Otome Game Review: Crimson Empire ~Circumstances to Serve a Noble~

I ragequit this game back in 2008ish because I just couldn’t figure out the battle system…but then 7 years later Quinrose decided to port it to Vita with the battle system removed making it a straight VN. Ever since Quin Rose’s demise (and secret Otomate asset buyout) I figured this would be the first and last Quin Rose game I’ll play so I can go out with a bang! Our story is about Sheila Rozen, who was a child slave sold by her shitty family to a gang of assassins in Gil Katar led by none other than Curtis Nile who we saw in Arabian’s Lost! He then sold her and some of the other girls (including Chezjka who went to Aileen) to royalty to be their bodyguards. Sheila becomes the bodyguard for the 2nd in line prince Edvard and is also the head of the  “maid bodyguard team”. Sheila learned to be a pro fighter thanks to Curtis’s special assassin school but she still has a weakness in which when she gets too excited – her nose bleeds. Her job is to make Edvard the king so she is extremely loyal to him, but she has to fraternize with all the royal dudes in order to gain their support.  Oh and also, Sheila just so happened to have made a promise with the devil to give her soul to him upon her death. The game is basically a look into the day in the life of a Sheila and the people around her.

justin01Justin Roberuttey – Justin is the first prince in line for the throne and a tsundere who acts all tough but starts to get deredere around Sheila after she stalks him in town to make sure nobody attacks him. He seems like he’s a good fighter because he defeats all his opponents during sparring, but the moment he sees a bee he shakes in his boots and begs Sheila to kill it for him 😆 After spending so much time with him, going shopping and stuff he falls for her. He even tells her that he has fallen for her – as a matter of fact. Sheila isn’t sure how to react since why would a royal prince ever fall for a maid like her. Justin doesn’t seem to want to take no for an answer though and since Sheila thought he was a QTpie anyway, she rolls with it (*´∀`*). The other maids say there’s a rumor that he raped her or that she dominated him but she has to try to dispel them all since neither of them are true. Justin then turns into an uguu tsunderecake and invites Sheila on dates which always end up with randyness in his room. And so they continue this sexy time until pretty much the end of the route because he loves Sheila and she likes the idea of getting to screw a royal prince :lol:. Justin also has a complex with his younger brother Edvard. He blames his mother’s death on Edvard (which I will cover in Edvard’s route) and doesn’t really want to be the king. Even Sheila feels that Edvard would be a better king than Justin because Justin is to nice to be the rule of an evil empire lol. I mean he’s literally like snow white, in Rambure’s route Sheila sees him sitting on the stairs while a bunch of cats purr around him xDDD. Best End: Eventually Justin asks Edvard for a duel and wins asking Edvard to give Sheila to him. Edvard agrees but warns him that she’s “used goods”. Wow Quinrose wow.

justin02Justin rages and punches the living shit out of his otoutokun. Afterwards Sheila tells Justin that even though she’s “his”, she won’t quit her job and continue to work for Edvard though…. (;´Д`)。Justin tells Edvard that he’s forgiven him and tells Sheila that he loves her – even though he knows she loves Edvard. She says that she loves Edvard in a “different” way than Justin and they screw happily ever after Good End: Sheila finds Justin fighting durds in a cave for some reason and tries to stop him. They reach the end boss and she gets hurt. He apologizes for going off like this and then carries her home to get her leg wound treated by Hauranne’s magic (that she hates but he tells her to deal with it :lol:). Bad End: Edvard tells Sheila that if he can’t be the king he must die so that he isn’t in the way of Justin. He then ends getting executed, but Sheila has sworn loyalty to him so she suicides. Unfortunately her suicide fails and Justin saves her. He tells her she can hate him for stopping her from “following” his brother, but he tells her he hates the both of them for leaving him out (because he loved both of them.) NTR end: Justin catches Edvard making out with Sheila and gets pissed off. He then says he’s gonna rape her until she swears off loyalty to his brother. 😑 I’ve been told this is a new bad ending added just for the Vita port cause people wanted to see Edvard get NTRed by Justin (even though apparently it’s something that would never happen 😂 In a way this route was a huge eye opener for me because I wasn’t sure if Sheila “Did she or did she not”. I mean if she’s loyal to Edvard and he asks her to screw him she probably would right? But then I start to wonder how often is he asking her this? In other routes Edvard seems to say he doesn’t care about Sheila’s “romantic relationships with others” so I guess he could just use her as a blowup doll NO IDEA. The more I think about it the more depressing the whole thing felt and made Sheila seem like the ROYAL BICYCLE.

