Just finished playing through all of the routes in the mini-story, and it was so cute! I hadn't realized how much I missed these characters and Lunaris so this was really sweet and made me happy haha. Thank you for making this!
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Despite putting many, many hours into this game and playing it back to front, I absolutely don't mind the change in price, and if anyone is wondering if it's worth it--it absolutely is! This game is incredible. I'm very excited to see the updates and move to Unity and thrilled at the thought of mini stories with these characters. I wish you all the best of luck for this upcoming year and I can't wait to see what you have in store!
I've played through all the routes (a few times haha) and I absolutely adore it so far! I’m very interested to see how the story will unravel and I love the variety of choices we can make, and I think it’s really cool that all the routes run parallel to each other and occasionally intertwine. The artwork on the backgrounds, sprites, and CGs is absolutely stunning, and the writing is charming as always. The characters are compelling and honestly delightful, I’ve already started to fall for some of them haha. But I cannot wait for the next chapters and thank you guys so much for your hard work on this <3
I appreciate the save slots having the names/roles of the saves, as someone who creates far too many saves to get every last piece of content lol, and I’m also excited to see the new program in action as compared to Renpy.
Sending love to you all!
Really fun start! I'm very excited to see how this game progresses. I love the characters so far, the art is beautiful and the writing is awesome! I'm loving Aya and Ryona the most but the other characters are fanatastic as well.
I think I have a theory on who the MC is, but I'll have to wait and see how the story unfolds to see if I'm right haha
So I had to split this into 2 parts because it got too long!
MAJOR SPOILER WARNING AHEAD
The Characters – So I adore these characters, and wanted to do a little run through of each of them, both as they are in the story and also romance specific.
Ezra – So I know that I love all of these characters equally and all of them are amazing but everyone has to have a favourite, and when I saw this soft witch boy for the first time at the very start of the game, well, I fell in love with both him and the game. He drew me into this world, as he was my first playthrough that eventually branched into the Poly route with him and Finn, but more on that later. Ezra is this brilliant character in that he’s so genuinely kind and sweet and endearing because of that. A lot of times in fiction, male characters are a little more emotionally reserved, more ‘tough’ than sweet which is absolutely fine, but Ezra is also a breath of fresh air to those tropes. Having him be so unwaveringly kind and supportive and having him throughout the game was a good rock to anchor the Hunter to. I also just love his design as well, he’s adorable. I definitely have a special place in my heart for him.
Just because my piece of August got long, I’d also like to put in that the Gus/Ezra relationship is really nice, because first off you’re like, who would ever not like Ezra? And you can tell that Ezra really cares for them still, and to see them mend their relationship is nice.
Finn – I’ll admit, I wasn’t that into vampires before, but now? Finn changed the game for me. His romance was a brilliantly written one, and I love his characterization. He has some of the most romantic lines in the game, and there is something that is really sad about him, this weight to his immortality that comes across really well. The scene where he shows the Hunter his box where he has mementos from his past is a great scene, but I loved it especially because it’s a different scene given the context. With the Condemn route, it’s something sad but sweet, but in the Liar Liar route, it’s a warning. I think his story is definitely sad, the idea that he so badly wishes he was human. He’s a very well written and lovable character that’s very easy to fall in love with.
Finn/Ezra – This route was both my first and favourite route in the game. The chemistry between Ezra and Finn is very well done, and from their first scene together it’s easy to see their love for each other. The blend between these two characters in their route is something that really drew me in, and I argue to say that this is the (second) best route in the game, although I am very biased. What’s the first? I’ll get to that. But the relationship between the characters and with the added mix of the Hunter is something that is very well done and feels very natural. Poly routes are an uncommon sight in these Visual Novels, so it was a really nice and unique experience. Also that last CG of them in Chapter 10 just made my heart sing, I love these two boys so much.
Alkar – I have a special place in my heart for this wolf boy. He’s one of the funniest characters in the game, all snark and a tough out wall, but he truly shines when we get to see what’s underneath all of those layers and he becomes more vulnerable. Seeing him in the romance route become more open with the Hunter is satisfying and endearing to watch. He’s a very fun character, and well written, and plays off both the Hunter and many of the other characters very well. In Chapter 10 when we get to see him in his new outfit, with his bandages off, was a really sweet moment, a visual representation of how he’s changed.
