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Visual Novel / Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet

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From left to right: Syrup, Gumdrop, Pastille, Butterscotch, Toffee.
Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet is a cute Ren'Py-based Visual Novel that follows Syrup, a candy alchemist who uses science to make her sweets rather than magic like everyone else in town and unexpectedly finds a girl made entirely out of candy in her basement.

It was made for Yuri Game Jam 2015 by NomnomNami and has 10 different endings (although some are worse than others). In March 2020, a $5 Updated Re-release was made available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, Playstation 4, and Xbox One, with new features including an image gallerynote , ending guide, and French & German localizations.

Tropes in Syrup And The Ultimate Sweet:

  • Alchemy Is Magic: Defied. Syrup's alchemy is a science, and she absolutely hates associating with anything magical.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Toffee is called "Cat Person?" before their name is revealed. If you get their ending, they ask you if you think they're male or female. It turns out neither choice is correct because they're non-binary; if you replay their ending, you'll actually get a third option that reflects this and they'll be impressed you got it right.
  • Animal Jingoism: Toffee the cat despises dogs. They refuse to accompany Butterscotch to Mount Sorbet due to their fear of wolves, and in Toffee's ending they ask Syrup to accompany them to meet the wolf Treat due to being too scared to go alone.
  • Ascended Extra: Treat has a minor role in this game, but later becomes a major character in the Lonely Wolf Treat series.
  • Big Damn Heroes: If you refuse to be friendly to Butterscotch when the two of you are trapped in the ice cave (which is the quickest way to get out of the cave), you'll still be rescued in time by Gumdrop if your relationship with her is good enough.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Syrup firmly believes in science as the superior art, and is very distrustful of witches in general. The reason she never bothered creating the Ultimate Sweet is because the main ingredient cannot be found without help from a witch.
  • Downer Ending: The five non-character related endings. In order:
    • The Candibal End has Syrup eat Gumdrop. Pastille is so disgusted he leaves and never returns, and due to dwindling sales Syrup has to close down her shop.
    • The Frozen End has Syrup tell Butterscotch she hates her, which leaves Butterscotch unable to get them out of the icy cave they're in. They end up freezing to death in there.
    • Bad End 1 has Syrup abandon Gumdrop and refuse to help Pastille get her back, and he leaves her. Atelier Sweets goes into decline and Syrup's left with nothing and nobody.
    • Bad End 2, similar to Bad End 1, has Syrup abandon Gumdrop and Pastille leave her, but in this ending she hires Toffee to help out around the store. They and Butterscotch take it over and Syrup quits, resolving to never get close to anyone again so nobody can betray her like Pastille did.
    • And the Worst End has similar events to the Frozen End, except Pastille and Treat rescue Syrup and Butterscotch before they freeze to death. However, Syrup tells Butterscotch she still hates her, and the coldness in Syrup's own heart ends up killing her.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Every Downer Ending qualifies, as in order to get them you have to insistently be a jerk to somebody, through repeated prompts to do something else. The "Worst Ending" stands out as you have to double down on hating Butterscotch despite her having put herself in danger to help out. Being that much of an Ungrateful Bitch leads to Syrup's heart freezing itself up.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Syrup, Pastille, Gumdrop, Butterscotch, Toffee... yep, there's definitely a theme going on here.
  • Evolving Title Screen: Getting a character's good ending causes their sprite to change on the title screen, such as Syrup getting snazzy sunglasses, Gumdrop's outfit changing, and Butterscotch winking at the player.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: If Syrup turns Gumdrop over to Butterscotch but later agrees to help Pastille rescue her, Gumdrop's hair will be styled shorter for the rest of the game due to Butterscotch having eaten part of it and Gumdrop deciding to keep the shorter hairstyle after Syrup said it looked cute on her.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Before Gumdrop is given a name, the game calls her "Candy Girl". In one path, Syrup accuses her of spying on her shop and Pastille jokingly calls her "Miss Candy Spy". Gumdrop thinks this is her new name, and the game changes her name to "Candy Spy" for that scene.
  • Furry Confusion: Shortly after meeting the friendly wolf girl Treat, Syrup and Butterscotch are attacked by a pack of actual wolves. The Lonely Wolf Treat series explains that animals can change between humanoid and beast form at will, and that wolves are known to change into their beast form when hunting.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The game doesn't actually show much of the scene where Syrup experiments with Gumdrop's organs.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Pastille, despite being clearly considered by Syrup to be just a lowly assistant, is really the one who keeps Atelier Sweets running by overseeing finances and being friendly to customers who would've been put off by Syrup's asocial demeanor. Syrup learns this the hard way in the bad ending where Pastille leaves her and she discovers that she can't keep the store going by herself. Furthermore, Pastille turns out to be secretly capable of magic and was the one who created Gumdrop as a friend for Syrup.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Gumdrop is not allowed to reveal the name of her creator, and yet she keeps calling Pastille "Master".