ed02Edvard Winfree – Let’s face it, Ed is a scumbag lmao and the perfect fit to be the king! Sheila is extremely loyal to him because according to her, he “saved” her from the hell that is Curtis but honestly all he did was just pay X amount of money to buy her as his bodyguard. I mean in one of Michael’s bad ends he even says that if she dies, he’ll just make it so she never existed. That’s how little she means to him and why he is pretty much my least favorite character in the game. She’s no more than a blow up doll to him, but she’s loyal to him like a dog is loyal to some abusive pet owner :/. Anyway with Edvard sometimes I can’t tell if he’s do-M or do-S cause he loves getting stepped on by Sheila, but gets pissed off & enraged when he has to fake it around rich girls who come to the castle. He also hated his mother so he hates anything that reminds him of her – including the way she talked and the smell of strong perfume. Edvard had planned to kill Justin mother since she was the King’s secret lover which would cause scandals.  Luckily for him,  she got sick,  so Edvard told her to not take any medicine and ignore doctor advice until she dies.  She said that Justin would hate Edvard for this (which he does) but Edvard cared more about his brothers image than the welfare of his father’s adultery partner. Edvard is kind of a brocon since forever ago, so even though Justin hates him, Edvard loves his oniitan probably a million times more than he “claims” to love Sheila.

ed01Best End: Sheila is satisfied with being Edvard’s  loyal servant which feels like a deeper connection to her than just being his lover.  Edvard gets ready to take over the king and has to tell his downtown friends that he’ll be too busy to visit them as often 😂 They have no idea he’s the prince lol. He asks that Sheila to relax around him but she says she can’t do that because she loves him. She says even if she becomes his lover she doesn’t want to quit her job as his guardian. After talking to Varchia she suddenly realizes she’s in love with him and confesses her love (umm ok lol.) And I guess they hump happily ever after. Good end: Edvard loves Sheila, and she only looks at him but he’s jealous when she’s around other men – like his brother. He tells her that he’s in love with her – but can’t be her lover because he’d pick his country (aka his role as king) over being her lover…unlike his brother Justin who’d probably dump the country for Sheila. But yea, he still wants Sheila to be his ~pretend lover~ and she’s ~ok with this~ because she’s obscenely loyal to him. Why she is so stupid loyal to him I don’t think I’ll ever know because his route never really explained it. ( ´_ゝ`) Politics of Fear End: Sheila continuously loses her battles throughout the route and upsets Edvard. Because of this he becomes a cold & ruthless king, handing out death penalties like the queen of hearts. The maid team supports Sheila and say they will do anything for her no matter what her decision is.  Meh what a shame waste of Suzuken’s hot voice!

bryon01Bryon Capella – After the 2 not so great prince routes I headed off to the royal dudes and picked Bryon! Bryon is great because he’s such a huge dork it really finally brought some fun and joy to this depressing game. But of course we can’t have a quinrose game without some forced yuri (which then somehow magically goes away mid route and turns into drug-induced-rape suggestions :shock:). Bryon is a massive siscon and is extremely upset that his loli imouto Lilley decided to dump their count house and become a maid servant to the king. Meanwhile, Lilley couldn’t care less about her oniisama and she just wants to yuri it up with Sheila onee-sama. Lilley apparently  didn’t want to bother with responsibilities of a royal family so she decided to run away and become a maid. She basically threw them on to her brother, who otherwise would have been “free” and could have become a scholar. Bryon of course thinks his sister is much better than him (because she’s probably like Sheila’s best assassin on the maid team) and feels like he should be thankful she gave him the opportunity to become the next count. When he’s around royal ladies, Bryon is like this ikeman but around his sister he’s a huge dork. Unfortunately for him, Sheila likes him only when he’s being the huge dork because his ikeman persona feels fake to her. Bryon can’t handle the idea that his precious sister is a lesbian apparently and shits bricks seeing her hitting on Sheila. Sheila says she’s too busy with work so she won’t take his imouto away~ :lol:. He confesses to Sheila that he’s “normal” and doesn’t actually like to have a harem, or use sex toys or have orgies or whatever else….but he feels that Lilley is gay for Sheila and he just CANNOT! Sheila says that she values Lilley as her underling, but does not feel that way for her romantically and if Lilley can’t understand that….she’d just punch her until she does `;:゙;`;・(゚ε゚ )ブッ!! Sasuga quinrose heroine… lol.

