Visual Novel: Be My Princess
Clockwise from bottom left: Wilfred, Edward, Keith, Glenn, Roberto, and Joshua
Even if the whole world is against us, I want you to be my princess.Be My Princess
is a Romance Game Visual Novel
made by Voltage Inc
for iOS and Android devices.
The story is set in a fictionalized analogue of the modern world. The player takes on the role of an ordinary young woman who, through a series of coincidences, ends up at a grand ball attended by the princes of six different nations. After one of the princes asks her to dance, her life is quickly turned upside down and she's swept up into the world of royalty. Can love work out between a normal girl and a prince, or is a romance with the heir to the throne of a nation doomed to end in heartbreak?
The original Japanese version of the game (titled Oujisama no Propose
) was released in March of 2012; the English translation was released through the Apple Store and Google Play in June, and a Free To Play
English version for the social networking service GREE was released in December with a somewhat modified storyline. A French translation, titled Seras-tu Ma Princesse?
, is also available. Voltage USA released a more heavily localized version with Western-style artwork under the title A Prince's Proposal
in August of 2012.
A sequel, Be My Princess 2
, was released in Japan in January of 2014 and received an English-language release in May. The sequel features the grandchildren of the original cast of princes, as well as introducing two others: Prince Ivan of Sanct Sybil Kingdom and Prince Aslan from Shaharazal Kingdom.
Be My Princess includes examples of the following tropes:
- Aesop Amnesia: Class barriers present just as much of an obstacle to the princes and protagonist of BMP 2 as they did during the first game, despite the fact that in most routes of the sequel the prince's own grandmother was a commoner.
- Accidental Proposal: One kicks off Keith's route, thanks to the particular customs in Liberty Kingdom regarding royal marriage proposals.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: A Prince's Proposal changes Edward's hair from silver to blond, and Joshua's purple hair to brown.
- Affectionate Nickname: Yu is "Yu-yu" to the protagonist, and has been since they were kids.
- All-Loving Hero: Edward has a near limitless capacity for kindness and compassion. The protagonist (no slouch in the empathy department herself) muses that this is possibly a weakness in the future ruler of a country.
- Alpha Bitch: Laura Nicholson, a famous actress and the protagonist's self-appointed rival for Keith's attention on his route. She shapes up at the end of the route after Keith and Zain both call her out over her behavior.
- Arranged Marriage: The royal family of Philip has a standing arrangement for the heir to the kingdom's throne to marry a young woman from the Germaine family, Cecille. Originally the heir was Wilfred's older brother Stephen, making it a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, but when Stephen abdicated the engagement was transferred to Wilfred instead.
- Attending Your Own Funeral: Ivan poses as a guard at his own state funeral in order to catch the man who "killed" him.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Keith and the protagonist. Tellingly, the best choices on his route are always the ones that involve standing up to him.
- Betty and Veronica: Yu as the Betty and Glenn as the Veronica.
- Blind Without 'Em: Edward's eyesight is very bad, and even glasses can only do so much. When he's not wearing his prescription contacts, he has to get very close to people to make out their features and expressions.
- Bonding Over Missing Parents: Joshua and Jan as children. A prince of Dres Van is traditionally raised away from his parents, and Jan was removed from his family to be Joshua's companion. A flashback to the boys' first true Friendship Moment shows Jan cheering up a despondent Joshua by pointing out that while neither of them have their families close at hand, they'll always have each other.
- Book Ends: Keith's route begins with the protagonist making an Accidental Proposal after dancing with Keith at Nobel Michel, and ends with Keith dancing with her at Nobel Michel in order to propose marriage for real.
- Changing of the Guard/Spin-Offspring: Be My Princess 2 skips ahead fifty years to focus on the grandchildren of the original set of princes.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Glenn and his butler Yu are childhood friends of the protagonist (though she only remembers the latter), and both are still in love with her.
- Child Marriage Veto: Unsurprisingly, Wilfred eventually puts his foot down and refuses to go through with his arranged marriage to Cecille, since he's in love with the protagonist and Cecille is in love with his brother.
- Chocolate of Romance: Central to the "A Royal St. Valentine's Day" side story, in various fashions.
- Christmas Episode: The "A Royal Christmas" side story.
- Cultural Translation: Joshua's route in A Prince's Proposal changes the rice balls the protagonist makes for him into hot chocolate.
- Dance of Romance: The prologue ends and each individual route begins with one of the princes asking the protagonist to dance. Typically, every route includes at least one other ball later on in the story in order to give the protagonist another chance to dance with her chosen prince after they've started to fall for one another. Special mention goes to Keith's route, in which dancing is part of Liberty Kingdom's customs regarding royal marriage proposals.
