I like the way how much fantasy you use for the main charachter. I loved how she changed so much. From a cold-hearted person to a good person.
2. Which route did you liked the most and why? I liked Wratz a lot he is really cute and I admire him so much. He really does love her and I like that.
3. Do you have any questions? Critiques? Feedback? I don't have any questions. I really love the game
I think my favorite route would have to be a tie between Rod and Waltz. I usually like characters based off of first impression and I was right. Rod was my favorite out of the three unlocked routes, and Waltz was my favorite overall.
Karma and Rumpel
I didn't like his character design. Compared to everyone else, his stood out, and not in a good way. His design looks too.. modern? Different? Even though I love glasses, I really didn't like those red frames on him. But that's just me. I also don't really like the hopelessly selfless type and I sympathized with Bria more than I would have liked. Overall, I can't say that I HATED Rumpel, but he's definitely my least favorite of the bunch.
I feel like Fritz was a side character to Varg, but I actually didn't come to care for Varg that much unlike a lot of other readers. He just established himself as too much of a bad dude in the earlier routes, and when he kissed Lucette out of the blue I was kind of like ?_? Up to that point I had no idea either of them felt positive emotions towards each other. Maybe I'm just oblivious lol. I love the dedication and love that Fritz shows towards Lucette though, you can really picture them living happily ever after.
he was so kind and selfless when it came to Lucette. It surprised me that him and Lucette were childhood friends, but it was a pleasant one, since I'm a fan of the childhood friend trope.
His route is tied with Rod's though because it lacked it romance and more character development (on his part, there was plenty of development for Lucette), while Rod's route was full of that. There was nothing he did at the end that he wouldn't have done at the beginning, if that makes sense. To be honest, since I'm a sucker for the whole childhood friend thing they had going on, I was hoping that there would be more memories of them together as kids triggered for Lucette. Or maybe instead of having Waltz tell her stuff like "Hey, I'm buying you this candy apple because I said I would WHEN WE WERE KIDS" and "I'm taking you around town because I said I would WHEN WE WERE KIDS", it could have been handled as a big revelation for Lucette near the climax of the story? Maybe Waltz gets injured or something and she remembers all the promises idk I'm kind of pulling stuff out of my ass. But yea. Their romance and past came as kind of ham-fisted for me. I still really enjoyed it overall, and I'm happy that Waltz was the main route! It was a nice way to tie the whole story to an end (or would have.. if I was patient enough to play Fritz's story before his lol)
As for critiques and feedback:
I feel like there's a big disparity between some of the sprites and CGs. I really really liked how Lucette was drawn in all the sprites and I can definitely tell the effort that went into her artwork. But some other characters and CGs looked a little awkward? After finishing the game, I feel like I'm still left wanting more. If you guys decide to make a paid game with a longer, more developed story, I would 100% support it. I can't wait for the fandisk to come out, but I'll check out Locked Hearts while I do!
Now to specify:
1. What do you think of the plot?
Aww, I can't express how I much I love it, honestly. Though, of course, all routes share one plot, a specific part of it is showed in its own unique way in each route. I really like the maturity of the story and that the plot focused on such interested and complicated topics like
2. Which route did you liked the most and why?
I'd say I do not have the most favourite route since I found all of them very unique. But... Well, I do like Fritz route the most. However, I prefer to comment on each of it.
And it was so sweet to see Jurien and Garlan together at the end!
First of all, it was so unexpected and pretty uncomfortable to act outside of Marchen from the very beginning. All these things with escape from the tavern, suddenly meeting Fritz and doubting Alcaster in his own house didn't put me at ease. Then I was so happy when Delora showed up! In my opinion, the relationships between her and heroine are shown the best way ever comparing to other routes. I almost cried when princess curled up in bed with doll-sized Delora. Then I actually cried when I learnt about her daughter and, well, you can imagine what happened to me after I saw her dying.
And here I discovered Hildyr for the first time. I was kind of prepared how she might act since she was long way broken even before giving birth to heroine, but never expected this much. Don't want to think what Hildyr was through during the genocide of her own kind, taking into consideration she could feel every death of her witch. And I don't want to blame her for everything she did to Angielle, to the father of Genaro and Genaro himself. Of course, Hildyr can never return to who she was in the beginning. I doubt that Parfait would if all of that happened to fairies. And I really like how you displayed Hildyr raising her child - I thought so much about how parents become broken and then, giving up their hopes, teach their children how terrible is the world they live even though they, parents, can truly love their dearest ones. Same with Hildyr. I like to think she still loves Lucette more than anyone in this world and she really feels she's saving her daughter from all the suffering, pain and hurt Huldyr faced herself. And one more thing - could it be that the Queen is still afraid to be left all alone with only traitors around her? Is it why she didn't kill Lucette though her daughter was clearly against her?
