Emmyrea #3 Finale?: Whoops~ (Both in Game and Out)

So I’m setting a procrastination record with this and writing the post ~7 months after beating the game! Whoops. Last year was pretty stressful, and I ended up dropping the blog because of that. I’m trying to better balance things this year, and I wanted to bring back the blog since it’s a great creative outlet for silly writings, so here we are!

Apologizes in advance for trying to remember what happened, so this might be a little scatterbrained of a post, but thankfully, I take a lot of screenshots. My Emmyrea folder has 477 photos (!), so hopefully we can figure this out.

Let’s jump in already!

“Right now, she’s safe in a special location.”

Last time, we had learned Calkram (Philia) is Emmyrea’s older sister. Emmyrea was taken from her family to be the princess, since the king couldn’t have any children, then that family was slaughtered. Philia, as the only survivor, wandered into the woods to die, only to run into the previous Calkram, who took her in and raised her. (That’s the short version, check the end of post #2 for more details.)

Now, everyone’s having awkward cave dinner time going “well… now what?”

“Go to Emmyrea”
“Go to Elina”
“Go to Merian”
“Go to Lulu”

In what seems to be the direct “what route are you going for” prompt, you get to choose which girl to console. Considering the princess just learned a horrifying truth about her sister, I went that way.

At this point, I was a little too lost and went to boot up the game, proceeded to brick my MemCard Pro, unbricked it, corrupted a few saves, but thankfully Emmyrea was spared and has a few dozen save slots I used all of. Thank you past self! So now I can speed read this scene that I can’t remember~ (I’ll try not to overdo it though, where’s the fun in that~)

Turns out I couldn’t remember what happened because nothing leads up to this anyway! We walk up to Emmyrea, accidently step on a loose rock, alerting her to our presence. She turns to us, tears full of eyes, then she jumps into our arms before we can even finish our apology.

“This is an order! Stay as you are!!!”

After she cries for a while, she calms down, then asks you to keep this a secret from Elina. Apparently Elina yells at her for crying, saying it’s un-princess-like. She then goes on to explain that it makes sense to her now why her Mother always avoided her despite her Father loving her. Though, he only pampered her and never scolded her. She felt more like a possession than a child.

Following that, you have a long brainstorming chat about how you can convince Calkram to undo the curse without killing her until Emmyrea gets sleepy and falls asleep on your shoulder. You stay there awake, more determined than ever to protect this girl you’ve barely talked to! I’m not sure what our affection levels are route-wise right now, probably all over the board.

The next morning, Lulu decides to lead the party to Calkram again as long as they promise to keep the stabby things in their stabby holders 🙂

“This bell emits a sound that monsters hate. As long as we keep ringing it, we won’t run into anything dangerous.”

Lulu pulls out the plot bell of “just get on with it,” which honestly, I wish more games did. Emmyrea sighs, apparently hoping to finally see a monster. You mention it’s a good thing to have a safe journey, to which Emmyrea laughs at you for not being confident. Merian tries to defend your awesome dental-worm-killing skills, but Emmyrea outtalks her and makes her admit your progress was all a miracle.

Suddenly, Bitch feels a strange presence. He mentions it, but everyone dismisses him because of the plot bell. “Huh, there’s no birds or animal noises at all,” Emmyrea notices without a hint of implication behind her thoughts.

Lulu suddenly rushes by your side when you hear a sound, a soft thud as she swiftly intercepts an incoming sword with… her torso.

Someone broke the stabby promise~
“Redrick! Do you have any idea what you’ve just done!?”
“But of course I do. I only put down that filthy slave of Calkram’s. Or am I wrong?”

Seems Redrick planned on murdering you and taking the princess back himself, but that didn’t quite work out. Apparently he’s really glued to you this entire game and overheard your whole conversation last night. He declares Emmyrea a false princess and uses that fact as blackmail.

“It’s all very simple, really. If you don’t want me to release this information to everyone, then you must marry me.”

Blackmail wedding sounds like a great way to get stabbed in your sleep. Emmyrea’s done it once before, she’s got the stabby touch!

Partially related, but Redrick’s VA sounds like he’s trying to record a seducing noble “blackmails you into marriage ASMR” video, including getting way too close to the mic and quiet breathy talking. Not sure how I feel about that…

Redrick: “Be quiet, will you? I’m talking with Emmyrea right now.”

See what I mean?

Around this time, Ballnog comes nogging out of the forest, bloody sword in hand.

“Ah, it seems Ballnog has just finished slaying the Great Witch Calkram!”

With news of her sister’s possible demise, Emmyrea shouts at him that she’ll never marry a guy like him!

“Are you sure that’s a wise move? If that’s your answer, then you might as well dig your graves right here. If you won’t do what I want, it’s more convenient if you all perish here.”

He may not have the princess’s hand, but that’s one less noble in his way to becoming king. Or something.

The moment Bitch grabs his blade, Lu BuBallnog steps between you and Redrick.

“Why!? Why do you listen to a guy like this!? Do you understand what you’re doing!?”

Ahh, are we about to get into my least favorite villain motivation of all time?

“It’s simple. I just love murder. The face of a man freshly stabbed is just so refreshing. Redrick allows me many such opportunities, so that’s why I follow him.”

Aaaaaand there it is… Ugh. “I’m evil because murder boner” is just the worst.

Like get this shit out. Anyway, stupid motivations aside, Ballnog just went from potentially interesting Lu Bu clone to generic villain we have to dispose of. Considering how soundly we got wrecked by the 6-armed monkey early on that he one-shot, we’re pretty screwed.


Cue the ridiculous battle music! How will we possibly triumph over the Black Knight himself!?

He places the pressure on you as sweat coats your hands. The moment your foot shifts on loose ground, he flies in for the kill. However, you’re spared from Death as Eliana jumps in and blocks his sword.

“Hahaha! How pathetic for a man to be saved by a women.”

Now he’s just adding villain points to make his death more satisfying.

“An easy victory is not an enjoyable one. I don’t mind if you all attack me at once.”

Though Bitch, his masculinity in shambles, tells the girls to stand back since this is his fight.

The game proceeds in its odd “let’s actually have a fight scene in a novel” angle where you have to choose an action. First you only get “swing from above” or “swing from below.” Selecting below gets you a new option, “swing from the side.” So of course you go for the new option since the previous ones wouldn’t work! After that, stabbing opened, which worked. Then it loops back to the previous choices, which we know side swinging worked, so let’s repeat that. Same dialogue, though now he’s vomiting blood!

You win! That was… not that hard? I’m curious if you can lose that fight, but yeah. For all his badass hype, he kind of just eats your sword and dies. Whoops.

“B-Ballnog…! My Ballnog is…!”

Yes Redrick, your Ballnog is all warm and dried up. Realizing how absolutely up shit creek he is, Redrick panics.

“N-no…! S-stay back…! I-I know! You can take the credit for killing Calkram! Please, just spare me!”

Probably not the best move to be like “you can say you killed your sister, good deal, huh?”

You approach slowly, drawing out your sword, when suddenly from behind…!

Marian is chanting something. I-is she casting a spell at Redrick!?

Bitch worries that, while astronomically low, if she does kill him, she’ll be a murderer and murder is bad if you’re not male!

You were too late, however, and her spell is cast, flying right at Redrick. His body flashes in a bright and violent light.


*clown nose honk* (no really)

…well, he’s a frog now. Cue zany music 30 second insanity loop.

“Whaaaa…! Why’s he a frog!?”

Oh that Merian, cue laugh track.

“You get what you deserve. Now stay as a frog for a while and cool off.”

The party proceeds to forget about him for the rest of the game, essentially meaning they left him to die in the woods. Is that worse than the spell killing him? That seems worse. Oh well, it’s Redrick, who cares.

“N-no, (he won’t be stuck like this forever). My magic only really holds for 3 days at best…”

Alright fine, if, and that’s a big if, Redrick can survive for 3 days in the woods as a frog without getting eaten or starving, then I suppose he lives. Assuming he can then crawl his way back to civilization.

I feel like we’re forgetting something…

“Bitch, hurry! Lulu’s…!”

Oh right, someone’s been stabbed and was bleeding this entire time. Whoops.

Marian runs up and attempts to cast magic, something which no one should let her do given her track record. Bitch prays to god that her powers actually work for once.

And they do! *gasp*! She manages to close the wounds and stop the bleeding, but she still needs serious attention. But where will they find a doctor!?

With a thunderous roar, a giant teacup flashed into existence from the bag.

Well I guess flying tea cup is on the menu? Magical flying device she’s had the whole time? Huh. Oh well.

Only three people can ride the teacup ride at a time, however, so you must make a choice. Essentially you choose which girl to be with, which feels like the game forgot they wanted to have girl-specific endings and they need to force all the choices here and now.

Committing to full Emmyrea at this point, we choose to stay with her.

“My duty is to protect the princess. Until she’s safe back at the castle, I cannot leave her side.”

Emmyrea immediately responds:

“I’ll be fine, Bitch. Elina’s here too.”

Bitch goes on about how it’s his knightly duty, with Emmyrea telling you that she wants you to save Lulu who was nothing but a good friend. Bitch asks Marian if she’ll be fine with Lulu, who respond with a “Y-yes!” With a yes that just bleeds confidence as much as Lulu is, Bitch is happy with his decision and lets her fly away alone with Lulu. Hmm. I hope she lives…

Marian says she’s going to return right away after she drops her off at the hospital, so we shouldn’t go anywhere! I’m not sure why we don’t just meet her at the town, that’s kind of weird to just ditch a stabbed person.

I feel like we’re forgetting about another stabbed person…

Oh right…!

Elina runs off ahead with the plot bell to check on Calkram, suddenly knowing where the shed is. Also not really sure why they didn’t run. Not like Bitch couldn’t carry Emmyrea there. Instead, Emmyrea breaks down the moment she doesn’t have to appear strong before Elina, then begins to question who she is if not a lie.

“What’s correct? Who can I believe in, Bitch…?”
> “Yourself.”
“Don’t believe in anyone.”

Apparently this went more of a “the world’s a bitch and you can only believe in yourself” angle instead of a “don’t give up, believe in yourself!” version that I hoped for. Time traveled back and flipped that to “Me”.

“Believe in me. I’ll never betray you. No matter who you are, I’ll always protect you. So…”
“But you… You serve the king! If I don’t have royal blood in me, then what reason do you have to protect me anymore?”
“I didn’t come here and risk my life for a simple reason like that. Same with Elina. She’s be hurt if she heard you say that.”

Emmyrea finally calms down, remembering she has friends~ (But really, would we protect her if it wasn’t our job? Elina maybe, but we’ve barely talked with her? Oh well.)

“If I ever waver, please correct me as you always have, Bitch. I’ll believe in you.”

Elina finally comes running back, but her face is grim. Seems the news isn’t good, but Emmyrea begs her to lead the way.

Calkram laid against the wall in the back of the shed, her body still apart from labored breathing.
“Emmyrea… is that you…?”
Calkram extended a shaking hand towards us, but… it seemed her vision had already left her…
“Even without hearing your voice, I can tell it’s you… Emmyrea… I can feel your gentle presence beside me… You’ve become a beautiful lady…”

Even as she lays dying, she warns Emmyrea about the black knight coming after her. Emmyrea reassures her that her valiant knight has defeated them.

“Emmyrea… There was never a day… where I didn’t think of you… I wished we could be together…”

Calkram passes shortly after. They dig a weirdly vertical grave, that or they balled her up, then said their goodbyes.

Soon a flustered Marian finds you, complaining that you left the spot! You explain that a lot of things happened (not to mention it was a silly idea), and she understands once she sees the red eyes of the recently crying Emmyrea. Though that doesn’t stop her from complaining that she thought everyone left for home already.

She reports back that Lulu is doing fine. Her injuries are grave, but the emergency first aid was able to keep her alive. For some reason, everyone decides to stay the night in the shed where Calkram just died. No one says anything, and no one is able to sleep. Really whoever suggested that idea needs to be left behind. Anyway, sleepless morning~

Bitch asks everyone what they’re going to do now. Merian asks if it’s okay for her to come back to the castle with them. Can’t break up the friendships~. Emmyrea plans on talking to her father directly about everything. I’m sure that’ll have a smooth and meaningful resolution.

Everyone sets off on the road, and cue the happy travel music! We’re over the dead people, only sunshine and gags the rest of the way!

You reach the city of Sephils, which is about a day’s journey from the castle. If it was you and Elina, then you could reach the castle by daybreak, but you don’t think Emmyrea and Marian can make it. So you decide, why not, hang out in town and leave the next day. Gotta have some social time! It’s odd, the game’s resolution has pretty much happened. We had the climactic fight, both the villains and not-so villains are dead, so all that’s left is an epilogue/saying hi to the king. But the game keeps going!

The inn’s bottom floor held a dining area, with all the rooms on the higher floor.

You ask the inn to use their telephonelong-distance magician to contact the castle and report the princess’s safety. You don’t know who might be magic listening to the call, so you choose to just say “Mission Complete” and slam down the mage’s receiver staff.

There’s still some time, but I’ll head back to the inn. On the way, I think about:
“nothing since I’m too worried about Lulu.”
“nothing (but like actually nothing).”

I’m actually confused since I didn’t have the Lulu option in my original screenshots but I do now. Ehh, let’s press it and see what happens!

I can’t help but worry that we left that brave girl all alone at the hospital. If time allows, I’d like to go visit her. I’d like to tell her about Calkram’s death myself.

I’m glad he finally had a realization that “maybe someone should have stayed with the stabby sponge.” Last time, I didn’t have this option and she was just forgotten for the rest of the plot, so I wonder what I did differently.

Either way, you incremented relationship values as the inn comes into sight. You sit down at the table, but it’s not quite dinner yet. You debate what to do when Merian drops by and asks if you’d like to go shopping with her. Before you can answer, Emmyrea busts in.

“I’ll be going shopping. Bitch, I order you to accompany me and carry my purchases.”

I’m surprised kidnapped Emmyrea even has money, Calkram was really considerate when she nabbed her. Also earlier Emmyrea whined that she couldn’t walk anymore and that they should stay in town, but now she’s denying ever having said that as she wants to walk around. You insist on calling her Miss Emmyrea instead of princess, having to explain that she just got kidnapped, and we really don’t need to go through that again. She’s delighted, mostly because she’s being all sneaky and undercover~

“Bitch, make your choice. Do you accompany me or this girl here?”
Go with Emmyrea
> Go with Merian
Chill with Elina

After much catfighting, the game makes you have a decision. Apparently I’ve unlocked a magical fourth option of “I’m too worried about Lulu to go shopping,” so I’ll save here and try that later! For now, Emmyrea’s being too stuck-up, so we need to let her lose now and then, so we go with Merian.

“Name one good thing about this girl! She’s a stumpy idiot who fails at everything without a hint of refinement.. You call yourself my sister’s disciple, but you can’t even cast a single spell! Ahh, I feel for my poor sister, being stuck with someone like you…”

Emmyrea’s taking this about as well as any princess whose ever been denied anything.


You know the argument’s getting intense when the sound effect grumbling starts. You’re given the option at this point to ask them to behave or to rely on Elina. You decide to handle this yourself, but they both in unison tell you to shut it. The words escalate, the tension flies, what will happen now!?

…Emmyrea shouts “SPOON SHOT!” and throws a spoon at Merian with a tiny thud and ahh!

Merian relatiates by throwing her cup, all while shouting “CUUUUP ATTAAAAACK!!!” with yet another tiny thud sound effect

Emmyrea goes for the gold, unleashing a “CHAIR BOMBER” assault on Merian. Not to be outdone, Merian flips the table with her patented “TABLE BARRIER!” reflection technique!

