A cute and sparkly game by Hanako Games about dressing up a pretty little princess and preparing her to become a great queen......and watching her be assassinated.Let's try this again.Elodie, the 14-year-old crown princess of Nova, is suddenly yanked back home from boarding school when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances. As the next in line to the throne, Elodie must survive until her fifteenth birthday before she can be legally crowned as Queen. Unfortunately, she is surrounded by people who have their own plans for her, most of which end with her untimely demise.Long Live The Queen is a viciously evil game where you, as the person in charge of a woefully-unprepared princess, must manage Elodie's weekly schooling to teach her the skills she needs while everything is trying to kill her. Will you nurture her into a cruel warlord who executes anyone and anything that could pose a threat? Or a Magnificent Bitch wielding an extensive intelligence network in one hand and a web of alliances in the other? Or maybe even a BadassMagical Girl Warrior with a personal attack falcon?The game is largely skill-based: Elodie's weekly classes raise her skill levels, and those levels are checked against a static target number to see if she passes a challenge. Training up a category of associated skills unlocks new clothes for Elodie that boosts those skills even further. You must also manage Elodie's mood carefully, as it dictates how willing she is to learn certain skills. (For example, she is far more receptive to Conversation lessons when she is Cheerful instead of Depressed.)It sounds simple, but Long Live The Queen just loves throwing you curveballs by suddenly checking for skills you never thought you would need. (All your points in Naval Strategy won't count for anything if you fall off the Crow's Nest!)You can buy this game on Hanako Games' website, Steam and GOG.com. As per The Wiki Rule, there is an extensive Wiki that doubles as a comprehensive walkthrough.Compare Princess Maker.Spoiler Warning: While we'll try to mark major spoilers, just about everything in the game is a spoiler to some degree. Read this page with caution if you want your play experience to be unspoiled.
Abusive Parents: A veritable conga-line of them through the Duchess of Lillah's brood. Starting from the bottom, Briony is neglected by her parents. Then we have her parents, who are on the verge of divorce because her mother is having an affair with her own brother. That brother, Kevan, is emotionally unstable because he was "seduced" as a young teenager by his own stepfather; Kevan's younger brother Thaddeus witnessed it, and when the Duchess of Lillah found out, she immediately divorced her husband and had him killed for trying to continue his affair with Kevan, and is implied to have thrown Kevan out of her home entirely for it... which caused him to come live with his sister in the first place. It's a vicious circle with an awful lot of spokes, and the Duchess is the hub.
Despite supposedly being available as an advisor, Elodie's father, the King Dowager, never provides help to his daughter with any of the problems that get dropped on her. Civil war? Silence. Inventions that would greatly advance Nova's power? Silence. Execute your family and be an all-around brat? Pout. Until the end, if Elodie never gets her Lumen gem, where he willingly fights for his daughter with HIS lumen gem. In fact, he can make things worse - he gives Elodie the idea to ramp up punishments if she's scared about plots against her (which she can then gleefully enforce), and can dissuade Elodie from taking Julianna in, based on highly circumstantial evidence. By "dissuade", we mean "possibly throw her into the dungeons for life".
Julianna just sort of hangs around the castle if Elodie doesn't send her away (or imprison her). She steps in to handle attacks by monsters such as the snake or the creeping shade but refuses to divulge useful information about Lumens until after Elodie figures them out herself, and doesn't do anything to organise the resistance against Shanjia, even when she obviously could have. Your father can possibly do more than her, Lumen-wise. Oh, and if you try to call her out on withholding information, she gives you a withering, threatening speech about how Lumens are beholden to Nova itself - not easily killable Queens. Ouch.
All There in the Manual: There's a lot of background information in the flavor text for Elodie's classes, which may or may not come up in game depending on skill checks. There's more information (such as names) in the character reference biographies. Many names only appear in the reference biographies, like the Duke of Kigal's children besides Linley.
And Now You Must Marry Me: Subverted in the endgame—the Big Bad is already married and has no interest in a fourteen-year-old. Earlier, this is a possible goal of the Duke of Maree, if you surrender his lands to Ixion or punish his sister for her attempted power play.
You can also spin the circumstances around. If your skills are high enough that you realize the Banion is trying to suggest you have a secret relationship, then play along with it anyway, you have the option of informing him he fits your type, and you intend on marrying him. The epilogue details that Elodie takes special steps to ensure it's known that she has the power in the relationship.
In a variation, you can enact And Now You Must Marry Him regarding the Ixion crisis, forcing Brin, Duchess of Hellas to be married off in order to resolve the conflict which she started in the first place.
Anachronism Stew: Elodie's costumes are a mishmash of clothing styles from many eras, including modern clothing.
And Man Grew Proud: While not quite on a world-ending scale, bits of lore that you can uncover in the game indicate that Lumens were responsible for the destruction of the old capital and for monsters like the keythong and the kraken.
Annoying Arrows: Mostly averted. Getting shot is a great way to end up dead, especially if Elodie foolishly tries to push the arrow through to the other side. On the other hand, if she lives through that, there are no lasting consequences to having been shot.
And Then What?: Elodie can bring this point up with Togami, if you're on the save the day with the power of music achievement path.
Elodie: When you've killed me and taken my crystal, what do you do then?... You have the world! But if you're not happy, what's the point?
Arranged Marriage: Played with in that you must arrange your own marriage, but otherwise played absolutely straight. There is simply no time to think about romance in the deadly world of political intrigue and military threats you are cast into. A correctly arranged marriage brings alliances you desperately need.
If you survive the game without becoming engaged or expressing interest toward anyone, Elodie may decide to wait for romance and winds up with an unnamed Earl who's good at baking.
A lesbian Elodie can choose to avoid marriage and shack up with a female companion instead, if she plays her cards right.
Elodie can also arrange someone else's marriage to stop a war.
It's strongly implied that the Duchess of Lillah killed her stepson and her second husband. The former abused and possibly killed a number of his servants, and the latter "seduced" her son (and his stepson) Kevan and may also have raped a teenage girl.
Defending yourself against Lucille inadvertently fries her alive. Given what she was trying to do, no tears will be shed.
One of your options in dealing with the Duke and Duchess of Hellas, for their attempted warmongering, is to execute the Duchess, then, provided you pass the vote of no-confidence, make her brother join her. Given that they were trying to go invade a neighboring country without your permission for vague reasons, no tears, either.
A cruel Elodie can be one herself: such as dying to the Earl of Io for sending Briony to her death or getting sucked dry by Charlotte's mom for sacrificing Charlotte to the kraken.
Authority Equals Asskicking: Elodie's mother was one of the few remaining magic-users, and Elodie can inherit her Lumen crystal in turn. Her father, the King Dowager and a duke in his own right, also possesses one and the ability to use it. At the height of Nova's power, all of the dukes and duchesses were Lumen along with the royal family.
Ax-Crazy: The Earl of Io has an incredibly short temper and a tendency to go berserk, regardless of the consequences, on anyone who even looks like an enemy of the family. He doesn't bother to make sure his target is actually guilty, either.
Badass Bystander: If Elodie has gained enough approval from Nova's commoners, a young man may tackle an assassin sent after her in public, killing him at the cost of his own life.
Badass Princess: With the right skill set, Elodie can personally fight and win against all sorts of would-be assassins. Her duel against Togami stands out in particular. If you have a high enough naval warfare skill with a high magic skill, you can personally lead the Novan navy against Shanjian, using yourself as a magic cannonball to sink ships.
The Bard: Elodie can hire a court musician who writes songs in the royal family's honor. Her music isn't actually that great, but she's quite a talented spy if Elodie figures out enough to utilize her skills.
Benevolent Mage Ruler: Elodie can become one of these if she develops her Lumen powers and avoids cruel actions.
Berserk Button: Being too blunt in asking the Earl of Io if his late half-brother actually killed the brother of the woman who tried to poison his sister leads to him cutting the woman's throat in front of you and shouting that nobody hurts his family before storming off. This is despite the fact that passing a Court Manners check suggests that he didn't actually like his half-brother. This isn't even getting into what he can do later.
Big Bad Ensemble: Lucille, Togami, and the Kraken. Lucille is responsible for most of the attempts on Elodie's life in Nova. Togami leads the Shanjian invasion, and is the one who killed Queen Fidelia in the first place. And the Kraken is an ancient horror that must be dealt with in some fashion if it's ever awakened.
