A downloadable visual novel for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now$8.99 USD or more

Story

In the kingdom of Segunda, the Crown Prince’s birthday celebrations are traditionally where he is expected to choose a bride. Your mother, the Duchess of Florentia, is very keen for her only daughter to become the next queen, so she sends you and your mischievous brother, Frederique, along with your family’s steward, Bastien, to the fortnight long celebrations. Of course, just because your mother has her gaze fixed upon the Prince, does not mean you must follow suit.

Will you act like the perfect lady and convince the King to select you as the Prince's betrothed, or show your true colours and perhaps catch another's eye?

Gameplay

Decisions made in the outset of the game will determine your personality - with possibilities ranging from a diplomatic scholar to a bawdy hellion - and these in turn will open additional conversation options and scenarios that can help or hinder your relationships with those around you.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Game features:

+ Approximately 100,000 words

+ 6 romance paths (4 male, 2 female)

+ 26 beautiful CGs

+ An enchanting score 

+ Steam key available for Windows copy


StatusReleased
PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(197)
AuthorBlackcross & Taylor
GenreVisual Novel
TagsFantasy, Female Protagonist, Otome, Romance, Yuri

Purchase

Buy Now$8.99 USD or more

In order to download this visual novel you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $8.99 USD. Your purchase comes with a Steam key. You will get access to the following files:

TROS-2.0-linux.tar.bz2 319 MB
TROS-2.0-mac.zip 316 MB
TROS-2.0-win.zip 317 MB

Download demo

Download
The Rose of Segunda Romance Guide.txt 6 kB
Download
DEMO-TROS-2.0-linux.tar.bz2 307 MB
Download
DEMO-TROS-2.0-mac.zip 304 MB
Download
DEMO-TROS-2.0-win.zip 305 MB

Development log

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Comments

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(+1)

I've been paying attention to the development of The Thorns of War, but I hadn't even played The Rose yet! I finished all the romance paths and earned all the CGs, and I must say, Lady Charlotte was by far my favorite. I love historical fiction, and VN fit the genre well! I loved the use of dated language. I really enjoyed this!

(+1)

Many thanks for the kind feedback. I am glad to hear you enjoyed the game - especially Charlotte's route.

Many thanks for playing ^_^

(+1)

Played the GxG routes and enjoyed both. Maybe Charlotte's route a tad more over Sofia, but very close. Charlotte's so sweet though. <3

(1 edit) (+1)

Sorry, I am not sure how I missed this, but thank you for letting me know you enjoyed both the GXG routes in the game, especially Charlotte's ^_^

Many thanks for playing

Hello. I purchased the game today on itchio but I can't see any link to redeem the steam key on the download page, is it normal? Thanks

No, I would not say that is normal. Are you accessing the page through the itch website or the app? 

I know if you are logged into itch via the website, the button should be on the download page underneath all the download links. 

If you are still having trouble, could you possibly send me a screenshot of what your page looks like to support@blackcross-taylor.com and I can investigate further.

Hi, why do i get a "no keys available" message when i click on "get a steam key" ?

(1 edit) (+1)

Hello, I am just waiting on some more keys to be provided by Steam. It shouldn't take longer than a couple of days at most, but I will contact you here again once they are available.

Many thanks  

(+1)

There should be keys available now ^_^

It works ! Thank you for answering so quickly :)

(+2)(-4)

I've completed all of the routes and I found some of them to end very abruptly, mainly the prince and Bastian. The female routes I didn't personally care for, I only completed them to get to the secret love interest but of the two I did prefer Sofia.

 I did think the price was a little high since the replayability is low and I found all of the routes very fast to complete. That being said it certainly isn't a waste of money and I'm happy to fund projects that I finish so it isn't too big of a deal.

I personally found the font very hard to read, especially with certain words as it looked a bit like a b reak (like that) between letters at times. The music is simple but I honestly thought it fit very nicely with the story and the time setting. The choices you have are very simple and don't seem to impact much so the main character felt a little flat but I am aware that it is something that comes with the territory. I would rather have a flat main character and better love interests than the other way around.  

The sprites are nicely drawn, it would have been nice to see the characters actually change clothes since it was mentioned almost every day that the main character had to change to get ready but the only time we change is during the play.

Over all I think it's a decent game, a good 6/10. I'll honestly look into the sequel even though the price is more than doubled, just because it says to be six times as long. With that amount of time playing the game I hope the price to experience would be more worth it

(+1)

Many thanks for your feedback. I hope to address some of the issues you raised here in the sequel, so perhaps it will be more to your tastes. 

Many thanks for playing.

I only finished Sofia's route and I can say it was really good, I loved it ! 

Now I will wait for The Thorns of War to be finiched and released in Steam to buy it ! I am eager to see the reste of Sofia's route and discover the others

Thank you for your kind feedback - I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed Sofia's route and are looking forward to the sequel.

Many thanks for playing

(+1)

I recommend playing Charlotte route because I played Sofia first because Charlotte seemed annoying to me. However, I played her route and honestly it surprised me to be honest. 

  

(+1)

Glad to hear your enjoyed Charlotte's route in the end.

Many thanks for playing

(+1)

Thanks for recommend Charlotte's route, I played her route and yes I really liked it

Um...hello. I just wanted to ask about something as it seems you guys are more active here. I bought the game on steam recently and I absolutely love it! But for some reason, I can't get the secret route. Yes, I've played through every single route but still can't get it.

