Took me a while to finish this game because it was travelling season (´・ω・｀) But I finally finished it, (with the exception of the little omakes) and I give it a 4.5 Star rating.
This story is not a happy school-life + teen-hormone. In fact Ran’s life at Nirvana starts with an interrogation in court by the Nirvana military officers, who tell her that she has no freedom when the sword is in her, and her mother at the same time, had gone slightly mad with stress during the interrogation and was saying all kinds of things to make the situation worse.
Also, I am apologetic towards Ran. Before playing, I had decided that she would be a total bimbo who says nothing but Ehs and Ahs like all the other Otomate heroines, but Ran turned out to be exceptional. It’s not a total coincidence for her to be in Nirvana either, as she had been learning swordfighting from her father since young until the assault on her village happened. So Ran is a little like Kan U from Jyuza, but emotionally much stronger. She actually says things when she wants to and tells others off when they overstep the line, so it was a 180 degree turn of my impression of her based on the website. Of course there are still little cute moments, but Ran is always practical about the battlefield and I loved it when she said that it would be better if there was no war while she was at Nirvana but now being the wielder of the Demon sword, if there is no war, she can’t prove her worth.
Chronicle is important. It’s your best friend. Make sure you colour EVERY dot in Chronicle. Also, the ‘Search Chronicle’ is different from the Route Chronicle, so make sure you have all the Flags for each character. The first time I played, i had max love points for Abel but ended but going to his Bad End 3 times. I went back to check and realised that to get to any character’s Best End, you need all the flags from his route. The best way to play is to click save, and after a while, check Chronicle to see if the dot had been coloured- most important in the ‘Map’ part where you click on the characters you want to talk to and have short scenarios with them in town. Also, if you happened to drop by a bad end, you can choose any dot on the route and select ‘Good End’ and continute on without having to trudge the entire storyline again wondering where the heck you went wrong. Great system.
Nike, Tifalet and Wilheim are locked, and opens up after you clear the routes on the left. Wilheim doesn’t open up till the other 5 are done. Basically you could do Lustin then Tifalet then Pash and Nike or something, but Otomate’s recommended play route is: Abel > Lustin > Pash > Tifalet > Nike > Wilheim
My play route: Abel > Lustin > Pash > Nike > Tifalet > Wilheim and after clearing all of them now, I would say it doesn’t matter whether you play Nike or Tifalet before Wilheim, but I recommend clearing the Nirvana boys first, since there’s something about Asaka in Tifalet’s route that links to Wilheim’s.
So it’s not only their uniforms that are lax, but their battle armour as well. How they differentiate Nirvana students from the enemy on the battlefield I have no idea. I mean, look at Yuriana–!! Is that even battle gear?!! She has wings on one side and an exposed shoulder on the other! I excused it as since the characters Ran come into contact with are all the Elite of the school who can command the other squads during war, they have special armour prepared for them or something.
———————— Intro story ———————-
So we already know some guys attacked Ran’s village and killed everyone, and as Ran was running with her mother and some other random kid, she gets desperate and the sword shines in the forest, where Ran gets taken over and defeats everyone then fainting.
At the interrogation Wilheim does come out for a bit and is like ‘Yo guys, I’m the strongest demon sword.’ And Wilheim is cuteness. In all the routes except Wilheim’s(adult) route, he sacrifices himself for Ran and occasionally pops out to scream about wanting to fight in the middle of her peaceful days. The adult Wilheim doesn’t appear except in his own route.
At Nirvana, she goes on learning trips to the other countries like Asrul and Daguroto, and tries to use the Demon sword a few times but fails, and gets sent to the ‘Health class’ with Nike. Depending on whose route you’re on, she either improves her sword skills or doesn’t.
The promotion movie is waaaaaay better than the opening movie, so here it is. The first time I watched it I had like spine chills. *so good*
——————–Routes. AKA spoilers ———————
Abel is supposed to be the stereotyped cool guy with some painful past that gets all weak and jelly in front of Ran. Not really. In fact, Ran does little to heal the pain of his past and Abel retains his goal no matter what Ran says even after they become a couple, and his strength is unrivalled. Also, Ran does get kidnapped often because of the demon sword but it never shakes the characters in this story. He’s so strong that he actually defeats Ran when she was taken over by Wilheim, and he is curious about her progress with the Demon sword, which causes chances for their interaction.