Overall, I'm glad that you showed that even if the heroine loved her mother so much, she opposed her. You know, it has so much to do with the real life issues that it made me cry too.
And yet, returning to Great War I can't help but feel curious about this genocide - couldn't fairies somehow shelter witches or help them? Couldn't Genaro as a prince (since he's like kind to everyone and doesn't want anyone to suffer) at least try to act against his father? And it doesn't sound very convincing that a simple fairytale could turn all people against witches - the ones that are much more powerful thanks to their magic. I tried to think of something like a curse spreading with these fairytales that actually made people kill witches - maybe the author (I know he than tried to reverse the effect of his stories, but, well, my theory is only a theory) or some other villain did it. It's easier for me personally to explain the genocide this way, but maybe you will highlight this in FD.
Finally, about Fritz and Varg! I know many players said they lack the interactions of these bachelors with the heroine, but for me everything was fine. I kind of took it for granted that Fritz loved her for several years already and I could feel it in other routes, indeed. "Loyal knights in shining armour" aren't actually my type, but he looked so pure and kind to her, though he was the only one near Lucetter during her hardest years. Honestly don't want to imagine how grim, stern and depressed she was with him that time. And yet he found so many things about her to adore! The thought of that really made my heart melt. At the same time, Varg warns us about the darker side of Fritz he hides. I'd like to know more about it as well as other players, so I'll definitely wait for FD! What I'd like to say about Varg is nothing new - yeah, I like the Big Bad Wolf since he has much more courage than Fritz does. He does not deny his feelings for princess, moreover, he opened up to her so early it made me jump! I respect him for that since he knew there's not so much time left. And I felt incredibly sad when he just... vanished. I truly wanted him to fight with Fritz for Lucette's affection. Anyway, it fits the plot and, concerning the curcumstances, doesn't feel wrong in the end.
By the way, now I associate the "Dark Percussions" ost with Varg and his cane only. Awesome combination.
To sum up, Fritz/Varg route revealed so much about relationships of the heroine with others that it really made me love it. I still like to think this is the true route of this VN because it felt overly realistic to me.
Emelaigne and Ophelia:
Delora and Parfait:
3. Do you have any questions? Critiques? Feedback?
I have some questions concerning the genocide of witches as it went to smoothly for me.
No critiques at all! Magnificent work! When I just saw the art I remembered the Locked Heart in a second and was already ready to download. I never imagined this story to be so awesome in all aspects: art, music, plot, characters! No wonder it took you a year to accomplish that. It'll be sad if we have to wait for so long for the other peace of art to be made, but I'm ready to wait. Your works are always worth it.
Thank you so much!
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It's too good to be true you made this game free. I deeply appreciate this team to make such a remarkable game.
I will post again after finishing another rutes.
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Cinderella Phenomenon is outstanding from each angle;even for someone like me who was so deeply in love with The thing with Mistletoes,Witch spell and of course, "Locked Heart" who wouldn't think there could be any more interesting VNs could be published.
I must congratulate you with your hard work.And i would always wish to meet the script writer ^^
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Story & Writing:
As I often like to mention, this is the main reason I play VNs – I enjoy reading a good story. As a wannabe writer, I always find myself being very picky about what I read and the fact that I don’t have a lot of free time on my hands has also made me very strict over the years, when choosing which stories to dedicate my free time to. I
Your story was a very refreshing and interesting take on the fairytales we all grew up with. And you managed to create such a realistic world, where the reader can easily suspend their disbelief and actually feel like these kinds of things could happen, like they’re more than just fantasy. I was utterly drawn in by the wonderful writing and the refreshing personality of the heroine. I only noticed you had suggested a playthrough order AFTER playing all the routes, so I may have spoiled some things for myself by playing them in the order I did.