Dishes are flying left and right, patrons are scattering, all cowering before the wake of Emmyrea’s “SOUP CRUSH!” Merian dodges the soup, but…

“…hehehehe… You seem to be having fun here…”

I’m shocked they drew a new sprite just for this!

cue battle music oh fuck

She steps into the ring, but the others are quick to make amends as fast as possible. That’s too bad, for Elina has a new game she wishes to try with them. While Merian and Emmyrea are stuck prostrated out in front of Elina as she lectures them, she commands you to clean up the inn and apologize to everyone else since you were too incompetent to stop this from happening.

After all that’s wrapped up, you still have time and end up shopping with Merian anyway. She takes you to an accessory shop and spots some earrings. She asks you to pick one out for her.

I don’t know anything about fashion, but she’s looking at me with a serious expression. What should I do?
> Pick one for her
Tell her to pick one herself

Obviously we pick the non-dumb answer and pick an earring with a red gem for her. Delighted, she buys it and immediately puts it in. Outside, she asks if you’ll stick with her a little longer and walk around. It’s crowded here, so you grab her hand and walk outside to the field of flowers nearby.

She’s happy about the beautiful scene and the gentle breeze, but sighs sadly as she notes this is the end.

wait a second.

Obviously confused, Bitch inquires further. Without responding, she begins singing a gentle, low-sampled song, just the best the PS1 can handle. You can’t understand the words, but the melody warms your heart. She looks like an angel, but the loneliest angel to be (man write that on a twitter bio).

“I don’t remember what the song’s about anymore. But a long time before I met Calkram, the person who made me would often sing it. I can’t remember them anymore, but for some reason the song sticks with me…”

She tells you she doesn’t have much longer. She’s an artificial human, similar to the beast tamer girl from earlier, given power by Calkram’s magic. Now that Calkram’s gone, she’ll soon fade away, to whatever she originally was.

“I had a dream… I wanted to talk with friends, even get into arguments with them… I… wanted to go on a date with a boy too. I’m glad I met you. You… made my dreams happen. To think I’d have memories of this in the end… is really a miracle from god…”

She wants to you think about her for a while longer, even if it’s just until you get back to the inn. Bitch asks how long she has left, to which she says until probably tomorrow night. The only mage powerful enough to sustain her life just died, so there’s no way of saving her (well, unless we were on her route o _o?). Rather than mourn her coming death, she asks you to keep her final moments happy and fun with everyone. You’re the only boy she’s ever met and probably will meet, but she also fell in love with you at first sight by the river back with the dental worm.

“I’ll make a memory here and now so that I’ll never forget you.”
After saying this, I swiftly embraced her and gave her a kiss.

Back at the inn, Emmyrea and Elina ask what took them so long. Merian just smiles and says it’s a secret. Meanwhile, Emmyrea enjoys a parfait, a mysterious delight not found in the castle. Merian orders one too, but Emmyrea steals from hers since she ran out.

This goes about as you’d expect. They compete, eat 8 apiece, then wallow in agony until morning.

The next morning, the party walks with pensive music back to the castle.

“Relax. It is just us here, no need to be formal. I wish to talk with you as Emmyrea’s father and not as the king.”

Oh right this guy’s voice sounds like a bored and tired person talking through gravel.

“I met with Calkram. She hated you greatly. I’m sure you know why? She was my sister and you… killed our real parents.”

Without denying it, the king laments that “oh she really was that girl.”

“Do you wish me to deny it? I won’t deny the truth. Any lies I attempt to hide behind will just fall before the truth. So now what?”

I mean, I’m glad he’s not denying it, but the “cool now what” attitude is kind of weird. His character is as unmotivated as his voice actor! As he elaborates, however, he calls himself a coward whose dead wife is the one who ordered the family murdered. “Not my fault!” She was jealous since the king still had lingering affections for their mom, so she killed them all.

“If you realized that was Emmyrea’s sister, then why’d you form an attack squad to kill her!? Did killing their parents mean nothing to you!? You should have gone to her yourself and apologized for everything!”
“I should have, and I was prepared to die. But I had something I still needed to do. I regret what happened with their parents. I built them matching graves, and promised to love Emmyrea in place of them. It’s true that if I died, maybe Calkram would still be alive. But I couldn’t die just yet.”

Ohhh, so murdering their parents was okay because you felt a little sad about it, that’s good. Glad we solved all that.

“…how cruel… If you say something like that, I can’t be mad at you…”

Yes, you can. In fact it’s easy, he hasn’t even apologized! All he said was that he couldn’t die and let Emmyrea be with her sister since he still had the job of loving her, which apparently Calkram wasn’t allowed to do. The hell is this resolution??

Now, everything is out in the open. The king asks what you’re going to do now. You can tell everyone the truth if you’d like.

“We won’t tell anyone what happened here. No one will know Emmyrea’s not truly a princess.”

Yeah, glad we– wait, what? No repercussions, just “man that sucks?” Oh boy. The king asks if it’s to keep the kingdom together, to which Bitch replies it’s to keep friends together. To keep the family together.

So essentially, “you’ve found out the awful truth. Want to get dinner?”

And thus the banquet started.
But soon I slipped out and returned to my room and drank alone.

WHAT!? This game just ends with us drinking alone!? I must have gotten no one’s ending and just got the miserable one. To make matters worse, Henry and Eddy, the short-lived party members from earlier, find us and and drink with us. “It was fun being with those girls, but it’s nice to relax and crack a cold one with the boys.”


Would you like to save?

Man this game gives me whiplash with how fast it goes. Merian basically said “I’m going to die tomorrow night and I love you,” to which you go drink in your room. What happened to any of that!?

I tried every combination of choices back at the town, but I couldn’t get the ending to change at all! I must have been so wishy washy that I somehow locked out of everything before the town of flag setting??

I tried to find a guide online, but all searches for エミーリア are poisoned by Bloodborne by Vikar Amelia being spelled the same way.

Probably a not as good game.

I did however, find a route guide for Sleeping Princess in Forest, aka the original PC version of the game! Speaking of…

I tracked down a copy! I can’t show you what the back looks like, the Playstation ratings board would hunt me down…

The bonus disc comes with all sorts of really random treats, like

…a desktop clock!

Coloring book pages! Also two screensavers, one where Emmyrea gives you a present that explodes, and one where Merian tries to cast a spell but drops a pan on Lulu’s head.

But my personal favorite…

…the Windows system sounds.

The above has become my Windows system error sound for several months now.

Merian: “Activation magic, go!”

This one plays when I plug a device in.

Lulu: “Okay, I’ll tidy this up then.”

And this one when I unplug. There’s several for each of the four girls, ranging from Windows waking up, going to sleep, email, away message, error, trash empty, etc. It’s an oddly cute addition I wasn’t expecting!

Also since the game disc includes all the music as open tracks, I was able to put together the OST!

Unfortunately they were all Track 2, 3, 4, etc apart from the first, so I had to make up track names. “Unrelenting Friendship” is my absolute favorite dumb track name. I have listened to this OST more than I should have.

Onto a quick look at the game:

Such a nice resolution~

You can quickly see the resolution difference of the PC running at 480p or better vs the PS1 at 240p.

Surprisingly, the hair is still oddly jagged in the transparent parts. I’m kind of surprised. Also I think the font is actually worse somehow. Green?? At least the PS1 font was large!

So now I need to find the actual route endings, but I might as well save that for another time on the new version! I do really want to translate this game though it would be a fun one to have other people see how silly it gets. One day!

Thank you for reading this far! Hopefully I can bring the next series of blog posts for whichever game comes next sooner! I’ve been playing through Que – Fairy of Ancient Leaf, so that might be a good next one. I gotta write about Twin Way someday too… Let me know if you have any game suggestions as well!

Emmyrea #2: Oh We Found the Princess, She Was Behind the Couch

I’m finally getting time to write this post! May was a crazy month powering through the last of my part translating CCC and preparing a cosplay for Fanime. Now dead from the convention on a quiet holiday morning, it’s time to finally write up the next Emmyrea section! I, uh, played immediately after the last post, which was a tad more than a month ago, so here’s hoping I remember everything well enough. I take a lot of screenshots, so hopefully they’ll jog my memory enough. Without further ado, let’s try to remember what the hell was happening!

I’ve never seen fog as thick as this before. I could only see five meters– no, two meters in front of me.

Our heroes wake up the next morning from their cave sleep, only to be surrounded by impenetrable fog. Elina and Bitch try to wake up Marian, only to find she’s an absolute disaster first thing in the morning:

Her hair was a disheveled mess. Her eyes couldn’t focus on any one thing. Drool dripped from her half open mouth.

Stuck in the thick fog in an unknown forest, our heroes had no choice but to shake the tiny mage girl awake.

“Earth to Marian? I hate to admit this, but we need you and your magic right now!”
“Ahh… sorry… Mistress Calkram… Five more minutes…”
“You’re supposed to be guiding us to that Calkram, not being woken up by her!”

Once again she openly hints at being close to the evil witch, but our characters can’t see the plot through all the fog. Either way, once she’s woken up enough to focus her eyes and fix her hair, she lets the party know her plan.

“We just gotta use this Magic Compass, and we’ll reach Mistress Calkram, no problem!”
“All mages make a pilgrimage to visit Mistress Calkram once in their lives.”

Bitch and Elina hadn’t heard of this fact before since they’re removed from magic as warriors, but it sounds like it’s not a tradition for their kingdom at least, considering no one has entered her forest alive. To them, Calkram is known as the Grand Mage who protects them. Until the whole princess thing of course.

“…ah! Ta-da! This is my Magic Compass, Paa-kun!”
“…can I cut this girl, Bitch?”

These two screenshots were taken 20 minutes apart, so presumably they weren’t connected, but they just fit too well not to juxtapose.

(I’m falling asleep at like 2pm due to con fatigue x _x. I have coffee now, hopefully that’ll carry me through this~)

I’m tired enough I just realized “Paa-kun” is because of compass… I guess we could call it Rose for compass rose or something like that, though that’s not really cute enough. Rosey maybe? Or Compy like the tiny dinosaur. We’ll punt that issue for now.

Marian leads us into a not-dark cave, to which Bitch and Elina express their surprise at the incredible luminescence. Elina is weirdly confused.

“Ehh? It’s common sense? What do you mean it’s common sense that caves are dark!?”

The cave should lead to where Calkram lives and Paa-kun can guide them down paths without monsters. Marian boasts that everything will be a-okay!

I was worried, but Marian struck a dramatic, confident pose.
“It’ll be great, just leave it to me! You can both just rest in peace!”
“S-she means rest easy, right…?”

However, Paa-kun seems to be having issues and isn’t getting a signal. Apparently the compass has a feature where if the guest isn’t invited, it won’t show their house on Magic Maps. Damn that’s useful. Since the party will have to fight through monsters now, Elina and Bitch have reservations about bringing Marian along. Not so much that she’ll cause problems, but that they don’t want her to risk her life for a cause no one’s even bothered talking about yet. Of course, she protests this:

“If Bitch is here by my side, then I can pull through, no matter how dangerous or scary it gets!”
“I know I could be killed! But it’s safer for me by Bitch’s side instead of returning to the forest, right!?”
“If I end up dying, I’ll only haunt you a little bit!!”

Surprisingly, the decision is left up to the player.

“Er, I understand you’d be worried about being alone, but…”
“But we should part ways here.”
> “We need her if we’re going to rescue the princess.”

Of course we bring her along! Almost certainly a bad ending if not, but I’m a bit curious.

“T-thank you so much, Bitch!!”

Elina argues with you, to which Marian calls her an old hag. Elina shouts back that she’s barely twenty, to which Marian retaliates with bad Japanese puns:

“I-I’m barely twenty you know!!”
“…could you read this kanji for me please?”
“I rest my case.”
Reading saba. Basically, she’s trying to say “you’re lying about your age, aren’t you?”

It took me a minute to puzzle this one out, but 鯖を読む (reading saba) is an expression that means “to manipulate figures to one’s advantage; to count wrongly on purpose; to inflate or deflate one’s age.” So by asking her to read “saba,” aka the word for mackerel (not to mention breaking the fourth wall by having her read a floating kanji), she’s making her admit to lying about her age. How I would actually translate this, I have no freaking clue. I need way more coffee for that…

Elina flared up as if someone threw a torch at a gasoline tank.

Remember that gasoline tanks don’t exist in this world, but just ignore that, neither do convenience stores.

“I-I will fucking end you!!”

Some liberties with that line, but only so many times I can translate ふざけないで as “don’t fuck with me!”

Anyway, they finally get started on their dungeon exploration adventures. This section took a while, so I’ll probably paraphrase it a bit. You’re given options on where to go without any basis for your decision.

> “Let’s try right.”
“Let’s go straight.”
“Let’s try left”

Various different events happen, such as finding monsters:

Or having Elina and Bitch fall into a trap:

“AHH! Watch where you’re touching, Bitch! Ugh there’s something slimy on my leg! I told you to watch where you were going!”

One of the traps drops a washbasin on you in the classic anime trope, complete with the perfect sound effect. It’s a weird tone mix.

“Hahha… y-yess… I-I’m glad you’re… *pfffff*… Elina, you… shouldn’t laugh… hahahahhaa”

If you take the wrong way, it’ll actually just loop you back to the start, so I ended up just saving before decisions and time traveling.

When you’re far enough on the correct path, Marian asks a silly little question that’s on her mind:

“Um, I’ve been wondering this for a while now, but you’re not magicians, right? Why do you want to meet Mistress Calkram anyway?”

FINALLY. Like, this conversation should have happened hours ago!! Bitch and Elina look at each other awkwardly before telling the truth about Calkram:

“I’ll never forgive her. To kidnap the innocent princess and curse the king… I’ll never forgive Calkram!!”

To no surprise, Marian is in a bind for her love for Calkram and for her friends.

“Just as we swore loyalty to the King, she must respect Calkram the same way as a mage.”

Oh don’t think too hard about this, it’s time to punt the problem down the road again with monsters!

This monster’s different though since it’s a magical beast! The only way to kill it is to break the gem that gives it life. So they do that and poof.

However, the next room is rather dicey:

The weird bug things are scared of the rock lizard guy, so they’re just watching from the distance. You’re given the option of either fighting the rock lizard while the others are at bay, or running past the stunned copy-paste eyeball monsters. I chose to fight the lizard.

It immediately fucked me up.

“Let go of Bitch!!”
I called their names. No, I tried to, but my voice wouldn’t come out. …please, rescue the princess… without me…

That was rather bleak and dark, not to mention sudden.

Time travel back five seconds, instead we fight our way through the bug guys. Marian nods and says she’ll help us, preparing a grand magic attack…

…that ends up being a nabe pan falling from the ceiling and bonking a monster with the perfect sound effect.

“Whaaaat~, that’s not right~”

With much better luck than the rock snake, the party manages to make it out of the cave alive!

But not without unwanted attention:

I’m not exactly sure what her orb communicator is held up by, but the sub balls are held by chicken feet, which means the center is… Anyway, evil-looking character!

“…hmm, I didn’t expect Mary to be frolicking with the enemy. I’ll be sure to punish her thoroughly after this.”

With that threatening interlude over as fast as it appeared, the party reaches their destination.

An underground castle in the cave?

Before they can soak in the sights, Redrick appears out of the literal blue with his warm glass of Ballnog:

“Oh my, you sure have been working hard haven’t you, Miss Elina.”

Marian’s a bit confused, having never seen this trash— person before, so he politely introduces himself.

“Remember the name, Redrick! Sharp, handsome, and the man who everyone gossips about being the next in line for the throne!”
“God, he’s saying all that nonsense while dressed like an idiot. And his laugh is just awful! He’s scaring me~”
“I’ve never seen a narcissist as self-absorbed as you before. If I was your friend, I’d be absolutely embarrassed just being around you.”
“Oh right, a weirdo like you couldn’t possibly have friends to begin with.”
“Marian, please be more careful. If you get close, you’ll catch his stupid.”

