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Cinderella Phenomenon: Fritz Route Review

First off, if you’re reading this on the day of posting, it’s my parent’s wedding anniversary today! Sorry, I just can’t think of a better day to post a conclusion to a Dating Sim review (I might do more reviews like this in the future if I get into another dating sim that’s as rich in story as this one, so let me know of any suggestions in the comments).

Now, if you hadn’t seen my last post, this is kinda a continuation of that one. Cinderella Phenomenon simply has too much content to cram into one review. I mean, each of the five routes is it’s own story; no two are even remotely the same. Since Fritz’s was the fifth and the final route I chose in my quest for completion (though I wanted to play him either first or second, I couldn’t because he was a locked character), I will write a review of his route as my own grand finale to the Cinderella Phenomenon Review Series. Click here if you want to read my reviews of the other routes, but just in case you’re not interested in them, let me sum up the set-up for the game before going into the review.

Princess Main Character (I know her default name is Lucette, but her name is customizable so I’m referring to her as that instead of her default name) is simply mean. She’s so bitter, ruthless, and cold to everyone she comes across, that she’s known through the kingdom as the Ice Princess. One day, one of her most favorite and prised dolls springs to life from the shelf and claims to be a witch named Delora while cursing the princess with what’s known as the Fairytale Curse; more specifically, Cinderella Curse, where she is forgotten by everyone from family to palace staff to townsfolk in the street. It’s as if she never existed. She’s found by the witch that cursed her and a fairy named Parfait, who both explain why she was cursed and how she can break her curse. Around her neck is a glass slipper pendant. With each good deed she does out of the kindness of her heart, a piece of a second slipper will appear on her necklace. Once she completes 3 good deeds, she’ll complete the pair of glass slippers and her curse will be broken. Until her curse is broken, she must stay in an inn that acts as a safe haven for cursed individuals and work at the tavern conjoined with the inn.

The Fairytale Curse doesn’t affect others who are cursed or mystical creatures like witches and fairies; example, everyone who’s cursed still remembers the Ice Princess. Fritz is cursed with what’s called the Little Red Riding Hood Curse (the witch that cursed him wasn’t the most creative with naming it). To put simply, he’s trapped with a split personality of sorts. By day, he’s the honorable, loyal, white knight in shining armor. By night, when he falls asleep, a second person animates his body and turns him into a Big Bad Wolf. Mythros, the witch that cursed him, designed his curse to never be broken, so the only way Fritz could be free would be if his Big Bad Wolf persona, Varg, would be overpowered by Fritz himself.

Initially, I was skeptical on how a route with Fritz could even be pulled off, since right before the player chooses which route they want to play, there’s a question of “who do you choose to be your partner?” so, in my mind, the princess would verbally answer the question with a name of the character the player would choose to romance. However, that early in the story, she wouldn’t know that Fritz is cursed to begin with. I guess you could say she answers the question by being stubborn and not accepting a partner, but that sounds too convenient for me.

Moving on, Fritz is definitely the Loyal Type. He doesn’t question the princess’ decisions and only requires that he accompany her to places where it might be dangerous. Just putting this out there, as soon as he refused to return to the tavern with the princess and insisted that his home is the best place for her, I immediately got a bad feeling. While he does almost anything the princess asks for, by denying her from returning to the tavern alone, he causes her to be put in her more danger. Because the princess feels just as unsafe in the house as I did when I was playing, this route suffers similarly to Waltz’s route in that he doesn’t get much time to the romance part of his own route. Karma, Delora, and Waltz get more time with the princess and more opportunity to save her and express concern for her than Fritz does. Karma soothes the princess’ tears when she’s blaming herself for other people’s deaths, Waltz gets angry when the princess runs away and accuses him of not caring, Delora simply acts like a real mother figure, even Rumpel tries to cheer her up and reassure her that he won’t let a second person die in one night. Even when Fritz does appear, it’s when he’s already been taken over by Varg or there has to be a guessing game on whether it’s Varg talking or Fritz, so Fritz himself isn’t even there, but Varg acts like a median between the princess and Fritz while also being under the control of Mythros.

