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Visual Novel / Sweet Enchantments

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Sweet Enchantments is a Romance Game Visual Novel by Voltage Entertainment USA, released through their Lovestruck app for iOS and Android devices. It debuted as a pilot series with two love interests in September 2018, and was confirmed for full series in late November.

The protagonist, a Seattle-based food blogger, happens upon a whimsically-designed cafe she's never heard about before and makes more of a discovery than she'd bargained for: the cafe, Sweet Enchantments, serves a hidden community of magicians and magical creatures which humans are not meant to know about.

When she's found out by the cafe's staff, she has no choice but to stay on at the cafe until the government can decide how to handle the situation - whenever that might be. In the meantime, there's a whole world of magic to learn about, a cafe full of extremely attractive magicians to get closer to, and a lot of secrets to uncover.

In 2020, a pilot short set in the world, Enchanted Nights, was released, featuring a new magician heroine and two potential love interests. Both were later confirmed for full routes.

This game provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: In their first appearances in Runa's route, Roman and Zain are respectively tagged "Charming Chef" and "Edgy Employee".
  • Almost Kiss: Three quarters through Lucien's first season, he leans toward the heroine as if to kiss her, but then pulls back.
  • Amnesia Loop: Over half of Roman's first season sees the heroine stuck in a recurring loop in which she arrives at the cafe and meets Roman, only for Roman to be obligated to wipe her memory of the encounter. By the time he finally puts his foot down in episode eight, he admits to the confused heroine that this has happened every day for the past week, and that's not counting indications from the very first episode that the two had already met four years ago and formed a relationship which Roman had to wipe her memory of.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Runa's turnip helpers, turnips enchanted to come to life with little limbs and faces.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: On Zain's route, the heroine's narration rarely misses an opportunity to remark on how appealing she finds his rich, velvety voice and how much it affects her when he's flirting with her.
  • Art Nouveau: There's a visible Art Nouveau influence in the designs of the cafe and the uniforms worn by its staff. The architecture and decor incorporate a lot of nature motifs and organic lines with few hard angles, as though the building grew into place rather than being manmade.
  • Bar Full of Aliens: The majority of the action takes place in the eponymous cafe, which serves the magical community. While all of the main cast are humanoid, the clientele are much more widely varied, from pixies to plant-people, giant sapient snails, and a creature that can only be described as a human-sized praying mantis with the head of a cat.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: The cast members shop for supplies at the Goblin Market, depicted here as an expansive multi-level shopping mall with shops marketing a nigh-unlimited variety of goods both mundane and magical. The cafe staff go there because the Goblin Market offers the freshest produce, but other items mentioned for sale include jeweled golden birds popular for their unique song and the ever-popular lamps that grant wishes.
  • Beast Man: Many magicians look like humanoid animals. There's fish people, snail people, wolf people, lion people, and cat-mantises.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: The heroine's initial dynamic with Runa on her route is a mix of attraction and clashing with her personality.
    Heroine: (I can't tell if I want to yell at her or pull her close. With Runa, the boundary between fury and desire feels like a deep morass.)
  • Beneath the Mask: Zain is almost perpetually easygoing, pleasant, and humorous. Occasionally, though, the mask slips, and when it does it becomes clear that he's using wit and jokes for deflection to cover a heavy load of inner darkness that he's trying not to let show.
  • Benevolent Boss: Liora, the owner of Sweet Enchantments, is a compassionate person who is mindful of each of her staff members' needs and wants them to flourish.
  • The Bet: Towards the end of Zain's first season, he offers a wager to the heroine regarding the mysterious box in his room: once a day, she can make a guess about what's inside. If she guesses right, he'll open it and let her see for herself.
  • Black Magic: Dark magic revolves around curses, harmful enchantments placed upon others. It can also be used to counteract and mitigate curses cast by others, which is how Zain employs his talent for dark magic on behalf of the cafe's customers, but others with the same power are not so scrupulous.
  • Blunder-Correcting Impulse: In Runa's first season, Runa tells the heroine how to set the tables, then refuses to repeat herself. The heroine is forced to guess; Runa soon stops her, remarking that she didn't realize how annoying it would be to watch her do it wrong.
  • Bubble Pipe: One of the cafe regulars, Mr. Pondworthy, holds a pipe with bubbles coming out of it.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Emeril is a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. Apparently, she once got drunk off a single drink, spent the next half hour giggling, and was found asleep in the storage room later.
  • Caustic Critic: Cyril, the food critic Lucien must impress during his first season. He's stated to be extremely influential to the point that his review could make or break the cafe; he's also arrogant, impatient, and unstinting with his criticism. On the other hand, he's depicted as making valid points about the confections Lucien serves, which are extremely visually appealing but nothing special in terms of flavor. The two also have bad blood between them from the past, and when Cyril realizes Lucien is involved with the cafe at the end of Lucien's first season, he crucifies the cafe in his review purely to spite Lucien.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Liora is accustomed to taking responsibility upon herself and not relying upon anyone else. In her second season, when the heroine picks up Liora's mantle, she is surprised by how heavy it is and the realization that Liora carries that weight on her shoulders every day, an obvious metaphor for Liora's responsibilities.
  • Charm Person: Runa's specialty is charm magic. Charms make an object or person want to please the spell caster; for example, Runa's turnips are compelled to want to help her, and the desire makes them come to life in order to lend their help. The ethical implications of using such a power on other people are touched upon in Runa's route, as her misuse of charm magic in the past creates most of the conflict of her first season.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each of the main cast members has a signature color dominant in their design: pink for Runa, teal for Lucien, red for Roman, and different shades of purple for Zain (dark), Liora (medium), and Emeril (lavender).
  • Curtains Match the Window: Helping to maintain the color-coding of the cast, every character's eye color matches their hair color (except for Zain, whose black hair and dark purple eyes are close enough to count on a technicality).
  • Digging Yourself Deeper:
    • In Liora’s second season, the heroine accidentally uses a fish-related saying (“bigger fish to fry”) while speaking to a fish person. After realizing what she’d said, she attempts to backpedal, but ends up accidentally slipping in fish puns.
    • Emeril describing her orientation in her first season:
      Emeril: It’s more that I like who I like and don’t like who I don’t like, if that makes sense. Not that there are a lot of people I don’t like! I try my best to like everyone! But not romantically. Obviously. Sorry. I’ll stop talking now.
  • Disappeared Dad: Liora's father wasn't around when she was younger.
  • Dramatic Irony: In Roman's first season, it's obvious to the reader from the very first episode that Roman and the heroine have a past relationship, and that the gap in her memory from four years ago is the result of Roman using his memory magic to make her forget. The heroine, meanwhile, has no clue and can only regard the oddities in Roman's behavior toward her with confusion.
  • Dream Land: The Dark Shore, which is described as the liminal plane of the unconscious, where sleep meets death. Only dark magicians are thought to be able to access it.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: A scene in Lucien's first season helps to establish the cast's personalities via the coffee Zain serves them: Lucien's is "dark as midnight," Roman's is loaded with whipped cream and syrup, and Runa's is spiked with liqueur.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In Runa episode 3, a smoke-person sprite is used to represent a rude customer. That same sprite would later come to be associated with the recurring side character Ms. Kau-Cim, one of the kindest customers.
  • Eat Dirt, Cheap: In Emeril's first season, Zain serves Daphne the Plant Person a "dirty chai latte with extra dirt."
  • Elemental Motifs:
    • Zain is often associated with storm clouds and twilight by the heroine's narration, tying in with his dark magic, his color scheme, and his mystery.
    • Liora is associated with the night sky and moonlit seas, reflecting her serenity and to an extent, her overall color scheme.
  • Emotion Control: Emeril's magic can change the emotions of other people. She describes it as seeing and changing colors.
