Posted in Blogs, Date Sim, Games, Rants, Review

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~

Posted in Blogs, Date Sim, Games, Rants, Review

Cinderella Phenomenon: Waltz Route Review

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 Waltz’s was the fourth 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 next. Click here if you want to read my reviews of the other routes I’ve talked about so far, 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. Waltz is cursed with what’s called the Neverland Curse. Basically, he’s cursed so that, while his mind would mature over the years, his body will be stagnated until he can find three things; Tinkerbell, Neverland, and his shadow. To add insult to injury, he’s a witch, but with the loss of his shadow, so are his magical abilities are lost. Unlike the three previous routes, Waltz is an open book about his curse, and doesn’t shy away from the princess. However, similar to Karma and Rod, Waltz has already given up on breaking his curse by the time the princess crosses paths with him; having been cursed for presumably at least 10 years (he looks like he’s 12, claims he’s 22, and when the king sees him, he comments that he looks exactly the same as when he was first cursed).

What’s surprising is that we learn more about other characters than just Waltz in this route. Since Waltz’s and Princess Main Character’s curses are both broken halfway through the story, as opposed to in the grand finale or climax, there’s attention put on other characters, like Rumpel breaks part of his curse and reveals that he’s a doctor, Karma confesses that he’s the Lost Prince of the neighboring kingdom, and we finally get more info on a character I’ve been questioning since the start of it all. This is the only route other than his own where Fritz makes an appearance as himself and answers the question of Varg’s mysterious appearance. This route feels like a complete story, allowing you to learn about all the characters the princess meets instead of just the current love interest. I feel that if you could play this route first (though I know it’s not possible since this is one of the locked routes) then you’d learn just enough about each character to be curious about them and compelled to play their routes. Sadly, this does work against it since, once Waltz’s curse is broken in, like, chapter 4 or 5, he kinda fades in the background and accepts more supporting roles; filling the teacher’s role when the princess is practicing magic and even taking a Damsel in Distress role in the climax (though I’ll get to that later in the “spoilers” section). While I’m glad that they took time for the other characters to make this route feel more like a fully fleshed out story, it turned out as a double-edged sword against Waltz’s favor.

When the route is focused on the romance, Waltz kinda reminds me of a Big Brother type despite his cursed form which makes him look more like a 12-year-old child rather than the 22-year-old man he claims to be, but different from Karma. While Karma is teasing and protective of the princess’ physical state, Waltz is more playful and protective of her joy and innocence. He wants nothing more than to honor the promises he made to her when they were children playing in her room when the queen wasn’t looking. However, because their friendship was in secret, the queen eventually found out and erased the princess’ memories of ever having a friend while giving Waltz his curse.

Ok, time for the spoiler warnings to come in (sorry, everything else I want to say about Waltz is dripping in spoilers since crap hits the fan so early in his story). 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.

First, to catch you up real quick in case you didn’t head the warnings, as I said earlier or you simply need a refresher, Waltz and Princess Main Character break their curses halfway through the story, and the trip to breaking their curses was just as tense as the climax and finale of the other routes I’ve played so far. Princess Main Character asks how to break Waltz’s curse, and he said he needs to find Tinkerbell and Neverland, which are both a key and a box. His “shadow”, his magical power, is inside the box. After hearing a description of the box and key, the princess recognizes that those two objects are in her room at the palace. After telling Waltz this, they eagerly ask Rod for help breaking into the palace. It just so happens that the night they break in to retrieve Neverland and Tinkerbell, is the same night that Mythros and Alcaster stage their separate coups; Alcaster for the throne, and Mythros for reviving Hyldir, Princess Main Character’s mother. Long story short since this is only really the “mid-max”, not the “climax”, Waltz gets the Royal Family safely to the tavern, the princess gets her second and thrid good deeds by insisting Waltz save his own skin and not hers and by preparing to sacrifice herself to prevent Hyldir from returning. Oh, and Varg FINALLY IS UNMASKED! He is confirmed to be Fritz, or at least a version of Fritz. Still though, the princess’ efforts are in vain, her mother is revived, and her father is the first of many casualties.

That’s not even in the climax, but it set up everything for the climax. Fritz is not trusted, even though he talks like Varg is a separate person sharing his body, or a split personality, Hyldir is set loose on the kingdom spreading fear and anger, and all Princess Main Character can do from that point on is learn everything she can about magic. Waltz being her magic teacher almost does more harm than good. Similar to when Karma agreed to teach her sword fighting, he only ever taught her how to defend and escape attackers and kidnappers until her stubbornness to join an actual battle lead him to teach her real swordplay, Waltz does the same. He teaches her nothing but barriers until Hyldir’s arrival is already nearly upon them and she insists on learning at least one offensive spell. She learns only one that’s only powerful enough to stun or paralyze.

