Finally got around to playing this! Here are my thoughts, written down as I played:
When I tried to take screenshots, there was no notification that the screenshot was taken, and I thought screenshots were disabled for whatever reason. However, when I checked Sunrise's folder a bit later, I noticed the screenshots had been taken. Is there any particular reason the notification was taken away, or was that a mistake?
The first song in the game had some extraordinarily soft humming that reminded me of my father's voice. I really thought he was in the room with me.(Yes, this has nothing to do with the game itself. Sorry; moving on.)
The first choice, about loving Shiye, took me for a loop, mainly because it's such a big decision, but also because I didn't know enough about these characters to really make such a huge choice yet. Yes, Sofia seems to love Shiye, but what if she's lying to herself? Or would saying "No", make it so she is
lying to herself, thus changing her character completely? Hmmm...
After saying yes in that section, there's a part where Sofia says "Coming back to my senses, I shove him hard." I take it that's supposed to be narration, not said aloud?
Near the end of the same scene, Sofia says aloud "Curtsying as swiftly as my stiff body would allow, I quickly pull myself away and turn to leave--" Again, I don't think this was meant to be said aloud. I have a feeling this'll happen more than once in the game, and if it does, I'll just record the quotes below, along with the scene they're in.
Sofia seems to be able to speak for way too long after being drugged(?) by Abel, but that's just my opinion.
When Sofia appears before Calista, she says something about being ashamed to appear before the queen covered in feathers. This is mentioned a bit too late; you probably should've mentioned this at the start of the scene.
Calista saying the magic "tastes strange" made me smirk. Probably not the intended effect?
"Do not reveal who you really are." That quote shocked me, and I thought "Now things are really going to get interesting!" Then, I discovered Sofia is...an owl? "Alright let's see how this is going to work..."
Abel knows the owl is Sofia, doesn't he? It seems obvious from his dialogue. If he knows, then hasn't Sofia technically already "revealed who she really is"? Or does Abel not count since he already knows?
Let me guess-- the cloak she's wearing as an owl, which Abel gave her earlier, is either part of the key of THE key to breaking the curse. Someone probably has to take it off for her for the curse to be broken, and she can't take it off by herself. I hope I'm not calling this key plot point from a mile away. Also, Sofia is going to see the man Shiye really is while she's an owl, and will not be able to choose Abel or Shiye because she now knows them both to be evil men. Again, I hope I'm not calling this key plot point from a mile away. As long as it's written well, it might be fine, though. EDIT: Now that I finished the game, it seems that I was wrong about both of these predictions. That's good!
Woah, Shiye has a plane in his room? Can he fly it? Will there be a scene where he flies with "Athena" beside him? That would be cute...
"Here's my chance to do something so it can show him that it's me!" and then one of the choices right afterwards is "Pretend to be an owl"? Why? You just implied with the "Here's my chance" bit that "Show that I'm a person" is the correct choice! Sure, Calista said not to reveal who you are, but the implications of "Here's my chance" overwrite that since, I, as the player, am practically being told "Choose the choice that let's you take that chance!", and that acting human is the right decision! And if it's not, well, I'm sorry, but that's just bad choice design.
Democracy...that would mean no queen, wouldn't it? So, Sofia may never become queen... I don't think she's the type of person who'd mind, though-- she's marrying Shiye out of love, not to become a ruler. Although maybe if you said "No" in the beginning, something would change...
James' sprite has a very prominent outline. Was that on purpose?
Who is this James guy? And who is this witch character? The person who gave Abel the means to transform Sofia? I'm intrigued, I must admit.
"The uninitiated"? Does Abel want to become a witch...? Because that is interesting, to say the least. Does he desire that much power over his enemies? Well, he does seem like the guy who wants power over others-- as shown by his scene with Sofia earlier.
"What I've become"? You mean, an idiot? XD No seriously, has he
been transformed somehow? This has gotten a lot more interesting, I'll admit. But how does no one except Shiye know Abel's full name? Wouldn't Sofia know it, since they dated? Or does he consider her out of the picture...?
