Game Content Warning: Bustafellows is rated M for blood, strong language, drug reference, suggestive themes, and violence. Learn more at the ESRB website.
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Teuta is a young rookie journalist living in New Sieg, a bustling city where you can find anything from posh, high class restaurants to criminal organizations with dark dealings. Nothing if not determined, Teuta reaches out to Limbo, a famous defense attorney, for an interview. Before she can get the scoop she’s been dreaming of, he dies before her eyes.
Using her unique gift to go back in time a short distance and slip into someone else’s body, Teuta is able to keep Limbo from being killed. But just because she saved him once doesn’t mean the danger has passed. Teuta ends up working with Limbo and his ragtag group of friends to solve the biggest mystery she’s ever gotten her hands on.
Strong, determined, and confident, this rookie journalist isn’t one to back down when she smells a scoop (or free food). Through a series of events, Teuta finds herself working with Limbo and the rest of his group to solve some mysteries enveloping New Sieg. Digging into crime lords is dangerous work, though, so her ability to go back in time will prove invaluable. But is this gift truly infallible? Teuta is voiced by Yui Kondo.
Known as the ‘crooked lawyer’, Limbo is renowned for his skills as a defense attorney. The cops in New Sieg hate him, but to the people, he’s a hero. Limbo is determined to see justice served to those who deserve it, and he’s not too concerned with getting his hands a little dirty to do it. He’s very kind and generous, and he’s devoted to his family. Limbo is voiced by KENN (Cupid Parasite, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers)
Helvetica is a beauty, and he knows it. Working as a highly popular plastic surgeon in New Sieg, Helvetica isn’t the type to deal with things he doesn’t want to, nor will he make promises he can’t keep. While he’s very helpful and protective of his found family, he’s also extremely blunt and stubborn with them. He will just as soon lend a gentle hand to help as he will a slap to knock some sense into them. Helvetica is voiced by Hiroyuki Yoshino (Fire Emblem Heroes, Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms).
At 25, Mozu is the youngest chief the autopsy department has ever had. He’s soft spoken and perpetually calm, and tends to look at every situation from a logical or medical point of view. Mozu isn’t one to mince words, and he’d rather you keep your lip service to yourself. Mozu is voiced by Jun Fukuyama (Rune Factory 5, Dairoku: Ayakashimori, Persona 5: Royal).
Shu Lynn O’Keefe
If you ever need to find Shu, just follow the trail of cigarette smoke. Working as a bounty hunter, Shu lives a life full of danger and secrecy bound to his own idea of justice. He’s more than willing to put his life on the line for this little ragtag group he’s a part of, and the last thing you’d want to do is get on his bad side. Shu is voiced by Yoshimasa Hosoya (Robotics; Notes DaSH, Granblue Fantasy Versus).
Self proclaimed boss of the underworld, Scarecrow is a master at hacking and a novice at human interaction. He’s constantly being teased by his friends for his lack of social skills, and his innocent, silly personality helps to lighten the mood even during the darkest of times. It’s thanks to Scarecrow that this group always sees a big payday. Scarecrow is voiced by Yusuke Shirai (Steam Prison, World End Syndrome).
Bustafellows has five love interests in total, and each of them has two endings: good and bad. As you progress through their routes, you’ll see a notification in the top right corner saying you’ve obtained Archives or Memorabilia. These pieces, in turn, unlock more content for the game, typically in the form of side stories in the Extra tab.
While there is no true affection meter, Bustafellows does have a unique way in which to judge which love interest’s route you’re about to lock on to in the form of scene changes in the common route. Another way to keep track of affection is by watching what color a choice will change to after it has been selected—either white, black, green, pink, blue, or yellow. All of the boys are available from the start, so you can romance them in whatever order you want. Keep in mind, however, that all of their good endings must be unlocked before the final two story chapters will become available.
The game is played out in episodes, and each episode can be manually selected from the Start page after the first full playthrough has been completed. Whenever a character’s route has been unlocked, a folder with their name will appear to allow quick access to their individual stories. All other story content will be found under the Start page as well.
The game does not allow saves to be made if a choice is on the screen. To get around this, use the Rewind function through the backlog to return to the textbox just before the choice to save there. While Bustafellows has a Skip option to rush through dialogue, it also includes a Skip/Jump option to quickly go to the next choice. When there isn’t a choice left in a chapter, it will pause the jump as it transitions, and the jump will need to be selected again to skip to the next choice.
Unlike most otome, I don’t think it really matters which route you play first. Most of the character routes deviate from each other enough that what little overlap there may be doesn’t really spoil anything for other routes. All five boys are available from the beginning, however all of their good endings must be unlocked before getting access to the final few stories. My personal playthrough order recommendation is:
Directed and Produced by minetaka
Character Design by Sumeragi Kohaku
Music by Noriyuki Kamikura and Anemone Mournian
Developed by NIPPON CULTURAL BROADCASTING EXTEND INC.
Translated by Esper Eye Translations, LLC
Published by PQube Limited
Curious what I thought? Check out my review for Bustafellows!