I spent about two hours writing this, that is how much I loved this game.
First of all, thank you so much for this amazing game!!! The plot and writing were very interesting and left me suitably invested in the world and the characters and the art was FANTASTIC. Anyway, I loved this game a lot, powered through it (all 5 routes for both ends) in roughly 16 hours~ last weekend, but have felt too drained by it (in a good way) to really sit down and write a review until now. Before I write down my thoughts, I'd like to clarify that I played the game in order EXCEPT I switched it so that I would play Fritz last because I always play what I think will be my favorite route last. I'm such an absolute sucker for sweet&nice guys as well as the childhood friend trope (which he admittedly didn't fit exactly right, especially compared to
that it took me approximately 10 seconds after meeting him to realize that he'd be my fave.
I'd also like to note that I actually think the order worked out better this way, I felt like Fritz route was overall the most climatic and final, though I did enjoy all of them. That said, I have posted my thoughts on the bachelors below from least-to-most favorite, though again, I did like points about every guy! I've also included my thoughts about the main heroine and some of the minor characters.
Special mention also goes out to the 'right answer mechanic' as well, I'm crap as guessing answers in games like these and usually need a walkthrough so it was greatly appreciated.
I cannot do meaness in video games, it makes me exceptionally uncomfortable, so I struggled really hard past the first 15 minutes of gameplay. That said, looking back at it now, it was a refreshing twist from the usual otome heroine who is usually either ~bubbly and just shy of perfect~ or an awkward and trying 'very-hard-to-be-exceptionally-ordinary-but-just-managing-to-be-bland' type of character. It also made her character development THAT MUCH MORE SATISFYING.
All in all, while I started out not liking her and wishing desperately I had more options to shape her personality, I ended up realizing that it works perfectly with the story and I wouldn't change anything. I think she grew beautifully in all the routes, but Fritz's is what really made me go 'wow' because it was a lot more gradual without the constant '3 good deeds' weighing on her. It made the progression that much more subtle and all the more satisfying by the end. Especially as it contrasted her to her mother and showed that even at her worst, she was more of mid-level grey then actual black. Over-all, she was fantastic, and while I do hope that your future games have more room for the player to decide the MCs personality, I also recognize that it was necessary for her to be how she was in this game and that knowing what I know now, I would've played her exactly as she is even with options to make her more to my normal tastes.
Saw her first in Waltz route, went 'oh no-she's so pretty' proceeded to cry that she was evil and Lucille's mother and thus not romanceable. More seriously I liked her, especially on Fritz route when we got to see more of her character and also her motivations. I thought it was pretty interesting that she seemed to truly believe that she did love her daughter and that it wasn't all fake, she just loved her goals more. Her casual cruelty was frightening, but not out of place or seemingly used just to illustrate that she was a villain, rather it seemed fitting in her personality. She honestly reminded me quite a bit of Mother Gothel from 'Tangled'
Didn't honestly think much of him except 'oh yeah, he looks like a villain'. And then he killed his own son, Fritz, and my hatred was cemented.
Within a few seconds of meeting him I realized that A. he was hot and B. he was setting off my villain senses like crazy. He was actually probably my favorite minor character because he was creepy and cruel and yet his obvious love (or, perhaps more cynically/scarily, obsession) for the queen gave him good motives to do what he did and turned him from more of a 2D 'exists to cause problems' villain to a bona-fide character. By the time I got to Waltz route, I had some measure of (twisted) affection for him and my heart legitimately ended up cracking a bit at how casually the queen tossed him aside. His role in Fritz's route only cause me to love/hate him more. I honestly didn't expect him to be a witch though, that took me by surprise.
I loved her design, it was probably one of my favorites. I honestly really disliked her at first because I kept finding myself thinking that while I didn't like Lucille at all at that point, even I could tell how much she was hurting. I thought if she had been watching the princess for so long then she should've seen that too and maybe should've re-thought how she'd do the curse, or, at least, not be so indifferent to her plight, especially since she must've known just how much control the queen would've exerted over her for her entire life.
