Otome Game Review: Snow Bound Land

Snow Bound Land follows the journey of Gerda and her friends to the White World, seeking the Snow Queen to dispel a curse that her mirror placed upon them. Based off The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. Because the game’s pretty lengthy, this is a LONG POST warning!

As a fan of the original tale, I wanted to know how Otomate would adapt it! I especially like Kai’s design; he fits the winter-setting very well. (∩´v`∩) I started playing from Aje → Kai → Orva → Craes → Ivan BUT the order I will review in will be different for spoiler-related reasons. Playing Aje first was a huge mistake on my part; it made the other routes much sadder. Note: The Prologue and Chapter One become mostly skippable past the first playthrough!

PROLOGUE

Snow Bound Land opens with the Snow Queen (CV: Orikasa Ai) panicking over her mirror being missing. She yells at Ivan (CV: Ishida Akira) to go search for it. The scene cuts to Gerda’s grandmother telling her stories about three worlds. The Red World is a world of magic, but it’s also a very dark place where sunlight cannot reach. The Yellow World is brighter and bustling due to being a merchant/tourist city. The Green World is also a world of magic, and it’s basically like the Great Outdoors. The White World, on the other hand, is beautiful but even further away. Nobody has been able to go there before, though it seems that the white roses that Gerda wishes to see are native to that world. They talk a little about visiting these other worlds, but Gerda’s grandmother concludes that she’s happy being in their village. This is where Gerda is, after all, and she loves her very much. Gerda exclaims that she loves her grandmother, too —

— and wakes up from her dream of the past. It’s a pretty good way to introduce the basics of each world! By now, her grandmother has since passed on and Gerda lives alone. Starting from here, the prologue breezes through introducing the whole cast.

Kai (CV: Kimura Ryohei) arrives first, knocking on Gerda’s door to deliver her flowers from his place. Kai and Gerda are childhood friends who’ve known each other for AGES. They’re also neighbors. Kai is a huge flower otaku and they both talk about flowers A LOT. He’s very affectionate towards Gerda and she thinks of him like an older brother…much to his chagrin. Kai stomachs Gerda’s awful herb tea on a regular basis even though he sounds like he’s suffocating to death every time, and is the only one who’ll ever call it ‘good’. His love runs deep…

After delivering his flowers to Gerda, they decide to gift some of them to Orva (CV: Tachibana Shinnosuke). Kai advises Gerda to go alone, because he thinks Orva will be happier to see her instead of him LOL. Before Gerda parts ways with him, they talk about the White World for a bit and they agree that yeah, it’s likely just a legend after all. This is when Gerda starts hearing a voice in her head. The voice questions – is the White World REALLY just a legend? No one else seems to be able to hear it but her.

On her way to Orva’s place, Gerda bumps into Craes (CV: Yonaga Tsubasa). Craes is this bright and loud little thing who’s usually the group’s moodmaker. He’s also another one of Gerda’s childhood friends, and an extremely good cook. At the moment, he’s just back from running an errand and tells Gerda to come over to the restaurant he works at after she’s done. He’s got something to show her, and Gerda agrees.

Just like his description on the site, Orva is a sickly and VERY pessimistic young boy who’s perpetually bedridden because of his illness. Since quite some time ago, Gerda and Kai have been visiting him and Gerda always brings him flowers. Though Orva thanks her, he seems to feel bad about keeping her here with him…at the same time glad she came to visit.

Gerda rolls over to Craes’ place later and he feeds her strawberry cake. Just as she’s eating, a dude enters the restaurant. That’s Aje (CV: Ono Yuuki), who is a gigantic baby. Aje demands food because he’s hungry and Craes gripes about it but rolls to get his usual anyway. Aje’s a traveller who ‘stopped by’ the village by collapsing from hunger in front of it LMFAO. He was saved by Craes who fed him. Apparently the reason why he was starving out there to begin with was because HE GOT LOST. He has no sense of direction. Aje’s also rough with his words but gets shy and flustered really easily; a dependable dude in general. Gerda tries to feed him cake before his food gets here to waylay his hunger, and he’s all “YOU’RE A GIRL DON’T CARELESSLY DO THAT” I just…Aje pls. They chat and Aje brings up the topic of hearing that there was a magic mirror somewhere that could heal any sort of illness, which makes Gerda think of Orva.

The next day, Kai’s all HEY GERDA LOOK WHAT I HAVE!! because he got ahold of this mirror from a merchant that’s said to grant any wish its owner wants. This whole thing is obviously a setup but Gerda buys into it anyway. Kai insists that because he bought it for her, she should use it. Naturally, Gerda decides to wish for Orva’s illness to go away and decides to head over to his place that night. Kai follows her…and so do Craes and Aje, who are both gigantic busybodies LMFAO. Orva is so “(´・ω・`)…” at all of them squeezing into his room. They make the wish and Kai’s hand ‘slips’ (again, obviously someone was setting this up…). The mirror shatters into a gajillion pieces and white light fills the room. When Gerda wakes up, she notices everyone unconscious around her. Thankfully, no one’s hurt.

…Then, Gerda starts displaying some kind of super strength by breaking things in Orva’s house by complete accident. First she sends Craes flying by pushing him, then breaks the door by opening it, then crushes an apple to bits by holding it. This continues into the next day, where she broke her front door a grand total of THRICE. Gerda finds that it’s not just her – it seems like everyone in the room that day has gained some sort of strange ability. Kai’s personality did a 180 in front of her that morning and he started being cold to Gerda, Orva’s hands have gained the unfortunate ability to rot anything he touches (so he wears gloves now), and Craes appears to be able to ‘see’ the bad intentions of any person. Aje, however…his new quirk is spitting out OOC lines unexpectedly.

AJE *・゜゚・*:.。..。.:*・'(*゚▽゚*)’・*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚・*

Later that evening, everyone gathers in Gerda’s room. They’ve all realized something’s Up, and the mirror might have something to do with it. Adding to that, Orva’s apparently all good to go now because his illness is magically gone!? Mid-discussion, the Daemon (CV: Sugiyama Noriaki) aka Douche Ex Machina shows up by the window and is like OKAY GUYS, TIME FOR A PLOT BRIEFING!! In order to break the mirror’s curse, they have to remove the shards that entered them when the mirror broke. In order to do that, they need to head to where the Snow Queen is. Unlocking the way to the White World would require three keys from three worlds – the Red, Yellow and Green Worlds. Everyone’s compelled to believe the shady little thing, since it’s not like they have many other options. Thus, starting the next day or so, their journey together begins!

Chapter One

Gerda and co. make their way to the forest just before the Red World, but discover that they’ve been going around in circles. They come across a dude who’s randomly hanging around this shady part of the forest who shows them the ‘right path’. Random Dude also sounds way too much like the Daemon, but no one seems to notice that. The group arrives at a huge mansion. There, they meet Liselotte (CV: Tani Ikuko), a witch who’s the mansion’s current owner, and two young children – Will (CV: Hanae Natsuki) and Lydia (CV: Yamamoto Ayano). The kids appear to be helpers around the house. Liselotte’s surprised that they managed to find the mansion, because the forest had magic cast upon it to keep people away. Gerda explains their situation, and Liselotte allows them to stay at the mansion for as long as necessary until they can find the key.

What surprised me about this game were the ‘POV swap’ segments, where the player gets to see what’s going on outside of Gerda’s knowledge. The game switches to Liselotte’s POV, where it’s revealed that she’s 1) obviously evil 2) targeting the mirror shards inside Gerda and co. in order to amass greater power than the Snow Queen and 3) going to keep them in her mansion forever until she can figure out how to get the shards out. Liselotte also knows exactly where the Red World’s key is, but she’s not going to hand it over to them.

The next day, Liselotte hands the group a small vial of red liquid each. It’s supposed to protect them from bad stuff, and to give off a reaction whenever they’re close to finding the key. Liselotte also warns them all NOT to enter her room, which…is an obvious sign that they should break into it. She’s actually in there resting to recover from the magic used to make the vials, after lying to the group that she’d be out searching for information to help them.

Things happen so slowly in the Red World, I had cabin fever by day two. Gerda wakes up too early and thinks about going outside to see the white roses. But when she peeks out of the door, she sees a man in a mask standing there – Ivan. Not knowing who he is, she mistakes him for a ghost when he suddenly disappears. She relays this to everyone. Liselotte obviously knows that Ivan works for the Snow Queen, while the guys have no idea what’s going on and half of them (aka Aje and Craes) start freaking out over ghosts LMFAO.

Soon, cabin fever also starts to hit the group really hard. They’ve been searching all over the mansion for the key, but with no result. In the reading lounge (or something along those lines), they meet Will, who’s fast asleep. He seems to have been reading books about magic and medicine. Gerda catches him sleeptalking about being willing to do anything to save Lydia. When he wakes up, he snaps at Gerda and storms out. Gerda chases him to ask about what he was dreaming about, but he brushes her off because even if she knew, she wouldn’t be able to do anything. Meanwhile, Lydia’s at the rose garden, painting the white roses red. It’s her daily job, and Liselotte will get angry at her for slacking. The white roses remind her of the Snow Queen, it seems.

Later, Orva raises the exact suspicion I’ve been waiting for – that Liselotte, Will and Lydia are hiding something. If they have reason not to let go of the Red World’s key, their search up to this point would’ve been pointless. Gerda also has another encounter with Ivan later, when he shows up and she starts chasing him. In order to show her he’s human, he holds her against him out of absolutely nowhere.

Gerda can feel him so he’s not a spirit, but at the same time it’s as though he’s made of ice. The hug stuns the crap out of her, and he disappears again after exchanging a few quick words.