Big Screwed-Up Family: The Duchess of Lillah's family and various stepfamilies. Featuring sexual abuse, incest, incestuous sexual abuse, serial killing, lots of adultery, killing the perpetrators of the foregoing...
Lucille is such a nice and sweet aunt to Elodie. She also wants Elodie dead and is responsible for several annoying assassination attempts.
Banion is friendly and courteous, but he's also using Elodie to get his way, and he won't appreciate it if Elodie doesn't back his sister's power play - and will attempt to blackmail Elodie, a child, into a physical relationship, should his plans go awry. That's if he doesn't try to get her killed...
If you choose to court the affection of the Duke of Sedna, then he appears to be charming and courteous in every way. If, however, you make it clear that you'll be marrying someone else, especially Adair (with or without antagonizing him first), then he'll raise tariffs on the border, making things quite difficult for your people.
Elodie herself can become one with the right education and dialogue choices. Explicitly spelled out if Elodie sacrificed Charlotte to the kraken, where the rumors from the sailors of the ship that transported Charlotte there will tell people that the cute little queen is actually a cold-hearted bastard.
Bittersweet Ending: If you're unable to stop the Shanjian fleet, but were able to defuse the Sedna incident and were betrothed to the Duke, you're able to escape, with the help of Sedna spies, and the game notes that you will be plotting a counter-attack with Sedna.
There are several. If you refuse to get a Lumen crystal and don't find another way of handling the endgame, the King will die protecting Elodie from Togami, anyone suspected of being a Lumen will be severely persecuted for generations to come, Togami leads the Shanjian army to invade Borealis in the north, and is hinted to still be plotting against Nova. Elodie lives and Nova is relatively stable, however.
Bi the Way: It's implied Lucille was in a relationship with Brin.
Black and Gray Morality: The nobility of Nova are ruthless in the pursuit of power, and many are rather unpleasant people, but only a few are truly evil. For example, your aunt wants you dead... but is a loving mother and wife. Your magic mentor will coldly tell you that she's not beholden to you, just Nova/magic, and she'll let you and your loved ones die rather than risk that... but she'll join you in the dangerous fleet-sinking ritual that can get you all killed to defend the country. Several nobles will be willing to kill a child (Elodie) via duels for wrongs either minor or imagined. Meanwhile, Elodie herself is likely to make some very tough choices to keep her throne and protect her kingdom. Even the most moral Elodie has her ransoming soldiers with rich families, should Nova repel the Shanjian assault at sea, and will even angrily sacrifice her cousin and best friend to a monster for her supposed role in an assassination plot.
Black Comedy: All of Elodie's deaths are illustrated with a cutesy, super-deformed depiction of her demise.
Bond One-Liner: If the Earl of Io challenges Elodie to a duel and she is already a Lumen, she can burn him to death and then reply, "I decline."
Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: If you fulfill a particularly difficult Guide Dang It, Joslyn can defeat Togami when he comes to challenge Elodie to a Wizard Duel, but it will come at a great cost for Joslyn: He will remain unconscious for weeks after the fight, and even after he wakes up his physical and mental integrity will be severely and permanently dwindled.
For bonus Squick points, this follows a case of step Parental Incest between the Earl of Io and his mother's second husband.
A strongly-implied case of stepsister and step-Parental Incest can occur if you marry Banion at his sister Brin's urging. Brin will marry your father, but become your lover as well.
Bullying a Dragon: Make no mistake, Julianna let herself be imprisoned because she hoped Elodie would have a change of heart at some time. If Elodie decides to execute her, however, she will have no qualms about killing princess to make her escape.
By the Power of Grayskull!: "Illuminate!" Played with: one of Elodie's possible Lumen mentors teaches her to say this to activate her powers, the other doesn't. It works fine either way. Her father uses it, too.
Call Back: Early in the game, this exchange occurs—
Kevan, Earl of Io: Your Highness! This slattern dares to beg pardon, when she admits that she tried to poison my sister under her own roof!
Elodie: Which sister?
Kevan: Corisande, the Duchess of Mead.
Later, depending on choices in between, it's possible to have this conversation—
Corisande, Duchess of Mead: Elodie! Where is my daughter?
Elodie: Which daughter?
Corisande: You know very well that I only have one.
Cataclysm Backstory: About six hundred years back from the game's "present day," the Lumens of Nova went a bit overboard with their powers and ended up wrecking the old capital. The place in question is still overrun by monsters, and the kingdom has basically written it off as a loss. Elodie and another character can go on an adventure there, but surviving requires passing multiple high-level skill checks.
Note: You don't even get anywhere near your destination. You barely get 50 feet inside before you get overwhelmed. The skill checks only determine whether you can escape.
The Cavalry: If the Ixion conflict was solved by suggesting an alliance, the Ixionite fleet will come to help you during the naval battle against Shanjia.
Character Portrait: Given to named characters with dialogue (which means that a number of characters, including several love/marriage interests, don't get one). Elodie's is one of the few whose portrait differs according to mood (as well as according to what she's wearing). This used to lead to small incongruities like Charlotte's cheerful portrait coupled with her telling Elodie to stay away from her after killing Charlotte's mother, but this bug has since been fixed..
Combat Tentacles: Briony is attacked by these during the trip into the Old Capital; Elodie can rescue her.
Compliment Backfire: Briony can tell Elodie "You're smarter than I remembered" if Elodie successfully dissuades Briony from her adventure into the Capital, much to Elodie's exasperation.
Culture Blind: Elodie knows nothing about royal etiquette at the start of the game, not even things the crown princess might reasonably be expected to know, like court manners. This will get her into a few binds, such as dealing with the Duke of Sedna's marriage proposal.
Cyanide Pill: The assassin that may go after Elodie at the Festival of the Good Lady will die from poison before he can be interrogated... but will leave behind a coded message that, once decrypted, leads Elodie to the duchy of origin.
Deadly Decadent Court: The amount of backstabbing, plotting, and all-around assholery the nobles are up is amazing, if you decide to train in Intrigue and learn all about their plots. Quite a few will attempt to drag you into supporting their plots, or just want you plain dead.
Deadpan Snarker: Your father can sometimes come off as this, especially with his usual reluctance to openly judge you.
Elodie: Throw her into the castle dungeons and let her rot!
Joslyn: Well. I suppose she won't be a problem anymore.
Elodie can do it too, after receiving a dirty poem and showing a sense of humor about it:
Joslyn: There is a woman here to see you. She is a musician and wishes Crown patronage.
Elodie: (Which means money.)
Musician: Your Royal Highness! If you accept me as a member of your court I will immortalise you in word and song. I have dabbled in musical styles from many countries, and can entertain your guests and lighten your evenings.
Elodie: (I wonder if she also writes naughty poetry?)
Defeat Means Friendship: One of the many ways you can deal with your enemies. This is actually the most effective method, though also the hardest. The two most dangerous threats to Elodie can be dealt with in this manner: you can make Lucille your Lumen Minister (which "coincidentally" reduces the number of attempts on your life to near-zero) and befriending Togami not only saves your country from the leaderless remnants of his army, but is implied to save the entire world from Shanjia's warmongering. Befriending Briony (and therefore stopping her from dying in the Old Forest) also pre-empts Kevan's reason to seek revenge in Week 33.
That said, there are several exceptions to the rule, most of them involving marriage candidates with pre-existing problems. For example, even if you defeat and spare Kevan in a duel, this does not magically cure his sudden bouts of bipolar rage.
Deliberate Values Dissonance: Since nearly all of the characters are nobility, there tends to be an according contempt for commoners as well as suspicion of those who rise above their original station—such as the Duke-Consort of Lillah and the King of Shanjia. Those two do turn out to be genuine pieces of work.
Depraved Bisexual: A Cruel Elodie who makes Coronation will sleep with anyone of both genders - and drop them like a hot potato as soon as she's bored of them. She also keeps Alice as a Sex Slave. Ick.
Depraved Homosexual: It's strongly implied that the late Duke of Mead was one, i.e. he was briefly "lifemate" to the Duke of Ursul (Julianna's father), he had a habit of hiring "attractive young servants who had to be frequently replaced after injuries and 'accidents'", and a woman accuses his family of killing her brother. Compare the supposed Depraved Bisexuallate Duke-Consort of Lillah, who was rumored to have raped the Duchess of Elath and is confirmed to have "seduced" his stepson.
