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Visual Novel / Love Esquire

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The squire, & the five main love interests, recreating Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam.

War is approaching, and our protagonist hopes of finding romance before dying in combat for their kingdom. This is difficult, as he is not a valiant hero; he's a mere squire to an egotistic knight named Hugh. However, by providing support in Hugh's quest, the Squire will improve as well, perhaps enough to woo the heart of a fair maiden with a troubled past...

Love Esquire is a Visual Novel/RPG made by Yangyang Mobile, released on October 8th, 2019. The game has suggestive content, but is not outright explicit. The game is available for purchase through Steam.


Love Esquire provides examples of the following:

  • Affectionate Parody: There are a lot of funny moments poking at the dating sim genre and how the squire himself is not nearly as much of a badass as he likes to think he is, but there is also a well crafted story split between multiple heroines and a lot of world-building lore despite the intro movie stating the player was likely here "for the ladies".
  • Alternative Calendar: The game consists of four months out of the Caerulian year, divided into Month I, Month II, Month III, and Month IV. Each month consists of 30 days, and each week consists of 6 days instead of 7. There is no Sunday, and one of the "Traditions" conversations with Princess Beatrice reveals the reason for the missing day: a past king was rejected by a woman he was interested on that day, so in an event known as the "Daylight Slayings", he publicly stripped it off the calendar.
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  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Gegners are a horde of dangerous barbarians, they're the bad guys you're going to war with after four months, and as the squire's voice-over tells you in the opening cinematic, that's all you need to know about them. In fact, this actually kicks off the larger plot: Caerulia and Alkosi have a very troubled history, but the Gegners are so dangerous and such a massive threat to peace that the two countries are attempting to hash out an alliance just to deal with them.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: During a "Childhood" conversation with Giselle, Giselle will tell an absurd story about her being half-dragon and half-warlock, prompting the squire to sarcastically remark, "Yeah right, and I'm friggin' god of the universe!"
  • Animal Motif: Intentional or not, the squire keeps calling Vel a shrimp.
  • Beauty Contest: The Ladies of the Lake contest, held on Month II Day 16, is both a cultural tradition in Caerulia and a beauty contest; participants in this contest both dress up in swimsuits and show off their special talents. The winner of this contest gets to go for a swim in the otherwise difficult-to-reach Lake Caerulia, and be blessed by the Fertility God, Caerulia's patron deity. There are five judges for this contest but Marshal Flinkman bows out since he objects to Princess Kamala's participation this year, so the squire gets appointed as a last-minute replacement. He also ends up casting the "tiebreaker vote" that decides who wins the contest.
  • Becoming the Mask: Arnold Boden, the Squire's "Pops", originally came to Caerulia as a Gregnar spy, but then he met the love of his love and had Amy. He changed his ways, but not without a sleeper agent killing his wife to send a message.
  • Beneath the Mask:
    • The squire really looks up to Sir Grand, a female knight who works for Princess Beatrice. Sir Grand is usually decked out in an armor and a mask, but if you play a certain route, you eventually find out who she is: She's a combination of Matilda, a spirit possessing the armor, and Vel Scharfe, one of your possible love interests, who needs to wear the armor so it can move.
    • Amelia's mother used to insist she was fine even when she was sick, and she was always working and doing her best; her mother seemed to be invincible. Then she died one day, and ever since then, Amelia has been absolutely terrified of either losing someone to sickness, or losing the Squire to being killed in the upcoming war. Amelia has been putting on a brave face and trying to be helpful to the Squire all this time to distract herself from her fear of losing him. After Amelia and the Squire talk it out, she decides that if the Squire can participate in the war despite being afraid himself, then Amelia can face her fears of sickness and war head-on.
  • Big Bad:
    • Of the larger plotline, the Gegner horde is a dangerous threat, which is why Caerulia and Alkosi are attempting to work out an alliance to deal with them.
    • Of the "Ocarina of Love" subplot, Varetear Ravenwayxxx.
    • Of Amelia Boden's route, the Gegner "sleeper agent", who turns out to be Serena Ives.
    • Of Beatrice Du Cae's route, Marshal Flinkman.
    • Of Kamala Copperheart's route, Lord Draig.
    • Of Giselle Renouve's route, none, though Varetear makes a cameo trying to kidnap Giselle at one point.
    • Of Vel Scharfe's route, Slim, a former resident of Bordemer just like Vel.