I’m glad the party collectively knows how to deal with Redrick, especially with Marian’s savage support.

Redrick, responds with whatever this face is:

and takes his warm Ballnog with him out of your sight! Apparently they followed in your wake and probably will be tailing you again, but for now they’re gone, allowing you to enter the castle.

Into the dark and cold castle we go. What horrors lie in this seemingly empty hell where our princess lies trapped?

A cute maid of course!
“Oh, Marian, you’re rather late. …who are these people you’re with?”

We get a rather warm reception waltzing into enemy territory. She notices Elina is wounded and tends to her without hesitation.

The girl pulls a handkerchief out of her pocket and wipes the wound clean, unphased that her pure-white handkerchief is now dyed a deep red. After, she gives the wound a small kiss before wrapping it with a cloth she pulled from somewhere I couldn’t see.

Elina smiled back at the kind gesture, but her eyes showed no laughter, only the cold sharpness of a blade.

Marian on the other hand, is realizing the gravity of the situation.

“Did… I betray Mistress Calkram…?”
“To tell you the truth… I’m actually Calkram’s disciple.”

Not that this is particularly shocking, though the most striking part is that she’s a grand mage’s disciple while sucking at magic very badly.

She introduces the maid as Lulu, who takes care of Calkram.

“Calkram said that anyone from the castle is a bad person and should not be allowed here. What will she say when she finds out?”
“I might be Calkram’s disciple, but I didn’t intend to fool you guys or catch you in a trap!”

You try to explain how you’re not the bad guys and that Calkram is the bad one, but Lulu isn’t going to believe you that easily.

Should we forgive them? Or cut them down here as the King ordered?

“Cut them down.”
“Only forgive Lulu.”
> “Forgive them both.”

Like really, why would you ever pick the first two options? To be fair, 切り捨てる can also just mean “cut off and abandon,” in addition to “cut someone down or slay.” I don’t fully remember the previous line, so it might not be as threatening, but the “as ordered by the King” part implies a heavier toll. But yeah, looks at those two tiny adorable faces and tell me you could cut them down ; _;

“Stop apologizing already, okay? It’s not my style to make girl’s cry. I’ll believe you.”
“I knew you’d forgive those two with how gentle you are with girls, hehe.”

Elina seems to be in agreement with us, which means she might have stopped us if we tried to do anything bad.

For now, Marian decides to stick with us:

“I’ve… decided. I’m going to confront Calkram myself and hear it from her!”

Lulu still doesn’t believe Calkram could do wrong, so she runs off on her own. However, the mysterious dark elf has something else in mind:

“Just hang out here for a while and wait for your friends to arrive. Okay, Lulu…?”

Somehow all this happened in front of our party as they went forward as they run into the room with Gilma.

“You’ve finally arrived.”

Things have taken an oddly sexy turn with a dominatrix elf with a latex-like top, a collar, and a whip with a captive maid trussed up to the dungeon wall.

“Mistress Gilma, please… forgive me…”
“You girls have all been very bad. Girls like you need a strict punishing.”

This was a porn game, you’ve got to remember. I can feel the threatening eyes of the Playstation rating board glaring daggers from just outside. So Gilma does what she can while keeping an eye on the game authorities.

Without any hesitation, Gilga slapped the bound Lulu across the face.

The rating board nods in approval as she explains the whip is not really a whip, just an obedience motivator.

Around that time, a magical beast rears its head and snarls at the heroes.

“Gilma’s always been Mistress Calkram’s beast tamer assistant!”
Magic Beast:

Oh hey, copy paste monster! Now just remember everyone, you’ve got to break the crystals or the beast will just keep coming back!

No that’s not right, Elina, good try. Marian is a gem, but not the right one~

Bitch confronts Gilma, cutting down the magical beast just to watch it come back.

“Both me and my beasts hate men, so you won’t get any mercy from us!”

Bitch quickly scans the room, noting several possible gems. Without much to go off of, you’re forced to make a decision!

Which gem is the important one…? I’ll have to choose between the blue one on the pedestal or the ones in the wall.

“Blue orb on the pedestal.”
> “Head for the wall.”

You break a few on the wall, but then she screams at you to stop at a certain one. The evil villain yells at you not to do something, so of course you do it!

“I even told you not to crush that one… It’s your own fault, blame your own stupidity.”

Apparently that one was a paralyzing poison for some reason.

The last thing I saw as my consciousness faded was Gilma licking her lips as she bound the other two girls to the wall as well.


Okay so time travel back, we don’t break the orb that kills us and instead break the one that kills the beast. Now without her fangs, Gilma escapes from the room. Before we give chase, we take a minute to free Lulu from her shackles and head out.

However, the party hears a bloodcurdling screen just outside the door. As they look out, they see the shadow of someone running away.

“Was that Ballnog!?”

Bitch didn’t get a good look, so he can’t say for sure. But it’s possible Ballnog is tailing them and finished her off for reasons unknown. However, something strange happens with her body:

Right before my eyes, Gilma’s body began turning into a wild flower you’d see in the forest outside.
“Gilma… She’s returned to her original form… She was a being created with magic by Mistress Calkram. Now that she’s dead, she’s returned to what she was.”

So you’re telling me Calkram specifically turned a flower into a sadistic woman that ties up girls and has her way— slaps them in an age-appropriate way until they’re good again? I feel like we’ve learned more about Calkram here than anywhere else in the game to be honest. Good for her, good for her.

Anyway, you find Emmyrea.

Oh the princess? Oh yeah, she’s just in that room eating cake.


We find Princess Emmyrea happily relaxing in a weirdly nice room with a sunlight window despite being in a cave. We run up to her, tears in our eyes, but she’s utterly confused. Elina tries to explain to her what happened at the castle.

“I don’t believe any of it, it can’t be. Calkram has been nothing but a gentle host. She said that my father was aware of all of this and she just wanted to startle me by transporting me here suddenly with magic. There’s no way he was cursed by her!”

Something is definitely going on here, but who knows what at this point… After seeing the grave look on Elina and Bitch’s face, she begins to have some doubts that maybe the kidnapper isn’t the good person?

“I’ll go talk to her at once!”

We try to tell her it’s dangerous, but she stubbornly refuses to wait in the room as we confront the witch.

I mean, can you say no to that face?

As they walk further in the castle to Calkram’s room, Emmyrea keeps looking around curiously at things in the room. At one point, she spies a painting on the wall that for some reason she just has to touch. This triggers a trap that drops a rock on her, but Bitch manages to pull her away just in time.

“Y-yes, I’m fine. Just a little startled, is all. You really are our country’s top knight, aren’t you Bitch?”

After Elina scolds the princess, the party keeps walking, only for Emmyrea to once again be curious about a vase. You’re given the option to intervene or not.

If you don’t intervene, you keep walking only to hear the sound of it shattering on the ground. Elina comes stomping back and yells a storm at the princess.

sadness intensifies

If you do intervene, she goes full princess on you:

“Your job as a knight is to protect me in the event that anything happens and that’s it. Voicing your opinion is not part of your duty.”
I’ve never heard her talk so directly before. I always thought she was a gentle and kind princess… I guess she’s a tomboy like the others, huh…

Comedic scenes aside, we’re at Calkram! That was oddly quick, I think?

That room was different from the others. It was a large room that felt like it was used for various rituals. The ceiling was high up, and the cool outside air chilled the room.
I couldn’t convince myself that this was the same person with that cruel smile who cursed the king that night.

Calkram felt more like a mother confronting her children than an evil witch at this point. Most of this scene is this single portrait, so I’ll just translate them under one picture.

“I’m not mad at you, Lulu. I’ve been watching you from here this entire time. I know you tried to follow what I asked all the way until the end.”
“Marian, what a troublesome child you are. Sneaking out of my sight to go bathing in the lake like that…”
“I’ll forgive you, even after all this, if you come back to me.”
“As for you knights, I do apologize, but I can’t have you leave now. I don’t plan on killing you if I don’t have to. You may have killed my precious Gilma, but that was her mistake.”
“That detestable king’s life will end in just a few more days. You’ll remain in this castle until then. After which, you’ll be free to go. Well, except for Emmyrea.”

Suddenly, the doors come crashing down and your party is trapped in the room.

“Emmyrea. I’ll tell you everything once this is over. Once you know the truth, you’ll wish to stay here with me, I’m certain.”
“…you tricked me, didn’t you Calkram!? You were so kind to me, told me unimaginable tales, showed me brilliant jewels… Was that all a lie!?”

Naaaah, it was a friendly kidnapping! A surprise roadtrip!

“I did not lie to you, but… you wouldn’t understand, no matter what I say here.”
“I’ll at least say, that man committed a grave crime. Crime deserves punishment, so I laid a curse on him.”
“That man was a villain who used others as a stepping stone and threw them away after. I wished for that cold-blooded human to taste the anguish and despair those people felt.”

Elina, unmoved by her words, charges Calkram with her sword. However she repels the sword with magic, sending it clashing on the floor.

Suddenly, Princess Emmyrea grabbed Elina’s fallen sword and dashed at Calkram. The borrowed sword plunged deeply into Calkram’s left arm.
“Y-you’re the one whose evil, Calkram… My father is the most gentle, kind man I’ve ever met. Your slander against him is nothing but lies…”

Man, Emmyrea comes through in a pinch. For a character who eats cake and breaks pots, she took that flash of anger and used it. However, Calkram defiantly stood up for her actions.

“He had years to reflect on his actions and atone for his sins. Instead he just lived on like nothing happened. I do not plan on releasing the curse on someone like that. But if you kill me, you can undo the curse that way.”
She’s already lost the will to live. That’s the impression I got from her voice.
“…well then. Come at me, Bitch! My life is yours to take.”
…why did she curse the king?
…why won’t she just tell us what happened?
She wants me to kill her to dispel the curse while this web of mysteries still hangs over everything. Just what should I do…?

This tense scene gets more tense with the option on how to act. It seems pretty clear there’s some truth here. I’m not certain killing her would end the curse, or that she’s even evil. So I had Bitch stay his hand.

“If you want to die that badly, I’ll kill you myself! Bitch, give me your sword!”

Elina steps forward during your hesitation, unwilling to doubt her king. She looks at you, demanding you hand over your weapon.

Calkram refuses to move from her spot, as if she’s wishing for death.

Second chance, once against I refuse to relinquish my sword. When suddenly…!

Nothing like a maid with a broom to break up the tension~
“Master Bitch and everyone else, I’m sorry, but I won’t let you kill this person!!”

A secret exit opens up and Lulu ushers Calkram to safety. The party tries to follow, but you end up back outside the cave and in the forest. Calkram is nowhere to be seen, but Lulu for some reason stays behind. It’s dark, so you head back to the cave where this blog post started for the night.

Marian didn’t do her usual badmouthing that night, and even Emmyrea, who probably never cooked by herself, helped scrounge up something to make some kind of dinner.

As everyone was eating, Lulu decided it was time to speak up.

“I’ll tell all of you the truth.”
“…everything started 10 years ago. At the time, the royal family had one young prince. He fell in love with a noble woman who would frequent the castle. But the king would not permit the prince’s love, so he forced them apart. The prince was then set to marry a foreign princess, and the girl a separate noble family. That prince is the current king. He married the princess, but no kids were born to him. However, he learned the woman he once loved had given birth to two kids. He asked his wife to let him adopt one of the daughters from her. Of course, his wife was bewildered at the proposition. The woman was happily married and loved her child.”
“The older sister Philia, who loved her baby sister very much cried in protest at the idea of handing her over. But she reasoned that her sister would be raised to be queen and that she’d be happy that way. In the end, she gave in and let her sister go. A few days later… her family’s mansion was attacked at night.”
“The ones who attacked were the country’s knights. They killed not only her parents, but all the servants as well, before burning the mansion to the ground.”
“It was proclaimed by the king as an execution for treason. She knew her parents did nothing of the sort. It was obvious, even for a child. In short, the king had betrayed them. Her parents were dead, her house was burnt to the ground, and the country blamed it on them. That day, Philia lost everything. She continued on without any life behind her eyes, like she was constantly sleepwalking.”
“And thus, she wandered into the Devil’s Forest. The forest was full of danger, but that didn’t matter to her. She was as good as dead, anyway. But, someone was there to save her. That was the previous Great Mage Calkram.”
“That’s about all of it. Philia trained under the previous Calkram, then when she passed on, Philia succeeded her title. And Emmyrea, you are that sister of hers… Mistress Calkram– no, Mistress Philia had to pull her precious sister from the king’s vile hands.”

My god this whole scene was so serious and captivating I had to capture it in full without jokes. This is where I left off like, more than a month ago and I wrote this whole blog post in several hours just so I can finally get back. I’m assuming this is the truth and that’s how the game will go, but I will lose my shit if it turns into another lie and the king’s actually got his own side of the equation.


If you’ve stuck around to the end of this, thank you for reading! I hope I can make your second-hand playthrough of Emmyrea worthwhile, for I’m invested at this point! I think I’ve been writing this for like, six hours, so I’m gonna face plant~

Emmyrea #1: A Fantasy Adventure I Wish I Could Fix the Spelling

This game caught my eye in a pile of EsperKnight’s for-sale games mostly due to how they managed to spell the name Emelia in the most bizarre fashion I had ever seen. Sensing only the finest koala tea from it, I did a quick search online.

It’s spelled that way on the cover, I can’t possible fix it…

PSX Data Center had an entry for the game with several screenshots and a really badly translated description:

This is the story of a small country but an incident happened.

The King's only daughter Princess Emmyrea are lost. The people suspect of the north country witch - Karakuramu, So who is a courageous choice, that will be up to rescue the princess Emmyrea ! The player will take the role of the knight that will try to rescue the princess and for that he will have the help of some girls: Irini (a woman knight) that is the best friend of the princess, Merian & Lulu.
Our charming girl characters unfolds, a fantasy adventure.
The characters, the excitement of the game with full voice convincing performance.
Make it easier to concentrate on playing, it is a simple operation.

(It’s bad that my biggest gripe about that description is the “convincing voice performance,” but we’ll get there, I promise.)

Really though, seeing a female knight was enough to convince me to throw it in my pile of games from Esper and forget about it for several months. Until now!! Join me as we embark on low-budget visual novel adventures!

The game starts out as any good game should:

There’s no way you didn’t see this coming

Actually starting the game, we get the standard fantasy beginnings:

“In a time different than ours, in a world of swords and sorcery, beasts and fairies, lies the world of Astoria.”

The game proceeds to have 3-4 dialogue boxes of set up before throwing us right into the throne room as the evil witch busts in, wasting absolutely no time getting this plot on the road.

Her dress patterns look suspiciously like Gilgamesh’s, but this game came first…?
How could he have the originals of all treasures when he stole from Emmyrea of all games!?
“I am known as the Great Witch Calkram. I live in the Northern Forest, or as you all call it, the Devil’s Forest. I’m here to participate in today’s meeting.”

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how to localize “karakuramu,” so Calkram for now seems decent enough. Apparently she’s a legendary witch whose “been around longer than records have existed,” but no one had actually seen her till now.

But suddenly…!

In the blink of an eye, Calkram photoshopped a transparent version of the princess into her arms!

King Balshia:

In what I can only describe as mild disinterest, the King’s voice actor grumbled about the predicament. But that is not all. The Great Witch also casts a curse upon the King.

“You will suffer for several days before finally reaching a very painful demise.”

She goes on to describe how she’s most likely the only person who can remove the curse, and how she’s excited to watch him fall. That and with Princess Emmyrea (do I really have to spell it like that ; _;) kidnapped, there’s no true successor to the throne. Chaos will soon befall the country, and she’ll be laughing while enjoying some popcorn.

