After having a couple months to cool off from Asahi’s route, I finally got back to Snow to learn the secret behind the 1,000 years of snow and who pissed off the dragon gods.
⚠️ SPOILER WARNING! If you want to play this in English in the future, stop reading here! We will very quickly be hitting spoiler material in this route. There’s currently an in-progress translation you can find here! If you don’t plan on playing the game or already have, then you can continue on.
The Legend route unlocks in the main menu after clearing Sumino or Asahi’s route, which we covered in the previous blog posts. Having seen both of those routes turned out to get a good idea for understanding just what happens in the past.
We already know from the poem in the instruction manual that a dragon goddess from the Heavens fell in love with a man on the Earth, which pissed off a lot of people and was generally regarded as a bad move. This lead to the 1,000 years of winter that will soon cover the region. But the question is; what does this have to do with our characters?
They all share the same
voice actors font colors ancestry. Enter two siblings, Hakuou (our new Kanata/MC) and Housen (Meiko’s equivalent). Their parents were priests in charge of summoning the goddesses who descended once a year to hear the wishes of the villagers before returning to Heaven and relaying that information in an incredibly inefficient and prone-to-failure process of communication. However ~8 years ago, bandits raided the shrine and forced Hakuou and a baby Housen to escape with the goddesses while their parents fought to the death behind them.
In this brief flashback, we get a glimpse at the goddesses, where one looks an uncanny amount like Sumino. She even shares the same
voice actor text color eyes! As for the blue-haired girl, there’s only one opening in the cast left who has blue text hair, so she much be the mysterious animal girl we’ve yet to learn about yet! (I’ll stop striking through text, I promise~)
The scene is rather short as Hakuou remembers that night in a dream, especially remembering the part where not-Sumino hugged him and she smelled really good. (they say smell is a strong sense for recalling memories~) The goddesses safely escape back to Heaven, while the two siblings are dropped off at another shrine to call their home.
Back in the future past, they see how much their parent’s shrine has fallen into disarray and start the work to clean it up. Their goal is to restart the Goddess Communication Network Ritual (GCNR for short) and wish that the bandits would go away. If they can succeed in this, then the nearby village will be happy again.
You would think that humans who intentionally hurt the goddesses would be smited, but nooo. Gotta save that 天罰 (divine punishment) for other things~
They don’t know anything about how to conduct the ritual, but luckily for them, one of their parents buried the manual in the dirt floor of the shrine. After reading it, they realized they could only summon the goddesses about 10 days after the summer solstice, which was conveniently in a couple days!! So they set upon the village to ask for help.
The above screenshots show part of the pain of this route; all the text in parenthesis are readings for complicated, old words. There’s a fair bit in the first half of the story for world building consisting of complex or outdated kanji. Thankfully they give the reading, but only the first time. Hoped you memorized it on first glance!
The villagers are shocked to see the children of their old priest return once again, but are hesitant to summon the goddesses since that brought the bandits upon them. After lots of assurances and Hakuou telling his plan to just ask the goddesses to make the bandits go away, the village accepts and helps them start preparations.
Our characters, having run away from home at a young age, don’t know much about the ritual, so they find the oldest person in town who didn’t die 8 years ago and have her explain the plot.
Essentially, the goddesses are summoned and hang out at the priest’s place for a week. They’re not allowed to be seen by anyone else until the night of the festival, where they will hear all the wishes of the villagers. Then later that night, they’ll return to heaven. If they don’t return that night, they’ll be stuck on Earth.
All the clothes for the ritual were burnt in the fire years ago, so the women of the village agree to sew post-haste. Then, the old lady gives a slightly important reminder:
Whaaa– n-noo, never, no dragon god falling in love here, nope.
Apart from Housen giving Hakuou the low blow by calling him a virgin in front of the town, she does call what’s going to do down. I mean, it’s pretty obvious at this point Hakuou is going to unleash 1,000 years of winter upon one of the goddesses.
After one last poke from the old lady to make sure they get back to Heaven, the pair return to continue preparations at the shrine. A couple days pass, they pick up the clothes, and are ready to head to the Goddess Airport, aka the Dragon God Lake.