Regardless, the story was very, very entertaining and entirely believable which I find, more often than not, to be a very important aspect. The characters were very flawed and had so many layers to them that they always felt like real people, like I was getting a peek into the lives of actual people. And the concept was so good, it actually inspired me to try my hand at a small tribute to your wonderful work, in the form of writing a fanfiction. For now it’s barely in its incipient phase, but if you feel you’d enjoy it as my way to honor your hard work, do let me know and I’ll make sure to notify you when I actually have more than a few pages to show. Again, this is not something that happens often... in all my years of playing VNs and otome games, only about four or five games have dug their way so deeply into my heart that I would consider giving a tribute to the developers in the one form of art I know best – writing.
But I’ll go into more detail when reviewing each particular route, which I will put in spoilers. I tried to keep this starting section as shallow as possible to avoid ruining any plot points for people who have yet to try this rare gem.
I never once felt like she was just a character in a game... she felt so real and I was able to empathize with her so deeply, despite generally hating characters with her kind of grating personality. And the fact that she was so fragile that she needed Prince Charming to save her, and yet by the end she became so well rounded and powerful that she could take care of herself, was a nice change of pace from the usual girly-girl princesses of the original fairytales. So kudos to you and your team – you have done an outstanding job with her!
It was a very interesting idea to have Karma be both the Beauty and the Beast... to be honest, for the longest time I didn’t even realize that was the story he represented. Instead, with the whole night/day balance it made me think of a Greek legend about Eros and for most of Karma’s route I actually believed that was where you got your inspiration. Only when he actually turned into the Beast did I finally slap my forehead and go “Oooohhhhh how did I not notice that?” xD
But I digress... I was sincerely hoping (from the moment I realized what story Rod was representing) that you would find a way to incorporate elements from the original fairytale rather than just the happy-go-lucky Disney animation. And you certainly didn’t disappoint, Rod’s route may actually be my most favorite one – maybe even higher on my ranking list than Karma’s route. To be honest, I still haven’t been able to bring myself to try and get his Bad End, simply because he’s so dear to me that I’m afraid it’s going to shatter my heart (even though I love it when a VN is good enough to make me cry).
But Waltz is just a delight to have around. And while I did feel slightly awkward for most of his route (because I felt like I was trying to romance my little brother xD) by the end I was so engrossed in what was happening that I was left yearning for so much more even though I got his Good End. He definitely earned his third place in my ranking scale for this game... actually, since Karma and Rod more or less share first place, I suppose Waltz would be second best
Sadly from that point on his route just didn’t make me connect with the story properly, like I did with the first three bachelors. To be fair, he was somewhat annoying for me as well – like that awkward friend who’s too cowardly to confess his feelings and instead acts like a bumbling fool all the time. It got to the point where I actually loved Varg way more than Fritz himself. Every single time Varg showed up it was the highlight of this route for me, even though he was supposedly the bad guy and I was supposed to root for Fritz getting rid of him... but Fritz himself was so grating on my nerves that I ended up rooting for Varg instead, even in the Good End.
Rumpel, I felt, was a bit of a wrench thrown into the whole story and into this glamorous world of royalty and magic and fairies. He just seemed a bit out of place and I never was able to really get into his route. As a result, my inability to sympathize with him also made me feel like the romance on his route was awkward at best.
It’s very rare that secondary characters get this much depth in a VN, and I’m really happy you took the time to develop them and have them actually provide support to Lucette in her growth.
The King and his wife, as well as Emelaigne were just delightful. And Genaro’s scenes where he and Lucette make amends and rediscover their father-daughter relationship actually brought me to tears. As a girl who’s always had trouble connecting with her father, I was completely engrossed in those scenes and they’ll always hold a special place in my heart.
Even Hildyr, as the main antagonist, was incredibly well written. While she wasn’t physically involved in most of the game, her presence just felt so real and so suffocating (in a good way). It always felt like she was right behind Lucette, just waiting for the right moment to snatch her away. And as a fan of the horror genre, I love that claustrophobic feeling that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand. Hildyr made me feel that way even while everyone said that she was dead, and I loved every second of it. It made it all the more terrifying when she actually returned and showed herself again.
Gosh I don’t think I have the words to describe how beautiful and amazing and soul soothing the art in this game is. The backgrounds, the sprites, the CGs... everything was simply so detailed and painfully beautiful to look at. Your artist deserves all the praise in the world, they’re insanely talented and I hope to see much more of their work in the future.