By this point I was seriously wondering when ANYTHING was ever going to happen. But at last, Gerda manages to get Lydia to open up to her by continuously being nice and friendly. Lydia heads to the group’s room to play, and eventually tells them the truth behind how she and Will ended up at the mansion. Their entire family had died of an illness. They came here originally to have Lydia’s illness cured, otherwise she would have died too. In exchange for the cure, both of them had to stay and listen to Liselotte’s orders, promising they wouldn’t leave. LISELOTTE IS SO MEAN (இдஇ`。)

Will shows up later after Lydia leaves, and ALSO starts spilling the beans. The Red World’s key is Liselotte’s ring, and Will tells them to steal it while she’s sleeping and unguarded. Her magic wanes when the sun is highest, so they can take the opportunity to escape from the surrounding forest as well. Will’s telling them all this because he noticed Lydia getting close to them, and he can’t let her leave the mansion with the group. Her illness wasn’t truly cured. Liselotte could only halt its progress for as long as they both of them were on the mansion grounds, hence their staying here. Lydia would die if she left, and Will doesn’t want to see her suffering anymore. If the group wishes to help them, they should leave as fast as possible.

Gerda volunteers to nick the ring, and she escapes the mansion with the rest of the group. However, they’re unable to find their way out of the forest. She catches another glimpse of Ivan and chases after him, hoping that he’d know the way out. Ivan says that he’ll show it to her only if she breaks Liselotte’s vial. Whatever choice you pick doesn’t matter, because Gerda will be forced to break the vial anyway.

When she does, Ivan knocks her out immediately and is about to take her away to the White World when Kai shows up. Kai yells at Ivan to leave Gerda alone, and Ivan says he will – if Kai can sacrifice himself for Gerda’s sake. If his feelings of wanting to protect Gerda are real, shouldn’t this be easy to agree to? Ivan will come back for Kai’s answer later, and leaves first. Liselotte arrives and recaptures the entire group.

I was so angry by this point because they were nearly out of there, but no, Ivan, why did you cockblock them!? Anyway, Gerda wakes up and finds that they’re in a worse predicament than before. Liselotte locked them in a room with magic, and even with Gerda’s super strength the door won’t break. Liselotte fully intends to kill the group – if she doesn’t get the mirror shards it’s fine, because the Snow Queen would be weakened anyway. Lydia and Will don’t want to see this happen, so Lydia steals the ring and goes to free the group. Before they leave the room, Kai passes his vial to Gerda, making her promise never to let it go. As Lydia leads them to her and Will’s room, the lights suddenly blow out and a cold wind fills the corridor. When they come back on…Kai is gone. ((((;゚Д゚))))

There’s no time to pause to look for him, and so the group moves on despite Gerda’s panic. In their room, Will explains the use of the vials – they contain fire magic, and serve to ward off people of the White World. This is what has been preventing Ivan from snatching them all away. Will and Lydia show the group three different secret passages they can use to escape – one from their room, one from Liselotte’s room and another from the art gallery. These were built a long time ago by the previous inhabitants, and Liselotte doesn’t know about them. You can pick whichever to leave from, as long as you select the correct choices and not hit a Game Over along the way. Gerda promises to come back to see both siblings again, someday. :’)

Once they’re out, Daemon appears again and laughs at them, which is all he ever does tbh. The group continues their journey to the Yellow World, and are shown the way by a talking crow. Gerda learns from the crow that Kai’s description uncannily resembles the prince of the Yellow World. The Yellow World is a gorgeous place, and they decide to go find lodging at an inn. Gerda can’t really sit still because she wants to get a look at the prince, but agrees to follow along for now. Starting here, the routes take wildly different paths depending on whose affection for Gerda is highest.

KAI

Gerda can’t sit still because she REALLY WANTS TO CHECK THAT PRINCE OUT, and breaks off from the group at the inn to ‘get some fresh air’. Outside, the Daemon approaches her and is all ‘hey gurl I have a proposition for you’. I don’t know why everyone keeps listening to the dude, but Gerda is eventually convinced to head into the palace. He lends her his power and teleports her inside…to the prince’s bedroom. Gerda tries to get a close look of the prince’s face, but just when she gets close – a million alarms start ringing and she panics. Luckily the prince seems to be on her side, because he wakes up and hides her under his sheets while telling the guards that it was a false alarm.

Of course the prince, Alfred (CV: Okitsu Kazuyuki), ISN’T Kai. The chaos wakes the princess Natalia (CV: Toudou Mai) up, and she is sort of like (╯°Д°)╯︵/(.□ . )\ at all of them. Gerda explains her situation to the both of them, and is allowed to stay to look for Kai…who turns up in the palace greenhouse all of a sudden LOL. He’s obviously here on some secret mission for the Snow Queen, but until the last minute he’ll spend his time with Gerda. Gerda’s shocked to see him, and Kai sort of just sidesteps the topic of ‘WHY ARE YOU SUDDENLY HERE’ by bringing up their old promise to see all the flowers of the world together. The flowers in the greenhouse bloom at a certain time, and they spend time looking at these new species that don’t exist in their village.

Gerda brings Kai back to the palace. The two end up rooming together because Gerda still has to look for the Yellow World’s key. Meanwhile, Ivan just continuously hounds Kai to DO YOUR JOB because his time before his heart freezes over is running out. Kai and Gerda roll over to the other guys at the inn to report their status, that they’d be together in the palace for awhile. In secret, Kai warns Aje and Orva that the Snow Queen is targeting Gerda due to her fragment of mirror being the most important piece. He hopes that they can protect Gerda should he be gone. Aje being Aje is just like ‘dude, if you have something you wanna protect then you better do it yourself bro’ LMFAO bless him. ヽ(;▽;)ノ

Later in the palace, Alfred hints that it’s with Natalia, and they ask her for it. Natalia refuses because they’re still being half-assed about something. Meanwhile, Ivan’s visits have started to worry Kai, who thinks Gerda should separate from him because when his heart gets frozen, he’ll hurt her. He goes to the greenhouse to ruminate, where Natalia is. She listens to his troubles and gives him a KAI PLS, pushing him to confess to Gerda by setting them up during the upcoming Yellow World ball. On the day of the ball, Gerda has been primped up and she meets Kai in the back garden. Kai finally confesses his feelings to Gerda, who returns them. On their way back they meet Natalia, who is all pleased that they’re no longer half-assing their feelings. She gifts them the pocketwatch around her neck – the Yellow World’s key, which was a present from Alfred. Those two are adorable omfg they really like each other (*°∀°)=3

Kai and Gerda head back to the inn. They find that Ivan has abducted their friends, and now he’s here for Gerda too. Kai’s eventually pushed to using the ice magic he got from the Snow Queen to drive Ivan away. This leads to the freezing of his heart speeding up, and Kai apologizes to Gerda before bidding her farewell. From this point on, the ‘other’ Kai takes over. This Kai is cold and mean to Gerda, compared to the warm Kai she used to know. Kai’s mission was to fetch her to the White World, so he accompanies her on her journey to the Green World for the last key.

There, Gerda tells Kai to his face that she doesn’t consider him ‘Kai’, at least not as he is right now. Even after he kisses her, she pushes him away. This annoys him, and from his POV, he starts to feel troubled over Gerda’s behavior. She’s different from the warm and cheerful person in ‘his’ memories. This Kai starts to wonder if he and the original Kai are really that different. They find a place that looks like a dwelling, and Gerda kind of breaks the door trying to enter. They’re immediately jumped by a band of thieves. Kai tells Gerda to stand back – the first time this Kai calls her by name – and starts to use his ice magic, but Gerda stops him before he does anything.

After the chaos, Gerda manages to explain their situation to Fine (CV: Asakawa Yuu) and Bayser (CV: Iwasaki Ryou). Fine’s a young girl, but she’s the leader of the mountain bandits! It’s revealed that the Green World’s key is Fine’s necklace, a memento from her dead father. She promises to hand it over after three days – during that time, Kai and Gerda can stay here, though the others are a tad suspicious of Kai’s ice magic.

Suddenly, Fine’s necklace goes missing. While everyone panics, Kai drags Gerda out. He’s stolen the necklace so they can move on to the White World faster. Gerda objects to this, and yells that this isn’t what Kai would’ve done, that he’s not Kai and she hates him. Just for that second, Kai looks really hurt. Bayser pops up suddenly and reveals that he knows Kai stole it, but is willing to cover for him by saying that he’d taken the necklace and then forgotten about it. He’s glad that Fine has found a friend in Gerda, and he hasn’t seen her look that happy in awhile – there are no girls around Fine’s age in their gang. He’s willing to do this for Fine, because they’re family. The word ‘family’ seems to move Kai in some way…and afterwards, he gives a brief apology to Gerda before heading back. Kai even stops Bayser halfway through his fake excuse, and admits to having stolen the necklace. This was super moving omfg dude you have grown! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Right after, a cold wind seems to fill the room and all the mountain bandits collapse. Something – or someone – has afflicted them with high fevers. Gerda looks after them for fear of their lives, while Kai…disappears somewhere for a long time.

He comes back eventually and Gerda throws herself at him because she was just SO WORRIED he would’ve disappeared again. He tells her he was just outside looking for a kind of wild plant, and Gerda needn’t worry. He’d frozen the plant in ice using his magic to preserve it. It’d be able to help cure the bandits of their fever in no time! Gerda thanks Kai for what he’s done, that was really sweet of him(;▽;)

After they obtain the key and bid farewell to the bandits, Gerda apologizes to Kai for saying he’s ‘not Kai’. In the end, she believes that Kai’s kindness still remains, and he eyes still look the same when he’s thinking about something. Kai denies that, saying his only goal is to bring her to the White World. Gerda replies that no matter how powerful the Snow Queen is, she’d be alright as long as Kai is by her side. This seems to infuriate Kai, who pushes her down – he (‘that guy’) had given up everything to protect her, so why is she still charging straight towards danger? He sounds on the verge of crying, and tells her in his old warm tone not to head to the White World. Still, Gerda won’t give up her journey.

