Until the end of time.
I have to lie to you, or...
I can't be with you.
My true self...
cannot be with you...
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is a game by Nippon Ichi, originally released in Japan in May 2018, and released internationally in February 2019. It is available for PlayStation 4, Play Station Vita, and Nintendo Switch, though the Vita version is not being released outside Japan.
To quote the description of the official international Announcement trailer, The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince follows the tale of two lonely hearts brought together through a mutual misunderstanding. In it, you control the Wolf, transformed into the guise of a Princess who guides the Blind Prince through a perilous forest in search of a witch capable of returning his sight. The forest is home to a number of hostile beasts intent on ending your journey prematurely, as well as hazardous traps that put the Prince in danger. Transform into the Wolf to dispatch your foes and guide the Prince carefully as a Princess to ensure his safety, in search of a happy ending.
Tropes found in the game:
- Because You Were Nice to Me: The Wolf's initial reaction to the Prince was to eat him, only to grow fond of him after he applauded her singing. After the Witch wipes her memories, the Wolf attempts to eat the Prince. Much like the beginning of the game, she stops when he gives her a bouquet of flowers.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Wolf manages to restore the Prince's sight at the cost of her losing her human form, her memories of the Prince, and incidentally, she doesn't get her old singing voice back in spite of that. However, in spite of her now atrocious musical ability, the now healed Prince is nonetheless able to find her by sound and brings her a bouquet of flowers, bringing forth a sense of nostalgia in the Wolf and presumably resuming their friendship.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: The Liar Princess, being a Wolf that hunts for her food all her life in the forest, gives the Prince raw meat, thinking he would enjoy it and is completely caught off guard when he spits it out instead. The Prince has to explain to her that humans actually eat meat after cooking it over the fire, because eating it raw will make them sick.
- Book Ends: The game begins and ends at the same cliff where the Wolf sings her song with the narration initially using the exact same words. However, the Wolf's songs sound terrible due to her giving up her singing voice. Luckily, unlike the beginning, the Prince gets to properly meet the Wolf in her true form face-to-face and forms a friendship with her.
- Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": All of the monsters in the forest have very normal names, and very little in common with said names. Sure, the Wolf is a large furry predator, the Goats are wooly and have horns, the Moles have poor eyesight and live in holes, the Racoons have black and white fur, and so on... but beyond those basic traits, anything and everything is fair game.
- Cheated Angle: Subverted. The Wolf's design is clearly designed to evoke this, as part of the "childish picture book" design theme of the game, but it's not actually the case: she really has two eyes and two ears on each side of her head.
- Cumbersome Claws: What starts the whole plot. When the Prince manages to catch a quick glance of the Wolf, she frantically covers his eyes with her clawed hands and blinds him in the process. The rest of the game involves her seeking to reverse this mistake.
- Curiosity Is a Crapshoot: The Prince wanted to see the mysterious singer, unaware that it was the Wolf. When he reached the Wolf, she attacked him in a panic, slashing his eyes and blinding him.
- Escort Mission: The entire game is this; guide / protect the Prince through the forest until you reach the witch who can heal his eyes.
- Flowers of Romance: Flowers are a recurring collectable in the game, with the Princess being able pick them and then gift them to the Prince. And when the Princess turns back into the Wolf and loses all her memories of the game as payment to heal the Prince's eyes, the Prince is able to bond with her again by offering her a bouquet of flowers.
- Glamour Failure: The Wolf's human form isn't 100 percent foolproof: She has Cute Little Fangs, and changes back into her wolf form whenever she's exposed to moonlight.
- Hate Sink: Despite never appearing onscreen, with their actions only being described by the narrator, the king and queen's abuse and negligence of their son put the plot in motion. When the Prince is accidentally attacked and scarred by the Wolf, the Prince's parents lock away their son in a tower, disgusted by his facial injuries. This makes the Wolf feel guilty even more, and the act of cruelty disgusts her so much, that she makes her plans to heal the prince without considering or caring how the two will be affected by the heir to their kingdom mysteriously disappearing for a few days.
- Holding Hands: How the Princess leads the Prince around, though their beaming smiles while doing it makes it clear it's not just purely practical.
- I Ate WHAT?!: When the two stop to rest, the Liar Princess innocently offers the Blind Prince raw meat to eat. The Prince politely accepts, gets confused by the strange taste, and immediately spits it out when the Princess reveals what he just took a bite out of. The Prince has to explain to a shocked and confused Princess that humans actually eat meat after cooking it over the fire, causing the Princess (who is afraid of fire) to awkwardly end the discussion by saying she will look for fruit instead.
