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Visual Novel / Snow Daze

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The wicked stepmother, in a musical trance.

Snow Daze: The Music of Winter is a Visual Novel H-Game published by Critical Bliss, and developed by Kyungeki Workshop and Outbreak Games. Originally exclusive to Outbreak Games' page, the game received an uncensored Steam release in late October 2018.

Skinny, meek, and fond of music, Jason is the "odd one out" in his home, which otherwise consists of his stepsisters and stepmother. He used to be close to Jane, the sister near his own age, to the point where they've been called "step-twins", but she grew more brash and arrogant after becoming more interested in sports. The younger sister Sarah is a manipulative and flirty student, the elder sister Kira is a workaholic and dismissive biochemist, and the stepmother Noelle is a control freak businesswoman. After years of being bossed around by them, however, Jason plans to get revenge. Using his audio engineering skills and his elder sister's research, he sends out subliminal messages through the air vents when the family's snowed in for a week. Will he finally get the respect he wishes for, and possibly much more? Or will messing with other's minds lead to disastrous, unforeseen consequences?

A reimagining of the game with additional images and story, titled Snow Daze: Redaze, has been announced with a TBA release date.

The original story uses the following Tropes:

  • Artistic License Biology: A meta subversion. Cypress Zeta's Author Avatar is that of a male calico cat. As it turns out, they they do exist, but are exceedingly rare with only one in 3000 calicos, an already rare type at that, are born. However, it becomes double subverted when you find out that it's implied that he may be Jason and his "step"-sisters Disappeared Dad and biologically at that, whereas real male calicos, due to having Klinefelter's Syndrome or XXY Syndrome, are sterile.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In the Golden Ending, all the women accept that it would seem subconsciously they've all been enjoying the perverse new family dynamic and decide to go along with it. It is left up to the player to decide if these feelings are genuinely formed by repressed desires the hypnotism has brought to the surface or have all just been simulated by intense brainwashing.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The Golden Ending has Jason's family suggesting new people to target once the delimiter is functional again, such as Noelle's boss and Jane's tennis coach.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The appearances of characters can be changed in the Extras menu, but new clothing options open up only after story progression.
  • Author Avatar: Cypress Zeta, a Calico cat in wizard robes, appears in the game's introduction to Hand Wave plot inconsistencies. He can also appear in Jason's dreams and in non-canon endings as a joke.
  • Did Not Think This Through: A common element of the Bad Endings is Jason not realizing until too late that all his time working on his Mind-Control Device and playing its music for his family has made him very susceptible to his own invention if used against him.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jason's father does not live with the rest of the family. Noelle's ending reveals he left her and the children at the end of their four-year relationship.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Of the various possible outcomes, the "Like a Dog" bad end is the hardest to unlock. Sarah and/or Kira have to be at or below 5 affection on Day 4, avoiding other Bad Ends along the way, and certain statements made when Jason tries to convince them both to act as Human Pets.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The very first scene in the game is Jason peeping on his step-twin in the shower, who reacts with complete hostility. This is followed by various scenes of Jason getting bossed around by the other three women in his family, explaining his motivation for wanting more control of his life...and of others' lives.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Although Jason ultimately wants his whole family to believe this, the one that epitomizes this the most is Noelle, as her interactions focus on how she can't relax unless someone (not necessarily herself) is in complete control of a situation.
  • Hates Being Alone: During her first trance, Sarah admits that the reason she's flirtatious and dates a lot of boys is because she feels lonely at home, where everyone else is too busy with their own agendas to spend time with her.
  • Heel Realization:
    • One occurs on Day 5 for the women, when they demand to know why Jason entranced them, and he gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how they used to intentionally manipulate his feelings and then judged him poorly for them.
    • A different realization occurs in the "Cat Cult" ending, where Jason realizes what he's become isn't good, and willingly erases his own perversions.
  • Human Pet: Sarah's interactions lead to her acting like this, as a twist for her desire to be cared for by others and provide them with happiness in return. However, it's possible for this to backfire, and have the rest of the house (including Jason) become this for Sarah.
  • Hypno Fool: Downplayed, While Jason is able to corrupt and twist his stepfamily's moral fiber and inhibitions, he has to do it slowly and gradually while using their own internal logic processes against them. If he pushes too hard or says the wrong thing at the wrong time, the woman at the time will break free and a bad ending will occur.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Jason can potentially learn he's this in the first Jane event, as it turns out his reactions to her body post-puberty is what truly drove the wedge between them, and led to Jane becoming more athletic to try to hide her feminine side.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: In the "Cat Cult" ending, after Jason wipes away his perverted thoughts and resets the girls to normal, Cypress Zeta appears, erases the entire setting with this justification, and admonishes the player for ruining a perfectly fine NSFW story.
  • Like Father, Like Son: In Noelle's ending, she reveals that Jason is a lot like his previously-unmentioned father. Namely, that the father had entranced Noelle throughout their four-year relationship, leaving her with little memory of their love life when he left.