Novans in general to a lesser extent. Lumen are by and large feared, though Elodie's use of Lumen is seen as acceptable because she's the Queen.
Elodie herself, potentially. Starting with locking up a Lumen who offered to teach you magic (and you've got the option to keep her there indefinitely), and spiraling from there.
The Dog Bites Back: If you massacre Lucille's ENTIRE family, Charlotte included, Merva will secede from Nova, knowing full well what you've done.
Double In-Law Marriage: One possibility for Elodie. She marries Banion, and Banion's sister Brin marries her father. This is done to facilitate Elodie and Brin's own lesbian relationship.
Downer Ending: The nature of the game means there are a lot of them. Evening reaching coronation doesn't guarantee a cheerful ending, as any of the following can happen: both of Elodie's parents are murdered, the murderer is a Karma Houdini who's moving to conquer another country, Elodie has been poisoned by her "loving" aunt to keep her from having children and forcing her to relinquish power to her aunt's lineage, and her rejection of her Lumen crystal leads to a rise in violent prejudice against magic.
Driven to Suicide: If Elodie chooses to sacrifice herself to the kraken, the dialogue shows it's less Heroic Sacrifice and more depression: she's choosing to do so because she felt like she'll never be a good queen due to all the decisions she's made and her lack of experience.
Emperor Scientist: Depending on the choices Elodie makes, she can end up sparking a scientific revolution in Nova after her coronation. This can be accelerated if she funds the Printing Press and the Hospital, as the combination of the two allows for widespread collaboration and distribution of medical knowledge.
Entertainingly Wrong: When an assassin is revealed to have come from Merva, Elodie reluctantly concludes that her uncle Laurent, the Duke of Merva and her heir presumptive, is probably behind it. Lucille turns out to be the one masterminding it, so that her husband and daughter can inherit the throne.
Erwin, the Earl of Ishtar, has an unfortunate tendency to have family die around him—including one of his previous wives and two of his daughters. After the death of his grandson Adair, Elodie can blame him for it and order him imprisoned or executed, especially if she doesn't know about the political situation with Elath and Talasse, and that those dead family members were part of Elath's ducal family.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Part of the process of "saving the day with the power of music" is reminding Togami of his children.
Chopping his head off leaves his wife in very, very angry mourning. Angry enough that she threatens Nova and sends the head of one of her ministers trying to ally with Nova.
Everyone Is Related: A number of the duchies of Nova are ruled by people who are directly related to each other (to say nothing of the numerous cousins), i.e. Caloris and Mazomba (brothers Joslyn and Armand), Hellas and Maree (siblings Brin and Banion), Mead and Lillah (daughter Corisande and mother Arisse). Indeed, part of Arisse's power derives from being the mother, wife (then stepmother), and mother-in-law to the rulers of three other duchies besides her own. Also, Briony is the Duchess of Ursul's niece and possible heir to her Lumen crystal, and Brin and Banion's brother Bennett is the stepfather of Elodie's friend Gwenelle (as well as the father of her youngest marriage prospect, eight-year-old Anciet). And speaking of which, most of Elodie's marriage and romance prospects are related as well—Briony and Linley are cousins through their mothers, Kevan is their uncle, Thaddeus is Kevan's half-brother while Adair is their stepbrother, Talarist and his brother are distantly related to Adair, Anciet is Brin and Banion's nephew...
Evil-Detecting Dog: If you boost your skill with Dogs high enough, you may receive an important warning this way.
Evil Overlord: Togami. He rules an overseas kingdom that has enough resources to raise a massive army and supporting fleet that are both capable of overwhelming Nova through sheer numbers. His goal is world domination. And he's a Lumen to boot.
Evil Uncle: Subverted. If you get a certain event, it looks like Uncle Laurent tried to have Elodie killed so that he could take the throne, but that was actually his wife Lucille's doing. She's trying to get Elodie out of the way so her daughter can inherit the throne and the Power Crystal. Which means Lucille will have to bump off Laurent as well to reach her goal.
Expansion Pack: A low-key version, as patches to the game not only fix bugs but add characters and story options (for example, Alice replaces Elodie's unnamed maids in the original and Elodie can now marry her brother, Kevan can now be killed with magic at the duel or pursued for marriage at the end of the game, and it is now possible to choose exactly which "scandalous" option to dance with so you don't have to get rid of Julianna before going for Brin).
Fantastic Racism: There's an undercurrent of tension between Lumens and non-empowered commoners due in part to a tragic event that happened in the backstory. As a result, any Lumens outside either the royal house or the Duchess of Ursul keep their abilities a secret for fear of inviting persecution. If Lucille is appointed Lumen Minister, it's noted at the ball Elodie may attend later that other nobility are openly shunning her for her status.
Fiery Redhead: Kevan, the Earl of Io. To a violently unstable degree.
Fission Mailed: A small case with the "evil minion" ending a few weeks before the normal end of the game, as the screen irises out like Elodie's death scenes and then goes straight into the epilogue. Another case is escaping to Sedna, as the game treats it like a regular game over, despite Elodie living and plotting to retake Nova.
Elodie may come across a half-dead flower arrangement in the palace and grumble about careless staff; with enough skill in Divination, she takes it as a bad omen (and with enough skill in Decoration, she'll rearrange it to her satisfaction).
Foreshadowing: Lots of information pertaining to things which happen in game are foreshadowed either in the flavor text for Elodie's classes, or during conversations with other characters. Some points are more obscure than others, for example:
With high enough Lore, you uncover a theory suggesting that Bad Things happen when enough powerful Lumen get together. If you use Lumen powers to sink the Shanjian fleet, you either create a freak wave which drowns Elodie, or cause a sacrifice demanding sea monster to awaken.
The ONLY competition Elodie can win during the tournament is the music one, which suggests she is an incredible performer. A few weeks later, her music skills become vital in the Save the Day with the Power of Music ending.
If you become engaged to Adair, the Duke of Sedna will always cause trouble at your borders, not matter how kind you've been to him in the past. While at first glance it may be because you've spurned him, having good internal and foreign affair levels will reveal that he's actually Adair's next of kin, and therefore the very strategically important Duchy of Elath will pass to him if Adair dies. If you do not marry Adair, he'll send assassins to eliminate him to ensure this succession, and furthermore it's heavily implied that he killed the rest of Adair's family to reach this end. However, Elodie marrying Adair and therefore taking him under the protection of the crown has completely destroyed his plans. It's a small wonder that he's a little bitter.
In a possible conversation after Julianna's arrival, Charlotte mentions her mother says people hate Lumen because they're jealous. Her mother is a Lumen herself and grooming Charlotte to become one as well.
Fourth Date Marriage: Since many of her possible marriages are arranged, Elodie doesn't interact much with a number of the prospective grooms during the course of the game. However, one Up to Eleven case is Talarist, the Duke of Sedna. At the beginning of the game Elodie doesn't even know which country Sedna is in; a few weeks, a letter of condolence, and a pretty necklace later he visits in person, flirts, and suggests marriage. Elodie can promptly accept, much to her father's shock.
Freudian Slip: Possibly deliberately. Elodie may suspect an auditioning musician of being a recruitable secret agent. When she asks if she can juggle, the musician replies, "I can keep a set of dangers in the air."
Gambit Pileup: Everyone has something they want out of you, and everyone can potentially be your enemy or ally depending on how you deal with them. Also, unlike in many games, you may or may not ever find out who was behind a particular scheme.
Gay Option: Brin, the Duchess of Hellas, can send Elodie flowers after dancing with her, and Elodie can later choose to marry her brother to be closer to her, or even refuse to marry and take her as a companion. Depending on the choices made before the ball, Elodie can also dance with Julianna or Arisse, but this doesn't lead to a relationship. Also, Briony falls for her if they both survive the forest adventure and Elodie can reciprocate by making her "Lady of the Royal Bedchamber," though it doesn't stop their eventual marriages. Lastly, a cruel Elodie can keep Alice as a Sex Slave. Ick.
Gender-Blender Name: Elodie's father, Joslyn (a variant of Jocelyn, which can be a male name) and Jael, the late Duke-Consort of Lillah (whose perhaps most famous bearer is a Biblical woman).
Genius Ditz: Because you only have so many weeks' worth of classes and some stat checks get pretty high it's likely you'll end up with a queen who's got near-perfect knowledge of some subjects while being completely clueless in others.
