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Visual Novel / Frozen Essence

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Mina, the mysterious protagonist.

In a World… balanced by essence, Mina is unsealed from her Crystal Prison. Without a memory of her own, she follows the guidance from the oracle and stays protected by the bodyguards from those that fear her dark power. With the guidance and protection from the oracle within her realm, her journey begins.

Frozen Essence is a freeware otome visual novel created by VenusEclipse using Ren'Py. The story centers around Mina, a Delicate and Sickly girl who has been sealed in a giant crystal for 1,000 years, but as she has no memories from before that time, she doesn't know who put her there or why. One day, a strange, hooded figure breaks her out of her icy prison. She wakes up hundreds of days later in a protective realm that she apparently mentally created, cared for by an Oracle and her three bodyguards, Rune, Caius, and Aysel who are responsible for bringing Life essence to Mina in order to keep her awake and alive.

Although Mina must stay confined to the realm she has created for her safety, her curiosity causes her to venture outside the protective field and into a nearby village where a festival is being held. As the story progresses, we learn more about the characters, not only including Mina, the Oracle, and her bodyguards, but also others who she meets at the festival, some of which are trying to kill her. From there, things get worse.

Although the plot narrows according to whose path you choose, the whole story can only be pieced together after reaching 100% completion, or by exploring every man’s path.

The latest version can be found at the creator’s website.

