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Visual Novel / A Little Lily Princess

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The Little Princess and the Scullery Maid

"A princess is a princess, even if she is in rags. She must be kind and noble, and polite, generous to those around her; brave in the face of adversity."
Sara Crewe explains her life philosophy

A Little Lily Princess is a retelling of the classic novel A Little Princess in visual novel form with a Yuri Genre twist. It was released for PC in May 2016 by indie developer Hanako Games under the label Hanabira (used for works not originally written by Hanako Games). Ported to consoles in 2021.

The game puts the player in the shoes of Sara Crewe, a girl who is clever, kind, has an amazing imagination, and loves to tell stories. Born in British India, Sara is sent by her beloved Papa to be educated in a refined Boarding School for Ladies in London. There she meets the headmistress Miss Minchin, the star student Lavinia and her best friend Jessie, the somewhat slow Ermengarde, the young and spoiled Lottie, her personal maid Mariette, and the Scullery Maid Becky. Sara will start forging relationships with them: friendships, rivalries, and even maybe love.

But fate is a cruel mistress, and soon unexpected events will turn little Sara's life upside down. What will happen to her, and will the bonds that she created with the other girls endure the hardships, or be shattered?

It's up to you to decide.

A Little Lily Princess contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Miss Michin certainly does not have the "cold, fishy eyes" and "large, cold, fishy smile" as she is described as having in the novel, though it's probably a case of Generic Cuteness.
  • Adaptation Expansion: While some bits of the novel are missing (like most of the Large Family), much of the cast gets greater characterization - in particular Mariette, Lavinia, and Jessie.
  • Adapted Out: Amelia, Miss Minchin's sister from the original novel.
  • Adoptive Peer Parent: As both Sara and Lottie have a death-induced Missing Mom, one of Lottie's events consists of disscussing this trope as a way for them to stay together after Sara graduates. Both Sara marrying Lottie's father (under the logic that Sara's is already Lottie's school mother anyway) and Lottie marrying Sara's father (because of Sara having no wish to marry) are considered, but ultimately dismissed. If her route is committed to in Act 2, Lottie revives the idea in an attempt to help Sara out of her servant situation.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Sara's father calls her his "Little Missus," and Lottie calls her "Sara-mamma."
    • Jessie calls Lavinia "Lavvie." Sara briefly muses on the irony of Jessie using a pet name on Lavinia when Lavinia treats Jessie like a pet.
  • Age Lift: Compared to the novel. All girls (except Lottie) are now teenagers, and Lottie is eight years old rather than four.
  • All-Loving Hero: Sara, but a big part of the story involves questioning this: is she good because she's really a good person deep down, or simply because she's never wanted for anything and so never had any reason to feel displeasure? And sure enough, when she does lose it all, she finds herself struggling hard to maintain her original love and optimism.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: While Lavinia is the only student who is actively cruel to Becky the scullery maid, none of the other students besides Sara talk to her due to her being of a lower social class than them.
  • Alpha Bitch: Lavinia. In her route things prove to be a bit more complex, however.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Much of Lottie's route has to do with Sara figuring out how to treat her morality.
  • Ambiguously Related: Mariette in regards to Alexandre Dumas. While she's not aware of him being a close relative, they share a surname and Mariette is dark-skinned enough to have some African ancestry. She also doesn't deny the possibility of him being a distant relative she's unaware of.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game tells the player outright which routes are still available and whether it's their last chance to pursue a route. Becky's route will also always be available in Act 2 whether you did Becky's Act 1 events or not, so that there is a route that can be followed in Act 2 regardless of how unlucky the player may have been in collecting resources in Act 1.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • After Lavinia complains about Jessie not thinking for herself, which disqualifies her from being Lavinia's companion, Sara asks, "Then what reward is there for Jessie's loyalty?" Sara is afraid Lavinia will smack her, but Lavinia is at a loss for words for the rest of the scene.
    • Slightly earlier in the route, Lavinia's immediate reaction to Sara's father dying deep in debt after the diamond mine he invested in turned out to seemingly be unprofitable is to rage at Sara and accuse her of trying to ruin her family. Sara infers that Lavinia tried to get her father to invest in the diamond mine, and that Lavinia is angry with Sara because of the mine supposedly turning out to be unprofitable, thus leading to Captain Crewe's ruin. As Lavinia rants about her father wouldn't listen to the fancies of a little girl, Sara asks her, "My Papa listened to me. Does yours?" Lavinia hits Sara but it's clear that the question struck a sensitive point for her.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Some of the less pleasant characters are guilty of various acts of animal cruelty. Lavinia apparently had her cat Tybalt eat some baby birds, while the Cook is prepared to drown Tybalt if necessary.