  • Bittersweet Ending: If the squire doesn't end up romantically involved with a lady, but still maxes out his stats, then the ending will be this trope: the squire bemoans his lack of luck in love, but he and Hugh still manage to beat the Gegners and win the war for Caerulia, so the squire still has a knightly future to look forward to.
  • Bullying a Dragon: For most of the intro arc between them, the Squire constantly antagonizes Vel with challenges after one arm wrestling match forced him to drink so much milk he puked it back out. This is despite the fact that Vel is strong enough to break his spine, and at one point tried apologizing to him and he was too mad to have any of that.
  • The Cameo: Pamu from Crush Crush is the kingdom's Grand Archivist, & Jesse Cox provides the voice and appearance for "Boss".
  • Chainmail Bikini: It's mentioned during an event that warriors of the kingdom used to wear such armour due to the belief it would bring the protection of their patron god by exposing their bodies. It did not.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: The squire is not exactly subtle about his desire to no longer be a virgin, but he's also serious about helping people out as a squire, and as the story goes on he becomes a source of support to Hugh and to the woman he seeks a relationship with.
    • Hugh also counts. He is close friends to Pops, the Squire's adopted father, and while he has a bad rep of being a womanizer, he is still a high ranking logistics officer and pushes the squire to take his duties seriously.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Hugh acts like a complete goof most of the time but when things get serious he proves himself a surprisingly skilled knight.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • The squire himself wasn't able to do anything when bandits raided his village and killed his biological parents, which is how he got adopted by Amelia and her father. Part of why he wants to become a knight someday is so he'll never be that helpless again, and he can protect people in the future.
    • Amelie Boden is normally a bright and cheery girl, but in part she's putting on a brave face and smiling all the time since she thinks it'll make her more like her deceased mother, who died of an illness. Then to make matters even worse, if you play Amelia's route, Kamala eventually reveals that the "medicine" Amelia's mother thought she was taking was actually poison, so her mother didn't actually die of an illness after all; she was murdered.
    • Princess Kamala Copperheart grew up in a family with sexist views that expects little of women. Her younger brother is a Spoiled Brat but will still inherit the throne since he's male, and her father thinks her plans for diplomacy are foolish. This has caused Kamala to develop a hidden temper that isn't displayed if you're not playing her route.
    • Vel Scharfe was a resident of a small village named Bordemer, and one day she helped out some shipwrecked merchants by pointing them to her village. They turned out to be pirates that then proceeded to repay her kindness by wiping out Bordemer, and Vel has blamed herself ever since, so she's working towards Matilda the spirit's desire for revenge and imitating Matilda's idea of strength as a way of coping with her guilt.
    • Giselle Renouve was captured by bandits as a child along with the former Knight Surgeon Donis. The bandits tortured Donis into creating the Drowser drug and then made him teach Giselle how to make the drug as well, torturing her into going along with it, so in the present day, the reason Giselle is on a quest to create a cure for the drug is out of guilt at having made the drug in the first place.
  • Dating Sim
  • Draw Aggro: When you use the "Taunt" command, enemies will spend a turn attacking the squire instead of Hugh.
  • Fantastic Drug: Drowser, a drug that both acts quickly and is highly addictive, so this is an extremely dangerous fantastic drug. Giselle is on a personal quest to develop a cure for drowser addiction, especially since the former Knight Surgeon Donis has also become addicted to this drug.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Caerulia is based on medieval Europe like many fantasy settings, but Alkosi, where Princess Kamala is from, appears to draw influence from Middle Eastern and East Indian cultures.
  • Fiery Red Head:
    • Vel is... not entirely this. She tries her best to imitate Milly, but her true nature is much more sensitive and sweet. She does play it straight in her own way occasionally, especially in her ending.
    • A straighter example is Princess Kamala, surprisingly. Most of the time she's innocent and friendly, but if you play her route, it's revealed that she actually has a hidden temper, and a lot of Kamala's route is her learning to get a handle on her anger.
  • Fission Mailed:
    • In the first battle, you always get knocked out by a Masterinq that isn't supposed to be in the area. However, this will not cause a Game Over, and you'll still obtain 30 gold for "winning" the battle.
    • Near the end of some romance arcs, the squire and love interest have a very minor argument and you lose 200 affection with her. Not to worry, this is supposed to happen, and you can still make up the lost affection points through gifts and conversation.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Or in this case, "forgotten person from the same village". If you play a certain route, you find out at the very end of the route that the reason both the squire and Giselle have similar "village was attacked by bandits" backstories is because they were both from the same village! Specifically, they were both from Waldorf before bandits raided it.