  • Empathic Environment: In Liora's third season, it starts raining when Liora learns about the heroine's case moving forward and talks about how that worries her. The heroine talks her through her worries and they share their first proper kiss; just then, the clouds part, and a rainbow is shown behind them as they kiss in the sunny rain under a magical umbrella.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: A magician's eyes have a unique pattern in the iris — Lucien has a pentagram, Runa has a lotus blossom, Zain has a four-pointed star, Roman has a multi-ringed pattern, Liora has three spirals, and Emeril has four swooping lines like the petals of a flower.
  • Everybody Knew Already: In Emeril's first season, when the heroine reveals to the rest of the staff that she's a human, it turns out they already knew.
  • Falling into His Arms: How Roman is introduced on his route — the heroine trips on a turnip and he catches her as she falls.
  • Fantastic Fantasy Is Mundane: In Emeril's route, a visit to a bookstore in the magician world turns up a "mundane" section, which is about reimagining society without magic.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Some magicians look down on humans; it's an early source of friction in Lucien and Runa's routes.
    • Within magician society, dark magicians are regarded with deep suspicion, with many assumptions and unfounded rumors about them. In Zain's second season, he tells the heroine that parents sometimes abandon children if they have dark magic due to the fear and prejudice surrounding them, contributing to a vicious cycle as those abandoned lash out against the society that rejected them.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Runa has a tattoo sleeve covering one arm.
  • Fictional Counterpart: A heart scene in Emeril's third season has the heroine introduce her to a phone app called "Cat Collection", a stand-in for Neko Atsume.
  • Fictional Currency: Magician society's currency is called galders.
  • Foil: Lucien and Roman, who work alongside each other in the kitchen. Lucien is aloof, neat, and perfectionist, and has teal as his signature color. Roman is open, friendly, more chaotic, and has red as his signature color. When the heroine sees their handwriting on the menu board, she notes the contrast between them — Lucien's is neat and precise, whereas Roman uses a looping cursive style.
  • Follow the White Rabbit: On Runa's route, the heroine finds the cafe when she spots a turnip dashing by and follows it into the magical world.
  • Food Porn: Especially on Lucien's route, the lovingly detailed descriptions and illustrations of the treats he makes for the cafe are almost guaranteed to leave readers feeling hungry.
  • Forbidden Fruit: In Zain's route, though he tries to veil it with a joke, the fact that he makes it plain to the heroine that the chest in his room is magically sealed, he's not going to tell her what's in it, and she's not to mess with it all just serves to make her irresistibly curious about what it really contains.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: And forgotten second meeting, and third... In Roman's route, he and the protagonist met and formed a relationship four years before the events of the route, but the entire experience was removed from the heroine's memory. When she finds her way to the café at the start of the route, and again in episode four, Roman is obliged to wipe her memory again, apologetically telling her that it's to keep her safe.
  • From Roommates to Romance: The human protagonist usually shares the bedroom of her love interest, since they are magically bound together.
  • Fun with Acronyms: MIST is a magician magazine — its name stands for Magicians In Society Today.
  • Geometric Magic: While basic magic only requires gesture and will, more complex spells require tracing a sigil in the air, usually one unique to the magician.
  • Glamour: Magicians can cast glamours to change the appearance of a person. The caster can see through the spell at will, and the more complex the glamour, the higher the chance it will fail. The heroine has a glamour put on her to make her look like a magician while she's in the magical world by changing the appearance of her hair and eyes. In Lucien's first season, he disguises himself with a glamour while dealing with Cyril so his bias against Lucien won't affect the cafe.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Axia's dark magician followers are Palette Swaps of the cafe's regular customers. The fish man and plant woman are red and black, the fish man additionally has a scar over his right eye, the smoke person is a garish yellow with red eyes and a purple robe, and the pixie is pale purple with red eyes and markings.
  • Group Hug: In Liora's third season, as the staff reflect on how their time at the cafe has helped them learn and grow, the heroine initiates a group hug. Runa objects, but lets the heroine pull her in.
  • Groupie Brigade: Lucien has a group of overly-enthusiastic fangirls. While he appreciates that they contribute business to the cafe, he mostly finds them tiresome, especially when he and the heroine have to hide from them while out shopping at the Goblin Market.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Played with. Emeril and her twin brother Marcel really are identical twins — Marcel is transgender.