Eventually, they reach the White World! It’s a cold place of nothing but ice and snow. Ivan pops up and orders Kai to hurt Gerda for the Snow Queen’s sake. Kai strangles Gerda but Gerda believes he wouldn’t kill her, which causes his resolve to sort of disappear. Ivan plans to take Gerda away right after, but Kai tells him to gtfo. This route is so dramatic, I cannot even. After Ivan scoots off, Kai talks to Gerda. He insults her first, but rounds it off by saying that he doesn’t dislike her, and wonders why. He doesn’t want to be troubled and to be pained by his own emotions anymore, so he’ll let her see the Kai she loves so much. From this point on, the cold Kai disappears…and the original Kai returns.

They head to the Snow Queen’s palace, where more drama inevitably happens! The Snow Queen wants to take her mirror shard back from Gerda, but it’d already melted and become one with her. So why not just turn Gerda into another puppet for the Snow Queen, so her mirror will be with her forever? Kai won’t let Ivan lay a hand on Gerda, and overexerts himself using ice magic. This results in him losing himself, turning cold to Gerda once again. This version is even worse than the ‘other’ Kai.

Bad End – As Kai makes his way to the Snow Queen’s side, Gerda hugs him from behind and tells him to return to his old self, to return to the village with her and everyone. However, he shoves her to the ground. Having been completely rejected by Kai, Gerda is so hurt that she loses the will to fight back. The Snow Queen offers to let her sleep together with Kai for eternity in the White World, where emotions like fear and loneliness will not reach them. Gerda agrees, and they become an icecube together.

Good End – Gerda still does the hugging thing, but this time her voice manages to reach Kai. Some really Disney shit starts happening when Gerda’s tears fall onto Kai’s back. Wherever her tears land, LIGHT starts coming out. Kai’s body starts to get warmer, and his heart starts to thaw once more – but he still shoves Gerda away harshly. Kai suggests to the Snow Queen to let Gerda become an icecube together with their fellow nakama, because they’d be happy together or something. The Snow Queen magics up three coffins in which Aje, Orva and Craes sleep. Another empty one materializes for Gerda. Before stepping in, Gerda works up a smile at Kai, and confesses that she will always love him.

…And then Kai whispers that he feels the same, he will love her forever. He won’t let her sleep here. THEN BOOM, MORE CHAOS because the other three coffins suddenly melt and the guys all wake up! No one has any idea how Kai managed to do it, but I was so glad to see them all again omg(;▽;)Kai tells them to grab Gerda and hightail it outta here, and…Aje and Orva do so immediately. Craes on the other hand is just confused LMFAO. Something to note is Aje’s curious ‘that guy…!?’ reaction to Ivan…which was really great to see for me because I’d already played Aje’s route at this point.

Meanwhile, Kai makes an eternal pledge to the Snow Queen once more. Gerda’s warmth has given him strength, and Kai no longer wishes to lose anything now that everyone is safe. He’s content to remain in the White World so long as Gerda and co. are allowed to leave. The Snow Queen just sounds like she’s 10000% done by this point, feeling conflicted over all this WARMTH and KIZUNA. Outside the palace is a different story, because no way in hell is the group gonna let Kai pull his noble martyr bullshit again. Orva comes up with a battle plan – create commotion outside to draw Ivan away from the palace. Once he’s away, Gerda’s supposed to…grab an ice pillar and knock down the palace doors to get to Kai or something, either way it involves a lot of destruction.

The Snow Queen isn’t going to let them do their friendshippy thing because she really hates that. Her thought processes can basically be summed up as: all humans die alone → people will only betray and hurt each other → why should I believe in anyone → therefore it’s better to close myself off from all these emotions → only strength is absolute. It sure is lonely at the top, and Gerda manages to understand the Snow Queen’s true feelings. The Snow Queen hits the group with a huge blizzard, and when all hope seems lost, the keys to the White World begin to emit light. Suddenly this seems very Pokemon but okay! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ The light of the keys carry the emotions of those who gave them to Gerda, and combining the power of the keys and ice magic, Kai is able to stop the blizzard.

It’s feels vomit time when Gerda finds the Snow Queen weeping behind her throne after blizzard dies down. The warmth of the keys has jolted the Snow Queen into remembering the truth behind the keys, something she’d forgotten. She was the one who passed them to the three worlds to begin with, sealing herself away from people. She held such great power that everyone was afraid of her, and she was also afraid of hurting others. The White World was a prison of her own making – should she lose herself like she did, this place would destroy her eventually. Ivan rushes back at this point all worried, and Gerda observes that him and the Snow Queen seem to have formed a bond. She isn’t as alone as she had thought. Gerda offers to visit the White World once in awhile as well, so the Snow Queen wouldn’t be lonely. She isn’t scared of the Snow Queen now, and wishes to get along with her.

However, good things do not last, and the Snow Queen starts to disappear. The warmth of the keys has melted her heart, and she’s disappearing along with the ice that covered it. The White World is also falling apart as she melts. She comments that Gerda might have saved her from this world of solitude. She also apologizes to Ivan for snatching his life for herself, though his presence has reassured her for a long time. The Snow Queen’s final words are her wish for the group to remember her, to not forget that she had once existed. ・゚・(ノД`)・゚・。

In the epilogue, Gerda and co. set off once more to return the keys. Ivan, who mysteriously disappeared after the Snow Queen was gone, showed up when Gerda and co. were visiting Will and Lydia in the Red World. He used his presence to help them meet the two children, despite Liselotte being unhappy about it. Alfred and Natalia were happy to get their key back, though nothing has changed about their relationship or personalities. Fine and Bayser were shocked that Kai suddenly moe-d up to them LMFAO but they warmed up to him after he apologized for being a shit to them back then. Years later, Gerda and Kai are leading a happy life as neighbors and lovers. Kai comes over to Gerda’s house so much he might as well be living there, especially since he stays over often. Orva’s condition went back to his old state, though he’s also getting much better at the same time. Craes resumed work while Aje resumed his travels, though he still stops by the village every now and then. Happy Disney ending GET! (◡‿◡✿)

ORVA

Sometimes I feel really sorry for this dude, but sometimes I just don’t know what to think. Orva’s condition has been worsening ever since they entered the Yellow World. He had to stay back in the inn because he wasn’t feeling up to journeying outside to gather info, so Gerda stayed back to look after him while the other two went out. Orva takes the chance to bomb Gerda with a ‘so do you like me?’ question. (´・ω・`) Gerda’s shocked, but well the other option Orva gave her was a negative one, so she obviously picked the positive answer. Aje and Craes come back later with information that the key’s in the palace. Orva goes out to catch a breather, and Gerda follows.

 He tells her that while people may think she’s like the sun – to him she is the moon, because he is a creature of darkness and she…lights his way in the dark. Astrology 101 when Gerda points out that there’s also stars in the sky; Orva is also surrounded by many people who care for him besides her. The sad bit is, he doesn’t seem to understand that.

The group head to the palace the next day. At the gates, they encounter Alfred, who is charmed immediately by Gerda. After hearing about her situation, he very happily offers to let her stay in the palace with him to look for the key. On top of that, he’ll allow her to bring along one companion! Gerda picks Orva and they’re tasked to find the key amongst Alfred and Natalia’s possessions. If they can find it, it’s theirs. The two don’t even know where to start looking; there’re so many pocket watches in the royal couple’s room. They call it a day, and share a room. As they lie side by side, Orva being Orva ONCE AGAIN decides to corner Gerda by telling her that I THINK OF YOU AS A WOMAN. (´・ω・`) He also doesn’t need anyone else besides Gerda oh ok (´・ω・`)

The next day, Alfred drops one last hint – the key’s with someone important to him aka NATALIA. I really ship these two harder with every route (=´∀`)人(´∀‘=) For some reason Kai makes a guest appearance in the palace hallways telling them to give up the game and go home. Despite Orva’s growing sense of unease, they eventually solve the ‘puzzle’ and indeed – the key is the pocketwatch around Natalia’s neck. However, Alfred has one last condition before they can take the key. The palace ball is very soon, and he’d like them both to take part. At night, Gerda goes to primp, while the Daemon decides to troll his way into Orva’s heart. ( ・ิω・ิ) He tells Orva that if they manage to break the curse of the mirror, Orva would would go back to his sickly old self, and then he’d die.

Gerda comes back to show Orva her dress, and…gets kissed by him instead, though it seems he’s about to cry. She doesn’t completely reject him, but observes that Orva acts as though he’s scared of some kind of darkness.

The next day, it’s kind of awkward for Gerda, but oh well! They get the key from Natalia and head back to the inn. There’s no trace of Craes or Aje. The food on the table is still warm, and there’re two shattered vials on the floor – they must have been abducted. Gerda wishes to head off to save them, but Orva stops her. He suggests that they leave for the village instead. If they undo the curse, he might return to his previous bedridden lifestyle, and he never wants to go back to that at all costs. (Dude, you can’t just abandon your friends!?) Gerda insists on continuing their journey, and Orva responds that she doesn’t know how he feels; no one does.

He whips out a small knife and presses it to her neck, threatening her. I JUST…DUDE. Gerda on the other hand isn’t having none of his shit and just friendship-talks him back to his senses. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Orva agrees that yeah, he does want to save everyone else as well, but Gerda can still detect that he’s uncertain.

They head to the Green World and get lost in a dark forest. They meet Fine and Bayser, who ask them what they’re doing all the way out here. Gerda explains that they wish to head to the White World…while Orva’s attitude seems to piss Fine off real bad, because he’s so negative towards them. Fine takes a liking to Gerda, however, and invites them to stay over at their bandit HQ. There, Gerda tells Fine about their situation, and guesses correctly that Fine’s necklace is the Green World’s key. Gerda beats Fine completely at poker with god-level luck, and Fine lends the key to her. Meanwhile, Orva is all negative and quiet in a corner. Gerda goes over to ask him what’s up, and he offers to hold onto the necklace for her while she rejoins the bandits having fun. While everyone is distracted, Orva takes a lantern from their luggage and leaves with the necklace, heading back to the village. (´・ω・`)

Gerda notices this afterwards and panics. Caim, Fine’s talking parrot, tells her that he saw Orva leave in a hurried manner, pointing her in the direction of the forest. While Gerda rushes off, Caim goes to alert Fine and gang. Gerda finds Orva and he threatens to use his power to rot the necklace. He takes off one of his gloves, and says that Gerda wouldn’t want to touch him like that either. But fuck that shit, she grabs his ungloved hand anyway. Pain shoots through her and she loses consciousness, falling over…Orva reaches out to grab her, yelling that he won’t let her die. The both of them seem to have fallen down a cliff.