She never actually explains why she’s doing this by the way. She vanishes in a smoky middle finger at the King and silence fills the halls.

Just then, a toothpick of a young girl appears! Her name is written as “Iriina” so we’ll just call her Elina. At this point, I realize we’re sadly not the female knight and got a bit disappointed. Why do we have to be the boring guy? Oh well.

Speaking of generic protagonists, ours has to profess his classiness as soon as possible:

She’s got a nice face and great style, but she’s always wearing that heavy armor with a lack of sex appeal… wait, now’s not the time for that!

Any dude who doesn’t think a girl in a suit of armor is sexy is already a lost cause. Either way, she’s Emmyrea’s childhood friend, so she was assigned as her bodyguard when she became a knight.

“I-I was in the Princess’s chambers reading her a book when a strong flash blinded me. When I could see again, she was nowhere to be found…!”

Elina immediately proposes to go after the witch, to which we have some reservations:

Hey hey, Elina… Do you really think a female knight with no combat experience can make it out of a forest filled to the brim with demons alive?

Female knight comment aside, he does have a point if she’s never actually seen battle and then wants to fight a witch that just utterly outclassed everyone.

After getting what was probably the King’s permission as he’s twitching on the floor in pain, you agree to join Elina along with three others:

I chose the young Eddy and the Veteran Henry to join us.
Andy, a newly-hired magician aide to the royal family, joined as well to guide us through the forest.

Our protagonist explains that without a magician, one will get lost in the forest and die a slow death. No one has come back alive from the forest either, so I’m not sure how that information came about, but hey, I didn’t write this game~

One small note about the voices here: Elina is great, she sounds normal. A bit compressed, but normal. Eddy on the other hand, sounds like a programmer picked up a paper tower roll and recorded his lines while eating lunch. It’s so starkly different and weird, it’s baffling. The tiny boy Andy’s voice actor is super deep as well and does not match the body. Henry at least sounds mostly normal, but I feel they focused 80% of the acting budget on the female characters and gave the males some scraps to fill the plot holes.

Why was Elina made the Captain of the rescue squad when she has no combat experience and little achievements? Word around has it that she begged for the position.

With the game really harping Elina for having no experience but being arrogant, I’m wondering how long until her disillusionment and realizing she’s not as invincible as she thinks.

The next morning, the party of 5 embarks to the Northern Forest, with nary a plan on what to actually do there! It’s odd we have a party of 4 guys, that’s really not how I was expecting things to go down.

A reasonable amount of time into their journey, the party decides to take a rest on the outskirts of the forest, but their Captain is having a powertrip:

“Henry! I am not yet tired myself! We’re in a hurry here, this is not the time to be resting!!”

Everyone kind of looks at her, then to us. I selected the option to nicely explain to her that once we’re inside the evil death forest, we can’t exactly rest like we are now. It’d make more sense to be at our bests before entering hell.

“You say some really smart things sometimes, Bitch.”

While they rest, Elina manages to shout some more since she’s really enjoying this leadership with no plan thing:

“Are you mad that I’m the Captain? A woman with no combat experience like me could never possible lead us to victory, is that it!?”

Eddy calms her down between voracious bites of food:

“We’re not worried about that, please remember we’re fighting the Great Witch Calkram!”
And just to show you how bad this guy’s lines are, I opened up the game files to find this line delivery. All while stuffing down food.
I’m no sound pro or anything, but seeing all his lines nearly peaking like that really doesn’t seem right.

Before their argument can progress any further, their noise draws the attention of some new characters.

In what can only be described as “the red-eyed evil duo,” our hero recognizes them:

“Redrick… and Balnog…”

You could argue “barunaagu” could be read in a different way, but you could also argue his name is Balnog like the Eggnog drink but for balls, and it stuck too hard. Also Redrick!? It’s like they wanted to name him Fredrick, but then someone’s like “wait he has red eyes! Redrick!” and everyone who approved the name Emmyrea gave the thumbs-up.

Bitch explains to the viewer that Balnog is the fearsome “Black Knight” who has no connection to his feelings and never moves his facial muscles. With a single order, he’d kill woman and child alike without remorse. For some reason, he follows Redrick here, whose vying for the throne. His plan is that if he rescues the Princess, then he’ll be handsomely rewarded and step closer to royalty. Though if he saves the King and Princess, then they’ll be back in line. Maybe he’ll negotiate for the Princess’s hand? Either way, he’s an arrogant ass who can only haughtily criticize people while his Balnog supplies the bark to his bite. Balnog really makes me think of Lu Bu here, so I’m expecting Redrick to be betrayed and Balnog to join the witch or something. We’ll see.

Either way, Redrick tells us to be good little kids and camp here instead of going to our deaths. We give him the good ol’ finger and walk off into the woods without him.

“Don’t fuck with me, Bitch!”

I don’t remember the context of the above, but I couldn’t not share it!

Anyway, shortly into the forest, the party is ambushed by their first monster!

It’s a weird, uh, six-armed monkey thing? I’m not sure it can really close its mouth with those teeth…

The fight immediately goes to hell when one of the guys is bitten from the shadows. The creature leaps back into the trees, hiding its location. A second guy is taken out in a flash. Bitch tries to restore order to the situation, but Elina isn’t having it!

“Don’t order me around, Bitch! I’m the Captain!”

Somehow, their third guy is taken out, but Bitch manages to hold his own against the toothy onslaught. Just before death breaks through, a flash of steel from behind skewers the monster.

It’s Balnog.

“Did you really lose 3 party members to a single monster…?”

I’m with you on this one Redrick, I’m just impressed at the game’s ability to remove all the men from the party effortlessly. Like, why did we even have these party members anyway!? It’s been 10 minutes! This at least explains why their voice actors were so shoddy.

Redrick once again recommends leaving this to them. This time he asks that you watch their horses since they can’t take them further in. On the way back, they can have the honor of following his victory precession. Elina finally snaps after all the stress.

Elina’s slap flashed through the air faster than my fist.

Ahh the joyous expression of an asshole getting slapped. Impressively, we aren’t immediately killed by Balnog, but maybe he was secretly happy as well.

“F-fine! Go ahead and get eaten by monsters for all I care!! Ow, ow, ow…! B-Balnog, we’re leaving!!!”

Turns out Henry, Andy, and Eddy aren’t dead, but Henry and Andy are too injured to continue, so Eddy escorts them back to the castle. Now alone, Elina has a moment of self reflection.

“I’m sorry, it’s all my fault. I’m… not qualified to be the Captain…”

I mean, I knew this turn of events was coming, but wasn’t expecting it so soon. This game is really going quite fast!

“That’s why… I want you to call the shots going forward. I’d like you to be the Captain.”

Good ol’ Captain Bitch, has a nice ring to it. We get a choice here, it’s a difficult call:

Urgh. When she looks at me with those eyes, I can only say:
> I’ll do it.
I’ll do it.
I’ll do it.

Really riveting choices, I’ll have to try the other branches on another game~

“Most of our friends are gravely injured or kidnapped, but I had character development! :)”

As your first order, you tell the group of Elina to keep going forward to an opening in the trees.

And then suddenly the game gets weird.

Side note: At this point is was pretty obvious this game was ported to consoles as an all-ages version. Shentok confirmed it was an 18+ title called Nemureru Mori no Ohime-sama (Princess in the Sleeping Forest). The VNDB page has this exact image but without the jacket above, so it’s definitely the same game. I wonder if the compressed-sounding voices were from trying to go from PC to PS1. The art also seems oddly blocky as well, so I’m wondering if overall they didn’t do the best job.

Also side note: Turns out this game got a re-release as a Simple Series game in the SuperLite 1500 Series. I’m assuming it doesn’t change anything, but it’s possible. For reference, I’ve got the original release PS1 version and not the Simple one.

But I digress.

We rush forward to intercept the… um… man centipede poison monster that can fly…?

This hideous monster brushes its teeth and sees a dentist, food for thought.

The game actually gives you combat options, though it’s really vague and disconnected. You get options like “swing upwards,” “swing downwards,” etc., but there’s no real indicator on what makes the most sense. After around three options, you fell the monster! Fast monkey thing, no chance. Poison centipede with perfect chompers, a-okay~

“You did it, Bitch!”

The new girl rushes in to hug Bitch, wearing only a single unfastened robe the Playstation ratings board found for her.

A single thin robe clung to her body, dripping like she just got out of a bath. Yes, just one piece of cloth! Her body looked like it’d break if I hugged her too strongly. Her slightly pink uncovered legs and possibly still developing modest breasts pressed up against me.

My god this dude has to comment about boobs the moment a new character is introduced, no exception. Well, I guess he hasn’t mentioned the evil witch’s yet.

“Huh? N-no, it’s nothing. Just that this is kinda nic–nonono, not that, I, uh, well–“

Seems she’s instantly fallen for the main character after he saved her, as expected from a visual novel like this.

“I’m sorry about the trouble I caused. You may call me Marian Malsed.”
“She’s got a point (about your armor being stiff). Elina, you should try ditching your armor sometime and dressing up like this girl! You’ll feel so much better!”

Bitch, ever judging of the poor knight girl, keeps up his nonsense about how she’s not the coolest-looking character here (well, aside from the witch maybe).

Though Marian takes slight offense, saying she’s not dressed to look cute but wearing her profession’s clothes:

“Well, of course I know your outfit, you’re a…”
A normal girl
> A convenience store employee

All of these are terrible answers, but of course I had to select the one that makes the least sense.

“NOT. EVEN. CLOSE! What even is a convenience store!?”
“You don’t even know what a convenience store is!? It’s a… wait, what is a convenience store? That work just popped into my head for some reason…”

Alright, that was a good 4th wall break, 10/10.

Also, ever since this nearly naked girl (we told her to go put on clothes and come back) hugged Bitch, Elina became extremely prickly to her. Better get used to catfighting, because they do it for a while. After Marian tells them she’s a magician (oh hey we need one of those, convenient ce store), Elina shrugs her off as a useless little girl. Angry, Marian attempts to turn her into a frog!

“W-whaaaaat, flowers weren’t supposed to come out~ Why didn’t you become a frog!”
“HAHAHAHAA OH MY GOD, you use such cute magic. Hahahahaha…!!!”

Elina grew so much into a happy girl only to immediately channel it into being a bitch. Whoops. Probably shouldn’t have been hanging around the guy actually named Bitch.

We try to ask Marian on several occasions what she was doing in the cursed evil woods, but she just keeps answering “taking a bath in the lake, duh.” For now, she’s following us and helping us through the forest. We just tell her we’re searching for someone, since we don’t want to reveal too much.

Both girls for some reason are vying for your attention, so they compete over silly things like “do we go left or right?”

“Bitch, really? Why are you taking her suggestion!? She’s clearly mistaken!”

I don’t know, maybe the clumsy forgetful mage whose at least been here before might have better odds than someone whose never been here ever. But no, Marian gets all happy I sided with her. Whoops. Does this game have multiple endings? We’ll have to see~

We decide to rest at a cave for the night as the sun’s setting. Still competitive as ever, they make me decide who will cook dinner.

“We’d like you to decide which of us will be cooking…”

We were given 3 options: Merian, Elina, or both. I selected both, meaning they should have a competition! They, uh, sabotaged each other and we didn’t eat dinner that night ; _;.

Later, we go off alone to fill up water bottles at the lake, leaving Elina behind to protect Merian. On the way back, we hear some voices:

“B-Bitch is just a close friend, come on~…”

Seems they’re talking about us~

Somehow five seconds alone has greatly improved their relationship! Though the moment we get back, they start bickering again as if they’re ashamed of being friends. Or something. I’m not really sure why.

Elina accidently lets it slip that they’re trying to find the Great Witch Calkram.

“Oh in that case, I could guide you two to Mistress Calkram.”

For some reason we just reply with “wow that’d be really nice!” and not “this is immediately a red flag.” Oh well, we’ll cross that important betraya– bridge when we get there.

Tired after the long trip, we rest for the night. But not long after, our stomach wakes up back up and we rummage for anything we can.

“…what’re you doing, Bitch?”

Elina can’t sleep either and offers to cook you some food. You accept, wary of her cooking skills. To your surprise, she’s really good! She glares at you, but you play it off like you totally knew she was good this whole time, yup!

The two of you spend a short time chatting about whatever comes to mind while listening to Merian mutter in her sleep about you. Eventually, you retire for the night yourself.

I wonder if we’ll be able to figure out all the mysteries of that girl. I wonder how the King’s condition is. And most of all… I wonder if Princess Emmyrea is safe…?

I’m sure Emmyrea is madly in love with you for no reason, but we’ll find out next time! See you soon!

“Snow” #4 Shigure’s Route – Where does the forest girl buy her clothes?

After finishing the Legend route and learning just who caused all this 天罰 (remember this vocab from last time? Tenbatsu, aka divine punishment, it’ll be on the test!), I jumped pretty quickly on the next story to see how everything would play out now that Kanata (or more so us the player) knows what’s going on.

Mysterious Girl
“Don’t be kind to me, please.”

One thing you might notice is the huge increase in image quality! I got an adapter for VGA to SCART from CastleMania, which bumps me from S-Video and 240p/480i up to a higher base of 480p via VGA. Now DiceLord can send much cleaner shots to make these posts with~ Enough of that, onto the story!

⚠️ 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.

Spoiler buffer image~ You’ve been warned~

Alright, now we can talk spoilers with that out of the way! At the end of the Legend route, we learned that Kikka and Hakuou (Sumino and Kanata respectively) fell in love, had a child, and were smited by heaven in the span of a week.

I need to recapture this image so we can be sad IN HD~
There we go, much sadder!

Housen (Meiko) asks the Elder Dragon Sister to make her immortal until she can meet the reincarnation of her brother who will break the endless cycle of snow and 天罰. Housen decides to live with the people quietly in the village, whereas the Elder Dragon Sister will live in the woods as punishment for her failure.

It was confirmed at the end of the Legend route that the Elder Dragon God is the girl in the mountains, though that wasn’t exactly much of a surprise considering there was one giant opening in the cast and they shared a text color, but the game hid her name in the Legend route on the off chance you didn’t immediately realize the obvious. You can see her listed as Shigure in both the manual and the opening movie.

Anyway, enough of that, let’s get on with Shigure’s route! First step involves tracking her down enough times that her route activates. Oddly enough, I couldn’t figure it out and kept hitting the common bad ending despite running into her several times. I finally tracked down a guide in Japanese, which I backed up just in case their site goes down, and was able to figure it out.

Short aside, that guide also had a section at the bottom for something called Dark Snow (暗黒SNOW), so I had to figure out what the hell that was. Turns out it’s on the fandisc made by Studio Mebius, and it’s a short alternative story made in a similar vein to their other works. Unlike Snow, most of their entire catalog is, uh, let’s just say extremely adult and fucked up. The only review I found for Dark Snow was a 1 star, saying it was a complete pile of trash where not even the 18+ scenes were remotely enjoyable. Out of morbid curiosity, my Discord helped me track it down and I streamed the first hour with 75% of the window blacked out. It fucking scarred us. We don’t talk about Dark Snow Thursday… I’ll review it in the future, but holy shit it’s bad.

It’s literally the same menu and music, but with the edgiest red filter possible

AAANYWAY #2, I kept missing the route since there’s a part where Sumino calls you from a payphone, saying she’s waiting for you at the waterfall despite there being a blizzard. If you answer the phone, you immediately rush out to help her get home safely. If you don’t answer, you just laze around all day and run into a different girl, probably Asahi. However, there’s a 3rd option I kept missing, where you reject the phone call, but then your cousin Tsugumi tells you she’s worried, so you decide to find Sumino.