- I Have No Son!: The king of the land detests facial injuries (or possibly just disabilities?), and after seeing that his son has been blinded, he imprisons him in a tower, and even leaves him with less fancy clothes.
- Interspecies Romance: The werewolf princess and the human prince.
- Liar Revealed: The Liar Princess's deception is revealed to the Prince when the moonlight transforms her into her true wolf form (something the Witch had warned her about at the beginning) while she's holding his hand causing him to accidentally drop a lit lantern into the forest below and setting it on fire. When the Prince finally learns the truth, he angrily calls her a liar and a monster, though he does regret it and the two manage to reconcile and apologize to each other.
- Love at First Note: The Prince towards the Wolf/Liar Princess.
- Masculine Lines, Feminine Curves: Inverted; extras point out that the Princess is drawn with firm lines while the Prince is rounder and softer.
- Morphic Resonance: The Princess's hair is as dark and tangled as it is in her wolf form, with four hair fluffs representing her four ears in wolf form, as well as markings on her crown and bow representing her other two eyes in wolf form, and the jagged black lines on her dress representing her teeth.
- My Greatest Failure: The Wolf is the one responsible for blinding the Prince, because he caught a glimpse of her after being attracted to her singing. She's willing to give up her singing voice and become the Liar Princess with the goal of healing the Prince and fixing her mistake.
- Nameless Narrative: Not a single member of the cast has an actual name. Everybody is simply called a variant of "The (Character Descriptor)", such as The Wolf, The Princess, and The Prince, with the titular protagonists also being known as the Liar Princess and the Blind Prince.
- No Antagonist: The story is about the Wolf leading the Prince to the Witch in order to fix her mistake. The only opposition are the hostile creatures of the forest, and the endgame revolves around the the Liar Princess and the Prince trying to quell the Witch's rage when they accidentally burn her collection.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: The monsters in the story are strange, despite being called with ordinary animal names. The Wolf is four eyed, four eared bipedal werewolf with hooves for hind legs, while the goats are closer to horned, eyeless yetis with mushrooms growing on their fur.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: The Princess is actually a wolf-monster transformed into a human girl, though she instantly transforms back into her bestial state under the light of the moon.
- Power at a Price: The Wolf trades its beautiful singing voice for the ability to transform into a human.
- Recycled Premise: A man falls in love after hearing beautiful music, not knowing the singer's true form. The singer returns the affection, but is inhuman, and makes a deal with a witch that gives up her singing voice in order to take on a more appealing form. Sound familiar?
- Small Role, Big Impact: The King and Queen of the land are offscreen, minor characters whose actions are only described in the narration, but their cruel decision to lock away their son in a tower for his facial injuries disgusts the Wolf and makes her feel even worse for the Prince, causing her to seek the Witch for aid in healing his eyes.
- Sure, Let's Go with That: After the Prince and the Princess gather meat for the hungry goats, the Princess prepares to give the starving family raw meat when the Prince reminds her they need to cook the meat, still thinking the goats are humans. The Princess decides to just play along and not bother correcting him, believing that explaining the family are actually monsters might require her to reveal that she's a monster herself.
- Spiritual Adaptation: Of ICO as the main mechanic involves two children Holding Hands — one of them being pale skinned — and building a bond of trust with one another. The main differences is that it's the princess who has to guide the prince out and that instead of escaping the evil queen, they are trying to find the witch.
- Tears of Joy: The Wolf sheds tears when the now-healed Prince gives her a bouquet of flowers. Sadly, while her heart seems to have remembered, her mind doesn't due to giving up her memories and she is confused by the sudden wave of emotions.
- This Is Unforgivable!: When the King and Queen imprison their own son for having been blinded by the attack he suffered from in the forest, the Wolf is outright disgusted and enraged by this act.
- Was It All a Lie?: The Prince feels bitter and betrayed when he finds out the Wolf's deceptions and angrily calls her a liar. It's only when she braves her fear of fire to save him that he realizes she only lied about the facts, never about her feelings for him.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The Wolf is afraid of fire, to the point where she's reluctant to hold a lantern. She has to face her fears when the Prince is in danger of a forest fire.
- Wistful Amnesia: While the Wolf lost all her memories of the Prince, she still finds herself singing to the moon even though she sucks at it.