- Did Not Get the Girl: In the Normal Endings, the prince of the route has grown and improved as a person as a result of his experiences during the route but isn't able to marry the protagonist, who in most cases returns to her normal life in Charles Kingdom and resigns herself to only being able to admire him from a distance.
- Dub Name Change: In the English versions, Prince Will and his grandson Henry's names were changed to Wilfred and Hayden, presumably to avoid drawing comparisons to the real-life princes William and Henry (aka Harry).
- Early-Bird Cameo: Kevin gets a brief appearance in Oliver's sequel as an outspoken member of the public.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Roberto has this effect on people.
- The Evil Prince: Prince Leonardo of Nerwan spends most of Joshua's route playing this role, in addition to being Prince Charmless. He eventually reforms in the face of the olive branch Joshua extends to him, but doesn't particularly gain any charm in the process.
- Faking the Dead: Ivan and Mikhail keep up the pretense of the former's death in order to lure a rebel leader out into the open.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Each of the six countries is recognizably based on real-world country:
- Charles Kingdom = France: a beautiful country where a sense of aesthetics is highly valued. The GREE version of the game makes the connection more explicit: the storyline begins with the protagonist moving to Charles to begin a career in fashion design, and Edward's Christmas event involves Charles Tower, an Eiffel Tower analogue.
- Philip Kingdom = England: a country of long-held traditions where propriety and manners are considered important.
- Oriens Kingdom = Japan: the second smallest country, but the most technologically advanced. Oriens is also the protagonist's home country.
- Dres Van Kingdom = Germany: a country of very strict and numerous laws. Joshua's route introduces Nerwan Kingdom, which split off from Dres Van under circumstances which resemble the separation of East and West Germany.
- Altaria Kingdom = Italy: a relaxed nation with a cheerful and good-natured royal family. One of Roberto's side stories features a City of Canals clearly modeled after Venice.
- Liberty Kingdom = America: the largest and newest kingdom, where the independence of the citizens is respected above all else, so the royal family prefers not to interfere in their subjects' lives more than necessary. In Keith's route, Liberty is revealed to be going through a difficult financial recession.
- Nobel Michel, by extension, is very loosely analogous to the Vatican: a castle the grounds of which are considered holy and, thus, neutral territory not governed by any of the six nations.
- BMP 2 adds analogues for Russia (Sanct Sybil) and Turkey (Shaharazal).
- Forgotten First Meeting: The protagonist cannot remember meeting Glenn when they were children.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: "The Alliance" side story sees this happen to princes Keith, Roberto and Edward.
- The Gadfly:
- Apprentice butler Theo is a highly perceptive speaker of uncomfortable truths. Lord Michel values his presence in Nobel Michel partly because he's still able to say and do the things his elders have had trained out of them.
- Likewise Yu, who oscillates between this and outright trollish behaviour, depending on his mood. He's incisive, somewhat jaded and, according to Claude, "speaks only to provoke."
- Giftedly Bad: Keith sings loudly, with great enthusiasm and absolutely no talent whatsoever, as the protagonist discovers when the two of them happen across a singing competition during a tour of Liberty Kingdom.
- Groupie Brigade: The princes can't really venture outside without getting mobbed by admirers, particularly in their own countries.
- Halloween Episode: The "A Secret Halloween for Two" side story.
- Identical Grandson: Most of the next-generation princes from BMP2 are almost identical to their grandfathers in appearance, with only minor differences in haircut to distinguish them. The only one who's visually distinct from his predecessor is Maximilien Levancois, who has his father's coloring but a very different look.
- Ill Girl: Keith's younger sister Cathy suffers from poor health that prevents her from leaving Liberty Manse very much.
- Inter-Class Romance: Key to the premise of the game, of course.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Keith. He has a massive sense of self-importance, but he proves to care a lot about the well-being of his country and its people and can be surprisingly warm with the people who are close to him.
- Literal-Minded: Joshua. When the protagonist says she'd like a warm home, he takes it to mean he should have a house built for her.
- Love Triangle: Glenn, Yu and the protagonist. Unusually for a Voltage game, the situation is not happily resolved within a few chapters, but remains a source of conflict and heartbreak well into the sequels.
- Marry for Love: Inevitably, each prince resolves to do this after falling in love with the protagonist on his respective route - usually in the face of opposition from his royal parents and other politically important people of his country.
- Memento MacGuffin: The protagonist's pendant. Though it gets mentioned on several occasions, it only gains plot significance on Edward's and Zain's routes. The pendant belonged to the protagonist's grandmother, who treasured it greatly, and on Edward's route, it's revealed to have been a gift from a former lover — Lord Michel.
- Mistaken for Pregnant: The protagonist in Wilfred's princess sequel. Since she's married to the crown prince of a nation, the rumour snowballs spectacularly and before long the media is announcing the happy news to the world at large. The protagonist is as baffled as Wilfred is amused.
