Video Game: Heartache 101 ~Sour Into Sweet~

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.

The game can be acquired for free at

This work provides examples of:

  • 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.
  • Brown Note: Requiem of Surrogation.
  • 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.
  • Catchphrase: "Hold your horses!" for Hanami.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Ferdinand and Miki
  • Competition Freak: Miki always wants to compete with Ferdinand over trivial matters.
  • Covert Pervert: Akari gets more and more funny ideas the more she likes Ferdinand. Cute? Sure, but it gets disturbing when you realize she's also one of the three girls in the game who are underage. Goes way over the top after she falls in love with him:
    Akari:I got another pillow.
    Ferdinand:You what?
    Akari:Another pillow. There's room.
    Ferdinand:Another pillow?
    Ferdinand:For what? know....
    Ferdinand:I don't know.
    Akari:When you sleep over.
    Ferdinand:Wait, "there is room", you said?
    Ferdinand:So...there is room for the other pillow?
    Ferdinand:So then both pillows are being used at the same time.
    Ferdinand:In the same place.
    Ferdinand:In your bed.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Somehow they have to make it moral for Ferdinand to take Keika from her boyfriend.
  • 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.
  • Devoted to You: Chiemi to Ferdinand.
  • 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.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Shihoko and Riho are almost a textbook example.
  • Genki Girl: Hinami is full of energy. Miki and Shihoko can be rather energetic at times, as well.
  • Go-Getter Girl: Riho.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Literally every male character in the game. Only the girls have character portraits.
  • In-Joke: The dev team has made a habit of referring to the Content Creation guidelines as an object of worship, cracking subtle(or not at all subtle) dirty jokes out of context, as well as blatant references to the Might and Magic series and various bits of Japanese pop culture nobody but them ever understands at every opporturnity, both in the game and especially on the forums.
  • 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)
  • Love Redeems: healing Shihoko's sluttiness.
  • Love You and Everybody: Shihoko.
  • 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 . 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.
  • Oblivious to Love: Ferdinand to Miki's.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Ferdinand
  • 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
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Keika comes from a wealthy family. She also has a personality occasionally bordering on Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
  • School Idol: Shihoko is the most popular girl at school and she is idolised by both genders.
  • Second Year Protagonist: Ferdinard is in second year. Miki, Keika, and Riho are in their second year as well.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Ferdinand and Miki
  • Shout-Out: Of course I knows the hacker.
  • Shrinking Violet: Akari
  • Sibling Triangle: Can happen with Riho and Shihoko.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Chiemi.
  • 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.
  • Tsundere: Miki, Riho.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Most of the game is a Visual Novel/Dating Sim. The school day itself is a kind of Board Game-like challenge, with dice-rolling and items that move you a certain number of squares. Ferdinand's part-time job as a janitor requires the player to beat a level of either Pac-Man note  or a Stealth-Based Mission.
  • Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Riho, propagating that Ferdinand is a creep.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ferdinand and Miki.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair:
    • Chiemi has pink hair.
    • Keika has green hair.
    • Tsubasa has purple hair.

Alternative Title(s):

Heartache 101, Heartache 101 Sour Into Sweet