the writing/scripting is a little buggy.

        • Mr_SP

           It’s got to be a bug. When I tried it the second time around, it was clearly a female protagonist with a female lover.

      • Raze

        I choose guy too…
        But I don’t really read all of the text in game…
        And I thought his lover is female…
        Don’t really notice the word “him” MC use to refer his lover…

  • rebecasunao

    I’ve played this game some time ago and really enjoyed it, everyone should give it a try. It deals with queer issues, something we don’t see everyday.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Sounds interesting. I’ll have to save this for another time.

    • Foofin Around

      Yeah, it definitely seems like a different, fresh approach to RPGs.  Just the description given is making me think all kinds of awesome symbolism and such is involved.  Bookmarking it for now, but I’ll definitely be playing it soon. :D

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Interesting rpg here. It seeme today we are having indie game fest lol^_^

  • Too linear

    The game engine does nothing to support or enhance the message they’re trying to say, if there is one

    style over substance

  • $30632660

    I feel silly for thinking the “queer issues” meant strange problems.I had no idea it was about gay relationships.

    • Mr_SP

       After playing this game, I’m very relieved to hear someone say that they don’t associate homosexuality with strangeness.

  • Y-you’re not me!

    • Mr_SP

      What happened to the sweetheart? Did she also find the end? Did they get back together!?

    • miju

      SHADOW BOSS BATTLE TIME oh wait wrong game?

  • Pedro Velasco

     Wow… That was shallow and repetitive. I could probably learn more about homosexual issues playing Mass Effect.

  • this game is really isn’t for me..

  • I’m confused… Is it still called a J-RPG if it is made in Singapore??? Since it’s not made in Japan and all…

  • HassanJamal

    Well….that was a confusing story.

  • Alphabet Soup

    I really enjoyed this.  I can’t speak to whether or not it faithfully it deals with LGBT issues, but I thought it was neat and that the message at the end is applicable to anyone.  Thanks, Spencer!

  • RaikageV

    I…don’t get it..

  • I’ll be honest:  I liked the concept, but… it felt a little hamfisted to me.

    Sorry if this offended anyone.

  • Just played the game. Kinda button mashing if you catch my drift. However, the whole message seems confusing to me. I picked the male MC, but throughout the game my ”partner” is referred to as “Her”. So… am I part of a gay couple or a hetero couple in the game?
    Btw, the message card kinda confused me. I mean, my partner apparently has went far into the forest and… there’s a party at my house?

    But I THINK the true, final, message in the game is: “Be your true self — it may have its consequences and people may hate you, but it’s better to be true to yourself and accept for who you are, for how you look, et cetera”

  • ChromeOrihara

    So,is this game from Singapore or Japan? You mention that it is a JRPG but also say that you can play it on a Singaporean site.If it is a Singapore game,then I must say I am pleasantly surprised that my country actually makes games and hope for more interesting projects from this developer.BTW,this game is kind of strange.It says that it is about queer issues but I don’t see anything like that in the game?Maybe I just don’t get the plot.

  • Scallion

    Ugh, this is so lame. My characters eyes aren’t as big as dinner plates, and I’m not saving the world in primary-colored outfits. And where’s the soundtrack by the nerd-famous JPOP superstar? passsss
    (Seriously speaking, this game isn’t exactly brilliantly executed, but it’s good for what it is. I would play a more fleshed-out version of this game)
    Also, I think the contention is that the main character is a non-binary gender. The dialog in the beginning makes a little more sense that way, and I can see people in a small town reacting harshly to someone they saw raised one way, when they felt their gender was the opposite, or not easily defined. It doesn’t matter what gender you pick or insist that you are in the beginning, because people are still going to treat you like a pariah.

    I like the way the main character was handled altogether. Everything about them is ambiguous, from their ethnicity to their gender and sexuality. I wish more games took this approach when character creation isn’t available, or unless the story dictates otherwise.

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