Hello and thank you for your kind feedback – I am glad to hear you enjoyed the game.

As for your issue with the secret route, please email me at support@blackcross-taylor.com and we can talk through your issue in more detail and I can give you some options of how we can fix it.

Many thanks for playing

Hi, I love your game and recently I did a second playthrough to meet these amazing characters again and I left with a question. Is the MC canonically bisexual in every route, like I thought on my first playthrough, or depending on the route her sexuality changes (like, being a lesbian on the girls routes and straight on the guys routes)? Thanks for your time and really excited for the full release of the sequel!

(+2)

Many thanks for your interest - I'm happy to hear you liked the game and are looking forward to the sequel.  To answer your question, I didn't really have a canon sexual orientation in mind for the MC and, for the most part, I tried to keep it ambiguous enough for player's to decide for themselves. 

Once you are on a route then the game generally assumes you like the gender of that character, but I tried to leave it up to players to decide whether the MC liked that gender exclusively or not. 

I hope this answers your question and many thanks for playing

It does, thank you so much for answering

heyy do you have any plans on making this game mac available on steam?

(2 edits)

I am afraid I am only able to offer the Windows version on Steam for the time being, as uploading games to Steam is a more complex process and I do not currently have a Mac computer with which to do the required testing etc.

It might be that, when the studio is larger, that is something I can remedy but, as it stands, the Mac version is only available on itch.io

Sorry I could not be of more help and thank you for your interest.

oh thats alright! then it means that i have to buy it here hehe. thank you for answering!

(1 edit)

Well, all purchases of TROS made on itch come with a free Steam key, so if you buy a mac version here you will have a key available and ready to redeem once there is a mac version available on Steam, so I hope that is of some help. ^_^

Many thanks for your interest.

I just finished playing the demo and I am in love with it! Definitely gonna buy the game 💕 Eeeeek!

Thank you! I hope you enjoy the game. ^_^

Many thanks for playing

(+1)

Omggg, this game is awesomeee, I absolutely loved all the routes but I have to say my favorite romance is the secret route, I really felt the strong connection between the MC and him, and I just love how much he cares about her always prioritizing her happiness above everything else, Im really looking forward to continuing his route in the sequel!

I love your work and Im really looking forward to your future projects :)

(+1)

Hello and many thanks for the kind feedback. I'm very happy to hear you enjoyed the game - especially the secret route - and I hope you enjoy the coming sequel just as much.

Many thanks for playing

Definitely recommend, must-play if you enjoy historic otomes! The MC has LOTS of personality that you even get to choose (some options are pretty wild and fun! do not be scared to be wild and wreak havoc!), the story is entertaining, and the art is pretty! Oh, and the love interests all have layers/secrets to discover!
Expect to see the skeleton of the story to be the same on all routes, but depending on your route, you will see many alternate scenes, so it doesn't get boring! Or just skip (and it's super fast, not bogged down by transitions and such!). 
Some love interests/routes that stood out to me:
Leopold caught my interest first, he seemed polite and charming (and shallow of me, but his sprite is so pretty haha). His route was also full of unexpected intrigue, good job on the slow build and foreshadowing! I am most excited for his sequel! 
I was pleasantly surprised some of the ladies were love interests too! 
Sofia caught my eye quick, and I really enjoyed her connection with the MC and the dramatic turns~
With Charlotte, I didn't have very high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised, her route was sooo wholesome!
The prince, getting to know him better, he was a little unexpected, and I came to appreciate him. Also looking forward to his sequel for the plot~
Bastion... don't know why, but I didn't appreciate the slow burn in this as much as I should have. 
And the secret route. Ugh. Right in the feels. (Spoilers ahead, don't read the crossed out text!) I thought there was going to be a kiss in the play... Then again they got in trouble even without... Also, even outside the game I went on a whole emotional rollercoaster because of him haha, first thinking it's a pity the prettiest boy is the brother, then realizing he's still a love interest... I was both happy and worried. But seeing his devotion to MC from the beginning, I was looking forward to him, and he delivered!
Maybe some advice for future games. The font was a little hard to read, especially in italics, which was used in narration, that took some getting used to. 
Personally, I had some technical difficulties though. Once, Steam did not register me closing the game from within, and I had to restart my computer for it to be fixed so I can launch it again. And I had some difficulty unlocking the secret route, but I managed, and was worth the trouble! 

Hello and thank you for your feedback - I am glad you found the game entertaining overall.

The font is something I am looking into for Thorns of War. I do like the font we have, so it might be a case of providing an alternative for those who are having trouble reading the original font.

"Once, Steam did not register me closing the game from within, and I had to restart my computer for it to be fixed so I can launch it again."

If the game did actually close and then refused to open afterwards, I think this might actually be an issue with Steam. 

I certainly have had the same problem crop up with many games through Steam. According to the internet, it happens because the Steam Bootstrapper service stops responding. This doesn’t allow Steam to launch because Bootstrapper is the initial service required to start Steam. Whenever I have this problem, I open task manager and click 'End Task' on 'Steam Client WebHelper (32 bit)'. This closes Steam so the program can be rebooted without restarting your computer. 

Many thanks for playing and I hope you enjoy the sequel.

