Otome game review: Mystic Messenger

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What would you do if someone asked you to return a phone to an apartment in order to access a messenger app or if they asked you to play a game at their organization without knowing where it is? Sounds scary, right? Welp, but guess what? You need to do it anyway if you don’t want to get a bad end and play the characters’ routes 😆 Meet the RFA gang and organize a party to raise money for charity!!

It’s definitely been a while since this game was released, but since they added 2 new routes I decided I finally wanted to make a review on it.

NOTE: This review contains spoilers (yes, including V’s and Ray’s route) so read at your own risk. If you want to avoid them, though, just jump to “conclusive thoughts”.

Mystic Messenger is a mobile otome game that came out in 2016 and keeps releasing new content from time to time. It’s sort of revolutionary in the sense that it’s the first otome game (at least that I know of) that makes you raise affection with the characters by chatting on a messenger app. I mean, maybe there are some otoges where you can text the love interests and raise affection, but Mystic Messenger is the only one where you need to do that CONSTANTLY. As there’s no background info on the MC, since she’s supposed to be you, the game lets you immerse yourself in her shoes as if the story was happening to you.

The gameplay is very simple: there are 11 days in total in each route and you need to access each chat to talk with the characters and select which options to “type”. These options can raise hearts (or break them) and also set you on the path to the good or bad endings. You also join the RFA organization (which almost every character is a part from) that holds parties to raise money for charity; the way in which you do this is by exchanging emails with potential guests. By answering their emails correctly, you will successfully invite them. If you chose the right options during the route you’re playing and reach the final day, you’ll need about 16 emails to get the good ending and 15 or less for the normal one.

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Common Routes 1 & 2 (Casual and Deep stories)

The common routes take place during the first 4 days and, depending on the amount of hearts you got with each character, it determines in which route you’ll end up at day 5. The main difference between common route 1 & 2 is that 1 only lets you end up in Zen’s, Jaehee’s or Yoosung’s routes while 2 let’s you end up in Jumin’s or 707’s. Of course, this also means that days 2-4 are different. There’s not really that much “plot content” in the common routes, you just talk about a bunch of stuff here and there, learn a bit more about what the characters are like (Zen hates cats, Yoosung plays a video game called LOLOL, Jumin is in love with his cat, etc etc) and suck up a bit to them lmao 😆 (especially to the one you want to romance). There are, however, some story modes which slowly let you learn a bit more about Rika (RFA’s founder who died by committing suicide around 2 years in the past) but that’s it.

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Zen

Zen is a musical theatre actor who’s extremely good looking and often shows it off by taking a bunch of selfies 😆 His route is pretty much a stand-alone since it’s not really connected to the main plot apart from the fact that he also met Rika. He’s allergic to cats (thus why he isn’t fond of them) and hates Jumin lmao. Even though it wasn’t very fun to be a suck up to Zen’s looks in order to get his route, I have to admit that he’d be a great boyfriend because of how much of a sweetheart he is. The reason why Zen’s a huge narcissist is actually because he’s insecure about his looks due to her mom always calling him ugly when he was small (yeah, not precisely the mom of the year). The main conflict during his route has to do with an actress called Echo Girl who gets obsessed with Zen and wants to be his girlfriend. Obviously Zen couldn’t care less about melon boobs 😆 so Echo Girls lies about being assaulted to cause a scandal and get her revenge (well isn’t she an angel). In the meantime, we learn about there being a bomb in the apartment (that Rika, V and 707 agreed to install beforehand to protect documents and blablabla) where the MC’s working at, so more drama in the menu. Anywho, after saving the MC from being kidnapped by Unknown (yup, the one who makes her go to the apartment in the first place), Zen realizes he needs Jumin’s help to solve the scandal issue. This is when we learn the reason Zen hates Jumin is not really because he actually hates him, but because he reminds him too much of his older brother, who wasn’t precisely a good role model. I really liked how they become closer and Zen accepts the fact that Jumin may get on his nerves but he’s not really a bad guy. At the party, Zen announces he has a girlfriend (aka you) and the scandal is resolved 😆