- Modest Royalty: Quiet, relatively unassuming Wilfred and friendly, approachable Roberto are the best examples.
- Moment Killer: All of the butlers will do this at least once. Notable repeat offenders are Jan (who enjoys making Joshua squirm), and Yu (for reasons of his own).
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Sanct Sybil, the Russia analogue in BMP2, is an island nation with a harsh, cold climate and frequent outbreaks of civil unrest. Prince Ivan's primary concern in looking for a bride is that she be healthy and strong enough to survive and have healthy children there.
- Mundane Object Amazement: In Joshua's route, the protagonist makes him a rice ball as a snack when she realizes that he's gone a long time without eating. He's never had one before and becomes fascinated enough with them that he essentially kidnaps her back to Dres Van to make them for him. He's similarly amazed when she introduces him to instant cup ramen in one of the side stories.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Defied in Sieg's sequel. When the protagonist worries that her princess lessons are coming at the expense of her proficiency at her actual job, Sieg offers to use his influence to get her a prestigious spot at the Nobel Expo. The protagonist declines, as she wants to earn her accolades, not have her boyfriend buy her a career. Sieg is miffed, while Ivan approves.
- The Nicknamer: Roberto applies all manner of nicknames to his fellow princes, few of whom are very appreciative.
- No Social Skills: Despite his position, Joshua simply isn't very good at interacting with people.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: The protagonist ends up doing this to Jan during his "Falling In Love With the Butler" side story, when she comments on how reliable he is, and how obvious is is that Joshua depends on him. Since Jan's still a spy for Nerwan at this point in time, this display of faith is not doing his conscience any favours.
- Old Retainer: In the first game, Luke's grandfather Alick plays this role as head butler to the Alford family. In BMP2, fifty years after the first game, Luke himself has taken over the position, and is the only one of the original game's cast of butlers to retain the role himself rather than passing it along to his descendants.
- Out of Order: The English localizations of the holiday side stories have been released slightly out of order, leading to some continuity errors. More specifically, the very first Valentine's Day side story has yet to be released in English, but the Christmas, White Day and second Valentine's Day stories all reference events that happened in it.
- Parental Marriage Veto: Reactions vary among the various kings and queens when they realize that their son has fallen for the protagonist, but they are rarely if ever supportive, whether it's because they personally find her unsuitable or simply have the unenviable task of reminding the prince that his status and responsibilities will not allow him to marry based solely on his feelings. The worst case probably occurs in Keith's GREE route, in which the King of Liberty is only narrowly talked out of deporting the protagonist from Liberty entirely.
- Picky Eater: Wilfred hates carrots.
- Pocket Protector: Late in his route, Zain's pendant saves him when he takes a bullet to the chest.
- Prince Charmless: Prince Leonardo of Nerwan.
- Prince Charming: Edward plays the role to perfection, the only one of the six princes to do so.
- The Quiet One: Wilfred.
- Rags to Royalty: Kevin Grant (Alford) in BMP2, Keith's grandson, was lost in an accident when he was three years old and assumed dead. He was found and raised by a poor couple with no idea of his royal heritage.
- Rebel Prince: Roberto, who's so determined in his efforts to avoid his position and the responsibilities that come with it that his butler Alberto had to put a GPS tracker in his cell phone in order to be able to chase him down.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Yu on Glenn's route.
- Royal Brat: Keith comes off this way initially, but proves to have a heart of gold underneath his ego.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something:
- All of the princes are shown to have quite a bit of work expected out of them due to their positions. Joshua and Wilfred are both shown working so late that they sometimes fall asleep in their offices, and figuring out how best to help the people of Liberty through the country's financial crisis while still respecting their independence is a subject of great concern to Keith on his route.
- It holds true in BMP2 as well. In his route, Ivan even goes into battle as a front-line military commander to deal with an armed uprising within his kingdom.
- Secret Test of Character: By convention, the future wife of the Crown Prince of Dres Van is expected to adhere to an absolutely punishing schedule of tests and lessons that seems designed to drive her to the limits of her endurance. The whole thing is a test — of the prince's moral fiber. Will he defy the rules of his staunchly traditionalist nation in defense of his fiancée? If the answer is "yes", he passes.
- Sexy Spectacles:
- Edward is nearsighted and normally wears contacts, but in some of his more casual moments he relies on glasses instead.
- Wilfred is farsighted and wears reading glasses while he's working.
- Invoked along with Clark Kenting in Keith's sequel when he and the protagonist go incognito for a summer job at an orphanage. Cathy takes it upon herself to pick out Keith's "disguise," which includes a pair of unnecessary but very flattering glasses.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: None of the princes are completely ignorant of the rest of the world, but several of them are nevertheless rather sheltered. Joshua is perhaps the best example, given that he's spent much of his life isolated from others and has a very limited understanding of how normal people live.
