Code:Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ Impey Barbicane Review
First Impression: He is a Scatterbrain alright…
I started out with Impey’s route not because I was interested in him, but because I realized I had unknowingly set myself up to start Saint-Germain’s route, who I already knew I wanted to save for last (before unlocking Lupin). Additionally, I also prefer to start with the characters that aren’t appealing to me, and Impey at the time, was an obvious choice.
And it proved to be a wise decision because I found his route to be unbelievably boring. This is one of the many reasons why I consider Impey’s route to be the weakest one of them all. But what makes this really sad, is how even returning to this route with virtually no memory of my first playthrough from the first time I played (2015), when I compare my notes, I discovered my thoughts were exactly the same.
The lack of connection and chemistry with Impey made it difficult to feel anything towards him. I don’t hate him, but I don’t like him either. Impey is not a bad character per say, but I feel like he was disregarded by being reduced to a “gag-role” where his jokes that nobody found charming, quickly grew old. Of course it’s part of his character to be overzealous and such, but I found it they pushed it a bit too far, and it only ended up irritating me and lose interest than being entertained. Frankly speaking, it only made him into a shallow character. It also didn’t help how we only started to see his more serious side when he shares his backstory, his dreams and being more sensible in dire situations until the very end of the game.
I also felt they severely neglected his background as a “Vampire”. Aside from being one of the few survivors from Vampire War, who harboured no resentment against Humankind for virtually wiping out his race, and having the quirks of super strength/agility, frankly there was little purpose of making Impey a Vampire. His backstory of how he and the old man were ahead of the “Vampires’ Times” of being interested in Science, when their kind thought of it as the Devil’s work felt weak to me, because they didn’t need to make him a Vampire.
Perhaps it would have held more significance had they addressed the fact he was a Vampire much earlier on. Sure, Impey didn’t really want to draw attention to himself for being one, but let’s be real here, he is in a group of incredibly intelligent characters, who without a doubt probably already knew he wasn’t Human. So it is a shame we didn’t get to see any interaction out of that, especially when he could have developed an even more meaningful relationship with the other characters. Delly, being a Vampire himself, is another character who could have bonded with him as well. Unfortunately much of their interactions took place off-screen.
And is a shame it had to turn out this way, because Impey is probably the kindest member of the entire group. Despite everything that has happened to him, and all that he has lost, he doesn’t resent anyone. He too had a sad past, a lonely one where his parents died when he was young, and was passed on from relative to relative until he eventually started living in a shack he had built himself on his own. But instead his foolish behaviour overshadowed the serious side of him that would have highlighted how he could have been a force to reckon with.
His past with the Odd Old Man was a sweet one, mainly because he was basically family to Impey, and was someone he looked up to. It broke my heart when he was he was killed in the poison attack, but I feel like it was a missed opportunity to not feature a CG of Impey holding the letter and the G.A the old man had left for him. It could have helped deliver more of emotional impact, and the seriousness that his route was lacking. Inheriting the old man’s dream of traveling to the moon was one of the two sentimental things Impey had inherited from him, and really was one of the most touching things I found about his story.
Another problem I had with Impey’s route was how I was not convinced by their love story. I face-palmed or rolled my eyes more times than I could count. It might just have to do with the whole dynamic where just about everyone (including Cardia) blows him off for the longest time, that Cardia’s love for him felt forced. In fact when the two of them had jumped out of Nautilus and Cardia said that she loved him, the first thing I thought was, “What??????? Are you serious?????? You have to be kidding me.” There was absolutely nothing about the scene that made my heart flutter.
When I talk about how Impey’s excessive declaration of his love for Cardia, it’s gets pretty bad when they make his character look and act unbelievably stupid, such as the scene where Cardia is trying to warn him about Nemo knowing she is a Homunculus and is affiliated with Twilight, and he keeps babbling on about how they will make “sweet sweet love”, like come on! There is a time and place, and that, was definitely not one of them. (And Cardia was 100% done with that shit!)
Speaking of the devil himself, there isn’t really much to be said about Nemo, aside from the fact he is hella annoying. I didn’t care about his backstory at all. It just goes to show how little I cared about this route in general. I was at the point where I just wanted to be done with this, and move onto the next one.
Happy End: Happily Ever After, but Cardia is not cured from her poison
This is kind of rough. At the expense of Cardia’s dwindling life, Cardia was able to have her wish granted of being able to touch someone with her bare skin, and the two of them were even able to kiss each other (that was a beautiful CG by the way!). However once the Horologium fragment was put back into place, Cardia’s condition stabilized and reverted her back to the untouchable state. So even though Impey proposed to her (properly) this time, it’s sad to think until they are able to find a cure (it’s all on you Victor), the two of them will never be able to be truly intimate with each other, unless Impey were to risk burning his flesh off…
…Honestly, I wouldn’t entirely put it past him to do something like that.
Tragic End: Cardia Survives, but Impey is missing (most likely dead).
Let’s be real, if Impey has yet to return to her side, it is safe to assume he didn’t make it out alive. Even though this is the normal end, it’s still a sad one nonetheless. But to be perfectly honest with you, neither endings really left an impact on me. That is only because I am just not invested in Impey’s character. Had I been, you can bet your damn dollar I would be shouting at the top of lungs about the injustice of how they may never be able to touch, or be bawling my eyes out over Impey’s demise in the normal end.
On the bright side, because Impey is terribly unreliable (mainly during the early and mid game), it forced Cardia to step up and uses everything she has been taught to her disposal. So as long as she can help it, she will never allow herself to become a helpless damsel in distress. She will always fight, not necessarily for herself, but for the sake of others. Cardia kicking-ass is exactly what made Impey fall in love with her— and who doesn’t love a man who appreciates a badass lady?
Final Verdict: 2/5
In the end, I wanted to like Impey, he is a good guy after-all, but the main reason I did not enjoy his route was the poor execution of his character. There is a problem when you create a scatter-brain genius who is loves to sprout corny lines, yet when the other characters start roasting him, rather than siding up/defending him, you (and the heroine) end up agreeing with them. The running gag of the team blowing him off really didn’t do him any favours, only making him look more ridiculous and was something that quickly grew old. They overlooked the fact he is Vampire, and failed use it in a way to have a stronger impact on the story and his relationships with the other characters.
But the thing that disappointed me the most was it wasn’t until virtually the end of the game when we finally got to see Impey’s more serious side. I found him to be a lot more likeable and attractive when he behaves more sensibly and showcase what makes him the intelligent man he actually is. Of course there were moments when he would be a bit silly, but during those scenes, I felt was executed a lot better than they had earlier on. There were more times than I could count when I desperately wanted the group to take Impey seriously, to let him lead the charge without roasting him or ignoring him altogether. Eventually, he finally got that chance to shine, but it frustrates me how long it took for it to finally happen.
Side Note: It’s long overdue, but I’m glad I’m finally finished the reviews. The rest of the routes will be released throughout the week, so stay tuned!
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