Otome Game Review – Crimson Empire by QuinRose



Plot: As the 3rd installment of the desert/country series (aka the sorta-sequel for Arabians Lost)…

We join the adventures of Sheila Rozanne – an ex-slave who after being sold as a child had the ‘luck’ of encountering good ol’ demon-man Michael. Exchanging a promise one way or another, its many years after being ‘taught’ on how to be an assassin by Curtis (and be sentenced to work as some nobles bodyguard instead) does she encounter her current master – the 2nd prince Edvard.

One fine day after weeks and months of service, one of the orders her dear master gives her is to made him the king…”


Gameplay: Ooooh boy…

Much like AL, the gameplay for CE is much more complicated. With 240 turns as the time limit, the main goal to get a good end (on top of the regular stalk the bishie) is to fill the ‘support’ meter of both nobles&civillians be 450+. A thing that might sound not that hard…if each turn didn’t do a -10 points reduction for both sides. Let said meter reach 0 by one of the sides? Congratulations, you get the Sheila gets assassinated bad end.

Luckily though, even QR seemed to learn from AL how bothersome forcing the player to do the grind for fulfilling the goal each time. In other words – minor cheating is allowed. Spend the 1st 130 turns to make a common save with max level,support,needed money & gifts once, and even when going for the unlockable characters/endings will let you use said save.

The rest of the game? Is easy-peasy once you realize seeing an event doesn’t use up a turn (even if visiting a shop now will) so one can freely just spam giving a gift right after seeing one to get the next one while using a guide just to see what sub-events are available/when to visit the arena for a nice big support boost.


…tldr; the gameplay is quite simple once you realize its tricks. The few issues I’d have with it is how it blatantly the tutorial lis about quests being important. More so when saving often is advised thanks to the subcharacters randomly deciding to dump one you at times (that would even interrupt a turn skip!). Want to go after the maid events? Just accepting one gives the affection so quitting any that isn’t an obvious set of choices if fair game.

Another, is the familiar ‘needing to forceskip read text’ simply because the whole event’d be categorized under a different name (ie the 2 dead ends being 2/3 the same thing as the execution ending but the game won’t recognize. Similar with the Curtis stuff during the maid events)

Characters: Loved. All of them so…

1)

Edvard (Suzumura Kenichi), as the first example of the games ”the more harmless the person seems, th scarier he is” theme…I fell for him the moment he was introduced as the ‘perfect prince whose true face was far from it’. The guy is obviously twisted, realizes it and it’s what makes his relationship with Sheila so charming.

One of the better examples for that, is probably when after Edvard state to ‘not care what Sheila does in her private life as long as she doesn’t betray him’ guy a would throw a fit over him being cruel as later Sheila’d monologue how much it actually counted as a compliment of how Edvard, who wouldn’t trust a single soul would believe in her.

2)

Justin (Hirakawa Daisuke), as the opposite for Edvard…obviously ends up being the tsundere sweetheart. Said fact, is also what makes his route so fun when even Edvards reaction is more amusement. Suffice to say, his confession scene also ending up hilariously adorkable was like icing on the cake

3)

Bryon (Suzuki Tatsuhisa)…turned out to be so much more of a cute route than the fabulous outfit would hint at. Even if said route suffered at a few bits (ie Liley forcing on the Yuri-flag), it also had one of the most hilarious moments

4)

Marshall aka why Narita Ken should do more roles that are like this. His route also suffers from some pointless drama, but thankfully it also made up for it with Sheila leading the action moments?

6)

Rambures (Taniyama Kishou), is basically that one really special character each QR game seems to have. For better(or worse?) said fact also means that he had scenes really pushing at the rating

7)

Michael (Midorikawa Hikaru) – Well…it was an interesting take on how a demon would handle emotions? Certain bits sure felt ‘special’ to say the least, while others were indeed cute.

…It was also nice to know that some things just don’t change.

8)

Side-event characters – No one really stood out that much…past of course Meissen. Rather, the few events was like another reminder why I’d wish QR would finally make a game with him as one of the boyfriends. Meanwhile Ronalus, just couldn’t have his looks stay constant in some CG’s as Horanne was just…there?

9)

Sheila…well, even if she herself admitted to be the most smartest person…even as a maid, she shines above the regular mary sues of still having a really strong personality. Be it that is also meant…that her being of the more twisted among the QR heroines also meant that the one cannon thing in all the route is her ‘love’ for Edvard. Even she’s hooked up with guy d, it’ll still remain a fact that she’d prioritize Edvard when forced to choose because both her & the other would consider themselves to be like the same person.