The actual endings themselves are the only ones that have no death or bloodshed that’s not unavoidable. However, the effects of the bad ending is horrifying and dooms the whole kingdom, even though the princess and her love interest are safe from harm as opposed to the other bad endings I’ve played so far, where the love interest dies at the princess’ hand, whether intentional (in Karma’s case), unintentional (in Rumpel’s case), or indirectly (in Rod’s case).

In the set-up for the endings, the princess, along with Karma, the two knights, and Waltz all attend Alcaster’s announcement to gain some knowledge of what’s happened in the palace since her father’s demise. On the way, they meet Fritz, who claims that Queen Hyldir will make a public appearance and kill his father, Alcaster. Of course, he’s not trusted by the princess and party, after they unmasked Varg and saw Fritz’s face under the mask. Fritz explains what happened, sounding like Varg is a second personality that took over his body somewhat and he claims it’s part of his own curse which he was oblivious to until recently. At Alcaster’s announcement as the new king after the princess’ father’s death, he claims that the princess is to blame (Now that her curse is broken, everyone remembers her). Hyldir crashes the gathering, kills Alcaster, and strikes fear in the citizen’s hearts to fuel the crystal she now is forced to share with the princess. Princess Main Character doesn’t allow the people to get hurt and extends the strongest barrier she can to protect the crowd from the attacks. Hyldir tries to regain the princess’ allegiance and fails. Seeing this and realizing that the crystal isn’t under her sole control, she gets a cruel idea. Hyldir takes Waltz hostage and claims she’ll return him in one piece if Princess Main Character gives up her magic and swears to be her obedient princess. The princess contemplates the decision at her feet long after the queen disappears with Waltz. She is turned on by the people, still blaming her and willing to take her for the bounty on her head Alcaster claimed just before his death. She accepts her fate at the hands of the people until she notices that the children she played with and family she was kind to earlier is there to defend her. With a lesson in how being selfless pays off, she goes against the advice and better judgment of Karma and the knights, puts up a barrier around the palace, and flees in search of Waltz and her mother.

In the bad ending, when the princess meets with her mother again, she agrees to give up her magic in exchange for Waltz’s freedom, ignoring Waltz’s pleas of denial and claims that she’ll never be the same again. The only things that matter to her at that moment in time are 1) Waltz is set free and 2) her life is spared (though she cares more about the first point than the second). Hyldir reassures her that she will live to see another day, and proceeds to drain her powers. While she does stay true to her promise and free Waltz, he refuses to leave now that the princess is a shell of her former self and a puppet who only knows the words “Yes, Mother”. With Hyldir firmly in the crown and on the throne, the kingdom is doomed and the princess’ last promise to her father is broken.

While Waltz is alive and is technically free to leave, live to see another day, this definitely earns it achievement title of Stolen Dawn. Waltz lives to see another day with the princess at his side, however, the life in the princess is stolen and the kingdom is doomed to live in fear while in Hyldir’s rule for the remainder of their lives and in the foreseeable future.

The good ending is actually the one that has more death. In this ending, when the princess faces her mother again, she’s faced with the same dilemma, only this time her barrier is broken by Delora and Parfait, who both are there to talk the princess out of it. However, Hyldir raises a barrier blocking out Delora and Parfait and blocking herself, the princess, and Waltz in. The princess gets an idea to pretend to be in Hyldir’s side so she can give the final blow when her guard’s down. The fact that no one else in the room knows her plan makes it all the more convincing, working more in her favor is when Hyldir demands that the princess kill Waltz for being a traitor in order to prove her loyalty. Thinking quickly, the princess uses the only offensive spell she knows, a lightning spell. After the spell is charged and ready to strike, she turns to Hyldir at the last second and strikes her instead of Waltz. With the queen now stunned, her barrier and binding spells are broken and Parfait finishes the job, reducing the queen to a pile of silvery grey dust. When they all return to the tavern, the princess as the new crystal bearer breaks everyone’s curses. Karma can dress as a man in public again, Rod can speak, Rumpel remembers his given name, etc. and Parfait makes her final goodbye’s and fades into a cloud of golden dust due to her body completely having given out. The princess says her goodbyes to everyone, promising that she’ll visit them all again soon before leaving for the palace with Waltz. Rather than use a portal to instantly magic to the palace, Waltz insists that they walk instead. The princess is uneasy but goes with it anyway. On the way to the palace, she’s treated as a hero, children running up to give her bouquets of lilies, families and shop owners raining lily petals from higher windows, and everyone she passes giving her a bow and thanks. The story ends on the night of her coronation, where she will be met with everyone again. With Waltz at her side, she vows to never be like her mother again.

