Heartache 101: ~Sour Into Sweet~ is a freeware customizable Dating Sim created by flowerthief, previously known for Idolcraft.One day at school, Ferdinand agreed to a bet proposed by his childhood friend Miki, following a conversation regarding their respective skill (or lack thereof) at finding someone to date. Under the conditions of the bet, the two of them would be given 101 days to find and hold onto a significant other. If either of them were to succeed at these criteria while the other failed, they would be considered the victor.Working toward the goal in order to prove himself to his friend, Ferdinand meets many girls.
Absurdly High Level Cap: Stats go up to 100. While raising these stats to max value will continue to increase the affection bonus from talking to girls, it is still possible to max out affection levels within the time limit without doing so. The other uses of the stats are storyline attribute checks (which never require values higher than 50 in the core game) and giving advice to girls (which will have a 100% success rate somewhere between 50 and 60).
Aerith and Bob: Ferdinand has a German name which makes him stand out from the rest of the characters who have Japanese names.
Always Second Best: While she never displays anything other than love for her sister, Riho feels that Shihoko is better than her at everything.
Amateur Sleuth: Tsubasa, who works out the solutions to already-solved cases given to her by her father as a form of training.
The Bet: One of these kicks off the plot. Ferdinand and Miki each bet that the other can't get a significant other within 101 days.
Boyfriend Bluff: Early on, Miki claims to have a boyfriend. This turns out to be a serious exaggeration.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Chocolate Lady, who's apparently somewhat aware of how unrealistically small the in-game world is, and expresses her displeasure of the random generator that forces her to walk around town and share her always sufficient supply of chocolates with strangers every day.
Brilliant, but Lazy: Tsubasa at studying. Although she is capable of scoring high grades, she often skips school to do detective work.
Broken Aesop: It's entirely possible to call out Shihoko for flirting with all the boys after she's agreed to become exclusive with you... while dating up to six other girls, including Shihoko's little sister, at the same time.
Drugs Are Bad: There's a drug dealer who will offer to give you a special pill that boosts all of your stats considerably. The downside? The withdrawal is absolutely painful — a few days later, your stats start randomly dropping, sometimes to the point where you're actually worse off than you were before taking the pill.
Easy Level Trick: There are lots of bonus items and features scattered throughout the game that give Ferdinand an extra edge in boosting his stats or his chances with dates. Probably the most famous of these are the chocolates, which are handed out by the ridiculously meta Chocolate Lady.
Every Man Has His Price: Keika tries to bribe other students in the class to get them to date Miki. It doesn't work, and Ferdinand calls her out on it.
Fragile Flower: Chiemi can easily burst into tears whenever she's overwhelmed or her feelings are hurt.
Game Mod: One of the features of the game is that it is relatively easy for people to create images, profiles, music, and stories for their own characters and add them to the cast.
Joke Item: The top. Purchasable from the convenience store for only 200 yen, this item can only be given to Tsubasa or Hinami (technically, it can be given to anybody, but everybody else considers it to be a bad gift, and thus there is no benefit to doing so)
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's never made clear whether the ghost of the dead composer that appears to Akari each night is real or simply a hallucination.
Medium Awareness: The Chocolate Lady knows that she's an NPC in a Dating Sim, and thus gives hilariously fourth-wall-breaking advice and commentary which leaves poor, Genre Blind Ferdinand confused.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Ferdinand needs a girlfriend to win his bet against Miki. Keika (Miki's friend) agrees to arrange a meeting between him and Akari to help him out note Keika had already helped Miki out by bribing boys into asking her on a date, and thus her rationale for helping Ferdinand was that it would restore her status as a neutral party. Her intent was that Akari would prove to be so antisocial and unapproachable that any time Ferdinand spent with her may as well have been wasted... up until Ferdinand actually manages to get close to Akari.
Not What It Looks Like: While racing against Miki, Ferdinand trips and falls, landing on top of her. Miki's classmate, Riho, was watching at the time and concludes that Ferdinand meant to end up on top of Miki.
Panty Shot: Unseen by the player, but one scene with Tsubasa has her tripping, accidentally exposing her underwear to Ferdinand.
Returning to the Scene: In Tsubasa's second Mystery, the perpetrator knocked out the owner of a jewelry store, stole only his ATM card, withdrew all money from his account, and then returned the scene to plant the card back on the victim. This prevented the nature of the crime from being discovered until the victim was released from the hospital
Teacher/Student Romance: Shihoko. Subverted. While it first appears to be this, Shihoko is actually looking for ways to deflect her trainer's advances without getting on his bad side.
There Are No Therapists: Played with. Akari is being treated by the school counselor, but it soon becomes clear that he's out of his depth since he's an academic counselor, not a psychological one. She's also receiving treatment from the local hospital. She refuses to take the medication because it doesn't help one bit, and soon she stops visiting altogether.