  • Bawdy Song: Mariette gets caught humming one in French in her route, though the innuendos fly over Sara’s head.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: One of Lottie's events consists of her having a two-person slumber party with Sara and being the first of the two to fall asleep. Sara spends some time just watching her sleep while reflecting on their "mother-daughter" relationship and eventually kisses her forehead. The part in which Sara is watching Lottie is one of the two images that can be unlocked by playing Lottie's route.
  • Berserk Button: Anything related to India is this for Lavinia, to the point at which she bluntly shuts down any conversation that involves India.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Mariette has several lines in French that don't get any sort of translation, so they are best understood by a player who can read French.
  • Book Dumb: Ermengarde. She's not stupid per se, but struggles to learn anything from books.
  • Break the Cutie: Sara is subjected to a long process of this in the second half of the game. She loses her father, finds out that he died penniless, and ends up being made into a servant and forced to do errands to earn her keep, with Miss Minchin pocketing her wages.
  • Break the Haughty: Sara surpassing Lavinia and relegating her to a second place in everything has this effect in Lavinia.
  • Canon Foreigner: For the purposes of a plotline exclusive to her route, Lottie's father, who is merely known to exist in the original novel, makes a brief on-screen appearance.
  • Cats Are Mean: Lavinia's cat Tybalt has a habit of causing trouble, from eating birds to constantly getting underfoot and getting Becky in trouble.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The church's Tower Keeper, who is merely mentioned in an Act 1 scene common to all routes, keep Becky from falling off the bell tower in Act 2 of one of the routes.
  • Cooldown Hug: When Sara finally realizes that Lavinia is desperate for her love and approval, she tries to calm her anger with one of these. It actually works at first - until Miss Minchin arrives and is horrified that a servant is grabbing one of her ladies.
  • Contrived Clumsiness: In Ermengarde's route, Miss Minchin walks into Sara's room right as Sara, Becky and Ermengarde are about to enjoy food brought over by the latter. Miss Minchin orders Ermengarde to put all the food back in its hamper and she manages to accidentally fall on the floor while doing so. After Miss Minchin and Ermengarde leave the room, Sara notices a food item was left under the table and realizes that Ermengarde's fall had been to put the item there.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Mariette's route adds an extra layer to the fact that the seminar's new neighbor is looking for Sara to give her a large inheritance: in preparation for moving to France to follow one of the leads, his household sets out to hire a French maid and ends up with Sara's former one.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: If her route is completed, Mariette makes a big deal out of the fact that she could have potentially told Mr. Carrisford where Sara was much earlier if she had paid more attention to the reason for which he was about to travel to France. Sara points out that there were other missed opportunities, such as she and Ram Dass forgetting to tell other their respective names upon one of their previous encounters. That specific missed opportunity is incidentally common to all routes.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Near the end of the story, as she's preparing to leave Miss Minchin's school once and for all, Sara acknowledges that Miss Minchin did provide for her, concluding that "She was not kind, but she was not deliberately vicious, most of the time."
  • Dean Bitterman: Miss Michin is a Victorian version, being the stern, cold-as-ice, greedy, and cruel headmistress of a boarding school where the daughters of wealthy families are trained to be proper ladies. For those who can afford her tuition, she puts on a thin veneer of niceness so as to get more funding from her students' families... but — as Sara finds out the hard way — if one of her students' financial situations changes for the worst she's not above effectively enslaving them and working them to the brink of death, and administers very harsh punishments for even perceived infractions.
  • Dehumanizing Insult: When Emma the cook sends her new servant Sara Crewe out on an errand in the rain, she mentions that dogs aren't scared of the rain, and as the servant is lower than a dog, she shouldn't be, either.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Large Family (real last name Carmichael), who are only briefly seen their carriage. The only confirmations that it was indeed them are the number of siblings involved and that they are later mentioned getting a letter from their father who is currently in Moscow right when Mr. Carmichael is known to be there.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Miss Minchin frequently refuses to allow her servants to eat if they displease her. Shortly before the climax, Sara is refused food for an entire day due to some infraction (regardless of whether she is actually guilty).
  • Developers' Desired Date: Becky is shown alongside Sara both on the title screen and the image used to represent the game in online stores. On top of this, Becky's route can be followed in Act 2 even if she was outright neglected in Act 1, while all five other routes require all their Act 1 events to have been completed to avoid being locked as soon as Act 2 starts. To add even more, she's among the half of the characters whose unlockable images are both in Act 2, removing the last possible gameplay penalty for not watching her Act 1 events.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In Jessie's route, she proposes that Sara run away with her. Sara is quick to point out the flaws in this plan- the two have no references by which to obtain employment, Sara cannot simply leave Miss Minchin as long as she is in her debt and Jessie's parents won't let her run away either, and Jessie's long red hair makes her easily identifiable, to name a few. Jessie calms down and admits that this wasn't the brightest idea, but is still rather desperate to get away.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Miss Minchin refuses to let Sara eat for an entire day, when Sara already doesn't get enough to eat, for crimes as minor as calling her out on her treatment of Becky(Becky's route).