Is the sequel going to have the same characters? because I would love more Leopold x Mc  but then at the same time doing a sequel for all the routes may be very difficult especially with Leopold and his plans.

Yes, the sequel will have the same characters to romance, plus two new characters, as well.

Bastien's route has been released already, Sofia's route will be released on 14th Feb, and Guillaume's route is currently being written. You can get more details and also download the demo here: https://blackcrosstaylor.itch.io/ttow

Many thanks for your interest

Excuse me, I would like to buy the game on Steam, however there is only windows version available on Steam. Is it possible to buy the mac version via steam?

I am afraid I am only able to offer the Windows version on Steam for the time being, as uploading and testing games to Steam is a more complex process and I do not currently have a Mac computer with which to do the required testing etc.

It might be that, when the studio is larger, that is something I can remedy but, as it stands, the Mac version is only available on itch.io

Sorry I could not be of more help and thank you for your interest.

Question! Is it possible to get Guillaume's romance ending AND the King's approval? I'm trying to do both, but I only manage to get one or the other...

(5 edits) (+1)

Yes, it is possible I believe (I certainly aimed to make it so as I wrote something specific for that outcome).

It's a bit of a balancing act. I can give you more details, but I would suggest that in matters before the court you act 'like a princess', but when alone with Guillaume, act as yourself to win him over. That should do it.

I managed! Finally! :D

Can you give some more details? I have been struggling to get the king's approval and Guillaume's approval as well.

(1 edit)

Sure. Do you want to email me at support@blackcross-taylor.com and I will send over a short guide (so I can avoid spoilers here) ^_^

of course!!

(+1)

While i love all the routes, i have to give highlight how much I love the combinations of traits that our pc could have--my favorite is the cunning, commanding hellion one! It's rare to see something like this in a vn/otome, and i must applaud the dev for the excellent execution! 

Hello and thanks for the feedback. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed being able to customise your character - the hellion is one of my favourite traits, too.

Many thanks for playing

(+3)

Ive never read a visual novel that was written similarly with the words from the time period of the plot. It was a unique experience and concept, it took some historical romance troupes and gave them a new perspective, while also creating a sweet and emotional story to go along with it. The art was beautiful, the choices felt like they mattered and that they weren't just put in to give the illusion that they did. I loved all the paths, its hard to pick a favorite one, and I was pleasantly surprised by the secret romance option. I felt a little guilty for pursing the secret option but I loved it nevertheless. I liked how the main character is portrayed as strong willed, independent woman and how the characters in the story react to her headstrong and intelligent traits. I also really admire the way she can approach a situation in a snappy and clever way while also being a little devious. The overall story came together really well and felt really realistic, especially given the vocabulary throughout the novel. I really enjoyed reading this :)

(+2)

Many thanks for the kind feedback - I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed the game and I will pass your compliments onto the artist.

Many thanks for playing

(3 edits) (+1)

Oh my god I can't believe I almost pass this wonderful game because it UI. I'm so happy that my friend told me to try this game!

I knew Lepold is my bias of this game in a very 1st sight and even more so after I finish the game. I love both Leopold and Iolanthe so so so much, they are my OTP now. You won't know how long I finally ship a cp this hard.

I definitely look forward to the sequel!

(+1)

Thanks for letting me know you liked the game -  especially the Leopold route. I hope you enjoy the sequel just as much.

Many thanks for playing

(+1)

I haven't played this game before so I was wondering if this has a satisfying ending or if it's more cliffhanger? I was just wondering because you guys are making a second game. Thank you!!

(1 edit) (+3)


I can't really say if you'll find the ending satisfying or not (since that's more of a personal thing), but I do know that this game was originally made without any thoughts of a sequel in mind, so there is no deliberate attempt at a cliffhanger ending. 

Many thanks for your interest ^_^

(+1)

Hi! I don't know if this is a spoilery question or if it has been asked before, but how do you get the king to choose you in the end? Or is it impossible no matter the route (I only tried with Guillaume)?

(1 edit) (+3)

Hello, AnnieIvanova, many thanks for your question. 

The way to get the King to choose you is to behave like a 'princess'.  

So doing things that make you seem meek, fragile, and perhaps even a bit stupid. 

Of course, that might not make you popular with any of the love interests, so the key is to balance this behaviour with things you love interest is going to like. 

A good tip here is to consider whether the rest of court can see you. If they can, anything you do will get back to the King, but if you are alone with your love interest or family, the King isn't going to know how you are behaving so you can do as you please.

There are also two points in the story where you mother writes to you letting you know (via how happy she is/is not with you) what the king things of your behaviour. This is supposed to help players track their progress.

I hope this helps, but if you would like a more in-depth guide on which options give you 'princess points' with the King, please email me at support@blackcross-taylor.com

Many thanks for playing

(+3)(-2)

Caution: Spoilers ahead. Read at your own discretion.

Also: sorry for my bad english...(?)

I remember finding this game waay back and coments of people saying they where dissapointer with the whole premise and what not, but i said to myself, i gotta try this, so i waited and just until now i had enought spare money to afford it, and so i came here to praise this game.

It is very light, but i love the setting, is perfect if you want to play some historical, romance court drama but with less intrigues and more comedy trown at you, seriously, i adore so all the jokes i saw in this game, from the horse jokes, to the ones the mc makes when talking to the different characters, the prank in the tea party is pure gold, and i love how everyone reacts when you play the role in the play as a strong willed young lady lmao.

