Higurashi Chapter 1 is Free on Steam Until a Covid-19 Vaccine is Found

Higurashi When They Cry Hou Chapter 1 Onikakushi is free on Steam until a Covid-19 vaccine is found, so here's a quick guide to the When They Cry series.

MangaGamer announced the first chapter of Higurashi is now free on Steam until a Covid-19 vaccine is found. Chapters 2 to 4 are also 75% off until July 14. This is a great occasion to discover a classic franchise that heavily influenced Japanese pop culture. If you’ve enjoyed Doki Doki Litterature Club, I urge you to try out Higurashi as well, as it’s typically the kind of game that’s been doing what DDLC did since decades ago, and better.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is originally a series of horror Visual Novels (technically the term used in Japan is Sound Novel) and it’s the first part of the When They Cry series. The very first Higurashi game/Chapter, Higurashi Onikakushi, was released by 07th Expansion at Comiket 62 in August 2002, and it became a cultural phenomenon. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou is a new version on Steam by MangaGamer, with a different character design than the original ugly but poignant illustrations by main author Ryukishi07.

New artwork in the MangaGamer version at the left, original artwork by Ryukishi07 at the right.

Higurashi already got multiple anime adaptations. A first anime season of 26 episodes aired in 2006, and a second season of 24 episodes aired in 2007. These two anime seasons adapted the 8 original games/Chapters of the visual novel series. I highly recommend getting into the series with the game instead though.

A brand new Higurashi anime remake will also start in July 2020. You can read more details here. It’s likely it’ll be better than the previous anime, seeing Ryukishi07 was this time heavily involved with the anime’s scenario.

Moreover, the Japan-exclusive version of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou on PS4 is fully voiced and includes the eight original Chapters plus the many other side stories released over the years. It’s the ultimate version of Higurashi. The game is also available on Switch but is missing one Chapter compared to the PS4 version.

Higurashi is the first part of the When They Cry franchise. The second part of When They Cry, Umineko, is also available in English on Steam. An ultimate version of Umineko containing every single arc is also coming to PS4 and Switch in Japan but has no release date yet. It’s titled Umineko no Naku Koro ni Saku: Nekobako to Musou no Symphony.

Ryukishi07 and 07th Expansion are currently working on the third part of the When They Cry series, titled Ciconia. The first Ciconia game is available on Steam. Ciconia is scheduled to be four games in total, and the second one should release sometime in late 2020.

Last but not least, 07th Expansion is currently working on a brand new IP titled Kaleidoscope of Phantasm Prison, also known as Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope or Gerokasu. This horror game was supposed to launch on November 28, 2019, on PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, but was indefinitely delayed. If you wish to learn more, we translated the game’s story details. the main characters’ profiles, and comments from the staff and cast.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07

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