  • Hands-On Approach:
    • In his first season, Lucien offers to help the heroine work dough by putting his hands over hers.
    • In Zain's first season, he teaches the heroine how to prepare a drink by guiding her hands from behind.
  • Headbutt Thermometer: In Zain season 3 episode 3, the heroine makes up from a nightmare feeling off, and Zain touches his forehead to hers to check for a fever.
  • Healing Hands: Liora's affinity for light magic allows her to heal others.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": When Emeril was seven or so, she wrote a story about her self-insert that went on about how she was the best detective ever.
  • Holding Hands: In Emeril's first season, as she and the heroine go for a walk together, Emeril says she's used to holding hands with her younger siblings as they walk and finds it weird to walk beside someone and not hold their hand. She also attributes it to "a mood magician empathy thing" that she enjoys holding hands with people she's close to. There is an option to hold hands, complete with Intertwined Fingers.
  • Human Aliens: Magicians aren't human — some just look more like it than others, as Runa puts it. Zain suggests, "Maybe it's you who looks like us."
  • Indirect Kiss:
    • A heart scene in Runa's first season has her and the heroine sharing a pot pie, passing the fork between themselves.
    • Liora's first season has a heart scene where the heroine brings her dinner after she Forgets to Eat. After eating her fill, Liora offers the heroine a bite, passing her the fork.
      Heroine: (Don't think about indirect kisses, brain. This isn't a TV show.)
    • A heart scene in Emeril's first season has her sharing a slice of charlotte with the heroine. She gives the heroine a bite, then takes one herself with the same fork, which the heroine blushes at.
  • I Never: In Zain's first season, the heroine plays a variant on this game with him, ten fingers.
  • ISO-Standard Urban Groceries: In the first CG of Roman's season one, he's carrying a standard-issue brown paper bag of groceries. There's no baguette, presumably because Lucien does the cafe's baking himself, but the expected greens (celery in this case) are sticking up out of the bag, along with a couple of loose tomatoes.
  • The Insomniac: After a nightmare in his second season causes Zain to fear he might do the heroine harm, he starts sleeping even less than usual, pushing himself further and further into exhaustion until matters finally come to a head.
  • Kick the Dog: In her first appearance, Kamila kicks one of Runa's turnip helpers as she exits the cafe.
  • Lady and Knight:
    • Roman references this idea in his first season. He offers to draw up a bath for the heroine and treat her like a queen. When the heroine asks if that makes him a king, he says he thinks he'd be more like a knight — "There to protect you, not to control or rule you."
    • Zain often affectionately refers to the heroine as a princess on his route. In his third season, he kneels in front of her and offers to be her knight.
      Zain: I don't think I deserve the title, but every princess should have a knight to protect her. And I would be honored to be yours, if you're willing to have a knight of darkness at your side.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Roman's specialty is memory magic. He can amplify good memories and soften bad ones, but his route confirms that he can also remove memories entirely.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: On Emeril's route, the heroine first meets her in the human world, not knowing that she's a magician. So when Emeril starts to say that she'd started an Agatha Christie book because she heard she was popular among humans, she immediately attempts to correct her mistake.
    Emeril: I heard she was really popular among hu-! [cuts herself off]
    Heroine: Popular among who?
    Emeril: Among huuuuu... Among huge mystery fans! And that's what I am! So I figured I'd like it!
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: As part of the banter in his route, Zain sometimes talks about the heroine as if she's the heroine of a romance story. (Which of course, she is.)
    Zain: Who knows, maybe if I'm lucky one day a princess will come along and kiss me, and break my curse.
    MC: Given how those stories go, I think I'd want to hear all the terms and conditions first. All I've got from you is breadcrumbs.
    Zain: Exactly. I'm just applying good narrative structure. If I gave you all the details at once, it would be boring.
  • Leg Focus: Liora's legs are the focus of one mini CG as the heroine notices them.
