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YMMV / Rule of Rose

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • There's a theory that claims Brown was only a doll all along. This casts Wendy's actions in a somewhat more sympathetic light, and casts an unfavorable light over Jennifer's.
    • Some fans believe that adult Jennifer is just a projection, and that she is still a child in current time. The theory is that, after the incident at the orphanage, Jennifer wanted to become a grown-up so that she could be strong, brave, and capable of protecting those she cared about.
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    • One forum moderator staunchly refused the idea that Stray Dog (a.k.a. Gregory) killed any of the missing children, insisting that Wendy only blamed him for it while committing the murders directly.
    • Some theories posit that the Imps are really the other children, and Jennifer only sees them as monsters because she can't cope with the idea of children doing what the imps do, hence the Animal Motifs linking them to the rest of the Red Crayon Aristocrats. Which would mean the children killed Martha, and Hoffman ran like hell so he wouldn't be next.
    • Speaking of the Imps, were they representing the children during Martha's death or did Martha simply fall down the stairs and die in front of Jennifer and her mind simply added Imps in while she was reliving that memory?
    • Did Hoffman leave the orphanage because he was afraid that the aristocrats would try to kill him or did he have a My God, What Have I Done? moment concerning his sexualization of Clara and Diana and wanted to leave before he caused any more damage. One of the storybooks seems to imply the later, most fans prefer the former.
      • There's also the questions of whether or not he also sexually abused Jennifer (if he tackles you during his boss fight, his movements look rather suggestive), and if the rabbit (Peter) represented him. If it does, than one can argue that the entirety of the "Sir Peter" chapter was the aristocrats hunting down and killing Hoffman.
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    • Some fans believe the Bucket Knight is a stand in for a therapist who is trying to help Jennifer sort through her memories.
    • What exactly happened to Clara? Did she just simply leave at some point? Was she killed with the rest during the massacre? Was she Driven to Suicide as the markings on her arms during her boss battle may indicate?
      • Also, was Clara raped or - more specifically - had she an abortion? The sick room and the slash across the mermaid princess' stomach point towards it, but it's never made fully clear.
    • For all characters: is what can be seen in the final sepia chapter false or how everyone actually was? If it is the latter, then it could easily be that Jennifer's bullying wasn't nearly as bad as it seemed, there had never been any sexual attacks from Hoffmann and Gregory was a friendly, if shy and confused man before getting manipulated.
      • The question of what the final chapter actually is. Is it the memory of a day before the massacre or is it all in her head, the way Jennifer wants to remember the orphanage and her friends? If one believes the theory that the Bucket Knight is a therapist working through her trauma, it could be the latter.
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  • Awesome Music: The entire soundtrack.
  • Cry for the Devil: After playing the epilogue, you'll feel deeply sorry for the two people largely responsible for all the bad things that happened in the story - Wendy and Gregory. It's utterly heartwrenching to watch Wendy plead for you to stay when you know it's impossible, and listen to Gregory trying to put together a happy story to read to his dead son.
  • Damsel Scrappy: If YouTube comments are anything to go by, fans get annoyed by Jennifer's submissive behavior by the time the third chapter rolls along.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: All the aristocrats get a bit of this, though Diana's the most frequent. She's attractive, has the most tragic backstory (and her current life isn't much better) and Jennifer notes that when away from the others she occasionally showed kindness and empathy towards her. This doesn't of course entirely excuse the fact that she's normally their ringleader in tormenting Jennifer, and that she's horrible even to her friends.
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: The story is among the closest games come to literature in terms of critical regard, but the gameplay is repetitive, the combat is awful, and the level design is confusing. There's a quote from Jennifer that perfectly describes why people still like it: "I came to this room every day to do laundry... The water was so cold, and the soap would sting my eyes, but I didn’t hate it, because clean laundry is so refreshing."
  • Everybody Is Jesus in Purgatory
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The game's fairy tale narrative is rife with these, and each episode's storybook is an increasingly appalling version of this, all to drive home what monsters human beings are. Subverted in the end, as the final, picture-only storybook closes the story on a bittersweet, but uplifting note.
