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Visual Novel / Sucker for Love

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From left to right: Ln'eta, Nyanlathotep, and Estir
Sucker for Love is a Horror Comedy Dating Sim / Visual Novel, developed by Akabaka (Chromatose) and published by DreadXP. Originally a part of Dread X Collection 2, a free "Prelude" version was released in December 2021, in order to promote a three-chapter "First Date" sequel with (to quote the store page) "Three" "fully-voiced" "dateable" "girls" and no horror elements or danger whatsoever.

Obsessed with rituals and haunted by visions of an eldritch horror, a young man acquires a copy of the Necronomicon that's oddly pink. Reciting the only legible ritual within it, he inadvertently summons Ln'eta, a Cute Cthulhumanoid who offers him a kiss in exchange for a few more rituals that now suddenly make sense in his mind. Will he find love, or will he just end up a sucker?

A full sequel focusing on Muu and The Black Goat of the Woods (also known as Rhok'zan), subtitled Date to Die For, has been announced. The Indie Horror Showcase 2023 Trailer claimed a release date of Valentine's Day 2024, but it was delayed to April 23, 2024.

Tropes Applying to the Series:

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    General tropes 
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Dating Sims.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: This is implied to be the case with the ladies you meet and the entities they allude to or mention in passing.
  • Cast of Expies: To the Cthulhu Mythos, in the form of:
    • Ln'eta - Cthulhu, a betentacled Old One dreaming under the sea. The nature of her dream indicates she's also playing the role of Azathoth.
    • Estir - Hastur, the King in Yellow, associated with a play of the same name that causes madness, and with the city of Carcosa.
    • Nyanlathotep - Nyarlothotep, the Crawling Chaos, Messenger of the Outer Gods, and God of 1000 forms, one of the most-utilized being that of an Ancient Egyptian Pharoah.
    • Muu - Mu, a mystical lost continent and source of civilization that appears in some Mythos stories.
    • Rhok'zan - Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods with 1000 Young, and Cthulhu's grandmother.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: As expected of Eldritch Abominations, their Cute Monster Girl forms are just facades.
    • The true form of Ln'eta can be seen in the "AWAKE END", a giant monster looking much like the classic portrayal of Cthulhu, towering over the city.
    • Estir is the planet-star Carcosa itself, and the humanoid form the protagonist interacts with is a projection by the star's light.
    • Nyanlatothep boasts of having over a thousand forms. Thirty seven of which are catgirls.
    • The true body of Rhok'zan is the entirety of the dark woods that are overgrowing Sacramen-Cho. When the protagonist asks if it means her true appearance is just a regular tree, she replies that it's a really sexy tree.
  • The Ghost: Muu, the creator of the books, is mentioned but does not appear in First Date. Nyanlathotep shows up with a book she intimidated her into making so that you can banish her, so that the figurative bridge between worlds stays severed for the mutual safety of both sides. Muu double crosses her by hiding a banishing ritual and defenses against her torments in the book, but you have to be canny enough to spot it first. However, a screenshot for Date to Die For shows that she will appear in that installment.
    Sucker for Love/First Date 
  • All for Nothing: First Date reveals that Ln'eta ended the protagonist's reality even if you severed his connection to her with the 'Break Up' spell, rendering the "Good (Enough) Ending" moot. Worst of all, the player didn't even get a smooch for his troubles.
  • All Just a Dream: According to Ln'eta's Blue-and-Orange Morality, the young man's reality is one of her dreams, and the complete annihilation of humanity is merely a Dream Apocalypse. In First Date, this turns out to actually be the case, as Ln'eta "wakes up" even if transformed into a powerless squid.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Inverted in First Date for Estir's KING IN WHITE ending. When listening the terms of his eternal servitude to her, the protagonist explains that it just sounds like marriage and is excited instead of horrified, much to Estir's anger and confusion. Estir's confusion continues into the ending still, which shows the pair getting married.
  • Balking Summoned Spirit: When summoning Ln'eta, she's expecting you to use her for destroying reality. When you explain that you actually just want to kiss her, she freaks out and asks to be sent back, until she sees the survival guide in your hand and offers this smooch in return for doing everything she asks of you.
  • Big "NO!": Nyanlathotep's reaction to the player being in her next reality is this.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Choosing to go through with the date with Ln'eta ends with the destruction of reality ... but at least Ln'eta delivered on that kiss she promised. First Date confirms that even if you break up with Ln'eta and turn her into a harmless squid, she ends reality anyway and you wake up in an alternate one. She remembers what you did and tears the break up incantation out to prevent you from doing it again.