This ending is very reminiscent of a Hero’s Journey ending. The princess saves countless lives by being clever and witty, which are traits she’s always had, but now she also has concern for the common folk and her new loved ones. While in other routes, the difference between a good and bad ending is reliant on knowing about the fairytales, making the guy fall in love a little faster, or learning a detail as small as the fact that smacking the living crap out of someone is the most effective way to pull someone from a dazed trance, this ending is completely reliant on whether or not the princess loves the love interest more than she loves her mother. Either way, she as to chose to sacrifice her mother’s life or her lover’s freedom. In the bad ending, she loves her mother too much to sacrifice her, clinging to hope that she could be saved and the two of them could be a family, while in the good ending she recognizes that it’s too late for Hyldir. While she loves her mother just as much as anyone loves their mother, she can see past her blind love and knows the only way to save her is to kill her.

Both endings of this route seem a lot more dire of stakes than the others I’ve played. While in Karma’s route, Alcaster was the big bad, talking about Queen Hyldir having the best ruling strategy, in Rod’s route, Alcaster was a fools-errand, having been arrested before it’s revealed that Mythros was pulling the strings and requests the princess’ help (though never explains what he wants help with), in Rumpel’s route, Alcaster is dead before he even poses a threat and Mythros is the only bad guy, openly asking for the princess’ help in either reviving the queen or her being just like Hyldir. In Waltz’s route, all the conflicts with Alcaster and Mythros happen so early in the story so Hyldir could swoop in and be the real threat. She’s been teased in dreams and dialogue so many times, I figured she’d somehow make an appearance as a grand finale of sorts. It’s no wonder why in the main menu art, Waltz’s stain glass window is front and center while Rumpel’s, Fritz’s, Rod’s, and Karma’s are all off to the sides. Visuals like that in the first thing you see when booting up the game typically means Waltz is the most crucial to the story. This even follows Anime Harem logic; the first boy that’s introduced is gonna be the main love interest unless there’s a childhood friend. Walt’z is, not only the first character the princess meets after getting cursed, but even before getting cursed, but on top of that, he is a childhood friend. His route is most likely meant to be the grand finale. However, I still like the idea that the relation between Fritz and Varg is the biggest mystery, so I don’t regret the order that I’ve played these even now.

What do you think? Is Waltz the Sweet Brother of your dreams, or you not interested in his childish candy? 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. Next time we’ll go to the last, but not least, of the bachelors. Over the river and through the woods, but it’s not to Grandmother’s house we’re going; ’til then, have a beautiful rest of your day~

Posted in Blogs, Date Sim, Games, Rants, Review

Cinderella Phenomenon: Rumpel Route Review

If you hadn’t seen my last few posts, this is kinda a continuation. 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 Rumpel’s was the third route I reluctantly chose in my quest for completion (his route also concludes the routes you can play first), I will write a review of his route next. Click here if you want to read my reviews of the other routes I’ve talked about so far, 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. Rumpel is cursed with what’s called the Rumpelstiltskin Curse. Similar to Princess Main Character’s Cinderella curse, Rumpel’s curse forces those who’ve known him to forget his name (however they all keep the memory of what he’s done for them in the past), meanwhile Rumpel himself has no memory or recollection of who he was before he’s found in the street by Parfait. When the princess meets him, his curse is recent enough that he’s just as new to the tavern as Princess Main Character.

Now, I’m gonna be blunt…I didn’t like Rumpel in the beginning. I wouldn’t have been able to go through with it without giving my two best friends constant updates on the game just to get my thoughts off my chest of exactly how much characters with Rumpel’s type of personality gets under my skin. However, for completionist’s sake, and for the sake of the review, I endured all he shallow flattery and dumb puns that I really hate seeing in otome characters. One thing that surprised me was the fact that Karma is more open and honest about what’s on his mind and his curse while the princess is partnered with Rumpel than he was when she’s partnered with Karma himself (on top of that, Karma made several claims in his arguments with Rumpel that I’d argue, saying he doesn’t lie to his partner…wait…off topic…). Rumpel’s journey had a similar mystery as Karma, but since Rumpel himself has amnesia, it’s easy to paint him as an honest person while keeping the mystery of his past alive.

Comparing to Karma (since both in Karma’s and in Rumpel’s routes, people make a point to compare the two of them), Karma has to side-step the truth to keep his curse and background a mystery whereas Rumpel is just as much in the dark with his past as anyone else. While the way to learn about Karma is through prodding and nagging, the way to learn about Rumpel is asking everyone other than him. From the little boy who recognized him as a doctor that saved his life, to his fiancee who possesses all of Rumpel’s journals and diaries, everyone Rumpel touched before his curse automatically knows more about him than Rumpel himself.