However, since time had past, you just find a note from Sumino:

“‘The snow’s getting pretty bad, so I’m going to head home first~ Bye bye~ Anman~~'”

At this point, there’s nothing left for Kanata to do other than head home himself. But the blizzard gets so bad, he can’t find his way home and starts to freeze. Thankfully you run into the mysterious girl in the woods and try to follow her. Eventually, you find yourself at the base of the mountain near Sumino’s shop. You go yell at Sumino for calling you out then leaving, though it’s your fault really for not answering the phone. With that, Asahi later vanishes from the plot saying we no longer hold her dear, the time travel child disappears without a trace (we really don’t worry about the alone child who tried eating a sparrow to have food, huh), but now Shigure’s route starts proper!

Kanata asks Tsugumi if she’s heard of anything appearing in the woods, to which she gets really excited and starts telling you about mysterious sightings and rumors. You wonder if that could be the mysterious girl you keep seeing, but Tsugumi reveals a much more dreadful possibility:

“Big Foot!”

Okay, maybe not. But Kanata facepalms a bit and dismisses the rest of the conversation. However, she does mention there are also rumors of a snow woman, which is a Japanese yokai in the form of a beautiful woman who lives alone in the snow. Hmm~

Kanata lays awake at night, pondering an important decision:

> Think about the snow woman
I’d rather think about Big Foot

The next morning, you run into Meiko. At this point, we as readers know she’s supposedly Housen and has lived in the village for 1,000 years and personally knows Shigure, but Kanata doesn’t know this. He asks her if she knows any rumors about things in the woods, to which she also answers Big Foot. Also chupacabra. Also Toraemon, though that one could have been some kind of mountain cat. Also sky fish. Turns out she’s a fan of the occult and UMAs (Unidentified Mysterious Animals). You have a nice long chat about various topics before getting back to your water carrying job.

“In the end, we jumped into a heated argument on whether the Apollo moonlanding was faked or not.”

On our way, we take the animal path shortcut and run into the girl once again, who is asleep and muttering to herself.

Mysterious Girl
“I’m… sorry… It’s all… my fault…”

Unable to watch her have a nightmare, you wake her up. She jumps away nervously and says the most she’s ever said to you so far:

Mysterious Girl
“Don’t be kind to me, please.”

She then runs away from you without clarifying anything, leaving you confused and wondering if you did something. The next few hours of the plot are essentially trying to get Shigure to talk to you and failing, while various silly things happen.

Speaking of silly things, the next day happens to be Valentine’s Day and no one noticed in the other routes at all! Meiko has a surprise for you~

“I just want you to understand the suffocating love that grips this maiden’s heart!”

That seems weird, but it’s just chocolate, righ–

“T-t-t-t-t-there’s a giant cockroach inside!!”

Oh. Well, there’s a giant cockroach inside that’s 40cm long (15 3/4 inches!!).

“Whew, I worked hard on that~ I had to observe a real cockroach closely to make sure I got it just right.”
“By the way, there’s no cockroaches in this frozen village, so I had to buy one online.”
“One more thing. After I finished, I couldn’t find where the cockroach went. Seems it escaped from the jar.”
“Enjoy playing Russian Chocroach!”

At this point, she leaves you with this nightmare Schrödinger’s cockroach. You’re given a choice on how to get rid of it:

Bury it in the snow
Chuck it as hard as you can

If you pick the first option, she rushes back and yells at you not to bury it. She stands there, saying she won’t leave until you try it. You weasel out of it by promising that you’ll absolutely try it, then she lets you leave as you stick it in your bag.

If you try to throw it, Meiko jogs up to you a short bit later with an over-foot-long cockroach in hand, telling you to be careful not to drop a present something painstakingly made for you! As before, it ends up in your bag as you do errands.

After collecting water, you head to Sumino’s shop to pick up produce, but you hand the bag over to her mom, forgetting about the cockroach.


You explain to Sumino that you left Meiko’s chocolate in there on accident. She’s really curious about what Meiko made, but you point to her mom as a warning that she really shouldn’t look.

“Come on, it’ll be okay with just a tiny peak~”

And then Sumino died (just a little on the inside).

Back at the inn, you realize you only filled up one tank instead of two (earlier, a monkey stole your lunch and you bumped into the open water jug. You reasoned with the monkey, saying you’d be fine giving them a riceball, to which the monkey nodded and returned the lunch.) Not wanting to skip out on your job and hurt the business, you head back up the mountain. You find a deer in the woods, who at this point realizes you’re chill and nice to Shigure, so it leads you on a new path to a familiar place.

The title screen!

Well, not the title screen, but with 3 piles of rocks at the scene where Kikka and Hakuou died in the Legend route.

The mysterious girl comes by with plants, freezing in place when she sees you. This decorating strongly hints that the piles are a grave tended by her, so that would make the graves Kikka, Hakuou, and their unborn child. She asks if you remember, but you don’t know what she’s talking about. She drops the flowers on the ground and runs away, once again not answering any questions. You take the flowers and arrange them in front of the stones neatly, shrug at the deer you’ve become best buds with, then head home for the day.

Back at the inn, you relax in the hotspring while wondering what she meant by “did you remember?” when you suddenly hear Tsugumi scream. You hear the sliding door open and look over just in time to see a 40cm giant cockroach fly through the air into the night sky.

“Farewell, Chocroach.”

The next morning, Tsugumi surmises you’re having girl problems after you look depressed and won’t say what’s wrong. She gives you a box of manjū to help apologize for any grievances you’ve caused. Kanata’s surprised and thanks Tsugumi for her kindness. Buuuuut…

“16 manjū per box comes out to 500 yen!”

…she makes you buy it with your daily salary of 200 yen. So that’s 2.5 days of labor for some apology snacks. You sigh and accept it, figuring you don’t have any better ideas.

However, you don’t run into the mysterious girl that day. Nor the day after as well. You mention the snow woman again to Meiko by chance, who gives you the cryptic advice of “follow the cries of an animal to find her again.”

That evening, you decide to head back to the graves on the hill and wait for her to come by. Some time passes when you start hearing the distressed sounds of a young deer. Despite the sun starting to set, you press through the treacherous and steep parts of the mountain to get closer. You faintly hear the deer’s bleats from below.

Down below, we see Shigure attempting to help the deer, but got herself caught on the ledge. (I figure someone with 1,000 years of living in these mountains would be a bit smarter about this kind of situation, buuuut no.) Kanata, our intelligent protagonist, answers in the most solid of fashions:

“So is this like, your hobby or something?”

Dumb remarks aside, he finds some rope or similar nearby, ties it to a sturdy tree, then lowers it to her. Once she’s grabbed it, he slowly drags her and the baby deer to safety.

Upon reaching solid ground, she collapses and Kanata realizes she’s injured.

Injured, but like, in a sexy way. Or something.

She’s got a serious laceration on her leg, but apart from that it doesn’t seem too bad apart from exhaustion. Maybe she was down there for a few hours? It does make me wonder the limits of immortality and if she can die by injury or not. Also where is she going to buy new socks?? I’m sure they’ll magically heal too~

Kanata volunteers to carry her to the hospital in town, but she refuses and hops off into the woods, giving him the cold shoulder once again.

We don’t even know her name yet, this part is taking a while…

The next day, we ask Meiko how she knew that following the animal noises would lead to the girl.

“Well, actually I’m acquaintances with the snow woman.”

Kanata is surprised and asks her more questions, but:

“I’m just messing with you, obviously.”

Obviously as a bit of dramatic irony, we know she’s not lying and knows her from 1,000 years ago, but Kanata has no way of knowing that.

Later on at Sumino’s house, we learn that the Dragon God Remembrance Festival is on the 23rd and for some reason never existed at that time on the other routes. Nope. Just like how the inn only goes out of business if you’re dating a specific girl, the festival is an illusive plot event~!

And since the game gave us a specific date, we know that’s when shit will hit the fan, like with Sumino’s route. Ugh it’s a week away…

In the village, people get randomly selected to help run the event. Meiko mentions she already knows who will be picked, but after Kanata presses, she reveals it’s just a hunch. Kanata pushes and presses a bet on her, saying she won’t get it right. Kanata says that if she wins, he’ll give her a kiss on the cheek. Sumino jumps in via the jealousy train.

“Euu~ T-then, I get one too~!”

Meiko on the other hand, gets uncharacteristically shy and blushes.

“Y-you idiot! I’m not b-blushing, I just have measles!”

Everyone stares in confusion, wondering about the health of their poor friend. With that option ruled out, Kanata has a different idea:

“Well then, I’ll have you wear the most girlish skirt imaginable, then have you act super sweet for me instead!”

Meiko strikes back:

“If my guess is right, then you’ll wear the skirt instead!”
“Oooo, I want to see that too~!”

Sumino is happy gaining from either side, but Kanata is confident and doesn’t back down, even against someone with clairvoyance! Whoops.

Meanwhile, we head back to the mountains at night for some reason which eludes me. Something about finally give the girl that manjū or just trying to see her again by waiting in the cold till it’s really late. At the waterfall, we see a strange sight:

A white hand reaches out of the waterfall basin before sinking back in.

Without thinking, Kanata dives into the water after whoever is in there.

The moment he hit the water, the cold pierced him like several sharp needles of ice.

Kanata thankfully manages to drag the mysterious girl out of the water. By this point I’m really wondering how she survived 1,000 years in the woods.

Mysterious Girl
“It was just too much… Seeing you again was too painful…!”
“Wait, were you… trying to kill yourself?”

Ignore my previous remark, it makes sense now.

“Why do you have to die!? I don’t understand!”
“No matter the reason, there’s nothing left after death! That’s it, that’s the end!”

In a bit of shocked surprise, she mutters out an old name:

Mysterious Girl

At about this point, hypothermia kicks in and you fall on your face.

“Am I… being carried by Big Foot…?”

Kanata has a strange delusion of a giant fuzzy creature carrying him, but Tsugumi tells Kanata that he appeared by the front door unconscious with animal tracks nearby. Sounds like deer bro carried you home along with a girl’s footprints nearby.


We just can’t let go of the Big Foot joke, can we~

The next day, we go to the graves again and thankfully run into the girl again. We’ve run into her enough times at this point that she doesn’t run away like a spooked deer!

Mysterious Girl
“My name is Shigure.”

Wooo!! MISSION SUCCESS, WE HAVE NAME! I can stop writing Mysterious Girl~ She tells you that she was scared when you came. Seeing you again gave her a grave shock. She never interacts with people while living in these mountains (except for her tailor of course~), so seeing you was a surprise. But you helped her and the animals enough that you seem like a safe person. She knows your name, supposedly from the rumors after the rockslide at the beginning of the game.

For now, you give her your extremely tacky umbrella with the brazen logo of the hotsprings on it, then part for the evening.

The next morning, Tsugumi can tell just how much your life is brightened by learning their name. She makes you a double lunch to enjoy with whoever it is you’re seeing and sends you on your way.

“E-eat? Whose eating?”

Shigure hasn’t seen a meal like this in hundreds of years, considering she eats what she can scavenge from the forest and what animals bring her.

“I-i-is it re-really okay for me to eat something… as grand as this?”

You practically have to wave the food directly in her face to get her to agree, though I was expecting her to run away in a panic. You mention that it’s okay since your cousin is the proprietor of the hotsprings and she likes making people feel welcome, so cooking extra for her is no problem. After you mention the name of the inn, a light brights up in her eyes.

“O-Oh, I know that place!! I, uh, it’s where, Ran Ran…!”

She gets all excited and bouncy for a second, remembering when during the Legend route Housen gave everyone the weird acrobat nicknames, then gets embarrassed and quiets down. After some more quiet conversation, with Shigure calling you a contradictory person who complains or says mean things while they’re being nice, Kanata asks her the reasonable question of “so why are you in the woods anyway?”

“I… committed a grave sin!”

Kanata tries to press, wondering what sin this innocent-looking girl could possibly have done, but she channels her inner deer and bolts.

In the afternoon, there’s a random conversation where Kanata tries to convince Sumino that aliens are coming to take the anman:

“A war broke out over the refusal to surrender a single anman. It became known as ‘The Anman Wars.'”
“Sumino VS The Aliens”
(Starts Friday)

That’s all for that scene, really.

Back to important matters! Tsugumi got selected for the festival committee, so the inn will be closed in the meantime.

“The inn will be closed during the preparations, so you’ll be helping out as well!”

Arguably more importantly, this means you lost the bet with Meiko and will have to wear an adorable skirt. Oh no~

The next breakfast with Shigure (it’s the 21st, we’re almost to the 23rd!), we ask her if she’ll go to the festival with us (aww~). She tries to get out of it by saying she can’t leave the mountain.

“Is there really a law saying a guilty person has to stay out alone on a mountain?”

Yes Kanata, it’s called “running from the law,” and it’s more common than you’d think to hide out in a mountain alone. Ignoring that, we get her to agree and come down to the festival preparations and say hi (woo!).

Unfortunately for us, she gets extremely nervous near the base of the mountains and sprints back up while apologizing profusely (aww…) We head off to the shrine alone and run into Meiko and Sumino who didn’t forget about the bet:

“Hehhe… I borrowed an extremely girlish dress from the store just for you.”
“Euu~ I kind of want to see it, but I don’t really want to either~”
“…what’s wrong, not excited to try it on?”
“Well, I don’t think any would be at least.”

Kanata’s down in the dumps enough over Shigure bailing that he hardly registers any emotion at the girl’s games. Meiko for some reason relents and spares him (aww…), but not without some harassment first.

“I’ll just use my imagination instead.”
“HAHAHA! Oh jeez, that’s rich, Kanata!!”
“How do you already have an image of me ready!?”
“O-oh my, you went that far…? It’s perfect, oh my god.”

It seems the artist didn’t want to try Kanata in a dress, though I suppose it makes sense since they’re allergic to even drawing his face, let alone whole body.

Meanwhile, Meiko’s “dad” the surgeon says hi, despite being in the middle of a surgery.

“Hahaha, what are you saying, your dad’s right here!”
“No. My real dad is currently operating. At the hospital.”
“Ahh, that…”
“You can’t just say that!!”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. They’re just sedated, they’ll be asleep for at least half a day.”

Walking malpractice lawsuit aside, you help build the structures for the festival, which include a tower lashed out of wood with a place to light a flame at the top. You ask Meiko about it, who tells you about the festival.

“It’s to symbolize sending the poor dragon god’s soul back to Heaven.”

She explains that the ritual supposedly symbolizes the love between a boy on the Earth and a girl in Heaven, with the fire being his feelings going up to her.

“But, that’s not true. In reality, both the boy and the goddess… died here.”
“!? T-the human boy died?”
“The villagers felt pity for the poor couple and created the flame to send her soul back to Heaven.”
“…I see.”
“The ritual was changed since it’d be a bad omen to talk about how a goddess died on your land, right? Then, to talk about how a human died along with her…”
“Wait, but then who caused the snow to fall? What caused there to be endless snow?”
“…Kanata. Your, new friend.”
“The snow woman you mentioned before?”
“…I see”
“It makes sense that she wouldn’t want to come down here then…”
“No, it’s nothing.”
“W-what, tell me if you know something!”

Unfortunately at that time, Sumino interrupts you and you lose all chances at serious plot-relevant conversations for the day. We gotta keep the plot moving at a glacier’s pace!

The next day, you don’t see Shigure, so you give up after a couple hours in the cold, then head to the shrine to continue helping with preparations. You’re immediately strongarmed by Tsugumi into bad ideas:

“Hehehe~ Kanataaaa~ Sign up for the insurance, Kanata~~”

It turns out she wants you to help with the fireworks, which is apparently dangerous enough that you have to sign up for liability insurance. After much persuading, you’re forced into the role. As thanks, she gives you a plastic bag full of fireworks to play with later (this is important!).