  • Fragile Speedster: The squire is this in comparison to Hugh. He can't directly attack enemies and he doesn't have as much HP, but he's also much faster than Hugh or the enemies are; if you choose any action except Cheer, the squire will always go first.
  • Game Mod: A fan-made mod called "Hip to Be Squire" pushes the game into 18+ territory. The original game does have mature content; but due to existing Philippine anti-pornography laws (Yangyang Mobile is a Filipino game studio, by the way), lines had to drawn.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Caerulia and Alkosi have a troubled history to say the least, but the Gegner horde is so extremely dangerous that if Caerulia and Alkosi don't work out an alliance for a shared future, the Gegners will destroy both kingdoms and make sure no one in either kingdom has a future.
  • Guide Dang It!: Amelia Boden's route can be the hardest to unlock, because while her first and second arcs can be completed without difficulty, you need to do something counter-intuitive to unlock her third arc (credit to Syltphademus's comments on the Steam guides for discovering this): most of the time a girl's next mandatory/required event will be marked by a red !. But after Amelia's "finding medicine in the apron" event, the next event you need to unlock does not have a red !: you need to wait for a day when Amelia visits the Infirmary between 1:00 and 4:00, and visit and talk to Amelia then.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Vel Scharfe, one of your possible love interests, likes to hang out in the tavern, drink ale, and pick fights. Then this is subverted when it turns out Vel secretly has a sensitive personality and actually hates drinking; she only acts like this trope because she thinks it will make her more like Matilda, the spirit who trained Vel in combat.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You input a name for the squire at the beginning of a new game, but while the text will read the name, the character voices will address the protagonist as "Squire".
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Played with for Boss, which is really a nickname. His real name is Barry Octavius Salem Sharpe, and he took the first letter of each word to form the cool sounding Boss.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: At first, the story pokes fun at the squire for just being "the support" to Hugh's heroism. But as the story goes on, it becomes clear that the squire's support actually helps Hugh a lot, and in a lot of the romance arcs, the woman goes through a really tough time, and the squire's support allows him to become a source of strength for her.
  • The Hero's Birthday: The game starts with the Squire celebrating his new career as well as his birthday... only to learn that same day he has to get ready for war in four months.
  • It's All My Fault: Kamala feels this way about her temper, even when it leads her to do good deeds, Giselle was forced by bandits to create a dangerous drug and now wants to find a cure for it out of guilt, and Vel feels this way about her role in the fall of Bordemer, which she copes with by pursuing Matilda's ideas of justice and strength.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: The squire goes through a lot of abuse, both in expeditions and in story, just to fulfill his duties.
  • I Shall Taunt You: If the squire wants enemies to attack him instead of Hugh during a turn, he can use the "Taunt" command to first stick out his tongue and then slap his rear as he moons the enemies.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Vel gets this in her ending.
  • Limit Break: Each time you train a stat to 7, you unlock a Limit Break, and when all three stats reach 7, you unlock a fourth Limit Break.
  • Love Potion: The Ocarina of Love is rumored to make those who possess it luckier in love. While the Ocarina of Love turns out to be real, this is subverted in practice, as all the ocarina does is give the squire an "affection boost" with a woman. As Hugh explains, you still have to earn the woman's love naturally, so if you mess up badly (i.e. picking a wrong dialogue choice), then "no magic in the world can help you."
  • Mighty Glacier: Hugh, the knight you serve, is very strong. However, he's also slow; he always goes last in battles, after both the squire and the enemies have taken their turns. This is partially why the squire's support is so important, as without the squire, Hugh would eventually become overwhelmed by enemies.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Vel and Matilda believe that the Alkosi royal family allowed Bordemer to be destroyed on purpose, to get rid of future naval competition, and on Vel's route she ends up attacking Kamala over this. Actually, according to Kamala, it's because the Alkosi nation is so wealthy that the royal family is "sheltered", so they were unaware of how bad things were for others. So they might be negligent, but they didn't deliberately let Bordemer families die.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on who is romanced, as well as whether or not the Squire can survive the upcoming war.
  • Stripperiffic: Previously the fashion for nobles, who believed the favour of the Fertility God would shine on the one(s) with the most exposed skin. Frostbite and a plague of bug bites put an end to that.