As they perfectly perform the dance they practiced nonstop for several days, a flash lights up the night.
The ritual was a success, and two goddesses descend. What beautiful and elegant women await us–
Damnit… Alright, it’s literally Sumino, Euuu~~’s and all. The younger Dragon Sister (Not Sumino) bawls her eyes out, glad to finally see Hakuou and Housen alive again, as they were the goddesses who helped them 8 years ago. After much rejoicing, they’re escorted back to the shrine where they’ll be staying.
In case we weren’t sure, Not Sumino is still into sweets, but it’s manjū now (steamed yeast bun with filling) instead of anman. A quick google search seems to say they’re similar, but manjū is smaller and more brown. (You can read more on the differences here!)
Everyone decides to celebrate by drinking amazake, which is a sweet, low-to-no alcohol drink. As a repeat of Sumino’s route, the younger sister gets very drunk on almost nothing.
Before long, she gets herself sick and steps out for fresh air. Generally, being about to throw up isn’t the best time for small talk, but she decides it is.
She tells you her name is Kikka and demands that you call her that. Hakuou, whose very reluctant to disrespect a literal god, tries to avoid it, but Kikka pouts enough that he gives in and calls her Kikka-sama. Close enough for now.
And now we enter Act 2 of the Snow Formula, where we have the Snow Hump Hump, aka the happy, everyday life part probably filled with awfully written sex scenes I get to avoid by playing on Dreamcast. Phew. Small side note, I saw some mention on Twitter about how Sumino’s route has a really bad one they’d be more than happy to never read again. If it’s during the last act where she’s losing her memories, then oh jeez I’m glad I avoided that one… Thankfully the English patch seems like it’ll add an all-ages option.
The next morning, one of the villagers arrives at the shrine in a panic (ignoring the whole “no one should see the goddesses thing,” maybe they got shoved into the broom closet). Housen kindly offers the man a drink to wet his parched throat.
Except Housen accidently offers him a leftover glass of the amazake from last night. Worse off, apparently everyone in this world has the alcohol tolerance of a hamster, and he’s left giggling to himself. Equally miraculous is his ability to sober up when the plot necessitates it!
He reports that a monster in the shape of a giant rabbit (uh oh) has been terrorizing the village, and he hopes that the priests can come and exorcise it. The source is from the ancient tapestry we saw in the original route, which is entrusted to us to take care of. After the villager leaves, the goddesses climb out of the closet and Kikka says they should hurry and go see the bunny!
Clearly forgetting the “can’t be seen by others” bit, Kikka is rejected from seeing the bunny.
Kikka gets all pouty, refusing to listen to the others and mopes about not seeing the bunny.
Remember, this is a goddess that oversees human villages for hundreds of years. You end up convincing her to stay behind and run off yourself to see what all the flip-flop hop-hop is about.
…to no one’s surprise, she sneaks out of the house, and you run into her in the woods. Thankfully, she took a dirt path with no other people, so hopefully no one saw her.
Suddenly, Hakuou sees the bunny and gives chase, but Kikka stops you in place with an absolute order:
She then explains to you that the bunny just wants to become a human, since she can read the animal’s thoughts (or at least understand them really well.) You then decide you can fix this situation by telling the rabbit that it’ll become human if it does enough good deeds. Obviously, this is a lie, but maybe it’ll resolve the issue?
In the meantime, there’s a very angry dragon waiting at home:
The adjective they use to describe her glare references the two “wrathful and muscular guardians of the Buddha,” the Nioh:
Kikka, expecting as such, delivers the perfect excuse:
Alright, maybe not. After a sisterly scolding, Kikka promises not to do anything rash again. We’ll see how long that holds up.
The next morning, we leave Kikka behind and head into the village, only to behold a truly horrible sight:
My nightmares had been realized before my very eyes. The beast I thought I escaped laughed as it stood in front of me, with the gall to wear a smile. My saving grace was that it didn’t scream in its wretched, mind-numbing screech, for it had needed another thousand years of evolution to acquire the dreaded “nanoda.” Now, it squealed with an eerie “supi, supi,”, to which I could stand just a bit more.