And even better? With enough training she can personally kill any threat to her life. Assassin jumps her? She stabs him. Enraged noble challenges her to a duel? She immolates him.
The queen of Shanjia is an utter bitch, not helped by the addition of her husband. When one of her ministers attempts to cut a peace treaty with Elodie after she kills said husband in a duel, she sends Elodie his head].
Godzilla Threshold: Joslyn is of the opinion that Lumen magic should only be reserved for situations like this. He'll suggest it as a possibility once the Shanjian invasion begins.
A variant with Lieke, the Countess of Dis, who only married the elderly Duke of Sudbury for long enough to produce a heir to the duchy; she then served as regent in the time between his death and her daughter coming of age. Judging from an argument at the latter's birthday party, she's reluctant to hand on her power. No royal likes her for this (daughter included), except for the Duke himself.
With a successful Flattery check, Elodie accuses Sirin of being one.
Elodie: Good afternoon, Countess. What a lovely brooch you're wearing. It reminds me a bit of one my mother used to wear. I suppose you have an eye for valuable prizes, don't you? Ready to leap in and snatch them the instant they become available, to keep them out of anyone else's hands?
Golden Ending: If Elodie is educated enough to allow the creation of the printing press and centralized hospitals, hasn't been unnecessarily cruel to anyone (and even saved others from cruelty, such as convincing one of the dukes to not slay the woman who attempted to poison the royalty out of revenge for her brother's death), has the public accept Lumen, and doesn't kill her mother's murderer and makes him withdraw by peaceful means, she goes on to become a good and wise queen, known for forwarding technology and peace.
Guide Dang It: There are a lot of intricately connected events in the game and the relationships between them will not be apparent at first. Working out who is trying to kill you at which points and why requires serious note-taking. If you haven't been following all the subplots, angry relatives may suddenly show up and challenge Elodie to a duel to the death... for an offense she didn't even know she committed.
Also, some of the bonus achievements are downright impossible to get unless you plan your route from day one. Notable examples are the 'save the day through the power of music' bonus (which requires ridiculously high stats in Voice, Instrument, Foreign Intelligence, Public Speaking AND Presence), as well as the 'Naval Victory' bonus (which requires VERY high Naval Strategy, you not losing ANY soldiers at any point during the game and accessing very specific events.
Has Two Mommies: A possible ending for Briony, if Julianna and Selene marry and Julianna adopts Briony as her heir. Also, if Elodie takes Brin as a companion, depending on the outcome, he's also her brotherandher nephew as well.
Healing Hands: Elodie's cousin Charlotte has these, should you send away or imprison Julianna and are bitten by the viper.
Heart Is an Awesome Power: Several lame-sounding skills turn out to have unusual uses. For instance, you can end up using your knowledge of Trade and Production to avoid an assassination attempt. The best ending you can get comes about from managing to instill a change of heart in the Big Bad by way of a heartfelt song. Another ending involves defeating him with the help of your skill in decorating, followed by a beautiful coronation.
Heel-Face Turn: Of a sort. You can recruit Lucille as your Lumen Minister, after which she stops trying to kill you - unless you kill her daughter, for obvious reasons.
If you achieve the Save The Day with the Power of Music bonus, the epilogue strongly implies that Togami has one.
Here We Go Again: If you managed to talk Briony out of going on a boneheaded adventure to the Old Capital, she'll send letters to Elodie... asking about pirate treasure this time. Elodie promptly responds with this, word for word.
Heroic Sacrifice: If Elodie accepts the duel with Togami even though she isn't a Lumen, her father will become one on the spot to take her place.
Joslyn: You want to fight the Lumen ruler of Nova? Illuminate!
Elodie herself can choose to do this to get rid of the kraken, which obviously ends the game.
Heroes Prefer Swords: While you can train Elodie in archery and lances as well as swords, during her climactic duel with Togami, she can create a magic sword to chop off his head.
Hoist By Their Own Petard: Two of the possible fights with other Lumen can end this way with enough Resist Magic skill, as Lucille overloads all her power trying to take control of Elodie and the wife-strangler's magic rebounds on him. To a lesser degree, it's possible for Banion, the Duke of Maree to call for a vote of no confidence and discover that nobody will support him, and Elodie has the option of demanding to lop off his head. On the other side, if Elodie forces his sister into marriage, Banion will try to trick her into a compromising position with him to force their engagement in turn. Elodie can wind up doing this to herself, if she doesn't have enough Lumen training and enough Lumens to make the battle at sea work, and winds up exploding herself.
Hot-Blooded: Brin, the Duchess of Hellas, conquered Ixionite territory without your mother's permission, nearly (and possibly, if you can't run damage control) starting a war.
The Earl of Io really likes being a rageaholic ham willing to kill anyone even vaguely suspected of wanting to harm his family. If he challenges Elodie to a duel, spittle flies away from his mouth with each word.
Human Sacrifice: An Eldritch Abomination can be pacified with the sacrifice of a Lumen or potential Lumen that has not yet reached adulthood. That means that Elodie is a viable sacrifice....And so is her cousin Charlotte.
I Have No Son: Happens in the backstory to Bennett and Ignatius. Their parents are now deceased, and they're happy to take over if Elodie puts their sibling(s) out of the way.
Idiot Hero: It's entirely possible to go through the game by surviving plot after plot and never discover who's behind any of them. Elodie will also accidentally stunt technological and medical growth by not knowing enough about production and medicine, by way of automatically denying the creation of the printing press and centralized hospitals.
If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: If you offer to join forces with Togami, his first order is to kill your father. For obvious reasons, a regular Elodie will be aghast. A cruel Elodie can do so.
Iron Lady: Arisse, the Duchess of Lillah. Next to Elodie, she is the most powerful noble in the kingdom, nicknamed the "Eastern Queen" because of her influence over multiple duchies, and absolutely not to be crossed. It's strongly implied that she had her stepson and her second husband killed when they went completely beyond the pale of acceptable behavior (rape, torture, serial killing). If Elodie completely mismanages the kingdom, she'll declare civil war to set the kingdom right - or force Elodie to pick her up as a mentor.
A heavily military-oriented Elodie can become one.
It Will Never Catch On: If ignorant in the relevant subjects, Elodie will automatically turn away petitioners asking for funding to create a movable-type printing press and establish a hospital (in the latter case, she'll think putting sick people together will just make them die faster).
Attempting to arrest the person responsible for multiple assassination attempts on you, instead of killing her (or her family), causes her to escape, kill the guards sent after her, and kill her husband.
Togami can get away with killing your father, destroying your Navy, and going on to do the same thing to Borealis and any country he suspects has Lumens in it.
And, finally, you, if you play your cards right.
Karma Meter: The hidden cruelty statistic; its level indicates if you're eventually willing to do things like kill your father and cousin.
Karmic Death: If you feed Charlotte to the Kraken while Lucille is Lumen Minister, you WILL earn your well-deserved death a week later.
Kick the Dog: One late-game hint as to the status of the aforementioned Karma Meter is when a servant dies from sneaking poisoned chocolates meant for Elodie. Normally, she's frightened; with high enough cruelty, she's happy it wasn't her.
You can beat your maid if you're too clumsy to move out of the way.
Julianna herself does this a little - if Elodie gets angry at her for withholding information, Julianna will callously tell her she's not beholden to expendable queens like Elodie - she's beholden to Nova and their crystals first and foremost. If Elodie tries to ask what's a creeping shade that killed a squire in the aftermath of Elodie accidentally killing Lucille in self-defense, Julianna will tell Elodie she's wasting her time and is doing nothing but distracting her.
If you opt to attempt to persuade Togami from killing you by way of song,, he'll call you pathetic for crying as you recall happy memories of your mother. Note: this is a grown man taunting a scared child he's about to kill.
Despite being told by the Earl of Titan not to do so, you can deliberately send young Adair to live with his grandfathernote This is a bad thing, as his grandfather can't protect him very well, and when Arisse gets rightfully upset, you can kill her.
Kid Hero: More obvious if Elodie has high reflexes and military prowess, but deconstructed if you ride with Briony to the Old Capital, where, after barely surviving, you will get a writhing lecture that the only reason you two survived is by sheer luck and that there are no heroes, only dead fools.
The Kingdom: The term 'kingdom' is avoided in-game, but it fills the same trope niche.