For the characters, i must say my favorite is going to be frederique, i am all for forbidden romances in games and more so of incest, i do not duell to much on it but i feel it has a certain charm that pulls at your heart strings and is so very beautiful, yet all the same sad. However in this game i gotta give kudos for the chemistry between him and the MC, they act like siblings in all the other routhes but even there you can see that there is something they share, like and invisible little world, and this shines through better on those little scenes when pursuing other characters frederique shows just how much he knows his sisters, and loves her just for who she is, a strong, willed, mischievous girl, who is as sharp as her mother but also, has a very kind heart.

His routhe was the more pleasant for me, specially when he would just snap near the end of it, his confession almost had me to tears and i felt so much for them, so i was happy that they got away together, but also very sad there wasn't a kiss cg, even a hug maybe, where the two of them would look into the far away sky for how the future now is of endless posibilities for them.

Stoping my praise with them for now, if not, i may be writting this far longer, and i have to praise so many characters, lets move into my second husband in this game: Leopold. I also love his chemistry with the MC, he likes her better when she is herself, and i am down by that always. I will say that in this estance i love what he says when he catches you after the mischief in the tea party, he shares part of that mischief and my heart aches for his situation, i won't say i agree with the cup, or the uncertainty of it, but i would consider it and so i will wait for the sequel to se how everything develops later. But i love his character.

Then i would say the prince is my third, and only because he is at all too nice, i liked when he left his mask slip and MC got upset because all the things he said to her, showing his more human side, and kudos for MC because the option i picked here felt so good to say, almost like something i would say myself.

Wich is another point i would like to praise, the mc characterization. I give her a name, but unlike any other games where i can do so, and much more, i didn't play this game as a way to self-insert myself in the story, because MC alone was such a strong character that i feel like she was more like a friend to me, in a way in wich you read a book and feel for the protagonist but do not wish to take her place. She was kind, brave, and sharp, she could see through others and in her kindness, help them with their ploblems like a mother would do, all she said was on point, gentle, yet firm and to the point and she spooke with such truth and wisdom that i feel like out of everyone in the game, she shone the most.

Sofia and charlotte, while i may not be very fond of GxG as i am only now easing myself slowly into this world (unless the other female character is a tomboy, wich somehow is my soft spot) i enjoyed their routhes all the same, with sofia, i was charmed by her knowledge, she was also very brave with a degree of cunning, but fragile and kind, i will say that something bitter sweet here, as mentioned before, was the fact in how frederique leaped in and made the offer so the two of them could remain together. This ending for me was very sad, as i was partialy going through this because i wanted to unlock his routhe and also, because it was not a real solution, but a temporary one.  and while i would like to say that i wish it could be similar to charlotte ending, i understad that it couln't be posible because of circumstances so it was the best solution at the moment.

Bastien is my least favorite character, just because i related so much to MC in his routhe and was very pissed with him for not doing anything for his own happiness, and for nothing really, considering how everything turned out in the end that they had to rush to solve their situation. i did rush myself trought this because i get very exasperated with people and characters who find every but for any kind of happiness they can find in his life, and was more disheartened after his little rambling at the end, i understad he does not regret it (Probably) but he did say what he said so there is that.

So for those who said that this was a shallow story at fist, i beg to differ, the romance was not fast, but the endings did seem very rushed, but i suspect it was because there was going to be a sequel, wich i can't wait for to se more of my two hubbies and what the others are up to. Even if you don't like a character romanticaly, you can still see them as friend, as i saw even the suporting characters (aka rivals) in such a light.

I am also looking foward to more comedy in the sequel as it was one of my favorite things in this game (and im a sucker for bad jokes, just ask batensan) and perhaps, CG'S where the character lips are actually touching *wink wink* Anyways, it's a great game and i would recomend it with my eyes closed! you should definetely give it a try!


As for the creator, love your game, probably im gonna love the sequel too, and never stop dreaming and doing what you do, making games is difficult, even as a main job or a diversion, so this game is an acomplishment, one you should be proud of, as a fellow who enjoys romance and has probably played almost all the otome, dating sims, yaoi, and visual novel out there i will say, even if you think it's cliché, go for it, i know there are many stories out there about the same damn thing, but anything yours you put in them will make the difference, and i can see in this game a lot of thing you put there, wich are yours alone, who make this game so good as it its, so thake risk, enjoy what you do, and remember that there is always someone out there willing to read that what you are working on!!

Also, take care of your health!!

thank you for this amazing game and i will see you soon, in rose of segunda torns of war! ;) until then, stay safe and be happy!

(+1)

Many thanks for your kind feedback. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the game - especially Frederique's route.

I hope you will enjoy the sequel just as much ^_^

(1 edit)

Totally random question, but did your sprite artist do the side character silhouettes as well or did you have someone separate do that?  I'm thinking about putting together a short project but a lot of the side characters would be black silhouettes and I really liked how yours looked!  If you don't want me contacting your artist though that's totally fine, but I figured I'd ask!

Ah, I'm glad you liked them - I know they weren't too popular with some people, but were sadly necessary due to budget constraints.

Actually, they were made by the same artist who did the backgrounds for 'Devil'. 

They were made by taking the character sprites as templates and then painting over them and adding simple shading - the artist is a friend of mine and made them for me as a favour. If you message me on my support email, I can put you in touch with him if you wish. 