bryon02To add on to the hilarity, Bryon also has a homo butler who serves him and rages at Sheila threatening to kill her if she dares take his bae away from him. At the same time, the more time Sheila spends just chatting with Bryon, Lilley gets pissy and jumps all over Sheila – pinning her to the floor at one point. Sheila lets her get away with this, despite telling her she doesn’t feel the same way only because Lilley reminds her of her old assassin guild buddy Lill who ended up getting killed. It’s an issue of guilt that’s haunted Sheila for a while and something that she never wants to forget even when her guild mates tried to. Bryon sees all of this and shits bricks of course but Sheila convinces him that there’s nothing going on between her and his sister. After hanging around Sheila long enough he falls in love with her and has to try to figure out a way to make her his despite knowing her loyalty towards Edvard. She is undoubtedly charmed by his dorky self that she even stays at an inn with him pretending to be drunk along with him one night :lol:. By this point Lilley knows her bro and Sheila have been getting close so she decides to just ship them together….this way Sheila will really become her oneesama! Eventually Sheila is convinced that Bryon loves her (despite multiple attempts to confess to her) and uh eventually ends up allowing him to finally screw her. Except that one of those times Roiya walks in on them (fortunately as she’s about to leave) and she shits bricks. He’s not as mad as she thought he’d be though because he’s given up and is now living with the realization that Bryon’s taken an interest in Sheila and no money is gonna convince him otherwise.

bryon03In the end Sheila settles on the fact that she’s his sex friend basically, and somehow he’s happy with this but is still trying really hard to get her to leave Edvard and marry him instead. (Ahh the sad reality of this game that will never make any guy’s route a true romantic ending…) Best End: Yet another frustrating end where Bryon is satisfied with the fact that they don’t fully trust each other – which also means they have little reason to “betray” each other and it feels ~speshul~ to him. ಠ_ಠ Even though honestly to Sheila it’s just yet another case of “royal dude fucking a maid” scenario. Lilley even encourages this by making what I assume is some kind of either rape drug or viagara because nobody would actually tell Sheila what the drug was and Bryon got really mad upon the assumption that she’d use it with another man. ( ´_ゝ`) In the very last scene they just hug while he says he wants to know more about her and she’s like I love this guy cause I don’t feel bound by him like with Michael or Edvard yay! Good End: Sheila rages at Rambures and Bryon for stinking up the castle with their meth lab. Some days later Sheila gets injured from one of her missions and Bryon rages at the dude who did it. He’s happy to hear that her getting injured was for Edvard’s sake and not for his own or he’d feel guilty. 微妙….yea I don’t really get the point of this ending at all :/. Bad ends: There’s 2 bad ends that basically lead to Edvard’s execution. The third bad end has Medusa from the assassin guild, a former coworker of Sheila, come to kill her. This is kinda stupid though I mean – Sheila is supposed to be a body guard. If she can’t even fend off 1 single assassin, how is she supposed to protect Edvard again ??? ಠ_ಠ

ram01Rambures Dannunzio – Rambures is Bryon’s meth lab buddy and the 2 are constantly making god knows what and stinking up the castle – successfully pissing Sheila off. His entire family specialize in creating deadly poison as well as treating it. He then reveals to Sheila that he’s an herbalist and a doctor which is a shock to her since she thought he was some quack.  Turns out he graduated from Symphonia but he keeps it a secret from most people. He was also attending the school the same time as Meissen so he saw him dating the queen (which is why the queen’s servant Ronalus fucking hates him :lol:). Despite this he’s just a poor scientist and asks Sheila to treat him the same despite finding stuff out about him. He was given a royalty status by the king despite saying he didn’t want it which is why he gets to stay on the castle. The reason he got it is he saved the King’s life with his medicine. The king also forced Rambures to serve him forever and live at the castle or else they would kill him cause god forbid someone hire Rambures to make poison AGAINST the king. The other royal guys get angry that he won’t stop shaming them with his behavior but he’s like if you don’t like it, go tell the king to kick me out. They’re like grr just stop your experimenting but Rambures would rather lose his status than quit his research. He told Sheila that at Symphonia he was kind of a loner who just focused on his studies and if she was a student there she’d be popular and would never talk to him. He then ends up blurting out that he likes her and he’s tried to appeal and hint it to her but she’s like ….oh really? To be honest, I didn’t really see it either except when he kissed her on the cheek as a “payment” for tending to her wounds :P. Sheila has a soft spot for Rambures (unlike most guys in this game) though because back when she was first working there she ended up sitting back to back with him and crying all night while he listened. It’s an embarrassing memory for her, but she feels like they sort of bonded over this and the fact that he was “forced” into serving the king makes her feel like they have a lot in common.

