|Fullmetal Alchemist: Bluebird's Illusion|
Original Chinese visual novel case cover
|Title||Fullmetal Alchemist: Bluebird's Illusion|
Bluebird's Illusion (BBI)
The bluebird this visual novel's title refers to what represents Edward Elric's happiness. Calling out early in the game in his monologue, Edward explains how this bluebird left him forever at his mother's deathbed. Even though he caught a glimpse of it when his brother, Alphonse Elric, regained his human body, his happiness was an "unattainable illusion." Hence "Bluebird's Illusion," or in an alternate translation, the "Illusion of a Bluebird."
- See Category:Characters for all characters.
Alphonse Elric: Alphonse is sixteen or seventeen in Bluebird's Illusion. The plot begins moving when he reports feeling "pains" as his alchemically-created body begins to deconstruct.
Edward Elric: As the main character, most of the game is from Edward's perspective. He and his brother Alphonse are peacefully living in Central City before the events of Bluebird's Illusion. He is about seventeen or eighteen years old. At the beginning of the visual novel, we learn that Edward was recently promoted to the rank of Colonel, but serves more as a secretary for the Fuehrer, King Bradley.
Envy: Edit to add content.
King Bradley: Edit to add content.
Roy Mustang: Edit to add content.
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The visual novel is broken into eight "days," at the end of each the player is given the choice to save their progress. It is possible that the player will reach one of four endings, described below, or game over.
Day OneEditDay One is the same for all paths in the game. It is the decisions made here and in subsequent days that ultimately decide the fate of the player. It begins with Edward Elric's Day One monologue, speaking of the loss of his mother, when he returned his younger brother Alphonse to his human body, and equivalent exchange. The screen then changes to Alphonse trying to awaken his brother for his first day as a military colonel. After pushing Edward through a morning routine Alphonse bids him goodbye and "gets pains," according to the Bluebird's Illusion Guide, "and knows there's something wrong with him."
Edward is driven to headquarters by Riza Hawkeye with the company of Jean Havoc and Roy Mustang. When they reach HQ, Edward goes about his given tasks (organizing documents, and at Mustang's suggestion when he first arrives in Fuehrer King Bradley's office, brewing tea), "mopes about doing menial work" and later engages in conversation with Hawkeye, who muses to herself that Edward is "really only a secretary."
Edward returns to the Fuehrer's office with tea and endures some praise disguised as teasing from Mustang. When they both leave after a short conversation, Bradley says to himself, "It seems... the wait is about to end..."
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There are four possible outcomes of the visual novel, all based on choices made by the player throughout the earlier game play. Each is identified by a fan-given nickname: Tea Alchemist ending, Roy ending, Vegetable Ed (Veggie!Ed) ending, and Pride Ed (Pride!Ed) ending.
Tea Alchemist endingEdit
- Main article: Tea Alchemist ending
A joke ending, the "Tea Alchemist" ending is one in which Edward happily serves the rest of his time in the military as a secretary, brewing and serving tea to Bradley. Before learning of this there is apparently conversation amongst the creators of the visual novel (represented in the text boxes as "XXX") in which they exclaim how cute the "Tea Alchemist" is.
- Main article: Roy ending
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Vegetable Ed endingEdit
- Main article: Vegetable Ed ending
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Pride Ed endingEdit
- Main article: Pride Ed ending
The Pride Ed ending is arguably the most popular among fans. Besides being the easiest to reach, it is almost blatant fan service. A majority of Bluebird's Illusion fan fiction and fan art is based on this ending of the visual novel. Critics of this ending, however, view Edward becoming Pride as him "giving up," and note that "giving up" is out of character of the eldest Elric.
Attempts have been made to localize Bluebird's Illusion on numerous occasions into languages such as Portuguese, Japanese, and English. Many of them remain unsuccessful in the Romance-speaking vernaculars, while those of the Asian culture were successfully concluded soon after the visual novel was released outside of China.
- Main article: Bluebird's Illusion Rebuild (visual novel)
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A Portuguese version and guide to Bluebird's Illusion exist.
- Main article: Bluebird's Illusion Unofficial Soundtrack
- "Natural Balance" (Fu Zhixiang) - 1:24
- "Alchemy Master" (Fu Zhixiang) - 3:34
- "Forward" (Fu Zhixiang) - 3:38
- "Magnificent" (Fu Zhixiang) - 3:13
- "Magnificent 2" (Fu Zhixiang) - 2:01
- "Library" (Fu Zhixiang) - 0:54
- "Zone" (Fu Zhixiang) - 2:44
- "Wandering in the Streets" (Fu Zhixiang) - 2:08
- "The Park of Angels" (Fu Zhixiang) - 2:51
- "Darkness" (Fu Zhixiang) - 1:12
- "Sanctum" (Fu Zhixiang) - 1:49
- "Just Kidding" (Fu Zhixiang) - 2:20
- "Forgiveness" (Fu Zhixiang) - 3:38
- "Memory" (Fu Zhixiang) - 2:33
- "Fighting Spirit" (Fu Zhixiang) - 3:19
- "The Truth" (Fu Zhixiang) - 3:15
- "In Peace" (Fu Zhixiang) - 2:05
- "A Sad Dream" (Fu Zhixiang) - 1:05
- "Sadness" (Fu Zhixiang) - 1:00
- "Scheme" (Fu Zhixiang) - 2:09
- "To You" (Fu Zhixiang) - 3:25
- "Gameover" (Fu Zhixiang) - 3:08
- "Brothers" (Fu Zhixiang) - 1:02
- "Matrix" (Fu Zhixiang) - 3:04
- Main article: Neoland OceanX
Bluebird's Illusion was created by a group of four or six unknown Chinese and/or Taiwanese university students who labored under the title of Neoland OceanX. Shortly after Bluebird's Illusion went out of production the group disbanded.
CirculationEditOnly a hundred professional copies were released before Bluebird's Illusion was hit with copyright infringement claims and ordered to cease and desist. Illegal downloads are often common on the internet, as well as a few overpriced original copies on auction sites.
It is speculated that the copyright infringement claim was based mainly on the music used in Bluebird's Illusion. The songs re-recorded by ChrisFox ("Moments," "Emotionally," and "Motherland") and several of the background tracks were modified versions of songs used in the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime and video games.
Two editions of Bluebird's Illusion were released. They all included the PC visual novel CD, game cards, the Bluebird's Illusion Handbook, pencil case, and art prints. The two editions only differed in cover art.The first edition features Edward Elric in casual uniform and Alphonse Elric in civilian clothing standing in a outdoor evening setting. There is a transparent birdcage around them, perhaps representing how the two brothers are trapped in an illusion. It has the Bluebird's Illusion logo and slogan overlaid on the picture.
The second edition's cover features Edward Elric in full uniform and his homunculus counterpart Pride in some sort of classically constructed building of stone and stained glass, possibly a church. They stand in the same positions as Edward and Alphonse in the first edition cover, except Edward has his left hand raised palm open to the sky. This edition of the game is more rare than the first edition and the only cover scan available is part of the cropped official wallpaper, seen at left.