  • Magic Feather: In the Golden Ending, Jason uses the last delimiter charge to boost his own confidence, and is able to coax all the girls into a harem without directly brainwashing them with the device.
  • Meaningful Background Event: As the in-game days go by, there are significant changes to the backgrounds, especially in the women's bedrooms that show just how their attitudes are changing. Kira is especially poignant as on day one, the room is almost unnaturally neat and tidy, showcasing Kira's Control Freak nature. By Day 5, her degrees are crooked and there is underwear thrown around haphazardly.
  • Mind-Control Device: Jason creates a metronome "delimiter" that takes advantage of Kira's biochemistry research to send subliminal messages through the house during the night. However, its effects are not instantaneous, and requires Jason to nudge things in the right direction afterwards by using it directly on each individual and briefly entrancing them during the day.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The name of the Steam achievement for finishing the introduction, pointing out that the player (and not just Jason) is about to cross it.
    "You know exactly what kind of game this is and you're still playing."
  • Multiple Endings: There is one focused on each woman, plus a Harem Ending, each with a variant depending on whether or not the player saw every scene with the girl(s) focused on. There are also some Bad Endings in which Jason is either disowned by his family or subjected to his own device.
  • Not Blood Siblings: The justification for Jason romantically pursuing all the other women in his household. Even his twin sister, thanks to cat magic making them "step"-twins.
  • Not So Above It All: In the Bad Endings, despite their utter disgust with Jason's actions and perversions, the girls are willing to perform those same actions on Jason in revenge. Additionally, the Golden Ending has Jason convince his un-brainwashed family to admit that they genuinely enjoy the new perverted family dynamic.
  • Omega Ending: The option to get the Golden Ending does not appear until the endings with each individual girl have been witnessed.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Jason starts out wanting to turn the tables on his family and get the respect he feels he deserves, but as the week goes on, becomes more and more focused on turning his family into a subservient harem. It's suggested on Day 5 that this change is at least partly due to Jason accidentally subjecting himself to his own subliminal messaging.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: At first, Jane prefers wearing athletic gear all the time, associating femininity with things like powerlessness, due to things like how women are treated in the media and how she herself was treated differently when puberty hit. But Jason can convince her to re-embrace her feminine side and still be able to take charge of her own life...and also to be submissive at times, but on her own terms.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given by Jason to his step-family on Day 5.
  • Relationship Values: Every girl has their own value with Jason, which increases when he says the right things during their time together, and is impossible to decrease. A value that's too low will not only block off some scenes, but also enable some bad endings.
  • The Reliable One: Kira's events, at least at first, focus on how she views herself as this in her family, and how much stress she's causing herself by maintaining the image at all times.
  • Sequel Hook: The Golden Ending sets up the upcoming sequel Tropical Daze by having Kira recommend Jason's aunt and cousins as the next targets to brainwash into joining his harem.
  • Shout-Out: There are occasional movie references made, such as Noelle watching The Graduate after she and Jason start to "connect", and Jason comparing his bond with Jane to the one between Luke and Leia.
  • Snowed-In: The family being trapped in their house by a blizzard for a week is what allows Jason to enact his scheme.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: To monitor the progress of each woman's brainwashing and run his subliminals on them while they're asleep, Jason stays up very late every night and still wakes up early to ensure he gets an opportunity to use the delimiter on all the girls during the day. On top of this he's further exerting himself by engaging in various sexy times with all of them. This results in him straight up passing out from exhaustion on Day 5.
  • The Tease: Kira turns into this as time goes on, focusing more on the thrill of "taboo" behavior than pleasure from actual physical acts.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: The story begins with one.
    This game is perverted fantasy where evil can win and do lewd things to good people. You bring that to real life it's on you.
  • The Unfavorite: Jason's whole family treats him with scorn; the step-twin thinks he's a creep (which he admittedly is at times), the younger sister manipulates him into doing her chores, the older sister thinks he needs to grow a spine, and the stepmother is too busy with her career to lend any aid or sympathy.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Noelle does her best to protect and care for her daughters, which means that stepson Jason is forced to do the chores of any girl that's not feeling well, and has to live in the attic while all the women live on the main floor.
  • A Wizard Did It: A player that listens to the full introduction will be told by Cypress Zeta that all of the game's inconsistencies and improbabilities, such as why nobody even mentions Jason's birth mother, are because of cat magic making the world. He then remarks that it'll be depressing if anyone ever discovers their universe was created solely to facilitate a not-technically-incestuous love story, but he doesn't care, because he's a cat.
  • Wham Episode: Day 5, the final day of the blizzard. Jason collapses from exhaustion. His family finds out about the subliminal messages and realizes how they've changed, while also pointing out how Jason's accidentally affected himself. Jane wrecks Jason's computer and the delimiter's charger, leaving him with a single use of the device left. Admitting that at least some of the pleasure they felt was genuine, they force Jason to choose one of them to remain with, though Jason can also try to set things back to the way they were before... or, in the Golden Ending, to use the last charge on himself, with the potential risk of driving himself to insanity.