Omen – Omen is probably one of the most complex characters in game. In the romance route especially, the Hunter really sees—not a transformation, because he was always this way, but it’s more like a reveal of his true nature. It’s not a personal transformation, the changes he goes through are simply a change in perception from the perspective of the Hunter, if that makes any sense at all. He starts off as this very sweet, chocolate loving, soft demon boy and he is still very much that, but as the game progresses we see the layers peeled back on this entity and what resides underneath. It’s so easy to forget that he’s this ancient demon prince of incredible power, that when we are reminded of it, it’s shocking and takes your breath away for a moment. When we get to see glimpses into this nature, this ancient, almost unfathomable being, it’s a reminder of who is truly is. Omen has many lines in the game that I have screenshotted because they made me pause or gasp. I think the trick with him is that this flipped expectations, he is a demon, the son of Satan himself, and yet he is kind, he is good. He loves humanity. This creates this compelling character that draws you in, wanting to know more.
I think one of the moments that illustrates this the best is in the Alkar/Omen route, and it might be in the solo route as well I can’t remember off the top of my head, but the Hunter and Alkar are expressing concern about him eating chocolate because of the salt, and what if his tounge swells up and he chokes? And Omen just responds with something like “You’re very cute to worry about my fake mortal form that doesn’t actually need to breathe.”
And I was like, oh…right. Ancient demon prince.
And it was a moment that really stood out to me, there were a lot of moments that Omen had that were really impactful, and I really love him as a character.
Alkar/Omen – their relationship, whether with the Hunter or not is a really fun one. Seeing them become friends and the endearing way they talk about the other is sweet, and while in other romances it’s very cute to watch them fall for the other. Their dynamic is a fun one, a definite partner-in-crime type relationship, and the Poly route was just as fun. They feel natural together, like they’re meant to be together.
Piper— She’s got both Big Best Friend Energy, and Big Wife Energy, but honestly, your SO should also be one of your best friends. I love Piper, I adore her. She’s everything I would want in a partner and more. She’s funny and witty and brilliantly written. She another character that even if your not in a romance with her, her relationship with the Hunter is just a natural part of the story, and she’s got amazing best friend material. Her transition from (unfairly) blaming the Hunter for taking her job, basically, to befriending us and helping us out was awesome to watch and experience, and doing missions with her were some of my favorite parts because she just has amazing chemistry with the Hunter. Seeing her regain her rank as General at the end of the game was also the cherry on top.
I love her romance route, it feels natural and heartwarming, and really drew me in. You can tell she really falls for the Hunter, and it’s pretty amazing to watch. As a side note, her CGs in Chapter 4 and 10 are my favourite in the game, she’s breathtakingly beautiful.
Her relationship with August is another favourite in the game, something that starts off antagonistic, but there’s a part of them that you can tell that they care about each other really sells it. Them repairing their relationship with each other over time, while still keeping up with a slightly more playful bantering that deliberately hostile is also something that is great to experience. You can tell that those two really could change the world if they could just work together.
August – The Hunter might be the main character of the game, but in my mind, I always thought of August as the true protagonist of this story. They are by far this most dynamic character, and their story arc throughout the game is the most impactful one. August in the core of this game, they are the driving force behind the plot as much as the Hunter is. Their relationship with the Hunter, whether as friends or their romantic relationship is the beating heart of the game. Their transformation to partial antagonistic force to the Hunter’s strongest ally, and taking their role as the new Lieutenant General is poetic. Their relationship with Harry as well, the Father-Child relationship for August who had a tumultuous relationship with their own parents, and the heartbreaking realization that Harry has betrayed them is an incredible moment. Seeing them break down in tears in Chapter 8 is an emotional crux that leads us into the finale of the game. Some of my favourite parts of them is a little strange, it’s actually the fact that they are very emotional, although I think they would rather not be. The fact that we can usually tell whatever they are thinking and that they’re expressive when they try not to be is something that’s very sweet. August really grew on me, and I would hazard to say that their romance is the best one in the game. Their transformation especially with the Hunter in their route is beautiful to watch, and I am so proud of them by the end of the game.