This Visual Novel contains examples of:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Caius and Mina in both Earth endings.
  • Amnesiac Lover: Mina, the protagonist, is one to whomever the player pursues.
  • Attempted Rape: A flashback in Zareh's path reveals that some guards of the White Order tried to rape Mina and she killed them in retaliation.
  • Barrier Maiden: Mina acts as this for the Death Essence, while Rune is the male equivalent for the Life Essence.
  • Battle Couple: Mina and Zareh near the end of his Light Ending.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: When Mina is stuck in the woods with Caius, their forced cohabitation leads to some tension between the two.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Aurelius has a tendency to do this a lot.
    • Before the story splits up into routes, Aurelius jumps into help Mina and her bodyguards when they were being attacked by Oryon.
    • In Aurelius' Light Ending, even though he was badly injured with bandages around one eye, he (and Cascade) came in to save Mina from being taken away by Virgil.
    • In the True Ending, he stopped Oryon from unnecessarily torturing Rune.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending: Rune's "True End."
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Potentially with Zareh, though he's a Secret Character. If you don't unlock his route, he becomes an Unlucky Childhood Friend.
  • Chosen One: Those who have the ability to harvest life essence or are chosen to guard a Hex Monument are far and few between.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Caius
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Happens in Rune's ending.
  • Crystal Prison: Mina is released from one at the very beginning of the game.
  • Damsel in Distress: Aurelius (and Varian in his Light Ending) sees Mina as one, quite frequently to her chagrin.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Mina is the embodiment of "The Death Sphere". Naturally, this makes it hard for her to win friends.
  • Delicate and Sickly: Mina constantly needs more Life Essence in order to remain awake and moving. Even with it, she's noted to have a frail body and tires easily.
  • The Determinator: Mina becomes this in the Light End of the Water Path, breaking the limits on her power with the Hex Monument, killing Oryon, storming the White Order's base by herself to rescue Zareh, and then fighting with him against the Final Boss Vitus.
  • Dramatic Unmask: In the Water Path, Mina accidentally pulls off the Oracle's hood enough to see his face. The player doesn't recognize the character (whose face isn't shown in any other path), but Mina does, and the shock is enough to break her out of her Trauma-Induced Amnesia.
  • Energy Absorption: Mina is capable of absorbing the Dark Essence, and acts as a vessel in containing it.
  • Eternal Love:
    • The ending of Zareh's Light Path, as he's immortal due the Eternal Essence and Mina is immortal due to being a Living Macguffin. Because the greater threat has been dealt with, they can live happily for eternity in the real world.
    • Rune's Light Path ends with a more depressing version, with he and Mina confining themselves to her hidden castle forever.
  • First Guy Wins: The first attainable character Mina meets is Rune, whose path is the only one that has a possible "True End", so he appears to fit this trope as well as a Dating Sim character can. ...Unless you remember that Mina actually met the Oracle before Rune, and if you unlock his path, it reveals that he's actually Mina's childhood friend who met her long before any other character in the game did.
  • Foreshadowing: When Mina first meets Rune at the beginning of the game, he remarks that he wasn't expecting her to wake up so quickly. Mina protests that she woke up a hundred days later, which Rune thinks is not that long. And to him it isn't, since as you find out on the Life Path, he's effectively immortal.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: [[spoiler:It's not a formal "queen" title, but in the Light ending of the Death Path, Mina becomes a tyrannical ruler.
  • Golden Ending:
    • Frozen Essence is notable in that its "True End" is a Bittersweet Ending with Rune, Mina's main love interest, dying. However, the True End differs from all other endings in that it's the only one in which Mina is separated from the Death Sphere and hence is able to lead a normal life, in contrast to the other "happy" endings where she gets to be with her love interest but is still confined or restricted in some way due to her status as the feared Death Sphere.
    • Additionally, many players consider the Water Path's Light End to be another "true end" of sorts because it's the only one in which the mysteries surrounding Mina's identity and her dreams that remain unexplained in even the True End are resolved, with her regaining her memories and reuniting with her childhood love. It's also the only path where Vitus and Oryon are taken down and the White Order is put on a path of reform.
  • Golden Path:
    • The only path that solves the mysteries of Mina's lost memories and dreams and explains a lot of things that show up in other paths is the Water Path, which is unlocked only if the player doesn't fulfill the requirements for any other path. Interestingly, the game's proclaimed "True End" is actually on another path (the Life Path), but explicitly states that Mina never regains her memories, hence still leaving the player in the dark about much of the game's backstory.
    • The Life Path also counts as a Golden Path, but for a completely different reason than the Water Path: the Life Path is the only path in which Mina's biggest current problem, her identity as the Death Sphere, is solved by separating Mina and the sphere. This allows Mina to finally lead a normal life and not have to worry about corrupting everyone around her.
  • Guide Dang It!: The Air Path, for two reasons. First, this is the only path where in order to get the love interest's (in this case Aurelius's) good ending, you also have to have a good relationship with someone else, not just the love interest. Specifically, to get Aurelius's good ending, you have to have a good relationship with Aysel. Second, Aurelius receives a letter from Cascade, and you have to choose to remind him about the letter when he forgets. But the impact of reminding him about the letter doesn't become clear until much later on, and the point of having a good relationship with Aysel is also unclear until later in the path.
  • Healing Factor: Rune, who is also immortal and eternally youthful because he is the vessel for the Life Essence.
  • Humanizing Tears: Caius completely breaks down in his Light path after Mina almost dies saving him, pinpointing the moment where he goes from a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk to a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • In the Hood: The Oracle.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Zareh towards Mina in the Life Path, when he decides to help Mina help Rune escape.
