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I forgot to comment when I played it for the first time, but it's almost a month later and I'm still thinking about it! I really really loved this game. I love historical dramas and media in general, and your research for this game really shows in a way that is extremely satisfying. This is the game I have unknowingly wanted to play for a long time, and I want to sincerely thank you for satisfying a need I did not know I have for queer visual novels set during the 18th or 19th centuries.

I deeply and unaccountably loved Alas, and I admit I'm guilty of wanting Tris and Alas to "make nice" as you spoke about in your retrospective. I think it's because I identified more with Alas than with Tris, felt his pain more strongly, and wanted Tris to learn how to treat him more respectfully and lovingly... which is definitely how my first (and many of my subsequent) playthrough(s) played out, so I was definitely satisfied with that. ...I don't know what that says about me, haha, but thank you again for writing that option even in what is ultimately meant to be a story about a breakup. There's so much else about the game and the story that I loved, but I don't have enough space to talk about it all.

Also in your retrospective you wrote about queer pain and the need for stories about it that are not voyeuriste. I have a lot of thoughts about that also... I know a lot of people enjoy pure fantasy escapism, playing through a setting where homophobia doesn't exist, but I've never been able to get much out of that sort of story (though I'm glad it exists). I'd rather have something that feels honest to my experience— where things may be painful, and that when the characters find love and happiness it feels... not earned exactly, but honest. Like it could really exist, where queer love and happiness is not an escapist fantasy but something that is real and something that can exist alongside grief and danger and complication and everything else. Anyway that's sort of what I got from this story. :)

thank you so much for the beautiful comment!

Alas was always meant to be the more relatable character of the two, for sure. Even though he's being awful and reckless at the start of the game, he's much more capable of self-reflection and growth than Tris is, and his change of heart in both versions of the true end are meant to be an indicator that with a bit of a hand he's got this capacity to learn and adapt that Tris doesn't. The reason I think them making nice isn't an ideal solution is that, while they could have a /better/ relationship than what they've got, that doesn't make it their /best/ option overall -- that end was meant to satisfy the urge to see it happen, while also showing it's an imperfect solution. Alas is used to denying himself the life he wants because he's afraid of being alone, and him being given a push to go on some adventures and find a community he can really belong in should be healthier long-term. So the true end is basically meant to be a (slightly grouchier, romantic) version of this.

I'm glad that's what you got! I think that, generally, there are times where you want to pretend there isn't a fight happening, and there are times you want reassurance it's a fight you'll win. IN is intended for folks who need the latter.

Also re: a need for queer history VNs, my next big project is early 20th c, which is a bit outside the period you mentioned but maybe still of interest! It's another fight-you'll-win story, about a man with a hard-won sense of self-worth trying to find love and stability in a world that keeps trying to dehumanise him... sometimes literally. Title TBA, but we'll hopefully have some details public soon :V

That sounds super interesting! I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more about it as development goes on with the project :)