  • Leitmotif: Each love interest has their own theme music which plays on their route with the heroine first sees them, and often plays when they're doing magic.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Liora is elegantly feminine, and in her youth, when she'd imagine herself as the heroine of her favorite fairy tale, she'd always change the prince to a princess.
  • Literally Falling in Love:
    • The heroine falls on Lucien in his second season while she's playfully trying to push a cookie towards his mouth; he blushes as a result.
    • Liora's first season ends with the heroine rushing into her room and colliding with her, making them fall down with the heroine on top. They are both caught in the moment for a while, and the heroine ends up kissing her.
  • Loony Fan: Vallia the cat-mantis girl is the foremost of Lucien's fangirls. She's a little too enthusiastic in her admiration from the beginning, and after Cyril's review goes out in season two she goes off the deep end. She starts to think of herself as a member of the cafe's staff, even barging into the storage room and hanging around after hours. She also becomes more and more hostile toward the heroine at any indication of closeness between her and Lucien, repeatedly interrogating her about their relationship and ignoring the heroine's efforts to convince her that they're not in competition.
  • Magical Incantation: Emeril mentions that verbal spells are a bit of a myth and nowadays incantations are only used in very complex spells with many different components.
  • Magic Contract Romance: In accordance with magical law, the heroine is magically bound to her love interest after they break The Masquerade in front of her.
  • Magic Harms Technology: Electronics apparently don't work in the magical realm — the heroine's phone always goes dead when she stumbles upon Sweet Enchantments.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Relationships between magicians and humans are forbidden.
  • The Masquerade: Humans are not supposed to know about the existence of magic or the magical community at all, which provides the initial excuse for the plot when the heroine accidentally stumbles upon the cafe and its staff has to keep tabs on her until the government can decide how to handle the situation.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Runa Amberthorne has a thorny personality.
    • Zain Blackwood specializes in dark magic.
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: The relationship between the heroine and her love interest.
    • In Lucien and Liora’s routes Silvain reveals his parents are this showing them that such a relationship, while difficult is not impossible.
    • Emeril’s twin brother Marcel reveals in her route He had fallen in love with a human named Thaddeus which is the biggest reason he disappeared.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Kamila quickly establishes herself as a Jerkass by barging in to demand service after the cafe has closed, bulldozing over the heroine and refusing to take no for an answer.
  • One-Gender School: Emeril and Zola's alma mater, Lady Étaín University, is a women-only school.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: Drama ensues in Lucien's second season when Lucien overhears the heroine telling Vallia that she doesn't have any romantic interest in him, not realizing that she only said it because Vallia is a Clingy Jealous Loony Fan who has been harassing her about her relationship with Lucien for days.
  • Pet the Dog: In Runa's first season, she shows a soft side by doting on her pet dragon Dante.
  • Pinky Swear: A heart scene in Emeril's first season has the heroine showing her the ancient "human magic" of pinkie promises.
  • The Place: The story is centered around the titular cafe.
  • Plant Person: One of the cafe's regular customers is Daphne, a woman made of plants.
  • Pocket Dimension: The magical world exists in spaces alongside the human realm. These spaces are much Bigger on the Inside, and traveling between them requires crossing through the human world. Emeril explains using an apron/pocket analogy, wherein the apron is the human world and its pockets are the magical world.
  • Power Limiter: Zain wears a ring that limits his dark magic.
  • Protective Charm: Liora has protective wards set up around the cafe.
  • Reinventing the Telephone: Cellphones don't work in the magical world, but magicians have spells that function like them. If someone gets a call, their sigil will light up in the air next to them, and they can accept or decline the call. Normally some identifying mark, such as the caller's face, will show on the receiver's sigil like caller ID.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Runa's turnip helpers, toddling stubby-limbed little things that they are, and her pet dragon Dante, who is small and big-eyed.
  • The Sacred Darkness: In Zain's second season, the heroine gets an opportunity to experience what his dark magic is like for him. While she finds it unnerving at first, her perspective soon changes and she sees it as Zain himself does - lonely, but also beautiful and strangely comforting.