So Abel often gets jealous, even of the crafty Asrul king, Scherazade, who buys Ran a kaleidoscope. One funny scene:
I must mention that I love Serazar and his haraguro words of drawing people out. Abel is always rude to him though and for a while I suspected they might be brothers and I was wrong, but not that far off as to Abel’s identity.
So a couple of things happen to Ran where Abel successfully shows his jealousy over her. He was probably attracted to Ran’s strength to make the best of her life as a soldier but at the same time envious of her relationships with the others, so he just grabs her one day in the library after telling Richard off and pressures her to confess who she likes. Ran admits that it’s him and he snogs her with no warning. Abel isn’t rude like the usual stereotype cool guy is, he’s just awkward, and I must admit, pretty cute.
Their relationship goes up and down after that, since Ran realises he’s hiding something and he gets angry at why she doesn’t hate Romua for destroying her village. They kind of make up at the festival Samalna but being the aloof type he is, the other guys come interrupt and he runs off. Ran chases after him so they make out in the library after he tells her his past.
There was a suspicion of a Nirvana student as a spy in Abel’s route, and it turned out to be Richard… which was a real surprise. I thought dogs that bark the loudest have the weakest bite but ohkay… Richard was just jealous of Mr.Ace and trying to protect the country in his own way. Abel’s past was a surprise though, he’s actually the son of the Romua King, Orijion, except that he never knew because his mother was a dancer and left the palace because she didn’t want to spoil Orijion’s reputation. So Abel grew up as a fatherless commoner until he won the swordfight one day where Igor was watching. They want Abel to take the succession of the throne but Abel starts hating his father, misunderstanding that his mom was driven out of the palace. And since Romua is Otessia’s best enemy, Abel hates his dad and swears to kill him, and does, whatever Ran says.
And in Good end, he kills Orijion, and Ran throws herself at him. He leaves Nirvana to claim and govern Romua and swears to come back for Ran to make her Queen. A little fanservice for Prince-fetish people. In the 2 Bad ends, either Ran dies or Abel dies together with Orijion and war continues after that.
Abel was a great first route. His story kind of sets the mood for the other routes, whereby he as a soldier chooses what is best for the country rather than turn to his own feelings for Ran’s persuasion to forgive Orijion. The school is taught to be on standby, and once the bell sounds, they go to war rightaway. Usually they have a few hours to prepare, and Abel takes part in the military stategy.
One thing I didn’t like about Abel’s route was that they mentioned Abel’s fighting pattern was exactly the same as Orijion, proving he was his dad. Orijion is a King and would have the best sword teachers, and Abel didn’t grow up in the palace, and learnt the sword watching swordfights and later earned money through them, so how would he ever have the same swordfighting techniques? To be honest, him as the strongest fighter without any formal training is also doubtful, but there are always one or to geniuses for everything, let’s give him that.
He’s the most non-perverted womanizer character of any game I’ve ever played. There’s gotta be one in every game right? The guy who is always hitting on the heroine. At first glance, he would have been so, but through his route you find out he is surprisingly gentlemanly. You find out later that he had been pretending to be an ass so that others will think badly of him since there have been retainers in his country that wants to make him king instead of his older brother, who is reserved and slightly weak.
In the common route, it was already obvious he was part of the chivalrous thieves, (Dawn Eagles) but as to why, it turned out to be simply because he has a righteous nature at heart and answered to Gid’s wish. And they don’t even steal. So he sneaks out at night under cover of ‘night fun’ but is actually always keeping the streets safe at night. I was initially thinking what the heck are the police for then, but they do what the police can’t. So in this naked scene, Gid had purposely sent Ran to the basement where Lustin was and tells them that he wants at least one person from Nirvana to know Lustin’s good points. She persuades him to let her join the Dawn Eagles and goes with them capturing random thugs.