Well, there wasn’t really thaaaat much going on but his route was enjoyable nonetheless. Echo Girl was super annoying but it was obvious she wouldn’t get away with it. I think Jaehee actually annoyed me more in this route because, since she’s Zen’s fan, she insisted too much on the fact that he shouldn’t date anybody because it could create a scandal…and yet, the scandal happened nonetheless and not because of the MC 😆 Don’t get me wrong, I love Jaehee, but I didn’t find her too likeable in the first few days of this route. The other “issue” would be Zen’s almost instantly falling in love with the MC. I know it’s tricky when the routes are only 7 days long (since the other days are common route) but I would have liked to see something a biiit more gradual. Oh well, it was still very cute.

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Jaehee

Jaehee is Jumin’s personal secretary at C&R and a huge fan of Zen. She’s also a workaholic, which actually has to do with the main conflict in her route. Unfortunately, this is more of a friendship route so you can’t date her (though there are some insinuations that she may feel something more for the MC). You know how I said I didn’t find her very likeable in Zen’s route? Well, in her route the one who I wanted to slap constantly was Jumin 😆 Sure, he’s her boss, but the amount of stress Jaehee gets because of the mountains of work he throws at her (even when there are some stuff she shouldn’t even be doing) is ABISMAL. As if she didn’t have enough to deal with already, Jumin makes her take care of a coffee project (apart from a cat project she had already been assigned to) and this puts even more stress on her shoulders. After some adorable friendship scenes with Zen and the MC’s everyday full moral support, Jaehee notices she actually enjoys the coffee project very much due to her love of coffee. However, monster boss starts getting annoyed that she’s paying more attention to the coffee project rather than the cat one (really Jumin?). Luckily, Zen persuades Seven to help Jaehee with the cat project in exchange for him to fuel all his cars 😆 Jumin gets even more pissed off when the mascot of the cat project turns out to be Longcat instead of Elizabeth (oh no). Whatever, cause’ she resigns anyway lmao 😆 and actually has a very good time enjoying herself after being basically a slave worker for 3 years. At the party, Jaehee offers the MC a key to her apartment and they open a coffee shop together in the after ending. So adorable!!

What I really loved about this route is how Jaehee and Zen become good friends 😀 It was very well done and super sweet. Not only Zen, but all the others (except for Jumin) are very supportive to her. Jumin was especially dislikeable in this route but I admit the scene where he gets his frustration out by wrecking one of Seven’s cars is priceless 😆 . There were some things concerning the main plot but tbh I don’t remember them that much since they weren’t the main focus.

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Yoosung

Yoosung is a University student and online gamer of an MMORPG called LOLOL (parody of League of Legends). Even though he’s very smart, he doesn’t do very well at school because of how addicted he is to the game. There’s a reason for this: Yoosung plays not only to release stress from school, but also to avoid thinking about Rika (his adoptive-cousin). He hates V, who was Rika’s lover, because of all the secrets he keeps regarding the circumstances of her death; not fully accepting that she’s gone. It doesn’t end there. Even though Yoosung is very kind and sweet to the MC, he keeps comparing her to Rika, to the point where he sees her as her replacement (even though he denies it). The other members try to tell him about this but he stubbornly refuses to admit what he’s doing. Zen tries to explain but Yoosung gets furious and storms off the chat. Eventually, Jaehee is the one who finally gets through to him and Yoosung recognizes how unfair he’s been to the MC by comparing her 24/7 to his cousin. After this matter is solved, there’s also an issue regarding the bomb in the apartment (yup, this happens in every Casual and Deep stories’ route, if I’m remembering right). Yoosung is devastated to learn that the bomb was actually Rika’s idea and, while he tries to calm down from the shocking news, V visits him and hugs him, apologizing (this is one of my favorite scenes ;__;). Anywho, I don’t remember how exactly we learn of Mint Eye and Unknown but Seven and Yoosung decide to infiltrate the place. At the party, Yoosung is seen with bandages in his left eye (insinuating that Unknown tortured him) and kisses the MC for the first time ayyyyy.

