Since we (two visual novel fangirls) played all the routes to the end we decided to let you know our thoughts about the game
First of all, art and style are great. It's still hard to believe that the game is free. The backgrounds are awesome. So are the transitions and the soundtrack. There is not much else to say here, it never got annoying and everything just fit.
It's good that you included the right answers indicator. We didn't know about it going into the game and chose so many wrong answers that it took us a while to notice it existed. That obviously resulted in a bad ending in Rumpel's route – quite a shock. Keeping Lucette in character instead of immediately changing and being too nice too soon in the answers was fine, but usually we had a lot of trouble making the “right” decisions, as they seemed utterly ridiculous at the moment. We know not every game gives the choice to have different personalities (and we can't expect that – especially since the protagonist actually HAS a personality for once, which is a nice change), but Bad Ends seemed to be based on not saying something the right way instead of making a bad plot decision.
No voice actors are fine. Really. Especially compared to games that try to find a middle option which results in “yes”, “no” and disapproving grunts.
It's good that you only need to date two guys to unlock Waltz and Fritz so you can skip one.
Story-wise, there were some interesting plot twists (even though the characters are kind of generic). It's great that the story changes every time, like who betrayed whom and stuff. We wondered why Fritz always disappeared, but it became clear in his route. It was fine to not find out due to Lucette not being present.
The concept with the balance of good and evil etc. was a bit unclear. If Hildyr has been gone all this time, how come the crystal still works? Also the crystals are said to hold great power, but what does that actually mean? Everyone seems to be fine with their magic.
It was good that the story developed over several months, so the love stories and the character development didn't seem rushed at all.
Characters in general
You put effort into giving every character some kind of twist. They were not the usual cliched otome characters that you already know before even starting the game.
We loved that not just Lucette's interactions and relationship with her love interest were important. Having family members with personalities and who matter a lot was great.
(For some reason, we do not have a favorite route for a guy, but more... the best routes were the ones where you can bond with side characters – or HELP characters bond, such as our favorite side characters Jurien and Garlan.)
Even Viorica got her backstory. The world really does feel more alive thanks to that.
Out protagonist is not a sentient toast!
Especially in Waltz's route.
And she has character (though it sucks in the beginning). She doesn't have to be a fighting badass, even though
her magic in Waltz's route ruled.
We liked that even though it was shown that she had a good reason for her behavior, it wasn't excused. That is far too common in stories.
We had problems taking Rod seriously because he has a rabbit on his shoulder. Sorry, Rod. We liked that Sebby had his own personality, though it did raise some questions about why he was completely okay with being Rod's personal translator. It probably didn't fit into this story, but it would have been interesting to see the relationship between these two. Rod's story was great, though, with him not being an asshole / tsundere for no reason but because he personally dislikes Lucette. And we all know how likable her original personality is. We were really excited to learn the nature of his curse, as it seemed really confusing – knowing everything from the start is a bit boring. Also: Go, Emelaigne.
His name was the reason we played his route (with his route being the first) and we were positively surprised by Rumpel. The sassy/arrogant lady killer is an overdone and annoying character, so seeing a nice version was really good!
It was great, even though we accidentally killed him in the first try. He got his share of character development in his route. (Unlike someone.) Also, it's always useful to have a doctor around!
The only thing we didn't like was the fact that you punch Rumpel one time – at least the other time was the wrong choice, but it just seems sexist. It is one thing for the characters to talk about “having to be manly/whatever” but for the game to imply that it is okay for a woman to hit a man because “she is just a woman/he is just a man” really rubs us the wrong way.
Unlike what seems to us like 90% of the fans, we liked Karma least. He slapped Rumpel for no real reason. Instant dislike guaranteed. And not just because we like Rumpel. Also, he was the only boy being cursed for a unsympathetic character flaw, which could have been okay if he had seemed to improve at all. But he somehow broke his curse without changing. Can't you try to improve your situation instead of sitting around and whining, boy. The “I'm dangerous, stay away” never worked on anybody. (And he slapped Rumpel. Come on.)