Rumpel does break his own curse before the end, unlike Rod and Karma. While I was a little worried/intrigued on what that would mean for their relationship, whether or not Princess Main Character’s curse will start to affect Rumpel, I am a little disappointed that it didn’t take that route. However, I do understand why Rumpel wouldn’t forget about the princess the moment he remembers his name, that would be tragic and cruel to grant him with memories of his whole life in exchange for memories he shared with the princess.

Also, of course, Varg shows up once again, though unlike in Karma’s and Rod’s routes where he showed up at the end, this time he randomly shows up in the middle of the story out of nowhere and serves nothing to the plot; he’s literally just someone who literally bumps into the princess on the street.

Ok, here’s your warning. I can’t talk anymore about Rumpel’s route without spoiling anything since a large part of his route is unraveling the mystery of his past. I’m now gonna talk about Rumpel’s good and bad endings. If you want to find out the end of this story on your own, 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.

While Rumpel’s good ending is cute and bad ending is gruesome, both endings nearly brought me to tears.

Just for some background, there are some rumors going around that the palace has been thrown into chaos with witches taking over and the knights staging a coup against the king and royal family. However, the crown is left unclaimed. While out getting medicine with Rumpel, Princess Main Character gets captured and drugged by Varg before reawakening in her bedroom at the palace. She’s informed that Sir Alcaster is dead and Sir Mythros is the one who killed him. Let me just say really quick, it’s kinda clever that in my first route of the game, Karma’s route, Sir Alcaster was the only Big Bad that hires Varg’s sword, in my second playthrough, Rod’s route, Sir Alcaster is only a decoy while Varg’s sword shifts from Alcaster’s allegiance to Mythros after Alcaster’s arrest, and now Sir Alcaster is dead before he even makes an appearance in Rumpel’s route and Mythros is to blame for it all with Varg as a sword for hire. Sorry. Back to Rumpel’s climax; Princess Main Character tries to probe answers out of Varg. Admittedly, she does learn that he is cursed and despises witches, and he himself either doesn’t know or isn’t willing to share why he’s assisting a known powerful witch. When Mythros comes to retrieve her for dinner, she’s told her family will be waiting for her. Once they reach the dining hall, Mythros explains to the king that Princess Main Character is the true Crown Princess of the kingdom and his blood daughter. Admittedly, the player can choose to either play along and confess to being the princess or play dumb and ignorant to what Mythros is saying (just in case you’re stuck and are reading this to figure out which is the better option, it’s playing dumb). Later on, Mythros explains that he plans to groom the princess until her 18th birthday when she’ll become the bearer of the crystal and will have the power to revive her mother, the queen.

Days pass and finally Delora, Rumpel, Jurin, Garlen (no idea if I spelled those names right, but they’re the two knights that were kicked out of the palace and hired to defend the tavern and cursed individuals), Waltz and Karma come to the rescue. While Karma, Waltz, and the knights fight the witches and corrupted knights, Delora and Rumpel save the princess from her room in her tower. Rumpel and the princess flee, but are stopped by Mythros and his knights and witches. He makes the knights fight each other, and the fight entrances Rumpel into a daze.

In the bad ending, The princess tries to shake him out of the daze, but is unsuccessful. She decides to take matters in her own hands and pick up a sword to fight, forgetting that this is not Karma’s route and therefore she never learned how to fight with a sword. However, with the knights now focused on her instead of each other, she’s backed into a wall and only holds her sword out with her eyes closed. When she opens them again, Rumpel is the one pierced by her blade.

Rumpel’s bad ending deserves its achievement title; Spool of Needles. It’s sad, and I nearly cried. It’s tragic and gruesome, though not quite as tragic as Karma’s bad ending (hey, if characters in the game are gonna compare these two, then I might as well join the bandwagon).

