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Video Game / Matches and Matrimony

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Our heroine

Matches and Matrimony is a downloadable PC game in the form of a Dating Sim, but instead of the usual anime influence, this one is based on the works of Jane Austen. Although it predominantly takes its plot from Pride and Prejudice, characters and incidents from Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion are also mixed in.

The player assumes the role of Elizabeth Bennet and enters the world of Regency England. The Player Character may end up as the bride of one of six Austen men, or stay unmarried.

Created by Reflexive, the game is available for both PC and Mac.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Mr. Collins. However, depending on player choices, the protagonist may end up warming somewhat to the idea of being his bride.
  • Alliterative Title
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Lydianne, especially in Mr. Darcy's path.
  • Babies Ever After: In the "Mrs. Collins" ending. (It's a nod to the canon, as in Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Collins is pregnant by the end of the book.)
  • Bad Ending: Only the ending in which the heroine marries Mr. Wickeby is truly "bad." There also two endings in which she ends up alone, one of which is presented as rather wistful.
    • The "Mrs. Collins" ending isn't bad, per se, but the game almost treats it as though it is. It's the only ending slide in which the game tells you how you feel, instead of being from the heroine's own point of view.
    • There is also a bad "Mrs. Darcy" ending, which is brought about by accepting his proposal the first time instead of rejecting him as in the book; he treats the heroine kindly in private but is publicly ashamed of having lowered himself to marry her.
  • Composite Character: Several.
    • The player character's younger sister is named Lydianne; she is a combination of the three youngest Bennet daughters (Mary, Kitty, and Lydia) from Pride and Prejudice and Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. When you pursue Captain Wentworth, she also plays the role of Louisa Musgrove from Persuasion, traumatic head injury and all.
    • One of the potential suitors is Mr. Wickeby, who is a combination of George Wickham and John Willoughby.
    • Lady Lucas is a combination of several characters, including Mrs. Gardiner and Mrs. Jennings.
    • In the path which has the player character pursuing Mr. Bingley, he turns into a composite of that character and Edward Ferrars from Sense (in fact, his sisters call him "Edward," rather than "Charles").
    • The player character is usually based on Elizabeth Bennet; however, when pursuing Mr. Bingley she turns more into Elinor Dashwood, and when pursuing Captain Wentworth she turns more into Anne Elliot from Persuasion. Also, when pursuing Colonel Brandon the long way (i.e. chasing after Wickeby while still being friendly with the Colonel) she turns more into Marianne Dashwood.
  • Cool Big Sis: As in the novel, Jane Bennet; even in the path where you pursue Mr. Bingley (who is her canonical Love Interest), she accepts it and in fact is quite happy to marry Colonel Brandon.
  • Dance of Romance: With any character.
  • Dialogue Tree: At every major decision, provided that the required stats are high enough; if you're lacking in, say, Willpower, you might not have access to all the options.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Lydianne Bennet and Charlotte Lucas, both of whom look rather sickly as a result.
  • First Guy Wins: The ending where you marry Captain Wentworth, as it's explained that he and the player character were in love years earlier but she was convinced by her mother to break it off.
  • Golden Ending: Most of the endings are considered good, but the "best" one is the one which exactly follows the plot of Pride and Prejudice and ends with the player character happily married to Mr. Darcy.
  • Guide Dang It!: Some of the actions you need to take in order to achieve the Golden Ending seem rather counterintuitive. It also doesn't help that while the game tells you if certain dialogue choices make the other characters like you more or less, it will not give you any clues about Darcy's opinion.
    • However, if you've read Pride and Prejudice, you'll have a good idea of how to win Darcy's heart, as most of the required actions are essentially the player character acting just like Elizabeth does in the book. Basically, if you see text from Pride and Prejudice on the Darcy path, you picked the right choice.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Mr. Bingley, here, has blond hair and is one of the nicest characters in all of Austen's stories.
  • Has a Type: Every man. You can guess quite well what any of them are looking for in a woman.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Although you're technically supposed to be playing Elizabeth Bennet, you can name the player character anything you'd like.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The plot apparently only takes place on weekends, and during the weeks in between, you must select the actions your character performs.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Colonel Brandon comes across this way, as he's very self-effacing and unsure of your interest.
  • Kissing Cousins: The "Mrs. Collins" ending, as your bridegroom is your father's cousin.
  • May–December Romance: The "Mrs. Brandon" ending.
  • Multiple Endings: Nine in total - two in which you remain unmarried, two in which you marry Mr. Darcy, and one for each of the other five potential suitors (Mr. Collins, Mr. Bingley, Mr. Wickeby, Colonel Brandon, and Captain Wentworth).
  • New Game Plus: Sort of. Once you've completed the first nine chapters (in any path), you have the option of starting a new game from chapter ten, with all of the stats needed to pursue your suitor of choice. This makes unlocking each of the nine possible endings much less time-consuming.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Marrying Mr. Collins, sort of. You can willingly choose to accept his proposal if you have the required Willpower, but if you do not, your character will automatically say yes, thus ending the game.
  • Pair the Spares: In Mr. Darcy's ending, Jane marries Mr. Bingley, and Lydianne marries Mr. Wickeby, as in the original Pride and Prejudice novel. In any ending where the heroine doesn't marry Mr. Collins, he ends up with Charlotte Lucas, the protagonist's best friend, again just like in the novel. Alternatively, in the "Mrs. Bingley" ending, Mr. Darcy ends up marrying Caroline Bingley, and Jane happily ends up with Colonel Brandon instead, which heals her and the protagonist's relationship.
  • Palette Swap: Captain Wentworth wears red and has gray eyes; Colonel Fitzwilliam wears blue and has blue eyes. Beyond that, they are identical. (Conveniently, you'll never meet both of them in a single playthrough.)
  • Permanently Missable Content: Certain paths become unavailable if particular stats are too high or too low, but this is necessary in order to achieve others. The simplest example is the two locations for the later parts of the game; if you go to Kent, you cannot achieve any of the London paths, and vice versa.
  • Player and Protagonist Integration: Played with. You play the 'Elizabeth' character, but she's also the one who talks to you in the beginning and explains how everything works.
  • Regency England: The time period during which the original novel took place, though it is implied that the visual novel itself may actually take place during Victorian Britain.
  • Relationship Values: Different for every potential suitor.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: In the "Mrs. Darcy" ending slide, it mentions that "Lady Catherine denounced the bands." This should say banns - that is, the formal public announcement of Mr. Darcy's engagement to the heroine.
  • Second Love: Brandon and Lydianne for one another, or you for Brandon if you marry him, or Jane for Brandon if you marry Mr. Bingley (although this isn't mentioned in that story path).
  • Shout-Out: In the better of the two "Miss Bennet" ending slides, it mentions that the heroine remained unmarried but was able to turn her life experiences "into stories that became books. Over time, my stories carried the realities and the possibilities of life across the generations." This is, of course, a lovingly turned compliment to Jane Austen herself.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Mr. Darcy, of course. Oddly, and presumably unintentionally, he somehow resembles a Regency version of Roy Mustang.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Wentworth, in any ending besides his own, although most of the playthroughs which lead to those endings never mention him.
  • Victorian Britain: Despite the original novels being set in the Regency Era (1811–1837 strictly speaking, or more broadly, 1760-1840), when Jane Austen actually lived and her works were published, several small hints indicate that the time period of the game has been bumped up to at least the early Victorian era.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Captain Wentworth, in his ending.