ram02Uh at one point Sheila indirectly tells him that they’re lovers and he’s like what I thought it was 1 sided all this time…lol. The rest of the route he babbles how he’s not good enough for her and they should keep their relationship a secret.  Sheila doesn’t care since to her she’s the lower rank ex slave maid.  😅 He also then goes from dorky doctor to yandere saying it makes him rage when someone other than him “leaves wounds” on her body. Uhh yeah lol. (•́ω•̀ ٥) Best end: Sheila and Rambures tell each other their random secrets. For example he wears swirly eye glasses and wants to kill his old teacher. Sheila admits that Curtis once threw her off a cliff and she survived lol. She also finds out from Bryon that Rambures is actually a rich doctor and she never realized it. She thought all the expensive stuff in his room was already there rather than things he bought with his own money. He never reveals anything to her but Sheila starts to figure out his secrets like how all the royal  deaths by poison are probably because of him. She doesn’t pry into it and the fact that she let’s him get away with all these secrets bugs her…but whatever no resolution to anything in this game.  ( ¯•ω•¯ ) Good end: Sheila and Rambures go on a date to the hot springs but are attacked by a bunch of pirates in the forest. After beating them up they get in the hot spring together. There they argue on whose wounds they’ll treat first. Bad end: Same as the bad end with Medusa but this time Curtis has come to kill her instead. Eh I actually really liked Rambures but his endings felt so oddly open ended…like he just remained “Mr. Mysterious druglord” all the way until the end…and Sheila didn’t “care” to know more. I hate these kind of stories, like why do you create all these loose ends if you aren’t going to tie them?

mar01Marshall Aid – Please note that when you play Marshall’s route, you’ll need to go back to Rambures because apparently there’s 2 scenes that won’t fill in until you play Marshall’s route first (annoying thing I found out last minute.) Marshall is Justin’s direct servant so he and Sheila are rivals by proxy since the 2 princes are competing for the throne. Because of this the only thing out of his mouth are insults towards her but thanks to me playing Justin’s route first I know he ain’t a bad guy.  (*σ´∀`)σ Because they hang out too much though,  Justin gets mad accusing Sheila of trying to spread bad rep about him. Edvard gets annoyed at Marshall ntring Sheila for some reason but didn’t seem to care much in other routes. Sheila and Marshall have been coworkers for a while and used to hang together but because of the rivalry and the upcoming throne elections they got far apart – until now. She runs into him during her day off and ends up going shopping with him and they both find it enjoyable….to the point that Marshall kisses her as a “payment” for carrying her stuff. This start to boil a fire under both of their asses and well Marshall just generally turns into a similar tsundere like Justin is xDDD. He also then kisses her during a sparring session and after talking to Varchia, Sheila realizes they’re both in love with each other. 😆 As time goes by it gets harder for Marshall to hold himself back and harder for Sheila to resist…that they end up making out at the bar filled with mostly their coworkers. After being somewhat drunk they go off to a hotel and presumably screw and after this Sheila basically avoids him cause she realized she’s gotten too close to her rival! Marshall chases her down saying that while he knows that their masters are fighting for the throne, he can’t help himself.

mar02Sheila tsuntsuns for a bit but then gives in to her feelings for him. And so after Edvard becomes king, they continue to be “rivals” but I guess now that there’s less competition (and because Justin doesn’t give a fuck) they can spend time trying to do couple things like go on dates. Sheila though prefers the snotty tsuntsun rival in Marshall over the lovey dovey dork so her idea of a hot date is sniping some assassin. I also feel like Marshall is the best guy for her because it lets her keep her “sense of who she is” but still allows her to fall in love. Just like with Rambures this route seemed less concerned about her feelings towards Edvard and even Ed was like “as long as you serve me idgaf who you’re screwing”. Best End: Marshall says he knows he’s not good enough for Sheila so he’s settled on being ok with her cheating on him. Sheila is like wtf I’m not gonna cheat on you and to prove it she ravages him in bed 😂😂. He admits he got really mad when her maids started making fun of him saying that there’s no way Sheila would be faithful to him. After this Marshall decides that if he ever finds her cheating he’ll just punch the guy but Sheila has to remind him again that she isn’t going to cheat on him. Good end: Sheila’s dates with Marshall keep getting interrupted by ppl attacking them and them having to fend them off. He and Sheila end up subbing in to help with the bakery again. Turns out the owner took care of Justin after his mother died and that’s why Marshall has been helping as well.  The gramps thanks Marshall and Sheila and calls them a married couple 😂😂😂. Marshall says “not yet” and while Sheila denies it Justin makes fun of her www. They continue their dangerous dates and Sheila figures she’ll stop thinking about the future and just think about tomorrow.Achieve end: Edvard becomes king,  and Sheila vows to continue serving him. At first I didn’t really understand this ending but after playing Michael’s route I realized that this is the “end” that Sheila was striving for when she had originally made that promise with Michael as a child. Marshall was pretty cute, I guess tsundere prince gets a tsundere servant as a package XD.