Now, in the good ending, it’s pretty much the same up to the point where Rumpel gets entrances into a daze by the knights killing each other, only this time, the princess literally smacks him out of it, and Parfait shows up just in time to save them with a shield, along with Delora and Waltz, who somehow miraculously broke his curse and is now a hot young adult looking straight out of Hot Topic. It’s never explained how he broke his curse, but with his curse broken he now has full access to his witch magical power. However, Waltz, Rumpel, and the princess find that Mythros escaped from Parfait and Delora and has Princess Main Character’s step-sister hostage in the throne room. They try to talk him down but to no avail. The princess finally grabs a sword and comes close to killing Mythros, blade right at his throat, but she stops when she remembers Rumpel saying that all life is precious. Her showing Mythros mercy and sparing his life is her third and final good deed. Mythros doesn’t repay the kindness and goes in for the kill. To the character’s shock, Parfait, who quickly showed up to help, is the one who died at Mythros’ hands. She has just enough life left to congratulate Princess Main Character on breaking her curse before she passes in Rumpel’s arms, him still trying to convince her and himself that he could fix it, close her wounds, nurse her to health, and she’ll be better. Waltz decides to execute Mythros for his crimes, but Rumpel slits the witch’s throat before Waltz had a chance. After confirming that the royal family is alright and unharmed, the king offers Delora and the others rooms for the night as thanks for saving his family. Rumpel and the princess retreat to her room and console each other for the loss of Parfait and the burden of Mythros’ murder. The king is weary after these events, and, while he allows Princess Main Character to go into town as often as she pleases, it’s not without guards and her step-siblings. He’s also weary of Rumpel courting her, him being no prince nor knight but simply a poor doctor, but to him, it’s a problem for another day.

That’s a lot to get through. Don’t get me wrong, the other endings were long and had a lot to build up for the climax, but this….it’s a little ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable, and a roller coaster, but this barely scratched the surface. Even still, I’m not 100% confident I described everything right, even though I literally just played this route before writing this review.

While Karma was a clear tragic bad ending vs. storybook fairytale good ending and Rod is a little of a mixed bag both ways, Rumpel is just depressing. Both his endings hammer in that people are mortal. In both endings at least one person dies, and in the aftermath of both endings, the princess and/or Rumpel have to deal with PTSD that comes with killing someone.

To sum it all up, Rumpel surprisingly came close to surpassing Karma as the best guy. I like Karma a lot, and every time he showed up I literally cried for a return to my “Beastly Prince Beauty”, however, Rumpel did something I didn’t expect and had something I personally look for in a romatic partner; devotion to a smile. Between those two it’s a very close tie; a lot closer than I expected going into it. At the end of Rod’s review, I challenged Rumpel to surprise me with gold, and he did just that.

What do you think? Was Rumpel able to make you smile, or did his doctor puns not spin gold for you? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments, and while you’re down there, let me know who of the three starter options (I know there are five guys, but two of them are locked until you complete two routes with two of the three bachelors) did you pick first? Karma with the Secretive Big Brother type? Rumpel with the Flirty type? Rod with the Tsundere Little Brother type? Let me know. This concludes the three guys you can start out with, so next, we’ll soar to the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning; ’til then, have a beautiful rest of your day~

Posted in Blogs, Date Sim, Games, Rants, Review

Cinderella Phenomenon: Rod Route Review

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 Rod’s was the second route I chose in my quest for completion, I will write a review of his route next. Click here if you want to read my review of the Karma Route, but just in case you’re not interested in Karma, 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.

Now on to Rod’s route. Since 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. Rod is cursed with what’s called the Mermaid’s Curse. To put simply, he’s mute and can only communicate through a magical stuffed bunny given to him by Parfait that reads his thoughts and speaks his mind on his behalf (which he might argue is a curse in itself). Because Rod is Princess Main Character’s step-brother, he has the longest history with her and the biggest grudge against her. He doesn’t accept her as a member of his family and doesn’t hesitate to tell her that the Royal Family is much happier without her around to be the wet blanket. As for his curse, he’s given up on breaking it long before the events of the game due to just how closely his curse follows the fairytale it’s based on; the Little Mermaid.

Rod’s entire backstory on why he was cursed follows the beginning of the Little Mermaid to the letter. He discovered his childhood friend drowning in a river, so he saves her. In a panic due to the fact that she isn’t breathing, Rod runs away to get help from someone nearby. When he returns, some other Prince Charming swooped in and took all the credit for the daring rescue. Knowing that his childhood friend has always dreamed of a fairytale ending for herself, he makes a deal with a witch; his voice in exchange for royal status. That night, he was mute, the next morning, the king declared his undying love for Rod’s mother and he, his mother, and his sister were moved into the palace as members of the Royal Family.

Like Karma, Rod kept the conditions of his curse secret for similar reasons. I was intrigued by learning why he acts coldly to someone who supposedly was a childhood friend and life-long crush, and I was kept at the edge of my seat watching the tragedy of the situation uncurl. While I am familiar with the original tale of the Little Mermaid, possibly more than almost any other fairytale, I didn’t expect the curse to be such a literal repeat to the mermaid’s tragic love story.

Unlike Karma, however, Rod is much more the Little Brother type (though that might be slightly due to the fact that he is Princess Main Character’s actual younger step-brother). He’s much more irritable, brooding, angsty, and simply grumpy or complaint-heavy. Any compliment he gives to the princess is back-handed at best. One thing, though, is that he is blunt and unafraid to speak his mind; even if he was afraid to, his little stuffed rabbit, Sebby, would speak it for him regardless of the consequences.