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Becky calls Sara "miss" due to seeing her as a social superior, since Sara is a student and Becky is a maid, and continues doing so even after Sara is reduced to a servant just like Becky. Sara is mostly fine with that, until Becky's ending, when she insists that Becky call her "Sara."
  • Doesn't Know Their Own Birthday: Becky doesn't know on which day of the year she was born, as she grew up in a workhouse. The authorities there decided she was old enough to be sent to the seminar to work as a scullery maid as an educated guess more than anything else. Sara suggests that she share her birthday, an idea that she likes very much.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • In Jessie’s route. While Jessie struggles to understand the difficulty of Sara’s new life, Sara’s naivete keeps her from understanding why Jessie thinks becoming a dancer (like she wants) isn’t much different than being married off to the older man who believes the Victorian stereotypes about red-haired women (like her parents want), and the problems that come with.
    • In a scene common to all routes, Mr. Carmichael, upon finding out that Mr. Carrisford has been sending gifts to Sara via Ram Dass after finding out about her bad living situation, suggests that he might take the child he has been helping in so she can be a companion for the one he's looking for once he finds the latter. Mr. Carissford wants to arrange another form of help because he considers that taking a girl from London to France, where she doesn't even speak the language, would be cruel. Sara has been shown to speak perfect French, on top of being the very child Mr. Carrisford is looking for.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Jessie's route: When Sara refuses to run away with her, Jessie resigns herself to never getting out of the engagement arranged by her parents, and decides that it would be awfully fitting for a tragic heroine if she were to throw herself into the river and drown herself. She walks away in the end, but not without staying out in the rain long enough to make herself very sick.
    • Becky's route: When Becky almost falls from the tower in her route, and Sara is left clinging to her hand for dear life, Sara declares that if Becky falls she will fling herself from the tower as well. Becky is horrified because self-slaughter is a sin to Christians.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: On Jessie's route, Jessie calls out Lavinia after she expresses open disdain for Sara with the latter in earshot.
    Jessie: That isn't funny.
    Lavinia: What was that?
    Jessie: I said that isn't funny. It wasn't funny or clever the first time you said it, and it isn't any more funny or clever now.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: If you make it past Week 100 without managing to complete a route, the game becomes stuck in a loop where all you can do is skip through weeks, forever. Considering that A. Becky's route is always available to the player, and B. story events run out around Week 37 or so, the only reasonable way one could get stuck in this way is by selecting "Skip Week" every week and refusing to do any available events for over sixty in-game weeks.
  • English Rose: Discussed a lot in Lavinia's route, as she highly admires the archetype (a lovely pale-skinned English woman who is nice and well-mannered), and is determined to be one someday.
  • Empty Eyes: Sara's reaction to the death of her father.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Lavinia is not the nicest person, to say the least, but she has nothing but contempt for Miss Minchin. While Lavinia's personal issues affect her relationships with others, she sees that Miss Minchin is a self-serving hypocrite who's only kind to those who are of use to her.
  • Exact Words:
    • Sara never learned French. Doesn't mean she cannot speak the language, which comes as a big surprise for Miss Minchin.
      She had not learned French, exactly, not out of books, but her papa and other people had always spoken it to her, and she had read it and written it as she had read and written English.
    • If Lottie's route is committed to in Act 2, Miss Minchin tries to get her to stop treating Sara as her "mother" by telling that she is now supposed to treat Sara the same as Becky, the scullery maid, since Sara is now a servant. Lottie's response is to also bring food for Becky when she visits Sara to give her food, which basically means not changing the way she acts toward Sara.
    • During the second half of her route, one event has Lottie start asking Sara questions about herself. When Sara asks why she's so curious about all those details all of a sudden, Lottie says that she's going to tell the story of the Princess Sara. Sara understands the answer as Lottie planning to emulate her The Storyteller activities with a story involving a princess based on her. It later turns out that Lottie's widower father was the intended audience for the "story of Princess Sara". Sara herself points out that Lottie, did, indeed, "tell the story".
  • Foreign Cuss Word: If her route is played, Mariette responds to discovering that Sara was Made a Slave in all but name with a bunch of French words that Sara is unable to translate, but can easily guess the general meaning of.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Sara mentions that her mother was French, Lavinia cuts her off, then points out that she is not her mother. Lavinia adds that "We are in England. Gentlemen wish good English girls. Anything other is by definition, less," an observation that Sara disagrees with, but thinks Lavinia agrees with, or at least "thinks society believes it." It turns out that Lavinia's mother was Indian, and this ends up being a sore spot for her], hence why she'd end up denying that she's her mother and looking down on anything non-English.
