A Hint of a Tint is a 2013 freeware Roguelike, made in RPG Maker. Unlike most examples of its genre, the game is primarily story-driven, and dying during the story mode only restarts the particular level you’re on, and keeps the items obtained with the protagonist. There’s still the Survival Mode for those wishing to experience just the gameplay, though.
The story starts off quite light-hearted at first, but becomes quite dark afterwards. It begins with a young woman named Mandy being transported to a strange world whose inhabitants are all female, and are half-human, half-animal creatures. They come in many forms, from the traditional Centauri and Mermaids to truly exotic ones like half-human Bees and Butterflies, and are known collectively as Flesh of the Tail. They’re all convinced Mandy has been newly created by a device known as a Spawn Symbol, and don’t believe her claims of having perfect memories of past.
Mostly, though, they’re just disappointed at her appearance, since all were waiting for a Tailess (human) male to appear, as all of their races require them for procreation.
Tyalinne, a Bee Soldier, is one of the many Flesh of the Tail searching for a human male for the sake of her species, and she’s secretly followed by the Assassin Bee Dyonne, on the order from the Bee Queen who’s beginning to doubt Tyalinne’s loyalty. Mandy herself needs to hurry, since all the water in the world she’s in is pink in hue: perfect for the Flesh of the Tail, yet utterly undrinkable for humans like her. This is just the beginning of a story, one that later grows to involve time travel, biblical themes, and more. It can be downloaded here.
A Hint of a Tint provides examples of:
- Anti-Villain: Jezebel certainly falls into the category.Mandy: You're a monster. You're evil.
Jezebel: That may be, but I will be the evil monster who saves one race of the Tail from extinction.
- Anyone Can Die: It doesn't matter how sympathetic or prolific the character seems to be, it still doesn't make them immune from dying.
- Artificial Stupidity: AI characters' behaviour is usually rather well-realised, as they will seek to use any item they have on them, avoid getting flanked or cornered, etc.. However, they are only able to seek the shortest possible route to target, and usually cannot walk around, if say, you're behind an iron gate and there's an alternative pathway a couple of metres away.
- A Threesome Is Hot: As Nix says to her Imp followers once Brian awakens in the Imp/Devil hideout, "None of you get him until I'm bored with him. Or until I call for extra company in bed if only for the shits and giggles."
- Back Stab: Attacking enemies in the back (whether in melee or through throwing an item) gives double damage. Even when you do it to turtles.
- Battle in the Rain: The second (and final) boss battle, against Jezebel
- Black Widow: Played straight with Spider females, who'll always kill human males after the act, which, according to Nix, is so horrible that they usually try to commit suicide beforehand.
- Cat Girl: Sonya is part of the cat race.
- The Cavalry: Chaurise arrives as a literal example, throwing Jezebel's Knights around like nothing. She still ultimately fails when she confronts Jezebel herself, as it turns out she managed to bring a working gun from the future.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The story still treats a lot of its subjects with lightness. Then, Sonya is suddenly cornered and dies. By the time Nix and Chaurise follow her, the story is a full-on dark drama.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Both Mandy, and her former fiancé Brian are orphans, and Mandy even wonders if that was the only reason they ended up attracted to each other.
- Cute Monster Girl: An entire world full of 'em.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Tyalinne herself was in love with a human named Ross, who died from the lack of water like everyone else. The Bee Queen suspects her loyalty because she cradled his dying body in her arms. Jezebel offers her to see Ross again. However, it turns out that he's become a dessicated Vampire, like the rest of her Knights.
- Death by a Thousand Cuts: Bees have their own version with the 1000 Stings, and their Queen threatens Tyalinne with it at one point.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The flashbacks to events that previously occurred in the game are all monochrome.
- Dirty Coward: Tortoises will frequently first attack you, then try to run away. If you leave them alone, they'll likely come back after you once they're no longer afraid.
- Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: It's heavily implied that Brian had been charmed into having sex against his will by Nix, yet he more-or-less shrugs it off once the charm is lifted from him. Otherwise, though, it's treated with proper dramatic weight, and Jezebel doesn't deny that many of the Sanctuary's denizens basically rape the men they get without bothering to obtain consent.
- The Dreaded: Harpies are very much this. A cutscene shows five Imps and Demons fighting them for a while, but eventually they all die for no loss on the Harpies' side.
- Escape Battle Technique: About mid-way through the game (and after a cutscene where Bees' flight is explained to Mandy), Tyalinne gains the ability to briefly fly away from her enemies if she's surrounded with nowhere else to go.
- Escort Mission: There's one very late into the game where Tyalinne finally meets up with Brian and needs to escort him through a maze full of Lamia and Bee Soldiers, now all against Tyalinne. Thankfully, Brian is not totally helpless, and it's possible to give him items to assist you, as well as give the nearby Lamia potions to make them ignore you or even fight on your behalf.
- Heavily Armored Mook: Jezebel's Knights, who are the toughest non-boss enemies in the game.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Mostly played straight, but averted in one horrific instance.Chaurise: You think that pointing a puny black twig at me will make me obey you?
Mandy: That's a...
Jezebel: Mandy can surely identify the object that I'm holding in my hand.
Chaurise: Whatever it is, it won't stop me from nailing you to the wall.
- Forgot About Her Powers:
- Justified with Bees. When Mandy notices that they don't fly, Chaurise explains that their wings aren't strong enough to do so casually and they can end up dying from the exertion. Thus, they only ever do so to defend their queen. Tyalinne does fly at the very end of the game, to deliver Mandy and Bryan to the top of the mountain. The exertion does get her killed when she and Bryan were halfway up. Bryan latches onto a ledge, and slowly makes the way up to Mandy on his own. The last he saw of Tyalinne was a pair of her wings drifting down to the waters below.
- Weirdly played straight with Harpies, though. Unlike bees and other winged creatures (i.e. Imps and Devils) their wings are definitely strong enough to fly, and yet, they are not able to move over obstacles like locked gates. This is particularly apparent in the Survival Mode, where Sonya can easily leap over those gates, yet they cannot just fly over them.
- Similarly, it's possible to inflict backstab damage onto Tortoises, even though one would think that their shell ought to protect them from it.
- Genki Girl: Sonya acts like this.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Jezebel reveals at the end that she's been rewinding time backwards many times, in an effort to at least save her own species. The ending is the first time she's finally succeeded.
- Guns Are Useless: Averted. Besides the story example above, there's also a boss battle with a pistol-equipped Jezebel. If she manages to line up a shot, it instantly shaves off 10 health from Tyalline.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Tyalinne does it at the very end.
- Hope Spot:
- When Sonya is surrounded by four other creatures controlled by Nix, she manages to kill one, then another, but then the last two finally kill her.
- There's a similar situation for Chaurise when she comes back for Mandy. She manages to defeat all five Knights standing between her and the target. Then, Jezebel simply gets out a gun.
- In Medias Res: The game opens with a conversation between Mandy and Brian about something that has been called off, and the player has no idea what they are talking about at first.
- Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Averted in the Rogue Mode if you play as Sonya, as she will leap over obstacles like overturned chairs, pedestals and even larger ones like small pillars and metal doors that appear to be person's height from the top, all due to her cat physique. Weirdly, her fellow cats are unable to do the same.
- Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Averted. All the keys here unlock specific types of doors, and they don't disappear after being used. It's likely that you'll eventually need to drop some because of the limited inventory space, and the game helpfully informs you when a certain key is no longer needed for anything.
- Killed Off for Real: You didn't think that Sonya or Chaurise would die, did you? Well, too bad.
- Last of Her Kind: Chaurise, the Centaur that encounters Mandy is the last one left, and knows that even if she manages to mate with a human male (Tailless), it still won't save her descendants.
- Level-Up Fill-Up: Played straight, but only if you invest the level-up point into the health increase. Investing in Attack Power or Special doesn't restore your health in the slightest.
- Life Drain: Devils' special ability.
- A Man Is Always Eager: Well, almost always. Brian is certainly not eager because of his commitment to Mandy, but according to Jezebel, he's an exception to the rule.Jezebel: And as for summoned men, well... It has always amused me how eager they are to begin the purpose I frankly tell them they were called for. And to watch that anticipation turn to horror when they're introduced to their new mates.