Gerda doesn’t open her eyes for a long time. When she does, Orva hugs her and has an emotional breakdown of sorts, apologizing for all the crap he’s done. He’s betrayed her feelings, and even so she still believed in him. He regrets what he’s done and can’t forgive himself for it. All this time he’s been so wrapped up in the pain of his own illness, that he’s never noticed the pain of those who can only watch over him. But now, only being able to pray for Gerda to be alright, he finally understands how watching over someone feels. They’re finally seeing eye to eye. Gerda’s still kind of hurt, so Orva piggybacks her some distance as they try to head back to the bandit HQ. On the way they meet the Daemon, who reveals that he trolled Orva hard by casting magic to make his body weaken upon entering the Yellow World, thus encouraging his fears. He disappears before they can do anything. The both of them are eventually found by Bayser and taken back.

Fine doesn’t approve of Gerda traveling with Orva at all, especially not after he apologizes for having stolen the key. But they have a ~girl talk~ moment, and Fine seems to realize that Gerda likes him. Meanwhile, Orva wants to repent for what he did. He wishes to gain strength to protect Gerda, and asks Bayser to take him along hunting with the bandits. Bayser also tells him that he has to earn Fine’s acknowledgement. He teaches Orva how to use the short knife, because he’s going to challenge Fine to a showdown before leaving. Fine accepts, and as long as Orva can get one hit in, it’s her loss. Using what Bayser taught him, Orva manages to land a hit! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Seems like Fine has to acknowledge that he’s grown manlier (even just a tiny bit), and a strange bond has been formed between Orva and Bayser LMFAO.

Gerda and Orva soon reach the White World. Daemon appears once more to taunt Orva, but Orva rejects everything he throws at him. His illness or whatever, none of that matters anymore. After having his troll thrown back into his face, the Daemon leaves. Orva’s free to serenade Gerda in the White World with a pre-battle speech: in the past, he’d given up on having dreams which he considered ‘worthless’. But after meeting Gerda, he’s thought about having dreams, about making them reality. He hates himself, but after meeting her, he’s grown to like himself just a little bit more. He confesses his feelings to Gerda here, and says that a reply to his confession can wait till later – just in case it ends up making him waver.

The both of them head towards the Snow Queen’s palace, and Kai jumps them outside. He attacks them, and they hide behind a huge ice pillar. Orva has to hug Gerda from behind, because the poor girl is in so much pain and confusion that her beloved childhood friend is genuinely trying to kill her. Orva tells her that that isn’t the Kai she used to know, and if he still has some memory of his time with Gerda and everyone…they might be able to pry him back from the Snow Queen’s grasp. Betting on this small glimmer of hope, Gerda throws herself at Kai and begs him to return to his former self. Kai gurgles for a bit and the same thing happens just like in his route – his heart melts when Gerda starts crying. He’s back to normal, and promises Gerda not to run away again.

At this moment, Ivan sweeps in! He’s here to punish Kai for insubordination. Ivan makes to grab Gerda and Orva goes batshit on him and whips out his knife, snatching Gerda away from Ivan’s grip. Kai has a revival and holds Ivan back while Orva and Gerda run into the palace. There, they find the Snow Queen, who says that she’d already taken back her mirror fragments from Aje and Craes. Here, a pretty obvious but still major spoiler is revealed for Craes’ route, so I’ll withhold it for now. As usual, Gerda’s fragment has become one with her, and she’d probably die if the Snow Queen tried to extract it. But of course no worries!! Gerda can just become a puppet along with the poor abductees!

This time, in response to the Snow Queen’s PEOPLE ONLY HURT AND BETRAY EACH OTHER spiel, Gerda answers that she’d rather live with such emotions. Through meeting others, people grow. There’s no wall that can’t be overcome if you’re with those important to you! As long as the Snow Queen needs Gerda for her powers and shit, Orva will head to the White World with Gerda, even though he’s kinda completely unimplicated otherwise. This is supposed to show the Snow Queen some fluffy human feerings thing, and she accepts his proposal. Problem is…the Daemon ain’t happy. He appears out of nowhere, complaining about how this Good End scenario isn’t fun. The Snow Queen tries to dismiss him, but it doesn’t work – the Daemon’s pissed, and decides to kill everyone off. Since he was the one who stole the mirror in the first place, this means his power level is naturally over nine thousand. Orva’s knife makes another return – he wants to kill the Daemon, though he/it warns him that if he does, he’d take on an eternal punishment worse than death.

Bad End – Orva stabs the Daemon, but…it’s still alive, and the Snow Queen tries to use her magic on it. Unfortunately from her, it steals her staff and uses its magic to make her disappear. The whole situation is pretty bleak until Orva grabs the Daemon with his bare hands, and the Daemon begins to rot away. After the Daemon’s death, a strange black smog envelops Orva. When it clears…Orva has become a demon himself as punishment for slaying the Daemon. He’s unable to remain near anyone, and the smog appears to rot everything in its path. Orva begs Gerda to run away. He thanks her, and says that he’s glad he got to fall in love with her. Gerda escapes, leaving Orva behind.

Good End – The Snow Queen doesn’t get her staff stolen, and instead blasts the Daemon into the wall LMFAO. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Everything started with that asshole, after all. Furthermore, if what Gerda and Orva said about human feelings was true…there’s no way she could have NOT used her powers at that exact moment to save them. But then it turns out that the Daemon ain’t dead, and it starts raising hell in the palace. The Snow Queen tells Gerda and Orva to run while she holds it back. She uses her magic to transport them outside, telling them to return whence they came and to not worry about her.

Gerda and Orva make haste, stopping to pick up Kai, who’s flopping on the ice with Ivan, both too tired to do much. When Ivan hears about the drama that went down, his expression changes. He leads the group to the exit, where Aje and Craes are lying unconscious. The Snow Queen had likely transported them out too. However, Ivan decides to head back into the White World, because he’s always lived by the Snow Queen’s side. The cave entrance/exit collapses once Ivan exits.

Abrupt cliffhanger, and a cut to the credits! When the game resumes, the epilogue explains the usual stuff as per Kai’s route, only this time Aje lets on more information – in a flashback, he tells Gerda that he has an older brother. He’s been traveling in order to meeting him again, and will continue to do so until he finally finds him. (´;ω;`) Kai resumes his neighbor lifestyle, and comments that Ivan might have noticed that the Snow Queen was just lonely, maybe that was why he went back. And of course, Orva’s back in bed but his condition is improving. The curse on his hands has also been lifted. Gerda visits him often, and they sort of just act all mushy. Orva is super touchy-feely towards Gerda now, and asks her for her reply to his White World confession. Gerda replies that she also likes him back!!! ♡٩(● ˙▿˙●)۶

CRAES

The first big difference between Craes’ route and the common route appears during the group’s journey to the Yellow World. Craes has a dream of himself in the past – as a child, he’d wanted to show a flower he’d found in a forest to Gerda. On his way to her, he fell down a cliff and nearly lost his life. On the brink of death, he meets someone (obviously the Daemon), who grants him a grace period. In return for extending his life for five years, he’d be back after that amount of time to collect his ‘reward’. Craes agrees to this exchange because he just wants to see Gerda again, and passes out right after. When he wakes up from the nightmare, he has no recollection of it. It seems he’d forgotten this really important part of his past.

In the Yellow World, the prince and princess are midway through a royal visit through their city. Gerda, really wanting to take a peek at the prince, ends up destroying a streetlight in the process with her strength. When the group heads back to their inn after a meal, they find Alfred in their room. Having noticed Gerda during the streetlight incident, he requests that she be a body double for Natalia during the upcoming Yellow World ball. They explain their situation to him, that they have to go look for the Yellow World’s key, and Alfred has no problem handing it over once Gerda’s job is over. Gerda agrees to it, even if it’s a dangerous job where her life might be targeted. She’s able to pick someone to go with her, and she picks Craes. Craes later declares that when the time comes, he’ll protect Gerda with his frying pan LMFAO (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Once at the palace, Alfred introduces them to Natalia (his future wife!) and settles them down. Late at night, Craes spots people being suspicious in the garden, and tells Gerda to wait while he investigates. Gerda can’t sit still when Craes is doing something so dangerous, and decides to chase after him. She bumps into the suspicious men, who are scared off by her sudden appearance. Craes runs in right after, and is really glad that they didn’t do anything bad to Gerda.

The next day, while primping Gerda up, Natalia apologizes for putting her in such a dangerous position. It can’t be helped that she’s being targeted, as the rulers/princesses of other countries are still vying for Natalia’s position as a result of Alfred’s status. Craes enters the room with Alfred, who had previously pulled him out to ‘school’ him in etiquette. As per Alfred’s instructions, Craes gets down on one knee and offers his hand to Gerda (=´∀`)人(´∀‘=) He calls Gerda a beautiful princess and asks for her hand. Gerda’s all flustered by this OOC, and even Craes is like JUST TAKE MY HAND AND SPARE ME ALREADY about it HAHAHA.

At night, the ball begins. Gerda’s targeted by the band of suspicious men, who’d disguised themselves as the hired help. Luckily for her, Craes holds true on his promise of protecting her…with his frying pan. (´◉◞⊖◟◉`) He flies in and beats people up with it until he gets terribly hurt. He faints from the severity of the injury, after palace guards finally arrive on the scene. While unconscious, Craes has a dream of the past. In order to help his busy parents, he learnt how to cook/bake to relieve some of their burden. One day, he made extra scones and decided to gift some to Gerda. She loved eating what he made and complimented him. This was what motivated Craes to continue with his craft professionally, so that he would be able to continue making things for Gerda, to see her smile.

