First Impression: LOL! This should be interesting.
Another Story: Lupin’s Gang follows the team getting dragged into an investigation related to the mafia and and the Statue of Bathory (an infamous relic from the Vampire Clan said to bring misfortune to those who possess it). However they soon learn that the Statue of Bathory is also the name of a deadly drug that is being illegally distributed and is the cause behind the sudden spike in violent incidents the Lower Town of London. In order to put a stop to this, Sholmes have to Lupin and his friends, alongside the Gordon Family, for assistance in the investigation of seizing the evidence, confiscate the goods and capture Avido, leader of the Crudelete, the mastermind behind it. Thus the an alliance is formed between Sholmes, the Gordon Family and Lupin’s Gang.
By this time, the team (or at least Cardia) has already became acquaintances with the Gordon Family, after having assisted Shirley, Dairus’ daughter (the leader), while she was trying to run away from home, mistakingly thought to have been in danger.
The Gordon Family is a “kill-free” mafia who serves more as a vigilante of a sorts, with a pacifist nature in the underground world. The reasons why they are involved in this investigation is because they were the ones who were responsible for producing the plant was intended to be used strictly for medical purposes and was sold to limited places such as the Royal Society.
However after Dairus refused to sell it to Avido, who wanted to purchase it. Unfortunately, Avido came up with other ways to get his hands on it. As result this lead to the first drug crisis that went out of control nine years ago, which also had a hand in Dairus losing his left arm, and his wife being kidnapped and killed by Avido, which is why Shirley, despite the family’s code, wants to murder the guy herself.
And that’s pretty much the gist of the story, and goodness was it a whirlwind of events. In some ways, I did find it more exciting than the events in the main game due to the never ending action that followed. The mystery and investigation of figuring out how Avido was hiding the drug and distributing it also played a hand in making the story quite interesting from start to finish.
However while the story itself was quite a thrill, I wasn’t entirely happy with the way they paced it. There were a number of times when I felt they dragged it out for too long, and repeating the same old drama we already gone through countless times now. But otherwise, I really liked the execution of the mystery, given its twists and turns of how the drug was concealed and being distributed.
Side Note: Since this story was to supposedly taken place sometime during Guardian Rebirth, given the context of information that was avalible, it seems this event was set before Cardia discovered what she was, and witnessing Saint-Germain kills Finis. This would explain why we didn’t see Saint-Germain be involved in combat in front of the others in this story.
As for the characters, at first I found the Gordon Family quite charming, especially since they were impressed by Cardia’s powers instead of being afraid of her. But before long I just stopped caring for them altogether. In particular, it didn’t take me long to get sick of Shirley’s stupidity. God the kid is such an idiot, blinded by her bloodlust for revenge. Darius seriously overestimated his daughter when it came down to trusting her and Cardia to go out on their own. In fact it was Cardia who was the sensible one, constantly trying to keep this kid in check and stop her from getting herself into deeper trouble.
I also got sick of the repetitive argument of how Dairus had no intentions of killing Avido, regardless how dangerous of a man he is. Look, we get the guy is a pacifist, and wants to keep true to the family code, but how many times do we need to hear this? This was where they needlessly dragged the story out with this vicious cycle that looked like it was never going to end until Dairus finally punched the guy at the very end of the game.
The villain Avido, the Gang otherwise like to call The Black Snake, was a good villain, but the reveal of his backstory kind of ruined it for me. He has a personal grudge against the Gordon Family because of their values and how his own father (who was formerly a member) tried to make his own mafia practicing the same only to fail miserably, which resulted them falling in debt, I was deeply unimpressed. Furthermore he blames their values because his father’s refusal to obtain dirty money that could have saved his mother’s life.
On the bright side, this story was an absolute treat for Lupin’s Gang. These guys are always up for wild adventures, and they did not disappoint. From raiding the Gourdon Family’s headquarters, blowing up Avido’s wealth, and unintentionally being involved with destroying a town, (which as Victor said, they shouldn’t have survived) they did all sorts of mischiefs to get back at the Black Snake, and it was glorious to watch.
But my favourite part about this route though, was how much they have elevated Impey’s character from the main game. This guy was constantly disrespected and written off as a gag-roll, that I couldn’t appreciate what his character actually to offer. This time, we get to see Impey shine in all his glory. This is the kind of balance was exactly what I would have liked to have seen in the main game, so I was super pleased with the results. It makes me happy that I was able to come to love his character in this route, as well as his After-Story. It just goes to how tremendous this fandisc is for his character, who without a doubt is the one who benefited it from it the most.
Among the group interactions, my favourite dynamic duo was actually between Van and Impey. Put these two heads together, and you are certainly in for a blast. Their dynamics with each other was absolutely fantastic, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I would certainly love to see them work together in the kitchen, with Impey giving Van lessons, but I don’t know if his pride could handle it, ahahaha!
Saint-Germain was also hysterical in this route, he wasn’t kidding when he said he was inspired by Lupin’s thief antics and actually stole the goods from the ship. Victor and Impey were horrified and Lupin and Van gave him the nods of approval. Hilariously they ended up using the treasures to foot the bill for the sheer damage and destruction that became of Liverpool after having been shot at and pursuit by a bloody tank! As Victor said, it’s a miracle they actually managed to get out alive and in one piece.
Of all the members, Lupin felt like he was in the backseat for most part of this adventure. It wasn’t a bad thing per say, especially it allowed the others to have some time in the spotlight. Victor also had a quieter role, given he was in charge of producing a neutralizer for the drugs and the sorts.
And finally our best girl Cardia was an absolute pleasure to watch. She was very level-headed and put all the wisdom to practice of everything she has learned. She served as Shirley’s voice of reason whenever she tried to do something stupid, but most of the time she wasn’t able to stop her, but that’s hardly her fault. It was because Cardia was so sensible and observant that she contributed to solving the mystery in a big way. She was the one who figured out the drinks must have been spiked, and then realized the next place to store the drugs would be in the Food Storage, by disguising it with the salt and sugar since they look so alike. It was great to see her playing a big part in figuring out where else the drugs were being stashed away,
As for their hot “mafia” designs. Of the five, I would say Impey’s was the best. I absolutely loved the tied hairdo too, ah nice refined change of appearance from his wild mane. I was also a huge fan of Van’s design as well, who looked surprisingly good with a top-hat! And Cardia, what an avant-garde dress, she looked stunning, but that hat though, was hilariously massive. The ones who appeared more plain than the rest were Victor (he still look super fine~) and Lupin’s (whose outfit looked more like it was too big for him, I certainly preferred him in his Noble Thief attire), and Saint-Germain’s outfit reminded me of a detective attire, probably because of the cloak, ahaha.
FINAL VERDICT: 4/5
Well this route was one hell of a never ending adventure. I guess I should have expected it to be as long as it was given there were nine CGs in the collection. Tracking the time, it was about 5 – 6 hours long, varying on your read speed. Despite having no options to play a part of, I really enjoyed just seeing the group do their own thing without romance actually being in play. It just goes to show just how great these characters are, even without obvious love-lines.
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