On the way home, you’re ambushed in the streets!

Ambushed in an adorable way~

She says she got all the way to the torii gates outside of the shrine, but was too scared to walk up. But she wanted to see you so badly, so she waited at the base of the stairs instead for you to come by.

Kanata, in his infinite class, thinks about only the most pure things when she grabs him:

“Her warm, squishy breasts smooshed against my back.”


She declares that she’s not going back to the mountain and wants to spend the night together with you! That way you can go to the festival tomorrow! Also conveniently, your cousin is staying overnight at the shrine as part of a committee celebration, so ALL NIGHT PILLOW FIGHTING IS A GO!!

*glance, glance*

This section is essentially “Shigure hasn’t set foot outside the mountain in 1,000 years and has no idea what anything is” and it’s adorable~. She asks what a telephone pole is when they pass one, to which Kanata explains that it carries electricity. She doesn’t get it, then as he tries to explain, she gets mad that he’s messing with her. Later, he says that she should enjoy the hotspring while she’s here:

“…b-but, I didn’t bring any rice or grain as payment to enter.”
“You can pay with your body~”
“There’s no payment necessary”

We’re not going to sexually harass the poor, confused past girl, only classy Kanata for this playthrough when possible! She wants to take a bath, but would be too nervous if she can’t see you. She doesn’t want you to see her either, which leaves you in a pickle. You settle on crouching behind a rock, so she can see the top of your head. Close enough! To no one’s surprise, you find an excuse to run over to her in a panic and see her naked. Anyway~

You both sit in Kanata’s room after a relaxing evening of having no idea how canned green tea works, when suddenly she, uh, comes onto you hard.

“N-now! H-h-hurry!”
“…I don’t care what happens to me.”

For some reason, she gets the idea in her head that she can make it up to Hakuou in the past by sleeping with his reincarnation? Hmm…

“Answer her feelings.”
> “No, I can’t do that.”

Yeah no, you don’t touch the poor depressed girl, bad. The guide says you get a sex scene on the PC version, followed by an immediate and deserved bad ending.

Instead, we tell her off, saying we’ll never touch her if she doesn’t respect herself first.

“You can’t love another person if you don’t love yourself.”


(in a good way!)

Alright, so this is my favorite part of the route here:

“Please… change history in my place.”
“…huh? …what?”

Suddenly, you’re warped to the Legend route again! But it’s the stupid Legend route! Essentially, what if Hakuou was replaced by an absolute moron and the game just parodies itself. It’s pretty fun, let’s go~

This is the one route so far that mostly breaks the structure of setup, slow happy section, incredibly depressing section, happy resolve. We’re trading the depressing section for comedy!

You wake up to see Housen, who calls you brother and asks if you had a bad dream.

“Why the hell would I be your brother!? That’s too harsh, even for a joke Meiko!”

Kanata is convinced he’s either in a dream or people are playing an elaborate prank on him, so he doesn’t take things seriously at all. Housen is clearly upset that her brother has gone completely insane.

Kanata wants to comfort Housen/Meiko, so you have the option of patting her on the head or the back.

The back:

“Ah, sorry. You’re just so flat, I mixed up your chest with your back.”

The head:

“Hyaa!! B-brother, that’s my butt!!”

Classy Kanata strikes again in the least believable mess ups in history~

After being punched in the face, they head to town and Kanata further embarrasses himself by checking if people 1,000 years ago wore underwear or not. Like I said, this is very much the stupid Legend route. Meiko tells everyone you had a weird dream and aren’t right in the head, but that you’ll be fine tomorrow, hopefully!

Kanata asks if there will be a large feast, but everyone looks at him in shock, reminding him that they don’t have much food and can’t gather more since there could be bandits in the woods. Kanata dismisses them, telling them to go anyway.

Villager 1
“So, what do we do if the bandits come after us?”
“We’ll just play that by ear.”
“WHAT!? *rabble rabble rabble*”
“Would you rather starve to death when you know there’s food just outside then?”

Kanata brings up a surprisingly good point, which throws the villagers into a joyous frenzy. They all run out into the woods to get food, while Housen just smiles and shakes her head.

Just before you leave town, the artist behind Asahi’s painting comes by with a request for Hakuou to exorcise the spirit from the scroll that’s coming out and terrorizing the town. Kanata just replies very simply with “I have no spirit sense, can’t help you.”

“Is that so? Well, just forget I said anything then.”

With that, he leaves and Housen hits you over the head. Bye Asahi! But no, he comes back later and you take the scroll. Boo.

Back at the shrine, Housen reminds her brother that they have to memorize their part for the dragon goddess summoning ritual, but he takes one look at the book written in ancient Japanese with its calligraphy-like script and gives up instantly.

“Sorry, I don’t get it.”
“You do it.”
“I’m the miko, I have to do the dance!”
“Hmm, guess we’re screwed then.”

Suddenly you black out, and appear at the lake. Housen is dressed in her ritual clothes. It appears that when you lost consciousness, the real Hakuou took back over.

“Oh damn! The stupid brother came back again!”

Seeing as you weren’t even around the last few days, you don’t know any of the words. She hands you the book and dances, leaving you to read what you can. You read a few characters, but she’s constantly correcting you since you’re reading modern Japanese pronunciations, making it completely wrong. After you finish, the lake is quiet and nothing happens.

“Ahh, phew, I’m beat. Alright, let’s head home.”
“Not yet! The goddesses haven’t even arrived yet!”

Housen starts panicking since nothing’s happening, but then suddenly the gods just shrug and let the goddesses descend.

Kanata instantly recognizes Shigure, then runs up and hugs her. She freezes in disbelief, whereas Kikka asks how on Earth he knows her name. “Do you remember me then?” she asks, with big bubbly eyes.

> “Sumino!”
“No clue”

Answering Sumino has her frown, saying she’s Kikka. Kanata doesn’t listen, insisting that she’s Sumino.

“It’s me! Kanata, you know me!”

Kikka is clearly confused at this rude guy calling her some other name, but then they look over at Shigure, who looks very pale.

Shigure looked like steam was billowing from her head and passed out…

You carry Shigure back to the shrine to rest. You have the absolutely foolproof way of verifying that this is indeed Shigure:

“…the sensation of those breasts… It’s definitely Shigure.”

Tanaka-kun would be proud…

From “Tanaka is Always Listless”

Everyone decides at that point to just go to bed after whatever the hell just happened. In the morning, one of the villagers comes to ask for help about the monster terrorizing the village:

“It’s here, it’s here!”
“What is?”
“A m-m-m-monster!!”

Kanata is 5000% uninterested in the Asahi plotline, and I’m all for it~ Sadly Housen yells at you again, so you take extra precautions and prepare to seek out the monster.

“Hey monster, where are you?”

And by that, I mean absolutely no caution whatsoever.

“Oh, uh… have you seen a monster around here?”

Kanata, in his infinite stupid trying to one-up himself, doesn’t even recognize Asahi at all for some reason. Once she ejected herself from the plot, Kanata just deleted all recognition of her from his brain. Good on you nanoda~.

Since Asahi is still in bunny form, she still talks with “supi supi” at the end of her lines instead of “nanoda.” She’s still not in her final form!

“You must be from the nation of the Supi Supi people!”

Kikka has to walk up and facepalm, telling Kanata that the bunny is the monster. Kanata doesn’t know that Kikka isn’t supposed to be seen by others, so he’s unfazed by her arrival. Shortly after, Asahi loses her grip on being human and reverts back to a fuzzball.

“Huh? Wait a minute, I’ve seen this bunny before, haven’t I?”

Somehow Kanata remembers the bunny form from 10 years ago, but not the annoying girl who was just chatting with him last week. His Nanoda Eraser is strong…

Back at the shrine, Shigure scolds Kikka for running out of the house when they’re supposed to stay hidden until the festival.

“An inexperienced dragon god like you has no place here. Return to Heaven at once.”

Shigure didn’t seem this adamant in the previous route; it’s like she’s trying to use the opportunity to force Kikka back to safety by any means necessary. Kanata paves things over by taking the blame for bringing Kikka, leaving Shigure with little option but to forgive them. Later that night, Shigure approaches you and confides something:

“This is the dream I’m always seeing.”

Shigure constantly sees this dream of the tragic visit to Earth, but is powerless to stop it. So now that we’re here from the future, it’s our job to stop the tragedy! Which means we have to avoid playing Twister with Sumi– er, Kikka! Time to be an asshole!

“Catch her.”
> “Dodge”
“Waaaaahhh!! You’re sooo meaaaaan!!! Why’d you doooodge me!??”

We got our first asshole opportunity quickly! This was a nice throwback to the common route, where Sumino rolls at you in a similar fashion 3 different times. Even after 1,000 years, some things never change~

Later when Shigure collapses in the bath like before, we make sure she’s okay by looking all over her body for injuries. Housen comes running when she hears the commotion and catches you in the worst of moments. Kanata however, must defend himself!

“I wasn’t touching just her boobs, I was touching her whole body!”

Kanata, you’re killing the Twister game chance perfectly~

“My brother is the enemy of all women…”

Though for some reason, they’re kind of okay with it and accept you being a sleaze. You even pretend to chase Kikka saying that you’ll touch her too, and she laughs while running away. It’s kind of odd.

Shigure finds you the next day and asks how you’d prevent this tragedy from happening. If you were a human in love with a god, and you knew that being together would bring 天罰, would you still be with her? Kanata smuggly says that he’d defy fate and make it work. When pressed for how,

“…I’d become a dragon god then.”

…Kanata gives not the most practical answer. If the problem is that one’s a dragon god and one’s a human, then they just both need to be a same! The god could become a human instead!

“But… how would you do it?”
“No clue.”
“But, I’m sure I’d find it.”
“No matter how many days or years it took, I’d find a way.”

Kanata gets cool and confidence points, but 0/10 for not actually saying anything useful. Shigure leaves to think about Kanata’s vapid enthusiasm.

The next morning, they’re paid a visit by Asahi:

“Ahh! It’s that bunny that transformed in the weird girl!”

The bunny gets super excited to see you and starts supi supi-ing all over the place.

“Arrgh!! I have no clue what you’re saying!!”

Kikka, who for some reason can speak annoying, translates. Shigure walks in, but jumps in surprise as to why there’s a rabbit in the house.

“My bad. She’s the failed result of a genetic experiment gone wrong. I’ll dispose of her immediately.”

(Asahi’s character makes sense now! Finally! No ordinary bunny could handle all those nanodas!) Meanwhile, Shigure just looks at you with the face of “what the fuck are you talking about??”

Kikka explains to Kanata that the scroll is Asahi’s life and home. Without that scroll, Asahi will die. Then, Kanata does the most amazing move I didn’t expect:

“Well then, in that case, let’s just return you to the scroll then.”
I undid the string around that scroll from the old man and opened it up.
“In you go!”
“Phew, that settles that!”

With that, Kanata literally yeets Asahi out of the plot once again, all plot strings resolved. His absolute disdain for Asahi is savage, and I support it.

“T-that can’t have been the right thing to do!!!”
“T-the bunny’s in the scroll now!??”
“Huh? That was clearly the right thing to do.”
“I really don’t feel like it was!!”
“Euu~~ Euuuuuu~~~”
“What’d I do wrong?”
“I mean, it wasn’t wrong per se…”
“There had to have been a better way!!”
The bunny was originally a picture on this scroll, right? So living in the scroll makes the most sense.
“Eguu… *sniffle* idiot, you idiot Hakuou-sama…”

Kikka cries out in frustration at your insensitivity. The game of Twister is off for sure now! Though we should probably do some damage control at least.

“I got it, I got it. How about I buy you a new bunny you can raise instead?”
“Really. But you have to really care for it, okay?”
“Can you handle the responsibility, Kikka?”
“Of course! I’ll take proper care of the bunny!”

Shigure just sighs in the corner at how stupid her sister is and how she’s in love with an absolute moron.

Though it seems your efforts, whether on purpose or not, paid off!

“…you did a fine job rejecting my sister’s advances.”

So now we just got to get through the ritual, then launch these girls back into the stratosphere, then we’ll have solved winter, right?

Oh by the way, there was a plastic bag from the future our hero forgot about until now:

“I’m not really sure why, but the bag Tsugumi gave me full of fireworks is here in the dream as well.”
“Fuwhahaa! This’ll work, it’s perfect!!”

Uh oh, we’ve lit explosives in our protagonist’s heart. I told you the bag would be important earlier!

Now we jump to the festival itself, where the girls are moping since it’s their last day together. Kanata gets frustrated having to look like a stoic monk and starts dancing to everyone’s shock.

“This is Shigure, Kikka, and our last days together, Housen. We should enjoy it!”

He drags everyone onto the dance floor, where everyone smiles and has fun until the bandits attack!

Everyone panics and scrambles for weapons. Children hide, while anyone who can fight rushes to help. Kanata yawns. Rather than giving any shits like in the Legend route, our hero interrupts the bandits speech by just chucking fireworks at them!

Remaining Bandits
Bandit Leader
“Phew~ That extra large rocket firework sure did the trick!”

With the bandits caught off guard and unsure what’s going on, Kanata directs Housen to grab a lighter and have a blast!

“Hahhahahahaha!!! This is great!!!!!!!!!!”
Bandit Leader
“L-long live the bandiiiiiiiiits!!!!!”
The village was saved without anyone dying…

That went way better than expected. You got a bit too close to the explosions and passed out from exhaustion as well. Seems to happen a lot.

“It’s my route, I get to be the lap!”

You wake up in Shigure’s lap, who tells you to stay put while she puts ointment on your burns. Kanata remarks that he’s rather lucky that he passed out.

Mhmm, Shigure’s thighs are soft and feel great.

Alright, one last sleazy line and I’m cutting you off Kanata~

Once you’re ready, you escort them back to the lake to see them off.

“Thank you… for having us.”

Kikka is sad and inconsolable, not wanting to leave your side. It’s not even your route Kikka! Thankfully we know how to pacify her:

There we go, entire bucket of anman/manjū
She immediately starts eating them and is suddenly okay with life.
As they begin to ascend, Kikka remembers to be sad without dropping snacks, though she’s not important right now.
“I… love you…!!”
“I… don’t want to… be separated…!”

Kanata gives everyone a bag of sparklers to hold onto, saying that when they’re reunited, they can light them all together. He waves one last goodbye as they vanish into the air.

“And with that… everything should change…”

Really? We went into a dream, acted like a complete idiot, and now endless winter is solved? Huh. That was surprisingly easy, why didn’t we do this earlier?

Hakuou asks Kanata for one last favor; do something about the darkness Shigure is trapped in. I guess we’re in a weird void.

“This… is the way I wish the events went.”

Despite the new happy ending, Shigure knows this isn’t how it truly went down. We’re treated to a sepia tone cliff note rendition of the Legend route:


Alright, there’s my spark notes of the cliff notes.

“If only I forcefully dragged my sister back to Heaven, none of this would have happened…!”
And now we hug some self-forgiveness into her! Also she definitely shrank, that or we turned into a giant.

Kanata: “You did nothing wrong! It was all fate! Everything’s fine now…”
Shigure: “But I… killed Kikka, Hakuou-sama, and even their child…”
Kanata: “You didn’t kill them! You didn’t kill anyone! Kikka died due to 天罰 and Haukou… Either way, I won’t die! I’m here to stay! I love you, but I won’t die! I was reincarnated so I could live together with you!”
Shigure: “You… forgive me…?”

And with that, the darkness begins to shatter~
The nightmare vanished along with the darkness…
Now, what I see is fun and happy…
It’s a fleeting dream…

The dream where you came to save me…
The dream where I returned to Heaven…
The dream I always hoped would come true…
You granted me the dream I could never have…
Thank you
I’ll always love… you…

Aww, that was a good route! Nice and happy, no real sad part~

… … …

… …


Unfortunately, I woke up from that warm dream.