This particularly funny scene is where Ran faints after drinking a sip of alcohol at Gid’s bar and Lustin takes care of her till dawn, where they chance upon Elias and Meyer upon returning. Elias’ reaction is just epic and they’re given cleaning duty the whole day for punishment. Sometime later Ran and Yuriana are kidnapped, with Yuriana’s lover Yuan as hostage, and Lustin’s bro makes them fight each other so he can get his hands on the demon sword. Lustin bursts in with the Dawn Eagles and saves them.
Lustin tries to leave the Dawn Eagles as he feels guilt as the leader for having his brother do such a thing, but Solon starts crying so Ran decides to persuade Lustin not to leave, and they finally defeat Lustin’s brother (who was possessed by a Demos) with the Demon sword purification.
Combo attack!!! (・∀・)
Nothing doubtful about Lustin’s route, it was well written, and the reason for them getting together was convincable. And I actually think Ran looks really good in the bandit clothing. (lol)
The school’s self-claimed woman-hater, he’s the cutest of them all with his blushy moments. We find out later he’s so scared of women because of Ignis and Yuriana who bullies him, but he can’t helped but be attracted to Ran who breaks his impression of scary women. By the way, after this scene where he bursts in on Ran changing, he leaves a trail of noseblood all the way to the garden. (rofl)
He manages to get her on lunch dates, winning the school competition when Ran encourages him and other cutesy stuff but just as he is at his peak of liking her, tragedy happens: They go for war (Ran’s first war) at the borders, and the first squad (Abel, Lustin, Yuriana, Asaka, Pash, Richard etc) are all given one squad each, and they’re allowed to take command should anything happen. At their retreat when Romua soldiers start coming in, Pash decides to act on his own and earn merit, so he runs back with the squad to try to kill the back soldiers. But Igor, Romua’s vice captain spots Ran and tries to capture her, leading Pash’s squad to have to run through the forest. There, Captain Leonidas covers their escape and burns the bridge, sacrificing himself.
Pash and Ran don’t seem to recover from this shock for a long while, so their relationship is also put off. Pash also has another problem of not having the ‘protection’. His warrior tribe, the royal family, have to go to the mountains as a child to get a stigma from a spirit who will aid them in war, but Pash’s stigma has been fading since childhood. He will be stripped of his weapona nd forced to leave Daguroto if that continues.
Ran is kidnapped again and they escape with Ran’s lock-picking and Pash’s fighting skills, and from there, they slowly decide to live for Leonidas and get his revenge. Their relationship also progresses and Pash confesses to her on the night of Samalna festival.
I’m sorry if it’s hard to see but I always make my text BG extremely pale) And Ran’s like “What if there’s no war till 2 years later? You can do it now you know.” Pash gets freaked out and they take a stroll but they see another couple kissing and Pash gets too excited and decides to kiss her afterall, saying
(*´∀｀*) Isn’t he a darling.
Not long after, Romua attacks again and in Good End, Ran kills Igor while Pash successfully kills Orijion with the help of the spirit in his stigma. His dad and the Daguroto king, his uncle, get so happy he finally gets his ‘Protection’ (the stigma) so they glomp him.
Pash decides to become an officer like Leonidas after graduation and asks Ran if she wants to do the same. Ignis tells her that the protection stigma that Pash drew on her wrist before the final battle were actually words for proposal. I wasn’t interested in Tsun boy initially but really enjoyed his route.
I should have gone to Tifalet first according to Otomate’s guide, but I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to do this route!
*CG spam alert* NIKEEEEEE!!!!!!! HE IS SUCH A GEM.
I liked his design most when the site first opened and suspected he had something to hide before I even played the game, and I was right. *proud of self (*´∀｀*) One problem is, it’s hard to put a finger on what bits of Nike’s route was good. It was hard to tell his feelings for Ran, but yet the romance was convincing. And again, it was hard to tell when he was pretending and when he wasn’t, yet I believed it when Ran forgave him at the end. I liked how they kept Nike’s real purpose at Nirvana to the very, very end.
