Our "guilty pleasure" project, the full name is "Saint Nicolae's Academy for the Exceptionally Gifted." That just doesn't fit in the subject line.
In brief, St. Nic's takes place at a university for students with supernatural talents. Somewhere between Harry Potter and the X-men it's.... Well, yeah, it's a lot like those two. As I said, it's a departure from our studio's typical dark style. For once, we're not aiming to do anything unheard of in the VN world - we've just decided to have fun doing the typical story. It's lighthearted, fun, and with an emphasis on romance rather than saving the world.
That said, SN is a bit unique in that the plot uses an enforced play order, a decision which will likely create some controversy, but that we feel is for the best. It allows the story to build, with the reader piecing together some clues from each route. Of course, there isn't a large focus on mystery - the plot just necessitates a bit of it.
The protagonist, Rio Ancora is currently undergoing a rewrite, because we realized he was boring as hell. But really, people (generally) read bishoujo novels for the heroines, not the protagonist, so I can talk a bit about them.
Isabella Lancaster is a recurring character of ours, having been the primary heroine in a number of now-defunct works that we began and scrapped. Making her public debut in St. Nic's, she's come along way from her original role as imaginary guide. She's clairvoyant, meaning she can see the future, at least to an extent. Isabella, or "Izzie" for short, makes it a point to know everyone on campus. Her popularity, coupled with her talent, has earned her a role as campus matchmaker - with varying results.
Astrid de Leo is on the opposite end of the social spectrum. A departure from the typical moeblob and kuudere archetypes of shy characters, Astrid is perfectly content not having a whole lot of close friends as she's often lost in her own world of dragons and magic and all those things that don't exist... Right? I'm not telling. Anyway, for Astrid, being alone is a bit of blessing, since her talent of telepathy can make it nigh on impossible to clear one's head. Rather than focusing on loneliness and all the other cliches that are common to characters of a similar nature, Astrid's route is more about understanding a person truly content with their introversion and self-dependence.
Katherine McHale and Sasha Name-Currently-Being-Changed-Because-We-Realized-She-Shared-Her-Name-With-a-Porn-Star go together since Sasha is a ghost and Katherine is a "reaper" charged with the task of helping Sasha to pass on to the next life. Perfectly aware of her situation, Sasha refuses to move on for the usual reasons - she wasn't content with the life she led, and wants the chance to experience everything she didn't. Everything.
Unfortunately for Sasha, some things are beyond her ghostly capabilities. Not that that deters her. This persistence would be great, if not for the fact that it goes against the natural order of things and also creates a lot of work for Katherine.
A reaper, as stated, is a being tasked with helping the deceased move on. Once mortal humans, reapers are people who died a painful or traumatic death and refuse to pass on. But not for selfish reasons: reapers would rather help others like themselves; those who can't accept that they have died or refuse to pass on. Cold and emotionless, reapers historically only get attached to their "mark," the ghost they're in charge of assisting. Naturally though, an exception is made for Rio, the protagonist, right? No. Katherine's path is a stony and puzzling, but ultimately rewarding one. I can't really say much more than that, mainly because I'm not the one writing her story.
The fifth and final heroine is Courtney Butler, the great-granddaughter of jolly ol' Saint Nicolae himself. She's unique among other students in that she doesn't have a talent. The only one on the grounds who doesn't, in fact. This is a great disappointment to her eminent great-grandfather, who is still around after a couple centuries and with a good amount of accumulated belligerence. However, Courtney's demeanor isn't usually tarnished by the crochety old voice reminding her that she'll never be good enough. Usually. She still manages to usually behave like the sort of character that Zooey Deschanel would play.
We also of course have a large cast of side characters who I find terribly interesting but wouldn't be overly relevant here in this post. So instead, I'll give you what I know most people look for first: art. Please note that only the first two images are for Saint Nic's itself (and very rough versions at that); the others are unrelated pieces done by our artist, provided simply for more examples of her style.
(Note: Most of Hriday's stuff on his Soundcloud is rather outdated. I've just included the link for the sake of my OCD)-AkiioFurukawa
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File comment: This picture of Astrid was done by MeiKokoro, who is unfortunately no longer working with us.
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