While on that subject, Mythros is…different in this route. He’s still creepy and untrustworthy, but he’s so blunt and straightforward when he shows up. He tells truths without batting an eye and stretches the truth so expertly that it makes sense why the princess would fall for it. I mean, if someone walked up to you, and admitted to what you accused them of in a matter-of-fact manner without hesitation, then told you something that confirms your suspicions, would you fall for it? It’s a bad situation, and Mythros makes it worse, but for a split second, even after playing through all the other routes, I almost believed he was on the princess’ side.

Ok, time for the spoiler warnings (sorry, everything else I want to say about Fritz is, of course, dripping in spoilers). If you hadn’t yet, turn back now, find the game on steam (it’s free to play) and run a playthrough yourself before coming back to hear my thoughts.

………..

If you’re still here, then you either already played the game, or you don’t care about spoilers regardless of warnings.

This whole route made me cry my eyes out! Not like Rumpel’s or Waltz’s, where my eyes kinda watered, no. Here, I cried so hard I had to leave the computer to clean my face of the tears no less than three times! That’s not even for the bad ending! It’s just for the main story!

So, since I mentioned before already that Mythros has an early appearance, let’s start the sum-up from that point and quickly get to the endings.

Mythros shows up at the tavern after the princess ran away from Fritz’s house. Mythros, being the oddly persuasive snake that he is, confirms that he is a witch and that he remembers Princess Main Character’s true identity. While there, he also plants seeds of ideas that leads her to betray and leave the cursed group at the tavern. She leaves in a fit of rage and returns to the palace alongside Mythros. Months pass and she’s noticing that Fritz is seen around the palace less and less, and Varg is seen more and more. After an investigation, she finds that Fritz and Varg are the same person, as is stated in his curse. She demands Mythros fix Fritz’s curse and instead informs her that the curse wasn’t designed to be broken and Fritz is on his own trying to overpower his Big Bad Wolf. Soon, the princess’ birthday comes and Mythros’ birthday gift is a chance to revive her mother, which she takes. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of energy and she’s out cold for a week. Of course, who else does she find at her bedside than Varg. Apparently, ever since Fritz came to terms with being cursed, he just gave up the reins to Varg completely so he can curl in a mental ball and sulk over how he denied his curse’s existence. Therefore, Varg, knowing full well that the princess wants Fritz, is the one who stays by her side. Also, since her birthday came to pass, her curse automatically expired because…I don’t know….reasons.

With the revival of her mother, Hyldir, Princess’ Main Character’s step-family is exiled from the palace, and her father is left brain-dead. Fairly quickly, the princess figures out that her mother is as cruel and wicked as everyone claimed she is. The two knights, Jurin and Garlan (still not confident I spelled their names right) come to the palace to save her and return her to the tavern. Unfortunately, Hyldir catches them and separates the knights and gets Garlan killed and Jurin severely injured, though the princess does make it to the tavern. Garlan’s death is the first time I spill tears in this route. With Rumpel tending to Jurin’s injuries, promising to not let her die, Delora is comforting the princess and trying to convince her that it’s not her fault someone died. Finally, Parfait comes in the picture with a plan. She will send the princess back into the palace for one day to retrieve the box and key that will break Waltz’s curse, and meet them at the gates at midnight. Waltz’s curse will break, and they’ll have the upper hand with another powerful witch on their side. Unfortunately, when the plan is put into action, the princess is caught by Hyldir and Varge, and Delora’s life is lost in the escape attempt. After mourning her death, the princess moves forward to de-thrown her mother and save her father. Here’s where the two endings divide.

In the bad ending, the princess meets Varg and Hyldir in the underground tunnels. Hyldir expresses disappointment at the woman the princess has grown to be and sends a strike with the same spell that killed Dalora. Varg recognizes the lethality of the spell and acts as the princess’ human shield. In his final moments, he admits that he fell in love with her just like Fritz has. Just before dying, he allows Fritz to return to the surface so the princess can see the life in her knight’s eyes one last time.

Admittedly, I would’ve cried for Varg and Fritz, but by the time I saw their deaths, I was cleaned dry of tears from four other deaths in the route. Sadly, that’s just about all I have to say about the bad ending.