In the common route, Nike keeps avoiding her and is the lousiest fighter of Nirvana, and the only guy who bothers doing Health Class duty: making medicine and other stuff. So when Ran gets allocated to Health class as well, he teaches her a couple of things but keeps cautioning her about going into the deep parts of the forest where there are poisonous snakes. She does gets bitten once, but Nike sucks the poison from her and saves her. Nike claims he has resistance to poison so he will be fine in the forest, but keeps telling the others not to go near the forest. So in the common route I was already thinking ninja, and yes, Nike is a ninja, ‘Assassin’ in this world’s version.
I initially suspected he was the spy in Abel’s route, but it’s revealed that he is not. He does have connections to Romua but he leaked nothing from Nirvana. Nike is gentle at heart and was kidnapped by an assassin guild when his village was attacked when he was a baby, so since a really young age, he grew up learning only how to kill like other children who were kidnapped from other villages. So in such situations, you would have expected Nike to grow up being a cold-blooded killer, but he went the other way: he did what he had to as an adopted child, but he hated war, and he also has to have a mask identity, which accounts for his gentle day-to-day personality.
In that village, if the child grew sick or got hurt they were just left to die so Nike felt really strange when Ran insisted on tying his bandages when he got hurt fighting against Leonidas during practice. 3 chapters away, Abel says that Nike washes the bandage and uses it, staring at it often even after his wound healed (which was minorly creepy lol) but Nike later says no one ever did first aid for him so he was too happy about Ran’s kindness.
They’re often together and Ran decides to tell him about this bread wagon which she really likes and they have a bayside lunch date (*´∀｀*) like in Pash’s route, though with Nike, things were more relaxed and gentle. Ran doesn’t suspect Nike one bit, since he plays his game really well, but peace doesn’t last for long.
One night after delivering flowers to Tifalet, Ran chances upon the dead Mordeus in the rain, and someone like Nike standing beside the body. She runs away out of fright, and confesses everything to Elias, but it’s hard to believe that that Nike would do such a thing, and with the pouring rain she was unsure she saw him. She is unable to get evidence that it was Nike that night so she hates herself for doubting him while trying to befriend him. Nike successfully turns the topic away by talking about people who look really alike and Ran doesn’t want to believe it as well, so she forgets about things for a while. Nike really likes the bread and one day decides to make his own jam and bread and Ran eats it, telling him he has enough talent to be a baker. Lustin comes, drawn by the scent and says the same thing.
Ran finds out that her father was actually assassinated and that Romua were the ones who called for the attack on the village. She goes to Gid and Collette’s bar, and one night Collette tells her Gid is not her real father, and the ones who have eyes of this colour are only from a certain village. (I was like Collette is a ninja too??? Rofl but no, I didn’t guess right this time) At Collette’s birthday party, its revealed that Gid was once a warrior in Romua army and picked up Collette from a woman whom the army massacred. Nike and Ran comfort Collette and Ran mentions how Nike and Collette have the same eyes. Nike gets really flustered that Ran is going to hate him now for hiding his origins since she is ‘important’ to him, but Ran says she doesn’t mind and later reveals to Nike that Mordeus and her father had the same cut on their neck. Nike manages to cover things up again and looks really sad about her father, and tells her if the person who ever killed her father appears, he will kill the guy.
In Bad End 1, on the night of Samalna, she runs after Nike who’s going into the forest and he throws a poison dart into her neck, while confessing he was the one who killed her dad and apologises, saying he has no right to love her and that he would rather kill her himself than have the Romua soldiers kill her for the demon sword.
In Good end, On the night of Samalna he gives Ran a ring with her favourite butterfly shape on it, and makes her promise never to go to the forest again. She remember’s Tifalet’s fotune telling about her loved one soon leaving forever and she chases after him, only to see Nike covered in blood with bodies surrounding him.
He tries to get her to run but Igor arrives and sees Nike’s betrayal, and they start fighting. Ran comments on how beautiful Nike’s swordfighting is, and he finally wins and kills Igor. Ignis comes running and tries to get Ran away but Nike apologises for tricking her all along, and says he has no right to love her, but kisses her and slices his own throat. “I told you… if the person who killed your father appeared, I would kill him… right?” (｀；ω；´)
Seeing that he was still talking after slicing his own throat, it was obvious that it was not an instant fatal wound, but Wilheim decides to use his last powers to heal Nike. While he is recovering in school after that, Romua wages war again to take revenge for Igor, and Nike appears nonchalently on the battlefield and kills Orijion, Romua’s king. After that, rumours about Nike killing Orijion is too big and Nike’s punishment has been decided, he is expelled from Nirvana in exchange. He bakes bread a last time and leaves a letter for Ran saying he’s going to go somewhere to become a baker, probably.