  • I Will Wait for You: Zareh to Mina. He waited a thousand years for the chance to free her.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Caius initially appears to be a typical Troubled, but Cute Loveable Rogue who claims that he's helping Mina just because it benefits him and doesn't care if she gets herself hurt or not only because of his Dark and Troubled Past. Except that in most paths, it turns out that he wasn't lying about looking out for only himself and killing being the only thing he cares about. In the Fire and Life paths, he joins the enemy's side and attempts to kill his former companions without a shred of hesitation or remorse. He does prevent the Big Bad Oryon from recapturing Mina and Rune in Rune's path, but only because he wants revenge on Oryon and to be the one who kills Rune in the end.
  • Jerkass: Caius is insulting and sarcastic most of the time.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Aurelius.
  • Knight Templar / Light Is Not Good: The White Order.
  • Lady of War: Cascade.
  • Last of His Kind: Caius.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Mina, by virtue of being the Death Sphere. Her original hair and eye colors were brown, and her skin slightly golden. After Vitus fused her with the Death Sphere, her hair and eyes become a bluish purple, and her skin becomes extremely pale.
  • The Last Thing You Ever See: Oryon says this to Mina, when he decides to freeze her.
  • MacGuffin Super-Person: Everyone is after Mina because she is containing the Death Sphere.
  • Mercy Rewarded: Not using Mina's destructive power on Caius after he severely injures Rune during the Life Path allows him to live long enough to thwart Oryon from recapturing Mina and Rune. Doing the opposite causes Caius to die of his wounds instead and leads to one of the game's worst endings.
  • Mr. Exposition: When you seek him out for information, the Oracle is more than willing to explain who you are, where you are, why the place exists, and what the Hex monuments are.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Being nice and helpful to Varian causes him to become visibly uncomfortable and tell Mina outright that helping him will not help her. It doesn't stop him from helping Oryon capture and attempt to reseal her, although he's clearly wracked with guilt/doubt about this. On the other hand, pulling this off on him again during his path with the right choices does result in him having a change of heart at the last minute about his plan to reseal Mina.
  • Older Than They Look: Mina, Rune, Oracle/Zareh, and all the elite members of the White Order.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Caius's attitude towards Rune during Rune’s path.
  • Ontological Mystery: Mina wakes up in a crystal with no memory at all. This extends to not only her identity and past, but also the very nature of the world she lives in.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The White Order figured out that they could protect people from the harmful rays of the Death sphere by using imprisoned orphans as a buffer. Mina was the only child who successfully contained the Death Sphere, and the others were killed by it.
  • Power Crystal: The Hex Spheres, one of which has been sealed in a girl.
  • Professional Killer: Caius is revealed to have descended from a clan of assassins, and later during Rune’s path, Oryon hires him to kill Rune.
  • Psycho for Hire: Caius.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Caius during Rune’s path, who starts off as a Jerkass towards Rune, but escalates to working as an assassin sent after Rune and Mina by Oryon.
  • The Scapegoat: Varian is blamed for Mina's unsealing, even though the real culprit is Zareh. Later, when Oryon's attempt at sealing Mina failed, he was blamed even though the culprit was, again, Zareh.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: A minor example. Mina's personality is slightly different depending on which path the player is pursuing, and whether the player is pursuing the Light or Dark (or in one case True) version of each path. On the Life Path, Mina is smart (True), obsessive (Light), or merciless (Dark). On the Earth Path, Mina is either idealistic and sticks by her morals (Light) or cruel and ruthless (Dark). On the Air Path, Mina either has a close friendship with Aysel (Light) or only has eyes for her man (Dark). On the Fire Path, Mina is either frail and weak (Light) or annoying (Dark). On the Water Path, Mina is either strong and determined (Light) or cold and untrusting (Dark). Finally, on the Death Path, Mina is either angry (Light) or outright vengeful (Dark).
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: The Death Sphere is sealed inside Mina.
  • Secret Character: Not completing the requirements for any character's path unlocks Zareh's path.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Zareh has loved Mina, and only Mina, for a thousand years.
  • The Stoic: Rune.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Mina has disheveled hair and is dressed in torn rags, but is beautiful.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Mina has to constantly feed on Life Essence or she'll grow exhausted. Fortunately for her, at the beginning of the game, she gets a few guardians willing to go out and get Life Essence for her.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The White Order, and the original elite, Vitus. To protect everyone from the harms of the Death Sphere, they are willing to fuse it with a completely innocent girl and seal her in a crystal for eternity, and they do not bat an eyelid at sacrificing the lives of anyone who tries to help her, including Aurelius. Over time, though, it's shown that many, like Vitus and Oryon have become a Knight Templar, while others are just in it for the glory.
  • Wham Line: "You are the Death Hex Sphere."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: This is invoked if you do not complete most of the endings, as after the cave-in during the failed ritual, you typically only get to see the details pertinent to the love interest's path you have chosen, and you don't learn the whereabouts of the other characters. The True Ending is an exception, however, as most of the characters return for the finale.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Rune feels this as a consequence of being immortal as a result of being the Barrier Maiden for the Life Essence.
  • Yandere: Zareh's Dark ending has him becoming one.
  • You Wake Up in a Room:
    • A sort-of example in the beginning of the game, as Mina finds herself in a crystal prison with mysterious figures talking about her. The real example is a few minutes later, when someone rescues Mina and she ends up waking up in a bedroom.
    • Happens again a little bit further down the track, after being rescued by someone else, and waking up in yet another bedroom.