    • In one of Sara's father's letters, he complains about a fever but writes it off. The disease ends up killing him.
  • Fostering for Profit: Mariette was raised by a pair of innkeepers because her mother couldn't care for her. If Mariette's route is played in Act 2, it turns out that the innkeepers were caring for a bunch of children in a similar situation that they were working to the bone all while pocketing the money sent by the parents for their upkeep. The "cousin" who got her hired to be Sara's maid in the first place is actually one of the other children from the inn.
  • French Maid: Mariette is a maid and she is French, but she completely subverts the saucy, sexy expectations, being more of a calm, older-sister Meido.
  • Friendless Background: Ermengarde. She jumps at a chance to befriend the New Transfer Student Sara, if you play her events.
  • Friendly Address Privileges:
    • In Lavinia's second event with Sara, she notes that they're close enough to use first names.
    • The trope is discussed in Sara's Act 2 events with Mariette, with Sara noting that now that Mariette is no longer her maid, it would be overly familiar of Sara to use Mariette's Christian name.
  • Gayngst: Mostly avoided, despite the yuri themes, but explicit in Jessie's route. Because her family is relatively poor, they're relying on her marrying a richer man to earn them money. Because Jessie isn't interested in men, it feels an awful lot like she herself is being sold. Thus her friendship with Lavinia: she hopes that if she's good enough to her, Lavinia will choose her for her 'companion' and then she could stay with her instead.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Lottie, with her curly blonde hair and light eyes, looks exactly like the Victorian ideal of a good and beautiful child. Lottie uses this very much to her advantage to get what she wants.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: This is the reason Lavinia is so touchy about the subject of India. It turns out that her mother is Indian.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Miss Minchin is the closest thing the story has to an antagonist, and is lacking in any redeeming qualities. While she appears strict but fair to her students, she is downright cruel to the servants, beating them and denying them food should they displease her. After Sara's father dies deep in debt, Miss Minchin sells Sara's belongings and forces her to work as a servant, with her wages going toward paying her debts. Most of the cast, including Sara, knows that Miss Minchin is nothing more than a greedy, cruel and two-faced woman and despises her accordingly.
    • Lavinia is a zig-zagged example. At times, she's just as bad as Miss Minchin, being guilty of acts such as abusing Becky and having her cat Tybalt eat some baby birds, and seemingly having no redeeming qualities. She comes off worst in Jessie's route, with her friendship with Jessie being shown as rather toxic. However, Lavinia does turn out to be more complex than she initially seems in her own route, which reveals her Freudian Excuse and her desire for Sara's approval, even if Sara calls her out on her behavior and question whether they're really friends.
  • Hated by All: None of the characters like Miss Minchin, especially after she forces Sara to become a servant. The contempt is most obvious in the case of Lavinia, who readily badmouths Miss Minchin to Sara; Mariette, who is bitter about Miss Minchin letting her go without a reference; and Becky, whom Miss Minchin mistreats.
  • Have a Gay Old Time:
    • Sara is called queer many times when she says or does something the others find weird. Of course, even if you use the modern significance, they're not quite wrong.
    • The actual word "gay" in its older meaning "happy" also makes an appearance. Amusingly enough, Mr. Carrisford wistfully recalls his Heterosexual Life-Partner Captain Crewe's "gay face."
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • In non-romantic endings, the person whose route was followed remains the most important person in Sara's life.
    • Mr. Carrisford and Ram Dass are promoted to this, at the very least. Ram Dass is made into the reason Mr. Carrisford survived the very circumstances that killed Sara's father, is shown to play a major emotional support role towards him, calls him a friend the first time he mentions him and makes a comment about Charan the monkey being like a child to both him and Mr. Carrisford. In one of the game's final scenes, Mr. Carrisford and Ram Dass are revealed as co-conspirators in making the "magic" happen rather than it all being Mr. Carrisford's idea, Ram Dass is shown to be on nickname basis with Mr. Carrisford and both men put a protective hand on Sara's shoulder when Miss Minchin comes to get her.
    • Mr. Carrisford describes himself as having been "closer than a brother" to Sara's father back in their youth. Becky's ending throws any ambiguity about that particular relationship out the window, as Sara's confession in the finale consist of wanting a relationship just like the one between her father and Mr. Carrisford with Becky.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After Lavinia gives Sara a book, Sara asks Lavinia about her earlier remark that women should not be too intelligent. Lavinia then goes on a brief spiel about how being intelligent is fine but acting like an intellectual is not, then concludes with "Lecturing others on what they should and should not do would not be socially appropriate." Sarah mentally notes that giving such lectures is one of Lavinia's favorite pastimes.