Thank you, I might do that, I still have some ways to go in planning the project before I'm actually ready to commission art, but you may see something from me in the near future.  Thanks again for the info :D

No problem. Best of luck with the project ^_^

(3 edits) (+1)

Hello! I bought this game on Steam 2 days ago. I have finished the four (Edit: five) romance routes and ended all with a happy ending, but I can't seem to get to the secret route (no new option on Day 1).

For you to be sure I got all four (Edit: five) endings, I will list the CGs I haven't got to prevent spoilers to anti-spoiler fellows XD I know how sucked it is to be spoilered -_-

I will use (x, y) coordinate (haha I feel silly). I haven't got the CG (4,2) in page one and (5,3); (1,2); and (2,2) on page two. Hope this can give you certainty that I have cleared the four (Edit: five) endings. But if this isn't enough, I can summarize the endings I got.

Do I have to pursue another endings? I know there are other endings aside from I have pursued. But if that's not the case, is there something I didn't do? I want to read Secret's route! X.X

Thank you for answering. And after I played all routes, I will write a review <3

Hello, PangHerHeart - sorry to hear you are having trouble.

Hmm, four romance routes? Well, there are six in total including the secret route, so that sounds like you are missing someone. 

But, from the CGs you mentioned (clever way of avoiding spoilers, by the way ^_^) I don't think you are missing any of the romances. Do you want to email me at support@blackcross-taylor.com? 

I can get some more details from you and we won't have to worry about spoilers ^_^

(1 edit)

Oh wait I mean 5 XD Sorry, I didn't check lol

Thank you for the opportunity, but I don't know what else I can tell you except that I have romanced the 5, but I still don't get the new option to activate Secret's route X.X

But at the second thought I will just email you regardless. That way you can ask whatever details you need. Thank you for the fast reply!

(+1)

Thank you, I am replying now.

Hey I bought a version of the game before it was avaible on Steam, can I get a game steam key?

Sure. I've ordered some more from Steam and they should be available in the next couple of days. 

I'll reply to you again on here once they are in.

Thanks <3

There should be keys available now ^_^

TY :3

I just started playing the game and it is brilliant so far, but after the second day it takes me straight to the credits and i'm not sure if i'm doing something wrong.  I would love to know if there is any way to fix it, thanks.

(+1)

Hmm, that sounds odd. 

If I had to guess off the top of my head, I'd have to ask you to check if you are definitely playing the full game and not the demo. As I recall (and it's been a while since I played it myself), the demo ends after the second day.

If you are definitely playing the full game (the file size should be about 260MB) then please email me at support@blackcross-taylor.com and I will get some more information from you to investigate further. 

Oh I must have downloaded the wrong link the first time, but I've redownloaded it now and it all seems to be working fine. Thankyou.

No problem. I hope you enjoy the game ^_^

Thank you for playing

(7 edits) (+2)(-1)

I was expecting to enjoy this, but it still managed to pleasantly surprise me! For a game set over the course of a few weeks, the romances are astonishingly convincing. (It helps that Iolanthe's home life is pretty unbearable, so all the eloping feels reasonable.) The dialogue was frequently quite clever, and I especially liked how the romance was understated without becoming lifeless.

I usually avoid otome games that allow too much MC customization, because that generally seems to mean either inconsistent characterization or a binary choice between being a pushover or a jerk. I like leads who have strong personalities, rather than self-inserts, so the more defined the MC is as a person, the better. But Iolanthe was somehow clever and refreshing no matter how I played her, which was lovely. (Even though I never could quite bring myself to make her leave her toothbrush behind, or sit around admiring posteriors when she could be helping the stablehand, so I'm sure I missed out on some options). It helps that no matter what you pick, she's never stupid or shy; it's just a matter of how willing she is to play the Court's games, and why she chooses to or not. 

And for once the flexibility of character actually feels necessary—the love interests are quite different sorts of people, so it seems fitting they'd have different types. Leopold, for instance, almost requires the "strong, cunning hellion" that's happy to speak her mind and wreck tea parties for fun and profit, while the more reserved "commanding, diplomatic scholar" feels like the woman the Prince needs in his life to help him navigate treacherous political waters.

I really liked the subtle changes based on your chosen traits, like how being commanding means you get an additional layer of badassery at the tea party when the servant fetches a chair for you without you needing to ask. I think the only time what I chose and what happened didn't match up was on Guillaume's route. I had Iolanthe say she didn't love Guillaume, but wanted to be queen still. Then in the next scene she promptly agreed to marry him even if he renounced his title, which felt...off. But fair enough, really, since picking that option feels OOC in the first place, given everything that comes before it on the route!

This is already too long, but I'd feel weird reviewing an otome game without mentioning the actual routes, so in brief:

Bastien: Adorable. The scene where he realizes that, even if he stays a steward, Iolanthe will eventually leave him, was wonderfully heartbreaking. I would have maaaybe enjoyed more opportunities for Iolanthe to deliberately fluster him, because his reactions are so cute when she does.

Guillaume: I'm a sucker for shy kids who are forced to act like the opposite. And his argument with Iolanthe is handled just right, by which I mean it's good that she gives him the cold shoulder until he apologizes properly. She deserves as much. Overall, I enjoyed watching the MC slowly draw him out of the mindset of a figurehead.

Charlotte: Darling. I just want to spirit her away from everything and make all her dreams come true, which is exactly how the route ends, so yay!

Sofia: Nicely bittersweet and realistic in how they resolve the main conflict. Sofia's a good counterpoint to Charlotte. I made Iolanthe a scholar for her route and it was wonderful seeing two intelligent, classy ladies bond inside the gilded cage they share.

Leopold: I am here for Mr. Tilney types, who know how dumb the social rules are but play to win anyway. His reactions to Iolanthe's troublemaking are priceless; the two of them are a power couple in the making. I did feel like Iolanthe got talked into participating in his plans too quickly, but eh. He's worth it.

Secret Route: A perfect finale and deliciously angsty. It really felt like they were off in their own world together. In terms of chemistry, it might have been the strongest of the romances.

In conclusion: great job! Now I'm going to hop on over to the sequel page and see what's cooking there.

Hello, TheBetterStory, and thank you for your kind feedback. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the game.

I understand what you mean about never being able to pick some of the options. ^_^ 

I can never kill the bee, even though I think it is one of the funnier options in the game.  (It's one of the choices you get from leaving your toothbrush, so you may not have seen it.)

Well, I hope you find enjoyable the sequel, too (once it is completed) and thanks for playing

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I also made an account for the (initial) purpose of commenting here.  I see I'm not alone. :D

I started the demo and almost instantly thought "Nope, I need the full one". So I bought the game (on Steam) and boy, was I not disappointed.

It's captivating. A great idea, amazingly executed. I love all of it: the text, the artwork, the music... Oh, the music.

The character arcs feel fleshed out and — most importantly — believable. They're not too epic, sure, but I engaged with them, I empathized, I can't help but think of them as real live people — just not of this reality, but of another. That often happens when I read good books, so that one is a huge praise. 

I'm not usually one to play FxM romances (as a WLW in real life, I find myself way more inclined to pursue FxF romances in games too), but after reading comment after comment about how somebody adored this or that guy, I succumbed to my curiosity and... was also not disappointed, even though my expectations were really high at that point.

I haven't completed all the routes yet — I'm saving Charlotte for last and I'm not going for the secret route (I might actually try to please the King instead for once :D), but I enjoyed each end every one of the others. 

My favorite so far is Sofia, hands down. Bastien comes in very, very close second place, though. I won't go into detail here (might get carried away and go into spoiler territory), but whoa, I do feel for both of those struggles. And it was just the right amount of bittersweetness for my taste (in both cases, though for entirely different reasons, of course).


Also, as I mentioned earlier, I loved the music very much. Especially the bittersweet track that plays in the most "heart to heart" dialogues, I don't know its proper name, unfortunately. 

And I wonder if there's any way to download/buy the music as playable files (such as mp3, etc)? I personally would give the same money I paid for the whole game without hesitation, to be honest. I couldn't find even the pointers: the credit roll comes and goes very quickly (for me, perhaps, since English isn't my mother tongue), and there's no other mention of the composers in the devlog or elsewhere that I've been able to find.

I do hope you (or someone) can point me in the right direction.

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Hello Firebringer

Thank you for this kind feedback.

I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the game so far, and that you found the characters believable (and it's nice to hear Bastien getting some love, too - he does not seem as popular as some of the others ^_^)

As for the music, I am happy to say that it is, bar three tracks, all creative commons work and available to download for free .

The two Mozart pieces should be easy enough to google (Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622 - I. Allegro and Piano Concerto no. 10 in E flat major, K. 365/316a.)

As for the other tracks, they are by a talented and generous composer called Kevin MacLeod, and can be searched for here https://incompetech.com/music/

I think many people who make games (and youtube videos) use his work. 

Tracks I used in this game are as follows, but I think the piece you might be referring to is "Trio for Piano, Cello, and Clarinet" or possibly "Heartbreaking".   

"The Rule", "Sugar Plum Fairy", "Hidden Agenda", "Heartbreaking", "Reaching Out", "There is Romance", "Trio for Piano, Cello, and Clarinet",
"Vanishing"

Anyway, good luck in finding the track you were looking for (and possibly even more great music) on his site, and thank you for playing.

Hello and thank you so much for the swift reply — I expected to wait a day or two, but here you are :)

Oh, Bastien is amazing! I love that he's kind and caring and always strives to do what he believes is right and stay true to it, no matter how much pain it may bring him. Honestly, the two human-shaped balls of chaos (Frederique and his sister, of course) can use someone like him by their side — not only loyal, but also a voice of reason. His route also is relatable to me personally: I know how it is to feel for someone so deeply and not be able to tell them, and that inner turmoil and torture is captured brilliantly and rings very true.

I'm definitely going to be replaying his and Sofia's routes! (Well, most likely — all of them, and some are just going to be replayed a bit more times...)

Regarding music: YES! I've found it among the first two you listed, thank you so much *___* I was initially referring to "Trio for Piano, Cello, and Clarinet" — it first caught my ear as a very fitting piece for the scenes it was used in, and then I listened a bit more closely and fell in love.

P.S. Oh, and I'm definitely coming back for your other games — I'll get The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea as soon as another paycheck comes in, I can't wait for Heaven's Grave and Best Friends Forever, and I've fallen head over heels for the Thorns of War demo. I wish you best of luck with these three and more!