I was like “Nike baby in new clothes, Woohoo!!” So the whole thing about Collette is whether Ran, like her, can forgive the person who murdered their loved ones. In Ran’s case, just like how Collette feel a bond with Gid who raised her yet murdered her village, she can’t help loving Nike who killed her father so she chases after Nike and says she wants to go anywhere he goes. Nike gently laughs at how she ran out in her uniform and tells her they should go bid goodbye to Queen Qiora and her mom, and the bread wagon obaachan.
So, like I said, it’s difficult to comment on why they love each other and how Ran forgave him, but it’s just believable. You’d have to play to to know it. They gave so many hints throughout his route so it wasn’t as surprising, and Nike wasn’t the blushy kind, but the slow mystery given to Ran is the main point I guess.
When I first explored the website I thought he was another student from Nirvana but Tifalet is actually a magician and fortune teller living in the capital city. In the common route Ran takes on the job of delivering night-blooming flowers that glow called Lunaria. They only found in Nirvana’s single tree on a hilltop and Tifalet and Gid’s bar are the 2 places she delivers to. So her interactions with Tifalet start from there.
The first time he met her he was being knocked onto the ground by a girl whose confession he rejected. Though his setting is that of always saying he wants to die, he seems pretty much fulfilled to me, always hanging out with Shao Lei and eating at Gid;s bar and making potions. Tifalet possesses strong powers that can purify Demos (above) but has a cynical way of speaking that occasionally angers Ran.
In Tifalet’s route, it’s revealed that Mephisto is actually a demon, and the Queen Qiora has contracted with him for something, so Mephisto taught the children in the city the game of magic circles, where they draw on the ground and make a wish. When Ran finds out after hearing from Instructor Meyers, she lets slip to Tifalet who disliked Mephisto from the beginning, and he gets protective, telling her to stay away from Mephisto. Tifalet is somehow attracted to her because she doesn’t cling onto him like the other women he comes into contact with, so he decides to watch the shooting stars with her and they get closer. He tells her he actually has no memories of the time before he lived in this town, and thinks that with Ran, he doesn’t want to remember or he might forget her existence.
Tifalet confesses to her a short while after while he was treating a wound on her back (he hugged her as she was naked on the back! :o) and while Ran doubts it a little since they’ve hardly known each other, she must have been drawn to Tifelet’s ikemen face and accepts his kiss.
But one night she spots Tifalet at the Lunaria tree and his eyes are really empty. Tifalet touches the flowers and they start wilting. She calls out to him and after sometime he goes back to himself. Mephisto says it must be that since Tifalet is a magician, he’s affected by the magic in the tree. Few days later, she sees Tifalet again near the tree and she tries to call out, but he suddenly disappears before her eyes. She’s shocked so she runs to his shop and sees him and Shao Lei having their usual chat and biscuits. He assures her that’s he’s here and invites her to the festival.
But on the night of the festival, after they return to his shop, he suddenly disappears before her eyes again after shouting something about not wanting to involve her. I actually got scared because it reminded me of stories where the people you’ve known all along disappear before your eyes and you realise they’re ghosts, (・∀・) She runs into Mephisto who decides to tell her the truth so they go into the basement where the graves are. Instructor Meyers tries to take Ran as a hostage there (so that Mephisto will revive Meyer’s dead brother) and cuts her, and Ran’s blood awakens this:
I was kinda “woookay wait a min what the heck is going on?!”. Tifalet is actually the seal of many Demos that occured about 100 years ago. He is Queen Qiora’s brother, and the prince of Miverlia (Another Prince, dammit) He has forgotten Ran, and the Tifalet that has been in town is actually his phantom, or consciousness as I would put it, and after a while, everyone who have come into contact with him would just forget about him. Ran doesn’t give up to try to take him away, so she kisses him and Tifalet start remembering her. In bad end, she gives in to Mephisto’s lure and decides to become chained to the basement with him forever.