  • I Am Not Pretty: Sara has this view of herself initially.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Lavinia after Sara finds a picture of her Indian mother.
    Narrator: Tears burst forth in a noisy wave. There was nothing beautiful about her face as she sobbed.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Lavinia asks what Sara's mother was thinking when she picked out her wardrobe. Sara replies that her mother is dead, and Lavinia apologizes.
    • After Sara becomes a servant, Jessie asks Sara a number of insensitive questions, such as requesting one of her old dresses, which Miss Minchin sold to pay her father's debts, partly out of thoughtlessness and partly out of being ignorant of the gravity of Sara's situation. Sara mentally lampshades this.
    Sara: She doesn't mean to be cruel. None of this is her fault. But... I can't say that it doesn't hurt.
    • Towards the end, when Sara is explaining who she is to Carmichael and Mr. Carrisford, she states that her father's friend lost all his money and that her father shouldn't have trusted him. Very shortly afterwards she learns that Mr. Carrisford is that very friend.
  • Internalized Categorism: In Lavinia's and Jessie's routes, they both like girls but are miserable about it; Jessie because her parents want her to marry a rich man, and Lavinia because she's filled with self-loathing about not being a "proper lady."
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Miss Minchin and Lavinia harshly tell Jessie about the hazards of being a ballet performer, from gas lamps being fire hazards to the implication that the performers have to prostitute themselves. Sara mentally notes that Lavinia was right to help talk Jessie out of her interest in the stage, even if she was unnecessarily mean about it.
    • Lavinia points out that Miss Minchin doesn't praise her students because she cares for them, but because they're paying for her school, and Miss Minchin benefits from receiving that money. Lavinia ends up being proven right after Sara herself loses her wealth and ends up being treated cruelly by Miss Minchin.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Miss Minchin initially seems strict but not especially cruel, so one might imagine she's a decent person at heart. However, it's shown that she treats Becky the scullery maid and Sara herself when she loses her father terribly, refusing to let servants eat if they make mistakes and even using corporal punishment.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • After Sara's father dies deep in debt, Miss Minchin sells the girl's possessions to pay her debts and leaves her only the bare minimum. The one outfit the girl is allowed to have is a black frock that is too short for her.
    • Miss Minchin lets Mariette go due to not being able to pay her. That would be a harsh but fair act, but Miss Minchin ends up confiscating Mariette's possessions, including a book Ermengarde gave her, and lets her go without any references. This ends up angering Mariette so much that she almost exclusively refers to Miss Minchin as "that woman" from this point forward.
    • Lavinia can often be cruel, but perhaps her most casual and senseless act of cruelty is when she shows Sara a box of chocolates, offers to trade her a single chocolate(and later the entire box) for Emily, and when she's refused, throws the chocolates in the fire.
    • Even Jessie isn't spared from Lavinia's dog-kicking. Lavinia casually proposes calling Jessie "Mrs. Watney," referencing Jessie's impending marriage to a much older man and hitting one of Jessie's sore spots in the process.
  • Knight In Shining Armour: Sara comes to see Ermengarde in this way, due to her physical abilities and dedication to her. In fact, Ermengarde says that if she were a boy, she'd probably become a soldier, and be much better at that than she is at schoolwork.
  • Limited Wardrobe: All of the characters except for Sara only have a single outfit. Sara has three- a dress she wears when starting school, a fancier pink dress on her birthday and a black frock after she becomes a servant.
  • Love Epiphany: Happens to Sara on Becky's route. She laments that no one cares that Becky almost died that day, then concludes that no one will care for Becky the way Sara does.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Downplayed, but weekly activities amount to that. You can get a lot or very few resources depending on the Random Number God's will, which can lock you out of routes or preclude you from getting the achievement for maxing out everything. The game does at least ensure that Becky's route is always available in Act 2, so that the player can't accidentally get stuck with no way to progress the story.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Lottie is one in the making, as she has already figured out that throwing tantrums over not having a mother will get her attention and what to tell people to get gifts. At some point, she admits to having pretended to having been more convinced of having seen something scary in her room than she actually was just so she could have Sara reassure her.
    • After Sara becomes a servant, several events involving Lavinia, both inside and outside her route, consist of her either implicitly or explicitly going out of her way to make Sara's life harder than in already is. This includes such things of complaining to Miss Minchin about invented incidents, sabotaging Sara's work or attempts to make her trade Emily for something else.
    • Sara is accused of being one by Miss Minchin in both Ermengarde and Lottie's routes. In both cases, an initiative to help Sara that is entirely on the other girl's part is assumed to have been started by Sara herself, with the other girl being dragged into it.