You're amazing, don't stop creating <3

Ah, I'm glad you found it! 

And thank you for the encouragement - I'm happy to hear that you're looking forward to other games of mine, as well. 

"don't stop creating <3"

Heh, I'll certainly try. ^_^

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I literally made an account so I could comment here.

SPOILERS ALERT

The secret route is the best  honestly. I was more surprised that they r blood related, coz usually if there is brother/sister relationship in otome they r usually not related. I was expecting him to say "oh you know we r not even related", that would ruin the whole impression from the route. It could be more better and emotional, also dramatic, the part that touched me when he was talking about his childhood. But I am already happy with you putting this route there. I want to say thank you so much for that. His connection was actually very noticeable when I was playing other routes. Especially, in Sofia's route when he wanted to marry Sofia so she could stay with MC. 

thank you! wish more games had routes like this 

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Ah, thank you for your kind feedback - I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the secret route.

Yes, I do agree with you when it comes to romances of this sort - when they pull the whole 'you were adopted' schtick at the very end, it kind of feels like a bait and switch. ^_^

Well, the story will continue in the sequel game, The Thorns of War, so I hope you will be able to enjoy more of this romance once it is released.

Thanks for playing

(+3)

Another problem with the "it's okay, I'm adopted/just a step-sibling" trope is that it somehow implies that someone not related to you by blood isn't a "real" sibling. I say if you're going to write a forbidden romance, commit to it!

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Very true and good point to make. 

This game was simply amazing! A fun, dramatic and sensible story. I loved the character Sophia so thanks to whoever designed her and the scene after the play with Charlotte made me laugh.

Ah, thank you for the kind feedback - I'm glad you enjoyed the game,

Thanks for playing  

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Hello! I bought this game last year and just realized there's a steam key. How do I get the steam key? Thanks!

(Also, I look forward to playing the sequel!!)

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Hmm, I'm not 100% sure as I've never see it from the side of someone buying the game, but I believe if you have bought the game, are logged into itch and are on the game's page, there should be a button mentioning  request key on the purchase page.

There are definitely keys left, so if the button is there it should not be a problem.  Please let me know if the button is not there and I'll do some more investigating. 

Thanks for playing

I got it, thank you! :)

Hi! so I bought the game from itch and it says I get a steam key with my purchase but its telling me "There are no keys available at this time, try again later" Can something be done about this? 

Hello, Rena Kuri

Apologies. I am waiting for Steam to send me some more keys. Once I have them, I will upload them to itch and they should become available. 

I would try again in about 48 hours.

Many thanks

Scratch that! Steam have come back in record time and there should be keys available now. 

Ah brilliant! Thank you <3

I plan to leave a bigger comment after the last two routes, but I just finished Leopold's and not sure whether to laugh or cry. Laugh, because of the coup he's planning (and what I would love to see play out), or cry because of what happened to him. I didn't think I'd love him this much, but I do! I can't wait for the sequel, and honestly he's at the top of my list of love interests to select to play with first when it comes out. 

also i absolutely love his hair omg

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Hello, Rowan

I'm glad you had fun with Leo's route and, if I'm honest, I think his hair might be my favourite in the game, too (followed closely by Charlotte's ^_^)

Thanks for playing

Hello, quick question - it’s written that you get a Steam key with purchase, but it looks like Steam only has a Windows version of the game; does that mean Mac and Linux owners won’t be able to use the key?

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Hello Saku3210,

My apologies, I was never able to upload the Mac and Linux versions of the game to Steam, so the key will only work if you require a Windows version on the game.  It is certainly something I can try to look at again in future, but not something I have the options for currently. 

Unfortunately, I cannot edit the text on the main page of the game to inform people of this - that text is added by itch - though I have clarified this in the game's description. 

Sorry for any inconvenience caused

Understood - thanks for the prompt response!

mc's dress and hair colour makes me think of belle from beauty and the beast

Ah, I can see how that would be the case. ^_^

I really enjoyed this game! Thank you for the hard work you put into it!

I could probably wax poetic about this forever, but I'll be short, haha. 

I really loved

  • the art & sprites (and I'm definitely going to have fun trying to unlock all the gallery pictures!)
  • the customizable-ness of the MC (and how she was snarky to boot!)
  • the many different routes (I'll admit I haven't played through them all yet, but Bastien is my favorite so far -- I can't help but love childhood characters, but Prince/Leopold are also good sjDSJISDJS I can't choose! There's something I love about each of them. I'm also excited to hear a sequel is in the works! I definitely want to know what lil Leo is up to...)
  • the story itself! Well-done! I originally thought this might a little cliche, and while they characters originally seem to fit some kind of archetype/trope, I was delighted by how they actually unfolded! Guillaume was predictable, but still such an adorable lil bean and his character development was pretty top-notch).

I'm looking forward to the sequel & am definitely going to replay TROS many times!

Hello, ahartwoods

Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the game and I'm glad to hear you're looking forward to the sequel. I hope to post some progress on that soon. ^_^

Thanks for playing

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I just wanted to say that I wished I played it sooner. This game is just so fun, so charming and I love all of the characters. Iolanthe herself is a great  MC, I love her to bits.

I enjoyed all of the routes and If I had to rank them based on how much I enjoyed them it wouls be like this:

Frederick/Leopond/Charlotte>Guillaume>Sofia>Bastion.