On the flip side, August was the first route I did with the ‘Pledge’ choice, because I knew it would be the most heartbreaking, and I was right. I do love the Pledge route, but I think August’s is the best because of how incredibly heartbreaking it is to watch because they fall so in love with the Hunter and then they break their heart.
I think one of my favourite moments with them is actually just what we hear from word of mouth. During the ‘Pledge’ and ‘Liar Liar’ routes, we hear from our respective love interests that August came to them, in tears and completely distraught at the thought of losing the Hunter to Harry. That idea that they were in hysterics over the thought of losing the Hunter, romanced or not, is so emotional. You can really see in that moment how much they have grown to care for you.
August’s design is gorgeous as well, they’re just a beautiful person and this has been pointed out before, but another thing I love is the stark difference between the way that August looks at the Hunter in their first CG, and the way they look at them in Chapter 8 and 10.
Also, there aren’t many Non-Binary characters in media in general, let alone in Visual Novels. Seeing someone like August was really nice to have a character like that written in the way they were. It’s refreshing to see that kind of representation, and it was nice to have a NB character, I always think LGBTQ+ representation is so important.
Harry – As the antagonist of such a brilliant game, Harry had to be no less that amazing, and he really delivered. His twisted worldview come from his loss and sense of powerlessness, it really changed up the story. What started off as a monster hunting story became something more when we realized what was really happening behind the scenes. Placing Harry in this powerful position, and a position of trust and admiration really set up his fall from grace in the Hunter’s eyes. He was a truly scary villain, something that is often hard to do.
What I love most about Harry is his parallels with the Hunter, as I’m a sucker for a good hero/villain dynamic, although this aspect of their relationship shines the best in the Pledge route. The fact that the Hunter seeks his approval even after everything is so interesting, that the Hunter fell victim to the pursuit of power just as he did, both of them sacrificing loved ones to do so. It’s masterfully done.
Harry as the twist villain of the story was actually not what I expected, I was actually delighted and surprised by the end of Chapter 7, and Chapter 8 had me on the edge of my seat for an explanation. The final fight between the Hunter, August, and him in Chapter 9 is really the climax of this story, and feels like it’s all been leading up to this moment.
He’s an amazing villain, overall.
James – Something that I love at the start of Chapter 7 is the fact that we are in James’ perspective. James is a large part of this story from the very start in Chapter 2, with the Hunter the whole way through in his own way. His is the story of tragedy. Getting to see him in Chapter 7 in the dream sequence is an incredible moment, finally getting the answers we needed while opening up new ones. He is a kind man, I think he would’ve made an amazing father if he had ever gotten that chance. In the ending credits that we learn that he stays with a captured Harry is heartbreaking, and I really feel for the character. Love his design as well, he’s a handsome man, looks good with Harry in the flashbacks we see them together, and is really an emotional crux for Harry’s story and downfall.
Aurora – I am always a big fan of villainous female characters, and Aurora did not disappoint. I loved the creepy vibe of her in Chapter 2, it really started off the investigation nicely. She also provided this strange counter view on creatures and the world, her twisted mindset was really interesting to explore. I don’t know, but I just really loved her snarky, pretentious attitude, I just love characters that aren’t always good, and she is a very interest character to bounce off of, seen best at the start of Chapter 6 as she gets the Love Interests pretty riled up. She really shines in the final chapter of the Pledge Route, and her twisted devotion to the Traitor Hunter is a very interesting relationship. I was really happy to see her again because I actually missed her in many of the chapters, even though her presence wouldn’t really make, I just really love her character—it was just nice to have that final moment with her. She’s a very complex and interesting character and a great addition to the story.
Armaros – I actually really love Armaros, especially with his relationship with Elaine, especially when the Hunter is either in the Omen route or the Alkar/Omen route because of the parallels. I love the conclusion with him at the end of Chapter 10, also a wedding! I’m so excited. But I love him being the quieter, more reserved in the pairing with his sister, and you can tell he really cares for her, and their story is a sad one, but I’m glad it took an upward turn for him when he meets Elaine.