  • It Was His Sled: Due to The Reveal being one of the two signature scenes as mentioned below the event of Brown's death and that Wendy, the only nice person in the game, is the main antagonist and the fact that Jennifer was actually just a little girl all along are all well known facts to gamers who actually know of the game. If walkthroughs are anything to go by then this isn't nearly as bad as other examples due to genuine reactions of surprise the gamers have during their first run through. It probably helps that people who have already played the game genuinely try not to spoil The Reveal for the people they recommend the game to.
  • Les Yay: A bunch. And all those involved are children. Although unlike the infamous trailer would hint, the examples are quite non-sexual in nature.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Olivia's crying. You only hear it two or three times but dear god can it get on your nerves quick.
    • The loud, looping music that plays during cleaning time in "The Funeral" chapter.
  • Narm: While the Mermaid's appearance and implications are quite horrifying, the sounds she makes can make the fight hard to take seriously: "Wheeee!!"
    • The reveal of Stray Dog can be hard to take seriously too. We see Gregory crawling on all fours, wearing nothing but white boxer shorts.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The Unmarried Mermaid. So much. Any of the monsters in the game, even the lowliest imp, can be pretty terrifying.
    • To say nothing of the Aristocrats themselves.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Averted, big time. The developers hired a publicist to hype up the game in the Italian press by significantly overstating its graphic and sexual content in an effort to cause controversy. It worked a little too well once the made-up story reached the UK, where its release was canceled due to the ensuing controversy. Not to mention the game outright bombed in the countries it was released in.
  • Player Punch: Brown. Oh, god, Brown.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: If you got annoyed by Jennifer's submissive behavior, chances are you'll forgive her by the end of chapter 9.
  • Signature Scene: The infamous opening due to its ability to either mindfuck or disturb first time players.
    • The cutscene at the end of chapter 9 that acts as both The Reveal (Twice!) and as a Wham Episode at the same time. After defeating all the imps, you end up out in the courtyard you were in during the ending of chapter 1 where your sickly friend Wendy gets to meet Brown. Suddenly, both Wendy and Brown disappear. Once you travel to the attic (encountering several torn-apart toy dogs as you go) you activate a cutscene. It opens with imps sweeping a limp, dead Brown into the corner just before Jennifer walks in. As Jennifer approaches the aristocrats, she falls to her knees upon seeing yet another torn-apart toy dog. Then you suddenly hear this childish giggle. Jennifer looks up and watches as a young girl, the princess, descends down towards her with a bouquet of roses obscuring her face. Once the princess makes it down to Jennifer, she tilts the bouquet to reveal that she's Wendy. Amanda then gleefully informs Jennifer of Brown's death, leading to Jennifer to begin hyperventilating. Then Jennifer's child self appears in place of the Jennifer we've known the entire game, stands abruptly and demands that she be "given back her friend" as she takes slow confident strides towards Wendy. Upon reaching Wendy, Jennifer slaps her hard enough to knock her to the ground and proceeds to give Wendy a truly epic beat-down. Once done, she stands and gives a truly scathing speech to the rest of the aristocrats, telling them that she hates them and that they're scum. She then admits that she hates herself for allowing things to escalate as far as they have and throws the brooch Wendy had given her to the ground. The scene (and chapter) ends with Wendy running out of the room in tears and the aristocrats sufficiently frightened of Jennifer.
  • Tear Jerker: The Good/real ending.
  • That One Boss: Most likely Clara from "The Mermaid Princess" chapter.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: For a game released in 2006, the cutscenes are nothing short of beautifully animated and detailed.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: The whole game is rife with a bizarre, surrealist aesthetic that involves, among other things, roses, butterflies, mermaids, stick figure drawings, imps and dead fish floating in mid-air. Not quite all of it makes sense. There are entire websites dedicated to finding and analyzing everything from the order of beds over clutter on a table to decifering the low-res letters.
  • The Woobie: Jennifer and Clara.
    • Jerkass Woobie: The rest of the orphans due to being (A) orphans, and (B) getting brutally killed by the end of the game.


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