Knight Templar Parent: Elodie's aunt Lucille is trying to kill her so the throne will pass to her daughter Charlotte and she can gain the royal Lumen crystal. Even if Elodie makes Lucille Lumen Minister, it's implied she's still waiting on Elodie to die.
Laser-Guided Karma: If you feed Charlotte to the Kraken, the accompanying sailors, disgusted and horrified, will spread rumors of Elodie being a cruel Lumen witch in the aftermath, no matter how well-intentioned she was before or after. These rumors smear Elodie throughout her reign. And if you did this while her mom is Lumen Minister, you're dead, no matter what.
Lipstick Lesbian: Brin. Feminine haircut with a flower in her hair and makeup, very interested in flowers, implied to fall in love easily, and was Julianna's lover.
Living Emotional Crutch: In Kevan's "good" marriage ending, he eventually confides his past to Elodie, but this doesn't entirely cure his trust issues. Instead he falls so madly in love that he swears he can't live without her. Fortunately, there's no mention of it being put to the test. Also invoked with regard to his half-brother Thaddeus, who has issues stemming from some of the same events; see below.
Lonely at the Top: A possible fate for Elodie if she gets her money's worth from the executioner's block.
Love Hurts: If an anti-Lumen Elodie is trying to seek information on Julianna's escape from the dungeons, Brin's motivation for approaching her after the ball and telling Elodie that the castle priestess is Julianna's current lover is that Brin was dumped for said lover for being "too challenging". The same dialogue also shows Brin's been dumped twice before Julianna, and Brin thought Julianna would stay with her. Nope.
Love Martyr/Love Redeems: Invoked with the Duchess of Lillah's desire to marry off her troubled son Thaddeus, believing the right marriage would be good for him; Elodie notes there's nothing about it being good for her. There's also a hint of this in the ending where you successfully marry her other troubled son Kevan (which necessitates knowing about his incestuous relationships), in which you eventually successfully shift his fanatical loyalties from his family to you.
Magical Girl Warrior: There are several around, the late Queen was one, and Elodie can become one during the game. So can her father... well, without the girl part.
Magic Knight: Julianna is deadly with both her sword and her magic. Elodie can follow in her footsteps, which comes in handy if she duels in the end.
Mandatory Motherhood: Motherhood is one of Elodie's duties; if she's a lesbian, she'll either marry a man to produce a heir, or either sleep with an unknown male or use Lumen powers to get impregnated, should she openly marry Brin. In one ending, if you both marry Talarist and name him the Duke of Elath, her health will be ruined by the effort to provide heirs for both the throne and the duchy as soon as possible. Julianna averts this trope, mostly because nobody can force Julianna to do anything, what with her being a lesbian. Julianna can adopt Briony as heir, instead.
Massive Numbered Siblings: Arisse, the Duchess of Lillah, has six children from two husbands—not counting her stepchildren. Her daughter Charmion is the Duchess-Consort of Kigal and has a bunch more.
May-December Romance/Old Man Marrying A Child: Appears in the backstory between the Earl of Titan, who dies of old age during the story, and the late Duchess of Elath, who suffered Death by Childbirth while not much older than Elodie in order to provide for the succession as soon as possible. In-game, Elodie's oldest marriage prospects are in their thirties, as is one Gay Option—literally old enough to be her (thirty-three-year-old) father.
According to Word of Godhere, most of the duchies of Nova are named after impact craters (in the sense of "Boom!" and calamity), while Nova is named in the sense of stars going nova. The exceptions are Maree (after lava-filled lunar basins), Kigal (after the death goddess Ereshkigal), Lillah (after Lilith), and Elath (meaning 'Goddess'). invoked
"Elodie" is the French rendering of the name of Saint Alodia, a child martyr honored by the medieval Catholic Church. In keeping with the astronomical themes, it's also the name of an asteroid.
Sedna, a duchy in neighboring Talasse, is the name of both a space object and an Inuit sea goddess.
Lucille is the Countess of Nix. Her Lumen power is based on nothingness.
Medieval European Fantasy: For the most part. Nova is roughly analogous to a mismash of most of Europe, with Borealis basically being Magic Russia.
Melting Pot Nomenclature: Includes French (Elodie, Laurent, Armand, Charlotte), English and Irish (Kevan, Briony, Thaddeus, Cayleigh, Bram), German/Scandinavian (Fabian, Erwin, Severin, Astrid). Location names range from Titan (Greek Mythology) to Sedna (Inuit).
Mineral Macguffin: Lumens rely on magic crystals for their powers. You need to get yours from the treasury, should you wish to use magic. There's a bit of a Red Herring by attempting to give a Lumen crystal to one of your more Lumen-inclined relatives, but it doesn't work, as said relative isn't a psychopathic jerk and crystals only match "frequencies" in personality and moral standing.
Misplaced Retribution: Early in the game a woman tries to poison the Duchess of Mead, blaming her family for her brother's death ten years ago. With enough knowledge of internal affairs Elodie can point out that the likely perpetrator—the Duchess's half-brother and predecessor—is long dead as well, and the Duchess might even have been sympathetic to her case. This prompts the woman to go to prison quietly out of remorse. Later, if Briony dies, her uncle may blame Elodie on the evidence of Briony writing to her a few times talking about her search for adventure.
If Elodie decides not to accompany Briony into the forest, the Earl of Io will want Elodie's head for Briony's death, even though it was Briony's idea.
Missing Mom: Elodie's mother, Queen Fidelia, dies before the beginning of the game—hence Elodie's hasty ascension. A few nobles have this backstory, as well, such as the Duchess of Elath, who apparently had her mother and older sister killed by Sedna spies.
Mistaken for Cheating: If you both marry Thaddeus and talk down Togami, the former will assume you're having an affair with the latter, though he doesn't accuse you so much as storm off to brood.
Mistaken for Gay: If endgame Elodie proposes to a non-murderous Kevan without knowing his secret, she consoles herself after his rejection by noting he doesn't seem interested in any women. He's bisexual and in a relationship with his sister.
The Mistress: Either Brin, Briony, or Alice can become this to Elodie, if Elodie decides to marry after taking a female companion. That's an "if" for Brin, but not for Briony or Alice.
The Needs of the Many: Can be repeatedly invoked by Elodie, as she claims to do things like using her cousin as a human sacrifice "for the good of Nova." This is the Steam achievement name for such a thing, too.
Never My Fault: Or, more accurately, never anyone in my family's fault, where Kevan is concerned: the woman who attempts to poison his sister is trying to get vigilante justice for her brother, and her claim is justified ( although she's blaming the wrong family member, but Kevan will stab her himself if Elodie implies it might be true. If Briony dies, he blames Elodie and will challenge her to a duel in order to publicly kill her. Briony only tries to get to the Old Capital because her parents have kept her stuck at boarding school for years because of Kevan, and she thinks coming back with treasure is the only way her parents will let her come home again. Even the Duchess of Lillah's second husband gets a break, as he is referred to as having "seduced" Kevan and had a "relationship" with him, even though virtually everything about the situation indicates it was not consensual.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Sinking the Shanjian fleet with synchronized magic wakes up a kraken, which requires either human sacrifice (usually yours) or years of painstaking rituals to keep from going on a rampage that kills hundreds of thousands.
Nintendo Hard: Unless you're using a walkthrough, Elodie will die. Repeatedly.
Nightmare Fetishist: Alice can fall in love with an Elodie who hasn't laid a hand on her (besides dancing with her), usually by way of starting a civil war.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Charlotte may use her fledgling Lumen abilities to save her cousin Elodie from a snakebite. Elodie may repay her by feeding her to a kraken.
Nonstandard Game Over: While getting Elodie killed is the most obvious way to end the game, there are a few situations where she can get away with her life but not her crown. These include being forced to abdicate by a peasant revolt and fleeing the country in the face of a foreign invasion.
Noodle Implements: Elodie may receive an anonymous poem describing her committing unspeakable acts with a squid. She can be outraged or amused.
No Sparks: How almost all of Elodie's marriages seem to wind up. The marriage with Adair in particular is always described as "a relationship more like close friends than lovers."
Not So Different: Elodie can calm the Earl of Io's rage over his sister's attempted poisoning (as indicated in Briony's subsequent letter) by pointing out the motives of the perpetrator.
Elodie: She acted for the love of her sibling. Surely you can understand that? No one else needs to die.
The Obi-Wan: A Lumen-inclined Elodie will have Julianna (or Selene, should she send Julianna away) teaching them in Lumen usage from the start of the game.