Ok, this is where the spoiler warnings come in (sorry, I guess I just didn’t have much spoiler-free to say about Rod). 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.

Both of Rod’s endings, the good and the bad, are so bitter-sweet, one slightly sweeter than the other, and vice-versa.

For some context of the endings, Princess Main Character finally concludes that Rod’s curse’s conditions are a lot closer to the fairytale it’s based on than other curses, so she enlists Mythros, a witch who’s been working in the palace as Alcaster’s equal, to help her break Rod’s curse because Viroica, the woman he sold his voice to be with, is marrying another Prince Charming and Mythros confirmed that Rod will die if she marries another man. Princess Main Character gets desperate and asks what Mythros wants in exchange for his help, and he simply says “I want you to use something on the day after tomorrow” (which he’s obviously referring to the crystal that causes unhappiness since she will become the new bearer and he doesn’t hesitate to show that he’s an avid follower of Princess Main Character’s mother). She agrees blindly until she decides to pick up the Little Mermaid and read it for herself. By the time she reads that the mermaid must kill her prince to return home, it’s already too late and Em, Rod’s sister, is bringing a knife to the throne room where Rod, Mythros, and Viroica are waiting.

I could go further in depth, like talk about how Sir Alcaster still has a coup, Varg still makes a random appearance and things like that, but really, those events are inconsequential. Varg disappears as suddenly and randomly as his arrival, and Sir Alcaster is quickly disposed of and his only contribution is giving Princess Main Character the idea that Mythros is a witch.

Anyway, in Rod’s bitterly sweet bad ending, he takes the knife from Em and knows what he has to do, but can’t. He tells Princess Main Character that at the stroke of midnight, he’ll dissolve into mist. She cries, telling him she just wanted to help and that it didn’t have to end this way, but Rod just hands her Sebby from his shoulder. He embraces her, smiles, and says “I was starting to like you. If we had more time, I could’ve truly loved you”. On that note, the clock chimes 12 and Princess Main Character is left with nothing more than Sebby in her hands, and a clump of bubbly mist in front of her.

See why I say bitterly sweet? He was already on the right track to loving the princess, but she just couldn’t make him fall for her in time. Talk about so close yet so far.

Moving on to… the sweetly bitter ending. Rod still claims that he can’t kill the woman he loves, so Mythros decides to bend the rules and possess his body to do it for him. Delora rushes in and the two witches have an all-out magic duel while the princess desperately tries to stop Rod. Only when he strikes Princess Main Character when she stands in front of him to block him from Viroica does he finally snap out of it. Mythros sees that his plan failed and flees while Princess Main Character and Rod confess their feelings for one another, which breaks Rod’s curse. The princess was able to break her curse as well with her shield stunt. Now that their curses are broken, they can live happily ever after, right? ….Well, not exactly. As weeks pass, Princess Main Character learns how to control her magic with Delora teaching her, and she works with Parfait to restore balance between light and darkness as the new Tenebaram (not at all confident that I spelled that right) bearer, and plans to break everyone’s curse when she gains confidence in her abilities, even wanting to go so far as to end the Fairytale Curse once and for all. Her relationship with Rod, however, is kept 100% secret. Only Em knows anything about it, and they don’t allow anyone to know in fear that it would be considered a scandal. To get through it, they sneak out of the palace to meet in the forest, where they do nothing but dance the days away to the music of silence.

See what I meant when I said both the endings are bitter-sweet? In one, Rod is literally turned into mist wishing he had enough time to fall in love once again, and in the other, they have to keep their romance in the shadows. While Karma was a clear tragic bad ending vs. storybook fairytale good ending, Rod is a little of a mixed bag on both sides.

To sum it all up, Rod hasn’t surpassed Karma in my opinion. While Rod’s endings are more dynamic with an interesting take on how the Little Mermaid could’ve ended, I just like Karma too much. Don’t get me wrong though, Rod’s route was fun to play through. It was also a nice angle, having Princess Main Character spending most of the story interacting with people who she’s known her whole life, but don’t know her as opposed to everyone being a stranger.

What do you think? Do you like Rod’s take on his Fairytale, or should he have just let sleeping fishes lie? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments, and while you’re down there, let me know who of the three starter options (I know there are five guys, but two of them are locked until you complete two routes with two of the three bachelors) did you pick first? Karma with the Secretive Big Brother type? Rumpel with the Flirty type? Rod with the Tsundere Little Brother type? Let me know. Next in line, I suppose we should spin some straw. Who knows? This next guy might surprise me, and I might get gold; ’til then, have a beautiful rest of your day~

Posted in Blogs, Date Sim, Games, Rants, Review

Cinderella Phenomenon: Karma Route Review

Here lately, I’m not sure why, but I’ve been infatuated with Dating Sims. Cinderella Phenomenon is one that I’ve been wanting to play for a long time, and only now do I have the time, energy, and desire to play it through completion (yes, that does mean going out of my way to get the bad endings as well). Let me start by explaining the set-up for the game.