    Zain's Inner Voice: A presence in darkness, a voice in silence, like a cave of shadows, an old house comfortable with its ghosts.
  • Secret Relationship: In Lucien's second season, he and the heroine officially enter a relationship. However, they need to keep it secret, both because of laws against magician/human relationships and because being romantically available is an important part of Lucien's image in his job. It doesn't stay secret for long, as Vallia saw them kissing and soon a photo of it spreads around.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Runa has no problem changing or lounging in her underwear in front of the heroine not long after meeting her.
  • Shoulder-Sized Dragon: Runa's pet dragon Dante is small enough to perch on her shoulders.
  • Shout-Out: In one interaction with Roman in Liora's second season, he says he once had a dream where he was actually a mediocre chef whose talent came from being controlled by an weirdly intelligent rat.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: After Runa kisses the heroine for the first time, she claims it was because she wouldn't shut up.
  • Side Bet: In Runa's first season, the heroine learns that Zain and Roman had a bet running on whether or not she'd lose her patience and punch Runa. Roman bet that the heroine is "too virtuous" to resort to violence, though the heroine counters that she's simply not dumb enough to punch a magician.
  • Signature Sound Effect: Each magician's magic is described as producing a particular sound, usually musical. Lucien's is a woodwind hum, Runa's is brassy and trumpeting, Liora's is harp strings, and Zain's is bass piano. Kamila's is a soprano choir and Merik's is a chitter like insect wings.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Liora is calm, polite, and elegant, handling tense situations with grace and a quiet authority.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Merik in Zain's second season is acting as a magical version, running a stall at the Goblin Market where he sells dodgy remedies and protections against curses. Customers suckered by his claims that he's Zain's apprentice find that the magic he's selling tends to, if anything, make their problems worse.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: In magicians, magical specialties sometimes run in the family; other times they're random.
  • Survival Mantra: Emeril has a mantra which she and her twin brother used to say to each other when they got in trouble or needed to calm down: "It's not the end of the world, it's just the end of the day."
  • Sweet Tooth: Zain loves sweets. During ten fingers, the heroine can guess that he's gotten sick from eating too many sweets, but he says that sweets could never make him sick. One of his heart scenes has him sneaking away with the heroine to steal Lucien's leftover pastries, and another has him share a secret about himself… which turns out to be that he loves sweets.
  • There Is Only One Bed: In every route except Runa's and Liora's, the heroine must share a bed with her love interest. Though in Zain's case, the usual resulting tension is averted as he manages to avoid being in bed while the heroine is awake and it's a very spacious bed anyway.
  • Wall Pin of Love: Runa does this to the heroine at the end of her first episode.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change!: Lucien specializes in luck magic. He gives the heroine a minor demonstration in his first season by casting a luck-boosting enchantment on her and then challenging her to a game of cards: each of them draws one card, high card wins. When she pulls the higher card on their first draw, he adds the further rule that her points will double each time she pulls a card that's in sequence with her last draw. Despite the heroine shuffling the deck twice, every card she draws after that is exactly one higher than her last card.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Roman's first season starts with the heroine feeling a nagging sense of something missing from her life, after an incident four years prior in which she ended up in the hospital with a memory gap of several months. Once she stumbles upon Sweet Enchantments and meets Roman, deja vu sets in hard.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Vivid hair colors seem to be the norm for magicians, and most of the magical cast have hair that humans would only be able to achieve with dye.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: In Zain's second season, when people are gossiping about Zain because of his dark magic, one customer tells him that he's "very polite for a dark magician," and that he's worked very hard to overcome his "natural disadvantages." The heroine is incensed to hear it.
    Heroine: (Oh god, he actually thinks that was a compliment. He thinks he's being nice to Zain.)
  • Your Favorite: When the heroine first visits the café at the beginning of Roman's first season, Roman proves uncannily good at "guessing" and making her favorites - first a caramel macchiato at the coffee bar, followed by curly fries and a vanilla milkshake, and finishing off with a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. It's one of the early clues that, though at the moment she can't remember, this is not their first meeting.