Should Elodie fuck up really badly, sometimes Arisse will force Elodie to make her an advisor.
Off with His Head!: If you've maxed out Wield Magic and Resist Magic, and are fast in the reflexes department, this is Togami's fate if you decide to summon up a magical sword and end the duel. In the epilogue, after the Queen of Shanjia's far less conquest-minded ministers try to curry favor with Nova, she sends Elodie the head of one. This is also apparently the fate of anyone Elodie openly executes, such as Brin.
A cruel Elodie gets to scream it gleefully if she chooses to execute Banion, should his attempt at a vote of no-confidence fail.
Only Sane Man: Arisse, the Duchess of Lillah, is the only sane, non-juvenile member of the catastrophe that is the combined Mead-Lillah ducal family who we know much of anything about. If Elodie fucks the kingdom up, she'll be this to the entire damn country.
Palette Swap: The portraits of Elodie's aunt Lucille, the Countess of Nix, and her friend Gwenelle's mother Lieke, the Countess of Dis.
Passive-Aggressive Kombat: With enough Conversation skills, Elodie can engage in this. For example, when driving off a woman making a move on her father, she can compliment her on a brooch—saying that it reminds her of one her mother used to wear. Banion, the Duke of Maree, is also a practitioner; the toast he gives at the ball if he's unhappy with the handling of the Ixion situation drips with so much sarcasm that an insufficiently composed Elodie may be spurred to kill him. A sufficiently composed Elodie may repay him in kind.
Pay Evil unto Evil: Subverted. Elodie can feed Charlotte to the kraken without a high Cruelty score if she discovers that Charlotte's mother sent her the poisoned chocolates, in which case she considers it part of punishing the family, even thinking that the seemingly-innocent victim might have been in on the plot (According to Word of God, she wasn't). This doesn't horrify her father any less, nor does it make the people of Nova any less unnerved. invoked
You can vaporize the assassin sent to kill you during the Festival of the Good Lady - but it's clear that the commoners watching are absolutely horrified.
You can choose to execute all the Shanjian invading force if you slayed Togami in the duel. Even the low cruelty option is ransoming the rich ones' families.
Perfectly Arranged Marriage: The Duke of Sedna is an interesting case; it's possible to either become engaged to him near the beginning of the game or decide to pursue him after Elodie's coronation (if you didn't burn your bridges), but only in the latter case do you get a description of how well the marriage works instead of how fancy the wedding is.
Personality Powers: Lumens in general, for those whose powers get much description. Elodie's are light-based with a bit of a moon theme, Selene and Julianna seem to have water-related powers, and Charlotte has an innate healing power even without being a Lumen herself. The murderer who strangled his wife has magic chains, befitting a criminal, and Lucille has power over absence, and uses it to cancel Elodie's voice if confronted on it, and secretly uses it to render her infertile if Elodie in one of the epilogues.
Pimped-Out Dress: Onscreen, Elodie's Royal Coronet outfit. In one ending, Elodie asserts her dominance at her wedding to the Duke of Maree by wearing one while dressing him in a ballet outfit.
Politically-Active Princess: Elodie has political responsibilities thrust upon her in any case, but she can be good at it with skills like Intrigue, Royal Demeanor, and Conversation. Attending royal court as a weekend activity counts a little, as well.
Portent of Doom: The Divination skill allows Elodie to identify these and react accordingly.
Power Crystal: Lumens are empowered by special stones called Lumen Crystals. Whether or not Elodie chooses to recover the Lumen Crystal passed down from her mother has a big effect on how the plot can unfold.
The Power of Rock: The Big Bad used to be a musician. The only non-lethal way you're going to get out of the duel with him is by singing - and you need a damn good amount of training to instill a change of heart in him. Foreshadowed somewhat in that the music competition is one of the few tournament categories you can actually win, suggesting that a fully-trained Elodie is truly exceptional (as opposed to good for a fourteen-year-old).
Power of the Void: Lucille's Lumen power, a magic that controls the absence of light, sound and life. That last bit is important if you're going to accuse her of assassination in private - you'll die alone and unable to call for help in an apparent accident, if you don't pass the test.
Primal Scene: Played for trauma in one of Kevan's marriage endings, which reveals that his younger half-brother Thaddeus walked in on him in flagrante delicto with his stepfather. Foreshadowed in a different story path when their mother mentions Thaddeus saw something unspecified as a child, which she blames for his current rebellious nature.
Princesses Rule: Elodie is Crown Princess until she comes of age, but in the meantime she's tasked with things like approving loans and judging criminal cases. This is a plot point in certain interactions with her father, the King Dowager, who reminds her that she's not the queen yet when she asks after her mother's Lumen crystal or protests him taking her place in the duel with Togami.
Psychic Powers: Really advanced Meditation unlocks a low-level ESP sense in Elodie, allowing her to see with her eyes closed and sense what's happening in nearby rooms.
Puppet Queen: The Duke of Maree and/or the Duchess of Lillah can try to make Elodie into one.
Pyrrhic Victory: In a naval battle, it is possible to join with two or more other Lumens and use magic to inflict heavy losses on the enemy fleet (if not outright sink it). If Elodie is not adept enough in wielding magic, her ship is forced to get closer first. At this point, with four magic users on your ship, winning the next magic check knocks back the fleet but leads to a freak wave. This kills you instantly, and other than bringing only moderate magical force (or a less experienced Elodie), this can't be avoided.
Using a massive Lumen attack to completely demolish the invading fleet awakens a kraken that destroys shoreside populations, fills the shore up with wreckage, and knocks out shipping routes. The only way to stop it is either spend time and resources undertaking a very costly and dangerous ritual that requires precision and massive concentration, sacrificing Elodie (which obviously disrupts the Novan government), or sacrificing her cousin (which results in well-deserved rumors that smear Elodie's reputation all through her reign).
Should your father fight Togami in your stead and with Lumen magic, he can survive... at the cost of becoming physically and mentally handicapped.
Should Shanjia go on to invade Borealis, a land known for its Lumen, to continue Togami's gathering of crystals, Foreign Affairs will heavily imply it'll be for naught - all "Lumen Shamans" are cons who use mundane illusions and sleight of hand to keep up appearances.
Rage Against the Mentor: The Duchess of Ursul tends to dispense information on a need-to-know basis; she doesn't even tell Elodie that the palace priestess is also a Lumen. Elodie angrily orders her to explain if there are any other Lumen besides her and said priestess.
Rags to Riches: Togami was once a lowly court musician who only rose to power after marrying the Queen. This information is vital if you want to defuse the Shanjian debacle without anyone important dying.
Really Gets Around: If Elodie is cruel enough, she can refuse to marry anyone in the end and just take whatever lovers she chooses, discarding them when they become boring. If Elodie punished Brin in any way and agrees to dance with Banion in the ball after insinuating that he and Elodie have a relationship, she flat out tells Banion that she's allowed to pick and choose whoever she likes, though this is an empty threat if your Elodie isn't cruel enough.
Elodie: I don't care what anyone thinks. I'm the princess and I want my jewelry.
Briony is of noble lineage, and is sick and tired of her parents' bickering and over-protectiveness for her, asking for Elodie to help her run away from home and go on an adventure in the Old Capital. It turns out that's all due to a skeleton in their family's closet.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Togami. But averted with Charlotte, who is sweeter than even a non-cruel Elodie and isn't involved in her mother's assassination plot on Elodie.
Regent for Life: Inverted—Elodie isn't technically queen until her fifteenth birthday, but her father still leaves nearly all major decisions to her, the major exception being access to her mother's Lumen crystal—and once Elodie acquires it, he doesn't do much about it besides look reproachful when she uses it to threaten Ixion or supposedly become partially estranged from her, should Julianna or Selene have to murder the guards.
Rescue Romance: Rescuing Briony from a tentacle monster can lead to this. According to the game, being rescued is the most romantic thing to happen to her.
Romancing the Widow: Attempted by a number of women with Joslyn, the King Dowager and Duke of Caloris. He's generally uninterested, but may still marry again to produce a heir for the duchy (since Elodie, as queen, can't also succeed him as the Duchess of Caloris).
Royal Brat: If you so choose, Elodie can be a real piece of work, ranging from beating your maid for something your fault, to slaying your father and going on a Shanjian-sanctioned rampage throughout Shanjia's countryside.