Alright, enough with that.
Nanoda Asahi is back, but only briefly before their transformation magic fails and they revert back to a bunny.
Supi is the sound rabbits make apparently, and we’ll be hearing a lot of that. Maybe telling a magical creature that it could become human if it tried wasn’t a good idea. Either way, the bunny runs off after we give it some advice. We already know this whole arc since we played Asahi’s route, so mostly it’s the same but from Hakuou’s perspective.
Back home, Kikka rushes our position and wails in a lonely manner:
The powerful dragon goddess then trips and falls on her face. She’s just so lonely that she can’t bear being apart from you. You begin to wonder if this might not be normal, but you shake it off. It’s probably fine.
Her older sister confides in you that Kikka miiiight be a stalker from the Heavens, which is a bit weird, and that she might like you. And that you must not reciprocate. Yeah, sure, got it. No dragons, nope.
Though for some reason, you find out she got so stressed she passed out in the bath and also that she likes you too.
These dragons fell in love with you when you were like, 8. I guess they were watching you this whole time from Heaven, but that’s still pretty weird. Also someone should have brought a different goddess along, since these ones clearly have a conflict of interest. Anyway~~
Some time passes, Asahi tries to do good, but gets chased away and hurt, so Hakuou tells her that she should just live in the forest and makes her a house. Presumably, this is where she hides in her route a thousand years from now. Or a similar tree, though that’s not as cool.
The next day, Nanoda isn’t happy staying in the forest and shows up at your place! Housen has some familiar words for her:
We saw this line both in Asahi’s route from her perspective as well as Meiko saying the exact same thing. Hmm~ Anyway, she lives here now. You realize the name on the scroll is from a painter named Asahi, so you name her that. Since the scroll is her lifeblood, you vow to keep it safe and hi-five your new pet bunny. Kikka is stoked.
That night, you and Kikka really hit it off and you argue with yourself, whether or not you can morally accept Kikka’s love.
For some reason, the scene jumps and you remark about how you couldn’t sleep last night since you were so happy. Huh, that’s weird.
For some reason, Kikka’s asleep next to you. Seems pretty implied that you
unleashed a thousand years of winter played games all night with her! This is the PG route, nothing sexy happened! Nope!
And for some reason she’s naked, that’s weird! One of the games must have been strip poker or something, you wouldn’t thrust your sword into a dragon’s weak point, right? Both of you are super cutely awkward about this situation though:
After your amazing Twister match last night, you decide you never want to be apart from her again. You vow that you won’t let her return to Heaven.
This’ll end well.
The Elder Dragon finds out and has just one question:
Aww, that’s cute. Horrific consequences aside, cute. She swears she’ll drag Kikka back to Heaven if she has to.
Tenbatsu~ Wait too early, we’ll get there.
Anyway, Housen has a premonition that the bandits will attack the day of the festival. She’s not sure when, but they’ll be there to stop the goddesses. For the last few days till the festival, Housen and Hakuou help the village prepare for the assault, while Kikka makes food for all the villagers. Finally the day arrives and the festival commences.
The goddesses listen to the villager’s wishes, and a light brighter than the rays of sunlight shines into the Heavens for each one. I don’t really understand this, since even if we’re using light to send information to the Heavens (fiber optics without the cables?), the wishes don’t come true until the goddess return. So they could just write the wishes on a sticky note and read them at home.
Anyway, the night is going well, people are drinking, and the Elder Dragon is getting anxious. Hakuou tells her to chill and relax, there’s no reason to rush home!
Oh right the bandits.
They sneak in easily enough due to said drinking and attack. Hakuou kills several of the bandits before hopping on a horse and escaping with the goddesses back to the Lakeside Airport. Unfortunately, bandits can be heard from that direction, blocking their escape. They must run off into the woods and flee, missing the critical deadline.
Now it comes to everyone’s favorite act, the sadness act!
