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Visual Novel / Autumn's Journey

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A simple VN about friendship, growth and understanding, we hope it’s as warm and comforting as apple cider.

Auralee is a young woman who is very eager to be promoted from a knight in training to an outright knight. One day while doing a routine patrol around her small village, she comes across a strange sleeping man with weird brown shards for ears. It soon appears that this man, Kerr, is in actuality an earth dragon who was cursed into the form of a heavenkind (i.e., human) in order to force him to learn more about them. Kerr, being quite antisocial in general, is more than a little irritated by this. Soon, Auralee also comes across Ilmari, a sweet and somewhat childish water dragon who was sent down to watch over Kerr and make sure he does as told... probably.

Despite Kerr's bad attitude, Auralee's knight instincts kick in and she agrees to accompany the two of them across the land, taking on odd jobs and furthering her knight training along the way. And while she's there, she may become just a little bit closer to the dragons, too.

Autumn's Journey is an original English language otome game produced by the new amateur company Apple Cider. It is available for free on the official website.

Autumn's Journey contains examples of the following tropes:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: The other knights in training aren't too impressed by Auralee trying to use her mother's credentials to win her a spot. It's not too bad, though, and Auralee doesn't mind too much.
  • All There in the Manual: The free artbook provides a lot more information about the world and how it works, only some of which is brought up in the game itself.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Auralee and Kerr when they fight bandits together early on.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Kerr's default pose.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Auralee and Kerr, at first.
  • Birds of a Feather: Auralee with both boys, really: she shares Kerr's hot-bloodedness and fondness for battles, but shares Ilmari's energy and optimism and friendliness.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ilmari and Kerr return to their world to tell their masters about the sacrilegious black market trade of dragon remains, knowing full well the ensuing political turmoil means travel to the human world will likely be shut down, and Auralee has lost her dream of becoming a knight. However, the dragons are optimistic they'll eventually be allowed to return someday, Auralee has found a new dream to pursue, and all three are adamant that, no matter what, they'll find a way to see each other again.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Auralee, though the little braid takes the edge off.
  • Broken Pedestal: Auralee to the entire profession of knights, once she realises that they were allowing dragon remains - of high spiritual significance to dragons - to be removed and sold.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Kerr initially, but he regains his powers pretty quickly once he agrees to follow through with his master's plan.
  • Chaste Hero/Married to the Job: Part of what Auralee admires about knights.
    Auralee: —and rescue fair maidens and lads in distress! Who fall in love with the knights, and the knights sigh and go "I'm sorry, but my heart belongs to the path of justice and righteousness!" "Oh, Lady Knight", they cry, "then take my rose as a symbol—"
  • Culture Clash: Occasionally between the dragons and Auralee. It happens most often when it comes to physical affection - dragons are a lot touchier than humans tend to be.
  • Cute Monster Boys
  • Dragon Hoard: Ilmari collects interesting rocks. When she hears, Auralee laughs because it sounds so much less impressive than the gold or crystal dragon hoards she normally hears about. Ilmari replies he wouldn't mind collecting glass objects, too.
  • Elemental Powers: There are four different kinds of dragons, tied to different elements. Kerr is an earth dragon, while Ilmari is water.
  • Face Your Fears: Auralee has a particular fear of earthquakes, dating back to being in a serious one as a child. Towards the end, she has to face Dervishi, a "merchant" trafficking in dragon remains who can use their magic to create earthquakes.
  • Fangirl: Auralee for knights.
    Auralee: Knights are so cool, and they have swords and shiny armor and stuff and everyone looks up to them! They always do the honorable thing, right wrongs and stop evil in its tracks, and they help people with their problems!
  • Freeware
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Auralee ultimately has to decide between holding on to her dream of becoming a knight or helping Kerr and Ilmari stop a merchant company from disrespecting the entire dragon species. She doesn't hesitate to choose them, but she's not too happy about it afterwards, either.
  • Genki Girl: Auralee. As you'd hope from a knight-to-be.
  • Hates Being Touched: Kerr, though whether it's mostly due to his anti-social behaviour or being unfamiliar with his human form is left uncertain.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The prevalence of this trope in other games is given a nod in some of the advice Auralee's mother gives her as she leaves home: "And remember! Be sure to check every barrel, crate, and chest in town! The residents don't mind if you find something useful!" Auralee responds that she's pretty sure that's stealing.
  • Knight Errant: What Auralee aspires to be.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Both boys. Interestingly, they both have far longer hair than the heroine.
  • Motor Mouth: Both Auralee and Ilmari when on a topic they're interested in.
  • Meaningful Name: All characters, except Ilmari, whose name refers to the air, as he was originally intended to be an air elemental dragon rather than a water one.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Inverted with Ilmari - he's extremely excited about the human world and often has to have simple things like churning butter explained to him.
  • No Social Skills: Kerr can be very...blunt. Though even Ilmari doesn't know much about heavenkind social norms, and so doesn't have any reservations about asking Auralee to cuddle with him after they've just met.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: They seem to have their own civilisation, though one lower-tech than that of humans. Though dragons in general are worshipped by humans, it's not too uncommon to see dragons in human form in the bigger cities. And there are actually four kinds of dragons: land dragons like Kerr, and eurius, water dragons, like Ilmari and there is also Ignice fire dragons and Ciraphe dragons of air.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Whoever you don't choose to end up with will become like this to Auralee (and to a lesser extent the other guy), or you can just go with the friendship ending and make them all platonic life partners.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Ilmari is fond of this. Auralee claims that denying him when he gets like that would be like kicking a puppy. He actually learns to use it quite quickly.
  • Retired Badass: Lady Bayard, Auralee's mother, was a famous knight and adventurer. When she writes a letter asking that Auralee be accepted as a knight, it's noted that Lady Bayard's accumulated titles are longer than the rest of the letter, and her reputation certainly still carries weight at the Argent Valere Guild.
  • The Resenter: Ilmari reveals he feels like this towards Kerr. He studied heavenkind, learned the language, learned the transformation spell, and did everything he could to be chosen to travel to the human world, but was never picked; Kerr meanwhile just got it handed to him. He is ashamed of feeling this way, though.
  • Sleep Cute: To dragons, sleeping together is called 'bonding' and is normal among dragons who even only know each other a little. Naturally, there are a couple of cute scenes involving the dragons and/or Auralee sleeping together.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Although he didn't choose them, Kerr's sleeveless shirt fits his attitude snugly.
  • Shout-Out: When you choose the chicken quest, Auralee mentions that Ilmari quickly learns that if you pick on chickens long enough, eventually they'll gang up on you.
  • Sweet Tooth: While initially wary of heavenkind food, he warms up to pastries very quickly.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Apple tarts for Kerr.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Ilmari. He's just so excited to learn more about the world of the heavenkind!
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Ilmari really doesn't understand why Auralee might feel uncomfortable about sleeping alongside him after they've just started dating.