Ah, I can't even begin to describe how happy I am to be able to play this game, finally! I was waiting for the full release for so long!
I've just finished Arden's route, and I loved it with all my heart! Can't wait to check out the other ones now. I may comment again once I'm done, but I wanted to share my thoughts right away, and ask a question or two.
Of course, since I will be discussing elements from the game...
Well, first of, let me tell you I adore the story. Court intrigues have been made in visual novels before, but I believe this is the first BL game with a court intrigue as a central element, and it makes me happy since while I love otome games, I love BL games even more. I managed to figure out a few of the mystery's elements before Rivian, like Hazel's bloodline or the things about the secret passage, which is always satisfactory, too.
Also, the characters are all so cool - in Requiescence, I actually liked only one of the routes, because only one of the characters felt like a right romance option to me (not criticizing here, because Requiescence is one of the most memorable games I've played, a true inspiration source). Here, I feel like all the routes will have something to offer. I'm planning to playing Franz's now, and leaving Linnaeus for last, because he's my favorite "character type" out of the three.
As for the art, I like it a lot. In this case, I won't deny it's an improvement over Requiescence. Though, one thing bothered me - a little mistake, I believe. When Raphael (Rafael? Don't remember now) catches Riv and forces him to dance with him during the Masquerade, and he tears his mask in two in order for Riv to have half a mask... Well, when the CG comes up, they both have half a mask on the same side of the face (their right side), wich wouldn't be possible if they both have half of the same mask. Yeah, not the most important CG of the route, but I felt like telling it anyway, if you want to update it at some point (though it might be difficult depending on how the illustrations were made, so yeah, maybe not worth it).
The music is gorgeous, and I'm so happy you inluded the possibility to listen to it in the extras! I'm a sucker for that kind of music haha!
Unfortunately, one more thing that I have to criticize is the menu and the saving options. I don't like the fact that the right mouse click doesn't bring up the menu. I like to save at every choice so I can experiment, but here, I have to save aaaall the time, since I can't bring the menu up once I'm on choice screen, so I need to be prepared all the time. It's tedious and breaks a bit the immersion, because of all the interruptions in order to save. Also, the fact I need to click the "menu" option to bring the other task bar from where I can click on save to access the save menu is bothersome, because when I close the save menu the bar stays here, even when the regular dialogue box dissapears, so I have to click on the "menu" button again to make it dissapear. That, in addition to the saving all the time issue makes it extremely time consuming and irritating.
Now, as for the questions I had, they're about the endings.
I see the game page saying it has 9 endings, but does it include the premature ending if you fail to access any route when Riv hears whispers in the gardens and gets stabbed? And also, does it include the "game over" like ending you can get if you act instead of thinking, during the route's last choice? That last one would feel like a bad ending, but it didn't have any CG, credits or anything, so I'm wondering, since well, Requiescence endings were long, story driven and had CGs, so yeah... Besides, since the game has 3 romances and 9 endings, I assumed it would be 3 endings per character, but if the premature death ending is an actual ending, that wouldn't fit... Aaah, anyway, basically, what is considered ending in this game? And if the things I've mentionned are not actual endings, can I get a hint on how to get the other (presumably) two endings of a character, or what they are (like, affection driven things, depending on some specific choices, and so on)? Honestly, I'd like bad ending similar to Requiescence's (I mean, not necessarily the same kind of content, since the setting is very different here, but longer, more detailed and with CGs)
Anyway, sorry for the huuuuge comment you had to read.
I may have some critiques, but the game is awesome, and I'm really happy with it! Thank you!