Yoosung was the first route I played in Mystic Messenger so it holds a special place in my heart. I still love it even now, despite the fact that him constantly comparing you to Rika is not very fun. But what makes that not annoying is the MC telling him EVERY SINGLE TIME that she’s not Rika. It’s true that Yoosung can be very whiny but, tbh, I’m whiny myself so I relate to him in many ways 😆 Another scene I found adorable was the whole pre-girlfriend thing. IT WAS SO CUTE OMG. Jaehee was also really great here, especially when they find out about the bomb and she gives Seven a piece of her mind 😆 I don’t really have any problems with this route, it’s well done, balanced, and the romance between Yoosung and the MC is adorable. Well, I guess the only “problem” is that the ending’s not 100% “good” because Seven’s sad face is freaking heartbreaking and of course no one wants to see Yoosung getting hurt. But this is Cheritz we’re talking about, it’s almost a given that endings won’t be 100% happy 😆

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Jumin

Jumin is a businessman and heir to the C&R company, owned by his father. He has a cat called Elizabeth the 3rd and comes up with cat projects more than once, to Jaehee’s dismay 😆 Of course, he’s extremely rich and thus enjoys the privilege of having a personal chef and other stuff lmao. Unfortunately, it’s because of how successful and rich his family is that his father is constantly being seduced by women who are only after his money. This is very upsetting to Jumin since he loves his father very much, but disapproves of him having girlfriends who seek him only for his fortune and the success of his company; since it results in him making poor decisions for C&R (which is exactly what happens in his route with a woman called Glam Choi). Not only that but his father goes as far as to introduce him to a possible fiancé just because she’s a student of his current girlfriend. It’s because of this whole matter that the MC decides to visit Jumin at his home in order to cheer him up…only for Jumin to get so smitten with her that he doesn’t want her to leave. Elizabeth even escapes at one point but he’s so concerned about the MC that he doesn’t pay as much attention to the issue as he should. Oh well. At the party, Jumin announces he only has eyes for the MC and unmasks Glam Choi’s schemes, so her plans go down the drain 😆 Serves her right!

Because of obvious reasons, Jumin’s considered the yandere of the game 😆 I liked his route but it’s definitely not my favorite. For one, I thought the whole “Jumin seeing Rika inside Elizabeth 3rd” was weird as hell. I mean, dude, ok, V and Rika gave you your lovely cat but don’t you think seeing Rika inside her is too much? I don’t know, I guess it got a bit irritating to see Rika being the cause’ of almost everything (and I’m not even talking about Another Story yet). Another thing I don’t understand is why is this route considered to be one of the most spoilerish. Tbh, I found Yoosung’s route to be more spoilerish because we learn that Rika hurt V’s eyes and thus we’re insinuated that she’s mentally ill. But in Jumin’s route I didn’t particularly found anything too revealing? I don’t known, maybe I missed something 😆 Zen is a bro here because of how much he worries about the MC when she’s trap- I mean, staying over at Jumin’s place. Overall, I enjoyed the route and Jumin is very sweet to the MC (I loved the part where he reads her a bedtime story) 😀