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.

Since Karma was the first route I chose in my playthrough, I’ll review his route first. 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. Karma is cursed with what’s called the Beauty Curse. If he’s in the presence of a woman who’s not cursed, a witch, or fairy, then they’ll be infatuated with his beauty and will claim to be in love with him. They’ll follow him and smother him in affection. The only way around this is if he tricks the women into believing he’s a woman himself under the alias “Miss Karma”. By the time the princess meets him, he’s given up all hope of breaking his curse. He refuses to talk to others about it, and, when cornered with nagging questions about the specifications of his Beauty Curse, he’s quick to give an answer that’s vague at best then somehow make the conversation about lizards or the weather; whatever will distract the questioner long enough to make them forget that he’s talking in circles. I kid you not, this is a real conversation. “Karma, can you tell me more about you? Maybe something about why you were cursed, or better yet, how to break it?” “My father used to call me his little chameleon because I was always good at hiding. Chameleons are just so cute, aren’t they?” (maybe not word for word, but you get the idea). As his route goes on, you learn more and more about him, like how his main contribution to the tavern is training the guards with swords and gathering supplies from the town.

I really enjoyed figuring out all of Karma’s secrets, like his real name, where he learned to sword fight, and reluctantly, how to break his curse (which I figured out roughly 3 chapters before Princess Main Character did). I also really like the dynamic between Karma and the princess. There’s even a running joke that neither of them respect each other’s privacy, so they both often enter one another’s rooms unannounced, they both make the same argument of “what if I was changing?” but it doesn’t hold any weight because the princess already saw Karma’s bare chest when she barged in the first time. It really shows that, though neither of them can be alone or keep secrets anymore, neither of them have to be alone or keep secrets from one another; their relationship is with 100% open doors (pun intended). There is a point where Karma gets in a really random bad mood, and it’s never explained. He goes for several days sulking in his room, blows off his responsibilities as the trainer for the guards and the errand-boy, he even shoves away the princess, who, at that point in the story, he’s in a partnership with and had signs of chemistry with. However, after a heated argument the lead to the princess snapping him back to the real world, he does return to normal somewhat.

Karma is kinda like the Big Brother type, now that I really think about it. He’s borderline overly protective of the princess, is always there to save the day (or night), and (almost) always has a wink and a tease at the ready. The princess also doesn’t hesitate to amuse herself at his expense. At one point while in town, Karma’s voice get’s drastically deeper, as if from a flick of a switch. The princess, seeing that a woman who knows “Miss Karma” was approaching, encourages Karma to speak up and have a chat, laughing the whole time. Karma does manage to convince the woman he’s caught a cold while attempting to mimic a feminine voice and the two leave. He later explains that Parfait makes him a potion to make his voice more like a woman’s since the only way he could avoid all the girls in town groveling at his feet is to make them believe he was a woman and he didn’t believe crossdressing alone would be enough to convince all the women of his facade. This moment, not only illustrates how far Karma is willing to go to avoid the consequences of his curse, since there’s no real way for the player to tell because this game is all 100% written dialogue and description with absolutely no voice acting, but it also gives a moment for the princess to actually grace her own face with a smile, since until that point, she never smiles (it’s also really hysterical for the player; even though there’s no voice acting, I imagined just how sudden the tone shift would’ve been in his voice and couldn’t stop laughing as I read, even attempting to voice act it out myself).

Ok, here’s your warning. I’m now gonna talk about Karma’s good and bad endings. If you want to find out the conditions of his curse on your own, 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.

Karma’s good ending is really heartwarming and a perfect storybook ending while his bad ending, while believable in the circumstances, could’ve easily been avoided if 1) Karma spoke up about the conditions of his curse and 2) the princess actually bothered to read a fairytale or two.