Just realized something: how does a witch come into the castle without being noticed. Granted, she's a witch, but wouldn't someone notice her? A servant, perhaps? I mean, there haven't been any servants shown yet, but this is a castle
I have to say, I'm with Abel on the Sunrise song thing. It's a song about how much the lower class dislike the rich, and Shiye is obviously not a member of the lower class! Even if he wants a democracy, the lower class doesn't know that! No, Sofia, Abel's not being too harsh on Shiye; even if Abel is a jerk-- and the main antagonist-- he has a point!
Ok, the scene with Sofia and James has made James my favorite character. Plus, the Order of the Stars and Stripes...I wonder what happened to him. Maybe they're a group that wants democracy, because they've seen democracy in America?
How can Abel understand Sofia as an owl?! That makes no sense! If Shiye can't understand her, why should Abel?! Arrrgh, it seems like convenient "able to understand her" ex machina. If there's not an explanation for this...
..and there doesn't seem to be one. I am dissatisfied.
Shiye...you would kill your own brother. You...you're worse than Abel! Or at least, you're just as bad as him! He's your own brother! Your own brother...
And Sofia think he did the right thing. Crying a bit now, and feeling a mix of anger, frustration, and confusion.
I once had a dream, a horrible dream where my sister and I were fighting, and I, too close to the stairs, pushed her down them. I woke up as soon as she hit the ground, and I felt horrible. We hadn't been fighting before I had that dream, and I still have no idea why I had it, but I do know this: Shiye will regret this. He will regret this for the rest of his life, and his democracy will feel empty.
If Sofia had better senses as an owl, why wasn't this mentioned or part of the plot at all?
I am angry. I am so angry. This is not a happy ending! THIS IS NOT A HAPPY ENDING! I know you said this isn't the type of story with a happy ending, but THE GAME IS ACTING LIKE IT'S A HAPPY ENDING! WHY?! Yes, there's a democracy, and Sofia becomes normal again, but at the cost of Abel's life. Why is there happy music in the background?! Why in the world
is there HAPPY MUSIC in the background?! SHIYE KILLED HIS OWN BROTHER! Why is the ending called Sunrise?! THIS IS NOT A "SUNRISE" AT ALL! If anything, this is a sunrise that occurs during a storm of lighting and thunder!
Other instances of Sofia speaking instead of narration(in order of appearance):
Scene with Calista: "I can feel her anger like a gust of wind in this dream world. It batters my spirit and I struggle to fight it off."
Scene with Shiye is his room after Sofia has become an owl: "It's kind of strange to refer to your Father as his Majesty." This one is especially prominent because, as an owl, she can't talk!
Same scene: "A human one trapped in an owl's body by some sort of hex." Although in this one, Sofia's side sprite has her beak open, so I'm not sure. Wanted to mention it just in case, though.
Same scene: "I will not be eating a rodent, thank you very much!" In this one, her beak is closed again, like the first one I mentioned in this scene.
Same scene: "YES! Please let me out! I have to warn you somehow about your brother." Beak's open.
Same scene(I chose "Show that I'm a person"): "It's me Shiye! Your fiance! Sofia! I'm Sofia!" Beak's open.
Same scene: "YAH!" Beak's open.
Same scene: "I jab him on the side of his ear with my beak and dig the talons on my feet into his shoulder." Beak's closed.
Same scene: "Hmp. If I broke something it would be your fault, bricks-for-brains." Beak's closed.
Same scene: "Us?" Beak's closed.
Same scene: "I'm still listening, Shiye." Beak's closed.
At night it Shiye's room: "GAH! This is hopeless!" Beak's closed.
Same scene: "Maybe I can find Abel, find out exactly what he has planned, and stop him." Beak's closed.
Ok, I'm going to stop recording the owl ones now. There are a lot, I'm not sure which ones are on purpose and which ones aren't, and it's taking WAY too much time to write down each one. I'm sorry, but I can't do it anymore. Gotta play the actual game! XD
Scene after Sofia's been turned back, and is talking to Shiye(I choose to not destroy the letter): "I close my eyes and try not to listen as Abel's tainted name comes tumbling, starting slow as molasses, from Shiye's cracking throat."
Scene after Abel's ghost(s?) disappears: "He presses his chin into my shoulder, breathing me in. I ignore the shaking in his voice, knowing his mind is still on Abel's betrayal."
Line right after the one above.
Hazel, I really enjoyed reading your post-mortem. It was quite interesting.
long. I hope that's alright.