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The titular Ultimate Sweet is a rare confection that can only be crafted by combining both magical and alchemical talent. It is said that those who eat it will enter a "temporary enlightened state" and start crying for reasons unknown.
  • Jerkass: Syrup has some serious problems interacting with people, and for a long time Pastille seems to be the only person who tolerates her. Getting her to improve her behavior is the key to reaching any of the good endings.
  • Let's Meet the Meat: Gumdrop is a candy golem. When Syrup mentions that candy's meant to be eaten, Gumdrop begs her to eat her. And Syrup can actually agree to do so.
  • Literal-Minded: If Syrup tells Gumdrop to get lost, Gumdrop responds by literally getting lost. As in, she goes missing and Syrup and Pastille have to find her.
  • Logic Bomb: When Pastille was trying to program Gumdrop's personality, the former accidentally caused the latter to get caught in a loop by issuing two conflicting commands "act like a person" and "be yourself".
  • Magic Librarian: The Chocolate brothers are both witches, and their family owns the local library.
  • Multiple Endings: In addition to the five downer endings listed above, there are five "good" endings specific to each main character.
    • Syrup End: Syrup partially reforms out of her asocial tendencies, but doesn't end up forming a close bond with anybody specific. Instead, she presents the Ultimate Sweet to the Chocolate brothers, convinces them to invest in her shop, and becomes super rich.
    • Gumdrop End: Syrup learns that Pastille created Gumdrop for the express purpose of making Syrup a friend. She begins to appreciate Gumdrop's company, and the two decide to start traveling together in order to strengthen their bond.
    • Pastille End: Syrup learns that Pastille is a witch and feels bad that Pastille felt the need to hide it from her. After they reconcile, Pastille and Syrup work together to seek out rare ingredients and make even more delicious candies.
    • Butterscotch End: Syrup shares the Ultimate Sweet with Butterscotch, thanks her for sharing the truth about Pastille, and starts visiting Butterscotch more often. Butterscotch learns about candy alchemy and invents butterscotch candy, which becomes popular worldwide.
    • Toffee End: Syrup feels awkward about sharing the Ultimate Sweet with Butterscotch after their disagreement on Mount Sorbet, and seeks help from Toffee. In return, Toffee asks Syrup to accompany them to Mount Sorbet and thank Treat for saving Butterscotch. Syrup and Toffee bond with one another, and Toffee starts hanging out with Syrup as her pet.
  • No Antagonist: The primary conflict is the titular asocial scientist Syrup trying to bond with her friends and caring for her creation Gumdrop. Her rival, the Wicked Witch Butterscotch, initially seems like the antagonist given that she wants to eat Gumdrop and surpass Syrup, but she only antagonizes her in a couple routes, and even becomes an uneasy ally in her route.
  • Non-Humans Lack Attributes: The game contains, in Nami's words, "candy nudity". However, Gumdrop's body is completely featureless and nothing needs to be censored.
  • Oral Fixation: Syrup is almost always sucking on a lollipop.
  • Pungeon Master: Toffee's penchant fur cat-based wordplay is impawssible to ignore. Syrup finds it purrticularly annoying.
  • The Rival: Butterscotch is also interested in candymaking, and she is jealous of Syrup because her alchemical candies are much tastier than Butterscotch's magical candies.
  • Token Human: With the reveal that Pastille was secretly a witch the whole time, Syrup ends up being the only ordinary human in the game. There are many more humans in the world according to the Treat series, but none of them ever appear on-screen.
  • Vain Sorceress: It's not obvious at first, but Butterscotch is one. Syrup learns about this when the two of them get trapped in a cave and Butterscotch uses up too much of her magic, causing the spell she cast on herself to look thinner and more beautiful to wear off and reveal her true appearance to Syrup.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Between eating the candy girl in your basement, handing that candy girl off to your rival who's slowly eating her into nothing and refusing to help, and telling your rival you hate her, there's a lot of it. Although it all leads to various downer endings.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Pastille will call out Syrup if she chooses to eat Gumdrop or give her to Butterscotch who she knows plans to eat her. If Syrup refuses to reconsider her choice, Pastille will leave her, triggering a bad ending.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Milk Chocolate is just as handsome and polite as his brother Dark Chocolate, yet he is always seen wearing a tutu with his suit for some reason.
  • Wicked Witch: Butterscotch is a scheming trickster who wears dark witchy clothes and has a black cat familiar, but how "wicked" she actually is depends on which ending you get. The worst thing she can do is take over Atelier Sweets and magically brainwash people into buying candy from her, which Syrup finds utterly horrifying.