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707

707, also known as Luciel, is a secret agent, RFA’s hacker and the one who developed the Messenger app. He’s also one of the most mysterious members of the RFA (the other one being V). Despite being a carefree prankster who loves cosplaying, junk food and sport cars, Seven is actually a very gloomy, insecure and secretive person that keeps everyone at a distance. This is because of his job as an agent, but particularly because of his dark past. When the MC is almost kidnapped by Unknown and Seven comes to save her, we learn that Unknown’s name is actually Saeran and he’s Seven’s younger twin. We also come to know later on that they are illegitimate sons of the prime minister and lived in a toxic household with their mother (if you can really call that monster a mother) until they were around 14, at which point Seven went to work at an agency as a hacker with V’s help (whom he met at a church). At this point, Seven stays with the MC throughout the whole route in order to fix the bomb problem, but ignores her and treats her very coldly. However, the MC doesn’t give up and eventually Seven gives in since he can’t push her away no matter how badly he treats her. Of course, Seven loses all the trust he had in V because of the whole Saeran matter and the MC and him decide to search for suspicious stuff at Rika’s apartment. This is when we finally learn about Mint Eye and Seven and the MC decide to go to their headquarters, thus missing the party and leaving everything to the other members (minus V, of course). Unfortunately, Saeran leaves them trapped for a while in the hacker room and when he goes outside Vanderwood (Seven’s superior at work) mistakes him for Seven and kidnaps him. During the party, Jumin gives a lovely speech while MC and Seven listen to it with a smile on their faces while they’re on their way to rescue Saeran.

The first time I played Seven’s route, I loved it a whole lot and was fascinated by it. However, after playing it more than once, I came to find a lot of problems. Don’t get me wrong, I still love his route, but it has many things that could have been handled much better. First of all, the relationship between him and the MC. Yes, I get that his past is super shit and that he needs to keep his distance and blablabla, but omg does he have to act that way more than half of his route?? It was more “fall in pity with me” rather than “fall in love with me” for pete’s sake. The MC’s also pretty much moral support here and doesn’t do that much tbh. Well, it could be said for many of the routes, but it’s especially noticeable in Seven’s where she’s just along for the ride. I just felt they didn’t have that much connection even though he’s supposed to be the true route. I mean…you have to be as cheery and silly as him to get his route (and during the first 2 days). Then suddenly he gets all emo and ‘stay away from me’ and you just have to deal with it because you’re an ignorant silly girl who knows no better than downloading weird apps?? Oh, but wait, you’re an angel so you don’t give up on him and he finally lets you know just how much in love with you he is and he hopes he deserves to be happy with you like this is a freaking soap opera?? Ok. Lol, it feels like I’m shitting on his character but I really love Seven, it’s just that his route doesn’t make him too much justice imo. Not even the special events. Christmas event has him all emo while the Valentine After Ending is too…bland (meanwhile, Yoosung’s Valentine AE is freaking amazing). I don’t know, maybe I’m getting too critical but that’s what I feel 😆 To be fair, though, I loved many of the scenes in his route, like when he finally opened up to the MC, the whole fight and make up scene with Yoosung (I love their friendship so much), when he made the robot cat for the MC, when he took a selfie with the MC, when he tells the MC his real name is Saeyoung and would like for her to call him that, the scenes with Vanderwood…there’s quite a lot to love from his route as well 😀

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Secrets

Welp, here’s where the truth is revealed. Rika’s actually alive and the leader of a religious cult called Mint Eye. Rika and V’s relationship was not all sun and roses and we’re told of this ‘darkness’ she holds within (basically, she’s mentally ill). Rika brainwashed Saeran into thinking V and Seven abandoned him. Saeran was not only brainwashed but also drugged to unbelieveable levels. Blablabla, drama drama melodrama. In the end, Saeran kills V, Rika goes mute after the shock and Seven takes Saeran to the hospital to treat him…only it’s hard as hell. In the end, Seven takes Saeran out of the hospital yadda yadda fast forward and everyone goes to Seven’s place to celebrate his proposal to the MC.

Yeah, there’s a lot I skipped but that’s basically the gist of it 😆  But even though almost everything ended up well…I have to say I wasn’t really satisfied with the Secrets. The MC was almost forgotten for most part of the episodes, the prime minister still lurks free, V is dead, Jumin lost his best friend, Rika turned into a freaking emotionless doll, Saeran is “cured” but not really cause’ he’s going to have to deal with the fact that he killed V for the rest of his life plus all the drugs in his body…I don’t know, I don’t feel like he was really saved.