Elaine – She really is this interesting dynamic with Omen, especially in the romance route with him. She’s sweet like him, but her darker demon side is just a touch more obvious, she’s just a little less concerned about fitting in or loving humanity and I love it. She really gives this impression that she is this demon princess, daughter of the Devil, where she’s nice, but just sharp enough to cut you if you get too close. Her relationship with Armaros is also a very nice background part, and again—wedding! That’s so cute. My favourite moment with her is in the Omen route where she kinda of tricks the Hunter into a ‘deal’ to keep her brother safe, I believe? It’s a brilliant, quick-witted, and a little scary moment that sets the tone for her character and it’s fantastic. Her design is also beautiful, she’s gorgeous.
Raven – I adore Raven, she’s very fun to bounce off of Finn, and their relationship is very sweet in that brother/sister type of way. She’s a very fun addition to have around, and getting to meet her while romancing Finn is cute, and she’s very endearing in her own playful way. She’s a very fun character, and I love her design she really looks amazing.
Lux – In the little moments where we get to meet Lux, it’s very sweet. She’s a really cute character and her relationship with Raven is adorable. I love their matching necklaces, it’s such a cute little touch. The moment at the end of Finn’s route with them is so sweet because it really feels like a family moment.
Fiero – In our brief interactions with him, I really loved him as a character. That moment in Chapter 8 where he calls us out if we romance Finn about warning us about breaking his heart is so sad, because you can tell how much he cares for him. As a whole, the character is very cool, a unique character in that he’s a little more reserved, and it’s a nice contrast between Finn and Raven as another vampire.
I'm going to crosspost on here as well as tumblr, but to start off, thank you so much for creating this game, I have had countless hours of fun this world and these characters and this story, and it really means a lot to me. So thank you! Your team is incredidbly talented!
SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE GAME AHEAD
With the final chapter released and the game finished, I thought I’d put together a ‘final thoughts’ piece about this game because it had such a profound impact on me.
I will be covering my thoughts/opinions/experiences with the game, the characters, the writing, artwork, music and anything else I can think of. I have played through basically every part of this game, with all of the different routes and almost all of the different choices. I’m a little bit of a completist.
First off, I’d like to start by saying how much I love this game. I really do. I think I can safely say it’s my favorite visual novel, and possibly in the running for my favourite games. It’s so easy to get lost in the world and the story and I have probably over 30 hours of this game played. I loved all of the choices and the routes to create a unique experience. I am invested in this game, in the world, and with the characters. I have had dreams about them.
The Story – what I loved about this visual novel compared to many others that I played is the strong story that is at the heart of this game. Obviously, the romances are incredible, but the non-romance option and just the general over-arching story had me on the edge of my seat. I’ll admit, horror games aren’t really my thing, and I was a little nervous going in because of that tag. Honestly, I would be so lost in the story that I would sometimes forget it was a horror game until suddenly something would happen and I would be terrified. The encounters with the Chimera in Chapter 4 and 6 were scary in their own right, but the moment that had my heart pumping the most was actually at the end of Chapter 8 where the Hunter and August are about to talk to Harry. I think it’s poetic that a game full of monsters, that the scariest thing is just a human.
I loved the murder mystery aspect of it, I loved unravelling each new part. I loved getting to know the characters and having them help you along your journey. It was also a very satisfying story. Chapter 7 in particular with the dream sequence with James is one of my favourite moments. The reveal about the Hunters and about Harry and the tragic love story that is Harry and James was very well-executed. It also features a chilling moment that made me pause for a moment. As a player, we are used to the 2 choices in game, either asking two questions or 2 different attitudes in response to the other characters. So when we are just presented with the singular option of “Am I dead?” there was something very unsettling about it, and I loved it.
The ending of the story, or the ‘Good’ ending feels like everything is nicely tied up, I felt satisfied and resolved. Endings can be very tricky, but this one felt like it was worth the waiting and playing through the game. It was also emotional, there was definitely a part of me that dreads saying goodbye to these characters, but I know that they’re not really going anywhere.
I also loved that the end credits changed depending on some of the choice you made in game, it was a nice touch that made playthroughs feel unique and special.