Conclusion: Hellish beginning aside, it was…actually a fun game. The story was among the darkest I’ve seen by the company, so I would recommend it for those that can bear with a bit of side-gameplay.

Some of the sub-events had irritating requirements (Rambures & Bryon 2 literally being a trap where if you’d give a gift before the event that unlocks it, you likely won’t see it because the game’d prioritize to show the next one instead) and it’s kinda stupid how none are in the scene replay, but at the same time it was pretty simple to 100% a character. The advertising of over 2000 CG’s is kinda bs though, as the game literally just sorts every CG by events. Arena event 1 & 3 uses the same image? The game still treats it as 2 different slots.

Which version to pick between the games? Well…it’s literally up to you as the PC one is the only version that has the FD in exchange for PSP/PS2 ports just giving random fortune-telling messages. Luckily, since I did actually have a complete save of the PC ver that was found somewhere before choosing which to play I could easily abuse the later ports easy-mode.

Lastly, to help out those who are interested in playing yet don’t wish to bother with the more irritating aspects:
Door a - is a save that only has the initial 40 turn grinding turn
Door b – has that+slots for max support
Door c – has the maid saves too
Door D - is 100% EVERYTHING, as some save slots are for stuff like interesting sub-events or stuff that’s tedious to get

24 Comments

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24 responses to “Otome Game Review – Crimson Empire by QuinRose

  1. teelaelmes

    I can’t take Edvard as a love interest at all because I can’t stop thinking that his firt interactions made him think of Sheila as a replacement of Justin… thank Royal for making that impression go away but still I can’t stand him even tough I also like him…it’s hard to explain.
    It’s kind of sad that while you could bribe your way out in the first game the append game kind of forces you to go and make quest because that is the only way to make the support last at least five turns, it gets worst as some times the quest would freeze the game (lilley’s quest were the easier as some of them were about talking to nobles, while Varchia’s easier one was dump a lot of money for the people)… if you don’t save like crazy you will have only lost your time, I only lasted trought it because the events were really worth it all… Also there’s no duels anymore so there’s no support boost, In my opinion the worst about the append is that you can’t really save your favorite for last unless your favorite is Michael because you can only do his route after completing everyone else’s, Empire’s system is much better than Royal’s.

    • Oh? I guess it just never felt that way to me after seeing his introduction and how Sheila had always been a great pawn for him for his goal of keeping Justin safe. Just add how the whole 1st meeting also let him trust her

      …seriously? I guess now it’s no wonder QR seems to have even hidden Royals page in their site. The mechanics sound like just what no one wished to happen after Empire.

      • teelaelmes

        Well that it’s something I observed on a second gameplay the fisrt time around I tough Edvard tough of sheila as a surrogative mother so you could understand why from the beginning I couldn’t think of Edvard as a good love interest… thats it until Royal came around, sadly he was already my least favorite, Royal only served to make me finally think of him as a genuine love interest for Sheila… because he got some of the best events.
        But well I highly recomend get a save file for royal this time around the scenes for other characters apear in the gallery so the save file will save you the pain in the ass that is making the quests, I only got a save file for the ends with lilley and Varchi and one of Michael ends because I screwed up and saved over the base for Michael route.

      • Mhm, guess by doing Edvard first it just seemed more that Sheila ended up being the one other person he could display his true emotions and intentions with even if he’d blutly state how that wouldn’t stop him from not helping her if he was nearby in a dangerous situation. Justin was just that first precious ‘family’ that may have made it seem similar

        Do you know a place where one could find one? It was hard enough to get Empire’s 99% one, so even the little that you described would help

      • teelaelmes

        Let’s just say that I firmly believed that Edvard would take Justin over Sheila anytime if given the chance, until Royal came around. It’s weird because when I played I did it like this Bryon -> Edvard -> Michael -> Marshall -> Rambures -> Justin. I should have played Edvard first I guess.

        The save file was a full one that I got from otomedream… I only needed The ends I mentioned since I was almost done with the game but didn’t want to bother with playing the whole thing again for only few CGs of characters I mostly didn’t care enought to try the damn thing all over again (ok I did try to get Varchia’s but when I got the same ending 3 times in a row I just gave up). if you want i could upload it for you.

      • Hmm, well I don’t see faults with as it is one of Edvards major traits – while he does feel attachment to Sheila, his devotion to Justin would still take priority. It’s kinda similar to how Sheila would always prioritize Edvard over her boyfriends in other routes.as the nth reason why they describe each other as the same entity even when admitting to not know what the other is thinking ie when Sheila requested for Edvard to be her ‘Justin’ in the execution end as ”you die for his sake, I’ll die for yours”

        Ah, it would really help.