    • The redux edition of the "AWAKEN" ending from First Date. Ln'eta suggests they put off invoking the final incantation and spend a while longer in her dream state to repeat the process of the rituals forever. And while the protagonist initially agrees, he completes the spell anyway despite her pleas and promises to meet her in her next dream. The ending shots show Ln'eta crying before drawing what he looks like in her notebook to remind herself of him in the next reality they meet in.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Ln'eta seems to understand human concepts of morality, but she clarifies that she is not ending reality out of any kind of malice - to her, all of reality as we know it is All Just a Dream that, no matter how pleasant, she simply has to wake up from eventually.
  • Body Horror: As he performs more rituals, the protagonists body begins to change, such as growing tentacles out of his face. Ln'eta finds him to be more attractive this way.
    • If he washes his face after performing the tentacle ritual, the lower half of his face will tear off completely, leaving bloody, exposed muscles. Oddly, Ln'eta doesn't seem to notice.
    • There's also an instance of it in Estir's First Date path. Once the player chooses to wear the stage mask, he is unable to take it off, as his face begin to mold to fit it perfectly. He also cannot blink anymore, as his eyes are permanently stretched open to look through the eye holes. If the player continues to pursue Ln'eta after this, the protagonist will rip the mask off his face, taking his eyeballs, nose and skin around the mask with it in order to hide his secret meeting with Estir from her. He can still see somehow despite this.
    • If you choose to become Nyanlathotep's devoted follower for eternity, your face will vanish, leaving a black void with a single eye in the center and black ichor dripping from the edges.
  • Book Ends: The first chapter ends with Ln'eta proudly beckoning the protagonist to her at the conclusion of their date, telling him that because he followed the book to the letter, he's earned her farewell smooch. The last chapter in First Date spins this into an Ironic Echo, with the protagonist declaring his intent to smooch every outer god if he's able to, then telling Nyanlathotep that she's earned his own smooch.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The bottle of Worcestershire Sauce. Initially used as a joke on how Ln'eta can pronounce words that the player cannot, later used on Missy to out her as another eldritch god.
  • Cthulhumanoid: Ln'eta, at least how the protagonist is able to perceive her.
  • Cute Monster Girl:
  • A Deadly Affair: Discussed in First Date. The alternate romanceable options Estir and Nyanlathotep are both connected to Ln'eta's initial path. This means choosing to pursue them would mean cheating on Ln'eta, which the protagonist acknowledges and fears the deadly consequences of.
  • Deconstruction: Of Did You Just Romance Cthulhu? and the concept of romancing monsters in dating sims in general. The protagonist's single-minded determination to get a smooch from Ln'eta does end up wooing her; however, she still plans on ending all of existence once the date is over and has absolutely no intention of sparing him. There's also the fact that as the game progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that being around her and performing her dating rituals has adverse effects on his mental and physical health.
    • First Date suggests that Ln'eta has developed actual feelings for the protagonist, as she continues dreaming of him after his original reality is destroyed. This serves as an explanation for why he was able to continue on after his death.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: The point of the game: You summoned a dark god from beyond the veil with the power to destroy all of creation... in order to smooch her.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: You manage to get Missy to reveal her true identity as the King in Yellow by tricking her into pronouncing a word that no human can: Worcestershire.
  • Expy: Nyanlathotep bears a striking resemblance to Lady Dimitrescu from Resident Evil Village; both present as tall, powerful, commanding, mature, extremely curvy, inhuman women with deep voices in flowing white dresses and rather nice headgear. They're even both animal-themed. Nyan with cats, obviously, and Lady D with ba-sorry, dragons.
  • Flat "What": Nyanlathotep's reaction to the player character saying that he was able to resist her attempts to break them through The Power of Lust, calling it stronger than fear.
  • God in Human Form: Estir initially presents herself as an eyepatched human girl named Missy in order to get near the protagonist and try to steal him away from Ln'eta, unaware at first that he's actually more attracted to fourth-dimensional beings with non-Euclidean forms.
  • Henpecked Husband: Invoked in Estir's best ending. While Estir tells the protagonist that his pledge of loyalty to her demands total submission under threat of punishment, the protagonist matter-of-factly tells her that she's essentially describing a typical human marriage. He then uses this opportunity to propose to her.
  • Horrifying the Horror:
    • Ln'eta's initial reaction to learning your intentions with her is a request to go back to millenniums of imprisonment.
    • By the True End of the final route, even Nyanlathotep, who is stated to be the second strongest of the Elder Gods, is terrified of him because of his sheer, lust-driven determination to smooch all of the Elders Gods and eventually the cosmos itself.