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Why is the MC’s head flat omg

About the art

Now, before I get to Another Story I want to talk about the art. Let’s use a picture to show a representation of how I feel about it:

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There are some CGs that are GORGEOUS while others terribly BAD. But that’s not even the main problem. I think what’s more serious is the fact that a lot of the CGs look inconsistent between each other. I think one of the most important things about the art in a visual novel is that it has to look consistent. You can’t have one CG look freaking amazing while the very next one looks like you didn’t go to your anatomy classes. Yes, it’s THAT bad. Save for Zen’s selfies and some of Yoosung’s and Jaehee’s CGs, the rest weren’t good. Seven and Jumin particularly suffered from this, especially in the CGs where they’re seen together with the MC. Sometimes they look like a different character even though it’s the very same one. And let’s not even talk about the events where the art is COMPLETELY different altogether. I’m glad that they took notice of this though and they’re doing something about it. Hopefully they change all of ones that look weird.

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Another Story

And this is what the power of fans can do: get you more routes!! 😆 A lot of people hesitated about this because they didn’t know how Cheritz was going to manage making routes for the two most difficult characters in the game, but personally I think they did a great job. I admit I didn’t quite like V’s route, but that has to do with the fact that I don’t like his character very much, so it’s a given I would find him painfully frustrating during his route 😆 Ray, however…I love him with all my heart. Another thing I need to mention is the tremendous improvement of the art. It’s STUNNING and nothing compared to the one in the original story. And you know what else is great about Another Story? It’s fully voiced!! (which also explains why it’s more expensive 😆 ).

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Common route

Unlike the original story, which takes place 2 years after Rika’s “death”, this one only takes place after about 1 year. Instead of taking you to an apartment, “Unknown” tells you about a game he’s developing and wants you to play it at his organization. Of course, the MC’s as reckless as always and accepts even though every single thing in the prologue screams DANGER. When you reach the place (which is obviously Mint Eye), you meet the guy on the phone who tells you his name is Ray. He looks nothing like the Unknown of the original story and there’s actually a good reason for that: let’s say he’s not completely a lost cause here and still has aspects of his younger self (love of flowers, being kind, feeling he’s useless and an airhead). Anywho, Ray tells you to play his otome game lmao 😆 because you can reach a happy ending with any of the AIs you end up choosing but that, obviously, everyone will be suspicious of you at first. So the MC enters the RFA messenger app and becomes their party coordinator yet again (only under different circumstances). As days go by, you’ll notice that Ray is surprisingly hateful towards the AIs he supposedly created so, basically, you need to disagree with his view of the RFA if you want to get V’s route or agree with him if you want to get his route (of course, you also need to get a lot of hearts with the corresponding love interest). Ray will also tell the MC about this elixir she needs to drink in order to be a ‘full member’ of Mint Eye while, in the meantime, V has infiltrated their headquarters as a believer since he suspects the MC could be there.