As another note, I actually loved the ‘Liar Liar’ route probably the best in Chapter 9 because it’s got the emotionally charged moments of the Pledge Route, while still having a happy ending of the “Condemn” route, and it’s a sweet blend of the two.
I also really appreciated the ability to name our Hunter and to choose their pronouns. It was a small thing, but a really nice touch.
The Pledge Ending – I loved that there are different endings, and meaningful ending based off the choices we made. The ‘Bad’ ending was very well done and really lent itself well to this game. Starting from Chapter 8, and having to start breaking the hearts of these characters that as a player and character you’ve grown to love started off this emotionally driven tragedy. The fights in Chapter 9 were heartbreaking, and angsty and everything I wanted from this story of a fallen hero. The brilliant parallels between the Hunter and Harry are really nice, and I believe it’s in the Finn/Ezra route and then one of their individual routes where they talk about how Harry basically killed his own husband through his creation, and would the Hunter be willing to do the same? I’m paraphrasing, but it’s heartbreaking. With the leadup through the whole game, this version of the story is twisted and dark and brilliant. Chapter 10 really illustrates this the best, and as a player, you see how much effect your choices had on this world. The fact that everyone flees Lunaris is so sad, that this town is destroyed because of your influence. All of the final moments with the characters feel like punches to the gut. All of them are sad (August’s is possibly the worst) but there’s a line from Omen’s route that really stood out to me and took my breath away. The Hunter says to him, “I love you.” And our demon responds with “I—Yes, yes you do.”
The Pledge Ending is the Shakespearian tragedy I love in fiction, with a satisfying downfall of our traitorous Hunter.
The Music – the soundtrack of this game is beautiful, and I actually dived into the files to save it to my computer because I love it so much. All of the tracks add to the atmosphere and story, from the creepy moments of unease, to the comforting stops along the way, the music set the tone beautifully. The main theme especially is a song that gets stuck in my head, and to hear it at the ending credits was an emotional moment. Overall, I adored the music and felt it added so much to the experience of playing the game.
The Artwork – the art in this game is phenomenal. With visual novels, they are so much more than just a standard novel, and the ‘visual’ aspect of it is so important. And WTNC really knocks it out of the park The sprites are so well done, expressive and endearing. I got excited every time I noticed a new sprite being used, whether expression or outfit. There is a level of care put into these sprites that really comes across, and the wide variety is much appreciated.
The backgrounds are beautiful. They enhance and illustrate this world, I love the contrasting between night and day because that’s such an important aspect to Lunaris, that the night isn’t safe. With the sprites, I was excited to see new backgrounds. August’s bedroom stands out to me as one I was so in awe of when we got to see it for the first time. Actually all of the bedrooms are really wonderful, I loved getting to see Ezra’s and Piper’s as well. I think my favorite background in game was one we saw right at the very end, what was probably the last one created if I had to guess. For context, the Finn/Ezra Route is the one I consider my ‘True’ Route because it’s the first one I did, and at the end of that one and the end of Ezra’s solo route, the Hunter and their SO(s) go down to the beach under the moonlight. It was breathtakingly beautiful, and I actually started crying. It was a perfecting ending to this game I love so dearly, in my favourite route.
The CG’s again are such a brilliant part of this game. The collector and completionist in me loved being bale to see them and have them in the gallery as well. The artwork done on these is just amazing, and made me so happy every time I came across one in game. I think Chapter 10 might me my favourite chapter for CGs overall, there’s just so much love and care put into them. They are absolutely beautiful and there were many times where I would just have to stop and stare and marvel at them. So well done!
In conclusion, When the Night Comes has got to be my favorite visual novel to date, Lunaris Games worked so incredibly hard to create this amazing story and their accomplishments cannot be praised enough.
This story and these characters will be in my mind for a long time to come, not forgettable in the slightest. I had so much fun playing this game, and just wanted to thank the developers from the bottom of my heart for letting us into this world, and I am very excited to follow what comes next!
This was such an incredible game, it made me laugh and cry and as a wlw, this was really incredible to play because I went through many similiar things as the girls in this game and it was so, so good. Thank you for creating this!