By the time I was half-way through the first route, however, I'd come to accept that she really was just doing what she thought was best. As I completed more routes, I had genuine affection for her. Learning about her daughter (and when she said that she thought her grown-up daughter would've been like Lucille) and then watching her die hit me very hard.
Love him, cutest character in the game 10/10 would play a route for him. Dat sad emote.
I liked her, and I really liked her dynamic with Delora, but I honestly can't think of much to say about her except for that I did tear up a bit at her first death (and get a tad misty at the subsequent ones). I kind of wish we got to see more of her relationship with the Queen though. I thought her real name, Fait, was cute and very fitting for her.
We didn't get to know a lot about her, unfortunately, I would've liked to see a scene where Lucille comes completely clean and the Annice responds though... I thought her design was cute!
Yeah, at first I didn't like her at all, but by the last time I saw her I found myself heavily sympathising with her, though I don't understand why she ever wanted to try and get back together with Rumpel and take advantage of his memory loss to do that considering the circumstances. unless she knew that he gave up his memories to save her? I don't remember if it was specified if she did or not.
I disliked him at first, but my opinion softened as we learned more and more about just how much the queen was controlling. Kind of a jerk move for him to try and force Lucille to call Ophelia her mother though. I genuinely felt sad on Waltz's route for him, and find myself wishing that him and Lucille got more such closure (though maybe without the death) on some of the other routes too. Though most had at least hints of them reconciling, thankfully.
The fact that the Queen raped him to get Lucille though... That was quite dark and I could understand when I found out that he wasn't just coerced (which is still very bad and rather rape-y, though not as horrifying to me as beING PUT UNDER A FRICKEN SPELL) how that could affect his relationship with his daughter.
She was fine, I guess, though I feel bad that her marriage will be based on lies. Unless Dimitri never said that he saved her? I don't know, I think it would've been a nice touch for her to find out the truth, and the resulting drama/angst would've been pretty great, I bet.
I liked her!! I thought she was sweet, and loved getting to know her on Rod's route. I wish we'd seen more of her in the others, though I realize that it may not have made much sense if she was there.
Another character I wish we got to see more of, it was especially jarring on Fritz route where we saw Rod/Em and the king, but not her at all (I think). I also thought her sprite was really pretty. And really liked the scene where Lucille stands up for her against those nobles in Rod's route.
I liked her, she kicked butt and had an awesome sprite, I was glad we got to see more of her in Karma and Fritz's routes, though you better believe Fritz route filled me with guilt.
Cutie. Wished I could romance him for 5 seconds before I realized how much he cared for Jurian and also remembered how much I loved Fritz. I liked seeing him more in Fritz and Karma's routes, though I was surprised by how much his death hurt me in Fritz route, considering he was such a minor character...
I liked his character more as the game went on, but I'll freely admit that if I wasn't a completionist I probably would've never even started it. I just don't care for the 'flirty' personality too much, even though I knew that it would almost certainly reveal something deeper as his route would go on. I enjoyed his interactions with everyone a ton though, and I truly did come to appreciate him more and get more engaged with his personality. Overall though, I felt like his character didn't tie in so much with the overarching story and also just wasn't really my type of guy to romance. I did enjoy that, much like Karma's route, we got to spend a lot of time getting to know the Marchen, though, also like Karma's route, I found myself wishing that we got to know everyone at the castle a bit more on his route, or at least see him interact more with Rod.
His good end was nice, but not spectacular, his bad end was clearly bad, and it made me sad as it was supposed to to, but I wasn't as affected by it as I was of most of the other bad routes (excepting Rod's), that bad CG was amazing though.