- Shipper on Deck:
- Keith's little sister Cathy makes no secret of her hope that he and the protagonist will fall in love with each other, and takes great delight in helping out their relationship.
- Roberto in Alberto's "Falling in Love with the Butler" story. He flat out tells the protagonist that she needs to make the first move, because Alberto is dense about these things.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Princess Catherine Alford is a sweet, gentle girl who never has a rude or unkind word to say to anyone... but when she puts her mind to something, there's not a person in Liberty Manse except maybe the King and Queen who can keep her from getting her way. Watching her gently but firmly wrap her older brother Keith around her fingers is a sight to behold.
- The Social Darwinist: Both Joshua and Keith have a bad habit of assuming that high social status implies moral superiority. On their routes, it's generally up to the protagonist to convince them otherwise. With Joshua, the lesson sticks. Keith... not so much.
- Something about a Rose: Edward has something of a rose motif, and keeps a private rose garden at his family's palace.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: In Joshua's route, when you're in the limo with Jan and you realize that he spiked your tea, the same cheery music that you hear throughout the game keeps playing as you lose consciousness. The music continues to play through the scene when you're locked in a basement in Newan, with the possibility that you might be raped by Leonard. Geez, they could have at least turned the music off!
- Spell My Name with an "S": The English localization suffers from inconsistent transliteration of character names. Particularly frequent victims are Jan (Jean), Louis (Lewis) and Zain (Zen).
- Stay in the Kitchen: The kingdom of Sanct Sybil has a long tradition that only men should work, while women take care of the home. Unusually, this extends to any kind of work, even jobs normally considered "women's work" such as sewing, cooking, and cleaning - there are no female servants at Sybil Fortress, the protagonist is shooed out of the kitchen the first time she offers to help out there, and Ivan angrily chastises the royal tailor for "forcing" his wife and daughter to help with some embroidery.
- Succession Crisis: Oriens is heading for one in BMP2, with predictable unrest in the government and general populace as a result.
- Suddenly Suitable Suitor: Genderflipped on Edward's route. The royal conference of Charles (a group suspiciously similar to Japan's Imperial Household Agency) refuses to allow Edward to get involved with a commoner. Then Lord Michel reveals that the protagonist is a scion of a now defunct noble house, and a descendant of one of Nobel Michel's national heroes, whereupon she suddenly becomes more than acceptable as a future queen of Charles. The hypocrisy of it all does not pass without comment.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Wilfred, although he's much more sugar than ice. It's mostly that he's very quiet and rather reserved compared to the other princes.
- Taking the Bullet: Zain, twice in the same scene. First for Lord Michel, and then for the protagonist.
- Thieving Magpie:
- On Zain's main route, a golden seal goes missing during an event and Theo is initially blamed for misplacing it, if not outright stealing it. The actual culprit turns out to have been a cat that had taken a liking to the sweet flavour of the special ink used with the seal.
- Halfway through Ivan's sequel in BMP2, the protagonist's heirloom diamond engagement ring goes missing from her room. Rumors quickly begin to fly around that Mikhail stole it, but the true culprit turns out to be Ivan's pet wolves, who have free access to the protagonist's room and a distinctly un-wolfish fondness for shiny objects.
- True Companions:
- Although usually occupied by the affairs of their own countries, when it's necessary the princes can be counted upon to pull together to help one another, both for the benefit of their respective nations and on more personal levels. It's noted on several occasions that the six princes' close personal ties to one another make it possible for them to form international collaborations and solutions that simply would not have been possible in previous generations.
- In BMP2 Hayden, Sieg, Oliver and Kuon are all close childhood friends whose interactions balance national interests and personal loyalties. In Kuon's main route, the guys admit to keeping an eye on him because of the tremendous stress of his situation. They had predicted he would bolt, but had hoped to be able to talk him down before things got that bad.
- Tsundere: Keith, Joshua, and Glenn all qualify in different ways.
- Prince Sieg is shaping up to be this to the other princes, especially Kuon. He was the most concerned for his wellbeing, but when Oliver mentions it, he vehemently denies it.
- Valentine's Day Episodes: The "A Royal St. Valentine's Day" side story.
- Warrior Prince: Prince Ivan of Sanct Sybil, who serves as a military commander for his kingdom and fights on the front lines to quell an armed rebellion.
- What Beautiful Eyes: Especially in the GREE version, the protagonist has a lot to say about Keith's gorgeous green eyes.
- White Stallion: As the resident Prince Charming, Edward is an accomplished equestrian and favours the white mare Arionne.