After running from the bandits frantically last night, you randomly wake up in a grass field. Everyone is covered in mud, still wearing their formal clothes from the night before. The goddess have missed the deadline. What will happen now, nobody knows. For now, they can’t head back to the village without risking the goddesses, so they decide on the next best thing: wander around in the forest blindly for days.
Low on supplies, they manage to find a hot spring run by an old woman in the middle of nowhere. Unwilling to put the old woman in danger in case the bandits come by asking questions, they introduce themselves as a wandering set of performers.
To pay for the springs and food, Housen says they’ll put on a show. Hakuou gives his best shot:
Your act is stupid enough the old lady busts up laughing and gives you free access to the spring and sees you off with plenty of bags of food and more importantly manjū, aka
Sumino Kikka’s lifeblood. You notice a sign saying it’s a hotspring named after the dragons and that there’s a high chance she helped you since she knew the truth.
We see a short scene later of the bandits pushing the old lady around, but she refuses to say anything about you.
The journeying to nowhere in particular continues for several days (in game and also just reading time in general). Kikka slowly develops a stomach ache that doesn’t go away. Soon, she starts to show a swollen belly.
Many questions. Something got twisted up in our Twister match. Also it’s been like, 5 days. Elder Dragon has an answer for that at least.
It’s plot/sadness bait convenience, just say it. Anyway, so yeah, she’s already pregnant with your child. Just a few back-of-napkin calculations, if she’s showing, then she should be about 16-20 weeks in. If an average pregnancy is 40 weeks, then we’re 40% of the way there. 40% in 5 days would put us at 12.5 days total, or 7.5 days remaining. That baby is here in a week!
The party treks on, making sure Kikka gets extra food and rest. Meanwhile, Elder Dragon prays to the Heavens for forgiveness.
And there it is, the word of the evening!! 天罰 (tenbatsu), aka divine punishment. They repeat this about 30 times over the next several hours, just hammering into your head how you fucked up. It has a nice ring to it.
It starts raining, 天罰. Food starts running low and they can’t find more, 天罰.
More importantly, the sad train is making a repeat visit!
Sumino Kikka wakes up confused, thinking they were just at the shrine.
Everyone has to explain that the festival already happened and that they were attacked by bandits. They can’t return to Heaven or the village. Your party responds exactly as expected:
You are leaving this blogpost knowing that word by the way. Tenbatsu. Consider this your 天罰 for reading this far or something.
Just like before in Sumino’s route, Kikka starts to lose her memories. In a more drastic moment, you find her in a frightening position:
She does the horrific things in a cute voice sadness again, so we know we’ll be in it for the long run.
From here on, Kikka goes from insisting you call her Kikka, to forgetting about everyone here, including her sister. She becomes irritable and screams about how she wants to go home and not be covered in mud and starving in this rainy forest.
You guessed it~
I promise I didn’t screenshot every time it came up, just several times. Around this time, Housen has a premonition:
In her dreams, she sees unfamiliar buildings in a place like this covered in snow. A young man in strange clothing who looks oddly like Hakuno breaks the cycle. The world she sees is the modern times, where Kanata now lives. Fortunately, this means the 天罰 can be stopped! Unfortunately for our heroes, it’s not for another thousand years. That’s bad for them.
Also Kikka forgets who she is.
Interestingly, the game shifts narrators a bit here, letting us see Hakuou for the first time.
Generally, fill this section of the game with several more hours of being dragged through the mud sadness, mutter 天罰 a few dozen more times, and you’ll have the idea. Elder Dragon eventually snaps and yells at Kikka, similar to Sumino’s mom in the future:
Kikka, who at this point is completely oblivious, doesn’t know how to respond.
In this sad, dark moment, Hakuou has just one wish:
Why would the gods give you that, that’d be–
Aww, her memories back and she loooves you~~
…yeah, we’re not falling for the Sumino route trick again. (though presumably the Sumino trick stole from this, either or).
HAHAHAHA! HAHAHA! Ahh, that’s a good one Elder Dragon-san.