Michael Faust – I have to say while I wasn’t a huge fan of Michael, he had probably the most entertaining route of all of them…this was also of course helped by the fact that a lot of his scenes involved Meissen and Hauranne XD. Michael is a demon who’s taken a liking to Sheila back when she was sold as a slave (obviously pedo demon who even stole her first kiss!). He grabbed her out of limbo (before she died as a child slave) and gave her a chance to live by making a “promise” with her. He decided that soon as she dies he will have her soul so until then he just hangs around Meissen eating his magic powers. He is sooo gay for Meissen I was sincerely surprised he even has a romantic route with Sheila 😂😂😂😂 Honestly the CG below pretty much is the route in a nutshell:

In most games the guy will get mad at another guy hiting on his girl but in this one...Michael then THREW Sheila off and told her not to "get close to Meissen" `;:゙;`;・(゚ε゚ )ブッ!!
In most games the guy will get mad at another guy hitting on his girl but in this one…Michael then THREW Sheila off and told her not to “get close to Meissen” `;:゙;`;・(゚ε゚ )ブッ!!

mike01I’m honestly not sure why he is interested in Sheila so much but he does weird sadistic shit to her like sits on top of her body while she’s trying to sleep. Due to this Sheila is constantly tired due to lack of sleep. Actually he really does this for attention and it’s very childish so it’s hard to visualize him as this great demon lol. Michael keeps calling her ugly but then he grabs and kisses her. Apparently calling her ugly and a pathetic human is like a compliment in Devil talk or something. Sheila apparently doesn’t care about this because she thinks he’s the hottest devil human thing ever. Honestly their entire relationship just confuses me because in the end she feels like she is more loyal to Michael that even Edvard. Despite him constantly jumping on Sheila when he’s bored he’s always going on about how wonderful Meissen is. He constantly wants Sheila’s attention since Meissen is busy with Hauranne so most of Michaels route feels like the babysitters club 😂😂 Still despite a diarrhea of insults his actions are the exact opposite and he actually acts (mostly) nice to Sheila.(well as nice as a demon possibly can lol) Also he’s jealous of her loyalty to Edvard even though he claims to have no interest in her. Then he strangles her and kisses her after calling her by her name instead of “ugly human” or something. The strangle marks on her neck alarm both Edvard and Varchia but Sheila keeps everything a secret for the fear that Michael might cause more damage if ppl found out who be is. Edvard is extremely displeased that his maid has a”marking” from another man so he then goes and. ..bites her there sigh lolol. Ouch! Because Michaels a strong demon,  he loses more energy when he’s in the human world and can’t replenish it fast enough when he returns to the underworld. Meissen also makes a comment that around Sheila,  Michael is pretty well behaved despite both her and me thinking otherwise.

mike02Tired of getting stepped on every night Sheila asks Michael to just sleep in bed with her. Michael thinks she’s a challenger for tempting the devil and accepts it 😂😂😂😂. That’s when Sheila realizes that she really is as dumb as he calls her cause she’s fallen in love with a devil! She also gets constantly annoyed that everything Michael says revolves around Meissen (who she hates because she has a hatred for wizards).  She goes on a date with Michael but despite her confession to him he’s just like “sigh well I hate you lol don’t make me kill you”. ╮(´-ω-`)╭ He just reminds her that he will never be hers because once she dies she will be his. Best end: Sheila is upset that Michael is gonna leave her to go travel with Meissen and won’t take her with him.  He reminds get that he’s a demon so he can’t “make her happy” he can only make her miserable…which is why he tells her he’ll come get her when she dies. He leaves and time passes until one day Sheila is badly injured on the job. Michael then shows up asking if she’s ready to go with him. But then he says she’s to “clean” to go to hell with him and tells her to live and suffer a bit longer.  Sheila cries begging him not to leave her but he tells her he actually visits her quite often but doesn’t show himself.  He says if he did he’d not be able to hold himself back and he’d kill her and take her to hell. She then wakes up with Edvard next to her and tells him she’s not dead. He tells her even if she dies he will just replace her and make it so she never existed in the first place.  He says if she’s sorry then she shouldn’t rush to her death and instead become stronger to always protect him. (눈_눈)