In Good end, Wilheim sacrifices himself and becomes the chain instead, and Tifalet returns to the real world, living happily with Ran as the town magician.
Their romance wasn’t convincing, but Tifalet had an interesting story so I didn’t mind at all.
Wilheim’s story only opens after you collect all the stones in the Ancient memories corner and after you read the Maken’s memories. It would have been more fun if you could find Wilheim in town scenarios as well, but his story is totally separate from the rest of them. After you read the Maken memories, Ran wakes up having seen it as a dream and Wilheim in adult form in sleeping beside you. Ran and Yuriana freak out and Wilheim runs away as he’s too happy about his freedom but gets caught by Leonidas, and they later decide to make him a student for the moment.
Due to his character, he gets into a fight with the guys at the boy’s dorm and says he doesn’t trust them. It’s later revealed its due to his past as a knight and having been through so many battles, he’s afraid of being betrayed. Ran feels protective of him because she knew his kid form and worries that he can’t get along with others. So Asaka and the others have a Sado tea party for him but things go bad as usual as Wilheim gets defensive about how the others are annoyed by how he doesn’t trust them.
Wilheim somehow has a flute and plays a tune, and later gives the flute to Ran since he can’t remember anything about his own past. Ran surprisingly knows how to play despite never learning it before. Soon after, there’s a small war and Wilheim is sent to the first squad, but gets taken over the Maken for a while and kills unnecessarily which makes the others all the more afraid of him.
In Bad end 1, Wilheim decides to leave Minerva and go to other countries where he can more fully use his sword skills and leaves right after the battle where he went berserk. They should more fully keep an eye on him though….
Overtime, Wilheim tries to learn how to be nicer to the others, and they go to Samalna to see the lanterns. They chance upon people dancing and Wilheim pulls her to dance where she discovers that he’s good at it, and Wilheim’s like “Well, I was a knight” There’s also scenes where he’s speaking to Queen Qiora or King Ildas and he’s like “Yo” or “Hey uncle” which made Ran very mad. (lol) She doubted his time as a knight.
In the good end Wilheim manages to knock out the Demos from the possessed Igor, and Ran meets Sapphire, the princess of a smll country, who for the country dressed as a boy and joined the knights. Sapphire died protecting Wilheim and tells Ran she will be watching over them. Oh, and Sapphire is like Ran’s previous soul or something. Her previous life.
I thought that the thing about reincarnation was a bit too much here, and I wondered how long Wilheim can live since he’s supposed to have been dead so many years ago, and the magic surely must have taken an effect on him? Their romance was also not convincing at all, since Wilheim is always being a sulking donkey. While I liked the child Wilheim and felt that the adult Wilheim’s character design was great, his story was the least convincing.
But with this, all the mysteries are revealed… Now listening to the two Drama CDs and finishing up Shao Lei’s shop omakes.
The limited edition also comes with a small character design booklet and I as more than happy to see kiddy Wilheim again. And at different point of the character’s love points, they have a different thing to say, so make sure you click on the ‘Feeling’ option often to hear it. (*´∀｀*)
So having poked fun of Ran and other things before I played it, I’m actually surprised at how good the game is, except for the overloading of Princes in this game. I’ve nothing against princes, but this extremely obvious prince fantasy made me minus some points, therefore the 4 stars.
It was so difficult to pick a favourite, and while I know Lustin is lowest on my ranking, Pash, Nike and Tifalet are battling for my no.1. I had trouble while doing the Otomate poll (lol). Each character’s route is different, so there’s no overlapping of information and the surprise factors were fun to play through as well. Extras such as Shao Lei’s shop where you can buy scenarios with the characters including Richard and Asaka is pretty fun, and I really recommend this game. You can buy scenarios of the guys wearing spectacles and stuff as well. Everytime you reach a bad end you get 20 magic stones, and good end 200 stones, so it’s enough to buy everything there.
Code:Realize looked bad to me too, but all the reviewers have given it good ratings, so I decided to buy the game as well. (Yay, not a lonely December~Jan!) Perhaps Otomate is finally starting to get serious about business.