  • Mean Boss: If her route is played in Act 2, Mariette eventually turns out to be limiting her interactions with Sara in part because she now has such a boss, giving her little leeway to take longer than necessary for tasks that take her out of the house. This results in her being quite quick to move to Mr. Carrisford's household when he decides to hire a French maid.
  • Meaningful Echo: Early on in the Act 2 portion of Mariette's route, Mariette tells Sara a saying, "Avec des si et des mais, on mettrait Paris en bouteille" ("With ifs and buts, we could put Paris in a bottle"), to express that she'd rather be serving Sara than working where she is at the moment. In the ending, after Mariette apologizes for not realizing that her new employer Mr. Carrisford was looking for Sara, Sara says she's not to blame, since there are other ways by which Mr. Carrisford could have found out sooner, and repeats the saying.
  • Merging the Branches: Inverted via having events from the original novel be exclusive to some routes:
    • One of the most obvious ways by which this happens is that Sara remains friends with both Ermengarde and Lottie in the novel, but Sara can maintain her friendship with only one of them in Act 2 of the game. Despite that, Ermengarde is mentioned as coming to say goodbye to Sara on some other routes, implying they're friendly enough to part on good terms.
    • The food hamper party whose interruption is the cause of the Darkest Hour in the novel is here exclusive to Ermengarde's route and doesn't include Lottie. Lottie and Ermengarde are equally regular visitors of the attic in their respective routes. Ermengarde's route is also the only one in which Melchisedec plays enough of a role to be named, while the only Act 1 scene that mentions the existence of the rats, which also has Sara consider making friends with one, is exclusive to Becky's route. Becky's route mentions Melchisedec's family exactly once in Act 2.
    • Ermengarde's route is the one with the second act that is the most similar to the novel equivalent of Act 2, but Becky's is the closest in terms of actual ending.
  • Misplaced Retribution: In one Act 1 scene, Lavinia blames Becky for ripping her stockings, when it was actually Lavinia's cat Tybalt.
  • Missing Mom: Sara's and Lottie's mothers both died when their daughters were very young. Mariette's mother disappeared without a trace many years ago, and Mariette assumes she is dead. Becky's mother disappeared more recently and there's at least a strong chance that she drank herself to death.
  • Mistaken for Thief:
    • This is a recurring cause for the Darkest Hour before Sara wakes up to the "magic", as it gives Miss Minchin a reason to punish Sara by telling her she won't be getting any food the following day:
      • Jessie's route: Jessie gives Sara a piece of jewelry, but Lavinia reports it stolen and has Miss Minchin search Sara's room for it.
      • Mariette's route: Mariette gives Sara a shawl when they run into each other, but Miss Minchin assumes Sara stole the shawl from one of the students when she comes back to the seminar wearing it.
    • In Becky's route, Becky puts her savings in Sara's care for safekeeping, but Lavinia makes Miss Minchin search Sara's room for falsely reported stolen items much earlier than she does in Jessie's route. Becky's savings become the would-be stolen item and the cause of an early unfortunate incident rather than the last one before the "magic". On top of this, the last incident before the "magic" consists of her being accused of stealing food by the Cook, who gave the food to the policeman she's seeing and needed to cover up the real reason it was gone.
  • Moment Killer: One of the factors making Lavinia's route chaotic on top of Lavinia's Loving Bully behavior is that Miss Minchin walks in on Lavinia and Sara both times they manage to get a tender moment together prior to the finale.
  • Money Dumb: Captain Crewe is noted to not be very good with money after he invests his fortune into a "dear friend's" diamond mine venture and makes extravagant purchases for her. When he learns that he's apparently been had(which later turns out to be a misunderstanding, but he never finds out), he dies of the shock and jungle fever, resulting in Sara becoming penniless.
  • Moustache de Plume: On Lavinia's route, Lavinia gives Sara a book that was published by a woman using a masculine pen name.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Ermengarde, Lavinia and Jessie, the three students closest to Sara's age, have this dynamic. Ermengarde is the nicest of the students, to the point that she doesn't look down upon Sara for being a servant. Lavinia is haughty, arrogant and short-tempered, not to mention capable of petty acts of cruelty especially after Sara becomes a servant. Jessie isn't a bad person at heart, but can be guilty of Innocently Insensitive actions, and her friendship with Lavinia brings out her worst traits.
  • Nice to the Waiter: One of the indications of Ermengarde's niceness is the fact that a book in French that she could have easily given to Sara was instead gifted directly to Mariette, her French maid. Mariette points out that very few of the students would have thought of giving the book to her rather than a fellow student. She's also one of the nicest students to Sara after Sara becomes a servant.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: During the museum visit, Lavinia wants to spend a little extra time looking at a dinosaur skeleton that terrifies all the other girls. She also calls the skeleton "marvellous".