Fredericks's route was just so sweet, I really loved Iolanthe and Frederick's close relationship in the game, they had natural chemistry and interactions that I enjoyed regardless of which route you're on. I was initially worried about his route being awkward as a romantic route but I was surprised to find myself loving their route, how natural it felt and understood why both would or has fallen for eachother. I kinda wished it was more explict but I guess it's fine.

Leopond another character who's interactions with Iolanthe were also great to watch. Leopond is such a charming character, I thought that I would find him boring but I was proven wrong.


Charllotte is sweet, I liked that in her route, she grows as a person and becomes more confident and independent despite the small amount of time interacting with Iolanthe. All Charlotte needed was someone to not chelter her, talk her down and beleive in her, Their ending is one of my favourites. To be honest I also didn't think much of Charlotte as a love interest based on my 1st impression of her but she surprised me.


I would go on about what I loved with each route but i'll just stop with my favourite 3.

But yes, I really loved this game and the fact that it's confirmed to be getting a sequel just makes me happy since all endings with each routes would be great with a continuation (especially Leopond, Sofia and Frederick's endings) and since the plot for the sequel seems to be deeper I'm sure it'll be just as good or better than this game. Overall, I hope for continued success for this game and any game you make in the future!

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Hello, littlegal100, and many thanks for your kind words. I've happy to hear you enjoyed the game and are looking forward to the sequel - fingers crossed I cam write something you will enjoy just as much the second time ^_^

Thanks for playing

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Great game!! I really ejoyed it, stayed up all night to clear all routes c:

Duke Leopold was my favotite, he's such a charm <3, it is really such a shame his route ends on the most interestng part, i hope for some kind of sequel c:

Thank you for creating this visual novel!!

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Hello MuriMuri, 

Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it - as for a sequel, there is actually one in the works and I'll be posting more details about it soon. ^_^

Thanks for playing

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I got this game on Steam & had a blast with it.  I loved all the paths, but I just wish we got more of the endings! I think the Charlotte ending felt complete, but Leopold's ending in particular was just begging for an afterword scene to find out how it all turns out. I would have also liked to have seen more ending-stuff for Sophia, secret character (lots more!), and even the prince. By the way - am I correct that there is no bottom right corner image on page 2? I am 99% sure I got them all, but you never know.

There were a few things I really loved about this VN: the protagonist has a real personality, all the other characters are multi-dimensional, and the romances take time to develop. 

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Hello, Achire, and thank you for the feedback. I am glad to hear you enjoyed the game overall and sorry you would have liked to see more of the endings for each of the characters.  

Endings are tricky. I find it can be hard to strike the right balance between giving too much detail, potentially describing a future that players did not want and leaving players to decide what comes next. That said, there is a potential sequel planned which continues the stories, if there is enough interest.

And yes, there is no CG where you mentioned - missing CGs are denoted by a dark pink rectangle. 

Thanks for playing

Amazing VN -- *Whenever* I find a visual novel that not only features F/F romance, but does it WELL -- GOSH: I'm so APPRECIATIVE.
More than anything, I *Must* Praise the Depth of Characterization in the PC -- I *Adored* how you could have this scholarly, troublemaker, cunning -- KNOWS when to PLAY THE GAME -- character(who if you chose, could be a Manipulative, Horrible Person). Honestly, favorite character has to be HER.

My one Truly Heartbreaking Disappointment was the way Sofia's route ended. After playing Charlotte's route(and seeing the number of kisses featured --and even a mini-epilogue of sorts) I *really* felt Cheated; that Sofia romance was one of 'almosts'. You don't even get as solid a declaration of love. Truly sad since Sofia was a Tremendously written and fleshed out character I felt was truly on par with my particular PC. But to close of such great pacing and banter and chemistry with such a nebulous ending.... I just felt they deserved better.

Regardless: Thank you so much for all your effort with this game.

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Hello, leogrl19, and thank you for the feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed the game even though you felt disappointed on Sofia's route. 

Sofia had a certain circumstances which limited what she could do with regards to her family situation, which made her route differ from Charlotte's, but since you felt you were missing out without an 'official kiss', I asked the artist for the below. I hope that it goes some way to making you feel better. ^_^

Thanks for playing


*SCREAMS and Clutches GAY PEARLS*
*GRABBY HANDS*

You know when you see something and you DIDN'T KNOW HOW MUCH YOU NEEDED IT, until it EXISTED? *THAT'S* how you sharing this art made me Feel. Thank you So Much -- what a Way to Start a Monday!

Completely understand where you're coming from with Charlotte having a bit more breathing room given she didn't face the same circumstances(I'm sure her rank helped as well), but it was Painful seeing her and PC get that open kiss in FRONT OF EVERYONE after Sofia's route. Even that little Push further in Private would have been Everything. But again: Disappointment only stems from something you care deeply about. Every moment Sofia and my PC were together, I was Thrilled.

A thing I neglected to mention in my first comment: I Adored that you featured darker-skinned characters in this game -- I wasn't interested in the Prince romantically, but not seeing a Stereotypical Blonde-haired, blue eyed 'Charming'?  BEST. <3

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Does anyone know how to unzip and play this game in linux? Thanks.

Managed to download the linux app and everything is fine.:)

Hello, ollie4, and my apologies - I just saw your first message. I'm glad to hear you got it working, many thanks for playing.

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