I liked him, I did, more so then Rumple, and I definitely liked the heavier focus on story (though given the choice, I would've focused a bit more on romance, though it was a much closer balance to my liking then Rumpel managed), but I honestly felt more of a warm and friendshippy feeling one then a romance one though I can't tell you why that is. His route tied a ton of things together, which was nice, though since I played 3 routes before his I had already figure most of the surprises out (though, again, the clarification and expansion upon those was great.)
I also really liked his backstory, though I wish there had been more elaboration on how the fact that Lucille and him were childhood friends. Since she didn't get her memories back at any point though, I understand why it was written as it was (forging forward rather then lingering on the past). Out of all the routes, I think his had the best balance for getting to know everyone at the Marchen and also exploring Lucille's past.
I liked his good ending well enough, and his bad ending was great as well, disturbing and upsetting, but still had a whisper of hope in it (at least from, the LI's point of view, both of them did survive after all...) Well, sort of.
I liked him a lot! His character was fun and his ending satisfying (though my heart hurt a lot with Fritz's death, at that point I still knew that pretty white-haired boy would end up being my fave.) I think his route was balanced pretty well for my tastes (between the romance/story), though since he was only my second, I didn't realize how much story still needed to be unlocked. I loved his sword fighting outfit, and just all of his sprites in general, he was so pretty! I loved all of his interactions with all the characters, especially at the Marchen. His ending explored Lucille's family ties more than Rumpel's as well, in my opinion, so it made a better balance between Lucille's two families in this route. I wish that we'd gotten to know his family though! Especially his brother, he sounds like a riot.
His bad end got the intended reaction from me, though I saw it coming pretty far off. His good ending was good, but still reasonably bittersweet to me because of Fritz's death.
Ah Rod, I did not expect to like him nearly as much as I did when I started this game, which is why I had no problem playing him first. I'm not actually sure how he managed to wriggle his way into second place, actually, he just did. Kind of strange considering how I ~usually~ don't care for the tsundere type. That said, he isn't really tsundere when you think about it, he had perfectly valid reasons for disliking Lucille, though I find it funny that despite his deep dislike for her, she actually considered him her favorite of her 'family' (though I don't think she ever called him that) at the beginning of the game.
His route didn't really touch on the over-arching plot, which normally would get him dinged, but his own personal story was really good and since I didn't know about all the other stuff yet it allowed me to fully enjoy it without being disappointed with the lack of exploration on Lucille's mother and the like. Even though Fritz is overall my favorite, from a pure romance perspective, I'd say that Rod wins best here. I really appreciated how much the story focused on Lucille's family as well, though it only made their absence in the other routes that much more obvious, even if it was understandable.
His bad ending... Wasn't actually that bad to me, all things considered, everything turned out mostly fine, though my heart clenched rather painfully when he talked about how he thought that if they had had more time he could've grown to love her. His good end made me a little sad, though not as much as Karma's (when Fritz died) or Fritz's (when everyone died and also magic was gone).
Ah Fritz... Ah yeah, I've said before how it took me two seconds to guess he'd be my fave, and I was right (I usually am, I can count on one hand the number of times in an otome game my favorite character ends up being anyone besides my first guess). By the end of Rod's route (my first one), I had suspicions that he and Varg were the same, by Karma's they were all but confirmed. When I played Waltz's route and they flat out said it I was a little disappointed that they stole the thunder of the dramatic reveal from me from Fritz's route (even though I already pretty much knew) but hey, that's what I get for playing out of order. Anyway, in short, I loved him. In long, I wish that there had been more interaction between him and the Marchen (who, by this point, I had come to accept as the 'default' setting, so it was a little jarring to be torn away from all of them, especially since, unlike in Rod's route, there wasn't a whole lot of friendliness where Lucille was staying during it.