mike03Good end: Michael calls Edvard a pathetic dumb human and Sheila shits bricks 😂😂 Sheila gets caught in the rain outside so she runs to the abandoned mansion full of blood stains from one of her previous “jobs”. It’s also Michael’s favorite place to hang out. He tells her to change into the dead person’s clothes or else she’ll catch a cold and die (according  to Meissen lolol).  Sheila refuses to wear a dead person’s clothes so Michael starts stripping her 😂😂😂. After putting on a dress she sits in his lap by the fireplace to dry off lol. Sheila tells him she only came to that house for him and demands he warm her up ( even though she knows he can’t. ) He calls her snotty for trying to seduce him again 😂. Honestly I liked this end more than the best one lol. Bad end: Sheila dies and meets Michael in limbo again and he takes her to his love shack in hell. Sheila asks if she can see Edvard one last time,  and Michael refuses telling her she’ll eventually meet Edvard in hell anyway 😂😂. After talking for a bit Michael changes his mind and decides to send Edvard to heaven instead and Sheila feels like she’s betrayed him. But that’s ok cause she has her demon bae by her side now.  Honestly I strangely enjoyed this end the most cause it felt like Sheila was finally freed from all the bullshit in her life and in comparison hell was a warm and cozy place lol. I’m actually kinda disappointed there wasn’t some kind of joke end with Michael and Meissen as a 3P like they did in Arabian’s Lost. At the same time, I think back to Arabian’s lost and start to wonder just “how much” Michael cares about her when he goes making out with Aileen randomly in one of those endings lol. Well I probably shouldn’t expect much from a devil, I’d been happier with a Meissen ending instead (´;д;`)ブワッ.

copy pasta
oh Quin Rose…

And so 80 painful hours later, goodbye Quin Rose. The game is sadly too realistic for me. Typically in most otome games there’s a story and you see characters change/grow/progress into their happy or sad endings. In here there’s really not much of a progression. It’s just some bad ends if Edvard doesn’t become king but otherwise just shows the characters as they are in their daily lives. Because of this it left me mostly unsatisfied since I wanted to see her end up with a guy, be happy with him, but ultimately any “relationships” she develops in any of the routes don’t matter. She’d drop them like a ton of bricks if Edvard commands it so knowing that the “best end” is just a temporary fling is pretty disheartening to me as a player. In Arabian’s Lost and Wizard & Master both heroines got happy endings with each guy (or even on their own) but it saddens me that Sheila never truly gets a happy end in this game. It’s probably best to assume the worst for Sheila. She was abducted by the assassin guild, trained to kill people and for all we know she had to be a sex ninja to get close to her targets. Either way, she’s not a pure virgin where the guy she kisses in the game is her first kiss ever.  I wasn’t sure because in one point the maids had a rumor that one of the guys raped her but she denied it. All of this was however confirmed when at the end of my first route, one of the guys referred to her as “used goods” (aka a non virgin) which came as a bit of a surprise to me…..until I remembered what kind of environment she was raised in and was working in. It’s definitely not a heroine type that I am used to and it’s a heroine type I don’t particularly like (since I’m not a fan of NTR.) However she wasn’t as terrible as some games with indecisive heroines, or games where the heroine runs away crying the moment a guy even as much as hugs her – so it was pretty easy to get used to her.

Goodbye oniichan, you never did get a route but you were always my favorite (´;д;`)ブワッ
Goodbye oniichan, you never did get a route but you were always my favorite (´;д;`)ブワッ

A lot of endings felt very open ended and confusing. For example it was hard to tell whether or not she’s in love with said guy because of her undying loyalty to Edvard. I also didn’t understand why she was so loyal to him because I feel like something must have been cut out from the original game or maybe explained in the fandisk I’ll never play. We’re supposed to just assume that because of her personality she ends up being loyal to anyone regardless of how they treat her (see Curtis) but it’s hard to piece together reasoning based on a bunch of flashbacks only. There was also very little consistency because in one route she would care about her loyalty but another one it would never come up(like Rambures). It was just hard to tell what Sheila was feeling, she felt like this cold emotionless assassin….it was very different from the heroines of Wizard & Master and Arabian’s Lost for me. Because of this I had trouble getting into the game because I couldn’t tell what she felt romantically towards any of the guys. One of the reasons the game took so long was a lot of scenes have that usual quinrose problem of going on and on past their expiration date.  For example a scene of Bryon complaining about his sister ignoring him while she fawned over Sheila went on for literally 30 minutes. 😑 The original game had way more cgs to make up for the monotony of the scenes but since they cut a lot out you just stared at the same sprite and bg for hours at a time. I had this kind of feeling when playing the Alice remake…the scenes felt a lot more interesting when you just spent 30 minutes spamming battles & turns rather than just sitting there reading text for hours upon end. Each route had taken me approximately 10 hours (including getting all the endings and including skipping past content) and the first run of the game took me about 26 hours… (;´・ω・).

Some comparison images between the 2 games

Overall while there were fun scenes, and I got to see Meissen again the game just felt unsatisfying to me. I wanted more happy endings, and if not that, at least I wanted “completion” and “tying of all the loose” ends. Instead, they introduce stuff, all sorts of mysteries but never bother to resolve them. Based on all the stuff we heard after Quin rose shut down though, probably yet another case of giving multiple writers ‘routes’ to write and then putting it all together like a patchwork quilt. And once again, all of this being covered up by a grueling system that makes all the scenario/Cgs feel like a heavenly reward. Take that out, remove half the CGs and you basically just have tons of mindless scenario & dialogue that don’t contribute much to anything or just feel like the same thing you’ve already seen in the last 3 chapters. Strangely enough Wizard & Master didn’t feel this bad to me, but I can’t comment on Arabian’s Lost since once again in that game I had the battle system to distract me. I think I’d more recommend this game to those who enjoyed the original because it may feel fresh to you since you’re already invested with the characters. For new players, you might struggle to pay attention and if you’re like me, you will just feel unsatisfied with all the route outcomes.