Royal "We": Elodie uses it on several occasions, i.e. "We are not interested" and "We must be circumspect."
Satellite Love Interest: Since the game is far more about politicking than romance, we know little about most of Elodie's marriage prospects beyond rank and family background and, accordingly, what they would bring to an alliance.
Sarcasm Mode: If you choose to accompany Briony to the Old Capital, the game's narration touts Briony and Elodie's common sense and how two little girls will be a match for hideous creatures responsible for nearly bringing about the fall of the Novan empire long ago. "True heroes," the game christens the two.
Schoolgirl Lesbians: Elodie and Briony are the right age for this, but they didn't actually know each other well in school; their possible relationship develops after Elodie is pulled out in the wake of her mother's death, and only takes a step forward if they survive their ill-fated journey into the Old Capital.
Sealed Evil in a Can: One possible fate for the Kraken is to be periodically sealed away in a costly ritual that has to be done every few years.
Sex Slave: Implied in one ending. If sufficiently intimidated by Elodie's cruelty, Alice the maid gets coerced into being the queen's lover, and is especially envied for the jeweled collar that she's required to wear.
Shoot the Dog: Elodie can prevent a civil war at one point by having a traitor poisoned.
Julianna or Selene will suggest killing Elodie's treasury guards to gain access to Elodie's Lumen crystal if Elodie can't get it peacefully. Julianna is more tactful about suggesting "drastic measures" than Selene is, and either way, Elodie is extremely reluctant to carry it out.
Elodie can have Lucille's entire family executed for her treachery - including Charlotte and the underaged children.
Elodie can abandon Briony during their ill-fated trip into the Old Capital to save her own life.
One of the ways of appeasing Ixion is executing Brin.
Elodie can send an assassin to take out Arisse, should she either screw things up with the nobles or unwittingly help cause the death of Adair and receive reports that Arisse is attempting to start a civil war.
Silk Hiding Steel: One way for Elodie to survive till her coronation is to become this. It's particularly encouraged by the fact that one needs to be in a Yielding mood for best results when developing the Royal Demeanor skill, which includes such traits as Composure and Presence. However, naked steel works too.
Smoldering Shoes: Blasting Kevan, Earl of Io with magic when he challenges Elodie leaves just his sword and dueling gauntlet.
Sorcerous Overlord: Julianna wants to turn Elodie into this. Lucille wants to turn Charlotte into this. Togami, King of Shanjia, already is.
Succession Crisis: A two-stage one occurs regarding Elath. First, the father of the twelve-year-old Duke of Elath dies a natural death of age, and Elodie has to determine who becomes effective regent for one of the most important duchies in Nova. If you screw this decision up, then the young Duke will be assassinated. His next of kin is Talarist, the Duke of Sedna in Talasse, and agents of Talasse are likely responsible for his death as well as the earlier deaths of the rest of his family in Nova. Elodie may choose to give the duchy to a Novan instead, whereupon Talarist sends in an army.
Take a Third Option: Successful skill checks give you a chance to do this on a number of occasions. Examples include:
Mediating between Elodie's best friend and her mother without taking a side. It doesn't solve their tensions, but it does help take the heat off you.
Deciding the custody battle over the underage Duke of Elath by placing him with his beloved stepsister instead of his stepmother, who already holds perhaps excessive political influence, or his grandfather, who can't protect him. There's another, easier "third option" of placing him with your paternal uncle, but this is more likely to anger his stepmother.
Inquiring further into the allegations of an attempted murderer who claims her act was justified, as revenge for her brother. If you show her mercy, her victim's relatives will be angry, and being nobles, you'll lose support; if you try to punish her she goes berserk and ends up dead; if you clumsily insult her accuser he'll kill her himself. Only if you have enough knowledge and enough etiquette can you resolve the situation without damage.
After Togami storms the palace, instead of taking part in the Wizard Duel he proposes, Elodie can instead reason with him through song. Noticeably, this is the ONLY option that leaves everyone except the initial military losses alive AND leaves Nova in a stable, if not improved, political state.
If you accidentally summon the kraken due to wiping out the Shanjia fleet via magic, you will either have to sacrifice yourself or take a costly and very risky ritual that will take seven years to complete. If you know Charlotte is a Lumen and are either high in cruelty or found out about her mother's attempts on your life, you can sacrifice her, instead.
Elodie herself can get in on the act if she has a lesbian relationship with Brin. To facilitate this union and provide heirs for their respective titles; Elodie can marry Brin's brother, Banion - while Brin marries Elodie's father, Jocelyn. This results in making Brin and Jocelyn's son Elodie's half-brother, nephew and pseudo-stepson all rolled into one.
Teen Pregnancy: A number of cases, given that this is a medievalish society with a relatively low age of majority. A bit of calculation shows that the Duchess of Lillah was about seventeen at the birth of her eldest child, and Joslyn was about nineteen at the birth of Elodie (though we don't know how old Fidelia wasSpeculation We do know that she has a brother, Laurent, whose age is given. Assuming Nova runs on absolute primogeniture - oldest child inherits most senior title, regardless of gender - we can assume that Fidelia would have to be at least nine months older than 19, which is the age Uncle Laurent was when Elodie was born). Cayleigh, the Duchess of Elath, was also seventeen at her Death by Childbirth, but it's noted that her father pushed her into it and it's considered unusual to marry so young unless the succession is at stake (as with Cayleigh and Elodie). Possibly the youngest instance in the game is Charmion, the Duchess-Consort of Kigal; the listing in her mother's biography implies she's younger than her thirty-three-year-old brother Kevan, and her oldest child is seventeen.
Tender Tears: While attempting to talk down Togami Elodie is moved to tears after recalling all the happy memories about her mother.
The Many Deaths of You: Swords, arrows, poisonings, bumps on the head, snake bites... there's nearly a dozen ways for Elodie to meet her end here.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: If you refuse the duel at the tournament and dodge the first subsequent attack, your challenger will be promptly pincushioned with arrows by the skilled archers attending.
Thicker Than Water: This is the case for the remaining members of the Lillah-Mead royal family. Kevan of Io is Ax-Crazy about it, while the other members are relatively more sensible, and Arisse abandoned it on two occasions when her husband and stepson needed to be put down — though one could argue that even this still fits, as by sacrificing them she would have been keeping them from dragging the rest of the family down as well.
Threesome Subtext: If Elodie shows interest in both Brin and Banion, and decides to marry Banion, it's noted she spends a lot of time with not only Banion, but Brin.
Title Drop: Shouted by the assembled crowd of citizens, once you actually make it to the coronation, to which Elodie replies, "Thank you! I will!"
Too Dumb to Live: Quite a few of Elodie's deaths are caused by her simply not knowing that whatever she's trying to do is exactly the wrong thing for that situation. Since most of these are based on skill checks, this can be averted on a case-by-case basis depending on how the player has been guiding her education.
If an assassin comes at you during the Nova-sponsored tournament, he may try attacking you after the Archery tournament. Should you block his attack, he is turned into a pincushion by every archer present.
Everything about Elodie and Briony's trip into the Old Capital. "True heroes", indeed.
Should you receive chocolates and have sufficiently leveled skills, you can found out any of the following: that the company that sent it used a very unusual trade route based on its location, that it uses an suspicious level of etiquette for a company of its size, that it shouldn't be a chocolates company based on its location, that the company most likely doesn't exist, and your dog growling and barking at said chocolate. You can still eat them anyway.
Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Inherent in the nature of the game, since you won't know what to prepare for on your first playthrough, but the sequence where you and Briony explore the old forest together requires practically perfect decision-making from the first week in order to get out of alive.
Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Consistent acts of cruelty will turn Elodie into a truly vicious little sociopath. See the entry under Videogame Cruelty Potential for some of the specifics.
Undying Loyalty: Training your falconry skill to max level turns your falcon into a truely badass animal who is like this. Then participating in the falconry contest gets you some praise but not much else. The real boon here is that in case you get challenged to a duel, your falcon will proceed to hack away at the attacker and save your life. We are talking about an earl in plate armour here who is almost impossible to kill with magic.
Unperson: Will happen to Elodie, if she joins Togami. Elodie's black-hearted, evil actions will cause her to be stricken from the records and her name to be forbidden from ever being spoken of ever again.