When Craes finally wakes up and opens his eyes, Gerda is so happy she just hugs him. Alfred and Natalia, who both enter the room later, are like (⊙ω⊙ )(⊙‿⊙✿) at them both. When Craes is feeling better, he and Gerda roll to the palace greenhouse to take a look at the flowers. However, guards end up locking them both in because they thought no one was using it (Natalia, who usually visits the greenhouse, was out of the palace at the time). Gerda panics, but Craes manages to calm her down. He uses the opportunity to also confess his feelings for her, that he isn’t happy simply being a ‘childhood friend’. But JUST when Gerda wanted to reply to his confession, a maid rushes in to free them! As a result, things get weird and Craes starts being all avoidant, telling Gerda to forget what he said because he’s afraid that it’d get awkward between them.

Later, Gerda is looking for Craes so that she can properly express her feelings to him. She finds Craes and Natalia in the garden. He’s not faking his smile and seems to be talking about something really personal. Gerda’s hurt and runs off, but not before the two of them notice her. Craes catches up to her by the time she’s reached her room, and explains that he and Natalia were actually talking about his love for Gerda…he didn’t want to trouble her and so hid his feelings after the confession. In return, Gerda rambles that she doesn’t like seeing the person she likes suffer as well. She manages to convey her feelings properly, telling Craes that she likes him back. This makes him REALLY happy and he throws himself at her and starts cheering LMFAO (*°∀°)=3

The next day, having obtained both the Yellow World’s key and a brand new relationship, Gerda and Craes bid farewell to Alfred and Natalia. They head back to the inn, where they announce that they’ve found the key. However, Orva responds strangely just like in his own route, wanting them all to quit their journey and turn back. He asks Gerda to hand the key over to him, and Aje immediately steps in to prevent that from happening. Aje isn’t having any of this shit, bless. Orva starts to get violent, taking off his gloves and threatening the group. Aje tells Craes and Gerda to head to the the Green World first – he’ll beat sense into Orva and they’ll catch up later. Gerda’s worried but she understands that she cannot give up, and escapes with Craes.

On the way to the Green World, the Daemon shows up and reminds Craes that he had promised him something. Of course, Craes has no idea what it is. After this short piece of cryptic bullshit, the Daemon disappears. Gerda and Craes eventually reach the Green World. There, they find Bayser who is dying of hunger on the floor. He attacks them, but his stomach starts complaining. Craes nags him into submission LMFAO and comments that Bayser reminds him of how he first met Aje. He cooks something for Bayser, who inhales the food. In return, Bayser takes them to the bandit HQ for lodging. Fine nags Bayser for always collapsing from hunger outside and Gerda thinks they really seem like brother and sister….SO CUTE. (⊙‿⊙✿)

Anyway Craes and Gerda end up separated from the bandits when they’re out hunting, and decide to go check out a nearby flower patch. Here, they start to act more like ~lovers~ and Craes almost manages to ask Gerda for a kiss – until Fine and Bayser bust in, looking for them. The other bandits were like DAMN WE ALMOST GOT TO THE GOOD PART because they were hiding and watching them omfg.

Fine warns Gerda and Craes not to go to the forest beyond the flowers, because it’s a Bad Place. This obviously means they head there eventually out of curiosity! There, they meet Kai, who tells them to give up their journey and runs off. Craes chases after him, leaving Gerda behind. Kai says that someone like Craes wouldn’t be able to understand the feelings he had when he agreed to work for the Snow Queen – because he’s a liar. The scene cuts to Gerda, who’s visited by the Daemon. The Daemon tells her that Craes is hiding something from her…and that there’s little time remaining before something happens. His words put unease in Gerda’s heart, and he disappears. When Craes returns, it’s awkward until they’re finally found by the bandits.

At the HQ, Fine reveals that the key they’re looking for is in fact, her necklace. She’ll only let them have it if they manage to beat the bandits in an arm-wrestling tournament…or rather, just beat Bayser. Craes attempts to be manly about this and fails terribly, while Gerda steps up to the plate after him and crushes Bayser with her strength. (´・ω・`)

Before they leave, Craes wants to speak to Gerda about what he’s been concealing from her – but doesn’t feel that he’s prepared to do so yet. Gerda is super good-natured about this and decides to wait until he’s ready. She also lets him know that she’s been hiding something from him! During their childhood years, she accidentally smashed a cup that Craes liked a lot and never owned up to it! And ate some of his food without him knowing! Craes is super taken aback but he realizes this is Gerda trying to put him at ease, and thanks her. Oh Gerda, you cutie. ( ・ิω・ิ)

The two of them roll onwards to the White World. At the entrance, the Daemon appears again! Just to let them know he’s not been 100% joshing with them, he says that the only way to release themselves from the curse is to erase the Snow Queen’s existence. They press on and Ivan meets them! Craes decides to fight the dude with a frying pan and ultimately fails LMFAO. Anyway, they’re granted audience with the Snow Queen, who wishes to speak to them. She only wants Gerda, however…because there’s no mirror shard in Craes. This surprises Gerda, who never realized it (though it’s pretty obvious to the player). Craes is left behind waiting for Gerda in the hallway.

In her hall, the Snow Queen lets Gerda know that she can let Craes return to their village, if Gerda decides to stay behind. Gerda agrees to this, and decides to lie to Craes to get him out of this place ASAP – because he’s the person she loves most in this world. She heads back, telling him that removing the mirror shard would take some time and that he should head back to the village first. Craes finds something really off about this, because he can tell that Gerda is suffering. When she turns to leave, he grabs her hand. He can’t simply leave her here like this! TIME TO RUN AWAY…while being chased by Kai and Ivan.

While on their way out, Craes lets her know that there’s no point in him heading back without her. The whole reason why he lied to everyone in the first place was so that he wouldn’t get left behind, and so that he could spend more time with Gerda. After this, Gerda gets hit with ice magic and loses consciousness, then gets abducted by Ivan. Craes steps out but Kai gets in his way. This causes Craes’ patience to hit its limit, and he punches Kai LMFAO. He begins to brotalk Kai into regaining his senses, telling him that he’s supposed to be protecting Gerda, but is only hurting her now. Craes’ scolding begins to move Kai, especially when he continues yelling at him to come back, to save her, because he’s a presence that Gerda needs – a dear friend to them both. At this point, Aje and Orva return! Aje tells Craes to leave Kai to them. Craes heads back to the palace to retrieve Gerda.

In the palace, Craes gives his Brotalk 101 to the Snow Queen, taking out the vial of fire magic and smashing it. He isn’t particularly smart or good at using a sword or able to wield strong magic like the queen; he can only cook for others. Through this, he’s able to talk to others and find out what they like, and share more about himself too – it’s fun! However, the Snow Queen who wields such great power, doesn’t appear to be enjoying herself at all. The Snow Queen insists that no one would want to get close to, or like someone with such overwhelming power. Gerda chimes in to ask if the queen really believes this to be the truth, and Craes insists that if the Snow Queen doesn’t do anything bad to them, he’d love to be her friend. This shocks the Snow Queen, and Gerda follows up by smashing her own vial. Like Craes, she wishes to befriend the Snow Queen. They’ll be her first friends!

This causes the Snow Queen’s heart to waver, and she’s afraid something strange will happen to her if she allows the both of them to remain here. Craes is such a darling around this part – he doesn’t like the idea of leaving a friend (the Snow Queen) alone, and asks her to come to their village together with Ivan. However, the Snow Queen smiles kindly at them. That sort of thing is impossible. Craes tells her that her current expression is a good one; if she can smile like that, no one would be afraid of her anymore. Gerda also says that she’s sure that if the Snow Queen manages to change, just like how she’s smiling now – that one smile can connect to a future full of possibilities. The Snow Queen is so moved by the both of them, and acknowledges that they’ve proven the strength of human emotions to her. The calm feeling she now holds is stronger than power alone. She sends them back outside the palace with her magic, telling them to return to their village.

Outside, all is well until the Daemon shows up. The final boss of this route! Or rather, his voice shows up and starts speaking privately to Craes, reminding him that he’s here for ~payment~. Craes owes him his soul for the Cliff Incident five years ago. Craes manages to bargain for a little more time, and stops to talk to Gerda. He asks her if he’s become more of a man now, and Gerda is all OFC you are very manly rn!! The both of them share a moment, and Gerda decides to kiss Craes. She’s happy, thinking of the future (…) they can have together. But the player sees Craes’ inner thoughts – at the last moment, he apologizes to Gerda in his head before collapsing.

Bad End – Craes is pretty much dead, his soul having left him. The Snow Queen shows up and confirms this. She doesn’t want her friends to be sad, and so offers the heartbroken Gerda to sleep beside Craes forever as an icecube. It’s kind of like Kai’s bad end.

Good End – Instead of the Snow Queen showing up, Gerda flips out when Craes collapses and lugs him over to the White World’s exit where everyone is waiting. Once out, everyone panics until he finally regains consciousness…except when he does, he no longer remembers Gerda. Even after the group returns to the village, Craes shows no recognition of Gerda at all. He doesn’t remember her in the old stories they tell him, or in the photo albums. Everyone returns to their daily lives, except it’s now 1000% more awkward between Gerda and Craes. Gerda gets to hang out with Kai more, and when they visit Craes’ workplace…he’s still hesitant around Gerda, but is obviously displeased that she’s so troubled around him but all happy with Kai. (´・ω・`)

One day, Craes is thinking about the reason why he became a cook, and cannot remember…whatever the reason, he’d just really felt like making strawberry cake that day. Gerda arrives shortly after, and comments that it looks delicious. Craes wonders why she’s so dead-set on retrieving his memories – if they returned, would she smile at him like she does to others? He decides to let her try the cake, and Gerda’s super happy because it tastes great. Craes finds that he can’t take his eyes off her delighted expression (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ He realizes that HE’S BEGINNING TO FALL FOR HER and gripes about Kai being his rival LOL. I really loved this whole falling-for-you-again part.

