Development Hell: Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel had been delayed several times ever since its inception in 2009 (whether for personal or technical reasons), a fact made worse since [erka:es] would only release it at Comiket.
Fan Translation: By Darkside Translations with consent from [erka:es]. An English patch was released for the first game, at the time for v1.05c. They plan on updating the English patch for the first game's current version (v1.06b), but so far the project has been under hiatus for quite some time. Frustratingly, Freudenstachel remains untranslated, leaving story details sketchy among English players. However, an official English localization of the first game was released by Darksquid Media, comprising of members of Darkside Translations from the previous fan translation, with the second one also in the works.
Typically doujin games such as Rosenkreuzstilette don't get released elsewhere, but in 2009, the first game later became available on DLsite's English webpage (as well as its Japanese side) due to the limited copies of the game and lack of availability anywhere. The sequel later followed suit shortly after the game was released at the Japanese side of DLsite.
Darkside Translations is working to officially localize the series, including a retranslation of the first game with the possibility of an English dub track. Similar to much of the games' developments, that's also facing some delays. The project manager has kept up with updates on his blog, assuring fans that production on the first game at least is almost to completion. The first game was finally released on February 3, 2017 through Playism and Steam, finally giving Western players a much easier way to purchase the game. And then came the release of Freudenstachel on October 17, 2017, roughly five years after the original Japanese verison.
Saved from Development Hell: Despite Isemiya, the circle's main programmer and half of the duo that makes up [erka:es] going AWOL for reasons unknown at one point of the game's development, WOMI, the h-doujinshi artist of the duo, was able to continue working on the game alone all the way through, eventually being able to get the game released in Fall of 2012 outside of Comiket.
What Could Have Been...: Over the course of Freudenstachel's development, there were some design choices and level changes in the final product from what early pre-releases featured. Some of these include:
In the C75 trial, Sichte's stage was originally going to be Liebea's, while featuring some assets re-used from the first game The stage itself also demonstrated she had much more powerful weather-controlling abilities; her stage also had you struggling through the harsh windstorm as you ascend the tower. Liebea's repertoire of attacks are vastly different in the C75 trial version, one of which features her creating a strong tornado to push you off the ledge, and another where she leaps high into the air as she performs Liebessturm, the only way to avoid getting hit was to stand under her while she's in mid-air.
Freudenzwinger, the weapon you get from Liebea was also a potential Game-Breaker; unlike in the final product, Freudia can stay in any of the five places where her Doppelganger would appear. This could have been exploited as players can use it to bypass walls and safely avoid enemy attacks. WOMI probably saw this and nerfed it in the finished version so it's more balanced.
Sichte's boss battle in the demo also had an interesting mechanic involving the clock tower in the background. Whenever she used Die Geplante Zunkunft, the hands on the clock tower would move, and depending on where the hour hand stops, would determine how many knives she'd rain down on you when time resumes. It may seem crazy at first should the hand land on a V (five) or XII (twelve), but if you breakdown the open spaces of odd or even numbers, it becomes easier to predict and avoid damage.