Guest Review: Taisho Alice: Epilogue

Okay, that was a looooooooooot faster than I thought. It’s only one route, but seeing how much of a slog it took me to get through the previous episode I was expecting this to take me longer than a day to get through. But then I checked Steam and oops, they’re only charging half price for this one after all so I probably should’ve known better. Aaaaaaaaaaanyway, as usual spoilers ahoy, especially given the nature of how this epilogue plays out.

So to start off, the epilogue isn’t really like a BIG REVEAL of sorts. The previous Wizard route was really the one that served to fully explain what was going on up to this point to the player (well other than how we finally get the MOST IMPORTANT EXPLANATION OF ALL, which was “why does Yurika speak like a fansub from 15 years ago”), so instead the Alice/Alistair epilogue is more about wrapping it all up. Yurika has fixed his various personalities’ problems in the previous routes, so now she just needs to get the “real” Alistair to wake up.

oh i love sakura taisen

The main main emphasis in this route is about seeing which parts of all the tWiSTed fairy fales up to this point were the actual events that happened to Alistair and/or Yurika and which events were just part of Yurika’s poetic license. So for example, the main beats of the Cinderella route regarding his riches-to-rags origin or his pending marriage to the rich prince are things that did happen to Alistair, but not like being a glass blower with a foot fetish. Now where it gets a bit tricky is how much of the mismatch in importance between the routes is Alistair’s memories versus how much of it is just the game not really caring that much in terms of the story between some of the routes. The Cinderella, Snow White, and Gretel characters have much more weight behind the events in their stories compared to the Kaguya and Makazukin stories. Cinderella covers much of his early life and when he first meets Yurika, then the Snow White era involves the time after his deadbeat dad flies the coop through when his mom dies (and I guess technically when he overdoses on sleeping pills right before the game itself begins), and Gretel covers the time when he gets adopted by Yurika’s family. But Makazukin was basically just “oh yeah btw I was a friend of yours as a kid” (still not really grasping where the whole “shy but also horny cop that is secretly a furry” part comes in) and Kaguya was “oh yeah you were sent to an orphanage after your mom died and you don’t really remember much of this.”

no hes not his route was too long and repetitive

So I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the unevenness was simply padding out the game, but it’s very clear how some stories weren’t as important as the others. I will say though that yeahhhhhhhhhhh, the Snow White storyline simply went on wayyyyyyyyyyy too long and didn’t need to keep repeating itself that many times. Maybe if there was some kind of way to trim it a bit and dole out some of the history events into the Makazukin and Kaguya routes this would’ve gone a long way to making his route less painful (read: it taking me months to drag myself through) while giving the others a little more narrative heft. Similarly, I wouldn’t call the extra postgame route about the “real” story as it’s happening externally from her perspective padding either, but it was a bit repetitive (again, intentionally). I felt that it mainly served as kind of “okay, if you REALLY need to have the actual story from Yurika’s perspective spelled out to you in case you couldn’t piece it together from the fairy tale-inflected versions that Yurika tells Alistair while he’s in his coma or from the fragmented bits that he can remember when he’s himself, this will fill you in.”

(narrator voice) it was true

Lastly I gotta point out that this episode has a fairly lengthy bad end (unlike the previous routes where the bad ends were mainly just quick “LOL YOU DIED” when given choices like “do you want to escape from the burning house y/n”…or like the endless sets of choices with Kaguya where every five seconds you had to pick “no” when asked like “do you want Kaguya to go away y/n”) where instead of Yurika managing to get all the personalities to reconcile together in Alistair’s head, she instead messes up and her own personality takes him over…and goes extra cray. They kind of hinted at times in this subject that she is kind of a sociopath who will use people without a second thought, make teh secks with the Wizard solely to try to achieve her goals, and put on various airs to manipulate people…and how the plot of the game basically boils down to “::extremely yandere voice:: I’m going to manipulate his brain while he’s in a coma CAUSE I LOVE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!” But when you think about it, most of the “serious” stuff was Alistair and his past rather than anything with Yurika for the most part, so this aspect flies under the radar for the most part with only a few hints here and there like in Gretel’s route.

Final Thoughts: Well there you have it. If you like games that make you think they’re about degrading bimbos but are actually about how their secretly yandere mind games went just as keikaku, do I have the game for you! Just make sure to also want to do what I did and get the game when it’s on sale, because otherwise you’re going to be spending quite a bit more than the typical cost of a game because of the 3.5 episodes you’ve gotta buy.