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YMMV / Heart of the Woods

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • When Tara interviews the "Coffee Girl" and the "Quiet Girl," the former remarks that "Everyone knows (Morgan)" and "devilishly smiles at her embarrassed friend" before making a subtle reference to Morgan sleeping around. Is the Quiet Girl's reaction because she was the one who slept with Morgan (which may explain why she's a bit more sympathetic to Morgan than the other villagers) and she's embarrassed that her friend brought it up? Or is it because she's shocked at how brazenly her friend is willing to hint at having slept with Morgan? Or perhaps both?
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    • When discussing how Abigail's sister let her be sacrificed in her place, Abigail says, "I don't think she even thanked me." Given that note of uncertainty when recounting the event, is it possible that after 200 years, Abigail doesn't clearly remember what happened, in part due to her own bitterness?
    • Why did Madison and Tara's experiment with a relationship fail? Was it due to their not being compatible, as Morgan suggests? Was it because neither of them took it seriously? Or was it because of fundamental communication issues in their friendship that came to the fore when Madison told Tara that she was quitting Taranormal without talking things through with her first?
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Communion," Abigail's theme. It's an appropriately melancholic theme for a ghost who's been lonely for two centuries.
    • "Daggersmile," Evelyn's theme. A rather eerie theme for an intimidating woman.
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    • "Episode One," Tara's theme. It captures Tara's peppy energy.
    • "Into Another World," a song that expresses the mystery of Eysenfeld.
    • "Ritual Snow," which plays during the climax and captures the dark, ominous mood of the entire event.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Evelyn is evil. She's rather cold toward not just Tara and Madison, but also her own daughter, Morgan. A lot of her lines contain thinly veiled death threats against Madison. As a result, if there's any character among the human cast who comes off as a candidate for the villain, it's her. The game doesn't even treat this as much of a surprise, since Madison is unsurprised after Abigail tells her that Evelyn tricked her.
  • Catharsis Factor: Seeing Evelyn get what she deserves in the end. In the good ending, this is accomplished by the protagonists, all people Evelyn has wronged, working together to restore Geladura to her status as Fairy Queen. In the bad ending in which Geladura dies, Geladura still has enough power to defeat Evelyn before expiring. In the bad ending in which Morgan dies, she gives her life to defeat her hated "mother." Perhaps best of all, Evelyn doesn't get away with what she's done in any of the endings, not even the bad ones.
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  • Complete Monster: "The Moonsick One", currently known as Evelyn Fischer, is a fairy who has prolonged her life for centuries by stealing people's bodies . Most recently, she grooms her "daughter" Morgan to be her next vessel, using emotional abuse to break Morgan's spirit. Evelyn uses her power of Glamour to sway the town's citizens into unquestioning loyalty to her, and is apparently responsible for misfortune befalling Morgan's first girlfriend Hannah, resulting in Morgan being treated as an outcast. When Tara and Madison arrive in Eysenfeld, Evelyn tries to get them to leave, and when that fails, uses an illusion of Tara to trick Madison into running out into a blizzard, which results in Madison freezing to death. When Tara and Morgan investigate Evelyn, Evelyn cruelly makes light of Madison's death and slams Tara into the wall, injuring her. She later uses Tara as a hostage to get Morgan to come with her so she can use Morgan's blood to destroy an ancestral tree of the forest, endangering the entire forest and those who live in it. In the climax, Evelyn abducts Tara to steal her body, wanting to assume the guise of a minor celebrity and leave Eysenfeld, and tries to kill Tara's friends when they arrive to thwart her plans. Evelyn is a cruel, self-centered woman who cares nothing for how many deaths she causes as long as it gets her what she wants.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Early on, Madison briefly wonders whether Morgan invited her and Tara out to Eysenfeld to kill them, which isn't played very seriously. Later on in the story, as the two of them end up in danger and Madison actually dies, Morgan blames herself for inviting them to come and endangering them.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Evelyn was probably past this by the start of the story, but in-story, she crosses it by using her illusion magic to deceive Madison into going after an illusionary Tara and cause her to freeze to death.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Like other visual novels, it takes a while to get going, with most of the first chapter involving Maddie and Tara getting acclimated to Eysenfeld and searching for supernatural phenomena. Abigail doesn't show up until Chapter 2.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A minor case, but the fact that Morgan is part fairy as a result of Evelyn possessing various members of her bloodline never plays much of a role in the story, save for when Evelyn uses Morgan's blood to destroy the ancestral tree. It was likely intended to be more of a plot point, since Morgan uses the fact that she's related by blood to "The Moonsick One" but is not moonsick herself, to take Madison's place as Fairy Queen in an unused ending.
  • The Woobie: All four of the main characters.
    • Abigail has spent two hundred years as a ghost, unable to interact with any other humans until Madison came along. Later in the game, it turns out that she died because she took her sister's place as the sacrifice, and her sister let her do it without thanking her or trying to stop her.
    • Tara is a Transgender woman who lost most of her friends besides Madison when she came out and transitioned. Not only does she end up having to deal with Madison's death in the main story, but she gets hit especially hard in the bad endings, despite being the only character who survives in every ending. In one ending, she loses her girlfriend, and in the other, she loses her best friend.
    • Madison dies in Chapter 2, and while she has Abigail to keep her company, it's clear that she never fully accepts her state. In one of the bad endings, she ends up permanently disappearing from the sight of the living, without even getting to say goodbye to Tara.
    • Morgan probably has the worst time of all the main characters. She grows up being raised by Evelyn, an Abusive Parent who is planning on taking her body. As a result of Evelyn's influence, most of the town shuns her, and among the few people who talk to her are closeted lesbians who use her for sex. She's also immensely guilty over what she ended up putting Tara and Madison through, especially after Madison dies in the snowstorm. In one bad ending, Morgan lives, but at the cost of Geladura's life and the disappearance of Abigail and Madison (just after Morgan made peace with the latter) while in the other, Morgan herself gives her life to defeat Evelyn.

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