  • Interface Screw: Nyanlathotep's specialty, specifically with her Writing On The Wall curse messing with the HUD, her Silence curse preventing you from chanting, and her ability to mess with the Smooch bar, instantly filling it if you banish Muu and turning it into a health bar when she starts to attack you.
  • Minimalist Cast: The main cast consists of the player character and his three romanceable options. The only other "characters" to appear onscreen are Estir's followers and various apparitions that appear during the rituals.
  • Mood Whiplash: Starts out as a somewhat comedic Dating Sim about romancing a Cute Monster Girl. Should you actually go through with it, things don't end well.
  • Multiple Endings: Ontop of the original Ln'eta good and bad endings, First Date has 3 endings per route you choose, with 8 in total for the main routes.
    • "MEET AG-END": Ln'eta and the protagonist mutually decide that it's better to break off their relationship, deciding that it's not good for either of them, though Ln'eta believes that there may be a chance for them in a different reality. She still kills the protagonist regardless, though only to spare him from a slow, agonizing death. The ending still depicts the protagonist dead but seemingly at peace with it.
    • "AWAKEREDUX": Ln'eta stops the protagonist from reciting the final incantation, offering to dream a little longer so that they can stay together. "Darling" initially agrees with her, but decides to go through with reading the spell anyway. Despite her pleas and insistence that they stay together, he reasons that if he's her dream guy, they'll simply meet again in another reality. The ending stills have her waking up from the dream in tears, thanking "Darling" for giving her a dream that she can remember clearly. The final still shows a doodle of the protagonist in her notebook with a note reminding herself of what he looks like so she can dream of him again.
    • "TERRIBLE END": If the player gets two black broken hearts with Estir before the ending, she'll go back on her word to give the protagonist his promised kisses while still expecting him to pledge his servitude. Defiant and desperate at this point, "Dearest" reads the incantation that brings Carcosa, the planet Estir represents, dangerously close to the Earth with the intent of kissing it. Despite her warnings that doing so will result in an extinction level event which will kill them both, he continues reciting the spell until the planet slams into the earth, killing everything and everyone on it.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The protagonist, who wishes to summon an Eldritch Abomination for the sole purpose of kissing it.
  • Not Hyperbole: The first time you turn to the 'Breakup' spell, Ln'eta will abruptly and menacingly question what you're looking at in the book, already knowing exactly what page it's on. She threatens that if you try to cast the spell on her watch, you won't get past the second word. She's not kidding.
  • The Not-So-Harmless Punishment: Estir informs the protagonist that screwing up the performance of her play will result in a scathing review in the Carcosan Times publication. And he'll be killed.
  • Playing a Tree: After performing the first section of her play, Estir notices that "Dearest" has some acting experience, with him mentioning that he was part of Macbeth in high school. When Estir asks what role, he says it was Tree #4, then admits that was a joke and that he did play the title character.
    Estir: I... wasn't aware that was a role.
    Dearest: It's not.
    Estir: ...You weren't even the leading tree?
  • The Power of Love: Subverted. When the protagonist lets loose a Badass Boast about an emotion stronger than fear, Nyanlothotep assumes he means love. He means The Power of Lust.
  • She Is the King: Estir is based off of Hastur, but she presents as a human woman and is described with she/her pronouns. Nonetheless, she refers to herself as the King in Yellow. Justified in that normal human concepts of gender most likely do not apply to her kind, to say nothing of the fact that the various deities you interact with can look however they like to the protagonist.
  • Shmuck Bait: Once the rituals have started, don't look out the window...
  • Sleep-Mode Size: If you successfully sever your connection with Ln’eta, she becomes depowered into a harmless squid-like form. The Protagonist still has no problems smooching her in this form.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Getting an ending, good or bad, is accompanied by peppy music. When you finally smooch Ln'eta, her true form appears in the window behind the two of you, with terrified screaming in the distance.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: For the most of First Date, the rituals are a method of advancing the plot, must be performed in order, are revealed in the book one by one, and you can take as much time as you like to cast them. But in the "date" with Nyanlatothep, if you defy her, you receive a book of counter-rituals, all of which are available from the start, and the correct rituals must be performed within time limit in reaction to various spooky happenings in the apartment, or the protagonist will be killed. The gameplay in that segment is not unlike a simplified Five Nights at Freddy's.
  • Villain Has a Point: When Ln'eta tearfully asks why you severed their connection in the Good (Enough) Ending, you respond that a smooch isn't worth allowing her to end reality. She then brings up the fact that you were the one who summoned her in the first place, knowing full well what she was capable of, to which you just kinda brush her off.