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V

V is RFA’s leader, Rika’s ex lover and the character dealing with most secrets. He’s also Jumin’s best friend and unlike him, who’s more on the logical side, V’s more emotional and has a passion for the arts, which is why he’s a photographer. As you may have already guessed, the main conflict in V’s route is her relationship with Rika. Even though I’m not really fond of either of them, this route gives a deep background on their characters and why they act the way they do…and it makes me feel a bit sorry for what they had to go through. We learn that V was actually much colder in his past and not on a good relationship with his mother due to his father (in fact, he didn’t even recognize her at first). Jumin suggests him to meet her though, and we learn how V’s mother encouraged him to draw. However, V would have none of it (he drew but didn’t think about doing art for a living) until the day she dies protecting him, which is when his relationship with his father is severed. Feeling like he can’t hold a brush, V decides to take on photography and after a while he meets Rika. As revealed in the Secrets, V’s relationship with Rika was far from perfect, especially because of her ‘darkness’. Basically, Rika wanted V to embrace her darkness, to accept her the way she was but it was too much for him. Fast forward to the events in the route, and we have the MC meeting Rika as the Savior, the leader of Mint Eye, who doesn’t find fault in force-helping others since it will lead to their “salvation” (for instance, making them drink this “elixir”). V, of course, wants to save the MC from this ordeal since she has nothing to do with any of this but, at the same time, he’s dealing with an enormous guilt and doesn’t seem able to put an end to his issues with Rika. It doesn’t help that he’s later drugged by Ray and everything goes to shit but at least Seven comes to the rescue together with Vanderwood 😆 and they all leave while Rika’s left shocked after V tells her he was obsessed with her and not actually in love. After that, the messenger is hacked and only Seven, V, Rika and Ray are able to chat with you. Of course, more drama on the way. In the end, Rika stabs V but he manages to survive. The RFA members learn of Rika’s true self and the party is cancelled. Two years later, the RFA holds another party and V returns with a big smile on his face. He started painting again and is willing to try to love once again if it’s with the MC 😀 (the good ending is very sweet <3).

Oh boy, this route is SAD. As I mentioned earlier, I have to be honest and say I didn’t really enjoy V’s route. Now, I’m not saying the route is bad, it was actually very well done and a lot of things feel realistic and make much more sense than what we were shown in the Secrets. What’s more, the MC was great here, it actually felt like she did something instead of just tagging along. But it was just too depressing for my taste and the Sun-Moon combo (aka Rika and V) didn’t help with how frustrating they got day after day. V was so self-sacrificing and secretive that I literally wanted to slap some sense into him, Rika was extremely manipulative and made others suffer to no end while justifying it all on her devil (I know she’s mentally ill but it still annoyed me) and Ray freaking killed himself. Seriously, Ray was the biggest comfort I had in this route and he had to die at the end; haha, why don’t you burn my heart now that it’s broken, Cheritz? Not to mention Yoosung was VERY ANNOYING throughout the majority of the route and, even though I understand where he’s coming from and I’m not exactly V’s biggest fan either…this is basically what it felt like:

Yoosung: It’s raining…

Yoosung: THIS IS ALL V’S FAULT!!!

DUDE, CAN YOU PLEASE CHILLAX A LITTLE. At least he realized at the end just how broken Rika was when she tried to give elixir-filled wine to the gests as an “apology” for the cancelled party. As for the other RFA members, they were all pretty great as always and there’s a lot of Seven in this route, which is never unwelcome 😀 Vanderwood too, omg, I loved chatting with him so much and he’s super handsome. I doubt it but I’d love for him to have a route 😆 or at least an event. But sadly he doesn’t have anything to do with anyone except for Seven so I don’t see that happening any time soon. Another thing I loved was Zen and Yoosung’s relationship. I don’t know why I love their friendship so much, every time they invite each other over in a route I can’t help smiling because it’s so fulfilling to see them care for each other. I guess what annoyed me the most was V still hiding the fact that Saeran was the hacker and, thus, Seven never gets to know his brother died. It pissed me off.

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Ray

Oh boy, be prepared for the rambling.

