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Visual Novel / Beauty and the War: X Playing Pieces

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All's fair in love and war.
Counterclockwise: Ambrosia; Arsenik; Onyx; Chase; Wind; Night.

"After all, it's been said that men have gone to war because of a woman."

Beauty and the War: X Playing Pieces is a dark fantasy otome Visual Novel made in Ren'Py by Poison Apple Tales.

The tale is set on Virgo Island, where creatures of myth, legend, and fairy tale reside. For generations, war has waged among the clans for power and dominion over the island: the Valkyrie, the Trold, the Hulder, and the Phoenix.

Virgo Island has finally settled into an unstable peace after the mysterious Vi Clan emerged victorious from the generations-long war. On Virgo Island, you'll find creatures of legend and myth as well as fairy tales, except these are not stories. Each race fought viciously for dominion and power. However, it was the mysterious clan of the Vi who put an end to the generations-long war and forced the island under their reign.

The heroine is the beautiful Ambrosia of the Phoenix Clan, with hair as dark as a raven's plumage, and skin that would shame the purest snow. As a member of the only clan allied to the Vi, you can gain friends, make enemies, find love, and explore the world to find ways to maintain or destroy the fragile peace. Just remember, being the beauty that everyone desires in a world with an already unstable political climate may not be easy...


War: 13th Day serves as a prelude to the main game that introduces the player to Wildfire and some of the main cast. Don't Take This Risk is a spin-off that features one of the love interests in an alternate universe setting.

Official website, which has links to related games and sneak peeks, can be found here.

Beauty and the War provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: If you spend time in the forest, you can nickname a baby deer that you befriend there.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Night's appeal.
  • Always Someone Better: Viktor claims that he's never been able to compare to Arsenik, and Arsenik implies that Viktor tries to copy him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Arsenik is a kind, civil gentleman to Ambrosia, and he dislikes fighting and having to resort to violence, but he is named after poison for a reason.
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  • Bishōnen: As expected in an otome, but notably, the entire Hulder clan may qualify.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: If you choose Wind.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Whether with a partner or single, a true happy ending is difficult but possible if you play your cards right.
  • Expy: Ambrosia is based on Snow White, but in a world where being the fairest of them all is much more difficult.
  • Fantastic Racism: Since the tensions between clans are still there, they still look down on each other. The Trold are viewed as savage barbarians, while the Hulder are seen as two-faced schemers, and so on.
  • Framing Device: The story is being retold by Ambrosia to the player. The choices the player makes when listening to her which will apparently become relevant to the story towards the end.
    • Multiple-Choice Past: Since the story opens on Ambrosia recounting her past, the player determines what her experiences and personality was back then, and sets the stage for things that can't be changed in later acts.
  • How We Got Here: How the story kicks off after the opening scene.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Onyx carries out the execution.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Ambrosia's outfit consists of just red ribbons and a sheer skirt. She's not trying to be provocative, though, she just thought the injured warriors and the elders needed the winter clothes more and she would have to remove clothes to cut herself for the blood healing that Phoenix's do anyway.
  • Intro-Only Point of View: Written from Prince Alexandrite's perspective in the first demo. The second version of the demo is from X's perspective.
  • Meaningful Name: On Virgo Island, you aren't born with a name. You have to earn it. So everyone's name means something.
    • Meaningful Rename: It's possible for them to earn different names throughout their lives.
  • Multiple Endings: There is an incredible amount of variation. Every choice can have a ripple effect.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Jasmine mentions that Ambrosia has already had her bleeding.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Each clan is made up of a different creature of legend, but they all sport quite a few variations from their original counterparts.
  • Pastimes Prove Personality: What you choose to spend your time on will play a role in how Ambrosia's personality develops throughout the game. She can be a nature-lover if you spend most of your time in the forest, for example.
  • Secret Character: There are two hidden romanceable characters in the game.
  • Story Branching: Every choice matters. Some matter much more than others, but even the smaller choices affect relationships and how others see Ambrosia, so it all comes into play in a big way.
  • Telepathy: One of the natural-born abilities of the Phoenix clan.
  • Theme Naming: You have to earn your name, but all the clans go by a particular theme.
    • The Phoenix are named after flowers, herbs, and spices.
    • The Vi are named after precious stones and jewels.
    • The Hulder use alternate spellings for their names.
    • The Trold choose action verbs for their names.
    • The Valkyrie are named after natural obstacles or events.
    • The Cucuy are named after interjections and sounds.
    • The Imugi are named after elements of nature.
  • Those Two Girls: Rosemary and Jasmine.

Example of: