Somewhere in the wilds of 'southern Europe' lies a desolate mansion where three students have gone missing and it's up to you to find them and make sure they're alright. A fairly simple premise for a horror game, but underneath that The Note has some very interesting and unique ideas (albeit presented in a very flawed way). Released in '97 for the PS1, the game presents the user with a world of light and darkness with a fairly dynamic lighting system, a day/night system, and a customizable control setup that easily could have been amazing for the time. But for all the positives there were a number of things actively working against 'The Note' ever being remembered as being a cult horror classic.
First and foremost, it had a fairly limited release; in fact it seems to gained quite a bit of infamy for the mere fact that it seemed to be one of the rarer titles for the PS1 (though I can't seem to find exact numbers anywhere as info on the game is fairly sparse). Secondly, the game only saw release in the Japanese and PAL regions; which was more than likely due to Sunsoft not really having much faith in the title being popular in other markets and really it was surprising that Sunsoft would even touch this product as they mostly seemed to work with licensed games. Lastly, even with it's limited release, the most damning issue that 'The Note' has is well....it's not really fun to play. For all it's interesting ideas, it easily goes one step forward and two steps back. Cumbersome combat, vague puzzles and objectives, and while it's control scheme is great it's also hampered heavily by the fact it gives you about 16 different things that you might need to map with only four buttons available. But hey, that's why I'm here; to give you a safe and comfortable ride through this mostly forgotten title, right?
The main man, Akira; freelance paranormal investigator, shitty marksman with a shotgun, and generally thick headed nitwit. But beggars can't be choosers, especially when it comes to finding missing children in Europe in a spooky mansion.
Akira's right hand helper, Angela; formerly Daria's best friend, she assists Akira as best she can....which is mostly saying people are unpleasant and shady. Usually though she's pretty much right on the money.
The mysterious lady in red, Necromeda; the malevolent mistress of muerte. Just why did she need her stone so badly and what evil machinations does she have in store for those missing children? Only time will truly tell.
A mysterious man in black, Paulo; the very essence of late 90's coolness and the only real friend we've been able to meet in 'southern Europe' so far. But we already mess it all up by giving away his coveted soul stone...hopefully we can kiss and make up.
Cool as a cucumber and twice as green, Dave; a well-meaning and endearing member of the trio of kids that went missing who is probably in over his head but he doesn't seem to mind. He's just that cool.
The yin to Dave's yang, Toshi; quick to accept the inevitable and even quicker to blame others for his current predicament, Toshi is the wild card of the trio. You just never know what he's going to do next...whine or whinge.
The one who took all the pics, Linda; without Linda none of this would have been possible, though it's a bit of a toss up if that's a positive or a negative since it's led to demonic imprisonment.