Craes shows up on Gerda’s doorstep one day with a sunflower and practically shoves it at her. Her existence is like the sunflower to him – bright and warm. He confesses that he likes her, especially her smiling face. Gerda is delighted by this (it’s their second confession!) and replies that she likes Craes as well.

AJE

MY FAVORITE. In the Yellow World, Aje tries to cheer Gerda up. He sends the whole group off after lunch, saying that he’s got some small errand he forgot to run. Everyone naturally gets worried that poor Aje will get lost in the city and Gerda heads back to look for him. She gets cornered by some creepy dude who TOTALLY INSISTS on showing her around, and whacks him when he grabs her LOL. This hurts but makes the creeper more aggressive, then Aje slides in to save the day…only to ruin his cool entrance by spitting out strange kimoi lines because of the curse omfg. He starts praising pretty much every aspect of Gerda and the creep is stunned into silence LMFAO. Of course, Aje explodes in embarrassment and yells at him not to lay a hand on his woman (LOL) — until that turns out to be the curse’s fault too, and Aje explodes AGAIN LMFAO. Poor Gerda is just there like ((((;゚Д゚)))) AJE PLEASE STOP TALKING

Aje chases the dude off, and the two of ‘em head back after Gerda explains why she’s all alone out here. Turns out Aje wanted to buy a map because he got lost on the way here, so he’s certain the map is wrong (it doesn’t work that way, bro). Gerda learns from a passing civilian that Aje was actually also out asking if anyone had seen Kai. That’s why he told everyone to go back without him at first.(;▽;)Aje lets Gerda know that he understands the unease she feels, because there’s someone important he’s looking for as well, someone he’d recognize the minute he laid eyes on them. Gerda begins to think that the way Aje said it, it must be his lover…or something. (Isn’t he 19!?)

On the way back, Aje gets separated from Gerda. Kai suddenly appears in the crowd to speak to him. He warns Aje about the Snow Queen wanting Gerda’s mirror shard and the danger ahead, disappearing very quickly after his GO HOME speech. Aje finds Gerda soon after, but is deep in thought because of Kai. Later, Orva lets them know that Alfred and Natalia want to meet the group because they’re travellers and new to the city. The group finds this super suspicious, but the meeting’s tomorrow and they don’t have much choice. After dinner, Aje and Gerda head back first. Aje decides to ask Gerda if she wants to stop her journey, but Gerda resolutely insists that there’s no way she’s going to give up – even if she’s only a burden to Aje. Kai should have never given that speech…now Aje’s trying to protect Gerda and Gerda’s being hurt because of it! Anyway Aje’s tired so he more or less falls asleep and Gerda makes the terrible decision of getting close to him.

He grabs her into a hug and won’t let go until Gerda has to practically shove him off the bed LMFAO. He wakes up all pissed until he realizes she’s on his bed and EVERYTHING EXPLODES. Orva and Craes choose this moment to come back and judge them both for their suspicious behavior and Aje’s bed looking all SUSPICIOUSLY MESSED UP. (⊙‿⊙✿) This route is so cute, help. Aje rolls out to clear his head, and muses over how he doesn’t want to lose another person right in front of his eyes – he’d be no different from his weak past self like this. He’s determined to protect everyone with his own hands.

The next day, the group heads to the palace. Alfred and Natalia have been told by ‘that person’ about the group. Alfred agrees to get Natalia to give them the Yellow World’s key…if Gerda goes on a date with him. It should also be noted that Ivan starts to appear everywhere in this route like some cockroach LMFAO. His presence causes Aje to crack a little over how Gerda could’ve been spirited away just like Kai, and starts to beat himself up about letting her come close to danger. After some shopping, Aje and Gerda return to the inn and they start talking about Aje’s family. He’s got an older brother, and Gerda wonders if he ever wants to make a family of his own with the person he likes.

Aje being the dumbo he is claims that he’s got no interest in all that romance stuff, and fires back at Gerda that isn’t it Kai she pays the most attention to? Gerda insists that Kai’s just a childhood friend, and Aje gets mad for Kai’s sake because Gerda’s never noticed Kai’s feelings for her LMFAO. The Daemon appears to troll them, casting a spell so that Aje and Gerda start to stick together and GET CLOSER against their will LMFAO. They start to get all shojo because Aje’s mouth runs itself and he’s all (*°∀°)=3 at Gerda, who does her ((((;゚Д゚)))) AJE STOP TALKING!!! thing, and he’s all IT’S NOT LIKE I WANNA TALK EITHER LMFAOCRIES!!! They get so shojo that they stop fighting and the Daemon gets bored and leaves, releasing them.

The next day during Alfred’s date, Gerda finds Aje who…followed her to the palace for Security Reasons and ended up lost instead. He nearly gets accosted by guards until Natalia shows up, saying that HE’s her date…since Alfred’s already got Gerda. Later, the two groups meet in the garden. While Natalia and Alfred eyeball each other, Aje grabs Gerda and hightails it out of there LOL. They hide in the greenhouse, where Aje explains to Gerda that he didn’t come here to date Natalia…besides, the whole time, she was talking about Alfred. Gerda realizes that Alfred’s the same – he’s been talking about Natalia nonstop ever since the beginning too. MY OTP WEEPS ヽ(;▽;)ノ Anyway they have to return to the royal couple, and Gerda apologizes to Alfred. In exchange, she now has to attend the Yellow World ball as his partner. Natalia also lets Gerda know that even if Aje calls Gerda a dumb woman, he’s also been talking about her throughout their ‘date’. HA HA HA MY OTHER OTP ヽ(;▽;)ノ

Gerda gets primped up by Natalia and rolls back to her guest room to tell Aje the news. He’s super shy because Gerda is GORGEOUS, but gets really upset when he hears about the condition she agreed with. He wonders how much Gerda will do ‘for Kai’s sake’ – what if she agrees to more and more ludicrous conditions!? Like a kiss from Alfred!? But he’s just a travelling companion so it’s not his position to say anything, and this troubles him. Before Gerda leaves, Aje hugs her from behind and tells her not to go, to stay by his side. But he lets go very quickly as well, telling her that it wasn’t done consciously? Gerda’s just Σ(゚д゚//////)at him HAHAHA especially when Aje’s mouth starts to run itself AGAIN. The poor guy dies of embarrassment because he just told Gerda that he’d ~become her prince~ LMFAO PLS and Gerda realizes that him hugging her can’t possibly be the curse’s fault after all. Just at this moment, there’s commotion outside! INTRUDERS!

Aje tells Gerda to stay in the room while he goes handle things outside. Gerda being Gerda heads out as well. One of the intruders stumbles upon her and tries to take her hostage…then Ivan shows up, still masked, and knocks the intruder out. Ivan asks Gerda what ‘he’ said about her dress, though ’he’ was probably too shy to say anything about it anyway. Gerda’s confused what Ivan’s talking about, but he disappears before she can probe further. Right after, Aje rushes in and freaks out because he was so worried. Back in their room, Alfred and Natalia explain that Aje helped take care of the whole gang of intruders targeting them…save for that one dude, whom they managed to find together with Gerda. As a token of thanks, they hand the Yellow World’s key to them: Natalia’s pocketwatch. Later in private, Gerda’s spurred to ask Aje what he thinks of her dress. Aje manages to mumble that it’s cute and it suits her LMFAO, which makes Gerda so happy that she realizes that she likes Aje. But she thinks her feelings will only trouble him, so she decides to keep quiet. ・゚・(ノД`)・゚・。

The next day, the two head back to the inn to find it deserted. Orva and Craes’ vials have been shattered. Aje tries to send Gerda back to the village, telling her that she’s a burden. His words hurt her and she agrees to head back, not wanting to bother him. When Gerda’s outside ruminating during the night, she meets Kai…who’s all creepily nice about wanting her to come to the White World with him, so they can save their nakama together! He asks Gerda to hand over her vial, and smashes it.

Kai then tries to NTR but fails because Aje rushes in and gets in the way, forcing Kai to use his ice magic on him. This whole part features Aje yelling about how Gerda’s his and he won’t hand her over, and Kai also yelling about Gerda not realizing his feelings…I just LOL, men. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Gerda also accidentally bashes Kai with her super strength when his grip loosens LMFAO, GJ. Kai’s eventually chased off by Aje, who eats his words and tells Gerda that it’s probably safer to stay by his side after all. He proceeds to ruin the moment by talking about ~what he’d like to do to Gerda~ which…flusters her to no end HAHAHA. They spend awhile yelling at each other LMFAO because Aje’s so embarrassed he wants to die, and begs Gerda to just ignore him next time. But to her it’s impossible because Aje’s too やばい HAHAHA (*°∀°)=3(*°∀°)=3(*°∀°)=3

They head to the Green World next. Bayser jumps them and Aje fights him – the two of them yell and taunt each other so much that Gerda’s all (´・ω・`) at the unfolding scenario…especially once Bayser’s male cheerleaders TON, KAN and CHIN show up omfg. The bandits are hilarious. Fine slides in to stop the fight, amused that someone can fight on par with Bayser. They decide to bring ‘em back to bandit HQ, and on the way Gerda drops herself into a stream and gets all wet. Aje practically shoves his cape at her because her clothes are semi-transparent now.