  • Villains Never Lie: Ln'eta may be a vicious, world-ending Eldritch Abomination, but she never once makes any attempts to deceive you. She typically won't tell you WHAT exactly her rituals do until after you perform them, but there's no explicit falsehood on her part. She also makes no illusions about what will happen once the date ends. Finally there's the Awake Ending, where she keeps her end of the bargain and smooches you as her true form awakens to destroys the universe.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Fail to perform the right counterevil in time against any of the horrors Nyanlathotep throws at you and one of these screens will pop up depicting a blue cat unplugging a cable as you take damage.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In First Date, Ln'eta disappears from the narrative in Estir's route if the player chooses to continue pursuing Estir without invoking anymore of her incantations. While Estir does briefly mention her toward the end, simply saying she "got rid of her", it's never shown what happens to her. This can be averted if the player attempts to continue a romance with Ln'eta after Estir's Banquet.
  • Worth It: The bad ends obtained from peeking at Ln'eta while she takes a shower are referred to as "Worth It (Chapter 1)" and "Still Worth It (Chapter 2)".
  • Yandere: Ln'eta angrily warns the player against talking about other girls while on their date.
    Date to Die For 
  • Anti-Frustration Features: A toggle in the accessibility options enables a pop-up that'll appear to warn the player when a Jump Scare is about to occur, minimizing the fear-factor for those averse to said scares.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: The protagonist of First Date is a male Loveable Sex Maniac with no Backstory, motivated by lust to summon eldritch horrors in order to smooch them, with no regards to his own or the world's safety, being involved heavily in the affairs of both L'neta and Estir. The protagonist of Date to Die For, Stardust, is a female asexual with a personal backstory involving her hometown, who only summons Rhok'zan out of desperation, and only because the ritual book assures that the summoned eldritch god is "benign".
  • Faustian Rebellion: An inverted example with Rhok'zan's cult. She claims she initially granted her cultists benevolent gifts of fertility, health and abundance, but they eventually trapped her in the form of Sacramen-Cho's woods, and started using her power for evil against her will.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: This is a trait of those who have the "Sacramen-Cho Stare". The fact that Stardust doesn't have it clues in Rhok'zan that she's not one of her followers.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Rhok'zan's attempt at seducing Stardust falls completely flat, due to the latter's asexuality. You even have the option of spraying her with a squirt bottle in response!
  • I Never Told You My Name: Stardust is alarmed when Rhok'zan calls her by her parents' nickname for her when comforting her over her parents' deaths. When questioned on it, Rhok'zan explains that anything that dies in the Black Woods becomes part of her, and their love likely lives on in Rhok'zan.
  • I Want Grandkids: Rhok'zan wants as many grandchildren as she can have, and takes it pretty hard when Stardust explicitly states she doesn't want children or the powers that would come with having them. She does eventually get over it, though, and apologizes for losing her composure.
  • Metaphorgotten: Stardust asks Rhok'zan if her cultists could be considered her exes. Rhok'zan agrees, going along with the metaphor by saying that if Stardust tries to date her... then the cultists will hack Stardust to death with farming tools. She lampshades how the last part isn't exactly a metaphor.
  • Punny Name: Sacramen-Cho is a pormanteau of the Californian city of Sacramento and the Japanese suffix "-cho", meaning "town".
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Sacramen-Cho, Stardust's hometown, is hit by a plague of people going missing. It's soon revealed that they've either been getting sacrificed by the ruthless cultists controlling the town, or getting consumed by the cursed woods surrounding it.
  • Tsundere: Rhok'zan has been stuck for years being abused by her supposed cultists and initially thinks Stardust is one, leading to her being extremely moody when you meet her and it quickly becomes embarrassed grumpy shyness when she realizes Stardust is romantically attracted to her. She warms up pretty quickly when she realizes Stardust actually freed her, though.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: This is Rhok'zan's reaction when she realizes that Stardust is experiencing Love at First Sight rather that fear or Sanity Slippage.
    Rhok'zan: OH MY GOD. I thought I was driving you insane!! All that sweating, and hyperventilating— it looked like you were going to throw up!
    Stardust: Oh, that just happens when I talk to girls sometimes.
    Rhok'zan: WHAT?!
    • She also reacts this way to Stardust believing that taking Rhok'zan "as her partner" entails a romantic relationship, as opposed to a sexual one.
      Rhok'zan: YOU THOUGHT — (cough) You thought, of the two definitions of 'partners', that a fertility goddess was referring to the platonic meaning?!