Vertical Kidnapping: Should you and Briony venture into the Old Forest, the first sign of everything going FUBAR is Briony not answering when Elodie asks her something... and Elodie turns to find Briony pinned to a tree by a swarm of black tentacles.
Vestigial Empire: According to history lessons, Nova used to be much larger and more powerful under the command of its Lumen nobility. However, even though it's not all that it used to be, Nova is not a weak realm, and if Elodie makes it to the throne, she can start working on inverting this trope.
Vicious Cycle: High levels in History and Lore reveal that there have been multiple "cycles" of Lumen rulers becoming too conceited with their own powers and eventually causing a great disaster, which forces humanity to migrate to a new land and anti-Lumen sentiment to reach fever pitch. This anti-Lumen movement would inevitably destroy all existing knowledge of Lumen magic... including any information on what led to the initial disaster, setting the stage for future Lumens to repeat past mistakes. If Elodie becomes Queen after discovering this, then she takes measures to preserve and spread this knowledge with the hope of preventing the cycle from continuing.
Videogame Cruelty Potential: Among other things, you can force a woman into marriage, abuse the servants, ramp up punishments in hopes of discouraging assassination attempts, order your uncle executed on highly circumstantial evidence, imprison Julianna for life on the assumption she had something to do with your mother's death and then start a massive manhunt for her, reduce the Duchess of Mead to tears by blaming her for her daughter's death after deliberately sending her daughter into a monster-ridden forest alone, immolate her brother with magic after he calls you out (in the case where he's right in assuming that you're responsible for Briony's death), have your father killed so you can abandon your kingdom and go on a gleeful murder spree through a foreign country, deliberately set up the last remaining heir of a bloodline in a dangerous situation after being told not to, and feed your cousin to a kraken—or order your uncle, aunt, and all your young cousins executed for your aunt's treason. This is even integrated into the game: there's a hidden Cruelty stat that measures just how nasty Elodie has become.
Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you are stupid enough to have Charlotte sacrificed to the kraken and you have her mother as Lumen Minister, you deserve what's coming to you.
Attempting to execute Julianna if you've tossed her in the dungeons is a quick way of killing yourself.
Two minor ones: murdering Lucille's entire family causes Merva to secede from Nova, but Nova and Queen Elodie can't give less of a damn. Having Charlotte sacrificed enforces anti-Lumen paranoia and damages Elodie's reputation as being a blood-sucking Lumen witch, but the ending doesn't go into much detail beyond that.
If you've been a shitty ruler and/or executed a member of the nobility, you will most likely face a vote of no confidence AND a civil war, either of which might lose the game for you.
Wake-Up Call Boss: The bandit attack that occurs on the road to the party in Sudbury is what kills most first-time players. While it can be easily skipped through a simple choice, the death checks only ratchet up from this point on.
Weak, but Skilled: No matter how good Elodie is, there's no way that she can defeat Togami in a contest of pure magical power. She can, however, be more cunning than he is and defeat him by using her skills to the fullest.
What Does She See in Him?: You can express interest in marrying the Earl of Io despite, depending on story paths, your awareness of his incestuous relationship with his sister/his previous attempts to kill you/having stabbed someone to death in front of your eyes. Oh, and his crippling anger issues. In the latter case, he tries to kill you again on your wedding day. In the former case, his niece thinks it's a terrible idea but goes along with it so he'll no longer be physically close to her mother; it actually works out fairly well.
What the Hell, Hero?: If Elodie goes with Briony on her foolish, life-threatening adventure and both of them live to tell the tale, they will get some serious and obviously deserved scolding from Corisande and Joslyn. Corisande (Briony's mum), in particular, notes that there are no such thing as "heroes", only reckless idiots who get themselves killed. Double points if you abandon her.
A Cruel Elodie joining with Togami gets the entirety of Nova turned on her. Congratulations, you've managed to unify the dumb, horrendously evil noble squabbling and plotting! By being an enormous bastard.
Your father will be absolutely horrified if you sacrifice Charlotte, who's your best friend and cousin, to the kraken.
Joslyn will give you a rather silent one should you opt to take drastic measures in getting your crystal, knowing you were behind the murder of the treasury guards.
Wicked Stepmother: Arisse, the Duchess of Lillah, is implicated in the deaths of several people and is also the stepmother of the twelve-year-old Duke of Elath. However, it's ultimately subverted—his aging father would much rather leave him in the custody of Arisse than the boy's grandfather, and Arisse is also much more likely than the grandfather to keep him alive. She herself
Played with by Arisse's stepson, the Duke of Mead. Yes, she had him murdered, but that was because he was a Depraved Homosexual and Serial Killer, and instead of gaining control of his lands, they go to her daughter.
However, Arisse's second husband Jael probably qualifies as a Wicked Stepfather, given that he "seduced" his stepson Kevan, who judging from the age of his eldest half-brother would've been a preteen or a very young teenager at the time of the marriage.
Wife Husbandry: One of the other custody options for the aforementioned Duke of Elath is to bring him to the palace as Elodie's betrothed (though to be sure, Elodie is only two years older). They end up more friendly than romantic. Elodie can also express interest in marrying her friend's little brother Anciet, who's even younger, but the epilogue indicates that nobody seriously considers it except Anciet himself, who proposes after coming of age.
Wizard Duel: One possible endgame. This is so that the Big Bad can properly gain the possession of Elodie's Lumen Crystal.
The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Elodie is a young girl who has just had the responsibility of ruling an entire country thrust upon her well before anyone expected her to be ready for the task, least of all Elodie herself. The mood swings she experiences are important for players to consider, given that her attitude affects how well she does in her weekly classes.
Worst Aid: AVERTED! Do NOT pull the arrow out, or else death from blood loss. Even being knowledgeable in Battlefield Medicine isn't enough: if you're under seventy in the skill, you wind up shoving it in.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Many players mistake this game for a Princess Maker clone. Trying to play it as such will get you murdered.
Another way to think of it might be Puella Magi Madoka Magica as a Raising Sim. In which the player takes the place of Homura, frantically replaying and trying to change the fate of this little pink-haired girl!
You Are What You Hate: Elodie's father blames magic and Lumen for her mother's death, but if Elodie lacks her Lumen crystal, it's revealed that he also possesses a Lumen crystal when he duels Togami in his daughter's place. In another, with enough Faith skills, Elodie can find out about his secret collection of Lumen artifacts.
This is however a partial subversion: Elodie's father doesn't actually activate the crystal and become a Lumen until Togami expresses interest in a Lumen battle, taking on the mantle only to save his daughter.
You Didn't Ask: Oh, boy, on so many occasions... basically, there are very few instances where other people tell Elodie about things without prompting, often resulting in Adults Are Useless. One of the more prominent examples has to be a discussion with her father who's telling her that she'll have to be on her guard. If Elodie has studied Intrigue by this point, she can ask whether the royal court doesn't have agents for that sort of thing. This prompts the father to say that of course they have agents and ask what sort of problems they should be looking out for. Depending on the choice, they can defuse several otherwise difficult-to-avoid potential game overs. If Elodie hasn't got the Intrigue skills, she won't ask about the agents and her father won't tell about them, whereupon they'll presumably spend the game twiddling their thumbs in the castle rather than assassinating a rebel noble, noticing a war-mongering foreign nation, guarding Elodie against brigands or averting a peasant rebellion.
Lampshaded if you suss out the fact that Lucille is a lumen and send a spy to gather info on who sent the assassins. Your spy will be irritated that you had found this out earlier, and Elodie will claim it slipped her mind.
In the ending, an Elodie with a high cruelty stat takes many lovers - and ditches them as soon as they get boring.
If Elodie's father survives his fight against Togami, he'll declare his illegitimate son to be his successor as Duke - but Elodie will have serious doubts about whether the boy really is his son or not as not only is her father mentally damaged by that point, he wasn't really the philandering sort, as far as she knows.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: If you discover Aunt Lucille's plot and send soldiers to arrest her entire family, they escape - and days later, Laurent's mangled corpse is found.
Briony has a blonde mother and a blue-haired father; "naturally" enough, she has green hair. Similarly, Charlotte has violet hair... from a black-haired mom and a red-haired father.
You Killed My Father: Togami murdered Queen Fidelia before the beginning of the game so that her inexperienced daughter would inherit her Lumen crystal and make it easier to take in a Wizard Duel. However, you only discover this in the ending where he taunts Elodie after killing her father as well, and in this path you're in no position to do anything about it... at least, not immediately.