  • Nice Girl: Amelia is cheerful and and supportive (even if she does tease the squire at times), and Kamala is also very cheerful and friendly. Surprisingly, despite first impressions, Vel also turns out to be a nice girl when she isn't putting on a "drinking and fighting girl" act to emulate her mentor Matilda.
  • Noodle Incident: How Hugh got his Squire in the first place. It's implied that the latter saved Hugh from an embarrassing peeping situation, but as far as Hugh is concerned, the story is that the Squire saved him from a pack of wolves.
  • Not Blood Siblings: It's possible for the squire to romance Amy, his stepsister.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The Gregnars are normally seen as barbaric brutes, but have a strong spy network and prefer to use assassination tactics as a form of fear mongering. Clues of their cleverness come up after obtaining 10 intelligence, where the Squire realizes that a Gregnar fairy tale had a smart hero instead of a big dumb brute.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Beatrice has these. Calling them fake is a bit of a Berserk Button.
  • Rags to Riches: If the squire begins a relationship with either Kamala or Beatrice, he becomes an unofficial "royal bodyguard" in addition to being the new queen's lover.
  • Real After All: The Ocarina of Love
  • Revenge: Matilda, the spirit possessing the armor of Sir Grand, is obsessed with getting revenge for what happened to her Bordemer, her hometown. She wants revenge on the Alkosi nation, even though it was pirates who destroyed the town, because Matilda mistakenly believes the Alkosi family deliberately allowed the pirates to destroy Bordemer because it was a fishing village that might someday have been competition for Alkosi. Vel, another citizen of Bordemer, also wants revenge, but is more reluctant about it than Matilda is.
  • Snipe Hunt: Hugh convinces the Squire to go on expeditions in the forest to find the rare "Ocarina of Love", an instrument said to bring people closer together. It turns out to be Real After All when all the slimes, wolves and bandits have been coordinating together because of Varetear using it to brainwash them.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Vel's route ends with her putting aside her grudge against the Alkosi nation in favor of just rebuilding Bordemer instead. In return, Kamala apologizes and makes Vel the new captain of the joint Caerulian-Alkosi fleet, so Vel will be able to personally ensure the incident of Bordemer is never repeated. So Vel doesn't get revenge, but in return she gets a happy outcome.
  • Talent Show: The Ladies of the Lake contest, held on Month II Day 16, is both a beauty contest and a talent show combined into a single Caerulian tradition. Each contestant shows off a special talent, as follows:
    • Amelia Boden sings, which the squire isn't looking forward to as she sings like a banshee but thanks to off-screen coaching by Serena, Amelia actually sings very well for this contest.
    • Giselle Renouve performs a magic trick by turning a rabbit into crows, though Giselle says it's real magic.
    • Princess Beatrice du Cae shows off her skill at archery by shooting an apple off the squire's head.
    • Princess Kamala Copperheart performs a dance using curved swords.
    • Vel Scharfe lifts an entire barrel of ale with one hand and drinks out of it.
  • The Horde: The Gegners, though it's subverted. Though they're pictured and described as a hoard of hairy savages they actually operate a very adept spy ring and the classically beautiful Serena Ives is one of their operatives. Arnold Boden, another of their operatives, notes himself that they use their reputation to their advantage.
  • The Stoic: The player's first impression of Giselle Renouve is that of a Shrinking Violet, but if you play her route, her personality is more like this trope in practice, as while she's quiet and aloof, she also doesn't hesitate to voice her opinions.
  • The Teetotaler: Giselle doesn't drink anything alcoholic, and thus will never visit the tavern (though in one scene you still get an affection boost if you offer her a drink, even though she refuses). In a later scene, when Donis is offering to take the squire and Giselle out for drinks in the future, Giselle says "Apple cider for me!"
  • Took a Level in Badass: The protagonist's goal is to do this, and he can succeed if you train his stats high enough.
  • Troll:
    • Sometimes if the squire uses the "Taunt" command, Hugh will tell the squire to "stop trolling!"
    • Also, surprisingly Giselle sometimes has a side like this; if you keep picking the "Childhood" option in conversations with her, she'll first just say she was very young with no elaboration, then she'll say she couldn't speak at age one so she was a "stupid baby", and then she'll tell you an absurd story about her mother being a dragon, her father being a warlock, and her being The Chosen One "destined to inherit the scepter of witches."
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Pamu is one of these as you find out when you meet her. Seems to ship the Squire with Sir Hugh.