So, you wake up from the dream back into your room. That’s all good, right? Though Tsugumi is looking weirdly shocked at you.

“Kanata, you’ve been in a coma since the rock slide.”

flips table

Fuck you Snow, come on with this! Ugh…

So you’ve been in a coma for the past two weeks or so. You were in the hospital until a week ago, where you were transferred to the inn to rest. You seemed to recover from your injuries, but you wouldn’t wake up for some reason. You ask her about Shigure, but she has no idea who that is. You argue that you have memories from the past few weeks, including the water collecting job she had you do. She’s shocked that you know that, but reasons that you must have heard her mention it when she told your parents as they visited.

Is this another dream? When will I wake from this one?

Meiko and Sumino come to visit you, throwing you into more confusion.

“…Housen? What’s that?”

Oddly enough, Meiko isn’t wearing her scarf anymore. But she doesn’t react in the slightest to Housen’s name. Kanata asks Meiko to tell him about the village’s past. She tells him the story of a boy who loved a dragon god, but since their love was forbidden, they went their separate ways. It seems that reality has changed to make what you dreamed earlier reality.

Yesterday… Just one day ago. Shigure and I were together in this inn… But now… It’s like none of it happened. Everything I did… all just… a dream…

Kanata freaks out, confusing the line between dream and reality, so Tsugumi tells the girls to come back another time so Kanata can rest.

Once you’re rehabilitated enough to walk, your parents decide to bring you back home to be examined by a larger psych hospital. You have one last day to walk around, so you sneak off and head up the mountain. It turns out this village has normal weather seasons, so the eternal winter was solved, but at what cost?

At the top of the hill, you find the graves are gone. Shigure is nowhere to be found.
…there’s really no reason for me to be in this village anymore.
“I’m so tired of the cold.”

As you await the final bus out of town (why are we leaving at night!?), you reach into your pocket and realize there’s a sparkler in there. In one last act of desperation, you look for Shigure once again.

“…she’s not here.”
“Please… Come out, Shigure…!”

Kanata begins lighting one sparkler at a times, watching them slowly burn out in the cold winter night. One after another.

“In the end, I was down to one last sparkler.”
“A small ball of fire hung onto the end.”
“Hang in there… Just a bit longer… Please, don’t go out…”

In the end, the final flame goes out, leaving him alone in the biting cold.

… … …

…. …

WOOOOO!!!! ❤

Suddenly you see a light behind you! She’s back! And has long hair, which implies she’s happy now or something! Also her horns are gone? Maybe, could be the camera angle.

“I’m… back.”

And with that, we get credits! Phew, we had to have the sad scene of course, but thankfully that resolved normally. Overall, I liked how that route changed up the structure and had more of a feel-good, healing kind of vibe. I was disappointed we never got a moment with Mekio and Shigure talking. I was really looking forward to their 1,000 year later conversation… That and we didn’t get to see Shigure react seeing the reincarnation of her beloved, not the brightest sister. AND WHERE DOES SHE CLOTHES!? But overall, I’m happy with how that route went! And thanks for reading this far, this post got long
; _; haha

We’re getting close though! Next off is the time-travel daughter route, which according to this CG Mode screen should be the last route. Though the guides I’ve seen reference a Meiko route, so we might unlock that after? This screen shows Meiko labeled as “Other pictures,” so I’m not sure if this chart will re-align or something, or if this version doesn’t have her route.

We’ll just have to see after next time! (We’re almost done with Snow, oh my god it’s long… whew~)

“Snow” #3 Legend Route – “Don’t do the thing.” “We did the thing.”

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.

Hmm, I’m getting scary vibes from the not Sumino on the right…

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.

“Slowly, the straw door parted.” (But like, Old English)

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.

Old lady: “The ritual involves summoning the goddesses who always watch over us and treating them to our village’s hospitality.”

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:

Old lady: “Now, no falling in love with any gods now!”

Whaaa– n-noo, never, no dragon god falling in love here, nope.

Housen: “Hmm, I see. It could actually be an issue with my inexperienced brother here.”
Old lady: “Oh Hakuou-sama, you don’t have that experience yet?”

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.

Housen looks like she belongs in a gender-bent Sengoku-era game with that warlord helmet made of flowers
The sound of bells echoes in the air.

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–

Dragon Goddess 2: “Euuu~~ Euuu~~”

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.

Younger Dragon Sister: “Do you have anything sweet~?”

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!)

Elder Dragon: “Behave yourself, or I swear I’ll turn this shrine right back to Heaven!!”

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.

Younger Dragon Sister: “Shaduup~~ I’ll tellll you wheeen I’ve– hiccup!”

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.

Younger Dragon Sister: My name is Kikka.

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.

“I-I just whanna~ hehehehaa~”

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!

Hakuou/Housen/Elder Dragon

Clearly forgetting the “can’t be seen by others” bit, Kikka is rejected from seeing the bunny.

“I want to see the bunny…”

Kikka gets all pouty, refusing to listen to the others and mopes about not seeing the bunny.

Her furry reaches an absolute maximum that can only be expressed by tildas~

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:

“Her face bore a terrifying and ruthless glare, as if she’d been waiting in that spot all day.”

The adjective they use to describe her glare references the two “wrathful and muscular guardians of the Buddha,” the Nioh:

Yeah, she’s pretty mad.

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~! Haa… haa… Supi, supi…”

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:

“Aughhh~ That hurt~!”

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.

Elder Dragon
“She would always watch you from Heaven, wishing she could be with you.”

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.

“I can’t have the same feelings… that my sister has…!”

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~~

“You don’t need to try and help humans anymore. It’s just too dangerous.”

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:

“You pest! Calm down or I’ll peel your skin off and cook you in a nabe pot!”

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.

“I was really happy and didn’t get much sleep.”

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.

“When I got up to wash my face, I saw that Kikka was still asleep.”

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:

“Ahh sorry”
“You first.”

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:

Elder Dragon

“We may be a human and a god… but before that, we’re a boy and a girl.”

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.

I forgot to take pictures during this scene, so here’s a mad Asahi yelling at me.

Now it comes to everyone’s favorite act, the sadness act!

“Hakuou, you’re awake! Are you okay?”

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.

“I am Reirei. The rabbit is Ronron.”
“This girl is the younger sister, Rinrin.”
“She’s the older sister, Ranran.”
“And that guy’s our leader, uh… Sansuke?”

To pay for the springs and food, Housen says they’ll put on a show. Hakuou gives his best shot:

“H-here’s my kappa impression~ …kekeke, kuuuu, kuuuu.”
Old lady
Elder Dragon

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.

“…I’m… having your child… Hakuou-sama.”

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.

Elder Dragon
“…dragon children grow much faster than human children. Almost at a speed you’d find unbelievable.”

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!

Elder Dragon
“This is normal in Heaven, just deal with it.”

The party treks on, making sure Kikka gets extra food and rest. Meanwhile, Elder Dragon prays to the Heavens for forgiveness.

Elder Dragon
“Please, please forgive us…! Please!!”
Elder Dragon
“Divine punishment will fall upon us.”

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.

“I… was just at the shrine?”
“Hakuou-sama, we still have preparations to do for the festival!”
“…? What’s wrong everyone? Did something happen?”

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:

“Is this… 天罰…?”

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:

Kikka held a stick in her hand. She… brought the stick up to her stomach, and…
“What do you want me to do? My stomach is so swollen and I hate it~!”

She does the horrific things in a cute voice sadness again, so we know we’ll be in it for the long run.

Elder Dragon

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:

“Something like this will happen again. This pain and suffering will probably repeat over and over.”

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.

“Who am I?”

Also Kikka forgets who she is.

This is… 天罰…

Interestingly, the game shifts narrators a bit here, letting us see Hakuou for the first time.

Honestly, I would have ditched the hat after a week in the raining woods.

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:

Elder Dragon
“How shameful! You’re a disgrace to the gods! You can’t even atone for what you’ve done!!”

Kikka, who at this point is completely oblivious, doesn’t know how to respond.

“Uwaaaaa!! Some stranger is berating me!! Uwaaaa!!”

In this sad, dark moment, Hakuou has just one wish:

Just once, I want to see her smiling face again…!

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).

Elder Dragon
“…maybe our prayers finally made it through.”

HAHAHAHA! HAHAHA! Ahh, that’s a good one Elder Dragon-san.

Elder Dragon
“Did we really escape from the 天罰?”
HAHAHA You’re killing me, stop!!!

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.

“If you close your eyes… you’ll see the continuation of your dream…”
“I’ll be reborn some day, then I’ll be by your side once again.”
“If I don’t, then our child will always be waiting for us at the shrine…”

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.

“I’m… glad I… met you… Hakuo–“

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.

“One day in the future, someone might find this scroll and set you free again…”

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.

“I… love you, big brother.”

Now alone, Hakuou stands above the deceased Kikka.

But even so, I can’t live without 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:

There it is.

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:

“Until the time that the one I saw in my vision breaks this curse, could you let me live as I appear now?”

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.

“If you see a reincarnated version of my brother in the future, you have my permission to slug him.”

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.

Elder Dragon
“But, if… I could meet a reincarnated Hakuou… do you think he’d forgive me?”

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!

Copying their Copied Homework – Snow Part #2 (Asahi’s Route)

After finishing Sumino’s route, I put out a Twitter poll asking what route to try out next. “Old Lady Time Travel Daughter” won out by a large margin, so I originally set out to do that route. I attempted to gain favor with the tiny enigma child, but things didn’t work out.

Ouka: “Wee~ Weee~~!”

I played with the kid and gave them food as they sadly waited in the snow for their parents. She noted that we look really similar to her father for some strange reason in a not-so-subtle elbow nudge.

Whenever Sumino was rolling down the hill uncontrollably, I stepped out of the way and let her slam into a tree. I think this happens 3 times?? To be honest, after the last route she kind of scares me…

“The annoying one has arrived.”

When Asahi arrived at our window during a blizzard and knocked pitifully to be let in, I closed the blinds and went back to watching TV.

Though no matter how much I did, the time traveler would always mysteriously vanish and never appear in the plot again. Kanata goes to the shrine, notes she’s not there, wonders if maybe her parents finally came back, and wishes her well. We, on the other hand, have failed to get on any route, and things don’t turn out well.

Asahi: “To Kanata. I’ve been thinking a lot about us since my confession.”

Asahi leaves a letter behind complete with sad snow-covered narration about how we’ve changed, and that it’s clear she’s not in your heart anymore. She vanishes to the mountains to never be seen again.

The following morning, your cousin Tsugumi tells you that the family inn is bankrupt and being sold off as a cultural landmark! Tomorrow! Kanata was initially worried about what would happen to Tsugumi, but it turns out she got engaged to the strange town doctor and will be perfectly set. Everyone in the town has one last bath at the bath house in honor of its closing, and I get scared seeing Sumino in the inn again. That route hurt me more than I expected ; _;

Sumino: “U-eguu! P-promise, promise me you’ll, come back!!”

Lastly, Sumino walks us to the bus stop in harsh silence the next morning. Since we put up a thick emotional wall between us after *last time*, we don’t get her route, and we get on a bus to go back to the city we came from. She chases after the bus, shouting for us to come back one day, too broken up by our sudden separation. Kanata nods and waves, not wanting to do that again. Go time travel wisdom~

And then game over.

I had to do some searching in Japanese for a route guide, which isn’t easy when the game is named something super generic like “Snow.” Eventually I found something for the PS2 version which states that everything is actually in a strict order oddly enough. At first, you’re allowed to do either Sumino or Asahi, then you have to do the Legend route. After that, one more route opens up at a time, with time travel daughter being near the end.

The only hint I noticed that points to this is that Meiko at one point asks you “How much do you know about the legend?” to which Kanata doesn’t answer well enough. She smacks you and tells you to come back after studying more. Apparently that was more 4th-wally than I realized if she meant that for me, the player, and not Kanata. I also get strong vibes that she knows everything and may have lived in the days when the dragons were around.

I mean, does this not look like the face of an all-knowing deity!?

I figured if I didn’t do Asahi now, I wouldn’t go back to it, so I went ahead and started that route.

Spoiler-free version if you’re wanting to play the English release in the future: Both Sumino and Asahi’s routes tackle very similar themes, so you don’t really need to do both. Sumino’s has a bit more importance I feel, so I would recommend that one. Asahi explores a bit more of the world’s backstory a bit, but I think that’ll be mostly covered in the Legend route. Sumino’s is just the better story though. Sumino’s made me feel sad and anxious. Asahi made me feel annoyed and impatient.

Entering Asahi spoiler territory! Also Sumino spoilers from the previous post are mentioned!

(I’m going to be honest here; I played this route a bit over a month ago and was just so uninspired that I put this review off too long. Hopefully I didn’t forget too many details, but thankfully I take a huge amount of screenshots for fun out of habit.)

So after letting Sumino slam into more trees and cry about anman, the plot branches after we let Asahi into the house after she knocks on our window in the blizzard. Tsugumi asks Kanata who this random child is, but he has no idea either. Asahi gets upset and starts crying, saying that when you were kids, you, uh, “kept each other warm in a long hug full of love” or something to that degree. Tsugumi immediately flips out:

Tsugumi: “You planned on running away from this after what you did to her!? Take responsibility and make her your wife!

Obviously this is a misunderstanding. Tsugumi doesn’t seem to realize that this event was 10 years ago, so clearly he didn’t sleep with her and then ran the next morning. But for some reason, no one mentions this, and Asahi is ecstatic that she gets to be your wife and her love is accepted, by force.

The following night, you have strange dreams of what you may have just gotten yourself into:

Dream Asahi says she’s a daughter of a group that “punishes evil people.” However, a guy with a punch perm threatens to wrap you in a bamboo mat and throw you in the ocean to drown, so it’s easy to assume Asahi is a yakuza boss’ daughter.

Thankfully we wake up from that…

Asahi: “Good morning nanoda~!”

…and wake up into a new hell. Alright that’s a bit much. Also, you better get used to hearing “nanoda” at the end of all her sentences for the next several hours, since it’s her “cute” thing she does nanoda. It doesn’t really mean anything nanoda, just a cute way to talk nanoda. Alright we’re done with that nanoda.

Now that Asahi’s your forced wife, she insists on helping you with everything. And she’s somehow bad at everything.

“Asahi spun around the room in a panic, with the vacuum sucking up part of her skirt.”

She insists on making you dinner, which you think is nice, until you see she just brought out a plate of raw vegetables and starts gnawing on a carrot. You hold an uncooked potato in your hand, but you can’t really eat that. However, you summon your main power characters and eat as much as you can to make her happy. You request next time that she at least prepares them a bit. She’s confused at first, but nods enthusiastically that it’ll be much better next time! The next evening, you get a pile of hacked up vegetables. Confused, but still polite-ish, you eat them and ask that she makes some meat next time and actually seasons the food. That and rice would be a nice complement.

So the next day, she hands you a raw steak covered in pepper, sugar, soy sauce, mayonnaise, and ketchup perfectly complemented with a bowl of uncooked rice. Perfect!

Now, the astute reader (or anyone whose remotely thinking about the story while reading) may have realized the route’s twist at this point: Asahi is a rabbit from your childhood who came back because they missed you. And now if you think I’m jumping the gun, let me present some proof:

  1. She has no idea how to do basic human things
  2. You met her 10 years ago, but don’t remember her. You shared a “loving, warm embrace” that can’t be explained unless you kept a bunny warm
  3. She served you a plate of raw vegetables for food
  4. Her hair is tied up into two long bunny ears
  5. She has red eyes
  6. She’s dressed like a fucking carrot
  7. She goes home every night, but refuses to let you see her house or know where she lives
  8. Kanon already did this (though with a fox), so there’s no surprise they copied this too
  9. There’s a rabbit on the game’s cover

So yeah, by this point (which is still in the common route section by the way!!) I already guessed most of the twist and spent the next several hours waiting for the game to reveal it.