Music & Sound:
As with the art, everything was perfect. Every song fit wonderfully with the scene it was playing for, and it only served to engross me even further into what was happening at the time. I’ve had the chance to play games where either the music was good but poorly timed, or the music was just bad, so I know how important music and sound is to creating that immersive atmosphere. For this game, I’m happy to say both the soundtrack and the SFX were perfectly chosen and perfectly timed... and they evoked the right feelings I was supposed to feel during one scene or another. So again, wonderful job on this front as well!
I feel like I have more things to say, but I’ll leave it at this for now. I think I’ve wasted more than enough of your time with my ramblings, so I’ll just leave it at this: this game is indeed a rare and precious gem, one that I will remember and hold dear for years to come.
always stand and keep fighting until the end
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I have also played Locked Heart in the past, and while I was extremely impressed with how polished it was, it didn't have any lasting effect on me. Cinderella Phenomenon was a HUGE step forward. Be still my heart, be dry my copious tears. ;___;
Ranking of routes, in terms of enjoyment: Karma > Fritz > Rod > Waltz >>>>> Rumpel
That said, I couldn't really see Rod as a romantic lead. Yes, he's a sweet kid with a heart of gold beneath his tsundere exterior, but he's still just a kid, or at least that's the vibe I get from him. He seems more plausible to me as an adorable little brother with a slight sister complex for both Em and Lucette. Lucette just seems waaaaay too mature and smart for him. Lucette is as complex a heroine as you can get. I love her, and I want the very best for her, and I believe she can do so much better than her stepbrother. It's sad that she has to hide her relationship when there are tons of other hot bachelors out there who have a lot of love to give, if Lucette just bothered to get to know them. I really, really like Rod in terms of both physical appearance and personality - the blond-haired, blue/green-eyed aloof types are generally the ones I go weak for - but I simply don't think Rod is a suitable guy for Lucette. But wait a minute, aren't royal families in general a little less iffy about incestuous relationships? Cousins do marry, at least in the other high fantasy stories I've read. Rod and Lucette are not even blood relatives. Well, I don't know how their family laws work.
Delora's death was the absolute worst. Let me take a minute here to talk about Delora, since it's in this route that her character is most explored. DELORA IS MY FAVORITE CHARACTER OF THE ENTIRE GAME. PERIOD. NO ONE COMES CLOSE, NOT EVEN MY DEAR KARMA. I just love her to death. I admit that I secretly shipped Delora and Lucette. I just loved their interactions, the way they teased and razzed each other constantly. Man, I doubt anyone did more for Lucette than Delora did. I literally squealed when Lucette asked Delora to sleep with her (as a doll, but still!). Lucette literally cradled Delora to her chest, oh my Lord Jesus. That's canon as far as I'm concerned. So it was a little weird for me when I learned later than Delora sort of sees Lucette as a daughter, but hey, that's my own fault for shipping characters who will NEVER get together. Whatever, I'm sinking with this ship. You can imagine how I took Delora's death the hardest. I was like nooooooooo. And then Parfait had to die, to top it all off. I know Parfait dies in a lot of routes, but I still always wish I can save her. I love how she's delicate and always a little distant from Lucette, as if perhaps she's scared of caring as much for her as she cared for Hildyr.
Okay, now back to Fritz. It's probably obvious by now that while I liked a whole lot about his route, Fritz wasn't the biggest reason for it. I think he's a nice guy, but his personality isn't explored enough. His curse is the simplest, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and besides, we spend so much more time with Varg. We know that Lucette has known Fritz for years, and we just have to take her word for it that he's the most loyal knight in the world. Okay. Fine. But it still felt wrong to me that Varg had to disappear. Yes, Varg is sexy as hell, but more importantly, he's a crucial part of Fritz's personality. So what, did Fritz lose the whole dark wolfish side of his personality? Okay, Fritz learns to control himself in the end, but it's problematic to me that the "happy ending" entails destroying that entire part of him. I wish I could have seen slight Varg-ish remnants in Fritz. He could have been more complex, more complete, but now we're just left with eternally good guy Fritz. I also would have liked to see Fritz fight Karma seriously. I'm curious about who's the better swordsman.
This route did a great job of wrapping things up for all the characters and tying all the loose ends. Lucette grows the most here. I love how this is the only route where Lucette really connects with her father. But like Lucette, I still wished until the very end that Hildyr had a moment of redemption. But I could see why that would be impossible. It's sad but realistic. Hildyr is such a badass, by the way. She's a great villain. Waltz is supposedly the second strongest witch, but psh, he couldn't even beat Hildyr at her weakest.
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