At the bandit HQ, it’s revealed that Fine knows what the key is. She tells them it’s her necklace, and agrees to lend it to them right off the bat. Gerda was so surprised by Fine’s generosity, as was I. Fine’s only condition is that Gerda and Aje have to return from the White World, and bring the necklace back to her.(;▽;)Before Aje and Gerda set off again, Fine and Bayser decide to tag-team them because they’ve dropped more than enough hints that they like each other, but NO ONE IS MAKING A MOVE. So Gerda and Aje get cornered separately and are persuaded to confront their feelings for the other. Gerda is such a hero and actually confesses to Aje, But Aje replies that it’s impossible, because he can’t get close to her. His reason?? Basically that if Gerda becomes too important to him, he’ll get weaker because SHE’D be his weakness. I just…YOU BIG IDIOT WTF (╯°Д°)╯︵/(.□ . )\

Their drama gets interrupted by the Daemon, who warns them that Shit has Gone Down back at the HQ. They rush back to find that Gerda’s luggage (with the key in it!) is missing. The bandits all wake up and start pointing fingers. It doesn’t take long for it to erupt into an all-out brawl over whodunnit, so they take the fight to the forest where the Snow Queen’s magic is strongest. (´・ω・`) Fine pulls herself together after being insulted by her men in their fit of anger, since she’s the leader of this bunch of losers after all! She, Bayser, Gerda and Aje head to the woods to attempt to halt the fight. Gerda can’t fight so she has to stand aside. The other three seem to be losing simply because they can’t bear to hurt their comrades.

While they’re distracted, Ivan appears in front of Gerda like some stalker. Soon after, the Daemon reappears (he’s OBVIOUSLY the culprit behind this whole charade) and does nothing besides tell Gerda that his little prank can be undone if everyone receives some kind of shock. He then proceeds to piss Ivan off, revealing to us all that Ivan has a little brother, and disappears. Aje has magnificent timing and decides to slide in at this moment, demanding Ivan take his mask off. It’s unsettling, though he gets the feeling that they’ve met somewhere before. The way Ivan speaks is very familiar. Ivan handwaves it as coincidence and disappears, leaving Aje to fret with Gerda over their situation. Gerda has the brainwave to punch down a tree, effectively shocking everyone till they snap out of their rage. (´◉◞⊖◟◉`)

When it’s all solved, Gerda and Aje continue their journey. Aje reveals to Gerda that it’s NOT his lover he’s looking for – it’s his older brother, who’s been missing for around 10 years. His parents have been praying everyday for his brother’s return; it seems someone had abducted him. Aje’s been travelling alone, searching for his brother all this time. He’s afraid that if he allows himself to get attached, he’d want to settle down and give up on his brother. However, Gerda cannot simply give up on her feels for Aje, though he ‘admits’ that it’s kind of a bother. He obviously already likes her, dude wtf. ヽ(;▽;)ノ

Ivan appears for one last time before them as they’re travelling to the White World. It’s pretty much confirmed by this point that Ivan is Aje’s older bro – when Aje learns that he’s called Ivan, he comments that his older brother is also named Ivan. Just before they enter the White World, Aje also talks to Gerda about his insecurities over his search for Ivan. Ever since he was abducted, being at home grew to be suffocating, as if the light had disappeared from their family. Aje wants to make his parents happy again, though he’s not sure if he can find Ivan. Searching to bring back Ivan had been his everything for such a long time. If he’s really become the Snow Queen’s servant, what if he can’t bring him back? If so, Aje doesn’t feel like returning home anymore. Gerda encourages him by telling him not to give up – Aje has to continue his journey, for Ivan’s sake, for his parents’ sake too. There are people waiting for him, and people they both have to save!

Later, Aje falls asleep and dreams of the past. HIM AND IVAN ARE SO ADORABLE (இдஇ`。)!!! Aje had ran out alone during a bad snow day, because he was kinda miffed that Ivan didn’t like the idea of heading out to play when it was so dangerous. Ivan eventually found Aje lost outside, and fetched him home. When Ivan went back out to retrieve a toy Aje left behind (I think), he never came back.

They finally enter the White World. Aje keeps failing to tell Gerda how he feels, because his curse gets in the way LOL. Anyway, Ivan shows up again and he ends up taking off his mask. Aje recognizes him immediately. Gerda manages to throw into Ivan’s face that he’s always been stalking them both – was it because he was worried for Aje!? Aje won’t back down in the face of Ivan’s tl;dr about WHY DO YOU EVEN TRY, and says that he’s also here to look for his older brother. His words come as a shock to Ivan, who insists that he has no family – and to arrive only at this time, it’s already too late. Ivan disappears in a flash of ice. Gerda and Aje decide to chase after him and defeat the Snow Queen, in order to free them all. But before that, confession time! Only…Aje’s cockblocked by his mouth at the crucial moment, and ends up telling Gerda that he hates her. He’s so frustrated at himself that he screams and beats the floor LMFAO AJE. Gerda’s just beyond caring by this point IMO, and she waits for him to slowly choke out his proper confession – that he likes her. (⊙‿⊙✿) They kiss and do all that standard stuff, before heading towards the Snow Queen.

Once inside, Ivan and Aje start fighting each other. It gets serious very fast, and Gerda can’t bear to see them both hurt each other because they’re brothers. She steps in and talks them BOTH down, delivering a powerful shonen-level speech to Ivan about how there’s still a warm place where he belongs. His family’s been searching for him all this time, even if he thinks they’ve thrown him away. Aje tries to convince him to come back too, but the Snow Queen steps in to say how Ivan’s been waiting and suffering all this time. She orders Ivan to finish them off, but Ivan asks for time to say some last words.

Ivan heads up to Aje and pats his head, admitting that he’s forgotten what warmth feels like, and the things important to him. It was the two of them that helped him remember. He marvels at how much his little brother has grown, asking Gerda to look after Aje from now on.(;Д;)He helps the two of them escape right after, but this makes the Snow Queen angry LMFAO. She decides to kill him off because he’s turned traitor, and Gerda is horrified that she’d do something like that. However, it’s Aje that gets pissed off the most – how dare she say something like that to his brother!? Just because the Snow Queen doesn’t need him, she’s willing to throw his life away? In his rage, he attacks the Snow Queen.

Bad End – Gerda jumps in front of the Snow Queen to prevent Aje from killing her…and ends up slashed instead. She doesn’t want blood on Aje’s hands (??? EXCUSE YOU???) because his sword is something used to protect, not harm. Her vision goes dark and Aje holds her, crying as she dies.

Good End – Gerda’s eyes close. Ivan does a MOVE, BITCH to Aje and tries to heal her, but his magic isn’t strong enough. Then…the Snow Queen tells them both to shove it, announcing that Ivan can use her magic to heal Gerda instead. Gerda’s selfless act has moved her heart, and she wants to return the favor. Because of this, the White World appears to be melting, mirroring the state of the Snow Queen’s heart. The world will be fine, but the exit might collapse soon. She tells Ivan to take Aje and Gerda away from here, letting all three of them go.

Cut to the epilogue, where life is as usual. Aje and Ivan left to head home, and they visit Gerda one day…because Aje wants to bring her back as his bride……I THINK…I mean what else could “I’m here to bring you back to my hometown” mean? Anyway, it’s a happy ending for everyone, very embarrassing but very sweet. (´ω` 三 ´ω`)

IVAN

Aje’s older bro, and locked till you finish Aje’s route for very obvious reasons. I played him last, though I played Aje first, and I was suffering through every other route because of their spoilers…anyway! In the Yellow World, Gerda breaks into the palace one again a la Kai’s route. She’s saved by Ivan, who introduces her to Alfred and Natalia. Gerda’s allowed to stay in the palace, and writes a letter back to the group telling them of her whereabouts. At some point, Ivan pushes her down, remarking that should he do something to her now – it’s not like she’d be saved by anyone, least of all Kai. She should give up on her journey because the Snow Queen cannot be beaten.

However, Gerda insists she’ll never give up on Kai, that she’ll never forget about him. Her willpower shakes Ivan, who ends up spacing out and thinking about how emotions like ‘wanting to be saved’ are burdens, and how ‘family’ is something easily thrown away. That night, Gerda dreams of a cold, lonely and desolate place.

Meanwhile, Natalia wants to go to the ball with Ivan, because she’s sure Alfred will ask Gerda. Alfred DOES ask Gerda…because he thinks Natalia will surely go with Ivan. (´・ω・`) This route has quite a bit going on, because Kai suddenly appears in front of Gerda! He tells her that he’s now a servant of the Snow Queen…and in private, Ivan reveals that Kai’s duty is to snatch Gerda away the minute his heart freezes over. During preparations for the ball, suspicious people are milling about as usual. Alfred and Ivan are hilarious lmfao because Alfred doesn’t like Ivan AT ALL, and is super willing to protect Gerda from his bullying. Gerda dreams her sad and lonely dream again. This time, she wakes up to find a pressed flower card under her pillow, which Natalia reveals to be a little gift from her – a flower that gives the user special dreams? Gerda wonders what that means.

When the day of the ball arrives, Gerda sees the suspicious people again. She heads to the garden to look for them, and gets threatened with a knife. Ivan appears to save her, and ends up freezing the dudes. He would have killed them if not for Gerda yelling at him, and as she insists that Ivan’s anger = he has feelings, surely? Why does he keep avoiding connections with people? Her words annoy him because he’s super deep in denial, and kisses her to shut her up LMFAO.

He’s 10000% done with this and decides that the faster Gerda moves on to the White World, the better. Ivan borrows the pocketwatch from Natalia, while Gerda finds out from her that it’s actually the key to the White World. Gerda issues a challenge to Ivan – if she loses, she’ll break the vial and he can take her away. But if she wins, Ivan has to hand the key to her! Ivan’s like ( ˘•ω•˘ ) but accepts her challenge……………at a game of hide-and-seek.

Ivan would’ve handed the key over to her if she hadn’t challenged him first, but he’s super pissed that she’s making a fool out of him LOL. Gerda gets stuck at some point, and uses Alfred to misdirect him pffbbtt. Ivan doesn’t manage to find Gerda until time’s up, so he hands the key over. Gerda wonders if he had fun today…and Ivan muses to himself that Gerda is giving him weird feels. The next day, Gerda meets Kai in the greenhouse. She’s happy to see him, but…Kai trashtalks her, saying how he’s taken the rest of the group already and would’ve spirited her away by now, if not for Ivan stopping him. He also randomly reveals Ivan and Aje’s connection to her before leaving. Gerda is hurt by his words and starts crying. Ivan finds her and cannot comprehend why Gerda would still hold on to her emotions, if they cause her such pain. There’s a power outage, and Ivan decides to hug her despite himself. In the dark, Gerda can’t see his face, and cries herself to sleep on him. While she sleeps, Ivan thinks to himself about how emotions will only hurt people – both Gerda…and himself.