Ray is actually Saeran, Seven’s twin brother, and he’s probably the most tragic character in Mystic Messenger. Not only was he abused by the monstrosity of her mother, but he continued to be abused by Rika with the excuse of it actually saving him. Even though Seven and V weren’t directly involved in his suffering, it’s still true that no one did enough to help him and that’s what annoyed me the most about this game until Ray’s route came out. Of course, it’s completely reasonable to be alarmed about the way in which the MC and Ray meet. We have to remember that he didn’t have good intentions at first. Yes, he is brainwashed, but something that Cheritz does very well (especially in this route) is make the characters recognize that what they did was wrong (well, except for Rika who’s a lost cause, as seen in V’s route, since she doesn’t want to change and you can’t do anything about that; which makes it all the more tragic). However, it’s undeniable, at least imo, that there was no other way to handle Ray’s route if it didn’t start on the creepy side. The MC might actually be the most mysterious character in the game because she’s supposed to represent you yet no one would be crazy enough to go to an apartment to “return a cell phone” nor get into a car while being blindfolded in order to “play a game”. It’s also kind of ironic how in order to get into Ray’s route you need to treat everyone like an AI, be suspicious of V and agree with Ray on everything, even on the stuff that are clearly disturbing. Yet…when you are already in his route, what gets you the most hearts is not only wanting peace and being kind to Ray, but also to the RFA (yes, even Seven and V!) lmao 😆 The main conflict in Saeran’s route has to do with himself. Saeran may be the most insecure character in the whole game, but also the one who matures the most. We first see him as Ray and how smitten he is with the MC because she’s actually the first to show him kindness and accept him just as he is. Every time Ray is hard on himself, you have to tell him not to push himself too hard, that you like him the way he is and that he’s very kind. Unlike V’s route, here Ray doesn’t want the MC to take the elixir since it’s very painful and he truly believes she doesn’t need it seeing as she’s super faithful and supportive. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of romance in this route (the MC even initiates a kiss!) even though I had my doubts on how Cheritz was going to handle a character that’s at the edge of being mentally broken. But actually it makes a lot of sense to me after having finished playing his path. What Saeran needed the most was love and not being left alone. It may sound cliché but it’s just that simple. It’s also the route with my favorite MC because, boy, if she did a lot in V’s route, she certainly did wonders here as well, if not more. It takes courage to leave someone you care about, just like Seven did in order to protect Saeran, but it also takes courage to STAY for someone. And that’s what the MC did. She STAYED. Even when it was dangerous as hell. Rika was more of a villain in this route and “cleansed” Ray to the point where he awoke his “dark self”. In the original story, that dark self is Unknown, but in the Another story…ironically, he’s called Saeran.

Now this is where it gets tricky. Dark Saeran starts tormenting the MC to no end, even going as far as not giving her any food. Yet the MC doesn’t waver and believes the kind Saeran isn’t gone despite being scared. Rika starts getting annoyed about how much the MC is affecting Saeran and she decides to cleanse the MC herself. However, it’s this very choice that makes Saeran doubt, since he also doesn’t feel good when he torments the MC. He feels empty. And we finally see Saeran for his real self. Not Ray, not Dark Saeran. Just Saeran. I loved the fact that he admitted what he did was wrong and apologized for it even though we know that a lot had to do with the fact that he was drugged. I loved how he shut Rika’s ass by telling her she was no savior, she just wanted machines that would do everything she said and was basically being the same as her parents by tormenting others with the excuse that they were cruel to her. And the fact that the elixir no longer made any effect on Saeran because the MC was his true salvation…it made me so happy. I know it may sound cliché as heck with how “love saves all” and blablabla, but Cheritz did it WELL. It’s not forced at all, it has actual development and the choices you are given have deep consequences. If you act like Ray’s the only good guy and deny another part of Saeran’s self, you won’t get the happy ending. If you act like Dark Saeran’s toy, you won’t get the happy ending. If you only want to save yourself, you won’t get the happy ending. It’s simple, but it makes sense. Of course, the RFA members didn’t disappoint either. Zen and Yoosung were great in this route and, like I mentioned before, their friendship is gold (the whole “Zekyll and Mr.White” matter was hilarious). Jaehee is her usual awesome self and Jumin was a big and pleasant surprise when he talked about insecurity (aka lameness in Yoosung’s words lmao) and a lot of it rang close to home. V actually stopped being Mr. Secret (well, to an extent lol) and told everyone about Seven’s and Saeran’s past. The prime minister’s appearance actually gave me chills. If there’s one thing I’m not happy about in this route is how we don’t know if Seven is actually alive (and he doesn’t even appear that much in this route, which was sad ;;). The other thing is V actually joining Rika again…it felt kind of forced after the big reveal he had just made about the twins but…eh, who knows; maybe there’ll be a reason in the after ending. I was also shocked to learn that Rika killed the twins’ mother hoooooly cannoli. Of course, what’s not to love about Saeran chatting with the RFA members, it was so funny seeing Yoosung and Zen acting kinda lame when Saeran talked to them for the first time 😆 And something I was REALLY happy about was how we were allowed to have secrets in this route. It was so freaking frustrating whenever another character had a million things they wouldn’t tell you about but here…WAHAHA WELL IT HAPPENS TO BE THE CASE THAT I HOLD SECRETS AS WELL, MATE. Truly, this is an amazing route and I’m really happy with it. Now all that’s left is seeing what happens in the after endings and praying to Cheritz that Seven is alive!!!

