Deeply messed-up visual novel Saya no Uta is coming to Steam

Steam's doors have been open to a lot of adult games it previously wouldn't have sold, but it's still a surprise to see Saya no Uta ~ Song of Saya appear in the list of upcoming games. This is a visual novel infamous because, as Brittany Vincent put it, "Not only are there descriptions of gratuitous violence, but sexual assault, adult scenes featuring a young-looking female character, and various other bits of awfulness are sprinkled throughout."

And yet it's enduringly popular. Brittany went on to write that "despite all its horrific content (and in many cases because of it, including some of the grotesque fates that befall certain characters), Saya no Uta remains one of my most-played visual novels."

It's the story of a young man who survives a car crash but is permanently changed, perceiving the world as as a hellscape of gore and people as monsters. Even his friends look demonic. Only a young girl named Saya appears normal, but when his senses tell him everything mundane is monstrous what does it mean that she seems innocent?

Saya no Uta is an effective work of horror written by Gen Urobuchi (of Psycho-Pass, Fate/Zero, and Madoka Magica fame), but it's let down by some out-of-place hentai scenes that feel like they were inserted because it was was released by Nitroplus, and that's what they're known for. The kind of dudes who call everyone else "normies" think these scenes are essential, but for the rest of us they're out of place.

Saya no Uta will be available on Steam from August 12, remastered in a new engine with higher quality image resolution, and promises improved translation and better system compatibility with Windows 10. We'll have to wait and see if the story's also been altered.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.