- Mars Needs Women: Gender-Inverted. All of the Sanctuary's native races need human males in order to procreate. Centaurs are the one race who find this unethical after they figure out the "Spawn Symbol" does not create them with no memories, but simply summons men with fully formed lives and memories from the future into their past, where they are doomed to die from the lack of blue water. As such, they have willingly refused to fight over them, and accepted the slow extinction as the result.
- Mummy: The Knights are all human males who were turned into Vampires, and then became desiccated because of the lack of blue water.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Dyonne has this mentality, being completely loyal to the Bees in general and Bee Queen in particular. To the point she unquestioningly follows the orders from the Bee Queen to assassinate Tyalline. Once the Bee army drowns in the flood along with the Queen, she is shattered, and simply stands in place, awaiting death from the flood.
- No Hugging, No Kissing:Bee Queen: It is forbidden to show affection towards one of my mates.
- No Man of Woman Born: The prophecy of a great flood, which will destroy all Flesh of the Tail and only leave behind children of m……. Since no-one knows the last word besides letter “m”, mermaids believe it refers to them, as they're aquatic and will be able to survive the flood no matter how high it gets. One thing they didn't count on is the rain of "blue" water, not the pink one they were used to. And at the end, it's also revealed that the letter was never completed. It was just the children of me, what the Mandy had always intended.
- One-Gender Race: Centaurs, Harpies, Imps, Devils, Kiznals, Spiders and all the other races of the Flesh of the Tail are always female. The only males they ever get are Tailless, regular humans, which instantly makes them extremely valuable, as everyone tries to procreate with them.
- Only Sane Man: Brian is the one person who asks why, in spite of them all being sentient, the denizens of the Sanctuary still end up killing each other so often.Brian: Damn it, I don't dig chicks who fight. I'm going my own way starting this minute.
- Pink Means Feminine: You can already spot this metaphor with the water colours, and the ending affirms that it was entirely intended.Brian: Pink has become blue.
Mandy: The end of the rule of women and the beginning of the rule of men.
- Sad Battle Music: "sorry", the theme for the battle between Tyalline and Jezebel, after she tricked her into betraying her vows to the Bee Queen, through offering Tyalline the chance to see her long-thought-dead human beloved, without telling her he's become a desiccated Vampire. It's also tragic for Jezebel, because she knows Tyalline is fated to die along with the rest of Flesh of the Tail in the flood of blue water, and only manipulated her to ensure her own race would survive this apocalypse through a deal she struck with the first humans.
- Slashed Throat: The way Nix dies.Dyonne: Even a Devil of her class has trouble finding her balance when her throat has a leak no plumber can fix.
- Sociopath: Nix has strong sociopathic traits underneath her sophisticated veneer. Namely, she sent the Imps and Devils around her to fight Harpies and die in vain doing so, when she could've just charmed them. When called out on it by Brian, she just says that she didn't want Harpies and their stench following her. After they do end up following her, she's looking to pick a fight with any race so that those Harpies would end up dying as well!
- Spikes of Doom: Some appear in the Rogue Mode.
- Stable Time Loop: This is what happens in regards to the prophecy on the mehrir: Mandy has written it herself after she gets there.
- Stripperiffic: Played fairly straight with Imps and Devils, who wear fishnet stockings and such. Downplayed with Bees and cats. Entirely averted with Harpies and fully armored Jezebel's Knights. Unsurprising, considering that all those knights are actually male.
- Teleport Spam: Jezebel loves doing it during her boss fight.
- Title Drop:"It did change tint. There was a hint of it."What is salvation for you is doom for all Flesh of the Tail. Strange to contemplate, no? Which species live and which ones die has hinged on the tint of the rain.
- Xanatos Gambit: Pretty much everything happening in the game was part of the plan of Jezebel, who understood that the upcoming extinction of the Flesh of the Tail due to the end of pink water is unstoppable, and focuses her efforts on saving her own species.
- Yandere: Nix really develops those qualities for Brian as he continues to reject her. As she admits, it goes beyond mere lust and into true obsession.