And finally hilarious easter egg (lol just in time) is they hired Kaji Yuki to do a bunch of guy A roles and random side characters.  I guess back in 2007 or whatever he wasn’t that popular to get main roles yet 😂.

24 thoughts on “Otome Game Review: Crimson Empire ~Circumstances to Serve a Noble~

  1. thanks a lot—!
    ah, really, among the three related series, crimson empire gives the most unsatisfactory endings, even though some of the guys were really to my liking! …-looks at justin, marshall, bryon, rambures- michael’s ok, i guess, though i agree that the bad end for his route seems like a good thing for sheila, ahaha!

    sheila’s not my preferred heroine, but her personality as a product ofher environment certainly fits very much. it’s very sad, though. i wanted her to get together with the guy in the route, or maybe even elope! aw,come on—! loyalty…loyalty, huh?

    1. Yea I completely agree the guys had charm points but the game just threw them all to the side because ~loyalty to Edvard~ :roll:

      And yea honestly I preferred the heroines of Wizard & Master and Arabian’s Lost. I felt like they were way more fun to me :/.

      1. yes, the guys were pretty charming! so very to my liking! lol! really,that loyalty to edvard…-flips tables- no—!

        true, the heroines in those two games were much better, but i guess since they were both royalty, they had much less of a…’warped’ mindset. i mean, when we considertheir life experiences and backgrounds, right?

        1. yea it’s hard to be mad at her since she spent half her life being a slave, sold twice….which makes it even sadder that she can never truly get a happy ending. I mean if they have fantasy setting with a DEMON GUY surely they can add enough fantasy to have her finally live a good life 😦

          1. ah, you’re right! it’s like her life is sad throughout! though i guess, working under the prince, it’s at leastan easier life than under curtis…
            ithink they just don’t want her living a good life because of her loyalty, and to stay true to her character, or something…
            still! -sobs- sheila—-!

  2. Huh…I saw these manga strips in the back of my Heart no Kuni volumes. Sheila always rubbed me off as a very flexible heroine. As in a heroine who didn’t have three standard modes. ‘Tsun tsun, shy, and overly cute’. It just sounds like this entire game falls depressingly flat.

    1. She’s honestly mostly just tsuntsun….I mean anytime there’s an actual romantic moment her immediate thought is “what a lovey dovey situation gross I can’t believe myself” siiiigh lol. many nice scenes ruined because of this.

    1. I dunno man I mean, Justin and Bryon and even Rambures are filthy rich too but she didn’t seem to prefer them over him XD

  3. Congratulations on finishing the game! But 80 hours?! Now that’s a long game. I remember playing the PC version but quit after it forces me to fight some raccoons lol. Since you said goodbye QR, are you not thinking of playing other “new” straight VN QR games? I was browsing the jp psn store the other day and it seems like they have quite a few new games that I’ve never heard of.

    1. Yea I couldn’t get past the battle thing in the PC game either. I’ve been following them for a while so I know pretty much all their releases and I’m not interested in any of them. The art/writing of QR games has been mostly terrible due to so much outsourcing (Satsuki Kou isn’t 1 person it’s like an umbrella name for all the freelancers)…and honestly it pains me to go back to PSP games anymore. Vita screen is just too nice! (And the bonus of being able to play on my huge HD tv lol)

    still haven’t read it all, but I really need to comment about the otomate asset buyout before I forgot.. 😮
    They did secretly bought QR? 😮 something to do with that composer named QuinRose???

    1. they just bought their assets but they announced on their twitter they have no intention to continue their brand name or releases. i think all it does is maybe allow them to put up old QR games back on PSN?

      and regarding Crimson Royale – yea I was hoping I’d see a straight VN port of that but then they kinda..died. It’s okay though honestly I think this is a good way to finally be done with Quin Rose forever.

      1. Wait does this mean that no more manga is going to be made of the Alice series? I used to get the books every month, but it slowed down significantly. I was hoping that they would eventually get to making Diamond route manga. Also Pierce…WHY DON’T YOU HAVE A MANGA YET!!? D:

        God this will be so disappointing if this is the case. I was a huge fan of the manga. ;_;

        1. I’d pretty much forget about any quinrose related products at this point….they’re pretty much gone for now with no further leads on to any company revival as far as I know.