  • Non-Answer: When Sara asks Lavinia what the difference between "old-fashioned" and "traditional" is, Lavinia says, "One is better than the other."
  • "Not So Different" Remark: After Lavinia condescendingly offers to make Sara her maid, Sara compares Lavinia to Miss Minchin, the one responsible for selling Sara's possessions, banishing her to the attic and claiming to be kind in spite of all that. Lavinia, unfazed, remarks that she can be kinder than Miss Minchin should she so desire.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Some routes will become unavailable after a certain point in the story. Ermengarde's route becomes unavailable if you haven't started it after Week 10, while for Lavinia's route, you must do all the available events by Week 16 (when Sara replaces her as Miss Minchin's favorite) if you want to continue it.
  • Pets as a Present: Discussed when Sara tells the other girls a friend of her father's who gifted his fiancée a parrot who could recite poetry and Jessie protests that the woman may not have wanted to have a pet.
  • Point of No Return: Act 1 allows the player to follow several routes and the resources are sufficient to complete the first half of up to three of them during a single run. Act 2 will only allow the player to watch a free event from each still-available route before they need to commit to one of them, which locks the other available route(s).
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When Sara's father dies without a penny left for his daughter, Miss Minchin's first thought is to throw the girl out on the street, but Mr. Barrow, who's at least as coldhearted himself, advises her that it would reflect poorly on her school, and convinces her to keep the person in question around as a servant.
  • Pun-Based Title: The game loves its lily imagery, but, of course, lily also directly translates to Yuri.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Lavinia notices that Sarah is avoiding her in her route, she lets off a "Look. At. Me."
  • Queer Flowers: This retells the story of A Little Princess with a Yuri Genre twist, has a lot of lily imagery, and it added the word "Lily" to the title referencing the Yuri Genre.
  • Rage Breaking Point: In Becky's route Miss Minchin making Becky cry is this for Sara. She just can't hold back anymore and confronts Miss Minchin. Which of course backfires horribly.
  • Riches to Rags: Sara goes through that in Act 2, when her father loses his fortune and his life, and suddenly finds herself going from being one of Miss Minchin's academy's star students to being treated as less than dirt.
  • Sadistic Choice: When the Mistaken for Thief incident from Becky's route gets cleared up, Miss Minchin prefers imposing one such choice to Sara and Becky to admitting she made a mistake: either Sara stole the money Becky left with her for safekeeping, or Becky gave the money to Sara. If Sara stole the money, Becky gets it back, but Sara gets sent to the proper authorities. If Becky gave Sara the money, then Miss Minchin is entitled to it because Sara is in debt towards her. She doesn't allow for a third option, which is a problem because the situation itself qualifies as one.
  • Secret Test of Character: The story Sara tells Becky about the sisters who work together to break their father's curse ends with the twist that the journey was one for the two daughters, to see whether they could work together and combine their strengths to succeed their father.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Pretty much all of the schoolgirls are this to some extent, as becomes clear when Sara loses her status and none have the slightest idea just how bad things are for her now. Jessie is particularly noted for being rather ditzy, however, which is a little funny given that she's easily the poorest of the students.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After Miss Minchin demands thanks for her "kindness" in keeping Sara around as a servant in her home, the person in question fires back that she is not kind, nor is this a home.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Jessie, though in this case, the plot first brings it up in the context of a period trope regarding redheads: that red hair indicates a lustful, fallen woman.
  • Significant Name Shift: Sara's relationship with Lavinia has its ups and downs, so one can tell the current status by whether Lavinia is calling Sara by her first name, or allowing Sara to call her by hers.
  • So Was X: In Lavinia's route, when she confesses her deep-seated fear that she may never be accepted as a romantic partner because she's half-Indian, Sara reveals that her mother was in such a situation, as well. When Lavinia brings up the fact that Sara's mother was French, which clearly contradicts the new reveal about her in her eyes, Sara points out that Mariette, who is clearly mixed-race, is French also.
  • Spoiled Brat:
    • Lottie, who has learned to get what she wants by screaming and playing on people's sympathies over her lost mother. Ironically, Lavinia at one point calls her out for it; Sara notes in her thoughts that Lavinia is not much better.
    • Both Miss Minchin and the Cook think that Sara is one. Sara, also can't do much to change their minds. Based on their assumptions about her, they expect Sara to react very badly to being separated from her father. When Sara keeps her sorrow about the separation silent, they come to the conclusion that she doesn't care about her father and only about all the luxuries she owns.
  • The Story Teller: Sara not only has a talent for making stories, she also enjoys sharing them with the girls.