Fritz's design is great. His disappearance in the other routes made us look forward to playing his route – sadly, he turned out to be a tad disappointing. He is surprisingly passive and his absence in the other routes didn't help establishing his personality, even if the story was interesting. While he has no place to call the princess out as her royal knight, he did give us the impression of being a doormat. In this case, “good” sadly is “boring” - though in retrospect it might be specifically because Varg was completely split from him, giving Fritz no reason to be anything but nice. Also, did he know Lucette from her time as a child? If not, we do wonder what the reason for him falling in love with her was.
You probably can't hear it anymore, but Varg really is more interesting than Fritz.
Everyone died in his route! That was shocking. It was a nice change, let's say, but thanks for not letting everybody die in the other routes.
It probably is mean to say that, seeing as Fritz does deserve a happy end, but we actually hope to see Varg again. Also, the name Varg is cool.
The fact that he was a student of Lucette's mother was cool!
It is a bit strange that he knew Lucette all along and somehow had the closest relationship to her, but didn't show it in the other routes. The relationship itself was more understandable though, with him knowing Lucette as a young girl when she was still nicer and seeing firsthand what kind of person her mother was.
We were glad that his route didn't accidentally turn creepy, with Lucette falling in love with a child.
Waltz is a nicer version of Kaname (from Vampire Knight)... yeah, old guilty pleasure. *cough*.
The best thing about his route is how it all comes together. Usually scenes like the one with the villagers are a bit over the top, but it fit, seeing as Lucette had actually interacted with quite a few people, mostly thanks to Waltz. We were a bit sad when it was over.
(Tinkerbell is spelled "Tinklerball" in Chapter 5. That was fun.)
Love Emelaigne! She is a good example that nice is not boring. She also isn't too perfect, struggling with her royal duties. We really loved that!
And Rumpel's wife who seems rather bitchy in the beginning, but improves. (Female minor characters in a dating sim that aren't bitches? Yay!)
Also, Jurien and Garlan. What a shame that you could only get them together in one route. They are cute. And love their tragic backstory, being suspended from the Order of Caldira and therefore mistrusting Fritz. It's nice that not everybody loves everybody here.
The king was sympathetic and a poor woobie. It remained a bit unclear how he ignored Lucette or whether that was just her mother's manipulation, which may be because we can only take Lucette's word. (We would have loved a CGI of Genaro and Lucette in Waltz's route!)
It would have been great to see Hildyr's "inhumane smile" some time. It was nice to see that for once not the step mother was evil, but her mother. We were glad that she stayed manipulative until the end, not suddenly going “haargh! Why did you ruin my evil plan of doom?! I always hated you, daughter!”
Parfait has a funny name. In the sense of, strange. At least she does something, even though we do not always see it onscreen. It did not really become clear whether she becomes weaker because Hildyr does or something. Her health in general seemed to only cause problems when it was convenient. (Even though it gave Rumpel more screen time, hue.)
Delora has a pretty design! And she's snarky and great. Makes you wonder how she put up for a year with Lucette. It fit that she didn't mention her dead daughter in all but one route.
Mythros is a bit too obviously evil. We liked the part in Waltz' route when he was just dumped by Hildyr, though. That was tragic. It was a bit funny that no one would make the connection Myth = Mythros, but "It was magic" actually is a decent explanation in the context. It would have been great to see that he actually was the nice guy.
Sir Alcaster was not as obviously evil as Mythros. In the beginning we were so happy that at least one character had at least some facial hair and a nose (without wanting to insult your style, which WAS nice to look at). That sounds dumb, but otome games seriously have a lack of buff men. And facial hair. Personal opinion, yes.
Despite our nitpicking and Karma-bashing, we really, really look forward to your future projects. Good luck and all the best!
We just played Rod's Bad End.
Also one of us drew Waltz and Lucette
It was beautiful. Sad, but beautiful.
Also we love Varg even more now. The troll foreshadowing was just awesome. We didn't expect that.
We are kind of glad now that Rumpel did not tear himself in half...