    • teelaelmes

      Well I guess that means the real pairing is a OT3 between Edvard Justin and Sheila… and let’s trow Michael in there since QR does it already XD

      here:

      http://www.mediafire.com/?ifawq42588uzkq2

  2. spicy_diamond

    Ah, Crimson Empire~ So much awesomeness!! …with so much irritating gameplay.

    Gotta love the characters though. The interaction in this is just so fun to watch. I loved the rivalries – the rocky start on Marshall’s route and the late night sparring was interesting to watch unwind. I also really liked little dorky details as well, like Rambures and Bryon’s experimenting mishaps and Michael just being Michael, were oodles of fun too.

    The gameplay though… *arugh* I can’t count how many times I got killed by something ridiculously cute looking or missed out of getting the rare item and had to start the battles all over again. I finally had to give up and snag a savefile for all the sidequests. (And it’s part of why I haven’t got the PSP version.) What’s behind the doors? PC? Psp? PS2? I may snag them for future use.

    • Ahaha,..yeah. And don’t forget all those Meissen and Hauranne getting drunk scenes~

      For the PSP port, as oh god rare drops. It’s like both blessing and a curse that the boss spawning or not is determined waay back in the town while saving after 19 advances then reloading at the last slot for hours till the boss may finally drop the item (as the sidequests are honestly as useless as in AL)
      …thus I obviously gave up and improvised after getting 2 of them and luckily 10000000 is enough finances that even getting gems that gave 600,000G got me till even even 4000,000 past it :lol:

  3. Will download those saves when I get home. I totally don’t understand what the hell they mean but I’ll probably bother you about it later 8D…maybe once I get through the rest of the Alice series + Arabians Lost lol. (motivation to play QR games is higher than ever after Uta no Shit sama…)

    • Ahaha…well it’s kinda like the slots Peche used as ”load 2 for character x” etc
      And sure, doing AL does help a lot in understanding the RPG-like parts of the system so feel free~ (ikr as similar it’s why I’m avoiding crapmate still)

  4. Pingback: NO U, QuinRose. « かわいいじゃなきゃダメなの!

  5. Hi!
    I recently started to play CE, but I can’t make a sense of it, or…I already managed to get murdered by Curtis OTL. I even ended translating some parts of the japanese walk-through, but…
    If anyone could, would you help me a bit? I want to complete the game by myself without using any of the savedata available.

    • Well, did you translate peche’s guide? It made it actually pretty simple as you level&gather money (and get drop item presents for Hauranne&Michael) till around turn 40(I think), then mpstly spamm bribing church/nobles till like turn 130 (while also paticipating in the arena on 49&92). Then just keep a save there and pursue whomever by spamming gifts/visit while still participating in the arena at times. Otherwise, it’s just using that guide as refferance for when to get certain events/subeevents etc

      • (First of all, sorry, I accidentally double-commented cuz I wasn’t sure if the first one got through…You can delete it.)
        I’m not sure which guide is peche’s guide. I translated parts of this one: http://www.otentosama.com/A_Crimson/top.html
        This is my first time playing a QuinRose game, or I can actually say that I’m a beginner at otome games, having played only Starry Sky so far (I didn’t even find the time to finish all the routes yet… OTL) .
        So I don’t understand the save system in this game.
        I wanted to try to do Michael first but there is that you get event 1 only if his likability is already 5 points. (Michael is probably bad choice as a first choice, I guess… so lets say I’ll go with Edvard instead as he seems the main guy.) Even so I don’t understand how should I manage to get 5 likability points from Michael by the turn 10.
        And it’s hard to guess what should I do in the first few turns if the turn 1 and turn 5, then turn 10 and so… are the turns where I have to choose social life.
        I also have hard time with how to evade the monsters or the opponents in matches (I tried 3-4 times but I got defeated by Marshall each time.). Whether the timing or the place to click, I don’t get even that. *sigh*
        I don’t understand how should I keep the approval rating raising, because I only managed to make it drop or to hover in one place. Basically on my first try I ended being killed by Curtis because the approval ratings were both zero – which happened around the 15th turn.

        So basically, how do I make the likability grow while having social life when needed, while leveling up, while making money, while doing quests, while having the gozenjiai matches, while raising my approval rating for both nobles and civilians, while making bribes and donations, while giving presents, while having to sell and buy, and while I am flabbergasted with “why does Sheila after some time returns back when I making her level up by beating monsters in the 3 places she can go to at the moment – road, stream, village – ?”.