In the good ending, the princess meets Varg in the throne room. He’s ordered to keep the king in custody and to take the princess back into custody. Varg refuses and sides with the princess, claiming that he fell for her just like Fritz. To prove it, Varg steps aside and erases himself from existence to let Fritz break his curse. Mythros, angry that his curse was broken by Fritz of all people, begins to fight him in attempts to overpower and/or kill the knight. While that’s going on, the princess is just trying to wake her father up from his trance. She’s able to save him with a simple, genuine apology for being such a jerk to him and everyone else her whole life. Mythros gets even more furious. Hyldir comes in the picture not at all happy about this and shows that she knew of the break-in all along, having Parfait with her involuntarily and wounded. Hyldir says a speech about how the princess shouldn’t have such compassion for traitors and even lashes out on Mythros for making weak curses and so many mistakes, killing him. Parfait can’t take anymore and summons her Lucis Crystal, destroying it. Hyldir and the princess both try and fail to stop her as both Parfait and Hyldir faid into gold and silver dust. With their death, so does magic cease to exist in the world, and so to do all the curses break and all magical beings lose their magical power. With magic no longer an interfearance, the princess decides to turn her education to history and spend her free time with her family to see the world and the people they rule over. Still though, Fritz joins the princess in mourning the departed lives sacrificed to get this far; Garlan, Dalora, Parfait, and even Hyldir has a well maintained grave site. Fritz stays glued to the princess’ side, obviously not learning his lesson from the beginning that she needs space and may not always want to be accompanied. Fritz and the princess have a special romantic moment, with a small hint that Varg may still be there somewhere.

As always the good ending is jam-packed with a big climax of betrayal, tears of joy, tears of sorrow, and leaves with something that’s both uplifting and yet has an under-laying sense of unease like there’s still a small piece of the story missing. I’m really curious if Varg is a larger part of Fritz’s personality than originally thought, since really, over half the romance interactions for Fritz are with Varg, so fritz himself doesn’t have much personality outside of Varg and a cardboard cut-out of the “Protective Honorable Knight” title.

I do like how they ended Varg and Fritz on a high note, be they alive or anything but, and still confirming what was hinted at, not only in this route, but in all of Varg’s appearances in the other routes; that whatever feelings Fritz has for the princess, Varg involuntarily has for her as well (seriously, play through any of the other routes and tell me straight-faced that Varg isn’t doing what he can to be sure the princess isn’t harmed in any way shape or form like how Fritz would).

All in all, I was very satisfied with the conclusion, and I’m happy that I played these routes in the order that I did. Karma’s route sparked my initial curiosity on Varg, introducing him at the last possible moment, Rod’s route feed my curiosity a little more by showing he’s not only working for Alcaster but Mythros aswell, Rumpel’s route claimed that Varg isn’t a fan of witches, which Waltz’s route confirms. And now, Fritz’s while route is the explanation of why Varg hates witches. If I had to pick between this route and Waltz’s route for most epic and climactic, it would be a really close call. However, I kinda would wanna give it to Waltz, since, not only does Waltz not die in his bad ending, but that bad ending is the absolute worst possible outcome, and on top of that, Waltz’s had a magic duel between the princess and Hyldir, while in Fritz’s they just kinda talked it out. On the other hand, the only real conclusive thing I can say about Fritz that feels like it tied the whole story in a pretty bow is the mystery of Varg is unmasked. While it does take center stage, that same mystery is also revealed in Waltz’s route, so…yeah. If I were to play these in a storytelling chronological order, I would’ve swapped Waltz and Fritz.

What do you think? Is Fritz the Loyal Wolf of your dreams, or you more of a cat person? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments, and while you’re down there, let me know who of the five options did you want to pick first? Karma with the Secretive Big Brother type? Rumpel with the Flirty type? Rod with the Tsundere Little Brother type? Waltz the Sweet Big Brother type? Fritz the Protective Loyal type? Let me know. Sadly, there will not be a next time since this concludes my reviews of Cinderella Phenomenon, but feel free to either leave a suggestion of any other dating sims you’d want me to review, or go back to my first review with a peculiar beauty, but funny guy; ’til then, have a beautiful rest of your day~

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