For some context, let me shed some light. The Royal Family (excluding Princess Main Character) is put it life-threatening peril from the Captain of the Guard, Sir Alcaster, and his knights. The prince and princess, Rod and Em (I can never remember her full name; I couldn’t even read it) escape to the tavern and request reinforcements from Parfait and Delora. Their request is granted as Delora leads a small group containing the two guards, who are both ex-knights of the Royal Family, Karma, Princess Main Character, and Waltz, a man with what’s called the Neverland Curse (I’ll dedicate a blog to him later). Karma begs the princess to reconsider going, but she insists that, since it’s her father and step-mother in danger, she must go, if nothing else than to set things right with them. He then alters his plea to her staying behind him at all cost and to run away if things get too dangerous, despite having trained with a sword for months at this point. Fast forward to the rescue, Karma gets frequent pains in his chest, claiming he’s fine. His only explanation is that the princess would either hate or fear him if he told her. She backs off with the promise of an explanation when they return home. The group then gets ambushed, the princess is captured and separated from the rest of the group. She’s soon faced with Sir Alcaster and a man in a mask claiming to be named Varg (I thought it was a little late in the story to introduce new characters, since this guy is never introduced by name or appearance until this point in the story. I have a feeling he’s either Fritz, the personal Body Guard for Princess Main Character before her curse, or somehow tied to him because Varg and Fritz look similar, as well as a few other hints that I don’t really wanna go into now). After Sir Alcaster’s big Villain Monologue about how Princess Main Character’s mother was the best ruler, mastering the fear struck into her subject’s hearts, there are reports of a beast that suddenly appears from nowhere and is attacking all the knights it comes across. The beast does make its way to the princess, and here’s where the two endings split.

In one ending, Princess Main Character runs away, running into some knights that claim they’ll protect her from the beast. She argues that she doesn’t need protection, and then the beast begins attacking the two knights, narrowly missing her. She readies her sword and attacks the beast, believing it’s a more dangerous threat than the knights at Sir Alcaster’s command. She swiftly brings the beast down, finally seeing a pendant on it that she gave Karma earlier. She finally realizes the blood of her beloved Karma is on her hands as she sobs over him and his dying words are basically the most tactless “I told you so”.

First off, I wanted to scream and shout to the Princess Main Character that if there’s a beauty in a fairytale, there’s a beast. I figured out that there was some incorporation of a beast somewhere in his curse as soon as I saw the rose tattoo on his bare, naked chest. However, I guess I can give the princess a pass since she was never really allowed to read fairytales because of her mother; she only read one before her mother disposed of all traces of fairytales, all she says about the one fairytale she read is that it features a Genie.

In the other ending, Princess Main Character still is able to escape the battle between the beast and Sir Alcaster’s knights. She soon meets with the beast again, suddenly feeling the need to trust it. She puts her back to him, remembering in her training that it’s always best to fight back to back when surrounded or caught in an ambush (which they were). While fighting the knights, she looks back and sees one of the knights dangerously close to striking the beast. She quickly rushes over and blocks the attack with her own sword. After that, the two fight on until the battle is finally won. Princess Main Character finally gets a good look at the beast, figures out it’s Karma, and declares her love, breaking his curse. She also looks at her own feet, where there are glass slippers, meaning her sacrificing her life for him was her third and final good deed. Now that the two of them have broken their curses, they find the king and explain the situation; saying that she was under a curse that made him forget her existence for nearly a year, and that Karma is actually Crowned Prince Klaude Aidric Renaldi Mattheus Almonte, the lost prince of a neighboring kingdom, as well as Princess Main Character’s lover. Karma returns to his home kingdom to inform his parents and younger brother, Llama (both of them go by acronyms of their long names), that he’s not dead yet and so he could request a proper betrothal to Princess Main Character. He returns to the princess’ castle just in time for her 18th Birthday Banquet. From there, he talks about how nervous he is to share a meal with her father, how he wished she’d visit his family, and how they’re now betrothed and will live happily ever after.

See what I mean by “perfect storybook ending”? There’s not really that much to say about it. It’s pretty much just, their curses are broken, so now, they’re just a Crown Prince of one kingdom and Crown Princess of another kingdom betrothed to be married, where the biggest problem facing them is gaining approval of each other’s families. It definitely paints a Happily Ever After picture to the storybook end. Still, after all this, Karma still barges into her room without knocking and he’s still acting like the Teasing Older Brother type.

All in all, I think Karma’s my favorite (and not just because I hated Rumpel from the moment he was introduced while Karma sees Rumpel as a frienemy at best all because he looks a little too good in a dress). I simply like the Big Brother types, right next to the Secretive Mysterious types and the Fun Optimistic types. Arguably, Karma could fulfill all three of those.

What do you think? Do you agree with the Big Brother type, or is someone like Karma more thorn than rose for you? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments, and while you’re down there, let me know who of the three starter options (I know there are five guys, but two of them are locked until you complete two routes with two of the three bachelors) did you pick first? Karma with the Secretive Big Brother type? Rumpel with the Flirty type? Rod with the Tsundere Little Brother type? Let me know. Next time we’re taking a dive under the sea; ’til then, have a beautiful rest of your day~