        I’m lost… orz

      • …I tried to search on forums to how to play it. Well, first thing I noticed that the walkthrough doesn’t explain that I have to reach certain characters ending before I can unlock the “uncapturable” characters.
        …Someone wrote on the forum, that I shouldn’t do quests at all, or definitely not before 50 turn, because after I start to do them the approval ratings will automatically start to drop. That the best way is to go level up and gain money + things and then sell those and use the money for bribes & donations. …Is that how should I do it? Only level up and then start by winning the match.

        I have this question: How do those saves work? I think that when I save turn 5 and then go on and save turn 10 in another slot and then if I return to slot for turn 5 again that I’ll only have available what I had in it originally, no?
        Even if I read that I can cheat with save slots, I don’t understand how and how it is even possible?

      • Oh, peche is this place http://peche.parallel.jp/game/crimson/index.htm which has a ‘common route’ section for what to do the 1st half so you never have to bother when going for each character

        To even unlock Michael, you need to finish off Edvard first as he is the only one that has the requirment. Meissen&co are just subcharacters with some events. To get likeable points quickly by anyone is done by sending them a gift they like (that are aquired by either spending a turn to buy some at a shop or as in the case for Michael – getting them as drops from some enemies at the old mansion). The turns you mention are only present to forceintroduce characters if you haven’t met them

        …you don’t evade them. You are supposed to stock up some healing items at a shop then kill stuff to gain levels, then only face Marshall where you’re at the max one that gives the skill for doing 1500-2000+ damage

        The ratings…I’m guessing it was the maids, as it’s smart to save often to reload if they appear and refusing/failing their quest lowers them

        The go back-thing you are talking about is a turn being divided to 20 steps in the monster areas so it’s best to keep 2 saves – one before & during it so you can get the good exp/money/item the areas boss monster would give (ie one of them has a rare drop that sells for a million when till around turn 40 you need to earn 10 mil).

        Quests are completely useless so you should never do them. Ever. The only use they have is for getting the maid events, and even those can just be ‘accepted’ and then just ignored to get another one the next day.

        Concerning saves – yes, though the game keeps the progress for stuff you’ve seen and lets you go after unlockable stuff like Michael even if you never restarted the game as long as you got Edvards ending.
        By cheating, you mean this post? If that – if you have the PSP port of the game and a USB cable you can place it in you PSP’s memorycard and load the game at a spot where you have already done all the grinding/bribing/etc without the hassle.

      • Thank you very much for all those explanations.
        I’ll try looking at that walkthrough, maybe it’ll help.
        I play it on the PC because unfortunately I don’t have money to buy the PSP.

      • I have another question. How do conversation happen? I should be able to choose from a choice, but where are those choices? Like the first Edvard’s one “What is it, Sheila? I’m busy, so make it short.” I did hear that and then the screen blacked out back to Sheila’s room.

      • Oh, those happen randomly when you visiting during a turn with no event/event already having happened. Similar, the line you describe is like an indicator of the dudes affection levels as the topics/choices change (the guide I linked lists the right answer for most of the dudes, but honestly wasting time with that is pointless when you could also give a present for a better boost)

        Also – you’re welcome, as while I sadly never played PC version…the guide was originally meant for that so I’ll hope it helps

  6. Miki

    Iam probably reaaaaaaly stupid…but those save data are for PC right?………….I kind of fail to see just how exactly am i supposed to put them in my game >..< I tried to follow peche guide but still sometimes its pretty confusing(oh well good old atlas translation) I mean I already finished 3 first bosses (in road, waterside and village) locations but still didnt get a single lvl up and special item appeared only at first giant plant boss no matter how many times I reloaded at next two nothing ever appeared. Anyway any suggestion on how i can use these save data would be greatly appreciated ^.^

    • Uhh, not exactly? I’m pretty sure I mention in the post for those to be for the PSP port.
      Leveling isn’t that fast in the game so the bigger point is to use the place you can handle that gives best exp/bosses rare item and reload till you get a few/reach 10 mil. It may…take a while since the drops really are super rare.

  7. Miki

    Agh right now that I look through it again its mentioning psp :( just my luck >.< I gues I have no choice then but but do the whole grind thing, btw can you please tell me who drops Michael oriented items I kind of dont get it from that guide so far I only got one special drop from first boss worth 5mil.
    Thanks for help ^.^

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