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Conclusive thoughts

Wow, what a ride. I stay true to myself in thinking that Cheritz was revolutionary in the sense that Mystic Messenger is the only otome game out there with this kind of chat gameplay system. Personally I love it, but it does get tedious at some points, especially with the fact that you have to plan (yes plan!) your route in order to avoid missing a chat (there’s always one at around 3 am) and having to spend hourglasses. I think the game truly deserves the money I spent on it in most cases:

  1. The story is good
  2. The characters have very well defined personalities and are charming
  3. The OST is fantastic
  4. The art…well, Another Story’s art, at least, is beautiful. The art in the Original Story is not bad per se (well, depending on which CG we’re talking about of course) but it’s terribly inconsistent. You just have to take a look at Jumin’s or Seven’s album to see how different they look in certain CGs.

Anywho, back to the topic, I don’t regret spending money on this game BUT there are a few things that I find a tad unfair:

  1. Some routes are VERY expensive to unlock
  2. The fact that you have to spend hourglasses to load is ridiculous
  3. Paying for the Max Speed button considering the enormous length of the game is also ridiculous
  4. Having to pay extra just to avoid the common route is completely unfair.

I don’t know if others will agree with me on those points but I personally think it’s too much. I mean, there are games I’ve played that had much more content and they were cheaper, how much else does Cheritz wants players to spend? I already spent more than 50 dollars, dude. At least there should be a way to collect hourglasses that isn’t that difficult…

Now onto the story. I’m going to be honest, it’s nothing extremely amazing but it IS very good. I had a lot of fun chatting with the characters and I laughed and cried more than once. Some routes were better than others but ultimately it was good game and I always welcome new content. Plus we also have to take into account that Another Story came out much later so many of the things that were strange or didn’t work that much during the main story were handled very well in this one. Particularly V’s, Rika’s and Saeran’s characters who were explored in much more depth and, thus, the content of the story improved wonders. If I had to choose my top characters those would be Saeran, Seven, Yoosung and Zen (though Zen not as a romantic option, I like him more as a character). That doesn’t mean I didn’t love the others though: Jaehee was super sweet and I wish I could watch a musical with her, not to mention I’d take her on a holiday myself (and I would so freaking date her, Cheritz WHY); Jumin gave a lot of great advice and even though he identifies himself as being this super logical dude, I also found him to be endearing and very kind. V and Rika…I’m not going to lie, truth is I’m not very fond of them. It’s completely okay to like them, everyone has different tastes after all, but they just wouldn’t do it for me. I found them frustrating and even though the MC acts like a therapist with every single character at some point, with these two things went overboard very quickly and I wasn’t interested in listening to their excuses even though I’m aware they didn’t have bad intentions. Personally, I think the characters with the best development are Yoosung and Saeran. Both of them are deeply insecure yet they are the ones who, at least to me, matured the most.

Welp, this is getting super long so I’m going to end the review here 😆 Thanks a lot for reading until the end, feel free to comment and see you next post!! (≧∇≦*)/

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