I was also a little disappointed by how little we seemed to see of Fritz compared to Varg, I mean, we saw both, but Varg seemed to dominate here, and while I did love Varg too (more on that in a second) I was sad that I didn't get see as much as anticipated of my beloved knight. That said... I really ended up coming to love Varg, far more than expected. Not as much as I loved Fritz, but still enough that it could keep its place had my favorite route. His scene in the tavern when he held the knife to his/Fritz's neck broke me rather unexpectedly when I realized 'holy crap!! I don't want either of them to die!!' Though I also realized that I, like Lucille, would choose Fritz without hesitation if prompted, it was still a real surprise to me that I genuinely came to care for the masked man. His route, over all, left me feeling weird. It was so unexpectedly different from the others, every pattern was broken, even more (much more) so then in Rod's route (the curse 'wore off' rather than being broken properly, she got to go back to the castle, more than just a few days passed since her 18th birthday, her mother comes back for real, not just as a story or for one last stand, the list goes on and on) that I almost didn't know how to feel about it.
I was looking forward to see Fritz settle in at the Marchen and interact more vigorously with some of the other characters (I was honestly hoping to see more interaction from Rod/Em/King etc... too, since he, like Waltz, had ties to Lucille's family so I didn't think it would be as out of place to incorporate them into his story as it would've with, say, Karma's. It still ended up being my favorite, I can never resist good angst and, as previously mentioned, I think his has the firmest grasp with the 'main' story (even more so then Waltz's, though I know that's not how you intended it). But it was my favorite in a different way, if that makes any sense. I think it had the heaviest emphasis on story though, so I do find myself wishing that there was a bit more focus on the romance between them (Lucille and Fritz AND Lucille and Varg). Also, for reasons unknown to me, I cannot get his two bottom row CGs. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but clearly I'm doing something. I could've sworn I saw them while playing though...
His bad end wrecked me, absolutely, positively wrecked me. I got up and wondered around and blasted Karmina's 'All the Kings Horses' several times for my feels, which, coincidentally, is perhaps the most fitting song ever for this game (that wasn't specifically made for it, that is). I felt like it could fit with all of the bad ends for Lucille, but it really hit the spot here, and just in Fritz route in general more than anywhere else. I'd even argue that it fits his good end as well, perhaps to a lesser degree. So yeah, if you haven't heard it, I encourage you to listen to it, particularly at the part when Mythros comes to take her back to the castle and in Fritz bad end. Great mood setter. Sorry, got a tad distracted there, but yeah, bad end killed me, good end killed me as well, but slightly less painfully. I was surprised by how much Varg's decision affected me, in the beginning in his route I never would've guessed that I'd ever find myself wishing he could stay (without overwriting Fritz, who even during this anguished moment, had my vote for who I'd pick to stay. Like everyone else here, I hope it's expanded upon in the the fandisk what happened to him and also show if Fritz became more balanced... Even without that, it was still a punch in the gut what with erasing magic and all of that, even if Fritz wasn't my favorite, I think I would consider his good end the 'true end.'
Jeese, that got long, I have 3,402 words so far (not including the rest of this), you probably won't even read the whole thing. I had a lot of feelings though, so worth it to type it out. Anyway, I think I've exhausted myself here, so all I have left is to make note of a particular error that's bothering me, but most likely isn't big enough for you to fix. According to the ending list, Rumpel has two good endings, it seems that Rumpel's bad end was mistakenly given the 'good' label too. Very minor, but bugged me enough to point it out. Also, used the indicator for all of Fritz route and am still missing the previously mentioned CGs, though I swore I saw them (maybe?) they aren't in the gallery.
1. What do you think of the plot?: Loved it
2. Which route did you liked the most and why?: Fritz, so many reasons, at least read his entry, even if you ignore everything else.
3. Do you have any questions? Critiques? Feedback?: Sorry, you'll have dig through my monster ramblings above to see all of them
But, short and sweet comments are 'great writing, fantastic art, I listened to Karmina's 'All the King's Horses' on Fritz route and got absolutely wrecked.
Anyway, sorry it's long, I just really, really love this game, okay. I will be buying it next month for sure. Also, I don't know what to do with my life now, I was planning on playing one route each week, but here we are. Oops.