  • Street Urchin: Sara meets one in the street several times, always helping in some way.
  • Take My Hand!: While trying to retrieve Miss Minchin's runaway cat, Becky falls off the church belltower and Sara grab her hand but is unable to lift her. Thankfully, the keeper eventually helps them.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: In Lavinia's initial events, she chides Sara for being overly familiar by calling her "Lavinia," and responds by calling her "Miss Crewe."
  • Too Awesome to Use: Becky has that attitude towards her wages. She doesn't consider using them to get extra food worth it, has two different more expensive items she wants to buy if she ever saves enough money for them and is worried that buying either will leave her with no money to take care of an eventual emergency for quite a while.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Jessie isn't usually a bad person, but hanging around Lavinia results in her being an accomplice (whether active or passive) to her bullying Sara after the latter becomes a servant. At times, Sara has trouble deciding how genuine Jessie's friendship with her is.
  • Tragically Misguided Favor: Lottie's attempt to have Sara marry her father to help her out of her bad situation ultimately only gives Miss Minchin an excuse to harshly punish Sara under the pretense of how embarrassing the situation was for herself. The latter is even how the obligatory Darkest Hour happens in Lottie's route.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Jessie gives a golden heart to Sara, intending for her to keep it even if they are separated - or if Jessie succeeds in going through with the suicide she's considering. Unfortunately, Sara ends up losing it when Lavinia reports Sara has stolen something and Miss Minchin searches her room.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Promotional material on Steam prominently mentions how things will go wrong for Sara, all but outright mentioning her father's death and her becoming a servant. Screenshots also prominently show her in a black frock, her outfit after she becomes a servant.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • Averted for the route split; Becky's route will always be available in Act 2 whether or not you did her Act 1 events, to prevent the player from getting stuck if they were unlucky gathering resources during Act 1.
    • Played straight if the player decides, for whatever reason, to skip every single weekend and refuse to do any events. A particular scene needed to trigger the story is locked until one completes a character's route events, so if the player refuses to do any of the events, the story eventually runs out of events. After Week 100, any uncompleted routes become locked and the player has no option but to continue skipping weekends, forever once they max out their resources, since the only way to spend those resources is by viewing events. There is an achievement for maxing out all your resources with nothing left to do.
  • Unreliable Narrator: To an adult reader, it's clear that Lavinia's wildly vacillating behavior towards Sara is due to her very confused feelings towards her (wanting to be close to her, but wanting to be a proper lady; wanting Sara to love her, but also wanting to feel superior over her) and probably a bunch of confusing adolescent hormones, but Sara doesn't understand any of this, so she simply views her behavior as incoherent.
  • Victorian London: Where Miss Minchin's boarding school is located.
  • Wall Pin of Love: As Lavinia's has Loving Bully type behaviors in her route, she ends up getting Sara trapped between a wall, her body and her extended arms before confessing to her.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: After Sara's father dies penniless, Miss Minchin starts treating her as a servant, and seems to believe that she deserves thanks for not throwing her out on the street.
  • Was It All a Lie?: In Act 2, after becoming a servant, Sara is forced to question whether her schoolmates and Mariette were really her friends now that they're keeping their distance from her due to her circumstances.
  • Wham Episode: Sara's birthday party begins with her having a wonderful day and being Miss Minchin's favorite, and ends with her learning that her father died penniless and she must now be a servant.
  • Wham Line: On the day of Sara's birthday, Mr. Barrow comes in and reveals that the "diamond mines" Captain Crewe had a share in with his dear friend aren't as profitable as he had been led to imagine, followed by an even more shocking reveal.
    Mr. Barrow: When a man is in the hands of a dear friend and is not a businessman himself... he had better steer clear of the dear friend's diamond mines. Or gold mines or any other kinds of mines 'dear friends' want his money to put into. (music changes) The late Captain Crewe...
    Miss Minchin: The late Captain Crewe! You don't come to tell me that Captain Crewe is—
    Mr. Barrow: He's dead, ma'am. Died of jungle fever and business troubles combined.
  • The Wicked Stage: One of Jessie's events consists of her needing to be talked out of her idea of joining the ballet because the game in set during a time in which stage jobs are disreputable.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Becky compares Miss Minchin to a wicked stepmother in a fairytale after Miss Minchin forces Sara to become a servant, not unlike what Lady Tremaine did to Cinderella.
  • With Friends Like These...: Jessie and Lavinia are said to be quite close, but Lavinia looks down on Jessie and, as Sara puts it, treats her like a pet. In Jessie's ending, she ultimately chooses Sara over Lavinia.
  • Yuri Genre: The interaction with the cast can go from non-romantic, to subtext, to full-on lesbian love.