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…”
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…
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.
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
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
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?
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
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?
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.
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