Anyway, you have an amazingly peaceful day, then right on cue,
Sumino Kikka gets a fever. It begins~
One last beacon of light shines:
You see a vast, green expanse unfold before your eyes. The skies are blue, the scenery is beautiful. You spy a small village in the distance and realize that
it’s the main menu you can finally rest!
Hey wait a minute, isn’t that our town?
Your party slowly realizes they spent a week or so walking in a giant circle. Kikka is desperate for a bath and a nice bed, but you unfortunately have to tell her that you’ll have someone scout it out first and you’ll go in the morning. Who know where the bandits that want to attack you are now? For now sleep.
You had a very not-good dream. Also you wake up in the morning to find the bandits. And it’s raining. Whoops.
They explain their evil, not-well-thought-out plan of killing the villagers and kidnapping the goddesses, which they can then leverage to control harvests and live like kings! Except like, the goddess have to go back to Heaven to report the wishes, and they will just not turn them in. That and you’re fucking with the gods, who really should have smited these guys earlier, especially now that we know they have mighty 天罰 powers of mind erasing.
They attack Housen, who escapes with just a cut shirt as Kikka slowly dies of her fever in Hakuou’s arms. A bandit nearly kills him when Asahi jumps in front of the bandit to defend him. Just like as we saw in the Asahi route, she’s thrown into a tree and nearly killed.
Hakuou then goes fucking crazy and unleashes the bloodlust.
He goes so crazy at the death of his dragon wife that he single-handedly solves the entire bandit problem. As his head cools down, he walks over to the injured Asahi.
With Asahi now safe to recover inside the scroll, Hakuou looks up to the Heavens and generally just flips off the clouds while screaming Kikka’s name. The Elder Dragon runs off into the woods looking for herbs to heal his wounds, when Hakuou asks Housen to fetch him some water. She feels something is amiss, but eventually agrees and leaves.
Now alone, Hakuou stands above the deceased Kikka.
Just as the Elder Dragon is returning with herbs, Hakuou plunges his sword into his stomach and kills himself, falling on top of Kikka.
Now Kikka, Hakuou, and their unborn child can be together once again. The snow we’re all familar with begins to fall. There’s only one possible reaction to this:
Both women now stand in the unimaginable silence, broken in both body and mind. Knowing this cruel fate will happen again and again, Housen has an odd request:
For some reason, the Elder Dragon is able to grant this request and make Housen immortal, which opens a whole can of “why didn’t you do that and more earlier,” but this is a really good tragic scene, so we’ll let it slide.
The Elder Dragon blames herself for not bringing her sister back to Heaven or stopping Hakuou from being with her. She couldn’t do anything as her sister deteriorated and died in front of her.
Set on their long mission to stop this tragedy, the two agree to go their separate ways and wait for that day. The Elder Dragon decides to live in the mountains, never to talk to another person. Housen chooses to live quietly in the village, waiting patiently.
Back in the present day, we confirm Housen is indeed Meiko. Doctor Tachibana one day nearly hits her with his car and tries to help her, but she doesn’t have any parents to call. He decides to adopt her into his family.
The Elder Dragon is also confirmed to be the girl with the white hat who we ran into in the woods.
Lastly, we’re left with an image of Sumino and Kanata as kids and the reincarnated versions of Kikka and Hakuou, with bunny Asahi on his lap.
Lastly, the credits play and the main menu changes once again, now a bright sunny day with the snow back once again.
Despite the Legend route feeling pretty strung out and reusing a lot of the sad tropes from the other routes, they really stuck the ending. I’m genuinely excited to continue the story after I write this post! After looking at that PS2 route guide, it appears we’re locked into a path where the Elder Dragon route is next, followed by our time travel old lady child. Apparently there’s a Meiko route to close it out, but I don’t see anything about it on Dreamcast. If it’s a PS2-only thing, I may need to play that one or just skip to the PSP version which adds another character anyway.
We have 66% of all the CGs, so we’re close! Meiko’s image down there just says “Other people” and shows Giraffe Sayori, your cousin, and Meiko. Maybe it’ll be a surprise last route? Not sure!
But next up, we can start the Elder Dragon’s route, aka Shigure apparently!