          1. Well…damn. 😦 This is the most disappointing thing I’ve heard today.m Even more disappointing when you find out that Peter after allll this time, finally gets a book, and it’s a two parter, but now it’s never gonna get finished. 😦

            1. I actually bought both in Japanese, it felt like finally a reward after all this time for Peter to get his turn XD Was worth it for me lol

  5. Oh btw, this one actually had an FD.. Crimson royale, but QR already dropdead before porting it to either psp / vita :”(

  6. Thank you so much for your review & congratulations for holding it during these -endless- 80 hours✨ !

    I just read your “Final Thoughts” because, initially, I was very interested by this game, but now, I’m not so sure (´−`) ン.

    I love realism in video games like, really; but that’s not my cup of tea for an otoge & I also feel so sorry for Sheila…

    There’s something for every taste, even in the otoge world, but here, it’s a bit like if QR had forgotten what kind of game it was in the end for me…

    I know that I will not be able to deal with this unsatisfied feeling so, all things considered, I will carefully listen your advice and save my money!

    1. thanks for reading! honestly though even if you wanted this game i’m not sure where you can get it anymore since quin rose went out of business it’s hard to find a lot of their games anymore

      1. You’re very welcome, I don’t have commented that much lately but I still enjoy your reviews very much 🙂 !

        Some sites like Solaris Japan, Nippon Yasan or Nin-Nin Game have still them but I don’t trust the last two ones and Solaris tend to overprice some stuff so yea… That’s idiot, I tend to forgot this detail about QR sometimes orz (*´_ゝ`).

  7. Incomming long ass comment

    First Justin is the first prince because he is older but second in the line to the throne, the first in line to the throne is actually Ed because his mom is the legitimate wife who is a high ranking noble and this discrepancy is the whole reason there’s conflict over the throne.

    So I finally took time to write (since I remembered you can’t comment on old posts on your blog), I was waiting to remember stuff, particularly how critical was Royale to empire becoming my favorite game, very fucking critical.

    after ending Empire I got the feeling of incompleteness because “no this is still not a happy ending” (but I’m an idealist so assumed things would get happy offscreen not the other way around like you XD)

    then I found out about Royale and playing it just finally puts everything on it’s rightful place (save for Ed’s route since things are likely to end similarly to how Justin’s mom did… probably? but you do get the strong feeling Ed loves Sheila in that one, and Justin sort of drops off a offer to take in any kid they have because he doesn’t want them screwing his nephews/nieces over xD).

    And royale basically shows how there are actually many happy endings ahead for Sheila and the guy she chooses (unless Ed because that’s bittersweet at best), and how she stops the stupid looking hairdo for good because now she is happy and not trapped in the past, so I guess I can’t fault you for not being satisfied with this game when I myself wasn’t until Royale.

    Also no sex ninja lol, Curtis is and Ubermenschen so to him if you can’t be an assassin with sheer power alone you are useless, I think they mention that on one of Medusa’s events (so while I agree that Sheila is no virgin by the time the game takes place in, I doubt it was forced on her, she took that much effort to tell Justin it wasn’t like that and her inner monologue supported it saying that Ed would be the only one capable of forcing himself on her but he wasn’t the type to do so), speaking of which, Medusa was an assassin outside of Curtis Guild hired to team up with Cejka and Sheila to keep their 3 people teams, she works alone and is since that time much stronger than Sheila, to the point that Sheila picked some of her technique and her weapon is similar to Medusa’s, which is why the ends in which Sheila is assassinated are done by either Curtis or Medusa who are both stronger than her.

    As for the loyalty thing, it’s really not an issue in Marshall and Rambures’ routes since once Ed becomes king they will also be on her shoes serving him which is why you could go on a date normally with Marshall when it’s decided Ed won the throne.

    Bryon would have ended up on Justin’s side but thanks to Lilley and Sheila, if he goes for her, he is either neutral or Edward faction and decided to welcome Sheila to his family so really her loyalty to Ed is just an issue to Michael and Justin, Miha because well he is like that and doesn’t undestand, and Justin because he hates Edvard’s guts (until the end when he forgives him so they are ok).

    Finally I also had fun listening from which random dude A I would heard Kaji Yuki’s voice coming XD

    1. Ahh thanks for filling me in! Really a pity about Royale, it sounds like Sheila got the happy ends she deserves 😦 And lol surprised about the no sex ninja thing I mean I thought that other maid was basically a prostitute before coming to this castle – so I had assumed the same for Sheila I guess.

      And I see now about Medusa. Well I expected Curtis to be stronger but too bad Sheila couldn’t outpower Medusa at least…just further adding to the “what a damn shame” checklist for this game for me lol

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