The next day, Gerda intends to continue her journey. Ivan thinks she’s silly, but…being with her makes him feel warm at times. He wants to know what this feeling is, and asks to journey together with her. (⊙‿⊙✿) Gerda wishes to know the answer he will find, and agrees. They head to the Green World, where Ivan puts his mask on and tells Gerda it’s better not to be seen with him. They get attacked by Fine and co. anyway, and run away to the dark forest. Ivan explains that Fine’s dad was the previous bandit head. He was killed by the Snow Queen, hence the bandits’ hostility to anyone related to the White World. Ivan ponders over how to get the key from Fine. Gerda probes him as to why he’s so concerned over her mission, because it kinda isn’t his problem? Ivan gets all troubled about this, while Gerda’s happy he worries HAHAHA. Gerda wonders what Ivan would do if she accidentally broke the vial now…would he still take her away? Even Ivan wonders about what would happen then. But until he can find his own answers, he’d stay by Gerda’s side. Because Gerda’s getting cold, he even lends her his coat hohoho.

They have to find something to eat, and Gerda has 0 expertise in this area so Ivan goes to look instead LOL. He remarks that it’s been ages since he had a proper meal with anyone like this. But Gerda must’ve led a carefree life with her parents, surrounded by people, right? Gerda tells him that he’s only half-right: her parents died a long time ago…but it’s been fun with the people around her. Ivan wonders what he should do at a time like this (comfort her?), but Gerda’s happy just having him listen. He’d thought she was a person who didn’t know loneliness. Gerda replies that she’s not alone, the people of the village were also kind to her. So for their sake, she can’t allow herself to be sad. They’re like family. Ivan comments how even though HE has a family he’s connected to by blood…their relationship isn’t even half as strong as what Gerda has with others. This part was really sad omfgkjd you idiots. (´;ω;`)

The two of them head to talk to the bandits soon after, and Gerda accidentally springs a net-trap. They get caught, and Ivan can’t use magic because he’s all pressed up against Gerda, who’s still holding the fire magic vial. After lots of shuffling around, they escape! Ivan tells Gerda to wait while he gets some alone time, and secretly heads to the bandit HQ. He thinks about what Gerda told him – not showing his face to others will make them more wary instead – and decides to try to talk to them nicely for the key. Meanwhile, Gerda is found by Fine and Bayser. She convinces them that she means no harm…then they receive a report that Ivan showed up at the HQ! There, they find that Ivan TRIED to talk but the bandits attacked him. Gerda intercepts an arrow meant for Ivan, getting hit in the arm. This pisses Ivan off big time – he can’t take it if anyone hurts Gerda. He nearly loses it if not for Gerda hugging him from behind, telling him not to hurt anyone. He calms down and she adds that If possible, she wants to see more sides to Ivan too: his worries, anger, laughter; expressions that are human-like.

After the chaos, Fine agrees to hand the necklace over if they give her something in return. Gerda and Ivan have some time to talk it over. Ivan finds that he doesn’t want their connection to be cut off once he’s found his answers…which he’d already begun to realize. Gerda heads to Fine’s place, ready to exchange that pressed flower card she got from Natalia. Fine is SUPER NICE as usual, and her only request is that Gerda return the necklace to her once done. She’s free to come back with Ivan when she does…after all, don’t they like each other? (*°∀°)=3 Bayser comes in and notices Gerda’s flower card! He knows what it is, it’s some super rare item that allows the person to dream of someone close to them. Gerda realizes that those cold dreams she’s been having – they’re dreams of Ivan’s past, and the solitude he’d felt.

Gerda heads back to tell Ivan the news. She wishes to journey again with him after all this is over, and Ivan…replies that he’s finally found the answer to his feelings. Gerda understands that after this, he’d take her to where the Snow Queen is, but Ivan can’t do that. He’s afraid of losing her. He doesn’t want to let her go, even if it means betraying the Snow Queen. HE’S IN LOVE WITH GERDA (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Ivan gets visited by Kai later, and tells him to buzz off. He doesn’t want to return to not being able to feel anything, especially not after his heart had been defrosted by Gerda. Soon, Ivan and Gerda head off to the White World. On the way there, Ivan pulls some real noble bullshit and leaves Gerda behind while she sleeps, intending to take on the Snow Queen himself. He doesn’t wish for her to be hurt, and leaves her a rose made of ice.

Naturally, the Snow Queen doesn’t listen to Ivan and nearly kills him. Gerda wakes up to find Ivan gone, and realizes what he must’ve done. The rose in her hands cracks; a terrible premonition. She runs like crazy to where Ivan is, and finds him half-dead at the hands of the Snow Queen. Gerda agrees to give up the mirror shard in her body, on the condition that Ivan wouldn’t be hurt any further. She thanks him for everything he’s done up till now, and for being able to love him. GERDAAAAA(;▽;)The Snow Queen places her hand on hers, and there’s a flash of white before her vision goes dark. The game switches to Ivan’s POV. Gerda isn’t dead, but worse…her heart’s been frozen over from the forced extraction of the mirror. She avoids Ivan, and doesn’t want to be close to him anymore. She believes that the Snow Queen’s strength is absolute, and speaks like how he did in the past. The Snow Queen orders Gerda to kill Ivan, and she picks up a knife.

Things swap back to Gerda’s POV. Ivan grabs her by the wrist, despairing over how the person who taught him what warmth was could end up like this. He could betray the Snow Queen because he met her. Wishing for Gerda’s return, Ivan kisses her.

If she wants to kill him, go ahead and try – he has absolute faith that she’d not be able to. Gerda’s heart begins to melt in response to his strong feelings, remembering the first kiss Ivan planted on her. She can’t kill Ivan after all…because she likes him. Gerda apologizes to Ivan for even TRYING to begin with, and turns to talk to the Snow Queen. She’s realized that the Snow Queen was just hurting and lonely. To her, Ivan’s like family, right? Hasn’t she been waiting for his return? To Gerda, she resembles Ivan of the past – someone who rejected warmth and bonds. She wishes to get to know her better. The Snow Queen hides herself in a blizzard, and Gerda chases after her despite that, grabbing her by the hand when she tries to escape. (=´∀`)人(´∀‘=) The Snow Queen thinks Gerda is nuts and cannot stay, otherwise she’d melt from her warmth too. However, Ivan swore his life to her, and now he cannot remain here either…he needs to be cut off. She crafts a bolt of ice, and fires it at him —

— and the game cuts off to the credits, CLIFFHANGING ME. Anyway, it seems Ivan is alright. He’s living with Gerda now in her village, all married-like.

What the Snow Queen cut at that time was his hair, signalling his transition from her servant into a free man! He and Gerda can leave! So here we have Ivan with his short fluffy hair being cute with Gerda. Kai’s apologized for being rude to Gerda, Craes returned to work, Orva’s back in bed but his body’s getting better, Ivan and Aje met and cleared up the misunderstandings between them. All is right in the world, and they live happily ever after.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

SBL seems like your typical romantic fantasy – and in some ways, it is.

PROS: Snow Bound Land has very strong themes, and very lovable characters. The side-characters are absolutely golden, and they were one of the most enjoyable parts of the game for me. I ended up shipping Alfred and Natalia a lot. It was also interesting seeing the story from the guys’ points of view during the POV-swap. Aesthetics were good – the set design fit the wintery atmosphere really well, as did the character designs. It’s also a very interesting adaptation of The Snow Queen fairytale, keeping most of the key elements while adding a totally new twist to the characters and content.

CONS: The game suffers from initial repetitiveness (skipping through the prologue AND chapter 1 takes some time) and it’s rather cheesy at times (KAI’S ROUTE). Also, the Daemon is an instrumental catalyst in many ways, but he mostly appears to offer advice/plot devices/random necessary information totally out of the blue. He feels a LOT like a convenient deus ex machina, which is a pity. He could have done more!

Still, I really enjoyed getting to know each character one by one, and I cried a lot playing this. ・゚・(ノД`)・゚・。Themes of family and bonds/friends really get to me, and to see Gerda reaching out to everyone was heartwarming and tearjerking at the same time. Aje and Ivan also made me really sad, I cried a lot for them too. Craes also came as a pleasant surprise, I ended up liking him lots more than I thought! Gerda had some frustrating moments, but I think she was a cute heroine who tried her best to warm people up, to help them out of their despair or solitude. Her determination and strong will are her strongest points, and it’s often her resolve that moves others into following behind her. Overall, Snow Bound Land is pretty great – it has wonderful design aesthetics, amazing music, faithfulness to the original tale, and depth of interaction between the characters.

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4 thoughts on “Otome Game Review: Snow Bound Land

  1. ハス says:

    The poll is really true. Kai and Ivan routes are great. Playing Kai story is a heartbreaking. It’s really sweet, I can’t take Kimura Ryouhei voice >< even my friend, I shared the game with her, she really loves Kai so much, the voice when he said 君が嫌いだ. How come u said with kimi if u hate someone, ahaha kai u're bad at pretending. The one that got me is when he sacrifice himself saying "小さい思い出も君と一緒なら、俺大切に思っている” uh even though there's people don't like ryouhei san, his voice and feeling reached many girls heart. I really love his voice

    • Nerrin says:

      I really loved Kai’s route as well, I’m glad you and your friend loved him and enjoyed it ;_; It’s so full of feeling. Some may think it’s boring because going for the ‘childhood friend’ archetype may deny one the spice of a wilder character, but I really think Kai is super sweet! Kimuryo’s acting was amazing too. He makes it believable that Kai is constantly feeling pained and conflicted. It really makes you want him to be happy. I love his voice a lot too!

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