Now you might be wondering why I called this post “copying their copied homework.” That’s because this route is really just the Sumino route all over again!! It follows the same structure perfectly, so you really don’t miss much if you only do one route. As I mentioned in the last post, this game was originally an 18+ game for PC, so this happy period most likely contains some scenes I’d rather not think about involving your pet rabbit. MOVING ON.

The beginning part of her route is her learning to actually cook like a normal person and control animal instincts, like eating the entire kitchen since she found new tasties. She’s incredibly bad at everything she does, but she makes up for that in enthusiasm!

“Let Asahi cook dinner”
“Cook dinner yourself (and save your sanity)”

Though enthusiasm only gets so far when you scrub someone’s back with a pool-scrubbing brush on accident and rip their skin open, requiring stiches. She’s trying though 😀

Soon however, Kanata realizes that her blind enthusiasm may cause some unexpected problems. Begging to be useful, Kanata asks Asahi to go to the village store and grab this week’s Shonen Copyright Avoidance magazine. Sumino’s mom, who runs the store, tells Asahi that due to being out in the mountains, they run one week behind on the magazines, and that she’d have to go into town to get one. Unfortunately, this is exactly what she does, on foot without telling anyone.

We find her frozen at the shrine (oh hey, just like Sumino) clutching the magazine for you. We bring her back home, realizing how terrible we’ve been or something.

She gets anime sick for a while due to it, but recovers pretty quickly. Kanata realizes just how much Asahi loves him, and he resolves to be better to her.

Around this time, Asahi, after many many days of practice, manages to make a meal that is not an inedible pile of trash!

Asahi: “I did it! I did it!”

What’s that? A happy smiling face? You know what that means!

*whistles from the sad train can be heard softly in the distance*

At some point, Meiko lets us know that Sumino has given up and that she wishes Kanata and Asahi well. The confusion over the past hugging incident is resolved, though Meiko wants you to tell her it really happened because it would ruin her amusement if everything just worked out. Kanata and Asahi break off the forced wife situation since the misunderstanding is resolved and decide to see what grows naturally in its place.

Asahi and Meiko get into a tiny argument due to Meiko’s bullying, to which she tells Asahi that she’ll “peel her skin off and cook her in a nabe pot.”

This freaks the Asahi out greatly.

Apart from that, everything is going great and life looks good! However, Asahi mutters the forbidden words:

Asahi: “I’m, just so happy right now.”

*sad train approaching the station, please keep your distance from the platform as the train pulls in*

To be fair, the game takes another hour at this point, and she says this like 2 more times as if feeling invincible and spitting at the gods.

Meiko: “I expected some mistakes, but to think you blew up the oven…”

She even relishes in her power and blows up the other heroine’s oven while trying to cook! She’s on a power trip!

Another important moment; Kanata catches Asahi with a lighter near the tapestry hanging in your room. The tapestry is ancient, coming from back when the dragons lived in the village of the past. She goes on about how it’s evil and she hates it, but you prevent her from burning it.

Kanata: “Is that… a lighter!?”

Definitely nothing related to bunny-ness and magical turning-into-human powers here, nope. Move along.

The next morning, Kanata notices Asahi acting peculiar.

Asahi: “Owowoww…~”

Not only was she sitting oddly close to the TV earlier, but she kept running into walls this morning. Kanata and Tsugumi determine that her eyesight must be getting bad and that they should get her checked out at an optometrist. Considering the game we’re getting into and what happened with Sumino, it’s beginning.

*glance, glance*

Her eyesight continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate. They actually change her model here to have more vacant, blank eyes. It’s kind of creepy how they drew it… The doctor suggests that they admit Asahi to the hospital, but she refuses.

Asahi: “Please, Kanata… I don’t want… to go… anywhere else…”

You decide to respect her wishes and hope she’ll get better. Kanata and Tsugumi insist on having her stay at the inn since she lives alone with no other family. Later, you have a memory from when you were a child where your mom scolded you for getting too close to the ancient scroll on the wall, but you were too entranced with the bunny.

Huh, bunny, weird. Wonder what that’s about.

However, in the present day, there’s only a smudge there. On closer inspection, Kanata can somewhat make out a pair of eyes.

Kanata: “So, maybe that smudge…”
Tsugumi: “What about it?”
Kanata: “Maybe the rabbit that got erased is coming through…?”
Tsugumi: “…”
Kanata: “…”

Kanata, in an infuriating moment of “almost putting two and two together,” dismisses everything and ignores the mysterious scroll.

Soon after, Asahi starts mumbling a lot and loses the ability to talk normally. She has to try really hard to enunciate everything, often leading to grunts and gestures. Kanata takes her to the doctor again in a panic, but he can’t offer any advice other than rest. Meiko, his daughter, offers pointedly cryptic advice:

Meiko: “Protecting Asahi is okay as long as you don’t lose sight of yourself in the process.”

She came in with similar advice for Sumino when things were turning bad then, so I really expect her to be in the know.

Kanata looks back at the wall scroll when he gets home and notices the rabbit’s mouth has returned.

“It’s almost like it took Asahi’s.”
“Does… Asahi have some connection with this scroll?”


That night, Kanata has a dream of the distant past.

Voice: “Mother! A huge rabbit just ran by!”

He dreams of running through lush green fields (ignore the sepia tones, that just means the recor– memory is old). He realizes that he, or more so the person whose memory he’s watching, is not in fact human. A kid shouts that they saw a giant bunny as they ran past. Another voice shouts that they found a monster. Before long, Kanata wakes up.

The next morning, Tsugumi mentions that they need to go on the roof and knock snow off before it gets heavy and the roof collapses. (Side note, isn’t it amazing how the inn doesn’t go bankrupt just because Asahi loves us?) Asahi insists on still helping out, despite all she’s going through. She still wants to be useful to Kanata.

Doesn’t this confident gaze just fill you with confidence that this will end well?

In all of our character’s infinite wisdom (he did let someone with a 106F fever go dress shopping), we decide that the person with degenerating eye sight should be allowed to climb a ladder onto a slippery snowy roof? What’s the worst that could happen, they’d fall off the roof?

They fall off the roof.

Tsugumi: “Oh thank heavens. No one was seriously injured.”

Thankfully you catch her and take the brunt of the fall. But really though, why did anyone think this was okay in the first place!?

As if the sad train wasn’t trying its hardest to get up depression hill, next Asahi’s hearing starts to fade. She’ll stare off blankly into space until Kanata shouts or talks right next to her ear, causing her to jump.

“I wonder if it’s the scroll– no couldn’t be…”

We have more sepia memories, this time we learn that the rabbit wants to become a human. A man tells it that in order to become a human, it needs to do good deeds for humans. The rabbit tries to pull vegetables out of the garden and bring it to the village to save them time, but they chase it away while calling it a monster.

Voice: “S-someone, come quick! The monster is taking my kimono!!”

Someone’s kimono flew off a drying rack and blew away, so she tried to grab it and bring it back (okay it’s clearly Asahi, I’m switching to she/her). However, they see the monster rabbit and immediately assume the worst and chase her out of the village.

The next morning, Asahi is nowhere to be found. Eventually, Kanata finds a note on the table:

“There in shoddy letters was the short phrase ‘I’m sorry.'”

He realizes that the tapestry in his room is now missing. We wonder once again if the scroll has any meaning.

“There has to be some relationship with Asahi and that scroll!!”

But alas we ignore it for now and search for Asahi. We don’t know where Asahi lives still, since she used to go back to her house alone and refused to let us see her place.

“As if my legs knew where to go, my memories followed the path through the snow for me.”

Thankfully Kanata intuitively knows where to go, this knowledge only being unlocked by plot relevance. He finally manages to track down Asahi’s home:

It’s an opening under a tree where she can get out of the cold. You find her alone and shivering, the wall scroll on the ground nearby. You hold her close, startling her in the process, and sleep there with her for the night instead of, you know, bringing her home.

Once again you dream of the past, but this time the rabbit saves a drowning child. The village is perplexed and terrified, but one man comes to her side.

Man: “This rabbit wanted to become a human and tried to help us. But we were scared and labeled it as a monster.”

A man named Hakuou (I think that’s how it’s read, the legend route should clarify it later) vouches for us and protects us from the other villagers. We learn he’s the man who told us we can become a human if we did enough good deeds, but he apologizes for how things turned out and asks that we return to the wild and stay away from humans from then on.

Kanata and Asahi then wake up from under the tree, after presumably seeing the same dream.

Kanata: “That… was sad. But, I’m sure this dream has a happy ending, right?”

HAHAHAHA no. Why would it, we’re playing depressing Snow simulator.

Kanata: “Go ahead and sleep. I’ll wake you when we arrive.”

I was 99% sure she was going to die here just like Sumino, but she didn’t. I’m kind of blanking on this next part, but we end up back at the hole again, this time with Asahi covered in cuts that won’t heal. I believe she ran away again, so you chased after her. You try to quickly grab food from the kitchen, but Tsugumi walks in and asks what’s going on. In a panic, Kanata sprints out without a word for some reason, clutching the few carrots he could. We see a flashback where he did this exact same thing in the past, with Tsugumi finding he was taking food to a rabbit that he wasn’t allowed to keep in the house. Why he panics now, I’m not really sure.

Back at the hole, Kanata manages to get Asahi to briefly nibble on a carrot, but not by much. Even after bandaging her wounds, the bleeding won’t stop. Kanata makes the expert medical decision to sleep in the cold hole again, and they’ll go to the doctor if it’s still bad in the morning. I really want to slap some common sense into this guy…

We have one last memory to see.

We learn that Asahi is not an actual rabbit, but part of the scroll brought to life by magic (THE SCROLL WAS IMPORTANT!?).

Man: “Don’t worry about the tapestry, I’ll keep it safe.”
Man: “…I’m not sure why you would, but on the off chance you want to return to the tapestry, come here.”

We learn that the tapestry is actual her life, and that she’s given form through its magic. She’s told to live her life as a rabbit, free from the confines of the tapestry. She runs after Hakuou and busts into his house however, despite him telling her to never seek out humans again.

Woman: “Settle down, otherwise I’ll skin you and boil you for dinner!”

Hmm, that line is oddly familiar and in the same font color/voice actor as Meiko. More hints about her being around for a long time, or just a very similar descendent?

Asahi ends up saving someone’s life, but is gravely injured in the process. The only way to save Asahi is to place her back in the tapestry to recover. However, she’ll be trapped and can’t leave of her own power.

Man: “I’m sure that someday in the future, someone will let you out of the tapestry once again.”

It’s implied at this point that she’s released when Tsugumi gives you the tapestry to hang up at the beginning of the game. She doesn’t appear for the first time in the plot until after that. We can also put together that being in human form maybe have been a reward for her past actions, but that she can only stay outside of it as a human for so long before she has to return, hence her slowly fading senses. She must have been released from it as well 10 years ago when Kanata interacted with the scroll, but she disappeared somehow. Maybe when the tapestry was rolled up? That or she faded after running out of power? Not sure if they answered that.

More importantly, we learn that she’ll die if the tapestry is destroyed.

“In the distance, Kanta can see a small red flame.”

Asahi doesn’t know this and plans on burning the tapestry. We try to stop her, but we hear screams of pain as the scroll starts to burn. Kanata rushes in and throws the scroll to the ground, putting out the flames. However, it looks to be too late.

Asahi: “…am I going to… disappear…?”
Asahi: “I… wanted to be with you… forever…”
Asahi: “You even let me… stay by your side… but now…”
Kanata: “!?”

Asahi disappears, leaving only her clothes behind. You collapse in the snow.

Thankfully you don’t die. While unconscious, someone finds you and brings you to the hospital. You make a recovery, but Asahi is not here with you anymore.

“I’m here now.
I’m no longer looking back.
I trust that person and won’t look back.
Now I can run.
To where the one I love is…
I run… I run…
The wind lightly brushes against my ears.
My feet kick off against the snow.
I… continue to run
To that person…”

And lastly, in a less confusing ending than earlier:

*bunny noises!*

We find a mysterious bunny whose happy to see us. Aww~

So Asahi briefly gets her wish to become a human and see the one who took care of her years ago, but the magic wasn’t strong enough to maintain her human form for long. But now this girl you fell in love with is now your pet bunny, so that’s kind of weird when you think about it. Hmm. Let’s not think about it!

Overall, the route wasn’t bad per se, but Sumino’s felt a lot stronger. This one at least ended in a way that made sense though. I feel like Asahi’s route was plain and stayed coherent by explaining everything by the end. With Sumino’s, we still have no idea why she got sick, better, then died. That one requires digging into the Legend route, which will be next up!

“Snow,” Also Known as Budget Kanon Part #1 (Sumino’s Route) – Games in Progress

Some months ago, I wanted to make my purchase from Japan Retro Direct worth the shipping cost when packages were expensive due to Covid. I searched the Dreamcast section of games and saw one that was just called “Snow” with two girls spinning as snow’s falling, and it just seems to whisper in your ears: “You’re gonna have a sad time.” It was in my cart and ready to go before I realized it.

I’m an absolute sucker for nakige, which are games designed to make you cry (naku = “to cry”, ge = short for “geemu/game”). Kanon’s a classic favorite of mine (tho I’ve only watched both animes for it so far), which suspiciously involves snow and sadness as well. Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna (I Am Setsuna) is another sad snow-filled game with one of my absolute favorite game OSTs that I overplay even now. Crystar is the game I’ll scream on rooftops about to the audience of no one else whose played it (another jaw-dropping, heart tearing OST here ; _;). ef – A Tale of Memories still makes me cry while thinking about it since I loved it to hell and back in high school. Narcissu–

You get the point, I like sad. This is up my alley so much. Let’s sad~

Before we begin, I want to shout out the recently revived translation effort for the game here! If this game seems up your alley as you read this, consider volunteering to help keep the project moving!

Some apologies ahead of time:

  • I played this game on-and-off for a few months, so I’m a little fuzzy on the beginning of the game. I’m writing this blogpost after playing for 5-6 hours marathoning the 2nd half, so there will be a lot for the Sumino-specific story.
  • Early on, I was taking pictures of the screen with my phone and using composite from the Dreamcast, so the photos aren’t the best. Now I have a RetroTINK Pro + S-Video -> capture card -> raspberry pi -> discord robot for super easy screenshots~

The game starts with the image of a shrine covered in snow. You’re told about a story from long ago, when dragons existed (wait wha-).

“Once there was a dragon princess who ruled the heavens.
One day, she fell in love with a boy from the surface.
The love between them was forbidden.
The dragon coated the ground in eternal snow, as if to break away from her lover.
Hundreds of years later, our story begins.
Feelings dulled to time will cross once again in the land where the snow buries only the truth.”

(if you like dragon princesses, boy, have I written the book for you~)

Alright, well that was–

At this point, I swore I hit some weird copy protection from playing a Japanese game on a US console. The game just screams at you, making your ears bleed. The camera pans up to see you’re lying on the ground, staring right at a girl’s panties. Classy start.

It’s this girl, I’m not showing the actual picture though > .>

She does the usual routine of calling you a pervert over and over, then throws a bunch of snowballs at you. Except one of the snowballs has a large rock inside of it, and she smashes your head in.

You fucking died.

–is what the whole village thinks. After a while, you wake up in what appears to be a shrine while wearing a white funeral kimono. I believe they were about to light you on fire.

So of course since immolation is not on your to-do list, you sit up and tell them you’re fine.